Reviews for The Birthday Present
KTMac66 chapter 85 . 5/25
This week I've spent reading this wonderful story.
What a journey you have crafted so faithfully with the help of you wonderful betas .
I'm always in awe of those brave enough to cast their words out for others to read .
Like you the last book does not exist!
Will look out for the next story. Thank you
Guest chapter 81 . 5/14
this revelation with flitwick and him as a character is one of the reasons why i come back to read this story. that scene is just great
Kris chapter 85 . 5/14
I enjoyed this story very much and it seems there might be more of it yet to tell...?
Guest chapter 72 . 5/13
oh thank goodness for winky. bless you author for winky.
Guest chapter 85 . 3/3
Thank you for your epic work. It is sad, but ultimately hopeful. No one person or House is perfect, we are all flawed, and we are as we are because of what has happened to us. There is always a backstory. You are good at writing damaged individuals, and there is often hope.
Vkw10 chapter 85 . 1/28
I have very much enjoyed reading The Birthday Present this week. I like the way you handle multiple viewpoints. im looking forward to Widow's Walk, but I'm also dreading it, because you ended BP at a point that allows hope for all the characters. I'm invested in your characters now and worried about what will happen to them inthe sequel.
Guest chapter 85 . 12/15/2017
It took me a long time to read but I enjoyed each and every chapter of it.

Thanks a lot
chicaalterego chapter 85 . 12/10/2017
I absolutely loved this fic! There were little things that bothered me, like everyone falling for Molly (don’t get me wrong, I loved what you did there with Snape and the shattering of stereotypes, but still)

Anyhow, Snape is my favorite character ever, and every fics that is good Snape-centric is a treat... and one as well written as yours was specially tasty.

I would have loved for him to get to Gerta’s. Dunno if you did or planned a sequel, but I will surely check your profile for this. Now, if there really is a sequel, I will make sure to review in several chapters because the only time I read, then review only once is when I read a finished piece. Also, gotta say that from fictional backgrounds, the one you gave Snape is decidedly in my top 3.

Great work! See you around
slugfighter chapter 67 . 9/19/2017
(Rereading due to Widows' Walk. Have always liked the story even though I disagree with your handling of some issues. This is one.)

Before I start I just want to mention that I'm not a Harry/Ginny fan. (OTOH I can't totally ignore that it is what happened in canon.)

Even though I don't really like Harry/Ginny, this chapter has always seemed like the Weasleys (and you) are shoving Harry (and the readers) hard into what they (or you) want, without regard to what Harry seems to want (or what we know canon Harry did want).

And even without regard to their own daughter's sanity. Because that's the part that stands out the most and seems the worst:

* An enchantment that will "help them stay only siblings"? She *already has feelings for him*-what's it going to do, delete them from her mind? That's horrible-like an Imperius. Just horrible.

That's the most creepy and obvious one. But also:

* If the betrothal magic can wear off, surely so can "stay just siblings" magic. Especially if (as we're told in canon, though granted JKR did not do a good job of showing) the two actually are a really good natural match. *Especially* especially if one of them *used* to have feelings for the other before they were *deleted from her mind aiee* by the spell!

* One impression of a really hard shove comes from the whole "the spell we *chose*...it's only fair to *let you know*." They're not checking how Harry feels *before* choosing a spell; they *already chose*. They're not taking Harry's feelings about Ginny into account before even *considering* imposing the "just siblings" enchantment; they've already decided to.

* They reinforce this impression by saying "let you know" instead of even just "consult you first." I mean, even if they'd decided and then were just last-minute running it by him just to make sure-whenever anyone is ever "just running it by you just to make sure," that's a hell of a lot of pressure to just agree, especially if it's an authority figure. And they're not even doing that! They're not even "running it by him"-they're just "letting him know." (On top of *that*, they even seem to consider even letting him know as supererogatory! "Only fair" has a flavor of "I'm doing a nice thing for you because *I* think I should do it even though it's not *usual* to do." I guess it fits with your "suboptimal WW" theme but yeesh.)

* If a kid Harry's age is allowed to be "bad at this," then the Weasleys should be *letting* him be-but they're not. Harry's continued indecision strongly signals wanting and needing to keep his options *open*, not have them closed off. They ignore that and go with the spell they-oh, right, *already chose before even speaking with him*.

* Even asking "What if I fall in love with her later?" suggests he thinks it's a genuine possibility. Again they should be letting him keep that option open-instead, they move to close it off. By putting a mind-control spell on him and their daughter-at least he's not in love with anyone so it'll only prevent romantic feelings from developing on his end-but it'll *delete* *pre-existing* romantic feelings from their daughter's. Brr-talk about creepy mind control!

I think you thought you had forestalled all that because

* Harry says "I wish I felt the way everyone seems to want me to feel"-you're telling-not-showing that Harry is supposedly under pressure to love Ginny but cannot. One problem is you haven't shown it, only told it. Another is that "I wish I could love him" is a culturally standardized line some young women use to signal that they definitely never can (often, that they're actively repulsed)-but that's culturally defined. Not everyone is even part of the subculture that does that (I'm not), and the context is different enough here that (even though I'm intellectually aware of that culture's existence) it doesn't signal the same thing to me. It seems much more literal.

* You seem to see "pushing love" as more different from "preventing love" (let alone "deleting love") than I do. In all Arthur's discussions of betrothal spells and hearts needing to be full and so on, he doesn't (and I guess you don't) seem to ever apply that in the other direction...as discussed above, I can't help but do so. People *do* need to be free-*to* love, as well as *not* to. A spell that prevents you from ever loving someone no matter how good a match they might be is as much of a violation as a spell that pushes you to love someone no matter how poor a match they might be. And, ISTM, as likely to eventually wear off. And to me it's worse, far more of a violation, if it deletes feelings already there. If Harry were in love with Cho and suddenly had a betrothal spell put on him and Ginny-deleting his love for Cho-that would be horrible. If Harry were repulsed by Ginny (as Draco was repulsed by Bellatrix) and suddenly had a spell put on them to make them love each other-that would be horrible (as it was for Draco). (But you haven't shown us a Harry repulsed by Ginny. You've shown us a Harry who was mostly indifferent to her but at one point seemed to be getting interested in her.)

I never thought I'd ever say this, because I tend to emphasize the right to say no more than many these days, but...this chapter seems to be overemphasizing the right to say no at the expense of the right to say yes. There's too much worry of "we must not force Harry into a betrothal he may not want" and not enough "we must not force Harry never to fall in love with someone who might have been a good match if not for our interference, at a time when he clearly wants his options kept open." Let alone "we must not delete feelings from our own child's mind'!
Pebs64 chapter 85 . 9/6/2017
HI,
Yes I am one of those followers that hardly ever review.
So, here I am saying HI. HI.
I would also like to say that I really enjoyed your story.
I'm hoping to read anything else you write.
PEBS
wow chapter 85 . 8/22/2017
This is a good fic, and I think you exposed the truth of Dumbledore and Minerva, I never seen these characters who only saught their own comfort, when they seemed to reconsider their own disgrace behaviors, they restarted complaining about how they felt uneasy without doing anything really. I'm sick of hearing Minerva's 'I have to be strong' and yuck nostalgia about James and Sirius' great days. (And I'm their fan, but not just yours) I expect nothing from D, his hex hurt Severus as much as Lucius and V. And his tears resembles of a crocodile's so much. Both of them do nothing really except but criticising Severus and some fake tears, a bad habit they couldn't correct. I think their minds about Severus is as bad as V's Legilimence.
Thing is they are my favorite characters, especially Minerva, how I am disappointed at your M, how I hope she'd do something good, not the similar thing like D except making excuses for D. But your Minerva is the most realistic one I'd ever read. Thanks for exposing her truth, I call your D and M as V and B in the Light side.
I don't feel good about this Griffindor bashing, my favorite house, of this fic, but they are so realistic that I have no choice but to believe.
And I like your Severus too. But I don't like his too low...what? His ego? Self regard? He has so many things lacked, I want to see him growing up, and I'm so sad that he called D as his friend in the end, yes, he doesn't have many friends, but if he had to feel someone like D as a friend, he's still mental, never healed from the wound the so called friend abused him, despite of his children's efforts. He was so poor and miserable in his heart. A typical case of Stockholm syndrom, you described it very well. I wonder you might be a shirnk or an expert about that matter.
But I'm afraid in the case when you think D can be his friend really, I don't know why Lucius (he also insisted that everything was out of love) can't be his beloved then. All right, Severus is a lost case, but I really hope you, a good writet, never consider a person D a friend. If someone like D approaches to you, please run away, don't act like S, whom I expect so many things. But the expectation is so harsh to him apparently, in his position, but it's my first time to with him well, and want that kind of things from him, like loving himself and forgiving himself, well, not that I blame him about it, unlike I hate your M and D. He just... he can't be freed from D, after all. Sad, what a shame. but I think it's more shameful for D, despite of what delusion S fell in in the end, or D's manipulation which like some sort of plague in this whole fic, he couldn't deceive the truth. Because true love doesn't allow that kind of false one.
PSay chapter 4 . 8/14/2017
Severus has a hard road to travel. I hope he reaches the end in one piece. Thanks for writing. pms
PSay chapter 2 . 8/12/2017
This is sad. Severus has really raked himself over the coals. I hope he comes out of this feeling better in the end. Thanks for writing. pms
Andromakhe chapter 85 . 8/11/2017
What a great finale. This is probably my favorite chapter of the entire fic. I loved everything - from the unicorn trial to the elemental binding and the healing of Hogwarts.

Another standout chapter for me was when Snape was transfiguring objects into symbols for those he loved most.

The next story should be interesting with Malachite and her Manticore back in the picture. Wouldn't mind seeing Poppy and Klaus, too. Now I'm up to speed again.

Thanks so much for posting this. So many words, but all were important. Amazed at how you kept all the character dynamics straight. I look forward to the sequel.
Andromakhe chapter 62 . 8/10/2017
Really loved the scene with Snape and Narcissa after the trial. Wonderfully poignant. Heartbreaking, bittersweet, and believable.

I think the Ravenclaw animal is an eagle. It says "raven" here. Small quibble, but thought it worth mentioning.

Also, there's a section in the story where Snape's talking to Sprout but the text says she's the Charms professor. Unfortunately, I can't remember which chapter that's in or what the conversation was about. But Sprout gave Snape a plant that went to his office.

Just thought I should call attention to these things because they did break my immersion slightly. Otherwise, I've really been enjoying this fic. Read it once before and it's been riveting to go through it again.
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