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Name: nott theodore (Signed) · Date: 15 Jan 2019 01:49 PM · [Report This]
Story:The Order of the Serpent Chapter: Whispers

Hi again, Kristin!  Here for RvG and the Magical Menagerie!

 

This was another excellent chapter!  I really enjoyed the way that it started off quite calmly, with the details of their routines and the way that Melanie and Mandy kept missing each other with the shifts they were working and people they were spending time with, and then by the end of the chapter we were reminded that the war really isn't very far away and these characters are going to have to deal with it in a multitude of ways.

 

Lancelot the cat going back to his original name after Charlotte's death is a really sad reminder that their friend is gone, but a way that they're trying to keep her memory alive, I think.  Nobody should have to go through that at the age of 18.

 

“We have visitors?” Melanie asked. “But we still don’t have chairs!” - this is my favourite line of the whole chapter.  I love the way that you've used the humour to balance out the tension in this chapter, but still not let us forget how serious what they're dealing with is.

 

Russell and Hector's appearance was a nice inclusion - I liked the way you captured the easiness of the friendship and how close the four of them are.  Russell smugly conjuring a bean bag to sit on made me laugh :P  Catching up over the different things they're doing now felt very familiar and believable, too.

 

I thought the discussion of the Ministry's corruption and the Muggle-born Register was really interesting - it was fascinating to think that it wasn't a new idea in the Second Wizarding War, but rather a renewal of something that had been attempted previously.  And the questions about whether you would take the risk to speak up when your life might be at stake was really fascinating - we know that there are some people who would, but there are other ways of resisting as well.  It was so interesting to see them discussing and trying to make plans for how to make a difference, and I loved the passion and determination that you captured in them - they're so young and they've already been affected so much, so it's very believable that they'd want to do something to change the sitation.

 

I really enjoyed learning about everyone's backgrounds, too, and the different allegiances and ties that they have to Muggle-borns or Muggles in their families and relationships - that's definitely going to affect what they do in the future.  The final conversation with Mandy's parents was so interesting!  They seem to be well aware of the severity of what's happening and their suggestions to rely on Muggle communication instead were really interesting - I can't imagine the pureblood supremacists stooping to interfering with that just yet, anyway.

 

Sian :)



Author's Response:

Hi Sian!

Thanks, I'm so glad you enjoyed this chapter. One of the things I'm trying to focus on with this fic is daily life that happens during the war, because although the war is obviously a huge thing in everyone's lives, they have (or try to have) lives outside of that too, and they want to see their friends and they have to go to work, etc. I'm glad you liked that introduction.

 

The line about the chairs was one of my favorites too XD Thanks!

 

It's really great to hear your thoughts on the Muggle-born Registry and their discussion surrounding it. As for the register being a recycled idea - Voldemort had a lot longer to try stuff during the first war. From what I have gathered, it lasted years longer than the second one, and I imagine they tried all sorts of ways to gain power and keep people afraid, and then the second time around brought back the ideas that worked best for them.

 

You're definitely correct in thinking that the different relationships people have to Muggles (or lack thereof) are going to inspire them in different ways as things go on. I'm glad you liked the end of the chapter and the conversation with Mandy's parents too.

 

Thanks so much for your review!!



Name: nott theodore (Signed) · Date: 15 Jan 2019 01:31 PM · [Report This]
Story:The Order of the Serpent Chapter: Horizons

Hi Kristin!  Here for RvG and the Magical Menagerie!

 

A story focusing on friendship instead of romantic relationships?  I'm always here for that!  The summary for this story has me really intrigued, as well - I love the idea of the Order of the Phoenix not being the only resistance group (and realistically, looking at history, there tend to be different resistance organisations in any war) and people who are allied differently still working against Voldemort and the Death Eaters.  I'm really looking forward to learning more about that as the story goes on.

 

I haven't read The Brave at Heart yet, so I'm coming to this with no background knowledge of the characters, but I loved the introduction that I got here to both Mandy and Melanie.  And it's so nice to see this story opening with a character who is at the bottom of the ladder in her career.  Not that I want her to be struggling, of course, but it's so much more realistic to read young characters who have to work their way up, rather than landing their dream career fresh out of Hogwarts.  

 

Haha, Melanie's arrival really made me laugh - her demands were either those of a customer from hell or a friend being very annoying, and I thought it was a good way to introduce her into the scene as well.  Her training as an Unspeakable is going to be really interesting, too, even if she can't tell Mandy much about it.

 

I enjoyed the background that we got here, without it feeling like you were overloading us with information about the two of them.  I haven't read anything about Charlotte, but I can understand that losing a friend to the war would be an excellent motivation for them both to do something in response, even if they have different ways of going about that.  The leaflets in the shop are actually a really helpful way of making a difference, too, even while Melanie is involved in the Order of the Phoenix.  I think both of them are really brave.

 

It's so nice to see characters who were in Slytherin resisting, as well!  And the fact that Nathan has managed to escape from the Death Eaters is interesting - I hope that he does stay safe and undetected by them.  

 

You've set up the two girls and their friendship really well here, and I'm looking forward to seeing what's going to happen next with them!

 

Sian :)



Author's Response:

Sian! Thank you so much for stopping by to read and review some of this! I'm so glad the summary caught your eye and that you're excited about a friendship story :D And that you're looking forward to a story about other resistance! The Order of the Phoenix was undoubtedly great and very successful, but it required a lot of courage, and people have courage in different ways that sometimes doesn't involve fighting against Death Eaters in a battle.

 

TBAH is not on HPFT yet. I wrote most of it about ten years ago, and I'm partway through a massive editing overhaul so I can post it without feeling like I need to hide behind something and distance myself from it :P Anyway, it's really good to hear that you liked the introduction to the characters here! And I get what you mean about appreciating characters who are struggling, because we've all been there :P Besides, right out of Hogwarts she's like 18, with no other work experience, and who honestly can be expected to have their dream career at that age?

 

I really hope I'll be able to get in some snippets of what Melanie's training is like as an Unspeakable. It sounds like the coolest work ever, with the huge drawback that you can't talk about any of it!

 

Thank you, it's great to hear that the background was not an overload - this is something I'd worried about, actually, since I was writing the first chapter of a story in which some readers have all the background already and some have none, so it's good to know how this holds up and that it makes sense.

 

Despite what we see of Slytherin house in the books, I think it's very unrealistic that absolutely none of them would want to do anything to work against Voldemort. Being Slytherins, they'd not want to be the face of the resistance or anything, but there are other ways to help. Slytherins kinda get an unfair depiction in the books and this story is partly my answer to that :P

 

Thank you so much for reading and for a wonderful review!



Name: Aphoride (Signed) · Date: 14 Oct 2018 08:56 PM · [Report This]
Story:The Order of the Serpent Chapter: Whispers

Hi Kristin! :) It's been way too long since I read anything by you so I was so glad to see you ask for review swaps, since it meant I could stop by again - and I loved this story, so it was such a treat to come back to it :D 

 

I'm so excited to see where this is going: all your characters are so interesting, with their differing allegiances and connections to parts - in the Ministry, with the Order, with Muggle relatives and Muggle-born friends. I love the way they all have such different personalities and yet they mix so well - it reads just like a group of friends in real life sitting and chatting together, with all the kinds of undercurrents and things. 

 

Also, I loved the Charlotte's Web reference - it's such a good book, such a lovely story! One of my childhood favourites, so I adored it :P 

 

I want to say how much I loved the way you discussed how Mandy felt about the idea of the heroism of people in the Order, the idea of standing up to something when your life and the lives of the people you care about most would be directly threatened by your actions. Often in fic and in fiction in general there's a wealth of characters who are so brave - almost effortlessly so - even in the face of such threats, and yet it's so much more real for people to doubt, to struggle with the idea of doing the right thing simply because it's right when it's so dangerous. 

 

The discussion of how things had been in Slytherin House were so lovely, too - I love the idea that they were mostly neutral, avoiding the topic because it they were worried it would result in difficult conversations. It rang so true to me and I loved the idea of this tense atmosphere and this nervousness in the Common Room as everybody tried to ignore what was going on. 

 

The whole bit about the letters - how Muggle post is much safer than wizarding post, the fears about the Ministry being infiltrated, about the Daily Prophet having been infiltrated - it was so well done. Enough to make me nervous, yk, and for there to be this beautiful sense of unease throughout it. It makes me wonder how much worse things are going to get - and almost look forward to it, if only because your writing is going to do it so beautifully :) 

 

I loved it, as always. 

 

Laura xx



Author's Response:

I always love swapping with you! ♥

 

Thank you so much, I'm so glad that the plot is interesting and that the characters in all their differences are realistic and interesting as well! This is honestly so wonderful to hear.

 

Ha, I think you're the first person who's caught that reference. I loved that book too :D

 

I knowwww. As much as we all cheer for Dumbledore's Army and the Order of the Phoenix in the books, it's kind of like only the brave people who somehow aren't terrified to risk their lives for their cause get any positive attention, and those who have doubts or fear or don't do anything are looked down on (Zacharias Smith coming to mind, Seamus for a while during OotP, Peter Pettigrew if you don't also take into account the betrayal thing). And... that's just not the way things are. Most people, I think, fall into the category where they want to do something but are either a) afraid to or b) don't know how, and that's the case with all of the Slytherins in this story.

 

Thank you, I'm glad you liked the way Slytherin House is portrayed here and that it rang true to you! I have always been so vehemently against the idea that they were all Bad Guys - just a few outspoken ones could be enough to get the house that unfortunate reputation everyone seemed to associate with it, whereas most of them were just normal people who didn't want confrontation. And while ignoring the elephant in the room maybe isn't the best strategy, it saved them a lot of drama in the common room, at least...

 

I'm so glad to hear that you thought the undercurrents of war elements are well done and that it builds up the atmosphere of unease. Gah! Thank you for your compliments on my writing, as well! *is blushing* You are so kind. Thank you.

 

Thanks so much for the swap! <3

 



Name: Felpata_Lupin (Signed) · Date: 28 Sep 2018 08:40 PM · starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Story:The Order of the Serpent Chapter: Life During Wartime

*** Transferred from HPFF ***

HPFT Werewolf Team Review! :D

Hello, my lovely Kristin!

Finally here to catch up with this wonderful story!

I loved this chapter! Also, an Halloween chapter, how appropriate! :P

And some Marauders and Sirius/Melanie! Yay! Love it!!!

Ahahah! I loved Sirius Apparating right into the living room, that's so much like him. And they really resolved to conjure furniture every day! Eheheh! Definitely cheaper! ;)

The party was lovely. I enjoyed the choices for the costumes. And yes, Peter's was the best one! :P

That was an interesting discussion, about fate and free will. I guess a bit of both? Like choices influence fate and viceversa? But I think free will is predominant. Fate can give us conditions and opportunities but it's up to us to grasp them and build our own path. That's how I see it, at least...

Oh, Merlin! That was a really dark and unexpected turn! (Actually, I did expect something like that, because of the chapter title. It was still a bit of a shock that sudden change of mood).

Oh, Merlin! The poor man! Things are getting gruesome already... so scary... And poor Mandy and Melanie, they must've felt so guilty... But at the same time, it must've all been so sudden and so scary. I can't blame them for not intervening...

I really want to know what happens now, so please, update soon! I want to see Mandy in action! (I like Mandy, she's great!)

All my love and snowball hug!

Chiara



Author's Response:

♥♥♥

 

Yes, I was pretty excited with how the timing worked out on this one! I love seasonally relevant chapters :P

 

Haha, I'm glad you appreciated Sirius' lack of personal boundaries. He absolutely would Apparate directly into a room. What a jerk. I still love him :')

 

I am having way too much fun with the furniture subplot. I don't know how it became a subplot, but it is.

 

Thank you! Peter's costume just seemed so appropriate, in that it's kind of a copout but still clever. And Peter kind of has always thought of himself as the invisible one among the Marauders anyway, so it was like... I had to, you know? :P

 

I'm glad you liked that discussion! It got surprisingly deep out of nowhere and I honestly think it's such an interesting topic, so I'm glad you enjoyed that too. I like your interpretation of fate vs free will as well. That's  a cool way of seeing it, and gets around the things that don't make sense when you just consider fate or free will individually. :)

 

Yeah, this fic is starting off as a bit of a rollercoaster with fluff and dark stuff, haha! But... I imagine it makes sense considering that even though they're trying to live their lives as normal as they can, they still can't escape the fact that the war  is happening all around them :-/

 

The thing about them not intervening felt like an important point to make. They weren't Gryffindors after all - Sirius or James may have run right in to help, but Melanie and Mandy are more concerned with looking out for themselves and each other, rather than a stranger. But being a bystander is a horrible feeling.

 

Yay, I'm so happy to hear that you like Mandy :) I enjoyed writing her as a teenager but I love her even more now that she's out of Hogwarts. I can relate to her a lot more than I did in TBAH.

 

Next chapter I think is where things start really coming together and I'm glad you're so excited about the story! Thank you so, so much for this kind review!

 

*HUGE SNOWBALL HUG*
♥♥♥♥♥♥



Name: Felpata_Lupin (Signed) · Date: 28 Sep 2018 08:38 PM · starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Story:The Order of the Serpent Chapter: Whispers

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Wow... this is getting so dark already...

The census idea is so scary. Then, again, we know they did the same in the second war... Still, I can guess why the four friends would find it unsettling!

Ah, I'd almost forgotten Althea... I hope she'll be fine...

And Mandy's parents, too... her mother is surely an intelligent woman, I hope that will suffice to keep them safe.

I wonder what the four friends will do. I loved Mandy's POV here, she's so relatable. Wanting to do something to help making the world better but feeling too small and too fragile to actually be of any help. I feel her so much!

Once again, it was also lovely to have some lightness among the tension of the war, like their apartment not having chairs. That was fun. :P

Oh, and the cat! I love cats! I can't remember Lancelot (lovely name, by the way) from TBAH either... maybe I should reread that story?

Another great chapter! I love how you built the atmosphere already, and I love the characters and the friendship theme! You are so talented, but I tell you that all the time!

Can't wait for more!

All my love and hugs!

Chiara



Author's Response:

*Transferred*

yeah. The census would be really scary as no one really knows what they're doing with the information. None of the four Slytherins are directly impacted, but their families and loved ones are, so it's a pretty scary thing.

 

I'm so glad you like Mandy's POV. I went back and forth for a while before writing this story about what POV to do. After so long in Melanie's head, the shift over to Mandy's POV was kind of interesting, but I really like writing her. (And now I'm kicking myself for giving them both M names, because I keep typing the wrong one, when before Mel was just 'I' :P ) Anyway, I'm so glad to hear that Mandy is relatable in her idealism of wanting to make a difference but the reality that it's difficult to do so.

 

Omg, I'm having way too much fun with their lack of furniture. Don't worry, you'll see more of that :P

 

Yeah, I think Lancelot only turned up in like one or two chapters of TBAH, so I'm not surprised he wasn't memorable :P

 

Thank you so much for your comments about the atmosphere of the story, and I'm so thrilled you love the characters and the overall themes of the story. And I know I tell you all the time too, but you are such an amazing and dedicated reviewer and friend. Thanks so much ♥
*glomps with hugs*



Name: Felpata_Lupin (Signed) · Date: 28 Sep 2018 08:36 PM · starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Story:The Order of the Serpent Chapter: Horizons

Hello, Kristin, my love! <3

I was peeking at your AP, just to make sure you hadn't posted anything new while I wasn't looking... and I realized that I'd never transferred my reviews on this? So shameful... but I'm here now! ;)

And since it's almost your birthday (it already is in some parts of the world, so it's totally okay...) I will take the occasion and say HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KRISTIN!!!

Love you so much!!! <3 <3 <3

*** Transferred from HPFF ***

KRISTIN!!!

How did I take so long to get here?!? Shame on me... but I'm here now!

A lot of time has passed since I read TBAH, so I don't remember all details... but it's lovely to see Melanie and Mandy again! I so enjoyed their conversation. The serious parts, but even more the lighter bits. Because, like you say, "Even in the middle of war, life still went on, and some levity was necessary to balance out the rest."

I love all the details and reminds you put in here, their works, Nathan on the run, Charlotte's death (I'm still a bit angry at you about that one, you know?). I also think it's very interesting to hear their thoughts about the war, to feel the atmosphere of uncertainty of those times... you wrote it so well (am I surprised? No, I'm not!)

I also really liked that little mention of Peter (you know I have an obsession for Peter...) Of course he would feel that way, scared and out of place. And I love that's how Melanie feels, too. But Mandy is right, bravery is not lack of fear. It always comes down to how we choose to act, despite our fear, right?

Yes, Pinball! I love Pinball! Great choice, girls! :D

Can't wait to read on. And to see some Marauders, too. I know you said the main focus is girl friendship, but you're going to give me some Sirius/Melanie too, right? :P

I'm not sure this review makes any sense, now that I think about it (I'm tired...) but the concept is that I'm super thrilled about this story (just the fact it exists, you know?) and that I'm loving it so far!

And of course I love you too, my unreliable friend! :D

Snowball hug,

Chiara



Author's Response:

Eep! Thank you so much! And thanks for the birthday wishes <3

 

*Transferred response*

Chiara!! ♥♥ Aah, thank you so much for stopping by this story! I was so excited to see these reviews from you ♥

 

I'm glad that you're glad to see Melanie and Mandy again. It's a bit weird but really nice to be writing them again after so long. I love writing the lighter stuff too :D Since TBAH was mostly all lighter stuff with a bit of dark thrown in, I expect this story to be more of an  even mix between light and dark. It's about the war, but more than that it's about people, who have lives outside the war. I'm so glad you liked it :D

 

I'm glad you liked all the detail! I was trying to sum up the important bits of TBAH that needed to be mentioned here, and there ended up being a lot to summarise :P And Charlotte... Wah, I'm sorry. I'm still sad about that too!

 

Yes! Thanks, I'm so happy you liked the mention of Peter. I think he's a fascinating character too, and as much as I despise him for what he did later, he was still their friend at this point, and I guess here I was just trying to show that his being scared wasn't anything to scoff at, and kind of make him relatable to the protagonists. Probably a lot of people were scared.

 

Haha, I love Pinball too :D Earlier this year I used to live near this huge pinball museum full of a bajillion pinball machines from every decade since the 50s, and that probably influenced this chapter a tiny bit XD

 

The Marauders will definitely be in this story, though probably not to the extent they were in TBAH. But don't worry, I love them and wouldn't dream of leaving them out of the story :D As you noticed this story is not from Mel's POV - everything is filtered through the lens of Mandy here, so the dynamics of Sirius and Mel will be different. But they will absolutely be there. In fact, your favourite four Gryffindors are in chapter 3 in all their hilarity. Special preview: Sirius will be dressed as a giant squid.

 

Your review made perfect sense and it was the nicest and most wonderful review in the world. &hearts; &hearts; Thank you SO much for stopping by to read and review! Love you!

 

P.S. Snowball hug!
P.P.S. #teamunreliability2k15
P.P.P.S. ♥



Name: justawillowtree (Signed) · Date: 03 Apr 2018 05:07 PM · [Report This]
Story:The Order of the Serpent Chapter: Life During Wartime

Hi Kristin! Here again with another review for you. <3

 

This chapter was almost a entirely lighthearted, until the very end when reality came crashing back in. And I gotta admit, it was really nice, during that first part, when there seemed for a moment that life was alright and that there was no war going on. As soon as I had that thought, though, I felt a little guilty, because there are Muggle-borns in the war who are fearing for their life, every second of the day. And there’s no real escape for them.

 

Like, that ending pretty much showed that. No matter what they’re doing, the government will find a way to apprehend them and twist their actions into something illegal, so that the rest of the population can be swayed by the propaganda. (I’m taking a genocide class this year, and everything in this story so far has reminded me of the steps leading up to a full-blown genocide.)

 

I also thought it was super clever of you to tie in that “free will vs. fate” debate into the last few lines, when Mandy makes her decision to help as many people as she can. Her internal guilt over being a bystander is entirely understandable, because in some ways, it’s the bystanders that make genocides run as smoothly as they do. So I’m really proud of her for making that choice at the end. (I’ve heard so many “free will vs. fate” debates in my life from pretentious little freshmen that I always get really wary whenever I hear this topic come up, haha, but you wrote it really well, because you’re amazing.)

 

The interactions between everyone at the party were really fun. I love that Remus dresses up as Lily, and Peter dresses up as...nothing? Like, literally nothing. He’s just invisible. I love it. I wonder when Peter is going to betray them all. You write really fun characters, and I’m glad that we got to see them come all together in this chapter.

 

I’m so excited to see what Mandy does next chapter!

 

I miss you a lot! Come back to us soon. <3

 

~Eva



Author's Response:

Yeah. I get what you mean about feeling guilty for enjoying the moments where the war isn’t in the forefront of their minds. Tbh though I think they are enjoying those moments a lot too, because they don’t last, as proven by the ending to the chapter.

 

YES – that’s so accurate that bystanders’ silence can be as dangerous as the regime itself. So I think it was really important for Mandy to have that moment when she herself is a bystander and finds herself enabling Voldemort’s side in the process. And haha I’m glad you liked the free will vs fate discussion even though you might have been worried at first that it would be pretentious XD

 

Lol, since Peter is basically invisible in so many Marauders era stories it just sorta felt fitting, in a parodic sort of way :P I couldn’t help it.

 

Thank you so much for your review!! I miss you too <3



Name: justawillowtree (Signed) · Date: 03 Apr 2018 03:25 PM · [Report This]
Story:The Order of the Serpent Chapter: Whispers

Hi Kristin! Here with another review for you on behalf of the newsletter crew. <3

 

I forgot to mention this last chapter, but I’m adoring this friendship over romance approach you’ve taken here. Sometimes reading stories with romantic subplots either stresses me out or bores me a little, and I think there definitely aren’t enough stories out there that focus on female friendships. Not to mention that you’ve included two male characters in this story, and so far, I haven’t gotten even a whiff of awkward sexual tension that so many published authors seem obliged to add to their stories!

 

Anyway, this story is making me very happy.

 

Once again, I’m left wondering about Mandy and Melanie’s past, along with Russell and Hector. Obviously they grieve their friend Charlotte (I feel like that may be a spoiler for the previous story haha), and her death is constantly on their minds, but I’m also wondering about their other Slytherin peers, perhaps the more prejudiced ones. What were their relationships like with the other Slytherins? What is it about Mandy and Melanie that makes them Slytherin? I’m so curious about how they fit into their House.

 

(I guess I’ll have to read the previous story to find out, haha.)

 

When they mentioned the Muggle registry, my heart stopped a little, because that’s been used over and over again in the world’s ugly history to discriminate against people. And the steps leading to a genocide are so clear afterwards. You set up a really realistic, terrifying world where the Muggle-borns are in constant danger, and the government is slowly taking steps to corner them.

 

Were Mandy’s parents also in Slytherin? I applaud them for attempting to do what’s right, even though their efforts were fruitless. I need to know how Mandy and Melanie are going to act in response to the knowledge that the newspaper is controlled, though ahhh. Slowly, the free press is being taken away, and that’s honestly more than terrifying.

 

Another great chapter! <3

 

~Eva



Author's Response:

Hi Eva <3

 

Thank you, I’m so happy to hear that you like the friendship plot. That is honestly like 80% of the reason I decided to write this story. There just aren’t enough stories about female friendship – published books or movies or anything – and yet these kinds of friendships are so important in real life. Also, even though the girls’ friendship takes center stage, I also love male/female friendships that stay friendships and don’t become romances.

 

Um. Yeah. Charlotte is totally a spoiler :P The other Slytherins will show up in this story eventually – some of them, at least.

 

It’s interesting that you mention the world’s history of discrimination and genocides because in fact most of the war stuff in here was directly inspired by real events – some decades ago and some current - which makes it even more terrible that in a way it’s not entirely fiction.

 

Re: Mandy’s parents – this isn’t that important to the story, and may not ultimately be brought up, but Mandy’s mother was in Gryffindor and her father is a Muggle.

 

Thank you so much for another amazing review!!



Name: justawillowtree (Signed) · Date: 03 Apr 2018 02:30 AM · starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Story:The Order of the Serpent Chapter: Horizons

Hi Kristin! I’m here helping out the Puff newsletter crew to complete the reviews owed to everyone who helped nominate in months past.

 

And let me just tell you, everything about this story speaks to my soul. I have absolutely no idea why I enjoy reading and writing about Slytherins so much, since I am about as far away from Slytherin as possible (I have taken the Pottersworld test at least ten times, mostly because I kept forgetting my sign-ins, and none of them were Slytherin), but I do. I especially love reading about Slytherin resistance, so I already know I will love this story.

 

(I know I’m definitely going to be reading the other stories in this series. I already love your characters.)

 

Your writing is so engaging! Even when a chapter is largely expositional, setting up the characters and the details of the war around them, you manage to make it really interesting to read. What’s really impressive about this opening chapter is that both of your characters are original characters, yet I don’t find myself becoming disinterested. It’s always harder to keep readers’ attentions with original characters, but you write such interesting characters.

 

Melanie being a part of the Order of the Phoenix is so cool. I’m so curious as to what led her down this path, and what motivated her to join. (I’m just talking to myself at this point, because I’m pretty sure you answer all this stuff in the other story, haha.) And I think it’s so cool that Mandy prints safety pamphlets for everyone.

 

These two women are so amazing! I can’t wait to see how the Order of the Serpent comes into all of this.

 

~Eva



Author's Response:

Eva omg thank you! These reviews totally made my day! ♥

 

I am thrilled to hear that this story speaks to your soul. I'm really excited to be writing it. I think what I love most about writing Slytherins is kind of undoing the bad name JKR put on them :P Like, 1/4 of Hogwarts can't possibly be all mean-looking, evil people who love Voldemort, yet that's all we ever hear about them from Harry's (albeit very biased) POV. But yeah, I'm not much of a Slytherin myself either :P

 

(The prequel to this story is not posted on HPFT yet because I'm rewriting it. As it currently stands, it's the first fic I ever wrote, and it shows XD (haha, it's been years and I never seem to be able to put that story down) But I hope to have that posted here later this year in its new and improved form!)

 

Eeee. thank you so much for saying my writing is engaging! I'm so happy to hear that this chapter is interesting despite being expositional and being mostly original characters.

 

That question is answered in the previous story, but there will be more about it in this story.

 

I'm so glad you think the characters are amazing ♥ Thank you so much for checking out this story, and for the review and all your kind words! ♥♥♥



Name: cambangst (Signed) · Date: 11 Mar 2018 08:24 PM · [Report This]
Story:The Order of the Serpent Chapter: Life During Wartime

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Hi, Kristin! I couldn't stop myself from reading all the way through to the end!

 

I love Sirius. He's so irascible. In general, the Halloween costumes were awesome. You have arms flailing around all over the place.

 

Moving on to the party scene, James and Lily seem like they've settled into cohabitation quite easily. The matching costumes are adorable. The summoning apples game was a great idea. It has that element of physical risk that always seems to go along with magical party games. If you're a witch or a wizard, you're not really having fun unless you're taking a chance of getting injured or blown up. 

 

Aww, Remus! I was wondering whether Mandy was going to have a love interest on the offer. It's too early to peg that as Remus, but it does seem they'd go fairly well together.

 

Wow. So the little puff-fest going on in the living room -- did not see that coming. I do think it would work just fine with Lily's personality. She's always the cerebral one, exploring the deeper questions in life. Questions like "what does it all really mean, mannnnn?" and "does anyone else feel like their nose is heavy?"

 

Yikes. The ending makes it all very real again. Nice balance between light-hearted entertainment and the harsh realities of a world sliding into war.

 

The only thing I'd quibble with is the use of the word "mudblood" in the Daily Prophet. I always had the sense that the term wasn't openly used in "proper" wizarding society, the same way that modern aristocratic bigots only use racial slurs when speaking in confidence with their own ilk. 

 

Neat chapter. I like where your story is heading!

 

-Dan



Author's Response:

Dan! Thank you so much for these three reviews, it really made my day to log in and see them, especially considering I've been pretty absent around here lately.

 

I don't know how it happened that the best wizarding Halloween costumes I could think of were ones that had a lot of arms, but there you go. After the first two costumes, I'd already committed :P

 

"if you're a witch or a wizard, you're not really having fun unless you're taking a chance of getting injured or blown up" -- Ha. That's so true though - when you think about it, Quidditch really is such a monumentally dangerous game, and they have twelve-year-olds on the team. The wizarding world has very different standards from the Muggle one, I guess :P I'm glad you enjoyed the idea of the apple summoning game, thanks!

 

Haha, the "puff-fest", yeah maybe a weird thing to include in a fanfic, but they are teenagers and the story takes place in the late 1970s, so. It didn't feel *too* out-there. And I also like the idea of Lily not being as much of a serious rule-follower as she's often portrayed, which was partly what contributed to the way Lily is shown here.

 

Thanks, I'm really glad  to hear you liked the balance between the light topics and the heavier themes of war.

 

Re: the word "mudblood" being published in the Daily Prophet - you're absolutely right. I think I had included it originally to show just how far things have fallen and how the Daily Prophet has gone into the wrong hands, but even so I think Mandy would be more surprised to see that word in print, because as you said, it's not used in proper society. I think I may change that in this chapter. But the scariness of seeing that type of language in the newspaper is probably something that I will revisit and that will occur later in the story as things get worse. Lots of food for thought, anyway, so thank you for pointing that out.

 

I really appreciate  your checking out this story and reading everything I've got posted of it so far! It means a lot to me. I hope to return to writing soon, and these reviews have helped inspire me to start thinking about writing again. Thanks so much.



Name: cambangst (Signed) · Date: 10 Mar 2018 11:22 PM · [Report This]
Story:The Order of the Serpent Chapter: Whispers

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Hi, Kristin! I couldn't resist another chapter!

 

The mood keeps coming along in this one. I like that you took a bit of time out from the heavier content to introduce Mandy and Melanie's goofball friends. Russ and Hector were quite the breath of fresh air. 

 

The decor in the ladies apartment is such a great mix of muggle and magical. Especially loved the lava lamp and Ziggy poster.

 

Ah, the life of the "fresh out of school" urban apartment dweller. Furniture is always a work in progress. I remember the incredible sense of accomplishment when I upgraded from my old futon to my first real bed. Good times.

 

I do like the idea of putting some history behind Umbridge's Muggle-born Registration Committee. Or maybe I just like believing that the miserable toad didn't come up with the idea all by herself. Tracking magicals married to muggles adds another evil twist to the idea.

 

Seems like things are already afoot based on what we find out at Mandy's parents' house. Her dad is obviously a sharp guy. Communicating by muggle means is a clever way to evade the pure blood zealots.

 

I feel Mandy's whole world sliding toward darkness. But she still manages to find a bit of levity and light along the way. Great job!

 

-Dan



Author's Response:

Thank you for coming back for another chapter!

 

I’m so glad that you liked their friends. I think a lot of this fic will probably be quite heavy with it being a war fic, which made it even more important to me to include light moments like this. Life has to go on despite the war.

 

Haha, I’m glad their furniture woes were relatable :P That is indeed such a great feeling. My transition from sleeping bag to an actual bed really felt like a defining moment in Being An Adult.

 

It’s nice to think that Umbridge can’t claim credit for the idea :D Which is even funnier because her whole objection to Muggle-borns was that they’re stealing magic that isn’t theirs or whatever, and here she is stealing ideas from previous corrupt Ministry officials :P

 

So glad you enjoyed this chapter! Thanks very much for reading and for the review!!



Name: cambangst (Signed) · Date: 10 Mar 2018 11:01 PM · [Report This]
Story:The Order of the Serpent Chapter: Horizons

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Hi, Kristin! It's been a very long time since I've read and reviewed any of your writing. I'm pretty sure I remember reviewing a bit of The Brave at Heart a long time ago, probably in the old Review Swap thread at HPFF. Something is definitely familiar about these characters...

 

For a first chapter, you definitely do a good job of acquainting the reader with Mandy and Melanie. And by "a good job", I mean that you provide exactly enough information to get the reader  engaged and wanting to find out more. I love that there is still plenty I want to find out about them. You don't go overboard with a smorgasbord of information about their families, their Hogwarts houses, their past romantic associations and their shoe sizes. Just the right amount of detail to draw me in!

 

I really liked this line: "A bell tinkled, and off to the left of the counter, the door to the shop opened and let in a column of yellow September afternoon sunlight that illuminated all the floating fibres in the air, until a silhouette filled the doorway". Mmmm! That's good atmosphere!

 

Before we leave Gladrags, we meet a couple of more characters, but we don't really find out much about them. Again, i think that's good. You keep the exposition limited and the narrative tight. If the other employees are important, we'll learn more about them later.

 

The scene in the ladies' apartment was nice and comfortable, but with an appropriate sense of foreboding. Voldemort is out there somewhere. You could feel a bit of the tension, but it wasn't disproportionate to the setting. Also, I had completely forgotten what an aubergine was. Now I am reacquainted. :)

 

All in all, a very nice first chapter. Your writing was lovely, but I wouldn't expect any less considering the author. I look forward to reading more.



Author's Response:

Dan, thank you so much! It was such a treat to find all these reviews from you.

 

I’m so glad to hear that the introduction to the characters is sufficient while raising a lot of questions about them, and not *too much*. (And I can’t believe you weren’t interested in their shoe sizes! :P Joking.)

 

Thank you, I’m so happy that you liked that description!

 

It’s also great to hear that you liked the atmosphere of lightheartedness with a looming sense of foreboding. That is exactly the sort of feeling I was trying to get across. Eep, I’m flattered, thank you for the compliments on my writing! That means a lot to me. Thanks so much for reading, and for these wonderful reviews!



Name: Aphoride (Signed) · Date: 03 Sep 2017 08:34 PM · [Report This]
Story:The Order of the Serpent Chapter: Horizons

Hey Kristin! :) Dropping by for our review swap :) 

So I saw this and I remember it from before, but I don't think I ever read it - I think it was one of those things I always thought 'I must read that' and then life intervenes and I just never get to it, you know? Anyway, I'm here now and this is such a cool idea - Slytherins helping to fight against Voldemort, even if in smaller, less obvious ways than directly fighting him in battle. It's not something I see often in fic, so I love it so much. 

Also I'm so excited that this a female-friendship focused fic. Friendship fics are so rare in general, and female-friendship stuff even more so, so it's so so amazing and so interesting to see what you do with that, especially given their houses and the time period they're living through in canon - what will happen to their friendship? Will it be tested, strained, or completely break? What will happen if (when?) one of them gets hurt? Ahhh I have so many questions already and it's so early on :P 

I love the characters you've created, too - though that shouldn't be a surprise by now, since I love pretty much all of your characters :P I love how they're all so independent and so strong and dealing with the loss of their friend in different ways, but both with a kind of stubbornness and determination to keep going on, whatever exactly that means. There's a lot of grit in this, even though it shows a beautifully normal scene, with the two girls at the shop, and then going home to their flat, receiving a letter. 

That you manage to get so much of a sense of the era and the time, of the war that's picking up pace off screen, so to speak, is so clever and so impressive. There's nothing in particular which screams it, but the little things - the details, like about the pamphlets they're giving out in the shops advising people on basic magical defence, the mentions that Melanie's brother is on the run and if he gets caught he'll be killed, that Charlotte had been killed, the brief information about their families and the issues the war had brought out there - honestly, they're so good. They bring everything about this completely to life, and at the same time, it all feels so normal and so casual - like real conversation and real activities. 

I think my favourite thing, though, is the sense with Mandy that there's not so much more she can do, the kind of helplessness and wanting to help but also being dead petrified. I think that's so human and so realistic - you know, most people can't fight on the frontlines of war, guerilla or otherwise. It just doesn't work like that, and I love that you brought that out, because I think often it's something which gets forgotten in war-era fics. 

As I'm always telling you, your writing is so lovely - you have such a great, clean, distinctive style. I'm so jealous of how easily and well you do dialogue, and how you slot it into the rest of the narrative - it's a real skill, and one you use so, so well. 

I'm so curious about what happens next - does anything happen to Melanie with the Order of the Phoenix? Is Nathan okay in Egypt - will he stay there or come back? What will happen to Mandy, will she end up running away again? Will anything happen at the arcade - it's a muggle area, which is dangerous, after all. 

I might have to come back at some point :P This is a brilliant start! :) 

Aph xx



Author's Response:

Aph! I'm so sorry for taking 100 years to respond to this absolutely lovely review.

I'm so glad you like the premise for the fic! I think it's easy to fall into the trap that only the people in the Order of the Phoenix were doing anything, because the books sort of present it that way, like everyone who's doing anything worthwhile is in it - but not everyone is brave enough for that and I wanted to give those people a story. Also really stoked that you like the female friendship aspect of it. You're right that friendship fics are rare, which is so weird because friendship is amazing and I don't know why more people don't write about it. /tangent But, I'm glad that the story is raising questions and that you're curious about it so far!

Thank you so much, it is so wonderful to hear that you love the characters, that means so much to me. Since this story is technically a sequel (although works as a standalone), I've actually been writing these characters since 2006 and as such it feels like they're my own friends that I've known forever! :P I absolutely love the way you interpreted the characters here, and just.. I'm so happy you like it :D

Thanks, I'm so glad that the detail manages to get across the sense of how the war is progressing. I'm always worried about doing too much of an infodump at the beginning so I'm very happy to hear that's not hte case here XD And it's always so wonderful to hear that my writing of conversation and people feels real. That's something I really try for and it's so rewarding to hear that it works. And eek, I'm going to get much too high of an opinion of myself if an incredible writer like you keeps pouring all these compliments on me! ♥ Gah, thank you.

Thanks for such a thoughtful review!



Name: WriteYourHeartOut (Signed) · Date: 19 Aug 2017 12:03 AM · [Report This]
Story:The Order of the Serpent Chapter: Horizons

Hello my lovely Kristin!

 

I was looking through your author page for something I'd not read/reviewed yet, and I came across this guy, who - turns out - has yet to be reviewed by anyone on HPFT! And obviously I could not let that stand. So here I am! ^.^

 

Right away I have to praise you for what this story is about. The summary was really intriguing already, with this focus on a group of former Slytherins - who maybe felt they didn't quite fit in with the Order of the Phoenix crew - creating their own resistance. I love that. And I love that it's a Slytherin-centric story where the characters are seen in a good light. And then I got to the Author's Note at the top and was even more excited! Not just a Slytherin-centric fic, but a female-friendship one?! Girl. I adore you. You are just stomping out stereotypes left and right.

 

Onto the actual story itself:

 

Your writing - in a shock to nobody anywhere - is fantastic as ever. It's paced really well, touches on a lot of information without ever feeling explainy, and really captures the honest friendship between Mandy and Melanie, with both the little touches of humor that outline any good friendship, and their ability to talk about deeper things without it ever feeling like prying. My favorite moment between them is actually after Melanie speaks about her trepidations in regards to the Order of the Phoenix and her lack of comparative bravery, in which Mandy counters:

 

“Bravery doesn’t mean you’re not scared... It means you act despite your fear. I think you are brave, for what it’s worth.”

 

I love not only the sentiment behind this statement, but also the genuine support.

 

The thing that really stands out to me about this chapter is how much you were able to touch upon without it ever feeling slow or dragging, and while still somehow keeping it pretty short! I haven't read the prequel to this, so I know nothing about these characters outside of this chapter, and yet I already know each girl's ambitions, family history, relationship to each other, motivations behind their stances, and some of the ways they've already tried to help. And I'm probably forgetting things! It's a lot of background for one short chapter, but not in a way that makes my head throb trying to remember each detail. I frankly don't know how you did it. I get so wordy so fast and always find myself giving way too much detail about things that seriously don't need it. You have a real eye for simplification without loss of content or context.

 

"People are probably just thinking it won’t happen to them. Everyone always assumes that… until it does happen to them.” - This line really hit me and stuck. Laying down some serious truths, my friend. It's something I used to think all the time, too, until I was proven wrong by life. Horrible things can happen to anyone, and it's naive to think of yourself as an exception.

 

Anyway, I'm super interested to see where this goes! It's such an original idea and I want to see how it all unfolds. Such an intriguing plot being handled by such a talented writer. What more can you ask for?

 

Tanya



Author's Response:

TANYA. omg I really don't even know where to BEGIN responding to this. This review honestly made my day. This story is particularly close to my heart just because of how long these characters have been with me (I started writing the prequel in 2 0 0 6) and  I have such big plans for this one, so it means a lot to hear that you like it so much. I'm so glad you like the premise and that you find it original! And of course, you are such an incredible author yourself, so anytime I get a compliment like this from you I kind of melt into a puddle of feels and twitch on the floor.

 

I'm thrilled that you like the friendship between Melanie and Mandy, and that it feels very honest to you. That's so great to hear. And the fact that you were able to pick up all of those details about them from a short chapter and not feel overwhelmed by background, that really means a lot! Thank you! (Also, you don't get too wordy. Your writing is perfect.)

 

As for the line about people not expecting the worst to happen to them - yeah. I'm glad to hear this resonated with you (and also sorry, because it's not that positive of a statement :( you probably know what I mean though as I think this is probably something all writers feel - it means a lot when your writing strikes a chord with someone, and that's what I'm getting at. So, thank you. ♥

 

Thanks so much for this wonderful review, and I'm so thrilled that you're interested in the story. Your reviews always make me feel good about my writing and I really appreciate that ♥ You are such an incredible reviewer. Thank you for checking out this story and for all your thoughtful comments! ♥♥♥♥♥



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