Reading Reviews for Rainfall
  
29 Reviews Found

Review #1, by BellaLestrange87 Parents

29th September 2014:
Yay a new chapter!

Missing word - "It's very rare, although not unheard of, for consider human prey." For it to consider a human prey?

Hugo definitely has the unattractiveness side of snow on point, although I think frozen water might be the definition of ice, not snow. It does look pretty, but of course he wouldn't know that, so obviously he would prefer to stay inside and listen to Luna's description.

You show his frustration well. The fact that he doesn't feel understood by anybody about not wanting to go out - they can all see the pretty snow, and all he knows is that it's cold. Turning the TV off to try and get him to go out seems like something Hermione would do.

When Hugo's in his room alone after he storms off, he mentions that the air is cold. Do wizards not have a way to heat their house? Or did someone leave a window open? Wouldn't he also be able to hear the sound of Hermione breathing?

Missing plural in one sentence; it should be "But by some fluke they got targeted that night and killed by Death Eaters, for fun."

Maybe past tense would work better here - "Everything I'd done to protect them from being used against me, it had been enough, the Death Eaters never realized they were my parents."

If Hugo was raised in a wizarding family, would he know what a gun is? It seems reasonable to think that some form of Muggle culture would have leaked through on Hermione's account, but I think she'd want to keep some of the nastier parts (murder weapons and such) away from her kids.

Hugo's end-of-chapter fantasy about a snow house seems exactly like the kind of things a ten-year-old would think about in winter (and the snowball fight with Hermione is also something I could see a ten-year-old boy doing); besides, he has the family to make it possible.

I like what you've done with Hermione's parents - killing them off. That might sound silly, but having someone close to the main trio (closer than Fred, or Lupin, Tonks, Sirius, or Dumbledore) die brings more realism to the war and tempers that "happily ever after" epilogue. The way they died - randomly targeted by Death Eaters - sounds like it could be truth. (Of course, we don't know.) After they took control of the Ministry they probably started mass attacks.

Another great chapter!

~Olivia

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Review #2, by MargaretLane Parents

29th September 2014:
This line sounds a bit off. "It's very rare - though not unheard of - for consider a human prey." I kinda feel it should be something like, "for them to consider a human prey".

*laughs at Rose being all enthusiastic about snow while Hugo is trying to watch an educational program* It's so much the opposite of what my characters would be doing.

*hugs Hugo* This was me every time my family wanted me to go for a walk as a child - OK, usually when I was younger than Hugo. Walking was such a waste of reading time!

And I think you know from out conversation the other day why I'm glad Hermione promises not to read Hugo's writing.

Oh gosh, POOR Hermione. That is so horrible. *huggles her tightly*

You've written "the Death Eaters never realise they were my parents" instead of "realised."

I LOVE the part where he realises she'll be less likely to dwell on things if he's with her. He is so insightful.

I actually laughed at the comment about him going out completely naked.

That's always what strikes me about Hogwarts - eleven year olds leaving their families and only coming home for a couple of weeks a year. Now, we've discussed Irish attitude to homecoming and how it's the norm even for college students to return home at weekends (it's the norm in most boarding schools here too) and even with that, I know some people who found first year of college very hard. And if 17/18 year olds found it hard being away from their families 5/7s of the term time, how much harder must it for ELEVEN year olds to be away for months at a go?

LOVE the last two paragraphs. You describe the whole scene so graphically.

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Review #3, by UnluckyStar57 Past and Future

27th September 2014:
Hi again! This review is for Story Search 1, in which we're reviewing people with January, May, and October birthdays. :)

Oof, Hugo is asking some DEEP questions in this chapter. It really hurts to see how his relationships with his parents are so affected by his blindness, how he thinks that they've given up on him (and maybe they have, but it's terrible for a child to believe that his parents are lying to him/don't really believe that he'll get better). Hugo's character is so full of cynicism and angst, and it just breaks my heart to read about it. :(

And Harry seemed to be having some trouble in this chapter, too! It's a sign of the adults' continued immaturity (from their younger years) that they would elect to have such a conversation as the one about the Potters' house in front of Lily and Hugo. Perhaps they think that the kids aren't paying attention, but they certainly are. I hope that Harry can begin to accept his parents' house as a better place to live (once it gets fixed) than ratty old Grimmauld Place. And that he stops regretting naming his children and his dog after dead people. Why is he bringing all of these regrets up right now? Does he usually do this, or is this something out of the ordinary?

I also loved the scene in which Hugo played the piano. I think that he really seems to love the instrument, and it gives him a creative outlet to release his inner frustrations. Will he begin to compose his own music? That would be cool!

Really wonderful chapter, although it was so angsty/heavy. I loved the sensory language that you used to describe the rainfall--it seems like you can really get in touch with your other senses when sight is not an option, even in writing. :)

~UnluckyStar57

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Review #4, by UnluckyStar57 King's Cross

23rd September 2014:
HI LEO!!!

I'm so sorry that I'm so late with this review. In your request you said that you have eight chapters up, and well, now you have ten. So it's been a while, but I'll try to make this a nice, comprehensive review. :)

Okay, so first of all, yes. When I read your one-shot, I was immediately enthralled by the idea of writing a story from the perspective of a person who cannot use visual descriptions to describe things. That is so, so difficult to do (from what I understand), but you have done such a brilliant job of setting up the scene and the characters and everything. I also really liked the idea because Hugo plays the piano, and I myself am a piano player. :)

Your descriptions of things, while you can't always use sight as a medium, are really really good. I love that you used Lily as a sort of go-between for Hugo in the beginning. She describes the world as she sees it, and he has to rely on his imagination and other senses to picture it. The only descriptor that I'm uncertain about in the whole chapter is the one about the Hogwarts Express--the physical description is excellent, but "red" seems to be an impossible description because Hugo has never seen the color before. I suppose that Lily may have called it "red," and Hugo knows that it is a color, so he adds it in for the benefit of his seeing audience? Ugh, whatever the case may be, it's not a big deal at all. Sorry for talking in circles! D:

Ah, Al and Rose are Ravenclaws! Woot! It's going to be interesting to hear about their adventures second-hand from the letters they send, especially since Hugo and Lily are so curious to know about Hogwarts and they're still a few years away from going. I wonder what House they'll end up being in...

Okay, I love how you gave Ron a whole lot more sense than he seems to have in the DH epilogue. In the epilogue, he seems to be the same goofy Ron who only likes Gryffindor, but his comment to Hugo about "do you think your mother will let me disown your sister?!" seems to show a Ron who has grown up. And maybe he was only kidding on the platform. :)

D'aw, Snuffles! He sounds like such a cuddly dog. It creeps me out a little bit that the Potters still live in Grimmauld Place with that awful portrait of Mrs. Black, but such is life, I suppose. Is there a reason why they didn't go and find a new house? Maybe Harry just wanted to make use of the gifts that Sirius gave him?

Arrggghhh, if there are more encounters like the one at the end, I don't know what I'll do. It made me so mad when the little boy kept asking his father questions about Hugo--like, I understand that he's probably young and doesn't know any better, but that's just RUDE. And Hugo was having such a good time on the swings with Lily, and then he falls and it's all just RUINED. Ugh. I find it really interesting that he's so cynical and bitter at the age of only nine years old, but I completely understand why. It makes a lot of sense for him to be more jaded and adult-like than a typical nine-year-old because he's already been through so many awful things. :/

What sorts of stories does Hugo write, I wonder? I'm sure I'll find out in a later chapter. :)

So, bottom line: This was a brilliant chapter and I love how your one-shot establishes the premise for it already. I haven't even read the one-shot since July, but I can still remember what was going on--that's how vivid it was and how much the concept of this story stuck out to me. And honestly, I had every intention of reading/reviewing this story as you posted each chapter, but time got in the way. :( So thanks for requesting a review so that I could finally read it! I can tell that it's going to be a remarkable tale. :D

~UnluckyStar57

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Review #5, by MargaretLane Behind the Veil

21st September 2014:
You should DEFINITELY read Plato. Hermione's argument has echoes of the Parable of the Cave that I was talking about.

And Hugo is extremely expressive for a ten year old. Maybe his blindness plays a part as it means he has to communicate entirely verbally. I wish I'd been able to express such ideas at ten. I had a lot of thoughts I couldn't put into words at that stage.

*laughs at Ron* He is now reminding me of yet another de Valera story. Dev was teaching his son Maths and took him out to where they had cabbages planted and started telling him how you could work out mathematically exactly how far apart they should be planted. Then his wife came out to tell them their dinner was ready or something, heard the discussion and said, "gosh, by the time you'd figured all that out, the cabbages would have withered."

I hope Rose is OK. Not getting up early on Christmas morning seems kind of ominous in a way I can't quite put my finger on. I think it's just the implication that it's a change in her behaviour.

Is it normal to get stockings of small presents as well as your big presents in the UK? As a child, I always thought the stocking was more metaphorical these days, but I've come across it in British stories. Don't know if anybody does it here. It's not necessarily something that comes up in conversation, but I haven't come across it.

Oh, of COURSE, the cards wouldn't be much good to him, would they?

Even flooing shows the difference between your Hugo and mine.

Mrs. Weasley is like the stereotypical grandma, isn't she?

*cheers for the joke being in braille*

The point about braille being like a secret code reminds me of teaching ogham. It tends to be good fun as 12 year olds tend to like codes.

And one thing that confused me a little. George mentioned his "three" had grown up with his ear missing. He has two kids. I'm not sure whether it was a mistake or if he was including his wife, even though she didn't grow up with it or if you've added an OC kid, but I thought I'd mention it anyway.

George is miserable? I wonder if that's because of the loss of Fred. Are ANY of your characters happy?

You know how we often talk about the cultural differences between the UK and Ireland. Fireworks are one of the ones that often strike me. I know this is the wizarding world and has different laws anyway, but I do know fireworks are legal even in Muggle Britain. Here, fireworks are either illegal bangers or else the very rare official display.

And yeah, fireworks must be pretty boring and annoying if you are blind.

*laughs at the elderly witches and wizards wanting to trick their spouses or carers or flat-mates*

And trust George to agree with his nephew that Percy is one of the most boring people in the world.

I really like the depth you've given George here. He's still a prankster and still makes jokes, but behind it all, he's never really recovered from Fred's death. Poor guy.

Love the part about George and Charlie trying to crack the nuts.

Excellent chapter.

Author's Response: There are an awful lot of things I should read. I might actually get around to reading some of them one day!

There was a time when you couldn't put things into words? *laughs* I think Hugo spends a lot of time thinking, plus he can't rely on body language and wild arm-waving to get his points across. Well, he technically could, but it would feel really weird to him.

Rose is feeling grown up, having been thrust into a boarding school with few or no friends where she's suddenly had to become a lot more independent. Yes, it does seem rather ominous, doesn't it?!

YE DON'T GET STOCKINGS? *stares in shock and sympathy* Yeah, we get stocking with comics, fancy pens, bars of chocolate, and/or other small toys. And ALWAYS a satsuma in the toe.

It's the little things which show most how much difference his blindness makes - flooing and chocolate frog cards.

Love Mrs Weasley. :)

Oops. It was supposed to be two. I've edited it. Thank you. I probably had Bill's three in my head or something.

Are any of my characters happy? Hmm, let me think about that... short answer: nope, or at least they won't be right the way through the series. Come on, Lily's not THAT miserable. And Louis. Don't try to tell me Louis' not pretty happy. But major characters and half the minor characters... nope! ;)

Firework displays get boring once you've seen enough of them. I've told you about our insane bonfire night displays, and we get way more firework displays than just bonfire night. Official displays and private ones in peoples' gardens. We used to have a box of fireworks to use in our garden when I was younger, but we stopped bothering because we see fireworks so often they've lost the novelty factor. You have to be 18 to buy them and use them responsibly, but they're easy enough to be a part of pretty much any celebration.

Poor George. But would you expect him to recover completely?

The attempt to crack almonds without a nutcracker is derived from my own memories of a certain family Christmas. An older cousin, my dad, and my brother were involved. The rest of us were busy laughing!

Thank you! :D *hugs*







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Review #6, by crestwood King's Cross

16th September 2014:
Hey Leonore!

I am terribly late on getting around to this story. It seems like everything just blew up simultaneously and I was a little swamped. But, I like to think I make up for my tardiness by returning to review every chapter.

When I started reading this chapter earlier today, I was struck by this strong sense of deja vu. I was just reading lines and something was so familiar about them. I went to go see if you had put up a preview on the forums and then I looked through your comment on a thread about writing a blind character and I was sure that'd be it, but it wasn't. After a lot of confusion I realized that I had previously read this chapter months ago and forgotten to come back to review and read on! Really glad you requested this now because I've had the lines 'My throat's hard and painful, my eyes stinging. That's all they're good for, isn't it? Making me look like a baby' floating around my head for months and could not figure out where they were from or what character said them. I love the scene in which Hugo interacts with that Muggle kid, by the way. Excellent way to display his annoyance with how people treat him.

I'll tell you, I wasn't totally sure how this would work. I didn't know how well a story from the perspective of a blind individual would flow. It completely strips you of most writers' greatest tool, which is visuals. It does seem as though you've found some miraculous way to get around that though. You use touch, sound and even smell to give us some of the description you'd think we would miss out on. And in the rare case we need to understand what something looks like, there's always someone there to explain it to him. Which, is realistic as I spent a good portion of my childhood explaining what mundane objects looked like to my grandmother haha.

Okay, do you know someone who is blind? Or did you research somehow or what, because this is a really, really accurate portrayal. I've seen you talk about this story around the forums and I could tell that you were really passionate about it, but I never imagined that you'd have slipped into the mind of a blind child so effectively.

Hugo's home life doesn't really sound like something he particularly enjoys. I can understand why he'd want to sit in his room and write stories (beyond that being more or less what I do) because, as he tells it, when he spends time with his parents it becomes awkward. It would be unnerving to have a room be silent and not know if people are staring at you or watching everything you do or exchanging meaningful looks as they observe you. And not to mention how annoying it must be to have people constantly surprised that he has overheard their conversations they have when he is right near them! Obviously he'd listen more intently than someone with sight not the other way around. It just must be hard living like he does. I would love to see him at his Muggle school in which he feels like he fits in because everyone else is also blind. I'd like to see the change in him between feeling left out and feeling like he belongs.

Hugo is a very smart ten year old kid. Not in the sense that I feel as though you've written him too mature or adult-like though, he certainly still seems as though he is a child. Just a smart child for his age. I think having the disability he has necessitated some sped up maturity. As he has always had a disadvantage, he's always had to accept the unfair nature of life as far back as he remembers. I imagine that'd be a strange feeling to never be naive enough to imagine that the world as fair and just. Just a little thing I thought worth mentioning. I am rambling now, aren't I?

The point of all of this, is that you've written a spectacular opening chapter with a character and plot that is really difficult to pull off. I attempt to write some pretty challenging ideas myself, but I don't think I would have had the nerve to write this story, and for that I applaud you. This is endlessly intriguing and impressive and I can't wait to read further!

Author's Response: Hey!

THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU SO SO MUCH, I am sitting here staring at this review and it has just made my day completely and now I'm going to walk around for the entire evening with this giant stupid smile on my face.

You've had that floating round your head? This response is going to consist of me giving up on sounding like an intelligent adult and just thumping my keyboard because asdfghjklkjhgfdsdlshilhdaiud

Oh, I love the scene with the muggle kid. The mood's so positive, and I wanted to bring it crashing down, and I think that scene did it perfectly. And actually for a start it's a reminder of the fact that other people treat him differently - and especially coming from a kid, who's likely to say what he's thinking and not be sympathetic or politically correct or anything.

Visuals. I miss visuals so much. I just wrote a one-shot, the first story apart from this one that I've really gotten into for months now (I've started a few and abandoned them half a chapter in and gone back to this novel) and it was just so nice to be able to use visual description and all my usual imagery! Writing from Hugo's POV is certainly restrictive, but I've had to find those ways around it and I'm actually really proud of my (visual-less) descriptions. And I think it's done my description in general wonders because I've HAD to think about senses that I wouldn't usually consider, and I don't think I'll end up suddenly forgetting them again when I leave Hugo and can use visuals again.

No, I don't actually know anyone who's blind. Not beyond blind adults I've seen on trains and in the streets. I come up with characters by imagining what it would be like to be in that situation, by considering all the factors and just thinking "what would my reaction be?" and actually I have a really good feel for Hugo's character now so I know how he reacts and how he thinks and the kinds of things he says. I don't know quite HOW I developed him, actually. I just sort of had this picture in my head and he grew and he was there as you see him in the story. Everything he says and does is just what seems logical and RIGHT to me. If that makes sense.

Yeah, I'm passionate about it, and I'm so so happy reading this and seeing that I've managed to pull it off and other people like it too and that it's not exactly standard but the risks are paying off and it does actually work.

Sitting in room writing. Yeah, that's what I do too. But then we sit in our rooms and communicating with other authors over the internet, while he sits there writing on his own (yeah, he's too young to be chatting to people over the internet, and it would be worrying if he was, but you know...) Yeah, I bet it would be unnerving to not know whether people are watching you and even whether they're still in the room if they're being quiet. Oh, you'll get to see him at his Muggle school later!

That's just what I feel about him, with the maturity! Everything I've thought about whilst writing you're mentioning now and it's amazing people are able to pick up on these things!

Rambling is the best. You may have noticed that I do it occasionally...

Thank you so much! I'm still grinning and I'm really looking forward to hearing what you think of the rest! I love this story and it makes me so happy when I hear that other people like it too and it's not just me.

Um, intelligent conclusion to response... *flails* THANK YOU!!!


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Review #7, by BellaLestrange87 The Slytherin Conspiracy

15th September 2014:
This is for the Blue vs. Bronze review battle!

Hi Leo! First off, I apologize for any spelling errors. I'm on my phone.

This was an interesting chapter. Louis talking about the Slytherin conspiracy... I will admit I thought all the Weasleys would be in Gryffindor, but I guess it's not just Rose in another house.

So I'm 99% sure that Louis was joking, but Slytherins trying to take over would add a lot of conflict.

*laughs at Percy confronting the Muggle in pajamas*

I'm actually feeling sorry for Audrey. Maybe she has no talent for baking.

Rain on Christmas holidays? It must be a really warm Christmas - otherwise there'd be snow.

Great chapter though!

~Olivia

Author's Response: Hey Olivia!

Oh, I can't imagine them all being in Gryffindor. Yeah, I know there's the Weasley=Gryffindor thing in Harry's time, but I can't imagine all the next-gen kids being there. It doesn't fit the characters I have for them in my head.

Yeah, Louis is a bit of an entertainer and a show-off, and he's amusing them all with crazy plans. If there's a Slytherin conspiracy (maybe there is, maybe there isn't), it might not involve setting the world on fire and colonising the moon...

Yeah, poor Audrey. Her talents lie in other areas, but she feels a bit like not baking makes her a bad Weasley woman.

Actually, rain in the Christmas holidays is common over here in England. Yes, there's this romantic picture, but I'm not sure I remember seeing a single white Christmas in my life. Maybe one... Snow's pretty rare, anyway - we often get a few inches in January, but it doesn't last long. A British winter is pretty different to, say, a Canadian one! (unfortunately) ;)

Thank you!

~ Leo xx


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Review #8, by Midnight spark The Slytherin Conspiracy

15th September 2014:
Hi there! It's me from the forums with your LONG LONG overdue review!
First of all, REALLY REALLY REALLY sorry for the delay! I just had no time at all!

Now on to your story: What an inspiring story! I've never actually read a story with Hugo as the main character, but I think I'm going to rethink that from now! The fact that Hugo is blind,but still he does everything others can do, and much much more brilliant than others really touched me!

And Rose is very brilliant! I really enjoyed reading about them when they were young, because I usually read about them when they are at least sixteen. So that was a great change.

I absolutely ADORE your writing style and pacing! Wish I could manage it.

Good job and thanks for the read!
Sana

Author's Response: Hiya! Don't worry about not having time before - I know the feeling! I'm just happy you've taken the time to read and review this at all :)

Thank you so much! I've never read a story with Hugo as the main character either, but he seemed to fit this perfectly - from the little we saw of him in the epilogue, there isn't anything to prove he's NOT blind, and his personality seemed to fit too. Poor Hugo. He's had to go through a lot, but as a result he's very determined.

Thank you so much! Really glad you liked it :D

~ Leo xx


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Review #9, by True The Slytherin Conspiracy

13th September 2014:
Hi! I've been binge-reading your story, and it's amazing! You've brought out all the emotions really well.

I love Hugo - you've portrayed him so well. the harp is a lovely touch! I like Rose too; insecure but still a bit annoying. Hermione and Lily are lovely as well.

Just something I picked up:
"It takes me a second to look across to Albus; he's staring at the floor in miserable silence." Now, I can understand that Hugo could pick up Al's miserable vibes, but how would he know that AL is staring at the floor?

Other than that, this story was great! Good job :D

Author's Response: Hi! Thank you so much!

I'm very fond of Hugo and I'm really glad you like him too. It's the first time I've really gotten into the main character's head in a novel and felt like I know them properly.

Ah. I totally didn't realise I'd written that. Eliminating visual description from my writing is perhaps the hardest thing about writing from Hugo's POV and I think I had a mind blank whilst speed writing during JulNo. Thanks for pointing it out - I'll fix it now.

Thank you so much, and I really hope you enjoy the rest! I put a chapter into the queue every Wednesday, just to let you know :)


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Review #10, by MargaretLane The Slytherin Conspiracy

13th September 2014:
*laughs* In my story, the family spend Christmas at the Burrow and Boxing day at the Grangers, but of course, YOU'VE GONE AND KILLED HERMIONE'S PARENTS, so that isn't possible.

*laughs at James is in the same year, but you wouldn't realise it* No, somehow I would imagine Molly as more mature than James.

Love the way you characterise James in a couple of lines. The way he repeats himself a lot and seems to think his pranks are funny kind of suns up how oblivious he is to the fact others aren't interested. And the fact he boasts about having to redo essays also gives an insight into his character. It's great to get these little details, when most of the characters are away at Hogwarts and we don't see much of them, so there is only the odd detail to let us see what they're like.

I like your Louis actually. I know he's only had a few lines, but he seems to have a sense of humour. When you said he was in Slytherin, I sort of imagined him as being like mine - not that there was any reason he should be, but it made me think mine would really fit Slytherin and I started imagining him that way. Yours seems nicer though.

Hmm, I wonder why Albus is miserable. Not going to hug him, because I doubt he'd like it much, but sympathises with him. I wonder if he's still worried about the house thing or if he just doesn't like the crowd.

*laughs* I can't spell, but I don't think that prevents me being a Ravenclaw. But yeah, nothing wrong with Hufflepuff; they're my second favourite house. I got Hufflepuff on the Pottermore quiz actually, but I don't think I really AM a Hufflepuff. I CAN be loyal and hard-working, but not particularly so, and I'm really only hard-working when it comes to academic stuff anyway, which is more Ravenclaw. I could probably spell antidisestlishmentarianism - I think that's right. My spelling is pretty erratic. I can spell words most people get wrong and can't spell some that are considered easy.

Calvinism brought to Scotland by John Knox. Is that taught in Britain? The Reformation is part of the Junior Cert. course here, but of course, Hogwarts kids wouldn't know Muggle secondary school history courses anyway.

This is why shops should not open on St. Stephen's day/Boxing day. *glares at Irish shops starting to do so*

And I REALLY like the idea of Fred being one of the quiet ones. Most stories, including my own, have him as a messer, so it's good to see a different characterisation.

I find it interesting so many of the Weasley kids are quiet, when the older generation certainly WEREN'T. Maybe that's why. Maybe a lot of them feel overpowered by their parents. I mean, Harry, Hermione, Ginny, Ron, George and Percy are all, in different ways, people who make their presence felt.

*laughs* There's also about three years between Fred and Roxanne in mine and they are also the youngest of the cousins, but Fred is about three years younger than Lily and Hugo.

I think your Hugo will be a Ravenclaw when he gets to Hogwarts. He seems to fit perfectly and he'd be really good at the riddles. He seems to have that kind of mind.

*grins* I'm glad Hugo had a pretty happy chapter here. It's funny. The last title sounded cheerful and wasn't and this chapter sounded ominous, but was much more cheerful.

And this is one of the most random reviews I've ever given.

Author's Response: YES, I KILLED HERMIONE'S PARENTS. I AM EVIL. *cackles*

A large part of this chapter is characterising all the other next-gen kids who we haven't really met yet. James is an idiot. Al's really quiet and withdrawn because he has difficulties with social interaction and being thrown in with all of these people - who are all very comfortable with each other - he's kind of withdrawn. He doesn't really know how to get involved in the conversation - at least that's how I'm trying to present it. He's not really bothered about the house thing any more, I don't think; it's the crowd that's bothering him.

I love Louis. I've seen him portrayed as pretty spiteful or aloof, especially when he's put in Slytherin, but I thought I'd make him kind of self-depreciating. He's still ambitious and proud of his house, and he fits the characteristics, but he's also popular and a bit of a joker. A bit of a show-off, actually, and very good with people.

I think I can see the Hufflepuff in you, but I'd say you're definitely a Ravenclaw! And no, it has nothing to do with spelling. Actually, your spelling is incorrect. It's antidisestABlishmentarianism. Anti-dis-establish-ment-arian-ism. Really hoping I haven't got any typos in there, because I keep checking. It's not that hard because it's made up of standard prefixes and suffixes, you just have to get them in order! But it's the longest word in the English language (medical terms don't count) which is why they made a thing about it. Can relate on the spelling front. My spelling used to be so much better before I started writing a lot, conversely enough.

No, that's not really taught here, though the name may pop up in one lesson in about the relevant section of the syllabus. And... urgh, I can't even remember most of the stuff we did before GCSE in History! Our GCSE was all 20th century stuff, and KS3 we did King John (Thomas Becket, Peasant's Revolt, and of course Magna Carta), Elisabeth I and the Spanish Armada, Empire and slavery, the Industrial Revolution, and WW1. There might have been a bit more, but if so I don't remember it. And stuff at Primary School wasn't in much depth. I think Al's just acquired the information somewhere or other, probably because he got interested in a particular book and read it and remembered it all. I picked the word by, um, looking for words that were hard to spell. There's no more meaning to my word choice than that!

Over here, all the large chains and even a lot of the small shops open on Boxing day. Some of them open EARLY for the boxing day sales to begin - not even normal Sunday opening hours (which are still limited by law). Can't remember whether it's 6am or 6.30 or something for some of them. CHARITY SHOPS open on bank holidays. Keep glaring at those Irish shops!

I think Fred doesn't like the expectations. He's been named after the other Fred, obviously, and he might often feel like George wants Fred to be like Fred Sr.. So Fred might feel a bit guilty, but also angry that his dad is comparing him to his uncle rather than accepting him in his own right. And George didn't just get over Fred Sr.'s death and move on. I've also read an amazing one-shot, can't remember who by, of Fred really struggling with the expectations on him as a result of people wanting to be like his uncle.

Yeah, overpowered, and also they've grown up in families with parents struggling to recover from the war.

Hugo = Ravenclaw. First prediction! Maybe, maybe not...

I find it hilarious when you start judging my chapter titles because you keep on making completely the wrong predictions! *laughs*

I will convert you to randomness. It might take a while, but I will win out in the end. Hey, you had a conversation with "Leo on a sugar high" yesterday, so I'm not sure how you can describe something as logical and thought-through as this review as "random"!

Thank you! *squishes in giant hug* :D


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Review #11, by lexiatel Live in Concert

11th September 2014:
Just wonderful! You're amazing at this!

I was kind of curious about the guide dog, and if you would actually introduce such into the story.

I knew it was a harp too! Funny, hmm... Anyway I LOVE harps **sighs dreamily**

I feel so bad for Hugo... and yet, he would hate me for it. :( Not like I would let him know it everyday.

I noticed something while I was reading...

There are other people arriving too, and I hold Mum's hard tight. - "hard" should be "hand"?

Rated 10/10 Keep up the fabulous job.

Author's Response: Hi Lexi!

Thank you so much!

Would I introduce a guide dog... hmm... you'll just have to wait and see!

I love harps too! Describing the sounds made by musical instruments is a pain, but at least I did well enough that you recognised it!

Hugo's not in the nicest situation, but he's not actually the person I feel most sorry for. There are characters in worse situations which I feel worse for. Doesn't mean I won't carry on torturing them but yeah... And Hugo would hate the idea that you felt sorry for him, and he's convinced everyone feels sorry for him anyway so you'd have to do a very good job of "proving" otherwise!

Thanks for pointing that out.

Thank you! I really hope you enjoy the rest too!

~ Leo xx


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Review #12, by DracosGirl012 Christmas Cheer

11th September 2014:
Poor Rose. I feel bad for her not having very many friends.
I really got a kick out of Ron's caroling though!! Too funny, and exactly what he'd do. I laughed at the hot-dog scene, lol. And I really liked the Christmas tree scene.
Anyway, brilliant chapter as usual! :)

Author's Response: Thank you :D
Yeah, poor Rose. She's one of those people who just has no idea how to fit in.
And Ron... oh, Ron... I love writing Ron.
So glad you liked it!
~ Leo xx


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Review #13, by MargaretLane Christmas Cheer

9th September 2014:
*laughs* Your James seems a little like mine on first glance.

I'm not sure about the "but he didn't say it" in the middle of James's ramble. It seems to kind of confuse the sentence.

Your Rose sounds a little like mine too, although you've said there are a lot of differences when I get to know her. Her over-protectiveness and the way she doesn't even ask if Al wants her around is sort of like my Rose.

Ah, now I see the difference. In a way, it's almost as if your Rose is pretending to be mine, if that makes any sense. Like she's pretending to be the confident, successful person who sorts things out for everybody else, whereas really she's pretty insecure herself.

I think I do like your Rose. *huggles her tightly* I think in some ways she's typical of a lot of very smart kids, and she does sound smart. It can be isolating.

I love Hugo's thought about "well, obviously it is or I wouldn't have said it."

Aw, not I feel so sorry for Rose when there is a catch in her voice.

Kids like Rose, I always just want to put my arm around or something and tell them it WON'T always be like this, that they AREN'T strange or "different" and that some day, when their peers mature, people will start admiring them for being smart and original.

And at least her problems are normal ones and she's not majorly traumatised, as far as I can see.

In 'tis, the apostrophe should be before the "t", not after it, as it replaces the missing "i".

If it's after the 8th of December, it's Christmastime. *nods* I know technically Christmas day is the first day of Christmas, but the 8th has marked the start of the Christmas season over here for I don't know how long, so yeah. They've now started switching on Christmas lights in towns and playing Christmas music in shops before the 8th and grr.

Like the detail about how boring it is picking a Christmas tree when he can't even see them.

Aw, poor Hugo. He's not enjoying Christmas, is he?

Author's Response: I had to refrain from comment when I told you the title of this chapter and you said you liked the sound of it. I like ironic titles.

I think the difference between our Jameses is that yours is actually reasonably popular while mine thinks he is but isn't. He's completely oblivious to the fact that other people find him annoying and keeps on acting like he's the centre of the universe when no one else is particularly bothered about him. At some point, maybe he'll wake up and realise that, and I pity him then.

Yay, I hoped you'd like my Rose! Yeah, that's the big difference: your Rose is overconfident, mine's insecure. She's trying to be helpful and make friends and get people to like her, but she has no idea how and she can't figure out what she's doing wrong. That's well put: my Rose is pretending to be yours.

There's a lot of mileage in normal problems. No, she's not majorly traumatised yet.

I will tidy up those things.

Advent could be seen as the start of Christmastime and that starts on the 1st December - that's when you start getting advent calenders and candles and places really start decorating and there's Christmas music in shops. Christmas trees don't tend to go up until later, especially if they're real ones, because for a start they'd lose all their needles by Christmas. And the lights in the town go on I think first weekend of Advent. Rose is home from Hogwarts, so this chapter probably starts just after the 8th.

No, Hugo's not enjoying Christmas, at least not at the moment. Poor kid.

Thank you! *huggles* So happy you like it, especially my Rose. :D


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Review #14, by DracosGirl012 Confidentiality

7th September 2014:
Oh that's so awful about the press!! Ugh. It's like Skeeter and her nasty rumors and lies, but worse, isn't it? Poor Hermione. Poor Ron.
I kind of smiled a bit at the part about Ron and his fear of spiders!! That, in my opinion, never gets old. Though I do share his fear of them! We muggles may not have acromantulas, but our spiders are pretty darn scary! Lol. Great chapter, as usual. Can't wait for the rest!! :)

Author's Response: Yeah, I think this is worse. Skeeter made up stuff, maybe starting from a vague truth before stretching it out of proportion. The problems here are with more personal information, and with the fact that St Mungo's is untrustworthy.
Thank you! I really hope you like the rest too.
~ Leo xx


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Review #15, by DracosGirl012 Common Knowledge

7th September 2014:
I liked this chapter a lot. Hugo's struggles are so very real that I can see in my head the story you've created here. I really love Hugo. I wish people wouldn't treat other people with disabilities as if they're not people at all. I have a disability myself (I'm in a wheelchair and I'm on oxygen) so I know some of Hugo's struggles, and it's not easy being different from everyone else and not being able to do things like other people do.
Great chapter. Now onto the next one! :)

Author's Response: I bet it's not easy! People can mean it well but that doesn't stop it from being frustrating. I'm writing using my own deductions to present something I don't have personal experience of, and it's always a huge boost when people in similar situations tell me that actually I've done it right (and so I haven't offended them by doing it wrong).
Thank you very much!
~ Leo xx


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Review #16, by BellaLestrange87 Confidentiality

6th September 2014:
This is for the Blue vs. Bronze review battle!

I love this chapter. It definitely put a darker spin on why Hugo was blind - when before I simply thought it was an anomaly, something that could be fixed. It also makes me wonder about the fact that Rose appears to be fine - and if you're going to change that, or if Hermione was affected beyond what happened to Hugo.

Ron's reaction to the spider - hehehehe. It makes sense that his arachnophobia would be worse after Aragog. Now I'm worrying about why he was late home. (Hopefully something else doesn't go wrong.)

I can't wait for the next chapter!

Author's Response: Hi! Thank you very much!

Oh no, it's more than simply an anomaly. If it could be fixed, it would have been done by now - this is Ron and Hermione's son, after all, and they're pretty important people in the wizarding world. Whether it has any other effects... you'll just have to wait and see.

Ron being late home is something Hugo will forget to ask about and which won't have any major effects. It's a remnant of sloppy editing and a change of plot direction during JulNo which I can't figure out a way of sorting.

Really glad you like it! The next chapter's in the queue and should be up soon, and I'd love to hear what you think of it.

Thanks!

~ Leo xx


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Review #17, by MargaretLane Confidentiality

1st September 2014:
Yikes, that part about there possibly being traces remaining is kind of scary. It makes me wonder if Hugo could be affected in other ways they don't know about yet.

And now I'm wondering about Rose; if it was just luck she wasn't affected or if there's something more to it.

So far Rose seems to have got off fairly easily compared to most of your characters. *watches you suspiciously* I sort of don't want you to ruin Rose's life, because I think SOMEBODY deserves to have things comparatively easy.

That is dreadful - releasing the fact Hermione and Ron were having a daughter. Reminds me of a few years back when an Irish TV station announced on ST. STEPHEN'S DAY that the then Minister for Finance had cancer. You can imagine the complaints they got! They were accused of tabloid reporting. OK, the leak about Hugo is even more like that. Just checked an article about the event and people were saying at the time, the TV station should at least have held off a few weeks to let the family come to terms with it in private.

Oh gosh, poor Hermione. She must feel so guilty about refusing the check. How awful is that...

*cheers for Harry threatening them with Azkaban*

And *cheers for Hugo telling Hermione to stop worrying* He's being pretty mature for a 10 year old. *hugs him*

You're really determined to ruin Hermione's life, between killing her parents and having her blame herself for not having found out sooner about his blindness.

*laughs* That comment of Hugo's about how that part of the sentence was unnecessary sounds like something my version of Rose would say.

VERY minor nitpick, but you could go down to a new paragraph after Hermione says she's sure it's nothing serious and before Hugo starts thinking about how Ron has said he has to stay late at work without any explanation.

Ahhh, you're just determined to end every chapter on a cliffhanger, aren't you? The last chapter had me wondering what had caused Hugo's blindness, now this one has me wondering why Ron was late home. I wonder is there some kind of threat to the wizarding world that the Aurors have to deal with.

Great chapter.

Author's Response: *squishes* Hello! Thank you so much!

Rose. It's luck that she didn't end up blind. Whether or not she's escaped unscathed... I would say, as a general reminder for this kind of situation with the lingering Dark Magic, that not all disabilities are physical.

*sniggers* Because watching me suspiciously is going to do SO much good. What do you mean, you only SORT OF don't want me to ruin Rose's life? What's the point if you don't object to me ruining characters' lives? *sniffs* You're supposed to play along.

Our newspapers have great fun releasing all kinds of information when those concerned have only just found out about it themselves. There was a big fuss over here about phone hacking for the sake of finding out information they shouldn't know, that kind of illegal stuff. There's an ongoing inquiry into methods used by the press, and regulation.

Hermione didn't just have the guilt that she might have been able to do something and didn't. She had the entire wizarding world criticising her. Yeah, every time we've talked about ruining characters' lives and you've told me which I am/am not allowed to torture, you've completely forgotten about Hermione. Not that you could have stopped me... but yeah, poor Hermione. She's not having the easiest time, is she? *cackles*

Pointing out technicalities is Hugo's speciality!

It's not supposed to be a cliffhanger. I actually finished off this chapter a few weeks after writing the first half (this is where my JulNo chapters begin, so be warned, speed writing...) and there was a bit of a change of plan. The ending is supposed to suggest that Hugo's going to forget to ask. I really need to have a good think and edit - Ron being late home was originally going to be a big plot point, but with the revised plan it's just a remnant that really needs to be dealt with. *pokes self* Sloppy laziness right there.

Thanks!


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Review #18, by MargaretLane Common Knowledge

28th August 2014:
OK, FINALLY getting around to reading this.

LOVE Hermione's comment about how nobody likes sticking their ears in the oven. And I like the fact she's become rather more realistic as an adult and no longer believes it's as simple as just freeing them, without considering where they'll live after freedom or if they'll be able to get a job or provide for themselves or whatever.

Sounds like she's having more difficulty bringing in rights for house-elves here than in my story, where she has at least managed to ban things like making them stick their heads in ovens, even if some people ignore the ban, knowing their house elves are too loyal to ever report it.

*laughs at your detailed description of the evolution of Diagon Alley* Is there a reason it was built the year London burnt? Had there been previous buildings there that burnt in the fire?

Love the ice-cream you invented.

*cheers for Hermione's retort to the assistant's comment* How inappropriate can you get - telling Hermione she's sorry she has a blind son RIGHT IN FRONT OF HUGO?

And *cheers for her not reading his stories without permission*

Yikes, it didn't occur to me his blindness could be connected with the war and what happened to Hermione. Now I'm intrigued as to the cause of it. Can't wait for the next chapter.

Author's Response: Yay, thank you! I've got my big goofy "new review" smile on my face now.

Maybe part of Hermione's trouble comes from the distractions of the first years of Hugo's life. But mainly people don't want to hear what she has to say.

Yep, it was built in the aftermath of the Great Fire of London because the Ministry saw the perfect opportunity to cast some charms over the area and make it effectively disappear - something which would be considerably harder if there were inhabited houses there! And there was a nice space for the Leaky Cauldron and all. Wizarding buildings wouldn't have been affected by normal fire; it's just a case of the muggle ones having been burnt down creating a space and distractions so the muggles wouldn't notice.

The evolution of Diagon Alley. One of those things one just feels the need to know. Most people don't? *shakes head* At least you and I know the value of totally unnecessary and pointless information: it's fascinating.

Well, they couldn't just have muggle ice-cream! I do wonder what it would look like... maybe white with different colour swirls through it or something. All that matters to Hugo is the flavour, though!

I was going to have Hermione report the shop assistant to George, but decided she'd be too nice/felt it wasn't worth the hassle. The shop assistant probably went home and cried afterwards. No sympathy. She upset my little Hugo!

The next chapter went in the queue yesterday! Yep, it's an important one, which will hopefully answer a few questions. Can't wait to hear what you think of it!


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Review #19, by MargaretLane A Birthday Present

18th August 2014:
Oh gosh, now I'm wondering what happened to Hermione's parents. And you say I'M mean to my characters! Killing off the Grangers after all Hermione's efforts is just cruel.

I love the way you show the difficulties a magical child has attending a Muggle school.

*laughs* I don't usually watch sport, but one time my friend and I were in a hotel in Tipperary, when Tipperary were playing Kilkenny at hurling (Kilkenny are SCARILY good at hurling, so I basically support whoever is against them). Hurling is so fast and the sliotar (the ball) so small that you might as well be just listening to it like Hugo is. That's what this reminded me. I guess catching the Snitch is the same in Quidditch. It happens so suddenly, you'd probably only know when the commentator announces it.

I actually DID burst out laughing when Ron started dancing around the room singing that Hermione said he was right. A reaction like that has GOT to be a good sign, right? It's just so in character for Ron and such a funny mental image.

Just a question: who are Juniors? I guess I sort of assumed Junior School meant the same as primary school.

Oooh, magic wolf obviously makes me, and probably Hugo, think of werewolves and yeah, that's not funny, considering what they go through and how they are treated in the wizarding world.

We used always have two spelling tests, one in English and one in Irish, a line down the middle of the page and ten words in each language, English at one side, Irish at the other. Well, except in Senior Infants, because we only did English language spellings then.

You really capture the atmosphere in the classroom and the speech patterns of a ten year old boy well.

I actually made Derek's father a policeman before even thinking that that was the Muggle equivalent of an Auror and you've now reminded me I mean to have a scene about them comparing Muggle and magical investigations in year three and Harry trying to implement some ideas Derek's father tells him about in the Auror office.

And yes, it does sound weird to have Ron unable to pronounce his own job. Hugo covered it up well, saying he just does it to annoy Hermione. Especially since it's something one could easily imagine Ron doing.

*laughs at the meteor killing the t-rex* That reminds me of when I was a teen and playing with my three year old cousin and HER seven or eight year old cousin and myself and the older kid ended it by blowing up the world and stuff and then my three year old cousin was like "is it over now?" Um, yes, since the entire population of planet earth has been killed. Before you think we were being mean, my then three year old cousin is now a good deal older and makes you and me look kind to our characters. Blowing up the world would be right up her street.

Author's Response: Yay! Awesome review! *hugs* When I read through and posted this chapter (I wrote it two or three months ago) I was kind of "yay, it's THAT chapter" because I remembered loving writing it. One of my personal favourites (because let's admit it, everyone has favourite chapters in their own work).

All right fine, I actually keep forgetting how cruel I am to Hermione. It seems I'm also capable of being cruel to my characters. I thought of killing off the Grangers suddenly one night and first of all sat there in shock at the idea then started cackling as I realised just how evil an idea it was.

Some are born evil, some achieve evilness, and some have evilness thrust upon them... I'm working on it, OK?

If rainbows, fluffy bunnies, and baby unicorns have no effect (as per last night's conversation), maybe making you laugh will instead..?

Ron is the comic relief. There's more to him than that, but he's always a good source of amusement. Ron goofing around all the time, and Hermione pretending to disapprove but being entertained really. He doesn't have to bother being sensible, because Hermione is sensible enough for both of them!

Who are Juniors? Primary school tends to be split into two groups, the infants (reception to year 2, age 4-7) and the juniors (years 3-6, age 7-11).

Yep, Hugo thought werewolves. Which is rather different to what the rest of the class was thinking of. There's how atrociously they're treated, but perhaps his first thought would be the simple concept of the fact that they're dangerous. He certainly wouldn't have been raised to hate them, but he may well have picked up on the fact that they're generally considered dark and are very dangerous.

We used to have twenty or so spellings to learn, particularly in later years split into levels so some people did harder ones and some easy depending on how well they'd scored on previous tests.

Thank you! I love classroom scenes, and writing younger (pre-Hogwarts) children. I think I started with 6-year-old Remus in Bitten, who was amazing to write, and now I've got Hugo and his class.

Oh yes, Hugo and friends enjoy death and destruction very much, but in an innocent kind of way. I think blowing up the world is kinder to the characters than torturing them like we do, really. And I think my brother and I ended our fair share of role-plays and board games with wanton destruction (usually involving a large teddy bear wandering across the board or an earthquake shaking it so that the pieces went everywhere) when we got bored of playing (or were losing).

Yeah, blowing up the world is cliche and unoriginal. UNLESS, of course, the person responsible escapes somehow and is the only one to do so. Now THAT would be cruel. (If that's how your series ends... I'll be very disappointed in you.)


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Review #20, by DracosGirl012 King's Cross

13th August 2014:
Hi! Sorry for taking so long to get to the reviews you won on my challenge, but here I am now.
I quite love this story. You have certainly done something I have not seen before. I love it. Your characterization of Hugo is absolutely perfect.
I don't know if you noticed in the last section, when Hugo falls down. You say Ant Ginny, when it should be Aunt Ginny. Lol.
I love how Hugo responds to the rude questions. Even if it was a child, it was still a rude thing to say.
Anyways, I love the story so far, and I'll post another review soon! :)

Author's Response: Thank you! I like to look at more unusual settings for stories, and I found this concept really interesting to write.
Thanks for pointing that out! I'll go fix that now.
It was a child, meaning they were honest in a way an adult wouldn't be, which is perhaps what hurts Hugo most.
So glad you like it! Looking forward to seeing what you think of the next chapters!


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Review #21, by MargaretLane A Haunted House

9th August 2014:
*laughs at Hermione insisting on everybody saying "pardon" rather than "what" and Ron constantly forgetting*

*also laughs at Ron muttering about getting Draco back* Ron...really hasn't changed.

You written Hermione as saying "good think I keep dittany." I think you meant "good thing".

I actually laughed out loud at the comment that Hermione'd hardly poke Ron if he were dying. True, that.

I also laughed at the part about Dad and Aunt Ginny not being normal even for wizards and none of the Weasleys being normal apart from Rose and Hugo, even though he may not be normal, but he's weird in a different way. Actually, since I have to have a story for everything, it reminds me a little of when I was at college and we'd this lecturer, who used to sing rebel songs related to what we were studying and one day she asked some of the international students about how things were different in their home countries and they said their lecturers wouldn't do that and she was like, "well, normal lecturers don't over here either." *laughs* I mean rebel songs are an awesome source for Irish history and all and a brilliant way of remembering place names and dates, so it wasn't completely random.

This story seems to have Harry rather more traumatised by past events than I usually see, which makes sense.

*laughs I used to make up those kind of things as a kid too* But I guess since Hugo is blind, people would be likely to come to all kinds of theories about it symbolising his anxiety about not being aware of what's around him or something.

Ohhh, the mention of the Tudors having houses like it makes it sound so ENGLISH.

*laughs at Ron and Ginny being determined not to grow up*

Author's Response: *hugs* Thank you so much, for another awesome review! I was going to respond straight away, but you know... I didn't (surprise surprise). :P

Haha, I love writing Ron and Hermione. I don't go in for romance but I listed them as a pairing in the summary because I realised whilst writing them how perfect they are together! The main characters were supposed to be Hugo, Lily, and Rose. The adults - especially Hermione - are turning out to be more important.

Fixed that, thanks. I write "thing" as "think" ALL THE TIME. It's annoying.

You do have a story for everything.

I don't think anyone's normal, but Ron and Ginny don't care about pretending! You can spend years hiding that you like unusual things or feel like singing at random moments or are seriously into Harry Potter, and then maybe in the end you realise that actually there's no reason to hide it, so you just burst into song when you feel like it and geek out over Harry Potter. And it's easier when there are two of you, so Ron and Ginny give each other confidence to mess around and be themselves. And of course none of the Weasleys are normal, even for wizards! They're crazy and awesome.

Harry being traumatised. Admittedly not my favourite sub-plot to write, but it all ties in to later events. Probably. Provided the story cooperates (yeah, that's a big if). But I do think it makes sense for him to be pretty badly affected by what he went through.

Following our conversation last night, I am not surprised that you made up that kind of thing as a kid. *laughs* I'm not convinced it suggests that such behaviour is normal, anyway. :P I think Hermione wouldn't like to think he was afraid like that - or to know about his slightly morbid imagination. She wouldn't feel it was the kind of thing a kid Hugo's age should be coming up with, however normal it is really.


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Review #22, by Aphoride King's Cross

6th August 2014:
Hi there - stopping by for the Blue v Bronze review battle! :)

I've seen this around the site, but I've never stopped by so I'm glad I got a chance to drop by this time! It's such a unique premise, really challenging in pretty much every way and so thought-provoking and emotional, you know?

You deal with Hugo being blind so well. Your writing doesn't feel limited at all and the description of things is just so gorgeous, whether it's what things look like or feel like or sound like. I almost wish I could get someone to read this to me so I could listen to it with my eyes close to imagine it properly :)

Hugo is such an amazing character. I love how he's not very outgoing, and very close to Lily, and irritated by people treating him like he's made of china or something, because he's not. It's such a real reaction, and kinda makes me wonder if I've ever come across as overly helpful and a bit smothering in that kind of way. Rose and his parents mean to be nice, but being overprotective kinda makes it annoying. Such a good, real presentation of them all, though!

The little mentions of things like Braille and him not always knowing when the dog (Snuffles! :D) comes up to him and hating people sitting in silence in the same room as him are so, so good.

As a whole thing, this is just so emotional and so evocative. You get the feeling of frustration at the end with Hugo, but also that he's just accepted it and he feels like his parents and Rose haven't quite accepted yet, even after so long. The ending scene particularly was so good - I felt so sorry for him, because it's something which really hurts, and the kid won't have meant it to be too rude because they just don't understand, but in a way that makes it sadder, if that makes sense. Especially when their parent doesn't seem to really step in... grr.

So yes, this was a really, really lovely piece. Gorgeous writing, great characters and an amazing, amazing premise. I'm so curious to see where this goes and how Hugo copes with everything! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi!

Thank you! I'm so glad you like it.

I've actually thought about volunteering this story to be made into a podcast over at FFAB. When I've finished it, I might. It would be really appropriate. If I can find anyone willing to record an entire novel!

I literally stop and close my eyes at odd moments to get a picture of what things would be like for him. It's fascinating to write from his perspective - if very limiting at times. And I think it's done wonders for my description! But you don't really appreciate how much you rely on sight until you think about managing without.

Really happy you like him - he's the first character I really feel I know. Like as I've been writing (I've actually got nearly 17 chapters done now) I've come to know exactly how he thinks and what he'd do. He feels like a very real character, and I'm really happy that comes across!

Indeed, Snuffles :D

The parent certainly wasn't very quick at stepping in, anyway, not acting before Hugo'd lost his temper and stopped listening. I've seen a few times the concept that children are honest in a way adults aren't, and it's true and Hugo knows it.

Thank you so much! I hope you do come back and read the rest - I'd love to know what you think. :)

~ Leo xx


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Review #23, by MargaretLane Empires Old and New

3rd August 2014:
*laughs at the straight roads thing* One immediate indication Ireland was never part of the Roman Empire. There's hardly a straight road in the country.

And that is an awesome idea - having them actually make the roads.

Oooh, I love the idea of Kingsley's reforms having a negative side. Most things do, after all.

And these events have certain echoes of your Nobby story, with the politics and the pureblood extremists and all.

I love Hermione's reaction to Ron actually taking notice of what's going on in the elections. And I can imagine it would feel sort of odd to be protecting people who are under threat due to the hatred they are spreading. But yeah, you can't only protect those you agree with, obviously.

Your news reporters sound so genuine. You've really captured the way reporters speak when reporting on things like elections.

And I LOVE the way the Irish Ministry use "stupid ould pencils", to quote our ex-Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, when he was trying to bring in electronic voting. When I was 12, our teacher brought us down to see part of one of the counts. It was a referendum and I wandered around, counting how many yeses and nos I saw. I think I saw something like 12 nos and about 4 yeses, so that was a pretty fair indication of the way the wind was blowing.

I like the way you have different countries having different systems and stuff. The wizarding world does seem more uniform than the Muggle one, probably because of the smaller populations and greater ease of travel, but at the same time, the British wizarding world is so like Muggle Britain in a lot of ways (even down to the year they start secondary school and the years they do their exams) that it makes sense other countries would reflect their Muggle versions.

*laughs at what Hugo says about Percy, since in my story he spends his time talking about work and how well Lucy is doing, since Molly isn't at Hogwarts yet in my story*

I'm actually really amused at something here, but I think I'll pm you on the forums about it, because it'd be going off-topic here.

That idea of splitting the vote is one of the sort of benefits of our system, where we have 3-5 candidates elected for each constituency, so it's less likely the guy with 40% support will beat the three guys with similar views who between them share 60% of the vote, especially as you can list 2nd and 3rd choices. There are disadvantages too, but on the whole, I like it as a system.

This also reminds me of how Labour declined to stand in the...I think it was the 1917 election, so as not to split the nationalist vote in Ireland, as this was when we were still part of the UK.

I burst out laughing at Seamus Brody's similarity to "guy I probably shouldn't bash publicly by mentioning his name."

And it strikes me as completely likely that issues about pureblood supremacy wouldn't come up in an Irish political debate, because, apart from anything else, we tend to be less direct about certain opinions. I've been rephrasing this over and over again, because I'm not sure how to express it, but I think it very likely that it might be unacceptable to express pureblood elitist views in a political debate, but far more acceptable to actually enact laws benefiting purebloods. Straight talking isn't exactly valued over here.

Author's Response: They do a lot of hands-on stuff. Usually you'd have diagrams, but they need models - and hey, why not build the models themselves?

Everything has a negative side. Give people the right to vote, you have to trust them to make a good choice.

Pure-blood extremism is a theme that I focus on constantly, and as it was the cause of both wizarding wars, Nobby's problems, Grindelwald, and Slytherin leaving Hogwarts, I think it's safe to say it's an important issue in the wizarding world!

Haha, I love my Ron/Hermione. It wasn't deliberate, but I suddenly found myself shipping them. It's a good stable relationship, unlike what most people claim to expect. She teases him all the time, but he doesn't mind.

Thank you! I love writing commentary (and there's quite a bit more TV-listening later) I may have been watching the European elections whilst/immediately before writing this chapter (spoiler: I was), so that helped me get the reporting style! My plots are so affected by my surroundings it's ridiculous, but I love this section and what it (kind of) resulted in later.

Magic quills, with ID charms so people can't vote twice or on someone else's behalf and so votes can't be modified!

I'm simultaneously writing this response and replying to the PM.

The vote splitting's inspired by something mentioned in the round-up of the European elections about UKIP and the Tories sharing a portion of the vote, and that reducing both of their chances. Your system is certainly better in that regard. But can you see the start of party politics in magical Britain?

Thank you for yet another awesome review! *hugs* *runs back to PM*


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Review #24, by DracosGirl012 Past and Future

29th July 2014:
I just want to say that I love this story so far. The plot is something I have never seen before. I really like Hugo and Lily, and I love the way you've written everyone (Ron and Harry and Hermione and Ginny). I feel like you captured their personalities exactly.
Great job! Now, I'm onto the next chapter! :D :D

Author's Response: Thank you! I like to go for more original plots, and issues like disabilities I find amazing fuel for conflict and really interesting. Really glad you're enjoying it! (I literally just finished submitting chapter 4 to the queue when I came to see this - I submit every Wednesday at present.)

Thanks for a lovely review! Hope you enjoy the rest.

~ Leo xx


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Review #25, by MargaretLane Live in Concert

28th July 2014:
Yay, we get to see his school.

And I'm intrigued by the mentions of playrooms and common rooms. Are those things common in British primary schools or is it just because he's attending a special school? We had lunch and break either in the yard or in our classrooms or when we were 8 or younger, in the hall/gym.

I can't remember if we learnt about the Romans in primary school or not. I don't think so. I think we focused on Ireland when studying that era.

That part about calling the teacher by the Latin for teacher reminds me of when we started learning French in 4th class (so at 9/10 years old) and had to refer to our French teach as Madame Murphy. And of course, from Junior Infants, a lot of classroom instructions were given in Irish.

*laughs* It's SO like Ron to make an excuse. Somehow I can't imagine him being a fan of classical music.

*laughs at him commenting that he can't see anyway* It's a funny answer, even if it is rather sad too.

The harp is like our national symbol. It's on all Government correspondence and on our coins and all. So the final line of the chapter seems so weird to me; that he doesn't know what a harp looks like. Hermione should find an Irish euro coin, so he can feel the shape of a harp. *nods*

Sorry if this review isn't greatly detailed, but I don't know much about music, so haven't much to say.

Author's Response: Hello!

No, the playroom/common room thing isn't normal for British primary schools. I don't know much about special schools (although I've tried to research) but I figured it made sense, for the sake of looking after them (many have other accompanying disorders) and also as they have very small classes. Private schools do have common rooms for all groups, I think, and that's where the idea came from, but yes it's because it's a special school.

As we were occupied by the Romans, we do study it here!

A harp is something you're likely to see pictures of even if it's not your national symbol, but of course pictures aren't any use to him. No-one's ever had a reason to describe one to him, so of course he doesn't know what they look like! It's just not something that's ever been relevant before.

Plenty of detail! You can't write a review the length of the chapter for every single chapter... ;) Thanks again!


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