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Reading Reviews for Silent Rumors
28 Reviews Found

Review #1, by SilentConfession A Kidnapping

30th May 2015:
Goodness, who could do this to poor, unassuming Ernie. He doesn't seem to be anybody, but a shop owner. So, it makes this mystery even more intriguing because, at this point, there is no fathomable reason for this to occur. It makes me feel like there is something large beneath the surface. A new group rising to try and change the world in some way - even if it's just to prove that society likes to be in conflict and they want to provide that conflict.

Your writing style continues to be nice. There is a good flow between ideas and action. It's easy enough to understand and makes for a quick read. The details you include here are really great too - from the school rush to the small interactions between Ernie and his wife. It was great that you included that scene because it makes use like the characters and feel invested in their relationship. It's exactly what you want to make the rest of the chapter actually mean something to the readers. If we didn't care about the characters or didn't see how cute they all were together it wouldn't matter as much if they got taken.

I'm also a bit mad at Ernie because this is directly from him not taking the first not seriously. It just shows how naive he was and now his family would have to suffer because he dismissed the other threatening note. He must feel like utter crap for that.

One thing I had to go and read over again was the beginning because when Ernie got up to take his shower Lydia was still peacefully sleeping and yet after... I think Lydia must have some sort of super power to suddenly wake up, get the kids up, have breakfast ready, and have kids behaved and eating by the time Ernie get's out of the shower. There's a lot happening and yet it seems like it happened in the split second.

Another thing I wondered about was the big scene at Ernie's house. If they didn't want anyone to know about it - why did they make such a show about it? You got Ernie's emotion of having his family snatched from him - but it seemed to contradict the note. I'm curious to know why they even took the family first like that and taken Ernie so quickly after the family was taken. To increase the tension and conflict - perhaps more time could have passed between that. However - i'm assuming there must be a reason for this that will come up in further chapters.

Great work with this chapter, thanks for sharing it. I'm intrigued to find out the answers to this mystery. It seems so random and yet i feel like something is going to come and everything it just going to fall into place.

Author's Response: Hello again,

You've made some good guesses as to what's going on. This definitely is a lot larger than poor Ernie and his family.

I'm glad that you felt some connection to the characters. I really wanted them to be easy to relate to in that they're just a normal, happy family.

Yeah, being naive really does get Ernie's family in quite the pickle and I'm certain it's going to be one of his deepest regrets.

Thanks for pointing out that bit about the opening scene. I self-imposed a bit on this because I usually take at least 30 minutes to shower in the morning and another 20 or so to get ready, but being that Ernie is a man, he'd probably take a lot less. Good catch. I'll fix that all up.

So the big scene at Ernie's house is supposed to be only visible to people who are standing in the yard. It gets explained a bit more in the novel, but I'll have to figure out a better way to make that more clear in this chapter. Thanks for pointing that out.

As for the kidnapping of the family first. I think this group is just playing games with Ernie. Also, it's probably easier to grab the wife and kids and then take Ernie separately because that's one less adult with a wand at a time.

I know that at this point it does seem random, but I assure you it's working to a main point. It doesn't become super clear in this particular short story, but it does in my novel Atonement Is Coming.

Thanks for the reviews!


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Review #2, by SilentConfession A Letter

25th May 2015:
Hi! I'm here for our swap, finally! Sorry it's taken so long, one thing led to another and I've spent literally no time on this site for the last week. I'm so sorry you've had to wait so long!

The story is intriguing so far. There aren't loads of stories about Ernie and I personally love stories about the Hufflepuff characters. Not only that, but scene is set for something very unexpected to happen. There's a nice juxtaposition between the beginning of the chapter where it's such a normal, domestic scene of someone working late into the night to getting a threatening letter.

I think you handled his character well so far. We don't know a lot about him from the books - perhaps a little pompous, but kids can be like that. He has seemed to calm down here and appear to be a man who simply cares for his family. There doesn't seem, even in this chapter, that there is anything extraordinary about him. He was a wife and child who seem equally normal. People who'd usually slip by the radar of people of interest. It's interesting then to bring these people into the limelight.

I found myself wondering how Ernie could so easily dismiss the Death Eaters. Can anyone be sure all the DE's had been caught and the DA could have made other enemies at school who weren't DE's. I mean, how aware would DE's even be of the DA? Not a lot would be. It seemed far to naive to write it off as quickly as he did.

I think the suspense was pretty good so far, but in more of a calm kind of way. I think if you'd wanted to heighten the suspense more you should focus more on the details of the night. The feeling of the air the shake of his fingers as he opens the letter etc. Even the beginning where it's calm and no one seems to be about could have included a few more details to set the tone. The end itself felt calm, which was nice because the reader can never trust it and feels some suspense simply from Ernie's passivity. I did feel though that there was a bit too quick progression from Ernie's fear of the letter to the end where he was calm and fell easily asleep.

You have a great start here though. There is enough tension and questions rushing through my mind to want to continue reading and to see what's going to happen to him and his family. I'm wondering who this 'we' is and who they represent. I'm curious to know which of the 'we' was watching him that night. Great work! I will continue chipping away at these reviews!

Author's Response: Hi there,

No worries on the wait. I know life happens.

I really try to write lots of different characters instead of just focusing on the Trio. Ernie is one of my favorites since we see enough of him to sort of get a feel for his personality, but his story is largely untold, so there's tons of room to expand on him.

You hit the nail on the head with my choice in characterization. I just wanted them to be an average family. Nothing extraordinary or exciting.

It's definitely naive for Ernie to write things off as quickly as he did, but this setting is five years post war and things have gone back to a nice pleasant normal. I think he's been lulled into a false sense of security by that.

The suspense will definitely build in the coming chapters. This one is supposed to be a bit more mellow. I can see what you mean about the quick progression though and will look into it as I begin editing this.

The answer to who the "we" is doesn't get answered in this particular story. It's a prequel to my novel Atonement Is Coming and sort of just sets up some of the background information for what's happening.

Thank you for such a detailed review!


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Review #3, by nott theodore The Warehouse

23rd May 2015:
Hi again, Kaitlin - I'm back for the review battle!

The opening of this chapter was so bittersweet, in a way - Ernie was finally reunited with his family again but at the same time he wasn't able to help them because they were all being held captive together. So while he was happy to see his wife and kids again, it also meant that he wasn't actually able to help them like he wanted to.

The moment when he woke up and had a second of forgetfulness, not remembering what had actually happened since he last woke up and believing it was a normal day with Lydia and the children was so sad. You wrote that process of realisation really well, though, and the fact that he wanted to be back in his home with his family safe and his mind almost tricked him into believing that.

The way that Lydia warned him not to speak and say anything, or try and do anything at all - not to even move - that could put them in danger is so ominous. It's really worrying to think what she's been through with the children to know that their captors are willing to do that and inflict injuries on other people, especially the kids, if the adults don't do what they are told to.

The fact that someone was there watching - that somebody was always watching - is so creepy and ominous. I thought this after reading the last chapter, but it's so clear that this has been planned for a really long time and there's a lot of thought and effort gone into this in order to be able to capture people and hold them hostage. I'm so worried about what they really intend to do with them.

I never would have guessed that DA stood for Dumbledore's Avengers! That's kind of scary, and I'm not really sure who it could be, but I think it is a really original idea to have the antagonists being people that aren't Death Eaters but also aren't people who fought on the good side. Although part of me is actually wondering whether they are people who fought with Harry, and they lost other people close to them, and it's because of that that they want revenge on all of the people who survived. Perhaps that, or that they weren't able to be involved in the fight and they lost someone who was, and that's made them want revenge on the people who fought with Harry and survived. I'm not sure though, and these theories are probably stupid, but I'm very curious about where you're going to take this!

It was really sad that the watcher let on to Lydia that Ernie had received a warning about the attack and not done anything about it; that's almost like planting a seed between them which could turn rotten and they might grow apart in a way. Part of me thinks that Ernie should have told his family or Harry and Ron, because then something might have been different and he might have been able to protect them, and yet at the same time I understand why he didn't, because he didn't think that there was really anything behind it and he didn't want to worry Lydia and the children when he didn't think there was really any need to.

This was a really great story, Kaitlin, and I'm still very intrigued about what's going to happen to Ernie and who's behind everything - I will definitely try and stop by your novel when I get the chance to!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Hi Sian!

It was pretty hard writing that scene and trying to make it somewhat realistic. I thought that in his confusion from being attacked it might make sense for him to fantasize about being home.

It is always terrifying when the bad guys have no qualms about killing or hurting children.

There is definitely a lot of thought and planning that went into this capture. The people doing the kidnapping have a massive plan that expands exponentially in AIC.

Those are some interesting theories on Dumbledore's Avengers. You've got little bits and pieces that are correct, but not the overall.

I think that Lydia will come to understand why Ernie didn't tell her although she might be frustrated about it initially. He only had her best interest at heart.

Thank you so much for reading and reviewing this story, especially for doing all three chapters! I really appreciate it.


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Review #4, by nott theodore A Kidnapping

23rd May 2015:
Hi again, Kaitlin - back again for the Red vs. Gold Review Battle!

Oh wow, I definitely didn't expect for things to develop so quickly in this chapter of the story - although I should probably have realised since it's only three chapters long. There was so much packed into this chapter though that I found it really impressive and I was on the edge of my seat reading this!

The opening of this chapter seemed to lull us into a false sense of security, almost. At the same time, it made it even worse to see the Macmillans at the beginning of the chapter and then see what's happened to them at the end of this.

They're so happy together; the glimpse we got here made me feel like they were almost a perfect family. It was so sweet to see them and the way that they interacted with each other because it made me smile to think that Ernie had got a happy ending (apart from what happened later in the chapter of course) after all that he went through in the war. It was so cute to see that they had kids as well and the four of them together were so happy.

The lulling us into a false sense of security continued when Ernie was in the shop, faced with the rush before Hogwarts reopens and trying to cater for all of his customers. It was interesting to see the way that you'd put thought into the way his business would be affected by something like the season and the time of year, and the different things that people were coming in and asking for were just nice details to include.

The way that the note was delivered was kind of creepy - I really don't know how they managed to get into the shop and the note was so chilling and terrifying! Whoever is writing the notes and whoever is behind the capture of the family is so malevolent and evil; what makes me scared as well is the fact that they're addressing Ernie so familiarly, as if it's someone that knows him who is behind everything. I'm so worried about Ernie's family and I really hope that they're okay - it's horrible that they were so happy to talk about the children as well, as if they were happy to hurt them.

The description of Ernie's back yard (although we're often more likely to say 'garden' in the UK, unless there's no grass there at all) was so scary and chilling too. I don't know what happened there and I don't know if I actually want to know because it sounds so serious. The phrase 'Atonement Is Coming' is also very worrying, and it's making me intrigued about how all of this ties in with you novel, since I know that's the sequel to this story.

Poor Ernie! I was really hoping that he'd manage to get away from whatever was going on here and then be able to go and save his family, but he wasn't able to keep away from his attackers, who seem so well-prepared for what they're doing. I really hope that he's okay - what a cliffhanger!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Hi Sian,

It was so nice of you to leave a review on each chapter. I really appreciate it.

The progression of this chapter is really rapid, but I wanted it to be similar to how Ernie's feeling. It all sort of comes out of nowhere and he's feeling bewildered.

Ernie really does have a nice life, one that he's very happy with. I figured that some of the characters really would have a happy ending. It was really hard for me to destroy that with this. :(

I'm happy that you picked up on all of the little details in the apothecary scene. I always write that sort of stuff and then wonder if anyone even notices it.

The creepy factor is meant to be there. I mean what type of evil villains would they be if they weren't at least a little creepy? :D

Good to know about the backyard/garden thing. I'm still coming up to snuff with my British-isms.

It's hard to explain how it ties in and it doesn't show right away in the story, but by chapter 4 it becomes a bit more clear.

I wanted Ernie to get away too, but unfortunately he wasn't so lucky.

Thanks for another lovely review!


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Review #5, by nott theodore A Letter

23rd May 2015:
Hi Kaitlin! I'm here for the Red vs. Gold Review Battle - you always write so many reviews that I thought I'd stop by and read something a bit longer, because you deserve some love too!

The summary has me so intrigued about this story - I haven't read anything longer than a one-shot about Ernie Macmillan and I love mysteries, so I'm already really interested about what's going to happen here!

There are two things that struck me about this chapter straight away that I really like, and I think you've made a great choice with - actually they're only small details but it's the sort of thing I notice, because to me it shows that the writer has put a lot of thought and effort into their writing and that makes me more excited to read the story. I really like the fact that Ernie has married Lydia in this, rather than somebody from the books - so many stories have everyone marrying other characters that we already know, and I like the fact that he's found someone else who we don't know yet, but who's apparently been involved in the war. I also liked the fact that he's found a different career to those that we normally see; I don't think I've ever seen a protagonist running an apothecary before, and it's really interesting to see Ernie doing a job like that.

You managed to capture the relationship between Ernie and Lydia really well in this chapter, too. I could tell that they were very close and that he didn't want her to worry, he wanted to protect her from the knowledge of the letter and any danger.

The letter was so mysterious! There's a lot that I can try and read from it but I'm still pretty clueless about what's going on and who's behind sending the letter. It used 'we' so that would suggest to me that there's maybe an organisation behind it, but I don't know who it could be. If both Lydia and Ernie were on the winning side during the war, someone wanting to try and get revenge on them would probably be someone who'd been on the losing side, but then at the same time the initials 'DA' would make me think of Dumbledore's Army, or someone who's maybe using the initials to masquerade as someone else? I really can't work it out yet, but I'm so intrigued and can't wait to read the next chapters and find out what happens!

I thought you also managed to get the tone right in this chapter, to introduce us to the story and also create suspense and make us worried about what's happening with the letter. Towards the end of the chapter, the suspense almost calmed down a little because Ernie was trying to put the thought of the letter away from his mind. I'm intrigued to see where it's going to go next!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Hi Sian,

That's very thoughtful of you and is much appreciated. :D

I'm glad the summary is interesting. I haven't read much of Ernie either, but he works perfectly for this story since this is a prequel to my Novel.

Oh! I know what you mean about the minor characters always marrying each other and then everyone either working for Hogwarts or the Ministry. I really made an effort here to make Ernie just a regular guy. He has a nice wife, a couple kids, and a not very exciting job.

I can't say too much about the DA initials on the letter because that would not only give this story away, but my entire novel too. I will say that it does have to do with Dumbledore's Army, but only vaguely.

Thank you so much for all of your kind words. It's really encouraging to get such a nice review from an excellent author like you.


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Review #6, by Shadowkat The Warehouse

17th May 2015:
Okay, forget what I said last chapter...this, this was a cliffhanger. Again, I don't have much to add, but man that guy sounds menacing. I'm definitely going to check that other story out sometime. One thing, you put hiccough, was that a misspelling or a mix between a hiccup and a cough?

Author's Response: Hi there,

Thanks for stopping by to review this entire story! It definitely is a cliffhanger. Since it's the prequel to AIC, I wanted it to leave the reader wondering.

That guy is definitely menacing and I think it will be quite a drastic surprise for you if you read AIC long enough to find out who he is. *cackles evily*

Hiccough is the proper way to spell hiccup. I think that hiccup is a regional variation depending on where in the US you are.

Thanks again for the reviews!


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Review #7, by Shadowkat A Kidnapping

17th May 2015:
Well...cliffhanger. Good thing this is already completed, right? Of course.

Once again, amazing.


Looking around his story, Ernie noticed that everything was in disarray. (I think you meant store.)

I also noticed a few misplaced commas, but other than that I didn't spot anything, and not much else that I can add to the last review, so I suppose it's on to the next chapter!

Author's Response: Oh. It's a cliffhanger alright, although I can't promise you the next chapter will resolve too much for you.

Thank you for pointing out the typo. It is indeed supposed to be store not story.

I do struggle with the commas. I've never really gotten the hang of them all the way.

I hope you enjoy the next chapter!


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Review #8, by Shadowkat A Letter

17th May 2015:
Another great one! So glad I clicked this, I love mystery stories, especially since good ones are so hard to find. This is definitely shaping up to be a good one!

I love the tone your using here, just sending these warning bells off in my head. It sounds too calm, too disconcerned for it not to be foreshadowing. Already this is stirring up anticipation, and even though we know what's about to happen from the summary, it still keeps you on the edge of your seat.

The word choices were, as always, amazing. I love how you paint the scene, and it never ceases to amaze me how easy you make it seem.

I'm continuing, so continuing...

Author's Response: Hi there!

I'm a big fan of mystery myself!

I'm glad that the tone worked out for you. At first, I was worried that it might be too simple, so I'm glad that the suspense was still built up.

Thank you for your kind words. I really appreciate your reviews!


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Review #9, by MargaretLane A Letter

13th May 2015:
OK, as my review for our swap was kind of short, I thought I'd review something else and this sounds kind of intriguing. I DO like a mystery.

You are fantastic at physical description and scene setting. I am not very good at physical description and tend to avoid it, so that impresses me.

I love to see different careers in the wizarding world. So many fics include Aurors, Healers, Ministry Heads of Department, Quidditch players and Hogwarts teachers. Not that there's anything wrong with any of those careers, but I do like to see something different. I don't think I've ever seen somebody running an Apothecary before.

I think you could maybe give a bit more of an indication as to why the owl worries Ernie. I'm guessing it's because it arrives so late, but it's not really clear. And if he runs an Apothecary, it could just be somebody in urgent need of a potion, which must be something he deals with on a regular basis. Unless of course, this is meant to be unexplained at the moment.

OK, first thoughts about the letter: it says "we". That indicates some new organisation rising, rather than a specific individual who wants revenge on him. It also appears to be HIM they want revenge on. My feeling is that they are targeting his family to get at him. I'm not sure exactly why that is. Possibly because they sent the letter to him rather than the family home or possibly because it says "you and your family" rather than just "we're watching your whole family" or possibly because of the word "precious", which seems to imply they are targeting his family BECAUSE his family members are precious to him. Or maybe some mix of all of this.

Being on a winning side of a war DOES seem like a possible reason one could be targeted for revenge.

And *grins at his wife's name* The main character of my entry to your challenge is called Lydia. Not that it's that uncommon a name or anything, but it just caught my eye, having been writing about a character with that name.

D.A. Hmm, if that DOESN'T refer to Dumbledore's Army, it's quite a coincidence. And yet, why would they want revenge on him.

I think it makes a lot of sense that he'd think it was a mistake. After all, if somebody wanted revenge on you, you'd think you'd know about it. And even if it WERE somebody connected to the Death Eaters or a supporter, there are far more important people they could be targeting. Ernie may have fought in the Battle of Hogwarts, but he hardly played the role the Trio did or Neville or any of the Weasley family or Kingsley or even somebody like Hagrid.

Author's Response: Hey Margaret!

Thanks. That was nice of you.

I do love writing description.

I'm glad you liked the choice of occupation. I feel like there has to be shop keepers and barmaids and bankers and all sorts of jobs in the wizarding world as well.

I thought the uneasy feeling would just be because of the lateness. I'll have to go back and try to clarify that a little bit.

I can't get too specific about who wants revenge or why they want it, but it does become more apparent in my novel Atonement Is Coming. Since this is the prequel, it's meant to be a bit vague.

I giggled as soon as I started reading your entry. Same name. Two very different characters.

D.A. does not stand for dumbledore's army in this case, but that was the inspiration for the name. The group created the new name as sort of a play on the old group.

Ernie definitely has no clue what's going on at this point, but he will be integral as the novel progresses. This little short story really is just a set up for that.

Thanks again for the lovely review!


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Review #10, by Aphoride A Letter

11th May 2015:
Hey there, Kaitlin! :) Dropping by for our reviews swap!

So I realised that I've reviewed all of your top three one-shots, so I came to this since it's next, and the prequel to another story on your page - thought it was a sensible choice ;) Plus, I love a good murder mystery - I've really been craving them recently (side effect of watching too much Grimm, I think :P), so it all fitted together well as a way to go! :)

I really love this as a beginning chapter - the way you set up the situation, introduce us to the characters and leave us knowing that something bad's going to happen, but not sure what, or by whom, or why... it's so, so good! The suspense as well, in the letter - the fact that it was delivered with no returnable address or any kind of mark save the DA on the wax seal (which I'm so so curious about! - is it a false lead? Does it actually mean DA? Or does it mean something else? Is it someone's initials, or the name of another organisation? I really wanna know... :D), and how he had no idea who the sender could possibly be or why they'd want revenge on him.

I also love how you've used Ernie for this - he's a relatively minor character in the books, sort of out of the way and only gets mentioned a couple of times, and though he's supposed to be a bit pompous as a kid, that's not overly uncommon and nothing really bad is said about him, so... hm. Curious situation ;) It works so well, because we have no more idea why anyone would want to hurt him than he does; there's not really anything from canon to give us any clues here.

It's a little thing, but I really liked how you included the whole 'do I tell my wife' thing, too. It's such a natural thing, to want to protect those closest to you from harm, even if it means withholding things from them which they might need to know later on - and it really speaks about how much Ernie cares for her, and his loyalty and all.

Your writing in this is so great, too - I love how you build the scene up so cleverly, with the almost domestic scene at the beginning with Ernie in the shop working, and then with the owl arriving and the sinister message changing the tone completely, and then him deciding it wasn't anything (almost because, you know, he wanted to think it couldn't be anything, but maybe that's just my interpretation ;D) and this sense of resolve to be relaxed came through your writing. It's so so lovely. As always, both your dialogue and your description were wonderful :)

Thank you so so much for the review swap - we're going to have to swap again so I get to finish this :P

Aph xx

p.s. a minor thing I only just noticed, but it's Macmillan, not MacMillan ;) Essentially insignificant, but I thought I should mention it for if/when you edit :)

Author's Response: Hi Aph!

Thank you so much for this review! I really appreciate you choosing to read this story since I haven't received a ton of feedback on it.

Ah, the seal! Yes, that is quite the mystery. Unfortunately, it doesn't get answered until a bit into my novel AIC. This is just the prequel for that.

Ernie is a character I enjoy writing because we have sort of an idea of his personality, but we don't know him all that well. In this case, it seems quite random that he would be targeted, but once again, in the novel it goes into that in great depth.

I'm glad that you liked his feelings about his wife. I think he would be inclined to protect her from worry unless he felt it was absolutely necessary.

Thank you for your kind comments on my writing style. I just wanted this to be a normal day for Ernie until the letter showed up. My hope was that it would add to the absurdity of someone attacking Ernie.

Thanks for the swap! And also for catching the typo! I'll make sure to fix it!


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Review #11, by Flower n Prongs The Warehouse

5th May 2015:
Dumbledore's Avengers!? I must say, I did not see that one coming at all.

I'm not surprised that the "cat" Ernie saw moving outside of his window in the first chapter was not actually a cat, but I was not expecting whomever sent him the letter to be sitting and watching to ensure he received it. Of course Ernie is kicking himself now, but how could he have expected this to happen?

Attacking these families (I'm guessing that there will be more in Atonement is Coming) now that the wizarding world is supposed to be "safe" is such a unique idea.

And now I have to add the novel onto my reading list.

Author's Response: Hello!

Yes! Dumbledore's Avengers! Dun. Dun. Dun.

Ernie is definitely kicking himself at this point, since he completely failed to take anything seriously.

There is definitely more coming in AIC, some expected and some unexpected. I hope you get a chance to check it out.

I'm so glad to hear you're adding it to your reading list. I hope you enjoy!

Thanks again for the lovely reviews!


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Review #12, by Flower n Prongs A Kidnapping

5th May 2015:
I couldn't resist reading on after I finished the first chapter. I needed to know what happens and I saw that the next chapter wasn't that long so I thought I should do it now, rather than doing proper, real-life things.

You have integrated magic into the day-to-day life of Ernie beautifully. Since he is from a family of witches and wizards going back so many generations, his decision to clean with magic and his proficiency at cleaning spells (versus, say, Tonks or Harry) made perfect sense. The use of spells from canon and the naming of several potion ingredients, some of them fairly obscure, makes this chapter fit in with the books very well. You successfully immersed me in the world.

D.A. = Diagon Alley! No? I'll try again later haha.

The ending...ugh. Seeing how happy he was with his family and then hearing about how they had been kidnapped and his yard was covered with blood later that day was completely heart-wrenching. Topping it all off with Ernie being attacked at the end of the chapter was something I did not see coming here. Ugh.

Author's Response: Hey there!

I'm happy that my story could be of use to you in putting off real life obligations. :D

Ernie definitely is proficient in day to day magic since that's all he's ever known.

I'm glad you noticed the details like the different spells and potions ingredients. I actually had to go through and look them up to make sure they were accurate.

Oh...the D.A. will be quite the surprise!

I'm glad the ending threw you off a bit. I wanted it to be a bit shocking.

Thanks for swinging by to read this!


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Review #13, by Flower n Prongs A Letter

5th May 2015:
Hi Kaitlin. I'm here for our review swap.

I have not read Atonement is coming, but the summary for this just drew me in so perhaps I should (after finishing the story, of course). Ernie MacMillan is such an under-explored character so this could really go any which way. I have to say, the potential for this to be anything is wonderful.

Selecting a job as a shop owner for Ernie helps to flush out the world. All too often people select Ministry jobs or Healers as career choices, disregarding all the other roles that must be filled in the magical world. Your selection helps to fill one of these gaps as well as showing something that very well could have happened before the epilogue.

The mentioning of Kingsley was fabulous. In so few words, you were able to illustrate his personality and the kind of leader he was. For Ernie as well, having the pompous boy be wealthy enough to own a shop while still fairly young and determined enough to work through the night complies with what we know about him from canon.

This chapter was short but you got so much into it. The mystery and suspense were also wonderful. I will admit that my mind went to the same place as Ernie's when he read D.A. so I am interested to learn the truth about who sent the message and who it was for. (I am assuming him, but you never know!)

Thanks for offering to swap!

- Rhaenyra

Author's Response: Hey there!

Good! You're reading them in order! :D

Ernie is so under explored and I've really been thinking about writing him for quite awhile, so this worked out perfectly.

You're absolutely right about the jobs. Everyone wants to be something exciting, but you need the people who do normal stuff too!

I'm glad that I was able to get the characterization across and that it fit into cannon. I always try to keep with cannon in regards to personalities. I just maybe try to expand it a bit.

All three of these chapters were short. I really wanted it to be a quick, easy read that would tease for AIC.

Thank you so much for the swap! I'm glad you liked the chapter!


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Review #14, by chinaglaze The Warehouse

5th May 2015:
Now Ernie has woken up in a warehouse but at least we know his wife and children are still alive! He recognises the voice of his captor, so who is it?

Oh! Dumbledore’s Avengers, now that’s interesting!

I noticed here - I know it is dialogue so I’m not sure if it is intentional but it doesn’t seem so from the rest of the character’s speech; ‘I noticed there wasn’t even protective spells’ – should be either ‘weren’t even’ or ‘wasn’t any protective spell’

And you have just given us more questions…Nice work!

Author's Response: Hey there!

His family is still alive! I think Ernie was relieved to find that out as well.

He does recognize the voice of his captor, but we won't find out who he is until waaay far into Atonement Is Coming. (This is the prequel)

Thank you for pointing out that awkward sentence structure. I will fix it on edit.

Thank you so much for stopping by to review!


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Review #15, by chinaglaze A Kidnapping

5th May 2015:
So now we know Ernie had children too.
(You can’t eat kippers quickly you know, not proper ones! Too many bones)

Your description of the rush of customers in his shop was great, very inventive.

Then he gets another letter. This one is much worse…so he goes home and finds this awful scene. I suppose he thinks his family have been hurt or worse – I hope he’s wrong! And then he is taken prisoner - hardly time to pause for breath!

Just one typo I noticed; ‘Looking around his story,’ I think you mean store, although we would more often say ‘shop’


Author's Response: Hey there!

Ernie did have children!

I will note that about kippers. I've never personally eaten them, so I had no idea. :D

I'm glad you liked the rush of customers.

The letters definitely get more and more ominous. And yes...no rest for the weary in this one.

Thanks for the note on the use of the word shop instead of store. I will keep that in mind when I edit.

Thanks for the review!


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Review #16, by chinaglaze A Letter

5th May 2015:
I can’t understand why I haven’t read this before! The first paragraphs caught my interest right away, you have such a natural writing style.

So Ernie has an apothecary shop, and he gets a mysterious threatening letter but doesn't know who it is from...

Something sinister and intriguing is going on….

Author's Response: Hello there!

It's weird. For whatever reason, this story doesn't seem to get read very often, even though I feel like it's an interesting one. (although I could be biased)

Thank you for saying that I have a natural writing style. I actually tend to write almost exactly how I speak, which sometimes comes out good and can sometimes be problematic.

Something sinister is most definitely going on. Poor Ernie. I so badly wanted him to have just a normal, happy life.

Thanks for reviewing!


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Review #17, by Unwritten Curse The Warehouse

4th May 2015:
Dumbledore's Avengers? What? Oh am I intrigued! Now I suppose I'll have to read your novel. I'll put in on my list. :)

Obviously I have a million questions but I'm going to focus this review on your writing, mostly because I want to compliment you on a well-written story. The writing is so clean and natural. I was never pulled out of the story over awkward or confusing syntax. And the tone was strangely melancholy without being over the top. I'm not sure how you managed that--it's such a delicate balance--but you did it beautifully. I bow to you!

Oh, also, your dialogue. The bit where Lydia asked Ernie about the warning note and instead of answering her, he spoke to their kidnapper--that felt SO real to me. My reaction as a writer would've been for him to explain to his wife why he had ignored it, but you'd already done that in the narration, so that would've been redundant and it wouldn't have moved the scene forward. Your choice was spot on.

Great story. I think this prequel does exactly what it should, which is to inspire me to read its sequel. This isn't the last you've seen of me!

- Gina

Author's Response: Hi Gina!

Sorry that it's taken me forever to respond.

Thank you so much for your kind comments about my writing style. To be honest, I usually say the story out loud and then write the words down as I go, so I'm always worried it won't sound literary enough, if you know what I mean. I'm happy that the tone came across so strongly.

It's a relief to hear that the dialogue worked well. Dialogue is always a tough part for me because I have a tendency to make it a little more formal than it needs to be at times.

If you get around to reading the novel, I hope you'll enjoy it, although I should warn you, I'm unfortunately a very slow updater. :(


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Review #18, by Unwritten Curse A Kidnapping

4th May 2015:
Oh no! Clearly it wasn't just a prank. Oh my.

I love how you were able to make me fall in love with his family in such a short time. You know exactly how to pull the heartstrings, which made their kidnapping (and Ernie's, in turn) so, so sad. The part in the note about his wife's brown eyes… eerie.

I also loved the end of this chapter--that Ernie prayed. What a sweet gesture, one that I often don't see in HP fan fiction. It seems that magic trumps religion, but I don't think that has to be the case, so it was a nice moment of characterization when Ernie thought to say a prayer.

I'm just rambling now. I'll continue on to the next chapter. :)

- Gina

Author's Response: Hi Gina!

It definitely was not a prank! Too bad Ernie didn't take it more seriously. :(

Ernie is one of my favorite characters to play with, but this was my first time really attempting to write his family.

I'm glad that you noticed Ernie's gesture at the end. I'm not a particularly religious person myself, but I've never understood why there is no religious representation within fanfic. I mean the Muggle world is diverse, so it would be only fitting for the magic world to be so as well.

Anyways, I'm glad that you're enjoying the story so far. Thank you for the lovely reviews!


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Review #19, by Unwritten Curse A Letter

4th May 2015:
Hi TreacleTart!

I am always attracted to stories about minor characters. There's so much untold that NEEDS to be told! Anyway…

I love what you've done with Ernie here. He seems to be the hard-working family man, owning a business, yet making sure his wife and children are well taken care of. There's also a sadness about him that I can't quite put my finger on--even before the mysterious letter appears. The way you wrote his reaction to the letter was spot on, by the way. That his mind first went to Dumbledore's Army and then Death Eaters. Part of me hopes the "revenge" is petty--like a rival potions shop or something rather than a threat on his wellbeing/life.

I'm going to continue on to the next chapter now. I'm intrigued. Well done!


Author's Response: Hi Gina!

Minor characters are some of my favorites to write.

I'm glad that you like how I've characterized Ernie. I just sort of wanted him to be a normal, happy family man. There definitely is just the slightest hint of sadness. I mean he did survive a war after all, but I think overall he's doing well.

The DA seal on the letter definitely threw Ernie through a loop. I wish it could be a petty revenge too, but alas, poor Ernie.

Thanks for reading and reviewing. I hope you like the upcoming chapters!


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Review #20, by merlins beard The Warehouse

17th April 2015:
Hi Kaitlin.

I'm sorry to say you kind of lost me here. I don't get this chapter. It's a little too vague and confusing for my liking.
The writing and the descriptions are certainly as good as always, and I'm sure everything will clear up once I start reading the novel. I'll be back soon


Author's Response: Hi Anja,

I'm sorry that you didn't care for this chapter as much as the others. I purposely wanted it to be a bit vague and confusing because that's how it's feeling for Ernie, but I will re-read it and see how I can try to make it slightly clearer for the reader.

It does absolutely start to clear up once you get into Atonement Is Coming, although it takes a few chapters to really get into what this group has planned.

Thank you for reading it and if you do decide to check out Atonement Is Coming, I hope you will enjoy it! There is drastically more detail and plot in that. This was just a very small prelude to set the mood for it.


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Review #21, by Tanya A Letter

14th April 2015:
Hello there, this is Tanya :)
But then again, I am she as you are she as you are me, and we are all Tanya.

This is a very interesting premise for a story. I've hardly seen anything that focused on Ernie as a main character. And then the mysterious and threatening letter! Your under represented choice of MC is made all the better for being such a confusing person for someone to have a grudge against!

I loved the suspense. Obviously I have the privilege of knowing that it is a story, so I can shake my laptop screen and shout 'IT WASN'T A CAT, YOU FOOL.' But Ernie doesn't realize he's a character in a story :P

Very good work all in all!
Tanya Out ♥

Author's Response: Hi Tanya,

I'm not sure which Tanya you are since there are a million of them on the forums at the moment, but regardless, thank you for this review.

I love writing minor characters! In fact, every one-shot and short story I've written features a different character so far and most of them are minor characters!

Poor Ernie has no clue what's going on. Too bad he won't find out until it's too late!

Thanks for the review again Tanya!


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Review #22, by crestwood A Letter

12th April 2015:
I've had the busiest weekend in recent history, but I'm finally stopping by to review this. I'm hoping that I can at least get through typing this before I have to go run off and do something else.

(And funnily enough, I wasn't able to)

I don't see many stories about Ernie MacMillan around here. I've got one, but I've never read someone else write about him before at all. Apothecary owner is probably one of my favorite Wizarding world careers. That's an interesting and less common choice. Maybe not as glamorous as Auror work, but someone's got to do it.

Oh wow, I was not expecting that letter to say that at all. What would someone want with Ernie? And they specified that they would be taking their revenge, but for what?

My thought process was the same as his. I don't think we were ever introduced to anyone who had a serious problem with him in canon and he fought for the side of good in the war and apparently all of the Death Eaters are being put away. This makes me think that it may be something personal that he's forgotten about.

And, even better, the letter had a D.A. seal on it! So, this strengthens my theory that it's someone with a personal vendetta against him for some reason. Someone that he did something to during the time they were meeting for the D.A.?

The last few paragraphs were altogether too calm. I don't trust it. I don't know how you did it with words, but it felt like someone was watching him that entire time. Such a spooky feeling to have secondhand.

You've really mastered the art of suspense with this chapter. There was a quiet tense feeling about it. I can't wait to see where you go with this. It's been a delight so far and I can only imagine what you'll choose to do with that prompt. Great work, as always!

Author's Response: Hello there!

No worries. I've had an insanely busy couple weeks myself. You never have to rush with reviews for me. Just whenever you get to them is fine!

I love writing about supporting or minor characters and Ernie's been on my list for awhile, so I was excited when he fit into this story. I had already planned to include him in my novel Atonement Is Coming, so creating this little prequel of sorts about him worked out!

For the job choice, I feel like he wouldn't necessarily pick a flashy job. He doesn't strike me as a flashy guy. I think he's be the type who was content to own a shop, spend time with his wife and kids, and just live an ordinary existence.

Ahh the revenge. Unfortunately, that really doesn't get covered in this short story and really not until we get well into Atonement Is Coming. It just gets chipped away at piece by piece.

Ernie is pretty well liked in the series for the most part and I will say that there are multiple someones behind this threat.

Oooh! That makes me so happy that the ending felt like someone was watching him! I was going for that, but I didn't know if it would come across in words.

Thank you so much for another lovely review!


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Review #23, by merlins beard A Kidnapping

12th April 2015:
I knew he should have taken the warning more seriously. I hope no one gets hurt.
I like where this story is going, and i think i might have to come back to it when you update again. I might even have to check out Atonement is coming, just to know how the two stories relate.


Author's Response: Hi Anja,

He definitely should've taken it more seriously, but we wouldn't have a story if he did!

Hopefully, I will have the third chapter up by the end of this week! It's mostly written, just needs a bit more detail!

And yes please...go check out Atonement Is Coming! That one is going to be a pretty epic novel if I have anything to do with it!

Thanks for the review!


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Review #24, by merlins beard A Letter

12th April 2015:
Hi. Here for our swap.
I really like this as well. I can't wait to find out what the letter is about. I hope nothing too terrible happens because Ernie just ignored it.
I couldn't have stayed that calm in Ernie's place, especially after seeing a shadow in the yard.
This is a really good opening chapter. I'll continue to the next one now.


Author's Response: Hello again Anja!

I can't promise that nothing terrible will happen to Ernie ever, but he's somewhat safe in this short story. Once you get to Atonement Is Coming it may or may not be a different story.

I'm not sure that Ernie realized there was anything ominous about the shadow. He probably assumed it was just a cat!

Thanks again for reading and reviewing!


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Review #25, by Beeezie A Kidnapping

12th April 2015:
Wow. Yeah, these people really could use a reality check, unless they’re just using this “revenge on the purebloods” as a smokescreen for another motivation. Ernie is so far from an enemy to the Muggleborns and halfbloods that this actually offends me on his behalf.

But I think people who kidnap small children and threaten people who haven’t done anything probably aren’t usually the most reasonable, and there are certainly plenty of people in the world who do things that I will never be able to understand.

What I’m still not clear about is what they want, which I like - you’re definitely unravelling this story little by little, which is cool (though a little maddening, since it’s not all up yet!). I mean, why kidnap Lydia, Max, and Cara if they were just going to go after Ernie immediately anyway? And if they don’t want the Aurors involved, why on earth would they cover his yard red and and write “Atonement Is Coming” on his door? Ernie wouldn’t need to tell the Aurors anything at this point - they’re not blind, and it seems likely that someone will notice this!

This is all so intriguing - I feel like we haven’t even scratched the surface of what these people really want, yet.

One tiny thing, though: at the beginning of the chapter, you say that Ernie is careful not to wake Lydia when he gets up... but when he gets downstairs, she’s there feeding their kids. I know that there’s a shower in between his getting up and going downstairs, but even so, showers usually don’t take very long, and for her to go from fast asleep to feeding their kids seemed a little quick.

That aside, though, this was wonderful, and I really wish there was more to read!

Author's Response: Hello again!

The "revenge on purebloods" thing is the main motivation, but it becomes apparent quickly that it is a very warped view of this. I imagine this group being quite radical in their views.

As far as the kidnapping and flashy graffiti, it gets explained eventually in Atonement Is Coming. It definitely continues to unravel little bit by little bit.

Your point about the timing is noted and I will make some adjustments to it when I go through and edit. You're right, she'd have to be flash to wake the kids, make breakfast, etc. before Ernie got out of the shower.

Thank you again for your lovely reviews!


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