Ack! How have I not reviewed this yet!? You know I read it! I told you as much and I certainly did but I feel like I have to keep reviewing too. I am failing in my duties as your friend!
Anyway I love what you have done with the chapter. I love that you have confirmed some suspisions such as the Fox and the Hound. Then I am most intrigued by whay Alex has found in the vault and how Fae magic is starting to make a more prevelant appearance.
Also let me not forget the whole bit with Snape it will be intereting to see what he was doing. So many mysteries there is no question why I love this story!
I look forward to when you muse supplies you with another chapter and I can get the chance to learn a little bit more to answer the questions that are still hanging in such a tantalizing way.
As always your writing is absolutely sublime!
Hello! Saw you were a FROG nominee so here I am!
By the way, that title is really cool; the first thing I thought of was Artemis, maybe like the main character was a huntress. Haha, if only.
What a way to start the story! I’m curious about who was killed—maybe someone close to Alex? She seems shaken by what she saw.
Yikes! So the death eaters have made their way over to America as well? I don’t know why, but I always had imagined that Voldemort’s reign was contained in England, but thinking of that now, it seems a little silly.
She’s running away, though I have to wonder what drew her to London specifically. Does she have family there? Or is she going there on a wing and a prayer? I hope she finds something there.
Her mother! So it was her mother. However absent she may have been, it still must hurt badly to watch your mother die in front of you.
Mundanes…? I don’t think I’ve heard that used as a term for muggles before.
The idea of tangible magic is so cool. I always thought of magic as this like wispy sort of energy, the kind that might wither away at physical touch. A tracer charm acting as a muggle world tracker is so, so cool.
I’m not sure how I feel about Alex using Polyjuice potion to turn into another recognizable student, or throwing her tracer charm onto innocent passers-by. I get that she needs to escape, but I think it would only serve to put more people in danger, if the people chasing her are dangerous.
Okay, so I thought she was running away Death Eaters, which seemed true, but who exactly is the wizard whom she long thought dead? My first thought was Voldemort, not going to lie, but that just seems too obvious. It could be anybody.
Thanks for the wonderful read! x
Hello! I’m here to read through the finalists for the FROGS and wanted to drop off a quick review.
What an intense first chapter! It’s obvious that a lot of planning went into this story and it really pays off. I feel instantly drawn in and eager to get to the bottom of this mystery! All the little details really bring this story to life, down to her flight number and the artist playing on her Walkman. Those details ground the story and make it feel real. I also like the combination of magic and Muggle technology. It makes Alex’s predicament seem more desperate, that she has to avoid magic in order to avoid her pursuers.
I hope that I can come back to read more soon! I’m trying to get through as many finalists as I can before voting, so I’m in a bit of a rush, but hopefully I’ll be back to learn more about Alex and what happens next!
Hey Alexis! Here for our swap.
So I’ve been meaning to read this for a while, and am glad I finally stopped by. What an intense first chapter!
Right away this grips you. With the flashback of the Death Eaters killing someone. I like that when this chapter progresses, you get more and more information about that moment, but you’re still left with a lot of questions. Like, I’m dying to know who Alex’s mother was, and why she moved to America, and why the Death Eaters killed her, and are now hunting Alex. Obviously she must have been someone somewhat important. Or maybe Alex is the one who is? All I know is that I need to know lol.
I have to admit, I worry for the blind lady and the seeing eye dog, too. We know that Death Eaters think nothing of killing Muggles or animals. I mean, they see Muggles as animals, so I fear the poor woman did not survive.
I’m hoping that Alex’s disguise works, and there is no trouble on the plane. Hopefully she gets to where she is heading safely. I can’t imagine going through everything it seems she had just gone through, and being able to still keep my wits about me to think of removing a tracker and change my appearance. That is textbook fight or flight right there.
I love your writing, Alexis. You have a great ability to write tense scenes. Like the type that really get your heart racing, and you feel as tense as the character does. I really need to continue on with this, because I’m dying to know how and why we got to this moment. Why Death Eaters travelled all the way to the US.
This is a great opening chapter! I’m really glad I finally got around to starting this. After I finish my swaps, I’m going to have to come back to this to continue. Thanks so much for the swap, love!!
Ug. Why does this have to be the last published chapter? Things are really starting to get meaty. A lot of questions from the past are getting re-addressed and some vague direction and answers are forming. There is still a lot of emotion here on my part. I love the subtleties of your story. Honestly, the subtleties are my favorite. The little moments that add up to a big punch.
The quiet questioning from Snape was brilliant. There is a lot going on there and things are massively changing between the two even if things are awkward as hell considering the confusion of the euphoria potion. Then the Asalinn thing has a whole lot more meaning than anyone things I am positive of it! Also, I love the snark that happened between the characters. Alex thought a Gryffindor was showing her Slytherin in my opinion. I also loved the regular kicking under the table between Remus and Sirius. There were moments where my fangirl heart became giddy as you know I love the marauders. Also, I am going to say it again and I hope you don't get sick of me saying it - poor Tonks.
Honestly, my emotions are all over the place and it isn't just the late hour upon which I write this review or the coffee in my system. My emotions are running the gambit because of your wonderful craftsmanship. So when is the next chapter due? (I know these things take time... *looks to NMO* so I can't harp or judge too much but I very much want more!)
-Magical Menagerie Review
This chapter didn't feature action like with the dungeon flooding, but a lot happened. There were a number of issues on display, some openly and some subtly. You have Tonks looking depressed, ongoing stuff between Sirius and Severus, the dynamics between Remus and Sirius, and Alex stuck in the middle.
The unspoken interaction between Alex and Snape regarding the Hogwarts Herald was breathtakingly risky, particularly with Dumbledore and Moody in the room. Yet Alex's response was perfect. Then there's all of what happened with Aislinn. Do I have to reiterate that your instincts are amazingly good?
I'm glad you enjoyed the bit with Sirius getting kicked. He did deserve it at least once. Poor Tonks has a lot more on her mind than you might think. Finally, Sarah gets to shine. She's really in her element digging into Alex's step-father's history. This won't be the last time Sarah uses her Muggle skills.
The next chapter is nearly done. Hope to see you back here when it's posted!
Okay, I'm going to start off this review with at least a paraphrasing on a quote you have used many times in this fiction. "When on thin ice..." I think you will know what I mean when I make that statement in regards to this chapter. If not I am happy to elaborate further. :-) It just yeah my emotions are all over the place, as scenes continue to be powerful.
I loved how Sarah and Remus went over to talk to werewolf bite dude. That made me smile, I like seeing them together despite what happened with Tonks in your story.
I will say you grabbed me though and I pretty much sat up bolt right when I heard the call for Caitlin. My eyes were wide as saucers when I started reading that scene and placing that too after Intemtesta Nox. Just, yeah, my heart was racing and there is so much there so many little things that add up to a powerful punch and I am reeling here. Seriously, what are you doing to me here Alexis? Worts of it all? There is only one more chapter to read right now! I am in agony over a lot of things and it is all your fault.
Of course, some of this agony is the good kind. Again, you are a stellar writer and I am so in love with this story and seeing all the lore drops and connections you have made.
-Magical Menagerie Review
Walking on thin ice is something Alex finds herself doing a lot. Funny how that works. The ripples from that previous chapter are still being felt. Things certainly have shifted, but you'll have to keep reading to see where it goes.
What you do know is that Remus couldn't just let a werewolf attack victim just sit there by his lonesome in the hospital. Neither could Sarah. Of course they would try to lend their support to that poor fellow.
And if Sarah's appearance wasn't fun enough, Alex runs across another significant person. Aislinn may have physically survived the events of Intempesta Nox, but certainly not without a number of scars. The real question is whether anything Ash said is important or just a product of her broken mind.
Did you notice how Moody reacted to Ash? Hmmm ...
Sarah! Ack, she finally makes an official appearance. This is so exciting! Ah, my heart it still floats after the last chapter and this story just keeps getting better and better!
Also, you asked me to make guesses in chat and after reading the finish of this chapter I feel a little more strongly about that particular guess. Yes, I am being cryptic because you never know who might be reading the review and I don't want to spoil anything for anyone!
Also, this chapter has made me relive that powerful dance scene and the image you shared with me that represents it just makes me happy. The feelings I had before are on repeat now and I just can't get over it and I can't get the image out of my head.
You did a very nice job on describing a damaged magical photo - very well down and I could very much see it in my head. Really your writing and story are leaving me in the realm of feeling less verbose despite the last review I did. Seriously, Alexis, your writing is stealing my words! (Don't worry I want to write stories now too so not all my words are stolen.)
I mean an amazing job on this story and I am honestly sad that I am nearing the end of what is published now. Your writing is so impeccable and on point and I am enamored with your world. This has been nothing but a pleasure trip for me.
-Magical Menagerie Review
So after numerous hints, yes, Sarah from Chasing Fireflies finally makes her debut! Not surprising she's in London over the holidays, not since she and Remus are a thing.
I'm glad you enjoyed that particular gif. It's one of my favorites and I used it (along with listening to Def Leppard Hysteria) to help get in the mood to work on that part.
That magical photo could have spelled disaster. So it's a good thing that it was damaged. And of course students are placing bets on the unidentified person. The real question is what does the professor think of the picture?
Honestly, love, there are no words, just no words to this chapter. There is so much that happened here I'm like: "How do you expect me to leave a review?" Just wow. So much all at once and I am at loss to organize my thoughts. Just <3 that is really the fullness of my feelings: <3
So to start the moment peppermint was mentioned I'm like euphoria. I keep thinking that over an over again. If it was a movie I'd probably have been whispering and mumbling it to my self as peppermint was mentioned each time and things started to ramp up.
So let me say, wow, just wow. Now before I get into the humor aspects of things let me take an aside to address my tattered broken heart. I know from Chasing Fireflies that Remus and Sarah were to be a thing/are a thing and I can get past my shipping of Remus/Tonks when reading that story and I do love that ship and that story I do. Yet, you brought Tonks into the picture who is clearly pining for Remus and I am sure euphoria had a play in things but putting her heart on the line like that and then getting rejected so hart. </3 My heart broke in two and that was massively an 'oh no moment' I had to actively remind myself 'you like Remus/Sarah' but still poor Tonks. *fist shake* (Meant in the fullness of love there dearie.)
Also, my other quick aside before I address your masterful brilliance at humor here. (Seriously I was cackling/giggling out loud at one point and had to full stop on the reading to get over the humor.) My quick aside is how you toyed with Severus' heart. The tension in that scene with Alex and Snape dancing was soo incredibly powerful. I know what was in Snape's Euphoric head and that's another 'oh my heart' moments. Again that scene was powerful.
Okay, so humor finally! Neville - oh my poor sweet Neville. My heart and him go hand in had sometimes. (I guess another oh my heart moment but not fully) I loved Alex's reaction to how she needed to forget what she didn't see. Then there was McGonagall I cannot express how much I love the fact that the singing McGonagall was NOT Tess. You know the woman well and that makes me so giddy - she totally would do something like that when letting loose. She liked to deny that part of her self in my opinion but she had great potential for it at the same time. <3
Then, then there was Hermione! Oh my gosh... Hermione. 1st I had to blink at how she was dancing in the first place and remind myself - point there is euphoria in the air. (Of course, that was overpowered by Neville's actions for the time.) Where I full stop to laugh was when it was revealed that Hermione's dance partner was Draco. Like I can't even - dead. I am dead. It was perfect it was cheeky and just I'm in awe. Well done Alexis. Well done and Bravo.
This story is an absolute joy and the other chapters I'm sure are wonderful but I'm not sure anything can or will top this. You have set the bar high for yourself, but if you leave this as the top mark that is 100% fine with me because this was just so filled and I'm sure a lot of hard work and just yeah my heart has a happy despite some of the heartbreak tucked into this chapter. Ug, there are parts of me going what are words but I know I've rambled on a bit and this was just. <3 I just kind of want to leave a series of <3's to show how much I feel about this chapter. (But I shall resist.)
Magical Menagerie Review
Welcome to perhaps my favorite chapter. This one took forever to initially write. Oddly enough, I didn't change too much when I went to rewrite it. Just added a few elements and clarified some others. Overall, though, it's the same as the original.
There is a lot of layering going on. From the peppermint, to Remus' appearance right on down to the appearance of mistletoe. You'd have thought after the prank war that no one would try to screw around, but nah. What fun would that be?
So let's start with Tonks. Oh poor Tonks was just trying to liven up the otherwise boring curriculum she was given by the Ministry to teach. A dance where students had to use spells to disguise as well as defend themselves. Sounded good and should have gone off without a hitch. As things turned out, Tonks ended up with a broken heart due to the euphoria and a lot explaining in the morning. You can imagine there were parents as well as members of the Board and Ministry not pleased. It's the Muggle equivalent of a high school dance where someone spiked the punch and everyone got thoroughly drunk.
Because how else do you explain Minerva letting down her hair and singing? Or Hermione bumping and grinding against Draco? Let's not even mention Neville streaking across the dance floor. Then there's Alex challenging Severus to dance with her. Oh from the moment she opened her mouth and talked about cowards, she was in over her head. Never in a million years would either have even thought of dancing with each other, but that euphoria was responsible for quite a number of people doing things they never would have done stone sober. Thank Merlin no one thought to aerosolize euphoria during the Yule Ball the previous year. Imagine the disaster that would have been!
As it stands, in the unforgiving morning light, it's all to evident there's enough regret to go around. McGonagall has to face the student body after performing on stage. And poor Alex is confronted with the realization not only had she danced with Snape, but she had a test with him later. Just kill her now.
So, confession time. I have been quietly shipping Alex and the twins softcore for a while now. So needless to say this chapter made me very happy even is the hug was platonic. Though I seriously laughed out loud in regards to Lee's comment. Did he need to get a tie or what? That was too perfect and too wonderful. I love Lee and how you worked that moment. It was a fabulous end to a wonderful chapter.
You certainly hit on the question I asked last chapter why are the AMA students so woefully behind. Then it is a valid question regarding the others from AMA. I know Alex isn't looking into it now but I hope she does I think that is an interesting line of thought and something that is worth looking into. I can't help but feel you are leading up to an added great mystery and the clues are being piled up but the clear questions have not been laid out. (Maybe I should get that pen and paper I mentioned in my last review, lol) I am enjoying this story so much Alexis.
Also, I'm excited for the ball.
This is a Magical Menagerie Review
Can I admit I sort of wanted Alex and the twins as well? There's something about Fred and George that is just so appealing! But alas, that's not a ship that will sail. Alex is destined for other things. The tie thing - well, there's not charm on the stairs going to the boys' quarters and there had to be some sort of ‘do not disturb' sign. lol
Did you catch the nod to frost roses? It's not a direct link to that one-shot (that story is not part of the CotH verse), more like a little wink.
Ah, Umbridge. I was not expecting her as she was not the DADA professor at the start of this story. Still, it is foreboding to see her there. Also, I have not mentioned this but I love how you have not heavily incorporated Harry into the story, he is there he and his stuff exists, occasionally he and Alex cross paths but it is really nice to see an OC character who is a contemporary to Harry and yet isn't an OC that has been added on Harry's life and dramas with an occasional personal drama for the OC. This is very clearly Alex's story and her drama's and I love that.
I admit that I am starting to wonder why Alex's education is so behind compared to Hogwarts. I don't know is anything more will come of it but it is still an interesting thing you have added in. It makes me ponder just like Umbridge being introduced and her being shuffled away so quickly. I get this feeling you have plans regarding her that or you wanted to acknowledge her existence but despise her so that you are quick to shuffle her away. I cannot blame you if it is the latter but I doubt this. You are far too clever in my opinion. That is something I love about your stores they make me think a little. This is intelligent writing without having the need to grab a pen and paper to keep track or hitting me up with overly high-level reading. It's something I've always loved about your writing the small details and the thought that goes into your work both as a writer and as a reader.
-Magical Menagerie Review
No why would I ever just dispose of Umbridge? She's a wonderful character - to hate. Yes, Dolores has her uses. Be patient! *winks*
As for Harry ... yes, there are many a tale where an OC becomes the fourth wheel in the Golden Trio or takes the place of either Ron or Hermione. That's not Child of the Hunt. Alex's story is her own. Harry is there and so are the important things in his story. Alex's tale simply winds around his much like a serpent coiling around sword.
Now I have to admit my view of the American education system is a bit biased. I homeschooled my kids for a year due to multiple military-related moves in one school year. What I found out was both of my kids greatly benefited from it and ended up ahead of their peers. My daughter, who was in elementary, actually was bored when she returned to public school because she learned nothing new. I've also had the benefit of speaking with extended family members from an older generation who grew up outside of the US. They were appalled when they realized their children were being taught math concepts in school that they themselves learned at a far earlier age. There is something lacking in our education system - something that needs to be fixed. I wanted to reflect this in CotH. So yes, Alex is behind on her studies when compared to her peers at Hogwarts.
Speaking of education, JKR never really talked about anything beyond Hogwarts. The US and UK have universities, but wizards/witches are supposed to know everything they need after just seven years at Hogwarts? That's something else that needs to be addressed, but not here. Alex has her hands full right now with just surviving Transfigurations and Potions.
Finally, I have a love of seeding clues. I may not get to the levels of Robert Jordan (Wheel of Time) or George RR Martin (Game of Thrones), but I am guilty of leaving a number to breadcrumb trails. Makes writing a bit more fun, too, juggling what has already been shown, how much to to reveal and how to let it all come to light naturally. There are times I have to use a tracker, especially when those trails cross over to the other stories.
Anyways, on to the next chapter. Things are a brewing!
Turning Point! Called it! I love it when I can predict a story without the story being too predictable and this is 100% not too predictable. Not to mention I know you and you have some amazing things up your sleeves and I cannot wait to see what you throw my way within the confines of this story and then in the world that you have created on a larger scale. I am amused however that Tonks pushed the apology.
I already can't wait to see what comes next, cause I love this story. I hope Xander gets on the team that was nice of Alex to do him a solid and I also like how the Twins are trying to do Alex a solid and giving her a way to get to Hogsmeade but there is so much for her to do. I know she will achieve it not because of a prediction but because she is that determined and stubborn. I love rooting for a relatable character and Alex certainly in relateable.
Also, the interest in Xander is interesting as well but he does sound attracted based on how you describe him.
Overall, I feel like this chapter was a nice quick breath in after all the intense chapters but I don't think this breather is going to last for long. You have a dap hand at pacing to keep a reader hooked without pushing them over the edge.
A Magical Menagerie Review
And so the other shoe you predicted has dropped! Dumbledore gave them a nice reward, a little bit of a warning and then the Head of Houses took away their Hogsmeade weekends. Yup, even Snape punished his student equally.
Speaking of Snape, Alex and Dumbledore ... ever see a pair of siblings get into a fight and then their parent wades in and forces them to apologize and hug? Yeah, this almost has sort of feeling with Dumbledore as the parent. Minus the hugging, of course. Snape isn't overly fond of anyone interfering with how he handles his students.
Really, though, Alex was pissed off enough about the whole Potions situation that her anger forced her to do her best just to prove Snape wrong. And it worked. There's no denying she has a deft hand in Potions and the determination to push herself. The girl has ambitions! Even the offer to sneak off to Hogsmeade doesn't dissuade her - not if the possibility of getting caught means the possibility of getting thrown out.
Interestingly when I first created this story, Zander did not exist. It was only when I hit this section in my re-writing efforts that Zander strolled on it and promptly started making goo-goo eyes the wrong Gryffindor. Namely Angelina. But yes, he's attractive. A voice like smooth chocolate and skin to match. Alex had to give him the rundown on Hogwarts.
Also note the interaction between Alex, Isolde and Mara, and then Alex and Ian. Interesting, yeah?
Wow, another intense chapter. I admit I have thought about the possibility of the Slytherin Common Room flooding. You did a wonderful job of depicting that event. I also love how you managed the classic Dumbledore moment of people getting called to the office for a severe punishment to only find out that they are being commended/rewarded. I admit I am on pins and needles about what will happen with the meeting with McGonagall for Alex. I have a feeling this is where the ball will drop and punishment will be dolled out. Of course, McGonagall is very strict while Snape will probably go a little easy on his own student.
Other small things that I loved in this chapter is the mention of Aislinn, which of course, is a nod to Intemtesta Nox (another excellent read of yours) I seriously adore the world you have created. Another small thing that I love is how there was one student for each house that took the blame for all the house events.
I am also picking up on a vibe that this chapter is the shift in the relationship between Alex and Snape. I don't expect it to be a sudden 180 but I feel this might be a turning point and I'm curious how more of that will pan out.
-A Magical Menagerie Review
Who hasn't thought about the Slytherin Common Room getting a little wet? Those marauder muses of your cheered to see it happen, even if it took Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw to see it through and not Gryffindor. Ah, Hogwarts was ripe for a prank war. Even so, Alex played the lone wolf. She didn't join up with the Twins, didn't lead a crew of her own.
When push came to shove, though, Alex's Gryffindor colors really shone. She couldn't stand by and see the Slytherins in real danger, even if it meant getting in Snape's face. Rushing headlong into trouble wasn't the only thing. She also shouldered the responsibility for everything the member of Gryffindors had done. It took courage to stand up and bear that weight. Alex, Ian, Isolde and Mara ... gotta think the Founders would have been proud to see them work together. Their Head of Houses? Probably not so much, at least as far as the prank war itself was concerned.
So you picked up on that little nod to Intempesta Nox? Yay!
*does a happy dance*
Makes you wonder what else Dumbledore might have tucked away on his shelves or hidden in a desk drawer.
Oh, and have I mentioned you have good instincts? Because you do.
So, admittedly, I do not remember being the source of the idea of the note. I remember talking to you and Rumples about how to present the contents of the note without crossing the lines when it comes to what is an isn't allowed on the archive but I honestly don't remember how I helped you come up with the idea. Thank you for the credit though and I'm glad it worked out in the story.
I will say I am amused that an all-out prank war broke out at Hogwarts. It does my marauder muses proud. Just one instigation and everyone else takes it and runs. Very nicely done. I feel bad for the poor teachers though. I also feel bad for Alex being the center of a lot of negative attention. I mean I get it and have been the new kid on the block before I've been the center of negative attention particularly having been a good student.
Still, I am beginning to understand Alexis more and more and why she does the things she does and how she does them so that makes this journey through your story such a treat.
Also, do you play it that Remus can change into wolf form at will outside of the moon? I think that is what I read but I want to be sure that is what I read. That is a particular take that I've known a lot of people to use but is not one I've utilized my self. This is not a bad thing just a point of interest to me is all. Either way, I also love the little nods to the things in your world that I already know about having read some of your other lovely stories.
- A Magical Menagerie Review
So about that note. You mentioned an anime version of Alice in Wonderland and furry ears. From there it went to a headband option and then I got Rumpels involved as a second opinion. So yes, thanks were in order all around. I am grateful for how much you've tolerated all my nattering about this story and your input.
Werewolves - always a fascinating topic. No, in CotH werewolves only turn on the night of the full moon. What happened between Alex and Remus was the wolf that lurks beneath this skin interacted with Alex when she was in wolf form. It communicated via an image of it nipping her on the ear - a form of wolf chastisement. To me Remus and his wolf one ... and yet different. They coexist in the same body, with the wolf being the darker nature of Remus. There are times when they are in conflict and others when they are in harmony, like when Alex is discovered running around the Forest. Neither man nor beast cared for that and so she got an earful from both. :P
Had Remus known her actions would have caused a prank war, perhaps he would have had more to say to her. Ah, but you'll have to see how it all turns out in the next chapter.
I will admit I had been eagerly awaiting and anticipating Alex interacting with the Twins. The whole scene had me grinning. I had a feeling that Alex and the twins would get on swimmingly and my suspicions were correct even if she had trouble trusting them at first.
Overall, this chapter was an absolute delight. I love how Alex is still getting revenge on Snape and I wonder how long it will last. Some of my inner muses highly approve of Alex's revenge on Snape and I think you know who they are.
My memories of book 5 are not great so I can't remember what Harry was talking to Sirius about before Alex showed up but I do remember the conversation. Unless this was a unique conversation not modeled directly off of an old one and simply using lines from the books a little all the same.
I am very curious about the wolf-like creatures and the howls that Alex heard but am 95% positive that musty smell that Alex is vaguely familiar with is very much Remus.
I also like how you are working with Tonk and her brown hair. I am most curious how you handle Remus/Tonk given what happened in Chasing Fireflies and I wonder if Tonk's brown hair has anything to do with Remus. I do like that there are potentially other contributing factors to her hair such as her struggles with teaching DADA.
Also, I forgot to mention last chapter that the disguise ball sounds freaking amazing and will a lot of fun to read if you write it up. So interesting! I love how your mind works!
- A Magical Menagerie Review
Glad to see you liked Alex's interaction with the twins along with the rest of the gang. At some point, it had to happen. Hogwarts will never be the same! :p Of course, Alex's story is her own - it's not necessarily a part of Harry's. So it's not like the Golden Trio is about to become the Golden Quad or whatever.
Oh, curious about the wolf-like creatures? Hmmm ... I think I'll opt to not comment right now. Suffice to say it might be important later. But I will confirm your instincts are very good! Tonk's hair does reflect her mood and things are not optimal right now. Maybe that disguise ball will have things looking up for her. Then again, maybe not. This is Hogwarts. :P
I am loving how Alex is getting some of her revenge and she handled Draco very nicely. I particularly loved the line of how payback is a nasty witch and so is she when crossed. (Sorry trying to keep the review G rated here!) The 'so am I' was my favorite bit of the line too. Very clever.
I also adore the magical colloquialisms such as water off of a Kappa's back. I am always fond of those types of things as I know you are fond of them too. It made me smile and I have to say I feel really bad for Tonks and her lessons. Hopefully, she can liven up her classes.
It is true that when Alex's behavior is laid out she has been going a little above with Snape but she failed to mention to Tonks that he has been trying to invade the privacy of her mind. Honestly, I feel like that is a huge no. I mean I get why Alex doesn't mention it (a pride thing) but that is something I personally would have told someone about. But then again, I'm 100% not a Gryffindor and it seems that they like to suffer in silence and take the hit to their pride. (We see this in Harry).
Also, I can see Alex's Green showing here and there and while she picked Gryffindor it amuses me so. Another fantastic chapter as always.
- A Magical Menagerie Review
They say revenge is a dish best served magically, right? Or was that cold? :P Alex's facing off with Draco was inevitable. Of course once Snape stepped in, Alex just can't help but mouth off at him, either. As for telling Tonks about it, well, Alex has an independent streak a mile wide. Layer pride atop of that. It's just not in her (stubborn) nature.
Speaking of Alex's nature, there are times her Gryffindor colors really shine. But for each of those times, there are others in which her Slytherin side shows. It showed when Alex was confronted with either leaving her mother during the attack, or defending her mother. It was equally on display when Alex opted not to McGonagall's misunderstanding of her wolf transformation. Little wonder the Sorting Hat gave the choice between those two Houses. Which reminds me, Alex didn't even let the Hat invade her mind.
Finally, magical colloquialisms are so much fun to discover and to create. I think they add a wonderful flavor to a story.
Oh, my wow! This chapter was exceptionally intense. I was figuratively sitting on the edge of my seat as my eyes grazed one line after the other. Part of me feels like there is more hate between Alex and Snape than there is between Harry and Snape and that is saying something.
I am really gutted and bothered by the fact that Snape tried to use Leginimins on Alex at least that is what I think you were indicating when you mentioned the cold in Alex's mind and she called him a colorful word which was very very deserved.
Also, can Hermione take a chill pill? I admit I am not a huge fan of Hermione in the way other people are. Nothing against those that ship Hermione with all manner of different characters, I am generally not a Hermione shipper of any sort but here, from Alex's perspective, she was downright insufferable in my opinion.
I have to say, I had a feeling that if Alex got potions which I was surprised that she did, that it would be 5th-year potions I don't know why or how I had that feeling but I did. Also, Snape used an unfair question to get the upper hand - he knows full well that he won't be teaching Amortentia in 5th year - that is solidly a 6th-year point, both at AMA and Hogwarts. (Yes, I do pay attention to Hogwarts curriculum.)
By the way, I loved the crappy divination jokes, I'm a sucker for crappy jokes and I also loved that you pointed out how Alex walked into Hogwarts in Slytherin colors, it was my first thought when you described the outfit in earlier chapters.
While there were no new mysteries presented in this chapter for me to add to my pile of questions, you certainly ramped up the tension to ensure I click next chapter (not that there is a button for that per-say).
Magical Menagerie Review of course.
You've reached one of my favorite chapters: Alex vs Snape. If he thought Harry or James was arrogant, they have nothing on Alex when she walks in the door to his classroom and realizes they've put her back a year. Snape, on the other hand, well he's had a lot on his plate. You say it's almost like there's more hate between them than with Snape and Harry. I wouldn't say more hate, just different.
Remember this all takes place just months after the Goblet of Fire. A student was killed and a Death Eater openly roamed Hogwarts in disguise without Snape's knowledge. The Dark Lord is back and he's not just some vague form stuck on the back of someone's head. He's in his own body and he darn well nearly killed Lily's son. Snape has a lot on his mind by the time Alex enters the picture. Voldemort has questioned his followers loyalty, including Severus, and some of the other notorious Death Eaters have broken out of Azkaban. Add to this that the Order has been reborn and this means Snape has likely had to interact with Sirius, his most favorite Gryffindor ... not. So when Alex stands with her hands on her hips and dares to challenge, Snape is having none of it and particularly not after she declined to join Slytherin. But even as Snape was questioning her, note that he was testing to see her how far her knowledge extended.
As for Hermione, she's a freshly minted Prefect faced with a student older than her that has no clue about how things work at Hogwarts. Yeah, she's a bit insufferable and Alex lets her have it.
So you noticed Alex's clothes and how they didn't match the House she selected. Poor girl didn't realize how much of a slap to the face that was to the Slytherins when she picked the Lions.
Having transfered schools in the past is is always a bit unnerving in my opinion, but Alex handled it like a pro. Honestly color me impressed but she is totall on the money that when on then ice be sure to make it look good.
So sneaky Alexis in getting into Transfiguration. Hopefully her lies will not find her out! Now the question remains how she is going to get into Potions. Particularly when Snape is super stubborn. This will be interesting to see. I can't wait for the first interaction with Snape and I am looking forward to seeing Tonks as a prifessor and better meeting Harry and or Draco in the future. There are so many tantalizing things dangling here! I am looking forward to reading more of your story when I get the chance. I am sorry it has taken me so long to read your wonderful work of art lovely.
Transferring to a new school can be daunting - but to walk down that aisle in front of everyone called on every bit of her courage, real and false. Alex doesn't like to look weak. Having been abandoned by her mother years before has taught her to stand on her own or at least pretend she can.
And Alex didn't lie to McGonagall! She merely failed to correct McGonagall's wrong assumption. It's a fine distinction that I think perhaps the Slytherin Head of House might have appreciated ... had Alex opted to become a Slytherin.
Onto her first real day at Hogwarts and all the fun that entails!
Okay, so mad respect, your endnotes are wonderful in how you mean no respect to the Tsalagi tribe. Mad props for that!
How you handled wolf dynamics here in this chapter was really good and very interesting. I would never think that a non-werewolf wolf would be impacted by those polotics. So interesting and yet well written. Also, I loce the reference/nod you just made to chasing fireflies. Not only is your world rich with new canon and new magic but it is rich unto itself. I have my own world canon and I have not crossed it as much as you have already.
I have said it many times but I am still so intrigued by you world and story. It is additionally interesting that you are placing Tonks as the DADA professor. Onto the next chapter? I think yes! Still reviewing for Magical Menagerie, fyi.
Oh, my endnotes. I love endnotes. They allow me room to not only give credit where it's due (like where the chapter titles come from - they're all song based), but also to have a little conversation with the reader. It's like pulling back the curtain a little.
Yay, you recognized the nod to Chasing Fireflies! That story actually happens just a few days before Alex's story here. You'll find that there are links sprinkled here and there to the stories that make up the CotH-verse. It does take some finagling, though, to keep everything straight. One day I'll have to let you see my crazy spreadsheet that has all OotP events listed by day, the corresponding CotH events as well as CF events. All color-coded. I'm such a spreadsheet geek!
Werewolves vs wolves. Well, you know who I think would win that fight. Little wonder Alex acknowledges Remus' wolf as alpha. Just know this won't be the only time this dynamic appears.
Finally, Tonks as professor. It makes sense. She's young enough to be relatable to, she's a Metamorphmagus and she's a fully trained Auror. Honestly, she's better qualified that some of the other people Dumbledore has brought in to teach DADA.
Can't wait to see what you think of Alex's Sorting.
Alexis, seriously you set a good story like I can't even right now. So much mystery and you know how much I love mystery. I will be back I promise and I hope it won't take me as long to get back to this story like it did from the time I first read the prologue. It actually took me a moment to remember it in better detail when it was referenced in the story. Also, I love that you used a prologue properly rather than it being a semi-short first chapter. <3
I love the interaction between Remus and Sirius and I am looking forward to when Alex meets more people from the Order. I know you have a big plot in store as we've talked briefly about things and also not to mention I've read your other stories that belong in this universe as well. I feel like all of that gives me an added understanding of your world here.
So many layers and levels, you, my love, are a genius and I can't wait to read more! As before a magical menagerie review.
The first real interaction between Alex and canon characters was daunting for me. In particular, I love Remus and was worried I wouldn't be able to capture him or Sirius very well. I also had to balance it with what Alex was feeling after having seen her mom killed, her school destroyed and being on the run. There's a moment she's tied up and they ask her for proof and Alex's response is a bit sassy.
But yes, the mysteries will continue. There's a lot to explore and for Alex to discover.
Alexis, I love how you were pretty swift to move into action and you have done a wonderful job of making people invested in your characters and what happens to them. This was a very powerful chapter and there are so many questions that are left unanswered. I am so glad and excited that there are more chapters to read so I might gradually start finding out what some of those answers are.
Also, I love Alex's bracelet and I know you wen with the actual Cherokee for the word wolf but it fits so nicely and to me is a fun word to say waya. I love how you weave in your own special brand of magic into an already existing world and yet it is tied in such a lovely way to other mythos and concepts. Brilliant my fine friend, brilliant.
I am looking forward to the next chapter. Again this is a Magical Menagerie review.
And so the action begins. The previous chapter set things up and now the crapstorm has hit. Although you only get to see Alex's mom in this chapter, the ripples from her actions are felt for a long time. Hope you caught all the little clues sowed in this chapter. Some things are going to keep popping up.
As for the magic, I really wanted to do something different. I couldn't imagine that the vast majority of human magic was spells with Latin-based incantations. There's actually a graphic in my writer's journal that details a little more of how things overlap between the different systems of magic. You might want to take a peek.
Alexis, I have realized that there has been a grievous injustice in this world and that is the fact that I have not properly sat down to read your massive project the one that brought you back to fanfiction and caused us to meet. I am here now rectifying that gross oversight on my part.
Just so you know I am in love with this story already. I adore how you drop little details that just help your world become more real and magical, I also love that you dig in and do research to find and make things perfect. Your attention to detail is remarkable.
I admit I am curious what is to happen in the coming chapters, as I have heard you talk about various things in this story without knowing the full context of all of it on my part. While I have never been fond of American magical schools and I won't get started on my issues with JKR's fanfiction site aka Pottermore, you have a tone and feel that makes me love this school and want to run around playing in it. But that is something you are particularly good at lovely, weaving magic.
If you haven't guessed, yes this is a Magical Menagerie Review.
Hey, don't beat yourself up. You've had a full plate to contend with between writing fanfic and OF. Plus you alway put up with to my oddball questions about this tale, so it's all good.
Now you know me - research is often addicting and I've had years to mull over certain aspects of the story. Some things like how a US magical school might differ just as our regular school differ than those is the UK - I thought a lot about that before JKR ever revealed Ilvermorny. So a system that looks a lot like a university, set on an island instead of in a mountainous region and with bear statutes you greet as you enter.
I'm glad you enjoyed the visit to AMA. A shame it will be all too brief.
Hi, Alex. After a long time, I came back to your Alex. It is quite unexpected.
1. She seems that she will be the best friend with Harry, both know the worst part of the Death Eaters. They have similarity each other.
2. Snape's way of treating Alex is very harsh just like he treated Harry in his Potions class. My theory, he might be her genetic father is going to crumble down. Or am I right? If he finds out the truth, will he change his attitude in the future?
The episode, walkman radio divination sounds interesting. If the theory is right, the first chapter's incident coincided with the title of music she heard... so spooky. What the centaur professor told Alex sounds mysterious.
So many frustrated things happened around Alex. I feel for her.
At least, she could feel proud of her wolf form in McGonagall's class, in spite of her cheating. I don't know if it will turn lucky or not for Alex. Hermione's warning doesn't threaten Alex? Maybe not. She is looking forward to meeting them...oh wait, the werewolves are dangerous. They are not the wolves.
I haven't had the pleasure of exploring your author's page yet but I'm very happy to be changing that with this holiday gifting event!
So the name of the story is so interesting, it creates an strong image in my mind of how this story is going to be. I think lots of action/mystery/adventure and some darkness so I'm looking forward to find out if it's going to be as vivid and interesting as the title suggests (I'm sure it will be more so!).
Your imagery in this whole chapter is stunning, I love the first section which is so intense and emotional but cuts away to something very normal, breaks up the intensity of the scene but it's so attention grabbing. I thought the contrast worked really nicely. I have a ton of questions after this chapter which is such a good thing! I just wonder how the information we are given in this chapter are going to shape future chapters.
I think we get to know a lot about your OC, Alex. I've been clever how you've done it though as you've not information dump any of it. It's all shown the way she narrators the piece, she seems very logical, practical and strong. She has a good attention to details, it is all done through actions and her way of seeing things. She is quite an impressive character considering she is only sixteen. She knows how to look after herself considering the scene with blind lady and the dog. I thought that her thought process was good and very clear. She has a good developed personality already so it's really great to see that type of things in the first chapter. It'll be interesting to see how you've flesh her out more in future chapters.
Just an interesting and promising start to this story!
Poor Alex. Snape doesn't really work to become a more likeable character, does he? I'm sorry that Alex feels so sad on the beginning of her stay at Hogwarts. After all that happened with her mom and AMA, she didn't deserve this. Still I like how you portrayed her strength in trying to keep it together until she was alone. Shows that she's strong enough to take it, even if it's bad enough that she's going through it, most of all alone.
I forgot to mention this in my last review, but why does Snape keep trying to read her mind? Is it just natural curiosity or does he already suspect something? And Alex not letting him, where did she learn occlumency? I'm guessing she knows, since Snape keeps trying and not succeding.
Aaand never mind, her stepfather taught her. But why? Was there a hidden purpose behind it or was it just something else he taught her from his beliefs and customs? I hope we'll learn more about it.
Ooh and I'm so down to see if Snape is tricked by Alex and what she concoted! Alex is kind of incredible, ins't she? So much talent...
I was wandering when Alex and Draco would meet, and it went as expected. I love Draco, he's one of my favorite characters, but damn those first years of his... I'm guessing he and Alex will butt heads often.
I look forward to see how Tonks will arrange her own version of the Disguise Dance and the Duelling Match. Both of those events sound pretty interesting, it would probably lift Alex's spirits and bring more drama to the story.
Great chapter, Alexis. Can't wait to continue reading this ^^
Poor Alex. AMA and Hogwarts couldn't be more different. They're so contrasting, it's only normal that she'd miss her home. But it's good that she's seeing this as a new beginning.
I'm guessing the pictures of animals in the journals were, and are, foreshadowing. As well as the songs again, and Alex's feeling about Snape. Nice touch.
And I can totally relate to Alex when she says she isn't looking forward to Potions. I had a teacher I hated, and who in turn hated pretty much every student, and that made me load a subject I was absolutely fascinated with. I still like it, but having a bad teacher really can change things up. Let's see how Alex will do.
I would have never guessed that Alex wouldn't get along, at least for now, with Hermione. Or at least, it just hadn't crossed my mind because it makes a little sense, given who Alex is and what her personality is like. I'm really enjoying reading Hermione telling someone else off, for a change lol
I wonder who the wolf in the forest is. If it's real, then what does it mean? Or might it be an omen? Hmm...
Oh and how will her talk with Harry go? Looking forward to finding out.
I'm really enjoying the story so far, Alexis! Can't wait to continue it.