Reading Reviews for Burn Away the Darkness
11 Reviews Found

Review #1, by The Raven Shine

19th August 2016:
A tale centering on Petunia Dursley? Now this is unusual. Most writers unleash their muses upon those well known in the series. Oh, and not a word of dialogue, yet still you manage to weave such a tale, bringing Petuniaís perspective to life. Her emotions come across so clearly - the jealousy and the resentment.

Two things that stand out most for me. The first is how Petunia cannot help but see Lily in baby Harryís eyes. So very touching! And the second is how itís clear Petunia viewed Severus with disgust and that how that emotional thread (jealousy turned to resentment and revulsion of magic) continued to be weaved throughout her life.

Ah, but the ending was sweet. It was good to see her coming to terms with her feelings. I wonder what Petunia would have felt if one of her grandchildren displayed that spark of magic - a legacy of whatever was latent in Petunia but shone so brightly in Lily? I guess weíll never know.

Overall this was a lovely tale and I truly enjoyed reading it.

Yours most cordially,
The Raven

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Review #2, by MissesWeasley123 Shine

12th July 2014:
Hello lovely! Stopping by to squeeze in some more reviews and also because this was the only one I hadn't reviewed, so it truly is now or never haha as you know how lazy I am :P

As an author, I would always find it hard to write Petunia mainly because she would be so painfully difficult to set my mind upon. I never really liked her, but now you've taken Petunia Dursley who's an extremely aggravating character, and given her so much depth and beauty. You managed to go through her life so wonderfully, from the very beginning, and the way it developed too. Your writing style is admirable and so different. I can't really describe it. You tell us the story mostly, and add in bits of showing too and it just works out so well.

Everything manages to flow together so wonderfully and the use of the prompt was brilliant. I have to say, how you managed to weave in snape's odd character was brilliant too! The most touching part was obviously the end, that as time passes so does all problems and there is always light. such a great note to end on. Lovely work!

House Cup 2014 Review!

Author's Response: Hey Nadia! No, you're not at all lazy you wonderful lady!

Petunia was actually quite fun to write when I managed to get my head into the mindset to write her - much easier than the other plot that I had for this prompt! When I think about it, there are parts of Petunia's life that were really difficult and I focused more on those than other aspects to try and make her seem more likeable.

Writing style? :P I don't think there's really a style here as it was written so quickly but thank you anyway.

Haha, it was so easy to see Snape through Petunia's eyes and the way that he'd taken her sister from her, so I'm glad you liked that. The ending was the only part of this which was actually happy and that was kind of necessary, but I'm pleased it worked.

Thank you for the review, lovely!

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Review #3, by maskedmuggle Shine

12th July 2014:

I really liked this. Despite some of the sad moments of this, it was overall such an optimistic story and I really enjoyed it. I really liked how Petunia did reminisce about some of the sad/difficult moments of her life, but also really emphasised the good old happy memories, especially with her time with Lily. I thought your characterisation of Petunia, and portrayal of her friendship with Lily, were both excellently done and felt so realistic and believable. I really enjoyed how you showed the progress of their friendship, especially in sticking with what we know from canon, but still depicting their bond as very special despite all the years of resentment and rejection Petunia was feeling. I thought this was really wonderfully written!

- Charlotte/maskedmuggle
House Cup 2014 Review

Author's Response: Hi again!

Petunia's a kind of difficult character to make up my mind about, so writing this was really interesting. When it came to it, I realised that it must have been very difficult for Petunia to grow up as second best and be pushed aside by the sister she loved, so I found myself understanding her a lot more. I'm really glad that you liked the way I portrayed Petunia in this story, and the relationship she had with her sister.

Thank you so much for this great review!

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Review #4, by Pretense Of Perfection Shine

12th July 2014:
Ah Sian, you really do have a way with words. I've always loved reading about Petunia, and I very much enjoyed this one-shot. I think you did a wonderfyl job with her characterization, especially in the beginning. Her jealousy over Lily's newfound magic and friendship with Severus is perfect, especially considering her age and what we know from canon. It always makes me sad that she wrote to Dumbledore and wanted to attend Hogwarts, and I always think things might've turned out differently if she had. The strength of their relationship is clear to see, and it's a shame that it begins to fade, and Petunia pulls away. Her thoughts about her own self preservation are interesting, and that in itself is probably her only coping mechanism for feeling insecure and inadequate all the time when compared to her younger, talented sister. I noticed one or two spelling/grammar errors, but hey, it happens, we're all human. I do want to point out that when Petunia is thinking of the day Harry came to her house and how he has Lily's eyes and James' hair, he probably wouldn't have been wearing glasses yet. I'm being nit-picky because I literally can't find any other CC to offer (:

--house cup 2014 review--

Author's Response: Hi again, Fae!

Petunia's a character I haven't made up my mind about but I've always loved reading about her too, and writing about her was interesting as I got to explore different sides to her. I'm really pleased that you liked her characterisation, and the way that I picked up on different aspects of her life and how they've affected her - particularly her relationship with Lily.

I'm going to go back and edit this when I get a chance as I was rushing to get it written, so I'll definitely look for those mistakes and change that error!

Thank you for this lovely review!

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Review #5, by randomwriter Shine

11th July 2014:
House Cup 2014 Review

Hello Sian :) I'm so excited about this review. It's my 200th overall and I know it's hardly anything compared to you, but I'm just really proud :)

I LOVE this story so much. Petunia is not easy to write about. She's annoying, but we know that wasn't always. She's got so many conflicting emotions and thoughts. It's so hard to get them all down and understand them properly. She is such a complex character. Yet you wrote her incredibly well. I like how you didn't portray her entirely from one angle. You gave us such a well-rounded image of her, focusing on how she became who she became and what made her that way.

I love the subtleties- how you referred to Snape as that boy like she couldn't even say his name, or give him an identity. Or how she fell in love with Vernon's normalcy, how that's what stood out to her. It's very in line with her character, her beliefs and her emotions. They're just small details, but they make this so much more authentic.

I was also amazed by how you gave us a snapshot of her entire life in just a little less than 1500 words. I mean, that's impressive! You took us through a journey of many, many years in a fairly short one-shot. It's incredibly and I'm amazed by how well you've done that.

You captured all her broad emotions so well. The jealousy, the dislike, the curiosity, the disgust she harboured from Snape, James and the magical world, the concern she had for Lily and finally, her conflicted emotions when she raised Harry. All of it is really well captured, as if the ending. I didn't know how you were going to tie in the overcoming adversity bit, but the last part is just so sweet that it can't possibly remind the reader of anything dark. That was an excellent touch!

Ah well, Sian. Short reviews. Must go,
Good job, really :)

Author's Response: Wow, well done Adi! And I'm really flattered you chose to leave me your 200th review as well!

Aw, thank you! Petunia's one of those characters I still can't make up my mind about but it was really interesting to write about her and try and create a more well-rounded image of Petunia so that we got to see different sides to her personality.

I'm so glad you liked the little details like that! I imagine her really hating Snape as he's the one who first took Lily from her, and then she feels so rejected by the magical world that she rushes to embrace everything that's 'normal'.

I'm so pleased that you liked the way I portrayed Petunia, her emotions and her life in this piece. The ending was kind of necessary but I'm glad she did overcome her troubles and could look towards something better!

Yes, short reviews! ;)

Thank you for this great review, lovely!

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Review #6, by UnluckyStar57 Shine

8th July 2014:
Petunia Dursley. I don't come across her a lot in fanfiction. :)

Wow. I love how you took the reader (me!) through her life, and then it all ending up being a part of the awkward silence in DH--all the words that she could not say. That's really sad to think about, but I'm hoping that Harry forgave her after the war. Petunia and Lily were such good sisters before they fell apart, and it would be nice if Petunia could share some memories of Lily with Harry.

The fact that Snape did mean magic to Petunia to make her go away just makes me mad. Snape was always kind of a greaseball--but of course, it wasn't ALL his fauly--but that's another set of problems.

It is good to know that in her old age, Petunia can look back on the photos and memories of Lily and remember the good times. There was so much resentment on her part, and it seems that she's let go of it a bit. I like it. :)

House Cup 2014 Review


Author's Response: Haha, I always like to write about minor characters and Petunia's one I wanted to write about for a while.

It was really interesting to explore some of the moments in Petunia's life and think about what it was that caused her to act the way she did, especially towards Harry. In my head canon, there's some sort of reunion between Harry and Petunia after the war - I wrote a piece for the HC collab about that moment!

I'm not even going to go into how I feel about Snape, but yeah, I don't think it would have been easy for Petunia to not even be able to protect herself from Snape and at the same time feeling left out.

Even without the prompt, I wanted to have Petunia a bit happier and overcoming her struggles at the end of this story, so I'm glad you liked that!

Thank you for this great review!

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Review #7, by CambAngst Shine

8th July 2014:
Hi, Sian! You're doing such awesome things in the House Cup reviewing competition, I definitely feel like you deserve some love as well. First, let's get the formalities out of the way:

House Cup 2014 Review

Now, on to more pleasant things! I thought you painted an unusually balanced and realistic picture of Petunia. She's not an easy character to write because I find her motivations and emotions to be really complex and very different at different points in her life. You captured some of the bigger themes that run through her story: her jealousy, her fear of things that are different and her tendency to allow that fear and jealousy to twist into spite and bitterness. But you also included some unexpectedly tender moments. It seems that she really did love her sister and miss Lily after the world of magic took her away. I almost saw a moment of love for little Harry, at least until James's black hair and glasses drove her away from him. The idea that her doting treatment of Dudley was an attempt to compensate for the love that she could never feel toward Harry was a really neat one. I never thought of it that way.

Your writing was lovely. I didn't see a single typo or grammatical error and the whole thing flowed very nicely. Great job!

Author's Response: Hi Dan! I'm shamefully late at responding to this review, but thank you for stopping by!

Petunia's one of those characters I'm still unsure about, but it was really interesting to write this story and try and see a different side to her than the one that we get in the series. She's quite one-dimensional in the books and we never get to think about the reasons why she did things, but I'm really pleased that you liked the way I included some of the 'worse' emotions that she felt, but also could see some of the reasons behind them.

Thank you so much for this review!

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Review #8, by Elenia Shine

8th July 2014:
Promise me something, Sian. NEVER stop writing, okay? Gosh you're amazing!

Once again this was such a beautiful, heartwrenching story ♥ I could really feel Petunia's sorrow and bitterness, and actually kind of understand why she did everything she did. I actually felt really bad for her.

That part about Harry, how she wanted to love him, but couldn't because of how much he looked like James, that was just so clever. He was such a reminder of Lily and how the two sisters grew apart, I can actually understand how hard it must've been for her. Huh, look at that. You made me dislike Petunia a lot less than I used to!

The ending was so lovely. How she'd rather remember the good things and how it was the memory of Lily that helped her through. Urgh, I was crying so much at this point; it didn't help even though I took a little break between this and the previous story dx

Gah, write more stories like this, yes? Thank you ^^


Gryffindor - House Cup 2014 Review

Author's Response: Hanna! *hugs* I promise you that I'll try my best never to stop writing, thank you for being so kind!

Petunia's a really complicated character and I'm still not exactly sure how I feel about her, but at the same time she was really interesting to write about and get to see another aspect of her character. I'm glad you liked the way that I portrayed her in this story and the part about Harry as well.

Even if it wasn't for the prompt behind this story, I wanted Petunia to have a chance to move past some of what she's struggled with and have some happiness!

Thank you for this fantastic review, Hanna! ♥

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Review #9, by evil little devil Shine

8th July 2014:
Hello again, fellow Sian! (I am still not over this, it is not every day with this name that you meet someone else with the same name!)
First of all, thank you so much for all your lovely reviews! They were the best thing ever to wake up to, and I will certainly get around to responding to them once the reviewing event is over :)
Second of all, this story is absolutely excellent! I simply love how you've done this from Petunia's point of view, and made me feel so incredibly sympathetic to her. You really made this a story about her, and not a story about that person who was Lily's sister. You kind of broke all the constraints and really made me forget that this was Lily's sister, and made me think of it as Lily being Petunia's sister - if that makes sense!
That part about Lily coming home after having broken off her friendship with that boy, and trying to latch onto Petunia and just alienating Petunia further through making her feel as if she were second best - that was the part where you really completely drew me into Petunia's perspective, and made me really sympathise with her.
I also really love the way you ended this - that you ended with her not being wracked with guilt or regret or bitterness, though she is a little, but with her remembering all the happy times she had with Lily, and all the good things about her. Bitterness is kind of a pet peeve of mine in people, and so you really made me admire her for making something good out of a bad situation, of focusing on the good things and not letting the bad things overcome her.
As you can probably tell, I really, really loved this one-shot! I am now off to review your final entry :)

- House Cup 2014 Review.

Author's Response: Ah, I'm shamefully late responding to this review but hello again, fellow Sian! (I honestly never expected to meet anyone on HPFF called Sian so this is awesome ;))

I'm really glad that you liked this story! I'm still not exactly sure how I feel about Petunia, but I did write this with the aim of being more sympathetic towards her, so it's great that it worked. I wanted to make her more of a real person and I'm really happy you could separate her from Lily with this too!

Yay, I'm glad you liked that part. When I thought about it, I think it would have really stung for Petunia that her sister only saw her as someone good enough to spend time with when Snape's not around.

I wanted her to move past some of what she's experienced, and she is quite a bitter person but I like to think that in the future she'd have moved past it and I'm really glad you liked it!

Thank you for the lovely review!

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Review #10, by FredWeasleyIsMyKing Shine

6th July 2014:
Hi again!

Once more another great one shot. I love that you actually make me feel really sorry for petunia in this. You were so clever in some of the things you did with it.

Her dislike of snape is clear, I love how you use "that boy" for him all the time. Very appropriate! But then of course lily goes with him and petunia feels like she is losing her sister and best friend which is of course an awful feeling. You make it so easy for us to relate to her.

I then love the line about her wanting to love harry but finding herself hating him because he looks so much like James. That must have been hard for her. I always hated the fact she was so cruel to harry but you put a clever spin on it here.

The ending was great and I'm so happy you left it that way. Her remembering the good times and seeing her grandchildren.

Great one shot again dear... All three of your entries were just perfect!!

Lauren :)
House Cup 2014 Review

Author's Response: Hello again, lovely!

I still can't decide how I actually feel about Petunia, even though writing this made me feel a lot more sympathetic towards her. I'm glad that I made you feel sorry for her too!

Snape's another of those characters that I can't make up my mind about but it was fun to see him through Petunia's eyes and the way he becomes an enemy of sorts, because I think he's the one she'd blame for losing Lily. I couldn't see why she was so horrible to Harry but there are things she felt towards him and this was just one explanation. I'm glad you liked it!

I'm really pleased you liked the ending too - I had to include it since it was meant to show overcoming adversity and otherwise this would just have been angst :P But it was nice that she did survive it all and saw the happy times!

Thank you for another lovely review!

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Review #11, by patronus_charm Shine

6th July 2014:
House Cup 2014 Review!

Ok, down to your final story now :D

I really loved this story because like with your Pansy one, it showed another side to Petunia and helped me understand her a little more which was really good because she was always one of those complex people you always canít help but wonder whatís going on in their mind.

The use of italics to refer to Snape was really good as it really did help pinpoint where this rift with Lily did start, and it really showed why she held this irrational anger towards him because he was the one to change her life for the worse. I liked how you went on from that too and developed to the story to show exactly how Lily and Petunia grew apart again over the time and it made me really sad to see that happen.

The comment about Vernon made me chuckle a lot but it was true and I always did wonder about how much Lily had an effect on Petunia when it came to choosing to marry Vernon. Again, I liked how you covered the complex relationship she had with Harry as itís always one which intrigued me and it was nice to see that she did try and at least love him.

Wah, the ending got me all sad again with the way Vernon died, but at least Petunia had reached the point in her life where she could concentrate on the happier things and her family, and it was nice to see it could always be bright and happy again. This really was a fantastic story, and Iím sad Iíve run out of your stories so go and write more!


Author's Response: Hi Kiana! Ah, I'm down to your final review for me to respond to now and thank you so much for all the amazing reviews that you left me during the house cup, they mean a lot!

It was really interesting to think of another side to Petunia because even though she did really mean things in her lifetime, I think that there are reasons for why she did them and I'm glad that this could help you understand those a bit more!

I'm still not sure how I feel about Snape despite having read some brilliant stories about him, so it was kind of fun to take out that through Petunia's opinion of him here. I think that he would have really made them split a bit and for Petunia that would be the moment when she started losing her best friend, which is really sad.

I think that after being rejected (kind of) by Lily for the more amazing world of magic - and being rejected from joining that world - Petunia would go the opposite way and embrace anything that made her feel more normal. And I think she definitely felt something for Harry even if she wasn't quite sure what it was.

I really liked showing a bit of hope at the end of this story and that she could overcome the things that she'd been to. Haha, I have been writing more stories :P

Thank you so much for this brilliant review and all of the others that you've written for me, you're amazing! ♥

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