Reading Reviews From Member: academica
1,152 Reviews Found

Review #26, by academicaThe Joker and Her: Quidditch Practice

15th February 2014:
Hello, here from Review Tag :)

This chapter had a nice, easy pace to it. I liked seeing Brienne embrace her new life at Hogwarts. Clearly she doesn't share many of the same interests with her new friends, but it was good to see them include her all the same. Hopefully that helps ease the pain of losing her mother. It seems like the group has a lot of fun together.

One thing that seemed a little off to me was the very end. One minute Brienne was having fun, and then she was curled up in bed crying. I get why the change might have occurred--missing her mother, not wanting to be alone, something like that. But the transition seemed a bit abrupt. You might add a sentence to bridge that gap and explain why Brienne's mood has changed.

Great work!


Author's Response: Hi! Thank you very much for the review!

I'm glad you liked the pace of this chapter and that they seem to have a good dynamic. Brienne doesn't really have a lot of common interests with them but their personalities do bounce off one another xD

Her crying jag at the end is about guilt- I know that those who are grieving often feel incredibly guilty if they start to feel happy and have a good time, especially if they feel it's 'too soon.' I'll try and make that more apparent in the chapter XD

Thank you again!

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Review #27, by academicaHouse of Cards: Three of Hearts

15th February 2014:
Hey Laura, here for the review battle!

It's interesting how a chapter in which not a lot ostensibly occurred can hold such drama and raw emotion. I loved how the plot thickened here and suspicion grew, as if it became more restless the longer it was trapped in the house just like the physical family members there.

Regulus definitely seems suspicious. Like Sirius, I'm at first hesitant to believe him capable of such a crime, but his slip of the tongue about the coroners and the way he seemed to obviously concern himself with everyone else's whereabouts seemed to betray that something is off about him. It's like he wants to know where everyone is all the time, to keep track of the game's pawns, and yet he can't sit still--plagued by guilt, perhaps? He's very complex for being so young.

I like how you've given a lot of focus to Sirius here. It's interesting to see him conversing with these people because normally he'd be bullying, ignoring or yelling at them in many other stories. I wonder if the tension associated with this event will cause his eventual departure.

Your details are lovely, especially the way you describe subtle things like the way people look at each other. I love how you paint us a picture of the inside of the house and each of the rooms. It drips a dark elegance that's just divine.

Oh, and Bellatrix! She's usually not far from the scene of any crime, or so it seems. I wonder how she's involved, or if she isn't really involved but just wants to keep the family's dignity intact. The plot sure continues to thicken...

Great job! Can't wait to come back again soon :)


Author's Response: Hey Amanda - thanks so much for dropping by! :) It's always great to see you stop by since I love your stories so much!

Haha, yeah, I'm terrible at writing really action-packed stories! It's something I really struggle which and I'm trying to improve, but, yeah, this chapter isn't really breaking the mould, lol. I'm glad you liked it despite that, though!

Ooh, yeah, Regulus is really not helping himself here... he really does want to know what's going on and where people are - he's also definitely not his brother's biggest fan, at all. It's something I really want to explain to you, but can't in case I give something away, you know? So hard :P

Sirius! Yeah, a lot of people portray his relationship with his family, particularly Regulus, as really antagonistic, but I dunno... I did try to take it differently - and I thought a lot about how I wanted to go with that, so I'm happy you like it! :) Er... short answer: yes :P At least, in my mind it definitely does - if this can really be fitted into canon that way, haha.

Thank you so so much! :hug: It means so much coming from you, given how gorgeous your writing is! :) :)

Bella is slowly cracking - slowly but surely ;) Haha, all the family is involved, in one way or another, really :P That doesn't help at all - sorry about that!

Thank you so so much for this wonderful review - I'm so glad you like the story so far! :)

Laura xx

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Review #28, by academicaFull Bloom: I: Sunflower Oil

13th February 2014:
Hey Celestie, here with your requested review :)

First off, I'm so glad you requested this story! I glanced at it a couple of times and wanted to read it but hadn't found much time recently.

So I love your characterization of Narcissa. I don't know that I've ever read her as being insecure or like an ugly duckling, but I think it totally fits because it explains, in part, her fierce loyalty to Lucius and Draco. It's like she's trying to hold on desperately to what she has because she never had much choice or any chance at the spotlight when she was younger. It was also satisfying to see that familiar haughtiness come out when she began conversing with Lucius. It was really unfailing, and I liked not only how she made Lucius seem quite awkward by comparison but also how they make for such an interesting mismatch of "last resorts." You exemplified this image with their dancing.

I also really love the treatment of Andromeda here. Usually, she and Bellatrix live in the shadow of Narcissa's fair beauty, but here they're the stars. Your description of the hole that remained when Andromeda eloped is so multi-faceted and intriguing, and you really show the cognitive dissonance of her parents, despising her choice in one breath and sobbing over her absence in the next. It seems very realistic for that loss to have a significant impact on the family, not only within their household but also in terms of their fate in the pure-blood world. It's interesting to think of the House of Black basically dissolving after the two remaining daughters were successfully married off.

I do think the tense works well here. It's like Narcissa clings to these memories--is it because they were the best days she had, I wonder, or because they continue to trouble her inside? I'm curious about the reference point from which she recalls these events and what state she and her husband have fallen into at that precise point. Perhaps you'll give us a sense of what brings her back to these moments later on in the story.

Overall, I was really impressed with this. I'm curious as to whether Lucius will find a more authoritative voice later on. At the same time, it's clear from little moments in canon, especially toward the end, that Narcissa had a hand in decisions made by her husband and son. The whole piece was very lovely in terms of your imagery, flow and characterization and I would love to read more, so feel free to re-request.

Very nicely done! I hope this review is helpful :)


Author's Response: Hi Amanda! Sorry for the slight delay with the response!

Thanks so much for your thoughts! This is actually news to me that she's constantly portrayed as being beautiful and with Andromeda and Bella in her shadow. Truth be told, I've read very little fanfic about her (though I found her fascinating in canon), and I always theorized she'd have feelings of inferiority what with being the youngest. Bella and Andromeda were always depicted as being popular and charismatic so I'm glad my depiction of her as an awkward teenager makes sense.

I don't know if the House of Black quite dissolves post Anna's leave and Bellatrix's marriage, but I think that the branch with Narcissa's parents is certainly irreparably damaged; there is no going back for that nuclear unit, I think. Also, I'm definitely relieved to hear that the tense works! I feared it could get annoyingly enigmatic to read at times, but I'm glad to hear it's working thus far.

As for the time frame, it's pretty far into the future: think around HBP or DH. I can't yet say exactly when but it's certainly in the midst of a lot of things happening to the Malfoy family that induces Narcissa's thoughtful reflections.

As for Lucius, (I hope, at least) he plays a role different from what you may have seen him as in other fanfics (I'm a bit more familiar with how he's depicted than Narcissa). While he plays the head of the family to some extent, he will be nowhere near the sort of cold and formidable figure he's often depicted as. I do think he is that way in some aspects in his life, but I don't think he could have inspired such loyalty and fondness from Narcissa if he'd been that way with her, so his characterization will be a bit different. He'll be much more present in the coming chapters, after their marriage.

Thank you so much for your thoughts and lovely words :)


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Review #29, by academicaGame Over: Two

13th February 2014:
Hey Pix, here with your requested review!

This chapter was much clearer. I think it's because you focused on one interaction and gave enough context clues to help me follow the narrative (e.g., the Polyjuice Potion symptoms).

I also liked how you added a sort of visceral component with your description of James's nosebleed. It was actually painful for me to imagine what he must be feeling in this scene!

I'm curious about what happened with Dann and Matt--I sense there was something blurring the lines between a partnership and something more. I'm also wondering where this mysterious Matt is and how James came by the parts of him necessary to create Polyjuice Potion. And I'm hoping that we delve further into this Basilisk Tooth mission in the next chapter; it's sure to be action-packed!

Nice work :)


Author's Response: Hey!

This is just the kind of feedback I needed. Thanks! You guessed right; the next chapter is all about the mission, and I had a VERY difficult time making all my points with the limited word count. Back story just wrecks this kind of writing, I tell you!

I'm thinking about chapter 4 now, so I'll see if I can focus it like I did here.

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Review #30, by academicaJourney to the Centre of (Molly’s) World in (Less than) 80 Days: Counting Stars

8th February 2014:
Hey, here from Review Tag!

Glad I'm able to get back to this story :)

Aww, I do like Heath! He's sort of awkward, which is good, but the relationship between him and his flatmate feels very realistic in terms of roommates. I liked how you emphasized the cultural differences; we Americans can be quite over-dramatic, especially after having a drink :)

Seems like Heath and Molly are off to a rough start. I'm sure they'll patch things up when in the presence of beauty like the seven wonders! Normally I'm not a huge fan of sort of zany, over-the-top humor, but I liked how you over-emphasized certain details and made a big fuss about Molly and Heath's first meeting. I think it added a lot of flavor to what could have been a potentially brief and boring scene.

I'm curious to read on later and see what happens! Nice work with this chapter!


Author's Response: Hello!

I'm glad you like Heath. He's supposed to be likeable, but in a different way to Molly. Her charm is that she's so relateable. I am neither British nor American, so a lot of the way I show cultural clash is basically based off anecdotes and television. I'm happy that it's working :P

When I began writing the scene between Molly and Heath, my biggest concern was that it was going to be boring. Meeting new people isn't as exciting as it sounds, so I tried really hard to make Heath as entertaining as possible!

Thank you so much for this lovely review!

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Review #31, by academicaEvil Will Prevail: Camouflaged Red

8th February 2014:
Hey, here from the BvB review battle!

This chapter was a bit confusing. I'm guessing that Hermione came to the Burrow as expected and kidnapped Ginny in the middle of the night, judging by the happy scenes that occurred earlier between her and Harry. It seemed a little odd to revert back to that happiness at the very end, though, without any indication of how the two scenes were actually bridged.

Anyway, this was a very intense chapter! This is going to sound horrible, but I found your torture methods very... creative? Yeah. It seems like Hermione really wants to cause a lot of harm to those around her. I wonder why she chose Ginny when she might have had access to Harry or Ron--was it because of her blood traitor family? Was Ron just a bit too personal for Hermione? This definitely seems like a far cry from the girl who sat crying after Ron said she wouldn't make any friends or chose Lavender over her. I'm curious to see if your Hermione feels anything at all, given her really violent behavior here. Her personality is definitely suitable for Voldemort.

I wonder if this will turn into a Draco/Hermione story later. I don't know, because Draco seems a bit soft compared to your version of Hermione. I suppose only the next few chapters will tell...

Nice work :)


Author's Response: Hey Amanda. :)

Hahah, I'm glad it was a bit confusing. I meant for it it be. I hope that it keeps you curious! :D

I wanted to make Hermione as crazy as possible. It is for the challenge after all. Would it be too bad if I said I kind of enjoyed writing her cruelty?

Since this is a complete deviation from canon, she doesn't really have feelings for Ron and the whole Lavendar scene hasn't really happened yet.

No this isn't going to be a Dramione. Not as a main pairing at least. There'll be a few hints of her fooling around with him (spoiler) but that's all.

Thanks for the great review! I hope you keep reading. :)

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Review #32, by academicaPure Intentions: Red Hot

6th February 2014:
Hey, stopping by for the review battle :)

I loved this:

Rose would never tell her parents this, but part of her wished she could go on a yearlong fight against some evil dark wizard with her best friends.

Gee, wonder how her parents would feel about that?! Haha. Nice one, slipping that bit in.

Poor Scorpius! I thought perhaps Draco would have a negative reaction to his choice of girlfriend :( Even Astoria doesn't seem willing to stick her neck out for him at this point. It was so sad to see him just watching the Potter-Weasleys in their happy reunion and then having to escort himself home, and then his parents could barely be bothered to welcome him. What he did to Albus was cruel, but I can't help but pity him here.

The scene at Ron and Hermione's house was interesting. It seems like Scorpius is beginning to perhaps develop some feelings for Rose, even if it's strictly in a physical sense. The dinner conversation was really amusing, especially the way in which Ron was willing to let Hugo do as he pleased but got quite protective at the thought of Rose and Scorpius meeting up in a different country. I think you really got the characterization down for Ron and Hermione.

And poor Albus at the end--I guess no characters really get out unscathed in this difficult situation. Hopefully he can find a way to be civil and not end up heartbroken at the mere sight of Rose and Scorpius together at the picnic. If not, I fear what may come to pass...

Very nice work, as usual!


Author's Response: Hi Amanda!

I have to admit, when I wrote about Rose wanting to go on a similar adventure to her parents, I thought of them almost doing a facepalm and shaking their heads, haha.

Draco's reaction is perhaps a bit predictable. Astoria is working up to being able to stick up for Scorpius more. The two families do serve as quite a contrast to each other - seeing that was important for Scorpius though. I'm really glad you pity him here! I don't want him to be hated, just disliked for a while.

I do think that Scorpius truly likes Rose (not romantically perhaps but he thinks she's a nice person) and well, he isn't disgusted by girls so affection from her is pleasant even if it's not his cup of tea. Ron is quite a hypocrite at dinner. :D Judging by how he treated Ginny in the books, he could be quite a difficult dad in that respect. My back story to why Ron and Hermione let Rose go to Spain was so that she could get some time away from Scorpius (I just never had a reason to put that into the story as it really didn't matter). Having her invite him along would have put quite a hole in that plan. I'm really glad Ron and Hermione's characterizations worked out well!

Albus will, well, i won't spoil it. :) I think it will be memorable though!

thank you so much for an awesome review!


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Review #33, by academicaHoping for A Heartbeat : Prologue

6th February 2014:
Hello, I'm here from Review Tag!

It's clear that this is a really personal story for you and I applaud you for using your writing to work out what must be some complicated and painful emotions. I also use writing to work out my worries from time to time.

One thing I notice right off the bat is the big spaces between paragraphs. You can avoid having that by using the Simple Editor. In fact, I'd recommend editing this chapter with the Simple Editor and getting rid of them because they are a bit distracting.

I really liked the way you told the story of Ginny and Harry falling in love. It was sweet to look back on all the little moments they shared together while they were growing up at Hogwarts. I haven't read a lot of stories that tell this tale from Ginny's perspective and I found her feelings and experiences very relatable.

I did notice some typos that a beta could probably help you fix, and I'm not sure why you chose to italicize certain places in the story. Also, I'm a bit unsure about the switch in narrator at the end--why not just have Ginny tell the story and avoid switching to third person?

Really interesting start, though. I sense you've brought us right up to the beginning of a really difficult journey for poor Harry and Ginny, and I'll be curious to see what happens next.


Author's Response: Hello Amanda,
Thank you for coming by to read my story :D
I thank you for your CC and your sweet review. While it is kind of reflecting my personal feelings on it this story will be all their's. :)
I will defidently go back and use the Simple Editor, I get so aggravated because it does that to me almost every time and I just decide to leave it the way it is and give up. :) I also am going to add more detail to the story's prologue and fix little tid-bits of it. :) Thanks so much once again, and I hope we speak again eventually! See you around the forums! :D

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Review #34, by academicaThe Second Act: Intermission

5th February 2014:
Hello, here with your requested review :)

Wow, I really loved this chapter. I just totally ate it up. The story you've woven is incredibly realistic, beautifully detailed, and answered all the questions that cropped up for me in the first chapter.

I have to confess that I assumed Victoire was young when she married Dennis in chapter one, so it really surprised me for her to be depicted as an older woman and widow in this chapter. I don't know that I've ever read a story with her at this age--or any of the other next gen kids--and I really liked it. The pacing of her relationship with Dennis was played out nicely and, again, seems realistic based on their respective ages.

As I mentioned earlier, I adored all the little details you included, especially the notes about M.O.O.N.Y. and Victoire's process in writing the book. What a creative way to link her to so many influential people in the wizarding world, and it was so nice to see her rediscover a sense of purpose in the wake of her beloved husband's death. I'm sure it was a healing process for her to document the bravery and heroism of others. It was especially nice to see the treatment of prominent Slytherins in Victoire's account, as it shows her book isn't going to be too biased.

As a psychologist-in-training, I think you did a nice job portraying grief here as well. I loved how you showed the different reactions of the children, and again, your attention to detail served you well (e.g., Charlotte's paintings). Even your simple descriptions of Victoire's emotion following Teddy's death rang true with my own experiences and those observed in others.

The flow is really well executed here; I think you did great with moving from event to event and incorporating the entrances of different characters. The whole thing has a light, romantic feel to it despite the dark subject matter.

I don't know what else to say except that I'm inspired by your creativity and I'm excited to see what the third chapter brings, and how Victoire will reconcile her new marriage with the husband she was forced to give up unexpectedly. Thanks for requesting, and I hope this is helpful!


Author's Response: Thanks for such a lovely review! I keep rereading it and it makes me smile.

Writing from an older witch's perspective was a little bit of a struggle for me... but I'd like to think I'm doing a fair job with it. I've also never written that far into the future.

I really wanted it to be something other than Dennis that pulled her out of her grief. I just didn't want her entire life to be dependent on another person, you know? I'm all for personal development in the wake of tragedy.

I'm glad you thought I did a nice job with the portrayal of grief and didn't think it was cheesy or misguided.

Yes, this review was so thorough and helpful and thank you so much!!

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Review #35, by academicaGame Over: One

5th February 2014:
Hey Pix, here with your requested review!

I definitely think you captured the intensity of the story. So far, I understand that James is in some sort of dangerous position (spy, maybe?) and the new identity that's been lent to him is now comprised because some girl recognizes him (I'm guessing as her dead boyfriend or brother or something.) I think that intensity pushes the reader to want to go to the next chapter and keep going, which is great and definitely a benefit of keeping the chapters short.

Clarity, I think, is a bit weaker. Everything happened so fast and I think I was a bit too hung up on trying to figure out what happened to him previously to appreciate the present events. Then again, this is classified as a mystery, so perhaps you meant for things to move quickly and not be totally clear and logical from the start. I almost don't feel like it's fair to discuss clarity based on only one chapter, but you're the author, so only you know how the chapter should be.

That said, I don't think you cut too much detail. You have to strike a good balance between detail and action in a story with a pace like this one, and I think you executed that balance very well.

One little technical note--I believe 'Riddikulus' is spelled with a 'k', not a 'c'.

Nice start! Hope my review is helpful to you :)


Author's Response:

Hey there!

Okay, so intensity is a check. That's good. They way you describe what happened is the way I meant it to be seen, so that's a check too. I guess I can't really ask for more feedback than that. What I had meant by "clarity" is to make sure that the events were clear enough to follow, since this was written in one of those whirlwind type of "everything happens so quickly" type of plots. I wasn't expecting anyone to pick up on the whys and hows and what came before, because there just aren't enough words to do all that.

That probably means that I won't have enough words to explore all of those things either. Hmm... I guess I'll do what I can and focus on the main action.

I'm really glad you felt the balance of detail and action was good. Thanks for the feedback! It was very helpful, as always!


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Review #36, by academicaRational Creatures: Nobody's Distraction

5th February 2014:
Hello, here with your requested review!

I have to admit, I was a little sad when I realized this was a one-shot and not a short story, because I just wanted to read more of your Bellatrix and her intriguing relationship with Voldemort. Bellatrix, in particular, was really great because of the multiple layers I see in her characterization. She wants Voldemort to love her, and yet she chooses not to fall into the simple position of being a romantic companion for him, a "distraction." She wants him to love her as she is, as a powerful witch worthy of respect. She's quite inspiring, despite her dark leanings. It kind of makes me reflect on how feminism might appear in the wizarding world--are there some witches who retain only the basic household spells, and are they looked at differently than other witches with more complicated careers?

Voldemort was very well-characterized, too. I think it's very realistic that he wouldn't be interested in recruiting women, and again I can't help but muse about why I have that impression. I like how you dealt head-on with the question of why women were few and far between in his ranks. I also like how they have a mutual understanding about his thin apology and the tenuous relationship they've begun in this pivotal moment.

None of the dialogue and action seemed awkward or out of place to me. In fact, I'm impressed by your ability to integrate the quote so that the speaking style doesn't change. I might not have even picked it out had you not bolded the text.

I don't really feel comfortable addressing your last question; I think that's better left up to a validator's judgment. I will say that, at least in my view, it's better to risk having a slightly too-high rating than to err on the other side.

Nice work! Thanks for requesting, and good luck with the challenge, if it hasn't yet concluded. As always, I hope my review is helpful to you.


Author's Response: Hello! I've been an awful person and I haven't responded to your review until now. Someone should put me in jail for being a bad author. :(

But anyways, thanks for this brilliant review that you left me almost a month ago! I hope that my late response won't deter you from reviewing me again in the future! :)

Aww, no! I didn't mean to make you sad! I've found that one-shots are kind of my forte in fanfiction, and showing Bellatrix and Voldemort in just one scene of their complex lives seemed to be enough for me. :) In the books, Bellatrix is a crazed follower, and she's so far gone that she is blinded by Voldemort, no matter what he does. I wanted to imagine a Bellatrix pre-Azkaban, a girl aspiring to be great, even though her family tradition dictated that she should simply be a mother. I'm glad that you found her inspiring--to me, she's a woman in a man's world, but she definitely beats the men any day!

Voldemort is a terrible human/thing/creation/whater-he-is, no matter how you slice it. He's out for the blood of Muggles and Muggleborns, so I thought that his view of women would probably be along parallel lines, i.e., women were meant to stay at home and not get in the way. Once she meets him, Bellatrix realizes what a bigoted person he is, so she's able to see right through his "apology." :)

Thank you so, so, so much!! I do a lot of quote integrating for essays and things (English major life-I'm living it!), so incorporating the quote for the challenge was fun to puzzle through!

...Yeah, that last question... I'm sorry I asked that because it was a bit silly. Better safe than sorry, 'tis true, and there's a first time for everything--this was my first story marked "Mature." I guess there's no turning back from here! :)

Thank you so very much for this lovely review!! :D


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Review #37, by academicaEvil Will Prevail: The hooded figure

5th February 2014:
Ooh, this looks interesting. And your new banner is gorgeous because Ande, obviously. By the way, I'm here for the BvB review battle :)

You've got an intriguing start here. I liked how you focused on Draco's weaknesses in this moment, the way in which he really could never have measured up to the demands of being a Death Eater. It's sad but realistic to see the way Bellatrix and Voldemort treated him even after he'd devoted himself entirely to their cause.

I'm curious about this hooded woman as well... from the banner, I want to say it's Hermione, but if so, she's basically done a complete 180 from her canon characterization. I'll be curious to see her identity revealed in the chapters to come.

Nice work, and good luck with the challenge!


Author's Response: Ande is awesome. :)

Yay. I'm so glad you're intrigued!
I hope you'll keep reading.


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Review #38, by academicaEverto Trucido: The Trial

1st February 2014:
Hey, here from Review Tag!

This is an intriguing start to the story. I like the idea of bringing back the dead and allowing their memories to piece together a story. I thought you did a nice job of interspersing the dialogue with the action, and I also liked the gentle way you described each character's entrance and Grace's behavior in front of Shacklebolt. You included a lot of good detail as well.

I'm curious about who is on trial here and how Grace's testimony will help free them. I also have to wonder about the negative cloud that seemed to surround the entrance of Atrum Unus. Guess I'll have to come back and read more later!

Great start :)


Author's Response: Hey there!

Thanks so much! This is one of the chapters that has been subject to a ton of editing and changing in order to make the information dump less confusing. I'm happy to see that it may have worked ;)!


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Review #39, by academicaBeneath: numb

1st February 2014:
Hello, stopping by from Review Tag :)

Kudos on taking on some serious themes in this story. I'm a therapist and I always love to see people try to explore the complex notion of mental illness and explore how different characters might react to those sort of struggles. I obviously find this subject matter very interesting but I don't run across very much of it on the archive, so this is a bit of a treat.

I really like your characterization for Rainne. She acts a lot like the teenagers I worked with when I was in an inpatient setting and it's interesting for me because I can understand both where she's coming from and where her doctor is coming from. I loved the bit of imagery you included with the contrast between the bracelets and her scar. It's quite sad to think about.

At least Lily wants to include her. I assume James and Lily are on decent terms at this point?

I also liked the little details you included, like how her parents wouldn't have died if they were magical because they wouldn't have needed to use a car. It's sad how Rainne has simplified those circumstances and used them to fuel her hatred of who she really is. I really pity her.

Nice work! Hope to come back and read more soon.


Author's Response: Thank you so much! It's so interesting to hear a therapist's opinion on my story - kind of intimidating, really! I hope you don't think anything is too far fetched, I've never had to deal with anything like her so I can never know if it's realistic enough.
Wow, you are giving me so much more credit than I deserve, really!
I can't wait to hear what else you think, I'm so intrigued by your unique point of view :)

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Review #40, by academicaMottled Blue: One body.

1st February 2014:
Hey Kiana, I decided to come check out your new story! I love the title, and the description sounds very intriguing.

I really liked the beginning part of this. Getting into the mind of the murderer was very creepy. It seems like you maybe did some research on serial killers in your development of this story; is that true? Anyway, I loved your description and the way the killer thought about Rose and how this act would impact his own life. I guess I'm assuming it's a "him." The detached way he talks about her and the mysterious change in his life suggests that maybe this is a stranger, someone who doesn't know Rose. I would think her identity would mean much more if he did know her well. That's just my little analysis :) I kept going back and re-reading that part because it was so interesting and well-written.

Poor Lily :( I definitely think the fact that the case is now personal is going to make her pursue it with a lot of determination and possibly put herself at risk to find the killer. Now I kind of want it to be a stranger and not someone that Lily knows, because that would hurt even more. I'm definitely intrigued to see what her next steps will be in trying to solve this crime.

Very nice start! You really are very talented!


Author's Response: Hi Amanda, I'm glad that I managed to draw you in, as that means a lot to me!

I'm glad you liked it as it means a lot to me with your experience in psychology. I've always had an interest in murderers and their motives for killing, so I suppose I had built up information over time about them. I really loved your analysis of the murderer, and some of it is correct, though I can't obviously say which bits. It will be fun to see whether your theories change throughout the story or not.

I know, but you are right about it definitely pulling her into the case because when it's your family it almost naturally does that. She does definitely try and solve this as best as she can but that's all you can know!

Thanks for such a great review, and these wonderful compliments Amanda, it meant a lot to me!


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Review #41, by academicaQuelques ans après-A few years later: Visite inattendue

31st January 2014:
Hello, here from Review Tag!

I like the quirky, sarcastic style here and the general premise of your story. It suggests that something is afoot--something that somehow brought Hermione and Draco together for a united cause and made it so that the idea of being married and having children seemed more palatable to them. (Or are those really their children? Haha.) I'm intrigued to see more of the back story behind this bizarre turn of events.

The only thing I would have liked to see more of in this short first chapter is imagery. Some description would have helped set the scene a bit more and provided some context for the action. If I were you, I'd maybe consider going back and adding some more to flesh out the chapter a bit.

Good start!


Author's Response: I'm glad you liked the style of the story. I probably will get to the back story sometime. The one in my head is quite funny. So...we'll see. Or maybe, I'll add them as flashbacks.

A few other people have also told me to add more imagery into the story. I'm going to take all your advice and 'add flesh' to the story.

Thanks for reviewing and hope you'll keep reading!

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Review #42, by academicaRabbit Heart: Hearts and Minds

31st January 2014:
Gah, looks like I'm not going to completely catch up by the end of the month. Oh, well, this has been fun nonetheless!

It was nice to get a glimpse of things from Albus's point of view in this chapter. Poor chap is so confused by Wren, and I can see how it's been awkward for them to even think about transitioning from friends to something more. I really liked getting a closer peek at his characterization; the little anecdote about Kreacher loading him up with anti-jinxes and all of his little trinkets. I wonder if his honorary aunt Luna had anything to do with that behavior?

I really liked the little moment between Albus and Wren in the robe shop. It was like Albus was a lighthouse for Wren when she was stuck out on a tumultuous ocean. It was nice how he kind of brought her back to center and relieved some of her anxiety about experiencing the same symptoms her great-grandmother had. At the same time, I get the sense that maybe things were resolved a little "too" easily and maybe Wren will experience more of these problems down the line. At least for now she has her attraction to Albus to distract her, right?

I like Albus's last comment--there certainly is a lot of weird in the air! He's getting to be almost as paranoid and as much of an over-thinker as Wren, which is sort of amusing. I kind of just want to stick them in a room together and have them just come out with it, but I know things are never that easy when it comes to teenage romance. The stakes are just too high when the person you love is also your best friend. Hopefully they can resolve it someday.

Nice work on this chapter and the story overall!


Author's Response:
Hey there! You made it for one more this month! Yay!

Yes, Albus is quite overwhelmed with the mere idea of talking to Wren. Though, to his credit, he does give it a shot, and it doesn't turn out as planned. Poor guy!

It's interesting that you picked out the parallels between Albus and Wren, given their paranoia. They both have it, definitely, spurned by different things going on around them. I tried to give Albus his own set of issues apart from Wren, so he wouldn't seem so fixated. I didn't want him to come across as some creepy stalker or anything. ;)

Yes, at least for now, Wren is distracted from her problems. It gives her poor mind a break for a while.

Thanks so much for coming back!


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Review #43, by academicaThe Gift of Severus Snape: Prologue: A Fateful Decision

26th January 2014:
Hello, stopping by from Review Tag :)

I really like the story that opened this prologue. It definitely piqued my interest for how the girl would be incorporated into the canon plot line. Since your story is focused on Snape, I think maybe he was the descendant of the girl, but maybe it was Lily (and thus Harry) instead.

I really like your characterization here, especially in the case of Harry. It would be hard for me to write this scene knowing how things turned out in canon and how Harry's mind changed so fast about Snape. But you were obviously able to keep that separated out and maintain the logical trajectory of how things would have gone if Harry hadn't found out about Snape's love for his mother. That's really great to see played out.

I'm curious about how Harry's feelings will change - or perhaps not - in the next chapter, so I hope to stop by again and read on in the future.

Nice work!


Author's Response: Thanks! We won't see much of Harry in this story, though he'll have a cameo in the next chapter. It's going to take them both a while to recover, and I thought it best that they do it separately at the start. Though they do finally talk in my second story- "Two Steps Forward." I just think they both need time to put themselves together and their relationship is too strife to
have them together so early.

As for the wand, we meet that owner in the next chapter as well. She will be the key to his recovery.

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Review #44, by academicaRabbit Heart: Cold Toes, Warm Heart

26th January 2014:
Hello, back again :)

I really like the way you write Wren's interactions with Bunny. I can really see the little girl in her come out, despite the fact that she tries to push forward and not let on in public about how much hurt she still feels. It's great that she finally has an animal she can keep, bond with and love rather than one that must eventually be returned to the wild.

How nice that Wren's friends wanted her to have a proper birthday party! It's too bad that the move and her family's stress has interrupted her ability to celebrate her birthday at home, but it's clear that she has lots of support if she'll only take advantage of it. It makes me sad that Wren panicked when Albus got too close to her, but I liked the bit of tenderness between them. They're great as friends and I hope they'll eventually turn into something more.

Great job again on this chapter! The ending was very bittersweet; while I loved the way you had Wren return to the comfort of her beloved pet, it was sad to see her wanting so much to fix everything that's been happening and feeling unable to do it. This chapter was just really nice for character development and emotion.

Maybe I can squeeze in one more before February...


Author's Response:
Wren really loves that little rabbit. She's got a great need for snuggles, and Bunny's very soft, so it's a good fit for the moment. Bunny sort of *needs* someone too.

Wren has great friends. Albus is a great friend too. A little awkward, but still a great friend. I sometimes wonder if my opening chapters are a little too slow for the story, but as you said, there's a lot of character development going on, and I didn't want to rush through all the little things.

Hope you can come back for one more! It's great having you around!


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Review #45, by academicaHouse of Cards: Two of Spades

24th January 2014:
Hey Laura, here for Review Tag! I've actually wanted to dig in to this story for quite some time, and I'm happy to see you've made so much progress on it!

Very intriguing start. I can't help but be reminded of 'Dexter' with the 'there was no blood' bit. It was interesting how the family members automatically assumed that they were being sequestered because they were murder suspects, and then no mention of such a thing was even made by Pollux; it's like they had a shared guilty conscience. I'm sure there's more to the story than the short conclusion Pollux provided. I also really like how you lent a variety of personalities to the Black family members, all of them being fleshed out a bit more than in canon.

The scene between Pollux and his son was interesting as well. I wonder what the motive could be for moving around such a small amount of money, and who could be behind the changes. There's clearly a lot of suspicion and tension in the air, especially after the recent loss of Andromeda and (I suspect) the soon-to-be-scheduled departure of Sirius.

There were a few places where I think you made some punctuation mistakes, but nothing too big. I would recommend maybe reconsidering that first part about the girl in the portrait, though -- you used a lot of commas and it makes the sentence that describes her a bit long and ungainly. Just a suggestion.

Really nice work with this first chapter. I don't have any ideas about what could have happened, but I'm definitely intrigued to find out more!


Author's Response: Hey Amanda! I'm so glad to see you stop by - and yeah, it's picked up recently! I finished all the plotting, so all that's left is to write it all out! :)

I'm so happy you like the start - though I've never seen 'Dexter', haha, despite it being recommended to me many times, mostly because there's so much of it to watch! Yeah, they're definitely not innocent in totality; and there's definitely more to the story than Pollux said - or, is there? :P I'm glad you liked the cast - I really tried to make them all different! :)

The will is definitely important, though I can't see how or why, of course ;) It's a big part of the story, and the reasons behind it are definitely relevant. And yeah, Andromeda's recently gone... in the timeframe for this, Sirius is pretty much about to leave, sooner or later. Though whether or not this situation has anything to do with it... *whistles* :D

Thanks so much for mentioning that! I know I'm terrible with punctuation and commas so I'll definitely take a look at that again and double-check things! :)

Thanks so much for the really great review - it was so nice to receive! :)

Laura xx

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Review #46, by academicaDevlin Potter: Riddle and Rescue: The Informant

22nd January 2014:
Hello there, here for our review swap!

Okay, right away I like Devlin. Clearly he's inherited some of his father's brazen nature and determination not to bend in the face of evil. I thought you wrote the torture scene really well and didn't glaze over the sticky parts. Action isn't my forte and I always admire an author who can do it well. I also thought you replicated Tom Riddle's canon personality nicely there.

Harry kind of reminds me of Batman, though that probably sounds weird. He's supposed to be a force for good, but he harbors these dark desires that he has to fight in order to not fall into them. He's very gritty and clearly grown up from the wonder-struck canon hero, which makes him really interesting. I really like flawed Harry. Fortunately, he's got people around to help keep him in line, like Ron and Sirius (yay, Sirius!).

Wow, that memory was incredible. Your detail in describing it really brought up a lot of emotion for me. What a tender moment, and surely so difficult for Harry to share with an enemy.

I'm very curious about Devlin's fate now! Was he enslaved by the Dark Lord as a result of impressing him? Did he escape, perhaps? I really want to see Harry reunited with his son, as I'm sure the loss has taken a terrible toll on the whole family.

Thanks so much for the swap, because otherwise I wouldn't have discovered this wonderful story. I hope I can return soon to read the next chapter.

Nice job! :)


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Review #47, by academicaSticks and Stones: I Don't and Other Wedding Nightmares

22nd January 2014:
Hello, here for our review swap!

Well, you didn't waste any time getting started with the action, did you? I get the sense that Pippa was more delighted by the chance to embarrass Peter than upset by the loss of her fiance, given the way she talked about him being boring right from the start. I kind of have to wonder why she agreed to marry him in the first place.

My only guess as to her job would be something like a spy, like maybe she was given the job of pretending to be his fiance to have his secretive activities exposed publicly. Maybe she works with James and Mason and is just pretending to be meeting them for the first time on her wedding day. I'm definitely curious about what her job could have to do with the plot, though.

This chapter was a bit zany for my taste, unfortunately. Everything happened so fast and with such intensity that I have trouble picturing the audience just sitting and letting it occur. If there would be any way to slow things down a bit and take more time for the details (others' reactions, emotions, etc.), I think that would make it easier to follow this initial chapter.

Good work, and thanks for the swap!


Author's Response: Hi!

Yeah, it was the more faster of my works. Hehe, I'm glad you picked that up! Especially as I didnt mean for that to happen, but that is actually right!

Haha, I wish it was that interesting! It is a very boring plot! But, hopefully, enough to pull through :)

I think it would be too zany for my taste too! If I was reading it, that is. But, thank you for the sweet review, even if it didnt interest you :) I will work towards controlling the flow better in my future edits :)

Thank u for the fun swap!

-Curie :)

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Review #48, by academicaRabbit Heart: Trusting Hearts

22nd January 2014:
Hey Pix, here for chapter two!

Really nice job again this chapter with showing how Gran is deteriorating after the loss of Frank and Alice. It seems like her suffering is the combined result of her old age and depression. It's so sad to see a witch who was so skilled wither away like that, and yet it's interesting that her magic doesn't seem to have ebbed away at the same rate as her mind. Still, I'm sad for Wren, having to shoulder that particular burden.

Dillon is interesting. There's something sort of creepy and suspicious about him, and I wonder if it has to do with that bright light Wren saw in the last chapter. On the surface, though, he's a cute kid and I like how his presence gave Wren something to focus on besides her own problems.

Maybe there is something even bigger going on, though. The way that policeman acted has me feeling a bit uneasy, and I wonder if Wren was a bit too self-absorbed at the moment to really comprehend his ominous tone. You've set up a lot of intriguing plot lines for the coming chapters.

Nice work once again! Very much enjoying this!


Author's Response:

Chapter two! *dances for joy*

An old, powerful witch like that, I always wondered what happens to magic as a wizard ages. Does it fade away with the deterioration of the body, or does it accumulate within them? We don't have clear answers on that. I know Dumbledore was old, and he was really powerful, so I'm just winging it here. It's an interesting topic to consider, isn't it?

I'm glad the unease of the chapter came through. Dillon is creepy AND suspicious. And yeah, Wren is definitely too into her own issues to see him clearly.

Thanks for coming back to my story!


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Review #49, by academicaMasks: Talk of Rabbits and Game-ception

22nd January 2014:
Hello there, here for our review swap :)

One thing I would suggest right off the bat is that you start using the Simple Editor, if you aren't already. Doing so means that you have to put in your own bold/italics/centering and so forth, but it also gets rid of those really distracting gaps between paragraphs.

I thought your flow was pretty good for the most part in this chapter. I like how your OC carefully thought through the complex dynamics she observed in those around her, like the animosity between Draco and Ron and the way she didn't need to wear a mask because she was okay with who she really was. That last quality of hers makes her feel more relatable than most OCs.

I would maybe do something different with the outbursts and asides, though; it's kind of distracting to have your OC suddenly lose her temper and break the third wall.

Oh, and I love the idea of Game-Ception! Super creative, and I agree that it sounds a lot of fun.

One last note--you might consider getting a beta to work on this story for you, if you haven't already, because I saw multiple spelling mistakes and punctuation issues. Fixing those errors would make the flow even better, and you really want your opening chapter to impress people because then they want to read on in later chapters :)

Great job! Thanks for the swap!


Author's Response: Hi Amanda!

I am still really annoyed about the paragraphs (my computer hates formatting nicely) so I am fixing it as you are reading this.

I am glad you like how the character is- my goal was to make her as real as possible. As for the outbursts and asides; I agree something should be done- I just feel like cutting them will cut the character. I also have a habit of breaking the third wall you see...

My computer really was the reason my spelling was all wrong- I am too reliant on spell check. I guess beta hunting would be a good idea considering I am too lazy to keep looking all this over so much. Thanks again Amanda!


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Review #50, by academicaPure Intentions: Red Rose

22nd January 2014:
Hey, here for our review swap :)

I liked the interaction between Albus and Rose. It is curious to me that Scorpius was so quick to bring up the idea of dating her--it was almost like he just saw her and was like, "Hmm, she's a girl. Okay." I would think he'd be a bit choosier in the girl he has to force himself to spend time with; then again, maybe all girls are the same to him since he isn't actually attracted to them. Poor Albus, though. He tried so hard to keep Scorpius but it just wasn't in the cards :(

Augh, what a sad ending to this chapter! I love how relatable your characters' emotions are; it makes it hard for me to choose a side because I think both Albus and Scorpius are suffering and even poor Rose is being played as a fool here. I'm not sure quite what to expect next from this story--will Albus fight for the love of his life? Will Scorpius begin to truly fall for Rose? And given the mention of Cindy--will Albus give dating a girl a try, too? So many questions...

One thing that was missing here that I would have liked to see was Draco and Astoria's reactions to Scorpius dating Rose. I would think it would be a "lesser of two evils" situation, and Draco may not have anticipated his son going after Hermione Granger's daughter. Maybe that's next chapter.

Nice work! Thanks for the swap :)


Author's Response: Hi Amanda!

Uh, well, I do think it was pretty much what you said. He saw a girl that he knows a bit through Albus and went with his first available option. :-/ I don't think he stopped to really consider if she was someone he'd be really happy wtih or how it would impact Albus. Let's face it, he never stops to consider Albus.

I'm glad it wasn't easy to pick sides. I really didn't want to make any of the unredeemable (which I think Scorpius is teetering on the verge of). Cindy will stay just friends but the rest of it will come out in the wash. :D

Draco and Astoria do get more airtime next chapter - and you'll get treated to their lovely reactions to Scorpius' dating choices.

Thank you so much for such a lovley review!! I'm glad you're enjoying the story so far.


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