Ok, I'll start off with what I think of your story (even though the first word pretty much summed it up...). I loved how you set the mood for this story, with Lily and James living happily together, teasing each other in the exact way I would imagine them to. Just had to laugh when Lily said, "...I’ll come in and redo it later when you think you’re finished." =)
And also, it's kind of sadenning since at the same time, you know what's going to happen to them in about two years time. The reader can't help but think, 'here they are, without a worry in the world, perfectly happy, not having a clue of what's going to happen in the future...'
And just one small thing...In the part where you describe the picture of ten-year-old Petunia and Lily, laughing and clapping... Well, since we can safely assume that Lily didn't know about the Wizarding world until she was eleven, the pictures wouldn't exactly be showing any movement would they? Since the picture was obviously taken before that... Correct me if I'm wrong...
Overall, I would rate this story 9.9/10. Simply loved it! =)
Author's Response: Thank you for that lovely review. I hadn\'t thought about the picture. Let\'s just say Lily redeveloped it after having entered the wizarding world ;-)
Written as a Term Challenge: Holidays Abroad submission for Slytherin.
This is quite different to other Merope and Tom fics I've read. You've shown their perspectives well at the same time, without suceeding in muddling my mind! (Which is something I'm actually quite good at doing...)
I really liked this line which introduced us to the situation at the beginning:" For him, it was just an chance to get out of the house; little did he know that his daily ritual had become the only thing to live for another."
I especially liked how you showed Tom as a sort of impatient, sarcastic person, then showing the abrupt change when he was under the influence of the love potion.
Merope on the other hand, fitted the shy-and-innocent-yet-manipulative image well. Her thoughts were well written to show the desperate side of her.
Overall, an intriguing start!
Author's Response: Thanks for your kind words; I tried to make Tom as teen-angstish as possible without making him sound more like young Voldemort. Sarcasm just seemed the best way to go. Thanks again!
Ohh, so that's where Sara comes in! When I read your other fic, and then this, I was wondering whether there was a canon character named Sara whom Merope and Tom met and I simply couldn't remember whether it was in the books! Now I realise it was your idea...Nice one! Nice connection too!
For some reason, I like it that Merope was feeling uncomfortable, or you could say, guilty, each time Tom would shower her with affectionate compliments in public. Each time he did that, it would bring a new wave of guiltiness to her and you showed that well in your story.
I also liked how Tom, when he just woke up, was kind of cranky and seemed as if the potion was wearing off, but when he drank the potion again, he was back to his drugged state. I like all the suspense and sort-of conflict going on here. Nothing much to say here in terms of criticism...
Author's Response: Yes, I wanted to tie in the two fics as much as possible-- yet Sara was my own creation. I\'m glad that you put the two together. Thanks for the review!
I really like how you're portraying the 'decived vs. reality' side of Merope. Its quite sadenning to think that she could deceive herself so badly, thinking that Tom really does love her simply by thinking he does and reassuring herself. This line especially, showed that well:
"After she had said this, Merope’s heart lightened. Maybe this was true."
It's good how you're showing the subtle changes in Tom as she's easing up on the potion, but I'd definitely like to see more of his perspective on that- though I expect I'll see that in the future chapters!
One thing I don't get is how he wouldn't know what orange is and what coffee is... I mean, he is the Muggle, right, and Merope is the witch? Or maybe I missed something...
And nice chapter! =)
Author's Response: Yeah, he\'s the Muggle. Um, maybe I just mixed that up there. Whoops. :) But, I\'m glad you\'re enjoying it so far, and I hope you like the ending!
And again, you've described everything wonderfully.
At the beginning, you showed her sense of being "out of it" really well, and it felt almost as if she was in a dream.
Seriously, the number of stories that have ever made me feel like that, so - connected- to a story, I could probably count on one hand.
Another I like is the title of this chapter- it really suits it. And I really loved the last two lines : "Despite being one striving for love, her new son would become the one that tried to prevent it. It was a sad end, but a necessary one, as it led to the birth of a new legend." It was a great way to end such a beautiful story.
I really enjoyed reading this story, and reviewing it. You're a great writer! :)
Author's Response: Oh, wow. You really hit me hard with saying that last thing. COuldn\'t you have given me a hint that it was coming? ;) Wow. Thanks so much!
I just realised that I'd missed this chapter...Well, I'll review now!
Very interesting to see Merope's jealously around other prettier women...especially when Tom is talking to them. I like all those parts mainly because of the characterisation. It shows her insecure side quite well..."Will he fall for someone else? What if the potion doesn't work?" You can imagine the paranoia...
Author's Response: Yes, amny people don\'t like the paranoia, but I rather like it a lot. It shows Merope\'s character in a new light. Thanks for the reviews!
I like that reference at the top to what most drug addicts seem to experience - something like withdrawal symptoms, except this was love potion, the drug in question.
For some reason, I'm glad that Tom didn't completely overreact, doing something he would regret. Though it's understandable if he did do that, I just like this perspective of him - initially angry, but then more understanding. I can imagine him ditching her (quietly) at the end as well instead of leaving her immediately.
Now with Merope...that's another story. I sort of pity her desperate character. Though I did feel like that when I first read HBP, this story kind of - I don't know how to explain it, but more like brought the entire scene alive.
Just one nit-pick: In the last paragraph, first line, the 'once' should be 'one'. It's not terribly important, but I thought I'll point it out to you.
Again, a great chapter! *goes to click on 'Next'*
Author's Response: Aww, thanks. I love pulling out parts of the books that can be easily overlooked and bringing them to life. I\'m glad it worked for you!
Wow, such an emotional, bitter chapter.
You've definitely used a lot of description that wasn't too boring, but instead connected the reader more to Merope's character. I've noticed from the earlier chapters that you seem to have an uncanny ability to describe things without making it drag.
She had no one to go to, no one to lean on, and no one to go to for help.
I reckon that sentence would sound a lot better like this: She had no one to go to, no one to lean on, no one to believe in her. It's just that at the start, when you say "...she had no one to go to", and then at the end, " ...no one to go for help", it feels like it's just repeating the first part.
This was definitely one of the best chapters in this story.
Author's Response: Thank you for that. I\'ve been told many times that description was my strong point, and I just hope I can hold on to that. Thanks for the kind review!
Follow Barty as he takes his steps through the Quidditch World Cup in GoF. What parts of the story did you miss while reading from Harry's point of view? This is the side of the story that you really care about.
This was a great perspective of Barty Crouch junior. I liked how you inserted all his thoughts and the small breaks where he was battling the Imperius curse, but couldn't yet overcome it.
One thing that I believe you could have improved on, was Winky's perspective. At the point where she realised Barty had gone, to me, it didn't seem like much of a deal to her even after she had stopped her conversation with Harry. I don't know why, but I've always thought that she hadn't realised Barty had left her until the end of the game because she was too preoccupied with her fear of heights...But your idea was also good, though I reckon you could have made it seem more believable.
"Let's see if the foolish boy can even notice if his wand' missing..."
You're missing an 'is' after wand. Yes, that's extremely nitpicky, but I thought I'd just point that out to you...
Another part of this story I liked was the ending. For some reason, I like the abrupt, yet powerful ending. Ending it with her being stunned.
Overall, I like this fic. Well done, Shayla! =)
Author's Response: Well I\'m glad someone liekd the ending. Many people have commented that I should remove Winkey\'s POV there, but I think it just adds to the piece. And I wanted to tie up all the lose ends. I\'m glad you like it, though, and thanks for the review!
Muhahaha, I know what's going to happen in the next few chapters...Yay! *winks to the other readers*
This was such a great one-shot! I love how you used the idea of the prophecy and then applied it to Jacob, as him being the Chosen One... I actually thought about that back in the days when OotP released (about whether it could actually happen), but then decided it couldn't 'cos then, there'd be like a second generation book or something...
But yeah, that idea was pretty good and it all fit in with this story. Now, I'm going to extraordinarily nit-picky... In the part where Ron goes to visit Hermione's parents: "...were heartbroken to lose their only child that they had brought into they world." The last 'they' should be a 'the'... =)
Loved the, 'Harry would be living on in Jacob and Ginny' line. It just gave the entie story such an emotinal side, not that all the other parts didn't, but that line just stood out more. To me, anyway.
A wonderful story!
This is the story of the tragic love life of Merope Gaunt, Voldemort’s mother. It is told in first person from Merope’s point of view. She has deep feelings for Tom Riddle Senior, the son of the village squire; and tries to make him fall in love with her. However, Merope learns the hard way that a “love” potion can create only a powerful obsession, not true love.
Additional warning: bad language.
I like this story! The perspective from Merope Gaunt was clear and well written, and there were certain sentences that made it so...I don't know how to explain it, but real. ("The child which would have once increased my joy was now an impossible burden to bear." That was a really good line and showed her emotion as of that moment very well)
However, there is one small thing. When Tom ate the food, and thus, the antidote, he instantly knew that she was a witch...When you think about it, that wouldn't really be possible if he didn't know what she really was before he was drugged by the Love potion (since he was a Muggle...)
All in all, this was a great story!
Author's Response: I suppose Merope told/showed him that she was a witch. I haven\'t mentioned that in the story, that\'s all. Thank you for your review! So, how did you feel when you read it? Was the last part a tear-jerker?
Wow...*is dazed* It was amazing how you got an OC like Sara and gave her such depth...to tell you the truth, I don't usually like reading fics with an OC as the protagonist, but I had to make an exception for this. As soon as I read the first few paragraphs, I just had to keep reading.
As with your other story, Amortentia, I really felt drawn to the characters and in this case, Sara, and all the description really made the bridge. And I know I've said this earlier, but you can really make describing things seem really easy, yet intruiging and not boring.
I like how you gave her the 'poor and unworthy' status and then brought her up to a better life, but then she had to fall back down again when she lost Tom. And even before that happened, I really liked the interaction between them.
I really enjoyed reading this one-shot! =)
Author's Response: Aww, thank you. I\'m glad that so many of you have read Amortentia first, as this is supposed to be backstory to that fic. Sara really comes into a brighter light here, and I\'g glad you see that. Thanks for the review!
I reckon you've caught the family conflict quite well, between him (Sirius) and his brother, and his mother. And I reckon you've characterised Sirius quite well - especially loved these lines you used to describe him:
" He was not afraid of showing the real person that resided within his body. He was not scared of showing the world what he thought and how he felt. And he definitely was not worried about disappointing the parents that never loved him."
It demostrates his fiery/rebel character at home. Not that he isn't at school, but definitely much more at home, when it concerns his family.
And with Regulus, that's the exact way I imagined him as well! As someone who obeyed the 'rules and regulations' around the house, but never really believed in them. Someone who was in the spotlight, but didn't seem to believe he belonged there.
The Black house was also decribed quite well; the imagery was great. It really made me feel as if I as looking at a house (my version of the Black house...) through the good side, and then the evil side, as corny as that may sound.
Now onto criticism...to be honest, I haven't got any! Grammar, spelling, descriptions...all were done well! The atmosphere of it (gloomy, tense) really set the mood of the story.
Oh, and I also liked the last line: "...he would be viewing it through the eyes of an onlooker."
And again, this was a great fic! I enjoyed reading it.
Author's Response: Thank you so much for your kind words. I really tried to pull out the personality of Regulus and Sirius in this, while giving them my own twist. Thanks again!
Wow, you're really good at expressing emotions in poems...And rhyming too! I can rhyme as well, but mine usually end up sounding stupid... I applaud you on doing this exceptionally well. I really liked this!
Author's Response: Thank you so much. Yay :-)
Wow, do you have any idea how much I just love Lily and James fics? And especially if it's well-written? This was just such a great one-shot!
...I barely said two words to him. Actually, I think it might have been three; 'I'm the groom.' Lily took over the rest." I just had to laugh at that! There were more parts, like when James tells Sirius not to muck anything up during the wedding, but it's a tad too long to put it here.
The wedding was quite original, too. I liked how you had a nice mix of charms and a bit of the normal Muggle wedding; the result was just great.
And just one extremely small nit-pick : In the last sentence, 'each other' has to have a space in between. That was most probably a typo, though...
Overall, I loved this fic. Actually, it's going to my favs! =)
Author's Response: *squees* Thank you! I\'m glad you liked it. I\'m glad you think the actual setup was all right, because I wanted it to have some magic involved but also be a large part Muggle related because of Lily.
Written for the Summer Weddings Challenge by Cruciatus Love of Slytherin.
I've never read a fiction about the thoughts of a person when he/she is under the influence of love potion ; it's quite different to what I expected, that's for sure!
It's an interesting take on that, showing that Tom was quite aware of what he was doing and that he wasn't meant to be in love with Merope, but at the same time, he thinks its sort-of right; it really shows how helpess he is, even though Tom himself doesn't seem to realise that sometimes.
You described things in a great way, really keeping the reader hooked on to it. Overall, this fiction was well-written! I'd give it 5 out of 5. =)
Author's Response: Heh, thanks. But this is really just my view on how Tom reacts and not necissarily canon. But I\'m glad you enjoyed it; thanks for the review!
Written for the Extra Credit Challenge by Cruciatus Love of Slytherin.
Whoa...*steps back* Just kidding!
This fic, like all your others, was great! Malfoy's thoughts were quite ppwerful, in a sense that it really showed the reader how determined he was to prove Dumbledore wrong. At the same time, you can also see Malfoy's desperation to prove himself, which is spot on in characterisation.
I really liked this line: I’m doing this for everyone that has ever tried and failed to kill the man who had taken their pride.
This fiction was well-written, Shayla!
Author's Response: Heh. I\'m glad you liked it. And it seems a lot of people liked that line. Thanks for the reivew!
Wow, this story is just superb!
I'm glad you cleared the Playboy! Sirius image, because that always annoys me when I read it in other stories - so kudos to you!
Your characterisation of Lily and James was just great. To tell you the truth, I don't usually read fics in first person, but this is definitely story I'll want to keep reading!
Can't wait for the next update! =)
Author's Response: Yayy thanks! Yes, Playboy Sirius annoys me too, because when J.K. Rowling introduced him to us, he definitely wasn\'t the womanizer type! Thanks for the review!