Reading Reviews for Playing for Keeps
  
107 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Veritaserum27 Aftermath and Arrangements

1st August 2015:
Hi there Mallory!

I'm here for your reviews that you earned from your INSANELY MASSIVE NUMBERS OF SUBMISSIONS for the "Who's Line Is It Anyway?" challenge. And since there's a new reviewing format for BvB, this can count for that too! Woot!

I hope you don't mind that I didn't ask you which story you wanted reviewed, because I'm so into this one, I just needed to come back to it :)

With every chapter, I'm loving Annie even more. And this one just about broke my heart. I was so excited to see that we finally found out the horrible name she was called at Hogwarts. She's been referring to it for several chapters and I've been dying to know what it was. Since you asked in your author's note, I wanted to let you know that I think you did an awesome job pacing out the clues and hints about her past. I don't think I could've handled not knowing all the details until the end of the story and I really like how you did it.

Now on to the fact that I think I absolutely hate her sister. That was the most emotionally charged moment of this chapter for me. I can't even imagine how horrible Bea is to poor Annie. If I were her, I would harbor far more resentment toward her sister than James Potter. However, it does seem that James took the name and ran with it. It's so awful and I feel so bad for her. I wonder if there's a reason why Bea is so awful to Annie? Now I understand everything about her animosity toward James. He deserves every negative comment and all the jabs. And he totally deserves to lose this bet.

Another thing I noticed that is a different characterization of the next gen kids. James doesn't seem to have any loyalties to his family (or maybe that's just Freddy - but I cant' exactly blame him).

I loved the story about the haunted plunger - that was an awesome touch. Great chapter!

♥ Beth

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Review #2, by Pixileanin Early Morning Apologies

1st August 2015:
Hey hey, it's another chapter!

Okay, so you know I love pool, and I love that it's the main backdrop to this story. The whole concept is really cool and I'm extremely happy for you that you're sticking to your premise of men behaving badly not being okay. I think Annie is smart not to fall for any of James' bravado, not only because of her past, but because there's just something slimy about being manipulated into feeling a certain way about someone. Yech. Stick to your guns, Annie.

But Hattie also has a point. She knows Annie's hurt, deep down, and the girl can bottle it up and forget about it all she wants, but it's going to come back and bite her in the behind if she doesn't deal with it sooner or later. James might have changed (a bit) but it doesn't excuse him for what he did to her in the past. And yeah, with Freddie and all of that going down, Annie should at least come clean to James about something.

Besides, it would heighten the conflict, and that's always a good thing to do in the story. :)

I too wondered, from the way you described the Hogwarts scene if maybe James did have feelings for Annie back then and just had a rubbish way of showing it. And also, the way he sets up the apology tickets too. He's too smarmy for his own good, and unfortunately, his Quidditch position has given him a lot of reasons to believe that that sort of behavior works on some girls.

Anyway, Hattie is a good friend. I hope that Annie listens to her and figures out a way to get through whatever she's going to do. And oh my goodness, she's going home??? I think I know what she's trying to do here. Is she going to try to get permission to tutor him at her parents' house? Is she going to pass him off onto her dad?? I can feel threads of the story pulling together, and it's exciting. Terrifying and exciting, because I have no idea how that dinner is going to go down.

I love the way Annie whispers to the owl at the end. There was something about that that really hit the mood just right after all the drama. Lovely writing, as usual.

Write more!

Pix

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Review #3, by rosiful Early Morning Apologies

1st August 2015:
I really, really love this story, and I was so happy to see that it had been updated!! This was definitely an interesting chapter!

I'm so glad Hattie knows what's going on now (well partially anyway). I do wonder what she'd say if she knew about everything happening with Fred and Rose as well though. I can imagine that she'd be a little freaked out!
It was also really good to see a nicer side to James, and he actually apologised for once!

I can not wait to read more!!
Looking forward to the next update!

-Rosiful

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Review #4, by rosiful Stolen Kisses, Stale Memories

13th July 2015:
Yay! I was so glad to see another update! I really, really like this story! It is quite dark and haunting, but nevertheless, I love it and all the complex characters you've managed to create!

It was good to see a bit more backstory between Annie and James in this chapter! I also love how you made it flow so well in and out of the flashbacks, the was really well done. Does James actually like her? I sorta got that impression, even though I do agree with your author note, there's nothing romantic about that sort of kiss! I'm very glad you have that firm belief!

I can not wait to read more!! Update soon?

-Rosiful

Author's Response: Aww, thanks for being such a dedicated reader and reviewer of my little story! I really enjoy writing it, so I'm so happy that you like it!

Yes, more backstory is always good! You'll keep getting those glimpses of their past as the story goes along, never fear! Thank you! Flashbacks can be tricky, so I wanted to make sure I did them right. James-at-Hogwarts doesn't like Annie, per se, but he's kind of attracted to her. Instead of actually being nice to her, he continues to bully her because she isn't what his idea of a "pretty girl" should be. So it's a really toxic thing, and it's not romantic. Thanks for agreeing with it! :)

Chapter eighteen might be coming soon, don't worry!

♥Mallory


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Review #5, by BookDinosaur Stolen Kisses, Stale Memories

13th July 2015:
HAI HAI HAI

This chapter has been posted today because of Emily/Book Dinosaur, because she keeps begging me to post it. i am so proud right now, mallory, and in love. ♥ are you not glad that we're in the same cabin? you are the best and tHIS BETTER BE FIRST REVIEW. if someone else snuck in here while i wasn't home :'(

first things first (i'm the realest; kidding, kidding. i'm sorry) i absolutely LOVE the way that you integrate flashbacks into this chapter. it's really easy to have the transition between your flashbacks and present tense sections become stilted and awkward but you pulled it off with the ease of a master. teach me your skills, pretty please?

and now diving into the actually relevant chapter stuff: oh my days, every time you reveal more of annie's backstory i feel more and more sorry for her. :'( ugh, that must have been so awful, to be stuck under the mistletoe with your bully, and i'm pretty sure that if annie had a choice she would have stood there until someone else came along. :/

but that brings us to james - does he like annie? when did that happen? i know that a popular thing that people tell each other is that "boy make fun of girls they like" but still, i've always found that a bit weird, and that one statement doesn't make james' actions excusable by any means.

i'm honestly so glad that you're the one writing the story; you've written that firm line between consent and - well, not consent, and you've stuck to that really admirably, i think. i'm so glad that you're making it so clear that kisses without consent are by no means all right, and it just makes me more frustrated that so many people can't seem to grasp the difference.

but this raises the question does james remember annie? has he remembered who she was the whole time and not given her a hint of that? i've never been in either situation, but i imagine that it's easy to forget someone you bullied but not quite as easy to forget someone you liked, you know?

on the one hand, i'm really glad that annie's stood on her own two feet and that she stood up to james, even if he didn't necessarily know how much it took for her to finally take a stand - but then on the other we still don't know what james has done which might land him in azkaban, and we still don't know whether it's entirely his fault. i'm still torn on the matter of james, mallory, you write him so well and i don't want to make a decision without knowing all the facts but then he is and was a pretty nasty piece of work, so...? i don't know what to think, you marvellous writer you. ♥

oh, and we can't forget that the showdown between james and annie is still coming up! i can't imagine how all that's going to play out, especially with all these unknown forces playing on this situation like rose and her gang, and freddy, and surely harry can't want his son to go to jail? do the family even know about what james is doing/has done? there are so many questions. i have so many questions

thank you so much for posting this amazing chapter, mallory! ♥ i'm so glad we're in the same julno cabin so i can bug you about the next chapter >:D (i'm kidding, i'm kidding. i'll give you a break) (or will i?)

update soon, mallory!
♥ emily

Author's Response: EMILY!!! you spoil me with these reviews, seriously. don't worry, you're the first to review. :D

oh, don't quote iggy azalea at me, young lady! i know she's from your continent, but she lives in my state, and that isn't okay! D: (just kidding. you're forgiven because of this marvelous review.)

aww, thank you so much! i always worry about flashbacks because they can be so awkward and clunky. but this one was really relevant to what was going on, and i figured that it needed to be in this chapter. this is actually mostly why annie can't forgive james for the excessive bullying at school--like he tends to do, he took it way too far. yeah, she would definitely rather have someone else kiss her--preferably not someone who bullied her mercilessly, but alas. it was not to be.

the "boys make fun of girls they like" thing was what i was raised on by my mother. seriously, it's such a damaging way of thinking, but i spent a long time believing it because she said it was true. in this case, i can't say for certain that james actually does like annie (in the flashback), but he might have some sort of weird attraction to her, which is why he pursues her again and again. but he's not making overtures of love to her like the fanon version of his grandfather--he's just tormenting her because she doesn't fit the mold of what a "pretty girl" should look like. it's VERY toxic, and his actions are COMPLETELY unexcusable, so i'm glad that you're not giving him any excuses. :) this scene is very weird when i think about it too much. :/

haha, i reiterate myself too often maybe, but i just don't want people thinking that it's okay. i'm glad that you like what i'm doing with this whole issue of consent (even if it is "just a kiss" and not something more, it's still really icky of him to do that).

hmmm, i can tell you that james remembers annie. but he doesn't realize that annie-the-pool-player and "porky" collins are the same person. he never knew that she went by "annie" at school because he was too busy calling her by her nickname. also, she's changed quite drastically from her time at hogwarts and she uses glamour spells to work at the shooting star, so he just doesn't recognize her (i'll be writing this part in, but it's not too spoiler-y for right now, i think). but he didn't exactly like her at hogwarts, he just...bullied her. and trust me, he has some hang ups about that, too.

all will be revealed in time, emily! (or most of it, anyway.) i actually had to sit down and figure out what each of my characters knows about each other so i wouldn't get confused, haha. james has done something that he thinks is bad, but maybe it's not as bad as he thinks? there are many factors involved, and i'm hoping that he'll come out more likable in the end. sorry you're so torn on him, but hopefully you'll be able to decide at some point in the future! ♥

yes, the showdown! (quite far in the future, though, since i haven't written it yet.) harry doesn't even know what james is doing, but he wouldn't want james to go to jail. some of the family knows what he has done, but a lot of the family doesn't. and most of the "wotters" in this story are not as tight with each other as they are in other stories, so several of them don't keep in touch. (and when they do, they tell lies.) it'll all come out, don't worry!

thank you so much for writing this amazing review, dear! i'm glad we're in the same cabin, too, because you've bugged me to post things and i actually HAVE for once. so thanks for that! :D

♥mallory



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Review #6, by rosiful Losers Never Prosper

5th July 2015:
Yay!! New chapter!
I was so happy to see this story updated!

Whoa, James is really self-destructing at the moment isn't he? He definitely was a drunk, self-centered jerk in this chapter. I wonder why she even bothered trying to teach him when he's in that state!

You definitely did de-romanticize, especially with that last part. That was a pretty big no-no and James just crossed a line.

Can't wait to read more! All your characters are so fascinating to read!

-Rosiful

Author's Response: Yes, new chapters are good! :D

James is definitely on a destructive path, and I'm hoping he can get it together long enough to see that. He was really, awfully drunk, but he insisted on meeting her. And Annie isn't the type to waste a meeting--he said that he was fine to play pool, so to her, that means that he's fine to play pool. She didn't really count on him getting drunker as they were playing, but she couldn't cut him off (and she wouldn't, because although she gets concerned about people when they drink excessively, she doesn't see James as her problem. After all, she's not a monkey's keeper!). Sorry for that long explanation, but that's basically the whole idea.

Phew, glad that it came across! James crossed a BIG line, and he will be paying for it. I didn't want the kiss (or almost-kiss) to seem romantic in any way, because it wasn't. It was gross.

Thanks again! Hopefully the next chapter will be up soon!

♥Mallory


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Review #7, by BookDinosaur Losers Never Prosper

1st July 2015:
MALLORY NEW CHAPTER YAY please let this be first review. i know i should be helping with Family Feud but this was just too tempting.

oh my god, i loved this chapter. i loved the darker tone of it and the way you wrote these awful events. i didn't love what annie went through, of course, poor girl, but the way that you narrated the events and trials she was forced to go through in this chapter was really well done. it was enthralling to read - kind of like watching a catastrophe you just can't take your eyes off, you know? james was just magnetizing as he self-destructed, hah.

oh man, though, that boy is wasted. i wonder why on earth annie would even bother to tutor him when he was clearly just becoming more and more drunk - for that matter, i wonder why she waited for him for so long? did she just want to torture him, to make him think that shes kind before taking all those assumptions down? that would be the most vengeful thing she could do to him at this point, i think. but is annie that vengeful? hmm. idk

ugh, JAMES. his behaviour was deplorable, honestly. i suppose that he's just used to being popular with the girls that he didn't bother to ask what they thought - whether it was josephina or annie. i think you really brought out how selfish he is in this chapter, and how he was raised with himself in mind and not really anyone else. :/ gah.

re: your a/n, you did a really good job expressing how stealing kisses and/or anything else is a big no-no, and i appreciate that so much. in another story, the kiss might have been written as consensual, or at least the author wouldn't have pointed out how wrong it is, and i just really appreciate that you did. ♥

also, i feel like i have to mention how adorable ethan and hattie are. dropping the ring in chocolate gateau? the girl asking the boy? perfect, that is adorable and a much-needed cute break from the otherwise nasty things that happened in the chapter. this line in particular: I could hear the scarring sounds of Ethan and Hatties young passion. PERFECT. I LOVE IT. this made me laugh out loud, honestly.

anyway, i hope that this review made sense and that i didn't ramble too much! i loved this chapter, and i'm endlessly delighted that it came so quickly after i read the previous chapter. update soon!

♥ Emily

Author's Response: you are WAY too nice, seriously! thank you so much for another stellar review!

yeah, this chapter was a doozy to write. annie goes through a lot with james in general, and now that he's being this drunken weirdo, there's even more to deal with.

honestly, she doesn't know, either. but he insisted on meeting up, and annie isn't one to waste time, so i guess she figured that it's better to tutor him now and not have to tutor him later. (that plan didn't work out.) i think she waited for him sort of out of curiosity and out of maybe the slightest bit of worry. after all, she's had some close friends and family deal with alcohol-ish troubles and drunkenness scares her on behalf of the other person's well-being (even if it is James the Jerk). in this case, it's not really out of vengeance so much because she might be starting to be okay with this version of james--the one who's more mature (albeit dumb, as i've said so many times), who looks up to her instead of kicking her over, who doesn't know who she was in the past. but that's subject to change, of course!

james is awwfulll here. and i think he knows better than to just do that stuff without asking permission, but he was drunk and stupid. incredibly stupid. so his selfishness really shined through there, and i'm glad that you saw that!

yes, i get afraid to write about things like this because it's so borderline for me. (i mean, i'm sure that other people have written darker things, but for me this is BIG.) yeah, i hate it when kisses just happen without any sort of notice--when the character who's being kissed just gets completely railroaded by it but then somehow accepts it and joins in enthusiastically. i mean, maybe in some situations it's good, but in this situation...nah. so i am very pleased that it was made clear (both in the chapter and the a/n!).

ethan and hattie are the most disgustingly adorable couple EVER. i hate them and love them all at once. especially because they're so passionate about each other and annie has to listen to them, haha. ethan is a nerd for being all nervous about proposing, just saying. :D and hattie wouldn't have it any other way, for sure. :)

no, your rambling is always appreciated! thanks again, ever so much!

♥mallory


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Review #8, by BookDinosaur The Effects of the Modern Media

29th June 2015:
MALLORY!! please let this be 100th review. i am a terrible person for now reviewing this chapter earlier, gah. i'm sorry, forgive me?

oh, i love your descriptions of what it's like working in the retail industry! are all of these customers based on people that you've come across? i hope not, for your sake. :/ that mum didn't seem like a pleasant customer at all, and i sympathise so much with Annie so much in always having to put on a smile because the customer is always right. in that way, i suppose her job at the Shooting Star and her Quidditch shop job are quite similar, in that she continually has to deal with unpleasant people. poor girl ♥

ooh, what's going on with james here?? is he depressed over his bet with freddy? has he found out about annie being reruited? is he just down over his upcoming game? you kind of succeeded in making me feel bad for him, so thanks for that, i suppose. it really is a testament to your writing skill that you developed james so well - at first he was this douche that nobody really liked, and now we're feeling sorry for him. what next, mallory, am i going to be worrying about him??? who knows

aw man, i love the way you wrote rita skeeter into this chapter! of course she would still hold a grudge against the Potters, and of course she would vilify james with this bad match, even though he must have some modicum of skill to stay in the league for five years. The way that you wrote her article was perfect - your vv article in the QTR every month and now this, i think you have a knack for writing reporters, mallory. :P

i feel like the fact that annie says How bad could it be, anyway? means that it's probably going to be really bad. oh dear.

this was a lovely chapter, mallory! ♥ pls forgive me this terribly late and badly capitalised review!

Author's Response: EMILY!! ♥ Thanks for getting PfK to 100 reviews!

thank you so much! the feels that you see in this chapter are definitely based on my feels as a sales associate, but they definitely aren't as bad in real life (at least, i haven't encountered anyone who's as bad as these people). that mum was quite awful, and vaguely reflects some of the mums i've run across working in the kids' department (although again, the real life ones weren't as bad). i hate the whole "customer is always right" thing, because they really aren't. but to keep them happy, you have to put on a happy face and smile on. and yeah, annie's jobs are quite similar in that respect, although most of her quality quidditch customers are less...drunk.

james has so many problems in general, i don't even know where to begin. in this case, it is because of the game and the pressure that's on him to perform up to standard (which he doesn't do). he definitely was a douche in the beginning, but because this whole story is from annie's perspective, it's really biased. he's not quite as bad as he seems, and it's okay if you do start worrying about him. but he'll be fine...maybe.

rita skeeter generally sucks (while being a brilliant character), and writing that article was fun (yet painful). i think she's the type to scorn the potter kids for their last name just because she's a bitter old hag. :) haha, thank you! i really do love writing articles (fictional ones, though. i'm no journalist).

thanks again!
♥mallory


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Review #9, by AdinaPuff Learning From the Best

12th June 2015:
Here for Hufflepuff, House Cup 2015

Hi again!

So I love this chapter! I was beginning to get really curious about her home life from when she was a child. We readers knew her mother wanted her to be more successful, and that Bea was terrible to her. But it's nice to read more and learn more about how she began to love pool and what her relationship exactly was with her family.

I love her father! You wrote their relationship so well. It's wonderful to learn how she fell in love with the game. Is her father still alive? What's their relationship like? I feel as though he's passed away from some reason. That might just be my overactive imagination, though. :p But I love her background with how she fell in love with pool. It's sweet. Her mother is definitely interesting. You showed that her and Annie didn't see eye to eye in many situations and Annie just wasn't how her mother thought she would be. It's clear they still love each other, despite their differences. Her mother still wants what's best for Annie, and I love that they still love each other even though they're so different.

Bea was terrible to her. I really can't wait to learn more about their situation. Honestly, I feel like if Annie were to tell James she was Bea's little sister, James would remember who Annie is and what he had done to her. By how you described them, it would seem that James really liked Bea so there's no way he'd forget that he picked on her little sister for her. I mean, this is James though. Who knows?

I can't wait to read on! This was such a great chapter. You continue to build on Annie and show just how many layers she really has. I love it.

Great chapter!

- Leigh xxx

Author's Response: Hi again! ♥

Yeah, I was really curious about her home life (before I wrote this part, of course), so I had to include this before more things happened. Yep, her relationship with her mum and sister is shaky at best, but she's a Daddy's Girl through and through. Pool, after all, is what brought them together.

Thank you! Her dad is quite sweet. :) Yes, he's still alive, don't worry! I didn't mean to make it seem like he'd passed away. Their relationship is still really good, yay. :D Her mum definitely loves her, but it's a different kind of love than the way her father loves her. It's more aggressive, in that she wants Annie to be so successful and makes very pointed suggestions about her life (which Annie isn't about to put up with). So it's a give and take, really.

Bea is awful. She's the one character that I genuinely hate. James would definitely remember Annie if he knew who her sister was, but she keeps that information a secret for a good reason! The reason James picked on Annie to begin with was that he kind of had a crush on Bea. When it was apparent that Bea disliked Annie, James started picking on her to impress Bea and he just didn't stop after that, even after he stopped crushing on Bea. A really bad thing to do, I know. :/

Thanks again, so much!

♥Mallory


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Review #10, by rosiful The Effects of the Modern Media

12th June 2015:
Eep, what is going on with James?
Is the pressure getting to him, or is it something else?
I know he was a jerk and all to Annie, but I sort of feel bad for him, especially because his crazy evil (yet awesome) are out to get him.


I didn't review the previous chapter, so I'll just post this here: Ethan and Hattie are so adorable!! I love their story and how they are totally different yet perfect for each other. Just so cute!

I'm quite sad that I've reached the end of all your posted chapters.
Can't wait to read more!!

- Rosiful

Author's Response: A better question might be, "What ISN'T going on with James?!" Because he's quite messed up in this chapter. Yeah, because of the first person narration, we don't get to see many of James's insecurities and fears, but trust me, he has PLENTY. He's a Quidditch player who got recruited out of Hogwarts and bumped up to first string after only a few games of subbing for the original first string Keeper. And the tabloids (mostly fueled by Rita Skeeter) keep spreading lies about him, like "James Potter got put on first string because of his last name and he isn't really that great." So yeah, lots of pressure to be great independent of his surname, and (I haven't mentioned this in the story yet, but I'll mention it to you now) the Kestrels had a rough season last year, and the one this year isn't looking too good, either. So yeah, he was a jerk to Annie, but now he's got a million problems and he's really tried to change. So Annie is justified in being mad at him for bullying her, but again, he doesn't know that she's the same person he bullied so he can't apologize like he wants to. It's all a bit complicated, sorry!

Thank you! Ethan and Hattie are totes adorbs, and I love them. The parts about them are about as fluffy as I can get in this story.

There will be more chapters eventually! (Once I edit them, of course!)

♥Mallory


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Review #11, by rosiful It's a Man's World?

12th June 2015:
I'm intrigued, but also slightly confused after this chapter.
The whole group sounds pretty cool. (Still can't get over Rose being the ring leader! xD) I love the idea of Seamus and Dean adopting a kid together, that's so cute.
I also loved Mundungas being a crusty old man and still in the underground business!

What I'm confused about, is what do all these people want with Annie? And why does she seem so okay about being dragged around everywhere and not really explained things?

I'm sure we'll find out soon though!


Rosiful
Slytherin House Cup 2015

Author's Response: Ooh, glad you're intrigued and confused! (I like to confuse people, sorry!)

The gang is pretty shady, but I loved writing them. I tried to picture all of the different types of male that are "unsavory" and characterized them. For instance, Delun Chang is a misogynist, Lysander is a gynophobe, and Hamish McLaggen is a total neckbeard. :D Prometheus Finnegan-Thomas is cool and I like him a lot (even though he's a misbehaving little child). I personally headcanon that Dean and Seamus adopt a child that's as into pyrotechnics as Seamus was in the movies, hah. I just love the idea of it, and I'm glad you do too! Yep, ol' Dung is still at his old tricks.

Ah, the confusion! It's mostly Freddy and Rose who wants something from Annie, and that lies in her talent for pool. (I won't give the full explanation just yet, haha.) Annie is mostly used to being dragged around without an explanation because she's used to Freddy being that way, but eventually she'll make him explain at least a little, don't worry! (Also, she's really intrigued and a little frightened by these people, so she thinks it's best to be quiet and let things happen.)

♥Mallory


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Review #12, by rosiful One Secret Meeting, Intrigue Included

12th June 2015:
Whoa.
Rose Weasley was the LAST person I was expecting to be there!
Gosh, you really are breaking everyone's characterisations in this story! She seems so evil... not at all how I picture Rose, but that's a good thing.

I wonder what she's up to.. This whole thing seems really shady.
How poor Annie hasn't gotten herself into a lot of trouble o.o


Rosiful
Slytherin House Cup 2015

Author's Response: SURPRISE! Rose Weasley is especially different in this one, and I kind of like writing her as an evil character. She's so bad, she's good, right?

Yes, I LOVE breaking the normal characterizations. Though the normal ones have their merits, I like to explore the possibility of "what if" things were waaay different. So that's my angle there. :D

She's definitely up to something evil! You'll have to find out in future chapters! Annie is in a lot of trouble, but she doesn't quite fully realize it yet. :)

♥Mallory


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Review #13, by rosiful On Vertic's Alley

12th June 2015:
Another great chapter.
I love seeing her relationship with James. There's just so many complexities with it. James is really quite nice to her, but like when Annie mentioned the Cannons, he does have a bit of the mean streak he had in Hogwarts.

I loved that last line!!
Annie is such a cool character, she's really playing both sides, but seems to have her own agenda, which is great.

I really want James to find out who is really is and feel terrible, is that bad?
Can't wait for all the drama!

Rosiful
Slytherin House Cup 2015

Author's Response: Thanks!

Yeah, she and James certainly have a lot of complex things that need to be worked out at some point. All the secrets! Yeah, James has a mean streak, but he's mostly just clueless and dumb, and wishing that he could forget that mean part of him that haunts his past.

Thanks!! Annie is playing so many sides right now, it's ridiculous! She definitely has her own agenda and things will start to get even messier as time goes on!

Haha, it isn't bad at all! He's going to have a really big shock when the truth finally comes out!

♥Mallory


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Review #14, by rosiful Aftermath and Arrangements

12th June 2015:
Wow. Her sister really is a nasty piece of work.
Can't believe she would act like that to her own little sister. No wonder Annie doesn't see her anymore. I feel so bad for her, but I love how it didn't make her a weak victim, instead it made her the strong independent character that we have now.

I loved the note and all the crossed out parts, I think we've all thought about doing something similar when apologising!

I also love her relationship with Hattie. It feels like a bit of normality to just have two girls sitting around and chatting about work. I wonder why Annie isn't telling Hattie what's going on?

-Rosiful
Slytherin House Cup 2015

Author's Response: Yep, her sister really is kind of awful. It's an unfortunate fact, but sometimes sisters are very mean to each other. It's better if they're apart! Yes, Annie has definitely taken the hard lessons from her past to heart, and she's stronger than ever, though she might not feel like it sometimes.

I definitely do that all the time. It's so easy to just write out your frustrations and then crumple the note up and let go of the anger. I think it helped Annie to write those mean things, and it was certainly fun to write!

Hattie is the ultimate BFF, yeah? Things are normal between them. And you know how Annie lives so many different lives? This version of her is the home-Annie version. She's not going to tell Hattie--her best friend who is constantly worrying--that she is involved in a crime ring and a high-stakes bet. That's just unfathomable to Annie, and she's kind of independent, so she thinks that she doesn't need help in this. (She might be wrong.)

Thanks again!
♥Mallory


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Review #15, by rosiful The Boss and the Business Proposition

12th June 2015:
Urg. Freddy still creeps me out. I knew he was going to ask her to be the competitor! Well, not really "ask". Guys like him don't do the dirty work themselves, because what if he did actually lose to James? :P
His characterisation is so good, he is so cunning and charming all while being a totally creepy sleaze. I noticed you put him in Slytherin, and yep I agree with that!
I love that he's not the usual Gryffindor bff of James that everyone always writes (Pretty sure I'm guilty of that too!) and that he's his own original creepy character.

Poor Annie though. She's sort of backed into a corner. Sure, she could get money by helping James as well, but if she doesn't beat him, she could lose her dream.
I guess that would be the ultimate revenge though!

(I'm also really curious... does Freddy know that Annie is the girl James tormented?)


-Rosiful
House Cup 2015

Author's Response: Freddy is definitely creepy. He will never not be creepy. And yes, he's got to embroil his employee in this plot somehow, and keep his hands clean of things.

Thank you! I think the "charming" thing is mostly seen by the people in the casino, and not any of his employees, because Annie definitely doesn't believe it for a second. Yep, Slytherin and proud! He's definitely not bffs with James either! (That's okay that you've done that--it's not a crime!)

Yeah, Annie is sort of stuck, but she's going to finagle a way to come out on top, don't worry!

(Freddy does know that, but I won't say how he knows that yet!)

Thanks!
♥Mallory


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Review #16, by rosiful Not All Men, But Most of Them

12th June 2015:
Freddy still scares me.
I think you've done an amazing job with him actually, he's intimidating and quite sleazy. I am so curious about his relationship with James. Have they always been like this? Did something happen that tore them apart?

James seems like Freddy's complete opposite. He's a bit clueless and obviously not used to the world Freddy has created for himself.

I really enjoy reading about Anne. She's such an interesting character, I love how she's so strong and skilled, and it really ties in with her backstory from the previous chapter. I wouldn't exactly like her job though, way too many sleazy guys! I feel quite bad for her, even though she loves the game.


Rosiful
Slytherin House Cup 2015

Author's Response: Freddy is the ultimate sleaze. I would say that he and James have always been not-friends, even at Hogwarts. After all, Freddy was a few years older than James, and in Slytherin, and he ran with an extremely interesting crowd then, just like he does now...

They are kind of opposites! The only thing they have in common (besides family members) is that Annie is involved in their bet.

Annie does love the game, and she loves conning the gross people out of their money, but she doesn't like the gross people themselves. I'm glad that you're still enjoying learning about her past and present selves!

♥Mallory


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Review #17, by rosiful Learning From the Best

12th June 2015:
I LOVE this chapter.
Yes, it was quite flashbacky, and nothing really happened in the plot, but it was great to see a bit into her life and where she came from!

Her dad sounds amazing.
Are you a wizard?
No, he answered, a mischievous glint in his eye. Im something better. Im a pool player.
I just loved that line. Their interaction with each other is just so cute!

I can understand why she doesn't particularly like her mum and sister now. It's hard trying to live up to someone's expectations and to not just be able to do what you want.
I'm curious as to what the nickname her sister came up with though... but I'm sure we'll get to that!

I love Anne's background and family, it's not exactly the happiest, but it's realistic and explains how her personality has evolved.

-Rosiful
Slytherin House Cup 2015

Author's Response: Thank you so much!

I really wanted to get some backstory out of the way, so I had to include these to establish some kind of reason for Annie to like pool!

Her dad is so adorable, honestly. He's kind of modeled after my dad, who loves pool a lot. (And isn't playing pool kind of like magic? Haha.)

It isn't that she doesn't like them, it's just that...she doesn't like them. Haha, I really didn't mean to make her mum seem so mean--her mum really does love her, but their personalities are so opposite that it's hard to get along. And yeah, living up to expectations is always super difficult.

Thanks again!
♥Mallory


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Review #18, by rosiful A Drink With the Devil

12th June 2015:
I have been meaning to come back and read this story for so long! The HC just seems like the perfect excuse!

Freddy is sort of freaking me out at the moment. Your characterisation is the complete opposite to what I usually read. But that's the beauty of Next Gen, you can make the characters whoever you want them to be. I can't wait to meet him in this story, half dreading it because he doesn't exactly seem pleasant, but mostly excited.

There is a bit of awkwardness in this chapter between characters, but I think it works and is perfect for the characters you've created and their histories.

Can't wait to read more!

Rosiful
Slytherin House Cup 2015

Author's Response: Hi! Thanks for returning!

Freddy can be pretty scary, yes! I really like writing a Freddy that's different from the usual prankster type that you see in fanfiction. I've definitely taken creative liberties there.

Most of my characters are super awkward around each other in general, so that's the point! I'm glad that it worked for you!

♥Mallory


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Review #19, by AdinaPuff A Drink With the Devil

12th June 2015:
Here for Hufflepuff, House Cup 2015

Hi!

So can I just say: I cannot WAIT to meet Freddy. I write Freddy as a main character in one of my stories, and boy is he the exact opposite of how you display him! I love that about your portrayal, though! It's different from how Freddy is usually displayed. People go for the goofy, big-hearted Freddy, but you went for a selfish, gambling Freddy, and I love that. Anyway, Annie talks about him an awful lot, and with James in the picture too, I have no doubt Freddy will be making an appearance, and I cannot WAIT to see what he's like!

Anyway, onto the chapter. I loved this, really. James and Annie actually get along really well. Far better than I expected. Better than Annie probably expected, too. The way that James manned up and went along with whatever Annie told him to do. I love how into it he got! When it was time to leave, he didn't want to, and I love that. He's really passionate. And I LOVED Annie's comment about not wanting to interrupt James's monologue. That was great, really. She's so sarcastic, it's great.

It makes me mad that James doesn't remember Annie. Obviously whatever he did to her was traumatic and it's just like URGH JAMES HOW CAN YOU NOT REMEMBER?! And I genuinely believe that he doesn't. In the second chapter I thought maybe he was lying about not knowing who she was because of what he did to her but now I'm pretty sure he really doesn't remember. And that makes me mad. But that's also a great part of James's character. It builds on the idea of this arrogant, selfish, naive person he is. He doesn't remember her because he's too 'cool' to, he only cares about himself, and he doesn't pay attention to anything around him. At least, that's what I've interpreted.

I really love your characters. They're so developed and unique and I am so jealous of your ability to write characters. Give me some of your talent, please!

I'll be reading on!

- Leigh xxx

Author's Response: Freddy is one of the most interesting supporting characters to me. He's got so many different weird things about him that I only discover when I write about him, and I love writing him in a different way. I know he's mostly seen as a reincarnation of his late uncle, but I like to think of him in this twisted kind of way. It's fun! He will definitely make an appearance in later chapters!

James and Annie do get along well--when she's willing to put aside the past and get stuff done, and when he's not being stupid. They both have a talent for sarcasm and getting on each other's nerves, that's for certain!

Yes, it is stupid of James to not remember, but just know that this perspective of him is what Annie is seeing. It could be that James remembers what he did, but can't connect the Annie he knows now with the Annie he bullied at Hogwarts. He is quite selfish, but hopefully you'll begin to see a change as the story continues!

Aww, that's too sweet. ♥ I would, but you've got some talent of your own!!

♥Mallory


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Review #20, by AdinaPuff Ready, Aim, Miss...

12th June 2015:
Here for Hufflepuff, House Cup 2015

Hi!

Oh, Annie. Lying to your manager is NOT GOOD! Especially when you didn't even really need the extra time to get ready :p But hey, as long as you get away with it!

Hattie's such an awesome best friend. You do a good job at showing her true Puff character even though she hasn't been huge yet. You show how loyal she is to Annie. I love how dead-set she is on finding Annie a boyfriend. It's sweet, and I love that you add this bit of happiness and fluff to your story.

Ah, James. He's extremely naive, isn't he? He may act like he knows everything when you show that he clearly knows very little. First of all, you show how exaggerating he is about riding in the car. It was funny, though. I loved that. You show that he's extremely childish even more by how he responds to his lack of natural talent and ease at learning pool. Once again, you manage to develop and show character strongly. It's definitely your strong suit with writing and I love how you write your characters so much!

Annie really does know pool. You show this through her confidence. Despite not being sure last chapter how to handle James in the shop, she is in her own territory and not caught by surprise this time. She's strong when she is in a place she's comfortable in, and pool gives her confidence. You show this really well through how Annie treats James in this chapter. Shaking him, snapping at him, and even taking his hand to hold the cue properly. You do a good job at writing this scene, I loved it!

I honestly can't wait to see where Annie and James's relationship goes. I wonder what is so important that James needs to know pool, and if Annie's going to actually train him into a good pool player. This story really has me hooked and I can't wait to read on!

- Leigh xxx

Author's Response: Hi again! :D

Yeah, Annie did a bad thing, but who hasn't told their manager a lie at some point in their career? (Example one: Yes, I will do that thing for you that you were supposed to do a week ago.) Heehee, yeah, as long as you get away with it, it's fine. And Barry isn't one to check on her whereabouts--that's just creepy.

Hattie is a wonderful person and I love her so much. I'm glad that a Puff thinks that I've written a Puff's character well! She's quite loyal to Annie, and quite set on matchmaking Annie into happiness (which obviously isn't working, but good intentions, right?). I think this story needed a little bit of fluff after all the sinister Freddy stuff.

James is kinda dumb, no lie. He definitely doesn't know everything--in fact, he's barely scratched the surface. It's just that way--if you poke holes in his character, it all falls apart. He's quite childish and quite naive in thinking that he can learn pool very quickly without any effort. Thank you so much!

Annie is a pool genius, and she's not going to apologize for being good at it. James took her by surprise in the shop, but now she's in her element. And she's very impatient with him because he's just so clueless, although she is kind of mean about it. :)

Their relationship is definitely going to take lots of turns during the course of this story. This is only the beginning, and there are still so many things that have to be worked out, ahhh! I'm so happy that what you've read so far makes you want to read on!

♥Mallory


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Review #21, by AdinaPuff The Woes of Working Retail

12th June 2015:
Here for Hufflepuff, House Cup 2015

Hi, once again!

You continue to build in the depth of Annie. I have to say, she's a woman of many faces. I really do enjoy just how real she is. Many stories only focus on the one side of a character. They're very one-dimensional, but you continue to show some superior character-development.

So she does know Quidditch, huh? It's nice that she does, because I have a feeling Quidditch will always be relevant with James Potter around, and by the looks of things, Potter isn't going anywhere (unfortunately for Annie). I love the idea of her mother wanting her to have another steady, normal job rather than playing drunk married men in a casino. Makes everything more realistic, her having a family who doesn't exactly support the idea of her working in just a casino. And out of all the shops, Quidditch?! I love it.

Poor Annie. It would seem fate got in the way this time, what with running into James at work. You show James persistence and arrogance very well when he sticks himself to Annie's counter. That's great, and somewhat childish. Such a James-thing to do. Although Annie gave in way easier than I thought! I was impressed that she didn't fight back much. She also seemed a bit nervous around James, which definitely shows that James does get under her skin, even after all these years.

Hmm, I wonder why Annie's amused by James's choice? I can't wait to see how the first training session goes. Badly is the only way I can imagine it, but who knows?! (well, you do I suppose). Another amazing chapter!

- Leigh xxx

Author's Response: Hello again!

Annie does have a lot of different facets, and that's what comes of me writing a story over the course of a year. It's getting hard to juggle all the things she's involved in, actually, so I keep thinking I should've gone a bit simpler for my first novel. :P

She does know Quidditch, but she wishes she didn't. Quidditch is always going to be relevant and cause many problems, yes. :) And yeah, James isn't going anywhere (unfortunately for Annie). Her mum is kind of strict and would never approve of Annie's night job, so a "more respectable" option is the retail scene. Gotta keep your parents happy, right?

Yep, fate is funny. Lucky Annie gets the short end of the stick with James because he's super insistent and isn't going to back down. But she's not going to be nice about it, and she definitely is nervous about being around James too much. Her secrets could be revealed at any moment.

First training session is definitely bound to be bad, yes! And Annie's amused by James's choice because she isn't exactly a stranger to Muggle pubs. :)

♥Mallory


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Review #22, by AdinaPuff Mint Chocolate Chip Memories

12th June 2015:
Here for Hufflepuff, House Cup 2015

Hi again!

Another brilliant chapter! I really enjoyed getting to know Annie (yesss finally learn her name!) and how she was before the story takes place.

You continue to build wonderfully on Annie. She's gone from a cold, indestructible force, to an indestructible force with a slight flaw, to this raw person that had gone through so much pain. This pain had made her cold and indestructible. It's lovely to see her interact with Hattie. It shows that she is extremely capable of feeling. Before this chapter, I was sure she was going to be one of those characters that chose to stand alone and feel nothing, but you've developed Annie into an extremely caring character. She is definitely Hufflepuff in the sense that she is fiercely loyal to Hattie.

I love the addition of Hattie, by the way. She definitely is going to be important for Annie throughout this story. She's going to hold Annie up when she needs her most. And by the foreshadowing at the end of this chapter about James not letting go of getting Annie to help him, it seems that Hattie is going to be needed in the upcoming chapters.

I can't wait to compare old James/Annie to new James/Annie. How much has changed? Has anything really changed? Is Annie really stronger than she was? Can she stand up to James? I wonder if James is going to remember their past, and if he's going to give excuses or apologize. You have me guessing and wondering and AHHH! I can't wait to continue reading! You're developing this soo well! I can't wait to figure out other conflicts in the plot.

I'll be reading on!

- Leigh xxx

Author's Response: Finally, she has a name, yay! I didn't mean to keep it a secret for two chapters, but that's just what happened.

Thank you! Annie isn't without her flaws at all, and her biggest one is probably her ability to hold a massive grudge. (However, the bullying was awful and she has a right to be mad.) She is quite a Hufflepuff in that aspect, but I really wanted to show how incredibly diverse Hufflepuffs can be. So Annie is loyal and determined, but she's not all flowers and rainbows like some people believe Hufflepuffs are.

Hattie is my fave, seriously. She's so sweet and supportive of Annie. And she's definitely going to make appearances in later chapters.

Lots has changed, actually, but it's going to take Annie a long time to realize that. She will keep her past hidden from James for as long as possible, but there will be lots of tension along the way.

Thanks again for reviewing!

♥Mallory


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Review #23, by AdinaPuff A Face From the Past

11th June 2015:
Here for Hufflepuff, House Cup 2015

Hi again!

Another AMAZING chapter! Honestly I'm loving this story so far. As I said before, I've never read anything quite like it. Not even original fiction have I read about pool. It follows the plot line of enemies needing one another, but you have such a unique twist on it!

You have a gift with setting tone and mood. I admire that about your writing. You capture the perfect atmosphere and suck the reader right in. I felt the narrator's (still don't believe I've caught her name?) anger and hatred toward James. I felt James's confusion and arrogance (oh, you wrote his ego about the size of the Universe and I LOVE IT!). I absolutely adore how you use description and quote to build a strong mood. "Ah, poor little rich boy." Is definitely my favourite quote so far. It's just one example of how perfect your portrayal of everything is. It sums up the narrator's opinion of James in just five short words.

The way you write your characters is amazing. You build on them and continue to add to their personalities. The narrator has built so far as a cunning, sneaky flirt who enjoys playing others and is extremely smart. And yet in this chapter, you show us some of her faults, such as hers and James's past. You show us that she isn't as invincible as her front may seem. And James has been set up really well. You gave us the basic outline of an arrogant, spoiled rich boy who doesn't care about anyone but himself. I can't wait to find out how you deepen his character.

I ALSO can't wait to find out what their history is! What are you hiding from us, hmmm? Why is the narrator so afraid of James? She acts like she isn't, but I have a feeling he still intimidates her, if only slightly. I wonder what he did that was so terrible that it still affects her in her adult life.

Great chapter, once again! Reading on!

- Leigh xxx

Author's Response: Leigh! ♥ You are so sweet for leaving me all these great reviews!

I really like to twist things in this story, just to take the cliches and make them...not so cliche anymore. I'm super happy that you think it's original!! That's definitely what I was going for, but sometimes it feels like I'm writing one huge cliche, you know?

Thank you so, so much! Yes, the narrator still goes unnamed in chapter two, but never fear! All will be revealed (eventually). The tone in these first two chapters is actually my favorite--the story sort of loses its intrigue as things progress, but I guess that's just a consequence of revealing secrets. James is totally arrogant, at least in the narrator's eyes--she's kind of unreliable because she's looking at him with a hatred that is more than five years old. Yep, that's definitely her opinion of him--just a spoiled Quidditch player. (She'll learn, though.)

Thank you! My narrator is quite cunning in this chapter, but later proves to be not that way in other situations. It all depends on context. And yeah, she's certainly not invincible. And James will become less gross eventually, I promise!

I'm hiding a lot in this chapter, actually. And the narrator is certainly intimidated, but half the battle is acting like you're not afraid, so that's what she's trying to do.

Thanks again!
♥Mallory


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Review #24, by AdinaPuff Shooting Star, After Midnight

11th June 2015:
Here for Hufflepuff, House Cup 2015

OMG OMG OMG

I absolutely love this. I've seen it floating around but honestly I know next to nothing about pool so it never really dragged me in. Boy am I sorry that I didn't read this before!

First of all, your description is absolutely amazing. I love the tone and mood, the atmosphere you set. You drag us in and suspend us into this mysterious, flirtatious mood that the narrator sets for us. You captured the whole casino atmosphere so well, I felt as though I had actually stepped into a casino myself.

The narrator (I don't believe she ever said her name) is extremely unique. I love the dramatic irony in this first chapter. The reader catches on quickly that the narrator is playing the man, but the man has no idea, and keeps on going. You really did a good job at progressing this situation slowly enough for the narrator to fully sink her claws into the man. You didn't rush the situation and I love it because it's extremely realistic, the way you wrote it. Unless a man is extremely perceptive, I doubt even some sober men would catch onto her trickery!

Honestly, I've never read anything quite as unique as this. It's cool to have a scene in such a muggle setting, where even though it seems muggle it's actually very magical. The whole idea of a casino and pool game is so muggle. I love how you warped it into a magical situation. And she works for Freddy! I love it.

I can't wait to find out who the new man is. Hmm... is it James Potter? Or another cousin? Definitely someone she knows from her personal life. I'll be reading on to find out!

Loved it!

- Leigh xxx

Author's Response: Aaahhh, you're so dedicated! Thank you so much for all of your reviews!

It's okay! Playing for Keeps is kind of a weird one, and I think people don't always know what to expect. But I'm glad that now that you've discovered it, you like it. :)

Thank you! I love this chapter most of all because of the description. I rarely ever describe things the way I want to describe them, but to set the mood of the story, I really had to dig deep and do it. Secret fact: I've never actually been in a casino before, so I relied on my (scant) knowledge from movies to write that. :D

Yep, my narrator's name isn't revealed until chapter three! (I like to keep secrets.) She is quite sly, and that man is quite dumb. Thanks for pointing out that it's dramatic irony, because while I know of that literary device's existence (and I use it many times in my stories), I would've never thought to put a name to it. :) Glad the progression wasn't rushed and seemed realistic! My narrator is very tricky, indeed.

Thank you so so much! Yeah, I love doing weird characterizations of Fred Weasley II. Just wait until he finally appears. ;)

It is someone she knows, and I'm sure you found out in the next chapter!

♥Mallory


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Review #25, by The Autumn Emperor Shooting Star, After Midnight

16th April 2015:
Dearest Mallory,

What a fine story you have here! This is truly a triumph of creativity and originality and I am thoroughly enjoying reading it. I have donned this old title to spread some (belated) Easter cheer to the most deserving person I know. Tell Fuzzy Duck that the Emperor sends her regards.

To the actual story! Your writing has such a special, realistic quality to it that brings your settings and characters to life. Your OC leaps off the page, enigmatic and glittering - a perfect character to lead this story. Her confidence, her charisma, the way she twists gender stereotypes and uses them to her advantage, are all incredible attributes and make for a fascinating angle for a story. And your interpretation of James already promises to be something entirely different to the Quidditch-captain prankster archetype seen so often in Next Gen. A wonderful first chapter, as one can only expect from a writer such as yourself, and you should certainly be proud of it.

Not-so-anonymously-yours,
The Autumn Emperor

Author's Response: Your Royal Highness! Thank you for bestowing me this gift of a review.

Playing for Keeps is my baby, so it fills me with joy to read your wonderful compliments. The Fuzzy Duck sends her regards back to you, and wishes to tell you that she is not worthy of your greatness.

My OC enjoys twisting stereotypes very much. I'm glad she seems dynamic and realistic, because that is what I was striving for when I wrote her. James is only slightly different from his various fanon incarnations, but I would like to think that he's different enough to be unique and interesting. Thank you so much!!

♥Mallory


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