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23 Reviews Found

Review #1, by HeyMrsPotter 

11th September 2015:
Me again!

Once detangled, she swept up the many strands that had fallen into the porcelain sink (wondering how she could lose all that everyday, and still have so much). OMG YES THIS IS MY LIFE.

Oh man, your Percy is so good too. Not only are your OCs amazing, but your canon characters are so on point.

Also, squee at The Cure reference, Just Like Heaven in my favourite!!

I sense that the whole smoking and cheer charm thing in starting to become more of a casual habit for some of the characters, I don't think this will end well...

Dee

Author's Response: DUDE ME TOO. The amount of hair I lose every day is SHOCKING. Just... HOW?!

Heehee, poor Percy :P I really did have a lot of fun with him here!

Ooh ooh! So I actually made this really epic mix for this story, it's in one of my blogs and there's a download link and everything :D

Thank you so much again for taking the time to go through the nominees, and leaving such wonderful reviews on my stories!

xoxo
Roisin


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Review #2, by Unicorn_Charm 

28th August 2015:
Hey Roisin! Back again!

I just get totally sucked in and completely immersed in this world each time I read one of your chapters. They're just so good!

I like Isobel. I know she's not the nicest person, but I like her. It's a little worrisome about the whole eating thing though. I wonder if that might become a problem later on. I can relate to the makeup thing. I don't like to leave the house unless I'm wearing some. Not they I'm vain, I just feel like I'd frighten small children, the elderly and animals if I didn't have any on. :p

Um yeah. Totally shocked about Emily! I definitely would not have thought her out of the girls. I would have actually assumed that Isobel was more, um... friendly with the gentleman than Emily. And Tristan dated Angelina?! These small details that you casually throw in are what really makes this feel like cannon. Like I truly believe these people existed in school with Harry and we just didn't see them. It's fantastic work!

Filch is such a pain in the butt. Of course he would nearly ruin the tapes checking to make sure they weren't dark magic. I think Tristan would have hit him if he did haha.

I love how you created their own spot away from the town. I think I'd be more willing to just hang out and listen to music outside than wander around Hogsmeade, to be honest. And I love The Cure! I love all of these music references that you're throwing in. It makes me want to make my own Year Five soundtrack! ;)

Yeah, Laurel definitely has a bit of a problem, doesn't she? She needs the charm, whereas the rest of them just seem to do it for something to do. I'm a little concerned for her.

I loved the part with the girls in Hogsmeade, getting thrown out of stores and doing a little bit of shoplifting it looked like. Bad girls haha. Oh dear and then Percy and Penelope. Yikes! Is imagine that she probably was a bit pompous if Percy was so infatuated with her. And probably a good decision not to go into the Hog's Head. I'm sure that wouldn't have ended well.

It's funny to see this group so focused on their studying. Although, they do find a way to kind of cheat. That's definitely something I would have done in school, not even going to lie.

In some ways, I was these kids. In other ways not at all. But they're pretty close to some of my friends in high school. The music and some other things. I don't know how good that is. :p I think that's another reason I'm enjoying this so much. It's making me a little nostalgic.

Tristan is a lot like my best friend growing up I'm noticing. Totally obsessed with music, enjoys his recreational activities and doesn't tend to agree with the social "norms" of those around him. He thinks differently.

I love this, Roisin! I love every last bit of it. You are truly a genius for creating such a great, relatable and real story. I can't wait to continue!! ♥

xoxo Meg

Author's Response: Meg! Finally here to reply to your amazing reviews! Sorry it took me so long D:

I'm so glad you found Isobel resonant here :) The bit with makeup was DEFINITELY me in High School. I would put on makeup even if I wasn't leaving the house :P And yeah, it was less a "vanity" thing than I just felt really self-conscius without it. But now I'm more a "tinted chapstick and maybe some mascara if I feel like it" person.

I was recently talking to another reviewer about this, but there's this stereotype of highly sexually active teen girls in fiction [not just FF--but everywhere], where they're always these Alpha B Mean Girl types. But thinking back to being a teenager, I don't think that fits the reality very much at all. Most very sexually active girls I knew were either like Emily, or sort of tomboyish chicks who just mostly hung out with dudes.

YAYAYAY I'm so glad you feel like this story /really could/ have been in the background of PS!

Oh man yeah, I'd DEF rather listen to music than go to the same half dozen shops a trillion times. And I'm not sure if I sent it to you, but I posted a blog with a Y5 playlist!

Haha, had to throw in shoplifting--such a thing for so many teenage girls :P And hee, I had so much fun writing Percelope!

Oh man, I totally did those study cheats. But to be fair, my friend and I who did that totally learned all the stuff and got great grades and it worked very well :)

This story is very, VERY based on myself and my friends! None of the characters are anyone particularly, but I did draw out threads or include aspects of certain people/myself. The cool thing, though, is that these characters really did sort of take on lives of their own and ended up being completely unique. And I think that some of those threads or details can be kind of universal--or at least, are true of a lot of people. I'm so, so, SO glad that you find this resonant!

Yee! Thank you so much for this amazing review. It's really given me such joy every time I read it :)

xoxo
Roisin



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Review #3, by casual_chaos 

15th August 2015:
Hello! A few centuries ago, you requested a review from me, and I am finally here to fill that request! (Also, I am very sorry for the delay, RL came in the way of HPFF for a while.)

Anyway, I have made a slight change to my reviewing style, and I'm now more focused on giving actual criticism, which, by what I've read on the forums about your extensive rewriting of YF, I think you won't mind.

Regarding the structure of this chapter, as a whole, I think you did a good job. Each segment told us something new about Isobel, through dialogue and descriptions and her reactions to other people. I especially liked the physical description in the beginning - it was very detailed, but with a purpose. It wasn't just meant to tell us what she looked like, it told us about her as a person, what she stood for, how she perceived herself and how she wanted others to perceive her.

There is one thing that I found a bit odd, though. The part where Isobel and Laurel go to Hogsmeade, while Tristan and Emily listen to their music. I expected something to happen in that scene, some development between Laurel and Isobel, a conversation that might push the plot forward, you know? They visited various places and did a bit of shoplifting and that's all good and fun (and it does say something about the depth of their relationship) but it all had the air of a filler-scene. It felt as if the real story was going on back there with Tristan and Emily, while these two walked about for an hour or two. This might be just me, though, because I'm not a fan of scenes which hold no real purpose for the story. But with that said, I need to point out that the writing was of great quality and I really liked your portrayal of Hogsmeade, and how authentic it seemed. And who knows, maybe it all had a higher purpose, I just missed it? :D

Other than this, there were some sentences that sounded a bit wonky.

1. In this sentence ''Laurel linked arms with Isobel, and the two saw the little houses grow bigger before them.'' - It sounds as if the houses simply grew on their own, you know? If you added something to tell the reader that the houses were seemingly growing because they were approaching them, now that would make more sense. (It's really minor, but I'm nitpicky.)

2. ''(the Weasley twins being a member of that group)'' - okay, this might be a usage that I'm unfamiliar with, in which case feel free to ignore this, but since the twins are plural, maybe use 'members' instead of 'a member'.

3. And finally, there is a bit too much names mentioned in these two sentences: ''...Tristan charmed Emily and Laurel, and Isobel rolled some tobacco.

Tristan and Emily let Laurel and Isobel have some influence over the music choices...''

You put these sentences as the end and the beginning of two separate paragraphs, respectively. But even with that natural pause between paragraphs, this still sounds clunky with so many names written one after the other, so I suggest doing something about that.

That's about it with CC, I hope it will be of some help to you! None of it is meant to offend your writing (which is very enjoyable to read, as I have said in all of my previous reviews).

I also need to take a moment to compliment you on all the canon details you use. Throughout this chapter, everything was bursting with details, and it really made me envision Hogwarts as we know it from the books. It's so brilliant!

Also, the music-listening scene was perfect! Just Like Heaven is a song I will never ever get tired of listening to, so many hearts for that!

Andy

P.S. I don't know if I'll be continuing my review thread, but if you want me to review the next chapter in a similar way, just say so in your response and I'll be back.

Author's Response: Andy! What a fantastic surprise, thank you!

Seriously, this review is SO helpful. I really, really appreciate it.

I've gone back and added a bit more description of Isobel in Ch2, so this might end up getting lightened. But I'm glad you think the description also seemed to /connect/ to something and say more than just what she looked like. That's definitely something I'll be preserving :)

Oof, yeah, this story depends on so much eXpOsItIoN, but you're right that their time in Hogsmeade could feel more purposeful. I'll have a real think about that and discuss it with my betas.

And then THANK YOU for all those specific picks. Noted and noted :D


Btw, I made a mix of Y5 songs (posted in one of my old blogs) that includes a neat cover of "Just Like Heaven."

If you feel up to doing more reviews like this I would ABSOLUTELY be down! Thank you SOSOSOSO much :)

xoxo
Roisin


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Review #4, by TreacleTart 

12th August 2015:
Hi again!

Back for another Gryffindor Gold vs. Red review! Go Team Red!

I knew I jinxed it. Emily and Tristan do have a thing. Okay, so I think they're obviously a good match since they're into the same things and seem to have the same nostalgia for the muggle world (particularly music), but there was part of me that hoped they would just be good friends.

Laurel does seem like she's developing some sort of cheering charm addiction. Does the magic world have like C.C.A? Hopefully, at some point Isobel will point out that enough is enough because she seems to be the only one aware of the issue. Or at least the only one who seems concerned about it.

The part about Laurel and Isobel wandering around through Hogsmeade was amusing. The little waves from the different characters were really nice to see. You've done such a fantastic job of really merging them into the world that JK created. I don't know how you do it.

Just like with everything else you write, your writing is superb. You have really done a lot to make your characters realistic and the scenarios that they're in similar to things most muggle teenagers would experience, just with a magic twist.

Good job.

~Kaitlin

Author's Response: Ee, I hope you still like how I play Tristan/Emily. I mean, it's far from a cut-and-dry romance, and rarely fluffy. But: teenagers. Hormones. Stuff. Had to have a bit of that.

I think Isobel's the first to notice because they spend the most time together and she knows Laurel best. In the revision, I'm adding in a few more moments throughout of "are you sure you need another one" and "maybe you should cool it." But still nothing well-done or effective, because teenagers aren't fully equipped to handle that sort of thing. I had a few friends develop drug problems as a teen and no one really knew what to do or say about it.

I really wanted this story to FEEL like it was really the background of canon, in like, a believable way. I also wanted to limit OCs as much as possible, since it's a small school so canon figures were liable to pop up.

"Realistic teenage experiences with a magic twist"--the goal of this story. THANK YOU!

xoxo
Roisin



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Review #5, by wolfgirl17 

11th July 2015:
Hey there Roisin,

Wolfgirl here with your requested review from month ago. I'm so sorry it took so long for me to get here. I've been super duper slack and have no other excuse than my perpetual laziness that struggles to convince me sleeping all the time is the best idea ever.

On to the chapter.

Overall this one felt a little like a filler chapter to me simply because other than offering an idea of Emily and Tristan getting together and of Laurel becoming an addict, not all that much happened. It was intriguing to see Isobel's POV on things and to get a better look into her personality though.

As always, I enjoyed the amount of humor that you put into a story and your vocabulary is fantastic. Every time I read your stories I feel smarter afterwards.

Positively brilliant work, your writing is always impeccable. Keep it up!

xx-Ellie

Author's Response: Hello, Ellie! No worries about taking your time, it's always nice to get a review of yours :)

This is definitely a bit of a filler. The story is what you might call "character driven," so a LOT of exposition was required to make the later stuff all work. I hope it still felt satisfying, for being more exposition than plot. And yeah, a big part of it was getting to know Isobel.

Thanks again so much for your feedback!

xoxo
Roisin


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Review #6, by Charlie Darwin's Favorite Finch 

18th May 2015:
Chirpy chirp!!

I used to live in the Galapagos, but I sailed on a bagel to Angleland...? The Darwin man says I am his favorite because I'm such a pretty birb, so I stole his computer. Haha, I, a large tree finch, am so smart.

With a beak as blunt as my attitude, I peck through the trees for some good eats. As such, I have pecked through your chapter to find the best and juiciest parts of it to enjoy.

You have a real gift for narrative. If I were hopping around on Hogsmeade's High Street, I would peck at the ground and listen on with interest as Isobel and Laurel giggled their way through their shenanigans. I like that their in a House of birbs. I guess I must be related to those birbs, but I don't know how...

Isobel's characterization in the beginning was quite clawsome. I like that she wears makeup and crushes it in the classroom at the same time--that'll show everyone that the prettiest plumage hides the sharpest beak!! It's very relatable that she has body image issues that remain present throughout the chapter. I too feel sad about my stumpy beak sometimes, but then I remember how awesome I am at eating bugs and I appreciate it. I hope that Isobel also appreciates herself.

Tristan continues to prove himself a worthy protagonist, as new things are revealed about his character. He is a champion of Muggles and is very conscious of the social issues surrounding the divide that magical folk place between themselves and nonmagical folk. It's almost like the water between my old island and the islands of these other weirdo finches. We developed different civilizations and we don't make much of an effort to understand each other's points of view. (I have no idea what some of them are saying, but it's okay because I'm the One True Finch.) Tristan is definitely a character to watch out for. I like that he's into music--would he like to hear my beautiful songs sometime?

I have very much enjoyed reading your story, although I am unfamiliar with the strange technology like cassette tapes. Perhaps I am a century too early to understand, but that did not detract from my enjoyment. I think the Darwin fellow is coming back, so I must bid you farewell.

&hearts,
The Large Tree Finch
(Charlie Darwin's Favorite Finch)

Author's Response: HELLO MY AMAZING FANTABULOUS SECRET SANTA!!! You rule so much! (And your puns make me snort-laugh)

I wanted this to be a pretty comprehensive Teen Dramady, which necessitates Body Image issues, and I'm really glad you think I played it well. I want to keep it realistic and relatable, but still give the reader enough room to be like "noOoOoOo!"

I'm sure Tristan would be delighted to hear your songs :)

xoxo
-Roisin



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Review #7, by pointless_proclamations 

19th April 2015:
Roisin!!

I'm backedy-back for another serious feels-bashing from you. And this time with ISOBEL!!

Roisin, I am constantly in awe of how really your characters are. They refuse to fit into any stereotype and I love you for that. Isobel's getting ready scene!! You turned a what could be called an everyday ritual into something so revealing.

Filch's rummaging through Tristan's stuff was a beautiful example of how terribly separated the magical community and the non-magical community are. I mean they're both in each other's back garden, essentially, but to hardly know much nor hardly care to know much about the Muggle world is getting more and more preposterous. From this ignorance stems unfounded prejudice and Roisin! You're a remarkable writer.

“I honestly can’t see a situation where you couldn’t just use Expelliarmus or Protego.” ROISIN! Bahaha! I adore this.

“You’ve got a kitchen in your common room, don’t you?” SO CLOSE!

Your end notes, Roisin, your end notes. They, themselves are always impressive. Which speaks even more about your story itself. The amount of thought you put in here, Roisin, it's mind-blowing.

Love, your fan
Em

Author's Response: Em!!!

Yee thank you so much for this review! I'm really glad that you think the characters defy stereotypes. I felt like there are so many teenage/highschool stereotypes that are very over-used and narrow, and many VERY REAL archetypes that are all but ignored. Like, "druggie weirdo rebel" still comes in a lot of varieties, and I wanted to examine that.

Hahaha, this story is very sort of self-aware that it is fanfiction, and I had a lot of fun doing Meta Jokes and the like :) I also wanted to kind of fill in various gaps in canon. Like, rather than say JKR's universe is flawed or doesn't make sense for various reasons, I wanted to argue "NO IT IS JUST LIKE THAT, and yeah, maybe that's a problem--let's talk about it."

And thank you for reviewing, which reminds me that I need to get back to IMoASK!

xoxo
-Roisin


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Review #8, by Pixileanin 

29th January 2015:
Alright. It's clear that you're building something up with Isobel here.

"Isobel laboured over her skin."

That line caught me right up, and I was all, "Yeah, she's labouring over all of her. I wonder how far she takes it?" Perfect word. "Labour". I also love that Isobel contasts her habits to Laurel's. It shows Laurel's disassociation with her appearance, Isobel's attitude towards that, and her growing concern for her friend.

Oh, that Tristan/eyeliner comment - is it bad that I remember teen boys becoming obsessed with eyeliner, and then being all, "WHY?!?" And yeah, it has nothing to do with gender. My daughter tells me they still do that at that age... of course she may be surrounded by it because it's a performing arts magnet program where eyeliner is conspicuously available everywhere, but still... No one can escape the identity crisis thing. We all have to deal with it on some level.

Oh gosh, Emily. Her backstory took me by surprise, and now I don't even know why. You're certainly good at playing with contrasts, and I am enjoying that immensely.

"Potion supplies... from my brother". Yeah. That's what Emily's calling it. I remember a few chapters ago what she said about that.

"Just terrible at being sneaky." Agreed.

I laughed about the Filch and cassette tapes thing. Also at the dig at Penelope during Laurel and Isobel's outing. Ah, and the Hog's Head intimidates them, even in the state that they are in! As it should. Bahahaha! I'm so glad they're not altogether senseless.

Okay, just a few more quote pulls...

"So that was the Doxies?" Snerff.

And that thing about Goth being the fashion where Muggles dress like wizards. Perfect!

Okay, so for the purpose of this being constructive... aww, forget it. I'll think of something when I... err... think of something. :P

Author's Response: So glad you liked the word choice 'laboured' there! Definitely wanted to give a sense of the extent of her preoccupation.

I too went to a performing arts magnet high school and YEAH EYELINER WTH? And then Tristan would have worn that costume in the late 80s, so I suppose that would be pretty par for the course for a bloke who listens to a lot of New Wave.

That her backstory took you by surprise, yet you don't know why, is SUCH great feedback! I feel like highly sexually active female characters, who engage in casual sex with multiple partners, are sort of always written the same way. Which is weird to me, because I've known many IRL, and NONE of them appeared like the stereotype. But I'd be lying if I said I didn't think of giving her that character attribute after I planned her character, and that I did so specifically for its ironic contrast. But it just begged the question, /why/ is it ironic?

Ah yes, they are rather a bit mean about Penelope, aren't they? I think that says more about them than it does about her, though.

'The Doxies' probs better describe their sound though, amiright?

YAY ALMOST NEARLY CAUGHT UP WITH THESE CENTURIES-OLD REVIEWS!

SORRYSORRYSORRY!


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Review #9, by BellaLestrange87 

27th January 2015:
Hello Roisin! I'm back!

YES ISOBEL HAS THICK HAIR AND KNOWS THE STRUGGLE. And a struggle it is. My dad complains about carpets in the sink on the rare occasion that I brush my hair. Having thick, wavy hair tends to produce poofy hair when you brush it. AND IT SHEDS. ALL DAY EVERY DAY. Isobel is right to wonder. What I can wonder about, though, is how she can put makeup on every day. I'm not calling her vain, but a lot of my friends wear it and say it takes FOREVER to put on. Personally, I can't tell lipstick from eyeliner, so...

Isobel, to me, sounds like she's both jealous and a bit contemptuous of Emily. She mentions how pretty she is but also says "of course that's why she slept with so many guys." Tristan and Angelina Johnson??? I love how you add subtle details that could've happened. (This is why the 100% canon label is on the story summary.) And of course that wouldn't have gone well. (Although I think a Gryffindor/Slytherin matchup would've been noticed. That's probably why they were behind the greenhouses, wasn't it?) But Tristan/Emily! YES. I WANT IT. (And if I read the reviews for some of the later chapters I could see whether or not it happens but I don't want to spoil the surprise.)

Yep. Isobel definitely sounds like she thinks Emily is a *insert non 12+ word here*. But seriously... 3 captains and all seventh-year Ravenclaws? I can't even get one boy, let alone... what? 8? 9?

I think Isobel's right. Laurel's Cheering is starting to be a problem. You can't spend your whole time at school living for the idea of being artificially happy. (That sounds like something out of a self-help book.)

They just got more drugs, didn't they? I think they did; otherwise they wouldn't be so secretive about it.

Filch's not knowing what the cassette tapes were made me laugh. Wizard/squib responses to standard Muggle technology always do that. It's a bit funny that something we take for granted, such as a television, they would have no idea how to use. And "Slytherin Champion of Muggles" also made me giggle. That's not something you see every day. Although I can't imagine it would be that hard to obtain the title; all you would really have to do is not hex any muggleborns and leave people minding their own business alone.

Noo don't shoplift! They need to get off those Cheering Charms. But I love the jokes about the Hog's Head. That pub is so dirty I'm surprised the Department of Magical Labour (if it even exists) hasn't shut it down yet. And it's rather nice to see that Cedric had a girlfriend before Cho, even if it didn't last, for whatever reason. Percy and Penelope already dating! Frankly, I'm rather surprised that you've moved it to this book. I think Fred and George would've found out by earlier than the end of the second book if P&P had been dating for almost two years.

Well, at least they have enough common sense to stay out of seedy places.

I love how you're bringing back the rune Hermione mentioned in the fifth book!

I can see why this got nominated for a Dobby. *coughs* Sequel, please?

~Olivia

Author's Response: You are just the BEST REVIEWER EVER! Did you know that?!?!?!

Hahaha, I definitely know the hair troubles. Like, the amount that comes out in the shower best resembles a pygmy puff. As for the makeup thing, I think Isobel definitely is a bit vain. Or at least, very image conscious. But to be real, I wore makeup /every single day/ in High School. /Without Fail./ Most of that was just a self-esteem thing--wearing makeup can kind of feel like a mask or something, which can be weirdly comforting. Anyway, that's something I decided to give to Isobel, since she definitely has issues with her self-image.

Isobel definitely has a tricky relationship with Emily, and you're totally right to point it out. In a way, I think Isobel's sort of jealous of Emily's reputation. I think in her mind, she feels it's a sign of self-confidence. Like, Isobel wouldn't have the guts to sleep around or something. (It is of course more complicated than that, but Izzy's 15).

I think Angelina's super cool, so she was the most obvious choice for someone Tristan had a crush on. But yeah, their personalities probably wouldn't match up well enough for a proper relationship. I think some people probably did talk about their Gryffindor/Slytherin thing, but it had all already blown over by the time Harry started Hogwarts.

Isobel definitely does think Em's a [bad word,] but in a way, she doesn't think that's a bad thing? If that makes sense? Like, she does scoff a bit about it, but she was also kind of bummed that Em gave up on her ways. I think Isobel was kind of living vicariously through Emily.

Oh man, the whole idea of artificial happiness is pretty problematic, isn't it? Just, the more you think about it, the more you have to believe Cheering Charms are bad news!

Filch is SUCH a vehicle for comedy! I really liked writing that part, so I'm glad you found it funny! And you make a good point--the bar is pretty low for becoming "Slytherin Champion of Muggles."

Oh yes--I knew if I was writing about Troubled Teen Shenanigans, shoplifting had to be in their somewhere. And yeah, I have to assume Cedric had girlfriends before Cho!

You're super right about P&P, and I realized it was an issue (I resolve it a bit later, and make it clear that they aren't an Official Couple yet). This is sort of supposed to be the first time they hung out outside of school, then they get close throughout the year, which is why they write to eachother so much the following summer.

Oh gosh, the ridiculous thing is that I was able to remember those runes off the top of my head :/ WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?

And YOU ARE SO KIND, THANK YOU!

xoxo
Roisin


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Review #10, by Slide 

19th December 2014:
Somehow you've done the 'character looks at themself in a mirror' excuse to do a full description and made it work. I think it works cos you're combining it with 'action' of her getting ready, which stops it from being info-dumpy, but kudos! Much amusement at labouring over the issue of spots. Teenagers. Also much love for poor Isobel with her weight woes, and I rather appreciate that she cares about her looks and her grades.

Oh, Laurel. Counting down the days to your inevitable disaster. Ha, good for you, Tristan's old love life. Angelina's awesome.

The character assessments going on here are great. They're painting further pictures and yet are very much through Isobel's eyes. And she, while probably the most attentive and logical (by my reading) of the foursome, is also STILL a teenaged girl, with all of the biases and attitudes therein. It makes her flawed but not demonised, and you can kind of see the sort of person she'll grow up to be once the veneer of teenagerness is over. As such, I'm reserving judgement on if she's JEALOUS of Emily and Tristan, or if she's simply being a bit of a snobby, judgemental teenager.

Enjoyed the segment on Tristan changing his tune re: Filch, and Isobel's frustration with his attitudes. Very realistic. Young people indignant about things they should care about but also being undiplomatic! More apathetic friends not enjoying being told they're wrong for not caring!

Oh my God, the high antics of Laurel and Isobel are giving me life. Doilies are hilarious. ...socks knitted with plugs. That - I can see that. Never occurred to me before. I'm kind of upset by how much sense this makes. Just, this whole segment has got me ugly giggling.

TAPES. This is such a period drama. And Blondie.

I am going to run on the theory that Quirrel likes Isobel because she is justifying his inner evil.

Fun chapter! A really good one for the girls, especially, in terms of teenaged girl dynamics, mentalities, and friendships.

Author's Response: Bahaha, yes, totally guilty of mirror description! I'm glad you think I was able to get away with it!

And yes--there's a real coolness to Angelina (I mean, she ends up with GEORGE), so she seemed an obvious choice for a former fancy!

Eee! Rotating POVs is SO FUN because they do see things differently (and then since this is FAN FICTION, I can also toggle with all of the preexisting knowledge readers have!) As for the Emily+Tristan thing, there's definitely a mix of factors at play.

Isobel's definitely something of a sheltered pure-blood, with a decently liberal family. The sort of people who think Death Eaters are awful, but still far from social justice warriors. She's definitely complacent (I mean, she assumes Voldemort is dead after all, and that the worst is already behind them).

Those antics were SO fun to write! I'm so glad you enjoyed reading them. And yes, TAPES. This story is very 'hey look, the 90s!!'

I feel like Quirrel's reasons for aligning with Voldy had a lot to do with a desire for knowledge/being attracted to the power available in dark arts. So yeah, his liking of her is definitely motivated in part by his the opportunity for self justifications.

Yee, I'm so stoked on settling in and replying to these reviews! BEST CHRISTMAS PRESENT EVER THANK YOU!


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Review #11, by Moonyxluna 

10th December 2014:
I THINK I'm on chapter five? YES. okay.

AH I LOVE HER. YOU GO ISOBEL ROCK THOSE EYELINER WINGS AND RED LIPS AND DON'T WORRY ABOUT WHAT THOSE OTHER GIRLS SAY YOU ARE FABULOUS♥

ahem. I have a lot of feelings about that topic.

AHH I have eyelashes just like Emily and it is miserable. I feel her pain. I totally understand.

I am going to stop rambling about makeup issues now.

I love Isobel's voice in the beginning. I love that she loves her friends and embraces their outsider persona and just doesn't give a (oh, twelve plus ratings) about what the people around her think. And I thought the little suspicion of Emily and Tristian was interesting, coming form Isobel.

hahah.. You've got to be pretty gone to get kicked out of a joke shop. I love the way the humor sort of writes itself here, with Filch, and then Tristan complaining/not complaining about Filch rapidly.

It's all so entertaining and so just.. REAL. Like.. I didn't know how much I wanted this story until I started reading it.

How many times can I say 'I love...' in this review? I really feel like now that I have each of these four fleshed out in my head, that they are some of the greatest really original OC's I've ever read. I want so much more of this.

Ah, Hufflepuff magic for getting coffee! I wish I had that :p

THIS IS WONDERFUL. For real.

Julie

Author's Response: *Squee* Thank you so much! :D

I AM SO GLAD YOU FEEL AS STRONGLY ABOUT THIS MAKEUP STUFF AS I DO!

And yes! The lot of them definitely have an anti-conformity thing going on. And I'm so pleased you liked the humor, and thought it was realistic and all! I really wanted to channel that sort obnoxious teenage behavior, but also recognize how FUN it can be while it's happening.

And just, that you think it's realistic, and think these OCs are good--THANK YOU! Part of it was that I wrote the whole thing out first, then went back and edited a LOT before uploading. So I really got a chance to kind of know them while I wrote, and could go back to tweak things to get their characters right.

I have INFINITE amounts of admiration for people who manage to write such excellent novels while doing it in an episodic way. I would NEVER be able to keep my story straight if I was writing and uploading one chunk at a time. (I like, went back and changed earlier things SO MANY TIMES)

Thank you SO MUCH for this amazing, joy-inspiring review! You are a day-maker!

xoxo
Roisin


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Review #12, by teh tarik 

16th September 2014:
Oh, hey, hey! I am BACK with another review for you.

First, yay! Year Five (and you, too!) got a score of Dobby nominations - and you completely deserve all of them! Congratulations! Your fic is absolutely wonderful, honest and very smart in its portrayal of teenagers (you've probably heard this compliment dozens of times, but it really is true!)

OK, I'm so glad we get to see things through Isobel's POV again. I know there's already been one chapter through her POV, but I felt like I didn't know her as well as I know Emily and Tristan, so this chapter was wonderful. So Isobel is a top student and a make-up expert who has some issues with body image. To the point that she feels the need to control her food intake portions. It's a little sad that she would be so insecure about her body, but gah, I remember being a teenager and feeling like I'm in constant warfare with my own body. I think you've handled the issue very well here.

And in contrast to Isobel's fixation with her body image is Laurel, who seems to be a wee bit too addicted to Cheering. It sounds like she's quite psychologically dependent on Cheering now - like she can hardly get through the day without her mind being in an altered state. I can see how she's tiptoeing on the edge of something here; there's a possibility that she be lose herself in a downward spiral anytime. After all, Laurel seems to be the most emotionally volatile of the group.

Hahaha, I'm more in love with Emily than ever. I'm guessing the only Quidditch captain she did not bed is the SLytherin one. Her being a Muggle born and all that. And Tristan going on about the othering of the non-magical world made me laugh. Isobel and Laurel's Hogsmeade trip (no pun intended) was hilarious. Shoplifting and annoying shop owners in general.

OK, in your request you mentioned suggestions on how to improve language. I'm at a bit of a loss here; I'm not sure how to advise you, because I think your language fits the tone and atmosphere of your story perfectly. Your narrative is very crisp and clean, and I don't think you should clutter it too much with too much descriptive prose and all. Though if you really want to look for things to describe, I guess you could include some details on the state of Hogwarts, especially as time passes (and time certainly is passing in your fic). If it makes you feel better, I really love your opening paragraphs! They're descriptive and detailed, and I loved reading about Isobel's careful application of makeup - the swooping cat-eyes and the way she tries to curl her hair. They're all great. You shouldn't worry too much! I think you know your story well, and what it needs.

Well, I adored this chapter! Am definitely coming back for the next one! Lovely writing, dear!

-teh

Author's Response: Hello!
Thank you SO MUCH! I'd be lying if I said I hadn't crossed my fingers for a Dobby nod, but I absolutely DID NOT EXPECT such a strong reaction! I have no idea what to do with myself except run around giggling and hugging strangers! THANK YOU! THANK HPFF! AKHFWNVFKJGWKJG!

It's definitely a SHAME that Isobel is so insecure. I very consciously chose a faceclaim for her of someone I find just TOO GORGEOUS to exist (Kat Dennings), who is also not a *thin* person (rather spectacularly curvy). Because I don't think that body-image has a single thing with what someone actually looks like--girls just be insecure :( I'm so glad you thought I handled it well, because it is such a sensitive and common topic, and I felt a lot of responsibility to be accurate.

Mind altering charms is such a LOADED idea! I mean, it's IMPOSSIBLE that some people wouldn't become reliant!

Yay I'm so glad you like Emily! I think she is, just objectively, my favorite (because: Hufflepuff). And I really wanted to give her that reputation and backstory, because highly sexually active girls tend to be stereotyped or two-dimensional (in basically all of the media).

Haha, "othering" the non-magical world! For that idea, I took a lot of nods from conversations I had in college!

I suppose, as for suggestions, if you ever see a bit of prose you just find really clunky, or a cliche kind of word-choice or anything, then just don't hesitate to point it out! You use language really creatively, and I'm still very much a beginner, so any ideas or concerns that ever pop in your head would be great to hear!

Thank you SO MUCH for the review! It means a huge amount to me that you are reading this story, since I am SUPER FANGIRL over your writing! (And there are a lot of stories of yours that I've read and yet to review!)

xoxo
-Roisin


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Review #13, by mymischiefmanaged 

14th September 2014:
Okay. As promised, I'm back to leave the reviews I failed to give last time I read this :)

I feel that this chapter is maybe the strongest so far in terms of characterisation. You use very natural conversation to develop your characters (I loved all the discussion about music), as well as creating very visual descriptions. I absolutely loved the idea of Tristan and Emily smoking and listening to muggle music on their Hogsmeade trip.

This is where, for me, Isobel and Laurel's intense friendship really solidified. It's suddenly obvious that they're much closer with each other than with the others, and it makes sense that they would be. Their dislike of Penelope Clearwater is brilliantly written. You make it funny and believable, but more than that you don't make Penelope ridiculous. She's a very real character who just happens to annoy her roommates, rather than being a caricature. You do this fantastic thing where you treat all your characters as the protagonist in their own stories. Nobody's just there for the effect they have in somebody else, and that makes everything feel more true to life.

Finally, Emily knowing how to get into the kitchens but keeping it secret is a brilliant idea. I love the idea of all the Hufflepuffs just casually not mentioning this huge secret they have, and the other houses not understanding why they always have the best snacks.

This is a really great chapter, one of my favourites. I'll be back for chapter six soon! :)

Emma xx

Author's Response: Hello!

Wow, thank you SO MUCH for taking the time to back-review! You are AWESOME!

And thank you SO MUCH for what you said about characterization! I really wanted to use music like an expository tool, because I wanted to include it as much as possible, but thought it would be gratuitous to just throw in everything I personally liked and be like "LOOK HOW GOOD IT IS!" But music is, I think, a really big deal when you're that age (and I think it has a lot to do with developing identity), and the ways that teenagers engage with music was really interesting to me.

And YAY! Thank you about the Penelope comment! She really doesn't actually do anything bad in this story, the girls just hate her! I thought it was enough that she was a goodie-two-shoes, and liked Percy Weasley! But yeah, I definitely wanted to keep her realistically a person, and kind of give the reader room to think that maybe Isobel and Laurel are being too harsh (again: TEENAGERS).

Haha! Ancient Hufflepuff wisdom! I thought that was such an implicitly funny idea, and I'm SO GLAD that it worked!

Thank you SOSOSO much for your review! Definitely let me know once the next chapter of Complicated is up!

xoxo
Roisin


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Review #14, by rosiful 

9th September 2014:
I really like Isobel! I think she might be my favourite!
I also love how vain she knows she is, but she doesn't care about it at all.

There trip to Hogsmeade sounds like it would've been a lot of fun! (Maybe not all the drugs and smokes though :P). The little meet up with Percy and Penelope was really funny! I love all of Isobel's snide remarks.

Really curious as to why Laurel left the Hog's Head so quickly though..

I'm having a break from reading for the moment (not that I have been reading the whole time, I'm not quite that slow :P), but I can't wait to read the rest!

(Also love that the kitchens are a secret!)

-Rosiful

Author's Response: Hello again! Gah, you rock!

Haha, I had SO MUCH FUN writing Percy and Penny! And I'm really glad that the scene came off--it can be so tricky when you super like something in your HEAD, but aren't sure if it's coming all across.

*cowers*--I really didn't mean anything by the Hogs Head departure, just that the bar was super sketchy, and Laurel changed her mind about how wise it was for two 15-year-old girls to go in. I super need to fix that section!

Thank you so much for taking the time to review!

xoxo
Roisin


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Review #15, by Midnight spark 

7th September 2014:
Finally, I'm here!

As usual, another great chapter!

I was laughing so hard when I read about Penelope. It was a nice change to read her like that. In most of the Penelope Clearwater stories I've read (which is, not many), she is portrayed as a sweet, innocent perfect girl. And the Penelope shown here is anything but that.

This story is living up to what I've expected: Fifteen year olds addicted to tobacco and what-not.

Sorry if the review is too short, I'm really tired right now, but I didn't want to delay your review anymore.

~Sanaa

Author's Response: No worries! I DEFINITELY understand getting held up with reviews.

Heehee, I figured Penelope might be a little pompous at times--I mean, she went out with Percy Weasley after all. Then again, she might not be that bad, just that she would hardly get along with the likes of Laurel or Isobel ;)

Thank you again for the review!

xoxo
-Roisin


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Review #16, by Gabriella Hunter 

5th September 2014:
HellO!

This is Gabbie from the forums dumping this review on you and man, you won't believe how upset I was about not being able to read/review this a lot sooner. I was actually pretty sick these past two days and while that was a really gross bit of suffering that I shall not get into, I'm glad to be back!

So, we're at Isobel now! I really love that each chapter as a different POV from the gang and so far, this one might just be my favorite (Next to Tristan's, I have a thing for him). Isobel seems really more blunt than the others with some of her views and I enjoyed reading about how she saw the others, there were some perceptive details that had me really curious. What I really liked about the beginning of this chapter is that Isobel didn't make any excuses for her companions or her own vanity, which is a bit refreshing, its nice to see a character that owns up to something everyone else would call a 'fault'. And this has nothing at all to do with anything but my goodness is she short! 5'2''? I'm about 5'8'' without heels so I was really surprised by that, I tend to think everyone else around me is tiny but anyway, moving on!

I was really surprised by the information about Emily's past relationships and I'm wondering what might happen if she ends up dating Tristan. I can understand why Isobel would be a bit annoyed, I don't want this to be solely for a sex thing but Emily seems to really like him so I'm just going to see how that goes for now. You've got me curious about Laurel as well, there's something going on with her that's got me a bit worried. I'd been wondering if she was a bit addicted to being Charmed and that also makes me a bit concerned about what she's trying not to think about. Hm...I'd like to know more about that, it might be something essential to the plot later and that is always a good thing.

Anyhoo, I really liked their adventure in Hogsmeade and Isobel's narration was hilarious on some points. Now, I'm a Percy enthusiast so I sort of squealed about seeing him in a scene with Penelope, even though it was a tad awkward...(Also, what exactly happened between Tristan and Angelina? I'm an Angelina/George enthusiast as well so that was something that sparked my curiosity) and I wonder, why didn't Laurel want to go into the Hogs Head? So many questions...

Anyhoo, I really enjoy the awesome bands that you introduce and talk about in this story. I know some people might not be all that interested but seeing as how I love music, I think that the contrast between Muggle/Wizard life is really brought into clearer focus. It sets up both worlds better in my opinion and its a great way to understand characters and the way they interact with one another (Isobel's thoughts on Tristan harping about Muggle discrimination was pretty interesting, I think.) so I hope that you show more of that in the future.

I hope the gang will be able to make it through their OWLs in one piece but I wonder if their smoking and Charm sessions will be a problem? I'm sort of not really sure right now but I hope you follow up on that later!

Another great chapter, no CC's that I could spot and your pacing was great as always.

Much love,

Gabbie

Author's Response: Hello!!

Ah! I'm sorry to hear you were ill! Hope you're feeling better!

It's really exciting to me that different readers have their favorites :D I was hoping for that when I chose to write a cast of four very different characters!

And YEAH, Isobel is tiny! It's funny, because she comes off as the most mature of the group/is the most serious. But she's also the youngest and the smallest (she's almost a year younger than Tristan, since the cut-off age thing for Hogwarts is kinda weird).

For Emily, I really liked the idea of writing a highly sexually active character who doesn't fit the stereotype (because I've noticed in real life, that's usually the case). Definitely more on that later!

A lot of people have expressed curiosity about the Hog's Head thing, so I think I should go back and work on that. Laurel suggested it for precisely the reasons she outlined (they would probably serve them booze), and only walked out because it was so sketchy looking inside. I never meant for it to seem important or mysterious, so that is FOR SURE a fault of the writing. I'm really glad you've pointed it out, though, so I know how to go back and revise!

YAY for your comments about the music stuff! That was EXACTLY what I was trying to do! I definitely didn't want the music to be TOO gratuitous, but I wanted it to have a heavy presence, since this story is about expanding on what was absent from canon. I would say I like all the stuff mentioned, but I didn't want to just rattle off all of my favorite music in the story. Instead, I thought a lot about what was era and character appropriate, and what sort of worked as an exposition device (the lyrics were all VERY intentionally chosen!)

Whether or not the gang get through their OWLs in one piece is definitely the CENTRAL crux of this story!

Yee--thank you so much for this review! I'm so glad that this story is resonating, and that all the little things I tried to do are coming across! I really appreciate the thought and time you put into reviewing!

xoxo
Roisin


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Review #17, by crestwood 

4th September 2014:
You have really hit the teenage experience on the head. I don't know if you're a teenager yourself or just remember being one, but this is as accurate as I've seen depicted on this site. They have that 'nothing can harm me' mentality that comes with the age. I just love it. Burnouts are awesome in the Wizarding World. (there's some 90's terminology for you)

Isobel is a bit obsessed with her looks and it doesn't seem to be in a healthy way. Her comments about eating too much and how hard she was on her body kind of made me sad. I just hope she doesn't take it too far. It seems like Emily may be the most well adjusted in the group.

I found it funny that Isobel thinks that Emily has stopped seeing boys in order to wait for Tristan, I wonder if that's true. Her trip into town with Laurel was great to read. They made shopkeepers mad and lifted some things for free and I'd expect no less of Hogwart's resident Hex Heads. I actually also had a few thoughts about whether Tristan was gay but it was just a general feeling he gave me, not exactly based on fact and now we know that he had a thing with Angelina Johnson, however short lived. That isn't definite proof that he isn't gay though and I can still hope ;D

I wonder why Laurel left the Hog's Head so quickly. That was actually very strange, but Isobel didn't question it because of her charm, I'm sure.

I love the music scenes. Partially because I have an interest in the kind of music they listen to - but also because you just write them really well. You give a feel for the song and their reactions to it that even those readers who don't know the references can read along and comprehend.

I love Tristan's love for the non-magical population going past a fascination from a distance and that he really believes that their culture and people are just as important and valid. His hypothetical speech about 'othering' the Muggle world had quite a few real life parallels that I refuse to believe were accidental.

Also, Emily can get tea between meals because the Hufflepuff common room is near the kitchens!! You really did your research. I enjoy this so much. The time spent on exposition is perfectly fine in my opinion. It's amazing to sit back and watch the way you unveil these characters' traits and quirks. I just admire your work so much.

Author's Response: !!1!!11!!! I just CAN'T, Crestwood--you are a BEAST! Thank you so SO SO much!

I'm a little bummed because I wrote out a whole response to this, but it vanished. Probably for the best because it was WAY too long ;)

I'm almost a decade older than these kids now, and so I'm REALLY stoked that you find the teenagers accurate! I was really worried, when I started writing, that I was just too distant from that mindset. But once I got into it, tons and tons of memories came flooding back, and it became a lot easier to recall!

And speaking of nitty gritty teenage realism: Isobel's body image issues are just too common of a reality for me to ignore it in this story. I really wanted to touch on as many teen drama tropes as possible, in the context of the wizarding world. It was super important for me to write about the more sensitive topics accurately, rather than be reductionist, out of respect for people who have been through them. I hope you think I was successful!

And YEAH, one of the reasons I wrote about the "Tristan is straight" thing is because I started to reconsider him myself. Functionally, and for the purposes of the story, he's straight. BUT, I think that Tristan (like most people) isn't exactly 100%. He has, I imagine, the potential within himself for a more fluid sexuality, it's just that he hasn't explored it.

IF SOMEONE SLASH SHIPS TRISTAN, THAT WOULD BE MY EVERYTHING!

Hm, so the Hog's Head thing was really just supposed to be kind of funny. Like, Laurel walks in and then immediately turns around. It's sort of a visual moment, and I think I should go back and work on how that's paced. Ultimately, she leaves just because it's SUPER sketchy.

Yee--music! I *adore* the song "Hey" by the Pixies, so it was really interesting for me to think about why someone else wouldn't care for it :D

And YEAH, Tristan's ruminations on prejudice were heavily inspired by conversations I had in college!

Thank you SOSO much for your amazing, wonderful, insightful, BOUNTIFUL reviews! You are owed my first born!

xoxo
Roisin


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Review #18, by TidalDragon 

31st August 2014:
Back again! I don't know from your A/N if anyone has actually commented on the amount of exposition, but personally I think it's been fine. You've done a careful job of crafting these characters and you're doing it while things are actually happening (even if it's just primarily their social interactions or daily lives). It's been much more refreshing to read it done that way rather than the "BLAM - this is me" paragraphs that sometimes get thrown down early in novels.

Laurel - yikes - she's headed down a bad road it seems and I wonder if anybody aside from Isobel is actually noticing. It certainly doesn't seem that way, particularly where Tristan's concerned, since he seems to be the most indulgent. Isobel perhaps has her own problems though as it seems like the beginning of this chapter about her vanity and the tidbits about portion control could go in a dark direction if you so chose (though that might be a lot if you're going to explore Laurel's addiction too).

These kids are trouble too! Drugs, spell abuse, AND petty larceny! The Wizarding World needs to get a handle on this Hex Head reprobates!

I did notice one sure typo (second paragraph "rinsg" instead of "rings") and another couple words I questioned. In Isobel's description of her body you described her as generously proportioned in all "arenas". I didn't know if this was intentional or if you meant "areas". Likewise, when you mentioned Haitian "vodou", is that how they spell it historically? Since obviously here we know it as "voodoo" (I assume it's the later with your painstakingly accurate approach, but figured I'd ask, if for not other reason than my own education).

Keep up the great work!

Author's Response: Doing this super back-to-front, because it's a subject I'm really interested in:
YES, vodou is a creole spiritual tradition of the Afro-Caribbean based on West African religions (Vodun, Ifa) combined/disguised with western religion (similar to how Catholic Saints are repurposed in Santeria). "Voodoo" was invented by Hollywood, and is kind of racist. Vodou is still a major religion, and is practiced all over the African Diaspora!

Arenas was just a weird word choice I'll definitely reconsider! I wrote that, I think, because "arenas" are places where you either win or lose.

I suppose, thinking about it, the only comments I got on exposition were "it's a lot of exposition, but I like it"--and I just wanted to let readers know the story IS going places I swear!!! This plot is very slow-burning, and really meant to be character driven, so I'm SO GLAD that you think the characters are well done! If they weren't properly dimensional, the whole thing wouldn't work.

And YEAH, these kids are trouble. It's definitely not the *majority* of teenagers who engage in ALL of these behaviors, but this story is very much about the minority who do. A friend of mine read this fic, and he said this chapter was his favorite, because he remembered the situations it was based on. Shoplifting was, I remember, a very common kind of experimental behavior (especially among girls, for some reason). Age 15-16 saw a huge amount of petty theft from my peers, and I feel like it had a lot more to do with the adrenaline/process of it, than actually wanting or needing the stolen goods. This behavior ended up tapering off as people's identities and worldviews started to stabilize, and as they began to think critically about their place in the world. But being a teenager is, I think, to live in a world that you didn't make and can't control, and resent being affected by it. It feels like living underneath the adult world, and so kids go underground in various ways. They develop slang and new ways to use language, to distinguish insiders from outsiders, and bang against the conventions they inherited but did not create. Writing this story, and trying to be honest about what I remember, meant seeing objectively how messy and ugly growing up can be. And sure, not for all kids, or at least not in these specific ways--but for enough of them.


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Review #19, by AlexFan 

21st August 2014:
Oh goodness, I feel so bad for Isobel because she seems like such a nice person and I hate that she's so insecure about herself. She sounds like she's absolutely gorgeous. She's curvy, pretty, and incredibly intelligent, Isobel has it all. But the insecurity is what makes her more believable because the majority of girls out there are insecure about how they look even if there's nothing to worry about.

But while Isobel seems to be put together at all times of the day, Laurel is the exact opposite (I think Laurel needs to talk to somebody, because not wearing make-up is her choice but not being able to shower and a bad sleeping pattern, something is wrong here. She should have time to do basic things).

Since Isobel seems to have more control over herself than a lot of her other friends, I think it would take everyone the longest to figure out that she has a problem because she'd hide her feelings from everyone. I just feel like I really relate to Isobel because I know that feeling that she seems to has where she needs to have control of her surroundings and being very reserved about her feelings.

I don't know about you, but cassette tapes can be hella dangerous. My mom would have cassette tapes lying around when I was little and I'd just pulled the plastic out of it for fun and you could strangle someone with that stuff.

Laurels' cheering habit has already become a problem, it seems like this girl is going to crash and burn if she doesn't watch herself or get some help. I feel like if she doesn't do something soon about her Cheering Charm problem, things are going to become too much for her and she's going to hit a wall.

I like how even Tristan and his friends know when the time to smoke is and when it's time to study. I actually admire their ability to push aside their daily activities and focus on their work.

(Ah yes, the ancient Hufflepuff secret of having the kitchens right outside of your common room. On a side note, I actually really admire how much you've connected all of your characters into the story. You picked up the most obscure references and names and turned them into something relevant to your story.)

Author's Response: Yes! Exactly! Thank you! That was something I really wanted to explore here--because you're right, insecurity is a shame, and often, a waste. At the same time, it's far, far too common.

I liked the idea of Isobel and Laurel being best friends who contrasted one another, but how it can go too far. I also think that Laurel's reliance on Isobel has kind of let her get out of control, because she knows Isobel will pick up the pieces.

And you are spot on about Isobel! For each of the characters, I pulled something from my own personality, so that I could write it realistically (and a lot of attributes were inspired by my friends at this age)--so I'm really glad you can relate, and that it seems true to life!

Haha, casette tapes--good point. Then again, you could always use shoelaces or something to the same end, so I doubt Filch would be vexed in that regard ;)

And most definitely--Laurel's behavior is FAR from sustainable.

You're the first person to comment on their ability to prioritize. Something I get into later, is how it's very often the cleverest of kids who end up going down these dangerous paths. Partially because they question the status quo, and choose to live outside of it. While that's admirable on its own, being young is to generate many ideas, and they are necessarily only partially formed. It's easy to lose sight of important lines one might be crossing :(

Hahaha, your note on "Ancient Hufflepuff Wisdom" made me lol. And THANK YOU--before I even started writing, I found canon affiliations for all of the characters :D. I'm glad you appreciated!

You are wonderful, this was such a thoughtful review, and it was so encouraging to read!


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Review #20, by CambAngst 

9th July 2014:
Hello, again! Doing what I can to help with the big push, so for the record:

House Cup 2014 Review

I like the fact that Isobel owns her vanity. She does it and she does it well and she takes what most would consider a vice and makes it into a sort of personal virtue. In fact, this chapter really seems to be all about vices. Isobel is vain, Laurel is a charm junkie (gluttony?), Emily is a slag (lust) and Tristan has a real superiority complex where it comes to the muggle vs. magical (pride). That leaves out wrath, sloth and envy, but you can't have it all in a story with only four main characters I suppose.

And then, all of a sudden, Emily just gave up on boys, in order to wait patiently for Tristan to start paying attention to her. -- Ah! I'm pleased that I got this right in one of my earlier reviews.

It seems that they've planned out their trip to Hogsmeade quite thoroughly, obtaining necessary provisions and all that. A very realistic touch, based on my own experiences. To waste a day effectively, you need to make sure that everything is in place or you'll spend valuable slacking time addressing your wants and needs. That's way too much like productivity.

I love what you did with Filch. I wouldn't imagine a middle-aged squib who lives in a magical school would know much at all about muggle technology.

Laurel and Isobel are quite the pair as they make their way around the village. It's more often male characters who are written as this type of trouble-maker, and it was neat to see a pair of girls engaging in a devil-may-care day of recreational magic, petty theft and generally being obnoxious.

Hmmnn... who or what was inside the Hog's Head that chased Laurel away? Another small mystery?

You've done such a good job of keeping Tristan's music perfectly time and genre-appropriate. Kudos on all of your research and excellent taste.

Ha! Love the Hufflepuffs and their secrets to obtaining all manner of creature comforts.

I saw one lonely typo as I was reading:

She patted it once, and pinched the excess flesh around her naval. -- navel

Great job! I shall return soon.

Author's Response: Thank you for all of the reviews!!!

What you said about the seven sins is really interesting! Wrath and envy definitely make appearances, and even a little bit of sloth (although it's by far the least interesting sin.)

Writing their day in the village definitely involved me trying to channel my younger teenage self, and remembering all the ways intoxicated/giddy teenage girls can be obnoxious, and how they don't really care. I'm glad you found it realistic! And the comment that young women are rarely written that way was quite the complement.

Oh, I didn't mean for the Hogs Head to be such a mystery. Rather, Laurel just thought it looked very seedy, and that two teenage girls might do better NOT to go in.

And yes, lots of research into the music! I tried to comb through everything era-appropriate in order to find the songs that fit each person the best. And writing Isobel's distaste for the Pixies was fun, because I really like them.

AH, thank you for pointing out "naval"!!!

You're the best!





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Review #21, by emmacweasley 

6th July 2014:
House Cup 2014 Review

My favorite part of this chapter, I think, is how we are introduced to the Hogwarts kitchens. In most fics we just see that either everyone knows about it or it's kind of a flippant secret - but i LOVE the fact that the whole of Hufflepuff House knows about it. :) It's a lovely addition to the kitchen plot point. :) I think it's also very clever they they've gone off and found a place near Hogsmeade where electronics work. I've always wondered about muggle music and stuff like that within the wizarding world, and I mean, I know they have wizarding radio, but muggleborns probably have a hard time of it, don't they? with their transition into the wizarding world without any one of their regular electronics that they're used to using. Especially electricity!

I feel like telling you how much I love this story may become redundant soon, but that's just a chance I'll have to take. :)

emma

Author's Response: Yes, exactly!!!

I read that JKR came up with the idea of adult Harry first, and then reverse-engineered him to create the whole story. For that reason, the entire Potter-verse literally revolves around him. I think I mentioned in another review that I created Tristan to be the anti-Potter (cowardly, loves the muggle world, doesn't want to go back to school, wears contacts, hates Quidditch, Slytherin... Many other things too). I wanted to explore all of the implications of the magical world for people who *aren't* Harry Potter. And yes, HOW CAN TEENAGERS SURVIVE MONTHS ON END WITHOUT LISTENING TO THEIR FAVORITE MUSIC?

Thanks so so much for all these reviews!


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Review #22, by water_lily43175 

19th June 2014:
Ha, I share Isobel's bewilderment re copious hair loss. SO MUCH of my hair comes out every day, and yet it's still so thick and often untameable. Girl problems.

I really love how much thought you've put into identifying wands for each of the characters. It's nice to read the descriptions and work out how they identify with the specific person.

I really love how well you've developed all four characters, too. They've all become such vivid people with realistic flaws and hang-ups - Isobel's lack of confidence, Laurel's addiction to Cheering charms (and whatever it is that's bothering her which is leading to her wanting the charms) ... all of them are so well defined already and it's lovely.

And I also like that Isobel identifies things about her friends - namely Emily, here - which she doesn't like. Of course, people have traits which are bound to irritate others, and this again makes the four feel much more fleshed out and real.

More music, yay! Love a bit of Blondie! :)

Author's Response: RIGHT??!?! I *still* don't understand the hair thing.

I was SO happy when I looked into wand woods and cores that I was able to find matches that suited each of the characters so very, very well. I'm glad you appreciate it!

Also, I was really concerned that all the music would turn readers off, but I felt that it was a critical point, so I'm glad people are digging it!

xxx


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Review #23, by marauderfan 

13th June 2014:
This is going to be a more general review, I think. Your characters continue to shine. Although I don't feel like I know Laurel quite as well yet, due to the absence of her POV, the other three are really strong, and even without Laurel's POV she is an interesting person. I'm not entirely sure where the plot is heading at this point. And that's not a bad thing - I rather like the way it flows like daily life, which doesn't have a plot per se. It's kind of just days in the lives of misfit Hogwarts students. That said, I am looking forward to seeing how things progress.

Also, I have begun to wonder - will there be many other instances where we get to see the housemates of these characters? I enjoyed that exchange between the girls and Percy and Penelope, and I hope we get to see Penelope again in the future! :D

Your continued character development is great. The one thing that has me wondering, though, is Emily - you mention her sleeping with a number of people the previous term... when she was 14? That seems quite young for her to already have such a reputation considering she's just started fifth year.

But anyway, I think the story is coming along nicely and I'm excited to read more!

Regarding your A/N: don't worry about few reviews at this point. I think when anyone starts out, you feel like you're posting the story for your own amusement - but give it time ;)

Author's Response: I was actually quite concerned about it taking too long for the plot to pick up--I was very much following a hybrid story arc of HP meets Casual Vacancy (as I mentioned in the last review). Also, I wrote this whole thing before I even found HPFF (and oh man I'm thrilled such an incredible community exists), so I didn't write this with the intention of it being serialized. I definitely want to know what you think about these issues as the story progresses--please don't be shy with your criticism, I really do take it into account, edit the chapters, and am glad for it.

Oh Penelope is around--but her characterization generally says more about the ones perceiving her, than it does about her.

As for Emily. Yup. Although Harry is a special case, as his birthday is just before the cutoff time. Hermione, for example, is almost a year older than him (September birthday IIRC). Emily's birthday is February 29th (that's right), so technically "last term" indicates that she was 15. Which is not to say that your analysis was wrong.

And thank you for commenting on the A/N--I'm still VERY new to this site, so it's helpful to get feedback on such things. I will delete that now.

xoxo
Roisin


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