Reading Reviews for Between the Cracks
14 Reviews Found

Review #1, by marauderfan What Goes Up

30th March 2016:
Hi ladies! I am here for two important reasons: 1, because you left me such wonderful reviews on When Summer Fades - thank you! and 2, because you two are awesome! Also, this is my 1400th review, celebration in order: *hands out cake*

Loved your writing of the sorting and welcome feast! also wow Eleanor is a heavy sleeper, I can't believe she fell asleep at the feast and woke up the next morning - not even waking up while being carried by two people haha! I love how friendly the Hufflepuffs are though and how welcoming the upperclassmen are of the first years. I think the hufflepuff first years are probably pretty lucky as they get to feel right at home with such a friendly crowd! Not that I'm biased or anything :P

Then an array of desserts came -- fun fact: I accidentally read this at first as "an army of desserts"

Yay for Eleanor actually performing a Transfiguration spell on her first day - that's a big deal, good for her! I think you captured both sides of McGonagalls personality here, how she's quite strict with the class and doesn't tolerate people goofing around, but is also very encouraging and supportive, and rewards good work. And she even sassed the one Ravenclaw who was being a bully to Eleanor! McGonagall is such a boss.

It makes me sad that Hufflepuff sometimes has the reputation among the other houses as being 'duffers'. Being nice does not make you an idiot. I don't know where that stereotype came from but Eleanor handles it pretty well and doesn't let it get to her - she's made of strong stuff! :)

Great chapter!

Author's Response: Hello again! Thank you so much for visiting us again! Oooh, I'll take some cake! :)

We were trying to not use too many lines from the books so we had her fall asleep during Dumbledore's speech. Besides, I'd really want to fall asleep after a day like that! Oh, no, who would ever be biased towards Hufflepuff? ;)

Heehee, that's one of the best misreadings I've ever heard.

We wanted Eleanor to be born with incredibly strong magic which is why Dumbledore didn't send her the letter since he mistook her for a wizard-born. I absolutely loved writing McGonagall here, I felt like she would have taken a liking to someone like Eleanor, which was why we wrote her like this.

Eleanor got our loyalty. You'll see in future chapters how she'll always defend what she thinks is right, leading to a bit of a stubborn streak in her.

Thank you again for reviewing this chapter! We always love your input!

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Review #2, by Jayna The Fogging Glass

3rd February 2016:
Hey guys! So I'm finally here with your Hot Seat Review (and eventually will do your other two prize reviews). Anyway, I liked this chapter a lot. It gave some background about her powers, her friends, what she's like, while still having a story to keep the piece moving forward.

I really like the parallel you're setting up between Eleanor and Harry, and I'm super excited to see where that goes, and especially what she thinks of Hogwarts.

In addition, I thought that the part with the sea lion was a nice little detail that gives a realness to the characters, and makes them more human.

Lastly, I'm still working out what exactly happened with Hestia and the dream, but I liked it all the same (and I think Killian is a fantastic name for an owl :p).


Author's Response: Hello Jayna! We forgot you still owed us reviews so this was a pleasant surprise.

We did want to set up parallels between Eleanor and Harry, but they stop right about the fourth chapter. We also wanted to show that she had a good plan for her life before Hogwarts came in the picture, it's something we don't really think about for muggleborns so we gave her a friend. Later in the book she's very much a little sister but acts like an older sister to the first years so we made her a middle child in real life. Her powers aren't especially special, but her problem is they are incredibly strong so we tried to bring about how she's trying to live a happy normal life with this strong force she can't control.

Yes, the sea lion was brought from our own childhoods at the zoo. We thought the scene would be more real and (at least for us) much more relatable.

The whole thing with Hestia is confusing at first, but a few chapters in all will be clear, we promise.

Thank you again for coming and reviewing this!

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Review #3, by marauderfan Welcome to Hogwarts

7th January 2016:

Dennis Creevey! Aw, I forgot he started that year too. And you have written him PERFECTLY. Seriously, this is just what I would imagine of his first trip across the lake - right from the word go, he's babbling on about the basilisk and all the scary and exciting things that happened, just so full of energy. Omg perfect. I think you've got him pegged as he would be the type to just talk his way through nervousness.

I love reading about all their first year adventures, like their first view of the school, and meeting Peeves for the first time, etc. I'm really curious about this person standing behind her in the queue for the sorting hat and what his story is. Although Eleanor seems a bit defensive at having to explain growing up with Muggles, Hector doesn't seem that intentionally rude, just probably used to a wizard lifestyle.

A hatstall, it seems - she could have been a Ravenclaw! Well, I am a bit biased as you know, but I think she made a good choice with Hufflepuff :P

This is a fun read so far, you're doing great work!

Author's Response: We loved writing Dennis. That is all.

Thank you so much for reviewing so many chapters of our novel! We really appreciate it all!

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Review #4, by marauderfan Off To -- Wait -- Hogwarts?

7th January 2016:
I can't believe Eleanor just ran off and DIDN'T TELL ANYONE. Her parents and sister and brother and Helen are all going to be so worried! She didn't even tell Helen they weren't going to school together literally as they're about to get on the train. I just... question the wisdom of this decision. I guess she's eleven though, so she wouldn't have thought of how everyone else will react, but like, her friend might think she got lost/abducted/left behind since she's waiting for Eleanor to get on the train and then she never shows up. Aah!

I also kind of wondered why Hestia never just told Eleanor's parents about magic. Some muggles have to know, certainly - the Dursleys knew, and Lily's parents, and Hermione's parents, so why can't Eleanor's parents know? I imagine they'll be furious with Hestia after this (assuming she tells them... she tells them, right?!)

And then we see some lovely familiar faces! Cedric! Hufflepuffs! (okay, one familiar face) I love how you've written this group of Hufflepuffs, particularly how one of them defends the Slytherins. That absolutely seems like something a Puff would do, even (especially) in a time when there's dark rumours around concerning Voldemort and Death Eaters who often are associated with Slytherin and give the house a bad name. It would be the Hufflepuffs that write that off as a few bad apples in the bunch. *hugs all the Hufflepuffs*

And this line: “Gryffindor is for the courageous. A lot of famous, popular wizards are in that house so it’s usually where young children want to end up.” -- haha! yep pretty sure I was one of those children when I first read the book because the famous, popular heroes of the series were Gryffies. This is just a long way of saying I love how you've written the Hufflepuffs talking about their house. They're also so friendly and I love how you showed that - not many sixteen year olds would be chill with an eleven-year-old hanging out in their train compartment the whole time. I think it says a lot about Eleanor that she's mature enough to not be terrified of them (cos I totally would have been, at her age :P ) and it says a lot about them that they take her in and look out for her.

And now we're getting into what is one of the things I love most in fic, which is other POV's of canon Hogwarts-era events. I'm really excited to read about the world cup as Cedric saw it, and as Eleanor experiences all these things because it will be so different to what Harry experienced that year.

Last but not least, I love that she thought it was the FIFA world cup. Ha! I always really enjoy little things like that where the magical and muggle world don't quite line up :P

Author's Response: We had to make this quick to make it more realistic, but it was kind of rushed. Hestia does take care of everything, but Eleanor wasn't exactly thinking of the consequences when she went to check the barrier between platforms nine and ten.

We wanted to show that the stereotypes for all the houses don't apply to everyone in that house, and used the Hufflepuffs to explain that. Besides, Zacharias Smith is a Hufflepuff, and you don't see him changing their image.

We didn't think much of the sixteen-year-olds allowing Eleanor in their compartment, we saw them as the kind of people who would take pity on her and let her be with them and answer her questions. Eleanor isn't the kind to be afraid of older teens, and after the rough day she's had, she probably wouldn't care. But she did not get her confidence around older peers from me (Georgina), I can tell you that.

Yes, you will see many new perspectives on the Triwizard Tournament, that's stuff we love writing about.

Thank you so much for your kindness!

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Review #5, by marauderfan The Acceptance Letters

7th January 2016:
The thing I love most about this chapter is how you wrote her excitement about getting into school. I think the plot of "Finding out about Hogwarts from a letter and it's all really exciting/scary/a big deal" is pretty common for stories about Muggle-borns and I just love how you wrote this - for Eleanor, she doesn't even CARE. She find the acceptance letter to Hilltop and that's what she's been wanting for months, and that's what she focuses on and is excited about while the Hogwarts letter just sits there in the pile of 'eh, whatever all this other mail is'. It's really different, and I love it.

Also this chapter is making me wonder things - how would Eleanor know all about Diagon Alley and getting wands and stuff without being there unless... she's a Seer? That is my current theory about Eleanor's special gift and what makes her so different. I think she's a Seer and she experiences these visions mostly in dreams. I'm curious if any of her dreams have ended up happening? Or if they will, but haven't yet?

It was also really interesting about Hestia, as they hadn't met at all in real life apart from when Eleanor was a baby. It's like her dreams are a different life. I'm so curious about this and I'm glad you give little hints during each chapter to keep me guessing haha

Excellent chapter! Also regarding your A/N, I haven't been on pottermore in years but I just looked today, I guess they don't do wands anymore? Anyway, I love that you gave your wand types a cameo in the story as Eleanor tries them out :D

Author's Response: I (Georgina) pulled from my own experience waiting for an acceptance letter to write the beginning of this chapter. This story originated with the idea of a muggleborn witch who got their letter without a Hogwarts representative and yet still found Platform 9 3/4. That idea evolved into this story. We figured she had to have a plan for schol since she wasn't planning on going to Hogwarts.

Like I mentioned earlier, Eleanor's dreams are what is actually happening, but Hestia makes sure they seem to be dreams so Eleanor's parents don't think she's lost her mind. No, she is not a Seer.

Again, she has technically seen Hestia multiple times but Eleanor thinks they're dreams.

They changed Pottermore a few years ago so I don't think you still take the wand quiz. But plenty of people have gone ahead and used their questions to make similar quizzes. There are also descriptions on Pottermore of what each wand core and wand wood means and we used a combination of quizzes and wand wood descriptions to create Eleanor's wand.

Thank you so much for all your kind reviews!

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Review #6, by marauderfan The Fogging Glass

6th January 2016:
More for Review Hot Seat!

Aw, poor snakes. I bet they didn't even notice Eleanor and were instead talking (hissing?) amongst themselves about the one time the Brazilian boa constrictor got out, that story probably became a legend among zoo snakes. Good thing that's not what happened in this case. I do feel bad for Eleanor though, as her fear isn't something she has any control over. She knows it's irrational and yet it's still scary. I wonder if this is going to come back later in the story, what with her going to a school where 1/4 of the students have a snake mascot..

Okay also the bit at the end about the dream/not a dream was super interesting and I guess this relates to Eleanor's special powers (not meaning magic, but the power that makes her different to most wizards) was it a real dream? Does Hestia come by often, and does Eleanor ever talk to her in person or just in dreams? This section raises so many questions and I'm really interested.

Great work!

Author's Response: Yay! More reviews!

Eleanor's phobia of snakes is taken directly from my (Georgina's) traumatizing encounters with snakes (okay, not entirely traumatizing, but traumatizing for me and my phobia). And she does have an overactive imagination, which she got from both of us. Regarding the Slytherin mascot, as someone with a phobia of snakes that would not bother me as long as there is not a picture of a real snake. For the most part drawings of snakes are fine as long as they aren't too realistic.

I thought we explained this in later chapters, but just in case let me explain. Eleanor's dreams are actual experiences she has with Hestia. Hestia doesn't want to tell the parents because she doesn't want to mess it up and she's mostly holding out for when Hogwarts sends a representative. But in the meantime she takes Eleanor on small trips to Diagon Alley so Eleanor can partake in their world in a minor way. But Hestia always makes sure Eleanor only sees them as dreams so the Branstones don't think Eleanor's gone insane.

Thank you for returning!

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Review #7, by marauderfan The Prologue

6th January 2016:
Hi ladies! I'm here for your Review Hot Seat!

A lot of things about this story are really exciting - first of all that you're writing about Eleanor Branstone, who is such a minor character and I'm really eager to see what you do with her story. Also that this is your first novel - congratulations on embarking on such a big task!

It was cool to see Hestia Jones appear in this and I'm interested whether she'll be around in later chapters as well. Based on the last few paragraphs it doesn't seem like it. The last pargraphs were also quite intriguing because of what was said about 'even the great Albus Dumbledore couldn't see her for who she truly was' .. hmm! Seems there is something special about her and I wonder what it is!

I also think you did really well writing a toddler, because that seems like such a difficult task to me, but Erika seems appropriately toddler-y in this, with her partial sentences and curiousity.

I liked that you provided the hint of Eleanor being magical even from an early age. What Hestia said to her kind of indicates Hestia is Muggle-born as well and was called a freak as a kid :( so it's nice that she'll be looking out for Eleanor and knows what's going on from an early point. I do wonder how Hestia knows the family though - are they neighbours? Old family friends? I hope we get to find out :)

This is a lovely start and I'm excited to read on!

Author's Response: Hello! Thank you for stopping by!

When we set out to write this, we knew we wanted a female Hufflepuff who is sorted when Harry is a fourth year. That left two canon possibilities: Laura Madley and Eleanor Branstone. I (Georgina) just started writing about Eleanor because that name sounded like more of a protagonist name. And I also loved her name so we went with it.

For story purposes we needed someone in the wizarding world who could show Eleanor her world and get her to the Hogwarts Express, and since I really liked Hestia from the books I went with her. There is something unique about Eleanor, but it's not as huge a thing as you think.

Yes, we've had some experience writing toddlers in some of our other stories, and apparently we're fairly good at it. Though, we did cheat with having Hestia being too tired to understand half of the things Erika said.

We did need to include an indication Eleanor's magic because we needed to show why the birth of this child was special, though she won't be special the way Harry was special. We haven't set Hestia's blood status but she's definitely had more interactions with muggles than the average person. But we mostly imagined her relation to Catherine and Jamison being old family friends.

Thank you for reviewing this!

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Review #8, by Felpata Lupin The Fogging Glass

5th January 2016:
I must say, I'm not the biggest fan of snakes either... For a moment I feared that imagining the snakes coiling around her she would free them... Thankfully it didn't happen...

This was another cute chapter. I really enjoyed reading it, and the reminiscences from Philosopher's Stone. And I'm always more intrigued by Eleanor's powers and her relationship with Hestia. How does this dream thing work?

I'm also really curious (and a bit worried) about her family's reactions once she'll receive her Hogwarts letter... But I'll have to keep reading to find out...

Interesting so far! Good work! ;)
Much love,

Author's Response: No, all of Eleanor's thoughts of snakes with snakes is directly taken from my interactions with my ophidiophobia (fear of snakes).

The first two chapters have several parallels to Harry's experiences. And, as we explain later, the dreams are experiences she has with Hestia but Hestia always makes them seem like dreams so Eleanor's parents don't get worried until someone can explain the wizarding world better than Hestia.

You'll see...

Thanks for the reviews!

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Review #9, by Felpata Lupin The Prologue

5th January 2016:
Hello Freda! Hello Georgina! Happy Hot Seat!

Well... this was intriguing...
I'm so curious to know more about Eleanor, which is the connection between her fanily and Hestia, how will she link with Harry and the second war (I have a feeling she'll have an important role later on...)

I think you did a great job with this first chapter. There are some really great descriptions and the right amount of mistery to keep the reader's interest. Plus, little Eleanor is so cute! I'm a bit sad that her family seems unable to understand her, though... but I suppose it happens to Muggleborns children...

Great work!
I'll be back!

Author's Response: Hello! Thanks for stopping by!

As of now we don't have any plans for any more Eleanor stories, though we may include a short story regarding her reactions to the war. But she will play some part in the fourth book.

Thank you for reviewing this first part of the story. I hope you read on, because I promise your questions will be answered.

See you later!

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Review #10, by Jayna The Prologue

4th January 2016:
Hi guys! So I'm going to count this as a prize review, but I'll definitely be back to leave you a Hot Seat Review or two. So yeah, this is prize review 1/3.

So the first thing I noticed was that the second sentence sounds off. "...the cat curled up in her lap meanwhile the dog was asleep in its cage (thanks to Hestia’s spell)." I think that you should either change the meanwhile to while or put a period after lap and a comma after meanwhile. Maybe it's just how I'm saying it in my head, but it seems a little off.

Anyway, I really liked that one little detail about how siblings of Muggleborns know a little about magic. I'd never really thought about it, but I guess that would be true because Petunia knew about Lily. I also thought that detail about how most magical cats had kneazle blood was interesting and creative.

Anyway, this chapter has definitely piqued my interest and I'm excited to see what happens next! I thought that the characterization of Erika was spot-on for a two year old, and I loved her strategy to meet the baby. My favorite thing about this chapter was the parallel it sets to the books. I mean, in the first book he's being dropped off as a baby and it sort of has the same feel as the last couple of paragraphs of this chapter, and so the same sort of thing is happening here, especially because she'll be showing the same kinds of freakish episodes that Harry will.

You also give a nice background about Hestia's personality, but I have to wonder how she knows the parents of Eleanor.

Overall, this seems like a very interesting start!


Author's Response: Alright, thank you for that clarification.

I think we intended it to be 'while', so thanks for pointing that out.

Thank you, we figured siblings of muggleborns just dealt with the knowledge that there's another world. And the part about kneazle blood is something we suppose is canon with Mrs. Norris and Crookshanks being more intelligent than their muggle counterparts.

We have been told that we happen to be really good at writing little kid dialects and mannerisms. We were also drawing out the parallels of Eleanor and Harry in the first two chapters, but from then on Eleanor leads her own path (especially since this is set during the fourth book).

We mostly set them up as family friends, but in future chapters we may give more background there.

Thank you for stopping by!

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Review #11, by fwoopersong8 Off To -- Wait -- Hogwarts?

23rd December 2015:
Hey there! It's Songs, reviewing from the Totally Platonic Challenge. Results aren't up yet, but I'm here grading. }:)

I found one typo in the very beginning of this chapter -- "Erika took grabbed." I think you just forgot to edit out one word. Mainly, my other CC is that some of your sentences are long and hard to read. I would suggest taking out repeating words and maybe splitting some sentences or something.

Other than that, cute! I really like how you characterized Hufflepuffs here, as I haven't read a lot about them on this site. It was very authentic, and how I would expect Cedric and his friends to behave. I love how Eleanor confused the Quidditch World Cup with the Fifa World Cup. :) (Ironically, one reason I watched the Fifa World Cup was because it reminded me of the Quidditch World Cup -- go figure.)

I'm a little concerned about her godmother. Did she never get her letter? Is it okay for magical godmothers to abduct young witches to Hogwarts without asking their parents' permission? Eleanor doesn't seem concerned, but I bet her parents will be.

Also, I loved the subtle foreshadowing. "No lunatic would be mental enough to sneak into there." Well, you see, Ferrell . . .

Thanks for entering the challenge! See you around the forums. :)


Author's Response: Whoops! I fixed that. I think that's a format issue with our edits.

I'm not sure if you read the context in the previous chapters, but Eleanor got her letter, and her godmother borrowed it and got most of her supplies. The godmother is good friends with the parents, (who wish she comes to visit them all more) and she was going to explain it to them that day. But yeah it's a bit out of the ordinary.

Hope the craziness didn't ruin the story for you; we've tried to think of ways to make the whole godmother thing more believable. This is the chapter that has the most of that type of thing.

Thanks for the review. We don't expect you to review everything, but since the following chapters were also entered, we wanted to let you know that we will be posting chapter 12 in a day or two. (And they decide Eleanor is Cedric's back-up date if he doesn't get the girl.)


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Review #12, by ScorpiusRose17 The Dragon Enclosure

31st August 2015:

It's Jenn from the forums and I am now reviewing all challenge entries! :)

I adore the memory you chose! I loved GoF because it always held so many what if's and the possibilities are quite endless. I loved the way you used what we know from canon and interwove it to really give it that personal touch. It really brought justice to Cedric's character that we don't really get to see in the book.

I adored your descriptions and felt that you painted a wonderful picture in my mind as I read along. I also really enjoyed his friends. He is such an honest, personable guy that it really breaks my heart to know what happens to him in the end. I really felt bad for Eleanor and all his friends, for that very reason.

Thank you for participating in the challenge!

Good Luck!


Author's Response: Hi! Sorry it took us so long to respond to this, I (Georgina) completely forgot about it).

This entire novel is filled with moments from the Goblet of Fire from the perspective of Eleanor, but we thought this one would be most applicable. Especially since it's the one with the most amount of Cedric in it. (We love him so much)

Thank you so much! You are so kind! And yes, we aren't exactly looking forward to the emotional roller coaster of the chapters revolving around Cedric's death. We'll try to keep it happy in the very end, I promise.

Thank you so much for letting us do this challenge and for giving this story its next review.

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Review #13, by SunshineDaisies The Prologue

11th August 2015:
Hello lovelies! I'm here for a swap! :)

I think this is an EXCELLENT start to a novel. It sets up a nice background to base the rest of the story around without giving too much away. Actually, you hardly gave anything away at all, and yet you absolutely pulled me in. Hook, line and sinker. I'm so interested in reading more about Eleanor! Definitely a great way to start out a novel.

As far as writing goes, I think this is some of your best work, honestly. You've told the story of Eleanor's homecoming so well and with a perfect amount of detail. The whole thing flowed really well, and the language made it really easy and interesting to read. It really is a great chapter!

I'll definitely be back for more (...after a nap), I'm excited to see what's next! :)

Author's Response: This was such a beautiful review! Thanks for doing the swap.

You are so kind to this story. We're really excited for this. We hope you do come back, you're so kind to us!

Thanks again! This was an amazing review!

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Review #14, by DaaOne The Prologue

25th July 2015:
Hello there, I'm here for your review!

So, I like the intro. And no it wasn't boring or anything. It actually felt kind of intriguing and I'm curious about Eleanor, who she will become, what would happen to her once she grew up and all those questions.

I think for a prologue this was a great introduction to your story. Starting at the moment the child joined the world and finishing with those questions is just enough to tickle someone's curiosity and make them ask questions of their own.

Characterization is well balanced, you can tell from the description and that is good. I love the part about the two year old talking, it's both funny and realistic.

I think we can expect more of this story, we just have to wait and see.

Keep up the good work ^^


Author's Response: Hi! Thanks again for doing this for us.

Great, it's wonderful to hear that it's interesting. We're glad to know you enjoyed reading about Eleanor's first hours alive and it kept you wanting more; that was the main concern.

It's great to hear our characterization was nice, especially the toddler talk. We've had quite a bit of experience with age-appropriate dialects (and apparently are fairly good with them).

Thanks again for reviewing our prologue and giving us such positive feedback! We really appreciate it!

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