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I am determined to change this ridiculously out of date page.

My name is Laura, twenty years old, and a student at Durham University. Yes, that can at times mean I am an opinionated know-it-all, but usually only to do with matters occuring during the 16th and 17th Century. I'm originally from South Yorkshire, reside in Nottinghamshire, and generally end up all over the place.

I have an obsessive love for a dead woman called Anne Boleyn. Everytime I hear Phillipa Gregory's posh voice talk about how this "remarkable woman" changed the face of England, it makes me inspired to write a better story than the hideous one that she did with "The Other Boleyn Girl". Not that this is my only reason for spending so much time engrossed in history books only vaguely relevent to my course. I love Anne because she is a woman of so many ambiguities. The more I learn about her, the more I realise how little we know of her. She is my muse for many small projects and I have ambitions she'll be the muse for a big one, too.

I love horse riding, writing, banner-making and reading Snape-centric fanfiction. I have an imagination more interesting than my life and am very rubbish at coping with simple things, like walking in the right direction. I am happy to waste away an afternooh watching Top Gear or go for a stroll in my local park with my doggy called Sarah and car called Musher.

I enjoy travelling, evident by my around-the-world trip to Australia, China, New Zealand and America last summer. Countries I hope to visit include Ireland, Paris (plus France again, I guess), Africa, Italy, South America and various others.

You may notice a few stories missing. I'm sorry to say that I don't see myself completing them, so I feel it's only fair to delete them so that people aren't anticipating chapters that will never arrive. I did have fun writing them, but it's just a case of not having time to complete them!

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Stories by Insecurity [15]
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Reviews by Insecurity

The Daughter of Light by Magical Maeve

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: An Irish witch languishes in the darkness of her family home, confined by her father and circumstances. What will it take to bring her out of this exile? The chance to return to Hogwarts? The opportunity to participate in the fight against Voldemort and his Death Eaters? Or will it be Severus Snape, a man she did not expect to see again in her lifetime?

This is canon compliant to OoTP but written pre-HBP.

Reviews and constructive criticism are most welcome, and thanks go to Ashwinder who kindly beta read the chapters for me. :-)

Reviewer: Insecurity Signed
Date: 06/25/06 Title: Chapter 5: Moony Matters

One year later…

…and this is meant to be a quick review. *frowns at her utter lack of conciseness*

Oh, and I’m up to chapter 6!

The first thing that struck me was that DoL clearly isn’t written for younger teenagers. It’s written in the same style, maturity and depth as any of the novels that come from your smoky attic (with the exception of Dan Brown, of course; he’s far more a sophisticated and talented writer than you! Lol!). DoL stands out against the many other chaptered fics on MNff as one that competes with the quality of JKR’s writing and, yes, I am going to say it, does indeed exceed JKR. Instead of copying JKR’s characters, you take their key features and develop them into your own, and weave a very interesting plot around them.

The opening descriptions of chapters one and three are magnificent. Not only your attention to detail but the way you lace metaphors and personification into the imagery. In both cases, you were not describing a magical place but the descriptions enhanced the place to the point where it was magical, and I was yearning to step into the story and visit it. You successfully breathe life into Abbeylara with the same eloquence as I have seen in novels by the Bronte sisters and Dickens. It’s this type of beauty that keeps a place in someone’s mind forever. You are extremely talented.

Something I have grown to expect from you, and something I really love, is the way you manage to put snippets of humour into the narrative. These are often very subtle and show a glimpse of your own lively and funny personality. It successfully helps to break up a very lengthy description and so lightens the mood of what at the beginning is a very dark fic. One example in chapter 3 (I think) is how Muggles would see “an ageing Ford Mondeo car with a slightly bent bumper and a broken wing mirror.”

Maeve is a very unique character insofar as she is fiery and highly attractive, but she’s been suppressed to the point where this is only a flickering flame. For seventeen years Maeve has been unable to make a proper decision, perhaps not only because of her father but her own fear of independence. You manage to evoke a great amount of pity for her without Maeve herself being self-piteous – a very difficult thing to achieve. All her apprehensions and fears are handled sensitively making her a very realistic character. One thing I would say, however, is that she might need to be slightly more uptight and slightly less trusting of Dumbledore, Severus and Remus to begin with, due to her lack of social interaction. Perhaps have her dialogue more clipped and sharp and make her a little more on edge during her journey to Hogwarts.

Both Severus and Remus are very much in canon. I love how you draw contrasts between the loving, caring and open Remus and the cold, reserved Severus who lurks in doorways. The jealousy that Severus feels already is marvellous, and it makes me giggle because he is behaving exactly how I expected he would. The history behind Maeve and Severus’ relationship makes it all the more interesting. It is clear Maeve still has feelings for him – I like how she described her fantasy of a ‘picture of Severus’ and I can imagine her longing for him for years after they parted! How disappointed she must have been, bless her! I also like how Severus’ hatred of Remus is growing, and I believe he feels threatened by Remus because he is isn’t scared of his feelings. Severus keeps returning to the issue of him being a werewolf in order to demean him and his security around his own feelings, which is something that Severus does in canon, to some degree. Remus, on the other hand, is the same gentlemen who gives unconditionally and blames himself too much. I often find him a boring character but you give him a lot of life.

There were times when I did feel you became a little too descriptive and it broke the flow of your chapter. There are the odd occasions when I felt you needed to push it along a little. Firstly, in chapter one your description of Malachy Meany’s visit is too complex – you dwell on detail’s that happened a long time before and I did begin to get a little confused. Perhaps simplify it; state that he has a connection to Maeve’s father but uphold more mystery around him. I did, however, like how you conveyed Maeve’s insecurity around him. Secondly, in chapter 3 you describe a lot of detail about Maeve’s bedroom. It’s all beautifully described but does become slightly verbose. By the end of the description, I was forgetting what had been said at the beginning. Condensing it and breaking it into smaller paragraphs might help.

Also, you sometimes have a long piece of dialogue that you follow on with a narrative of the events. This isn’t incorrect, but I think it would be clearer if you separate out the narrative from the dialogue so to make it easier for your reader to follow.

And finally, in chapter 5 I think Snape is a tad too angsty when he visits Maeve at the cottage. I understand why he visited her and that he was irritated by the situation but he lost his self-control very easily. I would have liked to have seen him uphold it for longer and then lose it gradually as the conversation progresses. The caps lock didn’t help ;-)

Okay, the end. Was that short enough? I think I have some kind of syndrome where I can’t write a short review. It’s just impossible. And I understand that you wrote this beginning some two years ago, and so I feel like the biggest pain in the ass with my concrit. Lol. But I really do love your writing and I am going to keep bugging you with these reviews all summer. So get used to it!

Reviewer: Insecurity Signed
Date: 03/08/06 Title: Chapter 27: Drooble's Best Blowing Gum

*waves enthusiastically at Jan* I'm popping very randomly into the middle of your story because I found what I am looking for. Obviously, this is the first place to look for 'Maeve'. I have every intention of reading this story during the summer after all the compulsory reading alongisde my studies. But, I will say that I do love your writing very very very very much. I've gotten to know Maeve a little from PMoA *cries at the fact that it is now finished* and she is an amazing woman, and your Snape has never ceased to amaze me. You keep him so perfectly IC whilst allowing him love. *sighs* Okay, end of random review. Expect a proper one your way soon.

The Confessions Of Severus Snape by Master Wolf

Summary: And now, the smash-hit comedy sequel you've all been waiting for, featuring the other guy you all love to hate!
Reviewer: Insecurity Signed
Date: 02/11/06 Title: Chapter 1: The Confessions Of Severus Snape

*Giggles* As much as I adore Snape, I also love to read stories that make a mockery of him. This was very amusing - especially the bit where Albus and JKR sort of bully him into giving Harry a good grade. Very funny. One little nitpick: Jello is distinctly American. Although, this is a humor fic and in no way should be taken seriously, so you are forgiven. It provided me with a little giggle - certainly a contrast to the doom and gloom Snape that I've been writing.


Reviewer: Insecurity Signed
Date: 08/09/05 Title: None

Wow - I can't believe I didn't think of doing something like this myself! I have to salute you, its amazing. The way you mock yourself as "the author", almost making yourself into an additional character, is really funny. I think that for all of us who are fed up of reading superficial OC's and half-baked plots its amazing. For all those who write them - its really embaressing.

Author's Response: I agree with you completely as I'm both fed up with superficial OC's and half-baked plots... and I write them. Thanks for the Review!


Reviewer: Insecurity Signed
Date: 12/27/04 Title: None

Hey, I like it so far, it's different to many of the romance fics I've read. I will keep checking back to see if you update it.

Author's Response: Thanks

A Shell Dirty and Broken by Mary

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: He didn’t leave the vibrant, quarrelsome, passionate, attractive woman he once loved. He left the empty and broken shell she had become. Complete One-Shot.
Reviewer: Insecurity Signed
Date: 02/08/06 Title: Chapter 1: A Shell

You have a very distinctive writing style. I have read another one of your one-shots and I have enjoyed both of them because they you don’t conform to the usual style of a Hermione/Snape story. They are certainly credible, and despite being short they contain within them the bare necessities to make the pairing acceptable. However, I do think you’re writing to ‘fully-converted’ Hermione/Snape lovers, all us addicts who already love the two of them, and may not give quite enough detail to convince the sceptics out there.

I liked this story because it condensed a lifetimes worth of events into a simple one-shot, showing us the development and decay of a relationship in approximately 1,000 words, yet at the same time it wasn’t overbearing. The plot you created would work for a long-chaptered story just as well as it has here. Using present tense also made it that bit more intriguing, and the idea of flashing back through Snape’s life to show how he got to the point that he did was effective.

Writing a one-shot from Snape’s POV is challenging and so I applaud you for doing it successfully. You shed a caring light on him, and I did ponder over that being slightly OOC for him, yet I do believe that he has the capability to love. You also reflected his faults as a man by how he left his depressed wife – the Snape that many could condemn – and so by showing the duel nature of him, you made him more realistic, more believable. He was developed enough for us to sympathise with him, even within such a short story.

One thing I did find was that the ending was a little rushed. The idea of the owl returning, and everything Hermione saying in the owl being positive and welcoming appeared just a tad bit rushed. You could have spread it out a bit longer, gone into more detail as to what her returning letter said, Snape’s feelings towards it, and perhaps have a longer gap between his letter and her corresponding one to heighten suspense. I understand your need to tie everything up nicely and perhaps to give a happy ending, but a little more elaboration would have been helpful. Also, don’t be scared of leaving us lingering at the end of one-shots – it can make for an even bigger impact!

Overall, I am very impressed by your style of writing and your gift for storytelling. I will certainly read more of your work!

The Severus Doll by ancientgirl

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: A two chapter little story, I wrote just for fun.
Reviewer: Insecurity Signed
Date: 10/10/05 Title: Chapter 2: Chapter 2

I re-discovered your writing a couple of says ago, having read “The long Wait” over six months ago (and absolutely loved it – it strengthened my faith in Hermione and Snape as a credible couple.) The first chapter of this story, I would describe as “fluff” The tone you set is playful, and I would even go so far as saying Hermione’s affections are innocent towards her potions professor – it is a teenage crush! From this G-PG first section you move into an R rated second chapter, with sexual content no longer disguised with subtlety. I have my concerns about this, as you’ve turned fluff into smut and it may unnerve younger readers who were misled by your first chapter. I suggest if you were doing a one-shot in two halves like this you keep the maturity level consistent.
To say Severus Snape was not a lucky man would have been the understatement of the millennium. Not only had he spent the last twenty years putting his life on the line spying for the Order, but he also spent the last six-and-a-half years having to keep watch over Harry-bloody-Potter.
You set the tone of the story well with this introduction. When I read this I knew it wasn’t going to be a heavy story, it something for humour and light entertainment. You don’t try and introduce many deep issues in the story, you just inform the reader of the context and assume we will accept the rest. I like this, many people feel the need to say exactly what happened in the war before they can commence their one-shot – instead you only told us what was necessary. I love your phrasing of “Harry-bloody-Potter” – mocking Harry for the sake of us Snape fans.
The ingredient was nothing special, really — just some baby’s breath
I know this isn’t an important part of your story but I wonder why baby breath would be in the greenhouses. It may be better to say something a little more typical – like Mandrake Root. Although, just thinking about it further, it does fit in with the “rag doll” theme and innocent sexuality. The idea of “breath” has some connotations. I suggest you re-locate the scene to the hospital ward – a more credible place to find this ingredient.
It was the most adorable thing she had ever seen, and it looked just like Professor Snape. She bent down and picked it up. She cradled it in her arms like a baby.
This is a very child-like image of Hermione, and considering her age a tad OOC. But I do excuse this because of the theme of your story – it does show a side of her that wants affection and warmth. The image is very striking, she is a gentle person and this contrasts very starkly with the thoughts Snape is thinking.
‘If I’m going to die,’ he thought, ‘I may as well die in the arms of a soft, wonderful smelling, sweet…Ahh, no, bloody hell!’
I am unsure whether Snape would express his thoughts in this way. He is more likely to be less jumpy and worried about death. My perception of him is that he isn’t someone who is interested in “soft” and “wonderful smelling” things. He also wouldn’t shout something out like “bloody hell.” This does add humour to the piece but be careful to keep the humour within the character’s personality. Snape has a very sly and sarcastic way of expressing his discontent, often very subtle.
“Fucking furball,' thought Severus.” and “What if that twat Longbottom fucked up the spell, and it never wore off?”
I really should not be one to preach about using explicit language, but in this story I do not see it necessary. If you had toned down this and the sexual content you would have been able to uphold the theme you created in your first chapter. I also don’t think Snape would refer to Neville as “that twat” or Crookshanks as a “fucking furball.” Remember that whilst your readers may be in majority teenagers, you still need to uphold the adult vocabulary in order to make Snape’s character credible.
She was awed at the workmanship of his clothes. Whoever made this small doll certainly did a fabulous job.
I thought this part was very cute. It brings back to the theme of innocence, and enhances the magic of the spell that’s been cast upon Snape. I can imagine the little doll in my mind and the way in which Hermione cherishes it. As an over-emotional teenager, I am someone who loves to keep hold of a picture of my loved one, and used to keep it under my pillow. This doll represents her sugar-coated image of Snape – the one she idolises and fantasises about. By hugging the doll I see her dependency of him and how she may be deceived into thinking he has a softer side.
It was normal for him to disappear after his last class on Fridays. He would regularly spend most of his weekend inside his private quarters.
Hermione’s ability to track Snape’s routine is very interesting. It is typical behaviour of someone who has an obsession to track down their routine. I often find it comforting to know what my certain somebody is doing at each point in time. You also uphold Snape as a very private man and allusive man – very true to the books.
Upon her graduation, Hermione was given the first and only apprenticeship in Potions granted by Professor Severus Snape. After serving as his apprentice for one year, she took her exam and became not only the youngest Potions Mistress ever, but Mrs. Hermione Snape.
I’d say this “happily ever after” conclusion was a tad cliché and isn’t really necessary. The story has been very cheeky and mischievous so far and so concluding it with the idea of them sneaking around after each other would have been better. You seem to stamp normality onto the one-shot with this final paragraph, rather than leaving it in its obscurity of before. Don’t be afraid of leaving the story open at the end, you don’t always have to tie everything up nicely.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading and reviewing this story. It makes a change to all the “doom and gloom” that I have been both reading and writing lately. Good luck with your writing, you show a lot of talent and I am sure you can go far if you chose it as a career!

Author's Response: You certainly put some thought into this review. But I have to say, I really didn't set out to make any statement here. I wrote this after seeing a drawing of Hermione holding a Snape doll. While I respect your opinion on whether Snape would or would not use any of the words he expressed here, I don't like to adhere a lot to what most would consider canon. It is my opinion that fanfiction is here for us to be able to portray characters in different ways. I also feel that there is too much about Snape we do not know, so while he is in this very improbable situation, there is no real way of knowing just how he would react. Thank you for the compliment on my writing, I do appreciate it. In my reading and writing of stories I like to tie things up, its just the way I am. I don't like to be out there wondering what might have happened, its just me. Fear has nothing to do with it. I have written a couple of stories in which I stear away from my normal style, just to be different. I don't post here anymore and if you would like to read something a bit different I post now on The Petulant Poetess. There are many stories and writers there you might enjoy.

An Insider's View by CCCC

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
Summary: A series of one-shots from inside the minds of various characters. Different formats and styles for each character.
This is a past featured story, but from way back before they did rosettes for it. Bellatrix, Gargoyle, Ollivander, Sorting Hat, Filch, Rita (New)
Reviewer: Insecurity Signed
Date: 11/06/05 Title: Chapter 4: A Sorter

*punces on Tom* I really enjoyed reading this one-shot! At first I expected it to be a humorous little insight into the life of Hogwarts from everyone’s favourite hat, but instead I was pleasantly surprised to receive the philosophical insight into the hat’s intellect and morals. You have a mature way of conveying the meaning of life and happiness; I especially liked the hat’s opinion of utilitarianism: “sacrifice the few for the many” (though it’s usually the many that say that and not the few) I think this gave a subtle criticism to the way most people view the world and how human liberties become sacrificed. By using an inferior being, a hat, you managed to show how the downtrodden feel within modern day society.

wit without measure is man’s greatest treasure, just a simple couplet that I composed years ago come back to haunt me.

I like how you identified with the canon character and then moulded his words to turn him into your own, otherwise you may have risked slight OOCness. You create humour with this small and witty sentence that lightens the mood and masks some of the more serious issues. A little nitpick on sentence structure: I think that dividing it into two sentences would make it read a little easier: “…just a simple couplet that I composed years ago. It has now come back to haunt me.”

Then slipped away (how I know not) up to the office… Another small nit-pick: You need a comma after how. At times I was a little bit confused as to why you chose to go into dialogue. Is the hat speaking aloud? Are you trying to show particular significance of one thing that he meditates over another? I am not an expert on dialogue but maybe some of it could have been italicised to show it as a specific thought the hat was having. One example: I ask the question of myself, “would I be able to find happiness knowing that in freeing myself from my purpose I have destroyed the reason for it?” That I have destroyed something ancient, and great, and more to the point, something good?” Here you have two closing quotation marks. You need to decide where you want to close the Sorting Hat’s speech, I also think that “would” should be capitalised but I may be wrong. What he is having a very in-depth meditation on the meaning of his life and so I think wording is crucial, consider sharpening it to make it clearer: “Can freedom bring me happiness if, in order to gain it, I have destroyed my entire purpose in life.” This may be a little dramatic though *ponders over it* In one italicised section you jump from first person narrative to second person narrative: I can’t even get to the other side of the room let alone the other side of the world, fool! There’s only one reason you want to travel the world… I think here you are trying to show conflicting voices in the Sorting Hat’s mind. If so you should separate out one voice from another by creating a new paragraph. This would help your reader distinguish between the two and understand the conflict the hat is going through.

If they were all true, then there wouldn’t be any dragons left, they’d all have been killed by bravery and inventive use of a pair of tweezers.
I found your reference to tweezers and dragons a little bizarre, so I thought I’d point it out. I can see that you are showing both the hat’s sarcastic wit and scepticism of the outside world, but I think a little more clarity wouldn’t go amiss. It may just be me and my lack of dragon-knowledge, though.

Unless I fulfil my function then I should be dead. I have to earn the right-to-life, and keep earning it every day of my existence.

I like your use of “should” here, it’s very interesting. It gives the hat no more worth than the role in which he plays. You bring up the controversial modern day issue of “right to life” (I don’t think you need hyphens in between, by the way) and once again project it into the fandom. I am intrigued to see how even the hat believes he is worth no more than his purpose; he doesn’t value himself as an intellectual being. “Dead” is an interesting word as well, that he should be killed rather than to simply not have come into existence in the first place. I don’t know which is worse, to live and to lose life or to not have been here at all. I think the hat believes the former, as he says “I find I am afraid” showing that the burden of upcoming and almost-certain death is too much and that the suffering is not worthwhile. Am I making any sense?

He cannot lose while I exist, for he bound the piece to more than my fibres, he bound it to my “soul” (for lack of a better word) if indeed I have one.
I loved this exclamation. It brought together the hat’s despair and his doubts of his own existence. It makes the reader question whether the hat has a soul, and allows them to sympathise with him in the end. The idea of Voldemort’s soul being intertwined with the hat’s is interesting, maybe it is since this event that the hat has desired freedom, has become ambitious and dissatisfied with his mediocre existence. It may be Voldemort’s Horcrux that is corrupting the Hat’s morals.

“Fine, fine, what’s your favourite colour? Red?” “GRYFFINDOR!”
I like this ending as it links back to the beginning when he rejects his own intelligence. I also think it is a sly mockery of the crappy Sorting Hat Quizzes that plague the internet, or maybe that is just my evil mind. It rounds up the story though, as it shows him living out his purpose and accepting fate. He chooses to continue down this path and it’s rather brave of him, all things considered, so I think Godric Gryffindor would be proud. *huggles the Sorting Hat*

It is being able to review stories like these that make fulfilling the SPEW quota worthwhile. You have a wonderful talent for story-telling here, especially at adding twists and provoking your reader’s thought. Keep up the good work, this story is well-worth its spot on the featured section!


Reviewer: Insecurity Signed
Date: 08/14/05 Title: Chapter 3: Chapter 2: Separate Paths

I've thoroughly enjoyed reading this story so far, despite the ships not being my favourites. The prologue was very picturesque, it reminded me of my visit to Yosemite, California. A very good job, it sets the scene really well. I am very intrigued into what will happen next with young Rhea, she is a very interesting character. One thing I think you do need to consider, however, is her maturity, as at the age of eleven you wouldn't be calling your father "Daddy" anymore. I think the conversation at the end of chapter 2 could have been a little more dynamic, showing a bigger range of emotions from her. I really love the fan fictions structure. The idea of time travel helps a story, with many offensive issues, to be broken up and prevents the themes from being too overwhelming. It's certainly interesting to see how Harry reacted in contrast to Neville. One thing I would say though, is that after such a traumatic ordeal it's doubtful Ginny would trust a man strong enough to marry him, it would have been better to leave it a year or two.

Author's Response: First of all, thank-you for your review! You've raised a couple of points I'd like to address. I'm 27, I still call my father "daddy". I think it depends on context and I think Rhea is so amazed and in such a state of shock, that she says daddy because she isn't thinking.

The other thing I'd like to address is Ginny. We have really only seen the "ordeal" from Harry's point of view. I'm not ready at this point to delve more into Ginny's character (I'd rather return to Rhea and Sara for awhile) but I think when I do go back to Ginny's storyline, you'll better be able to understand her decisions. I can say that she feels as sorry for Harry as Harry feels for her.

Survival of the Fittest by Ashwinder

Summary: Mrs Norris is jealous of Filch's crush on Dolores Umbridge.
Reviewer: Insecurity Signed
Date: 02/11/06 Title: Chapter 1: One-shot

I remember reading this last summer and really enjoying it. I love any story written from a cat's POV because they make for light entertainment, whilst being very intelligent animals. You're portrayal of Mrs. Norris is wonderful! Filch/Unbridge make for an interesting pairing - I enjoyed their teamwork in Ootp, and the idea of Filch being besotted by her is hilarious. I did find the ending rather malicious, though, in some ways... made me feel a bit eerie. But then again, Mrs. Norris isn't a very nice cat! Good job!

Author's Response: Hee, I fully admit to having a sick sense of humour at times, but come on. It's Umbridge, and it's poetic justice! But then you're talking to someone who came up with killing Rita Skeeter with a bug zapper, too... Take that for what you will.

Sins of the Father by TheVault

Rated: Professors •
Summary: There was something about him that made him irresistible to her. Siobhan Murphy will go to any lengths to ascertain her deepest desires - but when the object of those desires is a married man twice her age with secrets darker than she can imagine, she will find herself caught in a scandalous liaison that she can't walk away from. Not Canon-Compliant.
Reviewer: Insecurity Signed
Date: 09/28/05 Title: Chapter 3: Chapter 3: Of a Stranger

Yay! Another brilliant chapter! The mood has changed, the conversation between Harry and Siobhan highlights the dangerous world they now live in and nicely reminds the reader that it won’t all be fun and games. I like how you’ve shifted the focus away from Draco for a chapter and by having her interact with Harry we are beginning to see more depth. Harry is very true to the book, although I personally may have portrayed him as a little more tense and jumpy at Siobhan’s speculation. I like how you’ve given a small piece of Siobhan’s history, dangled it in front of the reader, and then abruptly taken it away without revealing everything that happened. This chapter isn’t as “exciting” as previous ones, but I can see you are building it up more now, it’s starting to take shape.

In the aftermath of the encounter with Draco, Siobhan had not yet had to deal with him any further.
This opening sentence could be worded better, in my opinion. Possibly: “Siobhan didn’t have to deal with Draco after their encounter in the Common Room.” Possibly include a sentence about how relieved she is about this.

Seeming pleased at having made progress with her, he had reduced his advances to mere flirtations and directed his attention to keeping Pansy Parkinson dangling on a string – after all, he could not afford to lose his faithful lapdog after the years of adequate, but consistent, service she had provided him.
This is quite a tongue twisting sentence that I believe could be broken down a little better. I like her perception of Draco, so brutally honest as she lays bear his crude intentions. I think you could have gone into a little more detail, giving a few examples of how Pansy had been around him lately and whether he reacted different to her after his “seduction” of Siobhan.

He had been using her since he learned how to operate his equipment.
I found this line humorous, a feminist twist on the chauvinistic male, subtly degrading his manhood and showing Siobhan’s criticism of a woman who allows herself to be used by men like Draco.

Siobhan wondered how Hogwarts would get everything done if students starting abiding the rules and teachers no longer had the excuse of detention to delegate menial tasks upon them.
I loved this line because it is very true to the school I am in. I sincerely believe that the teachers love to give a detention just so they know that one tedious task has been taken off their hands. Siobhan’s scepticism and view of adults is intriguing, she can see their faults as easily as she can see her fellow students’ – such an astute observer! One nitpick though – I had to look up the meaning of “menial” and I believe it would be better to use “boring” so as not to confuse some of your readers.

The air was filled with thoughts floating above each of their heads, thoughts that wanted to be shared.
I love this line because it has a minimalist style whilst creating a mystic image in our minds. Your descriptions are not over-powering but they are still very vivid. Here you’ve managed to portray their desire to open up to one another really well.

Their agenda was brought on by a desire for dominance and a mistaken sense of superiority and they quenched their thirst for power with the blood of others.
This description of the Death Eaters is wonderful – not only because of your accurate portrayal but also because it is coming from Siobhan’s POV. How interesting that Siobhan, the girl infatuated by Lucius Malfoy, would hate his vocation so passionately. The idea of “mistaken sense of superiority” is a brilliant way of showing the aloofness of the aristocracy, especially considering the aloofness of Siobhan – she can distinguish between her own superior attitude, stemming form her own confidence, and the attitude of the corrupted Death Eaters.

His green eyes were stormy as they rested a moment on the stone wall of the room; his discordant emotions were swirling and clashing within him.
Lovely piece of imagery! Of all the different ways his eyes are described in various fan fictions – this is one of the most unique and striking. This one sentence sums up Harry’s heartache and uncomfortable situation very well.

Very much at the expense of their mutual blonde-haired nemesis.
I’m glad you ended the same way you began – taking the mess out of that wimpy little thing I am beginning to despise. It adds a light humour at the end of a very serious fan fiction. It helps the reader realise that this fan fiction will have serious elements but isn’t all doom and gloom!

Now I am going to adopt the role of eager fan girl – UPDATE SOON PLEASE! Good luck with everything back home, and keep writing!

Author's Response: Thank you, as always, for the splendid review. I appreciate the suggestions - particularly the first one, and I might just have to steal your wording. That is, of course, if I ever get around to editting it. *cough*. I'm very much appreciative of the positive, too; you provide such wonderful analysis. *giggles*.

Reviewer: Insecurity Signed
Date: 08/29/05 Title: Chapter 2: Chapter 2: Something of Interest

This story is certainly my favourite at the moment. I am thoroughly enjoying it and think it is very unique. I'm not someone who goes for the typical pairings so this one attracted me immediatly. I certainly think Siobhan is a Slytherin, she's got the cunning and the aloofness, and it suits her quite well. I liked how she gave the mouse some chocolate; it showed a compassionate side of her that was needed in order for her not to be cold. She's both likeable and dislikeable at the same time, I'm not sure whether I do like her but I certainly want to read about her. I'd be careful though, regarding her studies. What's more annoying than a know-it-all who studies all the time is one that is too lazy to study but still gets everything right. Maybe have her waste her intellectual ability, so at the end of the year her NEWTs are far from what she hoped for. I like your portrayal of Draco, he's certainly dislikeable yet we see a different perspective through Siobhan than we do Harry. His foolish attempts at seduction amused me; I agree with the way you made him react to her. I do think though, that he may notice her disinterest after a while, he isn't as foolish as he looks. I'm looking forward to how the plot evolves, hoping it won't be an easy ride for Siobhan, she's going to have to fight for it! Your ideas are ingenious - keep up the good work!

Author's Response: Thank you very much :D (Excellent review, by the way). About Siobhan, I do get a lot of 'mixed' responses about her - nobody is ever sure about Miss Murphy. And I do love that. She keeps everyone guessing. As for school, Siobhan doesn't care much for it because she is aware she could drop out and live the rest of her life without worries, because she's heir to two family fortunes. She isn't really a know-it-all, either, nor is she great in school. She knows History, but she isn't good with practical application like Charms and Transfiguration - which is why she doesn't like to go to said classes - it means she has to try. I'm glad you pointed out the part about her giving the mouse chocolate. It makes me smile. :D Thanks again!

Reviewer: Insecurity Signed
Date: 11/09/05 Title: Chapter 5: Chapter 5: Lucius

Just popping in a small review, just to say how much I adored this chapter! Call me silly but I found your food choice rather interesting... oysters being a food of love that both Siobhan and Lucius do not like (the only thing on her mind is lust! And does he have the capability to love?) Lamb as the chosen alternative --- interesting, seeing as it's a sign of sacrifice and purity. And we all know that Siobhan's plan is bound to go wrong, her naivety and obsession is bound to cause trouble. She is playing with fire. Oooh, loving it so far.

Author's Response: Oh, wonderful observation! Siobhan and Lucius both are both rather philophobic [Philophobia: fear of falling in love], and they divert their attentions with lust. I think all people are capable of love. Siobhan convinces herself that she has no need for love as a defense mechanism for being alone, when really she longs for friendship and intimacy. Lucius sees love as a weakness. Lamb is really just one of Siobhan's favourite foods. And yes - she's playing with fire, and she's going to get burned. ;)

Reviewer: Insecurity Signed
Date: 11/09/05 Title: Chapter 6: Chapter 6: The Games Commence

Wow! Just wow! That was pure Lucius Malfoy heaven! It's inspired me to begin writing this one-shot that I have lined up. He is so true to the seductive and luscious Lucius that I simply adore. The witty remarks and Narcissa's position within it all... absolutely wonderful. One thing I would warn though, is make sure you do not rush events too quickly. Keep us hanging a little... Lucius isn't someone to rush into action without thought. I do love how he managed to perceive her affections though, such sharp-wit. Pure perfection! I don't know if I can wait to find out what happens next...

Author's Response: Lucius isn't someone to rush into action without thought. I disagree actually ;) I think he's so confident, and that he has so little respect for consequence that he does whatever he wants. Even in the case of the Diary Horcrux, he just passed it off carelessly to Ginny. Thanks for the review :)

Private Universe by AJRoald

Rated: Professors •
Summary: Companion story to ‘Into Temptation’. What would Rita Skeeter say if she knew what was taking place at Ginny Weasley’s London flat? And with a werewolf no less! A steamy look into the romance of Remus Lupin and Ginny Weasley.
Reviewer: Insecurity Signed
Date: 09/14/05 Title: Chapter 1: Private Universe

When I read the summery, discovering which characters you'd chosen to pair, I wondered how you would manage to pull this off. You gave only minimal backstory (I would have preferred you to give some more precise detail as to their relationship's history) and you allowed the story to be focused on their desires. It made for a very in-depth study of their interaction, making them by the end a plausible couple.

I would be more careful with phrasing. Creating a romantic atmosphere is difficult. You used good adjectives that set the tone well and the image of the orange was very well-written, although lacking subtelty in places. However, you made a few inappropriate references, such as "bloke" and "in the buff" . These are Briticism's but in a romantic chapter they do not work, they're slang terms that I doubt people like Lupin or Ginny would use, so are best left out. Your wording could also be a little sharper, a few times I didn't quite understand what you were trying to express. Try not to be too long-winded, you want to keep your reader lingering on a thread but you don't want them falling off the thread completely.

Lupin's character was intriguing to say the least. His self-conscious trait suited very well, I imagine Lupin to be a very bashful person around intimacy. I also liked how Ginny didn't push him into anything, her dialogue was suggestive without being obvious. This gave the reader enough of the passion to grab on to, without rushing into the action too early.

The humour you included complimented the story very nicely. I especially liked the reference to Red Riding Hood, and the muddle between that and The Three Little Pigs. It added a theme of innocence and childhood playfulness into this story, which is very important cosidering he is somewhat older than her. Ginny's youth is evident, and her vunerability that goes alongside it. I'm glad you didn't portray her as an obvious tart, like I've read in too many fan fictions.

I'm glad I read this story, as it gives me a feel for how to go about my own chapter. Passionate scenes, I beleive, are the most awkward - if you don'tspend time to do them right it just flops. But yours did not flop! It showed great talent - keep up the good work!

Author's Response: Thank you for the very detailed review - those are the kind of reviews I live for! I am just curious, did you happen to read 'Into Temptation'? Private Universe was a sequel to that story, and there was more 'set-up' of the relationship in it. I wish you luck in your own writing ventures - 'passionate' scenes are hard to write. My main goal in PU was to keep it as tasteful as possible, which considering what you are writing, is probably one of the biggest challenges I have ever undertaken. Thanks again!


Reviewer: Insecurity Signed
Date: 08/31/05 Title: None

I've enjoyed reading this first chapter. The thunder storm really set the scene, it drew me into the story and showed subtleties about the new character's of Anne and Maggie, by the way they reacted to the storm and one another. I liked Maggies response to the thunder question: "It's better than magic". I beleive it shows that Maggie enjoys being part of the magical world but her parents have made sure she appreciates the natural world, and in her childhood she hasn't taken advantage of magic, nor of the world she lives in.
The farm sounds a very cosy home, especially the idea of Harry's wood carvings. It gives a very humble impression that suits Harry - I doubt he wanted anything flashy in life, he just wanted something to call his.
The amputated limb I think works well, as it shows Harry didn't defeat Voldemort unscathed, and that he is still suffering from the events. The electric shot that ran through his leg I interpretated as a symbol for the everlasting spiritual harm he's been put through, like he made a huge sacrifice in the end.
I am eager to find out more about Maggie. I know very little about James so far, I hope you are going to give him more of a distinct personality. Although, i get the impression that he is the slightly wiser and more mature of the two.
Also, I think you should include a physical description, just enoguh so taht I can imagine them in my mind. One for Anne would have also been useful.
Keep up the good work.

The Futility of Reason by Vocalion

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: A procrastinating Potions master puts his worst foot forward as he makes an unwavering, albeit unconventional attempt to prevent Hermione's marriage. Will forty-eight hours afford Severus Snape sufficient time to convince her that he is a supercilious and unmitigated nuisance? Written in response to the Spring Faire Festival's "I Want to Kiss the Bride" story option.
Reviewer: Insecurity Signed
Date: 08/20/05 Title: Chapter 1: The Futility of Reason

Wow! I really enjoyed that! Being a fan of SS/HG I've read countless of stories and by now they're beginning to bore me. However, this one was just really funny - I've never read about a Snape who is addicted to tea before! Unlike with many humour fics, I was laughing my socks off! Snape is certainly not romantic but yet strangely appealing. I don't think I would have been able to resist - lol! Your jokes were all very well thought out and suited the characters. I also liked how you had Charlie as the fiancee, instead of chosing the obvious - Ron. You made his character very believable as well, without us ever meeting him, I actually pitied him in the end. The bit that really made me smile though, was how you were quoting famous Muggle's like Oscar Wilde, and then in the end included a quote by Dumbledore - certainly the wisest of them all. I don't know if I can find any criticism, which is unusual for me. I really did enjoy it!

Through Fields of Gold by Seren

Summary: She could walk through the graveyard without blinking, bypassing the graves of fallen childhood friends. She could walk through the halls of Hogwarts without missing a step, tracing back a path to her first day as she rushed through the school. She could even make her way to the Forbidden Forest and trample through it, ignoring the splashes and stains that still marred the aged trees and wasted ground. But Hermione cannot make herself face the Great Lake, calm on this balmy summer day, where she had watched three people she had slowly grown to love fade from existence. Character Death within. Post-Hogwarts.
Reviewer: Insecurity Signed
Date: 08/31/05 Title: Chapter 1: Through Fields of Gold [one-shot]

I feel very melancholy after reading this. Being used to reading dark fan fictions, I often don't feel an impact, but I did today. Your portrayal of the war is very realistic, I think it does prepare us for what JKR will have in store.
The layout of the story added to the effect, making me enter Hermione's mind as she feels her way around Hogwarts, triggering flashbacks, only short because she doesn't want to relive it at first, and then in the end letting it all flow out. I think you could have gone into more detail with some of the deaths, such as McGonagoll's, Hagrids and Susan's, although the effect of them flashing by was very good.
I liked the philosophy you gave through Luna and the three ghosts present at the end. It softened the ending, and gave me hope. The description at the end was very vivid, I could see the field in my mind.
I loved the theme of stolen childhood, it is very true to those who joined the Great War as teengers, and never survived it. The contrast between Hermione moaning and then playing at the end allowed me to think of how young the soldiers really are who go to war, the impact it has on their lives afterwards. I do think you could have spent more time having her come to terms with it, she does appear to have a revelation of some kind, possibly from Luna's ghost? If not, it takes slightly longer for someone to realise it's time to move on.

This one-shot has really touched my heart, I have Eva Cassidy singing in my head now, it's certainly a well-written piece.


Reviewer: Insecurity Signed
Date: 08/31/05 Title: None

An interesting fan fiction. By half way through I'd assumed it was Draco, and I was beginning to think it a little out of character for Draco to be crying and acting vunerable infront of a girl. It makes sense taht Ron would be, although I'm still confused as to how he got involved with Pansy and the D.E's. I liked how you decribed Ron as a boy, rather than a young man, as it illustrated his naivety and the juvanile choice he made.
I like how you took a risk; making it almost plausible for Ron to betray his friends, and giving it that surrealism at the end that concluded the mystery. Your descirption of Pansy was very vivid , she came across true to the book character whilst giving her a sinister edge that JKR hasn't.
The descriptions of the night and the park were good but I beleive you could have pushed it further. You could have put more into how he was feeling, the way he reacted to small details of his surrondings and the sensations he was having. The details you gave needed fleshing out a bit more.
I certainly think this is a strong one-shot, something people will either love, hate or ponder over for a few hours. You have a talent for this genre, so keep perfecting your technique.

Splinters in My Heart by lunafish

Rated: Professors •
Summary: Once upon a time Narcissa and Severus were in love. Sadly, some things just aren't meant to be. Posted prior to DH.
Reviewer: Insecurity Signed
Date: 09/05/05 Title: Chapter 1: Splinters in My Heart

Wow! I think you probably know how much I love dear Severus, so I was holding back a tear whilst reading this fan fiction.

The way you portrayed him, as such a reserved and uncomfortable buy (not a man like Lucius) was exactly as I see him. I can just imagine him on Christmas morning, sat reading one of his many books and pretending it was a normal day. His locked heart throughout the fan fiction, I beleive is true to the books. However, i would have liked him to open up something at the end, before everything was shattered. I would just liked to have peeped into his soul for a second. I also wouldn't have minded a bit extra at the end, showing how as he grew into adulthood he never trusted love again. However, his lack of faith in love is present throughout your fan fiction, the way he can't tell her and how he beleives he doesn't have a match. It made me pity him a little, but also reminded me of how I feel at the moment.

Narcissa was interesting! At the moment I'm working on a romance between Snape and Lily so I was a little reluctant to accepting a woman, who I beleive is so cold, having affections for Snape. I do love how you portrayed her aloofness and how that hinders her with the relationship. I especially liked her grudge on Sirius at the end, showing she does share the elitist attitude of her family. She appears to be someone very swept up by other people, someone who will never be allowed to make her own decisions. This is reinforced in Spinner's End, I can see how you used that chapter as your starting block for her personality and relationship with Snape. You've changed my mind about Narcissa, I'm beginning to pity the way Lucius treats her and her fate, being a Death Eaters wife. I also loved the way you voiced her, the sarcasm and Slytherin-esque comments. She is certainly plausible. I would have liked her to put up more of a fight at the end, clinging to him and not breaking the relationship due to one small hindrence. It makes me beleive she was just infatuated by him.

I would also like to comment on your imagery of shattered glass. You kept it minimilistic, which I liked. Repeating the same "wonderland" image which I think fits well with their walks around the lake and Christmas get together. I am someone who tends to go overboard when it comes to imagery. You managed to successfully convey a strong image whilst keeping to the plot.

I believe this story has potential to go further, should a plot bunny jump out at you! Good luck with the competition, I think it's given us Ravenclaws a good chance of winning!

Author's Response: Wow! Thanks for the thoughtful review! You've given me lots to think about. Concerning Severus: I don't think this experience would have made him afraid of love because he already didn't trust love to begin with on account of his wretched family and his awful treatment at school. Also, take it from me, we homely people learn early not to hope--it just gets us hurt. He felt lucky for any time he had and his gratitude lasted into adulthood--hence Narcissa's ability to ask for his help. And, of course, my real focus was Narcissa. So sorry I didn't convey the loss she was feeling because I meant to show that she in fact really DID love Severus and wasn't simply infatuated. However, her own background, I feel, would instill a certain pride that would prevent her begging. Anyway, thanks for reviewing! I really appreciate the ideas for improvement you've given me!