Penname: Billie Bowtrunckle [Contact]
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Member Since: 06/17/2005
Membership status: Member



Beta-reader: No


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Reviews by Billie Bowtrunckle
Reign O'er Me by cts [Mid Teens]
FeatureA sixth year fic that explores what might happen if Harry moves past the angst and starts to put his life together and has a few things break his way for a change.

Categories: Harry Potter; Characters: None; Archive Challenge: None
Classification: General Fan Fiction
Crossover Classes: None
Genres: Action/Adventure, General
Warnings: None
Chapters: 39 Table of Contents Series: None
Word count: 371120; Read Count: 124361; Completed: No

Updated: 03/11/2011; Published: 12/04/2004
Reviewer: Billie Bowtrunckle (Signed)
06/25/2005
WOW! Wow! wow! It's not often that I find a fic that leaves me scrambling to write down all of my comments because there are so many. Where to start? First of all, I like how you set your story apart from so many others by starting it with McGonagall at the END of the OoTP. It was really nice to see that you took the time to maintain continuity with the book and included little details such as McGonagall's cane and Dumbledore fixing those little spindle-legged gagets in his office. Those sort of things (I think) really distinguish excellent fics from the rest. Another thing that immediately drew me in was how well thought-out your story appears to be as you anticipated the readers questions and immediately dispelled any wariness by using the Phoenix to ID Flamel. This kind of sublty is something that I don't find often. Your characterization of Flamel is engaging; establishing the lineage of magic with Dumbledore/him/Gryffindor/Merlin early on gives us something to root his character - something that we can identify with (at least Gryffindor) and paints a rich history that is so like JKR. I'm already interested in hearing more about him and this is just the Prologue. His exchange with Snape was very well done and just oozed tension. I think you've done a spectacular job with Flamel and setting 'the chess board' for some interesting character interactions. I really hope that the rest of your story carries the momentum you have established here. Just one thing that perhaps you are going to address later on: Gryffindor would have to be a really old wizard (~330 + yrs) in order to mentor Flamel based on Flamel's B-day and the ~date of the Foundation of Hogwarts. Anyway, EXCELLENT Prologue! I'm off to read chpt. 1.

Author's Response: As the story unfolds, you get additional bits of backstory on the line of wizards before Dumbledore. You will find that quite a bit of backstory, based on the historical record, is included on both Nicholas Flamel, and his wife, Perenelle.



Chapter 1: Prologue: Circles
Reviewer: Billie Bowtrunckle (Signed)
06/25/2005
Alright, lots of good information relayed in this chapter. You certainly know how to cover ground effectively. Based on the angsty references to Harry in the prologue, the positive turn of events caught my by surprise - suddenly everything is looking up (180 degree turn of events). Not that I don't think Harry deserves it, but the tone established in the Prologue (to me) suggests something different. Sirius's letter was well done and a good way to just address all those issues quickly and move on with the story. However, I wonder about Harry's emotional maturity...he seems very insightful here. I'm not sure he would reach all of these conclusions so quickly or process and accept the contents of Sirius's letter in an afternoon. However, I see here that you are tidying up the backstory in preparation for your story...

Author's Response: At this point in the storyline, there are several things happening that are hinted at here and there, but no more than that. Harry is insightful, at least when he's firing on all cylinders - he'd have never gotten through his first four years if he were not. Certainly since the end of the fourth year, his vision has been clouded, but it's time for that to stop, even if it requires a bit of tampering behind the scenes.



Chapter 2: Chapter 01: How Can You Do It Alone?
Reviewer: Billie Bowtrunckle (Signed)
06/25/2005
It was very clever to have Sirius write letters to G/H/R/L as well as Harry. It seemed appropriate that Siruis decided to take this upon himself to reveal the prophecy to only Ginny (it certainly gives her a unique and important role in Harry's life now) - very wreckless but well-meaning. I think that Sirius was always a little blinded by his love for Harry and his duty to James/Lily to really be able to assess anything that had to do with him objectively and this fits Sirius perfectly. Another wonderfully written letter! There are a couple of comments that I have (I only bother to write them when I really like a fic, so forgive me). I think it would've added to your interpretation of Ginny's character if we saw her reaction after reading the letter. Up to that point, we really don't have much from you about Ginny other than what Sirius thinks. Because you seem to have a knack for characterization, I really would've liked to see what you think of her character directly (I'm one of those people who need to 'bond' with the characters). Also, what's up with Dean? You mentioned that Harry thinks that she was just trying to get a rise of Ron, but I think the Dean status needs to be made clear to the readers from Ginny herself before the H/G 'action' begins. Lastly, I know that you are trying to move your story along, but it seems a bit pre-mature (to me, at least) to have H/G discussing their future and how they're going to break the news of their relationship before they kiss. You must have a really good beta because I haven't noticed anything except that you may want to remove the quotation marks around the portions that reflect Harry thoughts and italicize them to distinguish them from spoken dialogue. BTW, Is this a romance fic?!

Author's Response: One thing that may help is causality is intentionally being warped here. Cause does not necessarily come before effect. This is not, per se, a romance fic, though the early chapters do have a lot of romantic elements, but these are almost backstory... but needed to set the stage.



Chapter 3: Chapter 02: Pure and Easy

When his aunt and uncle go away for the weekend they leave Dudley in charge, triggering in motion events that will have a profound impact on Harry's future and the coming dark days. How many ways can Harry's life change in two days? Muggles and wizards collide in a coming-of-age tale where shadows lurk behind every corner and dreams become reality. H/G with a touch of R/H. Prequel to Shadow of the Serpent (coming soon).



Categories: Harry Potter; Characters: None; Archive Challenge: None
Classification: General Fan Fiction
Crossover Classes: None
Genres: General
Warnings: None
Chapters: 20 Table of Contents Series: None
Word count: 94110; Read Count: 26443; Completed: Yes

Updated: 05/26/2006; Published: 06/20/2005
Reviewer: Billie Bowtrunckle (Signed)
06/23/2005
Interesting story. I haven't see too many Harry-Dudley centric fics before. I think it's a dynamic that needs more attention! I liked how you protrayed Harry. Him giving Dud some lip back is very OoTP, Chpt. 1: Dudley Demented-esque (nice chapter titles too). You seem to be setting up a convincing tone between the two using dialogue. I could sense their mutual (barely supressed) animosity and your words made me imagine them warily circling one another - waiting to see what the other would do or say. I think you've really captured that well and I can't wait for more. You've also got me curious about what Dud and his friends are going to DO (nice hint with Tonks mentioning the vodka by the way). I just have one suggestion. If you combined chapters 1 and 2 it would give the reader more to grab onto and more of an incentive to continue to read. There are some nice details you mention in chpt 1 that would be less likely to be forgotten if you combined them (Vernon complaining about Harry thumping too loudly down the stairs). You spark the curiosity of the reader in chpt 2 much more than chpt 1 with Tonks, the mention of vodka, Dumbledore, and Dung, who seems to forget his responsibilty of protecting Harry at the most unfortunate times - foreshadowing? I think you'd have a stronger opening chapter if you gave us more 'meat' and left us with something to wonder about (like you do in chpt 2). Looking forward to reading chpt 3.

Author's Response: Thanks for the comment and suggestions. I doubt it's going to change again, however. I have already changed so much already from the original and it just doesn't seem worth going back and doing what you suggest, although I certainly see your point. It would make it much stronger, I'm sure. Technically, chapter one is more like a Prologue that sets up the story. It was meant to be short and just start the ball rolling with the exiting of Petunia and Vernon. I'll try to get chapter 3 up soon. Thanks for reading and taking the time to review!



Chapter 2: Dudley in Charge
Reviewer: Billie Bowtrunckle (Signed)
07/06/2005
Great chapter. I think that you are spot in how you protrayed Hermione's distancing relationship with her parents even though there's nothing in the cannon to directly support this. I think the description of Hermione's room was a great and very original way to convey her growing maturity and your interpretation of her character. I especially liked the part about her 'sophistication, intelligence, and a dash of the unexpected.' Your detail and attention to the Grangers makes me think that you are planning to incorporate them into the story at a later time. At least I hope so because I'm enjoying reading about the Muggle characters that we see very little of in the books and a more 'Muggle' side of our favorite trio + Ginny. It's very refreshing and a nice break from the angst and the formulaic Harry's Sixth Year at Hogwarts fics. BTW, nice addition with Ginny's discovery of Muggle concealment charms - clever. Looking forward to your next chapters.

Author's Response: Thanks... I just uploaded the next chapter. Enjoy!



Chapter 4: Hermione and Ginny
Reviewer: Billie Bowtrunckle (Signed)
07/06/2005
That was a fast update *chuckles*. I think you have Ron's character down perfectly and I found his internal rambling about Hermione and the twins' jibes very entertaining and very convincing. The alternating point of view for each of your chapters makes for a nice read and I like how you are snapping pieces of the story together for us chapter by chapter like a puzzle. You really have me curious about this party game that the Gred/Forge are itching to test. I can't wait for that! One thing that I may humbly suggest even though you did say you weren't going to be revamping this story again...I would move chapter 3 (the chapter where R/F/G arrive at the Dursleys) so it follows your current chapter 5. The structure of your story, as it appears now, does work. For example, jumping back in time to the morning with Hr/G waking up allows us to get important backstory about the girls and having Hr receive R's letter before we actaully 'see' him send it in the next chapter increases the tension at the end of chapter 4. However, it is slightly surprising to now be reading about F/G/R leaving for the Dursley's after they've already arrived. I'm all for non-linear stories, but, in this case, because the Weasley's have already revealed to the reader how they knew H was 'in trouble' back in chapter 3, to hear it again is sort of an afterthought and dimishes the importance of Tonks's visit to the Weasleys (besides setting up Ron's characterization and introducing the twins - which can be done anytime - is this not the purpose of chapter 5?). I think 'flashbacks' are best utilized when there is a burning curiosity to learn about HOW events transpired. Learning about how the Weasley boys found out about Harry's predicament does not inspire such a desire for me, at least. I hope you do not take my comments as negative criticism - I am truly enjoying your story and find that detailed feedback has helped me immensely to improve my writing and story structuring.


Chapter 5: Ron
Reviewer: Billie Bowtrunckle (Signed)
07/07/2005
This is great - one of your best chapters yet! I found myself smiling at H's insecurities involving Cho and kissing while watching the *hehem* movie - how typical! I thought you did an excellent job at portraying the twins/Ron's reaction when they found out Harry supposedly went to St. Brutus's. Also, small details like Ron watching the telly for the first time and the twins oogling the other twins were priceless. The addition of the new Muggle girls certainly makes for an interesting situation (I wasn't expecting that)...somehow I imagine a version of 'spin the bottle' materializing in the future. I usually read more angsty fics, but you write so well that I'm really enjoying this.

Author's Response: Well, Billie... just wait. The anst is coming along with my version of spin the bottle. *wink* Thanks for the compliment. Stick with this and we'll see a much bigger story emerge from these minor roots. The sequel, Shadow of the Serpent, is full of angst. I'll go fix up chapter seven to post now....



Chapter 6: Dudley's Idea of Fun
Reviewer: Billie Bowtrunckle (Signed)
07/07/2005
*claps hands furiously* Well done! Way to go Ginny and Hermione (nice feminism - girl power there). I don't think I've ever read such an in-cannon exchange like that complete with Ron's back-peddling, Harry's indignance, Ginny's anger, and Hermione's huffiness. It was brilliant how you managed to have Ron in trouble, then Harry, then Ron again. The entire conversation was seemless and not at all stilted. I laughed when Ron turned to 'escape' down the hall. Go Ron. Great job once again.


Chapter 7: The Wrath of Girls
Reviewer: Billie Bowtrunckle (Signed)
07/12/2005
Another excellent chapter. It was very telling how Ginny described herself as knowing Harry because, "he's friends with my brothers." I know that she won't be saying that for long (lol)! You are building tension between Harry and Ginny well. The chess game between Ron and Hermione was also very good and the twins are perfect in their alternating cheeky cockiness and protective attitude toward Ginny. You really have a way with words!


Chapter 8: Friends and More
by []
[Reviews - ]


Categories: Orphan; Characters: None; Archive Challenge: None
Classification: None
Crossover Classes: None
Genres: None
Warnings: None
Chapters: 0 Table of Contents Series: None
Word count: 0; Read Count: 0; Completed: No

Updated: 12/31/1969; Published: 12/31/1969
Reviewer: Billie Bowtrunckle (Signed)
06/25/2005
Well done (of course)! Great job at keeping up the tension, I couldn't read the Harry/Lupin's mine scenes fast enough. You write drama so well. I liked the addition of horrible Rita Skeeter and 'Snape and the Chocolate Factory' *snickers* (the umpa lumpa song was running through my head when I read that part). Also, mentioning Lupin's werewolf afflication at the beginning of the story and again at the end helped to tie everything together and give some continuity. The part where Lupin is shielding Harry from falling rocks was especially well done and so very Lupin (you already know how I feel, but I had to say it again!). The following line about Harry was beautifully said, "even saving himself if it meant helping someone else live." Wonderful!

Author's Response: Grins sheepishly... Thanks for your beta help and suggestions! You have been so kind and helpful and I'm learning so much! I am glad I took your suggestions about expanding on Lupin's character as I think it made him deeper and the mine scene more touching. You really have a knack for knowing when something is right or needs tweaking. I was thinking the same thing when I wrote ,'Severus Snape and the Chocolate Factory!' Can you imagine it...but then again, if he sampled some chocolate, he might have a better disposition. I know I do when I eat chocolate! I absolutely love your detailed reviews and I really appreciate your time! Thanks! HUGS!



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