Reading Reviews From Member: Pixileanin
  
456 Reviews Found

Review #1, by PixileaninThe Worst: Reflecting and Brooding

25th April 2014:
Hello! I'm back for another chapter! Dominique has a lot of worry surrounding everything. She seems like the eternal pessimist, and is prone to overreacting. Of course, having your boyfriend be your sister's ex could complicate things. I thought you used the flashback very well to move the story forward and shed some light on her relationship with her sister and with Teddy. Very effective!

On one hand, I like that this Jones lady is offering Dominique some semblance of normalcy to come back to. It puts her condition in a different perspective and she's paving the way for Dom to accept what has happened to her and possibly do some good about it. On the other hand, she seems a bit flippant about the situation, and not at all sympathetic. She's jumping right into the thick of things, when Dom is obviously not able to handle the thought of exposing herself so quickly. Fishy, the way that Jones is fixated on the notes and the article. Though it does give Dominique something to focus on other than her own self pity.

I don't know what's going on with Teddy. It might have something to do with not answering his owls, but I think it's probably something different. I don't know. But I do know how to find out... I'll be back later.

Author's Response: Hello again =) Yes she indeed has a lot of worrying going on. I am glad you liked the flashback too.

Delilah Jones is definitely not your average boss xP Fishy isn't it? We'll see more of her later.

I am glad you're liking the story. Thanks for all the lovely reviews! Apologies for the late response!

Thank you =)


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Review #2, by PixileaninThe Worst: The Worst Had Happened

25th April 2014:
I really like it when chapters start of with a nightmare. I don't know. It just sets the mood, and to have it come on the heels of the first chapter, where we know that she lived through this exact thing, it seemed very fitting. Nice descriptives, again. Not too heavy, and not flowery, but the setting is solid and visible.

Your choice to have Dominique wake up and be unable to move put this whole scene at a high drama level. You did a great job of incorporating that into the scene, allowing her to struggle physically, and emotionally with the things that are beyond her control.

It was interesting to me that the pain went away as she regained consciousness. I suppose those were some great potions the Healer had. I also loved the way you let us sense who else was in the room with Dom. That was particularly well-done, with her discovering through sound, and who was holding her hand. Nice.

One thing that stuck out to me was how calm she was when she came out of the dream. I would have expected the panic to bleed over into the scene as she came around, but that didn't happen. It made me wonder why Dominique wanted to reassure everyone right away that she was fine. Does she have a need to not let people worry over her? Was she pushing the reality away so hard that she had to make everyone else believe that nothing had happened? I can understand that, though. If it was that horrifying, and she's not ready to face it, there's a lot of strength in believing that it never happened.

Okay, I see what you did there. She insists that she's fine, and then at the end of the scene, she knows she's not. It made for a big switch in her emotional state, very dramatic turn. I found it very realistic that Dominique had to tell Teddy how "not fine" she really was, and bring up sore points with him that he may or may not have heard about his family. I thought it fit in well to bring up Teddy's father, and highlight some of the details that the family may have overlooked. It sounds like those were either fresh discoveries for her, or that they were the reason that she feared werewolves so much.

Dominique is so inconsolable, and I hate the way everyone leaves the room with her in this state, but I guess they realize that they're not going to get through to her so quickly.

How do you live, when your life as you know it is over? I guess that's what the story is going to explore. I like that you chose this way to portray a transformation. It looks like it's going to be a very personal journey.

Author's Response: Thank you again for reading and reviewing!

I am glad you liked how this started off with a nightmare =) I love those too. It's a relief you're liking the descriptions so far as well.

Dominique is the kind of person who'll want her loved ones not to worry - and moreover she was in a denial kind of phase where she believed she was fine and it was just a dream.

I am pleased you liked the transition to her outburst in the end though, and the whole talk with Teddy.

Yes everyone knows Dominique and they know she's best left alone in such situations.

It is surely a personal journey and I am pleased you're intrigued by it.

Thank you once again!


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Review #3, by PixileaninThe Worst: Dreading The Worst

25th April 2014:
Hey, it's me from the TGS Review Exchange! I'm not late, am I?

Wow. Okay, loads of imagery start this off, with the stormy night and the slipping and running and the red hair. Very lovely. I get a clear picture of the setting in my head in the first paragraph. It makes me question why she's there, and why she's so afraid. But you don't keep us in the dark for long.

Okay, so Dominique is a journalist, and she forgets about the full moon. This does not bode well for her. How could she have simply forgotten? Or maybe she was more concerned about the deadline for the article than the actual safety of her own person. I hear that journalists can have a single-minded tunnel vision about such things. You did say that she was very careful with her notebook, and that the interviewer was very reluctant, so I suppose she would be concentrating more on that than anything else.

It's a good thing she got that owl.

I think that regardless of her House, she'd be scared out of her pants by the notion of being in the woods with a pack of werewolves about to transform. If you're not scared by the thought of that, it's not bravery, it's stupidity. Run, woman! Run! But she can't. She's stuck there, without being able to apparate. Oh no!

It was like one of those horror movies, where the main character is left with no choice but the worst one, and so we have to watch them step right into the badness. Well-played, here.

It was not boring in the least, this introductory chapter. I think you kept the tension high, and the fear factor in front of the reader the whole time. Dominique didn't have time to really think over why she couldn't apparate inside the cottage, and I'm glad you didn't get into that, because it would have disrupted the action. But I am insanely curious about it. Something went wrong that she didn't expect, and I want to know what was behind it.

Lovely writing! I'm off to the next chapter.

Author's Response: Hey! Thanks for reading and reviewing! Apologies for the late response.

I am glad you liked the imagery and stuff in the beginning.

Being a journalist-in-the-making myself, I can tell you we journalists tend to get distracted a lot ;) Our only focus is to get the interview, to write that article, forgetting track of time xP

Haha I love the way you're reviewing this - it's like I'm getting a commentary of the story as it goes and it's fun to read it from someone else's POV xD

I'm glad you liked how the whole moment played out with her not having any choice but to step out, as I enjoyed writing that.

We'll be getting into the whys and hows in the next couple of chapters, yes.

Thanks again!


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Review #4, by PixileaninDetox: Future Imperfect

22nd April 2014:
"Astoria felt cold fingers of panic creeping up her spine. Maybe coming to Isadore for advice wasn't such a good idea after all."

Ahem. That's what instincts are for, Astoria. Use them. Use them wisely.

"...and I think the boy has some sort of phobia about teeth..."

You know, I put all the staining fruit in the freezer before I sat down to this chapter. I really WANTED to give Isadore a fighting chance here, but argh!!! I can't decide whether she's really been there or she's still blowing hot air. Or a little of both. Who's to say? Although, that line about the Sorting Hat was awesome.

I really liked the pure frustration Astoria is having with the entire concept of imagining something that no one is willing to come out and describe to her. Bless her, but she's trying to understand and get what she can out of the conversation, anything helpful at all, and all it's doing is putting more worries in her head. I can only hope that she's not taking her best friend too seriously. Oh, who am I kidding? You're doing this to her on purpose, aren't you?

I knew girls like Isadore. From a distance. My best friends and I always believed that Sorciere Magazines were full of tripe anyway. Except the brownie recipes. Those were awesome! Okay, okay, occasionally I would fall for the latest trend in lip gloss, but only when I was feeling particularly weak.

Madam Blishwick's laboratory scene just makes me want to get my hands dirty. All the cool stuff is in there, I just know it! It was fun, seeing Draco all serious-minded with his work, trying so diligently to do the job right, to get some recognition that didn't involve any condescending attitudes or whatnot.

And then the plant interferes in the worst possible way. I love how Blishwick calls him "Edgar" as if he has a personality of his own... which he probably does. I want an Edgar. Hahah! Oh, but then she pulls out the real reason she's interested in him, and that doesn't sound very pleasant. Draco's verge-of-panic reaction was very well-done. I was right there with him, envisioning the horrors of what may be expected of him. Why indeed, are they torturing doxies? The whole thing tastes bad. He wants so badly to put all of that horribleness behind him, but it's coming back around again. To see the academic side of the Unforgivable Curses, to know that these people in the lab really have no idea what it's like to actually do that to another human being, to have it reduced to some curiosity, must be absolutely horrific.

At least he's able to see the morbid humor in his situation at the end. It's not funny, but since he's already given up his lunch, he's either going to laugh or cry about it.

Does this mean I have to defrost my blueberries for the next time I see Isadore? I hope she's wearing white...

Author's Response: Hi, pix! Sorry for the embarrassingly long time it's taken me to respond to this.

Sure, Astoria could stop paying attention to Isadore's awful advice, but what fun would that be? It's gotten her this far.

Isadore has *sort of* been there, in the same way that a lot of teenagers *sort of* experience these things. Has she been there often enough to really understand everything that happened? Of course not. So she fills in the gaps with things she reads in magazines and her own over-romanticized imagination. I was particularly fond of the Sorting Hat line, myself. You can leave your staining fruit in the freezer because this chapter will be Isadore's last appearance in the story.

Of course I'm doing it to her on purpose! Astoria is a planner and a compulsive over-thinker, so situations like this are torture for her. More to the point, however, I'm setting the stage for things that will happen in upcoming chapters. Astoria's anxiety about the things she doesn't know and whether she compares favorably to Draco's past girlfriends will play a major role very soon.

I, um, don't think there are brownie recipes in Sorciere. Unless the brownies are laced with some sort of love potion.

I really, really enjoyed writing the scene where Draco is brewing potions. I love that sort of nitty-gritty, technical magic, even if I do have to make up all of the details. It was also nice to have a scene where Draco is squarely in his element, even if it doesn't last for very long.

And it doesn't. You would shake your head in disbelief if you knew how many names I went through before I decided on Edgar. I doubt you actually want an Edgar. He's a pain, especially when you're baking brownies. Always messing with your ingredients.

Yep, the real reason Madam Blishwick wants Draco to work for her has a lot less to do with his potioneering skills than his wartime experiences. I think your read on her is just about right. She's a very pure academic who doesn't fret much about the social context of her work. The fact that other people might find it horrifying -- even traumatizing -- to experiment on doxies with the Cruciatus Curse doesn't really occur to her. It's going to lead to some very difficult moments for Draco.

Like I said, you've seen the last of Isadore for this story. Although I'm really tempted to write a one-shot or maybe a short story about her, just to see whether I can get you to throw fruit at your computer. :p

Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #5, by PixileaninDevlin Potter: Riddle and Rescue: Feverish Thoughts

21st April 2014:
Ack! The scene opens with a nightmare! Or at least I hope it's a nightmare. Dubhan is still finding it so difficult to trust and believe in these people. It's almost painful to read, but it still makes sense. It hasn't been that long for him away from Voldemort, and it seems that every time he becomes vulnerable, he doesn't know what to do about it.

I love the way you continuously describe the effects of the Calming Draught on the little boy who has lost his fight. It's like he wants to be angry, but it's all diffused in his head and he just can't muster up the ire at the moment. And he doesn't believe that whatever he's found here with Harry and his wife is going to last. Poor kid!

His reaction to jeans and a t-shirt, such normal things, and such strange items to him, was fun to read. He tries so hard not to react to these things, but they're new and strange, and he can't help but think about them. I keep wondering why he tells himself not to think about things... and what exactly he's trying not to think about. I hope Geoffrey can shed some light on this sometime in the future.

I laughed when he thought about Bella not counting as a lady. I would whole-heartedly agree!

And oh! The bookstore incident was so alarming! I could identify so much with Harry's concealed rage that someone else had seen his son and not known to report it. How horrible to find out that way, that Devlin had been right there and no one had said a thing. I commend Harry for keeping as calm as he did with such a shock.

And who was the mysterious man? Devlin seemed to recognize him. I am insanely curious! And then Harry scares his son, just when he doesn't want to. He really tried to keep it together, but the note and the Death Eater in the shop... and then needing Geoffrey... I could feel Harry slipping. He so wants to be that person for Devlin, but he's not. Not yet. And I fear he's taken several steps backwards.

The whole Occulmency thing was so intriguing and interesting. I found it fascinating that Harry thought Alexandra would understand, of all people, but you brought up an interesting point - that she hadn't been taught, so she wouldn't know. Her connection to Voldemort is fascinating. You have so many things that at this point in the story, haven't yet been revealed. I'm dying to know... which just means that I have to read more and catch up. :P

Geoffrey's solution to keeping the boy "safe at all costs"... wow. I have no idea how deep that runs, but I bet it's really important. I can't wait to see how that impacts the rest of the story.

I must not stay away from this story for as long as I have. There are many fascinating things going on over here!

Another thought-provoking chapter!

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Review #6, by PixileaninDetox: Turning the Corner

21st April 2014:
Hi! I am finally here. Whew! Do not look at how long it took me. It's just plain embarrassing.

I guess the first time I read this, I didn't realize that the school year had come to an end already. I just figured that out from the chapter summary. I am a dummy. *smacks self*

I don't mind the single-mindedness about studies. It's practically the only thing he's living for at the moment. Alright, alright, I know there's this girl, but hey. He's doing the right thing. It's good to see that he's happy about it too. It might not change Mr. Greengrass's mind, but at least it's several steps in the right direction. Head down, stiff upper lip, Draco.

It's also good to see Draco standing up to his father after years of believing that his father's way was the right way. He's coming into his own, which is my favorite part of this story. Aww, but did he have to pick on the hair? That was a low blow. And the drinking. *sigh* It's a long road to recovery. I can't really blame the guy. I think Draco made a wise decision to just avoid the man entirely. Seeing that he was spending time in a Muggle establishment shows even deeper how Draco has changed, and actually making conversation with the waitress too. And pie. We can't discount the power of pie.

I like how you consistently show Draco's calculating mind, weighing in on the impulses of the past and self correcting before he acts rashly. He still reacts with an edge, but that is completely understandable. Remember, Draco. There's pie if you can get out of this without an incident.

McGonagall's confession that she had made things difficult for him and expected him to fail, and then admitting that she was surprised that he succeeded was a great way for Draco to realize that people were still watching him, and that his actions were, at least in a small part, moving him forward towards changing the attitudes of the people around him. McGonagall's apology was a great touch too, because even I did not expect that.

McGonagall's offer seems very generous, though if Draco is doing as well in Potions as she says he is, he deserves the position. The fact that he's willing to take it, and that his mind is filling with the possibilities, shows that he's really considering the big picture here. I am so glad that Draco is acting rationally here. He's certainly learned a lot about self-control.

You've kept McGonagall perfectly in character. You've given her the sternness that she's known for, and the compassion for which she's well-loved. I bet Draco's appreciating her very much right about now. And aww, he has to wait for his pie. It's usually best the next day anyway.

And how does Draco use his newfound freedom??? By corrupting an innocent young girl in the corridors way too close to curfew! The shame!! *shakes matronly finger*

Astoria is so... it's like she's playing a dangerous game of hide-and-seek and I don't want her to find whatever she's looking for because she wants it too much. I must say that was an excellent use of the Disillusionment Charm. Okay, okay, it all turned out great in the end, and it was all cute and touching and wonderful (especially the talking part, because talking is very important...), but I was seriously worried there for a moment.

Isadore makes me want to dig out the staining fruit again. Seriously, girls like that should have a warning tattooed onto their foreheads. Why do I get the impression that Isadore knows just as little about "it" as Astoria? And why am I suddenly concerned about Isadore's source of information? Your phrasing is priceless, by the way. Please tell me that's a Dan original.

And sigh. Astoria's father has to be difficult. It's only going to turn her against him later... oh, you've got that covered. Right. Mr. Montague sounds absolutely dreadful, even if it is only for one evening.

I do like how Astoria has made up her mind that she's not going to just go along with her parents' plans for her to marry well and not take her studies seriously. It's good that she is following her convictions, or that she even has convictions to follow (*cough* ignore your friend, Isadore *cough*). I'm sure that's part of what Draco is attracted to.

Another lovely chapter filled with romance and several tension-filled steps in the right direction!

Author's Response: Hi, pix!

School's out... for summer! School's out... for-ever! Draco is almost all done with school and he's behaving a little like Hermione in the home stretch. Granted, Hermione would never write off any of her subjects, but at least he's being logical about things.

Draco and Lucius are getting on very poorly by this point, and way Draco is handling matters is obviously a mixed bag. He tries to avoid the old man, but sometimes he succumbs to his demons and gets drunk. He has warmed up to the muggle world in one or two very limited ways, but I wouldn't make **too** much of it. Because you're right, the power of pie has a lot to do with it.

There's a good reason the Sorting Hat put Draco into Slytherin without a moment's hesitation. He plots, he calculates and he assessed the impacts of his actions. Cunning, always.

I'm glad you liked McGonagall. Part of me always feels like she never would have been able to forgive him for the role he played in Dumbledore's death, even after she knew the complete truth. But she is, above all else, an educator and a fair woman. Draco has made the most of his second chance and I don't see how she wouldn't have respected that, albeit begrudgingly. Her offer is very fair, and it doesn't take Draco long at all to deduce that he isn't going to do any better, so he accepts. He has become very rational.

You're right, he doesn't use his new powers exclusively for good. That said, I felt like the two of them deserved at least a few moments of unspoiled happiness together. **This** is what I always assumed that Disillusionment Charms would be used most for at Hogwarts. Small wonder that they aren't taught until much later in a student's years at school.

What can I do to get you to like Isadore more? :p OK, there's probably nothing I can do because she's just being herself. She knows **a little more** about "it" than Astoria, but not a whole lot. She reads more magazines, gossips more and she's spent more time sneaking around empty classrooms and hidden passageways with boys, but by no means does that make her an expert. The phrasing is an original. Glad you like it. :)

Mr. Greengrass is a stubborn, traditionalist pureblood. I'd argue that it's turned her against him already, although the damage isn't irreparable yet. But Astoria is just a strong-willed as he is, and she'll find a way to subvert his plans. Her conviction and intelligence is definitely a part of what Draco finds attractive.

Tension-filled is a good way to put it. Draco and Astoria are playing a dangerous game, flying in the face of generations of pureblood tradition and patriarchy. It's going to be a crazy ride through to the end. I'm glad you're enjoying it. Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #7, by PixileaninSlice of Life: Eating Words

16th April 2014:
You have an interesting story here. It's refreshing to read NextGen characters right after school, where they're still figuring things out.

I'd like to read more about where this takes your characters. Albus has just run into an old friend that he hasn't seen in about a year. It could turn very interesting. Though I really hope he doesn't take the advice of his family and get his mother a pygmy puff. I don't care what Ginny's brother says, she won't want one now. Trust me on this. *nods*

So, you have a third chapter coming soon?

Author's Response: I do indeed. Somewhere ^_^V I'll dig it out and put it up for approval ASAP.

Ah, well, we shall have to see whether he does or does not. Perhaps he'll get a different gift after meeting Rickie again.


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Review #8, by PixileaninDesertion: Escape

14th April 2014:
Hi! I'm tagging you from the Gryffindor Common Room.

I thought you did a really good job with this. I always wondered what happened to the Malfoys after the last battle, and what they did with themselves when they got home. This seems like a plausible scenario, with Lucius still posturing about and trying to direct the family into whatever he thought was best. Draco's decision to leave didn't surprise me in the least. He'd had plenty of time to grow and come into his own during DH, and I think you showed that very well here.

Draco's anger is definitely portrayed well here. He starts off small, and then bursts like a dam, letting all of his frustrations out as he tells his father exactly what he thinks of him. I like how you tie his anger into events of his past, not just with his time at Hogwarts, but that Draco still had pent up anger from when he was very little. I assume that he blows up because this frustration has been building for such a long time, and it's taken him all these years to finally be strong enough to say no to someone who he probably thought he couldn't say no to, ever. It's a big moment for him.

I'm glad that you chose to show the softer side of Narcissa here. I always believed that she was a good mother to Draco, regardless of anything else that happened in that house. It feels good knowing that Draco doesn't blame her, that he had an advocate and appreciates what she's done for him. I can imagine that in the future, if he ever chooses to, he will be able to reconcile with her.

Dramatic as it was, for the age of the character and for all the pent up anger and frustration, I really can say that I don't think he's being overdramatic here. I think you hit all the desperation that he feels of getting out of that place just right. The only thing I'm a little bit curious about is where he thinks he's going at this point. Even a wizard has to stop running eventually.:)

Nicely done!

Author's Response: Hey there!
I always wondered the same thing myself - I always though there was a better side to Draco we never got to see because his father controlled him so much. At his core, though, Lucius is really a coward to me. I always imagined him to be the sort of person who only joined Voldemort because he was powerful, but you could tell his heart wan't really into it because he left partway through the battle - I thought it would only make sense to have him try and escape capture.
I actually based Draco's anger upon an old teacher of mine, funnily enough. She always started off quiet, and suddenly burst out yelling, and once she got started she just wouldn't stop. I always found this to be the most frightening way of expressing anger, because it contained that shock value as well. I wanted to see Draco stand up to his father, too - and I though this would be a perfect time to do it.
Narcissa - now, there's a mystery. We don't learn much about her in the books, but I always imagined her as comforting and a good mother. She presented herself, in my mind, as a nice counterpart to Lucius; I agree with you that she probably would reconcile woth Draco in the future, although I think, at this point, she would feel the need to stay with Lucius, even if only to protect him from himself.
Thankyou for the feedback - I really do appreciate it. It's always nice to see people are reading my work, and then there are the few lovelies like you who take the time to review! Like I said, I do appreciate it deeply, so thankyou so much - if I could hug you, I would, but hugging a computer with my brother sat opposite me at the moment might look a little strange ;)
Thanks (again!),
awesomepotter xxx


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Review #9, by PixileaninLike a House on Fire: Chocolate Is Always the Solution

13th April 2014:
Yay! New chapter!

Remus is an excellent advice-giver. Absolutely! But that doesn't mean that Sirius is an excellent advice-taker. I bet Sirius isn't even listening enough to what Remus has to say to even consider maybe doing something smart about it. Too bad. It sounds like Millie might be ready to listen to him now too. Poor, confused teenagers!

And of course chocolate is always the solution, Sirius! No wonder he wasn't a very good boyfriend. For shame!

I didn't quite think that Remus was gossiping. I just thought he said what needed to be said, and got Sirius to hear what he needed to hear. Except Sirius didn't actually hear it... ahhh!!

It is funny how Millie gets along with the dog better than she thinks she gets along with Sirius, and he's thinking the same thing! I can imagine him being her pet for all that time, just so he can see her smile at him. Aw! But hopefully, they'll get to a better place soon. You can't keep them like this forever, you know. They've got to GROW and, you know, mature at least a little bit, right?

Right??

I can't wait for Millie to be fully recovered physically, and to see how she will treat Sirius the next time she sees him. I wonder what will happen...

Author's Response: And another in the queue as well! As I near the end of this story, it appears chapter updates will be almost as frequent as they were when I first started writing this story.

Remus is the best advice-giver there is. Sirius... we'll see. He does well, in typical Sirius fashion. And OMG Millie! I'm so happy with where she is emotionally in this chapter. Nothing like a life-threatening situation to give some clarity on guy problems :P

I was surprised that Sirius did not already know that chocolate is always the solution. He probably shared his chocolate bar with Millie at random intervals and then put the amazing snogging sessions afterward to his good looks and charms.

Remus felt really gossipy to me when he was chatting about what their friends were up to. I was really scared of making him sound OOC, first with the gossip, and then with the Sirius observations. But I've set up that Millie's fave Marauder is actually Remus for a very long time (chapter 2, I think) so it would be likely that she'd be receptive to advice from him.

Hopefully they will get to a better place soon! I hate writing them all confused like this.

Thanks so much for reading!


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Review #10, by PixileaninNot Normal: {Chapter the Second}

13th April 2014:
"And he was cute. And dead, but who really cared about such trivial things?"

Ack! Cute, dead people in someone's kitchen!! Poor girl! And yeah, teenage males are so annoying!! Get to the point, Reggie! Lovely trick too, having her lie and pretend she's making up a story. Very effective, and it seems to work too.

I love her panic when Mrs. P asks her to sit down. She's so worried about the straight jacket that she can't think straight.

Ginny giving Chris and Ellie watches on their seventeenth birthdays was very, very sweet of her. I'm glad these two have people like that around them to remind them that they're not alone in the world. People who are alone, are... err... lonely. Yeah. That's what I was going for.

I can't wait to see what kind of difficulties... err... I mean, help, Regulus plans to give Ellie in Hogwarts this year. He's definitely not telling her what's going on, and he obviously knows something big is going to happen, so shame on him for being so mysterious. Although, if he were more forthcoming, we wouldn't have such an epic story, would we?

And obviously, it's about time that Ellie told her brother what's going on with her. But she probably won't, because this thing has been going on for so long that she doesn't feel the need to say anything until it's too late... silly teens!

Another wonderful chapter! *keeps prodding with stick*

Author's Response: Hahaha! I don't know what Ellie's problem is. If Regulus Black popped into my kitchen, dead or alive, I'd be pretty excited. Even if he does have an aura of cultivated mystery.

I wanted to show that Ginny really tries to include Chris and Ellie in the family - she's very much her mother's daughter in that sense. Ellie's just very awkward about the entire thing! But you're right. Family is very important.

Regulus is... he's a lot of fun. He's going to make Ellie's life a lot more interesting, for sure!

Ellie just needs to get her act together, all around. She hordes secrets like dragon's treasure.

My updates are terrible, no? Molly is sorely neglected :( On the bright side, there IS a new Sirius/Millie chapter in the queue...


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Review #11, by PixileaninAlbus Potter and the New Lord: An Interesting Start to Term

13th April 2014:
Very intriguing start to the story! I see you have more reviews on the first chapter than you do on the second, so I'm going to kind of combine both chapters here, if you don't mind terribly.

I like how you bring us straight into the thick of the action in this chapter and it's not one of those "set up" things, where nothing significant happens. Draco pledges his son to the new Dark Lord, whoever that happens to be, and then his father dies, both pretty significant things, I'd say. And then he doesn't discuss it with Scorpius. It's kind of sad that he's following in his family's footsteps, but I suppose that he doesn't know any better. He still has that drive to keep his family safe, the thing that drove his mother, and since they are (were) both still under the same roof with him, I doubt he'd have grown past that much, sad as it is. The only thing that concerns me is Draco's characterization, that he'd automatically assume from a letter that this new person isn't some idiot posing as a new Dark Lord. I'd think he'd be at least suspicious of him and show some reserve until he's seen some proof.

I like the banter between the first years, or at least I'm assuming first years on the train. the twins sound excited, and I love how you turned the "are you a Muggle" question into something that they needed to ask, regarding Quidditch. Very nice!

"Oh look, I got mum." Haha. That was great.

Oh, and there's a lot of excitement on the train as well! You're really packing in the action here. It certainly raises questions about who is trying to harm the students and why, and what the new mark with the eye is.

You've got some really good stuff going on here. These were fun two chapters to read!

Author's Response: Hallo! I don't mind at all!

It is pretty sad. Thanks for that CC on Draco, I'll remember that in the future and maybe add it in when I do my Big Edit.

Yes they're first years. Thanks!

It's not Action/Adventure for nothing! :D

Thank you for reading and reviewing!

-Karou


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Review #12, by PixileaninConnect the Dots: hermione

11th April 2014:
"He's not much of a fighter these days. We make a rotten pair as it turns out, because neither am I."

I love how this sets you up for Hermione's state of mind. I have no idea what's going on in this fic yet, but I automatically get Hermione's mood.

Something has happened. Something with Ron. I can feel it, but I can't see it yet. I am comforted by Ginny's presence, just as Hermione is, and I'm glad she's there. I'm glad she's willing to come more often, because even though Hermione didn't say it, she needs it.

Well, I know this is supposed to be a romance, but for a very short while, I was afraid that Ron had died... and I'm sort of relieved that he's alive, but man, something must have really HAPPENED, because Hermione left him with a baby. That must have been some THING to have her leave.

The time she spends with Viktor was very well done. I could sense they both had this need to see each other after such a long time, if only to know what happened in each other's lives... I guess to see if they might have had something once, and in Viktor's case, if they could have again. You did a marvelous job of continuing Hermione's feeling of "not being a fighter" throughout that. She wants and she doesn't want, and she needs things that she doesn't think she should... and I loved at the end of the chapter how she's decided things about her future and how she's going to see Ron again.

I really want to see what happens next, and I'm very curious about what tore her apart from Ron, and how seeing Hermione will affect Viktor.

Very lovely first chapter!

Author's Response: Pix! Sorry for the late response. I have the best intentions when it comes to responding to reviews, and then life happens…

Thank you for the great review! I'm really looking forward to getting Viktor's chapter nailed down, because it's been floating around in my head for months now! Some things will be explained in his chapter, but not everything. This will ultimately be a Hermione/Krum story, so while Ron plays a role it will remain background.

Thanks again for the review!


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Review #13, by PixileaninThe Mildly Perilous and Mostly Tragicomic Misadventures of Sir Roderick Gryffindor and 'Sir' Ivan Harris: In Which Ivan Adventures Like a Man

8th April 2014:
Review Swap!

"Like a leaping leper..." I am seriously chortling right now. I have heard this phrase, and I, too am puzzled by it. And though the encounter was wildly adventurous and wonderful, I agree with Roderick. (never thought I would, lol!) Loosing a sword at the outset of a quest is not a good sign. The words between them afterward are hilarious! I purposefully did not read the Glossary, just so I could encounter the words in context, and when I got there, I had great fun. It was pretty easy to guess the meaning. Very colorful!

I love that Max has conveniently skipped the boring parts of the journey and hurled us into the action. Love.

Here, I'm trying to picture Roderick in his shiny gold armor, scaling the mountain path amidst all the rustic beauty. That alone is funny.

"Sounds like a side quest..." Hee hee! I need to have someone point that out when I'm writing stories and I get too distracted with side plots. Too funny!

When I read the bit about the men (supposedly) cutting down saplings in the forest with spoons, I felt like I was reading a fairytale. In fact, my brain was on overdrive, trying to recall if there indeed is a fairytale about men cutting down saplings with spoons, because it sounds so much like a fairytale thing to do. Kuddos to you if that's an original idea!

So now, Roderick and Ivan are faced with a castle where a (supposedly) evil man, who is old, lives - and does not want to be disturbed by noise. I loved how Max just came out and supposed everything for us, because I can't really see how any character would come up with that on their own so early in the story. It's definitely much better than having the men with spoons (that sounds like a movie title now...) explain everything.

This whole story has a distinct "Princess Bride" feel to it, what with the narrator being involved in the story. The quote fit perfectly! In fact, it fit so perfectly that I didn't blink at it (except for when I saw the astericks), and I have seen that movie many, many times. Excellent use of quote. Seamless. I bet Max was very proud of you!

Now I am curious about The Crotchety One, and what sort of evil he has in store for both of our heroes... thought I must reserve Roderick's heroic status until he shows me some proof. *is very nitpicky about hero status*

So much fun!!!

Author's Response: Hey there!

I have absolutely no idea where I heard that phrase from, but it doesn't make sense, does it? :D Perfect. No, losing her sword was not in her best interest -- never fear, I have *plans* ;). Yay for free-styling! I don't think that there was too much in the Glossary that wasn't fairly straightforward. Some of the explatives could have been taken as regular interjections, but I sense that you got the main idea :D.

Boring parts of the story are boring, and have no place in a parody.

I want to know how Roderick maneuvers up the mountain in golden armor, enchanted or not. Ah, well, he manages.

Hah, the side-quest. I'm not sure when this turned slightly into a video game... this story writes itself, I swear that I have little to do with it -_-. I only work on this when I'm overtired, because at least then *I* will think that I am funny ;). What my brain turns into a story in that state...well... you know.

I have read a TON of fairy tales over the years, but I don't reccommend any men cutting down saplings with spoons :D.

The Cotchety One, otherwise known as side-quest number one! Max thought it would be a good idea to explain everything, because the men were preoccupied trying to cut down things with spoons.

I love that movie, and this was inspired by the "Princess Bride" quote challenge, so I'm glad it has that feel to it. Hooray! I'm also very glad that you think that I did a good job at including the quote into the story.

Just remember that Roderick is an idiot :D.

Thanks!

-Rumpel


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Review #14, by PixileaninOn the Edge of an Ocean: Not Again

29th March 2014:
The way that you portray the normalcy, and then turn it into such wrongness in Molly's eyes was really well done. I could feel her seeing the way that her family was acting at the dinner was so very wrong, and questioning every little thing that everyone was doing. It wasn't reduced to "why isn't everyone so sad?", but it was twisted into a "trying too hard to carry on" scenario for her.

"How can we eat without her?"

How can she sit there and listen to the memories when she hasn't got the nerve to accept that Lucy is gone? I think they all see that Molly's not dealing well with her grief, but it's early still. Only a few days? Sometimes it takes longer than that for the acceptance to settle in. Though it seems that Molly is fighting the reality even harder now. The way that she has to still herself and breathe to not completely lose it makes me feel. I wish she'd just blow up and let it all out, so she can start the healing process. It feels like you're not going to let her do that, are you?

Such torture.

At the point when Molly finally has a memory, that's when normal people would have shared it out loud, because obviously, that's what the family was expecting. Just say something. But she can't.

And then on the stairs, I almost felt like Molly was having another vision, except it might have been a memory too. I'm not sure because Molly isn't letting me be sure of anything right now.

You've done a stunning job with her focus on the little things, the tiny details of sensation that distract her from the big, looming truth that she's avoiding.

And oh no! If those are the same black robes from the Ministry, it's almost like Molly's expecting someone else to have died... which would be very, very bad for her right about now. Or maybe they're not, but Molly's going to freak out anyway. I am suddenly very nervous for her!

I love how you are keeping this story from diving off the cliff of melodrama. There's a quiet reserve to all of this that makes it real instead of angsty. It's tangible, instead of crazed. I don't feel like Molly's over the top, and I don't feel like any of the other characters are caricaturized in any way. Everything just feels so solid and believable.

I hope to get the next two chapters done over the next few days, because now I'm even more curious as to where you're taking this.

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Review #15, by PixileaninOn the Edge of an Ocean: Two Days

29th March 2014:
Gosh, the imagery here and the reminiscing just about killed me. It almost feels like Molly is starting to have a panic attack when she tries to reconcile the reality in her mind. It's heartbreaking and painful and hits all the sore spots for this type of situation.

And she seems so alone in this.

I love the description of Mr. Nott's eyes, how they reflect something deep and dark and how she's seen this before in the eyes of her family. And then how you lead into the reflection of the thoughts she's been having, like she realizes that she's seen death too, and wonders if people can see it in her too. That was really cool.

You also hint a second time about how Molly sees herself in relation to her sister, how she seems so, I don't know yet, but she sounds very insecure about stepping out of her comfort zone, like Lucy was able to just roll with things, and Molly was stuck inside herself. Like she is now. Really stuck, I imagine. I completely identify with her not wanting to take the time off, because what is she going to do if there's nothing to do?

James' entrance seemed right on cue, sort of like the movies that Molly was thinking about. The writing here is superb, really. So flowy and the disconnect that Molly feels, the lovely way that you describe James' chatter that she can't bring herself to care about, and that wholly helpless feeling that she has, being dragged away, but allowing it, because, I suppose that leaving is better than staying. And she's still fighting with herself over the reality of things, but now she has hope that the family meeting with prove to her that maybe the reality she wants will still be there when she gets around them.

Oh dear. The repetition of the blue lips is very powerful, as is that one line "if everyone is going then it'll be like there is a gaping hole where her body is supposed to be".

I don't think I have anything else to say, other than bravo on another emotionally charged chapter!

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Review #16, by PixileaninOn the Edge of an Ocean: Don't be Sad

29th March 2014:
Hi there! I'm here from the review pairings for March and I'm excited to see what you have in this story... and sorry for the long time it took me to get here. I'm a little embarrassed about that, but it was a busy month, and anyway...

I think you've captured beautifully and accurately what it's like to see, for the first time, someone who is not supposed to be dead. Just writing this, I can still feel it like it was yesterday. I completely understood the denial, the questioning, the pretending that everything that looks real isn't, and the desperate need to wake up and go back to the way that things should be. You got all of that down cold. Literally.

There is a vibrancy and a simultaneous desperation in your writing here that compels me to know what's going to happen next. Molly is on the edge of herself here. You make me want to know if she's going to be able to pull herself together, or wake up, or... I'm not even sure what's going to happen next. You didn't even give us a question, but I'm wondering anyway. That makes for great characterization. I can already tell how much Lucy means to her (in a very present way), and how detached the entire family is at the end of this funeral, wondering. They're all just standing there wondering. It's a powerful image.

I'm writing my own first NextGen story too, so I know how you feel. Is the tone right? Do the characters feel like they're supposed to... which is kind of silly, being that they're all open slates with only a family background to go on and we can do whatever we want with them... does it grab the attention of the people who normally read NextGen? Is this what they're looking for?

I don't know the answers to any of those questions for my own piece, but I think this is a solid start to an emotional journey for Molly and her grief. And still, even though you never asked it, there is that big question, "what happens next?"

As a first chapter, I think you nailed it. :) I can't wait to see where you go with this!

Author's Response: Hey Pix,

Sorry for the late response. I have no excuse, so please accept my sincerest apologies for forgetting that I haven't done this before now.

I'm glad you didn't feel like it was a melodramatic onslaught. I wasn't aiming for that specifically, but was rather writing what felt right at the time. Grief and madness are a hard thing to work and put together in a subtle way that doesn't make the reader want to gag. Molly is dealing with a lot and I like how you've caught onto the whole fiction and reality. Will Molly wake up? Literally or metaphorically speaking anyway.

I know exactly what you mean with next gem's there are those unknown variables. It is silly because who really knows what they would be like? Other than perhaps a slight reflection of their parents (though their family went through war and i'm not even sure if you can really base their offspring's personality on that. What would Harry, Ron, or Hermione or Percy have been like if the war wasn't growing up with them?) Anyway, I could go on with this, but the only thing I can really do is focus on my characters and write how it feels right. I don't even read next gen too much so I don't have that as a basis of how to do my own characters (which I think is a good thing because it lets me go at it without any kind of influence).

Thank you so much for your kind reviews!


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Review #17, by PixileaninLove Rules: Love Rule #24

29th March 2014:
Fantastic story! So much drama, and all the feels! I really enjoyed reading this, all the teen-things and the sensitive way you've handled the difficult topics without overwhelming the story with it.

Great, great writing!

Author's Response: Haha to much drama - just went through and tried to edit some out! Teenagers are exhausting!

Thanks so much for the read and review! I really appreciate it :)


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Review #18, by PixileaninThe Immortal Lords: Alliances

27th March 2014:
Ahh! How did I not see this before???

I've read several Percy Jackson books, because my kids are into them, and you've managed to match the style so well! I don't know how you did this, but I can completely see this happening. It's amazing that you've blended these two concepts together.

I am amazed.

The appearance of the Death Eaters on brooms was great. I could really get into Percy's shock and "OMG, what is THAT??" The way you described the battle was very Percy Jackson, but the elements were clearly HP. I love this! Oh, I said that already, didn't I?

Oh, Chiron and Firenze! Brilliant connection here! And Dumbledore always with the "I can't tell you this thing that's important, because I don't really know what's going on and I want it to look like I do until I figure it out and then only tell you enough to get you into trouble." Perfect characterization, if you ask me.

I have no CC. I just want to read more. So much gushing. Love it!

Author's Response: HellO!!!

I love Percy Jackson myself and it was a bit of a challenge to merge both words together. I'm glad you liked the blending of both worlds! I tried to keep everything as it is with both worlds. Keep their souls, you know.

Percy's voice is kinda easy to get. Haha. He's very sarcastic and that's something I'm very fluent. Haha. Percy, at this point in his life, is like "eh...I guess that's new." and doesn't freak out as much.

Chiron and Firenze! For some odd reason I thought they ought to be related! And yep, Dumbledore is definitely not really in the "know in" of what's really going on in the US and the gods. He just goes along with it and of course, drags teens to go along with it as well. Hahaha!

Thank you so much for your kind words!! Really!!! :D

--Rosie


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Review #19, by PixileaninNot Normal: {Chapter the First}

27th March 2014:
You know how you go to read a story, and then you're immediately swept away into this other world, and you don't even remember how you got there? That was what reading this first chapter was like. Pure delight!

Aww! Ellie's talk with her great gran was so sweet! I just loved the way you captured her five year old self and the patient, nurturing aura of the older woman. And the way that Ellie gets scared that her twin can't do the same thing as her, for once, was so touching. It really brought home how unique she was, and that her gift was not to be shared. Poor thing!

The whole thing with certain body parts freezing off... haha! That was so funny, I just don't know what else to say about it.

Okay, so the most important thing about this story so far is Ellie's CAKE SENSE! How fantastic is that?? That is so awesome, I think I want cake right now! I love how Ellie puts all of Cassandra's predictions into light of her own life. Uh oh, the love thing doesn't sound too promising. I'm sure Ellie's not looking forward to that at all. And now I want cake. And more of this story. I guess I found something to occupy myself with while you're slaving away on that "other" story that I'm waiting on.. *prods with stick*

So very delightful!! And flowy!!! I am jealous of your epic flow!

Author's Response: *dies of flattery overload*

*cannot stand up because of inflated head*

*must be rushed to hospital to decrease size of ego*

That is a summary of my emotions right now.

Writing a young child was really difficult. I don't really have much experience with children that young and I still wanted to include Ellie's precociousness. I'm so happy you think I did a good job!

That was an add in the most recent edit! I'm glad you liked it. I was a little concerned that Ellie was thinking of any of Albus' body parts considering how much she doesn't like him...

We all know this story is really about Ellie's cake sense. Spoilers, but it's how she's going to save the day. She's basically going to go up to the adverse situation and woo them with their favourite piece of cake. That is how this story is going down. The Founders are just a ploy to generate interest. And Ellie is definitely not looking forward to the love entering her life!

Thanks so much for this lovely review!


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Review #20, by PixileaninMeddling Aphrodite: She Sits On Her Throne

26th March 2014:
"Aphrodite was the goddess of... all of that good stuff." Okay, I already have a smile on my face. You have my full attention now. Ahem.

Okay, I read all of that way too fast. This seems to be some kind of crossover with Greek Mythology, and I loved seeing the Greek gods discover this other world that had been hidden from them. With all the boredom that Aphrodite was touting, I can imagine how excited she must be to be meddling in people's lives that she previously had absolutely no access to. Though I'd be paying more attention to Hephaestus' little birdie thing if I were her. I mean, that kind of stuff rocks!

It definitely looks like you had a blast writing this! I can only guess how George is going to take this meddling business. Haha! Very interesting premise!

Author's Response: Glad that caught your attention. I was a little unsure as to how people would react to the story beginning that way but so far everyone has had a really positive reaction to it.

It most certainly is a crossover with Greek Mythology (one of my many obsessions). I can almost imagine Aphrodite giving an evil laugh at this new discovery and having more people to screw with. Except she probably wouldn't have given an evil laugh because it's not something that she would do.

I don't actually know how George is going to react to Aphrodite meddling in his life but I don't think he's going to take too lightly towards it. Thanks for the review!


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Review #21, by PixileaninThe Things that Haunt Me: Live with My Mistakes

26th March 2014:
Oohh! Peter's POV as a rat! I must say I am surprised by that, and I think it's a very fitting perspective for the challenge that you entered. Bravo for your choice!

There is a lot of regret in his voice at the beginning. I can totally see Peter having a crush on Lily in their school years. I mean, who wouldn't?

I liked Peter's thoughts about the trio, and his comparisons to his school mates. I was a little thrown off when Peter referred to Ron as his "master". It makes sense, in a way, but I'm too invested in Peter's canon story to assume that he'd think that way, even as a rat. I suppose you might be trying to show Peter's subservient side, which I can understand. Anyway, it's an interesting word choice for his POV.

There are a few typos in the first bit. I don't want to point them out here in the review, but you might want to tidy up a few things here and there, such as a few verb tense slips, and things like that. Nothing major, but I thought I'd point it out.

This was quite the interesting read! I never thought about Peter's life as a rat before.

Author's Response: Hehe yeah! Thank you - I honestly didn't think nothing of it at least... not deeply. It just came to me as I wrote. I'm glad that it was something new for you! :D

^_^ Yep, I wanted to really sink my feet into Peter's shoes, and yes - who couldn't like Lily? :)

Em. You're right... I could have said owner.. At the same time, I was writing this one-shot at 3am in the morning. Even though I was sleepy, I couldn't ignore the inspiration to write this -- so it was like I wrote whatever came to my mind. :P

Thanks for pointing that out. I will work on correcting my errors whenever I get the chance. I have written new (non-HP) stories... and I hope that they're evidence to show my improvement... since I had a lot of help from a beta reader for a HP story from the forums. ^_^



Thanks again! I'm glad I was able to provide a different perspective for you! And thank you so much for reading and reviewing!




- Asphodel


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Review #22, by PixileaninThrough the Half-Moon Spectacles: Preparing for What is to Come

26th March 2014:
I loved the imagery you got through with all the paintings whispering to each other, announcing that Severus Snape was coming. Your decision for Albus to see and hear things through the other portraits was fascinating. I always envisioned the portraits being able to communicate with each other, but having them see through other portrait's eyes was a new concept to me. I really liked the idea of someone being able to do that.

Albus' passive nature made sense. As a character, he was always expecting other people to carry through with his plans, and as a portrait, he no doubt expected the same. So did Severus, who you kept in character too, with his impatience and the way he criticized Harry.

I loved the touch you put with the Fat Lady informing him of what the kids said about Harry, and then showing that Albus already knew.

I can kind of see where you might have trouble finishing this piece. Setting up the observant Albus through the portrait, it would be difficult to get to a real ending without simply rehashing what we know is to come. I hope that you were able to come up with something really neat regarding the portraits of the castle and how they may have contributed to the victory over Voldemort somehow. It seems like a very challenging challenge, if you ask me. :) So far, Albus hasn't said anything. It makes me wonder if you'll have him speak out in the end.

This was a fun piece to read. Good luck with the finishing chapter!

Author's Response: Yay! I'm quite happy that you do! Describing - at least to me is somewhat hard for me to manage without screwing something up. Though, I guess it's because I had gotten great CC from fellow HPFF member, so I know what do to do...

And the painting whispering to each other/mental connection was something I had in mind for a while and I'm glad that it's different to you and different readers. :)

Hehe, ah! :D Severus Snape and Albus Dumbledore are the two characters who I find immensely hard to write, but I'm glad that you see the characterization fitting. ^_^



Honestly, I have not written it yet - though I will. And you're right. Coming up with the ending will be a challenge - but I look forward to taking it on! n_n


Well, I do actually - in the next, and last part. I have the ending scene planned out... but not the battle scene. So we'll see.


Thank you so much for the luck... for reading and leaving a review! And I'm pleased to know that you liked it!




- Asphodel



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Review #23, by PixileaninJust a Little: Just a Little

8th March 2014:
Oh how cute!

I loved the twists that you gave this piece! First off, having Lily and James in a closet and NOT kissing is brilliant. Having Sirius set them up when they don't need the setting up is brilliant. And having Lily admit to James that she had a good time, well, again. Brilliant.

I loved how Lily just came out and told Sirius so matter-of-factly that his plans weren't needed or wanted, and that he was too late. The poor bloke!

And picturing Peter with romance novels made me seriously laugh out loud. You've peppered this fic with so many of your signature tidbits, standing cliches on their heads and giving the whole thing a light, airy humorous feel without going overboard. It was a delight to read!

Author's Response: I love cliches. They are the blood that runs in my veins. However, I know that if they aren't done right, there's a huge danger of the entire story crumbling into teeny tiny pieces of bad writing. I'm so happy that you thought it was done well.

Poor Sirius. I give him a lot of flack every time I write him. The guy really needs a break :P

Peter... I couldn't resist. He's totally the romance novel kind of guy. Thank you so much for this lovely review. I'm glad that you enjoyed yourself :)


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Review #24, by PixileaninTwo Sides of the Coin: Ambition and Power

8th March 2014:
Oh the carnage!

I like the detail that you threw in about Slughorn throwing away Lucius Malfoy's photograph when he realized that the man was on the wrong side of things. It shows that Slughorn truly had a conscience, and wasn't always out for himself.

One of the things I liked the most about this piece was the way you incorporated lesser-known Slytherins who weren't part of the Death Eater movement. I think, to answer Slughorn's question, that this was the reason Dumbledore had asked him to be Head of House. He knew that Slughorn would see the good in the students who hadn't been blinded by the promise of ultimate power.

On that note, I think I would have liked to see more introspection from Slughorn on this point. You covered his thoughts on Tom Riddle, definitely. But I was looking for a moment of revelation from him, and I didn't quite feel it when we got there. I suppose this would fall into the "personal taste" category of reviewing when I say that I might have preferred him to remain disheartened at the end of this one-shot, since the battle was still so fresh.

You description and tone is as lovely as ever in this piece, along with the thoughtful reflection of your character. Even though I didn't completely buy in to where you were going with this, I could certainly see Slughorn thinking these thoughts and mulling over the part he played in the lives of these young people. The calmness that he portrays in the midst of his wrecked office, with blood all over the place is a fine contrast. I can almost picture the first time we meet him in the books, in that run-down house where he'd turned himself into a chair. He has that detached feel to him, seeing the wreckage but not being affected by it. It's definitely an interesting take on a character I'd love to know more about.

Thanks for writing this piece!

Author's Response: Hello, thanks for stopping by!

Yes, I wanted to portray Slughorn in a somewhat sympathetic light, and that involves being smart and not giving people infinite chances to turn their lives around. I think of him as naive, albeit selfish.

I guess it was hard for me to balance the idea of Slughorn ultimately believing the best of people and Slughorn's reaction to the carnage all around him. For some people, the way in which they react to a trauma is to try to make the best of things and count their blessings. I think of Slughorn as a "glass half full" kind of guy, because he has nowhere to go but up after the failure with Tom. So that's where I was coming from with the bit of brightness at the end. Still, I can see what you're saying about letting him mope a little. It's a good point.

I'm glad you liked the contrast between Slughorn's musings and the destroyed state of his office. I didn't really think about how we first met him in that dilapidated house, but I love that you brought it up! He was certainly interesting to explore and I'm pleased that you enjoyed my take on him.

Thanks for your kind review, Pix!

-Amanda


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Review #25, by PixileaninDetox: Reconnecting

3rd March 2014:
"We didn't just meet some bloke in a bar, get three sheets to the wind and decide to overthrow the Ministry."

Are you certain, Mr. Gamp? Because I see a lot of drink and a lot of talk, and someone's about to get three sheets and more than a little windy. Pretty sure it's gonna be Flint, but I won't bet money on it just yet.

Draco's really playing a dangerous game here. If it weren't for that wedding, he wouldn't be here at all. He'd be composing beautiful sonnets and sending them off to Astoria. Actually, Draco doesn't seem the sonnet type. He strikes me more of the straight up couplet type, or some sort of anagram, where he says something virtuous with each letter of her name.

I did find it humorous that Draco spent considerable brain power on what sort of firewhisky Zabini had. It shows his snobbery, as well as Zambini's poor taste in drink. I'm with Draco on this. Why would he buy the obvious cheap stuff? Why would his mother even allow it in the house? It's so wrong. The whole atmosphere of this encounter gives me the creeps.

"First of all, we're not being recruited by anyone, Malfoy. We're in charge here."

I'm getting flashbacks. Flashbacks to another character I remember who was completely insane and thought he had the upper hand. These people don't learn. They just keep barreling head first into badness. Why is it that these characters are also the most fun to write?

And all the posturing! You write these guys really well. Everyone trying to stuffy-chest over each other. I really feel for Draco when he hears what he believes is the proof he needs to implicate his father is involved. If all he's doing is trying to get out of this mess, and all his father is doing is dragging the family back into it, what chance does Draco have of succeeding? A real pit of snakes he's been thrown into.

Or should I say spiders? Draco's tale keeps weaving him tighter and tighter into a corner. Granted, it was his only choice at the time, but what is all of this going to mean later? This has got to backfire in a very big way in the long run. I am suddenly nervous for him.

Astoria sounds like she's not going to be the first in line for the new Gringotts ride at Universal. Oh, but she is maneuvering for the tiara! I am glad you're showing us this side of her. She can't entirely escape her Slytherin training, and I love the way she rationalizes that the sneaky sibling posturing is okay because it's a skill. Haha!

I love, LOVE the way you show Astoria's conversation with Mrs. Malfoy in the bank lobby. The way that these two are "talking" without looking like they're even acknowledging each other is fantastic characterization. Astoria does indeed admire this woman from the things that Draco has told her, and it seems that Narcissa has also heard some things about Astoria from her son. Just knowing that Draco has shared his sentiments with his mother must give that girl a tremendous boost of confidence in their semi-relationship status. You really couldn't have done anything better for her than this.

Oh, I don't know about the Jeremy Gamp warning, Dan. I kind of like to be surprised by unconventionally insane, evil characters every once in a while. As long as they're safely trapped inside a story, and not ringing the doorbell or anything terrifying like that. :P

I'm definitely feeling Draco's unwavering determination, and Astoria's growing confidence. Another lovely chapter!

Author's Response: Hi, pix!

Draco is playing a very dangerous game, but the calibration of his Danger Meter has been off since the end of the war. As scary and Gamp might be, he's still nothing compared to Voldemort. That comparison will lead Draco to underestimate a lot of dangers before this story is through.

I was struggling for a good entree to this chapter when the idea of him critiquing the Zabinis' taste in beverages popped into my head. For some reason, it just fit for me, with both characters, actually. Zabini's mother always seemed like the type who accumulated wealth ravenously yet spent it reluctantly.

It's always fun to write pompous, arrogant characters who get in over their heads because you enjoy seeing them get their comeuppance at the end. Generally speaking, the more of a jerk you can make them, the more satisfying it is when they fall.

I'm glad you like all the bluster and bravado. That was mostly what I was going for, except for Gamp. With him, it's not just an act. He really believes every word of it and he'd have zero hesitation about acting on it.

Poor Astoria! With so many stomach-churning experiences in the magical world -- apparition, portkeys, goblin-piloted death coasters -- being a witch must have been hard on her. Again, I was trying to show a contrast between her more mature side and her less mature side. The sibling rivalry over the tiara compared to what Narcissa tells her about what it meant to lose her sisters seemed like a helpful way to draw that out.

In my personal world, Narcissa is an incredibly perceptive and adept woman. She grew up having "properness" pounded into her head every waking minute of every day, so navigating complicated social situations is nearly effortless for her. Astoria learns a few things from her in this chapter, both in terms of how she conducts herself and some new information she reveals about Draco. You're right, Astoria is also pleased to the point of bursting that Draco has told his mother good things about her.

Fortunately for us all, Jeremy has no means of escaping from the black depths of my sadistic writer's heart. There he dwells, waiting for a chance to emerge onto the written page and inflict misery on all the other characters.

I'm really pleased that you enjoyed it! They're growing ever closer together, but the story is far from over. Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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