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Reading Reviews for When I Go Out With You
  
95 Reviews Found

Review #26, by MuggleMaybe You Didn't Look 'Round

5th March 2016:
WHAT?!?!?!?

Oh, sorry. I'm here for the HPFF Review-A-Thon with prize review #3.
(yes, I skipped reviewing chapter 2. I'm so so sorry, but I just had to read on right away. I HAD to. It's not my fault this story is so entrancing!)

Anyway, where was I? Oh, yeah...

WHAT?!?!?

How could Ernie do that to Hannah?!? I don't like him anymore, by the way. Hannah is actually *in love* with another person, but she hasn't cheated. What a total hypocrite!

Also, his dismissal of polyamory is no good at all! Obviously. (I was guessing that was the idea here, by the way, but I'm glad you laid it out for me because I'm not super knowledgeable about these things, so that was helpful.)

You made the blow absolutely brutal here, because the beginning of this chapter is so innocent and fluffy, except for the polyamory discussion. But Ernie's response would /seem/ to suggest his own fidelity, so that also upped the impact.

NOT that she should have to choose, but I think I like her better with Susan. *throws tomatoes at Ernie*

absolutely wonderful, again.
xoxo Renee

Author's Response: Haha, I totally understand the need to rush on with such short chapters. I was just concerned at first that you hadn't read chapter three and had skipped the cute feelings chapter before jumping to the feelings that you have outlined in your review ;)

I get a cruel satisfaction out of reading peoples' reactions to the emotional roller coaster that is these first several chapters, and you do not disappoint!

This story was written with the assumption that most readers won't have much background knowledge of polyamory, so it is kind of introduced slowly as Hannah learns about it. I am glad that pacing works for you.

It is perfectly reasonable for somebody to be with more than one person but still not have to be with the jerkface.

Fun fact: Most people comment about wanting to punch Ernie. To my knowledge you are the first who has thrown tomatoes.

Sam.


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Review #27, by cherry_pop94 Fools Rush In

5th March 2016:
Hello! Here for the HPFF Review-A-Thon!

I love this! The lyrics fit so well with this story too. The opening line is perfect. My heart melted a little bit. I could just imagine the shock, the surprise, the breathy way they say each other's names. And then the sound of those words, the taste of Susan's name on Hannah's tongue. It must be wonderful. Oh to be young and in love.

It's incredible how much you've fit into this very short opening chapter. I feel so much history between these two women, such a long path together. They've seen war together, they've grown up together, and it's abundantly clear that they care for each other a lot.

I do wonder why they haven't seen each other in five years. They just slipped back into what seems to me like routine so quickly. There's no animosity in their meeting, just love. They have such fond memories of each other too. Hannah is clearly smitten. So I do wonder what drove them apart for so long. Surely not just the tendency to lose touch with friends after school has finished.

I can't wait to read more of this!

Stefanie

Author's Response: Hey Stefanie, thanks so much for stopping by! (and so quickly too!)

That's my secret plan with this story: melt people's hearts so they are malleable and I can do whatever I want with them. =D

I also really like your comments on the lyrics. The music plays a huge part in this story, both in setting the plot and the tone for each chapter.

Sam.


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Review #28, by MuggleMaybe Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows

5th March 2016:
Here for the HPFF Review-A-Thon with prize review #2

Yeah, you go Hannah! I already love her, Sam. :D

The relationship between her and Ernie is really sweet. I have to confess that it feels sort of, I don't know, simple? Not in a general sense, but in contrast with the depth of affection you created between Hannah and Susan. That could be deliberate on your part, in which case I think it's expertly done. And she does seem to really like him and be excited about seeing him. The playful banter between them was quirky and cute and also believable.

And then there's this exchange, where you tell us so much more than meets the eye:
“I’d like to see her again.” I speak timidly, a hint of a question in my voice.
“Well, sure.” He turns to take out plates for dinner. “It’s not like you have to ask permission to see your friends.”

Her nervous desire to see Susan, his failure to realize the depth of that desire (although I love him for his response)... it's setting the stage for something.

Ernie is different from how I remember him from cannon, but that's fine. We hardly know him at all from cannon. He seems light-hearted and I like that... Hannah seems to like it too. ;)

I am SO SO INTERESTED to see where this is heading.
xoxo Renee

Author's Response: There is very definitely a contrast here between her relationship with Susan.

On one front, she is just developing feelings for Susan, so the energy is very different than it is with Ernie, who she has been with for years. Also, he personalities of Ernie and Susan are very different, which is a definite factor. Also, on a writing level, I took the tone for this chapter from the title song, which has a VERY different energy than the first chapter's song.

I am really glad you like Hannah so much! There is a bit of neutrality about her, but I'm glad that can be done in a way that makes readers still like and relate to her.

People have very different reactions to this chapter, and I LOVE reading them all. Yours is certainly no exception.

Sam.


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Review #29, by MuggleMaybe Fools Rush In

5th March 2016:
Hello Sam! I'm here for the HPFF Review-A-Thon with the first of your 4 prize reviews.

You know what this chapter is like? It's like a single piece of good chocolate. Sweet - but not too sweet. Nuanced enough to be worth savoring. And, far too fleeting.

In other words, I liked it :P

I haven't read very much femslash, really, but I've enjoyed all of what I have read, so I'm really excited to read some more now! *Especially* if every chapter is as brilliant as this one.

I mean, your WORDS, Sam!
"The words fall from our lips like petals from flowers that have gone untouched for too long."
Just. Beautiful.

You know that writerly saying "show don't tell"? I think this is a perfect example of mastering that adage. You never tell us their backstory, but you don't need to, or at least not yet. The touches and tremors and magnetism between them, show us exactly what they mean to each other without you having to tell us a thing.

I am seriously so impressed. 10/10, easily.

xoxo Renee

Author's Response: Yay!

Thank you so much. First off, I am super flattered that you said you hoped this is the story I wanted you to read.

Chocolate! That's a wonderful metaphor for it. Though to me this chapter has a very fluid texture. Maybe it's more like hot fudge... Now I'm hungry.

Welcome to my AP, where femslash is everything =D

Thank you for YOUR words

I have always struggled with description, not being a very visual person, and tend to prioritize focusing on character's emotions. In this past year I've been trying to focus on marrying the two, and I think this chapter is a successful product of that.

Thank you again, I'm really excited to see your future reactions. Also, the first four chapters... Well, you'll see.

Sam.


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Review #30, by princesslily_36 Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows

5th March 2016:
Hello again!

FOR THE HPFF REVIEW-A-THON

Ernie Macmillan? That's who she's with? Darn, I was shipping Hannah/Susan after the wonderful feel of the previous chapter.

Ahh dear Ernie, just as pompous as ever. You know as I read his speech about the meal, the image of a romantic Percy Weasley popped into my head LOL!

We can see the tinge of guilt in Hannah when she confesses to meeting Susan... and that turning into a special kind of joy that one realizes when they like someone - the need to talk about them A LOT. Been there!

I'm still curious as to why they hadn't seen each other since graduation... And, her feelings here clearly show that she isn't resisting Ernie's love, and she does indeed seem to be reciprocating it, while definitely having some strong feelings for Susan.

I still love your style of writing, and how your words just flow into one another.

I'm interested to know how this will pan out :D

Ysh

Author's Response: Yes.

And yes.

And yes.

That's all.

Okay, you've got me, I also love Percy Weasley, and may have been playing off that precious pompousness a little bit here.

I don't want to give too much away, so I'm going to just sit back and rub my fingers together as I wait to see what you say.

Sam.


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Review #31, by princesslily_36 Fools Rush In

5th March 2016:
Hello!

Ysh here from the forums FOR THE HPFF REVIEW-A-THON

This doesn't feel like 500 words at all! You have managed to convey SO MUCH in them. I loved how it opened with the stanza 'Fools rush in...' because the rest of the chapter felt like a poem as well.

I like how Hannah's thoughts in the first paragraph flow from the bigger things they did together to the smaller details about Susan. I like how you built up the sensuality between the two of them... there was something so subtle yet aching about the build up that Hannah felt.

You have set the scene without actively setting it. Without explicitly stating it, you have said exactly where this takes place without taking away focus from Hannah's feelings and emotions.

Some lines I loved are:

her lips parted just wide enough for a shadow of breath to steadily seep through - It took me a second to realize that you were just talking about breathing. I mean, wow. Just, wow.

The words fall from our lips like petals from flowers that have gone untouched for too long. - What a wonderful way to say how much they mean to each other, or how beautiful their names sounded to each other while drawing attention to the fact that they hadn't met in a while.

I could go on finding lines like this. Amazing chapter! Off to the next one now!!

Ysh

Author's Response: Hello!

Thank you for your kind words, and your fearless crusading for reviews!

The lyrics from each chapter of this story are all from Lesley Gore, who was a fabulous pop singer in the 1960s and a huge inspiration for this story. I greatly based the plot of the story off of the songs, and the tone of the chapters also match the title songs.

I am a sucker for subtle sensuality, yes.

"just talking about breathing" XD haha, thanks

Yay, I'm really glad you like this so far, and I'm really curious about what you'll think about what's to come!

Sam.


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Review #32, by esmeraude You Didn't Look 'Round

2nd March 2016:
NO NO NO NO NO.

I know I've read this already, but that doesn't make my sad feels feel any less sad, or alleviate my current desire to punch Ernie in the face.

Even though Hannah and Ernie's relationship is traditional with Hannah staying at home (doing what?) and Ernie going off to work, I like that you've written them having fun and banter with each other, because that arrangement does work for some people. That said, good relationships are based on good communication and Ernie shutting Hannah down when she brings up the subject of Susan and polyamory is so wrong.

I remember the first time reading this, when I couldn't help feeling like Ernie refusing to even acknowledge that polyamory exists suggested that he had something to hide, and then that was (sadly) proved right. In the last chapter, Susan was talking about her lifestyle being the choice of freedom, and you've shown how Ernie is the complete opposite -- he could have, in theory, had poly relationships with Hannah and Norma, but he took that choice away from Hannah by having the relationship with Norma behind her back, without her knowledge. And he's a douche for that.

You wrote Hannah's pain beautifully, in the ending when she was waiting for Ernie to look at her and make excuses but he didn't. The fact that Hannah hasn't even been to the Ministry for two months clearly suggests that the issues with her and Ernie have been going on for longer than she admits.

We're two thousand words into this story, and yet it feels like we're halfway into a novel because there's so much beautiful emotion, and you've contrasted Hannah and Ernie and Susan beautifully -- Hannah, uneasy about lying to Ernie; Ernie, not caring that he's lying to Hannah; Susan, who has no need to lie.

I'm also loving these alternate chapters of Susan/Ernie (and I'm assuming Neville if we're keeping this canon) because it's keeping a healthy balance between the two most important people in Hannah's (romantic) life.

And onwards to the next chapter!

Author's Response: HAHAHA, it's good to know that repeated reads don't lessen peoples' desire to punch Ernie in the face! It's definitely a theme in the reviews for this chapter XD

Look at your analysis, making me look all smart!

And yes, it sometime really amazes me how few words this story is when it feels like so much happens, and I love it!

(I also love you)


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Review #33, by esmeraude It's A Happening World

2nd March 2016:
Aw. ♥ What a lovely insight into Hannah and Susan and their not-quite relationship. Our headcanons are quite different with regard to these characters, but nevertheless, I love the way you've portrayed them -- especially Susan. Even though this story is told from Hannah's perspective, and there's a little bit of bias on her part, Susan's personality comes across to the reader nonetheless.

I live by the choice of freedom. You are living by the choice of exclusivity.

This line sums her up beautifully. There's this real sense that Susan is truly an independent woman, not needing anyone else, and there's this beautiful sense of freedom that's evident in everything Susan says and does, and Hannah wants that freedom so badly, but she's not yet ready to make that choice consciously.

I'm guessing that Susan is poly, judging from the hints dropped here, and that Hannah, with her love for Ernie and her blossoming attraction to Susan, is also poly although she doesn't realise it yet -- and I think what's holding her back is that she got with Ernie as an exclusive couple, so now having a new ~thing~ with Susan is throwing her off because the rules have changed with both relationships (because Ernie really needs to be told, no matter how much of a douche is) and she's still coming to terms with that (and now I'm rambling nonsensically, I'm so sorry, I'll shut up now).

This chapter mirrors the first one very much -- although not much happens physically, so much happens emotionally, and you've written that so brilliantly and so beautifully that it's captivated me as a reader. ♥

Author's Response: You are way too kind (I say in a totally not complaining way)

I definitely get that this is different than almost everybody's head canons for these characters, and it is really great that people can adapt to different interpretations.

I am really glad you like that line. It's one of those moments in this story that I fear comes across as a little too preachy/didactic, but I'm glad you think it works so well

Yes, all the poly. I wouldn't necessarily say that Hannah was poly without knowing it before meeting Susan. I view it more as a choice of relationship style than an orientation, but I know people have different ways of thinking about it.

You're not nonsensical at all!

I really enjoyed playing with the emotional tones of the chapters, and I definitely used the music as a big guide there. I really liked using these first three chapters to create a strong stylistic difference between Hannah's relationships with Susan and Ernie.


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Review #34, by esmeraude Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows

2nd March 2016:
Wow. This chapter is so different, compared to the previous chapter, yet I can still see parts of Hannah's personality that I saw when she was with Susan -- especially the beginning, when she's drifting home high on happy feels with the taste of peppermint cocoa on her lips ♥

I couldn't help giggling as I read Ernie's overly-posh speech as he described their meal. It was such a sweet encounter between them (but having read this story before, I'm already sad at what's to come). I couldn't help feeling sorry for poor Hannah when she spoke about seeing Susan -- she's feeling guilty even though she didn't act on her feelings, but there's the hint that she's missed Susan when she admits she feels happy to have a reason to talk about her. It feels like Susan, and whatever happened in the past, has been put in a metaphorical locked box and never discussed, and that really isn't healthy for a relationship despite the happy exteriors that both Hannah and Ernie maintain. :( It's chapter two, and even though they're happy (right now) and Hannah thinks it, there are subtle cracks in their relationship that you've shown so cleverly without making it blatantly obvious and waving it in front of the reader's face.

Your writing is brilliant and I can't believe I missed out on it for so long until our swap, because it's fantastic. Even though I'm not familiar with Lesley Gore or the songs you're using, I can feel a certain musicality in your chapters, all the ups and downs in such a short piece of writing. SHARE YOUR TALENT, SAM. ♥

Author's Response: I didn't realize you had read this before, in which case thank you so much for coming back and taking the time to re-read ad review it. It really means a lot to me.

And also in that case, I really plan to get to posting more chapters soon (in which soon is a fairly relative term). I've been really struggling with motivation, but I really love this story and your feedback is really helping motivate me.

I really like how you caught on about the cracks in their relationship. This chapter has such a bright high energy, that it can be hard to see through that exterior with so few words, but that also says something about their relationship.

omg, listen to Lesley Gore. If you search "When I Go Out With You Dojh167" on youtube, you'll find a playlist of all the songs used here.

Again, thank you so much. My ego definitely needs your lovely flattery right now.


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Review #35, by esmeraude Fools Rush In

2nd March 2016:
Sam!! I'm so sorry for the lateness in our review swap (expect a PM at some point tonight explaining things properly) but I'm here now and determined to make up for my lateness!

Your opening chapter flows so poetically that it's like water; there are absolutely no pauses, but just endless beautiful words. Even though you've written a scene where two characters are stationary, having just met after five years, there's so much emotion from Hannah's perspective that right off the bat, we get to know so much about her, and it's brilliant.

You've left so many questions unanswered here, such as why Hannah and Susan lost touch after the war, and whether this meeting in Diagon Alley was planned or accidental, that I'm compelled to read on to find out what happens. In 500 words, you've made me love Hannah, actually feel her emotions, and invest myself into this story, all in five hundred words. You should be proud of yourself for writing such a fabulous opening chapter, Sam. ♥

*runs to the next chapter frantically*

Author's Response: Agh, thank you so much!

I haven't been very active for a while, so I was very surprised to see two new reviews! I had totally forgotten that we had done a swap, so no worries at all.

And better yet, you chose my favorite story to review! I both love writing this story, and love following everyone's reactions to it. And every one of your reactions makes me glow and blush!

So many hugs to you!

*runs to next review frantially*


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Review #36, by FireOpalQueen It's A Happening World

4th December 2015:
Oh, Sam! This chapter is so lovely! It might be my favourite among them all - but then again I don’t have to choose, yay! : )

(By the way, I have given up leaving reviews in anything approaching a timely manner, you’ll just get one every now and then when I have the time. That’s just how it is.)

This is a beautiful scene based on a beautiful song, filled with beautiful lines. My favourite lines (from the chapter, not the song, haha) are “At first I thought it was as if no time had bad passed since we had parted ways at Hogwarts. But that is not it at all. So much time has passed, and in that time we have somehow grown into people who fit so seamlessly together. Whatever it is that we have now, it is totally new.” Wonderfully expressed! It captures the mix of the old friendship and the new, well, ‘thing’ perfectly. : )

As always in this story I feel like I’m right /there/ with Hannah and Susan when I read it. There’s something about the way you use language that just pulls the reader in completely. (And speaking about language – I love the subtle play of simplicity versus complexity that you have going in this chapter.) Sentences like “She leans towards me, stopping my breath short as I take in her face, her hair, her breasts.” put me right into Hannah’s shoes and I find myself blushing from Susan’s closeness even though she’s just words on a screen, haha! Like, I get those little crush-tingles in my cheeks and chest reading this, so you’ve definitely captured the sense of new love perfectly.

And the conversation between Hannah and Susan! Ah, it’s so sweet and heartbreaking at the same time. “I can’t love you.” “You feel what you feel. There’s no putting rules to that.” Aaah, perfect! And so true! Susan is very wise. : )

And man, it must have been so hard to choose just three lines from this song to quote, it’s so amazing! It has a bit more of a mature sound than the two earlier songs you’ve used, but it’s still so happy and after all you can be as young as you want to be! : P The song is truly timeless too, in a way some of the others aren’t – I’ve been listening to it on repeat for like an hour now, haha.

There is a sense of endless possibility in the song – all those lines about throwing convention away, wearing crazy clothes and staying out all night – and it is echoed perfectly in the story. I love the way you repeat the word ‘possibility’(/‘possibilities’) almost like a charm towards the end of the story. It’s mentioned thrice, and each time it’s just like Hannah inches a little closer to the edge. Soon she’ll be ready to jump into the free fall of endless possibilities and love.

Yes, Hannah! Jump! It’s a happening world, let it happen to you now!

Much love,
/Kapa

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Review #37, by TreacleTart Lilacs and Violets

22nd November 2015:
Hello Sam,

How can I show up on your page and see two new chapters and not review them both? You know that isn't possible, so here I am again.

This chapter is a really lovely contrast to the previous one. You did a beautiful job of writing the heartbreak of losing a lover and that hopelessness that follows. Susan's despair is quite clear and really makes me ache for her.

I love that Hannah doesn't try to console her with hollow words, but simply crawls into bed with her and holds her. I know that when I'm feeling my worst, often that's all I want, so to me this scene seemed incredibly realistic.

I do have to admit that I'd never given a whole lot of thought to the end of a relationship in a polyamorous situation. This is probably going to sound stupid and woefully uninformed, but I think I sort of assumed it might not be so bad because there were other lovers to fall back on, but I realize now that that misses the point completely. Susan loves each of her lovers and each of them is unique and special. There are things that Charice offers that Hannah does not and vice versa.

As always, you've written another brilliant chapter. I found this one to be possibly the most moving one so far. You really write loss well.

Good work!

~Kaitlin

Author's Response: Yay, two reviews! You're too sweet. Also, I'm crafty and write short chapters.

This chapter actually ended up being extremely different from what I had planned. It was supposed to be very jubilant, but as I looked again at my outline it seemed to play a very similar role to another upcoming chapter, and although these are all little snippet of life type chapters, I still want them to serve a purpose to move the story along. So, naturally, I broke Susan's heart.

Your points about breakup in a polyamorous situation are very astute. It's true that it's often not as devastating as on a monogamous relationship, which is something that was touched on in a conversation between these two after the Ernie breakup. However, you are totally right about how each relationship is unique, and can feel like a real loss if it ends. Particularly for someone like Susan, who prefers to maintain intimate connections throughout her life, having one of those people choose to walk out of her life can be very painful. Another thing that is very unique to polyamorous relationships is how they can effect a whole network of people. Here Hannah is experiencing the breakup and pain quite intimately, although she was not directly involved. And, as she's experiencing that, it would also effect anyone she's involved with.

Thank you very much for your compliments on this chapter. It doesn't feel like anything else I've written, and while I've written other breakups this does have an honesty and poignancy that feels new to me.

You're wonderful. Thank you for all the things.

Sam.


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Review #38, by TreacleTart You Name It

22nd November 2015:
Hey Sam!

Here for our review swap! And once again, there are new chapters to this story! Yay!

I was very interested to see how you would work Neville into this and I have to say you sort of reversed what I expected. Up until this point, Hannah's been gaining confidence. Now with him, she seems like she's once again nervous. The thing that's healthier is in this scenario than the one with Ernie is that even though she feels shy, she still speaks up. She isn't under any pressure not to be herself.

Neville was also a surprise. For most of cannon, he's shy, insecure, and sort of awkward. In the last book, we see him start to really blossom and become a hero, but I always imagine that he would've retained a bit of that innocence or self-doubt, so to me it was shocking to see him so straight forward and confident. I suppose that if he can slay a massive poisonus snake, then telling his feelings to a girl are probably no problem.

I really like that he already knows a bit about polyamory because of Luna. She's definitely the type of person I'd imagine being in a polyamorous relationship and I think that would give Neville some good context. It also is a nice writing trick because it keeps you from having to explain the concept all over again since you already did it in the beginning.

I did catch one tiny typo in this.

I can’t but smile – I can’t help but smile.

All in all, another good chapter.

~Kaitlin

Author's Response: Hello Kaitlin!

I've been working on this story pretty regularly and tweeting when I post another chapter, which at this point is about every other day. I'm trying to write something every day, and this story is just so easy to write.

Part of the reason I took such a long break from this story before introducing Neville was I didn't really know how to write him. I finally got him to make sense to me as thinking of him as having a calm and solid confidence, and being a man of careful thought and few words. I definitely think that he gained a lot of confidence in Deathly Hallows, and to me his underlying personality traits of being shy and awkward manifest themselves in his way of only speaking when he really has something worth saying, which contrasts in what we see of Hannah here, and I find that contrast between them quite endearing. I hope that some of that comes across alright and that he is believable as a character.

In my headcanon Luna is always polyamorous. Also, I don't know if you've read my companion piece,but it features Luna and Susan.

Also, yay for writing tricks! Still, this is Neville's first attempt at getting involved in a poly romance himself, so there will certainly be a learning curve.

Thanks for pointing out the typo - editing it in now!

Thanks for the swap =)

Sam.


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Review #39, by Veritaserum27 Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows

21st November 2015:
Hello!

I'm back for the second chapter. So I've seen on the forums that you're interested in polyamory and exposing more readers to that genre. As such, this chapter didn't surprise me as much. It's not that I was expecting Hannah to run home to Ernie, but it makes sense as part of her character. I'm wondering if Ernie isn't polyamorous because he didn't think that Hannah was asking him if it was okay for her to see Susan in the romantic sense, more as a friend. This could get really interesting between that couple. This chapter wasn't as flowery with the language and I really loved that you have a completely different tone when you're writing the Hannah/Susan pairing than with Hannah/Ernie. It really came through that they have a different type of relationship - still passionate, caring and deep - but the way you chose to write the chapter brought the reader into a different world - fantastic job!

♥ Beth

Author's Response: Hooray, a second review!

A lot of readers where surprised by this chapter, so it's good to see the reaction of somebody who wasn't.

I definitely want this story to be accessible to people who aren't familiar with polyamory, so readers are really going through a journey with Hannah here.

I am also glad that you appreciate the difference in tone between the chapters and characters. I think it is very important to recognize that each relationship always has its own unique function and tone and everything. I also try to match the tone of each chapter to the song the lyrics are from, which is part of what makes each chapter so focused and intense in its own way.

Again, thank you for the two fabulous reviews!

Sam.


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Review #40, by Veritaserum27 Fools Rush In

21st November 2015:
Hi there Sam!

I figured it was high time I got around to reviewing one of your stories... and then Erica posted the twitter challenge and it seemed like fate. But. W.O.W. I had no idea what I was getting into when I clicked on this. Your words are like prose and so, so beautiful. Each phrase was an absolute delight to come across. Some authors use descriptions to embellish their story and it feels a bit false, but your words tell the story and make the reader a part of it. It was such a short chapter too, but at the end of it, I felt like I had gone through enough emotions that I needed to take a breath. I love the Hannah/Susan ship and I can't wait to see what's in store for me in the next chapter.

♥ Beth

Author's Response: Aw, thank you so much! It's flattering to know that I'm even on peoples' radar who haven't read my stories, and I'm glad you made it over now! I absolutely love reading peoples' reviews for this story, both because it is so fun to watch them go through the intensity of emotions, and because with the short intense chapters, they can't seem to keep from getting hooked!

Thank you very much for your compliments on my description. Description is actually something that I've always really struggled with, as I am not a very visual person myself, so description often seems to just take up space to me, which is why I trained myself to really focus my words and make sure that things I am describe contribute to the emotion of the story and characters. It seems to work!

That's a good way of putting it, that even after such a short chapter you needed a breath.. They're kind of undiluted.

Yay, I'm glad you like the ship!

Thank you so much for the review!

Sam.


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Review #41, by TreacleTart Sometimes I Wish I Were A Boy

15th November 2015:
Hey Sam!

Woohoo! 3 chapters in one evening! *does a happy dance* So if you can't tell, I really adore this story.

Let me start this by saying that I dislike Sally-Anne. I personally am a big fan of girls approaching/asking out boys and I know many guys appreciate not always having to make the first move. To hell with Sally-Anne's patriarchy!

I giggled when Hannah finally did approach Neville. "Do you want to, like, um, maybe date me?" was the best pick up line ever. I'm absolutely certain that Neville wasn't expecting that and I'm sort of sad that you cut this off before I could see his reaction.

I also adored Hannah's thoughts on the patriarchy and am thoroughly excited to hear her tell Susan about the whole thing. I imagine they'll have a good giggle over Sally-Anne and her antiquated thoughts.

Now, go write like the wind because I want to know what's going to happen next! :D

Good job Sam.

~Kaitlin

Author's Response: If you can't tell, I adore your adoration of this story. Thank you so much for your wonderful reviews and encouragement.

Yeah, Sally-Anne... About the second time she giggled I decided that she was kind of a mini-Umbridge, minus the political ambition and having no soul bit.

Hannah's nervousness, and her courage in the face of those nerves is part of what makes me love her so much in this chapter. Major points for best pick up line!

I know it's cruel that I don't show my readers all the details, but I think that keeping the chapters so short makes the moments that we do get even more delicious.

For giving me three reviews today, you get a spoiler: Susan will not appear in the next chapter, but there is a high likelihood of Neville saying a full sentence.

Super thanks again!

Sam.


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Review #42, by TreacleTart Run Bobby Run

15th November 2015:
Hello again!

I simply couldn't resist running over here to check out the next chapter.

Oooh. So Hannah has a thing for Neville and Susan is giving her advice on how to break the ice. It's really great that they can be so open and honest with each other about their desires. People are so conditioned to be monogamous that it's almost hard for me to imagine things working this way, but I love that sometimes they do.

I am curious to see how Neville reacts to all of this. He seems the type to be a bit intimidated by relationships in the first place, so I don't know how I imagine him taking the idea of a polyamorous situation. I hope for Hannah's sake that he'll take it well.

I am feeling a bit torn here because I wonder how cannon compliant this will be. Is Hannah going to meet and fall for Neville and then forget Susan? Or will she find a way to keep both of the people she loves? I really hope it's the later because Susan just seems so right for her.

Another lovely chapter. MAKE SURE YOU TELL ME WHEN YOU POST THE NEXT ONE!

~Kaitlin

Author's Response: Two reviews? I'm the luckiest winner girl. Thank you.

Susan has been polyamorous for many years, so this kind of thing comes pretty naturally to her, and of course she loves watching Hannah blush and fumble over herself.

I also see Neville as a bit of a conservative type, but he also has a very caring heart and, well, you'll just have to wait and see. Silly me, being so excited to have reviews that I almost give away spoilers.

As cruel as it sounds, I’m kind of glad that you feel torn, because it shows that you really care about my characters.

I WILL POST THE NEXT CHAPTER SOON. I'll tell you on twitter.

Thank you again so much for the lovely reviews.

Sam.


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Review #43, by TreacleTart One By One

15th November 2015:
Hey Sam!

I'm here for our review swap! AND CAN I JUST SAY THAT I'M SO EXCITED THAT THERE ARE MORE CHAPTERS OF THIS! WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN AND WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME?!

Ok...deep breath.

Hannah and Susan are so adorable together. The image of the two of them dancing across the dance floor really resonates with me and I feel really happy that Susan has brought this open free feeling to Hannah. The more that I see them together the more I think they are so perfect for each other at this point in time.

I loved the observation about watching her partner flirt without feeling any jealousy. This is the stuff that strong relationships are made of. It must be so nice for Hannah to not have to worry or feel like she needs to control the situation.

I'm also intrigued by Neville's appearance at the end of this chapter.

As always, your writing was flawless and lovely. Good work here! I'm going to go read the next chapter right now!

~Kaitlin

Author's Response: Yay, I knew you would come straight for this story and the all caps enthusiasm is so contagious!

Susan and Hannah are just the best, I know. They’re pretty much never not the best. It’s a little unfair, but nobody’s complaining.

I just wrote the next chapter earlier this week, and I am hoping to have another one up tonight so stay tuned! Now that I’m finally focusing on new Nevilley segment of the story I’m hoping to get quite a few more chapters up soon.

Sam.


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Review #44, by Shinicha One By One

2nd September 2015:
This is a wonderful story, I love it so far!

I can tell you put a lot of thought into melting all the feelings into your beautiful sentences, and the effect is perfect; they're not too long, they're not too pretentious but still highly unusual!

I can't wait for your Neville!

Author's Response: Hello!

Thank you very much for taking the time to review this. And, of course, read it! I always assume the only people reading my stories are those reviewing, so it's a bit of a nice surprise when an unexpected review appears in a late chapter! I am really glad to hear that you like the way I weave emotions into my words. I look forward to hearing what you think once Neville gets involved!

Sam.


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Review #45, by alicia and anne Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows

30th August 2015:
I already feel so happy because of the lyrics to this song :D So happy and full of joy and wonderful things!

Oh yummy! Peppermint cocoa!

This is just so happy! and so fluffy and I really can't stop smiling right now :D

And that just sounds like the finest feast in the whole world! I am a little jealous right now! :P

They are so adorable in this and I love how happy they are and how the greet each other.

This was such a sweet chapter and so full of fluff!

Seriously I can't stop smiling, and I absolutely love the way that you've incorporated the lyrics. They fit incredibly well into this chapter!

Keep up the fabulous work and I will be back to read your beautiful work soon!

Author's Response: Aw, I'm so flattered that you came back to this story without me asking.

Your reactions are a joy to read, hehe! This is probably the fluffiest thing I've ever written, which is unusual for me, but it was very fun. In a way it is fluff with a purpose, because of how it fits int the larger story, but it has gotten me to consider writing pure fluff.

Thank you again, and good luck with your reviewing today!

Sam.


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Review #46, by FireOpalQueen Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows

24th August 2015:
It turns out that ‘better late than never’ probably should be my motto for Review-writing. Oh well, I’m here now! (And again, spoilers ahead in this review!) (Oh, and er, one tiny thing, before I begin… shouldn’t the last line be “I *** love /you/ too.”?)

The two opening sentences to this chapter are such a lovely follow up to chapter 1. The taste of peppermint cocoa becomes a sort of stand in for Susan, and when Ernie tastes it on Hannah’s lips later it’s a bit reminiscent of the ‘smelling the other woman’s perfume’ or whatever trite cheating trope – but Hannah hasn’t cheated, even though she has to remind herself that she’s done nothing wrong. This sets up a very subtle comparison between this relationship and a good, working poly relationship, where (as I got to see in my special special sneak peak of chapter nine) partners are supportive of their lovers’ reaching out to new possible loves. Here, Hannah feels vaguely guilty just because she felt something intense for someone else, and she hasn’t even acted on it.

I actually felt really odd about this chapter on my first read through. A lot of reviewers mention how happy and bubbly it is, but I just felt pretty uncomfortable about it without being able to put my finger exactly on why. Like, I couldn’t tell what I was supposed to feel about Ernie/Hannah. Or, well, I knew I felt iffy about the housewife/breadwinner dynamic that is somewhat in play here, though with a ‘superstructure’ of modern gender relations so to speak… Like, it’s clear that Ernie fixing up dinner is not a common occurrence but an extra treat and he makes a suuuper big deal about it but in a ‘joking’ way and… ew. I’m sure this Ernie has redeeming qualities and I was prepared for him being redeemed, but no. Nope. Do not want. (This also explains Hannah later, according to Pottermore and whatever, wavering between careers – she spent a lot of time not working at all and has some catching up to do. Huh…)

Another more ‘tangible’ thing that makes me uncomfortable in this chapter I how well you capture that awkward sense of trying to get ‘back in the mood’ after something kills it – like Hannah’s mention of Susan does here. In this happy, bubbly chapter the awkward middle is a hint of what’s to come – and Ernie’s line “It’s not like you have to ask permission to see your friends” smacks uncomfortably of ‘

Also, to be completely honest, my very, very first reaction when reading this chapter for the first time was “Ernie!? Did you mean to write Neville?” and then “Oh god /if/ you meant Neville this wasn’t at all what I was imagining when I agave you that prompt!” and then I read on and was like “Oh, right, no, you obviously know what you’re doing, I should have more faith in you.” Er… haha. Oh well, rest assured that I by now have perfect faith in you knowing what you’re doing with this amazing story! (But let’s not get ahead of ourselves…)

And once again the song was very well chosen for the chapter. I mean, it might be that I’m just listening to the song in light of the story and reading into it because of that, but when I do I can’t help thinking that the song is kinda ‘empty’. The whole ‘sunshine, lollipops and rainbows’ thing seems a little /rote/, like yes, yes here’s a list of metaphors for having a great time but there’s /only/ metaphors, nothing tangible about what makes the relationship so great…

I also love the contrast between the line “just to know that you are mine” in this chapter’s song and very name the song that the story as a whole is based on – You Don’t Own Me! Obviously this song doesn’t work for a relationship where the partners don’t view themselves as ‘owning’ each other. And the bit about love being here to stay turns pretty bitter in your mouth when you know what happens later in this story, ehehehe…

Also, I mean, the line “that’s how this refrain goes, so come on join in everybody” could be read as an acknowledgement that this refrain is so extremely vague that it’s applicable to everyone – and no one! And the fact that the refrain ‘goes like’ that also doesn’t mean that it’s true, does it? Hasn’t Ernie and Hannah’s life together become an old refrain about happiness that they know by heart and take as true just because they’ve sung it together so many times. Sort of like how you write “I weave my hands into his, our fingers locking into their familiar position together. So comfortable, so complete.”

Ernie and Hannah are both projecting this sort of ‘perfect, true, monogamous love’ onto their life, even though they both know it’s not completely true; Ernie is cheating on Hannah, and Hannah is ‘straying’ as well. Even if their relationship actually /were/ ‘love that’s here to stay’ they’d have to work through those things to get to a point where they don’t have to hide things from each other and project a happiness that isn’t fully there. (But life is messy, too, and I’m not saying that their lived truth isn’t that they’re happy in this moment – just that to be happy in this moment they have to suppress some other things.)

All in all a chapter that I don’t love re-reading because it makes me feel weird, but does it’s job as subtly setting up the coming Hannah/Ernie conflict really, really well while still showing what was good with their relationship. I mean, I focus on the negative here, but I do believe that they were generally happy together and that the relationship would have been worth salvaging if they’d both been prepared to do the work. And also all the other reviewers focused on the good parts so I had to be a sort of counterweight, haha.

/Kapa

Author's Response: Your reviews are the absolute best, I can't even.

First off, thanks for pointing out the typo in the last sentence. Leave it to me to leave out key words in sentences. No matter how many times I read over it, I still think it's there. Editing now.

I really love the peppermint cocoa motif. In chapter one it is something that Hannah associates with her schooldays with Susan before this attraction blossomed, but it has a new context here. Because she associates it so heavily with Susan, having the taste of it on her lips seems much more intimate than it really is, which is really interesting to me.

I find your insight into this chapter really, really interesting. There are several things I was trying to do with it. First off, I wanted to emotionally set things up for readers who are not familiar with polyamory. After that romantic first chapter, I know readers expect to see more of Hannah and Susan. Once they find out that this chapter is about Ernie, monogamy-minded readers expect this chapter to be rife with drama and angst. To crush those expectations I wanted to keep as much of that drama out as possible, and show that Hannah really is naturally predisposed to have a full and boundless love. What she just experienced with Susan does not contradict or undermine what she has with Ernie and vice-versa. And of course, I wanted to set up that this is a relationship with very strong domestic roles, and get a bit of Ernie's hidden personality in.

Everything you point out that disquiets you about this chapter is positively spot on. It is written with a lot of exuberant joy, just as the song is, and yet that joy definitely has a superficial element to it. I love that you were grossed out by Ernie's dinner facade. Totally there with you. I was concerned that readers would think I had poorly characterized Ernie by showing him so positively here in contrast to what's to come, and I was actually surprised that nobody has said anything like that. Perhaps they subtly picked up on what bothered you about him here after all.

I so deeply love how analytical you are getting with my song choice. I don't think most other readers think about the songs that much (or even listen to them), but I certainly do. Sometimes it was super hard to choose which lyrics to include because so much of the song applies. The songs played a huge role in establishing the arc of the story, as in they pretty much did it for me. There's also the fact that when I write these chapters I listen to the song on repeat, so yes, it's a huge influence.

As I started writing them, particularly with the context of Lesley Gore and the 1960's, I couldn't help but build them into an archetypal domestic relationship (which also was definitely manifested in You Didn't Look Round and Hannah's discovery of the secretary). To me it really speaks to the fact that even today the ideals that we have for monogamous relationships are so rooted in broken traditions and expectations.

I think that Hannah is certainly happy with Ernie, but it's a bit of a blind happiness. It's a happiness and a love that depends heavily on a great many rules and expectations. On one level there is the expectation of monogamy, but beyond that there are the many subtle expectations of how Hannah is supposed to behave in the housewife role, and the microaggresions that Ernie perpetrates to keep her submissive.

Much love!

Sam.


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Review #47, by CassiePotter One By One

2nd August 2015:
Neville! I'm so glad he's come into the story! And in such a lovely chapter, too!
I loved this chapter. It was just so peaceful and happy. Hannah is away from Ernie and free to be with Susan, who she knows loves her. I loved the moment where she saw Susan flirting but wasn't jealous. I think it really shows how strong their relationship is, and how much they really love and trust one another. And also that Hannah is really coming to understand what polyamory is.
And now that Neville is here, he and Hannah can be cute, too, and everyone can just live happily ever after yay.
I love, love, love this story and can't wait for another chapter! This is some really great writing, Sam!
Cassie :)

Author's Response: Hehehe, yes I thought you'd be happy to see him.

Your reactions are the absolute best. I really need to get on writing more chapters so that I can get more flattery and joy from reading your reviews.

Sam.


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Review #48, by alicia and anne Fools Rush In

28th July 2015:
Hello!! :D

Oh a Susan story! I don't think I've read a Susan story? So I am pretty excited right now.

That is such a beautiful line! about words falling from their lips like petals from flowers! *in love*

Awww I am shipping them two so hard right now! All of those lingering touches and looks at each other just makes me want to yell at them to get together!

Ahhh I need to read more! I need to know what happens between them now, and how things are going to develop. Also find out why they haven't spoken to each other since Hogwarts, although the distance has definitely brought out the spark between them.

You have written the attraction between them fabulously and I can't wait to read more of your pefect work! :D

Author's Response: Hello again!

This is actually primarily a Hannah story, but Susan certainly plays a key role. And the Susan parts are the most fun to write, because all the beautiful.

I am really really glad that you liked the line about words falling like petals. I love that line, but nobody else had said anything about it s far, so I was starting to wonder if it was just precious to me.

Hehe, I do this rude thing with this story where I give people this short little chapter that they think they can red quickly and be done with, and then they're suddenly addicted. It's pretty fun.

Sam.


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Review #49, by Roisin Fools Rush In

27th July 2015:
Hello! Here for your requested review!

So as I said in the thread, I was SUPER stoked to see this summary because I LOVE Lesley Gore. I was also really excited to see that every chapter used a song title and lyrics, and I respect your commitment to that :) [AND, the model on the banner looks a bit like Gore too!]

Having read the pairings and LGBTQA tag, I think this theme was an especially good choice, since Lesley Gore was a queer woman herself. I also really like that, as a just-post-Hogwarts-era story, her music would have been out then! Like, I sometimes see stories that weave in titles or lyrics from bands like My Chemical Romance and I'm like "BUT THIS IS MARAUDERS ERA, THEY WEREN'T OUT YET"--even if the lyrics aren't in the story itself, I still prefer if songs fit era-wise.

This opening chapter is a really nice hook, and I'm definitely curious to read on. Right now I'm not sure if the attraction between Susan and Hannah is something they've explored before or not. It definitely doesn't seem like Hannah is very open about her sexuality yet, and still seems to have hesitations about how she'll be perceived (that line about 'propriety').

I hope you re-request soon, because I'm really looking forward to reading more of this story!
xoxo
Roisin

Author's Response: Hello Roisin,

Thanks so much for reviewing this, and so quickly too!

It is really awesome to have this read by somehow who loves Lesley Gore. Or even to know somebody who loves Lesley Gore... I sometimes feel alone in that department.

I was definitely going for the idea that this was not something Susan and Hannah had explored before, that they had only been friends in the past. I allude to that a bit here, but do state it more firmly in a coming chapter.

Using music from the 1960s really helped inspire Hannah's character and situation, which you'll see more of soon. I didn't get too into it in this first chapter, but I'm glad that Hannah's timidity and hesitations about her sexuality and other peoples' expectations came across here.

I wasn't planning to request reviews for this, but when I saw your review thread I felt like this may be something you'd like to read, so I wanted to throw it at you. I'll wait a bit to let other people get a turn before I re-request.

Thanks,

Sam.


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Review #50, by FireOpalQueen Fools Rush In

20th July 2015:
Okay, so first things first: Wow, I’ve never had a story dedicated to me before! I’m so touched and honoured, Sam! And the fact that the story is so mind-bogglingly good only makes it all the sweeter, haha! I’ve read all the chapters over and over and the only reason that I haven’t reviewed until now is that I haven’t had access to a computer with a working keyboard in a while and when I got one I had some more pressing concerns to see to. But now I’m here, yay! : D

I remember reading this chapter for the first time and going “Wow, this isn’t at all what I imagined when I gave you that prompt…” In a good way, of course! I could never have imagined the immediacy and pure beauty of this chapter. You wield the first person POV like a true master, letting the reader in as close to Hannah as her own ribcage.

When I re-read this chapter just now to write this review, I listened to the song that the chapter gets its name from as I read, and I definitely think you manage to capture the essence of that song in this story. Especially the line “When we met I felt my life begin” seems very appropriate; both because Hannah definitely feels something as life-turning as that in the story, and because Hannah’s new life really does begin in this instant, doesn’t it, the life where she can be herself, as you write in the latest update… which I’m veryvery excited about, by the way! : )

Another thing I thought was a bit weird when I first read this story but came to love in time is how little the war is mentioned. In this chapter there’s a line about how Hannah and Susan fought “monsters and villains” side by side, but otherwise everything is so normal and happy – even when it’s unhappy, if you get what I mean. And the longer I read on, the more I like this, like that Hannah and Susan – and even Ernie as well – seem to have been able to move on, at least mostly. Hannah and Susan can run into each other in Diagon Alley and have an intense and meaningful connection without it being about the fight against Voldemort, and that is beautiful.

This whole chapter is completely stunning, but I especially love how incredibly reciprocated everything is. How affirming for Hannah (and for Susan!) to meet someone who makes your heart absolutely sing – and know that they feel the same way about you. That’s why my favourite lines are “My doubts fall away as I see my eager fascination echoed in her face.” And “I know in my blood that she is feeling the same electric energy as me,” and the lovely ending where they sit holding each other’s hands just to get to touch each other. Aaah, it’s so lovely, I love it, I love this story and I love this chapter and I love you!

(And I love me, for giving you the prompt that made you work this magic! : P )

/Kapa

Author's Response: This review just absolutely floored me.

I knew that you had Favorited this story, but had no idea that you even gotten a chance to read any of it. The fact that you have read all of it more than once is just amazing.

I had initially conceived of this story as following a little closely following your prompt by focusing on Hannah's relationships with Susan and Neville. However, I wanted both of those to be very healthy functioning relationships, and given the fact that I assume most of my readers are not super familiar with polyamory, I wanted a way to introduce readers to the concepts by having them learn about it along with Hannah, and so we went back further in the timeline and Ernie happened.

Oh, poor Ernie. I'm sorry I made so many people want to punch you in the face. You are an incredibly effective plot device.

"I could never have imagined the immediacy and pure beauty of this chapter" is just one of the most wonderful things to hear.

A lot of the lyrical quality of this story really fell into place once I figured out how well it paired with Lesley Gore's music. I am so glad that you went back and read this chapter along with the song. The music was a huge inspiration for me n every chapter of this story, and I made a big effort to mirror the tone and rhythm of the music through my writing of each chapter (which I think I was successful in all chapters so far except Off And Running).

That is a good point about the war. At first I had this set only 2 or 3 years after DH, but I moved it to 5, as I really wanted my characters to have a chance to establish their own lives outside of the world they had at Hogwarts and during the war. Yes, all of these characters have been through some difficult times, but the fact that they have come through is part of what makes the fullness of living their everyday lives so valuable.

I like your comment about everything being so normal and happy, even when it's unhappy. I think that is again something that is inspired by the music. Many of Lesley Gore's songs that are more emotionally heavy in theme (such as You Didn't Look Round) nevertheless have a very upbeat tone and rhythm, that I endeavored to replicate throughout the story. The sense that I try to create throughout this story is that there is boundless beauty in the joy of living, and even when times are hard the experience of being alive is infectiously amazing, and the dark struggles do not negate the inherent beauty of life.

Thank you SO much for this amazing review, and even more for this amazing story idea (I would never have thought to write these characters on my own). I'm so happy to get your feedback, and as you can tell by the length of this response, I am very enthusiastic to have a conversation about this story with you. Message me at any time if you want to talk about it, or if it's been long enough since an update and you want to prod me.

Lots of love!!!

And for you, a sneak peak of chapter 9 (i.e. all I have written of it):

"Okay, dating," I say with a deep breath. "Dating, dating, dating... How do you do dating?"

Susan laughs. "You're no novice, love."

"Yeah, well," I object, "Ernie and I were together forever, and you and I... Well, didn't really do the courtship part, we just fell into being... in love."

A kiss.

"You're a natural," she assures me.


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