Reading Reviews From Member: Beeezie
  
681 Reviews Found

Review #26, by BeeezieThe Orchard: Worms and Secrets

20th July 2015:
James's friendship with Mary is really, really interesting to me. It doesn't seem particularly close in her thought process, but it seems to be in his - and there doesn't seem to be any romantic intent in it, either. It's all very strange and confusing to me. I have no idea how James and Lily start a relationship after this, though - it seems unlikely from both his part and hers. I feel like she's lashing out at Mary because she's heard some things from Snape that aren't true and it's easier to think poorly of Mary than of her friend, which really makes me angry - she knows that Snape curses people, where the worst she can throw at Mary is that... she likes attention? Hardly a capital offense even if it was true, which it isn't. I do think it's realistic, though, and I kind of wonder Laura's run away rather than been taken away. She certainly doesn't have anyone to talk to.

Why is this the last chapter? I hope you post the next one soon - and regardless of when you post it, will you leave me a comment on my profile so I can come read it? I don't always remember to check my favorites for recent updates, and I don't want to miss this or ATG.

Ravenclaw - House Cup 2015

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Review #27, by BeeezieThe Orchard: Games Continue

20th July 2015:
Ooh, I know it's not the point of the story, but I love the intricacies you're working into the Marauders' personalities and relationships. For Peter to be the maniacal Quidditch fan and Sirius to be kind of "eh" about the whole thing is such an interesting choice, but when I think about it, it makes sense - particularly the former. Peter did always worship them. (Loved that scene, btw - you did a great job with it.) And aha, Sirius is talking to Eleanor! I want them to work out so badly, but... sad face. Lily really annoyed me in this chapter, though - first she insults Mary, then she drags Mary and Mafalda down to the pitch when they're clearly not interested in going, and then she ditches them immediately? Ugh. I don't blame James for not mentioning her and for moving on. Maybe moving on? Why did he want Mary to meet Helen so badly? I'm so confused and there's only one more chapter up! Zayne, I want to know what happens! Particularly with Laura. Poor Laura. Whose note Mary hasn't even read yet, I don't think. Ugh, Mary, you should get on that.

Why is there only one more chapter?

Ravenclaw - House Cup 2015

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Review #28, by BeeezieThe Orchard: Clock Tower

20th July 2015:
I love how dedicated Mafalda is to her studies - it's tempting to see it as simple studiousness, but - and I may be reading too much into this - with the scene and tone you've set for this story, I'm starting to see everyone's behavior in part through the lens of coping mechanisms - and through that lens, I can see why hyperfocusing on schoolwork would be an escape. The Ministry is a good reason, and it's a reason that makes sense, but I have a hard time believing that's all of it, especially since she's stretching herself so thin. Mary even seems to acknowledge that, a little, after Regulus talks to her. And speaking of which: what is up with him. I just genuinely don't get it. He doesn't seem particularly aggressive or hostile and threatening. He's just... there. Making comments. I don't get him, and I don't know what's in Laura's letter, and I so want to know both! I guess the only thing for it is to read on.

Ravenclaw - House Cup 2015

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Review #29, by BeeezieThe Orchard: Owls

20th July 2015:
I just realized that some of these chapters don't have any reviews at all! For goodness sake, why? This is such a riveting story! When this race is over, I'm going to have to remember to go recommend it in the story rec threads, because it's wonderful.

I appreciate the way the Gryffindors in general have banded behind Dirk Cresswell. I mean, I get that he's not particularly likeable, but it seems like a wonderful example of 1) even someone who's not super likeable doesn't deserve to be cursed and 2) people get your alliegance in certain things even when they aren't super likeable. If the Slytherins are banding together, so should everyone else. Florence actually grew on me a lot this chapter - I still think she's kind of mean-spirited, but I'm also thinking that it's her armor against stress and genuine fury, and that's something I understand much better. The reference to how her perfect sister always used to harp on intrigued me - I'm not sure if it just means that she finished school or if something more sinister is going on. (Florence is still mean-spirited, though. Mocking Mafalda about studying hard because she'll never be first in the class? Really? Florence, uncalled for.) The new rules make sense to me, especially if Dirk Cresswell was seriously injured (which he certainly seemed to be), but - and maybe this isn't where my mind should be right now, but it was an idle thought that popped into my head anyway - if there are any Slytherins who aren't into this whole pureblood supremacy thing, this must really be awful for them. That said, it's protecting everyone else, so oh well. I did find James's response really interesting, though - he seems to be writing to someone in the Order/who he trusts to deal with the situation about the incident, and he's comfortable admitting exactly what he thinks happened. I actually really, really love your James - when I'm done with this, I'm going to need to go see if you have any James-centric fics. I'm also curious about whether you've written anything about Lily, because this is by far the most flawed Lily I've read - and that's not a bad thing.

Amazing job.

Ravenclaw - House Cup 2015

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Review #30, by BeeezieThe Orchard: Holes

20th July 2015:
Oooh, Mary, I am right there with you. In the immortal words of Mrs. Whatsit - wild nights are my glory. (Madeleine L'Engle, I love you.) There's something particularly wonderful about a storm when it's reflecting conflict that you're feeling - it's like the weather is reaching out to comfort you. I don't know, personally if I lived in a place where every other day was a storm I'd be happy. I love storms. I'm wondering about Florence's suddenly taking to the Quidditch pitch, even in the rain - it seems like there's a lot of inner turmoil she's feeling that she needs to take out somewhere, and the Quidditch place is where she's choosing to do it. As a Beater, she's certainly got opportunity. I've felt like she's just needlessly aggressive, but I'm wondering whether she has some trauma that's making her act out, too - even if it's just the stress of the war. If that's the case, I still think she's mean-spirited, but I get it a little more. It's certainly more adaptive (IMO) than Mary's response, which is essentially to freeze like a deer in the headlights. I get it, I do, but my feeling is that it's easier to redirect momentum than it is to create it. Unfortunately, nobody gets to choose how they react to trauma. I do wish she'd open up to somebody, though, and I hope that she blows up at Lily at some point about what foul people those guys - including Snape - are. My heart went out to Dirk Cresswell (I'm assuming that's who that was?) too - what a horrible thing to have happen to you, and having someone come upon you and not offer support... I mean, again, I get that Mary doesn't have the energy to deal with anyone else's pain, but this is just such a terrible situation.

It's a wonderful chapter, though.

Ravenclaw - House Cup 2015

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Review #31, by BeeezieThe Orchard: Pressure Points

20th July 2015:
Huh. That's... okay, that makes her response to the trauma make a lot more sense to me. Not that it didn't before, but that brought it from heartbreaking to terrifying. I'd assumed that she just wasn't home for it, but it seems like she was home - her memory was just erased. I'm not sure if it was magical or repression, but either way - oh my god, that's terrifying. IMO, there's very little that's worse than not knowing, and I feel like you generally know when something important is missing. I'm wondering whether Mary has some experience with that, and that's why Laura opened up to her - she sensed it. I did wonder why it was so important that Laura's parents' deaths were hushed up, though - I can see it if she'd made that call, but she says that the Ministry did. People are dying left and right - what makes Laura's parents so different, and why do they think no one would notice? Regardless, though, if that's what Mary experienced - yeah, I get that. It's scary. But I can understand why Mary couldn't really deal with it, and why she couldn't look at the Ravenclaw table during the feast. She's too overwhelmed by her own pain and anxiety to take on someone else's - mistery only loves company to a point. And right now, while I still don't love Florence, her hostility toward Lily is making a little more sense to me - as is Laura's reticence to open up to her. Unfortunately, though, I wonder if that's part of what's pushed Lily back toward Snape - he's familiar ground, isn't he, and at least he likes her, from her point of view. But if I were one of her housemates? Yeah, I'd be angry, too.

Great chapter!

Ravenclaw - House Cup 2015

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Review #32, by BeeezieThe Orchard: Confession

20th July 2015:
Aha! Unless this is a different Eleanor, there is a connection between ATG and the Orchard! Eleanor's a fairly common name, of course, but still, it sounded like her! If that's the case, I appreciate it and approve. I love seeing little connections between fics. At any rate: I can see why it flew off your fingertips, and I certainly flew through it! (And not just because I'm speed reading for the HC, which is totally going to leave me with a headache.) This was a great chapter - I felt like you covered a lot of little stuff in ways that really added to the story, and I'm curious to see how things like Regulus skulking around and Mafalda's date play out. And then, of course, there's the revelation from Laura. On one hand, I guess it isn't surprising - something that affected her to such an extent had to be traumatic, and that's one of the more traumatic things that can happen to you - but on the other, I'm a little curious about why she wouldn't at least tell Lily, even if she didn't want to talk about it. Then again, once you tell someone that, especially someone close to you, I can see how they might not let you not talk about it. Huh. Regardless, though, I feel so bad for her, and I can see why she's struggling with magic now - though it does make me very worried for her, because I feel like she could easily be next.

Great chapter!

Ravenclaw - House Cup 2015

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Review #33, by BeeezieThe Orchard: Dreams

20th July 2015:
Wow. Florence, you are super, super self-centered. And I say this as someone who adores Cordelia Chase. Mafalda was pushing Mary after the nightmare in an appropriate way, but I can't imagine anyone ever opening up to Florence when she behaves like that. And, it's super hypocritical to tell Mary that she needs to open up when you hide things like mysterious letters yourself. Distaste for Florence aside, though, I continue to feel like you're really handling Mary wonderfully - there are so many little insecurities and uncertainties along with the obvious things like nightmares that make it clear to me that there's something haunting her - e.g., feeling like Sirius was always insulting her. I'm starting to see why, though - Mulciber and Avery are such nasty pieces of work, and at this point I'm feeling quite annoyed with Lily for insisting that they're harmless. No, Lily. This is not what harmless looks like. (Florence is still being a jerk, though.)

Next chapter!

Ravenclaw - House Cup 2015

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Review #34, by BeeezieThe Orchard: Chains

20th July 2015:
Oh, Lily. Completely harmless? Really? I have a hard time believing that, and I have to side with Mary on this one. It's interesting to see Mary explicitly turn the assumption I made in chapter one on its head, though, and attribute Lily's idealism to her being more removed from the wizarding world. I can see how that would work, too, actually. God, what happened to Mary, though? It's clearly not just "things have gotten bleaker," though that obviously doesn't help. Florence is continuing to irritate me. I was glad to see James walking with Mary instead of her - James is much more interesting and less aggressive. See, Florence, you can have fire without being a huge jerk about it and criticizing your friends. (I really don't like her. It seems almost like she's doing it on purpose, though I'm probably just a conspiracy freak.) I can see how Lily's friendship with Snape would have hurt her among her housemates, though - it makes total sense that they'd hold it against her when he was bullying and hexing them.

I am already mourning that there's not more to this story, and I still have a lot to read. Zayne, you are amazing. I'm so glad I decided to read this rather than flitting around between short one-shots.

Ravenclaw - House Cup 2015

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Review #35, by BeeezieThe Orchard: Ancients

20th July 2015:
You made me so excited when Laura sought Mary out, and then you dashed my hopes immediately. You are terrible. (And wonderful.) I love, though, the way that Mary's reactions are very clearly individual and based on her own experiences, not gratifying the reader's reactions and curiosity. It makes her feel thoroughly developed as a character, and it really makes me wonder what's going on in her head - and in her past. Because that's the key, I think - the more I read, the more I'm convinced that there's something deeply traumatic that's happened to her. I'm not sure if it's whatever Lily was referring to with Snape in the memory in DH or something else entirely, but either way, my heart goes out to her. I also love the intricacies you're introducing in terms of her relationship with Florence - it's sad, but sometimes people fit so well together and then just... stop fitting. I feel like that's happened here - whatever Mary says, it just feels like Florence is criticizing her rather than encouraging her, even in a tough love sort of way - but regardless, it's so hard and painful to go through, and it's not something that it seems like Mary has the emotional capacity to handle right now.

Yeah, I hope I finish this before we're done with our reviews, because I'm going to keep going until I do. Zayne, I love you.

Ravenclaw - House Cup 2015

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Review #36, by BeeezieThe Orchard: These Walls

20th July 2015:
Ahhh, I was wondering whether something had happened to Laura. Well, you're just hammering in "THIS IS A WAR" from the get-go, aren't you? I have no idea what happened to her, but she's clearly shell-shocked and dealing with some pretty major trauma. I find the way you're having her withdraw rather than act out to be interesting - it's such an individual thing, but I've always been more comfortable with acting out than with catatonia (probably because that's how I react to stress). Florence is really getting on my nerves, though. She did last chapter as well, to some extent, but it's intensified this chapter. I like snarky, sarcastic characters as much/more than the next person, but she's not just being sarcastic and snarky - she's being mean-spirited, and it feels out of place in a setting like this. I do understand why she'd be a little peeved at Lily, but just... really? Come on. I like Mary's conversation with James much better, though it did make me realize that my assumption about her being Muggleborn was off-base. I guess Death Eaters don't discriminate - they'll go after blood traitors, too! Equal(ish) opportunity bullying/murder is such a beautiful thing. (See, Florence, that's sarcasm.) It was so interesting to hear his perspective, and I was really annoyed at Florence interrupting him.

Loving this story.

Ravenclaw - House Cup 2015

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Review #37, by BeeezieThe Orchard: Welcome

20th July 2015:
So on one hand, I usually try to read things with less than 2500 word chapters for TAR. On the other, I like you and your writing, so I'm going to come down on the "I will read and review faster if I'm enjoying the fic and have got a lot to say." So here I am. I'm curious, because you mentioned Mafalda in ATG, too - is Orchard set in the same "universe" as ATG?

Regardless. I really loved the juxtaposition here between Mary and a lot of her fellow students. I can appreciate meeting the train with a "Oh, come on, another year?" in normal situations, and this situation isn't normal - there's a war going on that Muggleborns are major targets in - IMO, even more so than Muggles, who can hide in a crowd a little better, and I can see that having a significant effect on Muggleborns who've got to be feeling fairly disenchanted with the wizarding world just now. However, I also felt like you did an amazing job of balancing how Mary's a little soured to the wizarding world right now. However, while I definitely got an undercurrent of that throughout the chapter, I appreciated the fact that it flowed with the narrative rather than weighed everything down with moroseness. You did an amazing job of setting the scene for the story, and you introduced a lot of really intriguing interrelationships that I can't wait to read more about. Lily's not being a prefect did confuse me a bit - I thought canon was that she was? but whatever. I'm not super invested in the Lily-the-rule-follower interpretation anyway. :P

Great job!

Ravenclaw - House Cup 2015

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Review #38, by BeeezieAll that Glitters : September 1979: Pieces

20th July 2015:
Oooh, this is so jarring, Zayne. It's jarring in a good way, but it's so horribly jarring. A month in and I'm not sure I'm more disturbed at how easily she's adopting this new, very disturbing lifestyle or gratified to see her inner conflict and disgust with what she's doing. Because somehow, you're managing to show both simultaneously. She's clearly troubled and disdainful and even afraid of Voldemort's (other) followers, but she's quick to invoke his name when it will get her what she wants, isn't she? I don't quite feel bad for her, since, you know, Death Eater, but I do feel for her, and it's so sad to me that this is her life a year after she finishes at Hogwarts. The moment she decides not to transfigure her face I felt a sinking feeling, because I knew that there was no way this could end well, and a large part of me wanted to shake her and tell her to transfigure her face, please! But then I started to think about it, and I realized that transfiguring her face so that people she used to be close to wouldn't recognize her and judge her and avoid her was a little... well, she's a Death Eater, and they deserve to know that. Ugh. I'm so disappointed there's not another chapter to read, and I hope you get the next one up soon!

Ravenclaw - House Cup 2015

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Review #39, by BeeezieAll that Glitters : June 1976: Fireworks

20th July 2015:
Back for chapter two!

Yeah, your writing has definitely gotten smoother. I'm not saying that it wasn't good before, obviously, and it's been years since I read the first version of ATG, but I remember it as being a little choppier, particularly when it came to little grammatical stuff. That's not the case now. Everything flows so smoothly, and you've got so many amazing one-liners. He liked to be entertained. James usually was the only one who could do this on an hourly basis was probably my favorite of them - it sums up Sirius and James's friendship so well and with such snarky presentation. I love it - and I also love the flirty/slight sexual tension vibes I got between her and Sirius. It was deftly done, and really made me like them as a couple despite everything I know is going to happen (since, you know, she's becoming a Death Eater three years later). I really got a great sense of Eleanor's personality beyond her relationship with the Marauders, too - the excuse to McGonagall cracked me up. One little thing that did strike me about this chapter, though, is that you take a very long time to actually say Eleanor's name, and it's not stated in the first chapter or the story summary, either. It's not a huge problem there - not using her name actually works for the first chapter because it makes it feel more anonymous and removed - but given that, I'd have liked to see it mentioned earlier here. Overall, though, I loved this, and I'm so glad I'm reading this now.

Ravenclaw - House Cup 2015

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Review #40, by BeeezieAll that Glitters : August 1979: In Blood

20th July 2015:
Hey, Zayne! I've been looking forward to checking out this rewrite but haven't had time. Yay good excuse!

I really enjoyed this the first time around, but with this rewrite, you've definitely taken it to the next level. Your description is so vivid, and it brought both the setting and Eleanor's experience to life. A stark, harsh life, but I wouldn't expect anything else from this story. It's such a fascinating premise, and I loved it from the start - looking at how people fell to the dark side who weren't all "Grr Mudbloods, get off my lawn" (or whatever) is so fascinating, and I feel like it's a nuanced perspective we definitely don't get from the books and also tend not to get from fanfiction. You tackled it beautifully here, though, from the very first line. The "lost dog" comment in particular was really evocative, both on face value and in terms of Eleanor's relationship with Sirius. (I'm not sure if that's intentional on her part, but it's definitely where my thoughts went.) I really wanted to dislike Eleanor here - I mean, she's signing over to be an agent of incredible evil - but I didn't this time any more than I did in the first draft. I just felt sad for her and that she'd fallen this far.

This was really wonderful. Onward to the next chapter!


Ravenclaw - House Cup 2015

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Review #41, by BeeezieMistaken for Strangers: James Meets A Girl

18th July 2015:
Hey, here for BvB!

I really enjoyed this. Your writing style is thoroughly enjoyable, and I sped through the chapter. The narrative made me laugh, and the characters were just all so likable, and I really walked away with a strong sense of who James was - and I liked him a lot.

The way you ended each section with (basically) "Damnit, Fred," driving everything else from James's mind was brilliant - it set James up as the vaguely-levelish-head-sort-of (which is a scary thought on its own!) who still got himself into trouble anyway, which is a really fun paradigm to read about.

I loved how confused James was by the fact that there was someone in Hogwarts who just didn't find him very interesting. It seems like he'd probably have handled outright animosity easier than being ignored, and I can understand why that would be enough to catch his attention a little.

And that's what it was - a little. There wasn't the suddenly-madly-deeply-obsessed kind of thing that is so prevalent, and while that has its place, I really, really liked this. It seems like this is going to be his love interest (right?), but it's clearly an interest that comes on slowly, which I love to see in a fic. The fact that you spanned this chapter over the course of a year really highlighted that, IMO, and the similarities in each section really helped maintain the flow of the story.

Something I did notice that might be improved, though: as I said, your writing style is wonderful, but I feel like you overuse adverbs sometimes - in the first section, for example, I'm not sure what charmingly added to his apology, and in the third, while I think diligently or furiously would work alone, both of them in the same sentence is a little overkill. It's a minor thing, but I noticed it throughout the chapter, and I feel like limiting your adverb use to when it's really adding to the description would tighten up your writing a lot.

Overall, though, this was great - I really enjoyed it!

Author's Response: Thanks so much Branwen! You picked up on a lot of my concerns (1. is this stuff funny to anybody but me? and 2. is my vision of James communicated?).

Yep, the girl is the love interest, and I've done my best to drag their relationship out-- just reached 30k written and they're now having their first really in-depth conversation!

Ahh I know I abuse adverbs, but thanks for pointing it out! They're just so easy and readily available, you know? But if it's actually something that sticks out and not just something I'm overly aware of I'll cut back!

Thanks again for the review! :)


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Review #42, by BeeezieOblivious to the Obvious: Sarcasm And Annoyances

18th July 2015:
Hey, Mikaela! Here for BvB!

I really enjoyed Hailey's voice in this from the very beginning - the sarcasm and irritation she was feeling came through very clearly, and I really sympathized with her - especially as someone who has a lot of difficulty with punctuality! I admired her restraint - I wouldn't have had it, that's for sure, whatever the consequences.

But it wasn't just that her voice made the story engaging from the start (though it did) - it was that I really felt like I got a sense of who she was as a person from her reaction to what I agree was a completely disproportionate punishment. (Though wouldn't she have been sprinting, not jogging? You can't really sprint for an hour. Regardless, though!) The way she was able to shrug off the pain was particularly admirable, IMO.

And I also feel like you handled the canon characters really well. They weren't major characters, which in some ways makes them easier to mess up - there's the temptation to just write them as OCs. You didn't do that, though - you showed a side to Wood that we do get a hint of in the books but which Harry himself doesn't really experience, and Angelina's distaste for drama fits (or at least, drama that doesn't personally affect her! We saw her channeling Wood in OotP, so I can see her flying off at Fred).

And the relationships between the characters were wonderfully handled, as well - I really believed their friendships, and I felt like you introduced a lot of nuance into the way they interact with each other. I'm really curious to see where you take it!

There were a couple things about this chapter that didn't seem quite as smooth as the one-shots of yours that I've read recently, though. There were more typos and misplaced/missing punctuation - e.g., I'd like you're attention rather than your attention, and there probably should have been a comma after Yes in "Yes Captain?" - little things, but there were enough that they stuck out, particularly in comparison.

I also felt like your phrasing was sometimes awkward too, particularly surrounding dialogue. It seems almost like you were afraid of 1) letting dialogue stand on its own without a dialogue tag and 2) of being repetitive with your dialogue tags, which led to you adding adverbs or other descriptors that weren't always necessary. That's totally understandable, but I do think the narrative would flow smoother if you were a little more willing to do that.

This stuff is all minor, and I think that part of the reason it's reading so different to me is that you first published it so long ago. I thought I'd point it out anyway, though. Otherwise, this is really fun, and I'm curious to see where you take it next!

Author's Response: Heya Branwen!

I put my apologies out again for the lateness of this response. I've been falling behind on everything this summer, review responses topping the list along with the online class I'm neglecting right now. So, sorry I've been slow but I do really appreciate the review!

I'm so very glad you liked Hailey's character. Her character has been the one consistent thing in my head about this story. The plot has changed a million times since I first started writing, but her character has been one thing I'm super protective of, so I'm happy her character comes across well. I also am glad you enjoyed the relationships I put between characters. That sort of came naturally and I'm not sure if it's because I'm so used to Hailey's character or if it was because the relationships are based off of what I saw in high school...

I also am not sure I know what to say about the cannon characters! They're pretty specific in my head to fit in with cannon (Though this is an AU and I alter ages to fit my plot more than once), or what I believe is cannon. The fact that they work well like that, and that my image of them isn't just my own, it seems to fit in cannon is just amazing!

As for the little things...well, I know they exist. This is one of my oldest ideas and first novel to date. This was started back before I found my style of writing and back before I read like an editor and was super picky when it came to errors. So they are things I go through and correct with every edit, but I do need to spend more time getting those things to flow smoother and not be so choppy. And the dialogue tag thing. This story is horrible like that, until the more recently written stuff. It's something I'm still working on and I have to thank you for bringing my attention to it so I know to pay a bit more attention to it.

Thank you, again, for the lovely review! I really appreciate all you had to say about this chapter and I was happy to see you stop by this story! Hopefully see you back for more at some point!

-Mikaela


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Review #43, by BeeezieThe Ides of March: Tear me asunder.

16th July 2015:
Hey, Kiana! Back for BvB. :)

Oh, Helena. The beginning of this chapter is heartbreaking, and I can really feel how much she's faded away having lost (sacrificed?) her connection with Eleanor, at least for the moment. I found the fact that she assumed that she was just experimentation and recklessness to Eleanor to be particularly sad - it really speaks to her very low self-esteem and depression, which you portrayed very clearly throughout the chapter.

And it's clear that Eleanor is not as dissociated and apathetic as Helena seems to think as the chapter goes on. I loved their meeting by the lake - where every other relationship in this fic is strained and contentious on some level, even Helena's with Helga, her relationship with Eleanor is beautiful. I suppose it is contentious, in a way, but what they have and what Eleanor brings out in her is lovely in so many ways. I want them to hold hands and walk and kiss and be in love forever. Helena never seems at peace except when she's with Eleanor, and it's nice to see her as such. She's got far too much anxiety and tension in her life.

You're really not letting up on your portrayal of Rowena as being a rather harsh and even neglectful mother. Helena can be rather pretty when she smiles? Seriously? So she's not pretty the rest of the time, and even when she does smile she's only sort of pretty? Guaranteeing continued contributions to the school is on Helena being a good wife to a man Rowena doesn't know at all? Well, then. I can see where some of Helena's low self-esteem is coming from.

I already don't like Edward. I'm assuming that's intentional. Maybe part of it is that Helena is so clearly and deeply in love with Eleanor that I'm a little in love with Eleanor having immersed myself in the story again, or maybe it's just that I really dislike men who need their egos stroked the way Edward seems to need (or at least Rowena seems to think he needs), or maybe it's his casual dropping of the word 'Mudblood' and love for Slytherin and all those other little things that scream 'I am not the best person ever.' Or all of those, and other things on top of it. Regardless, though, I don't like him at all.

I liked that even Rowena was displeased by the mention of Slytherin - though it doesn't seem to stop her from pursuing the match. Ugh. Rowena, be a better mother.

There was one thing I wasn't sure about, though. Some of your dialogue tags seemed a little awkward - for example, Rowena "shrieking" before Helena meets Edward seemed a little jarring to me. I get speaking seriously or intensely, but why on earth is she shrieking about it?

That aside, though, this was lovely. Amazing job, and I can't wait for you to upload the next chapter!

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Review #44, by BeeezieFinding Him: morning.

16th July 2015:
Hey, Sama! Here for BvB!

Ahh, Scorose. I love Scorose.

This is the second thing I've read of yours for BvB this month, and I'm really enjoying your writing style. It's got this wonderful layer of snark and sarcasm that I absolutely adore.

Your description of love at the beginning of this chapter was brilliant. I feel like both forms of love that you describe are painful in their own way and in ways that many people don't acknowledge. I could really feel Rose's pain toward the beginning of this chapter, which was heartbreaking, and her love was described in such a believable and realistic way. I loved both the poetic way you described the little things (e.g., his hair, him smiling infrequently), and I could empathize completely with her heartbreak, because I've totally been there.

And switching to the present - I loved the description of her flat. I could totally see it in my mind, and in describing it, you really provided excellent insight into who Rose is as a person and where she is emotionally. You also made me - as an exceptionally messy person! like her a lot.

And Albus - oh, I loved the way you introduced Albus. Between the fact that he just shows up at her door and her thoughts about him, I got a very good idea of who he is, too - and what their relationship is, even before I got to the part where Rose explicitly identifies him as her favorite cousin. All of that gives his broaching the subject of Scorpius really important context, and I thought that you handled it beautifully.

That said, there were a couple things that seemed off to me. I wasn't totally sure about the introduction of a phone - while I think that it is possible to integrate something along those lines into a next-gen story, the way you present it makes it sound exactly the same as a Muggle phone, which doesn't make sense to me. And, while I love the description of her flat in general, the fact that you identified it as having several couches also seems strange, unless she has a lot of roommates and an exceptionally big flat (which doesn't seem to be the case).

I also felt like your dialogue, while generally wonderful, was occasionally a bit awkward. Using "states" and "asserts calmly" and "voices" (for example) as dialogue tags made the dialogue they surrounded a little awkward. Use other tags when they make sense, of course, but I feel like you're bending over backward to avoid using "say" too much, and it really isn't necessary.

That aside, though, I loved this, and I'm really curious about how the story will unfold!

Author's Response: Hey, Branwen!

Scorose... how can you ever get enough of that ship haha.

Everything I write a lot of the time turns a little snarky... I have no clue why. I think it's my personality. But I'm glad you like it! And sarcasm is always fun to put in since it is a part of British humor. I'm not British but I love sarcasm so it tends to be in my writing from time to time.

The beginning was the part I was unsure about the most. At one point I thought I was going to delete and rewrite it the whole thing. I couldn't do it since I wrote it over a year ago and it shows my younger self writing and Rose was supposed to be a little younger there than in present day. I'm happy that you liked and could relate to it. That was the goal really. :)

I think a lot of us are sort of messy. I'm in the middle of messy and neat but I could never imagine myself that organized and neat so I wrote messy Rose. Description is one of my enemies when it comes to writing. I'm not very good at it but it's great to hear that you think so!

Albus is always a favorite. I like bringing him into stories. Even though it isn't exactly canon, I strongly believe that him and Rose had a really strong friendship all their life. Also I could see him as the only one Rose would let enter into her apartment early in the morning without hexing him. That's why his introduction was him knocking at her door.

The phone does seem really Muggle, doesn't it? In my head, when the phone comes into the wizarding world it's a Muggleborn who integrates it in and keeps a lot of the Muggle features, you know? Like it acts and looks a lot like a Muggle phone (which helps wizards and witches blend in with the Muggle world easily) but doesn't need WiFi to work, can stand magic, and has a lot of bonus magical features like it can turn into a book when you tell it to hide or has an app that detects magical objects. Now that I think about it several couches are a bit strange. I'm going to probably change it to two couches since I can see her having a few for when her cousins decide to barge in. She doesn't have any roommates and her flat is medium sized if you were wondering.

I feel like that's something that everyone says. Avoid saying'say' all the time. I'll probably go back and fix those up to make it less awkward. Thanks so much for pointing it out!!

Thank you for taking the time to review this story, Branwen! I had a fantastic time reading it!

~Sama



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Review #45, by BeeezieThe Ides of March: Consider things like the stars.

16th July 2015:
Hey, Kiana! Here for BvB!

I continue to love your prose, and I think that you're doing an excellent job of portraying the sect of Christianity that a lot of people subscribed to - particularly back then, but even now. My heart broke when the priest told Helena that she was speaking of sin and that he wasn't sure what hope there was for her. It's such fear mongering, and I hate it, but I can totally, completely see it.

What I also love is that I'm continuing to have a strong reaction to a lot of Helena's narrative. I'm a little bit of a heretic - I'm not sure I'm particularly interested in God in any context, let alone the strong all-powerful all-knowing meddlesome (sorry, if this is your thing) God that Helena believes in. There are points in the story where I want to shake her, which means that you're writing a very good, complex, believable character. You include a lot deft touches that really drive her belief in God home and show how significant her beliefs are to her - which, in turn, makes a lot of her conflict re: Eleanor make more sense.

I keep waiting for her to just get over the whole God-doesn't-approve thing, but I'm starting to think that maybe she's not going to, not completely. She's clearly moved past it to some extent - she directly agrees with Eleanor's conviction that what they have can't be a sin - but when she says that they aren't as they ought to be, that does indicate that she still feels a measure of shame and confusion about it. That bothers me so much, but if that is where you're going with it, it's a really interesting take that is, unfortunately, quite realistic.

Regardless, I feel so bad for her right now, and while I don't see how this can work out, I hope that it does.

A bit of CC, though:

I think I may have mentioned this in a previous review - if I didn't, I meant to - but the references to other gods throws me off. Helena seems to be a very devout Christian, and the anxiety she felt regarding her relationship with Eleanor earlier in the story clearly indicated that she takes doctrine very seriously. The casual references to other gods seems strange to me in that context. Saints I could understand, but not gods.

That aside, though, I loved this. Amazing job, and I hope she's okay!

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Review #46, by BeeezieSweetheart Tom: Little Red Riding Hood

14th July 2015:
Hey, here for BvB! I meant to go back to L'optimisme, but the story summary and characters for this really intrigued me, and I love fairy tales, so here I am!

God, Laura, your prose is so beautiful. The way you describe the setting of this sent shivers running down my spine - I really felt like I was there in the forest, and unlike Fleur - who is far braver than I am when it comes to this - I'm horribly afraid of the dark. I could practically feel the wind and hear the rustle of the trees and the animals hiding in the trees - I'm being a bit repetitive now, but it really was quite chilling.

But what I loved even more (if that's possible) was they way you transplanted the characters into a fairy tale world. I absolutely believed that this was Fleur, who's actually one of my favorite canon characters - the slightly foolhardy bravery fit what we know about her perfectly. The Fleur that we saw in the books was a little imprudent - I mean, this is the woman who became a Triwizard Champion, stayed in England even after it was clear that Voldemort - one of the most dangerous dark wizards in history - had returned, and married a man whose family were clearly enormous targets for Voldemort and his followers.

There are so, so, so many ways that any one of those decisions could have spectacularly wrong.

So Fleur getting sidetracked on her way to her grandmother's to pick berries - thereby allowing it to get dark out - and then deciding to keep going until she got there was totally believable to me.

I love her reaction to Bill, too. The combination of defensiveness - both at being "saved" and at being called a "kid" - and attraction was perfect, and kind of made me a little in love with Bill. (Though I'm honestly always into Bill - he's wonderful.)

The end of the chapter was so intriguing, too and I really can't wait to see what happens next!

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Review #47, by BeeezieJumping Off Swings: Moment of Death

14th July 2015:
Hey, here for BvB!

I'm not Snape's biggest fan, so I tend to be fairly critical of him even in stories that are trying to humanize him. I loved Moment of Clarity, though, and I thought you could probably do him justice and make me see him in a different light.

And I was right.

One of the things I loved about this was that while you showed some selfishness on Snape's part in regards to Lily - turning her husband and child over to Voldemort as long as he'd spare her will always be a profoundly selfish act, and there's no skimming over that - you didn't show a lot of the possessiveness that really turns me off to the pair. You made me see him as a selfish man with questionable morals who nonetheless did care deeply for Lily. The way his world revolved around her even years after her death still wasn't particularly healthy, but you made it heartbreaking rather than creepy, which it often verges on.

I also loved the way you handled the scene from a canon perspective as well. It can be really difficult to pull off without sounding either repetitive or deviating significantly from what we know about canon. (Which can be fine in its own right, of course - but I really love what you did here in its own right.) You really navigated the situation so wonderfully and ended up with an amazing story.

And, while you didn't really talk about Snape's family at all, the way he kept thinking back to his childhood friendship with Lily stood out to me in part because he clearly wasn't thinking about his parents at all - something about that juxtaposed with Harry's eyes really made me compare Snape with Harry for the first time. In some ways, I'd argue that their childhoods were far more similar than Harry's and Voldemort's were - both Harry and Snape grew up in families that were neglectful at best and abusive at worst, and while Harry latched onto reasonably healthy people in the Weasleys and Hermione... yeah, I can see how Snape might have latched onto Lily and his housemates, and once he turned his back on his housemates, Lily was all that was left.

A little bit of CC, though: I feel like sometimes your phrasing is a little awkward, particularly surrounding dialogue. For example, in your third paragraph, the "You try" seemed awkward and unnecessary to me. The story would have flowed a bit better if you'd just said, "Your voice is steady..." instead, IMO. I feel like you're trying to vary your dialogue tags up, which is great, but sometimes you're trying a little too hard. Similarly, I feel like you sometimes use adverbs or spell things out that stand on their own. Lily's words were defiant enough when they were talking after their first year - you didn't need to add that in. Similarly, when he's trying to talk to her after the Mudblood incident, I feel like "You say. She's been avoiding you for days" would have been totally fine - we can tell that he's frustrated. It's minor stuff, but it did stick out to me.

Regardless, though: the way you presented Snape in this really just made me think much more critically about him as a character and feel a lot more sympathy for him than I've ever felt before. You did an amazing job. ♥

Author's Response: Heya!

Full apologies for how late of a response this is. I'm terrible, and I know I am, so sorry I've taken forever to get to this response, but I'm also sort of at a loss as to how to respond to this. I made you see Snape, a character you're typically critical of, in a new light? Like, how can I tell you how much this means to me? And the fact that I was able to avoid the possessiveness and creepy edge to his character that normally appears? Blows my mind that I was able to construct this so well and that you found it good and just...I don't know how to say thank you enough!

I am really interested with the comparison between Snape and Harry, rather than Voldemort and Harry. Because really? You have a point. They do have a lot of similarities. And they have lived thier lives in difficult situations and everything changed based on who they latched on to. You really made me think about it, probably as much as I made you think about it (if that makes any sense at all). It was a really interesting thought.

And thanks for the CC! I'm pretty sure I recently went through and edited some of that, but I know it can seem a bit awkward. It's actually the most recent part of my writing style I have been working on, trying to phase it out and make it work better. So thanks for pointing it out and giving suggestions on how to fix it. I will definately take a second look at it!

Again, thank you so, so much for this lovely review! I'm happy I was able to show you Snape in a different light and htat I got you to sympathize for him just a little bit! It's good to hear and I just...I really adored the review!

-Grimmerz


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Review #48, by BeeezieBecoming My Sisters' Enemy: The Sisters Black

12th July 2015:
Hey, here for BvB!

I love Andromeda, so as soon I saw this at the top of your page, I knew I had to read it. I'm glad I did, because you did an amazing job.

I found the way you emphasized male children to be really interesting, because while there isn't a lot of overt sexism in wizarding society that we see, there are a lot of indications that there's a strong undercurrent of it, particularly in pureblood society.

I mean, there are clearly plenty of women who support Voldemort, but Bellatrix and Alecto Carrow are the only two female Death Eaters who get mentioned in the books. I don't think that's just a coincidence - many male Death Eaters are mentioned, after all. And, while we have a limited view of pureblood society in the books, it also seemed to me that once they married, women really did adopt into their husbands' families. I can readily believe that a pureblood son to be their heir was important to Andromeda's parents, and why Narcissa would have been such a disappointment.

But I like that you didn't turn this into a story about a tragic upbringing. Both Bellatrix and Narcissa are described in a way that clearly reflects who we know they'll become but also humanizes them as children. It helps to set up this story wonderfully, IMO, because it makes Andromeda's loss matter. Losing touch with her family was a sacrifice, even though i's so easy to get caught up in "But your family were all such terrible people! You're well rid of them!" I mean, yes, they are - but not always to her. In fact, her sisters actually helped to insulate her from their parents' disapproval and controlling nature (as she did them, of course).

A little bit of CC, though:

You mention that Bellatrix told Andromeda to "pray" for a younger sister, but you also set their ages at four and two at the time. I have a hard time imagining a four year old telling anyone to "pray" for something with any real conviction, and an even harder time imagining a two year old who understands what that means and remembers it. It makes total sense that she'd remember dancing and excitement over a sister - just not prayer, IMO.

I also found the mention of multiple house elves to be curious. Even the Malfoys and Sirius's family seem to have only generally had one - for there to be at least two in Andromeda's household didn't make sense to me. It also seemed odd to me that in the moment, she seemed to thinking of them by name; if she didn't respect them, is that really realistic?

Those are both minor, though, and otherwise, this was an amazing story, and I'll definitely be coming back to it.

Author's Response: Hi Branwen,

Thank you for the wonderful review! You really made my day :)

I'm glad you agree regarding the undercurrent of sexism in the Wizarding World. To some degree, I picture the Wizarding World corresponds with the Muggle world, and while things have come a long way in regards to women's rights, I imagine that in the time period that the story is set, women would be much more likely to be homemakers, and girls would not be as valued as "heirs."

Thank for for the CC! I'll be honest - writing little kids is hard for me, and you're write I did write Bella and Andie more mature than they probably should have. You're also right about the House Elves - thanks for catching that!

Thank you!!!
~LJ


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Review #49, by BeeezieFor Her: For Her

12th July 2015:
I've actually been avoiding reading this, because it's just such a weird pairing, and I didn't know what to think about it.

You pulled it off, though. I guess I shouldn't be surprised - you're very good at introducing some humanity and nuance to characters who have done some pretty terrible things.

What really made this for me was that you didn't really try to redeem Dolohov. He thought about wanting to change, but it didn't seem like he was really committed to the idea. His thoughts about Hermione actually speaks to that for me far more than anything else - it almost feels like he traded obsession with blood purity and Voldemort in for obsession with Hermione. I saw the same blind faith, the same pedestal, and even the same selfishness in his thoughts about her as I saw in the way a lot of death eaters approached Voldemort.

The picture creeped me out in particular, actually. The idea of him holding on a picture of her at her wedding and using that to fuel his fixation - cutting out any mention of Ron (right? well, regardless), of course - just feels wrong to me, and I think that it speaks volumes about his feelings and his attitude toward her. He's still not really seeing her as a human being - his entire thought process really is all about him and how he feels. He really was quite creepy, which is really what made this work.

One thing did stick out to me, though: you mentioned that he's already had four parole hearings. That seems odd to me; he's a Death Eater, and he acknowledges when he's thinking about Hermione that he's killed people. I'm surprised that he's had any parole hearings, let alone four.

Otherwise, though, this was wonderfully creepy and made my skin crawl in all the right ways. Amazing job with a really tough pairing. ♥

Author's Response: Hello, my dear!

Thank you so much for reading this, despite its strangeness! I totally agree that this is a bizarre and uncomfortable pairing for all sorts of reasons. Dolohov definitely doesn't have a grasp of what "love" actually is. You're completely right to say he has an obsession, not a real understanding of and affection for Hermione. He's just infatuated with the IDEA of her, more than who she really is. And that's very creepy. As for the parole hearings, I tried to imagine that the justice system post-Second War would have changed to allow those who'd followed Voldemort a chance to improve their lives and atone for what they'd done. I imagine that some of the Death Eaters really were doing what they did out of fear rather than racism and loyalty, and I think maybe the government would try to root out those people with genuine desire to better themselves. Dolohov, however, isn't one of those people. He doesn't really feel bad for what he did. He just wishes that getting caught didn't separate him from his obsession. So yes, it's all very creepy. ;)

Again, thank you. You leave such brilliant reviews.

Emily


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Review #50, by BeeezieTurning Page: Numb

12th July 2015:
Hey, here for BvB!

This was wonderful. Your prose is so vivid, and it really brought both the setting and his emotion to life.

One of the things I really loved about this is that you absolutely didn't skim over his trauma from the war. It was pretty clear to me in HBP and DH that Draco was deeply traumatized by the war, and while he certainly didn't go through what some other people did - he was not, for example, on the run because everyone in power wanted him dead - I think that he was afraid for his own life (more so by "his" side than the OotP etc, which is pretty significant on its own), and I actually suspect that he was subjected to at least one of the Unforgivables at least once - Bellatrix is way too unhinged for her not to do that to him, IMO.

I also loved that you slipped a good explanation for what happened immediately following the way into the story seamlessly - it's absolutely something that readers want to know, and it's important in setting the stage... but at the same time, it can be difficult to do so without being a little heavy handed. You managed it perfectly, and introduced a lot of nuance that isn't immediately apparent from a simple "Well, the Malfoys didn't go to Azkaban."

I particularly like the way you dealt with Draco himself - I like that he doesn't understand why Harry vouched for him. I don't think Narcissa put him up to it at all - it seems to me that in both HBP and DH, Harry does have a measure of sympathy toward Draco, and recognizes that Draco doesn't like the ultimate result of the hateful things he was spouting. But of course Draco wouldn't see that - and I'm not sure Draco even knows that Harry saw him fail to kill Dumbledore.

I mean, you're depicting current!Draco as being pretty emotionally damaged - he's engaged in substance abuse, he hates himself and his job, and he barely sleeps. It's difficult to read, but it's difficult because it's so realistic. I think the way you dealt with his pride is fascinating - it feels like it's simultaneously contributing to his stress and protecting him from it. I think that's often how pride works, so that depiction strikes me as so incredibly realistic. (I'm using that word a lot, but only because it's true.)

The introduction of Astoria in here was also wonderful - I like that you included a history for them, even if at this point it's many years removed from their current lives. I can see that making it easier to introduce her and push them into a more intimate relationship than they'd have as strangers, and it makes why she'd care a lot more apparent.

There were a couple things that I thought you could have worked on, though they're pretty nitpicky.

I would have liked to see a bit more of an explanation for why Draco was back to repeat his seventh year. All you said was that it was what his parents wanted, but I didn't totally understand why they wanted it or why they were focused on it in the wake/immediate aftermath of their trials.

I also would have liked to see some acknowledgment from Draco about why he's still living at home. I'd think that he'd want to get away from the manor. There are so many awful memories in it - why has he remained there for four years?

Those really are nitpicky, though - this is wonderful overall, and I'm so glad I read it.

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