Reading Reviews for Playing for Keeps
120 Reviews Found

Review #1, by lhod23 Hidden Agendas and Binding Contracts

20th December 2015:
I am really enjoying this story. I love your unique take on Freddy, Rose, and Scorpius. You have something really amazing here so I hope to see more chapters soon :)

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Review #2, by Shadowkat Blood Thicker Than Mashed Potatoes

20th September 2015:
Finally here after rereading all of it to refresh my memory, and here's some things that stood out to me:

-James is a prat
-Fred is a bigger prat
-Rose is even a BIGGER prat
-Change is the BIGGEST prat

Here's a few more:
-Thank goodness for Hettie
-James is hopeless
-Annie is awesome
-And shoot, our favorite pool player is really in deep.

So, I absolutely love your style, and from the start this story completely sucked me in. The characters are wonderfully three-dimensional, the plot is new and refreshing, and I haven't read anything like this before, so I have no idea what to expect. I'm really sorry for the wait, but as you can see, I didn't forget!

I'm so glad to hear you're not going the romance route. It's nice to see that, as it happens far too much. I like to read things every now and again that can have a male and female main cast without them getting together. Not to mention that drunk James scene made me remember exactly why it should never happen here. He deserved everything he got for that.

10/10, because even my rating stinginess can't hold up to this.

I feel like I should be able to say much more, especially after so long.

Author's Response: Kat! Sorry it's been so long since I've responded.

Haha, thank you for reading and rereading! You're so awesome!

Here are my thoughts about your thoughts:

-mega agree
-mega mega agree
-SUPER mega agree!

-Hattie is bae
-James is so dumb
-Annie is cool, but often too opinionated
-Yep, she's in super deep!

Thank you! I always worry that the last nineteen chapters don't live up to the first chapter, but I'm so glad you were sucked in! Honestly, the characters are my favorite part because they're so weird. I love making up new facets of their personalities! The plot is difficult, but fun! I call this story my "soapbox novel" because it keeps giving me an outlet to rant about things. :)

Yeah, romance was a possibility, but I decided against it pretty early on. Too much else going on for a relationship on the side! Yeah, drunk!James had some very, very bad ideas.

Oh wow, I feel so awesome! Thanks for that praise! :D

Nah, it's cool! Thanks for your review!


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Review #3, by Pixileanin Blood Thicker Than Mashed Potatoes

23rd August 2015:
Hi there!

First off, amazing chapter title! I love a bit of blood in my stories, so this was PERFECT! Secondly, what is up with that contract?? It sounds dangerous and completely unethical. What has Annie gotten herself into and how can she be so casual about things???

Itís so sweet of Annieís dad to send her letters all through her Hogwarts days, and to figure out how the owl post thing worked, nice personal touch there. He sounds like someone who really cares about her, thank goodness, unlike the rest of her family. Gah. What awful people! Iím not surprised that she stays away from that place. Advice columnist? Thatís respectable, huh.

PLEASE let me be there when James finds out his new name, Humphrey Spurtle!!! ROFL!!!

It is so BAD of Bea to have that picture. Things will NOT be okay next chapter, and I was having high hopes about that too. Hopes that you squashed like a week old tomato in combat boots. Ugh. No, Annie. Donít ever go home ever again. Make your dad meet you at a pub or something. Or at your place. Or at another pubÖ one that has clean pool tables with the least amount of smoke possibleÖ after he washes his hands. And have him meet James and introduce him as Humphrey Spurtle to his face, because that would be funny and let them all eat pie together at some greasy spoon and work out the problems of the world over bottles of rootbeer, preferably how to take down Rose's hipster hoodlums and set Freddie back a few thousand Galleons.

Great god, can I kill something now? I am so upset at her sister.


Author's Response: Hi!

Thank you SO MUCH!! Blood is fun to put in stories, but this story isn't very bloody right now, haha. :) Yeah, the contract is potentially a hazard for Annie, and she's definitely sinking into deeper, murkier waters right now. She's casual because that's how she knows how to act when dealing with Freddy, but trust me, she's kind of freaking out on the inside.

I just love Annie's dad. He's just so adorable, and I like that he's on her team, even if her mum and sister sometimes antagonize her. (They definitely care for her, well, at least her mum does, but in very odd ways, that's for sure!) Yeah, Bea's job is "respectable." Ish.

Haha! I still giggle over Humphrey Spurtle and it's January now. :P

Bea is the absolute WORST. Sorry for squashing your high hopes, but trust me, there's definitely more to come! Yeah...Annie might not do any of those things. The past always catches up to you eventually, and it's high time it did for her, unfortunately. OH MY GOD "HIPSTER HOODLUMS" I LOVE YOU FOR COINING THIS TERM!!!

No, I'm sorry! Please don't kill something!

Thanks so much for this stellar review, Pix!


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Review #4, by rosiful Blood Thicker Than Mashed Potatoes

23rd August 2015:
Okay, Bea is so mean and evil to Annie! It's really horrible how she treats her... but at the same time I'm a bit excited that she knows about Annie's secret (or one of the many at least), because I'm thinking this will finally lead to James finding out who she is... possibly? I don't really know. You keep adding so many twists and turns to the story! But either way, I'm excited!

I really liked seeing the family dynamic here. Annie and her dad are just too cute together. Things just seem so easy when she's with him. It's great.
Her mum and Bea though.. gosh they're pretty awful. I know why Annie tends to stay away!

I did laugh at Humphrey Spurtle XD
A very original name! haha

Can't wait for the next chapter!
I really love this story!!

Author's Response: Hi!

Yeah, Bea is the worst! Yeah, Annie is not so secretive or covert as she thinks she is, and Bea is definitely going to cause some trouble for her later! James may or may not find out about Annie, we'll see. ;) So glad you're excited!

Family dynamics are hard. My own dad is super goofy, but my sister is the daddy's girl in the family, so I based Annie and her father's relationship off of my sister's and dad's. Her mum is quite opinionated and difficult to get along with, which is partially my sister's idea of my mom--personalities clash in families, but they still love each other, in some ways! I promise!

Humphrey Spurtle makes me laugh so much, so I'm happy you found humor in it too!



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Review #5, by BellaLestrange87 Shooting Star, After Midnight

14th August 2015:
Hi Mallory! I'm here for our review swap (that I'll also be claiming for BvB, of course...)

I've heard so many good things about this story that I'm looking forward to reading it a lot. I will admit that I read the first chapter a while ago but didn't leave a review. (I'm sorry - making up for that now!)

I really love your beginning here, how you talked about the casino being a den of temptations and devilry. First of all, that description is lovely. Second of all, I'm getting really interested in this story now because temptation and devilry together always make for great stories.

I also really like the voice you've created for your main character. She seems really self-assured and confident (which I like), but she has to be persuaded to flirt back with the lecherous males that blatantly and crudely hit on her.

The details about pool were really well done. I can't comment on how accurate they were, or lie about the fact that I had no idea how to play and you ended up teaching me a game. (I sort of knew the rules before but the extent of my knowledge was pretty much "All the balls except for the white go in the holes and black goes in last.")

The scene break (or rather time break, I suppose) was really well placed. The contrast between the first game of pool between the narrator and the man she's playing and then the one after the time shift was really striking. He was extremely confident and flirtatious before the break and rather beaten-down after, sounding like he was begging. Something tells me his wife isn't going to be all that pleased with him when he returns home.

I'm really becoming curious about your narrator now. She seems almost vengeful against these men, basically insinuating that they're stupid because they don't think a woman can beat them. Is there something in her backstory that would cause her to bear this attitude towards men (or is it only towards the males who frequent the Shooting Star Casino)? I really can't wait to find out.

Your ending was really well-done and leaves a few questions that are the reason why I'm going to keep reading after this swap. Is this man the cause of the narrator's almost-vengeful attitude against the men she crushes in pool? He seems like a sarcastic and snarky person, right off the get-go, and I'm curious about her relationship with him, actual or just hate-filled.

I really enjoyed this chapter and I will definitely be back for more!


Author's Response: Olivia!! Really, it's cool that you didn't review before. I'm so glad that you revisited my story, though!

This first chapter is definitely my favorite because of all the description that I let myself get away with. It's so mysterious, even to me, because at the time I wrote it, I didn't have a clear idea of what exactly was going to happen in the far-off future to the characters. And they've definitely given me a lot of grief...

Yeah, the MC's job is...ick. Basically, this story is my platform for whatever thing I want to rant about, and icky people hitting on other people is a thing I like to rant about. :) The MC is confident, and she knows how to tell people off.

Thanks! I'm no professional at pool, but I do like to play on occasion. I'm nowhere near as good as the MC, though.

Thanks! I don't really feel bad for that man because of how swagger-y he was being, and I really enjoyed giving the MC her moment of triumph when he finally lost all of his money. His wife is definitely going to get on his case!

Yeah, she's quite vengeful, and you'll find out more about her as the chapters go on, but suffice it to say that she's had rotten experiences with males in the past, so she knows the type of guy that haunts a casino. She certainly doesn't have this attitude towards every guy that she meets--in the casino and out of it--but I see the men in the casino as vehicles to show her attitude towards certain types of men. You shall definitely find out!

Yay, I'm glad that I might've hooked you with this chapter? There are so many questions in this chapter that kind of get answered later on. I can say that yes, this mystery man is the cause of things. :)

Thanks again for a beautiful review!


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Review #6, by navyfail Ready, Aim, Miss...

14th August 2015:
And I'm back!

I nearly laughed when Hattie asked Annie if she was going out with her "super-fit manager." Barry sounds like he's young, but he acts much older than he should with all his grunting. And why is that I can totally see him admiring his own abs from his photo-shoots years ago?

I think it's sweet that Hattie is trying to get her together with someone, but I don't see her settling on anyone soon.

When you mentioned the American tourists with their harsh accents I was literally pointing at myself in my head haha,

James, James, James. What will Annie do with you? Not only is he ignorant about Muggle things, but he's scared of cars. I think you mentioned earlier to be wary of this becoming a James/OC and I can see what you mean. They two of them don't connect at all... not yet anyway. I have to say you have an amazing talent. I mean James II is my favorite next gen character and I think this is one of the only fics I've read where I don't like him very much. He's sort of an overgrown child... arrogant but childishly so. I think it's interesting reading him like this. Most stories have him arrogant and brave but also smart in a not totally spoiled way. Here it seems he hasn't really lived outside his fame. And I love how in the end he finally concentrated on hitting the cue ball!

I think one of my favorite lines in this chapter is this: " Itís not my fault that Muggles like to hit inanimate Bludgers with oversized wands!" Oh James, only thinking about pool in terms of Quidditch!

This story is going swimmingly! (Did I really just use 'swimmingly' in a sentence? Excuse my weird word choice. :P) I love how Annie isn't the conventional Hufflepuff and how James sort of switches between confident and smirk-y to confused around her. Great work! I really can't wait to see how their characters will change as they grow closer to each other.


Author's Response: Hi Sama! Sorry it took so long for me to respond to this. :/

Haha, I always laugh about Barry and his ridiculous vanity. He's basically a sort of grumpy dad in personality, but a Quidditch has-been is always doing stupid stuff like that, you know? I'm sure that Oliver Wood majorly regrets his dad bod and looks back to the glory days, right?

Hattie, bless her, tries. But Annie isn't about to date just anyone.

Samesies with the tourist thing. :)

James is an idiot. YAY I'm so glad that you don't think they connect--because they really shouldn't. I'm sorry that you don't like him very much--I promise that he gets a little better as Annie gets to know him, but that still won't completely give him the clear to act like a jerk, you know? Yeah, he's a little dumb, and I think I like him that way. :) He really does want to learn to play pool, though. I'll give him that!

Haha, thanks! Of course James only thinks about things in terms of Quidditch. :D

Thank you so much! I'm super fond of this story, and I'm glad that you're invested in my dorky characters. :)


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Review #7, by navyfail The Woes of Working Retail

13th August 2015:
She works at Quality Quidditch Supplies? Oh, the irony! I can understand why she doesn't particularly like dealing with crazy Quidditch fans and arrogant Quidditch players.

I also like how you mentioned why she ended up working at a shop in Diagon Alley. I can see with two NEWTs that don't go together it would be tough to get a job somewhere else. A lot of people (including me) write their characters as extremely smart in terms of grades so it's a nice change to read about an average student. However, I do agree with her when she says she doesn't believe she's dumb. I think she's smart in an unconventional way. And yay for breaking Hufflepuff stereotypes! Not only did you make Anne not sweet but you also made Harriet top of her class!

One thing I loved is the way she describes her work... as a shopgirl who takes night classes. And her comment about her being a teacher not the student was funny.

The ending was a great way to wrap up the chapter! I had a feeling that James would end up recognizing her, but it really does say something that he couldn't tell they met before (again) the first time he walked into the shop. I have to hand it to him though for his clever idea of the sticking charm.

I've had a great time reading this story! You really have a talent when it comes to writing! I wonder what's going to happen at the Snoozing Dog. From the last sentence, I'm guessing Anne's been there before. Anyway, thank you for the wonderful swap! I'm going to add this to my Reading List and try and come back to read and review the rest of this story!


Author's Response: Hah, yes. In my experience, working in any particular store just makes you hate the things that you have to sell to the public. And Quidditch fans/players are pretty tough to deal with, anyway.

Yeah, those NEWTs were kind of mismatched, and while she does have a really lucrative night job, she has to have a respectable front for her parents, right? Yeah, Annie isn't exactly "classroom smart," but I think that's okay. I'm one of those nerds who values grades more than my life, but I really appreciate the people who are extremely skilled in things that you don't get grades for--example: being an adult (because I don't know how to do that yet). She's very smart at pool and at keeping herself out of trouble (er, sometimes). Yes, Hufflepuffs are not often portrayed as "smart," but Hattie is really smart--the reason she wants to be a Healer is because she cares about helping people and working to save their lives, something that Hufflepuffs have a tendency to do.

Haha, I enjoyed writing that description of her work as well! It seems so appropriate.

Thanks! James was smart enough this time to recognize that the girl he asked to help him learn pool is the same person as the shopgirl in QQS, haha. But he really was oblivious at first. And the Sticking Charm is quite clever, but when I wrote it, I was really disgusted at him for threatening to do that so aggressively.

Thanks so much for the multi-chapter swap and for adding it to your Reading List! I hope you do find time to come back, because I would love to know what you think about future events. :)


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Review #8, by Veritaserum27 One Secret Meeting, Intrigue Included

13th August 2015:
Hi there Mallory!

I'm sorry I didn't get to this last night, but I was trying to watch the meteor shower and after about an hour of clouds, we gave up :(

I read this chapter last night, but I was too sleepy to leave a proper review (sorry!)

I'm really loving this new BvB review fest - it's letting me review things in a way I never have before! Let's get going with this review, huh?

This chapter has a much, much different tone than the previous ones. I noticed it right off the bat, but as the chapter progressed, things got creepier and more ominous. It seems like this is a turning point in the story, where Annie begins to get herself into a more desperate situation and I was holding my breath for her this entire chapter.

You've done a fabulous job with Annie's character here. I feel like she's trying to convince herself (and us!) that she's a bit tougher than she is. Maybe I'm reading her character wrong, but it seems that while she's not nearly as naive as she was at Hogwarts, she's definitely not ready for whatever Freddy has planned for her in this situation.

Okay, on to Freddy. I always knew he was a bit sleazy, but this time, he just made my skin crawl. *shudders* For whatever reason, I don't think Annie is ever gonna get the upper hand with him and I'm wondering if she would simply be better off teaming up with James to take down this scumbag. I mean what James did to her clearly had long-term effects, as she's still holding a grudge. He was completely cruel to her during her formative years, but at the same time, James seems to be a better person as a whole than Freddy. I'm also wondering if Annie has such low self esteem that she thinks she *deserves* this life she's created for herself - I hope not.

His grin appeared before his face did. He had been using the as-yet untested and potentially dangerous magical teeth-whitening agents purveyed by sponsors of Witch Weekly. I rolled my eyes at the gleaming Cheshire Cat smile.

AWESOME descriptive work here. I could just see the overly white crescent appearing in the dark corner of the alleyway. Great job.

And your explanation of Knockturn Alley and the darkness that it still holds was some fabulous writing. I'm totally creeped out. Lorcan Scamander seemed sub-human and dirty and weird all rolled into one. I would NOT want to be alone with him in a room.

Say WHAT?! Rose Weasley is the mastermind behind all of this weirdness with Freddy?! Wow. You've taken next gen characters to a whole new level, here. I love it. (Although I am a bit partial to Rose, as she's kinda my fav, if you hadn't already figured that one out - haha.)

And I have the distinct feeling (sorry if I'm off, here) that Rose Weasley might just know EXACTLY who Annie is, even if she's managed to fool her cousins. I don't know what it giving me that impression and I haven't read ahead, but I don't think Rose manages to miss a trick. I guess I'll just have to read to find out.

Great chapter! Thanks for doing a swap!

♥ Beth

Author's Response: Hi Beth! Sorry your meteor shower didn't turn out nicely, but thanks for the review! ♥

Yeah, this chapter is very different from the previous ones, and I'd like to think that it's trying to go back to the ominous mood of the first few chapters--before Annie's name was revealed and James was just a shadow on the wall.

There's just something inherently spooky about Freddy--he's not entirely normal and has a taste for Illegal Things, and while Annie knows this, she's never actually been involved in any illegal stuff before. So she's understandably shaky, but you're right, she's trying to hold onto that persona--the version of herself that is poised, confident, and most of all, deceiving.

Freddy is a total sleaze, and he really shouldn't drag Annie into this stuff. Alas, he's going to do it anyway, because he's not a decent human being in the slightest. Annie definitely might be better off teaming up with James, but she hasn't realized that yet. There are things about James that she doesn't know, just like there are things about Freddy that she doesn't know. When she finds out, she just might change her mind. And she's definitely not doing this because of low self-esteem--if anything, she's curious while also being terrified of what could happen, but she's going to see it through. She's determined like that. :P

Haha, thank you! Lorcan is actually the same version of himself that I created in an earlier story, called The Psychology of Gobstones. He actually has gynophobia, so he's more afraid of Annie than anything, but he does come across as really creepy and generally unhinged.

Of course Rose is the mastermind! I know how you love your Rose, but my Rose has a few more thorns. >:) I really enjoy messing with the common images of these characters because it opens up so many new possibilities for me. Trust me, Freddy might seem like his own boss, but it's actually Rose who calls the shots.

Rose does know exactly who Annie is, but she really had no idea that Freddy was going to bring her. At Hogwarts, she saw Annie as this pathetic loser who was bullied by her Gryffindor cousin, but she didn't know about the pool thing or that Annie actually has a backbone and a tendency for snark. You just might have to read on and see for yourself how it all plays out. :D

Thank you!

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Review #9, by navyfail Mint Chocolate Chip Memories

13th August 2015:
Oh, a filler chapter! (Or I think that's what this was meant to be.) I actually like how you took the time to sit back and give us some background. The first two chapters were more rising action and I think this was a good break.

I think the best part is that we get to learn her name! I understand her dislike of her name. Not that Portia isn't a pretty name, I just like Annie better. And we get to meat her friend! I already like Harriet. She seems very sweet and understanding as well as protective. She is a good balance to Annie I think. Also the fact that their friendship has lasted a good ten years does say something.

It's impressive how you manage to give us some of her past with James but not the full picture. My assumption of her being from a Slytherin pureblood family is wrong, but I really do wonder how James could randomly pick her and start tormenting her. You did mention that she was different so many that's why or maybe he was just mean. Boys during a young age really can be cruel without knowing.

I actually connect with Annie on not being able to make friends that easily. I can see that Harriet is the more outgoing one and while that's great, I think I relate to Annie more. I'm actually surprised that Annie's a Hufflepuff. With her ability to trick the man out of galleons I would have expected her to be in another house, maybe Slytherin or Ravenclaw. But I'm glad that you made her a badger. I feel like there aren't many Hufflepuff based stories so I'm looking forward to seeing more of her character unravel.

Lovely job so far! I'm really enjoying this story!


Author's Response: You're right, this is a bit of a filler, but I think it provides important background. It's always nice to have a change of scenery and a change of pace, and that's what you get in this one. Annie is just super tired from work, so the atmosphere of this chapter is very different from the others.

Yes, her name! Names are so important, and while Portia is pretty, it's quite old and outdated and can be turned into things that aren't nice. Harriet (also known as Hattie) is so sweet and protective and I love her. They do balance each other out quite well, and that's part of why their friendship has lasted for so long. :)

Yeah, it's good that you've got a little bit of her past to contextualize her present situation. She isn't a Slytherin pureblood, but James does target her for a specific reason that will be revealed soon. It isn't random at all, don't worry! She was different, and people in general can be mean. Not just boys, and not just children. Adults, unfortunately, have a very different way of showing their nasty sides. :/

Aww, no! I'll be your friend! Honestly, this is one of the things that I connect with Annie on as well. It's hard to make friends when you're an introvert like Annie, and Hattie's social butterfly tendencies were hard for her to understand. Surprise! Annie is a Hufflepuff, and though she did seem Slytherin in the first few chapters, she does reveal Hufflepuffian tendencies later on. I agree--Hufflepuffs are some of my favorites because they are SO MUCH MORE than people give them credit for, and I just didn't see her as being in any other House at all.

I am so happy that you're still enjoying this lil' ol' thing!


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Review #10, by navyfail A Face From the Past

13th August 2015:
And it's James Potter! I always do like a good James/OC and yours is really unique. I think my interest has peaked even more during this chapter since the main character has a bad past with him. From all the hints you've dropped, I'm guessing he bullied her during Hogwarts. Looks like it has come back to bite him in the butt and even though we don't know all too much about him, I think he deserves it.

Also, Freddy is becoming even more intriguing as well. I'm guessing he's the cousin that made the bet with James. He must be some sort of evil genius... or that's the vibe I'm getting. I wonder if we'll get to meet him soon.

I think it's great that your OC has changed from her Hogwarts days... gained confidence, and not afraid to stand up for herself. For some reason, I'm getting a feel that she's is Death Eater's daughter or a part of a pureblood family. I'm not sure what hinted at that but that's my guess.

Really smart move on her part for not telling him her name. I mean he doesn't even remember her so no harm done if she keeps her identity a secret for a while longer.

Terrific second chapter! Your way with words is admirable. You weave in description and dialogue easily and it makes for a great combination! I really excited to see where you take this!


Author's Response: Yes, surprise! It's James Potter indeed! But be careful about assumptions...It might appear here that this is going to be a James/OC, but complicated things happen in later chapters that might make you change your mind.

The bad past is actually part of that whole "maybe this isn't a James/OC after all" thing. He definitely did bully her at Hogwarts, and that is a very good guess from you! His actions will come back to haunt him, indeed! (And he totally deserves it, to some degree.)

Glad that Freddy intrigues you! I love writing Fred II as this crazy casino boss because he has the capacity to be so evil...And yet, so surprising at the same time! He'll show up, don't worry!

My OC has definitely changed. She's very, very confident now, and very ready to knock anyone down who's gonna try to bring her down. You're quite a bit off with your guess about her parentage, but all will come to light soon enough. :) It is a good guess, though, because she does seem quite wicked in these first few chapters.

Haha, I didn't even mean to keep that a secret for so long, but the name will get revealed soon. He definitely doesn't remember her, which will be a subject of great debate in the future.

Aww, ♥, thanks so very much!! And thanks for reading on! :D


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Review #11, by navyfail Shooting Star, After Midnight

12th August 2015:
Hello, it's ~chocolate from the forums here from the review swap!

Oh, I love the beginning! You set up the setting really nicely as well as the mood. And I love the way you weave your words when you describe the casino and the games being played and the drunken haze.

I also like how you introduced your main character and I'm already getting a feel of Freddy Weasley even without meeting him. He's seems like a clever person and a hard to please boss.

I've never actually played pool but you really made the game interesting by adding enough description but not too much that you would get bored. I adore female characters that have their wits with them and can manipulate a situation to their own benefit. And I have to say that she really tricked the poor sod good! I wonder what Bonnie will say to him when he goes back home that late.

Even though we don't know the main character's name yet, I really like her. She's strong and independent it seems and can play pool like no other. Also, I can see why she's tired after a night for wearing that itchy dress and those high heels.

And the ending... ah, I'm waiting to find out who the person who stepped out from the shadows is! Is it someone from her past? Or someone she doesn't particularly like?

Anyway, fantastic start to your story! And great job with the cliffhanger! I'm already hooked.


Author's Response: Hi Sama! Thanks for reviewing Playing for Keeps, which is without a doubt my main baby on this site. :)

Thank you so much! After I initially got the idea for this, I had so much trouble figuring out how to start it without sounding cheesy or weird. I'm happy that you liked the description of the setting and everything!

Freddy Weasley is crazy and definitely a hard-to-please boss, but he's quite an interesting guy once you get to know him. And my main character is my fave out of everyone in this story because she's so many things, all at once. You'll see what I'm talking about in future chapters. :)

I love pool, but I'm so bad at it. It's great that the description kept your interest, because I worked on it until I was sure that it wouldn't put people to sleep. :D Female characters are BOSS, and this character is particularly good at the manipulation game. (Bonnie will NOT be happy with this dude, trust me.)

I hope you'll continue to like her! I admire her for wearing that crazy get up, because I would not be able to!

Haha, you'll have to wait and see... :)

Thanks once again for the swap!


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Review #12, by Veritaserum27 On Vertic's Alley

11th August 2015:
Helllooo Mallory!

I'm here for the second review you earned for submitting SO MANY STORIES in the "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" game from the House Cup. And this will also be a review for the new BvB review fest we've got going on in the common room.

Okay, first off - Vertic's Alley - brilliant I love it. I always adore it when an author takes something of J.K.'s and brings it to a whole other level. I also like the young, hip vibe that this part of Wizarding London has got going. Diagon Alley is fun, but it definitely seems more of a business district than a hangout place, nice job.

Great dialogue in this chapter. In fact, I think it's your best scene with dialogue I've read of yours. It flowed beautifully and you've set up a chemistry with these two that they don't even know they have, but is unmistakable because of your brilliant writing. :D

And what's this?! You've actually got me feeling for James here! That's not fair Mallory - I'm really, really trying to hate him right now. He's despicable and a bully and cruel and self-absorbed... then why do I not want to see him completely crushed? I'm feeling so confused - MALLORY, YOU MADE ME FEEL!!!

But I don't think Annie shares my sentiments (nor should she, with what she's been through) - she's definitely out for James Potter's blood.

Great chapter!

♥ Beth

Author's Response: Hi again, Beth!

Haha, thanks! I thought I would continue the street naming theme that JKR had going on. I would really love to write about a Wizarding University community that springs up around Vertic's Alley, but maybe someday in the future. (This is definitely where the young witch and wizard hipsters gather, haha. None of that mainstream Diagon Alley merch for them, no sir!)

Ooh, thanks! Because I'm so awkward in real life, I've always considered dialogue my weak point, but since I've had to write so much of it for this story, I've gotten more used to the flow of it. It makes me so excited to know that it really worked for you in this chapter! And I agree with you--James and Annie do have this undeniable chemistry as characters, but in my opinion, it isn't romantic. I'm hoping that they'll end up being less antagonistic towards each other in the long run...

WHOOPS SO SORRY! You see, the problem with the first person narration here is that we get all of our information about James from Annie, who is understandably biased. James has some hidden depths somewhere, and while I'm being honest, I'll go ahead and admit that it took me until this summer to see that he really is an interesting and (possibly) redeemable character. He's quite self-absorbed, and has a history of being a cruel bully, but maybe he'll be worthy of your feels in the end? Anyway, I'm kind of glad that I made you feel things for him. Is that evil? >:)

Annie is my fave, but she's stubborn. If James ends up being super nice and not at all like she thinks he is, she's still going to have trouble accepting that. But hopefully this won't end in bloodshed...


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Review #13, by MaddieMoody Early Morning Apologies

6th August 2015:
Brilliant chapter!
I actually came across this story only a short while back and I've just finished it. I think it's brilliant!
The whole idea behind the story is so original, I've favourited it :)
Keep the updates coming!!!

Author's Response: Hey, thanks for reading, favouriting, and reviewing! This story is my baby, so I'm very very happy that you like it, too! Don't worry, I've got several chapters that are waiting to be edited, and maybe chapter 19 will be up before August ends?

Thanks again!

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Review #14, by Veritaserum27 Aftermath and Arrangements

1st August 2015:
Hi there Mallory!

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

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

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

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

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

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

♥ Beth



No, I love it when people review PfK because reading newer reviews on slightly earlier chapters reminds me of how far the story has come, and how far it has to go. (For example, I need to get a beta on these early chapters ASAP.)

Aww, I am so happy that Annie is a likable enough character, despite her slightly-prickly tendencies. Yes, the name is a yucky one--it's actually one of the original things that I thought of when the story magically came to me: My protagonist would be called Portia Anne, which would get shortened to "Porky" because she was chubby, and James Potter would bully her because of it. (Just a little history there for you!) I'm glad that I paced it out nicely enough for you! I don't think I would be able to handle keeping it a secret until the end of the story because there's still a long way to go and Many Important Conversations for Annie and James to have about life and pool and things.

Bea is gross. Like, really gross. I've tried to think up some kind of redemption for her, like maybe she tries to help Annie out of some mess she gets into in the future, but that just isn't who Bea is. And I hate writing a character who's so awful and kinda cliched, but I think it's such a part of Annie's past now that I can't change her too much. Yeah, Annie should actually hate Bea a lot more than she appears to in this chapter, but the fact still remains that they're sisters, and their parents expect them to get along, and Annie isn't about to rat Bea out because she thinks that it would make her (Annie) look stupid. (Mostly because their mum would take Bea's side.) James really did take the name and run with it, and after he does that, Bea sort of backs off from her tyranny. With James, it's more of a physical presence--as in, the knocking down of books and the constant fat jokes--so it's easier to hate him because of that.

(As for Bea disliking Annie, sometimes there are just people you can't get along with, even if they are in your own family. Bea sort of fancies herself as "above" Annie because she's smarter {in the classroom}, more popular, and """prettier,""" so a lot of her aggression stems from a need to belittle Annie as much as possible to keep elevating her own self esteem. If that makes any sense?)

adsfjkas;djfl;, James definitely deserves to lose the bet at this point, and he does deserve Annie's animosity, but wait til you see what the rest of the gang is up to...

I actually have this weird love for making Fred II waaayyy different than the usual prankster-best-friends-with-James trope. In this one, he's a con man with few familial loyalties; in my newest WIP, he's a mad scientist. And James is still that jock-y Quidditch bro, but he is much less attached to his cousins than normal. It's quite fun to write them this way!

Thanks so much for your review, and sorry for rambling on about all this stuff!


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Review #15, by Pixileanin Early Morning Apologies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Write more!


Author's Response: Hi! Thank you so much for this totally unexpected and incredibly lovely review!!

Haha, a whole lot of this story involves men misbehaving and women telling them off for it. Quite a bit of it involves pool, but I've found that it's sort of changed focus over the year that I've spent writing it. Yeah, a lot of the guys in this story have ended up being sleazy, but I'm hoping that I'm getting the point across that it's wayyy not okay to do that. I also will have some girls being sleazy (mainly Rose, because she is not a nice girlfriend to Scorpius), but so far, it's all been the guys.

Hattie does have a point, yes. And she's much better at forgiving than Annie is, but then again, she wasn't the one being bullied by James. You're right, James doesn't get a free pass for what he did during Hogwarts just because he's changed, but again, he doesn't exactly know that Annie=Portia Collins at this point, so he hasn't had a chance to try and make reparations. (And if he ever does, it'll be up to Annie to forgive or not forgive.) She really needs to sit down with James and have a nice long chat about what's actually going on, but alas. I find that a lot of this story operates on the "I know something you don't know" principle, as far as the characters are concerned, and if they tell all their secrets at once, I won't have anything else to write! :O But I promise that things will begin to fall into place...some day.

The thing about James is that he never had feelings for Annie--not really--but he got really attached to bullying her. So much so that he didn't stop himself, didn't use any sort of restraint, and it was only after he almost kissed her that he realized all the darned lines he'd crossed by his treatment of her for all those years. The kiss under the enchanted mistletoe was out of necessity for him, but I think that things like kissing are so coded as romantic that he perceived it that way a little--again, in a very strange and sick sense, since this is the girl he's mercilessly bullied. It is also kind of my fault that he seems so into her in that scene, because while I'm adamantly opposed to any sort of romance between James and Annie, I've grown up with the idea that "kissing"="attraction," and it comes across in that scene, as far as James is concerned. So I'll have a look at that again, and sorry for rambling on about it here! Thanks for making me think. ♥

As far as the tickets thing, yes. James is used to getting his way, even though he knows by now that Annie is tougher than the girls he usually tries to be with. In this case, he's presenting the tickets because they're convenient (he has connections) and he likes Quidditch, and he figures that Annie must like it a little bit because she works at Quality Quidditch Supplies. But he isn't going to get any amour out of it, even if the thought has crossed his mind.

Hattie is a saint sometimes, I swear. Annie will (hopefully) listen to her, but only after everything goes awry (of course). You are such a good guesser, and that's all I'm going to say about that. ;) Yes--I'm terrified of this story, because it's all starting to put itself together and I'm afraid that it'll disappoint me when it ends. We'll see...

Thank you so, so much!! It really means a lot to get some awesome and helpful feedback from a brilliant author such as yourself!


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Review #16, by rosiful Early Morning Apologies

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

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

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


Author's Response: Hi again! Thanks for another review!

Hattie knows what's going on--sort of. Really, it's just the tip of the iceberg because she still doesn't know about the bet or the crime ring or anything. She would definitely encourage Annie to get out of it if she knew, trust me! (And she probably would freak out a bit.) Yes, James is finally turning around--it's sort of not as obvious in previous chapters because you're getting the story through Annie (which means that it's biased), but he's actually changed since Hogwarts. So he genuinely means this apology and because he still doesn't know who Annie is, he doesn't quite understand why the almost-kiss affected her so deeply. But he's going to make it up to her, he's determined to do that!

Thanks again!

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Review #17, by rosiful Stolen Kisses, Stale Memories

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

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

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


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

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

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


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Review #18, by BookDinosaur Stolen Kisses, Stale Memories

13th July 2015:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

update soon, mallory!
♥ emily

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Review #19, by rosiful Losers Never Prosper

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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Review #20, by BookDinosaur Losers Never Prosper

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

♥ Emily

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Review #21, by BookDinosaur The Effects of the Modern Media

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

thanks again!

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Review #22, by AdinaPuff Learning From the Best

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

Hi again!

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

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

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

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

Great chapter!

- Leigh xxx

Author's Response: Hi again! ♥

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

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

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

Thanks again, so much!


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Review #23, by rosiful The Effects of the Modern Media

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

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

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

- Rosiful

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

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

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


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Review #24, by rosiful It's a Man's World?

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

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

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

Slytherin House Cup 2015

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

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

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


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Review #25, by rosiful One Secret Meeting, Intrigue Included

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

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

Slytherin House Cup 2015

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

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

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


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