I really liked this! It was so creative and new and warm. It took a while to get used to because I hadn't read any Hugo-centered fics before, and certainly not one with these three in the lead, but the characters and the dynamic between them really grew on me. I loved all three of them, though it's Hugo's cheeks that I'll be pulling. :)
And his internal thoughts: brilliant! I loved his bit-by-bit calculations of What That Look Means, but his commentaries on Scorpius takes the cake:
'It hadn't occurred to him before that this might be a very horrible place for Scorpius to be again. How brave! What a Gryffindor!'
'Man, he is silent and deadly, Hugo thought, looking at Scorpius from the corner of his eye. I had no idea he was coming and then wham! he was there. And then he was gone. It was like--wow.'
And my favourite (there's nothing like random, poorly-timed, naive, misdirected concerns):
'I wonder if I made Scorpius do an illegal thing.'
Hugo becoming the secret-keeper for the lake is the perfect end to his story. I thought, when they were sitting around in Neville's office discussing whether to open the silver box, that he would say 'Quidditch! Let's play Quidditch!' or something like that, but this was so much better. And my stand-out moment was when you got Scorpius to say the line that gives this story its title. You crafted and timed it so well that when he uttered the words, I got goosebumps.
There's so much more to like- Neville and Scorpius' conversations about Hugo (having them say the same things at the same time, in one of the earlier chapters, was a neat way to establish the chemistry), Flitwick's general battiness, the unicorn ruse, the way you've titled the story. My only criticism is your use of 'anyways' because it always makes me shift in my seat a bit. But if you've written a twelve chapter story, and the only thing I've got to say against it is 'drop the s', that's pretty cool, no? :)
Thank you- I had loads of fun!
Author's Response: Ahhh. I always feel this warmth as well coming back to read reviews on this story--it's been /such/ an adventure for me, myself, and I always enjoy hearing what people thought of it. I'm sure there are other fics out in the archives that are like this but it always seems like people are coming across this as their first Hugo-centric fic. I find that interesting and a bit concerning because I've presented a quite...particular vision of him. But anyway--now to your review, which is fantastic and made me laugh several times because you're so good at understanding what I was doing with Hugo's commentary.
I think Scorpius is quite a mystery to Hugo. Here's Scorpius who's single-handedly defended the Malfoy name and restored it some of its good rep, and then, on the complete other hand, maybe even on another body, here's Hugo, who's single-handedly caused every professor to wonder whether or not the brains of Hermione Granger were all just a fantastic dream. With that in mind I had a wonderful time writing from Hugo's P.O.V. where Scorp-o in particular is concerned. You've made me actually want to go back and read my own story because I have realized by reading reviews that these characters really have become their own selves, totally outside of my own understanding or control.
"There's nothing like random, poorly-timed, naive, misdirected concerns." IT MAKES SO MUCH SENSE THAT YOU LIKE THIS FIC, THEN ♥
I won't lie and say that secret-keeper had been a plan all along. It sort of came on me half-way through one of the chapters, because I remember hardly being able to map out what would happen between then and the time I could write the secret-keeper scene. It was really emotional for me as a writer, because it meant that, one, my story was ending, and two, Hugo was finally getting what he wanted most of all, which was recognition as a viable human being with responsibility and /value/. And Scorpius /had/ to be the one to say it! He sort of balances the crazy out, though he is quite mad, in his own ways. I remember getting several reviews on that chapter where readers were telling me they finally /got it./ It was quite rewarding.
It's funny to think about now, because of course it would seem strange for Neville and Scoprius to form this bond--Neville /hated/ Draco, and vice-versa obviously--and then there's the age difference, and THEN, on top of everything, they're bonding over Hugo, /Hugo/ is the thing they have in common. It's crazy! But when I was writing it, it didn't seem that way. Flitwick became batty because I needed a reason for Neville to take matters into his own hands, so to speak, but I liked him that way and after I got some good reviews on him, it stuck. I don't know if you've seen the sequel but you obviously saw the aptly-titled "unicorn ruse," which was a LOT of fun.
I noticed that I was using "anyways" pretty early on, and then of course I've edited this story a couple times, and I don't know if there's a real reason I left it in. Actually, I'd know if there was, so there isn't one. I'm not sure, perhaps if I go through and read/edit this again I'll take it out, if only to make it easier for readers like you to read :) And yes, I think you're being a lot nicer than the story deserves in reality, but that seems to be a general trend with reviews in this story, and I'm not complaining!
Thank YOU so much for your review--it's so perceptive and well-put, I'm glad to have been able to write something that you enjoyed :)