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Name: generalcategory (Signed) · Date: 03/17/17 3:43 · For: Chapter Two, The Rejection
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Name: kail420 (Signed) · Date: 01/21/14 11:18 · For: Chapter 1, The Zimmermaanns.
great story

Name: kail420 (Signed) · Date: 01/20/14 15:41 · For: Chapter 1, The Zimmermaanns.
this is my third time reading this story. really great writing and awesome depiction of WWII.

Name: 2ndsthebest (Signed) · Date: 09/01/11 14:49 · For: Chapter Eight, The Feast
Another great chapter :) I liked how Dumbledor got the students into Hogwarts, it really seemed like something that Dumbledor would do. I also really liked when Sofia was sorted into the Slytherin house and the sorting hat said that she would not have been sorted there if she had gone to Hogwarts at 11. It reminded me of when Dumbledor told Snap that he thought they sorted too early sometimes, and I think it's true because nobody is the same person they were when they were 11. Can't wait for the next update; keep up the good work!

Author's Response: Thank you very much for the lovely review :) I'm glad you liked Dumbledore's characterisation, he's a tricky one!

Name: 2ndsthebest (Signed) · Date: 08/19/11 17:12 · For: Chapter Seven, The Train Station
Great chapter, I can't wait to see how Dumbledore managed to get the foreign students into Hogwarts! I'm glad for the clear up with chapter 6, I was kinda confused with all the characters when I had first read this when it was posted a few weeks ago. You're doing a great job so far, I can't wait for the next update :)

Author's Response: Yeah, sorry for the confusion, I'm a little dim now and then. :( I'm glad you enjoyed this chapter though :) Thanks for reviewing :) xxx

Name: 2ndsthebest (Signed) · Date: 07/25/11 0:19 · For: Chapter 1, The Zimmermaanns.
I don't ever post reviews, but for this one I had to. This is easily one of my favorite that I've read here so far. I started reading it shortly after it was posted and the first chapter really drew me in, and now I find myself checking in weekly to see if any new chapters have been posted. You're description of the murders of Sofia's neighbours and her reaction to the event actually gave me chills. I think you are a very talented writer, and I love the idea of a story set in WW II Europe through the eyes of a young Jewish witch. Keep up the great work!

Author's Response: Thank you so much, that means such a lot to me. I'm so glad to hear that I have such a loyal reader :)

Name: OtterMoone (Signed) · Date: 07/24/11 20:26 · For: Chapter 1, The Zimmermaanns.
I thought I had reviewed. Was it deleted or something? Oh well.

Author's Response: I was an idiot and got my chapters in the wrong order :( I was very grateful for your lovely review though!

Name: Snowlily (Signed) · Date: 07/02/11 15:38 · For: Chapter Three, The Acceptance
Very very good, I enjoyed it very much - except for Dumbledore's stupidity. I know that's how he really was, I just hated him for it. Doesn't Dumbledore understand that other Muggles are doing that to the innocent ones?? =)

Author's Response: That is the problem - he sees it only as a muggle problem. He does want to help them but he's so besotted with Grindelwald that he's convinced himself that Muggles are these weak creatures that desperately need wizarding control before they all kill each other. It's not quite stupidity, more convenient ignorance so that he can continue to delude himself that Grindelwald is great. Deep down he knows it's wrong. Thank you for reading and reviewing!

Name: welshdevondragon (Signed) · Date: 06/24/11 17:40 · For: Chapter Five, The Arrival
I think anyone who started reading this story expecting fluff are idiots. This was never going to be a fluffy story and it would be- oh, I can't remember any words at the moment. Not facetious, but something like it, to make it fluffy. Now, I hope you know by now I'm really enjoying this story and admire your writing, so I'm going to start with some nitpicks (sorry).

I'm pretty sure you spelt Oscar with a 'k' instead of a 'c' in earlier chapters (a quick reread- you spell it both ways in this chapter- keep it consistent) as well as capitalising the Ghetto. The latter I can kind of understand as it's now far away and less important to Sofia, therefore I can understand her no longer thinking of it in scary capitals. However I found the description of a 'Quaker' slightly off-putting. Given you don't actually mention Sofia's name initially, just starting with 'She' you place us firmly in her head. Given her lack of English (although is Quaker the same in every language? Are there Quakers in Poland? IF so- excuse my ignorance) she'd not realise that was what she was, maybe realising she wasn't Jewish but that's it. Also- I found "watchful eye of the crescent moon" a bit out of place- just because it seemed to be description for description's sake rather than adding anything to the story (also I don't like personification unless it's for pathetic fallacy purposes which, here, it isn't).

I think Sofia's idea that she's died and gone to heaven is a very clever one and emphasises just how impossible this seemed to her. She thought salvation came with death and now it's come, for her at least, in life. But it's not perfect, because she doesn't have her family.

Your description of her homesickness and longing for them was very well down. Again, minor nitpick, I think given how long (and beautiful -it was perfect) the previous sentence, your sentence beginning "It didn’t matter what a wonderful day she’d had..." should have a full stop before "the moment the moon rose..." just because otherwise it's a bit of a mouthful having a few long sentences in a row.

I liked seeing Dumbledore through Sofia/ your omniscient narrator's eyes. Mrs Brigham is awful, although I'm pleased Dumbledore is firm on not splitting siblings up. I do disagree slightly with them considering it mad to teach her English in two months though. At my primary school there were several refugees who couldn't speak English when they arrived- but within a few months were pretty fluent. It's easier when younger (I do keep forgetting Sofia is sixteen) but Sofia is in a foreign country- she has no choice but to learn the language and I do think most people in those situations learn quickly. I hope Mrs Brigham isn't too awful to Sofia and am eagerly awaiting the next chapter! Alex

Author's Response: Ah! Oskar! I intended to start writing it as Oscar as Sofia becomes more 'English' but I hadn't realised that I'd started doing it so soon! Good spot! I will have to scour through my next few chapters to make sure I haven't done the same there. In response to the Quakers, they can usually be identified via their very modest dress and, in the 1940s, bonnets, and they were the largest religious group which aided English Jews with the Kindertransport. However, I do see your point, I doubt Sofia would have recognised them - I let my knowledge run away with me there! Aw, Mrs Brigham isn't so bad ;) She seems scary but it's all a show.

Name: welshdevondragon (Signed) · Date: 06/24/11 17:18 · For: Chapter Four, The Train
This chapter felt like it was slightly too short as well, though I'm not sure, considering how much emotion there was in it, you could have lengthened it. I think the way you've used Polish and German s very well done, particularly since I know you want the dialogue to be predominantly 'real' English (I think you'll know what I mean) and that language is tied up with identity. For example I don't know what "Nie zapomnij o mnie!" means but in a sense it doesn't matter, and any of the things it could mean/ I guess from the context suit the moment.

I like the way it wasn't the perfect farewell. I mean there's no way something like that can be easy- it will always be jagged and heartbreaking but I think there's often the desire for characters to do the Right thing and be noble, which Oskar certainly isn't but he's a little boy, that's completely what he'd think. Likewise with the parents wanting their daughter back- they may be going to their deaths (though, as far as I know from admittedly potted history, they did not expect that yet- the final solution was decided in 1941 and it's still the late thirties isn't it?) but at least they'll all be together.

I also thought the scene with the other children was well done. I think children, because they are less self-conscious, have a tendency to talk more but Sofia isn't a child- she's sixteen although she seems younger in your story. Maybe because of the shock of what's happened she's regressed which, obviously, is a natural reaction and also an unwillingness to accept what's happening (and if she's able to lie to herself about leaving/ that her parents and brother will be all right then things will be much easier for her). But even if they can't talk tragedy binds people so I loved this part: "it did not seem so strange to grip hands over the table, or to suddenly embrace each other in hugs, or cry quietly onto each other’s shoulders. They were united by a common tragedy,"

A minor nitpick- in your fourth paragraph (I realise in my last review I wrote sentence instead of paragraph- sorry) the sentence seem rather short and disjointed. I realise they are emotionally heartbroken/ confused but I think they acknowledge this confusion and therefore this breaks up the flow rather than adds to the effect.

You've built up a very clear idea of Sofia's family, what she's been through and what she fears her parents and brother will go through in four fairly short, concise chapters. I think with this base it would be a bit of a u-turn for your fic to be sunshine and roses but you're clever enough not to let that happen. I think you've established an underlying sadness which, no matter how positive Sofia's future (which, somehow, I'm skeptical about) will permeate the rest of the story. Which is very, very clever. Alex

Author's Response: Thank you so much :) In clarification, I had a minor disaster with timelines since you beta-d for me; it's now 1940, but be prepared for occasional mistakes that I may have stupidly missed. (History student as well... >.<) I'm glad you considered the reactions realistic - something I was struck by when I spoke to Kindertransport children (by then OAPs) a few years ago was the complete contrast of emotions to events. One old man said "my mother screamed and kicked the train and told me to get off" with a very proud grin upon his face. Another woman said "my parents packed me a sandwich and some sweets and had made me a new scarf" with a look of absolute contempt and anger. I don't think anyone could truly say how they would react, so I'm glad I've written it as realistically as possible. In refrence to what those polish words mean... hmm, well, Sofia herself may be haunted by those. Thank you so much for your nitpicks! They're perfect, just what I need! :)

Name: welshdevondragon (Signed) · Date: 06/24/11 17:00 · For: Chapter Three, The Acceptance
This chapter was very short so I'll just leave a quick review (and I want to read on :) ). I liked your description of DUmbledore's travels very much, as well as the hesitancy about Sofia's parents in that Dumbledore can save Sofia but not them or Oskar.

I'm interested at how you perceive Grindelwald and Dumbledore's relationship. I think I mentioned somewhere on the boards that I don't see him as being so- not anti-Muggles but having such a low opinion of Muggles this late on. And I think on some level Dumbledore would hold Grindelwald responsible for Ariana's death (not as much as he holds himself but still) and therefore not think or consider him in quite so---I don't know the way your Dumbledore thinks about him seems to be as a very intelligent, eccentric friend when actually I think there was a deep emotional/ possibly sexual connection between them. I think this is an important part of Dumbledore's character and whilst I know this is predominantly about Jewish wizards, specifically Sofia and the interaction of Muggles/ the Wizarding world, I think it would be interesting to explore that more.

As I'm coming to expect of you, this was well written and flowed well. I noticed in the last chapter Soraya thought it was rather short. I didn't agree with her there (or maybe she said it about this one- not sure) but this chapter did feel slightly short. Possibly incorporating Dumbledore's relationship with Grindelwald would make it feel more full, or maybe that's just because that's a dynamic I've recently become interested in.

Onto the next chapter! Alex.

Author's Response: I constantly change my mind about how much I'll have the Dumbledore-Grindelwald relationship in this fiction, which has probably led to a lot of mixed messages. A good friend of mine is a huge gay rights activist and fanfiction reader - although she does not know my screenname (or that I've started writing), I would hate for her to come across this story and be disappointed by a poor portrayal of homosexual relationships and feelings. As a straight woman, I struggle to relate. That does not mean to say I shall ignore it completely however. As for his feelings towards Muggles, to put it simply I imagine him to know that it is wrong and to feel immense guilt, but he is so besotted by Grindelwald that he geniunely believes that the ends justify the means (more on this later in the fic). I think he idolises Grindelwald to the point of obsession, and I think Grindelwald knows this and uses it to his advantage. I realise however, that everyone has their own interpretations - and good! It will certainly help the reader's own moral conflict later on. ;)

Name: welshdevondragon (Signed) · Date: 06/24/11 13:05 · For: Chapter Two, The Rejection
Hello! This is the first of a few long overdue reviews (sorry for that). I liked your characterisation of Dumbledore here (which I know you said you found difficult). You gave a strong sense of his intellect, ethics and power being limited by someone else and his frustration at that in very few words. I also liked the pettiness of Dippet's contradictory foibles- it proved a nice contrast to what we know later of Dumbledore as an eccentric but definitely not someone restricted by his habits. The fact that Sofia could not read the rejection letter was very sad, and all the more sad that her mum read it for her. Somehow you manage to give a very strong idea of what characters other than Sofia are feeling, partly because I think their emotions would be so strong at this point but also through the strength of your writing.

I do think the scene with Sofia and her family felt much fuller than that of Dumbledore and Dippet. There was something rather restrained about your writing there, particularly in comparison to the end part. Whilst, like I said, I liked Sofia's interactions with her parents I loved the first sentence of the third last sentence. I know my sentences have a tendency to be too long, and I lose control of them, but this was perfectly controlled and just beautiful- is it called pathetic fallacy? (brain freeze- sorry)- when a character's emotions are projected onto the world around them- like "grim street" and "the misery filled every crevice and weeds" which is in direct contrast to the beauty and comfort of her own home. Having said that about long sentences (this is, however, really nitpicky) as beautiful as the image of her bringing life to the dead flower is, I think you need to give it time to breath more. For example when you say "She gazed at it in adoration...for she had not experience accidental magic since she was tiny" I think before the 'for' you should have a full stop, just to allow the laughter to settle, if that makes sense. I also think 'tiny' sounds a bit- slangy, or maybe because it's quite a- the word sounds irritating and given how poetic and visual your language is, I think just 'small' or 'much younger' would be better.

I like the way your narration for the latter section is from Sofia's POV but you draw the reader out with the last paragraph (again, nitpicky, but given you have line-breaks between paragraphs for every paragraph previously, I think it does break up the flow somewhat not to have one before the penultimate paragraph). The last sentence in particular is beautifully worded. Having just dehumunised them by referring to them as 'beasts' and with a usually critical epithet in 'selfish' you humanise them again, by stressing that they are doomed and through no fault of their own, and that in such gloom "individual dreams' and despair are all they have.

Your writing is consciously poetic and very beautiful to read. The only danger is that, having set this standard, you are to some extent obliged to keep to it, which you aren't with writing which is less poetic and just occasionally leaps into lyricism. I really hope you do and don't get discouraged by the lack of reviews- this is an excellent story and deserves far more reviews (having said that, not many authors have as many reviews as you do for a first fanfiction (on MNFF anyway), a predominantly OC fic AND only five chapters- the fact you have 14 is a credit to the strength of your writing).

I will read and review the remainder soon, but before I stop, given the duality of beast/ human in the last line, have you read "The Plague" by Albert Camus? That is, quite simply, one of my favourite books and also one of the best books I've read. It uses a plague of rats and ensuing illness as a metaphor for the Nazi occupation of France and whilst in the book this random force causes humans to, mostly, behave in an exemplary way, therefore demonstrating the best that humanity can be, you're also reminded that humanity is capable of bestiality, made worse in reality because obviously the rats carrying the plague is unintentional. Get a good translation though- if you in your Author's Response seem interested I'll dig out my copy and recommend you the translator (unless you can speak/ read french and read it in the original which I'm sure is superior). Anyway, brilliant story and look forward to reading the rest. Alex

Author's Response: :O :O :O Wow... This is absolutely amazing, Alex! Thank you so much. I think I might faint. Your review is so helpful and professional sounding! I'm sorry I've been a bit late replying to these as I had A-Level exams, but my God I can't wait to read your others. I'm so stunned and grateful at the effort you've put in! I haven't read that book, no, and I'm very intrigued! Sounds like just my kind of thing! Drop me an email or PM about it, sounds fab! xx

Name: OtterMoone (Signed) · Date: 06/22/11 1:46 · For: Chapter Five, The Arrival
Good so far! :) I hope you update soon.

Author's Response: The next chapter is with the beta :) Thank you for reading and reviewing!

Name: xxbabewithbrainsxx (Signed) · Date: 06/19/11 14:11 · For: Chapter Five, The Arrival
Oooh, this was good! As usual, I'm sort of on the go while reading this, so it won't be long. I liked the way you began it with the dream and everything -- it was an interesting way to start a chapter. And the idea of Kindertransport sounds great!

Dumbledore has been characterised really well too and once again, your description is definitely your strong point, although I have to say, I think Mrs Brigham is more than a little annoying. Lovely chapter again!


Author's Response: Aha, you'll learn to love her! She's not all bad! She has a rather interesting daughter. I'm glad you liked the chapter; I really look forward to your reviews, they're always so nice :) Thank you so much for reading xxx Good luck with your exams!

Name: rambkowalczyk (Signed) · Date: 06/17/11 19:52 · For: Chapter Four, The Train
good depiction of anger and fear.

Author's Response: Thank you :) xx

Name: rambkowalczyk (Signed) · Date: 06/17/11 16:47 · For: Chapter Two, The Rejection
I'm sure this was a difficult chapter to write. It' s sad that countries like England and the United States had limits on how many Jews could come into the the country at that time.

Author's Response: It was, very difficult! I can't be sure about the USA, but I know that England didn't have a limit on children in the Kindertransport, but they had to stop when war broke out. It was only adults that they had a limit on visa's for. But, in the years it ran the Kindertransport was very successful. There was a beautiful moment on a television chat show in the 80's I believe when the host revealed that the man who organised the Kindertransport (which the guest had been on) was in the audience. He then asked people who owed their life to him to stand up and everyone in the audience stood. My own grandmother came here on the Kindertransport (I believe... she doesn't really talk about it).

Name: Equinox Chick (Signed) · Date: 06/15/11 0:22 · For: Chapter Four, The Train
Hi there. Okay, I know I've taken my time, but I'm here to review again.

This is a good story, so don't have any doubts about that, and your writing is well done. The tension through this last chapter holds throughout to a gut churning extent. Despite knowing that she's going to be at Hogwarts, I thought they were about to be shot.

I am glad that you've promised the next chapters won't be as dark because it is quite a depressing read at times - but necessarily depressing because of the subject matter. However, I am a reader who tends to stay away from D/.A type stories, but I'm probably in the minority.

I know you've been asking about the lack of reviews. I think there's a number of reasons which are all unfortunate but don;t reflect on your story. Put simply: it's historical and about OC's - that's two factors that straight away put people off. I have a Historical on the boards about Isla Black that won the QSQ last year, yet still only has 4 reviews (it's only a one shot, mind you). If you want to write a populist story, then canon characters and Marauder or Trio era are the way to go. Ron/Hermione fluff is very popular. However, I'm not suggesting that you scrap this and start writing pink candy floss romances because this is clearly your niche, I'm just explaining why you haven't picked up that many reviews. I can't tell you how odd it's been seeing an incredibly ridiculous mystery that I wrote pick up 12 reviews whereas others that I think are far better and have more integrity barely scrape 2.

That's by-the-by. This is a good story, well-researched and heart breaking. It deserves more reads and reviews, but it's hard to get people hooked into a story.

Keep writing and don't give up. ~Carole~

Author's Response: Thank you :) I did figure that it was perhaps because I was writing this for myself; the reader doesn't come into mind until I actually submit it, and thinking about it I can't say that I've ever willingly clicked on an OC story. I happy that at I at least have some loyal readers, that's enough for me now. I think what upset me a few days ago was that chapter three only had two reads! But this has obviously risen, so I'm not feeling so insecure!

Name: xxbabewithbrainsxx (Signed) · Date: 06/14/11 11:56 · For: Chapter Four, The Train
I don't have much time but this was a great chapter! This was an authentic chapter and it was very well written. Well done!

Author's Response: Thank you so much! It's just lovely knowing you've kept coming back for more!

Name: xxbabewithbrainsxx (Signed) · Date: 06/14/11 10:18 · For: Chapter Three, The Acceptance
Oooh! I knew Sofia would be going to Hogwarts eventually. I really like Dumbledore's characterisation here, by the way. Almost always in fanfiction, even after DH came out, Dumbledore's portrayed as a really, really nice guy. But in your story, you've shown he has flaws and he's not as perfect as he might seem.

As usual, your description is lovely and I'm really, really enjoying this story so far. It's a shame there haven't been many reviews for this, but I think that this is a very underrated story. Well done and looking forward to the next chapter!


Author's Response: Thank you so much for your ridiculously kind words! Your reviews really motivated me and I've just completed chapter five, hopefully chapter four should be validated soon xx

Name: xxbabewithbrainsxx (Signed) · Date: 06/13/11 13:54 · For: Chapter Two, The Rejection
Wow. Your writing is so poetic in its description -- it's an art that not many writers have, so kudos for that.

I loved your characterisation of Dippet. It was very well done and you gave him a good character, basing it on what we saw in CoS. I also thought that Dumbledore's was really interesting, especially the way he referred to Grindelwald. I found this really intriguing, the way his mindset was still in Greater Good mode.

And then they rejected her! Somehow I have a feeling she'll just turn up there anyway and get a job in Hogwarts or something. Or at least in Hogsmeade. Hmm. I think you've done a great job on Sofia so far, same with her parents, and the ending of this chapter was just beautiful. Like I said, you have the rare talent of making your descriptions poetic and just... gorgeous.

My only suggestion at the moment is to make chapters longer. This chapter is pretty short, and while I adored the ending of this one, I do think that it'd do you good to join maybe two of them together. But it's your choice, at the end of the day -- your story, after all.

This was a great chapter and I'm interested in the plot development from here. You have taken a never-used-before premise of a Muggleborn Polish Jew and that in itself takes a lot of courage. I think you did a great job so far and this story deserves far more reviews than it has received so far. I'll probably get round to reviewing again tomorrow and then I'll be up to date :)


Author's Response: Thank you so much! The chapters do get progressively longer, there's one in the queue now that's about 2000 words I believe, and the one I'm writing now is currently at 2000, with more to come! Sofia will get to Hogwarts eventually as a student, but hey, I can't make it easy for her ;) Thank you so much for your kind review! It's really nice to know that I have a loyal reader out there :)

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