Wow. I wasn't expecting it to go this direction! How exciting!
Tonks stomped her foot. It made distressingly little sound against the cold stone rock beneath her.
I like this. It conveys very well the feeling of being lost in a vast place. Not necessarily open, but much, much bigger than one's self.
Nice touch, Professor "Emrys." The first name of Merlin... [/geeky mythology note]
Good job with the whole ring story. It fits well with what we know of the Founders' personalities and it's got such a convincing backstory. Really cool.
Tonks split her friendship fairly evenly between Charlie and Kevin, Justine and Marianne. In both groups she felt somewhat like a third wheel; they accepted her, but also seemed content in their own company.
Well done. I've been there. Most of us have, I think; you got the feeling perfectly.
This story's gotten more and more interesting as it goes. I like it a lot!
Author's Response: You caught my geeky mythology reference! Yay and huggles! I don't know whether or not it has any significance, but it was intentional, so make of that what you will...perhaps my subconscious has plans. Glad I'm keeping your interest, despite the slow writing process. Thanks!
First allow me to say, oh my gosh I am so excited you have finally posted, I was so excited to hear that you were working on it again and oh, this is one of my favorite stories. To top it off we are SPEW buddies so I can learn all your amazing secrets.
Your story is so entrancing, and I feel like Iím reading an actual novel in my hands on my bed instead of at a desk eyes glued to a computer screen. You pull the reader right in from the first sentence and leave us guessing for the next chapter. I compliment people on certain aspects of their writing, but you are a great writer. When Bill told his story, I was there. I was in the dark tunnel and could see the dim light and I could hear his voice. I was like leaning in to the screen as if I could hear him better that way.
The history of the ďold magicĒ was incredible! All that history you put in was fascinating, and trust me too many people make the history of the founders absolutely boring. The twist you added in with Hufflepuff refusing to add her magic totally made sense. At first I was surprised too but actually we are all just so clichť that your story just seems smarter.
That is one thing about this story; there are no clichťs in it whatsoever. Itís fresh and itís original and I think that is why so many people like it. Itís not like reading fanfiction, itís like reading a real book and itís just amazing.
ďI am not!Ē retorted Kevin. ďJust practical. Fighting dragons? Definitely not practical.Ē
I really liked this line. Iíve grown to like Kevinís character a lot through this chapter, he reminds me of my friend Kevin, and this line was dead on.
Throughout the story Iíve been watching these girls (Ninette and Tonks) face the mirrors and Iíve seen how alike they are in that respect. In this chapter I think you did a good job of also bringing out how different they are. Reading about each of them is a very separate experience yet they are united by glass. It will be interesting to see how you will take them separately and in their relations with each other in future chapters.
You have a masterpiece here darling and I am so glad to hear there will not be such hiatuses any longer. I know this is a SPEW review but I have no critiques for this chapter, youíve apparently have been working very hard and your beta must be superb. Keep up the good work Nan, and bask in the glory that this chapter deserves.
Author's Response: Thank you, Ashley! I'm all glowy from compliments right now, and it's a great feeling! I'm glad you liked Bill's story and the Old Magic - I was afraid that it would come across as too random, or boring and aside-the-point, so I'm really happy you enjoyed it. It's funny what you say about there being no cliches in the story, because one of the things I thought about before writing it was the number of cliches I was dealing with. A dancer who goes to Hogwarts - major alarm bells there. Standoffish and beautiful - more bells. Sudden introduction of random backstory including founders and magical objects...I was afraid it might be too much. So I'm really happy to hear that you think it feels natural. As for Kevin, he was originally a sideline character, meant to give Charlie someone to talk to, but he's grown on me as well, and is definitely going to stick around.
*grins sheepishly* Hello dear Nan. For some reason I feel naughty reviewing something which I betaíd, because Iíve already read this several times in several forms and it feels like cheating, but my excuse is that this is my opportunity to tell you what I really like, because for all the time weíve spent discussing this chapter, only a small bit of it has been devoted to me telling you all the things which I think are absolutely wonderful.
Iím mostly going to skip nitpicking, hopefully youíll excuse me on that one. Iím sure there are probably some things I didnít catch (*waits for other reviews with her pen and notebook out*), but Iíve already combed through it enough times, andÖ hopefully youíll forgive me. Marianne and Justine continued down the corridor without a break in their conversation; Tonks glared at their retreating backs. I still think that in this sentence it should be without breaking their conversation, but weíve discussed that already and itís really more a matter of personal taste than anything else.
Hmmm. One other comment that I didnít make earlier, but upon reflection seems like a good idea. Angry as she was, she could hardly blame them; now that she looked at her argument herself it was paltry and unconvincing. Going through the chapter yet another time, I noticed that it is a tad bit heavy on semicolons. I personally am a fan of semicolons, but in this particular instance I think that a full stop would be better. Angry as she was, she could hardly blame them. Now that she looked at her argument herself it was paltry and unconvincing. While somewhat connected, the thoughts really are separate enough to belong in separate sentences.
Okay. That was definitely enough in the nitpicking department, even for me. My apologies in advance for any gushing that may follow. I really like this version of the opening. With every draft of this chapter, youíve made Tonks, Charlie, Kevin, and Bill (yes, even Bill) seem more like the children they are. The tone of their conversation at the beginning is perfect. Theyíre joking, sarcastic, and natural. I went back and read the first six chapters this morning, and the opening here really shows what was stated at the end of chapter five: the growing friendship between Kevin and Charlie. Theyíre more accepting of her, and sheís sure enough of their friendship to push a little sometimes, even get mad at them. Itís a small enough change to seem smooth, but big enough to show character development. Brava!
Billís speech is greatly improved from the first time I read it; it no longer sounds like Dumbledore. I think I may have seen too much of its transformation process to objectively judge if it sounds like Bill should, so youíll have to rely on your other reviewers to tell you that. But itís much, much, much better. And while Iím on the subject of Billís speech, what exactly is the Mirror of Narcissus? I know thereís a chance it has absolutely no relevance to the story (or maybe not, given the mirror motif), but my curiosity has gotten the better of me, and I simply want to know. What is its story, and what does it do? Iím terribly curious.
On the same general subject, I really like what youíve done with Old Magic. Iíve seen the idea used in several stories, but you use it both effectively and (seemingly) effortlessly. Itís clear that youíve put a great deal of thought into what it is and how it works, rather than simply throwing it out there as a rather transparent plot device. You said once to me that sometimes a story can seem so real that it seems to become canon, so real that in the readerís mind it becomes a part of the plot of the main books and they can never read them the same way again. Your ďOld MagicĒ does that for me. Seriously. It fits so seamlessly with actual canon that Iíve had a hard time remembering that itís not canon fact when reading other stories.
Your new transition into the next day works very well. Again, itís very smooth. The laughter and the mood just sort of sail us over that awkward space of time where nothing happens and right into the next scene. It also takes emphasis off the run-in with Professor Snith, making it more likely that only your more careful readers will really take note of it. >.>
For all the earlier parts of this chapter do a great deal to advance the plot and are, in that sense, far more important, my favorite part of this chapter is the scene between Tonks and Ninette in Potions. We havenít really seen the two girls interact in quite a while, and you give us a wonderful window into their relationship (if you can call it that). Weíve followed both of them by now, and we know how each perceives the other. Theyíre each such interesting mirrors for the otherÖ
Itís amazing how you make both girls so sympathetic, even when one of them thoroughly dislikes the other. I think itís because the reader knows that Ninette is not being snobbish at all, but overcome by shyness and concentrating on corrections and combinations from her ballet lessons, and yet we can feel Tonksís frustration. I really love them both, you know, and care deeply for both of them.
I could probably go on to write a long, long essay on why I love this chapter, but I donít want to kill your eyes. So Iím going to leave it at this. *Huggles Nan*
Amazing and polished as always, darling!
Author's Response: Do you ever have to apologize for gushing? I don't think so. :) Yes, I know, I'm currently having a love-affair with semicolons; I'll try to restrict myself, but...we shall see. The Mirror of Narcissus? I needed something to fill a gap, and decided to put in something that I could pull out in the future. So I don't know exactly what it is (though I have a few ideas hovering in my head), but I could potentially be delving into that matter at some point. I'm glad you like the Old Magic bit. I really wasn't sure where I was going with that, and it went through a myriad of dramatic changes, so I'm very happy that it rings true for you. That Tonks and Ninette scene was entirely due to you - it was originally one line long. *huggles beta* Thanks, Lian dear.
I love this story too, but I never would have begun to read it if I had noticed that you haven't updated in almost a year! You do write beautifully, you shouldn't give it up. You've had me at tears quite a few times. Please, don't abandon this story. I, and quite a few others, would be most distressed.
Author's Response: I haven't given it up - I've just taken a very long hiatus, and I'm planning to start again soon. I'm glad you enjoyed it!
This was hilarious. Your characterization of Tonks was really nice. I liked the streaks of humor and insecurity throughout the piece. Your OC is well developed. Overall, I like your accurate portrayal of Tonks. You included everything - her Metamorphagus talents, her insecurity, her clumsiness, her brightness of character. :)
Author's Response: Thank you!
You're making me most depressed, Ennalee! If you've abandoned this story could you please just let us know? I love this story, but if it is no more I can accept that.
Author's Response: I have not abandoned the story - I've just been a delinquent author. I will write more, I promise. Sorry for the long wait.
This story feels so familiar and comforting. Do you know what I mean? There's not too much high drama, just characters that are very human and easy to empathize with. (That's a compliment.) The dance aspect is nicely unique, not obnoxious like some stories that try to stand out from the crowd become. You've done a wondeful job of creating a believable young!Tonks with some OC's in the bargain. I very much look forward to your next update. (And hopefully I'll be able to scrounge up some concrit by then, lol.)
Author's Response: I'm delighted that you think it feels real, even though the characters are in imaginary situations. Thank you!
HI, I've had your story on my favorites list for ages. I really want to see an update very soon. You write very well, and I want to see what you are planning with Tonks and Ninette. Consider this a subtle hint: Write more! Please?
Author's Response: Thank you! I will write more, though it has been a huge delay!
*Sheepish grin* Iím starting my reviews a tad lateÖBut you should know that I picked your story first because I knew Iíd like it enough to review. :)
I may have said it before, (itís been so long since Iíve reviewed that I really canít remember) but it truly is the characters that make this story what it is. This chapter, for example, was based solely on Ninette and Aunt Edrisí characters. Youíve managed to combine what too many people separate: plot and character development. The plot is about Ninette changing throughout the year as she meets knew people, which is tied to the whole bit with the tunnels. I really have to compliment you on Aunt Edris; sheís probably the best done character in your story. Itís not just her, either, but also the way she interacts with Ninette. Their behavior is just amazingly connected with one another.
Something about what you write makes me think Iím reading an actual story, a piece of literature ó not a fanfiction. Ninette and Aunt Edris are more like people than ďoriginal charactersĒ. This probably isnít the wisest thing to say on a fan fiction site, and especially not in an S.P.E.W. review, but I still think this would make a great novel ó a better novel than fan fiction. Not that is isnít a great fic, but itís got so much potential! And magic doesnít appear to be one of the key factors to the story, nor do any of the characters found in the Harry Potter universe. I want to see this on a book self while Iím browsing Barnes and Nobel one day, missy! No pressure, of courseÖ
Ninette danced the part of Clara that night, with every part of herself besides her body Ė and without her body, the mirror could do nothing to her. Beautifully written. Do you know how much easier and how much more boring it would have been to write something along the lines of ďNinette dreamed of playing Clara all nightĒ? But this makes you think and sympathize with her because of the way itís written.
The scene at the very end with Ninette and Aunt Edris was great. I felt like cheering Ninette on as she stood up to her aunt. Earlier in the chapter you mentioned that Ninette had nothing to protect. Now that she feels it necessary to protect her motherís memory, she suddenly becomes braver than we previously thought. It makes sense, as she is in Gryffindor.
The only problem with reviewing your story is actually finding something to criticize, and Iím not about to pick something randomly just to make it ďS.P.E.W. worthyĒ. Thereís really nothing that hasnít been covered by someone else that I could pick at. All I can tell you are your strong points, so I guess you can know to do those more or something. The fact that Iím just now reading chapter six made me head-palm when I finally did read it, because I enjoyed it so much. Wonderful job ó as always.
Author's Response: *blushes dreadfully* I would love to be able to publish an original fiction someday, but I have so much left to learn! As flattering as it is to hear you say so, I don't think this story would be able to stand on its own - though it isn't apparent yet, its plot really is grounded in the magical world. But I'm thrilled that you think my characters are good enough to stand up on their own; it's a very encouraging thought!
On a side note - I can't believe how many people seem to like Aunt Edris, as a character if not as a person!
I want them to be friends. They're both so unhappy! I also hope you update (I know, weird to say it at the third chapter when you're at six or so, but there's a method to my madness, as I'm sure you'll realize). I think you do really well with Tonks and her clumsiness and all. Well done! You're on my favorites list, you know.
Author's Response: I'm honored to be one of your favorites. Thank you for your wonderful compliments! As for whether or not they'll be friends...you'll have to wait and see! ;)
I've put off reading this story for a while, but I'm so glad I did it now!! You have exceptional talent! Your characters are perfect and Tonks and Ninette seem so real and tangible and I can relate to them (Ninette especially). I could rave for hours about everything! You have a wonderful view into a dancer's life and everything is so plausible. Your characters are very well fleshed out...I can't express how completely real it feels when I'm reading this! Wow. I just - wow, it's just amazing. Can you tell that you've made me speechless?
Beautiful story! I'm bouncing on my seat, waiting to read more!
Author's Response: *blushes* Thank you very much! I'm delighted that you enjoy my characters, and that it seems real - those are just about the best compliments you could give me.
wow. amazing. I like the character development and descriptions of feelings - a very unique story. keep up the tres incroyable work!
Author's Response: Thank you!
Please Please Please Please update soon. Please.
Author's Response: Well, I didn't even respond to your review soon, but now that I'm responding I can honestly say that I hope to get it up within the week.
I don't think I have anything to add that hasn't been said. It's wonderful. Except that as a reformed painfully shy person who is now outgoing, Charlie sitting next to Ninnette was definately what I would have done.
Author's Response: I'm glad you think Charlie's actions make sense; thanks!
You have such a grasp of human nature. I'm so glad I know it so that I can recognize it. Like the characters, I didn't have it when I was eleven. Unfortunately.
Author's Response: Thanks!
The entire part at the table was so.... true of life, especially in the female realm. We're all so innundated with the idea that we should look differently than we do, no matter how good we look, that even someone like Tonks, who can change to look however she wants is never satisfied. Not to mention the entire human population seems to be obssessed with wanting to be noticed and admired but always being terrified that we won't measure up and that people will make fun of us. You reflected that so well. And they way you brought out little differences between Tonks and Ninnette was good too. Things like Ninnette being early to the train and Tonks barely making it.
Author's Response: Thank you! I originally intended the mirror imagery and worry with looks to be centered solely around Ninette, but the idea of a metamorphmagus who is not satisfied with her appearance was too much to resist. I'm glad you like it!
I do so love ballet! It's a good idea you've had to use dance. It isn't really ever mentioned in reference to HP and yet dancing is so prevelant. One doesn't really think about what would happen if someone were intending to be a proffesional dancer then suddenly found out they were magical. The arts vaguely exist in the wizarding world but dance seems to be the most neglected of them. I didn't actually pick up on the line with the "packet of information about the wizarding world" bit so it was confusing how they suddenly knew so much. Maybe if you mentioned one of them refering to it as they wander around. I don't know if it would be in character of the Aunt to memorize all that information if she didn't have to. Also, are you sure that the muggle parents of magial persons can't get through to the platform? It make sense but I seem to remember something contradictory in canon.
Author's Response: I can't find any canon references one way or the other about the barrier to the platform; I just guessed that muggles wouldn't be able to go through, just in case a muggle went through accidentally; chasing a runaway cart, perhaps, or just leaning against the barrier. I have no idea what JKR would say, but I'm going to use this until canon proves me wrong. ;)
I totally agree about the arts and the wizarding world. This story probably grew out of my imaginations shortly after I began reading the books, as I sent myself on adventures in Hogwarts and impressed everybody by playing the flute, which the wizards had never heard of. There is very little mention of music or the muggle arts in the books, and I suppose this story is my response to that.
Update!!!!!!! Gah. I love this story. Please update soon. Haha I'm so impatient.
Author's Response: You have a right to be impatient - I'm a delinquent author who doesn't update. I'll do my best.
This is a very well written story, and I can't wait until the next chapter comes. But in the meantime I'll review. First of all I dance and from the way you write this I'm wondering; do you dance? You seem to have delved deep into the world of a very serious dancer. I personally am pretty serious (I compete and stuff), but not quite that serious. Although my one of my teacher's was, but I think more importantly then having Ninette be the drive to dance you had her family be the drive and that's usually the case. With Tonks I'm waiting to see what happens, so far you've written her perfectly and I'm wondering what will bring her and Ninette together (if that's even your intention). I hope this will help you with your writerís block, and that you post the next part soon as to not keep us in suspense forever. -Gypzy (Hope it wasn't to long)
Author's Response: I do not dance, but I studied music very seriously until college, which I think helped me get into the mindset. I've done a lot of research on ballet, and I have a wonderful beta who helps me with the terminology and details. I'm glad I convinced you!
Wow. I just read you story again and I can't get over how fantastically you write. I can't wait for chapter seven, and to see what happens next!!
Author's Response: Thank you!