Reading Reviews From Member: Beeezie
697 Reviews Found

Review #1, by BeeeziePride and Scorpius: Rose Gets Settled In.

13th November 2015:
Hey, I'm back for BvB!

Quick sidetone - I love your chapter image so much. They're all lovely, but this one is particularly so. ♥ (Though quick reminder that I hadn't noticed until now, because I recognize your work - due to some crediting issues, we now require people to credit all banners and CIs, including the ones they made, so remember to add that in when you get the chance.)

I continue to be so fascinated by your characterization of the trio. I do wonder whether you have Ron being a little too open, especially in comparison to Harry and Hermione - a bit more so makes sense, but the extent to which you seem to be setting up is starting to make Ron come off as significantly less mature than his friends, and even though it doesn't seem to me like he's really oversharing, it isn't ideal. That said, I adore the way that you used his stories to segue so seamlessly into Rose's excitement about attending Hogwarts, including her excitement about making new friends and the bit of resentment she feels that Albus has been "stolen" from her.

I love how overwhelmed Dawnsfirstbloom is by everything. Her reaction makes complete sense given her situation, and I really love that you're delving into it in so much detail. My heart went out to her, and while I'm really glad she's gotten the opportunity she has, I can't help but feel bad for everyone who didn't get it. There never seems to be an easy answer for this kind of societal strife.

I am starting to see more of Rose's personality at this point, including a lot of the more positive aspects of it, and I'm really enjoying it. Between this chapter and the last one, I'm understanding a little more of her distaste for Scorpius, and I'm also seeing her loyalty to her friends. I also liked seeing her ingenuity - for a little while, I wasn't really quite sure about the bookmark bit, but once I really stopped to think about, it occurred to me that Fred and George may well have been doing similar things when they were underage, and if Hermione had been a little more prone to rule breaking and raised in a wizarding family, she likely would have been as well - and Ron did say that Rose had inherited her mother's brains.

The sleep thing didn't strike me as off at all, though - I actually really loved your inclusion of it, because while "the heroine doesn't need much sleep" can be a bit of a Mary Sue thing, you've clearly explained and justified it here. People absolutely do need different amounts of sleep, and as someone who falls closer to the "less" end of the spectrum, it's so wonderful to feel like you have more time to do things. When you're sharing space with someone like Rose in in the dormitories, I imagine it would particularly stand out.

A couple things that stood out to me - they're a bit minor, but at the same time, I do think they're worth pointing out, because they have broader implications.

I wasn't a huge fan of the a last name that sounded African in origin and had way too many syllables... etc, either. If just felt a little uncomfortable to me, since you haven't given the same treatment to plenty of other names that Rose likely won't remember. Why not just include the name and then say, "Rose was sure it would take her at least a month to remember all those syllables," for example?

I also want to quickly follow up on some crit I had for the last chapter - the fact that the kid who harassed her before the sorting became a throwaway line really didn't dispel any of my discomfort with the inclusion. In many ways, it made it worse - it's really not a trivial thing to have happen, especially to a young girl in such a new situation, and I still feel like you'd get the sentiment you seem to be looking for if you took the gendered component off the table.

In general, though, great chapter. :)

Author's Response: Thanks for the kind words on the chapter images. I did particularly like this one myself (and the train of the first one, and the sorting hat and ...). I had the image in my mind that I wanted to convey of the bookmark and could only do so poorly by my words in the chapter, so what better way to illustrate it than in the chapter image? I have been meaning to put in those credits and did so just before I answered this.

Ron has definitely been more open about his 'adventures', but do not worry, he has self censored them or omitted those which have been inappropriate for an audience of an eleven year old (and younger). If you want to see how he did so for the kids when they were far younger, then I suggest that you peruse my one-shot, A Story For Bedtime (*tries to look all innocent*). In my mind, Ron was the one to sacrifice his career (such that he had) to look after the children. He always knew and accepted that it was his wife who was destined for greatness in terms of work, and took the hit for her. But it wasn't that bad for him, to me, I think that his sense of fulfilment would be in raising a loving family.

The dislocation would be great for Dawn, but she is a fairly up, doesn't-let-things-get-her-down-for-long, sort of person. As to the effect of those who don't get the opportunity, I never know if I make it clear enough, they don't because they can't. And remember there are millions of Muggles who never get the chance to go to Hogwarts either.

I'm really glad that some of the inner goodness of Rose is getting through. She is good at heart, but we see all that unfair dislike directed at Scorpius so I have to show my audience that it is really the exception rather than the rule.

The stuff about her preforming magic, is something that bothered me from the books. If you think about it, the way the ban on the under-aged use of magic is policed is inherently unfair towards Half-bloods and especially the Muggleborn. Rose, a reader of rules and smart to-boot, has seen the obvious loophole and has exploited it. It also fits in, I think with what Fred and George must have done to have all that WWW stuff ready for school.

Rose's sleep patterns are unashamedly a Mary Sue, but it does help my heroine to achieve all that I have her doing. Without the distractions of the internet, I think that she would employ her time extremely well.

OK, so we have ended the fluffy section of the review/response and now must venture under the magnifying glass of criticism.

In every review, since your first, when you have been including these CC's, you have been putting your finger upon vital stuff. It really is heartening to know that some of my subtle intentions are being discerned.

About Asheya's last name; I cannot put in "Rose was sure it would take her at least a month to remember all those syllables," because that would be entirely incorrect. I cannot say terribly much more about this here without spoiling stuff. The only thing I will say, is that where you wrote - 'since you haven't given the same treatment to plenty of other names that Rose likely won't remember.' - my reply is, "really? Have I now? What are her other room-mates names then, for instance?"

Hopefully, by this response you have read my last and what I said of this matter there. She knows what he did was 'pervy' and boys shouldn't do that to girls, but it's far more academically than practically. For Rose it is far more that her personal space was violated than her person. She doesn't see it as a sexual assault at all, like she was violated, only as something physical like a kick or a punch and she responded in kind. It is only we who can see it from our lens of maturity that know it for the crime that it actually is. To Rose it's over, she dealt with it and it's gone. You my readers will see its full ramifications in the fullness of time.

As of this response there have been 4369 (how inappropriate) reads on my story in total and this chapter has had 405, thank you all.

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Review #2, by BeeeziePride and Scorpius: The Sorting Hatís Greatest Regret

12th November 2015:
Hey, Andrew! I'm back for BvB!

The Harry-as-an-Auror thing was amazing. I can absolutely see him getting a little Mad-Eye Moody about the whole thing, particularly given his childhood and adolescence (which I'd argue may be as responsible for that kind of approach as his career), and I can absolutely understand why he'd take personal safety and constant vigilance so seriously. I also loved that Ron thought that it was a bit overkill, because that's also true to their personalities and backgrounds - while Ron experienced trauma and loss, I think that he was in a fundamentally different place than Harry and Hermione during the war and in terms of the pureblood thing. It showed in the books, and I think you're continuing that here. At the end of the day, Ron chose to fight the Death Eaters and Voldemort - blood traitor or no, they were clearly happy to leave Percy alone during DH, and if Ron had indicated that he wanted to switch sides, he could have. Having that choice changes the equation - quite a bit, I'd argue. Look at DH - Ron had somewhere to go when he was tired of fighting for the fate of the wizarding world, where Harry and Hermione did not. I'm not trying to be super down on Ron - I just thought that that little exchange that you relayed was really, really interesting, and it got me thinking. :)

I loved the Sorting Ceremony. Now I see what you meant in your review response - Rose's sorting is amazing, and I felt so bad for Scorpius when the hat put him in Slytherin despite him clearly not wanting it. (That does indicate to me, though, that he's very, very strongly Slytherin - if it had been close, I'd imagine that the hat would allow him to choose the other one.) I wonder why he was so opposed to being in Slytherin - hmm. I haven't seen an enormous amount of anti-Slytherin stuff yet, other than a bit from Rose. I guess I'll just have to wait and see. ;) I was wondering whether you'd make them all in different houses, but since Dawnsfirstbloom and Rose are both in Gryffindor, that's clearly not going to be the case. I don't know - maybe Albus will be a Slytherin in the end. That'd make it symmetrical, anyway.

Speaking of which - Albus's sorting was really intriguing. He's coming across as a pretty strong Hufflepuff to me, actually, and the hat seemed to be leaning Gryffindor, but I guess we'll see! I'm interested to see how this plays out. The hat has put a lot of pressure on him, and while it's a bit besides the point, this might put a bit of a dent in his Quidditch aspirations, especially given that first years are allowed to try out now.

A little CC - and I might start to press you a bit more since you've said you like the crit. ;)

This is minor, but the bit in the beginning where Rose says that Hagrid is her godparent along with Harry and Ginny seemed a little excessive to me - ditto with Albus, if he has other godparents. I just didn't understand why Hagrid had to be a godparent vs. a good family friend, especially since while the importance of godparents is established in the series, I can't really imagine it being so important to the trio or Ginny that they felt the need to get greedy. The major reason I'm bringing it up isn't so much Hagrid on his own, but that I feel like the kids are starting to come off a bit too much like special butterflies. Albus and Scorpius can speak the goblins' language, Albus and Rose have lots of godparents and unique sorting experiences, Scorpius has a really big club of people who are grateful to him... it just seems to me like you should strip away the unusual things that aren't plot important so that the ones that are feel more plausible.

The bit with the kid grabbing Rose also seemed out of place - they're presumably both eleven, and it made the scene really uncomfortable in a way that I didn't think was necessary. The same effect could have been achieved if he was just poking her or jostling her. Even when the series got dark, there wasn't usually this kind of violence depicted. While I'm sure it happened, I think it needs to be handled delicately. I really didn't like that gendered bullying is how you establish that Rose is able to defend herself, and I really, really didn't like that what's actually quite a big deal ended up getting mostly shoved to the side because of everything else that happened. Dawnsfirstbloom is wrong - the kid didn't get what was coming to him. By not immediately addressing it, Neville essentially endorsed it. I get that maybe he didn't see the whole thing, etc, etc, but it just felt very out of place, and I think that something less gendered would have been far more effective without carrying a lot of the unpleasant undertones that it's impossible to avoid with this sort of thing.

Otherwise, though, I really enjoyed this chapter. Good job!

Author's Response: Again I have to respond to your review out of turn because I cannot let you loose upon the next chapter (and next review *flutters eyelashes*) without responding to this one.

There is not much that I can say about your first paragraph because I basically agree with everything you agree with. It's also a lot more from his job, he has learnt over time that the byword is Constant Vigilance. I have it in my mind that, yes, he can relax and unwind with his family, but it's never all the way - there is always a little part of him that is on the look out to protect everyone. Even actually his enemies from themselves, that's the sort of man I envision he is.

Thank you for the praise about the sorting, I worked really hard to get it to show their various characters. Dawn's is over quickly, she is an open book. Scorpius's is a bit more protracted and the way I look at it is that it's not so much how Slytherin he is, but that the Hat has given him what he needs and not what he wants. And Rose ... well we shall learn a bit more about that later - after Christmas in Second year to be precise. ;)

And finally Albus; Inclusive and smart and crafty and brave Albus. I have seen his wonderful character placed everywhere, so I thought why shouldn't I. As to his Quidditch aspirations, well gollee if you haven't just uncovered a major plot point. Have I said yet in this response, about my head exploding or how much I love your reviews?

OK, rolls up sleeves, now to get to work.

You've had to make me think about this quite a bit and one of the minor upshots is that I now have a bit of a plot bunny concerning the christening; so thank you very much for the extra work there Beeezie, I really appreciate it *drips with sarcasm*

Some of my kids have three godparents, so I didn't find it that strange at all. It's also a part of Harry's (and Hermione's too to some extent) vision of constant vigilance; godparents are important in JKR's world and Harry would want to spread that protection around, just in case. It is also a big thank-you to someone who he knows will love it and who frankly deserves a bit more family.

And in some ways they are all special little butterflies as you put it, deliberately so. As to stripping away the unusual things that are not plot important, I have to say that most of what I've put into these first few chapters are all plot important; almost everything is relevant. I am writing this with the long game in mind, there are some things in these chapters that won't get paid off until seventh year. There's even one thing in the first chapter that will get it's resolution in one of the epilogues; I kid you not.

OK, this last bit. I can understand your criticism and your concern and even your distaste. Let me first say that you are correct. All of what you said is valid. So what I want you to ask yourself is, if I know this, then why did I put it in?

Let me justify some of my decisions. Yes they are all eleven, that is a vital point. To Rose it is really only physical, there is no real sexual component to it for her that much. There are some kids of a highly sexualised nature, from quite young, especially in boys, and their youth and immaturity leads them to make poor and frankly unhealthy decisions/actions. It wasn't just a throw away thing, the inclusion of this act. The surface of it is light and easily dismissed, you are right about the complicity in the act that the teacher has by not addressing it properly; I've seen this happen. Bullies get away with stuff because it is too hard to rectify their behaviour. Instead their victims are asked to modify their already good behaviour into one that enables the bully to keep doing what she/he wants. I have been the victim of bullying, and funnily enough even at 40+, I still am in my workplace (Ugh), so I will not be treating this lightly. Please trust me.

As of this review 4363 reads on my story in total and this chapter has had 408, thank you all.

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Review #3, by BeeeziePretty in Potions: Birds Of A Feather

11th November 2015:
Hey, I'm back! Your responses were so sweet - I'm glad the reviews were helpful and inspiring! :)

I loved the way this started - I can definitely see Malfoys being so focused on manners and propriety, especially in the aftermath of the war - that's one of the things they wouldn't have to disavow with Voldemort's defeat. It's wonderful that James happened to be there for it - presumably, it woke him up, so I wonder how much of it he really processed properly vs. "Howler, yikes."

I'm really intrigued by their relationship! I like the uneasiness she feels toward him (which in retrospect is I think a better word for it than hostility or dislike), and his... semi-protectiveness, I guess? toward her is fascinating. It's really set the stage well for some kind of relationship in the future.

So, Merrick. I really like her character so far, and I love that she's queer - my headcanon Dominique is a lesbian, so I will be beyond psyched if something actually happens between them.

Great job - this continues to be a really engaging story! I'll keep an eye out for updates. :)

Author's Response: They really are! I just cranked out an entire chapter after reading this one :) You'll have to wait to see just how much of it James processed, but it will definitely be mentioned in future chapters. I didn't want to make them outrightly hostile to one another because I just didn't picture their history being like that and it's become a bit of a cliche in James/OC fics. You'll see more on James and the way he feels about Athena in the future but yes, semi-protectiveness is a great way to describe it. I'm so glad you liked Merrick! She's really fun to write and she plays a large role in helping Athena cope with everything. I didn't originally plan for her to be queer or her to have something with Dom, but it just came to me while I was writing the chapter and I thought it was a good idea so I just went with it. I'm really really glad that you liked it. You'll have to see if anything comes of it, however :) I'm so glad you liked it and once again thank you so so much for your reviews.

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Review #4, by BeeezieColors: Blue

11th November 2015:
Hey, I'm here for BvB! I read this earlier and actually nominated a quote for SOTM, so I'm excited to have an excuse to review it. :P

So I love this song - I've actually had it on endless repeat all day - so I was really psyched once I realized that the title was not just a similarity. It's an amazing song to live up to, but you did it justice.

This isn't a long one-shot, which makes the complexity you've managed to integrate into it even more impressive. The first section is so full of hope and passion and youth, but as the story continues, all of that starts to drain from the picture Rose is (metaphorically) painting until everything is left grey and lifeless.

What's wonderful is that there are so many things feeding into that lifelessness. You have such a realistic depiction of the unfortunate cycle substance abuse and mental illness can take in families, even in people who were harmed by those patterns in their own families. It's heartbreaking to see, and it's especially heartbreaking to see Rose fall into it - because that can happen, too. When you're committed to a relationship, problematic behaviors begin to be normalized so that you have a hard time identifying them and can even get drawn into them.

This was so sad, but so good. Amazing job.

Author's Response: Hi Branwen! Thanks so much for dropping by!

I didn't even realize that you nominated me!! Thank you so much for that!!

I too have had this song on repeat for ages and I just knew I had to write the story. Its so hauntingly beautiful. Halsey's voice is amazing.

It was quite a lot of fun actually writing Scorpius and Rose as destructive instead if how I usually write them. Rose certainly has normalized and adopted Scorpius's very terrible habits and he definitely normalized them from watching his own family growing up. Of course, I do think there was a whole host of things that caused both of them to go down this path that I didn't quite touch on here.

Thanks again for the review :)


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Review #5, by BeeezieHurricane Luna: They Love in a City

10th November 2015:
Hey, Beth! I'm here for BvB!

I remember loving Hurricane Luna, so I thought I'd stop by again and review another chapter. (... which I've totally already read and just hadn't reviewed yet. I'm sorry!)

I love your characterization of Rolf. He's so well done - the dichotomy between how reserved he is and how dreamy Luna is works so well, particularly in the context of how long it's taken him to really warm up to her. His discomfort with social interactions, busy streets, and surprises is something that I think is really easy to identify with - I do think that Luna is good for Rolf, but oh my god, I would have the same deer-in-the-headlights response to "let's go spend time with my friends and their kids!" It's nice to see him making the effort anyway, though - from what I've seen of Rolf, I honestly think that a little of Luna's ability to approach situations with a little more confidence would not go amiss.

That's especially true because it seems like once he does put himself out there, it turns out to not actually be that bad. It seemed like the idea of "kid" was a lot more intimidating to him than actually dealing with a child was. If he hadn't ended "I love" with "Paris," I bet he'd have found the reality a lot less scary than he clearly thinks it is.

I also absolutely adore your world-building and the way you've interpreted existing artwork to fit into the secret wizarding world framework. It's so wonderful, and it kind of makes me want to go to a museum and three and wander around doing the same thing.

Amazing job. ♥

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Review #6, by BeeeziePride and Scorpius: Goblin Friends and Friends of Goblins

10th November 2015:
Sooo I've been keeping a lookout for you on BvB, but I couldn't wait any longer. So I'm back. :P

Judging from the end of the last chapter, Iíd originally jumped to the same conclusion as Rose. I love the way you spun that on its head - itís got a lot of really fascinating implications for Dracoís mindset in the present, and it also gives Albusís familiarity with Dracoís name a broader context. Iíd wondered how Draco came up in conversation often enough to register with Albus, and if the scholarships are something heís involved in, that makes a lot of sense. Itís also a really elegant way of sidestepping a lot of the Malfoy prejudice thatís often present in next-gen fics, which I love.

I also felt like I started to get a much better idea of who Rose is as a character this chapter, which was nice - as I said in my last review, she was feeling a little less distinctive than the other main characters, and while I still wish weíd seen a bit more positive sides of her personality in the first two chapters, youíve done an excellent job here. I love that her mind jumps to defending him without any real deliberation even though she doesnít particularly like him, because she just doesnít like bullies. Iíd bet that she ends up in Gryffindor without much deliberation from the hat.

Iím continuing to love how you portray goblin culture here. It seems like youíll be continuing to explore it pretty extensively throughout the fic, which is so fascinating - I canít wait to see where you take it next. The way youíre portraying relationships between goblins based on their individual backgrounds rather than as a monolith is particularly well done; it makes sense, but itís a level of detail that I think a lot of people wouldnít have thought of and/or executed as well as you have. Amazing job. :)

A little CC -

Scorpius seemed a little stiff when he was acknowledging the boy in the beginning. They say that he sounds like Draco, and maybe thatís true, but regardless, it just came off as unnatural to me, even in the context of someone who masks his insecurity with being very polite and proper (which seems to be the case to me right now).

And, while I really like the idea of the Malfoy scholarships, the fact that they exist in the first place makes it feel even more unlikely to me that Albus has never even heard the name Malfoy. Even if he doesnít know about the scholarships in particular - and thereís no special reason why he would - if the Malfoys are that involved in philanthropy, Iíd think heíd at least have heard of them, even if he doesnít have the same context that Rose does.

Overall, though, this was an excellent chapter!

Author's Response: Hi there, I had to respond to this review out of order, because I have to say some things before you move onto the next chapter (and hopefully it's review *blinks winsomely*). And it's such a sweet thing this unexpected review out of turn. What's more, you also keep calling me on stuff, making me defend my decisions and hopefully justifying them.

On to the 'nice' part to the review then ;)

It was my evil intent to cause my readers that 180 degree about-face. In my defense, I also subjected my Heroine to the same dislocation. I wanted it to raise some interesting questions about what senior Malfoy was now like, especially in the light of how Scorpius is - isn't there some conflicting evidence there? All will be revealed in the fullness of time. As to there being no anti-Malfoy prejudice, we shall have to see about the scope of it's presence or absence too in the chapters to come.

You will have plenty of time to get to know Rose's character, she is my main player after all. In these first few chapters, events took the forward position and the exploration of her, beyond her reaction to those events, was necessarily put on the back burner.

What you said about her sorting, once again made my mind explode. You will see why when and if you get to the next chapter.

As to goblin culture, we will see it explored in chapters to come - it is not a major thread, but it is not insignificant one either. I hate it when an author paints another race as conforming to one pre-set stereotype, it basically means they're stupid and not having the same intrinsic worth as humans. JKR was a little guilty of this with her goblins and House-elves, but to be fair one was a slave race and the other were bankers. They were basically ruthless and very concerned with money and property. Have you seen human bankers, they are not terribly dissimilar. If an alien race were to judge the entirety of our species upon one such narrow profession, then we would not come off the better for it. There is such a large range of differences between groups of people who live in different areas of one country, let alone comparing them to a totally different country. I figure to give goblins the same respect and allow that differences in circumstance and location will result in differences in culture and behaviour.

Now onto the part of my response where you make me work for a living.

You would be completely and utterly correct, if Scorpius used his proper diction and manners to only mask his insecurity. You fail to take into account that there may be other reasons for him doing so than just that. I had the reasons for him speaking so posh worked out in a nebulous way and was gong to leave it at that, but other readers called me on it and the formless ideas had to gel and set. The upshot is that there are other reasons for him 'talking posh' (and others doing it too) and these will be delineated in chapters to come. Again, this is one of the fantastic things about fan-fiction, I've got some wonderful chapters coming up (not published as of responding to this) that were done as a direct result of having this sort of feedback from readers.

Remember Rose had not heard of the scholarships either and she had heard of the name of Malfoy. Let me just say that they are not that well known in the Wizarding world - what you have to ask yourself is who gets the scholarships and why? One thing your review has done for me is to make me realise that I have not worked out where I will tell Rose that in the story and hence my readers. So I thank you for that.

Thank you again for such a lovely and unsolicited response, as of this review the story has had 4317 reads and this chapter has had 432, thank you all

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Review #7, by BeeeziePretty in Potions: Firewhisky Blues

9th November 2015:
Huh. Yeah, Iím really enjoying the way youíre unraveling what it means to be a Slytherin in this next-gen universe. Itís a really interesting take on it, and her reaction to the mere idea of being bullied being ďavoid avoid avoidĒ fits really well with her quitting her job after she faces a somewhat similar situation there. I donít think that sheís a coward, but sheís clearly got different strengths than her brother, and Iím curious to see how those develop over the course of the story.

I also really enjoyed her interaction with James. She clearly doesnít particularly like him, but I didnít feel the really deep hatred that I often see in similar situations, which I liked - there was certainly dislike, but I can already see the potential there, which is wonderful.

Again, Iím sorry these were pretty short - I just wanted to stop in and mention something about them, because I really did have a fun time reading these to validate them. :P

Author's Response: I really wanted to make a point of addressing how I think Slytherin is treated post-war because while I think there are many wonderful aspects of the wizarding world and that there's been many improvements made, I don't see them being so quick to completely change their perception of Slytherins as a whole. As I've said, thank you so much for your kind words--I REALLY appreciate it!

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Review #8, by BeeeziePretty in Potions: The Black Sheep

9th November 2015:
Oof. I loved (loved, loved) the bit in the beginning where Athena was talking about breaking the vase and hiding from her mother because she was afraid of getting in trouble. I thought it was a strong chapter in general, but that part just stood out to me as being such a perfect depiction of how children think. I can remember having at least two occasions in my childhood where I reacted in a similar way - not hiding up a tree, of course, but the same frantic and completely unrealistic plans based in a massive overreaction. It was perfect.

And thatís not even getting into the rest of the chapter, which is, as I said, strong all on its own. Your depiction of Lucius and Narcissa is really fascinating, and Iím not quite sure what to think of them yet. I am starting to get a good sense of why she was put in Slytherin. It seems like thereís a lot of nuance in how you see the houses, so Iím really looking forward to seeing where you take this in the future, particularly if she ends up being the head of Slytherin (which I believe Slughorn was, in DH - Iím not sure whether he stayed on?). My heart went out to her when she remembered the little boy dying - I can understand why sheíd quit and decide she couldnít take it, even though it doesnít seem to have been her fault.

Great job!

Author's Response: When I first started writing this chapter it was SUCH a struggle but once I came up with the idea about vase story it just flowed out of me. Thank you so much for your kind words :)

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Review #9, by BeeeziePretty in Potions: I'll Take You Back to the Start

9th November 2015:
So I don't have time to leave really thorough reviews, but I just read all three chapters of this in the queue and wanted to stop by with some reviews, because I really enjoyed them. :)

This was really well done. I loved the way you introduced Athena - I felt like I got a great sense of her relationship with Scorpius. I particularly enjoyed his threat to use Veritaserum on her if she didnít tell him what was going on - thatís a very sibling-y thing to do in a lot of ways, and if I hadnít already known they were siblings, that would have definitely clarified it for me. I also thought that the way you dealt with her quitting her job was excellent - I was left wondering what happened, and while Iíve gathered more of the picture from the other two chapters, Iím still a little fuzzy about the details. For me, thatís a really good thing, because it keeps the focus on Athena and her current struggles and direction, rather than on the past.

Great job!

Author's Response: I mean this in a good way but you've totally just made me cry with your reviews. You're so sweet and I'm so glad to hear that you like them. It's definitely giving me motivation to write more and I can't even express to you how much you've made my week with your kind words :)

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Review #10, by BeeezieHermione Granger: Ron Needed Her.

9th November 2015:
I just realized that I still owe you for our swap awhile ago, so Iím back for chapter two! ♥

I loved the impotence Hermione expresses at the beginning of the chapter when sheís talking about facing Bellatrix. I can totally see why sheíd feel that once they were on a level playing field, sheíd be a match for Bellatrix - it makes sense on both a personal and post-traumatic level. However, experiencing a situation in which her absolute best still wasnít good enough and in the end, she needed to be rescued again also helps explain why sheís still clearly so caught up in that moment, even a year after the fact. (And, of course, it wasnít even really Hermione being rescued - it was Ginny who was the impetus for Molly stepping in.)

And the way you describe the situation after the battleÖ oh, god. It felt so heartbreakingly realistic - the coughs and the smell that just wouldnít leave her hair made me shudder, because they felt so real.

They also broke my heart, both for everyone that died and for Hermione herself - whoís still in that situation of feeling like she has to be strong for everyone else. I get it. I really do. But itís clear that being there for everyone else is causing her to spread herself too thin and not deal with her own trauma, which was considerable.

Poor Hermione. This is completely in character for her, though, and youíve done an amazing job with her so far.

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Review #11, by BeeezieHermione Granger: Prologue: Harry Needed Her

9th November 2015:
Hey, Beth! Iím here for BvB!

I loved this. I think that the pretty quick progression of events after Harry, Hermione, and Ron escaped from the Malfoy Manor often ends up meaning that Hermioneís experience in the Malfoy Manor gets overshadowed. I know that I personally donít always see it as being particularly significant in terms of lasting repercussions, maybe in part because I got a little jaded to the Cruciatus Curse over the course of the series because we see it used pretty frequently.

But now youíve reminded me that experiencing it caused Nevilleís parentsí to be permanently incapacitated and no longer able to care for themselves, and while Hermione presumably wasnít subjected to it for the length of time that they were, she did get a lot more of it in one go than Harry ever did, even without Bellatrix putting her own nasty little twist on the spell - which is a wonderful touch on your part, and one that I find completely believable. And, on top of all of that, Hermione was in a highly charged situation immediately following that experience that on some level helped her avoid fully processing what had happened - which, of course, can be both a good thing and a bad thing.

The fragility you describe in the beginning of the chapter was completely convincing to me, and the way Ron reacted to it came off to me as being completely believable and genuine. The war has clearly taken a toll on her, and I suspect itís not all Bellatrix - the year they spent on the run was stressful from start to finish for her and Harry in particular, because they had to hold it together when Ron either wasnít there to contribute or just wasnít helping the already-bad situation. (Actually, I wonder if some of Ronís protectiveness that youíre showing here stems from guilt? Hmm.)

Youíre wonderful. Amazing, amazing job. :)

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Review #12, by BeeeziePride and Scorpius: Dawnsfirstbloom

8th November 2015:
Hey, Andrew! I'm back for BvB! (Maybe this time I'll be lucky enough to snag a review from you. :P)

So funny story - the first time I saw the name "Dawnsfirstbloom," it was completely out of context, and I remember things "oh dear, some My Immortal-esque writer is mucking around HPFF writing a terrible story." I realized what the context was shortly after that. Suddenly it all made a lot more sense, and I was super intrigued by the premise.

Your execution doesn't fall short. You did a wonderful job working the explanation for the goblins' presence in - it fit well within the flow of the chapter, and you also described it in a way that made sense. It does make me feel a little bad for those one or two goblins a year who can go to Hogwarts, too - it must be so lonely in a lot of ways, even if they do make friends. Judging from Albus's initial interactions with them as well as some of the things they mention in that conversation, they come from such a different culture.

Even as they adapt, I imagine that it will be tough going in a lot of ways, and I'm really curious to see how you execute that long-term, especially since Albus in particular (but also Scorpius to some extent - I read ahead :P) seems to be of such a different status than them, which also makes sense once I stop to think about it. While there is a "we're all equal" status at Hogwarts that Albus was trying to emphasize, it might be hard for them to put that hierarchy aside completely if that's been a huge part of their cultural paradigm. Dawnsfirstbloom's excitement about buying them all sweets was adorable, but it also did emphasize some of the huge differences in culture.

And, while I know that it's getting far ahead of myself, it also makes me wonder what will happen when they return home for breaks and have to readjust the way they talk about their close friends. That may be slightly over involved for this fic - I'm just so curious to see how you navigate this!

I loved the chapter. All of that said, though, there were a few things here and there that I think you could have improved. While I loved Dawnsfirstbloom and how she fit into the chapter overall, I did question Rose having quite so strong an impression of her personality, particularly the idea that if she wasn't out of her depth, she'd be "strutting the stage with confidence." It just seems like a bit of a leap for someone to know that by looking at her for a few seconds, and I wish you'd toned it does a little bit.

I also had the vague feeling after reading this chapter - and I know it's still early, so take this with a huge grain of salt - that Rose was significantly more flawed and less likable than Albus and Scorpius. She didn't have as big a part in this chapter, so in some ways it makes sense, but after two chapters, I'd have liked to feel a little more of a connection with all four of the main characters, and at this point, I feel like Dawnsfirstbloom is more engaging despite only popping up this chapter. Whether or not that remains the case for Rose later on in the story, I do wish that after 8000+ words, there'd been a little more to her.

Otherwise, though, excellent job! :)

Author's Response: Thanks for the great review. I'm getting a lot of positive reviews and that's really great, don't get me wrong, but I love reviews like yours that call me on stuff. This to me is one of the beauties of the fan-fictions, this ability to have such immediate feedback before the work is even close to being finished.

What I have been doing with the female goblin names is to keep up a trope of Sci-Fi that if the males are all/mostly named a certain way, then so too will be the females, but in a different, but consistent way. All male goblins have a two word name (some older ones have two syllable ones, which is close to the trend) so I gave all the female ones three syllable names.

There are huge differences in culture and what is more, goblin society is not all one homogeneous culture either - just like humans are not. There will be explorations, through the agency of Dawnsfirstbloom, exploring her adaptation to the human world, of goblin culture and her place therein. It will not be a dominant feature of the story, but there will be a lot more revealed as time goes on - especially when they return home for Christmas and again at the end of term. So when you said that in your review, my head nearly exploded.

As to the 'everyone at Hogwarts equal is,' that's not official doctrine, that's just Albus' big, inclusive heart.

And then in the review the stuff I love.

It is a bit of a leap. In the first few drafts of the story, it was even more so until my wonderful beta of the time pointed it out. It does concern me, but I have left it in for a few reasons. One is that a lot happens on this train journey (a lot) and I didn't want to stretch it out too much more that a longer build up would have entailed. Also, Rose is generally fairly obtuse when it comes to discerning the feelings of others. She thinks she's better than she is because within her limited acquaintances (mostly family) she knows them inside and out. I wanted Rose just to 'get' Dawn from the very beginning, that here is one person with whom she be friends unconditionally. Also, Dawn is really an open book; from the start of any acquaintance with her, anyone will know her because what you see with her is what you get.

So her falling into such deep friendship with Dawn right from the start was a bit abrupt, but I'm happy enough with it. It echoes the similar things in Harry in his first train journey, he makes his best friend and worst enemy fairly quickly over the course of that journey too.

Ah Rose, what am I to do with her. As I've stated before, I am basing the overall plot of this story upon P&P and as such it has a Lizzy and Darcy who are, naturally enough, reflected in this work by Rose and Scorpius. Unfortunately for Rose, she is going to have most of the faults of Lizzy and Darcy - the pride and the prejudice. She will be disavowed of each in time, but it will take time and that is what I have in starting this tale from first year - time to let these things show and resolve before the romance can happen (when it is the right time to do so when they are older).

One of the problems that then presents itself, is my readers falling out of like with Rose. She will come across as seemingly bratty and too prejudiced, but all of it (I hope to show) is aimed at Scorpius and not just because he is a Malfoy. It's because Rose has never met anyone like him in her life before ever: he's prissy and neat and well behaved and timid. None of the boys in Rose's life are like it, none and she has a few cousins and the like to select from. And add to that whole list something else, something about him that just gets under her skin and she is too immature and naive to know that it's attraction.

I normally answer these reviews in order, but I just had to respond to some things you said in this. As of this review 4305 reads on my story in total and this chapter has had 610, thank you all.

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Review #13, by BeeeziePride and Scorpius: Well met on the Hogwarts Express

8th November 2015:
Hey! I'm here for BvB!

I'm so glad I finally caught you - I've been meaning to review this for a very long time, and now I finally have an excuse!

I loved this chapter so much. Your writing style is so engaging, and your take on the characters is wonderful. I love the way Albus and Rose interact with each other and with Scorpius - Rose doesn't come across to me as being unfriendly in general, but she's definitely internalized a lot of her father's prejudice, and it makes sense - I don't think Ron would have moved on from his animosity with Draco in quite the same way Harry (and, IMO, Hermione) did, because he does tend to hold a grudge - and, of course, the grudge is a little more personal for him in any case, because he grew up in a situation where it makes sense that he'd be comparing his family to the Malfoys and feeling resentful about their significant difference in situation. (I love the way Rose internalized that, too - the gold plates made me laugh!)

I'm also really intrigued by what you've given us of Harry's character. I can definitely see him just calling Draco Malfoy "Draco," and I can Albus would have failed to connect the two (though it does strain my credulity a little that Albus would have never heard of the name Malfoy, even if just in passing, particularly since Scorpius seems to be a little bit of a loner - maybe it's by choice, but it seems like part of it is likely because of his family's reputation). Albus seems to me to be a lot like Harry on his first train ride - really friendly and interested in making friends, and it's nice to see it swing around full circle to his befriending a Malfoy.

I also love the touch of the goblins on the Hogwarts Express - the idea of goblins attending Hogwarts fits so nicely with some of the underlying themes of the series, particularly surrounding magical non-humans and the prejudice they face. It also makes sense to me that goblins would be some of the first to break that barrier - while there's obviously tension between goblins and witches/wizards, they do have a history of working closely together in at least some situations (unlike centaurs or merpeople, for example) and they seem to view each other as being on semi-equal footing (unlike house elves). It's so well-done, and there's so much potential with their inclusion.

This is a great chapter - really amazing job!

Author's Response: I'm in the mood to clear out my unanswered reviews so here I am back to the start of yours. I have responded to your reviews out of order because after this one you started calling me on stuff and I had to respond. By comparison this review is all sweetness and light. ;)

First off, thank you. I am always concerned because my writing style is a tad archaic for these times. That I am writing something that is based in no small part upon Pride and Prejudice, allows me a bit more freedom and the ability to get away with more in that vein.

As you pointed out in the following reviews, it takes a while for Rose's true personality to be established, so it's not so much that she has internalised her father's prejudice, but that it is Scorpius himself who has 'upset' her. Not angered so much, just upset her equilibrium and gotten under her skin.

Though I think that your take on Ron is quite on the money for me. I think he has forgiven Draco though - there were signs of that in the JKR books themselves - but forgotten, well that's another matter. A significant amount of time has passed and age does temper one's judgement and memory. Ron was always one to chafe under his family's near poverty, that I think he would remember that Malfoy was always so rich and arrogant with it. So that would have stuck with him more and I believe come out in subtle digs at the memory of Draco whenever he could.

As to Rose and the golden plates, I've found in myself and others, that as children we make assumptions and causal links of how things work in the world that are just plain incorrect. These often persist for years and our later childhood and early teens a full of moments when our assumption bubbles are burst when we are informed by stark contrast with the harsh reality.

I really wanted to make the attempt to have Albus be unaware of the Malfoy name, yes it is a bit of a stretch but it does show a few things that are worth the effort. Firstly what it says about the father is worth the attempt alone. To me it shows that he has truly forgiven Draco and that's the take upon Harry I wanted to show. Secondly it also shows something of Draco too, if Albus has never heard the name, it's not just his father that mustn't have been saying it. If you follow the logic train, then Draco must also have been keeping his name out of the public eye too.

Albus is probably the heart of this story. We are of course interested in the developing relationship between the two leads, but the story wouldn't have as much depth without the presence of Albus in it. Thank you for noticing, I was really trying to capture the spirit of that first train ride of Harry's with what I was writing. Having it swing around to him befriending a Malfoy, as you mention, was for me the icing on the cake.

I've said before that what I'm writing is basically a standard hate-turns-to-love Rose/Scorpius tale, the only thing that will set it apart is the world building that I am attempting to do. The presence of Goblins is one such thing and follows on from my other Post-Hogwarts story and the actions of Harry to rectify some of the inequities he sees in the wizarding world. Thank you for that, I'm glad you can see the potential. We will be discovering more about their world as the series progresses, especially when the kids take their breaks from school.

Thanks for the lovely review, I already know that it is the first of many such. As of this review there have been 4454 reads on my story in total and this chapter has had 850, thank you all.

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Review #14, by BeeezieTrying not to love you: Chapter twenty-six - An Apology

1st November 2015:
So I don't have a lot of time to review, but I just read this for the queue and I had to come say something, because I loved the chapter. ♥

It's been awhile since I read TNTLY, but I fell back into it really easily, and I loved the way you moved everything forward here. The relationship with Joshua had definitely started to become concerning for me, because I felt like while Gwen thought it was good for her and while Joshua is clearly a really great guy, she was feeling so guilty and conflicted that being in the relationship was starting to be a constant source of self-loathing and guilt, which is never a good thing.

I don't feel like I got much new out of her relationship with James this chapter, other than a little more sexual tension and jealousy (because James, don't give me "You just looked so peaceful" - you were doing a little sabotage, and I think you probably even know it on some level), but that was good IMO - all of the revelations that came out of her conversation with Joshua were more than enough, and the familiar stability and closeness she got from James were a nice counter to all of the stresses in her life, particularly after a long hiatus.

So yeah. Great job, write more, ♥ ♥ , etc. :P

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Review #15, by BeeezieTick Tock: time is running out

20th September 2015:
Hey, Olivia! I'm here for BvB! ♥

I really love what you did here. You've loaded so much emotion and backstory into a short one-shot, and it feels chillingly real. My heart went out to Romilda from the beginning - it's a really poignant reminder that there wasn't really a simple happily-ever-after once Voldemort is defeated. Romilda was left in an impossible position in so many ways, and it's not surprising that she's struggling to deal with the result.

I also found her place of employment absolutely fascinating. Borgin and Burkes was presented to us as a kind of sleazy shop with a little too close a focus on the dark arts, so the idea that they've hired a Muggleborn seemed odd to me. The way that Romilda describes feeling unsafe there, though, particularly because of the way Burke looks at her, brought some of that into a different focus, and when she's sent to go deal with things that former Death Eaters wanted to get rid of, I also wondered when part of it was just that Burke wouldn't care if the Muggleborn was injured/maimed/killed dealing with dangerous artifacts.

I wonder why that man was following her, and if he was there on someone else's orders. It does seem to me, though, that working at Borgin and Burkes is probably a job in which it's hard to lie low in quite the same way she might elsewhere. The clientele is disproportionately weighted toward people who would like to do her harm, particularly since she has access to some of their secrets, and "the girl who works at Borgin and Burkes" is a pretty easy target. Poor Romilda.

Olivia, that was so good. I loved it.

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Review #16, by BeeezieOblivious to the Obvious: Hatred Behind The Scenes

9th September 2015:
Hey, Mikaela, I'm here for BvB! :) I hope it's okay that I've come back to this rather than review your most recent one-shot - I didn't see you specify in the thread, and I was really interested to read the second chapter.

I'm continuing to really enjoy this! Hailey's voice is so strong, and while I know that Wood can be a little overbearing and difficult from Harry's perspective, I can see how he'd come off more so to someone else, particularly someone who's more of a peer and who's intentionally pushing his buttons and who's clearly got a very high opinion of herself. (The "most important player" bit at the end was definitely a little overboard.)

And the thing is, while I don't like the way he's intimidating her at all, I do think that he has a point when they're - ah - talking, I guess, in the beginning of the chapter. She's prickling at it, but honestly, yeah - it doesn't matter how good she is at flying if she's a pain to work with and undermines him at every turn, particularly at tryouts. She's clearly resentful of that, but I have a hard time blaming him for it. It's not a good example to set, and I'd be bothered, too.

It was nice to see that after that, the tryouts did go smoothly. He was a little weirdly formal at times and Hailey and Angelina seemed to me to be pretty clearly reciting from a script that he'd given them, but that made sense to me in the context of Wood's personality as we saw it in the books. I did find the way he picked a fight with her afterward to be really interesting, though - it seems like she's not the only one who's argumentative, and I'm starting to see why she's so defensive and responds to him like she does. There absolutely is a sense of "you can't do anything right" that I'm getting from him, and it's really not productive.

Yeah, the dynamics in this are really fascinating. I love the way you've crafted your characters and their relationships with each other.

As I mentioned last review, there are some little things that stuck out to me, though. I know you said that you haven't really had a chance to go back and edit and I know from your recent stuff that you have a good idea of what flows well, so I don't want to spend too much time on this, but -

Again, your dialogue tags definitely impacted the flow of the chapter, and I think that when you do get a chance to edit, you should take at least half and maybe even two-thirds of them out. I also noticed a fair number of typos (including one at the end of the chapter where you seem to switch to second person), and there's too much "as" and "after" and "before" attached to actions. (E.g., George asks me, his look concerned as I shift my stance and take slow steady breathe. - I'm assuming this should be breath, as well.) It's just not necessary.

And moving beyond the basic mechanics, I did feel like there were times when the dialogue stretched out a bit. For example, in the scene with Fred and George toward the beginning of the chapter, the conversation got a little tedious by the time they headed up to the castle. It would have worked much better, IMO, if you'd cut some of it out in favor of something along the lines of Fred and I bickered back and forth for a few more minutes before George finally dragged us off to dinner.

Overall, though, this was thoroughly enjoyable. I loved it.

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Review #17, by BeeezieFinding Him: manor.

17th August 2015:
Hey, Sama! I'm here for our swap & BvB! ♥

I'm super curious about Nutshell, which looks fascinating, but I figured that since I'd already read the first chapter of Finding Him, I should continue on with that. If you'd like to do a multi-chapter swap, though, I'd totally be up for it! :)

So, first off, and totally unrelated to your writing: did you make that CI? Because it's absolutely adorable. I love it. (Sorry - I figure you understand, though. :P)

I love Rose's reticence to sit with Albus's friends - the discomfort she feels around other Slytherins but not around him is a nice touch, and it's very realistic to me... despite the fact that your Albus really does come across as very strongly a Slytherin! The way he immediately asks for her help when she sits down really made me laugh - there's acerbic wit, opportunism, and affection all rolled into one. Perfect job.

I also love, though, that her pride is such that when Scorpius actually challenges her, she rises to the occasion - and finds that his friends really aren't so terrible after all. I'm wondering whether she just has selective memory or whether she doesn't actually spend much time with Albus in groups. I guess either is possible.

Really, though, I enjoy Rose's characterization in general! I appreciated her repeated dodging her family's pressure to get her flat connected to the floo network, and to be honest, I don't blame her. I certainly wouldn't want that direct connection - it strikes me as giving other people way too much power to waltz into my living space uninvited, and I like privacy. I also enjoyed the juxtaposition between her thoughts about Slytherins in school and her actually seeking out Astoria Malfoy for help - it really speaks to how much she's changed and how close to Scorpius she was. My heart goes out to her, and I'm curious to see what happens next!

There are a couple little things I do want to point out, though.

When Rose first heads over to sit with Albus, she thinks about Scorpius as a blonde [she's] already been warned about in first year - that seemed a little off to me. While I can see her having that reaction in her first or even second year, it strains my credulity that she'd remember it at all or that she'd have so little exposure to him that something her father said more than six years ago would come to mind. It's minor, but I thought I'd mention it. Along the same lines, it seemed a little odd to me that there were students in Rose's year (presumably - I'm assuming the girl sitting with Amy and Sophie is a seventh year as well) who she doesn't even know the names of. I can understand not speaking to them, but they've shared classes for years - you'd think she'd have learned their names.

I also noticed a couple little typos - when Rose is talking to Astoria, you wrote I'm scared she dpesn't as opposed to doesn't, and in the next line, you write any clue to wear he is when I think you meant to write where.

Those are minor, though, and otherwise, I think you did a wonderful job here. Jumping between time periods generally worked out well, despite there being several different jumps, which is really impressive! I do wish that I had a better sense of when seventh year was in comparison to the present, though - it did confuse me at points.

I loved this, though, and I'm so curious to see what happens next!

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Review #18, by BeeezieKeep Calm and Carry On: A Guide to Keeping Calm and Coffee Stains

17th August 2015:
Hey, J! Here for our swap & BvB!

I loved this story from the first three lines. I've totally had days like this, and I'm pretty sure I've even had days like this in July. July is a horrible month.

And by days like this, I mean rain/spilling your drink (though for me it's usually tea or seltzer) specifically, not just abstract bad days. And just dropping things in general. Especially hot things. On the day they handed out grace, I called in sick.

It was just such a wonderful way to introduce both Lorcan as a character and the story as a whole. I really don't think you could have made the opening scene any better - you included just enough detail to make me feel invested and ended the scene with a huge punch that would have been evil if it had happened at the end of the chapter.

I like MFS, a lot - but I feel like with this story, you're really starting to hit your stride in a way you haven't yet with that. The narrative is just a little crisper and more polished - maybe part of that is just a much more manageable cast of characters, but there are also more lines that I just adored. I loved the My parents had been supportively confused... bit - I could see that being Luna's response, too! The jazz hands accompanying Harry's potentially lying to Lily also had me giggle.

I'm so interested to see how you develop this, because I can see this cast of characters turning out to be a lot of fun. You've crafted some really entertaining OCs, and I'm so curious to see how Branson does - I can see you talking this in so many different directions, including both her flaming out very early and her winning it!

Out of curiosity, is this Lily the same Lily as the one in MFS? I just ask because some authors (myself included, haha) do try to keep everything within the same universe, while others don't.

Anyway. I'm really loving this, and I can't wait to read on! ♥ (Also: favorited. :P)

Author's Response: Ahh thanks for this review Branwen! Your reviews are always wonderful.

July is a terrible month! I actually started with this day happening in September, but then I moved it around because of Plot and the first line was born. A lot of Lorcan's clumsiness is borne of my own misadventures, so I'm glad you also related haha! I literally always spill whatever I'm drinking. It's like a terrible, terrible talent, and also something I should have grown out of at like...age 8.

Haha I considered stretching out the announcement to happen at the end of the chapter! But I couldn't do a cliffhanger like that...could I? But I'm so glad you liked the opening of the story! I think it's really representative of so much about Lorcan/his voice so it's nice to see you responding so well to it. :)

So your comments about this vs. MFS made me think really hard about it, and I really agree. MFS was my first fic in ~3 years, so it's natural that there's some rust I'm still getting over! Something I think differentiates them a lot is the voice the story is written in-- not just in that it's first person here and third person there, but this story is so much about Lorcan and his character that I think it really shines through. MFS is very much about the characters and their development to me, and that's always been my focus, but for KCACO I want the writing and character and plot to all be more intertwined, if that makes sense. Whoops, I'm rambling! But. Yeah. I agree with you. This story speaks to me as a whole, while in MFS, I just really love the characters.

I'm glad you liked Luna's reaction to Lorcan's letter! I'm always terrified of writing canon characters so I avoid it as much as possible, to be honest. I really enjoyed the jazz hands bit as well! Also, fun fact: Google docs is convinced jazz hands is one word for some reason.

I hope you like where the story goes! I think I have the big picture working itself out in my head, so hopefully that won't disappoint. :)

I live in awe of your fic universe, but alas, KCACO is separate from MFS. It could've been the same universe, but there are just some parts of this fic that differ from MFS enough that I don't really think they overlap. (Which is partially because I'm writing a Scorose story that overlaps with MFS in ways that wouldn't translate to KCACO, but that's a story for a different day.)

Ahhh thank you so much for the favorite!! I kinda freaked when I saw that to be honest!! I hope you like the rest of the story! Sorry for the extremely ramble-y response-- I should probably go to bed or something!


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Review #19, by BeeezieSweetheart Tom: The Gold Children

16th August 2015:
Hey, Laura! Here for our swap & BvB!

Oh, dear. I'm not quite sure what's the full story behind what's happening to Sirius, but I really love the way you're introducing characters (in continually creepy situations) in scenes at the beginning and end of each chapter. It's a really nice way to gradually introduce a pretty diverse cast of characters, and thus far, the scenes have tended to be exceedingly creepy. Fleur is already coming off as suspicious, so she's clearly not a stranger to the world, but these scenes do come off as a bit darker than anything she's encountered so far, and I really like that as well.

And speaking of Fleur - oh, I love her reaction to Blaise. He's definitely acting pretty erratically, especially from her perspective, and the story he gave them about not being able to brush his mother's hair was downright creepy. Given that she's been tossed in prison because... something? anyway, I would't be particularly inclined to give people the benefit of the doubt, so her suspicion makes complete sense to me. It's also a really interesting display of intuition - part of her reticence to trust him is that he's acting weird, but part of it seems to be Fleur genuinely picking up on little things that indicate that he's a danger.

Because I think it's safe to say that he does not want to give Fleur puppies and rainbows.

I do love Bill and Fleur, too. The relationship isn't overdone - there's no swooning "I am so in love with you after a day in your company," but there clearly is some attachment there - I loved this line: People - well, she avoided looking at Bill, most people - were not that nice.

This is an amazing story. I love the melding of creepy fairy tales and Harry Potter, because while this is AU, it's the sort of AU I absolutely adore - you're doing an amazing job so far of integrating so many characters in such divergent roles, and I'm so curious to see who will show up next!

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Review #20, by Beeezie(Parenthetical) Asides: Unattainable

14th August 2015:
Here for our swap and BvB!

Omg, Mallory. I hesitated to read this because I absolutely adore Jily, and I didn't really want to see it sunk. But it caught my eye regardless, so after a fair amount of avoidance, I decided to jump in. And... well, omg. You win at life.

Because while this is AU in more ways than just the Muggle world bit, it definitely gets at a darker side of James's feelings for Lily - one that Harry, to his credit, saw and was disturbed by. I personally feel like you can't ever really be in love with someone unless they love you back, because if they don't, you can't really know them. That's always been my issue with Snape's enduring feelings for Lily, and it really could have so easily been James as well. Early on, it probably was James, albeit in a much less creepy way than this.

And you captured how awful and gross and frankly scary it is when someone idolizes you in that way. I had someone do that to me - thankfully it was from a distance after I broke up with him, but there were a lot of scary emails and phone calls and e-stalking for years. I still have anxiety attacks when I see someone who looks like him or get a call from someone in his area code. And how Lily felt? Yes. That's how I felt, including how much a new relationship could heal you. Consequently, this ended up being so incredibly personal for me, and I felt like you did a wonderful job with it.

A wonderful, creepy job.

And +eleven gazillion to making Lily a lesbian. I love Jily, but that was such a wonderful ending to this story. ♥

I really loved this. Favoriting!

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Review #21, by BeeezieThe Fourth Daughter: The Fan Dance

9th August 2015:
I wasn't quite right last review, I don't think - Bea is pretty defiant, though not to such an extent that she seems willing to defy Addie head on. Or maybe she's just arguing for everyone else - it's an interesting dynamic. There's a lot of anger in her about how they're being treated, and the other sisters seem thus far to be reacting far more mildly to it than she is. I'm curious to see where you take that.

And, of course, the comment about how their father won't even look at Desiya speaks volumes on its own. I'm not entirely sure that writing to her father about this was the best idea - I understand why she did it, particularly since the other option she saw was talk to him about it face-to-face, but I worry that this could get Bea and Dezzy in particular - and possibly even all the sisters - in a mess.

I'm wondering now about Addie, too - she seems to have misgivings that she's ignoring, because while she keeps saying that she doesn't think that this is a good idea, she also keeps saying "one more time." Maybe it's just that their father is away or her sisters pressuring her... but I find it very interesting. Many of the sisters seem more invested in this than in their real lives - which on one hand I totally understand, but on the other doesn't seem like a path to a happy life.

This is really fascinating!

That said: there were times that that your writing felt a little stilted to me. Your description outside of dialogue was great, but I felt like it was often a little superficial surrounding dialogue. You included things like Bea asked, raising her eyebrows or Clara said softly, getting her sister's attention - but raising her eyebrows and getting her sister's attention didn't really add to my mental image of the scene or my ability to see where the sisters were coming from. I would have liked to see a little more substantive description around dialogue that went beyond "she said, [doing something]." For example, when you say, Clara said, walking over to her sister and sitting down next to her, I would have loved to see more about how she was trying to comfort Julianna. Was she rubbing her back? Giving her a hug? Talking softly so the others didn't hear? Something more, you know?

Overall, though, I loved this!

Author's Response: Hello again!
Bea is definitely the rebel of the sisters- or as much as a rebel as any of them could be considering the circumstances. She's not afraid to say how she feels, although she is smart enough to hold her tongue when it could really get her into trouble.
Bea's comment really stays with Dezzy, and she writes to her father for two reasons: the first is because she doesn't want to ask him face-to-face, and the second is because she doesn't want to wait for him to get home before she can ask. She just wants some kind of answers from him, and is hoping that he'll reassure her that Bea was wrong.
I think Addie is trying to balance being a parent and being an older sister. It's almost always up to her to be the "bad guy" and put her foot down when her sisters do or say something that might be less than proper. So I think that while the parent side of her knows that they should stop going to the pavilion, the sister side of her wants to see her siblings have fun and do something that they all love.
Thank you for the suggestions on the descriptions around the dialogue. I think I add more as the story goes on, because I've been working on this story for a few years and my writing has improved a lot since I started it, but I'll definitely look at the older chapters and see where there could be more description.
Thank you so much for the great review! I'm so glad you're enjoying this story so far!
Cassie :)

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Review #22, by BeeezieThe Fourth Daughter: The Second Night

9th August 2015:
Hey, here for our swap! Sorry I'm so late with them - some family stuff has come up unexpectedly that took up a lot of my time and energy over the last couple days.

I loved this chapter. The dynamic between the sisters is fascinating - I love the way that, in the absence of their father (literally and spiritually), they automatically defer to the eldest of the sisters. It speaks volumes about who they are - they're not recalcitrant, they just lack the authority figure they should have, so they're turning to the next best thing. I know that Bea was arguing with Adella, but the fact that she was arguing in the first place speaks volumes - they clearly weren't comfortable just going without her, and I don't think it was just out of fear that she'd tell their father - because it never even entered the discussion.

In some ways, that actually makes me more worried for them, though - I'm not sure how closely you're planning to follow the story, but there's something about Salazar that makes my spider sense tingle a little. The fact that the sisters - Dezzy included, and she's currently the one being singled out by him - are so hungry for someone to give them permission to do things and tell them what to do leaves them wide open to being manipulated.

Just musing, of course!

I'm also finding that I don't have trouble keeping the sisters straight, which I'd initially been afraid of, because there are just so many of them. However, the naming convention you used definitely help keep them in context, and it means that I don't really need to remember all the details about which description goes with which girl.

I'm really excited to read on!

Author's Response: Hello! Oh my gosh, don't even worry about this being a little alter than expected. It's totally fine!
I'm so glad that you like how all the sisters interact. Writing twelve sisters, who are often all together, can get to be a lot (which is why I mainly focus on the older ones). Because the girls haven't had much parental guidance since their mother died, the older ones took on that responsibility.
Bea arguing with Addie definitely captures that, so I'm glad you picked up on it. Even though Bea can be a bit rebellious, and often is the most argumentative of the sisters, she doesn't do things behind Addie's back. I think she knows that since the younger ones look up to them, they have to make decisions together.
Dezzy is definitely being singled out by Salazar, and their relationship will continue to develop, so I'm really interested to hear what you think of the direction I take them in!
Thank you so much for the great review!
Cassie :)

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Review #23, by BeeezieMistaken for Strangers: The Wotters Receive Some Owls

7th August 2015:
Hey, J! I'm here for BvB!

Huh. This is a really interesting look at James - I liked seeing him not be the center of attention for once (until the exam results came, anyway), because it really gave me a sense of how exhausting his family could be. Part of it was how much chatter there was, but a bigger part was actually just how checked out he was as he was eating breakfast. He made some comments, but by and large, it seemed like the conversation flowed around him. His reaction to Lucy grabbing his results also spoke volumes to me - I'd have been seriously annoyed if someone did that to me, but his nonchalance gave me the sense that privacy isn't really a thing that his family respects. That's hard to deal with, and it makes both his attraction to Anna and his reticence to openly spend too much time with her make much more sense. Usually, I feel like it's just a code for "I'm ashamed of you," but not here.

I also loved the juxtaposition between the opening and closing sections and the breakfast scene. They worked together to give a good sense of where James is coming from, and a broader sense of who he's perceived to be (which we've seen less) rather than who he actually is, which we've obviously seen a fair amount of. I think you're also really starting to emphasize how little his family knows him in some ways (case in point: his O.W.L. results), which continues to give important context to his feelings about Anna, particularly the fact that she still doesn't appear to even know his name (though I'm wondering if she has figured it out at this point but is carrying on with calling him Jeremy because she has no idea how to backpeddle).

Along those lines, I think that you're avoiding the cliches that can easily go along with being clueless and attractive nicely thus far. Even when you were emphasizing that people did generally find him attractive, it didn't feel melodramatic to me - it was just a thing about James that didn't much matter to him. That is a thing that can happen, and it hasn't seemed overdone in the past and continues not to feel like that now. Well done.

As always, though, I have a few suggestions. :P

Super nitpicky, but I wasn't sure I loved all of the allusions to Fred/George and James/Sirius in the opening section. Some of them worked - the comment about his grandfather's legacy really spoke volumes, and I loved it. However, some of them didn't - it felt like you were saying, "So they're really, really special butterflies" (sentence starting Nana Molly said and to a lesser extent The Twin Troublemakers... Master Pranksters). You're describing the destruction well, both here and throughout the story - you don't need to invoke other troublemakers to make your point. In many ways, doing so actually feels unrealistic - most parents don't draw things back to "You're totally just like me from when I was a kid," even if it's true - let alone the more macabre "You're just like tragically deceased family members who died at 21."

I have similar problems throughout the rest of the chapter. Like I said, I love the way you're showing such a tight-knit family, but sometimes, I feel like you go a little overboard and introduce extraneous detail. The breakfast scene, for example, was a little belabored - I think that summarizing some of the dialogue would have made it flow much better. I totally understand wanting to show everyone's personality because you like the headcanon you've built up, but that's just not a realistic endeavor - it ends up meaning that way too much time is spent on dialogue that isn't really relevant to the plot, and other more important things get lost in the shuffle. I'd suggest deciding on half a dozen (including James) next-gens you really want to focus on, and then relegating the rest of them to occasional mentions (rather than relationships/feelings about their houses/poking fun at everyone else/etc). That doesn't mean ignore them, but I think that if you really want to get into who everyone is, you should try writing some companion pieces rather than squeeze it all into this one.

Overall, though, I enjoyed this chapter and I'm really curious to see where the story goes!

Author's Response: Thanks so much for your review, Branwen! I always love hearing your thoughts. And I had typed out a nice long response and then I accidentally deleted it! :( But I will do it again now!

I'm glad you liked seeing the focus off of James this chapter! I really wanted to take a step back and look at it more objectively/big picture. The breakfast scene is definitely supposed to illustrate 1. how overwhelming the Wotters are, and 2. how James kinda checks out if there's not a crisis at hand. He's a man of action more than chattering aimlessly in the morning. And Lucy taking the results reflects a lot about privacy in the Wotters and how James has rather accepted that he'll never have any. I'm glad you think his relationship with Anna makes sense and doesn't seem like he's embarrassed by her--√ā¬ď the emphasis is meant to be more on protecting her from the scrutiny/insanity of his family more than anything.

I'm so excited you enjoyed the structure! I really liked writing that and I'm glad you got out of it what I was hoping to communicate. The Wotter's misunderstanding of James is definitely going to continue to develop and matter in the story, but it also really helps contextualize his relationship with Anna. Haha I'm interested you think that Anna already knows his name! More on that to come. ;)

I'm so glad you think I've done a good job with the "clueless attractive" thing James has going on. I think in fic sometimes the Potter boys are these super attractive guys who are very aware of it and play it up, but my James is just kind of like "hmmm why are girls like that" even though he probably realizes he's not bad looking.

As for the allusions to previous troublemakers...this is going to continue later in the story, so I don't want to say too much now. But it is important that James/Fred get compared to George/Fred because Nana Molly/George would obviously have a really really hard time after Fred's death, and to me, George is viewing Fred II a bit like a do-over with Fred I. The James I/Sirius thing is less important-- Harry probably just made passing comments to Ginny about it and James overhead it or something. Something that stuck out to me on an HP reread recently was how much Harry loved being compared to his parents (until the Snape incident at least), and I think that James/Fred would be very excited to live up to these legends they heard all about. So...I'm sorry that came off as unrealistic to you-- I might revise those lines a bit to emphasize my points a bit because it doesn't seem like they were coming off how I intended.

Thanks for your comments about the breakfast scene! I'm not sure I'm entirely happy with how it turned out and I definitely don't want it to come off as too long/overwhelming. I'll keep your comments in mind and definitely try to cut out some of the detail. It's definitely hard when I feel like I know so much about the characters, but I can also understand why it's not all necessary.

Thanks again for your thoughts! I always love to see how I can improve/what's working. :)


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Review #24, by BeeezieSweetheart Tom: A Single Red Apple

5th August 2015:
Hey, Aph! I'm here for BvB!

Your prose is just so pretty. It fits this story particularly well, because it really lends to the fairy tale aspect of the chapter. I love it.

And I also love how you're transplanting these stories. Fleur amd Bill are continuing to work well in the Red Riding Hood-type spin-off, and for Blaise - yeah, I totally buy this, and I think it's a fascinating view of a character we really don't know much about, albeit in an alternate universe. He definitely came off as haughty to me, especially later on, and the way he talked about apples being like little bubbles of poison was really chilling. At first, I honestly wasn't sure whether the hostility was something he was directing at his mother or someone else, though once I got to the end of the chapter, I obviously figured it out.

And yikes. Poison apples are not for playing with, Blaise. I do like where you've taken his character, though - I definitely wasn't expecting him to start killing off his rivals, including his mother or for him to have such flexible views on gender. That's really fascinating, and it makes me wonder just how the wizarding world sees him - and what Fleur is going to think of him.

And as far as Bill and Fleur - I love Bill and Fleur. They're probably my favorite canon couple, and I love the way you captured them here. She's so wonderful - I love how sure of herself she is and how she responds to stress. You can tell a lot about a person from that, I think, and her calm, measured way of addressing it head on (and with fighting, not smoothtalking) is the best. And Bill - Bill is a wonderful host, and I love the way that he's protective without be patronizing or push, both when she first wakes up and when she goes into town. (Speaking of - where is her grandmother??)

All in all... you really captured the intricacies of every character, even in this alternate world. I loved this, and I really can't wait to read more!

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Review #25, by BeeezieAreopagitica: Affiche Rouge

1st August 2015:
Back for BvB review fest! I'll keep a lookout in our update thread for new chapters to this, because I'm already hooked.

I love your take on Rita Skeeter. I thought that you captured her sensationalism and questionable ethics perfectly. It's clear to all of us that Ginny's verdict is totally accurate, but I can totally see this being the Daily Prophet during that period - we saw a taste of it during OotP, and that was without Rita's delivery. I also loved Ginny's conversation with Neville about it all - I'm inclined to side with her, but I can see why Neville just wouldn't have the energy to waste on reporting they know isn't true.

My heart went out to Ginny when Amycus tortured her, and I thought the fact that they let Neville and Luna take her out of the Great Hall but explicitly stopped teachers from aiding her was a really interesting touch, and very telling about the regime they're establishing. It feels like they almost want to have a few little freedom fighters, at least right now, because it does keep everyone else in check. Seeing the professors cowed is intimidating - seeing Neville and Luna leave with Ginny might just make a lot of students feel like they don't want to get mixed up with any of them.

Aha, though! I was sort of right - this is a way of getting news in. It's pretty ingenious, actually, and I love that you're going through and actually showing the mechanism for which they're finding out rather than falling back on, "Well, news just spreads! Like wildfire! Somehow!" which I think is often what happens. The detail about the Irish Ministry is fascinating, too.

Overall, this was wonderful, and I think the way you're showing the professors/students pushing back against the regime to be really interesting. There's a lot of nuance in how they're being dealt with, and while the Carrows seem to lack subtlety on the surface, I think they're actually pretty cunning in how they're controlling the population of Hogwarts.

That said, while I loved the tone of the chapter in general, the confrontation with Amycus made me uncomfortable, mostly because of the way you described Ginny. You really emphasized her physical vulnerability - despite the fact that he stood at nearly a head and a half taller than her, her soft cheek, her little body, Ginny's body thrashed on the stone floor/Ginny's shaking body (as opposed to just "Ginny" - referring to her as her body distances the character from the experience). Any one of these probably would have come off fine, but all of them together made me really uncomfortable. Description is great, but some details are loaded with gendered undertones, and what you choose to emphasize matters. Are these things really integral to Ginny's experience of the confrontation? Would you describe Neville in the same way? Or Colin Creevey?

I don't mean to pick on you - this is something that I think that most of us, myself included, have unconsciously internalized, because it's shoved down our throats pretty consistently through almost every element of pop culture. Defiance from women is often accompanied by an emphasis on their helplessness, particularly when it comes to their size and innocence - but the scene wouldn't have been any less horrific if her cheek hadn't been soft or if she'd been tall or if she'd been overweight.

I think that particularly when we're writing about events like this - where there's systematic abuse and torture going on - it's really important to be particularly mindful of what double standards there are and to make sure we don't buy into them or romanticize women in a way we don't do for men. I noticed it in which professors you chose to emphasize, too - you focused on McGonagall and Pomfrey, even though Ginny is a favorite of Slughorn's, too, and Hagrid is quite fond of her as well. Again, any one of these things doesn't register, but all put together... it's uncomfortable.

Okay, I'm done with my feminist critique now. ♥ I really do love the chapter, and this is pretty minor - I just really wanted to point it out, because the trope really does bother me and I'm sure it's completely unconscious on your part. I can't wait for the next update!

Author's Response: Hello! Thanks so much for such a long and comprehensive review! Sorry I took so long to reply, like I said in my other response, I've been away/sick for a while.

I'm really glad you pointed out my use of really gendered language. I do study gender a bit at school, but I tend to turn off the more analytical side of my brain when I write. I really easily absorb stuff around me into my writing, so I guess that's where it all came from. I do try to be careful in my writing, but like you said, a lot if pretty internalized. I'm definitely going to work on fixing that in this chapter, as well as a bit of a look back at other things I've written. I want to make sure your points are properly addressed though, so it may take a while for these changes to actually show up, especially with school starting again.

Thanks again for bringing it up though! There's always room for improvement and unlearning internalized sexism! This also really helps my writing and I'll definitely look out for that in my writing in the future as well!

Anyway, I'm happy you liked this chapter despite that bit with Amycus and Ginny. I'm still working away slowly at the next one, but it's getting there! I hope to see you in my reviews again soon!


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