Reading Reviews From Member: water_lily43175
406 Reviews Found

Review #1, by water_lily43175Oblivion: Through All This Tract of Years

11th November 2015:
One thing I am INSANELY envious about with your writing is your narrative. I'm well aware that I can write a decent dialogue but my narrative and description skills are considerably lacking. The intro to this chapter is just SPECTACULAR. I want it.

And I got very excited at the presence of James. Which I suspected you predicted, ha. His maturity is definitely showing through, notably the fact he went to find Albus without telling anyone else, so at least he IS giving Albus a choice. And yet at the same time, as much as he HAS matured, he's still not experienced anywhere near what Al has been through. He does also come across as rather blase about the council.

"I lost my brother. You'd understand that." GUH, all the gut-wrenching feels. It seems that while Albus pretty much replaced James with Scorpius - for whatever reason - James never had any sort of brotherly substitute, it's as though he held Albus in a higher stead than Albus did him. AND THAT MAKES ME SAD. Nobody's allowed to make James and Albus distant apart from me. :P

Mattrose makes me upset. Not because of Mattrose in itself, but because there is absolutely no way this is a healthy relationship. They've both been in a pretty vulnerable place for the past two years, and Rose was going to end up falling into Matt's arms if he stuck round long enough, because she's looking for comfort or safety. And Matt was never going to say no to her cos the poor guy's still crazy about her. And the worst bit is, I don't think Rose has moved on from Scorpius' death any more than Albus has. Maybe if it was ten years down the line it would be the right thing for them, but now it's just unhealthy.

(Not, I hasten to add, that I dislike that you've done this. I like that you've done it, because it IS realistic and it'll be interesting to see them deal with it. It's just not good for them as people.)

So Raskoph's clearly still up to... something. Who knows what.


Author's Response: Yay you're at Oblivion!

I'm so glad you like the opening. Not to do false modesty but I do think of myself as a bit workmanlike with my prose. So knowing that I can do atmospheric and descriptive when I want to is nice! Yay, thank you!

I did think you'd enjoy James. He gets some better scenes in Oblivion than he did in Starfall, or at least ones KINDER to him. And then some less kind. Poor James, he mostly gets carted out to present the critical viewpoint even though he has every reason to be leery of Albus' life choices. And yeah, he doesn't really understand them, though his reasons for being so dismissive of the Council may make more sense in future chapters.

Most of the background on James/Albus has been laid out in the series already. Albus was a serious minded kid while James was anything but, and James had plenty of funny cousins (and Lily) to bond with, which is why Albus was originally closer to Rose. Then Scorpius. I don't think it's that James necessarily cared more about Albus than vice versa, so much as James never got his major relationships tested by ENORMOUS TRAUMA. So far as he's concerned, hey, Al's his brother! So far as Albus is concerned, his damage overrides all that.

Matt/Rose are pretty super messed up, as this chapter already really demonstrates. I won't go into the dynamics too much yet (because I could LIKE WOAH Oblivion has the most complex relationship nuances and dynamics) but you're pretty much bang on here already. Considering Rose is still waking up with nightmares of Scorpius' death, 2.5 years on, and it's implied this is pretty dang normal, she's super NOT over him.

Raskoph's out there. Dah dah DUM.


 Report Review

Review #2, by water_lily43175Starfall: Daybreak

10th November 2015:
Chapter the last, YEAH. Am I awesome or am I awesome?

(Let's pretend Oblivion doesn't exist yet. Still determined to reach the stage where I can be the first to review the last chapter.)

The fact that Rose has just lost her boyfriend and Selena is sitting in exactly the same boat is just GRIM. I mean, Scorpius isn't dead, so poor Selena's gonna be left on her on again, but at least for now Rose has someone who can say "I know how you feel" without sounding fake about it.

Eeeesh, getting bad vibes from Matt's attempts at comforting Rose. DON'T DO IT MATTHIAS.

Oh, Eva. Oh, ALBUS. She obviously does care, to tell him she didn't give them away. She obviously wants them to find who betrayed them. Which I still think has to be Draco. Who else knew they were in Venice? hmmm... And will Al take not of what Eva's told him once he's less angry with her? Is he ever going to BE less angry with her?

FACE IN THE FIRE WHAT WHO IS THIS. Draco? Astoria? Someone else who knew they were in Venice? And NATHALIE LOCKETT WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?! Since when has she been involved with things? IS she involved with things? Oh god and now I don't know what to think and I was supposed to be going to BED after this and I'm really glad I wasn't reading this at real-time now because WHY?

OH. And Rails has ten more chapters than Starfall, although admittedly about 90K less words, does that count as longer or shorter? I don't know how Rails ever ended up at 64 chapters, either. And now I've just depressed myself because 250K words took me 3 years to write, and you rattled out out 340K in basically a year. Note to self - must do better.

SO. Look at me, finishing Starfall. A most EXCELLENT sequel, except for the part where you pretended Scorpius was dead. Oblivion next. :)

Author's Response: Hey, year late or no, this IS a review of EVERY chapter when I would not have judged you for reviewing 1 in 3. ;) You've got at least a month, I reckon, until Oblivion's Epilogue gets posted. Maybe more if I cross the posting of final Oblivion chapters over with the posting of initial Not Fade Away chapters (I think I will, once Oblivion is basically in its dramatic equivalent of Starfall's 53 and 54, which will be more chapters because there's all that ever after to cover BUT I digress).

Yeah, it's horrible that Selena can support Rose well because... she's been there. Scorpius is super dead, so they really can bond over this mutual loss - but it does mean Selena's equipped.

Matt... isn't going to be exploitative. Maybe dumb. He's good at dumb.

Eva absolutely DOES care about Al. If she didn't, she probably wouldn't have betrayed the Council and basically ruined her life. She likes the Five, but it's Al who's made her change, which will be explored a whole lot more in Oblivion, of course. But right now, Al is in no condition to believe her. It's too SCARY, really, to believe her, and he's in too much pain to want to consider anything but the easy answer.

Draco is a good guess on who told about Venice. And YES, welcome to the Face in the Fire mystery! And the 'why is Nat involved' mystery! It was even worse reading this in real-time because there was about a month between end of Starfall and first chapter of Oblivion.

To be fair to my productivity - or to yours, rather - one would be lying to describe my lifestyle over the last two years as 'busy'. Oblivion has got done as quickly as it has because I was mad keen to finish it before returning to uni, and it got the focus of both NaNo and Camp NaNo. Not Fade Away will have a significantly slower publication rate!

Scorp's dead, bay. Scorp's dead. Thank you for all these reviews, it's rare for Starfall to get new love these days! People find Ignite still, but that's it.

 Report Review

Review #3, by water_lily43175Starfall: Wander Forth the Sons

10th November 2015:
I like the backstory about Malfoy Manor and Hermione. But we've discussed this before, we share thoughts on attitudes towards the past, so you know this gets a thumbs up from me.

Something else that gets a thumbs up from me is that you have an alive Lavender. You have NO idea how much it annoys me that everyone assumes she dies in canon because of a questionable camera shot in DH2.

Oh christ, the vision from Ager Sanguinis. GUH, that broke me to read first time round, all those millennia ago, and you make me experience it again and this time it's REAL? I mean, Scorpius OBVIOUSLY isn't dead (because the more I say this, the more true it becomes) but Rose and Albus' grief is just the WORST. Especially Albus' because the poor kid is just going to tear chunks out of himself for the rest of eternity. Or at least until Scorpius miraculously reappears. His talk with Harry and - especially - Ginny gave me all of the feels.

Beautifully written chapter. You should write books for money.

Author's Response: I *do* write books for money. Just... not a lot of money. ;-)

Yeah, the Malfoy Manor is basically me flipping off people who want to disregard the entire history between Draco and the Trio for fluffy Dramione or insensitive Scorose. Here Be Issues.

I'd forgotten I mentioned Lavender. No, screw the movie shot being treated as canon; my take is that if she'd been dead, the books would have mentioned it. And it's important that Hermione SAVES her, I think, not that the sense of brutal futility continues.

Yep, Scorpius' death has been fated since that Ager Sanguinis scene. Well, it's been fated since the conception of the Stygian Trilogy, which lands everything squarely on Al and Rose's - especially Rose's - shoulders. Really, Rose is Oblivion's protagonist. But Albus is absolutely screwed up by losing Scorpius on top of the Eva betrayal. It was good to reconnect him with his parents through this.

 Report Review

Review #4, by water_lily43175Starfall: Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night

10th November 2015:

Except I got a little bit sad when Jen said about helping Rose because it reminded me about Nick. Even if he was a tool who was just in the way of Gannifer.

So, need to try to remember what happened here. There's a new plague, well that wasn't a surprise given what Downing said. Scorpius was supposed to be a vessel who survived Lethe and ... was immune to it so would carry on living life happily? Except I can't imagine the Council letting him go free. But they weren't going to kill him because Draco told them not to. So confirmation that Draco is involved with the Council. So he DID give them away as being in Venice.

And then Scorpius died anyway, by accident. And he's taken the Chalice through the Veil ... so much necromantic energy stuff happening.

AND YOU KILLED HIM. I can't believe that. There's no way he's dead. You haven't just killed Scorpius Malfoy. HE LIKES CAKE TOO MUCH FOR YOU TO KILL HIM. Oh man I don't know what to think any more!

I get Lillian's point about processes but she does get on my wick a bit with her total unflexing insistence on stamping her authority. I GET HER POINT but her daughter was just saved by these guys. And if even Hermione is okay with it then Lillian should really chill.


Author's Response: YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW LONG I HAVE WAITED TO TORMENT YOU WITH THIS CHAPTER. Okay, well, all one needs is the post date and I guess you know, but it's been LIKE A YEAR.

Poor Nick. He died too soon and too conveniently traumatically and I'm still not even sorry.

Unhelpfully, Scorpius learnt a LOT right before he died. So the stuff about the plague is guess-able or can be found from other sources, but he's taken Draco's betrayal pretty much through the Veil with him. Scorpius would have likely been immune to Lethe the same way the Five-minus-Matt are immune to Eridanos, but noo, the Council wouldn't have just let their prisoners be on their merry way when they were done.

Scorpius is most definitely dead. Going through the Veil makes you dead. He's SUPER deaded. I'm not even lying here.

Lillian... has her reasons for being the mistress of uptight. They're not necessarily good reasons, but we'll see more of her character in Oblivion. Some of it is fear, some of it is, as Jen highlights, simple pride.


 Report Review

Review #5, by water_lily43175Starfall: Ashes, Ashes

10th November 2015:
Oh Albus. Poor, poor Albus.

Is it just me who thinks Scorpius is BEYOND an idiot for agreeing to do what Thane wanted of him without asking what it was? I'm getting bad feelings about this.

And as for Thane ... his motives have suddenly become weird. He's spent all this time being self-serving, giving off the air that he wants to be the man in control, and now he's calling Raskoph "sir" and generally bowing to the Council's whims? Weird. Unless he secretly has his own motives and is just playing along, which wouldn't be at all out of character. Either way, he's got Eva summed up.

And it's so sad to see the Five react to Eva now they know about her. True, she tricked them, but ... well, she hasn't really betrayed them per se. And she's certainly a fairly changed person now. The fact she wants to help them save Scorpius just says it all.


Author's Response: Poor Al. I'm mean to him from here on.

Now I have to re-read my own chapters to recall the nuances of why my guys do things. I probably could have had Thane reiterate his point, but after he Stunned Albus, Scorpius is pretty worried that if he doesn't cooperate, his friends will get hurt. He has half a handle on Thane by now; he knows he likes to PLAY chivalrous, but when the chips are down will turn cruel.

But you're right that there's a definite shift in his behaviour, though. He has his reasons! Which might not make sense until all of Oblivion is over... but yes, at the least, he's MOSTLY got Eva sussed. The one thing he's not figured is that she'll continue to act against him; she's changed so much he can't anticipate her. It would have been alien to the Eva he last met to directly oppose him.

The Five believed Thane when he said Eva's the one who sold them out; considering she was a spy, that was eminently believable. Of course, her offering help kind of muddies the waters.

 Report Review

Review #6, by water_lily43175Starfall: In the Pale Moonlight

10th November 2015:
I loved so much of this chapter. Except for the end bit where Thane turns up. WHAT THE HELL. But back to that.

The Matt/Selena conversation was lovely. They're both hurting, they both know they're hurting, and they hope they can help each other through it. Lovely. And I went to the Rialto Bridge, go me!

It's odd to think about Rose and Scorpius going back to Hogwarts. I can imagine they'd almost struggle to adjust to a relationship in a school environment, after what they've been through. So nice to see them just being able to enjoy being in each other's company, finally.

And Eva. Oh, Eva. You've written her arc so wonderfully, to the point that I'm so sad at the thought that she has to run, to change her identity completely, and hide from everyone she's ever known. Would the Ministry, and Albus in particular, forgive her for her role in the Council if she'd decided to go with them? Who knows. Possibly you ... (that's a hint ;) ).

Course, now she's bumped into Thane, she's not going to be able to keep any of it quiet.

Sexy times naw. Poor Albus, kid's gonna end up messed up.

And THANE IN VENICE oh god don't tell me Draco's thrown them under. GUH.

Author's Response: I have two regrets about things I didn't do in Starfall: I didn't have a fight on a train, and I didn't have an awesome, Casino Royale-esque action sequence in Venice. At conception, the gang's capture was going to be way more dynamic, but Eva's plotline took precedence, and Eva's plotline needed a more sinister, less Michael-Bay touch (for the more Michael Bay touch, you want Fire Extinguisher, Ignite's parody).

The Matt/Selena conversation was so HARD to write. Because there's so much left in between the lines on them, it was really difficult to find the perfect balance.

It would, definitely, be super tough for Rose and Scorpius to adapt to school life and a school romance. I mean, it'd be SUPER CUTE, because Scorpius would so intentionally play up the stupid teenaged stuff for his own amusement and to wind her up. But after this level of intimacy, the Hogwarts restrictions would be tough. So while they have a few months yet, they're aware this is a bit of a Last Night.

Eva's arc is one of the favouritest things I've written. :-D tbh, she probably COULD get amnesty right now, if she came clean with the Ministry and gave up the various Council secrets. But her instinct is still to put survival as her priority, and it's too much of a risk.

And here comes Thane to wreck the day! SOMEONE sure as hell threw them under a bus.

 Report Review

Review #7, by water_lily43175Starfall: Or Fordoes Me Quite

10th November 2015:
Selena's absolute terror of having to witness somebody else die is just heartbreaking. Whether it's just a fear of losing a friend, or whether it's because Matt is becoming an increasingly special person to her ... you know, I don't. Either way, it's a good thing the Chalice DID bring Matt back because I don't think I could bear to see poor Selena bereft again.

The Scorp/Nat conversation was just so adorable. Yay Nat!

Wondering what Draco's reaction to Scorpius' note will be. Wondering when Eva will be unmasked. Wondering what is to come in Venice. Five chapters to wrap things up? HMM. Remember when I said I wanted to get to Venice before I got to Venice? And I was there nine days ago. So I failed. It were really lovely though.


Author's Response: I don't think even Selena knows what's driving her. Certainly there is A Bond with Matt, and she already drew a comparison between him and Methuselah after the dragon's fall in Tomar. All she could think, really, would be, 'Not again.'

Scorp/Nat have such a lovely relationship.

Five ROLLICKING chapters to go. Venice IS lovely, isn't it?

 Report Review

Review #8, by water_lily43175Starfall: That Either Makes Me

10th November 2015:
Okay, so the trial intrigued me a lot. Was it deliberately set up so nobody could pass it? Rose's thought that she was the world's worst Gryffindor did make me chuckle. But Selena turning it all back on the Guardian was amazing, she's incredible when she's being driven by emotion.

Lisa, oh Lisa.

I imagine this was a pretty grim cliffhanger, like, a year ago when you posted this chapter (I really am a terrible person. A year?! How the hell did I not even manage to catch up on stuff last winter?) but given that I read about half an hour ago that the Chalice brings people back to life, and Selena happens to have the Chalice, I'm gonna say Matt lives. Or rather, gets resuscitated. Unless it's another fake Chalice. HOME STRAIGHT.

And then another damn fic.

Author's Response: It's like I write too much. IN MY DEFENCE you're a year behind. ;)

The Trial was supposed to be pass-able. The Templars who left Portugal to go looking for it, the ones who left the Cat Island clue, found it, passed the Trial - and had an 11th hour realisation they were wrong to try to return the Chalice to the world, so joined the guardians. They basically underestimated the power of what they sought until it was too late.

So the guys could have passed it, but the Trial was also kind of douchey. Not rigged so much as loaded against them. The two real 'failures' which have merit are that Albus' courage and sense of decency truly ARE untested - he's never had to face real sacrifice for doing the right thing - and Rose has been wilfully oblivious on occasion. Rose's one is harsher because it's judging her on who she used to be, but there is one very important fact she's choosing to ignore, which is where it's got her.

MORE fake Chalices! No, if that happened, I would not have posted more chapters, because some reader would have rightly hunted me down and kicked my hands off. :D

 Report Review

Review #9, by water_lily43175Starfall: Leap of Faith

10th November 2015:

Eva's impulsive kiss there seems to say a lot more to me than perhaps it's meant to - for someone who wanted this kept quiet, who isn't full of sentiment, to go in for a cheeky snog before she takes up guard to protect the others does come across as somewhat of a big move for her.

I love the idea that they have to pass a test before getting to the Chalice! Although I agree with Selena - yet more righteousness from a group of people who thought they were good and pure and in reality were just as corrupted as most of humankind.

Author's Response: Starfall is basically a love letter to nerdy history lore.

There's certainly no calculation in kissing Al right now. It doesn't much help the manipulation (although it probably makes everyone else think their relationship is real), but you're right, she's not much one for sentiment. Shows how high she thinks the stakes are - she knows full well she might die. And yet, she's choosing to risk it!

Selena always has a point when it comes to identifying someone's hypocrisy. ;) But we will get to that.

 Report Review

Review #10, by water_lily43175Starfall: The Witching Time

10th November 2015:
Many many mixed feelings on Astoria. Was she wrong? Yes. Were her reasons for leaving understandable? Yes. Could she have done more? Yes yes yes. She was definitely acting for her own interests and not thinking about Scorpius, regardless of anything else she says.

Poor Scorp. One parent who is actively horrible to him and one parent who just abandoned him.

I love the Selena/Lisa dynamic. Selena obviously thinks she's got the measure of her, and she's not wrong in knowing there's SOMETHING ... she's just very wrong in what the something IS.


Author's Response: I am GLAD the reaction to Astoria is mixed. I feel mixed about her myself, though intellectually I know I should view her as a victim of Draco just as much as Scorpius is. Draco abused her, and when she ran, she knew he'd use Scorpius to keep getting to her - so she had to cut off. It's one of those ideas which only got more and more horrendous as I explored it.

But Scorpius has some serious attachment issues because of it.

Selena could be a serious threat to Eva's cover - but maybe in a few years, or with an actual clue. And thankfully for Eva, she realised soon enough that she's the one she needs to handle, more even than Al.

 Report Review

Review #11, by water_lily43175Starfall: The Darkness and the Light

10th November 2015:
Oh, this Al/EvaLisa stuff is what I've been wanting, and now I'm kinda upset it's all happening, because there's no way Albus is going to come out of this without having his heart broken into a million pieces. Even if Eva IS being genuine in her feelings towards him. And I swear to god, if she DELIBERATELY breaks his heart (other than the part where he finds out who she was before) I'm gonna hate her. So much.

Naw, James being nice big brother. I want to see more of your James when he's being nice to Albus, if that's even a thing with Stygian James. :P

Oh Rose. Good on her for finally coming clean to Scorpius, and she's lucky he understood her completely. Her little speech to Matt was just ... GUH. All of the feels.

Author's Response: Yeah, Al is being set up for the biggest of falls right now. 'tis kind of inevitable, poor guy. Eva's manipulative, and trying to manipulate, but getting romantically involved with Albus is a dangerous move to further her plans. Sure, it makes her more trusted by the unofficial 'leader' of the Five, but it also opens her up to more easily being found out.

James is capable of being nice to his brother! We just... often see him in the worse light in these stories. This is one of the few times he's depicted as either a bit of a brat or a bit of a brat forced to grow up and resenting it. The boy learned how to survive as a Potter!

Scorose have had their problems with insecurities and jealousies. I wanted the conflict over Matt to be showing how they've *grown* - though it kind of helps that Matt's dying so Scorpius can't really be mad at him.

And I have a soft spot for the backstory of Rose and Matt, partly because I wasn't consciously aware of what a tapestry I was laying out for them as far back as Ignite. This is where here side properly, properly comes out. Pre-Phlegethon Rose was a bit of an immature brat, in her way, and only now can she see what she screwed up. Hector was her rebound.

 Report Review

Review #12, by water_lily43175Starfall: In the Dead Vast

10th November 2015:
WAH, I thought Matt had gotten away with it and gotten off the island scott-free ... but no. And, I guess, rightly so. It would be too perfect if he'd escaped. Here's hoping he just stays alive now.

"You canít die now. Those canít be your last words." Merlin's 12+ (still, apparently). I tittered.

And Eva. EVA. Oh you beautiful wonderful screwed up mess of a person. The part where she kissed Albus and then had the "oh snap what if he's not interested" thought was just amazing, amongst all this crazy life-and-death stuff. And a remarkably normal, real-life situation for her for once.


*insert incoherent mess*

Author's Response: Matt is one of my number one woobies, tbh. The boy has to suffer for drama's sake. But also I must apparently extract a cost for every victory.

Scorpius would have had the BEST last words if those Inferi had just eaten him.

I adore, as you will see in Oblivion, littering Eva's complicated, messed up, gritty, GRIMDARK life with mundane anxieties such as 'does the boy like me' or 'did I leave the kettle on.' Mostly hilarious awkwardness with her and Al. They are pretty cute.

 Report Review

Review #13, by water_lily43175Starfall: Bad Moon Rising

10th November 2015:
Ah, THIS CHAPTER, I am so glad I'm reading this all in sequence cos I think if I was to be reading it chapter by chapter I'd be going nuts needing the next update. See, I had a plan all along.

The whole time reading this I was petrified for Matt as well. DON'T GET PLAGUEIFIED MATTHIAS. It's gonna happen isn't it.

Eridanos is basically gone? Well that's interesting. Energy from the underworld... Oh snap, so if they find the Chalice that's their energy source and this time it won't run out. Well that sounds all rosy. And controlled Inferi. It just gets better and better!

So Downing is stabbed in the back by Eva, quite literally. Eva? Or Lisa? I mean killing Downing seems a lot like a Saida thing to do, but she was also pretty concerned about the welfare of the Five. Layers upon layers and I LOVE it.

I really hope she's gonna revive Harley and he's gonna be all epic!Harley on us. Yay Harley!

Author's Response: I am pretty cruel with my cliffhangers. tbh someone's said certain parts of Oblivion read better all in one go than serialised into chunks, so you might indeed be being wiser!

The Council is dangerous, but the whole world is uniting against it, and it's only got so many dark wizards on its side. It needs super-weapons like the Stygian Plague to be able to keep up. So keeping Eridanos up while they need to defend geographic locations, not easy! But you're right, the Chalice won't run out and can be kept with them.

I don't think even Eva knows if it was Eva or Lisa who killed Downing. 'Both' is probably the right answer, tbh.


 Report Review

Review #14, by water_lily43175Starfall: Landfall

10th November 2015:
Oh man, have I really still got SEVENTY THREE chapters to read? Deep breaths.

Ew, creepy Inferi are CREEPY. I'm going to be having nightmares about them now for sure, THANK YOU.

I continue to love Selena, so so much.

Eva's going in? Interesting, very interesting. I can't see how they're going to get themselves out of this one, especially Matt who has no immunity. But then, there are seventy two more chapters to go, so clearly at least SOME of them survive.


Author's Response: Seventy Three? Jeez, I write lots.

Depiction of Inferi in this chapter were based off an experience I had in a horror LARP. Loping white monsters stalking me through the woods at night. IT WAS BAD, YO. So you get to share my pain.

Selena might be the best character I've ever written. :D

Eva's motivations are becoming hazier, as are the lines between her and Lisa. So she does want to save the day. Of course, she might fail, they might all die, then I write seventy-two more chapters of clowns tossing pancakes.


 Report Review

Review #15, by water_lily43175Starfall: Out of a Clear Blue Sky

27th October 2015:
Oh, poor Matt. I guess, on the one hand, at least his feelings are now out in the open, even if nothing is going to come of it. But to be rejected like that is pretty crushing, especially when he knows they had SOMETHING, even if it wasn't the real deal, and they let it end.

But kissing Rose? Not cool.

And Rose's guilt is an interesting one. She certainly shouldn't feel guilty that Matt kissed her, because that was entirely him. But I can understand the guilt over having to tell him she doesn't return his feelings. But deliberately not telling Scorpius it happened ... yeah, that's a difficult one. Because he WOULD be likely to overreact, and there's nothing to react TO - it's not like Rose is ever going to act on Matt's feelings while she feels the way she does about Scorpius. But the moment you choose to keep something from someone, that's when it starts to get dicey. And Rose's "I love you" coming at that point ... possibly not great. HERE'S HOPING nothing comes of this.

Poor Selena, kind of having sort of feelings for someone who still loves his ex.

FIGHTING INFERI. Exciting! Onwards.

Author's Response: This chapter got so woefully under-reviewed and I thought it was super dramatic, so glad you're here. :-D

Matt is being pretty selfish here. Getting his feelings out in the open is more for his benefit than Rose's, but at the same time, you gotta feel pretty sorry for him. Especially as their relationship not being the Real Deal is something we'll assess going forwards. And absolutely NOT COOL to kiss her.

Rose is having a befuddle of a reaction. It's natural if flawed; she is not responsible for Matt's feelings and there's no way one could say she's led him on. She's not been in the slightest way vague about her devotion to Scorpius. But I see why she doesn't tell Scorpius, and certainly not right away, and CERTAINLY not after Scorpius and Matt have already rowed. Stuff will come of it, but I promise her telling Scorpius she loves him under this... stress will not be a HILARIOUS drama of everyone crying. ;)

Just other kinds of dramas.

Selena's pretty busy trying to figure all of this out and she Does Not Like It.

Inferi to come! Cheers! :D

 Report Review

Review #16, by water_lily43175Starfall: The Gleaming

27th October 2015:
I LOVE the start of this chapter. Especially this: "perhaps there had been some softness in Draco Malfoy if he could love a womanís smile." Beautiful.

Continuing to enjoy all the nerdy history lore.

It's not at all surprising that Rose has had it out with Astoria. After all, Draco has been a terrible father, and if Astoria has kept away from Scorpius for a reason, he deserves to know what that reason is. Poor kid.

So they're all arguing. That's going to help when they go off to a plague-ridden place on a rescue mission. Sort it out, guys!

Author's Response: You make me reread my own chapter so I remember what I wrote. :P And yes, ALWAYS HISTORY NERDY LORE. Still more to come.

Astoria kind of deserves getting it from Rose. Rose twigged a long time ago that she wasn't just the innocent victim Scorpius has chosen to imagine her as, and while she IS a victim, it's still complicated. But more from Astoria and Scorpius soon!

Yeah, these guys can't go five minutes without having a barney, especially in a Crisis Situation.

 Report Review

Review #17, by water_lily43175Starfall: Moonlight and Roses

23rd October 2015:
I was thinking I was getting somewhere with this and I've just realised how many chapters of Starfall are left, not to mention Oblivion, and suddenly it feels like I'm climbing Everest.

I still think Albus is my favourite character of yours. Scorbus is definitely my favourite dynamic. Although absolutely any dynamic with Selena is pretty damn amazing. And I hadn't realised that up until this point Scorpius didn't know the true reason why Albus was Sorted into Slytherin...

And new light (in a way) is shed on the Matt/Rose friendship. Cos, well, there WASN'T one. So, the whole time, instead of just having a friendship to fall back to, they've been having to feel out a completely new relationship between them. No wonder poor Matt is struggling.

Ooh Scorose finally did the dirty! Good on em!


Author's Response: My work is like unto Everest. Sorry not sorry.

I love my Albus, and I'd like to think he only gets better. Though down the line I think he might be one of the least sympathetically flawed of the lot of them; he's occasionally weak in a way the others aren't. BUT I digress. Lots to read. And nope, Albus never had reason before now to tell Scorpius; he kept his cards close to his chest.

Matt and Rose have been pretending they've had a prior friendship to fall back on. They really haven't. Poor boy's trying his best, but Rose has been a bit delusional or downright misinformed about how the two of them interact, so that's not made it helpful.

YES the all important teenaged romping.

BOOM, Astoria.

 Report Review

Review #18, by water_lily43175Starfall: A Star to Steer Her By

16th October 2015:
And then Lily proceeds to explain exactly WHY James doesn't have a leg to stand on when it comes to telling Albus off. I won't lie, that night out sounds like a riot. Definitely the sort of thing my James would have done, back when he was all irresponsible.

And I continue to adore your Lily as well.

Very interesting chapter in terms of Eva's position. For someone who's supposed to be integrating herself only to betray the group, she's becoming a lot closer to them than she needs to. Helping Selena out with duelling? That's not necessary. That's Eva letting herself become one of the group, more than she ever planned on. And regardless of whether she's doing it as Eva or Lisa, that's still A Big Thing.

As is throwing Prometheus out of the window. INTERESTING. Breaking free of shackles etc etc.

Author's Response: I do love this Lily. She gets the littlest screen time, but totally makes the most of it. And absolutely points out the hypocrisies of James. I'd be lying if I said Rails James hadn't influenced mine (but a kind of Flanderised Worst Traits James).

Eva is kind of slipping. She has no justification for helping Selena, not as an infiltrator. But at the same time, the best infiltration is the most believable, right? And then cutting, or at least delaying ties with Thane. It's an important decision, just unclear yet what that decision IS!


 Report Review

Review #19, by water_lily43175Starfall: Mercurial Matters

16th October 2015:
Look I'm reading a Starfall chapter YAY. Whether I manage to leave those long reviews where I pretend to be all insightful or just 5 line reviews is another matter.

I'll confess, I had to read the last chapter over again to remind myself where we were. And then I went back and read the dragon chapters again, because PUNS. But yes, now it's family time.

You know, right the way through this chapter it's possible to completely empathise with the parents. Because there ARE legal, international organisations which are trying to tackle the Council. But these guys have made more ground than the Convocation, they're able to move about with somewhat more secrecy, and they're not infiltrated by Council members (except they are - here's looking at you, Eva). But nobody knows that. All the same, why should it be a bunch of teenagers who goes off and does this?

Except Harry, Ron and Hermione have no leg to stand on when it comes to that argument, as Rose rightly points out.

I continue to adore your Ron.

Guh I got so excited about a James cameo, but his chat with Albus just broke my heart a little bit. The poor dysfunctional Potter family. I like how we've taken totally different stances with them, in Railsverse Harry and Ginny are pretty emotionally healthy (aside from the daddy issues James had) but you give them a very different attitude, and it's just as realistic. I think in this chapter James has more of a point than any of the parents, in some way ... while Albus is off saving the world, James is having to hold it all together at home, and it's understandable why James should think Albus is being selfish by doing what he's doing. But then James has hardly lived a blameless life, so there we go. Everyone is at fault somehow in this universe.


Author's Response: Holy cow a Starfall review! YAY! Even 5 line review is awesome though. You're further ahead than I'd thought. I thought I couldn't complain about Portugal at you. But I HATED writing Portugal, HATED it. Except the puns.

Yeah, it's tough being the parents here. Especially as they tried to make government better so their kids didn't have to do the same as them. Unfortunately, they can't impact the whole world! And by now, they can't really stop them. They're adults, they have a lead, and a proven track record by now.

I love writing Ron. I kind of want to write more Ron. Or more older Trio in general. But NEVER TIME.

90% of the time, Stygian Harry and Ginny ARE fine. Railsverse Harry and Ginny didn't have to contend with thinking Albus was dead. But yeah, under pressure, Harry and Ginny here kind of run to their trauma.

James isn't wrong, but he's being a bit of a hypocrite, because he was absolutely the firebrand rich kid getting in trouble in the press and public mess. Albus might be causing his parents more grief, but it's for a good cause. James caused his parents years of stress for pretty petty reasons!

But yeah. LIFE IS COMPLICATED in Slide-world.


 Report Review

Review #20, by water_lily43175Year Five: Cleaner, More Brilliant

4th October 2015:
Okay, so I read this chapter last night and wanted to be able to review it with a fresh(er) mind than the one I was writing with last night. I've absolutely loved reading this fic, and it's been wonderful to see its popularity explode, especially on the forums - although that's made me feel even more guilty about having left it so long to actually read and review it myself. How dare real life come along and get in the way.

As for this chapter, it's just the perfect way to end the story. There's this sense what while things aren't perfect, they're okay. And I think that's a really lovely way to end. It's realistic, and very teenage-esque.

I love that they're going round all of Britain on the Knight Bus. Yay Knight Bus! Also props for the Doctor Who insertion, and it's now got me thinking about how WEIRD that programme must come across to wizards.

The Muggle clothing bit, and most specifically that sense of self-identification, is AMAZING. It's something I'd never even thought of before, but witches and wizards wear black robes ALL THE TIME, and I think it's easy to imagine them wearing Muggle clothes in their downtime (and perhaps the younger guys do) but actually in the books the adults really do wear robes the whole time, and if they wear Muggle clothes it's for an exceptional circumstance (or they're visiting Muggle Britain, which I suppose isn't all that exceptional, but it's certainly not COMMON). Maybe it's a generational thing. But either way, at Hogwarts it's all about dem robes, regardless of how much the films try to corrupt things. And it's actually nice to see Isobel and Laurel having that opportunity to express themselves through clothing for perhaps the first time ever. This line - "She'd never before been given such a straightforward opportunity to decide who she was" is just ... lovely. Sad, but lovely at the same time.

Isobel ... guh, I could gush for HOURS over her. Like I said above, the nice thing about this ending is that it's not one of those "everything is fine" endings. It feels RIGHT that Isobel still has those niggles about herself, because you don't become fine just like that. But her head's in the right place, and that's the important thing.

I just adore Laurel, as well. Giving the sort of body image advice that every girl and woman should hear. IF YOU FEEL SEXY, YOU ARE SEXY.

I'm not a Tonks/Lupin fan. Can't see it. Teddy Lupin sort of makes it worthwhile. But I'm the world's biggest Charlie/Tonks shipper, so AWESOME POINTS TO YOU for that little insertion!

Fair play, animation is pretty damn sweet. Us Muggles are so clever.

Emily/Tristan makes me happy. HAPPY, I tell you.

And they all dun good in their exams, WELL DONE KIDS. THE END. They're going to be okay. Sob. That last line = perfection.

So I initially thought I'd like this fic because I like fics about OC characters during Harry's time at Hogwarts. I think it's a really fun, original way to explore the world of Hogwarts and magic without having to have Harry and Voldemort at the forefront. But this fic has been SO MUCH MORE than just that. It's about the focus on those issues which most teenagers struggle through at some stage, and it really is incredibly realistic. We don't get this sort of focus in the books themselves - mind you, let's face it, poor Harry had enough on his plate without having an existential crisis thrown into the mix - and this is a wonderful mix of HP canon and teenage angst and a bit more besides. I think Tristan's journey of self-discovery and self-identity is just so wonderful, how he started out feeling so lost, only to realise the thing he'd been looking for was never there at all, and the person he was looking for was there inside him the whole time.

I think Isobel is probably my favourite of the four, and it's been sad to see her crumble as the world around her falls apart, but her total love and adoration of her friends and selflessness towards them is just the most amazing thing. Also it's been lovely to see Laurel blossom - and become her normal self, I guess - as things have gone on. Even Emily, who seemed the most open and innocent of them all, has her own demons which serve to explain how she's the way she is.

I've loved this. In case that hasn't been made clear by my utter word waffle. THANK YOU for writing Year Five, it's been an absolute pleasure to read. Even if it has taken me centuries.


 Report Review

Review #21, by water_lily43175Year Five: After

3rd October 2015:
Oh man this chapter had all the feels. ALL THE FEELS. Tristan is (was) a Lestrange. I was nearly there, I was thinking he was Bellatrix and Rodolphus' son. What a beautiful journey of self-discovery you've given him, and I love that he visits Rabastan and comes away with the realisation that Rabastan is NOT his father in the end. Oh Tristan.

Also I felt really sad for poor old Uncle Frank when reading this.

"I was almost snogged by Voldemort, is what happened!" Shouldn't have laughed. Did laugh.

Lovely Isobel/Emily scene as well, I guess I wasn't imagining undertones from Isobel. Lovely lovely.

YES Dumbledore TOTALLY planned on Harry going down the trapdoor. Naughty Dumbly.

I really adore everything about this chapter, and if I wasn't feeling totally braindead I'd type a 6000 character, intellectual splurge on themes and people and just everything amazing about this story. But I don't think I'm capable of that right now, so just pretend this is it. And maybe in another five or so months I'll come along and actually WRITE said review.


Author's Response: A ridiculous confession: so partially, I didn't make him Bellatrix's son because thought it would be a bit TOO much, but mostly... Rabastan is just a better name than "Rodolphus." Like, the latter makes me think of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

That's also why I chose the weirdly incongruous surname "Bryce" for him. Like, it just doesn't suit Tristan AT ALL, while "Lestrange" REALLY does. And "Lestrange" sounds like "estrange" for his estranged birth family.

Ah yes, poor Uncle Frank who was actually innocent :(

OH DON'T WORRY, you were MEANT to laugh at that line! They all did :P

Yeah I think with Isobel/Emily, it's less about the fact that Isobel has a crush on Emily than that Isobel has a crush on a girl. Like, the crush itself is pretty small and not a big deal, it's beginning to accept her sexuality by and large that matters.

RIGHT?! Some people have criticized PS by saying a) if Harry had just left it all alone everything would have been fine, and b) if three first years could do it then it can't have been that great of protections. But OBVIOUSLY Dumbledore engineered the whole situation specifically to do all that!

SQUEE! I'm just SO stoked that you see all the themes and things! I had no idea what people would make of this story when I started posting, and it means a huge amount to me that people have sort of taken it /seriously/, and bothered to kind of engage with the story and recognized all the thematic/literary things I tried to do!

Like, I dunno. It never seems like readers are like "it's just fanfiction," you know? And I think there's something really cool about that. Like, so many people around the world producing and engaging with literary works that don't conform to the conventions of what ought to be taken seriously. And in a way, it makes sense that that would come out of Harry Potter.

In the 90s, there was a MARKED drop in children's literacy, and children were reading less than any generation in the last 50 years. I remember people teasing me or thinking I was odd for reading, and then overnight, EVERY KID started reading and had their nose in a book, and it was Harry Potter. Indeed, child reading had a HUGE surge after that and reached record high levels.

And HP definitely has some themes around egalitarianism and anti-elitism, and I think fanfiction is a pretty amazing way to democratize reading and writing. Like, publishing and connecting to an audience is no longer the domain of the chosen few (white dudes), with publishing houses as gatekeepers.

And with HPFF, EVERYONE has a voice to tell stories, and we can use this sort of shared vocabulary of the Potterverse to connect with people and experiences we do not know and have never shared.

But now I'm just waxing on and rambling!

Basically, THANK YOU.


 Report Review

Review #22, by water_lily43175Year Five: O.W.L.s

3rd October 2015:
I have this perverse joy over exam chapters. I don't know what it is, I just really like reading them! Maybe it's because I'd love to be able to actually do the exams. IMAGINE being tested on changing the colour of a rabbit, living the dream.

Ah, the girls all revising together, it makes me very happy to see them being all friends again.

Ha, Laurel being quizzed on Cheering Charms, I like the similarity to HRH's Charms exam there. Also Emily not wanting to Vanish animals is just too adorable, BUT I was also totally thinking this same thing when I was re-reading... whichever book it is where they learn to Vanish things. What happens to the poor animals?!

Oh god. Oh TRISTAN. I can see how this bit wrote itself, all in all it's not an unsurprising series of events. I feel like I should be writing more on this - but there are further chapters to read, so I'm gonna go read them instead. And more words and feels will come once I establish whether or not Tristan lives (oh god he can't die!). SO MANY FEELS.

Author's Response: Ha, right?! Like, whenever in canon Harry's all like "ugh, HOMEWORK" I felt all like "DUDE YOUR HOMEWORK IS MAGIC STOP COMPLAINING!"

I tried, as much as I could, to kind of vary the tone in this story so that it wasn't just slogging through one giant bummer after another, which is a lot of why I wanted the exams part to all be really FUN to read. That of course is dependent on me succeeding on making it fun to read, so YAY I'm really glad you enjoyed it!

META CANON NODS. That was some of the most fun bits to do in this story :)

And then, yes. Major tone shift and blargh. I was like... devastated when I realized what was going to happen. It happened all at once while I was writing an earlier chapter and I was like "OH NO TRISTAN IS GOING TO JUMP INTO THE LAKE." Like, I'd subconsciously established all this foreshadowing and introduced things to come back. I seriously hadn't intended it!

It was like "the twins nick things from profs for Laurel's birthday--seems like something they'd do. Maybe a potion from Snape?" then, while Laurel was cataloging potions: "oh yeah! Doesn't she have a stolen one? That could come back now." Then: "OH NO TRISTAN HAS THE POTION! If he takes a bunch of it and jumps in the lake he'll DROWN!"

This story seriously wrote itself. Like, I had no control and I take zero responsibility.

 Report Review

Review #23, by water_lily43175Year Five: The Presence of Love

3rd October 2015:
You really do write Dumbledore so incredibly well. Bouncy and world-weary in the same scene, it's just SO him. And I just adore how he cares about his students so much. Suspending Emily when it's the Easter holidays anyway. What a genius man. He truly does know what's best for everyone and it's MAGICAL, pun entirely unintended.

One thing you've done really well in this whole fic is the slow reveal of certain aspects of the four characters, in such a way that doesn't feel contrived in the slightest. Laurel is the obvious one - we didn't even have her POV for ages, and now we get that insight into her home life which begins to explain why she was the girl we met in the first chapter. It's so wonderfully done, and I just love all the LAYERS. And I think Laurel's recovery is one of the most lovely things about this whole story.

Oh Mary. You're such a darling mum.

And with this chapter Emily becomes a bit easier to understand as well. The poor, poor doll. The sad thing is I think most of us probably know someone who's been in her situation (at least I do, at any rate), and it really does leave a mark. But on a happier note, at least the girls are repairing their friendships.

OH and that reminds me about a thing I missed, Emily's reflections on the different friendship bonds between the four of them was immensely well thought-through and I guess shows just how multi-dimensional these characters are. Which is GOOD.

Author's Response: *FLAILS* DUMBLEDORE. Man, he is just SO SCARY to write! Like, I sort of sat there being like "what are the wisest things I can think of?"

Yay for layers! It's weird because all of these characters started off so much more simply when they were just plans and notes on a piece of paper, then when I started writing them they each demanded so much more NUANCE than I had originally thought of. Like, seriously, this story was originally planned as a totally lighthearted romp about Hogwarts Stoners, but then just as soon as I started writing the characters were like "haha, NOPE! This will be a harrowing angst fest!"

As for Emily, I think I remember the statistic being something like one in five girls has been or will be the victim of sexual violence (usually before the age of 21)--which is a pretty staggering statistic. Part of Emily's backstory, in context, is to show how there isn't really a hierarchy for pain, and it's not always proportional to what people think are "better" or "worse" traumas. Like, a lot of people reading assumed that Laurel had to have some BIG DARK THING that was causing her behavior, but she really doesn't. Her life has just been a bit crap in a bunch of little ways. By contrast, Emily is consistently the best adjusted and least acting-out-y of all of them, but had something really objectively bad happen to her. So like, just because someone experiences trauma, that doesn't mean they end up falling apart. Conversely, someone does need an 'excuse' to feel pain. If that makes any sense?

UGH these later chapters are so weird to reply to because they always end on such a bummery note!



 Report Review

Review #24, by water_lily43175Year Five: The Question

3rd October 2015:
Look at me doing this REVIEWING thing again, yay me! Challenge: FINISH THIS FIC. And stop using so much CAPS LOCK.

Anyway, after a quick recap of previous chapters to remember what's actually happened... I think this is one of my favourite chapters. I love counsellor!Sprout so much, and I also love the implication that she's a secret Pothead in her greenhouses, ha.

And Isobel is an INSANELY good friend. Despite all that's gone on, and all the anger she feels towards Tristan, she's still doing all she can to get him out of trouble. Doing that thing where she puts everyone else first again.

And I'm suddenly getting Isobel/Emily vibes and I can't work out if I've just been a complete idiot and missed previous signs re Isobel.

I think Laurel's sense of wanting to be loved - and wanting to be someone who CAN be loved - is an incredibly accurate sentiment from a fifteen-year-old girl. In fact, I think it's accurate of most human beings. It's a wonderful touch of humanity. And I know it's been said before, but it's this focus on the sort of things which plague most teenagers which makes this story SO GOOD.

Oh man Isobel's teaching Voldemort how to fly, NOT GOOD.

Creepy Quirrell EW! Oh Isobel, she doesn't have it easy, poor girl. Twins to the rescue, yay!

Hagrid just casually buying the dragon egg, amazing. And MOAR TRISTAN PARENTAGE HINTS. More caps lock. Sorry. But I am most intrigued.

"Fredíll lecture my ear off", GUH. Love these boys too much.

And HAGRID. Sometimes he can annoy me (although I think this is exacerbated by the film version of him; Robbie Coltrane just IS Hagrid, but I think the films lose the caring, supportive side of him in place of, well, a bit of an idiot) but this scene is just 100% wonderful Hagrid. Incredible.

Author's Response: TOTALLY GOING OUT OF ORDER: HAGRID. You know, I DO like Robbie Coltrane, but I think the movies flattened his character a bit. Like, made him a little too buffoonish. In canon, his sort of silliness and almost childishness is in contrast to his being HUGE and SCARY and WILD. Like, Robbie Coltrane was a little too fresh and jolly, if that makes any sense. Hagrid in my mind has a bit more of a ragged, howling voice, a much messier beard, and the films totally glossed over the fact that he's a bit of an alcoholic.


Haha, ok so I know a bunch of professors and teachers and things, and a lot (if not all of them) are totally potheads :P Like, great at their jobs and totally responsible, but yeah, THEY SMOKE. And Prof Sprout SO OBVIOUSLY SMOKES LIKE COME ON.

Some people twigged Isobel's wee feelings for Emily HELLA early on (like, her first chapter), but I was trying to be pretty subtle there so I'm glad it seemed more like a niggling thing for you than just like "HELLO YES SHE HAS WEE CRUSH."

I'm really glad that all the FEELINGS and HUMANITY stuff is resonating with you! Especially because it was honestly kind of tough to write--like, not shying away from sort of raw feelings and stuff.

Just all around it's so heartening to hear that all the things I struggled to do in this story worked for you!


 Report Review

Review #25, by water_lily43175Radicalia: The world will die screaming...

3rd October 2015:
Aah, well this is just too emotional. It struck me when reading DH just how annoyed and angry Ginny must have been inside at Harry going off and risking his life with Ron and Hermione but not letting Ginny go along as well. And the fact she was left completely isolated from them. I think this definitely comes through here. There's also a pretty stark contrast between the celebratory wedding atmosphere and the dark gloomy Death Eater-full aftermath, which I like in my sadistic angsty way.

Also I love that little touch of all products having to be the same brand, and of poor old Arthur and Molly not being able to afford it. SO MUCH YES. Also I want to know what Ginny has in that shampoo bottle, because I refuse to believe it's shampoo. Unless that's at the heart of her plot to bring Severus Snape down, in which case I am ALL OVER that idea. Even if Snape is good really.

I think you've got the characterisation spot on as well. I envisage Ginny driving things within the DA at some stage, but right now her feelings of loneliness and isolation and also her worry for Harry are all going to drag her down and leave her a little bit lethargic. Whereas Neville isn't going to have quite so much an emotional entanglement, he's just going to want to absolutely go for it right from the off.


Author's Response: You know I only just figured out while researching for this that Ginny would have been only 15 when the wedding happened (her 16th birthday was about two weeks later), so it would have been kinda unjustifiable for Harry and co. to bring her along (not to mention how that would have screwed the Weasleys and probably landed them in Azkaban)--BUT, it still must have SUCKED for her to get left behind. In a way, she's put in one of the most crap positions for being the youngest. Like, all the rest of her family get to be in the Order and do things to fight while she's just stuck going to an awful Hogwarts. She's basically a hostage, you know?

Heheheh, I snort giggled at the idea of bringing Snape down with a bottle of shampoo. I'm sure there's a "greasy hair" joke in there somewhere :P

I thought it would be a lot more interesting to start with Ginny being kind of beaten down and defeated, rather than rearing to go, you know? Like, stories are always better when characters have arcs and stuff.



 Report Review
If this is your story and you wish to respond to reviews, please login

<Previous Page  Jump:     Next Page>