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It was a Hogsmeade Weekend by Jaislin

Rated: 1st-2nd Years • 155 Reviews
Summary: COMPLETED :) It was a Hogsmeade weekend and Harry, Ron, and Hermione were all planning on doing their Christmas shopping. But then Ron couldn’t go. Harry/Hermione romance
Reviewer: Vader Signed
Date: 12/17/04 Title: Chapter 11: Deck the Halls

Great story...and an excellent job! Hope you write more stories in the future, I really enjoyed this one!

Author's Response: Thank you :) I think I may give another story a try, this writing stuff is fun!!

Reviewer: Vader Signed
Date: 12/02/04 Title: Chapter 8: What

More good stuff!

Author's Response: lol, glad you're enjoying it! :)

Reviewer: Vader Signed
Date: 11/29/04 Title: Chapter 6: Some Kisses and Some Words

Good fic so far...hope to see more soon!

Author's Response: more coming soon, be sure to come back and look. as of now, just 3 more reviews i think, then the next chapter will be here!

Reviewer: Vader Signed
Date: 12/05/04 Title: Chapter 9: Places of Interest

I think you story is great just the way it is! A good story doesn't have to be long. Keep up the outstanding work!

Author's Response: Hey, thanks. I've gotten quite a few "make chapters longer". It's good to know you enjoy it just the way it is!!


Rated: Reviews
Reviewer: Vader Signed
Date: 05/07/05 Title: None

Very short, very enjoyable, and very well done! Despite the fact that I tend to be a more frequent passenger on the Harry/Hermione Ship, I do enjoy the occasional, well written Ron and Hermione story. This one certainly qualifies.

I’m not sure if this is intended to be a poem, but it feels like one as you read it. My favorite “stanza” is:

How could he?
He doesn't know, I think.
He can't know - know how I feel.
He would never do that to me.
I stop making excuses for him.
Of course he bloody well knows, how could he not.

Especially in the last line, this is the part of the story that ties me in best with Ron’s character. Oh! And, I just noticed that there should be a question mark at the end of the last sentence above, shouldn’t there?

I guess if I could make a constructive criticism it would be more make this even more Ron some how. To me, as this stands right now, you could subtract the part about the Spiders and flip flop Ron and Harry’s place in the story. That is, make this an H/Hr story. If the part about the Spiders is not there, it still works. I think by including more lines like that last one my favorite part, you give it even more of a Ron flavor, increasing its believability. Oh well, I know this is meant to be a very short fic and I know I am being really, really picky. Don’t hurt me, alright?

Overall, this is a great little fic/poem/whatever. Nice work!


Rated: Reviews
Reviewer: Vader Signed
Date: 03/05/05 Title: None

I decided to check out this story when I saw a recommendation by one of my fellow S.P.E.W. members in the forums. I’m normally a Harry and Hermione “shipper” (though I am not as stubborn about it as some). I’ve read several stories that include a wedding proposal of some kind, and I really thought the way you had Ron propose was clever. I also liked how you portrayed Ron’s nervousness when he was at Hermione’s front door waiting for her to answer. I really identified with the part where he was standing there at Hermione’s front door asking if he should knock again because I can remember being at a girl’s front door with similar thoughts running through my own head. Well done on that part. I guess, if I had any suggestions or criticisms, they would center on the fact that Ron seemed a little too smooth to me; like he was able to pull this all off without a single ripple on the water. I suppose he could have grown up some, but to me, I could have done with a little more fumbling on Ron’s part. Also, Hermione’s reaction to the ring seemed a little tame to me. I thinking back to OoTP, when she sees Harry when he first arrives at #12 Grimmauld Place, and then she pretty much strangles him to death with a hug. That was just for missing one of her best friends. Here, we’re talking about the love of Hermione’s life proposing to her. I just think it to be a little more in Hermione’s character to be a little more animated when she gets excited. Overall, however, I did really like this story. It’s a nice, short, sweet, and pretty well written one shot that leaves you with a little smile. Good job! 8/10.

Author's Response: thanks, so much. Yeah... I wasn't too eager to develop it much, it was really just a way of satisfying my own fluff craving. A plot bunny that wouldn't leave me alone ;)

Harry Potter and the Study of Legilimency by Rita Writer

Rated: 1st-2nd Years • 173 Reviews
Summary: Many new things will be learned this year, but the one thing Harry Potter knows not, is the one thing he wishes to know; What happens when one touches the forbidden grounds behind the veil? Set in Harry's sixth year. Please Read and Review!
Reviewer: Vader Signed
Date: 02/21/05 Title: Chapter 1: Return Owl

Good start to your story. One of the main strengths is the believability of your characters. I thought you did a very good job portraying Harry. The way you have it were he's excited to get back to his friends in the wizarding world on one hand and yet hesistant because of everything that has happened on the other is a very believable state for Harry post OoTP. I also hope your story includes more with Dementors. They are my favorite magical creatures (even if they're very scary). I did find a couple misspelled words. Once, I think you had "presences" instead of "presence", for example. I also would have been even happier with your story had you put in some more imagery to help your readers see evening the way you see it. Harry's O.W.L. grades were more believable than I have seen them in other stories, however, I still wonder if he'll really fair that well in Charms and Potions. I know the books say he does better in potions without Snape around, but I still get the sense Harry really, truly isn't that good at potions. Moving on to read chapter two. Again, good start!

Journey to Perfection by Lycanthropist

Rated: 6th-7th Years • 185 Reviews
Summary: Remus Lupin has not always had an easy or a happy life, but now after resigning from a job he loved and enjoyed, he's forced to once again sulk on his lonely and bitter existence. Wallowing in his self-pity, Remus ventures into the Hog's Head, only to meet a erudite woman that may just help to disrupt the monotony his life has become. Remus/OC, Post-POA.

Featured Story - March 2005

Reviewer: Vader Signed
Date: 02/04/05 Title: Chapter 4: Poems and Apologies

I loved your, or should I say Starrpynski’s, sonnet! Isabelle is a very interesting character. I can never tell what she’ll do next, which makes your story that much more entertaining to read. And pour old Lupin, once the DADA teacher, now can’t even get a job working in a stationary shop. Discrimination is such an awful thing, and you’ve really captured that here. It can make whoever the subject of it is feel so low, like they’re less than dirt. As always, the emotions in your writing are SO crisp I have little trouble picking them up. Nicely done, on that! I think I have said it at the end of every single one of your chapters, but, I’ll say it one more time. I would love to see some more imagery. The part about the shop smelling like potpourri was good. I know that smell and immediately identified when I read it. I think there could be more. What did Lupin see when he walked in the front door? You don’t have to add to ton. Just a short paragraph would help me see what Lupin sees. Overall, I have really enjoyed reading your story. I hope my comments were of some value. This is a very good story, and I will be looking forward to more!

Author's Response: Your comment on the how my feelings are so crisp and much of everything in this review—I was elated that my writing portrayed that. I'm always paranoid about characterizations and how things come off to my readers that I end up belittling myself to pieces. Anyway, my writing gets stronger, usually, with each chapter. And I was proud of this chapter in particular, especially the sonnet. (Took me at least five or six drafts to get the darn thing right!)

Anyway, so happy you enjoyed! The next chapter should be up soon.

Reviewer: Vader Signed
Date: 02/03/05 Title: Chapter 1: Meetings in Pubs

Overall, this is a pretty interesting story line. I find it hard to write stories about things that were going on (behind the scenes) in the first five books, but you have a good start here. 10 points awarded for use of the word Hyperbole in a fan fic! You have a very broad vocabulary. It keeps your story vibrant, and sets it apart from others. Though I may have seen Remus Lupin a little bit differently than you did, based on the way you characterize him, I think you did a fine job bringing the reader parallel to his dejected state. I also would have loved to see some more imagery and detailed descriptions. With such a wide range of words to choose from, I think you could do a fantastic job with imagery (not that you don't have some in there already...I'm just thinking even more). Some would argue that doing so might slow down a story, but I think it just adds too it. Well done on the first chapter in your story!

Author's Response: Thank you for the awesome compliments and I will keep in mind to place more background imagery. And I agree about imagery adding to a story. As long as it's not overly descriptive, it can be a wonderful backdrop for the reader to visualize.

Reviewer: Vader Signed
Date: 02/03/05 Title: Chapter 2: Homes of Pessimists

The description here you have “exponentially three times stronger…” hung me up for a minute. I understand you’re trying to say its way stronger than fire whiskey, but I think it will just sound better and cleaner if you pick one word or the other. It's either exponentially stronger or three times stronger. Then you won't have any fools like me trying to do math in the middle of your story trying to figure out just how much stronger you mean. You did a good job with the POV shift from Remus to Isabelle. It lets us see inside the thoughts and feelings of both of these interesting main characters. I particularly like that part where Isabelle was arguing with herself. You did a great job of capturing that feeling of, “I have something stuck in my head right now that I can’t figure out!” My biggest suggestion here, just like the first chapter, is more visuals. Emotionally, your story is so rich. I feel like I can feel everything your characters are. However, I don’t think I can see all of their surroundings all the time. I think if you set the stage for the reader just a little more, it would really add some impact to your story.

Author's Response: Thanks for the suggestion. I changed it. I guess my mathematical mind came through for a second... (I can thank the Calculus course I took last year for that. Grr.)

I'm happy you enjoyed the POV shift. I try to change it up a bit each chapter but keep it the same, too. Sorry if that sounded confusing... And feelings and thoughts are a big thing in this story. It's just something I have to capture.

Imagery will be more relevant in upcoming chapters. Sorry about the lack of it. I'm focusing most on characterizations these first couple chapters.

Reviewer: Vader Signed
Date: 02/03/05 Title: Chapter 3: The Pursuit of Condolence

I was going great guns on this chapter until we got to the very end. My first impression was, “Does the whole song need to be in there, or most of it?” In my personal opinion, which is just that and nothing more, when you use this much of a song, the song almost becomes the center of attention, detracting from your story. What about maybe picking your favorite couple of lines, or maybe even the best verse and only use that? That way, the reader gets more of your depictions, and not depictions from others. I also got lost when you started out saying Isabelle was having a cigarette listening to the song on her Stereo, then you had the song, then you had, “Remus finished listening to the song in which Isabelle was singing beneath her breath earlier.” I had to read that a couple times before I caught up with what happened. I don’t know, maybe you could somehow make that transition a little smoother some how? I like how you’re writing Remus. He’s a touch off how I envision him myself. But, that’s not a bad thing. I still can make a firm connection with his personally in your story to the way JK wrote him. Good work!

Author's Response: No, I guess the whole song didn't need to be in the chapter, but I'm not changing it. Thank you for the constructive criticism on the transition. I was a bit worried about that. My transitions could use a little work.

I'm glad you enjoy my writing of Remus, even if he is a tad bit off to you. We all have our different visions of the characters. :D It makes me happy that you can still make that "firm connection."

Reviewer: Vader Signed
Date: 05/01/05 Title: Chapter 5: Comfortable Silence

I have to say, Lycanthropist, it has been a while since I read a chapter from this story, and somehow I forgot what I was missing. I really enjoy your OC, Isabelle. She is one of the few OCs I truly enjoy, right up there with Lex’s McKee, who is a wonderful OC. I love your portrayal of the way Isabelle teaches class was nicely constructed. I get such a negative overall impression of possession with Snape. Not that I think Isabelle would be my favorite teacher ever, but her class seems much more enjoyable than Snape’s. Good creativity on the “Raining Draught”!

If I had to pick on anything, I think I could say that I came across a couple minor punctuation errors, though nothing to set off a siren. I also found an instance where it seemed like two people talking in the same paragraph:

“Look before you walk around a corner, will you?” at the same time a male voice stuttered, “So sorry! I should have looked...”

I do not think this is glaring. I just like to follow the “New person speaking, new paragraph rule.”

You have a very nicely written chapter. Over the next couple of weeks, I hope to catch up on your story. I would say sooner, but my list of stories to read for SPEW members is long! Great job!


Rated: Reviews
Reviewer: Vader Signed
Date: 06/14/05 Title: None

About the highest praise Vader can pay to anyone who writes a Harry Potter fan fic, particularly one that is a year six fic, is that is sounds like it could have come directly from the books themselves. This was precisely what he was thinking as Vader read chapter seven in this story. The best part was the Quidditch in the attic. Vader thought that was a really brilliant idea. The whole idea that Ron has gotten drastically better and sort of closed the talent gap between himself and Harry, during his year long layoff, was well portrayed. The part where Harry goes crashing into the boxes just to catch the snitch was fantastic, especially for those who have brothers or close friends that they are very competitive with. What a well done scene!

There was also some great imagery in this chapter. For one, thanks to your description, Vader felt like he was right in that attic. In fact, if you would’ve thrown in some type of damp and musty smell, Vader probably would have sworn he was there. Also, the part about Ron and Harry racing down the stairs sounding like a violent thunderstorm was good. Things like this just go such a long way to help the reader connect with the chapter.

There were a couple of things Vader did catch on in this chapter. The first thing was the following sentence, ”You-Know-Who is free, alive and well, which is more than I can say for you two if I let you outside.”. This is probably a matter of opinion, seeing as though I don’t think your sentence is wrong, technically speaking. But, there are implied consequences here as a result of an action, Mrs. Weasley letting Ron and Harry outside. Therefore, Vader feels like the second half of this sentence would sound better if it was referring to the future. For example, “which is more than I will be able to say for you two if I let you outside.” Again, a suggestion from a half-wit, so treat it as such.

Vader also found a couple of instances of dialogue where the close quotes marks seemed to be missing…the second quotation marks. Now, Vader is scouring his limited knowledge of exact punctuation rules. And, he feels someone what funny questioning the work of someone who has a stronger background than he does in this area. So, if Vader is wrong, please don’t stone him. In this quote from Harry, ”Whatever, Ron! You think I ask for this?, the quotation mark closing the dialogue seems to be missing. There was another instance of this at the end of the paragraph beginning with CRASH! in all upper case. If Vader is wrong about the rule, please refrain from throwing stones, Lex. OR, use small ones!

Finally, you had a Harry taunting Ron after he caught the snitch when they were practicing. Vader thinks that this is very much like boys Ron and Harry’s age. However, there are always exceptions. Vader feels that Harry is it. Perhaps he can see Harry taunting Malfoy because Draco pretty much begs to be taunted by doing so much of it himself. It just seemed a little off to Vader, that’s all. Why do you still have stones in your hands, Lex?

Continued great work. You have a very enjoyable writing style. You don’t seem to get too carried away with any one facet of story development. Rather, you seem to have a good sense of balance. Looking forward to more! Fantastic work, Lex!

Reviewer: Vader Signed
Date: 06/06/05 Title: None

This one was probably Vader’s favorite chapter to this point, Lex. He felt like he was seated right at the table with everyone in the kitchen at Number Twelve Grimmauld Place. He thought you had some very nice imagery in this chapter (not that you didn’t in the previous chapters, but it got Vader’s attention this time). Vader really liked this line -- He looked at his family – his real family – as they gracelessly shovelled food into their mouths. It’s just a simple line, but it has the affect of making the reader feel like he or she is right there. Perhaps it reminds Vader of eating with his family and he was able to make a very solid connection there….

Once again, your do a simply wonderful job with your characterization. In particular in this chapter, you did very well with Fred and George. Vader is pretty picky about his portrayals of the Weasley Twins because they are two of his favorite characters aside from the Trio. The bit about the failed experiment with dragon claw and the unusual spice in the potatoes. That was very Fred and George like! Vader really liked that part.

The one thing Vader wonders about is Voldermort and how he got knowledge of the prophecy. Now, perhaps this is just a case of you leading the reader. Maybe you just want your readers to think he got the prophecy out of Harry’s head. If so, disregard these comments. Vader just wonders if Harry would be completely oblivious to the presence of the Dark Lord in his mind, even if he thinks he is only dreaming. Vader is no expert on how the connection works. Based on the information given in the books, only JKR herself could tell us. However, it just seems to me like Harry has always had an inkling of the Dark Lord’s intrusions into his mind, even if he didn’t initially realize what was going on. Does that make any sense to you?

Still another great chapter, Lex. Vader is really getting into this story now. With each chapter you seem to be doing a wonderful job giving your reader incentive to click that link to head on to the next. Keep it up!

Author's Response: LOL. He got the prophecy from Harry's mind. Remember that his mind has been very weak since Sirius died - understandably. I think during dreaming, it's more difficult to tell that there's a scary wizard in your brain. lol.

Reviewer: Vader Signed
Date: 05/29/05 Title: None

Bravo, Lex! Your sixth year fic is one of the stories by a SPEW member that I have been meaning to get to for sometime now. Having read a number of your one shots and a couple of the later chapters in this one, I am going in with high expectations. After reading the first chapter, I can honestly say I was not disappointed in any way. I truly enjoy your writing style. It is hard to describe…like you don’t waste any words. Does that make any sense? You have captured emotion here in right around 1500 words that would take me twice that amount to duplicate. You have such a great command of your writing; it really flows very nicely.

I’ve read many fics that start out the way yours does. If I had a strike on the first chapter, it would be that it isn’t the first time I have read story line much like the one you had in your first chapter before. What really makes it work for you is how you describe it. My favorites are the parts about the Quidditch books lying all over the floor neglected and Harry reading the Daily Prophet just to make sure no one he knows is in the obituaries. You really did a good job driving home Harry’s mood in this chapter.

Well…it’s on to chapter 2. I’ve got quite a few more to read to catch up on this one. Very nice opening chapter, Lex!

Author's Response: Ah yes. In the beginning, I was shooting to emulate JKR. I tend to deviate slightly in later chapters, as I melded into my own writing style. Thank you, Vader.

Reviewer: Vader Signed
Date: 06/03/05 Title: None

Well, this was a short chapter, but enjoyable just the same. Dudley being afraid of Hedwig ever since he’d seen the movie The Birds was hilarious. You actually had Vader chuckling outloud at hat one (probably because he was scared of bird ever since watching that movie. Additionally, you did a very good job with your portrayal of all the canon characters you brought in. Tonks and Moody were both spot on. Great job!

Vader wished this chapter would have been a little longer, but then he still has more than thirty chapters ahead of him to read. Pretty close to a perfect read, here, Lex. It’s short, to the point, and there are no mistakes to trip up the reader a long the way. That’s it. Great job. On to the next…

Reviewer: Vader Signed
Date: 05/29/05 Title: None

Another solid chapter, Lex. I really can see HBP starting out very much like you have done so far in your first two chapters. Your portrayal of the main characters is very well done. You have Harry spot on so far, which from all of your modding I’m sure you know is no given. I love the line about “freak equipment.” It struck me as something so Dursley like to say. About the only issue I have with this story so far is the…gradual development of the main plot line. You seem to be taking your time setting the stage. I give you a ton of credit for showing the type of discipline it takes to write this way. I think it makes for more effective story writing. It’s just a little hard on me sometimes because I don’t have the world’s greatest attention span. However, that’s my flaw, not yours. Another very good chapter Lex. On to chapter 3!

Author's Response: Lol. Am very sorry to be pokey here. The story does move slowly. So much action happens, however, that I wanted to make sure to set up the story entirely as I would like. Comparatively, when we get into the school year, everything moves at a much quicker pace.

Reviewer: Vader Signed
Date: 06/03/05 Title: None

Four chapters in now and the thing that really stands out reading this story is the job you do with all of the cannon characters. Vader has to say he thinks you have all of the nailed. JKR herself would probably sign off on your portrayal of her characters. Fantastic job on that!

Vader also likes the subtleties to your plot development. Mix it in with all the little side stories you are beginning to work and it creates a lot of incentive to keep moving on to the nexgt chapter (and the next, and the next). Especially in the case of the case of the two romantic subplots it looks like you are working. This appears much more like Vader thinks it would be in the real books than in most of the romance stories he reads.

So far, in your story, the biggest thing Vader wishes he would see is a little more description/imagery. You write very, very well. You have a great vocabulary. You do a wonderful job in constructing and varying your sentence structures. With such short chapters, Vader finds himself at the end of each so quickly almost asking, “That’s all? No, we need more!” There is some truth to the whole idea of of over cooking imagery. In an established universe, where JKR has already set the scene pretty well for us, you can certainly get away with leaving a lot to the imagination of your readers. In the case of your writing Lex, Vader thinks you are cheating them…. Great work so far!

Author's Response: *Giggles.* Thank you for continuing to read. You invest so much into these reviews, and for that, I am thankful. You are right. There are some areas where I could stand to be a bit more descriptive. I loathe rehashing though, and so, this is the end result. There's more description as you discover the new elements I've plopped into Harry Potter's world.

Reviewer: Vader Signed
Date: 06/07/05 Title: None

Hooray for another a story that has a good portrayal of Dobby. Vader doesn’t think writing the house elf is as easy as many people think. You did a particularly good job with him, in my opinion. His gift to Harry was absolutely hilarious.

Vader also liked how Harry really seemed to become an extension of the Weasley family. How they came in singing him the wizarding birthday song (good job on that by the way), How he goes to Hogsmeade with them (and poor Ginny has to stay behind – how will she ever get with Harry if she keeps getting left behind?), and how Harry told them everything he’d been going through so far this summer (hence the name of your chapter). It was also nice to find out what happened to Percy. Vader thinks that was very believable based on what we know about his character.

One thing Vader did see as he read this chapter, did you have a beta reader review this chapter? If so, he thinks you left some of your beta’s reader’s comments in the text of your story. Here are the paragraph’s I’m talking about:

“No, my bed already took care of that, too,” said Harry, as he felt around for his glasses. (Harry had already put his glasses on, I think you need to say if they fell off when Dobby ran into him).)He found them and they took up their usual place on his nose.

Harry held up a pair of knitted underpants (Ha Ha! I love that) up to the light and watched as bits of it peeped through the tiny holes. “Dobby knit them himself, Sir. They will keep you warm in the winter,” Dobby paused, looking uncertain. “Does Harry Potter like Dobby’s present?”

Vader apologizes if he is wrong, but he just couldn’t make sense out of those two instances and they looked like comments from a beta.

Your good story telling continues. Perhaps Vader would like to see the pace picked up a little bit, maybe have a little more action. But, that being said, he can certainly appreciate the way you seem to be building your plot. Good job so far.

Author's Response: *Dies* Ah. Corrected. Thank you. ;)

Reviewer: Vader Signed
Date: 03/09/05 Title: None

First, I demand to know what Ginny saw! Secondly, great chapter. One of the things that I really enjoyed was the interaction between the characters. The scene where they’re having breakfast at the beginning was great, all the flirtatious banter. Overall, your writing is very enjoyable to read. There is good variety in your word selection, sentence, and paragraph length which also contributes to a more enjoyable read. Mechanically speaking your work is very sound as well. Overall, you did a very good job of taking the reader through each scene in this chapter. When I read, I felt like I was in the room with all the students watching these events unfold. I wish Hermione would have hit Malfoy with something stronger, but was honestly a little surprised when she was the one who lashed out. I might have expected Ron to before she did. None the less, it didn’t create a huge believability issue for me…especially since I really liked that part. Okay, so did Harry try and close his mind to Ginny? Looking forward to your next chapter!

Author's Response: I think Ron was flying across the room when Hermione hit Malfoy with a reducto curse.*lol* He was occupied momentarily. Hermione's been itching to get at Malfoy anyway. He gets on her nerves. Harry's not strong enough to block out Crabbe, much less Ginny yet.*lol* You'll read and see the hints as the story progresses, you end reader!