Reading Reviews for (i must be dreaming)
6 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Dojh167 fear and nightmares

6th September 2015:
Hello lovely, Sam here for the Throwback Thursday review swap... On Sunday? Well,, better late than never.

I thoroughly fell in love with your writing during the house cup, and have been meaning to get back and read more of your work, but since I currently have 126 stories on my reading list, I am glad that i got this extra encouragement!

I think that it is a very interesting choice that you wrote this in the present tense. The opening phrase of "the summer that she is eight" makes it feel like this story is looking back on the past, and telling it in present tense makes it feel more immediate and even more child-like.

I love this passage: "He was never scared of catching cooties from her, not ever, even when they were four and everyone called them husband and wife and blew raspberries at them. Dennis had asked them to stop, and Amy had punched them. She thought her way worked better." It does an amazing job of setting up the child-like tone of the story, the two childrens' characters, and their relationship, in so few words. I also enjoy the fact that you made the girl the one to resort to violence.

There is definitely a lot of dramatic tension in this story from the start, as we all know that this will not end well for Amy and Dennis, but they are also so charmingly written that we can't help but adore them.

People often don't do children justice when writing them, but I think you've done great here. I particularly enjoy how you capture a child's logic through simple things, such as Amy thinking the beach won't be fun because she got sand in her eye last time, and trusting Dennis because he's a month older.

The torture scene was definitely different than I had imagined it. I had always thought that Tom had chosen to punish Amy and Dennis as some sort of retribution for something they had done to him. However, the fact that Amy didn't know him and his detached, almost scientific manner throughout the scene made it much more chilling.

I had expected this story to only cover the incident in the ave (and was wondering how you were going to do that with so few words), but I really love how you expanded and looked into what lay ahead for Amy and Dennis. That's not something I'd ever thought to do, as they are such minor characters who seem to exist only for that scene, but of course they have lives beyond!

Haha, all of Mrs. Cole's orphans are "different." She must be good at that talk by now.

I did start to wonder whether Tom would ever try to silence the children forever, since they knew where the cave was. But would he really see two muggle children as a threat? I think it's possible that he would have started the fire at the orphanage, whether it was a specifically targeted attack on Dennis, or just on the place where he had grown up so miserably.

The ending seems very abrupt to me, in both the final line of Amy's final section, and the true final line about the War starting. I think that it would have been a more effective ending without the War line, as that is something the readers are already aware of, and it distracts from the emotions of the ending of the story.

This was certainly a depressing piece, but it was also very well done, and I found it very interesting to read a more in depth take on a character I had never thought twice about.

Thanks for inviting me to read this!


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Review #2, by marauderfan fear and nightmares

4th June 2014:
Wahh, this story was such an intense and sad and all kinds of feels. I'm glad you told the story of the kids in the cave; I had always wondered what happened to them. The beginning, the very beginning with Amy and Dennis at the beach, is just adorable - how she listens to him because he's a whole month older and wiser than she is. That's just how kids think. Everything is so simple and so wonderful then.

BUT THEN COMES CREEPY VOLDEMORT. Your characterisation of him is spot on! How he acts friendly at first, and of course when you're eight, hanging out with a ten year old is just so cool, so they go with him.. and then his silence is extra creepy and the way he uses them just as an experiment to see if he can do what he thinks he can. It's so horrible, his power play without a care of how he's permanently destroying two kids' sanity. But seems just like him. And the times he appears later in the story with a smile and a "Don't forget.. don't say a word" just because he enjoys the power and the feeling of being threatening. You're very good at writing Tom Riddle's mindset. (That is meant as a compliment, though it probably doesnt sound like one haha)

Dennis and Amy are so sweet, and I love that during that tough time at the orphanage they at least had each other as best friends. That would make it just a little easier. I was so sad when Amy got adopted and not Dennis! AND THEN THE FIRE... seriously broke my heart. Her last source of comfort was gone :'( And then her teenage years, difficult even for a normal person but she was just completely lost by this point. Mrs Maude - it seems that she thinks she's done Amy a favour by taking her in from the horrible orphanage, and does genuinely care about her and wants to make her better, but she just doesn't understand Amy, and sadder still, she doesn't make that much of an effort to understand.

The way Amy's life keeps spiralling into deeper misery just kills me, as she's lost everything, even Mrs Maude. The tone in these last few sections is really different too - so bleak and undescriptive, which works so well as it sort of mirrors the way Amy has stopped caring about anything. At the end, after she's clearly given up, I got the impression that Amy is reunited with Dennis. Maybe, for the first time in years, she had that little bit of hope as she died.

I can certainly understand why this won the challenge! Congrats! This was a haunting and well written story. And now I'm going to go cry my eyes out and stuff. :'(

Author's Response: Oh man, I'm so sorry but also so happy that it had that effect on you! Tissues? :P

Yes, I love canon missing moments and imagining things which might have been in canon that we just don't know, and when I got this quote, even though it doesn't have much to do with the story, this just kind of wrote itself for me. And yay, I'm so glad that you like the two of them together at the beginning - they're so cute, I think. :)

I'M SO SORRY. Voldemort is the creepiest, even as a kid. I'm so glad that you think I got his character right! And yes, I think he was precocious as a kid and decided that kids younger than him would be easiest to impress and dazzle. :( Such a butt-trumpet, am I right? I honestly don't think he does care, though, and that's a pretty interesting aspect of his character - how he's almost psychopathic or sociopathic, and he views other humans as just objects to be used and discarded at his pleasure. (Oh my. How did you find out? I'm so good t writing Tom Riddle because...I am Tom Riddle.)

I'm so glad that you liked the two of them! I do think that two people, having gone through such a traumatic situation, would definitely stick together after that and become closer than they might have done id that particular incident hadn't happened, so to speak. And I know, the fire, I'm so sorry! It just seemed sort of fitting for the story. And yes, Mrs Maude - she's a good person, I think, but Amy's just so far beyond just being happy with regular care. I think what she really wanted was someone to love, like she loved Dennis, and Mrs Maude was only looking after her out of Christian duty and didn't or couldn't really give her that. But I digress.

Yes, the poor girl! That incident in the cave really did shape her life and who she was. I'm really glad that you thought the narrative worked well for the story, and I hope that you're right! She deserves some nice things after a terrible life. :(

Thanks so much for your amazing review, Kristin, this was simply amazing! ♥


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Review #3, by MadiMalfoy fear and nightmares

3rd June 2014:
Hi there! :) I'm here for the Merlin Challenge!

First of all, thank you for entering into my second challenge! It is greatly appreciated. :)

Anyway, onto the actual review. Well, this really was quite depressing, wasn't it? No worries, I still really enjoyed it! You really elaborated on two characters that are only mentioned offhandedly in the books and their encounter with Tom Riddle and how it affected their futures.

The quote was incorporated flawlessly--I loved its usage! The torture that Dennis and Amy go through at the hands of merciless Tom Riddle really exhibited his power and just how much control he had over it as a ten-year-old; it's really frightening when you think about it. The quote speaks volumes for not only those who've suffered from abuse, but also those with magic (obviously) so to have it come from the adopting mother's mouth is truly great.

Overall, your characters of Dennis and Amy were written very very well and with a nice depth we usually don't see with OCs or just minor characters. The plot was fantastically chosen--I'd always wanted more on that first fateful cave scene, and you gave it to me! I'm excited to see how you do in the Merlin challenge! :)

Thanks again for entering into my challenge, results will be up soon! :)
~MadiMalfoy x

Author's Response: Hi there! :D

Not a problem! Your challenges are really fun to participate in.

Yes, this thing is more than a little depressing, I think. I absolutely love missing moments in canon and minor characters, and I'm so glad that you think I did a good job on expanding on them and the one incident that was mentioned in the books!

Yay, I'm so happy that you think so! And yeah, I know, I'm so sorry for Dennis and Amy! Actually, I was really nervous about writing a young Tom Riddle (especially as such a nasty person!) so I'm super glad that you liked the way I portrayed him and his power. ♥

Whoo, thanks so much, I really enjoyed elaborating on the characters of Amy and Dennis and I'm really happy you liked the way that I wrote them! I don't exactly know where the idea to portray that first journey into the cave came from but I'm glad you like the idea, and thank you, thank you for the first place. :D

Thank you for the lovely review! ♥

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Review #4, by Lululuna fear and nightmares

4th May 2014:
Hi Emily! :D

Wow, I loved this so, so much. ♥ In my opinion this story embodies everything which fanfiction should do: give life to the voiceless and bring heart to those who were only mentioned in passing yet have these unique stories to tell. Writing about Amy and Dennis was such an amazing idea and you wrote it beautifully - if this is really your first foray into angst and horror then you should do it more often (and you know how I love my angst and horror :P).

I really like how the tone of the story itself changed to reflect the emotional state and maturity of Amy. In the beginning, the sentences are longer and filled with extra ideas and thoughts, like the way a child might think, and the almost whimsical voice - like when the story mentions how Dennis never thinks she has cooties - has a historical and old-fashioned flavour to it which reminds me of children's books from the early nineteenth century. And then as the story goes on it becomes more crisp and grim, and that really comes through in the power of the writing as well as the content. Well done, that's a wonderful element to the story.

I liked how you took the idea of how Tom tortured the children and really made it into something which fits well with his canon character. JKR never really tells us what exactly he did in the cave, but here, where it shows his first foray into Legilimency and torturing somebody else with the power of his mind, was so clever. Not only does it illustrate the horror of what Dennis and Amy experienced and how he really infiltrated their hearts and heads, but it also shows why this location would be so crucial to Riddle and why he would want to come back here and hide his Horcrux.

The horror surrounding Tom was amazing as well, and I felt that jolt of dread and fear for Amy when she finds out that Tom is coming back. It's interesting how he almost becomes a part of the fabric of the orphanage for her, making it even more of a hell. And then when the fire breaks out, and she's searching for Tom's name... that moment was so horrific in a way, because of course Tom masters death and doesn't fall victim, and losing Dennis and being plagued by the promise of Tom go hand in hand in her fear and grief.

Another thing I loved was how dim and grey Amy's life felt. Yes, grey - I've decided that's how this story felt. Not because it was boring, of course, but because it brought to life that everyday horror and the despair and fear which polluted Amy's life. I loved the scenes with Miss Maude and how she didn't give Amy the love she craved, but how she was taking her in out of Christian duty. It felt so authentic for the times as justification for why she would want to adopt the orphan, but was also really sad. I also feel like you did some strong research into the treatment of mental illness and how miserable it would be for Amy to be in an asylum, and brought the bleakness of that life into these beautiful words.

I honestly felt really betrayed and upset when Dennis died, I loved the bond between him and Amy and it really hurt my heart. I'm not sure if the orphanage burning down is canon or not, but it felt so fitting that it would be destroyed and Dennis, Amy's last comfort, would be taken away with it. :(

This story was so amazing, Emily, and I really loved the direction you took with it and the dark ending. It shows how much Voldy impacted people, even if he forgot about them and wasn't targeting them directly anymore, and how the most innocent and pure of people are those who truly suffer. This is the sort of story which is going to resonate with me for a long time. ♥

Author's Response: Oh my, this review was the best thing in the world to get. :D I'm so sorry for the lateness of this reply, but I truly had no clue what to say in the face of such amazing compliments. I'll try to keep the incoherency down to a minimum.

I've always had a fascination with missing moments and things that could have been in canon that we just didn't know about - your own stories do such a fantastic job with that, and I'm just so glad that you think I managed to give Amy and Dennis personality and heart because that really is what I set out to do.

Oh yay, I'm so glad that you thought that the narrative fit! It came so naturally that it was almost unintentional, which I suppose shows how much I was trying to give Amy character and get inside her head. And I'm so, so happy that you think my writing fits with the early nineteenth century - I was afraid it was going to be too stiff, or too formal, or not formal enough, so to hear that I got the time-voice right, especially coming from you, it really means a lot, so thank you!

Oh my days, I'm really not entirely certain what to say or do right now, Jenna! :P I'm so glad that you think the incident in the cave makes sense, and how it fits with his later character and actions - I think his first foray into Legilimency would be something he wanted to remember, or remind himself of. I'm also really glad that you think I showed the impact of Tom's actions well, because I do think that whatever he did in there as probably harmful and very nasty, even if he didn't really care.

Oh, thank you! I did wonder whether I was overdoing it but I do think that Amy and Dennis would both be pretty terrified of Tom after the incident in the cave, especially with the weird things he did that they couldn't simply explain away. I'm really happy that I managed to pull it off - and yes, I think in the end Amy sort of does associate Tom with the orphanage and all the fear and terror in her life, and after she lost Dennis everything kind of came to a head for the poor girl. :(

I hadn't thought of it that way before you mentioned it, but I think you're right - Amy's life is grey, because the fear and despair kind of faded into the background but didn't disappear entirely. I think it actually did shape her as a person. I'm so glad that you liked Mrs Maude! She's a good person, I think, and you're right, she wanted to do her Christian duty, and I think that had she gotten saddled with anyone else they would have gotten along - if not well, then at least okay. But Amy has all these issues and she just desperately craved something more, and Mrs Maude couldn't really give her that. And yes, I did try to get the asylum and mental illness right as it is a pretty sensitive issue, but I'm so, so happy that you think I got it right!

Oh no, I'm sorry! Yes, he and Amy were pretty close before but going through those horrors together I think brought them closer than ever - I'm pretty sure that there's no mention of the orphanage burning down in canon, but I'm so glad that you thought it was fitting for the story!

This review was actually the best, Jenna, thank you so so much for your kind words and lovely compliments! I'm so glad that you liked this story!


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Review #5, by kenpo fear and nightmares

15th April 2014:
Wow. I really loved this.

I think it's really interesting the way that you framed it. They don't know who or what Tom is, but all the same, they feel that fear and his deeds ruined their lives.

While this did end up being significant for Tom, it was really a small part of his life. This interaction was something for him to do because he was what, bored? But those poor children.

I loved some of the historical context you gave, it made it fit really well into the time.

This was really well written and really very sad. I loved her desperation when she was looking at the names in the paper, and the sadness she felt when her friend was gone...

Really fantastic job. Good luck on the challenge, I'll keep an eye out for the results!

-Huffleclaw Ravenpuff Eggstravaganza-

Author's Response: Wow, you get straight to the point haha. Thank you!

I'm so glad you liked the way they were sort of kept in the dark - every time I reread this I feel so cruel for what I did to those poor kiss. :( So I don't reread it often.

Yeah, he found out this new 'special power' that he had and wanted to test it out, but you're right, it was a really small incident for him at the time, which sort of makes it worse for Dennis and Amy. I'm glad I got you to feel sorry for them though.

Yay, I'm really glad to hear that! I was hoping it wasn't too much/too little because it might have gotten bogged down with details and I didn't want that.

Ah, thanks so much! I'm really glad you find this well-written and I'm really happy that I managed to evoke some sort of emotions out of you and get you to sympathise with Amy. :)

Thanks for the luck, I'll probably end it. :P And thanks for this amazing review as well, kenpo!

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Review #6, by MargaretLane fear and nightmares

13th April 2014:
Some of the sentences in this might sound better if you used more contractions, like saying "the summer she's eight" instead of "the summer that she is eight" or "...because Amy can't remember the last time she'd been to the beach" instead of "because Amy cannot remember the last time that she had been to the beach."

I laughed out loud at her thinking punching them works better than asking them to stop. Probably.

Aw. That part about her thinking Dennis knows better than her because he's a month older than her is so sweet. It's such little kid thinking.

You've written "Denis keeps saying is going to be amazing". I presume it should be "it's going to be amazing."

I LOVE the comment about Mrs Cole being happy for once. In those two words, you've given an indication that she's not an easy person to get one with and that is backed up by the way they tip-toe around her. Without labouring the point, you've given an indication that their lives include a certain degree of tension.

I kind of feel Amy and Dennis would at least recognise Tom as one of the older boys from the orphanage, even if they didn't know his name. They do live with him after all.

Oooh, that's creepy about Tom getting a good grip on Amy's wrist.

LOVE the description of how nauseous she feels as he brings them down to the cave.

Oooh, love the way he doesn't speak for so long in the cave. It sort of adds to his creepiness.

You portray their trauma so well. Poor kids. It makes perfect sense she'd be scared to speak after his threat to them about not telling.

Oh gosh, you've had Dennis die?! That is so sad. Those poor, poor children.

Author's Response: Hi there!

Thank you, when I go to edit this next time I'll definitely keep that in mind, I can see how it would make the story flow better. I love how you started your review with no nonsense and went straight on to somce CC. :P

Aw yay, I'm glad I could make you laugh! It is definitely one of the happier moments she has in her life, poor thing. It probably did, actually.

Hahaha xD Bless her, it is little kid thinking and definitely how I thought when I was a kid. Somehow, when you're younger, a month feels like such a large age gap to you. I'm really glad you found it sweet!

Oh dear, yes I did mean what you said. Thanks for catching that!

I think that Mrs Cole, through no real fault of her own, is quite stressed and tired, looking after all the kids in the orphanage, and so she would be tetchy and grumpy with them. I'm so glad you liked that point and think that it was well-made!

Hmm, I think you're right. :P It's just that he was described as being a bit of a recluse in the books.

Hehe, I'm glad you think so!

I've been carsick, like really really carsick, before, so I kind of tapped into that feeling. I'd never wish it on anyone, and I'm glad you liked the description!

Yeah, he was trying to give the nightmares using Legilimency I think, but I'm happy you think it adds to his creepiness, I definitely want the readers to think he's creepy!

Yay, I'm really glad you think I got their trauma right! I researched it and tried to fit some but not all of the symptoms on there - the separation anxiety, the voluntary muteness especially I think was relevant to Dennis and Amy's situation. I'm gald it made sense to you. :D

I know. :( I'm sorry, Dennis. I think his death acted as a trigger for Amy. Poor children indeed.

Thanks so much for this lovely review, it definitely helped me a lot! :D

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