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Name: IHateSnakes (Signed) · Date: 11/10/05 11:26 · For: Chapter 2 - Of Labyrinths and Destiny
Cool story, so far. Your imagery is very nice, S.

Author's Response: Why, thanks S! *bows* I adore your writing, so the feeling is mutual. Thanks for the review!

Name: Vader (Signed) · Date: 11/10/05 10:19 · For: Prologue

The first thing that catches attention in the prologue is the imagery. The description of the Thestral, Vader thought, was very well done. He got a very clear image in his head of what a one looked like, and it matched up very nicely with the image left from JKR herself. The part about the horse-dragon breeding gone horribly wrong was perfect. He liked that very much, and it works very well to help sharpen the image the reader has of these magical creatures.

Your description of Harry was nicely done as well. It gives the reader a solid sense of how everything that is going on is taking a toll on him. Perhaps the “pale as death” part struck Vader as a little bit cliché. Perhaps we could have found another way to say that, but this is just a Sith Lord nit-picking. It is just a very minor constructive note in your very well done description here. Again, your imagery throughout is fantastic.

The main thing your prologue accomplishes, however, is to capture the readers attention. You end this chapter on a cliff hanger, literally. Here’s Harry looking down on this foreboding looking fortress telling himself whatever happens, happens. It certainly helps direct your reader to the link to move to chapter two. The entire mood of the prologue sets it up perfectly so the reader really wants to know all about this fortress Harry sees as the chapter closes.

It’s a solid opening, and Vader enjoyed reading it. He will definitely move to the next chapter to find out what happens. This is the first work of yours he has read and you have left a solid impression. Keep it up.

Author's Response: Vader! I apologise for not responding this sooner. I admit that I've read it over and over, and it puts a smile on my face every time. I think I've become completely spoiled with these wonderful reviews...

I was really hoping someone would say something about the Thestral! I worked on this particular description for a while, trying to build on what JKR has already written about them, while also creating a new layer of the darkness that has taken over Harry's world in this story.

All your compliments are making me blush profusely, but I do thank you. I'm glad I left a solid impression on you, and I hope you continue reading into the later chapters!

Name: GringottsVault711 (Signed) · Date: 11/10/05 1:40 · For: Prologue
Well, the tables have turned, and I'm really unsure of what to say.

I think this was a perfect prologue - to say that it has that 'prologue feel' to it. It establishes a familiarity with the story, it has a strong tone, it gives us a setting. It's such a teaser :) I think you've done a good job of detailing and painting a scene for something that some people would [unwisely] put into two sentences. You definitely wrote it well

One of my favourite lines was this one:He longed to be warm, well fed, and clean shaved again. Not only does it show that he is on a long and hardened journey, but 'well-shaven'! You tell the reader from the get-go that the Harry you're writing is a man [and as well he should be!]. I love it - I love this Harry. Though not much goes on - he doesn't have interaction with anyone but a thestral - but there is a strong sense of HBP Canon!Harry. There is a determination, and a dark courage flowing from your words that loan themselves to Harry's person. Nicely done

I also enjoyed the description of Harry's hair as being dark as the thestral's mane. Not only is it a new way of describing Harry's hair, but I think the symbolism is very strong. It again says something about Harry and his connection with darkness. I think the thestral was such a perfect choice for thie prologue. I like the imagery of it, as opposed to a broomstick. It brings something more to the chapter, and it brings something more to Harry

I'm afraid I really don't have any criticism for you at the moment, so this will have to be a short review :) You've done your job with this, though - I'm looking forward to more!

Author's Response: *gulps* The tables have turned? Oh Jenna... I doubt that could ever happen, but I appreciate it all the same! You're one of the best fanfic writers out there, and I think of you as one of my influences ;)

The fact that you love this Harry makes me *squee*. Writing this Prologue made me realise how much I love Harry - not any Harry though, but as you said, HBP Cannon!Harry. What you comment on is exactly what I was trying to portray - so the fact that you picked up on it makes me feel like I did my job as a writer. Yay!

"It again says something about Harry and his connection with darkness."... *balks* Wow you really do pick up on everything. I love you Jenna, I really do.

Thank you SO much for reviewing. I know I was pestering you... but still, it really does make me smile. You rock my socks.

Name: flyinwithdragons (Signed) · Date: 11/06/05 20:28 · For: Chapter 2 - Of Labyrinths and Destiny
ooo i so loved this chappie!! its very mysterious, but im sure it will unfold through time. its going great so far and im really enjoying it. 10/10 whoot! and as for the tapestry, hmmmm, perhaps lily potter? just a wild guess, dont hurt me if i'm wrong! please update soon!

Author's Response: Thank you for sticking with the story! I'm so glad you're loving it. I'm also very glad that you're finding it mysterious. I'm doing my job right!

And I won't hurt you! It's not Lily Potter, but it is someone that is very close to Hogwarts...

I'll be updating in the next two days, I hope :) My next chapter (Introducing my OC) is at my BETA's at the moment.

Name: deanine (Signed) · Date: 11/05/05 19:09 · For: Chapter 2 - Of Labyrinths and Destiny
This is very richly written. The tapestry was a nice creation, quite vivd and original. It harkened to the Devil's Snare (in my head anyway) but in a completely different preety mysterious artistic way.

You're building anticipation but you still haven't revealed much to us. It should be iteresting to see what awaits Harry to test him.

As for the mysterious Herbologist, I haven't a clue. *no cookie for me*

Author's Response: Oh I never thought about the Devil's Snare! Maybe it's related... *thinks of a way to work that in* I am glad you found it so vivid, though! Yayy... I feel like I'm actually being successful in what I want to get across.

I'll reveal more in good time. I won't keep you hanging too long though! After all, I have to give more hints on the Herbologist. It seemed to make a lot of sense in my head - I don't think it came out of my head onto my computer though.

Thanks for reviewing again, my fellow H/S shipper. ;)

Name: deanine (Signed) · Date: 11/05/05 18:58 · For: Prologue
Very short, yes, but it has a nice flow, very descriptive, with a nice urgency.

Falcor = Neverending story flying dog-like thing!!

Author's Response: Perfect! Just what I was trying to get across. And YES! Cookie for you too! I've noticed all the SPEWers have gotten that one ;)

<3 Thanks for reviewing!

Name: RoverDroverTiger (Signed) · Date: 11/04/05 19:40 · For: Chapter 2 - Of Labyrinths and Destiny
Nice Chapter! I don't know were the tapersty came from eather. I know it from some were though. A few more clues and hints than I should get it..... hopefully.

Author's Response: They shall be coming in good time :)

Glad you liked the chapter! Thanks for reviewing again, I really appreciate it.

Name: RoverDroverTiger (Signed) · Date: 11/04/05 19:24 · For: Prologue
Nice Story! Well Falcor seemed to ring a bell but I don't know were it came from. I have to think about. I don't think the chapter was short, neither did I think it was long eather. Besides I don't really care the of the leanth as long as its agood story. 10/10

Author's Response: Thank you for reviewing! I'm so glad you like the story. I agree about the length thing - if the story hooks me, I'll read it no matter what.

Name: Aequitas (Signed) · Date: 11/02/05 18:01 · For: Prologue

I finally got around to reviewing! I know I promised you one, but it’s not uncommon to decide I’ll do one and then finally review a couple days later. :: hides :: But anyway, I enjoyed reading this, so here is a literary analysis of your story—I mean, *cough * a review. :D

The first two—two!—paragraphs really drew me in. You’ve a talent for imagery--wrought with a heaviness that forced the Thestral to pump its dark wings with an extra ferocity; his skin, so drained from lack of sleep and prolonged exposure to the cold, was as pale as death--and it showed. I feel like it’s a movie, with the scene opening up to Harry on the back of a Thestral in a storm, the sound effects loud and the music very dark.

I also really liked the allusions to Narnia; it really added to your story. I also really, really like the Chronicles of Narnia, so extra points for you. :D The Horse and his Boy was nicely added in. This first part of your story had an excellent tone for a prologue; not too revealing and didn’t jump right into the story and slightly mysterious, making the reader want more. Yes, it was kind of short, but that’s usually justified by how long the next chapters are. Kudos for the Author’s Note at the end.

This story’s very clean, free of the usual mistakes that first stories have. (Run-on sentences, improper syntax, canon contradictions, etc.) I can tell it’s not just beta-ing, though. But, there are just a few nitpicky things I want to comment on . . . The boy’s hair and robes were as dark as his Thestral’s mane; but his skin, so drained from lack of sleep and prolonged exposure to the cold, was as pale as death. The semi-colon should be a comma, unless you take out the “but.” Then the second part will become a clause perfect for a semi-colon. The dark haired boy felt for his horse, which he had appropriately named Falcor, but he knew also that speed and secrecy were the differences between survival and death. “Dark haired” should be dark-haired. Also, the Horse references later on are justified by the Narnia reference, but Thestral would probably work better here. I also note that it wouldn’t be too repetitive, since it’s not mentioned too often in the paragraphs surrounding it. I did like steed, though. Very creative. “We’re close, Falcor,” Harry murmured, “It shouldn’t be long now.” After “murmured,” there should be a period. Harry’s saying two different sentences. “Ok boy,” he yelled against a wave of rain . . . (I didn’t include the last part of that sentence; too lazy.) “Ok” should be seen as okay or OK. Whichever you choose, it’s still right.

See? I’m very, very nitpicky. Normally I get down to small things like punctuation when there’s nothing else I can bother the author about, LOL. So I don’t think you’re a horrible writer, but there are a few small things you can fix. This is a good start, and the problem with stories like these is that I often nag the author to update. Usually after a week or two I get impatient. :P

Oh! I know where Falcor is from! It’s from The Neverending Story, isn’t it? Can I have a cookie? Please? :D

Author's Response: I can't believe this! I wrote this fabulous reply last night and I guess I forgot to press submit... and well, it went away. How absolutely demoralizing :(

No matter, since the fact that it isn't here doesn't change the fact that I really appreciate this review. Wonderful. I love you SPEWers, you really make writing fanfiction worth it.

I'm so glad you mentioned that it felt like a movie, because while I was writing this sequence, I was very much thinking of it in visual, movie-like terms. There was a lot of "Hey... this would look cool in a movie" stuff going through my head.

You say that you're incredibly nitpicky; I just think you're incredibly awesome at finding stuff I managed to miss. I'm actually quite suprised there isn't more, since I didn't use a Beta for this chapter.

The "horse" references in the beginning are the only things I will leave. Jo refered to the Thestrals as such in OotP, and I really tire of using "Thestral" and "steed" over and over, though I'm glad you like "steed". Me too. :)

Thank you for all your compliments as well. I can tell you are someone who appreciates good writing, so they mean a lot to me.

Anyway, I'm very much looking forward to working with you as my Beta. (Actually, I'm ecstatic! hee.) And here's your cookie! *hands over a pink cookie* Sorry, it's the only color I had left ;)

Name: Fantasium (Signed) · Date: 10/31/05 21:32 · For: Prologue

*grinning* I’ve secretly been waiting for this story, or rather any story from you, for a while now. Why? Well, because I figured that someone with such fine taste is bound to be a talented writer herself. ;) And do you know what? For once, my ‘logical’ reasoning was accurate!

I like your style already from the summary and disclaimer. You have a lovely way with words, words which you use to set a brilliant grim tone. There is something mature, and almost poetic, about your writing. Lines like this one, ‘It wasn’t a look that became a boy so young.’, manages to completely catch my attention.

I’m intrigued by what you’ve presented of the story so far, the idea of Harry being away on a quest on his own. I’m full of questions, like, why is he riding a Thestral and not a broomstick? Where are Ron and Hermione, who said they would be with him? Is the Order aware that Harry is away all by himself?
I love the references to Narnia and The Neverending Story, little details like that can do wonders for a fanfic.

There were a few things I’d like to point out:
- You mention the word ‘thestral’ several times. I haven’t got my books where I live at the moment, but I’ve looked around online, and it seems like it should be ‘Thestral’, capitalised.
‘He quite famous among the witches and wizards of his time.’ - there seems to be a ‘was’ missing in this sentence.
‘Another flash of lightning split the sky, much closer this time. Falcor reared in the midst of the sky, which was a slightly terrifying experience.’ - you’ve got a fairly close repetition of the word ‘sky’ here, and it bothered me a little. Perhaps you could change the first one for ‘the heavens’ or the second one to ‘the air’? Just my personal thought, though.
‘Perhaps those luxuries would still not be available to me, he reminded himself. After all, I’m not exactly welcome where I’m going as it is.’ - I’d like to see Harry’s thoughts in italics, it’s so much easier to catch the fact that he’s actually thinking then.

Nice take-off here, Haley! It’s short, yes, but it’s powerful and makes me want more – and isn’t that the whole point of a prologue? I’ll be keeping an eye out for coming chapters, be so sure!

Author's Response: I've seen your amazing reviews. It's one thing to see them for another's fic, and a completely different thing to get one of my own. Let me just say, I'm completely flattered. I know you mean what you say, because you only read the best, so I accept this as a great honor. You're awesome :)

You're right about "Thestral". Not only was I not capitalizing it, I added an extra r in there, for some reason. Thanks for pointing it out; I think I fixed all of them.

The sky repeat I noticed earlier, and than forgot about. I used your "heavens" suggestion, if you don't mind. It works perfectly.

Also added the italics. I usually remember to do that, hmmm... This is the kinda stuff that happens when I don't use a BETA.

I'm loving your observations and your questions. You're asking the right questions - in good time, they'll be answered. But I'm the kind of writer who likes answering with more questions. *shrugs* It's fun.

Most of all, thank you for your compliments. Like I said above, coming from you, they mean a lot.

Chapter 1 should go to the queue tomorrow, if my BETA ever gets it back ;) I've written up to the end of 2, and have started on 3... So you'll see more soon enough. Hopefully your good opinion of me won't waver too much.

Name: flyinwithdragons (Signed) · Date: 10/31/05 10:51 · For: Prologue
oooo i'm liking this story! it has sort of a dark beginning, but i'm really anxious to read more. oh, and "Falcor" is from 'the neverending story'...can i have a cookie now? lol 10/10 =)

Author's Response: You got it! *hands over a cookie wrapped in orange and black* Glad you like the story so far :) Yes the beginning is dark, but the prologue has to set the tone for the story, right? Thanks for the kind review, happy halloween!

Name: Nic Potter (Signed) · Date: 10/31/05 8:52 · For: Prologue
That's problem, since I grew up and live in Poland - but let me guess - Transformers?

Author's Response: Nope! That's ok, though, you can have a cookie anyway :) Happy Halloween!

Name: Nic Potter (Signed) · Date: 10/30/05 4:47 · For: Prologue
Too short indeed, we should see what is the fortress right in the 1st chapter, JKR would do so. Well the introduction was better than the summary, and please update soon. Ten it is, m'boy/lady(quoting infamous walrus Horace). Does Falcor has something to do with "with a heart of a falcon"?

Author's Response: Yes, in the first chapter we'll find out what the fortress is -- to a degree. With answers come many more questions :) I am sorry it was short, but Chapter 1 shall be around twice its length. Thanks for the 10! As to Falcor, think back to your favorite childhood adventure movies...

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