Reading Reviews From Member: Pixileanin
  
471 Reviews Found

Review #1, by PixileaninChai, Samosas, and a Friend in the Wee Hours of the Morning: Chai, Samosas, and a Surprise

16th December 2014:
Okay, so since I didn't see an update for Like a House on Fire, (BIG big hint) I thought I'd see what else you've got cooking. LOL! This was so adorable!

Normally, I don't use words like "adorable". It's not in my general vocabulary, but really, what else am I supposed to say to this? I've grown to love Neville/Hannah fics over the recent past, and this one I think is up there with my favorites. I even love how it starts, like she has no idea what she is doing, but she does, just not exactly what her future plans are. Very natural sentiment, especially for a late-night muddled brain.

The thing about needing to quit a job is, you sort of have to get another one, unless you're mooching off someone. I'm so glad Hannah isn't like that, but she sees the sense in getting a job that’s not quite her skill set, but it's enough to get away from the one she was beginning to hate. Life's too short for crappy jobs, but a lot of people don't get the chance to escape that kind of torture. Luckily, Hannah did.

All the cool descriptives about cooking and the kitchen were so vibrant here! I could almost smell things, and I think I'm a bit hungrier than I was when I sat down to read this, so excellent job on the setting! It's no wonder that all the smells got Neville to come downstairs and see what was what in the kitchen. All the flirting was so cute, and you managed to pull it off with Neville too. His lines just seemed to fit his character so well. Loved the phalange bit!

"She felt as light as fluffy egg whites" and his laughter sounding "rich, but light, like folding melted chocolate into whipped cream" were perfect! Her thoughts relating to food brought out the subtle passion she had about cooking. I had that warm, satisfied feeling at the end of this, like a perfectly risen loaf of bread that's still steaming, right out of the oven. All in all, I think this was written as the perfect (re)introduction of these two characters who will probably end up spending a good bit of their future in the kitchen together.

Author's Response: The final chapter of Like a House on Fire is actually in the queue right now, so it should be published in the next day or so! So yay about that.

My love for Neville and Hannah is also recent, and I wanted to give writing a story about them a go. I also wanted to write a romance before it becomes a romance, since that's something I've never done. And I'm so flattered that this is one of your favourite Neville/Hannah stories! That means a lot ^.^

You really do need your next job lined up before you quit your first, especially with the current job market as it is. I'm very proud of Hannah and sort of inspired by her for making this decision though. I imagine it isn't easy becoming a Healer, and then making the decision to change your career after spending so much time on it is very brave. Go Hannah! More power to her!

My weakness is still description, but I really wanted to take advantage of all the cooking that was going on to "paint the scene". It was a good way to mix things up, and I don't think it really helped that I wrote this in the middle of the night when I was weirdly craving samosas :P So happy that I made you hungry though! Share my pain, muhahaha! I wasn't sure if the flirting was too toned down, but it seemed to fit them both the best. Glad you enjoyed it!

I wish I thought in terms of cooking all the time. Alas, I'm not a very good cook, so that doesn't happen all that often. I'm so happy you felt like freshly-baked bread after reading this! Considering the theme of this story, that's very high praise indeed! I'd love to write more about these two someday - we'll see. Maybe they can cook something else next time...

Thanks for the lovely review :)


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Review #2, by PixileaninDetox: A Break with the Past

16th December 2014:
"What are you doing here, Flint?"

Bleeding all over the panelling and messing up Narcissa's perfectly logical plan to put Draco back on steady feet. That's what he's doing! Nasty, nasty of you. Just when things were going to be so easy... Oh. Never mind. It can't be easy, or it'd be over already.

I love the word you pulled out for the Muggle weapon, "flintlock". It fits so well, and rolls off the tongue so nicely.

Draco's trying to draw information out of the crazy people while Nott's bleeding out, and it could have been funny, except there's a lot at stake here. I can feel Draco's anger simmering in the background. He's got a *plan*, and these people are going to muck it up for him. Again. Grumble grumble. But here, he seems to have a better handle on his anger. Good on you, Draco!

Narcissa is great here. I love the strength and the sheer intimidation factor you give her. She's obviously allowing Draco to make his own way. How she steps in and assists, it's like she's using everything she has to support Draco's decision without wrapping up her ego in the situation. Draco has a lot to learn from her. It's an impressive maneuver.

Oh, man. Goyle is thick. Which makes him hilarious. And dangerous, if he's with Gamp. All the posturing must be exhausting, on both ends. Gamp might be insane, but he's got brains too. what a terrible combination! And oooh! Lucius wakes up from his nap just in time to instill terror on the guests. Perfect!

"There was no way to be sure that the old man even knew what year it was. But Gamp and the others didn't know that."

And well they shouldn't. Your fight scenes always come alive and whirl around the page like a cyclone. All the details get messed around. Even the poor house elf had to run for cover, a tiny detail that I just love! I don't think anyone was paying attention to Lucius' words, there were so many blasts of light flying around the room. And finally, Draco's anger works for him in this instance, when Gamp is stupid enough to threaten his mother.

Uh oh. Lucius just couldn't stop talking, and then someone *heard* him. I guess it was just as well. He was quickly losing steam and wasn't going to be useful in the fight for much longer. From the last chapter, I figured that Lucius wouldn't be around much for the rest of the story, but I'm so glad you allowed him to have a last hurrah of sorts. He used to be so formidable in Draco's eyes, so powerful and uncrossable, and now, being just a shadow of himself, it must be hard. Fighters like to go down fighting. And poor Draco, doing the "my life is flashing before my eyes, but at least Astoria will have a better future"... I know that this story comes before your other story, so I doubt that will happen, but still. You gave him a very, very close call, and if he pulls out of this, he will have much to reflect on.

Okay, so I'm no longer worried about the floor. Narcissa unleashed some powerful stuff from that locket, and just in time. I loved the little aside about how things might have gone wrong if Bellatrix had gotten a hold of that locket. Wise man, this relative of theirs. Whew. If that wasn't edge-of-your-seat writing, I don't know what it was. You did a superb job with the fight scene. I have no idea what you were worried about. :)

Ugh, and Daphne! I am SO glad that Astoria has more than a thimble full of sense and is so much more aware of the world than her older sister. That door chime might have saved her from an uncomfortable moment with her sister, but I'm sure it's no one good.

Another fantastic chapter, Dan!

Author's Response: Nott and his bleeding. So inconsiderate! You're correct, if I wanted this story to be easy, it would have been a one-shot.

I struggled a lot to figure out what an aristocratic pureblood wizard from an old, muggle-hating family would call a gun. I wasn't perfectly happy with it because flintlock and Flint are too much alike, but it's the best I could do.

Draco can't ever stop being himself. He's a Slytherin, he always has a plan (scheme) and he's always tweaking and refining it in real time.

I really loved Narcissa in this chapter. I thought it was her shining moment in the story, except maybe for the conversation she has with Astoria at Gringotts. Draco could always learn more from her.

Goyle was my one small bit of comic relief in a chapter that was stiflingly tense.

I actually had a lot of fun writing Lucius. He's sort of the epitome of the stopped clock that's right twice a day in this chapter. Without really knowing what he's doing, he manages to play a pivotal role in keeping his family alive.

I nearly made some major changes to this chapter because I felt like Draco was getting too noble with his thoughts about Astoria being safe. I think I'm happy with how it ultimately turned out, but I'm also a relentless tinkerer. That means I'm never completely happy no matter what, I guess.

Narcissa's locket was a small thing that actually survived from my very first plot sketch of this story all the way through to the finished product. There aren't many things after chapter 5 that you can say that about. I was completely in love with the idea.

I think Astoria would agree with you that it was *almost* better to confront a group of murderous dark wizards than to listen to Daphne go on about the details of her love life. Not quite, but almost.

Whee, this is fun! Thank you so much for all the wonderful reviews!


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Review #3, by PixileaninThe Final Curse of Fate: Battle of Fate

15th December 2014:
Happy Birthday!

I found it interesting that Sirius allowed Bellatrix to escape from Azkaban on purpose. Is that canon, or did you do that just for the purpose of this story?

I'm glad that Andromeda finally told Nymphadora about her curse. It seems that as an Auror, she'd be more than old enough to be ready to hear about her past.

FlipKicks sound pretty cool, but I have no idea what they are. I assume they have something to do with transportation.

I love that you are using little details in your story, such as the names that were taken from The Tales of Beetle the Bard. Also, you went into some good detail in the fight scene. I'm trying hard to picture Voldemort signing people up with whom to duel at that meeting, and it sort of makes me laugh. I think it's because when Bellatrix tells him about the curse, he has to change his mind, like, "Oh yeah, that makes sense. Never mind, yo!"

Author's Response: Sorry about the Tomorrow is my birthday thing, it's a stupid shortcut I made. It is not canon, but I just think he would have done it. Andromeda didn't want to tell Tonks, but she did it in hope that Tonks would stop fighting and watch quietly from the sidelines. FlipKicks are the Auror mode of transportation. Voldemort would have killed anyone else, but he knows Bellatrix would win in a duel so he let it be. I have written the rest and will post as soon as I can.
BellatrixLover3


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Review #4, by PixileaninDetox: Climbing Back

13th December 2014:
It should probably go without saying that the life of a traditional high society pureblood woman does not appeal to me. Regardless, I am unfathomably happy that not only has Astoria's mother defended her in some way, but that the girl had the opportunity to overhear her do so. I think that made the scene all the more powerful, that, in the middle of her wallowing and misery, we got to hear the conversation between her parents and the effect it had on Astoria. Light. Tunnel. Hopefully not another train.

One of the things I admire about your storytelling is that you tend to follow up and show us the direct, and sometimes indirect consequences of the characters' actions. You've shown us Mr. Greengrass' attitude towards Draco's family. You've given us a clear picture of how even McGonagall had to struggle with her personal opinions of him when he returned to school. And now, because of his unforunate, yet unique and valuable experiences with the inner circle of the Dark Lord, the persistent, academic in Blishwick just pushes him farther than he's prepared to go. She even goes so far as to guilt him into proceeding with the experiment. Draco is trying so hard to put everything from the war behind him, and here, this woman, who probably thinks she's doing the world a great favor, is forcing him to relive his experience so that she can... disect an abused doxy? Wow. It's a good thing Draco has such excellent wand control, or he might have cursed the wrong target in the room. I was terrified that he might actually do it, too.

Ahh, he can't even escape his own family either. Such timing for a talk with his estranged father. They don't seem to want to do it, except that Narcissa wants them to, which in this case, clears up a whole lot for Draco, again, unpleasantly. Lucius' degrading state definitely takes him out of the running for the man responsible for the new uprising. But if not him, then who?? I love how this revelation puts Draco's mind spinning, not just about what his friends have been up to, but also his personal plans for his future. Making him realize that his father, as much as he thought he despised him, might not be around for much longer, and also that Draco would miss the old coot, really puts a heartening twist on his character. He doesn't want to, but he cares. That makes me want to care about what happens to him too. So humanizing, that moment.

I think Narcissa talks more sense than any of Draco's other contemporaries, even if they're all put in a room together to sort it out... which seems like another Bad Idea... but perhaps an entertaining one.

Except that they show up in the wrong house, and Nott has the audacity to bleed all over everything. Oh, Dan! Think of the stains! Actually, it's great timing for the story. Excellently placed cliffhanger to pull us into the next chapter, and it complicates the neat little solution that Narcissa and Draco just planned out.

Author's Response: Hi, pix!

Astoria's mother was a fun character to try to figure out when I was writing this chapter. I didn't want to change what she is -- a very proper pureblood lady with a romantic streak -- so I had to be very careful. She would never overtly tell her husband that he's wrong, instead she finds very subtle, cunning ways to make him rethink his opinions. Don't fear the light. In my stories, the train always sneaks up behind you. ;)

You didn't think Madam Blishwick was going quietly onto the dust heap of single-purpose characters, did you? Oh, no, she's much more useful. She's one more reminder that even people with the best of intentions -- in her own, bizarre way, her intentions are for the greater good -- are unable to let Draco move on. I think the target that Draco winds up cursing had as much to do with luck as it did with his wand control. That could have ended very badly.

In general, people always want to have Very Important Talks at the worst possible time. The Malfoys are no exception. Narcissa is the one who forces the issue; Lucius and Draco could have gone on for quite a while without speaking to one another. Poor old Lucius isn't faring well. So you're right, he's not the one who's been conspiring with Gamp, Flint and the others. Who? Well, you'll find out very soon. ;) When Draco realizes that his father's days could be numbered, it does force him to take a sobering look at his own situation. You're right: no matter now much he wants to not care, he does.

I believe that house elves have many secret tips for removing blood stains from marble. I hope they do, anyway. Otherwise, somebody will be ironing his hands later.

I was excited to see what you thought of the next chapter, and then you went and reviewed it right away! Awesome. Thanks so much!


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Review #5, by PixileaninCalculus: Awakenings

13th December 2014:
Hi! Tagging you from the Common Room.

You know, I enjoyed the introduction of the canon characters in this chapter. It was just enough to give each of them a distinct feel, but you didn't go on too long to belabor the point. And I already feel sorry for Neville, who seems to have had a thing for Luna. It made everyone seem alive and whole, and I appreciated that.

For me, all the procedural stuff was very believable. I don't think any of it would be considered out of the scope of what investigative Aurors would do. It's a nice twist to the normal Auror activity I see in fanfic, with all the shooting and chasing and apprehending the bad guys. You covered everything well enough that I understood exactly what was going on.

This chapter was definitely slower in pace than the first one, which is to be expected after the initial shock. I liked how the team was guessing what Harry's next move would be, which added a nice touch of levity to the situation.

Any crit for you? Let me see... Your writing is squeaky clean, and the flow is nice. I guess the only thing I can comment on is the punch at the end, when Robards reminds them how seriously this affects the hearing. I know you mentioned Hughes' name during the character introductions early on, and they got the significance, but when they were all concentrating so hard on the procedure of the investigation, who this man was and how important his role would be felt downplayed . I think if you bring in a mention or two of how his death impacts what is to come into that scene, Robards' line, "Welcome to our little piece of hell, Gentlemen." would pop all the more effectively.

That's incredibly picky of me, but I've been working on scene twists in my own story, so it's something I spend a lot of time thinking about these days. To answer your concern at the end of the chapter, I had no issues whatsoever with your delivery of canon characters.

I'm intrigued as to where this story leads! Must carve out more time to read this!

Author's Response: Howdy!

I'm glad you found the canon characters both accurate and differentiable. I think that's always one of the big characterization challenges so it's good to know you thought I did a good job with it here.

I'm also encouraged that you thought the procedural side fit. You'll see a lot more of that if you keep reading as one of my goals was make this story something of a Potterverse-meets-crime-procedural. I also definitely wanted to focus on the investigative aspect of things because I imagine that given the timeline of where we are, most of the consistent apprehension of dark wizards would have been accomplished and that the need for Aurors to focus so much of their efforts exclusively on catching them would have significantly diminished. I'm glad you thought their roles as investigators were also believable.

I definitely hear you about Hughes. I was, in some senses, worried that this chapter would miss following up the "punch" of the first chapter and you may have a good point about that as the drop-off from Chapter 2 to 3 is the biggest (outside the obvious Chapter 1 to 2 that typifies every fic). My goal was to leave room for that to be explored later on throughout the fic in order to keep the Wizengamot and the nature of Hughes' influence a bit more mysterious as well as avoid telegraphing any clear-cut potential motives too soon. But the stats seem to be in your favor re: impact. Something to think about if I come back and edit.

Thanks for tagging me and I'm glad you enjoyed the story!


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Review #6, by PixileaninDetox: Errors in Judgment

7th December 2014:
Okay, I'm not even going to start with how long I've taken to return to this story. Bad, bad me. Was there a review around here somewhere? Oh, look. There it is!

"If you bullocks this up, there'll be hell to pay, Malfoy. I'm supposed to be meeting my future wife today."

Oh, the irony. Yes, and yes, and it all twists back around to Draco instead of this horrid bloke, which by the way, the moldy sock/cheap cologne combo turned my stomach. Ergh! I can't even imagine drinking that stuff. I was going to say how much of a piece of work Emery was, but when I thought about it, that would be the exact opposite. That boy hasn't had any work done to him whatsoever, and it shows in everything about him, from the mustard stains to the unwashed hair, and the "whatever" he'll be getting up to... I don't even want to know.

I love how you've kept Draco to who he was in your earlier stories, still reciting things in his mind to keep himself in check. I agree with him entirely that his quandary isn't quite what he expected. Telling Astoria was a bad idea. Not telling Astoria that he was attending, and now here wasn't getting him what he wanted either. And oh no! Nott's been clued in, as well as being completely off his broom about this new plan. Apparently, so have a lot of other people. Once Astoria told Draco that people were talking, I knew things would end badly.

Ok, so that whole next part was extremely painful to read. You captured young desperation at its most intense, and gave Astoria an argument that is both real and ridiculous all at the same time. She doesn't know the serious issue at stake because Draco is too busy trying to protect her, so she can't possibly understand. Frustrating and emotional, and perfect for this story. It was like a train wreck. Gripping and messy. I couldn't look away, and I was so glad when it was over.

Unfortunately, Astoria has to live with her actions and the consequences of her outburst, and quite possibly the realization that she has lost everything that means anything to her. I love the way you made her try so hard to be angry enough not to care, but fail miserably. I'm not sure her family could have made things any better even if they did force the door open and attempt to console her. At least Draco got to unleash his anger on someone else's property, someone else's father (was he envisioning someone else's face when he blasted Mr. Montague?) and console himself with the fact that he's not only made a mess of his own life, but also create extreme difficulty for Emery. Somehow, that even makes me feel a bit lighter.

Awesome prose here, my friend. Dreams have been crushed, and doom has blossomed on the horizon.

Author's Response: pix! What's shaking? How's trix? Oh, wait, I know the answers already. Anyhow, this was an awesome surprise!

Emery lives in a world of old-money pureblood privilege, perpetual adolescence and deep, deep denial. You are correct on both fronts: he would taste absolutely terrible in polyjuice form and you really *don't* want to know what he'll be getting up to. Completely unrelated side note: do you ever get a quirky, momentary desire to write stories for a no-holds-barred site, where you could inflict those sort of mental scars on people?

Draco is in quite a predicament. He thought his plan though -- he's too Slytherin not to -- but there were some flawed assumptions underlying it. Chief among those was the assumption that Zabini would keep his mouth shut. Very bad assumption, indeed.

I spent a lot of time editing this chapter before it went to beta and a lot more time editing it to incorporate sophie's suggestions on Astoria's though process and reactions. I'm really glad that the effort yielded a good result. Astoria and Draco each have so many incorrect assumptions about what's motivating the other, but they're too young and stubborn and they don't quite have the emotional vocabulary to talk it out. "Gripping and messy. I couldn't look away, and I was so glad when it was over." Yep, I felt the same way writing it.

The emotional aftermath was another part of this chapter that went through a few revisions to tweak the tone. Both of them make a transition from shock to despondency to anger and finally just to numbness. It was fun to let Draco unleash his aggression on Mr. Montague. I don't know that he was thinking of anyone else at the moment so much as he was generally angry. And, yes, Emery has some very unpleasant times ahead. Which, I think we can all agree, he richly deserves.

Dreams have been crushed, but better things will arise from the ashes. Have faith, my friend!

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing! Until next time.


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Review #7, by PixileaninA Matter of the Heart: Three

6th December 2014:
Hi there! I decided to revive the Gryffindor Review Tag thread, and found you next. I noticed this short story with no reviews on your final chapter. It's such a shame too, because finishing a story usually leaves us on such a high and I know I'd want an opinion on my final chapter. So I chose to do a running review of the whole story and put it here. I hope you don't mind.

Hey, it's a WizTelly! What a wonderful contraption! I love this addition to the wizarding world.

Interesting that Cordelia seems to like Quidditch, when her little sister is so into it. I guess I'd expected a middle sister to pick some other thing to be into, if only to show that she was her own person. Unless there's really not much to choose from, or she really loves it herself, or her dad somehow encourages her because his other daughter is into it too.

Oh, and she gets paired with the dummy in the class! You've made Albus out to be a bit of a moocher when it comes to grades. I liked seeing that Rose had been helping him along, and I enjoyed her told-you-so attitude, without being mean about it. It shows that they are still close, but she has some integrity when it comes to classwork.

I love that Cordelia doesn't think Albus is good for Clara, for all the right reasons. It's clear she loves her sister and wants the best for her, and two slackers together just make for... more slacking, I guess.

I didn't get too much of a pull to believe that Albus really wanted Cordelia's attention beyond seeing her for the project. I sort of read his friendliness as just making sure that Cordelia would do most of the workload, not from any particular attraction. Maybe it was just Cordelia's hopefulness, but the whole idea seemed downplayed. When Juliet brought it up again in the next scene, I got what you were going for. Cordelia's argument, that they don't know he's NOT interested in her little sister, seemed sound. And she seems ambivalent about him here anyway. Looks like her friends are projecting onto her from the situation.

I really like the way you wrote the library scene. All of the things you set up came into play, and none of it seemed forced or out of character. Here, I completely bought Cordelia's ambivalence, and she stayed true to her sister. Obviously, both she and Albus were completely miserable about the whole deal. I very much liked the explanation that she was hoping Albus' friendship would break her out of her small circle of friends and broaden her social horizons.

Love, love the reference to how seventeen year olds are still struggling with the mundane, and the concept of love is so over her head at this point. It seems that part of Cordelia's problem is that she IS backing off of her talents so she won't be seen as competing with her sisters. And I think at this point, she has just realized that too. Good girl! Except then she reacts with complete denial again, which is all too appropriate, because she's not going to just spill her guts right here, right now in front of Albus. And certainly not when her friends are watching either.

Aww, and Albus gets her. I wonder if he talked to Clara about it, or if he's just that intuitive because he's been in the same situation. Cordelia seemed rather transparent in her reactions, so it's reasonable to assume that he picked up on everything... but I just can't shake the feeling that there has been some meddling involved. Hmm...

Okay, no meddling. I'm happy that Cordelia's friends are letting her be friends with Albus without interfering. It looks like Albus is taking it upon himself to be around her enough on his own. And just as Albus is convincing her to be on the team, Cordelia thinks the captain doesn't want her anymore. Uh oh. She's a stubborn thing.

Ah, and the flashback confirms that her sister is insecure about a lot of things. It's very appropriate for Clara to feel threatened, though I'm sad that she doesn't think about her sister first. But I guess she's been in the spotlight for too much of her life to realize that she's hurting Cordelia by demanding what she wants. I'm so glad Cordelia stood up to her. It looks like Cordelia is finally catching on that she's been in this position of second fiddle partly because of her own inability to look out for herself.

A little crit: there were a few places here and there where the tense jumped, and one or two places where you slipped into first person for a word or so. I didn't want to put quotes in here, but if you ever do an edit, I'd watch out for those to clean it up a bit. Your spelling stayed strong throughout. Huzzah! I think the overall characterizations felt solid and consistent, which was great, but sometimes Cordeila's thoughts were, I don't know, maybe getting ahead of the story in certain places. It's hard to describe exactly what I was feeling, maybe that her portrayal of her confusion with the situation was too vague, and sounded more contradictory than I thought it should. That usually ironed itself out when I read on.

So in the end, she did have a revelation, and she got what she wanted after all. It was lovely to see Cordelia come out of her shell and go for what she wanted without regarding her sister's demands. Everything you set up about her character fell into place and worked in the story.I hope that she would get to eventually talk it out with Clara and explain that Clara's drama wasn't going to interfere with her happiness anymore. But I can see how now wouldn't be a good time. Clara's going to have to cool down some before she's ready to hear what Cordelia has to say about that.

This was a sweet piece. I enjoyed reading it!

Happy December!

Pix

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Review #8, by PixileaninThe Writing on the Wall.: The First Night.

6th December 2014:
Hi there! I thought I'd come over and check out some of your writing. There was so much to choose from, and I really wanted to jump right into your current WIP, but I couldn't resist starting from the beginning, so here I am.

I love how this story starts right up after the epilogue of book seven. Poor Albus is so worried over his sorting, but then what magical kid wouldn't be?

"Albus jumped. He'd been so worried about being placed in Slytherin and so anxious for Gryffindor that he hadn't even thought of the other houses."

This was really great. I think I was just as surprised as Albus was when he found out which house he was sorted into. And then to see Lucy already there, we know he isn't alone. I loved how Lucy called him a Weasley, and then he knew exactly what she meant. :)

I'm happy you kept Rose and Albus together. They seem like they'd make a great pair and feed off of the extra security they would get from each other in tight situations. I also loved the little dig Rose threw out about Lucy, which I'm sure will make things interesting in their house. And ah, yes, James is a trouble-maker. This is fun!

Derek seems like an interesting character. I'd be missing technology at his age too. It's nice to see that the general attitude of the wizarding world has changed. But now I'm wondering if there are still some hangers on that may make life difficult for him. Though, it might just be that he's got a steep learning curve ahead of him. One of the things I enjoyed most about reading HP was discovering right along with Harry all the wonderful things about magic with him.

So then after Albus gets sorted and it turns out decent enough, and he's not separated from Rose, his new worry is that he's not smart enough to live up to his new house. Ah, the worries of youth! I'm sure he'll do fine.

This is a lovely start to the story. I don't read enough NextGen where the characters are young and inexperienced. I think that's where most of the magic happens, before they get caught up in 'other stuff'. You wrote the age quite well for my tastes, with everything looking fresh and new, and the general excitement/anxiety of being somewhere away from home. I really enjoyed this!

Pix

Author's Response: Thank you SO much for this review. It was really unexpected. And I do intend to catch up on Rabbit Heart. It's funny you reviewed this today, because seeing you'd a new chapter up had just reminded me I still haven't read your last one.

And yeah, while I personally prefer The Rise of the A.W.L. to this, it probably is a good idea to start here, since they do sort of follow on and some things The Rise of the A.W.L. might be harder to understand without having the background.

Oh yes! The wizarding world may have changed by this time, but it'll become increasingly clear across the series that not everybody is completely happy with that.

I'm glad you like the beginning of this story. Hope you continue to enjoy it.


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Review #9, by PixileaninDream Catcher: Patronus

6th December 2014:
Hi, I'm here from Review Tag to check out this lovely story of yours! I picked it because the summary intrigued me about how Molly is going to save her team.

Your first chapter completely drew me into the story. I loved everything about your setting, all the way down to the Charms professor who didn't give her a shred of encouragement during her NEWTS exam. How un-professorish! All the descriptions of the room, the way Wainwright made her uncomfortable, and the little tidbit about her vastly differing opinion from Victoire... which made me laugh... gave me a clear picture of who Molly is in school. And I was very impressed with how you used her search for the perfect memory to fill in a tidy package of backstory and still make it plot-worthy. Excellent setup here!

The memory of the game was so clear, I could tell that Molly was really getting into it and reliving it in her head, blocking out Wainwright's impatience. The little touches that you threw in with her uncle tearing up made the memory even more special, making me truly believe that the win was an exceptional moment for her family.

The way that the moment she found her calling had helped her to pass her NEWTS exam in Charms tied everything tightly together. The panda bear sounds adorable, and having it be a bit fuzzy and last just a bit before disappearing sounded perfect for a first successful casting, but enough to make it count.

Great setup, and great job reeling me in. I shall want to read more now!

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Review #10, by PixileaninDevlin Potter: Riddle and Rescue: The Day After Tomorrow

10th October 2014:
Hi! I'm back for another chapter of your wonderful story!

Dubhan seems very intent on keeping Emma safe, and I wonder what he thinks is going to happen to him. Several times, he thinks about what will become of her after he's gone. He's so fixated on that, like it's the inevitable future. I don't understand it, but then there's a lot that he hasn't revealed yet. I will try to be patient. I really enjoyed seeing him use his logic to reason through the ways he could make Emma happy, all the way to the point of convincing her mother to take her to the ball. That was so cute, and shows me that he has the capacity to care. But he's also angling hard to get his wand back too. I can't decide if Dubhan's actions are selfish or altruistic. I'd love to imagine that it's a little of both, and he's growing.

And poor Harry, knowing that one of the things he has in common with his son is scars from Voldemort.

"...quite frankly he wasn't sure how to deal with someone who he couldn't deal with that way."

That's right, Dubhan, you'll figure it out eventually. I can feel him struggling with the new rules of his life over and over again. You never let us forget that every moment of this is so hard for him, and he truly doesn't know what to do, or how to be like everyone else. It feels like all he really knows is that he should be like them.

So Dubhan is going to see the man that his grandfather is rumored to be afraid of. No wonder he's so nervous. Harry is so eager for this experience, but I'm now anxious about the whole idea of taking this boy to Hogwarts. I hope everything turns out alright.

I need to be back for more soon!

Author's Response: Devlin is clearly under the impression that Voldemort will return for him.

I think Devlin isn't quite sure about the motives behind his actions, either.

Hogwarts ends up being a very...interesting...experience. :)


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Review #11, by PixileaninThe Final Curse of Fate: Memories

10th October 2014:
Hello!

I came by to check out your new story. I really like how your writing style has grown. You're taking more time to set up the scenes and giving your characters more room to move around in the story. It gives the reader a better sense for how the characters feel and what their fears and worries are.

I also noticed that you're using more description. This is nice, and I'm really impressed that you're not overdoing it. Too much description is sometimes worse than none at all, and I like that you stuck with the hair description, which was important to the story, and left out all the unnecessary things, like what people were wearing.

If you slow down just a little more, I think these scenes will come even more alive. Sometimes when I can't get something right, I pretend to be where my character is, and go through the motions of the important action so my reader can see what my character is doing. Not all the time, you don't want a play-by-play of their day or anything, just the important stuff, like what you did with the mother cradling her baby and falling asleep on the floor.

Another trick I like to use is I write all my dialogue first, and then I go back and add the action, what the characters are doing while they are talking. This could really make that section where the mom is talking to Nymphadora read more realistically. Adding a little description, like how the little girl physically reacts to the words, in her face, in her body language, go a long way in getting the reader to understand the characters better.

Anyway, congratulations on finishing your story and starting a sequel!

Happy writing!

Author's Response: Thank you for checking out my story! I am glad that you liked it, and I appreciate the suggestions. I made a little mistake and posted that before I finished Dark Heart, but I will post the final chapters. This story is a sequel in different points of view. Thank you for reviewing, and I love your new chapter.

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Review #12, by PixileaninDevlin Potter: Riddle and Rescue: Shifting Thoughts

23rd September 2014:
Oh man, I can only imagine having a child like that and then realizing what he'll be like when he's older, at school, where he'll be inconveniently out of reach. Poor Harry! The sentiment of the 'Golden Boy' having the 'Bad Boy', is funny here, but I bet it will give him nightmares. Now I can't wait to see what he's going to be like in your sequel, but I guess that means I'll just have to read faster.

Oh, my. I loved how intense the magic was, and I was wondering up until Harry figured it out what it was. Devlin is frighteningly powerful, and the things he has learned are doubly frightening. And the 'deal' that Devlin and Geoffrey make, I am as bewildered as Harry, and want to know what it is about. I can only imagine what sorts of debts those two hold towards each other.

You know, I think Occulmency would be the perfect thing for him at this point. It might give him an added sense of security, and I bet that he'd be good at it, judging from what I've seen already. Though I wouldn't want to be his teacher. He seems to have had rough teachers in the past. He'd be a difficult student, I suppose.

" "I made you happy in it," she said softly, that fear creeping back in her face. "Because I wish you were." "

That line really got to me. Leave it to a little kid to make things sound so simple. But he really cares for her more than he lets himself care about anyone else. It gives me hope that Dubhan has something that he's willing to fight for.

And before I forget, I think it's very interesting that Geoffrey picks up on Dumbledore's 'fear' of the boy. The old headmaster can't discount the significance of this child and what he's been through. It makes me want to get inside his head and see what kinds of scheming he's doing on his own.

Really great chapter! I have to find more time to come back soon!

Pix

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Review #13, by PixileaninPlaying for Keeps: Shooting Star, After Midnight

23rd September 2014:
First off, I don't know why it took me so long to find this story, but I'm here now, and it's favorited so I don't lose track of it.

Secondly, POOL!!

I have never ever read a pool-playing witch before, and being a long-standing fan of the game (even though I have very little affinity towards it – it's a game I love to lose) this first chapter really sucked me in. I loved how you wrapped your character up in all the nuances of the scene and introduced her through her actions. Just fabulous setting and descriptions to lure me in and make me want to stay… except for all the smoke that gets into your clothes and hair, and then makes everything else smell like smoke… yeah, I don't like that bit.

I can tell that this girl loves what she does, even the con part of her job. And yikes! Working for Freddie doesn't seem wise, but really, if she's making good money doing something she loves, who am I to judge? I just hope she's not doing it because Freddie has something hanging over her head. Because that would be bad.

Boy, that man surely did a complete turnaround after she was done with him. I'd say poor guy, but then, it's her job to get the money back, isn't it? Part of what I admire about the style of this piece is that you make your MC so normal, with the itchy sequins and just wanting to get to bed. She has fun at her job, but there's a love of comfort and simple mundane things coming from her too. It makes her genuinely likable and approachable too.

And all the pool action too! But wait! Who is this mysterious person who's been watching in the shadows?? Who could take away her confidence so swiftly like that??

And finally, POOL!

Great first chapter! And congrats on releasing your JulNaNo baby!

Author's Response: Hi! Thank you so much for your review! I totally wasn't expecting it, and it still makes me smile to read all of your lovely compliments. :D

YES, POOL! I love pool, even though I'm kind of terrible at it. When I got the idea to write about a pool-playing which, I was SUPER excited. I'm so glad that my idea sucked you in, just like it sucked me in when I started planning the story. :)

I really wanted my character to be mysterious and intriguing--it's just boring if you know everything about her right away, of course! So I sort of gave the casino a smoky, Gatsby-esque feel. Smoke is pretty disgusting in reality, I agree! But in stories, it's fun to write about and makes for pretty good imagery too. :D

Yep, my character really loves what she does. She doesn't necessarily like her "customers" (also known as "victims," hahaha), but she gets back at them by beating them soundly at pool. And Freddy is a pretty interesting boss, as you'll find out.

Just because a character dresses and acts a certain way doesn't mean that she/he is truly that way, yes! My character is dressed to the nines in this scene, but it's all a facade. She doesn't want to be stuck like that forever while the whiny drunk guy fights a losing battle against her. And I'd like to think that the guy is also putting on a persona--he acts all big and bad and "come hither, ladies," but he's got a wife who's the real boss. :)

So much mystery! I hope you find time to read on and learn more. :)

Thank you so much! I am still super excited about publishing this, even though I started publishing back in August. :D

~UnluckyStar57


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Review #14, by PixileaninHurricane Luna: They Meet in a Tree

21st September 2014:
Hi! I'm stopping in from Review Tag.

I love the details you've used to describe Rolf working so hard as an opener. He seems so intent on making a name for himself, so focused on his research that he doesn't notice that he's not alone. It's funny that he thinks at first Luna's exclamation has come from the birds.

Poor Rolf! She's got him so flustered he has no words. He's got some huge chip on his shoulder about not only Luna, but other people in general, which makes me wonder what's up with him. And I like the stiff, formalized mannerism you've given him. It proves his sentiment about people being a waste of time, and that he's hyper focused on what he's doing.

Luna's in her own world here, but her knowledge of things related to Rolf's research blends in well with the narrative. She seems to be there more for the delight of discovery instead of trying to prove something to others... which, now that I think about it... must be Rolf's issue. He hates people, but he feels like he still has to show them that he's worth something. That's definitely a characterization that Luna would be able to deal with.

In my head, I always believed that Luna's "pretend creatures" had some basis in the truth. I love how open to new ideas you wrote her, and the way she reacts to the discovery that the birds really are firds, like Rolf insists. All the elements that you used were great: the details about the new species, the way that Rolf is super-focused on his work, and meeting in a tree (which for some reason, I was super excited about), gave this a great setup. And you threw in some crazy, life-threatening action, which is important too, because researching in the wild can be very dangerous! I'm sure Rolf was horrified, as was I, about the demise of his equipment, and probably a bit more upset that Luna was completely unharmed by the ordeal. I have a feeling that Luna is going to prove her worth far easier than Rolf will.

This was such a fun read! Also, I too have pictured TJ Thyne's Bones character as a great characterization pick for Rolf. Great choice!

Pix

Author's Response: Hi Pix!

I'm so sorry that I've taken a ridiculously long time to respond to the wonderful and kind review.

I knew that I was taking a bit of a risk with my Rolf character. Most people's headcanon is that he is just as spacey as Luna (and Xenophilius). I thought it would be more interesting to write their *love* story with them as complete opposites. She needs him to be more grounded and he absolutely needs some levity in his life.

So glad you liked the magical animal descriptions. I tried to put a different animal into every chapter - and I feel like I kind of went a little crazy with them, but I had fun while doing it - haha! I agree about Luna's mysterious animals. I also thought she (or her father) was just embellishing on some other animal that already existed.

I have had more people comment on TJ Thyne than I *ever* thought possible. It's so funny that we all have the same picture in our head!

Thanks again - I'd love to know what you think of the rest of the story!

♥ Beth


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Review #15, by PixileaninBuilding Dollhouses In The Sand: Chapter Twenty

19th September 2014:
Hi, I'm catching you from Review Tag on the forums!

On to your story! I thought I'd jump way out here, since the start of your story has so many reviews, and the last few don't. It's frustrating as an author when you don't get feedback on your current chapters. I hope you don't mind the skip.

I think over the last few chapters, you've been bringing Katherine's emotional turmoil along nicely. She's got a lot to work through, and definitely has some things in the past that are now rearing their ugly heads at her. I like the fact that you have included the combination of pain of loss and also the pain of forgetting the little things when someone you care about has moved on. It's almost as painful to realize that you're losing someone in your memory as it was to go through the initial loss. Poor girl.

I also like how you chose to show Katherine's caution regarding the Triwizard Tournament as a contrast to the excitement of her friends. She's not in a state to be taking risks right now.

I was wondering, and I might be wrong, but Antione is a boy, am I right? I always thought that Beauxbeton's was an all-girl's school, but maybe that's just the way the movies portrayed it. Anyway, it doesn't bother me to think that it's a co-ed school for your story.

I always thought that the upper level classes would be a mixed group. I can't imagine there would be enough students to take the advanced levels for there to be more than one or two classes in each subject beyond the OWLs. Regardless, she doesn't seem pleased that Eldon is her partner, though with her last run in with him, at least she can trust him on some level. Your choice to put the students from different houses on even footing was a good one. It broadens Katherine's view of her classmates, and it just makes things more interesting when she has to question her previous prejudices.

The way you wrote the discovery, with all the pieces falling out of the letter, and the horrible picture, it made for a great scene and put Katherine in a horrible state. Everything built up to that so nicely. Okay, nice isn't a great word for it, but it had the effect I think you were going for.

George and Fred really, really try to help Katherine, and you almost made me believe that they got through to her, or rather George did, and in the sweetest way too. But then you make Katherine scheme all on her own. She should go to Moody, but that would be a bad idea since we know it's not really Moody... she should let George (and Fred) help her, and he basically tells her not to shut him out... but then she decides that the best way to do things is push all the people who care about her away.

Okay, so maybe my assessment about Katherine not being willing to take risks was wrong. She's willing to do whatever it takes (even if it's the most unwise thing ever) to get justice. I hope George doesn't give up that easily on her. Oh, the angst!

I enjoyed these chapters. Happy writing!

Author's Response: Hello! I really appreciate that you took the time to review this story and even to read a couple of chapters. I'm glad that you think the scene with the letter was well done, I hadn't really planned it so I was worried about that.

Yes Antoine is a boy I think in the books Beauxbatons was a co-ed school, but i might be wrong.

Yes, I too think peole from different houses even years might take class together after O.W.Ls because Hogwarts doesn't have that many students, at least in the books it feels that way.

Eldon has a purpose in this fic and it's just about that prejudice, he'll hopefully teach our characters a lesson or two :)

Katherine is a risk-taker, she's just not too happy about the Triwizard tournaments given it's history. (It was an unwise thing to do, but hey teenagers can be implusive, I know I was XD)

Thank again for reading and reviewing :)



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Review #16, by PixileaninDark Heart: For Real

9th September 2014:
Hey, I came by to see what happens next in your story. Bellatrix sounds very excited about things. I imagine that soon, she will see things that are dark and ugly.

You might want to re-read your first chapter. It has a lot of repeated paragraphs, like you pasted your story in twice.

Happy writing!

Author's Response: Are you a Legilimens? That's exactly what happened! I just fixed it, but as I am not a trusted author, so it needs to be validated. I noticed that the first day, but didn't know how to fix it. Are you going to keep reading it? Tell me how you like it, and I'll tell you how I like yours!

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Review #17, by PixileaninThe Worst: Reflecting and Brooding

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you =)


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Review #18, by PixileaninThe Worst: The Worst Had Happened

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you once again!


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Review #19, by PixileaninThe Worst: Dreading The Worst

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

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

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

It's a good thing she got that owl.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks again!


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Review #20, by PixileaninDetox: Future Imperfect

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #21, by PixileaninDevlin Potter: Riddle and Rescue: Feverish Thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Another thought-provoking chapter!

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Review #22, by PixileaninDetox: Turning the Corner

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author's Response: Hi, pix!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Review #23, by PixileaninDesertion: Escape

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

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

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

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

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

Nicely done!

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


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Review #24, by PixileaninLike a House on Fire: Chocolate Is Always the Solution

13th April 2014:
Yay! New chapter!

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

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

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

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

Right??

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks so much for reading!


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Review #25, by PixileaninNot Normal: {Chapter the Second}

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

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

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

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

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

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

Another wonderful chapter! *keeps prodding with stick*

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

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

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

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

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


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