Reading Reviews for Upping The Ante
61 Reviews Found

Review #1, by RavenHairedGirl Triggered Memories

17th July 2015:
This story is absolutely brilliant, please don't give up! I love Alexandra she is such a likeable character, I desperately want her to read and reply to Sirius' letters. Also the mystery with her mother is so interesting. This is such an addictive story, please continue soon!!

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Review #2, by nott theodore Triggered Memories

3rd February 2015:
Hey, Lo! And congratulations on your first chapter as a TA - it's exciting and scary at the first time, isn't it? :P

Alexandra definitely has a massive amount to deal with - it's not just difficult, as she understates it to be - it really is horrific to find out that the woman you've dreamed about for years, the mother that you've mourned and missed for most of your life, has been alive all along and then arrives at Hogwarts to take up a position as a teacher there. I can't even imagine how that would make me feel, and she deals with it rather well to be honest, even though I thought you did a great job of illustrating how chaotic it makes her feel, and all the turmoil in her mind.

The introduction to Professor Millefeuille (I'm also struggling to think of her as Alexandra's mum!) was not exactly the best - I don't have a very good opinion of her! I don't understand how she thinks she can come into a school partway through the year and completely change the requirements for those who can take her subject. It just makes no sense and it's completely unfair, and I'm kind of surprised that Dumbledore's allowing it to be honest, although perhaps he doesn't know or has had to agree to give her complete freedom with her teaching. She seems to have very high standards and they seem so unfair - I would have thought that, after the death of the former DADA teacher, the subject would be even more important for people to study than before. Although part of me is wondering whether that was partly to justify her making Alexandra leave her class...

I was a bit surprised that she was mentioning Levicorpus as one of the spells that they were expected to be able to perform, since it was a spell Snape had made up just a few years before.

The scene when Millefeuille performed Leglimency on Alexandra was so sad to read. All of those triggered memories were so precious to her and yet her mum could have known about those things if she'd stayed around. The reversal was really impressive, and I really liked the way that it enabled us to see things from Millefeuille's perspective; she clearly still has all of the important memories of her family. But at the same time she was so angry that Alexandra had made the connection and ordered her out of her class - I really don't understand what's going on with her. I can't imagine why she would have had to leave and abandon her child, and whether she's been trying to protect her daughter by staying away, or whether she just doesn't care...

Oh no, the scene with Sirius that followed made me really sad :( He really couldn't have been expected to know what was wrong with Alexandra and that something so enormous had just happened to her, so I can't really blame him for having been trying to joke with her, particularly when he was so sweet and clearly likes her so much. I can understand Alexandra being angry and lashing out, though. It's just a real shame that she took it out on Sirius because they were starting out so well together!

I really liked the scenes during the Christmas holidays, although it was so frustrating to see that Alexandra was refusing to open Sirius's letters! He's probably figured out what was wrong and is apologising and wanting to help her, but she won't let him in again :( I hope that when he gets back from the holidays they can maybe work something out between them!

I really liked Marlene and Amelia, too - I loved the way that you used the canon characters that we know about to make this story feel even more authentic. The crosswords that Charlie was doing made me laugh, especially since I wouldn't have known the answers for most of them! (Clearly this is why I'm not in Ravenclaw...)

I'm really intrigued to see what happens next with Alexandra and the new information that she's uncovered about her mum's "death". I think she could find out something really interesting when she meets the old contact from the Ministry, and I can't help but wonder if her dad did really die, or if he also disappeared with her mum. So many questions! I'm looking forward to the next update!

Sian :)

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Review #3, by nott theodore Dominic Maestro's Music Shop

3rd February 2015:
Hello again!

I really liked the way that you opened this chapter - I don't know how to explain it, but with those few paragraphs in the first section, you captured the aftermath of Professor Brandenburgh's murder so well. There was a real sense of disbelief in Alexandra's narration, and the fact that nobody was able to do anything made it feel like everything had been suspended in time after the news of the teacher's death, which is understandable. I think it would have had an enormous impact on the pupils - someone right at the heart of their school has been murdered, and they can't avoid thinking of the realities of the war now.

The memorial was a lovely idea, and definitely something that I can imagine happening with Dumbledore as the headmaster - I think he'd have wanted to ensure that there was a fitting tribute for Brandenburgh and show some defiance, too, in the way that the pupils reacted to the death by allowing them to go to Hogsmeade again, even if the parents might have disagreed with the safety in that. I thought you wrote about the memorial really nicely, too. It felt very fitting, and you got a great sense of the emotion involved.

I can definitely understand Alexandra wanting to still go on the date with Sirius after the memorial, even though she thinks it seems silly. It's a sliver of normality for her (although not exactly normal yet since she's never been on a date with him before) which will make life seem easier. Plus she likes Sirius :P

The date was so sweet! I really loved all the different sections to it, and the way that you wrote it. It felt almost understated, because there was so little drama in it, but for me that made it more believable and realistic to read. They were just two people who like each other, and wanted to be around each other and spend time together. Of course they were nervous about it, but it went well and it was so cute to read about them discovering more shared interests, like their sweet tooth :P

The scene outside the Shrieking Shack definitely seems to have planted a seed of some sort in Alexandra's mind - I wonder how she'll go about finding out more about the building, and whether or not she'll discover the truth about its uses. She is a Ravenclaw, after all!

I loved the fact that you included Dominic Maestro's shop and really brought it to life in that scene, with Dominic being so sweet to Alexandra and the moment when they played the piano together. I really liked how there was a little more information about Alexandra's family beginning to creep in here too, in a way that seemed completely natural since she was following her train of thought.

Ah, they kissed! ♥ That was really cute! I liked how natural it seemed for them, and how happy Alexandra was. You're writing this romance in a way that's so refreshing since they like each other from early on and there's been very little drama before they get to this stage, and it's so different to a lot of Sirius/OC stories - I'm enjoying it so much!

Haha, I had to laugh at her friends' reactions to seeing Sirius kissing her cheek, that was such a typical teenage girl thing to do! And then the little hint at James and Lily having got together - or at least spent some time together during the day - was great. Although poor James had to go and ruin it with some silly sexist comment about the next teacher being a man - I'm glad that Lily was proved right!

Oh, that ending was very dramatic, and you've left me on another cliffhanger! I'm a bit confused about what to make of it - is the new DADA teacher Alexandra's mum, who I was sure had died, or is it just someone who looks exactly like her and who has triggered a lot of memories for Alexandra? Reading on to find out!

Sian :)

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Review #4, by nott theodore Immortal

3rd February 2015:
Hi again, Lo! Sorry it took me a few days to get back to reviewing this - I completely lost internet connection over the weekend (the joys of rural France :P) and only just got time to return.

Ah, I was really looking forward to this chapter to see what happened after the cliffhanger you left us on at the end of the last chapter, and as well as that I got to read the rest of the events that happened here and there was so much to take in!

I feel so bad for poor Alex in the beginning of this chapter. Through the story so far I've been suspecting that he maybe harboured feelings for her that were something other than friendship, and it turns out that I was right. He always seems so sweet though, and it's really horrible for Alexandra to have to turn round and ask him to forget the kiss happened when he tells her that he's been in love with her for years. He's always been such a good friend to her and that's a horrible position for her to be in - I can certainly understand why she was so upset over it. It's never nice to have to reject someone like that, particularly someone like Alex. I just hope that he doesn't start to become vindictive over this.

I really liked how sweet Sirius was when he found Alexandra crying, though. He's started to reveal another side to himself to her, and it's so refreshing to read a story like this when Sirius proves capable of being something other than arrogant before he actually gets with the girl. I really liked the way he tried his best to cheer her up and then look after her by distracting her from what's gone on.

I loved the way that Alexandra was introduced to the Gryffindor boys' dormitory in a completely innocent way, and then she found that they were trying to cultivate mould... ew! It's a horrible idea but I can definitely imagine them trying to grow mould for something like putting it on the Slytherins' Quidditch robes :P

Aw, the two of them are so sweet together! I really liked Sirius's comment about being a gentleman and trying to remember the little details about her - it's not really been touched on in this story but it's so nice and refreshing to see a version of Sirius when he's not simply the school playboy trying to make another conquest. I also really love the idea of him enjoying Muggle music and that being something that they can bond over.

Oh dear though, it seems that the dancing didn't go quite so well for them - particularly with Alexandra getting burnt by their silly super flame thing! But I'm glad that Sirius was able to help heal her, and I liked the description of the healing too - it wasn't painless and simple, which I think a lot of people make magical healing seem.

Poor Frank! I felt so sorry for him - I was really worried about what had happened and I really liked the way that you included Alice in this too. It's so devastating for him that his dad has been killed, and I think that showed Alexandra really harshly the impacts of the war that's going on outside the school walls. At the same time, I've always wondered what happened to Augusta's husband so this was a great explanation for the canon story we have.

This chapter had a real impact for showing how serious the war is, I think. Even just with Frank's dad and the news that people are being targeted for their beliefs and not just for their blood status, before the events at the end of the chapter, things are accelerating and the students - particularly those who will be entering the real world at the end of the year - can't avoid the truth for much longer.

The match was a nice interlude of some sort of normality, I thought. It wouldn't have made sense for Alexandra to go into mourning for Frank's dad, even though the news was serious and shocking. Besides, people deal with things like that by embracing the every day routines, so the Quidditch was great.

You're really good at writing these matches! I was extremely worried that Ravenclaw were going to lose to Hufflepuff because of Tom, but he managed to pull through and at the same time Alexandra managed to take out some of her frustration on Amos - all part of her Beating responsibilities, of course!

And aw, she has a date with Sirius! ♥ I'm actually really glad that she's going on this date because she wanted to, rather than just agreeing to the date because she lost a bet to him. This way is a better (and probably less cliched) start for a relationship, I think.

Oh wow, I definitely wasn't expecting the news that came at the end of this chapter about Professor Brandenburgh! Especially after Frank's dad had already died because of the Death Eaters :( but at the same time I think you did a great job of showing the impact of the war, and reminding us that things are very serious.

That last line gave me the chills... I seriously hope that you're not foreshadowing Charlie's death with that sentence, because I think I'll end up in tears if you are! Great chapter though!

Sian :)

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Review #5, by nott theodore Upping The Ante

30th January 2015:
Hi again! Wow, what an action-packed chapter!

Okay, well the behaviour of Alexandra when being reckless could definitely have been worse than it was, although I really enjoyed reading about what she did when she was drinking. Also I'm currently picturing that beer pong-snitch game and it seems hilarious in my head :P

When the rules for the drinking game were announced, I started wondering if Alexandra was going to try that trick, because it seems to get people every time. I loved the banter before they started the drinking game, and that she didn't back down even if she didn't think she would win a game against him or if she didn't want to go on a date with him. But I love that she used that old trick and it worked as well, especially against Sirius :P and I like the fact that she won the bet, it made the development of things between them a bit more interesting I think.

Alex was sweet there but I'm definitely getting the impression that he feels something more for her than he lets on, even before I get to the end of the chapter...

Haha, I couldn't help laughing as we found out what Lily did when she was drinking, and the way that James took care of her. It was a really entertaining way to hint at how their relationship is developing without putting too much focus on it.

I really love the characters that you have in this friendship group,and the way that were getting to learn more about them as individuals as time goes on. I love the career that you came up with for Alex in the future - for some reason it really seems to suit him, and I liked the original thought behind it. Plus it was great to see how passionate he was there - very Ravenclaw to be so determined to learn everything about his chosen career path :P

How hard was it to come up with rhymes for Sirius to use in the potions class? I thought you did a great job on them and I loved how he joined in with the fun and stuck to his side of the bargain with that. He definitely likes her and it's so cute!

Alex and Alexandra working together on the potion was really interesting to read, too; I love how clear the thought you've put into these processes is in your writing. It's also great to see a story when not all of the Ravenclaws are brilliant at everything, and to know that just like everyone else there are subjects that they're weaker in. The leech scene was horrible - it made my skin crawl! I hate the idea of them too so I can understand why Alex was struggling so much with the leech attaching itself to his hand. And even in that scene, particularly with the way that he was so determined to do what she said, I was suspecting what the nature of his feelings for her really is...

I'm not sure if you were intending to make me laugh a lot with the potion exploding again, but I did - and since I'm on a train, I may have looked like a bit of a weirdo. But I love the idea of Peter blowing up the potion and then Snape's nose being shrunk to the size of a pea... I wonder if he had something against the potion after that, and that's why he was so mean as to test it on Trevor?

Ugh, Amos really is a creep! I can't even talk about him properly because I'd end up going on a rant and probably using some non 12+ words, so we'll just leave it at that, shall we? I really don't like him and I'm glad that Alexandra got to see who he really was before getting involved with him too much.

Alex was really sweet about all of that too and its so obvious that he cares for her, but I'm just worried it'll be too much :/

I was not expecting that ending at all! I'm hoping it was kind of a moment of madness and that Alexandra just reacted to seeing Amos like that but at the same time it could be risky because I feel like Alex will think it means more than it does. I'll be reading on soon to find out more!

Sian :)

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Review #6, by nott theodore Live A Little

30th January 2015:
Hello again!

Ah, this was another great chapter! The writing here flowed well in spite of the time difference between the sections and it is great to read this from Alexandra's perspective. I love the character that you've created with her in this story. We're only three chapters in and yet already I feel like I know her well and really like her.

Haha, that first section was so great, with Alexandra so determined to get the others to agree to starting up a Charms Club with her, just so that she didn't get caught in her lie and look silly in front of Amos. Not that I think he's worth it, especially after having read the rest of this chapter! But I loved the banter between the girls and I do think you write dialogue so well, it always seems realistic. Plus I liked the little detail about Charlie and her sort of date with Remus! I'm intrigued to see where you decide to go with that.

Hmm, am I detecting something with Alex in his actions towards Alexandra? It could just be protectiveness as a friend, of course, but there's something which tells me there may be more there - at least on his part. Alexandra seems to be pretty wrapped up with Amos and Sirius at this point!

Yay, Gryffindor won! I loved the way that you wrote the match and the detail you included, especially since she loves Quidditch. The inclusion of Devon Thomas was great too, and I love links like that back to the books!

The party was great. there's so much going on and Sirius definitely. likes Alexandra. But I couldn't believe Amos! To ask one girl on a date of sorts and then go and kiss another girl a few hours later at a party is so low and so mean - I don't blame Alexandra for being upset! Although I am kind of worried about what she's going to do now that she's decided to live a little... I feel like this could have scary consequences!

Another great chapter here Lo, and I'm sorry these reviews are so short and rubbish!

Sian :)

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Review #7, by nott theodore Save A Broom

30th January 2015:
Hi, Lo! I know we don't have to carry on reviewing for the exchange but I really enjoyed the first chapter of this and you're an awesome person, so I wanted to carry on with this. I should just warn you that I'm writing these reviews on my phone while travelling by train. through rural France though, so they're going to be a bit shorter than usual and I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that they post!

Reading this chapter reminded me of the first chapter of the original version of this story, because the changes that you'd made became more evident here, such as the history (or now lack of it) between Alexandra and Amos. I have to say that I'm enjoying hid version more already. Please don't think that the old one was bad, by any means, but it's really clear how much time and effort you've put into this story now and your writing is lovely.

I liked the opening a lot, especially with the way that Alexandra is friends with Lily - at least enough for the two of them to work together during potions. I thought the way that you portrayed that friendship was very realistic; it had grown out of working together and they didn't share too many personal details. Maybe that will come in time, but I like the fact that Alexandra has her own set of friends that she relies on while still having a connection to the Gryffindors in the year, so the romance that will happen between her and Sirius doesn't come completely out of the blue.

Talking of Sirius - that moment in the cupboard was really cute! Gah, it's really been so long since I read a story like this and that scene was great. This chapter definitely gave me the impression that Sirius has started noticing Alexandra and is trying to make her notice him, though he won't be showing his weaknesses too soon, I think.

Haha, I laughed so much at the cauldron exploding, it certainly seems like the sort of thing that would happen in their potions classes, particularly if Slughorn is dozing off instead of watching them.

I've got to admit, in spite of the proud Gryffie in me, I am getting worried for the Ravenclaw team if Tom doesn't manage to get better at catching the snitch! Hopefully all he needs is confidence!

I really loved the inclusion of Muggle music and the fact that Alexandra has been exposed to it; without us knowing much about her family, it tells us something about her background. And I can imagine Sirius learning those lyrics just to annoy his parents! But I really liked all those little details; this chapter was packed with them and I can't comment on them all, but I did notice them!

I really like the fact that Sirius and Alexandra have so much in common, with their interests in Quidditch and music. That scene between them was great.

No! Just when things are going well for Sirius and Alexandra, Amos turns up and is all charming and nice to her, and she gets all giggly and girly! I loved the fact she invented Charms Club to impress him - it's a lovely idea that a Ravenclaw started it for that reason rather than academic ones :P

This was a great chapter and I'll be onto the next as soon as internet allows!

Sian :)

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Review #8, by nott theodore The Bouncing Properties of Dimes

23rd January 2015:
Hi, Lo! Here for the Gryffie review exchange! I'm really excited that I got paired with you this month because I remember reading the first chapter of your original version of this and wanting to get to your rewrite. Plus its been ages since I read a Maraudets era story so I really enjoyed this!

I think you've got a great first chapter of your novel here! I thought it read very smoothly; even with the different sections the flow was very good and you got your pacing just right. I also really appreciate the fact that you don't dump all the information on is at once. There's still plenty to learn about the plot and the characters in the rest of this novel but at the same time you've included enough that I feel I've got to know the characters, Alexandra especially, through reading this.

I just wanted to say that I really like the title of this as well!

The way that you introduced us to Alexandra throughout this chapter was brilliant. You have clearly got a great handle on her character and that shows because the first person narrative was so consistent and her characterisation was very strong. Having a protagonist like her is going to make me enjoy this even more.

First of all, I love the fact that she's not perfect and doesn't claim to be. She's good at quidditch and those first few paragraphs reveal how much of a perfectionist she is in that area of her life - she's determined to be the best she can be and I think that fits in very well with the Ravenclaw characteristics. At the same time she's not a genius and that was very refreshing, since almost every Ravenclaw character I read about seems to be naturally super intelligent.

Now might be a good time to mention that I love the fact that both beaters on her team are girls. It's very rare to see female beaters and I really like it here. I have to admit that I was wondering why she'd been switched from seeker to beater but that was explained later so that all makes sense now.

Out of the other characters, I really liked Charlie. I think she seems like a great best friend and very fiery and fun.

Since Sirius is going to be the main love interest in this story I'm really intrigued by the glimpse of him we get here, and how that I going to develop into attraction and a relationship between the two.

I thought you wrote all the quidditch really well, especially from the perspective of someone who's playing. It was enjoyable to read Nd I could picture the game taking place in front of me. I also really liked the way you set up this rivalry from the beginning as its going to be interesting to watch it develop. And in spite of my fierce house loyalties, I was cheering when Tom caught the snitch!

Another aspect I really enjoyed here was the dynamics between all the different team mates and the way we got to glimpse Alexandra's relationship with different members of the group. I like the banter that she had with the members she's known for longer and I'm looking forward to seeing Carter in a non quidditch role to see how they act together then. I'm also intrigued about how the rest of her team will react when she begins the eventual romance with Sirius... I'm thinking it might not be too well given the rivalry there!

Haha, even if Alexandra didn't find their prank funny I did, I love the idea of the Marauders deciding to change the colour of Dumbledore's beard while he's eating. It seems like the cheeky sort of thing I imagine them doing and I can definitely imagine Dumbledore being perfectly aware of what's going on but pretending he hasn't noticed because he's secretly enjoying it :P

I really enjoyed this chapter and I'll be back to read and review the next as soon as possible, Lo!

Sian :)

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Review #9, by True Author The Bouncing Properties of Dimes

12th January 2015:
Hello there! :)

I had been planning to read this story for a while so when I saw this on your Author's Page I took the chance and decided to give it a go. I really like your title- it's quirky, interesting and it kind of made me want to read this story. And can I say that your banner is absolutely gorgeous? :D

This was definitely an enjoyable read. I loved the fun, normal and cheery kind of atmosphere in which this story is set. I could clearly imagine it all happening easily. Your descriptions were really great, never too much and never too less.

Great characterization so far! Alexandra is a likable narrator. She seems strong and sweet at the same time, which is different in a good way. I also kind of loved Charlie. She's so unique! I can see myself liking her a lot more in the future chapters. :)

Whoa, I'm curious about the romance factor in this story now! Is this story about the Alex duo? But then I'm also seeing some Alexandra/Sirius sniff coming. I'm intrigued! It was genius of you not to give out the pairing just yet. It's making me want to read the next chapter which I surely will!

It was also quite hilarious. I loved the color changing beard idea. Good one! I wonder if I am going to see any James/Lily in this story. I know this is Alexandra's story, but I never fail to fall in love with Jily. They are so adorable!

Will be back for more! This was a fun swap, maybe we should do another one? Let me know if you want to!

Ashwini :)

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Review #10, by ladyrae Dominic Maestro's Music Shop

4th January 2015:
Great chapter. Super good cliff hanger. I'm very curious about who this. forgotten aunt? Distant cousin? Mother with amnesia? Whoever she is, I'm very excited to find out more!

Very nice juxtaposition between the mourning of a professor/role model and the excitement of a first date. First kiss was too cute.

Finally, I'd like to say nice use of Heart and Soul. The first song I learned to play, as well, and one I will never forget. Can't wait for the next chapter. Can't wait for Alex to see Sirius kiss Alexandra. All the excitement.

Author's Response: Hiya!

Well, the next chapter should be up soonish so you'll figure it out then, but for now you'll have to wait, mwahahaha, uh, I mean, so sorry for that. ;)

Eeee! I'm glad you liked the first kiss. And ooh, me too! That's why I chose it. Such a cute song!

Thanks so much for the wonderful review!
Lo :)

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Review #11, by Your Grinch Immortal

2nd January 2015:

I reviewed the third chapter twice? Oops. Let's just call that the aftermath of a really good New Year's celebration, shall we? ;)

Tut, tut, tut, that poor Alex. If I had one, my heart would break for him. MUST YOU START OUT A CHAPTER BY CRUSHING MY FEELS, LO? 💔 the way that scene was written was just heart-breakingly beautiful. Eh. Ahem. You must excuse your Grinchie because you've reduced me into mushiness.

I am intrigued. Is Sirius that someone else she was thinking of when she was osculating Alex? And was that the Marauder's map in Sirius's pocket? You clever thing!

Anyways, I love the idea that Remus is the mastermind behind the Marauder's antics rather than being the level-headed discourager of them.

Ah, and NOW the butterflies in her stomach make their appearance! Hee hee. Oh, I'm sorry, I was just thinking about how ticklish that would be to have butterflies in one's stomach.

You've got me in this happy state. Ooh everything's going reasonably well between Sirius and Alexandra and their having fun, but then here comes Frank and WAH, his father's dead. :( This chapter, as you've written it, is effectively an emotional roller coaster. It is important, though--it's EXTREMELY important--to be reminded that these times are dark times. That was supremely well done on your part.

As for the game, I enjoy how Alexandra's enjoyment out of knocking the Bludger towards that Diggory scum-bag is conveniently in tune with the team's strategies! Oh how you make this Grinchie laugh.

Again you preceded a terribly sad moment with a really happy one. How much emotional rollercoaster-iness will you put my feelings through? Again, you write remarkably.

Typically, Grinches don't use hearts, but since you're you and, therefore, highly deserving of much love:

Your little Grinchie ♥

A post script if you will: I have no complaints about being paired up with you either. You write splendid stories that only encourage reviewing and reading on, you are such a kind and clever person, and your heart-warming gratitude makes a Grinchie want to join in the Christmas spirit. J'adore you, too, Lo! ♥

A post, post script if you also will: Am I on your final list? HOLY GREEN EGGS AND HAM! I AM, I AM, I AM.

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Review #12, by toomanycurls The Bouncing Properties of Dimes

2nd January 2015:

Thanks for doing a swap! I thought I reviewed chapter one... I'm excited that there are a handful of chapters up already though.

It has been at least 9 or more months since I read the first chapter of your previous rendition of this story but I am struck by how much fuller your description is in this chapter. I love how much information you give about Alexandra and quidditch without making it feel like an info dump. Your quidditch sequence is really exciting to read. It's a great action to non-action mix.

dun dun dunnn - It's Potter. So, i really like that it's James being the Gryffindor frontman and the focus of Lexi's initial interaction with Gryffindors in this story. I don't know why but I like that you're not dangling Sirius out in front of us already.

and I died a bit (with laughter) at James calling McG Minnie. :D

Sirius' first appearance and he's kind of a jerk. I can't decide if he was being mean or just made an honest mistake with Charlie. I do like that he wasn't charming. Ooh, go Charlie. I like her temper here. ooh, snap. I also like that she's pushing Sirius' buttons as well.

Whoo!! Ravenclaws won (of course).

I also like that you have Alex and Alex flirting. I just like Sirius/OC stories that give them some distance at first.

I'm glad that you have some flat out nerdy Ravenclaws but also include some diversity with their innate skills and study habits.

So, this does have me pumped for your re-write. I really hope that you have time to keep it going!!


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Review #13, by Your Grinch Live A Little

1st January 2015:
Hey Lo,

You sure know how to write about a party. Alexandra, that clever minx! I love her.

I've said before that when your characters are put together into a solution and made to react with each other, amazing things happen. This chapter is especially strong because of that. You've played so well with the character dynamics and what results is a magnificently fun chapter.

Lo, your explanation of the excretory system resulted in an unnatural amount excitement on my part. It was also a sumpremely clever way to transition into a 'getting to know more about Alex' moment. I am thrilled that he's an Investigative Coroner because we don't hear about those all too often in fan fiction. They are underrated folks. You have such well thought-out characters.

Alex is such a kind lad, isn't he? So wonderfully easy to empathise with and so wise as well. He seems to be a great big part of Alexandra's social support system. A lovely character through and through. Quite like a brother.

But, then again, one wouldn't kiss their brother that way.

This is most definitely an interesting turn of events. You know, if your story ends up shipping Alex and Alexandra, I don't imagine I'd mind very much. I wonder what it means for her to notice his eyes sparkling for the first time. Does she like him in such a way that she's consider dating him and are the feelings reciprocated? Questions, questions, questions.

Your fan and Grinch.

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Review #14, by Your Grinch Live A Little

31st December 2014:
Good evening Lo,

Your Grinchie returns to continue further and onwards into this captivating story of yours. Hello. Perhaps I'll leave some clues along the way to make things less #difficult?

Moving on. I love the opening dialogue of this chapter. It's clever, abundantly humourous, and extremely well-written. If you think about Santa trying to squeeze into chimneys as Muggles believe he does--he doesn't he uses the Floo Network--you will know just how hard I'm laughing. Not that he's never tried to. He did. And I laughed. What you'd think I'd help him out? I'd rather opt for Schadenfraude.

'Slytherin, on the other hand, had manifested their excitement into snarls and evil glares,' I love this line. Your descriptive abilities are amazing. I also find this extremely funny. It's a marvellously worded line, I must say.

Alex and Alexandra seem so close that, if not explicitly told otherwise, I would have believed them to be good-natured siblings. It's adorable. While we're on the subject of characters, I find it immensely fun to read about yours. Each has their own distinct personality and when they interact with each other in your writing, it's absolutely a joy to read.

At this point, you've figured that your Grinch is falling out of Grinchiness. Alas, it can't be helped. After all, as Christmas happened to book-Grinch, your writing is happening to this Grinchie.

Amos, that scumbag. Never trust someone this late, I say! I'm getting bad vibes from him. I'm not sure why.

The Slytherins weren't invited to this party, huh? Why are us who are green never invited to anything? Like that Christmas party in the North Pole, in which the Claus family 'lost' my invitation. But digress majorly.

Aha! So he is a real scumbag!! Again, wonderful characterisation, Lo. This story just pulls me in more an more with each chapter. The plot, the writing style, the characters, the natural flow of it. Everything here looks brilliant to me.

And that ending! I wonder what events will transpire next! How exciting!

Your little Grinchie (whom you have yet to consider)

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Review #15, by TidalDragon Immortal

28th December 2014:
Hello again!

Well, ultimately thing DO seem to be moving a bit fast for me (but then I'm unnaturally inclined toward really slow-developing stuff, so take it with a grain of salt). In the alternative, it may simply be the fact of time-jumps occurring inside chapters, which sometimes cause me to lose points-of-reference without re-reading. Shrug. Just something to think about.

You keep doing creative things with the characters and descriptions though! I liked the introduction of muggle music and the fact that Frank Longbottom had encouraged it and I REALLY liked the way you actually made Lupin not just involved in the pranks, but the mastermind. It's something very different to read, but also very believable given his more meticulous, studious nature (which you showed well through his fastidiously-maintained bed and personal area).

I have to say, I certainly feel for Alex, but at the same time, you handled Alexandra's immediate reaction really well for their situation and for her being a Ravenclaw. Her first step almost was to analyze it, but be forced to the same conclusion that her initial physical reaction drove her to. And that she was upset about it I think spoke to the depth of their friendship and her regret (?) over it.

You've got a good thing going here, Lo and I've enjoyed getting back up to speed on it. It takes some talent to make me NOT feel like I'm caught in a slog with over 4,000 word chapters that aren't one-shots so you should take that to heart!

I'll have to keep track of when you update better from here on out!

Thanks for the swap!

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Review #16, by TidalDragon Upping The Ante

28th December 2014:
Ahh you've introduced some kind of wrinkle with this kissing the best friend business. It will be interesting to see how it develops (or not) and regardless how it will change the existing dynamic between them.

You are also one of the first people I've read who actually described a potions lesson (including brewing) without it being painfully boring. The other plus was that it was also realistic. While the brewing obviously demands a certain level of concentration to be successful, there HAS to be plenty of downtime that would afford the opportunity for conversation and observation you described (at least so long as the professor is a more permissive one than Snape).

Back to the beginning, your handling of the bet between Alexandra and Sirius was well done too. I kept wondering if he'd come up with a way around what she'd done, hinging on the word "touch", but she never did. And you made the forfeit work nicely too.

One of the really interesting things though was the characterization of Lily. I suppose it was interesting to me personally as I've been hypercritical of my own characterization of her in Evolution for some time now (to the point I want to edit it), but I thought you presented her as much more sociable, which I think is probably more natural. I don't know that I see her getting plastered, but that's the beauty of writing the Marauders' Era - you can play around a lot with these characters because nobody can really say with any certainty that they'd never have done that.

Well played again! Time for Chapter 5!

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Review #17, by TidalDragon Live A Little

28th December 2014:
Howdy Lo! Finally made it! I don't know how it's escaped me that you've been updating this as I enjoyed the first chapters I'd read, but I figure this was the perfect opportunity to catch up since I'm not irretrievably behind.

What leapt out at me was the characterization of Amos Diggory. Obviously we know very little about him as a student, but it's interesting how someone with so little apparent regard for his fellow students fathered someone like Cedric. In a way it's semi-parallel to James and Harry - though both obviously matured in the end.

As always I enjoyed your character descriptions - the one that really stood out here was you capturing the match conditions through Alexandra's suffering. I continue to like her as a character too and you handled her response to catching Amos very nicely, of course setting up the flirtatious Sirius Black for a chance at the same time. It was a bit quick perhaps, but I think that's because it comes at the end of the chapter. I'm sure you'll handle it with aplomb.

I'll see you in the next chapter!

Author's Response: Hi Kevin! Aw, thanks so much Kev, that means so much!

Ooh, Amos... I'm glad it's kind of a James/Harry and Amos/Cedric parallel, especially since I didn't mean that... Uh, I mean, yeah I'm glad you caught that! ;)

And yay! I'm glad you continue to enjoy Alexandra and flirting with Sirius, even if it is very quick!

Thanks so much for all the amazing reviews Kevin!
Lo :)

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Review #18, by kenpo The Bouncing Properties of Dimes

27th December 2014:
Hey! I'm here for our swap! I'm so sorry that it took me this long to get to it. A series of events kept demanding me attention, but I'm here now!

You know, I could've sworn that I've already read this chapter, at least, but now that I'm getting into it I'm not sure. Did you update it, or is it just that I've seen the title around the forums so much that I felt as if I'd read it?

Or maybe I'm just crazy. Probably that one. Likely that one, if we're all being completely honest here.

I like that she had to switch positions! That's not something I see too often (the only example I can think of is Ginny goes from Chaser to Seeker), but it's really realistic. I like that she went from seeker to beater, because I usually think of those as being on the opposite end of the spectrum. But that's a Ravenclaw for you, jack of all trades ;)

I really enjoyed this chapter, and the characters that you're developing. Now that I've read to the end, I see that this is a revamped story, so maybe I'm just thinking of that. Or you know... the crazy thing.

I think that right now, the strongest part of this story is the characters. They seem to be well developed, and I look forward to reading more of them in the coming chapters. Obviously, since this is the first chapter, I don't know terribly much about them (I mean that would be pretty boring for the rest of the fic, wouldn't it?), but you seem to have thought them through, and their personalities are shining through. Charlie's little sparring match with James and Sirius, along with her morning-aggressiveness was a nice touch. Alex seems flirty, and I'm left wondering (in a good way) if he's just naturally flirty, or if he's hoping for an Alex duo, as well...

Carter seems stressed. He needs to give himself a break! And his team needs to be on his side a little bit more.

I really liked this chapter, and it makes me want to read on (which is the point of a first chapter, really). I probably will if I have time tomorrow.

Thanks for the swap, sorry again it took me so long!


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Review #19, by Your Grinch Save A Broom

27th December 2014:
Your precious Grinchy acknowledges your wishes and complies willingly.

Hey Lo (I see the fun in that, now),

At this point, I am sure you realise the implications of a review here. I'm wondering, did you set me up? If so, I am impressed.

On to your wonderfully wowsome writing--I do love alliterating:

I absolutely adore your amazing style of narration. The phrasing you use sometimes, it's awe-inspiringly astonishing: Professor Slughorn was sleeping at his desk under the guise of ‘just resting his eyes.’ I found this line to be so amusing. It really seems as though you consider every single sentence. Your dedication isn't doubtful. You're obviously very particular about your wording. ;)

Then there is the way you write about potions, I cannot deny the undeniable attraction I have to beakers. ;)

As with the last chapter, I do like the way Sirius and Alexandra are behaving. They're not overly and irrationally hating on each other although their rivalry still shows. It reminds me of Santa's and my earlier years. If all goes well, these two will be scheming up murderous plans by the end of it.

Carter intrigues me. I don't like him. He's too friendly, too happy. It reminds me of children during Christmastime. Blerghh. And the boy flirts as well. Good grief. NO YOU DIDN'T SEE ME LAUGHING AT THAT JOKE!! Okay, maybe a little.

About the Quidditch practice scene: Alexandra's similarities to Santa does not escape me, Lo. The way she's treating this poor Tom is not unlike the way Santa treats his poor elves. The working conditions there! They don't even get payed!

'Save a broom, ride a Quidditch player.' Is this line always accompanied by a wink?

EHRK! (that must be read high-pitched, by the way) I dislike Amos Diggory. I think you should know. The corny sap. It may be the way he kissed her hand or the way he introduced himself or the fact that this is a Sirius/Alexandra story, and he might get in the way of that, I do not know.

Do continue guessing, your theories are such fun to read.

Your Grinch

A post script if you will, I hope you've had a good boxing day, in that you've spent it literally boxing. Preferably Santa's face.

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Review #20, by marauderfan The Bouncing Properties of Dimes

24th December 2014:
Hi Lo! (hehe... does that get old? Is that as bad as a Sirius/serious pun?) :p Merry Christmas!

I think I remember reading the old version of this story before you revamped it, and it's cool to see how far it's come since then. :)

You write Quidditch action scenes so well! Teach me your ways. And way to go Ravenclaws, they took those Gryffindors down a peg or two and managed to keep the pitch!

I can sympathise with Charlie, having had my fair share of bad haircuts for like... the first fourteen years of my life :p But anyway, I really like the way you've written the friendship between Charlie and Alexandra. In only one chapter I feel like I know both of them reasonably well. And Alex, I like him a lot! Great sense of humour that one.

I know this is eventually going to be Sirius/Alexandra, and I like how you've started them off. They don't hate each other, and neither is particularly bothered about the other in fact, they're just Quidditch rivals. And he's ridiculous and she's a bit uptight, so I think it'll be fun to see how they interact :p

Great chapter and have a wonderful holiday! :D

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Review #21, by BLONDEbehaviour The Bouncing Properties of Dimes

24th December 2014:
Hay Lo!

Well this was a fun read! I always like reading your stuff so this made me super happy to give this a bit of a read, I will have to continue reading and see how it goes! The plot so far seems interesting and intriguing, it is nice to see a slightly different perspective on the marauders as opposed to the normal fawn over them line, and I think you do their characters justice in the way that you have introduced them to the story. Quick, easy, to the point of their personalities. Its a perfect degree of characterisation :) I also love how you chosen to make this type of Qudditch orientated story first person perspective, as it really helps to draw the reader in to the game itself and experience the game, as I feel that quidditch is a big part in the story. And you write first person very well!

Your description and such of the goings on and the people your describing in this chapter is spot on, especially with an opening chapter. I feel like there is more that in the next few chapters we are going to learn and you help t establish a good boundary between descriptions of people and surroundings in your writing. I did think you cold have placed a wee bit more description on your surroundings, and when i say wee, I'm not talking much as all. Like i said, with first chapters, its a good thing to be able t develop a you go along as well, alot as a way that the scenes and characters are developing also!

One little critique I have for ya is to go through and have a quick skim and just see where you use the same words here and there in the same sentences a few times, and maybe try and space it out a bit to help make the sentences more structured. for example "moped around in is mopey mood". Can just help to make your sentences run smoother in the long run :)

A great start! Will definitely need to keep reading :D Merry Christmas!!

Grace :)

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Review #22, by ladyrae Immortal

16th December 2014:
Aww, poor Alex! How's he gonna react to her going out with Sirius?? But still yay Sirius being so sweet. Random prediction that I have little basis for making: Charlie dies! Hope it's not true.

Great chapter. Can't wait for the next!

Author's Response: Hiya!

Well thank you for this marvelous review! I guess you'll just have to wait and see for your prediction! ;)

Lo :)

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Review #23, by writeyourheartout Immortal

15th December 2014:

Okay, so I was right about the Alex thing! EXCEPT OH MY GOD IT WAS SO UPSETTING SO QUICKLY. POOR ALEX! HOW COULD YOU, ALEXANDRA/LO! *pets Alex* Ugh.

Although, having said that... I'm not as attached to the idea of Alex/Alexandra as I was last chapter. In fact, I've actually been swayed back to the side of being glad they're just friends. I hope this kiss doesn't ruin things for their friendship, though! I mean, I've been in Alexandra's shoes before with my best friend, and things changed a lot after that for us, and I don't want to see it happen to these guys too! Eep! I still love Alex as a character and I want him to be happy! I hope he gets over this and finds a new girl to love even more... PROMISE ME YOU'LL GIVE HIM A NEW GIRL AT SOME POINT! :-p

Okay, moving away from my slight obsession with the well-being of Alex...

Wow, a lot of crazy stuff happens this chapter! Sirius is such a little stalker with that map (but who am I kidding, wouldn't we all be? :-p), and I've decided that he seems to genuinely care about Alexandra. I'd love it if at some point in a future chapter we could hear about the extent of their relationship before this story began. Were they friends? Acquaintances? Competitors? I think a little more background info would really push me entirely onboard the Sirius/Alexandra ship. *lets go of Alex/Alexandra dream* ;)

Omg, Frank! No! That's so upsetting. And wow, did it come at a crazy moment, just after the almost kiss and the awful burn. That room was just total chaos. I love that you are able to handle scenes like that with such ease, though. Big scenes in which a lot of things happen are the types that I always feel like I'll drop the ball on (which is why I don't think I have any posted yet...), but you juggle all of the chaos with ease and I never lose track of what's happening, nor does the scene lose its pace. TEACH ME YOUR WAYS. (Seriously, I have a war scene coming up in Lying Josephine and I have no idea what I'm doing. Save me.)

As devastating as Frank's news is, I love the choice you made to include it - particularly because it brought a whole new layer to this story by including the war. More than that, I love the paragraph that talks about how Frank's father's death was the first pureblood life to be lost and the fear that idea seemed to instill in everyone. It's moments like that which remind you of how no one is safe during this time.

*pointedly ignores the fact that Hufflepuff is always labelled as the House with the laughable Quidditch team, but only because Amos Diggory is on the team and he was pretty awful, so I'm okay with him losing* :-p

I love the description and small details in this paragraph: The air was brisk as it usually was in November. Small patches of frost crunched under our feet. The beater's bat in my hand was cold, as was my Shooting Star, and I was glad for the fingerless gloves I had that offered some protection from the winter air. - So lovely. :)

So much awkward in the changing room after the game. Poor Alex. MAKE HIM HAPPY AGAIN, LO! hehehe

The ending was so sad, but really well done. I think Dumebledore's speech was perfectly in character, and his words were really moving and powerful. That last line about Charlie was a great way to finish the chapter off, as well - really gripping to put into perspective how close to home these attacks are, having to worry about your closest friends and their safety. I wonder if the attack on Hogsmeade will throw a wrench in the plans of Sirius and Alexandra's date? (I liked seeing the slightly more vulnerable side of Sirius when he asked her out, by the way. ^.^)

And now for another round of nitpicky thingies! :-p

But I couldn't shake one face from my mind as *I hard as I tried to. - *Stray I

(bloody hell* he was a phenomenal keeper!) - *comma

"No* don't be sorry." - *comma

...and little Tom seemed *to distressed **too tie up his gear properly. - *too, **to

And that's everything! Another great chapter, Lo! I really love that this story focuses on a wide spectrum of things; it makes it all the more enjoyable. And I do insist that you update soon. ;) Keep up the great writing! :-D


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Review #24, by writeyourheartout Upping The Ante

15th December 2014:
FIRST OF ALL: I definitely referred to Alexandra as Alexandria all of my last review, so my sincerest apologies for that! I vote we blame it on the late hour of my reviewing. :-p

Anyway, onto the actual chapter review! Yay!

Ahahaha! A true Ravenclaw, she is! I was confused at first as to her tactic, but when Alex said, "Can't touch your opponent's glass," I was like OH SNAP. That was a great moment.

I can't tell if Alex has feelings for Alexandra or not. There was mention in chapter two, I think it was, of a Daisy (I think?) that Alex seemed to maybe have a crush on, but sometimes he acts like maybe it's Alexandra he actually has feelings for... *ponders* Either way, I quite like that I can't tell. Always fun to have a bit of mystery in a story! ^.^

Speaking of Alex, I'm really loving his character. He's incredibly three dimensional and I think you have an exceptional grasp on who he is as a person. And I love when we get to see these perfectly Ravenclaw moments pop up, like when he talks about the science behind alcohol and its effects on the body. And is it weird that I love the fact he plans to become an Investigative Coroner? hahaha He's quickly becoming one of my favorite characters, I must admit. Of course, I do have to wonder how he plans to be around dead bodies if he's so afraid of blood... But the leech incident was pretty adorable. Have I mentioned already how much I like Alex's character? :-p

I love the way you described the potion-making. The details here were really fantastic, and the decision to use so many terms and objects that us Muggles are actually somewhat familiar with was great, too (though, arguably not the most canon, but it doesn't bother me at all, so there!). I think describing events and activities is your strong suit - you write those scenes flawlessly, and I'm totally jealous, cause they aren't my forte at all.

Bahaha! The Shrinking Solution on Snape's nose! Too perfect. Imagery is a beautiful thing, is it not? hehehe

OMG SHE KISSED ALEX?!?! Ah! I feel so torn! Cause, I'm going to be honest with you, I currently much prefer Alex to Sirius. Sirius is a little... smarmy so far. He's all rehearsed lines and arrogance and charm and not a substantial, true, honest person yet. But Alex is awesome - as I've mentioned (a lot) earlier, and now I'm sad, cause they're of course not going to last! Also, because it's now past midnight and I have to go to bed before knowing what results of this kiss! Quite possibly nothing at all, cause maybe my earlier inkling of Alex having feelings for Alexandria was just you being a tricky author... I WANT TO KNOW BUT I MUST SLEEP CAUSE WORK IN THE MORNING. But I will be back after work for your final review! ^.^

Some more nitpicky details before I go:

"I was an idiot last night," I groaned, my head pounding from the million little hammers that seemed to be hitting it. - Alex, who sat across from me, smiled. "Yes, you are*..." - *were

"It'll be okay. Just get back quickly or I'll flaw* you because I am not botching this potion." - *Flaw doesn't seem to work here, but I'm not sure what you meant to say, either. Flay, maybe?

Anyway, I'm seriously enjoying this story, Lo. I can't wait to see what happens next. Damn you, responsible adulthood! *shakes fist*

See you soon,
Tanya ^.^

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Review #25, by writeyourheartout Live A Little

15th December 2014:
'lo, Lo! (Do people do that to you all the time? hahaha) I'm just gonna jump right into this review! ^.^

"We need to start a Charms club," I said as I burst into my dormitory. - Hahahaha! Omg, that is the perfect line to start this chapter after the way the previous one ended! I legitimately laughed out loud at this. Too funny.

Omg, this entire first section was just brilliant. I have to tell you, as someone who is in love with Remus Lupin, the girl talk surrounding him had me giggling so hard. I swear to God, that was such a realistic scene, I felt like I was right there with them freaking out over this adorable boy. Eep! I love him so much. And even though we've only had a glimpse of Remus' character thus far, I am loving your version already. ^.^ Oh, and the way the ending couple of lines looped back around to the Charms Club thing made me chuckle as well. Such a great opening section to this chapter.

I love that you introduced Amos Diggory as the boy Alexandria is first interested in. I mean, this is obviously a Sirius/OC fic, but I love that so far their interactions have been pretty mild. He seems like maybe he's interested in her, but he might just be a flirt at this point? It's hard to say - which I like! - whereas she hasn't shown any actual interest in him, especially compared to how quickly she was taken with Amos. I love that choice, because it adds such a great layer to this story that a lot of Sirius/OC's don't include - they tend to be completely Sirius-centric - and throwing Amos in adds believability and a fun subplot, even if Amos doesn't come back into the picture after his little face-sucking incident. haha

The friendship dynamics you've created are really great. I'm loving all of your OC's and how they're each distinct as individuals, but still make sense as a singular unit. In only three chapters, you've introduce a lot of new characters, and have somehow managed to make me care about them all. I think that takes exceptional talent to pull off, so some serious kudos to you.

Hahahaha! Can we talk about how much I LOVE that you made McGonagall a former bombshell? I can totally see it. :-p

You do a fantastic job at writing the action of a Quidditch game. By far one of the best telling's I've read, to be honest. You know how to highlight the right information so that we understand what's happening, while still keeping a quick pace to the action and building up the final moments so that I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see what would happen. And I felt the excitement that Alexandria and the others felt too at Gryffindor's win. Really wonderfully done, Lo.

EXCUSE ME WHILE I SQUEE MORE ABOUT REMUS. (Charlie is so lucky. Ugh. :-p)

I love the way this chapter ended. The whole section was great, but those last lines were an absolutely perfect way to leave it. And I have to admit, I am super excited to see what happens next chapter, because I'm taking an educated guess and thinking that maybe Alexandria's first foray into living a little may hold some fun consequences. hehehe

A few nitpicky little details:

"What did you talk about in the library,"* I asked, leaning forward on my knees. - Kendra** shrugged. "School stuff mostly..." - I think *here you want a question mark rather than a comma. And **here, did you mean Charlie? It makes it sound like Kendra is the one who was talking to Remus in the library, not Charlie. I was confused a bit about who it was that got asked out after that sentence, is all. Hope that makes sense... :-p

For years, it had been a back and forth between the two of them of awkward sexual tension. - This sentence is just a little wonky.

Red and green raced around the pitch and it was just barely possibly* to see Black as he zipped about on his Nimbus. Even Thomas began** enraptured with the Gryffindor beater's new broom. - *possible, **became

Anyway, I'm truly loving this so far. I sincerely look forward to seeing how this story continues to unravel! I'm gonna have to add this to my list of favorites, too, cause I am invested! Great job so far, Lo! Yay! :-D


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