Reading Reviews for Playing for Keeps
71 Reviews Found

Review #1, by slytherinchica08 Shooting Star, After Midnight

22nd February 2015:
Hello, here with a random review for you! I actually came across this story by using the random story button and I'm actually really happy that this popped up! It's a very unique idea which really makes this story stand out to me. I very much enjoyed the description that you put into this as well as the sort of mystery that was laced throughout this chapter. For one, I still have no idea who your main character is, I really only know that she works for Freddy and is a bit of a con man and is really good at pool. Then there is the introduction of yet another character at the very end, but we have no idea who it is but that the main character doesn't seem to be too thrilled to see them.

Characterization was really well done, even though that wasn't really the focus here. And the amount of detail that you put into the pool games and the surroundings were really wonderful. I would definitely say that your descriptions are very strong in this chapter and it made it a really good read! I look forward to reading more and finding out who the new character is as well as the main character! Great job!


Author's Response: Awww, you're too kind! Thank you so much for this beautiful random review!

Random story button, really? That's so awesome! I'm glad that it was my story, and I'm glad that you enjoyed what you read! Description is one of my favorite things to read, so I thought I would try it out in my writing. And mystery is the coolest thing, in my opinion. I'm not a mysterious person, so I used this chapter to try out that sort of vibe for once. Yep, nobody knows who my MC is yet. I haven't revealed her name (until a later chapter, you'll see). It's an attempt to keep people guessing and wanting to read on. :D

Thank you so much! Detail is another thing I like, and although I wasn't so focused on revealing my characters' identities, I wanted to make sure that it was clear what sort of role they were meant to play. Thank you so very much, and if you read on, I hope you'll tell me your thoughts! And of course, enjoy reading!

~UnluckyStar57 ♥

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Review #2, by Aphoride Aftermath and Arrangements

14th February 2015:
Hey Mallory! :) Happy Valentine's Day - whether you're single (like me!) or not! :D

You know how much I love this story, and I've felt so bad that I've been so far behind on it, plus you updated recently, so I couldn't resist coming by - it's the holidays, so yay for free time! ;)

I love the way you have Annie here - it's so lovely with another glimpse of Hattie, and the mentions of Freddy and them all. The bit with the letters is so great - it's one of those things I can definitely idenfity with, wanting to say things which you can't in letters and emails, and thinking them instead; it's probably something most people can identify with, I think, and I love it! Plus, Annie's insults are so great, and I love the way she has a relationship with her owl - it really brings to mind a dog-owner relationship, you know? So sweet! :D

Also, I loved the flashback, with her first meeting James and a glimpse of her sister, Bea, who was such a cow! So rude... I'd never treat my little sisters like that! The thing is, I loved the scene, but the actions inside it, were so horrible - with Bea being so cruel at the beginning, with the nickname, and then James taking it up as a way to potentially impress her, because of the crush. I loved the mention of the crush too, it's such a teenage thing to do, too! :)

The details are so great, in this - I love the story of the haunted toilet plunger, haha, and the Wizflix with the Life and Times of Harry Potter. I laughed out loud at the second one - I can just imagine seeing Harry's face at the idea! :P And how she asks Sephrenia to bite Freddy, haha :D Freddy deserves it, really!

Your writing is so great in this, too - I love your description: especially the way you write the first scene, with the image of her waking up and the 'kiss' of the sunlight through the blinds - it's such a gorgeous image! :D The way you write this is so, so good - but you know I love your writing, anyway! ;)

I'm so excited to see what happens next, and I hope you have a great Valentine's Day! :)

Aph xx

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Review #3, by BookDinosaur It's a Man's World?

14th February 2015:
HELLO, MALLORY!! :D Ugh, so apparently it takes me several hours to get this second review written? Honestly, I don't know what I'm doing with my life.

First things first, thank you for not making it a terrible cliffhanger because if you had I think I might have killed something and nobody wants that, do they? No, no they don't. But let's move on from my potentially murderous habits to your much less murderous and much more wonderful writing, no? Yes.

So this seems like a really interesting group of people! I love love love that Mundungus Fletcher is still causing trouble for the authorities even as a crusty old man. The dynamic of the whole team worked really well (and by that I mean that you wrote it well, not that this is a healthy relationship between team members who like and respect each other :P) and I think their reactions to bringing in a girl were pretty realistic.

Gah, what sort of problems is Annie going to get herself into now? Honestly, this poor girl is just being dragged places that nobody wants to go.

Also, Dean/Seamus + adopted son = YES. The only bit about this storyline that I don't like is that their adopted son turned out to be a bit of a criminal. ;) Also, I loved that he was into pyrotechnics. Of course someone names after the fire-giver would be into explosives and fire!

You have me totally hooked about what's happening next and what plan Rose and her gang is going to try and pull off, and how Annie fits into that, and James, and basically everything, so update soon, please! ♥

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Review #4, by BookDinosaur One Secret Meeting, Intrigue Included

13th February 2015:
Hello hello! Hopefully I'll be able to leave two reviews on your two most recent chapters quite quickly today! ♥

Ooh, this entire chapter was so mysterious, Mallory! The secret meeting place, the secret meeting - Rose Weasley! I think it's pretty safe to say I never expected that one coming, haha.

Seriously, I loved the bit of background information you tossed to us, about how Knockturn Alley had been completely renovated after the war. Of course it's natural that the Ministry would probably want to get rid of any kind of disreputable, dark place, and yeah, that just fits perfectly into the story, it's a really nice touch!

But that's not the main meat of the chapter, is it? Oh my gosh, Rose Weasley is the head of Freddy's gang? O_O This was unexpected, Mallory! Why are you so good at building up intrigue?? Srsly. Oh my gosh, so then now what's the plan? Is Rose in on Freddy's bet with James? Did she engineer it? WHY?? I need answers, Mallory? Why would Rose Weasley go to the dark side? Omg.

(mind = blown)

This kind of makes me wonder if there are any other cousins involved. Roxanne? Hugo?

Also, Freddy does drag shows, hehe. >:D Did Rose insist on that too? :P

Gah, and why does Rose hate Anne? Is this a superiority thing? DID ANNE INADVERTENTLY BULLY ROSE AT SCHOOL? (I don't think so, but tat would be very plot-twisty. :P)

So basically, I'm glad there's another chapter for me to R&R right now because I don't know whether or not I could stand waiting for answers. ;) The next chapter better not end in a cliffhanger, Mallory, this is a warning in advance! ♥

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Review #5, by Aphoride The Boss and the Business Proposition

11th February 2015:
Hey Mallory! :D It's been far too long since I stopped by here, really it has... so I'm here now! :)

Okay, so I really loved this chapter - the mystery which is included in this, moving the plot so far forward, and the characterisation of Annie and Fred. It's so cool - and I'm so excited to see what happens next, who Fred's 'friends' are and what they're like, what kind of shady business he's involved in.

Your characterisation, as always, is stellar. I love Annie so much - how she's so demeaning to the men she plays against normally, because they're drunk and not very clever and utterly oblivious (which is all the better for her), and yet how she knows when not to be stupid about things and when to play along, especially with Freddy!

Freddy is amazing, speaking of him. I love how he's so creepy and so charming at the same time - it's this gorgeous duality in his character - and he's so cruel whilst being so happy, it almost makes you miss it, you know? (Which is also partially down to your wonderful writing! ;D) He's so clever and so mad, he sort of reminds me a bit of Barty Crouch Jr, you know? I'm so excited to see where you go with him - he's so fascinating :)

Your writing, as always, is so, so good - I love the way you've done it, and your dialogue is amazing. Your word choice as well is exceptional - I loved how you used diabolical and shrewd, and the casino language (hustler and so on) in it. It was so good! Plus, your description is lovely - all of it is so beautiful and so evocative, with the images and emotions it all provokes :)

Thank you so much for the swap - I loved it so much, it's so lovely! And I really, really can't wait so long to come back next time! :)

Aph xx

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Review #6, by jessicalorewrites Shooting Star, After Midnight

2nd February 2015:
Hi! Here for the review swap ^.^

Wow -- I've been meaning to read this for so so long now it's actually unbelievable. I've had it bookmarked and everything just waiting for some free time to try read it all in one sitting (because I'm just like that :p). Here I am anyway though and although I can't read it all right now I'll definitely get round to it in the next couple of days because this first chapter was as great as I had always hoped :D

The description in this is so rich in detail without feeling overbearing in any way. At times, especially the beginning, I felt like the whole thing was set in Vegas or something; it really drew me in.

Also, POOL! How amazing. It's a game everyone knows and yet one I've never ever seen a character play in fanfiction. Not even Muggles! Do you play yourself? If not the way you describe the game so magnificently is truly amazing. Even if you do play and have inside knowledge on the quirks of the game you translated this so well for others to read (like me, who although has played a few games of pool before, doesn't really know the rules OR how to do well).

Overall I'm just really intrigued by everything in this first chapter! You wrap the characters up nicely in such a short space making me feel as if I already know them inside out, although I'm sure there is much much more to come. I can't wait to read on!!

- Jess, xo

Author's Response: Hi Jess!

Oh, it's okay! If you do end up reading more, I hope you'll let me know what you think! :D But thank you so much for your compliments and I hope the rest of the story doesn't disappoint!

Thank you! I love description, so putting a lot of it in here made sense to me. :)

Pool is one of my favorite things, so I had to write about it. I thought it would make a nice change. :) I DO play, but not as professionally as my character. I'm so glad that my perception of pool translated well; sometimes I'm afraid that no one will know what I'm talking about!

So glad I've got you intrigued! Do please read on and tell me what you think if you ever get a chance! Thanks so very much for all of your comments! ♥


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Review #7, by Veritaserum27 Learning From the Best

31st January 2015:
Hi there Mallory!

I'm here for the BvB review battle - it's back on and I get to review your story!

I really, really liked this chapter. As you mentioned in your author's note, I felt like you gave us a lot of answers, but you did it in a beautiful way. You have a knack for writing relationships. It really is a testament to your writing - mostly because it is more difficult to do it in a first person point of view story. I liked how you described Annie's (is that her nickname - trying to remember) parents and how they "rounded each other out." They did seem to be polar opposites, but also really cared for each other. We also get to see quite a bit of Annie's and her father's (and mother's) relationship here. The constant feeling that she's somehow disappointed her mother seems ever present in her life - and as I think back to previous chapters, it seems to be woven in here and there as well.

So her real name is Portia, but her sister calls her Bluebird and her dad calls her Thrush. I know that she hates Portia, but is Bluebird the nickname that she simply can't stand? Or did her sister and James turn it into something else that was traumatizing.

Hmmm I guess I'll have to read to find out!

Great job with this chapter!

♥ Beth

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Review #8, by ravenclaw_princess Shooting Star, After Midnight

22nd January 2015:
Hello. Here for your BvB review

Well done on a great chapter. I was completely drawn into the surrounding and the characters and it kind of felt like I was there, watching the action unfold.

The first few paragraphs were brilliant for hooking me in. The imagery of the setting was very captivating and created such a rich world. I really felt like I was in Vegas. You really created the air of temptation and devilry with the language yu used and the small details you added, such as the tight sequined dress.

The use of first person gave this chapter a real sense of mystery. While I have my suspicions of who the girl is, we end this chapter with very little details about her or her background. Playing a pool shark in a casino and waging unsuspecting men out of lots of cash is hardly the 'profession' someone dreams to be in (I do assume here a little), so it will be interesting to learn more about her and how she ended up on this path. I'm not sure exactly what sort of arrangement she's in with Freddy Weasley but it does sound a little unsavoury.

I loved the interactions between the two characters as they played pool. I think you tapped into the gambling mindset quite well and how it was so easy for him to overlook the signs of a ploy and just want to try once more to get the big win.

I loved the language you've used. There are lots of wonderful descriptions that create a very rich setting that is so easy to picture. This is a great first chapter and I'll definitely be back to read more.


Author's Response: Hi! Thanks for your review!

I'm so glad that my setting drew you in. That was what I was going for, and the first few paragraphs are still some of my favorites. Ooh, I've never actually been to Vegas, so I am so happy to hear that I created a setting that mimics it a little bit.

First person is not ideal for me, but it was the most comfortable for the story. I wanted to keep my character's identity a secret for as long as possible (while still keeping things interesting). And she's definitely a pool shark, but there's nothing personal about her in this chapter. It's all a facade! :D More will be revealed much later on, never fear! (Freddy Weasley is definitely unsavoury, you're right!)

Thank you! I've never gambled before, so I'm way out of my area of expertise with this stuff, but it's fun to imagine and make things up.

Thank you thank you thank you! If you come back, I hope you enjoy what you read! :D


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Review #9, by Veritaserum27 A Drink With the Devil

19th January 2015:
Hi there Mallory, here for the BvB review battle!

I'm so excited I had some extra time today to get really into this story. I'm pretty sure I'm hooked at the moment. :)

I absolutely loved this chapter. I thought it was awkward in all the right places and you brilliantly showed a little bit of chemistry between Anne and James. I also loved that while she's learned a little more about him, she's not even close to dropping her guard down. The wounds are too deep. In fact, I'm impressed with the way you've paced this entire story. Each chapter just keeps getting better and better.

I'm sorry to be gushing a bit here, but the fact that you've subtlety layered a little bit of mystery along with James's back story in this chapter was brilliant. I'm wondering exactly how Anne got caught up working for Freddy and how completely dangerous he can be. If he's willing to turn in his own cousin to Azkaban just to make a few galleons, what sort of retaliation will he take when he finds out his employee is the one teaching James how to play? I'm a little worried for Anne. Although she can play the part of pool hustler really well, how savvy is she when dealing with a crime boss with very little scruples?

I can't comment on your accuracy of the description of the pub, because I'm not British, but I definitely got the sense that they were in a bar.

And James still has no idea who Anne is (or that they have a past). You're keeping me hooked - I need to know more!

♥ Beth

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Review #10, by Veritaserum27 Ready, Aim, Miss...

19th January 2015:
Hello Mallory!

Here for BvB again!

I'm glad you posted again because I'm getting really into this story. James reminds me of a little puppy (I know you referred to him as a dog), but he's much more childlike. And sometimes I think Annie wants to take a rolled up newspaper and smack him across the nose :) He's afraid of riding in the car, can't seem to learn things until she's told him several times and thinks he's done a great job when he just scratched - haha!

I'd like to think Annie is enjoying seeing her nemesis need her, but she mostly just seems annoyed at him. It's fun for me, anyway to see someone who made her Hogwarts years so daunting that she can't bear to think about it really struggle with something as basic as remembering how to use the cue stick.

I really like the scene with Hattie - she is a sweetheart and I'm so glad Annie has her for a friend. It's cute that she tries to set Annie up with everyone, but I think she's trying to do it so Annie can see what an amazing person she is. Although she knows that she is really great at pool, she doesn't seem to have much self-confidence otherwise and it makes me a little sad.

Overall, I liked the light tone of this chapter!

Great job!

♥ Beth

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Review #11, by Veritaserum27 The Woes of Working Retail

19th January 2015:
Hi there!

I'm here for the BvB review battle!

I think this was my most favorite chapter so far! We really get to see more of Anne's life. You can tell that this sweet Hufflepuff has been hardened by something. I'm guessing James Potter had a lot to do with it.

I feel like Anne's voice is really coming through in this chapter, more so than the others. It was an absolute pleasure to read. I was chuckling all through it - and moaning along with her at her misfortune. She's got to deal with an unruly boss, a dissatisfied mother, hiding her true talents, and dealing with James!

James seems to be more than a little arrogant. He uses his position of power as the customer to get what he wants. And although he's recognized Anne from the pool hall, it doesn't seem that he realizes they knew each other at Hogwarts. Although, you let a little hint drop that she is now using her middle name. The last chapter mentioned that she was known at Hogwarts by some horrible nickname that her sister gave her and I'm dying to know what it is!

Oooo! A bit of a cliffhanger - what's so special about "The Snoozing Dog?"

Can't wait to read more!

♥ Beth

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Review #12, by Aphoride Not All Men, But Most of Them

14th January 2015:
Hi Mallory! :) Stopping by from the BvB, because unfortunately I'm supposed to be doing work today, and I need an excuse to pop back to this (well, no, I don't, but it sounds better if I do, right? :P)!

I'm catching up, too... and I'm so glad about it! I love this story to pieces, seriously, and I'm so excited about seeing where it's going to go next and everything. Nothing about this story is predictable, and I love it! :)

I love Annie's character so much - I love how strong she is, or pretends she is, and how she's such a good actress and her true skill is more of a shady, or shadily-used, one than other people's. She's just so fascinating, and so unique as an OC - I haven't seen many who genuinely hate a Potter, and don't seem to be likely to fall in love with them any time soon!

I loved learning more about Freddy, and the Shooting Star - using George as a comparison was such a cool idea! And they are reasonably similar in some ways... I never thought of that at all! - and how Annie's night progresses, with her 'clients' and all, and how they act with her. It wasn't shocking, per se, but it was something which should perhaps be shocking, if you get my drift? Like, it's the kind of behaviour which just makes you want to leave somewhere... ugh. Kudos to Annie for handling it all so well - though I suppose since she's been doing this for a while, she must be used to a lot of it, which is pretty sad.

Still, I guess she filches all their money in the end, which is something... ;)

Ooh, Freddy and James, in the same chapter! You're spoiling me, haha! I love them both so much! They're like opposites - James is the guy who knows what's on the line and knows when he's crossed it, if not immediately, and Freddy is the kind of guy who just keeps pushing because he can. It's great characterisation, with both of them! I loved how bumbling James was in this one, too - how he didn't think through why playing pool in Freddy's casino would be bad. Poor guy :P

On another note, Freddy's proposition for Annie sounds terrifying. I'm betting it's really not going to be good news, though I don't know what... ooh, maybe he's going to get her to play James in the match? I could seem him doing that just to try and win... so cruel! Or something more sinister... gah, I don't know! I'll just have to read on, I guess... :P

Your writing in this, as always, is amazing. I love the way you write - the description, and especially your dialogue, are soo good. I know I keep saying this, but it's true! There's nothing I can do but keep repeating it :P You are so, so good at weaving the plot together, as well, I'm so jealous of that - there's all these little strands and I know they're going to come together in the end, and make something I didn't expect. Plus, the mystery is incredible. I really, really cannot predict anything in this story, and I love it! :)

I'll see you soon for the next chapter, no doubt ;)

Aph xx

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Review #13, by toomanycurls A Face From the Past

12th January 2015:
I should read summaries before guessing who people are. *cough* Erase what I said about the chick being Rose. *cough*

So, I'm desperately curious about the history between these two. Clearly they know each other (from school?) and possibly don't like each other. I am still in love iwth the way your MC knows the power dynamic between her and everyone else which she uses to her advantage.

James' question about her knowing who she is does make him sound like a little boy rather than a famous and intimidating figure. I love this line to pieces: “Not at all. I was merely reciprocating your question in the hopes that the relevance of this conversation would begin to make itself known.”

It seems to deflate James so much. Oh it does make me sad to think of James as a bully at school but the way you've described it makes sense. Kindo f like the way Dumbledore worried Harry would be if raised in the wizarding world.

I must be in a vindictive mood as well because I love how James is suddenly trying to justify his fame and presumption. I love that she puts him down so much and goes on a diatribe about his easy life with an adoring crowd. It is quite egotistic of him to assume she'd just drop everything and teach him.

Ah! I love this attitude and sense of power.


Author's Response: Hi again, Rose!

It's totally fine. I've had a lot of people guess it was Rose Weasley, so it's not a far-fetched guess at all!

I'm glad you're curious! Their history is a little vague at the moment, but they did know each other at school, where they had a very interesting sort of dynamic. Now the dynamic has changed because it's several years removed from Hogwarts. I don't want to reveal too much about it all, because that spoils the fun. :D

James is such a child. He's so difficult to write because it's like, "Do you want to be a child or a man today? Or both?" He can't even make up his mind. And my MC is just 1000% done with his nonsense. :) I'm terribly glad that you loved that line.

Yes, whenever James's head gets deflated is always a good moment. He gets a chance to remember that he's made mistakes and isn't always the smartest cookie in the cookie jar. He was once a bully, but has that changed? Maybe...

Haha, yay for vindictive moods! James truly has no excuse, but props to him for trying, I guess. Nah, he's kind of stupid, and my MC wants to give him all the scorn and contempt that she can. He's an idiot in this chapter, and I am so glad that you thought so too. :)

Thanks again for another stellar review!


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Review #14, by Aphoride Learning From the Best

12th January 2015:
Hi there, Mallory! :) Sorry for the delay in getting this to you from the BvB battle - stupid uni internet logged me out and I lost the whole thing before I could post it, and had to redo it, so I'm here now for the second time! :)

(Not that I mind, tbh - since you always leave me such amaazing reviews, it's only fair I try and do something similar in return. (And fail, almost certainly :P))

I loved the flashbacks, showing how she started playing pool and finding out more about her family - especially her dad - and a few more details about her life at Hogwarts. Annie's such a mysterious main character, you know, and I love how you reveal more about her with each chapter, but she still maintains the whole mysterious aura-thing - though I loved going into more detail on her. It really didn't feel out of place at all.

I loved the way her dad was a muggle and more laid-back, and her mum was the witch and the high-flyer. I don't know, it just seemed so original to me, and I loved how she's a half-blood with a very mixed family, with different backgrounds and different interests, rather than simply a pureblood or muggleborn, which seems to be more common in OCs. The scene with her dad and her chatting, and the build-up of their relationship was so sweet, and I loved how it was when she was with him that her magic first came out. Sort of adds to the whole pool thing - her first magic involving pool balls ;)

As always, the detail in this is amazing. I particularly love the sensory stuff you do - with the smoke smell, and the feel/touch bits, with the wood and the carpet. The moment where she sneezed made me laugh - it's so true to life, though! It always happens that you end up needing to sneeze or cough when you're hiding somewhere, cliche as it may sound :P

Got to be honest, though, I am missing James a little bit in this - but last chapter was a James-heavy chapter, so I'll let it slide :P ;)

Anyway, I still love this story and I really loved this little drop back into Annie's past - I think it really helped round out her character more, and it was just nice to learn more about her, and your writing as usual was amazing and I'm so excited and curious to see where the plot goes next chapter, because the advantage of a flashback one is that you give yourself something of a clean slate for the next chapter ;)

(Also - I'm starting to catch up ;) Slowly, but surely... and then I can beat Emily to next first review :P)

Aph xx

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Review #15, by toomanycurls Shooting Star, After Midnight

12th January 2015:
Ooh, this looks very interesting. I like the use of sexuality and power between both people. It's very coy for your MC to play on the guy's ego and win so much gold. I can imagine how frustrating it would be to put up iwth that kind of behavior night after night - I wouldn't be able to keep a neutral, vapid smile with their condescending behavior.

The man who she hustled must be dreading going back to his wife.

I'm making a guess that the narrator is Rose - which make it very interesting with Fred being her, uh, boss guy. That's a very unique dynamic to have with the Wotters. this is such a creative setting for a next-gen story. So much of the plot is still a mystery but you've laid a fascinating foundation.

I'm glad you have quite a bit of this up - it'll make for an interesting read!


Author's Response: Hi Rose! Thanks for your review. :)

After starting at college, I learned a lot about power dynamics between males and females--especially in literature. When I first came up with the idea for this story, I wanted to explore those dynamics. My MC really does play on those little ego trips that guys sometimes have--she's there to take them down a notch and sort of take her revenge on them for assuming that she isn't good at pool. I definitely wouldn't be able to keep up the act, either. :P

He is! (I hope.)

Close guess... But no cigar. My MC is actually an OC, but Rose will come later. It's funny that you've said that about the boss-cousin relationship and the Wotter dynamic because that will definitely come into play... But not for about ten chapters or so. Thank you so very much for your comments and compliments!


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Review #16, by Veritaserum27 Mint Chocolate Chip Memories

11th January 2015:
Hi there Mallory!

Here for the review swap - I'm so glad we did this - I need to get back into this story.

I read your author's note, but I thought this chapter went really smoothly. In fact, I think it was pertinent to the story that we learn something about Annie's (Portia's?) back story. You gave her character so much more depth.

This is a VERY different Annie than we saw in the first two chapters. She's still suffering from the bullying she endured at Hogwarts and it explains so much why she hates James Potter and doesn't want to teach him pool. It also added a lot more mystery to the story. It seems a bit coincidental that he shows up at HER casino and demands this of her. I'm wondering if he just might know more than he is letting on.

Hattie seems awesome! I'm in love with her already as she is someone that has always been there for Annie. And I love that they are such opposites but they seem to fit together so well.

I really feel for Annie here (so glad to know her name now!). She's never really felt like she's fit in anywhere - and that seems like it was just exacerbated by her sister and James Potter. I'm really hating on James right now.

I can't wait to read more! Great story!

♥ Beth

Author's Response: Hi Beth!

We should definitely do review swaps more often, because I'm only on like chapter 11 of your story and I need an excuse to read MOAR!

Yay, I love to hear that you thought the chapter ran smoothly! It was one of my biggest worries about it. Yep, Portia is her first name but she prefers Annie. Portia has a little too much significance... I'm glad that you thought it gave a good bit of depth to her character.

Yep, she is VERY different than she was in the first few chapters, but I like to think that the version of her at the Shooting Star is a persona. This is how she is when she comes home and gets away from the gross pool players and stuff. And the bullying has affected her a lot, and dragging things up from the past doesn't really help... James is Freddy's cousin, so he's bound to go to the casino sometime, but is there another reason? Maybe...

Hattie is one of my faves! I'm happy that you're in love with her already, because although she isn't a huge part of the story, she's still very important to Annie. Opposites attract, as they say. :)

Annie is a bit of a misfit, but she is good at playing pool and she's found her own way in the world. She still thinks about the bad stuff in her past sometimes, but she does have more to worry about than that, as will become evident. :)

Thanks again for the review!


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Review #17, by Aphoride A Drink With the Devil

11th January 2015:
Hello again, Mallory! :) I just had to keep reading on - I've missed this story!

I love how this chapter continued on with the last chapter's last scene, and the lesson and how it's going for James. Dear god, he's not very good is he? :P Poor guy, doesn't really help when you consider what a bad situation he's in either... I mean, with your cousin threatening to potentially land you in prison via blackmail, you'd probably be hoping you'd turn out to be a natural in the game, tbh, and it's really, really not like that for him. Still, it's nice to see him being taken down a peg or two, what with Annie and his backstory. It's a strange sort of thing, because he's not a wholly detestable character, but at the same time, he's not a wholly likable character because there's this whole past he has... it's really complex, though, and I love it! :)

That conversation between James and Annie at the bar was so mysterious! Like, I wanna know so much more! Why don't he and Harry get on so well? What is this information Freddie knows which is so dangerous? Did James do something, or say something? Does Freddie have incriminating pictures or something - how does he know about it? I can't help but feel Freddie's a lot more of a sinister character than he seems, with all the games and so on... highly suspicious individual :P

I have to be honest, I actually felt a little bit sorry for James when she refused to call him by his first name... I mean, he's trying, poor guy, and he genuinely doesn't remember - but then again, you can't really blame her for not wanting to get on with him. Ah, you're too good at characterisation! I like them both, haha :P

I loved this chapter - the writing was gorgeous, your dialogue is amazing as always, your characterisation is so good - and I liked how this wasn't a massively plot-heavy chapter, but it developed things further, set up these little clue-like things about Freddie and James' bet and so on... so curious :)

I'll be back sooner than I have been before... ;)

Aph xx

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Review #18, by Aphoride Ready, Aim, Miss...

11th January 2015:
Mallory, Mallory, Mallory! :) So sorry it's been so long since I've been here (and I'm waaay, way too flattered that you dedicated this chapter to me - it's amazingly sweet of you! :D), but I'm here now, and I've got loads of time to catch up on this story. Really, it's been far too long... blame exams! :P

I love this story so much (and, you know what, I was actually playing pool last week, haha, so it's beautifully coincidental that I'm back with this now) - there's something so wonderfully unique about it, with the pool aspect and all the different subplots into it, with the maybe-not romance sort of thing, and the mystery aspect and so on. It's so wonderful! :)

I love Annie's character so much - she's such a great OC, with the way she was bullied before, and how she hates James and doesn't think he's attractive, and how she's so witty with the little quips and things she makes about James and Barry, and to them too. Your dialogue is so lovely - I'm so jealous! I find it so hard, but for you, it's amazing, it always seems so easy for you, whether it's internal monologue comments or conversation.

The details in this are incredible, too, speaking about writing. I love all the little mentions of how she's called 'Miss Eight' and the muggle bar and the muggle taxi, and how she has this whole sort of double life - I love how you build it up throughout the whole thing. The scene with her trying to teach James how to play pool was hilarious - I loved all the little wizard/muggle things in it, how James doesn't know how to hold the cue and hit it and just can't... it seems so simple when you know how to do it, haha, but I can imagine it would be so hard for people to learn if they'd never seen it before!

All of your supporting characters are so good, too - is it wrong to say that I love Barry? :P I don't know, he's not a nice guy, but I love how he's a failed Quidditch player who now runs a Quidditch shop, so he's sort of close enough to the sport without being able to play it. Annie's friend Hattie is so good, too - I love the little interludes with her, and how she tries to persuade Annie to go on dates. The little mentions of other characters we haven't actually met yet, like Adam, are so great, too - they really make this whole thing 3D, you know? :)

I love this story so much (I keep saying this, but it's true!), and I'm gonna have to keep going... :) See you next chapter! :P

Aph xx

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Review #19, by BookDinosaur On Vertic's Alley

11th November 2014:
I realised that I hadn't reviewed this yet. :O BLASPHEMY. So here I am with my ambition screaming at me to get on with NaNo, don't listen to it. I'm doing perfectly fine.

Oh, Annie. Honestly I find that the way you write her is just so amazing - she has to keep in his good books, but she doesn't like him, and there's bad past between them that only she remembers, and she's understandably bitter about James and then there's the whole pool thing - it's a super complicated situation for anyone to be and you write all her feelings and her emotions - so perfectly. I love it, this is really amazing.

Ahhh, Vertic's Alley - is that a play on words, like how Diagon Alley is a play on word 'Diagonally' and then Vertic's Alley is a play on the word 'Vertical'? Anyway, whatever prompted you to pick that name, it fits the whole wixen world so well, it's seriously amazing. your descriptions of the teenagers and the shops - it's all so vivid, enough-but-not-too-much, your description is absolutely perfect. ♥

You know, I kept laughing at the way that she called him 'Potter' and then kept trying to fix it to 'James', ahaha. Shes clearly still pretty uncomfortable with him, and the funnier thing is that he's trying to get more comfortable with her - the contrast there, between the two of them, is pretty funny.

Yeah Annie. Do not speak of the Cannons and the Kestrals like that. Honestly, James is pretty protective of his team, isn't he? :P Raging Potter beast indeed.

Honestly, I wonder how James would react if he knew who Annie was? Would he be so respectful, would he go back to bullying her, would he try to apologise? Would he even have asked her for help? It's an interesting question, anyway.

UGH UGH UGH UGH THE END MALLORY WHAT IS THIS THE END just look at that!! It's going to work out for her but not for him - WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN. So she is going to set him up? OH MY GOD Mallory I need answers wahhh *cries*

You are a fab NaNo Mum and Daughter and Sister and I can't wiat for the next chapter to come up. Update soon!

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Review #20, by LightLeviosa5443 Shooting Star, After Midnight

10th November 2014:
Hey Mallory!

Here for the BvB!! I could've sworn that I've reviewed this chapter already. I recognize it, I'm wondering if I read part of it and just never got to reviewing. Anyway! I'm here now and wow is this great!

I love the way that you open the story by describing the setting. I feel like if I close my eyes right now I can picture the entire place and really feel the mood that you're setting. Which is a wonderful wonderful feeling. The main character is really wonderful, I love the way she puts on a persona and how you can see the contrast between what she thinks and what she projects outwards. It's really fun and interesting and the perfect way to start off your story.

I'm really just so in love with the language. I can't get over how you've written it. This is great great great, Mallory!!

What I love is your description of the actual playing itself. Do you play pool? If you do, wonderful that you're putting your knowledge to use. If you don't, impressive that you've given us such a clear image and painted such a believable scene in this story. In fact, based a story around it.

The main character here really just draws you in, and I love seeing her mood grow and techniques climb as the night goes on. She's really great at what she does, and you've made it clear for the reader. I like that you've shown us her confidence.

I also love that you explain the game in little sections. I was wondering how she got all of the balls in, but when you explained that hers would just have to go in before his fell in, it made so much sense. I really like that that was in there, it just sort of ties together nicely, for me.

I am in LOVE with the line "Men had been known to cry when Fair Fortune decided to frown upon them." It's such a great line. Such a great way to lead on from the excitement of the chapter into the settling of it!

I can't wait to find out who the guy who stepped in at the end is!! This was a magnificent first chapter!! I'm totally hooked and I'll definitely have to keep reading to find out what happens later!!

Great job, girl!!

xoxo Sarah ♥

Author's Response: Hey Sarah!

It's okay that it took you awhile to review--you reviewed, and that's what counts! Thanks so much!

I always feel the need to contextualize the story with a really good setting. Like, it has to fit the mood and everything. It's very inspired by Victorian lit and their obsession with weather... Anyway, I'm glad that my descriptions pulled you into the story! My OC is definitely putting on a persona, and that will become very apparent in later chapters. Sometimes I'm afraid that she's too different in different circumstances, but like I said, the setting very much informs her personality. Thanks for commenting on it!

I do play pool! (Recreationally, though. I'm not a pro.) When I play, I always feel powerful, like I can take my opponent down even though we're just fooling around with a game. I wanted the pool scenes to feel like this, so I tried to infuse my own experience into it.

She IS great at what she does, and she knows it. In her interactions with the man, I wanted to make it evident that she has a right to be insulted by his behavior, and she gets her revenge by proving how awesome she is at what she does.

And boy, does she know how to play the game! She is much better at pool than I am, for the purposes of the story, haha. She knows how to manipulate the game to get what she wants. :)

Thank you so much! I'm a bit of a drama queen, so I put as much drama in this chapter as I possibly could stomach. I'm glad you liked that line--I forgot I wrote it. :P

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing! ♥


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Review #21, by patronus_charm Shooting Star, After Midnight

8th November 2014:
Hey Mallory!

Ooh ooh ooh this story is very intriguing and very cool and I may be a little bit in love with it. I love all the world building you did because I always find that when the author makes new locations and activities for wizards and witches to do it makes the story a whole lo more magical. I'm not sure why really but it just does. You also described it in a load of detail too so it wasn't confusing at all and I could really imagine it and it's just cool!

But oh my wizard god is your OC super cool. I really love super confident ones because you rarely ever come across them in FF as I guess there is the danger of them becoming a little too Mary-Sue, but it doesn't seem like it hear, and I can imagine that her confidence means that she's going to get up to some interesting escapades. I really liked how passionate she was about the game of pool because she made it seem a lot more interesting that it seems to be in real love. Plus, the way she didn't seem to even feel a bit guilty about tricky that poor man out of his money made me laugh (even though I probably shouldn't have done!) as it just showed how great your character development is as I already have such a vivid sense of her.

More on your character development though, because even that minor man was developed so well and you really do have me worrying what on earth Bonnie is going to say to him when he gets home, and it's great how you didn't even neglect tiny things such as that.

Finally, the mystery with Freddy has caught my attention. I wonder what on earth is going on there as I never imagined him to be a criminal so I wonder whether Molly Weasley knows anything about this. I have a feeling that there's some history between the two of them so I can't wait to see them together as I'm sure it's going to be interesting.

Great first chapter, Mallory! :D


Author's Response: Hey Kiana! Sorry it's taken so long for me to answer your review. :/

Auggh, I'm so glad that you're a little in love with my story! The Wizarding casino was a random though of mine, and I wanted it to work so badly, so I'm sooo happy that you think it makes things interesting. :)

Is it bad to say that my OC is my fave? I wanted to instill some confidence in her, especially for this first chapter, but never fear! She has insecurities and that really shows up in later chapters. I hope she doesn't turn into a Mary Sue... Pool is interesting to me, so I tried to describe it in a way that would make people pay attention to it. Yep, my OC feels no guilt because this guy is just another in the long chain of hearts that she's broken (not because of "love," but because she hoodwinked them). They're too overconfident in their supposed superiority, and every time she gets to take someone like that down a notch, it's a victory for her. I'm so glad to hear that you've got a vivid sense of her! :D

Thank you so much! Bonnie is definitely going to get onto him, but ten bucks says that he's just going to be back next month.

Freddy is actually Freddy II, and no, Molly Weasley has no idea. She's his grandma, and I think she probably dotes on him a little bit. But although Freddy is a seedy character, you ain't seen nothing yet. :)

Thank you so much for reading and reviewing! It means the world to me. ♥


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Review #22, by potterfan310 On Vertic's Alley

5th November 2014:
Hey, me again.

If I was Annie I wouldn't be too bothered about making James wait.

Ahh I LOVE your descriptions especially about the Alley and the new one coming off it. I think I've just been transported there :D

James really is clueless about Muggle life and things isn't he?

Soda - Would be Fizzy Pop or even just coke or lemonade

"the original Wiz Kid himself is slightly dangerous." This just made me laugh because I swear the first bit is from one of the AVPS songs and that's all I have in my head right now :)

I am so, so happy that Annie was mean to him in a way. He definitely showed a different side when she mention the Cannons incident which is interesting. It makes me wonder that apart from his mean side at Hogwarts whether he has a dark streak like Freddy too.

Somehow I think that if James knew who she really was and what happened in the past I feel like he certainly wouldn't be calling Annie 'cool'. I can't tell which James is really him, which is good because it's keeping me on my toes. It's like he has all these different sides and with every chapter a new one is coming out which is quite cool.

Yay for NaNo. Good Luck ♥

Sophie xx

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Review #23, by potterfan310 Aftermath and Arrangements

5th November 2014:

It's nice seeing Annie at home, I was starting to think she lived at the Casino :p I also can't wait to see more of her with Hattie, which I'm assuming will be in this chapter since Annie's home. What she remembers could easily sound like a nightmare, poor Annie. I'm definitely excited to see how she deals with the not telling Freddy/James about the other.

Freddie's letter, it might have been short but I can't help but laugh at the bit about adults getting up before eight on a weekday, it's almost as if he doesn't consider Annie an adult even though she's only a few years younger than him. Just curious, how old is she anyway?

Ahh her sister! So her sister was friends with James, oh no, that gives me an even worse feeling. I guess I was right in a way her sister isn't such a pretty person as her name suggests. Is it any wonder Annie hates her and that nickname, Portia is a pretty name but I can understand why she goes by Annie, bless her.

I feel for Annie, so, so much. Not so much with the name thing but with wondering whether she should even bother apologising to James, since was so horrible to her for no apparent reason. I love pretty much everything she said and crossed out, I've definitely felt like that before. She should have stuck with the original one :p But I'm definitely curious as to why she is continuing to meet with him when they have such a past and that if Freddy finds out she'll lose her job (or maybe worse). Maybe it's just me (and that I can relate to her with the background with James), but I secretly hope Annie is planning on some sort of revenge for him.

Yay, there is more Hattie! Ha! Her stories from St. Mungo's. I love the two of them together, hopefully there will be more of them together soon. Definitely relatable characters and they just seem to bounce off one another really well.

Off to the next one :)

Sophie x

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Review #24, by BookDinosaur Aftermath and Arrangements

25th October 2014:
AHH HI FIRST REVIEW FIRST REVIEW FIRST REVIEW I want this to be first review is that so much to ask???

Agh, you know, it's so weird to see Annie at home and not in the casino - I was getting so used to Annie as the cunning conwoman, the trickster, the seductive pool player, that seeing her at home and groggy after a long night was a really subtle reminder that she's still only human, so kudos to you for pulling that off so seamlessly!

These little details you add into the story are so amazing! Like how Freddy changes messenger birds every week, and how he signs off his letters with the XOXO - it all adds so much to the story and the character, and I absolutely love the atmosphere it brings. ♥

Ahh, so the meeting with Freddy is important enough for Freddy to want to remind Annie to come, and to wear something nice. You have me very keyed up for this meeting that's going to happen, Mallory.

Gosh and Annie really does want to meet up with James again! Honestly, I wonder what on earth she wants with him, especially as she knows Freddy will fire her. - and worse - if she gets caught with him. I wonder whether it's all part of a plan just to build his hopes up and then defeat him, or whether she actually thinks that there's a way out of this. Honestly, at the moment all I can think of is teaching James so well that he can pot all the balls in one go and not let Annie have a go, but honestly AI don't really see that happening? Ahh, I can't wait to see where this will go.

I can definitely see how writing that letter would be cathartic to Annie, with all those insults, haha! And that flashback you stuck in was wonderful as well, it really gave us a bit of background on Annie and James' nasty Hogwarts relationship, and why she was calling her sister nasty names in her head in the previous chapters. Gosh, poor poor Annie, being bullied like that at Hogwarts! And I see why she prefers Annie to Portia now, which is sad because I think Portia's a lovely name.

Honestly, I wonder whether James has changed and what'll happen to them - looking forward to seeing where you choose to take their relationship!

Ooh, and before I sign off, Hattie and Annie's friendship is brilliant! I love the way you write them, and I love the way they seem to balance each other out, and how they cover for each other - it's honestly just like something which could happen in real life.


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Review #25, by BookDinosaur The Boss and the Business Proposition

25th October 2014:
Hi Mallory! Slightly later than expected but I'm here now, yeah? :P

Ahh, this was such a great chapter! So many questions answered, aa appearance from the famous Freddy, a lot more light on the details of this bet. :D

Ooh, Freddy first. I am rather impressed that he can play pool, haha! I think that with this one appearance, you've done a really fab job of showing us what he's like and giving him a pretty fleshed-out character. I just want to point out that he's pretty much the complete opposite of most portrayals I've read about him; a Slytherin, on the slightly shady side of the law, at loggerheads with James, and most of the time authors are writing him as a Gryffindor, upright and honourable, and best friends with James.

I don't know whether you meant to subvert his normal portrayals or not but you've done a really good job of establishing his character in this! Maybe it's just me, but he's honestly coming off as a little crazy, what with the glowing eyes and almost-bursting-with-excitement attitude he's showing. Maybe he's just sadistic? And in answer to your questions, I do think he's a bit of a creep, and yes, it's very cool that he's an actor and a casino owner. Mad skillz, y'all. :P

Ahh, his offer is so one-sided! He's definitely not leaving any space for poor Annie to crawl out of, is he? Gah gah gah, thrice-accursed bet indeed, and poor Anne's just caught in the crossfire. Although that last sentence about eating humble pie and extending her offer of teaching definitely makes me think that Annie has a plan to get herself out of this, I'm really wondering what it is. Thank goodness you've just updated, no? :P

Ahh, sorry for the shortness and just general rubbishness of this review, I just kind of want to get to the next chapter so that I can see what Annie' up to and how she wants to get out of her nasty situation. xD You cunning author you, it's not an obvious cliffhanger at all but the way to set up that sentence at the end leaves the reader wanting more, more, MOAR.

Onto the next chapter!

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