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Dumbledore's Army
Review(s): 142

Reviewer: YlimeDate: 2005-10-02
Reviewid: 133582Chapter: 8
I haven't been quite this enchanted by a fic since way back in the days when I was a newbie to the fandom. Since then, I've grown a little, um, jaded when it comes to choosing fics to read. But this just captured and reeled me in. I love fics about canon characters who are only briefly mentioned in the books - I love seeing what people can make of them. You've made Rosmerta into a personality (one whom I'll always see behind the Rosmerta of the books, now) - a dear, interesting, human character. Max is charming and I'm totally rooting for them to be all right. :)

There are lots of little things, little details, which flesh this story out beautifully. Your more minor characters (like Queenie, although she wouldn't appreciate me calling her "minor", lol) add colour and fun to the story, even though that story mainly revolves around Rosmerta and Max. You have the gift of making wonderful jokes and letting the reader laugh, and also of making us hold our breath with excitement and nerves, hoping things'll be all right.

There are occasional places where the grammar is odd, or sentences a little awkwardly constructed, but the story is so charming that it really doesn't matter. I've read this quite slowly - been busy recently, new job - and I'm perpetually wondering about what's going to happen in the next chapter. That's how engaging your fic is, it's with me even when I'm not reading it. :)

I'm about to start Chapter 9, and very excited about that too! Thank you so much for a wonderful fic. *hugs*

Reviewer: Reader 2Date: 2005-08-22
Reviewid: 130536Chapter: 12
A pleasanr read. Thanks

Reviewer: PatriciaDate: 2005-04-25
Reviewid: 120649Chapter: 9
I adore your use of names! As well as your writing (even though I am not a romance fan). Your Rosmerta is lovely (and I enjoy the older woman heroine winning the younger man - even if 57 isn't really

Reviewer: CorvidaeDate: 2005-02-13
Reviewid: 113786Chapter: 12
I had to take a few days to let it all sink in before reviewing but here it is. I just reread this story again, it was actually one of the first hp fics i ever read and i remember loving it then and i truly truly adore it now. The everyday calm fills me up with a warm enchanted feeling. I love the details about the bars patrons SO realistic and endearing. I love Rosmertas secret past, that kind of insight into an often generalized or overlooked character astounds me because you still made me think of the Madame Rosmerta from the book. The interweaving of the fourth book does not overwhelm the story but just gives us little hints about things that we know and she doesnt and so we get to smile a secret little smile. In the list of five best hp fics of all time, this is deffinitely one there, you've worked a magic all your own and i know i'll come back to this story after a while and read it again and love it all over again. Tremendous job, you are a true storyteller. And by the way, i just posted a picture on the SQ of madame Rosmerta and its totally dedicated to you and the Rosmerta from the story, if it weren't for you she may have ended up in a bar wenches costume but now she's much more stylishly outfitted. thanks for the great story *-*

Reviewer: EmmaDate: 2004-12-28
Reviewid: 108988Chapter: 7
Bugger....Grace Hopper...I know I've heard that name somewhere! Ahhhh....now I'm gonna wonder where I heard it....argh!

Reviewer: MariagonerDate: 2004-06-18
Reviewid: 87780Chapter: 12
Awesome story! Loved how you fleshed out Madame Rosmerta, made the principal characters of the HP books appear (love the Snuffles cameo!) and just adored the new characters-- Max is a sweetheart. Wonderful series!

Reviewer: EchoDate: 2004-04-22
Reviewid: 79775Chapter: 12
I feel a little silly for posting a comment even though I literally just posted one for the last chapter, but I really have no choice.

I loved this story, particullarily (sp?) Max and the rest of the Hoppers, Maddie, Rosmerta, oh who am I kidding I loved them all! I'm afraid however that this review needs to be cut short, I need to start reading Fumbling Toward Ectasy (yes I know I read them in a wonky order).

-Echo

Reviewer: EchoDate: 2004-04-22
Reviewid: 79752Chapter: 10
Is it just me or does Max get better and better with each chapter? You had me a bit confused with the chalk at first, but by the time I got to "The Bum Hall of Fame" I was laughing like mad.

As for him being sued, I'm actually quite excited (of course here I am thinking that Rosmerta will come in and kick her brothers' asses, I'll keep my fingers crossed).

-Echo

Reviewer: mdelaurDate: 2004-04-18
Reviewid: 79234Chapter: 12
Beautiful ending:

And for the first time in forty years, Rosmerta took the night off.

Beautiful paragraph (conformed):

Whatever uncertainties the world was facing, she knew there were one or two things she could be sure of: her hair mussed and tangled from being wound around Max’s fingers, that the freckles on his arm were in the shape of Aquarius, not Sagittarius.... And, yes, one day, he and his friends probably would have to be bailed out of a South American prison.

Even more perfect ending:

Rainy Sunday mornings in bed, she thought, holding the star-shaped charm tightly between her fingers. With you by my side. She kissed Max gently on the cheek and settled into his arms to sleep.

Simply beautiful. I could count all the ways in which I loved your story (and will with a taste of Rosmerta's scones) but I'm sure I have told you them already. So I'll try to keep it short like I attempted to many days and chapters ago: loved it. Loved it.

Reviewer: mdelaurDate: 2004-04-17
Reviewid: 79228Chapter: 12
I would have loved this line if not for the severity of the situation:

Azkaban can’t be that bad. I’m sure if I explain the situation to the Ministry, they’ll understand.

Please kill him, otherwise I will.

Now who deos he have a crush on?:

“Are you king of the tavern?” she asked, passing him several glasses.

“King of the world! Now if I could only find my queen,” he joked, but his mood wasn’t entirely light.

Grr... I'll finish reviewing later!

Reviewer: mdelaurDate: 2004-04-17
Reviewid: 79222Chapter: 11
Simply beautiful:

Like that Muggle princess who accidentally ingested the Draught of the Living Death, Rosmerta felt as if a part of herself had spent a century asleep. It was time to wake up.

Ahh! I've seen this quote floating around and I've finally found it! Three cheers!:

“So, you’re a scarlet woman,” Maddie teased, finishing the wine in her glass. “I’ve always said red was your color.”

Good line:

The tavern grows tiresome once in a while, but I’d rather be a bowtruckle in my own forest than a snidget in someone else’s cage.

I also enjoyed the talk between Rosmerta and Maddie about Rosmerta's past. Very believable; done in a true manner.

Fantastic scene at Ogdens. You go girl! (JK on the cliche)

Haha!:

Cheers and whistles ensued. “I’ll have a side of that!” someone called.

Hilarious!

And I absolutely love this scene and the lines before it:

“Hester’s here! She’ll take care of us! Hes-ter! Hes-ter!” the regulars began chanting.

Rosmerta signaled for silence. “Well, I see I’m about to be traded in for a younger model! You men are all alike!”

And this was great:

“Celestina, watch your back,” she muttered under her breath, leaving Rosmerta and Max chuckling in her wake.

Oh, absolutely perfect! The scene in the celler with Mr. Hopper and Rosmerta was just so skillfully done! And I especially loved this:

It was like she was a gazelle caught by a lion, except the lion turned out to be toothless and was just enjoying the expression on the gazelle’s face more than the prospect of eating it.

And this was a good turn in the conversation, about Max. I loved this bit:

"...Of course, this happened in mid-August, so he got off rather lightly. You know, I ought to go upstairs right now and ground him again on sheer principle.”

And this was too funny!:

"...Now, when it comes to cakes and pies, Gracie only lets me have these tiny slivers of a piece. Wouldn’t fill a fairy! So, after it’s cut, you and I, we’ll meet in the kitchen and...”

I enjoyed the sentences around this quote about rings, but this one stood out fairly. So I thought I'd comment:

This was what she wanted. Love freely given and received. Not deals, not debts, just a promise made one to the other.

Good. Very good. You understand where she is coming from intirely. Umm, seeing that you (in a major scense) created her, I guess you would know where she is coming from, but it is truly remarkable how dead on you are. And I loved the scene with the boxers! Too funny!

Loved this:

“You know, I’m a little troubled. The fact that I’m standing before you in my boxers and you’re laughing is a bit of a blow to the old ego.”

Perfect chapter!

Reviewer: Violet AzureDate: 2004-04-17
Reviewid: 79193Chapter: 12
Hi CornedBee,

Thank you for your recent reviews of my stories. With "High Spirits" I began making it OotP friendly and fixing mistakes....then got caught up in doing other things. <grins sheepishly> Lorelei's Lair was originally the Hog's Head, until we found out about the Hog's Head. Anyway, thanks for reading and I appreciate your taking the time to review!

Cheers,
Lee

Reviewer: mdelaurDate: 2004-04-17
Reviewid: 79184Chapter: 10
Back to reviewing! (Yes!) Chapter nine was wonderful (I printed it and read it in the car). I loved the ending; Rosmerta is so sweet. That whole scene with the dog was so believable and I hope there are more in the upcoming chapters I have yet to read!
I loved the opening of this chapter:

“There you are, Robert. Roast beef and Swiss on rye, side of chips not crisps. Shepherd’s pie for you, Harold. What can I get you two gents to drink? Ale—or are you on the job this afternoon?”

It really caught my attention, because it threw me right into the bar scene. I loved the scene shorty after with the owl. Poor thing... The description of the situation and the bird's actions are really well written.

And in reply to this excerpt:

The small box in her robes seemed to grow heavier and heavier as the night wore on until Rosmerta felt like she was dragging around a boulder.

Doesn't something such as that always way one down? Just the thought on the mind makes it heavy in the pocket.

Ohh!:

“Wingardium Leviosa, your highness.” A shrieking, giggling Miranda floated down High Street, followed by her father.

I wish I was a fairy princess in Hogsmeade! How wonderful it would be to be a little kid and have your dad fly you around town! Magic... (sigh).

What!?:

She looked at the box again and at what was nestled against the satiny burgundy interior: a single piece of white chalk.

What is that supposed to mean? Did I miss something? Forget an important detail? Is Max, in addition to selling beer, a chalk artist? Grr... I better keep reading.


Hah! Can't you imagine?:

“See? This is why we need to discuss things. You spill your potion, we have no back-up plan, and before we know it, Max Jr. is running around the house terrorizing our poor birds.” He gave her a very tragic look.

And Humperdink Hopper? What kind of name is that!? I hope that Rosmerta is sincerely joking.

And great part:

“Would you be a love and feed Queenie? I really do need to get dressed,” she turned and sashayed down the hall.

“Evil,” Max muttered under his breath, a huge smile on his face. “Pure evil. Isn’t she, Queenie?” Max said to the bird, who had come to investigate when she heard the magic word “feed.”

Hah! Hilarious mistake on Rosmerta's part!:

Yes, she thought carrying a tray of Butterbeer to a group of third-years, banking on a professional career in Quidditch really is a gamble. I’m glad Ludo’s talking some sense into them.

And I loved this line:

(Rosmerta wondered if there was some sort of magical law that prohibited all Weasleys from having any hair color except fireball red.)

And I really enjoyed the banter between Hagrid and Rosmerta. So sweet!

And this was too funny:

“’Course not!” Hagrid looked appalled at the very idea. “Everyone knows yeh don’ ask—or tell—a sphinx mummy jokes—tho’ they do like harpy an’ hag jokes.”

Hmmm.... Something else besides dragons?:

Rosmerta was too far away to be sure, but she thought Max’s face had turned the color of an uncooked onion.

What exactly is Hagrid and Max talking about?

And I liked this simple little line, too:

Time wasn’t measured so much in days and weeks as it was in meals and menus.

Ugh! Spare me! It sounds horrible!:

“Want to hear how I combine food with the other three things?”

Hah! Good for you Hagrid!:

“What on earth did you say to Max?” Rosmerta put her hands on her hips and cocked her head at Hagrid. “He’s white as a ghost.”

“Well, I tol’ him that if I ever see that pretty face o’ yours frownin’ again, we’d be goin’ for a little stroll in the Forbidden Forest.” Hagrid gave her a grim, affirmative look.

And the horrible images I recieved on this part:

Why? Do you have a hot date over at the Head? A twinkle appeared in her blue eyes as an image of Professor Snape reclining on cushions and being fanned and fed grapes by the girls of Lorelei’s Lair popped into her head.

You should be banned from posting! Okay, I relent! :) I love the descriptions of the village from atop of the mountain.

You didn't! I hate you!:

“We’re being sued by the Ogden Corporation.”

I relent a little bit, but I'm still mad at you!

Reviewer: CornedBeeDate: 2004-04-16
Reviewid: 78977Chapter: 12
You have wonderful imagery in your writing and a very good background story for Rosmerta. I admit that I skimmed over a lot of Max' family scenes, but that's just me.
BUT there's a lot of careless errors in the story. Missing letters, wrong letters, entire words missing. You call what is obviously the Lorelei's Lair the Hog's Head for almost the whole story, in strong contrast to what the Hog's Head is really and to what you say in the third-year story.

Reviewer: mdelaurDate: 2004-04-15
Reviewid: 78894Chapter: 8
I was going to give this chapter a break and review it with the next one but I cracked a big smile on this sentence:

Considering the expressions at Ludo’s table, she had a bad feeling that the goblins wanted to break his kneecaps rather than dress his shoes.

And wanted to tell you that it's great! And I couldn't stop snickering when I read:

Everyone in the tavern had stopped drinking and whispering and was now looking at her as if she had decided to dance on the bar top wearing only her apron and juggling flaming bottles of Butterbeer.

And the line:

It seemed for the villagers that the bond shared by vulgar lyrics and a desire to embarrass Rosmerta was stronger than the truth about Hagrid’s heritage.

was just perfect! And I loved the ending of the chapter! Great job!

Reviewer: mdelaurDate: 2004-04-15
Reviewid: 78864Chapter: 7
Good chapter! I liked this part:

Unbeknownst to Rosmerta, Queenie had already expressed her displeasure at the unexpected guest inside his shoes.

And this was artfully described:

Thoughts were flying through her head so fast that she couldn’t distinguish the tail of one from the head of another.

And I absolutely loved this part:

Maddie swore. “Son of a succubus. Next time I see that man in the Head, I’m turning him into a salamander and tossing him in the fridge.”

And I got a big kick out of:

"...Worst comes to worst, hide your wand behind your back and set something on fire. Works every time.”

Hah! I loved:

I think he’s busy convincing Sam to set booby traps tonight in order to catch Father Christmas.

My Dad used to tell my sister and me that he had set out nets and that him and our dog had just missed him. Every child needs a family member who can convince them that they just missed nabbing Jolly Old Saint Nick!

And I've decided to adopt the saying:

So not only do you want to have your cake and eat it too, but you also want it á la mode.

And I frowned deeply at this line:

Mrs. Hopper shook it, but Rosmerta could see that she regarded its owner as something rather dangerous and unpleasant that needed to be removed—very much like a large, infected wart or such.

Why can't the whole family just adore Rosmerta? Sigh.

And I loved this paragraph:

“Yeah,” Max said, stroking Queenie, “it’s beautiful, but not nearly as beautiful as—yeouch!” Max yelped in pain as Queenie tightened her grip on his shoulder. “I was going to say your plumage! I swear!” Rosmerta tried to keep a straight face as she shooed Queenie into her cage.

And I enjoyed the paragraph on pining and longing, wishing, wanting, and desiring. And I loved their wishes. They made me want to break out into 'a bicycle built for two'. Do you know the song? I won't sing it but it would go perfectly with the wishes they said. Well, I'm sure you're getting real sick over the number of my reviews. Get used to it, there is much more for me to review. But until later....

Reviewer: mdelaurDate: 2004-04-15
Reviewid: 78823Chapter: 6
Back hours later! I enjoyed this part of the second half of the chapter:

Hagrid had brought her the tallest Christmas tree yet and she and Hester had so much fun decorating it that she decided to set one up in her house as well. Queenie immediately took up residence in it and enjoyed pretending she was living in the wild.

And I enjoyed the McDonalds scene. So cute!

And I especially love this paragraph:

Rosmerta looked over at Max as he placed a card on top of the tower with exaggerated concentration. The children gave a big "Awwww" of disappointment as the pile of cards stayed in place. Max gave the group a self-satisfied smile, pleased with his victory over a group of eight and nine-year olds. The deck promptly blew up in his face, causing the children to explode with laughter and cheer. He aimed a light Tickling Charm at the group, making them all laugh even harder.

It is so sweet! He'd be a great father (hint, hint).

And how sweet:

Max laughed. "I think it’s the chef," he kissed her before disappearing into the fire.

And:

Ruby nodded and glided over to a very nervous looking young wizard who was standing by a case full of engagement rings.

Possible foreshadowing there?? And I really liked the mention of the pub as a fishbowl and Rosmerta's friends as cats. Really clever.

And I got a kick out of:

Max politely declined the offer to have Fluffy make public appearances as the brewery’s mascot.

And I was practically whooping when Max took charge in the kitchen! I loved the ending! Terrific chapter!

Reviewer: mdelaurDate: 2004-04-14
Reviewid: 78742Chapter: 6
I bet you are getting sick of my reviews but I almost choked on my cottage cheese on this:

Although… if I had to guess, I would say sunny-side up and jam—not butter—on his toast, sausage instead of- arg! Focus!

I also liked this part:

Rita gave her a smile with all the authenticity of a cubic zirconium, put away her quill, and made her way over to Hagrid.

And this one:

No one knew Rosmerta’s exact age; she had celebrated her fiftieth birthday for the past fifteen years.

And:

Rosmerta wondered yet again if she was the only person in the area who knew the difference between Charms and charms.

I really enjoyed the interaction between Dumbledore and Rosmerta, as well. Especially:

"...And if you want to convey your message in a bowl of pudding or a strawberry tart, well, all the better," he said with a wink and a chuckle.

Well, I have to go without finishing the chapter. Until later! Good chapter!

Reviewer: mdelaurDate: 2004-04-14
Reviewid: 78731Chapter: 5
Wow! I really enjoyed the interaction between Max and Rosmerta. So real. Your story is very original. I liked this part:

Rosmerta was pretty sure she could get her pet to tap dance if she held out long enough. Tonight she’d settle for the Fwooper foxtrot.

About Queenie, it was so funny! And I liked this little bit:

She’s a good woman at heart… mind like a steel trap and jaws like a sieve, though.”

about the steel trap and sieve; very creative.

And I enjoyed the descriptions of the robes:

A detailed scene of an enchanted forest was printed on the white robes like a fine tapestry. Two unicorns bowed their heads to drink from a pool of water on the skirt while birds flitted from branch to branch along her torso.

Very pretty indeed.

And some sentences in your story ring oddly familiar. My family always says there are two kinds of people. But you know, there are really only two kinds of people: people who think there are only two kinds of people and people who don't. And my family also says a pound is a pound is a pound, similar to this excerpt:

“Oh, come on, Maddie. What woman hasn’t kissed a toad hoping to break an enchantment only to realize that a toad is a toad is a toad?”

Ah well, I think my post for this chapter has been utterly too long. So... It was great!!

Reviewer: mdelaurDate: 2004-04-14
Reviewid: 78723Chapter: 4
Great two chapters! I love the adventures of Rosmerta. I'm excited to read more and have much more to read of your work so I'll keep it short: loved it!

Reviewer: mdelaurDate: 2004-04-14
Reviewid: 78703Chapter: 2
Great chapter! I'm going to have to skip reviewing chapters otherwise you'll have so many reviews of mine in a ow! Oh well, twelve new reviews would be fun to have!

Reviewer: mdelaurDate: 2004-04-14
Reviewid: 78699Chapter: 1
Wow! Good chapter. I'm looking forward to reading the next one. i liked the mention of Herb's garden and the scenes about them.

Reviewer: CarmenDate: 2004-03-16
Reviewid: 74914Chapter: 12
Hi! Just rereading, I this is a great story! You've made Mdam Rosmerta into such a great character, and.... just.... wow. this is great.

Reviewer: AlexisDate: 2003-12-17
Reviewid: 63781Chapter: 1
I haven't even finished the first chapter yet but I just have to say "Herb's Garden" - ROFLMAO. I love this story already!

Reviewer: NeanaDate: 2003-10-06
Reviewid: 55631Chapter: 1
Just finished first chapter and i have nothing but praise for you! It's fabolously written and full of great ideas, carachters are awsomely pulled out! Can't wait to find out more.
Thanks for sharing your talent with us!

Reviewer: Lena RayneDate: 2003-09-16
Reviewid: 52933Chapter: 1
Wow, that was brilliant. One of the most eloquent stories I've read on this site. The characters were real and believeable, and it tied in with the fourth book perfectly. Keep up the good work!

Reviewer: Myster webDate: 2003-09-08
Reviewid: 51420Chapter: 2
I love how you make the syltherins real people and not just nasty. Kepp up the great work!

Reviewer: X-LydiaDate: 2003-09-08
Reviewid: 51366Chapter: 7
Of course I know who Grace Hopper was - she practically invented computers, and she was the highest ranking woman in the US Navy! I met her once, quite accidentally, while playing tourist at the Pentagon.

BTW, <i>Edward</i> Hopper was a famous painter of the 20th century who is best known for his pictures of night scenes in cafés.

Reviewer: Seldes KatneDate: 2003-08-27
Reviewid: 48925Chapter: 12
I have a confession to make: unless I'm beta-reading for someone, I avoid romances like the proverbial plague. Most of them are just loaded with fluff and saccharine, and I get enough sugar in my diet as it is, thanks.

So why did I read this? Because it's not just a romance - it's a really well-written work of fiction with three-dimensional characters, interesting ideas, and catchy little titles and quips thrown in for good measure. It also just happens to involve two characters falling in love and having the usual problems any relationship faces. This is not fluff.

Rosmerta is an intensely likeable character. Max is funny and charming. (And unfortunately not available at the end of this story....) The cast of "small town" characters reminds me of many of the personalities found in real places. It was also nice to see a believable Wizarding school other than Hogwarts.

I admire your ability to flesh out a minor Harry Potter background character like Rosmerta while also creating unique and three-dimensional original characters like Maddie, Max and his family. Even the supporting characters in this piece have their own little quirks, and your cast includes the good, the bad, and the people who should have ended up in a little glass jar in the Hog's Head. (Mr. Karkaroff springs instantly to mind. Jeeves, my flame-thrower, please....)

I love the names of the drinks (very Potter-y!): Kettle Scraper, Goblin Gin Fizz, Dragon's Breath Beer.

Dramamineous Charm? (*snicker*)


Let's see, some of my favorite lines, in absolutely no order of importance (pretend the story quotes are in italics, please):

Locals affectionately referred to Mrs. Porter, and the Porter children Ginger, Basil, and Pepper as "Herb's garden".
"All that's missing is cumin, and they'd have a whole spice rack....[snip]....
"Don't laugh, dear," Rosmerta told her. "They were actually considering 'Tarragon' before settling on 'Basil'." [Having grown up with an unusual first name myself, I really, really sympathize with these kids.....]

Lockhart had born a very strong resemblence to Queenie in his robes - unfortunately, unlike Queenie, Lockhart didn't come with a silencing charm. [I'm sorry, but would Lockhart really be any less annoying even with a silencing charm? Magic can only do so much, after all!]

She wondered what her old schoolmates would think of Maddie. They would probably be horrified, Rosmerta thought gleefully, but at least I'm putting my networking skills to good use. [Witches "network"? Cool!]

"..Merlin help us if those two [Fred and George] ever join the Dark Side - although I think You-Know-Who might just chuck them back after they dye his robes pink or decide to turn his pet snake into a fluffy bunny or something...." [Maybe Albus Dumbledore should just recruit them as a secret weapon!]

"What is it?" Hagrid asked, mesmerized by the tiny figures. The dog was running laps around his palm; it was getting quite a bit of exercise. The dragon was in his other hand stalking up and down. Hagrid wasn't sure where to look first. [I actually laughed out loud at this. Unfortunately, I was in a public part of the library at the time, so you can imagine the reaction I got....]

"...if he doesn't treat you right, there's a jar behind my bar just waiting for him," Maddie smiled, but there was an edge in her voice.
[snip].... "I was actually planning on mounting his head above the bar if he tried anything, but thank you for the offer. One toad was enough in my lifetime." [Touché! Great comeback!]

"...Please let your sister-in-law know that I'm also available for children's parties and bar mitzvahs." [Wizards have bar mitvahs? ;-) ]

The children loved the Yodeling Yo-Yos.... [Uh huh, and I'll bet Mum and Dad did, too....]


Delightful, all of it.

Reviewer: KatinkaDate: 2003-08-16
Reviewid: 47353Chapter: 12
Ah! Finally a moment to write out a long-overdue response to Chapter 12. If only everyone in the house would sleep more often! ;)

On "Closing Time"...oh, it's sad to see this come to an end. You have truly created your own universe here, with vivid characters and settings. You should be very proud of this accomplishment!

It's so fun to see our favorite pair settle into a deeper level of domestic life:

<<“Did you finally find a pair of shoes you liked?” he asked, rising up from the couch, a smile playing on his lips. “Honestly, I think you have enough dragonhide in your closet to reconstruct a full grown Ironbelly.” >>

It only means Ros has her priorities straight, Max! And as for "water conservation"...well, that was one of those "I'm sure glad I don't have a beverage in my mouth right now" moments. Glad to know Max is an environmentalist (heh heh).

I liked the sense of easy comfort in the birthday gathering with Max's friends -- we get the feel that it's blessedly unlike the social functions of her childhood! The visual detail of the "strip of green came off her wrist and fluttered down to the bedspread where it lay between them" is quite nice, too.

I like how you interlace these happy times with the ominous tones of what's to come in the Third Task. It reminds us that most everyone besides Harry was just living life, unaware of what was coming.

You told me earlier who the mysterious "spokeswizard" would be, but I was biting my nails in anxiety anyway, just dreading the awkwardness of the eventual meeting. There's a nice build up to that moment, as we're left to wonder who he might be ("Apollo Creed"? -- snert!).

Very astute little social observation here:

<<Rosmerta found it interesting that the two sources of most couples’ consternation were sex and money: although each in its own way was a great source of pleasure, there was an underlying sordidness to both. Neither was discussed openly in polite company but everyone was curious to know how much their friends and neighbors had of the two.>>

And the dreaded moment arrives! Oh, no!!!:

<<The next thing she knew, she was swept up in a tight embrace and a pair of lips was pressed firmly against hers. The person kissing her wasn’t goofing around or playing some sort of practical joke. He was kissing her as if she had returned for the dead and he was making up for lost time.>>

How completely, utterly awful -- to be confronted so abruptly with a prominent part of a past you're trying to forget. And while you're with your new boyfriend, too!!! I think all of us can feel for Rosmerta at that moment. What impresses me most about this scene is how layered and complex (and thus REAL!) the emotions are. Darren is a bit of a cad, but a decent guy nonetheless who was genuinely hurt by her running away. Max is hurt and confused (understandably so!), but he care for her enough to make that creep apologize. I think it was a big moment for him when he said, "I don’t care if she slept with every single player in the league. You do not speak to, or about, the woman I love like that." It's as if he's really acknowledging to himself that she, like HIM, has a Past, but that doesn't matter as much as what they're going to create for themselves in the future.

The evening of the Third Task was so sad. It makes me miss Cedric. Stop killing off all the good characters, JKR! Make it someone expendable next time, like Draco <heartless cackle>.

That final scene...sigh. So cinematic! And such a wonderful way to tie the story back to their first meeting! Structure-wise, I really like how you manage this. I think a long, drawn-out reconciliation would detract from the momentum of the story. Here, it's like Max just stopped, took a deep breath, and said, "I love her. I forgive her." And I love the way they're both babbling, not knowing what they're really saying, and yet their meaning comes through crystal-clear. And now I'm CRYING!!!

It's late, so I apologize for the incoherance of this review, but again -- you should be very proud. This story was an absolute treat. Thank you!

~Katinka :)

Reviewer: Carmen SandiegoDate: 2003-08-06
Reviewid: 45783Chapter: 12
wow! this is great! this is the first fic I've read about Madame Rosmerta, and it is really good! I don't think I'll be able to read another fic about her unless she's got the exact same character, and with Max! This is great!

Reviewer: RachelDate: 2003-08-05
Reviewid: 45690Chapter: 12
This was a really spectacular story. I've spent the last few days reading it straight through: your story really has something special. This was very well written, and the plot was excellent. Your attention to detail with Rosmerta's background was great, I loved hearing about her school and it's houses. I really liked the idea of a house gem.
Again, this was stupendous, and I can't wait to see what sort of project you will work on next! :)

Reviewer: JulianeDate: 2003-08-04
Reviewid: 45395Chapter: 12
The reviews were no more than this story deserved! It is a wonderfully written, adult love story that's honest and very real.

Max is a wonderful OC - it was fun watching him go through all the stages of courtship and ultimately, love. His protective instincts towards Ros at the game, despite all that was happening, made me cheer for him. He can be so impulsive, and yet when it counted, he stood up for Ros, taking things on trust in a very confusing situation.

And Rosmerta!!! You've truly made her your own, and now I think of your version as canon. Which is awful, you know, because I've planned to be rather mean to her in my Hard Drive Fic. Now I feel terrible!

In this last chapter, I really like her combination of pride in herself (she doesn't let herself get cowed despite her awful situation at the game) and courage in finally revealing her past to Max.

And to answer your question you asked in the Unexpected Task thread - sure! Queenie can come to play with Malhereuse anytime! If she can put up with his grumpy raptor self.

Another thing I love about this story was that Ros doesn't exist in a vacuum - you created a community for her, and it enriched the story.

Finally, you write an exceptional Hagrid! His moments with Ros in this story were so sweet.

Wonderful, wonderful job, Violet. This has been a treat to read.

Reviewer: YolandaDate: 2003-08-04
Reviewid: 45269Chapter: 7
Today was the perfect day for reading. It's cloudy here, and that makes it seem a little like winter.

You are so good with Rosmerta's interiors. Her thoughts make this chapter. Her thoughts while he's still asleep are so true to life. What I really like about her is that she is so afraid to be hurt, and she's quite honest with herself, but she still ends up taking the risk.

Dennis--what a jerk. I know he didn't mean to be, but my goodness, how thoughtless can you be. And what a dragon Max's mother is. His father was a delight, though.

Some of the lines I loved in this chapter: When they're together at the beginning and you talk about them being stripped of pretense; and "he didn't win me in a card game."

Again, you have lots of fun little details, like the wizarding activities in Spain and Queenie and her behaviors.

I admire your skills at making Max and Rosmerta's relationship real. It's a great story.

Reviewer: YolandaDate: 2003-08-03
Reviewid: 45214Chapter: 6
First of all, sigh, I love reading about Christmas, especially when I'm suffering through triple digit heat! Speaking of triple digit heat--the end of this chapter was lovely. You have a knack for putting into words, the way a person feels in that first real blush of love.

Let me do a blow by blow of my favorites. I could almost hear Rosmerta doing a Homer Simpson and saying, "D'oh!" when it slipped out to ask him over for tea at the end of their first date. You did such a good job of making us feel her emotions. Hee! "Max looked like he had just blown out his birthday candles and his wish was about to come true!" That is a classic!

I was touched by the flashback to her father's illness and death. I was irritated by her social-climbing mother, and very happy not to be a part of a world like that.

Rosmerta is an excellent judge of character. You can see how she immediately recognizes Rita Skeeter and Igor Karkaroff as dangerous. You can see how she manages to steer people away from asking questions about her past. I wish she was a cop in my jurisdiction. I'd love for her to investigate cases!

Other things I just loved in this chapter: Hester asking the professors about Snape and then declaring that he's nice; Max taking her to McDonald's. That is truly funny; the child who told Dumbledore that he'd been good that year; Harold Eastwood--so wizards have a Dirty Harry too?; Lupin pronounced "dishy!" I agree completely; Snape going to the Hogshead!; Minerva turning into a party girl after a few cups of egg nog; the children's Christmas party.

The success of this story is the characterizations and your attention to small details. It's like looking at a paiting from the Renaissance--full of a lot of little things that you could miss if you weren't paying attention.

I'm hooked.

Reviewer: HeatherKDate: 2003-07-31
Reviewid: 44822Chapter: 12
Wow. That was one of the most eloquently written and emotionally beautiful stories I've ever read! Noone thinks to tell a story in the Potterverse that's not about Hogwarts directly, and this one was compelling, emotional, accurate, just a well written story. I absolutely loved it. I was in tears, shaking with laughter, indignant, and even angry once or twice. Well done!

Reviewer: MrRobertsIIIDate: 2003-07-28
Reviewid: 44303Chapter: 12
Roswell University
-Great idea! I'm sure all that UFO nonsense was just a cover up for a wizarding college prank, or maybe the prank itself.

…you might as well say all goblins are nasty or,” she dropped her voice, “all giants are fierce.”
-yes Professor.

“How’s yer fella? He treatin’ yeh right?”
-Heaven help the poor sod who ever dates his daughter. I love your very protective Hagrid.

If he didn’t have that, or some other outlet for his ambition, then something vital would be missing from his life and it would be because of her.
-a true Slytherin.

Neither was discussed openly in polite company but everyone was curious to know how much their friends and neighbors had of the two.
-Hah! (and very true)

“And we’re late—again.”
-a cute running theme.

Rosmerta had made Chicken Pot-ter Pie and Figgory Pudding for dessert (she decided that Huffle(cream)puffs were a bad idea)
-Hah!

“I was wonderin’ if yeh were still interested, an’ if it ain’t too much trouble, if yeh’d teach me some more of that French before I set off.”
-nicely done. Even at such a sad moment you put in something that made me smile.

This was a wonderful fic and ranks in my top 10 of all time favorites. I hope you are ending this one only because you have another planned that parallels OoTP.

Wonderful tension between Max and Rosmerta and the scene where her past came out was great. Horrible but great.

However, I too am late again. I came in early to get some work done and then saw that you had posted. Thanks for making your chapters so long!

Reviewer: Ara KaneDate: 2003-07-28
Reviewid: 44262Chapter: 12
WAAAAHHH...it's over :( Well, that means I can relive the story to my heart's content and be assured that there's an ending! :D

The Big Unmasking was so exciting. (And I was there to see it! Hee!) I knew when you said that the Cerberus endorser was a mystery man that he was someone from Ros's past. And boy, did he have a big mouth! Thankfully, Max kept as calm as he could. It was heartening to see him stick up for Ros that same afternoon.

You did a good job weaving in the events of GoF, too. I like how the situation got so somber -- it made Max's return all the more wonderful. The reconciliation, with the strawberry-blueberry discussion, gave me the most pleasant chills!

This was a wonderful story. Thanks so much for sharing it with us!

Reviewer: lbdawgerDate: 2003-07-27
Reviewid: 44060Chapter: 12
ahhhhh, sniff, *wipes tears from face* lovely just lovely! what...no wedding?

Reviewer: OzmaDate: 2003-07-27
Reviewid: 44059Chapter: 12
I enjoy seeing Max and Rosmerta having fun together, whether it's just the two of them or they're out with friends. You write their relationship so beautifully.

Good, I'm glad that Rosmerta took Hagrid to task about making generalizations concerning foreigners. Hagrid's reactions to Rosmerta when she's in love are poignant. I liked the bit about him approving of Max, while feeling wistful that she's no longer 'his girl.'

-Grin- I love the idea of Fred and George telling the Sphinx Harpy and Banshee jokes!

Poor, poor Rosmerta!! Her encounter with Darren was physically painful to read about. My heart ached for her when the whispering started. Max stood up for her, but then he left! My eyes got all teary then.

Bless Rosmerta, she keeps on going... heartache or no heartache. The Final Task of the Triwizard Tournament as seen through her eyes was harrowing. It was poignant when she felt guilty for enjoying the previous Tasks, not realizing how dangerous the Tournament was.

The blueberry/strawberry conversation between Max and Rosmerta was wonderful! He came back!

Thank you for the epilogue and the lovely sight of Max and Rosmerta, happy together. There's a storm brewing in the wizarding world, but they have each other and they'll face the storm together.

Thank you for writing this story! It's been a pleasure to read!!!

Reviewer: AliaDate: 2003-07-27
Reviewid: 44042Chapter: 12
A fight about his past, and fight about hers... and they're still together. A happy, wonderful ending. I love this story. Good job ... and thank you.

Reviewer: CatherineDate: 2003-07-11
Reviewid: 41372Chapter: 11
The scene with Hagrid is electric, and I really enjoyed Ros to the rescue. Max and Ros continue to be an excellent couple.

Catherine

Reviewer: CatherineDate: 2003-07-01
Reviewid: 39522Chapter: 10
It's nice to come back to the safety of Hogsmeade after the book. Again, your writing is so textured and layered. It's a joy to read.

Catherine

Reviewer: Mark the Merry MudbloodDate: 2003-07-01
Reviewid: 39495Chapter: 10
I've been reading this fic for a little while now and I have to say that it's the most lovely characterisation and elaboration I've seen of any minor character in the Potterverse... It's an amazing work of literary art and it's just great to learn about Rosmerta and the world of the Three Broomsticks. Not to mention it gives us a neat insight into the inner workings of Wizarding Society.
Interestingly enough, you seem to have predicted an element of OotP with this story. Only slightly and accidentally mind you, but you did it. I'm guessing that your 'Dangerous' Dai (no second name unfortunately) had a few accidents in his time and, having made his money as a Quidditch player, donated a sizable ammount to St. Mungos. After all, Arthur Weasley is treated in the 'Dangerous' Dai Llewellyn ward after his attack!
Bravo! I hope there's going to be more to this story in the near future!

Reviewer: PortiaDate: 2003-06-14
Reviewid: 36762Chapter: 11
Review for Ch. 8 onwards:

The encounter between Rosmerta and the MLES officer was insightful, especially how you followed it up by describing how the harassment she'd received over the years affected her. “So, who were the lucky lads that got to escort you lovely ladies to the ball?” Rosmerta asked. The girls all giggled and turned pink with pleasure at being addressed by the older witch like she was one of their girlfriends. It was like talking to a really cool aunt who knew a thing or two about boys.
Oh, definitely. I wish I knew someone like Madam Rosmerta.

I also loved Rosmerta’s efforts to cheer Hagrid up—especially Max’s and Hester’s reactions to the bawdy song!

The dynamics of the Hopper family are very interesting, with Grace discouraging Rosmerta and Sarah helping her. You’ve handled the consequences of Max keeping his marriage a secret very well—consequences seem to be a theme in your story, and I like the way you’ve dealt with it.

I thought it was interesting how you had the Ravenclaw girls blaming Hermione’s supposed “scarlet woman” tendencies on her Muggle background. It makes sense that Rosmerta would be annoyed by the sexual double standard, as well as by anti-Muggle prejudices (whether or not she approves of Muggle fashion!) and I love how you had her stand up for Hermione.

I like your Professor Snape as well—and I thought it was interesting how you wrote him as going to the Hog’s Head just to talk. It seems like something he would do.

<<? A twinkle appeared in her blue eyes as an image of Professor Snape reclining on cushions and being fanned and fed grapes by the girls of Lorelei’s Lair popped into her head. She clamped her lips together to suppress a giggle. >>
Bwah!

<<She gave Hester a very shrewd look as she chose her next words carefully. “Hester, honey, are you…close with Professor Snape?” >>
I really like the relationship between Rosmerta and Hester. Rosmerta’s concern is appropriate here—natural for her to suspect something.

<<The tone of his voice suggested otherwise, but Rosmerta could see that he was trying to be open-minded. Still, she wanted to protest the injustice of it all that she should be labeled a succubus while similar behavior on his part was condoned. Let him have his illusions, what good would come of telling him? >>
Oh, oh. TELL him, Rosmerta! Max was really annoying me in this scene (that is a compliment to your writing—he is very realistic as a character). He deserves to have his little illusions shattered. “That sort,” indeed.

Max being sued by the Ogden Corporation is a wonderful plot twist—it came just when I was expecting them to ride off into the sunset together!

Reviewer: PortiaDate: 2003-06-14
Reviewid: 36681Chapter: 7
I just got a chance to really read this fic again and catch up on the chapters I've missed. I really love what you've done with Rosmerta.

I especially liked the scene where Max defended Rosmerta from Karkaroff. Before that he was a bit *too* suave and charming to be entirely trustworthy, but seeing him display such genuine anger and caring gave him more credibility as a character.

I also really liked the metaphor you used about Rosmerta having a fractal etched on her heart. That was really original.

There were a few grammar mistakes and sentences that don't quite make sense scattered throughout the chapters; for instance:
<< They sat in silence, holding one another Warming Charms wore off, the heat flowing between them. >>
I'm not sure what this meant.

I also really loved the way you had *Max* be the one who held back from going farther physically with Rosmerta, and the way you dealt with the issue of restraints, and Rosmerta's lack thereof. It seemed perfectly in character for Rosmerta given her past, as well as being nonstereotypical (how often in fics do we see the *guy* holding back?), and it's another reason to trust Max and his intentions.

Reviewer: CatherineDate: 2003-06-13
Reviewid: 36527Chapter: 8
This story is just wonderful. I can't praise enough how wonderful and realistic it is, even though it is set in a magical world. The characterizations ring true, and the people in this story react like real people would. No situation in this story seems remotely contrived. I truly appreciate that in the realm of fan fiction.

Max and Rosmerta make a wonderful couple. They're multilayered. I like the humor. It's not all wild romance.

This is just great Lee!

Catherine

Reviewer: KatinkaDate: 2003-06-12
Reviewid: 36389Chapter: 11
First off, my apologies for being so woefully behind in reviewing. I think this is your finest chapter yet! Of course, I probably said that with the last one, but that's just because they keep getting better and better. :D

As before, I have to compliment you on how thoroughly you go into the workings of business. It's entirely believable, and gives your world that much more credibility. And not only that, your characters are just so REAL! Nice insight into Max here:

<<“I don’t know. There’s a lot of it I don’t really understand. I mean, I’m not an idiot.” Max said this as if he had been carrying those words around with him for days and could finally unload them, even if the intended recipient was nowhere within earshot.>>

I got a laugh out of this:

<<Rosmerta just shook her head silently. She never quite understood how Max could wear his running clothes to bed. Then again, Max seemed to have the same sort of affectionate disbelief while watching her decide exactly which pair of black boots to wear.>>

Just like my husband, who doesn't understand that each of my twelve pairs of brown leather shoes is DIFFERENT, as are my twenty-five shades of lipstick! heh heh

The warlock scene was chilling, and my blood ran cold as I read it. I remembered that you'd alluded to this in a previous chapter. How awful!!! I'm so glad that nothing worse happened. And I adore Hagrid. Beneath that cuddly surface, he really does have a violent, volatile side to him.

What a reminder that Rosmerta's looks can be a double-edged sword. She can use them to get her way and control the room, occasionally, but they can also attract some most unwanted attention. I was very proud of her for relating the incident to Max, though. And who wouldn't fall madly in love with him after this?:

<<“Ros,” he said, after a few minutes of silence. “Do you know how much you mean to me? I don’t think you’re fragile, just precious. I protect the people and things in my life that are dear to me,” he said firmly. He rubbed his hand up and down her torso. “And I know you can take care of yourself…you just shouldn’t have to,” he mumbled.>>

I was also proud of Rosmerta for coming clean to Maddie. And I shouldn't have laughed at this, but it was just too funny:

<<Rosmerta knew Maddie was right and it only heightened her agitation. “What am I supposed to say? ‘Hello, darling. How was your day? By the way I’m an heiress, a disgraced one at that, and my brothers are plotting to take over your company. Sorry about that. And, oh, yes. I pretty much shagged the starting line up for the 1954 England’s World Cup Team plus quite a few other players. Miss Quafflegirl, 1953 to 1954.”>>

Quafflegirl -- snert! The tales of her escapades were fun, too, although the "Are we even yet?" thought was very sad.

Woohoo! I just imagine Rosmerta sweeping down the halls of the Ogden Corporation, heels clicking on the marble:

<<“Perhaps I did not make myself clear. Please tell Thaddeus and Philip that their sister, Elizabeth Ogden, is here to see them.” Rosmerta stretched out every syllable in her former name, enjoying the power it evoked.>>

Oh, I loved to see her put her brothers in their place. The Quidditch by-play was a wonderful touch! I do feel sorry for Phillip, though -- an otherwise decent guy, but this one ethical lapse is always going to haunt him, not to mention taint his relationship with his sister.

The scene with George was fantastic -- the Hoppers seem to be in such a social position that their circle would *just* overlap with Rosmerta's old world. What a dear -- I wanted to hug him. He's a sharp man, not just a kind old duffer after all!

Another instance of when I shouldn't laugh, but I did:

<<Oh, lovely. The entire wizarding world knew Ares was cheating on me. What else does Mr. Hopper know about my personal life? But a smile twitched at the corner of her lips. She actually had taken a good part of his philandering lying down.>>

::tries to be ladylike, and fails::

And some very nice steaminess at the end! This is a fabulous story. :D

~Katinka

Reviewer: FrankDate: 2003-06-10
Reviewid: 36180Chapter: 7
Of course I know who Admiral Hopper was.

I even have one of her microseconds.

And while the rest of the computing world, used to PHP and HTML and VBasic can go "Eeew, COBOL" and "Mainframes suck" I have to say it's kept me from starving for a good while.

Reviewer: MrRobertsIIIDate: 2003-06-09
Reviewid: 36019Chapter: 11
the price turned out to be a toad and the princess became a barmaid
-Hah!

Yikes, what a scene with the drunken warlock. I liked how you handled it.

but I’d rather be a bowtruckle in my own forest than a snidget in someone else’s cage.”
-a funny rephrasing of Dante!

Quafflegirls-because they get passed from player to player
-great word!

“Hell no!
-I like that. Honesty is the best policy, up to a point.

You do know what this means, don’t you?”
Paling, Rosmerta shook her head.
“Next Monday, you’re buying,”
-I love your Maddie!

Wonderful scene with Mr. Hopper. He does seem very much like Dumbledore.

The amount owed to her was immense and her tossing it away showed once again how much she cared for Max.

However, Max still doesn't know her past. Once he does find out, he will know why that lawsuit was dropped and for some reason I don't think he will be too comfortable with her wealth. Max appears to take his role as provider very seriously and it would be extremely hard on him to find out that if he marries Rosmerta his job would be from a monetary view a hobby.

I look forward to reading how you handle that.

Reviewer: Ara KaneDate: 2003-06-09
Reviewid: 35996Chapter: 11
Ahh, the "coming clean" chapter -- sort of. I am so glad that Maddie now knows all about Rosmerta's background. I wasn't afraid that she wouldn't understand, though, because Maddie's been around the block herself, right? ;)

I am also glad that Max knows about Rosmerta's past encounter with undesired male company. I loved how he got so angry for her :) and bought Hagrid drinks as his way of saying thanks. That Hagrid sure knows how to keep *animals* in their places, doesn't he?

And I am so glad that a Hopper knows about Rosmerta's past and doesn't mind. Mr. Hopper's a darling just like his sons! Good on Rosmerta for kicking her brothers' behinds on the brewery case! Hmph!

I hope it won't be long now before Max finds out about Rosmerta's past. I'm afraid of how he might react when he does, but at the same time she DID fight for him against her very own family.

Another great chapter! More soon, please!

Reviewer: KarieDate: 2003-06-08
Reviewid: 35905Chapter: 11
I was so dissappointed by Phillip ): The skimmed earnings was a good twist, very believable...and this was brilliant:
[QUOTE]It was like she was a gazelle caught by a lion, except the lion turned out to be toothless and was just enjoying the expression on the gazelle’s face more than the prospect of eating it.[/QUOTE]
Great, vivid mental picture. Wonderful chapter (: 

Reviewer: AliaDate: 2003-06-08
Reviewid: 35836Chapter: 11
I want to see the look on her brothers' face when she marries Max. Imagine finding out you tried to sue your sister's to-be-husband! Awesome job, I like it that George knew her past.

Reviewer: OzmaDate: 2003-06-07
Reviewid: 35819Chapter: 11
I've been longing for a new chapter, and I loved this one so much! It was incredibly satisfying to see so many fine, good people tackle their battles and win! Hagrid, protecting Rosmerta, Rosmerta, sharing her past with Maddie after so many years (loved that scene, especially Rosmerta's reminisces and Maddie's questions and reactions), and then Rosmerta KICKING HER BROTHERS' BUTTS in the most refined, dignified and ladylike way! And then, her ability to forgive Philip was awesome.

The scene with Mr. Hopper was intense. But he was wonderful with her, so kind, wise, sweet and funny.

Speaking of sweet, this line of Max's made me melt:

“Do you know how much you mean to me? I don’t think you’re fragile, just precious. I protect the people and things in my life that are dear to me,” he said firmly. He rubbed his hand up and down her torso. “And I know you can take care of yourself…you just shouldn’t have to,” he mumbled."

Quafflegirl? That phrase is so perfect. But Rosmerta's definitely not a Quafflegirl, she's more like a golden Snitch, one of a kind, the treasure that wins the game!

I hope that she tells Max everything soon. I hope that her worries about how he'll react are groundless. They are so perfect together. The romance and the love-making were wonderful... sweet, tender and funny.

Eagerly awaiting your next chapter...

Reviewer: CatherineDate: 2003-06-07
Reviewid: 35711Chapter: 6
The pacing continues to be excellent. I enjoyed that line after the first date about Rosmerta saying something and having it come out like a pearl. Very nice.

Abby's appearance is lovely. That probably means that your Rosmerta is part of my continuity as well--at least up to the point you introduce characters I can't explain. ;)

This is just so good, Lee. You really have talent.

Catherine

Reviewer: YolandaDate: 2003-06-06
Reviewid: 35651Chapter: 5
Oh, I just loved Max's entrance--well, really her feelings about him. You do such a good job of conveying that thrill of new love. And Max is just such a great character. I just love his confidence.

Once again, I'm enjoying the sidelines view of the Triwizard Tournament, complete with all the familiar people like Rita Skeeter. She was delightfully in character. You also did a great job with Dumbledore. I think Rosmerta's vulnerability and insecurity rings so true. I can identify with her feelings about Dumbledore.

Thanks for another great chapter!

Reviewer: YolandaDate: 2003-06-06
Reviewid: 35630Chapter: 4
This chapter is packed with so many imaginative details. I really liked the tarantula in the corner and the tradition of tossing Knuts into the web. I also enjoyed the way you gave us a really concise, yet complete look at all of the people in the bar--both on Halloween night and on day of the Hogsmeade outing. It was kind of like watching a Cheers episode.

You did a really impressive job of conveying Ros's feelings of betrayal and anger. I especially liked the scene with the car. I felt everything--from not being able to breathe to that moment of clarity she has right after that. I could really identify with her--although not that I've had the same experience!

Finally, although we know that her life was one of privilege, Ros is a good friend who doesn't draw class distinctions. She's genuinely interested in her friends. You can see it in how she treats Hester and Hagrid.

I'm glad she sent that owl. I like a woman who goes after what she wants--even if she's cautious.

Reviewer: JulianeDate: 2003-06-02
Reviewid: 35075Chapter: 10
Wonderful chapter, as always. I especially liked:

Ros' reaction to the box Max sent. The description of it being a pretty coffin was fantastic. What it really contained was so very clever and Max-ish. You managed to convey Ros' delight so well.

Snape. You wrote him in such an ambivalent manner - it was marvelous. Ros' thoughts about him were so refreshing from the sex god/horrible sarcastic guy extremes that are so prevalent in the fandom. And her concern over his possible motives was touching, considering her own past.

The way Ros tells Max that she's created her own family in Hogsmeade! Lots of people created extended 'families' within their communities.

Max bringing flowers to Hester. Lovely gesture on his part.

The way Max and Ros are negotiating their relationship like rational adults.

Reviewer: Three Sickles ShortDate: 2003-06-01
Reviewid: 34973Chapter: 10
Sued by the Ogden Corporation. To quote Movie!Filch, "Oh, dear. We *are* in trouble."

"Walking by the table, Rosmerta heard the words ‘young’ and ‘gamble’.

"Yes, she thought carrying a tray of Butterbeer to a group of third-years, banking on a professional career in Quidditch really is a gamble. I’m glad Ludo’s talking some sense into them."

You know, I sort of liked seeing Rosmerta being clueless here. Having her figure out Ludo too quickly might send her over the line from "perceptive" to "Divination specialist."

“Can you imagine them playing against each other next year?” Lisa mused. “It would be so odd competing against your boyfriend.”

Ouch. Just ouch.

Good Rosmerta to stick up for Hermione. You did a really nice job in that scene of showing the more subtle Muggle-prejudice that can pop up in the wizarding world. It's sometimes easy to forget that there are grey areas between the attitudes of, say, Lucius Malfoy and Arthur Weasley toward Muggle culture, and having the "tolerant" Ravenclaws be a little condescending about Muggle social norms was a nice, realistic touch.

Aww, Rosemerta and Hagrid. So cute. I just love their friendship.

Speaking of "aww," Max's flowers for Hester were really sweet.

Snape being fanned and fed grapes over at the Hog's Head--now *there's* a mental image you don't get every day. And you've gotten me very curious about Snape's feelings toward Hester.

The "Mrs. Robinson" reference was priceless! Naughty, naughty Max.

I absolutely can't wait to see how the lawsuit is going to play out. Family trouble, business trouble, legal trouble, romantic tension--and all tied together. It's a rough life, but it makes for fascinating reading.

TSS

Reviewer: CatherineDate: 2003-05-30
Reviewid: 34390Chapter: 4
The texture of this story is magnificent! Rosmerta's background is so well fleshed out. Her interior language is rich. You've given Hogsmeade people so many wonderful details that bring them alive.

I can really tell that you are engaging in a labor of love. Well done!

Catherine

Reviewer: KatinkaDate: 2003-05-23
Reviewid: 33344Chapter: 10
My, but that last sentance of yours is a doozy. ;) The first time I read this, I stared at the screen, dumbstruck for a few seconds, before yelling, "I knew it!!! I knew it!!!" You did a masterful job in leading us up to that point so subtly.

But starting at the beginning...

<<She looked at the box and a surge of anger went through her. Velvet boxes…she hated velvet boxes with their satin-lined coffers. Pretty little coffins for hard, cold, insignificant trinkets. Did he think he could just win her over with something gold and glittery and all would be forgiven? She had a good mind to chuck the stupid box into the fire.>>

Ah, but Max is not that type of man! :) Nice glimpse into Rosmerta's past, and good thing she saves the box from a fiery death. How on earth did she manage to wait that long before looking inside??!?!? I would have ripped it open on the spot.

<<“Yes,” she said aloud to no one in particular, her voice echoing through the cellar, repeating the most wonderful word in the English language. “Yes. Yes, yes, yes, Mr. Hopper. A thousand times, yes.”

Realizing that the casks of Butterbeer could care less about her answer, she abandoned them for a more receptive audience.>>

All I can do is sigh and give a big WOOHOO! to that. :D

<<“Besides, you’re being rather presumptuous that we’re going to even need that potion any time in the near future,” Max tried to remain untouchably aloof.>>

I think we all know that the correct response to Max would be a big "Yeah, right!". :) Fun little glimpses into their domestic life -- off-key singing in the shower, toilet seat battles, growing reluctance to go to work, etc. And THANK YOU for a realistic, adult treatment of the whole childbearing/contraception issue.

I also loved the talk on "love" between Rosmerta and Hester, who's little crush on Max is sweet. I kept wanting to tell Hester, "Take your time, sweetie! Love is wonderful, but it brings a whole new set of complications with it!". But I guess Rosmerta told her all that for me. ;)

I'm increasingly impressed with Max's characterization in each chapter. He's very Slytherin, and yet he moves seemlessly in the Muggle world and even enjoys several Muggle offerings (like Aerosmith -- hee hee!). He has his moments of male chauvenism, as in the "good girl" talk, but he's well-intentioned and much too charming for me to hold it against him, especially when he's violating health codes! You also give us a glimpse of Max under stress, and his behavior at that time was just as believable.

I'm very intrigued by the Snape/Hester dynamic:

<<Rosmerta thought she saw something flicker across the professor’s face, softening his features momentarily. The expression on his face was something akin to surprise but with a touch of hunger and longing, as if the man couldn’t remember a time in his life when someone had ever been genuinely happy to see him.>>

Very touching, to see a female student who sincerely thinks he's a good teacher and a decent person! And who doesn't have a secret crush on him! ;) I look forward to further plot exploration here, and I'm definitely on pins and needles <g> as we wait to see how the situation with the Ogden Corporation is resolved!

Katinka

Reviewer: CatherineDate: 2003-05-23
Reviewid: 33331Chapter: 2
Wow! Can I just compliment the craft? I've only read the first two chapters, and I've seen what you've posted in the workshop. My, my, my, you ARE an architect of plot.

Max has just swept me off my feet, the well dressed rascal. The pinnacle of achievement, however, is your well painted, realistic Rosmerta, a woman of substance who is intoxicating to read about.

Way to write Lee! I'll be back for more next week.

Catherine

Reviewer: YolandaDate: 2003-05-23
Reviewid: 33309Chapter: 3
This was a fun chapter. I like how you managed to blend in a few things that we would see as normal in our world--like promotional merchandise, but keep things squarely centered in their world. Max is really pretty charming. I'm glad he knocks her off-balance a little. As for her marriage, it seemed very old-world to marry someone that much older and so well-established. I'm enjoying seeing Ros's whole story.

Reviewer: YolandaDate: 2003-05-22
Reviewid: 33210Chapter: 2
Slowly, but surely! I'm really impressed at how good you are with subtle emotion. Your descriptions of facial expressions and even body language give us a really clear picture of Max and Ros. (And at my age, a 57 year-old wizard with that much fashion sense is appealing!)

I like the way you also flesh out some very colorful characters, Maddie, for example and yet the old familiars are there. (Hagrid!)

You created a really interesting school and gave us an idea of her education in a very short space. I'm enjoying this a lot.

Reviewer: MrRobertsIIIDate: 2003-05-19
Reviewid: 32730Chapter: 10
And how is it possible to simultaneously scream and mumble?
-Hah! WWN does modern "alternative" rock.

The suspense! The box arrives but you make your poor readers wait and wait. Well done.




&#8220;We&#8217;re being sued by the Ogden Corporation.&#8221;
-Now that is a great cliffhanger!

Reviewer: MrRobertsIIIDate: 2003-05-19
Reviewid: 32725Chapter: 9
You&#8217;re the only one for me, boy/you&#8217;re my Paris, and I&#8217;m your Helen of Troy.
-liked that. Sappy and appropriate for the wizarding world.

Her lunch that day consisted of their little angelic heads.
-Ouch

Not much of a soap opera fan, but I love this story.

Seeing an update for your stary, puts a big splash of color in what otherwise promises to be a very gray day. Thank you.

Padfoot was great! I liked the observation about the eyes. Nicely done.

Reviewer: OzmaDate: 2003-05-19
Reviewid: 32714Chapter: 10
“We’re being sued by the Ogden Corporation.”

EEEEEEEEEK!!!! It was so wonderful to see them back together again, and happy!!! And now THIS. (Bites nails)

Until this devastating cliffhanger I was burbling with delight. Rosmerta and Max were TOGETHER. Things were going great for Hester! Snape's fondness for her was very well portrayed, as were Rosmerta's protective instincts.

(Speaking of protective instincts, Hagrid's protectiveness for Rosmerta are adorable too!)

I also loved Rosmerta's understandable confusion as to what Ludo was discussing with Fred and George.

Rosmerta's conversation with Hester about romance and timing was wise and eloquent. That was another favorite bit in this chapter.

Rosmerta and Max's romantic interludes are written so beautifully. A lovely, human, vulnerable, very real portrait of two grown-ups in love. The things she said to him about her family were heart-wrenching. And when she sat there with him looking down at Hogsmeade from above my eyes got teary.

Will she tell him her maiden name now? Is she afraid he'll blame her for her family...? She can't help who she's related to, and they certainly haven't treated HER too well...

(Bites nails some more and anxiously awaits next chapter....)

Reviewer: LadylizzyDate: 2003-05-19
Reviewid: 32674Chapter: 10
What a wonderful story. I am really enjoying reading about one of my favorite background charcters. I have heard that JKR does have a background albeit a small one on all the major minor charcters in the HP books. I believe that she would appreciate your charcterization of Rosmerta. I do have one complaint though... cliff hangers!!! AHHHHH please dont leave us hanging too long!!

Reviewer: KarieDate: 2003-05-19
Reviewid: 32671Chapter: 10
Oops, forgot to ask if Maddie's boyfriends was Bugsy Siegel...Dutch was Dutch Schultz, right? William Hearst and Marion Davies were a neat touch...but I'm puzzled about Maddie's stage name...she reminded me more than a bit of May West, but...anyway (;

Loved the idea of the chalk, it was brilliant (: And Queenie's Charleston <g>. You did a great job with the gossiping girls, and Hagrid. And _completely_ misinterpreting (understandably) Ludo Bagman, that was hilarious. Max bringing flowers for Hester was a nice touch--and the whole thing with Snape was _very_ intriguing. Not that I thought that was interested in Hester in a...um...non-platonic way? I got the impression that he thought her a very good potions student--makes sense (:

And then the Ogden's connection comes in...somehow I think it's going to get even more interesting (: Great update!

Reviewer: Ara KaneDate: 2003-05-19
Reviewid: 32668Chapter: 10
Hurray, they've made up! Congratulations are in order for Hester, of course, but I am still basking in the renewed Max and Rosmerta relationship :) I love how she was leery about the velvet box. I knew Max was going to put something unexpected in it and the chalk did not disappoint me.

Snape's present was wonderful. I'm hoping it's nothing more than a very thoughtful gift to a former student, tho -- I mean, Hester's no longer a student but she's awfully young...anyway, I will be on the alert for any clues in future chapters that may prove me wrong ;)

Hagrid was a sweetie in this chapter. The long-standing friendship between him and Rosmerta was heartwarming :) I can see why she views Hogsmeade as her home, with people like that around her!

And finally -- ARGH! I guessed that Max's business was in trouble, but I only thought it was financial and Rosmerta could easily fix that! WHY are they being sued? HOW is this going to affect Rosmerta's "unveiling" her identity to Max? Tune in next week, same bat-time, same bat-channel!

Reviewer: YolandaDate: 2003-05-19
Reviewid: 32666Chapter: 1
I wanted to start from the beginning and catch up to the chapters I read in the workshop. You do a wonderful job with Rosmerta's interiors in this story. She feels so real and it's fun to see the point of view of another canon character. She's a strong character with a lot going on--even if she thinks her life is boring. I also like the idea that this is incorporated into Harry's fourth year. Great start.

Reviewer: yin_takuDate: 2003-05-19
Reviewid: 32665Chapter: 10
::falls over:: that's so EVIL! okay, the rest of the chapter was beeaaautiful. it was like strolling thru a park on a beautiful day. and then came the ending. ::bounces off the walls:: ::praysbegspleads:: pleaaaase write more?

Reviewer: KarieDate: 2003-05-19
Reviewid: 32663Chapter: 9
Wow! I really enjoyed the "tour" of the brewery, particularly the description of Gerry...the bit about his hair looking as though it was slowly being drug off the back of his head was wonderfully picture inspiring (: Mr. Hopper testing her was interesting, as well...his mother was completely awful d: I also really liked the talk with Maddie--your characters are wonderful (:

Reviewer: Gwyn ap RhysDate: 2003-05-19
Reviewid: 32637Chapter: 10
You write huge long chapters. Interesting chapters, and you finish on a cliffhanger?!

Mind, that business with Ogden's had to come up sooner or later, although I hadn't anticipated this.

Regards,
Gwyn

Reviewer: JulianeDate: 2003-05-15
Reviewid: 32195Chapter: 9
Ch. 9 continued...

I like how you portray the uneasiness about Voldemort through the conversation between Max and Ros. There isn't panic, just a bad feeling of deja vu communicated through the memories of their dead friends.

*Love* Maddie's version of the 1920's and the Hearst crowd!

>Watching his Uncle Max and his girlfriend together was grosser than hearing Sam talk about what he was having for dinner.

Hee!

The Ros/Sarah talk in the bathroom was wonderful - perfectly captured woman's bathroom conversation!

>Her lunch that day consisted of their little angelic heads

LOL!

darn, have to run off again! I'll be back to finish the rest!

Reviewer: JulianeDate: 2003-05-14
Reviewid: 32008Chapter: 9
>Rosmerta had one of the best shoe collections in the wizarding world

A witch after my own heart!

The description of Max'office and the brewery were amazing - I could really picture them clearly. And I love Max' brothers (and yay for thinking Rosmerta clever!)

>“So, between our daughter the food critic and our son the exhibitionist track and field star, we ran a little late.”

I love Neil already - and Eileena is way spooky. A vampire? Oh no, a lorelei! Cool!

The whole scene at dinner was so beautifully done - I got a sense of every one of the characters in the space of one scene. Max is quite the travellin' man - LOVED the Las Vegas ideas!

One of the really great aspects of this story is showing how slowly, Ros and Max are blending their worlds together - it isn't just *bam* and we're in love. They're very realistic.

>Rosmerta found that there was a lot to be said for being hot without being bothered.

Hee! So true, sometimes.

The birth control bit was hilarious - I guess there really are drawbacks to knowing everyone in town!

Must sign off, but I'll continue this review tomorrow - lovely, lovely work.

Reviewer: JulianeDate: 2003-05-13
Reviewid: 31913Chapter: 8
>Better half-giant than half-Muggle,&#8221; she raised her voice to make herself heard over Rosmerta&#8217;s clattering footsteps on the stairs

Oh, interesting! I like how you're making Hester into such a complex, if quiet, human being.

>Robert Scorpios

Are you a General Hospital fan? I *loved* he and Anna Devane together. That was a great show in the 1980s/early 1990s.

>She had graduated from charm school, not obedience school; it was high time she started showing people her credentials

Ha! Go, Ros. The encounter with the traffic cop was hilarious and very upsetting at the same time - great work! You've made Ros so real - seeing her so upset is awful, and you give such reality to her day-to-day travails.

>Hagrid quickly sat up and wordlessly took the mug from her before he could find out where the tea was going to end up; Rosmerta always made good on her beverage-related threats

Smart man! I love your Hagrid - he's one of the most difficult characters to write, and you do him so well.

The scene in the Broomsticks between Rita and the Trio was so interesting, coming from Ros' POV. I love when fics do this - take canon and re-interpret it. Bagman and the goblins are inspired!

>At least the burning of her tongue had distracted her from the burning behind her eyes.

Oh, very nice!

The Goblin and the Hag song.....bwaaaah! I love the way you let us, um, complete the rhyme for ourselves. And Ros' righteous anger was wonderful. Max, tanned and highlighted! Mmmmmm. This is a great chapter - love the theme of prejudice and truth.

Reviewer: AliaDate: 2003-05-05
Reviewid: 30726Chapter: 9
This is one of the best fics I have read and I have read a lot. Keep writing! Good job.

Reviewer: lbdawgerDate: 2003-05-01
Reviewid: 30295Chapter: 9
I just love this story! Pooh on Mamma Hopper, what a crone!

Reviewer: KatinkaDate: 2003-04-30
Reviewid: 30229Chapter: 9
I rushed through this the first time with a two year-old climbing on my head, so it was a treat to re-read at a more leisurely pace. :) This chapter is chock-full of good stuff, so I suppose I'll just start at the beginning!

<<As soon as the words were out of Mr. Thurgood’s mouth, Thaddeus had turned red and immediately began protesting that the terms of the will had to be incorrect, that their father must not have been of sound mind when he drew up the will, or that some other sort of conspiracy or treachery was afoot.>>

Gee, what a lovely brother Rosmerta has! Sadly enough, this happens a lot with family-owned businesses.

I'm thoroughly impressed with the detail and accuracy you give to the entrepreneurialism in your story. I used to work with start-ups at a former job, and so I found myself nodding and agreeing as Max talked about how Cerberus Brewing began. I'm glad that you acknowledge the intense amount of time and work involved in starting a business! Tying Arithmancy into market predictions is just brilliant. (And Max as PR guy -- hee hee!)

I love the sly names you throw into each chapter -- I always have to be on the lookout for a familiar face (Bernadette!) or hidden reference (Paul and Joan Wood!). :)

The dialogue here is simply fantastic -- it flows perfectly in every scene. The "boys being boys" banter between Max and his friends was hilarious. “I think Peru is one of the countries we’re still allowed to visit.” -- LOL! Max's "multi-tasking" abilities were great as well. ;)

Your characters, both main and secondary, are so vibrant here. Imagine Maddie as a gangster's moll! I enjoyed hearing more of her backstory (although I'm still racking my brain over who Benny might be). I also like the reference to the civil rights movement.

My, my...Mrs. Hopper is certainly full of venom. I'm related by marriage to a "Grace", although she's not *my* mum-in-law -- whew! -- and she likes me, amazingly enough. I did have to wonder at times if you were channeling her, because I've actually heard some of these lines before! I could see the exchange at the mirror so clearly:

<<She hated how Mrs. Hopper called her “dear”; there was nothing endearing about her tone. It sounded like she was scolding a child who wasn’t hers and wanted to make it known that she wasn’t pleased, yet didn’t want to be overtly rude. Mrs. Hopper said “dear” the same way her mother said “Elizabeth.”>>

Argh, what a horrible woman! Grrr.. Thank heavens for Sarah. She was so sweet and reassuring.

I thought this line was absolutely perfect:

<<“What has gotten into you tonight?”

“Mrs. Hopper.” She opened her eyes, which were starting to shine with tears. “And I don’t mean Sarah.” Max opened his mouth to say something. “Or your mother, although we did have a nice little chat in the loo.” >>

Ouch. It really is a credit to you that you can create likeable characters who are still fallible, who still do unlikeable things at times. I *hate* to call her on it, but Rosmerta should realize that Max could be equally justified in questioning her own honesty...I don't know that she's out-and-out *lied* to him, but she's certainly not volunteered some important information about her past. Oh, you're making these people too real! :) I'm worrying too much about them!

Padfoot's appearance was great, and I got a big smile out of "I thought you found yourself a nice home last year." Well Rosmerta, if you really want to know where he was... ;)

All in all, a wonderful chapter. Pacing, dialogue, characterization, and everything else was right on. Yay!

Katinka

Reviewer: OzmaDate: 2003-04-30
Reviewid: 30202Chapter: 9
GRACE HOPPER IS A .....!!!! Poor Rosmerta. That scene in the bathroom was physically painful to read. I wanted to jump through the computer screen and claw Grace's eyes out!

It's amazing how one nasty person can counter the positive feelings generated by so many nice people. Everyone else in this chapter was a joy. Sarah, of course... she did her best to comfort Rosmerta. And Neil, Eileena, Bernadette and Andrew. Neil and Bernie were hilarious when they talked about their kids. The boys' tales of their adventures were funny too. Eileena is one cool lady! I loved all the hints that you put in as to her watery/predatory heritage before revealing her ancestry!

Maddie's reminisces of the Twenties were a pure delight. I'm wracking my brains, trying to figure out who her beau, Benny, was. Is "Will" William Hearst? "That Dutch fellow..." maybe he's Dutch Schultz? Can't think of any gangsters named Benny though. Maddie sure has had a fascinating life!

Poor Max and Rosmerta, I really feel awful for both of them. When I saw the name of the chapter I knew that something was going to happen... I'm anxious for another chapter, and further developments!

Reviewer: Ara KaneDate: 2003-04-30
Reviewid: 30172Chapter: 9
Ah, I love independently wealthy OFCs who keep track of their money. Maeve is like that :) I also like her views on the stresses of big business -- for some people, small shopkeeping is more fulfilling.

I also loved the glimpse into the Hopper brothers' tavern. Your descriptions of their business is well-thought-out and that new line of "for women" drinks sounds exciting!

Max's friends were great, too. I knew something was odd about Eileena when you first described her -- I think it's great that you have a really exotic character in this story but the plot doesn't revolve around her :) Max and Friends in Vegas -- that should be fun to read about! (And Sirius and James with the taps -- LOL!)

I also enjoyed the glimpse into Maddie's past. How cool that she was a jazz baby and played bit parts in the "moveez"! I recognized Will and Marion, but Benny is beyond me. (I also recognized George and Grace (Burns?), and Paul and Joan...or am I just reading too much into this?) Anyway, it was great to meet a witch who DIDN'T go to a magical school, who learned magic on her own -- Maddie ROX.

Besides a typo or two, the one thing that didn't sit well with me was Mrs. Hopper. I'd love to whack her with a 2x4. I'm frustrated that Max hasn't gotten around to finalizing his divorce, but I understand why Rosmerta doesn't want to be the other woman in a marriage, even if it's practically nonexistent.

This chapter was crammed with great lines. I'm sorry if I can't name them one by one, but not only are there so many that I'll need to go back and look for them, but I really need to get back to work!

Great work as usual! More soon, please!

Reviewer: Talking Purple RabbitsDate: 2003-04-30
Reviewid: 30146Chapter: 9
yay!

Virgin Butterbeer just for moi!

::snickers:: uh oh, Snuffles, what did you get yourself into?

Max, you PRAT! ::whaps:: Well, it will be hopefully over and done with, and Rosmerta and Max can get happily together....But she still hasn't told him everything yet! What he'll say when he finds out! What MRS. HOPPER will say when SHE finds out! I get the feeling that Mr. Hopper already knows...or guesses something...

I love how you handle events from GoF and mesh them with your own....they seem so realistic! (Especially Hagrid and Rita, that was really well-done) And your titles for bawdy songs! I'm ROTFL at some of them!

Poor Maddie....unfortunately, I get no free dessert, I have no idea who her beau is.

well, gotta run.

update soon!

ta,
~TPR

Reviewer: Three Sickles ShortDate: 2003-04-30
Reviewid: 30136Chapter: 9
Well, we knew from the chapter title that it was downward spiral time, didn't we? Poor Rosmerta. And poor Max. Even though he should have told her about his marriage and it really is All His Fault [he's the guy, so it's automatically All His Fault ;-) ], I still feel kind of rotten for him.

Boy, isn't Grace a piece of work. Such a wonderful love-to-hate character. I'm so glad that Sarah was there to pick Rosmerta up after Grace's sucker-punch.

Okay, so now Max's deep, dark secret is out; I'm waiting, with both eagerness and trepidation, for some of Rosmerta's past to come up. She hsan't exactly been completely open herself. (Though none of her omissions directly affect their future ... unlike *some* people's omissions that we could mention.) When they get back together (and I say "when" instead of "if" because, like Rosmerta, I expect Max to come through in the end), after he grovels at her feet per Maddie's instructions, it might be nice to see her open up to him a bit about her past and her family.

I loved her conversations with Maddie, especially the glimpses of Maddie's earlier life. She's quite a fascinating character.

One bit that I just had to mention: "On her way to work, she impulsively stopped by Honeydukes and bought several chocolate cherubs. Her lunch that day consisted of their little angelic heads." I think I woke up the neighbors laughing at this one. And the "maybe a hidden portkey" line from Bagman gave me chills. *Shudder*

I like that you didn't end the chapter with the "break-up" but instead left us with the note from Max (and the sweet, sweet encounter with Padfoot) so that, even though things are far from all right, we have some hope that everything will come out in the wash. Another excellent chapter, and, as always, I'm waiting with bated breath for the next one.

TSS

Reviewer: WynneDate: 2003-04-29
Reviewid: 29975Chapter: 4
A sexy 65-year-old business woman... that is right up at the top among the coolest, most unique ideas for a main character that I have seen in HP fandom! :) This is a neat scene change from typical Harry-era Hogwarts, and yet, not so far away. Like in Interwoven, only quite differently handled, the fourth year events are seen from a whole new side.

In Chapter 1, I already like Rosmerta and totally agree with her that looks are not all they're cracked up to be... I love that as pretty as she is, she lives in the real world and not some fantasy land in which men don't act up. I adore Hester already, too... she's such a sweetie, and I identify with her. She just has this essence that I really like, the slightly plain shyness before you draw her out and the gently snarky humor she has when you get her comfortable.

In Chapter 2, I grin over Max. He's such a nice character... he and Rosmerta play off each other well. He's persistent, attractive, smart, and charming, but in a subtle way that's never over the top--that's what makes him likeable; even without any visible flaws really, so much as quirks, he seems very human and just the kind of man Rosmerta could use in her life, while she seems to be just what he could use as well. The beer-tasting scene was really fun; I've never seen anything like the business dealings in Hogsmeade in a fic before. Very good, sly ending line, too. We all know what she's got on her mind besides those dishes! ;) I love how he's in her thoughts but she doesn't just fall on the guy.

In Chapter 3, Rosmerta's history is very, very interesting. I like her relationship to her husband, and I just wanted to hug her when she was new to Hogsmeade and so helpless that she couldn't even boil potatoes! You take the reader back quite well. Maddie's a charmer, too, a good friend to Rosmerta and her implications are funny because I think we're all thinking the same thing... nudge, nudge, wink, wink! Rosmerta really seems to have had it all, and at this point I was assuming that the only reason she wouldn't anymore was because Ares died and his family took the money or he had some sort of gambling debts.

In Chapter 4, I love the reactions to the Champions... I know I'm a total wuss, but the mentions of Cedric all make me so, so sad. :( Hufflepuff's fight song... Hogwarts Pride... I'm already sniffling. It's neat that Rosmerta seems more connected to Durmstrang and Krum; that seems quite logical somehow. Her business sense/soft spot for the Weasley twins is a nice touch, too. I like Hagrid "looking at his mead as though he expected it to tell him who was more surprised"--that's so descriptive, and so Hagrid. You make him adorable when he talks about Maxime, too--he's very well in character. It shocked me to learn that Ares was still alive! I thought he'd died, not that she'd left him. That jerk. Rosmerta deserves better. I wanted to beat him up. I'm so glad she left him. Rosmerta's jokes about the twins joining Voldie are hilarious. It was just as great when she spoke French to Fleur. Goblin ettiquette was very intriguing. I also like how sensitive Max is--not pressing Rosmerta, which is what she needs--and how she is naturally brave enough to do what she wants even though she's nervous about it. That scene with her burning Ares' car made me grin a lot, by the way. Hell hath no fury!

My only nitpicks would be spelling/grammar errors; in 1 there's "red current rum", should be "currant" like the fruit, and in Chapter 4 Hagrid was "droned" out, which should probably be "drowned" out, while "Durmstrung" should be "Durmstrang". There weren't that many of them, though; I'm an obsessive spelling nazi, but there weren't so many that I was bothered. *grins* Wonderful, unique scenario, this. Hogsmeade will forever have a more fleshed-out feeling in my mind. I need to go for now, but I will eventually drag my slow turtle rear end back to review the rest of this lovely tale. It will be a pleasure. Rosmerta should find love and be happy, I think, after all that she's been through.

Reviewer: KellieDate: 2003-04-26
Reviewid: 29643Chapter: 1
Finally getting around to reading this...

And I must say I love your details. They make the story so real. I'm only on chapter 1, but already I feel like I know Rosmerta. The little things like the reference to the ashwinder, and the silencing charm on the Fwooper... they just make the story come alive. This is a short review, as it's almost 1 in the morning, but I will leave a longer review in the later chapters...

But I'm already hooked...
The Morning Starr

Reviewer: KarieDate: 2003-04-19
Reviewid: 28642Chapter: 8
That was a brilliant chapter. I noticed a few typos (fowl, Patel, etc), but they didn't bother me. Her discussion with Hester, with Hagrid, the snippets she overheard...very enjoyable (not in a fluffy, haha way, in a really made me think way). You really keep me on tenterhooks.

Reviewer: KarieDate: 2003-04-19
Reviewid: 28634Chapter: 7
Wow...Max's family was amazing. Up and down, back and forth, and you really brought it all to life. I love his dad, and admire Rosemerta more than ever--you're really outdoing yourself.

Reviewer: SemmelDate: 2003-04-17
Reviewid: 28351Chapter: 8
I think, I remember reading something in one of the HP books about a cursed book that made you continue reading and you couldn't stop. I'm not entirely certain if you didn't put this curse on your story, because as soon as I started reading I couldn't get away, I was so hooked up in it. It so well thought out and just enchanting I didn't notice anything else around me when I perused it. Smashing work!

Reviewer: Talking Purple RabbitsDate: 2003-04-11
Reviewid: 27408Chapter: 8
ooohh....another brillant chapter!

whee, I get a round on the house. Unfortunately, though, because I'm an American witch, I can't drink full-fledged alcohol -- just Virgin Butterbeer. :)

By the way, it's Parvati and Padma PatIl, not PatEl. Although was that mispelled on purpose?

you handled the Hagrid-is-a-giant issue perfectly. Rosmerta singing "The Goblin and the Hag!" LOL

waiting for more,
~TPR

Reviewer: richardDate: 2003-04-10
Reviewid: 27323Chapter: 8
wow, another great chapter.

It was very nice to see Rosmerta finally able to be honest about her life. In many ways we tend to makes things so much worse in our minds, and Rosie has convinced herself that she will lose everything she has built for herself if she ever reveals her secret - telling Hagrid was therapeutic for both of them, not to mention the fact that it was a pretty selfless act on her part.

My main worry was that she would never be able to tell Max...at least now she knows that her past is not something she should be ashamed of - it helped her become who she is today - even if she does have to put up with pigs and malfoys!

I really like that Hester is being fleshed out. Baking is a brilliant choice for her. Someone once said (I don't remember who - so I claim that I made this up) that cooking is an art and baking is a science (you know, precise measurements, exact times and temps, chemical reactions) much like potionmakming - since Hester was good at potions, she has the temperment for baking.

Living in Northern California, I nearly dropped my medicinal marijuana when I read about the "Angry Hippie" LOLOLOLOLOL!!! I have always sworn tat the Hight-Ashbury district was a Wizarding enclave!

Brava!!

Reviewer: Ara KaneDate: 2003-04-09
Reviewid: 27133Chapter: 8
Lovely new chapter! I'm so glad Rosmerta reacted the way she did to the evil Skeeter article. I also like her "I'm more than that" attitude. It's great how she sees Hagrid as a person. After what she went through with Ares and as the pretty proprietor of the Three Broomsticks, I can understand why that is important to her. (And what a spectacular way to take a stand -- by singing a naughty song in public!)

I must admit I also loved the descriptions of food in this chapter. I'm a food lit addict -- it makes my cold lunch of leftovers taste a lot better! :)

"He couldn’t have been more surprised than if the Hogwarts faculty had formed a kick line and was dancing through his hut singing Lola the Lorelei." <-- This has got to be my favorite line. I would love to see Snape and McGonagall in a chorus line! LOL

Aside from that, I also enjoyed the appearances of the Hogwarts students and the other customers. Mary and her friends were great (my Justin likes to dance, too!) and Malfoy got what he deserved (go, Hester!) :D Speaking of Hester, that was a great presentation of the other side of the Muggle-wizard debate. I can understand how some wizards would prefer to keep their bloodlines and culture pure. Voldemort and his extreme prejudices and measures are giving them a bad name!

And finally, I'm glad Max is back and looking great in this last chapter. His treatment of Hagrid in public was wonderful. More soon, please!

Reviewer: KatinkaDate: 2003-04-09
Reviewid: 27113Chapter: 8
Hester dear, what are you saying? That remark REALLY caught me off-guard. I'm glad she had a chance to explain herself later. Like Rosmerta said, she did have a few fairly valid points, but still...oh, I just hope we can chalk it up to youthful inexperience. Either way, kudos to you for not shying away from it. It takes guts to give slightly distasteful traits to otherwise lovable characters. Very good observation here:

<<Does anyone ever really know anyone else? she thought. Or do we spend our entire lives in the company of strangers?>>

Broomstick speeding! That scene was a great reference back to the very first chapter. That officer, though! Highly unprofessional, and insulting to boot. Tsk, tsk. Oy, this all brings back way too many memories of a few retail jobs I've had! I wish I would have had her spine:

<<Woe to the next person who thought she was a dog who would roll over onto its belly after it had been kicked. She had graduated from charm school, not obedience school; it was high time she started showing people her credentials.>>

Rosmerta's concern for Hagrid is so touching, and the moment when she told him of her past was particularly well-constructed. It seemed to occur very organically, not as though it was stuffed into the plot for convenience's sake. And you know it's a true friendship when a Wurtzenhall graduate will belt out a bawdy solo for someone in need! Oh, but I have an awful feeling that Rita's going to retaliate (rat out Rosmerta's past, perhaps?).

So many great lines scattered throughout! I loved this:

<<She caught the words “money,” “late,” and “kneecaps” but her Gobbledegook was a bit rusty.>>

And Max is back! Yay! And she told him she had been married! That's a start, I guess. I love the way in which he got his scar -- snicker, snicker.

Katinka :)

Reviewer: OzmaDate: 2003-04-09
Reviewid: 27089Chapter: 8
The strength of Rosmerta's anger at Rita Skeeter for Hagrid's sake was gratifying. Hester's comment about half-Muggles was disturbing. I always enjoy the way that you show many sides to people. Like Iris. The interplay between Iris and Rosmerta was nicely done.

That MLE guy turned my stomach. Rosmerta stood up to him wonderfully, and the emotional fallout was pretty wrenching. "She'd graduated from Charm school, not Obedience School." Great line!

Oooh! As a high school lunch lady, I can certainly relate to Rosmerta's reaction to Hester's comment about "being a waitress for the rest of her life." Rosmerta's wisdom, perceptiveness and restraint impressed me when she answered Hester.

Hagrid's middle name is Titanus! Perfect!

Rosmerta's visit with Hagrid was very satisfying. She shared her past and her pain and that helped. I especially liked the bit where she set him straight about "society witches."

Much enjoyed the comeuppance of Pansy and Draco. I LOVED the way Rosmerta threw Rita out of The Broomsticks, but I hope Rita won't make trouble for her.

I was very, very tense until the other patrons finally joined Hagrid and Rosmerta. What an intense scene.

Hester really did have some good points, but Rosmerta is wiser.

OH! She finally told Max about her past!!! I'm so glad!!!

Reviewer: OzmaDate: 2003-04-09
Reviewid: 27068Chapter: 8
This chapter seems to have uploaded differently than usual... the sentences are stretching all the way across my screen. I'm not sure if everyone will see this chapter like that, but I thought it would be best to let you know.

(I'm not going to let this discourage me from reading, I'll just scroll along with the sentences.)

Reviewer: JulianeDate: 2003-04-05
Reviewid: 26569Chapter: 7
>Even now, hours later, the aftershocks of each kiss and caress lingered. Like her mind, her body would not be quieted. Max’s hands and mouth had left every nerve and fiber vibrating. She felt deliciously mauled, unable to do much beyond bask in her exhaustion. Not even the steady sound of him breathing next to her could lull her to sleep.

Oooh, deliciously mauled...love that. This is such a wonderful description of a person's mind 'the morning after.' Lovely. The fight over the comforter was adorable.

>Unbeknownst to Rosmerta, Queenie had already expressed her displeasure at the unexpected guest inside his shoes.

Has Queenie been taking lessons from cats? LOL!

>“You certainly are a treasure.”

<mush>Max is wonderful for Rosmerta - she's so taken for granted in her daily life, and Max seems to see the best parts of her. This is a wonderful portrayal of the development of an adult relationship.

>Her dalliances with Darren and the others had been exercises in vengeful copulation.

Your writing keeps getting more and more vivid and stylish. It's a pleasure to read each chapter and become more and more impressed with how much you've improved with every one.

>A sudden surge of guilt went through him and he realized it wasn’t a nice feeling to be on the other side of the morning departure

Little things like this make Max so interesting and so 'real' a character.

You're so good at intimate scenes between two people - the pirate dialogue between Max and Ros was priceless, and Maddie and Ros share a woman-to-woman friendship that we see all-to-seldom in fanfic.

Hee - poor Max, having his brother behave like such a loony. Hilarious description of a family gathering.

The paragraph about want versus need is brilliant!

>May she rest in peace, Rosmerta thought snappishly.

Hee - perfect ex-girlfriend thought!

Lovely chapter, and am looking forward to how this all develops. I wonder how Max will react, though, when he finds out about her past....especially when she's insisting on grounding their relationship in honesty.

Reviewer: KatinkaDate: 2003-04-04
Reviewid: 26215Chapter: 7
Wonderful chapter! I'd been waiting for this one!

I know you were concerned about how to handle the opening scene, but the end result is fabulous. Tasteful, and yet I still had to fan myself after reading. ;) Rosmerta's thoughts are so right-on -- in the beginnning stages of a relationship, it's expected to be self-conscious and semi-paranoid about just about everything! As for blanket-stealing Max -- that was a monumental show of willpower. I'm glad, for they sake of their relationship, that they're slowing down a bit.

Dennis' reaction cracked me up! I almost expected him to break out with a "Dude, Max scored!" This is probably the one moment she REALLY doesn't want to be treated like a sultry, crush-inspiring celebrity, not with Grace Hopper about.

<<“You didn’t tell me you were dating Madam Rosmerta! Way to go, Max!” Dennis punched his brother playfully in the arm. Max winced at the words more than the punch and gave his youngest brother a dirty look.

Rosmerta kept her composure as Dennis continued to give his eldest brother an admiring look. He didn’t win me in a card game! she wanted to snap.>>

"Ouch" to the moment when Sarah mistook Rosmerta for one of Max's prior ladyfriends, but it does add an interesting and real dimension to his character. I'm sure he was just trying to divert himself after the divorce from Alice, not expecting at all to be bowled over by a certain woman at The Three Broomsticks.

<<“Well, I suppose I would be naïve if I assumed you hadn’t dated other women; I just didn’t expect to be mistaken for one of them.” Her blue gaze was hard and brilliant, like a highly polished sapphire. Max didn’t say anything.>>

Ah, but Rosmerta...if you're going to expect this kind of honesty from Max, shouldn't you tell him a few things about yourself in return? Such as, the name you were born with? He might be very interested to know that...

The way in which you don't simplify or gloss over all the complications of an adult relationship makes this story so engaging and true-to-life. (Katinka thanks her lucky stars for a cool mum-in-law!) It's sad that Grace and others regard Rosmerta for just a saucy barmaid, not as a competant, intelligent woman who runs a thriving small business and oh yes, who happens to be attractive.

This line made me smile. Yep, when your toddler is pouring chocolate syrup on the new carpet and your baby son decides to hose down the table during a diaper changing, you do have to wonder (but just for a second) why you became a parent!:

<<She did understand Max’s point though; it was one thing to be Madam Rosmerta quite another to be Mama Rosmerta. Like most ideas, children sounded better in theory than in practice, and she hadn’t quite figured out yet if she wanted or needed to have children yet.>>

I'm eagerly awaiting more!

Katinka

Reviewer: Ara KaneDate: 2003-04-04
Reviewid: 26178Chapter: 7
I'm so sorry it took me so long to review -- long and depressing story -- anyhoo, this was just the thing to cheer me up :D I loved the "Morning After" scene, it was very serene and Rosmerta's thoughts flowed so wonderfully *sigh* The images of her house in the early morning were lovely.

I also want to have breakfast in Maddie's house. Not only does she feed you well, she's a lovely person. Rosmerta's lucky to have her as a friend. (The names of Maddie's owls are great, too. I like how the names match the owls' coloring!)

The Hopper family was KEWL. Dennis reminds me of a frolicsome puppy (He wouldn't be an Animagus by any chance, would he? LOL) -- clumsily adorable. And George the dotty head of the family was a sweetheart. I luff them! It's too bad Grace is kind of cold toward Rosmerta, but Rosmerta can obviously take the woman on B) and at least her visit to the happy family wasn't too good to be true.

Max, as usual, made me want to squeeze him all the way through this chapter. I loved all his charming comments (the nautical slang, the fixation on mistletoe) and his bonding with Queenie, who's a real character :) All in all another great chapter!

PS I don't know who Grace Hopper is and refuse to cheat by doing a Google search, but maybe Max should have a gossipy Great-Aunt Hedda Hopper? LOL

Reviewer: Talking Purple RabbitsDate: 2003-04-04
Reviewid: 26140Chapter: 7
Oh, yay! A new chapter!

I love your writing...it...how do I describe it? It *flows*, flows with eloquence and a trained ear for language. Does that make sense? Because I think you're awesome.

Oh, you nasty woman you, Grace Hopper! I have definitely heard that name before, but I can't remember where. I like how you portray "good" Slytherins. I like Hester a lot.

New chapter soon, please!

ta,
~TPR
PS thank you for reviewing my fic! I really appreciate it!

Reviewer: RichardDate: 2003-04-03
Reviewid: 26090Chapter: 7
Hooray! Although I suppose I should be a bit depressed because with Rosmerta on the 'just got shagged' list, I just moved to the front of the 'longest time without' list... :(

Very well written chapter - the adult moments were handled creatively and with lovely and familiar imagery - getting undressed in the heat of passion does involve alot of fumbling! I especially liked the interior monologue while Max slept - I hate it when the other person can sleep and I can't!

Many wonderful new OCs in this one. Thank you for not making every man a paragon of virility and every woman a fashion model. Edward and Sarah are refreshingly normal, Dennis is obviously gay (I mean, he is abit too dishy - and way too overwhelmed by Rosmerta - you *know* he's got Bette, Liza, Barbra, Elaine Page and Madonna in his CD changer)

George Hopper is probably one of my favorite OCs of all time - he reminds me of Stanley Holloway as Alfred P. Doolittle from "My Fair Lady" - although I was dissappointed not to learn how the entire Muggle clothing industry is a big conspiracy - Of course, he was a Ravenclaw, so many of conspiracy theories are probably pretty well rationalized.

THanks also for explaining why Queenie gets silenced!

There is nothing wrong with ending a chapter on a happy note, either. A happier note would include the next chapter appearing soon on a quill near me!

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