Okay, so now I'm finished I'm going to leave a nice long proper review because, well, I feel strange leaving short reviews - it's all unnatural and weird and I feel like I'm being a bit lame, so a long review at the end feels like a fair compensation for the lameness of the rest of this.
OKAY SO I LOVED THIS.
I mean, I knew that I'd love this. I've had a lot of people who I think a lot of recommend this story and the first few chapters were really fantastic, and I'm just gutted that there was too much going on in RL for me to have read it all in one go - although I think if I'd done that I probably wouldn't have reviewed every chapter, because really I am rather bad at that sort of thing. I wrote a blog about how there should be more stories about friendships and several people recomended this then, which is completely spot on being the Neville/Scorpius/Hugo dynamic is just so perfect and spot on and lovely that it makes my heart warm. Plus, they do have so much in common and quite the understanding of each other Scorpius and Hugo less of Neville because, well, he is their teacher and despite going off on a little adventure with them he held the boundary their quite well.
Hugo is one of the most lovely characters I've read about - the sort of /differentness/ that he has, because some people are like that. I know a few people who just seemed to be on a completely different wavelength, and, well, he was just so well done and lovely and believable and I just loved him to bits.
Plus, I think you really captured the whole air of adventure that Harry Potter had in the first place. I miss that in fanfiction, the excitement and the magic... and you really brought that back and I loved it.
And I think it's well and truly proved that Herbology is not boring.
So, I loved this to pieces basically and I'm sure one day I'll be heading towards the sequel when I have time again. But, honestly, this was wonderful :)
Author's Response: I'm the same way! I leave these huge monsters that people can't even answer because it's like the whole length of their one-shot lol.
I say this ALL THE TIME but I really am just so surprised but so pleased that people actually enjoy my writing. Mostly, with this piece, it really gained a life and voice and momentum of its own, though. I'm bad at remembering that I write in part because writing itself suggests an audience. The quieter part of me wants this audience. The part I most often hear is write to heal yourself. Write to enjoy yourself. Write to not blow up from the force of all the stories inside of you. But really, it's people like you who take time out of their busy lives and schedules and come to really invest in a work of literature that give that quiet part of me a voice at all.
When I set out to write what people have lovingly dubbed the "bromance," it was because I saw this story play out before me like a movie. I saw Scorpius ruffle Hugo's hair, I saw them wrestle in the snow, I saw them exchange sly grins when Neville exploded the canvas tent on accident and they almost died from the skewers shooting through their brains. I saw Neville being reserved but still full of sympathy for Hugo's struggles, I saw the side of his face lit up by the fire in the cerulean mornings in the semi-tropical forest, his brooding forehead and troubled eyes as he wondered why he was allowing this to happen at all, what it was in him that needed Hugo and Scorpius, too, needed the resistance of the vitality characteristic of their youth to help him revisit his own, reassure himself it had happened the right way. That he knew who he was and knew these kids could become something. There was an overwhelming pressure on him as the responsible adult. He was broody, he smiled widely when he did. I felt I /had/ to write this down. The story compelled me.
Hugo, well, he's dear to me. I tend to sort of be anti-social and I write Hugo with admiration of his willingness to march to his own beat, if you will. His flaws--of being totally oblivious--stem from this absolute truth to himself, which turns both harmful and helpful. Many of the struggles of my own youth are coming to terms with my being different, largely unknown, unpopular, nerdy, passionate, different. It sounds stupid, but I look very physically--er--remarkable for the place I live. Where everyone was tan and blond, because it was a beach town, I was incredibly white. Like white linen white. And it's dumb but I have always felt is is a physical marker of my being different than the people around me. I'm not interested in the things they are, I don't like to do what they do, I don't care about having a lot of friends, I wouldn't go to dances. Anyway. Hugo is also me coming to terms with myself. There's this whole other layer of that in this story which is unique to it from my other writing. Perhaps why, bizarrely, and against everything that I know, this story has stood out, in a way.
I'm so, so grateful for your reviews! In a way it makes me feel like it was all worth it, you know? Not only for me, but in a bigger sense. SO thank you, so much, for your time!