Reading Reviews for Thanatophobia
16 Reviews Found

Review #1, by patronus_charm Falling Asleep

24th December 2013:
Merry Christmas Grace even if it isn't yet Christmas in Canada!

I adored this one shot. Ok that sounds a bit strange given the topic and all but it really touched me because Hugo was so vulnerable and small that I just wanted to pick him up and hug him.

The thing which worked for me was the fact that I could understand his fear, it's one I've experienced a fair few times, but seeing it here in someone who actually has to confront soon made me view it very differently. I did like how he managed to get some resolution for it from Harry and that entire conversation with him was very sweet and touching to see they could have that final bond.

Seeing the way all of those family members grieved for him really got to me and showed what a lovely person he was given how much he would be missed. Then the closing line was really the one which made me want to cry a ton.

Sorry this review isn't the best it was written at two in the morning on a phone but I hope you have a great Christmas!


Author's Response: I've spent quite a few nights thinking about death and what it's going to be like myself. It's just one of those things that crawls into your head when you can't get to sleep. I enjoyed writing that conversation with him and Harry. Harry has more experience with death than anyone else and he definitely had some advice to pass on.

I cried while writing the ending myself because I didn't want Hugo to die and he was saying goodbye and it just really got to me.

Thank you so much for your review Kiana!

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Review #2, by GingeredTea Falling Asleep

15th December 2013:
Oh man. This was beautiful. I was crying, seriously. You did a magnificent job with this story - from the flow to the way you wrote Hugo - from the beginning to the end. Love, love, love.

Author's Response: Why thank you, it means a lot to me that you enjoyed the one-shot. Thank you for the awesome review!

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Review #3, by Lady Asphodel Falling Asleep

10th November 2013:
Forgive me while I try to pull myself together after reading this one shot...

Godly... you... you my friend... did an absolutely magnificent job at writing this piece here. I had to come and read this after seeing post in the "reviews that made your day." To see for myself... I knew the consequences of what I was about to do... but I didn't care... I couldn't resist.

I... I'm sorry because... reading this... reminds me of my grandmother's death... I never actually witnessed her passing away, but I did go to see her body... and it's quite sad... and yet so peaceful at the same time.

Your description of Hugo's fear of death is down-right heart-wrenching and tear jerking that...

I am sorry again. I seem to be at lost with words.

However... I just want to say this one last time... Truly magnificent once more. Keep up the great work.

- Asphodel

Author's Response: Oh my good golly gosh hey there! So glad that you found your way over here!

And it means so much to me that it made you feel something and that you connected the story to a memory. Let me give you a hug to make it all better though!

But really, it means a lot to me that this got such a reaction from you and thank you so much for this lovely review!

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Review #4, by Courtney Dark Falling Asleep

9th November 2013:

Wow, this was seriously a wonderful one-shot - you should definitely write stuff like this more often! I was actually close to tears at the end of it!

I think you showed us Hugo's fears of dying really well, and your description was just incredible. When he started thinking about his beating heart and soon it would stop beating I could actually feel my own heart pounding away in my chest.

I loved the way this whole piece flowed, and the way time passed, quickly but without seeming rushed. The whole thing seemed very natural, which I absolutely adored!

The ending, starting with Hugo asking Harry if dying would hurt, was my absolute favourite part. You just wrote that small snippet of conversation with Harry so well, and then the very ending with his family and Rose was so perfect, too.

This was an amazing one-shot, you should definitely be proud!


Author's Response: Ah, thank you! I'm so glad that you liked the story and I feel so accomplished that I brought you close to tears. I've thought about writing more things like this and I probably will because I had a lot of fun writing this.

I was worried that I had maybe gone a little bit overboard with the description and that it got repetitive but I'm glad that it was just right and that it had a good effect on the story.

And the pace is a big achievement for me because I have trouble with keeping it just right sometimes.

I enjoyed writing the end immensely, it was one of my favourite parts just because it was Hugo saying goodbye. I'll be honest, I started crying while writing it.

And I'm so glad that you enjoyed it!

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Review #5, by toomanycurls Falling Asleep

9th November 2013:
This was just so sad and beautiful. The way you start with his illness and being in St. Mungos for so long. The thoughts Hugo has about dying and wondering if it will hurt and how it would feel to actually die. It's a very dark place to be emotionally though completely understandable for his illness and closeness to death.

When Hugo asked Harry about dying my heart broke a little. I'm sure it was painful for Harry to speak about it to his nephew who was dying but he could understand Hugo's state of mind better than many others, I imagine.

Gosh, his death was quite emotional for me to read. I don't even care about the next-gen characters but his death was poked at me. wanting to be close to his sister was quite sweet. I love that his family was around him for his death but so sad that he was alone in his moment of death and now I'm teared up thinking about it.

This was quite well done and good job winning your competition!!


Author's Response: I'm glad that you found the story sad and dark. I had trouble writing Hugo's thoughts because I didn't know what someone in his position would be thinking.

In my head, I thought that death would be something relatively easy to talk about because he would've had time to come to terms with the idea. But you are very correct in that Harry would understand death better than anyone.

It means a lot that his death was emotional because that's what I was aiming for. And I feel so accomplished that I got a next-gen to poke at you.

And I'm glad that you liked that his family was around, I wanted Hugo to have a semi happy ending at least.

Thank you and I'm so glad that you enjoyed this!

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Review #6, by bri_5_stars Falling Asleep

21st October 2013:
brithewriter from the challenge with your prize!

Holy muffins you almost made me cry, and I never cry! This story was so good! You really made me feel everything along with Hugo and his family. This really is a good story, I wasn't really looking to be honest but there weren't any spelling or grammar errors that stuck out. While reading you get sucked into the sad life of Hugo, but I am very glad he dies painlessly and with family. Very good job! Cheers. :D

Author's Response: I was so surprised when I saw this because I don't usually get reviews unless it's one of those days so I was excited when I got this.

I feel so honored to have almost made you cry! And I'm also really happy that you enjoyed it!

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Review #7, by Violet Gryfindor Falling Asleep

2nd October 2013:
Wow, I was not expecting that ending. Incredibly sad, but also very tastefully done, bringing together a lot of feeling with realistic detail that only enhances the effect. I think one of the things that makes it so sad is that one imagines that, with magic, one should be able to do so much more to cure disease and ailment, yet even magic has its limits, especially against an unknown disease. You're not afraid to show how Hugo's death in a long and painful process, and it's really important how you also show how he comes to terms with his fate - he's more courageous than most would be, but you made that crucial link between his death and those of Fred, Lily, and James. Hugo's death is just as important as theirs - if anything, he proves to be more courageous because he doesn't lose heart, never despairs throughout the terrible, drawn-out death he has to face. That's where your story is strongest: in demonstrating that you don't have to die in battle to be a hero.

Something that I think the story still needs work with is the narration. At the beginning, I was uncertain who was doing the telling - your narration hovered between omniscient and third-person limited, which resulted in more telling than was necessary. Once you add dialogue, the narrative flow improves and it was easier to fall under the story's spell. Is there a way of introducing Hugo's history of illness without relying on telling? What kind of narrative style are you working to achieve here? In the first line, for instance, is it necessary to add the ironically enough comment? It adds a strange tone that isn't carried through the rest of the story - it's too sarcastic and biting, and it threw me off because the ending is clearly tragic without any hint of irony. I hope that makes sense - setting the right mood for a story like this is crucial, and an important part of that is finding the right kind of narrative style.

This is a very original story and it, despite the sadness of the content, I really admire how you treated the subject matter - it's hard to write a story like this, and you made it work very well. :)

Author's Response: I'm going to start off by apologizing for taking so long and saying that I really appreciate this review.

Now that I think back on it, I agree with you and the fact that the narration really does need some work on it. I can definitely see where you're coming from with the point of view and such. I'll definitely go back and take another look at the beginning and switch things up so that everything flows smoothly.

Thank you so much for your criticism, it really was very helpful and I'll keep it in mind when I go back to edit. Thank you so much!

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Review #8, by milominderbinder Falling Asleep

29th September 2013:
Oh. My. Gosh.

Wow, I think you just broke my heart.

I mean - wow. That whole end section, with him asking Rose to hold him... :'( Seriously, heartbreaking. That brother/sister dynamic was gorgeously written - and it made me really tear up imagining my little brother in Hugo's position! His thoughts about his family and how he was worrying about them were really touching too. And how they were all gathered around him on his last night, but they were all asleep, and he just felt like he was falling asleep too... that was really beautiful, and your writing was gorgeous at the end, almost poetical.

I loved how you kinda personified death towards the end to make it seem like a much more tangible thing. Even though Hugo knows he's gonna die his fear could have been much more abstract and I think it was much more hard-hitting because of that use of making Death into a character, some very real foe. That really made an impact on me when I was reading it. The theme of death can be a really difficult topic to get right in writing/fic - I've never even attempted to write from the POV of someone who's dying, only the people they leave behind - and I thought you handled it really well. Hugo was believable as a teenager who's terrified, but he also had a kind of maturity in the way he accepted it in the end.

My only real CC is that I noticed a few grammatical mistakes - commas where a full stop should be, a missing apostrophe, etc. But I'm super nitpicky about that stuff so it probably doesn't bother a lot of other people reading this, haha :P

All in all, I thought this was a gorgeous story. The end is really gonna stick with me (and I'm gonna go and give my brother a hug). Well done!

~Maia (from Review tag! Forgot to mention that :P)

Author's Response: Woah this has taken me a long time but I've finally gotten around to it!

My favourite part was definitely the end as well and I actually ended up crying (which has never happened with me while writing before).

I never thought I'd be writing something like this before ever. It came as a really big surprise when I found how easy it was to write from Hugo's perspective and what he must be thinking.

I'll be taking a look at the comma stuff and try and fix that, I've been planning on editing this anyway so this'll fit right in.

Thanks so much for your lovely review!

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Review #9, by academica Falling Asleep

15th September 2013:
Hello, here with your requested review :)

I think you did a very nice job depicting Hugo's thanatophobia. I liked how he couldn't ever seem to get it out of his mind, how he kept "checking" himself to make sure he was still alive, and how he obsessed over the many ways in which it could occur. You really showed his avoidance and panic very well, and it seems quite realistic to me. The added layer that he is actually dying really makes the story very interesting and complex. I didn't spot anything diagnosis-wise that seemed really inaccurate or that needed to be added.

The final scene with his family was great, especially the part where Rose was the last one to talk to him before he finally passed away. I also liked the way Harry repeated Sirius's words in trying to comfort Hugo in his final days; that was a great nod to Harry's death in the last book.

The imagery here was also really well done. I liked how you personified Death and described her as being simultaneously scary and then sort of comforting there as Hugo embraces his own death and finally works through his fear.

There are only a couple little things that seemed off to me, and they are truly very tiny and don't really diminish the quality of this great story--

Since Hugo's disease is unknown, how do the doctors know for certain that he's going to die? Could you add a little more detail there to clarify that, like further description of how his body is affected by his symptoms?

Also, I think you could replace "air" with "oxygen" to be more specific and balance out the mention of carbon dioxide in the line about him wanting to keep breathing and experiencing life.

Overall, awesome job! The flow was great and you clearly used the challenge to produce an interesting and very emotional plot. I hope this review is helpful to you :)


Author's Response: Hey there Amanda!

I was really worried about the diagnosis part of it because after searching up some stuff on the fear of death it turned out that it went a lot deeper than just a fear of death so I was worried that I'd be leaving out a really important part.

I'm glad that you caught that part! I was actually thinking of the end of Deathly Hallows while I was writing the end of this because it helped out a lot what with Harry walking to his death and everything.

This was definitely very helpful to me. I'll keep in mind everything that you pointed out when I edit the story later today. Thank you so much for your feedback!

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Review #10, by LumosWeasley Falling Asleep

10th September 2013:
Hey, this is LumosWeasley with your review:)


I was crying at the end, it was just so beautiful. The ending is just perfect. We know he is going to die from the beginning, but for it to actually happen in such a poetic way is heartbreaking. I would quote my favorite lines, but I'd probably end quoting half the story.

I just read the ending again and now I'm crying. The brother/sister love is so touching. The fact that he is so worried about his family is really moving. His fear is so tangible and I could really picture him sick and all of the things he is going through.

The only CC I have is a couple grammatical errors. In the sentence '“Uncle Harry?” Hugo asked', there should be a comma after 'asked'. I know there were a couple more sentences that should have had commas, but overall it is really good.

This is an amazing one-shot, I loved it! Great job:) Feel free to re-request and please respond:)


Author's Response: Hey there!

I take it I may have attacked your feels a little bit?

I'm glad that the ending made you cry (that sounds horrible of me to say), I was hoping to make it emotional and if it hadn't been then I would've felt like an idiot for being the only one who cried.

The fact that you were able to picture everything in your head is good news for me because it means that I've used description great and it has not failed me. That's always been something that's been difficult for me.

I'll add this to the list of things to fix when I look through the chapter again to polish it up some more.

Thanks so much for your lovely review and I always respond to all of them no matter how long it takes me!

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Review #11, by charlottetrips Falling Asleep

9th September 2013:
SO...I'm like crying now, thanks.

No really, well done. I feel like you handled that subject with the terror that would accompany a young person facing death so soon in their life. You also handled it with grace, with a bit of perspective in that dying wasn't horrible. Of course it's not wonderful or great, but it is a part of life and something that can be faced.

To be honest, I was going to nitpick run-on sentences. As I continued reading and getting into the story, I feel like those sentences just matched up with Hugo's train of thoughts as if he was couldn't stop thinking of all the scenarios of how he could die, what it would feel like, and who would be with him.

I'm very glad you had his family with him in the end. I feel like it's very true that someone knows when they are going to die. (I mean, one knows that with a fatal disease; it's kind of hard to know this when you're in a car accident or something.) I LOVE that you had Harry be all bittersweet in passing on his advice from Sirius (Right? Or was it his dad.).

I also want you to know that this one-shot showcases how much you've improved in your writing. The first couple chapters of A Minor Setback are not as smoothly written as this one. I haven't read the later chapters (yet), but thought that this was worth mentioning :)


Author's Response: You're very welcome, it has been my pleasure to make you cry (I was hoping this would be a bit emotional).

No matter how many times I hear it, each time it relieves me a little bit to know that everyone thinks I handled the topic of death well. I was so scared that this would be a total flop and that no one would like it.

Yes, that was him passing on the advice that Sirius gave him! I'm so glad that you recognized it! I thought it would be something that would be nice to hand down as a word of comfort.

Oh my goodness, thank you so much, that means a lot to me. It means a lot that you think I've improved on my writing (something that I'm always trying to do).

Thank you so much for this wonderul review!

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Review #12, by nott theodore Falling Asleep

8th September 2013:
Hi, it's nott theodore here with your requested review!

Wow, I was really impressed with this story. The theme of death is such a difficult topic to deal with in a story like this, and concentrating on the fear of it is really interesting (I've also learnt a new word seeing your title!).

I liked the fact that you made Hugo's fear of death something more specific than just a general fear - because he knew he was dying, every aspect of it became more real. The way that you explored the different elements that came with his fear - or added to it, even - helped to add real depth to the story. It wasn't a singular fear of a vague concept, but something that encompassed every part of his life.

One of my favourite aspects was that the signs of life became more obvious to him when he knows that he's dying. It makes sense that he would cling onto everything that is connected with living, all the physical processes.

With regards to whether Hugo's fear of death was believable, I definitely think it was. You built on so many different things with this and focused well on the difficult emotions that Hugo experienced. He was so young and facing the unknown and the possibility of losing everyone who is close to him is terrifying. I actually think that death is one of the most natural fears that people have, and you wrote about it really well.

As far as CC is concerned, I noticed a couple of typos and grammar mistakes, but I think another read through would fix them. I also have a Brit-pick, since we tend to say 'coffin' rather than 'casket' over here.

Not only have you portrayed Hugo's fear of death well, you've managed to craft a really emotional piece of writing. The ending in particular, when Hugo's family was introduced and he began to accept the fact he was going to die, was really moving. The quote from Harry fitted in perfectly, and I had tears in my eyes when Hugo asked Rose to hold him.

I think you did a great job with this, and I hope that this review was helpful for you!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Hey there Sian! Finally getting around to answering this!

As difficult of a topic as it is to write about, I found that it was surprisingly easy but I think that's partly because some of the things in this are some of the things that I've thought of myself.

And I'm glad that I helped you learn a new word. I was originally going to name it Necrophobia but upon further research it turned out to be not what it had originally said it was. I like Thanatophobia better.

When I planned out the story I hadn't planned on going into so much detail about his fear but as I was writing it occurred to me that there had to be something more to this fear than just the fact that you'd be dead

As for the part of him being more aware of life was mostly inspired by Harry in Deathly Hallows and when he was walking into the Forbidden Forrest. He became so much more aware of the life he was giving up and I thought that signs of life would become more obvious to anyone if they were dying.

Originally I had thought that I'd made his fear of death very believable but after I did some research on it I found out that there was a whole lot more to someone's fear of death so I began to worry that maybe I'd failed in making Hugo's fear of death realistic.

Thanks for pointing out the coffin/casket thing, I totally missed that so I'll go back and fix that as I read through the chapter and add some other things in.

Thank you so much for this review, it really was helpful!

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Review #13, by Tonks1247 Falling Asleep

8th September 2013:
Oh. My. Gosh. Crying sounds like the best thing ever right about now because the emotions packed into this story and Hugo dying and Rose holding him...just oh my gosh I'm so overloaded and in awe of how beautifully-and tragically-written this story was. Seriously, death is a very difficult topic to write about, especially when the story is so focused on the one dying and how they feel, and you've done such a good job with it...

Some of the reasons I was espeically impressed, besides how well you nailed the anxiety in Hugo and the tragically sad assurance from Harry and Rose holding Hugo, were some of your descriptions.

"Soon, he would be flesh on bones and then he would be buried six feet under the ground. His family would visit him but he would just be bones in a casket and unable to speak to them or offer comfort." I'm not sure I have words for how this resonated with me. Just the pure honestly, the blunt admission of what death's just terrifying and great.

Also, Hugo looking around for death and feeling her hand closing around him and taking away the pain? It gave me shivers and took my breath away. Just stunning description, in an unexpected way, really. I never thought of death like that and it was eye opening and amazing.

I do have a couple of nit picky things that you may want to look at, but not necessarily correct...

There are a couple points in this chapter where the wording sort of ruins the flow of the sentence. This sentence is an example: "His family had no choice but to check him in at St. Mungo’s when they found him lying on the floor and spitting up blood." The word 'and' throws off the flow. If you were to get rid of 'and' so the sentence reads '...they found him lying on the floor, spitting up blood.' It would flow just a little bit nicer. There are a couple of other places that were the same with, with the use of the word 'and' too I believe. But again, really nitpicky.

But other than that, this was really well written and I did quite enjoy the read.


Author's Response: Ah, sorry for taking so long to get to this but I've been busy with life and stuff but I'm here now!

I'm very flattered and glad to hear that you enjoyed the story so much and that you thought it was so great. I was a little anxious about this because I wasn't sure if I'd pulled off everything right but so far the feedback has been positive.

The scene between Rose and Hugo was my favourite part to write.

Wow, just, wow. I have no words to express how much this review means to me and the fact that there was a part of it that meant something to you is amazing for me to hear.

I'll make sure to read through the story as soon as I can (most likely some time tomorrow) and see if I make it flow a lot better.

This was such an amazing review, thank you so much for leaving it!

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Review #14, by shez Falling Asleep

7th September 2013:
Wow. I really liked this. Touching and sad and beautiful evocation of feelings without coming off as overly dramatic. Perfect tone, in other words :) And I love Hugo. And I love how he wanted Rose to stay with him until the end. I love brother-sister stories like these as I feel they're underrepresented in fanfic. Anyways, good job :)

Author's Response: I'm glad that you liked this, it really means a lot to me because it's the first time that I've ever written something like this. It means a lot to me to hear that I didn't overdo anything and kept everything right.

Thank you so so so so so so so so much for this review and I'm very glad that you enjoyed this little one-shot!

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Review #15, by some one out there Falling Asleep

7th September 2013:
So good. Well done. You wrote this beautifully.

Author's Response: Thank you, I'm glad that you liked it!

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Review #16, by Haronione Falling Asleep

4th September 2013:
Wow! Just wow! What a powerfully emotional one-shot! This really tugged at my heart strings and gave me shivers! I'm now finding it quite hard to write a coherent review!

Ok, so I had feels all through this but the part that really got me was the last part and his conversation with Rose. And this line 'No, I just want you to hold me, I want to be close to someone when I die.' gah, I had to hold back the tears, so so sad! And when he says bye at the end I couldn't hold the tears any longer! I am so glad that he died while all his family were there and not while he was alone. And also, I love that just before Hugo dies they were 'by far the happiest that all of them had been in the past few months'. It is like he is waiting for everyone to be happy before he goes, like he doesn't want to leave them whilst they are sad and in need of comfort.

I feel you have portrayed the fear of death, and explored the reasons for this fear very well. I can totally understand Hugo's worries about when it's going to happen, and wondering every time he goes to sleep whether or not he'll wake up and not have said goodbye to his family :( No wonder he went days without sleeping!

I liked this line His family would visit him but he would just be bones in a casket and unable to speak to them or offer comfort It shows that it is not just himself he is worried about, that he is concerned about how his family will be when he is gone. It shows a lot about his character and the relationship they all share as a family.

I am finding it hard not to quote half the story in this review! I loved this part He could feel her reaching into his heart, her cool, soft hands pulling away his pain. As the pain left him, Hugo relaxed and let his fear leave him as well. I loved the whole paragraph this line is from, but this line is just fantastic. Having Hugo get over his fear just as the thing he fears is happening is so poignant and was a lovely way to end this one-shot :)

Now, I do have some CC for you, though it is small in comparison to the wonderfulness that is this fic! At the beginning, in the paragraph about Hugo's heart beating (a paragraph i really loved by the way) I feel that the first 2 lines of this are a bit repetitive. It may be better with a full stop after 'beating in his chest' and remove the first 'and pumping life throughout his body'. One other thing I noticed was that Hugo thinks about going to the place where grandad James and grandma Lily are - they would not have been his grandparents as he is not Harry's child.

But, speaking of that part, I absolutely love how Hugo looks on the positive side of him dying (even if it is only for a short time) - that he'd be able to finally meet his uncle Fred! That was such a nice little touch to the story and character! However, this just made me feel even sadder reading this, reminding me that Fred was already missing from the family who were about to lose another loved one! Gah!!

Ok, I think I have really gone on a bit here and I'm not sure i have made complete sense! Look what you've done to me AlexFan!!! ;) I am sorry if this review has been a bit jumbled and rambly ( trust me, it could have been far longer and rambling!) This was beautifully written and was a great read! Really well done on this, I loved it and its going in my favourites :D

Haronione ♥

Author's Response: Hey there!

While I was reading through this review I was turning into a blubbery mess because of who wonderful it was and thank you so much for this awesome review and I just can't even.

It's a huge compliment to me that this made you tear up and cry because I've never achieved anything like that before or attempted to before this. I had a bit of a hard time keeping it together while I was writing that scene as well.

It's a big relief to hear that I portrayed the fear of death well, that was the fear that I was given and I wasn't sure if I'd achieved it all that well.

The paragraph that you mentioned was one of my favourite ones as well. I felt like after all of this time of worrying about dying Hugo deserved to get over his fear as it was happening. Something to ease the worry of leaving everyone.

I fixed the paragraph that you pointed out so that it's not repetitive anymore (or at least AS repetitive) so that part should be better now. The whole James and Lily thing completely skipped my mind. I'm so used to writing the Potter family that things about them just slip out. I fixed that part as well, thanks for pointing that out, I never would've seen it otherwise.

I absolutely adored this review! It literally made my day and I couldn't stop smiling because I was thinking about this. I'm so happy that you liked and enjoyed it so much! Thanks for the wonderful review!

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