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"Rivalry" is now posted! I'm very happy about this. It took so long to get this entire story on paper. I've grown quite fond of it.

I also have a new present from the lovely ByMerlinsBeard!
What Is Real

I promise, I haven't forgotten about Draco and Hermione. I'm just dawdling a bit. :(

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Stories by orange_balloon [8]
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Reviews by orange_balloon

Lacrima Serpentis by Insecurity

Rated: 6th-7th Years •
Summary: This story is set in the dystopian society of Wizarding England under the control of Voldemort. Fifteen years after leaving Hogwarts, Harry Potter is in hiding; he fears the words of the Prophecy and has lost the will to fight. This story tells the tale of an adult Hermione who sacrifices everything: her family, her moral beliefs and eventually her dignity, in order to save the Wizarding world. She becomes a Death Eater under the recommendation of someone she barely trusts. She struggles to find the courage and strength, but with every choice she makes she gets deeper and deeper into danger.

Chapter 33 is finally up. Thank you for your support and patience..
Reviewer: orange_balloon Signed
Date: 11/20/05 Title: Chapter 19: Chapter 19

I've been reading along for quite some time but this specific chapter has moved me to comment. Hermione's slipping sanity, Ron's madness and anger, and Snape's appearance at the graveyard all play nicely into one another. Finally in this chapter, I can really see why Hermione has given herself over to Snape - not because she was playing a role or because she needed protection, there is simply nobody else she can turn to. She had isolated herself so much from the magical world that the only other person she can cling to is another outsider. Nice work throughout of keeping Snape mysterious and difficult to read.

I do have one question for you - why are Harry and co. angry that Hermione was kissing Snape? I could completely understand Ron's anger, but Harry's and the rest of the Order's I don't get. They agreed to let her go into the Death Eater camp as Snape's "wife" but now she's suddenly betraying them by having feelings for him? Perhaps there are more answers in the next chapter, but I had a bit of trouble with this one point.

Regardless, keep up the good work!

Author's Response: Thank you very much for this review, I am really pleased that you have connected with the story. This chapter was probably one of the most difficult to write, so I am glad you managed to pick up on many things.

As for the Ordrs reaction, especially Harry's, I wanted to show how they did trust Hermione but also how they fail to understand her or the seriousness of her situation. Harry reacted that way because he still despises Snape, nevermind trusts him, and he only condoned her pretend marriage with him because he felt there was no alternative, but is extremely let down when he realises that Hermione actually ses Snape in this light.
Feel free to drop in another review, I'm updating soon because c20 is nearlly finished! Thank you again!

An Insider's View by CCCC

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
Summary: A series of one-shots from inside the minds of various characters. Different formats and styles for each character.
This is a past featured story, but from way back before they did rosettes for it. Bellatrix, Gargoyle, Ollivander, Sorting Hat, Filch, Rita (New)
Reviewer: orange_balloon Signed
Date: 10/10/05 Title: Chapter 3: A Shop-Keeper

i'm reminded of the novel "the historian" and the letter bequeathing the search for dracula to the reader. reading this i felt as though the letter must be addressed directly to me and that i must take on the duties of an ollivander. i am very impressed with this interesting take on the entirely one-dimensional character of mr. ollivander. you've done a fantastic job building an entire character's thoughts and feelings out of a few small scenes in his wand shop and the mention that he's gone missing. excellent - i can certainly understand why this is the feature of the moment!

Blood of the Heart by kjpzak

Rated: 3rd-5th Years • Past Featured Story
Summary: 7th Yr Sequel to Ancient Magic. It is now known the power of immortality resides inside Harry and Ginny. Will their combined powers be enough to protect them from the Dark Lord?
Reviewer: orange_balloon Signed
Date: 11/01/05 Title: Chapter 26: Directions

first of all let me just say, "wow." i started reading "ancient magic" last week because of a recommendation. i've now managed to complete that entire fic and all of "blood of the heart." i am extremely impressed. the entire premise of what you've put together is so interesting (if this were an actual book i'd call it "a real page turner!"). your grasp of the characters is amazing. the deeper picture you paint of ginny is just as i've always imagined her myself - we get such a limited view in the books. hermione is dead on and so is neville. i can't say enough about your depiction of harry so i'm not even going to try! even when the characters are somewhat ooc it's due to the evolving plot. the new characters are just as engaging. i'm honestly finding your telling of harry's 6th and 7th year just as fascinating as jkr's. keep up the excellent work and i'm looking forward to the next chapter!

Author's Response: Thank you so much! What a wonderful review! I'm blushing! The next chapter is in the queue. I hope it lives up to such fine words of praise!

Reviewer: orange_balloon Signed
Date: 11/11/05 Title: Chapter 27: Lady of the Lake

So intricate, I don't know where to start! How about with snarky Malfoy? Such a perfect line for him. He's nasty even though his father just beat him to a pulp. Typical Malfoy. Also, I'm very excited that you're weaving elements of the Arthurian canon in here. I've had an attachment ever since my Medieval Lit class in college! I cannot wait to see what they find at Merlin's tomb! Oh, and finally: Luna, Luna, Luna! Ah, she's so smart in such a flaky way! Thank you so much for treating her with respect and knowing that thinking outside the box is sometimes extremely effective. :-)

Author's Response: Snarky Malfoy, indeed! He's so infuriating in his evilness, if you know what I mean. Ooo, well, I hope I don't screw the Arthurian legend up any, but as an expert, please tell me if I do! I'm glad you like Luna - she is a Ravenclaw which means she bright. She's an Original. I'm glad you think I'm doing her justice. Thanks!

Reviewer: orange_balloon Signed
Date: 11/27/05 Title: Chapter 30: The Tomb Part II

*sings "ding dong the witch is dead"* so malfoy finally got what he deserves, and impaled nonetheless! and i loved tonk's line about narcissa not being able to see things quite the same! :)

excellent chapter, even with the unintentional cliff-hanger! i admire your ability to write convincing, and logical, battle scenes. they are alway so complex but easy to follow for the reader. if this is just the warm up, i can't wait to read the final battle!

Author's Response: LOL! I think that is my favorite - ding, dong... :) Those battle scenes don't start out that way - my poor beta wvchemteach has a lot to put up with on those! I'm thrilled to know, though, the final piece ends up well done. Thank you!

Reviewer: orange_balloon Signed
Date: 12/13/05 Title: Chapter 31: Sero Compago

What a wonderful chapter! Once again, I am in awe. Well, awe and tears. Yes, I actually cried reading about the ceremony. That was just beautifully done and balanced by the humor of Ron with the Cup and Hermione being, well, Hermione.

Narcissa is sneaky but I have a feeling that she's not too bright. I don't think she'll get very far before someone figures her out. Poor Anna and Nathan and the baby!

Author's Response: LOL - thank you! I hope you didn't cry too long - but I have to admit, I'm thrilled to know you found it touching. And I'm with you, Narcissa is sneaky, but I don't think she's the brains of the outfit.

Reviewer: orange_balloon Signed
Date: 12/13/05 Title: Chapter 31: Sero Compago

OMG! I think I inadvertently wrote in a spoiler below! Ack!

Sheepishly yours,

Author's Response: LOL - no worries. I have given spoilers in answering reviews by mistake, too. :) Ah well.

Reviewer: orange_balloon Signed
Date: 02/07/06 Title: Chapter 33: Circino Amplexor

Honestly, I think I read this entire chapter with my mouth hanging open! A worthy update - the action is tight and the dialogue remains realistic given the situation. Once again, a great job even though I may not forgive MNFF for that necessary cliffie!

Now for just a few observations: Fawkes has the circlet. Dumbledore is dead! *sob* Yeah, Narcissa is going to get buried when the cave collapses. Percy pretty much rocks! Anna is the toughest lady, she can get out of anything. I'm with Ginny, let's just get trap Tom and get this over with! :)

Author's Response: Wow - good observations! Sorry about the unintentional cliffie there. Not sure why it only happens here! Ah well. More to come!

Reviewer: orange_balloon Signed
Date: 02/13/06 Title: Chapter 34: Circino Amplexor, Part II

Another touching chapter! The scene where Ginny and Harry completed the circlet made me cry, again (I always seem to cry when the circlet is involved)! Fawkes being there to help was a very good idea, and very Dumbledore. I was pleased to see Fred and George lighten the scene, as everyone else has said. I would suspect that it would be entirely in character for them to continue joking even in the most difficult of circumstances.

And now my attempt at a meaningful review: The only thing I can say is that I think this chapter might have suffered a bit from the need to separate it into two. It seemed like all of the action was in the previous "chapter" and then this "chapter" did little to move the story forward beyond the circlet. As one chapter this would probably not be noticable. You may want to bear shorter word counts in mind when breaking up the remainder of the story into chapters. I don't think the longer chapters split into two detract from the story in any way, but a better chapter split can only help, in my opinion. Of course, I'm sure you've considered this anyway but I just thought I would mention it for you.

Best of luck with the remaining chapters! I am eager to see how everything turns out!

Still there by hattiepotter

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: Challenge Two: Ending of a New Beginning It's the first Christmas after the Last Battle. Dark memories are being relived and loneliness has become a central part of Harry Potter's life. It is time to learn to live without those that have been lost... H/G and R/Hr. House = Hufflepuff
Reviewer: orange_balloon Signed
Date: 12/18/05 Title: Chapter 1: Still there

This story is so touching. I like how you inserted Harry's memories into the present day. That made it extremely real to me. Also, you kept everyone in character throughout. Your treatment of Harry's reaction to Ginny's death is very well done, right on the money. Nice job! Good luck with the challenge!

Author's Response: Thanks for reading it! I was wondering whether I'd find a review from you! I'm glad it was realistic. Good luck to you, too!

One White Pawn by Ravensgryff

Rated: 6th-7th Years • Past Featured Story
Summary: Ron Weasley has started having some very odd dreams. What do they mean? More importantly, can they help the trio to finally defeat Lord Voldemort? A Ron-centric fic written for HP Quills for a Cause.

Dedicated to my husband who always helps me see the big picture.
Reviewer: orange_balloon Signed
Date: 02/19/07 Title: Chapter 1: Opening Game

Very interesting - following Through the Looking Glass and possibly using Percy as a guide. As usual I like how you've made Ron just self-conscious enough to need Hermione's and Harry's urging to believe in himself. I have a feeling this will lead to something much greater!

Also, the dream itself is very well written. I can see the desert and everything Ron is seeing there. You've done a nice job of sort of spotlighting that piece of the chapter by making it so descriptive. It's not an easy image to forget.

Well done, as always! I'm looking forward to the next chapter.