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Reviews by GringottsVault711

Amortentia by Cruciatus Love

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
Summary: Merope Gaunt has what seems like a flawless plan to get Tom Riddle to love her. She has everything worked out to the very last drop of Amortentia in his glass each morning. Watch as a country called Romania and a celebration of love takes it's effect on this 'perfect love.'

Written as a Term Challenge: Holidays Abroad submission for Slytherin.

Reviewer: GringottsVault711 Signed
Date: 07/24/06 Title: Chapter 3: Chapter Two

Oooh, I really love this story, Shayla. I never really thought of what it must have been like for Merope. In my mind it was just the simple explanation Dumbledore had given: she game him Amorentia for a while, and one day could no longer bear it. But you've brought a lovely little tale out of this pairing. I want to say 'romantic' but... well, not really ;)

I think the way you have painted Merope's daily routine is very believable, and Tom's morning behaviour, too. It's a little heart-wrenching, that this is what she has to go through every day to be with the man she loves. Again, very twisted. I like the jealous streak you've put in her too, not only because it's very believable, given her situation, but it doesn't make her character completely likeable. Merope is usually painted as a pathetic, demented victim, who just didn't know better. But, aside from being slightly deranged, there is a clear consciousness about her actions in the way you've characterised her. To take it one step furthe, I can really see Voldemort's mother here. Perhaps the victim of unfortunate circumstances, but: no, that's not really an excuse for their actions. And the little flash of anger that arises in her jealousy, that was perfect. I instantly connected Merope with her son in that moment.

Other than two mispellings of 'vendors', where you used an 'e' instead of an 'o', my only nitpick is really that sometimes your dialogue doesn't quite sound like it belongs to characters from 1930's Britain [Merope's dialgoue, as she's a pureblood witch, would probably be even more traditional.]

The general use of dialogue is well done, though, and the narration is soft and seamless. I also enjoy that, not only have you twisted and developed a plot here, but that you've flavoured it with this Romanian culture, and used it to give the story even more originality. I can't wait to read this rest of this :D

Author's Response: Finally got around to this, huh Jenna. ,)

Wow, I wasn\'t expecting for you to read the whole thing as I know it is rather l9ong, but I\'d be happy to see your opinions on the end. The first few chapters of this I wrote so long ago that much of the writing isn\'t at the same level as I am now. I\'m actually surprised that you gave it as good of a review as you did. You certainly were nicer then I would have been.

I know I need help with the dialogue on this thing, but it\'s so old, and it\'s finished, so in my mind it\'s like I don\'t care about it anymore, you know. But I probably should go through and fix it up, huh. Heh, maybe I\'ll do it later...

Thanks again for the review, and I hope you do enjoy the rest of it.

Reformation by callmehermione

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Penname: callmehermione
House: Ravenclaw
Challenge: Four: "Love Yourself"
"Don't forget to love yourself"

After a tumultuous sixth year, Draco Malfoy is returning for his seventh. He's troubled by his past experiences and apprehensive about the future. Returning to Hogwarts is the beginning of the rest of his life, though how different it may be is still to be seen.
Reviewer: GringottsVault711 Signed
Date: 06/25/06 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1

Envy, Envy, Envy. That’s how I feel reading your writing. The pace, the detail, the description – you have the perfect balance and flow. Love, Love, Love.

They were unresponsive, but Draco knew what was underneath them: fear pain, and no sense of direction.. I reacted so strongly to that first part – his eyes were unresponsive. It does amaze me that eyes can hold so much emotion, or lack thereof. And just the word ‘unresponsive’, it’s such a powerful statement.

I think the characterisation rings wonderfully true to what we saw of Draco in HBP. He’s not a horrible person, he’s not evil, not a murderer. But here, instead of being trapped by expectations and what he thinks he should be doing, he’s come to terms with the fact that he’s not proud of what he did. In a way he’s better off, but now he has a new kind of fear and darkness to face. Regret, isolation, even some self-hatred. That’s an incredibly important skill for a writer – original or fan fiction – to possess. To write a character so true and consistent to themself, but at the same time show them evolve, develop, move into a new phase of life.

You have some lovely subtle word choices. “Time for school. Get up,” she said briskly, - that ‘briskly’ totally sets Narcissa’s tone. The dialogue kind of came into my mind soft and gentle, but then I saw the word briskly, and I was much more satisfied.

*sigh* I’m reading a lot of more character-study-esque one-shots today. I love it. I don’t tend to like long narrated stories in a one shot. I love what an author can do just getting inside a characters head, and holding a reader’s interest even through something as seemingly mundane as a first day at school.

I really love what you’ve done with Draco here. I’ve never ever been a Draco fan, it took Half Blood Prince to soften me on him, and you definitely brought out that element in him. I wish I could go on longer and gush about all the wonderful little lines, but the truth is I find your word use and narration just seamless and thoroughly lovely. :) I’ve been fond of D/G lately, but I’ve never read any. Venturing into MNFF’s D/G archive never seemed a wise idea to be. I’ll have to check out your other stories and see what you’ve done with them.

PS. Did I tell you that I’m in total lust with your writing now?

Author's Response: You? Like.. MY writing? I might.. just.. die. I am permanently in lust with your writing. This is so exciting! Anyway, thank you endlessly for the wonderful review! Your compliments were encouraging and refreshing, especially since you\'re not a Draco fan, like I wasn\'t! I can help recommend D/G fics for you, too. Thank you again!

Suddenly Love by callmehermione

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Penname: callmehermione
Challenge: Three: "Judgment"
"If you judge people, you have no time to love them."
-Mother Teresa

Ginny Weasley thinks she knows just how Draco needs to be. She doesn't understand that he isn't as aloof as she assumes he is. Draco teaches Ginny about himself, and Ginny learns what she herself really needs.
Reviewer: GringottsVault711 Signed
Date: 09/24/06 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1

Okay, I love the opening paragraph of this. Guh, I just heart/fangirl/love your writing in general. I’m quite sure your narrative style is better than mine. It’s lovely, it’s descriptive and meaningful but not superfluous; I see no contrived attempts at sounding nice. Only this wonderful pure writing full of just the right amount of imagery. *content sigh*
Anyhow, as to the content of the first paragraph. Ginny looking in her reflection and wondering what others would see there. If there’s one thing that I like about Ginny, is that she’s a great character to let people connect to, and from the get-go of this fic, you have me understanding a little bit of what she feels and who she is. I think that’s something we all do – see ourselves and wonder how others perceive us. One of the most important parts of characterisation is making them human, and you do that so well. *heart*
I adore the description of Ginny – it’s refreshing. It’s natural, but it’s original. If I see one more character with eyes the colour of precious stones or skin the colour of Crayola crayons… Though, I would mention that Ginny’s eyes are canonically brown, not green. Correct? [And that, since Ron’s eyes are blue, even if Ginny’s are a recessive gene colour, it would be unusual for them to be green.]
Then there are the things she throws into her trunk – it’s like a further sprinkle of characterisation. It’s like Ginny in a trunk. *giggle* There’s also something nice about remembering to say ‘secondhand spellbooks’, and an elaboration of why she’s taking a blazer. It’s not really necessary to the story, but it deepens it, creates a nice pace, and reminds the reader of who Ginny’s family is and what her place is in the world.
The picture of her and Harry is a small pang in the heart. Even if I rarely sail aboard the Harry/Ginny ship, and if it’s usually because I’m holding a canon book in my hand, I can understand how Ginny’s feeling, and I adore that you take the time to address that instead of being silly and doing a “Harry, who?” like some Ginny/Draco shippers do.
It was time to leave him behind, just as he had done to her. And that is a powerful line. It just speaks volumes and it fits. That’s all that needs to be said. :)
I like the complex characterisation of Draco. There are some moments when he’s the same as always, and other moments where it’s just clear to the reader that --- hey, he has been through a horrible ordeal. Portraying this outside his own PoV is not an easy feat for all writers, but you do it marvellously.

I love Narcissa too. I’ve always been a fan of the Mother-Son!Malfoy dynamic. It’s one of the most reliable canon facts that we have in the Malfoy file. And, Narcissa is just perfect. It’s something I love about her character – she isn’t some cold-hearted wench, but she’s still a Pureblood, a Black, a Slytherin. [She and Siobhan have more in common than I’m sure either would care to admit].

Poor Draco, being fussed over by his mum. I love the “bemused” expression.

I suppose I should quickly mention that in Britain, a “purse” is literally a small coin-purse, or the what a female would use for a wallet. So, if that’s not what you meant by Ginny looking in her ‘purse’, you should change it to handbag. ;)

I like that Ginny’s annoyance with Draco seems quite sincere, and that there does have to be more to him for her to realise an attraction. It’s very, very Lizzy/Darcu. I’m not fond of the misconception that hating someone means you like them, or that you can hate someone and then suddenly love them. It’s generally a mix of the two. A potential for attraction, held back my sincere distaste. Oh, Delaney, if there’s one way to win me to Fire and Ice it’s to use the Lizzy/Darcy dynamic. *squee* Did I mention that P&P is the true greatest love story of all time? So, all those Romeo&Juliet!D/G Romances, they have nothing to allure me. But this… *wink*

Then of course there’s Ginny’s thoroughly IC outburst, which needs to happen. I don’t see Ginny and Draco ever crossing any lines until something happens between them that calls attention to the problems that separate them. And Ginny’s words are just so honest – it’s one thing that her character is great for.

I’m also very fond of the fact that in the end we see something in Draco that we see in Ginny at the beginning. You don’t use a neon sign to point to it, but it’s definitely there. In the beginning, Ginny wonders how people will see her. And so it makes sense that she should connect to Draco, because that’s what one of his problems is – the way he’s perceived. He’s done something huge, and it effects his image in a powerful way. It’s not a popularity thing, it’s very important, and it’s a personal issue that he does have to deal with. So, while this could be to some people a cute little story where Draco and Ginny get together, it has a lot of depth and emotional value, and it’s powerful. Thank you for sharing your brilliance with us, dear.

Author's Response: *floats* Jenna, this review is positively gorgeous. I love that you notice and point out bits of my story that I didn\'t really even see myself were so significant, like the relationship between Draco and his mum. Thank you! And you\'re amazing, too, for appreciating the outburst and its necessity, as well as the mention of Harry. And everything. And I adore you.

Conceit & Contempt by callmehermione

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: Draco is drawn to Ginny by an outstanding characteristic. She won't talk to him; his past behaviour is too much for her to accept all at once. She has two accusations. Draco has an explanation for each. What will Ginny decide? Dedicated to the Pride & Prejudice and D/G lovers.
Reviewer: GringottsVault711 Signed
Date: 07/24/06 Title: Chapter 1: Explanation

*gasp* I have to post this review in plain view, don't I >.> Well, then I'll just have to swallow my pride.*giggles*

This was enjoyable for me in a rather "guilty pleasure" manner. On one hand, I shall be thoroughly honest with you and say that I can't see Draco ever being this honest with Ginny so quickly and without bedrudginly thorough plot development. Yet, there was something so enchanting about it. I'm reminded of not only my own P&Pish piece [R/Hr], but also a little of Lucius and Siobhan. That's one aspect I find believable that perhaps other readers might not: Draco's appreciation of good literature. It makes perfect sense.

"... that had made Ron scowl reprovingly and Harry raise his eyebrows appreciatively. " This line made me giggle, and I find myself automatically assigning Harry as Wickham. He might not be as wicked, but given Ginny's original liasion with Harry and comparing that to Lizzy and Wickham, and Darcy's relationship with Wickham and blahblahblah clarifying your own parallels for you ;)

I honestly don't think Draco is much of a Darcy, but I love the Ginny as Elizabeth.

And to counteract my 'honest statement' that I don't find the situation to be too believable, I do find Draco's words to be spot on. I just see him taking a lot longer to come out with them, particularly to the member of his rival family. But, all in all, it was very enjoyable. If I was a fluff girl, I'd be fainting right now. As it is, I'm a literature girl, and this piece has outstanding literary merit. [not to mention that your writing style and narration pretty much pwns, but yeah, you have to know that.

Author's Response: I completely understand about the abrupt-ness, and I agree, too. It\'s one of those things where I just kind of rushed it, I suppose, and you\'re quite right about that. I also really loved the parallel clarifying you did--it made a great deal of sense in a literary way.

More Than a Broken Vow by SomberBallad

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: Hermione's spirit is weakening, and she writes a letter to Ron telling him she has been dishonest.

(A character exploration of the trio that takes place in the near future)
Reviewer: GringottsVault711 Signed
Date: 06/25/06 Title: Chapter 1: More Than a Broken Vow

I’ll say straight out, I’m not a big H/Hr Romance fan. I think they’re friendship is amazing, and seeing it turned to romance and sacrificing the R/Hr relationship in the process just kind of… tugs at me wrong. [Just a disclaimer in case it taints some of my remarks, which I hope it won’t.]

First thing I’m noticing looking back at this is, ‘A year later we were married,’. I absolutely love how you handled this – your technique for providing backstory is gorgeous. That’s always something I genuinely admire in a writer. Flashbacks can be nice sometimes, but slipping background into the narration is so much better. And it’s not like you leave the reader wondering ‘Why on Earth is she telling Ron what he already knows?’ It was wonderfully crafted. *applause*

Moving on – characterisation. Hermione first, since this is all her writing, her point of view. I don’t generally like first person, but this is a different format: a letter. It is a very different kind of first person and I think you pulled it off well. This does sound like something that she would write. Would Hermione get metaphorical? Yes, probably. And, besides, the embellishment isn’t overdone, it’s subtle. Shakespeare!Hermione might have been a little overzealous, yes. But you definitely retained her sense of rationalization and logic. And that’s what this entire piece feels like – is Hermione really merely apologising, or is this her justifying her own feelings to herself? I definitely see at as both.

As to Hermione’s actual actions, and to the justification, also well done and IC. Hermione has a great sense of Bravery when it comes to her devotion to Harry, and this all follows through with that. Her feelings for Ron have always been pushed away – however, I always saw that as her choosing Harry over Herself, rather than Harry over Ron ;) But, alas, there is the tiny canon shipper inside of me. I’ll have to ask her to be quiet for the rest of this. Though, you did leave enough room for that to still be true, and I like that. There’s room for interpretation.

Harry, while only referenced, is also wonderfully IC, and so is Ron. I’m glad you didn’t bash Ron, for one. I especially loved “…if only you could have heard, Ron, you would have died for him too”. You just demonstrate a wonderful understanding and acceptance of the entire Trio dynamic, and also pick the right ones to give it a H/Hr spin. That’s so often missing in pretty much all shippy romance stories. And also, props on not completely overlooking the H/G pairing [though honestly, H/G= *gag* -- it’s still good that you recognized it. It makes it so much more believable.] It’s rather irritating when people choose to ignore canon because they’re not fond of it. However, of all people: Dean? Ah, well.

What I love most about this is the ending and just the feeling that this isn’t over or resolved. That it never will be. It’s full of freedom, but pain and sadness. Hermione still has love for both of them. “Do not give up hope for me” – such a heart wrenching way to end this kind of letter. I feel like Ron reading this – and that line can summon heartache, but also confusion, anger. I can feel his misunderstanding, but also his acceptance. The situation you’ve presented has so much room for different and conflicting emotions.

I don’t have criticism. Oops. This is very real; it’s what a letter should be. It doesn’t need some insanely complicated love triangle plot, or some introduction narration where Ron finds the letter on his clichéd bedside dresser. It’s just wonderful as it is, this is the kind of thing I like. Something that can be appreciated for what it is :)

Author's Response: *squee* I got a review from Jenna, I am so happy, i could die, I\'ve read this over and over again and it just makes me so happy that you took so much time to walk me through the story. I really appreciate it. *huggles*

Ultramarine by Magical Maeve

Rated: Professors •
Summary: Peter Pettigrew meddles with things he probably shouldn't, and Severus and Hermione take tea together.

This is a little alternate universe off-shoot of my Daughter of Light series, provoked by a very naughty PM from Jenna this morning. There are scenes of a sexual nature - you have been warned. This will probably be a few chapters in length.
Reviewer: GringottsVault711 Signed
Date: 05/12/06 Title: Chapter 1: Tea

OMG. I love this... there's the delight and amusement that you wrote it, and of course the sheer entertainment that comes with your writing. hehehe. I certainly owe you a proper review, don't I? Ah, yes, I shall leave one later this week. *hee* You're wonderful. *runs off, admitting that she doesn't even ship Hr/SS* It was just the direction of my conversation with MJ. Blame her. At least a little. >.>

Author's Response: I blame you both. *giggles* Not only am I writing it, it\'s turning into a chaptered fic. *dies*

A Few Moments Granted by cor_leonis

Rated: Professors •
Summary: Before Voldemort ripped them apart and banished their friendship to be something merely relived through pensieve, Sirius and James had shared a special bond. And sometimes, that sort of bond runs deeper than it seems. SB/JP slash
Reviewer: GringottsVault711 Signed
Date: 10/17/06 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1

This story is so beautiful. I'm a total James/Sirius shipper, and I think this is simply splendid.

And funny. I can't decide what line is my favourite. I really adored the "You're horny!" line, and the exchange afterward. Wonderful XD. And, of course, I liked the little "Don't drink and apparate" [Though, I'd note that Apparate should be capitalised].

I also really love how fitting the title is. It's sort of sad in a way, [and not just because I'm wishing this wasn't on MNFF so that there could be more smut detail... *averts eyes*]. It really is just "a few moments" granted. But then, one considers that they're lives end not long after the last snapshot [while Sirius doesn't die, his life does, in a manner "end" for some time, and he still dies prematurely anyway]. I don't know if it's consoling or if it's simply more tragic. Oh, pooh, now I'm all depressed.

I also like your portrayal of Peter. Not that I like Peter Pettigrew, but I despise how so many Marauder Era writers just push him to the side and constantly trash his character and make future-death-eater references. You have a nice, believable, well-justified dynamic for the Marauders here.

My favourite aspect, however, is Sirius's feelings for James. “You’ll understand when you fall in love,” James said lightly. That line broke my heart [in a good way].

Yes, I really adore this piece, good work and great writing. :)

Author's Response: Thank you so much. First of all, let me just note that I\'m glad you caught the capitalization bit. Sometimes my eyes begin to cross because I\'ve read a piece so much, and those things slip right by. ... You managed to quote one of my favorite lines--the horny comment--so that\'s very cool. And your take on the title is spot on as well. As for the smut...well...even if this were not on MNFF, I am too timid to really break into that sort of thing. Practice makes perfect, but as far as that goes, I am still stuck in the beginning phase. ... I completely agree with you about Peter, although sadly he nor Remus have much of a part in this fic. However, I think if he was able to fool everyone into thinking he was innocent, he must have been very good at what he was doing.

And yes, Sirius\'s feelings are really at the heart of it all. Glad you liked that line. Really, I just want to thank you for leaving such great feedback. Reviews like this make my day. Thanks so much for that.


Reviewer: GringottsVault711 Signed
Date: 05/25/06 Title: None

Lex, that was amazing, brilliant. I clung to every word. Wow. So intense, and the characterisation *GUH*. I love it. So much. I feel like, I need to keep saying 'I love it' because... I have yet to properly convey how briliant this is... but I don't think I'll ever be able to. I mean, really, wow.

It Matches Your Eyes by bittersweet_lullaby

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: I met her on the train ride to Hogwarts. We both got sorted into Hufflepuff, we take all the same classes, and we're best friends. But I've started to feel a little more for Hannah Abbott.

Two friends, both female. One life-changing infatuation that quickly turns to the greatest thing in the world: love. Susan Bones reflects on her life and explores the what-ifs of her relationship with Hannah Abbott.
Reviewer: GringottsVault711 Signed
Date: 07/22/06 Title: Chapter 1: One-Shot

*gasp* I love this so much. [I love rarepairs, too. I mean how many stories can you write about Ron and Hermione? @.@]

I normally don't like first person point of views -- that said, it wasn't until several paragraphs in I realised that this was first person. It was immediately enrapturing, and the point of view is so honest, and so pure, that I hardly noticed. I really admire how well this flows. It's the perfect example of a character's internal monologue, and it moves fluidly. Furthermore, the narration is so free of superfluous descriptions, that I feel myself, as a reader, being drawn to the characters and emotions. You're descriptions are concise and fitting and bring just the right amount of imagery, conjuring it to the reader's mind before they realise it's there, and all the while, the focus is on Susan.

I enjoyed the Butterfly scene, with the following mention of them being in a cocoon of love. And the charm, and 'it matches your eyes', *sigh*. These are all the little hints and touches that bring the story into it's own as a piece.

The best part, really, is how accurate it is. Of all the feelings you have when you love someone so close to you. Feeling like you're always trying to hide something everyone can see, and spending every moment with that person torn between enjoying yourself and fearing the day they'll find out.

I'm not going to criticise anything. Nothing in this world is perfect, so maybe I could comb over this all day and find something tiny that could make this better, but I'd rather just have you leave it the way it is. It's very beautiful, and I'd love to see a continuation or a companion.

This is the kind of story that comes once in a blue moon :)

Author's Response: *beams* Thank you sooo much! I\'m so glad this story is so successful, because when I first wrote it, it was going to be a chaptered story, and that was just the prologue. Then I got stuck and couldn\'t write on it for a long time, and then I picked it up and turned it into a one-shot, and now I love it! :D Eeeee, when I saw this review I actually had to keep from squeeing because my parents were already asleep. ^_^ Thank you so much for reviewing, and I\'m so glad you like it! :)

Dinner With A Demon by electronicquillster

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: Sarah Vance is ambitious.

Percy Weasley is ambitious.

A mutual attraction will be sparked while they're both carrying out plans to further their careers. Written for Nan. Pre-Deathly Hallows.
Reviewer: GringottsVault711 Signed
Date: 10/29/07 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1

*smiles* That last bit really does melt my heart. But, back to the beginning. I like the introduction of Sarah Vance's character. It's only just occured to me now that I'm mentioning it how natural she seems. I didn't feel like I was getting to know her at all, I felt I already knew her, and very easily connected with her and this story. I really like her style as a reporter; I've had enough experience with Journalism that Rita Skeeter gets on my last nerve, and being able to think of The Informant being out there, with reporters like Sarah, it's very liberating. Even if that sounds silly of me. ;)

Was it because you wanted to wallow in mediocrity? Or was it because you wanted to turn the world on its head and blow every other reporter out of the water?” This line is FABULOUS, because it's so true. It is for me, at least. I mean, anyone who wants to be anything, wants to make it to the top. That's kind of the point. People with career goals don't set their sights on mediocrity, but it's "arrogance" to say out loud that you plan on making it to the top. So, yes, I LOVED that line.

I found two things a little startling. One was Percy's personality. In canon, he doesn't seem to exude the same confidence as he does in this fic. He does come across as arrogant sometimes, but he seems more the sort to work very hard towards an ambition in hope of achieving it and then gloat about it when he's gotten it. He wants respect because he doesn't feel he's given it. He doesn't really seem the sort to be so sure about himself, especially with women, so his approach to Sarah sort of surprised me. I also think it's unusual that he would even be considered for MoM, just because he's so young. However, for a good, well-written story I'll happily give over a small suspension of disbelief.

Also, MUST point out this line: “Well, I’d better not violate any laws over something as important as chocolate.” Heehee. That is all.

I felt so awful for Sarah at the end of the dinner when she was trying to hide the fact she could hardly perform magic at all. *sigh* I could sort of feel the loneliness that she must carry with her, with that sort of secret keeping her from ever getting very close with anyone. :(

The end, though, was lovely. I really just love the dialogue. "I've missed you trying to ambush me each Monday morning to get an interview with the Minister". I loved that. I can't figure out what it is, I just do love it. And, there's the "Did he just say what she thought he'd said?" I love seeing that. Because, in reality, that is such a wonderful yet awkward moment. And so, we come back to the little note, that I love very, very much. *sigh* This is a very romantic little fic dear. Quite Jane Austen of you. ;)

Reviewer: GringottsVault711 Signed
Date: 10/29/07 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1

*smiles* That last bit really does melt my heart. But, back to the beginning. I like the introduction of Sarah Vance's character. It's only just occured to me now that I'm mentioning it how natural she seems. I didn't feel like I was getting to know her at all, I felt I already knew her, and very easily connected with her and this story. I really like her style as a reporter; I've had enough experience with Journalism that Rita Skeeter gets on my last nerve, and being able to think of The Informant being out there, with reporters like Sarah, it's very liberating. Even if that sounds silly of me. ;)

Was it because you wanted to wallow in mediocrity? Or was it because you wanted to turn the world on its head and blow every other reporter out of the water?” This line is FABULOUS, because it's so true. It is for me, at least. I mean, anyone who wants to be anything, wants to make it to the top. That's kind of the point. People with career goals don't set their sights on mediocrity, but it's "arrogance" to say out loud that you plan on making it to the top. So, yes, I LOVED that line.

I found two things a little startling. One was Percy's personality. In canon, he doesn't seem to exude the same confidence as he does in this fic. He does come across as arrogant sometimes, but he seems more the sort to work very hard towards an ambition in hope of achieving it and then gloat about it when he's gotten it. He wants respect because he doesn't feel he's given it. He doesn't really seem the sort to be so sure about himself, especially with women, so his approach to Sarah sort of surprised me. I also think it's unusual that he would even be considered for MoM, just because he's so young. However, for a good, well-written story I'll happily give over a small suspension of disbelief.

Also, MUST point out this line: “Well, I’d better not violate any laws over something as important as chocolate.” Heehee. That is all.

I felt so awful for Sarah at the end of the dinner when she was trying to hide the fact she could hardly perform magic at all. *sigh* I could sort of feel the loneliness that she must carry with her, with that sort of secret keeping her from ever getting very close with anyone. :(

The end, though, was lovely. I really just love the dialogue. "I've missed you trying to ambush me each Monday morning to get an interview with the Minister". I loved that. I can't figure out what it is, I just do love it. And, there's the "Did he just say what she thought he'd said?" I love seeing that. Because, in reality, that is such a wonderful yet awkward moment. And so, we come back to the little note, that I love very, very much. *sigh* This is a very romantic little fic dear. Quite Jane Austen of you. ;)

Author's Response: I tend to agree with you about Percy. The young, canon Percy in the series is not the same as the Percy we see here. I do have a defence for that. In the world that I envision for this fic, written pre-DH, it took longer for Harry to defeat Voldemort, and Percy didn\'t come back to his family, and so with a different progression, he did develop into who he is here. I imagine him to be around 25-27 for this story, and at that point he\'s a seasoned-ish politician who aspires to be still even more than he is at the beginning of this little story. Without any of the wholesome Weasley family influence, surrounded by the blind/corrupt government officials, I think he could be this Percy. Plus, I had read a fic not too long before writing this that had a totally confident/hott Percy very akin to this sort of Percy. -shifty eyes-

Sinful Reunion by callmehermione

Rated: Professors •
Summary: It's been months since Siobhan's last meeting with Lucius, and she remembers their time together as she goes to meet him. She is overwhelmed with memories and confronted with old worries.

This story was written for Jenna for the SPEW Story Swap, and I'd like to offer thanks to her for letting me borrow the brilliant Siobhan.
Reviewer: GringottsVault711 Signed
Date: 08/28/06 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1

Okay, we’re going to break it down into certain lines and why they’re “bloody perfect”.

she suddenly felt as though she had to restrain herself from breaking into a run and sprinting after him as fast as she could go. With this one, Siobhan’s entire life is made up of constantly feeling emotions and urges and restraining all the ones that are most true.

She wanted him so acutely, it was almost as if her desire was a tangible companion, urging her forward through the cold. You know why you’re brilliant here. Mian. :D

Stop thinking that way, she admonished herself. You’re being ridiculous. In her heart, though, she knew the truth in her hope, and she didn’t like it at all. I love this. I haven’t really gotten to this part of Siobhan in Sins yet, but I have in a way. She’s very often berating herself and telling herself not to feel this or not to think that. I like that you shed light on her ‘hope’ and you actually showed her registering her denial. You seem to just… not spend time telling us who she is as a character, and it just shines through as you write what she’s thinking and feeling. This very much says to me that Siobhan is afraid to hope, to be let down, so she guards her feelings and doesn’t let her feel unless she can be confident that she will be successful, or even loved by someone. A mediocre writer would put that in plain words, but you just write the character and convey it with her emotions. *squee* [See, I managed to make this about your writing and your characterisation and not just your ability to write my character *grins proudly*]

Siobhan could feel all of her senses reaching out to him. I love this line because I have a more elaborate understanding of sensuality, and it’s not just sex. It’s about the five sense, and enjoying it when those senses are appealed to. Which can be someone’s touch or scent, or it can be food [tiramisu?] or music or a sunset. So, in general, when senses are mentioned, it tickles my fancy.

She frowned, her thoughts still ahead of her with Lucius as someone else called her back from her daydreams. Hehehe. The pull of reality. This is what Siobhan and I have in common ;) We love our friends, we really do, but sometimes we just want to play with our thoughts.

It was Potter, smiling and chasing after Siobhan and her desire, both of whom were forced to stop and make polite conversation. I love that you mentioned her desire again, and used it as an actual entity. This sentence could have been, “It was Potter, smiling and chasing after Siobhan, who was forced to stop and making polite conversation.” And that would have been decent, but instead you added her “mian” and just made it that much more flavoured.

like pieces of a puzzle no one but the two of them could solve. Just wow in general. Not even a Siobhan/Lucius wow, but --- just a great line :D

She missed their tantalising conversations and days together and the repartee they exchanged, even in company. YAY. SEE, it’s NOT just about the physical relationship!

She knocked on the door. // She could have other men, but what if he was all she wanted? // The door opened. Amazing use of rhythm. I loved how you set that out. And that I just spelt rhythm in one try without even thinking about it. omgyay.

Siobhan inhaled. It was his scent. Suddenly, he was all around her. She could feel him again. Yes. Scent. Feeling. And, I just love a man’s scent in general, *blush*

He appeared regal and distant, unsmiling everywhere but his eyes, which danced with carefully concealed happiness and anticipation. :D :D :D I’m not sure what I love more, the fact that Lucius jumps into my mind, perfectly groomed, at this sentence [I swear, he wasn’t already there. Okay, he was, but he was naked, and not very ‘regal’] – or that little mention of his concealed happiness. That’s my Lucius, right there, *beams*.

“My love.” I get a thrill when I write him saying it, so seeing him say it of someone else’s accord [we all know it’s his accord], is even better. And the way he used it to GREET her, *dies*.

I don’t need to quote to mention my next thing. The fact that you actually have Siobhan questioning his use of the word ‘love’. :D I haven’t done that in Sins, because... not because she’d have quite a bit to consider about it, but because it can’t be addressed yet due to plot/character/plot development. However! This is a one-shot, so you can go ahead and address your little heart out on these kind of issues. Squee for that. And, yes, this would be one of her many reactions. If Lucius loves her, then why the secrecy, why does he live a life she despises, why *edited for Sins spoilers*, etc; And I love that you did that. :) I love that you did something with this other than right Siobhan and Lucius having a meeting, you did something that I can’t do, not yet. And you did it accurately.

“Siobhan,” Lucius soothed, adopting his reasoning tone. “You know–” Ha. Yes. “Adopting his reasoning tone”. I just love it. He’s so prepared to talk his way out of it, he doesn’t bat an eyelash. And something about it being ‘his reasoning tone’, sounds so practiced. The only reason he can hide his emotions so well is that he’s had so much practice. It’s also a little bit condescending/patronising, which I like. That’s something I use as a saving factor of his character, because he’s not just a smitten lovesick puppy, he loves her and it affects him, but he’s still Lucius, and he’s still arrogant. YAY for Lucius Characterisation. [This too: and gazed at Lucius, who reclined, calculating as usual.]

“I can never know. PS. Siobhan’s greatest fear is the unknown. What she doesn’t know, what she can’t know, etc; *wink* So, nice work there.

anything to be closer to him after what felt like a lifetime of him with everyone but her. I like this line because it addresses what obviously has to be an issue. He’s 25 years older, and is an adulterer. This man, the only one she’s ever been with, has been with dozens of women, and Siobhan doesn’t even need to be told that. *dances at Delaney’s ability to touch on so many issues*

If you can’t tell, I’m going through this piece by piece, and now I’m getting to the smut. I like this, because it’s something I haven’t gotten around to writing yet [I’ve gone through scenes in my head, completely with narration, but it hasn’t hit paper or a keyboard yet]. It’s a scene that is… actually complicated. It’s not just attraction or passion or sensuality. There are emotions at play, and they are behaving physically, but very clearly as a way of displaying what they are feeling: frustration, longing, perhaps love? :)

She would never get tired of this. Perfect. For two reasons. One: This is the one time Siobhan can admit things, when she’s so… natural that she can’t force herself into denial. And two: when it’s physical. Siobhan is very unashamed about feeling physical attraction, and she doesn’t deny it, and instead uses it to empower herself and get what she wants. It’s her emotions she’s not comfortable with. *randomly squees again*

Each of them free of both undergarments and inhibitions… -- Um, how much do I LOVE that line. I wish that were my line. Blast. …Siobhan wrapped her right leg around his hips, standing on tiptoe… I’m a fan of legs wrapping around hips in general [*giggles at how slutty that sounds*], it’s right up their with hair pulling. The tiptoes just kill me. Wonderful imagery there, and so Siobhan, I think.

“Am I your love?” He kissed her neck, his hands at her hips once more. “Or am I just your toy?” EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.

How could something familiar still feel so perfect? It was the beauty of their love. *clears throat* EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.

“Do you want me to use you?” Lucius responded ambiguously. Okay, I can’t even “EEEE…” at that. That’s… guh. Classic Lucius Malfoy. And, hello Sins reprisal. I love having characters repeat phrases or words, in a story or chapter, but having him say this here --- *guhdeath*

She felt him everywhere, penetrating her body and soul. That’s just a great line.

“My love,” he said softly, his words escaping in a gentle moan. His fingers wove into her hair. “My Siobhan.” Again, Two things. One: My love, my Siobhan. *DIES* Now, when I write him saying “My Siobhan” it will seem weak. *pout* *isn’t really pouting* *is really in love with this dynamic*. And two: The Hair. The effing hair. I love the fingers in the hair. I think I mentioned hair pulling a few paragraphs up? Yes. I love it. Almost all my smut stories have hair mentioned in them, and I didn’t even consciously noticed until I’d done it about a dozen times.

“You’ll never stop taking my breath away,” she murmured. Again, reprisal love. And yay for the word “never”.

It was in that moment that everything suddenly seemed to fit. YES. MOST CERTAINLY.

Okay, in general Delaney, this was excellent. I think it takes a LOT of guts to take an OC and write them. Because --- you can write all the Draco and Ginny you want and not worry to much about JKR roaming across it. And even if she does, it’s different because you won’t be conversing with her anytime in the near future. But when you take the character of a writer not only in a community with you, but who you talk to on a regular basis, and who is GOING to read the fic --- well, I can imagine you become a little more concerned about getting it write. And just… the characterisation was not only accurate in terms of Siobhan, but your characterisation technique is amazing. And, you definitely captured ‘heat’. Physically and emotionally. *sigh* I don’t know if you realise that you’re amazing, but you are. *loves loves loves* I think one of the best words to describe this fic is “sweeping”. The tone and narration just… I can almost breathe it. Amazing.

Author's Response: Thank you so, so much for all of this hard work telling me all the things I did right! I love when reviews make us realise more things about our stories. *sighs happily*
Anyway, I\'m glad you understood the return to the themes that you\'d used.. I used your writing to characterise Siobhan and confront the issues between her and Lucius that make sense for her to be worried about. If that makes any sense.
I\'m so glad you liked all of the lines that I put in, and thank you for providing me with such a wonderful character and story with which to work. You are brilliant, and Siobhan is the only way this story was possible! I\'m so glad you recognised all of that. Thank you!

A Song for Johnny by Fantasium

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: It is London in the late 1920s, and the Muggle influence on the magical society has never been so strong. The older generations, especially of the pure-blood families, disapprove, but their children are becoming increasingly curious and open-minded. Join one of these young men as he attempts to introduce his mother to the pleasures of Muggle culture, and as he discovers the full extent of them himself.
Reviewer: GringottsVault711 Signed
Date: 01/29/07 Title: Chapter 1: One-Shot

Min älsking! Du är häpnadsväckande! *insert Jenna’s hope that she hasn’t managed to misuse a word*. Oh, I should have reviewed this sooner. But, alas, here I am.

The men in suits were quickly being replaced by people in casual outfits, some more daring than others. I start here, because I just love the way you narrate, my dear. I mean, I always do. It makes me green with envy. It’s just… lovely. *sigh* I can’t describe it, but the little additions you make. You do more than just describe something enough to give the reader imagery, but you also don’t weigh down your writing with tons of descriptive words. You write delicately, with a little additional flavour here and there, […some more daring than others]. Your world is so colourful. You’re narration reminds me very much of F. Scott Fitzgerald and W. Somerset Maugham.

All the similarities, from hair colour to dress sense, indicated that she must be their mother, and she was looking anything but pleased. Another example of something I like about your writing. It’s the “find a new way to say something” approach. You could have easily said that John and Charlie were walking with their mother, in plain English. But, instead, you made the fact amusing just by choosing to say it differently. Fabulous.

Between the Sheets -- Agatha’s “scandalised” reaction to that was priceless. I most definitely laughed right out loud. Hee. Great way to add some humour and to add characterisation.

The Seer your father and I took him to said nothing about a bizarre interest in all things Muggle! She foresaw that he would marry as a young man and give me seven grandchildren!” I love this. I love little references in “historical” fic that hint at things we know from canon. This is excellent, along with the later mention of Trelawney [and how fabulous is it that you mentioned that just a bit later? It’s much more subtle, and consequently, much more chuckle-worthy]. Once again: accurate, but, perhaps a bit off with her calculations? *grin*

but there was just something about her that caused his ears to burn whenever she looked in his direction. Hee. A Weasley trait, obviously.

he loved the atmosphere, the soft lighting, the anticipation created in the interaction between men and women. I let out a *siiiiigh* here, because this is an instance where your writing touches me not only as the beautiful art form it is, but… personally. That right there, oh, I can just feel it. It’s a wonderful little gem.

He had expected some resistance; resistance that he would have had to overcome with the wits that had made him famous back at Hogwarts. Realllly now? I’d like to hear more about that some day. *cough*

If I were to suggest any improvements, it would just be to italicise the bits where Elsie is singing. It would be more clear; and, even if you’re an attentive reader and know fully well that she’s singing, it would still feel more like she’s singing.

Hee, what else – I have to say, the ending is definitely hot. You’re writing always is. [Well, when you’re writing about such activities.] Your characters have such … tangible chemistry, sometimes I feel like I’m right their with them [*ahem*, not as an addition to their party, but you have an idea what I mean] breathing what they’re breathing, and hearing the subtle sounds that are in their ears. You’re just breath-taking. Um, I mean, you’re writing is breath-taking. >.> Well, you are too, but this is hardly the time or the place to say things like “I love you”, and “you are my world”, and “I only live because you live”, and such fluffy things like that.

As to your characters – oh, how wonderful. John, Charlie, Agatha and Elsie… they’re all very real and three-dimensional. John’s reflections on Arthur Weasley are wonderful. Not just because you took little things and added them into his personality, but… you gave a foundation for Arthur, and they’re based in a character who is not thoroughly Arthur-like, as many writers might have done. John is John Weasley, not just a shadow of Arthur. Agatha is wonderful. And, her name, excellently chosen. And, Elsie, well… I’d like to be friends with her. *giggle* She seems interesting.

Just now, as I was rereading this, the part where she begins to sing “Oh, Johnny” and there is that…. *exhales loudly*, I don’t know. I can’t describe it. You know what it is, I know you do. But, the room feels very hot and it seems it’s just Elsie and John… I don’t know. Tension isn’t the word. Nor chemistry. It’s that – but it’s even more. It’s just that moment where you feel attraction and the air is thick with it… you’re trying to interpret that moment when your heart is beating quickly and your thoughts are flying even faster. And, you’re wishing for something to happen, or wishing for something to mean something and… guh. *exhales loudly again*.

And, then, I love the open ending. From what we know of the Weasleys, the immediate ancestry is pureblood. So, one can only assume that John’s encounter with Elsie… well, whatever happened [hotonenightstand!] or whatever it became [omgsordidloveaffair!], it ended and they moved on. And, so, this is like tasting an unforgettable moment. A wonderful secret that we’ve been let in on. A beautiful encounter.


Pride vs. Prejudice by bittersweet_lullaby

Rated: 6th-7th Years •
Summary: I remember the first day I saw them together. It was sixth year, before Mum and Dad came and got Padma and me. I was walking up to the Shrieking Shack and I saw them, pressed up against a tree, kissing.

Two sisters; one too proud, one too prejudiced.

Parvati Patil reflects on her sister's girlfriend and how it affected not only her sister's life, but her own as well.
Reviewer: GringottsVault711 Signed
Date: 01/29/07 Title: Chapter 1: Pride vs. Prejudice

One of my favourite things about this is how much the PoV contributes to the story. Padma is at the centre of the story; the two relationships at the very centre of the story are her relationship with Cho, and her relationship with Parvati. I love the simplicity of Padma's character. Not that she's not realistic or complex, she is [which is fantastic since we only see her from Parvati's PoV], but... the simplicity of her love and her power. I like the established relationship aspect to it; it makes the reader feel that we don't need to know why Padma chose Cho. She just did. They're just together. That's how it happened. That's what's important. With that angle, you don't make the reader think there needs to be an explaination -- yet, by telling it through Parvati's point of view, you point out that some people do want justification. And some people don't want to accept it.

Which is fabulous. This story is so realistic. It shows how powerful acceptance is, and why we need it in our lives. Parvati's initial lack of acceptance lost her a sister. And only when she was able to move past it, did they reunite.

And, the name "Parvati Chang." I love what that conveys. That, Padma... well, she was angry, of course. Hurt, I'm sure. But, I don't think it just shows that she loved Parvati, still; I think it shows that, she understood why Parvati had problems accepting her, and she forgave that. *does not cry, does not cry*.

I feel like I should have reviewed this ages ago. It's definitely one of my favourite fics, and you're one of my favourite writers. It's just... beautiful. I like stories that are really about something. And your writing has a delicate simplicity. It's very pure, and your description always matches the tone.

Oh, and I must also note the ending. I heart the ending. It ends so perfectly. I always compliment a nicely finished off piece when I see one, because I understand how hard it is to finish a story. And, I'm generally never happy with my endings. But this one is just... really well done. I like the finality of it. But, it doesn't feel like it ends with a punch or a zing or a shiver -- it ends with a soft exhale. *siiiigh*.

Great job, dear!

When The Church Bells Ring by TheVanishingAct

Rated: 3rd-5th Years • Past Featured Story
Summary: What no one else could do, she will, when the church bells ring.

Reviewer: GringottsVault711 Signed
Date: 09/23/06 Title: Chapter 1: One-Shot

This is like Return of the King. You spend forever waiting for it, and you want it so, so, bad, and – if you’re sensible – you try your best not to set your expectations so high that nothing could ever meet them, and then… it arrives. And it’s so good, it’s unreal, and you’re so glad you secretly set your standards above and beyond. *LOVE*.


Lucius. It seems evil of me to say this, but I’m so proud of him. Under that deluded half-blood’s thumb all those years, putting up with his self-serving, hypocritical agenda – but Voldemort has been destroyed, and Lucius carries on, he even kills Harry. Granted, he’s insane; that’s not the point. I like the way you did the back story – not the battles, but how you explained to the reader what was going on through their dialogue. And not in a “please hold while we transport you to the Department of Back Story” sort of way. It was very natural, the dialogue flowed so believably; you didn’t do it at the beginning of the story, and finding out what had happened to the world, and what Lucius had done is part of the allure that brings the reader further into the story.

“The last of the Muggleborns are safe, and the Devil cannot harm them here. I became their protector when you killed the last connection I had to sanity. We have both lost in your conquest of power. You even killed someone you cared about in the process…” she stops for a brief pause, as if thinking. “How a person with so much sin and ice in their heart is capable of love is uncomprehensible.” She locks gazes with him. “We both lost, Lucius. Let us end it here.”

I want to completely analyse the above paragraph, because it captures my attention as a defining speech in the fic, that touches on so much of what the fic is about . Firstly, there is the preceding exchange that establishes the abbey as a ‘house of God’, and Lucius as ‘the Devil’s protégé’. [*DEATH* by the way]. And then Cho overrules him – she wasn’t trying to encourage morality in him, she was telling him that he has no power. If you have learned anything about me through my writing, dear, it’s that I LIVE for verbal battles. Next, I like the mention of Lucius “killing” Cho’s last “connection to sanity”. I wonder if this is meant to be interpreted literally – that perhaps Harry was the last thing keeping her sane. But, aside from that, I like the desperation it shows. You’ve justified the act of Murder at Cho’s hand. She has one reason left to live, and she is fully capable of killing Lucius. [Though, if it were me, I would definitely dominate him and take him home and turn him into my sex-slave instead, but I suppose one girl’s man-whore is another’s enemy.]

Moving on, the mention that they both lost in ‘his’ conquest speaks volumes. I’m having difficulty putting what I’m thinking down in words, but it’s the true definition of darkness. Evil affects others, and that what makes it despicable, but it also involves self-sacrifice, and that’s a sign of the toll it takes on anyone who plays with the Devil. Voldemort shattered his soul in an attempt to gain immortality; Lucius sacrificed someone he loved for power. [By the way, I think you have my heart forever for using Siobhan to be this variable for Lucius]. Now, I did say I wanted to completely analyse the paragraph, so yes, I still have more to say. I love that Cho stops to muse about the cryptic nature of how Lucius can do horrible things but still feel love. It’s exactly what all the ‘heroes’ think, even though I’ve always thought the real question was ‘how can someone who loves do horrible things.’ And, it also fortifies the little Siobhan/Lucius undercurrent, for readers who have no idea what the name “Siobhan Murphy” could possibly mean to Lucius, and that her death is something truly awful in this turn of events.

To fit in a little crit – while I LOVE the use of the word “sin”, which I’ll go into in a second, I don’t know if “ice” is really the right second word there. Somehow it just doesn’t balance right. While Lucius can be icy, you’ve written someone here who is passionate about something – even if that ‘something’ is genocide. Ice just isn’t powerful enough, and it’s too tangible. Ice isn’t an idea. Something like “sin and hatred” might work better. And as to why I love ‘sin’, no it’s not just because I’m generally obsessed with that word and that it’s self-serving. But, “sin” is perfect, because, it’s ironic. Even Lucius’ love for Siobhan is sinful. It’s kind of a philosophical thing, that not all “sin” equals “evil”, and it just fits in perfectly with the religious undercurrent you have here, and sort of throws all these ideas into the air and up for debate by anyone who cares enough to analyse it to bits and pieces ;) I should also note that ‘uncomprehensible’ should be ‘incomprehensible’.

Ron stood next to Harry, determined to stay by his side to the very end. I just need to say THANK YOU. That is very Ron. No, he wasn’t hiding under something; he was doing what he needed to do in the end, and standing by his best friend in the process. Courageous and Loyal :)

He leans closer, and beckons. A smirk plays on his lips, but his eyes betray. The Devil always makes himself known, and he always runs. Fear shows in the inner most depths of his irises. She stands strong, for she has one to guide her, to make her bold in the light of fire. Soooo Lucius, it’s unbelievable. Lucius cannot lie with his eyes. It’s a weakness in him often overlooked by shallow interpretations of his character. I also love the continued comparisons to the Devil.

As for the end. I love the Chess. It’s an echo of canon itself, but it does many things. Yes, Cho was a pawn, but you did something I didn’t expect, and you had her become a Queen. And she did cross the board. It’s fantastic, and I just love how it strengthens the entire fic. Furthermore, Cho’s ability to out manoeuvre Lucius in the battle of wits, in the knowledge of the game, and in the overall war really lets the Ravenclaw in her shine through.

And of course, the ringing of the bells at the end. LOVE. It’s the perfect ending.

Author's Response: O.O *joygasm* OMG seriously, how do you respond to a review like this? THERE IS NO WAY OMG *hug*

Amanda by Purplemage

Rated: 6th-7th Years •
Summary: Amanda wasn’t much different from the other girls at Hogwarts. Except for the fact that she decided to end her life. She also considered Remus Lupin to be her only friend. That’s why when the school is going to hold a service in her memory Remus is the one chosen to write a eulogy. The problem is that Remus barely knew her and doesn’t know what to write. That’s when Sirius decides to help him.
Reviewer: GringottsVault711 Signed
Date: 10/01/07 Title: Chapter 1: Amanda

Harald, this story is incredible. It's not easy to find a story out there that deals with something this powerful, and does it this sensitively and realistically.

You do a good job of dealing with the topic of suicide, and death in general. I noticed how McGonagall informed the class that Amanda had died, editting out the circumstance of her death. That was just so accurate of how McGonagall would give news to her students, and, it was such a profound contrast to the students' whispers that I felt just--- painfully aware of it.

I also like that you don't... chain Remus to his grief. A lot of authors make the mistake of overemphasising mourning. I also saw it a lot with the reactions to HBP!Harry, who a lot of people said wasn't "sad enough" after the death of Sirius. Death is part of our lives, an awful part, but one usually does not become consumed by it. And, where I think some people might scold you for putting a kissing session in the middle of an attempt to write a eulogy, they would be wrong in criticising, because it's so much like real life.

More importantly of course was not the kissing, but the happiness and the love. I could feel the comfort that Sirius gave to Remus. The just... emotional embrace of being loved and having someone close to you. And it is absolutely beautiful that Sirius stayed up, helping him write the rest of his speech. It was just, through and through LOVE, and, that is something else that is so hard to find represented realistically, without proposals or serenades or smut. The love and the connection between Sirius and Remus was incredibly tangible and believable, and it just gave this story so much life. People usually write Remus/Sirius with so much... lust and sexual tension and, just, I didn't even realise how cliched it was until consciously sitting down to review this fic.

Amanda is an interesting third character, hard to understand in a way, but ... you can sympathise with her. It's difficult to connect an audience to a character they don't know, and who they don't really see, but I think you did a good job of making her as important to the story as the two boys.

To end this unstructured gushing I will say what my favourite thing about this story is -- it stands out. It is not a story that was good in itself, but fades against a hundred other fics about the same thing. It was original and emotional and just every bit worth remembering.

Noir House by electronicquillster

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
Summary: Isabelle felt a chill run down her spine and whipped her head to the left, looking at the mirror in the hallway. She could’ve sworn...

A young woman is employed as a governess in a very daunting house: The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black. (Orion Black/OC)

Written for Anna Fantasium as part of the SPEW Spooky Story Exchange.
Reviewer: GringottsVault711 Signed
Date: 01/29/07 Title: Chapter 1: One-Shot

I don't know where to begin. O.O - I guess I could start with "I'm sorry I didn't review this sooner." But, then, I still need to start somewhere... gah.

How about that this is very Rebecca-esque. I really liked Rebecca. [As far as I'm aware, you've read Rebecca, and so I'm assuming you took some inspiration from it. Which is fun. Because, I too plan on drawing from Rebecca at some point in the distant-distant future. If, howerver, you haven't read Rebecca -- well, I still like the similiar elements that are shown in this tale.]

Oh, I know what's next -- the library! Oh, I do love libraries. But even more so, I love when there's a connection between a man and a woman in a library. I love it when Orion tells Isabelle that she is welcome to any of the books in the house. It all stems from Beauty & The Beast, for me, I'm fully aware.

Among other bits that I omg!enjoyed... when Orion says "I need you", when they're dancing and Isabelle tells him "We really ought to give them more to talk about", and then he kisses her neck? GUH. And... Walburga died of syphillis? L.M.A.O. >.> Sorry, that's not funny. [No, yes, yes it is.]

Sirius was so fantastically IC, and it pains me to know there will be a breaking between him and Regulus [whatever actually happens in canon, Sirius obviously believes the worst about him.] I'm also trying not to like Orion Black, even though the very last paragraph is just... amazing - 'his one woman who had been so much more'. It's hard not to like a man who feels that; but, I still have this image in my mind as the father that Sirius would resent, a father he would dissociate himself from. [I guess this is how most people feel when reading Sins!Lucius, eh? Ah, a taste of my own medicine. I see.]

I also adore Anne. She rather shamelessly tells Isabelle to go to bed with Orion. XD How wonderful. I like supportive people. Coincidentally it seems very like something Anna would do. *cough*

This is an incredible fic, Mar. It's ... well written, it has a great plot, it has great passion, intrigue, characters. *sigh*. You are an amazing story-teller. You just... shine in originality, and you're work is very close to flawless. *love*

In Between Falling Raindrops by TheVanishingAct

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
Summary: Regulus Black has lived much of his life among the rain...
Reviewer: GringottsVault711 Signed
Date: 04/27/08 Title: Chapter 1: One Shot

Ah, wonderful story! Have I really not read this before? Tsk, tsk, Jenna.

To start, fabulous imagery - but we know this about Patrick's writing, already. From the first few sentences, this picture is painted in my mind. And it's vivid, but the edges aren't filled in (a good thing). It's descript, but just enough, so that the image in my mind is a symbol for the story, rather than an unneccessarily detailed setting. It's just a single, dark image of a man walking in the rain, wrapped in a clock, and the rain splashing off the pavement. I think it has to be my favourite thing about reading your writing -- I can see it, so vividly. I mean, I can still envision my mental setting for WTCBR at this moment, just recall it from memory, your imagery is that powerful.

He embraces the rain, as it is his cloak when the dark cannot contain his anonymity. When his footsteps mingle with the pitter-patter of the water falling from the sky, he knows he is safe. - Again, wonderful. Now there's an image and a meaning behind it. It did take me a moment to work out the first sentence, because it wasn't as clear as it could have been. I think it might flow better if it was - "He embraces the rain; it is his..."; the second sentences is 100% wonderful, though, and it really clinches the meaning you're trying to convey.

One key thing Regulus had learned during his journeys was that he was never the only one hiding underneath the fall of rain. I love this, too. His awareness. It's not just another detail, it's something that is almost necessary. It reinforces my belief in this character. Especially as a Slytherin. Whenever you're being sneaky or using something to your advantage, you have to remember that you're not the only one with the advantage.

He squinted his eyes and made out an old woman... - This sentence bothers me a bit. It might just be because where it stops and returns to the next line (He squinted / his eyes and...) , which isn't a flaw in the writing, but it does bring attention to the redundancy of 'He squinted his eyes'. Because, when you squint, you squint your eyes. It's sort of like saying 'he spoke with his mouth' or 'he licked his lips with his tongue'. It's unneccessary, and in this case, it sort of threw me off a bit for a moment, had to reread it.

As the rain that filled the gap between them, he breathed slowly. He could almost hear them following him. I got confused here again; I think maybe there's a missing word or an unneccessary word in the first sentence. But that's not so important, just an editting thing. I did want to point out the pronoun confusion. In the first sentence, you use 'them' to refer to Regulus and the beggar woman; in the next sentence, you use 'them' again. Obviously, it wouldn't make sense for this to also refer to Regulus and the beggar woman, but that's where the mind refers back to. And then, in attempt to make sense, I referred back to 'the rain that filled the gap', before I realised this was a different 'them'. Watch your pronouns, and make sure there is no confusion about what they're referring to. In this instance, you're referring to an anonymous 'them', so you want to clear the meaning before hand. Make sure there is no plural noun or use of 'them' immediately beforehand that the reader's mind will refer back to. And it might be best to put the anonymous 'them' in a sentence at the beginning of it's own paragraph.

“You don’t have your heart in it. You’ll get yourself killed.” This! I love this. Your Sirius-Regulus dynamic is wonderful. A Sirius and Regulus who are brothers and act like it. A Regulus that still goes to Sirius, still has a relationship with him, despite Sirius' estrangement from the Blacks.
The relationship is complex, and wonderful on each of it's levels. Regulus clearly wants Sirius' approval; why else would he give reasons for his actions? At the same time, Regulus isn't just a typical younger brother with a bad case of hero worship. He has his own sense of identity and it's clear he thinks what he's doing is right. Even then, he tries to make Sirius grateful to him. He seems to want that brotherly bond.

As to Sirius! Ah, lovelovelove your Sirius. He uses the word "fucking" a lot. Hee. I think it was used well, too. Sometimes people use swear words in fan-fic and it comes off wrong. But, the tone of his dialogue and the feeling that was coming through with it, it was so consistent and it really hit home. And, Sirius side of the dialogue told me a lot about the brother-dynamic, too. Because, it shows that Sirius and Regulus were on good enough terms to argue. I don't know if that makes sense, but it's not like a Sirius-Snape arguement, or a Harry-Draco. It's the type of arguement where you can really say what you're thinking, and you're not doing it just to piss them off, you're doing it because it's important to you. I love that Sirius is angry instead of worried and hurt. I mean, he could be worried and hurt, underneath it, but that he reacts with anger. That he's passionate about this, and that it angers him that Regulus is doing this; not another random Death Eater, but his brother.

I cannot convey to you how much I love that dialogue and how many volumes it spoke for me about the characters and their relationship. It just held sosososo much it's unbelievable.

A couple of points, though - watch out for slang terms. I caught some Americanisms/Modernisms/Muggleisms. Such as 'sucking up' and earning 'brownie points'. Late 70's/Early 80's Wizarding Brits wouldn't use those phrases.

Finally, I really enjoyed the bit about 'only fools hiding in the rain', but I would have liked to have seen that expanded more. (So much, that I'd like to see you maybe come back to this?). I think the first part of the scene was drawn out well enough, and the Sirius-Regulus scene was also just right, but the "fools" bit wasn't really developed. You had Sirius calling Regulus a fool, and you had Regulus saying a only a fool covers himself at night, and only a fool hides between falling raindrops, but you didn't really say why that makes him a fool. "Regulus looked upwards to see if the moon was still visible. It wasn’t. Only fools covered themselves at night. And what was Regulus except one of them?" -- You just introduce it there and it didn't really make a lot of sense to me. I was wondering if maybe the moon was a fool, too, for not being visible? It just confused me. But, I do love the idea of the whole thing, and I think it holds a lot of potential; I just don't think you lingered long enough on the idea or explained it enough for it to pack that potential punch.

Do you believe me when I seriously say I'd love for you to come back to this fic and make it longer? Because... I don't think I've ever asked that of anyone. It's quite fabulous. I think it's going to stick in my mind the same as WTCBR. It just ... it's so much in such a short few moments.

Ah! I forgot to mention that I really liked the Regulus-BeggarWoman dialogue, too. It was so concise, so perfect. I just didn't know how to explain it. And, her dialogue was quite unique. It really resounded with me. Sometimes, written "accents" seem contrived or inconsistent, but her's was great. Could totally hear it in my head. And I understand Regulus' suspicion, too. That would totally be me; I suspect everyone. I also think it really resounded with the whole idea of him being aware of what else is out there, who else is out there. Trust nobody. Definitely Slyth instinct. In that moment, he was mistrusting her, protecting her, and protecting himself. All at once. And, it just makes so much sense. Once again, your characters are so real in their thoughts, words, actions that it is real on so many levels.

Yeah, I was ending this review. Now I really am. Great one-shot, Tricksy ♥

Author's Response: Apparently I didn't respond to this review yet. >.> It was from about a year ago, I think? Anyway, you know I love your reviews. Thanks, dear.

Follow the Leader by Marauder by Midnight

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: Peter Pettigrew is gleeful after finding out he's been Sorted into the same House as Black, Potter, and Lupin. But after an encounter with the leader Lucius Malfoy, how will he feel about his role as follower?
Reviewer: GringottsVault711 Signed
Date: 03/13/08 Title: Chapter 1: Follow the Leader

I admittedly don't read a lot of Peter Pettigrew. Perhaps because most stories about him seem to be some sort of character study that doesn't really go anywhere. *shakes head* But this summary intrigued me (of course it had nothing to do with Lucius.)

I was a little thrown off by the opening thoughts. It sounded sort of like a 13-year-old-girl being excited because a cute boy looked at her. Also, I don't understand how James and Sirius were so popular after one whole day of being at Hogwarts -- except it wasn't even a whole day, it was just the evening. It seems to me that there are certain kids who know one another -- parents work together, or they come from old wizarding families -- but I don't think it's enough so that two eleven-year-olds can walk through the Entrance Hall and instantly be the most popular kids in their year. (Especially since I doubt Sirius got much popularity for being a Black, because anybody who would have liked him for that would not have been pleased with him being a blood-traitor or a Gryffindor). Basically, I think that was just a little off-putting, as far as believability goes. I could see him being excited because it seemed Sirius and James were confident and capable of making friends, and he saw they had potential. But, calling them the most popular boys in his year was sort of jumping the gun.

That said, I thought that Peter's characterisation was excellent. From day one he was plotting. At the same time, I just hated him. He's put down his family and lineage ("...and bring the Pettigrew name from the shadows and the muck and into the history books?") and he doesn't seem to have any desire to actually have friends. He's just a slimeball. Which is great because I have no need to discover a sympathetic spot for Peter Pettigrew.

I do have to feel a little sorry for him on the first night when he sort of gets poked fun of by Sirius (and James' snickering bedcovers). But, at the same time, eh. If he had been a little less obsessed with saying something to win their affection, I might have had more sympathy. But I have this inability to feel bad for people who get made fun of because they're trying hard to impress who they think they should impress. Maybe if it was more of a 'I just want to have friends' think and not a 'Popular people, I must say something fabulously witty so they think I'm awesome!'

I think it was a great addition to the chapter though. It was a nice view of how he wasn't exactly given warm, consoling comfort from his dormmates; but at the same time, it's not like they rejected him or were cruel. They were just being idiotic adolescent boys. (You write that aspect excellently, might I add! It's not overdone to the point they're stereotyped, but it's definitely present in their characterisations.)

Lucius was perfect. Mwaha. That's all I have to say about that. Hopefully it will be enough of a compliment ;)

Also, something I really liked specifically from Peter's PoV, was when he was imagining himself in Lucius' position -- replacing his cold, malicious countenance with my own rounder and more inviting face. I don't even know what to make if that. It's such a complex thought. I don't know how I should feel about that. That, in his own mind, he puts himself above Malfoy. That he wants to be him, but better. And he has this image of himself as warm and inviting. The reason I don't know what to make of it is just because it's so complex. I think it's amazing; it's says so much about the characterisation you've attributed to Peter.

The story does leave me at loss as to why he was ever in Gryffindor. The Peter here seems to be a complete and total Slytherin. On one hand, it's the most competent I've ever seen Peter in a story (and yet, he is still utterly incompetent at the same time; love it), but I really am left wondering why he was sorted the way he was, and that does bother me a little.

Unwitting Violation by AlexisTaylor

Rated: 6th-7th Years •
Summary: Response to SPEW007 prompt: regret. Kingsley has ventured to France for a vacation, but can't seem to shake his thoughts and inhibitions until he comes across a young street urchin.
Reviewer: GringottsVault711 Signed
Date: 01/09/07 Title: Chapter 1: Unwitting Violation


Author's Response: Pardon?