Reading Reviews for Shadows in the Mirror
26 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Mrs. Claus Shadows in the Mirror

8th July 2015:
A little someone told me about you. You probably know what this month is. Now, my husband takes care of the real Christmas as everyone is aware, but for something to do, I've been charged with spreading the cheer in the newer tradition of Christmas in July!

My, for Christmas in July I do seem to be stumbling across some rather dark stories!!! I suppose it is a change from the normal candy canes and sugarplums we normally have in the North Pole, but I also mus say that it is darkly refreshing. I think I'll need some of those candy canes, though, to stop these shivers!!!

In no less and no more than words you've evoked quite the mystery for me! Who is this Dorkcus? Why is she locked in a small room with that horrible mirror? Who is that man who was coming for her, and why did she think she was about to be saved???

So many questions I would like answered. For all my powers, I can't seem to recall who this girl is. Without the proper description of her, she's hard to find information about. Alas, I don't have time to dig any deeper, for I must go to deliver more July cheer! Farewell, and I'll make sure to put in a good word to my husband for you.

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Review #2, by Roisin Shadows in the Mirror

11th June 2015:
Well crap. That was... Man. You make really good use here of the idea that a person's imagination is probably worse than anything that a writer can come up with. The mysterious mirror is made so much more chilling for never being explained.

And, was it Peter?? GAH! There certainly are a lot of depths to plumb when it comes to betrayal. Surely it wasn't just the Potters that got screwed over by him, since he was supposedly an order member and all.

Dorcas' death was also perfectly understated. Leaving it where you did gave it a huge amount of impact and got me all shivery. Also, the device of the name repetition was really good. A necessarily short piece, that device broke it up in a nice way and gave it room to breathe.

Well done!

[House Cup 2015 - Gryffindor]

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Review #3, by TreacleTart Shadows in the Mirror

11th June 2015:
Hi Branwen!

I'm here for House Cup 2015-Gryffindor!

This was an interesting little one-shot. I can't say that I've ever read anything about Dorcas before. This was a really haunting choice. You've captured imprisonment quite well and her slow descent into insanity.

The mirror sort of reminded me of the mirror of erised, except a weird twisted version. How horrifying to be driven to the brinks of craziness by haunting images of your torture and imprisonment.

The ending was fairly vague, but I kind of liked that about it. I mean it's clear what's happening. She's about to die, but it isn't really clear who is going to kill her. When she sees them she thinks she's safe, so that indicates someone who is supposed to be "a good person", but then they kill her. Is it a mercy killing? Is the person a traitor? Is it Peter Pettigrew maybe? I have so many questions!

All in all, I thought this was a strong story and I'm amazed with how much you've done inside of such a short space. Good work!


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Review #4, by maskedmuggle Shadows in the Mirror

12th July 2014:

Woah this was such an interesting story! I really liked your plot idea of there being a mirror darker than the Erised mirror and I loved your depiction of it here with Dorcas. I really love that you chose to wrote about Dorcas since she's such a minor character and it's so great just seeing a story that features her. I thought that the way you wrote about the mirror added to the mysterious nature of it, as magical objects often are. It was such a great idea for the mirror to be one that showed terrible things - that would definitely have been like torture every moment. You wrote this really well - your descriptions of what Dorcas saw in the mirror were made very vivid to the reader. Really well written, and I really commend you for writing such a detailed story in only 500 words!

- Charlotte/maskedmuggle
House Cup 2014 Review

Author's Response: Aw, thank you so much! :) I'm glad you liked it!

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Review #5, by Veritaserum27 Shadows in the Mirror

11th July 2014:

Aa! So completely creepy and disturbing and so, so good! I am seriously afraid of this mirror. I don't know how you came up with this idea, but what a form of torture! I think that you've done J.K. proud on this one. I liked the part where she couldn't tell where the voice was coming from - ugh! And the very last line sent shivers down my spine. I really, really, really want to know who she saw that made her think she was saved! Was Dorcas Meadowes in Slytherin? Maybe she saw Snape - or maybe she was in Gryffindor and she saw Peter? Ooo - I need to know. It just adds another layer of mystery to the story of this mystery mirror! Great, great job with this.

House Cup 2014 Review

Author's Response: I always envision Dorcas as having been in Ravenclaw or Gryffindor. When I wrote this, I wanted to keep who she saw mysterious so that people could draw their own conclusions, but yes - in my mind, the person she saw was Peter.

Thank you so much for the lovely review!

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Review #6, by Pretense Of Perfection Shadows in the Mirror

10th July 2014:
Reading this was such a horrifying experience, but in a good way, as far as your writing skills are concerned. I somehow imagined myself in this room, as Dorcas, seeing my friends die and myself be tortured. I've always sort of wondered what her last moments were like, as we know from canon Voldemort killed her personally, and now I can imagine this could've been it. Her terror and fear is so tangible it literally jumped out of the story and into my brain. You set the scene really well with the bare room. I love how she tries to break the mirror and it won't even scratch, and then she hides in an indent in the wall that she thinks was made by others before her. It's a chilling and terrifying tale, especially since we all know what comes next. To convey so many feelings in so few words shows your amazing talent. I didn't notice any spelling or grammar errors, and the pacing was perfect for such an intense story.

--house cup 2014 review--
pretense of perfection, gryffindor

Author's Response: Thank you so much! It was hard to fit it into 500 words, but I really wanted to, and I'm glad I managed to convey a real sense of darkness and horror despite the length!

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Review #7, by DracoFerret11 Shadows in the Mirror

8th July 2014:
Hello there! You've been leaving me such lovely reviews on "Rule Breaker," so I really wanted to return the favor. There are several of your stories that look interesting to me, so I'll probably review multiple. Here's the first I've chosen! So, let's go over things:

Plot: This was a really interesting concept for a story. I loved the idea of a mirror that shows your fears rather than your desires. It was dark and creepy and quite well-written. I liked that you chose Dorcas to write about. I rarely read stories about her, so this was pretty new for me. Great job infusing this story with just the right amount of jitteriness (if that's a word).

Characterization & Emotions: I think you really captured the fear of a prisoner accompanied only by such a creepy artifact. Dorcas was nervous and panicky, and all sorts of appropriate emotions. I could feel all of that and I liked it a lot.

Descriptions: Fantastic job with the mention of the indent in the wall possibly being formed by other prisoners. That gave me the shivers. I could also see the cell pretty well, though I couldn't picture just where the mirror was--on the wall? leaning against it?--so that was a bit hard to imagine.

Style: I loved the repetition of Dorcas's name throughout this story. It added to the mood of everything and helped to enhance the tension. You did a good job not making it seem obtrusive.

Overall, I liked this quite a bit. It was short (as are all stories for Every Word Counts), but you used the words wisely. Well done!

--Emily (House Cup 2014 Review)


Author's Response: Aww, thank you so much! I've really enjoyed Rule Breaker - it was really good to read, and I'm glad that the task lasted long enough for me to do so. Congrats on your 1000th review, too!

I'm glad you liked this. As you observed, 'Every Word Counts' entries are by definition quite short, and it can be hard to squeeze in everything that you need to really write a satisfying story. I tried really hard to do so here, and I'm so glad that I was successful.

Thank you for your lovely review!

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Review #8, by LadyL8 Shadows in the Mirror

7th July 2014:
Hi there!

I really liked this story. It was different from anything I've ever read, but definitely in a good way. It was really powerful and terrifying in a way, but mostly it just intrigued me.

I loved that you had Dorcas as the main character, because I've always found her to be an interesting character. The only thing we do know about her is that she was a member of the Order and killed by Voldemort himself, but we don't know why or when. And I really liked how you showed her in this story.

The story is constructed really way, building up her fear until the very last sentence. It's only 500 words, so I'm really impressed with how good it is. I like how it's dark and mysterious, and I liked the idea of the mirror. As terrifying as The Mirror Of Erised sounds, I think this mirror has it beat. But the idea is great, it really fits into the HP world.

So to sum up, I loved it!

- Lotte

House Cup 2014 Review

Author's Response: Oh, thank you so much! I'm glad you felt like I captured the mood well - in general, I tend a bit more toward humor, so darker things are a bit outside of my comfort zone. I love a lot of the original OotP members, and I find it so interesting to think about what happened to them, so I'm glad you enjoyed this.

Thank you so much for the lovely review!

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Review #9, by nott theodore Shadows in the Mirror

6th July 2014:
Hi Branwen! Wow, what an incredibly powerful story for something written in only 500 words - I'm so impressed by this!

I love your choice of Dorcas as the protagonist in this piece - she's a character who's always intrigued me and I don't think enough is written about her. This was very dark and creepy to read but I really enjoyed it all the same. I think that the idea this is founded on - the fact that there's a mirror which seems to be the opposite of the Mirror of Erised, showing not only your fears but also the worst that could happen to you - is brilliant but also quite terrifying.

I thought the concept made for a really compelling story to read though and I liked the structure of it you used to tell the story, the repetitiveness which echoed the way Dorcas's fears and what she sees in the mirror seem to repeat until she actually lives them. Really fantastic!

Sian :)
Gryffindor House Cup 2014 Review

Author's Response: Thank you so much! ♥

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Review #10, by theblacksisters Shadows in the Mirror

28th January 2014:
I liked it - nicely creepy.

Author's Response: Thank you so much!

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Review #11, by patronus_charm Shadows in the Mirror

16th July 2013:
Hi there! Apologises in advance for getting a phone review!

I really adore the EWC challenge and I thought this was an excellent entry for it. The idea of Dorcas almost losing her mind with her being in front of the mirror was really moving. It made sense for her to be like that given what horrors she must have seen through the war. Even though she appeared to be damaged I still got a sense of her real character which was nice.

The way the death eater/voldemort was saying her name was really chilling. It was just like a horror movie which was great given the topic. The way you ended it was also lovely with us knowing what was going to happen but that small piece of hope still being there by not being completely told. A wonderful one-shot!


Author's Response: Thank you so much! I definitely left this a bit open to interpretation on purpose - there are so many things that could have happened, and it's been super interesting to read all of the interpretations in the reviews. :)

Thank you!

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Review #12, by Tonks1247 Shadows in the Mirror

16th July 2013:
Whoa. I don’t even…I’m not sure what I can say to that. I mean, I absolutely adore the 500 word challenges, mostly because it is such a challenge to be able to get a point across in so few words, to build up a connection to a character and make the reader really care about the character. But this story…it blew me away.

I could feel Dorcas mind reeling, unable to handle the echo of her name and the phantom of the nightmares that appeared in the mirror. I mean, the name echoing maybe wasn’t so bad but with that mirror…that mirror is just terrifying. Unable to figure out if it shows the past, present or future, and just its haunting presence when you can’t get away, when no corner (or lack thereof) in the room is not far enough away…really haunting and really fantastic. Great job developing this idea and really bringing Dorcas’ character and feelings outs. Just wow!


Author's Response: Thank you so much for the lovely review! I'm glad I managed to get the sentiments across that I wanted to - as you said, 500 words isn't a lot of space!

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Review #13, by charlottetrips Shadows in the Mirror

8th July 2013:
I love these 500 word challenge entries. It really does force the writer to make a significant enough statement that it packs a punch. You did it here. I can't even quite fathom the fact that you managed to put some description in here with the mirror.

It's amazing how even in our non-magical world, ordinary things can be used for evil. Such is the case with this mirror. I could feel the malevolence of the thing, even if the name calling was just in Dorcas' mind.

You displayed her terror and how close to being broken she was, if she wasn't already broken at the time.

Well done!

Author's Response: Oh, thank you so much! I'm glad you liked it. :) I enjoy the 500 word challenge entries for the same reason - it's difficult to pack so much in and tell a coherent story, but it can lead to some great results. I'm glad you thought that mine was one!

Thank you!

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Review #14, by slytherinchica08 Shadows in the Mirror

20th January 2013:
Oh wow! I love the idea of this mirror that shows I'm guessing past deeds and other such horrible things. I can see why people would waste away in front of it, trying to escape it but unable to leave the room. I can imagine the desperation one would feel as they are trying to break the mirror and not even a scratch could be made in it and I imagine those who had managed to get even the smallest of a scratch on it were given some kind of hope that they could get rid of it though instead they were proven wrong. I really enjoyed this and for such a short story, it really stood out to me. The ending was great, it still held on to that bit of darkness and still kind of left your reader wanting more. Great Job!


Author's Response: Thank you so much! :) That was definitely the sort of mood I was going for, and I'm really glad you liked it!

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Review #15, by shadowycorner Shadows in the Mirror

4th November 2012:
Your story summary immediately caught my attentiona and then I saw that it was Dorcas, my favorite obscure canon character! This short story was truly amazing and chilled me to the bone. The idea of this Erised's opposite mirror is quite fascinating. Of course from some HP books we know mirrors can also speak up, like the one in Leaky Cauldron, and I like the idea the twisted mirror is saying Dorcas' name on purpose. The madness gripping her was scary, but I liked how she still tried to fight it. The only confusing bit is toward the end when the figure comes into the cell. I reckon it's Voldemort since he was the one that personally killed her. That's why I don't exactly understand why would she think she was saved when she saw who it was. Am I missing something? Either way, this was a great read. You managed to do the challenge wonderfully. 500 hundred words and you really told a story and affected the reader with your words. Excellent job.

Author's Response: I'm glad you liked it. :) Fitting so much into 500 words was definitely a challenge, and I'm glad you feel that I succeeded in getting across such a strong mood.

I wanted to leave the end open to interpretation, which is why I don't specify what spell the person used - I felt like definitively stating it would have taken away from the disjointed, creepy mood I was trying to portray. Reactions to it have been a bit mixed, so maybe at some point I'll go back and look it over again. :)

Thank you so much for your review!

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Review #16, by Moondanser83 Shadows in the Mirror

2nd September 2012:
It never fails to amaze me how much emotion can be packed into 500 little words.
From the start this story sent a chill through me, and I knew I was going to love it.
The idea of an inanimate object inflicting that sort of pain simply by showing images that may or may not be real is astounding. By the end I was sitting here hoping that someone would just free her from her misery, at that point even death would be welcome... and then death came. Quietly and quickly... from what I view as a nameless, faceless shadow... She knew him, or her, but even after reading the story twice I can't decide which Death-Eater ended her pain.
Excellent job darling!

Author's Response: Oh, thank you! :) I'm glad you liked it!

Re: the guilty Death Eater - I wanted to leave it up to interpretation, but when I wrote it I was kind of thinking of Peter - this could have been his initiation of something.

Just a thought, though - like I said, I really wanted to leave this open to interpretation. :)

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Review #17, by adluvshp Shadows in the Mirror

27th August 2012:
Hello! This is AditiDraco95 from the forums with your challenge review. (I am reading and reviewing all challenge entries before I judge them).

This was quite a remarkable piece. I liked how you told such a haunting story in just about 500 words.

Dorcas' fearful and insecure emotions were very evident throughout the piece. Your narrative was quite chilling and well written. The imagery you used was well crafted too - not overdone and not underdone.

The ending was effective as well just like the beginning. I liked your plot idea of the mirror. And I especially loved your summary.

All in all, this was a well-written piece and it drew me in while I read it. Good work!

Best of luck for the challenge results, I shall notify you once I release them :)


Author's Response: Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked it - it was an excellent challenge, and I had a lot of fun with it. :)

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Review #18, by Jchrissy Shadows in the Mirror

19th August 2012:
Wow Miss Branwen, you just gave me the entire body chills/shivers.

The most haunting part about it is, you don't say exactly what happens to Dorcas, but we know she doesn't live through this war so it isn't hard to guess.

The image you created is so dark, and with such few words... it's amazing. I just want to break the mirror for her and rescue her from whatever room they've locked her in. Your imagery in this is so alive, the idea of her huddling in a corner that isn't really corner, trying to avoid looking into the mirror, is really terrifying.

I could literally feel my heart start racing when the door creaked open, I just wanted her to pull out her wand and fight. And who was there to make her think at first she'd been saved? My only idea is Severus..

Thanks for giving me my morning dose of creepy ;)

Author's Response: Oh, thank you! :) As weird as it may be, I'm really glad you had that reaction - it was definitely what I was going for, but I'm still getting into this dark creepy niche, so I was a bit concerned. (Though, aren't I always?)

♥ Thank you for the review.

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Review #19, by NaidatheRavenclaw Shadows in the Mirror

18th July 2012:
THIS WAS BRILLIANT. Oh my goodness. For 500 words, this was absolutely incredible. It was so eerie, the whispering of her name accompanied by the mirror and what she saw in it. And the writing was amazing. You knew exactly where to add the descriptions and where to cut them down so that this was both really clear and completely twisted at the same time. Incredble, honestly. One of the best 500 word pieces I've ever read.


Author's Response: I'm honoured that you think so highly of it! Thank you so much for the review. *hug*

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Review #20, by Sakurasou Shadows in the Mirror

18th July 2012:
"The whisper cut her so deep, she could feel it in her bones. " This line, phew, what an opening! It honestly gave me chills. This whole story chilled me to the bone, it was so atmospheric and tense. You've managed to create such a horrifying scene in such a short amount of words. The repetitive use of Dorcas' name really builds the tension, the mirror, the way the voice seems to be coming from nowhere all creates a wonderful sense of horror.

I've never read a story about Dorcas before, and you have certainly surprised me, in a good way! I really enjoyed it (and I rarely enjoy horror). Excellent job! :D

Author's Response: I'm really glad you ended up feeling the mood I was trying to build - I haven't really written much horror before, so this was kind of something new for me. :)

Thank you so much for the review!

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Review #21, by CherryBoom Shadows in the Mirror

18th July 2012:
I rarely read any horror, but since I really like your previous one-shots, I took a leap of faith with this one and it was worth it. =) It was chillling with its simplicity and like with many horror movies, the most frightening things are those that we can't see.

I actually enjoyed that every word had to count, it definitely suits with this type of fiction. You managed to paint the picture with very sparse words, which is achievement on itself.

The ending was perfect way to end it. You gave us just enough clues what might happen, but it still left the imagination running.

Author's Response: I'm glad you took the chance with this, and that it worked out! :) It's definitely got a bit of a different feel compared with most of my other one-shots, particularly the next-gen ones - I've been trying to branch out a little, and I'm so pleased that you found this effective. *hug* Thank you for the review, and I'm sorry it's taken me so long to respond!

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Review #22, by SilentConfession Shadows in the Mirror

18th July 2012:
Hey! I haven't read any of your work in ages and i'm glad i popped over again because this is fantastic. I'm always a little amazed when i read these Every Word Count stories because there is always so much in so little words. You did not disappoint at all with this as there was so much emotion and so much madness here that was really quite extraordinary.

I really liked how Dorcas couldn't tell her past, present, or future anymore and how they just seemed to one in the same. It really just showcased what she was going through and how her mind was becoming more warped. There is something really strong about the mirror and how it seemed to overwhelm her. I really liked the part where she was wondering how many other people sat were she was sitting, trying to get away from seeing the mirror. It was really vivid for me.

I loved how, at the end, you don't know who killed her? Or was she tortured? I'm actually guessing she was tortured as that was her worst nightmare when she looked into the mirror. The DE used it to see what they feared the most and then would create that into reality? You left that bit of it hanging but it's playing with my imagination who because she clearly thought she'd be saved from the madness that was bubbling up inside her until they raised their wand at her. Maybe... it was Peter and she thought he'd save her but since he was a traitor... obviously, he wouldn't. :P probably not but i thought i'd take a guess.

Lovely job Beeezie! I really loved reading this and i'm glad i clicked on it! I'm putting it in my favourites as well! :D

Author's Response: Join the club - I haven't read anything of yours in awhile, either, and it's been making me sad. :( I need to find some time... I think I need a time turner.

I agree about the 'Every Word Counts' stories - they've always impressed me, and I didn't think I would ever be able to write one, because I have a tendency to be a bit wordy. This kind of popped into my head one day, though, and I'm glad it did, because I'm reasonably pleased with it.

And actually... well, without saying too much (because it kind of pertains to another story of mine), I tend to think that it was Peter, too, just after he turned, and this was his first task to prove his loyalty.

... hopefully saying that didn't completely ruin the mystery.

Thank you so much for the review, and I'm sorry it's taken me so long to respond to it. ♥

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Review #23, by Roots in Water Shadows in the Mirror

18th July 2012:
The summary immediately caught my eye when I was looking through the list of stories - the Mirror of Erised was a pretty dark item, even though it at first seems harmless, for it's capable of trapping a man/woman before it and keeping him/her there until they die.

And wow- this story did not disappoint! It's quite amazing the amount of emotion you managed to get across in 500 words... But I suppose that a good deal of the emotion sprouted from the details that you didn't include. There is obviously something frightening about the mirror - the fact that it shows you horrible things - but I think that a large part of the horror of it comes from the fact that it's so realistic, as though it actually should be happening, should have happened, will occur, that you start to doubt your own sanity. I liked how you indicated that Dorcas was losing faith in her own abilities when she couldn't remember if the images that the mirror showed had already occurred to her.

As well, the constant repetition of "Dorcas" completed the effect beautifully. It was quite creepy to read the word without knowing exactly who said it. I imagine that it was the mirror, trying to tempt her back into gazing at it, but the idea that an inanimate object is capable of speech just made the scene creepier.

Finally, I think that you did a brilliant job with your ending. You finished the story with a hint of what was to become of Dorcas - I assume she's about to be killed - and there was no indication as to who had said the last "Dorcas...", ending the story perfectly.

All in all, I think that you did a great job with this story. You did a fantastic job of capturing the horror of Dorcas' situation as well as transmitting her emotions. I really enjoyed reading it.

Author's Response: Oh, I'm glad! :) The second task was definitely good to this story - there were a lot of people going through the 'Recently Added' list, and I think that the combination of the length and the summary drew a lot of readers in. I definitely lucked out!

I'm sorry I haven't had the chance to respond until now - RL has been very stressful the last few weeks, and I just haven't really had the mental energy to write or answer reviews. *hides*

I definitely agree re: the Mirror of Erised - it was a creepy mirror with a huge dark side, but as I was rereading PS at one point, it occurred to me that Erised was creepy and dangerous in a sneaky sort of way, and that it would be interesting if there were other mirrors in the Wizarding World that weren't so sneaky about driving you crazy.

I'm really glad you liked this. Thank you so much for the review!

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Review #24, by Elenia Shadows in the Mirror

18th July 2012:
Oh Branwen! This was amazing!

I'm practically shivering here! This was such a chilling story.

Such a horrible way of torturing a person! I love the inventiveness of it. It's always cool to see people adding their own touch to the magical world by coming up with new ideas.

My favourite thing about this was the repeating of her name, it held the atmosphere and tied the different thoughts together perfectly.

And the ending *hrrr* perfection.

You really are a talented one-shot writer! Simply amazing stories you have here!


Author's Response: Thank you! ♥ When I was first writing fanfiction, I pretty much stayed in the romance/humour genres, but in the last eight or so months, I've really been making the effort to branch out. I wasn't terrific at first, but I do think I've gotten better, and I'm glad you agree. :)

Thank you so much for the review! ♥

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Review #25, by Maybe Shadows in the Mirror

18th July 2012:
*shivers* This was so very chilling. I don't know why but I really love the idea of a corner that's not really a corner and then Dorcas' observation that others may have made the indentation. The mirror sounds terrifying and I would really like to know more about it - it's obviously not the Mirror of Erised but it must be a very powerful magical object and it's simply tragic that it seems to have fallen into the Death Eaters' hands. What a truly awful way to torture somebody, especially when they are alone with the mirror. One person on their own would surely go insane.

I thought this was written really well and brought across the feeling of fear and of the unknown. And the repetition of somebody saying "Dorcas..." Was it her or was it somebody else? I love the ambiguity of it all.


Author's Response: I'm sorry it's taken me so long to answer - I've had a bit of a backlog and not enough time. :(

I'm really glad that the story came across like that to you, because that's definitely what I was aiming for. :) Thank you so much for the review. I really appreciate it.

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