Reading Reviews for Playing for Keeps
79 Reviews Found

Review #1, by HermyLuna2 Ready, Aim, Miss...

26th March 2015:
"If you make eye contact with people, they’ll either feel so uncomfortable that they’ll want you out of their way as soon as possible, or they’ll understand that you are a confident and truthful person" I like such little insights in Anne's, sorry, not Anna's, mind. They add depth to the story. I still like Barry, even though he's a bit of a jerk as well.

It's hilarious that Hattie set Anne up with gay men for dates, and that she doesn't tell her. James being afraid of cars is very cute. I would think wizard men were more respectful than Muggles, but oh well, that's just a feeling I have anyway. Anne is quite the misandrist isn't she? May make sense, but I think it's a bit over the top and therefore needs more explanation. But I guess that will come later.

James's inexperience and disregard for pool as a sport is very amusing. You described that really well.

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Review #2, by HermyLuna2 The Woes of Working Retail

26th March 2015:
This chapter was really great! We see a lot more of Anna and it gives her character more depth. I like how you described the Quidditch shop, that was really good. You added so many original details, such as a WizPhone (haha) and Barry. I like Barry, he's a good original character.

I also like how you described James here. He's such a jerk, but still likeable. And how cute that they all think Anna is so good a pooling. That she agrees to teach him was expected, but it's still sweet.

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Review #3, by HermyLuna2 Mint Chocolate Chip Memories

26th March 2015:
Finally we get a flashback. That's good. I had the idea that your writing style was getting more cliched, but then I read the Hattie part and fortunately it got better there again. You described Hattie really well. I really like her. Her friendship with the main character seems realistic. I like how you chose to make both characters Hufflepuffs. Hufflepuff is such a forgotten house.

At first I thought Annie's hatred of James was over-the-top, but now it gives me a fuzzy feeling because it's so clear that her dislike is a thinly veiled, almost childish mask for an infatuation. That's cute.

I am curious in which direction this story goes. Well, of course I know, so a better question might be: In which way will James Potter II redeem himself?

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Review #4, by HermyLuna2 A Face From the Past

26th March 2015:
I'm not sure if I like James here - after all I prefer my James Potter II to be an ambitious bookworm and Albus Severus to be the Quidditch player, but that's just my love for irony speaking. It would make sense that James is the arrogant one though since he's called after people more important to his father. Maybe he identifies with James Potter to the point he actually believes he's James and has turned schizophrenic from his fame. Poor thing.

I am curious why he picked on 'Rose'. I hope it's because he always liked her or something. It's realistic how he's so confident in himself that he thinks all women will be impressed with him. He's really deluded. I think Rose's reaction might be a bit over the top. Or maybe it isn't since everyone is different. But I would like to have known more about her past to make me sympathise with her more. What exactly has James done to her? I know we'll probably find out in the next chapters, but to me it feels kind of urgent. Now, we have no idea why Rose is acting so extremely cold.

I am curious about James's cousin and the bet. This also lends itself for an interesting backstory. I'm curious what Mundungus has to do with all this, but I'm looking out to his appearance. I love shady, shabby characters like Mundungus.

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Review #5, by HermyLuna2 Shooting Star, After Midnight

26th March 2015:
It's really good how you described the pooling! Your descriptions are very good. What a mean girl this is. She clearly doesn't like her job, and she seems to take delight in putting men on the wrong track. I wonder what's behind that. Is this Rose? I like how you made her call Fred II Freddy. I'm curious about their relation with each other. Beginning a casino is in line with Fred II's character, I think. A very original idea.

This is an intriguing beginning!

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Review #6, by RShake Proposal Anxiety (Is Amusing)

8th March 2015:
Don't stop here! This is great :)

Author's Response: Thanks for your review, RShake! Don't worry, I have many chapters planned for this story. I just have to write them first. :)

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Review #7, by Veritaserum27 The Boss and the Business Proposition

7th March 2015:
Hi Mallory!

I decided to do another chapter for the BvB.

Aaaagghhh! This chapter! This story! Freddy totally creeps me out. I shudder every time he speaks. I just knew he was going to force Annie to be the one to play James and come up with some sort of threat that would leave her no choice but to agree to his plan. However, the way you wrote it kept me reading faster and faster to get to the end. I have no idea what she is going to do about this! She seems so confident and I want to scream at her, "HOW ARE YOU GOING TO GET OUT OF THIS?!?!"

I guess that as far as Annie is concerned, it will be win-win for her. She will make money helping James win at pool, then she will beat him and get to launch her professional career and James will suffer the humiliation that he deserves. But I have a feeling that isn't how it's going to play out.

I wonder if James was as awful to Freddy during their Hogwarts days as he was to Annie. Freddy does seem to really have it out for him. I feel like he might have more motivations for completely ruining James's life than simply because "the world needs to know." I also don't trust Freddy one bit. He gets drunk off of power and I don't know if he will like losing his "best girl" when Annie beats James and goes off to start a professional career. He likes being in control and he'll have to give up control of her and she's taking off with a heap of his secrets. Hmmm... this is gonna spell trouble.

This story is so good. I'm addicted!

♥ Beth

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Review #8, by Veritaserum27 Not All Men, But Most of Them

7th March 2015:
Hi there Mallory - here for the BvB!

I'm so excited to get caught up on this story. I think that writing-wise, this is my favorite chapter so far. It really had everything and the words you choose kept a constant, frenetic energy running through the entire chapter. I don't know if I'm describing it accurately, but I could just sense a sort of tension building and building until Annie finally let loose on James. Even then, the pace seemed to quicken and I was on the edge of my seat, hoping that Freddy didn't see James in the shadows.

You did a great job of showing Annie's emotions and inner thoughts about her job rather than simply telling with the vignette about the things she hates about being a hustler for dirty men (I'm grossed out still as I write this).

Freddy. Yuck. Eww. Fantastic. He is everything I imagined and even larger than life! Great, great job with him. Great job with making me cringe and hate him and love how well you wrote him at the same time. I'm even wary when he walks back in the room. Annie seems to be walking this line of being a wounded soul from her Hogwarts days and being a hardened adult that is doing what needs to be done to meet her goals. I'm worried that she might just lose a bit of herself that she loves the most through all of this.

Can't wait to read the next chapter!

♥ Beth

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Review #9, 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 #10, 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 #11, 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 #12, 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 #13, 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

Author's Response: Hi there! It's actually not three months later, and I'm finally answering this! :D

Fred's friends are shady, indeed. I can't wait to hear what you think of them. :) The mystery seems to increase with every new chapter, and I don't know how to stop it! It's just too fun to write like this.

Thank you! Annie is so awful to those men because they're so awful in general. And maybe they'll think twice about underestimating girls next time? Who knows... However, she does have to walk a fine line with Freddy, since he's her boss and very shady to boot. If he does something bad to her, who knows if the Wizarding World will sympathize with her? He's a Weasley and a successful businessman. She's just some girl who works for him. So yeah, that dynamic means that she has to be careful. She can definitely beat him at pool, though.

Freddy is kind of a psychopath, which is why he's so fun to write. He is a MAJOR creep, but his charm hides that sometimes. Ooh, Barty Crouch Jr! I haven't thought of that before, but you're definitely right in comparing them. Freddy will go in many places, trust me. :)

Awww, you are too, too kind. I love words, so throwing some fun ones in every now and again is what I live for. And dialogue between Annie and Freddy is different every single time. I never know what's going to happen, and while that's scary, I love it.

Thanks for swapping with me! We'll have to do it again sometime. :D


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Review #14, 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 #15, 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

Author's Response: Hello again!

Thank you! I felt that the time had come for at least a few answers, and the best form was flashback. :D ...Really?! That is seriously so nice of you to say, because I focus a lot on how my characters relate to each other. It's great to know that what I'm doing is coming across. :D

Annie's parents do care quite a lot for each other and for her, but they are rather different. I need to do some more exploring of their relationship because I'm not quite sure how they met/married. There's definitely something there, though. And while Annie's mum is sort of harsh and wants Annie to take certain career paths, she's mostly guided by her love for Annie. It's just that Annie doesn't want to take those career paths, so the relationship is one based largely on a bit of disappointment.

Not quite... :) Annie's real name is Portia--Portia Anne Collins is her full name. Her sister's nickname "Bluebird," which her dad made up. His nickname for Annie is "Thrush." Annie likes being called "Thrush" by her dad and ONLY her dad. There is yet another nickname that her sister created that went on to become the Traumatizing Nickname.

Yes, I suppose you will have to read on and find out. ;)

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Review #16, 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 #17, 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

Author's Response: Yay, I've got you just as hooked on my story as I am on yours! :D

Huzzah for awkwardness! Annie and James have such an awkward relationship, and there might be a little chemistry there, but at this point, it's waaayy too early to tell. Events of later chapters will show you that chemistry isn't always good for them. Oh yeah, she isn't dropping her guard. She has a really good memory and a really big grudge. Is there a ship? If so, they have the blueprints for it but haven't even started building it yet. :)

Oh, gush away! It makes me so happy to read all of your lovely compliments! ♥ I seem to really love writing mysteriously and concealing lots of things about lots of characters. Annie and Freddy's story will come in later chapters, and Freddy comes with his own set of dangerous things. :D Ohhh, he won't be happy when/if he finds out about the tutoring arrangement. I'm worried for her, too, as far as all that, but in a way, she knows that she can beat Freddy by turning her pool-hustling skills on him. (As in, the confidence she puts on when hustling men at pool can be used to subdue Freddy.)

Thanks! I've never been to a bar. It's one of the major failings of my college years. Oh well, maybe one day...

Thanks once again!!

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Review #18, 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

Author's Response: Yay, more reviews from you!

I'm so glad that you're getting into my story! James is such a puppy-type, and so dumb sometimes. Annie definitely wants to smack him in this chapter, though maybe with something stronger than a newspaper. :) He's DEFINITELY like a dog, now that you mention all of those parallels! If he were good enough at Transfig to be an Animagus, he would be a dog.

Annie does take some enjoyment form this arrangement, but you're right, she's also quite annoyed. The tables have turned on their Hogwarts relationship and now they're moving into uncharted waters. Is he a friend? She doesn't think so right now, but he sees her as a resource and someone he can trust. He reminds me of Bobby Newport from Parks and Recreation sometimes with all of his unintentional stupidity. :P

Hattie is one of my faves. She's so nice and optimistic in comparison to Annie's cynicism, and I think Annie needs her for balance. Hattie tries to play matchmaker, but she is HOPELESS at it. And Annie appreciates her attempts, but would sometimes rather that she refrain from trying. :) She does have a lowered self-confidence that seems to be residual from the Bullying Years, but it is my hope that she will overcome it as the story progresses.


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Review #19, 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

Author's Response: Beth! I love your reviews so much! :D

Thank you! I really enjoy thinking about Annie's life before Hogwarts because that's the time before things changed, you know? She's definitely a Hufflepuff hardened by time and circumstance, unfortunately, but her personality as an adult still exhibits some Hufflepuffiness, I think. :)

Ahaha, I'm glad I could make you laugh. She definitely has a lot to deal with at this point, and more will come. Hopefully I can sustain her voice throughout the entire novel; having so many different behaviors in one character is difficult to balance sometimes.

James is way more than a little arrogant. He's the Son of Harry Potter, and he knows it. So of course he's going to treat customer service staff like Lucius Malfoy treats house-elves. He's going to learn in time, mark my words! Yep, Annie's now using her middle name because her first name was wrecked by her sister. :/ James didn't recognize Annie from Hogwarts, but it's been at least seven years since he's seen her and they weren't exactly pals back then.

The Snoozing Dog is a pub. And it's pretty special. Wait and see! :D

Thanks again!

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Review #20, 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

Author's Response: Hi!!

Thanks so much for this lovely long review! :D

Annie definitely pretends a lot, which is why she's so good at it. Practice makes perfect, right? She herself is very shady when she's at the Shooting Star, but hopefully not so much when she's at home. And she's totally not into James Potter, which is a relief. This is not a love story. :)

I'd like to think that George is not very proud of Freddy, but he's sort of impressed in a way. Freddy is all the things about George that could've gone wrong. Annie's clients are gross, and she knows it, which is why she takes all of their money! >:D She knows what she's doing, and they're just sleazy moneybags to be swindled.

Haha, you're right, Freddy and James are total opposites. James does know the line, though he crosses it A LOT. Freddy does push the envelope an awful lot, which is destructive. James is a natural bumbler--when he can't use his charm on Annie, he has no idea what to do. And he really didn't think about coming onto Freddy's turf, stupid boy.

Thanks thanks thanks!! I don't mind when you repeat those lovely compliments. :) Please don't be jealous of me--I don't know how I'm going to wrap up all the loose ends that I've got at this point, but we'll see. :D


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Review #21, 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 #22, 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

Author's Response: Hey Aph!

Pssh, you never fail to make me smile with your reviews. Thanks so much for them. :)

I'm so glad you liked the flashbacks! Annie likes to be mysterious, but she does have a back story that I will delve further into as the story goes on.

Yep, her dad was the Muggle. How he and her mum met, I don't know yet. But there are a lot of mixing interests and personalities in her family, so it fits in an odd way, I think. I wanted her to sort of have the best of both worlds--Muggle and magic, you know? Her relationship with her dad makes me smile every time I write about it. He's so sweet. And yes, her first magic HAD to have pool in the equation. :)

Thank you so much! I rely a lot on my senses, so putting them into my writing is fun. Oh yes, I like cliches and try to use them sparingly, but I couldn't resist the sneezing-and-being-caught gag. It's so stupid, but effective.

Sorry you're missing James! He'll come back, I promise.

I love that you love this story, because you're one of my HPFF faves. So your high opinion of it really mans a lot to me. :) Yes, I felt the need to look into her past. She needed some characterization.

Thank you again!

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Review #23, 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 #24, 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 #25, 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

Author's Response: Hi again!

The continuing scene happened because I thought that the original chapter was too long, so I broke it in half. :D It really isn't going well for James, and he's awful at pol. :) He's in a precarious situation, though, so if he knew what was good for him, he'd practice. You're right--I think he probably figured he'd be a natural, but he was sooo wrong. He could always be taken down a peg or two, even though he's not completely detestable. Huge ego, right?

James has problems, Freddy has info, and Annie has a headache. All will be revealed in due time. :) Oh yes, Freddy is totally sinister. :)

James is trying, but Annie wants to remain aloof. He's kind of a git, anyway, so there's that... Thank you so, so much! I wanted to develop things a little bit, so this chapter was an opportunity to do that. I'm glad you liked it!


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