Reading Reviews for Knight Takes Queen
26 Reviews Found

Review #1, by The Basilisk Rook

19th March 2015:
Hello, Laura! 'Tisss I, the Basilissk.

Wow. This story was absolutely fantastic. The way you write is flawless, giving the reader a full body experience, all in one chapter. It's to be expected, though. Your writing is always incredible, especially when you take something so risky and hard to do well as second person and nail it. It's a short chapter, but even in these few words I feel like I know her well due to your characterization of her. (I honestly have so little to say because I'm in awe.) I'll definitely have to keep reading this collection. I'm practically bouncing towards the next chapter! Anyway, once again, fabulous work. I'm extremely glad I had the chance to read this story, so thank you!

(I've decided to post 44 reviews over the next little while. Each one of them has a character at the bottom. If you can find all 44 reviews (not all are out yet, so keep your eyes peeled) and rearrange the letters into a quote from Harry Potter and PM it to WriteYourHeartOut on the forums you could win a donation to HPFF in your name!)

Thankss again,
The Basilisk


Author's Response: Hello there, Basilisk! :) Thank you so much for stopping by - I know you're busy, so it's so lovely!

Thank you so much! I'm so glad you enjoyed it - it's a story I loved writing, especially the first chapter, so it means so much to hear that you liked it! Especially when it's coming from a being like yourself ;) I really wanted to write Rowena sympathetically, because she's like the Queen of Ravenclaw, you know - I mean, after Meg, haha - so it's so great ot hear you like her! Second person... god, I hadn't written second person for ages when I wrote this, haha, so it felt really rusty to me - but thank you so much! :)

Ooh, yay, competitions - imma find you, little snake ;)

Thank you so so much for the lovely review, and all the compliments! :)

Aph xx

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Review #2, by BellaLestrange87 Rook

3rd February 2015:
Hi Laura! This is for the Blue vs. Bronze review battle!

Your writing is beautiful as always. Seriously, how do you write such amazing chapters? I can see everything that's happening in a clear picture in my head, exactly as if I was there watching in person. It's like I'm watching a really gorgeous movie that I can't tear my eyes away from.

I'm really curious to find out what exactly happened to this woman - Rowena, I think? - and why she is doomed to an unpleasant afterlife. You gave a few subtle hints that left me wanting more, and that was really well done.

When she sounded surprised about how there were mermen in the lake: that was very effective. I've always thought of the merpeople as being at Hogwarts before the Founders arrived, so they wouldn't necessarily know that they were in the lake.

That bit with the merman was really cute! Even though they're two different species, they can communicate wordlessly and the whole thing was really touching. Rowena did seem to want that moment really hard, though, as if she couldn't have that love-filled snapshot with a human man or woman.

This was, like the rest of your writing, stunning and gorgeous and *googles more adjectives* Hopefully I can get BvB timing right to catch you again!


Author's Response: Hi Olivia! Thanks so much for stopping by! :)

Thank you so much! It's so sweet of you to say that - and, honestly, I have no idea! There's really no process at all - I can't explain it for the life of me. I just... write? O.o Something like that...

I loved writing Rowena, and you'll definitely find out more about her background later on in this! I'm so glad you didn't think it was too little - I was a bit nervous about it! :P

Haha, me too! :D It just made sense to me that they were there before Hogwarts, and people who came to the area, like Rowena did, wouldn't know they were there, necessarily, since it's an uninhabited area of land.

I'm so glad you liked that bit! I loved writing it - describing the merman was so much fun! And yeah, it's a kinda cross-species interaction, through body language, really, and I loved having the inate curiosity returned, because it's kinda central to Rowena's character :)

I'm so glad you liked this - I wrote it pretty quickly, haha, so I was a bit worried about it - and thank you so much for the lovely review (as always!)! :)

Aph xx

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Review #3, by toomanycurls King

14th January 2015:
Hi Laura!

I've been meaning to come by and finish this off.

This is such a jump forward from the prevous section. I'm so sad to see Rowena die but it was satisfying to see she had a sense of peace before dying. Helga and Rowena's relationship felt very real to me while reading this. The combination of irritation at Helga's precense and a desire for her to stay was really well communicated through this. I loved the idea that any ill-will felt at her death would be etched into both of them forever.

Rowena's request to be buried at the bottom of the lake intrigued me. I like to think she's somewhere near where the merepeople live with beautiful lake plants growing about her. It was also touching that her last thoughts were of the other founders (though a slight surprise that Helena did not make it into those final moments).

Beautiful end to Rowena's tale.


Author's Response: Hey Rose! :) Thank you so much for coming back and finishing this off - I'm so glad you like it! :)

Yeah, I wanted to sort of bring it full circle to the end, and to the beginning of a new adventure, with death - even though that's pretty morbid :P I loved writing Helga - she's one of those characters I find so hard to write because I've read so many stories about her which are just so good, so they always influence me. And yeah, I think that's one of the things when people are dying, you don't want to leave bad things behind you, you know?

Yeah, same here! I just liked the idea of bringing it back to the beginning of the story with the merpeople and everything - it just seemed right somehow. Yeah, I feel pretty sorry for Helena that she didn't make it into it, but I think Rowena is proud of her legacy almost more than her daughter, in a way. Though she does miss Helena, in a way.

Thank you so much - I'm so glad you liked it, this was a story I really loved writing! And thank you so much for the lovely reviews! :)

Aph xx

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Review #4, by bittersweetflames Rook

14th January 2015:
Hi, Laura. Here for our swap. :) Sorry it took so long. I was just captivated by your writing, as I've been since the first time I swapped with you.

So, I chose this story for the swap because it's Rowena and it's rare that I've read a story with her. But I thought it would be such a good idea to read one that you've written. (Start with the best, I say.)

I love that you employed the second person here. Second person always interests me, to be honest, because I have never tried it before and I've seen it done a little bit awkwardly before. When it is done well, it's absolutely lovely. And you've done it so well.

I see everything as perfectly as you have described it. All the sensory details are wonderful and give me chills. My favorite was how you started how you did and from that first moment, I was hooked.

Your descriptions of the merpeople are so beautiful, so captivating. I can fully understand why Rowena was captivated especially if the existence of merpeople hasn't been proven. I would think that someone like her would definitely want to learn more --- hey, I know I would!

The way you wrote of their interaction with one another below water was just breathtaking (literally and figuratively. HA) but I can imagine how strong the feelings were between the two. I would definitely be drawn to such a need to understand, I love it.

Anyway, I really honestly loved this. Thanks for the swap again, darling. I always love swapping with you. :)


Author's Response: Hi Carla! :) Thank you so much for stopping by! And no worries about the time - RL can be a pain sometimes - and seriously, that is too sweet of you! :) (you can't tell, but I'm blushing over here)

I loved writing Rowena, actually. This first chapter was one of the things which just sort of formed itself in my head really easily, which I love when it happens, haha, so it was so much fun to write! And thank you so much! Though I really don't deserve that - there are some wonderful Founders stories out there ;)

I really like writing in second person, actually, when it suits the story - and it just felt right for this one. I've struggled with it in the past, but hopefully I've improved with it! I'm so glad you thought it worked okay! :)

I always struggle with openings, tbh, so I'm so happy you like it - it's one of the ones I really liked once I'd finally got it down and finished. Desription is my favourite thing to write, though, which helps ;)

I adored writing the merpeople - I'm so glad I put them in another story (The Fires of St Anthony) so I get to write them again! :P And yeah, they're such fascinating beings, and curiosity is such a natural thing, especially for a character like Rowena, too.

Haha, yeah, definitely figuratively! :P I'm so glad you liked that - it was the moment I knew I wanted to have in it but I wasn't sure it would turn out, so I'm so stoked to know you think it worked alright! :)

Thank you so much for the lovely review - they're always so great to get! :) I love swapping with you too! :D

Aph xx

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Review #5, by UnluckyStar57 King

11th January 2015:
Hi Laura! I'm here for the review swap. It's been SO LONG since I've done anything HPFF-related, so bear with me. :)

Arrrggh, this is really an interesting ending to the trilogy of events. You wrote these based on the prompts for the 2014 House Cup, right? It's incredibly powerful that you chose to use this particular prompt for the ending of Rowena's life, because in previous chapters she seems so alone and independent.

Well, "independent" is not necessarily better than "dependent," and vice versa, but this chapter shows the sort of struggle that Rowena was going through. She wanted to do everything herself, to save herself even though she didn't really have the resources, but Helga wasn't about to let her do that. Her attitude toward Helga in the beginning is really indicative of how she tried to rely on independence when she could've relied on her friends.

As always, your writing is brilliant. The use of second person is so meaningful in this story because it gives the narrator room to be judgmental and/or critical of the main character's actions. And yet, this narrator is not a very harsh judge--more of an impartial one, presenting the facts as if he/she is talking to Rowena and asking her to judge herself. That's particularly amazing, because at the end of everything, the reader can just take all of these different impressions of Rowena in and sort through them later.

For instance, the fact that Rowena (and others) saw herself as having "the bearing of a queen," and Helga having "the heart of one." That tells me that Rowena knew she was standoffish and ceremonial, not always willing to inquire after people's well-being and nurse her friends back to health. Perhaps, in other people's views, both women are queens--Rowena is the accepted definition of a queen, and Helga is what a queen actually should be. I don't know... Just something that jumped out at me.

I love how you do metaphors. Houses of cards, chess pieces... Aggh, it's truly amazing. I don't play chess, so I can't really see the significance in the names of the chapters, but in this chapter, the one where Rowena dies, "King" seems like a fitting title. It's the King that gets captured in a checkmate, right? (Correct me if I'm totally wrong, please!) Well, in the end, Death is the piece on the chessboard that Rowena maybe never anticipated (until those few final moments), and she has to make peace with the fact that she has no choice but to surrender. And thoughts of her friends help her with that--so that even though she's going into ultimate darkness, she still carries a bit of the light with her.

Ugghh, it's too early in the morning for me to make any sense, I think, but maybe you get the gist? I really love this story collection, and I'll have to reread it soon so that I can get the full effect of it all. It's truly amazing, how well you can analyze such a mysterious character as Rowena Ravenclaw. Actually, this story is one of my favorite Ravenclaw stories, because it takes things in such an interesting direction.

So keep writing the brilliant things that you write, and I'll be around to review them eventually (with more praise than you can shake a stick at, most likely).

~Mallory ♥

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Review #6, by patronus_charm King

20th December 2014:
Hey again Laura and wow that was a powerful chapter!

I really liked how Rowena had such an affinity with ravens that they were always around her, especially so in moments of pain as it must have been quite comforting to know that she would never be alone no matter where she went.

Even though this was the only chapter when we got to see Helga and Rowena together I really liked as we really got a powerful sense of what their relationship was like and how close they were. It was nice to see that Rowena could actually open up to her as well and reveal all her thoughts and feelings as I imagine she can't do it to everyone so that made their bond even cuter.

You left so me wondering so many things in this chapter I really wish this story could have been developed further so I could have found out extra things such as what caused Rowena to be ill, and what were all her regrets, and what was the reason in this chase which caused Salazar to leave them. There just seemed to be so much mystery and so many regrets in this chapter I wanted moar!

The ending with the way Rowena made her wishes clear seemed to be so like her, so regal and formal and I loved it despite all the sadness! She was so measured and composed so I think you really captured her character well with that, and it was so sad to see such a magnificent (I never use this word but it seems to be so fitting for her!) person die like that.

Great story Laura and Merry Christmas! ♥


Author's Response: Hi again, Kiana! :)

Thank you so much - I'm so glad you liked it! I had a bit of trouble writing this one, so it's the one I'm most nervous about, so it means a lot to hear you say that! :)

I may or may not have re-read The Hobbit again not long before I wrote this, which may or may not have influenced the whole raven thing ;) But no, I loved mentioning the animals again, and it does fit with her so nicely, what with the name and all :P

Yeah, this is the only chapter with another character, apart from the merman, and Helga's the only other Founder in it... I didn't quite plan it like that, but I really wanted to show their friendship and how close they were, how Rowena had found a sort of family even after she left her original one. And yeah, Rowena definitely wouldn't open up to just anyone, so it's a very close bond they have :)

Haha, sorry about that! :( I've thought a couple of times about extending it, but I'm sort of happy with where it is and how it is - and not completely sure what I'd add to it - being the end of her life and a culmination of regrets and happiness and everything like that.

Strangely enough, I liked writing that part - though I hate dialogue, haha - because it's sort of like a show of force, in a way, with her so determined not to lose it, not to break down or be weak or anything... it's kinda sad, but kinda brave at the same time. I'm so glad you liked it, though - writing endings of things has always been hard for me! :)

Thank you so so much for the lovely pair of reviews, Kiana - they were so great to get! :)

Aph xx

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Review #7, by patronus_charm Bishop

20th December 2014:
Happy Christmas Laura! :D

I loved all the historical little bits in this chapter such as the mentions about the Scots being at war against the English and her thoughts and feelings. It just added so much to the story and that's why Founders stories are always among some of my favourites.

I really like Rowena's character here as she's still quite young so she's not entirely sure of herself so it's quite an interesting perspective as usually she's so determined and in control. We definitely saw a moment of weakness here with the way she thought she was cursed and that thought was fixated in her mind and stayed with her until the end of the chapter so it was interesting to see her in a low point for a long period of time. I'm not sure if that makes much sense but I really loved it!

The ending was so cool! Not only, did Rowena finally realise she was kind of awesome and that being a witch was cool too, but we got to see the raven and eagle and find out how it connected into her life which was cool.

I really liked this chapter and I can't wait for more :D


Author's Response: Hi there, Kiana! :) Happy (belated, haha) Christmas to you too! :D

I'm so glad you liked all the little details - I'm a huge History nerd and I studied History until recently, haha, so I loved putting them in and researching things for the period, even if it was difficult because it's so far back. And yes, Founders stories are so lovely with all the details! There are some really beautiful ones out there! :)

I loved writing Rowena, so I'm so glad you like her too! I kinda wanted with all three chapters to show a change in her psychee, her growing and learning and sort of accepting herself and other things, and growing into her eventual role as Founder, because those, to me, are the interesting bits :P And don't worry, it made perfect sense! She's definitely usually pretty composed, so it was interesting writing her losing it, so I'm glad you liked it :)

Haha, it took a long time, right? :P But yeah, I couldn't resist including the raven and the eagle - and both were native to Scotland at the time, and I think still are, so there was no problem with that either ;)

Thank you so so much, Kiana - for stopping by and the review! :)

Aph xx

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Review #8, by Ribbons Rook

14th December 2014:
This is such a shocking, beautiful, lush, powerful chapter, I read it and couldn't seem to look away from the screen!

Your word choice is beyond exceptional, everything is dramatic and HUGE and intense, I can't seem to get enough of it, to be honest. I think you could write a grocery list and make it sound like a million bucks!

This character - Rowena? Maybe? - seems very complex. She's so despairing she is willing to die, but at the same time she's so hopeful when it comes to love. She wants that 'moment' so badly!

The setting was very clear and there were beautiful visuals through the whole story. I could smell the wet wind and the cold of the water was very consuming, it almost made me shiver! I love how you described the merman too, and Rowena's appearance, it really solidified the characters, but also made them seem larger than life.

After reading this I still have tons of questions that I'm dying to have answered, and I trust you'll answer them in the next few chapters? There's going to be complications and incredible reveals, I just know it!

Thank you for creating this beautiful story, it was very refreshing!

Much, much, MUCH love,


Author's Response: Gah, thank you so so much! :) I'm so glad you like this - and thank you for stopping by on it - since it's only a little story, but I loved writing it so much! :)

Thank you again! Haha, maybe I should try that at some point... :P But no, the compliments are so, so lovely, and I'm well beyond flattered - it's just amazing to here :)

I really liked writing Rowena - she was one of those characters for whom I just got a background, pretty much instantly. Like, she sort of came into being for this story pretty much fully formed. I really wanted to give her something to aspire to, you know, and something to regret and miss, so that's where it came from :)

The merman... omigosh, I'm so so glad I'm writing another story with a ship and potentially mermaids in, haha, because I loved writing him. The humanoid features which aren't quite perfect were so fascinating to describe, because of the similarities.

Haha, some of them yes - I kinda wanted to show growth throughout the story as a whole, and how she changes as a person, so it's not a total story of her life, and they don't follow on exactly from each other, but I hope they answer your questions - or at least most of them! :)

Thank you so much for the lovely review - and the amazing compliments! - it was so, so great to get! :)

Aph xx

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Review #9, by MargaretLane King

23rd November 2014:
So much for Rowena being happy here. *laughs* I hope there's nothing serious wrong with her.

I like the comment where she speaks about it being shameful to be weak. That gives us a real insight into her character.

And aw, Helga is trying to help, but can't see Rowena just wants to be left alone. I can totally imagine Helga being that kind of person. The little we hear about her makes her sound like a very kind person and I can easily imagine her being the type of person who always wants to help, whether help is wanted or not.

And I can imagine Rowena being the type of person to appreciate privacy.

She's dying. Oh, that is sad.

And I like the relationship between them, the way she considers Helga her sister, even if not by blood. And I love the comment that Helga is a queen in heart, which is more important than having the air of a queen.

Somehow I very much imagine Rowena having a regal bearing. She seems the type.

And I like the way it is the school that occurs to her first as she is dying, then her colleagues and then, most importantly, her daughter. It shows the things that matter to her and the fact that she is thinking she can give no more, rather than focusing on the fact she'll experience no more characterises her as a dedicated person.

Love the suggestion of how all three of them stand together. It places them in direct contrast to the relationship with Slytherin, which falls apart. And the way she also considers Godric her brother.

I also like the description of heaven and hell as fire and air.

This is a really original story. I've never read anything else like it.

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Review #10, by MargaretLane Bishop

23rd November 2014:
Love the way she thinks she's cursed. Considering the reactions of those around her, I guess it's unsurprising. And I'm now intrigued as to what the attitude towards magic would have been in the 10th and 11th centuries. It's a long time before the era of the witch trials and so on.

And I guess my assumption in the last chapter that the character had done something evil was wrong. It sounds like it's just because she has magic. That's sad.

Love the reference to a campaign against the English, although I don't know what battle it it. I'm guessing it's some fight between Scotland and England since the summary tells us this is about Rowena and I believe she's Scottish.

You know, the early Christian monks in Ireland had an idea of "green martyrdom", which was to leave your country as a sacrifice to God. This was why the Irish monks spread across Europe, rather than a deliberate mission to spread the faith. What she is describing here sounds rather similar.

I am glad she comes to a recognition that how she is born is not what makes her evil or good, but rather how she uses it. I hope the final chapter will show some happiness for her.

Author's Response: Hey again - thank you so much for coming back! I'm so happy to see you like this! :)

Yeah, I loved the idea of how magic and religion would have been mixed then - I studied history at school, but after this time. I kinda wanted to go with the scared aspect, because it's still a strong, important thing in that time, but I kinda fudged it a little :P

Yeah, the evil thing is meant to be having magic, and using it - whether accidentally or not. It is sad, but I think it's something easily identifiable with too, you know?

Haha, I couldn't resist, what with the historical rivalry! :P No idea what battle it is either - though there was probably some kind of war between them going on at that time, since we tended to quite like fighting each other ;)

Ooh, that's quite cool! (Don't know why 'green', though...) It is a similar sort of thing, that she's leaving because she thinks it's best, because she's compelled too - it's not wholly chosen, and it's kinda sad that she feels she has to.

Um... I wouldn't bet on that one ;) But yeah, she at least accepts herself for who she is and her gifts for what they are - Rowena's supposed to be famously clever and wise, so I liked the idea of her having that kind of realisation, almost moral in a way :)

Thank you so much again for the great review! :)

Aph xx

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Review #11, by MargaretLane Rook

23rd November 2014:
As these chapters are short, I'll review all three. I think that's fair.

And I love the beginning of this. Even before we know who the character is, we're getting an insight into the TYPE of person they are. They're clearly religious, which probably isn't unusual in the Founders' era. And for whatever reason, they believe they're beyond forgiveness. I can't help feeling they did something really bad and that this isn't just a very religious person judging themselves super-harshly. I think it's the language. It gives me the impression something bad has happened.

LOVE your use of imagery. I'm not very good at description, as I may have mentioned before, so this impresses me. Your use of imagery in your Drumstrang story is awesome too, so I've probably said this already. The part about the wind made me shiver.

And I like the way you built the suspense about what it was in the water.

I also like the character's fear. Since they know nothing about merpeople, it's hardly surprising they'd be prepared for the worst.

The part about something scaly slithering across the character's feet again made me shiver.

Author's Response: Hey there, Margaret! Thanks so much for stopping by - and thank you so much for reviewing all three, it really wasn't necessary! :)

Thank you so much! I'm so glad you like it - I loved writing this, and bringing the religious aspect of things into it, because it was so much more important to them back then. Witchcraft was something really bad as they thought back then, so I loved including it, with the idea that that's the bad thing, you know?

Thank you! :) I love imagery and description, and I tend to use too much of it, haha, so I'm so glad you like it and don't think it's too much or anything!

I loved writing the merperson actually! I'm so excited to including them in the Durmstrang story, too, because they're so amazing to write! Something about the whole humanoid aspect and all of that... it's so cool! :) And yeah, new things are so totally scary, so it seemed to make sense for the character!

Thank you so much for the lovely review! :)

Aph xx

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Review #12, by Chazzie King

14th October 2014:
Hey Aph! :)
That was an amazingly written little story. Your prose is so poetic and lovely, it really is a pleasure to read. The second person worked really well throughout. I loved the development of Rowena through each of the chapters, from a young lady unsure to where her place in the world is, to seeing the memories of her as a little girl who feared she was the product of the devil, to a woman who has accepted herself and her magic. It is amazing. Her insecurity is really prominent in the first and second chapters, but in the third one she seems slightly more at peace. She has a family that has been forged on her own terms, not on someone else's.

The first chapter was amazing. Throughout the entire story we see Rowena's thirst for knowledge and the lengths she will go to achieve it. The merman too, he has this need to know things. Your description of him was brilliant and thrilling. You use such a variety of rich words there. I love the lake (I'm assuming it is the lake that would later lie by Hogwarts?) and the way it plays such a central role in connecting each chapter. Rowena here, she seems really sad. Broken almost. Like she has lost something or someone perhaps? I don't know. But I really like it anyway.

In chapter two, my favourite part is where Rowena has the idea for Hogwarts. Because she needs a sanctuary, a place to feel at home, and this fits in really well with the idea of the future generations of students relating to that and finding their home in Hogwarts too. There is a really interesting idea there, with the religion part of the story. And the birds! You have both the raven to go with her name, and the eagle to go with her house. All in all, a really nice way of doing things.

This chapter was beautiful. Helga was so sweet and in character, and I love the way Rowena calls her 'sister'. It was so beautiful and sad at the same time. She is not alone whilst she lies dying, and she knows that she is loved. Again, you bring in the lake and I'm so glad you do. To die with the knowledge that you should lie forever in the shade of the sanctuary given to you by nature, and the safe place that you helped create, would be a very calming thought, I should think. You know that you will be safe. I think there is a big part of Rowena that worries about all the things that she cannot control. She cannot control when she will die. And yet she knows that once she dies she will be back under the water of the lake, and this time she won't need to come up to breathe. She can control that part. So, come the flames or clouds, her body will be preserved there for eternity.

Thank you very much for swapping with me, and giving me the opportunity to read this amazing little gem!

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Review #13, by milominderbinder Rook

13th October 2014:

i am having to resist the urge to use so many swear words to punctuate this review because i fEEL VERY STRONGLY OKAY

god your writing is just so gorgeous. every single word you use seems like it was expertly picked and like no other word would work as well in its place; here your writing almost comes off like poetry, so full of beautiful abstract descriptions.

I totally felt inside her head and was caught up in the whirl of all the emotions. it was so intense precisely because it was so based in emotion - the individual actions hardly mattered because it was all seen through a slightly abstract lens, which was just amazing to read!

i loved the use of second person, too - it totally fit with your style and made the whole thing so much more resonant

my favourite lines were:

A dark green head, distorted and waxy, breaks the surface of the water,

^it's far from the most descriptive line but it's such a cool way of describing a mermaid, and I have never heard anything like it before!

you nearly forget not to open your mouth and scream when you see the merman, less than two feet away from you, staring at you with a kind of insatiable hunger you recognise instantly. How many times have you seen that look on your own face? How many times have you felt it curl around your heart, pushing against the restraints society demands you wear?

^this whole passage is just. wow. talk about intense.

You smile, certain you are crying now, and then he is smiling too and the light breaking through the clouds above turns the water into a million and one rainbows.

^the most beautiful ending, especially that very last segment; it gives a kind of peaceful end to the flurry of action that's been going on up until then.

but really how could i even choose a favourite line, because they're all so gorgeous!

so yeah i totally loved this and will definitely be going to read the next chapters at some point ;)

well done as always!


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Review #14, by UnluckyStar57 Bishop

27th September 2014:
Hey Aph! I'm here for Story Search Round 1. Happy birthday, QTR! :D

Okay, so I'm super glad that I got a good excuse to come and read this lovely story again, because this chapter was just so good and I loved it. You're definitely good at writing long chapters, but this story proves that you're good at writing short chapters, too. It's brilliant!

This certainly gives me some more insight into Rowena's mind. I can now say for sure that Hogwarts might not even be built yet, and if it has been built, it's in its infancy. Perhaps Rowena hasn't even met the other three yet. She feels that she is suffering from a curse, and the language that you used to describe her feelings about this was so vivid and emotional. Arggh, it was absolutely wonderful.

My favorite part, though, was the end of the chapter. I like how you've got the raven and the eagle with her, as they will go on to represent her name for generations and generations. It is kind of interesting that Ravenclaw's mascot is an eagle, but it's cool because that just means that we have TWO birds to represent our House. :D

Another weird review from me, but there you go. :)


Author's Response: Hey Mallory! :) Yay, Happy birthday to QTR! And thanks so much for stopping by!

Omigosh, the short chapters... haha, the strange thing is that with the short chapters, there's only a couple or so scenes, so I generally run out of anything to add into it, lol, and have to find other bits to put into it :P

Yeah, the time frame of this isn't totally clear - but I sort of didn't want it to be overly clear, really, because it's dealing with emotions which sort of linger, you know? Rowena hasn't met the other three yet - the first two chapters are all before Hogwarts starts, and the Four have met - so yeah, she's still dealing with the mix of her muggle heritage and her powers and how they clash.

Thank you so much! I loved including the raven and the eagle - it seemed so appropriate, given her name and the badge of her house - and they were local animals at the time, so it fitted in well enough! Your inner bird nerd is ecstatic, haha :P

No worries about it - it was so lovely to get, thank you so much! I'm so glad you liked it - I really enjoyed writing it! :)

Aph xx

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Review #15, by slytherinchica08 Rook

26th September 2014:
Wow! This was written so beautifully! I loved the description that you put into this chapter! I could see everything that you were describing and this was probably some of the best description that I've read recently. It all flowed so well together and was a really interesting concept to think about. I loved that this dealt with merpeople especially since they are something that aren't even very well known in the HP universe so really cool to include them. The ending was beautiful with the sun peaking out and everything. The best part for me was that even though there was no conversations in this, I never felt overloaded by the description or anything. It all just kept coming and then suddenly I was at the end. I'm definitely interested in reading more of this to see what happens now between her and the merman. I liked the intrigue that she had towards him, wanting to experience and understand him, it seemed very Ravenclaw of her to thirst for more knowledge. Anyways great job on this it was very interesting and you can expect me to come by again to read more! Great Job!


Author's Response: Hey there, Erica! Thanks so much for stopping by! :)

Gah, thank you so much! I really loved writing this because of the inclusion of the magical creature, so I could be more descriptive than usual - which I loved! Merpeople were so much fun to write in this - I love the idea of a humanoid race, who are like us in so many ways, but so different to us in so many others, and it was so much fun to explore that. Rowena was such a great character to write, as well - as soon as the HC prompts went up and I wanted to write something in support, even though I can't enter, I knew I wanted to do her - it seemed so fitting, haha :P Plus, it meant I could play up the curiosity element and include the discovery and choice of the location of Hogwarts, which seemed to me to be easy ways to get in the magical creatures :P

Thank you so so much for the lovely review, it was so great to get - and thank you for all the compliments! It was a strange piece to write, but I loved doing it, so I'm so glad you liked it! :)

Aph xx

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Review #16, by UnluckyStar57 Rook

2nd September 2014:
Ahhh! You ninja'd me in the Review Battle, so I'll just have to leave you a quick review before I go off to class. :)

I hate that I didn't read this sooner. As with Romeo in Ivory and House of Cards, your prose is flawless. But in this one, it seems even more poetic and simply astounding. You have such a knack for simile and metaphor, and if I had time to quote some good examples, I would probably be quoting the whole thing. It was so incredibly fabulous. :)

So, this is about Rowena Ravenclaw? Is this pre-Hogwarts or during the founding of the school? I'm guessing that it's before, because she thinks about how she's so bound by societal constraints--I really appreciated that line, because to me, Rowena defies all of those constraints (and Helga too, but we're talking about our own Founder for now). I love that her curiosity was pretty much reflected by the merman's--you gave some more spark and interest to merpeople, which is awesome. :D

Sorry for such a daffy review, but I've got to be off to class now! Hopefully I'll come back and review more later. :)

~For the September BvB Review Battle~


Author's Response: Hey Mallory! Haha, sorry about that, it wasn't intentional :P

Gah, thank you so much! I'm so glad you liked this - I was so irritated I couldn't participate in the house cup story competition, because I've never entered before, and then I couldn't, so I wrote this anyway :P I loved how making it short meant I could pare down the action of the scene and focus on the meanings and emotions - they're always my favourite bits to write, after all! :)

Yeah, it's Rowena before Hogwarts - and I always thought of her and Helga like that too, so I kinda portrayed her that way because of that. I loved the contradiction between societal views at the time and what they - Rowena in particular - became and were famous for, so I loved bringing that in and giving it a role in the story. The merman was so much fun to write - I'm hoping to write mermaids/mermen again because it was such a treat and I'm so glad I chose them to write about! :)

Haha, no worries about the review - it was such a lovely thing to get, and thank you so much for the great review! :)

Aph xx

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Review #17, by magnolia_magic Rook

27th August 2014:
Oh Laura. You beautiful soul, you.

I can't believe you wrote Founders! Alsjfkdskl I am so excited!! And you did such a beautiful job with it. I absolutely loved this from start to end. Rowena is just how I would imagine her. She has some big regrets, and as a perfectionist, that would be extremely difficult for her to deal with. But the merman provides the spark of hope that the story needs. The narrative builds so nicely to that pivotal moment, and ends on a "smile through the tears" note. So perfect :)

I will admit that second person POV is not my cup of tea. It pretty much tops my list of things I would rather not see in writing. But there was so much to enjoy here that it wasn't even a dealbreaker for me. Your imagery is so gorgeous and evocative; I just sort of sank into the scene along with Rowena. And the moment with the merman was so, so well done. I held my breath while he reached out to touch her hand; it was such a surreal moment, and you described it so beautifully.

I love you for this! Wonderful job, and I can't wait to tell you what I think of the other two stories in the collection. (SPOILER: I read them already and loved them! Hopefully I can carve out some more review time soon.) Well done, Laura!


Author's Response: Maggie! Thank you so much! I'm so so glad you stopped by this because your DCtN is pretty much my headcanon for Salazar and Helga and I loved it so much that I couldn't help but think of that when I wrote this.

I'm so happy you liked Rowena as well! I loved the idea of portraying her as struggling because she's famous for sort of having answers, you know, but also refusing to admit weaknesses, like Helena and the diadem. The merman... omigosh, i loved writing that bit, it was so much fun! :)

Second person... yeah, it's not for everyone, but I felt this sort of needed second person - it fitted. I'm so glad you could ignore it, though - it really is amazing to me that you like this, because you're so brilliant at this era :) A lot of this was just things I really like writing, haha, but I wrote it surprisingly quickly, so I'm so happy you like it :)

Thank you so so much for the wonderful review, and I'm so glad you liked all of them - I was so nervous about the third when I posted it! Thank you again! :)

Aph xx

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Review #18, by Infinityx Rook

27th August 2014:
Hi! Here for our swap!

Yay for second person PoV! It's my favourite and I have no doubt this chapter is going to be just magical!

I love the way you've begun this. It's the first time I've come across anything that makes a connection with religion. And it seems apt, considering Rowena's time. Your imagery and descriptions are just beautiful - and I've read just the first paragraph!

Your portrayal of Rowena is really interesting. I'd love to know how she came to stand there, on that rock, with such a powerful emotional turmoil. Was she about to jump in earlier, before the merman jumped out? :o

The way you've described the merman is just incredible. It's so vivid, and I can picture the scene so clearly in my head. And the final moment when she jumps in after him - it felt like it just HAD to happen, otherwise the scene wouldn't be complete.

There was a sort of mystical feel throughout the chapter, and I love the way you've written it. This is going into my favourites, and I'm definitely reading on immediately!

Author's Response: Hi there - thanks so much for dropping by! :)

Haha, I love second person pov too! It had been so long since I used it before this, that it seemed so right to use it in this, and I just enjoyed coming back to it so much! Aw, thank you! :)

Gah, thank you! I really wanted to include the religion aspect because it really is important in the time, and therefore likely would be for Rowena too, and yet its often left out because it's a difficult thing to write, I think.

There will be references to it later, to how she came to be there, but I'm so glad you like Rowena - I loved writing her! :)

The merman... I just loved writing that. When I was trying to think of magical creatures to write, it just seemed so obvious to me to write a mermaid/merman, and merman seemed more interesting, and I loved describing it - it was a lovely break from wind :P

Gah, thank you so so much for the favourite and all the compliments and the lovely, lovely review - it was so great to get! Thank you so much for the swap, as well - I always love swapping with you! :)

Aph xx

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Review #19, by nott theodore King

25th August 2014:
Hi Laura! Here for review tag (since I should be doing other things right now and I need an excuse :P)

I've really enjoyed reading this short story collection so much - I haven't read a lot of Founders era stories and certainly not ones that focus on Rowena without delving into some sort of romance that she experienced in her life, so this was really original and interesting to read!

I liked the way that you skipped to Rowena's death here, and called the chapter King. Although she's dying and fading away, at this point in her life she's already got her crowning achievements in Hogwarts and the unity of the four houses, so she it is like she's taken the king. But at the same time it could maybe be interpreted as her having been checkmated, as she's losing her life and the game and things. It's really intriguing to think about the different ways the theme can be interpreted and the symbolism behind it; the ambiguity there is great, because it lets the reader put their own spin on what's happening.

It was actually really sad to read about the way that Rowena was dying, though, even though I know she had a really successful and influential life. I thought it was really effective to skip from the last chapter, when Rowena is escaping from all the difficulties she faces in a Muggle family, to her death, when she's surrounded by magic and the people that she's worked with to create her legacy. But you wrote her death really well, especially the way that she was ill and sort of fading away, then ending it with that last line. It sounded so final and I think it was a great way to end the story.

I loved the portrayal of Helga Hufflepuff in this chapter as well! Even though this chapter's less than 1000 words long, you still managed to weave in enough details about her to make her character seem real and believable. I really liked the idea of her being some sort of servant to Rowena at first, because it fits so well with the sort of humble image I have of Helga in my mind, and the fact that she values hard work and loyalty. For her to then rise to become this strong woman is great to think of, and I really like the idea that Rowena helped her to become that woman so that they could all create Hogwarts together.

Again, the second person was so brilliant in this chapter. It flowed so well and it really draws me into the story, so that I feel a connection with Rowena even though she's dying in this chapter.

I think my favourite thing about this chapter was the way that Rowena thought of Helga and Godric as her siblings, a family that she'd earned. I'm glad that she could feel that sense of family again after she's left her real family behind in the Muggle world and made this new life for herself, and I thought that was a great way of capturing the relationship between them.

This was a really lovely ending to the story and I've really enjoyed reading this collection, Laura! It's made me think of Rowena in much more depth than before and it's great!

Sian :)

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Review #20, by toomanycurls Bishop

5th August 2014:

I'm here for the BvB battle!

I love the tone and growth in this chapter. Rowena's bitterness towards her past and difficulty accepting her powers was so well put.

I can imagine how scary she would seem to commoners and servants. I like to think of her bold and strong and slightly terrifying for people who are muggles (or just not as powerfully magic).

Having Rowena's powers fully manifest while she was at the church is perfect for the way you've laid out her reactions to magic thus far.

You don't say she's by the lake besides Hogwarts or the same willow that students we know of sat by, but that's what it seemed like and there was something wonderful about seeing one of the more powerful founders at these same places but before they held signifigance for the HP world.

Rowena's acceptance of magic and being able to cast out her shame was wonderful. I love this chapter and can'tw ait for more.


Author's Response: Hey Rose! Thanks so much for dropping by! :)

I really like exploring a bit more of the attitudes towards magic at the time, in this, and the emotions that would kinda hold. Rowena is such a great character to explore because of the weaknesses we know she has in canon and the qualities she prizes, which are kinda strange for women of that time, so I like that :)

Haha, yeah that's pretty similar to my head-canon for her! :D Sort of haughty and proud and strong, and becomes very independent :)

I wasn't quite sure about that, tbh, in terms of the meaning behind it and the imagery... but it's kinda growing on me, I think. Churches are such beautiful places, so I really enjoyed writing the setting!

I kinda think of it as the lake beside Hogwarts, though I have no idea about the tree, haha. I mostly end up using willows in everything, because I love them - and they're so useful for concealing things because they hang down... it's kinda against canon, in that respect, but ah well :P

Gah, thank you so so much for the wonderful review - I'm so glad you're enjoying the story! :)

Aph xx

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Review #21, by momotwins Rook

4th August 2014:
Your writing is beautiful, homeslice. Good vocabulary in a story makes me super happy. Your word choice is excellent, so evocative, and you paint such detailed pictures that it's like watching a movie. I could totally see the merman leaping and splashing her. I wish I could write description like this, it's amazing. Really well done, can't wait to read more.

Author's Response: Hi Meg! Thanks so much for dropping by! :)

Ah, thank you so much! It's so lovely of you to say so! I got to admit, part of comes because I really, really hate repeating words :P I'm so glad you liked the description, particularly the merman - I've always wanted to write about mermaids because they're such fascinating, beautiful creatures - so it was such a great change for me to do that! :)

Thank you so much for the lovely review - I'm so so glad you enjoyed the story! :)

Aph xx

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Review #22, by nott theodore Bishop

3rd August 2014:
Hi Laura!

Ah, this was another great chapter! I'm so impressed with your writing here and the way you're able to create such a powerful impact in a chapter when it's under 1000 words long. It's also great to get to see more of an insight into the life of Rowena Ravenclaw before she became Rowena Ravenclaw, and I loved the way that you continued the story here!

Once again, I loved your use of second person when it came to this chapter because I felt like I was experiencing all of the emotions alongside Rowena in this chapter. Her sense of insecurity and self-loathing came through brilliantly here and I couldn't only see those emotions, but I could understand them too.

I think the way that you chose to include the theme of religion in this chapter was great! Of course it fits in with the chapter title but I often see it avoided as a theme, even in this period when it was one of the most important aspects of every day life for people. The fact that witches are condemned at this time, and burnt, because they're thought of as being agents of the devil, makes things so much harder for her and I felt so sorry for her, especially when you described the way she behaved as a little girl when others avoided her and she didn't know why. I thought it was fantastic to show the way that she felt that pressure and wanted to change because what she'd been taught all her life said that she was wrong for being who she was, even though it was something that she couldn't change. The scene in the church was really effective to illustrate that.

I felt so happy for Rowena though when she finally left home, even though it was a really difficult thing to do, especially at such a young age. I wondered if that spirit that caused her to flee home was something that is mirrored in her daughter, though, with Helena running away with the diadem? It's only something tiny but I love the idea that she's Scottish too, as it fits in well with the idea of Hogwarts being built in Scotland.

I think my favourite thing about this chapter had to be the amazing imagery that you included in it, though. Even when Rowena was suffering you still managed to somehow make it sound beautiful (if that even makes sense) and the bird motif was brilliant. It was so clever that you worked in the raven coming to greet her, as though it's an animal that she has a special affinity with, and then the last lines with the raven and the eagle together, as they tie in so well to what we know of her! It made me think that maybe the name Ravenclaw hadn't come from her family at all but was a name she chose for herself to fit with her new identity. And the eagle works so well when we see it here, and also thinking that she's Scottish when it's their national bird. I really love stories that work in details like that and this chapter was just amazing!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Hey Sian! :) Thank you so much for stopping by!

Thank you so much! I actually find it so hard to write short things, so it's so lovely to hear you say that! Rowena is such a fascinating character to write, and I hadn't seen one about her before Hogwarts, so I wanted to fill that space :P

I really love writing in second person when it fits, and for some reason it just fitted in this, you know? I knew I wanted it to be emotional, and her to seem relatively fragile, so I'm so glad you liked it and that those things seemed to come through! :)

Yeah, I kinda wanted to connect to the chapter titles in some way, whether metaphorically or literally, and I really wanted to include some mention of religion, considering how important it was back then. It is an incredibly hard thing, and it's the kind of thing which is allergorical to any struggle anywhere, I think, and I loved showing that often that kind of thinking influences people very easily - so it's easy to believe that what you are is wrong if everyone around you is telling you that. It's a horrible position to be in, really, but one I thought suited her character, given her wit and wisdom she was supposed to have.

Yeah, it was one of the scenes I liked writing, actually, simply because of the emotions in it - kinda both loss and freedom, you know? But she considers it worth it. Ooh, that's a really interesting thing - I actually hadn't thought about that at all, haha, but yeah, it'd be cool if it did! The scottish thing isn't totally my idea - in the first Hogwarts song, I think, it makes references to where the founders are each from, so that was where I got it from ;) But yeah, it's nice that one of them in from Scotland, given where it's built! :P

Haha, you know with the bird imagery I really wasn't sure if it would be too much - but they're both birds native to Scotland, so I couldn't really resist putting them both in :P Ravens in a lot of mythology and fantasy have been considered as wise, magical beings - Tolkein has them in The Hobbit, George RR Martin has them, Norse mythology has them - so I liked giving some sort of potential property to ravens, and Rowena in particular having an affinity to them. I have no idea about the name thing - but, tbh, I've always wondered if the founders 'adopted' their surnames, since surnames weren't around at that time, so they wouldn't really have existed. Which makes it weirder that they become house names, tbh... but anyway! I'm so so glad you like it - this chapter was the hardest for me to write, so it means a lot! :)

Thank you so so much for the wonderful review; I'm so glad you're still enjoying this little story! :)

Aph xx

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Review #23, by nott theodore Rook

9th July 2014:
Hi Laura! I'm here in the middle of my reviewing frenzy to stop by some of the staffers' stories, as a thank you for organising this event for us!

This was amazing! (Apart from the fact it was written in support of Ravenclaw, which I'm willing to overlook :P) I loved your use of second person as I don't think I've ever seen it done before to write about a Founders era character, and you write it so well! Rowena's character was really intriguing as well; your portrayal of her was much more vulnerable than the one that I normally see, and she seems much more unsure of herself.

I thought that the description and imagery that you included in this chapter was brilliant, really. I loved reading each line because there was something almost poetic about it and I could picture each detail so vividly. I really liked the moment with the merman, as well. There was a subtle shift in tone from the beginning to the end of this chapter and it was nice to see that it was more hopeful towards the end!

Sian :)
Gryffindor House Cup 2014 Review

Author's Response: Hi Sian! Awww, that's so sweet - you really didn't have to! It was fun to plan it all out (and drive you guys mad during Event 4 ;D)!

Haha, sorry about that (Ravenclaw all the way! :P) but I'm so glad you liked it! I really struggle with writing short pieces, so it was surprisingly hard to keep it compact. I'm so glad you liked Rowena - she was an interesting character to write, and I liked making her vulnerable and sort of lost, it was interesting to explore.

Gah, thank you so much! I really loved writing the merman and I've always loved writing sea and wind and things, so it was sort of just a bunch of things I really enjoy, so I'm so happy you liked it!

Thank you so much for the lovely review, and for stopping by! It was so sweet! :)

Aph xx

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Review #24, by patronus_charm Rook

7th July 2014:
Hi Laura!

I really loved this insight into Rowena’s mind as it was very different to the usual portrayals I see of her. She was just so much less sure and steady of herself, and I could really sense a weakness in her moves. Like when she was in the water, there just seemed to be so much reluctance there that I thought she might drown or something as she just didn’t seem to be aware of much really.

I loved the descriptions and imagery in this story as it was so lovely and vivid from the sea and the wind to Rowena herself and the emotional turmoil she was going through right now and you caught it so well. This is sort of linked, but the way you wrote about the merman was really good as it seemed as if they were really meant to be there and just part of the magical world which was cool.

A really great one-shot, and I hope there is more to follow!


Author's Response: Hi Kiana! :) Thanks so much for dropping by! It was so great to wake up to find this :)

Thank you so much! I'm so glad you liked it! I liked the idea of portraying her as sort of out of control, because it sort of comes back to how Helena's loss devastated her so much, so it's kinda meant to link up a little to that, in a way. I've never really written a character this lost, either, so it was an interesting challenge! :)

Gah, thank you so much! I loved writing the merman - it was so much fun to write with the lake and the water and all... it's so different to anything else I've written, something I'd never thought of before, so I'm so glad you liked it! :)

Thank you so so much for the review - it was so nice to get and such a great surprise! There's going to be two more chapters, along the HC themes ;)

Aph xx

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Review #25, by HarrietHopkirk Rook

5th July 2014:
I really like this! And it's in support of Ravenclaw, who are awesome, obviously and ABOUT Ravenclaw, who is awesome, obviously... so there's no way I wouldn't stop to read this.

Your writing style is marvelous! I really enjoyed reading this one-shot. You manage to blend description, imagery, emotive stuff and action seamlessly - that description of wind, pure class! I loved how the story started, with the rosary beads - I always want to write more about how wizards react to religion and such.

And the moment between Rowena and the merman - so touching! So moving! And your writing complimented the tone of the piece really well: sad at the beginning, where Rowena is a bit lost, then more hopeful, as she relishes in the presence of the merman, of meeting new things, new knowledge etc. I don't know though, that's my own interpretation.

Overall - super good. Favoriting!

I was wondering whether chapters will follow this?! You've labelled it 'I: Rook'...

Author's Response: Hey there - thanks so much for stopping by! I was totally not expecting this at all and it was so lovely to get, so thank you! :)

And yes Ravenclaw are awesome, and Ravenclaw is awesome... you guys were amazing during the HC! :wub:

Gah, thank you so much! I originally meant for it to be a 500 word thing, but it kinda grew too big for that and there was no way I could edit it down - so I'm glad you liked it! Religion and wizards - gosh, yes, that's something I've always wanted to explore a little more, or at least include a bit more than I have done in other stuff. So yes, with the time period and all I just had to include a bit in here :P

Haha, no it's good - I kinda wanted it to be more hopeful and kind of a meeting-of-minds thing with the merman, where she sort of realises that she's not totally alone and starts a new friendship and a new chapter of her life. I always thought of it more as the potential of new knowledge, but that's just being really picky :P

Thank you so so much for the review and the favourite - it's so so amazing to get and gah, just really made my day! :) Thank you!

Aph xx

p.s. ooh, sorry, yeah, there will be two more chapters, to go with the HC themes ;)

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