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Saphroneth


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May
14th
2013

Unicorn at Hogwarts updated · 5:51pm May 14th, 2013

I've gone back over the chapters so far written and added more description to break up the "talking heads" that was going on, by a bit. Hope that makes it a bit easier to read.

I'd also appreciate it if people would give it a look over to see if they spot grammar mistakes, since I'm still thinking of sending this fic to Equestria Daily. (As for the problem with the plot... er, I'm going to ask for a different pre reader?)

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Well, some things I noticed(Will edit in whatever else I find while reading):
Chapter 1

And if I tell her what the fake Cadence said he might not believe me.

'him', most likely.

Spike looked. Then looked the other direction, just to make sure he wasn’t imagining the gentle morning sunlight.

No, he was right. There was the sun in the sky… and so, in the opposite direction but not more than half the sky away, was the moon. A half-moon up in the middle of the day.

Kinda inconsistent. 'A half-moon visible after sunrise' might be better, for example.

No matter how long we spend here, when we head back to Equestria we can choose how long that time equals there.

Looks and sounds awkward. 'we can choose how much time it takes there' might be better.

The speaker said. It – presumably he – was a very large, bipedal organism, mammalian by the looks of it, addressing a very large dog.

Technobabble is slightly out of place here in my opinion. 'creature' works better and doesn't make a bump in the narrative.

Twilight had expected something unusual for the name – of course an alien wouldn’t have to have the same format of name as a pony.

Also awkward. 'of course an alien culture wouldn't nessecarily have the same naming conventions/norms as ponies'?

Twilight decided to elide the details of that,

'edit' or 'omit', maybe? First time I encountered 'elide' outside of a juridical or law-related text.

After all, the closest Equestrian she’d seen to this… man… was Iron Will, and he gave seminars.

Seems like this sentence simply states that Iron Will and Hagrid are close. 'closest in appearance', maybe? But then the sentence structure feels cumbersome. 'closest Equestrian she’d seen to this… man… in appearance was Iron Will'?

large, black-looking lake

Awkward... Simply 'large black lake' might be better, even if it could be interpreted to imply that the lake is fully black in color. Or maybe 'large, blackened by shadow of the castle lake' or something similar.

And atop that crag was a large, towered castle – a little different from what Twilight remembered of the Equestrian standard and with walkways spreading out from it.

It feels like Equestria has set a standard for castles and builders/architects there must follow it. Don't know whether intentional or not.

“Well, I can’t.” Hagrid shook his head. “Wouldn’t know where to start! I’m sure Dumbledore will know, though. Very intelligent man, he is.

I understand that it's a reworked 'Great man, Dumbledore'. But if you change that, why not simply go with logical 'He is the headmaster' or variation thereof?

Despite that, however, Twilight knew she was in the centre of a place of great magic.

So, the centre of magical 'signature' of Hogwarts is situated in a corridor close to foyer? I think simple 'she was in a place of great magic' might be better.

She knew he could take care of himself, but she couldn’t help being nervous for him.

I think, 'couldn't help but worry about/for him' is usually used in such a situation.

There was so much magic in it – from books, from moving portraits, from little devices on the cupboards, and most certainly from the large… man? Who was behind the desk.

Twilight already thinks about Hagrid as a 'man' by this point of time without stumbling over it. Since she already knows that Dumbledore is male and a man(if what Hagrid said about him weren't figures of speech unrelated to actual species) - I don't think that '...' is needed. Also, it looks like it should be 'who was sitting behind the desk'

Before Twilight had even finished looking, Peewee took off from Spike’s arm and flitted forward towards…

Feels like it should be 'looking around'.

Not quite like Philomeena, but a touch of familiarity that caused a stab of homesickness.

Maybe 'but it held a touch of familiarity' might be better? Or 'but still a touch of familiarity' depending on writing style.

She blinked. That was another phoenix. Not quite like Philomeena, but a touch of familiarity that caused a stab of homesickness.

“Well, I see Fawkes has a new friend!” the man said, as Peewee alighted smartly on the perch next to the other phoenix.

Might be better to change the second one to 'next to the older phoenix' to avoid feeling of tautology.

“Pleased to meet you.” Twilight managed to get out, cursing herself for the attack of shyness.

Feels awkward. Onset/episode/fit as better alternatives?

Would that mean that this leader would mock her, or, or…

Awkward an coming out of nowhere. 'headmaster' would hold appropriate connotations for Twilight with her little escapades ala Want It - Need It spell and fear of being sent to Magic Kindergarten.

“However, those experiments amount to very little. I am sorry, but you may need to invent your own way home.”

I liked the original 'find your own way home' better)

Indeed. And while I am sure you are talented indeed with magic, Miss Twilight, there is always more to learn – indeed, your young assistant Spike could join you.”

Indeed, I feel too much 'indeed' is present here. The second one could be safely dropped, I feel. The third - not nessecarily dropped, but pre-readers could find a fault with it.

“Why, that you attend the school.” Dumbledore smiled, his eyes twinkling.

'this school' might be more suited to this situation.

“I mean, we’re going to be here for a long time anyway, and it doesn’t matter how long, does it? And if this kind of magic is one I could learn…”

Maybe 'one that I could learn'?

“I… see. Well, I may be able to make an exception… so long as you only use magic for reading with.”

Usually 'I might be able' is used in my experience. And 'with' is kinda out of place here. Simple 'so long as you only use magic for reading.' without 'with' should be okay .

“I’d hate to be thrown out; a whole new library is such a pleasure…”

Also kinda awkward. Maybe 'a whole new library to read through is such a pleasure...'? 'a whole new library [to do something with] is such a pleasure' should be the sentence structure here.

“Ah well. Spike, when did Dumbledore say that this McGonagall was going to show up?”

First, I can't imagine Twilight being this disrespectful to a professor. Even 'this professor McGonagall' sounds better. Second - nowhere in the chapter is 'McGonagall' mentioned. Dumbledore simply refers to her as Minerva.

“Ah… you are Miss Twilight Sparkle? And Master Spike?”

'Master' Spike? Well, yes, in some dictionaries it is stated to have a meaning close to 'mister' but in my experience it is almost never used that way.

“Thank you.” Twilight marked her own place. “I’m sorry for pulling you away from your work.

" missing at the end.

The reason it is I in the first place is because I’ve done this for less students this year, since one of the students I was to introduce to the magical world moved to France.

'less than usual students' or 'smaller than usual number of students', maybe?

“I know. I’m just saying, it reminds me strongly.”

Of what? Even 'it reminds me strongly of that' might be better.

From the building focused entirely on owls, to a more general menagerie, shops with cauldrons outside, shops with , And there was one shop with nothing but a name [...]

I feel like something is missing here.

above the door and a single… baton? No, the sign mentioned wands, so that must be a wand on a red cushion in the window. It didn’t have the white-tips-on-black or star-on-a-stick look of what Equestria thought of as wands, though.

How large is this wand that was put on display? )) Because Twilight had no problem identifying wands before - see the scene of entrance to the Diagon Alley. Also 'white-tips-on-black' - on black what? )

Now, the first place we should probably go is to obtain a wand for each of you.”

Awkward and incorrect sentence structure. 'Now, the first place we should probably go to is the one where we can obtain a wand for each of you.' or 'Now, the first thing we should probably do is to obtain a wand for each of you.' would be much better.

“Do we need them?” Twilight asked. “I thought they were mainly props, but that’s the wands I’m used to…” she tailed off. If magic here required an object, that had all sorts of implications.

Going through an entire book on apparition and never once finding a mention of 'it doesn't require a wand to use'?
Plus abovementioned problems - McGonagall uses one to enter Diagon Alley and Dumbledore directly states: "I shall have Minerva see about getting you somewhere to stay until the Sorting, and about taking you to Diagon Alley for your supplies and wands."

“I think it’d take even Rarity a while to work out how to design clothes for an entirely new body plan… I wish she was here.”

'body shape' is usually used in such situations in my experience.

Containing her amusement with an effort, Twilight shot back “if Celestia expressed that sentiment, she’d do it more eloquently.”

Definitely should be 'If', with a capital letter.

Spike had picked up a pair of dragonhide gloves with a completely disgusted expression,
[...]
Twilight, of course, didn’t need any – nor would they fit her.

I kinda doubt that they would have a pair of gloves that would fit Spike either. So, colored red part could be omitted.

“Good. If we might prevail upon your Floo once more, Mr. Ollivander?” McGonagall asked.

Absolutely first time I see 'prevail' used in such a situation. Dictionaries also are unhelpful. Too tired to attempt to find alternative - it's currently 1 am in Moscow.
And finally, the end of the first chapter! ) Finished for now. Will continue tomorrow.

1079036

Thanks for such an extensive going over. I'll mention here all the ones which I do NOT think should be changed or which are new wordings, and why I have them:
1) They arrived at around ten to eleven AM is what I was picturing, so it is still the morning, but it's also the "middle of the day".
2) Changed to "we’ll have been gone as long or as short a time as we want"
3) The reason I put it like that is because it's Twilight's thoughts, and she's in the magical equivalent of "sci fi geek mode" coupled with trying to analyze the situation as best she can.
4) "obviously, an alien culture wouldn’t necessarily have the same name format as ponies did. "
5) I've kept elide, because even if it's an unusual word, Twilight knows unusual words, she's a bibliophile. And I've seen elide used like that... relatively often, actually.
6) Lake redescribed as "midnight blue"
7) Yes, that's correct - sort of. For example, the Japanese standard of castle and the European standard of castle look very different from one another, but both are only general styles. It's not standard in the sense of "requirement" but in the sense of "usual".
8) Hagrid there, in not saying "headmaster" is basically understanding that, for Twilight, "headmaster of Hogwarts" won't mean much for knowing if he can help her. So he's praising the man more generally.
9) Here, all of Hogwarts is the "centre". And actually, depending on how deep the dungeons are, a ground floor corridor could be fairly near the centroid. It's me being poetic for once.
10) I've changed it to a pause, then italicised "man", and no change in sentence. And she can't tell he's sitting, because she's not close enough yet. (Nor is it automatically expected, in Equestria - they stand a lot.)
11) I think attack of shyness is fine. It's a sudden rush of it, see. And it's a fairly common usage.
12) She's just had a fairly nasty moment with Celestia, and she's also subconsciously identifying Dumbledore as like Celestia - so she's thinking "leader".
13) Checking my unaltered version on google docs, I think "invent" is how it was in the first version. It emphasizes how she's got to make an entirely new discovery, as opposed to "find" which is more like "find the ancient plot artefact".
14) changed to “Correct. And while I am sure you are most talented with magic, Miss Twilight, there is always more to learn – indeed, your young assistant Spike could join you.”
15) I typed "the school" without thinking much, but it does actually make a kind of sense - it's Dumbledore thinking of Hogwarts as "the" school. A bit like how graduates of places like Oxford or Cambridge (or other universities) think of it as "the" university - exacerbated by how Hogwarts really is THE school for the British Isles, magically speaking.
16) I think "one I could learn" works, myself. Don't think it's actually grammatically wrong, and it is someone speaking.
17) "May be able to" seems common enough. In fact, from a quick net search, it's almost as common as "might be able to". And I don't really see the problem with the "with" - in fact, without it the sentence seems like it could be read as meaning "so long as you only use magic, and only magic, for reading." In any case, I've changed it to "only use magic to read with".
18) Again, she's speaking. She's more thinking out loud than actually making an argument, so the sentence is less precise.
19) changed to "this Minerva", since Twilight doesn't know who or what Minerva might be. Thanks for spotting that minor mistake.
20) That's actually the formal correct mode of address for a male minor. It's archaic, yes, but the wizarding world is too.
21) No, just "less students" - her number of students introduced to the magical world is the smallest, so she gets these extra ones.
22) I claim banter. (That is, Spike knows that both he and Twilight know what he means, so he leaves it at that.)
23) Yes, there is. That was an expansion site that I didn't finish with. Now ", shops with cauldrons outside, shops with books or robes or ice cream… and there was one"
24) I've changed that so that Twilight doesn't identify the wand McGonogall uses. I probably could have left it, because her wand is only 9 1/2 inches and the one in the window could be half again that big, but this way does work better.
25) Changed to "the first place we should probably go to is to obtain a wand for each of you." Somehow, neither of your provided suggestions felt... right, for McGonagall.
26) Frankly, I'm going to say that the book didn't mention it because it's a book on apparition theory, not on practical - so it talks about how the magic projects itself, and so on. While it probably does mention wands (as "foci" not as wands), it didn't in the bit she was reading. And Twilight just missed the implications of wands being mentioned separately by Dumbledore, since she doesn't have a perfect memory and it was a fairly long meeting. (If that doesn't sound good enough, I could change it to "supplies, books and suchlike/so on".)
27) I'd probably use the term bauplan to myself, because of having studied palaeontology for a bit. Body plan is the slightly more technical version of body shape, and it's more clear it doesn't just mean "fatter" or "taller".
28) Spike does still have hands, though, and he can put his fingers into the fingers of the gloves. Twilight's got no hope. I'll change it to "nor could they possibly fit her"
29) Yes, that IS a correct use of "prevail". It's a slight archaism (but still in use) which I'm using because it's McGonagall speaking, and she was born in 1935...

1080081
1) Well, this is a subjective thing then. For me(and in russian language in general) 'middle of the day' - something along the lines of 12:00 am - 4:00 pm.
2) Also a good variant.
3) Even "sci-fi geek mode" isn't a viable excuse here, in my opinion. Too clinical and belongs solely to a lab environment - not to a impromptu First Contact situation.
4) A good variant. I would still prefer to use 'naming conventions' in place of 'name format', but both variants are viable depending on the writing style.
5) Well, your choice. I added this sentence in the list mostly because usage of 'elide' in that way confused me.
6) Much better than my options)
7) Possible.
8) Previous sentence by Hagrid - “That’s Hogwarts.” Hagrid said, still striding ahead. “It’s the best school of magic in the world.”. It's easy to assume that professors are the most knowledgeable on the subject of magic people there and headmaster most likely was a professor at one point of time and a respected one in order to achieve this position.
9) And this was heartless me feeling your poetic escapades to sound awkward) YMMV possible. Problem - 'centre' in my experience is often used not only in geometrical/geographical sense, but also in social/cultural. Since the second applies to Horgawrts - we can say, for example that it's 'a centre of magical education', using 'a centre of a place' in this context feels almost like tautology to me.
10) Point.
11) YMMV.
12) Maybe. But it gives rise to the question 'a leader of what?' that isn't good for narrative here in my opinion.
13) Well, then my memory isn't infallible) Anyways, you can invent a device, a method of doing something, but you are trying to find a way home when you are lost.
14) Good variant.
15) YMMV, but sound reasoning.
16) Possible.
17) Yes, they are both used. Difference - in which situations. Usually 'I may be able to [do something]', as far as I was taught in school, is used in situations dependent mostly on chance - 'You may be able to see a rainbow after the rain' but 'I might be able to do something for you' - when it's dependent mostly on actions of people. Of course my teachers could be mistaken - most of them were learning english in soviet times. On the 'with' - 'to read with' feels okay.
18) YMMV.
19) You are welcome.
20) Well, if you are certain - okay. I don't have much experience with archaic forms of english.
21) Then wouldn't it be 'least' instead of 'less'?
22) YMMV
23) Better)
24) Also it allows you to keep 'our wands are usually stage props' scene where it is)
25) Archaic McGonagall is hard to please)
26) In any explanations, don't forget Hagrid's mentioning of the fact that he doesn't have a wand to teach something that required one. Just after Twilight guilt-trips herself on being surprised that he took correspondence courses and, therefore, should pay attention to him.
27) YMMV. Technical terms have their place, but that's more a matter of writing style.
28) Still better)
29) And again archaic McGonagall triumphs over me)

Well, and now I need to go to the university. Will continue later)

1080081
Well, I'm back and have some time to kill)
Chapter 2.

This time, Madam Pince was ready for them, and simply nodded to greet them.

Something like 'was ready for their appearance, and simply nodded to greet them' might be better.

There was a niggling feeling at the back of her mind, the same as with the book layout.

For some reason I feel that it should be 'the same one as with the book layout'.

Unless it was based on prejudice, which would be fair enough.

Not very clear - my first thought after reading this sentence was 'Prejudice as a fair reason? What.'
Still can't determine what exactly Twilight meant by that comment.

Summarizing material was a good way to be sure she’d understood it, so she was at least partly organizing her own thoughts by explaining to Spike.

Fairly certain that it should be 'by explaining it to Spike' or 'by explaining them to Spike'. First - if she means the material, second - if she means her thoughts.

there are at least two magical races which are not human which get wands in addition to innate magic.”
[...]
Veela are one, [...] I haven’t found mention of the other or others, yet.

If she hadn't found any mention of other non-human races allowed to use wands, why does she state that there are at least two? Possible that she found some passage similar to 'Veela are one of the races allowed to use wands', but that constitutes as mention, no? Maybe something like 'I haven't found exact/precise/clear mention of the other or others yet' could work better.

He looked through it as surely as she did – having stacked things for Twilight back at the Books and Branches often enough.

Translator programs and dictionaries I use don't have a definition of verb 'to stack' that could be used here and make sense. Maybe the issue is with dictionaries, but I don't know. 'sorted' might be better.

Twilight said, shrugging her forelegs awkwardly.

So she shrugs her forelegs instead of her shoulders? Well, could be possible because of her body structure, but usually everyone uses shoulders when describing ponies shrugging.

What that meant for them was difficult to imagine, but Flitwick had already hinted it meant many humans just never found what they were good at.

Not very good choice of words - she lives with Spike after all, so she should have already had thoughts about creatures without cutie marks and what does it mean for them. Something like 'It was a difficult idea to apply to herself, but Flitwick had already hinted it meant many humans just never found what they were good at.' might be better. Especially because in the next sentences she applies this idea to herself.

Looking around, Twilight saw that none of the other humans she’d met were yet present.

Well, my English language teacher always stated that 'yet' must be at the end of the sentence if at all possible or at the end of a smaller syntax structure inside the sentence. Could be personal opinion or mistaken assumption.

It seemed – from what she could see here – that most humans had hair colours in the range of blonde-red-brown-black, with white also being present for some.

White? Well, Dumbledore most likely. Don't know if any of the teachers could be blonde. Although there was that trip to Diagon Alley. Still made me think a bit, which might be a good thing.

(Astronomy, and she was puzzled but interested that that was a required course)

'it' might be better.

After a quick lunch – fortunately the concept of “sandwich” was universal – Twilight went straight back to work on the legal structure of the Wizarding World.

With rather significant technobabble content I almost expected 'seemed to be universal' and some titbit about how this theory looked promising but not yet proven.)

Believe you me, I know how to control my power output with any spell I’ve cast enough times to get a handle on the matrix

Looks somewhat plausible but very strange. Usually encounter 'believe me'.

No-one else is here, Twi.” Spike complained, looking around the deserted platform. “We’re early.”

Dictionaries and translator programs insist on 'No one'.

Same big clock, same high platform… there was slightly more clearance between train and platform, but nothing important.

Again my dictionaries insist that 'clearance' doen't have a meaning similar to 'clear zone'.

That's all for now. Either I am in a better mood than expected or this chapter looks better than the first. Tomorrow morning will try to look through the next two chapters.)

Chapter 3

“Oh, you’re from a wizarding family?” The unicorn asked, eyes lighting up. “If you don’t mind, I’ve got so many questions for you!” This was the first chance she had to speak to a student who’d grown up here – well, there were presumably some of the professors, [...]

Maybe 'in one' might be better. Because 'here' could refer to the country or the world, and 'in one' would refer to Neville being from a wizardring family, which is the reason Twilight's eyes lit up.

After spending a few more minutes just to be sure, she finally picked her book up again and opened it to the bookmark, getting down to some serious research again.

Something like 'once more' in place of one of them might work better.

There was a rattling around mid-day, and someone knocked on the compartment door.

Maybe 'a rattling sound'? As far as I know 'rattling' is an adjective, not a noun.

“Don’t argue, Twilight!” Spike pleaded. “I want to see what magical sweets are like!”

Technically he already saw cotton candy clouds in Equestria at the very least) Have no problem with it, but feel that adding 'here' in the sentence might be a good idea. Or changing 'magical' to 'wizardring'.

Neville said the Cockroach Cluster was a bad idea, and after realizing one of her customers was an herbivore the lady helped them pick what would be most safe.

'that' or 'that getting a' might be better in place of 'the'.
IIRC, 'an' is used only when the next word begins from a vowel or from a... mute? Can't find specific translation... or from a mute h. For example: an hour [auə], but a horse [hɔːs] or a herbivore ['hɜːbɪvɔː].
Don't know whether it's an actual problem, but in my experience 'most safe' is used only in constructions similar to 'most safe of environments'. Otherwise 'the safest' is much more prevalent.

Twilight looked up again, this time from a pumpkin juice.

Not sure why, but it just rubs me the wrong way. 'her' might work better.

Neville said, breathing fast and looking on the edge of a tearful panic.

Don't feel like this should be here. I could buy 'on the endge of a tearful panic attack', for example, but here I feel like it should be 'on the edge of tearful panic'. You can say 'a doctor', but you don't say 'a panic'.

She manoeuvred carefully out of the compartment, and pulled the door to after Neville followed her.

The only translation of 'pull to' I found is 'to pull to pieces ~ to gossip about'. Maybe 'pulled the door shut' might be better?

Neville kept an eye on the corridor while Twilight was asking people if they’d seen Trevor.

Half-remembered lessons on tenses for some reason tell me that it should be present perfect, not past perfect. I may be mistaken, but this feeling persists.

confusing, to most of the older students who’d dismissed the idea.

I usually try to not touch punctuation: I confuse russian and english rules on the matter far too often, but this comma looks so blatantly wrong there... I couldn't not mention it on the off chance that I correctly remembered some part of the rules.

Perhaps because they weren’t as used to what was “normal” in the magical world.

'was considered to be "normal"' or 'was considered "normal"' might be better.

and neither of them was in robes yet.

Fairly certain that it should be 'were' - 'Neither of the guards were at their stations', for example.

Ronald Bilious Weasley

IIRC it's 'Bilius'.

Spike had moved a half hour ago..

Two dots at the end of the sentence. Also, 'half an hour ago', most likely.

Luckily for them, nobody else was in the corridor in this carriage

'of this carriage' might look better.

The unicorn was twitching nervously by the time they were out on the platform, and had lifted Spike onto her back to make sure he wasn’t trampled too badly.

So he still had a chance of being trampled while sitting on Twilight's back? )
At least it's the impression that 'too badly' at the end of the sentence gave me. It would look better without this description at the end, I think.

Candles floated in their hundreds

I'm hoping it is 'the'. Otherwise I shudder to imagine how many hundreds of what exactly do the candles have.)

Twilight looked for something to distract her, and noticed a large, beaten-up magician’s hat on a stool in the middle of the clear area.

Either russian translation of the books screwed up again, or it differs from canon for some reason. In russian translation Mcgonagall placed the stool in front of the children and then placed the hat on it. So, pre-readers could again find fault with non-canon/AU elements. Of course there is a possiility that she simply missed all that as an explanation to give them.

Twilight thought it was probably tiredness, since they’d been up since five.

Something like 'from having been up since five' might be better.

Once it had finished, the Professor explained it would be alphabetical in order.

What would be alphabetical in order? The hat? ) 'the Professor explained that the ceremony/Sorting would be alphabetical in order' might be better.

While Hannah Abbot (one of the ones who’d been squealing about Twilight) was being sorted

'one of those' is likely a better alternative.

noticing the miniscule flare of magic which colourized her clothes and added the griffin crest.

...Is that a word? 'coloured', maybe?
Although google and word think that 'colorize' is in fact a word and that 'colourize' isn't.
Also, the word in russian that google translates 'colorize' to means ' to draw in a coloring book'. Is this even remotely similar to it's meaning in english?

The next chapter tomorrow. Why is it +30 centigrade in Moscow? Why? It isn't even summer...
Also, I thought about one thing and now it bothers me.
Trolley lady. Working on a train that moves only twice a year. What is her story? Why is she working there? How much is her salary? In my opinion she could be considered the most mysterious recurring character in the books. Could be an interesting idea for a short fic)

1087270
First chapter: I basically had Hagrid just say "Care of Magical Creatures doesn't need magic" because I wanted to keep that nice bit of cultural confusion...

Second chapter:

"to greet them" changed to "in greeting"

And it's not the "same one", because it's a different issue but the same feeling.

Good point - I'll change it to "which would at least make internal sense."

It's essentially that "by doing the act of explaining to Spike, she was organizing her own thoughts". Hmmm... "explaining everything to Spike in her own words"?

What she found was something like "humans and other wand using races", and then a specific mention of Veela being "permitted to use wands".

"Stacked books" is something I'm fairly confident can be applied in the context of organizing books in a library. Perhaps "shelved books" would be less ambiguous.

Shoulders is technically correct, as it happens, but I'm mainly wanting here to emphasize how the motion is different to a human one since her shoulder joint is built differently.

And the thing with Twilight not being certain about what lack of cutie mark means is because of minor cognitive dissonance. She's used to Spike, and has been since childhood so he's a kind of "blind spot" here. Besides, she finds it hard - not impossible. She has a dim idea, not a comprehensive one, and she knows that.

It's the range. Several of the teachers we know nothing about at all, or don't in the books (like the Arithmancy, Runes, Muggle Studies, current Care of Magical Creatures, Astronomy and so on) so I think it's possible there's someone in there in the brown-blond/e spectrum.

I think "that that" is correct. There's no linguistic rule against it, and it in fact appears in one of the most well known speeches of the 19th century - the Gettysburg Address.

Heh - technobabble, eh? I might well change it to "was not parochial". (Parochial meaning "unique", universal meaning "can be arrived at independently". So good eyes are an evolutionary universal, while the hiccup is parochial and results from our poorly laid out throats.) That work?
...well, whether it would or not I'll switch it to "seemed universal" for now.

"Believe you me" is an emphatic form, which puts extra emphasis on the "believe me" meaning.

Either "no one" or "no-one" is valid, apparently. I'll remove the hyphen.

It's a correct use of "clearance", in the same sense as "ground clearance".

Chapter three:

It's also the first chance she had to speak to someone who'd grown up on this world, as it happens... would "in the wizarding community" make sense?

Changed last clause to "getting back down to some serious research".

It can be done without the word "sound" attached to it, as it happens... at any rate, it seems to be in several cases.

He's not encountered magical sweets, just magical means of distribution ;)

As for "an herbivore" - there is a gigantic raging debate over which is right. I happen to pronounce it with a silent H, so the "an" would be correct, and National Geographic uses "an"; conversely, the BBC uses "a". I have no clue which is "more right" but they're both widely used. I'll just replace both words with "herbivorous"
I think "The Cockroach Cluster was a bad idea" is valid, myself, but I'll change it to something like "Neville said Cockroach Clusters would be a bad idea," And "most safe" changed to "safest".

Made it "a glass of Pumpkin Juice". (Though "have an Apple Juice", say, is valid if slightly colloquial.)

"in a panic" is certainly valid, so I don't think "on the edge of a panic" isn't.

To "pull a door to" is to pull it shut or almost-shut.

And that is past perfect, I think. Or possibly pluperfect, we don't actually learn the tense names in English... She's not asking if they ARE SEEING Trevor, she's asking if they HAVE SEEN Trevor. Change the person to fit, and that becomes "if they had seen Trevor" when in long form, and "if they'd seen Trevor" when shortened.

...oh, you don't do grammar? Great. I need to find someone who does, I'll see what the Overly Extensive Editors can do.

The quotes carry the sense of "considered" with them, in this case. At least as far as I know.

Since that particular one confuses me, I've gone for "neither one of them was in robes yet".

And yes, you are correct on Ron's middle name. Which makes it no longer a word, hence my confusion.

Correct on both counts.

"nobody else in this carriage was in the corridor " work?

It's basically to add emphasis, there. But I'll concede the point.

Apparently "in their hundreds" is a British construction. But it IS valid, so I'm keeping it.

Yeah, she's been pretty distracted. ;)

Changed to: "Twilight thought it was probably tiredness – after all, they’d been up since five."

Changed.

And changed.

Colourized IS a word, meaning "to add colour to" in any sense - such as hair. It does happen to be a rarely used spelling, but mainly because we in the UK tend to monkey around with ise/ize endings. It's not a mis-spelling, at any rate. (I think you might be set to US English - I'm a Brit.)

Thanks for doing this, by the way...

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Won't mention parts where you have a point or don't require input.

It's essentially that "by doing the act of explaining to Spike, she was organizing her own thoughts". Hmmm... "explaining everything to Spike in her own words"?

This works, I think.

Heh - technobabble, eh? I might well change it to "was not parochial". (Parochial meaning "unique", universal meaning "can be arrived at independently". So good eyes are an evolutionary universal, while the hiccup is parochial and results from our poorly laid out throats.) That work?

That works rather well)

It's also the first chance she had to speak to someone who'd grown up on this world, as it happens... would "in the wizarding community" make sense?

Even if it's her first chance to speak to a local child - she still latched on the fact that he is from a wizardring family and expressed her interest only after that one titbit.
Yes, I think it would.

He's not encountered magical sweets, just magical means of distribution ;)

So, cotton candy routinely creates chocolate out of nowhere? ) And clouds also routinely turn into it)
Magically distributed sweets are still magical, especially if they appear out of nowhere or are transformed from something else)

As for "an herbivore" - there is a gigantic raging debate over which is right. I happen to pronounce it with a silent H, so the "an" would be correct, and National Geographic uses "an"; conversely, the BBC uses "a". I have no clue which is "more right" but they're both widely used. I'll just replace both words with "herbivorous"

Well, now, that's interesting...

And that is past perfect, I think. Or possibly pluperfect, we don't actually learn the tense names in English... She's not asking if they ARE SEEING Trevor, she's asking if they HAVE SEEN Trevor. Change the person to fit, and that becomes "if they had seen Trevor" when in long form, and "if they'd seen Trevor" when shortened.

Thanks for clarifying) Maybe it will remain in my head)

...oh, you don't do grammar? Great. I need to find someone who does, I'll see what the Overly Extensive Editors can do.

I distinctly remember already mentioning that fact... Yes, after your blog post about the first strike for 'Unicorn at Hogwarts' on EqD.
For example, in "Twilight Sparkle appeared in a flash of green light, fell four feet, and landed on a huge fallen tree trunk." the coloured comma would be utterly wrong by russian punctuation rules. In russian there is no comma before 'and', unless it separates two sentences or is used repeatedly - for example, 'And so he went, and bled, and fought, and never forgot his past'. So you can imagine why I try not to correct punctuation usually - there is at least 50/50 chance of me being wrong.

"nobody else in this carriage was in the corridor " work?

I think so? Yes, it works for me.

Apparently "in their hundreds" is a British construction. But it IS valid, so I'm keeping it.

And after that titbit if I could dream I'd be having nightmares)

Yeah, she's been pretty distracted. ;)

Plausible. Had to mention russian translation as the possible source of screw-up - their track record isn't stellar. Still better than 'My little Pony' in russian localization...

Colourized IS a word, meaning "to add colour to" in any sense - such as hair. It does happen to be a rarely used spelling, but mainly because we in the UK tend to monkey around with ise/ize endings. It's not a mis-spelling, at any rate. (I think you might be set to US English - I'm a Brit.)

Thanks for clarifying)

Thanks for doing this, by the way...

You are welcome.) At least it gives me something relaxing to do. The fact that you are one of my favourite fanfiction authors also helps)

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Well, chapter 4.

Most of the others were a scattering of older students, along with two or three teachers eating like the rest of them.

Awkward. Even if people manage to tie 'others' to the very beginning of the previous sentence, 'teachers eating like the rest of them' gives an impression that normally teachers eat unlike the rest of the students - dueling each other in the process, for example. 'two or three teachers eating at their table' might be better.

They were among the first into the dining room the next morning.

In the previous chapter it was called Great Hall. Not really a mistake, but 'dining room' looks strange here.

“I have your timetables here; I was just up to the Owlery with them.

Not really a mistake, but... why did she go to the owlery with them? IIRC, timetables were always handed out in the Great Hall, not sent by owl, so I don't really see a reason.

It is called parchment. Originally, parchment was made from the skin of animals, I understand, though wizards have only made it out of wood pulp since the seventeenth century.

Chapter 2 - books are stated to be made from paper. Not really an inconsistency and can be explained, but still.

Hmmm… we first have you tomorrow, right?

Looks strange coming from Twilight. I understand that in casual speech people can murder sentence structure, but still... Something like 'tomorrow we have your lesson first, right?' or 'your lesson would be the first tomorrow, right?' would work better in my opinion. Or 'we, first years, have you tomorrow, right?' if that was the meaning.

“Indeed. If you have no other problems, I shall see you then.” McGonagall raised an eyebrow questioningly.
“I think we’re fine.” Twilight looked over. “Spike?”
“Yeah, should be.” Spike nodded, determinedly.
“Very well, then.” McGonagall inclined her head respectfully, and walked away.

A bit too many 'ly', in my opinion. Considering the fact that one theory is 'EqD pre-readers dump the story in word, see what it highlights and search for "ly" as examples for "show, not tell"'...
The first can easily be turned into 'raised an eyebrow in question'. The third - 'inclined her head in a respectful nod'.

like there was nothing out of the ordinary about a unicorn and baby dragon hanging around, helped everyone else relax too.

I have a feeling that it should be 'a unicorn and a baby dragon' in this case.

The shorter boy seemed more relaxed than he’d been all yesterday.

Looks awkward. Is 'all' really needed here?

could do terribly badly if there was too much attention on her

In russian it's a bad idea to stick two similar adverbs together. I don't think that it's a terribly good idea in english either. So 'terribly bad' would, likely, be better.

and the space for practical work smaller than it would have been if it had had to handle unicorns

Unless it has a 'handled unicorns in the past' meaning, it has a 'is built to handle unicorns' meaning. The first as the reason for the space being bigger doesn't work. The second - works. But if it is the second, there should be only one 'had'.
Although changing the sentence to 'it had been made to handle unicorns' or something similar eliminates the problem and would be the best option, in my opinion.

Strangely, perhaps, it was Harry who excited him the most. He actually fell off the books he was using to see over the desk when he reached the name “Potter” on the register (by contrast, Twilight and Spike only elicited unusual squeaky exclamations).

Looks strange. Because while Harry and Flitwick haven't met, Flitwick, Twilight and Spkie - have. Reaction of 'fangasming' about Harry could be understandable - ne is a legend and unknown. Squeaking about Twilight and Spike? Not very believable.

Twilight recognized the same look that the princesses sometimes got when talking about ponies long dead, though much less so.

Much less so... what? Was it much less misty, much less compasionate, much less angry, much less icy? I have absolutely no idea.

You might want to see if Fabion’s is better for you

Canon has Fabian, if I'm not mistaken.

Harry Potter’s presence was more interesting than Twilight and Spike, though only slightly

Maybe "Twilight's and Spike's"? Because it's not Harry Potter being compared to them, but his presence.

after all, the school was set up to teach pupils of secondary school age, not students in full adult growth.

Awkward, I think. 'not adult ones' would be both shorter and easier to read, in my opinion.

Herbology turned out to be Neville’s strong point – when he was around growing things, he was so much more confident that Twilight could barely believe he was the same boy.

Children are 'growing things' too) Or was you sentence intended to mean 'when he was nearby and growing things' instead of 'when he was near growing things'? In short - 'plants' would work better, I think.

that kind of focus, while it brought out the best in students like herself, also put enormous pressure on the less confident students.

Replacing the second 'students' with 'ones' or simply 'people' might look better. Or 'children' as an alternative.

Fortunately, she managed to catch a couple of errors before he actually made them and help talk him through making the potion.

If I am not mistaken, it should be either 'to help' or 'helped' in this situation - depending on whether 'managed' refers to 'help'.

Quirrellhad explained (in his stuttering way)

He needs a little space)

That's all for now.

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Chapter 5.

Twilight winced slightly, suddenly reminded of the situation in Equestria when she left. She’d been running herself ragged trying not to ever since they’d first materialized here, but it did hurt.

Trying not to what? After re-reading it a second time I understood that it's most likely 'trying not to be reminded', with 'be reminded' omitted, but in my experience omission doesn't work well with passive tenses. Modifying to something like 'trying not to think about it' might look better.

Spike was more involved with chatting with humans of around his age – boys, mostly, though girls on occasion – about topics like flying and… well, mainly flying.

First thought after reading the sentence in current form - 'Boys were mostly boys but sometimes girls?'. Most likely, 'with girls on occasion' or 'though girls joined in occasionally', or something similar might be better.

Almost before people had started to panic, Dumbledore set off an explosion from his wand.

Is that canon? Because while the method of getting attention via explosion is dubious, russian version of the book is significantly more stupid here) In russian version he sets off fireworks.

“Excuse me, everyone!” he said, his voice magically amplified by some spell.

If it was 'by some spells', I'd agree with using 'some'. Otherwise 'by a spell' looks better, in my opinion.

Neville got up to go as well, along with Spike and the twins. Percy gaped, shook his head, and explained the situation tersely to his counterpart prefect from the girls’ dorm before following with his wand drawn.

Dumbledore & Co dropped an idiot ball of moving and separating half-panicked students from safe environment when something dangerous is in the castle. It's a good thing. Bad thing - they got temporary blindness from the effort. On the plus side I see no easy way of solving that issue without overcomplicating the situation and 'they were distracted' is an acceptable explanation. Although Twilight could have used an illusion to slip out - Dumbledore is the only one who successfully pierced her glamour and he had turned away from the students. But she doesn't have a reason to use it.

Harry heard her coming, and was just turning to look as she skidded to a halt beside him. A blazing pink dome materialized around them, and the troll’s club bounced off it with a loud thwack and a shower of sparks.

Considering the fact that troll didn't react to the twins, Neville, Ron, Percy with expelliarmus and discussion of magic resistance of magical creatures - it would save a lot of confusion on why he continues to simply bash the shield if you change it to something like 'materialized around them, blocking the corridor'.

Twilight nodded jerkily, as the aftereffects of the adrenaline rush started to bite.

Maybe 'abate'?

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Changed to "scattering of students, and there were two or three teachers also taking breakfast".

...huh. I thought they were owl delivered. Looks like I was wrong. (Was that a correction someone told me to make? I thought it was... ah well.) Changed to “I have your timetables here; I was going to hand them out later, but you are here now, so I may as well get started. "

And there's a lot of things which are said to be "rolls of parchment" in the Potterverse. I wanted to make it very clear that they use a form of non-animal parchment, or Twilight's going to be VERY put off... paper IS used for printing, and their parchment is used for individual sheets.

I think it sounds like an entirely sensible thing to say. "We first have you (checks paper) tomorrow".
But I'll change it to "our first lesson with you is... tomorrow, right?"

If they do consider words ending with ly as bad, then they SUCK as pre readers. I mean, seriously. Show, don't Tell isn't even a rule. It's a bit of generalized advice...


"all yesterday" is lending emphasis to the fact that every time she saw him he was tense - both on the train and at the feast. It's not strictly necessary, but it helps.

Actually, "terribly badly" is more correct in English in this sense. "A terribly bad idea" is more correct, but "she spells terribly badly" is also more correct, for example.

Well, he's glad to meet them in the format of a lesson, because he's excited to see how Twilight's magical training gives her a new perspective on the class. (Their names are so close together that he's still excited over Twilight when he gets to Spike. That and it's funny.)

"Much less so" in this case means "the same kind of thing, but less of it". "Less so" is idiomatic, I think...

Ah, so it does.

I'll say "than that of Twilight and Spike"

Twilight is a student (of some kind of degree-type course, specifically on the magic of friendship) and is in full adult growth. I'm trying to make it clear that she is mature but also a student.
I'll put it as "not adult students".

This must be another idiom, I'm afraid - when I say "growing things", I think plants. Same for a couple of people I tested it on.

"managed to catch" means here that she spotted them before they happened and made sure they didn't. Again, it's a fairly common phrasing as far as I am aware.


Ch.5

Changed to "trying not to be".

Changed to "with boys, mostly, though girls on occasion"

I wasn't thinking about a specific example - it was just him setting off a loud bang to get attention.

"by some spell" isn't with some as a quantity, it's some as in "an unknown".

The reason they didn't notice is because they were trying to arrange their sweep pattern - that is, in what order they tackled the different floors of the castle. They were quite busy.

"around them, almost filling the corridor" should work better.

And "bite" here is correct. Abate means to wear off. Twilight's just starting to be hit with the after-effects of an adrenaline rush - the loss of energy, tiredness and so on as the body "makes up the debt" by underusing energy for a bit, and the feeling faint as the heart rate and blood pressure go down.

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If they do consider words ending with ly as bad, then they SUCK as pre readers. I mean, seriously. Show, don't Tell isn't even a rule. It's a bit of generalized advice...

Found some of the examples I half-remembered in this blog-post: http://www.fimfiction.net/blog/146394/little-help-please
And yes, the first time I saw 'show, don't tell' as one of the reasons for rejection - I was honestly surprised. Everything has it's place and usage. Setting personal preference as a legitimate rule is rather stupid. It's quite possible to inflate one word, for example 'silently', to 1000+. It's almost always not needed. Of course, not all of them use this 'rule', but enough of them use it.

"Much less so" in this case means "the same kind of thing, but less of it". "Less so" is idiomatic, I think...

Well, then confusion was the result of total absense of such idiom from russian. There in similar situation you have to define parameters that are used as criteria for comparison. Otherwise it would look like "Mike was Mike. John was Mike, but less."

"managed to catch" means here that she spotted them before they happened and made sure they didn't. Again, it's a fairly common phrasing as far as I am aware.

Emm... Well, more or less my fault here with phrasing. I don't have any problem with 'managed to catch'. I have a problem with the 'help' part. 'managed to catch' was only colored because it was relevant to this problem. Changing the colored part of the quote to put emphasis:

Fortunately, she managed to catch a couple of errors before he actually made them and help talk him through making the potion.

If I am not mistaken, it should be either 'to help' or 'helped' in this situation - depending on whether 'managed' refers to 'help'.

And "bite" here is correct. Abate means to wear off. Twilight's just starting to be hit with the after-effects of an adrenaline rush - the loss of energy, tiredness and so on as the body "makes up the debt" by underusing energy for a bit, and the feeling faint as the heart rate and blood pressure go down.

Ah, missed 'aftereffects' part of the word. Yes, while effects would abate, aftereffects would bite.

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I suppose I kind of feel like "show, don't tell" is being applied so rigorously that they actually want to see an episode transcript - except that that would be called out as being "talking heads".


And to make that penultimate one more clear, I'll remove "help". So "Fortunately, she managed to catch a couple of errors before he actually made them, and talk him through making the potion properly."

Well, continuing with the new chapter)

Twilight watched him walk over to some of their class-mates, and begin asking questions about Quodpot.

Not sure personally, but dictionaries insist that it should be 'classmates'.

Rather than everyone staring individually, it became more that the crowd aggregated into small knots and talked quietly amongst themselves, still looking at them most of the time.

I think the sentence would look better if you simply drop the part marked red.
On the orange marked words - well, unless I am mistaken, "crowd" is singular, so using "themselves", which is in my experience associated with plural nouns, looks odd to me. Maybe something like "people crowded, aggregated into small knots and talked quietly amongst themselves"?

“Right.” Twilight looked over to the only door that was on the left in any way.

Hm... Assuming 'in any way' means something along the lines of "to the left of the receptionist and to the left of Twilight"? Otherwise that part doesn't make much sense to me. But wouldn't that mean that there would be only one door? At least to the sides of the room.

To try to take her mind off it, she started pacing. That singularly failed,

First time I see "singularly" used in such a fashion. But if, as with most of other times, you are sure...)

Fudge's face drained of colour.

Going a little back, Twilight had trouble even determining who is speaking at the moment. "Twilight thought it was the one in the middle – it was hard to tell, what with the light being behind them, but she had a reasonable confidence in the matter...". So her managing to see their faces looks strange.

Twilight smiled, then got back to her own work. (Mostly theory, this class.)

Well... I think since it already is a separate sentence, it looks rather strange to put it in parenthesis, even if I can see why it doesn't work well without them. Maybe outlining this bit as Twilight's thoughts?

Kettleburn clapped her on the shoulder – or, in other words, her right withers.

I think you never bothered with making this 'distinction' before, so why now?

And that would be everything I can see right now.

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