Hey, I'm Sarah.
I'm eighteen and I live in Canada. I've been reading Harry Potter since the first movie came out, my favourite characters are the entire Weasley family and the marauders. I know that's a lot of favourites, but I can never pick just one out of them!
I have tons of plot bunnies in my backyard. Unfortunately, the Beta Forums have sucked me in and I spend all of my time on there, so the bunnies sometimes just pass by...
Compared to Leanne’s review, this is going to seem like nothing! But here it goes!
I loved this story, first off. I’ve always wondered what Peter would have been thinking the moment he told Voldemort James’ and Lily’s secret and I think you got it perfectly. The way he was scared to be found out and not really scared for his friend’s life was brilliant in my opinion. Obviously his inferiority is what drove him to it in the end, which you showed nicely through the flashbacks, having the other marauder’s look down on him slightly.
Which brings me to characterization! I think you have them all spot on, really, and what I loved the most was how Sirius and Remus didn’t actually make fun of Peter, only tiny remarks that Peter took the wrong way, like “But you’d get yourself killed faster than Sirius could if you were Secret Keeper. We’re just worried about your safety, Peter.” His friends know his weaknesses, and they were probably right that he would get himself killed, so really, I do believe that they were just looking out for his safety. But because of all the years he had to put up with remarks like this, I can see why he would feel like they treated him poorly, when really they were just trying to be good friends. They’re always very mature about it, even Sirius, though they acted awkwardly. You showed a growth which is reflective of the times which was good for this story.
Another great thing about this piece is the flow! I loved how easily you moved between his memories and the present, as if we really were inside Peter’s mind. And it added more to the story for me. The flashbacks are what actually shape the story, giving evidence to why Peter is now doing what he is. It was a great add on, and good choice as an author!
So as you can tell, I just loved this one-shot :) and of course I would, a Gryffie wrote it! Go Go Gryffindor! Haha, keep writing Abby, cause you’re amazing at it
First off, that story is very intense. In a good way though. The emotions that are conveyed are just breathtaking; you capture the hatred and jealousy with such ease. It was really well done. I love how the spaghetti can be used as a symbol for Bertram’s feelings of betrayal and for their dying relationship That night, even after all of the dishes of food and all of the used plates have vanished, the solitary thread of spaghetti laid untouched on the table. It was brilliant how something so little could spark such emotion through your OC.
Speaking of your OC, he was well-rounded and believable. This is a great feat to accomplish! It was almost refreshing at how formal he was! It fits his character well and he seems like someone that Lily would date (well, at least at first anyway : p) However, you sort of brought this formality into the dialogue, which I think sounded a little awkward in places, such as, “I was simply wondering what exactly is so spectacular about this sliding that you speak of so often, and I thought I’d try it to come to a conclusion myself.” the phrase “that you speak of so often” just sounds too formal to actually be spoken out loud.
Also, I find that there isn’t quite a difference between the way Bertram narrates, and James narrates. The tone is very much the same and I believe that James would be a little more playful, and although he was very smart, he would be less formal and have a narrower vocabulary. Although the James part does put forth the fact that James feels the same way as Bertram, I would have liked the story progress without his input. I quite liked Bertram’s point of view, and I feel that his emotions and narrative are what really make this story interesting. He’s pretty complex, I mean, why stay with Lily? So more insight on his way of seeing would really benefit the reader.
Other than that, this story is amazing! As I said before, it’s so intense and you can feel the tension in both relationships, though more so in Bertram’s and Lily’s. It’s a creative plot and something different to add to the Lily/James category. I must admit that from the summary I was surprised at the story I got! I never would have thought about such a thing and it’s so amazing and fairly rare to come across stories like that in the romance category.
Another thing I really liked was the connection between the Marauders in the third chapter. You write them nicely together and they act like a real team (though I would have liked to see a little more of Remus and Peter. Perhaps in future chapters? : D ). One thing I especially loved was the whole scene where Lily accuses Sirius for being who he is because of his blood line! Brilliant! My jaw actually dropped as this happened. her reference to the condescending pure-blood families hits Sirius sharply and cuts him more deeply than most other comments could have done. You knocked Sirius right down to the core and portrayed him as canon as possible. Great job!
You have a real piece of art here and I really hope that you can find the time to finish it off. What you have so far is amazing – good job!
Author's Response: This is the first time I've logged into my account in almost two years, and I was greeted first with your review! Wow -- thanks SO much -- I can't tell you how much I appreciate getting such helpful, detailed, enthusiastic responses to my writing and so for precisely that, thank you! :) I'm so glad that you're enjoying Bertram's perspective, and I'm especially happy that you found him to be believable. I like sticking to canon as much as I can and then filling in the gaps while taking (some) creative license, but for me, that means trying to stick to the integrity of the characters and the settings that JKR has given us. When I saw Bertram Aubrey's name mentioned very, very briefly in HBP as a character of the Marauder era, I decided to write a J/L fic with a different perspective -- hopefully I was successful in "creating" a character in Bertram that fits both the time and the people around him! Like you said, when I was writing from James's perspective, I chose not to deviate much from the formal style I had used in the Bertram chapters, but I did it because I wanted to give James a more reflective, matured, introspective nature (at least in his 7th year :P and at least in the first chapter from his perspective) than perhaps how he's portrayed in other fics. I imagine that the Marauder era was simultaneously an exciting and trying time, and while I completely LOVE James's playfulness and informal charm (and I'd absolutely love to write in coming chapters), I wanted to begin the fic by setting a slightly more serious -- and consequentially a more formal -- general tone (which, like you said, makes the fic intense). In my mind (and this might be just me), James had changed enough by Seventh Year that like Lily, he, too, had his moments of tension and anxiety that sometimes masked his mischievousness, and that's the facet of James's personality that I sought to portray in that chapter. It is true, though, that Bertram's and James's styles seem almost too similar, and I'll definitely try to remedy this next time. I'm happy you liked the heavy Marauder presence in the third chapter, too! If I start writing again -- which I think I will do today... -- I most definitely will incorporate more scenes with Peter and Remus into the fic in the future! :) :) Again, thanks so much for your review! Hopefully (if I can manage to battle writer's block and be creative again) I'll be continuing this story! :)
This story was really well done and I enjoyed it very much!
I like how you said the Marauders as a whole were like a puzzle. This is eliminates the cliché that Peter was only just a tag-along; well done. Cliché’s are hard to overcome. I also enjoyed the cookies part; it adds personality and humour to the story.
Your characterisation was good; I loved the part where James asked Remus if he could play the instrument. Those six dialogue lines that follow are very real. I could perfectly imagine James pushing Remus into doing something that he’d rather not. However, some parts seem to stick out as OOC to me for Remus. He wishes he could have an intelligent conversation with them and he rolls his eyes and sort of mocks James when he asks if the piano was a piano. I think Remus would be nicer to his friend and instead of rolling his eyes, might just poke fun at him. This is only my opinion and it doesn’t harm the story at all as a whole.
I’ve never read a story where any of the marauders play an instrument, so to have Remus plays the piano was something new and interesting for me. It’s very plausible and I like how the song connects people to their true love. I absolutly love the last line Remus says about love being cliché, cheesy and embarrassing. It couldn’t be anymore truer and it fits into the story very nicely.
One last little comment, “how in Merlin’s name did you mange that?”, it should be Manage.
Overall, this story was very well-written and I really liked reading it. Keep up the good work!
This one-shot was a really good idea! I like seeing how people explore different characters, and James is one of my favourite characters, so I enjoyed reading this take on what goes on in his mind! I like how you characterised him here, and how he feels about himself and Lily. We see a little insecurity, especially with how he “needs” Lily, which is interesting because he acts so confident on the outside.
I think you captured the human thought very well in this piece! James sort of jumps around through a lot of different thoughts and emotions and it made me realise how jumbled and random my thoughts can be sometimes! Things are also repeated a lot which is something we tend to do when we rant, so I liked how you incorporated that into your story. I like how you incorporated the angry moments, like when he decides that “If she doesn’t want me around, then fine, I won’t be.” And says things on impulse whereas later he says the he’ll “just have to try a little bit harder”. I think there should have been a little more anger in this fic though. There wasn’t enough for me, and I think James would be seriously mad at how much effort he is putting into Lily and how she keeps blowing him off.
Another thing that would have worked more effectively were clear cut repetitions. For example, instead of writing “Like I’ve said, I’ve tried.” Just writing “I’ve tried.” As it’s own separate paragraph would have worked really well and have more of impact on the reader. Same with “Like I said, I’m the exception.”, if you were to just write “I’m the exception” I think the reader would feel more sympathy towards James as he restates his point, without pointing out that he is restating his point.
I want to finish with something else that I liked though, you tended to have James just trail off from one point and start thinking about Lily’s character, which is very real and sweet. Like when he says “I’ve tried to make her care, to make her see that I care. And it hurts me even more, that she probably never will.
She cares about things…” And then he goes on to everything she cares about it. I think it’s brilliant and very touching how much attention James pays attention to her and it makes their romance more tragic to the reader.
Very good story, I can’t wait to read your “sequel”! Keep up the good work!
Author's Response: Hi Sarah! I'm not usually one to respond to reviews, but this was so long and thorough, I felt if you spent this much time on my story, the very least I could do is respond. :) I really appreciate the fact that you liked the bouncing around, mostly because that's one of my favorite parts of this little fic. I do like your comment about the repetition. I had never realized how many times I said certain things (though it was on purpose) and how simply repeating them could be a bit more effective. I'll look into it! I hope you like the sequel, though I do like this one a bit better Thanks for reading! -Kel
Your story is really good so far! It's very interesting and I can't wait to read more! I loved your OC Tabitha, she was very believable as a character and I can definitely see her as Lily's friend. I like the little reply Lily gives James in the very beginning as well, it perfectly shows the kind of relationship they have. I also liked your take on the before and after Snape's Worst Memory, however I think that Lily would have taken it a bit harder. I imagined her to cry, after all this was one of her best friends who insulted her, and to just brush it off with transfiguration was a little out of character for me. This was the only thing that stood out to me though, the rest of it being fantastic! Keep up the good work, and I hope you have as much fun writing their next years as I will reading them!
This story was beyond cute and I loved every little second of it! Romance fics are so great once in awhile, don’t you agree?
Ron was portrayed perfectly here. The fact that he wanted to do something special, but didn’t know how to go about it was exactly how I imagined things would go. Some fictions show Ron as being totally useless and clumsy and would have had him blurt out the question, but he didn’t want that to happen in your story, which shows some insight on Ron’s mind and how much he loves Hermione. Hermione was also nicely portrayed, especially with the line She laughed. “No, I’ve got a wedding to organise now! Just think of how much there is to do. Who else knows about today?” I love how Hermione jumps straight to planning the wedding; she’s always been very organized and easily excited which is shown wonderfully through this one line. Your minor characters were also written carefully, staying true to who they were. I giggled at how McGonagall ”was positively beaming to see them”, though I think her character could have used a little more attention. We don’t really see her strictness in this story as we do in the books; this was probably just because she was so excited for the couple so maybe a word here and there to describe how she felt about the two former students would have improved her character. Also, the way that Harry proposed to Ginny was priceless. I never imagined something like that happening, but it’s just so perfect and so very likely of Harry to do that while flying and doing what he loves, with the person he loves. Very creative, good job!
What I also liked about this story was that it wasn’t rushed. I see a lot of romance one-shots that speed through everything and get right down to the point. This is good at times if that’s what you want, but you showed a very real way of how things would actually happen. They took a walk through Hogsmeade, went shopping and even stopped into the Three Broomsticks. This interaction between Ron and Hermione was just great to see. I thought it was nice how they were shown to be acting like friends, instead of a love-sick couple – I really believe that Ron and Hermione wouldn’t be ones to publicly show their affection for one another.
There a few missing words in some places, and a quotation should go after “…But I suppose you’re right - we did have some nice trips here when we were younger.” I had to double back after because it didn’t make sense how Hermione would say She took his hand and they started walking ;)
Overall this was a nice little read. I got shivers when Ron was proposing to Hermione! I enjoyed reading this very much, you did a wonderful job. I hope you can get around to finishing it off soon!
A reading that consists of only cards from the Major Arcana indicates the destiny of the querant lies outside their own control - possibly within the hands of Fate itself.
Nineteen years pass between the final chapter and the epilogue. Here are two days inside those nineteen years.
Ooh, I love Neville stories :) You did a really good job with this first chapter, and although I haven’t fully read the second one yet, I wanted to stay focused on this one for the review.
Your characterization of Neville was amazing. You showed him to be very mature and actually quite confident in himself at being a professor, “And it's not like, I don't know, it’s test or anything, where I think I'll forget everything halfway through. I know what I'm doing." I also liked the masculinity you put into him by the description of himself when he realises Ginny is there. Neville has obviously grown and is extremely different from his boyhood state, which you portrayed in this story wonderfully.
Ginny, too, was well done. I didn’t quite understand why she was at Hogwarts over the holidays though. Was there any specific reason? I know she says that she wanted to get Harry a plant for his office, but was this the main reason she went to Neville? Why didn’t she go to a flower shop if this is the case? A motive would make her character more believable.
I enjoyed the little Hannah/Neville relationship you had in the story. I’ve never seen this done, and it’s an interesting pair to experience. I loved the part when Neville was reminiscing his date with her, “These were living thoughts, vibrant but also impossible to catch. Neville knew that if he tried to put them into words, he would be constantly feeling like he was missing an important detail.” this line is amazing; you really did a good job at stating the indescribable love he has for her subtly.
Actually, everything was pretty subtle in this story. I think that the subtly is what makes it what is though. It’s very nice and shows a great connection between Ginny and Neville, especially with the line ”Neville thought Ginny might have some comment at this, but as he turned to face her she was only smiling” They’re very comfortable with each other and don’t need words to say what how they feel – they kind of know what the other is thinking. I also like how you described Ginny to be “swelled beneath her robes”, which is a nice connection to the quote about the Empress at the beginning. Ginny is obviously a symbol of this Empress, perhaps her visit to Neville represents that he too will have a child? He has already found love; will he go to the next step with Hannah? These questions don’t necessarily have to be answered in your story, but I’m just curious :)
There is just one more thing I would like to comment on, and it’s all the detail you put into your story. You spent the time to create a conversation that is believable and unrushed and touches on specific aspects of Neville’s life. I love how threw in the invitation to the Ghost Party, I found that quite amusing, especially as we see through CoS that a Ghost Party isn’t something everyone wants to go to. Also the little reference, ”for the student that would inevitably get jostled or sweep their arm a little too wide and crack the pot on the floor” was a good reminder of how clumsy Neville use to be. He really thought of everything that could happen while thinking of how many pots he needed!
Great job on the first chapter, I’ll definitely read the next! I skimmed through it a little, and saw that it was about Ollivander! Excellent, he’s a character I haven’t seen in a while! Keep up the good work and have fun writing the rest!
I always saw Neville as a character who would, given time, grow into himself well. It begins when he joins the DA, but really notches up when he stops using his father's wand (the symbolism there is pretty obvious, right?). Originally I may have had some ideas about putting him in a situation he was less familiar with - his date with Hannah, maybe - but I think I like seeing him in his element better.
Ginny does have her reasons to be there, although they're more apparent in later chapters and even then aren't really stated outright. Part of it, which isn't in this story, ties in to the strong friendship she has with Neville that comes from them being guerillas at Hogwarts during DH - they have a strong and rather unique bond that can easily include (but isn't limited to) showing up unannounced after a while to just catch up on life and keep tabs.
I'm surprised that Neville/Hannah isn't more prevalent, given that it's part of that extra-canon information and that we know a bit more about Hannah than we do about, say, Astoria Greengrass or Rolf Scamander. I like that particular line a bit myself - not only does it show Neville as a bit of a romantic (although maybe too rooted and earthy to be a poet), but I also think that anyone who has ever been compelled to write something creative understands the fear of not being able to extract them image in their head exactly right.
I think subtlety is highly important in writing - it gives the reader something to look for during a second reading. In this chapter specifically, I set myself the goal of not saying in so many words that Ginny was pregnant, but having it be a detail the reader couldn't easily forget or ignore, so there's a number of elements in the chapter (both literal and symbolic) that point to it. I'm not completely sure what exactly The Empress foretells - I'm not an expert on the tarot by any means, and I get the idea that even those who are don't see exact details anyway -but if Neville were to get to work on a kid of his own, I wouldn't say it wasn't a sign.
I freely admit, I'm often much more interested in filling out the little details than I am in advancing the plot. If I could, I'd rather write stories that are just long true-to-life conversations (and have - sort of - in Iris) rather than constant high tension and drama. I like seeing the way characters interact during downtime - since high tension and drama are a dime a dozen, I think I like the boring and mundane parts a lot more.
Thanks so much for the detailed review - hope to see your comments on the following chapter(s) soon.
Hey Dream Team!
That was a good start to your story! Your writing is so light and joyful; it makes the story sound so happy and energetic. You must have been in a good mood while writing it =).
It was nice to see how you incorporated the canon scene of how James and Sirius met, along with Lily and Severus. It was a nice touch to show it from James’ point of view, which I really enjoyed.
The characters in your story could have been a little more in depth, though. I feel that you skimmed through the characters and only stated what we know from the books. When Peter goes to sit down with the other three, he kind of just sits there and that’s that. What were James’ thoughts about him? Did he feel he could become close friends with him? And why did he like Sirius so much? A little more exploration with the characters in future chapters could greatly improve your fic. If you need some idea of what struggles the marauders are going through internally, there’s a nice little thread on the Beta Boards for each of the characters. There’s always a helping hand to guide you through exploration on the Boards too =)
Another little nitpick I have is that the marauder’s seem to become friends so easily. Remus didn’t even introduce himself, but he’s calling James his mate a couple of lines down. The friendship was a little rushed, and I know that you probably want to get on with the story, but sometimes the small things can create a world of a difference.
All in all, wonderful chapter! By the way, I forgot to mention, I love the title! It’s a nice play with the ‘map’. I’ll certainly be waiting to find out what happens to the marauders!
Happy Writing! Cheers.
Author's Response: WOW! thats quite a fantastic and long review! first i would like to thank you for all the tips! I know i havent developed the characters very well, but i hope i can explain them a little better as the story goes on! ya about the mate thing... isnt it sort of a british thing? in my own little head it sorta is equivalent to dude... im probably VERY off tho! sigh... how i wish i had an accent... yeah this first chapter was really hard because i thought of an idea for a story and then i was like, "now how in the world am i sposed to start it?" anyhu, thank you for the review! i really appreciate all of your advice! thanx!!!! :D
This story was wonderfully written, Molly. I've never really had a liking to Dark fanfics, but I thought I'd try it out and enjoyed it. I liked how it was centered around Lockhart, I haven't seen too many fics about him and it was nice to read about what actually could have happened to him, even if it was a tragic moment.
I like how you started the story off with the result of his encounter and then going into the actual story. It left suspense as to what had happened. There was also some really good imagery in here, especially the part when the girl falls,
"The scarves continued to flutter in the wind, even after the girl crashed against the surface of the water."
I could see it happening and even hear the impact of her body on the water. I also like the characterization of the woman, she was sort of secondary in the story but you gave her an entire life in some short words.
There were some spelling mistakes, and a 'T' that had been stood up by an 'O'. The ending was also very nice, I wasn't too sure if it would turn out while I was reading it (I rather liked where it ended before the hospital) but I liked the irony. I don't think you had to include the last sentance, the irony was obvious and it could have been more effective ending with the girls smiling.
I really liked this, good job, Molly!
Author's Response: I'm really glad you liked the story. I'm also not one to write D/A stories, but I really liked this story as well.
This story was a funny take on how the siblings might actually behave. Having siblings myself, I know how frustrating it is to be blamed for something I didn’t do, so I can see where James is coming from here.
You really made Albus to be a nasty little thing!
"I enjoy it," Al smirked. “Oh, and mind your language, or else you’ll have that from Mum too.”
He makes me angry here, and I like how well you wrote that whole scene to transfer James’ anger onto the reader. It was well-done and you definitely succeeded in making Albus look like the bad one! As for James, I think a little more could have been added. If he knew that Albus was mean and liked to prank him, then why did he always fall for his tricks? Why was it so important for James to follow through on Albus’ dares, even though he probably knew he would get into trouble for them? Some thoughts from James’ view could enhance your story.
I also liked how you portrayed Harry here. Father Harry is always hard to write for me, but I think you had the right balance. He needed to punish his children, but didn’t want to be too harsh about it, which was just in between being too strict and too slack. It was nicely done.
Your flow was nice and it made the story easy to read which was nice to see. I was confused at one point though, with the line He's such a liar! he yelled venomously. You have the dialogue tag there, ‘he yelled’, but the actual quote is italicized and not put into quotations. You either forgot the quotation marks, or meant to write that he thought it. Once you clarify which one James is doing, then it will become clearer to the reader.
The plot was really good for this story! It was creative and a funny situation for the family. You did an awesome job with this and I liked reading it. Keep up the good work!
Author's Response: Heya! Thanks for the review! It was really fun to write this story, since everyone writes about a good Al and an Ebil James, so I thought I could write the opposite! It was a kind of challenge for me, and in the end I managed it. I kinda got the idea from the popular TV show "Drake and Josh", you see! :P And Harry was the biggest challenge... I had written a very harsh Harry at first, but HJG told me it was a BBIIGG mistake. I had to edit the WHOLE thing again, lol. Anyways, thanks for the uber lubbly review!!! Here's your cyber cookie... ------Nadia
Oh em gee. It’s going to be so hard to not make this review sound overly excited!
I think you can gather that I loved it. So much. I think it might be my favourite Ron/Hermione one-shot. Why? You write them so well! It was a small moment, but it wasn’t overly fluffy and emotional, it’s what would have actually happened when Ron and Hermione weren’t bickering and were alone having a serious conversation. They both were very mature which reflected great with the timeline and they shared that moment where they knew each other’s feelings, yet never really admitted to it. That’s really like the story of their life; playing around each other’s feelings, knowing but at the same time, not knowing. They’re both too insecure to really say it out loud, and I got that sense while I was reading your fic.
You’re summary says it all really, short, sweet and touched with humour.
” Hermione made a small squeaking noise, and Ron suddenly looked wide-awake and alert.
"Er- So's Harry," he added hastily, "So I reckon I don't really mind where we're going or any of that if we're all going together," he finished gruffly.”
I smiled at this part. It’s such a classic Ron thing to do, and it’s rather humorous. I also like the part when Ron mentions to Hermione she should think of shoes because that’s what makes Fleur happy. Again, this is very in character of Ron, not understanding how different the two women are, just placing them both as “women” and therefore, they both should like shoes!
Hermione, too was well in character. One part that makes her work so well for me is, “Maybe I’ll check on Harry and Ron, she thought worriedly, This is ridiculous, she told herself firmly. Harry and Ron are fine! Voldemort didn’t stroll in, kill them in their sleep and creep out quietly, shutting the door behind him!”
She knows her logic is right, but she can’t help but worry about her friends. I always saw Hermione as the sort of “mother” of the group, and you wrote that part spot on.
The thing I like most about this though, is how close to canon to it is. Being able to write the couple so well really makes it great because it’s not too sentimental and emotional, which the characters aren’t! We’ve never seen Ron and Hermione be all loving together, and that’s how most of the romance fics turn out. But yours is perfectly within canon and it makes me even more happier to read than to read Ron and Hermione dating.
The style of your writing is a lot like the actual books too, which is great to see! I’ve always tried to mimic JK’s writing, and just can’t quite do it. But you’ve pulled it off real nicely! The flow of your piece was also nice, no short choppy sentences, it all just flowed together, much like Ron’s words when he wakes up :P
You did a great job with this! I am now going to go off and find more things written by you :) Very wonderful writing!
Author's Response: Thanks so much! I'm so glad you liked it! I wrote this a few summers ago when I was waiting for Deathly Hallows to come out and wondering how JK Rowling was going to finally throw these two together.
Russia, Russia, Russia.
That opening. Was amazing. I actually felt like I was watching a movie as oppose to reading! Seriously, how does that happen?
Your description, as everyone else has said, is wonderful. It’s so detailed, yet concise, and literally paints a picture in the reader’s mind. The paragraph about the shop, The shop front was small and relatively uninteresting. It was dingy and the brown paint was cracked and peeling. A large sign, written in chipped antique style letters read “Dargen’s Antiques”. draws you in. I know you say it’s uninteresting, but the uninteresting things in stories are usually the most interesting! (By the way, I love the name of the shop =P).
I like all of the little details you had in there, like her seeing the rocking horse and the violin. Speaking of the violin, let’s put a quote in here, “it was an old violin, two of the strings were snapped and the bow was nowhere in sight.” First off, you don’t just tell us it’s old, you actually showed us (bonus marks), and you could have just said that the bow wasn’t there, but instead you said it was missing, adding in a sense of sight and mystery (double extra chocolate bonus marks). You knew exactly what Jenna was doing in that shop, and you brought us there with you! And I am so glad you brought us there.
One itty bitty nitpick (there always has to be a nitpick, doesn’t there?), half of your story is in italics, girl! Am I missing something? Is it suppose to be that way? It’s not a big issue… just something I thought I’d point out. =)
Oh, oh, oh! Jenna turned to look again at the intricately carved wooden chest, “How did you...” Jenna began, turning back to the man. But the old man, was gone. I love this part! It’s such a classic mystery moment. It brings out the fantasy of the story, and I get chills thinking about Jenna’s position.
To sum it up, you and your story are awesome, so don’t keep me waiting for more!
Author's Response: Oh Sarrrrah! I love you so much! This review makes me smile so much! I am so glad you like my description, when I write I always have a very very clear picture in my head, and I am so glad that I am able to convey that picture to my readers! Describing the antiques shop was SO much fun! I love old antique shops, and the story behind every object. So it was very fun for me to write. No it isnt supposed to be in italics, italic tags hate me >.< Thankyou Sarah! I am so so so sorry that I HAVE kept you waiting for more! I promise I will have the next chapter up soon! Russia xxxxx
I take a deep breath so my voice won’t shake.
“What would you do if we died tomorrow?”
He takes a step away from me, but still keeps me in his arms. “What?”
“What would you do if you knew that we died tomorrow?”
“What kind of question is that?”
“Don’t give me that, James. You know that we are going to die soon. There is no point in pretending that we aren’t.”
James and Lily have a conversation two days before Halloween.
Hey Alyssa! That story was really well written! It was a little much at the beginning for me, but that's what I get for reading a high rated story =P
Although it was something that really surprised me, it was something that most likely happened. James' playful attitude is spot on to his personality and I like how you portrayed Lily as well. She was lustful and playful herself, which reflects how her and James aren't that different after all.
All of the scenes with Harry were so cute and sweet! I like the interaction between Lily and her son and the descriptions how he was "half of me". And of course all of the little reflections on how Harry is so much like James! It really makes me wonder how Harry would have turned out if his parents were to live.
And that's exactly what you wanted to happen wasn't it? The ending is what makes this story entirely. It's just so... sad! James sticks up for his friend, which he would do quite often, and we know that he shouldn't! Lily's so accepting of her fate and the acceptance is the tear jerker!
You've done a good job on writing something that shows so much emotion! Awesome job Toaster! =D
Author's Response: Thank you so much, Sarah! I'm glad that you liked this. To be honest, I didn't try that hard for the emotion. It just flowed right out of me. I can't write anything that will come out good if it's forced, so I didn't really try for all of the emotion. (Is it just me or does that sound braggish? If it does to you, then I'm sorry. I didn't mean for it to end up like that.) I'm so happy that you like how I portrayed James and Lily. I really work hard on that so I'm super happy that I got that right. I can't thank you enough, Sarah! Thanks!
Hey Russia dear! :)
This story was really good, of course! I wouldn’t expect anything different from you! I’ve never really read anything from Hannah’s POV, but the way you understood her and wrote her seems really well thought out. The only part I didn’t quite understand about her character was when she was happy to see only one owl. I know that she doesn’t want to get older, but surely she would have felt SOME sadness. Maybe it’s just me, but I say things that I usually don’t mean, one of them being when it’s my birthday and I say I don’t want anything, I actually would like something ;) Other than that though, her character was convincing; especially as a twenty-nine-year old woman, which is something you should be proud of! Sometimes writing out of your own age can be difficult, but if it was, it doesn’t show here!
I feel like the story is a tad bit rushed and Hannah just kind of shoots from one scene to the next. She wakes up, goes to work, leaves work, runs from Susan, goes to St. Mungos, goes to see Neville. I think a little more dialogue and thought process in every scene would have made the story really come to life. Also, more explanation as to why Susan and Roger, two wizards, were walking around muggle London would have helped; I find it very unusual how she runs into both of them on a muggle street. It seems like wizards and witches tend to stay more to the wizarding communities than to be apart of the muggle ones. I actually thought that maybe when she met Roger she would suddenly feel some old connection with him and they would end up together! I just don’t see the reason for Roger showing up in this story. It would have been less confusing if it was a random muggle who brought her somewhere.
The ending too, feels a little rushed. Especially how Hannah just throws in how she is pregnant:
“Neville, I love you more than words can say. I am sorry too, the breakup was stupid and I have been regretting it ever since. I never stopped loving you.” She paused. “And... I’m pregnant”
For some reason, having her saying that she’s pregnant at that moment, loses the effect of everything she just said for me. It kind of sounds like, “oh I love you because I’m pregnant and I have to.” Now I know that is NOT what you were going for, but the way it was placed makes it feel like that. Maybe if you left that for a later scene or somehow brought it up a little more casually, sort of eased into it, I think it would have been better. Other than that though, I do love the conversation between Neville and Hannah.
Neville’s speech to her is so touching and cute! I love how he just spills everything out into one long breath; like he knew everything he was going to say and then suddenly had to say it all at once. It was very in character of him to just rant it all out, I think, because it shows the brave Gryffindor in him to say what’s on his mind.
This is getting to be quite long, so I think I shall stop there. You did a great job and I absolutely love how you took the prompt and turned it into this! It’s very creative and well written. Keep writing! Cause you’re amazing at it :)
See ya on the boards! xoxox
Hey Wendy! This story definitely deserved first place it was great!
You portrayed Lockhart very well in my opinion, and when you went into the quotes from CoS, you could barely tell a difference in writing! Congrats, that’s a huge compliment :D
My favourite part in this story in when he meets Dumbledore, hands down! “Professor Gilderoy Lockhart at your service Headmaster. I have come to show young witches and wizards they too can conquer…” he broke off when Dumbledore gave him an amused look over his half moon glasses. “Yes, well anyway, I am here Headmaster.” I laughed out loud this was so funny! And again, it’s well in character of Lockhart to make such a grand entrance. I also like how you portrayed him in the presence of Dumbledore, as if he’s almost ashamed of his actions.
Another favourite of mine that I must mention, Clapping politely for all of the children would cause his hands to chap, so he bestowed his five time award winning smile on them instead. I love how you even used the word “politely” because he certainly is not the polite type.
I thought the beginning was great, but the first sentence seems a little long-winded, ” Gilderoy Lockhart stepped down from the carriage at the bottom of the front steps of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and looked around.” It’s a lot to take in with the very beginning of a story. It’s probably just me, but I think a starting sentence should just be straight and to the point, whereas you’ve used a lot of description about exactly where he was.
There’s also a sentence I’m not sure makes sense, “ The girls were whispering behind their hands and sitting forwarding their seats trying to gain his attention.” I think it should just be forward in their seats.
I just loved the whole plot line for this story, it really stuck to canon, which was nice to see, but I would have also liked to see more struggles. Possibly with Lockhart not knowing how to teach, and maybe had a tiny scene with some older students, say Fred and George who would act out, and see how Lockhart would get out of it (I think it’d be quite humorous to see what he’d say to a couple like Fred and George!).
The ending was perfect, how he goes to bed feeling bad about the days’ lesson. And of course the dramatic irony was just fantastic! ” He consoled himself with the fact that by the end of the year, nothing would faze him, and the first day would only be a distant memory.” I’m rather bad at irony in my own stories, but yours is so subtle if someone had read this without knowing his fate, they wouldn’t be able to tell it was irony.
Job well done on an awesome story! And congrats on the first place!
This fic caught my eye as soon as I read the title. I love reading fics about growing up and acceptance; and Dudley’s acceptance of the wizarding world was really nice to see. I completely agree that this is how it would happen, and that Dudley and Harry would become quite close in their later years of life. Dudley was very in character for me when he stood up to Vernon on having his son be a wizard; I think the events in Dudley’s life with Harry really changed his perspective on wizards and the wizarding world, and you clearly captured that in his character.
The only thing that I think could change in this fic is the formality of it all. I feel like everyone is speaking way too formal for the occasion and it makes it sound less emotional and almost detaches the reader from the story by not being able to connect to the characters.
“Mother Petunia, who was at the door?”
“One more word, Aunt, and I will Silence you and not allow you to speak again,”
I’ve never heard anyone call someone Mother before and it seems a little awkward; the second reads awkwardly too as it’s quite a mouthful and just doesn’t seem like something someone would shout out. I do, however, like the part when Petunia starts talking about the Weasley family, “You’d think they’d never heard of soap, or does your kind not use soap? That little girl looked to grow up and be just as much of a nothing as her mother. Married into poverty and breeding more freaks than she could feed…” It’s very full of wicked emotions and is exactly something that she would say.
I’m a little confused as to why Dudley and his wife are with Petunia and Vernon. Do they live with them, or are they just visiting? I would find it a little odd that Dudley lived with his parents when he had a family; surely his mum and dad would kick him out sometime!
I like how you ended this story, having Harry think about Dudley meeting his family. It’s very heart-warming and makes me smile! :) I really do think that Dudley and Harry would become close and your ending suggests that. I’d love to see how things turned out afterwards in Diagon Alley, and even see how Christopher does at Hogwarts! I suppose I’ll just have to imagine… unless a really great writer would like to put it into words ;)
Great story with a great plot, I loved it! Keep up the good work, and hopefully I can see more about Christopher and Dudley from you in the future!
Ronnie… wow! That story was giving me chills! The speech flows lovely throughout the whole thing, and nothing seems out of place. It’s also quite in character of Molly and really just well written!
I think it would have read a little nicer without the bracketed actions. Using “ahem” as a throat clear and a little haha for a laugh might have worked better. There’s also a little grammar error: ““And, that day, George made me see that, [b]even when Fred gone[/b], we all need…” it should either read, “Even with Fred gone…” or “Even when Fred is gone…” I think the first makes more sense as the second sounds like he could come back.
Other than that though, this is a beautiful story! I like the part when Molly talks about death as a challenge, “But I think that this is a challenge: a challenge to make us all stronger, a challenge that will make us help our other children, to set our example, to change the world and everyone we can just like they did.” I think this really captures what a parent would feel after the loss of a child, the encouragement to make the world a better place. It’s uplifting and inspirational and I really like it! I have no other words for it.
Extremely good job, Ronnie! Keep up the wonderful writing! :)
Author's Response: Sarah! Oh my God, I don't even know where to start! This review made my day, seriously thanks so much! Thanks for pointing the grammar error out, I'm going to fix it as soon as I get a computer. I can't believe I didn't think of using "ahem"! That's why I used the bracketed actions, I might change it soon, too. I'm really glad you liked this story, really!<3 Ronnie Xxx
Wow, Annalise, I’m so glad you told me you turned this into a one-shot! I had no idea, though a second look at your drabble thread made me kick myself for not checking back earlier!
I think a proper review is in order. The beginning was all new to me and I really enjoyed it! The first part with Fred during the Battle was tear jerking for me, actually! To know what really happens to Fred in the series makes my heart break every time. But you did a wonderful job at mending it
I tried again and your story just doesn't like me :(
You have the full review though, so I hope you liked it
Your story had me hooked right from the summary! I read it and thought “Wow, that’s so neat to have a story of Harry when he was little”. As you can tell, I haven’t come across many of these stories! It was intriguing to see Harry at such a young age and before he knew about magic and wizards. Sometimes I forget that there was a time when Harry knew nothing about his past.
The POV change was a little sudden and lost some effect of the story, but you picked it right back up again with the memories “She remembered, as if someone had plunged her heart into a bucket of ice, her own bitter disappointment at the absence of her own letter.” The same absent feeling that Harry felt a few paragraphs early, daydreaming about having a loving family, is nicely paralleled by his aunt with this sentence and it brings back the characters sinking tone of disappointment.
What I love the most about this story is that while the characters set themselves in a rather discouraged atmosphere, the story itself has a light heartened-ness to it. The setting itself is joyous; the summer season and the kids game at a birthday party actually put a smile on my face, even though it was sad with what happened to Harry. Also, the use of the flower brought encouragement and a bright outlook, I think, for the characters. It represents everything that Harry wants, and Petunia wanted; fantasy, belonging and being loved. The brokenness of the flower at the end, lying in “sad ruin” was tragic, but knowing what happens to Harry and the amount of love he gains, I only see the positive! : p
I really loved reading this story, even the second and third time! You wrote it so perfectly, it’s amazing. Awesome job!
-Your fellow Gryff, Sarah