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Sapphire at Dawn [Contact]

Hey there, I'm Sarah, I'm 20 years old and from Somerset in England. Currently I live in Leeds as I am at university studying to become a nurse.

I love reading, writing, music and my friends mean the world to me. My favourite books include Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, His Dark Materials, Wuthering Heights, and a book I read recently called Mariana by Susanna Kearsley.

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Stories by Sapphire at Dawn [8]
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Reviews by Sapphire at Dawn

Fairy Tales and Fantasies by Lady Game

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: "You've never liked Halloween. You never saw the point of celebrating what Muggles believe to be a fairy tale but that you live every day of your life. You will like it even less after tonight." The First War against Voldemort was hard on everyone involved, but none more so than Remus Lupin. Left alone both before and after the end of the war, he does his best to cope but finds out that sometimes, you just can't make it on your own.
Reviewer: Sapphire at Dawn Signed
Date: 09/01/09 Title: Chapter 1: One-Shot

I thought this was really excellent. You used the second person really well. I love the last two paragraphs, especially the line 'You live the pages of your childhood fairytale books as they turn slowly towards the inevitable ending.'

I noticed a few little mistakes; there were a couple of places that the word 'Muggle' wasn't capitalised, but apart from that, I loved it.

Everything Happens for a Reason by MerrryD

Rated: 6th-7th Years •

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes

Every student plans on making their final year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry the most memorable one ever. Eight in particular want to make those minutes really count. Except, they each have a different idea of how to go about doing it.

James Potter would like to waltz into Lily Evans’s life and throw it completely off course. Julie McGuire didn’t exactly plan on rescuing Remus Lupin, but now that she has, why not just go with it? Marlene McKinnon should have know what she got herself into when she kissed Sirius Black the first time, but that boy has a way of knocking her senseless. Emmeline Vance had planned to just sit back and watch it all happen, until Roxanna Louchester, her ex-friend, barged in and turned everything upside down.

Suddenly they’ve gone from only wanting the most memorable year, to achieving it. It’s a year of love and lust. It’s a year of tears and fights. It’s a year of finding yourself. It’s a year of learning to lose. It’s a year that none of them are likely to forget.

How do you measure a year in the life?

Reviewer: Sapphire at Dawn Signed
Date: 10/09/09 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter One: Are You Ready? Hold that Focus--Steady

An interesting beginning. I think you’ve got a very good voice, and I love the style of including parts of Emmeline’s diary as bits of the story. However, I’m not too keen on your characterisations, Lily especially. In the books she is described as ‘vivacious’ and ‘cheeky’, and JKR has stated in interviews that she was popular and ‘quite a catch’, and that she would have probably gotten letters from the Ministry about underage magic at home. This really doesn’t fit into your portrayal of her at all. While there is no evidence to suggest that she wasn’t a perfectionist, I don’t think that she would get all worried and worked up about it all in the way you have her in the story. There are also part where her personality conflicts with what Emmeline tells us about her, for example, she eats like a horse and would rather go to sleep when they get to the station and risk missing the train to school, and being late for the Head’s meeting. To me, that just doesn’t make sense for a girl who earlier you said was an overachiever.

I also have to question your choice of Emmeline Vance as Lily’s friend. In OoTP, Emmeline is described as ‘stately’ and wears a shawl. Now according to your timeline, she would be around thirty five at this point, and to be honest, I don’t know many thirty five year olds who could be described as ‘stately’. I think it could be done, I like the idea of her being a writer, it could lend her particular airs that could contribute towards her stately-ness (I doubt that is actually a word, but I hope you know what I mean) .

I also have to point out that in 1970s Britain, the Evans family are very unlikely to be eating pancakes. Over here, pancakes are only usually eaten on Shrove Tuesday, and my sisters only eat those little round ones that you’re probably referring to rarely. The norm for breakfast would be cereals and toast, or an English breakfast consisting of bacon, eggs, mushrooms, baked beans, and maybe sausage, hash browns and black pudding. I understand that it's hard writing characters from another country, and while you've done well with the language that they use, there are obscure things that are different in England.

I also have to comment on the letter sent by Emmeline’s mother. To me, she came across very caring and fantastically ditzy, the kind of flaky-ness that really makes you warm to a person. I also don’t really see why Emmeline doesn’t like it at her house, it seems sort of like the atmosphere at the Burrow, and if her parents were always prying into her business, wouldn’t they want to know why she and Sirius had broken up? I think to get the effect you’re after, you should have a different, more pushy and prying letter and describe the family as more raucous than they come across at the moment.

‘...and no more hanging up lavish decorations in celebration of Brian May’s birthday.’ This bit made me laugh, and I think your line about Lily’s dad watching her go into a world he knew nothing about was fantastic.

However, the change in point of view confused me a bit. The only time you mention Lily’s name is when she is speaking, and that could have easily come from Emmeline’s perspective. I think that starting the next paragraph with ‘She didn’t want to see....’ to ‘Lily didn’t want to see....’, or simply just stating her sentence about not wanting to get on the Hogwarts Express into a thought.

The use of Alice Longbottom as one of Lily’s friends is not only clich, but impossible. Alice could not have been in Lily’s year because of the time it takes to complete the Auror training. The training takes three years, and if she was in Lily’s year and started straight out of Hogwarts, she wouldn’t be qualified until 1982, which is around a year after she’s tortured to insanity. She has to be at least one year older than Lily, but I suspect it was more.

I also don’t get why, if Alice was Lily’s friend, that she didn’t know she was Head Girl. I would have thought (because I would have done the it if I was in her place) that she would have sent an owl to her friends telling them. I don’t believe that they didn’t write to each other over the summer, and if Lily didn’t want to feel like she was crowing over her friends, then I think that Emmeline would have made her share the news. The other thing that makes me wonder is that Remus must have known who the Head Boy was, and it came across to me that he and Lily were good friends, so she would have written to him over the summer too, if only to ask if he had got the Heads badge too, I think.

At first, I thought that naming all the Prefects was a little over the top, but now I think that it breaks up Lily’s thoughts nicely and makes them sort of disjointed and a little rushed. However, I don’t like Lily’s reaction. She shows absolutely no surprise at seeing James there, despite the fact that he wasn’t a Prefect, and the fact that they have a little bit of history. I’m not saying that you should have her start shrieking like a banshee, in fact I like that you don’t have her doing that, but I think she’s a little too blas about it. She must have had her suspicions about who would be Head Boy, and I highly doubt that she would have thought of James. I also think that he would be a little unsure of himself, too, seeing as he wasn’t a Prefect, he doesn’t know how exactly they go. Moony might have given him a clue or two, but doing it for the first time without any prior firsthand experience would make him at least a little nervous.

The second change in point of view was much clearer than the first. Well done. Though, I’m not really too sure about him seeing the Slytherins whispering and immediately thinking that they would be talking about Lord Voldemort. I like the lines you put afterwards, but I think that they should be more focused around him jumping to that conclusion and feeling bad, rather than thinking that Voldemort wouldn’t recruit students. Remember that, as a Werewolf, he is subjected to a lot of people jumping to conclusions, and even if they don’t know about his condition, there is the general attitude towards them anyway, so I don’t think that he would copy it. He knows what it’s like to be on the receiving end.
The character’s reaction to Roxie (which, by the way, is a fairly modern name over here and definitely wouldn’t have been used then. Roxanne is a better name than Roxanna, as well), is very strange. I couldn’t work out whether they disliked her, or had forgotten about her, or what was happening. I think that to illustrate that she is not a nice person, it really has to be explained right away, when Remus first sees her. I also don’t think that Lily, as Head Girl, would stand for such a threat. She has the power to dock points and give detentions, why not use it now, on this girl who is clearly threatening them?

I know it may not seem it after reading the above, but I really like this story, you’re a good writer, and the writing itself is brilliant, you kept me interested the whole way through, and parts were quite entertaining. It was just some of what was written that I didn’t necessarily agree with. It was a very good start, and great for your first fanfic, and I especially like Emmeline’s character and am looking forward to see how she develops over the course of this story.

Author's Response: Oh, darling, please tell me you are applying to SPEW pronto. Because you really really really should be. This review is fantastic! I pretty much know about all the problems you mentioned (except for the breakfast part, which is fascinating). In fact, I think my friends avoid reviewing this story because there are so many problems with it. -rolls eyes- I've been considering deleting this story for the longest time because of its epic adventures in suckdom, and I would delete in now, too, if you hadn't left me this review. I just can't delete such lovely review. Thank you for taking the time to read and point out all the problems! And thank you for the compliments on my writing--I can't stop smiling whenever I read that last paragraph. And, finally, Keep Reviewing! xox Mere

Follow the Basilisk Home by indigo_mouse

Rated: 3rd-5th Years • Past Featured Story
Summary: Time is the magic that transforms the words and deeds of mortals to myth and fable. Who were the Hogwarts Four? Who were the people behind the legends? This is the story of the monk and maven, healer and hero who lived and dreamed and built a school in years long gone.
Reviewer: Sapphire at Dawn Signed
Date: 05/25/10 Title: Chapter 7: Chapter 7 - Going Home

I really love this story. This period in history fascinates me, and I really love the fact that you've combined it so seamlessly with history in JKR's world.
Everything fits in well, and your characterisations are fantastic. I liked the ambiguity of the chapters, leaving it up to the reader to guess who was narrating, and I think it highlighted the differences in character and voice well.

It's such an original and interesting take on the Founders and it's incredibly well written and fitting for the time period.

I quite like the style, one reviewer said it was too short with it just being mostly memories, but I liked the effect. It's like looking at their lives through a patch of mist. I especially liked the previous chapter, there's something incredibly poetic and melancholy about the way she reminisces about what has happened, and I really love that in a story.

Sorry if everything's seeming disjointed in this review; I've only got this tiny box as my MS word is broken! But what I'm trying to say is: I loved it!

Author's Response: Gosh, you just made my day :-) I had so much fun writing this and I haven't really written much since then, so its so much fun to get a review! I'm so glad you enjoyed and and thrilled with your review!

The Lions of Gryffindor by Equinox Chick

Rated: 3rd-5th Years • Past Featured Story
Summary: It is June 1976 and The Marauders are at the top of their game. From the outside they look to have everything.But appearances, as the saying goes, can be deceptive.

James is discovering that not everything in life is his for the taking. Sirius knows he will have to defy his formidable family. Remus lives in constant fear of his life beyond Hogwarts. As for Peter... Well, Peter is struggling to live up to his friends.

The ties of friendship are strong, but war is raging and with a dark power rising those ties will inevitably fray.

Added to the mix is an adversary called Severus Snape, some lost House Points, a prank or two and a whole lot of Lily.

This is a Marauder tale.

This is a story of what made them special.

This is a story of why it started to go wrong for The Lions of Gryffindor.

OH MY GOOD GODRIC! Lions of Gryffindor won the 2009 QSQ for Best Marauders' Era Story. Amazed and incredibly grateful to those who nominated, judged and have beta'd this fic. THANK YOU.

m m

Trick or Treat!
3. She clicks on her mouse and swipes her wand;
Some stories go up, and some stories are gone.
Stories of her own? Why, she has plenty!
Fewer than one-hundred, but far more than twenty.

Reviewer: Sapphire at Dawn Signed
Date: 08/04/10 Title: Chapter 18: Chapter 18 - Consequences

Oh, Carole. If I somehow die in a freak accident before this fic is finished I’ll have to come back and haunt you until I know the rest of the story!

Oh that kiss scene with James and Sonia was fantastic! It’s a massive credit to you that I don’t hate you for doing that and that I actually found myself wanting them to kiss. Though I notice that you didn’t put as much into Lily’s kiss with Rich; we’re obviously not meant to like the guy! I also like how James doesn’t kiss Sonia to make Lily jealous; he’s kissing her because he genuinely likes her. I’m worried about what’ll happen when, or if, Peter ever finds out.

'I hardly think I can penalise you for showing such gallant responsibility, especially as you are a Gryffindor.'

I’m not a fan of the last part of this line. It sort of comes across to me like she wouldn’t excuse the behaviour if it was a Ravenclaw or a Slytherin who had done something like that. I can’t really explain it in more detail, but I think the line would have been better without the last part.

I am loving this story so much, though. You best hurry up and update!

Sarah x

Author's Response: Thank you for the review, Sarah, and glad you're enjoying the fic. I take your point about that line, and I may rework it. I wanted to make a connection between Gallantry and Godric Gryffindor, which was why I mentioned it. It was supposed to be because James was living up to his Founder's ideals, and not because he was in McG's own house. Thank you for pointing out that it could be misinterpreted. ~Carole~

Reviewer: Sapphire at Dawn Signed
Date: 08/31/09 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1 Turning Point

I really like this chapter, I love the slight mention of James seeing Harry, and the things it causes him to feel.

However, I thought that McGonagall's reaction was a little too calm. You have her looking furious, but then she turns sarcastic, I think that she would be incredibly angry at two of her students tormenting another like this; remember in Philosopher's Stone she was seething just because Harry, Hermione, Neville and Malfoy were out of bed. I think she'd be very very cross in this situation.

But apart from that, I really liked it, and I think you did Remus's outburst very well. I also liked the characterisation of Sirius and James as well.

Author's Response: Thanks for your review. I take your point about McGonagall and if I were writing it now then I probably would have done her differently. It's funny though because I've recently been criticised ion a different story for having her lose her temper, the reviewer said she never did (hmmm, I think she does - LOL) Anyway, I appreciate the review.

Reviewer: Sapphire at Dawn Signed
Date: 08/31/09 Title: Chapter 2: Chapter 2- Advice From The Fat Lady

Another great chapter. I loved the conversation with the Fat Lady; it really made me chuckle, and I like how you portray Peter, too. I think it's probably an accurate representation of how they treated him, and how he responded to them.

Author's Response: Thank you. I'm glad you're enjoying it so far. Wow! that chapter seems a long time ago. ~Carole~

Apparently Asleep by Equinox Chick

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
Summary: Nymphadora Tonks lives under a shadow. Both her cousin and her aunt are in Azkaban believed to be in league with Voldemort. She knows Bellatrix deserves to be there- but Sirius?
Remus Lupin is an outsider. He’d once had three good friends- now two are dead and the third has been locked up for murder and betrayal.
They had met once before, when she was a child, but as Tonks grows up they find themselves thrown together- far too closely for Remus’ comfort. He’s always yearned for a normal life but knows that is impossible. Can Tonks convince him that he deserves happiness?

Nominated for a 2009 QSQ award in the Best canon Romance category. Thank you.
Reviewer: Sapphire at Dawn Signed
Date: 06/22/10 Title: Chapter 17: Chapter 17 - Interrogation

Oh my days, Carole! What a place to leave it at!

So I’ve finally read this story, and to be honest, I don’t know why I haven’t before. Perhaps because it was always described as a Remus/Tonks, and I took that to mean purely romance, which I’m not really a fan of, but in truth, this is so much more than that.

The plot is just plain interesting and the romance has a nice balance with everything else that’s going on. It’s all so darn believable, and I love that. One thing that I really, really love about this fic is all the Marauder nostalgia, all the memories from everyone, all the reflections. I love that in a story, any story, whether it be fanfiction or otherwise, and I love that you’ve included so much of it.

Throughout the fic, the Sirius we’re reminded of (even though we know what sort of man came out of Azkaban) is the vibrant, confident teenage/young adult of the Marauder era, and so I think the contrast of what we see of the man in Remus’s flat is very shocking, and I think it gives us an idea of what Tonks would have thought if she had met him again at that point. It was truly heartbreaking.

I’ll probably go back and review other chapters more comprehensively (right now Nadal is about to start playing ;)), but this is just a little overview of what I thought.

Author's Response: OOOH, thank you. You know, I hated having to place this story in the Romance category because I don't think of it as 'romance' either. I have a lot of fun with this story and a new chapter is coming up hopefully very soon - with some more Sirius (who I love very much). Thanks for the review ... I'd forgotten about the tennis . .... switches TV on ... ~Carole~

Christmas in Amber by Inverarity

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •

A tale of Tom Riddle at Hogwarts. Like Harry Potter, Riddle never went home for Christmas. Instead, he spent his holidays looking for secrets hidden in the castle. What he found would cause death and sorrow for years to come.

Reviewer: Sapphire at Dawn Signed
Date: 01/21/10 Title: Chapter 1: Christmas in Amber

I really like this, and the idea of 'seeing' the past through his piece of amber is a really interesting concept. It reminds me of Mary Malone's telescope in Phillip Pullman's Amber Spyglass.

Tom's characterisation was well done and you managed to get quite a comprehensive view of him in this one piece. I also liked the brief glimpse of Godric Gryffindor and Slytherin arguing, and the other historical elements, such as the fact the didn't speak modern day English.

One thing though, in his fourth year, Riddle would be just shy of fifteen, not sixteen.


The Fastest Yet by Racing Co

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: In 1967, Cleansweeps and Comets are the racing brooms of choice in the wizarding world, but a few Hogwarts students have plans to revolutionize the market. Deucalion Wilcott, a Quidditch prodigy, and Slytherin classmate Ivan Berdahl team together to design the greatest racing broom in history.

Who knows broomsticks better than two flying enthusiasts? With a little bit of skill, rule breaking, and plain luck, the Nimbus Racing Broom Company is founded.
Reviewer: Sapphire at Dawn Signed
Date: 10/11/09 Title: Chapter 1: The Duke

‘Every store was crowded as wands, spell books, potions supplies, pets flew off store shelves.’ There should be an and after potion supplies.

I don’t like the repetition of ‘store shelves’ throughout this paragraph, it makes it sound really bland. Try and think of something else that could be used instead to make it a bit more interesting.

‘...going with a friend by themselves to a match...’ this sentence too sounds a bit awkward, the by themselves bit doesn’t really fit. I know what you mean to say, perhaps using ‘without adult supervision’ would work better.

‘After all, how many adults were speeding around the countryside on brooms?’ I would imagine quite a lot. After all, plenty of adults enjoy a kick-about in the park, or a quick game of rugby or tennis, why should it be different with Quidditch? Also, students are likely to visit it only a couple of times a year, the only times they are home are during the summer, and at Easter and Christmas. Now, I don’t think a business would survive living off the trade from students alone. Remember, not everyone at Hogwarts loves Quidditch, just as not everyone in the real world loves football.

‘Wimbourne Wasps and the American Sweetwater All-Stars match...’ clich alert here. In America, Quidditch isn't the main sport, Quadpot is, so having an American team over and having it be a big match is unlikely. Also, I can find no plausible explanation as to why the Wasps would play the All-Stars, as there is no American-European Tournament, unless it’s the World Cup, and you just don’t have enough build up about it for it to be that. I’d either change it to the World Cup and have a bit more hype about it in those opening paragraphs, or change the team to a European one and have them competing in the European Cup.

‘The American teams always bring loads of flying merchandise...’ why wouldn’t the British have flying merchandise? After all, it is a sport that involves flying. To say something like that, you’ve got to back it up, or else it just sounds like you’re trying to big America up.

“But I’m not so much worried about the match as I am what the vendors are selling...’ This sounds inconsistent with the character you’ve built up so far. I highly doubt that someone who was Quidditch Captain and had six broomsticks would care more about the merchandise than the match. The paraphernalia would be a bonus, but not the highlight of the day. I also have some qualms about the match being the day before the start of term. I highly doubt that their parents would let them come in danger of missing the train for a Quidditch match, it just isn't plausible. I’d switch the match to perhaps a week before, then, the characters can worry about a week long match causing them to miss the train, but the parents should be confident that the match will be over by then.

‘While Ivan wasn’t quite as obsessed with broomsticks, Deucalion knew it wasn’t for lack of trying.’ This sentence doesn’t make sense to me at all, especially with what comes after. The following sentences make it seem like he’s just as obsessed as his friend. I’d ditch this sentence unless you can put something in to back it up.

‘Ivan wasn’t quite as obsessed with broomsticks, Deucalion knew it wasn’t for lack of trying. The two of them could have drafted a better copy of the current Which Broomstick, and they had admittedly spent most of their free time last year testing the top speeds and capabilities of Hogwarts’s old Silver Arrows rather than studying for OWLs.’ I like this part, it’s a good bit of characterisation for the both of them. Well done. Though ‘Hogwart’s’ should be ‘Hogwarts’s’.

I don’t like the name March for Deucalion’s father, it sounds like a girl’s name, and too American at that, even for a wizard.

‘...everyone was trained to keep secrets and maintain silence.’ Eesh, it sounds like you’re over-evilling Slytherin. When in the books has there ever been evidence of the Slytherins being trained to keep secrets? Malfoy blurts and brags about everything! And where would they have been ‘trained’? Why does he like the fact that they can keep secrets? Slytherin is not predominantly evil, think about the qualities that Slytherins possess, they are cunning, clever and all for self advancement. I imagine that they’d only keep a secret if they would stand to gain from it. Watch how you describe the house, not all of them were jumping at the chance to join Voldemort. These two weren’t, I’m sure.

So far, you’ve got the beginning of a good and original plot. Your writing isn't bad, I only spotted a few little mistakes which can be easily fixed. What you’ve got to watch is your characterisations, and a few Americanisms. These, I can forgive because you can’t know everything about a country that you don’t live in, but the characterisations you have got to watch, and be careful that things actually fit into the story. But it is a good start, and I’m a little nit-picky.

Author's Response: Thanks for the review. I think most of the your questions are answered pretty extensively in further chapters, though I have probably reached a point in the story that I need to go back and tighten up some of this older material. Of course, I do need to fix the typos at some point. I certainly hope you'll read more of it to find out a few more "whys." It was terribly hard to find a starting place for this story, as I recall. I picked this premise to begin the Quidditch match story arc, which carries through the end of chapter three. I imagine Quidditch to be organized much like football is on the global scale. First off, Quidditch, like football, is bound to play lots of "friendlies," which means an English team or a German team or even a tiny, terrible American team (that loses by hundreds of points in chapter three) will travel around the world and play exhibitions against other teams for practice's sake (or money's sake). There have to be many more matches played outside of tournaments, and this would certainly be the case. The game is not important because of the matchup, which is anything but exciting. The match is important because it's a home match, and no one has seen the Wasps at home for a long time. I had to pick an American team, and here's why: one of my oft mentioned, "off camera" characters, an American wizard sportswriter, needed to attend the game on his newspaper's dime. What can I say? I wanted a character with the same real-life job description as myself. I realize that Quodpot is the most popular sport of America because the game and a particular broomstick plays a significant role in the most recent chapter as you will see if you continue reading. I've all but memorized Quidditch Through the Ages. It has been most useful in writing this. When talking about abundant merchandise, I was really making a dig at America's sports commercialism. There's no end to the junk that can be bought at exorbitant prices. Deucalion and Ivan, as is apparent in the following chapter, are constantly purchasing and building Quidditch equipment. The main draw of attending an otherwise terrible match is because there will be lots of stuff to buy. So for the two of them, it's the stuff that's the highlight. Duke spent all summer playing on the junior national team and grew up watching Quidditch every day to the point that watching matches has become more of a chore than anything else (as is apparent in chapter three when he keeps meticulous statistics). These guys aren't like Ron and Harry when it comes to watching Quidditch. There's no cheering. Just business. I too grow tired of Slytherin characterization, so if you bear with me a few chapters, you will see something you'd like, I think. The undercurrent to the whole story is the year: 1966. Things are changing. Slytherin is changing, and not in the way every student appreciates (as evidenced in chapter five). Lucius Malfoy and some of the would-be Death Eaters are rising through the House and gaining influence. Duke and Ivan embody certain characteristics of Slytherin, perhaps better than most, but following Voldemort? Far from it. Of course, Duke has a thing for "over-poeticizing" the qualities of the House, a place where he is essentially lord of the manor. There's no place he and Ivan would rather be. Their ambitions and abilities are well-suited for the green-and-silver. Also to note that Deucalion's view of the world is not always correct. His "always" and "everyone" should not be taken as such. Since he loves Quidditch, he has that gut assumption which I've seen many times with sports fans that everyone else is obsessed with it too. As for the name "March," I used it because it was a month name derivative of the Roman god Mars. I wanted something fiery and energetic, though Mars/Ares was a bit of a wimp when it came to epic battles. Most of the characters names are pulled from mythology, largely because those names seem to be widespread in Slytherin. Again, as I recall from months ago, it was tough picking a name because I needed something short to contrast with "Deucalion." A lot of what I wrote in the first chapter is referenced later; most everything is very purposeful to the entire arc. I think in chapter one, I wasn't quite sure how it would fit together, but I think it largely has worked out well into the main story now that I'm finishing up chapter seven.

Lavender, blue - A Gryffindor true by Equinox Chick

Rated: Professors • Past Featured Story
Summary: When Lavender Brown returns to Hogwarts for her seventh year, she knows things will be hard. Professor Dumbledore’s death has scared everybody, and with her Muggle-born mother in hiding, she makes a promise to her father to stay safe.

But to stay safe she must ignore her instincts and turn her back on her friends.

This is a Lavender Brown/Blaise Zabini story, but also concerns that last year at Hogwarts when the Trio were a'hunting Horcruxes.

Thank you to Laura (bookofsecrets) and Terri (mudbloodproud) for beta'ing the first chapter, Alyssa (Harry4lif) for the second and Emma (Amortentia x) for taking over the reins. And Natalie for the last chapter.

Disclaimer: I am not JK Rowling. I doubt that surprises anyone.

This story won the 2010 QSQ for Best Chaptered Non-Canon Romance. Thank you to everyone who nominated, appreciated and judged.

ATTENTION: Because of prissy glitch on the archive, stories with a rating about 3rd-5th cannot be read. I have lowered the rating to enable access, but the content remains the same. This is a PROFESSORS rated fic. Read at your own discretion - the sexual situations warning is there for a reason.
Reviewer: Sapphire at Dawn Signed
Date: 11/03/09 Title: Chapter 7: Chapter 7 - What if?

Oh my gosh Carole, you did not just do that! Evil! Evil! I love this story so much! I'll leave a proper review later, but I'm very hungry now so I'm off to get some lunch.

Author's Response: Evil? Moi? Surely not .... heh heh. ~Carole~

Reviewer: Sapphire at Dawn Signed
Date: 11/03/09 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1 Promises to keep

Here I am, as I promised, fed and watered and ready to review. First off, I have to say I LOVE Blaise. Where can I get one?

‘The tone had been set by the restrictions placed on the Sorting Hat at the Feast.’ I recently told someone I beta for that I didn’t like the inclusion of this in her fic. I don’t really see what it would achieve by silencing the hat’s song. She included it because Snape and co. didn’t want it telling the students to unite, but as it lives in the Headmasters office, it surely would pick up the fact that it would not be prudent to do that, and limit itself to singing about the houses qualities. I’m intrigued as to why you chose to put that in because it’s not something I really agree with, but hey, I can overlook it as this is a fantastic story.

I love how she keeps remembering her father’s voice and her promise to him throughout the chapter, and thus reminding us of why she won’t act. I wonder if something similar happened in the fifth book?

One thing that I thought was noticeable was the absence of Dean, and the fact that hardly anybody talks about him. I always got the impression that those four were reasonably close, so I think it’s odd that she hardly thinks of him at all. Of course, it’s understandable that she thinks of Ron a lot more, but an inclusion would have been good, I think.

‘...that hardly makes me the Hogwarts broom.’ Oh my, I loved that line! I love little sayings like that, ones that we know and they’re somehow turned to fit the magical world.

I think your characterisation is excellent, and it develops really well over the course of the fic, I especially love Blaise’s character and the way you have him to be not the typical evil!Slytherin, but do so convincingly. I also like Daphne, and I though Ginny was well done too, with her snappish outbursts and sometimes scathing remarks.

“Blood status,” replied Lavender harshly. “You three are pure-bloods, aren’t you? Snape respects that!” I thought this was a brilliant inclusion, as was the whole occasional arguing thing between them. I can’t remember who, but someone says that Voldemort tries to create dissent from within, and you do a very good task of showing us that.

I think that the detention scene was a bit too... I don’t know how to say it... blas. The students seem to stand there and take it a bit too easily. Hermione screamed like anything when the Cruciatus curse was used on her, and I think that Lavender would have reacted a bit more when she saw the curse being used on Terry, knowing that it would be her turn soon.

You do a really good job with Crabbe in the scene with the Butterbeer in the corridor, in fact you do a good job with Crabbe throughout the fic. He’s incredibly creepy and the descriptions of the flabby lips and pudgy hands make my skin crawl at the thought. Poor Lavender!

And enter Knight in Shining Armour. You really set things up with this bit, hinting ever so slightly at things to come. I’m not too sure about his sudden blood-status revelation, he comes across as a bit too guarded in later chapters to be revealing something like that to a girl he just wants a few screws with.

But overall, I loved this chapter, and I’m so glad that it didn’t just stay at a one shot!

Author's Response: Thank you for the review, sarah. Okay, where shall I start - Sorting Hat. I meant a combination, really, of the things you said. First, that the Hat would have encouraged dissent if it had been given its usual free rein, but also, if you think about it, what would it have picked up from the Headmaster at the time. Snape was after all, a good guy in the end, so he'd have to silence it.

Dean - yes, he barely gets a mention in this chapter and I think if I were writing it now I'd rectify that, but he does get a few more mentions. I've not seen lavender as particulalrly close to Dean, but I do make her friendship with Seamus a bit more prominent.

Detention scene - I agree with you. In retrospect, they weren't in enough pain, although this is the beginning of the year and Millicent isn't that good at casting it, whereas Bellatrix cursing Hermione is really going to enjoy inflicting pain. But ... if I rewrote Chapter one, I'd probably have a little bit more agony and fear. Blaise talking about his blood-status. Yes, excellent point ... you'll have to keep reading to discover how I explain this - hee hee.

Thanks for the review ... hopefully Nano won't stop me upadating soon. ~Carole~

Reviewer: Sapphire at Dawn Signed
Date: 11/03/09 Title: Chapter 2: Chapter 2 - He will not see me stopping here

Just have to say that I like the inclusion of the song at the beginning. I’ve been singing it all day and people are getting annoyed with me.

I like the fact that you don’t detail every single day that year with the jumps in time. I have a feeling that a day by day account of this new regime would get a bit boring with all the overwhelming evil, and I think it’s nice that the story is told over a period of time.

I also like that you’re including lots and lots of the stuff casually thrown out by Neville in that conversation near the end of DH, things like losing Luna, the addition of the bathrooms and Seamus questioning Alecto’s blood status.

‘Neville, who had walked to the station to see them off, had received a violent hex to his chest as he’d tried to pull them off.’ Here, you use the word ‘off’ twice in close proximity which, I think, affects the reading and makes it sound a bit contrived. Also, I got a bit confused with the whole Neville part.

Reading it the first time, it seemed like he was seeing the Death Eaters off the train, and then tried to pull them away from Luna, though perhaps it was just me. I think it might have been clearer if you’d included that he was going to be staying over Christmas. Also, I thought that Luna was dragged off the train after it had left the station? I haven’t got my books, so I could be wrong there.

‘In the past they’d belittled Luna, wondering how on earth she could be a Ravenclaw when she seemed to be so weird, but now that she was gone, they willingly listened to Neville and Ginny’s plans for further rebellion.’ I like the inclusion of this. It’s a good reminder that while Neville and Harry and co. like her and find her weirdness endearing, she would still have been called ‘Loony’ by a lot of people.

‘...she remembered one particular walk she’d taken with Ron by the river.’ By ‘river’ do you mean lake? I don’t think there was a river in the Hogwarts grounds.

“I doubt that, not while they have Malfoy Manor to go to.” I wonder. How would Ginny know that their Headquarters is Malfoy Manor? Would the Order know? There isn’t a mention of their HQ in the earlier books, and I always assumed that it was because the Order didn’t know.

And oh my, the scene with the kiss. It’s incredibly atmospheric; you set the scene perfectly and describe the kiss itself wondrously. I’m not the one to go all mushy that easily, but I did for this! Brilliant! Any way to ruin the mood Carole! Hah, but it was well done, and I don’t think I could have stood too much fluffiness. His reaction was great, incredibly believable, yet there was still the little bit of tension at the end there. A really good job.

Author's Response: River ... what river? (thank you - I've changed it. Can't believe I missed that.) Right with Luna, Neville says they dragged her off the train on the way back for Christmas. I tiik that to mean at Hogwarts Station, but I guess it could have been while the train was moving. Good point but open to interpretation. Malfoy Manor, hmmm, I think they could surmise that's where they were, after all no one was after the DE's at that point. Wow, though, you're really making me think about this. Thank you ~Carole~

Brothers & Sisters by ringobeatlesfan4

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •

They fight. They argue. They threaten never to speak again. But in the end, it’s all alright. Because they’re brothers and sisters, or at least that’s what it feels like. James, Albus, and Lily Potter are the closest siblings you’d ever find. Rose and Hugo Weasley have their differences, but in the end, they would die for each other. And as for Scorpius Malfoy… he’s unlike anything the others have seen before. But he’s okay… because he saved them on countless occasions.

This is the story of the bonds between siblings, cousins, and friends. It’s the story of forgetting the past to create a brighter future. And it’s the story of learning to let go of the old, and holding on to the new.

Reviewer: Sapphire at Dawn Signed
Date: 12/14/09 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1

Ooh, nice ending! I may have to go and read the next chapter!

I like the dynamics between them and the different people you have them to be, and I like the fact that Rose isn't a cardboard cut-out of Hermione, in fact, it's Hugo who is reading a book! The relationships between them are rather funny, and I liked the little arguement between Rose and Hugo.

I also liked the fact that Scorpius was placed in Ravenclaw (though I should point out that their colours are blue and bronze, not silver). Most fics i've read with him in (though to be honest, it's not a lot) place him in Slytherin (I'm guilty of this myself, though I'm going to ignore that!), and it was a nice breath of fresh air.

However, I am going to get all British on you (sorry!) and say that we tend to say 'murder' instead of 'homicide'. There were a few little grammar mistakes, for example the first comma in this sentence shouldn't be there: 'She remembered that, when she was only eleven,'

I'm also not sure I like the idea of them having someone 'in charge', to me it seemed rather immature; something a seven year old would do rather than a seventeen year old. I'd also watch out for James's character being too immature. Seventeen year olds can be immature, but in a different way to how thirteen year olds are immature, and at the moment he's coming across as a thirteen year old instead of a seventeen year old.

Sarah x

Author's Response:

Ooh, thank you, Sarah! I'm glad you liked the first chapter; that means a lot, I'm not sure if many people read this fic anymore due to lack of updates! It's on hiatus now, though, especially because I had to delete it's document due to the fact that there was a virus in my cmoputer. Anyway...

I wasn't a fan of Scorpius=Slytherin just because of his family, and I don't think it's rather fitting for his character. I always saw him as ore of a Ravenclaw, and I'm glad you liked that.

aoihfgiuDHSp!!! Lol! I'm totally failing with Briticisms, and comma usage now that you mention it, so thanks for pointing those out! As for the 'in charge' part...Yeesh, I can't remember where I used that o.O But like you said, it does seem to ring like that to me as well, hearing it from a different viewpoint :)

Thanks for reviewing! {BeccA}

Eyes Wide Open by sorrow_of_severus

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
Summary: Dandelion Dursley is heartbroken to leave her mother and beloved grandfather, Dudley, to start her first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Little does she know that she will blossom in her training as a witch, discovering that she has a highly rare magical talent. She will also befriend The Forgotten Ones: Lily Luna Potter, Albus Severus Potter, and Hugo Weasley.
Reviewer: Sapphire at Dawn Signed
Date: 01/21/10 Title: Chapter 1: Prologue

Hey Laura, interesting beginning you have here, I'm looking forward to reading the rest :)

Only one Britpick: it should be 'nappies' instead of 'diapers'. Sorry, just had to point it out!

GoldSarah x

Author's Response: I'm so happy that you decided to give my story a try, Sarah! It's always exciting when somebody I know from the beta boards, especially a fellow Gryff, decided to give one of my stories a try -- and even better yet leaves a review! ;) Sorry about the diapers/nappies thing. I'll try to change that soon. My computer and MNFF don't get along too well, so fiddling around with my stories is always somewhat risky. If my story mysteriously disappears within the next couple of days, you'll know what happened. Hugs, Laura

What Would You Do? by ron lover

Rated: 6th-7th Years • Past Featured Story

WINNER! in the 2010 QSQ for best Canon Romance story. Thank you so much!

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.

Reviewer: Sapphire at Dawn Signed
Date: 09/17/09 Title: Chapter 1: What Would You Do?

Very cute yet sad story. The beginning of this story is very fluffy, though maybe a bit too much for my tastes, however it is still sweet and made me smile.

I forgot until the very end that this is written a few days before their deaths, and when I did remember, it threw a shadow of sadness over it all.

I like Lily's feelings about the book, I thought that part was very well written, as was her interactions with Harry.

I think my favourite line was 'curled up into a ball of blue fabric'. I thought that was so sweet.

I thought the inclusion of Lily's dreams were good as well, especially the bits about Muggle torture. I think a lot of people sort of forget that she is Muggle-born, and so would have a lot of Muggle ways of life ingrained in her as well.

Only thing was:

'Waking up at five in the morning to the sound of Harry crying is common. Having James get up, too, is out of the ordinary.' something about this sentance doesn't really make sense. I think its your use of the word 'too'. It implies that Harry waking in the early morning isn't common, where you have just stated that it is. I think you should rephrase the second part of the sentance, if you mean that it's a rarity for James to get out of bed to go to Harry. Something like 'However, having James get up was out of the ordinary.' To me, it just makes more sense.

Other than that, it was a lovely fic :)

Author's Response: Thank you so much! I'm glad that you liked it. Thanks again!

The Waiting Game by Equinox Chick

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: The waiting room at St Mungo's is a dreary place. Ginny knows it better than many people, for she spends her days there waiting -- and hoping.

This is Equinox Chick from Hufflepuff writing for the extra credit One Floo over the Fwoopers Nest category in the Bookbasilisk Summer Challenge.

I would like to thank Apurva (DracoGurlFurever) for beta'ing this for me and making some great suggestions.

I am not JK Rowling - I doubt that shocks you.
Reviewer: Sapphire at Dawn Signed
Date: 10/14/09 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1

Carole, this was so sad, and beautifully written. I’m actually still crying. You’re right, Alzheimer’s is a terrible, terrible disease, and I’ve seen firsthand the grief it can cause people. On one ward I worked on, a patient with the disease had a piece of paper by his bed with things about him written on it. One of the things was ‘I am your wife, we have been married fifty-five years,’ and it nearly made be break down. The scene where Ginny went to see Arthur in St Mungo’s reminded me of this. It’s a very powerful scene that conveys just how terrible the situation is, and why Ginny was so nervous about visiting.

I like how you didn’t mention his name from the off, which I think helped to create the tension and the sadness. I think you chose a very good character to use because he’s incredibly likable and steady character throughout the series, and that was one of the reasons I found it so very sad.

One thing I don’t like, however, is the fact that they live in Grimmauld Place. I got the feeling in DH that the only reason they went back there was because they had nowhere else to go, and I’m sure that at one point, Harry recalls how he doesn’t like it in the house, and how he can still see Sirius imprisoned and pacing the rooms. I don’t think that would have changed after he defeated Voldemort, so I can’t see him being content to live there. I think the place has very dark connotations, it would remind Harry not only of Sirius, but of the things that were discussed, and the reason that they were discussed.

But overall, I loved this. You’ve taken a very tricky subject and written a very poignant and heart wrenching fic, that still fits within the Potterverse. Excellent job.

Author's Response: Thank you very much for the review, and I'm glad you found it rang true. It was difficult for me to choose Arthur as the sufferer because he's such a lovely character but I guess what i was trying to convey, is that this happens to nice people too.

Hmm, Grimmauld Place. You know, I'm not totally sure where they would have lived. I've written another fic where it was set at GP. On the one hand, I think Harry and Ginny once they had Kreacher would have relished turning this horrible house into a family home, but on the other hand I totally see your point. I've read fics about their lives set at GP and I've read them where they're set at Godrics Hollow. Perhaps they'd build their own house.

Thank you again ~Carole~

Memories by A H

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
Summary: Harry takes Ginny on a trip down memory lane. Some memories should be cherished forever, and sometimes we have to put the past behind us so that we can make new memories.
Reviewer: Sapphire at Dawn Signed
Date: 03/16/10 Title: Chapter 1: Memories

Oh wow, I loved this. Pure fluff to make me feel all nice :)

I can totally see Harry doing something like this, and I thought Ginny's reaction to not knowing what was going on was good and in character.

I love the fact that he proposed to her in Godric's Hollow, and the speech about wanting to begin his own life. Love!!

All The World's A Stage by fruitandextranutcase

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
Summary:…and all the men and women merely players

--William Shakespeare, As You Like It, 1600

When Professor Viola Cassio arrives at Hogwarts, she is dismayed by the lack of Muggle culture her students exhibit. She intends to make some changes - starting with the introduction of Shakespeare to her students. And organising a Drama Club seems like the perfect way to begin.

Compelled into joining by her friends, bookish Rose Weasley finds herself unwittingly sucked into Professor Cassio’s reproduction of Romeo and Juliet… as the leading lady. Unfortunately, it seems that none other than Scorpius Malfoy has been assigned the role of Romeo. But as personalities clash and sparks fly, Rose finds it increasingly difficult to distinguish where rehearsal ends and real life begins.

To top off the whole fiasco, someone is after the Drama Club’s closure, and will seemingly stop at nothing to get it…
Reviewer: Sapphire at Dawn Signed
Date: 09/17/09 Title: Chapter 1: "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players"

I really enjoyed this first chapter. It's very well written, and I especially love Drew's character. I like the little influences that Hermione has had on Rose, and I like the way she isnt a carbon copy of her mother.

Author's Response: Thanks! It's good to know that Rose is a little more of her own character, cuz that's how I planned it. Next chapter should be up soonish!

Potterwatch by LuNaLoVeGoOdLoVer

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: We find out what goes through Harry, Ron and Hermione's minds as they listen to a Potterwatch, but what goes through the minds of other listeners, the casters, and what news do they bring?
Reviewer: Sapphire at Dawn Signed
Date: 12/14/09 Title: Chapter 1: Welcome to Potterwatch!

Hi Andi! I have to say, I really liked this story. I think it's probably very close to what actually happened, and I love that you slip little things in like Neville's Gran's birthday, and the invention of the name 'Chief Death Eater', which I had forgotten about. I also really liked Lee Jordans dialogue and the humour you managed to fit in there; it was incredibly close to how JKR writes him. Fantastic!

There were a couple of places where certian words were in the wrong context, like 'anguish' in 'we anguish this calamity' and from' in 'we advise you from saying it'. Other than that, I couldn't see many mistkaes.

Sarah x

Author's Response: Thanks, Sarah! Ah, there is a positive side to only having two fic up... more reviews for them! (well, with the review crew) I will fix that now, and thank you -again :D Andi

Ignorance by ringobeatlesfan4

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •

Ignorance is your new best friend.

Will she say it, or won’t she? You’ve been waiting for half of your life to hear her say those three words. But no. She’ll just continue to hurt you, and you know it, deep down. Know it, but refuse to believe it.

Reviewer: Sapphire at Dawn Signed
Date: 04/06/10 Title: Chapter 1: Stranger

Wow, Becca! Angsty or what?

I liked your use of second person; it gave a sort of detached closeness to the story (if that makes any sense at all...) if you know what I mean. It was like I could feel his exasperation and sadness at the situation.

I also liked your use of the lyrics. I’m not a huge Paramore fan, but they fit well. I thought that in places they told her story as well as his, especially the first set, the ones that began ‘I don’t wanna hear your sad songs...’. It was very intriguing. The last line was brilliant, I love lines like that, and it brought all the sadness of what had happened home. I think that you should have perhaps left the last set of lyrics out and just had it ending on that last, wonderful line. For me, as someone who doesn’t really know the song, they don’t really fit. They seemed to be saying ‘fine, I’ll leave. It’s over’, but the end of the story didn’t say that. It seemed a bit contrasting.

I liked Charlie’s character in this and the way he’s so indecisive in the middle, not wanting to let her go when she cries, even though she’s been doing what she does. What I think would have made it even better, though, is a few thoughts back to how it used to be, how it was before she started going out all night and the relationship they once had. The contrast of what was and what is would have been great.

However, I don’t really like the spelling of Cassidee’s name. To me it’s awkward to read and jarrs the sentences when it’s mentioned. I think it would feel a lot smoother if you had spelled it ‘Cassidy’, but other than that, I really liked this story and I think you’ve done a fantastic job of it. Definitely not a waste of time!

Sarah x

Author's Response: Aww, Sarah, thank you so much! This was, as well as my first endeavor in writing D/A, my first time writing second person, and I'm glad you liked it! It was a bit tricky, keeping tenses right and all, but I feel that it was the best for the purposes of the fic. I'm glad you liked the last line too; I was a bit indecisive about that and I wasn't sure about it, but my beta didn't say anything against it and so I decided to leave it, and right now I'm glad I did! I'm happy you liked Charlie's character, too, because I wasn't too sure how he would play in this. I knew I wanted a character we didn't know a lot about, but I didn't know if he would be the best for the job. And as for Cassidee's name, there was a reason for hte spelling at the time, althought it escapes me now :) Thanks again for reading and reviewing! {BeccA}