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Reviews For The Portrait

Name: grawp22 (Signed) · Date: 07/13/07 9:14 · For: The Portrait
cute story with a day-dreamy atmosphere

Author's Response: Thanks! I'm glad you liked it! <3

Name: Phia Phoenix (Signed) · Date: 07/11/07 1:42 · For: The Portrait
Sorry about double-posting, but after thinking long and hard and consulting Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: the mermaid depicted in the Prefect's bathroom was a siren, a beautiful mermaid that dwells in warm waters. The merpeople in Hogwarts's lake are selkies, and are not beautiful. They are two different species. So, your mermaid cannot be the one in the portrait in the Prefect's bathroom, unless it changed species as Mark painted. But that's just canon nitpicking, the story is still superb!

Author's Response: *sigh* Alas, I realised this as I was researching paintings for the story prompt, but I just couldn't make it work with selkies. And to think that I had hoped that no one would notice! Harry Potter fans are sharp and obviously know their canon! :D

Name: Phia Phoenix (Signed) · Date: 07/10/07 7:25 · For: The Portrait
Well there are some pretty awesome reviews there that I can't compete with, but I think that this is pretty much perfect. I can usually find a couple of criticisms, but none here. I've read quite a few "tragic" HP fanfics on this sight, but this well and truly takes the cake. I have a lump in my throat and my eyes feel terribly watery- oops, I'd better go, I need to find a tissue!

Author's Response: Aww, here you go! *hands tissue* I'm glad you think so highly of my story. <3 And thanks for leaving such a kind review!

Name: Chalondra (Signed) · Date: 07/08/07 16:05 · For: The Portrait
wow that was pretty cool!

Author's Response: Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed, and thanks so much for leaving a nice review!! <3

Name: Lupins moon (Signed) · Date: 06/30/07 19:23 · For: The Portrait
This is such a lovely and sad story. I like how it explained the mermaid being in the prefects bathroom in the movie and book. I simply love how you wrote this story. ~Danielle

Author's Response: Aww, thank you so much! I'm really glad you enjoyed it. And thanks for reviewing!! :D

Name: LadyAlesha (Signed) · Date: 05/28/07 4:53 · For: The Portrait
First off I wanted to say that I love The Picture of Dorian Gray, but that I’m also very glad that there are only some parallels in your story and that the two are not too similar. In fact while I read your story another aspect stood out to me much more than the whole Portrait-thing, well, it is connected with the portrait but is more about what Mark thinks and feels while he paints it.

When he sees Merda he comes in contact with a whole new race and culture, one he knows hardly anything about, but what does he do when he returns? He tries to make her look more familiar, like a witch, so he gives her legs etc. I think that is typical of a lot of people, we see something knew, something we don’t understand and we don’t even try to understand, we try to mould it to fit our culture and our perception of things and we’re satisfied with what we have done. Mark, too, is satisfied with his painting until it changes and shows the mermaid the way she was when he encountered her under water and all of a sudden he sees the exotic beauty this image holds, even before he encountered the mermaid again after she turned human. I have no idea if you intended this issue to be an important part of your story or not, but it is the thing I most remembered after reading and it made me think about how I myself have done the same thing, seen Turkish women wearing Muslim headscarves on the streets and compared them to what I consider normal. The very first reaction I always have is that it’s different, not that it might just be a different kind of beauty or style, but that it’s not normal. It makes me really sad to admit that because I do consider myself relatively open to new cultures, but in a way none of us are and Mark’s painting raised that issue with a lot of subtlety. I loved that aspect of the story.

Your descriptions and generally the language you used were also superb. Your word choice and sentence structure have a very magical quality about them and I can actually see pictures in my head when I read your story (and that usually doesn’t happen to me). Both Merda’s underwater world and the Ravenclaw common room and dormitories come to life through your words, but most of all Mark and Merda are incredibly real and vivid characters. The way you alternate between Merda’s and Mark’s worlds was also very well done.

At last, the water's surface smoothed out its ripples, and reformed into the very-solid border between two unbridgeable worlds. This line gives Merda’s storyline a perfect ending and because the water’s surface, which we know can be broken quite easily, acts as a barrier here it just shows how the merpeople and the wizards made the barrier themselves, in their mind, because physically, nothing stops the wizards from immersing themselves in the world of the merpeople and to build bridges between the two worlds. This line is one of my favourites in the entire story.

He would never paint again. The last line of Mark’s story line is also very well done as it leaves it open what will happen to his thirst for knowledge. Will it be changed by his encounter with Merda or will he keep up his intensive studies and quest for knowledge? Another one of my favourite lines in your story.

I ought to thank you for taking me on this wondrous journey with your story. Lately a lot of Harry Potter fanfictions have lost their magic for me, but your story shrouded the HP world in mystery and magic once more and made me long to read more fanfictions. So thank you for writing such a brilliant story

Author's Response: Wow! Thank you so much! You know, I think that's an amazing reading of the story, and I wish I could take credit for consciously putting all those themes in there. :P But seriously, I think your take on the story meshes very well with many themes in the series - concerning tolerance and even appreciation for the differences that should, rather than separate us, unite us. Anyway, I'm super-excited that you liked my story, and thanks so much for the amazing review!! <3

Name: Dory_the_Fishie (Signed) · Date: 04/02/07 16:54 · For: The Portrait
Let me just say – wow. This fic was incredibly original and well-written and interesting and wonderful. You did such a great job with the characters, plot, and idea that I find myself marveling at everything. And so, naturally, I have to go through and talk about it all. =)

I adore the introductions to our two main characters. First we have Merda, who I’m not ashamed to say reminds a tad of Ariel from Disney’s The Little Mermaid. She dreams of the world above the water, unlike her fellow merpeople, and she wishes to know more of it. (Granted, Disney ends a bit more, shall we say, positively, but that’s Disney.) I love the idea that Merda ‘imagines,’ as you put it, because it presents such a nice parallel to Mark. And speaking of Mark, what a great character. You managed to characterize so fully in a relatively small amount of words. I think I might’ve liked to see some reference to the fact that this takes place during the founders’ era, just to give us an idea of the time period. The appearance of Godric Gryffindor later sort of caught me off guard.

The encounter between Merda and Mark, though brief, is lovely. They’re both fascinated by each other, and it’s interesting how that one moment changes both of their lives completely. I like the contrast between Richard’s and Merda’s reactions to the painting. Richard thinks it’s odd, unnatural, whereas Merda finds it beautiful, and she wishes she could really be the creature Mark portrays. It’s terribly sad when Mark says that the creature in the painting is real, because when he does see later that she is, he is horrified. It’s almost like he’s created a monster, in which case I see the connection to Frakenstein. ;-)

…and Merda realized with a rush of joy that her desires had been granted, and she rushed to the water's surface and broke through the border. I adore the ‘broke the border’ part of this sentence, because it seems to possess a double meaning. Yes, she’s literally breaking the border between the human world and the underwater world, but she’s also symbolically breaking it, if that makes sense. In my head it does. -is lame- I also find it interesting that she’s ‘breaking’ the border, when in a way she’s also melding the two borders into one. This line particularly caught my attention: At last, the water's surface smoothed out its ripples, and reformed into the very-solid border between two unbridgeable worlds. The reference again to the borders, and the way you so subtly said that she’d died is perfect.

Just a small nitpick: Mark noted that she had all the features that were common to humans, though none of the beauty; and all of the strangeness of merpeople without their grace, or their exoticism. The semicolon doesn’t really work here, because the part following it is a dependent clause. Anything that comes after a semicolon must be able to stand on its own a separate sentence. However, I do adore the idea of this sentence; it’s beautiful, and really illustrates the strangeness that’s occurred with this mixture of a mermaid and a witch.

The ending to this is great. I feel a little sad for Mark, though, since he decides he’ll never paint again. I think his reaction to what he’d created and his inability to handle it really showed how the interaction of human and nature don’t always work. In this case, it was too unnatural for either of the characters to accept. And then, of course, you tied everything up well with the prefect putting the painting in the bathroom. That small bit just gives us something to really relate to in canon, and it was great. Overall, this fic was excellent. I really don’t have any criticism to give you, other than that one nitpick. Everything flowed wonderfully, and the idea was refreshingly original. Great job!

Author's Response: Aww, thank you so much for such a deep, thought-out review! It's always a great compliment to see that a reader gets so much out of a story. :D Let's see... Merda - yes, she DOES sound a lot like Ariel! In fact, I didn't realize how much the entire story sounded like Anderson's fable until I read it, AFTER I wrote this, but the parallels were unbelievable! And Mark, well, I'm glad you liked him, because quite simply, that was me. :D In male form, of course. :P I rarely let myself leak through into fiction, but all his ideas about finding excitement in books and being unashamedly "intellectual" and voracious in every aspect of life... yeah, that's all me. :D I think I decided to add "me" as a character after reading Frankenstein, and noticing how much Victor stood for the "writer" prototype, and how that type of person (me? I like to think :P) can sometimes lose sight of reality when focusing on the "beauty" of his/her creation. And, I must confess, I'm a bit of a nitpicker myself, and while the "big" rule for semicolons is indeed that you mostly use them to combine two complete sentences, another rule reads, "Use a semicolon to separate a series of phrases or clauses that are long or have punctuation, like commas, within them." I probably didn't NEED a semicolon there - it would have been clear without one - but if you have one of those long, Faulknerian sentences that are easy to get lost in, you can use semicolons to separate the main phrases of a sentence. If that explanation makes ANY sense... :D Anyway, I can't thank you enough for looking so deepy into my story. It just absolutely made my day! Especially since my British Lit. professor was abnormally critical of my last essay... Thanks again!!! <3

Author's Response: *deeply, haha

Name: butter_beer_drinker (Signed) · Date: 03/15/07 12:17 · For: The Portrait

Hi classmate (waves ) You will see this posted in our DA homework but I have to tell you that this story really made me think about the reponse I would post. Now, Person vs. Nature could be taken different ways. I orginally looked for a story that would involve storms, or fighting plants off ets. Then I relized it could also be fighting the nature of things. This story caught my eye when I was looking for the first but soon saw that it involved the second. The mermaid is struggling with what she is, her nature. She doesn't want to be a mermaid, she wants to be human and when she gets her wish Mark is terrified of what he has done to nature, the animal part of her that made her fasicinating. You already know that I love your writing!

Author's Response: Thank you incredibly, incredibly much! I'm glad you enjoyed the story, and I'm even more glad that you read so much into it! <3

Name: xXMarauder_GirlXx (Signed) · Date: 02/27/07 23:23 · For: The Portrait
This is [[FaNtAsTiC]]

I love it.

Author's Response: Aww, thank you tremendously! <3<3<3

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