Reading Reviews From Member: CambAngst
1,257 Reviews Found

Review #26, by CambAngstRabbit Heart: 25. Beating Hearts

26th August 2015:
Hi, Pix! It's me again, your suddenly motivated former beta reader turned serial reviewer.

GryCReMo (Review #34)

I really like how casual Nate and his uncle are about the whole vampire thing. I suppose it's no more casual than wizards are about the wizard thing or goblins are about the goblin thing, but the point is that the just take it all in stride. Apart from a few misunderstandings, there's nothing overly mysterious or menacing about Uncle Toby. And I love the name, for reasons we've already discussed elsewhere.

For his part, Nate kept really true to form. He feels badly for exposing his uncle to someone who might be prejudiced against vampires. Again, it's mostly a misunderstanding but it shows where all of the philosophical talk about vampire rights was coming from.

She took one of the sealed bottles of water and clutched it in her lap. There was no need to die dehydrated... -- That's my girl! Practical, to the last.

“I fell in love. Like you, Wren. And at about your age too. I was lucky enough to land a dream job at The Times, taking photographs of famous people, and we were never apart. Oh, she was a big, bony thing, all smoke and leggy tripods everywhere, not like the compact contraptions you use today.” -- Slow clap. This was completely brilliant. It took me two or three reads to figure out what he was talking about, and then it was brilliant.

Uncle Toby is pretty awesome. That line about looking forward to the children's birthdays brought it home beautifully.

“Smeed? Good man, he is.” Nate’s uncle looked her up and down. “I’d thought he had outgrown his tastes for a young thing such as yourself by now.” -- Ha! Yeah, that one made me laugh out loud. I guess it's a small world when you're undead.

Hmmnn... The line about what might happen to Dillon started me thinking. It seems fairly clear that the Vampire Council isn't simply going to leave him be. I know it's not the best analogy, but I'm thinking of how bears who've learned to attack humans have to be "dealt with". Not a pretty picture. Especially since we know that Dillon's motivations are basically innocent, if misguided.

Oh, boy. Nate is a thrill-seeker. If only he knew the kinds of "thrills" that Hogwarts students have stumbled upon in the past without even needing to seek them out. Perhaps he'd be less enthusiastic.

Albus is frustratingly thick. Or perhaps it's just that he can't focus on more than one thing at a time. Dealing with James or dealing with Wren. At the moment, he needs to be doing less of the former and more of the latter.

“You’re going to talk to her? As in, have a conversation, with words? What was in your juice this morning?” -- It's the new thing, Albus. Even Scorpius is doing it. You might want to give it a try, you ignoramus.

Well, there goes McGonagall's plan for dealing with Demon Bunny Zero. And it went so badly that Ackerly has gone from being the solution to being part of the problem. When will people at Hogwarts learn to stop trusting the creepy librarian?

Interesting. So it seems like Albus's rabbit got drunk on wizard blood and went rogue. Maybe Dillon will yet be part of the solution here and not just the problem. I have the strangest feeling as though Dillon's role in this story will evolve some more before it's over.

Great job! I shall return!

Author's Response:

What is this, Chapter 25?? How words fly by.

Good morning! If this is how you serialize yourself, I don't mind at all. Go right ahead. I'm enjoying all of it.

Haha, Toby's name was fun to come up with. I didn't know how to top the other vampire names in this story, already having 'Smeed' and 'Burns', but he got a good one, I think. He's also the only vampire with nomenclature options. I like that too about him.

Yes, Wren's practical. That was very important to me. It's a big part of her story.

Ah, I'm glad you liked that line about the camera. Still, if you had to read it more than once to get it, there's something wrong. I rearranged the sentences to lead-in with the camera. I think it clears it up a bit better.

I made you laugh I made you laugh! *bounces up and down* Do I get points for that? :P

It's sad about the bears. Now I feel sad. *mourns bears* And erm, yeah, Nate's enthusiasm gets tempered eventually. He doesn't know what he's in for until he gets thrown to the wovles... rabbits...? I just don't know anymore. My poor brain.

Naw, that line was totally supposed to be throwing it back in Scorpius' face. Albus is not anti-talk, he's just distracted by things, like James, and flesh-eating monsters. You know, the important things.

Don't you trust librarians? They are so knowledgeable and helpful, and full of information and... okay, maybe not so much here.

You hope for fantastic things, Dan. Thanks for another wonderful review!


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Review #27, by CambAngstLet Perpetual Light: A Communion of Saints

25th August 2015:
Hi, teh! You're right, this chapter has been a long time coming. But it was totally worth the wait! We're in the middle of a common room review event, so please indulge me for a bit of scorekeeping:

GryCReMo (Review #33)

I love the way you book-ended the chapter with the story of Marvolo Gaunt. I didn't expect to encounter him in this story and it was a really nice surprise. The physical attributes you gave him -- which could be taken as signs of inbreeding -- fit perfectly with his surly, entitled, arrogant demeanor. On the one hand I don't want Gellert getting his hands on the Resurrection Stone, but on the other hand I wouldn't mind seeing any number of bad things happen to Marvolo. What a dilemma!

You're doing a good job of working all of the angles to show how Albus is bored, unhappy and feeling very put-upon to have to stay at home and look after Ariana. Sitting around, writing tedious journal articles for money... it's obviously beneath him.

I love the way you write Ariana. It's hard to even come up with the right words to explain what I like so much about her. She's a little creepy, but also lovable. It's not at all hard to see why Aberforth is so devoted to her and why even Albus can't be cross with her when she's right in front of him. Nice allusion to the three women, by the way, even if Albus can't see or hear them.

Hmmnn... I wonder whether there's a bit of magic in that pine cone doll. Perhaps something that will come in handy when the final showdown between Albus, Aberforth and Gellert happens.

Another wonderful bit of color added to Gellert's back story. His mother's fascination with saints and martyrdom has definitely reinforced his feelings of being unfairly limited and restrained by a world that doesn't embrace his morally flexible views on the use of magic. The letter he sends to Albus makes his feelings abundantly clear. Why should he be the one relegated to the shadows of the world when he wields the power to change it?

The duel... I have to admit that I wish it had been longer. Two masters of the form could have made for such an incredible, mind-blowing, edge-of-your-seat experience. At a minimum, it would have been neat to see Albus use Transfiguration as a weapon, the way he does against Voldemort. Regardless, I loved the outcome. Gellert loses control and it ignites a fury within Albus.

Ah, the kiss! Very nicely done. I think you hit the perfect notes with that moment. And you even gave Gellert an odd sort of quasi-sincerity about the whole thing. Whether he's driven by his physical attraction to Albus or his desire for the unlimited power that Albus could help him achieve -- possibly both -- his infatuation felt completely genuine.

Great job! I'm really looking forward to more!

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Review #28, by CambAngstGoodbye: Charlie

25th August 2015:
Hi, Sara! One more...

GryCReMo (Review #32)

I thought the quotation went along really well with this chapter. And Charlie has a good point: you can read loss when it's felt by people you care about.

It was easy to get inside his head and live the surreal nightmare that he must have been feeling in the Great Hall. The scene itself was so chaotic and charged with adrenaline and emotion, and then to find his family mourning his list brother... it just felt like sensory overload.

I thought it was interesting that Ron was the one who found the momentary strength to answer Charlie's question. Ron has seen a fair bit of death by this point, however. He's probably better conditioned than the rest to be able to keep going.

The guilt that you wrote into Charlie's thoughts after the battle hit home just right. He couldn't have helped but to second-guess his life choices after losing a member of the family.

Fred's reaction was just about perfect.

There was only one little thing I could suggest. Instead of having Ron say "an AK", I think "killing curse" would have been a better choice. In the books, I don't remember the characters ever using the incantations of spells (or an abbreviation) to name or describe the spell.

Good job!

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Review #29, by CambAngstRabbit Heart: 24. Guilty Hearts

25th August 2015:
Hi, Pix! Poor Wren! Every time she turns around, something in this story is leaving her head spinning. Although I suppose the vampire rabbit apocalypse is worthy of a little head-spinning.

GryCReMo (Review #31)

Hannah hadn’t batted an eye when she replied, “I trust Gran, and so does your father. Do as the man says.” -- This line instantly made me think of Harry explaining himself to Aberforth just before the Battle of Hogwarts.

”I’m hunting a rabbit,” he said with a completely straight face. “I swear on my grandfather’s balding hairline, Wren. You better get that blinkin’ thing locked up in the Gryffindor Tower. Because if I find it first, it’s dead.” -- Love this! It’s a little bit Elmer Fudd and a little bit Vito Corleone and a lot of Pix. Try to find that in any other novel on the site!

I’m sort of hoping that Wren’s mindset was coloring her perception of McGonagall’s reaction. Otherwise, Minnie is displaying a Dumbledore-esqe level of, “Eh. I’m things will work out alright.”

OK, I realize there are Very Important Plot Reasons why you needed Wren to go to Hogsmeade, but honestly Scorpius and Callie’s reasoning makes a lot of sense. It’s not like Wren can sneak up on Bunny. Granted, it probably isn’t possible for anyone to sneak up on any of the vampire rabbits. I mean, no matter what else they are, they’re rabbits. Small, herbivorous prey animals whose only chance for survival is to never be caught unaware. But Scorpius and Callie obviously aren’t thinking so clearly.

“second-degree thralls” I love Scorpius in this story.

God, James is such a jerk. Remember how his namesake was a total jerk for five years and then changed? James Sirius is like a mirror image.

“If he’s such a good friend, then treat him like one. He deserves your honesty, right?” -- Nate, the Voice of Reason.

Ooh! So there are other vampires around. And Nate is related to one. No wonder he had such well-formed opinions for their history essays.

I’m gonna get there. Probably not tonight, but soon! I saw your status about the penultimate chapter and I was very excited. Til next review!

Author's Response:

Okay, so I tried really hard to let the adults in this story actually act responsible and not look like idiots, but here's the thing. If the adults fix all the problems in the story, then what exactly am I writing about??? Big quandry. I tried. I really really didn't want to have Neville look like a buffoon. I respect him too much.

I just HAD to put the "hunting rabbits" line in this story somewhere. It was on my mental list (didn't make the written list because it was just so off the wall) and I'm so pleased that Scorpius was the one to pull it off. I mean, come on, when ever do we get the chance to say something like that in context and have it mean exactly what we're saying? Unless we're writing actual hunting stories or something, which I'm not. That reminds me. What exactly was Seamus hunting in that lost draft of ours?

Again with the not-trying-to-make-adults-look-like-idiots, and flailing. This is hard.

I am so relieved to hear you say that you thought there were reasonable reasons for Wren to go to Hogsmeade. Yes, plot. But it can't be "because the author says so". Good point about the rabbits. Also good thing that Callie and Scorpius don't realize that.

I love Scorpius too, but only behind his back. I don't want his ego to get any bigger. I love Nate and his 'well-formed opinions' as well. I am so glad he worked out in this story. I had high hopes for him.

Oh, look at the chapter numbers. Where has the time gone?


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Review #30, by CambAngstGoodbye: Percy

23rd August 2015:
Hi, Sara! Let's do one more before bed.

GryCReMo (Review #30)

I really liked the reflections that Percy shared with George. He has a lot of reasons to doubt himself, after his actions leading up to the war. But his family never completely gave up on him, and that probably helped him find the strength to come back. The way you wrote his dialog was really good. It sounded like Percy, only an older, very contrite version of Percy.

The scene in the delivery room was just lovely. Such a precious moment for a new family, and you captured it beautifully. Percy doesn't quite want to let go of the baby, which is the way it should be.

Nice chapter! You're doing a good job with this story.

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Review #31, by CambAngstGoodbye: Ron

23rd August 2015:
Hi, Sara! I'm back for another chapter.

GryCReMo (Review #29)

Fred seems like a really good spirit for his brothers and sister to evoke when they're facing one of life's challenging moments. None of them seem to have any problems imagining what Fred would say if he were there. He'd make fun of them for taking things too seriously and then he'd crack rude jokes until they were laughing too much to be nervous.

It doesn't quite work with Ron in this case, but I do think it helped him to talk to Fred. It must have been cathartic, in a way, to share this moment with Fred would never get to experience first-hand.

"When she comes down the aisle, you'll completely forget you were even nervous," he says, before leading me to my place in the front of the alter. -- Very true. It's an experience no groom ever forgets.

Fred's confidence in Ron is inspiring, even if Ron can't perfectly feel it, himself.

Good job!

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Review #32, by CambAngstRabbit Heart: 23. Hearts in the Flesh

23rd August 2015:
Hi, pix! One more before I call it a night!

GryCReMo (Review #28)

Not many people can keep two star-crossed love stories going inside the same novel, but you're not just any author. After the last chapter being heavy on what's happening (more what's not happening) between Albus and Wren, you gave Rose and Scorpius a chapter where they both spend some quality time pondering their feelings toward one another. You seem to bring them both to the same epiphany -- that they care -- but you wouldn't be Pix if both epiphanies happened at the same moment. Oh, no. Nothing that simple for you. Instead, they both reach this higher level of understanding in life-threatening situations.

Oh, Rose. You may be a genius, but thinking that understanding your little brother is a good proxy for understanding men in general will never be a conclusion that you look back proudly upon.

Good grief! Can't someone just drive a wooden stake through Sloan's heart and be done with him? Maybe give him a Holy Water facial or stuff garlic bread down his throat? Dude needs to meet a satisfyingly unhappy end, that's all I'm saying.

Gran continues to be completely hardcore in this chapter, and I heartily approve. Wren has been in need of some tough love for... how many chapters does this story have? Pretty much since the beginning, she's needed Gran's no-nonsense guidance to get past all of her doubts and troubles and deal with reality.

And it now seems that everyone is on the same page where reality is concerned. Smeed knows more or less who the rogue vampire is. Wren is over all the denial and has finally admitted that, no, Bunny is not a completely innocent little animal who needs her love and support to survive. Somehow I can't imagine her turning and running the other way when things get really hairy, especially if Rose, Scorpius, Albus or anyone else is in danger. But at least she's going into the conflict with her eyes wide open now.

I didn't feel completely satisfied with the idea of Gran packing up and moving away to someplace in Leeds. This is the woman who rushed to Hogwarts to fight alongside the defenders against the Dark Lord's army. With all of Hogwarts, including her grandson, in danger, it seemed odd to me that she wouldn't be headed there to make sure that things were alright. Maybe we'll see her again before the story is over.

Finally, there's Scorpius. I can't recall whether this is the first scene we've read in his PoV, but it was brilliant. He has an amazing combination of vanity and manliness, captured perfectly in this one line:

Why, he put the man in manicure, if he did say so himself. -- Slow clap.

He really is quiet infatuated with Rose. A guy like that is always going to be smitten with the girl who stands up to him and isn't swept off of her feet by him charm and good looks. He's drawn to the challenge, to a person who makes him work for it. When he rushed to her side, you could feel it all coming to the surface.

I'm not sure whether I'll be back again tomorrow. Work will be busy and I have a meeting after work. But rest assured, I'll be back soon!

Author's Response:

Aww, Dan. You are too kind. No of course I can't let TWO character arcs reach their peak at the same time in a multi-arc story, and I'm pretty sure you aren't suggesting that, right? Because that would be insane. Just as long as you don't throw anything at me when they resolve, I think we'll be fine. Or... or do they have to resolve at all... just kidding. Just kidding. I kid. Really.

This is what happens when I'm stuck in an endless cycle of revising. ONE revision per story. That should be a rule. Err... I think it is somewhere. Maybe I should start following it, or something.

LOL! Rose. She thinks she's smart. And I'll personally hand you the stake for Ian, but only after I'm done with him.

I bet this story would be so different if Gran were in her right mind from the beginning. Probably why I decided against that. Plot. Don't mess with it.

I've had a few comments on the way that Gran left. The only thing I can tell you is that in Wren's eyes, Gran was larger than life, and now Gran isn't so cool anymore. Also, Wren wouldn't be privy to any adult conversations that happened between Gran and Hannah and Neville. Realistically, Gran hasn't included Wren in any of her major decision-making, so it's sort of perpetuating that sad fact.

This is Scorpius' second scene. He wanted more, but I pointed out that we were only going to fulfill the minimum from our contractual agreement that I made all my characters sign after that near-fiasco with Smeed and hs "big ideas".

I would love to say that I came up with that line first about the manicure, and in fact, I did independently think of it, far from the maddening influence of multimedia. HOWEVER, I recently did a Google search on it, and I am sad to say that back in 2011, Forbes Magazine published that very phrase, and now it's all over the place, encouraging men to buff up. Their nails. Because it's a thing. I can't tell you how disappointed I was about that. Anyway, it's probably been used before that because it's a GREAT LINE and I'm not the most brilliant person in the world to have ever thought of it.

Thanks so much for your reviews! And suddenly, I feel like running off and polishing my nails...


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Review #33, by CambAngstRabbit Heart: 22. Charmed Hearts

23rd August 2015:
Pix, you may be the best there is when it comes to building up a perfectly romantic moment and then dashing it on the rocks. Mist painting on the covered bridge in the early morning before the castle wakes up. Swirling patterns of blue and green dancing together. Wren trying to decide whether to slip under Albus's outstretched arm. And then a crowd of dopey Hufflepuffs featuring Nate, the Destroyer of Moments. Gah!!!

GryCReMo (Review #27)

Albus was right. She could do it without him, but she didn't want to. -- Well, that's progress of a sort. Now she just needs to let him know that.

Just when I thought that maybe, just maybe Albus was exaggerating James's persecution a bit in his head, this happens. I'll qualify the sentiment only to this extent: It's possible, I suppose, that James was somehow trying to hit Albus with a spell that would make him turn around and declare his undying love for Wren. I think that's unlikely, but it would be consistent with James's bizarre sort of logic. Mostly, though, I just think he was trying to make Albus feel like an even bigger fool. And the way he runs off after the duel? Just cowardly and weak.

Sigh. And I suppose now Wren is going to encounter this Lori girl all over Albus in a corridor somewhere? I actually don't remember whether that happens, I'm just guessing. Brilliant. :(

Serena is sort of... creepy, but in a sophisticated way? Is that a thing? Anyway, I don't think Wren needs to worry about her becoming a legitimate competitor for any boy's affection. Unless maybe he has really, really nice skin.

Ah, so Wren has learned something new about Bunny. Not sure what, obviously, but apparently it was enough to shake her badly.

Go, Gran! I love that crazy, old vulture hat-wearing lady! Not that I think Smeed was about to cause Wren any harm. Rather, I think that he simply wants to know what Wren knows. He's one piece away from solving the puzzle and Wren has that piece. I hope they're able to assemble the whole thing in the next chapter.

This story is getting so good now! I'm barreling ahead with reckless abandon!

Author's Response:

Romantic moment? Where?? Just kidding. I completely did that on purpose. We'll just give Nate his own black cape and some kind of freaky mask and call it a day, shall we?

You might be asking a bit much of Wren right now. That move would require independent thoughts, which is difficult when there's someone else inside her head trying to influence her every move.

I love how you're seemingly trying to justify James' actions by giving reasonable and logical explanations for his deplorable behavior.

About Lori, I had something like that in mind, but then squashed it in first revision when I felt like it was too predictable. Good thing. You'd have seen it coming from a mile away.

I don't know if creepy sophistication is a "thing" or not. But I will say that my endgame for Serena surprised my other beta reader. I can't wait to see if you are pleased or you end up throwing things at me... figuratively, of course, because of the computer screen.

Gran is indeed back within her right mind. She's one tough lady.

We're so close. I can feel it.


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Review #34, by CambAngstRabbit Heart: 21. Somewhere in the Heart

23rd August 2015:
Hi, Pix! I am going to try to get completely caught up before this month is over. The reading isn't the hard part, it's getting it all down in a review. I will persevere, however.

GryCReMo (Review #26)

It’s only veins. -- Oh, Wren. Remember that talk we had about rivers in Egypt?

Momentary issues aside, I feel like Wren made some major progress with figuring out what's actually going on in this chapter. With the help of her friend Nate, she finally put two and two together and made the connection between vampires, thrawls and rabbits. She seems pretty close to working Dillon into the equation, as well.

OK, so compared to Rose and Scorpius, maybe Wren and Albus's relationship isn't progressing quite so badly. At least Wren and Albus aren't making plans to actively avoid one another. For the entire story so far, it's felt like Albus's courage to approach Wren and Wren's desire to approach Albus have been 180 degrees out of phase with one another. Apologies for the geeky physics analogy, but that's the best way I can come up with to describe it. In this chapter, it feels like they're starting to get in sync with one another. But... Albus's courage cycle doesn't peak quite soon enough. And he ends up asking for a study buddy instead of a girlfriend. Come on, boy, get it together!

Ha! Seems like McGonagall lit a fire underneath Summers's rear end. At least he's making an effort to look like he's teaching.

Ooh! The Book Club boys are creepy. Dillon has some muscle inside the castle. Can it be long before he starts saying things like, "My father will hear of this!"

And... Nate scoops Albus. Not for a date, per se, but I think I read that this is how John and Yoko started out. And the next thing you know, they were making horrible albums with two naked people on the cover. Let's hope that Wren comes to her senses well before that point.

Ha! The Burns and Smeed iPad scene! I remember this from beta reading. It was one of my favorite scenes in the entire story. Looks like Wren isn't the only one who's starting to make some connections. Smeed now knows that he's looking for a vampire with magic or perhaps a wizard who's been turned. Either way, I think the only missing piece for him is that he'd be hard-pressed to imagine that a little boy was causing all of this. I love the idea of grabbing a random bat, enthralling it and then using it for post. Genius!

Creepy little Dillon. At long last, he's arrived at Hogwarts. It's a good thing that the magical protections are keeping him out, at least for now. But it appears that James will cause worse problems than stolen maps and changed Hogsmeade schedules in this story.

Great chapter! Back soon.

Author's Response:

Chapter 21.

Yep. Here we are. Wren's not skinny dipping in exotic waters, she's just... umm... well. Okay. There might be a slight problem here.

"OK, so compared to Rose and Scorpius, maybe Wren and Albus's relationship isn't progressing quite so badly."

Snerk. Way to look on the bright side of things, Dan. Have you been peeking at my story arc charts again? Aparently not. Stop rushing Albus. There are Thiry-One chapters for him to get it together. He's taking his own sweet time.

Yes, yes, it's all about appearances for Summers. Raise your eyebrows, scribble a little with the chalk, give menacing looks to the back of the room when you hear a suspicious noise, and for goodness sake keep your eyes open until the bell rings! No award-winning lesson plans or anything, but at least he's going through the motions.

ROFL! More like, "Do you wanna build a snowman?" and then fifty creepy rabbit-mind-meld kids rush out to the forest and roll up a white-washed army. Ooohhh, creepy one-shot just jumped into my head.

Wait. WHAT?? Wren is NOT going to... you know what? Just, never mind. I'm leaving that alone. That made me laugh for well over an hour. I still laugh about it and get funny looks from strangers. Be very proud of yourself. Actually, after a Google search, it was something about an invisible hammer... which could also be an interesting one-shot... without the naked people.

Random bat thralls. It seemed like the thing to do at the time. I had several incarnations of that over these last two years. They all seemed to disappear with each revision until this one stuck. Sometimes, you've just got to make room in a story for stuff like that.

Thanks for another very entertaining review!


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Review #35, by CambAngstThe Walk To Your Beloved: The Walk To Your Beloved

22nd August 2015:
Hi, Lauren! I saw your status update and I was excited to come check out what you'd posted. If I may, let me quickly keep count of where I am with the August review NaNo.

GryCReMo (Review #25)

The moment that Lily and her father share was melt-worthy. His reaction is short and says everything that needs to be said. It's perfect. It's such a shame that Lily's mother wasn't able to share this day with them, but they have one another.

I think everyone deserves to have that moment that Lily and James share when he sees her at the other end of the aisle. A moment where the rest of the world ceases to exist and there's a time where it feels like you're the only two people that exist. It's magical.

I love the scene that you created for the Potters' wedding and I love the fact that they simply couldn't resist kissing one another before the ceremony even gets started. Some people put far too much stock in rules and traditions. For two people who were destined to die far too young, it's nice to see that they didn't waste a moment.

Your writing was fantastic. My compliments to you and your beta reader on a beautiful, smooth, error-free read. Great job!

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Review #36, by CambAngstHarry Potter and the First Mission: Reconstruction and Funeral

22nd August 2015:
Hi, Kenny! Moving along with my quest.

GryCReMo (Review #24)

You're doing a good job with picking up the stories of some characters that others rarely think about when they set a story in this period of time. I had to check and remind myself that Buckbeak was explicitly written into the Battle of Hogwarts. He seems none the worse for wear here and I love the image of Harry flying over the castle grounds on his back the way that they flew during PoA.

The funeral scene was very moving. All of the individual tributes to Fred and the sadness and tears of the mourners came through strongly in your writing.

Harry's laments for Tonks and Lupin and the obvious gratitude he feels were touching. I hope we get to see him spending a lot of time with little Teddy as the story progresses.

So many funerals, so much sadness! You handled it all with a quiet sort of dignity and resolve that I think was appropriate for people who've suffered so much loss but understand the greater purpose in the sacrifices made.

I like the idea of Harry, Ron, Ginny and the others helping to repair the castle. And I'm glad that Hermione found her parents right away. All in all, a very satisfying resolution to the various plot threads.

It seems like the plot should really kick into gear once Harry and Ron start their training. I'm looking forward to it.

Good job!


Author's Response: Hi, Dan. Thank you for choosing this for GRYReMo.

I'm glad you noticed Buckbeak, not many people realise Buckbeak fought together at the Battle of Hogwarts. My favorite HP movie scene was flying Buckbeak and Harry so I'd like to write about them again.

About the funeral scene, the episode was based on my experience in RL, so yeah, many reviewers said so.

Talking of the latter scene, I wanted make it brighter, for the first half is so heavy. So I added their conversation around Reconstruction and Harmione's trip to Australia to retrieve her parents back.

The reason why I started writing here was just because I wanted to tell Auror's story to my son. So if you keep reading, I really appreciate it.


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Review #37, by CambAngstDevlin Potter: Convergence Riddles: Exceptions

21st August 2015:
Hi, Tori! The timing of your swap was so fortunate. I was having a hard time finding motivation to bang out some reviews tonight for the Gryffindor Review NaNo and you gave me a reason to get in gear. Please pardon me for a moment while I keep score:

GryCReMo (Review #23)

I think Devlin on Calming Draught is my favorite thing you've come up with in a long time. It's a little like he's drunk, only more age-appropriate. So many things that he would never normally divulge are making their way into Snape's waiting ears. Also into the minds of your eager readers.

"I torture myself a lot, too," he said and he could feel Snape's narrowed eyes on the back of his head. -- OK, this wasn't really new information, per se, but I think it's good that Devlin actually acknowledges it at some level.

Such unnecessary knowledge you have placed in a man you mean to dominate,his wolf growled. He felt a thrill up his spine that he always got when their minds worked together; the wolf pulling from his vocabulary, his brain pulling from the wolf's perspective to understand what he meant. He always felt most alive when he was that boyish wolf. -- I love this passage! I love Devlin in general in this chapter, but I really love the psychology of this line and the joy that Devlin sometimes finds in his duality. Such a different take on lycanthropy compared to Remus. Then again, Remus never saw his wolf as anything other than a dangerous, savage parasite.

"I like you. Just shut up and think before you get yourself hurt, Andrew." -- It's always interesting to see the things that count as acts of kindness in Slytherin House. I think Devlin does genuinely like Andrew.

"Let us just consider it a curiosity of mine, and a payment of yours." -- I'm fascinated to see what Snape discovers about this new potion. If someone is trying to poison Devlin, then they're playing a dangerous game on a level that not even Devlin has contemplated. Killing the Dark Lord's favorite toy would have to lead to a most horrific death.

It's always fascinating to see Devlin's interpretations of other people, what he makes of them. Since Voldemort is the yardstick that he uses to measure people in most instances, it's kind of ironic that this half-blood prefect is someone who seems to fair pretty well by that standard.

When Devlin talks with Dumbledore it's a close second to his conversations with Snape in terms of how interesting it can be. Both of them are masters of the art of keeping their own secrets and the art of teasing out the secrets of others. I liked the extra effort that Devlin puts into trying to appear and act "normal" in front of Dumbledore. Even with Devlin's considerable skills, it seems that Dumbledore is able to wrest the upper hand away from him. The dueling club is certainly an interested idea. I sort of agree with Devlin on this one. Seems like there's an above-average chance that someone who isn't Devlin might get hurt. Although it's also possible that Devlin will choose not to put the full array of his skills on display. That would be giving away a lot.

The scene with Harry watching Devlin on the Marauder's Map was warm and touching. Since the horcrux hunt in the tent presumably never happened in your world, this is a pretty close substitute.

You did a great job with the dueling club scene. You paced it really well so that everything built up to the grand finale. And I'm obviously not talking about the duel, although that was nicely done, as well. Devlin was holding back, which I would have expected from him. But when it came to the moment where he had to make the most important choice, he makes the choice that he knows Voldemort will approve of. Even though that choice will only serve to make his life harder, he believes it will keep him alive. So there's really no choice for him.

I saw a couple of things that I think were typos:

Half the time, when people called him Mr. Potter, his reflex turn was simply because he associated it with Harry. -- "his reflex was to turn"?

Last night he had slept, dreamlessly, in what must have been months. -- "for the first time in what must have been"?

Great job! Thanks for the swap.

Author's Response: Hello! I am TRYING to respond to all my reviews. O.o

I enjoy writing him on calming draughts. If you recall he had one during his initial stay with Harry - it tasted like cherries. I also really enjoyed his wolf here, and thought it showcased well how his wolf might have helped him with Voldemort as a child - no matter what they had him drugged on, or spelled, obligated or confounded (all things I can realistically see Voldemort using), his wolf would have remained impervious to such things and therefore been the most logical and informed part of Devlin's brain.

It is definitely odd writing Slytherin's. They have to remain true to age/experience, but also have this underlying personality that makes them see the world as something to manipulate and be manipulated by. Niceness is therefore almost an awkward affair in which someone is always sticking their neck out and acknowledging that they're risking themselves, because that is how they see the world.

I imagine Snape is fascinated too - a form of potion making he's never seen before. I was just watching a marathon of House M.D. and thinking that Snape is probably a lot like House in terms of potions and puzzles. I'm sure he's wondering equally about the potions brewing process as he is wondering who is behind the potion itself.

Devlin has said before that sometimes Voldemort made him better without even knowing it. I think Voldemort (and his environment) probably taught Devlin that blood means very little when one is worried about how much someone can hurt you physically or socially. Someone who can take it all, is probably someone who can dish it out as well, and I think Devlin probably knows that better than most.

"I sort of agree with Devlin on this one. Seems like there's an above-average chance that someone who isn't Devlin might get hurt." I like how you put that. LOL. I think Dumbledore is doing two things: to Devlin he is extending a level of trust, and also illustrating that he doesn't always need to consult Harry (and therefore, couldn't Devlin tell him things that he wouldn't NEED to pass along to Harry?). But also, I see this as a jab at Voldemort himself.

I'm glad I did well with the dueling scene. I really struggled with it!

Thanks for the awesome review, Dan!

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Review #38, by CambAngstRabbit Heart: 20. Tenderized Hearts

19th August 2015:
Hi, Pix! Onward for another chapter!

GryCReMo (Review #22)

Yes, Wren, yes! For once, Bunny's fright should be bothering you. Talk about not being in touch with your instincts. If she tripped over a black cat and fell into a mirror, she'd probably run right out and buy some lottery tickets.

I really liked her creepy journey through the castle. Great mood material.

I am officially creeped out that Summers has a magazine article about Albus and his family. Probably not as creeped out as Albus, but creeped out nevertheless.

The confrontation in the kitchen is still really driving a wedge between the two of them, isn't it? Good thing they're teenagers. Shouldn't take very long to forget it ever happened.

Good job keeping the demon bunnies creepy. Beady eyes, fangs... they're the real deal.

Finally! Wren's being honest with somebody about what's been happening. And quite fortunate that Albus happened to be the one. There is hope for these two yet.

So, um... I couldn't help but notice that Summers is messing with the castle doors. A bit of foreshadowing, if I'm guessing correctly? Dillon is on his way.

And just as they're about to have A Moment, Albus faints. I have a bunch of different conflicting thoughts about the rabbit bite and his anti-hex arm bands. Even though they're preventing the healing spells from working properly, it's also possible that the arm bands are preventing the rabbit bite from causing greater harm. Or preventing the harm from spreading. Maybe if Dumbledore had been wearing anti-hex arm bands when he tried to use the ring horcrux, his hand would have fallen off and that would have been the end of it. Maybe I'm just rambling.

As the nurse rolled the gurney into position, Wren called out, "Take his pants off! Check all over!" -- Nice try, Wren. But Pomfrey was on to you. ;)

The old librarian’s eyes reminded her of the baby rabbit monsters, dark and empty. -- So why, oh why, did you just leave Albus alone with the two of them??? Think, girl, THINK!

I don't know whether you'd call this a typo, but it read strangely:

Summers led them down an unfamiliar staircase that veered off to the right of the Potions Wing. It veered off to the right. -- That's a lot of veering.

I'm enjoying catching up on all of these chapter that I haven't seen since I beta read them. Back again soon!

Author's Response:

Hi Dan!

Onward it is! Poor Wren doesn't know which way is up anymore. She's just trying to keep one foot in front of the other at times.

Yeah, Summers might have too much time on his hands if he's reading those kinds of magazines.

LOL! Hopefully, they'll forget this whole story ever happened one day. It'd be like mass amnesia. "Tell us about your sixth year." "Erm... did we even have a sixth year? I think it started after Christmas."

Yep. Real. And Creepy. Just the way I like them.

Very fortunate that Albus was there at the right time finally. Small, minuscule steps. And ahh, the castle doors. You weren't supposed to see that bit... shhh!

It could have been a life saver, those arm bands, but they weren't invented yet, so alas, we lost Dumbledore. But really, I'm not too up on my hex band theory so I'm not sure if they actually work that way against ring horcruxes or not. Better take it up with McGonagall if you want a definitive answer on that one.

Yesh. Pomfrey has been hearing those lines for YEARS, I'm sure.

Hey, stop yelling at Wren. She's already having a hard enough time of it. It's not entirely her fault that she's hooked up on Bunny's mind meld and can't think straight.

Took care of that veering thing. Thanks. Didn't want any future readers to get vertigo when they go down those stairs.

Ah, it has been a little while, hasn't it? But then you do catch all the important stuff.

I'm enjoying these reviews! Thanks so much!


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Review #39, by CambAngstRabbit Heart: 19. Hearty Heart Heart

18th August 2015:
Hi, Pix! Another evening, another review. Slowly counting up...

GryCReMo (Review #21)

Nothing can ever happen easily for Albus and Wren, can it. They have a nice little double-lunch-date planned, and, WHAM! Scorpius goads Rose into going upside his head. I like the approach you've taken to Scorpius trying to worm his way into Rose's heart. Brainy girl, goofy guy... the combination definitely works. Neither one of them know quite how to dial it back, however.

OK, the whole conversation about vampire right was like adding insult to injury. How can these kids be so oblivious? It's like the year when Snape dedicated every DADA class that he substituted for to teaching the kids about werewolves. Sorry, forgot to put "teaching" in finger quotes. But my point stands.

I do hope that McGonagall gives Summers a good once-over. Perhaps a magical decontamination of some sort. At the very least some sort of admonishment for sleeping during class. This chapter did leave me very curious as to what she and Neville might be up to in parallel to the main plot arc.

So McGonagall finally got rid of the old fruit bowl painting at the door to the kitchens. About time. It seemed like everyone knew about that pear.

The world is moving way too fast for poor Albus. Consequently, he throws yet another monkey wrench into the works between himself and Wren. I get where he's coming from, but dude, you gotta be a little more sensitive. Or sensitive at all, for that matter.

Rose finally came clean about being smitten with Scorpius. And all it took was assaulting him in a fit of frustration. It would have been nice to see Wren take some ideas away from that confession, but unfortunately she's too busy receiving telepathic warnings from her demon bunny. Man, that rabbit has lousy timing!

This chapter was a nice, bite-sized break to the pace you've been on for the past few. I liked that. It gave me a chance to mentally relax for a bit before what I'm sure will be an action-packed next few chapters. Until next time!

Author's Response:

Hey Dan! You're doing great with that count. Probably better than me.

You're right. Scorpius and Rose are both intensely... intense about things. One or both of them are going to have to calm down or nothing's going to get done. It was fun to play with, even though it's frustrating for everyone involved.

JUST like the werewolf thing. Just like it. Let's wave everything in front of everyone's noses until someone wakes up. Ahh, it seemed like a good idea at the time...

LOL! I loved the fruit bowl, but it seemed so outdated. There's got to be some kind of portrait rotation or those portrait people are going to go crazy from boredom. That, and the house elves would never get a moment's rest.

Summers needs a good reprimand, I agree. Not sure how much of one he's going to get, or if his incident would make it into his file or not. Hmm...

Let's just say that Albus is about as frustrated as you are at this point, but he has no idea how to channel that frustration into anything more constructive than digestion.

I'm kind of proud of how that whole Rose admission thing came out. She might hate me for it, but I can live with that. As for Wren... well... umm...

Thanks for coming back again! Sometimes we all need to step back and breathe. I'm glad it was well-placed for you.


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Review #40, by CambAngstLying Josephine: Eye of the Storm

17th August 2015:
Hello, again, Tanya! Guess what? I found some extra time! So congratulations, you're now at 200 reviews! Whee!

GryCReMo (Review #20)

Wow, what a kick in the feels! You managed to pack a massive amount of emotion into one chapter, and you did it without sacrificing anything about the way you write your main character. You never give in and have her scream and yell and spill out all of her roiling emotions. Yet she manages to express so much without saying anything at all. It takes a crazy amount of talent to do what you're doing here.

I absolutely love the way you wrote Fred's "confession" to Josephine. The two of them balance each other out so brilliantly. She speaks a word or two at a time and he's infected with permanent verbal diarrhea. I should state for the record that he's extremely lucky that Angelina didn't fling him off of a tall building for that little stunt with the teddy bear. But it's such a Fred thing to do. The twins are pretty tone deaf when it comes to the possibility -- nee likelihood -- that other people won't find their pranks all that amusing. I love the fact that Angelina is able to frustrate Fred so. For starters, I think he needs some of that in his life. Someone he finds as infuriating as other people might find him. It's very humanizing.

Before I get into the heavy material in the second scene, I have to say how much I LOVED the mis-transcriptions you created for the Quick Quotes Quill. Those were hilarious! Especially the long array of poo-related ones.

Both George and Josephine go through a lot of stages of grief in this. Starting from George's accidental near-mention of Fred's role as Chief Supply Orderer, the conversation spirals into a lot of dark, difficult territory. I love the fact that you weren't afraid to explore some of George's less logical reactions. The fact that he's still angry at anything and anyone that might have done something different to prevent Fred's death. And Josephine's reactions to his emotions are spot on, even if she can't find the words for them. To wit:

It's okay to miss him. You're allowed to miss him. You're allowed to be sad, to be angry, to break snow globes; to be anything you need to be because you miss him. I miss him, too. You are not alone. I love you.

No, not that one.

Oh, you know I wasn't leaving out those last four words. ;)

George's thoughts on his mother rang perfectly true to me. She's hurting every bit as much as he is. So much so that she can't see how her grief is spilling over onto him. It isn't anyone's fault, per se, but it's clear why George would want some space.

The moment the door clicks shut behind him my head falls heavy into my hands, and I, as quietly as can be managed, fall apart. -- A perfect ending line to this heavy, emotional chapter.

Beautiful job and congratulations on reaching the 200 review mark. It's very well deserved for this amazing story!

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Review #41, by CambAngstLying Josephine: Breakable Girls and Boys

17th August 2015:
Taaahhhnnn---yyyaaa! I heard you were close to 200 reviews on this story AND I'm makig my way through GryCReMo. Such fortuitous timing! Please allow me to take a moment for my own scorekeeping:

GryCReMo (Review #18)

Fred is a special kind of annoying. And Josephine is a special kind of stubborn. I don't want either one of those statements to come off as cheap and flip. Fred is literally impossible to ignore if he's decided that he wants your attention. And Josephine has that special type of stubbornness born out of a paralyzing fear of doing or saying something if it might be the wrong thing. We're in "irresistible force vs. immovable object" territory here. It's nice to see that irresistible force won.

The snow globe was such a cool idea! Honestly, it was cool enough for me before it started talking. That was like extra decoration on a cake that was already iced.

Utter, utter git. -- But it works, because the git gets the girl. Ha! I slay me.

And then we move on to the sad half of the chapter. :-|

You did a really great job of writing it with an awkward, claustrophobic feel, like the world was collapsing around Josephine and George and -- at least from her point of view -- everyone else in the shop. It seemed painful for both of them. When George throws in the towel at closing time, it's pretty obvious that he's done enough "recovering" for one day.

Fred's voice in her mind, urging her on to try to help George recover, was a good plot device. It really doesn't matter whether it's real or just in her head. (Obligatory: why should that make it any less real?) The imperative is there to try to ease George's pain.

I really love the way you paced the scene in the back room of the store. I have to imagine that you're always tempted to have Josephine move a little faster, to have her step a bit out of character and rush to George's side. But you resist the urge and keep her true to form and I really appreciate that.

Your writing was beautiful in this. I couldn't see a thing wrong with it. In fact, from now on, if I don't say otherwise, just assume your writing was brilliant. ;)

Great job! I shall return soon, but probably not soon enough to keep someone else from scooping review #200. :-/

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Review #42, by CambAngstSweet Sorrow: Only A Memory

16th August 2015:
Hi, Alishya! I am deep in the throes of progress (or something like it) on my attempt at GryCReMo. I wanted to start by reviewing stories from all of the authors who sighed up for the challenge. Pardon me for a moment so I can keep track of where I am...

GryCReMo (Review #17)

I think I worked out the piece of James that Lily is missing at the start of the story. We'll have to see whether I'm right or not.

I loved all of the imagery and childhood memories you evoked in this. Their relationship was such a long time coming, and such an improbable thing by most accounts. It started off on the wrong foot and proceeded to get much worse before it got any better.

Like the first day of school, your certainty radiates. You're certain I'll be a part of your life after Hogwarts. I didn't believe you, but your assurance created doubts. -- I really like what this says about James Potter's story. If someone believes something strongly enough, it can come true no matter how much others may doubt it.

Our journey ends when the eyes I'm staring into are only my own. -- I'm not sure whether you meant staring into Harry's eyes generally or staring into them in her final moments, but either way it's a poignant image.

I think I noticed one small typo as I was reading:

The smile you wear that day melts the hearts of girls for the next six years to come, but you've only harden mines. -- only hardened mine?

Nice job! This was really enjoyable.

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Review #43, by CambAngstDouble Trouble: All's Fair in Love and War

16th August 2015:
Farmgirl! I am so going to do this GryCReMo thing. Really, I am going to succeed. I will keep telling myself this, emphatically, until I either succeed or, you know, I don't. Regardless, I can hear the dulcet tones of Journey's Don't Stop Believin' in my head. Before we get on with the review, allow me a moment for my scorekeeping:

GryCReMo (Review #16)

OK, now to this story. And I will confess right from the get go that I have not read the first half. I suppose I should. That would be one more review down. But I decided that I was going to start with stories from the other GryCReMo participants.

You know I love your world in which Fred and George continued to be Fred and George after the Battle of Hogwarts. It seems that your world only gets more glorious as they age.

Muriel is still threatening people with her will? She's one hundred and twelve! How much money can she possibly have left at this point? And she's so grumpy. Is there anyone she hasn't written out of her will?

albeit a bear dressed in frumpy robes and a hat covered in molting canaries -- slow clap. Brilliant.

And then Hurricane Molly makes landfall. Oh my goodness. It would appear that Fred and George have stolen something from her that's more precious than all the gold in the Malfoys' vault if she was able to carry it out an armload at a time while the Malfoys were forced to stand and watch. They've taken away her chance to plan and cook and fret and obsess over tiny details and make everyone thoroughly miserable with all of the preparations required for not one but two weddings at the Burrow. Oh, the humanity!

Belly-dancing house elves. Why was I not offered the option to have belly-dancing house elves perform at my wedding? I hereby refuse to even consider a ceremony to renew my vows unless somebody brings me belly-dancing house elves.

They’d watched Bill get married, and Ron, and Harry. The moment their mum heard the word “wedding” she turned into a giddy, crying, planning monster. -- This. This is really all the back story you'll ever need.

So Aziza and Akila. Is there another story I should be reading to become acquainted with this devious pair? Two ladies who wanted to eschew a traditional ceremony in order to pull a fast one over on all the families and friends involved definitely sound like marrying material for Fred and George. I would like to know more.

“Looks like Muriel found the cake!” he said between chortles. -- Cheers, Fred and George. Cheers to you two magnificent gentlemen.

You did a great job with this. I can't find a thing wrong with it. Looking forward to reading whatever it is that you write next!

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Review #44, by CambAngstObsession: Obsession

16th August 2015:
Hi, Lauren! I'm slowly moving along toward my GryCReMo goal and I decided to start with stories from the other participating authors. Ever since I got hooked on Roots In Water's Wilted Flower I've had an odd obsession with post-ear Pansy stories, so this one definitely caught my eye. Before I go on, please indulge me for a moment of scorekeeping:

GryCReMo (Review #15)

On to the story!

This was remarkably consistent with the way I think of Pansy. Her obsession with Draco (being his friend, dating him, marrying him, bearing the next generation of the House of Malfoy) was pretty creepy. And she's not exactly the deepest, most interesting person to be around. It seems that the majority of what she finds important in life (pureblood social order, presenting herself well and finding the best possible husband) are things that were drilled into her head by her parents, not things that she discovered through broadening her mind and experiencing life. Overall, it wasn't surprising to me that Draco never saw her as much more than a plaything and quickly lost interest in her once he became a Death Eater and had to focus on staying alive.

And then she has a tantrum. Again, not even a little bit at odds with the way I think of her. She grew up without ever wanting for a single material thing. She had servants at her beck and call and parents who doubtless treated her like a princess. People like that don't deal well with the word "no".

Poor house elf! In a sense, it's like he's been ordered to attack his mistress. It must have been very confusing for him and more than a little bit frightening. I like the way you wrote him. In spite of the fact that he obviously lives in fear and squalor, he still had a sense of ultimate loyalty to Pansy.

Your writing was really lovely in this. It all flowed very well as Pansy's depressing and anger increased. I did see a few small typos, however:

You finally find yourself stood amongst a pile of ruined possessions at a lost as to what to do next. -- at a loss

Every way you consider it, all the exits looks the same. -- all the exits look the same

Great job with this!

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Review #45, by CambAngstRabbit Heart: 18. Hearts of Curiosity

15th August 2015:
Hi, pix! I'm making my way through the author pages of everyone who signed up for GryCReMo because... well, because I needed to start somewhere. Allow me to pause for a moment to keep my own little count:

GryCReMo (Review #14)

It's been quite a while since I've poked my head into your rabbity world, but you'd be amazed how fast it all came back to me.

Sloan. Man, that guy is a jerk! Now he's a vampire rabbit-enthralled jerk, to boot. I do not like him getting Wren and Albus in trouble. Not one bit.

I thought you did a fantastic job with Neville in this chapter. I love the way he struggles with the cognitive dissonance of trying to be an adult authority figure while simultaneously recalling the fact that all of the adult authority figures at Hogwarts during his own school years were -- to put it bluntly -- pretty much useless. Seriously. Aside from Dumbledore's "holy crap, how did that even work?" master plan for Harry's defeat of Voldemort, I can't think of a single situation where the adults in books one through six did anything other than slow Harry and his friends down. Now poor Neville is trying to justify to himself how he can follow proper procedure when his daughter is claiming to be confronting her own mysterious dangers and he can't quite do it. Good on you, Neville! Be the Hogwarts Adult who finally breaks the mold and doesn't end up looking like a fool.

Nigel Summers had yet to be given a detentionee, and even though he was technically an intern, he was also the part-time caretaker. He would have plenty for them to do. -- Gah! Neville, take off the Bad Idea Jeans, man!

"There really is a giant rabbit in the Restricted Section. Or it might not even be a rabbit anymore... if it ever was one. It's huge and it smells bad, and it's dangerous. We were going to tell you about it first thing this morning anyway. Please, you have to do something about it!" -- OK, yeah Putting myself in Neville's shoes for a moment, that is quite a bit to take in before breakfast. Maybe I'll cut him some slack here.

Moving right along, we find a small collection of creepy people being creepy together in a dark, claustrophobic, creepy place. Even when he's being enthralled, Sloan can't stop being an egotistical, self-important, whiny jerk. "Why do you need other friends, Dillon? Why not just use me up and drink me dry instead?" That actually sounds appealing, if only the consumption would stop with Sloan.

"Looks like you brought the fun back with you," Trudy said, sliding off her bed and scooping up a bottle from Rose's desk. She squinted at the label, and then dug around in one of her drawers for a tea cup. -- Note to self: Do not party with this Trudy girl.

Even though she's going about it in a very annoying way, I'm glad to see that Rose is trying to help Wren. She just needs to get over herself first in order to do it, which seems like a bit of a stretch when she's full of James Potter Rule-Breaking Glory. Oddly enough, she does seem to get over herself once Wren starts to spill. I definitely see a lot of Hermione in Rose. Turn something into an adventure and she gets excited about the project, even if it's not very safe.

Finally! Neville is armed with evidence and he's on their side. I'm really intrigued to see how that works out for him. He's definitely tougher than Pince or Summers. Hopefully he can start to put things right before they get a lot more wrong.

Lastly, we have the Smeed and Burns show. Have I mentioned that sometimes they give me this vibe that sort of reminds me of Statler and Waldorf from the Muppet Show? I have no earthly idea where that's coming from, but it's a thing with me. Don't judge. Smeed seems to be one piece of information away from figuring out what's going on. He hasn't managed to tie the rabbits together with Dillon. Once he makes that leap, I think the rest is going to come together for him.

He thought back to the strange, yet familiar presence he'd felt when he met Hannah's daughter. -- This takes me back to Dillon's memories of his mother. What if she was in some sort of trouble with the vampire community. What if that's why Smeed finds this "presence" that he feels around Wren familiar? Just a passing thought...

Awesome job with this! I will be back as I try to climb this mountain of reviewing!

Author's Response:

Hi Dan! Fancy seeing you 'round these parts!

I'm so glad you're participating in the reviewathon. I've pretty much given up on maintaining a frenetic pace with it, and as you know, I have a hard time reviewing and writing at the same time. Hopefully, I'll be able to continue reviewing through the last of my revisions, since the writing bit is finished.

Ahh, balance.

Sloan = jerk. Yep. That's about it.

Neville. Poor guy. I hated putting him in this position. Of all people, he would understand from personal experience how difficult it is to get adults to take you seriously when things go square, but Wren's put him in a real bind, and her explanations taken at face value do seem quite ridiculous. Ah, I did that on purpose. Bad me.

Rose. I know I haven't made her the most sympathetic friend in the world. Actually, she's close to being a jerk herself, without the outward "meaning to be a jerk". I felt like I needed to do something different with her from what we usually see, and also giving her that self-centered vibe would make Scorpius think twice about trying anything. Either that, or he just goes for antagonistic girls in general. Hmm... stop making me rethink my story when I'm almost done!! :P

Ah haha! Trudy. You know those people that you have to be around so you just put up with them even though you have almost nothing in common with them and you don't hate them but you can't seem to warm up to them either? I think they're making the best of things.

Heeheee! The Smeed and Burns show. That should be my next fic. Oh, and there's a small reason for that familiarity. Now I have to go back and see if that bit was edited out, or if it comes up later. It was a small thing, but it popped into my head and made all kinds of sense later. *flips through document* ... I have no idea where it went. I'll look it up later.

Good luck on climbing that mountain! You are fantastic for this!


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Review #46, by CambAngstRaised Like a Pig for Slaughter : Raised Like a Pig for Slaughter

15th August 2015:
Hi, Cannons! I'm working on completing GryCReMo and I decided to start by reviewing stories from the other participants. Pardon me for a moment while I keep track:

GryCReMo (Review #13)

Now, on to your story! I thought you did a fantastic job with this. Really insightful and very well thought out. You darkened Snape's childhood story relative to what was in the books, but the books always did tread carefully when it came to certain themes like child abuse. It's definitely not hard to imagine that Severus's childhood went exactly the way that you describe it.

I love the house metaphor that you used throughout the story. It fits really well with the way I've always thought of Snape. He is not, in my opinion, noble. The things he did were either done out of obsession or guilt. I never thought that he loved Lily so much as he coveted her. She was as much an ideal to him as a friend, a symbol of a form of happiness that he desired but never truly understood. After she died, he carried on trying to do what he thought she would have wanted him to do, protecting the child she loved. But he never understood that love or felt the tiniest shred of it, himself. Otherwise, he never would have been so terrible to Harry. All of this is explained so well by the way you wrote his early family life. In the same way that Voldemort can't comprehend love, Snape can't comprehend kindness and affection except in the context of his relationship with Lily Evans.

The imagery of his relationship with his father was powerful and disturbing. There was no mystery here, but you still wrote it in a way that was subtle and evoked the images in the reader's mind instead of dragging the reader through all of the gruesome detail. I do sort of wish you'd spent a little more time on his relationship with his mother. I would be interested to see what you made of Eileen Prince.

The other really powerful scene was the one where Lily's parents take both children to Diagon Alley. Severus gets this one, brief dose of what it feels like to actually be part of a caring, loving, proud and supportive family. Unfortunately, it ends up being sort of like giving a small sip of water to a man who's dying of thirst and then yanking it away. It only leaves him more angry.

I guess I wouldn't go so far as to call Snape a pawn. In his own way, he manipulated the circumstances surrounding two of the most powerful wizards of all time. But in the end, the most important moves were not his to make.

Your writing was really, really good. You paced the story brilliantly and I thought you chose really great words to match the tone and the main character. I only saw one thing that I think was a typo:

You had heard the horror stories of his upbringing, not to dissimilar to your own and yet he arrived at Hogwarts with a love for the world and his innocence intact. -- not too dissimilar

Great job!

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Review #47, by CambAngstRace Against Time : Chapter 1

15th August 2015:
Hi, Meg! I am on my mission to complete GryCReMo and I wanted to start with stories from the other authors who are participating. Please allow me to pause for a moment to keep track:

GryCReMo (Review #12)

I really liked the premise you're starting out with. You have to wonder how Sirius's old friends and romantic interests reacted to the news that he'd escaped from Azkaban. I suppose I don't need to wonder any more because you're going to tell us! :)

Emmeline's emotional recovery after the Potters' deaths seemed to be paced pretty well. She still has a wounded heart, but it was mostly scabbed over until she saw the Prophet. And now the wound is raw and open again. Her physical and emotional reaction to his escape was nicely written. Not overdone, but appropriate to the magnitude of the betrayal that she (believes she) suffered.

I’m going to be a bit late today. Personal Matter. -- If Scrimgeour is any kind of Auror at all, it probably won't take him long to put 2 and 2 together.

You set up Remus's character in a pretty unique way. Basically everyone writes him as being isolated and down on his luck, but to have him living in alcoholic squalor is a twist I haven't seen before. To that end, I actually felt like he recovers himself a little too quickly. One moment he's passed out drunk in his bed and the next moment he's offering Emmeline tea in his kitchen. I think you might have benefited from making him more out of sorts until she shoves the newspaper under his nose. That could be the sobering moment for him.

Aside from that, I thought your writing was superb. Everything flowed really nicely and you did a good job of pacing the chapter and mixing dialog and narrative. It was easy to feel the emotion coming through. Good job!

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Review #48, by CambAngstAll the World's a Stage: And One Man in His Time Plays Many Parts

13th August 2015:
Hi, Lizzie! I'm on my quest to complete the GryCReMo reviewing event and I decided to start with stories from all of the other participants. Please indulge me while I take care of my scorekeeping:

GryCReMo (Review #11)

Now, on to your story. I think a lot of people on HPFF know that I have twin boys, who happen to be 7 years old at this point. I don't know whether you have children, but you did an amazing job of capturing the sort of behavior, logic (or lack thereof), story-telling and enthusiasm that you'd expect from kids this age. You just nailed it. The kids seemed perfectly age-appropriate and I loved the way they played their parts and interacted with one another.

Poor Ginny. I could see a lot of Molly in the way you wrote her as a mother. She's keeping her frustration under control pretty well, trying hard to relax and enjoy this precious moment. But, dude! They're completely trashing the house! I thought you struck a pretty good balance with her character, making her tolerant but not too tolerant.

Harry was really good with the kids. He indulged them so much and played along so gamely. It's exactly the type of father I'd picture him being after his miserable and joyless childhood with the Dursleys. I could never see Harry being angry with his kids or denying them anything.

"Can't tell you," Lily said wryly. "Spoilers." -- Slow clap. Brilliant.

"Do you think anything is going to explode?" Ginny asked, eyeing the sheet covered objects nervously. -- Umm, funny you should mention that, Ginny.

Lily is adorable. She played her older brothers like violins.

It took me probably a little too long to make the connection between "Vicky" and Viktor Krum, but then it became clear that the kids got most of the story from Ron and it all fell into place. Nicely done.

Poor kitty! That image was hilarious, though.

With a loud bang, the cushion exploded, the white stuffing flying everywhere, covering the whole room like a layer of thick snow, as the room filled with the smell of burning fabric and hair. -- Definitely my favorite moment in the chapter.

You did a really great job with this. I enjoyed it thoroughly and like I said, the kids felt very well written.

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Review #49, by CambAngstYear Five: O.W.L.s

13th August 2015:
Roisin! I've embarked on my GryCReMo campaign and I decided to start with stories from the other participants. So here's my little bit of scorekeeping to start off:

GryCReMo (Review #10)

How long has it been since I first read this? Months? Where the heck does time go? Anyway, I was able to lose myself in it like I'd never put it down. I really, really love these characters you've created. I've been over and over this point, but I don't know if I can repeat it often enough. They're so real. So balanced. So perfectly flawed and fallible and human. Someday I think I'd like to see you try to write something with characters that are one-dimensional and cliched, just to see whether you're capable of it. On second thought, don't do that. It would be a waste. ;)

Sigh. I don't like seeing the four of them apart like this. Especially Tristan. I don't think he realizes how much damage he's doing to his own psyche here.

The studying and exam scenes are some of my favorite parts of this chapter. I love the amount of detail and creativity you put into little things like plants and spells and runes. You never get lazy and take a mulligan on the details; you make every one count. To me, that's one of the hallmarks of your writing. Did you hear that? You have hallmarks!

"I can't help it," Emily moaned. "Where do the vanished objects go? What if they make me vanish an animal? It's cruel!" -- She is so adorable! Hufflepuffs are such special people.

"Ballpoint pen," he scribbled on his test paper to demonstrate. "Like a quill, but less annoying."

"Casette tape," he jammed it into the portable stereo and pressed play. "Would play music under different circumstances."
-- OK, maybe I like this a little bit better than the studying. ;)

I absolutely adored Tristan putting Malfoy and his thugs in their place. Moments like that, you realize there might be a little Gryffindor in him after all.

The general consensus was that he’d fallen in.

Emily knew better.
-- Yeah, I think we all do. The small array of personal comforts that Emily found at his spot at the wall sealed the deal. I love the way you wrote that. You didn't say too much. You just left it to the bare minimum needed to tell the story. There's no joy or life in a moment like that.

The ending of this chapter was a beautiful kick in the gut. Succinct and perfectly matched to the moment.

I saw one little typo as I read:

Their friendship with Emily rekindled, the three spent most of their evenings on the seventh floor near the portrait of the little night, reviewing thick stacks of notes, and chain-smoking. -- little knight

I'm so sorry that it's been so long. I always tell myself I'm going to come back and finish reviewing this story and... yeah, stuff. Anyway, I have motive and opportunity now, so I will be back before GryCReMo is through. Lovely job as always!

Author's Response: WAIT WHAaAaAaAT?!?!?!


Oh man! Dan! I LOVED getting your reviews on this and I'd COMPLETELY FORGOTTEN that there were more reviews coming! What a brilliant and fantastic surprise!

Now, sad face, because /this goddamn chapter/

I'm so, so sorry. Still. Just... My apologies. Back when I was first writing the first draft of this I had this like OH NO moment, where I just realized that Tristan was going to jump in the lake at some point around the History exam. I didn't plan it, I just realized he was GOING to do it as if it weren't up to me. It was totally unplanned, but the lake had become this weird loaded symbol, and kept coming up in these odd ominous ways. Like, it took on a life as a sort of character of its own.

And then Harry missed his History exam because of his Sirius vision, and I'd established early on about Tristan skiving off from that class, and the parallel and unintentional building just became a /thing./ So yeah, I didn't plan it. And at least I saved him (via squid).

But all that didn't make writing it any easier. It was a huge struggle to figure out what to say, how much to say, and how to say it. Restraint seemed to me the best option, because the tragedy sort of spoke for itself and didn't need explaining. I'm glad you liked that.

So now the fun stuff: oof, I positively /scoured/ the internet for every bit of fifth-year cirricula (and even threw in a bit of sixth year, since Umbridge's rules probably cut out a lot they would have learned), in order to get all the details right. And this chapter was the only one where I consulted canon. I reread the OWLs chapter of OotP and kind of diagrammed it, even doing plays on some of JKR's phrasing.

I think the "ballpoint pen" line might be my very favorite of the entire story :D Well actually, I'm revising right now and there's a new line in "Hex Head Express" I quite like too ("Isobel thought she best resembled a bowl of custard that had been left out overnight and developed a skin.") [I'm proud of that one because zomg I think Isobel's FC is the prettiest thing that ever prettied, and so I really struggled for an apt-yet-critical thing to say about her]


Thankyouthankyouthankyou for this amazing surprise!


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Review #50, by CambAngstBeautiful Mess: Beautiful Mess

12th August 2015:
Hi, Frankie! I'm trying to get off to a strong start on GryCReMo and I decided to go through everyone who's participating and review some of their stories first. First, so I can keep track of where I am:

GryCReMo (Review #9)

This story was really adorable. I was so pleased with the way you had Ginny react to the disaster that she finds after walking through the door. A lot of people write her as a parent in a way that's very similar to her own mother. If Molly Weasley had come home to a scene like this... well, I have to imagine there would have been some yelling. Ginny takes a completely different approach. She appreciates to fun moments that her husband and children have shared in her absence. If anything, I almost feel like she wished she could have been there.

I loved the footprints in the flour. That was a brilliant way of telling a story that the main character wasn't present for. The image was so clear in my mind.

The scene in Ginny and Harry's bed was heart-warming and sweet beyond words. It just makes you want to grab them all in a big hug.

There's not a whole lot I can suggest in the way of improvements here. I'm especially impressed because I skimmed through a couple of your older stories before picking this one and I can see a lot of improvement in your writing. Great job!

Author's Response: Hey

Thank you so much for your review. Especially the last comment! I've only been writing for a few months and that is a high compliment. I am happy with this and I am glad you are too.


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