Reading Reviews for The Girl Next Door
  
28 Reviews Found

Review #1, by daliha Amelia

3rd October 2013:
Curious, I admit I felt a bit sketchy about the first chapter (perhaps it was the format that seemed a little strange to me) but I was too curious to see where this story would (especially with that summary , I loved it!) Now I'm wondering, what happened to Lexi?

Author's Response: Hi! I'm not sure what you mean by the format of the first chapter seeming a little strange to you, so perhaps you'd like to clarify? I'm really pleased you loved the summary though!

And as for what happened to Lexi, you'll just have to read on ;)

Thanks for reviewing!


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Review #2, by magnolia_magic Amelia

28th June 2013:
Katie, please don't hate me! I'm sorry I took forever with this review, but I'm here now! I've been really looking forward to this chapter since I read your prologue so long ago, and this didn't disappoint :)

I LOVE Amelia. Let me just say that right now. Are we supposed to like Amelia? Probably not, but she makes me laugh, and I love seeing the wizarding community through the eyes of a disapproving Muggle. It really got me thinking! If I knew all about magic and had to look at it as an outsider, I'd probably be annoyed by a lot of the things Amelia brought up.

She's just cool. She seems tough as nails, and she's got so much mystery about her. How does she know about the magical world (I'm guessing it might be through Petunia, but I could be wrong), and what makes her look down on wizards so much? It's all very compelling. But most of all, I'm fascinated to look at this story through the eyes of a person with actual flaws. Most main characters are "flawed," but not in a way that makes them unlikeable. I feel like authors are really careful about that. But Amelia actually has big issues. She's kind of a liar. And she's SO prideful, and does things solely out of spite. Having a narrator like this gives your story a fresh perspective, one that readers won't often see. I loved getting inside her head!

As far as style goes, I think you did really well with the first person POV. It's my favorite to read, and I think you did a great job of letting us into Amelia's head (but still keeping some mystery going...I loved that!) Your writing style is wordier than I'm used to, so it did take me a while to navigate some spots. The place that sticks out to me as confusing is the third paragraph, when you're describing Sirius. I think it might help to see if you can streamline that a little more; I kind of tripped over the wording, and I think you could create the same picture in fewer words. It would help your readers move through that part much more easily.

Remus is my favorite marauder, which is pretty standard for me; any time I read a Marauders era fic, he's my favorite. You did a good job of making him sweet and polite, just like I'd imagine him. But Sirius is appropriately snarky (you did really well with his dialogue), and I liked lovesick James. It did seem a little odd for him to mention Lily's physical beauty and how much he liked her in front of complete strangers. But then again, maybe he just got swept up in his thoughts of her :)

The ending is great! You've got so much suspense built up already, and I'm worried about how Amelia's dishonesty will affect Sirius' search for Lexi. And of course, I'm dying to know what happened to her! You did an awesome job of setting up drama here, and it will keep readers like me hooked!

Great job! Again, I'm so sorry to have kept you waiting this long. Feel free to PM me if you want to talk any further, and re-request any time you want :)

--Maggie

Author's Response: Maggie, please don't hate me too! I'm so sorry for the delay of this response :(

I LOVE AMELIA TOO. She's just so bad, so nasty, that I can't help but love to hate her. She's very disdainful about the whole Muggle world - a little like Vernon and Petunia, but at the same time she /understands/ how the wizards do things, instead of just hating them blindly, if that makes sense? I'm really glad that you enjoy her perspective, because I think it's really unique (at least I hope so!) to have a baddie who's outrightly bad, at least for the most part. We won't get to see Amelia's softer side for a good while.

I think I edited out Sirius' section when you brought it up, so thank you! ♥ And yes, Remus is definitely one of my favourite Marauders, although I do tend to treat him badly in my fics :( (It's always my favourites that seem to suffer most :() And you're right - James did get side-tracked with his thoughts of Lily. He's been deprived of her all summer, that's why ;)

OMG, thank you so much! Amelia is indeed intent on throwing not one, but several spanners into the works >:D

Again, it's not a problem for the delay - better late than never! - and I've already PMed you, as you know :D

-Isobel ♥


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Review #3, by Aphoride Prologue

17th June 2013:
Hey there - dropping by with your requested review! Sorry about the delay - things in RL have been pretty busy recently, involving and moving and exams and stuff - but I'm here now, so it's not too bad! :)

I like how you've written Sirius. He seems pretty childish and immature - which is how he should be - and yet slowly sort of realising that maybe what he was taught wasn't right. At the same time, he's reckless - he tells a muggle about magic, which is technically an offence, I believe. Including Kreacher was a nice touch, too, as since we didn't see any of his other family, particularly Regulus and his dad who we know least about, it helped make the idea of the family more known. Plus it reminded me of OotP, when he hates being stuck in the house. I don't know if it was intentional, but it was good either way!

Lexi's character is interesting. I like how there's a reason for her to be called 'Lexi', other than it's a good name, how her dad left her mum and their family, how she's got so many sisters. I particularly like how she doesn't seem to be all that brave or strong, but really open to believing seemingly strange things. Again, it reminds me that she is just a kid at the beginning and they're more likely to believe things like that, you know?

The only thing character-wise I would say is to be careful to keep their situations as separate and different. Yeah, they both don't have great home lives, but they're going to have different peeves, different situations, the severity will be different. Right now, I guess just because you're kinda introducing it and keeping it simple, their lives seem a bit too similar to be totally realistic. It's a personal thing, though, but just something to bear in mind perhaps ;)

I did like her sisters, though, and the conversation between Lexi and Sirius via the letters was great! It was so like kids to talk like that, I could really imagine both of them.

Plot-wise, I think as long as you actually have a really good, solid reason for Sirius wanting to find Lexi again (because, honestly, most people would just forget about it or not go to the effort of finding her, and it's a bit extreme), then I think you're golden. I'm a bit sceptical as to how there was a hole Sirius could push parchment through into the other house given that it's stated in the books Sirius' dad put every known enchantment on it, other than the Fidelius Charm, but if you can make it work/explain it, then it's not a problem! It's just a little detail, it's not that important.

I think this is a great prologue - it does sort of start it all off nicely, introduce the characters well.

Oh, one quick thing: never start a sentence in prose with 'and'. It's grammatically incorrect. The same with 'but'.

So yeah, I like this. I think it's good so far, I like your characters, I think it's a good start, there is a lot of information in it but you manage it well, the letters are great, the flow and pace are good. Feel free to re-request in future! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi Aph! I'm so sorry about the delay in responding to this review - my 2014 New Year's resolution is to stay a bit more updated on my reviews! And don't worry about your delay in reviewing either - better late than never :D

Sirius ♥ Yes, he is quite childish - and you're right, telling Lexi about magic /is/ a breach of the International Statute of Secrecy, but the Ministry wouldn't find that out unless Lexi told other people about it and it got back to them, and since she didn't, Sirius is safe. Plus, he's not a particular fan of law-abiding as an teenager/adult, so I decided to have that take root when he was younger. We will actually see Regulus in this story in a few chapters' time ;)

Yes, I wanted to portay Lexi as human, especially as she doesn't surface until the end of TGND. The similarities between their home lives is certainly quite similar here, but I wanted to emphasise that to explain how they found something in common in each other, despite the whole magic-Muggle difference. Yeah, she's kind of Neville imo - quiet and reserved younger, but with the potential to be incredibly brave.

I definitely do have a reason for Sirius' desire to find Lexi, and it took a while tbqh and I hope that when the time comes, I'll be able to convey it well. Yes, that is correct - the hole dates back to Marius Black's (the Squib) time, where his mother created the hole to communicate with her son, who'd been taken in by the next-door neighbours after his parents kicked him out. That's explained in chapter four :)

Thank you - I'm really glad that you like this prologue! :)

Oh - I didn't realize that. I do keep an eye on my ands and buts now, and my usage has decreased somewhat although they still crop up. I tried to eliminate them entirely, but I kept getting stuck on what to write next, so I do include those when it feels natural to :)

Thank you so much - and once again, for the late response!

-Isobel xx


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Review #4, by -BookDinosaur- Amelia

15th June 2013:
-BookDinosaur- here with your requested review. Sorry for the wait!

I really enjoyed reading these two chapters (because I read the first one as well to be on the ball). I really enjoyed reading this from Amelia's POV, although I was surprised at first, and then curious-where has Lexi gone? Her descriptions of the Marauders made me laugh as well, they were really funny. :) I think it's safe to say that I really enjoyed reading through the first person POV of Amelia, so no problems there!

I loved your descriptions, they was really realistic. I could see the café and it really felt like I was there with all your characters. There was enough to paint a really clear picture in my head, but not so much that I got bored reading it.

Well, all in all, this was a great chapter which left me wanting to read more. So update soon?

Author's Response: Thank you - and yup, I understand you probably needed to read the prologue to understand this one. Well, you'll have to read on to find out what happened to Lexi, but it's fabulous to hear that you enjoyed reading from Amelia's POV!

I'm glad that you like my descriptions - I was really uncertain about them - and that they had the desired effect of showing you a picture in your head! :D

Ee, that's great! And Ella's chapter is mostly written, so that'll be up soon! :)


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Review #5, by Dizzy73 Amelia

14th June 2013:
I knew you will come back!

I wonder why Lexi died 0.0 I like Amelia, and even Petunia little XD
Can't wait for next chapter!

Author's Response: Yay! I definitely haven't forgotten about this story, don't worry! :D

Ahhh, you have to wait and see. But Amelia does admit that she is a liar, so I wouldn't take everything she says as true. ;) And haha, it's great you like her, and Petunia! :D

The next chapter is mostly written, and will be up soon! Thank you for reviewing!


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Review #6, by UnluckyStar57 Amelia

12th June 2013:
Hi! I'm here with the review you requested, on the second chapter rather than the first. :)

I read the first chapter as well, just to make sure that I knew what was going on, and, well, I must say that I was a bit confused by Amelia's sudden takeover of narration. I didn't know where Lexi had gone, and I wanted answers, darn it! You kept me guessing until the very end, which was really cool. Well done on that. :)

I like the way you narrate through Amelia. She seems very snippy, and yet, likable at the same time. Her descriptions of the Marauders were very amusing, too. However, I was confused about why she knew about magic until Petunia came in. Then my confusion was cleared up, and things continued as normal. I like that you've left a lot to guess about with Amelia and Lexi's death. It makes me want to read the next chapter, but alas! I cannot until it has been posted. :)

You have not a single grammar or spelling mistake that I can find, and that's really awesome, because grammar and spelling are my favorite things when people get them right. The sentences have very nice syntax as well--you've arranged them in a way that's really pleasing to read. (I know you didn't ask me to comment about that, but I did anyways, just because I found it noteworthy.)

Your descriptions are also very good. I felt like I was in the cafe with the characters, which is a fantastic thing! And the POV is good, too, no worries!! This seems like it's going to be a really fantastic, mysterious story. Keep up the awesome work!

~UnluckyStar57

Author's Response: Hi! Thanks so much for agreeing to R&R the second chapter! And I'm very pleased that I kept you guessing, since guessing makes readers want to continue ;)

I'm pleased that you like Amelia's narration, although I feel obliged to mention that Petunia isn't how she knows of the wizarding world ;) And thank you, again! Alas, no it hasn't - BUT, it is being written right now! :D

Ooooh thank you very much for that! And I'm really pleased about that, since I was concerned about her narration. Hearing all your positive feedback is fantastic, thank you so much! ♥

-Isobel


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Review #7, by Withering Amelia

12th June 2013:
Wow, this is one of the two stories on this site that got me interested with the very first chapter. The other story hasn't been updated in forever- and I'm hoping you won't do that to me with this one!!
Because I LOVE it so far. Love everything! So please, put up more chapters soon!

Author's Response: Wow, that's a very flattering compliment! Thank you very much *blushes* I certainly will try to update as much as I can, but I'm juggling four other WIPs and Real Life too ;)

I'm glad that you love it, and the next chapter is mostly written so will be up soon! Thank you for reviewing!


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Review #8, by Calypso  Amelia

8th June 2013:
Oh wow! Intriguing chapter!

I was interested to see a chapter written from Amelia's point of view, as she was only really mentioned in passing during the last one, and she doesn't seem like an immediately sympathetic character. I'm extremely curious to find out how she knows so much about the magical world (I'm sure it's going to be important to the plot!) plus what she isn't telling Sirius about Lexi and basically you raised a lot of questions that I want to find out answers to with this chapter!

Petunia seemed a lot more likable in this chapter than she ever does in the books and I really liked the inclusion of her- she wasn't someone I was expecting to crop up! And you addressed something here that I think is often skated over in the books- that actually quite a lot of Muggles must know about the magical world. I like how this chapter is sort of set on the border between these two worlds- you show how interesting it can be when one crosses into another!

There were also some wonderful funny moments in this- clueless Muggles in the magical world always make me giggle :P and Amelia's references to Sirius as Dog Girl-Boy were hilarious!

Even though we didn't see a huge amount of them, I liked your characterisation of the Marauders- it was clever that you could tell exactly who each one was, just from Amelia's descriptions of them!

This was very interesting continuation of the story- I can't wait for the next chapter, and to hopefully have some of the questions you've raised explored and answered! ♥

-Bethany

Author's Response: Oooh thanks!

Yep, Amelia does know quite a bit about the magical world, which will be explored further in chapter four. Those questions will eventually be answered... one day :P I wanted to connect her with Petunia, because after all, it's a small world :P And indeed there must be, except no-one really realizes how many do because the International Statute of Secrecy prevents them from telling others so there are rarely "omg, you know too?!" moments :')

Hehehehe, absolutely! And that was made up on a whim, so I'm pleased it's gotten such a positive response! :D

And thank you so much, that kind of comment means a lot to me ♥

The next chapter is being written, so SOON!

-Isobel


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Review #9, by Calypso  Prologue

8th June 2013:
Hello there- I'm here from the forums! (And this is my hundredth review! :D) I know you said you'd prefer feedback on Chapter Two of this, but I thought I might as well leave a review for Chapter One as well- particularly as this looks like such an interesting story! ♥

Awww- your young Sirius is so cute! It was nice, because I could see features of the adult Sirius in him, but there was a much more innocent, optimistic streak in him as well! I liked the way you wrote his relationship with his family- his father's remote pride, his animosity towards his mother and Kreacher- it all felt very in character.

It was very interesting to see Sirius' inherited prejudices about Muggles play against his natural open-mindedness, and I like the idea that his decision to abandon the principles of his family as a teenager might have stemmed from his friendship with Lexi as a child.

You did a great job of characterising Lexi too; she felt like a totally believable child, with her fights with her sisters. But there seems to be something darker going on there as well, with her absent father, and the financial constraints her mother appears to be under...
Her conversation with Sirius was just the sweetest thing! Again, they both felt genuinely childlike, with the kind of concerns and thoughts that children actually have.

But what could have happened to Lexi?! It was a bit of a twist, but a great one. Here too, I liked the combat in Sirius' mind between his Slytherin and Gryffindor sympathies...

This was a great and very intriguing first chapter! I look forward to reading the next one! ♥

Author's Response: Hi Bethany! And woo, congrats on that! :D And ohmygosh, thank you so much!

Awww, he is! I loved writing a younger Sirius, particularly as I had a little wriggle room with his personality :P I'm honoured that you felt he was in character though, since he's such a hard one to perfect ♥

Yup! I just couldn't contemplate the idea of Sirius rebelling against his family on the premise of - what, exactly? I think to have been placed in Gryffindor, and to rebel against his family like that, he must have been exposed to a different lifestyle before Hogwarts, and thus the idea of the girl next door was born.

Ooooh, thank you! And I'm really pleased that you felt my characterisation of Lexi and Sirius was spot on, especially with the whole childhood aspect.

Ahhh, you'll have to read on to find out! ;) Sirius does indeed have some Slytherin aspects of his personality, although he'll never admit it.

Thank you so much! ♥


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Review #10, by potterfan310 Amelia

8th June 2013:
I've been wondering when this was going to be updated and I'm so glad it has. The wait was certainly worth it!!!

I LOVE your Marauder's descriptions, they're perfect and there's a really good picture of them been painted in my head. I actualy LOVE them all, even Peter. I mean they are spot on!!!

Haha, poor Remus. Although it sounds like something my friends (but minus the fancying part, we're such anti-social people boys are like another species to us. It'd probably be for some stupid reason) would get me to do, since I guess I'm sort of like Remus in a way.

Oooh I like that Amelia knows Petunia and that Vernon is her boss' son. I like the way you've incorperated them into Amelia's daily life. I'm curious about her being a witch if Lexi was a muggle, but I'm guessing like Lily she's a muggle born? If not, I'm curious about her knowledge about the wizarding world.

Hedgehog-boy and Dog girl-boy and Napkin boy, I love it!!! Amelia definitely has a good way with nicknaming people.

Oh no, Poor Lexi. Poor Sirius. I'm really intrigued about what happend to her and whether she really is dead or whether she's in hiding somewhere.

Can't wair for the next chapter!

11/10

-Potterfan310
Soph x ♥

Author's Response: Yes, sorry! This novella tends to be one of my hardest stories to write, but also one of the most rewarding, if that makes sense? :3

OMG thank you so much for that lovely comment about my Marauders descriptions! I love them so much, even Peter, so it's great to hear I've done them justice here!

Haha, I've done that before (and Remus got off easily, Imo)

Thank you very much! I found myself in a conversation a few months ago where I was chatting to a stranger and then we realized we knew a lot of the same people, despite having never met before. That's kind of what inspired Amelia's connection with Lily, even though they've only spoken to each other for like five minutes of their lives.

Might I point out that Lily's Muggle-born, while Petunia is a Muggle? ;) Also, more about Amelia's knowledge of the wizarding world will be revealed in chapter four :D

I came up with those nicknames on a whim, so I'm pleased that you like them! :P

Poor Sirius, indeed. *hugs Padfoot tightly* Ahhh, you'll just have to read on to find out ;)

I'm writing the next chapter right now, so SOON.

-Isobel ♥


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Review #11, by ScarletEye158 Amelia

7th June 2013:
Yay, a new chapter! I've really been looking forward to this one :D

Alright, so first of all I was really surprised to hear that the story wouldn't be told in Sirius' point of view but I already really like Amelia! She seems like a nice but sassy girl and I'm excited to get to know her a bit more :) I've never read a story about a girl who is friends with Petunia rather than Lily so this ought to be interesting! Does Amelia share the same loathing as Petunia does towards Lily? And I'm curious to know how she knows about the Wizarding Word!

Hahaha, poor Remus! I wonder what bet he lost to have been forced to go down there and talk to Amelia :P That would've been a really awkward conversation but I wish Amelia would've at least flirted a little bit ;P

I really liked the little hints you gave us in this chapter as to what was going on or who was being talked to without actually coming out and telling us. I liked the descriptions of the boys and how Petunia came in saying that Lily made Head Girl. It showed us that Amelia knew Lily and also what year they were all in. Very small details, but it made the story come alive :)

Ahhh, I'm so curious to know what happened to Lexi! Why the heck would Amelia lie and say she died?! I guess she is a good liar with people her own age :P I don't think I could ever lie about something like that lol.

I'm sooo looking forward to reading the next chapter and thank you so much for updating me on Twitter when this chapter got validated! (:

Great work!

-Amanda

Author's Response: Hi Amelia! :D

I'm really pleased to hear that although this story isn't in Sirius' POV, you really like this story so far! I'm not used to writing in first person POV, so I'm challenging myself by writing this entire story in first person (prologue aside, of course), and to make it easier I'm writing girls because hey, I'm a girl :P

Oooh, Amelia being friends with Petunia becomes something important in the future, so it's great that you like it ;) She loathes Lily for being a witch, and hates the wizarding world, just like Petunia does. How she knows about it will surface in the fourth chapter :D

Bahahahaha :') Amelia knows that Remus is a wizard, so to her, that automatically means a romance is off the cards :P

Oooh thank you very much! That's something I feel I struggle with in first person, so to hear that is great! :D

And that question will be answered in future chapters! Amelia is indeed a good liar with people her own age, and with the elderly too, although she feels uncomfortable with lying to the elderly. *cackles*

I'm currently writing the next chapter, and it's no problem at all!

Thank you!

-Isobel ♥


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Review #12, by Pottergirl7 Amelia

7th June 2013:
Ohmygosh I must know what happened! I saw the link for this on the forums and I figured I might as well click it and see what pops up. This is awesome! I can't wait to find out what happens next!
I don't like Amelia (she is bratty) so much although her descriptions of the Marauders were funny and accurate. I like how she and Petunia know each other and I like Petunia's characterisation (although not Petunia herself) and the awkward wizards were great too!
~Jess

Author's Response: It's great to hear that you like this story! The next chapter is mostly written, so will be up soon :)

Amelia is a character I love to hate, but it's great that you found her POV interesting! And I love that you enjoyed Petunia's characterization and meeting the Potters (although briefly).

Thank you for reviewing!

-Katie


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Review #13, by ScarletEye158 Prologue

5th April 2013:
Oh my goodness, Katie, this was such a good first chapter! You did a really nice job at setting up Sirius' and Lexi's characters since they were so young and it was really sweet to see how they interacted with each other :)

I feel so bad for both of them! They both have horrible families and I'm just glad they both found each other to talk to :) so Sirius was a second year at the end of this chapter then, right? I think I got it but just making sure :)

Oh my gosh what happened to her?! Sirius must be extremely worried and hurt because he doesn't seem like the type of person to cry over just anything! I really hope she's okay and Sirius finds out where she went... The part when he realized that the hole was closed up almost broke my heart and I just wanna cry for him :/

Ahhh, please please please update this soon! It's sooo good(:

-Amanda

Author's Response: Thank you so much, Amanda! (Especially for taking the time to type that lovely review on your phone!) Thank you so much! I didn't want to overdo the angst so I tried to make it have lighter moments, and I'm glad you thought it was sweet!

Technically, yes. This chapter ends the day before Sirius goes to Hogwarts to start his second year. :) (Don't worry, timelines are always the bane of my existence!)

You'll have to read on to find out! ;) Ah, I know! That part was so hard to write, because I really wanted to put my hands through my computer screen to hug little Sirius! :3

Ahhh, I definitely will! I keep feeling terrible over how long it's been since I updated! Thanks so much for reviewing! ♥


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Review #14, by soapman333 Prologue

16th February 2013:
Oh snap! I chose to review this story because I love the Marauders Era, but, oh man. I enjoyed this!!!

What an interesting take on Sirius. Maybe he joined the Gryffindor House because he met a muggle and found that they weren't disgusting? Maybe he despises Severus Snape because he reminds him of himself? These are questions I asked myself after reading this story :D.

Lexi is an adorable child, very selfless. Although her introduction was short (but epic) and I didn't meet her for long, I still felt bad when the wee Sirius didn't get a letter from her.

Interesting story, I'm going to check it out when you get your second chapter up.

soapman333

Author's Response: Thank you so much for your review! I'm sorry for the delay in responding, time ran away from me. :3 I'm a fan of the Marauders too! XD (Obviously...)

THAT IS EXACTLY WHERE THIS CHAPTER CAME FROM. ♥ Sirius did indeed join Gryffindor because he "met" Lexi, and realized that his parents might not be completely right after all. As for Severus... no comment. ;)

Lexi certainly is adorable, but I wouldn't call her completely selfless - she does have some selfish traits, as we see later. And I know. Writing that broke my heart!

Thank you so much! It should be up within a couple of weeks!

-Katie


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Review #15, by peanuts11 Prologue

27th January 2013:
As a general rule of thumb, I tend to avoid stories that features characters pre-Hogwarts, or during childhood as I find them to be a challenging read.

I saw this and I was so intrigued.

The characterization of Sirius is so spot on with my idea of him. He's quite rebellious and naughty, without the teenage angst. I like the idiosyncrasies, like how Lexi has neater handwriting and can spell better.

I also really like Lexi. She seems really cute and innocent.

It also really amuses me that they bond over their mutual dislike of their siblings.

I love that you have this effortless way of writing and I can't wait for you to update this.

Author's Response: Thank you so much for your review, and for reading this story!

I'm really pleased to hear that you liked my characterization of Sirius, and that you liked the mention of Lexi's handwriting and spelling - although personally I wouldn't call them idiosyncrasies, as good spelling and legible handwriting aren't that unusual. :)

I assure you that Lexi isn't cute and innocent - you'll see flashback chapters of her, and she won't always be as pleasant as she is now. ;)

I needed something for them to bond over, and siblings seemed good - my childhood best friend and I bonded over the fact that we were only children, so yeah. XD

Thank you, thank you! I'll definitely update soon!


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Review #16, by magnolia_magic Prologue

20th January 2013:
Hi, I'm here for our review swap! Thanks so much for taking me up on this :)

So when I was looking at your author page, I realized that I've actually read this chapter before, and loved it! I didn't leave a review at the time (shame on me, I know), so I'm glad to be doing it now.

I have to start by saying this is an idea I've never seen on the archives before, ever. Props to you for coming up with something so imaginative! I loved seeing the contrast between Sirius' life and Lexi's, and I really liked seeing Sirius re-evaluate what he'd learned about Muggles. It seems like Lexi's influence could be what makes Sirius different from the rest of his family. She shows him how to look at life from a new perspective, and I love seeing that.

I would have loved to know more about Lexi's life, since we see her mostly through Sirius's eyes in this chapter. But I'll just have to stay tuned to find out more, and also to find out what happened to her! I think you do a great job of channeling your inner child in the narrative, especially the letters; they way you wrote them sounds so appropriate for kids of thier age, and it helped me really immerse myself in the story.

One question: how did Sirius know Lexi was a Muggle? Was there some clue that I missed? I would have liked a little more clarity about that one thing, but that's the only nit-picky concrit I have for you. Awesome job with this! I hope you continue, because I would definitely be interested in reading on. Thanks again for the swap!

--Maggie

Author's Response: Hiya! No problem at all!

At least you reviewed eventually, so I don't mind (too much). ;)

Oooh, thank you so much! ♥ I was just daydreaming about Sirius and how he got Sorted into Gryffindor in the first place, with the Blacks' attitude against Muggles. So then I thought "What if a Muggle changed his perspective?" and then "How? He obviously wouldn't socialize with them." The idea of the hole in the wall was inspired by Doctor Who - [spoiler] in The Eleventh Hour, Amy's bedroom wall is connected to another world through a crack in the wall, which gave me the idea of a hole connecting the magical and Muggle worlds [end spoiler]. So yeah, Lexi was always meant to influence Sirius before Hogwarts. ;D

I didn't want to include too much of Lexi's life, since that's discovered through the story by the Marauders, Lily and Ella. And you're correct - what happens to Lexi will be revealed late in the story! :P Thank you for the compliment about the letters - I was terrified they would be considered too old for two ten-year-olds to write, so I'm really happy that they were written well enough for you to immerse yourself in the story!

I think the fact that Grimmauld Place is a Muggle street would have been a giveaway. ;) Also, Lexi doesn't write with ink and parchment, but with pen and paper - and she has an electric lamp, whereas Sirius' lamp is oil (I think). Those differences are subtle, but they're enough for Sirius to know that Lexi doesn't come from his world - and his natural assumption would then be that she's a Muggle. :)

I am definitely continuing - this story gets updated slower than my other one, because that one gets chapters written in chronological order - 1, 2, 3 - while this one has its chapters written out of order - 1, 5, 3, 9, 2 etc. I'd be interested in reading your reviews on future chapters to see what you think of it! ;)

-Katie


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Review #17, by fauxthefox Prologue

16th January 2013:
:O This was beautiful!

I love the glimpse into Sirius' childhood. You really got across a strong idea of his loneliness, isolation, and boredom (and even some frustration with his family).

I guess I was a bit surprised that Sirius wouldn't have been more hesitant about communicating with a Muggle, especially considering the isolation of his upbringing. Maybe a break in their first "conversation" with some explanation as to why he continues it would help?

Your prose is awesome. I can't spot any typos or grammatical errors, and I love your style! A little more dialogue would make the chapter read a bit better, but I'm not sure that it would actually suit the point of the story.

The ending was awesome - I didn't see it coming and it almost made me cry! The last line was pretty awesome too.

I love this! Ahh!

Author's Response: Oooh, thank you! ♥

I'm glad that you felt that I wrote Sirius' upbringing successfully, and conveyed his emotions well.

I can understand what you're saying about Sirius' hesistance with communicating with a Muggle, but I did include a section explaining that it was his curiosity about the Muggle world that was a major part of the reason he continued talking to Lexi, especially as she contravened what his parents told him about Muggles. :)

Thank you so much! *squees* You're correct - they don't actually meet, so it would be difficult to incorporate more dialogue into this prologue.

Awww, it almost made you cry? Whoops! :P I'm glad that you liked that last line; I have to admit that I like it too!

And I'm happy that you love this! ♥


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Review #18, by FredWeasleyIsMyKing Prologue

14th January 2013:
Hello :) Laurenzo73212 here with your slightly late requested review... apologies!

Okay, first let me say I loved this prologue! You have my interest immediately and I honestly can't wait to see where you're going to take this! What has happened? I need to know!

I thought your characterisation was great. You really captured Sirius's horrible home life well throughout. I particularly liked the bit where Sirius feels a twinge of guilt for using the same taunt on Snape as his father used on him. Funny how things come back around eh? I thought it was a really nice touch!

Lexi was a really interesting character and I thought you introduced her well. She's really suffering isn't she bless her? It can't be easy for the her mum with a man who left her to fend for 5 children but my heart went out to her with how much she felt the least loved. You wrote it beautifully.

Speaking of which, your letters were just adorable! They had this... innocent child-like quality that was just perfect. I also loved the paper/parchment comparison and how they were both confused, again just so cute!

A few other things I liked were your portrayal of Kreacher and the Muggle prejudice you included from the Blacks. Kreacher was really interesting - he came across very similar to the Kreacher in the books, he's just not quite as outspoken. He clearly answers to Sirius's mum above all. I'm also glad you included the 'Muggle's are stupid and worthless' opinion Sirius was brought up on. A lot of people were brought up on this opinion but we know Sirius manages to grow up and look past this where as many didn't. Great job!!

One small error I did notice is that you put Laura instead of Lexi (I think!) Just thought I'd point it out!

Honestly this is a great chapter and I hope you re-request when you have more up!

Lauren :)

Author's Response: Thank you for your review! Don't worry about the delay - I know how hectic RL can get! :)

I'm glad that the prologue intrigues you, and we'll find out what happened to Lexi... eventually. ;)

I'm also happy that you loved my characterization - I know that adult Sirius can't see his own flaws, but I think ten-year-old Sirius grew up brushing away his own consicience that he became blind to his negative qualities. :P Yes; I wanted to highlight how thoughtless Sirius was/is.

Thank you so much! I thought that if Lexi had been happy and close with her sisters, she wouldn't have replied to Sirius' first note and so she had to have an unhappy home life - and I don't see many fanfictions where mothers aren't the best of mothers, so I thought I'd portray that here.

Thank you! I was really worried about those letters, so it makes me insanely happy to know that they came across as childlike, since the characters are both ten.

My Kreacher is similar to JKR's Kreacher?! THANK YOU! ♥ I think the differences stem from the fact that Sirius hasn't yet been disowned from the family, so he can't be as nasty to Sirius as he'd like to for fear of punishment. And yes - he has a bad case of Walburga-worship. :P As for the Muggle prejudice, I was always curious about how Sirius became accepting of Muggles before he started Hogwarts - or he wouldn't have been in Gryffindor - and a friendship with a Muggle girl would explain that. ;)

There is an edited version of this chapter, with a chapter image, in the queue at the moment - and I've corrected the Laura in that, as other reviewers pointed that out. Thank you for pointing it out though!

Thank you - I will certainly be re-requesting!

-Katie :)


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Review #19, by PeacelovePotter Prologue

29th December 2012:
What a cute idea!! Can't wait for the first chapter :)

Author's Response: Thank you for reviewing! The first chapter will be up soon! :)

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Review #20, by CambAngst Prologue

20th December 2012:
Ho, ho, ho! This is your Holiday Review Swap review!

I thought this was a really awesome start to your story! You did a terrific job capturing the voices of two young children, each of whom is suffering through a family that doesn't seem to value them. Sirius's problems are obviously somewhat different in nature -- I'm sure Lexi's mother has never threatened her with the Cruciatus Curse for misbehaving -- but the lack of attention and favoritism towards their siblings that each one suffers is definitely a commonality.

I like the way that you wrote Kreacher. So many authors write him in such a way that he's affectionate and protective toward young Sirius and Sirius's betrayal of his family and ill treatment are what turn Kreacher against him. Your Kreacher is nasty and somewhat vindictive from the start. Sirius is afraid of the elf because he knows that Kreacher will get him into trouble with his parents.

Lexi seems like such a sweet kid. I do feel badly for her mother in a way. Having her husband leave her to raise five daughters is obviously no picnic. But she seems to deal with it by leaving the older daughters to fend for themselves while spoiling the two younger ones. This leaves poor Lexi stuck right in the middle.

The notes that go back and forth are humorous and they have a really neat innocent quality to them. They start to explore the small differences between Sirius's world and Lexi's, beginning with something as simple as the difference in writing mediums. They move along into talking about their families and their living conditions. It sounded just right for a conversation between a pair of ten-year-olds who are getting to know one another.

It was sad at the end to see Sirius so upset about losing his friend. Obviously they had been corresponding for a couple of years whenever Sirius was home from Hogwarts.

Interesting that Sirius would choose his father's own, hated insult when he makes fun of Snape. Sometimes it's hard to unroot ourselves from the way we've been raised, even when we desperately want to.

Overall, your writing was great in this. Everything flowed really nicely and you had a really good balance between narration and dialog. Your descriptions were crisp and vivid and the characters' feelings came across clearly.

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

-- "He had already seen with his own eyes proof that Laura's light, whatever she called it, was more advanced than the lamp in his bedroom" - Lexi?

Very nice job, and thanks for tagging me!

Author's Response: Hi Dan! Thanks for dropping by so quickly! XD

Oooh, thank you! I was worried about my ability to portray Sirius and Lexi as children, so I'm glad that you've think that I did a terrific job! With regards to Sirius and Lexi's families, you're absolutely right- I wanted to explore -why- Sirius was Sorted into Gryffindor and thought perhaps a friendship with a Muggle would change his perspective of Muggles. Furthermore, Lexi's family situation was designed to make her feel isolated and in need of a friend, to explain why she wouldn't just disregard Sirius' letter. :)

Thank you! Even Kreacher admits to Regulus being his favourite, and Sirius "never liked" the house-elf, so I didn't consider that they might have been closer once upon a time! I don't think Kreacher hates Sirius yet though; I think he simply dislikes him for not quite fitting in with the Blacks, and is happy to land Sirius in trouble if it would make his beloved mistress happy.

Yep- Alex (Lexi's mother) isn't winning Mother of the Year any time soon! While I appreciate that Alex was placed in a difficult situation, I do feel that she dealt with it selfishly- indulging Amelia in order to gain a "peaceful" life at the expense of her other daughters. Diana is of course ill, so no-one could begrudge the extra attention that she needs.

Thank you, thank you, thank you! ♥ As mentioned above, I wasn't confident about writing children's personalities (yet I do it a lot, haha) but I'm so glad that this chapter was successful! XD

Yup! Sirius is a Black on both sides of the family, so whatever he does he can't escape his own DNA, and you summed it up perfectly with that line!

That pesky Laura! You're right about it being Lexi. Another reviewer did spot that, but since the queue is closed, I can't edit it yet. (Plus to save countless re-validations, I usually tend to submit edits at the same time as inserting chapter images.) The reason that typo is there is because Lexi's name was originally Laura, but I changed it and I thought I'd edited out all of the Lauras and put Lexis in instead, but that one ran off and hid. :P

No problem! Thank you for the review!


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Review #21, by Elphaba and Boyfriends Prologue

18th December 2012:
Hi, Elphaba here with your requested review! I'll do my best to give some CC. :)

First of all, I really like your story plot. It just seems fun and and also helps to explain Sirius' departure from his family's beliefs. I also like the "Roald Dahl" style downtrodden female character -- she's poor but not too angsty about it.

I did think that the explanation for Lexi getting stuck with the mattress on the floor was a little long and not entirely necessary, since she explains her living situation separately to Sirius later on in her notes. I might trim down the first part of Lexi's section, and let her explain herself more through her communication with Sirius.

Sirius seems in-character for the most part, but I do question his thoughts on Snape in this section: "He felt a sudden twinge of guilt in that moment, remembering his first journey on the Hogwarts Express, where he had labelled Severus Snape with the same insult that he was so afraid of now." I don't know that Sirius would remember that incident so clearly, or think about his own hypocrisy ... I'm basing this on his age at the time, and also on his behavior as an adult, where he would act cruelly toward Kreacher and then turn around and advise Harry to look at how other people treat their inferiors. He just struck me as someone who could be oblivious to his own weaknesses.

Look out for passive verb forms, like in this sentence: "Raven hair was sprawled across the pillow, which was sodden with tears." -- I might re-write it as "Raven hair sprawled across a tear-sodden pillow."

Overall, I think this story is off to a good start and shows a lot of promise! :) It left me with questions (What happened to Lexi? Did Regulus ever communicate with her?) which is always a good sign. :)

Author's Response: Thank you! I do seem to get compared to a few famous authors, don't I? :P Thanks so much for the compliment though! ♥

I'll have a look at that section; the aim was to explain the relationship between Lexi and her sisters- how Amelia is bratty and demands her own way, and how Melody and Grace are too wrapped up in each other to pay much attention to her, leading to her feelings of injustice towards her family and thus provide her with a reason for replying to Sirius instead of dismissing him as a creep. :)

I'll definitely work on re-writing that one; thanks for spotting it! Your pointers are absolutely correct, and I'll work on straightening out his Snape-related thoughts. :)

Oooh. Again, I didn't notice this. I'll definitely re-write that line too; your suggestion definitely seems to be more readable.

And thank you so much! I do like writing mysteries, don't I? Haha! Thanks again for the con-crit, and I'll definitely work on making the edits that you suggested. :)


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Review #22, by potterfan310 Prologue

14th December 2012:
I've been waiting to read this since I saw it posted in the summary help topic on the forums.

"Oh, Lexi, What happened?" - I'm with Sirius on this, I'm really curious as to what happened with Lexi and her family.

I think the summary is really intresting and it deffinatly drawed me in. I like how it's from Sirius and Lexi's POV as it shows us what life for Lexi is like and how her world is.

I think your characterisation is brilliant and I love Lexi's character and her family. You did a good job of Sirius as well and he seems like a cutie ♥ :D

Really can't wait for the next chapter and I'm deffinatly adding it to my favs. :D

11/10
-Potterfan310
Soph xx

Author's Response: Thank you! :)

All will be revealed eventually when Sirius tracks down Lexi. It wouldn't be any fun if we found out why in chapter one, would it?

I'm glad that you found the summary interesting; it was quite difficult making it short enough to fit the banner in! :')

Thank you! I wanted to include Lexi's POV to explain why she would reply to letters from a stranger instead of throwing them away.

Awww, thanks! I hope you like Ella too when you meet her in the next character! I'm glad that I did a good job of Sirius, but I'm afraid that he isn't always a cutie. :(

Ohmygosh, thank you! ♥

-Katie xx


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Review #23, by angel_speaks Prologue

13th December 2012:
Hiya angel_speaks here to fulfill a request from the forums.

First off, I think that you did a really good job with the characters. I can't wait to see how the plot unfolds itself. The description as well was pretty well written. I think what caught my eye were the grammatical errors here and there. The tenses seem to be consistent throughout but there were a few slips here and there. Maybe one more look over the document can help or maybe even getting a beta could help with spotting those. Other than that, everything seems to be good. I could comment more on the flow and plot and character development as the story goes on :)

Hope this helped a bit :)

Author's Response: Thank you! :)

I'm glad that you think that my description was well written; and I will have another look through to see if I can spot those tenses.

It's good that you think everything seems to be good! XD

Thank you, it did help but a couple of examples would have been useful. ;)


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Review #24, by fayeswonderland Prologue

10th December 2012:
This. Was. Pure. Bliss.
I really truly loved your prologue. Usually I pretty much only read fun, humorous and bright next generation fanfiction, but this got me siriously (yes I just did write that :D) hooked on this story.
The relationship between the two protagonists is so special and you almost feel intruding when reading it. Your style of writing is easy flowing and almost melodic and I am definitely favoriting it!
Keep it up!
Lots of love,
Sally

Author's Response: Thank you so much!

Well, I'm glad to have converted you (or at the least, expanded your taste in fanfictions) and I'm especially pleased that you're siriusly addicted. There is no-one like Sirius, after all. ;)

Aw. Thank you! ♥ I'm happy that I captivated you enough for you to feel as if you were intruding on Sirius and Lexi. And I especially like that you think my style of writing is melodic. I'm getting author feels! XD

Thank you for favouriting this story!

*hugs* *hugs again*

-Katie


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Review #25, by Mystique Prologue

8th December 2012:
I've heard about this story on the forums and it really interested me, so I decided to read it when it was validated and I'm really glad that I did.

This is a really good story with a quite a unique plot. It really draws the reader in. You've also characterized Sirius and Lexi really well and I want to know more about them, especially about why Lexi never responded to his letters.

Charlie

Author's Response: You're glad that you read this story? Ahhh thank you! :D

Thank you very much; I was really worried about the characterization so it's good to see you like them both. The reason that Lexi never responded will be revealed in due course... ;)

-Katie


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