Way back in the beginning, after one of the earlier chapters, I started a planning a review, filing away things I would say about the story. With the last few chapters, that plan is now in tatters. I had in no way anticipated the direction that this story would take- from a complex character piece to a part-fantasy, part-adventure, part-mystery tale about different myths and different worlds; your excellent writing has, of course, carried me with it. I can only imagine the effort you must have taken to imagine, and write, it.
I love your Victoire. She's so believable and relatable, and the absolutely stunning detail you inserted about her always leaving a window open in case Gidget ever does come back-is an indelible image. Whenever I think of her, I'll of that and everything that says about her. Lovely thought; lovely character. And this eye for minute detail is what I appreciate most about your writing. I wanted to burst out in song every time I saw the word 'rug' in the text! You took a small line from Fleur and fleshed that out into a series of moments, into a thing- and it was great. Scorpius as the first year who summoned Victoire in the forest, Albus' (whose portrayal I absolutely love) history with Teddy: all small points, but beautifully done.
You've accommodated a large cast of characters while giving each a distinct role and voice. Bill, Andromeda, Albus, Phineas, Owen- am I allowed to have so many favourites(Victoire, of course, towers above them all)? Bill especially- I can see him and he's just the kind of man, and father, that I expected him to be. And Teddy! Again, I can see him so clearly, both Teddy-of-the-light-eyes and Teddy-of-the-dark and you've worked hard enough with his characterisation that it isn't easy to dislike him, despite his actions. The scene where Victoire walks in on him and, er, Ick (I can't get that name out of my head now) is powerful and chilling. And there's more: you've written Ollivander! With a heart! And the basic conceit of Victoire as an Adrenalin Animagus is wonderful. With such an intricate story, there's much to praise.
But- and this is the only constructive feedback I have to offer- this great strength could also be a hindrance at times. Owen's geneaology, Victoire's condition, her dynamic with Teddy, BIMAS, the fairies, Micah: although these various threads seem to intertwine more and more as the story goes on, I sometimes find it difficult to keep up. I feel that the chapter with the boat incident divides the story into two sections, each with a very distinct tone and scale: the first is more character-driven and allows us to 'locate' Victoire properly while the second introduces the larger fairies/wandlore plot. To be fair, you wove a lot of the elements of the latter into the former, but I still felt unprepared for the shift when it happened. After settling in with the world of BIMAS, meeting superb characters like the Pauls and getting behind Owen's search, I was suddenly somewhere else and it was too new somehow. Consequently the boat chapter, the fiendfyre, the meeting with the fairies, the new information about Teddy's wand, had/have me a bit overwhelmed. I'd suggest that either the transition between the two halves (although the 'halves' are in my head) be made a bit smoother with a clear privileging of one story thread over others and/or more anticipation. Or that the break is even more clearly defined, with chapter 19 (or 20) beginning a new part or section. Does that make sense?
But I don't want to sound like I'm not enjoying the story because I really am. I'll re-read it once more to understand the later chapters better and it speaks volumes that I'll do this gladly. Your style, your ideas but most of all your wonderful, sympathetic characters make for rewarding reading, so thank you- and I look forward to the rest of it! And sorry for the obscenely long review!Author's Response: Patroni! Wow. This is one of the most amazing reviews I've ever gotten. I'm not even sure how to respond. Thanks for the time and for the lovely comments. I'm just still staring.
I'm unbelievably happy you mentioned the details that you did. They were all very deliberate and to have someone pick them up and make note - that's truly satisfying.
Bill is love. He and Fleur were extremely fun to write as parents. Teddy's characterization was absolutely the most difficult I've ever tackled because he is so not himself for so much of the story, and yet, he needs to be enough that readers don't despise him and other characters don't pick up on the change enough to challenge it immediately.
Teddy-of-the-light-eyes and Teddy-of-the-dark! That is probably how I'm going to think of him now :)
The best part of this review (beyond the lovely comments that have me dancing) is that I really do get what you're saying about the flow and the transition. There ARE many moving parts and I want to get them right, so hearing where things don't flow in a reader's experience is vital. This comment is perfect in that respect.
~Ty Report Review
I really like this story so far and am looking forward to the rest of it. Your style is great and you've made me really invested in Victoire. I'm also a sucker for anything remotely connected to Wandlore! But I'll leave a longer, fuller review later on. For now, I just wanted to point out a few (very) minor spelling errors in this chapter that you may want to take a look at:
'Didn't [lose] it... [lose] would've been leaving it with the hag from the apothecary.'
I can help you look into the names. We can ask Professor [McGonagall].
He rallied the family around the project, which become sort of a mecca for [Weasley's] in need of a cause.
Rest assured; these didn't detract from a very enjoyable chapter. I just spotted them and thought to let you know!Author's Response: Eeeep!!
Thanks for the catches. I'll fix those right up.
~ a very grateful Ty Report Review
I am really, really intrigued by this story. From the start, you threw us into the thick of it; no tedious settting-up, no character-exposition through monologues. We were pushed immediately into a world chock-full of stuff: a million bits of information (a Hogwarts quidditch team!) a large cast of unruly subjects, established histories of rivalry and friendships. I loved that and loved how busy it kept me, having to figure out how things connect and who talks to whom. This is really mature writing, expecting the reader to do some of the work on her own, and I really appreciate that.
You're also working with a really unique story- not just in terms of the plot, but also in that you sort-of have two 'central' characters in Angie and Albus (unlike I'm reading it wrong), who are swirling towards a common scene without getting there (yet). I find Angie's portrayal incredibly interesting and new as also Albus and all of the other characters that you've set up. I like especially that each character has a defined relationship with at least two others, reminding us of the larger web of relationships (Wyatt and Angie; Lily and Dave).
Two last yays and I'm done. To the description of Professor Vector's office: yay! I'm in Slytherin on Pottermore and I could see her office fit right in with the shimmering-glassy-green of the common room there. And to putting a Slytherin-Ravenclaw rivalry at the forefront of the story: yay! I do hope that you decide to continue with this at some point. If not, thank you for a lovely beginning. And sorry about the long review!Author's Response: Hi Patroni!
Thanks for the lovely long review. I'm very happy to keep you busy, especially in a good way. And it's excellent that you don't mind doing some of the work because I think that's where the fun is (in reading and writing).
You're reading correct - Angie and Albus are the central characters. They share the stage with a lot of players in the mix, but they will carry the story. And whether they like it or not, their paths are going to cross :) I love that you mentioned the larger web of relationships. You're so right, everyone has their own circle. I'm glad that plays out well with these characters.
I had fun with Vector's office. I like to think that the living spaces of the dungeon have their own unique beauty. Haha, the rivalry! Sports really are the great equalizer, capable of bringing out the best and worst in anyone.
I am continuing, for sure. How could I not after such lovely reviews? I hope to post the next chapter soon.
~TY Report Review
I always get excited when I see an update from you! I enjoyed this chapter and am looking forward to the rest of the story. The idea of the Repulsion Remedy is really interesting- particularly that they can't speak without hurting each other- and I wonder where you'll take it next. I re-read No Solid Ground compulsively and have become so familiar with that James that it's lovely to this other, lighter, chattier one facing more amusing problems in Hogwarts. :) I hope you update soon, both this one and No Solid Ground, and thank you for the story. Report Review
WHAT?! No, but that's... WHAT?!
I keep writing this in every review but this chapter really was my favourite. I love that you explored every detail of Fred's homecoming, from the clock to its impact on his family. I'd grown so accustomed to seeing things from the point of view of the Cliodna's Clock residents that I'd forgotten what it might be like for the people left behind. But everything in the Burrow seemed utterly real- Molly's reaction, the general buzz of curiosity from everyone, George stomping through to see the clock and then leaving in a state of frustration, longing, anger, disappointment- just everything.
And the conversation between the two brothers! It was wonderful to see them quarrel for once. Well, not quarrel but be in such different positions that their usual, fluid harmony- talking at the same time, knowing what the other is thinking- becomes difficult to achieve. And you took them in directions that we haven't really seen in the books before: real, aching sadness, desperation, almost-anger at times. And yet they remain believable as a double act throughout. I suppose it must have been an interesting dynamic to explore and you did it beautifully.
Another moment that took my breath away was the simply image of a mother gazing through the window at two fuzzy shapes, willing the scene to exist and yet knowing that it is impossible. And so she stands there although she is itching to run out and check, because she thinks that if she leaves, the scene will too. You anticipate every loophole in your narration and extend your story to cover them, making the whole scene seem believable, real and watertight.
To go back to the last line though, WHAT?! Oh, the confusion of the guard in the first chapter seems even more significant now. Must.Turn (?).Page.Author's Response: Hi, patroni! Sorry for taking so long to respond to this. D:
I knew that this chapter was going to be one of the longest in the bunch. I wanted to take my time with it, since the whole duel led up to this moment. It would feel like cheating the readers to only skim the 24-hour experience when Fred worked so hard to get this prize.
It felt so otherworldly for me to write the Burrow after I'd been writing about all these dead characters in the afterlife for so long. But it also felt really nice to get back into that, with the warmth and life and canon-ness. I was very careful with the clock scene, since I'd been imagining it for months in my head and wanted to write it exactly as I saw it.
I can't tell you how wonderful it is to hear that you liked how I wrote the twins' interaction. It was difficult to take them how they were in canon (finishing each other's sentences, almost always in agreement with each other), and show how they've grown in slightly different directions since Fred's death. Fred especially is different, because of all he's been through. But still, they're the same old Fred and George underneath it all, and they ended up on the same page even if they took different routes to get there.
Your reception of the scene of Molly at the window is giving me warm fuzzies. ♥
Thank you, so very much, for taking the time to read this story and for leaving me these amazing reviews. :) Report Review
Ooh, T.S. Eliot in the chapter title! Yay.Author's Response: Oh? I didn't know! xD Report Review
I don't know why it took me so long to get to this story but I'm here now!
And I would invent an award for 'best line in the history of the universe' just so you could win it for this:
Albus scratched the non-existent scruff on his chin. "Umm, we did a play about the last Wizarding war in History."
Let me guess. You played your dad."
"...Nagini." Author's Response: Oh, hullo! :3
I have a whole slew of notes just on them learning about Papa Potter 8D Poor Albus. His family is required learning now. Report Review
What a great chapter!
1. The Quidditch Match was brilliant! Given that you'd already written a quidditch chapter, I was wondering if you'd be able to make this one stand out and you did. I was reading wide eyed and with bated breath as you described Trista's play.
2. I loved the bit with June and Albus, and June's story. Given my ongoing obsession with wandlore (I've pretty much memorised everything Rowling said about wands on Pottermore!), I really appreciate the information you provided about June's wand and the thought and research that went into it. It explains so much but you've also used carefully. That is, it isn't some deus ex machina, inserted to suddenly convince us that June was actually a genuis all the while.
3. The prank! I'm really looking forward to watching it unfold. And I wonder if Albus knows what June was upto with the password and spoke the wrong one on purpose.
Congratulations on having nearly finished with this story. With one chapter to go, I just wanted to thank you for a lovely, lovely time! Report Review
Beautiful chapter! Absolutely beautiful. You made it so that Snape in the Potter's home seems perfectly organic, and their interactions are so believable. Lovely!Author's Response: Thank you! Snape in the Potters' house is definitely something I never thought I'd write, and it's an odd concept, so I'm glad it seemed to work. Thank you for reading and reviewing. :) Report Review
Lovely, as always! Just one missed word here that you may want to correct: 'In front of June, Albus [was] eyeing his mother with disapproval.'Author's Response: Thanks so much for catching that! I've edited it. Things get lost here and there when I'm reading so much :) Glad you enjoyed it! Report Review
Okay, I was not expecting that. Brilliant-o!
(He knows; he so knows).Author's Response: Hee glad you're enjoying it ;D Report Review
I'm amazed by how your Percy is very much like the Percy from the books ('Lady present!' was brilliant!), but softer and more likeable. And 'likeable' is not a word I'd have associated with him before. :)
I loved this section-
Something unreadable crossed his face before his mouth turned up in a half-smile.
'I really think you must be the nicest person I've ever met.'
The 'something unreadable' could be so many things-shock, surprise, gratitude... We've seen Percy in canon, and seen how people (justifiably) reacted to him, so the sincerity in what he says was almost heart-breaking.
It's been a while since you updated so I hope you'll come back to this. In any case, thank you for a lovely story!Author's Response: Sorry for the very late reply, but thank you for reading and reviewing! So glad you are enjoying this fic. Writing Percy in a canon but also more likeable way has been a challenge, but I think what allows me to do it is writing from the point of view of someone who has no preconceived notions about him and is giving him a more fair chance (also she just has a forgiving attitude about almost everyone), and it also helps that Percy is older and a little wiser here. I really think of him as a good (though insecure) person who was a little too eager to prove himself and made a lot of bad mistakes.
Updates are coming! Thank you again! Report Review
I love the idea that the house is alive, if not sentient; that it can 'move' to a different address, and parts of it can detach themselves and disappear to other houses for a bit. Ingenious!
And Remus' box of letters: so totally believable! I mean, of course your writing style is great (or have I not managed to convey this is my thousand-word reviews?) but it's your ideas and your attention to detail that blow me away. I've said this before, but I'll say it again: you think and write in such a way that the stories you tell can't not be true. So modify your disclaimer; you're writing canon. :)Author's Response: Everything shifts and moves; it's my favorite part of Cliodna's Clock. It also serves to remind residents that even if they own something, they still sort of have to share it because their stuff disappears to other people's houses all the time.
Aww, thank you for your kind praise!! And I'm glad you liked the bit about Remus's letters. He's such a private man and he went for so long without giving into his feelings for Tonks, so he must've purged his feelings somewhere. I imagine that Tonks would have been very smug indeed when she discovered them. XD
Thank you so much for reading and reviewing! Report Review
I really liked this! It was so creative and new and warm. It took a while to get used to because I hadn't read any Hugo-centered fics before, and certainly not one with these three in the lead, but the characters and the dynamic between them really grew on me. I loved all three of them, though it's Hugo's cheeks that I'll be pulling. :)
And his internal thoughts: brilliant! I loved his bit-by-bit calculations of What That Look Means, but his commentaries on Scorpius takes the cake:
'It hadn't occurred to him before that this might be a very horrible place for Scorpius to be again. How brave! What a Gryffindor!'
'Man, he is silent and deadly, Hugo thought, looking at Scorpius from the corner of his eye. I had no idea he was coming and then wham! he was there. And then he was gone. It was like--wow.'
And my favourite (there's nothing like random, poorly-timed, naive, misdirected concerns):
'I wonder if I made Scorpius do an illegal thing.'
Hugo becoming the secret-keeper for the lake is the perfect end to his story. I thought, when they were sitting around in Neville's office discussing whether to open the silver box, that he would say 'Quidditch! Let's play Quidditch!' or something like that, but this was so much better. And my stand-out moment was when you got Scorpius to say the line that gives this story its title. You crafted and timed it so well that when he uttered the words, I got goosebumps.
There's so much more to like- Neville and Scorpius' conversations about Hugo (having them say the same things at the same time, in one of the earlier chapters, was a neat way to establish the chemistry), Flitwick's general battiness, the unicorn ruse, the way you've titled the story. My only criticism is your use of 'anyways' because it always makes me shift in my seat a bit. But if you've written a twelve chapter story, and the only thing I've got to say against it is 'drop the s', that's pretty cool, no? :)
Thank you- I had loads of fun!Author's Response: Ahhh. I always feel this warmth as well coming back to read reviews on this story--it's been /such/ an adventure for me, myself, and I always enjoy hearing what people thought of it. I'm sure there are other fics out in the archives that are like this but it always seems like people are coming across this as their first Hugo-centric fic. I find that interesting and a bit concerning because I've presented a quite...particular vision of him. But anyway--now to your review, which is fantastic and made me laugh several times because you're so good at understanding what I was doing with Hugo's commentary.
I think Scorpius is quite a mystery to Hugo. Here's Scorpius who's single-handedly defended the Malfoy name and restored it some of its good rep, and then, on the complete other hand, maybe even on another body, here's Hugo, who's single-handedly caused every professor to wonder whether or not the brains of Hermione Granger were all just a fantastic dream. With that in mind I had a wonderful time writing from Hugo's P.O.V. where Scorp-o in particular is concerned. You've made me actually want to go back and read my own story because I have realized by reading reviews that these characters really have become their own selves, totally outside of my own understanding or control.
"There's nothing like random, poorly-timed, naive, misdirected concerns." IT MAKES SO MUCH SENSE THAT YOU LIKE THIS FIC, THEN ♥
I won't lie and say that secret-keeper had been a plan all along. It sort of came on me half-way through one of the chapters, because I remember hardly being able to map out what would happen between then and the time I could write the secret-keeper scene. It was really emotional for me as a writer, because it meant that, one, my story was ending, and two, Hugo was finally getting what he wanted most of all, which was recognition as a viable human being with responsibility and /value/. And Scorpius /had/ to be the one to say it! He sort of balances the crazy out, though he is quite mad, in his own ways. I remember getting several reviews on that chapter where readers were telling me they finally /got it./ It was quite rewarding.
It's funny to think about now, because of course it would seem strange for Neville and Scoprius to form this bond--Neville /hated/ Draco, and vice-versa obviously--and then there's the age difference, and THEN, on top of everything, they're bonding over Hugo, /Hugo/ is the thing they have in common. It's crazy! But when I was writing it, it didn't seem that way. Flitwick became batty because I needed a reason for Neville to take matters into his own hands, so to speak, but I liked him that way and after I got some good reviews on him, it stuck. I don't know if you've seen the sequel but you obviously saw the aptly-titled "unicorn ruse," which was a LOT of fun.
I noticed that I was using "anyways" pretty early on, and then of course I've edited this story a couple times, and I don't know if there's a real reason I left it in. Actually, I'd know if there was, so there isn't one. I'm not sure, perhaps if I go through and read/edit this again I'll take it out, if only to make it easier for readers like you to read :) And yes, I think you're being a lot nicer than the story deserves in reality, but that seems to be a general trend with reviews in this story, and I'm not complaining!
Thank YOU so much for your review--it's so perceptive and well-put, I'm glad to have been able to write something that you enjoyed :)
-lily Report Review
Oh, my lord. This is... Have you seen Madagascar? Where that small, furry animal thing is shrieking to King Julien from behind the bush? 'What are they King Julien? WHAT ARE THEY?' That's what I feel like doing!
What a start to a story. And what an imagination you've got! Please tell me you intend to be a professional writer one day; I'll chase you around with a broomstick if you don't.
Your section endings are brilliant! I know it's a random compliment but cultivating the instinct and restraint to break a story at the right moments, is a difficult thing to do. With 'Hufflepuffs,' Phineas muttered disgustedly and ' 'You're just in time for the races', Cedric said - you've given us the poster girls for good timing. They close the action, interrupt the flow, introduce a new tone, and move the story forward. So stylish, so deft- and I don't just mean the endings. And Fred, mistaken for George again: hah!Author's Response: Hello again! I'm so pleased to see you back here.
Hahaha Madagascar! Now that you mention it, that seems pretty fitting.
I very much intend to be a professional writer one day. I figure that if I spend my life writing around three novels a year, at least one of them's bound to get published! Fanfiction excluded, of course. ^ ^
Thank you - I try to end scenes in such a way that it will make the readers think about something in particular. I'm a bit fond of cliffhangers, too.
Thank you so much for reading and reviewing! I hope that you continue to enjoy it. :) I update every Wednesday. Report Review
I'm an idiot- I wrote my review for this chapter in 'circles' and so now I'm having to write my review for that one, here. Sorry about the trouble.
You know what I'd like to see for June in the Easter holidays? I'd like to see her make a dress for Lily. We already know that Lily doesn't like dresses, but that she sometimes has to wear them. And we know that she has a distinctive style of dressing, that she's awful to June, and that she's a right pain because of all that adolescent angst.
In my head, it's going to be her birthday in the break (what a coincidence! It's almost as if it's set-up for a parody!). June buys the material using her own money, and makes a cool not-very-dressy dress to give to her. It's a timid present to a frightening teenager, a token of gratitude to the family, a defiant and triumphant message for a certain Albus, and a manifesto for a career in design. IT WILL BE THE DRESS TO END ALL DRESSES.
But more fried eggs on non-dates would be good, too. Report Review
The Gryffindor team introductions by Priscilla and Desmond are absolutely hilarious! They had me at: 'And the Gryffindors're out!... Do you remember any of their names by any chance, Fawcett?'
And then came: different surnames for Lily (Lily Dumbledore made me spit out my tea), broadcasting the captain's inadequacy at Potions, 'Louis or possibly Hugo Weasley, ladies and gentlemen!'. Brilliant!
But I found this section a bit difficult to follow-
'Ooh, look, another ginger. Anybody surprised? Must be breeding season again.'
'Another Weasley?' asked Priscilla.
'Only if you round up. That there's the youngest female Seeker in twenty-two years.'
'Presenting Lily 'No, not that one' Potter, ladies, gentlemen and Gryffindors!'
-because it sounds like Lily is the seeker, though of course you've made it clear later on that she's a chaser.
Oh, and I really liked the moment with Henry. The parallels between him and June hadn't occurred to me before, but that moment made me suddenly sympathetic towards him. Nicely done! Report Review
I loved this when I first read it, and I love it on my re-read! It's so much fun but there's a warmth and a depth it to, too. Calling it a 'half-parody' makes complete sense. Having established some elements of the parody early on the story (Hogwarts: A Romance which made me want to punch the air in happiness!), you've let it take its own life to the point where it doesn't seem like a parody at all.
In this story, we watch June grow up, bit by bit. But we're also watching Albus watch June grow up- here, in the Hospital wing, later, when they're standing in the snow, or in their respective verandahs. It's a really interesting dynamic, and I appreciate that it's not clunky words like 'love' or 'like' just yet, but more basic words like 'respect', 'regard' or even 'admiration'.
This is my favourite line in the story so far:
Suddenly, the possibility of not seeing Albus again floated into her mind.
She could almost shrug it off. Not just yet...Not tonight, but someday soon.
I love the honesty in her confession. Because of course there is a comfort in familiar 'enchantments'. To let them go is to break a force of habit. Acknowledging her weakness only serves to show June's growing confidence. It's beautiful section: real, quiet, and believable.
On the same principle, I found these two sections a bit rough:
It was time to let go of all the expectations she'd had. It was time to go into the world- independently. And-
Her hands were hurting and pulsating from the strenuous labor, but she felt newly purified as she wandered out the Hospital Wing.
These are more on the parody side of the spectrum, being quite dramatic. Perhaps you wanted to convey that June's tentative steps towards maturity are still dogged by the Romantic ideas about epiphanies that she'd have read about in her books, but I found them a bit less convincing than the rest of the chapter.
But what a lovely, lovely story! Yay! Report Review
I'm re-reading this (it's just as good the second time 'round!) and I wanted to ask: how does Cassie know to say 'dissendium' at the statue? It's not a generic spell to reveal passageways so she had to have been told it. I assume it was Cole since Albus' message doesn't seem to encode the password, but it maybe useful if you snuck in a mention of it somewhere. Report Review
(Fair warning: this is a very long review, for which I'm sorry. I'd rather have sent it as a PM but I don't know if they allow those here.)
I didn't want to read this story. I didn't want to have anything to do with it because I knew how it would end. Of the many, many deaths I read about in the books, Fred Weasley's was the one that hit me hardest. For everyone else, there was some reason that they had to go: Dumbledore, Snape, Moody, Sirius, even Lupin and Tonks... But Fred. I never could understand why Fred went, and I will never, ever forgive Rowling for that.
And then you, with this story... I had to watch it all over again.
At its most powerful, fanfiction is more than just taking cues from the original and giving a life to them somewhere else- it becomes a self-reflexive exercise, reshaping the source itself. This is what your story does, and this is why it represents, for me, the very best that fanfiction can be. Because of course all of this happened. It couldn't have not happened.
Your Fred is my Fred, the one I know from the books. There's nothing out-of-character about him, nothing unbelievable about his relationship. I can see him laugh as he zooms off on his broomstick, blush lightly as he is perched on the bar stool, tease confidently in the Owlery, stare through blank, unbelieving eyes in his shop in Diagon Alley, speak bravely (but with a quiver in his voice) on Potterwatch. He can be all of these things at once, and still be Fred. And it's not just him- your George, always there, always knowing. I have never loved him more than when he turned around to look at Hollis during Molly's speech. It was an astonishingly beautiful thought, so simple, so natural- and my favourite moment in your story.
I don't know how I managed to get through Molly's speech. For a review as long as this, here's a silent thank you, said like a prayer.
But I don't want to fixate on the sadness because the sadness wouldn't have been poignant in the least had you not set up the rest of it so well. It was cruel and sneaky of you to draw us in with the rest of the chapters- but how wonderful they were. Light, fleeting, and laugh-out-loud funny. And Delphine! I loved that mad woman to bits! I roared in laughter at her satisfaction with the paltry gain of a biscuit at the end of their Gryffindor excursion, as an understanding Hollis sighs "Oh, Delphine".
And Hollis: so lovely, so lively, and familiar as anyone else. She seamlessly fits in with the world of the book because you've given her her own life (her independent association with Hagrid, for instance); her character isn't a prop that serves to highlight Fred's story. And you are the only person I've read who has made Hufflepuffs huffle and puffle believably and yet with so much majesty. They may play pranks, but will be ever so contained about it; they may go off on their own for 'adventuring', but they'll hide and watch when they do it. They may quarrel angrily, but ooh, look, a biscuit! I'm so grateful that you were committed enough to strike that balance.
And I'm so grateful that you wrote this story that I loved so much, so completely- every line, character, thought, moment. It's spectacular, and you are a spectacular author.
But I won't read it again, you know. I can't. I tried to, a few hours after the first time, but I couldn't. I don't want to think of whether Fred had ever got his swan, if it came to him just as he was dying, if he ever read it, or if he never will...Author's Response: I'm sorry that it's taken me a while to respond to your review. I must have read it at least five times so far. I really can't express how grateful I am for your lovely review, and for reading a story that's been finished for a while and therefore usually doesn't get much traffic. Your feedback on all of the characters, on Hufflepuffs and Molly's speech and the relationships between everyone, brings a smile to my face. It makes me miss these characters and this story.
I'm sorry for the brevity of this response, but your review honestly kind of makes my brain mush, and it's difficult to articulate my appreciation. But thank you, thank you, THANK YOU.
:) Report Review
I love your suggestion that the properties of the Repulsion Remedy lends itself to invisibility brews. Curiously enough, it reminded me of a description of Teddy Lupin in No Solid Ground (about which I've raved in two other reviews so I'll stay silent here):
"The one remaining person, Cassie didnt recognise. The only way she could describe him was as indescribably. Absolutely nothing stood out about his appearance, from the mouse-brown hair of medium length, to his non-descript eyes, to his average build. Almost too plain."
I'm indulging the thought that metamorphagi can use the same principle: dull the edges of the image, so to speak, to evade descriptions. And the element of repulsion certainly adds an interesting angle to the naming of the disillusionment charm!
I'm sorry about the random appreciation of random facts, but there's nothing quite like getting caught up in cool details. :) Report Review
I maintain what I've said in an earlier review: brilliant!
And, as for your question in the previous chapter: James. :) Though I'll also say that the Albus/James question is the last thing on my mind at this point, and that's a tribute to your writing. The premise and the plotting is what propels the story forward and, while the relationships (all of them) are important and always convincingly and imaginatively depicted, you haven't reduced the story into a trite 'Teenage Woes of Cassie: Wot Potter Will She Pick???' piece.
I see that it's been two years since you've updated so I hope you haven't given up on this story. If you have, I hope your enthusiasm comes back soon. Because this is novel, and it's great, and- I don't know about you, but if I'd written something this good, I'd want to make sure I ended it. Properly.
So, for sake of your Cassie, Albus, James, Harry, Ryan, all fading slowly with time (could you really be so cruel to them?), and the many words and thoughts that are clamouring to be let out (maybe they're trapped in a Hogwarts Secrecy class, too?), come back. :) Report Review
I usually wait until the end/last updated chapter to review but I can't reign in my excitement! Your story is BRILLIANT. It's new, gripping, utterly convincing, and very, very well thought out and executed. I absolutely love the idea of Hogwarts as a kind of dystopia- not virulent, but simmering, creeping. I caught on to the idea quite fast- the moment the Secrecy classes were mentioned, but I had an inlking even before that; I can't wait to see what happens next.
Really, this is superb writing. You haven't overdone a thing; your Albus and Cassie may be brave but they're not unnaturally so- dashing around heroically, raging against the machine. They're not caricatures of the rebellion and I'm so grateful for that. I like the sound of James too, from the five sentences I've heard from him! And I'm so impressed by how, even in a taut, tense plot, you've put in moments that are light and funny: the portraits speaking in the Headmaster's office and, in this chapter, the hilarious exchange between Harry and James (and Ron) about the map.
Two suggestions: 1. Some of your chapter titles are taken from songs- I identified a few but I'm guessing there's more. Just for copyright reasons- I'm not accusing you of plagiarism or anything!- you could mention the sources in your Author's Notes. 2. On a similar point, how about using a line from Pink Floyd's Another Brick in the Wall, part II? :)
I haven't been this excited about a plot in ages; you're onto something really fresh and new here so I'm warning you now, I'll keep badgering you until you finish this. Thank you for sharing it- and congratulations! Report Review
What a fun story! I've read no Bill/Fleur at all and I'm so glad to have found this one. I absolutely loved the job offer letter she received from Gringotts. When I read the first line, I thought 'Pff, 'there's no way that she'd get that job'! And then I read on, and the job title made me burst into laughter. Lovely idea!
I notice that it's been a while since you last updated so I hope you haven't given up on this story. And thank you for a really entertaining beginning. Report Review
You will have tired of my raving by now, but this was spectacular. This is the very best thing by you that I've read, I think, and I keep coming back to the word 'stylish' when I review your writing. This entire piece is takes place with the universe as its backdrop. Even in the scenes that take place in school, or at the Burrow, you've conveyed this sense of the cosmos through metaphor and language. "In my seat near the window, I could see the outside sky and to me, the six of us were planets and swirling stars in our own right..." The 'swirliness' of the story becomes even more important when we see, at the end, that it is a narration to a young girl; memory flows through time and space.
Your handle on character is outstanding. I loved Roxanne and loved that I knew her best only for a tiny moment in the story. Dominique was heartbreaking, as was Ron's remembrance of Fred. I also appreciate the fact that Rose is not the heroine in this story- managing relationships and fixing problems- but part of it while also being remote and passive. The first time she does anything remarkable is for Roxanne and it was stand-out moment for me, more so because you didn't force it into a crude narrative of 'How Rose became a Good Person.'
I do understand that this story was centered around the girls, but I wish you'd put in a line about some of the boys. I found Rose's mention of Albus when speaking of people who had finished school with her, slightly odd because we've hardly seen her interacting with him. And I can't see your Scorpius as clearly as I do the other characters; something about him- I wish I could tell you what- especially in his earlier appearances, is less convincing. But here's a thought: your piece is perfect as it stands, but would you consider writing a companion piece? One that uses a different metaphor, and revolves around the boys in the family?
You said in one of your Author's Notes that this story wasn't popular. If that's still the case, they don't know what they're missing. Your story is brilliant, and you are too. YAY! Report Review
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