Reading Reviews for Stand Tall
26 Reviews Found

Review #1, by ScorpiusRose17 Hands Touch

19th October 2014:

I just wanted to start off by saying that I was reading through a section on the forums and saw that there was a story being written about CP, so I had to stop by and read it.

I really enjoyed this first chapter and getting to know who Alba is as a person. I think that is something that people forget is that no matter the disability the person is still them. She voices that when James mistakes her for a robot. I really liked that part. Kids and the innocent things that come out of their mouths. :)

I love and admire Alba's determination. She wants to prove herself. I like how she can joke about the serious issues like falling "6 out of 10" She just knows it happens at times and James is super awesome for not being afraid to stay behind and help her. Ego is something I always expect from James, but I am happy to see it deflate a bit when needed.

I look forward to reading more of this story and how your character deals with their disability in the wizarding world. CP is something near and dear to me as well as someone special in my life suffers from its effects.

Have an awesome day!! And keep up the awesome writing!!

-SR17 :)

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Review #2, by Lululuna Sudden Silence

29th September 2014:
Hello! :D I'm here for your first prize review for the Beatles challenge.

It's nice to see Alba's circle of friends expanded a bit and I liked her interaction with Maude and the latter's concern for Alba. The bandaid explanation was great as well in explaining not only to Maude, but to me about Alba's potions. It's really great how you weave in her everyday interactions with how she's always conscious of having Cerebral Palsy and its impact on even the smallest things. I thought the mention of her fear of falling and breaking her wand was especially poignant since it would be so disappointing and inconvenient for a witch to break her wand yet could happen so simply.

Unlike most of the girls in her year, Alba actually liked Maude, though their interactions were generally strictly academic. This sentence confused me a little as I wasn't sure if it meant that Alba disliked most of the girls in their year, or that most of the girls in their year disliked Maude. Maybe both? :)

tapestry cannot know it's worth I think this should be "its"? Also this was a great line and kind of reminded me of something Dumbledore would say. And the goblet of fire coming into Alba's life is so exciting and adds such a suspenseful future for the story. I like how James is quite down to earth about entering the tournament, though his yielding to Chandra is intriguing as well. Somehow I got the suspicion from his wink to Alba that maybe he was going to enter Alba's name - hmm. I don't think he would be that sneaky and he's pretty protective of her safety so maybe not, but it did seem like he was up to something.

I actually love how Alba wants to be a Healer. She would be a good one too, since she already knows so much about her own medical treatment and has a passion for communicating to people about medicine like we saw with Maude. But that being said I liked how you focused on the difficult aspects as well with Potions and Herbology. I wouldn't have thought of that but it fit well with how people accommodate disabilities in the Muggle (our) world.

Great chapter, I'll be back soon!! :D

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Review #3, by academica Hands Touch

14th August 2014:
Hello, I'm here from the Claw Review Battle!

The idea for this story looked so interesting that I couldn't resist popping by for a review.

I loved the first part of this story. I thought you wrote Alba's struggle beautifully, and it seems like you've done your homework or at least spent time observing people who actually have her illness, because the way you talked about her behavior made perfect sense based on people I've observed. I especially like this part: She loved when children asked about her. They were so astute, so ready to learn about the things they didn't understand. She preferred their honest curiousity to the gawkers who slyly tried to hide their interest with furtive glances and hushed whispers to others. Maybe it's because it's what I immediately thought or would write if this had been my story, but it seemed so poetic.

I also really loved Chandra's maturity. Again, I think that's what you'd expect from a girl who has already had to endure so much in her short life. Even in the first part of the story, when she was eleven, she handled herself so well, and it only seemed to get better when she got older. It's clear that the disability is a central part of the story, and yet Alba doesn't let it be her whole story. She's very likable and inspiring in that way.

Oh, Chandra. We just can't keep her around. Every potential partner has to pass the best friend test! Hopefully James will figure that out soon.

Nice work! I hope to come back later for more :)


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Review #4, by Veritaserum27 Sudden Silence

12th August 2014:

I'm here for the BvB review battle - and so excited to see more chapters to this story! It is really riveting and well written. Yet again, you continue to seamlessly illustrate the daily struggles of Alba's disability without making them the center focus of the story you're telling, but also without glossing over the fact that she must deal with this every minute of every day. (Sorry that sentence was so long.)

The other feat you've managed here is nothing short of genius. Alba is a completely flawed character in her own right. I find myself getting frustrated at her periodically because of her stubbornness and low self-esteem.

I'll admit, I was confused in the last chapter why Alba didn't have any close friends other than James and Ben. It seemed odd to me that she didn't have any close girl friends. After seeing the interaction between her and Maude, it is obvious that she pushes people away. Maude clearly sees Alba as a friend - or wants to at least - but Alba insists that they are only academically acquainted. If I've interpreted this wrong, please let me know. I just find it hard to believe that after six years at a school of generally nice people, she doesn't have a single close friend who isn't James. She even keeps Ben at bay. I think the only reason she doesn't do this to James it that he simply won't let her. We see this in the interaction at breakfast. Alba tries to use her Ravenclaw intellect and logic to make it seem like James is overstepping his bounds and insulting her. He doesn't fall for it and pushes right back.

Poor Alba, she really has chosen two buddies with serious lack of manners! I laughed at those parts - especially when James seemed offended by Ben's belch after he had his own display of shoving food in his mouth. It is really sweet that he is so protective of Alba.

And Ben is so sweet too! Alba really should go out with him - he seems like such a great guy.

What's this about Professor Pimbly warning Alba about the Triwizard Cup? Do I sense some foreshadowing? That would be really, really amazing! This story just got way more interesting! (It was interesting before, but all the possibilities are running through my head right now.)

I really liked the interaction with Nurse Wainscott. Here we get to see Alba acting like a typical teenager, complete with an attempt at manipulation and a display of dramatics when she doesn't get her way.

And again, we see Alba eavesdropping on her best friend's conversation with his girlfriend (yet another character flaw - bad Alba!). It appears that Chandra has her own demons - she is living in the shadow of some fairly impressive older siblings. James, in his usual self, is trying to encourage her to not let that get in the way of her being the best she can - the same thing he does for Alba.

And that wink at the end -ooo! Ok, so I don't know if you like predictions or not, but I have one and you don't have to respond to it if you don't want to. I think that James and Chandra's "deal" of putting their names into the cup together is going to have a twist. James is going to put in Alba's name, thinking that she will never get chosen... but you have much, much more planned for these characters, don't you?!

Awesome story!


Author's Response: You totally get me (and Alba). She does intentionally distance herself from people, and the only reason James has managed to get close its because he refuses to let her do that to him. Ben has been hanging in there for awhile, trying to break through the cold shoulder she tries (and fails) to give him. Is it odd to say I hope she gives him a chance too? Haha. Honestly, Been didn't exist in the original plans of the story, so I'm not sure if he gets his way out not. I guess we'll find out together.

I'm so glad you like nurse wainscott. I thought she might come off a bit too much like a re-hash of Molly, which certainly wasn't my intention. So it's good to hear the interactions are enjoyable.

I LOVE PREDICTIONS! So keep them coming, though you will get no help from me +) I'm a big predictor too.


Now that my crazy is showing, I think it's time to thank you for such a lovely review and following this story. It's quite encouraging, and I hope you like the next chapters as well.

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Review #5, by marauderfan Eyes Meet

22nd July 2014:
Hello :) I read the first chapter of this a few weeks ago, so now I'm back for another chapter!

This was just as good as your first chapter! I felt so badly for Alba in the beginning - of course James is just trying to do what's right, and Alba does need help for her leg, but poor thing to have to regress so far with her treatment. :( Her analysis of feeling like a number/a list of injuries instead of a person was really moving, too.

I loved the feast though, particularly the fact that Hagrid is still there, along with Grawp! Haahaha I can't even imagine Grawp 20 years later, like does he actually talk to people now, or just grunt and say 'Hermy'? haha /tangent

I'm also impressed with your writing of Chandra so far. I was really hoping she wouldn't be so one-dimensional as she appeared in the first chapter, so it was really nice to see that she does indeed have redeeming qualities - she might speak before she thinks sometimes (like in the first chapter) but she does care. A much more complex character that way ;)

The scene with Ben and Alba: adorable. Loved it so much. And ooh, James is jealous ;) Sidenote, what is he doing at the top of Ravenclaw tower with desserts? he went all the way up there just to see Alba? aw, that's cute.

Great chapter!

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Review #6, by TidalDragon Sudden Heat

21st July 2014:

After some well-done character development we're starting to drive straight into the plot. In some ways that's a positive thing. In other ways, it wasn't.

Starting with the positives, we advanced back to the point where the focus is not so much on Alba's healing, but what she is going to DO in the story. You've set her personality up very well to achieve great things in the face of adversity, now we can move toward her actually doing them. We also got closer to the cup, which means you'll be able to flex your muscles (and your readers' attentions on some action scenes).

As for the negatives, advancing while covering various issues impacted your descriptions and drill-down on characters as dialogue became more prominent. You didn't suffer terribly from this, but I'd weigh up skewing the balance just slightly toward a little less dialogue.

Overall, I think the pace remained fine in chapter and provided we get to that "cup spitting moment" soon you'll be right as rain overall too. I thought the ending was sound. Tossing James there right at the end of the wedding conversation is at least an excellent teaser, though if the plan is for James/Alba to be endgame it may come off a bit too literal in retrospect.

As for your A/N questions you've given us plenty to think about. Chandra continues to add some new dimensions, but I worry that this OCD addition is contradictory to her character. You almost explored that possibility on your own through the chapter and I'm interested to see how you keep it believable. As for Ben...he's fine I suppose. Not my cup of tea particularly as I tend to find happy-go-lucky people rather irritating (but that's probably just me). Perhaps give him a little struggle to deal with and he'll round out nicely. I'm not shipping anyone just yet, but I'd walk a finer line if you want people to really wrestle with it. I know if I had to write a story where a pairing was also an important hanging plot point throughout the story, I'd probably struggle too, but I think the key is to make Ben, Chandra, and James as realistic and balanced as possible. Then it will come together for you and if you get loads of readers you might have them debating ships in the end.

Another thoroughly enjoyable two chapters! Again, PM me if you've got any questions!

Author's Response: This is honestly, my least favorite chapter. Haha.

I've always had a problem with over doing the dialogue, so I'll keep a look out for it. Thank you for mentioning!

Ha. Didn't ever realize that I'd done that. I'd meant to continue, but realized that I'd written a little more than I normally did for a chapter and decided to split it in two. That seemed as good a place as any. +]

I do have a plan for Chandra. +] I have a pretty good idea of how to keep everything in check and explain it (through examples) throughout the storyline.

You and Alba seem to have the same opinion of Ben. +D As of right now, I wanted the tone between Alba and Ben to remain friends, so I'm kinda glad to hear that you aren't shipping them. I hadn't originally intended for him to be a character at all actually, he just kind of interrupted a chapter, and after that he just wouldn't go away. (I'm not crazy, I swear...)

I'm glad you're liking it so far! And I probably will PM you here once I get back trudging through chapter 5. I've got a few other things, (fics and RL) to get in order before I start back on it again though. +] Thank you so much for these, really!

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Review #7, by TidalDragon Sudden Silence

21st July 2014:
Hello again!

I was glad to see this pop up in my thread as I really enjoyed it last time! This chapter was no different.

I continue to enjoy the way you continue to contrast Alba's inner strength with her physical weakness and the new obstacles that you present based on her condition. I think the way you've handled the latter has been unobstrusive, but still impactful (like Alba's contemplation of the extra danger of going down versus up the stairs).

Honestly, I don't feel that the story is dragging at all. You've introduced the characters believably and taken care to show us different interactions they have with one another rather than putting a certain aspect of their dynamics on repeat too frequently. For example in this chapter while we see more of James (II)/Chandra, we see Chandra differently, as a talented witch with a supportive boyfriend, but some confidence issues about the competition because of her family history. The emphasis is less on the relationship and more on the character, which I think is nice sometimes. That also segues nicely to display James (II)'s determination to live distinctly from his father (and presumably others who came before him).

See you next chapter!

Author's Response: I'm so glad to hear the pacing is well, as sometimes I'm afraid I focus on the trivial too much. (Not to mention I read these things over and over again, so I suppose they start to feel old.)

I'm glad that the little details about Chandra are coming out to make her more of a character. I do have some big plans for her, so I wanted there to be more 'juice' to her character. The bad impression was to make readers dislike her, since Alba dislikes her, but it was all on a superficial level. As Alba gives her chances and gets to know her, I want the reader to do the same.

Thank you so much for these reviews! I've requested a beta, but no one's bitten, so these are particularly important to me as I try to keep up the quality.

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Review #8, by Panda Weasley  Eyes Meet

19th July 2014:
Oooh I sense some trouble coming! Loved this chapter! I think it was brilliant how your thought to have a character with Cerebral Palsy attend Hogwarts. I think it's an interesting way to show what someone who has a disability has to go through to achive tasks that are easy for other people. I love how you are bringing awareness to the disorder through fan-fiction.

As much as I loved the chapter there were to small errors. The first one you say House Cups, I think you mean the House Hourglasses. The other one was a small typo. You wrote tforget instead of to forget.

All in all I thought this chapter was really good. I loved all of it!
B vs. B

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Review #9, by Panda Weasley  Hands Touch

19th July 2014:

I loved this first chapter and can't wait to read more! I love your array of characters and the personalities of each of them. I can't wait to read more!

There was one sentence I had to re-read a few times though. "boney limb that served as her right for moment before continuing." I think you probably just forgot a few words but for me it stopped the flow of the reading to figure out what you meant. I loved everything else though especially the very end with the carriage.

Excellent work! I'm adding this to my favorites!
~Panda Weasley
B vs. B

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Review #10, by crestwood Sudden Silence

17th July 2014:
Hello again!

I like the character of Maude. I know she's not quite a friend of Alba's exactly, but it's nice to see her interacting with someone other who seems to be her only two friends.

The way James acts towards her is so cute and protective. I wish they'd just get together already, especially since I am totally rooting against him and Chandra. I don't think it was right for her to pressure him into submitting his name at all.

Ben continues to be amazing. I love that he's completely fine with Alba's rejections and shifts right back into friend mode as if nothing ever happens. He and James didn't seem to like each other much, I wonder why that is.

This is just so engrossing. I don't even find myself critiquing your writing in these reviews. I feel like I'm just having a conversation about these characters, as if we're chatting about the happenings at school in real life. Such a great chapter! Can't wait for the next :)

Author's Response: Yes!! That's how I feel too, lol. Maude is nice. I think she's really the only feminine influence Alba enjoys, though she really is too private to be considered a close friend.

James is such an endearing soul, even if he does get on my nerves sometimes. Lol. Ben is amazing. I feel like he's my little brother.

Yay! I hope that you enjoy the following chapters as much as the previous ones. And, as always, thank you for a wonderful review. It is so encouraging to get feedback.

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Review #11, by G Sudden Silence

16th July 2014:
Silly james, succumbing to peer/girlfriend pressure. I feel for poor Alba, James just doesn't seem to be listening to anything she says. I really enjoy your story, it's definitely very different to any other james/oc I've read, its very creative. Update soon please

Author's Response: Haha. Yes, silly indeed. He is a bit hard headed. Thank you so much! I'm glad you've enjoyed it!

I actually just submitted the next chapter to the queue, so in the next 3-7 days, it should be up! Thank you so much for reviewing and letting me know that you liked it!

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Review #12, by crestwood Eyes Meet

15th July 2014:
It was close, but this chapter may be even better than the first. Alba takes her 'Stand Tall' mantra very seriously. I love that she wants to handle her condition by herself, but I'm still glad that James realized that she did definitely need to go to the Hospital Wing. Her monologue about the disconnection between Healers and patients was incredible. Extremely powerful writing there. People often kind of create characters with disabilities that have no traits besides their defining one, but you've avoided falling into that trap,thankfully. Chandra apologized, but I'm still too sure if I like her character quite yet. Ben seemed really awesome from his scene here. I wouldn't be too upset if Alba ended up with him honestly. You give so much information without info dumps and I just love what you've done so far with this story!

Author's Response: I'm glad I'm keeping up with your expectations! Sorry it took me so long to reply, for someone reason it wouldn't ever post my response. (Hopefully it does this time...)

I like Ben as well! He's kinda growing on me.

I'm so glad you like!! Thank you for such a lovely review!

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Review #13, by marauderfan Hands Touch

15th July 2014:
Sorry about the delay! Omg your review for me was amazing, thank you. I hope mine will be that good (but, really, I just ramble a lot in my reviews, so sorry in advance)

Oh wow I love this already, from the very beginning description of Alba's disability. (Ps - there are so many staircases at Hogwarts, how on earth is that disability-accessible? I hope for her sake that she is either a Puff or a Slytherin because seriously the amount of stairs to the towers would be so cruel.)

Aw, and that's so true about kids versus adults. Kids are just curious and ask uncomfortable questions because they're curious, they don't know they're rude. Adults try to pretend they don't see. Alba's perspective is so refreshing here - I haven't seen another character like her in fanfiction like ever. And I think you treat the condition with a lot of care and respect - I feel like you either did your research very well or have some knowledge of it.

Bahahaa I love the idea of James showing of his prefect/head boy badge like Percy haha. Not the mischief maker but the arrogant goody two shoes, I kind of love your interpretation of James :D

Oh wait. Alba is the woman behind the curtain pulling all the strings, haha - James is a mischief maker and still made Head Boy. Alba must have had a hard time of it!

Eeep she is in Ravenclaw. Poor thing. Isn't that the tallest tower? O_o You'd think Hogwarts would have installed elevators. What would be really cool is elevators like the one in the book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, you know the elevator that can go up and down and sideways. It'd fit right in at Hogwarts.

Ooh, Alba is so sassy to Chandra :p When you were describing Chandra before, she sounded fine, but when we actually meet her there in the carriage she didn't impress me. I hope the comment Chandra made about her being disgusting was about the mud and not some insult about her disability - that'd be the lowest of the low and I would hate her. I am already not a big fan of her. Alba is way cooler.

Awesome start to this story and I will definitely be reading more!!

Author's Response: I'm glad you like it! Hahaha. And yes. I felt a little bad about the staircases, but she really wouldn't fit in any other house. +[

Actually, one of my favorite cousin's has CP, though not exactly like Alba's. It was a mixture of both. +]

I love James. He's hilarious. Glad you think so too! And yes, she has had a hard time keeping him in line.

That kind of elevator would be EPIC in Hogwarts.

Hahaha. Yeah, no one so far likes Chandra. There's more to her though, if you give her a chance. +]

Thank you so much for the review swap! Hopefully you stop by again soon.

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Review #14, by crestwood Hands Touch

15th July 2014:
Hey, crestwood from the forums here for a review swap!

The first section of this honestly warmed my heart. I've never seen anyone write about cerebral palsy in fan fiction or original fiction. Your character, Alba is a really nuanced look at it. For starters, her readiness to discuss her condition seems realistically how someone in her position would react, considering it must happen often with children as you noted. I thought that showed a lot of maturity on her part. James taking her hand and walking with her onto the platform was beautifully written.

I have a feeling I'm going to love James and Alba's scenes together. I was already starting to ship them and then I discover that he's apparently with this Chandra character. I can't immediately decide not to like her though, as I haven't met her yet. When Alba is getting helped back to her feet and into the carriage by James and she screams about not wanting her there because of the mud she had just fallen in because of her disability is precisely when I decided not to like her. I suppose I'm on Team Alba from the very start. I'm impressed with the way you chose to go about characterization; never explaining how anyone typically acts, simply showing us their actions. This is such an excellent first chapter and I can't wait to read on!

Author's Response: Yay! I'm glad you chose this one. Haha! It's my baby right now. +]

I have a cousin with CP (don't tell anyone, but she's my favorite +] ) So I have a little bit of an insiders take on it. I think people that deal with hardships like this grow up fast, so I'm glad you picked up on that.

I do enjoy James. He's a good guy, and a good character. Haha You're shipping them already? I hope you read the next chapter. +]

Yes. Chandra. She did seem a bit rude huh? +]

Thank you for the swap! hopefully you keep reading!

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Review #15, by Unicorn_Charm Eyes Meet

15th July 2014:
Hi there! Thanks for doing the swap!

Wow I can't believe how badly she cut her leg when she fell! Not good that she couldn't exactly feel it, either. I thought it was very sweet of James, even though it didn't seem that way to Alba, that he went to her head of house.

My heart broke when she was talking about how she had become detached while being treated since the people who treat her must be detached while they work. To just feel like a patient and not an actual person at this point. And her struggle up the stairs was so sad to read. The poor thing with over a hundred staircases in that school.

I can't believe Chandra apologized to her. She seemed like such an awful person in the previous chapter. Maybe I judged her too harshly too soon? I guess I'll see...

Ben seems really cute and sweet. It's nice to see that she does have other good friends besides James. And I can't believe he was waiting there for her with dessert! Aww! So James became a little jealous, huh? Uh oh...

I've been meaning to continue on with this story, to be honest. I'm really happy you swapped with me because I got that chance to keep reading. I'll definitely be continuing on! I'm really enjoying it all so far. :) Thanks again for the swap!!

xoxo Meg

Author's Response: Yeah. Pain killers man, they can be deadly. (pun intended +])

I think Alba is hard on James too, though I see both sides. (If you haven't noticed, my characters are practically people of their own. They don't do anything I tell them to anyways.)

Ah, yes. My hubby says that my past coming through. Haha. I was in and out of hospitals growing up. Actually spent my 16th birthday in a research hospital, so I get that part of it. I know what it's like for a doctor to forget your name, or look only at your chart and never at you.

*eerie music* Yes. Chandra apologized. Sincere or otherwise? The mystery continues! +] You'll get no spoilers from me.

Yes, Ben. He wasn't actually planned. At all. He didn't existed until he jumped onto the screen. Didn't expect it, but he's growing on me.

Thank you for the swap! I'm glad that you enjoyed it! Hope to see you here again!

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Review #16, by Veritaserum27 Eyes Meet

7th July 2014:
Hello again!

Here for the next chapter. I am really, really enjoying this story. Ben seems like such a sweetheart ♥ ! What was going on at the end? Is James actually jealous? And why was Chondra being so nice? All is not as it may seem... Again you've done an excellent job with describing the struggles of living with a disability. While it isn't Alba's primary focus, she can't escape it and I think you've done well with continuing to describe it throughout the story, without glossing over it and, at the same time, not making it the primary focus. I'm so upset for Alba. It seems that she made great strides this past summer and didn't need her crutches again until this setback. I hope she doesn't feel too much pain as she strives to overcome yet another hurdle. Very clever, coming up with the Pain Philter and the Strengthening potion. That is so brilliant. Great job!

House Cup 2014 Review

Author's Response: Yay!!! Gah, I love Ben so much. *whistles* What? Jealous? Who? You'll have to wait and see! Chandra... is different. I'd say... 'misguided' is a good word. Don't worry, you'll figure it out. I'm glad it doesn't bog the story down or disappear! I've been trying to keep it balanced. Good to know!

I am kinda stretching my brain and trying to figure out what would really be possibly plausible in the wizarding world as far as treatments. Hopefully it continues to be believable!

Thank you so much for the reviews on this! This is really my baby right now, and it really makes my day when people drop me a line about it.

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Review #17, by Veritaserum27 Hands Touch

7th July 2014:

This was such a great story! I love that you are choosing to tackle a different type of topic. I think that a lot of stories go for the easy, "boy meets girl," style but this is so much deeper. James is a sweetheart and a good friend. He is genuinely a good person, but seems to have not the best taste in women? I'm curious as to why Alba doesn't have more friends? Surely James is popular, but since they are in different houses it makes sense that they don't run in the same circles. I liked the way that you intertwined the crossword puzzle with Alba's feelings. It was very clever and a great technique! Alba is an amazing character. The way you described her challenges was amazing. Although Alba has dealt with this her whole life, she still struggles constantly with activities that we all take for granted. Great, great writing and I can't wait to read more of this story!

House Cup 2014 Review

Author's Response: Different, certainly! So I'm glad you like it. And yes, this is not your average boy meets girl. James is a wonderful person and friend, and his taste isn't *too* bad. She has some redeeming qualities. +]

I was worried the crosswords would be hit or miss, so I'm glad you liked them!

Thank you for the review! Hopefully you keep reading!

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Review #18, by TidalDragon Eyes Meet

2nd July 2014:
Hello again! Since I think you maintained the strengths of the first chapter pretty well, I'm going to focus here on a few things I noticed that you might consider going forward or choices you made that seemed wise in light of the first chapter.

First, I'm glad you walked back Chandra's reaction from the carriages. It makes her seem more human - though I am intrigued by why she's headed downstairs when James is up. Perhaps they fought about him waiting for Alba? Or perhaps the walk-back of her cruel line was an effort to disguise that she is in fact a bad person, headed downstairs to "look for" someone else.

As for specific lines or paragraphs, I'd start here. "She breathed deeply, taking in the smell of fresh polish, old parchment, and the thrill of learning. It had been like this for her every year, the excitement, the intoxication of euphoria." To me it seems that in the first line you are stating that the "thrill of learning" has a smell that can be detected. That rang a bit odd to me. In the second, "intoxication of euphoria" seemed a bit redundant after you'd already said excitement - perhaps you could fuse the lines somehow or move the learning to the second line and pair it somehow with intoxication, while replacing its slot in the first line with something else that can be smelled?

Then: "Breathing easier, she smiled at the brightly colored House Cups before her..." I think there's only one House Cup (the actual trophy). I think you're referring to the hourglasses. I'll admit I don't know what they would be named, but I'm sure you can think of something.

To comment briefly on the medical description here (the treatment) James recites, I thought it was actually excellent and not off-putting at all. It dovetailed nicely with Alba's thoughts about James reading the material and the concerned-but-not-pitying-friend tone of their dynamic right now.

Finally, coming to the end, I think Ben going through the door and Alba catching James's eye got a bit confusing with all the commas. I'm a comma fiend myself (if I bothered with obsessing over grammatical conventions, I probably misuse them) so I know how it can be wanting to express things that way, but sometimes it can get kind of hairy (especially when you're trying to pepper in action, description, and re-orient a character all in one go).

All in all though, I think you're off to a wonderful start. The story is interesting and I'm intrigued to see where it could go. I'm adding it to my reading list!

Hopefully my reviews were helpful and if you have any questions, feel free to PM!

Author's Response: Yes, I see how the thrill of euphoria doesn't really fit in that list, I'll go back and hammer that paragraph out a little more. Thank you!

Bahaha. Yes, you're right. The hourglasses, not House Cups.

I'm glad it didn't come off as too clinical! I thought setting it in a semi-humorous scene might counteract that a bit. It really was a testament to his character, so it's great to know it came off as such.

I'm not great with action, and there was quite a bit going on there. In grade-school I used commas to justify run-on sentences, and I'm afraid the habit still pokes through when I get excited. +] I'll have to go back.

Oh, yay! I hope you have the time to drop me a few lines as I update. Hopefully it'll start to go a little smoother when I find a Beta. +] thank you so much for the great feedback and CC! It's much appreciated!

Until next time!

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Review #19, by TidalDragon Hands Touch

2nd July 2014:
Howdy! Dropping by to fill your request from my review thread here on deadline day.

I'll confess that when I got your request, I didn't quite know what to expect. People don't often tackle serious medical conditions in their stories (at least not as a central component or part of their MC's identity) and when they do, it's often lacking in nuance (from my few experiences).

Yours was anything BUT that and this first chapter was a delightful start. While I'm not intimately familiar with CP, your descriptions seemed appropriate. I thought they complemented the story really, presenting nicely as relatively unobtrusive parts of your descriptions. They also avoided the pitfalls of being too numerous, repetitive, clinical, or gruesome.

As far as the flow goes, I thought it carried nicely from scene to scene overall. There were a couple moments (particularly where Alba encountered the Potters) that I had to go back and re-read to see who was speaking or acting, but after James was introduced by name, everything became very clear and certainly after the flash-forward it flowed very well.

I didn't think the crossword bit messed up the flow either. While you were probably right in suggesting the puzzles were a bit easy (I'm no crossword buff, but anytime I try one other than a baseball crossword, they always seem incredibly complex), I think that helped you. It added to the believability of Alba as a Ravenclaw and it connected nicely with her thoughts at the moment and her yearning not just for James, but for normalcy (which I think is natural, despite her remarkable strength about her condition).

As far as I can see at the moment, characterization of Alba as the OC/MC is NOT looking like a problem. You've crafted her carefully and you've shown us a lot about her without getting lazy and giving us a rundown or breaking different instances of "telling" us about her. Instead, you're making the effort to allow the reader to make the connection themselves (even when they are simple) and I think that's excellent.

I did notice a typo toward the end - "prestine" I think is supposed to be "pristine". And I do wonder what's going to happen with Chandra - I hope that even if James/Alba is the endgame, that Chandra doesn't fall into the trope of being the significant other that is just cruel and mean-spirited and that James really should never be with or stick with. I think you're more sophisticated than that, but just be careful. I've seen it happen quite often with so many different ships and it's always unfortunate because I think it undermines the realism a bit when the original significant other is just nasty as opposed to having flaws or gaps that maybe the half of the endgame couple simply doesn't notice or convinces themselves they can overlook for a time (before a crucial moment exposes it fully).

Overall, I thought this was a great start! See you next chapter!

Author's Response: *Whew* I'm glad I did it justice!

It's good to know that the crosswords helped connect her current thought, I plan on keeping that as at theme throughout.

Yes! I'm really trying to 'unpack' my sentences, and I'm trying to work on not 'telling' the reader things,so it's wonderful to see you noticed that!

I do have plans for Chandra- big plans, and I never think people are so one dimensional as that. +]

Thank you so much for these comments!

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Review #20, by MargaretLane Hands Touch

23rd June 2014:
I work with a boy with cerebral palsy, so this story caught my eye. I thought I'd do two, as the House Cup entries are pretty short and I was half thinking of reading your House Cup entry anyway.

I LOVE her attitude to children staring. And I guess it's understandable. At least they are honest about their curiosity, whereas we adults have learnt to hide it.

Seven years after her first year at Hogwarts, she'd have left.

Love the fact Harry forbids James from entering. Looks like he has a bit of sense after what happened in his day. True James isn't likely to be transported to a place where an evil wizard is waiting, but the Triwizard Tournament isn't exactly safe at the best of times.

There should be a question mark after "would I?" when he's talking about not having to face his arch-nemesis.

I also like the fact James isn't on the house team and the reasons why. He usually seems to be in stories, so nice to see something slightly different and it DOES make sense.

Author's Response: That's awesome! My cousin has it, and she kinda inspired me to write this.

I love it when children are curious. There's nothing wrong with asking questions.

Good points! I'll have to fix those! (I love CC, thank you!)

YES! James does not have to be incarnations of his parents! He can be his own person! Haha. I'm glad you enjoyed it. +]

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Review #21, by Lululuna Eyes Meet

22nd June 2014:
Hello! :) This might be a pretty short review as I have to run, but wanted to read this first! :D

Ah I love how you mentioned Grawp and that he has a place at Hogwarts - it was brief, but a really awesome detail.

I really like all the medical details and tying in magical remedies with Muggle ones. Since I don't know a whole lot about cerebral palsy, it's really fascinating to learn about it here through Alba, and the sorts of ways she has of avoiding her disease. I don't blame her for not wanting to cause a scene or to go out of her way when she needs medical attention - I'm like that too, to be honest - but even so it's a little frustrating because I want her to take the best care of herself possible. But I also really loved her feelings about Hogwarts, where her mind matters more than her body - that was both relatable and felt quite powerful.

Aw well it was nice of Chandra to take the time to apologize, though I'm suspicious she's only doing it to make herself seem nicer to James. The whole unrequited love triangle thing is even more interesting though when the evil party - Chandra in this case - isn't entirely evil and has some redeeming qualities, so I'm looking forward to seeing more of her interactions with Alba.

Ben seems like a lot of fun! I like how reckless he seems, but also caring towards Alba. And hmm, James is jealous?! The plot thickens. And I love the way you tied in the crosswords in the last line, by the way. Brilliant!

Wonderful chapter, I'm loving this! :)

Author's Response: I love seeing your reviews on this!

And yes. I had to make sure Grawp had a place. I love him!

OH my goodness, I'm so glad I didn't lose you there. I've taken quite a few medical terminology and anatomy classes, so I'm trying really hard to explain things in lamen terms and make it mix in with the magical remedies. It's nice to hear I'm making at least a little sense. Haha.

I don't blame her either. No one wants to deal with that on their first day back, but James has the whole frustrated with with her too. I mean, (I kinda hinted at this) he just spent a lot of time over the summer with her in a hospital bed as they tried to get her meds right, and then she's just trying to blow his concerns off when all he's trying to do is watch out for her. I'm glad you got that.

Yes. I thought about expanding the mind over body thought, but it seemed to work best when stated simply.

Yeah... Chandra is... complicated. Haha. Definitely not my favorite person, but she's not just a one dimensional hag either.

I love Ben. I actually wasn't in the original outline at all, and then while I was writing this chapter he kinda demanded to exist. (I know I sound crazy, but I swear that's what happened.) Haha!

And thank you, I did try to keep with the previous style, though it was a little more subtle this time. +]

Yay! I'm glad you're enjoying it. This is turning out to be one of my favorite pieces. +] I hope to see you again!

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Review #22, by Lululuna Hands Touch

17th June 2014:
Hello! :) I was so torn between this and your Peverell brothers story, but just couldn't resist. It's so fascinating to see disabilities portrayed in fanfiction, and how Alba's Hogwarts experience accommodates her cerebral palsy. I feel like I learned so much just with this first chapter!

Alba is such a great character - I like how independent she is, how determined not to be pitied and to stand tall. She's so likeable and relatable already, and clearly very intelligent and just an all around pleasant person to be around. She clearly still has some faults, of course, which is also important: she doesn't seem to make a lot of effort to be chatty to others, for example, and comes across as a little stubborn though I respect her for not needing anybody's help.

The dynamic between her and James is great as well, and I'm excited to see if this will turn into a romance between them. Either way, I'm really enjoying them as friends and the way you've written James. You've captured his playful spirit and energy without making him over the top, and I like how he has that more serious side of being Head Boy and always being there and looking out for Alba as well. Even the fact that he's not a Quidditch star was such an original characterization. I actually enjoy a good unrequited love story and slow development love stories, so I'm excited to see which direction this takes!

Hmm, Chandra. Well, she's pretty easy to dislike at the moment, especially with how she spoke about Alba - not even to Alba, which was so rude. But James is great, and he must see something in her, so I'll give her a chance. :P

I really commend you for how realistically and thoughtfully you wrote Alba and her cerebral palsy. While it's not the most important thing about her as a character and she's far more interesting than just her disease, it's very interesting seeing how it impacts her daily activities and how she has to put in just that more extra effort than others might. I don't pity her, but stories like this are amazing for showing people what it's like to have a physical handicap and the differences it poses in daily life.

Amazing job with this - I'm definitely favouriting and looking forward to the next chapter! :D

Author's Response: Wow! Thank you so much! I really felt like this was going to be a hit or miss, and I'm so glad you thought I did well.

I ended up loving Alba a lot more than I thought I would. Haha. I tried to make her as realistic as possible. She isn't very outgoing, she has her safe circle, she deals with jealousy, and is definitely stubborn. I get tired of reading about the perfect girls and stereotypical guys. No one is that cookie cutter, in my opinion.

Haha. I look forward to hearing your opinion! Right now there is certainly nothing romantic on James's side. (honestly I don't know if they're going to get together. My characters tend to do things in their own time.)

I love James, maybe even more than I love Alba. I did take a rather original view of him, and I'm glad to hear that you like it! I figured he was the oldest, so he'd have that big brother feel about him as well as the silliness. (I just hope that Alba doesn't get stuck in the little sister zone.)

OH MY GOSH YOU AGREE WITH ME! I think that not even talking TO someone when they're clearly right there is just the epitome of rudeness. It's probably my biggest pet peeve. And yes, he does see something in her. However, Alba doesn't Lol. There will be more of their interactions to come.

Thank you so much. Your stories are all so brilliant, it really makes my day to hear that you favorited it and want to continue reading. I've become addicted to the challenges thread, so I'm not sure when I'll update next, but I certainly have an extensive plot lined out. +]

Until next time!

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Review #23, by Unicorn_Charm Hands Touch

15th June 2014:
Ah! I love Alba! Love, love love her! This is amazing. Like, really, really good. I really admire how strong she is. How she doesn't let her illness define her. Even in just one chapter, you can tell she's like that. She's independent and doesn't want pity from anyone. I love that. I used to take care of people who have this, and I know how hard it can be. You've written this perfectly.

James is a little different than I've read in other stories. And that's not a bad thing at all. I like how you have him not playing Quidditch, not a bad boy and being named Head Boy. I thought it was so sweet how he immediately took her hand and brought her through the barrier between platforms 9 and 10.

The scene with Albus, I'm assuming, was cute. I really enjoyed how, without hesitation, Alba nicely explained why she had the braces.

I kind of hate James' girlfriend, Chandra, already. She's kind of a troll.

This was a really well done first chapter. I honestly cannot wait to read on! Hope to see an update soon!!

xoxo Meg

Author's Response: I love her too! I'm glad you agree that she's awesome! I didn't realize exactly how much I would love her until I finished this chapter. Haha. My cousin has this disease, so its really close to the heart. I'm glad you thought I represented it well.

I wanted him to be different. I wanted him to be normal. Not only to be normal- but to like being normal, at least for the most part. I figured it would be hard to live under the shadow of his parents, so he doesn't try to be anything/anyone he's not.

Yes! I have a weird disease that makes it so sometimes I can't breathe well, and it's really noisy, and I can't help but smile when little kids asks what's wrong. They just want to know!

Yeah. I hate her too. I generally dislike people who refuse to speak to you when talking about you. (My characters control themselves. I just write what happens. haha.)

Thank you so much for the swap!

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Review #24, by ihate coming up with usernames Hands Touch

15th June 2014:
IO really liked it. I wished there was more chapters, and I like her disability.

Author's Response: Keep checking back! There will certainly be more chapters in the future.

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Review #25, by DoctorUnderwood Hands Touch

14th June 2014:
As I go:

Fantastic detail in the first few paragraphs!

I like the part where Alba comments on how she likes when kids mention her disability. It reminded me of TFIOS in the scene where the small child wants to try the breathing device.

So the Triwizard Tournament is happening again. We'll see how that turns out!

Seems like Chandra and Alba seem to have a bit of a tense relationship. And I don't like Chandra. She's mean.

Going to keep an eye on this!

Author's Response: Wonderful! I'm glad it wasn't too choppy for you.

Huh. I've never seen/read TFIOS (I know! I know!), but from what I've heard, I'm going to love it. I'm glad I wrote something good enough to remind you of it.

Yep. I did the math, and indeed James Potter could very well have been of age for one of the Triwizard Tournaments.

Yes. Chandra is difficult, and a little petty while Alba is not.

I'm glad, hope to see you again soon!

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