Hi, I'm Melissa. :0)
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 it’s 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: “Why can’t I just take a hint! Well, I couldn’t take one back at school, why should now be any different!”
Anyway, I think that this was an excellent first chapter. There was enough information to keep us intrigued, but you didn’t 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 he’s dead- Hermione only mentioned him once, and apologized for bringing him up…] Hopefully you’ll tell all this soon. I’ll just have to sit tight. Oh, where does Hermione work? I was wondering that- I might have completely missed it in the chapter though…
One small thing- in the first letter, this line: “Maybe it wasn't really that much of a big deal.” I would say “that big of a deal,” instead of “that much of a big deal.” I think having both big and much is a little redundant. But other than that, I didn’t 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 I’ll have to wait and see. [And I’ll 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 – letting the reader know what’s going on with Harry and everything. And then, you got the plot going with explaining Ron’s 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 Colin’s camera was flashing, and that Luna helped with the decorations. I also thought that describing the peeling paint on Ron’s 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 isn’t a problem or anything, but I was curious as to why you had Neville kill Draco. I know it was sort of unintentional on Neville’s part, but it’s actually one of the things I’m interested in seeing if it will happen in canon- if he has enough ability/hatred to kill someone. [If I made any sense...] I’m not disagreeing with your choice or anything! Just interested in what you thought. =)
Well, I really liked the story so far, and I hope you’re able to update soon! I’ll 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 didn’t 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 Tobias’s cruelty in the beginning (We only have an hour until Father gets home, and you know how he is…”) were a nice touch to lead into the scene where you introduce him – you stayed close to what little canon fact we have about Snape’s 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: “I’m not concerned. I’m just–Are you going to finish the story or not?” But that’s a good thing, of course. It’s 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 isn’t 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 I’d 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 Ginny’s 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. I’m 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, “Red, yellow and orange, on their way to who knows where.” 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. I’ve never read a fic about him before, but I’m really glad I did. He had me hooked from the first line. “If you’re not one to respect authority and you become an authority, does that mean you have no self-respect?” Seriously, I was laughing for such a long time. But my favorite Theo-line would have to be: “I can’t help it; I had ancestors from Switzerland,” I say, then realise that this is not the time to be flippant. :] Anyway, Theo’s so cynical, and it provided humor to a more serious underlying theme. And watching him sort of ‘transform’ throughout the story was very cool. At first he’s the self-centered Slytherin, but then he realizes he values November’s life more than his own. Yay for Theo!
Second-- November. Since you first posted the character thread on November in Madam Pomfrey’s 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 I’d want to get to know. She’s really fleshed out and she’s perfect for Theo. Also, I really like the fact that her name is November. It’s 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 ‘a’ 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-- it’s doubled, which makes me think you edited something and the break tags attacked. It’s not a big deal, it just makes the story somewhat hard to read. :p
Other than that, I really, really loved this story. You’re such a talented writer-- both with humor and more serious things. I hope there’s more about November and Theo in the works… I really don’t 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 written— “I just wanted you to have a good Christmas, but I guess---” Ron started. — it sounds like something they would say. :]
Another thing I loved was how you wove in things from the actual books throughout the story— Ron’s 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 didn’t quite understand what was going on with Ron’s job. You mention that there are more raids, and that he’s 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 ‘important’ enough, or is there another reason?
Also, I think in this sentence the wording could be a little clearer. It’s a little nit-picky, but since it’s the beginning of the story, it’s good to be clear so you can keep the readers interest.
He hadn’t had the money to get into the top-most training of the job, yet he had made it through somehow.
It’s another question about Ron’s job—I’m 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 ‘thought’ or you could change it to, “but it was no use fretting…”
But other than those little things, the story was great! The ending was very fluffy, and sweet, and I’m glad it finished with them learning a good lesson. You definitely deserved your second place, and did the original Gift of the Magi justice—I 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 they’d 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 Snape’s warning throughout the fic. And the part where Harry is forced to see what he’s becoming was written wonderfully. It had no scar on it’s forehead, but a huge, gaping one on it’s cheek as though the flesh was decaying while the body was still alive. I have such a creepy mental picture of that – it’s 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 wasn’t especially powerful or dramatic, but something about it really intrigued me. From there, I wasn’t focused on anything else but your story. =]
Dumbledore is perfect. I don’t think I’ve 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 you’re hiding it from them. It’s 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 don’t see why. Like another reviewer said, Snape was Snape. The whole time I was reading, I could just see this happening – when he claims he didn’t murder Sarah, it was really reminiscent of him yelling at Harry saying he’s 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. You’re missing an ‘o’ in your ‘to.’
Well, if you haven’t 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, it’s 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 that’s 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 Dumbledore’s characterization. I’m 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. It’s 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 wouldn’t 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 ‘in’ right after the you, I think.
You don’t want Mummy die. You’re missing a ‘to’ in there.
Anyway, this was absolutely heart wrenching and wonderful. I’m going to have to favorite this. =D And congratulations on second place in the challenge! It’s 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. You’ve 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 wouldn’t tell Sirius about Mary - I’m assuming he has good reason. That should be interesting....
Well, I’m glad to hear that you can update quickly. I’ll 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.
Aw, that was so cute! =)
Colin is one of my favorite minor characters, and you really did him justice in this. Using his viewpoint of the fight was a really original way to write about Ron and Hermione, especially since their fight scenes are written so much in fanfic. His comments made me laugh out loud, especially the bit about Hermione’s hair crackling. And the fact that he ate Pumpkin pasties the whole time was very cute.
I also really enjoyed your opening paragraph – Colin’s observations immediately caught my attention, and the description gave me a distinct image of the Common Room in my head.
And speaking of paragraphs, the ending few were perfect. Ron’s way of making Hermione ‘prove it’ was priceless, and incidentally, something I really wish would happen in the books. Having Harry come in at the last moment was a nice touch, and the very last line was a great way to tie in all the pumpkin pasty eating. =)
I do have a few tiny nit-picks:
The crackling of the fire was growing lower and lower as the night inched on, and many people had to result to the Lumous Spell for a greater light. Lumous should be changed to Lumos.
“All you have ever done is turn your back on me. I just wanted to let you know,” she sobbed, “That next time, I won’t be behind you waiting.” First off, this is one of my favorite lines in this fic. I love that Hermione sort of calls out Ron on how much he’s ignored her, and gives him an ultimatum. When I was reading this part, I couldn’t wait to see Ron’s response. The second thing, is that the ‘that’ after sobbed should have a lower case t.
Well, awesome one-shot - it was exciting, original, and very sweet. I loved it! =)
Author's Response: Aww, thank you so much! =]
You know, I noticed when I reread the series for my now 12th time that in CoS, we read a lot about Colin. After the second book though, we rarely hear from him, except when he retrieves Harry from class for the Weighing of the Wands ceremony. I enjoyed reading about him, but all we ever saw of the boy was in his younger years, when he was a crazed Harry fan. I always wondered what he would have been like in Harry\'s sixth or seventh year, when he would have matured greatly.
I\'m really glad you enjoyed this little one-shot. I wrote it ages ago but finally just decided to publish it to MNFF, and so far it has gone over really well. I\'m super proud of it, it\'s my little humour baby.
Thanks for the help! I find readers who use constructive critisism very helpful, because they can add so much to my writing! I\'m off to edit right now!
Thanks again for reading! =]
Wow, that was great!
I loved that you made Emmeline such a real character. Normally she only pops up in fanfic as one of Lily's best friends or something, so this was a very refreshing read. Her reactions to Regulus watching her were very realistic, especially moving around her cauldron to take a peek at him. I think it sounds exactly like what a teenage girl would do. That and blushing. =)
Regulus was great, too. He was wonderfully mysterious, and I could just picture him smirking when he turned the tables on Emmeline when she confronted him. It was also nice to see him and Sirius getting along, and I loved that Sirius called him Arcturus. The one thing about that is wouldn’t Emmeline be confused as to why Sirius called him that ? I know there was no one else around, so she would know it was Regulus, but I would have thought she would have been curious about the name. Just a thought, though.
Completed? Does this have to be just a one-shot? I was hoping we’d find out what happened in Hogsmeade… Well, in any case, this was an awesome fic, so I’m very glad I saw it on the ‘Most Recent’ list. =)