Reading Reviews for Periphery
26 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Illuminate Introduction

17th February 2017:
Hi! Here for your long overdue review!

I love the idea of butterfly effect that you mention in your author's note. Definitely a gripping idea.

I know this is an introduction, but so far the pacing is very good, though I think it will probably be something you'd like me to focus on more if you rerequest for further chapters.

I like your characterisation. It looks like she has an interesting family life and relationship with her parents. I find myself curious about her! Good job! :)

So, so far I think this is very enjoyable! Well done!

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Review #2, by StarFeather Chapter Three

24th January 2017:
I remembered you told me that you would update this chapter, so I stopped by. I'm convincing that I was right that I nominated this story for Dobbys.

The first start began with Chloe's scarf. Her itchy scarf around her neck was her only comfort to survive PTSD. We can't stop wishing that she would not be targeted by the evil Slytherins again and I hope their bullying her will be founded soon. And at the same time I know the things would not go that easy.

Your introduction of Peter Pettigrew was so natural that I could imagine how young Peter was like, his ability to "make any person feel outgoing and charismatic" must have made him such a role after he became an adult, even he could make Voldemort feel like that. Not only Peter, you did create the other characters vividly. Walden Macnair might have had such a skeletal frame and onion-white hands, so scary to imagine those hands tortured Chloe. Your descriptions of Coraline and Artemisia are super, too. Some of the Slytherin girls must be like them, their robes were finer than the ones of Muggle- borns and they could afford those expensive earrings and heirloom lapel pins.

Chloe had a chance to confess everything to Professor Sprout. But she couldn't. They must be watching her, the threatening letter let her tell a lie.
The situation how to find her partner at Slughorn's class was so complicated for her. She needed to avoid Emily who betrayed, and she felt uneasy around Sirius written as a cool guy. Most of the girls are attracted to the guy who is notorious, would have been lighting a cigarette.
I like the way how you portrayed Marlene, her piercing blue-gray stare and her mischievous smile, moreover she offered to be Chloe's friend shyly after she handed a tied-up napkin full of food. She's a good observer of Chloe.

I can't wait how they will be best friends and how they and the other Marauders plus Lily Evans will become a good team to face the bad Slytherins.

Author's Response: Hey Kenny!

I know I've already gushed about this, but thank you so, so much for nominating this fledgling story for a Dobby. That's such an honor!

It is definitely a struggle to write a character with PTSD. I want to explain the difficulty of everyday life for her, but also convey that her fear has become a kind of background noise. It's so persistent that it's almost like another part of her day, until something happens (like seeing the Slytherins in the corridors, or being near the Potions classroom) that spikes her anxiety. And I'm glad you mentioned the scarf! Chloe struggles with balancing her magical life with her Muggle parents, and items like this scarf knitted by her Grandmum, are going to be constant reminders of that struggle.

I am actually excited to explore Peter and Chloe's relationship. It's easy to write Peter off as bad from the start, and some authors ignore him completely in Marauders fics. But he and Chloe are actually in a similar position of being on the outside of the Marauders (definitely Chloe moreso than Peter). James, Sirius and Remus are a tight unit and Peter was always trailing along with them. He and Chloe will actually have a lot in common, that way.

I'm glad the situation in the Potions classroom was alright. I had to be careful with language and really punch how terrified Chloe is of being near Emily. Otherwise it seemed like a melodramatic Teen Comedy situation, like "oh no I don't have any friends to sit next to in class! How awkward!" So hopefully it steered far away from that.

Honestly I am 70% annoyed by Sirius as a character, especially younger Sirius. I imagine he loved being the center of attention, and played the part of the rebel, etc. etc. etc., and I think Chloe sees right through that as well. The fact that she is irritated at him "wasting his parents' money and his professors' time" by being such a derelict says a lot about their relationship. But this story will span twenty years, and right now I'm having fun focusing on the rocky start to their friendship.

Thank you again, Kenny! Your reviews are always so thoughtful.

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Review #3, by ataxaphobia Chapter Three

19th January 2017:
I am 100% hooked. It's different that your other stories but in a good way.

Author's Response: Hey there! Thank you so much. Comments like this are very motivating because it's always stressful (at leat for me) starting a new story. Thank you for the encouragement! I've written the next chapter but it's missing something. Will update soon, though ♥

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Review #4, by Allie Chapter Two

8th January 2017:
This has really caught my attention so far! I'd love an update soon :)

Author's Response: The next chapter is in the queue. Thanks for reading!

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Review #5, by dreamgazer220 Introduction

31st December 2016:
Hi there! Here with your requested review!

Wow. To be honest, I wasn't sure what I was expecting when I opened this story up, but it wasn't that, and I mean this in the absolute best possible way.

This is a powerful introduction. At first, it seems normal, someone waking up early and making breakfast, and then you get hit with the James and Lily paragraph and I'm immediately drawn in. I want to know what happened and why she appears to feel so guilty or just awful about something. She's lying, and I want to know why. I want to know why her mother doesn't like the magical world. I want to know about her relationship with Sirius and the Potters, and I can't even imagine what it's like, finding out that your best friend is dead.

Your writing in this is great; it played like a movie in my mind. I could feel the cold and I could see everything happening. There is clearly more to your characters than what meets the eye, and those are my absolute favorites.

It does start off a bit slow, but I think it works here; especially when you drop the bomb, so to speak, about Marlene; everything else picks up right from there. The descriptions are lovely and not overbearing or overly poetic; there's a good balance here.

An excellent start to this story. I'm adding this to my favorites so that I can come back and read more, but please feel free to re-request the following chapters as well!


Author's Response: Hello! Thank you so much for taking the time to review, and I'm so sorry it took me ALMOST A MONTH to respond. Who do I think I am? Seriously, I appreciate this so much, your review is so lovely and thoughtful.

I'm so glad that this chapter has been generally successful (at least with reviewers)! Usually I end up doing an "information dump" in my first chapter, so I was actively trying not to this time.

I wanted to start with a scene that was outwardly calm and somber (wintry morning, childhood home, gray light, mundane tasks like making breakfast) but disperse little hints of the awful events that have been happening. First, her mother's illness, second, Lily and James and lastly Marlene. I'm glad that it played well in your mind. Without spoiling too much I want to say that this fic is going to deal a lot with Chloe straddling the line between two worlds, the Magical and Muggle, and how it affects her relationships with her family, Marlene, Sirius--everyone. So scenes like this feel calm and safe, outwardly, because they're far removed from the war. But clearly, as evidenced by Sirius's letter, she won't ever be truly in one world and not the other.

Thank you so so much, Jill! I may request another review from you, if I'm allowed after being such a jerk and never responding ♥

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Review #6, by Elena Chapter Two

29th December 2016:
I love how you are slowly connecting your characters together, I particularly liked the Marauders in the Hospital wing. It defiantly shows their bond.

I'm intrigued to know more about Marlene and Sirius too and how their friendship /relationship goes and how Chloe gets closer.

I really do not like Emily. I'd have hexed her. Poor Chloe...I just wanted to hug her in that moment.

This is a brilliant story. I want more of this. Thank you for sharing it with me. 10/10

Author's Response: Hello again!

The Marauders in the hospital wing were so much fun to write. I had to actually be careful, because while this story needs levity of tension, it can't be *too* light. It would have felt non-cohesive and clunky, after everything else that had happened. James in particular is fun to write, and I had to mentally remind myself to chill out with the one-liners, hehe.

MARLENE AND SIRIUS YES. I think I mentioned this in your last review, but Marlene is such an integral part of this story, and really the entire plot pivots on her relationships with Chloe and Sirius. Without her there would definitely be no story! Yay, Marlene!

Thank you for another lovely review ♥

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Review #7, by StarFeather Chapter Two

28th December 2016:
Hi! I came back. (As I sent a message, sorry again for the typo at chapter 2. I meant 'mark' not 'work' at the end of my review.)

I notice the process how Chloe had to face the dark time has been well planned from the beginning. I just remembered "Outlander" TV drama when I read the spot where Chloe was forced to repeat the bullying scene. Each description is so visually well written. I felt various emotions: her anger, disgrace and fear.

We can understand the both sides, Chloe and Emily.
Chloe's harsh words to Emily, we think she deserves to be hated, and at the same time, I think the weak attacks the weak, not the strong. I guess it will be a big turn when or how Chloe confess the incident to McKinnon and Sirius. You faced her PTSD bravely and wrote that very carefully. Awesome!

The Black Adder Society steals up behind her. The last message, "I'm watching" is very threatening.

I'm eager to read next.

Author's Response: Hey Kenny!

No worries at all about the typos. Usually I'm reviewing, or responding to reviews, after way too much coffee and it's a miracle my sentences make sense at all. So thank you for coming back to review! :)

Okay, I've never seen Outlander, but everyone is talking about it so maybe I should check it out! Especially if it could be of inspiration. Chloe's PTSD is going to be a challenge, honestly. I think she's in the stage of feeling quite numb about it all. Traumatic experiences have a way of making you think that they never actually happened. Like, "Terrible things like this couldn't happen to me, I must have dreamed it." But she has the scar now, to prove that she didn't imagine it.

This fic definitely takes some liberties with Hogwarts canon, the Black Adder Society being one of them. I'm sure that, in this world, Hogwarts staff know that the Black Adders exist. Or at least they know that there is a clique of wealthy, elitist, bigoted Slytherins that hang around with one another. But unless Chloe comes forward to persecute her attackers, they're going to continue under the radar, and might attack someone else. (How cryptic of me.)

Thank you again, Kenny, for taking the time to review!

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Review #8, by LunaStellaCat Chapter One

28th December 2016:
Okay, yes this was an addition of many characters, but hopefully that will be fleshed out and life will be breathed into them. Ah, this is where I fear about stepping away for the children's literature thing. I usually write from the adult characters. and this clears this problem for me, at least in my head, i think.

Your blatant curse words are a step so far to the right. Jo places such wording in her other pieces: I've see them, gotten shocked she struck down to that level, and then remembered she's a regular person.

I don't think that it would be so easy to get drinks at Hogwarts. I don't want to say "Harry Potter' was written in a childish way because it wan't. The story grew with Harry. Does that make sense? Well, Ron had his phrases, it wasn't a shock and awe thing purely for the shock and awe thing.

It wouldn't be so easy to get your hands on drinks. Think about it. If boys couldn't get into the girls' sleeping quarters - gained the founders at Hogwarts are old-fashioned - do you think some kid would hide drink? Remember it's not there for a reason. Rowling broke rules - she invited the Marauders, come on dear - but there are lines. Especially with the children.

This is written well, it is. You should flesh it out more. The one thing that's weird, especially given the Era. Forgive me. This was huge in HBP. Where is the Slug Club? Slughorn has such a connection with Lily Evans. Now, saying that, for there was a point as to why I said that, I can see someone sneaking drink into a Slug Club gathering and having just as much effect or more here. Do you see where I'm going here?

Just something to consider.


Author's Response: Hello again!

Oh gosh, I hope it wasn't too many characters. I'm cutting out, like, half of the people in the Marauders' timeline simply because there are so many of them--and who we know a lot about--and honestly I don't have the time. I don't want this fic to be a canonical retelling of the books, so I'm not trying to stuff as many people in as possible. In fact, I don't really have a use for Severus Snape at all, at this point in my plotting. Hopefully this number of characters didn't seem too overwhelming! The Marauders will all be present, as will Lily and Marlene, and Frank and Alice. Plus minor Order members. Plus Chloe and her family.

Ugh. God, WHY do I always have giant ensemble casts in my fics.

As for the swearing, I don't think it's a big deal? Hopefully you weren't offended in any way, that certainly wasn't my intention! Or if it was the fact that it's a kid swearing? But I can recall my friends, at seventeen, with having horrifically dirty mouths. And if I remember correctly, it's just one person, in a moment of frustration and panic, who uses a curse word. I don't intend to sprinkle curse words throughout this fic because I think it takes away their impact, and they certainly help with impact!

And the kids are definitely going to drink a little. It was, in my experience, a part of growing up, in that everyone else did it but I didn't. I'm not trying to glamorize it and make it seem like it's what The Cool Kids do. But a lot of this fic is going to deal with coming of age, and I think that a bunch of silly boys like the Marauders would get their hands on cheap liquor any time they could.

And you make a good point, and one that I've often struggled with: the Hogwarts Rules paradigm. You can't sneak into the boy's and girl's dormitories, but students are completely capable of sneaking out of their dorms at night. You can't go to Hogsmeade without an adult's permission, but you don't need it to fight a live dragon in the Triwizard Tournament. I think there are spaces in JKR's world of Hogwarts safety for reasons. Otherwise we could point to magic as ending every single plot hole ever, which I won't get in to, because it's not the point.

Interesting plot about the Slug Club! I guess it makes more sense for kids to drink here? Haha. I'm not sure if that will have a place in this fic or not, but it is an interesting idea!

Thanks again! I appreciate the thoughtful feedback.

♥ Sarah

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Review #9, by LunaStellaCat Introduction

28th December 2016:
I found this on HPFT and decided to give this a shot. It's been a while since I've read a good Marauder fic that's given the Marauders, the boys, justice. The idea behind this with your OC is written rather well. You chose a good angle with a Muggle girl. I like that she hides things from the mother. The mother seems rather unbalanced, which is a nice touch, as far as characterization goes.

I've always wondered how Muggle parents deal with their obviousl magical children. This is going off topic with your writing, but go with me, okay? You know how magical children, some of them, are obviously magical? I'm thinking Minerva McGonagall versus Neville Longbottom here. Got me? Here's what I would ask JKR. I'm surprised I haven't thought of this in the past. Do non-magical children show, small, insignificant signs of magic? Maybe they were magic without the parents realizing it as such? Dunno.

So, the Chloe character seems nice, and I'm sure you continue to build on that as you progress. We shall see.

So, here's where I point out other stuff. Your wording on things, and you'll get stronger on this as you write more, dear, is odd in pieces. There are misplaced adjectives, or sometimes adjectives that are clearly unnecessary and actually change the meaning of your sentences. (I would hope that's unintentional.)

I'm only saying this because I'm getting new windows on Friday. They cost a bloody fortune ... but I digress. You can't pull windows in and you certainly could not do that in 1981. Think about that.

I want to tell Chloe if she can't master the basics and pay attention whilst cooking, she doesn't need to use a cast iron skillet. Cooking is a hobby of mine. That's not a criticism towards your writing. Pass that along to your fictional character, yeah? HAHA. Cooking is a difficult art, Chloe, pay attention. You mess up breakfast, you mess up the day. The hobbitses would be disappointed.

So, semantics and word choice. Consider those. Otherwise, well done. By the way, if you need someone else to request reviews for on HPFF or HPFT, I'm game.

I'd be glad to help you. Well done. Oh. wait. In writing, an "Introduction" is considered ib a play. In novel writing, this is generally referred tp as a "prologue" or "first chapter"


Author's Response: Hey there! Thanks so much for offering a review thread, they've been so helpful in getting some feedback for this new fic.

That's an interesting thought about non-magical children (if I understand correctly). Do you mean Muggle children exhibiting small signs of magic, kind of in the vein of "there's a little magic in all of us?" Because I love that idea. It also makes me less bitter that my Hogwarts letter never came, if there's a chance I'm still ~a little magical~

Glad Chloe seems interesting so far! And I'm excited to get to her mother's illness and their strained relationship, as odd as that may sound.

I'm a little confused about the confusing adjectives, but I definitely want to clear up any confusion in the narration. If you happen to read this response, and feel like elaborating, could you please point out some specifics? I certainly don't claim to have The Ultimate Grasp of grammar and where adjectives must go in sentences, but I prefer to take some more "poetic liberties" with my writing, if that makes sense. As in, using language and grammar that isn't necessarily correct, but it helps convey the narrator's thoughts in a more expressive way. An example of that would be in an unpublished chapter I wrote, where Chloe narrates:

"And then the oak door behind him was creaking open, and my voice died in shock alarm sickness panic..."

Obviously the punctuation and sentence structure here isn't correct. But! That's the great thing about writing: it doesn't have to be. I appreciate you pointing out that it isn't correct grammar, but if you mean sentences like the aforementioned one, I'm choosing to keep them because I like to take artistic liberties with my own writing. But if there are specific sentences that are confusing or off-putting because of the way they're worded, I'd be happy to take a look at them! I'm just not sure which ones you mean :)

Oh, and windows can open out. You can Google image search them! Specifically I was imagining what are apparently "French push out casement windows." They were opened (pushed out) so to close them she had to pull them in, and tighten the little latch to lock them.

I agree, I would be so upset if I went through the trouble of making eggs and they were ruined! I don't even know if a cast iron skillet is correct for cooking eggs, actually, but I wanted her to be literally carrying something heavy (ie. a big ol' pan) because ~symbolism~

Oh, and thanks for pointing that out about the introduction vs. prologue. I'll be sure to change that in my next edits.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read, and for your review! I'm off to respond to the next.

♥ Sarah

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Review #10, by Elena Chapter One

28th December 2016:
I read this last night, but I needed time to digest.

This chapter was sooo good. Can't say I like Flint, at all. But Emily made me so angry. I know her type and to just leave Chloe!

I love the glimpse of Marlene we get here, and with Sirius. From the intro to this chapter things are unfolding, but there are still so many unanswered questions.

I still need to know more. Well done, I am hooked. 😊 10/10

Author's Response: Hey again!

Ugh, Michael Flint. He's inspired by boys like Brock Turner and Ethan Couch (though slightly less obnoxious) in that they're wealthy and white and can get away with whatever. Hogwarts staff *must* be aware that the Black Adders exist but, unless Chloe comes forward, they don't have any hard evidence that they're doing anything wrong. So they just are allowed to go on being bigoted and prejudiced.

I don't seem to hate Emily as much as everybody else. Okay, totally harping on the same thing as all my other review responses, so sorry if you've read those, but: I want to explore the notions of self-preservation, loyalty, pacifism, and the like for the Marauders. They're all martyred as heroes, willing to die for one another, but I don't know if I buy it. When Sirius tells Peter in the Shrieking Shack that he should have died for Lily and James, I thought, "Well, of course." But then I imagined being put in that situation and being tortured or threatened and what would happen--I mean realistically, honestly happen--to someone in that situation. Maybe I'm a cynic but I don't think everyone would have died for everyone. Basic human instinct and all.

So anyway! Emily betrays Chloe in a moment of sheer panic, but does that totally write her off as an evil, wicked person? Maybe. Maybe not.

(And so ends another coffee-fueled, rambling response.)

Thank you again! ♥

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Review #11, by Elena Introduction

28th December 2016:
I don't know who Chloe is, but I want to know her. I loved this first chapter. I was sucked right in. It seems odd that the mundane things can be that 'hook'. But its familiar.

I want Bacon!!!

I loved the counting of the lies, though, I suspect Mum knows.

I want to know who Marlene was and why her death is so significant to Chloe. Yes, I get they are best friends, but I want to know their bond, their connection. Basically, I want to know more :)

As a side note, I have read many Marauder fics - the telling of their lives to their death. Although they are "done", if you ever really want to do it - I say, DO IT!!! No one is the master of your pen other than yourself. You can give them life and adventure too, if you wanted to - But enough about that. I must read more about Chloe.

Author's Response: ~*~HELLO I AM TERRIBLE~*~ Thank you so much for this review, and I am so sorry to have been such a lazy jerk. I am here to respond and greatly appreciate that you took the time to do this!

Hahaha I totally forgot that bacon was casually mentioned in this chapter, I thought maybe you just wanted to let me know about a craving? It's funny because I don't even eat meat but all of my MCs eat bacon at some point in my fic. Maybe I'm living vicariously through them ;)

Oh gosh, Marlene is probably the #1 thing that inspired me to write this fic, even over wanting to write a Sirius/OC. I'm glad that you're interested in her relationship with Chloe, and I can't wait to get to the bulk of their tumultuous and complicated friendship!

Thank you so much for the encouragement. Next Gen fics seem to be the most popular right now and I don't know why but I just really can't bring myself to write them? So I keep revisiting old topics and just hoping people will enjoy reading them. Your encouragement is very helpful, so thank you!

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Review #12, by Beeezie Introduction

27th December 2016:
Hey, I'm here for our swap!

Thus far, you're doing a really amazing job. This is a great introduction to the story; you've set the stage beautifully, with just enough information to help the reader get their bearings. I love the paradigm you've set up - parents who are uncomfortable with magic, a young woman just trying to do what's right - it's all really well done. Within a setting that's far removed from the war, you managed to allow Chloe to confront the war without making it feel jarring to the reader; instead, there's a very clear sense that Chloe is grappling with a lot of things on her own. Both her thoughts of James and Lily and her memory of Marlene is heartbreaking, and they make her lies to her mother seem not only reasonable but necessary.

And speaking of Marlene - what is up with that last line?? I think I'm particularly intrigued because this is AU - is Sirius a bad guy in this timeline? Was he using the Cruciatus Curse - presumably on someone on his side! - for another reason? I need to read more!

This is really excellent thus far.

Author's Response: Hey there! Thanks so much for agreeing to swap, I really enjoyed reading your fic.

The paradigm you mentioned will certainly continue throguhout the fic, and though things get a bit grim, I'm excited to get to writing them! Chloe will struggle with maintaining a relationship with her parents who are uncomfortable with magic, as you said, and also trying to work with the Order, who she doesn't fully back anyway.

Yes! You're so spot on with everything! Her parents' house is far away from the war both literally and figuratively. I'm excited for Chloe to feel stretched further and further between her two loyalties because, well, I just love torturing my MCs, haha.

THE LAST LINE. Man, I must be pretty sadistic because I get such a kick out of everyone's comments over it. Your guesses about Sirius being the bad guy are the most interesting so far, but I don't want to spoil anything!

Thank you again, so much. I really appreciate it!

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Review #13, by StarFeather Chapter One

27th December 2016:
I'm sorry I did typos in the previous review. I meant 'Chloe, who was a Muggle-born' not 'Chloe's daughter.

I remembered Cho and Marietta when I read the relationship between Chloe and Emily. From Chloe's POV, Emily's betrayal can't be forgiven like the way how Harry and Hermione felt when they found Marietta's betrayal. The dark time sometimes drives people mad (including me ). Emily's act also reminded me of Peter Pettigrew. The bullying scenes, generally speaking, one of the things we want to turn our eyes from. But I couldn't stop reading yours. I wanted to know what would happen next, wishing someone could rescue Chloe and Emily sooner.

Describing some characters' accent added a kind of glow to your story. I like it.

It's a good idea to set McKinnon and Sirius in the latter half. (Just my small question pops up, "Mc" sounds rather Scottish than Irish, I like that you set her as Irish, though.)

The last description about her work is so unforgettable. I'll be back. :)

Author's Response: Hi again,

I didn't even notice the typos, so no need to apologize. I really am just grateful that you read my story!

Interesting comparison between Cho/Marietta and Chloe/Emily. You're totally right, and bring up interesting points about forgiveness. I've mentioned this in several other review responses, but I largely wrote this fic to explore ideas of loyalty and forgiveness within the Marauders. Particularly when Sirius told Peter, in PoA in the Shrieking Shack, that he should have died for Lily and James, just like they would have for him. But I wonder if James and would have put his wife and unborn child's life on the line for Peter. It's all very interesting, this concept of loyalty and bravery and heroism in the first war. Hence, Chloe is going to be on the sidelines, struggling with her desire to fight!

I didn't even think about McKinnon being a Scottish last name but you're absolutely right! I guess all it would take would be a family relocating to Ireland somewhere years back in her heritage, but now you've made me want to write about that. Haha.

Thank you again!

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Review #14, by StarFeather Introduction

26th December 2016:
Hi! Thank you for offering the review swap!

Honestly, I really enjoyed this. All the descriptions about the surrounding of the main character are perfect. I could feel the coldness of the winter air and the uneasiness of the main character from your rich words. Top of that, I can't forget the vision how her mother worried about her daughter and cared if she was alright. I've read the other stories about Marauders written from the first POV before. Yours is the one of the best.

You expressed each character’s emotions very well, including Chloe's daughter who was a Muggle-born. And more than that, the last part, "Sirius's Cruciatus Curse" is very intriguing and mysterious. Did he use the Unforgivable Curse against Marlene? It gave me some imaginations. I wondered if he was forced to do the curse against her in front of the Death Eaters. Or did Sirius just quarrel with Marlene over the serious matter? A very promising start.

Author's Response: Hey Kenny!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. This introductory chapter certainly was one of the easier ones to write. I enjoy scenes like this, "coldness of the winter air and uneasiness of the main character," to use your words. Give me snow and somberness and a brooding narrator and I'm happy! And wow, what a compliment about first person narrative Marauders stories. I'm so flattered, thank you!

Haha, I love hearing everyone mention Sirius's Cruciatus Curse. It's quite a ways down the line--YEARS down the timeline of this fic--but I'm excited to get to it! I like reading your guesses as well, but I can't give anything away just yet ;)

Thank you again, Kenny! Off to read your next review.

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Review #15, by CambAngst Chapter Two

26th December 2016:
Hey, Sarah!

I've really enjoyed getting a chance to read this story! Thanks for the swap!

The chapter starts off feeling like a dull ache. I think that's about the right feeling for Chloe, having been through the assault at the hands of the Slytherins. Everything was grim and empty and all of the emotion stripped away.

At least until Emily comes along. When I reviewed the last chapter, I meant to mention Emily's betrayal and it slipped my mind. That felt like the cruelest twist of all, to be betrayed by her own cousin in such a way. It makes perfect sense that Chloe wouldn't even want to see her.

“Please, Chloe,” Emily whispered when Pomfrey left us. Fat tears were falling down her cheeks. “I said I’m sorry.” -- Ah, yes, the unerring logic of people who feel no real responsibility for their own actions. I know I did something terrible, but I feel badly about it. Haven't I suffered enough? I'm with Chloe. Except I might not have mentioned the poisonous lilies.

I enjoyed the way you introduced Sirius and the Marauders. Visiting poor Remus after his monthly transformation, joking, jostling, being a pain in Madam Pomfrey's backside... it all fit perfectly well.

Marlene has such power over people. Sirius, for starters. But she exerts quite an influence on Chloe, too. Everything about the way you've set up her character speaks to her charisma and presence. It starts with her physical appearance -- striking -- and extends to her ability to rein in the unruly Marauders.

The chapter started off with a dull ache and ended with an icy weight on the chest. The Black Adder Society has shown that they can reach Chloe even in the safety of her own dorm. I suppose if I stop to think about it, it's not as big a deal as it seems. The Slytherins almost certainly have friends inside Hufflepuff. It wasn't some huge feat to pull this off. Still, the effect is very chilling to a victim. Chloe is completely trapped in the feelings of shame and powerlessness that plague so many victims of assault. You are doing a great job of writing her reactions.

I had a lot of fun reading through this! Thank you!

Author's Response: Hey again!

Chloe's PTSD is going to be a struggle throughout this fic, I think. I keep finding myself writing scenes with her walking in the corridors alone, but I doubt that she'd be comfortable doing that for a long time, or possibly ever. Is it so bad that she has trouble with situations dealing with water (bathing, swimming, etc.), or is she the kind of person to repress her emotions and continue about life? I think I'm asking these questions because I literally need help from readers, haha. Either way, I figured the "dull ache" phase, as you described it, would be appropriate for her character, at least this soon after the event.

I am so excited to explore Emily's character. Are we going to write her off completely as a bad person, because her survival instincts took over? (Am I going to stop asking you questions?) The notion of Peter betraying the Potters has always been interesting to me, and so betrayal and how that shapes a character will play a large role in this story. In the Shrieking Shack in POA, Sirius told Peter he should have died for Lily and James just like they would have for him--but really, would they have? Would James have sacrificed his wife and unborn child for Peter? These are all things that I find very interesting and grim and, well, there will be a lot more of that to come.

Yes, exactly, Marlene does have power over people. She's one of those magnetic people who doesn't seem to know, or care, that they have a sway over others. Sirius is in love with her but she doesn't even seem to have space in her brain for relationships, sexuality, attraction, etc. But that will definitely come in to play later, and that's all I can say about that for now.

You're right, physically getting the note into Chloe's bed isn't too terribly surprising. But knowing that there is someone, somewhere--someone unknown--with access to her common room and especially to her *bed* where she sleeps, is wildly unsettling. I like what you said, "Chloe is completely trapped in the feelings of shame and powerlessness that plague so many victims of assault." Most victims of said assaults rarely come forward. The Black Adders are keeping her under their thumb, reminding her of her powerlessness.

Thank you so much, Dan! Your reviews are so thoughtful and a joy to respond to. I appreciate you taking the time to read!

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Review #16, by CambAngst Chapter One

26th December 2016:
Wow! I'll start with that. Wow. Let's elaborate, shall we?

That was some really good writing. The chapter started off a little slow, with Chloe doing her little dance of teenage insecurity with Emily, but I almost feel like you were lulling me into a false sense of security. Once things started to roll downhill... Wow.

You added depth and subtlety to Chloe's character in this chapter. She's insecure and a bit of a loner, but she also seems to have that strength that goes along with many loners.

Emily seems like an emotional basket case. She's both victim and perpetrator, wounded by her mother's emotional manipulativeness and using the same techniques on others without much remorse.

If you made me take a guess, it would be that the Black Adder Society is mostly composed of Slytherins who aspire to join the Death Eaters. Perhaps it's simply a code name for that. And I guessed that before the scene shifted out of the Great Hall.

Once the scene moves to the Hufflepuff Common Room, you really turned up the dial on the atmospheric details. From the shadowy hallways to the dark steaming baths, everything was defined by dim, flickering light and concealed details. Beautifully done.

The scene inside the baths was incredibly tense. I was sitting here, feeling my stomach twist. It was pretty apparent that nothing good was going to happen, but I still didn't expect things to turn out this badly. It was kind of like sexual assault, but in that sense where rape is always more about power than sex. All that mixed with a huge dollop of bigotry. Horrifying stuff.

I'm not sure what Sirius and Marlene were doing in the halls at night, but it's a good thing they were there.

I saw a couple of things as I was reading that struck me as worth pointing out:

Gingerly extracting the note from a pool of gravy, she held it up to the light as if it were a relic form Tutankhamen’s tomb. -- from, not form

At times Hogwarts felt as much a comforting home as it did unsettlingly creepy. -- I would consider reversing the order here, since in the immediate situation it's unsettlingly creepy.

Otherwise, excellent writing. Good job!

Author's Response: Hi again!

Urrgghh, I totally agree about this chapter starting off slowly. I can't decide if the language needs reworking, or it should start with another scene? Maybe another solitary moment with Chloe working in the greenhouses or something, to continue the language of the last chapter but show how she's younger and (before the end of this chapter) more carefree. But I also didn't want to start waxing about the start of the new year, and the Sorting, and the chatter in the Great Hall, and the Hogwarts Express, and so on. I appreciate you pointing that out, and if you have any further thoughts or suggestions on the matter, I'd be happy to hear them!

Yes, Chloe is definitely a bit of a loner, but I hope it was clear that it wasn't by her own choice. Her friends all graduated the previous year, and she was left with only her cousin for company. I definitely wanted to avoid the loner MC for the sake of being a loner; it seemed a little too cliche with what will be going on with the rest of this story. She's more alienated by a situation that's out of her control than someone who chooses to spend time alone.

Okay, I'm actually glad that you pointed out that the attack was like sexual assault in many ways. I didn't want to write a rape scene because it would be totally unnecessary. With the way it's presented in pop culture now (ie. Game of Thrones, and basically every HBO drama ever) it's definitely becoming fetishized. You could use the argument, in GOT's case, "But it was a part of life during that time!" But as someone pointed out, Medieval soldiers often got so sick while traveling for war that they frequently soiled themselves, and most people didn't have all their teeth, and other unattractive aspects--So if rape is so ugly to you, why is it the only "ugly" aspect of that time that makes it onto your show? I wanted to allude to the fact that things like that happen--at schools, parties, other situations--and if you're rich and white enough you won't be penalized. Hence Michael Corner. Chloe is physically marred and psychologically changed for life. But I didn't want the characters to actually be sexually motivated in their attack.

Hopefully that made sense.

Thank you for pointing out the errors, and the suggestion to rework that sentence. It's easy for me to overlook these things when I've read and reread the same passages over and over.

Thank you for another lovely review!

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Review #17, by CambAngst Introduction

26th December 2016:
Hi, Sarah!

OK, so that ending line was way, way unexpected. I am really curious to find out what **that's** all about. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I really love the way you started this chapter. You set the scene really well without an overload of information. Chloe is a witch. She (sometimes) shares a small home with her (muggle, I think?) parents in a place that's pretty far removed from the war. It feels like a rural area, judging by the presence of a sheep fence. Aside from the useful information, your description and detail was lovely. It painted a gorgeous picture.

You did a really good job adding imagery that gave life to her grief and sadness. The images of Lily and James after the murder, and poor baby Harry. She was obviously close to all of them.

The enumeration of the lies she tells her mother was also a very effective bit of writing. It highlighted the tension between her life in the muggle world and the magical. The guilt that she feels for continuing to risk her life instead of abandoning the magical world to help with her sick mother. But also the guilt she feels for hiding in the muggle world when James and Lily are already dead and now Marlene has apparently joined them.

Very nice job with this. It was a nice, easy read and everything flowed beautifully.

Author's Response: Why hello there!

Huehuehue, I'm glad the last line was as much of a shock as I'd hoped. It just kind of came out when I wrote it and there was a moment when I paused, my mind went through all of the plot possibilities, and I got very very very excited about it.

Yes, Chloe visits her Muggle parents quite often 1) as a means to ignore everything that's going on in the Wizarding World and also 2) because her parents are sheltering and hermits and it's a part of their strange relationship. But there will be more of that to come.

I'm glad that you mentioned that Chloe was close to Lily and James, because actually she isn't supposed to be. (And I'm being serious; I don't want this to be a fic where she's LIly's best friend, etc etc etc.) She's meant to be on the outside of their group in a lot of ways (on the...PERIPHERY) and though she did a service for Lily in helping her with creating prenatal tinctures and helping with homeopathic medicine, she's not supposed to be really ingrained in their group. Hence a lot of her struggle in this fic with risking her life fighting with the Order, when she doesn't truly feel like a part of their circle despite the danger they're constantly in. I don't want to give too much away, or ramble for too long--but I really appreciate that you mentioned that. Maybe I need to throw in a quick line about how they weren't her best friends.

Yes, exactly! Not only does she fell like she's on the outside of the Marauders and the Order, but she's stranded between two worlds as well. This will actually work to her advantage, when Lily and James die and Remus starts doubting Sirius, and Frank and Alice are tortured, and everything falls apart--she'll have an integral role to play, as she wasn't emotionally invested in their relationships in the way that the others were, and will be the only one disconnected enough to try and hold things together.

Hope that wasn't a spoiler? Not really? I don't know.

Anyway, thank you so much for this first review. I love a good discussion!

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Review #18, by Felpata Lupin Introduction

3rd October 2016:
Here for our swap!
Okay, so... I must confess that I was a tiny bit confused by the AU aspects of this first chapter... and now I'm very intrigued about the relationship between Chloe, Sirius and Marlene and what happened among them... but let's go with order...

Your description... your description was just breathtaking through the whole chapter! You had me hooked since the very first sentence. Such atmosphere, with the winter cold and the eerie quietness of the village. Beautiful.

I found really interesting the relationship between Chloe and her parents, her mother in particular. I loved how you wrote the fragility of it, the unsaid things, everything. I mean, it's sad... especially thinking that Chloe's mother can't really understand her and that Chloe feels like she can't be herself with her... but you wrote it beautifully.

I also loved how you wrote her reaction at Marlene's death and the comparison to James and Lily's deaths. You manage to write every single emotion so powerfully and I could actually feel her grief and her shock.

I'm sorry, I have to go now... but I hope the message passed that I loved every bit of this! I'll hopefully be back soon for more!

Thank you for swapping and much love!

Author's Response: Hi there! Please forgive me for my abysmal response time; lately I've been trying to spend more time writing than on the actual site, but that's no excuse for leaving your review unanswered for these months. Thank you so much for swapping reviews with me :)

Yes, the AU bits will probably be off-putting to some, and I hope to make it clearer that this does not follow canon! But I'm glad that the storyline at least managed to interest you despite the confusion.

Thank you so much for mentioning the description :3 The last fic I wrote was humor, and the narrative style was very conversational (in parts actually addressing the reader, WHOA FOURTH WALL) and really didn't lend itself to much description or poetic language at all. That's what I was most excited about in beginning this fic. I love scenes like this: quiet, somber, understated, grey. I like what you said even better. "Eerie quietness."

This will definitely be a coming of age story, and Chloe will be sucked into a world of fighting Voldemort when she doesn't really want to. That's something that interested me with HP. I certainly would never, ever, EVER have been brave enough to join the Order. Probably not even Dumbledore's Army. Chloe is a pacifist and definitely frightened of the whole War, and juggling that with her mother who is ill and even more frightened of magic in general. Their relationship will definitely only get worse, so fear not ;)

Thank you again, so much, and if you ever come back around to read this, I'm sorry it took so long to respond! Your review is so appreciated ♥

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Review #19, by long_live_luna_bellatrix Chapter One

24th July 2016:
Hi again! I'm so glad to be back!

I love how much better we get to know Chloe in just the first handful of paragraphs in this chapter. I totally empathize with her-- in situations like this, I'm never the Emily, always the Chloe (I've never gone to a school with a uniform but I sure have gone to parties in t-shirts, which is nearly the same as what Chloe's done, ie, not changing. Ahh I love Chloe.) :P I do have to wonder, though-- if Emily wants to insult Chloe by insinuating that Chloe hasn't got any other friends, what does it say about Emily that when she gets invited to a party, the only person she wants to go with is her fifth year cousin?

I was just thinking the other day about how students might try to get away with partying at Hogwarts! It's so interesting to consider, and I don't have a doubt that it's something that would have happened. Unfortunately J.K. Rowling had to keep the books kid friendly so we'll never know for sure.

Oh my god... I was on board with the suspicious party, you were doing a good job of showing us that this wasn't going to be just some ordinary fun, but I was NOT expecting Emily's betrayal! Just... horrifying. You did that really well, too, I swear I remembered that Chloe's parents were both Muggles about twenty seconds before I read what Emily did.

It's interesting that Micheal and co. clearly lured Emily (and Chloe) down to the baths for a purpose, and yet, once they'd marked Chloe, they acted like they hadn't planned on doing anything quite so extreme. Given that they were wondering if she'd tell, and all. My read would be that the Black Adder Society are Death Eater wannabes (if they even know what Death Eaters are) and ape everything their parents say about the necessity of pure blood, but are also still immature teenagers who aren't great at thinking about consequences until after the fact. Is that right?

I loved meeting Sirius and Marlene. It was perfect, the way they were sneaking out together at night, but that they also helped Chloe... The perfect cool kids, right? Also, the way you ended the chapter-- you nailed it again. So powerful!

Ok I apologize in advance for the total lack of organization in this review. The above I jotted down while reading; now I'll address some of your areas of concern. Hopefully it won't get too messy. :P

Your comment about the characters and action in this chapter forcing you to change the narrative voice is interesting. Because I think both chapters read really well! So you pulled off the two voices well, anyway. But I totally get why you'd want a more cohesive voice throughout the whole story. In keeping with the jumbled nature of this review, I have a couple different thoughts...

1) Six years separate this chapter from the introduction, and Chloe clearly faces a lot of hardship in between. Considering that, it makes a lot of sense that she would sound more jaded, more thoughtful, and more reserved in the "future" chapter than in this one. So in this case, the discrepancy really isn't that much of a problem. In fact, if Chloe was exactly the same person in both chapters, it would be problematic-- indicating that little had changed her in this six year timespan.

2) Chapters with more action and more characters are going to sound different than shorter, more contained introductory chapters. So again, the shift is rather natural. Also, given that the style shifted on its own for you between the two chapters, and given that the rest of the story will probably sound more like this one than the introduction (just due to the fact that things are going to keep happening, even if it's not always as dramatic as this chapter), you don't want to spend the rest of the story fighting the style it wants to be told in. If you write it naturally, it will sound natural; if you fight your writing style every inch of the way, it's not going to sound natural. So in this scenario, I would again say that that the shift isn't a problem.

3) But then, well, the first chapter's tone was so lovely! So I don't think it would be terrible to play with this chapter a tiny bit to see what changes could be made. Looking back at the first chapter, some of what I loved was Chloe interacting with her deeply familiar setting, plus her own thoughtfulness. Could you show more of her love/neutrality/irritation with Hogwarts (whatever it is she feels about it)? Could you show her not only understanding how Emily works but also analyzing Emily a little bit? That seems like something Chloe could do. Also, there was one moment that caught my eye, which was when Sirius asked if she was all right and she said, "Fantastic." That seemed a little too sarcastic a thing to say for Chloe, especially when she was in so much pain. I'd think, that when a person truly suffers, they show one side of their true personality, you know? So if that was Chloe's deep inner toughness, great. But if not, maybe it should go. That would help keep her in line with the person we see in the introduction, too.

Now, for the action scene. As you can probably tell by my reaction, I think that worked really well. The tense buildup was good, and the horrifying part was, well, horrifying. I personally found her cousin's betrayal almost worse than the physical harm done to Chloe, although both are atrocious. Overall, it was well done in that way. For some reason, I found myself wanting some more basic details in that scene, and that could either be a legitimate thing for you to look into or it could be me reading too fast because I was too into it. But I kept wondering-- how high is the water? up to her waist, her chest? how light or dark is it when they're fighting? how big a space are we talking? I also have some lingering questions about that person who Chloe saw watching, but I think I'm supposed to, so that's cool. :P

I'm seriously running out of space so I'm gonna wrap this up fast. EXCELLENT JOB. Looking forward to the next chapter quite a bit!!!

Author's Response: Hey there! Thank you again, so much, for offering to check out this story. It's such a big help, really! ♥

That's a good point about Emily inviting her younger cousin to a party. I'd imagine that she has a few close friends other than Chloe, so maybe I should mention that they were studying/unable to come? It would make more sense as to why she put so much pressure on Chloe, too.

I always thought that Dumbledore would have purposefully chosen to make it easier for students to get up to mischief. He could have cast spells preventing them from leaving their dormitories after a certain hour, or the portraits could have helped relay information. Even boy-girl canoodling could have been prevented, I'm assuming, because, well, magic. But Dumbledore *does* throw First-Years into the Forbidden Forest as detention and allows them to compete in the Triwizard Tournament without parental permission, so I'm assuming he almost encourages some trouble!

I'm glad that Emily's betrayal was a shock! It was, obviously, quite a shock to Chloe so it was important that the reader felt that way too.

That's a very good assessment of the Black Adder Society. They hadn't worked out an escape plan because of their smugness. They were fully confident that their Silencing Charms had worked, and that Chloe wouldn't tell on them because, as they put it, "Look at her." This scene is a parallel to certain activities that males subject to female counterparts, and often with little to no punishment if they are athletic or affluent enough. The Black Adders are equal parts racist bigoted purebloods and soon-to-be Death Eaters (I mean Walden Macnair is literally right there) and also a "Boy's Club" to try to run their school with little to no punishment.

Those are wise words about not fighting narrative tone! I'm worried that people had been drawn in by Chloe's initial voice and that too great of a shift would cause disinterest (a writer's! Worst! Nightmare!) so thank you for making that point.

The "Fantastic" line has been giving me some angst! I don't want Chloe to be *so* timid that she is almost not worth reading. The characters around her--especially Marlene--are going to be so colorful that Chloe's role might pale in comparison. I think that she is sarcastic, and will become more so as the story continues. But you're right, it could be more apparent. I tried with her saying that she highly doubted that the Silencing Charms of Seventh-Years were stronger than those of Hogwarts staff, but I could dispense a little more cynicism throughout, particularly when dealing with Emily in the beginning. It's difficult because Chloe *is* a doormat, especially to her aggressive cousin, but she's got a sense of humor and wit as well. I'll re-work some of her inner thoughts in this chapter and hopefully that will come across better.

Those are SUCH GOOD POINTS about the action scene. I imagine the water to be about chest-level, and that there are several "benches" along the edges of the bathing pool where Emily and Michael were sitting. It was pretty dark; when the torch was extinguished I mentioned the light from the moon through the glass ceiling being the only light (A FULL MOON, WINK WINK). I think I mentioned that a lot of the steam had escaped through the open portrait, making it easier to see. I imagine a bluish, eerie light from the moon, reflecting on the water, in an otherwise a very dark room. The room was fairly large; about the size of an indoor swimming pool. These are all things that I can make clearer in the chapter, now that you've brought them to my attention!

I'm also running out of space, I think! haha. Thank you again, so so so much! Your review has given me a lot to think about and pointed out some areas where I was already concerned. I really appreciate your help! ♥

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Review #20, by marauderfan Chapter One

24th July 2016:
WOW this was a fantastic chapter! Very intense but I thought it was really well written.

The tone in the previous chapter was somber, mostly due to its stillness - and I don't necessarily think that you could use the same tone when telling this part of the story. This part is much earlier in time, and there's a lot more action. But starting at the point where Chloe first gets suspicious about the party invitation, the chapter still has a strong sense of unease and anxiety which, although different from the feeling in the first chapter, ties in really well with it. It's kind of like you've carried a similar tone to a very different setting. So yeah, I really like how you did the voice in this chapter.

Especially when they first walked into the baths. My first thought was "SLOW DOWN WASN'T THERE A ROMAN EMPEROR WHO WAS MURDERED IN THE BATHS?!?!" (and in fact I don't think there was, but I still got all kinds of nervous feelings about how that night would end the minute Emily and Chloe found the party.

the Fat Friar, on his way to the kitchens, where I’d heard he liked to look at the food he could no longer eat. -- haha, for some reason I just love that you chose to include this detail. It's not important for scene setting, but somehow it adds a lot of richness to the story - character background is so important, even if it is in little side anecdotes like this. Characters are never just there for that one moment, they have back stories and secrets and stuff like this contributes to a more comprehensive character next time they show up. (I don't know if that makes sense. but I love the details you choose to include and how that shapes characterization)

The way you show Chloe's personality in this, in regards to what she prioritizes in situations where she feels unsafe, is so effective at indicating what kind of a person she is. She didn't want to go to the party in the first place, and then her thoughts are occupied by how she can get Emily out of there, and her last resort is to escape alone and then tell a Prefect so she can get Emily out safely. Whereas Emily... Emily is the worst Hufflepuff. I really hope that when she left she was going to tell someone to help Chloe, much like Chloe was thinking when Chloe tried to escape, but... I don't know. I mean I get that she was scared and ran, but COME ON, THAT'S YOUR OWN COUSIN WHO WOULD NOT EVEN BE THERE IF NOT FOR YOU AND YOU LEAVE HER TO BE BURNED AND HALF DROWNED. UGhhh I have no respect for her right now. I'm interested to see what the fallout of this is going to be though.

The moment when she's shrieking that Chloe is a Mudblood kind of reminded me of that scene in the novel 1984 when Winston is being tortured. like, I don't think Emily hates Chloe, but betrays her because she's scared and in pain. That said, I'm still furious with her for leaving Chloe to endure that all alone.

I think your portrayal of Sirius was right on. Kind of joking and clueless at first, but once he catches on he's kind and helps take care of her.

And the Slytherins in the baths were terrifying, which means you did a really good job writing them, particularly the way they have such control over the situation and the way they hold that power over the two Hufflepuffs to make them feel vulnerable. It's sick. But effectively written.

I couldn’t remember how the way to the Hufflepuff basement. -- how to get to? or maybe just take out the word 'how'

I dully registered him kneel beside me -- kneeling?

One thing I did find myself wondering about - in the previous chapter, which takes place in 1981, Chloe states that she and Marlene have been best friends for 12 years. But in this chapter, which is 7 years prior to the first chapter, Chloe didn't seem to recognize Marlene and only referred to her by her last name. I mean, this could be because of the mental state she's in at the moment, dizzy, in pain, and half-drowned, but it seemed odd that she doesn't recognize Marlene at all. (Or is it a different McKinnon mentioned here?)

Well. I think that's everything I wanted to cover. Sorry I deteriorated into shouty CAPSLOCK for some of that haha I just have a lot of feelings. Anyway, I think this was a great chapter and even though it's different from the setting of the previous one, they complement each other nicely. Great work.

(eep I'm about to run out of characters)

Author's Response: Hello again! Thank you so so so much for offering to read this chapter! I appreciate it so much ♥

I'm glad the voice seems to have carried over well enough. You're right; this is really the moment when Chloe's life begins to turn, so the tone wouldn't be the same as it was in the introduction when she's already lost so much. I thought about starting the first chapter a little further away from the action of this chapter; maybe instead of the night of the party, a week before, or even a year before, just to establish Chloe's character as a timid, school-minded thing. But I decided against it since this fic is already going to span from 1975 to possibly 1995 (I haven't quite decided, whoops), I'd better make it as trim as possible ;)

Now you have me really interested in the Roman emperor bath murder! Fausta (daughter to Emperor Maximianus) was suffocated to death in an overheated bath. And thank you for mentioning this because I'm trying to stuff this fic with metaphor, and that's all I'll say about Fausta for now.

This scene took place in the baths because Chloe's induction into this world that she comes to loathe--of Death Eaters, the Order, heroes and villains--is a rebirth. She has gone from the aforementioned girl just concerned with getting her Herbology fellowship and becoming a top Herbologist, to having everything ruined and changed because she happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Water is a symbol of rebirth in religion and literature, but if she was reborn then it also means that a part of her has died--which it has. Starting with this chapter, she is no longer the person she once was. PTSD, anxiety and a change in her personality will be a large part of this story as well.

I love that you said "Emily is the worst Hufflepuff." You're right; she isn't being very loyal here to her cousin. Then I started thinking about loyalty and maybe her loyalty is to her own self-preservation? I love all of the discussion that has come out post-books, and especially with Pottermore, about how not all Slytherins are evil, not all Gryffindors are brave, etc. But you're right! Emily is pretty terrible. She is another character who was completely changed by one moment. Fear overtook her and unlike Chloe, who like you said was concerned with how to help Emily, she was more concerned with escaping herself. Like the house discussions, I like the discourse that's been circulating about character redemption (the best example I can think of in this case is Malfoy) and whether a moment such as this, when you turn into a horrible monster out of fear, is your Defining Moment.

Yes! "Do it to Julia!" You're totally right, this scene is reminiscent of 1984.

Ugh Sirius was so scary to write. Tbh I've never read any Marauders fic in great length. All I know is that I want to tone down the swaggering, womanizing character that tends to be his portrayal and flesh him out. I'm 100% sure any of his womanizing tendencies that do remain are the result of never feeling adequate to his mother (hey thanks Freud) and I'm really excited to explore that, and his constant need for affirmation. The male protagonist is always the most difficult for me to write in fic, and their true personality usually shows itself a few chapters in, so be prepared for some inconsistencies until I can go back and edit ;)

And also, I am cracking up because I really have no idea where that "twelve years of friendship" thing came from. I noticed it a few weeks ago and never fixed it until you reminded me, so thank you. I don't know if I had originally intended for them to meet much earlier, or if my math was just terrible (that is the far more likely option) but yes, sorry for the confusion! The McKinnon in this chapter is actually Marlene. Thank you for pointing that out, as well as your other grammar edits!

I'm also running out of characters, so I will just say THANK YOU once more. Your reviews are so helpful, really! ♥

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Review #21, by marauderfan Introduction

9th July 2016:
Hi Sarah, I'm finally here with your requested review from HPFT!

After reading this chapter, the primary thing that sticks with me is how marvelously you've set the tone. It's very dark and bleak, even from the very beginning, with the cold and the stone all around her and the way everything outside looks so far away. The suggestion of Chloe's loneliness is there without you having to say anything - and in fact this entire chapter, there's a lot said without you directly saying the words. Showing, not telling: one of the most effective techniques in writing, and you're definitely succeeding.

So, for your areas of concern: The introduction does effectively raise questions- especially the author's note! Normally I do love things that stick to canon, but your very same reason for writing this - exploring cause and effect - is a huge part of my own AU story as well, so I really relate to that, and I'm so curious to see how you'll explore cause and effect in the Marauders era, and how one little difference could change the fate of so many. And here, something is different - Marlene died after Lily and James, and is that due to an insignificant change you made - and what else is changed by the delay in Marlene's death?

The mother's condition is vague, but I think that's good. You don't want to give everything away in the first chapter, so this raises enough questions to get a reader interested in continuing to further chapters to find out some answers.

As for Chloe's relationship with Sirius - certainly very mysterious, because he's only mentioned twice here. Chloe obviously has some history with him, based on how she feels about seeing his handwriting, but the last line - that was unexpected. I'm not quite sure what to make of it. I don't know whether the past relationship Chloe had with Sirius was a bad thing or a good thing. So... it is vague, but I prefer that rather than an infodump of her whole past. :P

You also asked about your summary, and honestly I love it. It hints at the ripple effect of insignificant changes, and already gives an interesting context to your narrator. It's great. However I would say that this sentence seems worded a bit oddly to me: She didn't ask to watch her friends die by their own hand. - like the number of people doesn't agree with the number of hands :P I think it'd work better as "hands".

Another small grammar note:
I pulled the sleeves of my jumper over my knuckles, clutching tightly. - Okay, this may be sort of picky, but this sentence distracted me and had me wondering. What is she clutching? Is she clenching her fists inside her sleeves or clutching the end of the jumper sleeves within her fist? - this isn't really a detail that needed to be worried about but it just felt like it was missing a noun there.

Anyway, I really enjoyed what you have of this so far. It's much different from the other writing I've read by you, but the switch to a totally different genre seems to come naturally to you. Great work on this! And please feel free to re-request when you've got more chapters up :)

Author's Response: HELLO YOU! Thank you so much for checking out this fic, especially after you were kind enough to read KC&CO. I pretty much rely entirely on the Reviews Offered thread when starting a new fic, and I'm very grateful that you offered one ♥

It's so good to hear that the "showing, not telling" came through. I've really been harping on this in my review responses but that was kind of my mantra while writing this. Dumping a lot of information on the reader in the beginning is a bad habit of mine *cough* KC&CO *cough* (Though to be fair, the tone's a bit more conversational there and Edie is a blabbermouth and oMG SARAH THE STORY IS OVER STOP TALKING ABOUT IT)

Yes, I see you have a story of your own that explores similar themes of "butterfly effect," etc. etc. I'll have to give it a read after this. Maybe you're feeling nervous like I am; tbh adhering completely to canon in fic isn't really one of my priorities. I want to say "I mean yeah, Harry is a boy and his parents were killed by Voldemort" but honestly I would read a fic about Harriet Potter having a completely normal life and meeting Ron and Hermione, sooo... My point is, a part of me is nervous about writing this because I have had people come at me with torches and pitchforks because I screwed up a canon reference, and I don't want that to happen again (Also at the same time, it's my fic and like, let me do what I want?? Plus HP has been around for long enough that, unless you're writing a Next Gen fic, pretty much everything that could be considered completely canon has already been done so I say GO FOR IT and do something DIFFERENT)

Okay wow *gets off soapbox*

Ahhh yes the last line! I'll admit I wrote it and was like *vigorous head-nod* "ye." Hopefully it raises some questions and maybe ruffles some feathers. I love the Sirius/Marlene ship and it will be present in this story. I don't want to give too much away but I want to explore how these people--the Marauders--have been martyred by history, yes, but they were humans and they were flawed and maybe not as amazing as everyone says they were, or as Harry imagined them to be in his POV.

Thank you so much for pointing out those editing errors! I didn't really think about the first one (hand v. hands) so thank you, and I was really struggling with the second sentence you mentioned. Originally I said "clutching them tightly" but then I was like is "them" her hands or the sleeves of her sweater and OMG SARAH YOU DON'T HAVE TO OVER-EXPLAIN EVERYTHING but I think you're right; that sentence needs clarification to even make sense at all. Thank you for pointing those out, I will be sure to fix them!

I'm off to read your fic right now, as you've been so kind to me over the years that I've sucked at doing anything on HPFF other than writing my own story. And the second chapter is up, so I will most definitely be poking you for another review, if the offer is still on the table.

Thank you so much! I really really really do appreciate it ♥

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Review #22, by PaulaTheProkaryote Introduction

7th July 2016:
Hi there you lovely being! I'm terribly sorry it took my so long. I blame being on vacation but that's still no excuse.

First and foremost, I think this was a really strong introduction to the story. The flow was so smooth and even though there was a few spots where the paragraphs were thick (re:easy for my lazy self to skip through), I didn't feel tempted to in the slightest.

All of the descriptions of her actions were natural to read and the details really made me feel like I was in the scene myself. Especially the first paragraph. The dusting of snow on the windowsill she absently minded pressed her fingers into and the fat bellied granite clouds. It really made the story I think.

The next thing I really enjoyed was the way you have Chloe show us the horrors of war. The haunted feelings after James and Lily were murdered. The sympathy she has for baby Harry. The agony of losing her best friend. The fact that they weren't even on speaking terms. She'll never be able to resolve whatever silly thing they were fighting over!

I am curious about the relationship with Sirius. I feel like if they were intimately involved then maybe he'd be a little more sympathetic about Marlene's death. It wouldn't just say it so harshly. Are they future partners? Past ones? Maybe he didn't have a lot of time to write? There's a lot of ways this might go and I'm really excited to explore them.

I am interested in her mother and her condition. They clearly are on okay terms that she's there trying to help them out so much. Her mother clearly isn't comfortable with the magical world. Is she muggle? Perhaps maybe magic has something to do with her condition? I don't think it was too vague on her condition, I think it was a really good slow build to it.

The story summary sounds so good and I really, really can't wait for more plot development.

There is one thing I found rather disappointing after reading this first chapter...where is the next chapter? How long are you planning to make me wait?

Author's Response: Hi hi hi hello! Thank you so much for posting a review thread; I really rely on those when first starting out a new story, so you have no idea how helpful it is!

That's funny you mention thick paragraphs--I was thinking they looked a bit thin! Haha. I tend to writewritewritewrite (basically word-vomit) and am making a conscious effort to be more brief in general. Thank you for mentioning it; I'll continue to be on the lookout.

The dusting of snow on the windowsill seems to be popular! That makes me so happy. I just mentioned in another review that I really, really enjoy writing small little moments like this (quiet winter scenes in particular) so it's nice that readers seem to be enjoying it. Nevermind that I'm foregoing playing in all of this lovely summertime weather to write about cold, sad winters... :/

Hmm, that's an interesting point about the brevity of the note and how it doesn't convey an intimate relationship. That will definitely be explained (WAAYYY on) but his tone of voice/attitude toward her death has to do with the Cruciatus Curse that was mentioned. That's all I'll say for now!

Chloe is Muggle-born. The tension between her duty to the Order, and her desire to not horrify her very (very VERY) paranoid parents, will be a more prevalent theme as the story continues. You'll learn more about her mother's condition, too! Don't worry, plenty of muted, gray sadness is in store.

Awww gosh, thank you so much. I wondered if I should wait to post this introduction until I had the next chapter written, as it's so short, and I don't want to lose people's attention. You won't have to wait too long, though, promise! Tonight's an editing night and it'll be posted soon :)

Thank you again, so much, seriously! I can't stress how much I value that you are offering reviews for lil fledgeling fics like Periphery ♥

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Review #23, by Kate Introduction

7th July 2016:
I really really am hooked by this! Almost scared for an update because it seems this HP world is quite depressing! Never the less I don't think I'll be able to resist! Xo

Author's Response: Haha, that's an accurate assessment! The next chapter is actually pretty dark--especially for my writing. It's in the editing phase and should be up soon. Yay! Thank you so much for taking the time to review; starting a new story is always a bit scary. ♥

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Review #24, by long_live_luna_bellatrix Introduction

7th July 2016:
I was in love after your first paragraph. I don't know what it was, other than that it was a lovely collection of details and I felt like I was there. I also love small village scenes and quiet winter scenes in general. And when you described Chloe's actions, like so-- "There was a dusting of snow on the windowsill and I pressed my fingers into it absently"-- I just felt like that's absolutely something I would do, and I would never had thought to catch a detail like that. Beautiful.

It's such an interesting concept that Lily and James' deaths would inspire an extra fear among other wizards, in addition to the more obvious worries about not being safe anywhere and about dealing with a traitor. But I can totally see that when two extremely talented wizards die, then, well, other people not quite as powerful might become anxious as well. It makes a lot of sense.

Haha this is entirely unrelated to your writing, but at one point as I was scrolling quickly up from the review box, where I was making a note to myself, to continue reading, and I passed the line, "Your father is still lazing in bed." For some reason read it as, "Your father is amazing in bed." And I thought, What kind of mother would say that to her daughter?! But then, of course, I read it a second time. :P

You do an excellent job of establishing all sorts of niggling tensions between Chloe and her mother. There's the issue of Chloe's magic, which is introduced nice and quietly, but other things, too, like the way Chloe acknowledges in her head the various lies she tells. Oh, and the tension with her mother's health. I thought it was wonderful the way you show all these distinct things but also let them sort of intermingle with each other until we get this big, general impression that these two characters still love each other but have too many barriers between them to have an effortless relationship.

Also, I think it was a good choice to keep Chloe's father out of this chapter. He's mentioned enough that we don't forget about him or anything, but I think honing in on this one interaction between Chloe and her mother, alongside Chloe's other worries, works really well. It lets us get invested in the scene without getting distracted by too many moving parts.

I guess I still don't entirely understand Chloe's aversion to Muggle things, though. I totally get why her magic would freak out/displease her mother and/or father for any number of reasons, and why Chloe would be exasperated by their resistance to the helpful aspects of magic (like levitating charms for the fence and all that). But at the same time, Chloe must be a Muggleborn (right?), meaning that she grew up for much of her childhood like any other Muggle. So why does it pain her so much to have to turn on a lamp by hand? I'd think her instinct would actually be to use the lamp, at least in her childhood home, surrounded by her Muggle parents. Or maybe her instinct would be to use Lumos, but she'd still pause for a half-second and happily turn on the lamp. Complaints about something small like that sound like they'd come from a grumpy young teenager who doesn't want to go to her Muggle home for the summer, not a young adult like Chloe.

Oh boy. The end of this chapter. Chloe's best friend is/was Marlene, and she's also friends with Sirius, and yet the last time she saw Marlene, Sirius was trying to use an Unforgivable Curse on her?!? No way. You have to upload the next chapter ASAP. That really upped all the urgency here.

As to your A/N, I love stories that explore how tiny, insignificant actions can have massive consequences! Just another reason to be really into this story. Because really, it's a wonderful introduction. I'm so invested in Chloe's wellbeing (the poor girl!) and also her relationships with the people around her. I guess I would add that I hope you return to Chloe's relationship with her parents in later chapters (in addition to the conflicts she'll obviously be facing with the Order) just because you've taken the time to introduce them here and Chloe's mother is the second person to be introduced in your entire story. Basically, it seems like they're important, and I'd like to see more of them-- which I'm sure you're already planning.

You mentioned flow and voice as areas of concern, and I have no issues with either of those here. If anything, I prefer quiet, thoughtful, uncertain narrators to snarky or extroverted ones, so I'm a big fan of Claire's voice. It was never over-bearing or over-written, it felt very natural. As for the flow, it's a relatively short chapter, so you never really had to worry about it dragging, and it absolutely didn't feel rushed.

I'm very curious to see Chloe go on to interact with Sirius and other members of the Order. What a strong first chapter! I'm totally hooked. This feels just like the kind of story I love to read. Wonderful job! (I'm sorry I couldn't offer up a lot of constructive criticism, but, well, it was very, very good.)

- Sarah

Author's Response: OH GOSH OH WOW I LOVE YOU SO MUCH. This review is such a day-brightener, really! It's nerve-racking to start a new fic, as I'm sure you know, and what if nobody likes it or reads it and then what's the point? But this is so lovely, really. I think it's almost as long as the chapter! :D

I am a total sucker for quiet villages, snowscapes, the everyday life moments like looking out a window. And the village definitely is important to the story in that Chloe's parents live, tucked away, in a (mostly) (as far as they know) Muggle area. They are, after all, wary of the magical world.

Yeah, I was nervous about including the mention of James and Lily, because I don't want the reader to assume that Chloe is going to be Lily's Best Friend! or On the Gryffindor Quidditch Team! or The One Who Sets Them Up! In fact she's definitely on the outskirts of the group. She's in their... *PERIPHERY* DO YOU GET IT

Oh my God I really love the way you misread that line. I'm sure that was a bit unsettling! Haha. I'm glad that the portrayal of her mother's health went smoothly. I'm notorious for dumping information on the reader, particularly in the first chapter, and was trying really hard to succinctly explain that her mother is growing ill and that there is tension between the two of them. Yes! You're spot on with that description: "two characters still love each other but have too many barriers between them to have an effortless relationship." The entire Fairchild family has a very Don't Ask, Don't Tell attitude (for lack of a better phrase) about Chloe's involvement in the Order. Not to give too much away, but her parents know that she is doing something dangerous with other Witches and Wizards, and they have bottled everything up and refuse to talk about it. Hence Chloe quickly hiding her wand when her Mum comes into the room.

As for her aversion to Muggle things, it's because of the aforementioned reason :) She is perfectly fine using Magic or Muggle items, and as you mentioned has become accustomed to using her wand for most things. As a Hogwarts graduate living in a Magical area, she tends to use it for day-to-day things like lighting the stove, etc. I imagine that your wand becomes an extension of your own arm after you've been using it for so many years. So it wasn't that she just *wanted* to use magic and didn't *feel* like switching on the lamp. Much less excitingly: she just couldn't find the lamp and couldn't see and wanted to use a Lumos spell, hehe.

Thank you for pointing that out--I definitely wasn't trying to make it sound like she's exasperated by the fact that she can't use magic around her family.

Ha! Yay, I'm glad that the last little bit about Sirius and Marlene was interesting. I was afraid there would be a lot of table-flipping going on (I am a shipper of those two as well). As for what exactly happened, time will tell!

Chloe's relationship with her parents will definitely be a HUGE portion of this story, especially in the 90s. (Still figuring out the formatting kinks, but basically this fic will span from their time in Hogwarts until 1995-ish, with lots of leaps in time and maybe, if I can get my life together, lots of flashbacks.)

Thank you so much, again! And don't worry about the ConCrit, your review was so helpful, especially mentioning the part about the lamp. (What an insignificant little moment in the story, and still it made her seem like a totally different, more petulant character!) I'm very glad you mentioned that.

Thank you ♥

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Review #25, by Holly Introduction

29th June 2016:
I'm very intrigued so far. I really like how even with little connection to the character you really feel her dread build.

Author's Response: Thank you, Holly! I tend to dump a lot of information in the first chapter and was trying very hard not to this time. I'm glad that you felt very little connection so far, I'd say that's a good sign!

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