32 Reviews Found

Review #1, by ravenclaw_princess Chapter Nine

6th August 2015:
I love how you don't sugercoat the darkness of this story. You really show the cruelty and the effect on the human spirit. There is a nice parallel between the torture of Alecto and the imprisonment of Imogen. While the nature of the 'torture' is different, the effect is still the same, breaking down the human spirit until the don't really know who they are any more.

I'm interested to hear what Hermione's plan is. I know she will come through for Imogen, she has to really, she is the only chance Hermione has to save herself.

Well done on another great chapter.

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Review #2, by wolfgirl17 Chapter Two

11th July 2015:
Hey there Hori,

Wolfgirl here, finally, with your requested review from over at the forums, from like 4 months ago. I apologize for my egregious tardiness. RL go in the way, not to mention April NaNo and then everything just went to bananas. However, I'm finally here to check out you chapter. I must admit that I've been here before intending to read and review before growing daunted by the amount of time require to read such long chapters.

Not that I can begrudge such a in-depth saturation in the written word or the encompassing immersion of mammoth chapters. But they are daunting when it comes to picking them apart in order to review them.

However, I enjoyed the chapter. I really love how you hook me into the world you're portraying so effectively. It really is like dropping into another world.

Make sure to watch out for your run on sentences, as I found a few of those throughout that could've done with being broken up a bit more. The best way to find them is to read the sentences out loud to yourself. If they feel like a mouthful or feel like they're just going on too long, they probably need to be truncated.

Hermione still seems a little off to me in this, mostly because she's different from her swotty canon self, but I kind of like it too. It's been so long since I read the first chapter that I did end up having to go back and re-read the first chapter because I'd forgotten who Imogen was and why Hermione would be investigating crimes in Knockturn Alley.

I definitely love this story (hence it being on my favorites list) and I look forward to reading more. I plan to set aside some time and fully immerse myself in it and read the whole thing through so that I don't get confused and not read any for months at a time.

Keep up the great work and feel free to re-request with the other chapters if you'd like to. I promise not to be as slack from now on. If I get behind by more than a week or two, start spamming me on the forums and I'll hop over and do it. I tend to forget my thread is there *blushes*.

Hope all is well with you.


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Review #3, by tangledconstellations Chapter One

12th April 2015:
I've been meaning to read this story for absolutely ages, and I am SO GLAD I have!! ♥

Honestly, this was such an incredible first chapter! You have such a way with words, and this was a real joy to read. Right from the very first line you had my attention and you've set up a fascinating tone, completely making it your own. Your descriptions were so good - and there was the perfect amount of tension and intrigue throughout. You write it so well! Truly ugh I am lost for words and am really struggling to put down how I feel about this - I am so excited by this story!! I haven't read a story like this before and I am so eager to see where you take it!

This is such a unique take on the HP world - I love the idea of a darker underbelly to the wizarding world, and I love that you're focusing on that here. It was a good move to start with Weston's perspective because it draws a real contrast between him and the inmates. He was a great character to start with as he's also provided a lot of info on the wizarding world at the time. This made me think a lot about the interesting complexities of working in a prison environment. I like how the guards feel intimidated but know they have a 'role' to uphold - and yet maintaining that moral high ground means they might potentially put themselves in danger, and get grabbed through the bars, that kind of thing. And - I love your version of Azkaban. Writing Azkaban is something I find really difficult but you've set up such a convincing and really quite intimidating picture. I got a real sense of the noise, the damp, the tension and the cold. It was really effective and immediately drew me into the setting. I felt myself feeling all cold and tense when reading it! Your descriptions are simply beautiful and worded so well. Describing Azkaban as a 'dark, geometric fang'? Not the most conventional description, but an absolutely perfect one for this piece. I immediately knew what you meant, and it not only gave an impression of the strange physical shape but also how dangerous it is, how sharp and venomous it is too. Ugh - just beautiful.

There was a whole section that literally took my breath away, it was so awesome:

"With a thud and a series of rhythmic, metallic clangs and snaps, the hidden workings of the cell and its many locks and countermeasures began to unfasten its hold over the prone inmate's surrounding environment. Slowly, the heavily rusted barred door slid down and away into the floor. It hit home with an echoing bang and the corridor was quiet once again. Weston felt his fingertips begin to tingle from the accumulated anxiety and growing stress as he waited for something, anything, to happen.

Nothing did. For almost fifteen seconds both Weston and Foster waited in a taut, electric silence as they tried to detect even the slightest change."

This is just written SO WELL. The tension is absolutely inescapable. I was so nervous/excited when I was reading it, half expecting Skerbetz to leap up and grab them or something, or to not be there at all. Part of me was sort of expecting something majorly scary to happen, too, like them being locked in or something. Anyway, my point is, my imagination absolutely ran away with me here. It was great. And I'm kind of glad that it turned out that he was dead, not because I'm a horrible person that likes people dying or anything haha, but because you didn't let this situation get ridiculous or unbelievable. From a guard's pov having an inmate die is a big deal - and their reaction to it is totally justified. And I love the descriptions of the silence, as though everyone knows, or everyone can feel it in the air. Ugh it was just great, it felt so human and real. I love that the reminder of these 'bad guys' mortality is still a scary thing, it's still something that makes the guards (and the reader) hesitate.

Now - the section with the girl getting the tattoo was awesome :D I love your descriptions of the cat, slinking away and tucking itself under her armpit. It felt so sort of nostalgic to read that, as a reminder of the really captivating and simple magic we see in the Harry Potter series. It made me think about the moving portraits, and how charming those were the first time I encountered them in the books. I love the Harry Potter series for many many reasons, but one of them is definitely the small details, the really unique and exciting small pieces of magic that capture the imagination. I feel like throughout all of this chapter, not just in the tattoo part, you've managed to emulate that. This fic is so rooted in the magic of the books that its honestly really wonderful to read. I think that's why I feel so excited about this fic. It's just so magical! :D

Ugh - I'm so sorry that this review isn't that coherent. But I just really want to get across that this is so freaking awesome. I'm sorry I've rambled a lot and haven't really offered much constructive criticism. I am so keen to keep reading (though I don't have much free time and it may be later rather than sooner) and I really hope this review gives you encouragement. Maybe I'm just particularly into this genre of writing - but also, I don't think it's just that. This is so original and so exciting, and the fact that your writing is brilliant makes this so much better.

I just. Ugh. I really enjoyed this. (Can you tell?)

Thank you for sharing this - this is such a reminder of good, well-written fanfiction! And now you have a uber fangirl. Sorry about that..

Laura xxx

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Review #4, by wolfgirl17 Chapter One

25th March 2015:
Hiya Hori!

Wolfgirl17 here with your requested review. Finally. I'm sorry it's taken me so long. I have no real excuse other than that I'm a lazy sod. I could say I've been busy with work and being Seeker for the current match on the forums, or crazily updating all my fics and it would be true, but mostly I've just been being a slothenly git.

And Holy Guacamole you write long chapters! I mean, I know in your AoC you said you did but I wasn't expecting it to be quite so long, and the others after this are even longer! You are seriously dedicated. I rarely write a chapter longer than 4-5k.

So first off, your comma placement seems a little off. There are several sections where you've used one unnecessarily. Think of commas as a pause for breath whilst speaking. If you wouldn't take breath midsentence, don't use the comma. If you use it, read it aloud and it sounds silly to take a pause there, delete it.

That being said, I must admit that this story is highly addictive and upon clicking over here I noticed I had alreayd placed it on my list of favorites and on my reading list, though I didn't recall doing so.

You're story is very good, and the preoccupation with magical tattooing is one that intrigues me greatly. You've ensnared me with this first chapter and I admit to wanting very fervently to read on.

Please do continue to request if you'd like in depth reviews that speak to constructive criticism rather than nonsensical babbling. =)

This is so very fascinating!


Author's Response: Hiya! Thanks for taking the time to review. Don't worry about how long it took. Heaven knows I don't do anything quickly, so I won't begrudge to taking a few days. ;)

Yes, the chapters are long as all heck. I say it all the time, but you wouldn't believe the length these get to before I take my editing chainsaw to them. I'm glad you were intrigued, because I'd like to know what you think of the continuing story and I don't want to re-request a review on something you hated. Especially when the chapters get massive later on. O_o

The over-using commas is particularly problematic in my earlier chapters, I agree. I think I've gotten much better at pruning them out of my work recently. Sooner or later I'll have to do a serious round of editing on all the earlier chapters. I have a strange habit of sometimes hitting the comma when I pause in the middle of writing a sentence.

Happy that you liked the idea of magical tattoos! It's honestly been a blast to try and fit the concept within the canon of Harry Potter. Soon I'll be able to start posting the chapters that explore the history of magic tattoos, so that should be fun! ;)

Thanks again for the review!

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Review #5, by Billion Chapter Five

1st March 2015:
I've been waiting to learn more about Imogen's tattoos and I'm glad to finally know. I really appreciate how you incorporate background information organically into the story instead of info dumping. I think you captured that aspect of of Hermione's personality that constantly thirsts for knowledge/information all else be damned. She has to consciously make an effort to put others' feelings before the investigation. The scene on the ferry also highlighted her tendency to judge people based on appearances and heresay. She never let her assumptions manifest in her interactions with Imogen and was always professional with her, but to show that she recognized it in herself was a great bit of characterization.

Now that Hermione and Imogen are up to speed on everything, and Carrow and Blatt are on their tail, the story can finally get to mystery solving. Yay!
Typo: "...the whole of Imogen's entire body."
resurfaces it and tears our faces in half for not acting sooner.

Author's Response: Thanks for snapping up the typos. Please let me know if you see any more. Chances are I've seen them too and have been to lazy to fix them, but if I have them staring at me in my reviews I'll probably be a bit speedier in fixing them. :)

It's another great relief when people tell me that chapters that are specifically made for info-dumping don't feel like that's what they are. I've always been very careful to let backstory and exposition slip into the narrative only at appropriate times (which is part of the reason Hermione's job is never explained as of yet ;)), but sometimes you just have to fasten your seatbelt and spend a chapter having two characters explain things to one another. I try not to make it a drag when it happens, and I'm glad that I've apparently succeeded here. :D

Thanks again for all your wonderful thoughts, concerns, and compliments. I'm happy you've discovered my story, and I'm thrilled that you're enjoying it.

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Review #6, by Billion Chapter Four

1st March 2015:
Excellent chapter! The mysteries just keep piling up. We get our first glimpse of The Stranger and I like him so far. Brilliant choice in using Alecto Carrow's perspective to differentiate him from Voldemort. It brings validity to read it from a Death Eater's point of view. The Stranger is imposing and lethal without the unintentionally comical swagger (did book!Voldemort have that? Maybe I'm confusing him with movie!Voldemort).

I love the scene in Azkaban - just the right amount of creepiness, mystery and foreboding. I hope Weston and the red-haired prisoner show up again, I like them. Imogen's breakdown was well done. Her grief and anger are very believable in her reaction to the writing on the ceiling.

We're left with more questions and more mysteries to solve. I'm looking forward to it!

Author's Response: It's a relief that you're not the first person to confirm that they feel an immediate difference between the Stranger and Voldemort. While their motives and plans are very different, the way I wound up introducing the Stranger would have made it easy to make him seem too much like Voldy. I was pretty sure I had done a decent job of establishing differences between them, and you're right, making a Death Eater a POV character certainly made that more believable. Still, it's nice for someone to affirm that for me every now and then. :)

Weston and the Red Haired Witch appearing again in the story is dependent on Imogen and Hermione needing a reason to focus on Azkaban again. I'm not sure yet if that will happen, but if you like the character of the Red Haired Witch, the other story in my catalog is about her!

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Review #7, by Billion Chapter Three

1st March 2015:
I realized after I finished reading this chapter that Hermione will actually have a friend who's a girl that she will end up working with. In the books Hermione hung out mostly with the guys and her female interactions took place primarily behind the scenes. Great job on setting up their first meeting. Imogen and Hermione are two very different individuals and it will be interesting to see how this new female relationship will play out front and center to the main plot of the story.

Author's Response: Yes! Exactly! I can't tell you how much fun it has been exploring Hermione's relationship with women her own age, because it in turn causes her to look at herself in a way that she is not accustomed to. Especially after a lifetime of only close male friends. I'm glad you noticed that very important fact, and that you've enjoyed their interactions so far!
On to your next review! :D

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Review #8, by Billion Chapter Two

28th February 2015:
Hi! Randomly stumbled upon your story and I'm glad I did. It's a very interesting concept - the death of two magical tattooists, one of whom had proven connections with Death Eaters. The setting and atmosphere are lovely and evocative, giving touches of grim and grit to the lived-in feel and the crime drama-ness of the narrative.

I'm enjoing the cast so far as well: Hermione, Imogen, Waylocke, Twist, Kramer, Hagrid, Ozak, and the Hogwarts student was the daughter of a ministry official. Even the minor ones showing up for a scene appear as fully realized people living out their lives. Great job on that!

My one nitpick is that Hermione's role in Magical Law Enforcement isn't clear. She works as a consultant with hit wizards, but she's the one that leads the investigation? She's not yet completely versed in protocol, but shouldn't Waylocke and Twist be? They didn't do much (except for pointing out that the body was on top of the mess) while Hermione, despite her inexperience, called the shots while they played a supporting role.

Anyway, great start to the story. I can't wait to find out more about these characters and the mystery of the Marked Man!

Author's Response: Hi! I'm glad that you've enjoyed my story! Thanks so much for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

It's funny that you bring up how vague Hermione's duties are, because I literally just started writing the scene in which Imogen asks those very same questions (which comes up a few chapters from the latest one). So don't worry, the foggy nature of Hermione's job is part of a larger sub-thread. Glad you caught it!

I'm happy you've enjoyed the cast, both the returning and original characters alike. :)

I see you've left a few more reviews so I'll cut this short and answer those.

Thanks again :D

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Review #9, by ravenclaw_princess Chapter Eight

27th February 2015:
Hi Hori. I'm back again :) I'm so glad I picked up your review request because I'm really enjoying this story. There is so much depth to it, in both plot and characters and I'm completely invested in this story now.

The events of the interrogation room seemed like a very accurate portrayal of how law enforcement can see evidence and read it only one way, just because of the background of the accused. They don't even want to entertain the thought of Imogens story being the truth, because that would also be to admit a mucch darker threat. Imogen's reaction and behaviour over the death of Anton though is not how a killer would behave. Her emotions were just too raw.

Hermione and Imogen's interaction though was in stark contrast. I like how even Hermione doesn't trust what is happening and needs to cast the charms. The trust they share mean that Imogen is so much more willing to open up with details she wouldn't tell the aurors.

I love how all the tattoo's work and how there are new surprises all the time. I concur with Hermione, I would love to know all the things she can do with them.

Once again, awesome chapter. This story is very engaging and the is never a dull patch.

Author's Response: I'm glad you're still enjoying the story so much! I know I'm probably testing the patience of more than a few readers by having these long chapters where little more than talking is accomplished, but I enjoy writing that way, and I'm happy at least one person likes reading it. :)

I've more or less completely fallen in love with any scene in which Imogen and Hermione get to spend time alone figuring each other out, so don't be surprised when there are more in the future!

Thanks again for taking the time!

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Review #10, by ravenclaw_princess Chapter Seven

17th February 2015:
You surely ramped things up in this chapter. It was a long read, but definitely well worth it. There were no dull spots in your writing and there is always a great amount of backstory, coupled with character exposition as well as the current action.

Imogen's growing apprehension really was well shown in each aspect of this chapter from, her initial walk, to reaching Knocturn Alley, and then to going through her fathers stuff. You could clearly see she was on edge, which made me as a reader become on edge as well. I loved the descriptions of her fathers stuff, especially the death eaters robes and her feelings towards them. Its funny how an innocuous item can make you feel so uneasy. When she dropped the diary on the bed, I knew something was going to go wrong...but atleast she has the picture,

Anton was such a cool little ccharacter, and its such a shame he had to have his young life cut short in such a way. It seems like he is ignored a bit by his parents, to be walking around at night like he is. And to try and sneak into Imogens place...that would have freaked me out to if I'd been in her shoes.

The ending sure did get exciting.and very mystery and creepy with this shadowy figure which gave me chills. The ending was so sad and I could feel all of Imogens pain. You are very good at writing these heart wrenching scenes as you don't shy away from breaking your characters down and really letting their heartfelt emotions shine through. I liked how broken and singled focussed Imogen become and that all that mattered was Anton and protecting him.

I wasn't quite expecting the ending. That definitely gave me pause and has left me wanting to know more. This is definitely one good read.

o...one more thing. I love what the tattoos can do. While a definitely curse to her, they sure have some power behind them and a power that no one is familiar with giving her a bit of an advantage at times.

Author's Response: I'm thrilled to hear that you didn't think this chapter dragged on in any places. I had considered breaking this very long segment into two chapters, but there was no obvious point where I thought it would make sense to put in a chapter break.

I always like an opportunity to paint a person's history with the objects they collect over time, so it was fun to fill Blakeney's chest with strange or obscure items. It's a shame that Imogen will probably never discern the mystery of them, but I still liked describing his odd collection.

I liked Anton as well, and as I said to another reviewer, the decision to end his part in the story took me by surprise as I was writing it. He is indeed a bit neglected, and his gravitation towards Imogen as a surrogate parental figure is part of the tragedy of his life cut short.

I'm glad you liked the ending! From this point on, it's looking like many of the chapters will be ending in similar cliffhangers, so hold on to your hat! Thank you for your review!

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Review #11, by hokiechick Chapter Eight

7th January 2015:
Hello again, Hori!

Sorry I'm a bit late to the game with your latest updates. Fantastic job by the way!

These latest chapters are very emotionally charged and I liked the parallel that you drew at the close of this chapter between Hermione's and Imogen's situations. You have a very convincing plot where the motivations of the characters are clear. The new tattoo powers you describe are also wonderful. And there's so much well-placed detail about how they work, how she triggers them, how they speak to her.

So when you introduced Anton, you really made me like him and I thought he had a future in the story. I'm sure that was on purpose, because it made it all the more heartbreaking when he was killed off, just for being in the wrong place. I'm simultaneously mad at this story and impressed with your skill in telling it, which is a very strange sensation.

Again, I can see that there is so much you're purposely not telling the reader so that we get to discover more about the characters as the plot progresses. Since you seem to have this story well-planned, how many chapters do you think you will end up having?

Once again, well done.

Author's Response: Very late response! Apologies!

I'm happy to see you easily picked up on the parallels drawn between Imogen and Hermione's respective chapters. In my mind, I wanted to illustrate a tragic sort of irony that, if the two girls' places had been reversed, they each would have been better equipped to deal with the challenges. (ie, Imogen being an inexperienced spellcaster vs Hermione not having the insight to be instantly cautious of a piece of paper.)

The tattoo powers have been a fun challenge. It's been interesting to show that she possesses great power while also limiting her enough that she cannot easily handle every dangerous situation. The larger story of Imogen's bodysuit, and how it functions in the overall plot, is something I'm very excited to get to.

I honestly introduced Anton only with the intention of humanizing Imogen a bit, showing that she is not inherently cold toward all people. When I began writing the end of the chapter, the decision to kill him genuinely took me by surprise, but I think it serves a difficult and necessary function; Imogen and Hermione are headed to a very dark place, and common rules of engagement do not apply.

Your instincts are right. There is a great deal still to be revealed. Those revelations are coming, I promise! And I think you will continue to enjoy the story. :D

Conservatively speaking, Dead Man's Mark will most likely break fifty chapters. It may be necessary to eventually divide it into a 'part 1' and 'part 2' but time will tell. :)

Thank you for your thoughts and your readership!

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Review #12, by ravenclaw_princess Chapter Six

31st December 2014:
This has been one of my favourite chapters to date. The second half got really intense. You never skimp on the details and that's what I've really enjoyed whilst reading through so far. Starting this chapter talking about Crookshanks created a really warm opening to the Chapter and gave Crookshanks a character as well as add a bit of foreshadowing/insight on the role he played later on. When Crookshanks was distressed later in the chapter, I had a feeling that something was amiss and this feeling was partly created due to focusing on him at the beginning (I did have other thoughts and I'm very glad to see that none of these thoughts came true and Crookshanks is very much still ok.)

I loved the second half of the chapter from about where Crookshanks was startled. The intensity magnified ten fold. The descriptions were magnificent, especially regarding the pain that coursed through Hermione. And then the ending, with her hand...I knew it was bad and I love the suspense you created by her not looking at it for a while.

Great chapter, I loved it :) And now Ron and Harry are involved too. There is no way that Harry is going to disappear now.

Author's Response: Coincidentally, this was one of the easiest, most fun chapters to write. I had been holding off on reintroducing the original HP trio until it came naturally to the story. It also allowed me to take a mini thinking-vacation, because the dynamic of Harry, Ron, and Hermione is so deeply ingrained into all of our minds that I don't have to do much as a writer to re-establish their camaraderie. It's probably not good that I just admitted to that. Heh heh heh

I always like using the presence of animals to act as foreshadowing devices in chapters. Showing how an animal reacts to something as a contrast to how they might behave later helps build tension for the reader, with the added benefit that, as a writer, there's no obligation to go into the animal's head and explain why they are having that reaction.

And of course Crookshanks is okay! :) In my headcannon, Crookshanks outlives everyone and everything in the books!

One of my apparent talents is in writing discomfort and pain, so that was another part of this chapter that came very easy. I'm happy you liked it. I wish I had the same skill set when it comes to writing tender emotion and romance, but beggars can't be choosers. In the meantime I'll continue to write my dark, depressing stories filled with agony, and save the warmer stuff for the other writers. ;D

So thrilled you enjoyed this! And yes, Ron and Harry will continue to play a part in the story. They're not going anywhere!

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Review #13, by ravenclaw_princess Chapter Five

29th December 2014:
Hello. I'm back at last.

This was an enjoyable chapter. I felt like I learnt a lot more about Imogen and the curse (poor girl, it sounds dreadful) and there was nice interaction between her and Hermione. You can tell that Imogen hasn't opened up to many people in her life, but it also sounds like people either avoided her or she avoided them. She seems taken aback that Hermione is actually trying to gain a deeper understanding of her than what first impressions can give.

Carrow and Blatt sound like very bad news...well Carrow definitely is, Blatt doesn't seem too cunning. I was pretty glad the stranger didn't return because he is horrifying. I haven't gotten over the last time we saw him yet.

All in all, very a good chapter. It reads really well with lots of imagery, nice flow, and no grammatical or spelling errors that I've noticed.

Well done.

Author's Response: Finally getting to these responses!

This chapter had a huge potential to get bogged down, as it is essentially a chapter devoted to explaining things to the reader. I'm happy that you picked up on the growing relationship between Imogen and Hermione, and the difficulty Imogen has with this, since I was relying on this dynamic to keep readers interested while I spent a great deal of time listing things that are important for the reader to know. ;)

Writing Blatt into the story, even as a minor character, was fun. He provides a good contrast to Carrow and the Stranger. It was my little way of illustrating that, besides the select few 'inner circle' members still active, most of the Death Eater ranks are now inundated with hapless, cowardly goons.

Don't worry, the Stranger will be back soon!

Glad you enjoyed this chapter! :)

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Review #14, by Stella Chapter Eight

23rd December 2014:
Just keeps getting better and better!!!

Author's Response: That's the kind of thing I love to hear! Thank you!

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Review #15, by ravenclaw_princess Chapter Four

8th December 2014:
The first segment of this chapter is just bone chilling. The stranger is just terrifying. I'm not quite sure what he is, he definitely has similar characteristics to a dementor but is corporeal and I really hope i don't meet him on a dark night. The descriptions were brilliant but horrible at the same time, so I found myself reading it really fast so it didn't give me nightmares. It was interesting seeing it all from Carrow's perspective and I really felt her fear.

I loved the second part of the chapter also. The mystery deepens even further. I liked all the details about tattooing and you obviously gave it a lot of thought. the old hag is awesome too.

I love Imogen, and her emotions at the end was so raw. I so can't wait to find out about this curse that keeps being eluded too. I'm sure it will help to explain some of her anger towards her father.

Love it, well done.

Author's Response: The Stranger... Yes, he's one of the more horrible beings I've envisioned, in ways far beyond what you've read so far. It is somewhat difficult to conjure up a villain in the HP universe that isn't a slightly altered version of Voldemort, so I hope I haven't made that error. I thought making him more physically horrific and violent was a good start. Hope you didn't catch those nightmares!

If you like the red haired hag, the one-shot in my catalogue is actually her origin story. Check it out if you like. :)

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Review #16, by ravenclaw_princess Chapter Three

4th December 2014:
And the mystery deepens. I'm finding this story really exciting and its got me hooked in. I'm so interested to see what's behind the deaths and all about the curse of the dead mans mask. Its such a unique concept you have going here and I'm really enjoying it.

I love Imogen, she is such a cool character. She has such a hard exterior but you can tell that inside she's hurting. Every so often you can glimpse her vulnerability. I suspect there is much more to her hate of her father than just his relationship to Voldemort.

You have lovely descriptions, especially of Azkaban. Its the small details that can create a strong imagery for the reader. I like the inclusion of little extra things about their world, such as the journey to Azkaban and the process of visiting people. You slip them so easily into the story that it never feels like you've gone off on a tangent. And I got chills just thinking about how cold and harsh Azkaban is...not a nice place at all.

Well done. Another very enjoyable chapter.

Author's Response: Glad to see I've snared you up in this tale! (evil cackle)

I've had a lot of fun developing Imogen, and her character became much clearer to me when I decided early in the process that the story would hinge on the development of the relationship between her and Hermione. Ms Granger often bemoaned the gloomy or tempestuous nature of Ron and Harry, so it was fun to envision a female character that would give her just as much grief.

No, Azkaban is not a nice place at all. One day I'll be forced to write about a location that isn't cold, gloomy, and depressing, and we'll just have to see how that pans out for moi. Haha

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Review #17, by ravenclaw_princess Chapter Two

1st December 2014:
Hi...I'm back for chapter 2. This was another very interesting and mystery filled chapter. You're really setting the foundations of a really good story.

I really enjoyed the first section with Hermione and the crime scene investigation. The mystery was slowly unraveled and it was interesting seeing Hermione's sharp eye put all the clues go together. I thought Hermione's characterisation was pretty good. She's still the determined, and inquisitive girl, yet she has matured now and turned her 'bossy, no-it-all-ness' into more of a confident and commanding presences. Yet, Hermione is still feeling the burden of the war and the aftermath of finding the remaining death eaters and you can feel the weight on her shoulders as well.

The only cc I would have, is that while Hermione did a lot during the war, she is now only 21 or 22 and it seems a little doubtful that she'd be left in charge of a murder scene. She herself admitted that she didn't even know the protocol. But maybe I've been watching a bit too much CSI :)

Imogen is such a deep character. There is so much going on in her head and I love the layers that you've woven into her. It was interesting to hear her childhood and about her mother and how this has shaped her. I liked the interaction with Hagrid and I think you wrote him beautifully. The dialogue sounded just like him too.

So well done on another great chapter. I'm so happy to have chanced upon it. I love stories with a bit of mystery. This one has really hooked me in.

Author's Response: Hello again!
Your thoughts about Hermione being a bit young for her position are completely valid, and that actually does come up in a subtle way later on in the story. Hermione's been given a degree of power and authority that she's not necessarily qualified to hold, mainly due to her status as a key player against Voldemort. In my head, the powers that be have given her this position because it 'looks good on paper,' and not necessarily because it's the best idea.

I'm glad you liked the section with Hagrid, and I'm relieved that it 'sounded' like him to you, since I made the decision to bypass most of the stylistic choices JKR made when writing his accent. I just don't have the mastery over his dialect to pull that off. :P

Indeed there is a lot going on in Imogen's mind, in more ways than you might guess. ;)

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Review #18, by ravenclaw_princess Chapter One

27th November 2014:
Hello. I'm here for our review swap. I was quite intrigued by you story summary and I'm looking forward to reading further.

I have to say, I was a little daunted when I saw the length of the chapters, but the writing was so good that I was dragged in instantly and the chapter didn't feel long at all.

You have created a very rich world with you writing. No part of Azkaban was left untouched in your description. You really painted the picture and created Azkaban as a character in itself. You showed what Azkaban was like through your descriptions and interactions of characters within its wall, rather than just telling the reader what its like. No details seemed to be left out and I really like the part about how, without the Dementors, the wildlife was starting to encroach on Azkaban and the rate deterioration was increasing. That part just really stuck with me for some reason.

Weston was really nicely characterised. I liked his reasons for volunteering for guard duty. He sounds like he lacks a little confidence in himself and follows rules to the letter. I hope to see him develop further, but even if he is left behind at this point, I enjoyed reading his part and he gave a unique glimpse of guard duty life.

The discovery of the body was an interesting part. More so in the fact that, compared to everywhere else, there was a severe lack of detail. It made it very mysterious and I wonder if they saw more than just a body...I guess I'll have to wait and see.

I also like Imogen and thought she was nicely characterised. I find it interesting how she's in the same art as her father, yet wants nothing to do with him. The magical tattooing sounds pretty neat and again, it was nicely shown through the interactions between characters rather than just describing how it works. You're pretty good at the 'show', don't 'tell' thing :)

You're writing is lovely and I thoroughly enjoyed this chapter. I will move onto the next chapter shortly, but real life will keep me busy over the next few days.


Author's Response: Finally responding to these as well! :)

Yes, I do tend to write in pretty large chunks. Believe me, I edit them down pretty severely when I can, but they always seem to come out bulky no matter what! ;)

I'm glad you're enjoying the story, and it's good to see that you've picked up on the major points I was trying to get across, as far as the characterization of Azkaban, the minimal descriptives in the discovery of the body, and so forth.

Thanks for the review!

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Review #19, by BitterSweetFlames Chapter Two

23rd November 2014:
Hi Hori! :D I'm here from our swap. Like I told you in our PM I'd already been very very interested in the sound of this story from your request over at TDA. Hehehe. :) It sounds dark but it's also spectacularly well-written and enjoyable in its complexities. So, yes, if it's not clear yet, I loved it (and will definitely find the time to read more of it in the future.)

So, you mentioned that your main concern was Hermione and the way you wrote her - if it was an accurate portrayal. I actually think your characterization of her was spot on. Let me tell you why. Firstly, I can feel how she feels - the weight of the world is on her (and Harry's shoulders) and while she feels burdened, she does not feel out of her depth. She can take a challenge and that's certainly indicative of how Hermione's always been.
I love the way you have her not be too staunch in protocol towards the Hit Wizards (Waylocke and Twist)! It's funny but she would have just been the sort of person to have everyone call her ma'am but this openness and amiability is a wonderful tip of the hat to the positive outcome of having Ron and Harry in her life.
The way you wrote of her frustration at not having full knowledge of things that were unfamiliar to her was actually quite nice because it's just as Hermione would react! She loves to know everything and even outside of Hogwart's her quest for learning would never have stopped so that was well done.
So, yes, your portrayal of Hermione was really good and I am only sorry there wasn't more of her in that chapter although...

Imogen. Imogen is so interesting. In just two chapters you've managed not just to introduce her properly BUT to make us feel we know her AND yet not know her. I'm confusing myself but bear with me.
She has just so many layers. You feel sorry for her but you try to stop that feeling because you know she'd hate you for feeling sorry for her. That you used Hagrid, one of the nicest people in the HP world, to bring her about really speaks to the strength of your words.
Her mum, too, I am so interested in her already and she was mentioned only in passing AND in flashback. I mean, Hagrid was right.. Maybe she had a reason for everything she'd done and held on to. I am waiting with bated breath to find out when or, indeed, if Imogen would find out.

BTW: "Yes, she thought sardonically, and I would have a pet unicorn and three boyfriends and not be covered in cursed tattoos. Life isn't fair."
- That note actually sums up Imogen so wonderfully, I think. You managed to paint her as a strong, independent woman albeit not one without a few regrets. She's very sympathetic and I applaud you for creating a fascinating, 3-dimensional character in just 2 short chapters.

As a side note: I want a magical tattoo now if it can move. :O WOW WOW WOW. I want to know more..

Also, I don't know this but did you use the Pottermore info on Azkaban (timewise, maybe not? IDK though, I don't keep up with Pottermore overly much) but omg, it's so perfect. I am hugely impressed.

That's it. I think I'm rambling incoherently now (never a good thing) Thanks for the swap. :D


P.S. WOW. I think this is one of my longest reviews ever. Sorry for any typos and/or grammatical errors. I did try to read through it. hehe

Author's Response: I'm very happy that you enjoyed the story so far!
You're one of the few reviewers to give me a very in-depth assessment of my usage of Hermione up to this point, so I certainly read your review with a little sigh of relief. I'm sure there are things I have her say/do/think that some won't necessarily agree with, but just knowing that at least a portion of the readership might think as you do is helpful and reassuring. :)
I'm also glad that you've taken to Imogen as well. It's often a problem when writing counter-culture characters that they become almost unrelatable or cartoonish, so I've done my best to give her some sensitivity and self-consciousness when developing her to counteract the hard edge she exhibits. And yes, we will definitely learn more about her mother, Layla, and the motives she had for her constant defense of Blakeney.
I didn't use the Pottermore info as a research tool, although I probably should have. :)
Thank you very much for taking the time to read and review. If you do read on, feel free to let me know what you think. I happy you've liked what you've read.
Thanks again!

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Review #20, by TwilightPrincess Chapter One

20th November 2014:
Wow, this is impeccable work! Your writing style is very different from mine, but yours is the kind I admire most. I can tell that you have thoughtfully chosen each word in each sentence, and that you have arranged everything with care. I get the sense that this story has been a large project for you, and you have thought of everything. As a reader, I appreciate the fact that you make me feel like you know what you're doing. That may sound silly, but I mean it. Like I said, this style is vastly different from mine. I'm more of the splatter-paint method and I like to see what comes naturally spilling out of my brain and I keep the good stuff. But it seems like you are more of a careful, detail-oriented artist. I won't bother citing an example because literally every sentence is a beautiful piece of art. Excellent writing.

I like the theme of tattoos playing a major role in this story. I also think it's brilliant that the tattoo on the witch can move around her body. It's very clever and something I've never seen before but always wondered about. I also really liked The Marked Man's background, and as the title suggests, Hermione will have some connection to him which sounds very interesting.

This was a great start to your story. Please stop downplaying your writing by calling it long-winded or wordy. It's masterful.


Author's Response: Hey! Thank you for taking the time to review!
I'm very happy that you enjoyed the first chapter. Your compliments are very kind and generous. You are right, this story has been a very large project for me, both on the page and behind the scenes. I won't spoil anything, but the story later develops in a way that required a lot of beating my head against a wall trying to work everything out! Haha
It's funny to me that everyone seems to really enjoy the first example of a magic tattoo in the form of the black cat. It seemed a rather minor point when I wrote it, but I guess that goes to show that it's hard to predict which segments readers will gravitate towards. :)
If you do choose to read on, I hope you enjoy the rest of the story. Please let me know what you think if you do.
As for downplaying my writing, I'm afraid it's a bit reflexive at this point. :) I'm rarely satisfied with my own work, so I guess I drag it through the dirt a bit more than I have to.
Thank you again!

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Review #21, by adluvshp Chapter One

15th October 2014:
Hello! I'm finally here with your requested review. I'm so sorry for the delay!

This story is definitely very intriguing and very interesting. I love your plot concept - it's so unique! The writing style is also amazing; there is a smooth beautiful flow to the narrative and I love that. I quite like your characterisations so far too, especially Weston, Imogen and Norman.

The entire chapter had this dark mysterious feel to it, and drew me in throughout. As for your concerns, I didn't really spot anything out of canon; but maybe I'm not the best person to judge that because I do write and read AU a lot.

Nonetheless, to me, this was an amazing start to what seems to be a great story, so do keep writing. I loved this chapter and don't have any CC to give you!


Author's Response: Thank you for the review and the feedback! I'm glad that you enjoyed the chapter, and if you do decide to read on, I hope you enjoy the rest of the story thus far!

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Review #22, by hokiechick Chapter Five

18th September 2014:
This is an excellent story. Just some things I noticed and appreciated about your work so far:

You stay in canon very well. The characters that we are familiar with from the books are true to character. The way you've incorporated elements of canon, like the Dark Mark and the fate of Azkaban in a post-Dementor society are well-reasoned and you've used incredible imagery to expand on those concepts.

Your villain is truly scary. I can tell you've got a great plan for him and I'm excited to continue reading this story.

At one point while reading, I wondered why you chose Hermione as the other main character with Imogen. I think the choice was deliberate on your part, and I like the way using her allows you to take advantage of her intellect as a plot device for uncovering pieces of information to the reader. Also, I think the two primary characters being women is still so rare that I'm very interested in seeing their dynamic play out.

And finally, Imogen. What a fantastic job you've done developing her character. There's so much that I can tell you're holding back from telling us about her. She has such an interesting back story and her tattoos/abilities are very special. It takes a skilled writer to exercise that much restraint with an exciting character they've created and not just blurt out everything you want us to know about her. You let the reader in slowly and carefully, which makes me want to know even more.

All in all, very well done. Thank you for sharing this story and these characters.

Author's Response: Thanks so much for your feedback!
To respond to one point, pairing two females as the lead protagonists was definitely a conscious choice. As you said, it's somewhat rare, and I wanted to explore how Hermione might respond when she's not constantly playing a supportive role to male characters.
I hope you continue to read the story as I update. The next chapter should be coming soon. :)
Thanks again!

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Review #23, by Lululuna Chapter One

31st August 2014:
Hi Hori! :) I'm finally here for your review from the Slytherin review exchange!

Wow, so this story is really intriguing and I'm excited that I got to discover it. It's quite different, both in content and in the mature, elaborate quality of the writing style from a lot of novels I've read on here. It's funny how you mentioned that our stories started off similarly with the descriptions of post-war Azkaban, and I love how you focused on the politics surrounding the changes at the prison as well.

One detail I really liked was how Azkaban was filled with talking and chatter. It's the sort of characterization which really brings the setting to life and helped me to really picture what it might be like there through sensory detail.

I also enjoyed how Weston was characterized: I'm not sure if he's going to be a continuing character in the story or was just a pair of eyes through which to describe Skerbetz's death, but I liked how you showed the motivations behind wizards who become guards there and how they're not necessarily driven by the most noble intentions. It's a funny balance, because while the prisoners are dangerous criminals, the conditions they are kept under are pretty inhumane and I could see the hints that the guards have let the power go to their heads and enjoy having that power over the inmates.

One thing I did find a little odd was how Weston was so shocked that the prisoner could be dead. I think it fit well with how he was afraid of the prisoners and of his own safety being threatened, but wouldn't they have people dying quite often, from the squalid conditions or even from taking their own lives? Just a thought there, though you did a good job of showing how Weston might not be completely rational when faced with fear.

I liked the vagueness of the discovery of Skerbetz's body, and how there wasn't a lot of detail in that section compared to the rest of the story. It did a good job of raising the mystery and intrigue surrounding him and made me want to know if there was something wrong with his body. I also love the background surrounding him: how you've taken the Dark Mark's powers as a tattoo and turned it into this whole culture of magical tattoos. It's such an original, amazing idea, and I really want to keep reading and learn more about it.

It's interesting how Imogen has the same skill and passion for tattoos as her father, but resents and fears him to the point of being glad he's dead. I like her as a character so far and really loved the scene with the cat tattoo and how it went to hide. That tattoo seemed pretty sweet and harmless but you've hinted at the more dark uses for these tattoos as well. I'm curious too about Imogen's tattoos and the unique powers they have. I can tell you've put a lot of creativity and effort into creating this sect of the wizarding world.

I really liked this, and will definitely be back to read and review the rest of the chapters when I have a chance! :)

Author's Response: Thanks so much for your review! I'm very happy you enjoyed it so far, and I do hope you make it back to read on further.
The questions you have about Weston's surprise and Imogen's complex relationship to her father's vocation are precisely what I wanted readers to be curious about, so I thank you for confirming that I'm doing that at least passably. ;)
Thank you again for your thoughts and compliments!

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Review #24, by Stella Chapter Four

15th August 2014:
This story is awesome!!! Professionally written. I love it cant wait for the next chapter.

Author's Response: *You're* awesome! Thanks for taking the time to review! The next chapter is coming soon :)

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Review #25, by StarlightAsteria Chapter Four

12th August 2014:
Hi Hori!

Another mind-blowingly good chapter - my mind is still reeling. Gosh, there is so much!

Carrow - very interesting. Unusual, effective choice of perspective. Shall we be seeing much more of her? And your image descriptions... aside from reminding me of the Captain Barbossa and co in the first pirates film :), that was genuinely terrifying. And the Stranger - not a Dementor, but something similar - definitely a very scary creation of yours :)

Exciting chapter - the protagonists all meet! Lots of information - and the old crone - I'm really starting to love her cameos :) Please can we see more of her? On the tattoo process: very cool, very detailed, and it was also nice to see Hermione discovering new stuff as well as opposed to being the one who always teaches others :)

Imogen's rage. Wow. That was so well written, I am in awe. That Blakeney was there for decades, and never told anyone about his wife and daughter - there are lots of bombshells in this chapter.

Sorry about the rambling review :) Keep writing!

Celi :)

Author's Response: Thank you for taking the time to review! Yes, this chapter was pretty packed with new information. I'm glad you liked it. :)
We'll likely be seeing a bit more of Carrow. She has a job to do, after all. ;)
As for the red haired witch, we shall see...
The next chapter will be coming soon, so look out for updates!

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