Reading Reviews for Ignite
452 Reviews Found

Review #26, by Roisin Hot Blooded

7th April 2015:
Something interesting happens here with Harley. Like, there's the comment about wanting to help Hermione's daughter, but more importantly, he stops Albus from torturing someone! AND a bad guy AND a human to boot! I think of all of them, Harley has the most rigid and consistent code of ethics. This code is also why Scorpius and Rose didn't get on with him in the beginning--his code sort of dictates that he do everything he can to maintain elf dignity and be sure they aren't taken advantage of.

And man, what an entrance for Locket! The drama and excitement of this scene is a great pay-off after such a long absence. And of course, SHE HAS A POTION TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM! I was recently reading about Deus Ex Machina, and how it's often criticized--but I like a well done one. All the little pieces were put into place and then it ends up coming together at the exact right moment. I find it very satisfying :)

Also, all the stuff about truth serum and conjecture was really interesting. Like, that things get fuzzy around suspicion and guesswork. And I think I've said this before, but I just love the Tamsin Grieg faceclaim for Locket. I've only seen her in a few things--and never in a role quite like this--but I can really SEE her. You definitely have a firm handle on this dynamic character, and the actress you chose is someone who I can really picturing delivering her dialogue. I love that Locket, in many ways, sort of presents herself as a this shrewd, wry, no-nonsense person but at the same time is very kind of fragile and just generally complicated.

It's very curious that Thane seemed upset by Tim's death. I mean, while he isn't himself at the top of whatever's going on, he's certainly a big part of it. Why make a curse that ultimately kills and turns the dead into inferi if you don't want people to die? WHAT IS THANE'S ANGLE?!?!?! I don't buy that he's just a wand-for-hire in all this. Or maybe he is, and he took the job specifically to infiltrate and be sure it wasn't successful? I DUNNO! And what does the stone have to do with it?!

And BAM BOSS WITCH ENDING. Gah, this story is so addictive!

Author's Response: Harley kind of leapt out at me in the writing of this chapter. Looking back, I figured he's older than the Five, and has probably had his moral standards hammered and challenged consistently over the course of his life battling for House Elf rights. While I doubt he's been in this situation before, the idea of giving everyone fair treatment even under harsh circumstances isn't new, while Albus and Scorpius are for the first time finding their stances challenged.

I sometimes feel bad for how I depict Lockett, not necessarily for Deus Ex Machina-ing, but her more heroic moments tend to come at the expense of Hermione's principles. Veritaserum is scary stuff and I could entirely see its usage being restricted. And yet, right here and now, it's the most humane and sensible option.

Lockett is one of the most damaged characters in the entire series, which I suppose I make up for a bit by having her also be one of the smartest and most competent characters, too. Like delivering the Dramatic End of Chapter line!

Ah, Thane. Mysterious Thane. I can't say much, I keep readers dangling on him for a LONG time.

So glad you're enjoying! Thanks for reviewing.

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Review #27, by Roisin Cold as Ice

21st March 2015:
Methy totally reminds me of me right now *facepalm.* The plural of 'octopus' is actually 'octopodes' (in biology), and 'octopuses' is accepted. 'Octopi' is just WRONG. I twitch and fidget anytime someone says 'octopi,' and try not to say anything because it's usually coming off the heels of them correcting someone for saying 'octopuses.' GUH. I digress...

Ooh! A 'they discussed the plan' but we didn't get to see those specifics! That means something surprising and awesome and twisty must be in store!

'We're just sixth years, mate. These aren't going to be the loves of our lives'--hahahahahahahha.

Oh also, I failed to mention last chapter how clever Rose saying "You know I'll always come back" was. Like, cuz, she'd already reappropriated it once before, and then did a call-back in a different context! Having things like that re-surface does good work showing how much has changed.

Lockett's commitment to her solitude is pretty ridiculous at this point. I love that Malfoy does 'daily buggin.' Like, it's ridiculous, but WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO? Ridiculous has become the status quo, and they all just kind of accept these things with a shrug now. Where once it might have inspired righteous indignity, it's now something noticed, but discussed only wryly.

Hahahahahahahaha--Scorpius and Harley should be friends! Harley is hilarious!

And wow, Scorpius was just way more honest with Harley than he's been with pretty much anyone. I am friend-shipping them.

BLARGH ACTION SEQUENCE. I have no comments to make because it was really good and I just want to keep reading!

Author's Response: Methuselah Jones, power nerd. I can't judge, I went into all sorts of reading on Latin grammar to reach the conclusions onf Patronuses, Patronus, and Patroni.

Never discuss the plan on-screen and then show the plan kicking into action. ;) Unless the plan is a cool one which goes IMMEDIATELY wrong and the point is the team trying to wrestle matters BACK to the plan.

Sorry, Scorpius, you live in the Potter 'verse. Odds are good you've met your life-partner by the time you turn 14. Even they're just 'that person I knew by name and sight but barely spoke to.'

'I'll come back every time.' - Scorose's arc words. 'cos I'm a SAP, yo.

Lockett is being absolutely ridiculous by now. Scorpius doesn't have much of a choice! And I love Harley, he is absolutely my favourite minor character to write in this story. The two of them still have their arc to come about, so we'll see how it goes...

Cheers! :D

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Review #28, by Roisin On an Open Fire

21st March 2015:
What's amazing is that even though these circumastances are so extraordinary, and the people end up having to do extraordinary things because of it, they still feel like REAL people.

"Can't you just tell me I'm useless once more, Dad? One more time, it's Christmas"--I am broken. Like, he's so disappointed his father hasn't written at all, even though he knows he won't like what he writes. He wants to burn his father's present, but he needs to have it first. That's pretty convoluted emotional stuff, which is why it feels so real.

They are all SO up to something. I can't imagine Albus being OK with Christmas not happening.

I also like the way the boy-talk mirrors the girl-talk, yet both are super accurate. Scorpius is much more candid here than usual, but it's well justified by the previous events.

METHUSELAH WAS DISTRACTING HIM! I'd actually totally suspected that last chapter, and it's SO perfect. Like, he shows some charming self-possession here. He never needed TIPS. He's METHUSELAH!

Also, the fact that Harley helped with their plan says a lot. Things are definitely getting warmer between those two. It's also funny here how people are being nice to him, but also teasing him at the same time (Selena). And man, Oliver Wood WOULD go hours with a broken arm without telling anyone. Zealot.

It makes perfect sense that Harry would send a broom. Like, I get why Scorpius thinks it's extravagant, but Harry got A NIMBUS 2000 from MCGONNAGAL after BREAKING SCHOOL RULES. Then he got a FIREBOLT from Sirius. So like, yeah. He'd of course be pretty down with offering people brooms. (And I have to note that it's a NIMBUS STARFALL AND THE NEXT BOOK IS CALLED STARFALL AND WHAT)

MOLLY WEASLEY JUMPER (sorry about getting really shouty). This also makes so much sense--GAH, you toggle 'things readers would know' with 'what Scorpius would think' really well. Didn't Molly send Harry his first jumper after meeting him, like, ONCE. And she has FOUR grandkids at Hogwarts and is MOLLY-MY-BOGGART-IS-DEAD-FAMILY-WEASLEY so you just KNOW she was listening to his radio show live, and probably re-listening to the recorded versions over and over again and now I'm sobbing.

Man, this chapter is so emotionally dynamic. There are jokes and cuteness, but then also so much Scorpius angst. Really well done, again. Like, before, there were lighter chapter arcs and heavier chapter arcs--but this chapter sort of oscillates. It fits really well with Where They Are in the story.

And the whole interaction with Rose. It's really amazing how you write characters who /do not know what they feel or want./ And also, the nuances of their Wants and Feels are slightly different. That you can present this emotional chaos in such an effective way is a testament to your assured hand.

"like something that had happened on the news than something that had happened right in front of him. Twice." The use of 'Twice' here was wonderful/heartbreaking. You manage a lot with just that one word, and it has so much more impact for not being spelled out. He had to watch him die and then kill him--and that is some HARROWING business. Of course he's going to be angsty and out of sorts. Again, his candidness makes sense--it's out of character for him, but he WOULD be out of character right now. I wonder how you'll ever bring back the reluctant cuteness they had before, or if it CAN be brought back. At least right now, it makes sense that Scorpius would be too distressed for any nice romance.

And Draco is definitely projecting a WHOLE bunch. I wonder where Scorpius' sympathy for his mum comes from. He doesn't seem to want to blame her for running off and leaving him behind, or for failing to write. Very curious about that.

And then the chapter end betrays that same push-and-pull you have here between light and dark. The ending is sort of optimistically tepid, and largely exhausted. Lovely!

(Also, I REALLY wanted to nominate you for a Golden Paw for most addicting, but I totally blew it by trying to nominate the whole series--I didn't realize this story alone fit the time criteria! Blast! There's always the Dobbys, though!)

Author's Response: I like high adventure and epic antics and stuff specifically because I like seeing what it does to the characters. While I can appreciate a rocking action sequence, I'm 100% more invested in what those life-or-death circumstances do to the people behind them.

Scorpius, so desperate for attention from his family that even his father's abuse would be better than nothing.

Methuselah Jones, Master of Obfuscation. I think he probably did need a little bit of tips and he's totally going to use that advice, but he only asked out of desperation. The last resort.

Harley was probably asked very nicely by Rose and then more properly nicely by Selena, and isn't enough of a jerk that he wouldn't go along with it.

Oliver Wood's just crazy enough to do that. And yes, this is ABSOLUTELY the kind of gift Harry would send. It's established he's very generous with his wealth, and that he has Ginny's industry contacts to help him get a shiny broom... ah yes, the Starfall model. The next book? ALL about Scorpius' broom.

If my chapters are making people shouty, I'm just happy.

Molly would TOTALLY do that. She absolutely listened to Radio Malfoy (and there would be more than four, there's going to be probably 2-3 cousins, I can't remember the ages off the top of my head but DEFINITELY Roxanne and Molly BUT I digress, damn that family tree). And they all know he's Al's best friend even if they don't spend time together outside of school, so Molly would just be MOLLY about it and now I'm upsetting myself even.

I think the mixture of light and dark is going to be pretty much the rule from here on out. Or, at least, there will be fewer chapters without the dark. Being where I am in the writing I'm so curious as to how it'll pan out for you; tonal shifts over the series are HUGE and I always worry if I'm going/have gone too far, but... I digress.

I struggled to entirely grasp where Scorpius was until I wrote the bit about it being like there was a bruise on the parts of him that wanted to kiss her. Honestly, first draft of their conversation, they actually did have Round Two of Kiss, but I scrapped it because it just DIDN'T work. I've fumbled in the dark a lot on these guys at times, though I'm generally happy with the final decisions.

There's healing to be done, but they're hardy enough. In the long run, the things Scorp's been through can be recovered from.

Aw, nominations are lovely, but this story would definitely NOT fit the criteria. Last chapter was posted in late 2013. Books 2 and 3 should be eligible come Dobby season, though! Dobbys were awkward, I had both this and Starfall in the running which I think split the votes... ah well. It was just lovely to get nominated.


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Review #29, by Roisin New Flames

20th March 2015:
Ooh, Selena interacting with the eagle! I'm very stoked to see that play out!

I like the analysis of Selena's intelligence. That's how she'd been striking me--she's not stupid, she just doesn't really care about school. It's not an indication of her intelligence, just her priorities. I mean, in a way, one could argue that not being interested in study is kind of stupid, but that's getting into it.

Hah. There's a great humour to Scorpius getting stroppy with the eagle, because it just seems like an enchanted object that lacks self-awareness or emotion. But here, Selena almost kind of /gets a rise/ out of the eagle! Also, I like that she super guesses the riddle and is kind of into it :)

Ah! And now the eagle's actually talking to her one-and-one! And making that exact point about not being interested in the challenges of study or examination being itself dumb! YAY SELENA CHARACTER ARC *rubs hands together*

Hmm, so the idea of dark magic 'pooling' is coming back. I guess it was right to take them all off those potions. I also like the idea, for how it fits with like, humours and stuff.

Aw. Methuselah being upset over being outshined here is, again, very convincing. Like, 'you're good at everything, calm down,' is an easy point to make--but you write why he might still feel bad about it well. How being really good at magic stuff being his ONLY thing, and so it would feel crappy to not be the best.

Methuselah saying Selena is smarter than him is also really believable--like, he offers support for the statement. And the whole 'but you've been with so many guys' thing also kind of makes sense, because he's weird and analytical like that. Like, 'would be disappointing' and all makes sense coming from him.

You also do that kiss really well, which is impressive, given it isn't in a SURGE OF PASSION sort of way. Like, it's very staged, which also brings a lot of cuteness to it.


'When I pulled back, he said "thank you"'--BAH.

And the 'he's a very good student' thing. Like, it was so perfect for her to frame it all more like a lesson. She really GETS him.

Selena's point is really good--it's a bit more defensible to dump Hector because he was a prat than just because she wanted to mash faces with someone else. And this whole girl talk sequence is just excellent. So much easy wit, and very realistic!

Ooh, Selena really is a person who needs to be listened to more. They might even figure out Phlegathon if they could figure out how it fits in with what's going on internationally.

'Aleister Crowley's cat resplendent in a Father Christmas hat'--Bah.

While Scorpius and Harley are certainly being snitty with one another, they're definitely on better terms now. I suppose Harley saw everything Scorpius did for Tim and had to concede he might be an ok guy.

And the idea that a blizzard would help paint dry is ABSURD. Snow is WET.

AW METHY ASKING ABOUT GIRLS CUTE. 'Twice. And then sixteen further occasions since then, last Friday.' BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Wonderful. Just wonderful.

Author's Response: Selena's intellect has been a sticky wicket. I mean, she's NOT as intellectual or even magically capable as even Scorpius (who has a good dose of raw talent but struggles to apply himself), and that's always been intentional. There are other virtues, other strengths. But she's still no idiot, manages to keep up with people like Methuselah and other smart cookies when they're talking research, and has pretty sharp wits. So... yeah.

Though she's not much appreciating the door-knocker being a pest. Even if it is making points! Even if she did kind of enjoy the challenge when she set her mind to it!

Apparently all my characters have cripplingly low self-esteem. Methuselah's rocking smart and still knows he's a bit inept in everything else, so, all the sadness for that poor kid. I'm glad the kiss came off as cute, cute is what I was going for. Those two are so damn cute to write.

GIRL TALK. Yes. It was SO needed. Those two do each other a lot of good. It's harder to see the good Selena's done, but Rose brings her away from her distant, superior observation of people, and much more engaging with them.

Aleister Crowley was so probably NOT an actual wizard, or if he was he was onto the BEST tricking of Muggles EVER, but I needed an off-hand portrait reference. Though his cat is probably a really DARK REFERENCE to make. I only just thought of that. Ugh.

Harley has indeed seen more of what's beneath on Scorpius - the rant about his father, his grief over Tim. He's only going to cut him SO much slack, though. And apparently he's being a terrible, TERRIBLE liar.

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Review #30, by Roisin Out of the Kitchen

20th March 2015:

Man, this was such a lighter chapter after so much heavy. I did much snort-laughing at Scorpius' various commentary. It's so nice to have him back in a quippy mood!

I'm also glad you addressed where Lockett's getting her whiskey from. Like, I had been kind of curious just before where it was all coming from, but it was a very convincing explanation.

I'm super bummed Scorpius and Lockett didn't have a drink together, though. I felt certain, especially since he'd missed his birthday, that that would come up. But, the way he ended it with her was pretty strong. And MAN, if it takes them TWO WEEKS to start having success with patrous(es!) then Lockett's REALLY slacking for a LONG time. Which starts to maybe make me think there isn't something nefarious going on? (I really only suspect Lockett because I feel like I need to suspect /someone/ of /something/ because: fiction).

All in all, the way you lightened things up with TRAINING MONTAGE really worked. It was totally believable (because it feels more like school and more normal), and your changes of tone and pace have just always been well timed.

The stuff about Methuselah has me very very intrigued! Like, at first I thought he'd struggle with patronus(es) because he just isn't very emotional, so sublime joy would be hard to manage, but you've really hinted at maybe a lot more dimension to his character. He actually shows frustration and even anger here, and I'm very curious where it will all go. We're dealing with memories here, so I'm excited to maybe find out more backstory on him!

Man, stopping to leave this review is SO HARD when I want to keep reading!

Author's Response: *plays the Team America montage song*

I think this was the first chapter I wrote after a several-months hiatus - I probably finished off the previous one, but this was the one I came to fresh, and so I needed the whimsy and silliness to get the flow of everyone again.

I don't know what possesses me sometimes to explain the little things like the whiskey, but the explanation seemed to make sense. It would have been good for those two to have a drink together! But alas no.

Methuselah has complexity beyond being the nerd, poor kid.


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Review #31, by Roisin Down in Flames

20th March 2015:
Man, you managed to put Rose into SUCH a tricky situation. Like, my first instinct is DON'T BREAK UP WITH HECTOR. Then again, you create a thing where she owes it to Scorpius. And then if she does end up carrying on with Scorpius and Hector DIES, she would probably feel terrible. I mean, I'd feel terrible if he died and the last thing he remembered was getting dumped, but then there's the whole 'owing it to Scorpius' thing and GAH!

Man, I LOVE Selena being there for her. Like. Of all them, she's probably the best qualified and most suited for talking Rose through it. Also, them going to get tea gives me fuzzy friendship joy feelings :)

And Rose and Albus seem to be handling Scorpius the right way, which is nice. I like that when he's angry with her, she doesn't fight back. Like, that's sort of how there whole relationship has been defined, but it's very much to right thing to do for a person who's grieving.

GAH, of COURSE the badguys would have some sort of cure! Like, DUR! WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF IT?!?! All of the clues and suggestions are THERE to get to that logical conclusion. And sure, it probably IS dumb to go after them, but Albus' plan is about as good as anything available. Selena's certainly right to have pause, but I'm glad she joins in at the end. I mean, it might be a dumb thing to do, but it's infinitely /less/ dumb than not doing it. (Well, unless they could get an auror to do it. Like Harry! They should get Harry to do it. He's super old and experienced now, and totally pro-self-sacrifice, so even if he ended up sick, he'd probably be cool with that. But, you know, "and then Harry Potter came in and saved all the children" isn't nearly as good of a story.)

Author's Response: Rose is in a bummer of a situation. And not just owing it to Scorpius - learning Hector's a bit more of a jerk has had her realise that her superficial fun relationship is with someone she REALLY can't respect. Aaand yet he's possibly dying, so, AWKWARD.

I do love writing Selena and Rose friendship. They work very well as their own little odd couple.

Rose is feeling hella guilty over Scorpius but she does want him to feel BETTER, so she knows fighting back is not the right thing right now. He would just explode off the walls.

tbh, 'the bad guys probably have a cure' came into play PRETTY late in my planning sessions for the story, and even then it was a, 'well, duh, Slide,' moment.

'Harry, we need you to martyr yourself some more! Get to it! You love that!' He probably would...

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Review #32, by Roisin Rising Heat

20th March 2015:
OH NO. OH NO, OH NO, OH NO. If Scorpius threw his teacup at a house elf it must be bad... I feel like he knows better than that at this point, so he must be REALLY upset.

I really like the comparison of snowflakes being 'no bigger than fingerprints'--lovely.

"R-W-" was also very clever.

NO! TIM! I mean, I kind of saw it coming, but I'm still /devastated/.

I like the point Methuselah makes, because it makes the most sense from a purely academic and logical perspective. Like, they DON'T have enough evidence. If they take everyone off the elixer, everyone might die. If they leave everyone on, everyone might die. Taking some people on and some people off could possibly kill some people, but it would make it possible to save a lot more.

But they AREN'T test subjects, and one of the canon themes is how "For the Greater Good" can be fallacious. Sometimes, it's used as a justification for horrible acts. Other times, it can be a way to justify one of two difficult or horrible choices. The best thing, maybe, is to ignore all that noise, and think creatively for another option entirely.


Oh gosh, where's Lockett!?! I don't know whether her disappearing is a good sign or a bad one. Like, it might try and SEEM like a bad sign, but maybe she's doing something Boss Witch and self-sacrificing or something... OR, maybe she WAS involved in the Phlegethon conspiracy, which is WHY they were out in the forest that night, and she's like... Over it now because a kid died and she's gonna go tell her co-conspirators that it's over? I DUNNO. I like her for the villain in that I DON'T like her for the villain, because I like her a lot.

Oh, or she's just getting smashed in Ravenclaw tower. That also works.

Man, the justifications for her self-doubt are pretty strong. Like, she's doing her BEST, and she couldn't have KNOWN the potion might kill people, and it seemed to be working, but I believe her perspective. It is pretty hard to swallow that failure after Rose and Scorpius nearly died. (Which is another reason why it was extra clever for them to run into Thane. It makes that whole journey have a remaining, tangible value).

Hmmm, is the muggleborn girl who Lockett knew who got killed canon? I'm trying to think who it could be...

'They do a great job of getting the people around them killed'--ouch!

When Scorpius curses the universe, I like that he doesn't think to suggest that he'd rather see Hector die. You do a good job of compartmentalizing the teen drama stuff.

"And Tim's open eyes looked up at him!" AH! AH! AH! Okay, so I DID slightly see this coming, because you established the whole 'talk to him' thing last chapter, but it's still an amazing shock! Like, you really let him BE dead for long enough, and brilliantly suggested this out earlier.

'But no living thing moved like that, in such a jerky, unnatural way'--OH NO. WHAT?! AH!?! CRAP?!?!


OH MY GOSH that was really scary and awful and terrible. ZOMBIES. Guh. POOR SCORPIUS. This is an emotional roller-coaster.

Man, you do a really good job of creating intense emotions for your characters to justify their behaviors. Like, the other ones have a point, but Scorpius' anger makes perfect sense.

Of everyone, Albus is the one I'd suggest be the leader. He's definitely the most level of any of them.

MAN this story just took a really serious turn. Smart, also, because otherwise it would be difficult to string along the ScoRose stuff.

And that ending just kind of DESTROYED me.

Author's Response: Yeah, the House Elf was probably being pretty hyper squeaky and helpful and not going away when Scorpius was trying to make them and then he lost his temper. Poor kid was pretty upset, though.

In times of stress, Scorpius fusses over first names.

Methuselah is being pretty cold but yes, he is also RIGHT. And yet, that's very likely picking a group of kids and going, 'You might be the ones to suffer/die if you've got the bad choice.' And the kids aren't very equipped to cope with making that kind of choice.

Selena is tolerating none of this 'giving up' idea. Partly because she knows this is how it's going to go, so let's skip the fuss and debate.

Lockett has her reasons for slinking away. They might be VILLAIN reasons! Or, um, alcoholic reasons. Right now, she's getting the joy of being the only responsible adult who has no idea what she's doing, and someone's just died on her watch. She's grossly underprepared for this crisis, even by the usual standards of crisis, and so really Not Coping.

I should cop to Lockett's origins - she was a secondary character in my predominantly-OC alongside-canon series. I picked her on purpose to 'cross over' to Ignite for several reasons, BUT this is 25 years on and I've generally tried pretty hard to not write her that someone needs to know the other story. Most of the things which messed her up didn't happen in the other story, and those which did can be summarised as, 'I was a Muggle-born in Azkaban in Voldemort's takeover,' which is pretty self-explanatory.

Oh, yeah, the bit where everyone thinks I brought Tim back, only instead he's an Inferius and Scorpius has to set fire to the corpse. Ha, I'm always proud of the upset reactions that one gets.


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Review #33, by Roisin Break the Ice

20th March 2015:


I just can't right now... That... AND you even talked about it earlier! Just the whole image of it is ace. HOW DO YOU MANAGE SO MUCH WHIMSY?

'Then started talking about some sort of light-show, but I got him back on the topic of the radio'--*snort*


I also like that you show Harley giving deference to a human here--bowing to Lockett--because he feels it is /earned./

You do such a great job of writing about the potion, and Subtle Magic and all. Like, it's really convincing, and you mix formula with transcendence really well. And it's SUPER interesting and has a lot of awe to it.


Author's Response: Not only did Scorpius blow the door off its hinges with his guitar, HE DIDN'T NEED TO. He just WANTED to. I felt the random rambling about the enchanted guitar needed a call-back, but anything too serious would be wholly undermined by the idea of Scorpius literally blasting someone with a power chord so this was the best he got.

Harley has a very specific idea of respect and hierarchies, and is a very intense professional in his own specific way. This includes deference to Lockett.

I did enjoy this emergency potions scene. Coming up with the reagents was fun.


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Review #34, by Roisin House on Fire

20th March 2015:
I love Scorpius hopping from foot to foot :) You have such a great character in him. He has interesting connections to various archetypes, but doesn't fully correspond to any one cliche. He's just a really charming and unique protagonist, and just the right amount of annoying.

Again, everyone is each working to their strengths. Lockett's working on a potion, Methy is doing something ambitious with charms, Selena's helping Methy, and Scorpius is bouncing around worrying.

HOUSE ELVES. You are so good at remembering House Elves.

You do a clever thing by mentioning that if an idea works, then /why didn't they do that before?/ Like, a reader might ask that, but you shoot it down nicely with "IF WE SAY THAT TO EVERYTHING THEN NOTHING WILL WORK."

SWORD OF GRYFFINDOR. There's something weirdly perfect about Slytherin-Albus thinking of that. OH NO--did the sword just reject him for not being courageous enough? THAT IS COLD, SWORD.

I *knew* it! I *knew* Miranda cheated with Hector! Like, it perfectly explains why Albus was all standoffish about him! Man, it's amazing how you manage to draw a Teen Drama arc into the context of more serious things--because it WOULD still happen with teenagers. But you sell it really well, and manage to give it gravitas even with everything else going on AND Scorpius' intense fury at Hector. Like, understanding that Hector CHEATED WITH HIS GIRLFRIEND really explains Scorpius' behaviot. And like, OH MY GOD, it super helps explain why Scorpius was SO upset by Rose shooting him down after Hector woke up, and makes him seem like even MORE of a great guy for being the one to think of Hector in the first place. Like, he could have not said anything and been vengeful about it--like, 'haha, you hook up with my gf I hook up with yours!' It's really cool of him, even though he genuinely likes Rose, to not want to use her like that.

Ok, but, tbf--Scorpius really didn't need to come at Harley like that.

Then again, I think it was a good choice, because Harley's rant is EXCELLENT. He makes really good points, and I love it. 'You can't give someone freedom'--PREACH. It's true that oppressed or disadvantaged groups shouldn't be expected to be /thankful/ for being afforded smidgeons of dignity or rights.

BLARGH WHAT'S HE GONNA DO??? Like, I actually don't have a guess at what Scorp's plan is.

Author's Response: Scorpius was envisioned as something of a Guile Hero or Trickster Hero, but because he's not really learnt all of the cleverness and manipulation yet, he has to borrow from different archetypes to make do.

Watch me hang a lampshade on why nobody tried this idea before! I chalk it up to getting into the Headmaster's Office not being an especially high priority before now - Al and Rose are almost doing it to keep busy - and it just slipping their mind.

Poor Albus indeed - it's just because he's a Slytherin. Though it's an interesting thought, as Albus and the nature of courage is one of his long-term arcs...

I had wondered if you'd read up to this part when you were ruminating on the Miranda mystery before; interesting to know you're coming to this as a surprise! It's a very silly and minor thing, but it's the first mystery as these guys realise they don't REALLY know each other so well. And yes, Scorpius has SOME standards, like not wanting to use Rose to get back at Hector.

And then he loses those brownie points by being a jerk to Harley, but yeah, I'd almost forgive him myself because Harley's rant was very satisfying to write. Scorpius was being a jerk because he's stressed, but Harley is still absolutely right, and I enjoyed writing him as not entirely likeable while still entirely right. Blah blah tone argument blah.

Scorpius' plan is shocking. SHOCKING.

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Review #35, by Roisin Burn Through

19th March 2015:
I like that Albus is 'punished' by 'a look of surprised hurt'--that says a great deal about his character.

"Unhelpfully it was giving him very few clues as to how enterprising students might break in." Wonderful.

I like that both Albus and Scorpius were kind of expecting the other to snap out of it or make the first move back towards friendship.

The idea that everything the trio did was so well recorded no one could replicate it is brilliant. And like, of COURSE Hermione would help do security at the school to specifically prevent the same rule-breaking she had accomplished.

The bickering Marauders always make me giggle. Then weep.

I LOVE the idea of just going straight through the masonry. My mum's a contractor, and she always gets annoyed by break in attempts in movies and such. She's like, DON'T PICK THE LOCK, JUST BREAK THROUGH THE WALL. WALLS ARE HARDLY ANYTHING.

I can remember how this chapter goes (I think this is where I left off), so I know it doesn't go well. But you're doing a GREAT job of lulling the reader into a false sense of security. Like, 'the security doesn't have to be THAT good, it's not like students would chip at the masonry in normal circumstances, this is gonna be FINE...'

Ooh, I must have stopped right after they got trapped, because this Selena stuff is all new! Welcome to what will become random first impressions with no fore-knowledge!

Hahahahaha, Methy looks at her chest and notices scraps of paper.

Ooh, 'le Fey staff'--Morgan le Fey?

And I feel like he should probably listen to Selena, there was probably some more stuff in that letter that would be good to know.

DRAT! I really really want to read on, but essay! Gah! This is not an apology for not being able to review right away, it is a genuine frustration causing me problems! gr

Author's Response: Albus and Scorpius are being such BOYS about it. Though in Al's defence, Scorpius usually slinks back after he's done something stupid. Now Scorpius isn't, and Al doesn't know what to do about it.

Hermione, the kill-joy who took her rebel lessons to make rebellion less possible. At her most arrogant I can totally see her doing that, with the best of intentions of course.

The Map was so much fun to write. And, yes, kind of depressing.

Going through walls is SUCH the best idea. It's never expected!

Ooh, you're caught up. This is gonna be fun. Methuselah, useless with girls.

Morgan le Fay because apparently I failed to spell. That's going to bug me now. But yes, that was the intended reference. Couldn't possibly comment on the importance of Selena's outside-world info-dump. ;-)


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Review #36, by Roisin Hot Issue

19th March 2015:
I don't know how many times I can do this, but... ĎYouíre really stretching sentence construction to shoehorn that one in'--BAH. That bit works double duty, because it's super funny, but there's a kind of penance in responding with humor rather than anger.

There was a lot going on in his sentence about her just trying to make herself feel less bad, and him proving himself as not a good guy. At once, you have kind of Slitheriney subtlety for recognizing the motivations within actions, and then also his self-loathing streak. Nicely done.

Also 'are you dead' is very clever--I'd guessed 'are you lying,' but yours is better.

Hm, the point about "James II being like how Harry could have been/like James I" is an interesting one, because it's kind of meta (the general predictions about James II). But as mentioned in this story, Albus seems to resemble Harry more--but not necessarily Harry if he hadn't been an Orphan Chosen One. I suppose, best said, you really wrote Albus as Harry's /son/ rather than as a carbon copy of some ancestor.

THE PLACE WHERE HARRY DIED AND ABANDONED THE RESURRECTION STONE!!1!1! I ALWAYS thought it was foolish to leave it lying around! Man, you are SO clever!

Oh man, the concepts of the magic here are SO interesting. Gah! I love!

And Scorpius is doing a radio show! Brilliant!

Must. Click. Next. Chapter. Even. Though. Have. Essay.

Author's Response: Yeah, Rose is eating humble pie, but Scorpius is baking her one DAMN BIG PIE. Especially as he's twisting it all around with his low self-esteem... it's a mess.

I think that scene of Al and Rose and discussing his father is me doing a slightly-meta analysis of Albus. It was probably not needed, but again, I was still trying to dig into fully grasping what makes him tick. Trying to avoid the usual clichés for Albus Potter while still remaining honest to the breadcrumbs left by canon (as the clichés exist for a reason, often logical extrapolation) did make it tough.

I take quite a few liberties with magic in the series, though mostly because the series moves beyond topics covered by canon. I do -try- to keep it with what we know from canon as the basis, so this opportunity was absolutely one I couldn't pass up.

Radio Malfoy, one of the earliest ideas I had for this entire story. :D 'There will be a plague. There will be a quarantine. ...Scorpius will run a radio show!'

Apparently I keep distracting from work... not even sorry. Cheers!

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Review #37, by Roisin Raked Over the Ashes

19th March 2015:
Oh man, Scorpius' mind works in such hilarious ways. "That's when he realized he couldn't be angry with her" and then "that's when he realized he COULD be angry with her." The Deep POV narration is so well done in your story, and it's always especially hilarious when the narrator adopts Scorpius' way of speaking.

While I obviously think it's a mistake for Scorpius to blow off dealing with Albus and Rose, you write his reasoning really well. I can see the flaws in it, but I (heartbreakingly) believe that he actually thinks they don't need him. You always do a good job of this--it never feels like you're trying to justify plot arcs by squeezing your characters into a certain behavior. Like, they always seem genuine in their motivations and actions, and it feels like the plot comes from there, not the other way around.

"if either of them knew who she was"--pfft. A nice moment for some omniscient narrator.

God I love Selena. She's like, the best person wrapped up in a package of Worstness. Like, she has all these off-putting elements to her personality, but her actions have been overwhelmingly positive. And I love that, again, Scorpius is initially reluctant to help all the students with letters, but he does ultimately do it. So even if kindness came out of getting berated by Selena, he still does something /kind./ It's sort of a nice theme, throughout, which mirrors a canon theme: it's a person's actual CHOICES that matter.

Hm. The mention of Astoria is interesting. I realize we haven't yet heard a great deal about her. Very curious.

'Complicated poems which are all about the letter "r"?'--clever. Also, his ongoing feud with the doorknocker continues to be hilarious. Just, that sentence alone shows how hilarious an idea it is.

'A smart thing for a boy called Malfoy to do'--nice. This weird bonding sesh with Lockett is wonderful. Like, it starts out not without snark, but there is kind of a deeper lever of interaction there. And like, GAH, I feel like Lockett might actually have something to do with the Plegethon, or just generally that there's a surprise thing there--but then scenes like these make me really like her! (Also, I imagine her Dementor PTSD is gonna come back later, wot with Dementors in the forest and all)

Author's Response: Scorpius has always been an easy joy to write.

I like to think Selena works because she's the most genre-savvy when it comes to the teen-aged melodrama (being a master peddler in it herself), while at the same time blatantly a bit unpleasant. So she can point out when everyone's being silly, but because she does it in a rather snide way it still feels like adolescent silliness. OR, such was the goal.

Choice remains one of the abiding themes of the trilogy.

Astoria is also a long mystery of the series! I don't think we get much about her in Ignite.

I really wish I could remember when/how I came up with the idea of the doorknocker. Probably just from hunting down riddles and the entire thing getting out of hand as it came into contact with my head-Scorpius.

Evil Lockett has not been a common theory! Some people eyeball her dubiously, but it's fun to see how folks read into it. And her damage.


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Review #38, by Roisin Crash and Burn

19th March 2015:
BAHAHAHAHA. "I'm not angry, I'm disappointed" is such a mum line, and it's SO great to apply something so banal to such an extraordinary situation. Extraordinary is kind of their mundane, isn't it?

HAHAHAHAHAHA, oh man! Harry and Ron chipping in was BRILLIANT. Like, such a cute mate-moment, it gave me fuzzies. I can really see them off to the side on Hermione's end. LOVE!

(Also, the 'you'd be just as angry if Al--' thing, because the implication is that he WOULDN'T. It really reinforces Al's previously mentioned Complex).

ĎI think in my husbandís eyes that makes him a wise man,í--*snort laugh*

SUCH good timing on Hector Flynn! AH! You are a genius craftswoman of storytelling!

It's good that, just as Hector wakes up, Rose is genuinely more concerned with his well-being. She's allowed to like Scorpius, but of course she wouldn't wish ILLNESS upon her current boyfriend.

'Malfoy kept scoring and it was bloody awfulí--so, so clever.

Rose's guilt is really well done, and you do a wonderful job of putting her in an impossible situation. Like, of COURSE she wouldn't want to tell him and break up with him while he's still bedridden. There really isn't any easy solution for her.

'it was a good ten minutes before she wiped her eyes'--nice. I like that you imply that she was crying after-the-fact rather than describing it head on.

ĎI canít! Or, if you want to nitpick, I wonít. And Iím not going to lie to him, eitherí--everything about this line gives me a huge amount of respect for Rose. I really like that I totally understand where both of them are coming from, and yet there is still a conflict that is impossible not to exist.

Oh man, the 'looking like a Malfoy' thing stings! Well done with that.

And Scorpius being horrible to Methy and Selena is kind of brilliant--like, he's being HORRIBLE, but you give us enough reason to understand where his head is at that it doesn't make us lose sympathy. Plus, there's that whole 'serving the story' business you have going on. His ranting about why she's stupid is another example of your brilliant use of multiple POV--it reinforces what the reader thinks is valuable about her and Methy's alliance. And I just really like how 'whatever, shoo' she is about it.

GUH, Scorpius' agonizing angst is so well written. He's so self-loathing/effacing/destructive. SO MANY FEELS HAVE I.

His conversation with Albus is great, because no character in this story ever feels like a prop for a Main Character. Like, they are talking about one thing, but each of them are /really/ talking about different things. In every interaction, each character is bringing something to the table rather than just being a sounding board for the others.

SO GOOD *mashes hands on keyboard*

Author's Response: Certainly by now, there is no such thing as mundane for the Wotter brood. And Hermione has to use the weapons in her arsenal, especially when undermined by Harry and Ron off-screen.

I forgot I had even Al's parents knowing he's such a goodie-two-shoes. Poor kid.

Rose is in a rubbish spot. I'm not really sure what her right thing was supposed to be, and I put her in this situation. Also, it was easier to describe her coming out of a well-deserved bursting into tears than explaining it blow-by-blow. Though that would have been a bit redundant, I guess. We all know why she'd cry. She cries. She needs a good cry. She picks herself back up again.

Scorpius' worst trait is lashing out at people when he's upset. He is absolutely a petty child when this happens, and it's just as well Selena can see it or she might have actually been affected by his words. But she can tell he's just throwing things around to try to regain some control of the situation, so she's not having ANY of it.

Odd/good that you say no character is a prop for Main Character, because Albus was created so much as Scorpius' foil that I do get accusations of him being under-developed and the least interesting of the whole cast. I like to think he's just subtler, and this is one of those conversations where what's going on under the surface with him does come into rumbling play.


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Review #39, by Roisin Fire and Ice

19th March 2015:
KISS! This was the perfect place in the story, and it was very clever of you to remind us of Hector Flynn a little while back, then give us JUST enough time to kind of not be thinking about it.

Also, the first time I read it, I remember sort of not seeing the kiss coming right there, even though I'd obv been seeing it coming IN GENERAL for ages. At the same time, it made perfect sense that it would be THAT moment. But THEN you do a good job outlining all the ways it doesn't fit traditional romance (SPIDER PARTS). But it's also super flutteringly cute and romantic.

I don't enjoy romance in fanfiction often, and I rarely read Romance As Primary Genre stories (I get scrunchy nose and have feelings about tackiness)--but it's so well balanced here! There's just enough to temper it that it really works, and is brilliantly satisfying and enjoyable.

Man, the whole scene with Lockett is so well played! Her whole "well done" thing really worked, because she enumerates all the DUMB beforehand, and also, of COURSE she would say that. She's just that kind of person.

Also, I'm really glad you had Methuselah say 'exoskeleton' because 'skin' kept throwing me. Now it reads more as some sort of potioneering phrase/term/nick-name rather than a technical anatomical description.

Scorpius' comment about Selena without sleep strikes me as a THAT'S GONNA COME BACK LATER thing. Could be wrong, though.

Man, you get a lot of mileage out of the convo with Albus. First of all, I LOVE that Rose has awkwardness about going into Scorpius' room. Like, I feel that. Suddenly being in the sort of intimate place /but having her cousin there and he doesn't know/ is a really great thing.

Also, Albus' whole 'complex about not having enough of a hero complex' thing is excellent again. It really does work, having a kind of different perspective and suite of priorities in a post-trio world.

The second make-out sesh is also just SO well done. It was really smart to include so much of her internal thoughts to punctuate the actual description--it makes it more tasteful than a "THEN THEY SMASHED THEIR FACES TOGETHER FOR A WHILE" thing, and also enriches the whole thing by focusing as much on the emotional as the physical. And you complicate it so nicely; 'he knew what he was doing' and then the flash of jealousy. Plus, you really make me /believe/ they're both coming to this as individuals (and as always, Rose gives me happy feminist feelings for being such an active participant. Like, I get really stroppy about stories that think it's sexy for girls to be like "AH, WHAT?").

And it's so perfect and amazing that SCORPIUS is the one to mention Hector--like, it shows a lot of his GOOD GUY side. And then Rose's whole reasoning and everything is really great. It's in character, and it also serves the narrative at large. And it's just nice that she isn't the one (right now) to be like "BUT I HAVE A BOYFRIEND." Again, her self-possession and agency is wonderful. I know she's gotten a weird amount of hate from other readers, but again, I have FEMINIST feelings about that. I think that in a male character, her behaviors would be much more accepted. And yes, she's supposedly 'flawed'--but I read that more as her being a dynamic, fully-realized character who's also realistically her age (despite being rather precocious). I don't see Super Mature and Consistently Perfect as likable so much as two-dimensional.

And just AH! The toggle of cuteness and difficultness at the chapter's end is just wonderful. And DAMN YOU for giving me something of a fictional-character crush on Scorpius! I know he's probably the most crushed on fic character, but this is the first story I've read where I genuinely see it.

Oh, and having two different kisses from two different perspectives was a really good idea. It makes it so they both have a say. PROPS.

Author's Response: Oh yes, I totally mentioned Hector earlier on purpose. *cough* Just assume that if I'm doing something clever, textually or technically, it's not intentional.

The kiss was inevitable, true, but I really had no set timetable coming into the story of when it would happen. As I wrote more and as I got closer to the time, I obviously saw it coming, but I think I made the final decision on doing it now quite late in the day. A lot of Ignite was written on gut instinct.

I don't tend to go for ROMANCE stories, either. I do love a good romance, but I tend to need Romance With Something Else, to help keep the characters fresh and motivated by something other than each other. But Ignite is Epic Adventure, which needs its romance.

Lockett, the world's worst mentor. I don't recall if I was intentionally using skin before Methuselah dropped exoskeleton, or if in writing him I remembered how SCIENCE works, but I didn't go back and edit it, so... wizards, man.

Actually, sleep-deprived Selena has not been a thing. Clearly this is now something I must do in Book 3.

Albus was the trickiest character to get to grips with; I look back on so many of these conversations and I they almost read like writing exercises of me trying to figure him out. :-D I wanted so much for him to not be the hero's son who resents his father's heroic status that finding a different kind of dysfunctional was tough. Because he had to be some kind of dysfunctional.

I do think you're spot on that a male character with flaws like Rose's wouldn't have got so much hate. I mean, Scorpius is a BRAT, and I would objectively say a worse person than Rose (at the story's start, anyway), but he almost never gets criticised by readers. You raise an interesting point about 'flawed' - Lockett is FLAWED, Lockett has serious faults to her character. Rose is just normally imperfect (and also 16).

Maybe I had to make Scorpius a doofus because he's always Captain Sexypants to the Next Gen crowd. I need a bit of doofus in my fictional crushes.

I also did not intend to give them both kisses from their own POVs. Like I say. Always accidental.


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Review #40, by Roisin Powderkeg

16th March 2015:
Me and Albus both (except hopefully without the snoring bit on my end). I once managed to stay asleep even though a bat (!) had gotten into the room, and my friends were jumping on the bed trying to coax it out the window (yes, bed I was sleeping on). BUT I DIGRESS...

Even though I'm reading through a second time with the EXPRESS purpose of reviewing (because I wanna get to the NEXT part of the story), I find myself just wanting to cuddle up and click through and read ahead again without stopping to make comments. I, of course, blame you for this.

But, in a way it's good, because since I know some of the things that are coming I can fully appreciate how you've put it all together. And, since I haven't finished the whole story yet, and because there's a lot of intricacy, there's some stuff I just plumb forgot about, so I think it's good to give it a fresh read instead of jumping back to where I left off.

"Youíre not as expendable as me"--again, I am destroyed. You get away with this line because it's HIM thinking it, and he thinks it so nonchalantly, without being dramatized.

And the scene with Scorpius talking to Thane is SO brilliant, because he goes through like EVERYTHING the reader would be thinking. WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH THIS?!?!?! What is the motivation behind this attack?!?! Like, I can't even guess! Gharh!

Everything else in this story is so carefully planned and executed, I have to assume you're working up to something brilliant, and it's just SO FUN that I can't actually tell yet what that might be. Also, clever--because the Mystery isn't necessarily the central focus of the action. There's quite a lot of other things to be getting on with, so the pacing works really well with the amount of info you're doling out.

Hmmm. Maybe it has something to do with trade agreements? Just because that term has cropped up a lot recently. I feel like some important detail has already been brushed past, but I have no idea which one!

Author's Response: That is SUPER impressive sleeping. I'm genuinely impressed. Though I hope you don't snore like Al, he snores like a buzz-saw.

I'll accept the blame on this one. If my story is cosy then I'm doing this right and I'm not even sorry. But it IS interesting to get these in-depth reviews from someone who has read ahead, because most of the time I get first impressions, while yeah, you're giving feedback on stuff most people don't notice first time around, or feedback on how stuff now feeds in to stuff later - it's very appreciated, basically.

Scorpius is nonchalant, but he's also a dramatic little bunny.

I do love this scene with him and Thane. The two of them get a long and interesting road together, but there are deliberate choices in what Thane chooses to not say and what he seems uncaring about keeping secret. I'm okay with it at this point, because Ignite is far more a story about the Situation, of which the threat is only a part... but I could lament wrestling with pacing until the cows come home.

I would be very surprised if one could guess the plot on the amount of information currently out, THOUGH the various hints on what's going on in the outside world - minor as they have been - are entirely deliberate.

Cheers for all these reviews, SO appreciated!

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Review #41, by Roisin No Smoke Without Fire

16th March 2015:
! HAHAHAHA! The opening to this chapter was amazing. Like, what a sneaky trick to be able to do two things at once. How is Scorpius so hilarious?!?!?!

Oh man, I forgot about his guitar! And gosh, the interrupted kiss. I liked the simplicity of the line 'And an awful lot of things began to make an awful lot of sense.' And then, how Lockett comments that Rose looks flustered and Scorpius looks smug, so 'business as usual'--it just really reinforces that.

'"boa constricter skin" / they ignored him'--hahahahahaha. You're super good at comic timing!

The little conflict with Lockett and Hermione and all that Lockett backstory stuff was also really well placed within the story. And again, both sides are really convincing. Like, I'd have to agree with Hermione about holding up a principle about statistically insignificant data, but of /course/ everyone at Hogwarts would have a slightly more personal relationship with what is deemed significant.

Haha--'Dad did it.' Again with his sort of complex about his parents' accomplishments. That it's an Acromantula thing is also especially perfect in context, because Hermione wasn't there for that and she's the one they're talking to. Also, her asking Scorp to help keep Albus and Rose out of trouble is interesting, because it sort of inspires in /him/ the desire to do it.

Speaking of toggles, it's interesting that Lockett is branded with BOTH 'breaches of ethics' AND 'disloyalty to her team'--considering those two things are in DIRECT conflict with one another.

Man... I'm getting really tragic vibes of Tim Warwick... like, I know Scorpius sort of adores him, but also we don't know him very well... I'm just worried he won't make it. A big aura of doom around that one.

Author's Response: There's just a tiny box in my brain marked 'Scorpius', and when I need to write his stuff I let him come out and throw a strop. He's the easiest to let exposit, he means I don't have to fuss over tiny little details.

Hogwarts is WAY more interested in the statistically insignificant data, though this IS also a demonstration of Hermione's ego. Lockett's comment about her NEWTs is well-founded, but Hermione is also entirely disinclined to listen to Lockett. I do enjoy their little conflicts as a side-piece in the story. I hadn't intentionally made the charges landed at Lockett's door opposed, but yeah, they do make it all fishier.

Though, poor Hermione. Imagine trying to get your kids to NOT do something risky when they can say lines like, "Dad did it"? Over and over again she will be undermined by that, "You broke into Gringotts and broke OUT riding a dragon," story. What do you SAY to that? Hermione was trying to use Scorpius' loyalty to get him to make Albus behave, but she's also underestimating his courage.

At present, young Tim provides for Scorpius a sense of responsibility to the students of Hogwarts - on a personal level, which he's lacking, being without family. And it would feel a bit appropriative of his friends' pain if he was agonising like this over Lily or Hugo, and while this is an ensemble piece he IS certainly the protagonist, sooo... he needs a puppy for his pat the dog moment. Tim gets to be the puppy.

A puppy of doom, perhaps.


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Review #42, by Roisin Cleansing Flames

16th March 2015:
'Scorpius gave an elaborate bow to hide the twisting in his gut'--Scorpius in a nutshell.

Just giggling solidly through the opening section. I'm having a difficult time believing this story is something that got written on a once-blank page, and instead suspect that it actually just sprang fully-formed out of the aether.

Man, the building comparisons between Thane and Scorpius are really potent. Very interesting!

I love the line 'September was dying.' Also, I just realized that Scorpius and Artemis have weirdly similar personalities... There's something in there...

Hah, your reveal with the Marauder's Map was brilliant. (Also some feels, because, you know)

Man, I just got kind of wrapped up in this chapter and completely failed to make comments. The whole Draco/Scorpius bit was really well done, and I like that the meeting early helped set the stage for it. Very well planned! Scorp's ranting was a really marked shift in personality, which mirrors Rose's change in behavior in an interesting way. I wouldn't say they're expressly connected, but they're both the results of parallel emotional arcs.

Anyway, the plot and emotional pacing is just fantastic!

Author's Response: An unintentional nutshell, but an apt one!

I wrote Ignite right off the back of heavy, war-time, coming-of-age angst fanfic, so I think I was just so relieved getting to write something light-hearted (you know, with people getting trapped in a house of plague - that kind of light-hearted) that I just went to town on whimsy.

Scorpius and Artemis... pretty faces, easily distracted, mollified by fuss and attention, may savage you if sufficiently provoked (and very capricious on what counts as provocation). Yeah, I can see it.

I enjoyed writing the Marauder's Map a whole guilty lot.

Huh, interesting point on Scorpius' anger about his father being a serious shift. It's one of those things where, writing from inside his head, I've always KNOWN it was there, so while it was a new layer to come out, the feelings with it weren't necessarily meant to be something NEW... ahh, the joy of perspective.

Parallel emotional arcs are entirely coincidental. :D


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Review #43, by Roisin Hot and Cold

16th March 2015:
Bah--I love how disconcerted Scorpius is by Rose being civil to him. Like, he's so very disturbed.

Artemis' little POVs always make me giggle. You're basically writing in 3rd person deep POV for a lot of this, so head-hopping is a dangerous business, but somehow you really make the Artemis thing work! I guess because she's a cat? Anyway, it's always delightful!

The way this transitions into an argument is so masterful. Like, it just wouldn't be in character for Scorpius not to comment on Rose's change in demeanor (and he wasn't privvy to last chapter's convo with Albus), but Rose has pretty good reasons for finding it annoying (I try to be nice to you and you accuse me of manipulating). It's a totally convincing road back to Rose's BF conflict.

I'm just constantly in awe of how carefully crafted this story is. From the plot, to the dynamics between characters, you toggle everything with such an assured hand.

'Keep on smiling, Mister Malfoy. Most people canít even see through it'--that kind of destroyed me. So good.

*Squee* Selena having a good idea and Methy assuring her for it gave me so much happiness! The dynamic they have is an unexpected one, but again, you really make it convincing. Their seemingly opposing personalities end up fitting together and harmonizing in really interesting ways, and I love it! And it makes sense--Methuselah is used to being smarter than everyone, so he wouldn't treat Selena like she's dumb. And because he's totally indifferent to normal social behavior, he wouldn't think to be unkind to her or withhold appreciation.

Bahahaha--have I said before that this story is almost weirdly like the Breakfast Club? Like, people who wouldn't usually hang out become isolated together, and then find out they strike up weird bonds? Selena's interesting, because her kissing Methy's cheek is partially motivated by whatever drive for attention made her behave the way she did pre-outbreak, and also she has limited options. But I like how something that /could/ be a flaw in a person becomes something different once context changes. In a way, she's the most open minded.

And then way to reinforce a positive image of Selena! The way she criticizes Rose's interactions with House Elves is so apt and brilliant--I just love that bit. Super duper on point.

AHA, the whole 'Scorpius/Miranda' reveal is so perfect! Again, every thread connecting perfectly. I love Miranda's strategy for telling Rose, too. Like, everyone has their part to play, and Miranda is a gossip, so she can process-of-eliminate based on peoples' relationships. Brilliant!

The whole drama around Miranda was, while petty, a well drawn out little mystery hook that made me want to click 'next chapter' right away, and it's so amazing that by the time you reveal it, there's SO MANY NEW REASONS to keep reading! A well utilized device all in all.

'crazy in the face'--*snort laughs*

You also wield the mulitiple POVs admirable. Like, /we/ know about Scorpius' drawn out battle with the Ravenclaw doorknocker, but it's amazing to see Rose's perspective of him in his mania. Just SO FUNNY!

Now to avoid mashing my hands on the keyboard and shouting "SO GOOD" over and over again~

Author's Response: Scorpius has never fully understood Rose's hostility towards him (and being Scorpius, just plain retaliated) so he has so many reasons to be suspicious of her changing tack.

Artemis jokes are cheap and silly and I will never stop writing them when she's on-screen. I could wax lyrical about how if a cat wants to be the centre of attention, they will BE the centre of attention, and thus I demonstrate it by even the prose derailing to contemplate Artemis' love for tassles, but... I just want to make cat jokes.

Rose and Scorpius in this scene just wrote themselves, honestly. I don't tend to plan emotional arcs in detail in a story; I know what the end goal is and I USUALLY know the major turning points, and I of course know when the Main Plot will affect the personal plots. But I certainly didn't go into Ignite knowing exactly at what point ScoRose would turn romantic, for instance.

Lockett; she gets Scorpius, and yet is never going to be the most delicate hand at managing him.

Would you believe me if I said I've never seen the Breakfast Club? Though I did realise partway through planning that I was basically writing it with MAGIC and LIFE AND DEATH STAKES, like going Michael Bay all over that movie.

It's taken looking back at Selena kissing Methuselah on the cheek before I'VE fully understood why she did that. Because, yes, they're actually relating as PEOPLE, in a way neither of them is particularly used to doing, and so they're finding a connection there. But Selena is accustomed to most of her interactions with people being manipulations. Even if she's got quite innocent intentions, she hasn't just kissed Methuselah on the cheek because she wants to; she DOES want to wind him up, get him questioning, play a game. It's a NICE game, and I could argue that here she's shunting him into HER territory, when talking nerd is HIS territory, but it's still a very deliberate act, not natural, easy affection.

Selena is in some ways the worst of them all because she doesn't CARE that she's flawed; she doesn't really care when she hurts or upsets people. And yet, that lack of caring transforms to a rocking self-awareness, because she doesn't build up this image of herself as a Good Person, which helps her stay insightful and also really good at dishing out truths.

The Miranda Mystery is such a high school thing, but then, Ignite's all about these characters shedding their misconceptions about each other, and this is probably the first misconception I introduced to readers. I'm still glad something so VERY silly was compelling!

Sometimes it's funnier being in Scorpius' head. Sometimes it's way funnier watching what he does with no idea of his mental process, and who better to be bewildered by this than Rose?

Thanks for reviewing!

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Review #44, by Roisin Burning Question

16th March 2015:
Bahahaha, I love how Selena and Rose just aren't having any of his 'wounded hero' schtick. GUH I LOVE YOUR SCORPIUS SO MUCH. He's such a snarky little dandy.

It's so clever that he describes it as a 'malfunctioning chocolate frog card.' I see a lot of references to 'tapes' and the like in fics, which always strike me odd (I mean, even MUGGLE kids in the 2020s probably wouldn't know what VHS was).

Oh my gosh... I am the worst... I seriously grinned like a fool when Scorpius took off his shirt... THIS IS NOT WHO I AM. The writing just perfectly conveys the atmosphere of the situation.

I like how you have Scorpius describe his memories instead of writing him remembering them. The uninterrupted block of story-telling is a nice shift, and I liked getting it all in his voice and perspective.

And then 'That's on the one hand really useful, and at the same time, not.' So good. Like, the reader wants ANSWERS, so you give us something, but of course it only raises more questions!

Back to the differences between Rose+Lockett and Methuselah, since I have the privilege of knowing it's a story, I suspect their differences in approach will prove valuable. Like, it's good to have one team working on one problem in a methodic way, and then one weirdo genius kind of riffing it on his own. But I like the conflict you make between both camps, because both are very convincing (and they don't know they're in a story where narratives are tidy!)

Ooh, something I like that continues to come up: Rose and Albus' relationship with their parents' past. I love how they have such a different perspective about gall and daring, because it's something their parents are celebrated for. Like, with the trio the criticism was always "you're just kids, leave it to the adults!" but for Rose and Albus, they're older than their parents were for a LOT of things. It's really well played, and I love it!

There are a lot of other things I want to praise and gush about, but they're largely the same things I've BEEN gushing about, so I'll try to avoid resembling a malfunctioning chocolate frog card!

Author's Response: The first sign of unity on Selena and Rose, and of course it's on Scorpius being RIDICULOUS.

Sometimes I remember to keep my turns of phrase very strongly in-world. Sometimes I forget. I freely admit that this series cares more about the wizarding world in the 2020s than the Muggle world in the 2020s, but even relatively Muggle-aware Scorpius (or, at least, he likes some Muggle music) isn't likely to think of video recordings.

I considered a flashback for Scorpius with the full memories, but it felt better to keep the recollection detached. It gives the facts but less context, which kept it mysterious, AND made it easier to write. I mean, this is a big moment to confirm there's a conspiracy and an attack, but it seemed better to hold off on it all being 'on screen' per se.

Certainly the two types of intellect means they're not all working on the same thing. They all have their projects and, yes, that serves specific purposes.

I feel so sorry for anyone trying to discourage children from doing anything heroic when this is the generation raised on the stories of Harry Potter, teenaged saviour. It's just never going to go down well.

I NEVER mind gushing. Thanks for the review!

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Review #45, by Roisin Firefight

16th March 2015:
You are so clever! Gah! How do you write serialized fics yet they flow together so well? Like, you established in the last chapter that the crate-legs were starting to ware out, and that's critical to this scene. Just. Bravo.

I also like how you play Heroism throughout this story. Like, Scorpius' first instinct is to run, because IT BLOODY WELL SHOULD BE. In the end he decides to fight (and that decision doesn't take long), so it equals a net heroism. But I like that there's realistic reluctance to his arc.

And I really appreciate how the action isn't always "they went looking for trouble" or "they were just minding their own business," but is a combination of both. Sometimes they hatch a scheme to go to the forest, sometimes they're just picking up supplies. Having a mix makes it much more believable than just having one or the other!

Hah, I love this line "Stupefy. Petrificus Totalus. Locomotor Mortis. Stop. Bloody. Coming. You. Stupid. Things." Also, props on making the redcaps legitimately scary and threatening, despite their size!

Ah! And then the way you orchestrate the series of events for Scorpius to straight up act as bait, and it's convincing! Especially now he's invested so much into the battle, I'm willing to believe his choices.

"If Redcaps kill me because I shot myself, this is going to be so embarrassing." Bahahahahahaha

And then, BAM--cliffhanger number two! Gosh this is such a well-plotted story! The lines of cause and effect are both clear and intricate, and everything works so well to serve the narrative. And like, COMPREHENSIVELY. You even got a little ScoRose shipping out of it.


Author's Response: I wrote this with a little bit of a buffer, but I think any of the flow off Ignite is sheer luck, not craft.

Scorpius really isn't an anti-hero - but he's got a way to go before he becomes a more typical hero. I'm always keen in these more action/heroic stories to explore physical courage, and its development in the series is integral. I must say, it makes life much easier when it comes to danger to be writing for teenagers. They can do risky stuff which gets them into trouble without stretching credulity!

Redcaps are a super creepy bit of mythology, but being kind of small they presented a good 'intro' threat, an enemy that could be worrying but manageable, and also inhuman enough to avoid the worse questions of violence intrinsically threatening one's sense of self.

ScoRose. They sneak in everywhere, those crazy kids. Thanks so much for the review!

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Review #46, by Roisin False Dawn

16th March 2015:
BACK! (Just so you know, I plan to review this WHOLE story)

I love the idea of there being dullness in crisis. It's both interesting and true. The best thing I have to compare it to is being in an E.R. waiting room--much like what you describe in this story, it's simultaneously nerve-wracking and boring, and one really doesn't know what to do to be useful. I've said it before, but CRISIS seems like a really daunting thing to write about, and your story is just SO convincing!

This sentence seems confusing, either I read it wrong or something happened to it during editing? "--sleeping in for as long as he could get away with wasteful."

Your use of summarized action and dialog through the opening of this chapter is really well placed. Some authors struggle with summary, because it can get telly-over-showy, and some don't summarize when they ought to, but you've found the perfect balance. It helps that you insert specific details into your summary.

Hah. "All quiet on the west side."

Man, it's so nice to return to this story! The prose is just so refreshingly masterful. Like, you know how reading a well-written story just kind of feels like less work? Your balance of description is also absolutely perfect, to the point that your writing has a kind of invisible quality. Like, I read it and get absorbed, rather than seeing the pen.

I like how Scorpius' affection for Rose is obvious to the reader without being belaboured, but also decoupled from Beauty. Like here, she's got ink smudged across her cheek, but he's clearly /into that./ You also include the language of annoyance ('smug smile'), which I think matches really well. I've said it before, but I like that Rose has her flaws, and I think she is owed them. I mean, she's a freaking BATTLESHIP in her own right (and working really hard), so she absolutely has a right to some smugness or whatever every now and again.

Also (you know I've read ahead and know where this is going) I love that you establish Respect before you establish liking. Scorpius' thoughts here about Rose's intelligence are really wonderful. Also, the idea that someone doesn't need to be THE SMARTEST EVER in order to be smart. Like, recognizing Methy's genius doesn't diminish from Rose.

It's very clever the way Scorpius kind of sets Rose off, and then lets his eyes kind of glaze over. It's clever because then /you/ don't have to detail whatever she's talking about, and also, because I KNOW THE EYES GLAZING OVER LOOK (my field is incredibly specialized and academic, so questions like 'what do you study?' tend to result in glazed eyes).

"Albus is leggy"--*snort laughs*

Your analysis of the whole Teamwork vs Individual Genius is wonderful! It's so satisfying to read an action/adventure story that also has so many smart and clever observations throughout!

The pacing of the hole 'riddle' sequence was genius. His realization was comically perfect!

I like that the crates have legs, because that's a canon spell! (Tantalegra?) Well done!

Aannd CLIFFHANGER! Nice. I remember why I read the first twenty-odd chapters all at once!

Yay, I will be back soon! I love this story so much!


Author's Response: I would be sorry you've got so many chapters ahead of you to review, but... I'm not. Also I totally need to get back to Year Five, but I keep wanting to sit down and Review Properly. Maybe my 2 AM excitable rants were more productive!

A crisis can be horribly dull because either you're expected to be Ready For the Crisis even if there's nothing to do, in which case you're waiting around, or you're so stressed you can't think about anything BUT the crisis, even if there's nothing to do. The hospital waiting room comparison's about the only thing I could compare it too, though, personally, yeah. Not that this was a conscious choice. It just seemed inevitable with days of Waiting. The sweeping, overall STUFF of the crisis was just a PEST to write, and I don't think I knew what I was signing up for when I started, but... yeah. Came with the territory, so I am VERY glad it's worked.

'Get away with wasteful' - okay, I see the word and there was probably meant to be a 'without feeling' before the 'wasteful' there, but, no, no. Nothing happened to that sentence in editing. This is, I suspect, the problem!

I actually hate covering the passage of time in prose. I use scene skips WHENEVER possible. So I had to beat up and agonise over these segments SO MUCH - it's not a natural forte of mine, they were uncooperative paragraphs, so THANK YOU for saying it worked.

Albus is probably not making a conscious Western Front comment. I just couldn't bring myself to phrase the sentence differently.

I usually describe my own prose as 'workmanlike'; I know it's not flashy and florid, so I'm glad it's carrying the rest of the story and sweeping you along, because... well, if I'm not waxing lyrical in an exciting manner, better the penmanship is not noticed!

Scorpius slowly discovers he has a thing for brains. Or, yes, he sees Rose in her element, at her best, and her best is her being kind of frantic and forthright and brilliant but a bit unstoppable. And he's just IMPRESSED, so he kind of falls for that, warts and all. If she stopped to fuss about ink smudges, she would be less focused, and so would lose some of the vim and vigour he's drawn to.

While I suppose I could write a romance of flirty crushing growing to deeper affection, I tend to not. And these two certainly need to tear down their preconceptions about one another before anything remotely sensible or healthy could happen.

I feel sorry for Rose, stuck next to Methuselah. She really is the keeper of both her parents' legacy: brilliant like her mother, insecure about her achievements like her father (inevitably compared to her mother and family, and stood next to someone who overshadows her even at her best). I should ALWAYS give my Rose more moments of awesome, because she deserves them for all the hell I throw her way. Such as being one of the more unsympathetically flawed of my protagonists.

Yep. Scorpius glazing over means I don't have to make up more technobabble about magical medicine. Hell with that! And, cough, couldn't comment on setting off glazed eyes myself when on certain historical ramblings, cough.

Albus IS leggy. Scorpius appreciates hot.

I don't TRY to make these points, but it seemed natural. Methuselah is so introverted as to not be very useful to a team. Rose is better with people, and I think a bit more willing to do the rubbish leg-work bits of research and hard work (while I suspect Methuselah's very train-of-thought, just happens to be RIGHT), so she's way more use to Lockett.

I may have been thinking of the canon spell when I wrote walking crates (I don't recall, it was over 2 years ago I wrote this). I MAY have been thinking of Pratchett's Luggage...

So glad you came back! So glad you're still reviewing!

~ Slide

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Review #47, by JilyBlack Embers

5th March 2015:
Alright, first of all I LOVED your Story.
I couldn't stop reading it and finished it all in one go. Very compelling and a huge distraction from everything else (Which is a good thing by the way :D ). I haven't seen such a thought through, convincing and at the same time interesting plot in a long time.
Your Story made a boring trainride very exciting, so thanks you for writing it :)

x Jily

Author's Response: I'm so glad I could kill a train journey with the story! I always have a special place in my heart for books which make trips go faster, so happy to provide!

Thrilled you enjoyed the fic, the sequels are out there, thanks for reviewing!

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Review #48, by EmmaGM Embers

9th February 2015:
First of all, I'm sorry that I didn't review for the last couple of chapters. The story was so stirring, I just had to read on right away.

Second of all, congratulations on finishing such a wonderful story. It was beautifully written, but above all, the story line was fantastic. I never read anything like it, and I loved it. This was definitely one of the best stories I've read in a long time.

The way you write the relationships between the characters is extremely well done. Scorpius, Rose and Albus seem to have an extraordinary friendship between the three of them. Thinking back to Harry, Ron and Hermione during their time at Hogwarts is inevitable when you read about them.

You didn't only do well with the characters we already know. You did a great job developing your own characters. I think, as a writer, it is much more difficult to make the readers care about other characters, simply because they didn't know them before reading the story. But I found myself laughing, caring and crying for Methuselah Jones, Selena Rourke and Professor Lockett.

In my opinion, Jones and Rourke have made the biggest character development during the course of the story. Jones' sacrifice was one of the bravest things I read, despite the fact that he knew it was the only thing left to do.

I remember you telling me that Professor Lockett was the worst possible person to have around in this crisis situation, and I agreed with you. But I was glad to see that she eventually came around and was able to find a cure for Phlegethon. Still, I wonder if she will chose to return to Hogwarts as a teacher. This year must have her doubting her career path.

The last chapter was both sad and good. You did a great job on the confrontation between Scorpius and Draco. It went exactly the way I hoped it would.

Once again, congratulations on finishing your story and thank you for sharing it with us. I can't wait to get started on the next instalment.

Author's Response: Heh, I can't judge you for wanting to rush to the end. If the story weren't so compelling I wouldn't have done a good job!

Very glad you enjoyed yourself, and enjoyed the characters. I'm fond of these guys myself, especially the New Trio, but Selena and Methuselah were heartbreaking to write at times - especially knowing what was coming. I have a soft spot for Lockett, but for all her smarts she is not a good TEACHER, and, no, will not go back to it. At the least, she's redeemed her reputation in the world of research and academia and could easily go back there.

The Scorpius/Draco confrontation was inevitable, but there will be more to come of their relationship.

Thanks a whole bunch for these reviews, and I'm stoked you enjoyed the story!

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Review #49, by EmmaGM Fire and Ice

9th February 2015:
I was waiting for this! I was expecting it to happen, but you somehow still surprised me. Very well written.

It seems unlikely that the two of them will jump into a relationship, however. Although they would definitely make a good couple, it can't be too easy to get together after 'hating' each other for so long. And Rose still has a boyfriend, right? I'm curious to see where you'll take it from here.

If the previous chapter was one of my favourites, then this is without a doubt my favourite of all. I loved it.

Author's Response: It was inevitable, yes! And, there are a whole lot of obstacles to cross besides accepting the attraction between them. Rose's boyfriend is one of the more major ones! Thanks for reviewing.

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Review #50, by EmmaGM Powderkeg

9th February 2015:
This was one of my favourite chapters so far. I'm liking the character of Scorpius more and more as the story progresses. Going into the Forbidden Forest himself to help his friends is something only one Malfoy would decide.

The scene with Thane was amazing. We learned more about his character, but he stayed vague enough so his motives stay unclear. Great work!

Author's Response: Scorpius has hidden depths and certainly deeper virtues. Regardless of the sort of thing his father would have taught him. Glad you find Thane compelling! Thanks for reviewing.

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