Reviews For An Insider's View
Reviewer: Binka Fudge
Date: 01/18/08 17:11
Chapter: A Caretaker

This seems alot like the Filch we know and ... uh...er, anyway, there are three a few ways to describe Filch, cutting off his nose to spite his face, with a huge chip on his shoulder and with delusions of grandeur. I like his comment on house elves, rather like Ron's opinion. Bet Filch would bristle at anyone who likened him to a student. I always wondered why, if there are house elves at Hogwarts, why does Filch have to clean up?

Reviewer: Binka Fudge
Date: 01/18/08 17:00
Chapter: A Sorter

The sorting hat has given me pause for thought at many points throughout this chapter. I still think I'd like to be Mr Olivander the wand maker though, but being female i don't suppose that'd be possible. Anyway, my favourite part of this chapter was the last few lines when the sorting hat placed a child in Gryffindore for the simple reason that their favourite colour is red. Hilarious!

Reviewer: Binka Fudge
Date: 01/18/08 16:49
Chapter: A Shop-Keeper

The first chapter was pretty dark, but what can you expect when entering the mind of Bellatrix? Celeres was finny in a cranky kind of way, but so far my favourite is Mr Olivander's letter. It just filled me with wonder, it could have been so true, and since he shows no favour for either side in the HP books, it may well be true. The missing playing card and the tax forms were very amusing.

Reviewer: ColinCreeveyForever
Date: 07/02/06 9:56
Chapter: A Guardian

I think this is fantastic. I never really considered that the gargoyle had to be sentient to be able to guard the headmaster's office. A good read. Thanks!

Reviewer: I Love Severus Snape
Date: 05/30/06 19:57
Chapter: A Guardian

Wow, this plotline was unexpected, but enjoyed, nonetheless. How did you ever come up with such a point of view? I think it's quite brilliant how you wrote him a fleshed out perosnality. He really could be a person. My favourite part was this: 'Celeres snorted sadly, small chance of that being repeated, having a bird’s nest in each nostril didn’t really allow one to be called “fearsome”. “Interesting” maybe, “distinguished” if you were feeling kind, but not “fearsome”.' I found some subtle humour in that, and I adore it. I love the little references to events in the book that are scattered throughout this... it winds in well with your own take on the situation. Wonderful job! I never knew I could be so interested by something like this.

Reviewer: I Love Severus Snape
Date: 05/30/06 19:38
Chapter: A Disciple

As promised, here's your review, Tom. =) I know this one was written ages ago, but I'm a fan of one-shots. This is the first fic of yours I have ever read, and I'm highly impressed. I find Bella to be an intriguing character, and I hate when people write the cliché of her being evil just because she can be. Every character has a reason for doing what they do, even the evil ones, and a lot of writer's don't understand that, but you're spot on. Jo only shows us Bella's actions, without explaining why she is the way she is. The way you wrote it makes it so plausible, that it could truly be the reason for Bella's actions as seen in the books. I spotted some run-ons in the beginning that could have been broken down to better understand, but other than that, very well written. I can tell that you thought this out right down to the last detail (or did you?), and I appreciate that. I don't know why, but this line struck me: 'The words “repent” and “fiery depths” were just audible but the rest was whipped away by another gust of wind.' Something about the wording is just lovely. Anyway, I've rambled on long enough now. I'm off to check out the rest of 'An Insider's View'. Fabulous job! Best Bella fic I've ever read, by far.

Reviewer: maddie78
Date: 05/27/06 20:14
Chapter: A Caretaker

not as good??! that was so interesting! I think it's great! You never erally think about Filch, but it's so cool to see things from his perspective. And it kinda makes sense. And I'm glad you updated! I've enjoyed reading the other chapters.

Reviewer: FeatherTrader
Date: 05/23/06 18:31
Chapter: A Guardian

I like the concept of the story, and how you kept everything light and in canon. My favorite part was about Lecidius. Overall, it was an enjoyable read, although it jumped from topic to topic in certain areas.

Reviewer: FeatherTrader
Date: 05/23/06 18:29
Chapter: A Guardian

I like the concept of the story, and how you kept everything light and in canon. My favorite part was about Lecidius. Overall, it was an enjoyable read, although it jumped from topic to topic in certain areas.

Reviewer: Rita Writer
Date: 12/04/05 21:14
Chapter: A Disciple

You want to know something really ironic? This is probably my favorite story on this site, but I haven’t read or reviewed the first chapter.

The thing I like about this is that, like every war, each side thinks that their views are correct. In the Harry Potter books, we only see a true insight to one side, and can’t possibly see in reason in the other. But in this story we see a Death Eater’s reasoning, and you can appreciate it without having to agree — and not just the cliché “pure-bloods are superior” point of view.

There was a crackling behind her and the choking stench of smoke engulfed her nostrils. She felt the heat rising behind her, and then something licked at the back of her leg. You really have to respect this passage; scenes like this tend to be hard to write. It would be easy just to say something along the lines of “and then she saw fire”, and leave the reader to read that line three more times before the found out what was happening.

One of the things I really thought was well done was how Bellatrix’s grandmother explained their beliefs to Bella. They don’t see themselves as “evil”, they see themselves as the people who know best. You’d be amazed at how many fics I’ve seen where the Death Eaters call themselves evil and enforce it as such to their children and families.

I think the overall affect wasn’t really focused too much on Bellatrix, but the view of most Death Eaters, and I liked it that way. The bit added about Macnair was a really nice touch to go with that, because it shows a variation of opinion. Overall, wonderful job on this one.



Author's Response: Thanks for the review, the main thing I wanted to put across was the self-justification of the Death Eaters, rather than them just being evil, and the part I agonised over was having her burnt, so hopefully I didn't do it too badly :)

Reviewer: deanine
Date: 11/24/05 12:21
Chapter: A Sorter

I have one more SPAMeriffic, not nearly SPEWy review in me for you Tom. The hat perspective was largely depressing. Living life as a hat isnt a wonderful thing, I suppose.

“Fine, fine, what’s your favourite colour? Red?”

LOL... that was my favorite line of the fic.

Author's Response: Thank you for the review, I have to admit to a habit of writing depressed characters >.>

Reviewer: deanine
Date: 11/24/05 12:12
Chapter: A Shop-Keeper

That's an original take on the Olivander's wands business. It reminds me of the Santa Clause, and no, I'm not kidding.

It's a letter fic, so you're addressing your reader. I don't always engage emotionally with letter fics, but this one was captivating. You had three or four good chuckles in there as well.

Reviewer: deanine
Date: 11/24/05 9:33
Chapter: A Guardian

This was a unique perspective, very enjoyable to read. I like the mystery of not knowing exactly who was talking for the frist part of the story. It always makes me read for details when the narrator is unknown.

Constructive comment: A gargoyle’s password was a sacred thing to it, it was very literally the reason for it’s existence, a classy password was something to be proud of, it implied a certain stature and respectability to the guardian. This is a comma splice. If it's intentional, I don't think it really adds to the narrative flow, you know? Just my opinion though.

Reviewer: deanine
Date: 11/24/05 9:21
Chapter: A Disciple

You write with an introspective style that really gets inside the head of the character you're exploring. This is an interesting take on Bella's point of view for several reasons.

First the diary: it's a tool to teach her that Muggles are untrustworthy, and fundamentally flawed. It's interesting that you give the Muggles so much power in this dream sequence. Rowling kind-of shrugs off the Muggle activities like witch burning as at worst an annoyance that a witch would have to extricate herself from with a little thought. It gives her another reason to dislike Muggles, and adds a dimension to her character.

I also love how she's so completely crazy that she can calmly sit back and think how sane she is, and how insane the world is.

Reviewer: Insecurity
Date: 11/06/05 10:05
Chapter: A Sorter

*punces on Tom* I really enjoyed reading this one-shot! At first I expected it to be a humorous little insight into the life of Hogwarts from everyone’s favourite hat, but instead I was pleasantly surprised to receive the philosophical insight into the hat’s intellect and morals. You have a mature way of conveying the meaning of life and happiness; I especially liked the hat’s opinion of utilitarianism: “sacrifice the few for the many” (though it’s usually the many that say that and not the few) I think this gave a subtle criticism to the way most people view the world and how human liberties become sacrificed. By using an inferior being, a hat, you managed to show how the downtrodden feel within modern day society.

wit without measure is man’s greatest treasure, just a simple couplet that I composed years ago come back to haunt me.

I like how you identified with the canon character and then moulded his words to turn him into your own, otherwise you may have risked slight OOCness. You create humour with this small and witty sentence that lightens the mood and masks some of the more serious issues. A little nitpick on sentence structure: I think that dividing it into two sentences would make it read a little easier: “…just a simple couplet that I composed years ago. It has now come back to haunt me.”

Then slipped away (how I know not) up to the office… Another small nit-pick: You need a comma after how. At times I was a little bit confused as to why you chose to go into dialogue. Is the hat speaking aloud? Are you trying to show particular significance of one thing that he meditates over another? I am not an expert on dialogue but maybe some of it could have been italicised to show it as a specific thought the hat was having. One example: I ask the question of myself, “would I be able to find happiness knowing that in freeing myself from my purpose I have destroyed the reason for it?” That I have destroyed something ancient, and great, and more to the point, something good?” Here you have two closing quotation marks. You need to decide where you want to close the Sorting Hat’s speech, I also think that “would” should be capitalised but I may be wrong. What he is having a very in-depth meditation on the meaning of his life and so I think wording is crucial, consider sharpening it to make it clearer: “Can freedom bring me happiness if, in order to gain it, I have destroyed my entire purpose in life.” This may be a little dramatic though *ponders over it* In one italicised section you jump from first person narrative to second person narrative: I can’t even get to the other side of the room let alone the other side of the world, fool! There’s only one reason you want to travel the world… I think here you are trying to show conflicting voices in the Sorting Hat’s mind. If so you should separate out one voice from another by creating a new paragraph. This would help your reader distinguish between the two and understand the conflict the hat is going through.

If they were all true, then there wouldn’t be any dragons left, they’d all have been killed by bravery and inventive use of a pair of tweezers.
I found your reference to tweezers and dragons a little bizarre, so I thought I’d point it out. I can see that you are showing both the hat’s sarcastic wit and scepticism of the outside world, but I think a little more clarity wouldn’t go amiss. It may just be me and my lack of dragon-knowledge, though.

Unless I fulfil my function then I should be dead. I have to earn the right-to-life, and keep earning it every day of my existence.

I like your use of “should” here, it’s very interesting. It gives the hat no more worth than the role in which he plays. You bring up the controversial modern day issue of “right to life” (I don’t think you need hyphens in between, by the way) and once again project it into the fandom. I am intrigued to see how even the hat believes he is worth no more than his purpose; he doesn’t value himself as an intellectual being. “Dead” is an interesting word as well, that he should be killed rather than to simply not have come into existence in the first place. I don’t know which is worse, to live and to lose life or to not have been here at all. I think the hat believes the former, as he says “I find I am afraid” showing that the burden of upcoming and almost-certain death is too much and that the suffering is not worthwhile. Am I making any sense?

He cannot lose while I exist, for he bound the piece to more than my fibres, he bound it to my “soul” (for lack of a better word) if indeed I have one.
I loved this exclamation. It brought together the hat’s despair and his doubts of his own existence. It makes the reader question whether the hat has a soul, and allows them to sympathise with him in the end. The idea of Voldemort’s soul being intertwined with the hat’s is interesting, maybe it is since this event that the hat has desired freedom, has become ambitious and dissatisfied with his mediocre existence. It may be Voldemort’s Horcrux that is corrupting the Hat’s morals.

“Fine, fine, what’s your favourite colour? Red?” “GRYFFINDOR!”
I like this ending as it links back to the beginning when he rejects his own intelligence. I also think it is a sly mockery of the crappy Sorting Hat Quizzes that plague the internet, or maybe that is just my evil mind. It rounds up the story though, as it shows him living out his purpose and accepting fate. He chooses to continue down this path and it’s rather brave of him, all things considered, so I think Godric Gryffindor would be proud. *huggles the Sorting Hat*

It is being able to review stories like these that make fulfilling the SPEW quota worthwhile. You have a wonderful talent for story-telling here, especially at adding twists and provoking your reader’s thought. Keep up the good work, this story is well-worth its spot on the featured section!

Reviewer: bluekiwibubble
Date: 10/27/05 14:02
Chapter: A Disciple

I've only ever seen one other fic from Bellatrix's PoV before, and find them really interesting. I like how you showed her as rational and logical, and that she's not all that evil and twisted. Well no, she is, but it's not entirely her fault. I think people often forget how much someone's upbringing can influence their view on life, and you put it across really well. I actually felt sorry for her. First (and probably last) time. =) good fic.

Reviewer: the_bartender713
Date: 10/26/05 17:27
Chapter: A Sorter

I've never thought about LV using the SOrting Hat, but now that you mention it... (I'm sure you hear that often) It was an excellent, in-depth thought, and wouldn't it be AMAZING for Harry to discover that the Key to Voldemort was in front of his nose the whole time?? I can't WAIT!!

Reviewer: Rita Writer
Date: 10/24/05 21:02
Chapter: A Sorter

Once again, it’s your writing style that makes these stories so interesting to read. On one hand, everything is really strait forward, but on the other, a lot is left for the reader to think about. Quotes such as Intelligence is a burden, or Ignorance is freedom are like that. They’re simple, yet powerful and quite philosophical.

I found a couple of nit-picks…I hope I pointed them out when beta-reading, and they just got missed or something…otherwise I’d feel bad. Most of them have to do with periods this time. I don’t want it, I don’t bloody want it Intelligence can take a long walk off a short pier for all I care. Right in-between ‘it’ and ‘Intelligence’! Another: Humans are able to escape their responsibilities, or at least ignore them “They are born without a purpose— another one belongs between ‘them’ and ‘they’. However, if I were now given the choice whether or not to assume the duties that I have been performing for nigh on a thousand years, I am not sure that I would accept it. Kind of a random place for quotation marks… ;) One last error: “And who are you, here I am, considering my life to date, and its future course, and you butt in without a by your leave or anything” Where’s the period?

Okay, enough of that. I really do love how you’ve set this up. I’m very fond of the Sorting-Hat-is-a-Horcrux theory, but I never actually thought of it in the Hat’s perspective. Honestly, I’m amazed at how you think of these characters that other people (like me) don’t think anything of at all. The insight on the Sorting Hat…was quite ingenious.

Another thing that interested me was Tom Riddle. We didn’t see much of him, of course, but you showed him through the Sorting Hat’s view—the one thing that could read his mind completely. You sort of made an inside view on him too, describing his thirst for power. That was one of my favorite sections of this chapter. Then he slipped away with a quick glance back as he left. I wonder if he had second thoughts about his action-about whether he had misjudged me. Perhaps…perhaps it was just a glance of satisfaction at a job well done. This is my favorite part of the entire chapter. It just sort of…popped out at me. Made me think.

I’m really looking forward to your next chapter. It’s really fascinating seeing what you can make from the characters. I know I bug you about loads of little things…but what are beta readers for, eh? Really excellent job.

Reviewer: Zodiac
Date: 10/23/05 0:12
Chapter: A Sorter

That was incredible! I had never really thought of the Sorting Hat as a character, just a gimmick. I wouldn't be surprised if the Hat did turn out to be a more complex character in the seventh book.

Author's Response: Thanks a lot. The whole thing spun out of me listening (on AIM) to a discussion about whether the sorting hat was a horcrux, and I was about to point out that if it was then surely it would know and would have told someone. Then I thought it was an interesting concept, and tried to work out how it could be, but why wouldn't it tell anyone, and the chapter was born :D but thanks again.

Reviewer: Zodiac
Date: 10/23/05 0:00
Chapter: A Shop-Keeper

That was a very original story. I liked that you were able to tackle the fact that Mr. Ollivander has been in business for thousands of years. I'm wondering, though, why does a former Ollivander only have one year left to live after he leaves the shop?

Author's Response: Well, since they've lived well beyond their natural life-span while a shop-keeper, they theoretically should die when they lose the protection, but It hought they should have short retirement period as a reward for years of hard work

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