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39 Reviews Found

Review #1, by nott theodore 

21st September 2015:
Hi Roisin! I'm here trying to read and review as many of the Dobby nominees as possible, and it's great to finally get to this story. Sorry in advance that my reviews are likely to be a lot shorter than usual so that I can get through the stories I want to!

I've heard a lot about this story and this was a really good opening chapter. I think it set up a lot of intrigue without us finding much about what's going to happen or even the characters involved in the story, really. Still, I think it was a really clever way to open the story, with Sophie, a Muggle, who is accidentally exposed to the magical world because of staying over at Tristan's house. Really, it's no wonder that he tried to hide the house from her as they were arriving the night before - and all of her different possible explanations for that were really funny :P

I think it worked really well having Sophie in the house and picking up on little details because we've learnt quite a bit about Tristan without realising it. Rather than going to school in Switzerland, he actually goes to Hogwarts and comes from a magical family, he's an only child and he doesn't seem to get on that well with his parents - or at least, he's in a stage where he doesn't want to spend much time with them. You worked all those details in really well, as well as aspects like the fact Sophie was the one to initiate things the night before which suggests he's quite shy or self-conscious, maybe. I'm looking forward to getting to see more of him in this story.

Tristan's parents handled the situation pretty well, I thought - they had to get something done about Sophie finding the photos because it's the sort of thing she probably wouldn't have forgotten and could have come too close to breaking the Statute. I wonder if they realise what Tristan spends so much time doing in his room, though, and whether or not they're oblivious because it's a Muggle drug or not.

I really enjoyed this first chapter - moving on now!

Sian :)

Author's Response: AH! I feel all nervous and blushy and like "welcome to my story!"

It is a bit odd, I've realized, in terms of like pacing and stuff. I think because I sort of wrote it in a vacuum without having ever read fic before, so I was using canon (and very much Casual Vacancy as well) as my only base of reference. So yes! The Sophie intro! That was sort of meant to mirror-yet-subvert the way PS begins with Mr Dursley's muggle POV. Except with a super different perspective, because the story is /all about/ multiple and alternating/alternative perspectives.

I'm sosoSO glad you thought the parents made reasonable choices! I wanted to create this sort of impossibly difficult (yet highly probable) situation, so there couldn't really be an easy right answer. So yeah, like, their choices would suck but readers wouldn't hate them for making them, I guess? Actually, for a lot of Mary, I just sort of tried to imagine what I would do in her place (which was a bit perfect for making her choices "flawed yet sympathetic," since I'm not a parent myself). Doing so was very illuminating, and DEF gave me a ton of respect for parents :P

But mostly: YEE, thank you so much for taking the time to read and review!

xoxo
Roisin


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Review #2, by Penelope Inkwell 

11th September 2015:
Hey hey, Roisin! Here R&Ring the Dobby nominees--CONGRATULATIONS!--as well as working on that trivia scavenger hunt.

What an excellent beginning. Your descriptions are *on point*. I can picture absolutely everything, and in such detail. It's all just such a clear picture in my head.

I loved the process of figuring out--oh! Sophie doesn't go to Hogwarts. Oh! Tristan 'goes to school abroad'; I'll bet he does go to Hogwarts. OOooh!

And then getting to observe all the odd behavior, all the peculiar objects, from Sophie's point of view--that was brilliant (and incredibly detailed, and very well thought out!)

On the whole, i think his parents handled it quite well, really. Could have been much worse. I feel kind of bad that Tristan is so torn up about it. I mean, I liked Sophie well enough, but she seemed to only be sleeping with him to get back at her ex. Although she did seem to find him interesting. And I suppose everything shoots up a level on the angsty and mortifying scale when the girl you just spent the night with has to be Obliviated. Bit of a mess, that. Good thing he's going back to school, soon. That room does not sound like a healthy environment. Then, I'm not fully convinced that mine is, either, and I don't have a magical boarding school to run off to. *Sighs* I suppose I'll just have to get around to the cleaning.

The flow of this story is great. When it was done, I couldn't help but go back and think of the whole "Sophie never peed" thing I read from your blog, and it cracked me up! Poor girl! They Obliviated her so fully that she didn't even remember the need to use the restroom! I can see why the glass of water works better. Although there's just so much else to notice and think about in this chapter, it's no wonder most of your readers didn't notice. It's too easy to get caught up in it all and just bob along on the story current.

Also, I'm quite impressed by your reuse of minor canon characters that you mentioned in your Author's Note. Now that is dedication!

Tristan’s mother steered Sophie into a sitting room that appeared equal parts average and bizarre, as though someone from the middle-ages had decorated with an Ikea catalog.
--this was the best description of a Wizarding/Muggle household ever. It made me chuckle!

Really great work! I just need to repeat again--the description is lovely.

--Penny

Author's Response: Hello! Oh man, the trivia quiz was an idea that had been knocking around in my head since forever so I was SO STOKED that Tanya was down for the idea! It ended up being insanely fun to do, and gave me a great headstart reading and reviewing all the nominees! The only unfortunate thing is that we made some really great questions/answers for stories that didn't end up making it to the next round, but I'm glad I got a chance to read them anyway :)

Yayayayay! The phrase "on point" is probably the best compliment ever! This was the first thing I ever wrote so "WILL THEY SEE THE PICTURE?!?!?!" was definitely something I fretted over a LOT.

I wrote this before I even found out about HPFF, or read any other fanfic, so it's a very META kind of fanfiction. Like, I tried to weave in as many odd plays/parallels/subversions as possible. So like, Sophie as the first POV character was a play on Ch1 of PS being focused through Mr. Dursley's POV. Like, I wanted to kind of reintroduce readers to the magical world from a new perspective, since this story is ALL ABOUT being an alternate perspective.

The parents were definitely put in a pretty awkward situation. And yeah, Sophie was never going to be the love of Tristan's life, but it's SUPER tragic that she'd lose all memory of their night together. Like, that's pretty traumatic :(

Part of re-using canon characters was that it saved me having to come up with a bunch of new names :P Like, "Need an obliviator? HERE'S ONE!" I actually had an HP lexicon list of all named characters bookmarked, if ever I needed to name a character.

I was especially fond of that line myself :) We'd never really gotten to see a mixed household in canon, so I really wanted to explore that here.

Thank you so much for all of your reviews!
xoxo
Roisin



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Review #3, by HeyMrsPotter 

11th September 2015:
Hi, Roisin! I'm here reading/reviewing Dobby nominees :D

This is such a brilliant opening chapter. I have to say, I was devestated to read your author note and find out that Sophie doesn't come back, I liked her! I thought this whole chapter was just brilliant, the idea of a muggle spending the night in a wizards house is genius. I loved how you described her finding the moving portraits. This was witty and clever and I just loved it. I'm interested to see where the story goes from here.

Dee

Author's Response: Dee! You really are such a beast for doing all of these reviews :)

Yeah I figured that witches/wizards sneaking in a muggle MUST happen from time to time! Just, TEENAGERS. And I'm really glad you found Sophie compelling, because even though she was just an intro-device, I still wanted her to be dimensional, you know?

Thank you so much for the lovely, encouraging review :D

xoxo
Roisin


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Review #4, by moonbaby11 

13th August 2015:
Hey! I'm here from the Review Tag at the forums!

So I've been meaning to read this story for a while because I've heard nothing but good things about it and, I must say, I was not disappointed. I know this was only a prologue and, apart from the protagonist, doesn't introduce any of the main characters, but I still found it very intriguing! Sophie was a very interesting character for such a short chapter, and I thought it was interesting to see a muggle reaction to wizarding items. I don't see that very often around here, so I thought it was a good addition to your story. I really enjoyed hearing Sophie's thoughts as she tried to rationalize the moving pictures - Dozens of televisions in the wall? Really? It made me chuckle.

I feel like this really sets the reader up for the story. It introduces Tristan and his family and you really get a good feel for who he is as a person. I also liked the way that you used Sophie to describe Tristan's physical appearance instead of having him stand in front of a mirror and describe it himself. I think that was really clever and a good use of the characters in this chapter.

I know this is only the prologue, but from the Author's Note it seems like you'll be utilizing as many canon characters as possible, and I think that's great! Sometimes stories get so overridden with OCs that it feels like there's not very much actually canon about it anymore, but you seem ready to use any canon characters possible. I must admit that I don't remember Arnold Peasegood from the books so I didn't realize he was a canon character until after, but I still think it's a brilliant idea.

All in all, this chapter just makes me want to read more! As I said, you did not disappoint with this story. Hopefully I'll be back to read more soon, as now I really want to learn more about Tristan's friends and how they're all going to fit into the events of the first book. This seems like a great story and I'm sorry I took so long to finally start reading it.

Author's Response: Ah! Hello! GOSH!

*squee* *flail* *squee*

Thank you so much! Yee :D

I'm really glad you liked the Sophie intro. My idea was a kind of nod to HP:PS, because that book begins with Mr Dursley's muggle POV. And yeah, I just liked the idea of reintroducing the wizarding world sort of, but from another perspective (since this story is All About secondary perspectives).

It helps a LOT that this was 1991 :P I feel like if someone saw a bunch of moving photos today it would be more like, "huh, that's kinda neat. Ish." Heheh for pre flat-screen technology!

And YES the Sophie-device let me describe Tristan without a mirror! So much utility I got out of that ;)

My thinking was half laziness and half way over-thinking when it came to recycling canon characters. I mean, Rowling created approximately a bajillion briefly-named characters, so it saved me having to think up names and things :P (like, Need an obliviator? I bet she has one already!) And then also, if Hogwarts is "about a thousand students," then the wizarding world has TINY generations, even assuming the majority of families homeschool (which I don't buy). Therefore, the same characters were BOUND to pop up over and over again.

On major concern I have with this story is not really retaining readers since it's such a sLoW bUrN, and doesn't really do a HOOK or have cliffhangers or anything. So I'm just THRILLED that you felt engaged and intrigued and wanted to read on :D

So YEE! Thank you SO MUCH for this lovely review!

xoxo
Roisin


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Review #5, by Unicorn_Charm 

12th August 2015:
Hey Roisin! Here for Team Red! :p

I have had this on my reading list for ages now and have decided it's time for me to get started on it. :)

I can already tell that I'm going to love this. It's going to be one of those stories that I end up blowing through in a few days.

I loved this introduction of one of your main characters through a character that we won't see again. I don't think I've read any other stories on this site that starts that way. It was really clever and unique.

One thing I've heard about this story is how everyone says how real your characters feel and really, they do! Even already after this introduction, Tristan just feels like a typical teenaged boy. I'm so excited to keep reading and see how his character develops and also to meet the other characters of your story.

I thought the whole bit with Sophie and the wizarding photos was funny. I mean, how would you react if you saw a bunch of picture moving? Especially in 1991 when the kind of technology we have no didn't exist. Now we could pass it off as a tablet or something, but not then. And I literally laughed out loud when the child version of Tristan in the photo looked shocked at being dropped.

His parents actually seem pretty cool. They seemed more upset that he had a Muggle in the house than having a girl spend the night. And then the tea with the calming draught! Love it!

That's a bummer than everything was obliviated from her. He seemed to take it really hard. Brooding and chain smoking. And then her calling to thank him for being a gentleman had to be a slap in the face haha.

I really liked this a lot! You've got a gift. I mean, wow. Your writing is just phenomenal and I so can't wait to keep reading this! ♥

xoxo Meg

Author's Response: MEG! Thank you so much for this review!

This story was written out all at once before uploading, so I think it does work a bit better read kind of all at once in bursts (since the chapters aren't self-contained episodes, and arcs play out across chapters more).

Introducing the story from a muggle POV was sort of a nod to canon, because the very first chapter of PS is from Vernon's POV. I'm really glad you liked that :)

It means so much to me that people found these characters Real. I spent so much time with them writing them that they did become super real to me. Like, I CARE about them, and it just means so much that other people do too!

Haha, yes! Being in 1991 DOES make it all rather more magical! I mean, HP moving pictures are basically just gifs, if you think about it, so it's a lot more baffling 20+ years ago. And a lot of this story is kind of me shouting HEY LOOK, THE 90s! Which is a lot because the films were set ambiguously present-day.

You're spot on about them being more concerned about a muggle being in the house. If circumstances were different, and she was a witch, they might have been upset by the sleepover, but I think there were just BIGGER ISSUES to get on with.

Yo, right!? That must be SO traumatic D:

Yee! Thank you so much for this review, Meg!

xoxo
Roisin


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Review #6, by TreacleTart 

11th August 2015:
Hey Roisin,

Gryffindor Review Battle - Go Team Red!

After hearing a ton of amazing buzz around the forums for this story, I've finally decided to start reading it. I've had it on my reading list for awhile now, but for whatever reason, I just haven't gotten to it. Well, I'm here to make amends for that.

This was a really intriguing start to a story. I know that you said Sophie doesn't return in the story, but I really enjoyed seeing her reaction to everything and how Tristan's family dealt with a muggle in their home.

I was surprised that Tristan's parents weren't at all mad about the strange girl in their hallway early in the morning. I think that if my parents had ever found a strange person wandering around that I'd snuck in the house, they might've lost it. Very lenient parents indeed.

I feel sad for Tristan that his night with Sophie was obliviated. I also feel sad that he seems to think it meant a lot more than Sophie ever really did. She was just using him to rebel, but it seems that he actually was sort of into her.

I really like how you've chosen to begin this and I can't wait to see where the rest of the story goes. Good job!

~Kaitlin

Author's Response: Wow Kaitlin thank you so much! Yee!

I really liked the idea of beginning with a naive!muggle POV as a sort of nod to canon (like how the very first chapter of PS begins with Mr Dursley POV). Like, I liked the idea of reintroducing the magical world all over again, kinda :)

For the parents, I think it's 50% leniency, and 50% that there are just more pressing things to deal with (Statute of Secrecy). I may go back and expand that more though--I've been working on a full-scale revision of this. (This is the first edited chapter to be posted, but I'm always keen to address reader comments with edits). So yeah, they're pretty laissez faire, but they're also distracted. (In fact, that's something of the point here, so I should definitely edit: in a normal situation it would have just been very awkward and Tristan would have gotten in trouble and so on. But since he's a wizard, this entirely different situation happens where scolding gets left by the wayside in order to erase the memory of his first sexual experience. MUCH WORSE).

You're right that Sophie was kind of using him, and he didn't mean much to her, but it's MUCH worse that she can't even remember it happened :( Like, I can't even imagine how tragic that would be! At the same time, I imagine it MUST happen from time to time, because: teenagers. Tristan can't have been the first person to sneak a muggle in to their house.

Yeeyeeyee! Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a review!

xoxo
Roisin



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Review #7, by Shinicha 

28th July 2015:
First of all, excuse my short review, as it is a bit bothersome to write long texts on a phone!

I'm really intrigued by the story so far, also because you said it's inspired by Skins. I watched the first three seasons years ago (when i was still young and innocent haha) and remember it left me very disturbed indeed :D

You did a great job with so many things in this chapter: finding hilarious excuses for magic in a home (the ikea-part made me laugh out loud); including canon characters in a subtle way; shaping Tristans broody teenage character subtly but clear (telling the story from this omniscent authors perspective is very refreshing!) .

So i can't wait for more!! :)

Author's Response: Yee! Hello! Thank you so much for dropping by this story and taking the time to leave a review (especially since it's all annoying and on your phone!)

Oh man, so I was the same age as the kids when the first season came out, so my reaction was very "HOW DO YOU KNOW MY LIFE." Although I was more of a "Jal" type--like, the goodie-two-shoes, Hermione-ish friend. If only relatively.

But anyway! I'm s glad you liked the kind of tone and style of this, I def loop in canon as much as humanly possible, while providing an alternate POV for all the stuff. And yee, the ikea line was my favorite too :)

Thank you again so much for reviewing!
xoxo
Roisin


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Review #8, by musicluffler 

1st June 2015:
So this grabbed me. Wow. I'm in love with what you explored in this chapter - the dangerous territory wizards cross into when fraternizing with muggles, an implied to be pre-established (in their family, at least) protocol for drugging Muggles, and the Obliviation. Sophie's instinctive perception of the wizarding photographs as TVs was so believable, and the way you wrote that section was just perfect. Finally, in love with the prose! This story is unlike anything else I've ever read (in a really, really good way) and I am obsessed. I found this yesterday so I'm gonna try to write a few more reviews for some of my favorite parts from other chapters, because seriously, I couldn't be more thankful/appreciative you wrote this.

Author's Response: Hello! Wow, thank you so much for taking the time to review!

Yeah the more I thought about it the more I realized that something like this HAS to happen from time to time (Teenagers being TEENAGERS and all)--and it is QUITE a sad idea :( Harry really loved and was accepted by the wizarding world, so I was curious to examine all the ways someone else might resent it.

So glad you liked the 'little televisions' thing! I super enjoyed writing that part :)

I so appreciate all your kind words! Thank you so much again for reviewing--it's so heartening to hear that you like this story :)

xoxo
Roisin


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Review #9, by Pixileanin 

21st January 2015:
Ahh, hello there! We’re paired up for the Gryffindor Review this month. Sorry it took a while to get here, but well, here I am!

I haven’t read The Casual Vacancy, or seen Skins, so I have no context for your inspiration. I love the way you explore the wizarding house through Sophie’s eyes, how she tries to reason through things, and then with Tristan’s dad explaining it all away as her senses are dulled through the calming potion.

The way that Sophie chose to be where she was, the way that she chose Tristan gave me so many angsty feels. It was obvious that she wasn't as much interested as curious, and not so much attracted as driven to prove something to herself. It makes me wonder what she would have ultimately thought of Tristan if they had perpetuated the notion that his parents were well-off and somewhat wealthy. I know her character is a device to introduce the incongruous world of Tristan, but I still wonder if she’d reverted to some kind of clingy, calls-too-much girl, just because of the situation.

I learned a lot about Tristan, and I felt his absolute defeat about the entire situation. And the reaction of the parents - very believable here. I agree; he punished himself quite effectively without their intervention. Such a broody boy.

I must comment on the perfection of the chapter title. I just love the way it peaked my curiosity about this introduction, and that you pulled it from Sophie's point of view. Also, the words on Tristan's chapter image really solidified the purpose of the chapter. On the first read, I didn't understand it until I got to the end, and then I thought, "Oh yeah, this is all about Tristan."

There was so much goodness in this, the metaphors, the descriptions, the character angst, oh my god, the angst of teens! Solid introduction, original set-up and all the little things that mean more than they should.

See you next chapter!

Author's Response: OK, I made a rule that I'm not allowed to reply to reviews until I have given my reviews owed! But yay now I can respond to this!

Oh man, Sophie was such a crazy device! You're right that she was designed just to be an intro to the story, but I was like "I can't just leave her without dimension or examination!" Her whole sequence was originally much longer and more detailed, but it made no sense for such a tiny character so I cut it. As it stands, your questions are good ones! I kind of like the idea of keeping that open for the reader to project whatever they want. The main thing is what you picked up on: Tristan is an object of curiosity.

I really enjoyed writing his parents, and it was interesting to see how they would respond to the situation. I'm glad it seemed believable! The memory modification is already such a trauma, why go further?

Heehee--I was SUPER pleased with this title! It might be my favorite of lot, if only because it doesn't make sense until you get there! I just really liked the idea of having a fresh introduction to the wizarding world.

YEE, thank you so much for this review! You were such a great swap partner and I was such a terrible one! I'm so sorry!



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Review #10, by Maelody 

13th January 2015:
Aww, poor Tristan! He gets a girl over to his house, and now she's not even permitted to remember it. Hope he thought he was awful, maybe that'll make him feel better. ;)

So I sort of stumbled across this story a couple weeks ago and read a couple chapters and fell in love with it. Then I thought to myself: 'Why didn't you review any of the chapters? That's not fair to the author!' So here I am, reviewing the first couple of chapters I've read since you deserve to know just how awesome you are! :)

So I actually really like how Tristan lead Sophie into the house. It was shifty as all 'come into my house' meetings go, but it was indeed creative!

I love how she automatically theorizes his parents might be junkies. Instead of going to some sort of mega awesome spies, or members of the government, they're junkies. Except he goes to a private school somewhere else. It made me laugh.

In the long run, I sort of feel bad for Tristan since Sophie is only doing this to get back at her ex. She apparently doesn't even find him all that attractive. I mean, he'd go to school and never be the wiser, but still. Maybe it was best in the long run that she ended up having to forget.

I loved the little televisions theory. If only she knew that here in the Muggle world of 2015 (and quite a few years before then, too) we would have those types of picture frames. I guess we can't explain a sims card to her, can we? After she dropped it though, and the whole commotion with Tristan's parents and the Obliviator came along, I fell in love instantly with this story. You have a great eye for characterization and detail. I actually like Tristan's family, even though I'm sure this might be the last we see of them. It's good to get an understanding of where he was brought up.

The Oblivation was really cool to witness. I think you got that idea spot on and I felt really bad for Tristan. Especially when she came back to thank him for being such a gentleman.

I'm sure you don't need me to tell you just how wonderful your story is. You've plenty of admirers, but I can definitely see why. I like this story a lot already and I'll be sticking around to find out what happens through the rest of it!

Cheers!

~Mae

Author's Response: EE! Thank you so much for these amazing surprise reviews! I'm so sorry it's taken me so long to reply!

Gah, the idea of someone being obliviated in this way seemed SO SAD to me! And at the same time, I realized this kind of thing MUST happen from time to time. Just: teenagers. Hormones are probably the single greatest threat to the Statute of Secrecy.

Bahahaha! The whole 'it's the 90s' thing was REALLY fun for me to play around with! Especially because, YES, we totally have that technology now! I was always really bummed by the way the films were set ambiguously now-ish, so this story works really hard to remind people of the era.

YOUR KIND WORDS MAKE ME SQUEE AND FLAIL! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

xoxo
Roisin


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Review #11, by pointless_proclamations 

30th December 2014:
Dear Roisin,

Triple review swap if you like?

Before anything else: AH!! [flails and squeals and runs around] I'm super excited.

The very first thing that strikes me is your genius way of characterisation. In an instant, you give us readers a clear idea of what kind of person Sophie without explicitly having to tell us.

'The sky was just edging toward the deep electric blue that just proceeds first light,' is one of many examples of your beautiful way of writing descriptively. This is imagery at its finest, in my opinion.

I somehow find your description of Tristan very charming. Perhaps in the sense that he's capturing my interest because he seems like a character very much unlike any I've read of before. Then you proceed to very cleverly hint at his being a wizard and Sophie, otherwise. At this point, you have my attention, curiosity, and admiration.

Tristan is such an interesting character! I'm getting the sense that he wants to belong to a more muggle community, but is unable to do so because of his being a wizard. His character, the way your written him, he's giving off these high-level of discomfort vibes. I'm quite unnerved, actually, but I like it.

Understanding that this is a story about Tristan's fifth year is even more unnerving--as you intended, I suspect. Here are my thoughts: YOU MEAN TO TELL ME THAT HE'S FIFTEEN AND HE'S DOING ALL OF THIS?! Drugs, clubbing, and copulation?! But instead of not liking him, I have this urge to protect your character. At this point, I realise, YOU SNEAKY THING! You've just made me completely empathise with Tristan.

'Tristan would have been crying, if he ever cried. Had it been his nature, Tristan would have felt immense self-pity for his lot in life. Instead, he found himself mired by self-loathing, eyes dry.' MORE FEELS AND PROTECTIVE URGES! And they just increase with every word following.

This is the kind of story to ruin the way I see the world, destroy my emotions, and make me love you for it.

Your fan,
Em

Author's Response: Hello! And YES, I DO LIKE!

Oh man, it's so crazy that you commented on that specific line describing the sky. So this was the VERY FIRST creative prose thing I ever did, and it was such a new thing for me, that I had no idea what I was doing. Like, "HOW DO I DESCRIBE STUFF!" Description was actually the MAIN reason I'd avoided creative prose for so long! But yeah, that was the first line I ever wrote that I genuinely liked :) Without that line, I might not have kept going!

I'm really glad you found that description of Tristan charming--I very much wanted that exact result, but I didn't want him to be 'super handsome dreamboat heart-throb.'

And YES! Harry Potter was all stoked on being a wizard, and I loved the idea of someone who was the opposite--who had criticisms of the wizarding world, and preferred certain aspects of muggle culture (kind of like Annett, and her respect for muggle science).

Well, he's ALMOST 16, if that helps any! And it's so interesting to me that you feel protective of him--I definitely felt that way WRITING him. I guess that came across!

Eek! I'm so glad you like this story! Definitely down to do more swaps ANY time!

xoxo
Roisin


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Review #12, by BellaLestrange87 

19th December 2014:
Hello! I just got out of school for our two-week Christmas break, so I'm going on a review spree to celebrate, and you're first!

I've heard so many good things about this story, but I haven't ever gotten around to reading it, and I don't know why. Anyways, I've finally started, and I really enjoyed this first chapter. It's obvious that you've put a lot of effort into this story, especially in developing the characters. Even though Sophie is a minor character who, as you said, will only appear in this prologue, I got a feel for who she was and why she was choosing to sleep with Tristan.

I like how you didn't make it immediately obvious that Tristan was a wizard. It was nice to have that Muggle point of view and see her reaction to his (failed) attempt to preserve the Statute of Secrecy. Her reaction to him trying to hide his house from her was exactly what it would probably be. Although, if they did drugs together, why would she think he would be worried about having druggie parents and having to hide the evidence?

Once I realized that Tristan wasn't a Muggle, all the hints that you'd been giving off this chapter coalesced. The fact that he hid his house from her, trying not to let her see his wizarding lifestyle, and his cleaning of his room. What she assumed was a 'massive pant and book-hiding spree' probably was - him hiding his robes and textbooks. It probably would've ruined the moment of her using him as a rebound from her ex-boyfriend if she had asked him just what the heck Charms was. Imagine: "What's this wooden stick for? What an odd-looking piece of paper!"

I loved her reaction to the moving pictures. If I didn't know what they were, I would be just as clueless as she was. The fact that she turned the picture frame over to see the back made me laugh. Her thought that they must be dozens of little televisions was a good one - relating it back to something a Muggle would be familiar with.

And when Tristan's parents found her! It makes a lot of sense that they would be more scared than anything, especially when Sophie explained that she knew him through a Muggle friend of hers, and therefore wasn't a witch. Tristan's father stepping in to tell her a lot of nonsense about digital technology was an excellent way to save the day. It would be a lot easier now - digital frames. I think my dad got my grandparents some for Christmas a few years ago.

The mix of wizard and Muggle in Tristan's house is good. I don't think either of them would want to lose their heritage, and the blending of the two is well done. I like how you have modern paperbacks beside older leatherbound wizard books, and a cauldron in the living room fireplace.

Another thing I liked was how you used a canon character in their Ministry-set role. As you noted, the wizarding world isn't that big, so you can't really have a huge cast of characters that don't know each other.

Excellent first chapter!

~Olivia

Author's Response: Ah! Thank you so much for this amazing review!

I definitely went back and forth on Sophie's character--I didn't want her to be totally unrelatable, since her POV opens the story (and I really wanted to use that device, to kind of reintroduce the magical world). A lot of this story involves mirroring devices used in canon, so I kind of copied how PS opens with Vernon Dursley's POV.

Thinking about, well, TEENAGERS, it seemed obvious to me that something like this MUST happen from time to time--muggle getting snuck into a wizarding house.

It's also really fun, because since this is FANFICTION, the readers already have a big knowledge base that the characters don't have (oh my gosh, me and dramatic irony--SO MUCH FUN).

Bahahaha--it definitely helps that this story is set in 1991, when flatscreen technology didn't exist yet! Nowadays that would seem way less shocking!

I really enjoyed writing the mixed muggle/magical house :) We never really got to see a mixed house in canon, and I loved the idea of it.

I definitely reused as many characters as I could! No OC is totally original--their last names are all pulled from canon and the like (and Tristan's mum is Mary McDoncald, from DH).

Thank you again sososo much for this review! *squee*

xoxo
Roisin


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Review #13, by my_voice_rising 

23rd November 2014:
Hi there! I'm here with your requested review. You mentioned how the first 5 or so chapters have gotten a lot of feedback, but I am not very good at offering advice starting with the sixth chapter. Feel free to re-request from me for the next few chapters!

I'm already excited with your author's note, as I just started The Casual Vacancy and love it.

And...wow. I am convinced that I have a work of fiction in front of me. I see now why you suggested reading a later chapter--there's nothing to fix here. My apologies for my lack of concrit, but this is a job very well done. The fact that you opened the story with Sophie, and her wonderful back story and reasoning for going home with Tristan (to which he was sadly oblivious) is brilliant. It makes the erasing of her memory all the more sad because we got to know her in this short time, and I suspect that we won't be seeing her again.

But I think my favorite thing is the description of Tristan's home. The line as though someone from the middle-ages had decorated with an Ikea catalogue is perfect. You've blended the Muggle and Wizarding worlds so well, and I feel that their house is some kind of metaphor for the displacement that Tristan has felt his whole life, marginalized by straddling two worlds. How sad that his own "security breech" was dealt with so painfully when his own parents are from both ends of the spectrum!

All in all this is a wonderful start. I'm glad you asked me to review this story. I'll definitely be back to read more, whether you request another review or not ♥

Author's Response: Oh my, thank you so much! Eee! I'm just overjoyed right now! And yes yes, I definitely didn't expect you to *start* reading at Ch6--it would probably be quite terrible and confusing!

But just, ah! You got absolutely everything I wanted to convey in this first chapter--his home being like a metaphor, the impact of the memory modification--it is SO encouraging to read that it came off!

Casual Vacancy is my FAVORITE book, tbh--I get so excited for people who are reading it the first time!

Thank you so so so much for leaving this review! You absolutely made my day!

xoxo
Roisin


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Review #14, by wolfgirl17 

17th November 2014:
Hello,

Wolfgirl here with your requested review. =)

In answer to your first question, this chapter did hold my attention. I was intrigued by the character you've made of Sophie, and I'm not really sure what to make of Tristan. She seems nice, though a little too easily distracted for my liking. He seems morose and edgy and I kind of want to prod him into giving up all his secrets.

As you mentioned, the chapter doesn't really lay any foundations for future chapters, so I'm not really sure if I can truthfully say I'm hooked. I'm mildly interested, but can't quite decide if I want to continue. Does that make sense? I like the characters you've created, yet find myself hesitating to continue on as I'm unsure if the rest of the story will be as vague and directionless. =)

I think if you were to edit and give it some more direction you'd have a ripper on your hands, but at the moment I'm just kind of meh, you know? I like the concept and the title, but have no clue on where it's going to go and no real urge to find out...

Sorry, that sounds harsh. I think it just needs some direction. Something to make me want to continue reading. You've nailed the characterization of OCs. I care about them and their lives, but with no direction or even a hint of where it might go, I find it easy to not continue with them.

This chapter is kind of like that person at every party who is mysterious and intriguing and grabs your attention, making you want to be friends with them, but a person who is so secretive that friendship is impossible and practically a waste of time. You know the type? I feel like that. I feel like your chapter is someone I've met who has completely hooked me with their personality, but will never let me in or let me know where I stand with them. The type that you can be 'friends' with for so long before winding up resenting them for their lack of actual friendship with you.

Sorry, that probably makes no sense. I just don't know where it's going to go and so I'm like a nervous freshman poised at the edge of the corridor, unsure if I should jump in for fear of what might happen.

It's very strange actually, as I never felt that way before, and especially not about a story. Kudos to you for that =)

Let me know if you want more reviews (I may need a little shove to get me into the corridor as my bravery is lacking). I hope this was helpful!

xx-Wolfgirl

Author's Response: Hello! Thank you SO MUCH for your honest feedback!

One major issue that I don't know how to fix is Sophie. She's really meant to be something of a device. Just a character to introduce the story with, and a little bit of a Red Herring. But then I didn't want this throw-away character to be just lame and two-dimensional, but then it seems like she's an actual character in the story! I think maybe I'll re-edit to better explain that she's not turning up again.

So yeah, you're point about directionless-ness is EXACTLY what I was thinking might be a problem! Thank you so much for your analysis! Perhaps I could indicate that this is more of a prologue? It takes 3 chapters to do one full POV rotation, and after chapter 3, I think the story makes a lot more sense. But, how to retain people after the first chapter? That's something I definitely need to figure out.

I will think much on these issues, and definitely will edit, and SO appreciate your comments!

Thank you!
-Roisin


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Review #15, by Slide 

22nd October 2014:
Here for the Gryffindor review exchange, though I'm not going to lie, this was on my reading list for a good long time. And I'm glad I've got the excuse/prompt to start!

This is an excellent opener. An excellent introduction to Tristan as a character, and an excellent dangling string to make me want to know more. Families are often left by the wayside in stories, so I'm glad to see that's not the case for at least one character. Even if we never see more of his parents as the story goes to Hogwarts, seeing just a glimpse of them rounds out this glimpse of Tristan. Muggles married to wizards would be relationships with their complexities, also hinted at!

From a more technical perspective, it's a well-written piece. An evocative delivery of Sophie's environments, mentally and physically as we move from her reflections to Tristan's room to the rest of the house. The slow-boiling move from the very mundane issues of a teenager to the increasingly magical environment slides in the fantasy layer by layer. And boy, while the resolution was inevitable, I felt sorry for poor Sophie. Another Muggle a 'victim' of the wizarding world's need to protect itself.

Plus, the inevitable: teenagers acting like teenagers. Sex, drugs, rock and roll. Always refreshing to read about in the somewhat-twee environment of Hogwarts. Love it to bits, but the Potterverse teens act only occasionally like teenagers. Even in my own writing of OCs at Hogwarts, I don't embrace my mad-cap teenaged years as much as I should have, so kudos!

This might happen piece-by-piece over the next week plus, but I will definitely be cracking on with more reviews! Good work!

Author's Response: YEE! Thank you!

Yes, the details of a mixed muggle and wizarding household were such an interesting idea to me, and something we didn't get the chance to see much of in canon. I'm glad you like the family stuff as much as I do!

I really like your interpretation of Sophie as 'victim.' I was really interested in the ways that the wizarding world could create unique difficulties for teenagers. And just realistically, this sort of thing MUST happen from time to time (raging hormones: the largest threat to the statute of secrecy).

Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll is basically what this whole story is about! They were the three things conspicuously absent from canon, and I super wanted to see how they play out in a magical context! I figure that these things could have been going down in the periphery at Hogwarts, and Harry and co. were just too distracted fighting evil to ever participate.

I am so stoked about this pairing! I've been meaning to read Ignite for AGES, and I've fallen in love!

xoxo
-Roisin


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Review #16, by casual_chaos 

4th October 2014:
Hey, Roisin!

This story has been on my reading list forever! I thought I'd get to it eventually, but because of the nature of its name, it was constantly in the last place on the list. :/ But then I cunningly decided to start reading in the reverse-alphabetical order and here I am! :D

And I must say, you have quite a story here! Just so many great themes, perfectly written sentences, amazing details... I'm really excited about this! :D And it's written from a lot of POV's which is something I really like. So YAY.

Let me start counting the things I liked. First of all, the summary. I avoid summaries like the plague (I fear spoilers of any kind) but yours was so concise and intriguing! I loved the alliteration in the last sentence, especially because I just adore the world 'realm'. And then that charming notice about the story being 100% canon. Hahah! It reminded me of those '100% organic' stickers you can see on vegetables and such. :)

Moving on to the story. I'll just stick to the plot and characterization becuse: writing = GREAT. I will treat this as a fact from now on. :)

I'm sure many people have mentioned it already, but the fact that you chose to write the intoductory chapter from the point of view of a Muggle girl who is not even the main character (I read the second chapter already, let's not fool ourselves, this is too good to stop after the first one!) is quite original and it gives us an opportunity to truly relate to the character and to her reactions to the wizarding world. Her thoughts about Tristan and her own issues and what was going on around her were so nicely packed into such a great portrayal of a minor character, it was honestly so enjoyable to read.

Aah, this. ''The mingling tobacco and cannabis stink from last night seemed not to want to cross the threshold.'' Not only is it a marvelous sentence, but it also got me thinking. Was I right to assume some sort of spell prevented the stink from leaving the room? If so, did Tristan's parents cast it? Beacuse Tristan is not allowed to do magic, right? It's just such a minor thing but I'm so curious about it. :D

I love the made-up story about microchip technology and confidential government projects; very clever. :) Also, Sophie's reaction to the potion she was given was just perfect; very gradual and written in only a few simple lines! It might even be my favourite part of the chapter.

''Sophie heard a gentle 'hoot' sound from the kitchen, a window sliding open, and a rustle of feathers, but didn't register the noise. Her attention was now absorbed in the motes of dust glittering delicately in the morning light.'' Ah, such a great quote.

And then we get a glimpse of Tristan in the end. I just love him and his brooding nature and the fact that he's only fifteen (I guess) but acts like he's so much older. Also, the Joy Division T-shirt and how he was so entranced with the music and then his musing about the trees falling in forests and why am I just counting things without saying anything constructive at all?!

This story makes me really happy and I can't wait to get to the part about recreational magic! Congratulations on the Dobby nominations, you definitely deserve them! :D

There will be more reviews, you can count on it!

Andy

Author's Response: GAH!NHMGDMDKFKGDMG!!1!

Oh my gosh what an exciting, wonderful, fantastic review! Hello!

Thank you SO MUCH for commenting on the summary! I had a really different one all planned out to start, but it was too long, and I fretted ENDLESSLY over this one! I've been hoping someone might offer feedback, because I had NO IDEA whether it was any good, if it got the point across, etc. (Also, my ability to summarize this story was highly limited by it needing the be 12+, and while I probably could have gotten away with some more obscure slang, or euphemism, I felt like that ultimately defeated the purpose of having it be OK for any younger readers who might scroll past). And AH, you got the food-sticker joke! That was definitely a kind of reference to "100% Organic" or "100% post consumer recycled material"! KUDOS. (I kind of think of media as something we consume, and like food, it ends up becoming a part of us).

I'd never read any FF before I started on this, and I wasn't at all aware of any of its conventions, so the most obvious thing for me to do was kind of parallel the mechanisms of the books. Since PS started from Vernon Dursley's POV, and he didn't understand what was up, I very much wanted to do the same thing--only, you know, with sketchier stuff going on. "PS but with sketchy stuff" is basically this story in a nutshell.

And haha, yes! The threshold around his room is definitely magical, well noticed! This isn't really a spoiler, so I'll just tell you straight off that he did it himself (confirmed casually in Ch4). In PoA, Harry finds out that The Trace is somewhat imperfect (Dobby sets it off for Harry)--so in magical households, it's up to parents to enforce the No Magic Outside of School rule (IIRC, Ron tells him that). Therefore, some parents would, just necessarily, be less effective at enforcing it, and some kids would end up doing more magic than others. (This story is a LOT about examining all those little implications).

So glad you liked the potion-spiked-tea scene! HPFF has SO MUCH potential for dramatic irony, and it was AMAZINGLY fun writing things that a reader would instantly understand, even if the character doesn't.

YEE, thank you so much for this review!! You made my day!

xoxo
Roisin



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Review #17, by Veritaserum27 

3rd October 2014:
Hello Roisin!

I've been meaning to check out your story for ages and all the Dobby nominations and voting finals actually got my butt in gear to do it!

The title was pure genius. I was intrigued at first - and then when I got to the part with the "dozens of little televisions," I chuckled out loud. It's the perfect, perfect explanation that a Muggle would deduce from a series of Wizard photographs.

I love the way you brought us into the magical world through the eyes of a Muggle - exactly the way J.K. did in P.S. It is the perfect way to start a story because (sadly) we are all Muggles and we relate to how they would perceive Wizard objects and actions.

Poor Tristan, he really is a lost soul at this point in the story. He feels caught in between worlds and just had one of the most significant moments in his life removed from Sophie's memory. That's just heartbreaking.

It is so clever that you were able to show us so, so much about his character and he only had the one line at the very end - that was brilliant. "Sure, no problem." The significance of making this the final statement of the chapter tells us that Tristan puts up a different front to the world compared with the angst raging though his mind.

I'm wondering many things right about now. Is Tristan depressed because of his unfortunate situation of living between two worlds combined with the "Sophie incident" OR is he dreading going back to Hogwarts for some reason? His parents seem not exactly sure as to how to deal with him, which only makes him feel more alone.

I've never read a story that takes place on the cusp of one of the books - excellent idea! That, combined with your gift of describing a character's emotions through their actions and thoughts makes for an amazing story. I can't wait to read more!

♥ Beth (Veritaserum27)

Author's Response: Hello!
Oh thank you for leaving a review! I've been been reading your stories too, so I'll definitely by with a review soon :) [I'm kind of in love with the Dobbys, for giving me a DEADLINE to get me to finally read all these things on my list]

I'm so so SO glad to hear your reaction to the title and intro! That was *precisely* what I was going for!

I mirrored PS a HUGE amount while writing this story (and plotted it all out against the timeline of the book). My goal was to kind of emulate but invert the techniques used in the story, and there's a whole mess of Meta References.

And I'm so glad the sheer *tragedy* of that memory modification came off, because I really wanted to examine in what ways the wizarding world could be uniquely cruel (and just realistically, situations like these MUST occur from time to time).

And YES, Tristan definitely has a SUPER active/ragey mind, and he doesn't quite realize how little of it actually ends up getting communicated.

And I'm really glad the whole "him straddling two worlds" thing came across, because that was a really important theme for me that I wasn't sure I paid enough service to. In canon, we only see people *of* the wizarding world, or people who fully *assimilate into* the wizarding world. I was really interested in this kind of dual experience (kind of mirroring bi-racialism, or immigrant experiences, or anything else that means switching rapidly between disparate cultures).

Anyway, thank you so much for this review! I'm so pleased to see you responding to the things you responded to--it's so encouraging!

xoxo
-Roisin


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Review #18, by maraudertimes 

28th September 2014:
Hi! Review thread from the Gryffie common room!

I really liked this. The way you set the scene by having a muggle discover magic (even if she thinks it's M16 stuff) was really unique and the fact that the protagonist (Tristan) is definitely not like normal protagonists is really cool. Everything was definitely different than anything I've ever read, and I really liked it.

The fact that you recycled canon characters is really cool and I love that attention to detail. Having to do something so involved in Harry's year seems so difficult but obviously you were up to the task and have done a fabulous job so far, and I can only assume it's great throughout the story with your eye for detail this little of a way in.

Sophie is probably who I would be if I ever discovered magic, although probably just her reaction, not what happened before that. I'd probably just write it off as technology, especially in this day and age. I'd like to see more of her but I don't think I will, although Tristan seems really interesting so I don't think that'll be a problem.

This was a really good first chapter and it's really intriguing. I've heard a lot of good things about your story so I'm interested in continuing on (if real life ever gives me a chance). This is really well written, great job!

Lo :)

Author's Response: Yee, hello! Way to revive the Gryffie review thread! I thought I'd accidentally killed it!

I'm really glad you liked that opening! I wanted to sort of start the story fresh, with, like, a brand new introduction to the wizarding world. And we never got to see mixed muggle/wizard houses in canon--so I definitely wanted to see what that would look like through a muggle's eyes.

Plus, as a dramedy, I really wanted to examine the various implications of the wizarding world, and their impact on the teenage experience--and having your partner obliviated after your First Time is kind of a horrible, devastating thought! (Also, that *must* happen from time to time. I mean: teenagers).

Writing a canon compliant story set during PhilStone was definitely a MASSIVE undertaking (all sorts of HP Wiki and Lexicon tabs just LIVED at the top of my browser while writing)--but it was also amazingly fun. I had this whole existing story framework to play around in, and all these canon characters to look at in a new way. The dramatic-irony potential was MASSIVE.

Thank you so much for dropping by with the review, and for all the kind words!

xoxo
-Roisin



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Review #19, by Yoshi_Kitten 

14th September 2014:
Hello Roisin, I'm Deana. I must say, I have heard nothing but great things about this story recently, so I was REALLY excited when I saw that we got paired together for the Review exchange this month!! I had been meaning to give this a read anyway, and this just gave me the perfect opportunity to get here sooner. And now I am officially hooked!!! Like, I'm coming back to leave this review, but I have already read the first 3 chapters because I just could NOT put this down once I started reading it!! You write like a pro, your characters are extremely realistic and relatable. And I am just so beyond impressed by this right now. =)

Now that I've gone and inflated your ego a little bit, (lol!) let me talk about the characters... SOPHIE: As she was a Muggle, and since they did obliviate her memories of that night, I get the feeling that we won't be seeing much of her anymore, now that Tristan is off to Hogwarts. Which is sad, really, as she had quite a back story going on there with trying to make her ex jealous and all that. And Tristan really seemed to be into her. Obviously I know now that she was his first now, but was he her first as well? If so, then that is awful that she doesn't even remember it now!! I really felt bad for her, and also for Tristan because he actually liked this girl and now they're taking her away from him. I mean, she as totally buying into his dad's cover story about advanced technology, and it's actually not a very far stretch, considering that Muggles really will have digital picture frames and the like 23 years into the future! I loved how she thought they were all a bunch of tiny little TV's at first tho, until she dropped it and the portrait reacted to her. That was brilliant! You have set everything up for this so well right from the start. I am loving it!! ;)

TRISTAN: First of all, I like that you used Sophie to describe his features, as he does not seem like the type of bloke to talk about himself much, lol. He seems quiet and shy, and like he doesn't really say much until you get to know him. He was so sad at the end. I just wanted to reach into the story and give him a hug! Tristan is a very deep thinker, the metaphor about the trees at the end was a great way to demonstrate this. He certainly is unique in his own way, and I cannot wait to learn more about the way he views the world. I love how emotional and angsty he is here too, it really adds to his character and tells a lot about his personality. If you don't mind me asking; who is the guy you are using for him in your graphics? He looks so familiar, but I cannot figure out where I've seen him before, lol.

The only tiniest bit of CC that I can come up for this right now is in regards to the POV switch in the middle of the chapter. It just kind of threw me off a bit at first because it wasn't really broken up at all, and it just jumped right into another person's thoughts without warning. I feel like there should have been an extra added space in between the paragraphs of the two characters, or perhaps one of those line-break bar thingys? I've even seen some people use the */b> or ~ symbols to mark POV changes within a solitary chapter before. Again, this may sound picky, and it could just be me, but it did distract me from reading it the first time, so I felt like it was worth mentioning. Once I read back over it again and realized what was going on, everything was absolutely great!! :D

Oh, and I also really liked how you used an actual Obliviator that was mentioned in Cannon here also. I know you said that you had done a huge amount of research for this, in order to keep it as close to Cannon as possible, and it really shows!! The time and effort that you have put into this is incredible, and all of that hard work has definitely paid off, I'd say! I seriously think that this could easily become one of my all-time favorite stories that I have ever read on HPFF – it has THAT MUCH potential!!! I am super looking forwards to reading and reviewing the rest now! I've already favorited it and I am going to recommend this to all my my friends now too. This is off to such a great start, and I am stoked to see what kind of mischief they get into at Hogwarts!!

10/10 - this was seriously SUCH a perfect first chapter!!
~Deana~

Author's Response: Hello!!!

Thank you SO MUCH for leaving such an amazing, insightful, review! You rule!

I'm super glad the just TRAGEDY of that whole obliviation scenario came off! I really wanted to examine in what ways the wizarding world could be uniquely cruel, and that idea was just THE SADDEST THING! Plus, it seemed like something that *must* happen from time to time (because kids would *totally* end up ignoring the statute if they could get some kisses out of it).

Ooh! You're the first person to ask about faceclaims! I was SUPER proud of them! Tristan is a Welsh actor named Craig Roberts (he was in "Submarine", "Skins:Fire", and had a small recurring role on "Being Human"--plus starred in the spin-off web series. Some other things too, but those are the main ones.) I spent FOREVER coming up with faceclaims, because I really wanted everyone to *actually* look like teenagers, look like they *could* be wearing robes for any chapters set at Hogwarts (or be easy enough to photoshop), and not all look super glamorous/high fashion. I ended up going with Indie actors who started out at teenagers, and picked the ones who had the most usable photos. I was really pleased when I thought of Roberts for Tristan! He was close enough to my original mental-image, and then I ended up rewriting the whole thing with that actor in mind! I'm actually really glad I did that, because I feel like it helped me catch awkward/unrealistic dialog :)

Thank you SO MUCH for the note about the POV shift! I will definitely take your advice, and do some sort of page break! I'll stick to the all caps tag as well, but you're right--the first time the shift happens the reader has very little indication of what is going on.

Your kind words! Ah!1!1! THANK YOU!

Weaving in canon was SO MUCH FUN for me! I also really liked that, since Rowling created *so frikken many* characters, I didn't have to come up with whole new names or anything--I could just scan the HP wiki or Lexicon! Plus, if you think about it, the wizarding world must be TINY, considering the size of the Hogwarts student body, and the canon indication that most magical kids in Britain go to Hogwarts. I decided to recycle canon as much as possible because that just seemed more realistic! I mean, all of Magical Britain probably amounts to, like, the population of one smallish city!

I can't wait to get started on your story, which has been on my reading list for a while!

Thankyouthankyouthankyou!
xoxo
-Roisin


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Review #20, by rosiful 

9th September 2014:
I keep seeing you around the forums (usually you beat me to the review threads :P), so I thought I'd give your story a try! While it's so completely different from what I usually read, I think it's amazing so far!

I really liked Sophie and her reactions in this chapter, it seemed quite realistic. I'm pretty sure I would be beyond curious if I saw millions of moving pictures on the walls too!

Tristan does really seem like a character straight off of 'Skins'. Which is awesome, I loved all their characters!

I also like how you're trying to add in characters that were hardly mentioned! JK put so many in their that we never really think of!

Great start and I'll keep reading on now :P

-Rosiful

Author's Response: Oh wow! Thank you so much for taking the time to drop by! You made my day!

I really liked the idea of introducing the story from a random muggle's POV, to kind of give it a fresh beginning :)

Yee! Skins! I loved the way every episode rotated with character it focused on, but the story still all went together in one direction, and totally tried to emulate that!

Whenever I wanted to create a character for this story, I decided to poach someone from canon (or at least a surname). Since Rowling made so many, I figured I didn't need to make very many totally brand new characters!

Thank you sososo much, again, for all the lovely, encouraging, kind words!

xoxo
Roisin


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Review #21, by mymischiefmanaged 

8th September 2014:
Hi Roisin! I'm reviewing this as I read so hopefully it's coherent...

Okay, I adore Sophie. I don't know if she's going to stay a big character in this story, given that she won't be at Hogwarts, but you've done a wonderful job of characterising her. The whole one night stand with an underage wizard idea is so so original and gives you a great opportunity to show us Tristan through somebody else's eyes.

Hmm, Tristan's parents seemed very ready with an explanation for why their house is like that? Has this happened before? I kind of get the impression that it hasn't, so maybe they've just made sure to have a story ready in case they ever need it. I suppose it's the kind of thing wizards have to consider. The confidential research idea is a brilliant one.

Tristan's stress when he realises what he's done is wonderfully written. I get the impression he hasn't had many girls show an interest in him before? It totally makes sense that it would be hard for him to properly consider the statute when somebody's interested in him and he's been drinking, and his struggle to come to terms with what he's done is very convincing and real.

Noo, obliviators? I guess that was inevitable but it seems so cruel. I think I remember Peasegood as an obliviator in Goblet of Fire? If so that's fantastic use of canon. I'm very impressed :)

I love that Tristan thinks Peasegood is punishing him by making Sophie forget some of what happened. It's a great detail. But poor Sophie, losing her story. I guess it won't get back to Stuart now.

It's so sad that Tristan lets what happened affect him so much, but I suppose his history of depression combined with his kindness has that affect. The fact he feels guilty says something good about his character, but he's definitely more affected by the experience than is healthy. I'm interested to see how this character trait develops.

The tree falling in a forest metaphor is an interesting one. I wasn't quite sure where you were going with it but once I understood it was absolutely perfect. For Tristan, the night was special and it was important to him that he shared it with somebody else. Now that Sophie doesn't remember it doesn't feel the same.

Overall, this is a wonderful first chapter. I can totally see why it's been nominated for the Gryffie story of the month, and you should be really proud of it. You've very much caught my interest and I expect I'll be back for chapter two soon. PM me if you ever want to swap again!

Much love,

Emma x

Author's Response: Hello!

Man, I am SO surprised by how positive the reaction has been to Sophie! She was rather a throw-away introduction device/mcguffin/prop for the story, but I still wanted her to be realistic and.. Ah! Also, if she lacked any charm, I doubted people would keep reading. She doesn't ever show up again, not directly, so hopefully you like the other characters!

And THANK YOU for that! I wasn't sure if the one-night-stand wizarding/muggle complication was done before, but you know, KIDS. It MUST happen from time to time (especially if the wizard in question has one foot awkwardly in each world).

Tristan's parents' quick thinking, I now realize, is actually kind of a *thing.* I never thought about it so specifically before, but it does play a larger part in the story ;)

GOOD JOB recognizing Arnold Peasegood! I'm super impressed! And you are the FIRST person to point out that, by getting Obliviated, Sophie loses the entire *reason* she hooked up with Tristan in the first place. Oh, the angst!

Yeah, the forest metaphor was interesting to me--because this is a situation that could ONLY happen with obliviation, and doesn't have a real world equivalent. Sophie was AWARE and consenting when it happened, remembered when she woke up, THEN forgot--but he still remembers. So, does it *count* as his first time? Or does that take it away from him? The whole point of a "first time," for a boy, is that it's shared with someone else. Angstangstangst!

I really can't even believe I've been nominated for SotM! The other nominees are such popular and amazing authors, I'm just thrilled to be included in the same sentence as them!

Thank you for this review! I *definitely* want to swap again!

xoxo
Roisin


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Review #22, by crestwood 

3rd September 2014:
Hi Roisin!

I apologize for the ridiculous amount of time it has taken me to get around to leaving these reviews. I usually handle my review thread from shortest story to longest, but lately I've just been getting an overflow of posts and this kept being pushed back, so I decided to break my little rule to come check this out.

The idea of this story is kind of right up my alley. Maybe because I love Skins, maybe because I wanted to see how you handle all of the minor characters you mentioned, maybe because you used the phrase 'meta-analysis of the implications of the Potterverse.' Whatever it was, I have been DYING to read this story.

Recreational magic is an idea that I've never thought about at all but I really think it is so clever. I can't imagine that teens wouldn't use it in that way now that I think about it.

Sophie is a pretty well-drawn out character for someone who isn't even central to the story. (I assume) Her thoughts are an interesting start to the chapter and more importantly, they give us that wonderful, inventive scene in which she thinks of Wizarding photographs as 'dozens of little televisions.' The way Tristan's father explained away the photographs was a bit of quick thinking. It's almost a shame that they had to Obliviate her, considering that she fully bought that excuse anyway. I also enjoyed Tristan's philosophical musings about whether he and Sophie's night had 'counted.' This really is so good and the best part is that it's only the beginning! I can't wait to see what kinds of things Tristan gets up to at Hogwarts. Great start!

Author's Response: Oh my god, Crestwood, you RULE!!! Thank you so much!

I was so surprised that recreational magic isn't really a thing on this site! It seemed so obvious to me, because you know, *teenagers.* If they can, at least some will.

And I'm glad you thought Sophie was well-drawn out! She was definitely sort of a throw-away introduction device, but I still wanted her to be realistic, and a full person (also, having her guide the inro would be very boring, I think, if she didn't have ANY depth).

And THANK YOU for commenting on Tristan's philosophical musings! You're the first person to mention it, and it was very much the point of the chapter! Magic opens up all these little possibilities, and I wanted to see how they influenced the teenage experience :)/:(

xoxo
Roisin



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Review #23, by TidalDragon 

29th August 2014:
Howdy!

So you probably were starting to get worried what with it being August 29th and all, but I never leave people in the lurch. Work's just been a bit more insane than I expected this week, even with what I had already planned on. C'est la vie, right?

I really enjoyed this first chapter. You introduced Tristan in a VERY unique way and showed right from the top that you weren't rating the story Mature for safety's sake with the casual smoking and obliviation-induced one-night-stand.

For her part, I'm a bit sad to think that Sophie's probably not sticking around. As a character she felt very authentic and her thoughts as an unknowing Muggle outsider on Tristan's actions that evening were particularly fun to read. It was amusing to get a Muggle perspective on the hurried preparations a wizard would have to make when the opportunity for an unexpected hook-up with a Muggle female comes along.

I also enjoyed the descriptions of the slightly odd, but relatively seamless fusion of everyday objects in the half-blood home. The computer contrasting with the classic moving photos was a nice device and I loved how Eddie also tried to bridge the gap with a fantastical Muggle explanation before the Obliviator arrived.

Looking forward to reading more!

Author's Response: Hello!!!

Yes, most definitely: when I first began writing this story, I knew I wanted it to be 18+ (unfortunately, you can't go higher than 17+ on this site). I just really think the story resonates better if you have a little distance from the age represented :)

I'm really glad you found Sophie authentic! She was a very throw-away mcguffin, but I still wanted to write her with *pathos.* Hopefully, there are enough other authentic characters that you won't be missing her too much :)

And yeah, this story is VERY much about the intersection of teenage shenanigans and the wizarding world. I wanted to see how these kinds of scenarios play out, and how the specificities of magic influence the experience.

And, yee! We never got to see a half-blood home in canon, and I really enjoyed writing the descriptions of the house! (That's really why I needed a muggle POV to introduce the story)!

Thank you so much for the review, I'm so glad we got paired!


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Review #24, by The_Crookshanks_Saga 

24th August 2014:
ReViEw SwAp

Hi Roisin! I've heard so much about Year Five while puttering around in the forums, and now I've finally made my way to it.

I love the sense of humor in this fic, not laugh-out-loud but dry and witty. The way nothing is perfect-- Sophie was screwed over by her ex, the smell of cannabis clings to the air (maybe I missed that, but was that in fact a way for talking about magical herbs?), and the basic grunge texture you've sprayed over this whole thing is as compelling as Sophie's new mature, mysterious, and aloof outlook. I especially like the way you mentioned Arnold Peasegood in this, I always appreciate when someone adds depth to a mini-minor character.

CC: None. Really good job, and I'm definitely going to keep reading!

Thanks for the review swap!

-Meena

Author's Response: Helllooo!

Wow, thank you so much for the kind words!!!

The cannabis thing was definitely just cannabis, haha, although that could've been VERY clever. Hadn't even thought of that!

"The basic grunge texture you've sprayed over this whole thing"--that was such a nice way to describe it! And teehee, it's 1991, so yeah, VERY GRUNGE story!

And "nothing is perfect"--that is actually a pretty good summary of everything to come!

Thank you so much for this review! I'm down to swap anytime!

-Roisin




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Review #25, by Gabriella Hunter 

24th August 2014:
HELLO!

This is Gabbie from the forums dumping this review on you and I'm SO sorry that I'm late, I was pretty sick these past few days and I'm just now thinking that it might be all right to get back into the game. Hahah.

Anyhoo, on to this! I was really curious on what this story would be about when I read your summary and its certainly very interesting! I really like that I wasn't able to really determine your character's origins in the beginning and I think that you set up the chapter really nicely. Sophie's character was interesting and while I'm not at all for choking on cigarette smoke, I can understand why she wanted to be a bit more "mysterious", though it was a bit wrong of her to take advantage of Tristan that way. BUT, I've heard of it happening and think that you wrote this very realistically. What I really liked what the gradual reveal that this was a Wizard household and her descriptions of the photos were priceless and excellently detailed. She had the same sort of reaction that I would have given and I really kind of hoped that she wouldn't get caught.

I was kind of scared that Tristan's parents were going to be really upset but they surprised me by remaining as calm as possible. I suspected that they put something in Sophie's tea though and I wasn't surprised when she was zooming out later on! I am a bit sad that her memories were erased though. :( Will we see her again?

Tristan seems like a very complex character and I really liked getting into his head a little bit too. You've set up some future issues pretty well in this first chapter and I have to ask myself what sort of person he wants to become and why he feels so stuck to me. I think that will be a great way to build him up too, I can't wait to read more. I also wasn't really surprised that this had happened more than once in some way and I felt sorry for him by the end, when he was talking to Sophie on the phone. :( I'm not really sure what else you're going to do with this story at this point but I hope to read more soon so don't be shy!

I didn't spot any CC's either so great job on that end and your pacing and grammar were fantastic-amazing. :D

Much love,

Gabbie

Author's Response: Hello!

Thank you so much for the review, and I hope you are feeling better!

Ah! I'm so glad you were worried about her getting caught! I wanted that scene to be a touch suspenseful. I didn't want her to get caught either--but it had to happen to lay out the rest of the exposition :(

Sophie won't be coming back, now that her memory's been modified. She'll get mentioned, though!

Yeah, I definitely think Tristan's parents were just more concerned about what to actually *do* about the situation (and how to get around the Statute being broken), but I think I'll go back and revisit the aftermath in some way.

The story is very much a character-driven, Coming of Age thing, heavily inspired by the show "Skins" and Rowling's "Casual Vacancy." So basically, all of the teenage shenanigans and drama that Harry never experienced, because he was too busy fighting Voldemort!

Thank you so much for taking the time to review!

xoxo
-Roisin



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