Reading Reviews From Member: Pixileanin
  
590 Reviews Found

Review #1, by PixileaninHarry Potter and the First Mission: Back to Hogwarts

30th August 2015:
Hi Kenny. Back for another chapter.

Wow, the plot really took off in this chapter. Harry and Ron apprehended someone who has inside information and they're taking him to Hogwarts. It should be a sweet homecoming.

I was slightly surprised that the Aurors didn't know what a Pensieve is, but then it makes sense that Dumbledore would have the most advanced magical artifacts, since he's so old and wise. It's nice to see that the other Aurors are willing to learn new things.

I loved seeing Neville as an assistant to the professor. He's one of my favorite characters. I also loved the lead-in you created for finding the Perverell boy. I would never have guessed that Harry would run into someone so important during the Quidditch tryouts. Now I want to know what the significance of the character is. I guess I'll have to keep reading.

There was one bit of description that I really loved above all the others.

"The Hall echoed with bright laughter and talk and the clatter of knives and forks."

It captured the entire feast in one line.

Also, I am very curious about Draco now. We didn't see him this chapter, but everyone says that he's changed. I'm sure that's coming up soon.

Until next time!

Pix

 Report Review

Review #2, by PixileaninWhy am I friends with you?: Chapter 1: Katie's cousin, Sarah

29th August 2015:
Hi there. I like cupcakes, rather a lot. I like to eat cupcakes too. I even bake them from time to time, and sometimes I even put icing on them.

Congratulations on your first HPFF story! It's always nervewracking to post a first story. Is this your first story ever, of have you written stuff before? I know that it was really scary posting my first thing on here. I was really worried that no one would ever read it, but I figured that since it was for a challenge, the challenge person would have to read it. And there's the validator. So that's two guaranteed reads right there.

So yeah. Your Prologue showed Seamus and Dean meeting for the first time, seemingly bonding over the train ride, except one of them likes to read in silence.

This chapter is all about years later after the war, when Seamus and Dean are sharing a flat and going to Harry and Ginny's wedding. That seems totally plausible, since a lot of people tend to bond over the tragedies in their lives. I'm not even sure you need a Prologue for this story, if all the first bit was to show how the boys met. I think you covered that pretty well in the first part of this chapter.

I see you used a bit of physical comedy, with the doorknocker, and Katie falling all over the guy when he came in. I was wondering straight away, are Katie's parents rich, or did she earn it all herself. It seems like a rather extravegant house for her to be living in all by herself. I know you don't have to show us everything, but there wasn't mention of anyone besides her cousin living with her. So Katie is the outgoing one and Sarah is the shy one. You showed that pretty clearly.

So I suppose your next chapter is all about the wedding. It will be interesting to see how Dean and Seamus act at the wedding with their "dates" around. So far, I don't sense any tension between the guys, or tension anywhere really. It's pretty happy right now with no trouble in sight.

Have fun writing the rest of the story!

Pix

 Report Review

Review #3, by PixileaninHarry Potter and the First Mission: The First Training Week

29th August 2015:
Ah, there is mystery here. Let's see what we've got. I am immediately suspicious of Romilda and her batting eyelashes. She should get that checked out. It's no good to have dusty eyelashes, very unhealthy and it could damage her eyes long term.

No, but seriously. What is up with her? At first I thought she and Blaise were trying to kidnap Harry for some reason, but then it was only lunch and he brought Ron along, and then the whole bit with Ginny needing to protect Ron... and then Romilda with her eye problem again. Either she has a misplaced crush, or she's got something else sinister going on.

I still don't trust her.

I liked the training sequence, and the clever use of different spells, not just fighting spells, for them to solve their problems. The animagus thing came up again, which I am curious about. In your story, do all the Aurors learn how to be animagi? That would be a cool twist.

Your mystery deepens, and the characters progress.

Pix

 Report Review

Review #4, by PixileaninTales of the Death Hunters: Shades of Anger: Fury

29th August 2015:
"So she was very surprised to find herself settling back into her chair. ďTell me, do you live alone?Ē "

No!!! Alright now. What season of Criminal Minds were you binging on when you wrote this thing?? I mean, yeah, we're all a bit morbidly curious, but that was almost not worth revisiting. Ah, I'm starting to understand the glued eyes thing. Masterful. And beyond creepy. I remember this scene with the flashbacks. Really well-done with Harry trying not to put himself in that little boy's shoes.

And he's at it again. Already? Harry was right. Jugson moves fast.

ďPotter,Ē Jugson snarled through clenched teeth as he turned aside a jet of red light that tore a hole in the wall behind him. ďWhat does it take to kill you?Ē

Really? Does Jugson not keep up with recent history? I love how you used that line. It's so... so.. I don't think ironic is the word I'm looking for, but I'll use it anyway.

ďBloke chops the head off a great, bleeding snake and now he thinks heís Godric bloody Gryffindor,Ē

Awesome line, Ron. But I completely agree with your sentiment. Neville saw red and acted rashly. Good thing that Justin is there to talk Harry out of a similarly bad decision. They're right. There is no "I" in "team". The whole enchanted house with the doors that lead in circles is fantastic. Like a spooky, messed up carnival fun house. Except without the fun part.

Using Neville's history against him, making Harry as guilty as super-humanly possible about it and then giving him more flashbacks. Nope. No fun here. If Susan wasn't there talking sense into him... you've gotta love those sensible characters, right?

The trouble with awesome cursed houses set up to hold people inside of them using ancient pureblood Dark Magic is that somehow after the author puts all of that together, he has to find a way for his character heroes to fight their way out of the complex trappings so they can fulfill their role and let the story come to a thrilling conclusion. Preferably without anyone feeling cheated.

I so feel you on this. And of course, because you're Dan, you succeed.

You push Harry to the breaking point, but then you give him people to pull him back from the line that he's put his toe over. He wouldn't be Harry without the overwhelming guilt afterwards, so I'm glad that Ginny was there at the end to emotionally debrief him. The dividing line that you draw between Harry's actions and the evil men that he's after is clear and deep. He does what he has to, not what he wants to. He uses his rage to push through and become stronger, and he has a network of people around him to temper that.


Pix

 Report Review

Review #5, by PixileaninTales of the Death Hunters: Shades of Anger: Outrage

29th August 2015:
Whew, big story here. Lots of weight in it, but you still manage to add some levity without breaking the scene.

"Susan had a concussion, second degree burns, lots of cuts from the flying glass and a broken collarbone from the Hogwarts Express over here landing on top of her.Ē

Ron's always got someone giving him what for. It's okay. I think on some level, he knows he deserves it. :)

Oh for goodness sake, Harry! Stay in bed, would you? Always the bleeding hero, literally sometimes. I think you've given him a worthy adversary. Healers can be very intolerant when they think their patients are out of their minds. Actually, Harry isn't in any shape to be wandering around anywhere. I love the little things, like how his vision blurs and he leans on Ron through his determination.

Justin's speech makes the Healer see his case though. It won't be fun or pretty for any of them, but sometimes hard things need doing in order to prevent worse things from happening. But really, someone should get Harry a wheelchair by this point. He really looks awful. Clothes and determination might not be all he needs at this point.

I really like the way you dressed up the room like a muggle hospital, with the linoleum and the lights. But nothing they can do for her is going to erase the week of utter horror she's been through. Poor woman. First, you hit us with the evil, and then you show us its victims. Ouch. Her mental state is in shreds.

I think "a bit on the sad side" is a gross understatement. You weren't kidding when you picked up the whole "anger" theme. Ugh. I don't even know where to begin with this.

You could have used Harry as the narrator for this chapter, since most of the action fell on him, but instead you chose Justin. That was a great way to show not only Harry's side of things, but also add more depth to the entire situation. This isn't Harry's fight alone. As Justin explains to the Healer, it's about protecting everyone they can by putting as many of these madmen away. We're mostly familiar with the way that Harry sees things as well, so to show it from someone else's point of view and give them a background where everything matters to them as well just broadens the scene that much more. Must remember that technique. You used it expertly.

I do have to respect the Healer's point though. Often, Aurors are seen as unsympathetic, almost to the point of cruelty, who concentrate more on the crime than the people who were affected by it, particularly with muggles, who they often dismiss, sadly not as extremely as Jugson does, but still in the same manner, that they don't matter. I'm glad you made the point, and the way the Healer's attitude changes during the questioning, from disapproving to reluctantly helpful shows that she gets this. She finally understands how important it is for them to get this monster. So well done!

The whole morality issue that Justin brings up is unsettling. It would be so easy to take away Teresa's memories, but she'd always have that underlying grief inside. With her memories gone, she won't know where it's coming from and it could quite possibly destabilize her for life. Magic can't cure everything, especially a broken heart. I'm surprised but content to see that the Healer understands this. Teresa does need to grieve in some way. I'm glad that Justin is outraged for her, and equally glad that Harry wants to carry her anger for her.

Another chapter where I couldn't tear my eyes away. You must teach me how you do that. You know, that thing. With the glue that you affix to your readers' eyes...

Pix

 Report Review

Review #6, by PixileaninHarry Potter and the First Mission: Auror Headquarters

28th August 2015:
Kenny!


Team Gold!

Onwards.

Haha, the snitch alarm clock sounds really awesome, and Iím tickled that itís a present from George. You have thought out a lot of small details in this story that just make it come alive. I like the image of Harry surrounding himself with things that are gifts from his friends, like a protection against the outside world. It makes him secure. Nice.

Ah, interesting bit about Aberforth. I like that inclusion. Iím glad that Harry will see someone familiar that can hopefully guide himÖ or did you have something else in mindÖ no no, donít tell me. I like to be surprised.

Wow, okay. Now that Iíve heard Lavendarís voice in the lift several times, Iím thinking it might not really be her. I mean, is she in the lift with them, or is it just her voice? Because itís kinda creepy with her voice being there without her, announcing all the floors.

So Harryís an Auror now. Excitement. Intrigue. Lunch.

Back later!

Pix

 Report Review

Review #7, by PixileaninEqual Measure Good and Bad: The Curse of the Stonehenge

28th August 2015:
Mr Penn.

Tag. From the forums, just in case you were confused about that. Hi.


So, Stonehenge. I love that idea, that a man would be drawn to such a place. Your take on what the effects of a muggle entering a place that had anti-muggle charms on it were so interesting. The man is sweating, but itís pouring down rain! I could tell that he was affected by something, but you left it a mystery until the next scene, where it was clearly explained. Nicely done.

You definitely have a mystery vibe about this story going on in this first chapter. I can feel that manís Ďneedí to get to that place, and itís stronger than just having had dreams as a child. It piqued my interest at once. Why does he want to go there? What is driving him? Excellent lead-ins. I also like seeing Harry in an official capacity here, right off the bat. It solidified the storyís timeline as being after the second war. I donít have too many questions about that, but Iím sure that if canon is involved in the story, you will address it as it comes up.

Interesting that Harry can feel the Dark Magic as being the thing that revived Stonehenge. I liked the tingling sensations that he got from it, like itís alive. Ah, okay, and thereís the tie-in I was looking for. Oh no, theyíve already lost two curse breakers? Thatís bad. At first, when the official looking man said there had been a murder, I had imagined it was a muggle. And I loved seeing Bill in this capacity as well. This should be a fun plot to follow.

Oh wow. Dracoís a healer? Thatís novel and itís also great because heíd be the one to know a lot of first hand knowledge about Dark Magic. Nice placement here. Iím sure he will come in handy. Iím glad youíre giving those CurseBreakers a fighting chance. I thought in the last scene that we had lost them for good. We might still, but youíve given them one last shot at hope. I like the symbolism of Malfoy being the one to give them that hope too.

Well, that Stonehenge is not just going to stand around and take prodding without rebuttal, is it? That curse sounds really nasty, and with Bill worried, so am I.

Very interesting start to the story. I shall have to come back sometime and see what happens next.

Pix

Author's Response: Thanks a ton Pix. Your reviewing style was extremely through and I absolutely enjoyed reading the same.

The Stonehenge has some secrets of its own and when you read further, you shall understand it better.

Draco is another major character in this story of mine. Further chapters shall tell you more about him for sure.

Thanks again for this amazing review. Hoping to listen from you again pretty soon.


 Report Review

Review #8, by PixileaninThe Dangers of Black Cats: Memories and Dreams

28th August 2015:
The way you wrote how Michael and Philip (et al) tried to get the details out of Liam really showed his detachment and mopey attitude about the whole thing without belaboring the point. I'm not blaming him one bit. He's just discovered something really wonderful and deep, only to have it snatched away before he can fully appreciate it. Time passes, people eventually learn to move on. It doesn't make it any less uncomfortable in the meantime, or quell the sudden pangs that come out of nowhere when they're least expected. Such melancholy, and so well expressed.

I love the small aside that uplifted Liam's esteem in the eyes of the girls. Having read some of your other story summaries, I can guess that this is a springboard for what happens in the future. This was a really great setup for some interesting characters.

The ending was a great way to insert a bit of hope into this piece. Having Elena remember *something* in some manner made McGonagall's words ring true, and also lifted my spirit a bit as well. We always have hope. There should always be that lurking somewhere at the end.


I absolutely adore your author's note at the end of the piece, explaining how the story came about and where it leads. I'm so happy you found HPFF and are posting here. If you are interested in more comments on your stories, you really should hop over to the forums. You can find the link on the top of the page. Reviews can sometimes be like currency around here. Don't know if you have time for that or not, but I thought I'd throw it out there.

Hopefully, I'll have some time to come back for your longer stories to see what you're doing. Everything about this story is so well-placed, the characters breathe with a minimum amount of fuss, the prose is so very clean, and the plot was fascinating and fresh, and fit perfectly into the world of HP. I love reading such polished work. It helps me keep a critical eye on my own writing. The best thing about this story was the absolute honesty that you were able to convey in a story about a young person that was in a writing style that young people could grasp. It still had depth and breadth and meaning, without feeling like it was being written down from a higher place. This is something that I'm really keen on trying to understand, because I have a story about a young person that I'm working on right now, but the style and the story itself doesn't seem to be "for" younger readers. It's more "about" a kid, for adults, if that makes sense. Ah well. I suppose I should just do what we all do and write the thing, and then see what comes of it.

It's always great to learn new things. I truly enjoyed reading this and I loved what you did with it.

Thanks so much for this wonderful story!

Pix

Author's Response: Pix, your reviews are very encouraging. Writing is lonely work, and while watching my read counts climb is fun, I really appreciate being able to connect with my readers. I'm glad we're connected via Twitter now, too, so you can see the broader effort.

Yes, I should attempt the forums again. In the past, I've hit roadblocks and immediately stopped. It's tough to juggle it all (Twitter, FB, Goodreads, etc.) and still have time for writing.

I would love to read this story of yours you mentioned, and return the favor of a review and thoughtful analysis.

Keep in touch! Fondly, KJ


 Report Review

Review #9, by PixileaninThe Dangers of Black Cats: The Briefing

28th August 2015:
Hi again!

Your chapter summary made me smile. Having the iconic Harry Potter sit down with you when you're twelve to have a chat can either be a wonderful dream, or in this case when he's in his official capacity, an unnerving, nail-biting anxiety fest.

I think I mentioned before that I was glad to see what the adults were doing in the meanwhile of this story because of the added weight. Here, we get the rest of the "other" story, where people were frantically searching for the missing girl, where reality burst into Liam's world and he has to succumb to the "larger than himself" idea. As a kid, I always hated when that happened.

Oh, but that was such a bittersweet way to twist things around. McGonagall had the appropriate amount of sympathy, but also the signature "hands off with the feels" approach that we know her for. Sometimes people write her with a little too much emotion, and I just don't buy into that. Nicely turned. Still, the events made me sad. I'm sure Liam is more sad than I.


Pix

Author's Response: I love sad songs, and I try often in my writing to capture melancholy and sadness in an honest and direct manner, without being too maudlin.

Love and Arithmancy picks up immediately following this story, and shows Liam healing from the blow of losing Elena. But, read Dragon Wand first.

I've toyed with the idea of Liam and Elena meeting up again, as adults, married to other people, and having a long chat at coffee shop before going separate ways. Nothing written yet.


 Report Review

Review #10, by PixileaninHarry Potter and the First Mission: Eighteenth Birthday and Independence

26th August 2015:
Hi Kenny. Onwards with the story!

So there are so many little details peppered throughout this chapter. The whole thing felt like setup for what is to come. It's like everyone's getting ready for things to start up and there are so many things to get done. I felt all the preparations and the business, and through all of it I could also feel the family tenderness that is the Weasleys. You didn't have to spend words on how they felt for each other, because their actions did it for you. I particularly was interested in the mirrors, which we see in the books, but you made them unique, being aboriginal mirrors, so that was cool. Also, the names of the Auror books were fascinating. Having someone go to Gringotts for Harry was very thoughtful. I bet only a Weasley would be able to convince the goblins that they were allowed to take Harry's gold for him.

I really liked the descriptions in the Joke Shop and how George was branching out into potions brewing. I agree. He'd better get a Potions Master in there if he's going to be mucking about with that stuff. I liked how you alluded to Snape and Slughorn. I always wondered what happened to Slughorn after the war.

It's interesting that Harry was so fixated on having someone live with him. I understand that he'd want someone around. Andromeda and Teddy were an interesting choice for that. I remember you had written a while ago how Harry had promised Teddy that he would be around for him. I guess that had something to do with it. IT would feel like a family and ground Harry if they were around the house with him. It also eases Molly's mind, knowing that another older adult had eyes on young man Harry during his fresh adulthood. I can tell that he takes this godfather thing seriously and that family is important to him, also that he doesn't want to be a burden to the Weasleys, even though they'd never call him a burden ever.

Alright, so he's all set to go to Auror training. I feel the pull to the next chapter, but I'm going to have to come back when I have more time.

Pix

 Report Review

Review #11, by PixileaninThe Dangers of Black Cats: Aurors and Inquisitors

26th August 2015:
Hi, I'm back with a few minutes to spare, so I thought I'd get another chapter in before Life smacks me upside the head.

The whole time I was reading about the official-looking people, I was thinking back to that aside you put in a previous chapter where it was said that the investigators revealed that Liam "and his pet" entered the common room together. I was a bit suspicious about these adults, and I'm generally a very suspicious reader, so I was beginning to get quite worried about these stuffy people putting any kind of blame on poor Liam until I remembered that little thing.

I am so glad that McGonagall is looking out for the children here. Those women, I don't trust them, even when they tell him that he's not going to get into trouble. I feel his apprehension, and I share it with him. See? And she's making it so uncomfortable for him. I am so glad that Meadows is there. Ah, so they are Inquisitors. That makes sense. And they are connected somehow, which also makes creepy sense.


ďIím a bit surprised heís not a Gryffindor,Ē said the man, mostly to Meadows.

She answered, ďWe do try to spread them Ďround, you know.Ē

Hee hee. Of course they do. I'm glad you chose Liam for Hufflepuff. It fits well with what you've shown us of him so far.


Pix

Author's Response: This is the Shakelbolt Administration, so of course, we wouldn't still have Dementors in Azkaban. I wanted something not so awful, but still evil and creepy. So, I came up with Inquisitors.

When you read Dragon Wand, you'll see the Hat tempting Liam with a spot in Gryffindor, which he declines in favor of Hufflepuff.

The idea of Liam Wren was to make him as different from Harry Potter as possible, while still making him admirable and heroic. So, brown eyes, left handed, not an orphan, good at Potions . . . on and on, as much as I could think of.

Thanks for taking the time to write to me again. I look forward to your reactions to the end of the story.


 Report Review

Review #12, by PixileaninTales of the Death Hunters: Shades of Anger: Wrath

26th August 2015:
Woot! I loved Susan Bones from CoB, and here she is again, having to 'splain things to Ron that he should have already grasped by now. But no, they're boys. Actually, I appreciate you starting off this chapter with a great amount of levity. That balance thing that I mentioned before. Still, shame on you Ron!

I agree with Ron though, that is a rather poncey name, but the nickname makes it almost worth it. :P Harry's been forced into a reluctant leadership role again, and now he's keeping secrets. I understand everyone's reluctance, but I think they're all close enough to also understand that they're getting so much done because of that secret. Again with the balance thing. I wonder how much conflict that's going to cause the team in the future.

Uh oh. Conflict already between the up-and-comings and the status quo. Never bodes well, it does. Ah, but I love Dawlish's reaction to the mention of Augusta! That was priceless. Now I'm wondering what Susan's aunt really had to say about Dawlish behind his back. Goodness, how much of an idiot was he, exactly?

You picked an interesting way for Terry to ask about the informant by bringing up a collective sore spot with the team. Naturally they'd be questioning this sort of thing, but it only makes Harry have to explain himself more carefully each time.

So now I'm pretty sure that the house elf has something to do with the informant by the way that Harry just barges out of the room and tells everyone they've got a new mission. By the way that they'd done the debriefing, I'd have thought they'd have some kind of discussion about things before they just hop on over, but apparently that's what training is for. They know what they're doing. I should just trust the professionals.

You know, I read a lot of descriptions for Apparition, but you still do it right every single time. I also love seeing the whole team in action. We missed that from the last chapter, since it was from the creep's point of view, but it made me WANT to see it, and you deliver here. The scene is chilling, from the dog to the bear, and in a child's room, which I'm sure has some weighted significance that you're dangling in front of us.

Oh, and Jugson. Evil, self-assured people hiding in the bathroom with a devilish escape plan creep me out. The trap, the explosion, the way that Harry has to lose in order to save the woman, everything came together in one tragic package. Everyone's bleeding and there's probably no rest in sight, now that they've started the ball rolling. I want to know all about Jugson and become an Auror, just so I can track him down and turn him in myself.

As you know, I'm a big fan of thinking outside the box, and I love it when people are able to, you know, turn the box upside down and kick it into next week. So yeah. Great stuff here. Tragic and sad, and not without casualties (that poor elf found her freedom in the saddest way possible!) but vivid and in-your-face, and fantastic.

Pix

Author's Response: Helllooo, Pix! Not a lot of people read this story, so I'm really enjoying your reactions!

I didn't want Ron -- of any of Harry's team -- to seem *too* mature in this. They're all barely out of their teens. Although the war forced them to grow up quickly, I still wanted to preserve select bits of immaturity when nobody's life was on the line. Ergo Ron and Terry can't help but find a bit of juvenile humor at Susan's expense.

Honestly, I think I'd be more worried for Harry's team if they got along *well* with someone like Dawlish. He's slavishly obsessed with rules and protocol and that's the sort of thing that greased the skids for Voldemort to subvert the entire Ministry. Harry's team is much more focused on apprehending war criminals, whether or not they precisely follow procedure.

Yes, the house elf has something to do with the informant. Or everything to do with the informant. ;) They do their debriefings after each operation. They don't usually have time beforehand, since the people they're trying to arrest don't generally stay in one place for very long.

The child's room has a great deal of significance, especially to Harry. It instantly reminded him of a ruined nursery in a broken house in Godric's Hollow.

Judson is quite a piece of work. He makes Kaspar seem positively redeemable. He set a nasty trap for the Aurors and only Harry's willingness to... um, *improvise* kept there from being a lot more death. Don't send off your application to the Auror Department just yet, however. Wait for the end of the story. ;)

Wow. I'm really kind of stunned silent with a dopey smile from all of your kind words. Thank you so much!


 Report Review

Review #13, by PixileaninTales of the Death Hunters: Shades of Anger: Malice

26th August 2015:
Hi Dan! Another day, another story. Man, it's been too long. Again. I'm having trouble juggling my writing and reading time. I'm sure you can sympathize with the sentiment. That said, I do my best when challenged by my peers.

You do like pushing boundaries in your writing. I respect that. Here, you did it again, and just when I thought you'd crossed the line... BAM! Twist. Bravo!

This monster, what's his name? Kaspar? The counting down to his so-called freedom is quite apt. He thinks he's going to get away with everything, or at least he's betting everything he has on it. Desperate moves for desperate times, I can feel him seething through the screen, and at one point I was almost grimacing at your talent for portraying convincing characters. Anger is a great driving force, but often, like here, it drives us to do things we rather shouldn't do. Think things we rather shouldn't think. Make us crazy with entitlement until we decide that the horrible things we think and do are fair and reasonable, in the name of some invisible sense of balance. You wrote Kaspar as the embodiment of that. People like this, who want others to suffer... make me shudder. The thoughts that ran through that man's head... ergh!

Ahh, Mary Goldsmith puts up a convincing front. You really had me there, right up until the reveal. As much as I was cringing in my seat, I have to congratulate you for that. I'm not easily taken by surprise, but you succeeded in doing so. I absolutely loved how you turned it around, especially using the symbol of his freedom to take him down. Awesome! I'm so glad you gave her a chance to give him what he had coming.

There had to be a great amount of disgruntlement and hard feelings on both sides after the war. I can think of many, many things that would be second-guessed about, a ton of "if onlys" and "I should haves" and "why didn't theys". It will be interesting to see your take on all of this and how you pull all of these things together in the future installments.

Pix

Author's Response: Hi, Pix!

I did feel a certain amount of "Validation Heebee-Jeebees" when I posted this, but I think it's hard to write a story about fugitive Death Eaters (or wannabe Death Eaters) without exploring what makes them such horrible people. They seem really cartoonish if all they do is ponce around saying vaguely threatening things and gesturing menacingly with their wands. You have to roll up your sleeves and let awful characters be awful.

And Kaspar is a genuinely awful human being. He's bigoted, misogynistic, violent, sadistic and devoid of empathy. Exactly the sort of person who finds his purpose in life following the lead of a homicidal megalomaniac.

I surprised Pix??? #fist pump# Yeah! #more fist pump# You know, I never even thought about the symbolism of having her crack him over the head with the vessel of his salvation. It's better to be lucky than good, I always say.

I have another installment of Death Hunters that's roughly 60% done. It doesn't deal so much with aftermath of the war, but that is definitely a theme I'd like to explore. I feel a little badly that I won't get another chance to explore Kaspar, since his story ends with this chapter. At least for now. You never know.

I'm glad you liked it and I'm still all giddy that I managed to surprise you with Mary Goldsmith. Thanks for reading and reviewing!


 Report Review

Review #14, by PixileaninThe Dangers of Black Cats: Discovered!

25th August 2015:
Ah, sneaking around the castle at night! It always sounds so fun and excitingÖ until someone gets caught. Itís so interesting to me about Liamís magic being stronger in one hand than another. I hadnít ever seen it described in the HP-verse that way before. Nifty stuff!

Okay, it makes all kinds of sense for Elena to know the castle by now. I was wondering what she did with her time as a cat. This brings up an old quandry about shape-shifting beings: when does she sleep? Does the enchantment negate the need for it, or is she going to suddenly get very sleepy? Of course, being fiction, we donít have to subscribe to the bounds of reality, and I suppose that we could also argue that since cats sleep most of the day, Elena would have caught up on her rest. HmmmÖ I wonder what your take is on that?

Well, that next bit answers that question. Haha!

ďHow often did you read the bloody papers when you were twelve years old?Ē

ďEvery day, just about!Ē

This made me laugh. Of course everybody but Liam knows whatís going on. Still, I like how protective he is of her. Meadows seems like a level-headed professor. But then poor Liam sits on the bench all that time.

Itís hard being a kid.

Itís late and I have an early day. Iím hoping to find time for the rest of the story tomorrow. Are you sure you arenít published yet?

Pix

Author's Response: There's much more detail on Liam and his unique brand of magic in Dragon Wand . . . Honestly, I gave no thought to when Elena was sleeping. I presume that, as a cat, she did most of her sleeping during the day . . . Yes, I've been published. Look around for me, and you'll find me here and there. I use the same pen name everywhere . . . I love your reviews! I get so few of them. The detail and insight is invaluable. Good night! But, come back soon!

 Report Review

Review #15, by PixileaninThe Dangers of Black Cats: A Voice in the Dark

25th August 2015:
So, sheís a Muggle, thought Liam. How many rules have I broken now?

Iím really liking the aside where the adults are all looking for the missing girl when sheís tucked away in Liamís room. It adds weight to the story when you know that the implications of the characters reach farther outside of their own little worlds. I need to do more of that too. You are giving me excellent ideas.

Uh oh, I think Philip might have heard something. Ah, but it must have been funny for his dorm mates to see all those girly things on his bed! I love that you just leave this understated. Itís appropriate for the age of the students, but allows for wandering thoughts to get the better of us as well. Iím glad Philip doesnít seem to have it out for Liam, but just holds a healthy dose of curiosity and caution.

I find you end notes about the time lines very interesting. I tend to have to work extra hard on the continuity and logical flow of events in my own stories, and yes, the time line and schedules are very important when youíre trying to keep things straight. Iíve done several of those myself. Iím really enjoying this story, by the way. Still very lovely!

Pix

Author's Response: These are Hufflepuffs, and so, they are intensely loyal to one another. Philip's main concern is keeping Liam out of trouble.

I'm glad you get the humor of the scene when the boys find the nightgown and panties. I'm glad, too, to make your mind wander. With both kids 12 going on 13, they're on the cusp of so many things, but they are completely unprepared for the situation they find themselves in.

I'm glad to hear I'm giving you good ideas. I want to raise the bar and show my readers what is possible.

Please keep reading, and posting notes! Fondly, KJC


 Report Review

Review #16, by PixileaninThe Dangers of Black Cats: Superstition

25th August 2015:
Oh my goodness, why havenít I seen your stories before?? I chose to start with this one, since it was short and Iím supposed to be turning in soon. But be assured, I will return again.

First off, lovely, polished prose that flows like a gentle stream. Iíve been trying to get mine to do that for ages it seems, but it keeps jerking around like a fish on a pole all the time. I keep having to work all the kinks out of it to get it to lay flat. Ah well. Practice makes better, I suppose.

ďAinít that just like a cat,Ē said Michael.

Absolutely. I love how you describe the movements of the cat and how she dismisses Liam so easily. Per your summary, I know who she is, and her personification is just perfect. Also, the way you paint your scenes is so vivid, with only the essential elements, but I still get the full picture. I gush at this. Teach me your ways!

Iím very interested in where youíre taking the plot with this. These stories need more reads! Have you considered joining the HPFF forums and getting to know people over there? Or are you over there and Iíve just missed you?

Delightful start!

Pix

Author's Response: Pix, you definitely started with the right story. This was my first Liam Wren story, and it's very dear to me.

Don't worry about the kinks in your own writing. This story was thoroughly polished, many, many times, before it reached its current state. Reading outloud is my favorite way to edit, especially if you have an audience that can give you immediate feedback.


 Report Review

Review #17, by PixileaninMistaken for Strangers: The Wotters Receive Some Owls

23rd August 2015:
Hey! Here for chapter 5! That's not IT, is it?? There's more, right? Just not here yet, I assume.

"Itís not that James was filled with premature teenage angst or felt tragically misunderstood. He just thought things could be different."

I really REALLY liked this line that says so much about James' character. It sums up everything I've come to know about him these last five chapters brilliantly.

The whole cacophony and disaster that was the owls bringing results back to the Potter-Weasleys was horrid. Does everyone think so little of him that he can't get any kuddos for his hard work? Amazing. Actually, I have a character who is almost as bad as those kids, who thinks that points are more important than friendships, and who thinks status is more important than family. Ah well. There are THOSE sorts of people in the world. Too bad that James is surrounded by them most of the time. I can see why he needs different, quiet, unassuming, and someone who will take him for who he is, not for who he's perceived to be.

Oh, but I do have one question. Did you mean for the line to repeat itself at the end of the chapter? I'm all for symmetry and all, it's one of my favorite things, but if you didn't do it on purpose, I think the end of the chapter reads just fine without the repeated line. Just a heads up, you know, just in case...

I am looking forward to James' next encounter with Anna, and what it may lead to.

Another nice one!

Pix

Author's Response: Hey Pix! Thanks so much for coming back for the fifth chapter! I'm so glad you're enjoying it. And yes, there's a lot more to come! Chapter six is currently in the queue. :)

I'm glad you like those lines! I really think they speak to James's character quite well and so I'm glad you agree with that vision as a reader! And part of that is motivated by the stereotypes that I encounter so frequently about James being so angsty and annoyed about his dad and the fame that he gets by extension. But this James is chiller than that, you know?

I agree that this chapter does speak quite well to the attraction of Anna! It seems like you're really put off by the Wotter clan-- hopefully they'll grow a bit on you as they develop a little more. There's a bit more at play than just being judgmental and skeptical of James. And deep down, they love him a lot! They are family, after all, for all the good and bad that brings!

Haha I did mean for it to be repeated, as a kind of parallel structure thing, but maybe I'll take the first one out! Thanks for looking out for me. :)

Next chapter is Anna-heavy! So keep an eye out for the next update. :D

Thanks again for your wonderful review! It's so nice of you and I really love hearing your thoughts.

--J


 Report Review

Review #18, by PixileaninPlaying for Keeps: Blood Thicker Than Mashed Potatoes

23rd August 2015:
Hi there!

First off, amazing chapter title! I love a bit of blood in my stories, so this was PERFECT! Secondly, what is up with that contract?? It sounds dangerous and completely unethical. What has Annie gotten herself into and how can she be so casual about things???

Itís so sweet of Annieís dad to send her letters all through her Hogwarts days, and to figure out how the owl post thing worked, nice personal touch there. He sounds like someone who really cares about her, thank goodness, unlike the rest of her family. Gah. What awful people! Iím not surprised that she stays away from that place. Advice columnist? Thatís respectable, huh.

PLEASE let me be there when James finds out his new name, Humphrey Spurtle!!! ROFL!!!

It is so BAD of Bea to have that picture. Things will NOT be okay next chapter, and I was having high hopes about that too. Hopes that you squashed like a week old tomato in combat boots. Ugh. No, Annie. Donít ever go home ever again. Make your dad meet you at a pub or something. Or at your place. Or at another pubÖ one that has clean pool tables with the least amount of smoke possibleÖ after he washes his hands. And have him meet James and introduce him as Humphrey Spurtle to his face, because that would be funny and let them all eat pie together at some greasy spoon and work out the problems of the world over bottles of rootbeer, preferably how to take down Rose's hipster hoodlums and set Freddie back a few thousand Galleons.

Great god, can I kill something now? I am so upset at her sister.

Pix

 Report Review

Review #19, by PixileaninI told you so: I told you so

23rd August 2015:
ďWell, technically no one knows ĎWhoí The Doctor isóď

I really like the way you've used the television shows as a way to show Sirius' progression. It was a source of comfort for him, a tie to his past, and a way for him to move forward while forgetting and simultaneously dealing with his losses. I think it was really clever to use it in that way, and I'm glad that it gave Sirius something to hold onto when his world was in such a sad state.


I can tell that Sirius really misses Lily and James, and I can feel how hard it is for him to go downstairs and deal with Harry too. It is so sad to see him not wanting to be with people when they'll just go away and leave him again, and he'll have to deal with the aching loneliness all over again... almost sounds like what he dealt with all those years in Azkaban.

Anyway, it was a really smooth read, and I liked how you used the time jumps to give us a picture of how these things were important to him and tied it all together. I love Doctor Who, so seeing those references were also a treat.

Go Team Gold!

Pix

Author's Response: Awesome, thank you!
You're right, he seems to be creating his own version of Azkaban... no thanks to Dumbledore who was more or less keeping him there. But anyway, since he was in Azkaban for so long maybe it was also out of habit he shut himself away. I'm glad you liked the Doctor Who references :)
THanks for the review!
Heather


 Report Review

Review #20, by PixileaninHarry Potter and the First Mission: Reconstruction and Funeral

23rd August 2015:
Hi Kenny,

Red Vs Gold Review Battle!!

I thought I'd take a look at this story, which has a lot of chapters to it. You've got a nice start to this reconstruction story. I think you took great care to cover a lot of recovery, not missing anything important from the end of the battle. I like how Harry, Ron and Hermione have a physical reminder of the final battle to share. That seems like a good connection between the three of them.

Ginny and Harry's reconciliation went very smoothly, but it still packed an emotional punch. I have read how some authors like to draw that out and make it a complicated thing, but I can tell that wasn't your intention here, there's a different story to tell. Good job making it both meaningful and short. That's hard to do.

I also thought your take on the funerals was really great. You definitely hit on all the important deceased, including Snape. I liked how you had Ron question his inclusion at the funeral, and how Harry was thinking he'd have to explain things again to everyone. That will be a sore subject that not everyone will accept right away.

I loved how you gave Harry a bit of time with Remus and Tonks, and how he took his time to see baby Teddy. That was a nice touch.

I am enjoying your dialogue here. It sounds so natural, even the accents of Hagrid, and everyone seems to have their own voice. You've captured that really well from the books. I have trouble juggling a large cast of characters when I write, and I try very hard to give them their own voices. You did that here, and it read very well.

I'm intrigued to find out how the reconciliation with Hermione's parents went. A lot of people make that the emphasis of their post-war stories as well, but it seems you have some other grand plot in mind, since you're moving quickly through that too. You mentioned Bill and his curse-breaking a few times, so I really hope he's going to play more in this story. I've always had a lot of curiosity about him and his line of work.

So much to do with the castle rebuilding and mourning, and I can't wait to see how the Auror training goes!

Nice chapters!

Pix

 Report Review

Review #21, by PixileaninHighland Is Calling: Highland Is Calling

19th August 2015:
Hi Kenny!

Team Gold here, reviewing for the battle thing, erm. That.

So I really liked the concept of this with the musicians trying to make a living with their music and breaking into the big time. It's HARD to make a living with just music. I'm in a folk band, and we only play out once a month or so and there are six of us, so any amount divided by that many people is almost gas money and snacks.

Anyway, I think you captured the mood and the attitudes of these characters really well. I could understand where they're coming from and their motivations and such. It's easy to get discouraged too, and that manager Matt, just, ugh.

You used the alphabet challenge quite skillfully. I applaud your use of each letter and successfully blending it in with the narrative. Nothing felt out of place or forced in this. Again, your wonderful descriptions shine. You also did a fine job with the dialogue of these characters. I really felt like they were speaking, like in a movie.

Nice one-shot. Good luck with the challenge!

Pix

Author's Response: Wow, you're in a folk band. Do you sing a song? Only a few people can make a living with just music. People here work too hard including me, so this story is based on my experience.

Kirley and Myron are minor characters in HPFF, so I just enjoyed exploring them. When I finished most of them, Daaone's alphabet challenge jumped in my eyes, so I didn't hesitate to make an entry. Kaitlin also helped me with beta.

I'm glad to know you enjoyed this story. Thank you Pix, for awesome review again!

Kenny


 Report Review

Review #22, by PixileaninAtonement Is Coming: Nightmares And Caterwauling Charms

17th August 2015:
Hey hey, thereís one more chapter left! And I totally missed tagging you for the RvG battle, but thatís okay. Iím too slow.

So wow. This was dark, dark, dark. I donít think Iíve read anything so harsh as to the end of the war like this chapter before. Iím glad you set us up with the idea of everyone, including Kingsley, having nightmares, because thatís just what this was. I can only imagine what Draco went through, having witnessed his fatherís soul getting sucked right out of him. I must say, that hug had a lot of impact, as if Lucius finally realized that heíd only get this one and only chance to say something to his son, or maybe it was because he finally felt the fear of the upcoming event and it was too late to contemplate that anyone was going to come and save him. The details alone are horrific and gruesome, along with the fact that Dracoís mother barely survived that little time afterwards. I canít imagine Narcissa being able to live in a place like Azkaban.

So, going along with the darkness, youíve also continued the hounding of the press. I feel for Draco here, having no safe place left in the world, even his own home. His freedom becomes just another form of punishment, as if the guy canít feel the guilt all by himself without anyone elseís help. The reporters are downright cruel to him, only wanting as much revenge as they can get. This ties in well with your overall plot of people targeting the purebloods. The frenzy created by the mobbish hype is just going to get worse, isnít it? You have me very worried for the type of people who are holding Minerva and Kingsley now. Itís so sad how the general public has forgotten how to have the least bit of sympathy towards these people. They forget to treat them as PEOPLE, and instead of healing, they seem to be perpetuating the war on a different front.

I am eager to see what you do with this, and who will ultimately be affected the most by these circumstances. Youíve introduced a breadth of characters already, and it feels like youíre not done with that yet. This looks like itís set up to be a pretty long story. So far, you have my attention. I want more.

Great plot!

Pix

 Report Review

Review #23, by PixileaninAtonement Is Coming: The Dungeon

16th August 2015:
ďBut weíve already confiscated their wands.Ē

Ah, haha. Iím glad your mega villain is smarter than that, or this would be a very short story when they finally wake up. Wait. Terry Boot is a girl?? Was I reading that correctly? HmmÖ okay then.

I like how Minerva keeps her cool, even when sheís got reason to sort of panic. I think that speaks to her character. Sheíd know when it was time to panic, but then , I canít really think of a situation where sheíd actually do it. Sheís a strong one. Iím sure sheíll be able to hold up under pressure unless they do horrible things to her. Sheís been through a lot at Hogwarts already and has some experience dealing with unreasonable peopleÖ unless you make them really unreasonableÖ

Shudder.

Okay. This has lots of intrigue and I am definitely interested in where this will lead. So far, youíve kept it at a personal level with the characters, which is great. Youíve also given us a nice swath of a cast to spread the story around. This means of course that I donít know where youíre going with it, but thatís fine. I like to be surprised.

This was a lovely read! Thanks for the swap!

Pix

 Report Review

Review #24, by PixileaninAtonement Is Coming: A Surprise Announcement

16th August 2015:
Hi there! It's chapter two!

Ah, domesticity suits them. But poor guys all around. The media just wonít let them alone, and they just want some peace. Iíd want that too.

Aww, Hagrid! I think he was the gem of the scene, getting stuck in the fireplace and being his general bumbling, sweet self. And he's so touched to tears for the honor of being the godfather. That was a great throwback to the books, and I agree with Ron. He's already the Uncle, so it makes sense to pick someone else. Though I can also agree with Hermione. Hagrid does have a bit of risk about him. :)

Uh oh. Theyíre expecting the two people who were abducted in the previous chapter? Thatís not going to go over well, is itÖ no, certainly not. But what a nice, happy occasion for the family to get together! This is why I love the Weasleys so much. Itís all about family, no matter how inconvenient they can be at times. And I love the thought of Neville and Luna together. I know itís not canon, but I always suspected in the books that theyíd be nice together. I loved seeing all of the familiar characters together and celebrating something happy. This was so warm and fuzzy, and Iím sure soon, someone will realize that Minerva and Kingsley arenít where they are supposed to be.

Pix

 Report Review

Review #25, by PixileaninAtonement Is Coming: A Shadowy Threat

16th August 2015:
Hey! Review swap time!



ďThe Aurors have checked into that as well, Minerva, but they found that there was a note left at the apothecary they own down in Diagon Alley telling the employees that they would be on a family vacation for an undetermined amount of time. Everything was fine at their home as well. Nothing out of order. No signs of distress. No reported threats or attacks prior to the disappearance.Ē

This. I donít believe it for a second either. I had a similar situation in UWCOEFG, where the Ministry refused to follow up on a disappearance because they were slated to be on vacation at the time. JustÖ not good here. I mean, yes, good setup and all, but bad for the characters. Iím already getting bad vibes from this.

Yeah, I knew this was going to go down badly. Iím glad that Minerva was staunchly arguing her point, and I can totally see Kingsley not finding a solid reason to help her, but Iíd expected it not to come down to something as simple as funds. But I could completely see it being how short staffed he was and how stretched and exhausted his people were from the trials. Because clean up is a beast.

Michael, Michael, Michael. What IS your problem???

They really went into all the detail about the Polyjuice potion thingy without actually saying that that's what they were up to. I like that when people show stuff so we know what they're doing without telling us. Coolness.

The style of this piece is very specific in language, which is good because everything comes across as crystal clear. I know the intentions of the characters, I know whoís doing what and how theyíre accomplishing things, and I could draw a picture of it if you asked me to. Iíd be careful though. Sometimes I feel like your specifics get in the way of the characters.

ďBegging your pardon, Kingsley, but we have alarms set in the ministry building to register if any attack type spells are used. It triggers a silent alarm and a group of Aurors immediately deploys to the location to secure the area and stop any threat if necessary. A few moments ago, one of the alarms was triggered right here in your office. If youíll excuse the intrusion Iím going to have to take a look around.Ē

All of this is well and good, except Iíd have assumed that Kingsley already knows all of this security protocol and wouldnít expect Dawlish to explain himself. I donít think that Dawlish would lead with this sort of information either if he was intent on tracking down a threat. It seems that maybe you put this information here for the benefit of the reader. It kind of threw me out of the scene because I was thinking, well of course thereíd be security protocols, doesnít everybody know that? But maybe Iím just the suspicious type. :P

I did like the panic that the fake Kingsley had to go through because of an earing. That was well-placed.

I love that this story starts off with intrigue and has a spy-like feel to it, because of the, you know, spies and all, lol! I also love a good mystery as well, so not giving away everything up front sort of sets us up for figuring out things as we go along.


There's more! Oh good!

Pix

 Report Review
If this is your story and you wish to respond to reviews, please login

<Previous Page  Jump:     Next Page>