Reviewer: Binka Fudge
Date: 11/28/07 11:49
Chapter: Taking Tea in Greenhouse Four

I'm so enjoying this story, I would've reviewed all the way through, but didn't want to stop reading. It's really well written and keeps me wanting more. When they're in the tunnels I feel the suspense with them. I feel so sorry for Ninette, she never had a chance did she? Hopefully she'll learn to make friends, I guess she'll get used to talking with Prof Snith and then it'll make it easier to talk to others. Hope she and Tonks do make friends, I wondered if she'd tell Tonks about seeing the box that Rosier dropped, but maybe it'll happen later. Her dance teacher was right to make her leave the dance room, maybe in a way she'll help bring Ninette out of herself too. I love Bill's stories, not keen on Kevin though. Perhaps they aren't as good friends with Tonks, they didn't even recognise her voice when she'd changed her looks. Was Ninette's father related to Harry Potter? His father's invisibility cloak came from someone with the same name. Can't think of anything else, except hope the next chapters up soon. Thanks

Reviewer: BlackClaude
Date: 10/28/07 15:08
Chapter: Dancing Alone

Oh, Ninette! That is one seriously messed up girl. I figured that if she were just shy, she would have welcomed Tonks's friendliness more, but now I see that it goes much deeper than that. I thought the most telling scene was with the boys on the train. That did it, for them — she did not seem real, nothing more than a toy That's a brilliant assessment, the way that people can give themselves up until they're not even a real person anymore, just a shell. Poor girl, that's such a dark place to be. And in this line: She noticed the beseeching glances Tonks sent at the other girls when forced to be her partner, and she was glad she had not known the words to respond that first night. That self-fulfilling prophecy is so sad, because while she was completey wrong about Tonks not wanting to be her friend, it unfortunately became right. And it's easy to see how she dug herself into her hole.


Again, nothing to criticize mechanics-wise except for one small thing: "nine and three quarters" should be capitalized. And the story itself is moving nicely; I particularly like the lessons. They're interesting to read, and though they're foreign to the non-dancers, so much of it is relatable to anyone who's had any kind of training. (Like mistakes being unforgivable once corrected... ugh, we've all been there!) I hope that we'll get to see some more understanding between the girls now that we've gotten a glimpse into both of their minds. It's hard to see how either will make the first move, which is why it should be very interesting to see.

Reviewer: BlackClaude
Date: 10/28/07 14:34
Chapter: Stone Walls Surrounding

Another beautiful chapter, and this one rather sad. It's easy to sympathize with Tonks; I think you hit the "new girl" feeling right on the head, especially with the line, "They were not the friends she had hoped to make when she came to Hogwarts. Yet she had no other choice." It's nice to see the realistic alternative between Harry's making instant friends for life and Luna's being a pariah from day one. Tonks's mediocre acquaintanceships and her disillusionment with them is heartbreaking and true. Likewise, Ninette's friendlessness is sad, though it is making me wonder about her. I get the feeling that her snobbery is not completely shyness, and that she really does have superiority issues. I don't know if this is my seeing it through Tonks's eyes or if she really does have those issues to overcome, but it's refreshing to have that mystery. If she were clearly the poor, misunderstood shy girl from the beginning, it wouldn't be as interesting. Like your previous chapters, these characterizations make the story. Nicely done!

Reviewer: miss padfoot
Date: 09/01/07 0:39
Chapter: Taking Tea in Greenhouse Four

Oh, my. Here I am, on my third re-read of the entire story, finally mustering the courage to review. Wow, Nan, where do I even start? I’m just stunned – whatever words I might find won’t simply be enough to justify your story, but I’m going to try nevertheless.

The first thing I noticed about the story is your writing style. I’m amazed that the story reads so beautifully, almost poetically, when you don’t seem to use any words that are “fancy”. The sheer simplicity of your writing style makes the story extra special, I’d say. Truly an asset.

And then comes the plot itself. Wow, I’m again blown away by the amount of thought you’ve put into each chapter, especially the last two chapters. Both of them, while loaded with information, were simply wonderful to read. I’m already looking forward to what dangers Tonks and co are getting themselves into. The last chapter, in particular, was quite heart-breaking.

She did not know her mother’s story, but she knew the stories of all the ballets her mother had ever danced in.

*sighs* Oh, Nan, this line is probably the most beautiful, albeit heart-wrenching line in the entire chapter. Here again, there are no fancy words, but just stating it so plainly is so powerful, it hurts.

The loneliness of poor Ninette, and how she throws herself more into her ballet as a distraction – oh dear, that was just so sad, indeed. I hope getting a picture of her parents would cause a positive change in her, poor thing.

And I must comment on your characterisation. Let’s start with Ninette, shall we? Oh, I just can’t think of Ninette as a character, much less an OC. Nan, if I didn’t know she was an original character in a work of fiction, I’d be willing to bet that the story is a biography of sorts. Such is the effect Ninette has on me. She’s just so real, for lack of a better word. Right from the first chapter, I was hooked, fangirling Ninette. So naturally, this chapter in particular was utterly delightful. Wow, first we get the impression that Ninette is Muggleborn when she actually is the daughter of one of the Peverells! Amazing, just amazing.

Oh, and the other character who amused me very much in this chapter was Professor Snith. She reminds me of Professor Trelawney in some ways; yet, she is her own person. I’m thinking she had a crush on Ninette’s father? *giggles* Her portrayal is so delicate, and although she annoyed me a bit sometimes, I enjoyed reading about her greatly.

I found very few typos in this story, seeing as you and your beta are both perfectionists ;)

“Yes, please,” Ninette stammered.

I found it odd here that it says Ninette stammered, although she doesn’t seem to during the speaking part. “Y-yes, please,” would be more appropriate, right? =)

One does loose track of time, doesn’t one?

Hee, it should read “lose” here, rather than “loose”.

He thought it was ridiculous; getting all dressed up in a Muggle suit, taking a taxi to the Opera House — because we could hardly use Floo, could we? — and of course he didn’t apparate.

“Apparate” is always capitalised. =)

In conclusion, I’m simply enthralled by the story, Nan, and I’m greedily awaiting your next instalment. *bows*

Reviewer: BlackClaude
Date: 08/26/07 22:56
Chapter: Faces

Oh, I love your Tonks! Absolutely love her. She's just as bright and interesting as our too-brief glimpses of her in canon, and her insecurities just make her even more charming. You've already given her so many layers, she just bursts off the page. Your strength is definitely in your characterization, although everything about your style is brilliant. I'm sorry, I'm gushing. I can't help it. Concrit, concrit... The first two stanzas of the Sorting Hat song are great, but then the meter starts to get a little off in the following ones. That's all I've got, back to praise. :) I love the themes that you have running through, which tie back into the characterizations. The mirror, beauty, self-confidence, independence... the differing (and similar) ways that Ninette and Tonks see themselves and see each other are fascinating, especially Tonks's obsession with borrowing other people's faces. I can't wait to see them interact more, and I really hope Charlie plays a big role in this too. His romantic interest could provide a perfect focal point for the girls' self-images. (Don't you love how I'm speculating on plot points that have already been written years ago, like they may somehow still be in the air?) Well, you know how much I love this so I will gush no more, at least until the next chapter. :)

Reviewer: BlackClaude
Date: 08/26/07 22:56
Chapter: The Mirror

I can't believe I've gone so long without reading this; it's really amazing! I always knew you were a great writer, but this has impressed me even further. The flow and word choices are flawless and I love the subtle symbolism, especially Ninette striding to catch up with her aunt's quick steps and then her aunt's finally losing her composure at the barrier, the dividing line between her world and Ninette's new one. Your characterizations in particular are rich and full. Stage mothers can be cartoonishly villianous in portrayal, but your Aunt Edris was believable while still distasteful. Plus, she served to define Ninette's character quite a bit on her own; even though we haven't seen Ninette in action much, we already have a rather good picture of what kind of person she is based on how she's been brought up. There was one thing that wasn't quite clear to me, and I would have liked a bit more about. Did Aunt Edris know that Hogwarts is a magic school? She did read the letter, but there was no mention that she knew or believed it. If she did know that Ninette was a witch, then I imagine she would want to know how that could be used to give her an edge in dancing. (Could she leap higher, could she even learn to fly? Were there weight loss potions?) But maybe that comes in later chapters. I really can't wait to read more, and I warn you that I may begin pestering you to continue once I reach chapter 10. This is too promising a beginning not to finish!

Reviewer: smiley10792
Date: 08/06/07 15:48
Chapter: Dancing Alone

Wow. This is an amazing story so far, and I'm leaving a review to tell you that before I even finish it. I am a ballet dancer myself, although I also do other styles, and you've written so clearly about all the things I have observed and felt as a dancer.

The mirror truly does become a kind of voiceless critic, some days saying that there is no one in the world as beautiful as you, other times asking you if you ever think you can be anything at all. There is so much pressure put on ballet dancers to be a kind of perfect figure that truly is impossible! But even still, ballet is safe, and you've shown that as well- sometimes it's easier to just dance than to face the living, breathing people out there in the world. This story is honest in a way I don't think I've seen very often, aside from the fact you've shown the horrors of pointe shoes perfectly. :)

Reviewer: smiley10792
Date: 08/06/07 15:47
Chapter: Dancing Alone

Wow. This is an amazing story so far, and I'm leaving a review to tell you that before I even finish it. I am a ballet dancer myself, although I also do other styles, and you've written so clearly about all the things I have observed and felt as a dancer.

The mirror truly does become a kind of voiceless critic, some days saying that there is no one in the world as beautiful as you, other times asking you if you ever think you can be anything at all. There is so much pressure put on ballet dancers to be a kind of perfect figure that truly is impossible! But even still, ballet is safe, and you've shown that as well- sometimes it's easier to just dance than to face the living, breathing people out there in the world. This story is honest in a way I don't think I've seen very often, aside from the fact you've shown the horrors of pointe shoes perfectly. :)

Reviewer: GreyLady
Date: 07/12/07 10:45
Chapter: Taking Tea in Greenhouse Four

Hello, Nan. Once again I’ve reviewed much later than I should have. It’s rather odd that I do, considering I’m always regretful, because this story—and your writing—are utterly captivating.

I started smiling only a few paragraphs in. Not because there was anything funny, but because it gives me such a thrill to read writing that is as well-crafted as this. It’s so graceful and flowing; not poetic like your other stories, but it has its own beauty of style. Somehow you know just where to elaborate and then move seemingly effortlessly to the next thought, the next action. There is just enough description to give the reader a vivid image of the scenes taking place. I loved this sentence: “She did her homework sitting by the barre, her reflection spinning out infinitely in all directions.”

Ninette was wonderful, as usual. It was great how she related her schoolwork to dancing. (A quick note: in this sentence “Orbis was a ronde du jambe, spinning faster or slower depending on the flick of the wrist, the turn of the ankle,” you were originally missing a space after the first comma.) That though process is very IC. But it is also rather sad. She seems to be sinking more and more into the loveless, demanding world that her aunt has chained her to. “Perhaps no one would notice a silent ghost in a room full of mirrors that no one else ever looked in.” That just broke my heart. And when she smiled! Those two words—“she smiled”—were enough to instill some hope and joy. All at once she appears to be drifting closer and farther away from potential happiness. She’s developing at a slow but interesting pace.

The characterization of the others in this chapter was good. You’re doing very well with Madame’s accent, though I’m not sure that she would say “‘Ave a snowball fight,” only because she’s so imposing and serious that the words “snowball fight” seem odd coming from her. Snith was great; she’s a fantastic character. But I do tend to get annoyed by her. I suppose that’s all part of who she is, but I did notice it more this chapter.

I think you’ll know what I mean when I say that the backstory that Snith revealed is rather like the plot of a Victorian novel, as I seem to recall that’s what you’re studying. Scandals, duels, a lover leaving the country…it was amusing, in a good way. Snith’s last words on that were lovely: “But then again, that’s how it always happens with these fairytale people. Beautiful and wild and tragic, they always are. They’re far above the likes of us, you know…”

It’s all beautiful, Nan. I fervently hope that one day you will publish something; I would buy it in a heartbeat.

Reviewer: Smile At The Sun
Date: 06/30/07 2:37
Chapter: Taking Tea in Greenhouse Four

First of all, thank you for updating. This chapter was sweet; I was thinking for some reason that Cynthia was a witch, but I think I like this better. It makes sense. And the final scene is very... well, sweet. I'm still smiling. The other thing in particular that I liked was Madam telling her to go and play - it just gives her a touch - however slight - of sympathy and humanness that we don't often see.

Thanks again, and I look forward to your next update.

Reviewer: Merlynne
Date: 06/29/07 13:10
Chapter: Taking Tea in Greenhouse Four

This was an absolutely beautiful chapter! You not only write beautifully, but the characters are fantastic and so great to read about. I love have you always have Professor Snith use "one" instead of "I" or something else. I have never been to a ballet in my life but reading this story makes me want to go see one desperately!
Brilliant chapter,
-Merlynne

Reviewer: Merlynne
Date: 06/11/07 17:34
Chapter: The Mysterious Miss Rosier

Great chapter! Tonks is so amazingly wonderful and I can relate to her really well (and probably so can tons of other people). You've characterized her very well, and she even fits with canon. One typo, "out of site" instead of sight. I'm surprised I even caught that because I was reading so rapidly. I can't wait until the next chapter!

Reviewer: Merlynne
Date: 06/11/07 17:14
Chapter: Purpurea and Peverells

Ahh, Professor Snith reminds me so much of my high school principal, she's delightful. I'm also looking forward to learning about Ninette's family background, you've created a great amount of suspense in this chapter and I'm excited to read more!

Reviewer: Merlynne
Date: 06/10/07 13:31
Chapter: Voices in the Corridor

I enjoyed the liberty you took when explaining the founder's ring and the history of magic. Few people bother to actually add things to the magical universe, and I enjoyed what you did. It sounds familiar for some reason, but that could just be me. I also adore Tonks, and I like how you provided a background for Charlie's love of dragons. Great chapter.

Reviewer: Merlynne
Date: 06/10/07 13:12
Chapter: Dreams of Spun Sugar

Absolutely beautiful chapter. I love the way you really involve Ninette with the play, and the way you compare Ninette's world and Clara's world, and really emphasize what Ninette is lacking. Aunt Edris is wonderfully horrible, an understandable antagonist which is refreshing in a world full of stereotypes. I really enjoyed this chapter, kudos.

Reviewer: GreyLady
Date: 04/24/07 21:53
Chapter: The Mysterious Miss Rosier

*giggles with Anna about Wizarding fiction*

That caught me completely off guard, but not in a bad way. It’s creative and I liked it. I’ve always wondered why fiction has never made an appearance in canon; all we ever see Hermione reading are textbooks.

In my review for last chapter, I said that the contrast between Ninette and Tonks made this fic appealing, but I think you’ve actually shown how they’re alike in this chapter. When Tonks thinks that “being showered in congratulations would be awfully nice,” it reminded me of Ninette’s feeling of bitterness that, as she says, she doesn’t know how to do anything but dance.

You do give a lot of insight into Tonks in this time around. This line really struck me: “She refused to let her friends’ criticism daunt her, promising herself that they would come around once she was proved right.” In order to become an Auror later in her life handicapped by the severity of her clumsiness >.>, she would have had to have shown remarkable perseverance, and remain optimistic. I also thought the way that you handled her musings on her friendships was well done. She didn’t end up sounding whiny, only lonely; her daydreams about how she would make them love her were entirely characteristic for an adolescent. It’ll be interesting to where her friendships end up by the end of this story.

When it came to her attack of Ninette, I had mixed feelings. Her feelings are completely understandable, because I know I’ve had some exact same sort of thoughts toward other people, out of plain jealousy and inadequacy, but then I was so desperately sorry for Ninette. “She hated Ninette in that moment, truly hated her, for being calm and dignified even when she was being yelled at, for keeping her room immaculate, for always being perfect. For neither noticing nor caring that she had no friends. For being able to be her own person, untouched by the people around her.” That’s a poignant comment—“untouched by the people around her.” I’m sure a lot of us wish for that , and it’s almost ironic that Tonks doesn’t see that Ninette is just as affected by other people as she is, perhaps even more profoundly so.

Nitpicks:

‘Only fancy! An orphanage!’ *gigglesnorts* That’s so horrible, but so funny. But what I wanted to draw your attention to was the phrase “Only fancy.” It sounds awkward to me and could be improved by changing it to “Fancy that.” But yes, I really like the hints of humor in this fic.

“It’s alright, Kevin.” According to my English teacher, “alright” is not a word, and it should always be “all right.” >.> I don’t know if that’s true or not, but thought I’d mention it.

Mavis—when she appeared in the tunnels, I thought it was odd that no one besides Tonks really reacted. I don’t expect that they’d be suspicious, per se, but maybe a little surprised.

Okay, that’s over. Now comes the true gushing.

OMG. Lian is so right—your plot fits together like the parts of a Swiss watch. A hidden ring…Peverells…a Death Eater’s child…I’m astounded by you. *bounces excitedly in chair* I’m not going to make any guesses in case I’m wrong, but just know that I’m in awe of you right now.

Thank you for yet another outstanding chapter!

Reviewer: Merlynne
Date: 04/24/07 20:08
Chapter: Dancing Alone

I love the way you write from Ninette's point of view, you make her so beautifully multi-dimensional that it's hard not to be completely infatuated with her as a human being. She's a very strong character, as far as characters go. It was a pleasure to read this.

Reviewer: GreyLady
Date: 04/23/07 18:12
Chapter: Purpurea and Peverells

I’m sorry for lagging behind on this, but I’m here, finally!

And Nan, I have to admit that I simply cannot get enough of your writing. The characterizations, the seamless writing, engaging plot…it’s all a joy to read.

I liked how you started the chapter, with Charlie leaning back in a chair, laughing. The pure physicality of this was appealing, and not something that one usually sees right off the bat. It might seem like an odd thing to comment on, but it was striking, and it drew me in.

The interaction between Tonks and Charlie definitely pulled some grins out of me. It’s interesting, the kind of friendship that they have. Charlie treats like “one of the guys,” and Tonks enjoys it because she feels like she’s included. Their banter is great. I liked this line in particular: “Next time, you’re sitting at the other end of the greenhouse. By yourself. Without anything that might explode, or anything to poke it with.” *giggles*

Professor Snith was also very amusing. It’s quite a feat to manage to write dialogue so well that the word “flustered” practically radiates from this woman. She’s so unsure it’s almost pathetic, but I do have a certain amount of fondness for her. You’ve done very well with her, making her as large as life and yet real as Jo herself does.

And then there’s Ninette. She’s one of my very favorite OC’s. She’s realistic in a way most usually aren’t, and it makes it easy to connect to her. I can get very passionate about characters, you know, but Ninette inspires more of a tenderness. She walks a thin line, wishing to control everything, which she does primarily by dancing, but misses out on life at the same time. The line that made this really clear was this: “That was the problem, she thought rather bitterly. She did not know how to do anything besides dance.” It’s heartbreakingly true. I was also very affected by Professor Snith’s questioning of Ninette about her father, because it was so tactless. Her outward emotionless response was interesting, and her strong reaction to being touched a testament to her isolation.

Ninette is such a delicate person (She shows that she knows this herself when she thinks, “She might have been a doll herself”), and contrasts vividly with Tonks. This contrast is a lot of the fic’s appeal. You made a good but unique choice in putting these two characters together in one fic.

Your inclusion of the hints of the outside war are great, and make this fic even more unique. I’m looking forward to seeing what significance Miss Rosier will play, though, I had thought that the only Rosier at the school at that time was a boy, Evan. I was also a bit confused by your use of the name Peverell, because that’s the name of the ancestors of the Gaunt family. I have no idea whether that was intentional or not, so I’ll just have to read on really soon, I suppose. ;)

Since, as Pat once said, you and Lian are probably the most thorough people in the world, I had a difficult time finding anything to criticize, but there was one slight change that I feel could be made. When Ninette thinks “Just like a doll” a little ways down in the chapter, I feel it could have more impact if you expanded just a little and explained how exactly she’s like a doll.

But that’s basically it. I enjoyed ever second of this chapter.

“Thank you,” said Ninette softly, and stepped out into the swirling snow.”

What a beautiful ending line, for a great chapter. Hopefully I’ll get to reviewing the next one soon enough!

Reviewer: NoxSomnium
Date: 04/23/07 0:04
Chapter: The Mysterious Miss Rosier

Tonks is such a girl. And now she's gone off and been mean. Sadness.

Reviewer: Leahr
Date: 04/22/07 21:45
Chapter: The Mysterious Miss Rosier

Wow, Tonks is getting teenagerish. Serious lack of self-esteem- you were very convincing. I'm so glad you're updating! And I really want to see what happens when Charlie and Kevin find out about the Metamorphmagi thing. What pranks can you get away with like that? Anyway, this chapter was quite good, if angsty.

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