Reading Reviews for Shine
16 Reviews Found

Review #1, by PaulaTheProkaryote Shine

21st May 2016:
Hi there! I've been reading and reviewing a story from everyone that was online at a specific time a few hours ago. It's not crazy, don't judge.

I had planned to pick something more recent but I read the story summary and I just couldn't help myself!

I like that you picked such a minor character for this story. I like Zacharias Smith and I haven't read a lot about him so I think it was a great selection. I also really am intrigued by Ariadne and her story! Each little snippet you provided here really developed his character in such a good way. I loved the way you wrote this story. I loved the dynamic of him and Hannah too.

I think there was this immediate expectation that everyone would fight in the battle. They'd be fiercely loyal, like any good Hufflepuff, and die for the cause. But it's important to remember that these characters are just children thrust into a battle they certainly couldn't have been prepared for.

"How will a school full of untrained teenagers and a handful of professors win against the most powerful and feared wizard of all time?" That is a very legitimate question! I mean their only hope, Harry, was a slacker who didn't even try in school! Zacharias was a reasonable character being skeptical. I would be too. But when I was reading OOTP I totally hated him. As an adult, I can now see that blind faith in anyone, Harry or Voldemort, is dangerous.

I loved the very end with Ariadne and his need to be with her and comfort her. Maybe it isn't as brave as dying for the cause and fighting the bad guys, but I think he was where he was needed most. Overall, this was excellently done!

Author's Response: Hey Paula - aw, that's so nice of you! Thank you! No judgement here :)

haha I'm the slowest writer in the world so 'recent writing' for me is anytime from within the last year :P

I love minor characters- there's so much to explore with them, and honestly I really enjoy writing characters that aren't that likeable! I don't know that I've ever seen much other writing about Zacharias Smith, and certainly nothing else that portrays him in anything but a negative light. Until now I don't think I'd heard anyone say they like him as a character before :P I really liked the opportunity to keep his negative character traits but put more into his story that spins it more positively. I'm really glad you liked the development of his character through each little scene.

Ooh, and if you're intrigued by Ariadne and her story, her whole background is explored in the companion piece by Felpata Lupin, called The Way Out of the Maze and I highly recommend it!

There was that expectation, yeah, and while reading the books I remember thinking badly of Zacharias and everyone else who didn't stay, but thinking about it later, how impossibly difficult would it be for a teenager to join a deadly battle against the most feared dark wizard of the decade? There's no way everyone would have been ready for that, which made me see Zacharias as less of a selfish coward and more of just a normal kid. And there was no way to know what was going on outside of just Hogwarts related issues for them, such as Zacharias who had other things to worry about here.

Haha, I love your assessment of the Chosen One, the only hope for the wizarding world: a slacker who copied his friend's homework XD That is so funny because I never really thought about it in those words but of course it's true and now I understand Zacharias' distrust even more :P

I'm so glad you liked the ending :) That's definitely what I was going for in that the idea of bravery comes in many forms that are equally important to different people, and he was probably needed most there with her. Thank you so much for reading and for this wonderful review!! ♥

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Review #2, by princesslily_36 Shine

17th March 2016:
Hey Kirstin

Here for the swap...Sorry about the delay, I suddenly had some work come my way :(

I read the companion piece few months ago, without really noticing that it had the companion piece, so I'm quite excited to read this.

Zacharias Smith is such a disliked minor character who we hardly give a second thought about...and it's wonderful that you have chosen to portray him, give him a back story. Starting off with mentioning Hufflepuff was brilliant - especially because it was the house with the second largest number of student-fighters during the war *just got chills there*

His lack of confidence in his own fighting skills, him feeling he wouldn't be making a significant contribution - these traits make him more real. Did he really feel that, or was that what he told himself to feel better about skipping out on the battle for his sister? As I keep reading on I'm beginning to feel he was a true Slytherpuff.

I liked how each instance built up his character. His need to know about Harry's story during the DA meeting was well crafted - starting with his detention, and how he was the only one who saw it for real - not a childish game. The Grindelwald Dumbledore battle role playing as children was a really nice touch as well.

I really loved the scene where he catches Hannah's eyes and runs away knowing what everyone is going to be saying about him. The contrast you portrayed between Hannah thinking he was a coward, and his subsequent bravery in going out alone to seek his sister even though he knew that Death Eaters were all around was just so poetic. And how he stood his grounds in not using the curse on Hannah - that showed a lot of character as well. Its beginning to make more and more sense why he isn't a Slytherin.

Having Adrianne suffer from anxiety attacks was a really nice touch - brings out why he was so protective about her, why he wanted to take care of her and felt responsible for her. It added to why Zach left the fight to reach out to her. And at the end, when Zach admits that he can't fight - that was him being so honest. Or was that him trying to make Adriane feel better about having her panic attack? At this point I'm not able to say whether he said that because he meant it, or because he wanted her to feel okay about being scared and not panic.

This was a wonderful read... honestly! Thank you so much for the swap. You're a wonderful writer (and reviewer) Kirstin.


Author's Response: Hey Ysh! Aw, I'm so glad you've read the companion piece to this as I really like how they turned out together, and of course Chiara's story is brilliant, as I'm sure you noticed. :D

I love minor characters, and - for some reason - especially the ones who aren't that well-liked. And Zacharias is about as non-well-liked as you can get, as he's not particularly charismatic, or nice to anyone, and before I wrote this, I couldn't for the life of me figure out why he was a Hufflepuff at all! I'm glad you liked the mention of Hufflepuff at hte beginning and how it set up the story - thanks!

The fact that you think these traits make Zacharias more real - this is such a wonderful compliment, thank you! I think he's a pretty unrelatable character in the books just because no one would /want/ to be able to relate to him, but I think this is something that would be understandable about him. After all, he is only 16 or 17 and under threat of a battle - no wonder he was scared. Interesting analysis though, about how he might have just been saying it to make himself feel better. Could be. I guess we'll never know :P

Thanks, I'm so glad to hear that each section built up his character as well. And about the DA meeting and how nosy Zach is, I assumed he had some real interest in hearing the truth, and that's why he showed up, but got in deeper than he wanted. In a way, he and Harry do have it in common that they see just how dangerous it all will be. I'm glad you liked the setup with the Grindelwald and Dumbledore battle as well!

As I was writing that bit when he runs out, it was kind of weird because in a way it takes courage for him to run away - knowing that he'll be resented for that later, and knowing what waits for him in Hogsmeade. I'm thrilled that this version of events convinced you why he's a Hufflepuff and not a Slytherin :P

As for the end and what he tells Ariadne - as you pointed out, it could be either. Personally, I think he was honest with Ariadne. He may not have a lot of redeeming qualities but at least he is honest! :P

Thank you so much for the swap! And right back atcha, you're an amazing writer and reviewer too ♥

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Review #3, by victoria_anne Shine

11th March 2016:
Hey Kristin!

Very interesting take on Mr Smith here. Snaps to you for choosing a difficult character and twisting his story. I'd like to believe he really wasn't all bad. You turned him noble, he was Hufflepuff for a reason (Woo yeah team Puff!)

The flashback of playing Dumbledore/Grindelwald as a child was a really nice touch, and I think that maybe Zacharias was in love with the idea of battle, rather than actual battle. So even were it not for the story of Ariadne, I can still see the plausibility of his fear and eagerness to flee.

Well I just have to read Chiara's piece now!

Lovely work as always Kristin xx

Author's Response: Hi Bianca! Haha, thanks, I really love writing dislikeable characters for some reason. I don't think anyone is all bad, and this was just my attempt to show the other side of a character who was kind of one-sided in the books. haha yeah Puffs! :D

I like your analysis of Zacharias, in that he liked the idea of battle rather than the reality. That's probably quite true, and as he grows up he learns the difference between the two.

Yes, you really should read Chiara's piece, it's fantastic! :D

Thanks so much for your review! ♥

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Review #4, by HermyLuna2 Shine

29th February 2016:
This is so heartbreaking! It's beautiful! I am very impressed. I love how Zacharias looks up to Dumbledore and their sisters almost have the same names; his love for Ariadne is tangible throughout the story. I really like that this story is about a character that wasn't brave, not extremely talented or anything, but at the same time so human. You really turned Zacharias into a three dimensional character. It was realistic that the Carrows made students torture each other. It is also very interesting that it shows that everything has a positive and negative side, Hannah and the other DA members are brave and selfless for fighting, but Zacharias is right when he makes a realistic estimation of his chance of winning and in this story his choice for his sister just seems like the right and sensible thing to do. If this Zacharias was canon he would be one of my favorite characters. Well done.

Author's Response: hey! aah what a wonderful surprise to see this review today! I never thought I'd hear anyone use the word 'beautiful' to describe anything relating to Zacharias Smith, so I'm quite proud :P

Haha, yeah her name similarity was kind of a coincidence - Chiara and I just thought it'd be cool to have A and Z names for the siblings :P

I really like stories that aren't about heroes, because I find normal, flawed characters so much more relatable. I'm so glad you liked that aspect, and reading about a not brave, not particularly talented character. And thank you, it means SO MUCH to me that you thought Zach became more three dimensional here. That was exactly my goal.

The DA (and like, anyone reading the HP books - myself included at first) kind of look down on Zacharias for deserting the DA and not being brave, but in planning out this story, I thought that of course not everyone is brave enough to fight an adversary that is way more advanced than you while you're still a teenager, in school. In a way I thought Zacharias' fear was very understandable, and of course not everyone would be able to stay and fight. I like what you interpreted in this - that everything has a positive and negative side. Much like people do :) So yeah he's not brave, but he's a realist and knows it will make more of a difference to be with his sister than to die in a battle. And in my head at least, this Zacharias is canon. There's nothing that negates canon here, so... it could be :)

Thank you so, SO much for your review!! ♥

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Review #5, by Secret Cupid Shine

14th February 2016:
Hello, beautiful Kristin, and Happy Valentine's Day!!! ♥ I was so excited when I got you as my Secret Cupid because you are not only a phenomenal person, but a phenomenal writer! So let's get reviewing!

Those opening lines are perfection. Seriously. They make for such an intriguing intro. I can't imagine anyone reading that first little snippet and being able to walk away from the story afterwards, cause it is just gripping.

Your descriptions are beautiful as ever. You have such a way with words. And I love the way this story bounces around in time to paint a fuller picture of Zacharias. I also love how you made him so much more three-dimensional than we ever saw him in the books. He was always just sort of the annoying dark spot on Hufflepuff kindness, but here we get to see why he had the Hufflepuff spirit in him at all.

The relationship with his sister is beautiful, and it's quite sad that he won't ever be believed as having simply not run away, but made a conscious decision to help in the best way he knew how, knowing he wasn't a strong dueler. It's very impressive that you could make me feel for a character I so thoroughly disliked in the books. Well done.

The whole story is just beautifully crafted. It's simple, but striking; beautiful, but heartbreaking. You are a true talent, Kristin.

Happy Valentine's Day,
Your Secret Cupid

P.S. Make sure you take a look at your forum profile page. ;)

Author's Response: Tanya you wonderful person. ♥

ah thank you! I'm so glad you like the opening lines, I'm quite proud of those. That was the first bit of the story that I wrote and it was so essential to what the story was. It's really wonderful to hear that it stood out to you.

Thank you! Gah, I don't ever know what to say to your reviews, because you say such nice things and how can I ever express just how much I appreciate it? I'm so glad you like the descriptions - I really do put a lot of thought into them so it's always such a compliment when I hear things like this.

I love non-linear stories, and I think I began writing this one soon after I finished hosting the Non-Linear Challenge, so that may have played a role in the structure, haha! But thank you, I'm glad you liked the way that affected the story. And ah, yes, 'the annoying dark spot on Hufflepuff kindness' - this is exactly why I thought he'd be an interesting character to write about, because as he appears in the books he really doesn't fit the mold for Hufflepuffs. There had to be a reason he was a Puff, without taking away his nosiness and argumentativeness - I'm so glad you thought that came through. :)

Have you read the companion piece? Chiara did an incredible job with Ariadne's story and I highly recommend it, if you want more background about Zacharias' sister. I'm glad you liked the way I wrote the siblings - there aren't enough stories about siblings out there (that I've found).

It means so much to me that you felt for a character you dislike! That was definitely the goal - pretty sure no one likes him in the books, and I love giving voices to characters like that. :D

Gah, you are too nice. i have no words. Thank you for your incredible compliments and for being the best Secret Cupid ever!!! ♡

P.S. I saw it and thank youuu ♥

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Review #6, by The Basilisk Shine

20th December 2015:
Hiss Hiss, guess who? The Basilisk, with a review.

Wow, thisss was beautiful. I loved it. Your characterisation of Zacharias is so good. I love the idea of him being there for his sister, being a hero to her, being loyal to her, and thus not staying to fight. This backstory is just perfect.

Your descriptions were just lovely. I could feel hisss terror, pain, worry, confusion, uncertainty, all at once. Being a centuries old creature not used to much emotion, I must say, this story really moved me. If I could, I would have shed a few tearsss.

All year I've been travelling and there have only been a handful of storiesss that have hit me in the way thisss one did. It's such beautiful writing. Your wordsss flow effortlessly and I was completely enthralled while reading. The different scenes showcasing Zacharias' life were commendable. I really got a good insight into his life and character.

All in all, great great story. I loved it. Such a pleasure to read. You're a magnificent writer. Amazing.

Hiss Hiss
The Basilisk

Author's Response: The Basilisk! You are without a doubt my favourite mythical monster - thanksss so much for stopping by my storiesss!

Thank you, I'm really glad you enjoyed the characterisation of Zacharias, particularly as he's not that likeable of a character in the books. I'm so glad you liked the backstory on why he didn't fight.

Aw, it's so wonderful to hear that you liked my descriptions! Thank you! I didn't know Basilisksss couldn't shed tears. If you could shed tears, I bet they would have all sorts of cool magical properties.

Gah, I really don't know what to say, I'm just so flattered by your incredible compliments on my writing! Thank you SO much! I'm so thrilled you liked the style of the story and that it was touching, and that you liked reading about Zacharias. And of course, thanks for stopping by! ♥

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Review #7, by LadyL8 Shine

18th December 2015:
Hi Kristin

Iím sorry for taking so long to get here. Iíve had the worst three months of my life. My exam was moved forward, I got sick with a throat infection, my father was hospitalized and had to go through three operations and now Iím sick again with the flu. But better late than never, right? :)

So with the collab entries Iíve review after the categories in the judging point system, but since this is a one-shot thatís linked to another, I think Iíll actually just leave my thoughts and comments and just ramble on like crazy. And then maybe bring attention to the categories I feel fit the most for an entry like this, but I wonít tell you the score because that would reveal the winner before Iíve announced who it is. Iím also just going to say right now that Iím reading this after Iíve read Chiaraís part, but Iíll come back and re-read hers again after Iíve read yours, because I want to make sure Iíve read it in both possible orders.

Okay, so now that that is done, Iíll talk about the actual story. I want to start by saying that you should probably read Chiaraís review as well, because Iím not going to repeat everything I said about the idea and all that here. So I recommend you read that one as well, because this one will focus on your story as well as the link between the two one-shots. Also, should the review end up being too long, Iíll PM the rest to you in a group message, but it hasnít happened so far so I doubt itíll come to that. Just letting you know in case it should happen.

And Iíll actually start by saying a little about the link. I mentioned this Chiaraís review, but I didnít say much about the link between the one-shots in that one cause I hadnít read yours yet, so Iíll add some about that here. I really feel like you two have solved this challenge well. I thought it was really clever to use a canon character and add a sister to him, and then use that relationship to explain a canon event. And I love that you see it from both siblingsí perspectives, and that the stories really fill each other out. But what I thought was actually the cleverest, and youíre the only ones that have done this so itís definitely high score on creativity for that, was that you have structured your stories in the same way. You both start it with these short paragraphs that capture the readerís attention, and leaves us with a whole lot of questions that we want the answers to. And then you move on to a paragraph with description, and it really helps set the scene. And I just love that youíve actually done more than just tells the same story from two different perspective, but actually written it somewhat similarly as well. So itís just really clever, and good job!

Itís really great to read this part after having just finished Chiaraís. I love that in her part she quickly mentions her brother playing Dumbledore and Grindelwald when he was younger, and here we actually see it. And I also love that this part just explains so much of the questions weíre left with at the end of Chiaraís part. Your stories just fill each other out so nicely, and I love that you mention to keep the same characterisation and the same - I donít know what the word isÖ feeling I guess - to both of the one-shots.

You know I didnít actually say this in the other review, but I guess thatís because itís the most obvious here. Zacharias is just a true Hufflepuff if you ask me. Itís honorable to acknowledge your own weaknesses and fears, and to stay loyal to your family and do everything in you to keep them safe. Itís as heroic to do that as it is to fight in the Battle if you ask me, because heroes they come in all shapes and forms. Zacharias is scared, but he stays and protects her. And thatís admirable.

I love that you guys take an unliked character and make him seem misunderstood and actually more likable. Itís a really original and clever idea, and Iím so happy you guys came up with it. I have to say Iím happy and honored you guys decided to participate in the challenge, and Iím so glad I got to read this because you two really brought out the best in each other. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a happy new year!

Lots of Love


PS: The results should be up this weekend. Look out for a blog post :)

Author's Response: No worries on delay - it's far more important that you take care of yourself and your real life first. I hope your dad is okay, and that you feel better soon! *hugs*

I did read your review for Chiara as well - I'm so glad you like the idea of our stories! Because Zacharias is so negatively portrayed in the books, we figured that his own POV and the POV of someone who cares about him would show an entirely different side to him. As for making the structure match up like that, I must give Chiara all the credit, it was all her idea. I had started writing mine in nonlinear sections just because I felt inspired to, and then when I saw her draft of her fic I was really impressed with how she'd united our stories so well and how it turned out. Thank you, I'm so glad you appreciated that structure and the similarity of the two!

Ooh, that's so wonderful to hear that both stories have the same feeling to them and that each fills in the gaps of the other.

I'm really glad you saw Zacharias as a true Hufflepuff in this! One of the things that always kind of bothered me about him in the books was that he really displayed no Hufflepuff traits and I couldn't imagine why he was one, so with these stories we were hoping to explain him a little more in depth and while not negating his faults, make him a bit more understandable. I'm so glad to hear that you thought it worked. And for the record, I'd probably be really scared of fighting in a battle as well, and scared of hearing Death Eaters breaking stuff in the flat below mine, and I really can't blame him for just hiding with Ariadne.

Thank you so much - I hope you know what a wonderful reviewer you are, because this is such an insightful and kind review and I loved it. Thank you for this review! And I saw the results and I'm just blown away! Thank you SO much for this challenge, and the wonderful opportunity to collaborate on a fic - it was so much fun, I absolutely loved working with Chiara, and I hope you had as much fun reading the entries as we did writing our stories!


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Review #8, by SunshineDaisies Shine

14th December 2015:
Hello! I am so behind on everything but I am determined to get at least review to every person on the hot seat!

Unsurprisingly, I love this. I adore reading about Hufflepuffs (obviously), and I love reading about somewhat misunderstood characters, so this was like a double whammy.

I love that you gave Zacharias such an interesting background and allowed him to be... not such a jerk. You've made him a much more likable and well rounded character.

Excellent work! :)

Author's Response: Aw, thank you for stopping by! :)

Thank you! I love misunderstood characters, and there was a lot to work with for Zacharias :P One thing I really like about him is that he's such an atypical Hufflepuff and doesn't really fit the mold - he's argumentative and annoying - and it makes him stand out and gives a lot to work with as a character. I'm so glad that after reading this you saw him as more rounded and slightly less of a jerk - that was definitely a goal :) Thanks so much for your review!

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Review #9, by MrsJaydeMalfoy Shine

10th December 2015:
Nope! Still not done! :P

And WOW, Kristin, just WOW. First off, this is SO original - I don't think I've EVER read a story about Zacharias Smith before, and I LOVE that you took a lesser-known Hufflepuff and created a story about him! Second, I love the backstory you gave him, it's like his story is a missing moment from the series, and the way you wrote it fits so perfectly that I'd easily believe it to be Canon.

Also, the way you floated back and forth between the past and present was 1) Genius, and 2) Flawless. We got SO MUCH information about his life and his family between the glimpses of the present battle going on, and that takes SKILL.

Furthermore, I LOVE how you started off making us think he's some sort of coward, but at the end we see he was just as fiercely loyal as anyone, only to a different person. Whether other people see it or not, his sister REALLY needed him. Reading about the two of them being alone there, huddled in the corner had me afraid for them, and I can't imagine how much worse it would have been if she'd been there alone! I'm so glad they had each other!

And your writing was FLAWLESS. Perfect spelling and grammar, perfect flow, amazing description... just BRILLIANT.

Really, REALLY well done on this, doll! &hearts: *hug*

Author's Response: Aah! Thank you! You're on a roll and I love it :D

Thank you so much! I'm really glad to hear you liked this and that you thought it was original! I'd never seen a story about Zacharias either, as he's basically the most loser character in the books, but for some reason I love writing about dislikeable characters :p And yes, there's always different sides to everyone and we just saw him in a bad light in the books, so this was my attempt to give him his own story and show his perspective. Ahh and omg, thank you, the idea that this could be a missing moment from the series is just a wonderful thing to hear! ♥

Ooh, thanks so much about the non-linear presentation of this. That aspect of the story was one I had some trouble with in terms of transitions, but I really wanted to make an alternating past/present story work out, so THANK YOU, I'm so glad to hear you liked that.

That was really the primary motivation for telling Zacharias' story, because loyalty is one of the essential traits of Hufflepuff, and one that Zacharias seemed to lack in the books. This was my way of explaining it in a better light while still acknowledging the negative traits he's presented with in the books (like how he's so nosy and argumentative). At any rate, writing this definitely made me like him better, lol. And aw, I'm so glad you and felt for him at the end as he's sitting there with Ariadne and too scared to do anything. He may still be a coward, but he does have a heart.

I'm so glad you liked this! I highly recommend Chiara's companion piece to this as she gave Ariadne a story and did such a lovely job with it. And my story wouldn't have gone anywhere without her!

Again, thanks so much for your fantastic reviews, Jayde!! ♥

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Review #10, by TreacleTart Shine

1st December 2015:
Hey Kristin!

Here for our review swap!

Since I'd already read Chiara's piece in this pair, I figured I'd give this a read as well. Zacharias Smith is one of those characters that you rarely ever see written about, so I was really intrigued by that.

I absolutely adore how you've explained his behavior. In cannon, he always comes across as sort of arrogant and a bit of a jerk, but here you make him so understandable, particularly the part about joining the DA out of curiosity and winding up a lot deeper than he intended to be.

Zacharias' love for his sister is very endearing here. You can absolutely tell that she's the center of the world and his risking being labeled a coward in order to save her really puts him into a new light. I loved that bit.

I was glad that you included the bit about him not being able to torture Hannah as well. I think that speaks to the type of person he is. A lot of people would've tortured her in his place and him not doing it makes him stand out. I hope when Hannah judges him down the road, she remembers that.

The ending was so sweet and I loved how it tied directly into what Chiara wrote. You both did an excellent job of challenging my thoughts about a particular character!

Great work!


Author's Response: Hi Kaitlin! Ooh, I'm glad you read the companion piece to this, Chiara did such a wonderful job with hers :)

Yeah, Zacharias is a really unpopular character which is why I guess no one writes about him, but I for some reason love writing unlikeable characters :p And yeah, while he can be a jerk sometimes, I really wanted to show how he saw things. I love what you mentioned about him joining the DA out of curiosity and ending up deeper than he wanted - in a way I think that was the case for some of the Death Eaters, particularly the young ones, and in that respect how Zacharias ended up in the DA is no different.

What we know of Zacharias from canon really didn't fit with what Hufflepuffs are supposed to be about, and I felt like there needed to be a motive or a reason for him to bail on everyone when they needed him - he would have thought this a good reason.

I can't even imagine what a horrible decision that must have been - either torture someone else or be tortured - and even though he's a coward, he does have a heart.

Thanks, I'm so glad you liked the ending and the way our stories tied together. Thanks so much for the swap!

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Review #11, by cherry_pop94 Shine

18th October 2015:
Hello! I'm here for the swap.

This was a really great read. I've never read anything about Zacharias Smith before, so I'm glad he's getting some love here! The relationship he has with Ariadne is really lovely. They care about each other so much. In the end, Zach did exemplify Hufflepuff traits, loyalty, compassion, kindness, but no one knew but Ari.

I think it's incredibly noble of him to take what people say about him deserting the castle like that. Without any protest, because he'd rather keep his sister's secret. I went to read Chiara's story as well, and they make excellent companions. You've both done brilliantly!

The writing here was also very well done. It smoothly transitions between present and past, so we really understand Zach's motivations. He hasn't always been the most well-liked guy in DA, but he does care.

Thanks for a great swap!


Author's Response: Hi Stefanie! Thank you so much, I'm really glad you liked it! Zacharias Smith is, understandably, not that popular of a character to write about! :P I really love writing characters that aren't remarkable or heroic, though.

I'm glad you liked the relationship with Ariadne. There aren't a whole lot of fics about siblings on HPFF so it was a really neat angle to approach Zacharias. And yeah, the Sorting Hat generally has reason for sorting people into the houses they're in - Zacharias did have those traits, even if Harry didn't see it.

I think Zach seems the sort of person that wants other people to stay out of his business - he always came off as really standoffish in the books - so I didn't think he'd be forthcoming with excuses or explanations of why he was running out. I'm so glad you read Chiara's story too, isn't it great?

And thank you so much for saying the writing was well done! The transitions between all the sections was something that gave me a lot of trouble (as Chiara can attest to) so it is really nice to hear that they turned out! I'm glad you saw Zach in a different light through this fic too :)

Thanks for the swap!

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Review #12, by Gabriella Hunter Shine

18th October 2015:

This is Gabbie from the forums here with your review and I attacked this story almost immediately. I hardly ever see stories that feature Zach as a main character, mainly because I think people just disliked him so much. I turned him into a giant canary in one of my stories, so there is that I guess. Haha.

I never really gave much thought to him not fighting at the Battle either. I just figured, realistically, that he would be scared of what was about to happen. I honestly believe that people shouldn't call the ones who left cowards for leaving. I mean, fighting is the right thing to do but not everyone is cut out for it and what I like here in this story, is that you show it. Zach is a little pompous, he isn't brave and he likes being right all the time but underneath it all, he's very protective of his sister. I like his relationship with her and the flashbacks really high lighted how close they were, it made an interesting contrast to how corrupted Hogwarts became. The Carrows and Dumbledore's death, Zach's firm belief that he wouldn't believe everything Harry said, it all boiled up to a wonderful conclusion. There was a lot of heart here and you could see how much Zach cared about his sister and even if he wasn't brave, he was there for her and that is the most important thing. I think that was a nice angle to go with and I wonder why he never mentioned her to his friends but I think that having that one grim moment with her was a great way to end this.

Thanks for the great read!

Much love,


Author's Response: Hi Gabbie! You are very right about there being few stories about Zacharias, probably because he's such a dislikeable character. I think the only stories I've seen about him are this one and the companion fic by Felpata Lupin (which is really good!)

I think that a lot of people would be scared of fighting and it's totally realistic - what teenager would not be afraid to fight a dark wizard who's killed a lot of more talented wizards/witches? So I can't really blame him either (and this is something that took me a while to realize because, probably like everyone else, when I read the part in DH where Zacharias runs out I was just like "ugh that guy again, worst DA member ever." But that's what makes him realistic, so I really wanted to focus on that moment!

I'm so glad you liked his relationship with his sister. I haven't actually found a lot of stories on here that focus on siblings so that was a really neat aspect to write as well.

What a wonderful thing to say, that there's "a lot of heart" - that's definitely what I was going for, especially as he's kind of seen as a heartless character through Harry's eyes, and so it is really great to hear that in this story, despite keeping him the same arrogant, quarrelsome person we know from the books, he does have a heart.

Thanks so much for the swap!!

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Review #13, by Peeves Shine

15th October 2015:
Hey Kristin!
Peeves here, come to spread some Halloween cheer.
Professor McGonagall has found a way to confine me to the library and make it impossible for me to destroy anything there, so I have to spend all my time reading now. That is how I found Chiara's piece, and after reading that I had to come here right away to see what you created.

I'm a little sad about not being able to cause havoc right now, but I have to admit that this is also a fairly good way to spend my time - and time is something I have in abundance.

Zacharias Smith is an interesting character to choose. I haven't read much about him, the boy always struck me as rather dull when he was at Hogwarts. He did end up showing bravery in the end so I guess I shouldn't hold his boring lifestyle at Hogwarts against him. Of course he didn't stand a chance in the last battle, even though he learned all the spells in the DA (I wonder why I wasn't asked to join).
This story shows that there are different kinds of bravery and different ways to do something heroic. Hey - we can't all be Harry Potter.

I love the way you write, and I will tell all of my friends about it. Maybe Nearly Headless Nick will stop by soon.

I got to go - lots to do

Author's Response: Hi, Peeves! I'm honoured to receive a review from you, though I hope you don't mind I'm writing this response while hiding under a table just in case you're planning to drop things on me through the internet. I mean, you never know what to expect from poltergeists. :P

I'm so glad you've read Chiara's story, she really did an incredible job with it!

For some reason I really enjoy writing characters who aren't that likeable, because seeing them through another perspective than Harry's biased one, the character becomes a little more relatable (at least that's the idea). And yes, it's quite unjust that you weren't asked to join the DA. I'm sure you would have been really good at pouring water on Death Eaters.

I loved your summary of this, about different kinds of bravery and heroism. You are more profound than people give you credit for, Peeves! ;)

Thanks for stopping by and reviewing, I appreciate it so much!

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Review #14, by Freda_and_Georgina Shine

11th October 2015:
This was such an amazing take on Zacharias fleeing Hogwarts at all costs, it's so sweet! It's easy to see him as the only dislikeable Hufflepuff, (esp with his quidditch commentary) but this was really awesome. What a great little brother!


Author's Response: Freda! Thank you so much for this lovely surprise review! I'm so glad you enjoyed this backstory about Zacharias fleeing Hogwarts. He is definitely seen as something of a jerk in the books, but no one is ever that one-dimensional, and this was my attempt to not really redeem him, but at least show another side to him. I'm so happy you liked this and even saw Zacharias in a better light. Thanks so much for reading, and for your review!

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Review #15, by MalfoysCarolinaGirl2010 Shine

22nd September 2015:
Hi Tasha here for our review swap.

I love reading about minor characters. There is so little information given about them that you have free reign as to how to develop their story and I thought you did a wonderful job here.

Zacharias is seen as a coward, even in the 5th book when he reluctantly joins the DA. I like how this gives a more in depth reason why he chose not to fight, it makes me respect him more and view him as less of a coward.

It is a very Hufflepuff trait to remain loyal to your family first. And I would like to see more if possible about Zacharias trying to redeem himself after the battle, maybe tell an abridged story to a future boss in order to get a job?

Overall I thought this was well written and didn't notice any errors. Good job! :)

Peace, Love, and Tacos


Author's Response: Hi! I absolutely love minor characters too - especially those who aren't that likeable, for some reason :p And thank you, I'm so glad you liked the way I developed Zacharias' story!

Reading the books I never liked Zacharias (who does, really?) but I think a lot of actions have reasons behind them, and perspective has a lot to do with it. So while everyone else sees a coward, he (and his sister) sees better. (By the way, if you are interested in Ariadne's POV, you should check out the companion story by Felpata Lupin!)

I don't have any plans to continue this story further, but I imagine that he might have tried to redeem himself if he thought people would listen.

Thanks so much for your review!

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Review #16, by Felpata Lupin Shine

19th September 2015:
Dearest Kristin!
First of all, thank you so much for your dedication, and for being an amazing friend and writing partner yourself!!!

I promised you a review, and finally I'm here (even if I already told you more than once how much I love this!!!)

I found absolutely stunning your descriptions in the present scenes. They are so vivid and beautifully written and really help to empathize with Zach. I find kind of adorable his sleepy confusion at the beginning, and the little detail of the "only one trouser on". The general panic after Voldemort speaking was done greatly, and I loved how he coldly evaluates his options amidst all that. It really shows that he wasn't simply running away, but following the path that was rightest for him at the moment.

Since it is something we both struggled a bit with, let me tell you that I loved how the transition from one section to the other worked!

Like here, where his thoughts of Ariadne bring to that childhood memory of her!
That section is probably my favourite! We get to see the bond between the two siblings, and we get to understand Zacharias' psicology a bit better. Plus, it is such a typical and real childhood scene. I do recall similar fights when I was little about who got to be who in similar games (usually I picked some minor character no one was really interested in and left the others contend over the protagonist/antagonist role... never been too keen on competitiveness... :P)

I absolutely adored the section with the Carrows, too. You really showed the darkness of Hogwarts during that year, the depressed resignation of the students. The scene when he's ordered to torture Hannah is so heartbreaking... and once again we get to see a better side of Zacharias that is unknown in canon!

I've alraedy told you at least a thousand times, but I'll have to repeat myself again... Thank you so much for sharing with me this wonderful experience! Working with you has been absolutely delightful and rewarding!

Love you so much!

Author's Response: Hi Chiara! Wah thank you ♥

Thanks, it's so wonderful to hear that you liked the descriptions - I was kind of taking a chance with these ones writing such choppy descriptions because it seemed to fit the mood, so I'm really glad they were still vivid and beautiful, gah, thanks! Aw, poor Zach. I imagine that an impending battle would be a difficult thing to process just after you've woken up!

Ah yay that is so great to hear that the transitions worked! That's very reassuring :)

I really liked writing that section - for some reason, seeing what people were like as children gives a lot of insight into them as adults! I'm glad it feels realistic too. (Haha, you smart person, leaving all the arguments about protagonists/antagonists to everyone else! :D )

The idea of Hogwarts under the Carrows is both horrifying and fascinating to me and that was a really interesting section to write. In my original notes, Zacharias gave in and tried the curse on Hannah, but I ultimately changed it to make the outcome a lot more vague, so its not certain whether he did or didn't... it's kind of up to the reader. If he didn't, though, it's definitely a much better side of him than Harry ever saw.

THANK YOU SO MUCH YOU ARE AN AMAZING REVIEWER ♥ And of course, thanks sooo much for working on this story duo with me!

♡ ♡ ♡

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