Reading Reviews From Member: Pixileanin
  
471 Reviews Found

Review #26, by PixileaninAlbus Potter and the New Lord: An Interesting Start to Term

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yes they're first years. Thanks!

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

Thank you for reading and reviewing!

-Karou


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Review #27, by PixileaninConnect the Dots: hermione

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

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

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

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

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

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

Very lovely first chapter!

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

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

Thanks again for the review!


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Review #28, by PixileaninThe Mildly Perilous and Mostly Tragicomic Misadventures of Sir Roderick Gryffindor and 'Sir' Ivan Harris: In Which Ivan Adventures Like a Man

8th April 2014:
Review Swap!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So much fun!!!

Author's Response: Hey there!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Just remember that Roderick is an idiot :D.

Thanks!

-Rumpel


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Review #29, by PixileaninOn the Edge of an Ocean: Not Again

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

"How can we eat without her?"

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

Such torture.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Review #30, by PixileaninOn the Edge of an Ocean: Two Days

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

And she seems so alone in this.

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

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

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

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

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

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Review #31, by PixileaninOn the Edge of an Ocean: Don't be Sad

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author's Response: Hey Pix,

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

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

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

Thank you so much for your kind reviews!


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Review #32, by PixileaninLove Rules: Love Rule #24

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

Great, great writing!

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

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


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Review #33, by PixileaninThe Immortal Lords: Alliances

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

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

I am amazed.

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

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

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

Author's Response: HellO!!!

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

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

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

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

--Rosie


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Review #34, by PixileaninNot Normal: {Chapter the First}

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

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

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

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

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

Author's Response: *dies of flattery overload*

*cannot stand up because of inflated head*

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

That is a summary of my emotions right now.

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

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

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

Thanks so much for this lovely review!


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Review #35, by PixileaninMeddling Aphrodite: She Sits On Her Throne

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Review #36, by PixileaninThe Things that Haunt Me: Live with My Mistakes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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




- Asphodel


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Review #37, by PixileaninThrough the Half-Moon Spectacles: Preparing for What is to Come

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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


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


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




- Asphodel



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Review #38, by PixileaninJust a Little: Just a Little

8th March 2014:
Oh how cute!

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Review #39, by PixileaninTwo Sides of the Coin: Ambition and Power

8th March 2014:
Oh the carnage!

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

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

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

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

Thanks for writing this piece!

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

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

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

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

Thanks for your kind review, Pix!

-Amanda


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Review #40, by PixileaninDetox: Reconnecting

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author's Response: Hi, pix!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Review #41, by PixileaninCalculus: 11:57

3rd March 2014:
Hi there! I'm tagging you from the Gryffindor Common Room for Review Tag! And welcome, by the way!

This story caught my interest because firstly, it's a mystery and I love those, and secondly, I've been snooping around the challenges threads lately to see what other writers are up to these days.

So firstly, I am intrigued by your character here. Tobias Hughes already sounds like an interesting fellow, upstanding member of the Wizengamot with heavy thoughts surrounding him. He's eighty years old, looks older than he thinks he should, and likes to take walks. It sounds like he's had a hard life so far, and that his profession hasn't been an easy one.

You definitely gave us a realistic view of the murder. The way you described the brutal way in which poor Tobias is cut down, I gather that whoever is doing the deed is angry with him. It almost feels personal, the way he causes the older man so much pain, handling him roughly about the neck. You've very clearly set the stage for a dark, gruesome story that shows us all the ugly.

From the first section, I get a clear understanding of the case coming up and why it's important to a lot of people, but it felt very narrative-heavy, and was a little cumbersome to read. I think you could have made this first section a lot more personable by giving us more of a glimpse into Tobias' mind, how he felt about the upcoming vote, whether he was still making up his mind, and if he felt like he was in any pressing danger. This is the only part of the story where we'd get a chance to know this guy (since he's dead at the end of the chapter), and frankly, if you hadn't mentioned it in the summary, I wouldn't have known that he was the one with the final vote. I wouldn't have been able to piece together why this man was murdered.

From the time period you chose, I think it will be very interesting to see how you bring the canon characters into the story and wrap them up in the mystery surrounding this death. I'm already wondering who the murderer is, and how difficult it will be to catch him/her/them. And I'm dying (not literally :P) to know if the clock has a great significance in your plot.

Happy writing, and good luck with the challenge!

Author's Response: Howdy and thanks for the welcome and the detailed and thoughtful review!

I'm glad you thought the murder was realistic! I wanted to take a no-holds-barred (within the ToS) approach to the crime itself, so I tried to take a great deal of care to make it believable in feel and description, so it's good to hear you thought that showed.

I also really appreciate the CC about it being cumbersome at the start. I struggled a bit with laying out enough of Hughes and enough of the policy stuff and then decided to play a bit of kick the can with the details of Hughes's back-story and role in the policy battle described in the summary by leaving that to get fleshed out in the investigation. So hopefully that works out.

A number of the canon characters will appear in the next chapter and I'm interested to see what people think. I rarely write them outside of an AU and certainly not in this type of story, but I'm trying to keep their core traits true while still showing some growth that will hopefully not take them OOC. I'm kind of sweating this, but we'll see how it goes.

Thanks again your deep and thoughtful review!


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Review #42, by PixileaninFinding Lily: The Finish Line

2nd March 2014:
Hi! You finished! Yay!

I thought this was a really interesting story, and I have to tell you that Lily's secret was a SURPRISE! Congratulations for thinking up something so unique! I loved the little twists and turns of your plot and how you kept me guessing throughout. You had a great sense of mystery, which is hard to maintain.

The suspense with the potion was really well done, and I loved how you engaged us with some shady characters! I wasn't sure exactly what to think of those men who were looking for someone else, and I almost wish the story was long enough to settle that for us.

This was a lovely read! Good luck with the challenge!

Author's Response: Hi Pixileanin!

Wow thank you so much for your wonderful review!! I'm so glad that you found it to be unique. You liked the potion scene!! I was so worried about writing that part - so I'm beyond happy that you thought it was well done! I completely agree with you - there's definitely room to revisit some of the characters / events from this story. That was something that I kept thinking about after posting that it was completed... So I'm currently working on a sequel. While it can stand on its own (at least that's my goal lol), I'm looking forward to addressing some of the unfinished threads from this story too.
Thanks again for stopping by! Best of luck with the challenge too!!


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Review #43, by PixileaninJourney to the Centre of (Mollys) World in (Less than) 80 Days: Take It Easy

2nd March 2014:
That's the strange thing about silence. I've often wondered about that. How can silence be deafening, so loud, that you just want some kind of noise to break it apart?

I love how you described the magic of the transportation. It was sort of like Apparition, sort of like a portkey, but you made it your own thing too. I commend you for not taking the easy way out with this. Exciting embellishments all around!

So Molly's skills DO come in handy, and it's on the second day? Or is it still the first? There was night, so I'll call it the second. Well, that was longer than I expected. Haha!

The little digs still continue, "If you Americans hadn't thrown yours in the harbour, you'd know..." That made me laugh out loud. Indeed.

Oh, but what if Beard and Socks and Sandals had put a spell on him to do this thing??? Is HE the culprit!?? I am so suspicious. ;) I really like how Molly is so matter-of-fact in all of this. She's been trained for scenarios like this, and the fact that she doesn't fall apart shows us her inner strength. She may be rubbish at expressing herself, but I think in this case, it's to her favor. AND she shows her maths skillz! Molly rocks!

I know from the Five Elements Challenge, that using all three instances of the spell given was one of the hardest things to incorporate into the story without being all "LOOK! I have used this spell THREE TIMES!!" Hahah! Does this mean that Heath will be breaking a lot of bones in this story, because that would be sad and hilarious and OUCH all at the same time.

Hey, things don't always have to be funny. I liked this chapter just as well. There was cool stuff going on. Good luck with all of your challenges!

Author's Response: It's like being underwater, that kind of silence. I find it to be really oppressive.

I'm glad you liked the description of the transportation. I wanted it to be a little dangerous and mildly uncomfortable - it was built in the Bronze Age after all.

There's more to Molly than a desire to change her life and making a boss cup of tea. And It's so sad the Americans will never know what you're missing out on... (I'm not British, but tea is still part of cultural DNA).

Beard and Sandals is not the culprit - all Heath. He has an insatiable thirst for doing the mildly dangerous and incredibly stupid. And yeah, I didn't want to write Molly as being incapable of everything. She's trying to find her way in life, but it still doesn't negate the fact that she's survived more than two years of gruelling Auror training.

Yes. Heath is going to have a lot of broken bones. I'm so sad that I Didn't finish this story in time for the challenge, but I'm still going to include all the elements in later chapters. I will complete this challenge if it kills me! Thanks so much for reading and reviewing - especially since you did all four! Wowee!


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Review #44, by PixileaninJourney to the Centre of (Mollys) World in (Less than) 80 Days: Uncharted

2nd March 2014:
Oh gosh! A late Heath in his own home! Never mind that I can sometimes resemble that... *hides* The singing on the loo was crazy funny, as were all of the reasons that Molly decided to agree to this trip. Wait. SEVENTY DAYS??? That's a looong time.

Those little details of yours are absolutely adorable. An obstacle course in a short skirt?? You've got to be kidding me! At least we know she's been trained well. I hope she doesn't have to use it all up on their first day out.

"Raj the wannabe soprano". Snort.

You wrote the banter between these two really well. I can see that they're trying to get to know each other while pretending not to enjoy it. Very funny! Though you do bring up valid points about Salem and the Sorting Hat. Too true! And the bit with the chocolate frogs... eww! But a great way to make more connections. :)

Ahhh, Agatha - insidiously creeping into Molly's head to push her onwards towards adventure with chocolate frog man! Excellent!

Socks and Sandals had me in stitches! Where do you find your ideas for these absurd caricature characters?? And then something happens. Inside Stonehenge! Mysterious predictions! (Does Heath have a Silver Dragon tattoo hidden somewhere?)

And three elements already! And another chapter!

Author's Response: I hate people who are running late in their own house! I don't understand how that can happen. Maybe it's a case of "the closer you are to your destination, the later you'll be". And seventy days is a really long time. I've set myself up for the long haul.

The obstacle course was so sexist. I could feel my inner feminist getting enraged as I wrote the scene.

Raj is in fact a marvellous tenor. Molly is obviously tone deaf. I hate people talking trash about my baby Raj.

... I'm WAY too attached to Raj :P

I loved taking the opportunity to poke a little fun at the wizarding world in that conversation between Molly and Heath. And that chocolate frog scene was my attempt at writing something better suited to a book for twelve year olds. It was too much fun, which meant it worked for me!

Socks and Sandals came to me in a rare moment of inspiration. He was perfect for what I wanted him to do. His stereotype makes it even less likely for anyone to believe that Stonehenge is a giant transportation device. And yes - about that silver dragon...


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Review #45, by PixileaninJourney to the Centre of (Mollys) World in (Less than) 80 Days: Counting Stars

2nd March 2014:
I love how you start us off with a fresh character straight away! This is obviously the guy we need to keep our eyes on, yeah? He seems like he's not in a very happy place either. Ahh, I'd be so afraid to read that article now... did he really write it half-sloshed?

I'm also loving how you're bringing in some of our well-loved canon characters as adults into this Next-Gen world. I think that's what I miss the most when I read Next Gen - I mean, I know that the main characters are generally the younger, active people, but what happened to all those other people that have grown up? Dennis' appearance was great here.

Oh no! He thinks her hair is on fire! This cannot be a good start.

"Heath's gaze wandered back down towards her face, only to be arrested by a rather aggressive stare form a pair of hazel eyes."

Maybe it's better than I thought. Err... okay, I take that back. Molly's being roped into something she knows very little about. I'm sure she'll take that well... not. Haha!

Heath seems like the overly

Author's Response: Heath is one of my all time favourite characters to write. He's just so adorably... Adorable. And Heath is DEFINITELY the man. He's in a very similar situation to Molly, but they're two different people who don't quite realise that. It causes some conflict, as can be expected. And I don't even want to think about that article. Can you imagine the grammar?

I couldn't resist bring Dennis Creevey into this! And writing him as almost a different person was wonderful but also heartbreaking at the same time because life changes you and it hurts you sometimes in the process.

Fiery hair = good start. Hair on fire? Not so much. ;)

It's actually strange the way she handles this little adventure. But more on that later...


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Review #46, by PixileaninJourney to the Centre of (Mollys) World in (Less than) 80 Days: King of Anything

2nd March 2014:
Hi there! RANDOM REVIEW!!!

Actually, I'm checking out the Five Elements Challenge entries, because it's a great challenge and I'm curious to see how you incorporated everything. Mine were all so random! Haha! Oooh! And I see that you combined a bunch of challenges too! Awesome!

Poor Molly! Bad coffee, bad company, the worst cliche' break-up speech in the history of break-up speeches... There's nothing like an annoying person from your past spouting ridiculous notions to wake you up to reality. Though this Agatha seems like a crazed, over-the-top "my life is perfect" character. I bet her life isn't as perfect as she's making it out to be. Oh, but she is SOOO entertaining!

I love how Molly has resolve for all of three seconds, and then she crumbles. It's so realistic though, because change is hard, even when you figure out that it's necessary, and you want it to happen. I'm rooting for her, though. At least she changed her story in front of her family... for about three seconds. *covers eyes* Oh, Molly! You can do it!!!

In the first chapter, you've already grabbed me with your witty lines and your quirky characters, you've used the Love Quote Challenge line, and TWO of your five elements! Bravo!

And I am highly entertained!! *runs off to next chapter*

Author's Response: Hey there! Lovely to hear from you, as always!

Agatha Painsley-Bumbershuffle was the straw that broke the camel's back, so to speak for poor Molly. But it's strange where one's wake up calls come from. Bad coffee is definitely a good sign though. And Agatha's life... You haven't seen the last of her, let's just leave it at that.

Change is difficult. I can't resolve myself and stick to the plan in the first go. She does get it all off her chest, though, which is a start. It doesn't help that her parents aren't exactly the most sympathetic.

Lovely to hear from you!


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Review #47, by PixileaninLike a House on Fire: Of Hearts and Bludgers

28th February 2014:
Christmas morning with all the fluff, and then Sirius getting to snog Millie whenever he felt like it. Oh my!

I wonder if she ever got the connection to her furry friend. She seemed to take the necklace at face value and didn't even flinch at the association to "the grim". Hmm...

"Because I'm a ninja like that."

Yes. Sure you are. It's adorably stupid. You give Sirius the best stupid lines ever! And you gave him stress, which is even better. Seriously, they've been doing this for how long now, and they're still not sure they're together?? *beats head against desk* Wow. I guess they haven't moved on to the "meaningful conversation" stage of their relationship yet.

Quidditch is a fantastically dangerous game. I love how you captured that in this chapter without even having to do a Quidditch scene. Millie, waking up slightly disoriented was a great way to get this across to the reader.

I have to tell you that I'm in the hate group with the end to this chapter. Things were going so WELL for these two, and you just had to mess it up with some inexplicable misunderstanding, didn't you??! I really hope that Millie doesn't go running off and doing something stupid, because that would be so teenaged of her! Oh, wait. Err...

DOn't do it!!!

Pineapple.

Author's Response: Those chapters from Christmas to Valentine's are basically Sirius' dream come true. In a completely exaggerated way, of course.

She hasn't made the connection yet, but there's still a little of the story to tell, so there's still a chance - is that a spoiler? I don't know...

I love writing Sirius this way. Everyone thinks they're the wittiest, coolest person ever to exist on the face of this planet at seventeen (or eighteen, in the case of Sirius) and the truth is... you're just not. And obviously these two are going to take the long road to the "meaningful conversation" stage. They'll get there. I hope.

I'm glad you liked how I wrote the Quidditch scene. I didn't want to write another one - they'd end up sounding the same. Also, I chickened out on writing an action scene *hangs head in shame*

I think everyone is in the hate group with the end of this chapter. Things were going well... but then they weren't at the same time. They never TALK. Maybe this will kick them in the right direction now...

As always, your reviews are a treat to read. Thank you :)


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Review #48, by PixileaninThe Deathly Children: The Women in the Walls

27th February 2014:
First let me start by saying that I love the chapter titles you have so far! They are so emotive! But don't let that put any pressure on you for future chapter titles or anything. I know how it can be a challenge... how many chapters do you have planned for this story? Do you know yet?

"One of the things I adore about history is the complete unreliability of it, the irrelevance of any measure of objectivity."

Me too. Though, I don't adore it. I tend to not take it as seriously, but for the same reason. Hehe!

Now you've got me insanely curious about this Master Thimble person. Who is he, what does he really want, and are Mrs. Bagshot's books going to be returned in any semblance of dignity that they were loaned with??? Oh, the books! I am so worried!

Oh, Gellert! What a monster! He has no heart at all, that boy!

I loved the way that the wand snapped inside his head, "a fracture of his thoughts". That was lovely, and incredibly powerful. Though I'm inclined to think that Gellert's mind has already been snapped in two... or at least the part where his conscience should be is severely damaged.

"Oak is stolid and lutreless and stupid..."

I loved that line too. Of all the horrible things that Gellert seems capable of, you've given him some fantastic lines.

He treats his exit from that school like he's being let out of prison of sorts. It makes me wonder how he came to be there, and if anyone had put him there against his will... or maybe it's just because, as he said, he had outgrown the school and this was an excuse for him to leave early. Either way, Gellert's attitude has alarm bells ringing in my head. I feel like I should be calling several Ministries and warning them about his unauthorized use of a Portkey.

Ariana's story is frightfully tragic. I loved the spin you put on the reason why she is damaged, why her magic is damaged now. The three people in her room seem to be connected to that event somehow. It makes me want to guess theories about them, and I wonder if they are connected to the box or the contents of the box, or if that's just Ariana's imagination at work. so intriguing!

Her episodes seem so tied in to the fire incident. It's great how you used that, and your description of things seems to dance around the light and the hot, and things like that. It all blends together and makes the narrative a delight to read... even though we're dealing with the dark things. I find myself pulled into it. So well done there!

So... um... you got a next chapter hiding around here somewhere?

Author's Response: I do have part of a third chapter sitting in my computer! There's about 2K written for it, and I'm hoping to have it completed by the end of next week. ^.^ THANK YOU, PIX ♥ ♥

You like the chapter titles? Thanks! I had no idea they could be considered emotive; I actually enjoy coming up with chapter titles, maybe because I don't have many WIPs I'm working on, so it's not often I get the chance to come up with titles of things! And by the way, I have ten chapters planned for this, and I think that's all it will take to finish the story - or maybe eleven chapters if there are plot holes that need filling :P

Ooh, I think you're the first reviewer who has actually exhibited interest in Master Thimble! You're on the right track, my dear. Will the books be returned in excellent condition? Will Bathilda's books EVER be the same again!!?

I enjoy writing Gellert. Like seriously, really, completely; I never knew it was so exhilarating to write a Dark wizard/future Dark Wizard. I'm glad you like Gellert's lines! I do select his lines quite carefully; I mean he has to come off as fairly intelligent, and somewhat condescending and arrogant. He doesn't like anything restricting him, which explains why he's actually pleased to be expelled from Durmstrang.

As for Ariana, with her sections, the lines between reality and imagination are always going to be a little hazy. I hope I'll be able to pull this off!

Thank you once again for your absolutely wonderful reviews, Pix! ♥ I'm so glad we were paired up for this month's TGS exchange! I do hope you'll stick around for the rest of the story.

-teh


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Review #49, by PixileaninThe Deathly Children: A Funeral

27th February 2014:
Hey, it's about time I came around here to review this! Sorry for the "end of times" delay, but you know about RL and all that. I am excited to be paired with you this month! I've read this story a few times already, but I never had the time to put my thoughts together.

No time like the present!

I am really excited about the time period you chose for this story. I haven't read a lot of stories in this era, and it's one of those periods that leaves us a bunch of room to play, so I can't wait to see where you take us!

Your opening already has chills on my arms, because it sounds like he's coming after Albus Dumbledore in the worst way possible, calling him back to the roots of something that he knows Albus wants to forget. I love the last line, where he says that he is "not that generous", and then the last-last line, the one about how Aberforth wasn't responsible... is he going to come back with claims against Albus' character? Will it be worse than that???

You've gotten me seriously worried with the first section. How can you do that to me? Great opening, if you didn't get the point of all that. The letter carries a sense of wrongness to it, something that should be left alone that he's bringing into the light.

So now you take us back to the beginning of the story, where Albus tries to deal with the grief and guilt that is his family. I loved how you included Bathilda in this, as the concerned neighbor. She seems to know what the family needs, even though Albus is reluctant to accept the help. He seems so concerned about the story of his, making sure that no one can find fault with it or point a finger elsewhere. It shows his protective nature over his family, his sister. I can see why he doesn't allow himself to grieve over his mother, he has other things on his mind, like how he's going to manage his sister.

I loved the details that you gave Albus' mother, that she was strong and patient and put all of her energy into Ariana. It really gives us a clear picture of what kind of life Albus faces for himself now. He has to become that person that his mother was, and he will do it. But I can sense that he will hate it. I love that line you threw in, where he's mourning his previous existence, like he's burying his life along with his mother's. This seems very fitting for someone of his age and temperament that I got from the HP story. I've never seen it expressed quite this deliberately before. It's great, and it's refreshing.

I also love how you introduced Ariana. I'm excited that she's a conscious, thinking being, and she has this strange awareness of the things surrounding her. Your description of the way that the magic burns within her, like a sickness instead of a friend, it tells me that something bad will happen from this. You're setting up quite a scenario, and I can't wait to see how you have it play out.

Great first chapter here!

Author's Response: Hello Pix!!

My goodness, this is some review you've left me! Thank you!! For taking the time to read and leave such detailed comments. And don't worry about 'end of times' delay and all that; RL refuses to be easy for most of us, unfortunately.

I haven't read a lot of stories in this era either! And those which I have read, well they're mostly one-shots. Ah, I'm glad you found the opening part, letter and all, unsettling! There is indeed a sense of wrongness to it - Grindelwald was always a bit wrong, right up to his death, I believe.

And ah, Albus. Yes, he's in such a miserable situation - being gifted and brilliant and all that...and very trapped as well. He is indeed mourning his loss of freedom; just like what he says in DH, it isn't as though he does not care about Ariana or Aberforth, but there's an element of self-centredness and self-absorption to his character. I'm glad you find this refreshing.

And Ariana isn't going to be the vacant, sweet-faced girl who occasionally throws a dangerous fit, as she is usually portrayed in fic. I do mean to make her more conscious and aware of things; it's so much more fun to write her this way, in my humble opinion!

Thank you once again for this lovely review!! It's made my day and I loved reading your comments and observations about this opening chapter!

-teh


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Review #50, by PixileaninDetox: Old Habits

25th February 2014:
Oh, poor Astoria! Daphne's dress fitting sounds like a dreadful time! Someone should have taken away her champagne a little earlier. I am so grateful that bustles are far from the fashion rage of today. What a horrid contraption!

Astoria does go out of her way to make her sister's day all about the bride-to-be, and that is commendable. Her thoughts pull us into her upbringing, the right and proper way that things are done, instead of what she wants. It's a testament to her character that she's able to separate her longing from her reality. But I can tell that she still has hope for her own dreams coming true, and in almost a childish way, she's planning for herself. I like the budding strength that she has, and the way that she's going through all of her options in her head. It feels here that she's simply biding her time until the moment is more suited to her favor, which is smart. At the same time, I can sense her unease. She's still thinking "what about me?", and I feel her young age throughout this section. Well done!

I love how throughout this section, you keep the action rolling. The characters are doing and moving, all the while thinking and scheming. It definitely keeps the life in the scene, and the forward momentum of the story. No one is standing still, percolating.

Well, except for Emery. Hehe. "It isn't an insult, mother. Ask anyone who knows him. He doesn't bathe regularly!"

Astoria's plan for her independence is quite rebellious for her character, but I can tell it's what she believes in strongly, and with that will of hers, it will be hard for anyone to tell her that it's a bad idea. Not that I'm wanting to do that. Emery sounds practically repulsive!

I loved how you cut straight through to after Draco has read Astoria's letter and has had time to dwell on what she's written. Apparently, he read into it what Astoria wanted him to, and he's eager to make headway with whatever she has in mind. Very forward, very daring plans, too. I wouldn't expect anything less from him, seeing as his life so far has been so life-or-death that this probably seems like a walk in the park. How hard can crashing a wedding be?

Draco's dig at Emery was very funny! Sometimes I wonder how long we writers actually sit around and think up ways to Potterize ingenious sayings. I bet there's a list out there.

Draco's plan sounds a hundred times riskier than Astoria's, but I find it fun and intriguing that they are both willing to put themselves at risk to be with each other. Draco's "cover" as he explains it to Zabini sounds plausible, but I wonder if his friend will be sneaky enough to figure things out and give Draco trouble for it.

I'm betting that Draco hopes the men on the "forefront" of this revolution bite it fast enough that he won't get the chance to be dragged into anything nefarious. His determination is commendable here. I'm guessing that his "friends" aren't going away anytime soon, since they have to stick around long enough to cause trouble in CoB. But I can dream, right?

Author's Response: OK, so I've obviously never been to a fitting for bridesmaids dresses, but I really can't imagine anything less fun than being stuck in a room full of people trying on uncomfortable clothes in an attempt to placate a woman who's in the process of going insane. That's pretty much the mindset from which I wrote this, and it snowballed from there.

Astoria does her best to help support her sister, but it's tough sledding. I'm glad she seemed more age-appropriate in this chapter. It's been a while coming. I tried to show some of that simmering, over-emotional teenage anger.

Whether it's Astoria or Draco taking a swipe at him, I really started to enjoy using our lad Emery as a punching bag in this story. All the poor guy really wants is to be left alone with his Quidditch magazines. Sadly, real life keeps interrupting. I hope you'll enjoy a couple more good chuckles at his expense before the story is over.

I didn't think there was too much to be gained by showing Draco's immediate reaction to reading Astoria's letter. It was pretty much what you'd expect: anger and disbelief following quickly by a determination to take matters into his own hands and "fix" the situation for her. You're right, after surviving the war, Draco doesn't think much of the challenge of infiltrating a simple wedding.

Draco is definitely playing with fire when he seeks help from Zabini and agrees to meet with Gamp and Flint. He's so confident in his ability to keep the upper hand over his former housemates that he doesn't worry too much about abusing their very limited trust. It's a bold move and without giving away too much I can tell you that it will have repercussions.

It wouldn't hurt Draco's feelings one bit to see Zabini and the other "revolutionaries" end up dead or in Azkaban. He's quite determined to keep out of it, but like Michael Corleone, he'll find that there are plenty of people who'll keep trying to pull him back in. It's an occupational hazard of being everyone's favorite reformed Death Eater. You're free to dream of Gamp, Flint and the others meeting their end, but as you know that doesn't happen for another forty years.

Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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