Reading Reviews From Member: Pixileanin
  
607 Reviews Found

Review #26, by PixileaninThe Dangers of Black Cats: The Briefing

28th August 2015:
Hi again!

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

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

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


Pix

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

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

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


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Review #27, by PixileaninHarry Potter and the First Mission: Eighteenth Birthday and Independence

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

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

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

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

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

Pix

Author's Response: Hi,Pix. I'm so sorry for late response.
After I finish my blog about the result of my story challenge, I'll be back to your bunny story, I miss your Albus and Wren.

Australia always reminds me of aborigini. I guess it likely happens they're magical. So I inserted it into my story.

As you found out, I like to have members of Weasley take an important role.

The idea around Slughorn, the impression of the scene where he obtained Aragog's venom was strong so I thought of the plot. I also like Snape as a mentor for Harry.

I'm glad you seem to like the idea that Harry lives with Andromeda and Teddy. My image about Andromeda and Teddy is on the way to develop. I'll write about them in my other stories.

Thank you again for stopping by my story so many chapters.

Kenny



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Review #28, by PixileaninThe Dangers of Black Cats: Aurors and Inquisitors

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

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

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


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

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

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


Pix

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

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

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

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


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Review #29, by PixileaninTales of the Death Hunters: Shades of Anger: Wrath

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pix

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Review #30, by PixileaninTales of the Death Hunters: Shades of Anger: Malice

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

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

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

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

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

Pix

Author's Response: Hi, Pix!

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

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

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

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

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


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Review #31, by PixileaninThe Dangers of Black Cats: Discovered!

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

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

Well, that next bit answers that question. Haha!

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

ďEvery day, just about!Ē

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

Itís hard being a kid.

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

Pix

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

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Review #32, by PixileaninThe Dangers of Black Cats: A Voice in the Dark

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

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

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

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

Pix

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

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

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

Please keep reading, and posting notes! Fondly, KJC


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Review #33, by PixileaninThe Dangers of Black Cats: Superstition

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

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

ďAinít that just like a cat,Ē said Michael.

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

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

Delightful start!

Pix

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

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


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Review #34, by PixileaninMistaken for Strangers: The Wotters Receive Some Owls

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

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

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

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

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

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

Another nice one!

Pix

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

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

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

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

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

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

--J


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Review #35, by PixileaninPlaying for Keeps: Blood Thicker Than Mashed Potatoes

23rd August 2015:
Hi there!

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

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

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

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

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

Pix

Author's Response: Hi!

Thank you SO MUCH!! Blood is fun to put in stories, but this story isn't very bloody right now, haha. :) Yeah, the contract is potentially a hazard for Annie, and she's definitely sinking into deeper, murkier waters right now. She's casual because that's how she knows how to act when dealing with Freddy, but trust me, she's kind of freaking out on the inside.

I just love Annie's dad. He's just so adorable, and I like that he's on her team, even if her mum and sister sometimes antagonize her. (They definitely care for her, well, at least her mum does, but in very odd ways, that's for sure!) Yeah, Bea's job is "respectable." Ish.

Haha! I still giggle over Humphrey Spurtle and it's January now. :P

Bea is the absolute WORST. Sorry for squashing your high hopes, but trust me, there's definitely more to come! Yeah...Annie might not do any of those things. The past always catches up to you eventually, and it's high time it did for her, unfortunately. OH MY GOD "HIPSTER HOODLUMS" I LOVE YOU FOR COINING THIS TERM!!!

No, I'm sorry! Please don't kill something!

Thanks so much for this stellar review, Pix!

♥Mallory


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Review #36, by PixileaninI told you so: I told you so

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

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


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

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

Go Team Gold!

Pix

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


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Review #37, by PixileaninHarry Potter and the First Mission: Reconstruction and Funeral

23rd August 2015:
Hi Kenny,

Red Vs Gold Review Battle!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nice chapters!

Pix

Author's Response: Hi,Pix! Thank you for coming back here again. This story is my first fic ever, so I really appreciate it.

Yeah, I think I understand what you try to say. I've read their complicated things here and there. They are interesting to read but I wanted to write the other way.

Talking of the funerals, the vision popped in my mind after I've experienced the similar situation more than once in RL.
As you write in your "Rabbit Heart", human beings are not immortal. Everybody has to face it.

About baby Teddy, lots of authors wrote him so I had no confidence, so thank you for your kind words.

I love Hagrid, so if you can catch his words, I'm happy.

You spotted the right point, I hurried to the trainning, the reason why I started writing in English, was I wanted to tell Auror's Tale to my son. Your instinct is right. Bill will play an important role in my second story.

Kenny


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Review #38, by PixileaninHighland Is Calling: Highland Is Calling

19th August 2015:
Hi Kenny!

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

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

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

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

Nice one-shot. Good luck with the challenge!

Pix

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

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

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

Kenny


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Review #39, by PixileaninAtonement Is Coming: Nightmares And Caterwauling Charms

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

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

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

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

Great plot!

Pix

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Review #40, by PixileaninAtonement Is Coming: The Dungeon

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

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

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

Shudder.

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

This was a lovely read! Thanks for the swap!

Pix

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Review #41, by PixileaninAtonement Is Coming: A Surprise Announcement

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

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

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

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

Pix

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Review #42, by PixileaninAtonement Is Coming: A Shadowy Threat

16th August 2015:
Hey! Review swap time!



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


There's more! Oh good!

Pix

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Review #43, by PixileaninIn Every Stitch: Eight

15th August 2015:
Lizzie,

There's something in my eye. Hold on, my vision is a little blurry, maybe I can blink it out.

Seriously, tears. Hear felt tears for the way that you wrote this. You managed to touch on the deepest bond of motherhood and capture it in these few words. And there is Story here too, so bravo!

You chose this so well, Molly doing what she loves for the people she loves. She feels the things that this boy needs more than anything else in the world right now.

And literary-wise, the imagery sticks so permanently, sweaters, shields, needles, and the tie between what she does and what she would want for her own children. The way you laid out the Reasons was also wonderful, almost poetic, yet pointed and real. Molly's character shines through her motivation. Every word was quintessentially hers. Coupled with the second person tense, it resonated deeply.

This was truly beautiful. You carried through with a singular focus, and I don't think that any more words are necessary. You nailed the emotion here.

So lovely.

Pix

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Review #44, by PixileaninMistaken for Strangers: James Attends a Party

15th August 2015:
Hi!

I shall star by answering your question s. First, I am not confused by anything. I think the showing is going swimmingly. It's very visual in fact, and I am getting a clear picture of the characters. Poor James is still running around crazy, but he's had time to read all those books and discuss them with Anna, so it looks like he's using his time wisely.

I thought the party scene was crazy, yet age appropriate. All the weirdness, and the talk with Scorpios was fun too. Poor bloke is spilling his guts while enebriated. Sad that James doesn't get a chance to talk to Anna at the party, but by the way you have set up the characters, it reads well this way.


Freddie is so out of control. He's gone way overboard on the pranks, and I wonder if he now expects James to bail him out. I must say you're doing great thinking up different things for him to get into trouble over, including the thing about telling rose that charm w as only good for three days when it would have lasted much longer.

still enjoying the story. ( still on my phone, which makes typing a beast)

Pix

Author's Response: Thanks so much for the review, Pix! :)

I'm glad you're clear on what's going on and think I'm doing a good job with the showing v telling. I'm excited you think you have a clear picture of the characters! :D That's my goal. Haha I'm not so sure James uses his time that wisely given how much he still ends up in detention!

Thanks so much for your comments on the party scene-- I actually revised it from something that was a lot more intense per Branwen's suggestions so I'm glad you think it's age appropriate! And Scorpius and James definitely have a somewhat strange/funny relationship! I don't think Anna would even notice if James started talking to her at the party haha.

I have a lot of fun coming up with Fred's pranks and hijinks! In the beginning I didn't really know what I was doing with him, but as I kept writing the story, I was actually writing to incorporate different Fred subplots! I think he totally depends on James to help him out haha.

Thanks again for your reviews, Pix! I love hearing what you think about the story. :)

--J


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Review #45, by PixileaninMistaken for Strangers: James Talks to a Girl

15th August 2015:
Hey hey, it's chapter two!

I am still loving the bookworm vibe that thus Anna us pulling off. She's so completely opposite of James' family. I can see why he's attracted to her. I also adore how she keeps calling him Jeremy, and now he doesn't feel like he can correct her without looking foolish. So much fun!

I can't help but wonder if Anna is truly oblivious to what James is up to. That scene in the kitchens was rather suspicious, with her just sitting there and not even being aware of anything. I bet on some level she has to be faking it...

That w as some maneuver James pulled, crawling under the Raven claws table to get to Roses boyfriend. I really enjoy how diplomatic James is being with this guy. The whole conversation made me smile, especially when he got Lucy to back down and make up with Rose.

The philosophy thing is rather inreresting too. James spends an awful lot of time reading for someone who doesn't do his homework. Or at least you aren't showing us the homework. I'm sure he does some somewhere and sometime.

I am still intrigued. The Anna thing is very tantalizing. And sorry for weird typos. I'm on my phone, ick.

Pix

Author's Response: Thanks so much for coming back and leaving another review, Pix! And the phone typos add character haha. :D

I'm glad you like Anna! She's definitely a fresh of breath air to James after the insanity of his family! And she'll never not be a bookworm haha. It's a big part of her personality!

I'm amused that so many people comment on Anna in the kitchens in reviews! HPFFers are a very suspicious crowd. Can't a girl read in a hidden kitchen while like ten people start yelling loudly in peace??

I'm glad you liked James's methods! He likes to come at things from weird angles, sometimes literally. His diplomacy skills are pretty admirable-- he deals with all of this craziness much better than I would!

Haha yeah James does end up reading a lot given how little his family seems to think he does homework! I'm a philosophy student so I couldn't help introduce some of that into the story. :)

I hope you continue enjoying the story/characters! :D Thanks again for your reviews!

--J


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Review #46, by PixileaninMistaken for Strangers: James Meets A Girl

14th August 2015:
Hello there!

I had to come over here and see what you were up to. What a delightful little thing this is! I love that James is running all over the place trying to help out his family, especially Freddie, who doesn't seem to care how much he gets into trouble. James certainly has his hands full.

I'm not sure where you're going with this yet, as it's the first chapter, but I LOVE that this girl has got hafl of his attention, and he's not even sure who she is yet. There's so much mystery there, but he's so busy putting out fires that he doesn't have time to contemplate this new person when his family has him running round in circles.

I really like the way you've formatted your scenes. They're short and to the point, and I admire the pattern you've set up with him going off to rescue Freddie every other minute. Poor guy. He's got to be under a great deal of stress, and I'm wondering why he feels so beholden to keeping his cousin out of trouble like that.

Interesting start. You've definitely got all the Weasley-Potters in a great deal of action!

Pix

Author's Response: Ahh Pix thank you so much for this review! It was such a wonderful surprise! :)

James definitely had a lot going on all the time haha! He's very susceptible to getting involved in Fred's shenanigans!

He's intrigued by the Ravenclaw girl but is so easily distracted/confused by her/all over the place that he never gets the chance to investigate! Unsurprisingly, that will change over the coming chapters. ;)

I'm glad you like the style! It's fun to write like this. And yes, Fred is a stressful guy to be in control of! James is very loyal and feels responsible for a lot of things that are outside of his control (typical Gryffindor?). That's something that's explored more and more as the story goes on! :)

Thanks again for this review, Pix! I hope you get a chance to check out the rest of the story (even if you don't keep reviewing or anything!).

--J


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Review #47, by PixileaninDetox: Epilogue

14th August 2015:
DAN!!

Seriously, what is wrong with me, having this last chapter sit out so long without any comments from me?? You know how Life decides that thereís TOO MUCH to do, and then you get swamped, and then when you get un-swamped, you forget what you were doing before you got swamped?

Anyway.

Ahh, the young Malfoy broods so expertly, and heís only what, eleven? Nice. I love how you smack Astoria with the reality of change. Even though she knows her upbringing was not something she should be wishing on her own child, there are aspects of it that she will look back on as comforting and familiar. I can feel that she fears the uncertainty with Scorpiusí situation, not having that long-standing tradition to buffer him. Thereís no way she can prepare him for the unknown. That would be worrisome to any mother.

You know, I have often wondered about this strange phenomenon that adults seem to think they can talk over the heads of children who are in the same room. It has been my experience that they listen to everything, so thereís no sense in pretending that a child wonít understand, at least on some level, whatís going on around them. And anyway, why would anyone want to raise someone who isnít aware? Iím glad that Scorpius is that astute and observant. It shouldnít just be a Slytherin trait. At eleven, if he hasnít picked up on the reality inside his own home, Iíd be questioning his intelligence.

Iím happy to see Dracoís growth in this story. Youíve done a fantastic job of showing how far heís come, and without completely giving him that unrealistic 180 turn in his attitude. Here, he only wants whatís best for his son, and you show that expertly. Ten points for restraint!

I love that you drew the parallels between Scorpiusí doubts and Albusí doubts in canon. He doesnít have that absolute certainty about where he belongs in the world, and heís going to have to figure things out for himself where heís going. Heís smart enough to know this, and Iím glad you gave him that edge, that worry. I think that if he continues to evaluate things instead of jumping to unreasonable conclusions, this Scorpius is going to turn out just fine.

Ah, you brat! Planting the seeds in his poor sonís head that he will no doubt take to. Subconscious suggestion is a very strong thing, but I canít say I blame him for playing the game. I really appreciate that the rivalry between Ron and Draco is still in full swing, but it has toned down to a tolerable level for now. Astoria has every right to hold a grudge, but sheís enough of a lady to probably concede if she has to at a future date.

Your ending is perfect. I love that you went back to the ďyesĒ line, after so many years. It resonates well for Draco and Astoriaís relationship up until this point, and then also into the future. Your stories are always so well-thought out and your themes are strong. Itís very admirable, and I completely enjoyed this story, even if it was about Draco Malfoy. :P

I want to write like you when I grow up.

Pix

Author's Response: Hi, Pix! You made it all the way to the end. Exciting!

If Scorpius broods well, it's because he's brooding on the hunched shoulders of brooding giants. Or something like that. I wanted to introduce a lot of ambiguity into his character. He *tries* to act the way that he thinks his father and grandfather want him to act. In my experience, this is how children who mostly grew up around adults often behave. But it is mostly an act, because he has a lot of his mother's and grandmother's sensitivity in him.

Astoria is somewhat afraid for her son because she doesn't know what his life is going to be like at Hogwarts and wealthy, aristocratic folks don't tend to like uncertainty. Or change.

Some kids are more aware of what's going on around them than others. Some of my cousins were totally oblivious. The Slytherin trait I was thinking of was more the fact that he was pretending not to listen.

When I started writing this, my goal was to have Draco become a **better** person without necessarily becoming a **good** person. Because I don't know that I'll ever buy into the notion of the latter, at least not until he's much, much older. He's still arrogant and prejudiced and more than a bit of a jerk, but he's realized that none of his prejudices are worth fighting, killing or dying over.

Ah, I'm glad you liked my inspiration for the epilogue. I wanted to show how the scene at King's Cross looked and sounded from the other end of the train platform. You're right, Scorpius will turn out just fine. It won't necessarily be an easy path, but it will end well.

Ha! I had to set the stage for all the ScoRose head canon in the world somehow. :p

I really liked the "yes" line. Now if I was really a mastermind at this, I would have worked it into CoB somehow. Hmmnn... maybe time for some ninja editing...

You already write better than me. Your Remus/Sirius story kind of proves that. And please don't grow up. I hear that stuff is for suckers.

Thanks for the sweet review!


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Review #48, by PixileaninOn My Own: September 1st

14th August 2015:
Hi there! Tag!

I am all for something different from the romance-centric Next Gen stories, so bravo for your idea! I thought this was a strong opening for both of your characters. I can see the differences between them, Scorpius' isolation, and Hugo's overbearing mother who argues a lot and puts pressure on both of her children to get it right.

It will be interesting to see the two of them at Hogwarts, and how they deal with their situations away from their families.

I am already curious as to what's keeping Scorpius up at night. I am also curious as to how Hugo escapes from his family pressures. You definitely have a great setup. This was a good read.

Pix

Author's Response: Thank you so much! This was such a lovely review and I really appreciate it. :) I love a good romance-heavy next gen plot as much as the next person, but I think stories that aren't centered on romance kind of get tossed aside and I really wanted to write one that could (hopefully) have some impact, so I'm really glad you enjoyed it.

Hugo and Scorpius are two of my favorite characters to work with, so it's been a dream writing them.

Thanks again! :)


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Review #49, by PixileaninTengu and a Daughter of Ninja: Broken Heart

14th August 2015:
Hi Kenny!

This is what I was waiting for right here: the reason WHY a Potions professor would give his students an essay question that has nothing to do with POTIONS. It reads weirdly to me that Malfoy would even ask such a thing, without having that element of Potions in it. Did he say somewhere earlier that something about the creature was used in a potion? Aww, I canít remember now.

But THIS MAKES SENSE NOW, and itís very devious of him, which I love. My daughter watches a lot of anime, and this plot makes me think about how the plots go in those sorts of stories with the very archetypical characters who WANT and NEED things and will do anything they have to to get them.

Okay, so now you get into whatís going on with Scorpius too. It seems that his reasons for hating Albus are quite shallow, that heís doing it out of habit more than anything else and he has a pride issue. Now he knows that his father is in trouble and he understands the importance of the assignment. I wonder if this means that Scorpius is going to try very hard to find the answers that his father needs, or whether heís going to ask Albus and Rose for helpÖ this could go either way. I am excited to see what happens, and to read more of Sakiís story, which interests me greatly.

Oh, and this is for the Red vs Gold review battle. Iím choosing Gold. Because itís shiny. And, umÖ shiny. I like shiny things.

Pix

Author's Response: Hi, Pix. Thank you for leaving review on this. I really appreciate.

Yeah, you got to the right point. I tried describing Malfoy like you said. He had no gut to face the crisis but he doesn't want to lose his position at Hogwarts.

Poor Scorpius. He wants to be proud of his father.

Oh, your daughter loves anime? I'm glad you felt that way.

The latter part of your review made me think about the next plot harder. Thank you for your thoughtful insight.

Go! Team Gold!

Kenny


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Review #50, by PixileaninTrapped: trapped

14th August 2015:
Hi Kayla!

I'm here with that review I promised from the Twenty-four hour writing extravaganza thingy from the House Cup.

This was so evocative. You've got so much imagery, and it's powerful, and it SPEAKS to what's going on without diluting the situation. I love how you show the effects of things going on in Sirius' head and you never break it down into what's reality. It's Sirius' reality, and that's enough.

This actually reminds me a lot of where I had to go to write my angst piece, and I admire you for going to that place. It's hard to get to, and even harder to express. You've gotten all of his anxieties out there, there's a story inside of it, that tells us what happened, but also how it's still sort of happening inside his head. The flashbacks aren't really flashbacks, because to him, he's still living through it. I don't have any experience with PTSD, but from what I've read, that's the single most remarkable symptom that I identify with it: the sensation of still being in that place where the awful things happen, being unable to escape it, even though you know it's over.

I love that you were able to use the setting of the house to enhance this. Thinking about it that way, this was the absolute worst place to keep the poor guy. He's surrounded by all of his bad memories, the one place he spent his childhood trying to escape, and then Dumbledore locks him up there.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH THAT MAN???

I completely agree with your idea of the psychosis that turns this state of being into some kind of hallucination, but it goes deeper than that. We can try to evaluate it all day, but I think everyone agrees that you've nailed the sensations here with your carefully selected prose.

It reads real.

Congratulations!

Pix

Author's Response: Hi Pix!

When writing this, the one thing I knew right from the beginning was that I absolutely didn't want to break it down clearly into reality vs. delusion. I feel like this definitely wouldn't have been the same story if I had. Without getting into too much personal detail, I very much felt that that would have been a disservice to the character (Sirius).

Another thing I was thinking about right from the beginning was how much trauma there's been in Sirius' life overall up to - and including - this point. He was abused when he lived at 12 Grimmauld; he was away from that environment for maybe 5 years? and then two of his best friends were murdered and he was framed (a trauma in and of itself); then he spent 12 years in Azkaban (an incredibly prolonged trauma); then, within 2 years of escaping, he was locked back up, right where he started. How is he supposed to work through his traumas and move past them when he's in that situation? I imagine it would begin to feel like some sort of vicious cycle, and that it would definitely exacerbate that feeling of "still being in that place where the awful things happen", because while he's not in Azkaban, he's literally in one of those places.

So yeah, I really hate Dumbledore. He's a great character and very complex, but I hate him. It seems to me that, even after Grindelwald, Dumbledore still thought in terms of "the greater good" in a lot of cases, and didn't really think of the others around him as whole people with, you know, emotions? I get that Sirius needed to be kept hidden, but that was not a good way to do it and the effects it was having on him were very obvious.

Yeah, I think you're right. There are lots of ways to evaluate and interpret this, but at the end of the day I wrote it the way I did because it felt right to me and made sense to me.

I'm really glad that you enjoyed this, and thank you for the absolutely awesome review!

-Kayla


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