Reading Reviews From Member: CambAngst
  
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Review #26, by CambAngstRabbit Heart: Hungry for Hearts

30th March 2014:
pix! You are moving forward at such a good clip these days. Where do you find the time???

Smeed! I knew there was more to this guy than just being able to break up bar fights. After he helps Wren out, it seemed pretty obvious that he knew what Dillon was up to and what to do about it. Now the rest of it spills.

Burns cracked me up. It's so rare to see a character in a HP fan fic story who really lives in modernity. Here we have a guy who uses an iPad, sells antiquities on eBay and has no issues with making fun of the rest of the magical world for their outmoded sense of style. Brilliantly done!

Back to Smeed, however. So he's a vampire. So is Burns, it appears. And they both work for some sort of vampire council, if I'm following correctly. It makes sense. Based on what we learned from the history teacher a couple of chapters back, vampires like living on the margins of society, away from the attention of wizards and muggles alike. So when a vampire goes rogue -- or in the case of Dillon, I guess, one is just too young and naive to realize what they're doing -- there needs to be somebody to restore order. I haven't been the biggest Dillon fan so far, but I'm a little worried about what happens to him if Burns and Smeed find him.

Their conversation about feeding was hilarious. Every vampire story should have some lines like that.

Poor Wren! Not only is she all banged up from Madam Pince's potion, her best friend has the cause all wrong! This is not helping, Albus! Get it together!

I just hope that whatever Albus snapped around her wrist is enough to keep her from falling back under Bunny's control. At first blush it doesn't seem like it, but maybe it will work out in the end. I don't like it when Wren's in "Thrall Mode".

I love the way you're bringing the plot along with this story. You had a great plot going from the outset, but you keep finding new and fascinating directions to take things in. Awesome job!

Author's Response:
Dan! You're back! For a little while, anyway.

I loved writing Burns! He's truly embraced the modern world and using it to his greatest advantage. I think if I were really old and had many lifetimes more to experience, I'd be making the best of things too. Now I'm thinking that I need to do a vampire spin-off one day of these two gallivanting around the countryside, tracking down rogue vampires and keeping the peace between wizards and the Council. With a possible altercation of international supernatural law... and no teens... and I'm way ahead of myself here...

You might want to be worried for Dillon. But only if you feel obligated.

Albus is REALLY trying to help Wren with her problems. The big problem is that he really has no idea what her problems are. Flail!! At least he's giving it his best shot. Pretty soon, they'll have more information and he'll be able to do something more useful than accuse the wrong source.

So, I guess there's nothing left to say except "Yay, vampires!"

LOL

Thanks for the great review!


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Review #27, by CambAngstInitiate: Sorting Things Out

29th March 2014:
Hi, there! I figured it was high time I left you a review. I read all of Innocent on **that other site** before I realized that you post here as well. I was really excited to see that you had a sequel. I really love the different ideas and plot threads that you've brought to the story. You've give Harry a very different path to walk, along with Sirius and Remus and so many other characters. But the story isn't just about making a feel-good alternative. The characters still have difficulties, struggles and conflicts. There's nothing simplistic about what you've done. You're a very gifted story-teller.

Moving on to this chapter, I like the gradual way that you've pulling together the disparate plot lines of the attempted robbery of Gringott's, the attack on Remus and all of the other dark goings-on in the outside world. Throughout both stories, I've thought that your pacing is really amazing. You never get in a rush about anything and you let the plot unfold in a way that feels natural and maintains a lot of suspense.

It wasn't really a surprise to see Draco sorted into Gryffindor after everything Snape and Narcissa have done to make it happen, but I'm still eager to see it all play out. I was a little surprised that he was so upset about it. It isn't as though the other Slytherin kids have been very nice to him along the way. Still, I suppose that bucking so much family tradition is hard to get your head around.

Harry seems to be off to a good start with Peeves. It never hurts to have an ally like that.

I absolutely loved what you did with Neville in this chapter. He seemed to have an immediate understanding of where Harry is coming from and what it's like to be the one that everybody else is staring at. I think the two of them will be great friends.

Speaking of friends, assuming that Draco can stop insulting Ron for long enough it seems that the two of them have some chemistry.

Sirius's "parental" advice to Harry was great. I think I can paraphrase it as, "if you're going to hex somebody, make sure it's worth your time."

Awesome chapter. I've been a regular reader for a long time and I intend to be more of a regular reviewer from here on out.

-Dan

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Review #28, by CambAngstSilver Linings: Albus: When Everyone Comes Together

27th March 2014:
Sam! Here I am, at the end. And it was a great end, I have to say.

Nick and Kieron's wedding sounded like a dream come true, for nearly everyone involved. Everything came together so beautifully for the two of them and everyone around them seemed so happy for them. The vows came off without a hitch or a hint of hesitation. (alliteration, yay!)

Seems like Lexi did a fantastic job planning the wedding.

The whole conversation about tattoos reminds me of a few that I've heard between parents and their adult children. Letting go isn't easy. At least Theo seems to take it all in stride. Especially since Daddy's Angel isn't part of the conversation.

So Theo and Annie are considering giving Kieron and Lexi a younger sibling. Interesting. At that age, I'd have to say that's a very brave thing to be thinking about. The body doesn't rise to the challenge of raising children quite as well after age 40. Trust me on this one. ;)

Aww, Isaac loves his granddad! Good boy!

I sort of doubt Nick will kill Kieron. They both seem too stubborn to die.

Families are sprouting up all over the place at this wedding! It's really nice to see Ethan warming up to Xavier. I mean, really, how could you not? He seems like such a good guy, plus he now has a Quidditch superstar boyfriend. Children sometimes ask the most insightful questions, don't you think? They haven't learned to avoid the topics that adults instinctively avoid and they're too darn cute to be mad at.

Another engagement? Al and Lexi are really going to start to feel the pressure soon, aren't they? I hope Al keeps Theo's advice in mind and takes his time. There doesn't seem to be any rush.

Poor Ron. He's just trying to be a good, protective dad, but somehow he messes that up as well. Where is Hermione to keep him out of trouble?

I loved their last dance! What a great note to end the story on. It seems like Al and Lexi are doing very well together. Maybe there will be another engagement before I thought...

Sam, I have thoroughly enjoyed this journey! You created some marvelous characters and great plot lines and drew me into all of them. It took longer than I expected, but I've reached the end. Thank you so much for this amazing story!

Author's Response: Hey, Dan!

Haha, it was a dream come true for everyone; no one thought Kieron would actually go through with it, not even Kieron. :P Love the alliteration. :D

They were her first clients for her new job; nothing could go badly. :)

Tattoos are something that have come up in my family; my dad would always say 'when you're an adult, I can't stop you' for everything from tattoos to swearing. My mum still scolds us for swearing, but she can never say no to tattoos because she has one. So, it seemed appropriate for this and the whole idea of letting go. Theo may have good reason to take it well. ;)

Do you remember the headcanon things I put on Twitter? One was about Theo having a child later in life? Well, here is talk of that very child. :D Kudos if you remember the child's name. :) Oh, I know - my dad is a very good example.

He does. His granddad is his favorite person in the whole world. It's going to put a strain on things in the sequel...

Haha! True, they're way too stubborn.

Well, this family is huge and they have friends who have families, so you can imagine how big the party is. :P Xavier is a good guy, he always will be... but he doesn't have a boyfriend. :P I do think that, it always makes me want to both laugh and frown (when it's not directed at me).

Don't worry, Al and Lexi don't get anywhere near engaged for a while. It's just Theo/Annie and Hugo/Emmett.

I know, I feel really bad for Ron. But Hugo is, well, his angel and he's just not ready to let go. Which makes things difficult for Emmett, but he'll be okay. Where is Hermione? She is around, there's no stopping Ron when he needs to talk to Emmett. But she was watching; she promised not to get involved unless things got out of hand. Kieron intervened only because he didn't want arguing on his day.

Thank you so much for reading and reviewing and enjoying the ride! The sequel will be a Rollercoaster. ;)

Sam.


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Review #29, by CambAngstSilver Linings: Alexa: When We hold Our Silver Lining

26th March 2014:
Hello again, Sam!

Thankfully, I never had to leave my kids behind in the hospital. Granted, there were those nights after we brought them home when I sort of wished we could take them back just for the night. ;) Overall, though, I think you did a good job of letting Lexi and Albus sort of wear themselves out with the grind of rarely leaving the hospital so that it felt pretty natural when they settled into a rhythm of coming home to sleep -- albeit not well -- at night. You maintained just enough of the nervous tension while not letting yourself get overly melodramatic about things. They felt like normal human beings.

Breathing on their own is a huge thing for premie babies. Huge. I felt this immense sigh of relief right along with Al and Lexi.

Zac is okay.

It's the best feeling in the world.
-- I can only imagine...

All of my friends, including Ewan, Will and, er, Rose, are here by the time Erik comes into the staff room -- I think you should call her "er, Rose" from here on out, including the sequel. It feels appropriate somehow.

I guess compared to all of the problems that Isaac could have had, deafness is relatively benign. It will make his life more difficult in some ways, but he'll still have one. He'll grow and learn and run and play and mostly experience life like other children. I think it added a bit of gravity and realism to the story, going this route. It's a happy ending, but not a cliche happy ending.

Aww, it's so awesome when Lexi gets to hold him for the first time! I remember that feeling, although I didn't have to wait very long for it. About three minutes, as I recall, but that's neither here nor there. It's a pretty amazing feeling and I think you captured the moment beautifully. And you threw in just a touch of Theo-based dry humor to keep the scene grounded.

The only thing I remember from our first homecoming with the boys that's missing from this scene is that befuddling sense of "OK, what now?" I guess Lexi has had a lot longer to mentally prepare for it than we did, plus she has a list of things that she needs to be keeping track of, like Isaac's asthma. Still, I will never forget sitting the boys' car seats down in their crib with the boys in them and stepping back -- quietly, because they were asleep -- and thinking, "OK, what do I do now???"

I really love the ending scene, with Al explaining all of these things about the family that Isaac can neither hear nor understand. I think it's a very common thing that new fathers do for especially sons. You feel like you can't get starting on that process of raising the child soon enough. It's completely ridiculous if you stop and think about it, but the instincts kick in way before they're needed.

I saw but a single typo:

I've just finished feeding him when Al comes home, sweaty and dirty. He push him away when he tries to kiss my cheek.

One more to go! It's bittersweet...

Author's Response: Hey!

As I've said before, a lot of this story is due to research and imagining my characters as people going through this to figure out how to write it, because I don't remember anyone in my family needing to stay in hospital, but I do know what it's like to sort of wish to take them back. Not as a parent, though, as a sibling and a cousin who babysits. :P

Er, Rose - Haha. I probably will when writing Lexi; it's Lexi trying and failing to think of her as part of her group of friends. Not just for Will and Al, but for the rest of the group and their family. She stuck with Rose now.

Isaac being deaf was something I had planned from the very beginning; lots of research was involved. I genuinely started to question what people would think if they ever saw my Internet history, not just for this story but for all my stories. With everything I had planned, all the problems, it seemed unrealistic to have him completely fine.

That moment were Lexi gets to hold him was one of the first 'scenes' in my head. I'm glad you think it worked out because I so wanted it to be as perfect written down as it did in my head. :P

Yes, Lexi has had over a month to prepare for bringing the baby home and figuring out what to do, thanks to Erik and Annie, her dad and the rest of the family, and with everything she still has to do, she won't let herself think 'what now?' because then she'd probably freak herself out. Albus, if the chapter had been in Albus' PoV, you definitely would have got 'what do I do now?' :D

Aww, I'm glad you love the end. It wasn't planned, but it just seemed like the thing to do, not just for Albus but in general. For Albus, it seemed like a good way of getting out that he does actually like his family even when he tries to avoid them. :)

Thank you so much for leaving a review!

Sam.


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Review #30, by CambAngstSilver Linings: Albus: When Stories are Told

26th March 2014:
Hi, Sam! I really need to finish this story, not least because there's a sequel already waiting for me.

But it was Theo who said no, so he has to listen. People rarely cross Kieron, people never cross Theodore. -- Aww, Theo already being the good grandfather/father-in-law-ish. After all of the abuse I heaped on the poor guy at the end of Detox -- and how well you took it all -- I feel the need to cheer for him.

Wow. I remember visiting the nursery for the first time after my boys were born. They were a little early, but thankfully they only spent a couple of hours in the nursery before coming back to our room. I remember that feeling of trepidation, not wanting to ask any questions or even think about anything too much just in case something turned out to be wrong. In a weird way, asking about it or thinking about it would almost make you feel responsible for it. Weird memories...

"What does the monitor say?" I ask hesitantly. I'm not so sure I want to know, but I feel like I need to know. -- This. This, exactly.

I really liked the conversation between Albus and Kieron. You nailed the whole subtlety of being a guy with guy friends: you can want to mock another guy, frighten him, even hit him without actually hating him. It's just a guy thing. We only recently developed opposable thumbs. And it's totally possible to know that another guy is the best thing in the world for a girl that you care about but still feel upset at the idea of him touching her. ;)

Lavender??? Whoa! This is a huge revelation. I can definitely see the version of her that Theo's describing. Too upset over the loss of her outer beauty to be confident enough to present herself and her relationship with Theo to the outside world.

Ah, so there is a moral to this story. Theo has a lot of foresight. He knows what will make Lexi -- and Albus -- happy in the near term, but he really wants more than that for the two of them. He wants them to be happy together for the long run, the way that he never was with Daphne.

Scorpius frowns. "I can't believe my girlfriend's nephew is my cousin." -- Ah, the world of tightly interrelated pureblood families. Why is Draco so opposed to this relationship? Or is that a topic for a different story?

Next comes Rose with her own confession. It's so easy to see it, the way that you've laid it out. Rose and Albus were both bookish, quite children. Both seemed like over-thinkers. Both horribly worried about how they would fit in. I'm sure that Rose took great comfort in knowing her favorite cousin was going to be going through school with her, and Albus probably felt the same until he laid eyes on Lexi. Life is harsh, and Rose's response was definitely harsh. She did pick an odd time to confess, I'd say, but big moments in life tend to bring out these moments of clarity in people.

A few small typos I noticed while reading:

He looks down at the cot and starts whispering, like the baby can really hear him, and for some reason that makes me want to laugh hysterically - off all the things to do in this situation. -- of all the things...

"Keep talking, Hugo, and I will make sit outside on your own," Emmett warns. -- I will make you sit...

Beautiful chapter. You filled it with an amazing amount of feelings and revelations and your characters overcoming some of their half-truths and demons. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Author's Response: Dan! Hey, Dan!

Sometimes he says bad things and sometimes he says good things. This is definitely one of the good things; he welcomes the cheer. He doesn't get many from me either. :P

The nursery was one of those time when I really had to think of Albus' character to know how to write it, as I've never been in the situation myself. He wouldn't want to ask questions in case things went wrong. He'd feel exactly what you said.

Guys are more natural for me to write than girls, I think because I know more guys than girls. Like, my nan has ten grandkids, including me - there's three girls out of them. And then there's the rest of my family and my friends. So, I'm glad I was able to portray their relationship well.

Lavender. Yes. That was after a very long, thought out talk with Tammi over character development for Theo. All these little triggers create a very big, very bad (depending on how you look at it) outcome that you will start to see in the sequel.

Oh, there's always a moral to Theo's stories. There has to be a reason, otherwise he won't care enough to tell you about it.

Draco is not opposed, but because there's not exactly a good friendship between Harry and Draco Scorpius is afraid he will be. Draco already knows, Astoria told him as soon as she knew. :P

Rose and Albus, they were the ones each other went to; they saw things differently but their approaches to it were the same and they understood each other more. But it all changed when he saw Lexi again and realized she was... nice. :P Telling her story now was sort of forced upon her because of Will and the baby being born, making everything real. If Will hadn't talked to her, the secret probably would have been buried, never talked about - Rose and Lexi were both happy with that. But Will is a good person.

I'll get to the typos. I'm in the process of editing the story. :)

Thank you so much for leaving a review, Dan!

Sam.


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Review #31, by CambAngstRabbit Heart: Heartburn

25th March 2014:
Hi, pix!

Poor Wren! What was that crap she drank at the party? Did all of the other students get as sick as her? Hmmnn, so putting on my thinking cap, it seems that Madam Pince meant to incapacitate all of the party guests, but she didn't get the formula quite right until Meeester Summers came along. And now Meeester Summers is under the control of Albus's rabbit, which in turn is being controlled remotely by Dillon. Wow, this is getting complicated!

But I'm getting ahead of myself. I like the fact that some measure of comfort is being restored between Albus and Wren. They can't really fall for one another while they're being all awkward around one another. Wren was very good to him, in spite of her bad physical state. She was supportive and she tried really hard to relate to what he's going through with James. It wasn't the perfect analogy, but she's an only child so I'm sure it's not that easy for her to sympathize with sibling difficulties.

"Does that make us like some kind of creepy club? Because I'm really not into that sort of thing." -- See, they're acting a lot more like normal teenage best friends again!

Ha! So does she vomit in Albus's room? Mortifying! Obviously I know the answer already, but this is the sort of observation I would make if I was reading this completely unawares of what comes next.

Let's see, what else? Wren seems to finally be figuring out that the rabbits have the ability to teleport or apparate or whatever it is they do. Now she just needs to notice the wounds on her poor neck and maybe she'll have the whole picture.

Good job! Looking forward to the next one!

Author's Response: It's Dan! Again! It's my birthday!!

No, it's not. But it sort of feels like it when I get TWO reviews so close together. :D

Oh, you know exactly which questions to ask to make me go back and rewrite the next scene, don't you? That's why you're such a great beta. Always thinking ahead... And yeah, you were supposed to talk me out of that complicated story mechanic, but all you did was encourage it, so there! Now we both have to live with it.

I think I had too much sugar today.

It was about time for Albus and Wren to reestablish their friendship on a more comfortable level. Wren really did try, and yes, it's hard for an only child to completely understand what siblings are like, but at least she grew up seeing what it was like from a distance.

Wren's starting to put some pieces together, and I'd say it's about time. There's more pieces thrown at her in a bit, and more for the reader too. I couldn't go too long without giving up some secrets, or people would start throwing things, or worse, stop reading... That's one of the things I'm unsure about with this plot. There's so much to hide, and then there's so much to tell. Where to begin?

Thanks for the review!

-Pix


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Review #32, by CambAngstGravel on the Ground: From the Ashes: Chapter 8

24th March 2014:
Hi, farmgirl!

I really loved the places you took the story in this one. It's amazing how much of Sadie's story you've not only been able to get into the reader's head but also into the other characters' heads, all without her speaking a word. You've even given us a lot of insight into things that are still confusing for her. I get so much enjoyment out of watching this poor orphan girl gradually regain her life. Each new canon character she interacts with is a treat. You get to explore so much more than just Sadie's character.

Wow, George is being halfway serious here. I mean, he's still George, so he still dresses it up in a lot of self-deprecating humor and jabs at his twin brother, but he acknowledges that he made her a little sad and he fixes it. It was really sweet and touching and showed a side of him that you don't always seen in fan fiction stories.

Interesting. It's almost as though the twins were expecting Arthur to tell them to take Sadie to Diagon Alley. Like the planned it that way. This is certain to be a memorable trip.

Sadie's visit to Arthur's shed was probably the most touching thing you've written in the story so far. Her memories of her father were so bittersweet. It's a happy place for her, but also very sad because he's lost to her now. You did manage to work a tractor into this, didn't you! And you obviously know something about Vermont winters, because it's exactly the type of place where a PTO-drive snow blower can be a necessity. Aww, she helps him keep the secret from his wife about using magic to clear the snow. I wonder whether he wasn't supposed to use magic because she didn't want the muggles to see? Or was there some other reason?

I feel nearly as bad for Arthur in this scene as I do for Sadie. It's obvious that he lost someone very important to him when her father died. Kindred spirits, or so it would seem.

“He got it, didn’t he?” Mr. Weasley asked her suddenly, his voice thick. “The farm he always wanted, the one he dreamed of? He was happy?” -- I think this was so well done. It's a brilliant mixture of happy and sad.

“Did you try the puddle behind this shed? In my opinion, it’s always been the best one.” -- That was amazing Arthur Weasley! You have a real knack for this character.

Gah! All of those curses! So dark and twisted and horrible. How did this poor girl survive all of that? How is she not scarred beyond recognition and mentally broken? What horrible price was paid so that she could survive? These are the questions that plague me as I read this.

I, for one, don't feel like you need to be in any hurry to get to Hogwarts. That said, I'm looking forward to seeing what happens there. I'm looking forward to everything about this story. Awesome job!

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Review #33, by CambAngstOphelia: Ut Somnium

23rd March 2014:
Tagging you back from Review Tag!

I really loved this chapter. From start to finish, you kept Ophelia with him for a change. It felt like an important step forward in the plot, getting past that maddening sort of disappearing act that she's been pulling for most of the story.

The dream scene at the beginning was really well done. Your descriptions were just fleshed out enough to make the scene feel forbidding and eerie, but spartan enough that it really felt like a dream. Or a nightmare. And I definitely took some ideas away from the symbolism. I'm getting the feeling that Ophelia is more than what she seems, and if Scorpius continues to follow her he will be facing a scenario similar to his nightmare pretty soon.

And then she's there with him. I'm pretty sure at this point that he's the only one who can see her. She doesn't wake his roommates and Rose obviously can't see her. Otherwise, I would have expected Rose to be asking what she was doing out in the castle at night, as well.

Poor Scorpius. He's so insecure. Ophelia plays him easily, getting him to do what she wants him to do. At times, I really don't like her.

I like the way that you brought Rose's character along in this chapter. She seemed more than a little friendly toward Scorpius, albeit in a somewhat condescending way. But the way she makes fun of him was not really hostile, more like she was just trying to get her head around his odd behavior. And she noticed something about the ring. I'm really excited to see where that plot line is heading.

It was really nice to see Scorpius lose himself in a happy moment with Ophelia, even if the whole situation is probably heading somewhere bad. I feel like he deserves that much. Her story was the other big clue that dropped in this chapter. It suggests that maybe she's a spirit of some sort, still under the curse that her father inadvertently placed on her. That really doesn't bode well for Scorpius.

Great chapter! I really enjoyed it!

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Review #34, by CambAngstRabbit Heart: Hearts Enthralled

22nd March 2014:
Hi, pix! It's the weekend! The weekend, when Dan actually has time! Well, a little, anyway.

Wren is such a good student when she's not under the influence of demon bunny brainwaves. Would it help if we got her and Albus tinfoil hats? I hear that keeps the U.N. black helicopter mind-control beams at bay. Maybe it works for demon bunnies, as well.

I thought you really captured the essence of a proper History of Magic lesson. This new teacher Summers is doing Professor Binns proud. Some of the students are paying attention (mostly Ravenclaws), some are struggling to keep up and a lot of them are just zoned out. Who does N.E.W.T.-level History of Magic, anyway?

Ah, so Nate is home-schooled. Was, anyway. I'm still trying to figure out exactly where he fits into the puzzle. An alternative romantic interest for Wren? Vampire bunny fodder? Or maybe, in his family's travels, he's actually seen something like what's happening to Dillon's rabbits. Lots of possibilities, but at the moment he's adding a nice splash of color to your canvas. You really brought along his development in this chapter.

Ooh, and a nice discussion of vampire social norms and feeding practices. Even I was paying attention to History of Magic during that section. So perhaps these rabbits are, in a sense, Dillon's Thralls? Or maybe that's what Madam Pince has become and Wren was on the way to becoming before creepy Mr. Smeed intervened. I love stories that take a marginalized group of magical beings (werewolves, centaurs, banshees, vampires...) mentioned in passing in the books and actually flesh out the lives that they lead. Bravo!

Ha! Leave it to Rose and Callie to get Wren all dolled up for this party of Mister Summers'. I really love the way you set the scene for this event. The widely divergent levels of creativity and participation (three King Arthurs, three Godric Gryffindors) was a perfect touch for a high school event. Everyone, it seems, is just there for the extra credit.

"Singed eyebrows. Nicked Pepperup potion. Good fun." -- I have the oddest desire to start singing All Summer Long by Kid Rock. And I don't even like Kid Rock, not since he went all country.

Madam Pince is officially off-the-charts strange in this chapter. She is pegging the Weird-O-Meter. I didn't have to read any father than the punch bowl -- In a library! Good heavens! -- and it was obvious that something was very, very wrong.

The way his eyes raked over her sent shivers down her spine, and she wasn't sure she liked the sensation. Her shawl was in her purse, which she'd insisted on bringing, along with the camera against Rose's assurance that they'd be "fine without it, what do you need a purse for?" She squinted up at him, seeing the lines of cynicism in his brow that had made her feel smaller than actual size.

Wren had dated this last year? No wonder she was half crazy.
-- Three cheers for age and experience talking!

It's official. I really hope the vampire bunnies do something unspeakably awful to Ian Sloan before the story is over. I can't think of many things that sound too awful for him at this moment.

"Thrall of Drakul. Interesting choice." -- More interesting than you know, lover boy!

Aha! So they've finally seen one of the rabbits teleport. Or whatever it is they do. I'm not sure that they'll trust their own eyes, at least not yet, but they have seen it. The pieces are falling into place...

Oh, my. I don't like whatever has been done with this punch. Not one bit! I'm glad that Wren didn't have too much of it, or at least that she had Albus there to get her out of the situation. Obviously Mister Summers didn't fare so well.

James is still being a jerk, but maybe just a bit less of a jerk in this situation. I suppose there's hope.

Very enjoyable chapter! I feel like your main plot is starting to come together for you in a really good way. And the kids are still thinking and behaving like... well, kids. Good job!

Author's Response: Dan! Dan has a little time! Wait. Why are you HERE?? I feel so honored!

Yes. Yes!! We need foil hats! That will fix EVERYTHING! And it will also make all those demon-bunny thoughts bounce back into Dillon's brain, and then he'll keel over from an overdose of rabbit twitching. Brilliant! And how did you know the U.N. was involved?? Sneaky beta!

Why, Wren does NEWT level History of Magic, of course! Because she's smart! (when she's not being controlled by Bunny thoughts, that is.)

You have lots of guesses about Nate. This is fun! I really shouldn't let you read too far ahead, or I'll miss out on all the great theories... but then I'd have all these typos in my chapters, and I just couldn't live with that. Sigh. The price I pay... Anyway, Nate and Wren seem to have developed a solid working relationship and are doing Mr. Summers proud.

I was always curious about how vampires fit in to the HP universe. They are such a fringe race, compared to the centaurs and the goblins. It felt like the perfect place to play. And they don't seem to be considered "magical" either. Made me think. Also, why not throw all that information into a scene where the class is usually boring and people aren't paying attention? Yeah.

Really, they're all just there for the extra credit. Deep down, Mr. Summers knows this, which is why he made it so. Imagine the disappointment if no one showed up? Or two people showed up? It makes me wonder how the Slug Club ever got off the ground. I wonder if Slughorn offered chocolate bribes. Oh, but there was a dinner, wasn't there?

Kid Rock went country??? Oh the tragedy!

Pince is definitely off her rocker. If the punch bowl didn't clue you in, it should have been the way she smiled.

Ian's the kid I picked who's most likely to be thrown under the bus for just about anything. I don't know why I need that. I just do. I guess not everyone can be a decent person in this story. In reality, he's not horribly horrible, but he's normally repulsive. I suppose I could have made him a lot worse, but then even Charles would have stopped hanging with him, and everyone needs a friend.

I'd like to think there's hope for James. He's not bad either. Err... not as bad as Ian.

I really wanted Albus to be there for Wren, but not in that "I'm here for you!" sort of way. But I couldn't leave Wren in the middle of that party without some kind of backup either. And yeah. Rabbits doing strange disappearing acts. Like it's natural or something.

Thanks for another great review! I'm so glad you found the time to come by!


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Review #35, by CambAngstIts a very common crisis: New Year, New Crisis

15th March 2014:
Tagging you from Review Tag.

First off, kudos for jumping off the sidelines and writing your own story. I see that you've been a member of HPFF for quite a while and I think this is the first time I've seen your forums username pop up in the Review Tag thread. It's not always easy, putting your ideas and style out there for the world to see and possibly criticize.

I like the inner voice you've given James. Pompous, snarky and rather self-absorbed, he doesn't seem like a lead character who's immediately easy to like. I felt like Veronica probably had some pretty good reasons for dumping him and her new romance with Krum's son was probably just the tip of the iceberg. He doesn't even pay attention to most of what she's saying, and it seems that this isn't the first time in their relationship that's happened. I'm curious how you'll go about turning James into a character that the reader can relate to and possibly even cheer for.

I sense a bit of mystery with whatever was keeping Fred away from the spectacle. Matt seems like a completely original character, so I'm interested to see what he's all about.

I found your writing style a bit confusing in places. You slipped in a few British-sounding words and phrases here and there, but overall then tenor of your writing was very Americanized. That's not a cardinal sin by any means, however it did make the occasional bit of Brit-speak feel sort of token. At this point in the story, James is also somewhat lacking in depth. I realize this is the first chapter and there's a lot of story left to go, but he was so aloof and unemotional that it was hard to get any sort of a read on what makes the guy tick.

I also noticed one typo that you might want to take a second look at:

Five minutes later and three galleons lighter, I proceeded to tuck into a chocolate frog, viciously biting it's head off. -- its head off.

Not a bad start and I hope you don't take this as overly negative. If you focus more on what James is feeling and offer a little more support for those feelings, I think it will be a lot easier for your readers to connect with him.

Author's Response: Hellooo

Thanks for the review! I joined quite a while ago and didn't do anything with my account until I decided to write It's A Very Common Crisis. So hopefully you'll be seeing more of me .

That was exactly what I was going for with James and I'm glad it came out that way. He is a bit of a jerk and we'll see how he redeems himself :D

I'm currently editing the story with my beta. I know I've messed up the slang but it'll get better soon. I hope!

Thanks for the typo, I tend to miss the little things. I'll get to correcting that! :) and thanks for the advice. I'm new to this and I need all the help I can get :D

SB


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Review #36, by CambAngstRabbit Heart: Losing Heart

10th March 2014:
Hi, pix!

Progress abounds in this latest chapter. Dillon is making progress en route to Hogwarts. Wren makes progress with her magic. Albus makes progress in talking to Wren. And Madam Pince... well, I guess that doesn't really count as progress.

Little by little, you're filling in the pieces of Dillon's mysterious past. It seems that he's been around at least since Dumbledore was headmaster of Hogwarts, which suggests that age-wise he's not what he seems. And do I get the sense that he's not just friends with his rabbits, but he's also feeding off of them? I knew that boy wasn't right! I'm more and more convinced that he's a vampire, perhaps one who's living some sort of eternal or perhaps very protracted childhood. His mother might have been a vampire herself, or perhaps she was allowing him to feed out of love and devotion. Either way, I feel like something pretty awful probably happened to his father and sister. I'm worried for Wren, as well. I'm not sure it's a good thing to be Dillon's friend.

Wren seems like she's getting back to herself in this chapter. She has a ways to go, I would guess, but it's an improvement. She no longer appears to be on the Squib Track. Now I'm excited to know more about how Smeed fits into the story. I generally liked the way you characterized Rose, although I thought that the tantrum she throws over losing out to Al and Scorpius was a little over the top. It's sort of like cherry-picking the worst of her mother's competitiveness and her father's sore losing.

So, Albus finally finds the courage to ask Wren... to help him find his rabbit. Isn't young love marvelous? My hat is off to you for having the patience to pace this story so age-appropriately. Ten chapters in, a lot of authors would have had the two of them falling all over one another by now. I am excited to see that the two of them are now working together -- maybe, I guess -- on the rabbit mystery.

Poor Madam Pince! Alright, well, I'm not that upset for her I guess. If she wasn't such a weird loner, somebody would probably notice her acting strangely and help her. As things are, this could go on for weeks.

Excellent chapter! Looking forward to what's next!

Author's Response: Haha! Progress all around! I don't know. Maybe you could count Pince's bit as "progress" in the very loosest sense of the word. Or you could call it an unfortunate run-in.

I hope the bits about Dillon are coming in fast enough. I wanted his story to be evenly distributed throughout Wren's, and sometimes it goes a little light here and there. I'm adjusting things at the moment to even that out a bit more. Dillon is a lot easier for me to write than Wren is. He's just so clean. As a character, that is.

Wren's not on the Squib Track anymore! (haha, Squib Track! Someone needs to write a fic about that!!) You're asking a lot of questions about Smeed... must be his Trenchcoat of Coolness that attracted you... or his lightning-fast reflexes... or... oh, let's face it. He's a grown up who is the least likely to whine and complain in this story and you just need a break from the kids. I thought so. ;) More about him later. Promise.

I know, I might have gone overboard with Rose (even though she got a personality rewrite from the first draft), but I can't help writing her that way in this story. She's Wren's annoying best friend. And she's probably having a bad hair day or something on top of it.

Yay, Albus!! Actually, there is some falling coming up... in the next chapter... and I just got inspired for another chapter title. Excuse me while I go write that down.

Back. Where was I? Oh yes. Albus and Wren have to find a way to reconnect after all that weirdness, and what better to use than a cute, cuddly rabbit? Okay, so there aren't really any cute, cuddly rabbits in this story, but it sounded good in my head. Anyway, they're finally moving on from the Wren-weirdness and (mostly) talking in coherent sentences again. To each other. That's progress, right?


A week... or three... poor Madame Pince! Why, oh why was that so much fun to write? What is wrong with me??

Again, thanks for the great review and the wonderful beta eyes!


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Review #37, by CambAngstDevlin Potter: Riddle and Rescue: A Sharp Introduction

9th March 2014:
Hi, there! Sorry I've been quite a while getting to this chapter. My new job has been consuming so much of my time due to the commute and the commitment. Hopefully life gets easier soon.

So Devlin had a big choice to make while being interviewed at the Ministry. This is the first time, I believe, that circumstances have forced him to unequivocally choose between his loyalty to Voldemort -- maybe it's more accurate to say his fear of angering Voldemort -- and his loyalty to Harry. I was so happy to see that he chose Harry, although it wasn't without a good measure of concern. I'm starting to see what you've been saying about Devlin and Voldemort. There's not really any love lost there, it's just this unshakeable belief that Devlin seems to have that Voldemort will get him back eventually. He regards it as inevitable. Let's continue to hope that he's wrong.

He should have let the boy die. He should have killed him while Potter fought. He should have let him scream. Should have smirked by his body like he'd smirked while Potter made the rat whither at Hogwarts. He should have seen the eyes watching him and known it was all a game on which his survival depended. -- The extent to which Devlin fancies Voldemort to be all-knowing is kind of scary. Then again, as far as he knows, Voldemort is all-knowing. It's oddly similar to the way we were led to believe throughout the first five books that Dumbledore was all-knowing... until he wasn't.

I'm sort of curious whether the game that's being played here is the one that Devlin believes is being played. So his theory is that Voldemort sent the injured boy and the death eaters to put Harry in an impossible situation: kill -- and be forced to justify it to an increasingly hostile Ministry -- or be killed. And because he was there, it's now Devlin who finds himself in an impossible situation: risk Harry's life by playing along with Voldemort's plan or risk his own by not playing along. I'm not sure I believe Voldemort's plan really goes that deep, but I guess it's impossible to be sure that it doesn't. You are so clever with these scenarios you create!

Devlin's response to the question about the tattoos was worth a good chuckle or two. He disarms the Auror pretty easily with his complete candor.

Even when Voldemort got him back, his greatest wish was that Potter would never know. He thought if those green eyes looked at him like they had looked at the Death Eater today, that he would die inside and turn into the nothingness that was always waiting for him. -- Ouch. Such a grim sentiment for such a young person. It's heart-breaking.

I really, really loved the last section of the chapter. For the first time, we're seeing the world from the wolf's point of view. The wolf who saved Devlin. You did a fantastic job of recasting the events from a completely different outlook. Even better, you made the reader actually figure out what had happened. I'll admit, it took me a while. And I appreciated that. I'm not even sure that everyone will get it, but I thought it was a great choice not to just make it obvious. A good story should challenge a reader a bit, not just serve up information on a silver platter.

Other awesome things: I love that the wolf is really struggling to operate Devlin's higher cognitive functions, like speaking. It's as though he knows what the machine can do, but he's lost the manual and can't quite remember the steps to make it happen. I love that Snape recognizes the danger for what it is, and reacts accordingly. Snape might be on Harry's side, but he isn't going to risk himself. I love the way that he couldn't feel Geoffrey and, ultimately, not Snape either. And the way that the wolf finally identifies himself to Snape was genius.

A couple of small typos:

Where were all these Death Eater's that Dubhán did not know about. -- end with a question mark?

"Tell me Potter," Snape said, "how long does it take to cast the Imperious curse?" -- Imperius

Great chapter! It feels like we finally met the last really important member of the cast.

Author's Response: I totally understand. I have a whole pile of reviews to get to for various reasons, including work consuming my life. ;-) Your reviews are always worth waiting for.

It was really difficult to write the interrogation scene for that reason (I'm still not completely happy with it). Yes, he really did decide - it's a big moment. About Voldemort - Devlin has proved himself to be pretty accurate. Just saying. ;-)

"The extent to which Devlin fancies Voldemort to be all-knowing is kind of scary. Then again, as far as he knows, Voldemort is all-knowing." Exactly. Voldemort has made sure he thought this was true. It's a typical kidnapper/abuser strategy. But it is beginning to unravel. You'll note he was confused as to why he would only have recognized ONE of the Death Eaters...

I think instead he believes the trap was for him. It was him that almost fell for it. Otherwise, why not use any boy? Harry would have tried to save any child, but someone tried to use Devlin's guilt against him. Why put a Death Eater there (a werewolf) that he does know? Why try to lure him out further by threatening to tell Potter all about him? I think Devlin knows this was for him.

I did enjoy the naked comment, if only because it further paints a picture of the kind of men Devlin has spent his childhood with. ;-)

THANK YOU. I have been waiting to write this scene. I messed up a bit and am redoing a bit of grammar (when we introduce him all body parts should be 'the' instead of 'his/him' and I slip up and call Harry 'Potter' instead of 'the father' a couple times). Overall, I really loved it though. I wanted to present him as something that's always there and aware, but who doesn't often control this body. I must have done well, because you took from it exactly what I wanted.

Yes, I expect not everyone will get it. I'll probably get some odd reviews, but that's alright.

Snape was really fun to write here. I'm not sure what you mean by can't feel Snape and Geoffrey?

I loved the grass line as the introduction, too. :)

Next chapter we get more Snape and Voldemort too, and I can't wait - even though they're both such picky characters and I am having a hell of a time writing them. Ugh.






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Review #38, by CambAngstNot Another Fairytale.: Once Upon A Time...

1st March 2014:
Tagging you from the Review the Person Above You thread in the common room!

I want to get the constructive criticism out of the way first, because judging from the other reviews on this chapter you've seen most of it already. This chapter needs quite a bit of editing. Grammar, punctuation, and typos are all issues that disrupted the flow of the story. Some people can read right past that sort of thing, but for me it tends to knock me out of the narrative flow. It's a shame, because you have a pretty good premise here. If you cleaned up the little things, my guess would be that you'd have a lot more luck pulling readers into the story.

I really liked the way you started the story. Recasting the events as a fairytale beginning was clever and it made a really nice contrast to the character that Daisy turns out to be. Or maybe Daisy's "inner narration" of her life really does go like a romantic fairytale. That would actually be neat, I think. I also like how the allusions to abuse in the opening section tie into what Albus discovers at the end.

For my taste, I wish you'd worked a little more of the back story into the dialog rather than having Daisy's "narrator voice" tell us about the Potters, their posh life and how she came to fit into it. That said, it all makes sense. They seem like a very normal -- albeit magical -- group of teenagers doing normal teenage things. I was a little surprised that Harry and/or Ginny never appear in the chapter. They don't seem like the sort of parents who would leave a group of teenagers completely to their own devices.

Not a lot obviously as we've got school tomorrow and turning up hangover isn't the best idea ever. -- This struck me as kind of odd. So they've left Hogwarts during the school year to have a sleepover at the Potters' house? For me, I think it would make more sense if this was set during summer vacation.

The fact that the entire group of friends, except for Albus and Daisy, believe that Albus and Daisy belong together is something that, again, I think would have been better explained through the other characters' dialog. That said, it definitely creates an interesting dynamic. I think a little more elaboration would have helped. Why do the others think this? What is the history between Albus and Daisy?

I had some trouble following the devious plot that Albus and Daisy concoct in the closet. Who is supposed to be the victim of this grand, amazing prank?

Lastly, there's the bruise on Daisy's arm. I'll be completely blunt here. Without that one moment, I probably never would have given a second thought to this story. With that moment, I felt an instant connection to your main character. I wanted to know who did this to her and why. I really hope you're able to explore not only Daisy's troubles but also how she tries to hide them and ultimately how they bring her closer to her friends.

Not a bad job for a first chapter. My heartfelt suggestion is edit, edit, edit!

Author's Response: Hello,

Yeah I've had a lot of comments about the grammer and the typos. I've gone over it myself but some have always slipped through. I've now got a beta to go over my chapters and hopefully they'll be gone soon.

The start is supposed to be like the beginning of a fairytale whrich is always told from the perspective of a narrator. But that isn't Daisy's complete story. The rest of her past comes out in later chapters. This ties in with the abuse. The story of that links into her past which like I said will be revealed in to future.

I'm sorry if it was confusing but they are in their summer holiday just the end of it. It's probably my fault that you didn't get that. I'm happy you thought it was okay. And thank you for your CC

TheGirlOnFirexx


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Review #39, by CambAngstRabbit Heart: Stone Hearted

28th February 2014:
Hi, pix! I am all over this!

"Mum? I'm... here."

She couldn't bring herself to call this place home.
-- Well there's a distinctly melancholy note to start the chapter off with. I get where Wren's coming from, though. After having a chance to be back at Hogwarts for a while, it can't be pleasant to be pulled back to the place that she's probably come to associate with any number of bad things -- leaving the bungalow, her great-grandmother's failing health and maybe the deaths of her grandparents.

There goes one of those awful, rabbit-induced headaches again!

Hmmnnn... It seems almost like Augusta is getting a little better. After her brief moment of clarity with Wren, now she's trying to help around the house a bit. Not really succeeding, but trying. Unfortunately, it seemed to ruin a conversation that Wren and her mother really need to have.

The whole zombie line of thought that Wren goes off on while she's waiting at St. Mungo's... yeah, that was a little odd. At the same time, however, I have a suspicion that it relates to your central plot somehow. I'm thinking more of the original voodoo concept of a zombie as a sort of automaton controlled by a dark sorcerer, not this idea of the brain-hungry undead that's all the rage with kids nowadays. Anyway, I'm glad that Albus was mostly able to talk her down from it.

Reading Frank and Alice's medical records made me sad, even given the different context. If there was any realistic expectation that the deaths of their torturers would somehow "lift" the curse damage, it must have been so incredibly difficult for the family when Rabastan and Rodolphus finally bought the farm. It would be like a moment of closure, but accompanied by horrible disappointment.

Oh, no! I feel so bad for Wren right now. I'm sure that Augusta had all of the good reasons in the world for signing the DNR's (I'll use the muggle term) for Frank and Alice. I think it goes without saying that the two of them wouldn't have wanted to have their lives prolonged artificially under the circumstances. But someone Wren's age wouldn't really understand that. I think it says a lot that she doesn't even think that it would have been her great-grandmother -- the rock of her world -- who signed the orders. All she can see is her mother "giving up" on her grandparents. Combine that with the residual anger Wren feels about having to leave the bungalow and this must have been a hard shot to take.

Aww, and then she accuses her mother of just that. My heart is seriously breaking for both of them. The things she says to Augusta were tough to read, but I know it's pretty much how I would have felt if I'd found out something like this after my great-grandmother or grandparents died. It's hard to be a teenager.

Hmmnn... so the man Hannah hired to work the bar gets more and more mysterious! "Be careful around your new friend." He slid a packet of dried herbs across the bar and it bumped her tea mug. "If you need more, I'll be here." -- I'm pretty sure I know what he means, even if Wren doesn't seem to. So where on earth does he fit into all of this? Is he some sort of wizarding equivalent of Van Helsing? I am dying to find out! Oh, wait, I can go beta read that new chapter and probably find out quite a bit...

Whatever it was, and whatever was going to happen to her, she would handle it on her own. -- Oh, no. I hope she doesn't take this too far.

Brilliant chapter! Looking forward already to the next!

Author's Response: Hi there! Can you believe it's another chapter already??

I know, the headaches. They just keep coming. And yes, Augusta seems to be making some sort of progress, because I couldn't just leave her like that. It wouldn't be fair, and I'm just not that mean.

Odd zombie thoughts... Wren has those. It happens now and again. And you're right, I definitely didn't have the brain-hungry undead in mind, and neither does Wren. They're just the mindless, automatron-type things that she's afraid of encountering. She's been staring at her grandparents like that all her life, so it's gotta have made some kind of impact.

I bet if Wren's family sat down with her and explained things to her, she probably would have come to terms with it eventually, but to find out this way, it was certainly a shock. But you know how decisions can come up hard and fast. Anyway, she takes it hard, and she has to get some of that frustration out at some point, right?

Haha, sorry to disappoint you with that next bit. We'll see more of the barman soon, I promise. (working on it right now, actually :P) It's coming. Slow. I'm slow. Sorry.

Thanks so much for the awesome review! You are awesome!!


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Review #40, by CambAngstRules of the Game: Things Could Be Worse

28th February 2014:
Hi, Lauren! I'm pressing forward on my quest for 1,000 reviews, and I wanted to stop back by!

This was a nice, long chapter, but it still read very smoothly and flowed well. At no point did I feel like it was dragging.

Switching to Hugo's point of view was a good choice for this one, I think. We got to learn quite a bit about him without being told. He's dutiful, but not so much that he doesn't dread the bad assignments. He's definitely a bit awkward around the opposite sex. And he seems to be just starting to admit to himself that he has a thing for Alice.

Young love is always so awkward, and I like the way you wrote it. Hugo definitely has some of his father in him, albeit not the bumbling, loud part that tends to offend the person he fancies. He's kind of shy and not at all sure of himself.

I don't think you've told us why Alice is able to see the Thestrals, although it isn't all that hard to take a guess. I hope nothing bad has happened to Frank and Alice, but that would be my first guess. :(

Hagrid! Always a shout out for the big guy! Nice to see that he still doesn't really understand what creatures are appropriate for school-age children.

Aww, Hugo held her hand! Temporarily, anyway. Until he realized what he was doing. How much easier would romance stories be if the characters never realized what they were doing and just went with it?

Now I'm really looking forward to the opening feast and beyond! My compliments to you on your writing and Sian on her beta reading. This chapter was clean as a whistle!

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Review #41, by CambAngstGravel on the Ground: From the Ashes: Chapter 7

28th February 2014:
farmgirl! I'm pumped to see you back with another chapter of this very engaging story. I know how real life gets to people and I always find it kind of inspiring when an author manages to shake that off for just a bit and deliver a new chapter of a story that people love!

Speaking of love, I loved seeing Sadie and Ginny find some common ground and strike up what seems like the beginning of a solid friendship. This obviously isn't the only reason, but they're the only two girls in the house so it makes sense that they'd be drawn toward one another if only for that commonality. But Ginny really opened up a lot more, I think. She took Sadie into this very private place that seems to function mostly as her refuge from her parents and brothers. I know that meant something to me and it seems like it meant something to Sadie, as well.

And Ginny figured out a bit of Sadie's sign language! That seems like a huge step. Communication prevents isolation, and I've felt like Sadie is far too isolated so far in this story.

Ha! Even the mute girl who just only just arrived on the scene can see that Ginny is in love with Harry. I guess that pretty much sews that up.

The only thing I would nit-pick you a bit on is the couple on instances where Ginny mentions doing magic, e.g. casting a water-proofing spell and charming the tin to keep the cookies from going stale. It's not a huge sin, but it would set off the Trace.

Then we see Fred. It seems that his encounter with Sadie's memories really messed with the poor guy. Anything that can take the mickey out of Fred Weasley for even a short period of time is obviously a huge deal.

Okay, poor diversion choice, he chided himself, forcing his thoughts off that path. -- Yep, not a good choice at all.

George has him dead to rights, but at the end he relents. That was a pretty good "twin moment" between the two of them. I guess there's full honesty and then there's "honest enough for the moment".

I'm really glad that you found the time to get another chapter out and, as always, I look forward to the next!

-Dan

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Review #42, by CambAngstBuilding Dollhouses In The Sand: Chapter Nineteen

27th February 2014:
Ooh! So you threw a little romantic curveball Katherine's way. Very intriguing!

Katherine has quite a stubborn streak, doesn't she? Good that Alicia and Angelina were able to break through her wall and get her back into the swing of things.

I like the way she sort of lights up whenever George is around. How long are you planning to keep us guessing about the two of them? I'm getting a little antsy for some sort of Big Moment here. ;)

Let's see, what else? I thought you took a really clever, really good approach with her feelings about her uncle Egil. She's more mad at herself for letting his memory fade than anything else. It's a perfectly natural reaction for a young person who's struggling with a lot of unresolved grief and anger.

The Potions lesson continued to build on her shaky mental state. This is obviously a class she's good at, but she doesn't seem able to concentrate. And then Eldon Burke steps in to be her erstwhile savior. Clever author!

Again, I won't belabor the point. Edit, edit, edit and you'll have something really awesome here!

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Review #43, by CambAngstBuilding Dollhouses In The Sand: Chapter Eighteen

27th February 2014:
Hello, again!

I liked the relationship you showed between Katherine and her housemates. It was good to see Alicia and Angelina stepping up and protecting her from her thoroughly unpleasant ex.

Katherine continues to do this awkward little dance with George. She relishes it when he's close, but it still sends her into a fit of nerves. I'm sure the end of her last relationship is still weighing on her mind, and George probably isn't the easiest guy in the world to spark a romance with. Having a twin means that he probably feels fewer of those subtle pangs of needing companionship that plague us single children. Plus he rarely seems to be alone.

I really like what you've done with Moody so far. Barty, Jr. is doing his best to keep Moody in character, revealing things that only the real Moody would likely know. But he's also thoroughly insensitive about her loss, the same way that he is with Neville in the Fourth Year class.

I don't know if there's a "nice" way to put this, so I'll just say it: this chapter needs a lot of editing. I saw typos, grammar errors, missing words and other problems throughout it. I think the main reason it bothers me is that the story is so good otherwise. I feel like you're compromising something really awesome by leaving in the little things that are easy to fix. I really hope you patch those things up, because you have a story here that you really deserve to be proud of, without any reservation.

Author's Response: Hey I always appreciate your reviews, I know I need to edit loads of this tale! I wish I had the time school for now is at the for front but sometimes the need to write sparks up and I do, but that isn't an excuse to not edit, which I will and as soon as I do, I'll let you know, but I enjoy reading your reviews and I will start responding them as soon as, Moody was the hardest part to write of this chapter, I thought I'd forever try to avoid him but I couldn't he's an intruing character especially when it's Barty Jr. pretending to be Moody XD. Again thank you for you're detailed reviews :) I can't thank you enough.

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Review #44, by CambAngstBuilding Dollhouses In The Sand: Chapter Seventeen

27th February 2014:
OK, so it wasn't who I thought it was going to be, but George does come along soon enough.

I liked the idea of Gryffindors and Slytherins putting their differences aside -- sort of -- in order to try to ensure their mutual safety. At the same time, there's an undertone of mistrust. Seems about right.

It was interesting to see them all musing on what the first war might have had in common with the attack on the camp. They're all growing up way too fast.

And then the Dark Mark comes...

Good chapter! Let's see how many I can read and review today...

Author's Response: Yes these kids won't let go of house rivalry that easily but I feel that if it was about their safety maybe it would be set aside, I'm to set the tone for what's about to come. They are growing up, I'm sort of upset because school will be over for Katherine soon and she'll be thrown into the real world. XD The Dark Mark, I hope I was able to describe the feeling of what it would've been like to see that in the sky especially when knowing what that meant.

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Review #45, by CambAngstBuilding Dollhouses In The Sand: Chapter Sixteen

27th February 2014:
Hi! I couldn't believe it when I looked and saw that you had so many new chapters posted. Shows you what happens when I stop paying attention for a while.

Antoine seems to be helping to clarify a few things for Katherine. He's a prankster and not much of a student, but he's no Fred or George Weasley. I'm glad that she zeroed in on the difference.

I felt kind of sad that Katherine's visit to the Burrow didn't get its own chapter. Still, the brief encounter with Molly that you recounted felt like it was full of warmth and awkwardness, mixed with a bit of sadness. Hopefully you'll reveal a bit more about it as the story moves along.

I loved the way you wrote Katherine's confrontation with her father. Either he's getting a little soft and sentimental in his old age or he just had too much to drink. Either way, she seemed to find a gap in his emotional armor. I guess it's also possible that he was feeling the stress, knowing that he'd be donning his black robes and mask and terrorizing the crowd pretty soon.

Ooh, so he's been keeping some sort of signet ring. I'm torn between thinking that it has something to do with the Death Eaters and thinking that it's some sort of Prewett family heirloom. Either possibility would be really interesting.

When she's fleeing the camp, I found myself wishing that you'd drawn out the scene a bit longer. Let her reflect on her own terror and the awful events playing out around her. And then you left us with a cliffhanger! Since I'm so far behind now, I get to find out right away who she ran into, although I already have my suspicions. ;)

Again, your editing was a little rough in this chapter. I saw quite a few typos, to the point where I won't drag you through them all in this review. Otherwise, great chapter! Off to read the next...

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Review #46, by CambAngstHoping for A Heartbeat : Not A Usual Night At The Burrow

26th February 2014:
Hi, there! Tagging you again from Review Tag!

First off, let me say it again: your pacing and the flow of the story keep getting better and better. I don't know if you go back very often and read your early chapters compared to your later ones, but the difference -- to me, at least -- is night and day. In these last couple of chapters, it feels like you've found your comfort zone. There's still room to improve because I think there's always room to improve, but it's starting to feel more like you're writing in the moment instead of writing about the moment. From a reader's standpoint, that's huge.

Ginny seems to be exhibiting some of the telltale signs of pregnancy: dizziness, nausea, temperature regulation issues. Possibly also her irritation with Ron, although she and Ron have always been a little short with one another. That just comes from being siblings separated by only a year, I think. Part of me wants to say that it seems like it's taking Ron a pretty long time to get his head around things, but this is also the guy who spent a good chunk of Goblet of Fire being mad at Harry instead of helping to keep his best mate alive. Compared to that, I guess two weeks isn't so bad. I have this weird feeling like you're setting Ron up to be the one who really comes through to support Ginny when things start to go badly. Since he's never been as vocally excited about the pregnancy as the others, his company won't be as much of a reminder to her about how excited she once was.

Oh, my. Arriving at the Burrow makes Ginny physically sick with anxiety. I could see that. Even though Molly and Arthur reacted pretty much the way that I expected, it's easy to imagine Ginny building up a lot of remotely possible bad scenarios in her head. I love the subtle little poke at Ron and Hermione when Molly voices her expectations about who would have kids first.

OK, so suggestions: To me, this sentence really captures in a nutshell the way that I think you could really take your writing to the next level: "I realized this may be one of the only times I would have alone with my brother and while we don’t get along all the time our relationship got a little closer after our older brother, Fred died." This sentence has three things going against it. First, it's really long. Second, it combines two sentiments -- one of Ginny's only chances to talk to Ron alone vs. how their relationship changed after Fred's death -- that aren't really related to one another. Third, it says something about Ginny's relationship with Ron in a very matter-of-fact style of narration that I think would have made more of an impact if you had put it more in context. Let Ginny ponder how she never would have cared as much what Ron was feeling about her pregnancy before Fred died, but now she feels so much closer to him. She doesn't want this pregnancy to drive the two of them farther apart.

I hope the suggestions make sense. Good job with this!

Author's Response: Well hello again!
Long time no see!
I appreciate the long, detailed, and thought out review and I will defidently take your suggestions and make some corrections. You have left some amazing reviews in this story and you have helped me out a lot so I thank you so much for that!
I am glad you could see and sort of feel the feelings Ginny did because I hope I am doing pretty good with description. I want to go back and add a little more detail to my story's chapters but I am glad I am mostly doing a good job.
Thanks so much! Hope to see ya again soon! In fact I am off to review your story now from my review thread ;) see ya around!
-Lindsey


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Review #47, by CambAngstThirty-One Bottles: Bottles Eighteen, Thirty and Six

26th February 2014:
Harry soon returned and the couple lounged on the sofa letting the movie distract them from the coming storm. -- So having read this story already, I get the double-meaning of this now. The memories only get more intense and in some cases more difficult from here on out.

I really liked how you started out the chapter. I've had similar dilemmas while lounging on vacation. Throughout it all, you've never allowed us to forget the setting, which is a very striking one. In spite of all the memories and the heavy emotions that go along with them, you've made the story coherent.

I love the idea of Ginny cuddling the baby turtles. Only Ginny...

So this is Fleur's memory, which must mean that we were looking at Viktor's memory in the previous chapter. Glad I got that right!

You write a really great Fleur. There's nothing weak or bubbly about her. She has that characteristic Mediterranean bluntness and she speaks her mind regardless of whether it's what the other person wants to hear. Her advice to Ginny is fantastic. With both Ginny and Harry being very driven professionals, their relationship is destined to be very different from the one between Molly and Arthur. I also loved Ginny's personal definition of supporting Harry: "Nobody goes after Harry without answering to me, nobody," she stated firmly. That's Ginny!

I also liked all of the cute babies in the first section. Harry and Ginny holding Teddy and Victoire. I'm not sure if that was intentional symbolism, but it was clever nonetheless!

Fleur giving Harry a quick kick in the bottom was also great characterization of her. She is not the type to stand for being treated poorly, no matter the other person's reasons. And Harry was treating everyone fairly poorly at that point in his life.

I love the fireworks show that George and Lee put on for Ginny, as well as Gwenog's reaction to the spectacle. I'm not sure how much more I can say about the second memory.

Jaclyn! This is such a trip down memory lane. Every time I turn around, I'm reminded of great original characters you created for LtLA.

I love the way that she makes her way into both Harry's and Ginny's confidence: by being brutally, constructively honest with them. Both Harry and Ginny have such an enormous capacity for ignoring their feelings and better judgment when they're in a huff about something. They desperately need people like Jaclyn in their lives.

Aww, I think it's too bad that Jaclyn and Charlie didn't work out. Then again, I don't know that it would be good characterization for anyone to work out with Charlie in the long run. Unless that someone was scaly and weighed about 10 tons.

Very enjoyable chapter!

Author's Response: The memories do get a bit more intense, or meaningful. One of the hard things about this story is building any type of conflict. conflict drives stories, but who would knowingly give a conflicting memory on their wedding day? Nobody, so I have to find ways to do that within the parameters of 'happy' memories.

I like baby turtles, so they made it into the story. and if you've never been to the sea turtle farm on Grand Cayman, you should go. Its cool.

I love Fleur's character. Many authors have her as this delicate person, but I don't think so. She was chosen as a champion, married a curse breaker, and joined the order when it wasn't really her fight. She's French. So I think she'd be a very tough person with a soft exterior.

Fireworks memory was Lee's. It was purely done for fun, and is not the original memory I was going to use. The original didn't fit for this so it's saved for use later in another story. I made this one up on the fly and I like it a lot.

Jaclyn- I originally had more of her background in LtLA but it slowed down the story. This was a way to give her character more depth. It's kind of an out-take I guess, but it works here.

Charlie is decidedly into dragons.

Thanks again for such detailed reviews! I appreciate it very much.


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Review #48, by CambAngstThirty-One Bottles: Bottles Twenty-Seven, Fifteen and Seven

26th February 2014:
Hi, there! It's me again, resuming my oft-delayed review of this amazing story.

Ah, yes, the cold feet. Bane of the existence of husbands everywhere. I like Harry's solution to the problem, but Ginny's revenge was also pretty well executed. A little pranking to start the day.

I'm assuming that we're seeing Viktor's memory in the first section, since Fleur leaves the room partway through. I really loved the gravity you brought to the scene and the depth of the three champions' commitment to Cedric's memory and to one another. Dumbledore's logic, while difficult on Harry, was also unassailable. I think the highest compliment I can pay to this scene is that I was convinced that a similar scene was included in Goblet of Fire. I actually spent half an hour last night re-reading the end of the book, looking for it. That's just how much I've internalized parts of your stories. I get your version of events mixed up with the actual books.

Alicia's memory is certainly very... personal. I remember Ginny being in this phase in LtLA, and Harry valiantly defending Ginny's honor from Ginny. One of the more humorous parts of the story. And I'd almost forgotten about all of Ginny's "detentions". McGonagall was so good to the two of them!

I thought it was kind of funny that Hermione's memories start with Ginny and Harry being the celebrity couple of the common room. In one way, it doesn't seem much like her, but in another I guess she'd been hearing Ginny pine away over Harry for a long time. She'd also watched Harry go through most of his life so unhappily, so I guess she was one of the people who was most happy for the two of them.

Poor Harry! He finally gets a peek inside the girls' dormitories and it's nothing like he'd built it up to be in his mind. Sometimes imagining is better than knowing.

I can't believe Hermione wanted to interrupt the conversation and look up that thing about the fountain in Hogwarts a History! Actually, yes I can.

"Exactly, see Ginny, in six years he's never talked about himself to me, or to Ron either I expect. He and Ron and I will always be very close. We're his best friends, but you're the one he chose to open up to." -- Hermione knows her stuff. That was always the big thing with Harry and Ginny.

"My cheeks hurt. I didn't know cheeks could hurt just from smiling." He grinned sheepishly. "I bet everyone's having a good laugh at me, but I don't care. Ginny, she...I'm happy any time I'm with her." -- It seems like a small thing, but I thought this was one of the most amazing passages in the whole chapter. It says a lot about how Harry feels about Ginny.

The memory that Ginny adds was a good closing point for the chapter. I love the scenes where Harry is totally gobsmacked.

I actually have something different to offer you in this review: a couple of typos I spotted.

"You're toes are tickling my shins. And they're ice cold too," -- Your toes

No half dresses girls laying on their beds gossiping, -- No half dressed

Great chapter! I'll be back soon...

Author's Response: Welcome back,

Yes, the first is Victor's and was a scene I've wanted to do for a wile (ever since reading GoF). I'm certain the Ministry would have tried to paint this wonderful picture of the champions, but I don't think they would go along with it. This gives me a chance to write Harry as an equal to another character, and that doesn't happen often. Usually he is considered more important, and this makes a nice change.

I didn't get a chance to put in too much of Ginny's motivation for wanting to pounce harry all the time, other than she was a teenage girl wanting her boyfriend. This gave me a chance to get a little deeper into that and show that while they both wanted 'more' neither was willing to break a promise just to get together.

I wanted to burst the girls dorm 'fantasy' that the boys had. Poor Harry...

Hermione- I wanted a chance to write Hermione as a teenage girl. We never see her that way in the books. She's always taking care of Ron/Harry or studying or working out some problem. But under all that, there is a teenage girl with the same teen girl emotions. The kiss legend is based on a 'true' legend from a university in the USA. Won't give away which one...

The 'bonus' memory was put in just as I was posting the chapter. I think it was great.

After being posted for years and two beta's I still find typos. I'll go back and fix them. THANKS!


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Review #49, by CambAngstJames Potter and the Empty House : Valerie

25th February 2014:
Hi! Tagging you from Review Tag!

So to answer the question in your Author's Note, yes, it did make me want to keep reading. I think your premise is interesting and you did a good job of getting across just enough information in your opening chapter to make me want to keep going. That last part is key. I'm not a big fan of stories that dump loads and loads of back story on me during the first chapter. For me, you struck a great balance between giving me enough to know who the key players are and leaving plenty to the imagination.

James seems like a very realistic character. He obviously has an attitude and a bit of a superiority complex, but he's appropriately worried about his circumstances. He obviously didn't pay much attention to other students that he didn't consider interesting when he was at Hogwarts. He's a little cocky, but he knows when he's in over his head. He's not afraid to verbally mix it up with his companion in the mysterious house, and he hates it when people assume that he's living off of his father's fame. All around, I like him, even if he is a bit of a git.

We obviously know a lot less about Valerie, but she has spirit. I liked that she wasn't at all intimidated by James, even though she comes from a middle-class, non-magical family. She's willing to stand up and make him take notice.

The only thing I saw in this chapter that bugged me a little was the way that you sometimes didn't break up your paragraphs of dialog when one character interrupts the other. I think I understand the effect you're trying to get, I just don't think it's working very well for you. I found myself getting confused about who was talking, having to go back and re-read it once or twice to get clear. My suggestion would be ending the first character's dialog with a hyphen and quote marks ("Right, I said that, didn't I-") and then starting a new paragraph for the next speaker ("Maybe you did," Valerie broke in, folding her arms across her chest, "but that's not how I know.")

Good start! I hope you keep going with this.

Author's Response: Hello! Thanks for the review!

My goal is to sort of fill in background info as I go, because I really want this story to be about the plot, here and now. James isn't going to be thinking about his life story with so much else going on. I'm trying to only write backstory that's relevant--which is hard sometimes, but hopefully I'll be able to do it!

I'm glad you like James! I think he's such an interesting character to explore, being Harry's oldest child. I think that his father's fame affects him more than he would like to admit, to be honest. That's where his confidence, and slight cockiness comes from I think! Valerie is a lot of fun to write, so it's good to hear that you liked her!

Ahh thanks for pointing that out. I've always been a bit iffy on how to write interrupted dialogue. I'll be editing this soon to fix it.

I actually have the next two and a half chapters written, so I'll be updating fairly regularly!

Thanks again!

Sam


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Review #50, by CambAngstRabbit Heart: Hearts and Spades

23rd February 2014:
Hi, pix! My review assault continues!

It was nice to get back to Albus's point of view and see the world through non-demon-bunny-compromised eyes. I absolutely loved the shoe phone Albus and Scorpius charmed. I wonder how many of your readers are actually old enough to get the reference? Most of them probably can't remember a time when mobile phones were the same size as a shoe.

It probably won't come as a surprise that I felt horrible for Albus when Wren is barely able to have a conversation with him. One more reason to dislike the demon bunnies! The poor guy is getting his confidence stepped on at every turn in this story. Wren's preoccupation with Bunny is even more apparent through Albus's eyes. I'm wondering what will finally start to snap her out of it.

I think maybe I have a better idea why Albus's rabbit isn't affecting him the same way as Wren's. To wit: He'd applied every anti-charm and anti-hex spell he knew to the cage before tossing the drooling beast inside. Then he'd added a few extra wards for good measure. Between the rattling cage and the demon-red eyes that followed him around the room, he could hardly stand the thing. -- Maybe all of those magical protections are keeping the other rabbit's demon mojo contained. Good on Albus. Hopefully he puts Wren's bunny in lockdown at some point, too.

Unless I misunderstood, Albus now has the Marauder's Map. Awesome! The map might go a long way toward helping them to unravel the mystery of the demon bunnies when the time comes. It has a knack for unmasking malicious intruders inside the castle.

Scorpius is helping and he isn't. Albus does need someone to kick him in the behind and remind him that he isn't going to make Wren his girlfriend by doing nothing. At the same time, picking up the easiest thing that wanders by in the Slytherin common room is only going to make Albus feel worse about the fact that Wren seems to be ignoring him.

I really loved your ideas about how a magical dark room works. You maintained the essence of hobbyist photography yet you put that magical twist on it. Ooh, and another hint about Bunny's mysterious ability to go from place to place!

Awesome chapter! I'm excited to see what comes next!

Author's Response: Oh, it's so assaulting!

*ducks under a table*

Albus definitely doesn't have a demon-bunny bias here. I have no idea who's going to pick up on the shoe phone reference, but I think it works, even if they don't know where it came from. That's the beauty of a cool prop! :)

I felt horrible for him as well. As hard as he is working, he should be getting SOME kind of payoff for his efforts, but things just aren't leaning in his favor right now. Poor Albus! I'd love to see him up against Bunny soon too. But then we'd have an awfully short story and I'd be cutting the next fifteen chapters down to nothing... nah. I'm sticking with the plan. Sorry, Albus. You're just going to have to work harder!

Yes! It's the map! As for how useful it will be, well, you'll have to wait and see.

Aww, but Scorpius *thinks* he's helping. :) He's 'that' kind of friend. Haha!

There should be several more hints about Bunny coming up. Let's see what we can unravel next!

Thanks for another lovely review, and also for your keen beta eyes that make these chapter all shiny!


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