Nice beginning to your story! It can be difficult to write in first person, but I think you did it well. I liked the interaction between Lily and her friends. I think the reaction to the letter could have been more dramatic, but their conversations before that were good. I noticed a grammar mistake: “Am I really that bad Evans?” He wanted to know. The "He" would be lowercase even after the question mark because it's a continuation of the sentence. Same thing with 'I didn’t want to open it until I knew where you were!” She replied defensively.' And you may want to limit your lists of name, such as "I finished my food hurriedly and fled up to the dormitory I shared with Cassara, Eve, Robyn, and Scarlett. Scarlett, Robyn, and Cassara came into the dormitory soon after." It can get awkward to read. I really liked the way the chapter ended. Lily's "I didn't want to die" was a tragic reminder of her fate. Good job overall, just watch that dialogue punctuation.
I really enjoyed this story. The characters were very well written, from Lavender and Padma's squealing to Neville's burst of protectiveness to Ron's irritability... all of it was right on. I especially liked Ron and Hermione's bickering into the closet. I'll be very interested to find out what quieted them! There were just a few little typos, (Parvati was Parvat once), but overall the mechanics were good and the narrative flowed well. One thing, that could just be a matter of style, is that it's pretty informal to have asides in parantheses. e.g."(the closet was VERY small)" or "Harry turned to go (run) up the stairs." You may want to avoid that, unless you're going for a very loose feel. Aside from that, keep up the great characterizations!
Ron comes across Ginny's diary, four years after the war has ended.EDIT: 1000 reads!
This was a fantastic one-shot. Your writing is elegant and your characterizations are spot on. I really loved Ginny; she had the perfect amount of bitterness mixed in with her sadness. My favorite lines were "Dumbledore did, of course, because that's what internationally famous wizards do: go and give heart wrenching speeches when other internationally famous wizards die" and "People still call him 'You-Know-Who' even though he's gone for real this time, as though the name is going to bring him back. It makes me want to scream." Her whole journal entry was a great account of her emotions. The only thing that seemed a little off to me was Harry spining her around and Ginny kissing him after he asked her to Hogsmeade. It was very sweet, but it seemed a little fast, especially for Harry. Also, it ended with "Love, Ginny," so I wasn't sure if it was supposed to be a journal entry or a letter. But overall, it was very well-written and touching. Great job!
This is fantastic! You have a beautiful writing style; the descriptions are rich and detailed, but it doesn't feel slow; it's savorable. I think you got some great character notes in here too. Percy especially; I don't know how much he'll factor into this story but you've already given us a good view of him. I liked his little game of doing the unexpected, and also how he continues to work nonstop but doesn't want to be Minister. Is he not as ambitious as we think or just more driven to support than lead? And I thought it was creepily appropriate that he would be the one to institute the Marriage Law. As someone who's shown that family is not on the top of his priority list, I can definitely see him finding the law reasonable and not horrifying. Oliver's reaction was much more like mine (and deliciously angry!Scottish), though I found it hard to see how he could concede that Percy had a point. No matter how badly the bloodline is suffering, I can't see him finding the law a reasonable measure, though I bet the wine, his tiredness, and Percy's diplomatic phrasings helped. You've definitely piqued my interest to see how it plays out and who will stand on which side of the law. Beautiful job with the prologue; I can't wait to see more!
Author's Response: I was so excited to find out that you\'re reading this *grins* I have to admit, this story has become my obsession over the last two years of writing, and though I still wince a bit at the earlier chapters, I love this first one completely.
LOL! There is nothing funnier than drunken guys causing mayhem with all serious intentions. I love that that's how the "proposal" happened; it's good to see humor in this kind of plot that usually runs toward angst. And I just love your drunk Weasleys. I'm still laughing at "And he has no neck!" I did like the serious note about the war, too. I thought "It’s like we never won at all. Not really" was an interesting concept and gives a nice, unsettled backdrop to the story. Your writing style continues to be artful and your characters entertainingly realistic. Nice job!
Author's Response: *lol* I\'ve discovered that I love writing the twins. Though I may never get as far as the Hermione/George I was once contemplating, I do love bringing them into this story :-)
And coming from you, I take such praise very highly indeed - thank you so much, hon!
Great beginning! I thought your writing flowed nicely and had some good characterizations and humor. I loved the parts with Dudley. My favorite lines were "'Dudley can have them,' said Harry, with the air of one spreading largesse to the populace" and "The previous week, Harry had requested liver tacos, simply to torment Dudley." That made me laugh out loud! There were a few typos; awhile should be a while, and alright should be all right. Overall it was very well-written with a nice relationship developing between Harry and Ginny. Good job!
Fantastic story! You did a remarkable job of capturing the panic and claustrophobia that Snape felt. It was enough to make me quite edgy reading it. There's such vulnerability in Snape's character; I can't imagine how humiliating it was for him to freeze, be dragged away by James, and then lose all control once inside. "He closed his eyes and let his head sink on his knees, wishing the three of them would disappear. He couldn’t stand up to them anymore. He was finished." That part just broke my heart. It really explains the incredible animosity that remains between him and the Marauders; that's not something to forget soon. The only thing I found odd was how Sirius confessed so readily to attempted murder. (But then again, I find his actions in this "prank" very odd as a whole. I'm still waiting for a better explanation from JKR then "Sirius hated Snape.") I really liked how you made me look at the Whomping Willow scene in POA in a new light. Congratulations on your nomination; you deserve it!
Author's Response: Thanks BlackClaude! Yes, I understand what you mean about Sirius; but I always envisioned him as not really grasping the consequences of his deeds. In his book, he's not admitting to attempted murder, but revealing an ingenious plot to give Snape a good scare. He expects McGonagall to be impressed rather than angry. Does that make sense?
I felt very cruel writing Snape's collapse, I have to say; but I thought it was at once a natural reaction and one the Marauders would find despicable, and Snape would feel thoroughly ashamed of it. As you say, he's actually quite vulnerable, especially in his pride - if the chapter title of the "Worst Memory" was sincere, then yes, the humiliation would certainly stay with him forever.
Dear me, do I ramble ;-). Thanks for your praise! -S.
Honestly, I was hesitant to read this one-shot, but I knew I had to. I just finished Power, which was incredible in its emotional detail, and I'm still smarting from the end of Gift Of Love, so I know that Sirius's reaction to his best friend's death will be brutal. But here goes...
I love Sirius's sonnets to his motorcycle. For anyone else it would seem over the top, but I can actually see Sirius doing that, a natural seducter. I just saw one typo in there, "I shall treat with you" should be "I shall treat you with." And it's cool how your different one-shots tie into each other, like Peter's cleanliness, the knife on the counter, and his sudden absence. It's uniting, and it also makes me even more anxious, knowing what's coming from everything else I've read.
Wow! Sirius is brilliant, figuring out who the betrayer was by the dustless moon charm. Very clever! And the way he realized it was Peter: "How could I not see? Peter’s always had a hard time dealing with pressure. Always." That was very telling; not "Peter's always been evil" or "I've never liked that little bastard." Sirius recognized Peter's weakness, and I may be reading too much into it, but it almost felt like Sirius saw Peter as a victim. He didn't even seem angry at him, although maybe it's just because he was too worried about James and Lily.
"Alone… thought Sirius. But me… I’m his godfather." Sniff. This is what makes me cry all the way from POA to OoTP. Sirius is alone, betrayed, his friends have been torn from him, and all he wants is to take care of Harry, but Harry's taken away from him too. I think that's the essence of Sirius's character; regardless of his bad qualities, he has so much love for his friends, which makes their destruction all the more painful for him. You've demonstrated that love beautifully, with Sirius thinking of new ways to playfully tease Peter, his concern for him when he was missing, his despair at the Potter's house, and his giving his beloved bike to Hagrid since it means helping Harry. And this powerful line: "He readied his wand, preparing to call forth the darkest, most vengeful force within himself." It reminded me of his Animagus, playful and loyal to the end, yet prepared to fight to death for those he loves. All right, you made me cry like I thought you would. But that's ok, that shows how good this one-shot is. Brilliant work; I hope this isn't the last of your Marauder fics!
Author's Response: Thank you BC, for your GREAT review! It's very much appreciated! Thanks for pointing out my word switch. I've been doing that alot, lately. Sirius is a very complex character and it was great to write in his shoes. I'm not really sure what I had planned for future Marauder fics.
Oh... wow. This was simply amazing. I had intended to read this when it was first accepted, but my goldfish brain forgot it was there. So I'm so glad I re-found it! I love what you did with Peter. You actually had me wondering if he was going to kill himself, even though I knew that's not what happened. I love how powerless you depicted him as being, especially the way his thoughts and fears controlled him. I liked how when he was looking at the moon charm, his thought went from "Take it" to "You'll take it," as if he was helpess against his fate. His fear, his utter despair and the guilt he felt were palpable. This line made it feel so real: "Backing away slightly, Peter saw his panicked reflection and his haunted expression. How was it that Remus didn’t notice it in him?" It's such a benefit to his character to show his hesitation, and that he didn't go into the decision happily. It emphasizes the fact that the Marauders really were his friends and that he really did love them, but he wasn't strong enough to save them. Fantastic job!
Author's Response: *snicker* Goldfish brain. I'm so glad you liked this. I wondered how my daring to humanize Peter would be received. I'm glad it's being received well. :)
I love Siobhan! She's an excellent OC. I was afraid she might be too much a typical Slytherin until she spoke "quietly, dropping her indifference out of respect." It's a refreshing change from Slytherins that we normally see; she actually has humanity, despite her aloofness. The way she appreciated their quiet company on the train suggests that she's not just a one-dimensional loner/rebel. And man can that girl fantasize! That was some hot writing right there. I can't wait to see how she uses Draco to get to Lucius. It was great how she controlled him and how she (rightly) considers herself so unequivocally superior to him. Her assessment was hilarious, too: "a whisper that Siobhan was sure he had at least intended to be attractive." Not much concrit, I just have to echo Maeve on "He said a few words dismissively, and the woman nodded begrudgingly and left the platform stiffly." I'm an adverb addict too and it's hard to shake them when they're so nicely descriptive, but three in one sentence is a bit much. Also, "Siobhan spotted the Potter and Granger shift uncomfortably in their seats." Unless she's really objectifying Harry, I think the "the" should be removed. I'm eagerly awaiting more of Siobhan; keep her scandalous! ;)
Author's Response: *glows* There's no words sweeter than those that compliment one's own original character :) Thank you sooo much! I will have to see to that triple adjective sentence... and I didn't even notice 'the Potter' (nor has anyone else, it seems) - thanks for that! Yes - Siobhan is quite talented at fantasizing :) I think I'll keep her daydreams going throughout, as everyone seems to be enjoying them as much as Miss Murphy herself. I definitely promise t okeep her *scandalous*! Thanks again, love!
Another beautiful chapter, and this one rather sad. It's easy to sympathize with Tonks; I think you hit the "new girl" feeling right on the head, especially with the line, "They were not the friends she had hoped to make when she came to Hogwarts. Yet she had no other choice." It's nice to see the realistic alternative between Harry's making instant friends for life and Luna's being a pariah from day one. Tonks's mediocre acquaintanceships and her disillusionment with them is heartbreaking and true. Likewise, Ninette's friendlessness is sad, though it is making me wonder about her. I get the feeling that her snobbery is not completely shyness, and that she really does have superiority issues. I don't know if this is my seeing it through Tonks's eyes or if she really does have those issues to overcome, but it's refreshing to have that mystery. If she were clearly the poor, misunderstood shy girl from the beginning, it wouldn't be as interesting. Like your previous chapters, these characterizations make the story. Nicely done!
Oh, Ninette! That is one seriously messed up girl. I figured that if she were just shy, she would have welcomed Tonks's friendliness more, but now I see that it goes much deeper than that. I thought the most telling scene was with the boys on the train. That did it, for them — she did not seem real, nothing more than a toy That's a brilliant assessment, the way that people can give themselves up until they're not even a real person anymore, just a shell. Poor girl, that's such a dark place to be. And in this line: She noticed the beseeching glances Tonks sent at the other girls when forced to be her partner, and she was glad she had not known the words to respond that first night. That self-fulfilling prophecy is so sad, because while she was completey wrong about Tonks not wanting to be her friend, it unfortunately became right. And it's easy to see how she dug herself into her hole.
Again, nothing to criticize mechanics-wise except for one small thing: "nine and three quarters" should be capitalized. And the story itself is moving nicely; I particularly like the lessons. They're interesting to read, and though they're foreign to the non-dancers, so much of it is relatable to anyone who's had any kind of training. (Like mistakes being unforgivable once corrected... ugh, we've all been there!) I hope that we'll get to see some more understanding between the girls now that we've gotten a glimpse into both of their minds. It's hard to see how either will make the first move, which is why it should be very interesting to see.
I can't believe I've gone so long without reading this; it's really amazing! I always knew you were a great writer, but this has impressed me even further. The flow and word choices are flawless and I love the subtle symbolism, especially Ninette striding to catch up with her aunt's quick steps and then her aunt's finally losing her composure at the barrier, the dividing line between her world and Ninette's new one. Your characterizations in particular are rich and full. Stage mothers can be cartoonishly villianous in portrayal, but your Aunt Edris was believable while still distasteful. Plus, she served to define Ninette's character quite a bit on her own; even though we haven't seen Ninette in action much, we already have a rather good picture of what kind of person she is based on how she's been brought up. There was one thing that wasn't quite clear to me, and I would have liked a bit more about. Did Aunt Edris know that Hogwarts is a magic school? She did read the letter, but there was no mention that she knew or believed it. If she did know that Ninette was a witch, then I imagine she would want to know how that could be used to give her an edge in dancing. (Could she leap higher, could she even learn to fly? Were there weight loss potions?) But maybe that comes in later chapters. I really can't wait to read more, and I warn you that I may begin pestering you to continue once I reach chapter 10. This is too promising a beginning not to finish!
Oh, I love your Tonks! Absolutely love her. She's just as bright and interesting as our too-brief glimpses of her in canon, and her insecurities just make her even more charming. You've already given her so many layers, she just bursts off the page. Your strength is definitely in your characterization, although everything about your style is brilliant. I'm sorry, I'm gushing. I can't help it. Concrit, concrit... The first two stanzas of the Sorting Hat song are great, but then the meter starts to get a little off in the following ones. That's all I've got, back to praise. :) I love the themes that you have running through, which tie back into the characterizations. The mirror, beauty, self-confidence, independence... the differing (and similar) ways that Ninette and Tonks see themselves and see each other are fascinating, especially Tonks's obsession with borrowing other people's faces. I can't wait to see them interact more, and I really hope Charlie plays a big role in this too. His romantic interest could provide a perfect focal point for the girls' self-images. (Don't you love how I'm speculating on plot points that have already been written years ago, like they may somehow still be in the air?) Well, you know how much I love this so I will gush no more, at least until the next chapter. :)
Fantastic! I'm very excited by the opening of this sequel. You've laid out the direction of the story well and dropped tantalizing hints of conflicts to come. Most intriguing, Narcissa, of course! If Severus ever calls her Cissy, I expect Maeve to slap him around. :) I thought the characterization of Remus was great. It was very striking to read him being so cold and detached in the beginning. He was being OOC in a perfectly IC way, if that makes sense. And then the way he struggled to balance his devotion to her with his firmness to make her accept the situation... very Remus. Lovely to read!
Maeve's reaction was well-done, too; her panic and denial felt real. And her loyalty to Severus was both sweet and heartbreaking! As I read it, I imagined that it mirrored your reaction to the end of HBP. ;) I thought she figured out the "pleading for life/pleading for death" a little too quickly, though. I realize she believes completely in Severus and wants him to be innocent, but it feels like she solved the puzzle too easily.
My favorite description was of Spinner's End. It was dead on; from the first sentence it took me right back to HBP. And I loved Maeve's smackdown on Roderick inside: “A shoulder to cry on?” The incredulity she displayed made him think she was perhaps over-reacting a little. “The world is trying to tell me something that I cannot allow myself to believe and here you are, presenting me with evidence of my husband’s other life. I don’t want a shoulder to cry on, I want bloody answers. I want to know where my husband is. Do you know? You seem to know everything else.” She glowered accusingly at him.
I love it! She's such a strong character; it was great to see the fire in her that we first saw in DoL. And of course it's great to have Roderick back. I thought his best line was "He had the decency to look genuinely sorry for her." A small line, but it says so much about him. Your characterizations give a lot of depth to your stories, and make them so interesting to read. I can't wait to see what you do with Narcissa. But even more so, I can't wait to hear Snape speak for the first time since we saw him running away with Draco. Oh, and I also can't wait to see what you do with Draco! All right, it's clear I need to get reading chapter two. :) Great job!
Author's Response: What a great review! *blushes* I\'m glad it works as an opening chapter. HBP really threw me... but then I always knew it would. I think a lot of Maeve\'s disbelief... and then belief in her husband did stem from what many Snape fans felt. he just couldn\'t be evil... could he? I think it\'s fairly self-evident where I think he stands from this fic. :-) I think the pleading for life thing hit quite a few people on first reading. I know that\'s how I read it. Perhaps with hindsight I should have given her a little more uncertainty; it would have made for a very different opener if she had had her doubts. *pats Remus* I love dear Remus, although he does get a little more angsty later on. I hope you keep reading. I have finally got back into my updating groove, so hopefully the story will be completed before too long.
I was so happy to see a new story from you, and I wasn't disappointed! I love the mystery and intrigue in this opening chapter. With all the questions left by HBP, you've introduced new ones as well that beg to be answered. For instance, Snape and Narcissa? Very intriguing! You've certainly humanized her more than she has been. Her marriage with Lucius is obviously meaningless to her, but her love for Draco was surprisingly touching. And now, this apparent love for Snape makes her downright human! Good job fleshing out a previously one-dimensional character. You're also definitely doing that with Draco, with his fear and uncertainty. However: "Draco couldn’t see him from his position but hoped his mother would kill him. He did this to me!" That made me laugh! How very Draco to want to kill Snape out of revenge for putting him under this curse, forgetting that Snape's the only one who knows Draco isn't dead and can reverse the spell. He still hasn't shaken his spoiled brat roots. His fear while being bound was all too clear, though. It made me claustrophobic just reading it! I had to try very hard to find any grammar problems; the only thing I could come up with were the paragraphs with multiple dialogue quotes. I think those still need to be separated so there are two quotes tops, even if it is the same person speaking. That was it though, so cheers to your beta! And now, I am going to hurry to the next chapter to see what Draco does to Snape when the potion wears off. Great job!
Author's Response: Thanks BC! I really like what you've said here, although I'd like to note that Draco wasn't aware that Snape could relieve him... So to speak. And Draco as a brat? Whatever do you mean? ;)
I like how you're enhancing Draco's character, but not negating what we already know about him. His impatience and temper and arrogance are still firmly in place. I imagine Snape must pity his Occlumency even more than Harry's, because he can't keep his emotions in check any better. "Yuh bassa. I’ll kill yuh.” That was so funny! I can only imagine how it infuriated Draco to speak so unrefinedly. And then getting food all over himself... I was embarassed on his behalf! Although it probably gave him some much-needed humility. I find that even though Draco's still being... well, Draco... he's a more sympathetic character now. Especially in this part: "She’s the only person who—” He broke off, not wanting to voice what he had suspected all his life. The only person who loves me… That was such a touching line; not over-emotional, just sad and true. I also thought this line was very effective: "He chanted the familiar mantra in his head" That was a good way to show how much that memory has plagued him if his self-comforting has become a mantra. That just leads to more questions of course, which I hope are answered soon! That, and I'm curious why Snape is willing to risk Narcissa's life to save Draco's. Is it because the Unbreakable Vow is still in effect? Or because he loves her and knows she would sacrifice her life for Draco's? Or do you have something else cooked up?
As for grammar/spelling, I'm not sure if this is a typo or a fanciful metaphor: "he attempted to love his eyes sideways." Also, I think this comma is unnecessary: "Damn!, he thought" Otherwise, impeccable as usual. Now I'll be your fangirl and say please update soon!
Author's Response: No... It's a typo, lol. Cracks me up though. And yeah, that comma shouldn't be there either. And I don't know whether Snape is completely risking Narcissa's life... Although I suppose you could say he is... But not quite... Hmm. Thanks for your nice comments. Makes me feel good about this. I'm not going to be painting the most favorable Draco...
This is a very cute story! I really like what you did with Cho and Ron. This was a nice, realistic way to get them together, starting with Cho's insecurities about Hermione and ending with Ron's insecurities about himself. I love the way you had Cho talk him up without sounding patronizing, and the kiss was perfect, short and sweet. Anything more than that would have been too disloyal to Harry, so that was just the right touch of attraction to put into a compassionate gesture.
As for the mechanics, I found some sentences to be a bit choppy and fragmented. For instance, I would turn these two into one sentence by joining them with a comma: She was, by all standards, perfect. From her shiny raven mane to her delicate figure. Also, there were several sentences in the dialogue that need question marks, like "Have you missed the fact that she's probably the most clever student in the whole school." and "You really sell yourself short, don't you." There were some misspellings and grammar errors too, so I would recommend getting a beta to help with those. You have a great writing style and story, so cleaning up the mechanics will really let that come through more.
Great job with a rare pair, I really enjoyed this!
He was reading a book called Magical Venoms for no particular reason I'm going to have to disagree with Lian, because that was one of my favorite lines! When I'm upset and want to distract myself, sometimes I'll pull a random book off my shelf and just start reading from the middle, and that's what this reminded me of. He had a reason for reading, to distract himself, but no particular reason for that specific book, which just emphasizes his mental state. Now maybe you didn't intend any of that, but that's how I saw it and I liked it. :)
This fic was indeed dark and twisty, with quite a body count at the end! I like how you used Snape's ambiguity against him, to his downfall. Most people either believe he's definitely more on one side than the other,but reading about the torment of being stuck in the middle was a good characterization. Very bleak and dark overall, which I love. :)
There was one thing in the dialogue that felt off to me. When Eileen says "Getting interested in the Dark Arts first, joining He Who Must Not Be Named next, and now - on the run! I never brought you up to be like this!" First, I thought "getting interested in the Dark Arts" sounded kind of mild, and that "getting mixed up in the Dark Arts" might have been a better way to show her disapproval. Also, instead of "now - on the run!" I'd say something about him killing Dumbledore, which is probably a worse crime to her than just being on the run for it. Maybe "now - on the run for murder!" I did love her final words, though. "Bad company, Severus." That was great, and sure to haunt him for his short remaining time.
Wonderful job creating a very troubling and moving dark fic!
Author's Response: Thank you for your review, BC! Snape\'s Folly is not one of my favourite stories, but I\'m glad you liked it!
1983. In a world where Voldemort has won the First War, where hope has fled from an Earth moaning under the Dark Lord's iron hand, marriages are broken and others are arranged in order to preserve the sacred purity of blood. James Potter loses his wife; now they have to find another for him.
I loved it! It's exceedingly well-written and I love the plotline. (I cheered when I read James Potter's name) :) The alternate universe is well-done and creepy; you've made the concept of the death eaters in power and forced arranged marriages real. I don't think I have a thing to criticize, just one typo to point out: "I heard to door closing behind her." I can't wait to read the next chapter now!
Author's Response: Thanks for pointing out the typo, I\'ll fix it eventually. Thank you too for a review that is both interesting and very nice, and I hope you like the rest.