You know what? You had the perfect title for this chapter. I think that "Build Up" sums everything up nicely. End of review.
Just kidding! I read this quite a while ago, all of your chapters actually, but I find that writing a new story and reviewing someone else's story don't mix well in my head. So now that I'm out of my own head for a bit, I thought I'd jump into your story and see if I can string a few words together to express how it made me feel.
Aww, first off there's the warm and fuzzy with the mention of Butterscotch again. I really love furballs, and to give Lily that extra sense of comfort was a brilliant touch. I had a roommate in college that snuck a contraband kitten into our dorm room for a semester and it was fabulous for a while... though I think that poor animal had some serious mental issues after its dorm experience... off topic... anyway...
I especially like the professor's explanation to Abigail for awarding points to another student. Abigail needs to know that extra points are for extra hard work, not for doing what is expected of you. *nods*
Aside from that, or rather, more importantly, I love how you purposefully use all of your story to show us your characters. I feel like every sentence gives us important pieces of their portraits, sometimes even more than a few pieces of the picture from different angles, and it's just lovely to read so much detail into the story without feeling like I'm getting lots of detail from the story. Your economy with words is truly skilled.
I can tell you love these classroom scenes, and it works in your story, because Lily loves the classroom scenes just as much as you do, making it pertinent to the story. And if Lily didn't love being in the classroom so much, and if she didn't have such a keen eye for all the details of things, we would have missed the cutest little scene ever, with Belle and Sirius working on their potion. Aww, that was so adorable, and it made it even more special that they didn't even realize that they were being watched by Lily... and all the rest of us. :)
James stepping in to be the honorable one after Lily's offer really surprised me. Oh gosh, and so unexpected! I loved how you turned it around and had his friends talk him into going with her. That showed how close those boys were, that they would want James to finally spend some time with Lily rather than help them out. And then you twisted it on us again by having Alrek step in. I don't like that Alrek fellow at all, but at least he provided an excellent plot twist. Gotta be good for something, right? Haha!
And then the owl!!! And the letter from Petunia!!!
Okay, that was my shock reaction to your scene twist at the end, so well done on that!
And the chapter is over!!!
Haha, that was my first reaction to the chapter, but luckily, I can just go on from here. Lucky me! Wonderful chapter fourteen!Author's Response: Pixi! This was such an awesome surprise!
And now I have a confession. I've read all of Better Days Than These as well *ninja face.* But I've always been on my phone and I HATE reviewing on there. I need to go back and review. Yes. Nods at self.
Every time my dog does something cute I'm like, oh Butterscotch can do that in the next chapter, haha!
I'm so happy you felt like you still got a lot about the characters through a more mundane sort of chapter. I feel like showing them how they spent a lot of their time is important, and it was a lot of fun to play more with magic. hehe.
James had a rough time in this chapter, didn't he? First he has to say no to Lily then he gets talked into saying yes and is secretly super happy about it THEN we learn he's too late. Poor guy. They're not meant to have that much emotional stuff happen to them in such a short span of time. He probably needs a nap now :P
I'm so happy you liked this chapter, and I can't believe you've read past this!!! That's so exciting to me. And I'm sorry I'm a terrible reviewer, but I promise I'll go back and stop cheating and actually review our BDTT . Hehe.
Oh, I love how you opened up the chapter with Hermione making connections and then leaving to go investigate that further. It's a good thing Harry had something to do, or he'd probably go crazy wondering what Hermione is up to.
I like the way Harry is put off by all the people standing around to gawk at him. It seems like a very realistic thing to happen and something that celebrities like Harry will be dealing with for a very long time, possibly the rest of his life.
I really like your choice of characters and set up in this story. I think that's what drew me into it in the first chapter. I love gumshoe Harry, and his deputy Ron, and I especially like how you put Scorpius as a new member of the Aurors and how he's out to prove his worth in the department. I can feel his need to be accepted for his merits and that certainly his family's history hasn't made things easy for him. It's nice to see his character in this fresh light.
And of course there is the mystery you have given us with the elusive Rose. She's somewhere far away from her family, and Ron is determined to keep her there, or at least keep her out of this shady, possibly life-threatening business. This is unusual for someone in the Potter/Weasley clan to be so set apart from their family, and to have Ron insist on not bringing her into this, well, it just makes me wonder.
You keep throwing more questions at us here, to heighten the mystery of what's really going on, and I haven't seen you give anything away yet, which is good. We want to be all good and anxious about who's behind these deaths and the whole situation with the baffling duplicate wands. I especially enjoyed the wand being connected to Moody, someone who has been dead for so long and the seemingly impossible notion that his wand was involved. It was a direct lead in to how they would definitely need more information about the wands they've been collecting. It just couldn't go any other way except to examine these wands closer.
I commend you on keeping your tone consistent through these first few chapters. Even though the style of this story is rather direct, you haven't ignored the little details of these characters' lives. You throw in small mentions of their past, their prejudices and their feelings without breaking the straight-forward nature of the prose. It's very lovely! Report Review
Hi. I'm here from Review Tag in the Common Room, and can I just start by saying, "Vampires!"
I haven't read an HP vampire story before, but I'm familiar with several other vampire stories. It makes me itch to see what you're going to do with this.
First off, I want to tell you that I had no idea what was going on at the beginning of the chapter. I was just as disoriented as Ginny. All I knew was that it was Bad. Poor Ginny!
I think it's a fantastic concept to have all the disappearing students from Hogwarts become these things of the night. Nathan is suitable creepy and detestable and Ginny's situation seems darkly hopeless. It screams at me that I need to know more.
Style-wise, I think your prose is a good match for this story, with just the right amount of description without it getting too heavy. You seem to avoid using commas, but I'm not holding that against you or anything. :)
That voice. It's still screaming for more. I am very intrigued by this first chapter.Author's Response: Pixileanin,
I hadn't seen too many either but for some reason this idea popped in my head and you know how plunnies go. They eat at you until you write.
I'm so happy to read that you liked this story. I'm going to have fun with Nathan and his dark and creepy demeanor.
Truthfully, I'm horrible with commas. I've been looking for a good grammar book but I haven't found one I like.
This review really makes me want to write more. Thank you for your kind words.
Meg Report Review
I loved the foreboding you had built up at the start of this story. We're not sure what is behind that door, and Harry is dreading it, so it's got to be bad, right? Haha!
There's nothing more terrifying than finding your child motionless on the floor... and then it turns into typical kid angst.
"Yeah, I just choose not to."
Ah Ha! And poor Harry tries to be comforting and understand, and then poor Albus! That was not even fair to spread the misery around. Bad little James! And to top it all off, I completely identified with Ginny about not being able to have nice things with the kids around. *sigh*
I think you captured the exasperation of an exhausted parent very well in this. Rambunctious children can be hard to handle.
Thanks for the entertaining story!Author's Response: :D
Oh yes Harry has been met with teenage angst, sadly it just seems to be a daily occurence for poor Harry to face.
James just had to spread his misery around :p He sadly doesn't think much before he speaks.
Aww poor you having nice things broken too *hugs*
I'm so glad that you liked my story :D
Thank you for reading and reviewing! Report Review
I loved reading about this moment: the sense of responsibility that James felt and the sense of betrayal that Severus was feeling while putting the pieces of his mystery together.
It's a good thing that Dumbledore showed up when he did. I don't think the boys would have gotten out of there alive if he hadn't. And it probably wouldn't have been the werewolf's fault either.
The opening of this chapter is very strong. Strong sense of danger, intrigue and mystery. Strong sense of something going very wrong and someone desperately trying to fix it. You pulled me effortlessly into this story.
Great first chapter!Author's Response: Oh yes James knew that he needed to be the one who saved the day after what Sirius had done.
It is definately a good thing that Dumbledore showed up when he did, otherwise there would have been a big fight between James and Severus, and you're right the werewolf would have probably found a way to get to them.
I'm so glad that you enjoyed the start of this story, thank you so much for your kind words. I hope that you continue reading my story.
Thank you for reading and reviewing! Report Review
Wow. You surprised me with another unique concept, and that's great because I love being surprised when I read a fic! It would be quite a disorienting sensation to wake up inside a portrait and piece together the last moments of your life.
I think you covered the surprise and uncertainty of Severus' first moments well. You also got Dumbledore's child-like enthusiasm down pat. I think I might have expected Snape to relive his pain a little longer here, and then the moment that he realizes that he isn't duty bound any longer would be even sweeter. I like that you gave him his freedom from obligations in the end. He certainly deserved that!Author's Response: Thanks. I've always wondered what it would be like to be confined to that life, a two-dimensional, flat canvas one. I also wondered about what it was like to roam from painting to painting so when this challenge came up, I had to write it. Snape has always been one of my favorite characters to write.
I'm glad Dumbledore seemed in canon. I always worry about that. Thanks for the review!
~Celtic~ Report Review
I'd never imagined a dragon slayer in the HP universe. I'd always imagined the people working with dragons in HP to be more conservationists, so this was a fun twist. I guess it makes sense, because the heart of the dragon is used in wandmaking. I'd never made that connection before. Of course, someone would have to kill a dragon for their parts.
I like how you immediately gave the family a reason to distrust and dislike the muggles. So many times, I read about wizards who hate the non magic users simply because they can't use magic. This plot includes a justifiable reason, I think. You also have another interesting idea, with Salazar's wand not yet being made. This is also a new concept to me.
I admire what you did with this plot again, when Salazar deftly uses the Unforgivables to defeat the dragon, almost in a purely utilitarian manner. If these are among the only spells he knows, then he's got to use what will work under the circumstances.
The way that you pulled all of these concepts together and used the prompts for this challenge was really good. Your concepts were unique to me, which made for a very interesting read, and I loved how this back story gives Salazar the motivations to act like he does in canon.
pixAuthor's Response: Thank you for reading and I'm glad you enjoyed it! This was my first Founders fic so I was worried about the characterization but the idea came to me after reading the prompts and I just had to write it. I always try to write missing moments that might explain things later so it was fun trying to intertwine non cannon in with the facts we all know.
Thanks again for the review!
~Celtic~ Report Review
This was a lot of fun to read!
I have to commend you for capturing the sports atmosphere so well. A lot of times when I'm reading about Quidditch, it's all about the spectators, but here, I got to be a part of the team.
During James' team talk, I really felt the camaraderie that the team had and you showed us how well James knew each of his players. I could tell that they respected his leadership and that he respected them as players.
I thought it was a great choice, having this be James' last game. That way, it wasn't out of place for him to focus on all the little details as he went out on the pitch for his last time. You kept the action fast-paced and to the point, with a lot of building tension. He's so determined to win this game over Slytherin, but it's head-to-head, and then he gets hit with not one, but two bludgers! I like how his last conscious moment is filled with the roar of the crowds as Gryffindor wins. That's likely to keep his head inflated for quite a while!
Then, out of the blue, Lily is there when he wakes up in the Hospital Wing. She's such a worrier while she thinks he's not listening to her. But I like how you didn't let him just lie there and pretend to be asleep for too long. Even when faced with Lily at his bedside, he's still concerned for his team. You really brought out James' nobleness in this, which I like. It also gives him an opportunity to tease her, as well as bluntly state his intentions. I bet she wasn't expecting such sincerity out of him, which makes it a sweet scene.
The little detail about how the boys got his cloak and map for him to sneak out later was an excellent touch. And I liked how you left the ending open for us to wonder if he ever did get a chance to be friends with Lily, or if he would have to wait a little longer for the inevitable. :)
I can't think of anything constructive to add to this lovely little snapshot. I think it did what it was supposed to; it captured a very sweet moment between James and Lily before they got together. Your characterizations were great and the pace went along nicely. I didn't feel any bumps in the narrative either. Wonderfully written!Author's Response: Hello!
Thank you so much for the review and I'm so so sorry for how long it has taken me to reply!
I'm so so happy you though I wrote the Quidditch match itself well. It was so scary to write and it only ended up getting finished because the idea just would not budge out of my head.
Haha, I like that I got the chance to write a much more mature James here, but I'm sure you're right with him getting a big head with the roar from the crowds. Good old James!
The whole point of the one-shot was to create a moment for the two of them to hopefully start their relationship so I couldn't have him pretend to be asleep for long. I'm glad you liked my decision to do this!
I really missed writing the boys in - I love them so much! That was my little nod to them so to speak seeing as I couldn't actually get them in to the story properly.
Thank you so so much for the lovely review, I really appreciate it!!
Lauren :) Report Review
Hello! I hope school is going well for you. I'm back for another chapter!
Silly Dorcas. ALL of the rest of your life will be spent battling with Death Eaters. Unfortunately. Well, that is my guess, anyway.
The fight scene you constructed reminds me of the villain/hero showdowns in those action/adventure movies. Very fast paced, with lots of verbal sparing thrown in between the moves. It was pretty fun to read, except that Bellatrix kept bringing up stuff about Dorcas' sister and creeping me out.
I think my favorite comeback had to be, "Probably had something to do with having a soul. Does wonders for the complexion."
I think you had some great lines in there. The insults may have gone a bit too long towards the end, but I really liked how Dolohov was rising to the bait and had a hard time disengaging from the confrontation because of Dorcas' big mouth.
The brief respite Dorcas had with her sister was sweet. And then a cliffhanger! Oh no!!! I hope they dodge it in time!
I will definitely be back for more.
pix Report Review
Hello again. I just had to come back after the KITTEN chapter (yes, that's what I'm calling it. Hogsmeade, schmogsmeade! There was a KITTEN!) and see what's next. Don't you just hate it when some silly reader fixates on something so small and inconsequential (KITTEN!!) and can't seem to comment on all the other fabulous things in your chapter? (I just love KITTENS!!) I mean really, if Lily wasn't already sold on James, she'd have to be now. :P
Argh! Alrek is a bad, bad boy, I knew it! Again, Bellatrix is evil. She's crazy too, which makes it much, much worse. And she's haughty and seems to be enjoying herself entirely too much. All in perfect character, but spooky, nonetheless.
When your silly reason not to do something that you are probably going to end up doing anyway comes out so logical and well-thought out, who can argue with you? They'll either think you're being extremely pragmatic or that you've wound yourself up into so many excuses that it will take weeks to shovel through all the nonsense (insert stronger word here if you want) and they'll figure that it isn't worth the effort and you'll eventually come around.
Err, and now I lost the point to that, so we'll just move on. Belle's story is heartbreaking. The things she went through and how her family decided not to support her was just plain awful. I know it's a touching situation, but even high profile families have to have some kind of heart. Well, maybe not THIS particular family. Boo on them! And Christophe... boo on him too. That kind of situation plays out all too often, which is a shame. Shame on them all! It was extremely strong of Belle to try to do what she did without any support and against the wishes of her family, and then it all turned out so horrible in the end anyway. I'm sure her guilt about losing the baby (no matter how much it wasn't her fault, she'll still feel that way) will be a big burden for a long time.
Belle needs a KITTEN!!!
Ahem. Really, you had a lot of heavy stuff in this chapter. I think it came out really well and I'm so glad you gave Belle such supportive friends to help her along. I think I need some chocolate now, since I already have a kitten...Author's Response: How could you NOT be sold on James, right?! IT'S A KITTEN. You have to be sold on yummy sweet caring men that give you kittens!!!
I think that Christophe is the worst part about the whole story. Young girls fall hard and fast... and even if she doesn't want to think that it crushed her, I'm sure it did. I bet that will cause some issues for her and Sirius... but what do I know, I just sit here and try to make those monsters behave ;).
Yes! She absolutely needs a kitten!!! Come on Sirius, get with it!
I'm so happy that you think the heavy stuff came out well ♥. Belle's character plays a really important part in all this, so it's important me that people do see what she's been through and understand that whatever else happens with her, it took a butt load of strength to even come here and start over.
And now I'm referring to her as if she's a real person.
I better stop myself now.
I love your reviews so much, just so you know ♥ Report Review
Ahh, hello there! I figured that since chocolate doesn't seem to do the trick in getting you through another one of my depressing chapters, I'd try a different way to cheer you up: by reading an exceptionally well-written and half-cheery story and leaving a review. Because we all love those!
Really, I'd review your story anyway. You're such an emotional reader/writer, and I guess that's why your chapters come across as so touching and sensitive. Particularly Lily here. She's got feels all over the place, I tell you!
On with this thing, which was a great deal of fun to read. I love, love, love the inclusion of having a Prefect/Head Girl checking for signatures on the permission slips. We all know that sort of thing happened, but rarely see that sort of mundane detail in a story. Yet, you tend to give us little glimpses of the normal stuff that's done in the background at Hogwarts, in those quiet moments of your story. I like those quiet moments, where the characters get to sit back and just be themselves when they think that no one else is looking. That's when the reader gets to really see them for who they are.
Of course, her reverie is interrupted by not just her friends, but by the entire Gryffindor Quidditch team, oh my gosh, that was funny trying to picture all those groggy, upset teens channeling their half-awake anger at their captain, who is acting like it's a perfectly legitimate thing to wake his classmates at oh-dark-thirty on the weekend. Yeah. Gotta love James for being himself.
Aww, and it was lovely to see Lily start to want something for herself after all this time when she was watching Alice and Frank together. Those two have certainly gotten publicly closer since the "incident", and rightly so. That would make most people rethink their priorities. But Lily absolutely needed her space. It's nice to see her start down the road of getting past that hurdle.
Belle's excuse was a classic and made me laugh out loud, which is something I rarely do while reading. It was so well-placed and got the exact reaction the girls needed, while covering them for as long as they needed and the boys won't even ask, no matter how long it takes them to get back to the library. :) Here's another opportunity you took to show us what happens at Hogwarts when no one else is looking. I love that Madame Pomfrey does this for the school. It makes so much sense for her to provide an educational role in an educational institution.
Poor Belle. She's got to have a big thing hanging over her. I hope she gets the chance to get whatever it is out so she can start trusting her friends. I think that she's in a place where she needs that and I just want what is best for her. You've really made me care about that character!
I loved how Alice immediately recognized the importance of Lily's outfit and that she didn't have to go and explain it to anyone. I really liked how you did that scene. If Lily would have had to explain herself, I doubt she’d have been able to get through it without the tears. This way, she became the stronger for it with the support from her friends.
Belle is such the character! Not only does she try to "spice up history" in her assignments, which I find to be hilarious, but she also faced off with Violet and defended her friend. I think she got points from Sirius too for that.
Oh Alrek. I just haven't made up my mind about him. I'm sure he's up to no good, but he seems perfectly civil on the outside. If only those kinds of people came with warning labels pinned to their lapels, the world would be a safer place.
And those two girls were absolutely horrid to each other... and Belle's about to spill her secret... and Peter needs them right now, what happened oh no... and... and...
Awww!!! It's a KITTEN!!!Author's Response: Look at this review!! Now I feel terrible for mine being so small. In my defense, it's hard for me to say much when my feels get all tangled.
Hahah sometimes I wonder why my emotions have to get so tangled in everything. I started reading the first few paragraphs of UWCOEFG but I got too scared and stopped. But now I've made myself toughed up and tagged you... soo.. *takes deep breath*
anyway, back to this awesome review.
I'm so happy you like those smaller, more every day type of scenes about what's happening in the background. I really like including those, but try and keep a happy medium and not having too many of them. Although I get a bit crazy in chapter 14 and spend entirely much time working through classes with Lily. When I sent that chapter to Dan to beta, it was jokingly title 'Chapter 14 - In Which Jami Pretends She's a Hogwarts Student.'
Aww I'm really excited to hear that you're caring about Belle. She was one of the first people in this story, and ends up playing an incredibly important role, other than awesome best friend ;)
KITTEN! It had to happen. It just had to. I mean, we know they end up with one eventually, and and... KITTEN. :P
Alrek has a surprise for you next chapter, by the way.
Okay. I'm headed off to UWCOEFG.
Wishing myself good luck. *cry*. Report Review
Sorry for the delay. I truly had the time when I posted, and then RL smacked me upside the head and I had to run off to deal with that, but I'm back now for another chapter to see what happened to poor Dedalus Diggle. (I am loving that name!)
You continue on with that fast-paced tone and I love it. You slowed down just enough to get some reactions from a few characters in the first scene, and zip along with the information. I felt like you gave us enough flavor of Hermione and Ginny and Ron and Harry, who all felt like themselves, and then moved us along. I didn't feel rushed here, and I felt like I had enough information about the surroundings to know where I was in the story. Sometimes, when authors adopt this kind of writing tone, we get too little description and we feel out of place. Not here.
Pavarti's questioning had me wondering what had happened to the wand that they'd confiscated, but fortunately, they were analyzing it during the interrogation, so I feel better now. It made sense for Scorpius to do the interrogation, and I'm glad he did. If it were anyone else asking those kind of questions, I'd have been a little pulled out of the story. I felt like the interrogation was being led by a newbie. But of course that's what Scorpius is, so that worked out just fine.
Harry has quite a team for this and should be able to handle just about anything, well, maybe anything except two wands that seem to be the same. I was expecting him to bring up the point that both wands seem identical after the analysis, since that was the greatest anomaly that we've been given so far. But I imagine that their first order of business is to catch the killer. Hmm... My mind is spinning with the possibilities if someone has truly been able to duplicate wands. And I expect that Hermione would jump on that sort of thing if given the chance... either her or someone on Harry's team.
And then another murder! Oh no! Now the whole Department is going to be on high alert. Surely, someone will pick up on this wand thing, which I am very intrigued by. You have quite the interesting plot forming here. I can't wait to see what you do with it.Author's Response: Hello and thanks for stopping by!
I think in a mystery the setting is everything and I can see these things in my mind as clearly as I see what I'm typing here and I wanted everybody to feel the kind of tension I felt when I wrote it.
As for the wands, they're central to the story (not that the title wasn't a dead giveaway!) but there's more of that in chapters to come!
Thank you for the lovely review, it means a lot to me! :) Report Review
My world is spinning... I'm reading another story about Draco and it's all your fault!
Okay, okay, I'll attempt to set aside my strong prejudices for a moment or fifteen. First off, let me start by telling you that I'm reading this chapter with Sesame Street songs playing in the other room, so if I'm more off-kilter than normal, that's why. Actually, it puts an interesting spin on the Ragged Fang (whose name I love!) and the "drab kaleidoscope of confusion and nausea". Maybe this will work out for the best after all. ;)
The first scene was so vivid. You have an easy knack for these kinds of things that I envy. Most of my scene openers remain quite sparse until the last minute and then I'm all panicky for a week trying to figure out what the best way to fill in the void is. Somehow, I can never find my beginnings. I'm reminded of this every time I read your stories.
As vivid as it is, I am both drawn in and repulsed by the descriptions, kind of like watching a car wreck as a helpless passer-by. You can't help things by jumping in front of the out-of-control vehicle, but you still feel like you're in the middle of the tragedy. My face hurts now. Ouch. Knockturn Alley is aptly named.
I loved how you went into detail about the Dark Mark fading away, now that Voldemort is gone. Of course it's going to fade, just like it had before. Makes me wonder how much and how long it will take before it's not even noticeable anymore. Probably longer than anyone would like. It's going to be a nasty reminder to everyone involved and probably start a lot more bar brawls than we'd care to admit.
The minute that Draco stepped into the Leaky Cauldron, I had a strong feeling that things wouldn't be going in his favor for very long. Not that they had been going well in the first place, but he's not with "his own kind" any longer, and the sympathy won't be flowing anytime in the next two decades at least. As Draco meets the cobblestones again, I am starting to feel a little sorry for the guy. He must be quite a sight when Astoria finally gets to him. The way he reacts to her, the way he thinks about her seems so out of place, so weird that he'd be having those thoughts at that moment, and he reacts to himself in a shell-shocked kind of stupor about the whole thing. And then I'm reminded of who he used to be and how old habits surely die hard with this:
"He honestly didn't give a toss about the coins, but his mouth moved faster than his brain could restrain it. They were his father's words, and he hated the taste they left behind."
The letter he wrote is full of wake-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night-brilliant-clarity. Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night and written down your brilliant thoughts? Have you read them the next morning? I have. Somehow, it never reads the same and is always a bit cringe-worthy. I can totally see him writing that letter after he's been lying awake in bed for hours, pondering his very existence. I can see him re-reading that letter a day from then, maybe a few weeks from then and cringing from the blatant desperation that's coming through. He is lucky to have someone as supportive as Narcissa for a mother. I'm sure she's been up to her ears in all those father-son post-war bonding sessions that have been going down at home these past few months.
You managed to keep Draco entirely himself in this life-changing moment. He knows he's got to change, but he still needs to lean on his mother to succeed. I don't think he'd believe himself capable of what he's trying to achieve without her.
You always put an interesting spin on this Draco-guy as he goes through what we all know he must have at some point in his life. I like how Astoria's father is not at all happy about his daughter's brief association with Draco. It should make for an interesting time indeed.
Good luck, Draco. I hope you don't make Dan need a detox session after this story.Author's Response: Sesame Street? Wow, I think we've found a new level of cognitive dissonance.
Draco is absolutely a car wreck at the start of this chapter. And the only people who are really trying to stop him are his mother and father, and his mother is the only one who's going about it halfway correctly. On the other side, you have his "friends" from school, who are in their own spirals of self-destruction. More about this in future chapters.
The Leaky Cauldron was definitely the wrong place to seek refuge. The scene that plays out inside is the first of many you'll read where people have neither forgotten nor forgiven Draco for the things he did -- or they believe that he did -- during the war.
There's still plenty of "Old Draco" running around inside that platinum blonde head of his, but it tends to come out more in moments of duress. Situations where he doesn't quite take the time to think things through and acts on instinct.
Once or twice in my life, I've had one of these sorts of "moments of clarity" in the middle of the night and felt so strongly about it that I had to get up and take notes. I agree that it isn't often when people do their best thinking. But in Draco's case, he arrives at some very important conclusions about himself and where his life is heading. And he knows that there's only one person in the world who can truly help him make the changes he needs to make.
I'm really pleased that you found Draco consistent and sensible. I've said this again and again in review responses, but my number 1 priority when I write Draco Malfoy is to find that balance where he doesn't come across either totally redeemed or like a completely unrepentant villain. He's a much more complex character than that, and I think it's a shame when people white-wash or black-wash him.
I don't think I'm going to need any therapy when I'm done with this, but you never know. It has been eating into my sleep.
Thanks so much for another long, lovely, insightful review! Report Review
Hello! I'm here from Review Tag.
This is definitely an interesting start to the story. I want to commend you for making this back story such a compelling read. I liked how you sprinkled it throughout the chapter without dumping it on us. And even though it was a very lot of back story, I found myself wanting to read it instead of skimming along.
The era you chose for this story is also compelling. You have obviously built up quite a bit of history with these characters and I like how it ties back in to Hermione and Ron and Draco. There is a lot of family tension here, which I am reserving my opinion of until the story progresses. It will be interesting to see how Hugo's attitude towards the Malfoys affects your main character and the choices she makes.
I love the opener. It was so fast-paced and vibrant and there were definite dark elements in play around it. I would love to know more about the mission and how these two have come to the conclusion that another Philosopher's Stone is the only answer to their problems. They must have quite a huge problem indeed.
A great start to your story. Please continue!Author's Response: :) * insert mischievous smile here* This is by far my favorite story that I have written. I hope you continue to enjoy it. Happy Reading~ Lady Report Review
First of all, let me tell you that I love the fast-paced feel and the tone that you took writing this piece. I thought the air of mystery was pretty well thrust upon me with all the happenstances everywhere.
You've brought a lot of familiar characters on the scene in this first chapter. It makes me wonder how you will be using all of them in this story. I can't wait to see what Pavarti has to say about her wand ending up at a crime scene. Very intriguing.
I liked Ron's musings about Scorpius and also the way that the back story bits flew past us and touched ground just long enough for us to soak it in. I can tell you had a lot of fun writing this. I think I'm going to have a lot of fun reading this too!Author's Response: Hey there!
I wanted this to be fast paced in the beginning, so that I could express the urgency of what's happening and the impact it's having on all the characters involved. And yes, there are plenty of characters. All their fates are written down in my little blue notebook (because I'd probably mess this up if I didn't have a plan in mind).
Thank you so much for your lovely review and I'm looking forward to hearing your opinion on what follows!
Ral Report Review
I really enjoyed your portrayal of Moody at the meeting. He's callous and disruptive and at the same time, all business about the war. What a fun character! I especially liked his referral to the "brown haired thing". And then you humanized everything again by Minerva's reminder that they are all just children.
"And seven of them were hers."
I loved the protective nature she had during the discussion and how she really wanted them to have one last year without adult concerns.
The next section was full of James... I mean that in a good way. ;) You've really got a knack for getting into that boy's head and going with it. And it led to a sweet moment too. Awww!
Slughorn just does not give up, does he? I always thought of him as a collector of sorts. I'm sure he'd like to have those two boys under his thumb, but I guess they're not going to do it. Good for them.
Sirius really tried to thwart that bloke, Alrek. He ended up creating an impossible situation instead. Haha! Now James gets to deal with that too. Hopefully, Lily sees it for what it is and commends James for his creativity...Author's Response: Hiii ♥
Moody was actually a blast to write. It got me pretty excited to start on book two, because that one involves their time in the Order. And then I can play with Moody more. mwahaha.
James and Sirius started out as a bit tricky for them.. making sure they both had their own 'selves' and stuff, but the farther I get into this the easier they become to distinguish in my own head, so I'm extra happy that you feel like I'm doing good with the darling Mr. Potter ♥
Hahaha Sirius is such a button, isn't he? He tried though, and that's what matters ;)
Thank you so much for this lovely review and all your awesome other ones ♥ Report Review
I think you did all of the characters justice here. In the beginning, Narcissa has this bubbly optimism and radiance and then at the end she has definitely come around to the hardened determination that we see in canon. Your narrative flowed well and the dialogue was consistent with the characters and the situation. I didn't see any grammatical or spelling slips. It was really clean.
As far as constructive criticism goes, I can't see much that needs attention. I will say that after reading the whole thing and knowing where you were going, I felt like maybe it would be nice to see Narcissa's attitude about her marriage come through just a bit, something that overshadows her enthusiasm about the pregnancy that tells us that something is wrong but she's trying to push it away and just be happy in the moment. Kind of like a little hint of trouble. Then, when she makes her decision at the end, it will tie in really tight with the beginning.
Everything that you showed us about her relationship with Lucius fit in well with canon. I can totally see this as a possibility of how things were for her.
Nicely done one-shot!Author's Response: Hey! Thanks for reading and reviewing!
I am glad that you think I did all the characters justice. I wanted my readers to really able to see the change in Narcissa from the beginning to the end, so I am glad it worked for you!
Its great to hear that you found my narrative to flow well, with consistent dialogue. No grammatical or spelling slips? Phew, thats a relief xD
Thank yo for the CC. I'll think about doing that, and put it in if I do an edit :)
Glad you could see this as a possibility, and in line with canon!
Thanks! Report Review
That scene with Petunia really explains a lot about her character. No one should WANT to hurt the poor kitty. That Petunia was willing to do so shows that she is also the type of person to lash out at people when the situation arises. I feel sorry for Lily, having to deal with such a sister. The fact that Petunia doesn't think things through the way she should probably makes Lily excuse her behavior more than she ought to. And also, that Lily was more concerned about cheering up her sister shows a lot about Lily as well. She truly has a kind heart.
I'd love to hear all those secrets those students had to give away to pass through the door. All those red faces at the meeting sure must have been amusing. But then the meeting turned pretty dark, especially with Frank there to give an eyewitness account.
I really like your descriptions of how Lily sees the relationships around her. This being a story about Lily/James and the things they deal with in their seventh year, it's nice to see Lily's progression in her mind about how her friends get along with each other. I think it's a sweet way to tell the story without a lot of undue angst or drama. Thank you for being gentle with them.
James' parents are both fearsome and incredibly optimistic at the same time. How do they do that? I want to know. I suppose it's because they are older and have more patience than any of us can fathom. Oldness does that to a person, I'm told. ;)
Another lovely chapter, with things boiling in the background.Author's Response: Ahh you are the first person to comment on the Kitty! THANK YOU. She's throwing a snowball at a small little animal to lash out, then uses the excuse that it didn't belong in their yard. Sure, she's not hanging it by it's tail or anything.. but it's still mean. And it's just a small look into how easy it is for her to forget what she knows is right and wrong, or ignore it. Why she'll eventually be okay with emotionally and verbally abusing an orphan for 11 years. Seriously, I could hug you for noticing the bit about the kitty, haha.
I'm so happy you like that it focuses on a kind of a different level than normal teenage drama. Not that I don't think there's plenty of drama going around the school, I just don't think the group would pay much attention to it with things going the way they are.
That's exactly what I keep in mind when writing Olivia and William... that they're near 80. They've witnessed too much to believe the world is full of butterflies, but they've also been given so much, they both stayed alive during their auror days then had the son they thoughts they were much too old to conceive... so they kind of have this underlying sense of peace. Hmm none of that makes sense does it? I could just hug those two sometimes. haha
Have I told you lately that your reviews are amazing? ♥ Report Review
First off, I loved the style of this and the messed up images it brought on. Everything about your description was fantastic and after reading a collection of your works, I can now say that I am a fan.
I think for the most part, this worked for me. There were several times when I was guessing about how the sections fit together. Were they chronological? How did each section flow into the next? I liked how Regulus seemed to tie everything together, but his grasp on the last three sections loosened considerably and I was left wondering if he was having flashbacks, or if he was attempting to be more like his brother, or if the character I had in my head for those last three sections was entirely wrong. I found myself wondering if you had been a little too vague at that point because I wanted to feel complete at the end and instead, I was grappling with questions that left me unsettled about the whole piece.
As much as I hate to say this, I think I would have liked more concrete connections. I suppose I was floating un-grounded for too long. I wasn't turned off by the melodrama, though. I liked the tone overall and as I said before, I really liked all the descriptions, particularly the carnival bits and the returning image of inferni. I'm familiar with the music of Danse Macabre, so if you were using that for inspiration, you definitely did it justice.Author's Response: Alright, so. I'm really, really sorry I've been so awful at review responses, and this is going to be equally awful:
The sections were mostly chronological, except IV-VI, I think... the chronology and the general structure of this piece I guess can come across as a bit like you're reading a collection of random musings about some undead guy, which is funnily enough what this thing started as. I think any sense of completeness, however, was probably the opposite of what I was trying to achieve, so I can't really be too remorseful about that. >.>
Anyway, apart from that, this was great fun to write so I'm really glad you enjoyed it, regardless of the lack of concreteness. :D Report Review
Alright, this was an unexpected twist. I can honestly say that I am intrigued with where you are taking things. First off, I applaud your use of canon events to start the story off, and secondly, instead of having Ron stare blankly at Hermione in pity or some other staring-type encounter, you gave him an entirely new thing to stare at. Not only was Hermione so completely engrossed in her own pain and upset that Ron and Lavendar hadn't noticed that the room was occupied, but she had failed to notice that she had stumbled upon someone else's hiding spot as well.
Very interesting first chapter.Author's Response: YAY for unexpected twists! This whole story should be for the most part, ground in canon events. I'm trying to stick to canon but yet adding in some dramione moments, and slightly changing events around a bit. Yes it was a bit interesting to add in that Draco had been hiding as well, but I would like to think that he was upset about not being able to figure things out yet. I'm so excited about your review! Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!
~Slytherinchica08~ Report Review
Now that the war has touched them all personally, I can only imagine how seriously they will all take their lessons from now on. The Prefects have a daunting job of keeping the peace and I'm sure it won't go very smoothly at all. I love how you were able to add a bit of magical intrigue into this section with the development of the patronus communication. It would be just their style to get their patronuses to talk to one another. That was pretty cool, and it also helped to lighten up the mood a bit. It also gave Lily more insight into James' feelings, which should move things along nicely.
I felt so relieved when James openly forgave Sirius and Lily for keeping their secret from him. At least they all have one less thing to feel bad over.
Bellatrix's section was dark, yet again. How could it be anything other than dark? She's so single-mindedly insane with need. It's rather disgusting, the way you portray her, but in a good way, if that's possible. I can only imagine how her husband takes that kind of devotion. I guess it's something he would be afraid to discuss with someone like her.
Now I wonder what could be next...Author's Response: Hi!
I was a bit worried about my choice with the Patronuses... mainly because there was never anything in canon to make us think the Marauders and Frank were the creators. But... there was never anything that said they weren't, either :P. So I'm really happy that you think it fit well.
I have so much fun with these Bellatrix's sections. Creepy, right? I'm actually working on another one right ow. *cackles madly*
Thanks for another wonderful review, m'dear ♥ Report Review
First off, I have to confess that when I saw the chapter title "No More Secrets", the first thing I thought was that this was going to be where someone tells one (of all) of the girls about the animagus condition, or Remus' ailment, or something like that. I was delightfully surprised when it was someone else's secret entirely that you meant. It's too early in this story line to be divulging the big secrets of the boys, secrets that they have been holding dear to their hearts for so long. No one has committed yet, after all.
With all that out of the way, how horrible of you to put our dear, beloved Sirius in such a situation! I would give your muse a piece of my mind, except for the fact that you pulled it off so devilishly well that it was almost worth reading yet another heartbreaking episode in the life of Sirius Black. Seriously, how much angst can one person handle?
I loved how you showed the risks and the danger of what those four were doing together in the shack. They way that you focused on Remus' condition as potentially life-threatening and how he really needed someone else to help watch over him got through to me. If he hadn't had his friends, would he even survive month to month all alone?
Alice's rant was really funny, the way she went on about how frustrating Augusta's lectures were and how caught up in it she was that she didn't realize in her sleepy haze exactly what she was saying. I bet that woke everybody else up right quick!
No one should have to be forced to say anything polite about Violet. Some people aren't worth that kind of effort. And then Severus has to come up and do something ambiguously cordial like that. He could have been apologizing for everything in that one phrase. Everything and nothing at the same time. It's the type of thing he'd do.
So Sirius finally comes clean. I couldn't have guessed in a million years where you were going with it, so congratulations for the element of surprise! James' anger was justified. He had to get it out right there, but you didn't give him too much time to process all of that either. You threw them another curve ball that they'll have to deal with, and this time it's a cliffhanger. I don't know if I should pat your muse on the back or give her a cold, hard stare.
Another engaging chapter!Author's Response: Hiii *insert big wave with even larger smile*..
I struggle a bit with the telling of the animagus werewolf thing. I finally worked in my head when Lily will find out and why, but really I bounced around the idea around of her never even finding out. But looks like you'll have to wait and see what my final decision ended up being.. mwahaha.
I knowww. My poor wittle Sirius :(. I do feel a bit bad about adding onto his already large pile of angst.. but it gave me such an awesome chance to bring him and lily together so much closer as friends. Couldn't pass up that, could I??
I feel like I must have been a bit frustrated with my own mother in law to be at the time of writing Alice's rant... hahaha poor girl.
I was so, so worried about that Severus section. I just don't get him enough to be confident to get his voice right... but I love what you said about the possibility of him being able to apologize to Lily about everything or nothing in that. So Severus. And now he's going to trot off in a few years and fall madly in love with Dorcas! Woot!
I thought James's anger was justified as well. Lily took it so much better because she was still so shocked and already blaming herself. Petunia blamed Lily for having magic and tearing them apart. Severus blamed Lily for being a mudblood and forcing him to endure all sorts of teasing. Okay, he probably didn't, but she was probably feeling an wakeful lot like he did when he called her that. Basically Lily isn't the person to need to find someone who is responsible for bad incidents, because the second they happen she's already piling the blame on herself :(. Poor Lily. :(
Ohhh my muse likes back pats much more than cold, hard stares! Just in case you're still trying to make up your mind ;)
Thank you so much m'dear for this awesome and thoughtful review ♥ Report Review
Hi. I'm tagging you from the Review Thread.
I really enjoyed reading this one-shot set on Halloween night. It wasn't the typical halloween story, and I think I liked it better because of its uniqueness.
"The years in Azkaban had stripped most of his feelings away and the few memories he had kept hidden from Dementors hadn’t exactly been happy ones. Now they were resurfacing little by little, and his soul, that had been sucked up nearly dry, was floundering with waves of emotions."
I think that aptly captured Sirius' character in this moment. The way he addressed the photograph tied in well with his glimpse of Harry at the end, and how he heard him first before seeing him was a nice touch, making his dog-like senses come to life again.
I liked the idea of a big wolfish dog trotting around the castle grounds and making his way into the kitchens. The imagery made me smile, that is, until he ripped up the portrait of the Fat Lady and made her cry. Bad dog! I had entirely forgotten about that little event until just now.
The tiny white footprints and the ears flopping in the wind gave me a great picture of the odd chase through the castle. I was sad for Sirius that the rat escaped him, but it was bound to happen.
Great imagery and a well-done one-shot.Author's Response: Hi! Thanks for the review! =) So sorry it has taken so long to answer, it has been really busy winter.
Sirius is the one character I tend to sorry most in HP books. He loses everything, even his freedom, and that must be hard for someone who has his personality. I feel like he has much more freedom to be true to himself when he's in dog form without any man-made restrictions.
It's so much fun to write scenes that are missing from the books. I guess that's why HP fanfics are so popular.
Thanks again. =) Report Review
This was a great opener. It has everything you need: introduction to the characters,a sprinkling of back story, and action to move everything forward. There's a moody, distrustful protagonist who has been betrayed by her so-called childhood friend, an antoginst who thinks he ca get away with anything by fibbing his way through life, and a terrible danger literally brewing in the sky.
I thought your flow was great. Without dialogue, you carried the action through this chapter, painting a clear picture of where this girl is in her life and what is troubling her. Without a support structure of a close and loving family, she has every right to feel isolated and angry. Sometimes, I feel like the emotional reactions of this type of character are overdone. Here, I felt her justification and you didn't hit me over the head with the circumstances either.
The imagery was well-placed too. The short descriptions of the impending weather change, the way her eyes changed and how it tied in to her anger were just enough for us to get the picture without giving anything away.
I liked her grateful thoughts towards the director of the orphanage, which shows that she does have a heart. I also found her sadly detached thoughts during her ordeal in the play yard appropriate. She's a survivor and she shows us that she knows how to live through the moment to get to the next. I have a feeling that you're going to use this to tell her story more in the coming chapters.Author's Response: Oh my goodness; thank you SO much for taking the time to read and review this!! When I saw that there was another review on this story, I was honestly speechless!!
I'm thrilled to know that you think this is a good opener! And thank you so much for your comments on the back story, flow, imagery and action! And you've really delved deep into Jayde's psychology, which is totally amazing! I'm so glad you feel that her reactions aren't overdone!!
Indeed, Jayde does have a heart and she IS a survivor, even at such a young age.
Thank you SO much for reading and reviewing this! I can't tell you how much it means to me!! Report Review
I *love* that last line.
After all the vacillations that James goes through, with the "I've got what I want, but I want what I shouldn't have", and "why are you better with him than you were with me", and "I know you and she got together, but I'm not going to mention anything to either of you because this will spoil my moment"... James knows his future. He sees his path forward and he knows what's ultimately going to happen and there's a small (or not so small) part of him that relishes in the fact that he won. He won because he got the girl. Maybe he won because he got the girl and Sirius didn't. Maybe he won because that "other" relationship that Sirius has with Remus, or whatever happened/could happen/might happen between James and Sirius won't be as fulfilling as whatever James has with Lily.
And he calls her "the girl", like she's some prize to be obtained, some kind of destination that he's finally reached and unable to fully process in his "moment of kind of, but not actual" clarity.
He's arrogant and conflicted and "irritated" about the whole thing. I assume that maybe part of his irritation came from his speculation about whether Sirius got there before him, but that's another thing I adore about this style: the reader is left to fill in the pieces with so many, many possibilities and it works, whether it was what you intended for the backstory or not. I just love the way you used this challenge to explore that. I think your raw, stream-of-consciousness style was excellent for exploring this convoluted, twisted niggling of a plot thread. And no, James will *never* say any of that to Sirius' face. :PAuthor's Response: Hey!
The strange thing about James is how clear-cut his life seems to be in canon. Like, you know, he's from a respectable-but-not-Dark Pureblood family, he knows he's going to get with Lily since at the latest fifth year, he never seems to have any moral or emotional ambiguity at all ever. Which is weird, because his friends are full of all of that kind of contradiction and the like. So I had a go at fixing that by shipping Sirius with everybody, because that's how I roll... I'm glad you picked up on James' vacillations, is what I'm trying to say.
Lily is, here, absolutely a prize to be won in a competition whose only competitor is James. She ends up a bit like furniture in this one-shot, actually. :S
I think the thing about backstory is just me being lazy (or strapped for time), to be honest. :P
But anyway - thank you so much for your lovely review, sorry about this terrible and late response, etc. :) Report Review
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