Reading Reviews From Member: Pixileanin
545 Reviews Found

Review #1, by PixileaninA Wedding: A Wedding

29th July 2015:
Okay okay, I'm all excited about this wedding, but there's only one chapter>??? WHERE IS IT!!??

No, seriously, I need this next bit. I need to know. You did such an excellent job of building everything up, and then... AHHH!!

Anyway, maybe some coherent comments might be nice. Albus all mopey and depressed, the poor guy, it's like his life runs before his eyes as he stares at himself in the mirror. He's so reflective... ahhahaha, I didn't do that on purpose, I swear.

"Albus grimaced inwardly as he stared at his reflection, the robes had once been a very dashing blue but were now a rather pitiful shade of grey that reminded him of tears, “I'll be the one crying tonight for sure,” he muttered miserably."

Wonderful turn of the phrase here, to add life to the description! Ahh, and the hair is rebelling against him as well. Poor, poor Albus! The swearing at Merlin had me laughing out loud!

Aww, Albus and his friends wreaking havoc at Hogwarts just like back in the day. That warms my heart that he had a trio of his own and they ran around doing things that they rather shouldn’t. To make matters worse, the good they caused was overshadowed by the tricks they pulled. Perfection!

I love the names you’ve chosen from the past to represent the future, Lavender, Dobby the owl, and Zabini the Potions Master are all great send-ups to the original story, and letting Albus have this deep friendship reminds me so much of the original trio.

“but if you're so set on not dating Lavvy and giving me that delicious little body then why not just try dating Rose's friend? You know the one...that mean looking Ravenclaw girl that's always glowering at you.”

Ack, James! So cruel! I actually spluttered at that line. He’s just pushing all of Albus’ buttons right now. Now you’re making me anxious about the actual event, since they’re talking like Scorpius might destroy them. This is quite suspenseful writing, leading up to the main event. I might be biting my nails in anticipation. So now with all that build up I HAVE to read about the wedding. You can’t just end it there… my god I need it ALL!!

So, umm... I hope you weren't expecting anything, you know, constructive or anything because I can't find anything to comment on. Everything felt fresh and new, and it flowed really well. The details were fabulous. I got a clear sense for all the players involved, and now I want the disaster! Like, now.



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Review #2, by PixileaninForever: Questions

28th July 2015:
Hi there!

I thought I'd take a look at something happy and light, and this caught my eye. This, right here, this is how I felt right after I read Ron's practiced speech:

“I don’t know, mate. That seems a touch serious. Do you think you can say it without laughing?” asked Harry.

Heehee, he's so nervous and wanting to do things the right way, but Harry's right. He at least needs to sound like himself. And he does. He starts out a bit rocky, but then he gets into it, and it's just right. I laughed at the part where he has to tell Hermione what he's doing so she'll let him finish. I laughed again when he was going on about her hair in the wind, because I'm sure Hermione didn't think her hair was doing her any favors being blown about like that. Gah, that'll be a story to tell their kids!

Your tone for this was most excellent. I thoroughly believed that this was Ron's voice, and all the other characters were very much themselves. I also appreciated how Ron went to his mother and sister first and told them what he wanted to do. It showed his strong bond to family, and having Ginny help was both endearing and smart on his part. Loved the bit about the ruby over the diamond. I have a friend who is like that as well, except she likes sapphires. Ginny's restraint when Hermione was going through her second-guessing angst was well-played. She managed to hold it together while still being able to reassure her friend.

I loved the way you incorporated the quote for the challenge, by the way. I didn't even realize that it was THE quote until I read your note at the end, so to say that you seamlessly incorporated it would be the truth. Bravo!

I have no crit for you. Lovely flow, lovely subject, and excellent execution. I had a great time reading this!


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Review #3, by PixileaninYear Five: The Big Thing

27th July 2015:
Hey there, I needed to get on with the getting on, so here I am. When I started reading this chapter, I immediately had to stop and wonder what I was writing at the time that you were writing this. I don't know why that first sentence made me think of that, but it did.

Ah yes, I was writing that kooky rabbit story. Anyway, I don't know why or even if that's important, but I was just curious. Sometimes life has a way of getting away from me.

"Emily noticed, also, that she knew things."

What exactly was in that potion?? Maybe I don't want to know. Getting that close to someone is risky and dangerous, but Emily is the right person to do it. Poor Tristan though. I don't think he was ready to be so transparent, even though she was able to soothe him. So there's the Big Thing, which we don't know, but Emily does, and then somewhere down the line you show us that Emily feels like Tristan has been hinting at it all along.

I love the tender, yet sad moment that these two have together in the Corridor. I have best wishes for them, but it seems like a long, hard road. Or maybe you just tease me. Harumph with the teasing!

So back to the potion thing, which I have to say the execution of was completely brilliant. You managed to make social commentary sing in the midst of being under the influence of mind-altering substances, and it hit like a splash of psychedelic colors. And the bit about Emily bouncing around inside other peoples' heads was both cool and disturbing at the same time. Those boys, ugh! I didn't want to see what they were thinking, but man oh man did it make an impact.

Brain bleach. Poor Emily. I don't even blame her for not telling Isobel anything. There were Deep Thoughts, and it really wasn't Emily's place to tell anyway. And when is she going to say something to that girl about the not eating? It seems like she's wise to the situation, but maybe there's just too much stuff going on for her to take it in. You've overwhelmed your characters to the point of breakage. So many issues!

Another fantastic installment!


Author's Response: Hm, now that you said that I'll be keeping an eye out in your story, see if I can't have a similar ~woOoOoOo~ moment.

Dimethyltryptamine and MAO inhibiting harmala alkaloids. That's what's in the potion. Heh, it really IS a real thing! And all of Emily's experiences with it were based on research into the shamanic rituals and beliefs around what the potion does (it's used sort of as psychic medicine, apparently) and first-person accounts by people who've done it. As far as I can tell, it IS risky and dangerous, and should probably only ever get used under the supervision of a Shaman. But you know, Emily. Close enough.

But yeah, the Potterverse was all inspired by British/Western European mythologies and stuff, and basically said "all this stuff is literally real here," so I liked the idea that the same might be true for other cultures. Like, this 'potion' really is psychoactive, but it's /believed/ to be magical and involve psychicness and stuff, so I was like "YUP, THAT TOO--REAL."

Ooh so glad you liked the commentary in there! Anti-muggle-born prejudice is so obviously silly to us, so I really wanted to challenge myself to think what /real/ and /vehement/ hatreds a person might have, and make them as compelling as possible (even if they were stupid, all things considered). I have a lot of suspicions about what might motivate hate IRL, so I definitely drew upon that here to invent the perspective of those Slytherins.

As for Isobel, and why no one has done anything, that's sort of a reflection of an unfortunate reality. It can be months and months, sometimes years, before teenagers realize their friend has developed an eating disorder--even when it OUGHT to be obvious. I'm guilty of this too. There's also the fact that readers get to see from everyone's POV in this story, so the whole picture is there. We get everyone's clues. The characters each only have bits and pieces.

Man, writing such a downer story means always ending responses on a super downer note!



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Review #4, by PixileaninBecause In Reality: a teenage vow in a parking lot.

25th July 2015:
Hey, it's Pix heading over for our review swap!

You've got an interesting start to this story. I'm already liking that your characters are Ravenclaws and they've got this "studying" vibe going on. I think my favorite part of the whole chapter was when Bea realizes that James is taking seven NEWT classes, which can only prove that he's as smart as the two of them. That made me smile.

Okay, that was sort of out of order, but I had to mention that up front. Your Author's Note specifically asked how I felt about the characterization of James Potter. So far, so good, even though all we get of him is heresay. We only get the rumor mill and the generally accepted notions of the rest of the school, which, in my mind, I will have to reserve judgment until I see the real deal. Sometimes perception can be an illusion, so we'll see if he lives up to the expectation or shatters it when he steps into the scene. I'm sure you have something planned for that, and I would like to see it.

I would enjoy a quieter James Potter than the usual, honestly. However, being the Captain of the Quidditch team doesn't necessarily qualify him for being the quiet type. Captains usually have to lead their teams, so I'm interested in how his duality is handled. Basically the facts I have are that he's smart (or at least committed to schoolwork), and he's athletic, and he has some kind of leadership quality to him. All very interesting things.

Bea seems like a reluctant thing who is used to going along with her friend. I'm going to assume that this is her story since this first chapter is from her POV, so I can't wait to see what her main thing is going to be and how it unfolds. Her friend Ronnie is bearable. I don't find her too obnoxious, but she does have very strong ideas and seems to pull Bea along into them.

I don't know what the deal with Luis is, but if "this" has happened to Bea before, it didn't sound very flattering. In fact, it sounded a lot like people playing with her just because she's who she is. I'd like to know more about that and if she is able to turn the tables on her classmates at some point, which would be poetic justice I think.

Let's see, what else? Normal not-too-close relations with her brother, accustomed to playing second fiddle to her friend, and she's pretty, but she doesn't take advantage of it. You dropped several threads in this first chapter, so I am left wondering which one we'll follow in the next. It's definitely enough to pull me back for the next installment.

Nice read!


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Review #5, by PixileaninYear Five: Self-Spelling

23rd July 2015:
Hey, I always planned to come back to this. Today I asked myself why not now???

Ah, so Isobel suspects bad things. Okay, you know what? I have also wondered what the difference would be between Transfiguration and Alchemy. I suspect that one is more an illusion and the other is a permanent transformation. But I digress…

Laurel’s disappearances are becoming very regular and disturbing. I think Isobel is right to worry, but yeah, what would she say? But then, SO MUCH TENSION!! Isobel reacts with sleeplessness and situps, things that she can control, oh dear. Things are going down. And then the forever aftermath with the whispers. That’s the hardest thing to face in school. Everybody talking about what’s none of their business. I don’t miss it.

Tristan’s reaction to Laurel’s self-spelling makes me wonder several things. I would love to believe him that he isn’t doing the same, but having spent a lot of time with Laurel, I can’t help but think he hasn’t done it at least once. Though he does seem to draw the line at going overboard, there are these niggling doubts about how strong he really is. I guess we shall see. I appreciated his reaction to all the attitudes. Walking out of class seemed to be more of a statement of protest against everyone thinking so badly about Laurel, instead of himself. He does seem like that sort of loyal friend.

Back to Isobel and her issues. Seriously, this girl thinks her friend is in trouble, but she can’t look in the mirror and see her own downward spiral. You’ve written her so convincingly that I don’t feel sorry for her as much as I worry for her. She thinks, like all the other characters too, that she’s FINE and she’s NOT. And oh, how that’s going to kill her if she keeps it up. But no… she’s in control, so it must be okay.


And I was right about the Alchemy. :P 10 points to Gryffindor!


Author's Response: PIX! Oh man I'm so glad this long-term swap is back on, and properly!

I really like your point about transfiguration possible being, like, more of an illusion. Which would explain why you can't /eat/ transfigured things. The appearance changes, but the actual matter stays the same. Hm. New headcanon accepted :)

Sleeplessness and sit-ups, oof. I'm glad you spotted the 'control' thing.

Hogwarts was always a rumor-mill in canon, so I def wanted to mirror that here (yet time Laurel's hex-out so that Harry would have been preoccupied and missed it. Also, I figured that since it was a drug-thing, it might have gone over Harry's head and people wouldn't have talked about it with the younger students.)

You're analysis of Tristan is really apt. This isn't really a spoiler, so I'll just tell you that you're right (it's confirmed later)--he has done it at least once. Because like you said, of COURSE he had. That was def written as a lie, so I'm glad you twigged it.

Hah, yes, Tristan's protest. Such a rebel without a clear cause, rebelling all over the place messily. All in all, a bad move on his part because it meant abandoning Isobel to go it alone :(

Isobel definitely uses anorexia as a method of gaining control when things are out of control--which is twisted, because obv that's actually her LOSING control.

YEE--thank you so much for coming back to this story and taking the time to review :D Sorry this chapter was so bummery, things perk up a touch after this, I promise!


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Review #6, by PixileaninTurning Page: Numb

22nd July 2015:
Hi! Tagging you from the forums.

"Just another nightmare."

This repetition is a great way to let us know about Draco's struggle to calm himself from the horrible dream he's just had. But it seems outright to be more than just the dream that he's reacting to.

"Like swallowing air." A wonderful way to describe how Draco needs this potion. It heightens the anxious feelings he has... oh no, he's taking it sometimes twice a day? This cannot be good. Your choice of language has made clear just how unsettled Draco is in this time of his life, how he struggles with ordinary things like getting ready for work and moving through his day. And he's been like this for four years? I can't imagine what it was like the first year. It must have been really bad.

Hmm, so Blaise was still his friend. Does that mean that Blaise repeated his seventh year as well? That would be interesting to contemplate.

So far, your writing is very descriptive and shows us a lot about what Draco has been going through in his life. It's sad and painful, and I'm already hoping that he's going to pull himself more together as the story unfolds. I hope that's what this story is about, anyway. I'm going to offer just a small amount of critique here: in the paragraph starting with, "At first, I only took the occasional, tiny swig..." - after the first sentence, you come away from your story and start explaining about why Draco needs the potion. As a reader, I feel like I've already come to understand why. When I got to this little section, I skimmed over it because I didn't need this information. If you've already shown it with your descriptions or actions, it's a little redundant to tell us about it as well. I would have been fine with the occasional swig and slipping the potion into his pocket to make it through the day.

I think Draco's resolute attitude is very appropriate from what we know of his character. I like how you make him still broken from his experiences. He went through A LOT, and it won't be something that is easy or quick to get over. So he's still living at home, which I think is understandable. It's sad to see his father in this sorry state, but it's to be expected. I don't picture Lucius as someone who was able to pull himself together after his experiences with Voldemort. I also picture him as a broken man. This makes me feel very badly for Narcissa, who has to deal with the both of them.

Ah, I like the re-introduction of Astoria and the memories that her presence brought back to Draco. He wants to be unaffected by it, and I like that last line you ended with: "Like my father before me, I am the definition of weak."

Very nice first chapter.


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Review #7, by PixileaninOh My Darling: 5

19th July 2015:
House Cup 2015 - Gryffindor

Hey, hey, it's your new chapter 5 and I'm all caught up with everything, so let's see what happens. You know, I was really worried that you were going to have some horrible disaster at this party, you know, those stories where the girl thinks she's got the perfect moment, and then she gets punch spilled all over her and everyone laughs and she spirals down into some deep, dark place and becomes a serial...

But this isn't that kind of story, is it?

IS IT???

Ah, Lizzie is so excited about parties. She just wants to run ahead and get into whatever is in there. I liked that little moment where Clementine blushes and Albus has to wonder about what Scorpius told him. Yes, he's wanted to hold her hand, but does he not realize that he has these feelings too? They are subtle, these two. I like that best. The subtlety.

It was really nice that the three dragged Clementine onto the dance floor and stayed with her the whole time. I am so glad she's having a good time here. She's such a nice character, she deserves that, right?

Ah, haha! The moment Albus realizes that he has feelings for Clementine, he looks sick. That's funny, and has a bit of truth to it too. Nice one! I don't think it will take long for Clementine to understand what's going on. She already realizes the seriousness of their conversation, which is good.

I enjoyed your chapter, and first to review? Woot!


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Review #8, by PixileaninOh My Darling: 4

19th July 2015:
House Cup 2015 - Gryffindor

It was nice to see that Clementine has meshed with Albus' friends so well. That bodes well for the two of them. I liked hearing the speculation about Scorpius and Rose too. I had wondered about them, and I too think they might be good together, but maybe if they wait until they're more mature, it might work out even better. School is hard enough without crazy heartbreak in the middle of it.

You are doing a good job showing the growing attraction between Albus and Clementine without hitting us over the head with it. It's so sweet and gradual, and they are getting to know each other and be comfortable around one another too. These are all good things.

I didn't imagine that Clementine would be worried over people talking about her and Albus if they showed up at a party together. I guess I can see her point, since the whole group of friends thing is new and she was just getting to enjoy it. I am sure she's just worried that if things start up, that things might become difficult. I'm glad her friends are reassuring her that the party is a good idea. Parties are always better with a plan, and Albus seems to have one, so... she should go. Yeah.


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Review #9, by PixileaninOh My Darling: 3

19th July 2015:
House Cup 2015 - Gryffindor

Hey, Chapter Three!

Clementine has a cat named Behemoth?? That is so awesome a name, I can't get over it. I thought Lizzie would have a fit over Clementine just sitting there talking to Albus without making a move. I got from Lizzie's character introduction that she's more forward about romance than Clementine would ever think to be. I think I like Clementine's approach better. I'd want to know someone better before actually touching them with my lips. Safety first, you know.

Aww, there are some sweet touches here, with the holding of the bag and walking her back to Ravenclaw Tower. He is acting just like a gentleman too. Ah, I wonder if Albus took that book on purpose...

Maybe not. I'm with Albus here. I've never warmed up to that book. The prose is a bit too flowery for me to take seriously, but I know a lot of people love it.

Aww, she is so sweet to the first year. And Albus wants to see her again? This could be a good thing. I like his concerns about scaring her off and the way that Rose reassures him. Another nice chapter that was really easy to read. No bumps for me!


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Review #10, by PixileaninOh My Darling: 2

19th July 2015:
House Cup 2015 - Gryffindor

Hello again, I'm back for chapter 2, since you have my curiosity up from chapter one. Let's see what happens next.

"Hasn't she got an odd first name? Like Apply or something?"

Haha, they don't seem to have a clue about Clementine. That's strange with them being in seventh year, but I guess even in a small school like Hogwarts, it's possible that you don't meet everyone if they're not in your House. Ah, Rose has a point about strange names. Good for you, Rose!

I love the easy banter between these friends. I can tell they're very close and completely comfortable with each other. Ok, so we see Rose is not in Slytherin here. I was really wondering about that. I like that she's also comfortable enough to not have to sit at her own table. That's cool.

Aww, they're still picking on Martin Creevy! I think by association, I like him. Or at least the idea of him. It was nice to see that Clementine at least seems interested in Albus here. I think they fell into an easy sort of conversation. Nice chapter. I wonder what Lizzie's going to say about all of that!


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Review #11, by PixileaninOh My Darling: 1

19th July 2015:
House Cup 2015 - Gryffindor

Hello there! I have an Albus/OC as well, so I thought I'd come and see what you did with yours. So she's a Ravenclaw, okay. This makes me wonder what House Albus is in now. Hmmm...

It's fun seeing all of these familiar last names that you're dropping throughout the conversation that the girls are having. Of course they will all be at Hogwarts together. And it's interesting how you have James' parties as legendary, people still talking about them after he's gone. I can completely see that happening.

Ahh, so Albus is in Slytherin, along with Scorpius, and dare I say, Rose as well? That's a fun twist. It also makes sense, since she's supposed to be good friends with Albus. And there it is. He notices her because she's staring at him. This should be interesting.


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Review #12, by PixileaninGame On: S.P.E.W. Game Night # 1 - Diogenissa - Hufflepuff

19th July 2015:
Oh my goodness, I can't wait to see what this is all about! Oh no, Hermione dragged Ron along? Oh, but he has snacks. That's okay then. Snack away, Ron! Snacking is an important part of game night.

Ah, I LOVED the hat idea from Neville! Of course he would know how Snape looked in his grandmother's hat. Ah hahaha! This is such a great game that you have made up. I wonder if it came from a real game, or if it's purely out of your own imagination. Probably both, but it looks so FUN!

Hahaha! Gallagher Snape! Oh my word! And Hokey and Pokey! *dies laughing*

This was an awesome way to have the house elves blow off some steam. And so very funny! Those twins are sheer trouble though. I'm glad that the Room of Requirement erased any trace of that game, or the elves would surely have gotten in trouble.

So funny!!!


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Review #13, by PixileaninGame On: The First Goal- HeyMrsPotter- Hufflepuff

19th July 2015:
2015 House Cup - Gryffindor

"Step, step, step, turn."

Ah, she's so nervous about the fans. That makes total sense to me. Wait a minute. Are there two Ginnys in this story? There's one on the ground, and then Harry and Ginny are watching her. Interesting. I need to know more about this. And haha, the Weasleys made up a song about her. Too bad she made them promise not to sing it. I would have loved to hear it. :P

Uh oh, that Sampson guy is taunting her a lot. It seems to be putting her off her game, and she's so nervous already. And he seems to be doing it on purpose, that git!

I love how Harry knows just the right thing to say to her to get her back on track. He also noticed what was going on with one of her teammates, the Seeker no less! And the ending was wonderful! Ginny scored a goal, took down that pompous guy, and her Chaser got her man.

What a finale! I really enjoyed reading this fast-paced and fun story!


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Review #14, by PixileaninI See You. : Prologue: Missing.

19th July 2015:
Hello! I'm here from the House Cup 2015 - Gryffindor

I love how you start out with magic straight away, making it the barrier between the reality outside and the coziness in the Potter house. I always imagined that the Potter house would be cozy like that. A haven of sorts. Oh, but we always worry about the missing boys. It could be fine, they could be just late or distracted, but it could also be a bad thing. The not knowing is usually what kills us.

I like how you describe the two parenting styles of Harry and Ginny and how they were shaped by their respective backgrounds. That makes all kinds of sense, and I'm glad you gave them that kind of depth.

Oh no, they found his wand! This cannot be a good thing. Now I'm worried too.

I love the choice of Headmistress Sprout. I don't see her often in this position in NextGen fics, but really, any of the old professors could take on that role. I imagine she'd be a kind and benevolent overlordess in that capacity.

As much as I hate to see these characters in pain, the consequences of the assailant's actions leaving a permanent condition on James just makes sense. It makes what happened to him really bad of course, but also it hurls us into the rest of the story that you want to tell here. You did a fantastic job of setting up something wonderfully dark and mysterious... ah, mysterious isn't the right word, but it has that thrill-like suspense. We HAVE to know what happened, we HAVE to know how James is going to react to this news, whether he remembers anything, if he knew these people, WHY they did this to him, all of these questions must be answered. So I hope you have a next chapter coming up soon.

This was a great read. I'm ready for more.


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Review #15, by PixileaninThe Right One Comes Along: The Right One Comes Along

19th July 2015:
Hi there! Reviewing for House Cup 2015 - Gryffindor

Oh, I love the idea of Frank and Alice being partner Aurors before they get married. This starts out so lighthearted and cute, and I can already feel the vibes flowing from these two. It's a lovely start to the story.

By the way they both pack stuff into the bag and ask questions about the assignment shows that their working partnership is solid. You did such a fantastic job with Alice waking up disoriented, we know something bad must have happened, but her Auror instincts kick in. I was so happy that it was just a brief disorientation and not some horrible memory loss. And then she fights to get to the door when she knows that Frank is behind it. This shows what a strong bond these two have for each other.

Aw, such adorableness! Wait, I never use the word "adorable"... okay okay, but it fits here. I love how you didn't make their moment sappy or cliche. It's just honest and heartfelt, and that's why I think it fits so well. I can completely see these characters acting this way in this situation.

Oh, and I found a pesky typo: "She was stared at him, dumbfounded." Take out the "was", and you're golden.

I really love how you made that necklace work in the story. I had wondered what Alice was wearing on it, and the reveal just came out perfectly. So very well done! And the jab about wearing a gown was funny too.

Such a well-written and lovely story. I thoroughly enjoyed it!


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Review #16, by PixileaninGrey.: Grey

18th July 2015:
Hi there! I'm here for the review swap, and I've been meaning to review some of the other entries in the Angst Galore Challenge. I see you write a lot of angst, but me, I'm allergic to it. Now that I've taken my antihistamine, I will delve into what angst you have here.

Ahh, it's Draco Malfoy. His character gives way to so much angst it's unbelievable. He's in such a bad state right now, feeling so much pressure and guilt, and it's been a few years from the war, but something has put him over the edge.

Your writing is full of Draco's self-loathing, his pain and his regret. I like how you use the language and descriptions to enhance his mood, with the storm raging outside as it rages inside of him as well.

Interesting bit about Fred saving Draco's life. Did you mean that Fred died saving Draco? That's very sad, and I can feel Draco's guilt over something like that, since he's having a hard time reconciling his life after the war. He's really torn up about everything at this moment, and I'm wondering what has brought on all of this painful reminiscing.

I haven't read your other story, so I felt that the brief recap of his dealings with Astoria you did right after the letter was good for me. I don't think you belabored it at all, I think it was just enough to make me understand the relationship that Draco had with Astoria and why things are so painful for him now. And it was very relevant to the story you are telling in this piece, the angst at the beginning had a trigger, and this letter must have been it.

Okay, so I've read the other reviews that you've gotten for this piece, and I want to put my own spin on what they've said. First off, the language is good. I did not have any problems with the long paragraphs, particularly starting with "The Battle of Hogwarts had been two years ago but the wounds were still fresh..." This seems to be the beginning of the "Story" from my perspective. Everything prior to this seemed to be some kind of reflection of his current state, things that color his mood, his thoughts bouncing around inside his head, that sort of thing. That's the way the intro read to me. I didn't get a good grasp, a sensation of "moving forward" until two paragraphs before the letter, where things started coming together.

For me, the length wasn't a problem at all. Perhaps the placement of information may benefit from being rearranged so that we're led into Draco's situation with the catalyst for his mood, and we know why he's so reflective. I really liked all the details that you put in about Draco's family and the way he adored his father until his father broke, the anguish of Hermione haunting him, all of those things. Maybe if they were placed differently, maybe if they tied in with the theme of 'forgiving the unforgivable', all the reasons why Draco thinks he shouldn't be forgiven, not just by Astoria, but by everyone he's touched during and after the war, it would bring everything together and make those recollections more relevant.

This definitely fits the angst challenge, there was SO MUCH pain and disgust and you described him almost refusing to come to terms with moving on from this place where he is so visually. It's like Draco doesn't think he deserves to move on from this place. Even with a wife and child, he hasn't found any stability after two years, and that's very sad. You've got some lovely moments in this, and it was painful and heartbreaking to see a character struggle so much.

Thanks for the swap!


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Review #17, by PixileaninFaith, Trust, and Crystal Balls: Step One

16th July 2015:
Hey, hey!

First off, I’m quite flattered that you took my idea and ran with it. Most of my ideas are off-the-wall and crazy to begin with, so I was very interested in where you were going to take this. Secondly, no one has ever written a story for me before, so I am extremely flattered that it’s up and breathing!

Look, it’s Sybill!!

I love how she’s planning her escape from what her parents think her life should be like. She takes her time, saving up and searching for the “right thing” and biding her time. It’s a good plan, and it speaks to a character who knows what she wants and is patient enough to wait until the time is right.

She seems so… so normal here. I mean, she’s got that fire in her belly to go after the life she’s dreamed about, which is great, and I love how she packs in secret, letting all of her precious things disappear little by little so no one would notice, but then all of a sudden, we see her leaving with her parents’ blessings. I’d have expected with the secretive build-up, she was going to sneak out of there… try her hand at a few readings behind her family’s back, that sort of thing. I’d love to know if she’s been successful at reading fortunes in the past, or if she just completely fails at it, and I hope you have planned a scene where we see which of these is true. I am highly interested in her ability level and why she thinks she can make a living doing this thing that her parents don’t want her to do.

The scene where she sets up her own place is lovely. It paints a picture of a young woman who is living her dream, at least in part, and she’s got everything she thinks she needs. She’s got this part-time job, and a place that was really cheap, (WOW! I want a place that cheap. Did she buy it flat out?) and she’s feeling a bit lonely. I wonder if she’s ever read Em’s future, and what Em thinks of her choice to go out on her own as a fortune teller. I almost expected Sybill to read her own tea leaves, but OH, is that even allowed? Can you tell your own future, or is that cheating?? I don’t know in your story how common fortune tellers are, if this is a “thing”, or if the wizarding world frowns upon it in general.

Overall, your writing style is very fitting for the character and the setting. It flows so nicely and I didn’t hit any bumps. The way you describe her interest in her place in such detail makes me think that she's very keen on the little things. I wonder how that translates into her professional life and whether she worries over the little things too.

As you can see, I’d love to see more about Sybill’s profession and how it affects her life. She obviously comes from a family who knows a lot about running a shop, so I suppose she’d know a thing or two about running a business. She seems competent… or is she… there are so many things you could do with this. My mind is churning... and now I'm dizzy.

Oh, and I was just thinking... does she have her large glasses yet? How is her vision? Also, the Sybill we know was really into tea leaves and crystal balls. I haven't seen those yet in your story, so I'm anxious to see her interact with a few of her favorite things.

Nice start! I am eager to see what comes next.


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Review #18, by PixileaninKiss My Lips and Swear to Die: Backlash

13th July 2015:
Hey hey!

I love these characters! You have such a clean voice with Alyssa, and even though I don't agree with her, I feel her struggle to accept the responsiblity of 'almost' hurting Freddie. Liv is right, she shouldn't have gone that far, and all Freddie's friends are all over that. Alyssa has too much pride, though. I hope she comes around soon. It would be horrible for her to assume that Freddie's okay with this. He's obviously not holding it against her, but man, this will come back in some weird way.

I really appreciate the way you write Liv's undying loyalty to her friend. It's great that she tells Alyssa what she needs to hear, but sticks by her anyway.

And please allow me to gush over your prose for a moment. This is such a flowy, easy read. My eyes thank you for it. I read it from chapter one, and I didn't spot anything so I think you've got all the mistakes shaken out of this thing. I hate it when fics blind us authors and we can't see the missed periods and the left-out letters. Makes me mad!

I'm looking forward to the increased tension. Something tells me that Alyssa's not going to turn around until Freddie decides that he's had enough. And I bet you're not going to make this easy for her either. I am usually allergic to angst, but I really want to come back and see what you do with these characters next.

Awesome story!


Author's Response: Hey,

Sorry my response is late. I honestly don't know what to say, but I'll be on my way to your profile straight after I reply to this.

Alyssa is a difficult character. Like you said, she has too much pride so she struggles to accept the blame for her actions even if she starts to feel a little guilty. She did overreact, but Freddie does need to learn about when to stick to boundaries - they both have a lot to learn. You're right; it's gonna come back with a bang.

I love the relationship between Liv and Alyssa. I hope to strengthen it even more in the coming chapters.

As for the rest of your review...well, I don't know what else to do except grin stupidly and thank you. Seriously. :D


Dirigible_Plums xo

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Review #19, by PixileaninGame On: Volume II: Checkmate - FredWeasleyIsMyKing - Gryffindor

11th July 2015:
House Cup 2015 / Gryffindor / Amazing Race 5

"Now I just need to work out where to get seven Hippogriffs from."

LOL! That should get Sirius' attention, if nothing else. You have some incredibly fun lines in here too. I can't help quoting them.

“Remind me again why I’m taking advice from a guy who’s been turned down more times than he has eaten hot meals?”

This fic is so much fun to read, let me tell you. They keep sizing each other up through all the talk of games, which is a game itself, I believe, and your characterization is wonderful. I love how James turned Sirius' inevitable victory around and used his distraction as an er... distraction. Sirius might be great at chess, but James has had too much experience in asking a girl out. I'm glad he was able to convince Sirius to at least give it a go once with Marlene. Who knows. Maybe he'll be lucky. I really enjoyed reading this lighthearted fic. That was a most excellent punch line to this cute story!


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Review #20, by PixileaninGame On: Volume II: Which Weasley - Roisin - Gryffindor

11th July 2015:
House Cup 2015 / Gryffindor / Amazing Race 5

I love the very idea of this, it's so Minerva through and through, and it makes her so superior to everyone around her... in a good way... without being snobbish.

Ah, haha! I laughed at the notion that at any given time, a Weasley would be causing some kind of trouble SOMEWHERE in the castle. So funny, and so true too. Since there are so many of them.

I love the way that Minerva still talks to Dumbledore's portrait as if he's still there. I guess that's why those portraits are in there in the first place. I can totally accept that she's still thinking of herself as under his direction. It's hard after so many years to take the reins and claim the position as hers, I imagine.

And poor Neville! I'm glad she just goes to help without giving him any sort of grief over it. The whole family invades and I'm sure it will take a firm hand to keep them in line. Neville's too kind for that sort of thing. I think he'd be great as the benevolent adult confidant though. Having Minerva carry the big stick would enable him to keep that role too. This is me overthinking your fic. Sorry.

I really enjoyed Neville attempting to take charge at the end there. It was fun to see him enforcing a bit of his own authority, just to have Minerva tell him that it wasn't really necessary.


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Review #21, by PixileaninGame On: Volume II: Fred (A Fugue) - Roisin - Gryffindor

11th July 2015:
House Cup 2015 / Gryffindor / Amazing Race 5

Absolutely awesome, Roisin! I read this a few days ago and was stunned by its gripping narrative. The form was pulled off so well that it didn't even register what you'd done until I got to the end and thought about it. That's what you want. You never want the poetry to get in the way of the story.

The game, argh, that killed me too. It's something we play with ourselves, isn't it? Like, it's a bad thing, don't think about it, it can't hurt you if you're not thinking abut it. But here, Fred permeates everything and I can feel Percy just sweating with guilt over the way he acted, the way he was so disdainful and now his brother is gone and he can't mend it. He can't fix it. It's done. His grief intrudes on his life and he needs a break, he's trying to get himself out of this spiral and it's not working. How heartbreaking.

And yeah, he's lost a brother.

You lose.


This is almost too much angst. Where's my antihistamine??

I think you've won with this.


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Review #22, by PixileaninGoodbye: Percy

11th July 2015:
House Cup 2015 / Gryffindor / Amazing Race 5

Aww, I love this moment as the one you chose for Percy to remember his brother. What a stressful time for him! His concerns are very realistic. Everyone wonders what kind of parent they're going to turn out to be.

Again, just a bit of crit. I think if you took out the "It's been a while" part and just let Percy talk about things, it would push the piece into more of an immediate time frame. The reflection sort of throws us out of the action, and I would like to be more present when Percy's daughter is born.

It's so touching that Percy names his daughter after his mother. Molly truly was a great woman and it's lovely to see her honored here for it. I bet Fred is doubly pleased with it too, knowing him. It's funny, but I feel like Fred acknowledges the name choice of Molly being the first step in Percy's fatherhood as a good one. Anything after this will be good too. That's sort of the feel I get from this piece.


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Review #23, by PixileaninGoodbye: Ron

11th July 2015:
House Cup 2015 / Gryffindor / Amazing Race 5

Ahh, Ron's talking to his brother right before he gets married. That's so sweet and sad. I'm glad he thinks about Fred in this time. I'm sure he'd wish that Fred were here now instead of not, but that can't be helped.

You've done a great job capturing Ron's voice in this. I can feel him talking and thinking this way in his nervousness. I like the language you use for him and it just feels right.

Okay, this is really nitpicky, but I like my numbers spelled out in prose, unless it's the year or something. It just looks more... wordy, I guess. I don't think there are any hard and fast rules about this, but it's my preference.

Also in the little section when Ron talks about Bill's kid, it would be nice to expand on that and instead of having Ron tell Fred about it like he doesn't know, he could maybe highlight a specific moment in the recent past about Victoire, like what she did during the wedding preparations or something. Just a suggestion.

It's a nice thought that Fred is still with his family and gets to watch from his resting place. I feel like he's giving his siblings some kind of peace with his presence, that they can feel him too if they relax enough in the moment. Fred is correct. What is this, compared to facing a dragon??


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Review #24, by PixileaninGoodbye: Ginny

11th July 2015:
House Cup 2015 / Gryffindor / Amazing Race 5

Uh oh, I can feel that this is going to be a tear-jerker. Funerals can very much be out-of-body experiences. When someone is faced with overwhelming grief, the mind sometimes separates and drifts. Memories take precedence over the present. I think you captured that well.

I like how you highlighted how special Fred was to Ginny, how she remembers his kindness and how she's going to miss him terribly. Ginny is trying to figure out how to deal with it, but she's down in the muck of it right now so it's not going to be easy to get past the puffy eyes. I can feel that she wants to rejoice the way she thinks that Fred would want her to, but sometimes the grief takes over. It's an important part of acceptance, and later she'll understand that she has to wallow in it before she can rise above.

Nice capture of a sad moment.


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Review #25, by Pixileanin'Eyes' with an 'L': Boom

11th July 2015:
House Cup 2015 / Gryffindor / Amazing Race 5

I always brace myself when setting out to review your stories, because you know, metaphor. It sneaks in there when I'm not paying attention and then all of a sudden BAM! I get smacked up side the head with it and I'm all, "Yeah, yeah, I saw that..."

For example, the chapter title, which also is in your closing of the piece. For a deaf (or formerly deaf) person, that is the absolute loudest thing you could do. When I was fresh out of high-school I took two semesters of ASL. My instructor was a hearing person who had been born and raised by two deaf parents. Talk about the stories!

You captured everything I came to learn about how the deaf think and feel about their condition so realistically, specifically about the way the hearing devices distort the sound and it's absolutely painful for them when it doesn't work right. Sound is not beautiful when it comes through a machine like that. The signing also, the description of it, I was right there with you. And I snorted so hard at James' name: "idiot with a J", which he thought was cool.


I love, love the way you fit Lily's condition neatly into her relationship with Severus, and the way he twisted it around so that MORE REASONS could be crammed into his insane fixation with her. There's NOTHING wrong with her, EVERYONE should be like her and then they'd UNDERSTAND. Of course he'd fix the world for her! Oh my god, how creepy too! Amazing way to make canon work with your premise. Lily has no choice but to walk away from that.

I wondered if you were going to make the cochlear a bigger issue, and yes, you did! Perfect way to get the magical world involved yet again in fixing Lily. It restores her to her canon self, which canon needs, and I love it when authors ask the "what were they like before" question and then give them all this backstory that wasn't there but also doesn't contradict. I do that too, and it's great fun!

What a great story that hit every mark for the challenge that you entered! Awesome!


Author's Response: Bahahaha - always with the metaphors :P I CAN'T NOT SOCIAL COMMENTARY AND METAPHOR!

I got this prompt (Lily Evans+Deaf) when I was taking an ASL class, so YES, I really wanted to put in everything I was learning about deaf culture and identity, and try and upend some myths about the deaf (like that they would want to become hearing.)

I did SO MUCH RESEARCH into cochlear implants for this! I had the vague understanding that it wasn't the same as hearing, and wasn't a cure for deafness, and found a bunch of great articles by people writing about their first hand experiences (also, apondinabluebox has a cochlear, and she was kind enough to volunteer to check my story for accuracy and offer suggestions!) And yeah - exactly what you said: sound isn't beautiful when it comes from a machine.

Oh Snape - I do love writing him SO MUCH. So twisty and complicated ;) I really wanted this story to be about adaptation, and who's responsibility it is to adapt. Too much is put on deaf people, I think, to adapt to the hearing world, yet hearing people don't often enough make an effort to meet them halfway (like her parents). Then there's Snape, who goes too far in the other direction, wanting to mutilate everyone else. Enter: James. The only one to get it right :)

Thank you so much for this review! I'm so sorry I missed this challenge as I'd been planning to go to town on your AP. I still will!


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