Reading Reviews From Member: water_lily43175
387 Reviews Found

Review #1, 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.


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Review #2, 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.


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Review #3, 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.

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Review #4, 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!



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Review #5, 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!


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Review #6, 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.



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Review #7, by water_lily43175Radicalia: Prologue

3rd October 2015:
OH MY GOD I really don't need this because I STILL owe you reviews on Year Five (yes yes I am a terrible person) but I think I have three weeks of doing absolutely NOTHING in a foreign country ahead of me, so more than enough time for reviewing. They will come, I PROMISE.

But, I've just reread the Potters for about the nth time, and I finished Hallows on Wednesday, and the whole time I was thinking "I'd love to read - or write if nobody else writes it for me, because that's usually the reason I write something - a DH fic set at Hogwarts". And lo and behold, HERE IS ONE. And given how much I LOVE Year Five, I think I will very much enjoy this. :)

And you've definitely drawn me in with this prologue! Who is Nathaniel? Why has he lied? HM. ONWARDS.

Author's Response: Oh my gosh waking up to all these reviews was such an amazing fantastic surprise! Thank you so much!

I'd been seeing a bunch of people mentioning around the forums how they'd like to read a Ginny's-Sixth-Year story and I'd always been drawn to this one particular line in canon --"a low level, constant mutiny from a hard core of students"--and had even once written an entire final paper based around the implications of the D.A. at Hogwarts, so I couldn't stop thinking up ideas for a war era Hogwarts story! And while I've never been super fond of the films, there was one establishing shot from DH of Hogwarts students marching between classes all militarized that I thought was really chilling and exciting, so def something I wanted to explore!

So glad you liked this prologue! It was sort of a last minute idea and I ended up changing the whole beginning of the story, but I'd never really written a proper prologue before and thought it would be a nice start :)

YAYAYAY so glad you like! I'm working on the next chapter right now so hopefully it will be up pretty soon.


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Review #8, by water_lily43175Year Five: The Disappearing Room

7th June 2015:
Tristan's musings on Emily are heartbreaking. The guy's truly only realised what he had now he's lost it. Although drinking Draught of Tranquility really doesn't help the situation.

I think this Laurel/Dumbledore scene is just about my favourite of this fic. You write him so well, he really would try his best to look out for every student. And what Laurel and Tristan both see in the mirror is interesting to say the least, poor kids. Although perhaps Laurel's knowledge of her desire will help her get better? Her giving her wand away is so heartening.

Oh well Tristan's in trouble. And what a friend he really is to Emily and Laurel when it comes down to it, taking all the blame and refusing to get either of them into trouble.

Hum Lucius and Narcissa tried to take Tristan, this is INTERESTING. Family, eh? Racking my brains again, I have a theory but I'm not so sure it's correct...

Another excellent chapter :)


Author's Response: Yeah, Tristan did sorta take it for granted that Emily would always be there. And while I think he does deserve unconditional love, I also think Emily deserves to focus on herself and what's best for HER. Not that she does a STELLAR job with that or anything. But she's been kind of the innocent by-stander to everything that's been happening to everyone else, and maybe it's HER turn to be selfish and freak out for a moment.

SO GLAD you think I got Dumbledore right! He is SO intimidating to write! And YES, he cares about EVERY student. Not just Harry! And I DO think that this insight will be valuable to Laurel. Plus, she's really hard on herself, so Dumbledore's kindness (and even praise) really meant a lot to her.

A good friend, yes, but also, just SO MUCH SELF-LOATHING. He genuinely thinks he deserves the punishment, even though he didn't commit the crime :(

Well, DISTANT, BARELY RELATED, TENUOUS familial connection. And purebloods being so inbred and interconnected, maybe not all that big of a clue! But I suspect you are on the right track ;)


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Review #9, by water_lily43175Year Five: Interrupted

7th June 2015:
Okay so yeah Emily's crumbled.

BAHHH so much happens in this chapter and I don't know if I can create a coherent review out of it all. I can't work out if the conclusion I think I've drawn about Tristan is the right one or not. Poor Laurel, trying to straighten herself out and ending up in further trouble. Poor Isobel, just trying to do the right thing and being snapped at for it. POOR ALL OF THEM. It really does feel like things are going off with one hell of a bang. ONWARDS!


Author's Response: POOR ALL OF THEM!

I'm really glad that these characters can invoke sympathy from you. I mean, considering everything that's happening with Harry in the periphery, their individual Teen Drama is objectively petty. But I RESENT that idea! The way people write off Teen Drama, or scoff at "Moody Teenagers" always really upsets me. The stuff they are going through is REAL and MEANINGFUL and it's REALLY IMPORTANT TO THEM. Sure, it might not be war or an epic struggle between good and evil, but why should things have to be relative like that? I just hate the way people write off a person's anguish by saying something like "you have food on the table and running water, stop complaining." Just because one life is harder doesn't mean another life is easy.


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Review #10, by water_lily43175Year Five: Torture

7th June 2015:
Wuh, there is TOO MUCH angst in this chapter. Isobel's internal thoughts on Tristan just sum the both of them up, I think, and it's nice to see that their little chat causes her to rethink it all. The poor guy's drowning in self-loathing. In fact all of them are, except perhaps Emily, and it can't be easy for her to have to watch everyone crumbling around her.

Cruciatus curse seems to be a trigger. HO HUM. Need to know things.

Creepy conversation with Quirrell at the end. Ewww go away you bad Voldemort man.


Author's Response: Your comment about her Tristan-angst summing "both of them up" is REALLY on point. No one else has mentioned that, and I hadn't really thought of it that way, but YES.

Yeah, the teenage experience is a LOT about defining oneself and self-reflection, which FAR too often results in self-loathing :( I think Emily is the most immune to it in part because she's had the most consistently supportive and lovely family, and in part because she's honestly just the smartest. They are ALL pretty clever, but I think Em's the most intelligent. She's really the philosopher of the bunch, and thinks about abstract ideas more, which is a better use of one's mind than constant self evaluating.

Ah yes, Voldemort mining ideas from teenage girls. He'd be so embarrassed if anyone found out!


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Review #11, by water_lily43175Year Five: The Trouble With Laurel

7th June 2015:
Okay so Tristan can see Thestrals. INTERESTING. Oh no, no no Laurel don't do it DON'T DO IT. :(

You know, it's a sad thought, but Tristan and Laurel really don't seem good for each other as friends at the moment. They both seem at that point where it's too easy for them to drag each other down. DON'T DO IT GUYS IT WON'T END WELL.

It's also quite sad, really, that Tristan has this mentality of "my friend has a problem but I can't do anything about it so I'll leave it to the other girls". He's doing it with Isobel, and to some extent with Laurel as well. I guess it's partly his personality ANYWAY, and his current mental state doesn't help things. But he's not the first to notice Isobel isn't eating, and if only he said something to Emily, I can't help but think that would spur her on to do something. And instead he just shrugs it off as someone else's responsibility.

But then, I guess that's what they've all been doing about Laurel. Sigh. Kids. Struggles. Teenage years are tough.

And yet having typed all that, Emily and Tristen manage to convince Laurel between them to take food to Isobel. So I guess they are both trying to help. Rambly review alert.

I like Tristan's musings on the Hogwarts Houses. I DO like them, on the whole, and I don't think Hogwarts would be the same without them, but more needs to be done to encourage people to integrate more and to stereotype less.

Oh poor angsty Tristan. I NEED TO KNOW MOAR.


Author's Response: Yeah, Laurel and Tristan are a bit different in the mind department, but they both have a tendency towards self-loathing. I think they have this idea that they can Just Be Themselves together, but they HATE themselves and so they end up just doing really self-destructive horrible things. Junkie Love. So it goes. (OH YEAH, and this was all foreshadowed back in the trippy-potion chapter! The 'junkie love' song Em and Tristan are listening to when the Slytherins show up is called "Drain You" [in itself apt] and the lyrics go like "chew your meat for you / pass it back and forth / in a passionate kiss / from my mouth to yours" which is very icky, and very much describes Laurel/Tristan... ANDANDAND, since I see you read "Interrupted" already, I can say that it's implied that Emily [while psychic] read Tristan's mind and found out he'd made out with Laurel after his birthday. But she's historically pretty sexually active so that didn't bother her much, since she could also tell it was more a "being really intoxicated" thing than a "they LIKE like each other" thing)

Ramble ramble.

UGH, their total inability to cope with Isobel is, unfortunately, pretty accurate to what I remember :( I knew people to suffer with anorexia nervosa, and a WEIRD amount of people sorta shrugged it off or just tried to ignore it. Or didn't even notice at all even when it's ABSURDLY obvious. Plus: the nineties. I think people are a bit more aware today about things like mental health issues, and more open to talking about them.

Yeah, I too love the Houses, but there are some valid points. Even Dumbledore thinks they Sort too young, and I kinda suspect that people might be too complicated to just divide up 4 ways and call it a day. But still, the Houses are fun!


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Review #12, by water_lily43175Year Five: The Little Things (1992)

7th June 2015:

I love that Sprout does guidance sessions. YES that kind of service would surely have to be available to Hogwarts students, and YES Sprout is the ideal person. Also I love this line: " A studentís troubles were rarely the result of one big thing, but rather a lifetimeís sum of little disappointments adding up." How very true.

Yas virtual confirmation about Tristan's parentage.

And what a lovely job Sprout does in chatting to Laurel. Not at all condescending, just trying to BE THERE.

Ah, yes. It makes sense that Emily and Isobel would struggle to know how to talk to Laurel. It's such a big thing that she's gone through, and I can imagine how awkward Emily and Isobel feel about the whole thing. How do you react around this friend who's become so self-destructive?

And yet poor old Isobel seems about to press her own self-destruct button. Here comes this self-determined discipline again - they all HAVE to stay friends, HAVE to be okay, and she HAS to be the one to hold them together. Even though she can't hold herself together right now. Poor thing. If only she and Laurel could help each other, but Laurel seems a long way off being able to help anyone else through their own mental struggles at the moment.

Those flashback scenes are heartbreaking. And her chat with Tristan at the end ... oh man guys. :( Lovely chapter, excellent depiction of Laurel's struggles. It definitely worked to hold back on her perspective until this moment. NICE WORK.


Author's Response: I'm SO relieved that you thought holding back on her perspective until now worked! I really liked the idea of building up everyone else's ideas about her first before getting into her head, but I was REALLY worried about her first chapter being compelling. After such a build-up I feel like it would be easy to disappoint.

Right?! Sprout WOULD do the guidance sessions, and there would HAVE to be a guidance counselor.

I'm really glad you liked that line. I feel like a lot of readers suspected Laurel might have some sort of DARK SECRET or that there was a BIG REASON for why she was the way she was, and yeah, worried that this answer would be disappointing. Her life is honestly kind of average. A bit sucky, yes, but a lot of people experience sadness and alienation and low self-esteem and it's not usually something that can be explained by just one thing.

Sprout was REALLY refreshing for me to write! All the adult characters, actually (I say "all." It's just her and Mary.)

Oh yes, VERY awkward. Her stint in rehab is a pretty big elephant in the room.

Isobel definitely internalizes everything that's happening with everyone else. Like I said, NOT self-absorbed, but to a fault. She takes all this stuff on and it's so upsetting to her that she gets this pathological need for control. And of course it doesn't occur to her that starving herself actually makes her more OUT of control.

Oh the flashback scene. Went back and forth forever on whether or not to include that. I definitely want to work on it more. BUT, I'm really glad that you liked this chapter!

Thank you again SO much for taking the time to review. As with most stories, there aren't as many reviews on later chapters and it's always SO great to see what worked and what people get out of it. SO THANK YOU!


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Review #13, by water_lily43175Year Five: Recreational Magic Abuse Recovery

7th June 2015:
Oh Isobel, getting jiggy with your mate's brother is either a very good move or a VERY VERY BAD MOVE. Lucky that Emily takes it well. Future family and all that.

And so Emily begins to notice Isobel's little secret. Here's hoping she's there for her with that, more so than any of them were for Laurel - it must be a tough thing to have to tackle with a friend, but it's something that has to be done.

Quick question - did you change the name of Isobel's sister? Because I think she's referred to as Elphia at some point in this chapter, and now I think about it wasn't that the name she was given a few chapters ago? If you're going through and editing then I'm sure that's something you'll pick up anyway, but just to let you know :)

Oh Luna. I think she must be one of my favourie characters, and you write her so well here. "Sick in her heart", YES.

Poor Laurel really is in a bad place right now isn't she? The matter-of-fact way she talks about what she's going through is just so chilling.



Author's Response: Hah, yeah. Emily's perspective is a lot more like "well that's a surprise turn of events" than "HOW DARE YOU, MADAME." But Emily is pretty relaxed when it comes to sexuality, and it wasn't really a big deal.

Emily is definitely 'there for her,' but at the same time, not necessarily someone who KNOWS what the right thing to do is. Even trained medical professionals can't always help people suffering from eating disorders :(

THANK YOU for telling me about that stumble. Her name is supposed to be Elphia Iman Doge-Mostafa, and I should REALLY clarify that one is her first and one her middle name. Thank you for pointing it out!

LUNA! So intimidating to write! She's just so special and beloved! I'm so very relieved to hear that you think I got her right :)

Also glad to hear that the matter-of-fact thing worked! "Chilling" was very much what I was going for!



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Review #14, by water_lily43175Year Five: Muggle Magic

7th June 2015:
Oh, Isobel, cabbage soup really isn't the way to go. Sigh.

Ah YES Albus/Elphias totally happened at one point. At least from Elphias' perspective. Either that or they were just VERY close friends.

And I love love love Emily's family! Such cool hippie vibes. And, of course, my favourite thing about Isobel's visit is the Muggle/wizarding world comparisons which crop up. James Bond, yes.

Poor Laura, blowing things up. Embrace your skills, Laura!


Author's Response: Oh yeah, that cabbage soup diet is a WORLD of trouble!

Albus/Elphias is SUCH major headcanon for me. Even if they didn't ever get together, I'm CERTAIN that Elphias is also gay and was totally in love with Dumbledore. I hope that they were actually boyfriends :) I mean, Dumbledore had to have had relationships, and Elphias is a strong candidate!

The only muggle family we ever really see interacting with magic is the Dursleys (the Grangers a BIT, but barely), and I liked the idea of seeing a very different kind of family. I feel like a LOT of people would be really into it (I WOULD)

Laura is only little, she'll get there eventually!


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Review #15, by water_lily43175Year Five: War Children

7th June 2015:
Oh. OH. So there are THINGS happening here, BIG THINGS. The conversation with Snape, what is the significance of Longbottom, hmm? And Mary's little inner monologue. She's not his natural mum, is she? Otherwise why the hell would he have a name she doesn't like? Wild theories of him being a Lestrange or something now. HM.

Poor Tristan. He's not in a good place at all, is he?


Author's Response: You read FAST. PROPS.

And I will keep myself from commenting on your theory, but will say: it's not a bad one!


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Review #16, by water_lily43175Year Five: The Big Thing

7th June 2015:
Oh man, I love the whole first scene of this chapter, with Emily and Tristan. So well-written. Also, I LOVE Tristan's view of the wizarding world. I mean, I don't necessarily AGREE with him, but wow, they're all fairly legitimate points. This is getting DEEP. And I love it.

OH NO you don't just stamp on Tristan's tape player! Grr moron Slytherins.

Wait. WAIT. Tristan's mum was a Gryffindor and his dad's a Muggle ... so how does being Slytherin run in the family? BIG THING I want to know what it is.

So lovely to see the gang as innocent, untroubled eleven year olds. Well. Not 'untroubled' per se but certainly a lot less plagued by their issues and insecurities than they are now. Sigh. NEXT NEXT NEXT.


Author's Response: Ellie! You absolutely RULE! Care for my first-born?

Yeah, I don't agree with Tristan's analysis either, but I was interested in the idea of someone being critical of wizarding culture. A lot of these ideas and criticisms came from various things I've seen online sorta making fun of the Potterverse, and I liked the meta idea of folding those things in.

Ah yes, that is an incongruity, isn't it?

Writing them as 11-year-olds was slightly tough, since I'm not sure I know what 11-year-olds are :P I'm very relieved to hear that you enjoyed it!


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Review #17, by water_lily43175Year Five: Self-Spelling

7th June 2015:
Well this is my favourite chapter so far. And, incidentally, I think Isobel is fast becoming my favourite character of the four. It's almost as though her discipline is both her biggest strength and her biggest weakness - because the moment she slips, she just comes crashing down. Poor girl. I think the reason I like her so much is that - aside from her moment of self-pity, almost, when she decides that if Laurel is allowed to crumble, so is she - she puts her friends' issues before her own. She really is a wonderfully well-fleshed-out character. (Pun not intended. Stop starving yourself Isobel, you are most definitely not fat.)

And the moment that we all knew would happen has arrived. Poor Laurel. What a horrifically vivid scene.

And, weirdly, for once Snape's almost don't-care attitude seems almost caring. And yet entirely in character too.

Poor kids. EXCELLENT chapter.



Oh I LOVE your comment about biggest strength/biggest weakness! That is TOTALLY true. I actually suspect that that's true of everyone.

One thing that can definitely be said if Isobel: she is not self-absorbed. Possibly to a fault. She gets very invested in what's going on with other people (which runs the risk of overstepping or being nosy) but sometimes that HAS to happen. I mean, maybe things would be different if she'd been nosier and pushier with Laurel earlier?

As with all things, I think perspective is critical. Isobel and the rest have a dramatically different perspective on Snape than Harry (he might be unpleasant to other students, but he's not NEARLY as abusive with them as he is to him) so they have a bit less reason to loathe him. I honestly LOVE Snape (not in a shippy way, just as a character) so I really enjoyed giving him this moment of kinda-kindness. Canon characters are fun, because you can play around with drawing out of an established set of personality traits!

You are the best, thank you SO much!

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Review #18, by water_lily43175Year Five: Troll in the Dungeons!

7th June 2015:
Bah, I've been meaning to catch up on this fic for AGES now, like months and months, I am a TERRIBLE PERSON. Oh well, I'm here now, let's see how much I get through. :) I have to say, it's been fantastic to see Year Five gain more and more attention and recognition on the forums in the last few months, although admittedly that's made me feel EVEN MORE guilty for not having caught up on things earlier. (Did I really only get through the first six chapters before? Shocking stuff.)

Tristan's little dialogue with the Sorting Hat is rather wonderful. Poor kid, his head really isn't in a good place at the moment is it? And actually, as an aside, I think that point about the only communal areas being the common rooms is an interesting one. There really isn't all that much encouragement for inter-house friendships, is there?

"Free Time, and Also: Animals". I would LOVE this class.

Oh, Laurel. She's heading down a slippery slope, fast. And it seems as though Tristan is following her path. At least in Isobel they have a friend who is slightly more rational and seems able to spot the warning signs. Hopefully not too late!

Although having said that, it's probably not a good idea to carry on Cheering. Oh kids.

Oh my god. Isobel giving Hermione hair advice. I love it.

I'd forgotten just how refreshing I find this fic, the way it tackles the same sort of issues which affect young people in everyday life, and yet don't seem to affect the kids in the Potter books. Of course, I understand why JK doesn't address this - she covers enough as it is, without throwing in depression and drug use. But it's a really interesting thing to bring into the magical world, and it's really well carried out.


Author's Response: OH MY GOSH, YAY! I'm so excited that you're back! I really really enjoy your reviews and this is so heartening! I actually just got a beta, and I plan to go back and polish this story now that I know more (the story itself will stay the same, I'll just be tweaking awkward sentences and the like), so this is a really great time to be getting feedback :)

Yes, the lack of communal areas! The curfew is pretty early and there are so few warm days, so having a friend in another house must suck! I'm glad you mention the thing with the sorting hat, too. That was meant to play as an inversion of Harry's experience [because Tristan is an inversion of Harry! ;)]

Cheering Charms--such a bad idea. The more you think about it, the more you have to think that being able to make yourself artificially happy WHENEVER you want HAS to have some serious implications.

I totally agree with your point about the HP books being QUITE enough to go on--it would have gotten really busy had this all been included. And Harry's WAY too busy recklessly fighting evil to have much time for reckless teenager experimentation. But I just loved the idea of watching Real Teenage Crap play out at Hogwarts! I had no idea, when I wrote this, if anyone would even like it, so it means SO MUCH to me that you enjoy the idea, and think I'm carrying it out well!

Thank you A MILLION TIMES for taking the time to review!

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Review #19, by water_lily43175Starfall: Back in Black

24th February 2015:
Ah, yes. Now the families of these guys know they're alive, they're going to try their hardest to get them to go home and stay home, aren't they? Yeah, that's not going to happen...

Matt and Selena's relationship becomes yet more fascinating. Whether or not she has romantic feelings for him, she certainly feels differently about him than she does Albus and Scorpius. Actually not sure whether I'm shipping them or not at the mo.

LOVE all the lore, de Sable's had an interesting life...

Author's Response: Okay, so don't try to type 'Sable' with the accent. Lesson learnt.

Most families would want them to go home. We'll be seeing that NEXT chapter. And it is kind of hard to know, to ship or not to ship Mattena (as I have now decided to call them)? At this point I was very much playing it by ear in the writing. They have a Dynamic, it's just hard to quantify.

The history in this chapter was SO MUCH FUN to write.

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Review #20, by water_lily43175Starfall: The Fall that Kills You

24th February 2015:
ALL OF THE FEELS. Lisa's reaction when the dragon fell. SELENA'S reaction when the dragon fell. The six are no longer dead! Poor Hermione, put through the ringer like that. And where is de Sable?!

Pretty sure I say this every time, but you do write these sorts of action scenes so vividly, I LOVE it. NEXT!

Author's Response: De Sablé's cheesed it. He doesn't want to be picked up by the authorities. Glad you liked the action sequence, I recall this one being a right bugger to write.

And everyone panics when people plummet potentially to their deaths... drama queens...

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Review #21, by water_lily43175Starfall: Wing It

24th February 2015:
The puns. OH MY GOD THE PUNS. De Sable still living WHUT. Awesome chapter need moar.

Author's Response: I couldn't resist the puns, and apparently, neither could Scorpius or Matt.

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Review #22, by water_lily43175Starfall: Like a Stone

24th February 2015:
HA, Weasley-Malfoy-hair-fumble-fear, I love Selena.

'saying "you can leave the man you love and become a crazy cat lady" is, like, the worst argument ever. Just so you know.' Lies. LIES. Still standing by the crazy cat lady option in life. I do love Rose and Selena's friendship, they definitely need each other on this venture.


Rose hoping Albus' principles will stay strong enough to stop her going too far. Oh the feels.

Matt has issues. Poor boy.

Oh man. Raskoph. Ritual. DRAGON.

Author's Response: Rose's hair isn't quite her mother's, but Scorpius' is thick and rumpled. There would be SO MUCH HAIR.

Rose and Selena are such an odd couple, but they do each other good. They ground one another in the ways they need to be grounded.

YEP. Dragon. You knew it was coming.

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Review #23, by water_lily43175Starfall: Whistle in the Dark

24th February 2015:

I am so far behind BOO. So many chapters. So many reviews. Here goes.

(Incidentally I'm sickened that I stopped reading this pre-Portugal, because I remember getting excited about reading the Portugal stuff at the same time as being there, and that was SEVEN MONTHS AGO. I could have had a baby in that time. Almost.)

Anyway, on with the chapter!

Yay Greek! I'm gonna learn Greek properly, I've decided. I'll be like Matt, only less... nerdy. Bless him.

I love love love that point that it's harder to Confound a Muggle now because of all of the computers and whatnot. I think this a lot when I'm pondering over Derailed - what with the internet and globalisation and all, it must be very hard for the wizarding world to remain hidden these days.

So much to say about Eva in this chapter. Her reaction to Rose using Legilimency just says it all, really - she's lucky that Rose didn't stumble upon anything that gave her away, although I can't help but wonder if that was luck or just a well-organised mind. And the fact that she just shrugs it off, that she APPROVES of Rose rooting through her memories ... oh Eva.

Probably should have more to say on this/better words to say it with, but I'm tired and I haven't read this for a while and I'm still trying to catch up and get my head round where we'd gotten to. Anyway. ONWARDS.

Author's Response: Ugh the PORTUGAL BIT. I mean it wound up fine, but you never got here so I never bellyached at you about all the plotting I struggled with. And scrapped. Gone FOREVER. I'm reusing some elements but the really squiffy bloody action sequence I basically story-boarded ended up GOING - anyway. Portugal was Not Good for Writer.

Matt is SUCH a nerd. And yeah, the Statute has to be hell in the modern age to keep. Youtube and Instagram must be the devil to Obliviators. I can only assume that magic has developed to keep up with the internet.

Eva would have to be an accomplished Occlumens to do what she does, and I can't imagine Occlumency is only something you do consciously; it's certainly implied in canon that it can be done without the target's knowledge (Rose just isn't good enough to do that), and so it has to be a form of subconscious training. So even if Rose plunders her dreams, she comes up against her mental discipline. And of course Eva expects it! She's still not used to the gang not doing things the way SHE'D do them.

Yaaay all the reviews...

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Review #24, by water_lily43175The Wizarding World War: The Hogwarts Express

1st July 2014:
Hello! Here with your requested review. :) Sorry it's so late!

First off, I love the premise of this. International warfare disguised as a run-of-the-mill Next Gen? I am ALL OVER that. :)

Right from the start, I'm loving all the Weasley kids. You characterise them all superbly, especially their differing ages. I love how Rose, the youngest one, longs to be accepted by her older cousins, who are of that age where they don't want to know... and of course, Victoire's old enough to be above all that, and sits and talks happily to Rose. It's all very realistic. And the boys are also perfectly portrayed!

And a word on the prologue, because I did read it before coming to this chapter. Very intriguing, I wonder if the young girl is actually magical? I'd imagine she'll pop up at some point in the story... but in what capacity? HM.

Good chapter! I'll definitely be checking out the next one. :)

Author's Response: Hi! No worries! Thank you so much for the kind review! I'm glad you like the characters. :) I daresay she will be popping up at some point in the story - and even sooner than I had originally planned for it. :) I hope you keep enjoying the story! I may come back for another review or two... I appreciate your insight, and i'd like to see what you think about how it progresses!!

Thanks again,

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Review #25, by water_lily43175Full Bloom: I: Sunflower Oil

1st July 2014:
Hello! Here with your requested review. :) I'm so sorry it's so late!

First off, I love the way you characterise Narcissa. It's very refreshing to come across a Narcissa who doesn't actually believe in love at all, and who isn't taken by Lucius at first. It makes for a very refreshing take on Lucius/Narcissa, at least in comparison with any which I've read before. Likewise, it's interesting to see Narcissa's role within the family, as basically being the third choice behind her sisters. It makes her and Lucius the perfect match, given he's not a "good enough" prospect for her sisters.

I also liked seeing the effect that Andromeda's elopement had upon the family. It's interesting to think about the damage that her actions did to their reputation within pureblood circles. I hadn't really considered that would be the case, once they'd disowned her, but of course while they would pretend nothing had ever happened, other families would certainly gossip and judge. I also get the impression that even after Andromeda left, Narcissa still felt somewhat overshadowed by her.

Narcissa's father is an intriguing character, too. I like how it's his wife who runs the show, and he just stands there in the background wanting to read his books.

I love the overall nostalgic feeling to the chapter, and also the language you use throughout. It feels very pureblood without feeling too try hard.

All in all, a really good first chapter, and I'll definitely read on once I have more time to properly read and review the other chapters. :)

Author's Response: Hi! Thanks for dropping by and sorry for the late response! :)

I like your observations about Narcissa post-Andromeda's elopement. I think part of the reason she's bitter is also because Andromeda is still a huge presence in the family despite not being there -- it's like she's reaping the rewards without having to suffer through it.

Her mother doesn't run the show, per se. Her father is still an important member of the family -- he's really intellectual and makes some of the harder decisions, but Narcissa's mother Druella has total control over their family's day to day life.

"Pureblood without trying too hard" is pretty much what I was going for. Thanks so much for reading and for reviewing :D

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