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Today Is Victory Day by Maple_and_PheonixFeather

Rated: 1st-2nd Years • Past Featured Story
Summary: Victory Day. A day of celebration and remembrance . For Lily, it is also a day of confusion and sadness. She wants to understand in a world that knows no terror. This year, she'll discover exactly what Victory Day means to her.

Winner of the 2012 Next-Gen QSQ Award
Reviewer: iLuna17 Signed
Date: 01/02/12 Title: Chapter 1: Victory Day


I really loved this piece. It was sweet with a little fluff, yet there was just a touch of darkness swirled in with it. I thought your characterization of Lily was great: her confusion, the way she thought about things, it all fit what I believe Lily would be like. Also, the slight simplicity and sometimes bluntness really adds to Lily's character, in my opinion. I also thought the subtle touch of Lily/Scorpius was nice. I’m an avid Rose/Scorpius believer, but I have to say this is one of my exceptions. It really added to her character, as well as showed the difference between the war and then. (Her being a Potter, him being a Malfoy)

I thought the ending was very powerful, especially the third paragraph from the end. The emotion is so raw and powerful, and I think it sums up the war (and life) perfectly. All things lose meaning with time, which is quite sad, and I think this piece portrayed a unique and different angle about how the next generation views ‘Victory Day’. What you, or rather Lily, says is true: wars previously thought have simply become pages in a history textbook; the emotion and suffering behind them becomes lost in time.

I do have to say, though, some of the large paragraphs made it a little hard to digest. When I read, I tend to skim over the larger paragraphs, and I think it would be a good idea to break up some of them, particularly the third paragraph from last. I do wonder why you call the day 'Victory Day'. The term reminds me slightly of the Giver, but I think that all in all it works with the story. It seems slightly awkward, but it could just be me. Apart from those small things, this piece was lovely, powerful, and magical.

The last few sentences are the most magical, and are definitely my favorite. Lily realizes that they should not focus on the sadness of the event, but instead be thankful. It brings a sense of closure to the battle, and I think I will remember these sentences forever, regarding any war or struggle:

They did not die so that the next generation would feel sadness. They died so that we could feel joy, love, and freedom. They died so that we might be able to enjoy life. Today is Victory Day. Today, I celebrate.

Also, the memorial for the people who fought and Lily’s reaction to it remind me a bit of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Washington D.C. I’m not sure if you know of it, being that I forget whether you’re American or British, but it is a tomb in Arlington National Cemetery that honors all of those who died and whose bodies were never found, or they simply went MIA. When Lily talks of the nameless faces, I can’t help but think of this, and how the day honors them.

All in all, I really loved this piece. I thought it was thoughtful, deep, well thought-out, and carried a great message, whether it was intended or not. If you write anything pertaining to this piece or decide to expand it, I would love to read it.


Author's Response: Hello, Ellie! I am really glad you liked it, and thanks for the wonderful review! Breaking up the paragraphs has actually been on my to do list, as someone else pointed it out, too. I am very happy I was able to make you think of something else, because that is what I believe stories are supposed to do: touch the reader. -Maple

Glass by xxbabewithbrainsxx

Rated: 1st-2nd Years • Past Featured Story

It’s New Year’s Eve, and it’s the Potters’ turn to host this year’s party. Lily Luna Potter, however, has no idea that they are trying to set her up with a certain someone, despite the fact that Lily already has that certain someone, though her family doesn't know that...

This is babewithbrains of Ravenclaw, writing for the Great Hall-iday Challenge 2011, Prompt Three -- Operation: Mistletoe.

Reviewer: iLuna17 Signed
Date: 05/13/12 Title: Chapter 1: New Year's Eve, 2029

Hi, Soraya.

In all honesty, when I first read this piece, I wasn’t sure I was going to like the idea of Loulily. But by the end … I couldn’t imagine it any other way. You handled the pairing in a delicate and careful manner, and it was quite entrancing.

One of the things I especially loved about the piece was your characterization of Lily. I loved how she wasn’t perfect and self confident, she had insecurities just like everyone else, which made her seem very real to me. She also had just the right mix of anger, love, and confusion. Lily obviously feels something she’s never felt before in Louis, but I’m also glad you showed her confusion, and how she was still not sure whether or not what they had was *right*. You showed her constant struggle, how she wants to proudly say she’s found ‘the one’, and her belief her relationship with Louis isn’t as squicky as people make it out to be, but also you displayed her fear at what everyone will say. And her fight with Louis … you managed to show just the right amount of anger and annoyance. I just love ‘your’ Lily; she has so many complex emotions swirling around inside, just like any normal girl. :)

As for Louis, I thought he was simply sweet. He’s the one to tell Lily she’s beautiful, which I know from reading Broken Glass she didn’t really believe before, and the one to listen and generally be her ‘Prince Charming’. I especially enjoyed the bit with the mascara, it gave his character more of a depth, adding sadness to his already complex state of mind. One thing I didn’t really like, though, was his sort of ashamedness at his relationship with Lily, and how it took someone telling him it was okay for his relationship with Lily for it to be okay to tell everyone with him. (as confusing as that sounds) I think you made up for it at the end, though, with his cute paragraph about wanting to be able to ‘show’ Lily off.

I *did* have a bit of a nitpick where Roxy and Harry were concerned, however. I think they would have known something was wrong, because generally people don’t ask to talk in private, even if it sounded casual, unless there was something they didn’t want anyone to know. Also, the Weasleys are kind of a nosy bunch, and I think Roxy would have known Lily was seeing someone, since she scorned all attempts to fix her up with someone. Other than that, though, the piece was simply stunning.

As hard as it to choose with this piece, my favorite part of the piece had to be the ending. Even though the cliffhanger makes me want to beg you to write everyone’s reactions, I think it brought a nice sense of closure to the piece. It solved the argument, and brought ease to both of their minds. Plus, they’re just so, well, perfect, it makes the idea of them being cousins seem abstract, and the idea that they’re lovers realistic. They have their fights, but in the end, they’re okay. And that’s what I love about this piece.. :)

All in all, Soraya, it was just beautiful. It wasn’t *right*, persay, but it was delicate and just stunning. There are many ways to characterize both Lily and Louis, but I really enjoyed your versions; they had a great blend and complexity to each of them. You also managed to capture what I think a good relationship would be, in a sort of weird way, yet it was realistic. They fought, but it didn’t destroy them. Please tell me if you decide to post more Loulily; I would love to read it. :)

Keep it up!

Author's Response: Ellieeeeeeeee! Thank you so much for such a lovely review.I'm really happy with the reception this story's got, even if it's not my best.

I think there's a lot of me in Lily. Weird, I know, but for some reason, subconsciously of course, there's a lot of my personality and insecurities in Lily. For example, I have a lot of issues with my weight, which is also something that Lily has a problem with. Also -- like Lily, I'm very indecisive, as you can probably tell, lol. And yes, she is a normal girl -- or as normal as you can get :)

I love Louis. As a character, I think he's rather underdeveloped here, but I've written a lot about him in OF, and I love him so much that I want to marry him. Seriously. Hehehehehe. And the thing about the mascara was just something I found rather funny -- basically, in a story of Alex’s (I’ve forgotten which one), a male character is kind of fond of makeup, and I thought the idea of a guy doing someone’s makeup was sweet, hence why I included it. I know it’s a bit-- random, but yeah.

I see what you mean about your crit, but I think what’s important to understand is that Louis isn’t ashamed of their relationship. He isn’t. From way back, he accepted the fact that he was in love with his cousin (if you’ve read Broken Glass, you will have seen this quite clearly) and that isn’t the issue here. He’s just worried about how everyone will judge him. It’s just him being self-conscious more than anything, but I’m glad, anyway, that you liked the bit at the end :) He does want to show everyone that he loves Lily; he’s just scared, really.

Yeah, they probably would have guessed something, but it’s unlikely they would have all known exactly what was going on. Roxy, for example, would have been completely clueless, lol, especially as she was drunk. Harry probably did guess something, and if I ever do write a follow-up to this, after my exams, you’ll see what everyone’s reactions are then.

I’m really pleased and flattered that you liked this story so much. Really, it means a lot, especially since this pairing has become my OTP. And if you’re interested, I’m planning on converting this to OF, but the storyline will be, of course, rather different. If you want to know more, and even read an excerpt of this OF that I speak of, you can join the hunting_down community at Livejournal. Alex set it up for any budding OF authors on her flist, and I’m sure she’ll let you join. Even if you don’t write OF yourself, you can always comment on other people’s (Jamie’s recently put hers up, and Kara’s posted too), and my excerpt is also begging for comments at the moment, so I’d love to know what you think of it.

Well, I think that’s it. Thank you, once again, for leaving me such a lovely review, and again, I’m so glad you enjoyed this and even thought it was stunning. It means a lot.


The Taste of You by Padfoot11333

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
Summary: Every time Hannah and Luna meet, they are attracted to each other in ways they both know they shouldn’t be. And every time, Luna leaves the scene with the taste of pomegranates on her breath.

This is Padfoot11333 of Hufflepuff writing for the Great Hall Cotillion-this story has been done for ages, and I sent it to Jess during the Great Queue Outage, but I’m just now posting it here.

Nominated for a 2012 Quicksilver Quill Award.

Reviewer: iLuna17 Signed
Date: 02/26/12 Title: Chapter 1: oneshot

Wow, Lily. I know how much trouble writing this piece has been for you, but I have to say it was very good. :) You did a great job of keeping it canon, and I loved the touch of Neville/Luna in there as well. I'm a big fan of that particular ship, and I think it added to the idea of Hannah and Luna’s romance: it's not right, it's not proper, but it's what happened. (If that makes any sense) Also, it connects Hannah and Luna, because the one thing they have in common is Neville. It was a clever idea of how to bring the two together, and carried out well.

One of the things I loved the most about this one shot would be the pomegranate and the story of Persephone. I thought it was brilliant how you made the pomegranate basically a symbol of their romance, and how Luna tastes it even when it’s not there. I also thought you portrayed Luna and Hannah correctly and elegantly; I know it must be hard to live in Luna's head, and something about their relationship in the story, (friends to the kiss to the last meeting) the whole development seemed . . . natural. It wasn’t rushed, (which I know I have a tendency to do) but it wasn’t too drawn out, either. Great job on that, Lily. :)

Another thing that was really great about this piece was the romance itself. It was little tastes here and there, and though it was the center of the story, it didn’t overbear the plot.

I do have to say though, as much as I enjoyed this, I did find the ending a little rushed. You suddenly went from their, for lack of a better word, rendez-vous, to the end, and Luna moving on. I think you could add a little in between, maybe even a sentence or two to smooth over the transition.

On a smaller note: I don't know if you noticed, but those weird question mark symbols have made a re-appearence in your stories, and sometimes it's easy to tell what is supposed to be there, but other times it made it a little more confusing.

As for the plot . . . I thought it was original and very well-thought out. As I said before, the progress in the relationship seems very natural, and I love how they know it’s wrong, and that it has to come to an end. It made the story very . . . bittersweet, which is one of my favorite kinds of fics to read.

Overall, I really enjoyed this piece. It's the romance that never had a chance, and I found that intriguing. Keep it up, Lily! :)


Author's Response:

Ellie, thank you so so so much for the lovely SPEWly review :) I love recieving them and honestly, I've been waiting for this one since you said you were going to write it.

I did spend a lot of time complaining about this one, didn't I? Writing femmeslash was a jump into new terrain for me (oh my gosh, you should read my Sirius/Peter, it's awful) I wanted to keep it canon, although I could have gone the total non canon route and put Neville and Luna together.......hahaha. The connection between Hannah and Luna via Neville is what sparked the idea for writing this story along with the Cotillion, and I'm glad you found it realistic.

Writing the pomegranete-y stuff was a lot of fun too. I really compared it to the story of Persephone and a potential title for this story was "The Forbidden Fruit" because I thought it was just a great symbol of their romance. It wasn't allowed and it wasn't proper, but they were just stuck with it anyway.

Thank you so much for saying I portrayed Luna correctly, I had some serious issues with that. She may be odd but she isn't stupid, and I think a lot of people misportray her as such. (Is that even a word, misportray?)

I'm also glad you said the relationship wasn't rushed. Soraya (my beta for this story) and I struggled over that because she thought it wasn't enough to give their relationship backstanding in just three short scenes, so I'm glad that worked out :)

Speaking of rushedness, I completely understand what you mean about the ending. I have this awful tendency to go to this shortish epilogue thing and no transition in between. And no beta can fix it. Gah.

Thank you for the pick about the question marky stuff, I love hyphens far too much. And re plot: I think the plot made the story readable at least for me. I love bittersweet stuff, too, btw, and although I was under the impression that I can't write them, at least you managed to attempt to prove me wrong.

Thank you again for the lovely review (and making me type an incredibly long response, with a lot of paragraph dialogue tags, and possibly the longest I've ever done, and I didn't even address all the things in your review!!!) Hugs, twin.

Lily xxx

Fly by Maple_and_PheonixFeather

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
Summary: Lily has always been one to chase the wrong person, so what happens when a new Quidditch coach comes along?
Reviewer: iLuna17 Signed
Date: 05/15/13 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1

Hello, SPEW Buddy. :)

I thought this was an interesting piece. The idea of student/teacher is incredibly hard to do realistically, but I think you handled it really well. The way you characterized Lily and Cormac made it seem almost natural, given the situation, and I really liked how the style was mostly dialogue; it let us see the characters flesh themselves out, slowly become more and more three dimensional, than just telling about them. It gave the story a nice progression, which I loved.

One of the most interesting things, for me, was this characterization of Lily. I’ve seen you do many versions of her, but this truly surprised me. At the beginning, she seemed rather silly and naïve, fancying the older professors, but it was interesting to see just how far she went to get the bloke she wanted. She’s quite cunning and tricky, and I love how her intentions aren’t quite so pure as they may have seemed at the beginning. Almost everything she does - from purposely stoking his pride to listening to his stories and advice - is all because she wants to be with him, and I really liked that character flaw. She’s bold and reckless like her mother, yes, but there’s also that tricky side that controls her for most of the story. I do wonder how she blatantly ignored everything her father said, though, because it was slightly odd how she continued (for lack of a better word) seducing Cormac, even though so many people were against it. I especially loved how Professor Longbottom has to keep an eye on her to make sure she doesn’t go for the professors. It’s just what Lily fancied, and I love how he tried to control her, though it failed. On that note, I also really adored Emma, who was struggling between being a supportive friend and the voice of reason. Lily needs a best friend like that. :)

Onto Cormac. Having just written a piece about him myself, I know how hard he is to portray as a good person, but still in character. I think you did that brilliantly here; we still see his arrogance (especially about Quidditch), and how he really is quite self-centered. He helps Gryffindor out with the match purely because of Lily, and that was the moment he truly became real, for me. I do think that at points he was a little too dramatically cocky, especially when he went on about Lily’s father. I think she would have had some reply to that, and he would know to watch is tongue, if only a little bit. But, he is compassionate and helpful to Lily, even though (rather like Lily) he has an ulterior motive. Cormac does know his place, though, and I liked how there had to be a tipping point for him to take the plunge with Lily.

I normally avoid student/teacher like the plague, simply because of how sexual it can turn (and you know how easy it is to make me blush), but you avoided that here, and I liked it. It’s not innocent by any means - the entire thing, in fact, is based on ulterior motives and tricks - but I really liked that. Their wanting to be in a relationship, but having everyone standing in their way made it really realistic, and their determination to be in a relationship managed to show all of their character flaws. Lily’s desire for what she cannot have, Cormac’s need for a well-fed ego. I think the fact that their relationship began with a drunken kiss states most of it.

My favourite part of the piece was the ending, because it was resolved, yet unresolved. Lily finally gets the bloke, but there’s something off. I don’t know if it’s how she words it at the end, or how the kiss went, but it feels very open-ended, and I like that. It gives me the idea that maybe we don’t want to know what happens next. It kind of reminds me of something they talk about in ‘The Fault in Our Stars’, how not everything can end in neat little boxes tied up with bows. I am really intrigued by this idea, and I think you did a great job with it.

Overall, I just found this piece interesting. It was the perfect mix of cuteness mixed with tricky undertones, and I really want to know how their relationship will pan out, especially with Harry. If you ever decide to write a sequel, I would gladly read it.


The Caustic Ticking of the Clock by xxbabewithbrainsxx

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •

Until near twelve the strange girl all at once

Guilt-stricken halts, pales, clings to the prince

As amid the hectic music and cocktail talk

She hears the caustic ticking of the clock.*

The students at Hogwarts have left for their Christmas holidays, but in the castle, a celebration of a betrothal is taking place. However, one woman watches the couple, waiting for midnight.

*Taken from the poem Cinderella by Sylvia Plath.

This is babewithbrains of Ravenclaw writing for the Great Hall Cotillion challenge.

ZOMG. This story has been nominated for a 2012 Quicksilver Quill Award: Best Same-Sex Pairing. Thank you!
Reviewer: iLuna17 Signed
Date: 03/17/12 Title: Chapter 1: The Caustic Ticking of the Clock

Hey, Soraya. :)

I'm very, very, sorry this has taken so long, and probably isn't very SPEW-worthy, but I'm finally reviewing your fic.

I really love the idea of the story. How it's a story of goodbye, and not too fluffy. :) You used the poem and theme extremely well, and it provided a great background for the story. I thought it fight the theme perfectly, so amazing job!

I also love how you never downright say Helga or Rowena's names until the end. The piece has a sense of mystery behind it, even though you can infer who they are, it again adds to the piece.

I honestly don't see anything it. At the beginning I thought it was Helga/Salazar or some other combination of male/female, but somehow I'm glad it isn't. (though I'm not a *huge* fan of same-sex yet) And again, it adds to the whole whole "goodbye, and it isn't right, and it isn't a happily ever after" that I love. It's not picture-perfect, and I really like how you show that. Not just in this, but in your other pieces, especially in the Highway of Regret. I read that, and I loved it.

Anways, I should digress. Another thing I love is the endings to your pieces. They're always so simple, but magical. The last line of this was stunning (Even after she has wounded you so, you simply surrender to her touch, albeit with the knowledge that it is your last time together.)

I'm sorry if this has been too fan-girlish, but I honestly couldn't find anything noteworthy to constructfully criticize you on.

Thanks for being an amazing SPEW buddy!


Author's Response: Hi Ellie :)

I'm so glad you liked this. Yes, it's a story of goodbye, but I do think it's rather plotless compared to some of my other stories, so I'm glad you think otherwise. This actually started off as a piece of coursework for GCSE English -- we had to take a poem and turn it into a story, or a newspaper article, or some other medium. I got ten out of ten for it, which is nice, too :)

To be honest, I have Deathlex to thank about not mentioning Rowena or Helga's names until later on. Originally, both Rowena and Helga's names appeared in the summary, but Deathlex said it would work better by beginning ambiguously and then finding out. She was clearly right, which is one of the many reasons that I heart her and that she's an excellent beta. :D I see what you mean re pairings, but if you do get into SSP, trust me when I say it's addictive, lol.

And you've read The Highway of Regret? I didn't know that... that story is definitely my least reviewed, and I'm not too fond of it, but I will agree with you re the ending of it (mostly because it ends with Loulily, lol). I had no idea you've read any of my work, Ellie, so if you ever have the time, do drop by and review -- though this is me just being review-hungry, hehe.

I'm so glad you liked the ending of it, too. I struggled with that; I originally added another paragraph, but Deathlex said it worked fine without it, so I'm happy you thought so too. And thank you. I don't always end things happily, but I tend to leave endings open so you can judge for yourself what will happen with a pairing. I'm so flattered that you think they're magical -- I shall take that as a very high compliment.

Thank you for reviewing, and I hope to see more reviews from you soon!


The Only Exception by Dragon_Lily

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
Summary: I've got a tight grip on reality
But I can't let go of what's in front of me here
I know you're leaving in the morning when you wake up
Leave me with some kind of proof it's not a dream

You are the only exception

All Ellie has ever wanted do in life is be a journalist. But her dream is put in jeopardy when she has to secure an interview with the one person who refuses to be interviewed: Harry Potter. Her only chance at getting the story is to befriend a very eager young man, who also happens to have the last name Potter.

Reviewer: iLuna17 Signed
Date: 04/08/12 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1 (A Straight Face)

Hello! I can't believe no one's reviewed . . .

First of all, I love Ellie's name. (It it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact I go by Ellie . . .) But I also love her character. She's the perfect mix of sweet and snarky, and she seems really, well, real.

We don't see much of Al, but I'm already getting the idea that he's a nice bloke. What house was he in at Hogwarts?

However, I'm pretty sure Ellie is going to muck things up for him, considering I'm pretty sure she'll end up using him. (After she falls in love with him? :D)

I have to say, though, I thought that after the scene in the office he'd come in like 'The Devil Wears Prada' and save her by talking to his dad, though. I'm glad it didn't, because now I can look forward to more chapters!

Please update soon; I love it! :)


Author's Response: Ahhh thank you so much for taking the time to review! I've always loved the name Ellie so I'm glad my character and first reviewer share it! :)) And no worries you will definitely see more of Al in the next chapter, and he was placed in Gryffindor just like his father. -Emma

The Cherry Tree by Gemma Hawk

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: Rose and Scorpius both really like cherries.
Reviewer: iLuna17 Signed
Date: 04/28/12 Title: Chapter 1: The Cherry Tree

Hi, Gemma Hawk. :)

I really enjoyed this piece. I thought it was original and unique, and was told in a very interesting way. It switched POV’s, which gave both of the characters a chance to say what they’re thinking, and you split it into parts, and each one has such a different tone. It started with Rose picking cherries, indifferent about Scorpius, but by the sixth they’re together. I really liked how you did that. :)

Speaking of cherries, I loved how symbolic the cherry tree was, and the cherries themselves. At the beginning Rose described the perfect cherry, and then the perfect cherry became Scorpius. Brilliant foreshadow. :) The tree also represented more, I think, because it was a meeting place for them, but also a sort of sanctuary, a plcace that was detached from their completely different worlds. And Scorpius’s wasn’t so nice …

I also loved how, though the cherry tree was the main connection between Rose and Scorpius, there was more. They were both destined for Ravenclaw, but both of them did the exact same thing and overruled the hat, but with different houses. Both of their parents fight, although Scorpius’s a bit more severely. I also liked how you made them neighbors, though that may be a tad unlikely considering Draco and Ron’s … history, and difference in social status.

Also, there was something I thought was a little strange. You tend to use capitals during sentences, and while sometimes I thought it added a nice emphasis, other times I was wondering why it was used. Maybe italics might work better?

But, one of my favorite parts of the story had to be how Rose and Scorpius had their own personality, instead of modeling them almost exactly like their parents, as I’ve seen in other fics. I love how Rose was slightly reckless and bold, (she did technically steal the cherries, after all) but also sweet and had that kind of quiet intelligence about her. I thought her reaction to the kiss and her fear of life away form the cherry tree was perfect. All teenagers are scared, and it was almost like a summer romance. When school come around, everything would change. Brilliant job on Rose. :)

I was also very pleasantly surprised by Scorpius’s character. He, too, had a quiet demeanor, but I love how the anger was almost bubbling under the surface. He’s frustrated, but (according to Rose) that never shows at school. For a teenage boy, that, too, hit the nail on the head. I’d never really seen that type of Scorpius before, and love it. He really was the perfect cherry. Sweet, but with a hint of bitterness.

Overall, this was a beautiful piece, very refreshing and unique. Your characters developed brilliantly, and now I suddenly find myself wanting cherries. :) There were a lot of ties that bound them together, which really helped make the story very real for me. Just a beautiful job. It was very three-dimensional and realistic, from the characters to the general feel. Please let me know if you plan on writing any more, even if it’s not Rose/Scorpius.

Keep it up!

Ancora Perfetto Imperfetto by Padfoot11333

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •

Cedric Diggory is far from perfect.

This poem received third place in The Sharp Challenge over on the Mugglenet Fanfiction Beta Boards.

Nominated for a 2012 Quicksilver Quill Award.

Reviewer: iLuna17 Signed
Date: 04/20/12 Title: Chapter 1: he is cedric.

Lily, there is a reason this took third in the challenge. It is pure beauty. The imagery is so perfect, and he's so perfect on the outside . . . yet no one knows what's really going on on the inside. (If that makes any sense)

I also loved how the bits in the parentheses worked. It gave it a slightly darker feel, and I loved that. :) (You know me)

Overall, just beautiful. Beautiful imagery, beautiful last stanza, beautiful poem. I'm extremely jealous.

Have fun in D.C.!


Author's Response:

Oh my, thank you so much for this fab review *squishes*. I'm glad you liked the bits in the parentheses, because that was something I was really unsure about.

For this poem, I really tried to concentrate on imagery. At this point, I had only written my Petunia Dursley poem, in which I tried to concentrate on the actual style of Iain Sharp's poem. I wanted to convey a bigger message in this poem, so I'm glad you liked it.

I did have fun in D.C.....and with my hot viola, yo. Thanks for the review!

Lily xxx

Trinket by Envy_I_May_Be

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: Fleur Delacour is but a trinket; but can't she be something more?

My entry for the Sharp Challenge at Poetry Anyone over in the forums
Reviewer: iLuna17 Signed
Date: 04/27/12 Title: Chapter 1: Trinket

To be honest, when I first saw this entered in the challenge, I was seriously debating not even bothering posting. :)

It's amazing, Envy. I love how you described what J.K. characterized her for much of the books: the pretty face. I think it's very real, and you described her perfectly.All the things are beautiful, but not necessarily substantial.

I'm speechless. (And I can't believe no one else reviewed!) Can't wait to see more poetry from you!


Author's Response: Wow... wow... wow! Goodness! Ellie, you have made my day! I'm very humbled, and I can't stop smiling! I never expected such an amazing response. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! Your words have won me over :)

The Prefects' Bathroom by The owl

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
Summary: The Prefects' bathroom is one of the many privileges available to Lily Evans and James Potter in their final year at Hogwarts. They certainly take full advantage of it in good times and bad. However, in the bad times, they find themselves needing the retreat it provides more than ever.
Reviewer: iLuna17 Signed
Date: 06/07/12 Title: Chapter 1: The Prefects' Bathroom

Hello. :)

First off, I have to commend you on the style of the story. It was very unique, and a risky move, but I loved it. The reader could tell easily what was happening even though there was no narration, and I feel the style really fit what was going on. It gave the reader a lot of chances to infer, per say, especially with those time lapses in the bathroom. * winks *

I also love the dynamic between Lily and James. The bickering at the beginning, their rather … spontaneous decisions, and how they immediately pull their emotions together after they hear about James’s mum really said a lot about their relationship. They could be light-hearted and exchange wits, but they also survived through rougher patches. I especially loved that one line from James, where he says he feels helpless. That added another layer to James’s character for me, a deeper one that made him seem even more real.

Speaking of characterization, you did a great job with both of them. James was light-hearted, like J.K.’s James, but, as I said before, I really liked how he reacted to hearing about his mother, and the lines he says aloud, and how they weren’t just in his head. Many times, it seems that James doesn’t show weakness or fear, or readily admit it, and I’m glad that yours did. It made him more complex, for me.

Lily really did shine for me, though. I haven’t really seen her portrayed that way before, so sarcastic and teasing. Often, even in canon, we see her as more of a strict, studious person. I really liked your version, though, because it really fit well with the situation. She knew when to be teasing, but also how to comfort. I loved her reactions, and how you could tell how just by her dialogue when she was struggling, and when she was calm and collected. Brilliant job on her. :)

That being said, though, with the particular format some of the emotions seemed a little … blurred sometimes. I sometimes had some trouble figuring out what each character was feeling, or what they might have looked like saying it, because it * was * merely dialogue. The place it really stood out to me was the second bit to the end. I can’t tell whether James is frustrated, sad, or just angry. Otherwise, though, I really enjoyed the format. It was refreshing, and gave the chance for Lily and James’s quick-witted exchanges.

Overall, I really enjoyed the piece. I loved how you didn’t have to say ‘and then their lips met’, or something of the sort, to know that Lily and James were kissing. I know that I struggle with writing lines like the example, so I loved how you left it up to the reader to figure out what Lily and James were doing. And as I said before, I loved Lily and James’s characters and dynamics, and if you write more of these two, I would love to read it. Keep it up! :)


Author's Response: Oh, Ellie, you have just made my day! I'm guessing that this is a SPEW review (the first one I have received!) If it's not it really should be, because it is just awesome.

You seem to have understood everything that I wanted to convey, which is a huge relief. The style is very risky. Everything made sense in my head, but it was hard to tell if other people would get it without the use of legilimency :p I'm glad you thought that it was unique, but actually, if you want a real master class in this style, you'd be better off reading something by Gina (see her review below).

I am so relieved that you like my characterisation. It's one of my biggest worries when writing, so it means a lot when people are so complimentary. I think that James would ditch a lot of the bravado when he was alone with Lily. That's partially what this setting represented to him: privacy. He could be open when he was in there with Lily because they could predict when they would be interrupted for the most part.

I think that my Lily is often a little sarkier than people would expect. After her death, people were bound to deify her slightly, so we won't have got a rounded picture of her in canon. I like to add more depth to her, and I think that if she had been the angelic type, something might have been lacking in her relationship with James, the prankster extraordinaire.

I'm pretty useless at writing smut too (although I'm doing some for the current GH challenge. Eeek!) so it was quite a relief to be able to do it all by implication. I'm glad I kept it clear enough for you to understand. Sometimes it's nice to be able to imagine things for yourself.

I know what you mean about that second last section. Gina suggested that I expand some of those fragments, and I think that that particular one could really use some clarification. I think he's feeling pretty despondent at that point, and is looking for something he could do to help. I don't think he would deal well with feeling powerless, and he's looking for a way out of that. I need to tweak things to make that more clear.

Thank you so much for the amazing review. I didn't expect to get such a good response for this fic, but I am so glad that I took a chance on it now.



The Truth Will Set You Free by noblefate

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: James flies for lots of reasons, but rarely does he take to the skies for the sheer freedom it brings. But after a disturbing lesson, there’s nowhere else he thinks to go but up.

This is noblefate of Ravenclaw writing for the Great Hall Illustration for Inspiration challenge.
Reviewer: iLuna17 Signed
Date: 08/15/12 Title: Chapter 1: The Truth Will Set You Free

Hello, Megan. :D

I really liked this piece. It made me think a lot about James as a character, and how he would cope with learning about the history of his family. But even though this was really only about James, it made me think a lot about the other characters, simply from the little bit you mentioned about them.

But first, I have to say that the piece fit Jess’s drawing perfectly, especially at the end. I could just feel James’s need for escape, and how flying fit that need. It also brought a sense of closure to the piece; with the writing alone, I felt that James was still angry, but with the picture, it made James seem more accepting of his father and the history more, to me.

I wasn’t sure about the way James, and all of the others, found out about their history, though. Other children at Hogwarts would know, and they would probably find out before their seventh year, either from strangers or from their own older cousins who had to listen to the lecture. Also, it didn’t really seem likely that Harry could hide it from his children until they are seventeen. As you said, he has odd scars, and wouldn’t they, as children, ask about them? And all of the Potter children are named after people who were very famous in the war; I think they might ask about them, too. I also believe that their parents would want to tell them themselves. It would hurt more to have to hear about it from someone else, as Teddy showed in the fic.

While I wasn’t sure about that, one thing that was undoubtedly amazing about this piece was the characterization. James had so many layers; he wasn’t just the slightly obnoxious boy from the epilogue. He was thoughtful, intelligent, caring, and still managed to bear resemblance to the short glimpse we have of him. I believe you said it perfectly when you said his siblings expected him to be the bully and the hero. More often than not, in fics we see James not having really matured from when he was twelve or thirteen, only the bully. But here, he is a real person. He could be loud like the Weasleys are known for, but he was also quiet and withdrawn sometimes. He could taunt and tease his siblings but also show that he really cared about them. Also, even in the very short glimpses, we can see a lot about the other characters, and how they dealt with things. Teddy especially, and how he sent Harry a howler after learning about his parents.

All in all, this was a great piece. It was unique both in the idea and the characterization, and very well executed. The ending had a great sense of closure, and it fit the picture brilliantly. If you ever write more of James Sirius, let me know. :) Great job!


Author's Response: Thank you so much for that lovely review! I'm glad you liked the story. I see too many pieces about James where he's just a mini-Marauder (and not the matured father we see of James I but the berk we see of James I when he hangs Snape upside-down). I feel like there's so much more to him than that. I've seen a lot of different takes on how the Next-Gen kids find out about the roles their parents played in the war, and I'm not sure there is a right take on that. My dad fought in Vietnam, but while I knew he served, I was in my late 20s before he talked about his experience. I see Harry, in particular, that way. He never wanted to take credit for what he did, he never really liked it or gloated about it, so while I think his kids would know he was in the war, they don't know how big his role was. We see this in the epilogue where the kids wonder why everyone on the platform is staring at Harry, and Ron chimes in that it's him they stare at because he's famous. I just extended that a bit; if Harry lets his kids learn about the war, and their family's role, from others and at school, then he can clear any misconceptions up and sort of take off the "rose-colored glasses" view that outsiders most certainly have. I hadn't considered more James Sirius stories, but it's something to think about. There's something about the Next-Gen kids that's intriguing. Thanks again for the wonderful, insightful review. ~ Megan

Safe and Sound by welshdevondragon

Rated: 6th-7th Years • Past Featured Story
“They locked me up. Told me you weren’t real, told me I’d imagined you, told me you were no better than a voice in my head.”

am real. And if I wasn’t, I wouldn’t let you wake up.”

The Ravenclaw boy and the mad, quiet Slytherin girl.

Inspired by the Taylor Swift and Civil Wars song Safe and Sound.

This is a slightly belated birthday present for the wonderful Jess/ToBeOrNotToBeGryffindor. She is someone I feel very lucky to call a friend, and hope she has a fantastic year.

Nominated for the 2012 Best Non-Canon Romance and Best Dark/Angsty Quicksilver Quills.
Reviewer: iLuna17 Signed
Date: 07/02/12 Title: Chapter 1: One-shot

After a month of promising, I’m finally giving you the SPEW review this piece deserves, Alex. :)

This piece was just beautifully dark. I loved how well it fit the song. I love Safe and Sound, and you managed to capture the mood and style perfectly without ever using the lyrics directly. I saw Terry as the voice (perspective?) in the song because, in the end, he just wanted to protect Tracey, and I could just picture them in the Owlery during the chorus of the song, which I was listening to when I typed this. I did love how you used the title at the very end; it brought closure to the song. Well done with that.

One of the things I enjoyed the most was the ship. It was unique, using two minor characters, and even then you put a twist on it. As I said before, the story fit the song well, (or was it the other way around?) and I really liked how you developed Terry and Tracey’s relationship. It evolved easily; there were no sudden changes. From merely students in the same school, to meeting, to some sort of friendship, to more; it just flowed effortlessly. I personally struggle with the development of relationships, so I loved reading this. The romance, for lack of a better word, was just stunning. Brilliant job. :)

Another thing that made this piece so phenomenal was the characterization. Though we didn’t know much about Terry from the books, I think you wrote him really well. The reader could tell he was a Ravenclaw by the way he was able to read Tracey, but he was so much deeper. I loved how fiercely loyal and protective you made him of Tracey, and how he interacted with her. He didn’t treat her as though she was a small child; Tracey was still an equal to Terry, though he knew what was going on with her. Overall, just a great job, but Tracey really stole the show.

It was a sensitive topic, bringing in mental disorders, but I thought you handled it delicately and beautifully. I loved how you showed Tracey in the beginning, before the reader knew exactly what was wrong. Soft and delicate, as though she was a second away from breaking. From there, you revealed how true the initial impression was. It was hard to comment on her character, because of her mental state, but I think you did an amazing job, balancing her mental problems with the moments the other part of her shone through. One of the best moments, for me, was when she was talking to Terry after he confronted her about the cuts on her arm. It showed how loyal she was to him, and I really liked that. (Not that she cut herself, but how it showed how she felt about Terry).

There was one thing I did have a slight nitpick with, though. I enjoyed Terry’s background, talking about the divorce, but I felt it kind of cluttered up the piece a bit sometimes. The story could definitely survive without it, and it kind of seemed a little … much sometimes.

Other than that, though, I really just loved this piece. And though it is almost impossible to choose my favorite part, it had to be the ending. As I said in the first bit, I could just picture them in the Owlery, and it was the moment that connected with the song the most. It was also just beautiful. Terry, who was always slightly unsure in the piece until then, finally realized what was clear. The last paragraph was just … beautiful. It also brought the dark piece to a sweet ending. That everything would be okay for them, because the reader knew Harry would win. :) It was just perfect. If Soraya hadn’t beaten me to the punch, I would have nominated it for the QSQs. I really hope it wins. If you ever decide to write more of their story … I’ll definitely read it. Brilliant job!


Second Childishness and Mere Oblivion by xxbabewithbrainsxx

Rated: 6th-7th Years •
Summary: Lily has always had a picture in her head of her future -- a wistful, far-too-good-to-be-true image of happiness and sunshine and flowers, of her and James walking off into the sunset, unencumbered by the darkness within the most evil of people who walked this earth.

Of course, of course she should have known that things weren’t going to be that simple.

This is babewithbrains of Ravenclaw entering the first round of Madam Alex’s Character Clinic Triathlon: Major Characters.

ZOMG. This story has been nominated for a 2012 Quicksilver Quill Award: Best Canon Romance. Thank you!

Reviewer: iLuna17 Signed
Date: 07/11/12 Title: Chapter 1: Second Childishness and Mere Oblivion

Wow, Soraya. This really was a stunner. :)

I am hardly reigning in my fangirling right now. I loved the dynamic between Lily and James, how it isn't a little fairytale, and the Shakespeare ... gah. I can't believe I hadn't read this yet. I really don't have anything constructive to say right now, so I apologize for that. This is just ... gah.

Just ... amazing. That's all I can say. :)

Author's Response: Ellie, thank you so much for the review! It really isn't half as good as you say it is, but I'm flattered all the same. And yeah, teh whole point is that it's far, far from fairytale or anything, but they're still sweet together as a couple :) Fangirling is always good, lol, even though I don't deserve it! I'm glad you liked the Shakespeare -- my sister introduced me to it. Thank you lots.


Quiet In Our Town by the opaleye

Rated: 6th-7th Years • Past Featured Story

The earth is taking back what it’s lost. There are new terrors to battle now.

The end of the world comes not from the hand of Lord Voldemort, but an incurable disease. When Britain falls, those that are left must keep on running.

And never stop.

Winner of the 2012 Quicksilver Quill Award for Best Alternate Universe!

Reviewer: iLuna17 Signed
Date: 07/02/12 Title: Chapter 1: Today we heard that someone left this earth.

Wow, Julia, this really was a stunner. :)

I read the initial drabble, and I loved how this was an extension on that. I recognized lines here and there that I liked when I read the drabble, but when you put them into the piece it was just amazing.

One of the things I enjoyed the most about this piece was the format. You started off with the wondering of Rose, slightly light-hearted, and ended with the wondering of Luna, who had no reason not to be light-hearted, and with all of the darkness in between, which I thought balanced the entire thing out nicely, as well as gave it closure. The timeline was also well chosen; I thought telling the story backwards told it better than it would have forward. (I read it again backwards) It added to the mystery of what exactly was going on, and I loved how you didn’t know how it all started until the end.

Another thing that I loved had to be the characterization. Despite being set in a (very) alternate universe, all of the characters were spot on. I especially enjoyed Draco; you captured his cynicism and sense of irony very well. Because the books end before this piece would have happened, we don’t get to see Draco post-war, but comparing this to what canon probably would be, I think Draco was perfect. He seemed like the type to have that dark humour, especially from how J.K. portrayed him in the series. I also thought you were extremely canon with all of your other characters, which is a major feat considering how AU the story was. Hermione was also especially well done with her intuition, and how she figured out what was going one before anyone else, and also Ron and how he coped with the loss and the struggle. I think captured Ron best in this line: Ron has never felt so tired in his life. I think that sums up perfectly how he would deal with grief. Brilliant job on all of them. :)

There were a few places that I was a little confused, though, specifically when Ron shoots Harry in the head. I believed what you were implying earlier in the section was that Harry was turned into one of them, a zombie, but it took me a few times reading it to be exactly sure. And then, I was confused as to why Hermione would be happy to see him. Did she not see? Or was she just happy he was back? Was she hallucinating? Another spot of slight confusion was at the very end. This was probably just me being thick, but I was confused as to what the animal, as it probably wasn’t a Snorkack, was. Was it the first zombie? Was it Luna who started the entire problem; whatever creature it was infected her with the zombie disease? After reading that again a few times, I thought the last question was what it was. It might be something you might consider clarifying a bit, though.

Otherwise, I really loved this fic. It drew me in immediately, and even though it was very AU, if it weren’t for the small bit about the zombie apocalypse, I think it could have fit very well into canon. This was mainly because of your stellar characterization. Also, the format made the reader think, made me wonder, just as Rose and Luna had, and I really loved that connection (though I might be reading into it a bit too much). Speaking of Rose, I loved how you kept the same name from canon, and showed a meaning behind it. The roses at Malfoy Manor were the first beautiful thing Ron and Hermione had seen in a while, and that was why they named their daughter Rose. (though I’m probably reading into it too much again)

It was just stunning. And if it wasn’t already nominated for the QSQ’s, I would go and nominate it myself. :) Brilliant job, Julia!


Author's Response: Hi Ellie! Thank you so much for this review! Sorry for not responding sooner :O It's great to see that many of you really liked the structure of working backwards. I might have to reread it the other way like you did just to see how different it would be. Also, thank you for your lovely words about the characterisation. I had a lot of fun writing Draco's section hehehe! Hm, those bits you were confused about weren't mean to be terribly complex so sorry about that. When Harry is shot, yes, he has become a zombie. Hermione knows this. She's smiling because now they can give him a proper ending. During that section, I mention that the 'wait is over' for them because not knowing what happened to him was so painful. At least now they have closure. At the end, it is a Snorkack. I mention some made-up mythology (Xeno talks about how ancient texts say the Snorcack have healing powers which he misinterpreted) in there regarding the Snorkack which should allude to what really happened. And yes, the bite is what gave Luna the disease. The problem is, it would take the reader out of the moment if I suddenly started getting technical. I like to leave things a little vague and make the reader work it out for themselves. But I really am sorry that confused you! Again, thanks for the lovely review!

If I Leave You Now by silverlining95

Rated: 6th-7th Years •

'Even in a castle this huge, with as many cousins as I have there’s always someone with a map to come and scoop me out of my tear-stained reverie in a dark corner.'

Molly Weasley Jr cannot leave Hogwarts, for she cannot leave her best friend behind.

This was originally written for the Illustration for Inspiration challenge over in the Great Hall, however it wasn't long enough and I didn't have time to rework it in order to post it in time to qualify.

The title is inspired by the Chicago song 'If You Leave Me Now'.

Nominated for a 2013 Quicksilver Quill in the Next Generation category.

Reviewer: iLuna17 Signed
Date: 07/11/12 Title: Chapter 1: I Never Can Say Goodbye

I can't believe it's taken me this long to read this, Fenella!

This is simply amazing. It's beautiful, in the dark sort of way. I think that what you say is very true; the students spend so much of their time there, it becomes home. And the bit about Felicity ... it explained Molly's mood.

What I loved was how you made Molly much like her namesake. Most of the time people have her as more like Percy, but I liked how made her more motherly.

Just, wow. The end is heartbreaking. Great job, and if you decided to write a companion piece ... please tell me, or post in the CR. :) Brilliant job!

Author's Response: Thank you so much! Originally this was going to be written as an ode to Hogwarts, with Molly reflecting on how much the school had given her, however this little plot bunny hopped into my head and it stuck! I think Felicity's death fuelled Molly's dependency on the school even further, and I hope the concept of 'why would you want to leave?' came across. I wanted to make Molly a more motherly figure as I felt it worked better with her state of mind, as like she says 'it's easier to look after someone else than yourself'. Molly Weasley Snr's biggest fear was the loss of those she held closest to her heart, so Molly Jnr's protectiveness towards her cousins is understandable considering she's already lost the person she loved the most. I think I will have to write a companion piece, as much for myself as for everyone else! Thank you thank you thank you for the lovely review Ellie, and I will be sure to let you know if I do start writing more of Molls! Fenella x

I Will Lay Down My Heart by xxbabewithbrainsxx

Rated: 6th-7th Years • Past Featured Story

Here in the dark
In these lonely hours
I will lay down my heart
And I’ll feel the power
That you won’t

--I Can’t Make You Love Me by Bonnie Raitt

Albus realises just how much Rose means to him -- and how much he doesn’t mean to her.

This is babewithbrains of Ravenclaw writing for Round Two of Madam Alex’s Character Clinic Triathlon.

:) This story has been nominated for a 2012 Quicksilver Quill Award: Best Next Generation.

This story has also been nominated for a 2013 Quicksilver Quill Award: Best Next Generation. Thank you again! ♥

Reviewer: iLuna17 Signed
Date: 08/09/12 Title: Chapter 1: I Will Lay Down My Heart

Hi, Soraya. :)

This was certainly an interesting piece. I had never really thought of Albus/Rose, even if it was one-sided, but you definitely pulled it off, and handled it believably and sensitively.

Cousin pairings are sensitive topics that can be hard to write believably, but here I found it more plausible than I sometimes have with your Loulily. When Albus keeps telling himself that it is wrong, that he shouldn’t feel this way, it really made it seem real to me. There would be confusion along with the love, and I really liked how Albus kept questioning himself. But there were places in the piece where the descriptions of their physicality seemed a little intense to me, especially at the end. You went into so much detail, from where their hands were to what exactly they’re doing. I was torn; it was written so beautifully, but reading it felt awkward. It was almost like I was intruding on a private moment, that I shouldn’t have been there. However, it could just be me; you know I’m bad at writing this kind of thing. Overall, though, you handled the pairing gracefully and delicately.

Another thing that was interesting about this piece was the characterization. Even though it was told through Albus’s eyes, you managed to make the person he loves hateable. That in and of itself was quite a feat; generally loves tend to be put on a pedestal in the eyes of the lover. With Rose, however, we, and Albus, were aware of all of her faults. She was using Albus because she was lonely, and you made it clear that there was no love for him in Rose, yet she still, for lack of a better phrase, leads him on. Great job on Rose; she was very different from any other Rose I have seen.

Albus was intriguing as well. His monologues made me want to hug him, to be honest. He knew exactly how Rose felt, but he was still drawn to her. And Albus hated himself for it. You captured his pain and feelings so accurately, it was almost real. However, I didn’t really know who Albus was apart from the fact that he liked flying and loved Rose. There wasn’t much to him outside of their relationship. I didn’t really get a sense of his personality, apart from the fact that he tends to beat himself up. Even if you add in a few words, showing how he reacts to something Rose says, could say a lot. I’d like to see more of Albus, though. This version was very interesting. :)

One thing I thought was beautiful about this piece was how descriptive you were. Everything from flying to the more intimate bits were extremely vivid and in depth; you didn’t skate over anything. I could tell you put a lot of time into the descriptions, and it definitely paid off. The word choices were just so perfect in places. It made the entire piece seem real. Though sometimes, as I said before, I wasn’t sure if you should have been so in depth, the writing itself was beautiful.

Overall, this was a very intriguing piece. Albus/Rose is an interesting ship idea, and I would love to read more of it from you. Great job, Soraya! :)


Author's Response: Ellieeeeee!

Eeeep, sorry I didn’t get a chance to respond to this sooner. This was a fantabulous review, so thank you very much. I’m really glad you thought the cousin pairing, even if it was one-sided, believable and sensitively handled. I think it’s important to address certain issues as issues and not just ignore it, so I hope I was able to do so.

Hmm, I think the whole cousin thing is a bit taboo, but the reason Albus kept telling himself it wasn’t right was because he didn’t know if Rose returned his feelings. And, ha, I’ve giggled with you already about the whole smut thing, but I know it’s partly because you’re not into that kind of thing, lol. I do like writing smut, lolol, but I very much doubt I will ever cross the 6th-7th/Professors line, tbh. That said, this is definitely my smuttiest, and probably the smuttiest I will ever write, so I get why you were squeamish. I’m glad, though, that you thought I handled gracefully and delicately -- that means a lot. :)

I’m glad you liked Rose’s characterisation -- haha, Rose is a bit of a byotch, yes. I see what you mean about Albus. He wasn’t as developed, I agree, but that was mostly because the whole story was about his relationship with Rose and less about him, if that makes sense. I do think I could’ve developed him more, but this story did kind of drive me insane, lol, so I just wanted to submit it. O.o Anyway, I might add some more details later on, so ta for that tip.

I usually suck at description, so it means a lot to me that you liked it :) I think one of the reasons this was more visual was because I live in East London and spend quite a bit of time in Whitechapel, which is where, in my head canon, Rose lives. And hehehehehehe, I know, it did get a bit much at times. I hope I didn’t make you uncomfortable, eep.

It means so much to me, Ellie, that you enjoyed reading this. I apologise for taking an age to reply to this, though it was because of your review’s general fabulousness as well as the fact that it’s only been in the last couple of days that I’ve been online for longer than half an hour at most without getting interrupted or having to do other things. /excuses

Thank youuuuuu for the wonderful, amazingtastic review, Ellie. :)


Jar of Hearts by Lost_Robin

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: Lily thinks about her relationship with Benedict. This is Lost_Robin of the lovely Ravenclaw writing for Madam Pomfrey's Triathlon: Round Two with the Music prompt. Disclaimer: I am not J.K. Rowling or Christina Perri. I, however, almost made my lovely beta, BrokenPromise, start an elephant farm.
Reviewer: iLuna17 Signed
Date: 04/14/13 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1

Hi, Krista.

I thought this was an interesting idea for a piece. When I first clicked on it, I had no idea what to expect, and the beginning shocked me, but it fit so well with the song you chose, showing Lily’s descent from innocence to hurt beyond repair.

The style of this was definitely interesting, with the incorporation of lyrics and the way the timeline was set up. I really liked the circular feel, that it started and ended in the same way, because the first section made so much more sense. With the lyrics, though, I am not entirely sure they were necessary so often throughout the piece. At the beginning, I thought it was brilliant how the lyrics concluded a section rather than began it, but as the piece went on I felt the lyrics lost some of their meaning as I found them in odd places that didn’t quite fit. I think they would have been more powerful if they were less, if that makes any sense.

On Lily: I thought you characterized her quite nicely. I like how you made her seem vulnerable because she was genuinely good, a neat parallel to the song, She has a fiery side, but when she let herself trust Benedict she became sort of blind. And that flaw came back to bit her. I did question whether she would sleep with him on the first night they even start dating, even if she did fancy him; based on what you said before, Lily was very, very conservative and that bit seemed a little off to me. If they had been dating for a while, it would make more sense, because while Lily is trusting it doesn’t mean she’d be willing to go that far on a first date of sorts.

I can honestly say I happily hated Benedict in this, which I’m guessing was the desired effect. You built up his character so nicely; at first I see him as a charming and attractive boy, someone I want to see Lily with, but then it suddenly comes crashing down in that one instant. His reaction is perfectly normal, to not want to have to deal with a child at that age, but I do think that never wanting to see the child seems a bit extreme. I think that, given that before he wasn’t portrayed as sociopathic as the bloke in the song, he might have had some regret sooner. Perhaps another scene where he tries, but Lily rejects him might have helped.

My favorite aspect of the piece was how beautifully unresolved it was. Everything wasn’t tied up into neat little happy packages, because that simply doesn’t happen in real life. Lily still hates Benedict, and Benedict doesn’t know their child. While it might last forever, it was niece to see that everything wasn’t resolved, that they ended back up together and lived happily ever after. That being said, I would love to see a sequel to this, perhaps with a little more between the break-up and the last scene, and what happens after. Great job!


Author's Response: I'm very glad you like it. I'm working on something that will tie Lion's Son and this together. It'll be more of a prequel and somewhat of a sequel, but Benedict will definitely show up. I was worried about the characterization of both of them and I'm glad you liked it. The bit where she sleeps with him, I felt like since she knew him so well, she trusted him completely. This isn't the last we'll see of Benedict. And you were supposed to hate him. Thank you thank you thank you for reading!

The Difference Between Knowing and Understanding by noblefate

Rated: 1st-2nd Years • Past Featured Story
Summary: Albus Potter has always known that his father was famous, has always known that his family was filled with heroes, but he’d never understood what that meant for his family in general and himself in particular. (This is a companion piece to “The Truth Will Set You Free”, but it isn’t necessary to read that piece in order to understand this one.)

This is noblefate of Ravenclaw writing for Round Two of the 2012 Madam Pomfrey’s One-Shot Character Triathlon.
Reviewer: iLuna17 Signed
Date: 04/13/13 Title: Chapter 1: The Difference Between Knowing and Understanding

Hi :)

I thought this was a really interesting piece, especially having read its companion fic. You paint such a different picture of what it was like growing up as Albus, James, or Lily, and I can honestly say this piece has me rethinking certain aspects of the family, both about Albus and how they grew up.

The Albus you wrote was very different from most of the versions of him I read, but it definitely fit the story. He, unlike James, was so observant that it was impossible for him to ignore what their father was trying to hide, and all it took was a little help for him to piece everything together. I love how you reiterate ‘Albus liked to know things’, because it made the entire piece so much more believable, and the ending so much more powerful. He’s logic to James’s anger, and it really shows two completely different reactions to the same event. The fact that he never confronts any of his family about the big secret completely removes any doubt that what you said about Albus is true; by just listening for the bits he got and not pressing the issue, Albus ensured that the next time a hint was mentioned he could listen for it. I thought that aspect was brilliant.

I really enjoyed how, because this piece was so centered around family, I could see the similarities between James and Albus, but also their father at that age. While it was subtle for the most part “ James’s similar reaction to Harry when Harry was kept in the dark, Albus’s acceptance and open-mindedness “ because of the fact that when Harry was their age he was fighting a war, it really added to the piece. The strongest example of this was James standing up for the first year, and how it basically manages to dissipate all of James’s anger in one go. It truly makes James see why Harry’s part was necessary, and that’s where I think we see the best reflection on the war.

Probably my favourite part of the piece was the ending, and how it so neatly drew everything you built up together. Rereading the piece, I realized just how you used the style and progression to show the change the story focusing on: the difference between knowing and understanding. I saw the slow progression from Albus wanting to know, to knowing, but then to truly understanding what had happened, and I thought that it was brilliant the way you worked that out, especially with the last paragraph. Learning what truly happened must have been a pivotal moment in Albus’s life, and we see just how much he was forced to mature as he went from knowing to understanding. It’s especially strong in the last bit, simply because you tell us how he understands, but then proves it. It justifies the entire theme of the piece.

The entire basis of this piece was fascinating: you took a small morsel from the epilogue and expanded it into two complete pieces, and it really makes a great deal of sense. While I don’t know if Harry would force them to hear the story of the war from somewhere else first, I do know that he would hide them from it until they were older. He wanted them to have a normal childhood, and hiding the information allowed them to. Like I said earlier, though, I don’t know if Harry would make them wait that long to know, because they might react like James did and he wouldn’t want them to hear the wrong facts. I liked how you used the fact that Harry would want to forget in defense of his actions (I would want to forget, too) but Harry is a lot like your Albus in the fact that he simply can’t forget, and he would want them to know about the rest of the people… the Lupins, the Weasleys, the DA, and the Order. I don’t know how you could further solidify your argument about this view apart from having this conversation happen when the two are younger, but parts still seemed a little unreasonable.

Overall, though, I really enjoyed the fic. There were just so many layers to it, and the more I thought about it the more complex the piece became. And the piece is mostly a simple conversation. That’s what I loved when I read this, the fact that there were so many levels, and the piece just becomes more and more brilliant the deeper you think. Brilliant job, and if you ever write more of this Albus, I would love to read it. :)


Author's Response: First, wow, thank you for that stunning review! I'm glad those layers come through because, while it might not have been obvious as I wrote the piece, I always felt they were there, driving things along. I appreciate your comments about expanding that singular epilogue moment because while it's the only glimpse of the post-war world JKR gives us in the books, I think it's incredibly insightful; JKR shows a lot of who Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny become as well as who their children are, and the Potter family dynamic intrigues me. Thank you again for the delightfully insightful review. ~ Megan

The Maimed Reflection by Ginny Weasley Potter

Rated: Professors • Past Featured Story
I have decided that today is going to be the last day of my life.

He was torn apart… ripped into pieces. He was never himself again. And from that day on whenever Albus Potter looked into the mirror, the reflection staring back at him was just too maimed to be his own.

This is Ginny Weasley Potter from Hufflepuff house and though this doesn’t qualify anymore, this was my submission to round two of the one-shot triathlon. Nominated for the 2013 QSQ awards under the best dark/angst story category!
Reviewer: iLuna17 Signed
Date: 09/15/12 Title: Chapter 1: Albus Potter

Hello, Pooja. :)

Wow. This was very dark. It was almost uncomfortable at times, but that was what I enjoyed about it. Boundaries were pushed, and it really haunted me after the first time I read this. It made me think.

This piece dealt with many sensitive topics. You handled them all extremely delicately; the suicide, the eating and sleeping disorders, and the male rape. I had never read a story with male rape, but this honestly scared me (and I mean that as a compliment). It was just so raw, and I could feel deep in my gut how hopeless Albus was. I just felt so bad for him, and I understood, no matter how heartbreaking it was, how the rape lead to the disorders that finally led to Albus killing himself.

Another major strength of this piece for me was the characterization. Even though Albus wasn’t himself, we still knew what he would have been like. You gave us little lines here and there that gave such great background without big paragraphs of exposition. We knew how close he was to Rose, and how he loved his siblings. That being said, though, at times the story did seem slightly tell-y. I know it was mostly Albus explaining why he was about to kill himself, but sometimes it seemed like most sentences started with a name. That can be easily fixed, though, by just changing a few words around. :)

I loved the format of the piece. The dates, I felt, really added to the story. It stopped it from becoming confusing, with the two important things that happened on two different July 31st’s. And when you had the ‘meanwhile’ section … Merlin, I really hoped that somehow they had gotten there in time. I just wanted Albus to be okay. When it was clear they hadn’t, I can honestly say my heart dropped into my stomach; you wrote everyone’s reactions to Albus’s body so well. It was heart wrenching- especially Harry. For me personally, writing him as a father is hard. I think you did a brilliant job with his reaction, though; it had the right mix of confusion, anger, and of course grief. The only person I had a slight issue with was Ginny. I don’t know if she could remain that calm in a situation like that, especially when she was so emotional when she bumped into Albus at the ministry. I know she is a very strong person, but I think that she would have been a little more frantic. Otherwise, though, brilliant job.

Overall, this piece was just dark. You covered so many sensitive topics, and it was just heart wrenching. In an odd way, I thought it was beautiful. Everything was just so raw, and this piece has stuck with me. I loved how the ending had a slightly uplifting tone to it as well, and it gave the piece closure, which is hard to do with something that complex. I was so glad that Harry had caught who had done it. To sum up, I loved this piece, Pooja. I wish it had done better in the challenge, but I can definitely say I’ll remember it when QSQ’s come around next year. :)


Author's Response: Ellie, I must admit, this has taken me so long because I couldn't think of anything else but to squee at your wonderful review, and had decided that I wouldn't respond to it unless I was making sense. :)

Anyway. I can understand it was uncomfortable to read. It was a difficult fic to write, tbh, I settled on male rape after a lot of other themes had passed my mind and decided I should write this, because people rarely write about it. And it's not that it rarely happens either. I was shocked at the estimated statistics of male rape. This is also my first D/A fic in ages and it was depressing to write in places because I'm not the kind of person who reels around in my own angst. I do things to cheer me up and am all smiley in hours, usually. But I really, really wanted to tell this story.

Actually, the eating disorders were not really eating disorders. It was something else... actually, it was associated with PTSD, which, I read in many research papers, is very common in male victims of rape. I'd be more blunt if the real implications of Albus's rituals weren't so disturbing that I can't think of mentioning it here. And I sort of felt the necessary to keep it raw because that was really how Albus felt, and I was writing in first person.

Yes, I wrote Albus as a family person in this one.But I'm glad you actually liked his characterisation. I know what you mean about this being tell-y. The trouble was, it's someone narrating a life story thingy and I wasn't sure how to put it any other way. I will take your suggestion and try to correct it though. :)

The dates were important because of the prompt I was using for this. :) But, yes, I have a certain OCD about timelines. I get very confused about how to put them and end up messing them up. And in that meanwhile section... I must admit, I almost got weak enough to let Albus live. I argued with myself about how him dying was unnecessary, and how he must live, but I feel the poor boy would have never gotten over this otherwise, and he'd have never told Harry about it and the same vicious cycle would continue. I mentally apologised to Harry and Albus a number of times once I wrote this and felt terrible. I agree that Dad!Harry is hard. We've grown up with him and suddenly, he's so much older... it's very difficult to figure how he'd be as a parent. I'm writing Ron and Hermione as parents in another fic now and it's equally difficult.

Ginny's reaction... well, I honestly thought she'd be too shocked to react much. I think Ron is more reactive, Harry is somewhere in between and Ginny is just very, very shocked for a while. She's rarely frantic, though. She's strong and stubborn. First, she'd make sure she knows what happened to her son and then cry. I did write her frantic at first, but my Beta asked me to change it. :)

I'm surprised you thought this was beautiful, because I frankly thought this was the ugliest fic I've ever written. Everything was very crude and all the unpolished thoughts... the mental disorders associated and the way Albus met his end gave it a very ugly appearance, in my opinion. But to each, their own I guess, and I'm really glad you thought this was beautiful. :) And I hate ending stories too darkly. Sad endings, yes, but I don't like very angsty endings because I'm miserable for days then. And awwwh... you liked it so much? *huggles* Eeep, this is the first time anyone has thought anything I wrote was QSQ worthy. :').

Thank you so much for this, Ellie! This was amongst the loveliest reviews I've ever had and I'm so glad to have touched your heart. :) Pooja

Forever in her Shadow by phoenix_tearPatronus

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
Summary: Dominique had never cared about anything is her life until her older sister Victoire managed to yet again overshadow her achievement with a bigger, better and more important one. The once close sisters are now drifting apart, can these two ever fix their relationship or will the rift just continue to grow?
Reviewer: iLuna17 Signed
Date: 04/13/13 Title: Chapter 2: Chapter 2

Hello, Abi. :)

I can’t believe I haven’t read this yet, and I’m really glad I did. Even though the story is still in the introductory phase, you’ve already set up so many great relationships and plotlines for both Dominique and those surrounding her, and I’m really interested to see where you’ll take this.

One of the things I really liked about this piece was the style. It’s written using straightforward language, and it really gives us an insight into Dominique’s mind. I could see the little bits of sarcasm that she throws in, and you organized the little inner monologues brilliantly throughout the piece. The first person was really utilized, and I simply loved being able to see exactly how Dominique felt and reacted to everything that happened.

I think you’ve got a different take on Dominique, and even now she seems very fleshed-out and relatable. I love how you really show all of her insecurities, especially about being compared to Victoire, because the way you wrote it is extremely relatable. I do wonder how much longer she can stand not voicing any of these thoughts to Victoire, and I love how I can already feel you leading up to blowout. You also provide so many little details about Dominique; from her tendency to cause trouble, to what lessons she enjoys, to the slightest hints of her relationships with her friends that she just seems incredibly real. One thing I would say, though, is I might want to see more justification of why she’s a Slytherin, because right now she’s coming off more as a Hufflepuff to me. Brilliant job, though.

Another thing I found interesting was your version of Victoire. While we only see her from Dominique’s point of view, who thinks her sister is perfect, the reader is able to see that she’s not. It was very subtle, because of Dominique’s view, but I saw cracks in her ‘perfection’ ever so slightly when they were talking about Teddy. I could see how no matter how much she dressed up or looked pretty, she still didn’t have what she wanted: Teddy. And it was really hurting her. It really made her seem real to me, because of the fact that Dominique is telling the story makes her seem slightly Mary-Sueish at times, because of her beauty. I might, in later chapters, start to show more of this, because no one is perfect. I really think this could go far. I also loved the parallel between this piece and your one-shot about Victoire “ all the drama with Amelia “ and I think you should show more of this as the story goes on, to really flesh out Victoire.

One of the things that intrigued me the most about this was the complexity of the relationships, even in the first two chapters, especially between Dominique and Victoire. Dominique cares a lot about Victoire, that is obvious from the conversation with Teddy, but there’s the bitterness underneath that truly worries me. It’s like she’s in a constant struggle to voice her thoughts or to just let it be, and I don’t think that will work out for her in chapters to come. I thought it was really sweet when Dominique stood up for Victoire to Teddy, because it shows a lot about her character; always putting someone else before herself. I also adored Louis and Dominique in this, because he seems like the one to make her feel the happiest, and I wonder how old he is, because I don’t think you mentioned it. I also thought Bill was brilliant, being the one to comfort Dominique.

One of the things I would say, however, is that because of how many characters and relationships you’ve taken on with this, it might be difficult to continue all the storylines as the story progresses. I speak from personal experience that it is extremely difficult to maintain a lot of characters, especially if you add more when Dominique goes to school. It is possible, but I would really think through your outline to make sure that each character has his or her moment, and that they’re used in the plot. It’s just something to be cautious us, because it can be stressful to deal with when you need to get the subplots tied up and there’s a lot of them.

Overall, though, I think this is a really promising start, Abi. I love the situation and characters you’ve set up, and I really look forward to seeing more. The style and voice of Dominique is great, and I’m curious to see where you’ll go from here.


Author's Response: Hi, Ellie =) Wow, I think I've sat here for about ten minutes trying to respond to this but I've been flailing far too much =L Thank you so much for the lovely review! Characterisation is always something I struggle with so I'm really glad you think I'm doing all right so far and thank you for the advice as well =) *Huggles* ~Abi~