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Reviews For Truth or Dare

Name: Fynnsmom (Signed) · Date: 08/19/14 17:05 · For: Truth or Dare
Very good. Once again you've made me interested in two characters that I haven't paid attention to before. I've also found, after reading several of your stories, that I enjoy reading slash. I don't know if I could ever write it but you seem to be able to do it. I chuckled a little bit at Cormac's big secret. How he managed to sleep through the Battle, I don't know.

Name: DennisRekrap (Signed) · Date: 05/05/13 0:51 · For: Truth or Dare
i loved it! i think this pairing is now one of my favorites!:)

Author's Response: Thank you! I was dared to write this and initially ran away from it, but once I remembered Cormac's love of a dare, I found the hook into the story. They're rapidly becoming one of my favourite pairings, too. ~Carole~

Name: Ginny Weasley Potter (Signed) · Date: 11/14/12 11:40 · For: Truth or Dare
Hey Croll! :)

The ZacMac! You have no idea how long I’ve wanted to read this. Slash is a recent experiment of mine and of late, I’ve really started loving to read slash too. Rarepairs too, are a very recent thing that I’ve started to read and this was just perfect for my recent changes in taste.

First of all, I must comment on how perfectly you’ve written this from a man’s point of view. I think there’s a huge difference between writing from a man’s point of view and a woman’s point of view. With a man, the narrative is often rougher, cruder, and less about details. I find it difficult to write as a guy and you’ve done such a good job with this! It’s like you literally became Cormac for those hours that you wrote the fic, because everything is very well done, with precision.

The entire fic was an easy read and very light-hearted too. I enjoyed the Beer Avoidance part-- you can trust men to come up with something like that! And I didn’t hate either Zach or Mac in the fic for some reason, which, I should say is a huge achievement on your part. They’re extremely disliked by Potter readers and maintaining their characterisation, and yet making them likeable is no mean feat. You have pulled this off with so much ease-- it’s unbelievable, really.

Zach and Mac both adhered to what they were from the novel. It’s difficult to age characters, as I found out from my recent Ronmione experiment. You never know how exactly they might ‘grow up’. Everyone has to mature at some point and in this, as young adults, they were exactly as they were supposed to be. I enjoyed all the events leading up to them finally getting together too.

It was nice to see Cormac dare Zacharias to play well in that Puddlemere match, and I giggled at Wood letting in fourteen Quaffles. I can just imagine his reaction in the changing rooms. Also, the entire conversation about gay people was engaging. There was one line in particular that caught my eye: we don’t have some sort of aura around us announcing that we’re gay, you know. This line so aptly describes how homosexuals are misunderstood by so many people.

I loved the first kiss. I giggled when Zach’s tongue slipped into Cormac’s mouth, because Cormac’s thought train after that was epic. Also, the almost-kiss later on-- when Zach dared Cormac, was lovely. The emotions which built up to everything later on were so well written. The sexual tension was palpable from the other side of the screen, and then there was the subtle (and not-so-subtle) smut which was very tastefully written.

There are also some bits that I found humorous. First was this line: “Potter was an arrogant twat, but it-” I almost forgot how much both these people disliked Harry, and I burst out laughing at this. Also, there was this: “Get your arse parked on this seat and start drinking, you lightweight!” Guy talk can be so funny sometimes! That line just cracked me up. It’s funny how men are the best of friends even with all the obscenities that they throw at each other. It amazes me and makes me laugh. So yes, you managed to make me chuckle quite some bit.

Anyway, summing it all up, I think this fic definitely deserved the QSQ. It was tastefully written, with lovely characterisation and a very engaging plot. I wonder if ZacMac lasted, or if they broke up later on? Hmm…

Well done, Croll, I absolutely loved this story!

Author's Response: I'm finally responding. PHEW! Okay, the reason I think I can write men/boys is because I'm married to someone who is very blokey-bloke and also I do like the company of men - ha ha. So the conversations in the pub - especially the 'beer avoidance' gag - are directly from my husband's mouth - heh heh. Not that he knows any of this. Mwahahahahahaha.

I can imagine Oliver raging in the changing room, but there wasn;t much he could do as Zac was having a blinder and he was having a disaster. I don;t think he'd blame anyone else but himself, because he never seems to do that in the books, so I can imagine him 'drowning himself in the shower' again.

Will they last? It's interesting because the end of the story seems to imply it, but I get the feeling Cormac is not going to suddenly come out and announce he's gay (or bi-sexual). He's simply not comfortable with that side of himself, however much he desires Zach.

And yet .....

I have ideas .... :D

Thank you so much for the fantabulous review ~Carole~

Name: crbluvsravenclaw (Signed) · Date: 07/02/12 19:43 · For: Truth or Dare
It was long and good!(:

Author's Response: That's what Cormac thinks ;-) (thank you for the review. I can never resist a smutty pun) ~Carole~

Name: the opaleye (Signed) · Date: 04/29/12 2:05 · For: Truth or Dare
How... how did you... how did you do that? Carole, I am speechless. This is brilliant! I've no idea how you managed to take two fairly repulsive characters and redeem them but you did it. Yes, I'm getting around to making that banner you requested months ago and realised I hadn't read this yet. And I am SO glad I now have because this was such a compelling, funny, sweet (oh my did I just describe a fic about Cormac and Zacharias Snit 'sweet'???) and touching read.

I feel like you really caught both characters so well. Cormac as the journalist whose success is merely the result of nepotism recalled his days in the Slug Club nicely, his arrogance, his need to be on top, his regret at missing the battle... it was just fabulous characterisation all round. And Zach... a very different Zach to a certain QWC fic... He was different and yet still very recognisable. You kept his arrogance, but you also brought out many layers which felt so right. His regret, and his resentment at the world for still holding something he did (as a child, really, let's be honest) against him.

Basically you had me gaping at the screen by the time I reached the bottom of the page. This is such a wonderfully structured and characterised fic. I loved the ending.

Keep on being brilliant, Carole.

Julia x

Author's Response: Thank youuuuuu. Like Cormac, I can't resist a dare so when Ariana suggested it, then Nat double-dared, who was I to refuse? Actually, it was hard not to think of it as a crack fic until I watched something on TV about a man feeling guilty for sleeping through 9/11 and thought that could apply to Cormac, plus we all know about Smith - heh heh.

Not much else to say except thank you,again. I really did enjoy writing this fic - there's something about horrible characters that gives you far more scope for fun - ha! ~Croll~

Name: Snoopy94 (Signed) · Date: 04/05/12 4:09 · For: Truth or Dare
This is AMAZING!!

Author's Response: Thank you. I'm planning a follow up, so I hope you'll enjoy that too. ~Carole~

Name: expecto_patronuts (Signed) · Date: 04/01/12 2:09 · For: Truth or Dare
Follow this link quietly if you value your life:


Author's Response: LIFE! PAH!!!!

I whicher at your pathetic attempt to cow me.

I will follow, but only because I am a curious badger and not at all scared *glances over shoulder and holds wand aloft*

Great fun.


Name: xxbabewithbrainsxx (Signed) · Date: 03/03/12 0:29 · For: Truth or Dare
Hahahahaa. Croll, I loved this! You've discussed your Zacmac before so it was nice actually reading it and seeing for myself how fabulously funny and well-written it was :D

I loved the banter between the boys, and the drunken dialogue (I bet you can understand why I like that :P). I really liked Cormac's characterisation, and I think it ties in perfectly with canon -- I mean, only an idiot, and a daring one at that, would be stupid enough to eat a pound of Doxy eggs for a bet. So yes. Very well done there. I loved how Cormac was determined to snog whoever went through the door even if it was to a bloke, and as much as I don't like Zach as a character, I think you did a great job of his characterisation too.

I really liked how their relationship progressed, and the jobs they both had -- Cormac as a journaist and Zach as a player. I think that worked really well. great choice there.

Great story, Carole, and one that made me laugh lotsly :D

Author's Response: Okay, when Ariana suggested this, I immediately dismissed it because it seemed too ludicrous and I was after something deep and meaningful. But then I went to sleep and when I woke up I remembered Cormac and the Doxy eggs. That was my hook into the story and how their first encounter would go because there is no way in merry hell that Cormac Mclaggen would ever admit he was gay or make the first move on someone without a dare or copious amounts of alcohol. He's too aggressively male for that. Then the story took hold and obsessed me for a while. I remembered Zach was the Captain of Hufflepuff and stepping into Cedric's Quidditch boots must have been incredibly hard.

Not sure you wanted all that background, but hahahahahhahahahah - you have it now :D

Thank you again ~Carole~

Name: ProfPosky (Signed) · Date: 02/28/12 6:13 · For: Truth or Dare
Just to respond to your response, Carole... How interesting that anyone should feel that way about 9/11, when there was absolutely nothing anyone could do. The only exception to this I know of is the steelworkers. There were steelworkers up on a building uptown who saw it fall, and went downtown knowing that their skills would be needed to get people out - except that there was very little getting anyone out. People stood around in ER's all over the city waiting for the rush of casualties that never came. And yes, I do have my own story of it, but I would never have thought of anyone feeling oddly because they missed it. I was so so aware that it was not "my" tragedy, that I had not lost anyone, when a town or two over from here they lost more people that day than they lost to fighting in WWII, and the fire department lost more men in one day, I think, than it had in it's entire previous history. (I could be wrong, but that is close.) None of which has anything to do with your story, which took an idea and transformed it AMAZINGLY into a secret shame, an open shame, and a bonding factor between two characters... I think I am even more impressed now than I was before.

Author's Response: I think it was more the fact that an event like that has people forever remembering where they were when it happened. If you were living in the vicinity but slept through it, then perhaps it feels shameful. It was a character on a tv programme that said it, so it's anecdotal, but ti stayed with me. For Cormac, it's different. He could have done something and would have relished the chance, but he wasn't able to. Thanks for reviewing again, Thea.

Name: Karaley Dargen (Signed) · Date: 02/26/12 0:38 · For: Truth or Dare
I'm baaaack woot woot woot.

This will be incoherent and very stream-of-consciousness as I read along, so I hope there is some sense in it anyway.

"“And she’s a right sort,” Cormac muttered. “He has to be a fruit if he’s not gagging to get in her knickers.”" -- HAH that line. I love how Cormac thinks that everyone's default mode is "I'd tap that". And also love the phrasing. That's very very in character.

OH I want more about the Falcon's Nest. It sounds totally intriguing.

"And something else occurred to him. This wasn’t the Zacharias Smith he remembered from school." ..... there you go, about to redeem him. CURSE YOU.

"Even as Cormac was thinking ‘screw it’, he’d already risen to his feet and was following Smith out the pub." -- HAH your subconscious directs your feet, Cormac. Resistance is futile. You want those lips back.

"Nothing I do will ever change a fucking thing, so just leave me alone." -- noooooooooooooo not the hopeless bitterness. I already feel a bit sorry for him, because all the things we loathe him for are things he did when he was a teenager at school, and everyone made mistakes then...

OH and now Cormac sees this too, and touch a touch a touches him... I wonder if he would have done that if he hadn't kissed him before, offered to just listen as a person, and went after him like that - I bet not.

Wow, you write Cormac well. Even if he is somewhat more likeable here than I would have thought, we never REALLY see him as a terrible person in the books - only self absorbed. And that is what you show so brilliantly here. To Cormac, the only conceivable problem here is Zach being gay, because that is HIS deeply lingering problem. Cormac is so... beautifully ignorant of the world and the people around him, and a bit slow.

And Zach now... mmhm. I don't want to say that what he did was right, and you said that it's not etc. But I ... I get him more as a grown up person. He was scared, when he was a teenager, for his life. And suddenly no one else seemed to be scared anymore. But the thing is that this was IT. There's not going to be another battle for him to prove himself in. And it's not fair to judge anyone by their actions at school for the rest of their lives.

'“Screw what they think of you. Go out next week and play the game you want to play.” He paused and licked his lips, then poked at Smith with his foot.' -- Oh wow. What a parallel. With the pause, and the lips, and the physical contact again, and the tie back to the dare... "play the game you want to play" sounds like advice Cormac should listen to himself. If he went back into his own head properly for a moment, he'd have to realise...

'“Your star is on the ascendant, Smith,” Cormac replied sarcastically. “It would be stupid not to hitch a ride.”' -- heh, I love this line. It fits Cormac and the situation very well, and is just... one of those things that stand out.

It's a great detail that they go to a Muggle pub near where he grew up. This is remote from the wizarding world, away from people that know him - both of them actually. It's just so... simple. I wonder though how Cormac is going to pay for the drinks...

"When he returned, carrying two more beers and two shots of whisky on a tray" -- hahaha now he's the barmaid who gets hit on and groped. Go Cormac!

'"Just as you don’t fancy every female you see, do you.”

Cormac smirked. “I wouldn’t say that.”' - SNORT!

“Some people don’t even know it themselves, until they find the right person.” --- so right. Like Cormac.

Haha, it's always nice to read other characters' POVs about the books' main characters.. like with the Weasleys here.

Ooooh Cormac getting scared when Zach finds his eyes interesting.. how sweet, hahaha.

Oh wow, there's the dare again. And Cormac gets furious, because he almost gave in... ooh intriguing. AND they're home alone.. hmmm. NOOOO I just realised that the story is almost over!

Omp, Cormac's secret... That ties all those parallels together even better. And meeting Zach and talking to him must have made Cormac realise this all the more.

I love the ending, with the interview, too. Your story is so well built. It's amazing how you have these undercurrents that go through the story almost unnoticeably, but they're still always there all the same, and tie it all together. And I don't feel like they've been entirely redeemed, but I also feel that as adults, they should be forgiven, so we're still good, haha.

Your grown up Cormac works perfectly, with all the blokes and the girls and the drinking and the careless fun, and the slightly slow naïvety. Zach is... so appropriately bitter. Him not having friends really is logical, because he wouldn't have them out of Hogwarts, and he doesn't strike me as a person who makes friends easily.

This is so well crafted, and, as always, so so believable.

Author's Response: How do I respond to this stream of conscious review? Thank you so much for the in depth analysis here, Kara. It really is appreciated, and this response is going to fall far far short of your gloriousness.

Few replies for you. the 'star is on the ascendent' line was Nat's favourite, too. I liked it because I needed Cormac to have a continuing reason to want to be with Zach. I think there's a part of him telling the truth though because after that match, Zach is going to be more recognised.

Cormac's secret :( Okay, I had that idea after watching csi ny. One of the characters, Adam, confessed to another colleague that on the day of 9/11 he was in bed sleeping off a hangover and didn't know anything about it until much later. This struck me as quite sad and I know it's a fictional anecdote, but there must have been people who did miss it and can;t recount where they were when ... Cormac's regret would always be not fighting. he is the embodiment of the reckless and brave Gryffindor and I think it must eat at him that he wasn't there. Anyone less Gryff would probably ahve told people and explained how bad they felt, but he can't confess because it feels wrong.

UGHH, I really really want to write a sequel to this now.

Thank you, Kara, for such a lovely review :D ~Carole~

Name: lucca4 (Signed) · Date: 02/25/12 17:23 · For: Truth or Dare
Only you, Carole, could make this pairing and these people so gorgeously redeemable. I love the set up, I love the Truth or Dare, and the ending made me smile.

I especially liked that what McLaggen assumed was Smith's secret (being gay) really wasn't what he was hiding because in the grand scheme of things that really wasn't too big of a deal. I loved the lines you said about the Battle …how Smith was scared (like any rational person would be) and how he was being judged for that his whole life.

Beautiful job! I've had to wait a few days to read this story and it was well-worth the wait - I love what you did with these characters, and I don't hate them quite as much as I used to (at least in your story).

I bow at your feet ;).

xx Ariana

Author's Response: YAYYY! Thank you so much for the prompt. I have to admit, though, that I would have ignored it had it not been for the memory of Cormac doing things for a dare. That kicked off the whole scenario whereby he could kiss Zach and then .... well, yes, you know the rest.

Thank you, also, for reviewing. I had so much fun writing this and am really pleased with the reaction from everyone. ~Carole~

Author's Response: YAYYY! Thank you so much for the prompt. I have to admit, though, that I would have ignored it had it not been for the memory of Cormac doing things for a dare. That kicked off the whole scenario whereby he could kiss Zach and then .... well, yes, you know the rest.

Thank you, also, for reviewing. I had so much fun writing this and am really pleased with the reaction from everyone. ~Carole~

Name: Karaley Dargen (Signed) · Date: 02/22/12 22:29 · For: Truth or Dare

It almost didn't let me sign in to review. Shock.

I'm only halfway through, but I have to leave you some thoughts before I go on reading and forget my initial impression (especially since I have to leave soon, eek).

Wowow. I love how you give Cormac this job at the Prophet, and make it work with his character. He reminds me a bit of some guys from TV shows (like the waterpolo players - haha). It's such a great idea, giving him a family connection, so it doesn't actually matter whether he's any good. AND the fact that he has this job is the perfect excuse to want to get closer to Smith. He's 'obsessing' over the kiss because it's important for a potential story... when really, he's OBVIOUSLY just pondering the kiss for the kiss itself.

It's just completely amazing how you manage to tie it together with a backstory - even something like this. I don't think there's one character/situation combo that you couldn't come up with a good explanation for.

I'm just a bit scared of reading on because I REALLY feel like this is going to redeem Zach Smith and I'm not sure I'm ready to give up on the hate yet... and I know that if you write him redeemingly, I won't have a choice but to feel sorry for him!

Really really reaaaally love this so far. The Quidditch angle is so good.

I'll be back with another review for the rest!

Author's Response: Oooh, two reviews - hee hee hee. Glad you're enjoying the story so far. Um, you might change your mind a little about Zach, but I hope he and Cormac are still recognisable as the gits from the books - ha ha.

The hook for this story was the bet which made Cormac snog Smith in the first place. I'm glad you picked up on him obsessing over the kiss because I'd put the bit in about him touching his lips and then scrubbing at his mouth, as a sort of pointer but wasn't sure if anyone would see that.

Hope you enjoy(ed) the rest of the story. ~Carole~

Name: ProfPosky (Signed) · Date: 02/22/12 0:11 · For: Truth or Dare
Nice job, Carole. I didn't expect Cormac's secret to be what it was. And you kept me interested in two characters I didn't even like in the books...

There is just one moment that I found confusing - It was not immediately apparent who was speaking: “Why didn’t you choose truth as an option when we played that stupid game?” Cormac groaned, feeling Zach’s breath on his neck. “Were you really that scared of admitting you were gay?”

I think you caught this whole, very male scene very well.

Author's Response: Thank you.

Hmm, Cormac's secret was inspired by a tale I heard of someone sleeping through the events of 9/11 because he'd been out drinking, and him feeling so ashamed he could never tell anyone. Cormac was the sort of person who would have fought and with the type of recklessness that could have got him killed, so I have a feeling this lack of action would haunt him.

Yes, that line is a bit confusing. I shall rejig at some point. Thank you for the review. ~Carole@

Name: welshdevondragon (Signed) · Date: 02/21/12 19:24 · For: Truth or Dare
Well, that was hilarious :D. So many good lines--like the "I'm not a cheap date" and the playing with Cormac's stereotypes of gay men. I loved the twist that Zach was comfortable with his sexuality, but not his actions during the Battle, and while it's easy to say what you should have done after the event, I think when he talked about how scared he was, you DID make me sympathise with him. And it was very sweet (now there's a word I never expected to use about Cormac) of Cormac to emphasise that in the interview, as well as be willing to have the answer to the Love Interest question there.

I also liked how well you showed Cormac's bluster/ chat up lines/ 'laddish' humour, but he was pretty obviously not getting much sex, something Zach hit on the head so perfectly. I also liked how natural the story felt--with odd pairings like this it would be so easy for it to feel forced. Also--another thing which made me like Zach was his interview answers about Oliver Wood and Cedric Diggory--I am, however, unsure if he genuinely thought this, or Cormac was doing a PR for him. I liked how you started with the very public pub (and the detail of how a pub could serve Muggles AND witches and wizards...I may have to steal/borrow that) and ended with the intimacy of them on the sofa, before the, whilst obviously public, also quite intimate interview.

Of course, they are both still arrogant gits (I found the part where they bonded over Weasley/Trio hatred very amusing) and you did not shy away from that, while still making me find them interesting enough to read about, and occasionally sympathise with. Great story--Ariana should definitely make you write random pairings more often :) Alex

Author's Response: DON'T ENCOURAGE ARIANA!!!!!!!

snigger. Okay, thank you very much for the review. I did have fun writing it and I am pleased you picked up on the bonding moment of their hatred of the Trio and the Weasleys because I always had that in mind when I started this and had to think of their common ground.

Right the answers to the questions. Obviously he didn't think Harry catching the Snitch was the best sporting moment ever. With Oliver, I think he recognises he's good but was probably sucking up. With Cedric ... I have in mind that is genuine.

Thank you, again, so so much. I am giggling at the ♥ this fic has received - hee hee. ~Carole~

Name: Gmariam (Signed) · Date: 02/21/12 17:59 · For: Truth or Dare

Carole!! I loved this!! How the hell do you keep doing this, taking these minor characters and fleshing them out and pairing them up so beautifully! I mean, this is great!! Okay, to flail a little less, here's why:

Cormac is great. He's still a bit of a prat with a chip on his shoulder, yet he's also a bit older and does want to make something of himself. Plus you've given him a heart - he chases after Smith for a story but shows real concern for Smith's misery. That was so well done! And you hinted at a reason, but didn't tell us until the end, which was also well done.

And then Zach! I loved him! Gah, the poor guy!! He's another character who seemed a bit of a prat in the books, but he's obviously not here. He's grown and suffered and has this huge, life-long regret that just burns him. But at the same time, he has this confidence in himself (not in his game, sadly) that was awesome. I loved the way he toyed with Cormac, but even more, I loved some of the things he said to him, namely:

“I should be angry, I suppose,” he muttered at last. “But I actually find it quite amusing that you’ve latched onto the one thing I accept about myself and assume that’s the problem.”

That's great character development! And then:

“Just because you’re male, it doesn’t mean I automatically fancy you. Just as you don’t fancy every female you see, do you.”

Great point! Cormac needed to hear that, and yet…Zach sort of ate his words, didn't he? ;)

So they had a drunken hook-up, but someone it feels like it's right, like there's more and they are meant to be. Not sure how you did that but I LOVE this couple! I want to see what happens next! How does Cormac deal with it? Does he accept it right away, does he struggle with it? Are they happy, these two damaged souls sharing the shame of what happened at the Battle of Hogwarts? Because I want them to be and I want the world to be happy for them!

The ten questions at the end were a fun way to end it. Great story, Carole. Just such a wonderful read--now I can't wait to read your next claim!

~Gina :)

Author's Response: Thank youuuuuuuuuuuuu, so so so so so so so so much.

Yay, that is so great to hear. It wasn;t as if I angsted about this story, but I knew people's perceptions would be that this was going to be a crack!fic because thispair are such tossers in the books, but although I hope they're still fairly dislikeable at points in this story, I didn't want this to be a completely implausible and a knock-about farce.

My hook, in case you're interested, was Cormac and the Doxy egg bet. I was pretty sure he was the type of guy who is ALWAYS going to go on with a dare and wouldn't let a stupid thing like snogging a bloke get in his way - ha ha. With Zach, um, well, that fleeing the battle thing will always stay with him, it's whether he has the guts to face up to it that makes or breaks him. I don't think Oliver seemed too scornful of him, and maybe he's shown in the air that he's not a coward. (When it occured to me became Puff captain straight after Cedric had died, I kind of gaped; he must have had something about him.)

The ten questions thing at the end was his first stab at redemption. The comment about his love life, I fiddled around with. He first answered 'You tell me, Cormac.' but I thought the tie in with his 'No comment' of earlier was better but he's using Cormac's first name, so they're on friendly terms. The trouble is, I can't see Cormac being happy about his friends finding out. I shall maybe puzzle this out on a future fic .,,, gahhhh, you got me thinking now.

I have to leave to talk to someone on AIM, now. Oh ... it's you - hee hee.

Thank you so much again. ~Carole~

Name: BrokenPromise (Signed) · Date: 02/21/12 14:33 · For: Truth or Dare
I really enjoyed this. Some bits made me laugh, but others were quite intense. You have a good writing style.
I love stories that are about minor characters, and this was no exception. Brilliant.

Author's Response: Thank you! There are actually a lot of minor character fics flooding the boards at the moment due to a challenge over at the beta boards, so you might be able to find some others you enjoy, too.

I'm glad you liked this story. I did have fun writing it, and liked the challenge of trying to make both of them slightly more decent human beings (yet still ego ridden idiots - ha ha)

Thanks again. ~Carole~

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