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10 Reviews Found

Review #1, by moonbaby11 

2nd September 2015:
I have returned for more!

Okay, have I told you how much I love Emily? Because I love Emily. A lot. She's probably my favourite character in the whole novel so I always have a special place in my heart for chapters from her pov. That being said, this one wrecked me. I knew Emily would have to find out about Tristan and Laurel eventually, but a small part of me was still desperately hoping that she wouldn't because I knew it would destroy her. Everything is falling apart in this group and I hate it! (but I also love it because, you know, drama)

I'm hoping we as an audience will FINALLY learn everything about Tristan once and for all very soon, what with the stuff revealed in this chapter. So now I'm assuming my guess from before was wrong -- he's still a Death Eater's kid but he's not a Lestrange? Or maybe I'm still right? I guess I'll have to wait until Tristan finally explains it all to his friends. (which I hope is soon because, like I said last chapter, I NEED ANSWERS!!)

I think the switching of povs here was really well handled, as this is the first chapter to do such dramatic switching. Everything still seemed coherent and still seemed to flow so you don't need to worry about that or anything! It's really refreshing to see things from Laurel's pov, actually, as she doesn't appear as often as the other three characters do. It's nice to get her side of the story sometimes.

I noticed two very small spelling mistakes but I can't, for the life of me, find them now. I'm super sorry about that! They weren't anything major and will probably be caught by the next person to review this chapter so don't worry!

I can't believe there's only like five chapters to go! I want to get to the end just to find out what happens but, at the same time, I don't want it to end! I'm sure you understand that feeling.

Author's Response: I am so crap for taking so long to respond to your amazing reviews! They just all made me so happy and I wanted to keep them up on the top of my profile so I could keep looking at them! But, alas, you deserve responses, so here I go.

It's so interesting because every reader seems to have a different favorite, or a different POV they enjoy most. Like, some people really resonate with Isobel while others super feel Tristan--and even a few ended up deciding that Laurel was their fave (though less, since she doesn't get a POV until halfway through). I think I'm with you and lean more toward Emily, because she's just really great and SMART in a subtle but profound way. But, like, I love them all so very much.

HA! I love what you said with "(but I also love it because, you know, drama)." Sometimes I get reviews that are all like "WHY IS EVERYTHING SO TERRIBLE WHY CAN'T IT JUST BE GOOD?" and yeah I totally know what people mean, but you totally hit the nail on the head: if terrible/dramatic things didn't happen, it would be VERY boring story indeed.

I'm SO GLAD you were still unsure of Tristan's backstory at this point. I've gone on and re-edited to make it less obvious (because people like you guessed correctly WAY earlier than I'd thought).

I think there's so much POV switching from here on because all of their lives are getting all messily entangled with one another. And then, yeah, Laurel got so little play earlier that she goes and snatches scenes from other peoples' chapter, in order to even it out. I really wanted to play with the difference between who Laurel is and how she'd been built up. Like, readers only meet her once she's gone through this change, and sort of have to piece together who she was before.

Oof! Spelling mistakes. Editing is like trying to decapitate a hydra. Everytime I fix one thing, I end up making two new issues. GAH. (Luckily I'm having this beta'd now!)

It really means so much to me that you got invested in this story! Like, I actually don't have words to explain my appreciation. Just: so much squee-ing.


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Review #2, by TidalDragon 

23rd August 2015:
Would you look at that! Great encouragement from Tonks! Wotcher indeed!

If you'll permit me a detour (I read and reviewed all of Diamonds Into Coal today, so I am all analytical on the star-crossed romances bit ATM - you should definitely read it BTW if you haven't), I can't help but feel for both Tristan and Emily in this scenario honestly. I can certainly understand where Emily is coming from and I think her reaction is altogether reasonable (though it's awful that now she too may be back-sliding) and at the same time...it's just another rough situation for Tristan, borne fully of his own mistakes granted, but I feel that he really does care for Emily and tried to own up in his own spineless and vague way with the note he wrote her. I wonder what will become of them now.

As you mention in your A/N however, I am very intrigued to see where this storm of the century you've been building winds up and where, as you so eloquently put it "the shrapnel flies." Will the group survive? Will it change its form? What will become of each of them as the year concludes?

Author's Response: I've never even heard of that story so I'm stoked for the recommendation!

I'm really glad that you can sort of feel for all characters. I wanted them all to be sympathetic, even when mistakes happened. Like, sometimes things are just really complicated and can't be simplified into right and wrong. There be nuances and variables and factors, which result in a giant, complicated mess.

I'm also really glad that you think this stuff has Gravity and Impact, because it's the sort of stuff that gets so easily written off as "teen drama." Compared to everything Harry goes through, it might be seen as rather petty or generally unimportant. But yeah, I don't believe in putting people's pain or experience on some sort of hierarchy. Maybe Harry is FIGHTING EVIL, but that doesn't mean that what's going on with Tristan and Emily doesn't matter to them.

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Review #3, by water_lily43175 

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

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


Author's Response: POOR ALL OF THEM!

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


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Review #4, by Slide 

6th June 2015:
Oh, sweet Emily, you keep being oblivious about why Isobel's mad at Tristan. AND YET she knows more and isn't telling, I'm going nuts. Unhelpfully this fuels my mad theory. The two of them smoking together is rather adorable, which makes me suspect horrible things are coming.

Mercifully this sequence with Laurel has proven my crazy theory about Tristan's parentage wrong, though I'm thus not so surprised on the child of a Death Eater (or associate) likelihood. I SHOULD, thus, have twigged a past association being the reason for Snape's sympathy towards Tristan.

My 'bad feeling about this' is intensifying. On the other hand, this duelling sequences, Laurel and then Emily and Tristan, is so acutely propelling that I'm mostly just gobbling up the chapter instead of pausing to scribble my notes.

But of course Laurel interrupts. :-D Oh, no. 'He should have chucked it in the lake right then.' That's one of them sentences. No good will come of this.



Though I adore Laurel's fractured panic here. It's so real, so genuine, but it also really gets across the SITUATION, of how many problems are rolling together. Not just her mentality and struggling to deal with it.

*flips table* THERE IT IS. There's Emily's damage. It was only a matter of time, wasn't it? You crazy kids. In other news, references to Weetabix are making me think altogether too much about breakfast cereals at Hogwarts. There's a LOT to contemplate this chapter.

Isobel wins my love again for trying to do right by Emily in telling her about Tristan and Laurel. It may or may not be the right thing, but she's at least being assertive and not foolish and it's with good intentions. It's rare for the foursome to do something ACTIVE to help one another, especially if it's risky. And done in a bit of an overbearing manner. And yet I cannot help but love Emily a little bit more for lying, because she has every reason to lie.

It was so shocking to read Emily being satisfied in having a nasty thought about her friends that I laughed inordinately loud at her bursting into tears immediately after. Poor girl.

I adore how Bonky helping is very sweet, and sincere - and then you wildly avert a stereotype like Bonky giving some sort of MESSAGE to give Emily a whole new perspective to fix her problems. Bonky is nice. Bonky says nice things. Bonky does not save the day. Poor Bonky.

And then Tonks DOES give the important messages. Very sad from a reader's perspective, and I suspect the foursome will be okay in the end, but she's so entirely right about different social groups in different phases of life. Media, and the Potter books, try to convince us of lifelong friendships struck up from the very first, but it's nice to see it being pointed out that sometimes this isn't just unrealistic, but unwise.

Anyway, this chapter was a ROLLERCOASTER. I'd call it the best one yet, and it probably IS, but I know 'best' chapters are almost always the product of all the ones which came before in a story like this. So it would undermine the groundwork for me to elevate this chapter above its fellows. It's ALL brilliant.

Author's Response: "Something is adorable. Horrible things must be coming." You know me so well.

I'm really glad that the Snape thing wasn't obvious at the time, but clicks in retrospect. I'd never written ANYTHING before this, let alone a mystery sub-plot, so I had no idea if it was too obvious or too subtle.

Also pleased to hear that the POV alternation did what I wanted with pace! This is the first time there are rapid POV shifts, or, indeed, a lot of POV shifts in one chapter, so I hoped it would come off. There's just so little that actually HAPPENS in this story (I prefer to use the euphemism "character driven") so I tried to make kinda simple stuff as exciting as possible, since there's zero action ever.

Ooh yes, Omniscient Narrator stepped in to condemn the potion. There are actually a few things going on there ;) [one of which was a bit of foreshadowing that I hadn't even intended. Then I was like, "oh crap, I know what's gonna happen..."]

Bah! Your reviews, more than anyone else's, make me snort-laugh.

Oh Emily... I still feel guilty about doing that to her. I just LIKED her too much, and realized that that was a mistake. It clouded my judgement with her character, and it meant she wasn't being fully utilized. But yeah... the guilt...

Yeah, I still don't know whether telling Emily was the right choice, but you totally nailed it that at least Isobel's intentions were genuine and pure. This is something that will continue to develop, but Emily hates the idea of being cast as naive.

I SUPER didn't want to make the House Elf infinitely wise and silver-bullet-y. Bonky is great here--she offers sympathy, a bit of advice, and support, but yeah. She's not Dumbledore.

It kinda hurt to give that advice from Tonks... I mean, I'm actually still surprisingly close to all the friends I had as a teenager, but there are a few I lost touch with who I really loved once. It's sad thinking about it, at the time, that it could happen someday. But when it does... There's a reason you lose touch.

Oh THANK YOU SO MUCH! I really hoped readers would appreciate the way I built to this. This story was all pre-written, and written all at once, so it has a narrative arc over multiple chapters rather than an episodic structure with an arc within individual chapters. I know it means losing readers, but it means SO MUCH to get a review like this where someone appreciates how it all comes together. THANK YOU!

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Review #5, by Gabriella Hunter 

29th May 2015:

This is Gabbie from the forums dropping by with your review and I'm SO sorry that it's taken me this long! I would have been here sooner but some real life stuff kept popping up. Whenever I was able to get online, I'd have to do boring grown up stuff. It's such a pain!

Anyway, it's good to be back! There was so much that happened in this chapter and I'm not sure if I'll be able to touch on every monumental thing but I'm going to try! I liked that we're back in Emily's head, I was wondering how things would play out now (Especially after the Tristan/Laurel thing) and it didn't disappoint. I liked that she was beginning to see just how sick Isobel is becoming and I wonder how the group will handle the issue. There was so much happening though that I don't think they'll be able to get to that particular problem anytime soon.

I enjoyed the moment that Emily had with Tristan, I can kind of see how they would be as a couple but at the same time, I still wonder if they'd be any good for each other. They've liked each other for so long but even still, that doesn't necessarily mean that they'll last. I'm not sure if that's what you were going for but while they were in their "bubble" I couldn't help but think that and one thing that I really loved was Emily's patience with him. Now, anyone else might have been too aggressive with trying to get answers out of Tristan but I appreciated the fact that Emily backed down somewhat once he began to get uncomfortable. They were speaking in a strange rhyme though that I don't think even they understood but there was something about that was surreal and touching. I had my fingers crossed for that kiss.

And then Laurel happened.

Now, I'm going to say that my jaw dropped a little with her entire section. I know that you haven't strayed from your POV in each chapter like this but I think they blended well. I was still able to follow everything without it feeling choppy so good job on that! Anyway, Laurel discovered something about Snape that she could use against him (Though I'm going to give him points here for not denying it) and Tristan's secret is finally revealed!

I had a feeling that it was Death Eater related but I was still shocked. What is Laurel going to do now with that knowledge? I'm worried that she's going to start self-spelling again too, where did she vanish to? Gah, I'm so anxious for the next chapter! I want to know if she's going to get expelled!

I'm really curious to find out how the gang will cope with all of these monumental changes. Emily is already starting to branch out more towards other people and I loved that you included this point: You can have as many friends as you want but that doesn't mean you have to let them rule your emotions.

I know that's not exactly what the lovely Tonks said in her letter but it's pretty much what I thought. Letting go is a huge step in growing up and I really love this aspect for the story, I hope that it won't be too late though. ;___;

Thanks so much for the read!

Much love,


P.S.: Here's something fun for you since you include music lyrics. You should go listen to The Weeknd's song "Earned it" while reading the first chapter of Audrey Tang. It will blow your mind with it's awesomeness!

Author's Response: You continue to astonish me with how amazing and insightful your reviews are! And whatever you say, I still think of them as DAMN timely!

I'm really glad your felt ambivalent about Tristan/Emily. That scene was an absolute monster to write, and I wrestled with it to no end. And your comment about it being 'surreal' is just SO flattering. I really struggled with the tone, and never wanted it to go too far in the "sweet" direction, while still keeping it, like, sweet at times (and then pull back and make it Complicated). And the 'strange rhyme' comment--yes! They are very much talking around things there, and it all gets very abstract and strange. This story is rather a shipper's nightmare, but in reality, teen relationships are rarely Grand Romances.

I'm really glad the rapid POV shifts worked! I wanted to kind of build suspense and all, and also, liked the idea that POVs stay less consistent now that their lives are getting so mixed up together.

Getting reader reaction on Laurel for her whole section is always really interesting. Some people are furious at her for her selfishness, while others admire her bravery in facing Snape and discretion for keeping Tristan's secret. For some, it's the moment they start to really like her, while others only hate her more for it. And I think there's a case to be made for both perspectives--Laurel is a lot of things. Chiefly, she is young. And you're right--it's heavily implied that she went and self-spelled in the bathroom after everything :(

I think that's a pretty solid interpretation of Tonks' letter :) Emily, out of all of them, is probably the best equipped to make new friends. The other ones have a complicated sort of cocktail of Shame and Superiority that makes it difficult for them to get on with others, but Emily doesn't struggle with all of that.

Oh man, listened to that song and YEAH you are right! It fits really well, and as it's a long song, so it carries through most of the chapter!


(PS, I posted the first four chapters of my novella and totally plugged "This is Audrey Tang" in the A/N of C2!)

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Review #6, by AlexFan 

31st October 2014:
Either something is so wrong that even Emily is picking up on her friends acting weird, no matter how hard they try to hide it, or her friends are being really obvious and she’s just a little bit slow to catch onto the problems that all of them are having. It feels like Isobel’s friends know that she’s suffering from anorexia and yet none of them seem to be doing anything. I get the whole stay in your lane thing but I mean come on, your friend is clearly struggling here, they need to do something to help her out before any more damage is caused.

You know, for someone that is so hostile and disliked, people arrive at the most ridiculous conclusions whenever Severus Snape is involved. Like really, a love letter?

Why Laurel? Just, why? She knows she’s in the wrong, she had no right to go snooping through Snape’s stuff like that, why does she just make the situation worse for herself? Does she really think that threatening a teacher is going to make her case any better, and it was stupid to do as well because she’s right, everyone does know about Snape’s past, and of course he’s got a tattoo. Albus Dumbledore is not an idiot, Laurel wouldn’t be telling him anything that he doesn’t already know about Snape. Honestly, there’s more evidence against her than there is against Snape. I just, I just wish she’d keep her mouth shut. It sucks to be wrong but if you can’t admit it then just keep your mouth shut before you do something stupid.

For people who are supposed to be friends, no one seems to be treating each other properly, I really think that everyone needs some time to themselves to figure things out and to prioritize. I feel like being friends is too much for everyone, if you can’t take care of yourself, you can’t look after your friends and everyone is just a mess right now. Those Hufflepuff’s that Emily spent time with seem like good people, see, why doesn’t she hang around them sometimes and pick up some good habits?

And I like how supportive Tonks was, I can see her giving advice to younger friends and helping them out, besides, she gave very good advice at that. It’s nice that Emily has at least one person that she looks up to and can talk to.

Author's Response: I sort of think that Emily is *usually* pretty in tune with her friends, unless she's at the center of something, then she kind of misses it. But that's the other weird thing about this story, you meet everyone knowing they've been one way, but mostly spend the length of the narrative watching them change/retreat into themselves. Like, it takes til about the end to get a sense of what Laurel was like *before*, because all of them are having *phases.*

Aha - yes, definitely a silly conclusion there :) And yeah, Laurel definitely doesn't have as much information as we do, and DEFINITELY didn't think through all of her behavior. I don't think she handles panic very well at all at this stage.

That is a very astute analysis! And I think Emily is leaning quite the same direction you are :) And yes! SOMEONE needed to offer some sage words in this chapter, and it was a great excuse to bring Tonks back!

Thank you so much for the review!! This is definitely the beginning of the most excruciating story arc yet :/ (always darkest before the dawn!)

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Review #7, by crestwood 

15th September 2014:
I'm glad that Emily at least notices that Isobel isn't eating much. She pays a lot more attention to the rest of her friends than anyone other than Isobel herself, who refuses to take a look inwards. I am not surprised that Tristan has decided to continue keeping his secret from his friends. I mean, that's what he's been doing all along and he knows that Emily isn't going to tell them, so in his mind nothing has changed. And he knows that Emily is much more accepting than them, having been the reason he was invited into the group, (if I remember correctly) and just generally the nicest as well.

Tristan and Emily's 'almost' kisses inside of those bubbles are just what you'd expect of those two. Seems like a thinly veiled way to be close, without being emotionally close.

It's actually a huge step forward for Laurel to be losing some of her nihilistic attitude, even if it is causing some stress. She is in a really bad situation as far as exams go, with so much school missed and failing out of school doesn't seem like it'd go well in the Wizarding World.

Right when I saw that the envelope said 'For Tristan R. Bryce.' I knew she'd find out. This means I was right about Tristan's father being a Death Eater, which narrows down things a bit. The Big Thing is so big that even if I've guessed right, I'm pretty sure it's going to feel so good to find it out for certain. I am just blown away by the way you've revealed this secret a little at a time, I don't know how you keep yourself from spilling all of it in like the fifth chapter just to see people's reactions. I'm honestly scared of what Snape will do now that Laurel knows he's a Death Eater. I mean, I know he's good at this time period, but that doesn't mean he's nice.

I love Tristan's assertion that it's not just because Emily's muggle-born - it's because she's better. He has a pretty solid point there, I think.

Wow, I don't think you're going to expel Laurel.. are you?

I find her being rather bold for having found out that Snape is an ex-Death Eater. For all she knows, he's still active and would have no issue using Dark Magic to cover up his past. Of course, he's not going to, but I think she's especially brave to stand up to him that way in light of not knowing that.

I can't believe you cut off their kiss. I mean, I knew it was going to happen, but I can't believe. you set it up all so perfectly. Laurel getting caught by Snape just as Tristan and Emily are out walking by the lake.. of course THIS is when it all happens. There's no other time it could have, in this story. Things couldn't have gone right because that'd be too easy and none of these characters ever really have it easy. Amazing how all of the storylines connect, I'll tell you.

It's really mature of Laurel not to tell Isobel about Tristan's secret and instead deflected with the fact that he was in the process of snogging Emily when she found him.

I wish Tristan would take back that note to Emily. His insistence that he's a terrible guy is just really, really troubling.

It was so sad to watch Emily pretend to know about Laurel and Tristan. I don't think this is going to go over so well for Isobel's cherished group dynamics.

Emily is going to integrate with the other fifth year Hufflepuffs.. interesting. I can imagine that she'd be the one most likely to be accepted into other groups, as she is the most outwardly normal and stable of all of them.

Ah!! I love the letter from Tonks! Her advice is perfect and she might be exactly who Emily needs looking out for her. Clearly her thoroughly messed up friends may not be the most reliable source of help for whatever emotional issues she may be going through. Isobel patronizes her, Laurel can't see anything but herself and Tristan just blames himself for everything. Not exactly a bunch of role models, I'd say. I think I can feel the way the shrapnel is set to fly and things look to get worse before they get better. This is only getting better, somehow.

Side Note: Your nomination for Best Reviewer means SO much to me!! Considering how much I love and respect your work, having you appreciate my input is something I don't think I'll ever forget. Just.. thank you so much, really.

Author's Response: Oh Emily the Hufflepuff! Definitely the most compassionate of the bunch, and you remember correctly: the very reason he has friends at all!

And SHOTGUNNING! I had nearly forgotten about that little facet of teenage flirtation, but once it came back to me, I KNEW I had to include it ;)

Laurel definitely has a ways to go rebuilding her life. It was such a weird and difficult thing to write about, because there's so much anxiety and frustration implicit to that. So it could easily come off as either inaccurate, or just a CHORE to read, so I really struggled with navigating that complexity. I hope you think I did it well!

Hahah! The Big Thing was originally fully revealed in Chapter 10! But then since the other characters didn't know, it was almost silly to string along this mystery that the reader was totally aware of. So right before I uploaded Ch10, I rehauled the whole thing and pushed the reveal to the end. I wouldn't be surprised if you guess it all way in advance, since you've so far managed to pick up on every little nuance in this story :)

I love your comment about Laurel being brave there! You're totally right, and she has no reason to think he's as reformed as we know he is. I really do think Laurel has a lot of great qualities, and it was interesting for me to basically pick her up at her very worst.

EE! So this chapter was probably the most exciting for me to write! It's the first one that switches between POVs so much, and has a really different pace to the rest of the story. I'm SO GLAD that it came across! (I also sort of thought of it like this: POVs start conforming less to chapter-by-chapter rotations at this part of the story, because all of their lives are getting so mixed up).

It's so interesting seeing the different responses to Laurel here! Some people were really angry with her in this chapter, and they were totally right to be so, but then you see her as being "mature" and "brave." I think each analysis is totally valid. I really wanted so much of this story to be open to interpretation (hence the little "moral relativism" thing you picked up on in Chapter 9), and I just am SO SUPER STOKED that it worked!

Oh man, that note he wrote to Emily is one of many times writing this that I just wanted to smack Tristan SO BAD. UGH!

There were only so many ways I could get away with including Tonks in this story, and I basically took advantage of ALL OF THEM! Sometimes the hardest thing writing this is switching from "immature and half-formed teen perspective" to "wise mature perspective." Like, I actually sat around and brainstormed about Wise Things Dumbledore could say. And then Tonks would necessarily have a different flavor of mature wisdom from Dumbledore, or Sprout, or Mary.

Of COURSE I would nominate you best reviewer! You consistently leave such analytical, insightful reviews, and do such an amazing job unpacking the nuances of every chapter. And I've seen your reviews on other stories too, so I know you somehow manage both quality AND quantity! I can't even begin to explain how valuable your reviews are, because all of us here are trying to learn as writers, and it can be really hard to objectively see what works and doesn't work about your own writing. I think the single most important thing for me in writing/posting this story here was learning what my strengths were (and that I even had any!)--that's something I get too keep forever now, and has really encouraged me to continue writing, and make it a Real Thing I Do!


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Review #8, by CambAngst 

7th September 2014:
Hi! First off, let me say that working for money is a horrible, debilitating thing. If you can possibly avoid growing up and living like an adult, I strongly suggest it.

"You really should tell them." Emily knew her eyebrows were arching at the middle beseechingly. -- Sometimes I think you should subtitle this story, "If they'd only listen to Emily..." In all seriousness, she's usually the one with the best perspective on matters. I don't think Tristan is anywhere near ready to deal with this situation yet, but she's definitely on the right track.

You know, for someone who prefers the muggle way and engages in so much self-loathing over his magical side, Tristan is actually a very powerful wizard. Not in the sense of excelling in his classes, although I'm sure that's only because of lack of effort, but when he wants to he seems capable of some really advanced things like this bubble he's summoned. I really wish I knew how to summon one of those when I was in college...

Oh, boy. So that's where Fred and George got the bottle of potion they gave Laurel. One thing I love about this story is how you can never take anything for granted, no matter how small. These little items and conversations and details weave in and out of the story and they always seem to come back at some really pivotal moment. You are an amazing storyteller!

Speaking of, the pictures! And here I thought those were only going to haunt Tristan directly. Seems as though the indirect damage will be problematic, as well.

Emily couldn’t tell if Tristan was pivoting away from a difficult subject out of cowardice, or toward a difficult subject out of courage. He evaded as he breathed. -- Easily the most meaningful line of the entire chapter, if not the story to date. A huge part of this story, at least for me, is being amazed at just how hard Laurel, Isobel and especially Emily work at being Tristan's friend. In one sense he makes it easy, but in another he makes it so very difficult. It's incredibly hard being friends with somebody you don't really know.

Oh, no. This makes, I think, the third time that Laurel has left Tristan in a very, very difficult and/or dangerous position. First she kept getting hexed with him, then she slept with him, now this. If Laurel survives, the poor guy deserves some sort of medal. Gah! And to top it all off, she ruins his perfect moment with Emily! OK, that wasn't even the topper. Then she nearly tells Isobel that he's some sort of junior Death Eater and to try to recover from that blunder, she makes up something about him snagging Emily. And the coup de grace is going to the bathroom to get hexed by herself. I think it's going to be a while before I can completely forgive her for this chapter's performance.

Wow. The harder Isobel tries to "fix" things, the worse she seems to make them. I hate how much worse it all makes Emily feel.

In less than a year, Laurel had become a mess, Isobel had become a skeleton, and Tristan had become a tosser. It seemed logical that Emily should be allowed to change roles as well. -- At least she hasn't lost perspective, though.

Aww, she wrote to Tonks for advice! And it seems that Tonks had some pretty good perspective to share with her. As much as I want Emily and Tristan to, I don't know, launch themselves at one another, it would be wise for Emily to take things slow. If Tristan gets involved before he's really ready, things will get messy.

I loved this chapter, but when haven't I? Good luck in the Story of the Month competition!

Author's Response: WHAT? SotM COMPETITION???

OH MY GOD! Just checked out the forum-- *cries* THANK YOU!

Everything you and Kevin wrote--I can't. AH! It was so perfect, and flattering, and amazing!

Ok, after calming down a little bit, the review:
THANK YOU, AH. (must calm down again). It's so heartening to me that you really seem to *get* this story. I knew, writing it, that it wouldn't be for everyone, but I suspected it would be for some people. It means so much to me all the care and insight you put into these reviews!

I love your comment about subtext! There is actually one moment of omniscient narrator in this chapter ("he should of chucked in the lake right then"--followed by an audible "DUN DUN DUN"), and I think it was the first in the story.

It was super important to me to kind of introduce all of this information without comment, and from the differing perspectives of the kids themselves. But I really hoped that readers would sort of interpret the stuff, and I definitely hoped people would come to certain conclusions themselves, so I'm SO GLAD that's working!

And yes! Tristan really is quite clever and talented, he just resents the magical world so much that he puts in minimal effort, if any.

Having a tightly plotted narrative was definitely the benefit of writing and editing it all before uploading--I have NO IDEA how you and other authors manage such careful stories while writing in a serialized way. That other authors can track all the subplots and details is amazing to me!

And yee, that line! I was really proud of it myself, and it might be my favorite too!

I definitely learned, when I was this age, that sometimes when friends are being the most difficult and unlikable, it's when they need you the most. Someone would start being just awful, but it didn't take too much thought to see that something was going on with them. I'm really glad for your comment about their "working" to be his friend.

Speaking of which--Laurel really does behave pretty badly. I feel like all of her own problems have taken up all her available emotional space, so she's has very little left to consider how her actions affect others :(

And yeah, Isobel is something of a meddler. But then again, the longer Emily would go on not knowing, the worse she would feel later. Knowing these kinds of secrets is terrible, because there is no right way to go about it.

And YES about things getting messy if they started a relationship! Plus, things can't get to good for either of them too soon, or the story would be rather dull. And I just couldn't help bringing Tonks back :) And she looks up to Tonks, so it seemed the best course of action.

Thank you SO MUCH for nominating this for Story of the Month! I can't even deal with the flattery!

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Review #9, by marauderfan 

12th July 2014:
So much happened in this chapter! Often I review as I read but there was just too much that happened and I forgot to write stuff down because I was too absorbed in the story :p

Here's a list of my general thought after reading this chapter.

Tristan and Emily were really cute in the beginning, her knowing what he's about to say before he says it, just aw. Especially so because I know it will still take ages for them to get together thanks to Tristan being a jerk.

Laurel knows Tristan's secret... and Snape's secret as well! So Tristan did grow up in a family of Death Eaters until he was about 6.

WHY did the Weasley twins steal that potion? It's nothing but trouble. Here's the line that stood out the most: He should have chucked it in the lake right then. -- Can anyone tell me what FORESHADOWING is? Uh oh. This does not bode well, I know it.

Emily is starting more self destructive behaviour now too. Nooo!! I did like that she found at least temporary friendship with her fellow Hufflepuffs, who would be good at keeping her away from destructive things, and I'm SO glad she wrote to Tonks! Yay for Tonks saving the day.

There's more I would like to say but I'm going to cut off this review now because I think my dinner is burning, oops. But I'll be back to read the last chapter in a bit. :p

Author's Response: This chapter is definitely a major point in the story--it's the first where the POVs shift so rapidly, because they're lives are all getting to tangled up. And it was the first really long chapter. Plus "He should have chucked it in the lake right then" is the first time that an omniscient narrator really speaks.

"Belvina" was a name I got from the Pureblood family trees. In like the 1800s there was a Belvina Black who married into the Burke family. Which, since they are all distantly related, still doesn't tell you anything about Tristan's real parentage. Your Rookwood theory stands.

I'm glad you liked Tristan and Emily's lake scene! I wanted there to be a lot of sweetness there, but I still wanted to pull back ("he evaded as he breathed"). True Romance is difficult at 15-16.

It's implied that Emily had some old, and existing burn marks. I hope that came across!

As for the Hufflepuffs/Tonks--I was really stoked when I read about Redwood wands, because I knew I wanted that for Emily. They're considered lucky, because people with Redwood wands tend to land on their feet, and snatch opportunity from catastrophe.

Go rescue your dinner! And thank you so much for taking the time to leave these reviews!!!

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Review #10, by emmacweasley 

6th July 2014:
WOW, another really great chapter! I loved the plot progression in this, particularly how you are letting everything unfold. You're really great at knowing how to unravel all of your different story lines in such a way that leaves the reader in suspense and satisfies them enough at the same time. What I mean to say, I suppose, is that you've got great timing.

I loved the fact that emily went to Tonks for advice, and I loved her reply letter. I do hope that Tristan gets his head out of his butt soon and that Isobel gets some help and that Emily feels empowered and Laurel is able to see past everyone who's judging her and also doesn't get kicked out and I hope Snape just this one time falls flat on his face about something.

In other words, I've got a lot of feelings, and I wish that the queue was getting your chapters through as fast as they were during Event Three of the house cup.

Until next time,

Author's Response: Sque!

I loved writing this chapter because it was the first bits of action and suspense! And action/suspense are hard to come by when Voldemort isn't a major presence in their lives ;)

I weirdly appreciate what you said about Tristan and the location of his head! In fact, all of your character comments! That is precisely where each of them is at.

And Tonks! When I realized she overlapped with them, I simply couldn't resist weaving her in where I could--letters, memories.

Thank you again for all of your wonderful reviews! It means so much for someone to take the time to think deeply, and offer thoughtful insight!


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