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Reading Reviews for Vital
300 Reviews Found

Review #26, by DracoFerret11 Chapter 19

22nd July 2012:
It's me again! I can't believe I only have one more chapter left to read after this and then I have to wait for updates...oh wow.

Characterization: Okay, as always, we'll start here. I feel like I'm always repeating just how much I love your characters...but I'm going to repeat it again. I LOVE your characters. Best OCs I've read in fanfiction ever. Actually...this might be the best-written story I've ever read. Wow! I loved Elena in this chapter (as always). I think she was definitely on par with how I think she would act. And my dear Simon was perfect. I love how nonchalant he was trying to be to get Elena to calm down. And then he sent her out before him to keep her safe! Aww. AND HE HAD BETTER BE ALL RIGHT. I will die if he does. ;] Not really. That's ridiculous. Let's see...Alastor's new here! And I think you definitely captured his character. I barely ever see him in fanfiction, so this was cool.

Descriptions: Ahh, you just have this spectacular style that brings the entire story to life. My heart is always racing and I'm always able to follow what's happening as if I were there. I love that. I think you could add a few facial expressions in there, but other than that, terrifically perfect. :D

Emotions: I think the emotions you express through your writing are beautiful. The only part where I felt it might have benefitted from a bit "more" was when Simon is sending Elena outside to run for help/get to safety. To me, that was a really emotional moment, but I didn't feel too much from the actual characters...

Plot: Well! Drama, drama, drama! Simon had better be okay! The longer this story goes on, though, the more I think that he and Elena are going to die by the end. :[ I loved that Alastor was brought in. Cool! Well done!

Interactions: Loved all the Simon/Elena moments, unsurprisingly. I think you handle them beautifully. Their dynamic is so touching. It's spectacular. So realistic. :D

Style: Gorgeous, as always. You know that. I adore this story. I adore how you write. Every character is unique and beautiful and wonderful. And I love this. Okay, rant done. :D

Terrific job! I'll read more soon. You're doing spectacularly, as always.


Author's Response: Hi!

Wow, I can't believe how much of Vital you've read! You're, simply speaking, awesome :) And when you do review chapter 20, I will maybe be more motivated to update. I've been being a bit lazy about writing for the past few weeks. And I need to start up again.

Thank you so, so much. It's wonderful to hear how much you love my characters. That's such a huge compliment, because for me, characters are something that can make or break a story. Elena and Simon interacting is also very fun to write, because they are both their own characters alone, but when they're together, the whole dynamic of how they both act totally changes. Simon is, obviously, protective, and Elena is more confident, I would say.

For descriptions, I do see your point about adding in facial expressions. While I like writing descriptions, I'm not always the best at balancing different types. I don't want too many because I don't want to compromise the pacing, but I don't want too few. Same thing really goes for emotions as well. But I suppose that's an issue all writers face :)

You've got that right: drama! Wow, that's a very interesting perspective. I promise this doesn't give away anything that happens in the future of this story, but the more I write characters and become attached to them, the harder it is to think about them dying/getting hurt. Even if I know it has to happen. (Seriously I promise, no spoilers about anything in the future: I felt the same way about having Elena's brother Oliver die--I knew it was necessary, but it was hard to have to write about a character going through that).

So, seriously, I don't know how to respond to all this praise -blushes- It's definitely a huge confidence booster to hear that you appreciate a story that I've spent so much time writing. Thank you, thank you, thank you! ♥


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Review #27, by maskedmuggle Chapter 6

20th July 2012:
Another interesting chapter ^_^ I thought your writing was great - the setting at the ministry was really well established and it was interesting to see how confident Simon was - and the process they had to go through to get Elena on board and get other supplies. It all felt very realistic - I'm slightly curious as to why exactly they need books, but I suppose I'll find out soon! The misty book feels like something that would be there too - that was a creative idea!

I'm surprised Elena is adjusting so well with the complete change of scene and what they're doing. Am I the only one slightly feeling the Simon/Elena vibe? :P Brilliant writing! :)
- Charlotte

Author's Response: Hi! Sorry about not responding to this sooner!

I'm glad that you liked this chapter. It's a bit less serious than the other ones, and perhaps one where Elena can relax a little bit more, though there is always danger, as the book shows.

I suppose that she is adjusting fast, considering. But I think that she trying to be confident, to prove that she can do it.

Again, I really appreciate the review Charlotte!! Thanks :D

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Review #28, by DracoFerret11 Chapter 18

18th July 2012:
Hello there! It's me again. :]

Plot: I want to start here since everything is just blowing up in this story. I cannot wait to read the battle scene. I hope no one dies! :[ I really loved how emotional this chapter got. Everything's starting to come together...I love it!

Characterization: Okay! We have our wonderful Elena. She's so terrific. I love that she's got such courage, but she still knows that she's not a warrior. And I loved how emotional things got for her. You're showing her journey and her trials really well. I love it. As for Corinne, I thought she was great. I liked when she took the initiative to get Simon to talk to Elena, even though he didn't want to. And lovely Simon! I adored that he finally started opening up to Elena. And his explanation of why he turned her over was perfect. I knew he wasn't betraying her!

Descriptions: Hmm...I think this chapter could do with some physical-detail sprucing up, but the emotional details were spectacular. I loved the feelings rushing through this, especially when Elena had to tell her parents that her brother is dead. I felt so sad for them all! :[

Interactions: SIMON/ELENA MOMENTS. I LOVE THEM! :D Really, I adored it. I love that their relationship is so emotional, and less physical at this point. It shows the devotion they have to each other. After all, they have been through a lot together.

Style: So beautiful. I loved when I could see the sadness that Elena was feeling. And the way you write just brings this story to life. It's so professional and gorgeous. I applaud you.

Wonderful job. I'll read the next chapter soon!


Author's Response: Hi Emily!

Again, sorry for the rather belated review response.

Didn't I tell you there would be an explanation from Simon? I hope that it cleared things up, regarding his motivations for turning her in, etc. And what would Elena and Simon do without Corinne helping them along, right?

Alright, I do see your point about adding in those physical descriptions. I was trying not to overdo it in this chapter, because there was a lot of emotion, but I will go back and try to edit things a bit. :)

Yes, Simon and Elena. As a couple? Or something, maybe, sort of (haha). You're right that there is lots of emotion in their relationship, which considering all that they've been through makes some sense, as you said.

Thank you so much! I'm glad that you're still enjoying reading this story, and that you've read so much already. I feel terrible, again, for not responding sooner, because that makes it look like I don't appreciate your reviews, but I promise that isn't the case!


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Review #29, by SilentConfession Chapter 20

17th July 2012:
So i've just read through this in one night and it's such a fabulously created story that i had to finish it from start to finish, it's so ridiculously addicting!

I love the characters you've created and the whole stinken plot! I haven't read a lot of stories that explore this moment in time but i think you've done such a great job at creating this immediacy and fear. Each chapter is so nerve wracking and i'm constantly on my toes to see what is going to happen next! I can't believe you've left such a cliffhanger!

I love Alice i think she's so great here and i love reading about her before she lost her mind. You've really shown her strength and power here and i think that's great. You've also shown how much the war must have hurt the people involved. Like with Alice, if it wasn't for her father, she would have stayed out of this. It's not just that, it's sort of the whole idea behind the plot and how they are desperate to keep this under wraps and not let the public know of the danger that still lingers in the air because it would just create mass chaos. This theme keeps resurfacing and i think you've done and excellent job at that execution as many may just make mention of here or there but i really feel like it permeates the whole story.

One thing i did want to mention though is that there were times i was a little confused with the action that was going on and it wasn't just this chapter but at the end with Moody and her falling and i suppose i'm still trying to see it i suppose in my head and it took a few times to read it over to make sure i was getting what you were saying. Just make sure that when your writing some of these scenes that you're really clear with your wording.

I've really enjoyed reading this (because who doesn't love those good old government conspiracies? which i may be reading a little too much that but oh well :P) Anyway, just wanted to show my appreciation for this. :D

Author's Response: Hello! First off, I am so sorry I didn't respond to your review sooner. I completely meant to, and thought I had. But I suppose that life is just really busy at the moment.

Anyways, let me start off by saying thank you so much! I'm thrilled that you enjoyed this story enough to read through it that quickly :D I definitely do think this era is unexplored, and there aren't too many canon details to constrain things.

I have had a lot of fun writing action and suspense. And I will try to get back into the swing of writing soon--I know I did leave a cliff hanger and then haven't updated in too long.

Alice has probably been the most surprising character for me to write. I originally meant for her and Frank to have a minor role, but I realized that I wanted to give them a bigger part than I had planned. I think Alice's actions show, perhaps more than anyone else, who she is. She cares about her family, but she is willing to be brave and put herself and her happiness in danger to protect others. Elena of course also has some of the same traits as Alice, but she doesn't have a child, and is at a totally different place in her life than Alice.

Thank you for mentioning that. This whole story needs a bit of an edit. While I don't feel like I need to change anything major at this point, I do know that I wrote the first chapters of this over a year and a half ago. Since I feel like my writing has improved since then, I definitely want to make sure that the first chapters are a bit updated. The more recent chapters have been quite a bit longer than the earlier ones as well, and I think as a result, I spent less time editing.

Really, it means a lot to me that you read through this entire story and that you enjoyed it so much. ♥ Again, I feel so bad I didn't respond earlier, but hopefully you can understand!


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Review #30, by VioletBlade Chapter 16

17th July 2012:
Haley! *glomps* Probably don't recognize me anymore what with the time I've been away! Anyway, I'm here! With the review you probably gave up on eons ago! For that, I truly am sorry, every time I thought about clearing my thread, something from RL would come up and push it aside! :/

So, onto the good stuff! ;)


Though it did seem a little fast paced for me without much explained, I loved the action and how quickly I was able to move through it! Nothing boring about this chapter whatsoever! I loved that Bellatrix made an entrance and that Elena nearly stood her own without having to be rescued! Very different, but very awesome! I know she's not built for dueling, but I love it when she gets involved anyway, haha! And what a cliffhanger ending! I never would have expected that to be Ethan McDonald's secret identity! This chapter definitely didn't disappoint me in the slightest! Can't wait to read more, as usual!


I mentioned it a little up there, but I did love that Elena was able to get involved a bit in the action and stand her own ground, even if she was just about to fall in the end. She didn't need anyone to come to her rescue, even if the battle didn't see itself through, which was, quite frankly, awesome! I also thought the reunion between Simon and Elena was perfect. Elena's doubt but longing, coupled with Simon's obvious care but unwillingness to explain things to her fit the characters perfectly. Couldn't have asked for better for that situation! (Of course, I'm fully aware you are more than amazing at writing everything like oh so wonderfully! :)) I am hoping they get everything worked out soon, after all, I am still a Silena fan! (Yes, I really did just give them a fandom mashup name! :P)


I actually saw nothing in this chapter that needed to be fixed, so awesome on that! :D

Overall, it was a wonderful chapter! Definitely got me back into the swing of Vital, showing me what I was missing by not reviewing for all these months! Hope to see a request from you again soon, and, as always, thank you for requesting from me! :)


Author's Response: Hi Becca! This is an embarrassingly belated review reply, so I'm sorry about that. -hides-

While I wanted the plot to be a bit whirlwind that this point (because that's exactly how Elena's feeling) hopefully you didn't get too lost in it. I know a lot did happen in a very compressed period of time!

Elena's practice trying to be an Auror sort of pays off here, in that she doesn't die. You definitely sum up Elena and Simon's emotions perfectly there, I think. That's exactly how I hoped people would see that scene :) Silena! They have a mashup name! Haha but that is cute! You have my authorly stamp of approval :)

Thank you so much for the lovely review. Your kind words mean a lot to me! Again, I apologize for not responding sooner--I am never getting behind in review replies again!


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Review #31, by maskedmuggle Chapter 5

15th July 2012:
Wow! Super intense (in a really good way that had me on the edge of my seat)! Okay, now I'm finally starting to believe that Simon and Corinne are on the good side, and it's funny that it's because of the Longbottoms. Simply because they are familiar characters and I know who they are. It was so surprising to hear that Alice's father was the minister! But it seems very realistic and believable. The Death Eater fight was crazy - so unexpected but I loved the wall thing, and how Neville gurgling kinda gave them away to the Death Eater. It was a lucky save..

I loved Alice's character. I thought this was the absolute perfect description of her: this woman did not resemble a fighter. She was more motherly and soft than harsh and deadly... and I loved how much she cared about Neville when she ran straight to him. Okay, the argument between Simon and Corinne was also super intense. Who is Her?? Makes me so curious! A small part of it thinks it's Elena, even though as she says: It couldnít be her. Simon didnít like her. but I can't think of any other female who would've been there. It's very odd! Really well written though! The action was really gripping and wonderfully descriptive! Another fantastic chapter!! :)

- Charlotte

Author's Response: Hi!

So I'm going to respond to your reviews backwards, sorry about not doing so sooner, I was on vacation :)

Anyways. I'm glad that you're starting to trust Simon and Corinne more. It's reasonable not to trust them early on, but there is more and more showing that they want to do the right thing.

I'm glad that the introduction of the Longbottoms worked for you, too. They're interesting characters to write.

And that argument is interesting, isn't it? I won't say, obviously, who the woman mentioned is. But it certainly is supposed to be ambiguous at this point...

Thanks again for all these lovely reviews Charlotte!! I'm so glad that you're enjoying the story, and once again, sorry for not responding sooner!

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Review #32, by maskedmuggle Chapter 4

14th July 2012:
It feels like the point of no return. Definitely another intriguing chapter. Again, I can't shake the feeling that I have misgivings about Simon and Corinne. But I am slowly starting to believe their story. It's weird that Corinne is giving Elena such tough tests, especially that veritaserum test, but I can understand the possible reasoning behind it.

It was also tough seeing Elena farewelling her family. It made the situation feel even more serious and I really got the sense that something bad is going to happen soon in the future. I'm quite liking Elena - she's not your typical character, but she's strong and determined. Well-written :), and on to the next I go~

- Charlotte

Author's Response: Hi Charlotte!

I can see why you wouldn't want to trust Simon and Corinne. However, they also don't trust Elena, hence the testing. They're taking a risk by letting her know, and they need to make sure she's not a liability or something.

I'm glad that you liked the farewell scene though. you're right that is a serious time, and that there is potential for danger coming up.

Thanks again for the review! And I'll go off to respond to the next one. :D

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Review #33, by maskedmuggle Chapter 3

13th July 2012:
Hey Haley!

Okay, now I'm getting extremely mixed vibes from Simon and Corinne. Seriously, they seem just like the bad evil team: kinda kidnapping Elena, knocking her unconscious, taking her wand away, Corinne playing with her, not answering her questions, impersonating the Minister.. It's surprising Elena thinks they might be Aurors, because I would be extremely doubtful of Aurors who would treat a random healer like they treated Elena. The last chapter hinted that Simon/Corinne really needed something desperately from the Minister, like the evil guys need the bomb codes to destroy the world. It's all very curious - curiouser and curiouser! (That Alice in Wonderland drink me potion was a nice idea, though if I was Elena I probably would have been much more hesitant to drink it).

It's interesting that Elena has the chance to leave but doesn't. As curious as I would be, I'd run away and straight to the authorities :P (but that's assuming they are the bad guys). Anyway, it's also very surprising that Simon and Corinne need Elena's help to find out who killed the Minister. The story they told Elena was also kinda fishy: how the Minister went inside his house and came out bleeding.. but I guess I'll find out more. So yeah, I have tons of questions, and I guess the only way to find out the answers is to read on! So I really did enjoy this chapter, the writing was great! :D

- Charlotte

Author's Response: Hi Charlotte!

I do see your point about Elena perhaps being too trusting. However it's maybe easier for her to trust them, than to imagine some huge conspiracy that she is somehow enabling. They're giving her a story--that they're doing the right thing--and so, perhaps to assuage guilt about being with the Minister as he died, she believes it. Anyways, that's a bit of how I imagine it going, for Elena.

As for why Simon and Corinne need her help, I don't think explaining it a bit spoils much. So, basically, they're scared as well, even if they don't show it. And Elena already knows about it, so they don't have to risk telling someone who might leak the news to the world. But anyways, that's clarified soon, I hope.

I'm glad that overall you did like this though :)
Thanks for coming to read and review!


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Review #34, by maskedmuggle Chapter 2

12th July 2012:
This was brilliant Haley! I read the first chapter of this ages and ages ago and I'm finally here to check out the rest of the story. I absolutely love this chapter - so much drama and intensity and questions! I love Elena Wood here - you've characterised her really well and made her into a unique character.

Your writing is fantastic - I was engaged right from the start, and definitely could not draw my eyes away from when she was trying to heal the Minister! The desperation and experience she had both came through. It's just such an intriguing plot and I really cannot wait to find out more. That man/Simon seems an awful lot like the evil guy to me. I can't wait to find out if I'm right or terribly wrong. Where is Elena going? What happened to the Minister? Definitely onto the next chapter! I really liked this! :)

- MM

Author's Response: Thanks for the review Charlotte!

I'm so glad that you started to read again :) It's nice to hear that you like Elena as an OC as well. She's a character I've grown attached to throughout this story.

Thank you for that -blushes- This chapter is definitely full of action. And a pretty big change from the pacing of the first one. I'm glad that you think this sets up a lot of questions: that's exactly what I wanted to happen!

Thanks again for coming to review! :)

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Review #35, by DracoFerret11 Chapter 17

11th July 2012:
You know who it is. ;]

Plot: I have to start here before my excitement wears off. :D OH MY GOSH I WAS JUMPING UP AND DOWN ON MY BED WHILE I READ THIS! My sister was in the room and she thought I'd lost my mind. :] This chapter so was exciting! So much happened! Of course, the part that made me jump around like a crazy person was the suspenseful moments before Elena escaped the cottage and Rabastan. I was going crazy, really. Absolutely wonderfully done. So...what else? I liked the glimpse we got into Corinne's past, and I loved that Elena wouldn't give up on learning the truth from Simon. Their relationship makes me ridiculously happy, though. :D

Characterization: Okay! We have Corinne, the model Auror. She did everything right in this chapter, except sending Elena back to the cottage alone. I was really surprised she didn't do more to check for Rabastan before they left the cottage. I wonder how he disillusioned himself without a wand...hmm. And Simon! I love Simon, have I mentioned that? I really do. I like seeing him in his more vulnerable moments. It's like a glimpse behind a mask. I like it. :] And then Elena, the most wonderful OC in the history of OCs ever. She's terrific. I really think you're writing her beautifully.

Descriptions: This chapter had so much happening. Your details are perfection throughout it all. I loved the mention of how the screams sounded in the night. It was chilling even for me. And then the details in the emotions that you write about! Wow! Really. I know I compliment this story a lot, but your emotions throughout this come through crystal clear and I really do find that impressive. I love when Elena's feelings come through. Her feelings during Rabastan's interrogation were great. And the adrenaline during her fight with him! I freaked out, really!

Interactions: I adored the conversation between Elena and Corinne about Christian. What a great peek into Corinne's past. And I liked that bit of mystery you added when Corinne wouldn't talk about how she and Simon met. And I love all the Simon/Elena moments. Her ability to hold out and still want to know why he turned her in is wonderfully admirable. I love it.

Your style is absolutely gorgeous. This is by far one of the best stories that I've read on the archives here. Keep up the spectacular work. This chapter earns one of my terribly rare 10/10s. :D


Author's Response: Hi Emily!

Haha I'm so glad you thought this chapter was that exciting. I'm smiling just reading this review :) Definitely a bit of a chapter that has moods that jump around. From the more serious conversations to the action at the end :D Also, I'm glad you approve of Simon and Elena, haha.

Hmm, good questions. Corinne perhaps, is such the model Auror that she trusts herself too much. She freaks out when she thinks she's failed and that makes her careless. She gets worried because she thinks Rabastan can fool her, which is pretty difficult, but in reality, he's pulled a pretty simple trick, though how he did it is a bit mysterious ;)

Thanks for the compliments on the characters. I don't know how to address them other than a big general thank you! I'm so glad you like them all.

I'm glad that you thought the emotions worked in this chapter. I always find emotions interesting to try to capture in writing, since they contribute so much to the mood. And I think that thinking about emotions can be fascinating as well.

Yep, there was definitely a bit more about who Corinne was in this chapter. Her backstory is quite interesting to me. I've been considering a one-shot or short story about her life before this, because her character is so fun to write.

I know that my review responses are not the most creative things in the world and tend to ramble, but I hope you realize how much I appreciate your reviews. You've gone and reviewed so much of this story and it's wonderful to hear what you've had to say about everything! I appreciate the time that you take to read and review. And I'm always so glad to see a new, lovely review from you. It's really wonderful (and inspiring) to hear that you enjoy the story so much! And I'm sorry I've been being slack about responding to your reviews, it's not that I don't see them, I just have gotten caught up in RL stuff. But now I've responded to them all :)


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Review #36, by Aiedail Chapter 19

10th July 2012:
NOOO SIMONNN!! (And with that, I have arrived with your requested review ;) )

Wow, this was a very packed chapter! At points it was hard to figure out what was happening: specifically, when Moody comes and what their exact task is. I thought you did a good job using Elena's questions as a way to tell us as readers what is happening. Without her thinking through things for a lot of this, I'm not sure I'd know what was happening. It's remarkable for as much as she feels she doesn't know what is happening how involved she is and how she actually is good at conveying what's going on.

As always I am struck by your imagery: it relays so much of the atmosphere and provides a stable background for the craziness that's happening. I'm a bit amazed that this is now both a relationship story--Simon is strange and inconsistent but v. cute anyway, and then there's all this crazy stuff happening with Dark magic.

You asked if I was confused about anything: what I'm hoping now is that someone does explain why it's now in particular they're going after these people. Is it because in the wake of the Minister's death they now have evidence to put them in jail or something else? Other than that I can't think of anything that doesn't make sense. You're doing a really good job with this complex plot, and as for the rate that you're giving out information, I think it's a good balance of romancey feels and down-to-business, so that's good.

Still needs to be answered obviously is WHAT HAPPENED TO SIMON OMG. I will try my best to come back and review this next chapter soon!


Author's Response: Hi Lily!

Sorry I didn't respond to the this sooner (hides).

Anyways this chapter was pretty packed. I'm sorry if that did make a few things murky. I will try to clarify things, such as what Simon and Elena's job was. (They're tracking down a lead to the last known whereabouts of a death eater). That's an interesting point you make. I'm not sure if that means that my writing needs work, cause my MC is saying that she doesn't get what's happening but does... Or maybe it's just because Elena doesn't give herself enough credit. Or because she doesn't have the time to think through things like the reader does, and can't get a look at the big picture as much. Something for me to think about, I guess...

I'm glad that the imagery helps keeps things together. At least something does :P I know that things did get maybe a bit confusing in this chapter. Some of that was intentional, to an extent-- Elena's confusion is why the reader is confused.

Is your amazement about there being some romance good or bad? Is it more that you're surprised that there's romance, even in the middle of the action? Or is is more like that it doesn't fit? (Though maybe judging from the start and end of the review, it's both?) I"m just wildly speculating.

Anyways. What you mentioned last will be explained. I think there was a paragraph about how Elena was a bit mystified about that same thing. But yes, now it's like it's worth the danger to go after them. And of course, there is more solid evidence. Before, it would have been too risky to go after people who you might not even be able to catch or convict. And the ministry was trying to pretend that there was no more dangerous people out there, because telling the public that they couldn't find them would cause panic. But yeah, I can clarify that in the story xD

Thanks so much for the review! It's nice to hear that in the midst of all this confusion there is some sense to the plot. Hopefully. And that very pressing question will be answered, no worries. :D

It's great hear from you again!

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Review #37, by DracoFerret11 Chapter 16

9th July 2012:
Hi again. :] I was too excited to see what happened next, so I'm read this chapter quite soon after my last review.

Characterization: Okay! We have Elena, Alice, and Simon really in this chapter. Let's start with Alice to switch things up a bit. I really liked her! I couldn't believe she'd left the house, though, without knowing if Neville was okay or not...I don't know if any mother would really have left. :/ Let's see...I'm still fond of Simon, though I'm definitely on Elena's side in this particular argument. I can't wait to hear his explanation. As for Elena--she's awesome. Best OC ever. Love her to death. Loved when she was panicking during the fight scene. Very realistic.

Descriptions: I think this chapter was gorgeous in the way of descriptions. I could definitely see and feel everything that was going on. Your details when Elena felt that she was going to die were absolutely moving. I thought they were perfect. Your style really lends itself to this story. You're doing exceptionally well. I'm telling you--this story has a Dobby nomination from me this year. :D

Emotions: Again, beautiful. I loved how realistic everything was in this chapter. The panic and fear during the fight, Elena's anger with Simon, her avoidance of just "making up" with him, etc. All of it was pure perfection. It's exactly how I think people would act if faced with these situations. Wonderful job.

Plot: This chapter was great! I was so worried when Bellatrix showed up. With Alice and Frank in this story, my brain keeps going, "THEY'RE GOING TO BE TORTURED INTO INSANITY ANY DAY NOW! DON'T GET ATTACHED!" So, when Bella was in this chapter, I panicked. LUCKILY, it wasn't what I'd expected. It was very dramatic, though. I liked it a lot. I still don't know if Alice would have left without knowing if Neville was safe, though. That's the only part I was unsure of. I loved how comforting Frank was when they reached the "cottage" though. And I LOVED how Elena reacted towards seeing Simon again. And now Rabastan's stuck his nose into this story! I can't wait to see what he's up to. Oh dear.

TERRIFIC job with this chapter. I can't wait to read more. You're doing absolutely wonderfully.


Author's Response: Hi!

I do see your point about Alice not leaving if she thought her son were inside. That is valid, certainly, and perhaps I didn't show the situation as dire enough. In my head, they're very close to dying, and would, if they hadn't left when they did. Alice perhaps is thinking in terms of living so that she can find her son. But again, I can see where that is a bit strange...

Yes, Elena really does deserve an explanation. Which is coming. Promise. And I'm so glad that you like her as a character! She's definitely one of my favorite main characters that I've written.

Thanks so much for all of this! -blushes- It's so, so wonderful to hear how much you like my story. I can't even express it in words. I think that in this review, you describe this chapter exactly how I would want the chapter, and my writing style in it to be described--you really got it.

As you said about the plot, a tons of things do happen in this chapter. Which raises some questions. A bit more on Rabastan's role and Simon's explanation will be coming up!

Again, thank you so very much! I feel bad about not responding to this review sooner, since it is so lovely and I was so happy to find it posted. (But I was at the beach, so forgive me, perhaps?)


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Review #38, by DracoFerret11 Chapter 15

8th July 2012:
Hello there! It's me again, of course. :D With more useless commentary about how great you are...

Characterization: Wow! I couldn't believe how crazy things got in this chapter. It was overwhelming! Corinne KILLED that guy! I couldn't believe no one stopped her on the way out. It was so shocking that she would do something like that. And poor Elena! I felt so awful for everything she had to go through...but her mother! Hmmm. I'm suspicious of her. I can't help but be, after everything that's happened.

Descriptions: This chapter was so action-packed and dramatic. I really think you hit the nail on the head with your descriptions of the interrogators and of Elena's emotions. I could really feel the stress and fear that she was having to deal with. Wow.

Plot: This chapter was so insane! I was shocked. I'm really glad Elena wasn't tortured, but Corinne KILLED THAT GUY! She just...killed him! WHOA. What the heck! Wow...it was insane. But I liked it, of course. I'm wondering if Elena's message will reach Corinne, or if the Ministry overheard her talking with her mom. Probably the latter, sadly.

Interactions: I felt bad for Elena during her conversation with her mom. It was odd watching her flip-flop between wanting to talk to her mother and wanting to be left alone. I think you portrayed those two feelings really well though. They made a lot of sense to me.

Gorgeously written, as always. Keep up the spectacular work and I'll read more ASAP!


Author's Response: Hi Emily!

Things definitely did get crazy this chapter. What happened was certainly meant to be shocking and disorienting...Just when you thought you knew what was going on...haha.

Anyways, I did try to tailor the writing style of this chapter to show what Elena was feeling, and hearing and seeing. There weren't little details around that she didn't notice in the situation at hand. Perhaps that helps with the mood.

As for why Corinne killed the man (though I realize now you didn't ask that) it will be explained, and soon. Elena's not one to stand for Corinne avoiding questions about something like that.

Elena and her mother were hard to write. Because Elena is feeling so many things. She first, feels still betrayed by Simon. And then there's the sort of shock from what Corinne did. Then, there's relief at seeing her mother, and not being interrogated. But there's also guilt, because her brother is dead and her mother doesn't know, and Elena hasn't been in contact with her family. And to top that all off, Elena doesn't even know if she can trust her mother with the truth. So yeah, she's has a lot to think about during that conversation, haha.

Anyways, thanks again for the review! Sorry I've gotten lazy about responding! I'm trying to catch up now. :)

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Review #39, by DarkLadyofSlytherin Chapter 1

30th June 2012:
Hey there, Len here from the TGS review exchange.

Let me first start off by saying you started this chapter of with a bang! It was an excellent way to grab the reader's attention from the get go. However, I feel that it was slightly disappointing as I continued to read the chapter, because I was expecting much more action that never seemed to come. Granted, I found the scene between Ollie and Elena to be quite cute. And this chapter was an excellent way of introducing your main character. I just wish that the bang that started this chapter off was carried through to the end of it.

Your synopsis screams of this murder mystery, and most certainly grabs the readers attention, making them open the first chapter. It would have been excellent to see that here, to begin with such a punch that you could not help but continue to read.

The writing is excellent and the characters are interesting. But I feel that the chapter ended on a low note.

Author's Response: Hi Len!

Thank you for the review and I'm sorry I didn't respond sooner!

I do see your point about the beginning being a bit of a let down. I think that this chapter was more about introducing Elena to the readers, as you said. And there is certainly tons more action in the next chapter, to make up for the lack of it so far. But thanks for saying that.

Your point about the summary is a good one. Perhaps having switching the first and second chapters wouldn't be a bad idea, to make the 1st chapter a flashback, of sorts. That would help with the momentum.

Again, thank you for the input, I appreciate it! I will definitely think about what you said, in terms of minor and major edits to this story.

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Review #40, by long_live_luna_bellatrix Chapter 19

29th June 2012:
Wow. This is a really, really impressive story, and I don't need to have read the previous eighteen chapters to recognize that here (though that may have helped). You've got a well-written, well-paced chapter here, no messing around with flowery description while you've got a plot that's taking off. I love the way the suspense grew from the beginning, growing larger as I waited for something to happen in the Tawny Owl. You didn't even limit the action to that one room, but kept it going as they jumped out, and were trapped under the table. All that flowed extremely well.

You did a great job with Moody's character, too. He was just like the Moody we all know and love from the books, scarred and blunt and constantly vigilant. It was good to see a familiar face in there.

I also liked the nuances of Simon and Elena's relationship. From this chapter, I can imagine a boatload of possible situations they went through prior to this, enough to understand Elena's pain at the end. It was interesting to watch Simon's tendency to improvise, paired with the more nervous Elena, and the way she acted around him in general.

I was surprised that such an anxious person as Elena would be involved in such a serious endeavor. Sure, I don't have the whole story, so I'm not too worried, and I understand that not only brave people were against the Death Eaters. But I did notice that, twenty chapters in, Elena was still looking like a rookie on the job and not one hundred percent confident about it. Just an observation, do with it what you will; this is, after all, the first chapter I've read.

Really, not much more I can comment on/compliment/critcize here. I was most impressed with the way you continued to up the pace throughout the chapter, really giving it an intense feel throughout. Despite jumping into this so far in, I still enjoyed the chapter and had no issues with understand. Well done.

Author's Response: Hello! (I am so sorry that I didn't respond to this sooner!)

Thank you for leaving a review without having read the whole story. I realize that asking you to do that might not have been fair at all.

This chapter is definitely less descriptive because things are getting more action-y. I'm glad that the pacing worked here, for you.

Yes, you're right in picking up that Simon and Elena's relationship is complicated (it absolutely is). And Simon does improvise a lot, which makes sense because he is the Auror while Elena doesn't still have the same training that he does. I think in this case, Elena's anxiety is a bit of an anomaly, and reading earlier chapters would show that she is thrown into this. But I certainly am not blaming you for not knowing.

Thanks again for the review! I appreciate it and your willingness to just jump in and critique this chapter without the context of everything else.

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Review #41, by classicblack Chapter 20

25th June 2012:
Hey there! It's Ali with your review!

I have to say, the ending to this chapter was truly powerful. Really, it was fantastic. Moody coming in through the door and performing the Killing Curse- wow.

It was a bit confusing for me, though. It took me several reads to get it all down. Moody entered from the front door/ entrance from where he had been fighting and the attacking door was the back door that Frank and Alice had put protective spells on, right? It was just a lot to take in.

However, I did like how Elena felt bad for making Alice and Frank leave Neville. It was a nice (well, in a writing sense, not a 'that's good' sense) hint to the future when Bellatrix drives Frank and Alice mad and Neville really does lose his parents in all but the physical form.

Simon and his insistence at being distant wasn't something I liked much. Everytime he and Elena get close it seems the next chapter they're fighting because Simon is being sulky and Elena is faking being mad at him. It just wasn't realistic. It feels like Elena just needs to stop giving him second chances. I feel like I'm always criticizing how you handle Simon and Elena's relationship and I'd like to apology if you feel I'm being rude about it.

I did like how you constantly refer to Bellatrix. You're setting up her character perfectly without actually having her in the scene.

I really enjoyed how much action you've been adding lately and how it's really picking up the pace.

Congratulations on becoming a trusted author! Wonderful chapter and great story. It's been a pleasure reviewing.
Happy writing,
classicblack from the forums

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Review #42, by classicblack Chapter 19

25th June 2012:
Hi it's Ali with your review!

Personally, this was my favourite chapter so far. It really got down to the core of a reader.

I thought it was really good how this chapter really focused on one event. It makes it a faster and more interesting read because it gives the reader an opportunity to really get into the moment of what's happening.

I liked that Elena seems to be maturing and growing wiser. She knows when it is time to run, when it's time to listen to her instincts, and when it's time to listen to her superiors.

I enjoyed reading your description of Moody's character. I think you handled his paranoia just right without writing him as crazily as Jo did in her books.

The Death Eaters were a nice touch. It really added the aciton I've been craving.

Towards the end of the chapter, I really think you finally got comfortable with writing Simon and Elena's relationship. It was something that, I felt, you had been struggling with just a bit in past chapters. It really felt believable to me. However, right at the beginning when they apparated to the pub and began investigating (with the kissing and the romantacisms) felt a bit awkward. Perhaps it's because I'm not used to reading Simon as a mushy sort of person, but his actions just didn't sit well with me. Elena, I feel like she's becoming a mushy girl in love (at the beginning, not the end). I'd like to hear your thought process on their actions.

Overall, I thought it was a a phenomonal chapter. Really great job!
Happy writing,
classicblack from the forums

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Review #43, by classicblack Chapter 18

25th June 2012:
Hi it's Ali with your review!

This chapter really was, I think, one of the most important so far. You really handled all the information that you had to portray well.

I love how slow Simon and Elena's relationship has been, but I like that it's really picking up speed now. It is not longer awkward, haha. I thought it was really clever and dynamic of you to have Simon reveal his past relationship with Lara and have Elena and Simon really sort of officially become a couple in one chapter. You also managed to sort of foreshadow (I think) to events in the future as to how Death Eaters are going to treat Elena because of her connection with Simon. And also how the battle is going to go.

At first, having Elena just run in a tell her parents about Oliver seemed to just be thrown in there, but I think with the impending danger that you have set up with the fight, it was actually fine. I thought you did a great job of handling the emotions of that situation. It wasn't confusing or over-emotional. You got Elena in and then you go her out. I would like to see some follow-up on how Marianne takes it, how Ollie takes it, and how her parents are feeling.

I think it's smart to bring in Moody at this point. I think bringing in another canon really helps the story feel more like this is what actually could have happened after Voldemort was defeated the first time. It also helps keep me interested, because I'm curious to know how you're going to write Moody and also because he's familiar. Be careful with Moody, though. He shouldn't be as crazy as he is when Harry meets him.

I do like the pace that you have this story at, but I'm looking forward to the action scenes that are sure to happen in chapters in the near future. You did a good job of showing that the characters are planning, but some action is needed because, especially in this kind of story, fight scenes are extremely important to the plot. Readers don't want to sit and read conversations all day.

I was at first a little apprehensive when I read that Elena might be in love with Simon, but you saved it when you had her think how it was premature. However, be sure to avoid having Elena just completely fall into Simon's arms, so to speak. Keeping up Elena's strong character and her growing sense of independence really needs to be evident, especially as the story continues.

Fantastic chapter! Really, there wasn't anything wrong with it.
Happy writing,
classicblack from the forums

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Review #44, by DracoFerret11 Chapter 14

24th June 2012:
Hey, it's me again!

Characterization: Okay! We have Elena majorly in this chapter. And, as always, I love her. I like that you didn't make her all "battle-apt." It's always refreshing to see someone freeze in the face of danger. She's NOT an Auror, after all. And then we have Simon! WHO I AM SO MAD AT. He really told Dawlish? REALLY? I'm so angry with him! But, I do like his characterization. ;]

Descriptions: This chapter was perfect in the way of details. It had everything that I wanted to know spelled out for me. I definitely felt like I was there. It was great. You just brought me right into the story. Yay! :D

Emotions: Aw, Elena! She's dealing with so much with the loss of her brother, and then this happens! I felt terrible for her. She just keeps suffering blow after blow...And you're really showing that by explaining how she feels. It's beautiful.

Plot: I LOVED the memories! I really think they added to the mystery, which seems essential all the time. And then Corinne's sudden arrival! Awesome! And then that battle! OH MY. :O I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. AND THEY KISSED! THEY KISSED, THEY KISSED, THEY KISSED! I never thought it would happen so suddenly! It was great! And I don't think Elena should doubt his feelings, even though Simon just totally got her screwed over...I'm so worried for what the Aurors will ask her! What if they wipe her memory? AH! :O

Interactions: I was shocked that Corinne brought Elena along to join the battle...wow. But then the moment between Simon and Elena (before it got horribly, terribly crushed) was wonderful. I've been waiting the whole story for that. ;]

This chapter was absolutely awesome. I was excited the whole time. You have such a terrific story. I love it. :]


Author's Response: Hi Emily!

Definitely Elena is not an Auror and really doesn't quite know what to do with herself. She can be brave (emotionally, and otherwise) without being able to fight in a duel.

And you're totally allowed to be mad at Simon ;)

The memories certainly give them more information, and yet still open another box full of questions. Mysteries which they promptly forget about to go off and fight, haha.

And yes, they kissed :D Probably the reason it happened was because it was so sudden--neither of them had time to think.

As for what will happen to Elena, you'll have to read on. But things aren't looking so good for her at the moment. You shall see ;)

I can tell from your review that you were excited when writing it :D Which is great. Definitely, the end of the chapter was quite the whirlwind. It went from one unexpected thing, to a totally opposite, equally unexpected thing. Yay for crazy plot twists ;)

Anyways, I'm so glad you enjoyed this chapter! As always, I love getting reviews from you ♥ And I'm very interested to see what you have to say about the next chapter...

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Review #45, by Phoenix_Flames Chapter 9

24th June 2012:
Hello there, hun! Long time no review! :) I can't BELIEVE how behind I have gotten on this story! It's absolutely crazy, so I'm glad you pulled me back in. I had to quickly skim the more recent chapters I last read to remind myself of where I left off, but I quickly fell back into the groove of it all.

Ah! What a great chapter! I forgot how much I love your characters. I think Elena and Simon are just brilliant, and I know I've said that in the past, but I could just go on and on about them. Such originality! I have to say one of the greatest OCs I think have been written on the site.

The dialogue was superb in this chapter. Even with all the characters in there, I could still feel their personality in each character with the dialogue. And it wasn't just fillers or pointless dialogue. It was all necessary, and it stayed in character with the speaker.

I loved the scene at the cafe. I thought it was written beautifully, and your descriptions in that area really stood out more to me. The setting at the cafe, how things were going, how Elena felt, what she noticed about Frank trying to flirt with the waiter. Hilarious and awesome! It's things like this that I love that make a piece stand out to me with the writer's talent and the originality of the piece.

And the conversation with Frank and Elena at the cafe was a little chilling for me. Not because of what was happening, but because I realized what must be around the corner sometime soon and it made me worry. Ahh. Poor Frank and Alice!

All in all, great chapter! And I'm going to wrap it up because I could go on and on about how much I loved it. So I'll cut it off here and jump to the next chapter!

Again, thanks for pulling me back in! You're great! :)

Author's Response: Hi!

I'm glad that you're still interested in reading :)

And thank you! It's great to hear that you appreciate the characters.

The cafe scene was fun to write. Parts of it were lighter, which is a nice break, hopefully, from some of the disagreements and dangerous situations. Though there is of course, that hint of not being totally safe, as well as some foreshadowing, perhaps. :)

Anyways, thanks so much for the lovely review! It was great to hear from you again!

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Review #46, by classicblack Chapter 17

23rd June 2012:
Hello, it's Ali with your review.

I have to admit the beginning of the chapter was a bit confusing for me. It was just difficult to just jump into the conversation. Actually, perhaps not confusing, persay, but it didn't really flow well from the last chapter. It would have been fine if both events (the end of the last chapter and the beginning of this one) were in the same chapter, but the conversation as an opening to this chapter? It didn't really flow well for me.

I liked the unspoken ultimatum that Elena gave Simon. She wants answers and by George, she's going to get them. Not to tell you how to write your characters, but it would feel more natural if she didn't forgive him right away, or at least before he answers her question. Elena seems the character to hold a grudge.

I did very much enjoy the fight between Lestrange and Elena. It really pushed the pace of the chapter and truly felt like Elena's "coming of age" moment, for lack of a better word. It was truly when she proved herself in a fight, even if she did run away.

Also, I forgot to mention, the changing of the moods during the conversation in the beginning felt a little unnatural. I did, however, like how you indirectly described how Corrine "tortured" Lestrange.

However, it felt as if Corrine wouldn't be so careless as to assume that Lestrange had simply left. The fact that he could have been hiding in the cottage seemed like it would have been obvious to most, even if they didn't have Corrine's observance skills. I did like that Corrine is opening up to Elena more. It takes a true writer to be able to develop relationships that slowly.

Overall, it was a very well done chapter. It was a pleasure reading/ reviewing your story. Feel free to rerequest.
Happy writing,
classicblack from the forums

Author's Response: Hello Ali!

You make a good point. I think the danger with a serialized story is that there can be some jumps, because I don't exactly write the story all in one piece. And then readers will go and read the story all the way through. I don't know how to show that time has jumped though, because I'm also not trying to give every possible detail of what happens.

Elena would hold a grudge, I think, but with Simon, I don't think she wants to believe that he's wronged her. Because she has feelings for him, and because she's changed her whole life to match that of his and Corinne's. Admitting that he had betrayed her would be painful and it's easier to forgive, as long as she gets answers in the end...

Corinne, I think, wanted to warn Simon and Elena, in case Lestrange had left. While it may seem obvious that he had simply stayed hidden, I think that Corinne is so confident of her own abilities that she wouldn't think that she could have missed something, which is a mistake on her part.

Again, it's been great to read these reviews you've left. You often make very valid points about the story and have left me with things to think about, so that I can improve the story. Thank you for that! I will definitely rerequest if I get the chance! And once again, I appreciate your help!

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Review #47, by classicblack Chapter 16

23rd June 2012:
Hi it's Ali with your review!

I'll start out first with the revelation at the end of the chapter. I'm very impressed how all the hints that you've been leaving about Ethan's true character are all coming together. He's a Lestrange and a Death Eater! It makes me wonder now if he was using Polyjuice Potion or if the Aurors just didn't realise that he was a Lestrange. Well done!

I hope that you are going to explain why Elena was let go in future chapters. Otherwise, I can't say I liked the sudden release by Alice in the beginning, simply because it would just be a bit random.

I really liked the foreshadowing you add everytime you mention Albania. Especially now that you've mentioned Ravenclaw's relic, hinting at Voldemort's Horcruxes. Well done! It's nice to read about characters who have all the information to figure it out, but can't.

This line: "'Now!' Elena insisted, dragging Alice back again as more beasts lunged from the flames. 'Take us there NOW!'" Was rather confusing. I realise that it was a reference to Alice taking Elena to the safe house/ cottage, but this wasn't really referred to before that. I had assumed that the Longbottom household was to be the new headquarters of the Simon/Corrine/Elena/Longbottom Mystery-Solvers. I was confused about where Alice was supposed to take Elena, as there hadn't been any reference. Perhaps you should have Alice saying that this isn't their final stop, or have Elena say where Alice needs to take them.

However, I did like the inner-monologue that Elena had while she was fighting the Death Eater and that Alice's fight with Bellatrix sets her up for the torture she will soon go through.

Simon and Elena's relationship seems a bit awkward at the moment. And I don't mean just because of their history, but it was a bit awkwardly written, as if you just shoved some of that romance in after you'd written the main plot.

Overall, though, nicely done chapter.
Happy writing,
classicblack from the forums

Author's Response: Hi Ali!

Things will definitely be explained! I don't want everything to seem random. Though remember that Alice, as an Auror and (in most people's minds) the Minister's daughter, has a lot of power.

I will try to clear up what Elena says and add in a line about Alice just stopping by her house first. Or something. :)

Hmm, well I didn't add romance after the fact to the story, but I will try to improve it. It isn't central to the plot, and perhaps it's hard to balance that. I think it's a thing neither of them are entirely sure about, so maybe that's why it feels off? Or what might not be what you meant at all...

Anyways, thanks very much for your review. I appreciate your honesty and how carefully you read through each chapter. It's very helpful to me. And as before, I will try and improve on the things you mentioned! Thank you :)

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Review #48, by DracoFerret11 Chapter 13

23rd June 2012:
Hello there! It's me, of course.

Continuity: Only issue that I caught with the plot--when Simon and Elena go into the memory, Simon indicates that they should be quiet, but there's no reason for that since no one can see or hear them.

Characterization: Okay! I really love how you portrayed Elena in this. It makes so much sense for her to be so hurt. I loved that you showed that and that you didn't make her weak because of it. And I REALLY liked Corinne! I think you got her personality to shine through, even though she wasn't a major part of the chapter. I loved her snide comments. They were great. And, of course, our dear Simon. He's so sweet. He's just trying to help, even though he's not too positive how to.

Descriptions: I think you did a beautiful job with many of the descriptions in this chapter. I really loved the lines, "She felt beyond exhausted, unable to even move. Her brother was dead, her breath told her. Oliver was gone, repeated her heartbeat." Those were wonderful. They brought me into the story so well.

Emotions: Ahh, so much sadness! I really felt bad for Elena in this chapter. She was trying so hard to stay positive about her brother...and now he's dead. :/ It was heartbreaking. And Simon's worry for her was so sweet. He's great. I love him.

Plot: I liked that Simon tried to distract Elena with fighting practice. It was a little abrupt, but it didn't kill the story. And I liked the memory scene--ESPECIALLY THE HUGGING PART. :D Love the Elena/Simon relationship that's evolving. Great job.

Interactions: Really loved the argument between Corinne and Simon at the beginning. I like seeing their personalities clash. Only thing I wasn't so sure about--Elena was so mad at Simon, but she got over it so quickly? Huh. :P

You're doing wonderfully, as you know from my ten-million compliments. I'll read more soon!


Author's Response: Hi Emily!

Sorry about not responding sooner.

And yes, you are totally right about that. They couldn't be heard by anyone. I think that maybe, I meant that they should be quiet so that they could hear whatever was going on, but I will make some edits so that that is clear (cause it's not clear at all right now). Thanks for pointing that out :)

I'm glad that you thought Elena's reaction worked. I remember I had a fair amount of difficulty making this work, because there were so many different reactions Elena (and Simon and Corinne) could have. It would have been easy to make it over dramatic, or have Elena not feel sad enough. But anyways, I have to say, I liked how Corinne acts in this chapter too, haha. ;) I don't normally say that, cause I know it can sound conceited, but even though she's being sort of terrible and not very sensitive to the situation, the scene with Corinne was very fun to write. :D

Simon really is trying. He does feel partly responsible, for telling her. And is certainly conflicted. Because she did have the right to know, but now she's miserable. And he feels guilty about all of it. Poor guy. I'm glad you thought his attempts to distract Elena worked. :)

I see your point about Elena getting over her anger towards Simon quickly. Maybe that should be explained better, but how I was thinking about it was that her anger was more her way of not totally breaking down due to grief. Simon didn't kill her brother, but he was the only one around whom she could pin any blame onto, at the time. And once she had had some time, she knew that she was being unfair, in the heat of the moment. Yes, he didn't tell her, but honestly, neither did Frank (who implied that he knew as well). So. I realize that explanation got rather long. But hopefully you see what I mean?

Once again, thanks so much for the review! I've already said a million times how wonderful they are, and how happy I am to see reviews from you. But there, I said it again :D

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Review #49, by classicblack Chapter 15

22nd June 2012:
Hey there! It's Ali from the forums with your review.

So, because you said that it was more the later chapters that you needed reviewing on, I decided to just scan/ read chapters 1-14 so that I could get a general gist of the story. I also have advice on those chapters, along with this one.

Okay, the previous chapters: First, the line at the beginning that mentioned the times before Voldemort was killed by Harry Potter confused me a bit. For some reason, it made me think that it was after the Battle of Hogwarts and thus I was confused as to why Alice and Frank were still sane and why Voldemort had been defeated in October. However, I eventually realised the truth. You might want to clear that up, though, in case other readers have the same problem.

Next, the starting chapters are a bit slow. The story was difficult to get really into starting out at the gate. Although the chapters (I'm thinking maybe ch. 1-5), were interesting and well-written, they didn't really pull me into the story. The flow/ pace has definitely gotten better as the story has progressed, though, so I give you points for fixing that as you went along.

This is a really creative idea. I've never read a story that had only OCs as the main characters, instead of at least one being a big canon. It definitely helped keep me interested and the 'fighting behind closed doors' feel that you give is very original. Nice one!

Your grammar and conventions are fantastic. Really, no complaints there. It's clear you really put effort into editing, which I like in an author.

I liked the hints to canon that you have with Ollie Wood. Am I correct in assuming that he will eventually become the Quidditch Captain Oliver Wood we all know and love? The age would be right.

The first real action scene in chapter ten really helped speed up the story and bring in interest. You've been adding more as the story as progressed, which is nice because it helps the reader stay interested and moves the plot along.

I thought the addition of the memories in chapter 13 was very good. It really dropped some hints about where the plot is going.

I also like the slowness of the development of Simon and Elena's relationship. It makes the story more about espionage and danger than romance, which truly shows that you have a focus on your plot.

However, there is something that I think needs to be improved on: Elena's reactions in some situations. I know the author is always the one who knows his/her characters best, but I thought I'd tell you. Elena's reaction when she finds out her brother is dead in chapter 12 seemed a bit unfair and unrealistic. Unfair because blaming Simon didn't really seem like the thing to do. Unrealistic because it was just kind of over-the-top. I know that she'd upset because Oliver is probably dead and that Simon didn't tell her sooner, but it just felt a little... too much. It was rather confusing to read, too. I know that represents the confusion of Elena's mind at the time, but I still think it needs to be clear for the reader what's going on. I've never read such an in-depth emotional reaction from a character, so it could be either over-the-top or really good. It's all about perspective. This also goes with her reaction to being taken into questioning. To me, both reactions just felt a little unnatural.

Alright, I've finished with the other chapters, now on to this one.

Before I start getting into this chapter, I'd like to say that I think it was one of the most dynamic in the story so far. It really got down to my core and was quite well-written.

I very much liked the interesting twist that Elena's mother knew more than she was letting one and that the Ministry attempted to trick Elena into questioning her. It was quite dynamic.

Corrine killing the man at the beginning was quite sudden, but I didn't mind it much. On Corrine (I don't think I mentioned her character), I really like her and I think you've done a good job of getting her out of her shell and the stereotype you put in her in the beginning.

Simon, I'm not sure about his character. Right now, I feel like he's a bit under-developed, if you know what I mean. All I see him as is a man that's an Auror and in love with Elena. I'd like to see more of his development.

Now I'd like to applaud you on your ability to keep up the mystery element in your story. It's never taken me so long to come up with a solid guess of what the story is heading towards, but I finally got one a few chapters back. Does all the reference to Albania have to do with where Voldemort is? Did the Death Eaters go after the minister to get to Alice? Because Bellatrix and her cronies tortured Frank and Alice because they believed that they knew Voldemort's location.

Honestly, I think you've got a great story so far. You just have to work on pace/ flow (I feel like you get too far into the details going on in Elena's head and forget you have readers who, to be quite frank, don't really care about all the details that Elena is thinking) and characters' reactions. I'm stressing pace.

And now that I've used almost all the alloted characters in my longest review ever:
Happy writing,
classicblack from the forums

Author's Response: Hi! Thank you so much!

I will definitely try to clear up the beginning of the story, so that people understand the era.

Alright, thanks for saying that. Maybe I will have to look at making the first few chapters more intriguing, though I'm glad that you liked the premise of the story :)

Yes, Ollie is going to grow up to be the Quidditch Captain. :)

I hear what you're saying about Elena's reactions to her brother death and being questioned. I did purposefully make things confusing, or wrote in a different, barer style to show that Elena was not thinking like she normally would. It may have come off as over the top, at times, I'm not sure, but I do think that she is mad at Simon because he knew the whole time about her brother, and never told her.

I'm glad that you like Corinne's character and this chapter in general. Simon is more enigmatic, though there are things about him that will be explained soon, that should clear things up. Some of these things have been hinted at before, though I don't expect people to put them together until I give a few more details.

Well, it's good to hear that this story kept you guessing! I obviously won't tell you if you're completely right or wrong, but you are putting clues together and thinking in the way I wanted readers to think at this point.

I think that some of the earlier chapters need updates, because I realize that there are parts that are not needed. Hopefully that should help with pacing!

So, thank you so much for your help so far! I really appreciate you taking the time to read the earlier chapters and leave such a long and helpful review on this one. I will definitely take time to think about all the things you mentioned and try to make improvements! :)

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Review #50, by CloakAuror9 Chapter 6

22nd June 2012:
Hey there! So sorry for taking so long with review, my internet has been down for the past two weeks or so. Gosh, thankfully my cousin's internet is more stable than mine.

Anyway, I really enjoyed the way you put this chapter to be set on such a light mood despite what is happening around now.

I think Simone fairs better without stress on him. He has a really light air around him and he's got a great sense of humour too. Sometimes, I think Corinne puts pressure on the whole plotline and I take her seriousness as a double-edged sword; its good and bad. Needless to say, I'm interested in Simone's background. I want to know so much about him because I really don't fully trust him. In fact, I trust Corinne more than I do with Simone.

I come from the 'romance' genre of fanfiction, so I'm used to scanning over chapters for clues and hints about that pairing's possibility, and I do it automatically for most of the time. Vital is no exception, I'm still thinking its a Simone/Elena pairing and I like to stick to that idea, but I could be wrong because for all we know Simone and Corinne could've had some background when they were working together! Now that's something that will seriously be interesting.

Fantastic work so far! I really love the way you manage to balance out the lightness and darkness happening in the story. Its fantastic.

Great job,
Izzy xx

Author's Response: That's totally fine!

Yes,this chapter was definitely a break from action. And it was a way to show Simon as a different person, when he's not worried about murders and being attacked.

I think it's interesting that you trust Corinne more. Though I see why you say that. Corinne may be very serious and harsh, and is unkind at times, but at least she is consistent and honest. She won't lie to save anyone's feelings. And Simon is more mysterious.

Yes, there are several possibilities for pairings aren't there ;) I won't say anything now though about who, if anyone. That's why you have to keep reading! :P

Anyways, thanks for the review! And I'm glad you enjoyed this chapter. :)

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