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Maple_and_PheonixFeather [Contact]

I am a starving music student who spends more time with her piano than she does anything else.

Many of my stories overlap into each other, so here is a quick guideline as to what to read and in what order.

A Part of Me is a standalone poem, and currently the only poetry on my author’s page.

Crashing Down Around Me exists in its own universe. While I am rather proud of this fic and would love for you to take the time to read it, it contains a cousin pairing, as it was written with my friend in mind, who invented the pairing.

Crush is a chaptered prequel to my story Fly. Crush is chaptered and will be slowly updated. As such, you do not need to read the one to understand the other. They exist in the same universe and are more like companion pieces in this Next-Gen universe.

What the Stories Say and Happy New Year, Darling exist in the same universe. What the Stories Say is the first in this duo, though you do not really have to read it in order to enjoy Happy New Year, Darling, it simply makes certain aspects of it easier to understand.

Lucky and Tongue-Tied together create a full story of Lily and Scorpius’ lives. It is probably best to read Tongue-Tied first, though both could be read alone or even in the opposite order.

Rebound is a single story written for ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor for her birthday.

Realisation was my first fic and was written for a fic exchange for FawkesToTheRescue. It stands alone.

I’m Moving On is more of a introspective character study than anything else. Someday, I hope to complete it.

Unspoken, Lost in the Stars, and Casts all exist in what I call the Andrew universe. The complete story of Andrew is yet to be told, but these three in themselves create a small story arc. Unspoken and Lost in the Stars could be read alone, but Casts will make no sense without reading the other two.

Today is Victory Day is a fic in itself. It started off as a drabble and grew to be so much more. In the last few months, it has become the pride of my author’s page, and I would love if you took the time to read this one.

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Stories by Maple_and_PheonixFeather [21]
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Reviews by Maple_and_PheonixFeather

Two Against One by mgle_teacher

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
Summary: "You go through things to make you stronger, but sometimes you come out of them completely different from who you were when it all began."

Pairing: Harry/Pansy
Reviewer: Maple_and_PheonixFeather Signed
Date: 05/16/12 Title: Chapter 1: One-Shot

Hello! What a very interesting read. I had a lot of fun reading this, as it was very creative and full of a lot of great dialogue.

What I really loved was that they really only began talking to each other because Pansy was concerned with how she was appearing to the general public. This was both a realistic way to get the two talking and very true to how I picture Pansy in general. Throughout the series, I always got the impression that Pansy was very concerned about appearances, as she was a prefect and hung off Malfoy’s arm all the time. I loved Pansy’s snarky tone throughout the entirety of the fic. It made her likeable, which is very important when pairing her with Harry, as she is generally unliked throughout the novels. One thing I found a bit off about Pansy was her venture into the Muggle world. I found it a little hard to believe that someone who is known to use the word “Mudblood” and who was willing to give up Harry and therefore let Voldemort win would want to work in the Muggle world. That being said, it was interesting to watch Pansy’s reaction to what she did in DH in the first part. It was nice to see some sort of regret or shame in a character that the reader would never expect to see it from, but yet the way it was presented felt realistic, and I was totally convinced that she was actually remorseful.

At the beginning, I felt that Harry’s character was slightly off. I had a hard time believing that he would attack a superior during training for a job he’s wanted for a long time. As the story went on, however, I felt more at ease with his character as more things were explained, such as his diagnosis with PTSD. What I found really helped convince me of his characterisation were the little details that were thrown in, such as Harry’s distrust for Slytherins in general, and his reasoning for wanting to settle down and marry Ginny.

What I loved about this story is that the relationship unfolded naturally. Having Harry and Pansy continually meet up at the same sort of events was definitely realistic and made it so that nothing about their relationship felt pushed. The slow development from hate to acceptance was especially nice to watch, as Harry could have easily just hated her for the rest of their lives for being willing to offer him up to Voldemort. Furthermore, having them continue onto casual acquaintances, to friends, and to lovers was lovely. Every event from the time they became friends to becoming lovers felt absolutely real. It read like any other romance “ the friend zone to casual attraction to jealousy to arguments to acceptance and finally to the admittance to each other. I found myself rooting for this pairing which I had never considered or ever thought I’d like because of the way the relationship developed.

I found it very helpful that you explained what exactly happened to each of the canon pairings to get the pairings that are in this story. Upon hearing that Hermione was marrying Theo, I felt a sense of disbelief, as I could find no reason why they would even be together, and I accepted as simply a way to get Pansy and Harry to meet again. Having the explanation later on was nice, and allowed me to further buy into the story, as it there was nothing left unexplained.

A scene I would have really liked to see was one where Harry transitioned from calling Pansy by her surname to her first name. I think that this could have created a lovely scene and would have softened the change in the repetition of the last names in each section, as it felt a bit abrupt.

Overall, I really liked the general structure of the story. The sections made the dividing of scenes feel more natural instead of choppy, like line breaks can often make a story feel. I loved that it was separated into short, easy to digest scenes that shared little moments. Furthermore, you made everything flow together through the repetition of greetings in each section. I thought that the way you bookended the story was very clever, having the fic begin and end with the mention of the Battle of Hogwarts.

Lastly, your use of dialogue was fabulous. Having the fic based almost entirely on dialogue really made the chemistry between the two sparkle. You managed to convince me of the pairing simply between the interactions between them, and not any surrounding circumstances or physical attraction.

This was definitely an exciting and interesting read. I especially enjoyed how all the scenes fit together and the dialogue between the characters. Great job!


Author's Response: Wow. This was an amazing review. I am boggled. Thank you SO much for your wonderful review and critique. I really appreciated it. Also, I am glad you enjoyed it and noticed all the tiny nuances that I worked hard to get into this story.

Replaced by MissMeg

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: Petunia reflects on her relationship with Lily before meeting James for the first time.

Written for the SPEW Summer Story Swap
Reviewer: Maple_and_PheonixFeather Signed
Date: 01/29/12 Title: Chapter 1: Replaced

This is a really fabulous look into the mind of Petunia, and it was very enjoyable.
I really liked how you described Lily’s room. The words you use and the way you use them creates a vivid picture in the mind of the reader without being overbearing. This creates a realistic setting, which automatically made me buy into the story, as I am more likely to delve right into something that first gives me a setting then describes it. What I thought was very effective was how you first describe a certain object to the reader and then have Petunia’s memory of it. You really don’t leave any of the key objects without a story.
This is an interesting approach to Petunia, and I rather like it. What I like about it is that it really shows Petunia’s soft, loving, hurting side, a side I don’t think we see enough of. It reminds me of the scene in DH, where, for that one moment, we are given a different look on Petunia. I think that you really draw that part of Petunia out, showing her more as a hurt sister who is jealous of a boy rather than a bitter women. When the end approaches, we see the Petunia that the reader knows a little better, the one that knows Lily as freak. This Petunia, however, is shown in a new light, and thus the reader is more inclined to feel pity for Petunia, who has become second best to a boy, than Lily, who is almost shown as a dirty (she doesn’t care much for hygiene) and messy character.
While I thought that this story had a good contrast in terms of description, and action, I feel that it could benefit from a little expansion at the end. The ending feels a little rushed, especially in the last paragraph. I think that a few more sentences that perhaps showed a bit more of the alienation would really support the story and the alienation that Petunia is feeling.
I really like the contrasting of the two sisters. We see it first with the paper airplanes “ Petunia’s is perfectly creased, whereas Lily’s is crumpled. I think that this further emphasises the distance between them, for they appear to be opposites in every way.


Author's Response: Thank you! I'm really glad you thought the writing gave a vivid picture, because that's exactly what I was trying to do. I thought the saddest part of "The Prince's Tale" was seeing Petunia and Lily grow apart because of Petunia's jealousy. (I doubt that you agree with that....) I wasn't actually trying to portray Lily as almost dirty. I meant more for the comment about Petunia to be a snide remark. I hadn't even thought about the way you interpreted it. I really liked the airplanes too; they actually made an appearance in a short story I write for English in eighth grade, so I'm very glad you think they work! I really enjoy it when others come up with symbolism and meaning that I didn't intend behind things I've written, and thank you again for the lovely review. I greatly appreciated it (especially since I hadn't gotten much feedback on this story in reviews). -Meg

Misperception by Equinox Chick

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
Summary: Because Angelina Weasley had an irritating tendency to match-make, Oliver Wood had made excuses the last few times he'd been invited to to one of her parties. But after the revelations in the Daily Prophet about his personal life, he rather hoped he'd be safe this year.

But he'd reckoned without her determination that everyone needs some festive joy at Christmas.

Disclaimer: I am not JK Rowling, despite the spaghetti bologneise.

Thank you very much to Natalie (hestiajones) for beta'ing this and for being supportive. Thanks also to my flist who have put up with a lot of wangst from me recently. Thanks also to Maple for an interesting point she made in an SBBC discussion about Oliver ...

This is Equinox Chick from Hufflepuff , writing for the Great Hall-iday Challenge - prompt 3 Operation:Mistletoe.

IT WON!!!!!!!!!!

Due to an extremely prudish glitch affecting the boards, stories rated 6th-7th or Professors cannot be read, at the moment. For this reason I have temporarily lowered the rating, although this is really 6th-7th. You have been warned.
Reviewer: Maple_and_PheonixFeather Signed
Date: 12/27/11 Title: Chapter 1: Misperception.

What a very lovely story, Carole!

I loved the introduction. There was a real JKR feel to it that I really liked. I am given just enough description to give me a picture and just enough mystery regarding the characters to keep me intrigued. I think this is excellently done, as I think that the first paragraph is often the most important in capturing the attention of the reader.

I love all the little hints that you give us as to who all the characters are at the beginning. I think it’s really great. Like you know that Oliver is going to be in it, obviously, as is Angelina, but I love the way that no names are immediately given. We are told of a girl with dark curls and that the man has faced Beaters, which gives us a perfect insight into exactly who the characters are before we are straight up told.

I love Roxanne. She is just a hilarious little five year old. She is perfectly witty and snarky and so much fun. I loved reading her. I thought that her little exchanges were just so adorable with Oliver, and honestly, it made me fall in love with him all over again.

I’m also quite pleased that your George is not a drunk who is always depressed. I often grow weary of that characterisation of him, so I am very glad that you had him back to his normal cheerful self.

I did find Daphne a bit off at the beginning. One second she’s all “watch what you’re doing”, and the next second she was all nice and stuff. But as her character developed, I found I really liked her.

I think that the magic of this story is really in the characterisation of the characters. I love how much the characters develop in the span of a one-shot. I love how all the characters really balance each other out, and none are too extreme. For me, it was just really lovely.

I thought that the plot moved along really well. The flow felt very natural, and a lot of things happened without it feeling rushed. The moods you create are lovely as well. I loved how you went from cheerful banter to complete awkwardness in a span of a few hundred words. Furthermore, I was very pleased with the resolution. As someone who completely adores Oliver, I find it hard to read stories where he is gay, because it leaves very little room for the imagination, but when he is discerning, it’s better, because there’s still hope for the reader, who really wants nothing more than to pretend that she is Daphne. I liked how there was nothing overly explicit in terms of the sexual situations. It was enough for those readers who crave it, but it was toned down enough that those who still hold a sense of innocent are blushing and hiding their faces.

I think that you handled the serious situations in this story very well. It felt very natural. Yes, you included alcoholism, but you wrote it in a very real-world way that is sensitive and unlikely to offend. I think that you show real maturity in your writing in that way, which makes it a lovely read. It’s wonderful because it’s real. You don’t skate over the issues, but neither do you abuse it.

Just a little grammar nitpick for you:
““Well, anytime, Harry. I always have comps.” He meant it sincerely; he had no one to give his tickets too”
It should be “give his tickets to”.

Also, I’m kind of very pleased that you mentioned the Oliver as a Slytherin thing. And to think I almost missed this story because I haven’t perused MNFF in a long time, and almost never venture into the land of Other Pairings :)


Author's Response: Maple - thank youuuu. I hope you saw the note at the end crediting you because it was your discussion in SBBC that made me think of his Slyth qualities. Thank you so much for such a wonderful review. I'm glad you enjoyed the story.

With Daphne I was trying to convey a confusion in her character. She wants to be liked (hence her coming to the party and talking to Roger) but she's not sure she's worth it. But when she realises it's Oliver who's knocked into her, she's interested - ha ha.

Gay Oliver ... hmm, I kind of scuttled my own ship here. I still ship him with Cedric, but he has to continue somehow and maybe he'll find some happiness with Daphne. Mind you, I need to write the follow up to DNW, soon.

I shall take care of the nit pick .... eeep. Thanks again ~Carole~

A Black Christmas by Phia Phoenix

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: Every child dreams of a white Christmas. But for Sirius and Andromeda, they have only ever known Black ones. What will it take to change that? Written for the Ravenclaw 2011 Secret Santa, for my lovely co-Claw Immo! Merry Christmas!
Reviewer: Maple_and_PheonixFeather Signed
Date: 12/15/12 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1


This is a very cute piece that is definitely very festive and fun to read. It nicely contrasts the happy things and slightly irksome things of Christmas, all while keeping it lighthearted.

I really liked how you characterised Sirius. What I thought was especially nice about it was that Sirius doesn’t really seem angry. I think that a common fandom characterisation is that he is constantly angry and raging at his family. Instead, here you have him more fed up. It’s more like he finds his family’s antics bothersome and he seems just tired of being the one left out all the time. I liked how you made his sense of humour clever. His practical jokes aren’t mindless, they are cleverly thought out and expressed. Lastly, I loved this line: “Andromeda, my dear, there are four somethings in your mansion which disagree with me, and they disagree with me about everything.” I thought it was just a lovely contrast to the sort of boring atmosphere you have created, and there was something just so Sirius about it.

I really liked the clever names that you have given the ‘outcasts’ of the group. I love the name “Andy” “ it seems to defy the Black tradition in that it is very common and Muggle sounding, but also in that it is a dual gender name, when all of the family’s names are very gender specific and very old school. I also like how Alpheus was shortened to “Alph”. There is just something so ridiculous about that name “ it’s fun and it takes the Latin out of the name, defying the family in a small way.

Lastly, the prank was very well thought out. It wasn’t something so ridiculous and destructive so that it harmed someone, rather, it was just a small sort of rebellion against the family in a way that harms no one and is really quite clever. I think that this really shows how witty Sirius is “ it’s quick, it’s easy, it’s rebellious, but it doesn’t hurt anyone. It’s very nicely done and made me smile, which is always a good thing.

Overall, nicely done and very cute. It has a very festive feel to it without it being overly cheerful or blatantly Christmasy. Great job.


Swans by Equinox Chick

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
Summary: I’m twenty-seven years old, so why can’t I just say no, or plead a headache and stay in my room?

Molly (jnr) was a Weasley with a difference. Not sparkling, not brave, not reckless. She was diligent and loyal, and usually overlooked.

For who notices ducklings when swans are gliding by?

I am not JK Rowling. You all know that. I am Equinox Chick and this is one of my entries for the Great Hall Inaugural Cotillion.

IT WONNNNN!!!!!!!!!!! (joint first with A Splendid Fate by hestiajones - you should all go and read that - it's very fab)Thank you judges for being amazing

Many thanks to Natalie (hestiajones) and Kara (Karaley Dargen) for their help with beta'ing this story.

The line about 'porridge' is a tip someone told me photographers use.

Due to the infuriating prissy glitch infecting the archives, I have downgraded this story's rating to 3rd-5th. However, this is actually a PROFESSORS story, so please do not click if sexual situations are likely to offend.
Reviewer: Maple_and_PheonixFeather Signed
Date: 03/08/12 Title: Chapter 2: Chapter 2 - Pearls

What a cute little story! Audrey is just so delightfully terrible, and Aaron is so adorable! Definately a good read :)

Author's Response: Thank you! I'm planning more about aaron, but from earlier at Hogwarts. Yeah, Audrey is a piece of work and based on my sisters' friends' mum - ha ha. ~Carole~

The Breaking Point by Acacia Carter

Rated: Professors •
Summary: It was the biggest secret of Auror training, and everyone knew about it.

Nobody talked about it, of course. It was a secret. But everyone knew that one day, it would happen to them, and Neville is no exception to the rule.

This story is second in my Long Way Down continuity.

Eternal thanks to my beta Soraya. :D

Reviewer: Maple_and_PheonixFeather Signed
Date: 04/14/13 Title: Chapter 1: The Breaking Point

Hey Jamie,

This piece is probably one of the most horrific pieces of fanfic that I've ever read. Normally, I find horror (for lack of better word) fics to be totally not my style, but this is one that I have multiple times and will likely read again. Your look into Neville's character and how he reacts in different situations is fascinating, and I feel that you do it justice. The strong characterisation mixed with the absolute horror of the situation makes for a very compelling read.

First off, the description of everything going on in this story is amazing. You don't spend paragraph upon paragraph describing the scene, but you still manage to create this world where everything is defined. The images that I get when reading this story are so vivid and so incredibly hard to turn off, no matter how much I want to. Everything from Neville's blistering flesh to the small, claustrophobic room he was kept in is etched in my mind. Perhaps the most horrific moment of this fic is when Neville finally breaks. The description there is so vivid, especially at the climax of the story, when Neville is banging the man's head on the floor. The statement "red spattered on the bone white tile --" makes my stomach churn after all that is happened, and I'm relieved when Harry grabs him, because I couldn't take one more thing. I remember reading this for my first time, and stopping right here. I'm so glad I returned to read it through, but the description is just so intense that it actually made me stop reading at one point.

I loved how you used the time subtitles to help show Neville's decent. It starts off exact. "14 March 2001, 9:14 am". Not quarter after nine, but 9:14, showing how completely composed Neville is going into this training. He is completely in control and is ready for anything. Next, we go into approximates. Morning. Here, we see that Neville is starting to be in less control, but he's still aware enough to know about how much time has passed. Then he loses that. Gradually, Neville continues to lose time until all he knows is "March", and he's not even sure about that, showing his complete lack of control and full consciousness.

I mentioned earlier how I found Neville's characterisation to be one of the strongest points of this fic. It's no secret that Neville is your forte, but I think that the fact that you managed to put Neville through immense torture and still keep him completely in character is something that you should be very proud about. Straight from the getgo, Neville stands up and says he will not, under any circumstances, give up. In fact, his direct statement "Who am I kidding?" shows an almost inability to give up. This is so accurate to the Neville we see in the novels who, though beaten and tortured, never ever gave up. Who, when his hero had died and all hope seemed lost, refused to surrender. You have managed to really lock into one of Neville's strongest personality traits and make it shine. Even when Neville does break, he isn't so much giving up. Yes, he gives up his middle name, but he does it while smashing someone's face in. I love how this is reflected in the last section of the story, where Neville is trying to heal himself. He knows he's broken, but he continues to fight on, knowing that someday he'll mend. Another characteristic that I thought you portrayed well is Neville's need to prove himself. When Neville thinks there are people watching, he pushes himself to stay strong in order to " I'll show them [he's] just as tough as [his] parents were." This is a characteristic we see throughout the novels. Neville is constantly being compared to his parents by his grandmother, and it is part of why he does what he does. Lastly, I thought that the vines were a very nice touch. It was exciting to watch Neville get excited about the vines. You made plants his anchor, something I find very believable. Like most people I know, Neville has found the one thing that keeps him him, and it adds a very personal feeling to the story.

I think the biggest quibble I have about this story is Harry. A lot of Harry's characterisation is spot on. He clearly cares for his friends and can't just stand by and watch his friend feel complete torture. The one thing I'm not quite sure about is why Harry stopped it only when Neville broke. I can't see Harry letting anyone go that far with his friend. That being said, the torturer does say that no one knows they are down there. If that is the case, how did the swarm of Aurors manage to stop Neville at that moment? While all this confusion helps us see the world through Neville's eyes in the moment, I, personally, would love a little clarification as to how and why the torture was allowed to go so far.

The torture methods you used were quite scary, to be honest, but quite realistic at the same time. You chose to make the torturer one of Neville's worst memories. Even before we knew that Carrow raped Neville, we can understand a little bit of Neville's fear. Even without the sexual assault, Carrow had tortured and allowed other people to torture Neville and his friends repeatedly over the year, thus seeing him would have caused panic in the first place. Next, you introduce small rooms. While not everyone is claustrophobic, putting someone into a small room with no visible way out would be terrifying and suffocating. Then, you introduce fire. Fire is perhaps one of the most cruel forms of torture. The pain resides for a long time afterwards and leaves scars and nerve damage even when the burns have healed. Combine that with Neville's memories, and fire creates one of the strongest weapons that the torturer has against Neville.

Neville's breaking point in this story is truly interesting. Neville can withstand pain, horror, and small spaces, but what really gets to him is the attack on his dignity. I'm not saying that sexual assault isn't physical or horrible, but it's so much more. It's just as much about the psychological damage as it is about the physical, and the fact that it is Neville's real trigger just makes sense to me. Neville's dignity as always been something he's fought for, and to have it ripped away and then used against him is cruel, and it is completely understandable that that is what breaks him.

Lastly, I think that you ended the story in the perfect place. Until very close to the end, the reader has not had time to breathe. There is literally no relief in this story. It's simply horror upon horror upon horror. In the last line, the reader is given this little spark of hope. Neville is not okay at this moment, but we know that he will be. In the end, we may not remember the specifics of Neville's torture, but we will remember that Neville is strong enough to move ahead and try to heal, and that is powerful in itself.

Overall, I think that this is an amazing story, Jamie. The story as a whole definitely shows why you are one of the best Neville authors out there.


Laugh by Padfoot11333

Rated: 6th-7th Years •

I know I love Lily, but we want a baby. And it’s driving us apart. I think we might have to accept that we might not get one.

So Sarah laughed to herself and thought, “After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have the pleasure?

Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.” But he said, “Yes, you did laugh.”

Genesis 18:12-15

This is Padfoot11333 of Pufflefluff writing for the Great Hall Cotillion.

Reviewer: Maple_and_PheonixFeather Signed
Date: 04/15/12 Title: Chapter 1: oneshot

What a cute little story, Lily! I loved the emotion that you captured in the story. It’s definitely something that feels very fresh to me and I haven’t read anything like it before, which is nice.

For the most part, I think that you did a very good job of writing the story from James’ point of view. As I have been reading fanfiction more, I have noticed that often times a story written by a girl in a male point of view feels forced and unnatural. I think that you have really captured James’ mood very well without it feeling forced. I also really liked how James likes all the little things. The comment that he loved her saying I love you because he waited so for her to say it was so lovely  One thing that popped out at me is that one moment James says he likes the fighting, and the next he says he doesn’t. I think that you could maybe differentiate the two, like maybe he likes the bickering but doesn’t like the fighting.

I think that you gave Lily a lot of colour in this story. I like seeing her lose control, especially since she always appears very calm and collected in the books. I think you really portray the swirling emotions that she must be feeling due to all the stress and disappointments of her life in a believable way.

What I liked about your approach to this story was that you didn’t portray Lily and James as the happy couple that everyone sees them as. You open with them fighting and they continue to fight throughout. For me, this made the relationship feel more real, as real couples do argue and have problems, and the one you are portraying is definitely a real problem for many couples. What I did find a little confusing was why Lily chose that exact moment to say that she missed her period. I think that maybe that could have been expanded a bit, because I was a little confused. Overall though, it was definitely a sweet little story that felt real to me.

Great job, Lily! I think I should read more of your stuff 


The Crush by Ginny Weasley Potter

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
Summary: Not all of us experience true love, but crushes are an inevitable part of life. Unfortunately, crushes are often mistaken for love. But really, how different is actual love from plain infatuation?

This is Ginny Weasley Potter of Hufflepuff house, writing for the Great Hall Cotillion. The pairing I’ve written about is Seamus/Lavender.
Reviewer: Maple_and_PheonixFeather Signed
Date: 05/15/13 Title: Chapter 1: The Crush

Hey Pooja,

This story actually made me mad, but in a totally good way. You started off the story as a cute little song fic that emphasized the joys and pains of a crush and first love. I was totally connected to the characters and the themes, and then you killed Lavender! I think that that is the magic of this story though. You connect us so deeply to the characters and the plot, and then you tear us down, and it is so effective.

The greatest strength of this story is how you portray the feelings of a major crush. I was really drawn into the story because of these feelings, and you got me to really connect with two characters that I really don't care for. First, you give me Lavender, the character I perhaps least connect to in the whole Potterverse (well, maybe Umbridge more), as she's everything I'm not, and you make me connect with her and love her and understand her in a way I never have before. I was drawn in from the very first line, " It was the best feeling that she had ever experienced in all the fourteen years of her life". I remember when I was that age, and feeling one of my first major crushes, and yes, it was a marvelous feeling. Then you outline every little feeling. The flip of the stomach, how everything is funny, how he lights up her world. With Lavender, you focus so much on those fun feelings, but then you also brush on the void that we feel when they aren't around. When you bring it all full circle, it's like, yes, I get it and yes, I can feel those feelings. When I felt that, I was one hundred percent dedicated to finishing the story.

Expanding on those thoughts, I loved how you had Lavender and Seamus focus on a specific aspect of the other person. The two aspects you chose were perfect. Eyes are so important in identifying a person, and if you want to be cliche, they show us so much about them, so it's natural that Lavender would be attracted to them, because she is attracted to what makes Seamus Seamus. Similarly, the voice is often the first part that a person associates with a person. So by Seamus noticing her voice, he is noticing what sets her apart. I just think there is so much power behind these choices that really add to those overall feelings of attraction.

Your description of their first kiss was perfect. Too often in literature, a couple's first kiss is described as this perfect moment in time, when in actuality, first kisses seldom are. In that one paragraph, you give the reader this in depth description of a moment and in the few short moments it takes to read it, you feel awkwardness and disgust and almost like you are invading their perfect moment. This is exactly how I think this moment should feel. You have managed to make their first kiss so personal that I felt like I was invading.

The ending is something that I just want to touch on briefly. Once I got to the ending, all I wanted to do was strangle you. You gave this couple a perfect get together, and then you kill half of them off. Normally, I wouldn't care, because Lavender dies in my head canon anyway and I don't like her in the first place. But because you made me connect to her, I got emotionally attached, and I actually wanted to strangle my pillow because I wanted them to be together and I didn't want a character who I had grown attached to to die.

One last major point about this fic is the use of the song lyrics. In terms of lyrics, you used quite a lot for the length of the story. For the most part, I think that they fit really well. With song fics, it's easy to use too many lyrics and write your story exactly around it, but here, you managed to include a lot, but to portray the characters emotions. At first, I was a little skeptical about the first use of the lyrics, as they didn't seem to fit, but on the second read, I saw that they totally do as a foreshadow of the story. Surprisingly, I found myself actually reading the lyrics (I usually skip them over in song fics) and appreciating how they fit into the context of the story.

In general, this is a fab story. I loved every moment of it, from the use of the song lyrics to the anger over watching Lavender die. You really captured the real spirit of a crush and managed to turn what could have been a major fluff fest into something so much deeper, creating this story that is relatable and reaches out to everyone.


Author's Response: Hey Maple!

Sorry I made you mad! Haha, but Seamus and Lavender never did become canon (or maybe they did, idk), so all I wanted to concentrate on over here was what a first crush means -- to you, to me, to everyone. It was nothing out of the ordinary, really, it's universal to experience this, which is probably why I was able to pull it off, haha.

To be honest, all those infatuated thingies were probably the easiest to write. Like you, like Lavender, I've had a first crush too, and then some, so I just incorporated my own experience into this (though my crush never asked me out, so I didn't get as lucky as Lavender). I don't relate very much to Lavender's character either, but I picked her and Seamus for this fic knowing I could probably write all the silliness of a crush more accurately with someone like Lavender. This fluff, for example, wouldn't have fit Hermione all that much. I'd have to keep the thoughts and the situation more controlled.

My friend told me this once, "If you ask a person what they like about their crush, they can give you specific details, but if you ask them the same about someone they're in love with, they can't give you a single reason." Like, we have crushes for very basic reasons: "he's hot" "he's smart" "he's really nice" etc etc. You can pinpoint why you are crushing on someone, and I wanted to emphasise that here. The kiss, though, it's just my take on what a first kiss should feel like. I always wonder how uncomfortable it would be. Hehehe. Glad you liked it! :)

Sorry about the ending! In that case, I wanted to talk about how one can never forget their first love/crush, and how it must be so painful to lose them like that. And the song? Shhh, but I wrote the fic around the song ;). That's why it fits lol.

Thank you for that lovely review, Maple, and sorry it took so long for me to come up with a response. Glad you liked the fic! :)

The Cherry Tree by Gemma Hawk

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: Rose and Scorpius both really like cherries.
Reviewer: Maple_and_PheonixFeather Signed
Date: 04/15/12 Title: Chapter 1: The Cherry Tree

Wow! I find myself really loving this fic. The characters, the tone, the flow and the voice all make it a really fantastic read, and I’m glad I stumbled across it.

I love how you introduced the story in a very unique way. Instead of opening with dialogue or some sort of tension, you open with Rose just talking. I found this exceptionally effective because right away, you have given your character a voice that is likeable, and I found myself drawn in by your character, which I think is very important. I love Rose. I love her naivety, her curiosity, and the way she guards her heart. To me, she just feels very teenage girl, which is lovely. She is very easy to connect to, and I think this is one of the reasons that I liked this story so much.

Scorpius intrigued me. I really enjoyed how you portrayed the family dynamic. I don’t think that I’ve ever seen it done quite like this. I loved seeing him as vulnerable. All too often, I think we are shown Scorpius as the strong member of the relationship, but instead, you showed him as vulnerable. I also really liked how made him almost as naive as Rose in terms of relationships. I found it really refreshing.

I loved the gradual progression of the relationship. For me it felt natural and very relatable. The idea that both were beating around the bush, and Rose running was very, very sweet. I loved how they started with a common feeling - fear. I was very easily swept away with the simplicity and the genuine feel to their relationship.

One thing that I think you should really consider is working on the summary. This is such an amazing story in a popular genre, but there is nothing in the summary to really draw the reader in. Giving the reader a slight foretaste into the voice of one of the characters or the emotional feeling of the story could be very beneficial to gaining more readers.

I think the thing that I liked most about this story was the style it was written in. It is very natural flowing, and I really felt connected to the scene and the characters through the way things were described. I loved how Rose slowly started to see Scorpius a bit more, little by little, whether it be his long fingers or his white hair. I found it interesting how you capitalised certain words or phrases in the sentence. I think that this is very effective in giving your characters further voice. I think it really emphasises the important things to them, especially when it comes to each other.


Sticking Together by iLuna17

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
Summary: During the reign of the Carrows, Dumbledore's Army fought against them. The D.A. also had each others' backs, no matter what happened. But it wasn't always that way. It took a fourth-year, a little black book, and a plan the size of Hogwarts itself to make the D.A. realize their only chance of survival lied with each other.

This is iMusic17 of Slytherin writing for the Outstanding OWL's prompt in the School of Mischief Challenge in the Great Hall.
Reviewer: Maple_and_PheonixFeather Signed
Date: 02/15/13 Title: Chapter 1: Sticking Together

Hello Ellie!

This is a very interesting story, and I didn't even know you had written it! I liked how you took a movie canon character and ingrained it into your story so that he felt like he belonged. It was a very creative gesture, and I think it really gives this story a bit of uniqueness to it. While Nigel could exist in the book universe, we never actually see him, so it was nice to see how you took this movie character and fleshed him out to make him a believable book character.

I was intrigued with the opening section. While there is nothing overly new about it - the torture of a young student - there was something that just grabbed my attention. I think that the fact that you wrote the opening from no particular point of view gives it a very matter of fact tone that makes the whole situation feel more tolerable and easier to read, which kept me reading. There's one part I'm a little unsure of in the first bit. Is the woman Umbridge? The description of her and the way she talks leads me to think she is, and I'm unsure if she would be at Hogwarts at that time. I really, really liked the line "the boy knew he had made his choice, and his pain prevented countless others from suffering as he was". I think it really exemplifies what the DA stood for at this time - protecting others and fighting for what little justice they could.

One issue that I had with this story was the amount of head hopping. While it was easier to understand as the story went by, it was a little confusing in the opening part. While it was definitely necessary later on in the fic, to show what is going on, I think that it would have been much more effective to have just stuck with Nigel's point of view in the Room of Requirement. I did, however really like the head hopping in the latter half, as it really gave an in depth look into the overall structure of the plan. I think that it helped make this story into something fairly exciting and fun to read, and it wouldn't have been accomplished if it had been from one point of view.

I liked how you didn't sugar-coat all the abuse that was definitely happening at Hogwarts at the time. Everything is straight up and matter of fact. This makes the story so believable to the reader, because you aren't trying to hide something or make it seem less real. Statements such as : "just today (and rather a good day, too) Nigel had acquired a large bruise over one eye" really show the drama and the abuse effectively, while mentioning first years running away from punishment emphasises the horror of how deep these punishments went.

I was a little unsure of the characterisation of Neville. As someone who was left on the outside for much of his Hogwarts life, I can't see him coming across as so elitist and secretive. I also think he'd be a little more concerned about the missing book. If the book was that important and it was taken, I couldn't see Neville putting it off, I think he'd be right on it in order to protect the rest of the DA.

I thought that your characterisation of Nigel was very interesting and quite fleshed out. I think that the line that really put him together was that he was "better with parchment than with people". Given how little we are given of Nigel in the movies, what you did with him really fits the feel of the Nigel we see in the movies. To me, his character felt very well rounded and I totally believed that he existed in the Harry Potter universe. He is meticulous and organised, and he really fits the role of the person who would rather make plans than run them. I also loved his self-sacrificing nature. I think it really shows off how the DA is supposed to be. All for justice, and all for protecting each other.

Finally, I really liked the ending of your fic. I loved how it surprised me because it was the beginning and it was completely unexpected. It gave a very circular feel to the piece, which was very satisfying for the reader. It clarified the beginning but also gave the beginning a whole new perspective. The fact that didn't feel like skipping that part shows that it gave it some fresh meaning.

Overall, this fic definitely has a lot of potential, especially in the characterisation and believably of a movie canon character. It was a lot of fun to read and explore Nigel and his world.


Author's Response: Oh, drat. I completely forgot about this review, and I'm so, so sorry it took me this long to respond, Maple. D:

Anyway, thank you so much. :) I know that the head-hopping can be a little hard to follow, but I'm glad you thought it worked. The challenge was a mystery challenge, so I figured if I went out of Nigel's head (who was the only person who knew the entire plan) that it would make it a bit more exciting and mysterious. Looking back, it really wasn't necessary in the beginning, so thank you for pointing that out. :) I'm also thrilled you liked Nigel- for some odd reason I decided that when I wrote this I wanted the main character to be him. I'm glad you think I did him justice.

In regards to the first bit, I realize now that it does sound a lot like Umbridge, but it was the female Carrow (I forget whether that's Alecto or Amycus now). I *think* that was clarified the second time that bit came around, but in case you were wondering. I'm also glad you liked the ending. It's fun writing something that ends where it begins.

Lastly, on Neville: I realize that his characterization is super shaky here, but I don't think I conveyed my reasoning right. This wasn't nearly all the time, as Neville would not draw away for long, if at all. But he knew that it was a delicate matter, (trying to steal the sword) because it was so obvious Harry needed it, so he kept that under wraps. The rest of that year, however, he would be that fearless leader who never abandoned Hogwarts. I love the second version of the DA for the reasons you mention; the unity, the self-sacrifice, and how they're protecting the castle while the hero is away.

Overall, thank you for the amazing SPEW review, Maple!

Strong Enough to Break by Acacia Carter

Rated: 3rd-5th Years • Past Featured Story
Summary: It had been three years since his wife's death, but the first woman to make him feel something is the last woman he'd have thought. The fact that he's closer in age to her father than to her does not help matters.

Otherwise known as All Soraya's Fault.

Important note: I used the Student/Teacher warning as a precaution; the relationship in this story is between a teacher and his former student, for whom he had no feelings while she was under his tutelage. Just to be clear.

Another important note: I'm not JKR. She has a much nicer house.

Reviewer: Maple_and_PheonixFeather Signed
Date: 07/06/12 Title: Chapter 2: Two

Hello Jamie! I definitely think that you have a very strong start to this story, and I’m very excited to see where it goes. Everything feels very natural and balanced. So far, it has been a pleasure to read.

I love how you captured Neville’s character in only the first few paragraphs of the story. With only a few small observances from the bartender, the reader knows that this is the Neville we know from canon. By saying that he never wanted to inconvenience people, that he hid his tears, and that he stayed to himself, we see the young Neville and immediately think of how he dealt with his parents. He kept them a secret, not because he was ashamed, but because he didn’t want to impose his problems on other people. With your strong Neville characterisation throughout the first two chapters, you have made the story believable. Creating a relationship while keeping the characters in character is very important, and I think you have done it superbly.

In addition to the excellent characterisation of Neville, you have created a very likable OC in Molly. What I found interesting about her was that she was just enough of her dad to make her seem believable. Her lack of great ability to really notice the change in Neville as being something personal until the rumours and the not wanting to approach him about him definitely reminds us of Percy and his lack of emotional understanding. What is interesting, however, is that even within one chapter, there is character development for Molly. No longer is she the 17/18 year old girl who didn’t see the signs. Her interaction with Neville makes her so much more likable, as she has already developed as a character. While she still may not be overly in tune to people’s emotions (like mentioning Hannah when he seemed happy), she handles working with them so much better.

The character of Molly is definitely one that is relatable. By including small little details in how Molly is feeling, such as her awkwardness at the table and the swooping sensation in her tummy, you have created a character than I am sure just about any person can relate to. This is so important in a story, as you need to relate to a character in order to enjoy the story, and I feel that you have really hit the mark on this one.

I loved how the hints at attraction were already there for Molly, in the fact that she knew his drink and remembered the little things about them. I especially like how she questioned herself. It really contributed to the believability of the beginning of the story, and gave a good foundation for what will happen in the future. It adds just the right amount of foreshadowing that keeps the reader interested, but doesn’t give too much of story away.

I really liked how you contrasted the two chapters. The first chapter opens with control, fine drinks, and good crystal, while the second opens with a much bleaker outlook. I thought that this created a very effective parallel to how Neville and Molly complement each other as characters. The repetition of “he did not want to think about it” in the second chapter parallels Molly’s repeated questioning. The contrast exists in how the characters deal with it. While Molly is slightly more open to the idea of trying to figure her feelings out, Neville is much more closed off and ignoring any feelings he might have.

You have really created a very interesting plot. I like watching the character development and the relationship grow. The pace of your story is very good. It’s believable and nothing feels rushed. Every aspect of the plot really blends into the other. To me, no detail felt unnecessary or out of place. The subplot of Hannah’s and Neville’s relationship is one such aspect that blends perfectly. The triggers are believable and the plot feels necessary to develop Neville’s character, his past, and how it affects his future with Molly. From the way that everything fits together now, I am really looking forward to how Hermione is going to fit into this story.

While the characterisation, plot, and ease of reading make this story great, I think that the most amazing part of this story are the emotions. Every emotion feels so real that I find myself feeling them. The two emotions that really stick out for me are the awkwardness of Molly and the sadness of Neville. When Molly felt awkward, I felt awkward with her, especially at the whole Neville bringing her home thing. With Neville, I actually felt very, very sad. The moment where Neville is on the brink of sleep really got to me emotionally. I’m not sure why, but it totally made me feel depressed. This, I think, is the mark of a great artist “ the ability to make a person feel.

Finally, I think that you have really created a story that can appeal to everyone. You give a little bit of everything. For those people who love description, you create a beautiful picture. The way you describe things such as the silence of the cloak is so poetic. Yet at the same time, you please the people who, like me, don’t want to be overloaded with description. The scene is described so poetically and the image is very clear in the mind’s eye, but I am not skipping over details because there is too much. There is enough dialogue and banter to please the dialogue lovers and enough basic action to please those who like the action. The story just perfectly balances everything.

As usual, I am fully drawn into your Neville story. The Neville you write never ceases to make me fall in love with him, and in extension, with your story.


Hear the Moonlight Sing by goldensnidget92

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: It wasn't love, exactly. But it was a little bit more than friendship. Twelve-year-old Luna needed Archie to remind herself of what she believed in. Archie needed Luna to save him.

This isn't a story about first love. But it is a story about childhood, and making the decision to leave it.

Reviewer: Maple_and_PheonixFeather Signed
Date: 02/22/13 Title: Chapter 1: The Start of All Things

Oh, what a beautiful little piece! This story made me smile and feel sad at the same time. I think that the ideas of childhood are very well presented. Your characterisation of Luna is quite good, actually, which was a pleasant surprise, as a lot of people make her over the top and obnoxious, but this just seemed to fit her perfectly.

I think that this story really exemplifies the idea of youth and the innocence of it. It was definitely a unique story with a lovely feel and message to it.


Author's Response: Thank you! I wanted to try something different with this; I'm so intrigued by the theme of innocence and growing up and I really wanted to look at that here.

Eyes Open by iLuna17

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: It was what I imagined stars felt like. Burning bright, but floating high above anyone who wanted to pull them down.

The one summer where everything changed was when Voldemort returned. People were changing, too. It was the summer that changed Luna Lovegood for good.

This is iMusic17 of Slytherin writing for the Picture Prompt in Part I of Madam Pomfrey's One-Shot Triathalon.
Reviewer: Maple_and_PheonixFeather Signed
Date: 08/15/12 Title: Chapter 1: Eyes Open

Hello, Ellie!
This is a very interesting piece, and I’m happy I got a chance to read it, especially because Luna/Ron is a pairing I happen to like a lot.

I really liked how you approached POV. To me, it felt very much like second person, even though it was definitely first. I think this makes the emotions feel more real. When I’m mad and confused with a person, I think as if I were talking to them. I think that having Luna talk to Ron definitely made the memories seem more alive, because we really get to see, not only what Luna was thinking, but a lot of what she perceived Ron to be thinking in a very unique way.

For the most part, I loved how you characterised Luna. There was enough of her crazy theories to remind us of who she was, but not so much that we feel overburdened and she seems too eccentric. I think it is too easy for writers to milk her different views, and make her too over the top. I don’t think you did that here. One moment I did find a little unbelievable for Luna was at the beginning, when Neville is talking to her, but she is essentially ignoring him. I always thought that Luna respected Neville immensely, both as a friend and as a leader. I really don’t think she would ignore him just to watch Ron.

I really liked how Luna described Ron. I think it really did get to the bare essentials of who Ron is “ blunt and kind of awkward. I also really enjoyed how you simply portrayed him as lonely. Because of this, I totally bought that Ron would kiss Luna. Being lonely feels terrible, and I think it would make him more emotionally vulnerable, especially with what they are talking about, making him likely to kiss her.

I have a bit of mixed feelings about the song lyrics. In some parts, I felt that they were a little forced. For instance, when Luna says she’ll feel the scars of the lesson learned, it feels like it’s just trying to match the song lyrics. But at the same time, I can definitely see why they are there. They really mirror Luna’s reoccurring idea keeping your eyes open to the world around you. In that sense, I thought that the song matched perfectly.

Just a little bit of a POV issue. In the paragraph that starts “You had asked why I was humming”, Luna begins to refer to Ron as “him” instead of “you”.

Overall, I really liked this, Ellie. It was very cute and I liked the main idea that occurred throughout it : Keep your eyes open and you’ll begin to notice the things around you.


Author's Response: YAY! I wasn't sure whether my self-pimp would work, lol ...

Thank you so much for the amazing review. :) I wasn't really sure about Ron/Luna, but a certain Ebil Queen convinced me to write this (as well as Ron/Pansy, but that's different. :D) The POV was a certain struggle; when it was in the present, I believe that I made it more in the second person, then switched to first for the many flashbacks. I'll look into it, though. :) I'm glad it made it seem real ... that was a huge struggle for me when I was trying to write this.

Luna is definitely a different character to write. Like you said, it's hard to keep her quirks and make her seem real. ;) I''m glad you think I liked it. As for Neville; she does respect him, but I think my mentality on that was she was focusing on the big picture. I guess I thought she would see how people reacted to Harry's death, his best friend in particular. I always thought Luna loved to observe people.

I definitely know what you mean with the song lyrics, though. Some of it was rather forced. I'll see if I can work on that. :D But I'm really glad you liked it, and that I succeeded in writing something cute for once, lol. :D


Parallels by The owl

Rated: 6th-7th Years •
Summary: After the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, Nymphadora Tonks has a dream about her last days at Hogwarts. The memories it contains and their links to her present situation give her a lot to think about. The main subject of her curiosity: what is the connection between Charlie Weasley and Remus Lupin?

Huge thanks to Soraya/babewithbrains for beta’ing this so quickly and so well. It was in rather a mess until she gave me some very insightful suggestions. Soraya, I hope I have satiated your craving for Chonks slightly!

This is The owl of Hufflepuff writing for the Illustration for Inspiration Challenge in The Great Hall. I was inspired by Jess/ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor’s picture, “Up to No Good”.

Disclaimer: I am not JK Rowling. I’m pretty sure that you’ll figure that out for yourselves if you choose to read on.
Reviewer: Maple_and_PheonixFeather Signed
Date: 09/16/12 Title: Chapter 1: Parallels

Hey Sophie!

I read this once before, but I think I liked it better on the second go round. This is a very lovely piece, and I’m glad I got the chance to read it again.

It was interesting how you opened the story in present tense, when it has the stylistics of a flashback. It definitely gives a good hook to the reader, because it is a very unusual way of doing things. It makes the whole thing seem so much more immediate and personal, which is what Tonks is feeling at the time, though we don’t know it yet.

I love how so natural and teenagery Tonks and Charlie’s relationship feels. It definitely has that very real feel of first love, and falling in love with your very good friend. Having Charlie feel jealous and angry when he finds Tonks with Max felt very believable. It is the exact reaction I would expect someone in his position to have. The hindsight on Tonks’ part was also very well done. Now that it has happened, she knows what all the little quirks in his actions are, and I think that is so reminiscent of a girl newly in love “ she begins to understand and realise what exactly was going on.

One scene that I thought really helped you set the stage to Charlie’s character is when Tonks talks about Charlie telling her about Max and that he “was struggling very hard to keep the grin off his face the whole time”. To me, this is reflective of the Charlie we see at the end. He clearly cares for Tonks, but there’s a part of him that is looking out for himself a lot too.

The sex scene is just so beautifully and tactfully written. Often times I find myself feeling uncomfortable during sex scenes because everything is so explicit and just uncomfortable. Yours is so tactfully done, and I don’t find myself thinking that it was just put in there as entertainment. I really feel like it was a necessary part of the story.

Your creation of Tonks and Remus’ relationship was surprisingly believable for me. In my headcanon, their relationship is nothing like this. But yet, somehow, I was convinced. I think this is one of the most important parts of writing “ convincing the reader.

I love how you made Tonks reflections feel like legitimate reflections. I think that, sometimes, when in first person, authors add too much description or make funky similes that no person actually ever thinks when reflecting. Here though, I bought it. I felt what Tonks was feeling, and never did I question that it was her. One quibble I did have was that the parallel concept felt a bit forced. I understand that she would be thinking about how similar things were between the two, but I feel like this part was a little too formal and didn’t fit in with the rest of the style you have written. That being said, I did love the last few lines, where she realises that she is the one who falls for the men who will always break her heart.

I really enjoyed this, Sophie. Thank you for introducing me to both Charlie/Tonks and Remus/Tonks. It was a thoroughly enjoyable read.


Author's Response: Maple, thank you so much for this review. This is probably the story that's been the hardest for me to write, so it's great to have someone's opinions on it, especially in such a fab SPEW review. I am awful at responding to SPEW reviews, though, so sorry both for keeping you waiting and for the useless response.

The flashback/dream thing was (as so often seems to happen to me) somewhat accidental. I wanted to write this sequence between Charlie and Tonks but I had no idea where I was going to take it. I knew I wanted to draw comparisons between Tonks's relationships with Charlie and Remus, and I didn't know how to make the connection. I'm not even entirely sure why I chose to make the scene a dream in the end. It just seemed like a good way to make an immediate transition between Charlie and Remus.

I'm glad you found the relationships I portrayed believable. It's not something I know a lot about from personal experience, so I've always got to go by my observations of other people and by things I've read or watched. I just have to hope I manage to stay true to life, if that makes sense. I'm especially pleased to hear that my Remus and Tonks worked for you despite not being what you expected. You're right -- convincing people is always important.

The smut -- well, I don't think I have it in me to write the sort of smut that would make you uncomfortable! Graphic isn't really my style, even the prompt behind this was somewhat more detailed, hah. I prefer to stick to innuendo and implications, and I'm glad that worked for you.

Before Soraya beta'd this, Tonks's voice wasn't really right -- too formal, like some of the later passages still are. It's thanks to her, really, that it felt as natural as it hopefully does. You make a fair point about the reflections at the end of the fic. Soraya pointed that out to me when she beta'd it, and I did try to work on it, but I know it's still not right. I had set myself on using the parallels thing, so I really didn't want to take it out, even when it felt forced.

Thanks again for the lovely review :) You've made some very useful points.


Breathe by iLuna17

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
Heavy. Emanate. Bellow. After All. Troubled Waters. Regret. Ends of the Earth. This is Albus and Scorpius's story. Where they learn to breathe.

This is iMusic17 crawling out of the snakes' evil lair to write for SPEW 007.

Reviewer: Maple_and_PheonixFeather Signed
Date: 10/16/12 Title: Chapter 1: Breathe

Hey Ellie!

Upon reading the first chapter, I must say that you need to have more confidence in yourself! This really isn’t a bad beginning to a chapter “ actually, it’s quite good. You have completely intrigued me and have made me want to read a fic about a pairing I absolutely despise, which is quite a feat in itself.

I love the voice of Scorpius in this fic. There is something so honest and open about him. He sounds like such an old soul, which you totally support through what you show us. Scorpius appears to just be so wise and so accepting of everything that is going on around him. Already, in the first chapter, we can see how much Scorpius clearly loves Albus. When he says “Albus has to be one of the brightest students to ever walk these halls. He’s amazingly talented;, I might even pit him against Dumbledore ... and win!” we know that he cares about Albus very much, even though we aren’t really sure in what way. One concern with Scorpius is that we aren’t really sure it is him until the very end of the chapter. Actually, for some reason, I thought it was Lily. Maybe I’m just dense, but perhaps you may want to make it a little clearer who it is from the beginning.

I really liked how you portrayed Lily. She is definitely not the typical Lily of Next-Gen fanfiction. Instead of the outgoing, loud, bubbly Lily, we see a quiet, almost shy Lily, who puts her trust in the most unlikely of people. The reactions of her family is also appropriate. Lily is the one of the youngest of the family, they aren’t likely to listen, especially when she is pointing out something that they don’t want to see.

In further comment of Lily, I think that you handled the cousin pairing of the story in a very mature and inoffensive manner. Instead of just having the pairing there just for the sake of having the pairing there, you have incorporated it into the storyline, giving Lily and Scorpius a close connection through the knowledge of the relationship. Because it is only mentioned briefly and as part of the story, it makes the pairing seem like less of a big deal, and I think it could be used as story to perhaps open people’s minds to the idea of cousin pairings.

What was nice about this chapter is that you really didn’t force the prompt. While the word heavy has definitely influenced this chapter, it isn’t a glaring “in your face” use of the prompt. It’s there, but it’s subtle, which was really nicely done. Keeping up with the idea of a challenge fic, I like how it isn’t overly obvious that this chapter was done a tight schedule. Given, this is the first chapter, and the one you likely took the most time on, it does not have that feeling of “I threw this together in three hours” that many challenge fics often have. It is very clear that there was some plotting and planning put into this story.

The plot of this story moves quite quickly, which is really nice. Already in the first chapter, so much has happened. We are given how Scorpius and Lily became friends and a general idea of what is going to go down. That being said, it doesn’t move so quickly that I am confused as to what is going on. I have time to collect my thoughts, but there isn’t so much useless description and waffling that I lose focus and interest.

Overall, this is a fantastic start to what I'm sure will be a fantastic fic. Great job, Ellie!


Author's Response: Mapllleeeeee! Thank you for the amazing review! (and I apologize for the horrible amount of time I left it unresponded).

To be honest, I really wasn't sold on Albus/Scorpius when I started writing this. I have a very set image of what Albus is like, and I had to stray from it quite a bit in this to make it work. :) I honestly don't think that the pairing works for me- I have too set of a headcanon.

Scorpius: Gosh, I loved him in this fic. I tried not to make him a stereotypical Hufflepuff, but he is just such a nice person in this. I was trying to give a bit of foreshadow of his feelings (because I had planned the second chapter :D), and I'm really glad you caught it. Now that you mention it, though, Scorpius does sound kind of like a girl. I was trying to keep his identity all 'secretive/suspenseful', but I might go back and change that.

My main fear with this story was that I'd run into too many cliches, and that it wouldn't be original. I was going to have Lily be more outgoing, but I rather like this type of Lily. All credit for Lily goes to Soraya, though. :) She really helped me develop her. As for the cousin pairing, I"m so glad you thought it fit. I didn't want it to take up too much room (there was a time when I was thinking maybe Lily would be pregnant), but I'm glad you thought it worked. :)

Prompts were one of the hardest parts of 007. They were so random (I honestly couldn't have thought of a good one for 'Editorial'), and it was hard to have them flow through the story. I'm glad that it wasn't too overbearing, though. (I tend to do that). As for the plot, I kind of thought it did move too quickly, but I only had seven chapters. :/ I'm glad that you didn't think it was. :)

Maple, I'm blushing right now. Thank you so much for the amazing review.

Good Enough by Acacia Carter

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: O.W.L. results have arrived, and Scorpius is certain his parents will be less than pleased.


This is Acacia Carter of Hufflepuff, writing for the Minor Character Challenge of July 2012.

Many thanks to Julie/Peppermint Toads for the beta, Jess for the nudge to write Scorpius, Gina for the nudge to write this Scorpius, and Soraya for listening to my angst.

Please note that this is a companion piece to another of my works, An Intervention. It can be read alone, but if you are interested in Scorpius's past, the beginnings of it are available on my author page.

It's not my fault I seem to be incapable of writing a story without Neville in it. Really, it's not my fault this time - blame Gina.


Reviewer: Maple_and_PheonixFeather Signed
Date: 08/11/12 Title: Chapter 1: One-Shot

I should have known that a Scorpius story by you would not just be a Scorpius story, but a Neville story as well. *Shakes head affectionately* I was actually completely surprised to see him in here, but it was a very pleasant surprise, and I’m glad you included him.

As usual, I am in awe at your ability to create a scene without putting huge amounts of emphasis on everything that is actually there. This is really effective in, not only making a picture for the reader, but making the reader see the world through your character’s eyes. Though you don’t mention much of anything about the room, I can still see it. Instead, you describe the envelope. This really gets us into the character’s head right away, because Scorpius is likely to notice the envelope, given all it entails, but the room, not so much, as he sees it every day.

You have really rounded Scorpius into a very realistic character. He exhibits a balance of contrasting characteristics that would be evident in a real person. He is both confident and unsure, brave and meek. What made him the most convincing was that, no matter how estranged he feel from his parents, he still wants their approval. There is something so beautiful about that, and so human, that I really connected myself with Scorpius. The development he goes through as a character is really exciting to watch, especially as it spans only 4000 words. By making Scorpius so connectable, you have really made this story amazing.

I don’t know how you do it, but every time you write Neville, I am excited to read it, because I know you will present something new and more attractive about him. Here, I love how compassionate you made Neville. Neville could very easily hate Scorpius, simply because his father made his life miserable. Instead, he extends a hand of kindness towards him. Neville is the teacher I wish I had had while in school. You have taken all of the qualities canon Neville exhibits in the books, and molded it into a very wonderful adult.

Your take on Astoria is definitely original and refreshing. I have never seen her characterised like this. She is so much like Lucius, it’s bizarre, but in a totally good way. A lot of people characterise Astoria as someone who is almost nice. Here, you have made her worse than Draco, which I rather liked. It gave me an antagonist to root against. I also love how mother like you’ve still managed to make her. She clearly has mother’s intuition, and I think, deep down, she does care about Scorpius. She is the perfect blend of absolutely terrible and mother-like. And in the end, she is just mouthy enough for me to like her.

If I have one complaint about this story, it would be that it almost feels too similar to Neville’s OWL story. Like Neville, Scorpius receives an A in Transfiguration, an E in Charms, and an O in Herbology. And like Neville, Scorpius is told Charms is a soft subject. Both of them are subjected to what seem like unrealistic expectations by their guardians, who don’t quite appreciate what they have.

I really enjoyed the subtle dynamics between the Malfoys and Neville. While Neville, who has every reason to hate Draco and his family, is kind towards Scorpius and doesn’t speak ill of his parents, the Malfoy parents don’t like to talk about it. I think that is very interesting, and I kind of find myself wondering why. Neville didn’t really do anything to Malfoy specifically when they were children, besides fight for the good, but yet they don’t like them. It adds an interesting touch that reminds us of the history of this story.

The way you handled the idea of the father figures in this story was very well done. I felt bad for Draco, who feels outdone by Neville. For me, the scene where Draco realises that he is still Scorpius’ father, and no matter what, he would stay that way, was the greatest moment. In that moment, we realise that this story is not only about Scorpius, but about his parents and how they develop. Draco’s development was beautiful, as he finally realises what he should have known all along: Scorpius loves him, and he is worried about disappointing him because he just wants to please his dad, just like anyone else would.

What a beautiful piece of work, Jamie! It definitely followed a very realistic story, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.


Pulling the Strings by Acacia Carter

Rated: 3rd-5th Years • Past Featured Story
Summary: FACT: There had been a death at Hogwarts.
FACT: Deceased was a sixteen-year-old male by the name of Marcus Akers, a Gryffindor student in his sixth year.
FACT: Deceased had had contact with Neville Longbottom between 19:00 and 22:13 the previous evening.
FACT: The poison was administered in a near-exact amount.
FACT: Neville Longbottom is familiar with one of the possible poisons used in the murder.
FACT: Marcus Akers had been romantically involved with Magnolia Longbottom.
SUSPECT: Neville Longbottom. Male, 43, head of Gryffindor House at Hogwarts.


Thank you to the ever inestimable Soraya for the beta and Ellie for helping me reconstruct the story after my planning file was corrupted.


This is Acacia Carter of Hufflepuff writing for the Great Hall Chaptered Challenge of 2012.

Reviewer: Maple_and_PheonixFeather Signed
Date: 06/02/13 Title: Chapter 6: The Edges of Evening



Guilt and Betrayal by AidaLuthien

Rated: 3rd-5th Years • Past Featured Story
Summary: Peter sits alone in the Shrieking Shack and reflects on his decisions and his life.
Reviewer: Maple_and_PheonixFeather Signed
Date: 09/16/12 Title: Chapter 1: The Rat and the Baron


This is beautiful! Of all the post-Lily/James death fics I’ve read, this one is definitely the best. You have approached it in a completely different way than most people do, and everything together just felt so right.

I loved how you characterised Peter, a character who suffers from many clichés. I felt like I totally connected with him. He isn’t a whiney, bed-wetting character, but rather, he is a character who truly loves his friends, but who likes his alone time, which I totally get. I love how he gets nervous for the Bloody Baron, yet totally faces his fears, proving the Sorting Hat to be right. And for the first time ever, I totally understand how Peter could turn to the Dark Lord “ he simply does not want to die. He has nothing to fight for, and he is too young to give his life for something not immediately effecting him. This was just so believable and so easy to understand, something that I think is hard when writing Peter.

I loved how everything fit together in this story. While the story is clearly divided into four distinct parts, the four parts flow cohesively and are necessary to each other. Everything fits together and everything makes sense. Each part links into the next, which links into the next. I totally bought it, and I think it really helped show consistency between Peter’s character. He has a favourite place, and key moments that have brought him to where he is, and it is beautifully done.

I loved the use of the Bloody Baron. What a very creative idea! It really is who Peter is. He suffers so much for what he has done, and it will always remind him of that moment, a moment where he was scared but faced his fears anyway, a moment where he3 had the best friends in the world. I love how he turns to him form in these times. I love the picture you gave us “ Peter staying as a rat, because everything was just so much less complicated that way.

Amazing story, Aida! It really made me think about Peter as a character, and it is truly the best look at the aftermath of James and Lily’s death that I,ve read, even though it occurs nine years later.


In Bloom by ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor

Rated: 3rd-5th Years • Past Featured Story

It figures that he ignores the other side of roses. Thorns fit to draw blood are what remain after the flowers die off, far overshadowing the few months when they splay their gaudy plumage to the summer sun. They’re nice sometimes; for the most part, though, they are sharp and vindictive and unworthy of the attention they receive.

No, Rose thinks. Roses are ugly.


This story has been nominated for a 2013 Quicksilver Quill Award: Best Next Generation Story.

Reviewer: Maple_and_PheonixFeather Signed
Date: 04/13/13 Title: Chapter 1: In Bloom

Hello Jess!

I very much enjoyed this story. It had a very natural flow to it and was easy to connect to as a whole. The structure of the story really emphasised the feelings and actions of the narrative while the characters were believable and felt very real, thus allowing for me to connect to and sympathise with the characters.
The structure of this piece was very intriguing. In itself, the form almost represents a blooming flower. It opens with a brief glimpse of what this story is going to be about, like a bud of a new flower. Little by little, more is revealed. Early on, we know that there has been some sort of kiss between Rose and Albus, and it appears to be part of the main conflict of the story, but we don't know the true depth of it until we see Rose's point of view. For the majority of the story, I thought that the feelings of attraction were mutual, but at the almost last second, we find out that it's not, and that, I think, is where the magic lies. Almost as if I see a purple, slightly open bud, thinking it's a violet, but when it blooms, I see that it is actually a torenia.

The changing between characters was very effective in this story. By doing this, you haven't made one person's situation seem worse and you don't put the blame on any character. We see where Albus's hurt is coming from and we feel for him, but we don't feel angry at Rose. Similarly, we feel for Rose without wanting to smack Albus for kissing her. Interestingly enough, you make Billy, who is the closest thing to an antagonist that this story will have, seem human. Even though he pushed Rose to have sex, Rose tells us that she really did consent, making Billy seem like just a normal teenage boy. A bit of a jerk, yes, but nothing that would make us really condemn him in anyway. When Albus talks about him, he describes him as "begging for mercy", which again shows that Billy really is just a normal kid who let his hormones get the better of him.

As usual in your Next-Gen stories, you have created very vivid and believable characters. I think that a lot of writers don't always take into account where the characters are coming from. While a person's children are not in any way, shape, or form a carbon copy of their parents, they often share certain common idiosyncrasies. Of course, this isn't always the case, but in this story, you have managed to make the similarities between Albus and his parents seem very realistic and natural. We see Albus angry and he expresses his anger in aggressive acts, something that is very clear in Harry's character. Albus spends the majority of the story crushing roses, and the scene where we see him in action, he's beating someone. Unlike Harry, Albus doesn't really seem to pent up his frustration, but rather lets it out (as we see in the crushing of the flowers). This is a very different reaction than his father, and thus Albus becomes a fleshed out and unique character. Albus also gets my favourite line in the whole story. "“They’re nice,” he said to her once. “I’d much rather be associated with something beautiful and sweet than a dead man who used people like puppets as a means to an end.” This line is just so snarky, but at the same time, I think it gives us an interesting look into Albus' psyche. For Albus, he sees things very black and white, and not so much the whole picture. With roses, he sees only the beauty of the flower, but not the thorns. Reversely, in Dumbledore's character, he sees only the manipulation, and not the so much how everything fit together and how much good he did. While he knows it was a "means to an end", he doesn't see all the other parts of his namesake and what makes him so complex.

Rose, too, is very fleshed out in her character. From almost the start off of the story, we see a young woman who is perhaps a little insecure. Like Albus, she is not so impressed with her namesake. Like Albus, when she thinks of them, she thinks of the negative, though she is capable of seeing why someone might find them beautiful, she herself does not. The insecurities of Rose really shine when her point of view returns. She's "surprised" when Billy asks her to Hogsmeade, which reminded me of the previous section, where she sees roses as ugly, leaving the question open to the reader of how Rose sees herself.

What's interesting about this story is how the different characters portray the event that this story centers around - Rose losing her virginity to Billy and the kiss from Albus that occurred after. Albus' narrative starts from the end point of the event and revolves around his feelings more than anything else. This really focuses the reader on the feelings of the two characters involved and the relationship between them, making that part of the story more important than the almost side story that is the event. With Rose, we see the story from beginning to end with more fact than feelings. When the two storylines cross over (when Rose is telling Albus of what happened), we don't really see what Rose is feeling until Albus's recollections are shown. She is angry and a little regretful, but that's all we know. We don't really know the extent of Rose's dismay until Albus tells us that she was "humiliated" and very clearly upset, especially after Billy is beaten up, because she didn't want the world to know she had slept with Billy, and the distress she feels over it.

Overall, I really enjoyed this fic. The dynamics of the characters and the way you told the story made everything feel very raw and believable. An excellent job on a first attempt at writing a pairing - if you hadn't mentioned it, I would have thought you wrote AlRose all the time.


Little Angel Wings by Ginny Weasley Potter

Rated: 6th-7th Years • Past Featured Story
Summary: Ron and Hermione have a normal married life, complete with the good and bad moments: they have the small fights, the passionate kisses and every other thing that a normal marriage consists of. They can handle anything together and a slightly sick son is no problem at all.

But then it becomes a big problem. Hugo is not just ‘slightly sick’ anymore. He has something bigger and much worse than anything Ron or Hermione could ever imagine. And that is when the normalcy of their marriage truly begins to be tested as their ‘small fights’ no longer remain so.

Will they get out of this without any permanent damage, and most importantly, will they get out of it with two children instead of just one?

This is Ginny Weasley Potter of Hufflepuff house writing for the ‘Bonded’ prompt of the Great Hall chapter challenge. Nominated for the 2013 QSQ awards in the best canon romance catergory!
Reviewer: Maple_and_PheonixFeather Signed
Date: 11/16/12 Title: Chapter 1: Buttery Passion

Hey Pooja!

This fic is one I’ve watched for a long time, and you have no idea how much I want to finish it, but, alas, I shall stop and take a moment to review this chapter, but I may take some stuff from the other chapters I’ve read as well.

I love the opening. It’s just so inviting to the readers. The use of sunshine and bed makes me feel relaxed and happy. I can envision it immediately in my head, and the feeling of relaxedness makes me sit and say yes, this is something I want to read. I am relaxed and this story makes me feel warm. Then he wakes up and he smells food and sees Hermione. Ron feels relaxed and happy, and I feel relaxed, happy, and excited to read on. What I love is that this is oh so deceiving. Instead, the chapter takes a turn for the darker, but yet I keep reading, because I have been engrossed already by the easy, relaxed opening.

I felt a little off when Hermione calls Ron “Ronald Weasley”. I just found it so reminiscent of his mother, which made it a little awkward. I do think, however, that Hermione’s mood is really well shown. She is clearly cross, and we would have seen that even if Ron hadn’t said it. It’s nice as I don’t have to be told what she’s feeling, I can infer it for myself, which makes the story feel more natural. I think that this is a reoccurring theme through what I have read of this story. The emotions just feel so real and honest without us having to be told what exactly they are feeling. I think that this is the greatest strength of the entire chapter and story, actually.

For me, Rose and Hugo were very well done. Rose showing the jealous older sister side just felt so right. I like that she shows some intelligence already and she has a sort of defined personality. You could take Rose as she is right now and easily describe her at 14 or even 16, which I think is great. I especially liked how she was mad about being woken up by Hugo. I remember when I was three and my sister was born and being so annoyed at the fact that she would wake me up in the middle of the night with her crying, so I was able to really connect and understand this part. What I thought was especially great was how you portrayed Hugo. I think it’s easy to forget how articulate and intelligent two year olds really are. But really, there are two year olds reading, talking, and expressing themselves, and I really think you did Hugo justice with this.

I love the family interactions. They were fun to read, especially as each person clearly has their distinct role and voice. I especially loved the line : ‘“You mean,” Hugo said sadly’. I don’t know why, but I just get this really clear image of the kitchen table here, and Hugo hanging his head and looking all sad and dejected. It’s really fantastic. Everything just feel so natural and I could just read banter like this for a lot longer in the fic because it is so fun and so real.

Lastly, I’m really impressed that you manage to do this completely from Ron’s POV. I don’t know why, but I find it easier to write from the female POV, but you make Ron feel believable, and for that, I’m impressed.

Overall, I’m really excited to see where this will go. Right now, it has already shown some dark overtones, so I’m really excited to watch this go from a darkish happy the deep roots of this story.

I will finish this soon, I promise!


Author's Response: Maple!

Sorry, I'm late with this! But then to be honest, I didn't know how to go about a reply at first, and then my exams came along. Anyway, I am so happy to have received this review! November was really an awesome month for me, with the number of reviews I've received!

A part of the opening was from a drabble challenge I wrote on LJ for smut. I wanted Ron and Hermione to have fought-- so the sunlight seemed a good atart to give everyone a false sense of hope. But that seems to have worked here too. Hehe. Yes, I will be evil enough to say I'm glad it made everyone feel warm and relaxed, especially when you see what comes later.

Hermione does call Ron 'Ronald Weasley' in the book. I posted this on LS, as king if she would call him that, and Croll reminded me that she did. It's in DH, when Ron returns with Harry after destroying the Horcrux. "You complete ar*e, Ronald Weasley!", I think, but I can't be exact as I don't have the book on me atm. The moods and the gestures were all with the help of my wonderful Beta, who actually told me how those little gestures would convey a lot more emotions than me mentioning them word-for-word. :)

I loved writing Rose and Hugo. They felt so cute to me-- and sibling rivalry is a very important part of sibling relationship. In fact, I was such a jealous, stubborn kid, I forbade my parents from having another child. I let them know that I wasn't about to tolerate a sibling, and I'm not sure whether they wanted just one child, or if they took me seriously. But I do have a sibling-like cousin, who made up for the absence of siblings. We fought over everything, and I managed to get jealous too. So yes, I can say that I could relate to Rose too-- in many ways, ha! As for Hugo, the same cousin of mine spoke perfectly, and could sing when he was two. My mum says that I could talk too, and recognise colours, shapes and recite the alphabet. It differs from child-to-child, actually-- I saw a two year old three days ago, who could only say 'mummy'. But then he was vey sick, so maybe he could speak more, but chose not to.

I can't tell you what a sweetheart Hugo was to write. :) I had a clear picture-- which I wanted translated, and I wanted my readers to understand Hugo the way I did. I'm glad I was successful in that! And Ron is one of my favourite characters to write. He's such a darling-- I enjoy writing him! I trule enjoyed writing the entire family conversation, and Ron, and am very happy that you liked Ron's PoV.

Thank you for this lovely review! :)