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Dumbledore's Army
Reviews for: Foreign Defenses
Review(s): 26

Reviewer: Reader 2Date: 2006-04-28
Reviewid: 142327Chapter: 4
Quite decent. Thanks.

Reviewer: CornedBeeDate: 2004-05-01
Reviewid: 80961Chapter: 4
A very well-written story, very interesting ideas on foreign magic (foreign as in "not from canon"). However, the fact that the appearance of this professor is sure to have a greater effect on the plot of PoA than you could allow makes it feel kinda weird...
I also think that Hermione is somewhat OOC.

Reviewer: L. MorningstarDate: 2003-03-23
Reviewid: 24940Chapter: 2
What can I say? Nothing short of brilliant. Viviane is one of the best OCs I've seen, and the characterization of all characters is fantastic.

Reviewer: ChambraigneDate: 2003-02-17
Reviewid: 20610Chapter: 4
I really like the idea of Aquitaine--that there was an ancient school of magic that's been destroyed in an attempt to get at its secrets. Viviane is a wonderful character, very funny and multidimensional. She's different from the witches we've seen so far in canon, but she fits into the HP world quite well. Her friendship with Remus is quite touching--two independent outcasts who can trust and rely on each other. And her relationship with Snape! The two of them are going to end up blowing Hogwarts up if they work on deciphering the potions book together!

Reviewer: Violet AzureDate: 2003-01-25
Reviewid: 17722Chapter: 4
Whoa! Dumbledore just kicked butt in that last chapter! It's a nice change from wise old Yoda-dore. Fascinating information about Viviane's background. I also love how she and Snape still hate each other and haven't fallen in love yet. I hope Viviane gets her own OC-or Remus. And Viviane's description of what life is really like for Remus was vivid and disturbing. Remus's life outside of Hogwarts is always written as "shunned" "ignored" "poor" but you've something more honest and sad. Can't wait to read more about Viviane!

Reviewer: Violet AzureDate: 2003-01-25
Reviewid: 17715Chapter: 3
This is such a delight to read I don't know where to begin!! Your writing is so humorous and sharp and just packed with action!! One scene seamlessly flows into the next and yet I don't feel as if I've been cheated out of a description. Viviane is the epitomy of cool. Favorite lines:

Snape: "Don't bleed on my carpet! Stay on the flagstones!"

Viviane: "That damnable Germaine Sprout and her insatiable penchant for experiments; I’ll have to tell her to mute this abominable vegetation she created,” Viviane decided amidst the rustle of vinish speculation.
"..a rustle of vinish speculation." Wow...just...Wow.

Remus: "What I’m out her for, Viviane, is an explanation. I’ve come to terms with Sirius and his betrayal, as best I could. But I deserve to hear it first, from him, what he did and why. Without witnesses, before the Ministry gets through with him and not after he has a chance to concoct and feed me one of his extravagant tales – I heard enough of them during our schooldays. I’m owed at least that much.”

And Viviane in her nightgown! "The courage of you Gryffindors is overrated." "Viviane, do you remember what you were wearing last night?" OMG! FOTFLMAO!!!!

Reviewer: JulianeDate: 2003-01-24
Reviewid: 17634Chapter: 2
Crystal/Rugi/Violet:

>Her brief conversations with Draco and Hermione reveal so much more about her character than other authors have revealed about their OCs in pages upon pages. Viviane is one of the most refreshing OFCs I've come across!

Thank you so much, Violet! It's an attempt at that show-not-tell thing, lol!

It is so funny that everyone is fixating on that poor, abused alarm clock. It's good to hear that readers think I'm writing McGonagall and Snape in canon. Snape isn't too hard, surly SOB that he is, but McGonagall is a tough one to get right!

Thanks again, for your reviews - they mean so much!

Reviewer: Violet AzureDate: 2003-01-23
Reviewid: 17555Chapter: 2
Love the talking alarm clock! "one thing you never want to learn is what happens when you piss off a witch with an unmet caffeine addiction." OMG...I think I just found my life's slogan! Can I put that on a T-shirt!?! Love Viviane's caffeine addiction...I soooo relate!

I love how Viviane is so powerful and sure of herself. I like how she relates to Mgonagall and Snape ("shall I write an autobiography and hand it in at the end of the term?" -excellent). And especially Remus, love thier chats. Everyone is in character and acts like a *real* person.

I love how Viviane is such a straight shooter. Her brief conversations with Draco and Hermione reveal so much more about her character than other authors have revealed about their OCs in pages upon pages. Viviane is one of the most refreshing OFCs I've come across! Sign me up for the fan club!

Reviewer: Violet AzureDate: 2003-01-23
Reviewid: 17552Chapter: 1
I heard about Viviane on the Action!Mary Sue thread and came ot check her out. Wow! Wish I had come over sooner! Viviane is one of the best kept secrets here. The first chapter has a breathless quality to it. From the very first moment Viviane arrives with her balancing lesson, it's all action. The blend of mystery and humor is great. (Snape picking bacon off robes, I was hoping she'd Petrify Snape. Or cut his head off" LOL! R/H-perfect: H- "Now I don't know what to think.", R: "That's a first" LOL!)

All the characters are perfectly in canon: Snape-"teaching by chaos theory?", Dumbledore's reaction to the hawk, Lupin-Mmmmmmmm, and the Hermione vs Malfoy fight was really good, going beyond just shouts of Mudblood and jerk/git. This story just ROX!

Reviewer: RugiDate: 2002-12-10
Reviewid: 12063Chapter: 3
"And Hermione Granger, while not exactly enthusiastic, has stopped tutting under her breath during class."

This made me giggle. This is such a perfect description of 3rd year Hermione!

"Viviane propped herself up on her elbows and opened her eyes just wide enough to let in light. Damn those twins, she groused inwardly, and shut them again, ignoring the plight of Elliot Bones, hit broadside by Fred with some kind of Uncontrollable Drooling curse, from the looks of it."

A DROOLING curse! It sounds like my nightmare!

Snape's attitude and then his shock over getting a thank you in the form of a book was great! I loved how he tried to flee the room when she verbally thanked him.

I can only say, Poor Ron! I think that Professor Chance in a negligee was probably more than many a wizard three times his age could handle!

You did a really good job at showing a little view of what Remus thought about Sirius and also what his deeper motives were for hiding the truth from Dumbledore.

And I loved this: "And stop squinting at me like that. It isn’t the least bit menacing."

Reviewer: RugiDate: 2002-12-10
Reviewid: 12037Chapter: 2
Here is another long overdue review! finals have been getting in the way of everything!

I really enjoyed the dynamic between Viviane and Hermione. She's the type of teacher who WOULD set Herm's teeth on edge and not being able to do the the magic would really top it off. I also really loved her talk with Draco. It is probably the only way to handle a snotty over-indulges adolescent. And the alarm clock was hilarious!

Wonderful Snape snarkyness going on there and also a clever way for him to ply her for information. And, as always, I love her relationship with Lupin. We get to see a softer side of them both. Lovely!

Reviewer: CrystalDate: 2002-12-01
Reviewid: 10773Chapter: 4
I'm on an OC reviewing roll tonight - how many times on the SQ boards have I mentioned that I love Viviane?

Another example of an OC who is not a Mary Sue (even though Viv is a proud member of the Action Mary Sue! corps). She's abrasive, impulsive, bad-tempered and a pain in the rear, but that's why I love her. She says and does things I would never dare to do IRL. I *like* how she rubs everyone the wrong way, and you have given Viviane the background and development to make us understand why she does that. Her life has not been an easy one; I think some writers forget that if a character has led a hard life, it's going to show in their character. Given what Viv has had to put up with in her life (losing her family, and her school, making her living as a mercenary, putting up with Goddess-knows-what from men out to exploit her) her, er, "prickliness" and anti-sociality are understandable, even expected under the circumstances.

And she and Snape bring out the WORST in each other. I like that. Snape is his awful, mean, bad-toothed and greasy-haired self and is great fun to read about.

Reviewer: JulianeDate: 2002-11-19
Reviewid: 9554Chapter: 1
Lol, Rugi, don't knock yourself out - this fic isn't going anywhere, so read and review when you have time! Thank you so much for your reviews of both this story and WMW - it means a lot! I'm glad you liked the Ron moment; I was unsure about that, and whether he'd react the way I wrote it.

Reviewer: RugiDate: 2002-11-19
Reviewid: 9549Chapter: 1
I read this story on Fanfiction.net long before I had ever discovered the Quill. I don't really remember if I reviewed but I will now. Maybe a chapter a day?

I really loved how you introduced Viviane. She seems so capable and powerful but at the same time so lacking in any teaching experiance. And I loved how she was hurried down the hall in a rush and arrived all a mess. It cancels any chance of her being too perfect.

I also liked Ron being the first person she noticed. He stands out and you managed to get his charcter down with only one sentence. "Too many." I just laughed. I am glad that he was able to do the practical lesson. It makes a certain amount of sense that she would test their balance too. I mean what's the use of knowing tons of curses if you can't stay on your feet?

Hermione doesn't like her. hee hee hee!

I really loved Dumbledore. He was so kind about the owl mess and not too quirky. Just right.

I enjoyed her meeting with Remus and the chess match. I just read Witch Meets Werewolf and it made me happy to see the friends together.

And your Snape was so cool. You have agift for getting a charatcer down in like three sentences. I had pleasant shivers down my back throughout the whole scene.

Reviewer: CatherineDate: 2002-11-12
Reviewid: 8786Chapter: 1
I just wanted to say that even if your reviews are few, you have a set of loyal readers that had best be getting emails about Vivianne's exploits.

I have to reiterate what a great character I think has evolved out of your writing, and I certainly hope that you give us more of her background, as well as her change.

Catherine (who had to write another review because of the challenge! You get to be favorite this week!)

Reviewer: JennleeDate: 2002-11-09
Reviewid: 8511Chapter: 4
I read your Viviane Chance stories in the past and was intrigued to see this one updated. I have always liked your OC character, and she's getting even better. She's one of my top three favorite OC characters, actually. I love her friendship with Remus and how that is portrayed. I think its the right amount of heroic dash tempered with realistic personal quirks and issues. Go Viviane! I want to see more of her - are you planning any more stories with her?

Reviewer: JulianeDate: 2002-11-08
Reviewid: 8442Chapter: 4
Catherine, thanks! Especially about the improvement in the Mary Sue factor - that was one of my goals in rewriting it!

Reviewer: CatherineDate: 2002-11-08
Reviewid: 8438Chapter: 4
Watching you grow as a skilled writer and coming into your own has been a great delight.

This rewrite brings Vivianne into her own. She goes from the brink of Mary Sue, to a much more fleshed out, believable action heroine, with a complicated set of vices and weaknesses.

And the description in this version is stellar.

So excellent. I don't know if we can stand it if you keep improving.

Catherine

Reviewer: JulianeDate: 2002-11-07
Reviewid: 8401Chapter: 4
Wow....thanks, guys! What great reviews for a mere rewrite, lol.

Glad you like my drama-queen Snape, and I'm really glad the Sirius scene works for you, because I had so much trouble with that. Sirius is so tough to write, because JKR takes him from Totally Evil to Harry's Real Family in the space of a few chapters - and we only catch a glimpse of the true Sirius in the Shrieking Shack scene. (Axelle and Emma, is he going to turn up in your fics? Are you finding him difficult to write?)

The funny part about Viviane's interaction with Fudge is that when I wrote Witch Meets Werewolf, over a year after my first version of this, I had Mortimer blackmail Fudge into pardoning Viviane out of a sure conviction and loooooong spell in Azkaban or possibly a Dementor's Kiss(she murdered an Auror - bad move!)

So Fudge obviously has completely forgotten about that years-ago incident, and her name - he's offering a job to a criminal. But it makes sense - Fudge is such an idiot.

Reviewer: A.L. de SauveterreDate: 2002-11-07
Reviewid: 8395Chapter: 4
Juliane, this is a wonderful rewrite!

Snape at his snarkiest! But before I get to him... great vibrant descriptions of the items Viv dredges up in Remus's office. The freeze-dried lethifold was inspired! Wonder what anyone uses that for?

Viv's POV is well done, too -- of course to *her* it would look like this had all been Snape's doing (hmmm... which, I suppose, depending which angle you look at, it kind of was). It's a weird thing to focus on in a review, but I thought the transitions from Viviane's quiet reflection of the lake in a moment of stillness to Dumbledore's excited plea for her assistance struck me as really genuine. (It's never all action, action, action in RL is it?)

I REALLY like Viv's first impressions of Sirius. I'm sure he really did look like this: <<Viviane tried to keep her face impassive as she studied the wasted figure. Handsome, very handsome, once. And he's one who stakes everything on bad odds. That look in his eyes wasn't acquired; he was born with it. A dangerous man, then and now. Oh Remus...>> And I think you've done justice to Sirius here; the bitterness is aptly portrayed.

I enjoyed reading Viviane's Outing Scene as a Devereaux! Viv's cynical smile is perfect there, and a bit sad, too, the poor woman. (<sigh> We know what she's thinking.) And Hermione *would* figure her identity out, smart cookie that she is. And Fudge, well, he's exactly the sycophantic, opportunistic little bureaucrat I'd imagined him to be. ;)

I think this makes Viv an honourary Gryffindor right here: <<She stepped forward, eyes blazing, up to Dumbledore. "Do you have any idea what life is like for Remus out there? I've shared lodgings with him over the years, and I do know. I've broken into his room and found him in rags, near death from blood loss where he'd ripped his arms to shreds. There were times when he's begged, begged me to leave him to die. I've found him in gutters, in the same condition, where he'd escaped to the woods and then tried to find his way back but fainted from exhaustion and wounds. I've found him beaten up, robbed of what little he had, raving like a madman... how can you send him back out to face that?">>

I should have said this earlier, but I do like your take on Remus -- he's a man, as opposed to a mild-mannered pansy or some stick-in-the-mud as we sometimes see in the fandom. His leaving probably tougher on Viv than it is for Harry, since Remus was the only person who really understood her.

The final bickering match between Severus and Viv -- perfect! They just radiate heat, the two of them (so it's really no wonder where this leads to in other fics, hate being the flip side and all that ;) ). And Dumbledore having to step in like a kindergarten teacher breaking up a schoolyard brawl. Great image!

This FD reads so wonderfully! You should be very very proud!

Axelle :)

Reviewer: Emma DalrympleDate: 2002-11-07
Reviewid: 8368Chapter: 4
Ahhh, Snape is at his most sarcastic and delicious. I must emphasize again just how much I admire your rendition of him; appropriately sharp-edged, witty (in all senses of the word), and perfectly canonical. Watching him interact with Viviane is enough to keep anyone on the edge of their seats (especially when coupled with dramatic irony if they’ve read the sequels!) Going after her sword, indeed! And blowing apart Snape’s door again! It’s hard not to like someone who so literally takes things into their own hands.

> She almost took a step backward as he glided to her, but caught herself and stood her ground.

A very nice detail. Rash as she is, she’s still human—and Snape is Snape, after all!

Hee! The little bit about Rapunzel was wonderful. A refreshing take on an old fairy tale. I like how Viviane has no scruples about leaving poor Remus’ room in shambles—she has more pressing concerns than tidiness :D Her concern for Remus does much to balance her sometimes hardhearted nature.

> "You know Remus, do you? And yes, I thought of him. I thought of him bleeding, I’ve thought of him outcast, I’ve thought of him freezing, burning, starving, satiated, alone, crowded out, howling, speechless."

That made me shiver. . . it reminded me a lot of Allen Ginsberg’s "Howl."

Poor Sirius! Very believably done. Your portrayal of him as wasted and cynical is heartrending but honest. I want to bake him a large batch of chocolate chip cookies.

> My experience would make your bureaucrats run screaming, Fudge.

LOL!! If Fudge only knew. . .

I would love to see a fic exploring Viv’s years at Aquitaine. . . *hopeful look*

Reviewer: Emma DalrympleDate: 2002-08-21
Reviewid: 2746Chapter: 3
Excellent characterization! Viviane is a very solid, well-thought out character, and I like the way she interacts with the canonical professors.

Lots of good lines, as well--""Act your age and let's settle this without running to Daddy, shall we?" Ahhh, Draco... and the image of bits of door flying past Snape's head is priceless.

Two little nitpicky details--Fred and George are listed as 4th years when they should be 5th years. Also, Dumbledore seems a bit OOC, but I suppose the Headmaster has to have a serious side to him somewhere =)

Reviewer: JulianeDate: 2002-08-13
Reviewid: 1884Chapter: 1
Thanks for the reviews, everybody! It's really great of you to read and review a rewrite! Chris, there will be plenty of Remus/Viviane scenes coming up, including one I've added where they get a bit pissy with each other. I'm glad you like my details - some of them end up being a bit warped!

Reviewer: Christina TeresaDate: 2002-08-12
Reviewid: 1758Chapter: 1
Juliane,

I never got a chance to read the original "Foreign Defenses", but I'm so happy to be digging into the rewrite—finally (I've been so remiss). My favorite thing about all of your stories is the wonderful detail you infuse in all of them and even in the first paragraph I wasn't disappointed:

QUOTE: "The faces of the carved beasts on pillars and the inhabitants of the portraits flashing past appeared smugly amused at her predicament, so Viviane bared her teeth at them. “Manners!” snapped a farthingale-clad woman, shaking a finger at the new Professor."

Love it! And the description of her room was just amazing. Viviane is, as always, brash and a bit unsympathetic towards her students, but there is a definite honorable and—dare I say it—decent streak in her that becomes more apparent the more I read about her. There are also glimpses of her little-girl vulnerability here, particularly when she's thinking about Aquitaine and hugs the book to her in the privacy of her room.

Sev's entrance was great and Minerva is just wonderful here (“There is no murder allowed before lunch, Viviane.” LOL!). I can definitely see how these tough gals would wind up friends. But the best part was seeing Remus and Viv together again. You know how much I adore "Witch Meets Werewolf" so I hope they have more scenes together as the story goes on.

Chris

Reviewer: sunsethillDate: 2002-08-09
Reviewid: 1439Chapter: 2
I'm so glad to find out about your rewrite of this story. The first two chapters are much more evocative and densely written. Keep up the good work. I look forward to seeing the rest of the rewrite. How will we know when the chapters have been updated?

Reviewer: YolandaDate: 2002-07-27
Reviewid: 43Chapter: 1
I was doing research for Viviane's next appearance in YR this morning. I really like what you did with this story. Viviane seems both more confident and more tentative. I loved what she had to say about Severus: "ascetic with attitude."

I also like the little incidents at breakfast and the fact that Remus is laughing so hard. Their friendship doesn't seem to have been affected by the passing of time. They're such natural friends.

I like your Minerva. She's not devoid of a sense of humor, but she doesn't completely approve of all of Albus' decisions. I mean think of it-Lockhart, Remus-a werewolf, and Viv. Kind of makes the rest of them wonder how they ended up there.

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