185 Reviews Found

Review #1, by alicia and anne Chapter 1

15th March 2015:
Oooo yes! I'm continuing this brilliant story! I'm still so intrigued by that prologue and I can't wait to see how this develops!

Awww Hogwarts would be so weird if McGonagall went home during the holidays. Hogwarts is definitely her home and they both need each other!

An international Floo? That's definitely interesting!

Haha I can't stop laughing at McGonagall saying that never have her knees needed to breathe! That is brilliant! :D Haha I can't stop laughing! Just the mental image of McGonagall out on the field, sunning her knees in shorts.

Ophelia changed the girl into a rubber chicken? That is just pure brilliance! Did she really think that carrying around a rubber chicken was better than carrying around a unconcious girl? :P

Ophelia is wonderful! She's so brilliant and hilarious! I love that she's charging an international Floo to Minerva, that she's going to change the sheets and restock the ice tray, and ordering in chinese. I love her!

She's knitted Sadie prisoner! Of all the things to keep her in one spot.

This is yet another brilliant chapter, so perfectly written and I'm so excited to find out what's going to happen with Sadie at Hogwarts. I can't wait to find out more of her past and to see how she fits in with other people. I can see that McGonagall will be a great parental figure for her.

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Review #2, by alicia and anne Prologue

13th March 2015:
Now that is some awesome description at the beginning of this. It's set the tone very well and I am so intrigued.

Wow, especially as a woman is coming at her with a broom! I wonder why she's doing that and why the girl is hanging around outside the shop? Who is she waiting for? Awww she was waiting for food :( I wish that I could give her some!

I would be worried that I was still dreaming if a woman dressed like that came and woke me up!

Oh now this has gotten extremely interesting! Why isn't this girl on the street using a wand herself if she recognised one? Who is this cat/woman and what does she want? What happened to this girl to make her live on the street? So many questions asked and I want all of the answers, so I'm going to definitely keep reading your fabulous writing! :D I am so excited to find out more. I am so hooked already!

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Review #3, by The Ghost of Fred Future Chapter 3

9th January 2015:
Wow, so we finally get to hear (more) from Sadie! I'm not sure what I think of her yet. I will have to reserve judgment until I have gotten to know her a little better. Mostly I think it's because she's an OC, I don't have this default, built-in characterization to imagine. One thing that really impressed me was how much you conveyed with her thoughts, and I scarcely noticed in her interaction with Dumbledore that she didn't speak! Well done on that! I'm looking forward to seeing how she interacts with the Weasley Crew + Harry & Hermione.

As I said once before, I'm loving how you're incorporating McGonagall as a character in her own right! I thought you did pretty well with Dumbledore too. I definitely found some irony in his statement about there being people in the world who think they know what's best. That's certainly a way he behaved toward Harry! I guess Dumbledore knows better than a lot of people, in general, but still. :P

I'm not sure how intentional this was, but I liked the symbolism of Sadie looking at her "strange, new reflection in the mirror" at the end. I think it's indicative of the fact that she doesn't yet feel this transformation as quite real yet. For her, it's still something that's a reflection, or something not quite tangible. It's not just for her, really . . . it's for everyone. These changes are just on the outside, so the reflection shows that, but it's not quite reality yet. I hope I'm making sense here.

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Review #4, by The Ghost of Fred Future Chapter 2

9th January 2015:
Where to begin?! You're a great writer. Even though there are certain unlikely scenarios (as if the whole Harry Potter story isn't unlikely itself :P ) that seem to crop up regularly in fanfiction, a character with a mysterious past starting school late and/or being related to Harry being amongst them, I like the way you are handling this so far. It's not coming across like a poorly explained trope.

I like that instead of having a "special power," she's got a disability, and not one of those that just seems like one but is actually something super cool (though she's going to have to do all non-verbal spells, obviously). Also, it's a physical manifestation of the trauma she's been through . . . she's scarred like Harry, but in a different way. It's going to force you to tell her story through others as well, and I think it will result in keeping the mystery of her "lost years" and the circumstances regarding her family's deaths going for longer.

The high point of this chapter was characterization for sure, in my opinion. One advantage of fanfiction is that we have these readymade characters, so it's easy to make your readers recognize them from the get-go, which you've definitely done. I thought Harry, the twins, Ginny, and Hermione were particularly well done. They all seemed spot on. I can't wait to see how they interact with Sadie.

Oh, and it was fun to start seeing the connections with that shorter short story collection I read! Ha! I suspected Charlie was named after Charlie McLauchlin!

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Review #5, by The Ghost of Fred Present Chapter 1

7th January 2015:
I love love love that you've introduced McGonagall as a character! She's one of my favorite characters, actually, despite being a rather minor one, and it's rare to see her in a story except in the role of disapproving teacher when pranks are being played (usually in the Marauder era), it seems to me. I was so excited to see her presented here as a character in her own right, with some background (the reading and such) to develop her in this story a bit more. Very nice.

I'm a fan of the details about the long distance Floo as well! Something like that never occurred to me, despite its obvious parallel with long distance calling! The bit about putting Floo powder on the fire at exactly 2 and five eighths minutes was a detail that fit perfectly into the wizarding world JKR created too, what with the ridiculous monetary system they have and all (I mean, seriously, who has their seventeens times tables down pat? Wizards, I guess).

You've answered some of the questions from the prologue, but you've opened up more questions! We know who the girl is and why Ophelia was interested in her, but we still don't know her importance! Obviously there has been some sort of tragic event in the past. I imagine more details will be revealed as the story progresses.

Anyway, I think that McGonagall and Ophelia were my favorite parts of this chapter . . . I enjoyed them as characters.

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Review #6, by The Ghost of Fred Present Prologue

6th January 2015:
Hey! It's your Secret Santa, finally getting around to the next batch of gifts! My apologies for my tardiness. I know you've got a bunch of reviews on this chapter already, but after the last story I read, I wanted to read this one, and of course I have to start at the beginning.

You are an ace at descriptive writing! You set a whole mood and atmosphere in this chapter. I could picture things so easily, and I felt like I could feel them too. You brought me right into the story like I was a fly on the wall. I just love it when writers manage to create an almost dreamy sense with their writing, in which I feel as if I am floating through it and/or the characters are floating through reality (for the record, your characters don't feel dreamy/floaty :P ).

So, who is this magical girl?! I assume that was a Muggle shop she was lurking outside. How does she know of magic? Is she a witch? Who is she looking for? I suspected the cat would turn out to be an Animagus, because it just seemed to parallel (though in a different universe, perhaps) McGonagall being a cat Animagus. I wonder who this girl is, though, that the woman has sought her out and is so interested in her.

There are quite a few questions raised in this prologue, which is great, since it entices the reader to keep going to find out the answers. Yet despite tantalizing us with unknown information, I don't feel like there's an obnoxious or poorly-written cliff-hanger, so kudos on that!

Ok, enough rambling. On to the next chapter.

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Review #7, by TidalDragon Chapter 9

18th December 2014:
Howdy! Sorry for the delay!

To jump right to what you've asked about, there certainly wasn't anything that came across to me as choppy or forced. There were a couple of uncharacteristic typos that could be indicative of the rushing you were worried about, but on the whole, solid.

One thing that did leap out about this chapter in comparison to some of the others was that it was particularly dialogue-heavy. Because of that I didn't get quite the same level of immersion that I have from previous chapters and I think it inhibited connecting with Sadie's reaction to her first Diagon Alley experiment. Obviously a lot of dialogue will happen from time-to-time, especially when your MC can't speak audibly and is somewhat at the mercy of a couple very talkative characters like Fred and George, but it felt like here wasn't the ideal opportunity for that.

What I enjoyed most about this chapter though was how you've continued to give us new looks at things that weren't covered in canon, all without violating it. Fred and George at Diagon Alley was fun to read and it was very interesting to see how early the twins had identified the building they ended up occupying with their store. Mrs. Weasley was also appropriately mother-hennish. Poor kids.

Hope this helps! Keep going!

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Review #8, by nott theodore Chapter 8

14th November 2014:
Hi, farmgirl! So I've been meaning to catch up with this story for ages, and I don't even know how I managed to miss an update from months ago (except I was completely snowed under at this point with uni work). And you commented on my status, so here's some NaNo encouragement too! :D

I really loved the way that you opened this chapter, throwing us right into the chaos that's just a normal meal in the Weasley household. I loved the mention of George elbowing Ginny, both of their retorts, and the way that Ginny had already wised up by this age and was more likely to plan revenge than go telling tales to their parents. I feel like it's the sort of thing that she'd have to do to survive in a family like that, and Fred and George have always seemed pretty proud of the way she grew up and know she's a formidable foe!

I really felt for poor Sadie in the midst of this. It was also lovely that George was the one to notice her - I think that the twins can both be really perceptive when they want to be, but they're often not written that way, so to me it makes sense that they would pick up on something like Sadie not having the food that she needs, because she's too scared to get involved. I smiled when he made sure that Sadie managed to get some food and helped her to combat all the noise without drawing any attention to the fact that she was the one needing more food. It was very sweet and tactful of him!

I've said this in most of my reviews, but you really write the Weasleys - especially the twins - so well! I also really liked seeing the hint of maturity that's often forgotten when people write the twins, as George mused on the unfairness of the different situations.

As for him jumping up and leaving partway through dinner - I'm not entirely sure that Molly would allow it, but I am curious about why he left and took Fred with him! I know that their family suspected that it had something to do with their pranks and joke products, but I wonder if it wasn't something that George thought of that they could use to help Sadie...

Ah, Arthur. He's another character that you write wonderfully and I really liked the way that he was more accepting of the fact that the boys are determined to make mischief and that they want to open the joke shop - he always seemed happier with the idea than Molly, anyway.

The two flashbacks in the final section of this chapter were so contrasting that it really had a big impact. It was so sweet to see the interaction between Sadie and her father, and the happy family life that they had. Sadie's just so cute there, all innocent and untouched by what would happen to her later, and I loved her enthusiasm about playing with the Snow Blower. I think that just made it even sadder to think of what happened to her family, though.

Arthur's conversation with Sadie was really sweet, too. He's so caring and I liked the link between him and Sadie's father with their shared love of Muggle objects. (I did notice a few typos in this section, one of them where you write 'Brittan' and I think you mean 'Britain', so it might be worth giving this a quick read through to catch those.) I'm glad that Arthur knows that Charlie found the farm that he was looking for, in the end.

I certainly wasn't expecting Arthur mentioning a wand to Sadie to have such a violent reaction! I'm guessing that the flashback we got to see there is what Sadie has experienced at the hands of wizards and part of the reason she doesn't speak... it's so sad to think about what she's been through! But I, like George, am really worried about how she'll cope at Hogwarts, if even the thought of a magic wand causes such a terrible memory - how will she survive being completely surrounded by magic?

This was another great chapter and hopefully I'll be back soon to get to the other one that I hadn't even noticed you'd posted! And as for NaNo - good luck, and you can do it!

Sian :)

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Review #9, by The Ghost Of His Last Laugh Chapter 9

29th October 2014:
Hi! I am so sorry for the delay in your review! I accidentally closed my laptop after hitting preview instead of submit and didn't notice til I sat down to write. I feel so bad!

Anyways, this chapter was really good. You definitely have Fred and George characterized right, and you are a very talented writer. While I have not read the whole story, so my review might be slightly askew, I have just one thing to say: it doesn't feel like a whole lot happened. All I picked up is that Fred and George went to Diagon Alley with Sadie, and she loves books. Now, don't get me wrong, since I haven't read the rest, I might not be right about the importance of this. Don't let my review discourage you, because this is a great chapter! I think Sadie is really interesting, I really want to know why she doesn't talk, and I like that she is from New York. I'll be adding this to my reading list so I can try to catch up.

Keep going! You're an awesome writer!

-The Ghost Of His Last Laugh

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Review #10, by marauderfan Chapter 9

20th October 2014:
Review swap! Heh, I already had this chapter pulled up in a tab on my browser, along with like 8 other stories I'm trying to catch up on, so yay now I'm doing this one first.

Every time, I am so impressed by how you write the twins. And all of the Weasleys, really! I feel like this is right out of the pages of the books (except for the additional character of Sadie.) Sometimes I wonder if JKR writes all the Weasley scenes for you because it's just SO perfect and true to character for all of them. I loved the scene in the beginning too with Mrs Weasley trying to get everyone off to Diagon Alley - it was such a perfect combination of stern motherliness and teasing humour, I loved it.

“You-Know-Who leaves you homework hints? Blimey, I feel robbed. Do you think he’d be willing to branch out? Merlin knows I could use the help with Potions.” -- hehe, love it.

I really enjoyed reading their adventure through Diagon Alley - much like Harry's first trip there in Philosophers/Sorceror's Stone, it really feels magical - not just in the sense that there is magic going on, but all the wonder and discovery of new exciting places. It was neat to see Sadie find her element, in the bookstore and then once again in that joke shop. The way the twins kept talking about Hermione's love of books, it made me grin to see that scene as it was kind of like a reminder to the twins that people can love books AND love creating mischief - they're not mutually exclusive traits.

Ooh, the beginning of Weasley's Wizard Wheezes! I loved this scene because in the books it's like this place just appeared out of nowhere suddenly vacant and the twins bought it, so I like that you showed it in its state of disrepair before anyone did anything with the property. And they were buying ingredients for Canary Creams and whatnot during that visit, just as Mrs Weasley predicted they would. But as we know, those sneaky twins will find a way to get away with it! :p

Awesome chapter, as always! I look forward to reading more :D

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Review #11, by CambAngst Chapter 9

16th October 2014:
Hi, farmgirl! I meant to review this yesterday, but better late than never, I suppose. Also, you get to wake up to my reviews two days in a row. :)

There was something about seeing Mrs. Weasley doing a simple task like laundry that I really liked. Ugh, what's the word I'm looking for? Maybe "settling". I think small, mundane details like laundry and cooking and cleaning take a story with some very big mysteries and characters who've suffered some awful tragedies and make it all feel grounded in reality. I know it's kind of a big leap. "Yes! She's doing laundry! This story could have happened in real life..." But I hope you know what I mean. It's not all devious plots and powerful spells and good vs. evil, sometimes people have to stop and wash their clothes.

I really like the way you wrote Harry in this chapter. He isn't stealing the spotlight from Sadie at all, but his presence has an effect on everyone involved. She finds him comforting, in a way. A reminder that she still has some roots in the life that was torn away from her. Harry seems to remind Mrs. Weasley that places like Diagon Alley are special, and it helps her to see the trip as more than just an opportunity for Fred and George to get into trouble. As someone who has twin boys, I can emphatically state that it's very easy to obsess over the possibilities of your kids causing mayhem to the point that you forget about how neat something might be.

Ha! I love the show that Fred puts on for the room. One of my favorite things about how you write Fred and George is that while their methods may be devious, their intentions always seem pure. Mostly, anyway. They love to make people laugh. Even Mrs. Weasley can't completely keep herself from enjoying the spectacle. Then there was this line: Laughing silently, Sadie found the whole thing very amusing and, strangely enough, a bit comforting – to be surrounded by a real family once more – a completely normal (if not slightly insane) family. She's come a long way from the feral girl living on the streets of New York.

What was wrong with a truck or a nice, stable subway train? -- Wow. The floo must be really horrible if it makes a subway train seem stable.

"You know, when you put it like that, I guess we do have a pet." Fred straightened up and grinned. "We have Ron." -- Awesome!

I loved the scene inside Flourish and Blotts. Sadie has found her element, it seems. And Fred and George are obviously starting to collect the tools needed to craft their pranking empire. The little knocks on Hermione and Percy cracked me up.

Gamble and Japes proved to be a huge success. The guarded, ever-wary look that had haunted Sadie since the moment she arrived at his house finally slid completely away, replaced as they wandered the well-stocked shelves with a wonderful yet totally silent laugh. -- Heart-warming. She fits in so well with the two of them.

One of the formative moments of Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes. Excuse me while I brush away a sentimental tear. I love that you included this scene.

I noticed a couple of small typos as I was reading:

Clutching her glasses tightly with one hand and clinging to Fred’s arm with the other, Sadie gritted her teeth as she was jostled and bumped like a lose marble in a shaken can. -- "loose marble"

They immerged fifteen minutes later with bulging pockets, Sadie's faltering smile firmly back in place, and Fred silently praising Bill and his timely loan of cash that morning. -- "They emerged" I think is what you meant to say. I looked up "immerge" and it's a real word, but it means the same thing as "submerge".

I enjoyed this so much! I suppose the next thing would be for Arthur to take Sadie wand shopping. I'm really interested to see how that goes. I also hope we get to see Sadie interacting more with Harry soon. I'm dying to find out how these two orphaned cousins relate to one another. Great job!

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Review #12, by magnolia_magic Chapter 8

30th July 2014:
Farmgirl, hi! I've been meaning to come by and review this story again, because I'm caught up and waiting eagerly for the next update! Not to pressure you or anything, I know the must can be tricky sometimes. But I really love this chapter, and the story in general!

I wish I knew how to describe what I love about your writing. It's just so...conversational, maybe? Effortless. That's a good word. Nothing feels forced or contrived in your writing; it all flows very naturally. It would be very easy to make a Mary Sue out of a character like Sadie, but instead you've made her down-to-earth and perfectly relatable. You let your characters get introspective and emotional without being melodramatic. Your tone is so pleasant, even when addressing the unpleasant things. It's just a joy to read :)

I still adore the way you write the twins! And Arthur as well. I've never seen anyone write the Weasleys as well as you do, Farmgirl, honestly. Like this little snippet here:

'"We need to go to Diagon Alley."

"To get some..."


I can just see them finishing each other's sentence, and it warms my heart. And I laughed out loud at some of the little moments at the dinner table, especially George and Ginny's bickering. And he was so sweet with Sadie! That's what I love about your George, you let his sweetness shine through.

Arthur is wonderful in this chapter. This is how Arthur is meant to be written; sentimental, wise, dryly funny. I'm so, so impressed with your Arthur. And the farm things! They made my farmer's daughter heart so happy! The fact that Sadie and I share that particular distinction just makes me love this story that much more :)

I loved this! I'd love to see a new update on the horizon *wink wink* Excellent chapter as always!


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Review #13, by silverashes Chapter 7

18th July 2014:
Ah, again I love Ginny. She's taking Sadie under her wing. I liked the idea about Ginny's hiding place in the tree trunk. It was so quaint, and something I think she would definitely need in a house of all boys! Sadie's starting to blossom. Slowly but surely!

Oh! Fred saw what Sadie was seeing?! OMG I need to find out why. EEK! I can't wait to keep reading!

xx Rachel

Author's Response: Ah, thank you so much for this review! I always love it when you pop up. And I'm really glad you enjoyed the chapter! It was fun to give Ginny something that was just hers, not inherited from an older brother. And to have her share it with Sadie felt really natural.

Glad you think Sadie is starting to blossom. She has a long way to go, but this family is certainly helping her.

And yes, Fred saw Sadie's memory. As for how, well...we'll get there.

Thanks again for reading!

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Review #14, by silverashes Chapter 6

17th July 2014:
Hello, hello! I'm back from the dead! I can't believe I missed this much of the story, good God! I absolutely adore how kind Fred, George, and Ginny were to Sadie in this chapter. The whole scene with the jacket nearly broke my heart (in a good way)! Though my heart did shatter when she had to watch her entire family die right in front of her eyes. What an awful thing to make such a young child -- or anyone -- experience. Poor Sadie!

Once again, you did a lovely job! I love reading this story, so I'm off to the next chapter!

xx Rachel

Author's Response: Hello! I know that feeling! I've been "dead" for most of the year until now, so no need to apologize! I'm just so excited that you've started reading again.

Thank you for your kind words! I'm so happy you liked Fred and George and Ginny in this chapter, and the way they treated Sadie. And sorry about shattering your heart. It was hard to do, but it was necessary for the story.

Thanks again! Can't wait to see what you think of the next chapter.

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Review #15, by UnluckyStar57 Chapter 4

13th April 2014:
Hi! I am here at last with your review!!

So I really loved this chapter because I got to learn more about Sadie's life and it had an adorable Fred and George moment in it. :) Sadie is still quite an enigma, but at least now you've taken me inside her head just a little. The conversation that she had with the Weasleys was really valuable--she said a lot of things, but DIDN'T say a lot more. I'm glad that Harry can sort of empathize with her and that his life with the Dursleys is put into perspective. :)

Just a question to remind myself: Are Sadie's glasses round like Harry's or square/oval/rectangular? Sorry I forgot, and I know it's a silly detail, but I just can't remember. :)

Hermione REALLY got on my nerves in this chapter. I know that she's a bookworm and all, but DANG. That was obnoxious. However, I did learn something about magical New York, which was good. I hope that Hermione tones it down in later chapters. She needs to learn how to listen. :P

That is not to say that I didn't like her, or any of the other characters! I think that you kept them really true to canon, and Hermione was particularly obnoxious in this scene because she was having one of those days where she was like, "I'm Hermione, I know everything!" It's been known to happen. :)

The scene in which Sadie tried to teach the Weasleys sign language was touching and positively wonderful. It's so good that the Weasleys are open-minded and kind. However, I fear the day that Sadie meets Draco Malfoy. (I hope that she punches him...)

Okay, your writing is fantastic. The plot is flowing along nicely, and I see that you've got chapter five up! Good for you! I look forward to reading it!


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Review #16, by TidalDragon Chapter 8

29th March 2014:
Alrighty! So this chapter was relatively straightforward. It thankfully finally displayed one of the Weasleys making a faux pas. It's nice that they've been so accommodating and wonderful (and it's helped you that you've condensed the time spent with them into a limited number of days), but I think they are reaching perhaps being a little TOO perfect.

As far as your ultimate question, it's difficult to answer fully without knowing where the drop off is happening. I think from a stylistic and skill perspective, you are a talented writer. You do really well with a complex character like Sadie - conveying her thoughts, feelings, and flashbacks - and though it has become a spot less consistent since the earliest chapters, you definitely have a knack for description too. I do think as you partially acknowledge in your A/N, you may be losing readers because of how long the story is taking to develop. I definitely appreciate why you're taking the approach you are and I think it's valuable and important, but I have found in my own limited experience so far that only so many readers like long-developing stories (at least while they are WIPs). Certainly there are many on the forums who admit to only reading anything longer than a short story once it reaches completed status. Again, I don't know the numbers, but I'd be excited by how many reviews you have received (I imagine you have quite a few reads too given the number of reviews), especially if they're so positive. If you haven't already, you could try a summary tweak, promoting it in the forums (if that's your bag - personally, I didn't notice a bump the lone time I posted a chapter update), or whatnot, but I'd keep on keeping on.

I will level with you and say that as a reader the plot is not my cup of tea. Despite the intrigue and the very well-written OC, I just don't tend to read AU fics in the Hogwarts Era that don't drastically alter at least two canon characters or major canon relationships or find a way to remove them from Hogwarts entirely. But that's just me, and I feel like I'm kind of a minority in a number of my fic preferences.

Objectively though, I can say for sure is that you have a VERY good thing going from a writing perspective. DON'T GET DISCOURAGED!

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Review #17, by TidalDragon Chapter 7

29th March 2014:
Hello again!

The sequence with Ginny and Sadie was delightful. There was a wonderful innocence about it and creating a place like that seemed so fitting for Ginny, who's been stealing her brothers' brooms since she was six. I thought it was also a nice touch for her to be caught by Sadie with an unexpected secret while Ginny was showcasing one she had planned on sharing.

Re: the A/N, I'm not sure if you've been getting a lot of comments about this, but personally I don't find any issue with how you've expressed Sadie's writing and signing. You definitely have to get across what she is expressing and I think it would take someone very familiar with ASL to take time to criticize your handling of it. The only thing that is a bit too quick for me maybe is how quickly the Weasleys seem to be picking up ASL. Maybe it's me, but I don't think I could watch someone sign all day for a full week and necessarily have many signs committed to memory, even to hold a simple conversation, but perhaps I'm weird - I've never tried to learn.

The end was also intriguing, I guess being intended as a display of Sadie's unique magical gifts. We'll see in the future I suppose other ways for this to manifest itself, but it could be incredibly dangerous if it works in reverse as well, so hmm.

Author's Response: If I don't hurry up and respond, these are going to be a year old, which is entirely unacceptable. So, sorry I'm late, all that jazz. I'd promise to do better from now on, but we both know that probably is unrealistic.

Anyway, on to the reply.

I am so glad you liked the Sadie and Ginny scene. I really felt like I needed to give Sadie something good and just plain happy after the several chapters of angst and worry. It felt so good to just let her be a girl for a bit, and to share a secret with someone, even if it wasn't the one Ginny intended to share. :D

As for the author's note I haven't had too many comments about the use of ASL or the way I'm portraying the interpretation of it, but sometimes I worry too much. I didn't want it to seem like I was being insensitive to the language or the people who use it, so I figured I'd better put it out there just in case.

Your second comment about the signing makes me sigh. Dang. This is SUCH a big pet peeve of mine, and I'd hoped I was avoiding it. I used to write for another fandom that had a character that used sign language, and I hated it when OC were written that instantly understood him. Drove me nuts, so I've always tried to be careful not to fall into that trap. Perhaps I need to go back and re-evaluate the Weasleys learning curve. I'll admit for the sake of fiction I probably intentionally sped up a bit, because writing long sections where no one understands the other is tedious, but I don't want it to stick out. Thank you for the note. I will be careful!

You'll have to stay tuned to know more about this "gift" as you call it. I promise it's important and won't be a dropped thread, if I can ever find the time to write again, that is.

Thanks again! Love your reviews!

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Review #18, by TidalDragon Chapter 6

29th March 2014:

So the flashback Sadie had of her family being murdered was just - intense. Chilling, but VERY well done. It definitely enhances Sadie's withdrawn, constantly-worried characterization and it also provokes some huge questions that I am left wanting answers to. Who is this familiar person who killed her family, seemingly in an act of betrayal? Why/how did Sadie live? On a different note, it seemed like the Death Eater (or whoever was present with him) used a gun. Why would a group that abhors Muggles and anything to do with them use a Muggle weapon to kill? Seems a little odd, but perhaps you'll explain it.

I will say that a sizeable portion of this chapter though seemed to be devoted to getting us from the tents to the eventual point you wanted to end on. I'm not sure if this was planned or if you just viewed it as a necessity, but it was noticeable this time. Every story (especially a novel length one) will have its moments like that, but just take care it doesn't develop into something frequent.

Author's Response: I was really worried about that flashback - how to make it as impactful as it needed to be, but not go beyond the limits of the TOS. It's a line I seem to be walking in a few places in this story.

As for the questions it provoked - that's good! I was hoping people would catch some details I threw in there, that might seem inconsistent, and start asking questions about them! You are one of a very few people to catch the use of a Muggle weapon. And while I'm not going to answer this question for you right now, just know it wasn't a typo or mistake. You have good eyes.

Taking too much time setting up scenes - got it. I will try to keep an eye on it. I was hoping to give a picture of what could have happened that night from someone other than the trios' POV, but I didn't want it to be long and tedious, so I will have to make sure and keep a hold on that as I try to tell this mostly canon story without rehashing what has already been done.

Thanks again!

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Review #19, by TidalDragon Chapter 5

29th March 2014:
The bit with Bill was an excellent part of this chapter. We only get glimpses of him in canon, so it was nice to see a prominent moment for him in your story. I thought it was also fitting that he would be kind and understanding as the oldest Weasley (and gave some flesh to why he might win over Fleur, beyond his looks) and that you worked his job as a cursebreaker into his concern for Sadie.

The only thing that caught me off guard a little was the transition from the portkey to after the Quidditch match. It definitely got across her panic and disorientation, but until later on (and a re-read of the beginning of that crowd section) it was unclear that you had skipped the match, so I was left kind of waiting and waiting for something to happen there, for Sadie to have some reaction to the Quidditch itself and obviously that did not happen. I don't question the choice to skip the Quidditch as I think what you did was effective, but you might consider somehow making clearer right out from amidst the panic that your second section of the chapter is taking place post-match.

See you in the next chapter!

Author's Response: Thanks! I'm glad you liked Bill. I too feel like he is a very underused character and so I do try to bring him in whenever I can. I really enjoyed letting him play the part of big brother again here. I also feel that Bill's career often gets overlooked in stories as well. To be a cursebreaker he had to be pretty dang brave and smart, I think. He should get to be an important part of the Wizarding World and the fight against Voldemort that is going to start growing here, more than just as Ron's Oldest Brother. Not sure what I'm trying to say here is making any sense, but maybe you will understand.

Ah, you found my weak transition. I know this one is a bit of a mess and can cause confusion. I tried and tried to find a way to make it more smooth, so people would realize the passage of time and that I skipped the actual match entirely in my narrative, but every time I sneaked in a little transition paragraph, I lost the effect of the abruptness and panic. It was one of those spots that you fight and fight with, and finally - for the sake of getting the chapter posted, just have to let go. Someday I will be hit with a brilliant fix for this and then I will come back and edit it. But until then, I just grit my teeth and bear it.

Thanks again so much for reading! You are amazing!

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Review #20, by TidalDragon Chapter 4

29th March 2014:
I thoroughly enjoyed this chapter. You struck a nice balance between the introductions and interactions with the Weasleys (+ Harry and Hermione) and the inner turmoil and emotion that Sadie was experiencing. As before, your handling of the descriptions and inner thoughts of hers was very well done. I thought the memory of her deciding to learn to sign was an excellent inclusion that really helped to underline the rest of what you expressed about her, both in this chapter and earlier.

Harry's thoughts were also a nice touch. I am interested to see how their relationship develops and whether they will ultimately reach a point where they discuss their traumas - the losses of their families and homelessness/hated-ness at the Dursleys.

Hermione's contribution was also a delight.

Author's Response: Back again, though I'm not exactly keeping to my one review a day plan. Still, I'm trying. My word count for NaNo is pretty pathetic at the moment as well.

I was really worried about this chapter. Introduction chapters can be so hard to write! I worried it would just be boring and not really further the plot.

I'll admit that the memory of her learning to sign is my favorite part of this chapter, so I'm glad you liked it's inclusion.

I'm excited to get going more on the relationship between Harry and Sadie. As for discussing their trauma...I'm still wondering about that myself. Neither one of them tend to share very well, so I'll have to see if they get to it.

Thanks so much! These reviews are wonderful to come back to.

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Review #21, by TidalDragon Chapter 3

29th March 2014:
Alright! So this chapter was primarily a treat! We got to see your insight into the kind of interaction that I'm sure went on behind the scenes of the books ALL the time - Dumbledore and McGonagall. We also got tidbits of your insight into how you think McGonagall may have been at school with the rule-breaking comment and of course her concerns, which gave us a glimpse past McGonagall's often stern visage.

The only thing I found slightly off was Dumbledore's dialogue. He started off a bit weaker before you seemed to hit your stride with him (I think he's probably very difficult to get right). One thing that really helped was the return of your delightful descriptions, which helped to put the right polish on the words that he was saying. The biggest thing that continued to stick for me throughout however was his use of contractions. Throughout the books, Dumbledore uses contractions with incredible rarity. He obviously prides himself on being well-spoken, which is probably a reason for this as contractions are, by definition, shortcuts. The use of contractions also undermines a bit of Dumbledore's stately presence, so I'd cut down on use of them with him going forward.

See you next chapter!

Author's Response: Part of my NaNo goal is to get caught up on these, so I've told myself I have to respond to at least one a night before I get to write. They are such amazing reviews and I've let them sit for far too long. That is not acceptable.

I'm glad you thought this chapter was a treat! That's always so nice to hear! I really did have fun writing this scene between McGonagall and Dumbledore, even though it was hard. I have a soft spot for McGonagall. Maybe it's the teacher in me, but I love the chance to show she's a human underneath those teacher's robes.

Dumbledore is hard to write. I know I do tend to write him with a bit more of a childlike streak than many do. I am well aware that's not how he really his, but more an image he cultivates...maybe how he wishes he could be? And you're right about the contractions. I never noticed before, but I went and looked it up in the books after this review and I completely see what you mean. I guess I just felt too much like I was writing Data when I didn't use them and so changed it. I will make sure to correct that in the future! Thanks for the catch!

Thanks again! These reviews are the best!

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Review #22, by TidalDragon Chapter 2

29th March 2014:

So many characterizations to get down in this chapter! I thought on the whole you did a good job with them though. Fred and George in particular were good and you showed Ginny's cleverly-mischievous side nicely with the ghoul bit (even if it turned out not to work).

As far as the plot goes, I noticed two major things. First, Sadie is actually incapable of speech. That's kind of a neat (in a tragic, horrible way) limitation to give a character and I'm very interested to see how it plays out. Second, Sadie is related to Harry. I'll confess I'm not a big fan of this, primarily because I feel like long-lost relatives are kind of an overused device in AU fics. Naturally though, I always bear with them to see how they play out, primarily because I have a lot of grand ideas (in my humble opinion) that tread "typical" AU ground. So I'm also interested to see how that aspect develops.

In terms of the writing itself, this was the first chapter that was really driven by dialogue, and despite the number of people present, I was pleased you didn't fall into the trap of trying to make them all talk a lot. I think just about all of them got a word in at least, but you didn't force it or overdo it.

At the same time, I feel like you may want to take a look at the specific language used by some of the characters so there's a little more differentiation. This came across well with Fred and George, Hermione, and to a lesser extent Mrs. Weasley. It may prove not to be a problem as things evolve, but I'd just be careful that the speech each character uses doesn't become so similar that almost any character could deliver another character's line. Just a thought.

Author's Response: This was actually the first chapter of this story I ever wrote, almost 9 years ago. I have of course edited it since then, as many things have changed in the plot of this story during that time, but large chunks of it were kept. I'm glad it still seems to fit and flow with the rest of the story.

Yes, Sadie can't talk. Not sure if that's unique and interesting, or a cliché, but I'm doing it anyway. As for the long-lost relative thing, I KNOW that's cliché. I went into this story knowing I was treading dangerous waters there, but I also decided I didn't care. Sometimes, after seeing that could be cool overdone so often and misused, I get this stubborn desire to do it just to prove it can be done well. Not sure if I'm doing it well, but that's my goal. That and to have fun with the story. Thanks for bearing with me anyway.

And now we're back to the dialogue issue. I knew that was a weakness in this chapter. That's where most of the editing happened over the years, to try and make sure the characters sounded unique and not lines anyone could be saying. A lot of things got better, but I know it's still weak in places. The characters I don't write much suffer in this area.

Thanks again for reading! And look, I made it through three without erasing my work!

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Review #23, by TidalDragon Chapter 1

29th March 2014:
Hello again!

So this chapter seemed to reinforce the strengths of the first. Thoughts and descriptions (particularly Sadie's) seem to be a real strong suit for you (which is great - I'm always struggling to include enough description).

There were again a few minor things. For example in the third paragraph and again a couple of times later in the chapter, you laid out a description or set of thoughts that sufficiently conveyed the thought or tone you were after, only to undercut it a bit by then explicitly stating said tone or thought. It's not a big deal, it just feels redundant in those moments when you state what you've already laid out so well.

I thought the dialogue was much better in this chapter (it turns out Mrs. Oddsocks is just a strange character - shocker) and it was very believable the way your portrayed Sadie as too shell-shocked and wary to really speak. I also particularly enjoyed the whole bit about the yarn and needles - well-described, showing something about Ophelia's character, and amusing. Thumbs up!

Author's Response: Thank you! It's nice to know there are some things I'm doing okay on. And you really felt the description was okay? I always feel like stuff is barren and boring when I write, but that might just be because I take so long I get sick of the chapters before I post.

Watch for redundancy in writing - check. I always check for words that I use too much, or too close to each other, but I often forget to make sure I'm not repeating ideas as well. This is a hard one to remember. I will probably forget a lot more before I start getting better at it.

Ophelia was a fun character to write. I'm almost regretting not being able to bring her back into the story. Glad you enjoyed her.

Thanks again! These reviews are great!

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Review #24, by TidalDragon Prologue

29th March 2014:
Howdy! Dropping by in response to your review request. Normally on all requests (contrary to the statement in my thread) I will try to leave feedback on each and every chapter (normally at least 1000 characters). I will endeavor to do that here, but since I have two challenge pieces that really need doing and about 125,000 words worth of reading for review requests, I can't make any promises about the length. I will absolutely give you a holistic answer to your main question though (to the best of my ability), which I will save for the review on the last chapter.

To get to the meat of this one, I think you start out very strongly with an air of mystery about who this poor girl is and some excellent descriptions. You take great care to put us in the scene and get us feeling the weight of both the setting and your MC's emotions, hopeful determination fading to disappointment, turning to fear. It was nicely done.

There were only two things that stood out to me on the flip side, one of which was relatively minor. First, in the second sentence of the third paragraph, you begin your description in the past tense and then transition to a form of the present tense (I'm not a wizard with appropriately describing verb forms, but it goes from -ed to -ing). I read it a couple of times and it just didn't flow right for me.

The other thing I noticed was the dialogue. You do an excellent job of creating a believable scene that really draws a reader in and of describing the inner thoughts of your character, but even though this was never going to be a dialogue-heavy chapter, the quality of the dialogue itself just doesn't seem to be on that same level, particularly at the end of the chapter, where the animagus's (?) dialogue seems to be too similar to the angry person at the deli.

See you in the next chapter!

Author's Response: Okay, we're gonna try this again. Maybe it will work this time.

Thank you thank you for taking the time to read and review this story. And to review each chapter! That was so kind of you and it still brings a smile to my face, thinking of these reviews popping up. And, just so you know, the length of the review doesn't matter to me. It's the thought that counts and you rock.

I'm glad you were able to see my MC emotions coming through is such a short prologue. That was something I was really trying to do.

You know, I never noticed the similarities between the two minor characters and their speaking patterns, but you are so right! AH! Dialogue is tricky for me. On the canon characters that are so familiar, I feel pretty confident, but I always struggle with minor original characters. Do my villains sound too corny or force? Do people have distinct, individual tones and voices? And apparently, the curse got me again here. Thankfully the woman at the deli will not be back, so I will just have to let that one slide and be more careful in the future.

Thanks again for reading and for the great advice! Appreciate this so much!

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Review #25, by Aphoride Chapter 4

29th March 2014:
Hi there - sorry for the delay in getting to this! RL got a bit hectic for the last while, but I'm here now! :)

You know, this story is one of the one's which I realise I've kinda missed reading when I see it's been updated and things... it's such a unique and interesting idea, and something I would never even dream of trying, so it always impresses me so much! :)

Anyway, I love how you're progressing with Sadie's character. How she's so nervous about being left there, how she wants to stay with Professor McGonagall, how she gradually relaxes and warms up just a little to the Weasleys... it's such a nice thing to see, even though obviously it's just the start and it's the end of it. I loved the inclusion of the sign language and the notebook - how hesitant she was to get it out. She's a phenomenal character and you do so well with her!

I loved the scene from Harry's pov. How he feels like he can maybe understand her a bit, and how he gets the things she isn't saying and kinda sees through her words, where others might not.It's a strangely insightful Harry you've got, but I think it makes sense in this situation, you know? Of all people, he's most likely to understand that! I'm looking forward to seeing him and Sadie interact more! :)

The twins picking up sign language quickly and wishing they'd known about it before does not surprise me, haha.

Arthur and Molly... okay, so they intimidate me as characters, haha, because they're so 'them' in the books and you just manage them so, so well in this. Like, they pretty much are the characters from the book, no questions asked! It's amazing, really!

All the characters are great, tbh. You have a real knack of it! :)

I love how it's moving, as well, how the plot isn't perhaps as quick as it could be, but we're learning about Sadie and she's learning to cope and it's necessary, you know?

Absolutely no problems with pace or flow or mistakes anywhere... your characters are brilliant, your plot is still fabulous and I'm still so curious and amazed by this story so it's all good! ;)

Feel free to re-request! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: I am once again horribly slow responding to reviews. When real life decides to take over, it does so with a vengeance and I'm really sorry.

Thank you so much! It always makes an author feel good to know their story is missed, and the fact that you think the concept is interesting really makes me smile. I was so worried everyone would hate this story when I started posting.

And now I'm really blushing after reading your compliments about Sadie. There are so many aspects about Sadie that could be considered Mary Sue traits that I try to be extremely careful when writing her so I don't cross that line too often. I want her to be real, and believable even though she does have a rather unbelievable backstory. Thank you so very much for your comments that help ease my mind about how I'm writing her.

Harry was rather more insightful than he usually is here, but I'm gonna pass it off as him paying more attention than normal because the personal stakes are so high for him in this part. He really, really wants a relative that likes him. And you does understand what it's been like for Sadie a bit more than the others do. I'm not sure the others ever really grasped how awful it was for Harry at the Dursleys either, simply because he's so good at hiding it from them, and he just doesn't talk about it.

And I'm really excited to start exploring this relationship between the two as well.

The twins feel like it is their duty to learn anything that could be useful in being sneaky and devious. It's a badge of honor.

Wow, thank you about Arthur and Molly. I honestly don't know what else to say about such an amazing compliment! Just...thanks!

I know I've stretched out this beginning for quite a bit, and they eventually do need to get to school, but there is so much Sadie needs to adjust to that I felt it was okay to take a little longer.

Thanks for a simply amazing review. I hope you can forgive me for letting real life get in the way and not answering right off the bat.

I would absolutely love to know what you think of the rest of the story, but I think I'm going to hold off on requesting reviews as much in the future. I can't seem to keep up with the lovely reviews I get and I feel so bad about leaving people waiting for responses. I just wanted you to know if I don't re-request for a while, it's not because I didn't absolutely love your reviews, it's simply because I can't keep up with them the way people deserve.

Thank you so much for this! You are really amazing.

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