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27 Jan 2017

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Actions Speak Louder than Words by Veritaserum27

Rated: Mature Audiences • 115 Reviews starstarstarstarhalf-star Past Featured Story

Bravery comes in many different forms, even for a Ravenclaw like Rose.

Reviewer: nott theodore Signed
Date: 16 Dec 2017 Story: Chapter: Chapter 17: Beloved

When Scorpius woke up and Rose was nowhere to be found at the beginning of this chapter, I was so worried.  Honestly, I think I'm starting to get paranoid that even the corners of Grimmauld Place hide an unknown threat.  This is what you're doing to me with this story, Beth.


I was glad that Scorpius got the Patronus back from Albus to let him know that they were both okay, but I thought you did a great job of lacing Scorpius's anxiety throughout the first scenes of the chapter so that it infected us, as well, and we only really felt safe again once we knew where Rose was.


So Scorpius doesn't think that Samara doesn't seem like the right fit for James?  I may be taking this as confirmation of my theory that she's somehow involved.


Rose and Scorpius finally told each other that they love each other!  Yay!  It was so cute to see that, and then... I mean, I can understand why Rose had to tell Scorpius about it, so that there wasn't anything between them going forward, but at the same time I know why it had that effect on Scorpius.


The forest scene was so unexpected but I really enjoyed it - the last person I thought that Scorpius would see there would be Ron.  I liked the fact we got an insight into how fiercely protective he is of his daughter, but also that maybe he's starting to understand Scorpius a bit better, when Scorpius asks if his dad had been the one to torture Hermione.  I found that scene really interesting and kind of heart-warming.  I'm actually really glad that Ron didn't drag out his anger over a longer period, so that he's here for Rose - it shows that he's learnt and grown a lot since we saw him when he was younger.


Sian :)

Reviewer: nott theodore Signed
Date: 16 Dec 2017 Story: Chapter: Chapter 18: Beautiful

I'm really enjoying the easy, effortless friendship between Scorpius and Albus.  I know that Scorpius is fairly close to James, too, having lived with him for a while, but Scorpius and Albus are more like brothers in some ways.  They don't feel the need to hide who they are around each other, and their interactions are always so easy and comfortable.


Also, your Albus is a really different characterisation of him to any of the others that I've read - much more openly affectionate and happy in his relationship than we often see.  He doesn't seem to be suffering with the same insecurities that most portrayals of Albus do, and I really like reading your version.


I loved reading the scene that followed - I don't really know what to say about it, except that you managed to convey how much love and deep affection there really is between Scorpius and Rose.  It was slow and soft and gentle, and yet at the same time deeply passionate.  I thought that the point that Rose saw Scorpius's scar with the eyes of a lover, rather than a Healer, was particularly poignant.


That last line was wonderful - it captured so much in so few words; though Rose has said that they have a problem not talking in the past, here it seems that they've opened up enough to each other that they don't always need the words to communicate how they feel, and that was such a wonderful insight into their relationship.


Sian :)

Reviewer: nott theodore Signed
Date: 16 Dec 2017 Story: Chapter: Chapter 13: Breakdown

Wow - what a chapter!  One of my favourite things about this story so far is that there's always something fascinating and unpredictable happening.


I really liked the way that you started off this chapter with Rose in the middle of her therapy session.  I'm so glad that she's attending them, and that she was able to make enough progress today to show Ruth her scars.  I like the way we can see her character developing already, and moving forward.  I'm actually really proud of her.


The ancient Greengrass healing magic has me really curious - I wonder if it's something to do with loving the people that you use it on?


I don't know if this is what you intended, but I don't think I really trust Ruth.  I mean, the glint of interest in her eyes when Rose told her about the healing magic, and then the fact that there's an emergency and she just walks away and goes on holiday (I mean, she's entitled to a holiday, but so few medical staff actually do that or get the chance to do it if there's a major incident)... I don't know.  I'm just suspicious.  What if she's working with Stannous??


The incident was so unexpected and so stressful - I thought you conveyed that sense of panic and tension brilliantly.  Who on earth tries to mash together the Knight Bus, Apparition and Portkeys?  The description of Rose's first patient dying was heartbreaking, and I really felt how devastated she was not to be able to save her.  But the others are right - she saved lives by working out that they'd splinched internally.


The scene with Scorpius was so cute - they take so much comfort from each other, and I'm pleased that Rose feels better when she's close to him.  Also that they're starting to feel their way into the relationship more and that they're starting to figure out what the other really wants from it.  I'm apprehensive about Rose going out, but I hope it goes well and she can let her hair down for once!


Sian :)

Reviewer: nott theodore Signed
Date: 16 Dec 2017 Story: Chapter: Chapter 14: Breakout



You couldn't let poor Rose have one nice evening out, could you, Beth?  Honestly, it's like you ENJOY torturing her or something.  *shakes head*


I was so happy at the start of this chapter, seeing how relaxed and calm Rose was in the company of Scorpius and then all of her friends and family.  It was so sweet to see her laughing and joking with them, just like a normal twenty year old, rather than someone who's being stalked and attacked almost as much as Harry was growing up.  I really loved the glimpses we got into the characters like Fred and Lily who we haven't seen yet, and Rose's relationship with them.  Even the way we got a brief insight into her relationship with Hugo was interesting (I like the idea of him as a mini Professor Longbottom!).


I'm kind of suspicious of Samara.  And Astatine.  Pretty much everyone who isn't Rose, Scorpius and Al at the moment.


Then the change in the end of this chapter - it was so dramatic and so scary!  I thought you did a wonderful job of interrupting the happy scene for the Death Eater attack, although it was terrifying and I'm so sad that Rose can't have one evening out without something happening.


I was really glad that Albus and Scorpius were there, and the Aurors came quickly to help - but even so, it was so terrifying to think that there were Death Eaters in the pub, attacking people to get at someone.  I don't know whether it was Rose or Lily they were trying to reach at the end of the chapter, since either of them could be called Red, and could be a viable target for Death Eaters - it just depends if the Death Eaters are working for Stannous.  Is it bad that I kind of hope they are because we don't really need two lots of attackers to deal with?


I really hope that Rose managed to get Lily away safely and that everyone in the pub was alright, but I'm not optimistic right now...


Sian :)

Reviewer: nott theodore Signed
Date: 16 Dec 2017 Story: Chapter: Chapter 15: Breakable

I thought that you judged the pacing of this chapter really well - you captured the frustration of waiting for news brilliantly, and I felt on edge throughout the whole time I was reading it as I waited to find out to what had happened to everyone at the pub.


I was glad that Rose managed to get Lily out of there safely, and I think that Ginny was actually one of the best possible people for her to go to.  On top of being married (and now mother) to an Auror, she was stuck at Hogwarts through the war and had to do what she could and just hope that Harry and Ron and Hermione were okay.  She really understands how it feels, and I think that Rose needed someone like that at this point.


Rose's frustration is understandable, and seeing her take it out on the dummies in the basement was great - I just hope that she will be able to react if she's under attack again, but we won't know until that happens (and I say until because I'm pretty sure, given this story so far, it will happen again).  


I found it interesting that Rose didn't know her mum had been tortured, but it makes a lot of sense - I mean, why would you share something like that with your children?  You try and protect them more than anything.  But I was glad to see Hermione there, and Rose running to her <3


And Scorpius made it back!  I think Rose not asking how the others were when she saw he was hurt is a sign of how much he means to her - but I really hope that the others are going to be alright as well.  I love the idea of Fred "Muggle duelling" a Death Eater when he lost his wand - the Weasleys are not a bunch to give in easily.  I'm looking forward to finding out the debrief in the next chapter!


Sian :)

Reviewer: nott theodore Signed
Date: 16 Dec 2017 Story: Chapter: Chapter 16: Breakages

I enjoyed this chapter so much!  I was already really looking forward to the debriefing, so that we could find out if the Aurors knew any more than what Rose had done, but even for a debrief this was a very intense read, and I left the chapter with so many more questions.


I loved seeing Rose in her element here - we've only seen her healing people from her own perspective before, when she's focused on trying to get everything done right, and working as quickly as possible.  The contrast between her own point of view on it and how others see her when she's working was really interesting - and I loved seeing her stand up to the Aurors and defend her right to be there.


Scorpius's little comments about how it wasn't going to turn out well for him, and that Albus was definitely Rose's favourite, made me laugh - it lightened the darkness and intensity of the last couple of chapters really well.


Ron was simmering all the way through this meeting, and I think that his final explosion was inevitable.  Still, I didn't expect him to be quite so vehement and furious - especially with the way that he was so hurtful to Rose.  You could practically see the sparks of anger flying in the room during that scene, and I thought you wrote it really well.  I was glad to see that Harry was so firm but fair with him, too, however difficult it was.


Having said that, even though Ron seemed rude and completely unreasonable in Harry's office, I loved the glimpse that we got to see into his reasoning behind his reaction, and the way that the torture at Malfoy Manor had affected Hermione so badly - I don't think I've ever seen that aftermath properly described before.  I just hope that the conversation at his house goes okay (I want to know what they say!) and that Rose is going to be alright.  Or at least have a couple of chapters' break...


Sian :)

Reviewer: nott theodore Signed
Date: 16 Dec 2017 Story: Chapter: Chapter 12: Breakthrough

Hi, Beth!  I'm back to continue with more of this wonderful story :D


This was such a fascinating chapter - I really liked the way that we got to see the characters here voicing all of the questions that I've been asking myself (and you, in past reviews).  It felt like a validation, almost, that we're on the right track as the characters - and yet at the same time, it's almost incredibly frustrating that we're stuck with as little information about the reasons behind things as they are.


I'm glad that Harry has taken the investigation seriously, and that he's got so many people working on the case.  It's unusual that he'd appoint three people so close to Rose to work on it, and yet at the same time it makes sense, since they're trying to keep this as quiet as possible - and away from Ron.  It was a good move on Harry's part to put people who don't know Rose that well in the team, though, because as we saw here they're getting a more impartial and rational view from them.


I liked the way that you showed how the return of Stannous is really taking its toll on Dom and Albus here - even though they're doing so well to hide it around Rose.  And it was so interesting to see that they just thought Rose had been kidnapped after Hogwarts, and were happy to have her back, so didn't ask questions.


The fact that Stannous managed to fake all of his credentials and get the job at Hogwarts - even after all the AWFUL teachers they've had - is scary.  Honestly, you'd think that they'd be more careful by now.  But it also felt so calculated and planned when we realised that.


The questions are so interesting, and I'm looking forward to hopefully finding out more!


Sian :)

Reviewer: nott theodore Signed
Date: 11 Dec 2017 Story: Chapter: Chapter 1: Broken

Beth! I think I read the first chapter of this a while ago on HPFF, and a couple of out of order chapters during CTF, so I'm glad that I got the chance to come back and start this properly now.


I can't really believe that this is the first chapter you wrote of your first fanfic - I'm so impressed with how well put together it is, and the way that you tease us into the story and introduce us to your Rose.  There's just enough information in this chapter to make me feel like I'm already getting to know Rose as a character, and yet there's still so much more to learn, and I'm certainly asking plenty of questions at this point.


Your portrayal of Rose is fascinating.  I've read a lot of fanfiction and can't remember ever reading one which opens with a Rose Weasley who's suffering quite like this - the anxiety and PTSD (?) which come across in this chapter are really unusual and you've written them very well.  I have a lot of questions about what exactly it was that caused a lot of these things for Rose - I'm guessing a lot, if not all, of it is to do with whatever happened ten minutes after that photo was taken - and I'm looking forward to finding out more about that aspect of this.


Actually, I think that one of my favourite things about your portrayal of her with these issues was just the matter-of-fact way that she dealt with them - the mantra and routine that she repeats throughout the chapter, emphasising it more each time to insist to herself that she achieves it - it was really effective in showing how she's used to living like this, and so many people actually do have to live like this.


I thought you did a great job of introducing us to some of the most important people in Rose's life, too, but in a natural way - we learn a bit about Dom when she bangs on the door to hurry Rose up, and about Rose's friends and her time at Hogwarts with the photo which triggers the memories.  It was a clever way of weaving that information into the story without it feeling like you were dumping it on us, and I'm so intrigued to meet the people we've seen a glimpse of here.


I thought this was a great first chapter, and I loved the intensity of Rose's narrative, balanced with the humour at the end with James insisting the Sorting Hat had been drinking when it sorted Rose and the others into Ravenclaw.


Sian :)

Reviewer: nott theodore Signed
Date: 11 Dec 2017 Story: Chapter: Chapter 2: Bent



I actually really like the idea of James, Albus and Scorpius sharing a flat.  I think most of the stories that I've read have James hating Scorpius for the simple reason that he's a Malfoy, so it was great seeing them getting along here.  Although all three of them definitely seem like very different people - I guess they complement each other in some ways?


So I know we're only in the second chapter of this story, but you're brilliant at capturing the emotions that your characters are feeling and conveying them to the reader.  Even that moment early on in the chapter when Rose started to feel her stomach tighten and the panic trickle in was written in a way that her anxiety was almost tangible - and the fear and intensity that are laced throughout this chapter, and really grow towards the end, come across so well that I ended up feeling quite tense and worried at some points as well.


But I really liked the glimpse into Rose and Scorpius's friendship that we got in this chapter.  I'm not entirely sure whether they've ever been more than friends, or been close to it - it certainly felt like that potential was there - but I really enjoyed reading the two of them together.  They're certainly close and attuned to each other; I liked the way that Scorpius seemed to pick up on the fact that Rose wasn't feeling comfortable and joined her.  He's the only one who can calm her down when she's starting to panic, and it seems like she's the only one who can get through to him when he's worked up and getting angry.


Again, the scan of the room that Scorpius and Rose did, laughing and joking with each other about the other people at the party, was a great way for us to learn more about the people in their lives in a really funny way.


The incident at the end, with someone trying to grab hold of Rose, was really intense.  You conveyed that panic so well, and from the reactions of everyone around her, jumping in to protect her, it made me think that there's something more to this than just people being protective in a case of harassment (which is obviously terrible anyway).  And the guy being able to apparate out of a full body bind - that's alarming.  I can't help feeling suspicious that there's something more to this than just a drunken guy...


Sian :)

Reviewer: nott theodore Signed
Date: 11 Dec 2017 Story: Chapter: Chapter 3: Blown Away

Oh my goodness, Beth.  I had NO IDEA that this was coming - I just didn't expect this to be the ending to the chapter at all.  I was enjoying the relative calm that opened this chapter, and then BAM!  You hit us with something like this and now I just want to grab Rose and Scorpius and give them a big hug and not let them go.


The switch in the point of view is something that can often seem jarring, but it worked really well here, especially picking up with Scorpius from where we left off with Rose's narrative.  Scorpius is definitely protective, and cares a lot about being seen to be able to protect people, but I think the flashback that we read in this chapter shows why that is.


Also - eerily familiar?  I knew it!  There's definitely been something between Rose and Scorpius in the past, and I'm so curious to know how close they really were.


I think the anger that we glimpsed in the last chapter felt like it was building up from something, and we definitely got to understand where some of that comes from now.  


Even if Scorpius doesn't get on very well with his parents, I liked the way that we get to see that they're not as strict and oppressive as they're sometimes portrayed in fic.  He's just a typical teenage boy, pushing the boundaries and going against his parents when he doesn't understand their reasoning.  I can see why he'd be frustrated with their attitude to Muggles, but I was glad to see that they never tried to stop him from being friends with Albus.


Him spending time with Mason, who he finds pretty irritating, shows a lot about his character and what he's trying to prove to his parents, I think.


But then - oh my goodness.  The scene that poor Scorpius came back home to, complete chaos and tragedy - I thought you depicted his numbness and shock brilliantly through that scene, and I can understand where his anger and frustration comes from with that in his past.  I have a lot of questions and I'm reading on to find out what happened - especially since it sounded almost like Astoria was expecting something like that to happen...


Sian :)

Reviewer: nott theodore Signed
Date: 11 Dec 2017 Story: Chapter: Chapter 4: Bereft

Well, that chapter summary certainly caught my attention, if nothing else :P


The explanation of what happened to Scorpius's parents at the start of this chapter was so, so heartbreaking.  I could feel the guilt that Scorpius felt radiating from the screen; it was only natural that he was going to start second guessing everything that happened and blaming himself for it, even if he couldn't really have done anything to stop what happened.  


Having said that, I'm really not sure that it actually was a kitchen accident that caused the two of them to die - from what Astoria started saying to Scorpius as he went out in the last chapter, I feel like there's something more to the story that either the Ministry don't know about, or aren't sharing with Scorpius, and I'm curious to find out whether I'm right about that or not.


I loved Daphne marrying a Muggle, and the fact that she'd basically left the wizarding world behind and her husband didn't really understand how to handle magic.  You don't often see magical/Muggle relationships that take place mostly in the Muggle world, so that was interesting.


Scorpius's grief and the fact that he was struggling to process what had happened to his parents came across really strongly in this chapter; any child would struggle to deal with something like this happening, but being isolated from the world that he knows is only going to make it harder.  It was wonderful to see Rose and Albus escape their parents to come to see him and help him feel better - and that he went to stay with the Potters for some of that summer to help him start to feel a little better.  


The ending of the chapter was great, too - it brought us back to the present with a real bump, and shed some light on how Scorpius still feels about Rose, too.


Sian :)

Reviewer: nott theodore Signed
Date: 11 Dec 2017 Story: Chapter: Chapter 5: Besotted

Beth, you're doing such a wonderful job of drip-feeding us the information in this story - every time you answer one of the many questions that I have from reading previous chapters, something that I learn brings up a load more questions and I just want to keep reading to find out the answers.  But this is a wonderful story and definitely deserves some love and reviews, so I'll restrain myself :P


So, I honestly wasn't expecting to find out so early on in this story what actually happened to Rose.  At least, in part - I know there's a lot more to find out because I have no idea what's behind it, but the descriptions of the torture in the cabin were so chilling.  I think what really struck me was the lasting scars that she bears from it, and the fact that she tries so hard to avoid them because they trigger memories of what happened to her in the cabin with Stannous.  I thought that the others around her - at least some of them - would have known what happened, so I'm a bit worried about the way that she's closed herself in a bit and retreated from other people.


So many questions - why?  What for?  Who is Stannous?  Who was the old person?  How did she get away?


It was lovely to see Rose becoming a little more human in this chapter, and letting her walls down a bit around Scorpius.  I feel like there's a lot been built up between them in the past, even though they're the two people who seem to balance each other out and calm each other down, but it was great to find out the reasons behind that and read some of their history.  Scorpius's confession was really sweet to read, but I'm glad that Rose didn't give in to it immediately - there's a lot more to go and I'm looking forward to reading it!


Sian :)

Reviewer: nott theodore Signed
Date: 11 Dec 2017 Story: Chapter: Chapter 6: Bitter

Ah, after some of the heavier and darker events that we've been reading about in the last few chapters, I think this one was really well-placed in the story to give us something a bit lighter and calmer.  Don't get me wrong, there was still plenty to enjoy and lots going on, but it wasn't quite as serious as the deaths of Scorpius's parents and Rose being tortured...


I loved getting to see the dynamic between Albus and Scorpius here in this chapter, and it was so fun to see Albus teasing Scorpius about being in love with Rose, just as any good friend would do.  Somehow I don't think Scorpius's tactic to feign ignorance of what Al is talking about is really going to work.


The days that Rose and Scorpius spent together sounded so lovely and sweet - and even though they're not teenagers, Scorpius is acting a little lovestruck.  The commemoration of his parents' anniversary was poignant, too - and the fact that they went to the Potters, who never forgot it.  I can imagine that Harry would make a point of looking out for Scorpius on that day, regardless of how he felt about Draco.


The details about how Harry overhauled the Auror department in the Ministry when he took over the leadership was fascinating - I can definitely see him working hard to try and create an atmosphere that was more trusting and conducive to people learning and growing in the position.  The mentoring scheme seems like a really good idea, and finding out about the set-up of the Auror department was great.


The duel between Harry and Albus was fascinating to watch, and I thought you built up the tension and intensity in it brilliantly.  I can definitely understand Al's point of view, and the frustrations about not feeling good enough, but seeing it from Scorpius's perspective gives us a more impartial insight and I'm glad he was there to diffuse the situation enough that Al and Harry could talk.  They really are quite similar in some ways, and I'm glad that Harry has realised he needs to praise his son for doing well as well as pushing him.


And Al at the end really made me laugh - I wonder if Scorpius will be brave enough to tell her what he really wants to say :P


Sian :)

Reviewer: nott theodore Signed
Date: 11 Dec 2017 Story: Chapter: Chapter 7: Better

I think that this was a bit of a surprise for me after Al throwing Scorpius under the bus a bit at the end of the last chapter, but it still worked, especially as we got to see Rose reaching that same point in time.  Besides, it made sense since Rose was coming in at a different point and hadn't followed everything that had happened with Al and Scorpius.


I really enjoyed reading about Rose's relationship with her uncle Harry, actually - it was so sweet to see the way that he wanted to take care of her and he was so excited by the idea of a daughter.  Sometimes I can imagine Ron as quite an overbearing father - and we've already seen a glimpse of that, with his attitude towards Scorpius - and so it's very easy to believe that Rose gets on better with Harry, and their closeness is lovely.


The phrase "kindred spirits" always makes me think of Anne of Green Gables and makes me smile so much.


And then in spite of Al's attempts to make Scorpius tell Rose how he feels about her, she can't suppress those Healer instincts and notices his injuries first.  If we were in any doubt about how fierce a fight it had been between Al and Harry, we now find out that he broke his ribs.  Honestly, those two :P


And then the ending - yay, Rose!  I was so proud of her here, and even though it seems like a small step, it's definite progress for her.


Sian :)

Reviewer: nott theodore Signed
Date: 11 Dec 2017 Story: Chapter: Chapter 8: Beseiged



You really, really know how to take your readers on a rollercoaster over the course of one chapter, don't you?  I was so happy at the start of this chapter - Rose had been so brave at the end of the last chapter, and seeing that things had progressed between them so easily was brilliant and heartwarming.  The two of them are so calm and relaxed around each other, and at this point it seems like they're a brilliant fit and so good for each other.  They're just so happy and cute, and it was really lovely to read.


I like the fact that James still manages to inject the humour into the situation, and reminds them of the threat of Uncle Ron.  If only that were the scariest thought of this chapter.


After all of the fluff and cuteness at the start of this chapter, I felt chills running up my spine when Rose woke up and realised what was happening.  Stannous is terrifyingly sinister and creepy - what on earth is he doing there?  How did he get in and how does he know so much about Rose?  How is he still free and what does he want with her?


Oh my god, I can't believe that Stannous was a teacher at Hogwarts.  I mean, I can, because they're not exactly brilliant at hiring sane teachers, but the fact that he then kidnapped her and tortured her for no apparent reason?  And it's even worse because she idolised him and looked up to him so much - and now he's haunting her and she can't get away.


The chaos and panic in that scene was so intense, and I'm so glad that Dom was there and that Scorpius managed to arrive - I just hope that Rose is going to be safe, at least for now...


I was about to go to bed but clearly that isn't happening now, because I have to read on.  Well, work is going to be fun tomorrow - I hope you appreciate this sacrifice for your wonderful story :P


Sian :)

Reviewer: nott theodore Signed
Date: 11 Dec 2017 Story: Chapter: Chapter 9: Bombarda Maxima

Thank goodness that Rose wasn't captured and taken again by Stannous.  I don't by any means think that the danger is over, but even so, finding out that Rose was still at the flat and her friends were around her and looking after her was a real relief after the intensity of the last chapter.  I feel like I can breathe again.


Switching to Scorpius's point of view for this chapter was really effective, because I think we got to see the full impact of the abduction attempt on Rose and how awful she looked to the people around her.  I found it really interesting to see the way that Scorpius just didn't know how to handle it after the fight was over - he was right in that Selenia is great as a Healer and I'm glad she was there to react to the situation and deal with it the right way.


Rose and Scorpius have some brilliant friends around them.  They were so quick to react and I'm really pleased that they're there to care for her.


I didn't think that Rose had actually told anyone what had happened with Stannous in the cabin - and the fact that they seem to know some of it does actually make me wonder why nothing has been done to him since.  But Rose has obviously hidden what he actually did to her, with the curse and the torture, because the shock of the scars was so evident.


Albus and Scorpius lashing out in the forest was so powerful - their emotions felt so raw and real in that moment.


And Scorpius has finally realised how he feels about Rose!  In spite of his affirmations through the chapter, I think that Dom's reminder to him was probably necessary, and I really hope that he's going to live up to all the promises he's managed to make here.


Sian :)

Reviewer: nott theodore Signed
Date: 11 Dec 2017 Story: Chapter: Chapter 10: Back to the Beginning

This was another brilliant chapter - the beginning of it was so intense, still, and you've done a wonderful job of not letting that intensity fall away over the chapters.  The emotion is still so heightened, and I can practically feel the adrenaline that's pumping through Rose and Scorpius's veins as they react to Stannous breaking into the flat.


Rose's reflex reaction to try and protect herself was very believable.  And it was kind of sad to see her at the beginning of this chapter, because after all the progress that's been made through the last few chapters, and how much calmer Scorpius has managed to make Rose, she's slipping back into her coping mechanisms, repeating the routine mantra and trying to retake control when she feels it slipping away from her.


The first scene felt a lot like a flipped version of what we saw earlier with Scorpius, when his parents died and Rose went to him and he was finally able to let out the emotion that he'd been bottling up.  Rose and Scorpius really had to start being honest with each other here, and I think it's good for them - and I love them together.  Scorpius is even managing to hide the anger that's definitely still there.


I'm so, so glad that they told Harry about this - and I hope that his plan of them moving into Grimmauld Place (and thank goodness he realised they all need to be there with her, too) is going to help keep her safe.  And I've realised now that they knew that Rose had been taken to the cabin with Stannous, but not necessarily what had happened to her.  I'm so worried about how this is going to play out...


Sian :)

Reviewer: nott theodore Signed
Date: 11 Dec 2017 Story: Chapter: Chapter 11: Befuddled

Last one before bed, so I'm hoping that this comes out as vaguely coherent...


Ooh, I really liked the way that you switched the points of view within the chapter.  Again, you've managed to craft strong enough voices for both Rose and Scorpius in this story that it didn't feel jarring, and it wasn't difficult to tell who was speaking.  Even when I'm tired :P


I thought you moved through the changes which are happening with the living arrangements really well in this chapter.  It could have been dragging it out a bit to go into minute detail over it, but I liked the fact that you managed to include so much about different character's reactions to the new living arrangements, even if they don't necessarily like or understand it.


I'm so, so glad that Rose is seeing a therapist about what's happened.  It means so much that she's managed to take that step, and honestly I'm so proud of her.  Also, it's really great that you're so frank and open with mental health problems and potential treatments for them in this story, because it's such an important topic to talk about.


Rose and Scorpius dancing around each other in this chapter was kind of frustrating to watch, because they've made so much progress up to now, but they feel like they're going backwards.  I loved the fact that you managed to have the confrontation in this chapter, though, and that they were honest with each other as they're feeling their way into this new relationship and being aware of the other and the special circumstances.  I really enjoyed that, and it bodes well for them in the future - I hope, at least!


Sian :)

If Only in His Dreams by Alexis Black

Rated: All Audiences • 10 Reviews starstarstarstar

Haunting banner by amoretti @ TDA

Twenty-one years. It had been that long since he had found her alone in the courtyard.

Reviewer: nott theodore Signed
Date: 02 May 2017 Story: Chapter: Chapter 1: Chapter 1

Hi Alexis!


I got the chance to read a couple of your stories during our match of Capture the Flag against the Slytherins, and I was really intrigued about your writing, so I thought I'd stop by and check out another of your stories.


I have to confess that I'm not really a Snape fan usually - but I say that, and I don't think that I've actually read a story about him that I haven't enjoyed, so I should probably just give up on saying that, shouldn't I? :P


There was something about this story which struck me as very different and unusual compared to a lot of Snape stories - I think so many of them focus on angst and darkness and heartbreak, but I really enjoyed this because it was a lighter, more nostalgic portrayal of Snape and his feelings for Lily.  I liked the fact that it lacked a lot of the bitterness and resentment that often seems to permeate stories like this, because as a result of that Severus's feelings for Lily were a lot more convincing.


For a moment, the veil between worlds stretched thin until it was merely a pale gossamer curtain that separated the past from the present. 


I loved this line.  Your description throughout this piece was really wonderful, and there were several word choices and pieces of imagery that made me go back and reread them, but this one stood out more than all the others and I think it has to be my favourite.  I loved the imagery with the veil and the way that it ties into motifs already used in the books.


This story was really wonderful - I loved the reflective, wistful narration here and the way you portrayed Severus's feelings for Lily was really sweet.  I'm glad I got the chance to read this story!


Sian :)

The Department by poppunkpadfoot

Rated: Mature Audiences • 34 Reviews starstarstarstarhalf-star Past Featured Story

When tragedy strikes in Sirius Black's life, he decides some changes need to be made - not in his life, but in the Ministry of Magic. He may be just a rookie Auror, but he's certainly persistent, and he's not afraid to make waves.

Thus, the Department of Child Welfare is born.

Third place in StarFeather's Auror's Tale Challenge - Season 2 on HPFT
First place in StarFeather's Auror's Tale Challenge - Season 3 on HPFT
Winner of Best Depiction of Mental Illness/Disability - FROGS 2018.
banner by me

Reviewer: nott theodore Signed
Date: 29 Apr 2017 Story: Chapter: Chapter 1: Chapter 1

Hi Kayla!


Yay, I get to read more of this story!  Or rather, the first chapter of this story, which means I am now perfectly entitled to pester/encourage you for updates.  Be warned.


This was such an intriguing start to the story!  I really liked the way that you lulled us into this false sense of security with the beginning of the chapter, focusing more on the minutiae of Sirius's role as an Auror and everything that that involves.  Then you go and rip out my heart just a bit at the end of the chapter, which I'm going to have to have stern words with you about, thank you very much.


I actually found all of the detail about the Auror department really interesting.  I think there are so many stories which don't actually consider the logistics behind it, and don't go into more detail than their Auror characters storming off around the country to fight dark wizards, but actually it's like a police department or intelligence department, and of course they'd need people to go through all of the information that they're getting hold of to decide what needs to be sifted through in more detail.  So I actually really enjoyed reading about that side of things, because it's fascinating to think of all the different aspects of the job that an Auror might do, and I thought it was a really clever way for you to build up towards the ending for your completely unsuspecting readers.


Poor Sirius, though.  I can't imagine him as someone who would be happy sitting at a desk and sifting through files, when he wants to be out there and fighting the dark wizards all the time.  It makes sense that it would be his job, though, given that he's a newer Auror and hasn't got as much experience, but you did a fantastic job of capturing his frustration with his role and the impatience for something more interesting to come along and happen.


I also loved the little details that you included about the way that Sirius's cubicle was personalised with photos of motorbikes and the other Marauders (Remus? :P), and his characterisation was so great, even down to the moment when he pouts a bit because James isn't paying him the attention he wants.  I can definitely imagine him being the sort of friend who would be a bit annoyed if he didn't get the attention he was hoping for all the time (in the nicest possible way of course, my dear Sirius).


Then the ending!  You really lulled me into this false sense that the first chapter was just going to be an introduction to the story and characters and Sirius's role in the department, but no, you couldn't be nice like that could you??


I've read a lot of fic and I honestly don't think that I can ever remember having read about Sirius's reaction to the news of Regulus's death before.  I know that in the books he seems quite blasé when he talks about it, but I'm sure at the time it was anything but - because even if he believes that his brother is a Death Eater and did the wrong thing entirely, he's still his brother and that can't not hurt.  I really liked the way that the news seemed to come to him so suddenly, in the midst of all the files he's been bored with, and the repetition of the statement, as if he was reading it again to try and make himself believe it, was really effective.


Poor Sirius!  His reaction to this was so believable and I just wanted to reach through the screen and give him a hug.  He really shouldn't have had the news broken to him in that way and I'm hoping that he's going to be alright.  Don't be too mean to the poor guy, Kayla! (And *whispers* write some more, please!)


Sian :)

Author's Response:

Yay, hi Sian!


I'll consider myself warned :') although I'm really not against being pestered/encouraged for updates, and you've been SO encouraging lately, which I really can't thank you enough for <3


Let me tell you, I've definitely been considering all the logistics of the Auror Office and the MoM more broadly, and it is a headache :') But I do think it's very much worth doing in order to make this story work. (So it's really good to hear that it is, in fact, working and I'm not puzzling all this out for no reason, ahahah.)


Poor Sirius indeed! He is DEFINITELY a person who likes to act and not one for sitting around. Yet here he is. Good thing he has the Order or he'd probably lose his mind :')


Do I even need to say how happy compliments about Sirius make me? I feel like you definitely already know <3


I'm always pretty mean to him (idk why, I feel like a jerk :'D @Sirius ily boo) but I'll TRY not to be too mean to him ;)


Thank you for the lovely review Sian, you're the best <3



Reviewer: nott theodore Signed
Date: 05 Dec 2017 Story: Chapter: Chapter 2: Chapter 2

Kayla!  Apparently I haven't stopped by to review this yet even though I beta'ed it??


The way that Sirius felt so distant from the narrative at the beginning of this chapter was really effective in reminding us of the shock that he's experienced in learning about Regulus, and how much it's affected him already.  I thought it was a great way to segue back into the story and the scene with Remus.


I loved the way that you've built up the relationship between the two of them here.  I mean, I'm not surprised, obviously, but I thought you managed to show us in very few words how well they know each other, and what the dynamics are in the relationship.  They both care so much about each other, obviously, and Remus doesn't want Sirius to go rushing to the Order meeting if he's not ready, but it's also good to see the give and take in the way that they've adapted to each other; Remus keeping calm in response to some of the things that Sirius says, and the way Sirius acknowledges that Remus wants to earn his own way.


The Order meeting was interesting to read, and I thought that you managed to show how detached and disconnected Sirius was feeling during that time, like the words were just washing over him.  But the conversation with Dumbledore was great - I loved the way that he understood that Sirius would tell his friends anyway.


Given the fact that we know what Dumbledore asked of people like Snape, I'm not surprised at all that he'd ask this of Sirius, but it's so worrying - I can see him getting into trouble with this very easily, and I feel like Dumbledore could definitely have waited until he was in a better frame of mind to ask him.  Then again, there's a war to be won, I suppose...


Sian :)

Author's Response:



You are really too kind, all of your reviews are just so lovely! Tbh I am a bit surprised with myself for pulling off Wolfstar in this chapter, because really it's my first time writing them in a proper, functioning relationship (aside from in some very quick drabbles). It's been a lot more challenging than I expected :'D


The plan with Sirius is for the Greater Good, Sian!! Why would Dumbledore worry about Sirius's feelings? (/is bitter)


Thank you so much for the review! <3



Reviewer: nott theodore Signed
Date: 05 Dec 2017 Story: Chapter: Chapter 3: Chapter 3

Are you sick of me yet? :P


Sirius sneaking out to avoid talking to Remus is very believable.  Not everyone wants to talk about things when something bad as happened - at least, not right away, and sometimes it's actually easier to deal with something like this by distracting yourself and occupying your mind, rather than wallowing and dwelling on it.  I feel a bit sorry for Remus, but I can definitely understand Sirius's reaction.  To be honest, it's relateable as well as being in character for him.


I love the fact that even when he wants to get away from Remus, his favourite cafe is La Luna :P


I'm intrigued about Tracy Hawthorne - I'm not sure if her name is just mentioned because it's another person that James and Sirius used to know, which shows how far-reaching this war is, or whether she's got more to do with it.  But seriously, who tells their classmates off for talking about their parents a certain way, especially if they don't know them?


I'm SO CURIOUS about whatever James has to say to Sirius.  Honestly.  You did such a great job of dripping that intrigue in throughout the chapter and not letting us forget that James has stumbled across something at work.


I felt kind of sorry for Peter in the scene when he was talking about St. Mungo's?  It must feel so horrible to work there during a period when major incidents are as common as they sound, especially because he probably feels pretty powerless to stop it.  I also liked the way that what he's exposed to in that position affecting his choice later on.


I think Sirius definitely cares about Regulus far more than he lets on, or wants to admit to himself - we can see that when he's trying to get Viola's source from her.  I'm wondering who her source is, but since we know that Regulus did die, it sounds like someone reliable.  Gorham seemed pretty harsh, and not really sympathetic to Sirius's position, but I can understand his attitude when he's trying to run a department that is struggling to cope with the demands of the war.  


I can't wait to carry on to the next chapter!


Sian :)

Author's Response:

I will never be sick of you, Sian! <3


Poor Sirius, he's definitely the type (imo) to not want to talk about things but also to bottle things up to the point of it being unhealthy. :( But even when he's in emotional distress and avoiding Remus, he's still a little bit of a sap, secretly ;) (I'm glad you caught La Luna, hahaha)


LOL I really want to respond to so much of this but I can't without spoiling things ;~; So just let me say thank you very much for the lovely review, and hopefully I'll be able to answer some of your questions in the story soon before I accidentally spoil everything!




Reviewer: nott theodore Signed
Date: 05 Dec 2017 Story: Chapter: Chapter 4: Chapter 4

Ooh my goodness, you gave me chills with that opening scene in this chapter!  Honestly, the image in that was so scary - I had goosebumps as I was reading it.  It was such a brilliant way to open the chapter, because I was pulled straight in, wondering why on earth Sirius had gone back to Grimmauld Place and was expecting he might see his mother.  I realised pretty early that it was a dream, but the image of Regulus standing there was just so gruesome, and I think it'll stay with Sirius for a while.  I loved the way that you actually kind of told Sirius what had happened to Regulus with that dream, but he can't understand it and focuses on the guilt.


I was actually pretty surprised to see Viola turn up at Sirius's desk and offer him the information that she could actually share.  I guess it's because you've done such a wonderful job of recreating the atmosphere of the war, and the tension that just never seems to let up and leaks into private lives as well, but I'm suspicious of EVERYONE in this story.  


Still, I kind of like her more for doing that for Sirius?  But I don't know if I can trust her.  What if she's just trying to trick him into following a certain line, or to get him into trouble?  Argh, so many questions!


Breakfast for tea is an excellent meal choice.  Just saying.


I enjoyed reading the Marauders and Lily spending time together again, but the obvious tension between Sirius and Remus made me so sad.  Sirius is trying so hard to push everyone away and doesn't want to talk about Regulus, but it's not going to make anything better by second-guessing what Remus will say and avoiding him because of it.


Sirius, you're making me sad.


The information about Breckenridge is really interesting - I'm glad that we got to find out what James has been hiding here, and I think he's got a good theory about the Auror and did well to notice.  I'm intrigued about how it's going to be handled, and whether he really is under the Imperius Curse.


You're pacing this so well, and I think you've done a wonderful job of capturing the mystery here - I'm so intrigued about what's coming next, and now I can pester you again!


Sian :)

Author's Response:

Oooh, okay, now that's what I like to hear! I really debated with myself over the dream because, like you say, it actually kind of tells Sirius what really happened to Regulus - but in the end, I thought the imagery was too good to pass up, so here we are.


I wasn't expecting Viola to spark so many questions, but it's kind of exciting that she has! I guess that means I'm being very mysterious, which is fun and also opens up a lot of plot possibilities for me :'D


I don't know why but breakfast is so much better as a meal when it's not breakfast time :') Especially late-night breakfasts!


Please pester away! I need all the pestering I can get tbh, or this darn story is never going to get finished, I swear.


Thank you for the lovely review, Sian! You're the best <3



When I Go Out With You by Dojh167

Rated: Mature Audiences • 161 Reviews starstarstarstarstar Past Featured Story



Dedicated to FireOpal/Epikoinos

2017 Golden Chalice Award Winner: Best Description; Hufflepuff December 2016 Story of the Month

Inspired by You Don't Own Me by Lesley Gore for toomanycurls' challenge | Banner by .amaris

I'm young and I love to be young
I'm free and I love to be free
To live my life the way I want
To say and do whatever I please

- A Hannah Abbott Story -


Reviewer: nott theodore Signed
Date: 13 May 2017 Story: Chapter: Chapter 1: Fools Rush In

Sam!  I've been meaning to read this story for the longest time, because I love your writing, and now that it's been nominated for Best Novel I don't really have an excuse not to read it, do I?


This was only a short chapter but it's such a great start to your novel, and I've already been grabbed by this story and want to know more.  I loved the way that you opened this so simply - with the greetings, two names that felt like they held so much more meaning than that, almost as if they were questions without being questions.  I don't know how to explain it properly but it was really compelling.


The description in this piece was so lovely, too.  There was this really light, gentle feeling to the imagery that you used but again, it felt like it wasn't actually as light as it seemed with the tensions that are underlying here - I'm so intrigued about the history between the two of them.  Why haven't they seen each other for five years?  What happened between them?  So many questions!


I'm so impressed by the way that you managed to capture the tension between Susan and Hannah in so few words.  It was brilliant to see the way that their reunion sparked something more so quickly.  Just the way that catching each others' eyes and the briefest touch seems to be enough to kindle something more there, and I'm so intrigued to see more of them and see the way that you develop this!


Sian :)

Author's Response:

Sian! I am so glad you finally checked this story out! =D


I was actually really surprised to see this story nominated for Best Novel, as it is so short! All of the chapters are about this length, so when it’s complete it will be in the Novellete category. Still, I am super flattered that so many people wanted to nominate and vote for it!


My way of explaining the simplicity of the opening would be to say that some moments are so intensely charged with emotion that they can’t fully be described, and I find that sometimes not trying to describe it has the most accurate effect.


Since the chapters are so short and focused on action over backstory, you won’t get a ton of context, so if you want context - I think they haven’t seen each other since school for the same reason a lot of people don’t. They may have gotten along great at the time, but as with a lot of friends after high school and college, between time and distance you can forget to stay in touch. You’ll also get a bit of a subtle clue about why they weren’t closer in chapter two.



Reviewer: nott theodore Signed
Date: 19 Dec 2017 Story: Chapter: Chapter 4: You Didn't Look 'Round

Sam Sam Sam HELLOOOO!!!


So. When I was reading the last chapter between Ernie and Hannah, they were really cute together, but I have to admit that I had a Feeling about Ernie. Specifically, a Bad Feeling. And it turns out that I was right with that – somehow I have continued to like Ernie as little in this story as I have in almost every other fan fiction that I’ve read with him :P


Anyway, you did a great job of continuing the sweet, fluffy relationship that you captured in the second chapter of this story, and then of course shattering that completely by the end of this chapter.  Because why would you be nice to our sweet darling Hannah?


Mean Sam.  (Just saying.)


Even though they were sweet and fluffy at the start of the chapter, I did get the impression that this relationship is pretty shallow - maybe just that they've been together for so long that it's more of a habit than anything else.  People change a lot over the years and it feels like they've not really caught up with that?


Anyway.  Ernie.  What an unmentionable word.  I was annoyed at him as soon as he dismissed Hannah's mention of polyamory, but then even more so at the end of the chapter.  Because what sort of person dismisses the concept of polyamory - which is honest and open - as if their partner knows nothing at all, and then goes on cheats on her behind her back?




You captured Hannah's feelings so well in this chapter, the way that her whole world was shattering around her and Ernie hadn't even realised it.  I just want to give her a hug - but I hope at least that she'll lose Ernie from her life now and be able to move on to better things for that.


Sian :)