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Reviews For From the Ashes

Name: WriteYourHeartOut (Signed) · Date: 18 Aug 2017 10:59 PM · Chapter: Prologue

Hello, hello, my friend!

 

I was looking through the reviews I'd left you so far on this story (via other sites), and as it turns out the only chapters I'd reviewed were 6 and 11! So I thought I ought to rectify that over here. And what a perfect excuse to start this fic once more from the beginning.

 

^.^

 

Your descriptions are enviable, as always. Honestly, you paint such a clear picture of the world in this moment. The rain, the dark evening, the sludgy streets of oil and garbage, a poor girl in soaked clothes huddled in upon herself... I mean, every detail created such a visual in my mind. You are the master of that.

 

I also love how immediately I feel for the (assumed) protagonist, stuck outside in the rain, scared, hungry, lonely. You want to reach through the screen and help her. Especially when even her smallest comforts are taken away - the person she was hoping for isn't at the door, the cat she sometimes spends time with doesn't show up, and her tiny corner of the world is suddenly invaded by the oddest dressed woman in existence!

 

(Love that outfit, by the way. Taking notes for my own wardrobe.)

 

There's something so perfectly weird about this horribly dark, hopeless scene being suddenly occupied by someone in bright, clashing colors and animal prints! hahaha Your choice of attire was perfection, not only for the juxtaposition, but also because the way it was described, I could see it so clearly.

 

And then the ending. I love how it pulls you at the end towards needing to know more: the strange woman seems to have been the cat all along, the wand causes an interesting reaction in the protagonist, and she's being so heavily sought after by this lady that she's being shrunk down just so she can't escape! It's all very intriguing. I can't imagine anyone getting to the end of this and not clicking for chapter two.

 

Such a great prologue. What a way to begin a story!

 

Tanya



Name: Stella Blue (Signed) · Date: 14 May 2017 09:52 PM · Chapter: Chapter 12

YAY! OK HERE I AM! I sent in a job application and so now as a present to myself I am reading this chapter.

I liked seeing a little from Harry's POV here. This is very believable for him, that he wants to get to know Sadie but doesn't know how. Harry's not particularly social so this made a lot of sense for his character - I mean he rarely ever talks to anyone aside from Ron and Hermione, but he does have a big heart, so those few paragraphs rang really true with what I would expect from Harry - sympathy, but not really much of a clue how to go about communicating :P

Ahh and it kills me to think that Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon were keeping letters from him for so long! There is no way they'd want Harry to be in constant communication with wizards. Not at all. it just breaks my heart though that Harry had people who cared about him all that time and he didn't even know, and they probably thought he didn't care about them enough to respond to all the letters. :'(

Harry's effort to get to know Sadie may have started off with a bit of a hiccup but I really love that Harry is trying, and that whatever resent either of them is feeling is put aside so they can learn from each other. Also, Mrs Weasley telling everyone to eat - classic, and also I really love this because it makes Harry and Sadie laugh together, and that's like the first thing that cements a friendship.

It struck her that she really had come to love this Burrow and the crazy people that inhabited it. -- ISN'T THAT HOW WE ALL FEEL?? ♥

I love that Sadie feels so safe there. She deserves that.

BILL. He is so sweet. For some reason I found it really easy to imagine - not only that Bill would offer to carry laundry upstairs, but that he would be smug answering that question. And then that book for Sadie! That is just the most wonderful thing. I love how supportive the Weasleys are - even though Sadie understandably feels left out when conversations zip on by and she has trouble keeping up what with not being able to speak, the Weasleys really are trying because they want to understand her and to include her. Sadie could not have ended up living with a better adoptive family. *Hugs all of the Weasleys, and Sadie, and Harry can get in on this hug too*

So Hogwarts is coming up soon! I imagine that will be kind of a scary step for Sadie, but she has a good support system all around her which hopefully will make Hogwarts exciting rather than scary, because she's not alone anymore.

Amazing chapter! I'm so so so so glad that you updated this, it made my day :D



Author's Response:

And here I am, almost 9 months late, finally responding to this amazing review.  And I don't even have a good excuse like applying for jobs.  Just Merlin fanfiction that has stolen me away.

 

I can't tell you how much your love and loyalty to this story means to me!  Seriously, it makes me SO happy!

 

Thank you!  That's everything I wanted to and was hoping to show from that first section, summed up in one paragraph.  Harry is pretty socially stunted, thanks to the Dursleys.  He tries, bless his heart, but it's not natural to him.  But you're right - he cares a great deal about things and wants to help people all the same.

 

And again - that's exactly what I wanted readers to get from the letters - sadness that Harry could have known about them, and Sadie, and his aunt Jenny and others for his whole life, but stupid Dursleys took that away from him as well.  And yes, Sadie's mother was very sad he never replied. :(

 

This is a story about Sadie and Fred working their way toward each other, but in all my stories, romance is just one part of a story, because it's just one part of life.  And as such, this is as much Harry and Sadie's story as it is anything else.  Both of them, learning to have a family.  So, I'm glad you think it's off to a good start now!

 

And yes, we all love the Burrow.  That's why we come back to it time and again.

 

HUGS ALL AROUND!! 

 

Bill - I have a soft spot for him, being oldest siblings and all.  I feel like we can relate.  And I just wanted him to get a little more big brothering in for Sadie.  Plus, I needed a way to get this communication thing going!  So, let's hope this works!

 

Hogwarts will be VERY scary for Sadie.  And for me.  Like...wanna help me write it?

 

Thank you for the amazing review!  I love you to death!

 

 



Name: Stella Blue (Signed) · Date: 14 May 2017 09:51 PM · Chapter: Chapter 11

I'm here, as promised! You updated while I was travelling, so it's taken some time, but I am here in the airport and so happy to be finally reading this. Btw, I apologize in advance for typos since I'm reviewing on my phone.

Ahh FRED LIKES COOKING. Yes! I would never have thought of this but, why not? This is totally my new headcanon. And this: She would have already yelled at him for being out of bed, then moved over to taste his pie filling, offering a suggestion on what he could tweak to make it even better. -- I just love this, and I could totally see Mrs Weasley doing something like this. And she'd be SO happy that one of her children loved cooking as much as she did! Anyway, I loved that creative bit of characterization.

Your writing of Sadie continues to be wonderful, and I love how much depth and nuance you're able to give a character who never speaks. Little things like her rolling her eyes at Fred - it's clear that there's a lot more to Sadie than her sad, broken side which is most easily seen, and she has a sense of humour underneath it and it's always great to see one of the Weasleys bring out that side of her.

Lovely scene there in the kitchen wih Fred and Sadie. I agree that it would be too much of a secret for him to bear having seen her memory, and it was nice to see that she opened up about it a little. She is gradually doing that, tiny steps in each chapter but being surrounded by a loving family is helping her so much and it's wonderful to see. At the same time, I'm not surprised Sadie snuck out when Fred went to get the pie. I love that he left her a slice though (and that Fred went to go eat most of a pie by himself, hahaha)

I was so happy to see this update and it was a great chapter! Hoping to see some more of this soon :)



Author's Response:

Look at me, so slow responding to reviews that I had to re-read them all to remember what you said. Plus side of that is that I got to relive all these AMAZING things you said that made me blush all over again.

:D I love that I'm contributing to people's headcanon of the twins. Somehow, that makes me feel really special. hehehehe. But, I just couldn't figure out how they would make all those sweets to sell (even if they are trick ones) if they didn't know how to cook. Candy making isn't the easiest skill for beginning cooks to pull off. So, thanks!

And now I'm totally grinning from ear to ear over your comments of Sadie. Because, this is exactly what I hope is coming across - that there's more to her than meets the eye, it's just hidden. And there can be more to her without having to break the quietness that surrounds her, because that is also so much who she is. Seriously, thank you so much for noticing that!

I think I'm gonna squish you in hugs. Is that acceptable? Because this is such a great review.

Thank you so much. Now, can you coax the muse back so I can write more of this?



Name: Stella Blue (Signed) · Date: 14 May 2017 09:50 PM · Chapter: Chapter 10

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Hi Farmgirl! I am back on land for a few days and here to appreciate and love this chapter!

This was great. You've got Ollivander's mannerisms and dialogue down perfectly, and as always I'm really impressed with your ability to adhere so closely to canon. Ollivander is kind of weird in that his love of magic and wandlore kind of gives him a strange energy that's a bit off-putting, but in his own way he did show Sadie that she has nothing to fear from magic. It was wonderful to see Sadie face that fear, realise she has a choice, and take a step to conquer her fear - she was close to following her flight instinct but she has already changed a lot now that she has support.

As always Fred and George really shine here. I will never tire of saying how much I love your writing of the twins!

Lovely chapter and I'm so eager to read more. :)



Author's Response:

LAND! A lovely thing. (And now that you live on it full-time, do you ever miss the sea?)

Thank you! I really struggled with writing Olivander. (Of course, I seem to be struggling with writing in any form lately, so this should not be breaking news.) The balance of staying canon with him, having him react the way I wanted for this chapter, and not having him come off as a totally creeper, was VERY hard to walk. I hope I did it okay.

:) Me - blushing again, because of your compliments.

Thank you so much!



Name: Stella Blue (Signed) · Date: 14 May 2017 09:49 PM · Chapter: Chapter 9

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Review swap! Heh, I already had this chapter pulled up in a tab on my browser, along with like 8 other stories I'm trying to catch up on, so yay now I'm doing this one first.

Every time, I am so impressed by how you write the twins. And all of the Weasleys, really! I feel like this is right out of the pages of the books (except for the additional character of Sadie.) Sometimes I wonder if JKR writes all the Weasley scenes for you because it's just SO perfect and true to character for all of them. I loved the scene in the beginning too with Mrs Weasley trying to get everyone off to Diagon Alley - it was such a perfect combination of stern motherliness and teasing humour, I loved it.

“You-Know-Who leaves you homework hints? Blimey, I feel robbed. Do you think he’d be willing to branch out? Merlin knows I could use the help with Potions.” -- hehe, love it.

I really enjoyed reading their adventure through Diagon Alley - much like Harry's first trip there in Philosophers/Sorceror's Stone, it really feels magical - not just in the sense that there is magic going on, but all the wonder and discovery of new exciting places. It was neat to see Sadie find her element, in the bookstore and then once again in that joke shop. The way the twins kept talking about Hermione's love of books, it made me grin to see that scene as it was kind of like a reminder to the twins that people can love books AND love creating mischief - they're not mutually exclusive traits.

Ooh, the beginning of Weasley's Wizard Wheezes! I loved this scene because in the books it's like this place just appeared out of nowhere suddenly vacant and the twins bought it, so I like that you showed it in its state of disrepair before anyone did anything with the property. And they were buying ingredients for Canary Creams and whatnot during that visit, just as Mrs Weasley predicted they would. But as we know, those sneaky twins will find a way to get away with it! :p

Awesome chapter, as always! I look forward to reading more :D



Author's Response:

You are so good to me, keeping up with my SUPER SLOW fics even though it takes years to get an update. *hugs* Thanks so much!

And now my head explodes from happiness after your Weasley comment. Seriously, I can't tell you how good that makes me feel. You are THE best! And I promise, JKR does not write them for me, though that is one of the nicest things anyone has ever implied, LOL.

You are the first person to pick out that line about homework help and laugh at it. I was beginning to doubt that it was even funny. Glad someone liked it!

I'm glad you felt the magic in the scene. I really was trying to show that. I miss that aspect of the earlier books as the story got darker and more mature. That sense of wonder and magic and that this is a world that is just a little eccentric and doesn't always take itself seriously. 

And yes, you can love books and mischief at the same time. 

I have always wondered how the twins found property when they were stuck at school, so this was my explanation - the place had been empty for ages and they had log ago decided it would be theirs. And of course they were buying illicit things for their business. Would you have expected anything less from them? hehehe

Thanks again. Maybe sometime this century there will be another chapter for you to read. But you will probably be somewhere exotic when it comes out so, LOL.



Name: Stella Blue (Signed) · Date: 14 May 2017 09:47 PM · Chapter: Chapter 8

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Ok, I love the whole scene of the Weasley family dinner, George's elbow in Ginny's face haha. Aw, poor Sadie, that must be difficult to get any food at a dinner like a shark feeding frenzy, since shecan't speak up. Use your elbows, Sadie! That will get people out of the way :p

I feel bad for George too as he obviously didn't mean to be so tactless, but at least he dug himself out of that hole all right. Blame it on Fred, always a good option. Oh dear, what are the twins up to now...

Aw! I love Sadie's memory of being at home on the farm and happy, I love that they had tractors. Obviously Arthur approves :D Also, I loved the whole feeling of that section describing the kind of old timey farm, it sounds lovely. Especially a Vermont autumn!

Oh no! That's her only memory of wand magic?! I wonder if she'll be able to overcome it, or do without a wand entirely. It sounds like a scary outing for her to Diagon Alley! Hopefully the twins will make it easier for her, haha.

Great chapter, as always! :)



Author's Response:

Aw, thank you! I can't tell you how much it means to have you as a reader, and to have you sticking with me. *hugs*

I'm glad you liked the family dinner. I don't suppose they are ALWAYS like that, a shark feeding frenzy, but sometimes it probably can't be helped, especially with that many of them stuck inside from the rain. And yes, Sadie needs to learn to use her elbows. I will tell her that.

Yeah, George didn't mean to put his foot in his mouth, but he's really good at it. His general plan is to always blame it on Fred anyway. As for what they are up to, stay tuned. :) I think you'll like it.

It was really nice to write some happy memories for Sadie, to show that she had a great childhood until it was ripped away from her. And it was fun to make it all old-fashioned and cozy.

Well, it's probably not her only memory of wand magic - of course she remembers her parents using them for good things, but the good memories were overwritten by the many, many bad ones. We'll have to see how she overcomes it.

Thanks again SO much for reading this, and for just being a great friend.

- Farmgirl



Name: Stella Blue (Signed) · Date: 14 May 2017 09:46 PM · Chapter: Chapter 7

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Hi there! I stopped by to give this chapter some love!

Gaaa I love this chapter so, so, so much!!! The scene with Ginny and Sadie frolicking in the rain and then sharing secrets was just beautiful. The prose was beautiful, the imagery, the friendship forming, gah just everything. ♥

I am glad Sadie is able to be free like that again, for a while at least . She is such a strong person, after going throuh what she did, living alone out in the rain in the city, and still appreciating the beauty of the rain. Since she's been through so much bad stuff, she can see the good in anything, I guess. But seriously I loved that scene. Usually I review as I read but my eyes were glued to the screen because I didn't want to look away!

oh and Ginny being embarrassed about that picture of Harry was just too cute. At least she knows Sadie won't tell :p

Hmm, how did Sadie transfer her memories to Fred? I wonder if she knows that she did. I'm interested to see how he will bring that up, because I don't think he wants to dredge up her worst memories for her, but I imagine he wants to talk to her about it...

Loved the Fred and George scene. I've said it before and I'll say it again - you write the twins so well! I love that despite how they never keep secrets, even when there is a secret it's still okay.

So anyway, this was a super fantastic amazing chapter! Keep up the great work :)



Author's Response:

This chapter is so appreciative of the love! Thank you so much!

I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I was hoping people would like the change of pace and be glad I let Sadie have some happy time, but I was also worried people would be like "what's this fluff?" LOL. And I'm seriously blushing from the praise you just gave me.

It was VERY nice to write Sadie a little closer to who she really is, not the scared, cautious girl she's being right now because everything is so new and her instinct is to first protect herself, then maybe trust later. 

I don't know why Sadie ended up liking the rain, but all through this story, whenever rain crops up, she is drawn to it. I finally gave in and decided that my character was asserting herself and I'd better listen. It is amazing that after living on the streets at the mercy of the weather, she still likes it. I'm going to have to chat with her and find out sometime WHY she's so fascinated with it. And maybe you are right - maybe she has learned to find the good where she can. So glad you liked it!

Nope, Sadie won't tell Ginny's secret. But she might tease her a bit about it. And she might try to get her cousin to see what's right under his nose...

Now the questions about the memory and Fred: how Sadie did it will eventually be explained as this story goes on, but it's important. Does she know that she did it? no. And Fred is going to have to find a way to discuss this with her, you are absolutely right.

You make me smile that you like the twins in this so much. Thanks!

Thanks again for reading! You are one of the reasons I keep plugging away at this to put up new chapters.

- Farmgirl



Name: Stella Blue (Signed) · Date: 14 May 2017 09:42 PM · Chapter: Chapter 6

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YAY A NEW CHAPTER! It was such a wonderful surprise when you told me you'd got a new chapter up, because I wasn't expecting one so soon! :)

I like the balance you struck between scary, dark things, and humour. The twins are (as usual) perfect in this - cracking jokes and chatting, until things get serious and they adjust to the situation accordingly. I thought their desire to partake in the fighting was realistic, as was their protectiveness of Ginny, the jokes in the face of danger, and then the way they became very serious at the end there. Excellent job all around with the characters. I think that's your strongest point.

Fred shook his head, agreeing wholeheartedly with his brother. Ron, Harry, and Hermione were drawn to danger like moths to the flame. If there was a disaster happening you could bet the three would be in the thick of it.
Well, Fred is definitely right about that. :p

I love that the twins hid all the sweets in Harry and Ron's things, by the way! That's absolutely something they would do.

And then, wow, that flashback at the end - so intense, and horrifying. I can't imagine how horrible it must have been for Sadie to sit through that and have to watch - and then to have to live through it all over again as the Dark Mark triggered the memory of it. I did think it odd that the Death Eaters used guns. I'm interested to find out who those people were and what they could possibly have wanted with Sadie. By the way, the continued integration of Sadie's back story is really well done, and I like how you've handled it so far.

Excellent chapter! This story is coming along really well and I'm looking forward to reading more. ♥



Author's Response:

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Hey, look! I'm only 2+ months late replying to this amazing review! (hangs head in shame) I'm so sorry! Real life turned into a beast over the holidays and I had no free time. And then I thought it would get better in January, but it didn't. Still, I'm trying to tame it now and catch up with things I let slide for too long. So, hopefully, next time it won't take me this long to reply when you leave me a wonderful review!

I'm so very glad you are still enjoying reading this story. Hopefully, updates will be coming again soon as well, though I won't let myself put up a new chapter until I've replied to all of these reviews I've been neglecting.

I really do try to balance my chapters out with dark verses funny. It can be too hard to write, let alone read, when there is all dark and no light in a chapter. And I'm happy you liked the choice of using the twins for it. I've always felt like there is so much more to the twins than just being jokers. They can add a lot of depth to a story if used the right way. (Not saying I'm using them the right way, just that I'm tyying.) And now I'm blushing because of your compliments. Thanks so much. 

The Golden Trio really IS always in the thick of things, aren't they. But then, of course they are - they are the stars of the books, LOL. Be boring books if they never broke any rules.

The hiding of the sweets was luck that I thought of it. I've always wondered how the twins went from having all their stuff confiscated to making big bucks at school right when they got back. This was my way of explaining it.

I know that flashback was intense. I was worried it might be TOO intense, but I didn't know how to sugar coat the awful things I needed to explain. People had to see exactly what Sadie had experienced to understand why she is how she is.

Oh, you picked up on the guns thing, did you? I promise to explain it - in time. *evil grin* Along with who they were and why they wanted Sadie. And I am SO glad you liked the flashbacks. I was worried people would get upset because they can be very cliche. 

Thanks so much! More soon, once I finish responding to reviews. 

You rock!



Name: Stella Blue (Signed) · Date: 14 May 2017 09:40 PM · Chapter: Chapter 5

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Hi there! I'm here with your requested review!

Ok, so you have a really amazing way of hooking the reader in. Often I like to write down comments and review as I read, but I can't do that very well with this story - it's so compelling that I'd rather just keep reading than scroll down and write about my thoughts!

With each update, I feel like I can connect with Sadie just a little more. I really felt for her in the beginning when she was looking forward to having friends. (Actually, it reminded me of Luna's comment about the DA, that "it was like having friends" - you can't help but want to hug her! That's how I felt about Sadie after that part when she's marvelling at what it would be like to have friends.)

The way you write Sadie's emotions is so real. The part where she leaves breakfast to sit by herself - I wouldn't have expected anything else, because as nice as the Weasleys are, they can definitely be overwhelming - but the way you described her thoughts, just, wow. Her focus on how wonderful it is to have a meal (she's lucky she's staying with the Weasleys :p ) and the way she thinks about the fuzzy memories of her family slipping away as she walks up the hill... That girl has been through so much. And I don't even know what it all was yet, but I'm starting to get a clearer picture. But I like that, it seems to fit really well. It's like because Sadie is suppressing the memories, we don't find out about what they are. So the way you've withheld much of the information about it is a great way to tell her story, if I'm making sense haha.

As for the canon characters, they were excellent. Fred and George finishing each other's sentences - that never gets old! Hermione and Ginny didn't even speak in this chapter and they were still perfect! I know this sounds weird, but the way they were sleeping (Hermione curled up, Ginny sprawled out) seems perfect for each of them haha.

And Bill! He is the most wonderful older brother. I really enjoyed his conversation with Sadie, and I'm glad it was he that talked to her. It definitely fits - Bill as the oldest probably looks out for everyone a little more than his siblings do. And the fact that he's a curse breaker too, I feel like that helped him relate to her at least a little. When Sadie finally talks to Harry I think they'll be able to connect really well too, since Harry also has those memories he'd rather not have, like when the Dementors attacked him in PoA and he heard his parents screaming before they died. I mean, that's not a very happy topic to bond over, but it'll be good to have someone who can relate to her a little on the sad stuff as well as just make her feel better.

Now, for a little bit of CC- I found a typo here: fisted her hands into back of the jacket - that should say "into the back".

Also, I wonder about the section where all the magic was scaring Sadie. When I first read it, I thought it was what she experienced when she took the Portkey, since the last thing you mentioned before then was about how nervous she was. It took me a bit to realise that the panic was actually just about the crowd (and even then, I thought it was about the post-Quidditch Death Eater activity, until she started talking with Bill.) That's just the way I read it, so I think it might benefit from a little clearing up as to when all this happened. (a sentence at the end of the previous section would do, just mentioning that they got there with no issues, or something.) But - you are the author, and you can do as you like, of course! I get that you're trying to make it vague because Sadie's so mixed up, so I understand why it wouldn't be super clear. I just got a bit confused at first, that's all.

Well, that aside - this was truly a wonderful chapter! And I think this may be the longest review I've ever written :p Good luck with all the real life stuff and I'm really looking forward to your next chapter, whenever that may be - but take your time ;) Amazing work!



Author's Response:

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I'm sorry it has taken me so long to respond to this AMAZING review! Seriously, one of the best I've ever received! You are so kind to me!

I totally understand what you mean about the annoyance of having to scroll down and write thoughts, then come back up. But, I'm squealing like a little girl that my story has hooked you in that much. :D Thanks! Makes me so excited!

That part you mention about Luna and her having friends is one of the most poignant moments of the whole series to me, and so I'm sure I was probably channeling that just a little as I wrote this, but it's so true. Having friends is one of the best things in life, and when you don't get that opportunity, it's sad.

As for Sadie, I am SO happy you feel like you are connecting with her. That's what I wanted, when I started posting this story, so you are making my wishes come true.

And now you are just making me blush from your compliments. I do try hard to push Sadie's emotions through, and make her feel real and not contrived or cliche. And you are right that part of how I'm revealing information has to do with Sadie's personality. I was very worried when I started this that people would hate me for the slow reveals, but it's just how I felt it needed to go. Sadie is a very closed off person at this point, and telling too much would ruin that.

But you are right in that she's been through a lot, and eventually you'll find out about a lot of it.

Yup blushing again. Thank you for the compliments on the canon characters! I've had so much fun writing them all. And how could I have a fic without my twins finishing each other's sentences? hehehehe

I think I kind of relate to Bill a little. I'm the oldest kid in my family, and yeah, old siblings do feel a bit more responsibility to take care of the rest sometimes I think. I'm really glad you liked the Bill part. I was worried it would be awkward or weird, but I also wanted Sadie to start talking to someone! And yes, I do plan for Harry and Sadie to start talking as well. They have a lot of catching up to do.

Seriously, that type is still there? I thought I fixed that. Bad me!

Sorry for the confusion with the switching sections. :( Didn't mean to cause that. I actually did try it with a bit more clarification at first, but it just didn't work with the mood I was trying to set, so I took a risk. And lost you in the process! Again, so sorry!

Thanks for the best review ever! And for your patience as I got to replying to it. I've decided I will come back to writing earlier than planned, doing this fic as my NaNo project, so start looking for updates again soon.

Thanks again!



Name: Stella Blue (Signed) · Date: 14 May 2017 09:38 PM · Chapter: Chapter 4

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Hi there! I'm sorry in advance this won't be a very interesting or long review because I'm afraid my internet will cut out again, but I just wanted to let you know that I read the chapter and loved it! I really enjoy the little snippets of background you give about Sadie in each chapter - such as what her family was like, how she found the sign language class. And I love your version of Wizarding New York City - a sixth borough, that's brilliant. And I love how easily the Weasleys took to having Sadie stay with them and how they treated her like family. Loved the twins as usual, finding sign language really convenient to finish each other's sentences even more than before. And the section from Harry's POV was sweet as well. I'm glad Sadie is starting to settle in - though it'll be a long road for her, she's at least starting to be accepted. Great chapter!!



Author's Response:

Hey, no worries! I know where you are and I'm totally honored you're still reviewing anyway!



So glad you liked the chapter. And it's really fun to work the bits of her background into the story naturally instead of Sadie having a huge tell-all session.



Wizarding NYC was a blast to think up. The city will play such a huge part in this saga in later novels I really wanted to make sure I set things up from the start so readers who last that long wouldn't be like, wait a minute...you're just making this up because you need it now.



The Weasleys are wonderful, aren't they. I'll admit I totally figured out a way to send Sadie to them just because I wanted her to get their warmth.

 

Trust the twins to think of the mischief in anything.



Thanks again for reading!



Name: Stella Blue (Signed) · Date: 14 May 2017 09:37 PM · Chapter: Chapter 3

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Hello there!

Bahaha, for some reason I love the idea of McGonagall and Dumbledore gossiping about Professor Binns. "His teaching lacks a certain life to it"... brilliant. Punny.

I'm really surprised that Sadie has such exemplary reading/writing skills. I guess she would need to in order to communicate by writing, but since the last we saw her, she had been living in a dark alley, and that doesn't seem like a place she'd be able to read some Shakespeare and learn her past participles and independent clauses and stuff. So somewhere along the line she must have had access to a good education! At least in reading.
(Ok, disregard all of that, since I got to the part from Sadie's POV at the end and it looks like she lived near a library! Got ahead of myself there.)

I know you were worried about writing Dumbledore, but I think you did really well. He acts a little differently from how he does in the books, but that makes sense because he's not talking to teenage Harry, he's talking to someone he's been friends with for fifty years, and it's natural that he would talk just a little differently to her. Also, was that Legilimency at the end? As weird as Legilimency is, as a concept, I think it's great that Dumbledore used it because it didn't force Sadie out of her comfort zone too much, it seemed just normal to her. So that's good.

I found a small typo: she caught and reigned herself back in ... I think it should be "reined".

Other than that - lovely job on this chapter! :) I totally love this story!



Author's Response:

*transfered response*

 

 Hi! You came back! *hugs*

I had fun making fun of Binns. Does that make me a bad person?

As for Sadie's abilities...I've had a lot of people comment on this, which makes me think I didn't explain it very well. There are reasons for all of it, why she can do what she can, and also what she can't do. And I plan to reveal them as we go in the story. But I feel like, after some of the comments I've gotten, I should have had Dumbles and McG at least explain they were also confused at what she did and didn't know. Then it would seem more like answers would be coming. I might go back and edit a bit to fix that up, so you might want to check back in a few days and see if it makes more sense.

But, you DID catch the one hint I dropped (and so far you are the only one) that Sadie found a library and spent a good deal of time in there. That explains the reading and writing.

Glad you liked Dumbledore. I was very worried about him, so I hope he turned out right. You're right, he is a little different here, but he's also in a more adult situation and with his guard dropped, like you said.

Legilimency? Actually, no. I really didn't even think of him using that. (And it can't be that, for reasons I can't explain right now.) I just figured he could guess what she signed. The signs for those particular sentences are not that difficult to figure out their meanings. Guess that's another thing I should have made a little more clear.

And the typo! Oops!

Thanks so much for reading! 



Name: cambangst (Signed) · Date: 04 May 2017 07:52 PM · Chapter: Chapter 5

Hello, Jill! Another review transferred while I have a free moment...

I am really starting to take a liking to Sadie. Not that there's any reason not to like her, mind you, but the warm feeling of attachment is setting in. You'd better not have anything too awful planned for her!

Backing up to the start, one thing I have to compliment you on extensively is what a great job you're doing of integrating Sadie into a storyline that we already know well. Part of me wants to say that you're doing it with a "minimum of disruption", but I don't think that's exactly right. After all, introducing a new character with a district past who violates JKR's tenet of "Harry has no family except the Dursleys" is inherently disruptive to the story. That's kind of the point, I believe. I think what I want to say instead is that you're making the changes to the story feel very natural in context. When I read about how the twins or Ginny or Molly are reacting to Sadie, it feels right.

Now we have another tantalizing drop of information. Whatever happened to Sadie after her family was killed has left her scarred in some way. I really can't wait to find out what sort of horrors the poor girl has suffered that left her in such an awful way. I don't mean that in a ghoulish way, more just from the standpoint that it seems unlikely that she'll be able to really form solid connections with the other characters until more of her back story is out in the open. This habit she's developing of losing herself in memories seems likely to hasten the process, I'd say. I can feel a lot of "penny for your thoughts" sort of conversations in her future.

You did a good job of conveying her sense of claustrophobia as she's trying to make her way back to the Weasley family campsite after the QWC match. One interesting thing I picked up on in this section is that Sadie seems to have a unique sense of when she's surrounded by lots of magic. It's an interesting plot device, one that I see on other archive sites more often than on HPFF. I rather like it, myself, and I'm really curious to see what you make of it. Also, the only typo I saw was in this section:

Instead, she reached out and fisted her hands into back of the jacket worn by the red-haired man walking in front of her, not even sure exactly who it was, and clung on for dear life. - ... into the back...

I liked what you did with Bill in this chapter. You leveraged his role as Ginny's eldest brother and protector into a really believable attempt to reach out to Sadie. I know you were worried about how his entry into the "girl's tent" was going to come off and I thought you made it seem like a perfectly natural, non-creepy act on Bill's part. Sadie was clearly in a bad way and nobody else was paying attention. He tried to help her the same way he would have tried to help any of his other biological or adopted siblings. I absolutely loved his meditation on the toll that users of dark magic pay and the way his thoughts segued into Sadie's situation. I really hope you can make something more of that as the story unfolds.

My cousin – Harry – is he famous? -- I was laughing right along with Bill after she wrote that. I liked Bill's response. All of his responses, actually. He had such a nice, easy manner about him in this chapter. Nothing prying or judgmental, just giving Sadie a chance to open up to him on her terms. The bit where he states that it isn't his place to explain Harry's fame was a really nice touch, too. Sounded just like him.

I can't really add anything else. I am enjoying every bit of this story and I love the way you're pacing your plot and bringing your characters along. Nothing ever feels rushed or thrown together. Nicely done!



Author's Response:

(Transfered as well.)

 

I'll admit that I've liked keeping this review in my unanswered pile so I could still re-read it each time I logged on without having to hunt for it. I guess that tells you how good it made me feel.

I am SO excited that you are starting to like Sadie! There would really be no point in me continuing to post this story if no one liked her. :D And I hope, when I start posting again in December, that you will still like her enough to come back.

As for what I have planned for Sadie - now that would be telling...

I makes me all sorts of happy that you feel the story is fitting into the plot of the book. That is one thing I have worried a whole lot about, and struggled with how to write. I want Sadie to be present for the things that happen in the book, but I also don't want this story to just be a rehash of the book either. And the three lines limit for quotes makes that especially challenging where dialogue is concerned. I'm having to get really creative with how I write scenes, and which ones I include. 

But I am trying hard to keep it canon with the books, so your comments made me feel like I must not be doing too awful of a job with it.

You are one of the few people who has picked up on or at least commented on the "marks" hint that was dropped. And you are correct. Something in her past has left Sadie physically scarred, something she really probably doesn't want to share. 

But, once again you are right in that she is going to have to start sharing information in order to begin to heal. So, some of those "penny for your thoughts" conversations will start cropping up. Still, she's become a very withdrawn person, so don't expect everything to be revealed all at once. :D

Sadie's sensing of magic - I am playing with this, but probably not quite as much as you think I am. For various reasons, Sadie will be able to do SOME wandless magic more easily than most people, and part of that will have to do with her having learned out of necessity to feel the magic around her in a different way. But, she's not this walking magic-detector or anything. hehehehe. I'm curious to see how you like what I do in the end.

Thanks for the typo catch. Caught another one just like it farther up as well. Silly missing words.

And so glad you thought Bill turned out okay! I was quite happy with that section in the end, so I think slowing down and taking my time really helped. And I think Bill is going to become an important person to Sadie - help fill in the void left by her own brothers' dying.

It just dawned on me as I was writing this chapter that Sadie, unlike the rest of the wizarding world, would know very little about Harry's past. It gave me a fun little moment to break the tension with, and makes way for a nice conversation between the two of them later.

Thanks so much for reading! Your continued support on this story means more than you could ever know. 

Take care!
-Farmgirl



Name: cambangst (Signed) · Date: 04 May 2017 04:24 PM · Chapter: Chapter 4

Hi, Jill! One last review transferred before I have to get back to work...

You did a great job of capturing the cozy, comfortable chaos (Augh! Alliteration attack!) that we all associate with the Burrow. With that as a baseline, I think you layered in just the right amount of awkward tension. Nobody's quite sure what to do or say -- more importantly, I guess, what not to do or say -- around Sadie and Sadie has almost forgotten how to act in a "real" family home. I liked the sense of mildly uncomfortable wonder you gave her. It reminded me a lot of Harry's first visit to the Burrow.

All of the canon characters had just the right ring to them. Professor McGonagall somehow managed to be firm and reassuring all at the same time, a skill that she plied with great regularity for six consecutive books. Molly was playing the loving mother figure and the family drill sergeant with equal intensity. The twins injected levity into the situation and they seized the opportunity to learn something new from Sadie... and turn it into a way to make trouble. Hermione was her usual endless library of passingly relevant facts and figures -- Snape would have rolled his eyes and called her an insufferable know-it-all -- as well as an earnest and enthusiastic listener. Bill, Charlie and Percy were all nicely done in their smaller, supporting roles. Ginny sort of disappeared in the shuffle. I know it would have been well-nigh impossible to give everyone a long moment in the sun in a chapter like this, but I did sort of wonder what became of her. She's no shrinking violet.

The two most interesting by far were Arthur and Harry. If Harry and Sadie weren't related, I would swear that you were setting up an awkward teenage romance. The dynamic between the two of them was perfect, seeing as how neither is outgoing at all. They were acting like the proverbial kids standing along the wall at a middle school dance, stubbing their toes on the floor and stealing glances. I really, really hope that the two of them can become friends, although knowing what's in store for Harry, that's a rather frightening prospect in and of itself. Poor Arthur seems to have his emotions pulling him in about six different directions at once. The sense of duty he feels to his deceased friend almost feels like it's crushing him. He wants to help her so badly, but he really has no idea how to best go about it. There are so many things he wants and/or needs to tell her and so many things that he wants to ask. I feel terribly for him.

Hmmnn... so Sadie spent a bit of time in Vermont. Interesting, although not especially enlightening at this point. Maybe she was kidnapped by Ben & Jerry! :p Her memory of her first visit to the sign language class was powerful, powerful stuff. That was far and away my favorite section of the entire chapter. It was really amazing to see this poor, lost child suddenly find one thing in the entire world that she could grab onto in order to save herself from being lost forever. Later that night, in large letters that wobbled and swayed from ages without practice, a grubby, awkward hand gripped the pen and pushing way too hard on the pad of paper wrote the words: My name is Sadie, My name is Sadie, over and over again, until at least two precious pages were filled. -- ::sniff:: Excuse me, I think somebody's chopping onions around here.

I honestly don't have a thing I can recommend for this chapter. Awesome stuff, from start to finish!



Author's Response:

Hi Dan,

 

Cozy, comfortable chaos. I love it! That's exactly what I was going for! Thanks! And yes, I wanted to show Sadie's wonder, but also not have it be like she was instantly at home and best buds with everyone.

Thanks again for the reassurance on the canon characters. You know I worry about writing them, so to hear they are okay means a whole lot.

GINNY! Oh dear. You are SO right! I just kind of missed her. She was there, in my head, but I never let her speak up so no one else knows she was there. That's not right. Ginny doesn't let herself get shoved to the background. Too late for this chapter to fix it, but next chapter Ginny will get some lines! Promise!

I got a good giggle at the idea of a Harry/Sadie ship. There are some places in America where that's ALMOST acceptable you know. But, I'm really NOT writing that kind of fic, hehehehe. Don't worry, though, I do want them to become friends, even with the peril that could cause in the future. I just don't want it to happen too unrealistically fast. 

Arthur - he has surprised me in this story. In my first draft, I didn't focus much on him, as this was Sadie' story, and to a lesser extent, Harry's story of how his life changed by getting a cousin. But, as I've been editing to post, I keep adding all these scenes or bits into scenes that focus more on Arthur and how this impacts him as well. I like it, but it is unexpected. So glad you like the emotion it's creating though!

Yep, Vermont. And no...Ben and Jerry not involved. Though, now I'm wishing I'd thought of it... 

The last part of this review has seriously given ME warm fuzzies. I think I've read it a dozen times since you put it up. That scene where she finds the sign language classes was not part of the original chapter. I was editing, and it just hit me, and so I wrote it almost in one go. It really somehow struck me hard. But I wasn't sure if it would do that to anyone else. I was so thrilled when you said it did, pointing out the one sentence that meant so much to me as I was writing it, even. THANKS!

Oh, and sorry about those onions chopping.

Thanks as always! I look forward to your review each time I post. I hope you continue to like the story. :) 




Name: cambangst (Signed) · Date: 04 May 2017 04:23 PM · Chapter: Chapter 3

Hey, there, Jill! Moving over another chapter...

The idea of Albus and Minerva having a very close friendship is one that seems so natural to me that I'm really surprised more stories don't include it. He was her teacher and has been her mentor for decades. They share a deep commitment to the well-being of school and students alike. The style with which they deliver on that commitment obviously differs, but in what I think of as a complimentary way. You hit on all of those notes in the first section of this chapter.

Before I even get into the wonderful job you did with McGonagall, there's this:

"The suits of armor will simply migrate back to their preferred corridors in the night," she answered, setting aside her own cup with a shake of her head. -- sublime. That was perfect, dry McGonagall humor. But her sense of humor isn't the half of it.

A lot of authors make McGonagall very institutional. Almost cold in her demeanor and the professional separation they maintain between her and her students. The McGonagall in this chapter is much more in line with how I think of her. There's a strong dose of that fiery Gryffindor spirit. An intense determination to do right by her young charge. And closer to the end, even anger at how somebody -- as yet unknown -- mistreated Sadie. I loved the way that she wanted Sadie to have the very best possible chance to reclaim her life. I especially loved the way that she wasn't afraid to show a bit of frustration with that maddeningly calm commitment that Dumbledore has to doing things his way.

For his part, Dumbledore seemed nicely in tune to me. It's a huge pain to write him in such a way that his dialog sounds natural, and you did a really good job with it. Sometimes he says more with the things he chooses not to address than with the things that he does. His personal convictions also came across very strong, which is the way that he always sounded in the books. He's endlessly optimistic, but also pragmatic in a way. He seems to see so much potential in Sadie, and he's not afraid to give her a challenge to rise to. All in all, very reminiscent of the way he treated Harry...

There were a couple of things I wasn't completely sure of in the first section. One of them was mechanical in nature. There were times where it almost felt like you were slipping into Dumbledore's point of view, saying things about his thoughts and motivations that McGonagall couldn't possibly know for certain. At least so far, you've avoided the dreaded "omniscient narrator" point of view, and if possible I think it would be great to continue picking a single character for the PoV of each scene. The second thing was more of a plot continuity issue for me. If Sadie disappeared well before she was old enough to attend Hogwarts, how would she know anything about Potions, Herbology, Magical Creatures or -- gulp -- Dark Arts? I think that point needs a little more elaboration as to where this knowledge came from or at least and indication of how McGonagall was able to assess her skills.

I'll leave the first section on a really fun note: "Certain rules are meant to be broken, my dear Minerva, at least once in a young person's life. I seem to recall quite a few you used to disregard yourself." -- Why do I feel like she's not the only one in the room who occasionally disregarded a few rules?

Oh, and lest I forget, who is Allalise? A relative? Friend of her parents? Guardian? It will be interesting to find out...

I loved the transformation we start to see in Sadie in this chapter. It was pretty clear from the prior chapters that she wasn't a completely feral child. She was merely in awful circumstances and unable to properly communicate with anyone. In this chapter we finally see her humanity starting to break through the walls that she constructed in order to survive and it was a pretty awesome thing. It's a small detail, but I really loved what you did with it: Is there anything more basic that separates us from the animals or makes us feel more distinctly human than a good pair of shoes? Well, maybe a hot shower with shampoo, but I still think I'd rather have the shoes in the long run. Even as you cultivate her rediscovered connection with other people, I liked the fact that the conflict is still there. Her flight instinct is still strong, even though she's controlling it. I have to imagine that will be an issue later.

Lastly, I loved how kindly and grandfather-ish Dumbledore was at the end. It's a side of him that very few students get to see, I think. Always nice to read.

Great job with this chapter. I am very excited to see Sadie arrive at the Burrow and meet her surrogate "family".

-Dan



Author's Response:

(Another response transfered.)

 

You really thought it was awesome? WOW! Thanks!

I must be weird. Many people have commented on the fact I wrote Albus and Minerva sharing a very close friendship and how they like the idea, but I honestly had no idea it was a new concept. I seriously thought it was canon, derived from what we read in the books. So, I must have been reading things differently than everyone else, then. LOL. Good thing it worked out!

You know how much I stressed over this chapter, so the fact you think I did them justice really means a lot to me. Both the serious topics, but also the humor. Thank you.

I have realized over the years that I really like McGonagall. Doesn't mean she's any easier to write, but I just think there is so much to her. She really has a lot of depth beneath that strict exterior she puts up. Whenever I find myself writing her too one-dimensional, I remind myself that she snatched Harry up for the team when she really should have been punishing him, and was almost giddy with excitement about it. That Gryffindor spirit you say - exactly.

I am so glad you buy her interactions and thoughts with regard to Sadie. I wanted her to care for the girl, but I didn't want to change her into a mushy pool of OOC goo. 

WHEW on Dumbledore. I really do like the man, and all the many layers of his personality. But WRITING them gives me a headache.

Now, to the points you brought up. I may need to chat with you about the POV thing. POV is something I've worked on in the years since I started writing fan-fiction, and I do try to stick to the same one for a scene. If I change POV, I indicate with a scene break. So, when you mentioned this, I read back through several times and I can't find where I'm breaking it. Could you point it out to me sometime, please, because if I'm not finding it, it must mean I'm doing it a lot because I'm unaware of the rule or the change.

Now the second issue you mentioned - this one is more complicated. There are reasons behind why Sadie can or cannot do all of the things mentioned in this chapter, and they will all be revealed at various times over the course of the story. However, after reading it again, and seeing your comment and a few others, I realize I probably should have had Dumbles or McG comment a little more on how surprised they were, or wondered a little more how Sadie came by these abilities, just as the readers would, so that it at least showed I was aware of the questions they brought up. I think I'm going to go back and edit that section just a little bit, throwing in another line or two, when I post the next chapter on Sunday. Hopefully, that will help, because while I don't want to reveal everything right now, I probably had the pair accepting Sadie's abilities too unquestioningly.

And as for the Dark Arts...you might be right to gulp.

As for the rule breaking, I really wanted to throw in a Katherine Hepburn quote there, but as much as it fit, I couldn't see either Albus or Minerva knowing it. Alas. hehehehe

Annalise? - hm

Your comments on the second half of this chapter really made me smile. That is exactly what I was trying to do - show the change in Sadie. She has been through a lot and learned to cope with it, but she also has dreams for more than that. It will be hard, but she'd like to be just like everyone else someday.

And you caught my Dumbledore moment - just a little moment to counter all the mean, manipulative Dumbledore stuff I see out there a lot.

Thanks again for your help with this fic, and for your very fun and helpful comments on this chapter! Up next is the Burrow, so stay tuned.



Name: cambangst (Signed) · Date: 04 May 2017 04:15 PM · Chapter: Chapter 2

Hi, Jill! Transferring another review...

Right out of the gate, let me say that I loved the way you anchored the story in time without coming out and having Harry, Ron or Hermione say that their Fourth Year was coming up. The World Cup was a nice, subtle way to deliver that piece of information. It should also make for a very interesting trip. Without knowing for sure, I really can't imagine that Sadie likes crowds. Especially loud crowds. And loud crowds fleeing from Death Eaters? Very interesting, indeed.

I thought you really nailed Mr. Weasley's emotions as he gradually reveals the news about Sadie to Harry and the others. His and Molly's both, actually. The poor guy has to be feeling a lot of inner conflict. There's obviously joy at learning his best mate's daughter is still alive. On the other hand, I'm sure this opens up a lot of old wounds that he'd assumed were healed many years ago. The melancholy sort of mood you put him in was perfectly suited to that type of emotional dissonance. Molly retreated into her default behavior of mothering everyone, much as you would have expected. But the small moments of emotional connection with Arthur were really nicely done. Whether it was supporting him as he told the tale or trying to talk him into making things more gradual for Harry, she really sounded like Molly Weasley. And then all the kids were so frightened of her. Perfect!

Ah, so there was a connection with Charlie. Nicely done!

Then we come to poor old Harry. The world just never stops throwing him curveballs, does it? I really liked the way that you worked an uneasy sense of foreboding into his reaction. I could definitely see a temptation not to put a cloud around the silver lining here. All other reasons aside, a lot of authors feel like the poor guy deserves that golden moment of unbridled happiness. But Harry's been through too much by this point not to have doubts and concerns. At the same time, he's saying all the right things to Ron, Hermione and the others. He knows, at some level that he should be happy, so that's the face he's trying valiantly to show them. That's great characterization for him.

Even your minor characters were good. Ron being mildly emotionally tone-deaf and blunt to a fault. Hermione serving as the conscience of the group while Fred and George are obviously poised to be the ones who simply try to dissect this girl and figure her out. And even Ginny following in her older brothers' devious footsteps. You gave each of them a bit of room to shine, and I really appreciated that.

One thing that jumped out at me was this line: “I hope not,” muttered Harry, thinking how well that had worked out for one Tom Riddle. -- I can't remember whether Harry finds out that Tom grew up in an orphanage before Dumbledore shares that memory with him in Half-Blood Prince. Please ignore me if you looked that up and I'm just forgetting where that's revealed.

Lastly, I would be completely remiss if I didn't point out my favorite passage in the whole chapter: He had a cousin! A cousin he didn’t know about. A cousin who wasn’t Dudley the Human Whale. -- Aww, poor Dudders! OK, stop rolling your eyes. You're right, there was no reason to ever feel badly for Dudders at this point in the books. Also, have you ever noticed that "Dudders" is just "udders" with a D on the front? Bovine humor is the best.

Not much else I can add. Awesome chapter! I am so eager to see where you're taking our heroes and heroines in this tale!



Author's Response:

(Transfered as well.)

I'm not entirely sure the smile this review left on my face is ever going to go away. This might be bad, because occasionally, I'm going to need my "mean teacher" face again.

First of all, thank you for the corrections. I've read and edited this things a million times, but when you look at something for that long, your eyes just skip things or fix them in your head without permission. Edited the chapter to fix the awkward sentences, so thanks again!

I worried about how to get the time frame out there. It is book 4 and the World Cup, but I fudged a little and added an extra day between Harry arriving at the Burrow and having the big dinner outside on the lawn with the Weasleys and when the Cup starts. No one's called me on it yet, so I'm guessing it's okay. But I really don't like having to tell everyone the setting and timeframe blatantly - would much rather slip it in on the side.

As for Sadie at the World Cup - I'm going to say if you are a betting man, you have really good odds.

I can't tell you how GLAD I am that you found Mr. Weasley's emotions to be just right. I think I told you that this section of the story is 8 years old - the first thing I wrote for this fic when I first started imagining it. By the time I got around to posting, this section was feeling mighty flat and unemotional. I considered scrapping it all together and trying a different way to have Mr. Weasley deliver his news, but I did like the family atmosphere. So I spent the last two weeks editing and tweaking to try and get the emotion I wanted into Mr. Weasley's story, but not overload it. Thank you, your comment really made me feel better about the choice I ended up going with.

Yup. Connection with Charlie, just in a different way. You are the only one to catch that early, however, or to even comment on it.

Yeah, poor Harry. But, hopefully this can be a good thing for him. (And hopefully I can pull it off in a non-clichéd, annoying way. :) )

Writing for a big group is hard. Every time I end up doing it, I get done and I'm like why did I put myself through that again? So, thank you for the compliment! I do worry about keeping them in character, especially so many at once!

Yep. Good ol' Dudders. I should try to redeem him sometime, but he's just too much fun to use as an antagonist. (Thank you for the cow humor.that made my day. Ron, however, who is still stuck in his purple cow suit, was not as amused.)

Thank you so much. I love all my reviews, but the ones that pop up out the blue without having to ask for them make me grin especially hard.



Name: cambangst (Signed) · Date: 03 May 2017 02:40 PM · Chapter: Chapter 1

Hi, Jill! Here's another review, come to roost...

Warm. Fuzzy. Not typically feelings I associate with Professor McGonagall, but at the moment I have to say that I'm brimming over with the warm fuzziness. The glass of beer in front of me has a little to do with it, but only a little. I don't know how I got wrapped up in Sadie's character so quickly. It's not like me to do this. But her story is so mysterious and her circumstances really tug at the old heart strings... the combination really pulled me in.

What I don't think I was quite ready for was Ophelia Oddsocks. You have one heck of a good Harry Potter character there, one well-suited to the first three books when everyone who wasn't in league with Voldemort -- and even some who were -- tended toward the sillier end of the spectrum. I love her quirkiness and all of the little touches you applied to her. She's a brilliant foil for a traumatized youngster like Sadie or an all-business type of woman like McGonagall. I have a feeling that the two of them used to tear it up when they were students at Hogwarts.

You layered a little more onto Sadie's back story in this chapter, and I still think your pacing is really good. Charlie and Jenny... hmnnn... You mentioned earlier that you're taking a bit of liberty with the timeline of the books, but I still doubt that she could be Charlie Weasley's child. Given her read hair and brown eyes, however, I'm wondering if there isn't a Weasley connection here. McLauchlin. Not a well-known wizarding family name. I guess I'm just going to have to wait to find out.

You did a good job with McGonagall. The compassion was obviously there, but she maintained that composure and sense of professional detachment that she's known for. No tearful, huggy-kissy reunions, no matter what past connection she might have had to Sadie.

Once again, your editing was superb. Not a thing wrong with this chapter that I could see. Very nice flow and a good mix of dialog and narrative.

I'm getting really eager to get to more of the meat of Sadie's story. Great job!



Author's Response:

(Response coming back to it.)

 

Yeah, I'll admit, I let this sit here for a while, basking in the glow of such a great review. And even with the beer helping with the warm fuzzy feeling, I can't help smiling to know that Sadie's story is pulling you in. Hope I can keep it that way, but if it ever stops doing that, don't be afraid to tell me. I won't mind.

Ophelia Oddsocks was a fun character to create. I actually created her backwards, using her for a fic in this series much farther down the line and then realizing how much fun she would be to put here. Pairing her up with McGonagall was a blast. I can see those two tearing it up just like you said. And sometimes, even though I love the angst and the drama of the later Harry Potter novels, I really do miss the fun "magicalness" of the first few.

Pacing is good? WOW! Thanks! I worried a ton about that! And keep that Charlie thought in your head. Not right, but connected. As for the McLauchlin name...I'll admit to choosing a name for the name's sake and ignoring lists of wizarding names. Perhaps I should add that to my list of canon-departures at the beginning.

I have always very much loved McGonagall, but it's only been lately I've dared try to write her much. She very much as a certain mood about her, and you're right, it's hard to do. Feeling much better to know you think it worked here. I wanted to convey her emotions, but not change who she is with them.

I can't claim all responsibility for the editing. I do have a fabulous beta/muse helper who looks over this stuff for me. She catches all my dumb mistakes.

Thank you again so much for this smile-inducing review! Come back in two weeks for more, if you're still interested. 



Name: cambangst (Signed) · Date: 03 May 2017 02:39 PM · Chapter: Prologue

Hi, farmgirl! I'm going to get all of Sadie's reviews moved to a nice, new home!

Farmgirl! You didn't think I'd let this be, did you? I'm very excited to see this mystery project you've been alluding to take flight!

First off, I don't mind the author's note at all. Having that set-up definitely made it easier to sort of center myself in this new world that I've just been introduced to. That said, I think I would have been alright either way. This chapter is definitely interesting enough to make me want to know more whether or not I have any idea where the story is heading. It probably was a good idea to give an advance warning about your intention to vary somewhat from canon, though. The canon crazies are a rough bunch.

Aside from the obvious things, you gave us two very intriguing pieces of information about your protagonist. First, she's in New York City. At the risk of being obvious, that's a long way from Hogwarts. Can't wait to see how she finds her way into the company of the canon characters you listed in your story description. Second, she knows what a wand is. I'm not sure what else she might know about it, but she was plainly afraid of it.

The old lady who wakes her from her sleep has "witch" written all over her. Awkward dress, saying "Merlin," and oh, yeah, carrying a wand. Duh. And she also knows how to use it. I'm not sure whether she was shrinking the girl or maybe transfiguring her into a small animal... like maybe a cat? At any rate, there's an obvious hint that the lady is an Animagus. If not for the unflattering get-up, that would sound a lot like a certain Scottish lady we all know. As it is, I have no idea who she is.

Your writing was lovely. I couldn't find a thing wrong with it and your descriptions were crisp and vivid. There were lots of details to help immerse the reader in the scene and understand a bit about the protagonist's life. I didn't see anything that sounded awkward or sing-songy. Kudos to you for awesome editing!

I am very excited to see where this is heading next. You're a great writer and a heck of a lot of fun to chat with at odd hours. Great job!



Author's Response:

(Response transfered from HPFF as well.)

 

Well, I didn't mention it because I kinda thought maybe this story wasn't your style. So very incredibly pleased and surprised to find this review! You rock!



I have toyed with that author's note for years. Leave it in, take it out, leave it in, take... I really don't like having huge notes at the beginning of a story, but I finally decided there were just a few too many things people might jump on me for and I wanted them to know that I was doing it on purpose, and with a plan. Covering my six I guess. But oh it gave me fits when posting! That dumb space between the first paragraph and the second just would not go away, so I finally gave up.



(For the record, Canon Crazies can be scary...)

 

I love this story, and have written on it for years, but I'm fully aware of the clichés I'm dancing around and teetering on the edge of. My character coming from America to go to Hogwarts is one of them. Hopefully I can explain it well enough it seems logical. It wasn't so much that I wanted an "American" student thrown in with the bunch, as she's hardly a typical American teenager, but NYC plays an important role in her life though.



Ah, yes, you caught the wand thing. Good reading! Stay tuned. To find out more about that as well as the old lady. You are very astute in your observations.



Now I'm blushing from the compliments. Thank you so very much. I really am both excited and terrified to post this and hope my writing can be up to snuff to pass off a story that very easily could get bogged down with stereotypes if I'm not careful. I have quite a bit of this written, though there are holes that need to be filled in, but I'm planning to update about every two weeks so I can keep ahead. Of course, we'll see how long my will power lasts on that...



And it was very enjoyable to chat with you as well! Thanks for your time and your help!



Thanks again for such a wonderful review!



Name: Stella Blue (Signed) · Date: 24 Apr 2017 01:01 PM · Chapter: Chapter 2

*Transferred from HPFF*

 

Hi there!

 

Wow - there were so many plot twists in this chapter! I had a couple of moments while reading this that I actually said "NO WAY." out loud.

 

Sadie can't speak! That explains why she never said anything in the previous chapters. And she's Harry's COUSIN! Omg. I really did not expect that.

 

I think it's cute that Charlie is named after Mr Weasley's best friend from Hogwarts - I had noticed that Sadie's father was named Charlie in the last chapter and wondered if it would be important. I'm really curious how Sadie's parents and brother died, and if it had anything to do with how Sadie lost her voice. So many questions!

 

I am really looking forward to when Sadie arrives to stay with the Weasleys. (And I think it's very natural that the Weasleys would offer her a place to stay, though the house is already crowded. That's definitely something they would do.) I think the Weasleys will be great to help Sadie loosen up and to help her through what I'm sure will be an incredibly difficult transition into Hogwarts!

 

By the way, fantastic job writing all of those canon characters - this could easily have been a chapter out of the books! Hermione wanting to go to the library, Mrs Weasley wanting to withhold the information so as to not scare them... they were perfect. I absolutely loved the scene at the end when Ginny woke up the ghoul, and the twins' reactions to it. It reminded me of when Ginny threw Dungbombs at the door during Order meetings - I think you've really captured all three of their personalities so well!

 

I also appreciate that this (at least this particular chapter) is from Harry's POV, just like the books. It makes it just that much more natural to read. And I think you've done well writing Harry as well.

 

Another great chapter! I can't wait until you update again! :)



Author's Response:

(Transfered)


I am SO excited you liked the plot twists! I was so worried people would think I'd jumped the boat, with the long lost cousin thing and the no talking thing. But, people seem to be actually enjoying it, which is making me very happy. 

Yes, Sadie can't speak, and so yes, all those people who wondered why she didn't reply to anything in the first two chapters know now. I hope the surprise worked.

I was trying so hard to tie this story into canon events, it just seemed natural to work in the names. As for how Sadie's family died, it will be revealed eventually. But, you are right on your guess that it is also tied to why she can't speak.

I can't wait for Sadie to arrive at the Weasleys either! It's been written for ages, but I keep inserting more scenes between it and where I am now. *sheepish look* Eventually I'll stop doing that. But, I do hope they can help her, pull her out of her shell a bit. Still, she does have a lot of healing to do.

Aw, you really think so? I did try SO hard to match the canon characters. You have me blushing. Saying it felt like the books is the best compliment ever!

Harry's POV just felt natural here. And yes, probably because that's how the books are. But, I also wanted HIS reaction to the fact he had a cousin.

Thanks again so much for reading! Chapter 3 is up, when you have the time.



Name: Stella Blue (Signed) · Date: 24 Apr 2017 12:55 PM · Chapter: Chapter 1

*Another one transferred from HPFF*

 

Hello again! Here with your requested review :)

 

I love the way you write McGonagall! She is all business, as usual, but Ophelia brings out her sense of humour for sure.

 

Which brings me to my second point. Ophelia Oddsocks - she's fantastic. I want to be friends with her :P Firstly because of her name! And the rubber chicken spell, the aggressive knitting... she's hilarious. Also she seems like she'd be a really great next door neighbour, the type who often invites you over for tea and biscuits, and has a lot of cats (well, ok, she doesn't have any cats - but she is a cat Animagus so I think it's the same thing). Anyway I'm getting really off topic here, but I just wanted to say I love this character!

 

The International Floo call scene, especially the "additional floo powder in two and five-eighths minutes" was a nice touch - very quirky and seemed really JKR-ish to me!

 

There's still not much about Sadie to connect with at this point - though this may be because she hasn't spoken yet. (And I'm sure you'll add more about her personality later, as this is only the beginning!) Despite that, I really liked the view of NYC from her point of view; how she sees it really gives some insight into her history there. There's definitely enough mystery about her to keep me going!

 

Overall, the pacing and description are really good, but what stands out the most is your characters. I'm really looking forward to seeing where this story goes! Great work on this chapter!



Author's Response:

(Transfering as well.)

Thank you! I've been really flattered by all the reviews that have praised McGonagall in this, because she is really hard and a little scary to write!

Ophelia Oddsocks - I had NO idea how much people would like her as a character! If I'd known that, I might have made plans to include her more in this story! She will be back, but not for quite a long while. :( But it really, really makes me feel good that you like her, and all her little quirks.

I like trying to keep the magic in my stories within the realm of what JKR did, including that side of it that's just a little quirky. So glad you thought it worked.

I know I'm being rather slow to reveal Sadie's character, especially on the talking end. But I am glad you find her intriguing enough to want to know more. And your praise about my characters has left me blushing. Thank you so much!

Chapter 2 is up, but you have such a long list in your queue, I'm hesitant to re-request. I don't want to overwhelm you. But, I do hope sometime you will come back and read more; I've enjoyed your reviews SO MUCH! I'll keep an eye open and grab a spot on your thread as soon as it looks like you aren't drowning. (And will be waiting very impatiently to do so, cause these have been so fun!)

Thanks again!



Name: Stella Blue (Signed) · Date: 24 Apr 2017 12:52 PM · Chapter: Prologue

*Transferred from HPFF*

 

Hello! Here with your requested review! :)

 

This is a wonderful start! First of all I'm really impressed with your descriptions. With the first sentence alone, I could picture the scene perfectly, and you've conveyed the feeling of desperation quite well. I'm really intrigued as to how the character ended up in that situation.

 

The old woman is great. I love her eclectic clothing choices (typical I guess, for a witch who doesn't interact with Muggles much, but stuff like that always amuses me) and I can already tell I'm going to like this lady. I'm as curious about her as I am about the young girl. The end of the chapter definitely makes me want to keep going, too - what did she do? Aaa! I can't imagine it was anything cruel, but she definitely did something that made the girl unconscious and small, so I have no idea.

 

In terms of CC, there was this short passage I thought I'd point out in terms of sentence structure:

 

Worried, she hoped the cat was okay and had simply moved on.

Wet, hungry, and miserable, she huddled back into the corner and closed her eyes, preparing to endure the night.

 

Both of those sentences start the same way, so I think maybe if you wanted to mix it up a little to vary the structure, you could re-word the first one slightly so it doesn't start with an adjective. But that's only a tiny thing - it still works the way you have it! :)

 

Overall, I think this is an intriguing start and sets up the story quite nicely! Please feel free to re-request.



Author's Response:

(If we can transfer reviews, I can transfer responses, right? Because - me lazy.)

Hi to you as well! Thank you so very much! It's so nice that you are willing to read other's stories and leave feedback.</P><p>Can I tell you it makes me happy that you are asking those questions? That was totally the reaction I was hoping for, so my grin is really big right now.</p><p>I had fun putting the old lady's outfit together in my mind. I miss those fun little touches of how wizards view Muggles from the first few books, before everything got so dark and scary. </p><p>Yes, she did do something to the girl. But, the answer to that is in the next chapter, so I shall keep it hush, hush right now.</p><p>You picked out the one transition in this chapter I've never been completely happy with. I know it's awkward, but even when I move things around, I still don't like it. I finally posted, even with it there. I'm hoping one day the solution I want will hit me and I can go back fix it.</p><p>Thank you so much for reading! I will re-request when you have a spot again. You are so nice!</p><P>



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