Hello! It's Santa here again :)
Okay, so I really like this as well. I think it's a really good chapter to have, however I would probably preferred to of read it first, like a sort of prologue to the story. Which would be easy to change if you wanted. I think you can just click some arrows in the 'Manage Stories' tab, but I'm not sure, I've never tried it. But I don't think it's essential to change it, it was just a suggestion. And that's probably the only CC you'll be getting ;) if you can even call it CC..
I love this bit: 'He now felt that he had something to prove. Roxanne was definitely one of his favourite cousins, but there was no way he was going to let her show him up by finding a better wand.' It made me smile because to me it almost seemed like the root of the rivalry, and how they got to the point where they were trying to prove they were 'The Better Gryffindor', which may be the reason why I mentioned it might work slightly better at the very beginning.
It makes me laugh how competitive they are; I mean, they're competitive over who has the better wand! That's like me saying my pen's better than yours, aha, I mean it won't be, and I don't think it is, but that's kind of what they're saying :O
Anyway, I really liked this chapter, and I think it was really important, as it sort of created the idea of the rivalry, which is what the whole story is kind of about.. But it works really well because it's so realistic!
I think the way you left it, means if you ever wanted, you could probably carry on with it, but I think it would be very hard to keep going and going, especially as they age, and it might be a bit repetitive, but its always an option if you wanted to :)
Happy New Year
-Santa xxAuthor's Response: I've actually tried to do that, because you're right, it does make more sense, but you apparently can't change the first chapter, just subsequent chapters, and I wrote this after I'd posted the other two chapters. I've considered just reposting it as a one-shot, but then I'd lose my reviews on it, and I like my reviews.
Thank you so much for the reviews - you were a great Santa. I really appreciate it, and I'm glad you enjoyed this story - it was fun to write, even if it's not one of my most popular ones. ♥ Report Review
Santa's back! I momentarily got stuck in a chimney, which is why these gifts are later than I would of liked.
So, I really like this chapter as well. I think it carries on really well from the previous chapter. It's been about a month (I think) and the characters haven't changed so drastically that I don't recognise them, yet they have seemed to grow up slightly… They're just as cheeky, but they're more subtle about what they're doing. The way the sort of plant a seed of suspicion, by suggesting the Philosopher's stone hasn't actually been destroyed, and metaphorically watering it, by telling them about the devil's snare, knowing the cunning Slytherins would go looking for it, and the immortality it could offer.
It made me laugh how 3 days later Longbottom calls them into his office explain why 4 Slytherins where hospitalised trying to find the Philosopher's stone in the Devil's Snare in one of his Greenhouses… I don't think I thought they would actually go looking for it, although it surprised me that the Slytherins waited 3 days to go and look for it, because it may just be a stereotypical view of mine, but I would of thought they would of gone to find it straight away. But I actually prefer it they way you wrote it, because it conveys the suspicion the Slytherins' have of the information the Gryffindors' gave them, but they ultimately risk it because they're so power-hungry.
I think it's good that they didn't get away with it this time, because I don't think the story would be as good if the got of the hook every time. It teaches them to be more careful about what they're doing.
Great chapter as usual! Santa is happy they got given you :)
I'll be back with more presents soon :)
-Santa xxAuthor's Response: Aw, thank you so much! :) I'm really glad you liked it, especially the way I've tried to subtly develop the characters. I really appreciate your reviews, Santa! :) Report Review
Hello Beeezie, It's your Secret Santa here again :)
Sorry about the huge delay between gifts, I couldn't access much on the archives earlier in the week.
I like the way the whole story (or at least this chapter) is based on the rivalry between Roxanne and James II, I think it's a really good idea for a story; the tale of competition between people, who, deep down, love each other.
I really like the characterisation in the story, it seems so realistic, the idea that the most important thing to two 11 year olds is who the better Gryffindor is; when you're 11, things like that are really important, whereas when you're older, you no longer care; like most people grow out of sibling, or in this case cousinly, rivalry as they get older, so I think you've done an amazing job with the sort of feel of the story.
One of my favourite bits was this: '"Oh, no," she groaned. "We're going to get detention for sure. It shows how the two 11 year olds aren't as brave as they try to make out. So they are worried about getting detention, when they're trying to show the other how they are the 'better Gryffindor'. It just made me laugh! :')
I really liked the ending of the chapter :) Especially this bit: 'James grinned at her. "It's all about plausible deniability. I don't think she believed me, but she couldn't prove it." // Roxanne considered that for a moment. // Plausible deniability. She rather liked the sound of that.". I think it was a really clever way to end it. And, I haven't yet read it, but I suspect that will feature again in the coming chapters. ;)
I really like the way you've started this, and I can't wait to read the rest.
I'm sorry this isn't very constructive, but I can't really think of any improvements
Happy New Year!
-Secret Santa xxAuthor's Response: Aw, no worries - I can understand that. I'm also entirely too late in replying to your lovely reviews, so I certainly can't hold when you left them against you! I'm really sorry - life has been kind of horrible and hectic.
I'm glad that you felt like I was portraying them as real eleven year olds - they end up becoming much more blasÃƒÂ© about the rules as they get older, but I felt like starting out they would probably be more cautious. I'm glad you agree. :P
Thank you so much for the lovely review! Report Review
this is definately my favourite of all the stories you've written. It's got substance and is funny at the same time, which is unusually hard to find in HP fanfictions. Do you plan on continuing it? I would love to see how they develop their pranking skills... Also, there should be a dramatic scene where Uncle George discovers their pranking and screams his adoration before hugging them and leading them on an inside tour of the joke shop (like in the spy movies, and he'd give them lots of gadgets and prank stuff before it goes on market?)...
I have this all planned out. It shall be brilliant :)Author's Response: Aw, thank you!
I think I actually will continue it, though probably not in this particular story - Fred and Victoire also enjoy pranks, and I'm thinking of combining the two duos into a new story.
Thank you so much for such a lovely, imaginative review. :) I love the idea of that dramatic scene! Report Review
Hey Branwen! I thought I'd pop by and leave a very belated review for the last chapter of this story :)
I thought this was super cute. I often feel like James gets lost in cliche land (read: Harry's little clone) whenever I read him, and I felt like I sort of got to know him for the first time here. I think it was getting to examine his doubts that did it for me, because it gave him more of a human feel. I also thought Roxanne was cute, with her sassy little blue sparks.
In addition, I liked your OC and getting to have a fresh glimpse at the wand selection process. I think you portrayed it very well, and I think canon would agree with how you showed things working at Ollivander's. Overall, this was short, but excellent.
I'll admit, at first I was a little confused about why you chose to end the story this way. Now I see it, though -- James has a chance here to live up to his own destiny, not merely a copy of Harry's or anyone else's, and to prove that he's something special with that thestral wand. It was really quite a neat and charming way to end an interesting piece.
Nicely done! :)
Recenseo 2012Author's Response: Oh, thank you! :) I wasn't quite sure about ending with this, either, to tell you the truth - I didn't really want to make it its own little story, but I couldn't bump it to the first chapter, either. I am glad that you felt like it worked on the whole, though. I might try to change it up a bit to smooth it over a bit more. Hmm.
I'm glad that you enjoyed this - I had a lot of fun writing it.
Thank you so much! :) Report Review
Tagging you from the Review the Person Above You thread in the common room.
This was an interesting and fun little vignette. I liked the way that you stepped outside of the timeline of the main story, although I think I would have liked it a little more if you had somehow woven it into the context of the first two chapters. Maybe something along the lines of, "While James and Roxanne were scrubbing the Mandrake pots behind greenhouse 3, his thoughts drifted back to..." I guess it wouldn't be a huge difference, but it might have felt a bit smoother.
I liked the change in proprietorship of Ollivander's. It's hard to imagine old Garrick still being around, given his advanced age in the books and the injuries he suffered in DH. I'm curious how Jane is related. That would have been an interesting detail to work in. Since she's been making wands for at least 10 years (per the second-to-last paragraph), it seems likely that she would have at least apprenticed under him.
So Roxie's wand is rigid. That make perfect sense in context, and it was a nice little detail.
The section with James is more interesting. It sounds like he's taken on some of the less agreeable aspects of both of his parents' personalities. One thing that I thought would have been interesting in this section is to have Ollivander go through a progression of possible wand choices from the more pliable types (ivy, willow) into the less yielding (oak, blackthorn, mahogany), with a bit of commentary along the way. I did love your ultimate choice, though. That sounds like one stubborn piece of wood.
Overall, this was a fascinating aspect of the story to explore and I really enjoyed it. It was nicely written, with no typos or grammar problems that I could find. I would definitely enjoy reading more of your vision of Fred and Roxie.Author's Response: Yeah, I wish I could switch around the order and make this the first chapter, but unfortunately I can't. I do like your suggestion, though - I'll definitely look into expanding this a little and integrating some better segue into it!
Jane is his niece (or great-niece, I haven't decided). I considered working that in, but I couldn't find a decent way to do so that felt natural. Ditto for the woods - Harry certainly did experience that, and I wanted to keep it within what makes sense for a wandmaker to share with the patrons. Most people probably don't even know the difference, and I don't know, when people are trying to sell me things they usually don't go into that much detail! :P Could just be a difference in experience, though, you know?
Thank you for your review! :) Roxanne is a main character is Curiosity Is Not a Sin, and there's a lot of Fred in some of my Victoire stories, on the off chance that you're interested. Report Review
Wands can be stubborn - how funny! Cute chapter. The wand really did choose the wizard here. Thanks for the new chapter!Author's Response: Oh, I'm glad you liked it! :) Thanks for the review! Report Review
Too funny! I like Edith. It is unfortunate for Roxanne and James that Neville can see right through them! Thank you for the chapter.Author's Response: I like Edith, too - I'm trying to find a way to work her into another story. Thank you for the review! Report Review
Plausible deniability seems to be a natural defense of most kids - mine included! Roxanne and James seem a bit reckless. I hope this doesn't lead to a lot of injuries although they may consider them badges of honor. Thanks for an entertaining first chapter!Author's Response: Thanks for such a nice review! :) I don't think I ever quite got out of the plausible deniability stage, personally - I expect I'll still be using it 20 years from now. :P Report Review
That smile I had during the last chapter of this? Totally did not leave my face for one second while reading this.
God, you have this way with characters. I have mentioned it before but you manage to give us so much with so little. You don't give us a character's entire life story, you just dive in and it's like I have known the characters for years. It's all so familiar which is insane because I have only been reading your work for a few days (a fact that I hate because I should have been reading it from the day it was posted!). You don't overwhelm us with information about your characters, you just take us into their lives and let us experience it.
You have truly mastered the art of 'show, don't tell'. I'm so jealous. I swear, once this SS is over, I am going to read over your stuff again to see just how you do it.
I loved this line: Roxanne and James had discovered over the past month how much they really liked breaking the rules. It sort of sets the entire premise for the whole story and I just loved it.
You also have this way with your sentence. I have mentioned it before, but you really do. They flow on from one another in a way that I wish I could do. And your paragraphs are just perfect. Again, it might sound like a tiny thing but you have no idea how much they add to your story. The tone comes across so clearly.
Roxanne and James were hilarious in this. I get the feeling that they're good mates, tease each other but still love one another and are really good at working with each other. I love how they used the power of suggestion to those Slytherins. Stroke of genius! It was a brilliant prank and the first one I have read that didn't involve a lot of mayhem. Very clever and I applaud you for it!
I hope you continue with this! I loved this little insight into Roxanne and James and it's just such a fun story to read that I can easily see myself staying up into the early hours of the mornings, reading it. Yes, it is one of those stories!
:)Author's Response: Okay, so for a second I thought the smile totally DID leave your face for this, and I had a moment of, "Oh my god, why? What did I do? I didn't think it was very depressing or bad!" Then my brain caught up, and I breathed again.
I'm especially glad that you're commenting on the mechanics, because I am a mechanics freak. I love the mechanics. I live for the mechanics. I was an English/Psych major, and the mechanics were like my bread and butter. I really care so much about them, so to have you comment on them so favorably makes me very happy!
I'm definitely going to continue with this! My only difficulty is my large number of WIPs. That's not a problem in terms of writing the chapters, because I always have a pretty sizable backlog that I need to upload (I literally always have something in the queue). It's just about the queue and validation. It's been over two months and 19 new chapters validated since my last very dumb mistake, so I'm hoping that the powers that be decide to grant me TA status at some point. Then I could update all of my stories regularly. Yay.
Thank you so much for this. I'm having a really terrible day, and this just brightened it up. You have no idea. You are a lovely secret santa. ♥ Report Review
Back again, spreading Christmas cheer! Which I'm sure you're absolutely devastated about. Ha.
This was so sweet. And it was just a fun Next Gen story to read. You don't often get those, you know? They are always about prejudice or about crossing the boundaries between houses or pranks or love. And this is none of those. It just focusses on two characters who happen to be Next Gen characters and cousins and just behaving like eleven year olds.
It's new. It's original. It's unique. And it's very refreshing.
The eleven year old 'voice' comes through really clear for both James and Roxanne in this. It just made me smile how they are so set to outprove the other. It reminds me of exactly what an eleven year old would do. It's such an interesting age. They're not really babies or children but they're not teenagers. They're in the middle. A bit childish but a bit more mature than a child. You have captured that here.
I also like that you have included Roxanne in this. She's a bit of a neglected character in Next Gen and is often just seen as 'Fred's sister' and nothing more. You have given her a character in this which I love.
This was just so sweet and fun to read. I can easily see James and Roxanne becoming the future pranksters of Hogwarts!
Gosh, I don't know what else to say! I normally can gush on and on about a story but this is just so delightful that I can't think of what else to say! It's enjoyable to read and it's just... so damn good. I can't think of how else to put it. So I know that my other reviews have been a tad longer but don't be disheartened because I like this just as much as everything I have read of yours!Author's Response: Oh, thank you so much! You really make my day every time I open up my author's page and see your lovely reviews. It's inspiring me to go out and leave lots of reviews for other people, which is also awesome. :)
I'm so glad you appreciate Roxanne in this! I always knew that I wanted her to be in the same year as James. I agree that she's often neglected, and it seems like while people write Fred as being obviously George's son, they often don't write Roxanne as being obviously George's daughter. I hope that that's not the case for me!
Thank you so much. I really appreciate this review, and I'm definitely not disheartened. This actually elevated my mood a lot, since I'm having a really terrible day. *hugs* Thank you!! Report Review
Hi again on this glorious Review-a-Fellow-Gryffie Day!
This was another great chapter. James and Roxanne are such enjoyable little devils, I really love all their interaction and their competitiveness.
This idea was excellent. The story is well written, easy to picture and so compelling. I sat at the edge of my chair during all the read; my heat beating hard and a smile on my face.
Great job once again and keep it up, you'Ve got a good story in your hands and you are working it very well!Author's Response: Oh, I'm so glad you liked it! :) I think that chapters for this story are probably the most fun to write, and I'm glad it comes across that way to you! :)
Thank you for the review! Report Review
Hi! Happy Review-a-Fellow-Gryffie Day!
Congratulation on such a wonderful chapter. I loved it from beginning to end and in all dimensions. The writting was compelling, the characters engaging and full fledge, the action is fast paced, non stop and enjoyagble. I loved it!
Two little sentences gave me trouble though. I feel there might be some slight structural problems but, then again, English isn't my fist langage so it might be a misunderstanding of my part! I share them with you none the less, so that you can judge for yourself.
"Fully half of their class had to go"; I'm not sure the 'fully' is necessary
"Maybe he was better at being talking them out"; I think the 'being' shouldn't be there
That's it though, nothing else jumped at me. I really enjoyed this chapter and can't wait to see the next one! Great, great job!!Author's Response: Whoops, yeah, the "being" was a typo. Thanks for catching it!
"Fully" isn't necessary, you're right, but it's often used in front of an amount to emphasize it, which is what I was going for here. :)
I'm really glad you enjoyed this - thank you so much for the review! :) Report Review
Here is your second review from the "Review the person above you" thread.
This chapter is definitely funnier and more involved than the first, although the writing seems a bit less polished. I loved the one-two act of James and Roxanne messing with their classmates. The mention of the Resurrection Stone was a great setup and then you took it and ran with it. The reactions of the Slytherins and the mess it gets them into was priceless.
One thing struck me as factually odd. As armadillos are not native to Europe, it seems a bit odd that their bile would be used to brew a potion at Hogwarts.
Lastly, a couple of typos you might want to look at:
- In one paragraph, you say of Professor Dorny, "she seemed to like Roxanne" while in a later paragraph, you say "the board on which he had written instructions." So I'm not sure which gender is correct.
- "James shrugged and turned bag to the table" I think you mean "turned back to the table".
Great chapter. I'd love to read more. I'm also holding out hope that we haven't seen the last of Ghost in the Machine (M). ;)Author's Response: I remember Harry using armadillo bile (I believe in GoF), which is why I decided to use it as an ingredient. I'm terrible at thinking up ingredients to potions, so I'm not very inventive and tend to take the easy way out. :P
Thanks for pointing out the typos - just fixed them. There always seem to be a few that get by me. Professor Dorny is definitely a she, but I originally had Slughorn continuing to teach the class and her taking over a few years down the road. Now I've changed that, and I guess I missed one of the pronouns. Oops. I am going to try to polish this up a bit, probably after NaNo.
I'm really glad you liked it, though, and thank you for the review! :)
And don't worry - you haven't seen the last of Ghost in the Machine. I actually have the second chapter written - the queue's just been so long, and there are other things I need to get up. : Oh, TA status, you would be lovely. Half my stories would get new chapters immediately, haha. Report Review
Very nicely done. James sounds like the spitting image of his namesake, while Roxanne definitely has a good dose of her father in her.
Normally, I can find at least some typos to nit-pick on, but you did a great job with this. No typos and your grammar is on point.
I wonder what other houses the Sorting Hat was considering for Roxie?
At any rate, on to the next chapter...Author's Response: Thanks for the review! :)
The Hat briefly considered Ravenclaw, but it settled on Gryffindor pretty quickly. It probably took about 5 seconds to place James and 15 to place her -- they're both too reckless and destructive to fit anywhere else. :P Report Review
Hey! Another great chapter :)
I love how you did the challenge quote! I thought you did a good job of characterizing the Slytherins, particularly when you had one of them unconsciously touch the house crest on her robes when thinking about what it would be like to have the Stone. I also thought it was adorable how James kept going on and on about his dad and his experience with the Stone. I can definitely imagine next-gen kids comparing the accomplishments of their very famous parents!
Nice job :) Looking forward to the next one!
academicaAuthor's Response: Oh, thank you so much! I'm really glad you liked it - I'm enjoying writing James and Roxanne, and it makes me feel great that other people are enjoying reading it. :) Report Review
Okay, so that was kind of tense but not that tense. I totally laughed when Roxanne and James got caught and given detention by Neville! That was really mean of them to trick the Slytherins (Tes, I'm a Slytherin. That's why.)
I love love love the way you made it so simple but complicated in a way. And I think this is the second or third story I've read with so much energy in it! It makes me all giddy!
The way you explained the Elixir of Life and the use of the Philosopher's Stone was fantastically accurate.
I don't really know what to say...your story is just perfect the way it is.
Sometimes I think I'm not a good reviewer throwing rubbish reviews like this! hahaha,
CloakAuror9 xxAuthor's Response: No, you're a terrific reviewer! When you see problems, you point them out, and you always seem to comment favorably on the things I was really afraid no one would like (in this case, the simple-yet-complicated thing). That actually helps me a lot. :)
Haha, yes, Roxanne and James are not always very nice, but they're so much fun to write about. Don't worry, they're pretty equal-opportunity pranksters. :P
Thank you so much for the review! :) Report Review
Hello, yeah. Its me again. (:
Okay, so 'The Better Gryffindor' is a really good story. Roxanne and James fighting about who got sorted faster and what nots was really cool and you even gave reasons to support the whole thing.
Description...okay so, normally on your stories they would be one of your strongest bits but here? they weren't the best ones but they weren't the worst ones either. I think it was just a little bit average since you made the stories flow really good and it was funny (I found it funny...I dunno with the other readers...) and I had a really really great time reading it.!
CloakAuror9 xxAuthor's Response: Yeah, I was a little afraid of that. When I get a chance, I think I'll go back through and flesh it out a bit more.
Thank you so much for the review, and I'm so glad you liked it! :) Report Review
Hey! Review tag brought me here :)
The beginning was really cute. I mean, come on, ten seconds? Haha. And I loved how the Hat accidentally thought it was sorting James I all over again! The banter between the two cousins is adorable. Really... the "better" Gryffindor... haha.
I like the way you've described things for the most part. I do wish you had gone into a bit more present-tense detail about the Potions incident, only because I think Slughorn's reaction would have been quite humorous. But I like the attention to detail throughout the rest of the piece. Your writing is flawless, and you clearly used your five words well! :)
This story really made me laugh, and I like how you've thrown together two characters that don't get a lot of proximity to one another in Next-Gen fics (probably because of all the OCs in the way...). Very cute and original. I'm sure the next chapter will be just as exciting!
BTW, totally looking forward to seeing how you bring in JRose16's challenge. I entered that one as well, and all the entries I've read so far have been really funny. By the look of this, yours won't disappoint :)
-Trick or Treat from Slytherin House-Author's Response: Oh, thank you! I'm so glad you liked it! Especially the James and Roxanne partnership - when I mapped out my next-gen ages, I decided that I didn't want everyone clumped together at the bottom, but I did want a cousin in James's year. I thought that Roxanne would be perfect, and I have loved writing them. (They play a prominent role in my Rose/Scorpius fic as well.)
I see what you mean about the Potions incident - I think I will go back when I get the chance and elaborate on it a little more.
I hope you like JRose16's challenge just as much!
Thank you so much for the review! :) Report Review
I like it, your doing a great job! I like that you have James and Roxanne working together, I've never seen that before. :)Author's Response: Oh, thank you so much! I'm glad you liked this chapter! :) Report Review
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