Hi, I'm Melissa. :0)
Wow. I was just looking for a short James and Lily story, and then I found this. =)
It has the perfect mix of everything Ė angst, romance, humor, fluff. I love how youíre developing James and Lilyís relationship, and the corniness is very cute. Your characterization is excellent, and the character you created for Emma is really great. Both her and Ted are becoming favorites of mine. And speaking of Ted, I have a feeling something bad is going to happen soon. =(
Anyway, I just read this in one sitting, and I thought Iíd let you know how much I enjoyed reading this. I hope you update soon; Iíll be waiting!
And in the meantime, I think Iíll go check out the other stories youíve written. =)
Author's Response: Thank you very much, I\'m glad you decided to read this story and liked it! Emma and Ted are fun characters, and as for what happens to Ted. . . . Well, you\'ll see! Hopefully the next chapter will be updated soon.
Oh no! *sobs* Please donít kill Ron! What about Hermione and the baby? That would be just horrible.
But anyway, this chapter was really great! I loved that we saw what was going on through different perspectives. Ginnyís part was my favorite though Ė I knew that Burke was someone else when she started talking, and it was nice to see Tonks (until she was hit by a spell - *sobs again*). That said, the spells hitting a different character, and them each thinking of the person they loved was a cool bit of repetition (I guess thatís the best word). Very dramatic. =)
Canít wait until you update!
Author's Response: I think repetition is the best word for it. I tried to make it come full circle. Honestly, my favorite part was the bit with Ginny too. Thanks for the review!
Goodness, I read Someone to Watch Over Me, and then Uncle Fred Calls Him Dick, and now this. Your author's page keeps me busy. =)
I think this might be my favorite of the three - the plot is quite a bit darker, but it's filled with some (albeit small) happy parts, and I really like it. It's very interesting how you've woven in so many story lines, and you've even given Petunia a shot at redemption. And I have to say, I love Bootsy and Bubbles - you've perfected house-elf dialogue.
Anyway, I can't wait to see what happens next, and I'll be stalking your author's page until you update. =) Lucky for me, there are other stories by you waiting to be read...
Author's Response: Thanks so much! This one is a little darker, but writing darker fics has a certain appeal to me, you can almost explore characters more when their lives are in turmoil. I\'m glad you like how I\'ve portrayed Petunia, and Bubbles and Bootsy. Thanks again.
I saw your post in the Review Circle thread, and was intrigued by the title and the summary, so I came on over to read. And, I was extremely happy I did. : ] I think you did a great job keeping Hermione in character. I know itís just the first chapter, but I thought that her letters and dialogue with Maggie were very Hermione-ish. The wording in the letters seems appropriate for not having spoken to Ron for a while, and her describing her relationship with Ron to Maggie was really good. This line especially, was one of my favorites: ďWhy canít I just take a hint! Well, I couldnít take one back at school, why should now be any different!Ē
Anyway, I think that this was an excellent first chapter. There was enough information to keep us intrigued, but you didnít give too much away. It left me with some nice questions. What was their fight about, and where does Harry fit into all of this? [I wonder if heís dead- Hermione only mentioned him once, and apologized for bringing him upÖ] Hopefully youíll tell all this soon. Iíll just have to sit tight. Oh, where does Hermione work? I was wondering that- I might have completely missed it in the chapter thoughÖ
One small thing- in the first letter, this line: ďMaybe it wasn't really that much of a big deal.Ē I would say ďthat big of a deal,Ē instead of ďthat much of a big deal.Ē I think having both big and much is a little redundant. But other than that, I didnít see anything to critique. :]
And, I have a bad feeling that this is a piece of foreshadowing which could be unfortunate for Hermione:
"How are you? About Ron, I mean?" But I wasn't sure she really wanted to know, as she had this queer look on her face.
I think that Lavender was talking about something other than what Hermione thought. :[ I guess Iíll have to wait and see. [And Iíll be waiting eagerly!]
Well, really great story so far!
Author's Response: *hugs* Thanks for coming to check it out, Melissa - and for leaving such a lovely review! I\'m especially glad that you thought that Hermione was in character, as that\'s the thing I always worry about most. Yes - Hermione was getting a little hysterical at times - but I don\'t think I can blame her! I\'m really glad you enjoyed the first chapter, as I always find these the hardest to write, setting things up whilst keeping it interesting - and giving some information without giving away everything - so I\'m glad you thought I pulled that one off! You\'ll find out most of the answers all in due time! Although you\'re along the right lines in some of your thoughts...
I haven\'t actually said where Hermione works - it\'s not that important. But, just as some trivia, she works for the Ministry of Magic, investigating illegal activity in the north of England. There are subsections to her department, but as she is fairly high up in her job (hence why she had to move up north for her promotion) she mainly oversees everything and only takes on some of the bigger cases. Thanks for pointing that out with the sentence rephrasing - it would work a lot better like that, I\'ll change it in a minute!
I\'m glad you\'re enjoying it so far - I\'ll be sending the next chapter to my beta soon, so hopefully it will be up fairly quickly! Thanks for reviewing!
Ah, cliffhanger! =O
Anyway, I really liked the first chapter! You did a great job of just setting the scene at first Ė letting the reader know whatís going on with Harry and everything. And then, you got the plot going with explaining Ronís accident. The story really caught my attention from the beginning!
One of my favorite things was the small details you added in there. I loved how Colinís camera was flashing, and that Luna helped with the decorations. I also thought that describing the peeling paint on Ronís door was a nice touch - it showed the reader how long has passed since the days Harry used to spend at the Burrow.
There was one minor thing I noticed that you might want to change.A big hand reached down to help him up, and he looked into the face of Kinsley Shacklebolt.
It should be Kingsley, not Kinsley. =)
Also, this isnít a problem or anything, but I was curious as to why you had Neville kill Draco. I know it was sort of unintentional on Nevilleís part, but itís actually one of the things Iím interested in seeing if it will happen in canon- if he has enough ability/hatred to kill someone. [If I made any sense...] Iím not disagreeing with your choice or anything! Just interested in what you thought. =)
Well, I really liked the story so far, and I hope youíre able to update soon! Iíll be waiting. =D
Author's Response: Wow, thanks for the constructive review. I love it when people are so willing to help out; it is something so small, but means so much to me. I didn\'t even realize it was spelled wrong. Thanks for pointing it out. I will now go and sue my beta for an incomplete job. (kidding-sad attempt at humor). About Neville: He is actually one of my favorite characters. He just seems to stick out like a sore thumb, for some reason. I kind-of feel sorry for him, but I know he is more important than he thinks he is. That is part of the reason I decided he should kill off Draco. He seemed to deserve after all the hell JKR has put him through. You are right, it was accident, but he just wanted to prove to people, and more importantly, himself, that he wasn\'t just a useful lump. He wasn\'t planning on killing him, but he was really upset that Draco could just walk away after hurting one of Neville\'s friends. I am currently working hard on the second chapter; I am hoping to send it to my beta ( I may have to find a new one....) very soon. I am so glad you like it so far. I promise, it only goes up...... ~Andrea
This is such a great story, and the ending is so nice! =)
Your characterization was wonderful. You made Severus seem like such a normal little kid, and gave Eileen her own personality. My favorite part though, was the interaction between Eileen and the young Snape. Their banter seems perfect for mother/son relationship. And the places where you switched back and forth didnít ruin the flow at all, which sometimes happens with flashbacks and the like, but this was just a nice change of perspective.
I thought the undertones to Tobiasís cruelty in the beginning (We only have an hour until Father gets home, and you know how he isÖĒ) were a nice touch to lead into the scene where you introduce him Ė you stayed close to what little canon fact we have about Snapeís childhood.
The fairy-tale part of the story was also very well-written. Rosalind and Philip were interesting to read about, and the minor characters like Wheedly and Leticia added something extra to the fic. You put a great wizarding spin on the Muggle tale we all love.
And I think a reviewer mentioned this below me, but the parts in between the fairy tale were definitely reminiscent of The Princess Bride. This line especially: ďIím not concerned. Iím justĖAre you going to finish the story or not?Ē But thatís a good thing, of course. Itís my favorite movie! =)
The whole premise was so cute, and I loved reading it! Wonderful story! =D
Yay! That was such a great chapter! When there was the "Avada Kedavra," I was like - oh no, who died? But then it was only Draco, which was perfectly fine with me.
Plus, the ending was perfect. I loved that you flashed forward so we could see what happened in the future for the Potter-Weasley clan. =)
And, as sad as I am to see the story end, I'm glad you didn't decide to write a sequel. I think that you tied up all the loose ends, and this ending just fit perfectly.
Awesome, wonderful, marvelous job! (Now, I can SO die happy.)
Author's Response: Thanks, in all honestly, I\'m perfectly fine with Draco dying too! I\'m glad you thought it all worked out, and you liked the epilogue, it was extremely fun to write. And who knew you and Sirius had so much in common? ;)
Well, I believe the easy way to say this is that there's a reason you have 1055 (now 1056) reviews for this story. =)
I can't wait to read what happens next!
Author's Response: Haha, thanks :)
That was my first impression. :] This is an absolutely wonderful story. I loved all the description, and the emotion behind it. The hopes of the world lie beneath me, dust. That was one of my favorite lines, it holds so much feeling!
The storyline of Harry dying and Ginny mourning isnít something new for me to read, but the way you presented it was. Through the dreams, the cemetery, and the dog, you were able to take an idea that Iíd seen before, and transform it into something entirely different.
My favorite part of this story was the flow. You used the short sentences to your advantage- to me it seemed to create a melancholic tone, and showed Ginnyís grief. All of her emotion was easy to see, and I felt horrible for her, not having everything she could have. There were a few places where it became a little too choppy, I think in the second paragraph, but for the most part there was a sort of rhythm to it, if that makes sense.
There was this one sentence that stood out to me as a little repetitious. I wait for an eternity in the few minutes it took for the wait to be over. Iím not sure if you meant to use wait twice for effect, but for me, it sort of ruined the impact.
Anyway, I just wanted to add how much I loved that you repeated, ďRed, yellow and orange, on their way to who knows where.Ē throughout the fic. It is such a great line, and it held so much meaning.
Well, amazing job! :D
Author's Response: Thanks. I see what you mean about the line \"Iwait for an eternity...\" I didn\'t even realize I had used wait twice in it. I did use a lot of repition to give the impression that it was a recurring dream. Thanks for the concrit.
I read this a while ago and loved it, but I just read it again and really wanted to review. :0]
My favorite thing about this story was your characters. First-- Theo. I love reading fics where authors take minor characters and really give them a personality, and Theo was wonderful. Iíve never read a fic about him before, but Iím really glad I did. He had me hooked from the first line. ďIf youíre not one to respect authority and you become an authority, does that mean you have no self-respect?Ē Seriously, I was laughing for such a long time. But my favorite Theo-line would have to be: ďI canít help it; I had ancestors from Switzerland,Ē I say, then realise that this is not the time to be flippant. :] Anyway, Theoís so cynical, and it provided humor to a more serious underlying theme. And watching him sort of Ďtransformí throughout the story was very cool. At first heís the self-centered Slytherin, but then he realizes he values Novemberís life more than his own. Yay for Theo!
Second-- November. Since you first posted the character thread on November in Madam Pomfreyís on the forum, I was really intrigued with her. She seems like an actual person-- probably because you said you based her a little on yourself-- and she seems like someone Iíd want to get to know. Sheís really fleshed out and sheís perfect for Theo. Also, I really like the fact that her name is November. Itís very cool. :]
I do have a couple nit-picks, but nothing very major.
I need a a warm, friendly hand right now.
You have a double Ďaí right there.
So why, after seventeen ears without tears, am I losing my grip?
-giggles- I think you mean years, not ears. Although if you meant ears, seventeen not-crying ears would be quite a sight. :]
Also, your spacing is a bit messed up-- itís doubled, which makes me think you edited something and the break tags attacked. Itís not a big deal, it just makes the story somewhat hard to read. :p
Other than that, I really, really loved this story. Youíre such a talented writer-- both with humor and more serious things. I hope thereís more about November and Theo in the worksÖ I really donít want to wait until the next Guantlet. :]
Author's Response: Wow, that\'s the longest real review I\'ve ever gotten on any of my stories! Whoops, I\'m surprised that no-one else noticed my typos. Now I\'m laughing, imagining Theo with seventeen ears sticking out of his head. I\'ve had three reviews for this story today, and I haven\'t had any for it for a month, so I\'m quite excited today. Thanks so much!
Aw, that was so sweet!
My favorite thing was the characterization- Ron and Hermione were both great. They each worked at places that seemed to fit them, and the gifts that they chose to give each other were both things I can see them giving. And the dialogue at the end was really well writtenó ďI just wanted you to have a good Christmas, but I guess---Ē Ron started. ó it sounds like something they would say. :]
Another thing I loved was how you wove in things from the actual books throughout the storyó Ronís broom, the homework planner, and how he always received second-hand things. It added a lot to the story, I think, by sort of reminding the reader of what their lives were like.
There were a couple things that I saw in the story that confused me a little. I didnít quite understand what was going on with Ronís job. You mention that there are more raids, and that heís been spending less time at home, but in the next paragraph you say that he was laid off, and never tell why. Was his job not Ďimportantí enough, or is there another reason?
Also, I think in this sentence the wording could be a little clearer. Itís a little nit-picky, but since itís the beginning of the story, itís good to be clear so you can keep the readers interest.
He hadnít had the money to get into the top-most training of the job, yet he had made it through somehow.
Itís another question about Ronís jobóIím not sure what he made it through to. Maybe if you added what he was able to pay for, not the best, but still a program that worked.
She was amazed that something as small as that could cost more than seven, but though it no use in fretting over the price;
Here, the though either needs to be Ďthoughtí or you could change it to, ďbut it was no use frettingÖĒ
But other than those little things, the story was great! The ending was very fluffy, and sweet, and Iím glad it finished with them learning a good lesson. You definitely deserved your second place, and did the original Gift of the Magi justiceóI loved it, Lindsey!
- Melissa :D
Author's Response: Wowzers! What a long review, Melissa! I\'m so glad that you reviewed this! LOL, your comments were absolutely awesome! I will go back and change those two sentences; I didn\'t even realize! Thanks so much for taking the time to read my work! *giggles* ~Lindsey :)
Ah, Mari, that was wonderful! It was sad and heart-wrenching, but the flashbacks were so sweet. I wish I could leave you a better review than this, but I'm not supposed to be on the computer this late. :P Well, I loved it! :D
Author's Response: Ooh, thanks for the really sweet review! Yay!
Wow, I hope you update quickly! The ending was really exciting. =) This chapter was awesome -- Theresa is such a great OC, and you write Snape's character well too. Loving the story so far!
Author's Response: Thank you thank you thank you. :)
I loved this poem. It was haunting and wondefully written. Your rhymes never seemed off, and it all seemed to flow very well. I loved the repetiton of the "They've gone" line; it really added to the mood.
Two tiny things:
And talk about the drams theyíd build Do you mean dreams here?
The other thing is that Muggle should be capitalized.
Other than those two nit-picks, I think you did a marvelous job! =)
Wow. That was amazing. I always enjoy seeing Harry written as a dark character, and you did a great job.
I loved the definitions and how you wove Snapeís warning throughout the fic. And the part where Harry is forced to see what heís becoming was written wonderfully. It had no scar on itís forehead, but a huge, gaping one on itís cheek as though the flesh was decaying while the body was still alive. I have such a creepy mental picture of that Ė itís a great use of imagery.
But my favorite part was the ending. It was chilling, and just perfect.
Awesome one-shot, and you definitely deserved the win. =)
Author's Response: Thank you! And I was super excited to be nominated for a QSQ!
Guilt and sacrifice are more intertwined than we would like to believe. Dumbledore did not always so blindly believe in love. He is about to be enlightened.
From the beginning I was drawn into this piece. Your first sentence wasnít especially powerful or dramatic, but something about it really intrigued me. From there, I wasnít focused on anything else but your story. =]
Dumbledore is perfect. I donít think Iíve ever seen a first-person Dumbledore fic - although I have seen an excellent second-person, but I digress. Anyway, I thought you delved into his character wonderfully. His conversation and reaction to Snape was extremely in character, and your writing sounds exactly like him thinking. This line especially struck me as something he would say in canon. I have found in my sometimes drawn-out life that often those searching for things rarely look in the most obvious places, especially if they know youíre hiding it from them. Itís a great bit of wisdom, and something I believe to be very true.
Snape was just as good. From your other responses to your reviews, I see you were a little uneasy about your characterization of him, but I donít see why. Like another reviewer said, Snape was Snape. The whole time I was reading, I could just see this happening Ė when he claims he didnít murder Sarah, it was really reminiscent of him yelling at Harry saying heís not a coward in HBP. I think you did an amazing job with both of them!
I did spot one little error, nothing major, just a grammar thing. I could remember only to well the guilt, though I had been considerably less at fault than he. Youíre missing an Ďoí in your Ďto.í
Well, if you havenít gathered already, I love your writing. I think the best way to describe it, is lyrical, if that makes sense. Everything just flows perfectly, and is extremely descriptive. There are so many lines that just popped out at me as wonderful. My favorite, and believe me, itís hard to choose, was There was the feral gleam of hatred, erupting into the echoes of violence as his fist once again bashed into my table, his voice the colour of the thunder and the texture of tidal waves. That sentence is an awesome bit of writing.
I think thatís it. Wonderful, amazing job. I look forward to reading your other stories! - Melissa
/end long, fangirlish review :D
Author's Response: Wow thanks so much for this lovely review. I don\'t even remember writing that quote, but looking back on it is one of my favorites from this peice. Wow, thanks so much for the lovely review. -VL
Wow. That was amazing.
From the beginning to the end, you had me riveted. The ending gave me chills. Your description of the murder that night was so vivid and chilling. This one, in particular, stands out. The sounds of the whip make you sick. You hate yourself. You want to stop now.
One of my favorite things about this was Dumbledoreís characterization. Iím so used to thinking of him as an old man, that sometimes I forget that he used to be a child too. Your writing managed to be powerful, as well as sound like the thoughts of a nine-year-old boy.
My favorite thing was that you wrote in second person. Second person is one of my favorite forms of writing. Itís hard to use, but when you do, it has the possibility to make such a powerful story. Your second person was flawless. =) As a reader, you feel like are Dumbledore and this is happening to you. If this had been written in third person, I think it still would have been a great story, but the impact wouldnít have been as much.
I loved how you wove the conversation in the cave into your story. It was interesting to see the reason behind the things that Dumbledore was muttering in HBP. The dialogue from there fit seamlessly between the flashbacks, and it never took anything away from the fic.
I did notice couple little errors, but nothing that detracted from the writing.
You try to fight him, but he is mush stronger than you. That should be much, not mush. =)
Now you are trouble, big trouble. There should be an Ďiní right after the you, I think.
You donít want Mummy die. Youíre missing a Ďtoí in there.
Anyway, this was absolutely heart wrenching and wonderful. Iím going to have to favorite this. =D And congratulations on second place in the challenge! Itís not hard to see why you did so well!
- Melissa =)
Author's Response: Thank you so much! I\'m so glad you enjoyed. I\'ll fix those few little things. This was a wonderful review. ~ Teresa
Wow, exciting first chapter! =)
I really like Irene so far; she seems like a very well fleshed out character, and I can't wait to see where the story takes her. I especially liked all her comments/interaction with the Marauders so far. It seems realistic to me. =)
And speaking of Marauders, I hope we get to see a little more of Irene and Remus soon. Great job!
Author's Response: Oh yay! I haven\'t got a review on this in awhile! Thanks so much for all the compliments. I hope you like the second chapter just as much as the first. However, if you check out my author page, it will show that I am on an extreme hiatus from fanfic writing, at least until my school load lets up. I hope you\'ll still be around to read the third chapter, whenever I have time to finish it. Again, thanks for reviewing!
Ah, I knew Mary went to Hogwarts! =)
Anyway, I really like this so far. Youíve done a great job writing the Marauders, and Lily, too. I was laughing when she was describing the romance novel. And I really want to know why Remus wouldnít tell Sirius about Mary - Iím assuming he has good reason. That should be interesting....
Well, Iím glad to hear that you can update quickly. Iíll be waiting!
Oh, and Perfect Prefect Land? Try saying that five times fast. =)
Author's Response: Yeah, I love tongue-twisting alliterations. I\'m glad you\'re enjoying this as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Well you know you have to continue this next Gauntlet, right? I want to know what Theo does with his powers of death. =)
Anyway, I really enjoyed this. I love your version of Theo, and your writing never fails to make me laugh. Bringing back Sirius was a very pleasant surprise - when you mentioned it in the summary, I was thinking November, so it was a nice little twist.
So definitely much, much more fun to read this story than my history textbook, which is what I should be doing. >.>
Author's Response: Yes, I am definitely going to use Theo next gauntlet! I\'m so glad you like this... especially the Sirius part, which made me a little nervous.
Psssh, fanfiction is more fun than any textbook anyday. Except for my science textbook, which sounds suspiciously like it was written by John Cleese.