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Oregonian [Contact]

I'm an American, have been married for "a long time", and have a son and a daughter, so to me the characters are like sons and daughters. I like to study history and science, and I usually don't write (or talk) unless I have something to say, so I tend to be serious. I try to stretch my writing skills by entering challenges and forcing myself to write to prompts that I would otherwise not write, such as romance or vigorous action, and am surprised to discover that it can be done.

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Stories by Oregonian [33]
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Reviews by Oregonian

The D.E.W.W. Conspiracies by Wonk

Summary: To-do list: 1. Buy sugar 2. Bake muffins 3. Infiltrate the enemy. Hermione takes on the Death Eater War Widows, a lethal, cookie-baking, non-profit organization, with a little help from a friend. One-shot. SS/HG
Reviewer: Oregonian Signed
Date: 05/01/15 Title: Chapter 1: The D.E.W.W. Conspiracies

Oh, That's clever and entertaining and funny. What imagination! I notice that you mention a story title no longer on your author page, so I'm guessing you deleted some of your earliest work, perhaps not up to your present-day standard, but, judging by this 2005 story, they were probably pretty entertaining nevertheless.


Avada Crucio! by Vittoria

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: Lord Voldemort is desperate to kill Harry Potter but what he doesn't know is that magic is ever-surprising. This fic follows his one-day adventure in a dragon reservation, in which circumstances lead to a twisted ending.

I am Vittoria of Ravenclaw House submitting my fic for the Third Task of the Mugglenet Triwizard Tournament.

Thanks to Viv for the awesome prompts and help and Apurva my wonderful beta!
Reviewer: Oregonian Signed
Date: 07/13/13 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1

Hi, Vittoria. It's been a long time since you posted this story, but never too late for one more review. I was trolling the list of authors, reading old stories that deserve to be not wholly forgotten, and I clicked on your story because your pen name is like my real name, Victoria.

This was a fun little story, written in a very light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek style, and that is refreshingly unusual for a story about Voldemort, who is usually depicted so seriously. (It reminds me of the humor dramas about Adolf Hitler -- we lessen his power by laughing at him.)

The story is certainly imaginative, and it moves at a lively pace, never dragging or getting boring. The short, declarative sentences make the story plain and easy to read. You have put in just enough description (the cold, barren terrain, surrounding mountains, wire fences, tents) for us to be able to envision the situation without ever slowing the pace of the action. I liked the exotic location (Tibet) and the mental images of the fantastic dragons against a background of frozen tundra.

Although there were several original characters in your story, you kept the focus firmly on your "unfortunate protagonist" by keeping everything in Voldemort's point of view, showing only his thoughts and reflections. But your original characters were well characterized just by their dialogue. I was left wishing that I knew more about them and what work they were doing at the Dragon Reservation; they sounded very interesting.

By treating Lord Voldemort with humor, you have shown us a side of him that we haven't seen before, a tentative and uncertain side. It was fun to see him react to people who weren't impressed by him at all and who considered him incompetent rather than formidable. And yet you drew a contrast between the bumbling Voldy who can't handle a baby dragon, and the ruthless (and more familiar-to-us) Voldemort who casually commits a brutal murder of the guard at the gate. These two opposite aspects of his character provided some dynamic tension in your story and remind us that, after all, he is still Lord Voldemort.

Your writing is quite free of mechanical errors of spelling, punctuation, and grammar. But there is one spot where your computer has "gremlinized" you: at the point where Voldemort wakes up in the tent after having been attacked by the "dangerous breeds" dragon, there is a piece of text from an earlier point in the story ([i]It also became clear....a wall of fire behind him[/i]) that has inserted itself into the middle of the current sentence ([i]He perceived his surroundings and came to a single conclusion...[/i]). This accidental insertion causes confusion in the reading, but it would be only a moment's work to edit it out, and then the text would be entirely free of glitches.

I'll bet you had fun writing this story, and I certainly enjoyed reading it. It is like a breath of fresh air amongst the more solemn and heavy writings which we see so often in these archives. Even in the context of terrible wizarding wars, we all need to laugh sometimes, and your story has accomplished that goal in charming fashion. Nice job.

Author's Response: Hey Victoria! Thank you for taking the time to read and write a lovely review for my fic. I was amazed to have received a review after a really long time. I'm glad you like this story. :)

The Best Team in East Anglia by minnabird

Rated: 3rd-5th Years • Past Featured Story
Summary: Every year, the best amateur Quidditch team in Suffolk faces off against the best team in Norfolk in the East Anglia Summer Tournament. Isobel Jones, one of exactly seven young witches and wizards in the tiny town of Eleigh St. Mary in Suffolk, decides that not only is she going to form a team for the tournament, her team is going to win it.

The problem? Well, let's see. One of her seven possible players is an utter klutz at Quidditch. Two others are often too busy with their school Quidditch teams to practice hard during the school year. And then there's just the little matter of getting to the finals, facing up against a team that's won two years running and isn't afraid to play dirty, and getting her team through the game unscathed...

"We'll win," she says. "We're going to prove that we’re the best team in East Anglia.”

People scoff. But her team believes - and that's all that really matters.

Reviewer: Oregonian Signed
Date: 12/24/13 Title: Chapter 5: Chapter 4

Never having played team sports myself, I don’t related strongly to Quidditch stories, but I decided to give this one a try, since your stories are always enjoyable to read.

Using the newspaper announcement as your prologue was a very effective device to introduce the premise of the story. It gives a complete, thorough background for the actions that constitute the rest of the tale. Once we readers are well grounded in the situation, then the particular challenges facing this particular group of teenagers can begin to be developed. Trying to feed this background into the body of the story, fact by fact, would have been less successful, and would have perhaps seemed artificial.

You have given us a large cast of characters, but we manage to keep them straight, thanks to their distinctive personalities. I appreciate that you have not depicted any of them as affectedly quirky. That would have been superfluous and would have distracted us readers from the focus of the story. When Isobel and her friends formed their own team, I was secretly hoping that they would somehow manage to turn Eleanor into some sort of a Quidditch player, but instead up popped Martin Babbitt, the hero from Ravenclaw, to fill the empty slot. But the story is far from finished, and I hope that Eleanor will have more of a role to play. It’s a stretch to believe, given the impulsive and rag-tag retain of this team, the Blackshucks, that they can win in the end, but that will depend on the storyteller’s are, will it not? The triumph of the underdogs?

You prose flows easily and naturally, nothing awkward or stilted. Descriptions of Quidditch games sound very knowledgeable, and these descriptions are just the right length; they give the flavor of the games, but do not drone on too long, with too much blow-by-blow commentary (since these games are not the focus of the story).

One often sees promising stories that, after a few tantalizing chapters, go into suspended animation, and we readers are left with nothing but our wonderings: “How do you suppose those characters ever solved their problem or met their challenge?” It’s sad to see something that might have been, but at the same time it spurs our imaginations: “How would I resolve this story?” Maybe someday you will finish it, Minna. That would be nice.

Seven Years and Counting by ginnypotter19

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
Summary: Who said once Lord Voldemort died the wizarding world would be safe? Molly Weasley II and Albus Potter find out it isn't firsthand nearly as soon as term starts.

In this multiple POV story we see the daily lives of our favorite characters' children and how different their lives are. When they are finally back at Hogwarts and with their friends, we see that their lives really aren't as different from their parents as we think.
Reviewer: Oregonian Signed
Date: 01/05/14 Title: Chapter 5: Chapter Five

Hi, Jonnie. This is Vicki of Slytherin House commenting on your chaptered fic Seven Years and Counting which you wrote through chapter 5 a couple of years ago and which certainly deserves more than two reviews. I think you show a talent for writing in general and for plotting in particular, though I can’t say that for sure because the rest of the chapters haven’t been posted (yet?)

Your story has many strong points. You have a richness of characters in your story, both familiar names and new ones, but this does not become confusing because you wisely concentrate on one or two characters at a time, developing his/her/their little section of the story fully before going on to the next. Your original characters are frankly interesting: Sir Faints-a-Lot (love that nickname), the freckle-faced girl, Addie the prefect.

The scenes that you include in your story are wisely chosen, the scenes that further the plot, and you develop each of these scenes fully, not skipping too quickly through them (for example, Albus listening at the closed door; the Sorting Hat scene), though a few scenes did seem to drag a little (the children squabbling at the breakfast table the morning after the wedding; Molly’s prolonged complaining about her cousin’s wedding at the outset of the story).

The promised mystery and tension doesn’t really appear until chapter two, when Albus listens throughout the closed door; if I had read only the first chapter (sulking at a wedding, arguing with her boyfriend, an inane conversation with tipsy James), I might not have waited around for chapter two to be posted, but since there are five chapters available for immediate reading now, the presence of mystery and even danger is becoming obvious (though exactly what, we do not know) and the story line becomes more compelling.

There are many little details that enrich the background of your story, such as “Most of the time the fireplace produced people from the Ministry, and they weren’t normally fun people to be around,” and the entire sequence between Molly and Albus outside the closed door.

You also have avoided some easy stereotypical traps, such as surprising us by Sorting the freckle-faced girl into Ravenclaw, not Slytherin. We will see more of her, I am sure. But I am surprised that James and Addie wasted a Tupperware tub full of delicious brownies by having a food fight in the library; it doesn’t seem reasonable that they would do so.

By the time the five chapters have elapsed, we can see the mystery plot already becoming more complicated and we are becoming more curious. Less compelling are the romantic difficulties between Molly and Noah or Rose and Scorpius. If the main thrust of the story is a dangerous mystery, then I hope the romance aspect will be downplayed as a distraction to the main plot, unless, of course, it turns out that these romances are crucial to the resolution of the danger.

This story deserves to be finished because it has a lot of potential and because you have the skill to do it well. Perhaps Real Life is standing in your way, but I hope not.

Author's Response: Oh my goodness! I'm in absolute wow of such an amazing review! You have me all giddy inside! In all actuality, this story has fifteen chapters written so far (I've been busy with other stories on other archives). I nearly forgot all about this one and just so happened to log on today, with no intentions of receiving this! Thank you so much! I've actually thought this story was something looked by from readers because I wasn't writing it very well. I've been thinking of going back and editing it a little. Mostly to really downplay the romance, because I'm working on so many other romance possibilities as it is with other stories. I'm still shocked by the review. I don't know what more to say other than thank you so much, and I really hope to get back to this site just so you and the other possible readers I have out there can enjoy what is to come of this. You're a lovely person (and a fellow snake!) and I can't thank you enough!

Strangers at Drakeshaugh by Northumbrian

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
The locals in a sleepy corner of the Cheviot Hills are surprised to discover that they have new neighbours.

Who are the strangers at Drakeshaugh?

Nominated for: Best Post-Hogwarts (Chaptered) story - Quicksilver Quills 2011
Nominated for: Best Post-Hogwarts (Chaptered) story - Quicksilver Quills 2012
Reviewer: Oregonian Signed
Date: 04/23/15 Title: Chapter 24: Uninvited Visitors

Hi, Neil.
I'm continuing to enjoy your story, as usual, but had to smile when I saw that Justin was in Portland, Oregon (eight hours behind England). I'm not sure what he's doing there, but I hope he's having a good time. It's a fine place to be.

Author's Response: Thanks
Other than globetrotting, I'm not sure what he's doing there, either. I'm pretty certain that it's a business trip, but I know that he finally marries an American witch who is ten years his junior. Perhaps this is when he meets 18-year-old Vivienne.

Juxtaposition by sas__x

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •

Where you can fall for chains of silver you can fall for chains of gold**

Follow Lily Potter as she struggles through her OWL year. She pulls pranks, brings down the queen bee of her year and tries to cope with her past, but will a certain Malfoy distract her? From different worlds, they were never meant to be. Lily/Scorpius.

**Dire Straits- Romeo and Juliet lyrics.

Reviewer: Oregonian Signed
Date: 01/05/14 Title: Chapter 5: The promises that they hold

Hi, Sarah. This is Vicki of Slytherin House. I have been widening my experience by reading Next Generation fics, which I had not been reading before because I had thought that I wouldn’t enjoy them (silly me!), and I really do enjoy this story of yours, and am sorry to see that it is lying in a state of suspended animation after five chapters.

Although it is told entirely from Lily’s point of view, all the characters are well defined; their personalities just shine through. You have achieved great success in this area. Your storytelling talents are also admirable; the plot progresses steadily, and the many details that make the story so vivid are all directed toward the furtherance of the characters and the plot. There is a lot of imaginative originality here.

You have avoided skipping too quickly through the progression of events. You have avoided dragged-out conversations that don’t go anywhere. You have avoided stereotypes that are overused to the point of being boring. You have successfully steered your ship of Romance between the rocks of sickly sweetness and angstiness without getting wrecked on either one or allowing a tsunami of Romance to overwhelm the rest of the story.

I can’t really think of anything that I didn’t like about your story. It would be worthwhile to come back to this story and finish it up.

Memoirs of a Red Headed Witch by My Wicked Quill

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
Summary: Ginny Weasley was always overlooked.
Always the youngest,
Always the smallest,
And was never… really given the chance to let her voice be heard.
But sometimes the best insight comes from those who were always in the background.
Her story of redemption,
And love,
Proves that she was never just the Weasley brothers’
Little sister.
Reviewer: Oregonian Signed
Date: 07/01/14 Title: Chapter 1: Bedtime Stories

Hi, Aliana. this is Vicki of Slytherin House. I was trolling through the archives looking at the old romance stories, and I found your story, which is a gem. It is totally charming, so like a little girl. (I have a five-year-old granddaughter, and I can see her doing all this.) Ginny has no comprehension of politics, of history, or of the clashes of ideologies in the larger world, just an instinctive sense of the value of family and love.

Although your story is only 1068 words long, it contains many glimpses of family bonds, but, and this is important, they all serve a purpose. They establish the richness and intimacy of her family life, which makes plausible her recognition that Harry’s life has been infinitely emptier than hers, and they establish her character, visible at a very early age, as an active, determined, enthusiastic person, which makes plausible the conviction that someday she will marry Harry for the purpose of giving him the family he did not have. Thank you for not padding the story with a lot of extra information that would just bog it down and blur its focus.

I am reminded of my own children’s declaration, when they were very little, that when they grew up they would buy the house next door so that they could always live near us.

You have a wonderful line by Bill: “You really are something, Ginny Weasley. That Potter won’t know what hit him.” He can see, when Ginny is only five, that she is destined for great things. How true, how true.

Your story is a valuable addition to our understanding of the Harry-Ginny dynamic. Ginny is not, in my opinion, well-developed in the seven books, and the reasons for her behaviors have been something of an enigma to many people, including me. This story is an “Aha!” moment; it fills an important gap in our knowledge of her psyche. Although you intended it as the prologue of a longer work (alas! never posted on this forum), it stands alone as a wonderful story. I hope you come back to this forum someday and read this review.

Controlling the Rebound by hallows_vs_horcruxes

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
Summary: After the Battle of Hogwarts, Harry Potter, with the help of his friends, must face down the revolting Death Eaters who managed to stay in hiding. Along with learning about new magic and discovering skills they didn't know they had, he and his supporters must find way to keep peace in the Wizarding World.

Warnings: DH Spoilers, Character Death, Mild Profanity, Violence
Reviewer: Oregonian Signed
Date: 12/23/13 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1

Hi, Ang. I hope you still check the archives occasionally to see if any more people have read your stories. Even the older stories get looked at from time to time, and this is one of those times.

I enjoyed reading these first two chapters of your story about Harry right after the final battle. Your story is full little good ideas, little observations that make up the tapestry of this momentous period of the Potterverse history, many insightful details.

In Harry’s inner dialogue, I particularly like the description of his thinking of himself as “old” and the previous times in his life as “the olden days”, even though he realizes that it really wasn’t that long ago. I liked that he he was vowing to learn the names of all the dead. “…he would accept her decision without question because he surely would deserve whatever he got” is a good line, showing his refusal the struggle over one more thing (her decision).

You have made good observations in the lines that show that the adrenaline is still surging, stimulated by the sight of the dead bodies (“he found himself fighting the urge to start running”) and that he cannot shift gears instantly. His feeling the need to do the tasks that had been so urgent in recent months, such as finding the last horcrux, and his observation that being able to do nothing was so different both show that he is still on high alert, still running on nerves.

Chapter Two in particular has a whole lot of good lines in it, good dialogue, insightful details. “…How could such a young boy have seen things worse than a room full of dead bodies?” is just one of them; I could cite many more.

As a descriptive piece, full of insight about Harry’s mental states and inner thoughts after the battle, this story works very well. Whether there will be (or would have been) more action in later chapters remains to be seen. The premise and setting have a lot of potential. I’m sorry that you did not finish it. The lack of review by a beta reader shows itself in little spots here and there where there is some unevenness of tone, spots that could be smoothed out a little (as is true with all our stories before the beta gives them a going-over), but the story is probably worth finishing. How will Harry “control the rebound”? He has learned a lot by dealing with the fight against Voldemort. Now he can learn a lot by dealing with the aftermath. Is that were you were going?

I noticed that you said in your intro that this was your first story in the archives. I hope that you have kept on writing, because I expect that you still have good things to say.

The Healing Hours by tot_desidero

Rated: 6th-7th Years •
Summary: In the hours after Voldemort's defeat four people begin their journey towards living a peaceful life. The pain, grief and heartache can only be healed with time and with the patience of the ones they love.
Reviewer: Oregonian Signed
Date: 12/24/13 Title: Chapter 4: Harry

Hi, Teresa. It is significant to see that you have been writing stories about the main characters in the Potterverse for so long. Your love for, and understanding of, Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny show up very well in this four-part examination of what they did immediately after the final battle. Except for the Epilogue, Deathly Hallows ends rather abruptly, but considering all that these characters have been through, they deserve a bit more of a wind-down. You sensitively realize that they must have had a myriad of thoughts, memories, and emotions swirling in their brains, and the sudden release of tension after so many years of unrelenting stress and danger must have been totally disorienting.

The organization of this story is wisely chosen, devoting a separate chapter to each character, and linking the chapters by repeating certain dialogue and actions. Trying to do them all together, jumping from one person to another, paragraph by paragraph, would have been more confusing and much less effective.

I would say that the chapters on Ron, Hermione, and Harry are the strongest, simply because we know more about these characters, so we have a rich lode of source material to mine.

Here are some of the things that stood out for me:
Ron’s conversation with Nearly Headless Nick in the deserted dungeon room. Ron’s consideration of the possibility of seeing his dead brother as a ghost parallels Harry’s consideration, somewhere in the texts, of seeing his dead loved ones similarly.
The chapter about Harry is the best of them all, with many good insights, especially the one about doing whatever it took to become an Auror and leaving the decision about his schooling to the Minister of Magic. That is the strongest and most logical treatment of that plot point that I have seen. It just feels right. Other good details in that chapter include the rivers of blood and grime that poured off him as he showered, his twinge of irritation that more people were not looking for him, and the smoke leaking out between the stones outside the Room of Requirement.

Your writing is a pleasure to read. The sentences are graceful, the words well-chosen, and the style, even though you are describing a lot of emotions and trains of thought, is very straightforward.

I see that you have not posted anything on this website recently; I assume that as you get older, real life absorbs more of your time and energy. But I am glad that you have contributed this story; it does a nice job of carrying the tale just a little bit farther.

Fool's Gold by Writ Encore

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: Nicolas Flamel takes on an apprentice and sparks a friendship.


I'd like to thank Abi, crazy717, for her help with this one.

Scribed and Translated by their grandson, Auguste, in his grandparents’ loving memory.

Reviewer: Oregonian Signed
Date: 04/19/13 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1: An Apprentice

This piece does not have an easy-to-follow storytelling style. It gives the feel of a story with many of the sentences missing, and the reader must make cognitive leaps over the gaps like a person traversing a stream on stepping stones. It requires a lot of assuming as to why people say and do certain things, and a fair amount of "Well, I guess what he means is XYZ..."

Still, with a few re-readings the reader can come to some conclusions about what the characters are probably talking about. (What is "ushering a queue"?)

Here we have a little glimpse of Nicolas Flamel and his ever-patient wife (not yet a widow) Perenelle, who are otherwise only referred to in Book 1, never encountered. Nicolas is portrayed as more crochety than I would have otherwise imagined him, and if he is so unfriendly (unlike Dumbledore) and alchemy is a dying art, then why would Jacqueline be so persistent in trying to become his apprentice? She is much better off with Dumbledore.

The time of this story must be when Dumbledore is still a young man, and apparently he has spent some time in Paris and intends to stay on there for a while, since he offers this newly-married young woman a post as his assistant. How did she meet him, at her young age? Perhaps during the fifteen days of the International Alchemical Conference.

I would not care to read an entire book written in this style. It is more obscure than I prefer, and while I enjoy puzzling out a mystery (what do these facts and observations lead to?), I would rather not spend my time puzzling out individual sentences. But that's just me. This story has a certain stylishness to it, and I'm sure some people would appreciate its unique essence.

I never thought you'd be in my life by Shells

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
Summary: A Rose x Scorpius fanfic. The story is based in their fifth year, where after a series of events, a relationship develops. The chapters alternate between Rose's and Scorpius' views
Reviewer: Oregonian Signed
Date: 12/30/13 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1 - House Rivalry

Hi Shelley,

This is Vicki of Slytherin House commenting on your opening chapter. I see that it has been two years since you posted this chapter, so that probably means there’s scant chance that we will ever find out what you had in mind for these characters, but I will comment on what you have written so far.

First let me say that your writing style is smooth, with no awkward phrasing or questionable word choices. The sentences are not too short or choppy; they are of a pleasing length and complexity. There is not a lot of descriptive detail, but what is there is effective. And I like your brief battle scene, a good combination of action sentences interleaved with descriptive and explanatory sentences.

Since the story is told in the first person, from Rose’s point of view, it is her character that is the most developed in this brief opening chapter, and already you have managed to show us many aspects of her personality. The other characters, including the two original characters, Olivia and Alessia, are not so closely drawn yet, but it looks as if you intended to reveal a lot more about them in subsequent chapters, as your point of view switches back and forth between the Gryffindors and the Slytherins.

Rose and Scorpio are an oft-written pair, and that fact makes it a challenge to find something new to say about this relationship that hasn’t been said before. Similarly, interhouse rivalry gone bad has been a staple feature of the Harry Potter legendarium since Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Your story summary mentions “a series of events”; hopefully the events you had in mind when you conceived this story were sufficiently original, unusual, and unexpected so as to be able to give a new sparkle to this already familiar situation. I hope they were meant to end up more happily than the experiences of Romeo and Juliet, whose appearance in Rose’s hidden book in the opening paragraph no doubt was intended to provide a parallel to our modern-day lovers.

At any rate, thank you for writing this one piece, and I hope you have been continuing to write, even if no longer in our little community.

Sanctuary by Writ Encore

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: Hippocrates works through the holidays and helps a patient piece his life together after an attack.

This is Kuri of Ravenclaw, writing for the Great Hall-iday Challenge 2011.

Betas: maple_and_phoenixfeather and Alex
Reviewer: Oregonian Signed
Date: 12/23/13 Title: Chapter 2: Chapter 2:Michael

You obviously put a lot of work into this slice-of-life story, Kuri, and it certainly deserves a review. I have been making a point of reading your stories, starting with the oldest ones and working my way forward, in order to get a handle on your style. Unlike some authors, you do not sugar-coat anything; your characters are diamonds in the rough, and it requires close attention to appreciate them fully.

In the past I have been unsettled by your enigmatic style, what seemed to me as breaks in the flow of the story, but I do not see that very much in this story, and passages that are a challenge to understand at first reading generally become clear when one reads a little further into the narrative. Maybe this story is more fluid, or maybe I’m just used to it, or maybe the many connections to the canon we already know provides a good, stabilizing framework on which the story hangs. At any rate, it works.

Your characters, both those merely mentioned in canon and those who are original, are well characterized; we see their personalities, their strong and weak points, their daily challenges and imperfect efforts to cope. In short, they are like people in real life.

I wondered if there would be some vigorous plot, some crisis, climax, and denouement, but really it was just a gentle slice of life, with a few little victories and even more unsolved problems, but not depressing or, in the long run, pessimistic. It is a story of people who just keep on keepin’ on. I enjoyed it.

Author's Response: I' so glad you liked this one! Thank you for the comments about the characters I think that people have both flaws and good things about them. A professor once told me no character is all bad or all good. (I think after four years at university, that's the only thing I remember about her.) You called this a slice of life story - as I said in another review, I'd like to shake your hand. You get it. People deal with good things and rough spots throughout their day. Thank you so much for reading this.

Never The Same by foreverandalways14

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
Summary: Albus and Lily Potter, Rose Weasley, Scorpius Malfoy, and Thomas and Alaina Longbottom spend most of their time at Hogwarts together. But when an evil plot is unveiled within the depths of the ancient school, they all may be torn apart as their bonds are tested and they're cast from their irregular regular lives.
Reviewer: Oregonian Signed
Date: 01/05/14 Title: Chapter 9: Albus

Hi, Jesse. This is Vicki of Slytherin House, commenting on your work in progress, Never The Same. For a first-posted story on MNFF, this is a good piece of work. You have interesting characters, some canon and some new, and what promises to be a plot full of action.

Many stories start off with a train ride, and that can be pretty ho-hum, but you had the good idea to get the action going right away by placing a fist fight only a few paragraphs into the story, right in the middle of the train. Not only does it promote the plot a little, by establishing that Ian Zabini has an issue with Muggle-borns, but it prevents us readers from abandoning the story after reading just the first chapter.

You dialogue is also good; it flows well and sounds very natural. I loved the line “Hope we get some good ones this year. Remember last year’s batch of kids? They followed Albus around like he was some god.” Obviously that’s not an integral point in the plot, but it is gently humorous, relieves the tension of the Sorting ceremony, and introduces a realistic idea that no one seems to have written before, namely, that the older students would have some stake in getting a good crop of new house members each September.

The story seems to drag a little in the last few chapters. The attack on Rose and the revelation about the Death Eaters are the high points, but in between it was a bit draggy and emotional. There is an air of tension, people are being taken away, but no one knows what’s going on or what to do. The author can keep that up for only so long. I expect that in your outline for the next few chapters, the structure of the plot was going to become clearer.

Weaving a romance into a danger/mystery story is always a little chancy. It is important not to obscure the main point of the story, which is the danger/mystery, by refocusing the story onto the romance for more than little bit or for oftener than occasionally. (Hope that sentence wasn’t too convoluted.) But of course you have plenty of space in upcoming chapters to develop the action and keep the focus well-aimed.

The technique of showing each person’s viewpoint in successive chapters can work, but it works best if the author is careful to show only that person’s viewpoint in his/her chapter and not let other viewpoints creep in. And I would guess that the more different people you deal with in this way (so far you are using four people), the more challenging it gets. But I commend you for trying to do it.

Your general writing style is good; you have avoided the pitfalls of short, choppy sentences or strange word choices. Your actors are in character and behave reasonably, without sounding like stereotypes. It’s been a couple of years since you started this story, but I hope you still remember where you were going to go with it, and will come back to finish it someday. Good Luck!

Set Fire by LittleJM

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
Summary: She had a way of falling for him in every way, including his blatant lies. Ten years later, she may not be able to recognise him, but outward appearances don't always prove a change inside.
Susan Bones/Theodore Nott
A drabble-turned-oneshot written for Soraya/babewithbrains for the Ravenclaw Christmas Drabble Exchange!
Reviewer: Oregonian Signed
Date: 04/20/13 Title: Chapter 1: Set Fire

There are a lot of thought-provoking elements within the few short pages of this story. The outstanding impression of Susan is depression. Yes, Theodore has always been a dicey friend, playing her like a fish on a line, but she has allowed herself to be played. She knows, intellectually, that "he never had a solid foundation", but she keeps hoping that he will be something else, and failing to take care of herself.

The war has taken a big toll on her, and she has responded by isolating herself from people who could help her find her way back. A job in which she interacts mostly with strangers. A specific decision not to join the merrymakers at the Leaky Cauldron on Christmas. She complains of being alone on the holiday, but it is her choice, not her parents' fault. She focuses on what she has lost: her Aunt Amelia, "most of her immediate family" (though both her parents have survived). She faults her parents for leaving her to go on vacation (how dare they?). And she uses alcohol and loveless sex to try to fill the void in her psyche.

Not everyone who lived through the war is so far behind on the road to recovery as Susan is. I don't really see any insight on her part in this story. She has yet to take responsibility for her own happiness. It's a depressing story, and I wonder if it was depressing to write. But despite that, it's well-written, and the details all contribute to a tightly-constructed whole.

From Opposite Sides by LoonyLupin

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
Summary: Ted was a Muggle-born. Andromeda was a pure-blood from one of the greatest Wizarding families in history. Until she married him. We know them as the parents of Nymphadora Tonks. This is a story where an unlikely couple succumbs to the most powerful spell of all.
Reviewer: Oregonian Signed
Date: 01/02/14 Title: Chapter 4: A Light in the Dark

Hi Breanna. This is Vicki of Slytherin House. I used to avoid reading romances because I assumed that they were all mushy, but I have discovered that the stories in the Other Pairing category often have interesting themes and are worth reading. Your story, for example.

Your strong point is that your story is imaginative in its details, even as you revisit a situation and relationship that is already familiar to us. We already know how this story turns out; the interesting part is how we get to that final state. There is a refreshing light-heartedness to your tone, even as you discuss a serious subject: prejudice.

You show us an Andromeda who tries to look on the bright side of even difficult situations and who thinks things through but ultimately feels confident about her decisions, knowing that in the end “all life is choosing” (a favorite quote of mine from The Dark Crystal).

Ted too is well characterized, both by what he does and says and by the thoughts you attribute to him. I notice that you do not tell the story exclusively through the eyes of just one of your characters; the focus alternates back and forth between these two people, so that you have allowed us to see the thoughts of both of them, and that helps us understand better how this obstacle-strewn relationship blossoms. In their words and especially their thoughts we see the points you wanted to make about the effects of prejudice.

I had to giggle at your spells Hairus Elongus and Hairus Shortus. Spells are generally Latin words, but your spells were mostly (three out of four) Anglo-Saxon words with Latin endings tacked on, and that made them funny. I looked through the story for other instances of humor, thinking you might have it sprinkled throughout the story (momentary bits of humor are always good, in my opinion), and I did see it in the vision of Ted’s accidentally becoming a bald teenager.

A previous reviewer noted that you could have, as a goal, the usage of words that are more descriptive, and I would say that that is true. You writing style is simple, but it will probably become more complex as you continue to gain more practice in writing fiction. It would be possible to expand the scenes in this story a little by using more descriptive language, but you don’t have to. It’s a charming story just as it stands, and I’m sure we all have wondered why in the world Ted and Andromeda named their baby “Nymphadora”. Now we have an explanation.

Paths to Platform 9 and ¾ - Year 2017, and Beyond by ntoforhp

Rated: 6th-7th Years •
Summary: Voldemort is dead. Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny have survived. Now, the young warriors have a future. They have dreams, and dreams cost nothing; however reality has its price. The path each chooses has twists, potholes, and detours. They find that life plays tricks on people. These issues have to be confronted before they make it Platform 9 and ¾ in 2017 and beyond.
Reviewer: Oregonian Signed
Date: 01/31/14 Title: Chapter 17: Chapter 17-Loose Ends

Wow, Ken, you stirred up a hornets’ nest with this story. Some readers appear to want to keep our favorite characters squeaky-clean and cannot believe that you would write them as handling their personal affairs so badly. You are accused of writing them Out Of Character, but I must comment on the other side of this debate.

We must remember that these characters are teenagers and early-twenty-somethings; that’s not very old. Neuroscience tells us that the frontal lobes of the brain, the location of the centers for impulse control, planning ahead, and considering the consequences of one’s actions, are not fully developed until about age 25, and even without the benefit of CT scans and MRIs, our Founding Fathers who wrote the U.S. Constitution knew, by their own observations, that people under the age of 25 had less common sense, hence the constitutional minimum age of 25 to be elected to Congress. I have seen teenagers, good kids, the offspring of my friends, do egregiously stupid things, some involving sex and some involving the police, because of three reasons: immaturity (as mentioned above), alcohol, and the stress of difficult life situations.

It is noteworthy that the worst behavior of your characters occurs in conjunction with alcohol, the Number One lubricant for sending people down the slippery slope to unintended disaster. I confess to being a little disturbed by how so many of the fanfiction stories on this site are awash in Firewhiskey”drinking to celebrate successes, deal with disappointments, provide surcease of sorrow, lift spirits, face tragedy, relax with friends, and on and on. When someone dies, someone else (often George) goes on a booze-soaked bender that lasts days, weeks, or even months. Characters who are just getting together for dinner end up tipsy or drunk with depressing regularity, and this is treated as being amusing.

Maybe this accurately reflects the usual real-life behavior at this age; I don’t know. It is easy to believe that injudicious drinking is a sign of having achieved adulthood, but the fact is that when you are in your twenties, your fervent wish is that no one will remember the dumb stuff you did in your teens, and when you are in your thirties, you hope to heaven that no one remembers the dumb stuff you did in your twenties. Wisdom comes with age and experience, not with fame and the awarding of medals.

So Ken, your story is realistic to me: teenagers thrown unprepared into situations they don’t know how to handle wisely. Stabbing Horcruxes with basilisk fangs is one thing; all this stuff is another.

The List by panther_mlb

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
Summary: This is the life story of Bellatrix Lestrange, based upon the theme from Wicked, that villians are not born villians, but made villians.
Reviewer: Oregonian Signed
Date: 12/24/13 Title: Chapter 3: Chapter 3

Hi, Miranda. I see that you wrote this story, and your other one, a while back. I hope that you have continued writing, if not on this forum, then somewhere else, because you do seem to have some talent for storytelling, as well as a love for it.

I enjoyed this story, as far as you went with it. The part in the first chapter when Bellatrix was a little girl was strong; you seem to remember well how it is to be a little girl, how young children think and talk. You have a simple writing style, using short sentences, and although your story is not in the first person, it very definitely is seen only through Bella’s eyes, so these short sentences seem to be a reflection of how she was thinking at that age. Similarly, your characterization of her father, his inattention to her and his amoral values, shown in a few isolated incidents, reflects how little children think; a single incident can color their whole opinion of a person. It makes me wonder if one answer to that unanswered question, WHY did Bellatrix give all her devotion to the dark lord, might be that, among other things, she was looking for a father figure.

I liked the idea of her keeping lists. Not only did she see things in black and white, as you said, indeed, as children do, but she had a determination not to forget; she was learning revenge. Good point.

Of your three chapters, the first two are the most effective. In the third chapter, the evilness of Mart and Jean is emphasized to the point that they seem to be tyrants. Other people in their school might be terrorized by them, but not necessarily wanting to be like them; if terrorists are outrageous enough, other people will start taking them as examples of what not to do. I would suggest some moments when they display some attractive characteristics also, so that others, such as Bellatrix, would accept them as role models and begin to be influenced by their attitudes and behavior.

Of course, there is a lot more to this story that unfortunately we don’t know yet, and I wonder if you will ever finish it, or go back and rewrite it from the beginning with the increased skill or insight that you doubtless have by now. I think that even in our earliest stories, imperfectly presented as they may be, there are important grains of truth that deserve to be explored.

A Primrose in Bloom by Cinderella Angelina

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: Primrose Dobbs is fairly happy, until someone reenters her life unexpectedly. Then she's ... still happy. Mostly. It would help if Fleur Delacour wasn't in the picture.

Cinderella Angelina of Hufflepuff checking in with my final exam for the Charming Characters class!
Reviewer: Oregonian Signed
Date: 04/19/13 Title: Chapter 1: A Primrose in Bloom

This is a fun little story, even though it ends on a more serious note, and Primrose is a refreshingly charming and down-to-earth character. She must have had a good home life, since she sounds so well-adjusted. And I like the little touch of her translating the runes on recently acquired treasures; it sounds like something that I would enjoy doing!

I enjoy seeing the creation of original characters that are linked to established characters like Bill and Fleur,and it's a treat to get a glimpse of Bill and Fleur in their Gringotts milieu at the beginning of their relationship. And although it looks as if there's no romance for Primrose in this little episode, despite her imaginative daydreams, one need not worry for her; she's a great girl, and some wizard (other than Basil) will see that soon enough.

This piece is well-written, with a light, deft touch. I'm not sure what the last line refers to ("something good could come of this news"), but it is just like Primrose to be optimistic, even in the face of You-Know-Who's return.

Thanks for writing.

In Pursuit of Greatness by PoeticallyIrritating

Rated: 6th-7th Years •
Summary: This is Bellatrix Black as a student, a wife, and a faithful servant. A child and a prisoner. She is exactly who you think she is, and much more.
Reviewer: Oregonian Signed
Date: 04/16/13 Title: Chapter 1: Elegant

This story certainly deserves more reviews than it has received so far. It is very well-written, with no awkwardness in the phrasing or the flow, no questionable choice of words, or poor timing of the pace.

It shows us a a young Bellatrix, amoral and conscienceless but not yet criminal, focused but not yet obsessed, a bully but not yet a psychopath. I am left wondering whether Bella at this point in her life could still have been salvaged and rehabilitated, given an opportunity for that, which of course never occurred.

The glimpses of the characters of Dumbledore and Slughorn are right on -- Dumbledore who was unable to be manipulated and Slughorn who was unable to avoid being manipulated. The statement "Everybody knew the Slytherins were prejudiced, but nobody knew it went that far" exemplifies Slughorn's unfitness as Slytherin Head of House. He didn't know what was going on and could not have controlled it even if he did. His refusal to change Bella's dormitory assignment was not based on moral principles but on a fear of losing his job, a weak response.

Bella's keen interest in Rodolphus Lestrange is a bit harder to understand. Her relationship with him is the same as her relationship with other people -- manipulative and self-serving. But what does she need him for? What value does he have for her besides being handsome, smart, and pureblooded? Chapter 3 is all about her seduction of him, but to what end? Given her nature as depicted, she obviously has something up her sleeve, and love is most certainly not it. Perhaps she has some goals in life (other than eventually becoming Voldemort's most worshipful follower), something more than being the wife of a pureblood and the mother of his children. It will be interesting to find out what her plans are.

Author's Response: Thank you so much for your review. I'm really grateful that you put so much thought into this! I'm glad you like my Dumbledore and Slughorn. I struggled with Dumbledore especially. He's a difficult character to manage, especially because he was dealt with so extensively in the books. It's easier to write "in character" if we don't know much about the character, haha.

White Jade by AidaLuthien

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: The youngest prince of China prepares to leave the capital to go to the Dragon Pearl.

This is AidaLuthien of Hufflepuff House's final for the Charming Characters class.
Reviewer: Oregonian Signed
Date: 04/19/13 Title: Chapter 1: Leaving Home

What an unusual story. It is a simple tale, but its charm comes from the blending of basic magical principles into a very different culture. The details give the appearance of being researched and are sufficiently plausible that they might be accurate. (Were phoenixes really a symbol of femininity in China? Did regular army soldiers rotate in and out of palace guard posts? I guess so.)

The references to magic are few, just enough to show that this is a magical story -- a wand, Apparition, shrinking the travel trunks, Polyjuice Potion, Veritaserum.

The story gives hints of questions we will have to answer for ourselves. What is the time period? Were members of the emperor's family always magical? Were the "lesser schools" also schools of magic? And how will the prince's experience be, studying alongside both commoners and scheming aristocrats? It boggles the mind to think of the amount of research that would be needed to describe even one ordinary day at Dragon Pearl.

As usual, Aida's writing is skillful and graceful, easy to read and easy to follow. A good blend of background, description, thoughts, dialogue, and action.

It is assumed that witches and wizards are present in countries all around the globe but we tend to imagine them only in Western-culture countries. Aida has opened up a whole new vista of possibilities. Will anyone follow her lead? (No, don't look at me.)