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The Swan Song of Callista Lestrange by eternalangel

Rated: 6th-7th Years •
Summary: It is the summer of 1935 and Grindelwald is growing in power and influence. Sides have been drawn and every witch and wizard must choose where their loyalties lie. A young pure-blood witch is found murdered in her home. Auror Aurelius Nott is tasked with finding her murderer, but nothing about this murder is simple. Loyalties will be tested and the truth is darker than Aurelius ever imagined.

This is eternalangel of Ravenclaw writing for the 2011 Mysterious May Challenge in the Great Hall, Prompt #2.
Reviewer: Liandrin Signed
Date: 06/06/11 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1 The Crime

Interesting start and some nice descriptions at the beginning.

At first, I suspected Eunice; however, I'm beginning to think that whoever killed Callista might have intended to kill her father ... like maybe Orpheus. So many questions swimming in my head. I can't wait to read your answers. :)

Not All Gold Glisters by hogwartsbookworm

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
Summary: Alexander Jameson has spent his last two years at the Cairo Auror office riding a desk. When a case finally comes along that the Head feels he is suited for, he jumps at the chance to take it. Now he must solve a murder, figure out the significance of the murdered man’s missing ring, and keep the only witness to the death safe. But those things turn out to be much more difficult than he expected when they are combined with the added task of safe-guarding his heart.

This is hogwartsbookworm of Hufflepuff writing for the 2011 Mysterious May Challenge in the Great Hall, Prompt #2.

The title is a rewording of a quote from Shakespeare's Merchant of Vencie.

Reviewer: Liandrin Signed
Date: 06/06/11 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1

Ha! I really like Ali. I rather like your introduction of him and your protagonist's frustration with him. Poor Ali. ;)

“No, not small. She is... not old. What is word?”

Haha! Seriously, I love the exchange of dialogue between Ali and Jameson. Really, you dialogue here is quite natural and authentic. It's rather refreshing and amusing to read.

I am curious why Jameson boss congratulated him, unless he was trying to speak English. :P

“Sorry about that. It’s just that, I’ve met so many Muhammad’s and Ali’s while I’ve been in this country, I was beginning to think that the book of Most Popular Egyptian Baby Names had just the two names in it.”

Hehe. Yes, your characters are greatly amusing me. I know this story features a murder, but I can't stop giggling.

I look forward to the next chapter. Great start so far. :)

Author's Response: Haha, hey, thanks! I'm glad you are enjoying the characters so far, especially since there isn't much plot to speak of in this chapter.

I imagine the reason the Department Head congratulated him was that he was surprised by Alexander's intelligence; he's grown used to him being just the resident interpreter.

I'm glad that you were giggling! I usually try to be somewhat humorous.

Anyway, I'm happy you've liked it! I'll be updating soon -- I'd better if I want to finish it before the challenge deadline. ;D

The Journey Back by Gmariam

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
Summary: Hermione is working for the Department of Magical Law Enforcement on repealing old laws that favor purebloods, while Ron has recently left the Auror Office to join his brother at Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes. When Hermione decides to move to Australia to be with her parents, Ron is forced to confront the reasons behind her abrupt decision. Yet there is more going on than he realizes, and a simple proposal takes him to the other side of the world, where they will face one last test of their love. This story is now complete!
Reviewer: Liandrin Signed
Date: 05/27/11 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter One

My first ever Ron/Hermione story! And I'm so glad I chose you, Gina. ^^ Your characterisations are spot on: Arthur, Ron, and Hermione. I absolutely love it. You give such depth to your characters and their dialogue, which makes it seem real. I can actually picture their conversations. Wonderful.

Author's Response: Thanks so much, Lia! I can't believe this is your first R/H story. Talk about pressure, lol! I'm glad you enjoyed this first part. I do like writing dialogue, which is odd because I dont' consider myself a big talker, lol. Thanks so much for the lovely review - I hope you enjoy the ride! ~Gina :)

Reviewer: Liandrin Signed
Date: 05/27/11 Title: Chapter 2: Chapter Two

"Damn, this turtle is long," he gasped, bending over.

Ha ha! I almost spit out my tea.

Aside from that humorous part, the rest is filled with angsty angst that makes me want to tear my hair out in frustration. They're both so damn stubborn! Sheesh. Well, you have me invested now. That's it. You better update soon, Missy. ^_~

Author's Response: Thanks again, Lia! I'm glad it could make you laugh, since yes, there is a bit of (albeit) fluffy angst. They are stubborn, and hopefully that keeps them in character. New chapter is finally up, I hope you enjoy. Thanks again for reading and reviewing! ~Gina :)

Unspeakable by C_A_Campbell, Northumbrian

Rated: 6th-7th Years •
Summary: Unspeakable, Michael Corner, is researching time, events, and probabilities. While testing his newly-invented RANDOM system, he stumbles upon an unspeakable possibility. Former supporters of Voldemort, all acquitted for their crimes, are dying of so-called natural causes. Intrigued by the possibility that these events might be connected, Michael investigates farther. But what he discovers will test him and raise questions that all his probabilities cannot answer for him.

What is justice? And what is unspeakable cruelty?

This is C_A_Campbell/thegirllikeme and Northumbrian of Ravenclaw writing for the 2011 Mysterious May Challenge in the Great Hall, Prompt 4.
Reviewer: Liandrin Signed
Date: 06/06/11 Title: Chapter 1: For Justice

Very dark and disturbing. I enjoy a good vigilante story. I'm afraid, however, that this unknown woman (or man... Toni is somewhat gender vague) has become the monster. Her mission sort of reminds me of Nazi Hunters, yet she does not take these surviving Death Eaters to prison. She exacts her own justice, which is supposed to be blind. But it is obvious that she has her own motives: revenge.

Her deteriorating mental state disturbs me, and I'm rather curious to find out who she is. Is she really Toni Alden, or is that a cover? Hmm. I eagerly await the next chapter. :)

Author's Response:
Toni's gender becomes less vague in the next chapter, and hopefully we explain her motives too.

Thanks for the review

The Pencil Portrait Problem: A Theodore Nott Mystery by Northumbrian

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
Summary: An incredibly valuable item has gone missing, and everybody is completely stumped. There is no way a stranger could have entered the room! How was the crime committed? More importantly, whodunit? Were those blue beads on the floor before? What about those two mugs on the table? Why is Pansy sitting on Blaise’s lap?

Theodore Nott investigates.

This is Northumbrian of Ravenclaw house writing for the 2011 Mysterious May Challenge in the Great Hall, Prompt #1 “ The Amateur Sleuth.
Reviewer: Liandrin Signed
Date: 06/06/11 Title: Chapter 1: The Observations of Theodore Nott

First off, I must say that I love any story involving Theodore Nott. He is my favourite character to write and read about in fandom. Now that I've got that out of the way, onto the review...

Personally, I would have preferred each section to be split into separate chapters, but I understand that you had a time-limit, and who knows how long it would have taken to get all those chapters validated. I still enjoyed the fic.

1. Theo
I found Theo's recollection of his father's words rather interesting and plausible, for he to suggest to his son to maintain neutrality. I also like your description of Draco strutting around like a peacock. Personally, I don't think he'd order Theodore around in such a way. As JKR has hinted at, Draco and Theodore are equals blood-wise, if not Theo being from a more respected family. But in this case, I can suspend my disbelief and imagine that Draco is currently full of himself and would act as such.

I liked the idea of a Sketch Board. It's rather clever. Draco had shown in HBP that he was clever, so this fit in well. I was somewhat confused when Draco pulled his wand on Pansy. There was really no immediate indication why he did this. I know that it's because he suspected she had stolen the mirror, but this is not made obvious until after the fact, so it kind of threw me.

2. Pansy
I have to say that I enjoyed Pansy's observations most of all. I actually pitied her, and I rather detest the girl.

3. Blaise
What can I say about your characterisation of Blaise other than it is exactly how I picture him.

‘I was talking to three girls, Draco. You should try it; it’s fun,’ replied Blaise wryly.

Hehe, he's such a cheeky, sardonic bugger. I love him! :) I also adore how observant he is, especially about women. It's what makes him such a heart-breaker. Hehe.

4. Theo part II
I'm already beginning to suspect Susan, but I may be wrong. I'll have to read on to find out. I must admit that I absolutely loved the following exchange:

‘She! How do you know it was a she?’ Pansy asked.

‘Because she kissed Blaise,’ Theodore said. ‘She was invisible, but Blaise is confident that it was a girl.’

‘Hopes, more like,’ Pansy whispered to her friends. Theodore ignored the giggles, girls did not appear to understand the beauty of deductive reasoning.

5. Susan Bones
Brilliant. I loved the ending. I loved the deduction and Susan's cunning and Theo's strategy. Stay neutral, Theo. ;) But what I loved the most was this line from Blaise:

‘Well, I don’t think I’ve ever kissed you before,’ Blaise said when he finished. He did not release her.

Hehe, I loved it. And I really liked that Theo let her walk free. Nice mystery. :)

Author's Response:
Thanks for the review.

Theodore Nott is one of the non-characters, hes more than Daphne (as at least we have short physical description of him) but really hes not much more than a name.

Draco is a racist and an arrogant bully with negligible people skills. Like all racists he underestimates the lesser races (half-bloods and mudbloods in Dracos case) and like all bullies he places people as being inferior or superior to him. At his arrogant height in HBP he was even prepared to backchat Snape. I dont see an issue with his strutting arrogance (after all, its his default setting).

I thought that Id made it clear by Blaises comment to Pansy that despite the fact Draco doesnt actually like Pansy much (he never showed any affection towards her) shes his property, hence the wand.

Ive spent a lot of time analysing Pansy and my feelings about her. Im a male writer in a largely female circle. Its no secret that I despise Draco (hes a great character, but a deeply unpleasant person). Im aware that a lot of female writers (and readers) like him. I was very worried that my Pansy was simply me, as a male, doing the same thing (rationalising a like for an unpleasant female character) that most female writers do for Draco. Both are racist and bullies, but while Draco is almost impervious to criticism, I think that Pansy is not. I think I can justify this, and I will in another story.

I was criticised (rightly) for my characterisation of Blaise in another story. Im glad you think hes right here. As a bloke, I hate him simply because hes good with girls. Hes the guy who girls cluster around, and Im the tongue-tied and nervous nerd at the back of the room. Its nice to know that even if I cant be him, I can write him.

I hope to get at least two more mysteries done before the deadline. Im really enjoying my foray into the mystery genre.


La Mystre D'Une Fille by Immunity

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
Arthur Aesalon is a retired yet quick-witted private detective who has an unusually fussy preference for taking on complex murder cases. Known for his years' of experience, he wasn't surprised when the famous Alexander Nott invited him to investigate his daughter's death and the theft of the Cordalis Jewels.

Rounding up the suspects, there's a bizarre cousin, a friendly housekeeper, a heartless mother, a self-centred father, an arrogant sister and a mysterious brother. Yet, as the story unfolds, lies and deceit are revealed and a tragic tale is disclosed. Everyone finds out that things don't always seem the way they are and people are usually not what they appeared to be...

This is princessbipolar of Ravenclaw writing for the 2011 Mysterious May Challenge in the Great Hall, Prompt 3- The Private Detective.

Reviewer: Liandrin Signed
Date: 06/06/11 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1

Interesting start. I like your use of the housekeeper. In the beginning, I really didn't like her (she is so bossy and abrasive), but compared to the rest of the Notts, she's Mother Teresa.

I look forward to reading about this Aesalon character. He seems rather interesting. Good start. :)

Author's Response: Hey, thanks so much for reviewing :) The housekeeper was one of the easier characters for me to write amongst the rest. Keep out for more of the characters' appearance. As for Aesalon, I always had him as a rather pompous man sometimes but that's just in my mind. For everyone out there, I've submitted Chapter 2 in the queue and I hope it gets validated soon. ~Jane

Blood and Roses by xxbabewithbrainsxx

Rated: 6th-7th Years •
Summary: BREAKING NEWS: Major Breakthrough In The Blood and Roses Case

Rose Weasley, newly appointed member of the Magical Law Enforcement Office and niece of Harry Potter, is now in custody after being arrested on suspicion of murdering her cousin, Dominique Wood (ne Weasley). Miss Weasley’s wand was found at the scene, clearly indicating that it had been used to perform three Killing Curses on her cousin, cousin-in-law, and their three-year-old child, Ophlie. Auror Scorpius Malfoy has confirmed that an investigation is underway, although neither Auror Potter nor the rest of the Weasley-Potter family is available for comment.

This is babewithbrains of Ravenclaw writing for the 2011 Mysterious May Challenge in the Great Hall, Prompt Two. COMPLETE

Blood and Roses has been nominated for the 2011 Quicksilver Quills: Best General. Thank you muchly!
Reviewer: Liandrin Signed
Date: 06/06/11 Title: Chapter 1: Prologue: Blood Related

As I said before, intriguing chapter. You've already set up a very lovely murder mystery for us. (Can murder mysteries be lovely?) I especially like how you bring us up to speed by using the newspaper. Without it, the revelation would seem pretentious. This way it is a natural progression.

And they crime itself? Absolutely morbid, and I love it! Of course, I don't love the fact that little Ophlie is dead. It's rather sick and twisted, but you handled all the gruesome details well. I look forward to the next chapter. :)

Author's Response: Oh wow, thanks so much, Lia! I was sorry to hear that you bowed out of beta'ing the rest of it, but I really appreciated your comments on the prologue. Murder mysteries can be lovely (I think) if you're talking about the non-murderous aspects of it, LOL. And I don't know where the newspaper came from, hehe. So I'm glad you liked that.

Thankfully, the crime itself, including the gruesome details, are not entirely original. Red John's MO (in the Mentalist) is rather chilling and very different from Ophlie's murderer, but I did draw inspiration from that. Thanks very much for your review -- it made my day!


Peace and Quiet by Simply Being

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: “And quite honestly,” he turned away from the painted portraits, thinking now only of the four-poster bed lying waiting for him in Gryffindor Tower, and wondering whether Kreacher might bring him a sandwich there, “I’ve had enough trouble for a life time.”*

In search of some peace and quiet, The Gryffindor boys are reunited after the Final Battle.

*Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, page 749, American edition

Nominated for Best General Story in the Quicksilver Quills 2011!
Reviewer: Liandrin Signed
Date: 07/10/11 Title: Chapter 1: One-Shot

Sorry this took me so long to get around to reviewing this, but you already know how I feel about this charming ficlet. ^_^

I think this was a nice example of nostalgia - for us, the fans. It was nice to see all the boys back together and you managed to write it in a very reminiscent style, reminding me of Harry's first day of school. It just made me all warm inside and sigh, “Aww”. I especially loved that you ended it with Ron's recap and Neville's statement at the end was just so Neville. I love that guy to pieces. I literally want to hug him through the screen. C'mere, Neville. Give us a hug.

Overall, this was just a charming addition and would have been a nice way to have ended the book for real. Instead of a neat wrap up (like in the book), your ending seems sweeter to me, and more real. It's something I could have seen happening, and I think you did a great job expressing your themes. You should be happy because this was a lovely read, m'dear. ^_^

Author's Response: You're such a sweetheart. *hugs*