Reading Reviews From Member: CambAngst
  
1,269 Reviews Found

Review #1, by CambAngstHero: Riddles in the Dark

5th September 2016:
I like how this story isn't about Tom Riddle (at least not yet) but you can see the threads of his story winding all through the plot. The roosters, the girl who's been petrified... even the muggle boy who died seems to have some connection to the orphanage where Tom grew up.

Hero's story is also very intriguing. Again, I like how you're pacing the delivery of these plot. Authors should hold their secrets jealously, revealing them only when the plot absolutely requires it! Hero obviously still has a lot of secrets.

I feel a love triangle possibly coming on between Hero, Emory and Theo. Stay tuned...

You write really well. I can't find a thing to critique about your grammar, dialog, word choice or the flow of your narrative.

Awesome job!

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Review #2, by CambAngstHero: One Day at a Time

5th September 2016:
Hi, there! Kaitlin recommended your story as good reading material for my flight, so I decided to check it out. I'll have to thank her. This was a very interesting beginning.

I'll admit right up front, this review is going to be short and general. I'm terrible at doing this on my phone.

You almost never read stories about Tom Riddle as a student, unless they're weird romantic pairings with Minerva McGonagall. I really like where things seem to be heading in this. Your characters seem genuine and believable so far. I like the pace at which you're delivering the story. I learned a fair bit about the characters, but there's plenty of mystery to bring me back for chapter 2.

Nice job!

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Review #3, by CambAngstActions Speak Louder than Words: Brewing: Rose POV

29th June 2016:
Hi, Beth! Tagging you from the new review tag!

Astatine again. I think we've covered this ground, but I'll reiterate: Do. Not. Trust her. As an added bonus, Uncle Harry and Healer Lawrence agreed that Astatine could work with me part time. Bonus for who?

Awesome! We're finally back to that Healer School assignment. I've been waiting and waiting for that to come back to the forefront of the story. You are so devious! You were probably hoping I'd forget all about that.

“Where’s the glass?” -- Go, Albus! I knew your dad recruited you into law enforcement for a reason. I love the way you wrote him in this chapter. He's recovering from such a horrible loss, and I felt like that came through in his need to be helpful. It also seemed like the interest Selenia took in the crime scene photos motivated him even a little more to get to the bottom of the case.

He placed a hand on my enormous belly and, as if on cue, the baby started kicking against him. -- Aww! Such a precious moment for the two of them. Sad that it couldn't come without the unfortunate baggage of the prophecy and Stannous and his bunch of wannabe Death Eaters.

I'm glad that Scorpius is helping Rose to realize just how strong she's been throughout this ordeal. She's been through so much and she's survived an awful lot of it just by keeping her nose to the grindstone and refusing to give in to the misery.

Hmmnnn... So the Healers were still running tests on the victims two days after they were declared dead? Very suspicious. My brain, she's a racing! Of all the cases that Healer Lawrence -- with his vast expertise and seeming adoration for dark curses -- could have assigned to Rose, why this one? It seems almost inconceivable that he wouldn't have known that the victims were Scorpius's parents. And Healer Lawrence is the same one who's assigned creepy Astatine to help organize Rose's workspace. Lots of unpleasant signs are starting to pile up here. I'm really curious what else Albus has found in the photographs. I guess I'll have to wait until next time to find out...

I'm so very pleased that school is out! Hoping that life grants you many hours of quiet, uninterrupted writing time. Or failing that, hoping that you can distract your family for a couple of hours a day and hide out with your computer. :p

Until next time,
Dan

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Review #4, by CambAngstThe Brightest Blue: The Brightest Blue

16th May 2016:
Hi, Sarah!

Kevin pointed me in the direction of this story and I'm really pleased that he did!

This was one of those stories that did an amazing job of taking something from the muggle world -- mundane, if you will -- and building a special sort of magic around it. Alice's chromesthesia -- I kept looking for a good word to use there: condition or ailment or sensory issue... none of them felt right -- becomes an amazing and beautiful thing in the context of this story. The way you wrote it built a neat mix of reality and surreality all at once. Even though it makes her different and makes some things sort of challenging, it never feels like she struggles with it. Instead, she treats it like a special part of herself. If only everyone could have such a positive experience with the things that make them different.

The way that she finds Frank and the way that she finds her will to fight to make the world a better place for Neville were probably my favorite parts of the story, along with Olivander's wand shop. Really great stuff!

Awesome job. I'll have to thank Kevin!

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Review #5, by CambAngstActions Speak Louder than Words: Buildup: Scorpius POV

25th March 2016:
Hi, Beth!

I have a new prime suspect. Healer Lawrence sure knows a lot about dark curses. He speaks lovingly about them, kind of like Barty, Jr. impersonating Mad-Eye Moody in Goblet of Fire. Or maybe that's what you want me to think. You're very sneaky!

Keeping the team small had its pros and cons. -- Not to nit-pick overly, but Scorpius doesn't seem to see any cons here, only pros.

Harry is a dab hand with those crime scene diagram charms. Seems like a guy who's had to do this far too often. :(

Nearly three months had passed and I still didn’t know how exactly to feel about that. - Poor guy. I doubt he'll ever know. There's no right way to feel about something like that.

For someone who's just there to lend expertise on the dark curses, Healer Lawrence took a lot of interest in Ron's assessment of the Death Eaters' tactics. Again, suspicious...

From the glint in his eye, it almost seemed like he got a sick sense of pleasure from simply talking about these horrible magical creations. -- Yep, very suspicious.

Somewhere in the back of my mind, it registered that I’d taken a direct hit to the heart with violenti totalis and survived, but another, much, much more pressing question rose in my throat. -- There's that prophecy-based resistance to curses rearing its head again. Seems that there's something special about both Rose and Scorpius.

Harry really comes through for Scorpius in the end. I like the way you balance Harry in this chapter. He's serious about his responsibilities, but also human.

Cool chapter! I'm looking forward to the chapter where Stannous kills Healer Lawrence so I can be wrong about him, too. :p

-Dan

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Review #6, by CambAngstPainful Bliss: Jealousy

11th March 2016:
Hi, Deeds!

“You don’t want to see me jealous,” Astoria whispered innocently. “I get a little crazy…” -- That may well be the biggest understatement you've ever written. We're not talking anything benign, like Taylor Swift crazy. No, we're talking about Kathy Bates in Misery-level crazy, with full-on emotional hostage-taking and mutual assured psychological destruction. With a cherry on top.

You imbue Astoria with so many different feelings and qualities. It's hard to even properly capture them all. I feel badly for her. Just incredibly, horribly sad. She needs so much help. But she's also disturbing to the point where it's almost uncomfortable to read. She makes me scared, for her and for everyone around her. You don't know who she's going to go after when she snaps -- someone else or herself -- you just know that it's going to happen and it's going to be ugly. But in spite of it all, the sympathy is always there.

Little by little, Lucien is getting through to Draco. Or causing Draco to get to the root of his own problems. I guess from the standpoint of making progress, they're interchangeable. I had guessed several chapters before that children -- or the lack thereof -- were at the root of Draco and Astoria's troubles. Tiny round of applause for me! For Draco to admit that he's jealous, however... that has to be a huge, huge thing for him. He's the scion of a wealthy family. Men like Draco don't feel jealousy, or at least they never admit it. Not even to themselves. He's finally admitting to himself that there are things he can't fix just by loving Astoria more.

I have this feeling like Zabini nearly found himself on the wrong end of a much bigger confrontation than he bargained for. Soon, when he calms down enough to think it over, he might realize that he took his life into his own hands when he stepped through the fireplace into Malfoy Manor to express his anger.

I saw what I think is a typo while reading:

If she needed a kidney he burn his flesh off with the tip of his wand and hand it over to her without a second thought. -- he would burn his flesh off?

Neat chapter! I'm looking forward to the next!

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Review #7, by CambAngstHermione Granger: White

13th January 2016:
Hi, Beth!

You always seem to find some detail to find some little detail to emphasize that both compliments the theme of your chapter as well as helping to ground the reader in the scene. This chapter was no exception, I'm pleased to say. The way that the harsh Australian sun washes out colors in Hermione's room fit so well with her overall experience. She came to Australia expecting to make peace with what she did to keep her parents safe during the war. Possibly even find forgiveness -- from her parents and/or forgiving herself. Instead the whole experience ended up being very mixed and sort of empty for her. All of the emotions she expected to feel -- love and relief and acceptance -- washed out by the sadness that came from realizing that both her and her parents have moved on with life.

She watched them for another nine days. They were happy. -- In a perverse way, I'm sure this was harder for Hermione to accept than if she'd found them unhappy. She has to feel like something should be missing from their lives, the same way that they've been missing from her life since she sent them away. But thanks to her own excellent skills, they are blissfully unaware of what's been taken from them. It's like she had never been there.

If she thought the feelings were intense when it looked like her mother recognized her, it was nothing compared to the deep-pitted devastation when it was obvious she didn’t. -- This. Oh my god, this. You nailed it.

She wasn’t elated. Or relieved or even weepy. Rather, she felt numb and empty. -- I think this makes perfect sense. As though she'd been expecting this tremendous outpouring of emotion, that her parents would throw their arms around her and rejoice at what had been given back to them. But since she was unable to explain the reasons why she sent them away in the first place, she couldn't have that moment.

I really love what you did with this chapter. I've read more than my fair share of hyper-emotional, weeping, rejoicing, thanking-the-stars-above reunions between Hermione and her parents. It's not that those are completely unrealistic, but your story takes a very different premise and makes it completely real. I really appreciate that.

Great job!

Author's Response: Hi Dan!

Rolling up my sleeves this weekend to get some MUCH overdue responses done (and avoiding some housework at the same time - heh heh).

Then I came upon this review and - whoa. Thanks so much for this. It brought me back to a place that I'd forgotten about in the past month; and suddenly I remember why I came here and why I stayed. ♥

I really appreciate this review because I wasn't sure if using the white and lack of color was hitting the mark. And to be completely honest, I kind of wrote this and surprised myself at how it unfolded. For the purposes of the story, I needed Hermione's parents to be somewhat out of the picture, but my head canon wouldn't allow me to just ignore them in Australia for a year or so. I feel like Hermione and her parents drifted apart slowly throughout her Hogwarts years, but after the war, she was clearly going to choose the Wizarding world over her old Muggle one.

"In a perverse way, I'm sure this was harder for Hermione to accept than if she'd found them unhappy." Yeah, I agree. Hermione, being an only child, was most likely the center of their lives. It's got to be hard to see that they didn't feel empty or sad on some level without her.

I'm trying to slowly weave in the after affects of the war as a steady progression.

Thanks again for this review! Re-reading it has gotten me excited for this story!

♥ Beth


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Review #8, by CambAngstComplicated: In Which Lies are Told

3rd January 2016:
Hi, Emma!

This review will be a bit shorter than what I normally leave because, well, time is like that during the holidays.

I was sat near the fire, trying to read a book while Louis plaited bits of my hair and Jason narrated extracts of Aunt Katie’s last letter. -- Wow. It's like she was sorted there. Olivia has settled so snugly into her new circle of friends. She's even managed to drag Scorpius into it. I feel happy for her.

I see you're building a bit of ScoRose action into the story now. If Cassie ever returns -- and I really feel like she will -- this is going to get so awkward on so many levels. Olivia and Scorpius have basically transplanted themselves into a new life. Given Cassie's demanding, controlling nature, I can't imagine her reacting well.

I like the advice that Olivia gave to her cousin on the walk to the owlery. Brilliant thought experiment. And don't think I wasn't applying that same thought experiment to Olivia's relationship with Albus.

I took out the letter I’d written for Cass and passed it to Mercury. She looked disdainfully at it until Jason offered her another treat, and then she pecked my hand and flew away with the letter. I wished I had a way to ask her where she was delivering them all. Tracking owls is illegal. Apparently it’s an invasion of privacy or something. But it would be really useful. -- So the owls aren't coming back marked "return to sender" or anything like that. Interesting. Seems very likely to me that she's still out there somewhere.

Hmmnn... I wonder what James is into these days. Something bad enough to nearly bring Albus to tears, it seems.

Nice chapter! I always find time to stop by and check the new ones out. Looking forward to more...

Author's Response: Dan! Happy New Year! Thank youuu as always for such a lovely and thoughtful review. I'm so glad you're still reading :)

This is the most comfortable Olivia has been with the Gryffindors so far, mostly because Scorpius is finally in there with her and I think she needs him in her life to feel really secure. Yeah, they've basically changed their lives since Cass left.

More on Cassie soon :)

Lots of love, Emma xx


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Review #9, by CambAngstThe Ten Year Anniversary of Dumbledore's Army: A Speech and Toasts

3rd January 2016:
Back for chapter 2! This is the one with the warning that caught my eye.

Suicide. Grim material. I'm interested to see how it comes up and how you handle it.

Dennis Creevey the Unspeakable. Definitely not the career choice I would have made for him, but interesting. I definitely get the idea of Dennis burying himself in his schoolwork to help move past his brother's death.

he’d always looked just as miserable as she’d felt. And now that laughter and happiness were slowly seeping back into Hannah’s own life, she wished the same for Dennis. -- That definitely hints at some back story for Hannah. Looking forward to reading about it.

Dean and Seamus make an amusingly mismatched couple. I could definitely see it playing out that way, given that they were always on the outside of the Harry-Ron friendship looking in, but from a greater distance than Neville.

No 10-year high school reunion is complete without adorable babies to fawn over. Aside from the magic, this is oddly reminiscent of my high school reunion. ;)

Wow. Sounds like Luna is a stone cold playa. :p I could definitely see her having a different attitude about love and relationships, seeing as how she had a different attitude about... well, basically everything. Poor Neville. I could never see him being anything other than the monogamous type.

Parvati's speech... wow. I guess somebody has to take one for the team and break the ice, and I have to say that she set the bar high.

It was a kind thing you did to give everyone the heads-up about Lavender's suicide. From a rules perspective I'm not sure it was required, but it was very considerate of you. That sort of thing is a big trigger for a lot of people. Again, the story line that accompanies it makes perfect sense to me. Chronic pain and scarring would be very difficult things to live with. In a dark moment, it's easy to understand how death would seem preferable. I liked the memories you chose for Lavender's parting moment. I'm really curious whether there might have been others, more personal in nature.

Harry's toast was a very fitting end to the chapter.

All in all, you did a great job with this. I like the way you write. It flows nicely and nothing sounds awkward or stiff. You mix up dialog and narrative well and you choose words that fit your characters. Great job!

Author's Response: Hello again, Dan!

And thanks again for the reviews. I'm never able to get more than one review out in one day, so it's amazing to me that you left these two reviews in such a short time, haha!

Yes, this is the chapter that deals with the most serious topic (though the next has some grim elements too...). The idea of Lavender's suicide came to me late one night as I thought about who lived and who died in the Battle of Hogwarts, and the idea wouldn't leave me alone. But I didn't feel able to tackle the subject directly in a story, so having Parvati bring it up in her speech in this story instead felt like the perfect way to get it in in a respectful way, if that makes sense.

Dennis as an Unspeakable is more me having fun with the characters, though, haha. It's such an unexpected thing for him, isn't it? But people in real life often do surprising things, and I believe in letting characters follow unexpected tracks too. Our lives aren't determined by who we were at eleven or fourteen, after all. And yes, the Hannah backstory comes up pretty extensively in the next chapter. : )

One day I'll write the Dean/Seamus story I've always dreamt of, where Seamus is gay and falls in love with his best friend and has to watch him go into all these relationships with girls until he breaks down and confesses his love - and Dean, after the first shock, realises he loves Seamus back!

Haha, the only reunion I've been to yet was a three year reunion, without babies (but some of my old classmates have kids now, so our next reunion will be more like this, haha), so I'm glad I managed to capture the sense of a ten year one without having ever been to one, haha.

Yeah, Luna does things her own way... and Neville does things more traditionally, haha. But I might write a story where they stay together and are poly one day. It might not be easy to make it work, but I hope I could... But I agree that Neville seems more like the monogamous type.

Writing Parvati's speech is one of the most difficult things I've done when it comes to fanfiction. I wrote this story a few months after a friend of mine lost someone close to them through suicide, and I based Parvati's speech a lot on our conversations. As for the warning I was always going to include it, but the mods told me how to do it correctly, so I actually believe it was needed rules-wise. And there were definitely other, more personal memories... but I don't know what they were. Maybe I'll write about them in another story eventually.

Thank you for the compliments on my writing! As someone who doesn't have English as their first language it's extra nice to hear that you think my writing flows nicely and isn't awkward. I worry about those things a lot.

Wow, this turned into an essay. Sorry about that, haha. I hope you find the time to come back for chapter 3 and the epilogue too some day! : )

/Kapa


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Review #10, by CambAngstThe Ten Year Anniversary of Dumbledore's Army: Before the Party

3rd January 2016:
Hi, Kapa!

Your post about your chapter update caught my eye. I really like stories where authors aren't afraid to tackle touchy topics. (Unintentional, but wow, say that five times fast...) Coming in, I wasn't sure what sensitive subject (somebody stop me, please) you were going to write about, but I thought it was well worth finding out.

I liked the way you set Hannah up at the start of the chapter. It seems like her life has turned out well enough, but not as well as she'd expected. I'm always a fan of that theme in post-war stories: the idea that real life can be a bit of a let-down after being part of a secret army fighting the oppression of dark wizards and surviving a battle that will live forever in history books.

Ha! Poor Hannah. I do the same thing with my alarm clock.

I see that Hermione still hasn't developed a knack for domestic chores. Makes sense, given her apparent career path. And she made Ron hyphenate his name. That's funny.

I love the idea of Hannah sporting pigtails for a bit of nostalgia. I'm sure she was adorable.

Nice start to the story. It was nice and gradual and gave me a good sense of the time and setting. Looking forward to what's next.

Author's Response: Hello Dan, and thank you for the two reviews! This was the first review I got in 2016, so extra yay for that! : )

Wow, it seems my attempt to warn people off instead worked as unintentional advertising, haha! I do try to not shy away from tackling touchy topics (Tackle touchy topsics, Tachy touckle... no, I give up.), but I hope I didn't get your hopes further up than what's warranted. This is a light-hearted story at heart, after all...

I also definitely believe in treating the Hogwarts era character as what they are in the Post Hogwarts era, namely survivors of a war. As I wrote this story this became more and more clear to me, and I tried to let the different ramifications for the different characters show as much as possible. As for Hannah, I think it's more trying to get her life into a trajectory that she's actually happy with than her life being a let down compared to the adventures of the war, but there's more on that in the third chapter...

The alarm clock thing is actually based on something that happened to a friend, haha. And yes, Hermione still isn't good at cooking. I think she tries to make dishes that are too complicated for her skill level because she's so unused to not doing things she's not great at, haha! As for the hyphenating thing, that's pretty common here in Sweden (though the new trend is to pick out a whole new surname together...), and I think it'd work for Ron and Hermione so I threw it in.

I'm happy you liked this first chapter. It definitely is a way to gradually ease the reader into the story. (And yeah, I think Hannah was adorable in her braids too!) Thank you again for this nice review! : )

/Kapa


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Review #11, by CambAngstActions Speak Louder than Words: Bereaving: Scorpius and Rose POV

31st December 2015:
Hi, Beth!

So today got away from me a bit. Often happens on the last work day before a long weekend. Nevertheless, here I am to put my thoughts into words.

I loved what you did with the story line in this chapter. After the horrible shock from the last chapter, you took some time to let the characters grapple with their emotions and try to come to terms with what happened. Pretty much the way people handle these situations in real life, so that felt very natural. Unless something huge was going to happen in the aftermath of Selenia's death -- another attack, a giant revelation -- this was the right way to pace things.

At least for me, your writing in Scorpius's half of the chapter felt a little stiff. They guy is obviously dealing with a lot of strong emotions and conflicting feelings of responsibility -- taking care of Rose, being excited about the baby, being worried about Al, wanting to catch the killer(s) -- as well as his own grief. What bugged me a little bit was the choice of words and phrases in some places. You normally write with such a natural-feeling flow and rhythm and not a lot of extraneous words. There were a few places where the phrasing of things felt a little too formal and the sentences got a bit long.

It was really sweet of Rose to try to help Selenia's muggle parents make sense of what had happened. I'm glad that her mother isn't going to end up embittered like Petunia Dursley. If I had any critique of this section, it was perhaps that Selenia's mother was dealing with things a little too well.

The high point of Scorpius's half of the chapter for me was James. I thought you did a great job with a character who hasn't been a major focus of the story up to this point. I loved the way you captured his small movements and mannerisms.

Moving on to Rose's section, I felt like you were right back into your normal writing style. It all flowed beautifully, especially the dialog. I had the sense that you were a lot more comfortable writing this section.

Samara... So now that I can't be suspicious of Selenia anymore, you've provided me a suitable replacement. ;) Is she a dark wizard collaborator or just an annoying fangirl?

He wouldn’t take the calming draught and only would drink the draught of dreamless sleep after much convincing on particularly bad nights. -- Some things obviously run in the family.

Wow. The letter from Selenia. That nearly undid me, as well. :-/ Once again, Rose almost starts to look through the case file from her training. Obviously you're saving that for a Big Moment in the story. I'm still highly suspicious that the dead couple are Draco and Astoria...

You came up with a brilliant way to snap Al out of his funk. I'm sure he's not completely out of it, but at least he seemed more like himself for a bit. You wrote the whole scene very well!

I noticed a few typos while I was reading:

“Nah,” I inhaled as I shook my head. He won’t come out. Still barely eating.” -- You missed your quote marks at the start of the second bit of dialog.

It was that image the completely undid me. -- that completely undid me

“She’d be really sod off if she knew... -- OK, I admit that I don't know whether this is wrong or not. It reads awkwardly and I'm not sure there's a proper past tense of "sod off". ;)

Awesome chapter! I'm looking forward to your big finale!

Happy New Year!
-Dan

Author's Response: Hey there Dan!,

The good news: I've fixed all the typos you found in this chapter.

The bad news: I completely suck at responding to reviews. I'm so sorry.

Thanks so much for finding those typos. I fixed the first two quickly checked on the last one, and I can't find a definitive answer, so I'll have to dig a little deeper when I get the chance and see if I should replace that with another phrase or if it's correct.

Also, thanks for your feedback on Scorpius's POV in this one. I'm definitely going to give it another look - and I think you're right - I didn't quite capture his intense range of emotions this time around. He's got to be feeling everything and carrying a lot of burden on his shoulders.

Haha - yeah - Selenia can't be an inside operative now that she's out of the picture. I like your thinking on this, but I'm still smiling because you haven't figured out everything just yet. As far as Selenia's mum was concerned, I totally took the easy way out on this one (*hides behind couch*) because I wanted a clean break with her parents. I didn't want them demanding an investigation from the ministry and adding another story line and cast of characters with their own agendas. I probably could've found some middle ground in between the two...

The letter was actually an afterthought, but it seemed to fit really well. It kind of acted as a nice way for Rose to say goodbye to her best friend.

The scene where Al feels the baby move has been around for ages. From the moment I knew I was going to have to kill off Selenia, that was going to be Al's olive branch back to the land of the living.

And since I know you read all of my author responses, I feel this little tidbit won't go unnoticed: In my original version (the one that first swirled around in my head and wouldn't STOP, so I just HAD to start writing), Selenia wasn't going to be the one who got killed. It was another character entirely. Maybe one of these days, I'll get around to making a thread on the forums with all this stuff... gotta finish the story first - gotta finish the story first - gotta...

Thanks again - I appreciate all your support and critique!

♥ Beth


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Review #12, by CambAngstAll Aboard the Hogwarts Express: Toot, toot!

11th November 2015:
Hi, pix! I'm trying to revive the Review the Person Above You thread in the CR. You've been tagged!

Wow. This just wasn't what I was expecting at all when I thought, "How about a little bit of reviewing today!" It's not too much of a struggle to imagine where you were at mentally when this idea came to you. All I can say is that my boys' fascination with Thomas the Tank Engine was blessedly short.

Do I remember reading something (Pottermore, maybe) about the Hogwarts Express having been, er, liberated from the muggle world to serve the magical children of Hogwarts? Whether or not I did, I'm certainly willing to accept this version of events. I like Sir PointedHat. Sir Topham would approve.

I'm not sure whether the lonely boy was Harry or Neville. Not the first time that things could have gone either way for the two of them. ;) I'm quite sure who the mean boy was, though.

Ha! I love the Express getting competitive with Arthur's Anglia. And the train gets the better of the argument in the end. Totally unrelated note: was anyone else disappointed that the Anglia didn't come tearing out of the forest during the Battle of Hogwarts and, I don't know, run down a few Death Eaters? Maybe knee-cap one of the smaller giants? Am I the only one who has thoughts like this?

Oh, if only the train had rained chocolate frogs after the Dementors stopped it. That would have been a great solution to the problem. I think it violates one of Gamp's Laws, unless maybe the Express borrowed them from the Trolley Witch. But that's neither here nor there. Chocolate frogs for everyone!

Ooh, such a mean trick to play on the carriages. Nobody would have forgotten the Dementors by then. I love the fact that Luna made her way into this story. She's actually a natural for a story told in this style.

Well I have to say, I had fun. This was a neat story and I love the fact that you're never afraid to try something new and different. And make a compelling challenge entry or two out of the idea. Great job!

Author's Response: Hey Dan!

I finally crawled out of the NaNo cave, so there's no excuse not to respond to these reviews that seem to have popped up while I was away.

Erm... surprise? LOL! How sweet you are to have read this piece! I think your review was almost as long as the fic itself. :) My little boy has embraced the whole train thing, and even though he doesn't care whether or not the trains have faces, we did end up with a LOT of Thomas hand-me-downs. I can't say that I wasn't mostly familiar with the fandom already. Did you know there are adult-ish people writing Thomas the Train fanfiction? I read a few that were pretty well-done (and on a much higher reading level that this collection of stories), but I don't love trains enough to really have gotten into it.

Yes, that was Pottermore, but I got it from a leaked source on Wikki, or somewhere... I actually did some research for this thing, and I thought it would be good to start these stories from a logical point, say, the beginning?

With a story like this, it doesn't really matter who the children are, as much as what the Hogwarts Express does for them. It didn't know their names, so we don't need to either. I love this kind of open-ended exploration of the scene. It was refreshing to find a way to be vague without having it adversely affect the story... or at least that's how I'd like to think it came out. Don't burst my bubble here. It feels good. :P

The Anglia was my favorite part too! I wish that I could have made all the stories that impactfull, but I was also on a bit of a time crunch, and really, how much time does one want to spend on 500 words anyway when there's so much more to do?

I was so expecting that car to reappear by the end of the books too. I was sorry that it didn't, and I kept waiting for it to happen. I wonder if the Final Battle scene had just too much going on that JK had to just let some things drop and go for the most important part of the story line. But yeah, that would have been great to see some of those Death Eaters get run over by an arrogant beast of a machine.

It was difficult to figure out what would have fit in with canon if the Train actually had a role to play in the story. I figured that if it teamed up with the Trolley, they could have some good affect. I was particularly influenced by some of Thomas' jokester friends, and I was reaching for a bit of dialog in that last one. Luna came through for me and had it all work out in the end.

I do have to say that 100 words is a beast to wrangle a proper story out of. Whew!

This was fun to play with. Thanks for reading and leaving a fantabulous review!

Pix


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Review #13, by CambAngstThe Serpent of Slytherin: Mother

10th November 2015:
Tagging you from Review Tag!

It's always sad to see a story with no reviews. Let's fix that!

I really like what you did with the Basilisk. It's point of view is limited and innocent. It's a neat contrast to the deadly nature of the creature. The way that it imprints on Salazar Slytherin -- deciding that he is her mother -- was almost cute in a weird way.

obviously, Mother was strongest and it felt reassuringly safe. -- Again, we get that naive perspective. So many conflicting ideas going on here. I love it!

I thought you did a good job with Salazar's arrogance. He doesn't realize that his own blood -- the pure blood of a wizard -- tastes no different to the great snake than the blood of a more common wizard. It's all just iron to her. Nice imagery with that.

The Basilisk saw the man stand in front of her basin, looking for something nervously and reeking of incertitude and fear. -- Neat idea. Even Tom was worried about whether he'd be able to master the monster.

You did a nice job writing this. I like that you kept things short and focused. It fit well with the Basilisk's narrative voice. The story flowed well and I couldn't see a single typo or grammatical problem. Good job!

Author's Response: Hi Dan!

Yes, I know right? But I didn't feel too bad about this one because it's a re-upping from last year (I had a different account on the archives) :p

Indeed, the Basilisk is kind of cute! I find (almost) all animals adorable in the first place but I must admit I had difficulties with snakes (let's not get me started on spiders and bugs). This was written for the "not all creatures are of darkness and decay" prompt and I just didn't want to go for a traditional nice creature (although I did consider a unicorn, for fun ^^).

Most animals tend to imprint on the first being they see, like a duckling as it hatches. Of course, interaction and feeding plays quite the part, but the "mummy's the first one I see when I'm born" instinct is pretty strong.

Oh, yes. I really love the impossibility that is "pure" and "mud" blood. I mean, there's blood that tastes sweet instead of like iron, but clean and sullied blood? Puh-lease. It makes no sense and animals make sense.

Can you imagine if Riddle had done one thing wrong and been eaten by the Basilisk before "turning" into Voldemort? Haha!

Thank you!! I had a great, great help thanks to luvinpadfoot's beta-reading! :p
Your review was a wonderful surprise, thank you so much for tagging me! ♥

*Gee.


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

2nd November 2015:
Hi, Hanna!

First off, I'm excited beyond words that you're continuing to write this story. I was really worried there for a while that maybe life had gotten so busy that (sniff...) you'd given up on it. I'm relieved that isn't the case.

Getting my head back into the story was a snap. I didn't even re-read chapter 25, I just re-read my review of chapter 25 and everything clicked into place. The way you write is so memorable and gripping. It's never hard to come back to this.

I'm really hoping that the first part of this chapter represents "rock bottom" for Gwen. Things have been spiraling down for several chapters now. The lies she's telling everyone -- including herself -- keep getting worse and worse. It seems like James is really struggling to keep his feelings for her in check, which is only making things more difficult. Every time they're alone together, it feels like they're on the brink of another kiss. This is probably due to how well you've conditioned me, but I'm just not in favor of that anymore. They both have things that they need to sort out before they can be a couple. Getting together at this moment feels like a move with a lot of potential regret.

I love the way you wrote the atmosphere for Gwen's visit to her mother's grave. The cold inside and the cold outside seem to merge. She's trying so hard to feel nothing and for once it's like she's feeling everything. It was a great way to set up her frame of mind for the rest of the chapter.

I thought you paced the scene with her and James really well. Nothing happens automatically. Nothing is easy. They both have to work their way through things, slowly. Gwen isn't instantly giving in to her desires. Gradually, they start to relax and ease back into interacting as friends. James hugs her through her tears. They talk. They ponder the meaning of what's going on with Gwen's father. For a while, things really do seem normal.

Not to jump ahead to the scene with Joshua, but I do agree with him about James's motivations. It's not too hard to believe that his genuine concern was combined with some selfish desires when he makes her stay for a nap. And it works... almost. She wakes up so late that it would have been easier in some ways to simply admit that she didn't want to go back to Joshua. Back to another encounter where she would feel like she'd let him down. But if she hadn't gone back, it wouldn't be Gwen. So she flees another potential kiss and returns to France.

Even the vomiting scene seemed to me like it served a purpose in this chapter. By the time Gwen reaches Joshua's study, it feels like she's completely stripped of any sort of false pretenses. She just lost her lunch on his front walk, for god's sake!

If there's anything in this story I'm still struggling with, it's trying to figure out what on earth Joshua's angle is. Maybe he really is just the world's most perfect and understanding "friend with short-term benefits". Maybe he's still so messed up over Maggie that he consciously puts himself through these doomed relationships. Or maybe there's more to it than that. There are still so many mysterious things about the guy and I still have a feeling that he's going to tie into the mystery surrounding Gwen's father somehow.

For the moment, however, he finally administers a huge dose of blunt honesty to Gwen. One that she's been needing really badly. Beyond that, he's a source that's simply too credible for her to ignore because he has NOTHING to gain and EVERYTHING to lose by being honest with her. Yet he tells her the truth anyway. Even Gwen, with her nearly invincible powers of self-deception and denial, can't rationalize away everything he's saying. She's still not 100% of the way to admitting the truth, but she took a big step here.

I'm really excited to see what happens next. I think you told me once that you were planning somewhere around 30 chapters, so maybe we'll start to see some of the plot arcs come together soon? Please? Pretty please?

Awesome job!

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Review #15, by CambAngstMeddling with Marauders: Babbling Beverages

21st October 2015:
Hi, Dee! It seems I've run out of chapters already. You're going to need to fix that. ;)

She watched him in fury, the desire to hex him overwhelming, outweighed only by the need to tell his friends what he would eventually do to them. If she was unlikely to ever return to her future, what was the harm in changing it? -- Now that's my girl! Exactly the way I would feel. The fact that 1976 Peter might not have even considered the idea of betraying his friends would not have a large impact on my decision. The rat must suffer!

I sense some serious awkwardness and perhaps romantic tension between Hermione and Sirius. He seems to be able to make her completely flustered without even trying. She was able to get him to be halfway serious in Potions. It's like providence at work.

I really like the way you've balanced out Sirius's character here. He doesn't take his own schoolwork seriously (gah! why do I keep using that word???) but he has an obvious appreciation for Hermione's talents. He isn't disparaging of her for being studious, in fact he seems very interested in figuring out how she learned the things she knows.

Ugh, she slips up again! I guess the existence of Sirius's brother was reasonably common knowledge, so it wasn't hard to cover up her slip. Still, she was to work on this.

Oh, no! Then she mentions Harry. You know, I think this whole "going back in time" thing would be a lot harder than it seems. You'd have to rework your entire small talk game. I bet it always gets you when you least expect it.

OK, now I'm really curious to see where we go from here. I still have the strange feeling that Dumbledore won't be able to completely keep his curiosity at bay...

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Review #16, by CambAngstMeddling with Marauders: Meeting Lily Evans

21st October 2015:
It feels like you've taken Dumbledore in sort of a Doc Brown direction. Or maybe I just have Back to the Future on the brain because today is the day Marty McFly arrived in the future in the sequel. Neil DeGrasse Tyson is doing an excellent series of Tweets on things we saw in that future and whether or not they panned out in reality. It's a fun exercise.

I already feel Hermione's resolve being tested. I have a feeling that she's going to struggle a lot to keep her knowledge of the future to herself, especially if she gets close to Lily and the Marauders. I mean, how on earth could you look Peter in the face, knowing what he would do? How do you not just curse the miserable rat as soon as you see him? Or Barty Crouch, Jr. for that matter?

Ha! I think she's going to struggle a lot with the fashion of the time. Can't you just see her in tight bell-bottom jeans and a blouse with wide lapels? Maybe some high-heeled boots to complete the look? Why do I feel like I'm imagining a character from a Dramione? :p

Oh, this isn't going so well at all. If Hermione doesn't learn to control her reactions to people that she knew in her own time, this mission gets exponentially harder. Plus people are going to think that she has some sort of social anxiety disorder.

All that said, I think she's way better off in the magical world than Marty McFly was in the muggle world. I think a lot less changed in the magical world between the 70's and the 90's. I doubt that there were a lot of new spells or potions invented and a lot of the purebloods probably didn't change the way they dressed at all over that time.

Let's see, what else? I'm enjoying the way you've written Lily so far, but I hope there's more definition coming to her character. Granted, she only appeared in this chapter, but she seems pretty cheery-huggy-kissy. Sirius is obviously a charmer. It's going to be fascinating to see how Hermione's interactions with him go. I'm also suspicious that you have something planned around the fact that Hermione knows Remus is a werewolf. Something that will risk blowing her cover.

Whee, fun! You're doing a great job so far!

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Review #17, by CambAngstMeddling with Marauders: Opportunity Arises

21st October 2015:
Hi, Dee! I saw your status this morning about your new chapter and it reminded me that I haven't stopped by for a while.

I like the way you set up Hermione's big decision. She missed her chance when Sirius was killed, so now she has a second catalyzing event that she wasn't willing to pass up on. It's interesting to sit where we do and realize that her plan, had it succeeded, would have thwarted Dumbledore's plan and probably condemned him to a drawn-out, painful death. It's very interesting to ponder how things might have gone differently.

I guess the time-turner didn't work quite the way she expected. Maybe it was damaged and that's why it was laying on the floor in the DoM. Or maybe it was some sort of experimental "Super Time-Turner". Regardless, I don't think she's in Kansas anymore.

I like the way you wrote her mindset. She's cautious and deliberate, even though she doesn't at first realize how far back she's traveled. She stays concealed, assesses her situation, then acts. Very Hermione-like.

It looks like she'll be taking Dumbledore into her confidence to some extent. I like this plot development. Much better than situations where the protagonist tries to go it alone for as long as possible, then ends up in the same situation.

I'm excited to see where this goes. I imagine that a much younger Dumbledore is going to feel very conflicted. Eager to avoid the mistakes his future self would have made, but tempered by the dangers of playing with time. Your story could go a lot of different ways, and I'm curious about the path you'll choose.

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Review #18, by CambAngstInstantly: Instantly

18th October 2015:
Hi, Gabbie! I'm here for our swap.

Well this was a bit of a surprise. Most people don't start a George/Angelina story quite this deep in the past. Some things seem fairly constant through the chronology of the stories. Percy is still overbearing and borderline insufferable. Fred still takes a lot of joy in pushing Percy's buttons. And George seems to find the whole thing very amusing. Perhaps not as amusing as Fred. There's a bit of reserve to his character here, which I like. He's not quite "all in" the way that Fred is. It's a nice bit of differentiation between the twins, who are written far too often as basically two characters sharing one personality. I like your version better.

I love your version of Alicia. There's a lot of fire there, and a great sense of humor. Definitely someone who'd be attracted to the twins. And she takes the mickey right out of Percy's girlfriend-to-be. Good on you, Alicia!

George's reaction to his first sight of Angelina was interesting. It was a little strange for me to imagine an 11-year-old feeling all of these things. Maybe not feeling them, actually. Maybe what seems strange is that he was able to name the feelings in his mind and have some sense of what they meant. Especially the part where he ties them back to his mother's words about a Weasley falling in love. That seemed a bit advanced for a boy George's age.

Angelina turned out really well for you, I thought. She has a combination of fiery and shy that worked really well for an 11-year-old girl on probably her first journey away from home. She can plainly take care of herself in the face of something like being bumped into by Percy, but she doesn't quite know how to deal with the friendly overtures from Fred, Alicia and George. It's cute and endearing.

“I swear, the day I see you crack a joke'll be the day I die,” he muttered. -- Oh, not cool, Gabbie. Not cool at all. You are not allowed to play with my feels like that. ;)

... although George had known he would be Sorted into Gryffindor, he was thrilled when Angelina joined he and his grinning brother. -- One small thought on this. I believe the First Years are always sorted alphabetically, which means that Angelina and Alicia both would have been sorted before Fred and George. Another point of continuity: Katie Bell was a year younger than the other four.

Ah, poor lovestruck George. I'm glad that he realizes that it will be a long time before he and Angelina properly declare their feelings for one another. It's kind of bittersweet to imagine the sadness and loss that both of them will face before that happens. But it also makes me smile to think of all the good times they will share between now and then.

I thought your writing was really good in this. The story flowed nicely and it didn't feel anywhere near its actual length. Contrary to your suspicions, I only noticed one typo:

Percy sniffed disdainfully as the Express took them pass green fields and pastures. -- past green fields

Nice job!

Author's Response: Hello!

Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving the first review for this story! I recently decided that I wanted to write an entire new span of George/Angelina one-shots and maybe a short story. I'm not sure if you saw it but I wrote a semi-rant blog about diversity a while back that got me pretty fired up. I decided that I was just going to go on a personal crusade to fill the archives with as much interracial love and whatnot.

*Ahem*

I thought it would be more fun and challenging to write George and the others while they were so young. I wrote about the first time he meets Angelina in her story and I thought it would be neat to show his version of it. I also really love writing children, especially around this age so it just kind of flew by without me really noticing.

Percy is still an insufferable know it all, Fred is an outspoken little prankster and George just merely takes it all in. I never understand why people always write the twins as if they share one mind (Even in the HP books it felt that way) because real twins are not at all like this. There are some that are really close and there are others who aren't or fall in between. I think that switching up and making George the quieter, more reserved of the two works. He likes to play tricks and he's not going to turn down an adventure but I think that he's a lot more responsible than Fred may be. If there were an opportunity for Fred to go completely insane with their pranks, George would probably be the one making sure he wore goggles first.

Oooh, I wasn't really sure if I captured Alicia well in this. I haven't written her that much and I certainly had no way of writing her so young either. I'm glad that you like her though, she's a lot like my version of Katie Bell but just like the twins, I think that she's the more responsible of the two.

I thought that George's reaction to Angelina was a little too mature as well. I looked back over the story and that section in particular because I thought that I was reaching a bit too much. George is a bit more mature than I think he realizes, which was more of the angle here but I may have described his feelings a little too much.

Phew, I was nervous about Angelina too. I have written her this age before in her story (This entire one-shot is just the same memory from George's POV) but I wasn't sure how to write her from George's eyes. I am glad that she had so much personality though, she's a tough girl but she's also extremely shy. She probably wasn't used to being around so many kids her own age. She is cute though, George mentions that she looked "mean as hell" but apparently that's not a bad thing. Hahaha.

Muahahah. I will play with your feels whether you enjoy them or not! Trust me, in "This is Angelina" I drop foreshadowing hints everywhere and they always make people upset. I am evil!

The Sorting thing is ALSO a mistake. You are right about them going in alphabetical order and I think I'll edit that because it makes absolutely no sense. Also, the thing about Katie Bell is that I've aged her up one year for my universe. I don't remember why but it just fit better that they were all together for me.

George is pretty astute for an eleven year old, it's really weird. Anyway, a lot does happen to George and Angelina before they actually become a couple. BUT this one-shot ended on a much lighter note because we all know that they had some pretty swell times before all of the bad things, which is most important.

Thank you so much for the review, it was remarkably sweet. :3

Much love,

Gabbie



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Review #19, by CambAngstActions Speak Louder than Words: Brutal Agony: Rose POV

9th October 2015:
Hi, Beth!

OK, so I guess my theory on Selenia being part of Stannous's conspiracy didn't really pan out, did it? I'm sad to see her gone now. Poor Albus is... well, I guess we see exactly how he is. I feel like there's going to be a lot of emotional reckoning and the events of this chapter have only scratched the surface.

You did a really good job of capturing the shock that Rose is suffering at the start of the chapter. Gradually -- with more than a couple of setbacks -- she regains control of herself and manages to get some semblance of professional detachment back. The whole section is very stark and bumpy, which felt right to me. I liked how you picked out small, random details and kept the bigger picture hazy.

Then there was this:

As we approached, I recognized the two Aurors standing around the broken couple. Dom and Teddy. She was holding onto him as if she’d seen death.

She had.
-- This is the sort of writing that keeps me coming back. :)

One of the things I liked most about this was the job you did with Rose's dialog. Everyone's dialog, actually, but Rose's in particular. With little pauses and half-broken words, bits of punctuation here and there, you loaded a lot of emotion into the words.

Ugh, so Selenia was killed by the same curse Stannous used on Rose. Two possibilities occur to me. Either Stannous saw the blue cloak and assumed that it was Rose or he's trying to send Rose a message. I'd say that they're equally morbid possibilities. Either way, it would seem that Stannous is trying to reinforce the truth of the prophecy. I doubt he's much fun at parties, either.

We held each other and Al as if we were holding on to our last bit of sanity, to express our own grief and to just grasp onto anything solid. -- It's a gut-wrenching yet beautiful sentiment.

I've been really impressed by the way you've built up your catalog of nasty curses that Stannous's followers use in your story. In my mind, they're starting to make an impact similar to what I feel when I read the words Crucio or Avadra Kedavra. That sort of creeping, cold, empty feeling.

"She's gone Rosie. It'll never feel better." -- Sigh. I guess you had to go there. Poor guy.

I saw a couple of small typos as I was reading:

I peered around his head, still confused by the scene and . Uncle Harry hadn’t moved from kneeling next to Albus -- There's an extra period in the middle of this sentence.

The cloak? I’d given the periwinkle cloak Selenia. -- to Selenia?

Excellent job and congratulations on your well-deserved Dobby for this awesome story!

Author's Response: Hey there Dan,

I'm sorry your theory didn't pan out, but I really like that you keep making guesses as to how the story is going to go ;)

I'm so happy the initial scene played out for how Rose was experiencing the emotions and processing everything all at once. It was a bit tricky to write - and I never know if what's in my head actually came out in the words until I get some feedback, so thanks so much for that!

Gah! I'm smiling so much at your kind words (even though this chapter doesn't warrant smiles) - I always worry if I go *too* far with the dramatics of a particular part of the story - but I kept that part about Dom seeing death in there and I think it was a good time to be dramatic...

Aw, thanks so much about the dialogue comment. I was trying to be *in Rose's head* for this entire chapter and her words weren't coming to her so easily. I didn't want to say that outright, but I'm thrilled it still came across.

So, I like it when authors discuss different scenarios of their story, but I sometimes feel weird doing it - but here goes: My original plan for this part of the story was to have Albus be the victim. (way, WAY back in the outline stage of things) But (and I KNOW this sounds like I'm off my rocker), I just *couldn't* do that to Harry. Family was everything to him and I don't know if he would be able to come out on the other side of things from losing his son. Plus, then I'd be down an Auror who needed to help solve this case and a whole bunch of other issues that would arise from that plot point. Once I'd decided on Selenia, it just seemed to make so much more sense for this particular story.

Okay - we can now exit the warped recesses of my mind that thinks about this stuff *far* too much ;)

Gah! I can't get over your kind words. It make me feel so happy to hear that things I've put into this story bring about certain emotions in the readers. And I had that last line written for ages. Albus is going to be tortured by this for a long, long time.

And I fixed up all the typos - thanks for catching them!

♥ Beth


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Review #20, by CambAngstDevlin Potter: Convergence Riddles: Evidence

28th September 2015:
Hi, Tori!

You know, I don't care for this Kendall Green kid. Nope, don't care for him one bit. I'm glad that Devlin has at least made a firm determination as to who set him up. Once again, Andrew is sticking by Devlin's side. He's a good egg, Andrew. I just hope that doesn't get him killed in the end.

"You were supposed to be loyal to me," he said, while his chest pounded and his ears rang and his wolf screamed for domination. -- An interesting sentiment. I get these shades of Voldemort from Devlin every once in a while. The need to control and be in control.

"Don't touch me!" He said, and his gaze rose to look at her now. His hands were curled into fists, blood locked away from his whitening knuckles, pounding amply in his chest. "I don't like people touching me when I haven't said they could!" -- There's a flash of the old Devlin. Anger and fear taking away his self control. We don't see that often anymore. I wonder whether Snape would approve or disapprove? It's one of those rare moments where he's not playing the dangerous game.

Instead she seemed simply taken aback - an expression that appeared almost like realization filtering across her face. -- In that moment, I imagine that she briefly saw the wounded child and not the carefully crafted echo of a monster.

Dumbledore watched him with patience; infuriating because of the way it acknowledged his awareness of Devlin's internal struggle. -- I love the way you always capture the layers of subtle games that are being played whenever Devlin and Dumbledore share a scene. Subtle, but no less important.

Wow. Snape to the rescue. Sort of. Kind of. OK, maybe not as much as Devlin would like to believe, but it at least spared him from having to set a series of events in motion involving Kendall Green. I really liked the little drama that plays out between Snape and McGonagall. It's so rare in fan fiction to see any sort of situation where the two are portrayed as evenly matched or, as in this case, Snape has an edge when it comes to understanding a situation.

Devlin recovers pretty well after McGonagall is dismissed. One small thing I should point out is that it was a little difficult to follow who was speaking when Devlin asks about the letter M. I think it would help if you moved the words "Devlin did not move" into a new sentence starting the next paragraph.

"Because I thought he was my friend, but he never really was." -- Once again, Devlin manages to come up with a near-perfect answer for the situation. In an odd way -- whether or not he meant to -- I think he just gave Dumbledore exactly the information he was looking for. But he did it in such a way that there's really no action Dumbledore can take against Kendall Green. Except perhaps watch the boy more closely and wait for him to mess up on his own.

Ooh! Dumbledore's parting words weren't half bad, either. Once again, the chess match comes to a stalemate.

Maria has such an effect on Devlin. Somehow, she leads him to take the risk of trying to be normal, which is not trivial if you're Devlin. By managing to survive and reclaim something of her childhood, she shows him a slim hope that he could possibly do the same. Part of him doesn't believe it, part of him certainly doesn't want to. But I think there's a small part of him that thinks it's possible and she helps that part to come to the surface on occasion.

Speaking of chess matches, there's also the ongoing exchange of half-truths and carefully selected bits of information between Harry and Geoffrey. I think the both learn a thing or two they find surprising here. More Geoffrey than Harry, I guess.

Another beautifully vivid mind sequence shared between Snape and Devlin. Hmmnn... I wonder whether Snape knows about the Horcruxes in your timeline? Knows about them or at least suspects that they exist. His question certainly seems to suggest it.

Aww! One thing I've always loved from Deathly Hallows -- the reason that I will always believe in the Harry/Ginny pairing in spite of all the reasons that people have for why they don't like it -- is the imagine of Harry watching her footprints on the Marauders Map. Again, we see him keeping tabs on someone he cares about.

I saw a few little typos:

-- He did not recall his scarce years of childhood, and he was certain the behavior of a six year would be ill-received in such instances. -- six-year-old?

-- "I am always so pleased to see how much you care about your Slytherin's, Severus." -- Slytherins

-- If looks could kill, Devlin was fairly certain Severus' would be an unpleasant, drawn-out poison. -- Severus's

-- Of course, that hadn't been what Severus' had dared him to ask -- no apostrophe after Severus

Neat chapter! I'm hoping that you're building toward a major moment involving Harry and Devlin. The two of them have been rather distant in this story. Until next time...

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Review #21, by CambAngstThink of Funerals: Five Stories

25th September 2015:
Hi there!

This was a really neat story. I admit that I didn't figure out most of the techniques you were applying until I read your author's note. Some things made a lot more sense after that. ;)

I think you did a great job of rising to the various challenges and making great descriptions and imagery fit within some tight constraints. I didn't even notice the alphabetical arrangement of words in the Diary section until you pointed it out and I think that's a big compliment. It's really hard to have your word choice limited like that and you did a great job with it.

For some reason, I pictured the wedding in the first section as being Lily and James Potter's wedding. The narrator seemed like an ex-lover of James's who showed up solely to remind him of what he'd chosen to pass up on.

I really liked the Diary scene. I could imagine the sharp words of remonstration that Tom Riddle used to control and manipulate poor Ginny.

If not for the words "the last time I saw her", I would think that the narrative voice in the Narcissa section is Draco. Perhaps Lucius has written from Azkaban. Maybe I still think that.

How to be a proper heterosexual. Wow. Great job with the bitterness and self-loathing. I'm not a Wolfstar advocate, myself, but the sentiment is perfect for a one-sided version of that pairing.

I love watching you challenge and stretch yourself as a writer. Excellent job!

Author's Response: OK so I've still yet to reply to your last review on Y5 BECAUSE ERMGERD THAT IS SUCH A REVIEW TO REPLY TO.

But I can at least do this :)

This was actually only one challenge (disconnected short stories under 100 words each), and then I imposed the other stuff to make it interesting. And it is a HUGE compliment that the odd devices were invisible! Yay!

Ooh, I like your idea about it being James' wedding. I honestly didn't have a specific character in mind, though I kind of pictured Pansy at Astoria/Draco's wedding fitting after the fact. But yeah, it's definitely open to interpretation.

YAYAYAY so glad you didn't notice the alphabetization! That one was weird to write because I couldn't plan it, I just had to GO. Like, I started without any idea what it was then was like "after... buying... countless... diaries--oh, I guess it'll be about that." Doing it almost felt like automatic writing and was kind of trippy.

I had definitely imagined the narrator of "Narcissa" as Draco, and now I feel hella guilty because I'd imagined it that Narcissa had died after succumbing to crippling depression, and that was the last time Draco saw her. But I feel GUILTY because you always do such cool/strong/show-stealing Narcissas.

TECHNICALLY "How to Be..." isn't WolfStar, as I never named Remus (there are a handful of Sirius/James shippers out there). But yeah obv I imagined it as WolfStar. I'm not sure if I actually ship that ship, but I really like that ship. Then again, I'm not sure I actually HAVE any ships, I just like it when things are done in interesting ways.

THANKS SO MUCH FOR REVIEWING THIS SUPER WEIRD THING.

xoxo
Roisin


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Review #22, by CambAngstIt Comes in the Night: 1

25th September 2015:
It's adorable, that's what it is! If there's a shortage of anything in the world, it's stories about the Slytherins just being normal kids when they were little. OK, there are shortages of lots of things and most of them are more important than this, but you can only deal with the ones that are within your control. ;)

I love what you did with the wee little snakes. Draco was absolutely perfect, being all hat and no trousers. Blaise was "too cool for school" and Pansy was eager to be one of the boys. They make for a great little gang of pureblood snowflakes.

So I'm curious, why was Theo in the hospital?

If there was one thing in the whole story that I would think to do differently, it was Theo's father. Seeing as how he was referred to as "Nott, Sr.", the name David threw me a little. Also, he was supposed to be much older than the Malfoys, so it was weird to see him calling Theo "buddy" and kissing him goodnight. Putting all that aside for a moment, it was pretty sweet to see the affection. Even marked Death Eaters love their children. Aww!

Neat story. I hope this little muse grabs you from time to time!

Author's Response: I love writing little Slytherins, I should do it more often. I actually find them easier to write than others - these Slytherins in general, not just as little Slytherins. But they are adorable when they're little.

He was ill. He's better now.

Normally, when I write Nott Sr he's a lot scarier, even around Theo. But he's all Theo has and it was hard maintaining that while keeping this adorable. So I gave him the night off, we'll say he's a little calmer with Theo being so young.

Thank you so much for leaving a review!


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Review #23, by CambAngstLet Perpetual Light: In Resurrection

23rd September 2015:
Hi, teh! How do I not keep going after an author's note like that? :D

I never feel like this story gets as much attention as it deserves. It can be really hard to build a following around a story that doesn't fit a certain mold on HPFF. The pairing of Albus and Gellert doesn't seem to draw the same level of readership as Next Gen or Marauders-era pairings. Another thing that occurs to me is that an awful lot of people would find your story somewhat intimidating to review. Your writing style is so unique and intricate. The imagery you create is unlike any other story I've read on the archives. You're truly one of a kind.

Another bitter, angry letter from Gellert to Albus. You can really feel Gellert descending into madness in this letter. He's losing control of his message, wandering back and forth between being conciliatory and spiteful and nostalgic and vicious. It doesn't have the same focus and obvious purpose as his earlier letters. Near the end, he even sounds somewhat desperate.

I felt like I learned quite a bit about the three apparitions who haunt Ariana in this chapter. We also learn quite a bit about Ariana's madness. Or rather the method to it. She isn't as helpless or lost as Albus and Aberforth seem to assume. She has found a purpose and she pursues it in ways that they haven't realized.

I loved the scene you created with the imaginary soup party and the trestle table. It read like a constantly changing swirl between moments of hallucination and lucidity.

So it was Ariana who lured Marvolo Gaunt to bring the Resurrection Stone. I was convinced it was Gellert. It's also pretty amazing that she discovered something that Albus and Gellert missed in spite of all of their intelligence and obsessive pursuit of the Hallows. Albus is leading Ariana toward her death in more ways than even Gellert realizes.

By the end of the scene in Ariana's room, I was starting to think that the three apparitions are starting to merge into some sort of personification of death. That would explain some of their comments, as well as the way they call out to her.

Albus is completely smitten with Gellert. So much so that he's become convinced he can have it all: his life with Gellert, their pursuit of the Hallows, taking care of his sister, possibly restoring her to health... The world seems pretty boundless when you're young and in love, I suppose. You did a really good job of defining Gellert's feeling for Albus. There isn't much there that I would call genuine affection. There's certainly lust -- both physical attraction and a lust for the possibilities that Albus represents -- but I don't feel anything more.

I really, really loved the scene where Ariana escapes from the house. The way that she coopts Aberforth's wand and the way that she circumvents Albus's wards were brilliant. They made my inner magic nerd dance (awkwardly. he's a nerd) with joy. Also, the way that she performs magic made perfect sense. She has no formal education. Incantations and wand movements are unknown to her. She simply lets the feelings flow out through the wand.

And she lays a beat-down on Marvolo. I can't say that I feel especially bad for the guy. He's the nineteenth century wizard equivalent of inbred mountain hillbillies.

The scene with the shades of Percival and Kendra is beautifully written and heart-breaking. It's just perfect. I read the scene and thought, 'Yes! This is how the second Peverell brother was driven mad.' The shades of Ariana's parents have a palpable sadness to them. The whole experience is filled with regret and unfulfilled expectations. There is no peace for Ariana. There are only the Crone, the Tall Woman and Glass Girl.

Send us back, Kendra seems to be pleading through her eyes. Send us back. You and your brothers are nobody to us any longer. -- This. Oh my god, this.

This story gets better with every chapter. Until next time...

Author's Response: Dan! ♥

Dan Dan Dan.

I have to say this particular review of yours struck so many chords with me. I don't know how many times I've said this, but thank you for being here reviewing this story. Thank you for understanding what I'm trying to do, for telling me that you understand, and for every encouraging compliment and occasional critique you've left me. I really really appreciate your time and effot, and your reviews have been a massive boost in my confidence. So thank you, again and again until the end of this fic. ♥

Certainly, you're right about Gellert's letters. They started off bitter, filled with resentment and malice, and they do lose focus the more he writes to Albus. Grindelwald is indeed a mess; there may be forces stronger than him at play, things that he doesn't expect. Madness is something that recurs in some characters.

I'm glad you learned a bit about the apparitions Ariana sees. They're inextricably linked to (Gellert's) story of the Hallows, and to Death, and to Ariana herself. So maybe Ariana projects herself onto these apparitions; maybe they exist and she understands them in her own terms. I also do think that Ariana narrowly escaped death all those years ago when the Muggle boys attacked her as a child. With the magic she was capable of performing, I do think she's much more powerful than most people (including her own family) think, and she fought very hard to survive, even if it meant existing in such a state of alienation. Albus is portrayed as a very gifted and brilliant wizard in the books, and I like to think Ariana is similar to him, just as intelligent, though she is impeded by her past trauma and her mental condition. Magic is instintual to her, and she has the ability to plan things with great accuracy, which is something I've been trying to show in this chapter and the last (all her letters as Thimble etc.)

Your description of Marvolo as the "19th century wizard equivalent of inbred mountain hillbillies" made me choke a bit. :P Good Lord, I'll never see him as anyone else now.

I'm so glad to hear that the final scene where Ariana uses the Stone to resurrect her parents struck a chord with you. I was incredibly nervous writing it, and now I can breathe a sigh of relief...because...it works? For you, at least?

Thank you once again for another amazing review, Dan! ♥

-teh


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Review #24, by CambAngstCircles: Circles

21st September 2015:
Hi, Sian!

I enjoyed reading this. It was clever and pithy and grabbed a quick image or an idea or a reaction for each of the characters that gave us a quick glimpse into what the aftermath of the war meant for them.

Blaise's escapism fit well with the idea of him being a very reluctant participant in the war. In spite of his bluster and blood supremacist attitude, he always struck me as a lover, not a fighter.

Millicent has a different way of dealing with her scars. Fighting a losing battle against the condemning eyes of a world that seems determined to keep her scars from healing.

Poor Goyle. (I never thought I'd say that) I can't imagine very many of the Death Eaters' children chose to return to school. It must have been a horrifyingly hostile place, filled with awful memories.

Pansy sort of buries herself in her OCD. It isn't as though she's getting any other form of support.

Then there's Draco, answering the question that he must have heard over and over and over again. I'm sure he felt as though it would never end. I suppose it's also possible that -- no matter how long he lived -- it never completely ended.

You did a great job with this. It was very well written and I couldn't see a single typo or grammatical problem. Brilliant!

Author's Response: Hi Dan! I'm sorry it's taking me so long to respond to the wonderful reviews you've left me - I know it's a pet peeve of yours - but I'm just so busy at the moment that review responses are one of the many things that are being left. I'm trying to slowly make my way through them when I get a few minutes, though, and I wanted you to know that I do appreciate your reviews so much, so I hope you don't think differently!

I'm really glad you enjoyed this piece - it had been so long since I wrote anything new that this idea grabbed me and I think I wrote the entire thing in about an hour (and spent another two editing, I think :P). But I wanted to focus on the repercussions being on the losing side might have for the different characters. It's something that I'd actually like to explore in a longer piece after writing this (and something I love reading about, which is why I need to get back to Detox when I actually have time for reading and reviewing again!)

I have exactly the same idea of Blaise. I don't imagine him being that active during the war, apart from what he was forced to do (although from another of my one-shots, I do love the idea of him secretly working with the DA, however much it may not fit with canon) under the Carrows. But I see him being tainted by association and wanting to free himself from the images that linger in his mind, and I can definitely imagine him trying to separate himself from that as well and just get away. I'm glad you thought that snippet fit in with his character!

Millicent is actually a really interesting character - she always seems to be portrayed as someone who isn't very intelligent and she's more of a bully (from that tiny scene we see of her in the books), but I wanted to show that even if that's true, years later, she would still have suffered and maybe didn't know how to deal with it.

I don't think I'd ever thought that of him either, but I'm glad I got you to say something that surprised you :P I can't imagine that many of the Death Eaters' children would voluntarily go back, knowing what they would have to face there; some stories have them returning and acting as if nothing's happened but I can't imagine that would be possible. And I'd like to believe that, as awful as he and Crabbe (and Draco) were to other people, he did truly think of them as friends and seeing his friend die would be a terrible thing for someone so young.

I don't imagine that Pansy got much support from her parents, either - before or after the war. She seems like she's the sort of girl who's spoiled with possessions but not exactly smothered with love, and that's part of the reason for her attitude. Because of that lack of support, she turns to the only thing she knows to keep control over some part of her life.

Coming from a writer who's like a master at post-war Draco, I'm glad that you thought the tiny scene with him wasn't completely awful and that it fit with what might have happened to him afterwards. I hope that it would end at some point for him, that he could prove that he had changed. But I definitely imagine that, in the immediate aftermath of the war, he would hear that question so many times that he had no way of responding in the end.

Thank you so much for this lovely review - I'm so glad that you enjoyed it and thank you so much for your comments!


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Review #25, by CambAngstComplicated: In Which Al Talks

21st September 2015:
Hi, Emma!

I felt like there was a natural-feeling progression to this chapter as Olivia gradually went from being devastated and overwhelmed to being calmer and more in control. Hopeful, even. She's had a lot of ups and downs in this story, but I'm hoping that the end of the last chapter was pretty much rock bottom for her. It would be nice to see her be happier and stronger for a few chapters.

It seemed that Al saved her from ending up as a puddle on the floor at the start of the chapter. She's clinging to him for dear life and he's just trying to get her to a place where he can calm her down or at least let her cry herself out. It's not a bad strategy on his part. Seems to work out well.

I think I saw a small typo in the first part:

I could feel his breathe in the movement of his chest more than in the air against my neck -- his breathing?

Al is such a gentleman! If there's anything I could possibly critique you on, it's that sometimes Al seems a little too good to be true. But, he was human enough to acknowledge the struggle in this situation. He obviously wanted to keep the kiss going, but he didn't want to take advantage of her in a vulnerable situation. Like I said, such a gentleman!

Aww! James and Jason are adorable. Well, James is anyway.

Oliver burned his hand in his rush to turn around and swore before nodding eagerly. -- He'll not only play, he'll give a big pep talk before the game and insist that everyone needs to practice when it's over.

I have to say, you set up a pretty amazing visual with Al and Olivia baring their souls to one another in the rain. Especially Al. He's been a little mysterious throughout the story, at least in terms of how he got to be so sensitive and such a good listener. That's doubly true when you compare him to James, Louis and some of the other Potter/Weasley males. Now it makes more sense. After what happened with his muggle friend, he's probably scared to death that it will happen again. That another person he cares about will be in trouble and he'll miss the signs. Nicely written, Ms. Emma!

You closed out the chapter on a really high note. Things aren't going to be easy, but I still felt good for Al and Olivia.

Excellent job! Until next time...

Author's Response: Hi Dan, sorry for the slow slow response. This review was lovely, thank you so much.

I think this chapter marks a bit of a change for Olivia. She's really been propped up a lot by Al, Rose and Louis, but this is the first time she's really made a conscious decision to start changing things. You're right that it ends on a hopeful note.

Ahh I know, Al's potentially a bit too perfect at the moment. More on him later :)

I now desperately want to write Oliver's pep talk.

Thanks so much for such a kind and thoughtful review.

Emma x


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