I am completely brilliant, top of my class, drop dead gorgeous, star of my athletic team of choice depending on the season, the popular one, I can get any guy I want, and if you're actually arrogant enough to believe that, you're in for a surprise. :)
Haha!!! I'm dying. That's all I can say, I am dying... this is freaking awesome! I like how you handle/describe the affects of the potion and it makes me laugh. But poor James... :) I can't wait to see how this becomes a J/L fic! It's going to be good...
HAHAHA!!! Oh my heck... I'm dying. Can I just say, wow? You kept me intensely intrigued the entire way through and then you pull the Snape thing? Brilliant! I can't wait to see how this plays out--I'm so freaking excited...
HAHAHA!!! Oh my heck... I'm dying. Can I just say, wow? You kept me intensely intrigued the entire way through and then you pull the Snape thing? Brilliant! I can't wait to see how this plays out--I'm so freaking excited...
My favorite part about where your story is going? "If you’re in the mood for a long, drawn-out James/Lily fic about the gorgeous Lily Evans and her two slightly less beautiful friends who hook up with Sirius and Remus while leaving Peter out of the picture, this is not the story for you." THANK YOU!!! I love the quick interaction between James and Sirius, and I love the picture you've painted of Lily... I like that all of this occurs before the Snape scene, so not all will end perfectly. And I LOVE that Peter will be a real character, didn't see much of him this chapter, but it felt fine. :) Keep it up!
Mine's real quick...
Basically, I'm impressed. I'm impressed with the way you handled Narcissa's emotional drama and drew sympathy from the readers. Several times in your story I went, "Aw..." and then I had to ask myself if it was real or just a strategic thing to say at that point--like Malfoy asked himself. I'm very impressed with the emotion and characterization. I think you captured an essence of people that not many people capture very well--we all feel trapped in one way or another. It's nice to read a non-typical romance story, and I really enjoyed your first chapter. Please, continue...
Author's Response: I'm sorry to say, I didn't mark that this is a one-shot...I wanted to leave the end up to the reader to decide for themselves what happened. I'm glad you liked it though, I also appriciate the detailed review, it is so nice. Thank you for reading, I'm glad you liked it.
I, too, agree with electronicquillster. I loved the idea. It was very cute and funny. However, the grammatical and spelling errors were distracting. But I just adore the thought of the Marauders pranking... and those were some pretty sweet pranks! :) Great angle!
The two people who have reviewed this chapter are amazing reviewers. I, however, am not one of them.
However, I would love to fangirl for a moment over your story. Why? Because, as you well know, I love the Weasleys, and I love your story. :)
Amazing characterizing. All in character; all very real. I love, love, love the little nuances you put in there to draw the reader into the story.
Needless to say, darling, I kind of liked it. A lot. :) Keep up the most excellent work!
~Your not-so-roommate Roommate
Once again, I'm reading your stories. Not only do I love the delicious display of delectible characterization, but I love the simple sublteties of the words you use. "Really" has much more meaning in the phrases you put it in. :) *Off to read chapters I haven't previously read...
Oh, Mar! This is simply splendid! I love this ending... much better than the one I read in draft form. I love that Percy's a person... I just love him in this story. It's hard to remember that he's a git and his family hates him... Like I've said before, in all of your stories, you have an excellent understanding of who you want the characters to be. And the characterization in your stories is so deliciously subtle... I love it. :) Love, Your non-roommate Roommate
First, wow. :) Excellent job with a difficult-to-pull-off-while-remaining-canon pairing. Second, I love how you portrayed James. I’m quite fond of him myself, and I love the more mature, caring side you gave him. Now, on to the story!
I like how you paint Petunia. She’s a real person and character, and for some reason is in love with James Potter instead of Vernon Dursley. One thing you might consider is keeping her thoughts flowing more emotionally. For example:
She felt no desire to be a neat freak, as her sister called her, when her heart was breaking.
You’ve set up her emotions, and then you throw in her sister. It’s slightly distracting to the reader. If I were in Petunia’s state, I would either slightly rant about my sister and her perfection and always getting everything she wanted, or I’d avoid thinking of her at all costs. So even though you want us to know that Petunia doesn’t consider herself the neat freak, this sentence distracts us from what’s coming up in your story.
Other than that minor distraction, you have a beautiful story. You created a believable scene with real characters and an emotional moment. It was tense, but it was real and appealing to the readers.
I’m impressed with this pairing and can understand how intriguing it would be to write. Overall, it was a stunningly good story!
Author's Response: Thanks so much! :D
I can’t tell you how hard it was to find a story that didn’t already have multiple spewly reviews on it. But this lovely story was absent of a spew review, and even if it isn’t your newest piece, I still enjoyed it.
I LOVE missing moment pieces. And this was a nice interpretation of how Sirius passed his time in Hogsmeade while Harry needed him close. Nice job sharing this snippet. :D I can also see how it would be perfectly suited for a Christmas story for Anna. You very appropriately created a dog lover in Hogsmeade, yet you also brought in a character we’re familiar with (Hagrid) and connected us to the new character “Mopsy” beautifully by her association with a character we know well. Nice job with that.
I noticed that you use a lot of commas in this story. And that’s okay, it works in the context. But I felt, as a reader, that the commas broke up the flow of the story so much, and not all of the commas you used were necessary. Some comma uses aren’t even consistent from one paragraph to the next. So… yes, the commas were a bit distracting.
However, I loved the ending. What an endearing character you’ve created with Mopsy. She’s crazy but helps a character we all love and care for. It’s lovely to think someone in Hogsmeade was taking care of Sirius during that trying period of his life.
Anyway, great story, light read, lovely moment in Sirius’ life. This was just a fun piece of your writing. :) Nice job!
Miss Anna, I do like this story. Very much I do. Mostly because you make me care about your characters. They’re very much alive, and that is just fascinating to read and to think about. It’s like when I read your story, it’s not over, it’s not a chapter I read. It’s like someone’s life is unfolding, and they’re a part of my life. It’s lovely to read. /gushing.
To the recent chapter. I shall only have a few nit-picky things, but I think they’re worth pointing out. To start with the lovely Katie. I love how you captured her, but I don’t think this sentence you have her say does her justice:
but that doesn’t stop me wishing I were home with my family, making moving gingerbread and decorating some silly tree.
As clever and fun as moving gingerbread is, I can’t help but wonder (if that’s normal for wizards/witches) if they would distinguish moving from non-moving. They refer to pictures as pictures even though they move because they expect them to move—it’s normal for them so they don’t have to mention it. Perhaps she would have made a more subtle remark to clue your readers into your brilliance… like someone in her family charms them really bad/good and they are envious or hopeless compared to other moving ginger. Or her mom had a special recipe to make them sing/something more than just scamper/dance. Just a detail thought…
Then there is the paragraph where Lucas is reflecting on all the decorations they were “forced” to put up and the “distress” of the house-elf when Charlie insisted on helping and though it was a “rather horrible-looking end result” they felt something “suspected to be holiday spirit.” There’s no more perfect way to describe that than I just love this. The details you flawlessly included were perfect. You didn’t show the entire scene, but we could feel the emotions from each character as vividly as if you had, or perhaps even more so because you allowed your readers to make connections in their own minds with similar situations. That paragraph was perfect. It’s an example of the kind of thing you put so easily into your writing all the time that makes it more tangible and more exciting to read.
An unnecessary action, as his hair never seemed to tangle.
Yes. –grins- I died laughing at this part. Not only because it was Lucas, but because I instantly associated it with Mr Lucius Malfoy as well. And it was awesome.
“Yes… they great, aren’t they, the Weasleys?”
It could be just me, but I don’t think Harry talks like this… >.> That’s all. Perhaps “they’re” or “they are great”? Sorry that was something so minute, but I couldn’t help but let you know.
As for this chapter, it was something once again, so different from the rest of the story, yet it fit perfectly. It was melancholy, Lucas is feeling very alone, yet rather than the chapter dragging, as authors so commonly do when characters are down, your chapter allowed us to feel vivid emotions and laugh and experience life even when Lucas didn’t understand his point to live.
In other words, I really, really enjoyed this chapter. I love your characters, and it was, once again, a fantastic read. –grin-
>.> I know you have a million reviews, and many of them are lovely SPEW reviews which have probably already told you the same thing, but it can’t hurt to hear my opinion as well, eh? I thought not. And I’m also well aware that this is not your most recent chapter, but this chapter just begged for me to respond to it, so here goes…
Bwahahaha!!! Anna! This is AMAZING!
I know you have a million reviews, and many of them are lovely SPEW reviews which have probably already told you the same thing, but it can’t hurt to hear my opinion as well, eh? I thought not. And I’m also well aware that this is not your most recent chapter, but this chapter just begged for me to respond to it, so here goes…
Bwahahaha!!! Anna! This is AMAZING! Yes, That was my completely honest first reaction to your story. So, now on to the why because that’s the part that will give you warm fuzzies (I hope) and lets you know why I’m beyond thrilled to have finally read this whole story.
First, I must confess one thing I always notice on stories is how people portray characters. Particularly minor characters — it’s like a magnet for my attention. And, oh my, how I love your interpretation of Aunt Muriel. The detail of the Healers Carriage bringing her home, and the quite impish attitude she has toward everyone there is perfect! It’s an excellent interpretation of the only explanation we get about auntie Muriel and her kisses. How lovely of you to show this to us in such a brilliant way.
Also, I love how absurdly tender and underlying the loving relationship is between Charlie and Muriel. How she always refers to him as Charles. And even though she drives him crazy, he cares for her, and though you don’t say it, it may be one of the few reasons she’s still alive.
I thought this chapter was beautifully written. And what an excellent comic relief it was for your emotionally driven story. But the amazing part is you pull us right back in to the heat of the moment so subtly and effortlessly like you always do when you write.
Anna, you, I have decided from reading this story, are the master of subtleness. The tiny details you think to throw in do not distract the reader from anything. Everything you choose to put in your story only enhances it and brings out some amazing concoction you’ve brewed in your head to share with the rest of us. For example:
“Who?” Lucas had asked, thinking for a moment that Charlie was referring to Tonks.
-giggles- This is perfect. She’s not even in the scene and it’s funny, but not distracting. :) How lovely.
“They decided this would be a good place for him, while they’re off doing… whatever they’re doing.”
Again, you brought us Crookshanks. How entirely delightful. But at the same time, it’s an excellent subtle reminder of the big picture — what’s actually happening in the world at this time.
But the hour was too early and the sheets were too soft for crucial discoveries
What a fantastic description. Not only does this make you understand what it’s like; I can actually feel inside myself what it means to be wrapped in soft sheets, unable to really grasp whatever it is my brain will eventually discover. I love it when something tangible makes me move in a way I can’t explain. Congratulations for making me connect it so perfectly in my body that I have to move and shift under those sheets.
“INSIDE, Charles!” Muriel commanded, and with an ill-concealed grin Charlie winked at the Healer and began to climb the stairs.
I’m not sure I can say anything more about this scene other than I loved it immensely. And the whole scene, not just this line, is on my personal top ten favorites list of perfect scenes. :D
Gah! I’m going to end up quoting your entire chapter if I keep picking out lines/refinding lines I loved and missed. That’s how masterful your use of subtleness is my dear Anna. I just cannot reiterate how enthralled I am by this story. And it’s all due to your expertness at commanding things. Excellent work my dear.
First, I want to commend you on the use of Ed and Porter. :) Brilliant work, mate. Second, I want to express my awe in how you portray a difficult emotional dilemna from a member of the opposite gender. Very nice.
But on to details...
Your story is good, but it could be great if you improved your word choice. ;) (sound familiar?) For example:
Time had been planned, he had met her, spent the evening with her, walked her back to her common room, done his duty.
This sentence is choppy, which is what you want, but rather than starting with 'time' perhaps you could say, 'Specifically setting aside two hours (or less/more), he had met with her, spent part of the evening together, and walked her back to the common room. He had done his duty.'
Putting that last phrase as its own sentence gives it slightly more power, conveying the obligation Cedric felt at this time toward Cho.
Ed and Porter had waited all of a day and a half after that afternoon with Katie before sitting him down and making him tell them what was bothering him.
The first part of that sentence is slightly awkward, but I love the feeling/understanding of the friendship they share when you introduce them to readers for the first time.
“Oh, no!” Ed protested. “There’s absolutely no way we’re going to tell you that.” Porter chuckled quietly.
The way you portray this line seems slightly ooc for Ed. He's the one who makes the jokes, knows when to punch his mate and how to laugh, yet tells the weird dreams all the time. I'm thinking rather than go with the slightly cliche line of 'there's no way we're going to tell you that' he would find something better. Like a play on words. Or being very serious. (srsly) And cracking some joke with a completely straight face at Cedric's... density or something.
After those few line comments, I think you did a great job of conveying the feeling in this chapter. People finally get a taste of the emotional turmoil Cedric was facing only days before the final task. Almost reminds me of PiratesAWE.
Great job with Cedric characterization and thinking, and excellent job with his friends. :) I love seeing the romance blossom with Katie from Cedric's POV during the last few days of his life. You write them together really well because they absolutely belong together! Nice chapter.
First, absolutely perfect intro! I loved that you brought us in during the heat of the argument. It was an excellent attention grabber, and you used it well.
My favorite part, possibly of the whole story, is Rodolphus being amused. I like that Bella/Rodolphus can have a ‘normal’ relationship and not be serious all the time. Your Rodolphus wasn’t angry/bitter/intense through the whole story—or any part of the story. He was laughing at Bella while she was angry with him. It was such a real life situation.
Bella watched as her sister left the room. She hated it when Narcissa was mad at her. Her baby sister really was the closest thing she had ever had to a friend.
I liked that you show the sibling relationships between Narcissa/Bellatrix as well as Rodolphus/Rabastian. That added a nice angle to the story. It helped us understand how you understand the characters better.
Speaking of the characters, I like how you understand Bella. There was nothing more to be gained that day. That is the most perfect one line description of Bella I’ve ever read in a story.
However, shen you brought Narcissa and Rabastian together at the end, I thought it was slightly predictable. You did a good job of changing it — they didn't exactly talk to each other's siblings or tell their siblings something, they just decided to do something.
But maybe the conflict could have been resolved differently? I think the conflict resolution would have been much more effective without this scene. At the end of the scene, you're essentially telling your readers exactly what's coming next. You set up the moment so when we see Bella again we think, “Cue apology moment,” rather than slightly surprising us with Rodolphus' romantic side.
Other than that, I really liked the interpretation. And I particularly enjoyed the humorous Rodolphus!
Author's Response: *smiles* It was fun writing the lighter side of Rodolphus. Thanks for the review, and I\'m glad you enjoyed the story.
Sorry about that last review. -blushes- And on to the real thing!
What a marvelous story! I'm actually not sure that I read the final version, but I absolutely love it. You grasped Regulus' pwn-ing qualities so incredibly perfectly!
I love all the references to him as 'dark.' You varied them so we didn't get bored, yet still captured the essence of his character. Nice job.
Two things I noticed that you might like to consider.
One, there is a minor discrepancy in how you portray Emmeline. The story is told from her perspective, and you capture many parts of her personality. (Duh, she's a girl, she's going to be crazy.) Yet you change. Sometimes we see her as very proper and dignified like from the nineteenth century.
Sitting up straighter, she surreptitiously glanced over. It was that boy again, Regulus Black. It looked as though he had followed her over here. He was certainly going out of his way to unsettle her this evening. Irritated, Emmeline stared pointedly at him, but his expression didn’t waver.
Other times she seems a very modern disgruntled teenager:
‘Don’t play stupid,’ Emmeline snapped. ‘You’ve been staring at me for weeks. What do you want from me? If you’re trying to upset me by watching me, then I guess you’ve succeeded. Well done. Now would you please leave me alone so I can study in peace? I can’t afford to fail this exam tomorrow.’
It’s not a huge difference, but it affects the tone of her story and her interactions with Regulus. I happen to prefer the more dignified version of Emmeline. ;)
Another thing you might consider is varying your sentence structure. You tend to use the same two sentence structures over and over. 1-a simple sentence 2-a compound sentence (, and/but) The structure of your paragraphs becomes repetitive as we read words put together the exact same way across your writing.
If you read the first paragraph, you have two simple sentences followed by two compound sentences that use ,and and ,but. Not an issue, but the way the words came together became slightly repetitive.
And I know Mar would just say I'm being ridiculous. But... just a thought you might consider to spice up your next piece. ;)
Overall, nice job my dear. You totally have me squeeing on this.
"Wizangamot retiree Algernon MacMillan made the weaselling worth everyone's while though." -The Daily Prophet"I can't believe you, Great Uncle Algie!" -Neville Longbottom
"Let me give you my take on Lucius Malfoy's trial. I daresay you'll love Algernon MacMillan." -LucillaJoanna of Hufflepuff~2nd Place in the August One-Shot Challenge: The Trial of Lucius Malfoy
Miss Joanna, this was quite amusing. I did enjoy the story, and the smug Mr Malfoy. You added many clever things into your story which made it quite an enjoyable read. However, there were moments where the story’s flow was interrupted by silly details. For example:
Enid dropped her knitting needles onto her lap. “What’s this, Angie?
I’m not sure who Angie is… ;) Unless it’s some strange nickname for Augusta? Might want to fix that one… it threw me off as I was reading.
Augusta’s eyes flashed, making her already formidable bearing quite menacing.
What’s an already formidable bearing? And how can it be menacing? I think you’re trying to say that she’s formidable normally, but when her eyes flashed she was even more menacing, but it was just worded awkwardly the first time.
She marched to the door in high dudgeon. She still marched in the hall. And then the house door slammed, a house-elf squeaked, and one of the portraits exclaimed, ‘Augusta Mary!’
I’m not sure what “She still marched in the hall” means, whether it’s a type of marching or if she continued to march down the hall, but I do love that one of the portraits responded to her unheard temper. :D It made me happy to hear a reaction to that tantrum. That was a lovely detail.
All the rest of the surviving Death Eaters are under lock and Vanished key.
-giggles- This wasn’t a distraction, but look how clever you are… Vanished key… lol!
As for the actual story, I liked the banter between the three elderly people. Algie and Augusta and Algie and Enid’s relationships were quite enjoyable. I did smile at that quite realistic setting.
However, there were times in the middle of the storytelling where the pace of the story slowed to the point where I almost stopped caring about what came next because your words didn’t beg me to keep reading, or even convince me to read every word. I enjoyed it, but I was ready for the pace to resume. At the beginning up to where Algie agrees to head the trial and after the punishment is agreed on, the pacing is excellent. But in between it sometimes gets lost in Algie’s head. Perhaps you did that intentionally to convey his character better, but it didn’t work 100% for me.
That being said, I rather liked the Trio’s participation in this story even though they were never physically in it. I also very much enjoyed the small details you threw in from the magical world that we don’t typically discuss, such as the Vanished key and the “hex me however you may.” Those touches were delightful.
So, nice job with this, it was fun read!
Author's Response: Shanae, thank you so much. I'm glad you enjoyed this. Angie: quite a popular Lancashire pet name. And they say the Longbottoms are of Lancashire. Also, 'Algie' and 'Angie' seemed a pair. I like playing with names. So there I went. Hee. Thanks be to SPEW, you lovely ladies shall be my eyes to awkward wording. ^_^ The drawing room had a door. So Augusta marched to it, and then marched in the hall outside it. /facepalm/ I do have to clear that up. "...lock and Vanished key..." Ooh, I'm happy you liked that one. As I write, idioms and expressions come to mind. Before using them, I try to Potterize them. Makes it more enjoyable that way, both writing and reading it. Sorry I didn't give the trial more oomph. But thanks for plodding through and then giving me this lovely review, Miss Shanae!
This story is positively heartbreaking. Poor Remus…
You have a pretty good grasp of his attitude here, and I do like seeing the darker side of him. It’s nice to see the conflict of loving your best friends girl and what happens in that context.
The biggest thing I could say is that everything happens too fast at the end. The beginning is nice, you set things up well, and then suddenly Remus is kissing her. I honestly think that he thinks more of James than that impulsiveness running through him.
Perhaps he has a few more thoughts going through his head. Perhaps he feels a few more things or even thinks he shouldn’t be doing this as he goes down to kiss her. Maybe it’s even the fact that he doesn’t know what to do when she’s actually there — for whatever reason she is there.
You left the story loose for interpretation, which is nice. The vagueness works for you. However, I have noticed that you are a bit em dash happy. And that is okay — but make sure you mean it — before you draw attention to them. :) Like here:
…eager to keep her warm — and then she is gone, wrapped in the arms of her lover.
A comma would probably be just as effective there. Em dashes draw attention to the sudden change of thought in the sentence.
Other than those two minor things, I really liked your interpretation of Remus in this situation. You wrote him well, and I enjoyed the directness of your writing. Nice job!
Author's Response: Wow - thank you so much for your helpful review! I agree that I am dash happy :) and that I rush things a bit too much, but I am glad you liked the story! I might go back and review it some more....
Oh my stars. This story is gorgeous, and much more than I expected! You have such a wonderful way with words and an articulate understanding of the relationship of two sisters.
I loved the way you took the Lily/Petunia roles and reversed them. I think for the two of them, you kept them in character of their personalities. It was beautiful to see the personalities we’ve come to know as adults, but with their magical properties opposite of our expectations. Lovely job with this.
I do want to tell you that your opening paragraph is beautiful! It pulled me into the story. But, I do have two small things. First: was a very young child would be prettier if you got rid of the ‘very.’ There’s not much difference between a ‘young child’ and a ‘very young child.’ You’re either young, or your not.
And then, there’s this sentence: There are so many things that cannot be comprehended by a small kid and the universe is just one of them. First, you need a comma before the and. Minor grammar detail. Second, ‘cannot be comprehended by a small kid.’ Yes, we don’t want to use the word ‘child’ too much, but ‘kid’ is a bit to slang for the rest of the words you’ve chosen to use in your story — it breaks the tone — and right at the beginning of your story, you need your tone to be consistent. And overall that phrase, the words are a little awkward together. I like the feeling it evokes, but perhaps if you change a couple of the words, it would sit nicer. Third, ‘just’ by the word universe can also be omitted. It would be getting rid of a superfluous word, and make your opening paragraph that much more powerful.
And other than that, I have nothing else to say but praise for the lovely flow and style of your writing. As I said earlier, I love the relationship, and I love the development of Lily as she grows up. It fits nicely with everything in the story and the HP universe we know it.
I particularly loved the gift Petunia gave to her sister — it was something that touched both of them. But I like that you allowed Lily to be more accepting than her sister was of her. That is something I believe wholeheartedly would have happened had Petunia, and not Lily, been the witch.
Your last two paragraphs are particularly poignant and touching. They brought a smile to my face and warmth to my heart. Thank you for sharing this lovely perspective of sisterly love. It raises the question for everyone who reads it, “What if…” It was beautifully written. Thank you.