Reading Reviews From Member: water_lily43175
  
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Review #1, by water_lily43175Not Fade Away: Cross-Fire Hurricane

19th January 2016:
Too tired to make actual intellectual comments on this chapter I think. BUT. I always love your party chapters, especially when drunk characters are involved. I'm liking the blood tension stuff going on, especially good ol' Sirius swinging in to diffuse things, even if poor old Jack didn't want to be rescued, ha. And I also like how you're bringing the real life Muggle events into the fic as well, it really does give it all an extra layer of detail.

I adore Jack.

Author's Response: I was very sad when discovering the history about Clapton. :( Though we'll probably see his songs in the story somewhere anyway.

Party chapters are HARD, it's so hard in narrow text to convey just the whole atmosphere and thousands of things going on at once. So I'm glad this works out!

I love Jack too but I really didn't expect him to be this popular...


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Review #2, by water_lily43175Not Fade Away: Teenage Wasteland

19th January 2016:
WOO the minute I saw this chapter title I got excited because I LOVE Baba O'Riley. One of the best song intros EVER.

Oh my god. CRYING at kids putting other kids through greenhouse windows and pulling knives. But it's a nice touch; a reminder that Hogwarts kids would have come from all backgrounds, which we didn't really see in the books. And I like the attention to detail to Cokeworth, with the nicer bit compared to the run-down bit. It gives that something extra to the fic.

Ah, Myron Wagtail, the beginnings of the Weird Sisters. Also I'm cackling at a teacher called Bentley teaching about car engines. Amazing.

I really like Lily's outburst about the purebloods getting away with stuff. It's the sort of almost accidental prejudice I'd not thought much about before, but it makes sense.

Ha, Wick and his whiskey preferences. I'd say it's pretentious ... but this is alcohol we're on about.

Love your Lily already, and absolutely ADORE your Jack. NEXT.

Author's Response: Such a good song. Knew I had to use it for this chapter, not just as a thematic intro to the story but also PARTAAAY.

Yeah, I really want to explore classism - amongst Muggles, Muggleborns, and in wizarding society - as well as the heritage issues. It's part of my plans for NFA to really cement the wizarding world in the real world, really look at the seams - for all of society, and especially for those with a foot in either world. Which is why Cokeworth gets attention, fleshed out to be a sister-town to places like Preston or Manchester, which it's considered derived from. Lily's home must be fleshed out for us to know Lily.

Bentley was an accident but then I felt smug when I realised so it stayed. And Wagtail - well, much as it's an annoying cliche for EVERYONE to be in the Marauders' year, there are a couple of wider canon characters who creep in as solely background figures. Again, to imply a wider world; I have no intentions for Wagtail to get so much as a line, but he'll go off and become famous.

Prejudice takes all sorts of forms. I really want to get into that with NFA; micro-aggressions and the ongoing grind of living in a world which rejects you. That it's more complicated than people who accept you and people who want to kill you. And Lily's starting to see the shades of grey, and resents the hell out of them.

Wick IS super pretentious. Though if I got more pretentious I'd be fussy about whiskey vs whisky. They're talking Scottish fare, so it should really be whisky. But that's my 'bad' habits (I'm only just getting into whisky as a drink, and my hangovers are a testimony to my learnings).

Everyone seems to love Jack! I'm befuddled! Thanks for reviewing!


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Review #3, by water_lily43175Oblivion: Epilogue

3rd January 2016:
So I was reading Ignite to put off having to read The End, but then I got to Blaze of Glory and realised things were just getting DEPRESSING, and the epilogue couldn't be any worse than Methuselah DYING so I've finally come back to read.

RIDICULOUSLY happy about the Scorose wedding, there's a part of me that wishes that had been on-screen but then it would just have been a lot of people getting DRUNK so maybe not the type of scene that WOULD translate well to being written.

Although actually I think I'd still love reading that.

It makes me sad that Matt didn't attend the wedding. I mean, it makes sense, but it's still sad that he felt like he shouldn't go/didn't want to go, after all they've been through together as a group. Sniff sniff.

Ha, so much Scorbus banter. The true couple of Stygian.

Oh, and EVA. You have NO IDEA how happy this makes me, I couldn't bear the thought of Eva spending her life running away from the world and potentially never coming back EVER. And Albus having to get on with his life never knowing if she WOULD come back, or if he COULD move on. So this ... this is wonderful. I KNOW it's just a chat on a beach, I KNOW there is no guarantee anything would work out, but that's the beauty of it; we can decide for ourselves how it ends. I have to say, the thought of domestic Eva living in the house with the white picket fence and 2.4 children is just too hilarious, but I think they'd manage to make SOMETHING work, SOMEHOW.

And all of the Weasley Sunday lunches YES.

HOW IS IT THE END. I feel like I should write some really poetic review about the series, but I'm not sure I've ever been good at those reviews. So I will just ramble, and hopefully the ramble will have some sort of meaning and sentiment and Wise Words to it.

I remember when you said you were giving Next Gen a try, you HATED Next Gen (apart from Rails OBVIOUSLY) but wanted the high-octane crowdpleaser. Well if you ask me, you managed all that and MORE. Yes, the whole series was a sort of homage to and parody of all of the high-octane films, and in Ignite things did start off all light-hearted and in some ways silly ("Scorpius liked cake"), but it became so much MORE than that, and by Oblivion I think things became more morally testing in some ways than Anguis ever was.

And I have to say, absolutely YES to Eva being a Hufflepuff. (Isn't it odd how we have this compulsive need to sort even our OCs who never went to Hogwarts? Although having said that ... don't even ask me where Carlotta would be sorted. I think she could easily be a Gryffindor OR a Slytherin OR a Hufflepuff and I can't make that decision.) I've always loved Eva's arc, and how the person she pretended to be in Starfall was the exact person she became by Oblivion. And I think in some ways she was the most wonderful and beautiful of all of the characters.

There's probably more that I SHOULD say, but I can't say it right now. I'm just sorry I fell a year and a half behind, that was very bad of me. I've loved every minute of this trilogy, minus Methuselah DYING, and I just love how we've ended on cocktails in half-coconuts with little umbrellas. GOOD TRILOGY BRO.

Author's Response: I think this is why I have to start new projects so soon after ending old ones; the only way I don't get super depressed is by immediately filling the VOID IN MY LIFE left by these projects. If I were smart I might have held off on writing Not Fade Away until about this coming May, but whoever said I was smart? And, yes, this series gets super depressing pretty soon. Then again I remember a reviewer once calling Ignite all 'fluffy' and I was a bit, 'I killed a twelve year-old in it, FLUFFY, REALLY??'

Scorose wedding would have been an expensive, extravagant booze-palooza and the two of them being utterly sickening because you KNOW Scorpius would have spared no expense. I think he would have been more excited about Wedding Planning than she would. But yeah, parties are actually hard to write, I found that with the Teddy/Victoire wedding, but thankfully I'd just been to my brother's wedding when I wrote that so it was a bit easier to catch the atmosphere.

It is pretty sad that Matt didn't go. He kind of couldn't, and kind of didn't want to. Losing Matt is really the only Price that Rose had to pay, beyond self-loathing, though, so I did want to make it a harsh price. And it really DOES matter to her. But they do start to patch things up, and I think they will be able to bond with the gift of time easing all woes. Not to mention I think Matt would bury the hatchet for Selena's sake, if nothing else, and so long as Selena's ABROAD it's not too bad an obstacle, but if they ever return to Britain...

Scorbus, possibly the romance I should have written all along.

I briefly misread '2.4 children' as '24 children' and was a bit STEADY ON, NOW. I agree that domestic Eva would be hilarious. I think they'd travel for a while together, spend some time just THEM now they're confident in who they are as individuals, and make plans from there. Albus would never want to live away from his family, though, so any plans for the future require Eva to be put through hundreds more Weasley Sunday lunches. Thankfully I imagine she's a bit better with people after 5 years of adventures and also the Weasley clan is big. There'll be SOMEONE she can find an ally with, and Scorpius and Rose will always have her back.

Oblivion was kind of the red-headed stepchild of the piece; Ignite I knew going into it, Starfall I was always excited about TRAVEL, and Oblivion was for ages just 'Scorpius comes back, plotlines get tied up, the end' - and I'm barely exaggerating. But then it became, yes, the most morally complex thing I've ever written. Let's face it, not even Tanith killing Nick comes CLOSE to Rose killing de Sable.

For ages I resisted Sorting Eva in my head, but I did also at the time think she'd be another Slytherin. And she IS cunning and manipulative and very much a Guile Hero rather than a Brawn Hero, but once her own survival has stopped being #1 priority, as it was in Starfall, she really does value loyalty and fairness most of all - because PEOPLE have saved her, and so she's loyal to them, and she's been at the receiving end of unfairness too much, so she fights it. Which is just as well as otherwise there were no Hufflepuffs in the series (I am so rectifying the lack of Hufflepuffs with Jack in NFA).

And I'm claiming Carla for Slytherin, actually. Girl's self-sufficiency and drive totally make her belong. Wait, I can't claim for Slytherin, I'm a Gryffindor... it's my second home.

I can't believe I almost didn't write this epilogue; now it's there, it's too perfect. I stand by my judgement that it's an epilogue for the trilogy as a whole, rather than Oblivion as a specific story, but I think that's why I almost missed it.

STILL, do not be sorry for falling behind. I doubt the series would have taken the form it did, nor would Ignite have powered on as it did or developed as it did, without you and all of our EXTENSIVE, judgemental chats. :-D (ack running out of characters)

GOOD TRILOGY REVIEWING, BRO.


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Review #4, by water_lily43175Oblivion: When All Our Wars Are Done

19th December 2015:
So much stuff happened in this chapter that I feel like I should comment on and all I can do is get excited and squee because ALBUS IS LEARNING TO KNIT. He actually IS the perfect guy. I WANT ONE PLEASE.

This is a much more uplifting chapter in some ways than the ones before. Yes, they're still struggling to come to terms with what's happened, and they'll all feel pain of some sort for a long time, and maybe that pain will never cease. But they're beginning to move on, and that makes me happy. I love that Albus wants to work in Quidditch, WITH JAMES. And yay for the Falcons! Scorpius running the charity is just fantastic. And finally someone who will follow Selena across the world. I think Matt's arc has been one of the ones which has pleased me the most. He's come a long way from the guy who needed to prove himself, even if he wasn't necessarily trying to prove himself for the wrong reasons. He makes me so proud.

AND NOW I HAVE TO WAIT FOR THE EPILOGUE. I timed that wrong. :( One wonderful flowing praise-filled review to come...

Author's Response: I am AT THE END OF YOUR REVIEWS I have done all of these in one day, FEAR ME.

Albus is freaking adorable, isn't he? Imagine him knitting little scarves for everyone for Christmas.

Yeah, the previous chapters were about Aftermath, and while all but the final scene are ALSO about recovering and dealing with the things which happened to them, they're also about coming to terms with it. Figuring that, maybe, they can learn how to live with the pain, work through it, and build happy lives.

I never knew what the gang would do for JOBS, for lives; it's partly why I've never said I would write them again, because I just can't SEE their futures. They disappear over the horizon into the sunset and good for them. Al may some day work in Quidditch, Scorpius will redeem the family name and do GOOD, and Matt will put someone else first. I know what you mean with Matt, though, saying how he grows makes it sound like he was selfish and arrogant before; he wasn't. But he has CHANGED, and he's going to put someone else's needs before his and it will make him actively happy TO do that (rather than just living with it). The boy's come far. And Selena finally has someone who will never abandon her, who will always put her first.

EPILOGUE IS NOW HERE. THANKS for all these reviews, jeez, now I sleep.


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Review #5, by water_lily43175Oblivion: As If Time Were Nothing

19th December 2015:
Oh lordy I've got a lump in my throat and tears burning in my eyes after reading that letter from Eva. It was so beautifully written, and everything she says is totally unerstandable, and RIGHT, but at the same time I can't help but wish she'd stayed with Albus. Because they are so beautiful when they're together. But if she doesn't think she can live with herself if she were to have the suburban house and white picket fence and 2.5 kids, then maybe it's the right decision for HER. Even if it has crushed Al.

"My whole life, you have been the only thing thats real." Sob.

I hope we see her again. Fingers crossed for some Eva in the epilogue. Which is SOON.

And you have no idea how unbelievably happy it makes me that Al and James are beginning to work through their issues. Brotherly love makes me so happy.

Oh why why why have you done this to poor Cal? :(

I swear these last couple of chapters have done terrible things to my tear ducts.

Author's Response: The letter was HARD to write. I hoped that Eva refusing to submit to justice now when she submitted in Saint Annard wasn't jarring (you have never even mentioned it, I'm just talking about it now). But now she sees/worries that a justice system would just be used to punish her for the sake of making people feel better. Not because it's fair to her or what SHE deserves.

And she can't go back. The white picket fence calls her, and she cannot answer.

I promised you James and Al would start to sort things out!

I am SUPER mean doing this to Cal. Don't worry! Just as I don't really headcanon the Stygian Trilogy being the continuation of canon, I don't consider it being the continuation of the Anguisverse. The Anguisverse will always tie in with canon where possible (so the Stygian Trilogy will be scuppered by the Cursed Child).

I'm going to talk about chapter titles right now, because the next is the last chapter and that's no time to talk about my snobbery. Okay it's late so I'll be short: the chapter titles are all segments from the Idylls of the King, by Tennyson, which was chosen as a poem in part because of the Arthurian ideal of heroism being twisted, tested, and corrupted by everyone (I always say Ignite was about becoming the hero, Starfall about CHOOSING to be the hero, and Oblivion about BREAKING her hero). The poem was also chosen because of Lillian, because she was trying to make her Camelot.

There, I could talk way more about literary themes and how I'm doing a poor job of respecting how Tennyson's work tied into Victorian society and attitudes, but that's where my chapter titles came from. A far more pretentious source than Ignite and Starfall's!


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Review #6, by water_lily43175Oblivion: Who Makes Us Free

19th December 2015:
I am so close to the end now! Go me. :)

I have many feels about Draco. I can't forget what he did to Scorpius in Ignite, that letter especially. EVEN IF he had ulterior motives, I don't care, he was wrong. But this, THIS ... Oh bless him. Yes, turning himself in is the morally correct thing to do, and no, it doesn't make up for all the wrong he's done ... but all the same, it's still a big gesture, and it would be nice to see him genuinely trying to make amends and be a better parent for Scorp. Although I'm not sure how much he can do if he's sitting behind bars. BUT STILL.

Ugh, I should have known Eva was talking about parting words to Albus because she wasn't going to come back even if she lived. Of course she wasn't; she was probably well aware that her pardon was far from guaranteed what with the IMC gone, and she doesn't want to put Albus through that. But instead he's now broken-hearted. All of the feels. :(

Poor Selena and her corrupted mother. They've all been left with such scars, the poor broken kids. Sniff sniff. :(

Author's Response: I AM SO CLOSE TO THE END, TOO.

Draco was a complete -CENSORED-. He was a terrible, abusive father who really DID care about the Family more than the individual figures in it. But he did care about them, too, so he's finally done this. I'm quite pleased I got him turning himself in for Scorpius but also for himself, to try to break the cycle, to be a better man than his own father.

Draco was an abusive father to Scorpius, never forget - remember the letter in Ignite, remember Baz's story in Athens, remember Scorpius yelling at Rose on the boat about all that Draco did to him. 'But he loved Scorpius' is not a good enough reason to defend him.

Maybe they will find some sort of peace, though.

Eva couldn't possibly come back; Lillian was right and Eva knew it. The hows and whys were next chapter.

I have been SO MEAN to these kids.


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Review #7, by water_lily43175Oblivion: We Die Together by One Doom

19th December 2015:
And so we go from the action of the last chapter to the sheer EMOTION of this one. Poor Rose, poor poor Rose. It feels like pretty much the whole of Oblivion has been about redemption, and how much can a good deed make up for a bad one, and is a life for a life ever enough? It's a question that's been asked about Eva all fic, and now it comes to apply to Rose just as much. Would her dying while taking out Raskoph make up for de Sable? Who knows. I'm not sure I know. But I have to say, on the one hand it's so incredibly noble of her to be willing to sacrifice herself to ensure Raskoph dies, and yet on the other hand she killed a man so she could be with Scorpius and then a few days later she's taking a suicide leap and potentially leaving him to be the one grieving! Silly Rose. Poor, poor Rose.

BUT SHE LIVED ALBUS TO THE RESCUE YAY, oh I can't even tell you how happy that made me when he came swooping in to catch her.

Also, cackling at how Rose was all like "yeah sure I'll push Raskoph off a building" to Cassian and THEN SHE DID IT. You evil you.

The Eva/Thane moment was just EVERYTHING. Their dynamic still remains so beautiful, and I think to try to elaborate on it would just be words that don't do that scene justice. So I will just say, GOOD CHAPTER BRO.

Author's Response: Oblivion ended up WAY more thematically meaty than I expected. I never expected Rose to finish off Raskoph, and I never expected it to be in an act of Atonement. Raskoph was a weird villain in that he never really belonged to anyone - Thane was the personal villain. Raskoph just became the embodiment of evil, which is why originally I toyed with him just being beaten by Harry (or giving Ron a Dark Lord under his belt!) almost off-screen while the Five wrestled with Thane, THEIR enemy.

But then Rose needed to really pull back out from the spiral of killing de Sable, which in many ways only happened because Scorpius' resurrection HAD to have a PERSONAL and DRAMATIC price, and I knew she had to be the one to defeat Raskoph. At great personal risk, abandoning a chance for the life she killed for, because it was the right thing to do.

In figuring out the Niemandhorn sequence, it was all about figuring out where people needed to end up thematically, and Albus hadn't ever actually fixed the problems that were there at the start of the story: he ran away.

So, now, he had to come back.

I can't lie, that conversation between Rose and Cassian was edited back into the story right before I wrote Rose vs Raskoph. To the point where if I'd been a bit slower in writing Niemandhorn, I'd have finished posting the Cassian meetings and I'd have had to do something else! (but it worked out better as it gave the Ultima Thule diversion a bit more Purpose - I warned you I didn't plan Oblivion very well)

Eva and Thane went exactly how I always hoped it would.


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Review #8, by water_lily43175Oblivion: Power on this Dead World

19th December 2015:
OH MY DAYS SO MUCH ACTION I DON'T KNOW HOW TO PROCESS THIS.

I was so happy when Eva and Scorp took down Thane, but even at the time I couldn't help think "I'd be binding him up if I were you..." Sure enough, he got away. Darn it. Eva's parting words to Selena were so ... well, so Eva. It certainly feels like she's not sure if she'll live. Personally I don't think you WILL kill her, just because death is the easy way to avoid retribution for crimes, and I think the arc you've got going on with Eva is so powerful and full of moral depth that it would be almost a disappointing way to end her story. Especially given Nat has already died - which, in her case, was just the sympathetic thing to do, to be honest. Girl been through too much.

Ugh, Lillian, her purposes and reasons for doing what she did sort of make sense, but you can't just sign up with a madcap bunch of murderers and mercenaries and become king of the world so you can achieve what you want to achieve. It doesn't WORK like that. And how she can view all that death and destruction from Phlegathon, Eridanos and Lethe as a NECESSARY SIDE-EFFECT ... I just can't.

It's not looking good for Selena and Scorp at the moment. And where is Al to the rescue?!

Author's Response: Yeah, they should have learnt by now to tie up Thane and also that he keeps a spare wand. My excuse is that they were then freaking out about Lillian vs Selena, and that's what I'm sticking to.

Eva doesn't know if she'll live or die, but she does know she has to be the one to finish it with Thane. Because she's the one who can physically beat him, and it's HER business, her responsibility.

Killing her, of course, would be too easy.

The only regret I have with her story is that her bond with Thane, her dynamic with Thane, is HUGE, and it trumps Scorpius'. So I wish that I could have given Thane vs Scorpius a better send-off, as while Eva's is more intense, Thane vs Scorpius has been a running issue THROUGHOUT the story. Scorpius is his opposite, and in a very Voldemort vs Harry way, the one Thane CHOSE. Thane saw so much of himself in Scorpius, which is why he singled him out of the Five, which is why he sometimes failed to be the cold-hearted, efficient monster he usually was. He kind of wanted to turn Scorpius into him, to justify himself and his life, and yet a part of him wanted Scorpius to win, so that if he was beaten, he'd be beaten by 'himself.'

There was a lot of meaty stuff there which never got the explanation or development I wish it had had, and then Eva was here and frankly 'you literally raised me to be a weapon' is a way more important issue to resolve than 'you projected your issues all over me'.

Lillian, I think, suffered massively from the slippery slope. She probably once tried to stop the Council and failed, and then the people they hurt welcomed her with open arms once it was too late, once they needed help and had a hissable villain to blame. And I think then maybe she turned a blind eye to future incidents, because she knew it would be a waste of time - and then because it benefitted her - and then she began to help them, and always, ALWAYS thought it was so she could make a better world. And then she was breaking the world to remake it, and she was in too deep, and could never back off.

So at that point, how could she accept it was horrible without completely BREAKING? I have way more sympathy for Lillian than I should, I think she's a very pitiable villain.


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Review #9, by water_lily43175Oblivion: Wasted All the Land

18th December 2015:
Oh, OH, all of the action, all of the things. Poor Nat, I can't believe she died. :( But ... perhaps, for her, it's the merciful thing to happen. After all she's been through. And CAL. Oh god my heart breaks for him. You just keep taking chunks out of my favourite Anguis character!

I adored how you emphasised, yet again, that Harley's magic can do things that humans can't do. Of COURSE he can charge through golems. And of course he remains his sardonic self throughout.

And ... oh god poor Rose, poor Albus, what an AWFUL decision to have to make. I understand why Albus has gone after them, I truly do - despite what Rose says, I really can't see how Scorpius, Eva and Selena can take down Lillian AND Thane AND Geiger and crew. But they can't keep running after each other, and Raskoph HAS to be targeted. This definitely feels like Rose trying to make the RIGHT decision, not the decision she WANTS to make, and not going after Scorpius is definitely a concerted decision. And she has to watch Albus leaving her once again. Poor Rose. :(

Author's Response: I never planned on killing Nat. But letting her live only to get locked up just felt really mean (so killing her's better?). It didn't feel like the tragedy of her Poor Life Choices, it just felt MEAN. And letting her get away with it was too unbelievable; Scorpius and Rose have been huge karma houdinis, getting away with literal murder. Nat - even though she never did anything horrid PERSONALLY - couldn't have got away with it. It would have cheapened the story into 'people we like get away with bad things.'

House Elves are pretty boss, yo. And Harley really doesn't want to be here, but he's a good guy at the end of the day.

Rose does what's right, this time, not what she wants. Al's error, really, is that he should have either gone with Scorpius in the first place (though, really, if Al had gone then, Rose would have gone, and NOBODY would have stopped Raskoph), or stuck it out. Splitting up and running around - no. And Rose asked him to stay, and SCORPIUS asked him to stay with Rose.

While Rose has to trust the people she loves won't die on her again, so she can try to save more lives.


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Review #10, by water_lily43175Oblivion: One Will in Everything

18th December 2015:
I loved this chapter. Finally, FINALLY, the truth and the explanations.

And UGH poor Scorpius, so sick of people using him as a tool and risking people's lives for him and now he has to cope with Rose having killed for him against his wishes as well. I hope they can work through this, but I have to say I'm glad you're focusing on this aspect of their relationship because of course Rose's choice isn't going to sit easy with him.

Oh, Selena.

NEXT NEXT NEXT.

Author's Response: This chapter was like 'assuming people don't remember clues from chapters I first posted three years ago, he's a THE STORY SO FAR explanation.' Which, honestly, *I* needed sometimes.

Scorpius is absolutely not going to think about Rose and killing de Sable right now, but there's no way in hell he's going to be able to keep on ignoring it once he's out of a life or death situation.

Poor, poor Selena.


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Review #11, by water_lily43175Oblivion: Storms May Shake the World

18th December 2015:
Guh, of COURSE it was Nat who was there when Scorpius was resurrected (which is definitely the word I forgot last week, silly me). She was in on the plan, we knew that from the end of Starfall. I just hadn't put two and two together. I'm glad Astoria is innocent in all this, because Scorp has enough to be angry at her for without needing Council involvement. But I do worry about the consequences for Nat, now that Scorp et al have found out she helped bring back Lethe. Even if it WAS to bring back Scorp. GUH.

And WHAT DID THANE JUST DO TO HER OH GOD she's going to die isn't she. Poor, poor Nat. A lifetime of bad choices and then this. :(

Lillian. LILLIAN. Oh my days it all makes sense now. Oh god poor Selena. I seriously hope Matt's okay, cos after all this the last thing Selena needs is for something to happen to him.

LILLIAN!

And ... Thane was working alongside Raskoph the whole time. Poor Scorp, all that time supposedly spent taking down the Council, and all he was doing was helping make Raskoph stronger. IT ALL MAKES SENSE. Poor Draco, having to keep all this quiet and seem like the bad guy for YET ANOTHER reason from Scorpius' point of view. I mean, this doesn't redeem him, far from it, but it does make his story just a little bit heartbreaking. His purposes were WRONG, but he thought he was doing the right thing for his son, and that surely has to count for SOMETHING?

LILLIAN THOUGH. Oh god was she involved by the time Methuselah died? OH GOD that would just be the WORST. I NEED TO READ MOAR.

Author's Response: Resurrection! That's the word. But yeah, it's almost like I was counting on people to forget things they did already know in order to up the tension. Which has been an interesting case of gauging how hints which seem obvious to me are not necessarily obvious to readers (which is GOOD, I want you guys to keep guessing).

Nat has a pretty bad life and then she dies because of her own bad decisions.

It's time for Matt to play hero! And sacrifice himself, because while he's a martyr, he is not the mission. Other people are. At last he sees this.

Draco did think he was doing the right thing, but everyone does, don't they? Thane thinks he's doing the right thing. But in Draco's defence, he never did do anything HUGELY bad - he didn't kill people, he wasn't like Lucius - and by the end, he was trying to save his son. Of course, he got involved with murderous supremacists in the first place, so, bad life choices there.

Lillian. She's a bad.


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Review #12, by water_lily43175Oblivion: Free in Soul

18th December 2015:
I love all of Albus' references to his casual Dark wizard slaying days. I really would be there for an Albus spin-off fic detailing all his antics, but I expect that would be pretty depressing cos pretty much his entire thought process would be "Scorpius is dead it's my fault how could I have trusted her". Still, it would be interesting to know exactly what he's been up to.

Ha, yes, magical ground makes nicer tea. OF COURSE IT DOES.

I love every word that Albus said to Rose. She needs to understand that she didn't have a choice until she made a solution of her own choosing, and she needs to not convince herself that what she did was okay. But at the same time, is it fair for her to beat herself up over this for the rest of her life? It does feel like the line between right and wrong has become incredibly blurred for a lot of them.

Whoa. WHOA. Peace-time IMC, Lillian whut? She really is beginning to seem very powerhungry now ... I can't see how this is going to end well.

Oh. OH. Should have remembered, no Lethe doesn't automatically mean no Raskoph. OH SNAP. The ending that isn't the ending after all! ONWARDS.

Author's Response: An Albus spin-off would be super depressing. World-trotting Dark Wizard Hunting can wait for a different character!

The hotel they're heading for is actually based on a real place I've been to in Sri Lanka, which was a converted tea factory. So I had to come up with an excuse as ot why this is a magical bloody hub. MAGIC TEA.

The Al/Rose conversation is the last bit of the Stygian Trilogy ever written. I cannot lie; it was added in after I'd posted the Matt confrontation chapter, because I really felt I needed another go at tackling Rose's guilt and delivering her appropriate condemnation. Also, otherwise Al just WILFULLY IGNORED how Scorpius managed to get back (way to go, supposed moral hero of the Five), and also in its place was a Scorose scene which did... nothing, actually, they just fussed a bit about their future and it didn't say anything that couldn't already be inferred or became immediately irrelevant based on upcoming events.

Lillian! Raskoph! IT'S A TWIIIST!


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Review #13, by water_lily43175Oblivion: Double Life

17th December 2015:
HA, Albus and Rose would totally have a time-share agreement over Scorp.

I love Selena. Absolutely bleeding love her. And I really am so glad that Rose genuinely does feel the weight of her actions, she needs to understand that what she did was wrong and rationalising it doesn't make it right. BUT I don't think she deserves to be haunted by that choice.

Oh god Eva's fear at the Weasley dinner is both hilarious and endearing at the same time. Good old Scorpius saving the day. Charts on the Weasley family. CRYING.

And oh the joys of that dinner. The Harry/Ron banter. Scorpius' interactions with Ron. In fact, Scorpius with EVERYONE, Molly especially. I wish James had been nicer, he always makes me sad when he's confrontational. :(

I like that you highlighted not just Eva's lack of experience of a normal life, but also the cultural differences from having an African heritage. And this - Im not going to lie, said Eva. I thought trifle was a sort of problem. - amazing.

It would be awesome if Albus and Eva could make this work. And more time spent with the Weasleys and in Al's world would create more for Eva to talk about with them anyway. But I can see how it's daunting as hell for her, it's an entirely different world. Poor girl.

STILL NINE CHAPTERS??! Something else is yet to happen here isn't it.

Author's Response: I think Rose would need a colour-coded timetable. I briefly considered them living together in the ending, if only for a time, but while I figured that could work for Tanith, Tobias and Cal, that would just be downright CREEPY for Al, Rose and Scorp.

Selena is all about people living honestly, but also getting on with their lives. Rose was wrong and she needs to face up to it. But so far as Selena's concerned, who benefits from Rose wandering around wailing and gnashing her teeth forever?

I was SO HAPPY writing 'Eva at the Burrow.' I was also pretty happy to get Eva's Algerian heritage pointed out; she was raised, for her first nine years, by a Muslim mother, and while that means nothing to her NOW, it's still the benchmark by which she gauges the rest of the world. Finally a bit of diversity in STYGIAN MAYONNAISE. :-D

Poor James, he's like my designated berk for the Potter family when I need someone to point out why the cousins are being awful.

Of COURSE Molly loves Scorpius. Because he would lap up her affection and also know how to respond to it, and adore making her laugh? Some people might go quiet and awkward or just roll with it, but Scorpius would absolutely play up to her fussing. It's adorable.

No, it's nine chapters of roast dinners at the Burrow.


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Review #14, by water_lily43175Oblivion: Walked With Dreams and Darkness

17th December 2015:
Woo, here we go, back for more! I'd like to think this is the final straight, but I suspect I won't reach the end until tomorrow or Saturday. Still, hopefully I'm done in time for the grand finale!

"Scorpius Malfoy and his nine lives". HA. And apparently it's a running theme that none of your characters have wine glasses. How very uncivilised of them.

Oh ALBUS. That was such an adorable monologue that had me internally squealing and very excited. "I love you." FINALLY. GUH absolutely my favourite characters and couple. But I have a feeling it's not going to pan out as I'd hoped, because that would just be too good to be true - evil character is redeemed AND gets the man of her dreams? Hmm.

Do you know, I think I've realised WHY Eva is one of my favourite characters, and it's because she doesn't seem to have any ugly character traits. She's not selfish, she's not ignorant, she's not rude, or spiteful, she genuinely believes she doesn't deserve to be happy because she honestly feels like she has to repent for her past ... it really does feel like she's the sort of person who would have had the potential to go places if she'd had a different upbringing, and I think that's why it's so easy to empathise with her. Because behind all the evil she's done, there is a genuinely likeable person there. And that's not to say she's perfect; far from it. But it's hard to NOT like her.

I absolutely LOVE drunk-with-happiness Scorpius. I've missed him; it's been a while. IGNITE TIME SOON.

Oh Christ, poor Matt. It's absolutely heartbreaking to think of him working his bum off for 4 days trying to work out why de Sable died and trying to discover Rose's mistake for her, only to realise it wasn't a mistake and Rose has just spent a blissful night with Scorpius instead. And de Sable was his friend. (HE WAS HIS FRIEND!)

I see Rose's point, I really do. Especially given de Sable told her that he'd willingly die for the cause. But ... she's wrong and Matt's right. If Scorpius died, it wouldn't have been murder, because he'd AGREED. Of course he didn't WANT to do it, but he'd said he'd give his life to get rid of Lethe, he was willing to do it - as willing as you can be when walking to your own grave - but de Sable had NO CLUE what Rose was about to do. And the fact that she'd planned it, that she'd researched how to switch Scorpius out for de Sable ... it was premeditated and entirely done without de Sable's permission and it was WRONG. Yes, Scorpius living means Rose and Albus don't need to grieve him again, and it's easy to say that de Sable had nobody and no reason to stay alive, but even if that WAS true, that doesn't make what Rose did okay. Not in the slightest. And ... I don't want this to sound callous but I DO hope she lives with this decision, because it's also not okay for her to assume she did the right thing and just carry on with life as though she hasn't just killed someone in cold blood. And I'm glad Matt has called her out on this - because Scorpius isn't going to, and neither is Albus, and she needed to hear it from someone.

ALL OF THE FEELS.

I really wish you'd made up contemporary music for the mid-2020s.

Author's Response: Oh God you're back to big chapters.

If I had to make up music for the late 2020s I'd make it something awful like Back to the Future's envisioning of decades ahead. WACKY AND INSANE. Nooo, one thing the Stygian Trilogy has NOT been interested in has been a believable comprehension of the Near Now Muggle/Wizarding world and how they intersect.

Clearly I write utter philistines who don't own good glassware. I'm sure, actually, Selena and Miranda did, though, in all their tea and gin-serving.

Al and Eva are freaking adorable here; they get such a hard time that I never feel guilty or silly giving them cute, fluffy moments. They deserve them, like ardent declarations of love and toasts to their future over champagne.

Eva is a Hufflepuff. I figured this out once and I stand by it. She might be a good manipulator, but those aren't the tools she prefers to use when she's confident in herself; even in Rotterdam she was up-front with the gang. She's courageous, but not showy like a Gryffindor - it took a Hufflepuff to stay behind on Cat Island, and a Hufflepuff's determination to save those people in Cape Town and press on to take down Geiger. And her loyalty to those she has chosen to be loyal to - even Thane, for a time - is unshakeable.

I imagine, in years ahead, Eva might mellow out. She's pretty sardonic, doesn't much suffer fools gladly, and once she's done with her guilt making her give everyone the benefit of the doubt (because she knows she has not one high horse to sit atop), we might see some of the harsher edges which marred her in her past life. She probably would yell at way more people for being stupid in Oblivion if she felt she had the right to.

But you're right; she's not just trying to make amends, she is a GOOD and decent person when it comes down to it.

I think Matt knew all along that Rose did it. He just spent 4 days trying to prove himself wrong and - why do you have to remind me of that movie moment??

Now I must DEFEND ROSE because apparently I am the contrary sod of a writer. I mean, it WOULD be murder, and Scorpius DID choose, but how on EARTH can one treat Scorpius' choice as a proper choice, and not one made under duress? But even THAT doesn't justify in ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM murdering someone else.

GOD I am cruel to them, that was such an awful situation.


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Review #15, by water_lily43175Oblivion: The Shining of the Stars

11th December 2015:
Oh snap, de Sable DID die. Wow. I mean, I'm beyond happy that Scorpius is still living, obviously, because to kill him twice would be BEYOND cruel, but ... I liked de Sable. And I really don't think Rose did this accidentally. And oh my days, Rose what have you done. It kind of seems obvious that this was going to happen now, looking back - she seemed to have that thought in her head that there might have been something she could do to save Scorpius, and I guess this was it. And I can follow her thought process - de Sable was old, and without the Chalice what did he have to live for, and some job he did of guarding it anyway, and he did say he'd willingly sacrifice himself for it. But she lured him into that ritual with the intention of killing him, she didn't give him a choice. It's all about choice, isn't it? And Scorpius made that choice, he may have hated it but he still made it ... and de Sable didn't have a chance. And Rose killed him anyway. I just ... UGH this has given me all of the feels because I want to be happy about Scorpius but sheesh Rose not long ago you felt bad about killing people who wanted to kill you and yet now you've just gone and killed someone in cold blood to keep the man you love alive? I DON'T EVEN KNOW IF I BELIEVE IN SCOROSE ANY MORE MY MIND IS EXPLODING WITH THIS.

(p.s. great Ron as per)

Author's Response: De Sable did say he'd willingly sacrifice himself, but he ALSO SAID he was looking forward to now getting to live his life free of duty to the Chalice. It should ABSOLUTELY be remembered that he was willing to make the sacrifice - like I'm sure Al, Rose, and Matt would have been prepared to (Selena would pass, thank you very much) in order to save lives. But de Sable never said, 'You know, I would die instead of that Scorpius boy if it were possible,' and he wanted to live.

He wanted to live, and Rose killed him. In part, indeed, because he was expendable. He was the only choice, so she had to kill him, but she coped with it a lot more because he was this guy who'd already had a long, long life, and nobody really would miss him, so surely that's... less... bad?

Or that's more monstrous.

I AM CRUEL (Ron is a hoot to write).


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Review #16, by water_lily43175Oblivion: The Dream to Come

11th December 2015:
You are BEYOND evil, starting this chapter with Eva. She's been my favourite character of Oblivion and yet I find myself wishing we were anywhere but with her right now! You evil woman you.

And, I have to say, you truly have created the most wonderful, complex, BEAUTIFUL character in Eva. The fact that she doesn't WANT to be pardoned, because she doesn't think she deserves it, is just ... ugh, I adore her so much, and I'd love for her to have a happy ending ... but I know you don't do gratuitous happy endings, and she's NOT the type of person to just stroll into the Burrow for roast dinner, and ... yeah.

Wedding scene was cute. Yay for Harry/Albus healthiness.

And SCORPIUS. What the hell has Rose done... and was it an accident? HMM. NEXT NEXT NEXT.

Author's Response: Eva was the best person to use to exposit how the world had changed in the 4-day time skip. But I know, this was a SUPER IMPORTANT MOMENT in Eva's plot arc and it barely gets commented on by most people.

Stroll into the Burrow for roast dinner, you say?

And yes, Harry and Al have sorted out their problems, and I dare say will be a lot closer for it.


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Review #17, by water_lily43175Oblivion: Thy Doom is Mine

11th December 2015:
Oh Christ, this chapter brought out all of the tears. To do what Scorpius is doing here - walking to his own death, much in the same way Harry did - must take a kind of courage beyond anything I could even imagine. Too much, WAY TOO MUCH emotion. And you've written it so damn well. Amazing stuff, seriously well done.

HOWEVER, you've got me with Rose's little glance at the end, and I THINK I'VE JUST REALISED WHAT SHE'S DONE HOLY COW IF SHE HAS THEN THAT IS JUST...

Author's Response: Scorpius is brave, and trapped. It's an amazing thing to do, to give up your own life to save thousands, and yet how do you walk away from saving thousands?

It's brave and yet it's not even a choice. It's something anyone should do, and yet he still steps up to lay down his life. I really wanted to get that contradiction, because that's the basis of Rose's argument: how do you REFUSE to do what Scorpius was doing, it's not fair, its not a fair thing to ask him of him.

And yet Scorpius DID choose this anyway, so shouldn't that choice be respected?

Poor kid.


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Review #18, by water_lily43175Oblivion: I Love Thee to the Death

11th December 2015:
JESUS CHRIST I swear you're trying to break me with this chapter. ALL of the emotions. And I need to read the next chapter. ONWARDS.

Author's Response: I'm horrid. This response is too short. Now it is not.

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Review #19, by water_lily43175Oblivion: No Deed of Arms

11th December 2015:
Well this chapter was full of all of the feels. Is Scorpius really, after all this, going to die anyway? GUH.

It's funny, because before I was thinking that Albus was in a better place than Rose was regarding Scorpius' loss and return. But it's become pretty obvious that that's not the case. And if anything, Rose is coming across as the stronger one, the one able to hold herself together, at the moment. Although how much of that is because she has the ritual to work on which is keeping her occupied, I don't know.

And yet. AND YET. Something about the end of this chapter is suddenly feeling ominous. Has Rose got something up her sleeve...?

Author's Response: Yeah, Rose is so much not more prepared to lose Scorpius. Al is sad, but he's kind of coming to terms with it, because he CAN come to terms with what choked him up and broke him last time Scorpius died. A lot of it was about Eva and himself.

A lot of what choked Rose up was just losing Scorpius. And I don't really know why she never got over him like Selena could get over Methuselah; I don't think it was some inherent weakness, I just think she never really WANTED to get over him. In some ways she was 'lucky'; Scorpius is right for her, and so she hangs onto him with all of that adolescent FIXATION of first/early loves (let us not forget she did love Matt, she WAS In Love with Matt, this is textual and WORD OF GOD), without it burning out when you realise you're not right for each other.

And yet it meant she couldn't let him go.


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Review #20, by water_lily43175Oblivion: Touching Other Worlds

11th December 2015:
Aand I'm back for another dose, let's see how far I get this time before my brain melts.

Oh my days, I'd never realised that before about Dolohov - that if the Trio had done as Ron suggested and killed them both, he wouldn't have been alive to kill Remus. ALL THE FEELS. I love this theme every time you bring it up - is there a right and wrong, is it okay to take a life if it means you save lives, how do you make that choice. It's a grey area in the world of morality.

If it turns out that instead of Thane trying to disable the Council, he's instead just taken out Raskoph's rivals, then that's worrying. But the whole point was that he'd left Raskoph, so if he's not been working on Raskoph's behalf, then whose behalf HAS he been working on? Does this all tie in with the face in the fire? SO MANY QUESTIONS, and the answers lie in wait tantalisingly.

Hermione seems quite wary of Lillian holding so much power... and to be honest, if she's Chairman AND Minister, so am I. Surely someone else ought to be sitting in the Minister's chair? I realise the concern - if Halvard WAS in the Council's pocket, anyone else could be, and so you can only know for sure where the Minister's loyalties lie if you ARE the Minister. But ... she's a dang powerful woman now.

HA, you and your eternal threats of blowing up Swindon. Poor Swindon, it's not THAT bad. (It is that bad.)

I actually really like that de Sable, having learned more about the Chalice, now HATES it and thinks it should be destroyed. It makes him feel far more human, and not just some peculiar religious relic of the 13th Century who worships the Chalice unconditionally.

Aw, cute Albus/Eva moment to finish on. Bless them.

Author's Response: I didn't realise that about Dolohov until I stopped to check who was in that scene, because that was the only one I remembered of the Trio REALLY facing the 'do we kill?' question. And then I saw it was Dolohov and was like 'OH HELL SON' so that had to be tackled.

WELL questions what can I say to that? Nothing.

Matt wants to finish the work his father never could: destroying Swindon.

It was very important I made de Sable an actual personality and person! But yeah, he's had his eyes kind of opened by everything he's learnt about the Chalice and the world now, and isn't being a narrow-minded fool. He was a weird character; he got created for very much an Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade kind of feel to the Chalice hunt, and then this CENTURIES OLD wizard was still hanging around and I had to figure out where the hell someone that important in the wider world fit into the narrative.

Finally some good times for Al/Eva.


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Review #21, by water_lily43175Oblivion: The Phantom Circle

9th December 2015:
OH THANK GOD EVA SURVIVED I love her too much to see her DIE. And to be honest I think the story would be far less interesting if she died. Because aside from anything else it would kill off the whole moral question of "what does she deserve" that we've been asking all story so far. And which, incidentally, I really don't know the RIGHT answer to. I guess because there IS no right answer. The question has to be which is the BEST answer in the circumstances. BUT. YAY, she lives!

And hopefully she and Albus can work things out in a HEALTHY manner.

I'm struck by the stark contrast between Lillian, who didn't get involved in trying to save Selena when she was captured, and Hermione, who by the looks of it went straight to Helluby as soon as she could to try to find Rose. I know the situations are different, but all the same, I don't think Hermione would have reacted as Lillian did if the Council had captured Rose instead of Selena. Just a thought.

I absolutely adore scenes from Selena's head, the humour in them is just spectacular. A Knight Templar Wizard in galoshes. Looking like a marshmallow. Oh she is my absolute favourite. And SUNKEN CITY SUNKEN CITY this history lore is getting too exciting.

...And I need bed. *collapses*

Author's Response: Yeah, Eva has been the only person guaranteed to survive SIMPLY because death is too easy. Death gives an answer, and her life and redemption are the questions with absolutely no answers. My one big regret in her story in Oblivion is that she never had to face up directly to the things she did when working for Thane; they were all very detached, and while she never shied away from them, she could just walk away from the consequences of the people she killed, the lives she broke.

I think Hermione's lesser responsibility in the world is a bit on purpose - by Hermione, I mean. Lillian's hands were very much tied in how much she could to in order to chase after Selena. Publicly, the Chairman couldn't redirect resources to find one girl. While Hermione outright told Rose she'd be happy to recruit the whole bloody Order of the Phoenix-that-was and Dumbledore's Army if necessary. I think Hermione keeps herself as Deputy Head of the DMLE simply because she would lose a lot of flexibility.

It's like Lex Luthor in Justice League Unlimited saying, 'do you know how much power I'd have to give up if I became President?'

But of course, Lillian knows how to make the shackles of responsibility work for her.

Selena was the best dang person to write this sequence from the POV of simply because she doesn't mess around with technical terms in a frankly long and kind of IMPORTANT MOMENT in wizarding history.


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Review #22, by water_lily43175Oblivion: On Our Dull Side of Death

9th December 2015:
AND IN THE LAST REVIEW I TOTALLY FORGOT TO COMMENT ON ULTIMA THULE GOING BANG. Absolute hell in a handbasket right now.

Ha. Push Raskoph off a building. Great advice there Cassian, cheers for the help.

Guh, all of the Weasley jumper feels.

...Eva. Oh SNAP. WHAT HAVE YOU DONE.

Author's Response: Weasley jumpers are IMPORTANT. Oh my God imagine Eva some day with a Weasley jumper, just - just imagine that and imagine her not knowing how to cope with it and -

I need to stop.

Yeah, Cassian, telling Rose to push Raskoph off a building. Who'd find that helpful?


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Review #23, by water_lily43175Oblivion: The Storm Brake on the Mountain

9th December 2015:
Eva. PROGRESS. Good girl, saving people is a GOOD THING. Although suicide missions aren't, so. I hope she actually finds an alive Albus BEFORE she gets herself killed or things could end in tears.

ASTORIA wait oh my days what IS this? I thought she might have been suspicious, back in Starfall, but then I figured she wasn't, she was just wronged wife, albeit with some bad neglect-based decisions under her belt, and now I'm questioning life again. WHAT IS GOING ON WHO SOLD THEM OUT ALREADY.

Ugh I'm gonna read on til my head explodes.

The Mattselena adoration continues.

Author's Response: End in tears... end in a lot of blood. Who knows.

I can't comment on any of these secrets because... you know the answer!

Matt and Selena prove themselves way more domestic than everyone else once they're through these teething issues!


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Review #24, by water_lily43175Oblivion: Wonders Ye Have Done

9th December 2015:
"Fear was a cage, and Eva had spent a long time being afraid. Afraid of consequences, afraid of death. But death had already come and she still stood."

Oh man, this sentence just about broke me. Because before, she didn't care about anyone else, it was HER death she was afraid of. But Albus' 'death' has practically killed her too and OH MY GOD IT'S ROMANTIC AND TRAGIC ALL AT THE SAME TIME.

And thank god he's not dead. Yet. I don't trust you with your characters' lives any more.

Arrest of the Minister AND his office? That's ... radical. Very radical. Did the Council really reach that far into the Ministry? Oops.

Lumos. HA. Thornweavers. OOPS.

Author's Response: Yeah, I didn't think I could get away with trying to make everyone thing Al was dead for, like, 3 chapters. I just thought you'd all yell at me for being cheap and yanking your chains like that. :-D Also originally there was going to be more content from Al's side while in Geiger's hands, but it became kind of superfluous.

The Council really have done some nasty things with influence in Britain...

LET THERE BE LIGHT. Ha. And, yeah, shut the bloody door, why don't you?


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Review #25, by water_lily43175Oblivion: The Barren Cold

9th December 2015:
In some ways, Matt/Selena are the healthiest couple of Stygianverse. I mean, except for Methuselena obviously, although to be fair Methuselah was rather lacking in social cues. But it's so refreshing that a couple has an issue, talks it over and works it out. Hopefully it stays that way.

And I hadn't realised before now just how messed up poor old Scorpius has become. Poor kid.

Yay Cassian backstory, MORE MORE MORE.

Author's Response: Methuselena didn't have a chance to find out if they were healthy; my God, they'd have been adorable as a couple in Starfall, wouldn't they? But then Starfall wouldn't have happened. And the tone would have been so different. Every time I think of an AU Stygian Trilogy where Methuselah lived, I have to wonder if the gang would have survived Starfall. His death just hardened them so much.

But I digress (why am I doing this when I have short reviews to plough through responding to??). But yeah, Matt and Selena sometimes actually just sit down and bloody well TALK, and let's be real, Matt's maiming is a serious issue which has not received quite the attention it should have in the whole big picture of things.


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