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Reading Reviews for On Crumbling Lives
  
45 Reviews Found

Review #1, by navyfail Return

23rd December 2015:
Hello, here to spread some holiday cheer!

I'm very intrigued by your characterizations of Daphne and Astoria. From the few stories I've read of them, most have actually characterized them as the opposite with Daphne being the hopeful, pretty, and innocent one and Astoria being the reserved, cold one so this is new for me. I like how close the two are and how Daphne doesn't hate Astoria for being softer.

I really do think they should have left for America. I understand why they want to stay but I'm with Daphne on this one and I actually think their parents weren't being reasonable. However, it seems like Daphne isn't fond of her parents, especially her dad for experimenting on Muggle science. Is she mad at them or just worried what that will cost them?

One thing I noticed from the very beginning are your descriptions. You don't overdo it but have just enough to give a visual image of what's happening. And you weave in your description very well with your action so kudos on that!!

I'm scared for Astoria. She has detention which can never be anything good. I really hope she toughens up at one point because or else she's going to suffer a lot through the year. I love that she's so full of life but I feel like that'll end up harming her.

Anyway, great start to the story! I think you have a great plot going on and I can already get a feel of your characters!

~Sama
P.S. Also another question, do most of the purebloods know or have a suspicion of the Greengrasses being blood traitors or is it just a well kept secret? Maybe that was already said somewhere in the story and I missed it, if it is sorry about that.

Author's Response: Hi Sama!

Thanks so much for the review! I'm glad you enjoyed this first chapter!

I never felt that Astoria could be cold like I have Daphne as. I molded her personality on the kind of person I could see Draco marrying and having a really happy life with and I just don't think he could be happy with someone cold. He needs warmth in his life, I think.

They definitely should have left when they had the chance. But I suppose people are very attached to home. I molded them a little off of refugee stories I'd heard. None of them want to leave their countries. They all think that it'll be okay for them. There's a strong connection to home after all. Starting over is daunting.

But Daphne does love her parents. She just comes across as harsh sometimes. She's a harsh person, I guess. But she is nothing if not practical, so she is angry at their sentimentality a bit.

I'm sorry I didn't make it clear, but I imagine that Linus Greengrass is an unspeakable, so his work is a secret to everyone else. But now that the Ministry is taken over by Voldemort, the Greengrasses are concerned that the Death Eaters will find out what his research entails.

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing and writing such kind things! I hope you read on and let me know what you think!

Stefanie


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Review #2, by oldershouldknowbetter Change

23rd November 2015:
Hello there, here for the BvB and what is probably my final entry for the month of what I've been calling to myself No-Re-View-Mo - November Review More. Other people were writing their novels, I took the time to review.

I came back to this story, after going to your more recent one-shots, because I liked what I had read of it before and wanted to continue.

We see the aftermath of the drastic events of last chapter. The sort of chapter we had is usually reserved for much later in a work than where it came, so it means that you are going to focus your attention more on other things than just the students-torturing-students theme that we know of from the books.

I have just been writing a grown-up Astoria for my story and she is such a wonderful cannon character because we know so little of her from the books. She is almost a blank slate and we can do with her almost as we wish. I really like your interpretation of her in this story - the way you have presented her, we can tell that she will be a good help-mate for Draco whom we know she marries in the fullness of time.

Luna is good too. You are really showing her Ravenclaw side, something that often got lost in her 'loony' portrayal. She is wise enough to know who her real torturer is.

The Hospital Wing is a study in horrors - though, as you so ably point out, nothing in comparison to what the children went through to earn them a bed there. The way you show how effected Madame Promfrey is by the state of the children in her charge is well done. She would be one of the ones most affected by the evil of the rein of the Carrows because she would be the one to have to deal directly with their handywork.

When Daphne comes too, her first thoughts are for her sister; the way you have drawn her, it could be for nothing else.

And Astoria, it's heartbreaking isn't it to see someone have to bow to what they know is wrong to ultimately do what is right. She said earlier that she wasn't brave, and it is good to know one's limitations, but she sort of puts it to the lie here. Sort of, because she knows what she will be able to be strong at so she chooses to go down the route of Daphne and comply. She knows that her sister can stand anything except to see her in pain, it is a great piece of characterisation. But again I say it is heartbreaking to see the sweet and innocent Astoria disappearing under the horrors of what this twisted reality is imposing upon her.

Daphne gets released from the hospital and runs into one of the Carrows. It is frightening to see how the oppressive regime is weighing her down and managing to crack her carefully constructed shell. She will bend to them only so far, the extra that they want from her she can never allow. If the other students knew what she was being pressured into and, what's more, resisting, then they would be more sympathetic towards 'Daphne the Ice Queen Torturer'. But it is likely that they will never know.

She seeks solace but finds instead Pansy. I do not like Pansy, but then there are few who would. The way you are making her out to be is perfect. She is not evil as such, but she has a particular world view and belief of her position in it that would be loathsome to most. The new regime would suit her perfectly and is a well judged inclusion on your part. She offers her help, such that it is, but Daphne cannot accept it. It also shows that Daphne is very much on her own - she cannot seek much help from her former friends and most of the rest who were probably indifferent to her before this year will be decidedly against her. She has a tough row to hoe.

Another good chapter, but a small cc if I may. There are a few errors of grammar, spelling and repeated word usage that are scattered throughout this chapter and would stand an edit.

Andrew,
Oldershouldknowbetter.

Author's Response: Hi Andrew!

Thanks so much for stopping by! I've really hit a snag writing this story (I'm so, so, so close to done, but I just can't do it!), so it's great getting reviews. It's kind of the kick I need to get back at it.

You are right that this story is not focused on the torturing at Hogwarts really at all. It's just the beginning of the horrible things that happen to Daphne and Astoria.

I agree that Astoria is just a wonderful character to write. We know so little about her. I personally have many interpretations of Astoria. This is my favourite one, my headcanon if you will, but I've got plenty more because she's just such an open-ended character.

I've said this many times before, but to me, Luna is the epitome of what it means to be Ravenclaw. She's a phenomenal character and it means so much to me that you think I portrayed her well. She's one of my favourites in the whole series.

All of Hogwarts has become a true horror after the Carrows take over. I can just imagine the whole place seeming a little bit colder, a little bit darker when they're around. I talk more about the atmosphere of Hogwarts in my other novel Areopagitica, but the scene in the hospital wing here is one I quite like. I picture it a bit like those war infirmaries with just everyone in pain and there's not much the doctors (or in this case, matron) can do about it.

I feel so sad for Astoria here because she really has to toughen up. She's thrown her beliefs out in order to survive and to keep her sister from hurting again. The guilt she has for Daphne's torture is terrible and she'll have to live with that guilt forever.

Of course, Daphne has to live with the guilt of being the 'Ice Queen Torturer' and if you read on, you'll find there's much, much more for Daphne to be guilty about. This story is a lot of an exploration of guilt and how that weighs down on them. They do terrible things, but they had very little choice in the matter.

Pansy is pretty terrible. I tried to make it seem like she did care a little bit, but she's still just so cold.

I'm also definitely going over this soon to do a little bit of rewrite. If only I could get my muse back to finish the actual story... of well. Such is writing.

Thanks again for stopping by!

Stefanie


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Review #3, by Gabriella Hunter Hurt

9th November 2015:
Hello!

This is Gabbie from the forums here with your review for our swap! Thanks for the one you left for Ruins, it was really sweet! :3

It's been a while since I last stopped by this story and I can't believe that I forgot how amazing it is! I will have to keep on reading it because it's really great. You don't really read a lot of stories that focus on the gritty evil that was happening in Hogwarts while Harry and the others were gone. I like here that you're not shying away from it and I have to say, I write angst all the time and wrote the Battle of Hogwarts (I made several people cry) but this made ME pause. So, congrats! Violence like this is so hard to write, especially when it's against students and it took me a moment to catch my breath and continue reading.

I was upset for everyone involved in this and the grim feeling that's cast about this entire scene is written so well. Astoria's fear and Luna's determination were wonderfully written. Luna is a brave girl and I just love how strong she is, her character came across very well but it hurt to see her being tossed aside like that. She's been hurt a lot and I am worried about how she'll be able to recover after this chapter.

Speaking of recovering...Daphne's observations through this entire chapter. God, I feel so sorry for her! I also want to punch Pansy and Blaise in the face because their obvious enjoyment of this is just revolting. Daphne is in a difficult position of course because she doesn't want to let on that she doesn't agree with the Carrows but at the same time, she doesn't want to put herself or Astoria in danger so seeing her sister there was just too much for either of them.

I honestly can't believe that anyone would expect her to sit idly by while her sister is being tortured and I had absolutely no sympathy for Crabbe. Daphne is what was worrying me the most though about this because I'm sure that that level of anger can get her into some trouble later. It was scary to see her reaching into that level of magic and she was willing to actually kill. Scary, scary. That entire scene was SO intense and I was just holding my breath, the action in it was great and the fact that Daphne scared the Carrows just proves how drastic her attack was.

But now she's trapped with Astoria and being tortured! How are they going to get through this? I am so worried about them both but I am just blown away by how well written this was. THe pacing, your characters, the tone, everything was perfect and I am now a HUGE fan!

Much love,

Gabbie

Author's Response: Hi Gabbie! Thanks so much for the review. I'm so happy you like this story because I've hit a wall writing the ending. I know what happens next, I just can't write it. So reviews, even on the early chapters are really helpful!

I was so worried about how the violence in this chapter, and in the story moving forward came across. It's getting increasingly difficult for me to write these kinds of scenes, but I do hope they're getting better as I write.

I love Luna so much. She's one of my favourite characters in the whole series. But she is such a challenge to write. I'm not entirely satisfied with how I write her character yet and its become a huge block for me with the ending chapters. But I'm really happy you liked her portryal here.

No sympathy for Crabbe from me either. I didn't feel anything when he died in the last book. He's a terrible person. But then Daphne snapped! If you read in you'll see that it happens more and more often. Her mental state is in a precarious position.

Eep, I'm so so glad you enjoyed this chapter! I hope you like the rest as well and hopefully I'll get back into the habit of writing this! I wanted to be done by Christmas but that's definitely not happening, haha.

Thanks for the review!!

Stefanie


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Review #4, by SiriusAura92 Cry

28th September 2015:
Hey Steph!

Very nice! Your climax is definitely working as it has me itching to find out what happens next!

One criticism that I have though is the constant swapping back and forth between characters in a single chapter. I really do think you would benefit from putting a characters POV in one block per chapter. It will not only make it better to read for your audience but I think will add to the tension and add a bit more focus to your writing as opposed to forcing your reader out of a scenario and get invested with the next one you put them in only to bring them back to the first one again (See what I'm saying?). Eg. Get all of Astoria's story for the chapter done then swap to Catherine's POV and finish with Daphne's.

Even if your just worried about the order in which events happen, don't be! Your audience will pick it up and do so happily!

My one snag aside I think you've done an excellent job here with characters, detail, tension and the drama.
Well Done! :D

SiriusAura92 :)

Author's Response: Hi again!

I'm so sorry for taking such a terribly long time with this update, school has started again and I'm swamped. I am hoping to get the next chapter out soon-ish... I know I said like three chapters ago that there were five left, but that doesn't seem to be true anymore. Still, I'm aiming to be done by Christmas.

I think what you've suggested makes a lot of sense. I'm definitely looking to go back and edit a few things in this story after I write the whole thing. I might even add new parts and chapters into the story, but nothing that changes the plot obviously.

I'll keep your comments in mind with the next few chapters! Thanks again for all your support


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Review #5, by RavenclawFTW Enlist

27th August 2015:
Heya Stef! So I know I said I'd be able to do a full-story overview but school just started back up and I have much less time for HPFF stuff than I'd like. :( I'm sorry! But I do have some thoughts about these first four chapters!

So I love the differences between Astoria and Daphne that you've set up in these first chapters and I feel like I can picture them so well. They complement each other so well and it's very easy to see and understand how they've matured and developed to where they are in this story. I'm really intrigued by your interpretation of Daphne, with her Dark Arts abilities but also the struggle to remain good, or as good as she thinks she can be in this new world. And Astoria is a great motivator for that to happen.

I'm also really impressed by the way you've painted the Dark Year at Hogwarts so far and the absolute horror of Crucio. You've used these canon details and elaborated on them really well here, just like in Areopagitica. I would honestly just hate to be at Hogwarts during this year. I especially enjoyed how you've written Luna here. She's such a cool/brave character, you know? You've really done a great job with that.

So far there are two things that have stuck out to me.

First off, I would love to see the progress of how we got from September 1st to everything we see in this story. It seems like there's a lot of resignation and acceptance from the characters here because they've grown used to what's going on around them. But as a reader, I was really shocked by everything, and it was a little jarring for everyone to accept everything so quickly-- maybe if you even just acknowledged something about that a little more I think it could help the transition to everything better.

The other thing is kinda about the style. I've noticed a few run-on sentences in here, like the following: She wanted supremacy, she wanted to win, she was proud, haughty. Run-ons aren't a huge deal, but in this story, it just feels like you're using a ton of commas and lengthy sentences when some of the subject kinda wants more choppy or short sentences to break it up. The style just feels a little more fluid and lengthy than the content of the story, if that makes any sense.

Okay, those are the big things I thought about in these first chapters. I'll do my best to come back to this story and leave more reviews but I'm just not sure about time as I get back in the swing of things. :( I'm sorry again!

--J

Author's Response: Hi J!

Thanks so much for the review!

I definitely do need to go back and fix up a few things in this. I think the writing gets better as the story goes on, but it can definitely be choppy in some parts. I'll be working on that ASAP!

Don't worry about the rest! Work at your own pace :) Thank you for stopping by!

Stefanie


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Review #6, by Gabriella Hunter Return

30th July 2015:
Hello!

This is Gabbie from the forums dropping by with our swap! It's always great to read something different from you too until Broken Memories is back up. PLEASE tell me that you're working on the next chapter! D':

I really enjoyed this! It came off as so fresh and unique. I don't think that I've ever seen the Greengrass girls portrayed in this way and I think that this is going to stand out as being very original. I like the contrast that you have with the two: Daphne appears so hard on the outside but is actually quite sensitive while Astoria may be more insightful than people would give her credit for.

I like the beginning of this chapter too, it showed just how bad things could get for not only the family, but for everyone. I thought that it was realistic that their mother was so intent on staying, there's something about a home that ties people there. It might not be the wisest thing though, possessions can trap you but the argument to stay or leave is something that I'm sure plenty of people can relate to.

I also really, really loved the fact that you don't have the Greengrass family being this horde of bigots. Now, don't take that the wrong way but I've seen the same sort of idea about them more than once. Haughty purebloods that have nothing negative to say about the Dark Lord's regime, merely going along with it until they have a change of heart. I'm glad that they don't harbor such prejudices about Muggles and the like, though I really hope that no one finds out their secret just yet.

The way you broke this chapter down to show more about the girls was good too. I feel like they've been fleshed out well here and you can get the sense that they'll grow as the story goes on. I cringed during Daphne's part though and I know that it hurt her to injure anyone, especially a little kid. I was amazed that she managed to hold her composure!

Astoria on the other hand may have to be more careful. She didn't let it slip that she detested the views in her class but the tears are going to get her into deeper trouble. Detention? God, I'm scared for her. I hope that she'll be all right!

So, great start to a chapter! I hope to stop by again soon!

Much love,

Gabbie

Author's Response: Hello Gabbie!

I am still working on Broken Memories! I've been at the next chapter for ages now, but as you and I both know, I work at a glacial pace. I've been trying to improve lately, but it's hard...

I'm really happy you enjoyed this first chapter. It's actually the first novel I posted here after a very long hiatus. I've been working at it for a while too, so I'm glad you think it's good!

You're right in that it probably isn't wise for the Greengrasses to stay in England when they could have a nice, normal life in America. But people are so attached to home.

The Greengrass family's beliefs definitely came from when I was characterizing Scorpius for something else. He was just so sweet and lovely, I realized that he must come from a mother who is also sweet and lovely. Ergo, her family is not prejudiced like so many other purebloods.

I do hope you stop by the next chapter as well! Thanks for the review!

Stefanie


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Review #7, by merlins beard Imprison

28th July 2015:
Hello again,

Wow, that was a really fast update.

You're really good at writing terrible things. I've seen and even felt it all when I was reading this. I love that you include so much description about the horrors they are facing and then there are places where you don't describe any surroudings at all and focus on what's happening inside their heads. It makes the tragedy of what's happening very real, seeing that the girls don't realize what's happening around them anymore and are completely overwhelmed by what they see in their heads.
I appreciate the reference to Dante's inferno :D

Great chapter. You have me really worried for both of them so it would be very nice of you to update soon and maybe ease my mind a little.

~Anja xxx

Author's Response: Hello Anja!

It makes me so happy when I see your reviews! They always make my day :)

I actually wrote this chapter sort of simultaneously with the last one, so it was almost finished by the time that was up anyway. I'm about halfway through the next, so it shouldn't be much longer!

I'm happy you liked this chapter as it was a little... experimental for me. It's unlike the others in that all the action really takes place inside Daphne and Astoria's heads. This war has a huge mental toll on them that I definitely want to explore more in these last few chapters.

I hope you like the next chapter!!

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!

Stefanie


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Review #8, by merlins beard Fight

14th July 2015:
Hey Stefanie,
Wow I'm so excited about the new chapter! You can't imagine how I've been waiting for it.

Let me adress two slight mistakes to get it out of the way. Those come from countless times of editing and are easily fixed.

hard to tell who was enemy and who was foe in this dark night.

Enemy and foe are pretty much the same thing. I guess you had friend or foe there and then edited it.

It filled the whole the clearing,
There is one 'the' too many.

Now, lets get to the plot!
I love how you wrote the fighting scenes! I myself find it really hard to build up excitement in a story, let it build up until it reaches a breaking point and then let it crash down in a fight, making the reader dread the event but still long for it to finally happen. That's exactly what you've done here, and on top of it all you make it seem so easy. Teach me?

I love your story,(I think I might have told you that already, maybe, once... or twice...)

How could you do that to Sam? Oh, I hope he survives, pleas let him survive *bites fingernails nervously*

I'd love to know what kind of spell Astoria used at the end, but I guess it's some sort of protection for Sam and Katherine, while she lets herself be captured. I hope she knows what she's doing, but I guess if anyone could get through this all, it's probably her.

I can't wait for the next chapter, I LOVE what you came up with here!

~Anja

Author's Response: Hi Anja!

Firstly, sorry for any typos in this response. I'm typing on mobile right now and its quite difficult for me.

Also, thanks so much for pointing out the mistakes in this chapter! I'll fix them asap!

The spell at the end is the one Draco used on Harry in the secind film/book. The book only describes it as a kind of pushing/flinging back spell without telling the incantation, but Draco says it in the second film (during duelling club). So Astoria pushed them back into the safety of the Fidelius charm. Sorry if that was unclear. She did use a sort of obscure spell.

I hope you like the next chapter! I've been working on it a lot, so it shouldn't take much longer!

Thanks again for the wonderful review!

Much love,

Stefanie


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Review #9, by marauderfan Hurt

10th July 2015:
Swap! I'm back to read more of this one!

From the beginning of this I just love what you've done with Pansy. You haven't redeemed her as a character - she's still the same shallow, petty girl from the books, but she's so much more here, and more three dimensional. The part about how she cared for Astoria was really touching, and I think makes her so much more human.

This was such an intense chapter though - wow! Seeing the students torture one another for detention - especially when the detention was for something ridiculous like 'weakness' is just so horrible to read - they're still just kids! And this is the sort of thing that will stick with them for years. So awful.

Daphne was interesting in this chapter, and I think she crossed a bridge she can't un-cross. Before, she was good at playing it cool and just doing what she was told to do, and had become so desensitized to it, but when it came to Astoria, Daphne seemed to really cut herself off from one side - she can't pretend to be the Carrows' best student anymore, because she actually told them she's against them. After that, can she still pretend to be as uninvolved as she was before? I'm so glad she stood up to defend Astoria. And now it's a really interesting setup with Daphne's character such that I can't possibly predict what she's going to do next.

And Luna ♥ I love her, and this just made me feel so terrible for her! She is so strong and so kind - and she'd definitely stick her neck out for people like this.

And poor Astoria, having to witness all that. I mean, we got an idea of how bad things were at Hogwarts from Neville's brief description of it and his bruised face, but this is just heartbreaking to read. It's very well done though.

You mentioned that you were worried how the violence came across, and while it was a very violent chapter, it definitely made its point and it was fittingly chilling. Well done - and thanks for the swap!

Author's Response: Hi there Kristin! Thanks so much for the review!

I'm really glad you liked this chapter as I'm still so insecure about it! The violence was very, very new to me, so I'm still so worried about how I did portraying it.

And Pansy! She, along with many other Slytherin characters, seems to be one-dimensional in the books. But I don't believe any person is pure evil, so I've tried to sort of turn her into a real person here. She certainly doesn't fart rainbows and kindness now, but she isn't a heartless wench either. She makes a reappearance in the next chapter...

And this is definitely a huge turning point for Daphne. She's not one for the spotlight, but this event has definitely cast a very, very bright light on her. She can't hide anymore.

And Luna and Astoria too. Luna has always been brave and wonderul. I just did what JK Rowling's brilliant character would have done. But Astoria, this is a big turning point for her too. Daphne told her that they'd be safe, but already, that's not true. Things are definitely changing for these girls!

Thanks again for dropping by!

Stefanie


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Review #10, by marauderfan Return

9th July 2015:
Hi! Congrats on leaving 100 reviews - what an accomplishment!! :) Sorry I took so long with the review haha, I'm the slowest reviewer ever!

I love Hogwarts era stories, and those focusing on life during the war are always so interesting. And I absolutely love what you've started with here - I've read some stories about Astoria before, but none that focus on what both of the Greengrass sisters are going through. In particular I love your characterization of Daphne. How she's so cold and calculating, and generally jaded with how things are in the war - enough to speak out against it in the company of people who will listen, but she doesn't care enough to change things once she realizes she can't just run away to another continent. The scene with her sister was sweet, how she tries to be comforting even though she doesn't really believe her own words.

It's interesting how Daphne doesn't seem to be as affected by the war as Astoria is, yet Daphne still begs her parents to move the family to America. I get the feeling Daphne is very good at putting on a mask at school, and only lets her real worries show through when she's with her family. Because the two times she displayed any feeling were just in conversations with her family, but with her friends at school or demonstrating spells in classes, she legitimately doesn't seem to care - she's given up.

Omg, it was horrible what Amycus Carrow made her do! Not entirely surprising, but still wow. Her reaction to the whole thing makes me feel as if she's really on her own side - not supporting the actions of the Death Eaters, but not bothering enough to take a stand against them. It's like she doesn't like the current system, but doesn't think it's worth it to change it. She's a really interesting character so far.

Poor Astoria, too - she seems far more emotional and thus (I predict) far more likely to care, and to want to do something - but it will take a while for her to be brave enough, given what happened here and how she just said what she was supposed to and then cried about it. Gah, poor girl. I want to give her a hug :(

One thing I thought I might mention - normally when two people are talking to one another, they don't often use each other's names (because it's clear who they're talking to). So in the section where Daphne and Astoria are on the train, it feels a bit awkward - Daphne uses Astoria's name twice in the same short paragraph, but it's probably not necessary in the conversation.

That aside, I think you are doing a wonderful job with this story and tbh I'm glad it focuses on the Greengrass sisters and doesn't really involve Astoria/Draco at all. Definitely makes your story stand out and gives a chance for underappreciated characters to shine! I'm so glad I checked out this story - it's a great start and I can't wait to read more.

Thanks for the swap :D

Author's Response: Hi Kristin!

Thanks so much for such a long and lovely review!!

I usually only see stories were only one of these sisters is an interesting character and the other is tossed to the wayside. With this one, I'm trying to focus on both of them equally. With Daphne, she's a true Slytherin, through and through. That's not to say she's evil or a bad person, but she exemplifies Slytherin traits. And she definitely is jaded. I mean, seeing the side of the war that she sees, it's hard not to be jaded.

And you're definitely right in saying that she does not let her mask down except for family, and even then, she'll never be overly emotional. At school, Daphne would never let anyone see her in a moment of weakness. She doesn't care enough about either side to support as well at this point. She cares about her own survival and her family's survival, so she isn't about to put herself on the line for the greater good or whatever.

And Astoria! I love Astoria so much. This actually started as a Draco/Astoria story, but then her backstory became infinitely more interesting than his or their romance, but Draco does make a sneaky appearance further in.

I'm also going to fix that thing you mentioned with the dialogue right away! You're totally right about it - having them say each other's names is unnatural and nothing bothers me more than unnatural dialogue.

Thanks so much for reading and if you keep going, I'd love to know what you think about the sisters' character growth!

Thanks again!

Stefanie


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Review #11, by SiriusAura92 Panic

25th June 2015:
Hey!
Sorry for being so quiet for so long!

I really like the drama that's finally unfurling between the sisters and I'm actually hoping that this isn't the last time they see each other.

The Battle of Hogwarts! (YAY!) Firstly I want you to know that I do like the way you've approached your climax and the argument of whether they should get involved fits in very nicely. However, traditionally I would recommend more build for a action/battle-climax, especially one the size and scale of The Battle for Hogwarts.
The reason it works here is because we all know about the battle, we all know it's coming and are (on some level) waiting for it.
Perhaps a cheeky POV of a character who's readying for the battle/knows about about its advancement in a previous chapt to wet your audience's apatite for what's coming.
Just a general note for you as a writer really.

On the whole, a very well written chapter and I cannot wait to see what comes!

P.S I also like the new name ;)

SiriusAura92
:)

Author's Response: Hi there!

It's definitely me who should be apologizing for having not posted anything new in so long. I'm still working on the next chapter, but I swear I'm getting there (just at a truly glacial pace).

I also think there's more to add to this in some parts as you've said. It's annoying that I've sort of posted this as I wrote it instead of writing the whole thing and then posting, but I suppose this way, I get feedback from wonderful people like you and can improve my writing as I go! I've actually spent some time over the last few weeks going back and editing the past chapters, not sure if you noticed. Nothing major changed, just word choice, flow, and the like, but I may change bigger things before I finish this.

Thanks again for your feedback and hopefully I've have a new chapter up soon!

Much love,

Stefanie


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Review #12, by SunshineDaisies Return

10th June 2015:
Hello! I am finally here with your requested review! I'm sorry that it took so long!

What an interesting story you've got here! I've read quite a bit about Astoria lately, but nothing quite like this. I love that you've chosen to focus on the sisters here, rather than Astoria's relationship with Draco. Familial relationships are so underplayed :) I've also never seen Daphne written this way, and I kind of really love it. It's so nice to hear about her being something other than pretty and dumb.

Your characters are very well done. You've brought them to life in this chapter, which is a wonderful way to start off a novel! They certainly seem realistic, and your descriptions of them match how they're acting, so you're good on that front. You've also given them interesting characterizations, as I mentioned before. They aren't stereotypical, they're flawed, but still likable. Basically, they're like real people, which is a job very well done indeed.

As for your writing style, you've got a solid voice, but you use a lot of direct exposition. It's necessary sometimes at the beginning of stories, but I will always find it more interesting to read active scenes. That is, I'd rather have you show me something than tell me something. It happened a lot while you were describing the Daphne and Astoria. You don't need to state directly that Astoria is an introvert when you can show us that she's an introvert. So, for example, you can show her walking to and from classes alone, eating alone, avoiding conversation, or searching for somewhere to be alone after a long day. You did a few of those things here, so you've set up a really good base for yourself to build off of. No need to state it explicitly.

You can really do a lot by giving the reader small details. Any action a character makes can help develop their characterization. For example, when walking through a crowd, it seems to me that Astoria would try to maneuver her way through, while Daphne would make people get out of her way. It's a little thing, but it shows a lot! And if you keep adding those together, you get a really seamless story that's interesting to read.

Basically, details are my favorite things in the world and I want everyone to use them more. :)

This is off to a great start! Good work!

Author's Response: Hi there!

Thanks so much for the review! I just opened a review thread myself, so I'm beginning to realize what a big commitment it is. So thanks for doing this for so many people!

I'm so glad you like my characters. I work really hard on characterization for everything I write. I spend much too long working on various character profiles and what not. So I'm glad that shows!

I think I definitely have a problem with a lot of telling and not showing. It's something I'm working on, but I do find that my writing tends to be a lot of words and not a lot of action, especially in the early parts of this story. Thank you for pointing it out and I'll definitely be working on that. I'm actually going through and editing some of this story right now because I have no inspiration for the next chapters.

Thanks again for the review!!

-Stefi


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Review #13, by Shadowkat Hurt

4th June 2015:
Well that was...intense. Not quite sure what other word to use as a describer. I'm not going to lie, I was half expecting Daphne to go with it, and it was a surprise when she attacked Crabbe. I can't say I was sad though. Maybe, if she had attacked her sister, she could have kept the pain to a minimum too. Now they're both targets.

Luna, should have expected her to do something like that. I hate to think of all she's been through herself, yet she's still fighting and taking up for others. It's my strong belief that the hat debated Hufflepuff for her.

This was a well written and chilling chapter. Amazing job!

Author's Response: Thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

-Stefi


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Review #14, by Shadowkat Return

4th June 2015:
Here for the swap! First, just a few things I noticed. Minor, but I thought you might like them pointed out. :)

“Norella had lived in that home since she was 20 and first married.”
I’d suggest not using numbers and spell it out.

“Of course, she loved their home as well, but Daphne was nothing if not practical. “
I don’t think the first comma is necessary.

“Astoria, from across the room could feel it creep along her skin.”
You should probably put another comma after room, or rearrange the wording to something like:
“Even from across the room, Astoria could feel it creep along her skin.”


Aside from those, nothing major caught my attention. I like how you're doing this, it's only natural they'd be afraid, but it speaks a lot of their mother that she won't run away.

It must be really hard to Astoria, and I feel so bad for her. It's heartbreaking to see.

Daphne, though I get that she's running on survival instinct, really seems to deserve the Fandom's nickname for her, the Ice Queen. She shuts herself off to get through this, refusing to admit how much it did bother her. If it didn't, I doubt she would have kept her eyes away from the first year.

This is turning out to be a very interesting, and dark, story. Curious to see where it goes.

Author's Response: Thank so much for pointing out those spots. I find that writing can always be improved!

I'm glad you liked the first chapter. Thanks for the review!!

-Stefi


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Review #15, by StarFeather Return

28th May 2015:
Hi, I dropped by from the forums. Thank you for offering review swap!

I chose this story when I saw the banner where the girl's face looked fearful. I wondered why.

You described each character very well. I always struggle how to describe the new character in detail, so I'd like to say you did a good job.

So you set them as half-bloods, right? The blood status is important when we write about Slyterin family or students. I also wonder how to cut the picutre out of their circumstances when I write my story. I reckon you must have struggled to set the plot.

I like that you set the elder sister, Daphne as a strong person who tries to protect her sister, Astoria. It reminded me of the movie,'Gone with the Wind', Scarlet O'Hara who tried to survive during the war.

Wow, the last scene is ghastly intensive. Alecto Carrow. I'll be back to the next chapter.

:)Kenny

Author's Response: I'm glad you enjoyed this first chapter. I'm still a little unsure about whether I want to keep the Greengrasses as half-bloods (though that term is so confusing, they're just not totally pure, but not half either). They're pureblood in canon and I like to keep with canon, so I may change it.

The comparison of Daphne to Scarlett O'Hara is an interesting one and I can't say I've ever thought of that before. It does make sense though!

Thanks again for stopping by!

-Stefi


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Review #16, by TidalDragon Return

24th May 2015:
Howdy and welcome to HPFF! I'm sorry I'm so late, but life's been crazy. I'll try to carry on with some additional reviews for you on this one as penance as soon as things calm down a bit. Since you've asked for more general commentary I'll try and hit all the major areas for you though!

I think the strongest aspect of your writing in this chapter was description. You were very detailed, but not overly so and you used description (particularly the eyes) to convey more than just literal appearance. I thought it particularly useful how despite initially just explaining it, you proceeded to use this chapter to demonstrate the differences between Daphne and Astoria - effective description bolstered that.

Before I read your A/N I was going to mention the Greengrass blood-status as a weakness, but instead we'll call it an interesting spin. I'm still not sure I buy it, but I'll roll with it. That was really the only thing I had originally noticed in the way of characterization other than the possible issue of Pansy Parkinson taking pity on anyone (even a Slytherin - and perhaps especially a less than pureblood Slytherin according to your depiction). It just feels quite unlikely for her character per canon, but since the backstory there was left general it's possible that it could be made more believable if it's addressed in full.

As a final point, I thought your dialogue was generally strong. The characters had differentiable voices, which is huge, but they also seemed to use appropriate language for their ages and personalities (even if I'm not a big fan of Daphne's profanity of choice). You also used dialogue tags well to bolster the mood accompanying the speech and to deepen our entry into the environment you've set up - particularly with the Carrows. That's something I struggle with sometimes as my dialogue can get quite rat-a-tat, Sorkin-esque at times with limited or no tags, so well done.

Overall, I think your story is off to a solid start, and I'll be interested to see where it goes next as a continue to R&R.

Author's Response: Hi there!

Thank you for the review and the welcome! I love HPFF so far :)

I'm glad you thought I did the descriptive language well because that's something I also really appreciate in stories. It's what makes or break a story for me, but incidentally, something I quite struggle with.

I feel quite embarassed that I messed up the blood status of the Greengrass family. I began writing and plotting out this story before that information was released and didn't think to change the story to fit that later on. I am such a stickler for canon too, so it quite bothers me, but I don't think I'll be going back to change it now as it's sort of too late.

As for Pansy, I think, like all Slytherins, she's very much into self-preservation (and vanity). Having a less attractive friend is something Pansy would do I think, but I do try to write my 'villainous' characters with some understanding still, so I don't quite stick with the Pansy as an evil person idea from canon.

For dialogue, I try to go really natural. What would I say? What would people I know say? And of course, I keep it quite informal because that's how people speak. I admit though, because I curse like a sailor, profanity easily sneaks into my writing. I know it turns a lot of people off, but it feels right to me.

Anyway, thank you so much for the review and I hope to see you back soon!

Much love,
-Stefi


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Review #17, by TreacleTart Hurt

23rd May 2015:
Hi Stefi!

I'm here for our review swap!

After such a strong opening chapter, I was curious to see where you would take this. Poor Astoria had been sentenced to detention for being weak and Daphne was being forced to torture the other students. It was pretty horrific, but this added a whole new level of horror to this.

The idea that students would be allowed to torture other students for their detentions if awful. There's just something so chilling about reading children torturing other children. I don't know why, but it seems even worse than when the adults do it. I guess maybe because they're supposed to have some sense of innocence still.

I'm glad that Daphne defended Astoria. She definitely is a fierce dueler. I had a good chuckle when she went after Crabbe. He seemed pretty terrified and rightfully so. Daphne is vicious. Serves him right though. He's horrible in this and horrible in cannon as well. I wouldn't exactly cry over his loss.

It's pretty awful to imagine Daphne being tortured in front of her sister for not relenting to become a Death Eater. I fear that Astoria is going to be the next target. I can't imagine what it's like for her to see this. I personally hope she'll stop being weak, go nuts, and steal the wand from Carrow.

I will say that I think that this chapter should have a trigger warning at the beginning of it for all of the violence. I know that there are people on this site who are very sensitive to this type of thing for various reasons and you don't want someone to accidentally stumble across something they're sensitive to. I know that the warnings on the story should suffice, but you'd be surprised.

I did notice a couple minor typos in this chapter.

Astoria hadn’t believed her there, having lived in absolute despair – believed her then

stream that pushed Crabbed back into the wall – Crabbe

All in all, I think this was a pretty solid chapter. It definitely did what it was supposed to do in showing how awful things had gotten at Hogwarts and that even the Slytherins could become victims. Good work! I'll be interested to see what comes next.

~Kaitlin

Author's Response: Hi Kaitlin!

I've always thought that making the students torture each other was a new kind of low, even for Death Eaters. I would have thought that perhaps they had a tiny shred of humanity left, but I suppose not. It's sort of a double punishment, isn't it? One kid gets tortured and another kid has to live with that guilt for the rest of their life.

And Crabbe is honestly the worst. His death was the only one that I really didn't feel anything for. With other evil characters like Bellatrix and Voldemort, there was at least some kind of emotion in response to it, but with Crabbe is was just a 'good riddance.' He's just so unlikable with no redeeming qualities at all.

As for Astoria, I don't think she's the type of person who would lightly turn her wand on someone else. She's very morally strong I think, but maybe in these sorts of situations, she'll relent. I find it quite interesting to write about what these characters (who under normal circumstances would be upstanding citizens) would do in such a terrible climate. There are no winners in war, so that's sort of what I'm going for here.

Also, I think you're totally right about trigger warnings. I'll definitely be adding those across my story. I didn't really think of that before, as I'm unfortunately quite oblivious to a lot of these kinds of things. Other people's emotions have always baffled me, but I'm definitely working on it.

Anyway, thanks for the lovely review!

-Stefi


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Review #18, by merlins beard Panic

22nd May 2015:
Hello again.

I have been wondering how you were going to have the battle start. I had completely forgotten that Sam could have been in the DA and had a coin...

Daphne's need to try for revenge is understandable, but she really shouldn't have just gone.
She's the only family Astoria has left.

Marcus knows Daphne, he's been locked up in a tent with her for a month... I get that it's a shock for him to see the Dark Mark on her arm, but he shouldn't judge that fast.
What Daphne did was wrong, but she did it for the right reasons. Keeping Astoria safe was really all that mattered to her.

I love the scene with Astoria and Sam! This is so cute! He doesn't really take the information well, and even as he says he has to go, he doesn't do it. I'm impressed that this love story between two teenagers feels so natural. I would have a hard time writing something like that, slowing the romance down to fit 15 year olds.

I can't wait for the next chapter!!!

Love
~Anja

Author's Response: Hi Anja!

I feel slightly ashamed to admit that the next chapter currently comprises of 0 words. I'm working on it though, I swear!

The DA coin was something that I really wanted to put in here too. Sam was only a third year when the DA was started, but being the outgoing child he is (was), I imagine he was there with his Hufflepuff buddies having a good time and learning very little.

It was very sad for me to make Daphne leave because these girls haven't been apart for months now. She had to though, Daphne is not the kind of person to sit and wait. Though, technically, Astoria does have family left, but they're in the US.

As for the rest of your comments, I've decided that I can't address any plot stuff in reviews anymore. I don't want to accidentally give anything away!

Anyway, I hope you like the next chapter (when I finally write it)!

Thanks for the review!

Much love,
Stefi


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Review #19, by TreacleTart Return

18th May 2015:
Hi Stefi!

I'm here for our review swap!

This story immediately drew my attention because it's about Daphne and Astoria, but it doesn't focus on a romance with Draco. Hallelujah! Every time I read anything about Astoria, it's always in relation to how she falls for Draco. Sometimes the stories are good, but a lot of the time I wonder why she is so inextricably bound to him and why she can't have her own stories. Anyways, I was very excited to see your author's note clearly stating that he romance with Draco will not come into play in this!

I really liked your characterization of both Daphne and Astoria. I liked that they were both separate individuals with their own unique personalities. I think it's very fitting for Daphne as the older sibling to want to protect her younger sister from all of the horrors of the war, but as Astoria aptly points out, we know that isn't possible. It will be interesting to see how these two girls evolve throughout the story. I wonder if Astoria will learn to control her emotions because it seems pretty imperative to her survival.

I think that as far as first chapters go this really does exactly what it's supposed to do. I feel really drawn into this world that you're building and I already feel invested in the characters you've created. The flow was steady, not too fast, not too slow. Just right. If this is any hint as to what's to come, I will definitely be back for more.

Adding this one to my currently reading list! Good job! Thanks for an enjoyable swap!

~Kaitlin

Author's Response: Hi Kaitlin! Thanks for stopping by!

I admit, this began when I was mapping out the romance between Draco and Astoria, but then Astoria's back story just became infinitely more interesting than any sappy romance I could write. So the Greengrass family took on a life of their own. Draco does make an appearance in this story eventually, but not in the context of romance. I don't really like the trope that he had always noticed her in school or something like that because she's two years younger. He's probably only ever seen her in passing.

As for the characterization of the sisters, I wanted them to be quite different people, but still similar at their core (they are both Slytherin after all). For Astoria, I wanted to write about a character who faces war and is brave and strong in the face of all those terrors, but isn't cold or unemotional. It's a stereotype that I feel quite strongly about smashing.

Anyway, I'm really glad you enjoyed this chapter! Hope to see you back here :)

-Stefi


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Review #20, by oldershouldknowbetter Hurt

16th May 2015:
Back for more two sisters and more BvB.

I just got woken up, it's 2:45 in the morning and I can't get back to sleep - so I guess it's time for some reviewing.

So the story continues with the detention of the younger sister. I wondered what the older sister would do about it and I need wonder no further as you have decided to bring Daphne along to the 'party'.

It is quite a violent chapter and you did very well in conveying it (without glorifying it). You say you didn't know how you'd do because you'd never experienced such horrors - but then how many of us have - but despite your fears to the contrary, you wrote it well. All you need to do to write something like this is have normal human empathy. Everyone knows what it's like to be placed into a position where you have to make a difficult choice. In the same manner we all know what it's like to be hurt. I am reminded of an interview I once heard from a drug-sniffing dog handler. One of the most frequent questions he was always asked, he said, was whether the dogs were given the drug that they had to find; he always gave an emphatic no. Likewise, we don't need to be tortured to know it's a loathsome crime, full of hurt and misery.

Daphne is one of the best at the Dark Arts is she, that fits - you can imagine the quiet girl (in her studies) who just knuckles down and gets on with it being better than everyone might think.

You present Luna well and she is as brave and steadfast as we all think she must have been.

Same with the power couple of Pansy and Blaise. I'm glad you decided to break up Draco and Pansy already by this point - it's what I would have thought would have happened. That they are the new power couple and rule the school under this new regime is a good fit.

I wonder where Draco is in all of this, is he still at school in this story? I always kind of assumed that he had returned to school for this year, hence his presence there during the final battle. But, have you left him out of it and he only comes back for the final battle itself with all the other Death Eaters? (or have I just forgotten him being in the previous chapter, lol). Whatever, it is a good choice on your part to distance him from this stuff - I'm not sure the Astoria you are portraying would ever have married someone she saw take part in the sort of torture she has been forced to witness.

It is bad enough that she has seen what her sister is capable of. And then when it comes down to it, Daphne will go along with whatever she is forced to do, unemotionally however unwillingly, but when she is confronted by the possibility of her sister being hurt she refuses. The duel, such as it is, between Crabbe and Daphne is well done - it shows the evil sod as he is, evil and stupid and not very talented. Daphne easily beats him and in the heat of the moment she is prepared to use the killing curse. It's not in the heat of anger, because she is almost ice-queen calm and it might be a case as well of, already damned for using one unforgivable, why not another.

Carrow steps in and stops her. Your characterisation of this almost mad Death Eater is spot on - it dovetails nicely in with what we know of her from the books, but still expands her character well.

Finally, though she may not want to have her true feelings revealed, Daphne steps up to and defies Carrow. Hurting Astoria cannot be allowed to happen when she has any say in the matter. She even allows a crack in her cool facade to appear, avowing that she will never join the Death Eaters. Throwing the words into the face of Carrow like that may just come back to haunt her, me thinks, during the course of the rest of the story. Daphne is tortured for her impudence and that is where we leave them all for now.

This chapter was well done, doing as you had to, portraying a difficult situation full of violence and horror. The reader simply must know what becomes of Daphne's defiance.

Andrew,
Oldershouldknowbetter.

Author's Response: Hi Andrew! Thanks for the review!

I find that I can never go back to sleep if someone wakes me up suddenly like that either, but I do hope you got some sleep after reviewing.

I'm very glad you thought I wrote the action in this scene well. This chapter was really the first action-y thing I've ever written, so I'm glad that inexperience and nervousness didn't show through to much. It was hard for me write about something that I had no personal experience with to call on, but you're right, it was a lot of just putting myself in Daphne's shoes. I really had to let her emotions wash over me.

Daphne's also definitely the quiet, smart girl in class. I've always imagined the Greengrass girls as quite intelligent people, but in a way that isn't known by many. So kind of the opposite of Hermione in that sense because everyone knew that Hermione was the smartest person in class.

Though this chapter was dark, Luna was a delight to write about. I simply adore her and she definitely has this real toughness to her. She's incredibly brave and strong, but I think the best thing about Luna is that she makes other people believe that they themselves are also brave and strong.

With Draco and Pansy, I never pictured them lasting. Their relationship or whatever it was, in sixth year seemed to me like the obvious choice, but their personalities didn't mesh at all for me. I see her as the social climbing type, so it made sense for her to be with Blaise since he's always described as incredibly good-looking.

As for the reason he isn't anywhere in this story yet, it was for a couple reasons, some that you mentioned. First of all, I believe he's at Hogwarts, but much too busy with various Death Eater activities to participate in 'extra-curriculars.' So I see him as sort of in the shadows for seventh year. Also, you're right in that Astoria would never be able to marry someone who she saw torture. She'd be able to forgive, but she wouldn't be able to fall in love with him. And since I'm such a stickler for canon, Astoria and Draco do end up happily married and in love eventually.

As for Crabbe, again, I absolutely loathe Crabbe. So I was very happy to have Daphne beat him to a pulp here. It was be incredibly easy for her since he's just so daft. As for the killing curse she used, I think the one thing that can make Daphne lose her cool, collected manner is someone threatening Astoria. Plus, Crabbe has always just been so unpleasant to her in the past.

As for Alecto Carrow, I pictured her as the smarter of the two Carrows. I don't like the characterization of them as dumb minions because I feel as if you must have some kind of skill to become a Death Eater and even Voldemort doesn't take education lightly, so he'd pick some smart Death Eaters to become professors. Alecto for me is cold and cruel, but very smart. She's the muggle studies professor, so she's a good manipulator, a passionate speaker, and probably just has a real way with words.

And of course, Daphne's defiance will definitely come back to bite her. No one tells of the Carrows and gets off lightly.

Thanks again for reading!!
-Stefi


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Review #21, by merlins beard Learn

15th May 2015:
Hi again!
I don't know why you're not happy with this chapter, I think it's great!

Everyone needs something to make all that's happening easier on them...
Astoria and Sam are so sweet together, I love all the awkwardness between them! And I'm glad Daphne notices what's going on and can actually laugh about that, too. It is her I fear for the most. She could be going crazy because of all the pain she's enduring all the time.
Draco trying to find her is going to be interesting. I love how you portrayed him (because I just can't - no WON'T- accept that he can ever be the bad guy in a story. He just does what he's told. That's stupid, of course, but he really doesn't have much choice in the matter.)

I love that you put in the part with Draco and Bellatrix. It gave me a link to the timeline of other events... now we know Harry is at Shell Cottage, and the final battle isn't far off anymore. I wonder if Draco will run away too, when he finds Daphne.

I can't wait for more! This has been awesome, as always!

Love
~Anja

Author's Response: Thanks as always for your wonderfully kind words Anja!!

I worked hard on making the interactions between Sam and Astoria delightfully awkward. I think it's easy to forget how old they are, so I tried to use this chapter to remind you of that. They're super awkward around each other because that's what 15-year-old kids are like.

The bit with Draco and Bellatrix was almost all for timeline establishment. But of course, I also absolutely adore Draco. I'm almost sad that he wasn't introduced into my story until this far along, but it had to be done. I have all sorts of headcanons about him that I may write about though. And the Battle of Hogwarts isn't far off, so the end of this story isn't far off. I hope you like what's coming next. It's about to get quite exciting I think!!

Thanks again for the review!!

Much love,
Stefi


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Review #22, by SiriusAura92 Learn

13th May 2015:
Hey there,

It's little wander why your not so impressed with this chapter as it is a bit of a slow burner.
While the character progression is very nice there is quite a bit that could've been trimmed and replaced with something a bit more progressive (Such as the P.O.V of another character). Even if it's something small it gives your readers the sense of learning something more about your story and where it's going (or think it's going).

Not a badly written chapter at all!
Well Done,
SiriusAura92 :)

Author's Response: As always, your comments get it exactly right! It is a slow chapter, though I suppose necessary for some important character development. It doesn't quite match with the fast past of other chapters. I actually have a different POV bit written, but it didn't materialize until after I'd posted this one, so I wanted to wait to see what people thought.

Thanks again for the review!

-Stefi


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Review #23, by oldershouldknowbetter Return

11th May 2015:
Hi there, I'm here for a bit of BvB action.

I really love Rose and Scorpius and as such have a definite fondness for his mother Astoria. Yes I've seen her written as a pureblood, ice queen, nasty piece of work, but I don't agree with that interpretation. I like to think that a Scorpius we can like, must be the product of a kind and caring mother. This seems to be the sort of Astoria you are writing about.

It is an interesting choice to not make them pureblood. It is always assumed that the Greengrass family is, from memory I think it's even implied. So for you to choose to make them half-bloods is unusual but I think it works. Especially if they are secretly half-blood, that their family has concealed the magical origin of (presumably the mother). What it does do,for the purposes of your story, is to make Daphne a bit of an outsider - able to be within the Slytherin elite, but standing outside it and viewing the events at Hogwarts from that angle as well. It's cleverly done, not many readers would be sympathetic with a story told from the perspective of someone who enjoyed the ways of the new regime and the torture it brings with it.

I also like your choice of personality of Daphne - not one we learn much about in the books either (even though she is in the same year as Harry). The no-nonsense, practical person she is should be a good choice for the story you want to tell - based upon your story summary. When confronted with a difficult choice, the practical person can make the wrong choice for all the right reasons.

Like with the house, Daphne is all for moving, cutting their losses and going away to ride out the storm, but her mother won't have it. Daphne's not being cold, but practical - it'd be breaking her heart too, but better than being killed or Azkaban.

The last paragraph of the first section, as seen from Astoria's eyes, was well done: her tears at all the emotions; her agreeing with the sentiments of both her sister and mother; and the final, 'England needs us.' I'm not the greatest Slytherin fan (books Slytherin, not here - HPFF Slytherins are awesome), but I'm glad you are showing some that aren't the unremitting evil/bad-guys they all had to be for the purposes of the books.

The way you describe the sisters is well phrased - using the lighting terms is a good choice; evocative and effective. Making Daphne not be resentful at her sister's 'superior' charms is a good choice for a practical sort of character; and gives her that one thing that will humanise her no matter what she does - the unconditional love for her sister. But you show it works both ways, the love and caring that Astoria gives back is equally as precious.

I like how you made Daphne the more socially aware/outgoing - that fits into her practical nature. Astoria could be that too, but you've decided to keep that goodness she has, low key. The picture you are painting of the two sisters is very different to each other, but we can see that maybe it is all the closer for being so.

You've shown us what was only alluded to in the books, the employing of students to torture others in 'detention.' It is interesting to me to see this delineated and I don't think it's too far gone from what I imagined. I said before, but I'll say it again - you just couldn't show this scene from the angle of someone who enjoyed it. I like your characterisation of Daphne here and also of Crabbe - who I always thought was a dumb slimeball, and low and behold, that's what he is. I always thought that allowing the students to torture the other students, instead of letting the Carrows do it was Snape trying to protect the students. As JKR established in the books, when Harry got so angry and tried to do the crucio, it didn't work so well, because you have to really mean it. So the torture the student's are capable of might be a lot less than what an adult, full of hate and insanity, could do.

Poor old Astoria though cannot so easily hide her weakness ... did I just say weakness? I meant humanity and love and open-mindedness and everything. You are showing us the different Muggle Studies classes - again something alluded to in the books but never shown. It doesn't go so well for her - keeping perfectly within her character - and she is detention bound. Daphne might just find it hard to keep her promise that no one will hurt them.

This is a good start to your story. We have two very different and interesting siblings who are in a very difficult situation. It promises for an interesting continuation.

Andrew,
Oldershouldknowbetter.

Author's Response: Hi Andrew!

Thanks so much for this amazing review! I really appreciate it so much.

I also love Scorpius and Rose, which is actually how I got to writing about the Greengrass family. I think that in order to have a Scorpius who isn't a carbon copy of Draco, you need to have a sympathetic Astoria. I just couldn't see the kind of caring, loving Astoria I pictured as Scorpius's mother coming from an old pureblood family though. The Greengrass family is on the Sacred 28 though, but that list is from the 30s, so I figured things changed since then.

Your interpretation of Daphne is spot on. She's pragamatic and realistic. Though she of course loves her home country and the house she grew up in, Daphne is not the kind of person to be clouded by sentiment the way her mother or her sister are.

As for Astoria and Daphne in Slytherin, I tried really hard with both of them to sort of defy the Slytherin stereotype, but also make them fit the mold. I think it's clear how Daphne's an Slytherin, but Astoria belongs there too I think. She's loyal to her family and quite prideful and cunning, but her strongest instinct, like Daphne, is self-preservation.

Another big part of this is the unconditional love the sisters (and the rest of the Greengrass family) have for each other. Family love is a big thing in this story, showing the way families care for each other and what families will do for each other is something I tried to explore here. Daphne and Astoria love and depend on each other a lot, despite their differences. They have this incredibly close bond.

As for Crabbe, he is an absolute slimeball. In this story, I'm trying to make some Slytherin characters slightly different from the usual 'evil' but Crabbe was one that I simply could not redeem. He's terrible and horrible and cruel and abusive. I can't see him in any other way at all.

I also think your view on the students torturing each other is quite interesting! I've never thought about it that way. I always saw it as a kind of double punishment. Obviously there are some students who are sick and enjoy torturing, but for some students, like Daphne, hurting other students that way is it's own kind of torture. I'd imagine that for many students, torturing and watching their fellow classmates get tortured is an intense mental trauma in itself. But that's also true that it must certainly hurt less coming from inexperienced hands.

And Astoria, oh back to Astoria. She's my favourite character. She is young and sweet and innocent and kind. She's everything that gets your hurt in horrible times like this, but she's so vital. I real ray of sunshine in these dark times. Her hatred in muggle studies is sort of two fold: she can't bring herself to believe the Carrows' dogma, but she also hates herself for failing a class - something she's never done before.

Anyway, thanks so much for reading my story! I'm glad you liked it :)

Stefi


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Review #24, by merlins beard Break

5th May 2015:
Once more: Hi Stefi!

Daphne's breakdown is so emotional. I'm still catching my breath.

This is all so sad. I wonder how long Astoria can take all that until she really breaks down too.

Bellatrix achieved her goal to break down the whole system, but she's still going after Astoria. I hope she never finds her.

I'm glad that the other family is so helpful. The Greengrass sisters would be so lonely without them there, even though they are almost strangers.

I love how you still find a way to give such a dark story a small romantic spark every so often.

I think that's all for now, so I only have one last request:

Please - for my sanity - update soon. I really can't wait for the next chapter. This story has pulled me in completely.

Love
~Anja

Author's Response: I have a chapter of a different story in validation right now, so that's why I haven't updated this (that and I just haven't finished writing it yet). But it should be up within the week I hope!

I also want to say thank you. Thank you so much. You have no idea what it means to me to log in and see that I have ELEVEN reviews! I read all of your reviews this morning on my commute and I've been smiling all day at your kind words.

Bellatrix will not give up until everyone involved is dead or behind bars. And with Astoria having cast the charm, Bellatrix has to kill her :( Even though she's terrifying and I personally have nightmares about her, Bellatrix is one of my favourite characters. I wrote about her long before Astoria and Daphne. She just truly fascinates me.

I'm also really glad you mentioned the romance bit! I wanted to build up a little something between Sam and Astoria. That was my intention from the beginning. It's kind of there to remind you how young she is. The interaction between Sam and Astoria is really awkward because they're 15! I wanted to make it feel genuine. Sam isn't smooth and suave, he's an awkward kid. And Astoria isn't some great flirt, she's a young girl who has barely ever spoken to a boy before.

Anyway, I'm totally rambling on. I'm so glad you liked what I've written. I can't tell you how happy you've made me :)

Much love,

Stefi


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Review #25, by merlins beard Run

5th May 2015:
Sooo... Bellatrix is pure evil. (That's not even new... but still pretty horrible)

I'm really glad Astoria got away and that she insisted on taking the others with them. They'll probably turn out to be useful allies. Yet I have to agree with Daphne, returning for their parents won't do any good. they are probably dead already.

It's hard to read the parts where daphne is in so much emotional pain... all the feeling you bring across, it's the icy hand clutching my heart all over again, only this time it's even worse.

Only one more chapter for now. How am I going to live with the suspense of not knowing what's going to happen next?

Love
~Anja

Author's Response: Oh Bellatrix, she is honestly a horrifying person. I love writing her though and love her as the villain of this story, even though she makes kind of rare appearances.

With the escape, I figured it'd be a little boring if it was just Daphne and Astoria hiding out alone in the forest. So, I added another family in there. Plus, I wanted to kind of draw that contrast between the now broken Greengrass family and the Croft family.

About Linus and Norella, it killed me to kill them off. I loved them so much as parents and as characters. It's harder for me to write adults, because I feel like I am not yet an adult. It's especially hard for me to write about parents because I've never been one. But Norella and Linus seemed natural to me.

I'm so glad you had such a crazy emotional response to this chapter too. It didn't start out so heavy with Daphne's emotional trauma, but it turned out that way. It felt natural for it to take that turn because she's just been through so much.

Thanks for sticking with my story!

Much love,

Stefi


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