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Reviews by Mind Games

Through A Hero's Eyes by Eponine

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: Neville Longbottom lived almost his whole life with his Grandmother. He knows who is responsible for the insanity of his parents. But if he has a chance for revenge, will he take it? Neville's story, set in sixth year. Note: This story has been picked up again.
Reviewer: Mind Games Signed
Date: 02/11/07 Title: Chapter 1: Reunions

Great opening chapter, Eponine. The characterisation of Neville was great right from the beginning. I could definitely see him belittling himself like that. He just can’t believe he fought bravely and greatly at the Department of Mysteries. Instead he has to beat himself up over not protecting someone from an injury and breaking his father’s wand. Poor Neville! You seem to capture Neville’s awkward personality all throughout the story, while still keeping him in character.

I like the atmosphere you created right from the beginning with Neville remembering the events from the end of the previous year, and just sitting alone in his room pondering them all. That scene just seemed to flow well and really drew me into the story. It was a nice way to start off.

I thought the song Neville sang to his mother was very sweet! I love the characterisations you show between Alice and Neville. Neville is really great with Alice. He just seems so calm and patient and happy to be spending time with his mother, even though the situation must be strange and sort of uncomfortable for him. You write the two so well together. I really hope we get to read more scenes with Neville and his mother. The chocolate frog card was also a nice touch, and I laughed trying to picture Dumbledore squeezing into that small frame.

The healer nodded, and made her way over to Frank, who was now ripping up a picture of Gilderoy Lockhart.

I found this line very amusing! Nice touch of humour there. =)

When you wrote the Diagon Alley scenes, I noticed so many great details. You weaved them in well, especially as Neville was walking to Flourish and Blott’s. I felt like I was walking down the cobble stoned road with him. You also have a nice amount of description throughout the rest of the story. Not too much, but enough to give us a nice vision of the scene you’re writing.

I do have some constructive criticism, and it gets a little nitpicky. I’m sure you’re better with this sort of thing now, but I thought I would point out some of the small mistakes I caught…

His eyes were stinging with warm tears now as he blinked the furiously away.

I’m assuming you meant ‘His eyes were stinging with warm tears now as he blinked them furiously away’.

Neville wasn’t as stupid as everybody thought he was; he didn’t have to do well on divination to know when something was going on.

‘Divination’ should be capitalised.

Neville sighed, as his father shook his head at nothing and turned back to look out the window, watching a bird flutter by intently.

I believe the comma after ‘sighed’ is redundant.

“I’ll see you later, dad.” Neville said, patting his father’s hand awkwardly.

‘Dad’ needs to be capitalised and there should be a comma instead of a period after it. This mistake occurs several times throughout the story. You also forgot to capitalise ‘Mum’ in a few places.

She seemed to recognize him, much more than Frank at least.

‘Recognize’ should be ‘recognise’. This is spelled wrong more than once in the story. You also spelled ‘realize’ incorrectly. I would advise setting your word processor to U.K. English to catch American spelling.

“Mum, its okay…”

An apostrophe is needed in ‘its’.

“Well, it took you long enough.” She snapped, the vulture on her hat wobbling dangerously.

Once again, that should be a comma instead of a period. This needs to be changed in several places throughout the story. ‘She’ should be lowercased. And the sentence seemed a little harsh for Augusta. Toning it down might be a good idea. I did like how you included the vulture on her hat. That shows how you paid attention to the details of the books and added them into your story.

His patients running low,

‘Patients’ should be ‘patience’.

Neville turned and walked slowly passed the many shelves, searching for the Herbology section.

‘Passed’ should be ‘past’.

An eleven year old girl sat in a compartment of the Hogwarts Express alone.

‘Eleven year old’ should be hyphened.

Also, ‘Healer’ should be capitalised.

I realise this story was written a while ago, and you weren’t as good with grammar and spelling when you wrote it. I’m sure your skills have improved a lot since then. I would suggest just looking through it once and correcting the mistakes you missed.

Augusta’s personality seems just a bit too fierce. I always imagined her to be very strict with Neville, since in canon we know she sort of frightens and intimidates him. But I think it’s just too overdone. I would suggest just softening her up in a few places, and not having her be capslock!Augusta. I also don’t think she would leave so early while visiting Alice and Frank. She barely enters the room before leaving again. She didn’t even acknowledge either one of them. You could have her try to talk to Frank once, or at least say hello to him. She deeply cares about her son, so she would try to spend a little time with him.

The greatest thing about this story is your ability to write Neville in such a realistic way. I’ve wanted to read more Neville-centric stories, but there aren’t a lot of them. From his dialogue to his movements to his thoughts, he was kept in character. There is just something so Neville-ish about him in your story. I thought this was a great first chapter, and I look forward to reading the rest of the story. =)

Katty – Knight of the Turnip Table

Author's Response: Wow! What an amazing review! Thank you so much!

I\'m glad you liked the first chapter. I had a lot of trouble writing it. Neville is definitely my favorite character and I\'m so happy that you think I wrote him in character!

Oh those pesky grammar mistakes! I\'ll definitely go back and edit. I actually wrote this when I was just learning how to punctuate dialogue. [Can you believe that I never knew before?] I\'ll catch those and everything else soon enough.Thanks so much for pointing that out!

I agree with you about Augusta. I\'ve actually been considering a rewrite of the story, which would definitely include her characterization. I think I\'ll get on that next time I have a vacation!

Actually, American spelling is accepted on MNFF. American phrases aren\'t, but the spelling is alright, since the American HP books use the American spelling as well. Thanks for pointing that out though! I\'ve been considering reteaching myself how to spell. Heehee.

Thank you so much for your kind words!


Before It's Too Late by Ravensgryff

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: A few weeks after the end of HBP, Harry writes letters to Ron and Hermione. He advises them to reveal their feelings to each other while they still have time. Quote: “And anyway, we have our own mess to sort out, don’t we.” Hermione didn’t raise her head, just whispered, “yeah, I guess we do” When Hermione gets to the Burrow, the tension is high and they both realize it’s now or never. First fan-fic.
Reviewer: Mind Games Signed
Date: 04/12/07 Title: Chapter 1: One-shot

Harry’s attitude in the beginning was close to how I would imagine him acting. I like his calmness and his sort of reflective look at everything. After the end of Half Blood Prince, I could really see him being this way, and it was great not seeing him overly angsty or heroic like you see in a lot of stories. I thought you wrote his character accurately for the time and place you were writing him in. It’s great to see Harry in such a simple but nicely written scene. I really got the impression that it was the actual Harry we’ve read in the books.

I don’t read much Ron/Hermione because I find that it is too childish or too dramatic in a lot of stories, but I like the scene you wrote for this romance. You had a great setting with just them at the Burrow together, acting just the way the normally would at first. Even though the scene between them isn’t very long, it doesn’t feel overly rushed or unbelievable. The conversation leading up to the romance really worked with these two characters, and it made the actual romance very believable. I like how they act and feel differently around each other, but not so much that it’s too awkward or unconvincing. You handled both of their emotions, dialogue, and characteristics well.

I have some comments and nitpicks…

“I haven’t gotten used to the idea that we can do magic out of school now,”

This is incredibly nit-picky, but most British people don’t commonly use the word ‘gotten’. Instead I would suggest changing it to ‘become’.

Moving his hand to her cheek and then into her hair, her gently pulled her closer.

I’m guessing you meant he gently pulled her closer.

The beginning letters from Harry and the scene at the Burrow didn’t seem to relate to each other much at all. I thought you could have both of them connected together more than you did. Hermione thinks of the letter once in the second scene, but other that that nothing is mentioned about it. It’s almost like reading two separate stories. I don’t think the scene with Harry was really all that necessary for the Ron/Hermione part of the story. It seemed like you just added it in randomly. To make it relate more and flow a bit better, you might have Ron and Hermione discuss the letter or how Harry was doing at Privet Drive.

For this being your first posted story, I think you did a really good job. Romance is difficult to write believably, so for this being your first attempt, it was handled very well. You avoided the melodrama and rushed romance that a lot of first romance attempts have, and instead you used more of a subtle approach, something that works well in a Ron/Hermione story. I liked the chemistry and slight awkwardness you displayed with your characters and the ending was really sweet. It was a great romance one shot. I’ll be looking for more stories by you. Nice work!

Katty – Knight of the Turnip Table

Strangers May Be Our Closest Friends by Hel

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: Ginny has wasted away since the day of Voldemort's defeat - and Harry's death. On the tenth Anniversary of these things, a stranger that's strangly familar comes knocking on her door....


.....when the doorbell rang.

Ginny went to answer the door, her mind whirring. Who would be calling at this hour? Why would they be calling? One thing she did know however was that whoever it was was definitely a witch or a wizard; Ginny herself had put the muggle repelling charms on her house.

She reached the front door and pulled it open. Standing in the frame was a dark figure. They were standing there with their hood pulled up, obscuring the figure’s face except for the mouth.

“Hi, I was wondering if I could spend the night here.” The stranger spoke with a deep voice that stirred something in Ginny’s memory.

Reviewer: Mind Games Signed
Date: 02/18/07 Title: Chapter 1: One-shot

This one-shot was just lovely! The chemistry between Harry and Ginny really shows, and I thought the way you wrote them together was very sweet. The way Harry came back was interesting, and the plot work was explained well for the most part. I also liked the way it started with Ginny looking at the picture of her and Harry and realising how much she misses him. You also mentioned how the picture moved, which was a great way of showing the magical world that Ginny lives in. I liked how your writing seemed very connected with canon.

You present an interesting theory with Harry being a Horcrux and having to destroy himself to win the war. I’ve heard of this theory, but I’ve never read a fanfic about it before. I thought the idea was well written and thought provoking. I don’t think Harry will end up being a Horcrux in the end, but I like to see it written in fanfiction. I thought the way you wrote the theory was not only a good attempt at a popular theory, but also original since you added your own ideas to it. The way he lives as sort of a ghost was also different and a unique detail in the story. I liked how he kept looking in at the lives of Ron, Hermione, and Ginny, making sure they were okay. It would be just like Harry to care about his friends like that. Nice work!

The casual conversation between Harry, Ginny, Ron, and Hermione was a nice thing to read. A lot of scenes between them are overly dark or angsty, so just seeing them relax and act like normal human beings was refreshing. I really liked the last part with all of them being reunited together, just four old friends hanging out with each other. It made me smile!

I thought Hermione’s nervousness when being with Harry worked well and was very in-character for her. That would be very strange to see Harry dead, and then alive once again. Writing this in made it all the more believable and realistic. I though adding this part in was a great idea!

I found some typos and small errors in the story, so I thought I would point them out to you…

Voldemort was ranting, Harry was just staring at — no, not at — though him, as though he was thinking.

This sentence confused me a little. Do you mean ‘through him’ instead of ‘though him’?

One thing she did know however was that whoever it was was definitely a witch or a wizard; Ginny herself had put the muggle repelling charms on her house.

I would delete ‘however’, as it isn’t necessary and seemed to stand out sort of awkwardly to me. ‘Muggle’ needs to be capitalised. Also, why did Ginny put Muggle repelling charms on her house? She doesn’t have anything against Muggles, so what’s the purpose of the charm? Explaining why she has the charms on her house would help us understand this part better.

“Well, if you fell like that about it, I will sleep on the couch.”

I believe you meant ‘feel’ instead of ‘fell’. Small typo there.


I’m guessing you meant ‘your’ instead of ‘you’.

But it doesn’t make any sense, I mean, you were DEAD, I felt you pulse AND your breath, and there were none.

Once again, you wrote ‘you’ instead of ‘your’.

I started at your parent’s house, your mum went mental.

‘Parent’s’ should be ‘parents’’. Ginny has both a mother and a father, so the plural version is needed.

Ginny dear, I was at there wedding.

‘There’ should be ‘their’.

Ginny turned to Harry, “They’ll be here right away.”

The comma should be a period. This mistake is found in several places, so reading through to correct them would make it look more professional and put together.

I’m not sure if Ginny would let the stranger in just like that. She most likely knows how dangerous that could be. It’s a nice idea, but just a little unrealistic. Maybe you could give us a reason for why she trusts the stranger. Is there something about him that seems familiar? The idea seems plausible, but giving a reason for why she trusts the stranger would just make it more realistic and believable.

I would also like to point out a possible error in your title. The title reads as ‘Strangers May Be Out Closest Friends’. But do you mean ‘Strangers May Be Our Closest Friends’? That title would make much more sense to me. I would also suggest getting a beta reader to help correct some of the mistakes in the story. They can help clean up your story and make it look even better! You can find one on the forums, so check it out!

This is a very nice first story. You have good ideas and you write well. I think with a little improvement, you could be a great author. I definitely encourage you to keep working at it, and I hope to see another story on your author page soon. Good luck and happy writing!

Katty – Knight of the Turnip Table

Everything Was Gone by Air Elemental

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: "Cedric Diggory was murdered by Lord Voldemort."

Susan Bones remembers the times she spent with the boy she loved as Dumbledore gives his speech. An unrequited Susan/Cedric story.


Reviewer: Mind Games Signed
Date: 04/11/07 Title: Chapter 1: Everything Was Gone

Wow…you just jumped right into Susan’s thoughts and emotions. I was impressed by the way you really seemed to get inside her head and bring out so much from her. I think most of us see her as a very soft and caring person, so I was a little surprised to see her written that way. But it does make sense, and I like the new side you showed of her. It wasn’t necessarily her at her best, but she was real. She seems very possessive of Cedric and I think that shows someone different from the nice and caring Hufflepuff we read about. I like how you added something to her character by showing a bad personality trait.

Even though she does seem possessive of Cedric, I could still feel bad for her. As you move on to the memory, we can see why she would feel the way she does. Cedric is so charming and nice to her, so it’s obvious why she was so fond of him. Any girl would have feelings for a nice guy like that, but someone like Susan would especially be attracted to him. He has a caring personality, which is something a Hufflepuff would admire. I like how you showed a girl who had a crush on Cedric, but you made her feelings honest and genuine. She actually sees him for all he is, and not just his good looks. It’s great to see another side of a female character that has a crush on him.

The snow was even on the ground, unmarked like fresh icing on a cake. The trees were jet black and the night sky was hidden by snow-clouds. The air was sharp in my lungs and stream raced out my mouth, swirling briefly before fading away.

I was lost in your descriptions of winter. It was so beautiful and detailed! Every word you used sounded so poetic and it was such a delight picturing the winter scene you created. You totally captured a lovely winter night in those three sentences. I always admire beautiful description like this. And even when you moved on to describing the winter in a harsher way, I thought every word you used was fantastic. You got every aspect of winter here, and you described it in such a unique way. Really amazing!

I think you wrote the emotions of a young girl with a crush very well. Sometimes the way she thinks and acts is very naïve, such as describing her feelings towards Cedric as ‘love’ and running out on her Yule Ball date. But that is only to be expected in a fourteen-year-old girl, and I like how you really made her seem her age. Many authors struggle writing characters to act their age. I notice a lot of the younger characters acting far too mature a lot of times, so seeing Susan, as well as some of the other characters, acting a little childish made the story so much more realistic. You really grasped the thoughts and emotions of a fourteen-year-old.

One other thing I really liked was showing Susan’s thoughts during Dumbledore’s speech. It was interesting to see how a different character reacted to the death of Cedric. Weaving the speech in with her thoughts and memories was a nice idea. I think it made the story flow well and it was a good scene to write her thoughts and memories in.

One tiny nitpick…

“but I lost my potion’s…”

I could be wrong about this, but the way I read this, I don’t think you would need the apostrophe in ‘potion’s’.

I was really impressed by this story. Susan’s characterization was great, and as I said, I love what you added to her character. You gave her personality a completely new side, and she was very realistic. I really did feel bad for her, especially at the end. From the memories you wrote, I could see how she would be so attached to Cedric. She seems like the type of girl who would like him. The emotions you gave her resembled a fourteen-year-old girl’s perfectly. Every idea you presented in the story worked very well. It was a pleasure to read!

Katty – Knight of the Turnip Table

Author's Response: Wow, thanks for the lovely review! :)

Pssst... by nightfall00

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: During their fifth year at Hogwarts, Harry and Hermione share a secret.
Reviewer: Mind Games Signed
Date: 02/23/07 Title: Chapter 1: Pssst...

Oh, this was so cute! I’ve been looking for a good Harry/Hermione story. This is such a nice sort of ‘missing moment’ from their fifth year. I thought you blended the alternate universe factor into canon very smoothly, and I love the idea of the relationship. The start was cute, how Harry is whispering to Hermione as she leaves the library. I thought that was a great way to begin the story and present the Harry/Hermione relationship. I loved how you based the title off that scene as well. Nice touch there!

I love the simplicity in this one shot. This isn’t some big, cliché scene where Harry and Hermione have just battled with countless Death Eaters and now Hermione is falling into Harry’s suddenly toned arms and Harry is kissing her passionately. No. Instead you chose to avoid that mess and write the relationship in a much simpler way, making it enjoyable to read and not overdone. You showed how two friends can get together without there needing to be some huge, overly dramatic crisis for them to realize their feelings for each other. This was so light and refreshing, and it was so nice to not be reading another typical romance story.

I liked the amount of hesitation you give Hermione when it comes to informing Ron about their relationship. She doesn’t want to hurt him in any way, and she still deeply cares about him, even if she doesn’t like him in that way. I’m glad you didn’t just have her fall completely in love with Harry, totally forgetting about Ron. She still cares about him, just as the canon Hermione would. Harry trying to reassure her that telling him would be the right thing to do was also very in character for Harry. I doubt he would want to keep that kind of a secret from him and risk hurting their friendship. You really kept them both in character very well in this aspect. Nice job!

I have some comments and constructive criticism…

I thought you could have put more description into your writing. For instance, you could have added some details about what the library was like while Hermione was studying or what the atmosphere in the common room was like that evening. Just a line or two about how a certain person, place, or thing looks really helps give readers enough to picture what the scene looks like.

“Harry, I think it is more fun this way. Very exciting.”

This same exact sentence was said twice in the story, which seemed just too repetitive. Re-wording the dialogue at least a little might help avoid this.

The relationship between Harry and Hermione just seems to be a little too unexplained. I could see a relationship form between them at a certain point, but I don’t think they could fall in love that quickly given the circumstances. Harry just got out of his relationship with Cho, they’re both dealing with O.W.L.s, and it’s been one of the toughest years they’ve had to face. I don’t think they could develop that deep of a relationship in that period in time. However, I still think this pairing could work very well in the story. I love the chemistry you write between Harry and Hermione, but I think toning it down might make it a bit more realistic. You say they just discovered how much they cared for each other, so would they really be calling it ‘love’ all of the sudden? Also showing us a little more of how they discovered their feelings for each other might help. I don’t think it’s quite believable in the story, but it’s definitely possible.

I really enjoyed reading this. It was such a nice one shot, and I thought the ending was just perfect! This was a fun story to read, and it left me smiling. I loved the ideas you put into it, and how you had them meet in secret. It was so sweet! Great work!

Katty – Knight of the Turnip Table

How Did It Happen? by Lilypudding

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: Andromeda Black has haunted by the horrors of her past. Her daughter hates her, her one true friend is insane, and she has no family . All she has is the echoes of the half-life she once had, and the guilt of the horrors her sisters commited and how she was unable to change them when they were young. Tired of her horrible life, she takes up her pen and writes Narcissa and Bellatrix a letter about her life. A/n- This is purely a letter fic!
Reviewer: Mind Games Signed
Date: 04/22/07 Title: Chapter 1: Dear Narcissa and Bellatrix...

What really made me want to read this story was the theme you used. I’ve read a few letter stories, and I think they can be a good way to really show the thoughts and emotions of a character. It’s fascinating to see one written by Andromeda. We do not know how Andromeda really feels about her sisters, so it was interesting to read your take on it. And what better way to do it than a letter? You gave us the direct thoughts Andromeda has about her sisters through using a letter, which was a really good way of getting inside her head.

This is a great look at how Bellatrix came to be the way she is. You show right where it started, the day she stopped playing with the dolls. You gave some good reasons for why Bellatrix became what she is. She was always encouraged to be that way, to act superior because of her blood type. You mentioned how her parents praised her for it, and Andromeda was too frightened to try hard enough to put a stop to it. We’ve always wondered why she is so insane, so it’s really interesting to read a story that gives possible reasons for the way she acts. Great idea!

I have some constructive criticism and nitpicks…

Bellatrix was nine, I think, I was eight and Narcissa was only six when we stopped playing with dolls.

This goes against canon. Bellatrix was two years older than Andromeda, so she would have been ten when Andromeda was eight. You also mention how Andromeda started Hogwarts the year after Bellatrix, which would also go against canon.

Although I had only met the Potters once, because they had been in school about ten years after I graduated, Alice, who was a member of the Order of the Pheonix, knew them well.

This also goes against canon. Andromeda was only six or seven years older than the Potters, so they would not have been in school ten years after she graduated. You also misspelled ‘Phoenix’ here and several other places.

I thought you could have referred to Narcissa a little more in the letter. You don’t seem to mention her a whole lot, and I would have liked to see you think of a good reason for why she turned out the way she did. You could have focused a little more on Narcissa and how things went wrong between her and Andromeda. Also, in some places when you do refer to Narcissa and Bellatrix, what you say really only applies to Bellatrix, such as being evil and hated by most of the wizarding world.

You displayed Andromeda’s thoughts and emotions very well. I like how she questions her sisters and herself about what happened and how things could have been different. You showed where Andromeda fell away from her family and why she decided to break free from them. You gave us plenty of insight on the relationship between the three Black sisters and it was sad to see how they used to get along when they were young, but things changed when Bellatrix became older. I also liked every character trait you gave Andromeda. You added to her personality very nicely, and I could see why she didn’t fit into her family. This was a great one-shot about someone that grew up around one of the most atrocious characters in the series. Great work!

Katty – Knight of the Turnip Table

Cup of Coffee by Evilpersonified

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: I fell in love with Sirius when I was 11, and I haven’t quite been able to get him out of my head since. Of course, I never thought he had noticed me. Not me, the little short girl from Hufflepuff who would sooner have chopped her own head off than harmed another living creature. Not that he wasn’t a nice person, but he did do some horrible things to that poor Severus Snape, who was a git himself, I suppose. But I still don’t think he deserve to be dropped from a great height into the almost frozen lake wearing practically no clothes. Mandy thought it was hilarious, but that’s because she wanted to get into James Potter’s pants...
(written in response to the SPEW valentine's day challange. Sirius/OC.)

Reviewer: Mind Games Signed
Date: 03/18/07 Title: Chapter 1: One-Shot

I was instantly drawn to your OC and the first paragraph manages to show some of her character traits right from the start. You introduce us to her timid and slightly invisible personality and you even bring a touch of humor into the first paragraph. I was already curious about Sandra and the way she interacts with the patients along with everyone else just was perfect. The way you described her feelings for Sirius was so cute and I was cheering for her throughout the whole story.

Having your characters be a bit older really helped the story. When I saw it was Sirius/OC I half-expected some glamorous and overused Mary Sue to come into the picture along with a playboy Sirius, both at the usual Hogwarts masquerade ball. But the St. Mungo’s setting was just right and the characters weren’t the typical teenagers you see in so many romance stories. Sandra having a hectic time on her first day at work was both amusing and realistic. It’s something normal people can actually relate to.

Sirius was so well written. I actually believed he was Sirius. Everything from his dialogue and attitude was just how I imagined it. I like how you write his dialogue as not too formal and not too immature, but just right in the middle, much how I would picture him at that age. And the way he asked Sandra out was just adorable! The sweet subtlety and the friendly gestures…honestly, what girl wouldn’t fall for him?

Now for the nitpicky stuff…

But what with all the pay cuts and strikes, there were less and less healers in St. Mungo’s every day, resulting in patients having to wait with unpleasant symptoms in the hallways and waiting rooms of the hospital.

I noticed you forgot to capitalize ‘Healers’ in this sentence. It seems to be capitalized everywhere else, so you only need to fix it here.

You also switched between British and American spelling throughout the story. I’d suggest reading through and changing it to one type.

I could totally see Sirius with Sandra. You make this pairing so believable and original. I don’t think most of us see him with someone like Sandra, but I think it really works. It’s so different from the usual and seeing Sirius with a different type of girl was just so refreshing. Having the coffee be sort of the theme of the story was also something I really liked seeing. This was an adorable one shot!

Katty – Knight of the Turnip Table

Prisoner 21431199 by Morwen

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: He was innocent. That much he told himself over and over as he sat in his cell, and years later, it seemed that that was enough to keep him sane. But despite this, Azkaban left scars on Sirius that could never be healed. Part I is set when Sirius was in Azkaban.
Reviewer: Mind Games Signed
Date: 01/20/07 Title: Chapter 1: Part I

This is a very well-written and powerful piece of fanfiction. I am thoroughly impressed by your skills. The way you wrote the effects of Azkaban was very thought provoking and perfectly eerie. Throughout the story, we can see how much it affects Sirius’ looks and mental state. You are also very good at writing in present tense, which is a hard thing to do.

In that life he had been Sirius Black; now he was only prisoner twenty-one, forty-three, eleven, ninety-nine.

This was a great line. It really shows how much this new lifestyle had changed him. He is no longer Sirius. Instead, he has a new identity to go with his new life.

Remus, eyes sought out in the crowd surrounding him and Peter, in the hope that he, at least would believe him. That look, of utter disappointment, of sorrow, disbelief, and hatred at what he, Sirius, was supposed to have done.

I wanted to cry when I read this. You show just how hard it was to see not only his friends dead, but then that last look at Remus. Sirius’ last pleading look towards Remus, only to be returned with that doubt and disgust from the only friend he had left.

On these sorts of days he can remember more easily, and sometimes it almost seems as if he is Sirius again, instead of prisoner twenty-one, forty-three, eleven, ninety-nine.

This was powerful. He has lost his old identity, yet he can still see it sometimes. When he looks to the bright, blue sky he knows it is there.

“Ahh, Sirius Black! And how are you?” Cornelius Fudge peers through the slits in the door at him.

This seemed just a bit too friendly and cheerful. Cornelius Fudge was in Azkaban, so I doubt he would be in such a good mood. I think he would be more solemn and formal when speaking with the prisoners.

Perhaps it is as a result of living in the same small cell for the past twelve, but he isn’t exactly excited at the prospect of swimming across part of a freezing cold sea.

I would add ‘years’ after twelve here. I’m assuming you meant to, but accidentally forgot.

I really loved this. It is so poignant and powerful. I’ve seen this type of story written before, but never this well. I can see how much work went into this, and it is brilliant. You took a canon event and added your own ideas to it. Well done!

Author's Response: Yay, thanks for the long review! I had some trouble with Fudge\'s character like you noticed, because I wasn\'t sure how he\'d react. Most characters I can pinpoint, but I\'ve never dwelled too much on Fudge, and it shows. And yes, I obviously did forget \"years\" there. Thanks!

A Potter and a Riddle by Sophie_McKinsley

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
Summary: Katherine had lived with Ms. Evans as long as she could remember. She'd went to a Muggle school as a child and Ms. Evans had began teaching her magic when she was twelve. Katherine didn't know why Ms. Evans wouldn't let her go to a proper wizarding school or have wizarding friends; Katherine just thought she was batty. It had been a happy, peaceful life. But now at age seventeen, the Dark Lord has finally caught up with them.

Please review!
Reviewer: Mind Games Signed
Date: 04/10/07 Title: Chapter 1: Never the Same

This was a good opening chapter! I like how you started off by throwing us into a scene with action. It grabs attention and interest, and it really seemed to work well here. I found myself questioning the story and wondering what was going on, and the mystery of it was intriguing. This was a good way to start off this type of a story. I think you attract more readers by writing a scene full of action. You had me wondering what was going to happen, if something was seriously wrong, and what Katherine was like as an OC. Good start!

The bits of Katherine’s dialogue at the beginning sparked personality traits right away. From what she said, I gathered that she was slightly impatient, had a temper, and longed for the comfort of familiar surroundings. She showed this mostly in her conversation with Remus. You had me questioning her personality a bit. I like how she isn’t a blank page or a Mary-Sue. We can catch a glimpse of what she’s like even though we haven’t really seen her full personality yet. She already showed promise as an interesting and well developed OC. From what I’ve seen so far, your characterization of Katherine is really good.

I thought you tackled the plot pretty well. Some parts of the plot in the type of story tend to get really challenging, and the answers you showed us through Dumbledore’s Pensieve worked pretty well and were believable for the most part. I noticed that some of the plot is a little cliché, so you need to be very careful there. I’ve seen a lot of stories where Harry has a sister or Voldemort has a daughter. While those parts of the plot are overdone, I believe you can still make them interesting if you’re careful. You seem to have your own ideas for this story and so far I really think Katherine is a good character, so I don’t mind a few clichés. It must have been hard to write this plot, so I applaud you for doing it so well.

I have some constructive criticism and nitpicks…

I was a little skeptical when Dumbledore mentioned how he knew about Katherine, but kept it from Lily and James. I really doubt he would do this. He would have wanted them to know she was alive and that he was doing all he could to find her. He would have probably let them know, at least before they died. I think you could have come up with a better solution to this plot obstacle. For example, you could have had Dumbledore tell Lily and James, but make them promise not to tell anyone because if Voldemort found out that someone knew, that person would be in danger. Then when Lily and James died, no one knew about Katherine but Dumbledore. That would be just one example of something you could do. I don’t think what you have right now is entirely believable. You showed some great plot skills with other pieces of the plot, so I definitely believe you could come up with something for this.

Dumbledore seemed to ramble in some of his sentences, which is unlike him. You had a few run-on sentences in his dialogue, so I would suggest reading through it again and editing it a bit. I couldn’t quite grasp his wise personality or understanding. He seemed like any other wizard telling Katherine about her parents, and not Dumbledore. He was not quite believable for me, but I think you could improve his characterization by just changing his dialogue around a little. I know Dumbledore can be a tough character to write, so I would advise reading some scenes with him in the books to remind you of his personality.

“What is it Virginia?”

A comma should be placed between ‘it’ and ‘Virginia’. I noticed this mistake more than once throughout the story.

I noticed two errors in your summary. Firstly, you forgot to capitalize ‘Muggle’. Also, you should really write ‘17’ as ‘seventeen’. They’re both minor, but correcting them would help the summary as well as the story look better.

This was a good start, especially for it being your first story published here. I’m already curious to know what is going to happen to Katherine, and I think her character shows quite a bit of promise. I think you’re good enough at plot to overcome the clichés you’re facing by writing this story. It’s going to be challenging to write, but I really believe this story will turn out differently from most of the cliché ones. I wish you luck with it, and I’m impressed that you seem to be trying to make it original and not fall into more clichés. I think you’ve brought some nice ideas to a plot that is hard to write well. Nice work!

Katty – Knight of the Turnip Table

But I'm not Broken by Avenger_of_Dumbldore

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
Summary: One unknown spell, one devoted mother, one terrible accident, and one strange girl. “But I’m Not Broken.” A Luna Lovegood story submitted for the extra credit spring challenge by avenger of dumbldore of Gryffindor.

Reviewer: Mind Games Signed
Date: 02/11/07 Title: Chapter 1: One shot

Nice character study, Avenger. You portray Luna in such a different way, yet it still works well. Normally we read her as a strange, dreamy misfit who comforts the other characters and does not seem to worry much about her own problems. This is who she is to a point, but we still have to remember that she is human. She gets angry and frustrated at times. The reason she was angry was also very in character. I could totally see a young Luna getting upset for someone not believing her about what she’s seen. What a great way to explore another side of a character’s personality!

I love how we see Luna right at her birth and parts of her childhood. How the spell affected her was an interesting take on why she is considered so odd. You also show how the spell not only affected Luna, but her parents as well. Her mother only wants her to be a normal child, yet her father seems to not only accept the strange behaviour, but also encourage it. I love seeing all three of the different reactions to the mental disorder. You didn’t create some picture perfect family who just happens to have a daughter with a mental problem, like some authors do. You showed how hard it was to deal with the disorder at times, for not only Luna, but her parents as well. Thank you for addressing the mental disorder in a realistic and believable way.

The characterisation of Luna’s mother was just amazing. She is so well-written and developed. The way she reacted to Luna’s problem was great in so many ways. She loves her daughter, but she is also desperate to ‘fix’ her because she blames herself for the damage. We don’t even see her throughout the entire story, yet I could grasp her character so well and understand why she feels the need to help her daughter in any way she can. Fantastic!

The way Luna’s mother died was so sad. I was on the verge of tears. We know Luna’s mother died of spell damage, but you wrote it with such an interesting and different idea. Just that one last attempt to cure her daughter and everything goes wrong. And then poor little Luna kissing her hand and realising what had happened. So sad and touching!

I did find some small grammar mistakes, and my own nitpicks. They’re all pretty small…

The woman moved towards Mrs. Lovegood.
The witch continued towards the bed.

‘Towards’ was sort of repetitive here. You also refer to her as ‘the woman’ and then as ‘the witch’, which seems to stand out awkwardly. I think changing the sentence to, The woman moved towards Mrs. Lovegood, coming closer to the bed, would help fix both of these problems.

“Are you ok, Mrs. Lovegood?”

‘Ok’ should be ‘okay’ or at least both letters should be capitalised. This occurs several times throughout the story, so I’d suggest reading through the story to correct this.

The witch cried, “Strangeio!” and jet of some sort of purple light hit baby Luna on the head just as the door was thrown open, and six Healers entered the room.

I would add ‘a’ between ‘and’ and ‘jet’. It looks like it was just accidentally left out.

A dazed look A dazed look appeared in Luna’s eyes.

As you can see, ‘A dazed look’ was accidentally written twice.

Luna sat in the corner of the waiting room with her mother, who was working on something for work.

I’d change this to ‘Luna sat in the corner of the waiting room with her mother, who was working on something for the Ministry of Magic’ to avoid sounding repetitive.

They do know, however, that because of it, their daughter spends all her time exploring, looking for things that aren’t there, she gets disappointed when she realizes she can’t find what she’s looking for.

‘Realizes’ should be ‘realises’. This mistake was found in several places.

Who says who have to do what the crowd says?

I’m assuming you meant ‘Who says we have to do what the crowd says?’, but accidentally wrote ‘who’ instead.

“Good bye, Daddy!” said a 14-year-old Luna, kissing her dad on the cheek.

Numbers one through ninety-nine should be written out.

Tell me if you recognize any of these photos.

‘Recognize’ should be ‘recognise’.

All of a sudden, the compartment door opened and a girlwalked in with two boys.

You accidentally forgot to put a space between ‘girl’ and ‘walked’.

The formatting made the story a bit harder to read in some parts. Some of the paragraphs weren’t broken up, which made it look a little sloppy. Remember to add a line in between the paragraphs to make it easier to read. It’s only for a section in the middle of the story, the rest is fine.

All of these mistakes are very small, and I can be known to nitpick a lot (obviously). I would advise you to just read through your story once and fix it up a bit. It will make it look more professional and put together. ;-)

You write Luna in such a new light and perspective, while still keeping her in character. You write canon events, while still adding your own ideas to them. These are things only great fanfiction authors can do. I loved the voice from Luna’s mother, speaking to her from beyond the veil. It gave Luna the closure she needed, and the hope that she will be reunited with her mother one day. How Harry turned out to be the boy Luna was looking for added to the plot so well, and Luna sharing her wisdom with Harry at the end was perfect.

Great characterisation, great plot work, great author. Keep on writing, Avenger!

Mind Games – Knight of the Turnip Table

Broken Glass by Morwen

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: There were twelve years in which Remus Lupin lived alone, after he lost everything. How does one survive that?
Reviewer: Mind Games Signed
Date: 05/24/07 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1

Once again you’ve impressed me with the power and emotion you show in your writing. When I saw the summary for this, I knew it was something worth reading after being amazed with ‘Prisoner’. Since you wrote such an amazing Sirius, I had to read the same time frame through Remus’s point of view. I quite like your characterization of these two characters.

I can see the difficulties you would face when choosing to write this sort of a story about Remus. We know he is one of the most calm characters in the books, so while reading about him losing control during some scenes of this story, I was impressed by your ability to write a side of him that we don’t see too often. The emotions you gave him were incredible as well as accurate. I liked how you showed the process of him grieving and learning to move on from a very tragic event. This tends to be something authors either avoid or get wrong when writing Remus, yet once again I was amazed by your character and how I really felt as if he was the canon version. Not only with his emotions and personality, but his looks as well. I liked how you mentioned his shabby robes and the flecks of grey in his hair, once again proving just how well you know the canon Remus.

He walks for hours, aimlessly, numbly, traversing the streets of London in a desperate attempt to leave behind the images of grey eyes pleading with him, vainly attempting to get him to believe their owner.

This line is simply stunning, especially after reading the same scene in ‘Prisoner’. I love how haunting you make Sirius’s eyes and how Remus can’t forget the image of them. You showed the desperation Sirius had with that last pleading look and Remus’s sorrow and disappointed reaction to it, which made a great addition to this story and it really brought out the characters’ emotions. I absolutely love this idea, and I like how you added it to a canon event. Fantastic!

He tries to think of other things, that he should prune the roses at home and that he’ll need to pick up milk and bread. Little, unimportant everyday things, that shouldn’t be hard to think of, but are.

This was an interesting way of showing how Remus tried to deal with the thoughts of the Potters and Sirius. I like this trait you gave him. I could really see him trying to push the thoughts of them to the back of his mind and instead focus on the small, insignificant things. He doesn’t seem like the type that is willing to grieve right away and instead just attempts to forget about what has happened. It’s a very believable character trait that you brought out in Remus.

Why? He wants to scream, over and over until someone answers him.

I liked how Remus questioned his life and everything that had happened. It seems like something he’d had bottled up for quite sometime and then, after seeing the pictures, just lost control. Bringing out these emotions in Remus is very difficult to get right. He’s so quiet and calm in the books, and it’s hard to even picture him losing control of everything like that. But given the situation, I think it’s definitely possible that something like this happened. After having such a hard life, you wonder how he can even be that cool and collected for so long. You handled the scene very well, which I applaud you for. It’s a very intense scene, and we don’t see Remus in too many emotionally intense scenes like this. You did an excellent job with one of the most difficult parts of the story.

Later, after he banks the fire and goes to bed, he decides that perhaps, after all, life can be lived.

This line was very uplifting after reading through all of Remus’s grief and sorrow. It’s great to see him moving on, and I really liked how you slowly let him get over the tragedies and deaths. He comes to the realization that life is still worth living at just the right time in the story. I like how you do show this, and despite everything he went through, he doesn’t drown in depression. It was important of you to show the moments when he begins to enjoy life again, so the story wasn’t just made up of angst. I liked this scene because it began to show Remus coming out of his sorrow, which was necessary for the story.

Just a couple of grammar nit-picks…

He wants to know Why.

I don’t think ‘Why’ needs to be capitalized here.

When another October 31st occurs, he only realizes it after the fact.

‘31st’ should really be written as ‘thirty-first’.

Your writing, particularly the characterization, continues to astound me. The emotions of the story were what really made it so great, and I like how you show them in such a poetic way. Every event in this story was accurate and very interesting, even though we already know what happened. I liked how you weaved your own details into it. You’re very creative in your stories, and they have a familiar feeling, yet they’re still original. This is by far one of the best one-shots about Remus. Another great story, Morwen!

~ Katty

Seeking Glory by megan_lupin

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: “Outside the doors, at ten tonight, with skills yours, your glory will shine bright.”

Upon receiving a strange invitation, Lucius Malfoy experiences one of the weirdest nights he’s ever had. He strives to reach glory in the end, but on the way he must deal with plants, teachers, riddles, and other obstacles that might not be so pleasant.

Written for the "Gauntlet Challenge I" by megan_lupin of Gryffindor.
Reviewer: Mind Games Signed
Date: 02/07/07 Title: Chapter 1: Seeking Glory

Well, this obviously needs some reviews. It’s fantastically written! You start off with a great opening paragraph that is filled with details. I’m a big fan of opening paragraphs that show a lot of description and insight. You give us a lovely picture right from the beginning. The second paragraph connected to the first one very smoothly with still plenty of description while also showing great characterization of Lucius. You write a very believable and realistic look at Lucius. Without using any dialogue we get a sense of his bitter mood. It’s hard to believe this is your first time writing the young Death Eater.

The owl was coloured as white as the first snowfall in the winter time, and the colour was so pure that the bird itself seemed to be bright and glowing.

I loved your description of the owl. I liked how you related its colour to the first fresh snow of winter. Very beautiful!

Reading through the maze was interesting. A lot of great plot work was obviously put into it. Thinking of obstacles and surprises to write into the story seems like a hard task. I liked how you tested Lucius’ Herbology skills. Doesn’t seem like something he’d enjoy, does it? *Smirk* Many authors would not think to use Herbology, and I think the subject is way too unknown and under-rated in the Potter-verse. It’s refreshing to see you use it in this story.

“Miss Umbridge has just informed me of your prank on her,” said Sprout, but when Lucius made no acknowledgement that he understood the teacher, she continued. “She told me of the potion that you poured into her drink . . . the one that made her croak like a toad every time she opens her mouth.”

Okay, I’m laughing here. This was a great touch of humour, and a clever way of ‘getting even’ with the character we love to hate. Though one question: Why did Lucius pull that prank on Umbridge? Did she do something nasty to him? Lucius seems to be more concerned with serving the Dark Lord, rather than pulling pranks on random students. Telling us a reason for the prank might have made it a bit more believable.
However, the conversation between Sprout and Lucius, was very in-character. Lucius is very cunning and deceptive, a true Slytherin indeed! I absolutely love the way you write him.

The riddles were well-written. I’m not an expert on things like that, but I enjoyed reading them, and I thought they flowed nicely, especially the first set. The last one was my favourite. I love its mystique!

And now for my nitpicks (yes, there are always nitpicks ;-))…

A slightly disgusted look on his face as he opened the last package,

This sounds sort of awkward. Re-wording it might make it sound better. Maybe something such as, With a slightly disgusted look on his face, he opened the last package, or something similar to that.

Not only did he not recognize the owl, but he did not recognize the seal or the handwriting,

‘Recognize’ should be ‘recognise’.

The seventeen-year-old Slytherin

You refer to Lucius as ‘the seventeen-year-old Slytherin’ quite a lot throughout the story. It seemed very repetitive as I was reading it. I would suggest re-wording it in just a few places, so it is less common.

Your hard work really shows in this. I can see all the time and research that went into this. Your writing is very accomplished and the plot work and characterizations are all very believable. This was a brilliant attempt at a challenge that seems quite difficult and complex. I’m extremely impressed!

Katty – Knight of the Turnip Table

Author's Response: Hello, Katty. First off, thank you so much for the lengthy review; I loved it!

Also, I\'m very pleased that you liked my portrayal of Lucius (and yes, this story was my first time EVER writing him). He\'s my second favourite character in the series, so I\'m pleased to hear that you think I wrote him well enough.

A lot of the obstacles you\'re referring to, as a matter of fact, came along with the Gauntlet prompts. I had to have Lucius play some sort of prank -- and THAT was a hard thing to do while still having him remain in character well enough, and Herbology was the subject that the prompt called for.

Hey, I love the nitpicks in reviews -- it helps improve writing, after all. The comment about \"the seventeen-year-old Slytherin\" is absolutely right. I didn\'t notice exactly how many times I had used it until I read it back after reading your review, as a matter of fact.

Again, though, thank you so much for such a wonderful review. I really appreciate it.


Far Away by whittyleah

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
Summary: Harry has been gone for three years on his mission, he returns with a plan to win Ginny back. Will it work?

This story has been slightly edited! Please read!
Reviewer: Mind Games Signed
Date: 04/18/07 Title: Chapter 1: Far Away

I like the way you write Ginny Weasley, which is saying something, since I’m not a fan of her character. Her emotions and thoughts when Harry came back to the Burrow were accurate for her personality. I like how there is a slight awkwardness between them, but Ginny doesn’t completely fall apart over Harry returning. She doesn’t get overly upset, angry, or smitten with him, but she still is aware of him and how he’s changed. Her characterization for this situation was handled very well. You seem to have an understanding of Ginny that I don’t see too often.

One thing that I love about your song fics is how you place the lyrics into them. You always have such creative ways of using them, and I find myself actually reading them instead of skipping over them like I do with some song fics. I like how you have them interact with the characters. You actually make them part of the story and the lyrics seem to relate to the characters better this way. I do enjoy this song, and I have to say it worked well with the scene and the ship you used. While I never pictured Harry being much of a poet, I like the creativity you have.

I have a couple of nitpicks and suggestions…

The last time she had seen him was at her brothers wedding.

You need an apostrophe in ‘brothers’.

My only constructive criticism would be to pay attention to the description in your stories, particularly with the setting. It did seem a bit lacking in some places and the way you described the garden was a little repetitive. I think you could add a little more and change the words you use to be more diverse. For example, you could describe the night sky as Ginny watches Hedwig fly or the backyard of the Burrow where Ginny was at the beginning of the story.

However, I thought the description of Harry was good. You paid attention to his age and you added details that fit well for him getting older. It was good that you showed the change he had in his appearance from when Ginny had last seen him.

It was a very sweet story, but you didn’t overdue the fluff. I really liked seeing Harry and Ginny a bit older in the story, instead of reading about their teenage hormones. It was a great scene from the Burrow, and I like how you used an idea that we see in a lot of Harry/Ginny stories, but you made it your own. You really have a lot of originality in your writing, especially with the song lyrics. I really enjoyed reading this. I almost skipped past it because I’m not really a Harry/Ginny fan, but I’m really glad I gave it a chance. You surprised me with this, Leah. Great work!

Katty – Knight of the Turnip Table

Author's Response: Thank you. I will fix that!

Somebody Beside Me by little_kitty

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: ...but deep inside, I knew that he was right. In the end, everything would turn out to be just fine. I realized all I really needed was somebody beside me.

Hermione Granger reflects on her life as she contemplates the painful emotions inflicted from her memory of what happened during the last battle.
Reviewer: Mind Games Signed
Date: 04/19/07 Title: Chapter 1: One-Shot

Wow, great description! The details you had throughout the story were amazing. I especially liked the description of the storm. You got every feature of the rain and the wind and the sky in, but it wasn’t boring. I liked the flow and the rhythm you had with the description. It really helped create not only the setting, but the atmosphere as well. I liked how you began describing the storm and slowly went into writing Hermione’s emotions from there. And using the picture of the four of them was a great way to trigger her feelings. The jump you make from the present setting to Hermione’s thoughts and memories was very smooth and connected.

In a way, it reminded me of old pictures — monochromatic greys that featured patches of blacks and whites.

There is something about this line that is so poetic. I like how you used this to relate to Hermione’s life since the final battle. The old pictures made a great metaphor and compared well with Hermione’s life. This line really stood out to me! The only suggestion I might make would be to change ‘pictures’ to ‘photographs’ to really complete the poetic feeling of the phrase. But it’s still really good the way you have it.

The flashback scene worked well. It gave us a glimpse into what had happened, but it was short and to the point. I also thought you wrote the emotions between the characters well. I like how Hermione keeps that slight hope, but deep down she already knows that Harry is going to die. Harry is just how I imagined him being, saying how much he loves them all before dying. I also liked how I didn’t get a romantic sense from it, but more of a strong friendship between them. Their emotions towards each other are in no way overdone, and I thought they had the right amount of hope and sadness.

When you wrote the reason for Hermione being so studious, you really grasped her character well. Her using books and knowledge as a way to cover up her real personality was a great reason to give. I am very impressed by your characterization of Hermione, a character that is highly difficult to write well. This also really proved why she was not sorted into Ravenclaw. We can see that deep down what she really cares about most is friendship and the strength that she has with the people she cares about. You make her shine as the true Gryffindor she is.

I have one small canon nicpick…

Without warning, the electricity died out, leaving me stranded in the gloominess of my own house.

Since Hermione is a witch, I doubt she would have electricity. Instead you could change it to ‘the lights flickered off’. You mentioned electricity in the story one other time as well.

The ending of this was lovely. I like how the ending starts off as kind of sad but ends as hopeful and optimistic. You also show Hermione being very wise when she speaks to Harry. I like how she can look back on it and really see how Harry changed her life and helped make her who she is. When someone came by Hermione’s side in the end you left us off with a bit of mystery as to whom the person was and you also left us reassured that Hermione was going to be okay by leaving it off on a hopeful note. Great work!

Katty – Knight of the Turnip Table

Percy's Revenge by Marauder by Midnight

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: Percival Ignatius Weasley has finally achieved his dream of sitting in the Minister's chair. But at what cost? His first task? Finally do what's right: correcting mistakes.


A snippet one-shot related to my Draco/Luna story Hidden.

A one-shot part of the Gryffindor Joint Fic Project exploring the darker sides of a Gryffindor.
Reviewer: Mind Games Signed
Date: 04/21/07 Title: Chapter 1: Percy's Revenge

This is a great look at how Percy would act as Minister. The formality and hostility he had at the beginning seemed just like him. I wouldn’t expect him to be any less formal, not even when speaking with his father. His thoughts and dialogue really remind me of the canon Percy. Arthur’s reaction to Percy was also accurate. I like how he manages to stand up to Percy while still remaining mostly patient with him.

I think one thing that really makes Percy a Gryffindor is his stubbornness, a trait a lot of Gryffindors have. You really display this well in this story. Percy thinks that what he’s doing is right, no matter what anyone else says. He isn’t evil or malicious, only just stubborn and foolish.

I liked your idea of having Percy looking at an old photo and remembering his family. It was interesting to see what happened to them all and what Percy thought about it. He remains stubborn and has sort of a know-it-all attitude about it, but I can see that he does somewhat care. You were a bit mysterious with some of the characters. I kept wondering why Ginny committed suicide and what happened between Luna and Ron. Another thing I really liked was how he used the death of his mother as an excuse for why the wizarding world needed his new decree. This would be just the thing he would do to convince himself that he was making the right decision.

A couple of typos I caught…

He sighed heavily and leaned forward, keeping his sharp eyes on the two figures before him

You missed a period at the end of this sentence.

“Percy,” Arthur shook his head sadly.

I would change the comma to a period here.

Umbridge held up a roll of parchment, not only the decree but provisions as well, all signed and approved by the Minister of Magic.”

You added an unnecessary quotation mark at the end of this sentence.

Your characterization of Percy was very accurate. I thought the decisions he made and the reasons for why he made them were very much the way I would imagine the canon Percy’s. I also liked how you showed that Percy really does have a heart, but truly believes that he is making the right decision. This was an interesting look at what the wizarding world might become with Percy as Minister, and I could definitely see something like this happening in canon. I’ll be looking forward to seeing what happens in your other one-shots related to this story. Great work!

Katty – Knight of the Turnip Table

Author's Response: Thank you for your wonderful review! I\'m glad you approved of the characterisation of Percy. It was difficult capturing the essence of Percy, but I\'m glad I did well =) Thank you also for catching my technical mistakes!

I Never Knew You by lily_evans34

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: She had never known what to say to her sister. But now that she is ready, it is too late.

Andromeda one shot.
Reviewer: Mind Games Signed
Date: 05/25/07 Title: Chapter 1: I Never Knew You

I chose to review this story because I’ve taken an interest in exploring the lives of the Black sisters, mainly Andromeda. I was on your author page when I suddenly found this interesting one-shot that focused on the relationship between Andromeda and Bellatrix. As it was a Rachel!fic, I knew I was not to be let down. What I did not know was that I would enjoy it as much as I did! I love the emotions you gave Andromeda and her feelings towards her sister. She seems sort of torn with her feelings of Bellatrix. She wants to care about her sister, yet at the same time she keeps being pushed away by her. Her memories of her sister are only false fantasies and not true memories, and I like how you brought this out in the story. It’s hard to know exactly how Andromeda felt about her sisters, but I think you wrote it very realistically.

The setting you wrote throughout the story was perfectly eerie. I liked how instead of having one or two big paragraphs of description at the beginning, you sprinkled it throughout the story. This really helped keep the chilling atmosphere and the scene stayed fresh in my mind instead of fading away after reading for a few minutes. The graveyard setting was just right. You wrote in plenty of details while keeping it simple and not as melodramatic as some graveyard scenes tend to be. The season you wrote and the graveyard also were a great combination. The description you had with the first signs of winter and the details of the graveyard flowed together nicely and really helped create an amazing atmosphere and setting.

Andromeda coming to the realization that she never knew her sister was a great way to end the letter and it gave Andromeda the closure she needed. I liked how she began to let go of all those childhood fantasies she’d had of her sister as she was writing. She began to know that she never did have any relationship with Bellatrix and she never will. It’s almost as if she’s letting go of a dream she had of having a close relationship with her sister and accepts that she never had anything between her. She also began to see Bellatrix for who she really was and all of the fantasies faded away with the end of the letter.

Just one grammar nit-pick…

It was as isolated spot, with hardly any tombstones occupying the vacant space.

I think you mean ‘an isolated spot’ instead of ‘as isolated spot’.

You showed us a very believable relationship between Andromeda and Bellatrix. Andromeda’s emotions were as I would imagine them to be, and while I never thought about her longing for a closer relationship with Bellatrix, I could see her feeling that way. That’s one thing I love about your writing. You write the characters to do things or think of things in a way I never thought they would, yet it’s always believable and in character. By the end of the story it seems like it was almost a part of their canon personalities all along. I really enjoyed reading and reviewing this excellent take on Andromeda and her feelings towards her sister. I’ll definitely be back to your author page. Once again, great work! *hugs*

~ Katty

Author's Response: Teh SPEW buddy Katty! *tackles* Thank you so much for the FANTABULOUS review! :D:D:D And dude, I\'ve been meaning to fix that typo for ages. *facepalm* But yes, thank you again, and I\'m glad you liked it! *squishes*

Are You Brave Enough? by guiding ray of sunlight

Rated: 1st-2nd Years •
Summary: When the Hogwarts Express is attacked Harry decides it's time to go now, alone.

A song-fic submittion to the Gryffindor July Challenge- A Banner For Thee.
Reviewer: Mind Games Signed
Date: 02/01/07 Title: Chapter 1: Are You Brave Enough?

What an interesting story! For starters, I really like the title. It’s not fancy or elaborate, but simple while still intriguing. The song lyrics you chose for the story were unique and accurate. They worked well without seeming cliché and overdone. Another thing that really made this wonderful was the characterization. Harry is just so…Harry. I can see the bravery and determination in his thoughts and in his dialogue. You really know how to write a decent Harry Potter, which is not an easy thing to do.

I liked how you switched point-of-view between the characters near the end, while weaving the lyrics in at the same time. Seeing the others’ views and thoughts of Harry was very insightful and in character. Remus feeling proud of him, Hermione trying to be brave for herself and Harry, Ron realizing his best friend is going off to face danger, Ginny being concerned and hoping Harry will be safe. They were all dead on. You really know how to write the Gryffs’. =)

Okay, now for some constructive criticism…

I thought you could have added more description, particularly at the beginning. You sort of rush into explaining the situation with the Death Eaters, without giving us much detail. It seems a bit stiff. I would suggest adding a paragraph at the beginning that shows Harry examining the atmosphere and comparing it to what it is and what it once was. For instance, you could have him staring at the window and remembering looking out and seeing the blue sky on a previous train ride to Hogwarts. Then try switching into the present scene: him looking at a broken and dreary window. It doesn’t necessarily need to be a window, but describing some of the wreckage would help us picture the scene. Details are the key to making this story all the more powerful and moving.

Fifty students had been killed.

Fifty students seems a little overdone and the way you worded it was very direct. Re-wording the sentence might make it sound better. Maybe something like: So many of the innocent students had lost their lives.

I liked the characterization throughout the story, but I thought Ron would have been a little more stubborn when Harry said he was going to go on alone. He didn’t say much, and I think he would at least ask Harry to re-consider. Ron isn’t the type to keep quiet when he feels strongly about something. =)

Harry looked around at the group around him

The second ‘around’ is repetitive. I’d suggest changing it to ‘Harry looked over to the group near him’ or something similar. I notice this occurs several times throughout the story, so reading through this and re-wording some of your sentences would not be a bad idea.

As I stated above, I love how you end with the reactions from Harry’s friends, but I thought you could add just one last closing sentence. It seems to end a bit abruptly. I think a short and simple closing sentence would work well there.

You surprised me with this. At first, I expected it to be sort of cliché and common, but you had quite a few fresh and original ideas. You’re very talented with characterization, which is what makes this story really great. You show a lot of promise as an author. I look forward to reading more of your work.

Mind Games - Knight of the Turnip Table

Author's Response: Hey! :) Well, first off, I am flattered that you like my characterization (but I don\'t think you\'ll be able to get much more of the cannon gryffs. I\'m really not that good....I think this is the most I will ever produce... :P) And now, in response to the critisism: Well, I threw things in abrupty because I was writing this for a challenge, and I was running late. Besides, the lyrics start with devastaion. Though I may be able to find a place to fit in the day before...I can see what you mean about the deaths being too upfront, but he was just rubbed so raw by it that to himself, at least, he isn\'t making up fancy sentances (no offense meant). As for Ron. Well, first off, I have a feeling Hermione spoke to him before-hand, telling him to let Harry go if tht is what Harry chose. He probably waisted all his agruing energy in a row with her over that. In the sentance, I meant it to be \'Harry looked aroung at the group surounding him\' I guess I was lazy and just wrte around. I will fix that mistake up ASAP. I fealt ginny\'s thoughts were the closing sentance. She summarized what everyone is feeling, and by the time she says it, Harry is already gone (simbolic of their rlationship). I also don\'t know what sentace would work...I\'ve closed other fics with sentances like: \'Oh how I miss you, my Immortal Lover\' or \'It was all over\'. I\'m not sure if something of that style will work here, because, there is no real closure to the story. Harry is still out there, and they are still left behind. Once again, I am really happy you liked the story, and that you didn\'t find it common. *blushes* see what you\'ve done? :p :) ~Sunray

Your Star by Hansolohpfrk

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
Summary: The final assignment for DADA First Years, ProfPosky, Professor.

Hermione Granger knows that he isn’t there. He had received the Kiss a long time ago. But she decides to go to talk to him. HG/DM

Reviewer: Mind Games Signed
Date: 03/18/07 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1

I don’t typically read Hermione/Draco stories, but your summary made this too good to pass up. It’s so mysterious and it just made me so curious about the story. I think having a good summary really made my overall impression of the story even better. The way you write is so mysterious and that is why I think it’s so intriguing. You don’t give us all the information right away and you even leave some things unanswered in the end. It’s just perfect! You make me so eager to keep reading and you keep me questioning it all while I’m reading. Great work!

The overall idea you had is unique and different from what I see in most Hermione/Draco stories. I usually stay away from this pairing because I feel that it becomes too cliché, but it’s so refreshing to read the work of an author who takes this pairing and brings new ideas to it. The story actually contains more thought and depth, not just romance between the characters. The way you write Hermione/Draco is so different from what I usually see and that’s one thing I love about it.

The Azkaban setting added to the dark aspects of the story so well. I thought it was rather chilling the way you wrote it. I nearly shivered as you were describing it! Everything from Hermione feeling as if no one trusted her to the separate cells for the prisoners that had received the Kiss. And when you got to Draco…I just felt the emotions and atmosphere so well. The way you describe his lifeless form was so heartbreaking. I loved how you focused on his eyes. I could just picture them. And when Hermione looked back towards them at the end really completed it. Just beautiful!

Now I have my nitpicks to point out…

There were many people who had been sent to Azkaban after the War.

I don’t believe ‘war’ would be capitalized here.

“Yeah, right. Your friends would sure help me.” He said to me.

You should put a comma after ‘me’ instead of a period. Also, ‘he’ does not need to be capitalized.

I think the interactions between Hermione and Draco started off as just a bit too nice on Draco’s part. He seemed to almost enjoy helping Hermione and, given their past, I think he would have treated her more harshly and spoken to her as if she was beneath him. Making his dialogue just a bit more callous and maybe even having him gloat a bit would make his actions more believable.

The second flashback between them was good, but I still just couldn’t quite believe it. I think they both might have been just a little too nice to each other. It just seems like a big jump from having them share so much hatred for each other in the past to having Hermione nearly tell Draco she loves him. The relationship developed too quickly for me. However, I do think the idea is very possible. Perhaps you could mention how long Hermione had been held captive and how she had learned to know a new side of Draco in that time. Was Draco there for Hermione at one time? Did Hermione help Draco when no one else could? If we had a reason for how the relationship came to be, I would have no trouble believing it.

You left off with some mystery, which really intrigued me. I love endings that really keep the reader guessing and questioning the story. This story was very thought-provoking and inspiring to me. You have that way of letting us still think about and remember the story long after we read it, which is amazing! This was such a poignant and lingering piece, as well as a great example of Dark/Angst. Actually I think it could also make a great chapter fic if you’d ever consider expanding it. The ideas are fantastic! Well done!

Katty – Knight of the Turnip Table

Author's Response: Thanks for your heartfelt review with meat! I shall fix my mistakes ASAP. I\'ve been really swamped with RL lately. Thanks so much for your review! It made me happy! --Hanni

There is a Method to his Madness by Polaris

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
Summary: Why is Moody so bent on constant vigilance?

Written for DADA taught by Professor VV.
Reviewer: Mind Games Signed
Date: 03/30/07 Title: Chapter 1: A Reason for Constant Vigilance

This was an interesting character choice. There aren’t too many stories about Alastor Moody, so seeing his name in the summary made me curious. He seems like he would be such a fascinating character to write about. He must have a lot of great history and his personality just sparks my interest. Sadly, I haven’t read a story that focuses around him until today. I’m so glad I decided to read this one because I really think the characterization in it is excellent. The way you write Moody really is just unlike anything I’ve ever seen. He is so close to the canon Moody, and every bit of dialogue and character traits you put in was just so Moody-like. It’s a great gift for a fanfic writer to be able to get so close to the canon characters and really get inside their heads. To me it seems as if you really thought like Moody as you wrote this, and it shows throughout the story.

At first when you mentioned how he had a daughter, I thought the idea was a little strange and un-canon. But nowhere does it state that Moody doesn’t have a daughter, so it does not go against canon in any way. On the contrary, I thought it was an interesting addition to Moody’s life as I read on. It was really intriguing since we don’t know anything about her, nor do we know what role she plays in the story and Moody’s life. As we first get a glimpse of her, it’s obvious that something tragic has happened to her, but I liked how you didn’t let us know right away. It was that bit of mystery that really held my interest. Using this idea really added to Moody’s character, bringing out a new side of him, while still keeping him completely in character. Well done!

You wrote such a unique atmosphere in the story. It had a certain sadness, but it was a subtle sadness. Not the obvious, fall into your loved ones’ arms because you’re so overcome with grief type of sadness, but something much more slow and soft. A father’s love for his daughter, as well as his loss and grief as she loses will to live. It was just the right sort of sadness for the story. You have to read the whole story to see it and recognize it, but it’s there the entire time. Not too obvious…just enough to make you feel an understanding and sorrow for Moody. Most of us have never pictured him losing someone and grieving over it, so I thought it was really amazing that you did.

I found some nitpicks in the story…

My beautiful Emilia. She was kidnapped one day, 7 years ago when I was off on a mission for the O-the... the Minister.

‘7’ should really be written out as ‘seven’ in this sentence.

The tears that threatened to spill over, finally did.

I think the comma in this sentence is unnecessary.

Now she cannot finish HealerTtraining.

There is an extra ‘t’ in this sentence. Just a small typo that you missed.

"Emilia." Moody interrupted curtly.

The period after ‘Emilia’ should be a comma.

*Two Weeks Later*

I don’t think putting the ‘two weeks later’ inside asterisks really worked all that well. It seemed to throw off the flow and interrupt the story a bit. Instead of writing it in asterisks, I would suggest writing it into the story. For example, ‘It had been two weeks since the incident at St. Mungo’s..’ or something like that.

The story has quite a few unneeded fragments, as well as grammar errors (other than what I mentioned above) and run-on sentences. Getting a beta to touch up the story, or looking over it yourself, would make it look more professional and put together. There are many available beta readers on the MNFF forums that would definitely be willing to beta this, so I would really recommend contacting one of them.

I loved every idea and theory you presented in this. I think you really brought a lot to Moody’s character and his unknown past. The ideas you had that explained the way he acts and thinks were really well thought-out and they flowed perfectly with canon. I thought showing how the Imperious curse can affect not only the receiver, but also the ones surrounding them, such as Moody, brought some realistic aspects into it and addressed an issue many overlook or don‘t want to write about. It’s a great character study, and you really got inside his head. I’m highly impressed. You have a lot of talent, Polaris. I’ll be reading more from you soon.

Katty -- Knight of the Turnip Table

A Start by solemnlyswear_x

Rated: 3rd-5th Years •
Summary: Susan had always hated winter; everything seemed to be so dead.

Sixteen-year-old Susan Bones struggles to cope with her best friend leaving Hogwarts.

This is a submission for the Winter's Tales Prompt # 3, written by solemnlyswear_x of Gryffindor.
Reviewer: Mind Games Signed
Date: 02/09/07 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1

What a sweet story! You demonstrate the feelings of saying goodbye to a friend so well. I loved the winter atmosphere and Susan’s reaction to it. She hates the season, yet she’d rather be outside in the chilly and gloomy weather instead of facing the cheerful Hufflepuff common room. The imagery was wonderful, and I love the new take on winter. Many authors write it as something so beautiful with snow falling gracefully and the trees sparkling magically. There isn’t anything wrong with that, but seeing winter described in a different way was interesting as well as realistic. Because as much as I love winter, it can often be quite ugly and uninviting.

I enjoyed seeing the effects of the war from another student’s point of view. We typically read about the trio’s losses or another main character’s, and we tend to overlook the less-known characters. The deaths and losses from the war affect some of the minor characters just as much as they affect the main characters, even more in some cases. The minor characters can tell powerful stories if we let them. Thanks for showing a great example of how this can be done.

I do have some constructive criticism. Please bear with me. ;-)

Today it was a grey color, a dull, lifeless grey.

‘Color’ should be ‘colour’.

Home makes me think of- It makes me think of Mum.

‘It’ does not need to be capitalised.

She stared pointedly at him for a moment, before he realized she wanted him to leave.

‘Realized’ should be ‘realised’.

After reading the story, I really don’t think it is best suited in the Dark/Angsty category. While it is very sad during several parts of the story, and does talk about the death of several characters, it is not particularly dark or angsty. I think this would be better fitted in the General category.

Just a small formatting nitpick: In the fifth paragraph, you must have accidentally hit the enter key, causing the last sentence to fall below the rest of the paragraph.

This was such a pleasure to read. You really grasped Susan’s caring personality. She is thinking about what she has lost through the war, but she is also very concerned for her best friend and she realises that her friend has lost more than she has. Susan is such an un-selfish and considerate character. Her emotions were written beautifully all throughout the story. Great work!

Katty – Knight of the Turnip Table

Author's Response: Wow, thanks so much for reviewing, Katty! I love really long reviews. :] Thanks for the constructive criticism - I\'m not British, and I always forget to change the spellings. And, I\'m thinking about changing the category on this one. I think you\'re right - it might be better suited in General. Thanks again for the wonderful review!