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Reviews by goldensnidget92

Why I'm Afraid of Spiders by The Last Marauder

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
Summary: Ron wasn't always afraid of spiders, you know. Then, one day, everything changed. He was only three.
Reviewer: goldensnidget92 Signed
Date: 06/12/12 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1 - Why I'm Afraid of Spiders

This was absolutely wonderful! I don't know why I didn't read it sooner.

I love the way you wrote it with his voice: so much more convincing than if you'd written it through Ron as an older person looking back. It really seemed like you'd put a lot of care and attention into writing it, and I loved how you misspelled the longer words.

I thought it was interesting how you sort of merged Teddy and Ron: how when 'Teddy' was shaking, you could tell that it was really Ron who was shaking. It was like the two sides of his personality - the true Gryffindor and the one who is slightly more hesitant and afraid. Am I reading too much into this?

Anyway, it was excellent - well-written, emotive and entertaining. Well done!

Author's Response: Thank you so much! I am so glad you liked it!

I am glad you liked the way I wrote it in Ron's voice at that young age. I took a lot of time to get it right, so I am so glad you liked it. I am also gald that the misspellings didn't bother you, because I was slightly afraid that they would annoy people, so I am so glad you thought they added to the story, as opposed to taking from it!

Don't worry you are not reading too much into it at all. That was what I was doing - merging Teddy and Ron, because realistically they both are Ron, if you get me. Obviously Teddy isn't real, so Ron is doing nothing more than projecting a bit of himself onto Teddy and bringing him to life that way - the two parts of Ron are there, the brave Gryffindor and the slightly hesitant and fearful person too.

Thanks so much for the review, I really appreciate it and I am so glad you enjoyed it! :-)

Seven Simple Years by HalfASlug

Rated: 6th-7th Years • Past Featured Story
Summary: The story of Ron and Hermione through a series of missing moments. Who said love was simple?
Reviewer: goldensnidget92 Signed
Date: 10/11/12 Title: Chapter 7: The Truth, Brains and Other Things that Hit Ron


Your writing has improved so much throughout this story! That's not to say that it wasn't good at the beginning (it really was), but here ... This was Hermione and Ron. This was just ... the most perfect characterisation of them. Not for a millisecond were they OOC; I could absolutely see this as coming straight from canon. Seriously, you have a phenomenal grasp of these two, and I cannot wait for the next installment.

Also, CONGRATULATIONS on winning the QSQ (I may have nominated you...). I really loved The Latecomer, and I'm so pleased it won :)

Author's Response: Oh wow, thank you :) Although I feel I should point out that this was written out of sequence. Whatever, I'm still taking the warm fuzzy feeling. It was you?!? Thank you so, so much! I had no idea it was even nominated so I've just been thanking the internet at random. I saw that The Real Magic got a nomination as well so well done for that! I really did love that fic.

Cold Feet by Ginny Weasley Potter

Rated: Professors •
Summary: We all know who we are. We have a mental definition of ourselves that we do not really like to change. But sometimes, small things, insignificant little snippets of incidents can change the way we look at ourselves. We may realise that we aren’t who we thought we were. Then we get cold feet. And this could be due to anything: even a cold foot running up yours on a juvenile dare.

This is Ginny Weasley Potter of Hufflepuff House writing for the Illustration for Inspiration Challenge. The picture I chose for inspiration is by the very amazing Carole/Equinox Chick.
Reviewer: goldensnidget92 Signed
Date: 07/08/12 Title: Chapter 1: Scorpius and Hugo

I have never read a Hugo/Scorpius before, and in this one fic I think you may have converted me! I really liked the concept of the story, and how it was a very convoluted situation: its complexity of story and structure added to my understanding of the characters. I think the change of narrative voice and time frame could potentially have detracted from the story, but you managed to control it so well.

I thought the unsaid feelings and supressed thoughts were really interesting, and very realistic - you can easily imagine two boys being so confused by these thoughts that keep bubbling up in their minds. Speaking of which, I admired the way you made Scorpius's thought progression from Rose to Hugo seem to natural and flowing. I suppose it would be incredibly upsetting to start fancying your girlfriend's brother, but it's funny how thoughts like that crop up seemingly out of nowhere.

I did wonder about Ron and Draco's reactions to their children going out with each other: I'm sure neither of them would have been thrilled. Perhaps that could have been something else that would add to Scorpius's worries about his feelings for Hugo. That said, I liked how you emphasised that he does still have 'Malfoy qualities'. So often Next Gen children either barely resemble their parents, or exactly resemble them, and I think you got the balance perfectly.

There was one line I did find difficult to read (and this is just me being picky): "Sean wanted to get a few dress robes fitted for himself and Scorpius was accompanying him so the former could have his opinion". I think you could word that a little differently, as it seemed a little complex.

Anyway, as I said, I think I may have to read some more Hugo/Scorpius now, as your wonderful writing has made me need more!!

Author's Response: Hello, Helena and thank you for this wonderful review! :) Hmm... frankly, I hadn't even imagined Scorpius and Hugo before the Great Hall Cotillion in February when I decided to write my first slash fic and chose Scorpius and Hugo for it (because Scorpius/Albus is pretty common, I think). And the concept for this story arose from a Carole's very inspiring piece of art (it's so adorable!) for the current Great Hall challenge. And it's awesome you enjoyed the story! And I had initially drafted this from just one PoV but then I thought two PoVs would make the fic so much more effective and decided to go for it. And somehow in my mind Scorpius is always dating Rose when he falls for Hugo. :p I don't know why. LOL. Ron and Draco's reactions would be the same whether Scorpius dated Rose or Hugo so I'm guessing by the time he started liking Hugo he had already finished worrying about all of that with Rose. :p It must be disastrous to have feelings for your girlfriend's brother, I suppose. >.< And I decided to go with a slightly douchy Scorpius this time (he's always a little douchy in most of my stories anyway. Either that, or he's a little disturbed). About the Sean thing-- I'll go correct that just now. :) Thanks for pointing it out! Heh, and I have another Scugo myself-- it's called Testimony, if you're interested. :) Thank you so much for the amazing review!

Underground by inspirations

Rated: Professors •
Summary: Remus Lupin goes to live with the werewolves: can he persuade them to turn their backs on Voldemort?
Reviewer: goldensnidget92 Signed
Date: 07/08/12 Title: Chapter 1: Underground

I was intrigued by the summary of this fic, and although I don't read as many Dark/Angsty fics as I do others, I enjoyed this, and thought it was very well written. I feel like very little emphasis is put on Remus's time with the werewolves in the books, so it was interesting to read more about it. Although I was initially unsure about the 1st person narrative - and that's just me, not a comment against your writing - I came to appreciate the direct view into Remus's mind.

I thought your depiction of Greyback at the beginning was fantastic: you only used a sentence or two, yet still managed to convey the full sense of horror and disgust that surrounds him. That was particularly excellent. I also liked the character of Steve, especially the line about him clinging to himself to remind himself that he was real. It was an interesting look at how being a werewolf affects someone's identity and the way they see themselves: would he think of himself as a monster? Perhaps that's something you could explore more? I think that could be a fascinating theme.

I liked how you included the idea that they're all outsiders, and I wanted to read a bit more about that! I would also like to say that I LOVE that Remus came from Cambridge - it's my home town too!

I thouht the final scene with Molly closed the story very well, as it emphasised the idea of Remus living a double life. It also ended on a hopeful note, with the implication that things could get better for both Remus and the Wizarding World. The final line was both poignant and uplifting, if that makes sense!

So overall, I really enjoyed this fic, and I hope this review helped!! I'm looking forward to see what else you write.

Author's Response: Thank you! I'm pleased you like Steve, I came up with him a couple years ago but never got the chance to write him into a story, but I enjoyed writing about him here. And yay for Cambridge -- it's such a nice city, I liked the contrast between where the werewolves were living and there. Thanks again for your feedback :)

The Latecomer by HalfASlug

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
Summary: It's the day every Weasley has been dreading since the battle and now it's George's turn to speak. However, before he can begin, he is rudely interrupted by a latecomer.

Joint winner of Best Post-Hogwarts One-Shot at the 2012 Quicksilver Quill Awards

Reviewer: goldensnidget92 Signed
Date: 07/06/12 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1

This was one of the rare pieces that makes you weep and laugh out loud within the space of two sentences: something I can only describe as masterful. And I don't use the word "weep" lightly: I have tears pouring down my cheeks as I write this review. "Mischief Managed"? Did you deliberately set out to break me?

That's not a bad thing, though. To be able to control our emotions so quickly takes a lot of talent, so well done! I was thoroughly impressed with this, and look forward to seeing what else you come up with!

Author's Response: Thanks for reading and reviewing :) Sorry about the tears and everything. Of course I didn't do it on purpose! That would be cruel... Thank you for the kind words :)

Cruciatus by Gmariam

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
Summary: The suffering of an Unforgivable Curse.
Reviewer: goldensnidget92 Signed
Date: 02/03/13 Title: Chapter 1: Shadows

I found this poem really fascinating to read, because whilst it is quite lyrical, with a soft, lilting rhythm, its content is very dark, and the contrast was striking. In fact, there were a lot of contrasting elements to the poem which I noticed, and that I think worked really well together. For example, the physical layout of it immediately stood out, and made me wonder whether the fragmented verses paralleled the fragmentation of the character’s mind. This staccato appearance challenged the simple, consistent rhyme scheme, and yet the two balanced each other out, making the poem flow seamlessly.

Your command of language was really powerful “ I particularly loved the phrase “torturous contortions”. If you read it out loud, your mouth becomes slightly contorted because it’s difficult to say, and therefore it echoed the contorting effects of the Cruciatus Curse perfectly. I also liked how you brought in recurring words to help emphasise the ideas you were exploring. The way “shadows” was repeated frequently seemed to me to highlight the intangible nature of the victim’s pain: they aren’t being tortured with any physical object, but with something we can’t quite grasp at. I suppose that could even make the effects of the curse even more maddening, because the victim must find it impossible to express the true pain they suffer.

I thought your approach to the effects of the curse was excellent: especially the way you used language to emphasise the theme. When you mention the “shadows coiling around my heart” and the “tendrils of fire curling around me”, you conjured an image (in my mind at least) of a snake wrapping the victim in a death-grip, and I think that was particularly apt for this theme. It not only represents the cruel, cold-blooded, twisted nature of the torturer but also (more abstractly) connects them to the serpent of Slytherin house.

One of the most impressive elements of the poem was your subtle introduction of the characters towards the end of it. I hadn’t really wondered who might be the voice of the victim when I started reading, but when you suddenly said “our fate has been sealed,” I began to think more about the characters. Leaving it until the last line to reveal that they’re Neville’s parents (made even more powerful by the fact that you only imply this) worked so effectively, and seemed to be the perfect way to end it. Their devotion to their son, the fact that they will endure this “lingering hell” in order to preserve his safety, reflects the hope that the poem ends with, and provides an uplifting sensation to an otherwise dark poem.


Fall Behind by Ars Letalis

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
Summary: October 3rd. They still haven't told him; it's likely never will. This is the most and least selfish act they have committed, and in spite of it all they just can't let go. One-shot, Remus/Lily.
Reviewer: goldensnidget92 Signed
Date: 07/30/12 Title: Chapter 1: One

I don’t think I’ve ever read a Remus/Lily fic before, mainly because I worry that there’ll be a lot of clichés in the fic if it isn’t done well enough. However, I was intrigued by your summary and I’m really glad I read it now.

It was interesting to see this kind of dynamic: to have Lily and Remus be together whilst both knowing that Lily is with, and loves, James. It could easily have been quite out of character and unbelievable, but I think you managed to keep the characters true to their originals “ not an easy feat in this situation! Remus was very intuitive, and always seemed to expect what Lily was about to do, which I though reflected canon very well. Although we never really meet Lily in the books, it felt like you had written her very faithfully: the way you mentioned how she didn’t “tiptoe around his condition” really struck me as true to her character.

The fact that you kept on bringing James into their thoughts was an astute way of doing fully developing the characters, as it highlighted the fact that they were always clouded by guilt. It’s almost as though there were three people in the relationship.

Although you wrote the feeling of guilt that Remus had towards the end well, I did feel the lack of it earlier on in the fic. I began to wonder why he didn’t explicitly think about how he had betrayed James. Would he be paranoid that James might notice anything? Perhaps he could have reflected on how his relationship with Lily might be affecting his friendship with James?

That said, I did think that the lines “James is the only reason he still has a roof over his head now […] He feels guilty as all hell for it, but damn if he doesn't adore every fibre of her, inside and out” were incredibly powerful. You apologised in your End Notes for the Dark/Angsty touch, but I thought it was very fitting with Remus’s character. He’s always had a fairly melancholic outlook on life, and if any of the Harry Potter characters could get depressed I’d certainly guess it would be him.

Translating Remus’s remaining guilt and confusion about James and Lily onto his relationship with Harry years later was wonderful to read. It makes you wonder what Remus thought the first time he saw Harry “ and in this case whether he would feel a rekindling of the old guilt.

I also thought the way you integrated Snape into the narrative helped give us more insight into Remus’s later life. When you wrote, “he wonders if Severus has seen that as well, or if the man's hatred of James Potter has clouded his vision,” you really made me think about Remus and Snape’s relationship. Did Remus know that Snape loved Lily? Obviously you imply so, and I think that’s a perfectly plausible assumption. Of all the Marauders, Remus is the one who seems wisest, and could have seen what the others did not. I thought the fact that you added this displayed how much you had thought about the characters.

The style you wrote in seemed very fitting for this type of fic. Keeping it simple and as a present-tense narrative enforces the idea that Remus and Lily live very much ‘in the moment’: only dealing with James when they absolutely have to. It makes it feel like a snapshot view, and that we as the reader are eavesdropping on a very private moment. There was one thing I thought could have been put differently “ you wrote that the kiss between Remus and Lily was “sweet and slow”. I seem to read about “sweet, slow” kisses a lot, and I feel that it’s become a bit of an empty expression. I get what sense you’re giving, but I think you could have described it differently to bring it to life more. What did the kiss do to Remus? Can you compare it to anything?

I really enjoyed the way you wrote this, and I could tell that you had put a lot of thought into your representation of the characters. Whilst the situation could have been a bit unbelievable, you managed to make the characters understandable and “ more importantly “ entirely human.

Author's Response: I'm glad that you gave my fic a chance and ultimately received it so well! Thanks very much for both your praise and (thankfully minor!) criticism. It really helps to hear what did/didn't work well. Cheers. Ah, yeah, I really know what you mean about it being an "empty expression," and there were probably a million ways I could have phrased it differently that would have made it more significant and meaningful. To put it bluntly, I suppose, there was no tongue involved! ;) But if I had to say it in a more poetic and pleasing way... hm... none of the fiery passion but still a huge amount of love. The sort of kiss you give someone when you want them to know that you feel a deep and suffocating devotion for them rather than just a burning want. After that it does progress to something that has a lot of teeth and groping and all that other fun stuff. Hopefully that makes it seem less... dumb and cliched. Erk. Once again, thank you for the lovely, thoughtful, wonderfully long review! It's great to hear your thoughts on it.

Wandwork by Gmariam

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
Summary: The remarkable story behind Griselda Marchbanks' enigmatic reference to all those things Albus Dumbledore could do with a wand.
Reviewer: goldensnidget92 Signed
Date: 08/13/12 Title: Chapter 1: Remarkable

The majority of humour fics I read make me smile, or make me chuckle quietly. Even though humour is my favourite genre, I’m not one to usually laugh out loud. But this fic absolutely made me laugh, and that is a testament to your fabulous story. It’s the perfect example of a humour fic at its best: it’s not elaborate or filled with wild, exaggerated characters or situations, but it’s incredibly witty and precise.

What made it stand out the most to me were the fine details you inserted into the fic. Mentioning Wendelin the Weird who “enjoyed the tickle of the Flame-Freezing Charm” rather than pursuing her magical talents was a stroke of genius. I love it when tiny characters are brought into a fic: it shows that the author has not only thought deeply about what they’ll incorporate from the series, but it also shows the care and attention that has gone into the fic, and the wealth of knowledge used to set it up. In this case, it also added to the character of Griselda Marchbanks, and doesn’t at all seem odd that she’d know something like that. Although we don’t see much into her earlier life, her musings such as this show her to be knowledgeable and very well-educated.

Then there were the details you thought up yourself, like Hilda who had been “transfigured into a toad too many times by seventh-years trying to show off their skills”, and “the rabbit as big as a horse wearing a bonnet before her”. They were tiny touches, but I really appreciated them, and they added to the whimsical nature of the fic.

It was funny to see Griselda as a young woman, and as the main narrative voice. Seeing as she’s a relatively insignificant character in the books, it’s wonderful to read more of her, and this situation was entertaining. The way she got increasingly flustered, awkward and breathless is something I’m sure many of us can relate to from some point in our lives, and you managed to keep it light and amusing throughout. The ‘banter-like’ relationship between the two was a clever way of keeping this up, for example when Griselda “rose into the air with a soft squeak, her legs complete jelly beneath her as her stomach did a small flip. And then Sweet Merlin he floated up before her. ‘Will that be enough?" he asked. "Or shall I set us tea on the table?’”

There is so much scope for wand innuendos, and I thought the way you linked every one of Dumbledore’s spells to some kind of innuendo in Griselda’s mind was so clever and funny. It made me look at Albus twice, wondering what he might have been like during his youth. He seemed completely unaware of his power over Griselda, which made him seem all the more gentlemanly and perfectly in character for the Dumbledore we know.

Displaying Dumbledore in this manner seemed, to me at least, a refreshing and humorous angle, and to weave an entire story out of a throwaway line from the books is very impressive.
Griselda was the key character here, and although we’ve had no experience of her before you made her into a likeable and well-developed character quickly and deftly. I’m beginning to wonder if any other pupils managed to ensnare her as Dumbledore did “ Tom Riddle, perhaps?

Author's Response: Oh, wow - thank youuuuu! What an amazing review! I don't even know what to say. Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed it, for one. I'm thrilled you picked up on some of the small details, like Wendelin the Weird. I'm glad you enjoyed the wand innuendos and weren't offended, lol. It was great fun to actually plan them out and try to link them and build them to the end. I don't know how this idea even came to me, other than someone mentioning that throwaway line and me thinking all sorts of wrong things about it, lol. Griselda was fun to craft, and I always enjoy the challenge of trying to get Dumbledore to cooperate, so I'm glad they worked for you. As for Tom Riddle--good question! But I don't think that fic would be in the humour section. My mind immediately goes to something a bit more dark, poor Griselda. Thanks again for this amazing review! It made my day and makes me smile every time I reread it. ~Gina :)

Crashing Down Around Me by Maple_and_PheonixFeather

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: There are many types of secrets. Some you keep for others, some you keep for yourself, and others you keep to avoid them.

When it came to feelings, I, Lily, was the greatest keeper of secrets.
Reviewer: goldensnidget92 Signed
Date: 10/05/12 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1

I really enjoyed the concept of this fic: it’s so hard having feelings for someone you know you shouldn’t, and you perfectly captured Lily’s terror at being found out. (Just to clarify, I never fancied a member of my family!) Lily’s feelings are easily translatable to circumstances I’m sure many readers have experienced, and whilst the fic may be short, it’s very moving. I think that’s mainly because of how internal the story is: I felt like I understood Lily well because of the amount of access to her mind you provided. It must have been difficult to write about a girl fancying her cousin and display it positively, but you did it with finesse.

I think you achieved this mainly through the way you emphasise the fact that Lily knows that what she feels is “wrong” and yet she can never ignore them. The repeated use of the word “tradition” at the beginning seemed to me to subtly enforce the idea of family values, and therefore contrasted with the content of the story. This worked so well in setting up the conflict within Lily as she comes to terms with her attraction to Louis. In addition, the way you described her attempts at hiding her feelings was so genuine and relatable. The “swooping sensation” she feels when she brushes against him, the way she “struggled to stay composed” all perfectly encapsulate the pain and awkwardness of unrequited feelings.

Whenever ‘Narrator Lily’ talks of the nature of secrets, the way she includes the reader by directly addressing them makes you feel like she’s confiding in you: very apt for this subject! It’s like you’re involved in the story, and was a good use of narrative style. I thought the language was very fitting, and I particularly loved description of the lake that “sparkled like liquid diamonds”. It created such a beautiful image and really did seem the “perfect beach” for the scenes you depicted: romantic, secluded and untouched by society.

The ending was particularly powerful because although you could have ended it happily, you went further, hinting that this is only part of the story and that worse problems are to come. This engages the reader more with the characters because the story is seemingly unfinished: we wonder what will happen to them, whether they will stay together and how their family will respond if they ever find out. I also liked how you used the ending to bring back the recurring theme of secrets. It structured the story nicely and reminded us that this secret that is kept to “prevent the world from crashing down” around Lily is more powerful and dangerous because it is now shared by two. What was simply a secret that was kept “because you are afraid of facing it” is now something that could potentially rip the families apart. To have this at the end makes it all the more effective.

The Tempest by minnabird

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: A storm bears down on Hogwarts as the Gryffindor-Hufflepuff match draws near.
Reviewer: goldensnidget92 Signed
Date: 08/13/12 Title: Chapter 1: Poem

I was immediately drawn to this poem by the title: I’ve always loved Shakespeare, and any allusion to it will instantly attract me.

It was interesting to focus on so small (although, I’m sure people like Ron might argue otherwise) a part of Hogwarts life, but you gave it a completely different feel. Aligning the power of nature and Quidditch together in this poem gave, to me at least, a very forceful message. It suggested that whilst humans can make as many plans as they want, “nature does as nature surely must”. This made the students seem small and helpless as they “hope in vain / for clearing skies and fast-abating storms,” and I think you emphasised this in your personification of the school building which “appears to fear the gale”. In this way, your evocation of nature’s absolute power over mankind was very powerfully done.

I thought the line, “an expeditious caging of the winds” sounded particularly Shakespearean and heralded the intertextuality that you alluded to in the title. The Tempest is obviously about a magical man who tries to conquer all of nature on his little island, and I feel like he might have attempted to “cage the winds”. Bringing this level of poetry into yours adds deeply to the subtext: for the first ten lines it could almost be about the island concerned in Shakespeare’s play, as the sole focus is the weather. There are many uncanny similarities between The Tempest and aspects of the Harry Potter series, and I therefore think that you emphasised this through this. Was that a deliberate effort? I’d like to know why you chose The Tempest.

Writing in the sonnet form must have been challenging “ I’m not a great writer of poetry, so to me something so structured seems incredibly daunting. I found it to be fitting with the context of the poem though, because whilst the wind is madly whistling through the forest and striking fear into Hogwarts, the structure of the poem directly contrasts with it. Perhaps it reflects mankind’s attempt to reign in nature, to keep defences up against it. Perhaps my English degree is making me over-analyse things. But I did find that the form complemented the poem, especially with the final two lines. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the final two lines of a sonnet are meant to be a “response” to the previous lines. Here, you justified the seeming helplessness of the humans by implying that nothing will ever defy nature. This gave the poem a resonant ending, and the grip it has over the reader was reflected in the grip nature has over the students.

For so short a poem, it seemed to me to be very well written and constructed, and you evidently thought deeply into what you wanted to convey. Bringing in Shakespeare was a wonderful touch, almost giving the poem a double meaning. We wonder what the tempest of the title is referring to: the storm in the poem, further, metaphorical storms to come, or the many correlations between the play and the series.

Author's Response: Oh, Lord. Ha. I've actually never read The Tempest; I needed a title and I just really like that word. The caging of the winds, if anything, was a reference to Greek mythology and Aeolus, but even then a half-hearted and absent-minded one. The intertextuality here is perceived rather than intended - you're giving me a lot more credit than I deserve. I do thank you for the review, which is rather more clever than the poem it's attached to, haha.

Remus Returns by willowswanderings

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: A look inside the mind of Remus Lupin upon his return to Hogwarts as a professor via the Hogwarts Express at the start of Harry's third year.

This is a contest submission to Audiofiction's Hogwarts Express Contest.
Reviewer: goldensnidget92 Signed
Date: 09/04/12 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1

I can’t believe I haven’t thought about how Remus would react when he first saw that he was situated in the same carriage as Harry when he awoke on the Hogwarts Express in Prisoner. As soon as I realised what I would be reading, I was intrigued to find out how you portrayed this.

I thought your depiction of Remus was very accurate: writing from first person allowed us an interesting view into his mind during the scene, and added new depth to his actions. When he said that “as long as I’m around, James and Lily’s son will never cease to be protected”, you emphasised his loyalty to his friends: as though he was keeping them alive through Harry. I thought it was clever to make him think that Harry was James the moment Remus saw him, as it instantly highlighted his unceasing attachment.

You said, “I yell about the Dementors, scream about Sirius. I bawl about the danger he had put everyone through”, and I felt like I wanted to see this -- to see Remus in action. What words did he use to verbalise his pain? Were your reasons for doing it this way because it was more of an internal monologue story rather than an action- or dialogue-driven one? I did like the fact that it was very focused on his thoughts, but I wondered whether seeing those thoughts played out might not make the reader warm more towards Remus. He’s quite passive in the story, and seeing him defend his best friend after years of silence could potentially be a powerful scene.

By framing the story with Remus’s memories of his past -- particularly in the dream at the beginning -- I think you underlined the fact that this is more a Marauder tale than a “Trio” tale. This suggested that Remus was still stuck in the past, which contrasted nicely with the style of writing. It appeared to me that by having Remus narrate in the present tense you showed two conflicting sides of his personality: the part stuck in the past, confined to “dreams of nostalgic glee”, and the part trying to survive in the present. This made quite a poignant effect, making him seem very isolated.

I don’t know if you’re planning on writing more from Remus’s point of view, but I’d be really interested to see how he perceived the rest of his year teaching. This snapshot was well written and, although it only depicted one scene, feels like it will stick in my mind for a while.

An Unexpected Turn by Nagini Riddle

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: This is a companion piece to my story, His Last Descendent, though you don't have to read it in order to appreciate this poem.

~Tom Riddle Sr. has an unexpected visitor and an even more unexpected surprise in his life.
Reviewer: goldensnidget92 Signed
Date: 09/09/12 Title: Chapter 1: An Unexpected Turn

I was so impressed by this powerful use of language and command of form - the poem really gripped me and enveloped in it. I think the fact that you expressed what was happening in a very subtle way made it all the more intriguing and open to various interpretations.

The language was incredibly emotive and evoked a sense of great power - fitting with the subject! You seemed to control every word, every semi colon and every line break, and I absolutely loved it!

I'm going to read your first one now... :)

Author's Response: Wow! I don't think I've ever heard (read) such high praise for my work! Thank you so much! It just made my day!!!!!! I'll be sure to continue trying to have all my work controlled and powerful, unless I find that it works in a different way. ;)

Winters by hestiajones

Rated: 3rd-5th Years • Past Featured Story
Summary: A series of vignettes taken from Sirius' mind when he is in Azkaban, and the threads that hold them together.

Expanded from a drabble written for an SBBC Challenge.
Reviewer: goldensnidget92 Signed
Date: 09/13/12 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1

I feel like this story could almost be poetry. The language was so powerful and exquisite and lyrical that I felt as though I was reading a free verse poem. The sentences seemed so carefully structured that they enforced a constant rhythm throughout, but it was especially present in the second section. The combination of assonance (“invisible, inaudible, palpable ticking of seconds”) and interspersed alliteration (“tangled within my matted hair; the rattling of the Dementor’s breath”) gave more force to the rhythm, and the first example in particular read like the ticking seconds they described. Throughout the story I was in awe of your use of language, which was so apt to the character they were being spoken by.

Sirius’s ‘madness’ was depicted very engagingly, and when you wrote “I can grasp the presence of this ‘I’”, my whole mind went haywire, thinking of all these Lacanian theories about our relationship with the ‘I’, (the idea that we both fear and love that lifelike reflection we see of ourselves in the mirror), and for me it brought a huge amount of depth to both the story and to Sirius. The way he dehumanises himself at the beginning is a fascinating example of this - how, not only is he “Inmate Number 27”, but he also seems to separate himself from his body. He describes his “hollow” cheeks and “cracked” lips, but not the damage that’s done beneath: almost as though he’s too scared to tackle those deeper scars.

His on-going dialogue with James was very poignant, but it also served to support the link you surreptitiously make with Harry. When Sirius dreams about the monkey behind bars, I immediately thought of Harry’s similar dream in CoS, and it highlighted to me part of the reason those two empathise so much with each other: they both know what it is to be a prisoner.

Keeping the sections distinct from one another rather than blending them into a single monologue was very effective. It suggested, but didn’t confirm, the idea of time passing, but as there was no definite point in time, the idea of Sirius’s madness came over more strongly. We could see how his mind skitters about sporadically, or dwells on certain things - like his friendship with James - over long periods of time. Sirius’s meeting with Fudge gave the first hint of a time frame, but this wasn’t disorientating: it served to enforce Sirius’s own inability to comprehend time and the fragmented thoughts that plague him throughout the story.

This story had so many things that could be read into it that I read it a couple of times to think it all over. But it was the language that captured me, and I’m marvelling at your flawless integration of it into the many meanings of the story.

Author's Response: What an absolutely encouraging review! I have to say this gave me a much needed kick in the groin and make me want to continue writing :)

Lacan's theories about "I" - ah! I didn't think that far into it while writing but, yes, our obsession with our sense of identity is a subject that is as fascinating as it is scary and confusing. How would somebody like Sirius, embittered and angry and almost on the brink of insanity, assess his self?That was the one of the two major things I wanted to focus on in this story, the other being his relationship with James.

"He describes his “hollow” cheeks and “cracked” lips, but not the damage that’s done beneath: almost as though he’s too scared to tackle those deeper scars."

That was my feeling as well. Brave as he is, I think Sirius would fear becoming something that is without any spirit or hope, something completely broken.

I am also happy you mentioned the parallels between him and Harry, and the disoriented representation of the temporal frame. Living in a place like Azkaban, under the supervision of Dementors - that would drive a lot of people nuts. Every day would be the same, with yourself and your mind for company. It's so terrifying.

Thank you for reading and leaving such a wonderful analysis behind! I mean it when I say it really made me want to write more. :)

Nineteen Days Later by HalfASlug

Rated: Professors •
Summary: It has been nineteen days since the war ended. For everyone involved, it's time to move on and rebuild but can they after everything that has happened?
Reviewer: goldensnidget92 Signed
Date: 01/19/13 Title: Chapter 6: Tomorrow

What a fabulous ending to a fabulous story! This might possibly be my favourite chapter of the lot, if only because the characterisation is so perfect. I wasn’t expecting to see from Molly’s point of view, but I think it made sense: the other chapters were focused on the actions of the younger generations, and this was a much more thoughtful, internal approach. I suppose it worked a bit like an epilogue in a way, because it began to look forward to the future more than the others did.

When Molly’s thinking about George and you wrote, “he thought she didn't know about the drinking, but of course she did, she wasn't stupid,” I thought that was a very clever way of linking this final chapter to the first. Reading all the individual narratives, you get caught up in all the storylines and have to remind yourself that this is set all in one day. By making that connection you create a cyclical effect that helps to close the story off. I also liked how you maintained the family theme throughout, moving effortlessly from Molly’s thoughts of Charlie to Ron to Ginny, to George. It was so natural, but so appropriate for both the themes of the wider story and for the character.

I’ve noticed this before in your other stories, but I really do think your characterisation is perfect! There was not one moment when I didn’t believe in something any character did or said, and this proves what a brilliant grasp of them you have. I think telling us Molly’s reasons behind naming her children was a great way to introduce her, as it showed both her strong sense of motherhood and her determination: she was going to have that baby girl, no matter what! The Molly/Arthur relationship was incredibly touching, as it was so obvious that they understand each other perfectly. When you said, “the man could spot a shift in her mood from two miles away and yet still couldn't buy her the right size clothes to save his life,” I absolutely bought that as fact. It seems to be the essence of their relationship. It was also nice to see her depend on him in this story rather than chastise him as we so often see. It softened her and made sense with the grief she was dealing with. Speaking of grief, I thought the line, “if there was one thing [Fred] had always wanted for everyone, it was happiness. She just didn't know how to give it to him right now” was so moving. You could see how much she wanted to be happy for him, and yet how gargantuan the task seems to her.

The language you used in this was often very witty, and I loved the conversations between the brothers (particularly “constantly eye-f***ing each other” and a description of Arthur being “unhealthily attached to his lawnmower”). There were a couple of points where I wasn’t sure who was meant to be talking as you didn’t indicate it, which drew me out of the narrative slightly, but that didn’t stop me laughing aloud at the banter between them. Another line I noticed was when Molly recognises that, “a life without Arthur would be like a life without the colour blue. It was there all the time, in every part of life and you could take it for granted, but she never did.” It was such a simple metaphor, but that’s why it’s powerful: readers can envision a life without blue, and therefore they can understand exactly how Molly feels.

I’ve loved reading this whole story, but I really think this chapter stood out because of its introspective gaze, and the power of the characterisation. It was such an original concept to write the whole story over the course of a day, and the ending completed it beautifully.


Author's Response: Thank you for reading and the fabulous review! Originally I was very reluctant to write from Molly's POV but I needed a chapter with more closure than Draco's so I gave in. One of the reasons I didn't want to write Molly was I was worried about getting her character right so I'm glad you think I got the characterisation right :). These were all individual plot bunnies I had that I changed to fit together in one day and I tried to link them all together somehow so thanks for noticing! Molly and Arthur are like the perfect couple and you can see in the books that they are still clearly in love. You get the feeling from the books that Arthur has more power and control when no one else is around because there was no way Molly would marry a doormat. It was just a case of mixing all of that with their loss really. With this whole fic I wanted to show that things were far from perfect but they were getting better. Fred's death wasn't as immediate but it is still there and they are trying to move passed it. I'm glad you liked the banter (this would have been a very depressing story if that part had flopped) so yay! Sorry about that - I was trying to show that Molly was watching George and not really paying attention to their conversation - obviously it didn't work, haha :). The whole story from different POVs was copied from The Simpsons to be honest! But anyway, thank you again for the lovely review and for reading and being lovely in general :)

Other Side of Glass by teh tarik

Rated: Professors • Past Featured Story

Fred Weasley
you owe me

The twins have been separated. Bereft of each other, George has to come to terms with the reality of life by himself, and for Fred, death is not the end. They just might meet again.
Reviewer: goldensnidget92 Signed
Date: 11/05/12 Title: Chapter 1: dust

Words don’t do enough to express the beauty of this story. If I could take your words, fill my brain with them and swim in them for the rest of my life, I would be happy. Seriously, this has got to be the best story I’ve read on this website. Your command of language is exquisite and your grasp of the connection between Fred and George is perfect and poignant.

For me, Fred’s death is by far the most upsetting out of the many deaths throughout the series, and tears were welling in my eyes before I’d even started reading this. However, I loved the way that you focused on the pain and loss of Fred’s death in the first chapter and balanced it out in the second by providing us with Fred’s memory. Although it was tinged with death, it gave us a positive image of the two together after just having seen a broken George, and this created a nostalgic tone which in a way softened the blow of his death.

Injecting humour in parentheses, for example “(During our time in Hogwarts we had a seven-year action plan called the ‘Aggravate Argus Filch Arrangement’)”, helped to lighten the tone, and of course kept Fred in character. I loved the tiny details you inserted into his recollections: the way they “meant to grow into tottering old men with long waist-length beards like Dumbledore’s, which we’d loop and knot round our robes like sashes” brought Fred alive in my mind and added to the quality of the story.

Your portrayal of Fred and George was uncannily perfect. I think the line, “Fred is dead and I am George. George is gone and I am Fred. Forge George. Dead Fred” excellently highlighted the interchangeable nature of the two of them, and the moment when Lee mistakes George for Fred and George pretends to be him was both heart-breaking and completely believable. When he begins to “blink with Fred’s eyes,” you really evoked the utter desolation George feels, and I found it incredibly touching. Likewise, Fred’s slightly more uplifting portrayal never wavers from character. I particularly loved his direct narration to the audience: how he says, “or whatever, y’know”, and addresses his relationship with us. It keeps the informality of his personality, and yet doesn’t jar with the beauty of the language.

Incidentally, the language used in this was astoundingly wonderful. I would quote the entire thing back to you, but I think you’d get the point quite quickly! You had such an original way of describing things, for example the “chuffing syllable of my name sat like a fat slug on my tongue”, Umbridge’s words being made of “suds of pink lipstick”, and how the twins used to hang onto “the underhanded edge of lightness”. Some of these passages were so profoundly beautiful that I had to stop and admire them. Yet they weren’t like those heavy metaphors that take you out of a narrative as you try to work out their relevance: they merely suspended you in the air for a moment before continuing to whisk you further off into the story.

A lot of the language was very evocative: the simple sentence, “Hogwarts was all torn up” seemed to me powerful because it reflected George’s feelings. The fact that you left it there and didn’t over-analyse it made it far more effective. The use of repetition also served to emphasise George’s breakdown. When he says “and the dust and the dust and the dust”, it feels as though he’s stuck on it, that he can’t break through this minor observation. As though he doesn’t want to see what’s beyond the dust because he knows what’s coming.

My effusions of love for this story could allow me to write an essay on it. Instead, I’ll just say that I think you’re an incredible writer. Your language is intensely wonderful and this story was moving, humorous, intelligent and thought-provoking. I can’t wait to see what else you write.

Author's Response: Oh my god :D I leave this site for several days and feel disheartened about the way my story is going and so I rewrite my first chapter and then I come back to post an updated version...and I see this wonderful review! Thank you! Thank you so much :D You've no idea how much your lovely words meant to me! I'm so glad you like the characterisation of Fred and George. It's one of my biggest concerns because they're so hard to pin down as characters! In the books they're always joking and their two-ness makes them appear to be pretty much invulnerable. I keep hoping that the way I write them sounds believable without being too melodramatic. George must have felt incredibly devastated with Fred's death but the books don't show any of his reactions. Fred's death was really sad for me, too. I kept re-reading that part over and over again, just looking for more, looking for some sort of well...I dunno...some sort of consolation or closure that Rowling might have left behind for her readers. But of course there was none. You mentioned liking certain phrases which I use e.g. "and the dust and the dust etc." Unfortunately I removed that from my fic (a reader told me the repetition was a bit melodramatic and feminine). Anyway, I pretty much rewrote most of the first chapter and hopefully it sounds even better and more George-like now :D Also, thank you so so much once again for your amazing review and feedback! I hope you continue to read this story; I am currently editing my third chapter :D You've completely made my night!!!

Nervous by opti

Rated: Professors •
Summary: He's nervous, and the waiting is only making it worse. What if he's right? What if she hated it?
Reviewer: goldensnidget92 Signed
Date: 10/26/12 Title: Chapter 1: flufftasm

I really liked your writing style in this - you had an original way of putting things which kept the story very fresh. Ron and Hermione's 'first time' is quite a well-covered topic, and I think in part the writing managed to give it a more realistic spin: the swearing and colloquialisms do so much more for this than any amount of beautiful, flowery language.

I also liked that you emphasised the awkwardness and the fact that it didn't go perfectly. Not only was this in character, but it also showed more originality. There are so many fics that say how wonderful Romione's first time is that it's just plain boring now. To see it in a different light showed both your skill as a writer and your grasp of the characters. Well done!

Author's Response: Thanks so much for the review! Y'ever see the 'strutting Leo' meme from Inception (or something like that)? Well I just literally did that through my whole house and my housemate looked at me like I was going insane.

Normally I'm one to rely on flowery language, but I felt that didn't really characterize these two - in this situation - that well. So, naturally, I went in thinking 'what would I be thinking?' and, honestly, that's where a lot of the ideas for how Ron handled this came from. Whether that's a good technique or not, I dunno. First times aren't perfect, well rarely at least, and if there's any relationship where first impressions aren't the best impressions it's R/Hr.

Lights Go Out by ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor

Rated: 3rd-5th Years • Past Featured Story
Summary: And such is the madness of the woman who so craves the approval of her Lord.

A Bellatrix Lestrange poem.

Reviewer: goldensnidget92 Signed
Date: 02/15/13 Title: Chapter 1: Silence Falls

I was so impressed by the strength of the structure in this poem - I can definitely see why it came first place in the Structure category! I loved how, even though it isn’t technically a sonnet, it conformed so closely to most of the rules. This made it jarring, but in a very good way: it seemed to echo Bellatrix’s mind, in that it’s not quite right, that there’s something about her that doesn’t make sense. I thought that was also shown in the first stanza, when you used the half-rhyme of “paw” and “all”, and it was an effective way of representing character through structure. The rhyming couplet at the end concluded the poem nicely and, combined with the words “then the lights go out”, enforced an air of finality to the poem and to the victims.

Speaking of the victims, I thought it was brilliant how there is essentially a death at the end of every stanza. Even if it is only implied, it emphasises the theme of death and hints at the sheer number of people Bellatrix has killed. At the end of the first stanza she says how she enjoys them “one and all”, referring to her pleasure in torture and murder. Then in the second she mentions crushing lives, and in the third that it’s all “for my Lord’s ear”, which I found powerful because it merely hinted at all the murders she’s committed, simply to be in favour with Voldemort. The most chilling end was, of course, the final line, which seemed to me incredibly ominous. This repeated emphasis on death impressed upon me the way death follows Bellatrix everywhere, how it permeates her life, and how it is inescapable.

This bleak idea was supported by the language you used for Bellatrix’s voice. It was formal, slightly archaic, and yet surprisingly lyrical, for example when you used words like “lament” and “anoint”. Words like these made me think about her ancient background, and how she holds such old-fashioned values about Muggles and Mudbloods. Yet, the lyrical nature of the words, partly aided by the structure and the Iambic Pentameter, evoked a sense of poignancy that I hadn’t expected when I came to read the poem. This went well with the theme of death, and implied that, despite her power over her victims, death will inevitably come for her too. She, instead, will become the mouse; death toying with her as she toyed with the lives of countless others, but finally catching her as we know it must.


Fairy Cakes by The owl

Rated: 3rd-5th Years • Past Featured Story
Summary: At the end of the Christmas holidays, James and Sirius find that Mrs Potter has baked rather a lot of fairy cakes. Fairy cakes which they realise could be put to very good use. But even the best laid plans always have the potential to go wrong.
Reviewer: goldensnidget92 Signed
Date: 01/05/13 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1

Sophiiieeee! Thank you so much for the fabulous story! The perfect mixture (get the baking pun...? Ok, that was a push) of humour and well-written characters, with a generous splash of originality! And with that I'm leaving the puns there. I really did enjoy it, thought it was well written, and am intrigued by the idea of drunken teachers at the breakfast table... Once again, THANK YOU!


Author's Response: Aw, I'm so glad you liked it :D And the baking pun is much appreciated, but I agree that it might be best left behind :p Marauders are my thing (as far as I have one) so I'm very glad that you think I pulled them off. Thanks for reviewing!