Reviewer: PeppermintToads
Date: 06/25/12 11:29
Chapter: First Impressions

Tom can be a real idiot. He spends all of those months pining over Lydia just to make her angry again over something stupid. Aside from Lord Voldemort's stupidity (which is his own fault), brilliant chapter. I loved the Tobias Snape and Eileen part, as well as the part with the Bloody Baron. Good work!

Author's Response: Thank you! And I agree, Tom is an idiot when it comes to relationships, but then again this is the first one he's had that really mattered to him. While other people learned how to cultivate various relationships since they were quite young, Tom's starting in his early twenties which would probably cause him to act in ways that the rest of us would consider immature or foolish. I'm really glad you enjoyed the scenes with the sketches. :)

Thanks for reviewing,
Hypatia

Reviewer: Nagini Riddle
Date: 06/25/12 5:56
Chapter: Crossroads

It took a while to remember everything that happened, but once I did, I dove right in!!!! I won't leave a long review, in hopes that I can get to reading more of this story as soon as you update!!!
BTW, how does Tom really feel about Lydia? It seems like he cares more about his feelings than hers...

Author's Response: I know what you mean about it taking a while to remember: I had to look back on old chapters to get this one written ;) Hopefully updates will go back to a more regular schedule now.

As for Tom's feelings about Lydia, you are entirely correct in that he cares more about himself. C.S. Lewis wrote a book titled The Four Loves (and I've borrowed quotes from it for chapter headings) but the gist of the book is that he described four different types of love: affection, friendship, romantic love and unconditional love. Unfortunately, Tom doesn't really seem capable of making that self-sacrificing leap to caring for another person without any strings attached, or as the Baron put it: “There is only one piece on the board that a Slytherin wouldn’t sacrifice.” (And before all the Slytherins get offended by this, I'd like to point out that not all of them make themselves the king: Narcissa Malfoy would have done absolutely anything for her son, and Severus Snape would have done anything to keep Lily safe.) In Tom's case, he is that piece and as much as cares about Lydia, he still sees her as the queen, which while a desirable piece to have, is still one he would sacrifice to win the game.

Thanks,
Hypatia

Reviewer: CanisMajor
Date: 06/01/12 5:48
Chapter: Reflections

Nice Ravenclawish chapter here. Is this intended as a pleasant interlude before the Darker material to come, I wonder?

I think Burke wasn't the only one trying to cheat Tom on his commission - surely it should have been 4 Galleons, 14 Sickles, 5 Knuts? (And Tom didn't even notice - authors can be so cruel sometimes :)

Author's Response: Partially. There are a few elements in this chapter that will reappear in later chapters. Also, I think I may have dragged out the early stages of the relationship between Tom and Lydia to justify him having feelings for her wihtout him seeming wildly out of character.

As for cheating Tom... that really wasn't my intent, but you are entirely correct that it should be 4 Galleons, 14 Sickles, and 5 Knuts. What's worse is that I can't even figure out how I ended up at the sum that made it into the chapter. Kudos for noticing and I will properly reimburse Tom at my ealiest convenience. Clearly, the Dark Lord is now indebted to you. ;)

Thanks,
Hypatia

Reviewer: CanisMajor
Date: 05/29/12 4:29
Chapter: Winning At All Costs

This is looking very promising so far. I've thought for a while that a story trying to give Tom Riddle a girlfriend would be hard to pull off, and perhaps not worth the candle -- but that a character who could play Hermione to Tom's Harry, so to speak, could be another matter. It looks like Lydia is going to be both at once.

Author's Response: The original for this (More Than A Game) was a one-shot without the romantic component. I think the only way that Tom ever could have even had a friend would be if it were started under unusual circumstances and the potential friend had some unusual qualities. I was thinking almost the Irene Adler to Sherlock Holmes (though, that wasn't of a romantic nature either). I guess the goal was to create a character who had enough qulaities that Tom admires without the same thirst for power so as not to be viewed as competition. Hopefully, I've pulled it off, and if not, it was still interesting to write.

Thanks for reviewing,
Hypatia

Reviewer: Nagini Riddle
Date: 05/24/12 0:17
Chapter: Dark Side Of The Moon

Wow, Lydia is one Dark Lady!!! I don't think I could have the heart to do such a thing. It makes me wonder what exactly goes on in Lydia's head. Since we see everything from Tom's view, I become just as surprised as he is. Another good chapter that I loved! You have no idea how torturous it was waiting for the update! So, I leave this review in hopes that you have enough free time to write the next chapter and update soon!!!!!!!!!
Left on tenterhooks,
Nagini

Author's Response: The topic of Lydia's viewpoint has come up before. At one point I'd considered writing a sequel to More Than A Game instead of expanding it by using excerpts from Lydia's journal. However, I don't think she would have dared to write down a lot of the things she's been up to, so hopefully this works better.

I hate to say this, but there will probably be a long wait for the next chapter as it's barely outlined yet and my workload just increased. On the bright side, there are about three upcoming chapters which are almost entirely written so once we get through the next one or two, the updating pace should pick up again.

Thank you for reviewing,
Hypatia

Reviewer: PeppermintToads
Date: 05/23/12 19:40
Chapter: First Impressions

Even though I love this story, I can't exactly say that I fell in love with this particular chapter. I found the name Valkyrie quite clever for a thestral--valkyrie are warrior women who escort dying souls away from the battlefield, if I remember correctly. Keep it up!

Author's Response: I completely agree that Dark Side of the Moon isn't a 'feel good' chapter. I'm glad you like the name Valkyrie (and you are remembering correctly about the name's origin). I thought it went nicely with Tom's (fictional pet) snake. :)

Thanks,
Hypatia

Reviewer: Con Moto
Date: 05/22/12 13:25
Chapter: Dark Side Of The Moon

No, Lydia what have you done?! Please don't turn into a sadistic tyrant like Tom. I know she is very upset about how her family is targeted by werewolves, but to make two brothers fight each other or their lives?
Anyway, don't think I didn't like this chapter because I did:) it was so dynamic and fast paced and something we haven't seen in this story for a while. Thank you:)

Author's Response: I'm glad that you still liked the chapter in spite of what Lydia's been up to. I found it to be a very difficult chapter to write, even though I've known what would happen to Loki for a quite a while.

Thank you for reviewing,
Hypatia

Reviewer: castrolovee
Date: 05/21/12 3:34
Chapter: Dark Side Of The Moon

Lydia is finally turning over to the dark side. I have to admit the plan to pin Fenir and Loki against one another was rather dark. Could she possibly be more evil than Voldemort? :o

Author's Response: I agree that Lydia's plans for the Greybacks was quite dark and possibly on a level that Voldemort didn't ever really attempt. I think the reason for that would be that while Lydia's motivated by hatred and revenge, Voldemort's goal is power, but he remains fairly apathetic towards his opponents. As for which is more evil, I think that Voldemort still is in that he would torture or kill practically anyone for personal gain whereas Lydia is only targetting people who have attacked her first (although I'm certainly not trying to condone her actions). If someone had interrupted her plans, I can't imagine Lydia simply deciding that they were collateral damage, but if the same happened to Voldemort, he wouldn't think twice about killing them.

Reviewer: PeppermintToads
Date: 05/19/12 0:50
Chapter: Balance of Power

Aww! I love this pairing. You are amazing! Keep it up! :D

Author's Response: Thank you and will do! :)

Reviewer: juniper
Date: 04/29/12 3:10
Chapter: Balance of Power

Great job. I'm amazed at your excellent and fully believable portrayal of Voldemort (and Lydia) - she's the perfect girl for him! Please make them end up together? Or at least part in a non-terrible way?

Author's Response: Thank you! I'm glad that you like Lydia. Unfortunately, I think you already know how this has to end. :S

Reviewer: Nagini Riddle
Date: 04/28/12 23:52
Chapter: Wild Card

Voldemort seems so human in this story! I'm really glad of that because it makes his character easier to understand, even if he is dark and murderous.
Lydia, I must say, is the true heroine of this story, but I hope she shows some more common sense and realizes that revenge is not the answer. Although I know she can take care of herself. I feel, too, that her character was extremely well-developed. She has her weaknesses and strengths just like everyone else and is a pure joy to read about. This pairing really works! Perhaps, if one believes in an afterlife, Lydia and Tom are able to reconcile and live after death together. It pains me to think that they have to separate!!!!
Keep up the good work!

Author's Response: I've wondered about what the after-life could be like for Voldemort. I mean, what happens to the fragments of souls? Are there eight fragmented pieces of him or do each of the Horcrux pieces vanish? I had the impression at first that they were simply destroyed with the Horcrux, but the part that was tied to Harry seemed to follow him to Platform 9 3/4. I guess I've wondered in particular if someone who's soul was, perhaps a bit tarnished, but whole could ever go about reassembling the pieces of a shattered soul. It's actually why I picked Lydia's Patronus as an eagle: according to animal symbolism (or at least the animal symbolism website I stumbled upon) the eagle 'retrieves lost soul parts'. Whether or not it ever comes into play in the story, I've always thought of Lydia as being Tom's only hope for redemption.

Thanks for reviewing,
Hypatia

Reviewer: Nagini Riddle
Date: 04/28/12 23:45
Chapter: Balance of Power

Hey again! I've been thinking a lot about your story and I just wanted to say that I love the chess analogy playing throughout the novel!
Also, I don't know what you have planned for the rest of the story, but I feel like Tom should keep trying to get his "Dark Lady" to be his second in command- and perhaps succeed. I know that Lydia will not be with him always, but it would be so cool to know that Voldemort was actually able to get a queen before losing her. I don't know. It's your story, of course, and I just hope that you keep on doing what you love, because you are extremely good at it! In fact, this story sounds extremely plausible to me! I really cannot wait to read more, and I will be so sad when it ends, because I've enjoyed your story so much! It's inspired me to write my own fan fiction. :)

Author's Response: Thanks! I've actually ended up learning a lot about chess from writing this (I'm a terrible chess player) but I do love how it leads to analogies. I actually just go to websites that show the steps of famous chess games and look for one that has the metaphor I'm looking for (a pawn ascending to queen, queen sacrifice, etc.) or in some cases, just ones that have a lot of pieces being taken so that Tom can get enough of his questions answered.

As for whether Lydia will ever (even temporarily) accept the position of Dark Lady... you'll have to forgive me for not saying anything for now. The plot's been outlined for ages and while there have been some hiccups and detours along the way, it's still pretty much on course.

I can't begin to tell you how flattered I am that by your review and will be keeping an eye out for your upcoming story (stories?).

Happy writing,
Hypatia

Reviewer: Con Moto
Date: 04/28/12 5:23
Chapter: Balance of Power

Awesome chapter! I loved the chess game. They haven't played it face to face in ages.
Poor Lydia. I wouldn't imagine her to be the type of person to use an Unforgivable, but I guess her situation with those werewolves warrants it in her eyes.

Author's Response: Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed the chess game. It took me a while to decide whether or not she'd opt for an Unforgiveable Curse, but I think that if she felt her family was being threatened, she would. (Kind of like how Harry attempted the Cruciatus Curse on Bellatrix and Amycus). And you're definitely right in that whenever werewolves are involved, Lydia's emotions take control; I think everyone has their own blind spots.

Thanks for reviewing,
Hypatia

Reviewer: Nagini Riddle
Date: 04/28/12 3:59
Chapter: Balance of Power

I really love this story so far and I cannot wait to find out what happens next! It's so unpredictable, and I especially appreciate that it is about Tom Riddle. Keep up the good work! I eagerly await te next chapter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Author's Response: Thank you very much! I'm hoping to have the next chapter up within two weeks. :)

Reviewer: Con Moto
Date: 04/16/12 10:33
Chapter: Wild Card

Amazing! Was that Lydia or was it a misunderstanding on Tom's part? "Tom discovers a new use for amethyst"... Does her necklace have some sort of transforming powers? I'm so excited for the next update; this I great!

Author's Response: Both of your questions should be answered in the next chapter, which will be experiencing a slight delay in posting. I'm currently experiencing some 'technical' difficulties but I'm hoping to be back on track within a week.

Thanks for reviewing,
Hypatia

Reviewer: sam_1034_lily
Date: 04/15/12 2:47
Chapter: Wild Card

I love this! And I love how you update o regularly. :)

Author's Response: Thank you! I'll do my best to keep up the pace! :)

Reviewer: castrolovee
Date: 04/14/12 3:00
Chapter: Wild Card

I love when you update. It seriously makes my week. You're such a good writer! :] I cant wait to see what happens next with lydia and tom.

Author's Response: Thank you so much! :)

Reviewer: Con Moto
Date: 04/07/12 21:00
Chapter: The Blind Seer

Yay, I'm happy that Tom and Lydia are speaking again:)
The pictures that Gavin drew are intriguing. I wonder what's happening? Please update soon, I'm on tenterhooks :)

Author's Response: I'm really glad that you enjoyed the part about the drawings! I don't know how much of the background to Gavin's sketches will make it into the story yet, so I'm going to have to stay fairly quiet about that for now. I guess my only hint would be that it has to do with the lunar cycle. On the bright side, the next chapter will probably be posted within a week.

Thanks,
Hyaptia

Reviewer: PeppermintToads
Date: 04/07/12 13:33
Chapter: The Blind Seer

I feel so badly for Tom! I wish that he could have had a happy ending, but I guess that he just made the wrong choices and let his notorious Slytherin ambition get in the way of what seemed to truly be the most important to him.....

Author's Response: I was surprised at how badly I feel for Tom as I write this, though a lot more of my sympathy goes to Lydia. I suppose the only thing that really stops him from reaching his happy ending is that while he was able to put Lydia before so many others, he still always put himself first.

Thanks for reviewing,
Hypatia

Reviewer: castrolovee
Date: 04/01/12 20:27
Chapter: Hopeless

I have being reading your story since my Christmas break and just finished up to chapter 19 now.
I want you say that you're an amazing writer! I love this story. It is one of my favorites. I love reading stories before the Harry potter era especially in regards to the villains to hear who they were before. I love Tom and Lydia to work it out but we all know that will never happen. But it is good to see that you portrayed Voldemort as somewhat human because I never believed in that whole he never loved fully or never had real relationships/friendships. I believe he did but went about them the wrong way and I'm glad you portray him like that :)

Author's Response: Thank you so much! :)

You mentioned liking the villain's perspective, so I'm now going to do some shameless self promotion: feel free to check out "A Woman Scorned" (the story of Walburga Black), which I think is 'technically' canon compliant and while it certainly doesn't require being read to follow Much More Than A Game, it should go a ways to explaining why Walburga Black hated the Prince family and their proposed werewolf legislation. I think the closest it comes to overlapping with this story is when Alphard Black briefly meets Tom and Lydia in Chpater 12.

I agree that it seems unlikely that Voldemort never would have felt anything for anyone, though I don't think he ever cared enough about anyone to be able to put them before himself.

Thank you for reviewing,
Hypatia

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