Great chapter!! Love your use of language -- so, so much.
I'm kind of worried that the Head/Aurors' investigation of the Crows will implicate Albus in some way... :( I feel so protective of him, even though he's *supposed* to be the one that can handle himself most efficiently, the greatest wizard ever...
Hehe, everything seems in line to collide and I'm so excited! The stone of magic is such an incredible concept. I've always wondered where magic in HP came from (since in other fantasy stories, the source and impact of magic usage is such a big thing) so I'm happy you're addressing it.
When Rose wonders about being Albus' exception -- those thoughts resonated so directly with mine. Of course, Albus is the way he is and he wouldn't be half as enchanting any other way, but a part of me really hopes that she is his exception. The improved Felix Felicis and Albus' moment of doubt really warmed my heart -- you are remarkably talented with that, you know. As dark and complex as this story is, those small moments between the characters have a way of being so touching. :)
Hugo's abduction -- ooh, intriguing! I've forgotten a little about him, but I like the relationship he has with Scorpius. To me, he's always been more like Rose's son, whereas Albus fills the brother role. Sigh. I know I shouldn't love Albus as much as I do, but... it's so hard. :x He's so horribly fascinating... Hehe, so at first, I thought Albus' attempted hexing of Scorpius was more of a display of jealousy / not wanting to share Rose, but maybe it could be just him showing off a "big brother" side? In his own way. Hmm, I don't know. Maybe I'm just too pro Albus being a secretly not-so-bad-or-creepy guy. And really, I don't think he's that bad at all -- just a complex person in a time where everything came together to make him the worst possible version of himself. But maybe that's just wishful thinking, lol.
Loved the ending with Mr Walker -- it makes everything all the more real. So, I was thinking: perhaps Scorpius "is" the war because of the change his romantic inclinations elicited in Rose? I feel like Albus is the dark, Scorpius is the light, and Rose is caught in between, unsure of which way to go. Rose seems intrinsically wired to lean more towards the dark, towards Albus (though maybe it's just from a lifetime of his influence), but she definitely is the more morally principled, compared to Albus, that is, so veering towards Scorpius is very possible. That, I'm sure, wouldn't make for a very happy Albus, but could that cause a war of sorts? Could a world war threatening to destroy humanity and magic really be instigated by one young man's inability to "let go" of the only person he feels has truly "loved" him? Gosh, that sounds kind of romantic, haha -- but actually, I think because it's platonic love, the whole idea, in this situation, becomes even more heartbreaking -- and heartwarming. Of course, it's 4AM and I'm just speculating wildly and rambling by now. Still though, I want to say that I love how this story doesn't focus on romantic love (at least at this point) as its driving force -- there are arguably stronger forces than that, and I love, love, love (lol) that you seem to have stuck with that so far. "Scorpius Malfoy is the war" ... hmm, those are my current thoughts, for now! I suppose, I could also look at it in terms of how much Scorpius means to Albus, and if Rose "taking" him would cause any reverberating impact, but I haven't gotten the feeling that Albus cares that much for Scorpius, so... yeah, we'll see!
God, wow. I'm kind of embarrassed of the length of this review, but I haven't gotten this excited in a story in so long. Everything is written and explained so realistically and confidently -- I love it and believe it easily, hehe. So, I'm looking forward to the next update, and hope you have fun with college!
Author's Response: Oh my gosh this is a beautiful review Ã¢ÂÂ IÃ¢ÂÂm absolutely stunned. DONÃ¢ÂÂT EVER BE EMBARRASED FOR RAMBLING. Seriously. This just made my week Ã¯ÂÂ
I absolutely agree that are stronger forms of love than romantic loveÃ¢ÂÂforms that are equally, if not more, heart-throbbing. I like to think Clash is heart-throbbing even without a gratuitous amount of romance. If IÃ¢ÂÂm completely honest, Clash was born due to me getting sick of almost- every young adult novel/fanfic centering around romance. I wanted to challenge the clichÃÂ©. YouÃ¢ÂÂll notice that while there IS romance in Clash, itÃ¢ÂÂs kept in the background, whereas the big, reoccurring themes Ã¢ÂÂ the fear vs. expectation, life vs. death, ambition vs. call to moralityÃ¢ÂÂitÃ¢ÂÂs all centers around a very complex, very deep family relationship. IÃ¢ÂÂll even say that the HEART and SOUL of Clash is the relationship between Rose and Albus. It twists and fluctuates and shifts mood and temperature almost violently Ã¢ÂÂ and itÃ¢ÂÂs all very intentional on my part, because Clash Ã¢ÂÂ at its most fundamental Ã¢ÂÂ is the exploration of a broken, distorted family. Hmm. It sounds a bit sad when I put it like that.
I wonÃ¢ÂÂt give spoilers, but I hope you know I really enjoyed your Ã¢ÂÂwild speculationsÃ¢ÂÂ haha. And I thought they were perfectly valid guesses!
IÃ¢ÂÂm glad you enjoyed the felix felicis part Ã¢ÂÂ itÃ¢ÂÂs one of my favorites too!
Al, Rose, and Scorpius share a very interesting dynamic Ã¢ÂÂ but the conflict isnÃ¢ÂÂt exactly having to choose between the dark/wrong/Al vs. light/right/Scorp. Al and Scorp were Ã¢ÂÂmatesÃ¢ÂÂ long before Scorp started fancying Rose, and now that theyÃ¢ÂÂre all together, itÃ¢ÂÂs a bit strange (for them all haha). YouÃ¢ÂÂll see what I mean by that in upcoming chapters ;)
Thank you so much for one of the most passionate, BEST reviews IÃ¢ÂÂve gotten! Readers like you are why I keep writing haha. And I think we hold very similar views when it comes to the importance of nonromantic love ;)