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9 Reviews Found

Review #1, by moonbaby11 

4th September 2015:
OKAY WAIT, I TAKE BACK WHAT I TOOK BACK LAST CHAPTER -- TRISTAN TOTALLY IS A LESTRANGE, RIGHT? BECAUSE THE NARCISSA IS BELLATRIX'S SISTER AND IT ALL MAKES SENSE!

Okay, enough capslock for now. This chapter was really sad for me, in the weirdest of ways. I think this is the first chapter where everyone has been really separate. Emily and Isobel don't really make an appearance and even the moment shared between Tristan and Laurel is really small and it feels like more happens with them when they're not together. It's just so sad to see the friends apart, at least in my opinion. It made the chapter feel so weird (although not in a bad way, don't worry!).

I loved the use of the Mirror in this chapter. I thought what Tristan saw was really touching, wanting to be more like his adoptive parents, and it brought a smile to my face. I've never seen a character look into the mirror and see something like that so I was really excited that that was the route you took with him. Speaking of the mirror, your Dumbledore is amazing! Honestly, I could picture Richard Harris' voice in my mind as I was reading those lines. It just all felt so canon! I also liked hearing what he actually saw in the mirror, as opposed to what he tells Harry in the books.

I really love love love reading chapters from Mary's pov. I find it so interesting and almost refreshing to break away from the angsty teenagers a bit to look into the mind of a caring mother. I think she's such an interesting character and I just really enjoy her a lot. Just thought I'd throw that out there.

I haven't read or seen High Fidelity (I've been meaning to watch the movie though) but I kind of love that you tossed that reference in. It's just so odd to think of a HP/HF crossover, which I suppose this technically is, but it works so I guess that's all that matters!

I'm super pumped to keep reading! Here's hoping that Tristan's suspension will bring the friends back together? Maybe? Please?

Author's Response: OK, so maybe it isn't SUCH a bummer for people to figure things out in advance. Originally, Tristan's whole backstory wasn't meant to be a secret and I was gonna explain it in the prologue. Then that ended up not happening, and it all got revealed during his awkward tea with Snape. THEN, super duper LAST MINUTE, I decided to string it along until the end.

There's definitely a lot of fracturing here, and I'm really glad that it was effectively SAD-MAKING. Like, arguably, their relationships were all a bit unhealthy. But are they better apart? I don't know. But I don't THINK so.

YEE, I was very oddly proud of Tristan's mirror image myself :) I'm really glad that struck the right chord. And GAH DUMBLEDORE. Talk about a terrifying character to write! Like, it's almost presumptuous to try because he's so wise. I read a bunch of stuff canon stuff Dumbledore had said first and then was all like "HM, what's the wisest stuff I can think of?" I am SO GLAD you thought it worked YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW.

YES! Sprout and Mary's POVs were definitely intended as a sort of break from the teenage POV. Like, to sort of pull back and get a more mature perspective. I mean, both of them still struggle about what to do with these kids, but I think they're at least better equipped to conceptualize of what's going on. And YAY I'm glad you like Mary, because she's sort of ME in a weird way. Like, I tried to imagine what I would do/think/say in her position, which was kind of perfect, because I wanted her to be flawed-yet-justified and imperfect-yet-sympathetic, and I'm way too young to have a kid this age and I don't know the right thing to do, so I could really /sell/ her POV.

OK SO HIGH FIDELITY. I haven't read the book in YEARS, so I don't know how well it holds up, but the movie is definitely amazing and fantastic. Different, but just as good (if not better). There are some differences, the main one being that the movie is set in London in the late 80s and the movie is set in Chicago in the late 90s. But yeah, I DEF recommend the movie, and might recommend the book.

GAH YOUR REVIEWS ARE THE BEST EVER I CAN'T EVEN. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.

xoxo
Roisin


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Review #2, by TidalDragon 

23rd August 2015:
Ahh the shrapnel truly has been set flying. I was glad to learn more of Tristan's background, even if it is incredibly awful. And it's quite intriguing to think that Draco almost had an adopted brother. I wonder how he might've turned out differently if that had really transpired. Now I need the origin of the mysterious "R" and the true identity of his parents. I need it Roisin. I NEED IT. Oh...his middle name isn't Roisin is it? :p I really wonder what will become of Tristan upon his return to Hogwarts as well. Will his former friends rally around him or will the disintegration continue? Surely, Laurel owes him, but the pressure from her parents may be too much. And Isobel's would obviously frown on him, though they'd have their own problems with her soon enough I'd imagine.

The thing I definitely wanted to heap praise on you for those is DUMBLEDORE. I have written him TWICE in Evolution and the most recent was a mangled, tangled MESS. But you have gotten his speech down brilliantly, and made his appearance as impactful as it should've been. Very interesting what he had to say about Laurel...I wonder what impact that and the freedom of fear from expulsion (for the moment) will have on her as well.

Onward onward, ever onward!

Author's Response: Ha! I NEVER EVEN THOUGHT about the fact that my name starts with R! No wonder I was so drawn to that specific name :P

*flails* I'M SO GLAD YOU LIKE THE DUMBLEDORE. He is SO SCARY to write! Like, it's almost presumptuous to try, you know? Seeing as he's hella WISE and all. Like, what do I know?

I kinda tried to go with what Rowling did, where he's sort of the Voice of the Author (but then obscured with a layer of whimsy). He's probably the only character in this whole story who I ever fully agree with. Everyone else represents /a/ perspective, but his is /my/ (omniscient "I wrote it") perspective.


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Review #3, by water_lily43175 

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

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

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

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

Another excellent chapter :)

-Ellie

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

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

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

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

XOXOXOXOXOXO
-Roisin


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Review #4, by Slide 

6th June 2015:
Ha, I can totally see Tristan expecting Emily to still stick around. Poor Tristan, it's not an unreasonable expectation, but good for Emily for looking out for herself in a situation like this. She does rather deserve it.

Of course, buying her brother's weed off the twins to have some semblance of contact with her is kind of amazingly pathetic. I must salute it. Oh my GOD, if Hufflepuff lost the Quidditch game because Emily got them high at practice, that's kind of amazing.

Drinking the Draught of Tranquility? No good will come of this.

Angry portraits offended by teenaged snogging are the BEST. Oh, you two crazy, destructive kids.

For some reason I randomly assumed they'd found the Room of Requirement. If so, I must commend you for your rather brilliant deconstructing of the trope of characters sneaking in there for illicit sex. Obviously it usually has more rose petals and silk sheets under such circumstances. And if it is the Room, then that makes a lot of sense, Dumbledore trying to hide the Mirror of Erised in there before realising this is just no use. It's a good idea to try.

I love Dumbledore. It's so hard to get his whimsy right, though, and you do it better than any fic writer I've read. The perfect balance of whimsical and insightful.

Oh good, it seems I was right about the Room of Requirement. Phew, I thought I was crazy. Poor Tristan's desires from the mirror are understandable and saddening.

Snape, why can't you be supportive to OTHER children of your old friends, hmm?

And Tristan does what is probably a noble thing in taking the blame. I love how ambiguous and awkward it is - why SHOULD Tristan take the blame for other people, though arguably it would be unfair for poor Laurel to suffer more. But his logic is sound even if blaming him is unfair, so I have to respect his choice here.

...okay, this scene with Lucius and Mary is bringing my crackpot theory back, if ONLY because of the reference to Narcissa - why else would it matter what she knew about Tristan? Oh, you and your wily ways with labelling photographs unexpected things! I must know!

On the other hand, this has opened us up to whole new insights as to how Tristan's mind worked; I was confident on my guess (in terms of Death Eater parents, rather than my crackpotting), but the specifics paint a much more disturbing picture - even if it makes a lot more sense for him.

And I thought I was going crazy with the High Fidelity reference until you confirmed it. It's been so long that I thought I was just slightly sleep-deprived and mad. :D

Poor Tristan! Great chapter.

Author's Response: It sucks to admit, but Tristan really HAS sort of taken advantage of Emily and his assumption that she would always be there. GUH, it just sucks. Because he kinda DESERVES someone to love him unconditionally, after the life he's lead. He has his parents, but since he's at boarding school, they aren't really around. Then again, that's a LOT to put on Emily, and she too deserves to think of herself just now.

There is exactly no other reason Hufflepuff could have lost so badly. I am forced to assume that they were all just high out of their minds.

I liked the idea that the sum of Hogwarts' parts result in a larger whole which is sorta sentient. Also, angry offended portraits are funny ;)

ON THE RoR: if it COULD have just been any random classroom or cupboard, it would have been. BUT, I needed to have the Dumbledore convo and mirror (and he's hardly move the mirror to just some other rando classroom, since he tells Harry that it's being moved somewhere he can't find it, and I needed something convincing to get over the implication that it had immediately been moved to the restricted 3rd floor corridor). AND, I needed Laurel to wake up alone, but DIDN'T want to have Tristan actually just leave her there. SO, yeah, RoR it had to be!

UGH Dumbledore is SO hard to write! I'm really glad you thought this was at least close! There's just something so PRESUMPTUOUS about trying to write someone so wise...

This story is just SO MUCH ambiguity layered on ambiguity, with some ambivalence thrown in for good measure. Life is hard, I guess? Being a teeanger sucks? THERE ARE NO RIGHT ANSWERS. EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED, AND IT'S ALL MUSHY. THERE A MULTIPLE TRUTHS, AND THEY ALL HAPPEN AT ONCE, EVEN IF THEY ARE IN CONFLICT. Emily probably gets it better than anyone else.

Tristan represents a much clearer line of cause and effect than the others. Hates being confined/enjoys time outdoors? Was confined as a child. Gets really despondent when lonely/needs a lot of attention? Suffered terrible neglect in early life. Extreme self-loathing and pathological obsession with all things muggle? DEATH EATER PARENTS.

YOU ARE THE FIRST ONE TO PICK UP THE HIGH FIDELITY REFERENCE! Just... Early nineties! Muggle london! Record store! It HAD to be done!


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Review #5, by Gabriella Hunter 

2nd June 2015:
HELLO!

This is Gabbie from the forums dumping another review on you and I'm so sorry for the wait. I was watching Attack on Titan for almost two days straight without any sleep so I didn't have time to get to these reviews. I know, I'm a nerd.

Anyway, on to this!

I am SO worried about my little crew! It seems like Tristan's secret and the crumbling of each friend has finally taken its toll. Emily has distanced herself from the others (While I can understand why, it still came off as a sad moment for me) and I had a feeling that Tristan and Laurel would crash and burn. I was right, of course but it was hard to read! What I was thankful for, as always is your way of writing these scenes without turning away from how awful they can be. Drug abuse, depression and trauma are things that you don't really see much but I'm so thankful for this story.

Tristan seems to have declined rather quickly, which was something that I feared. I could tell that his loneliness was eating him up and it was a side to him that I hadn't really seen much before. He didn't seem quite so hard on himself and this vulnerable part of his personality gave him more depth to me--it's strange, but I can think of him as human now. Before, I felt like I knew him but after reading this, I feel like I KNOW him. I'm not sure if that makes sense...

Now, I knew that you were building up to some major character development and surprises from the very beginning but I was still pretty shocked by what happened. I had a feeling that things would spiral out of control and I was pulling my hair out a little with Tristan and Laurel though (I was angry, upset and amused all at once while reading their scene). I'm not sure what's going to happen with those two, relationship wise and I'm curious to find out.

Laurel stepped up though, she recognized her problems for the first time without shying away from them. Dumbledore, I think gave her an unbiased opinion on life, which is what I think she needed to hear and experience. I'm glad that she's trying to get better, I just hope that it lasts. Also, Isobel! What's going on with that girl, hm? I hope to find out soon, I'm worried about her as well.

Anyway, I'm glad to finally get more insight on Tristan's past. It sounds horrible and I was touched by how much Mary cared about him, horrified at the thought of him going to the Malfoy's and relieved that she could love him despite everything.

As for Tristan at the end...well, I feel like he might be able to take a valuable lesson from his suspension. You can't get anywhere in life without making some effort and I'm really eager (Concerned, angry, fond) of where he is right now. I want to see him grow more and I can't get enough of how much I enjoyed reading this chapter, it was beyond brilliant.

Much love,

Gabbie

P.S.: I shall return to Perry and Roxanne soon!

Author's Response: Hello Gabbie!

And to appropriate a quote from Alice in Wonderland: we're all nerds here :)

Yeah, they all need Emily a lot more than she needs them. At the same time, I feel like they would have warned her against her little extra-cirricular activity. They're a bit closer to the dangers of that, while the twins and her fellow Hufflepuffs might just naively take it as a clever idea to get some spending money without thinking of the ramifications. Honestly, I don't think there's really One Right Answer when it comes to their friendship, but Tristan at least definitely suffers without the others :(

I'm really glad you mention the thing about not turning away from the difficult stuff. I really hadn't planned this story to be as bummery as it became, but I felt like it HAD to be, or would have been somehow dishonest otherwise. It was genuinely hard to write at times, and I really had to push myself to write these difficulties. I'm so happy that you appreciate it!

I also love what you said about Tristan, and how he's sort of humanized here. For a lot of the story he kind of hides behind his enigma and his secrets, and I'm really glad that he became successfully dimensional here.

Angry/Upset/Amused is exactly what I was going for there! Tristan and Laurel have a tendency to sort of wallow together. They both struggle with a lot of self-loathing, so when left alone together, they sort of indulge their worst selves.

But yes, lovely Dumbledore! I think it helps that he's very old, and has been around the block quite a few times. He's seen terrible things from people, so Laurel's struggles aren't really as shocking or upsetting to him as she might think (fear of judgement is a real anxiety for her). And Dumbledore has a knack for knowing the exact right thing to say and do--in that moment, she didn't need a lecture or a punishment (she punishes herself quite enough on her own), and he could tell that.

Oh Mary! She really struggles in this story, because even I don't know what the Best Thing for her to do might be. But she's a good person and she loves him and wants the best for him, and I suspect that's the most important part.

I definitely think Tristan needed this break. Even if he didn't actually do what he was accused of, he really needed that suspension. I think the one thing that his parents messed up (though it would be a LOT to ask of two working parents), is maybe they should have taken some time off, or even gone on a holiday or something. But again, I have the hindsight to recognize that, and they wouldn't think of doing something that might come off as rewarding bad behavior.

Thank you sososo much for this amazing review! It's so heartening to see someone pick up on all the little things this chapter was trying to do, and feel like it WORKED.

xoxo
Roisin


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Review #6, by AlexFan 

10th November 2014:
Weíre almost near the end! Only five more chapters to go after this! Oh how the tables have turned Tristan! Poor Emily, sheís liked Tristan this entire time and all heís done is just spit in her face and go at it with her friend. I know that theyíre technically not dating but when it goes on in a group as close as them, things get a bit more complicated. Iím happy to see that Emily is spending time with Hufflepuffs that wonít have a negative influence on her, her friends donít seem to inspire much positivity to be perfectly honest.

People in this story of yours seem to have a problem with learning from their mistakes. Laurel and Tristan hooking up was what broke up all of their friendships, like literally, this was like the last straw. Both of them know this, they know that what they did drove away their friend and made everything dysfunctional and itís the reason as to why they canít hang out properly anymore why are they doing it again! Are Laurel and Tristan expecting different results by doing this over and over, because you know thatís the definition of insanity.

On another note, as annoyed as I was with Laurel, I have a great deal of respect for her now, it mustíve taken her a lot to hand over her wand to Isobel and tell her to keep it away from herself. I think you got Dumbledoreís character perfect and I just knew that he would help out Laurel the minute that he showed up, Dumbledore just has that effect on people. He may not have been a very good man but Dumbledore did have his good qualities, I have a feeling though that if he were to talk to Tristan, it would take a lot more work to encourage him to make a change in his life, he might just see it as futile to make an attempt to make his life better than it is.

Yes! Finally, some more backstory about Tristan! Iíve been wondering what went on with him as a child and those blacked out files made me even more curious, I can understand why they were blacked out now (and if Iím reading this right, Tristan is related to the Malfoyís). Of course Narcissa seemed affectionate towards Tristan, he was a pureblood, if he had been anything but I highly doubt Narcissa wouldíve been as warm and welcoming of him into her family. All in all, Tristanís life doesnít seem to be going anywhere good anytime soon.

Author's Response: Hello!

Yes, the end is definitely near, and this chapter definitely sets a lot of things off.

And yeah, Emily is a lot more adaptive than a lot of her friends, I think. She can fit in a lot of different places more easily.

In a way, I think they *do* learn from their mistakes, but are just self-destructive. Tristan and Laurel know that it's a bad idea, but that's the reason they want to indulge it.

Man, imagine how awful it would have been had Tristan been raised by the Malfoys! All that trauma and neglect he experienced in his early childhood coupled with racist indoctrination!

Thank you so much for this review!

xoxo
-Roisin


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Review #7, by CambAngst 

18th September 2014:
Hi! It has been far too long since I've reviewed one of your chapters. I need to get back into the groove.

Poor Tristan. For somebody like him, isolation is a very bad thing. His self-esteem is precarious to begin with, and the way that his friends are avoiding him is definitely not helping. It's kind of endearing, actually, that he feels jealous of Cedric Diggory. And it was really sad that Isobel and Laurel simply ignored him. Especially Laurel, when you consider that so much of what's happened is because of the lie she told to keep Isobel from knowing about the pictures she found in Snape's office.

Wow. Just when I thought Tristan's exile from the group couldn't get any sadder, we see that he's buying drugs he doesn't even need just to have an excuse to talk to Fred and George. That's... wow. Things are really going poorly for him. While it's interesting to see Fred, George and Emily being so "enterprising", I also feel scared for all of them. I have a bad feeling (had it the first time I read this, even without foreknowledge) that this party is going to end very badly. I loved the mention of Sir Cadogan's war in the Internet, by the way.

Tristan and Laurel's mad rush through the castle had the feel of those movies made to scare teenagers away from drugs, one of those scenes with weird, jerky camera work where the protagonists are reeling about, getting freaked out by everything they see and heading for some sort of catastrophe in the end. Except we know what's waiting at the end and it isn't premature death or injury. It's another type of personal destruction, but one that's also purely self-inflicted.

Tristan closed his eyes, feeling the sting of that sentiment. This was what he appreciated about Laurel: their friendship was destructive, and messed up in a thousand different ways, but it was always honest. Nothing was left to implication, nothing was concealed, and they never said anything except what they really meant. -- Can't argue with one word of that.

I thought the way you wrote Dumbledore was spectacular. He behaved exactly the opposite of what Laurel was expecting, which was perfect characterization for him. Spot on. You just nailed it! Dumbledore is strangely intimate with Laurel -- NOT IN THAT WAY!!! He shares some thoughts and observations with her that he didn't share with Harry until much, much later. "Now while that may seem a simple thing, the great flaw of this mirror is that it provides no instruction," Dumbledore stopped. -- Gah! How do you do it??? That line was perfectly, flawlessly Dumbledore!

One more, and I promise I'll stop repeating your own words back to you: Without stopping to think, Laurel turned around and hugged the headmaster around the waist. He did not appear upset or surprised when she did, and gave her a warm pat on the back. -- That was, perchance, the sweetest moment in the story so far.

Excellent job with what Tristan sees in the Mirror of Erised. I wouldn't have expected anything else, unless perhaps he'd seen himself as a muggle.

Tristan's life had become such an unbelievable mess by this point that it was hardly even surprising when he agreed to take the fall for everything his former friends had been doing. I'm still struggling to completely wrap my head around the way that Snape coddles Tristan and looks out for him. The reaction upon discovering all of the contraband... anger mixed with disappointment. I hope, at some point, you have a chance to explain the connection between these two, if there's more to it than meets the eye.

Ah, finally we have the secret of Tristan's birth and adoption! What a lucky kid! I can't imagine how awful it would have been growing up with the Malfoys. Lucius would have had zero sympathy for Tristan's disabilities. If he hadn't managed to catch up on his own, I think there's a fair chance he would have found himself abandoned in an orphanage somewhere.

I think I'm running out of characters here, so let me just say that you did a good job water-dropping a few more tantalizing details into Tristan's panic attack, and I think it's perfectly obvious that he would have considered disappearing into the muggle world for good. But even that is denied to him.

For a long chapter, this one flowed beautifully and didn't feel drawn out at all. It was definitely the best chapter yet. Great job!

Author's Response: Hello! Thank you SO MUCH for these back reviews! I'm really impressed with your ability to offer feedback to the chapter as-it-stands in the story even with foreknowledge!

Isolation is definitely a really big theme in this story when it comes to Tristan--isolation and confinement. It was one of those things that I hadn't totally planned out when I started to write, and I kind of can't believe how naturally it all developed.

I'm so glad the mad dash through the castle worked! I worried over writing that sequence a lot, because I really wanted a specific tone, but I also wanted them to be so out of it that I couldn't offer a huge amount of information Laurel wasn't in the position to notice. I'm so relieved to hear you found it cinematic!

I'm really glad you pointed out the lines that you did! For the first one, I was particularly proud of "the sting of that sentiment. This was what he appreciated..." I tried there to add another, more unconscious, layer to their relationship: one of a kind of emotional masochism.

DUMBLEDORE! I'm sososososo glad you liked him! He's probably the most ambitious character of all to try and write, and I had to think REALLY hard about Wise Stuff for him to say. This whole sequence with Laurel also wouldn't really have been possible if he weren't gay :) THANK HEAVENS FOR THAT! Since we all know he is, there is no question as to the propriety of the proceedings, and it let me do a lot in terms of gentle intimacy. (And teeheehee--Dumbledore gets the idea for the mirror to TELL Harry how to get the stone! I thought a lot about the powers of the mirror, and decided that must have been some clever enchantment that Dumbledore added later. Plus, you know, it's cool to sort of suggest that these kids were *just* off-screen during PhilStone, or running around in the background).

Snape's relationship with Tristan was definitely, in part, inspired by Snape's relationship with Draco. I wouldn't say it's the *same,* but that he has such a complex and hard-to-wrap-your-head-around relationship with Draco let me do something similar with Tristan.

Gosh, with all of Tristan's latent anger, childhood trauma, and predisposition to snobbery, he would have been THE WORST Malfoy!

Thank you sososososososo much for this review!!!


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Review #8, by crestwood 

17th September 2014:
The best thing that happened to me today was that my review got (almost) caught up. You may wonder why I am informing you of such a thing and why a cleared review thread would go so far as to make my day. And to that I answer, in the most dramatic voice I can muster, "My review thread is the only thing between me and getting to the end of Year Five and it will delay me no more!"

I don't believe that this story is best read with such long, twenty four hour breaks in between each chapter. This story merits my sitting down and getting acquainted with it. I want to give my days to probing the inner workings of and monumental questions posed by this story, rather than just my nights. I am going to severely miss these characters when I finish, yes, but I have heard talks of a sequel and I am soon putting all of my faith in those rumors floating about and going for the plunge of finishing up this story and saying goodbye to my good friends the Ex-Hex Heads. (try saying that five times fast!)

I haven't even begun reading yet. I'm just trying out new ways of telling you how much I appreciate this story's existence. I will just never be able to comprehend that you've never written fanfiction before this. If this is only the beginning, you can be certain I'll be here for the rest.

But, I'm ahead of myself. I'll actually read the chapter now, I think.

You start out this chapter with the personification of the weather and that's quite beautiful. Tristan is ever the observant fellow, noticing that Emily has stopped speaking to not only himself, but Isobel and Laurel and deducing what she must really be upset about. With any other character I would find it strange that Tristan is fully aware that he's jealous of Cedric getting to spend time with Emily and is still convinced that he doesn't deserve to be around her. I believe some people might come to the conclusion that Tristan is selfish because of how cold he can sometimes be, but I don't think that's true. I think Tristan is so incredibly selfless that it's harmful. He completely puts the well being of Emily above his own. No matter how much he likes her, he's convinced that he'd be bad for her and that she's better off with the Hufflepuffs, so he actively gives away his happiness in exchange for hers. If only he realized that he doesn't have to be bad, he'd probably understand that their happiness is not mutually exclusive, but his mind will never allow it. I think what everyone brushes off as his personality, (although he *is* a naturally dark person) may be severe warning signs of depression. And somehow, I doubt you're just throwing those around for no reason, never to come back again as a relevant plot point because that's just not how you seem to work.

It's funny that Tristan is kind of taken aback by how small his world has become. I don't think he really even realized how much he relied on the group for human interaction. He must not be coping all too well if he convinced himself to attend a Quidditch.

I wanted him to send that letter so badly. Furthermore, I wanted to know what was on that letter, but that's besides the point.

After everything that's happened, it's nearly insane for them to be drinking the stolen Draught of Tranquility. Not even just because it's bad for them. This is the very thing that would have gotten Laurel expelled if she was found to possess it! And they're out in the open just drinking it by the lake! Oh, man these kids have no fear.
Tristan is right about the amount of punches pulled in his and Laurel's friendship: approximately zero.

Tristan is now on weed, that potion, Alacratus (which you compared to cocaine!!) and a Cheer to boot. This is probably the worst concoction he's been on through this entire story. You write these blurry drug fueled hazes so well. I love the paintings' reactions to their wild behavior. And this line "Tristan and Laurel had left themselves out by the lake a long time ago." is just amazing. You really drive home how out of themselves they were by having Laurel feel as though she'd never felt so out of control. After everything that happened to her.. that's saying a lot.

When Dumbledore walked into the room that Laurel was in, knowing what book this takes place during, I already knew exactly where she was. I can't believe you've had her only see herself smiling in the mirror. That takes J.K.'s little bit of symbolism and giving it this whole new profound meaning. That honestly made me just so sad for her. I guess when you've been so low for so long, happiness really is your deepest wish, isn't it? That was just one of the best scenes of this entire story so far. You did such an excellent job capturing the wisdom of Dumbledore's dialogue. When Laurel hugged him I was just so sad and happy all together and I don't know how to even react. This was super unexpected, but such an awesome surprise.

You're going for tears in this chapter apparently.. having Tristan see himself as the Bryce's biological son. I don't even have words..
And now he's having his dormitory search and they're finding all of his things.. and he hasn't been selling and he didn't steal the potion.. this is a bad chapter for Tristan. When he says that doesn't have friends anymore it was just so well placed and made worse by the fact that he's right.

I knew that Tristan was adopted, but to find out how close he came to being a Malfoy is scary.. I am now imagining an alternate universe in which he's Draco's older brother and he certainly doesn't have the heart of gold that I've come to know.

I didn't see a day coming when I saw a HP crossover with High Fidelity, but here it is. Even that turned sad, since it discouraged him about his job prospects should he choose to return to the Muggle world if he fails out. Honestly, this is the saddest chapter yet. I'm just feeling really bad for everyone.

Running out of space, amazing job!

Author's Response: I definitely agree with you on that point! I "completed" this story before even finding HPFF (and oh man THANK HEAVENS for HPFF, so much better than anything I could have hoped for!), so it really wasn't originally intended to be serialized. I tend to read stories in bursts, and usually devour a few chapters at a time--if not the whole thing at once. I so appreciate all the people who stuck with this story chapter-to-chapter during uploading, and I'm actually really glad that I had to do it that way, because I ended up doing a lot of revision to this story for that reason. But, I'm also really glad that it's all up now, so that people can read at whatever pace they like!

I MAY have written like three paragraphs of (very bad) fanfiction when I was like 10, not knowing what fanfic really *was*. Anyway.

I'm so glad you mentioned the weather-personification! Definitely says more about the person observing it, than the weather itself ;) And your analysis on Tristan re: selfless vs selfish is super great. "Self-destructive" is certainly in there somewhere to, but the thing about being self-destructive is that it necessarily hurts the people around someone too.

A secret: I really wanted to know what was in the letter too! I tried, at one point, to write out all of Tristan's unsent letters to Emily, but nothing I came up with was as good as straight up imagination.

I'm SO GLAD you liked their hazy dash-through-the-castle! I really fretted over the tone of that sequence, and of what information I was able to give from Laurel's (addled) POV. You were spot-on about them taking substances just TOO FRIKKEN FAR by the Lake, so I really wanted *something* to offer condemnation (hence the paintings). Plus I liked the idea that Hogwarts has a level of semi-sentience, and would try to kind of fight them off.

I *so appreciate* what you said about being low for so long you only want to be happy. That was definitely what I was going for there, and was very much supposed to show just how DANGEROUS the idea of mood altering charms are. I mean, that's been obvious in the story, but I wanted to show it on a more emotional level. I also kind of wanted to redeem Laurel there. She's behaved so badly throughout the story, and been really thoughtless and self-absorbed, but giving her such a pure desire kind of legitimizes the motivation behind her actions.

I'm SO. GLAD. you liked Dumbledore's characterization! Without a doubt, he's the most difficult of all to get right, and writing him at all is rather presumptuous. I read his mirror scene with Harry several times to get him right!

I definitely sort of think that Tristan takes punishment for granted. He just assumes he deserves it all the time, and surrenders easily :(

RIGHT?! Tristan would have been AWFUL as a Malfoy!

Hahaha, High Fidelity! When I decided to send him to a record store, in this era, in London, I just couldn't resist! I ended up researching a lot into the High Fidelity fandom (which exists), to find out the precise location of Champion Vinyl!

Thank you for another amazing, insightful, encouraging, FANTASTIC review!

Love,
Roisin


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Review #9, by marauderfan 

12th July 2014:
Aw. Poor lonely Tristan sitting in the corridor by himself and talking to his only friend, Sir Cadogan. I guess he really needed some actual alone time like this though, to realise what he had. In the wise words of Joni Mitchell, you don't know what you've got till it's gone. And I think he's finally realising what good friends he had before, now that they're gone.

I've always thought Leap Day birthdays are so cool. Tristan should have sent Emily that long letter. She could have torn it up if she didn't want to read it, but at least she'd have known he cared. :(

I absolutely loved the entire scene with Dumbledore and Laurel's discussion in the Mirror Room. It was so touching that Laurel only wants to be happy, she just sees herself happier - and then afterwards when she handed her wand to Isobel to prevent her from self-cheering or anything, it looked like a step in the right direction. I was proud of her. She can do it! Aw, and Tristan just wishes that his parents were his real parents. That is actually so sweet.

This chapter shows an entirely different side to Tristan as he takes the fall for all of his friends' illegal activities. And what a fall it is.

The Malfoys were going to adopt Tristan! Draco would have been his brother, sort of. Ha, that's weird to think of O_O I wonder if he knows that?

wanted to draw your attention to one typo here:
made him feel nauseous and disorientation. -- I think you meant 'disoriented'.

As frustrating as Tristan can be sometimes, I do feel really awful for him in this chapter. But hopefully it's the change he needs... eh.. might be? Wow, this story is all kinds of complicated right now. I can't believe I've reached the last posted chapter again! Waiting eagerly for more.

Author's Response: Right? Lucky the portrait of the knight was there for company.

I'm so glad you liked Dumbledore! Talk about one of the most daunting canon characters to write!

As for seeing almost-themselves in the mirror--it could be that what they want is simple, and immaterial. Or, it could be that when so much is going bad in your life, desires become very basic. I imagine that for them, it's a combination of both.

Can you imagine how awful Tristan would have been were he to be a Malfoy??? Something I wasn't able to shoe-horn into the story, but a bit I decided on anyway: had the Malfoys adopted Tristan, they would have rechristened him "Lesath:" The brightest star in the Scorpius constellation!

And thanks for pointing out the typo!!

Yeah, I was so surprised by how much plot I got out of "TEENAGE IS HARD!" The first draft really kind of wrote itself, and the characters went in such unexpected directions once I got to know them :)

Next chapter is in the queue, and then there might be a pause before the next. HC reviews mean going back and re-editing chapters for all the little typos and errors that got pointed out. I've said it before, but I'll say it again: THANK YOU FOR THATTT!

xoxo
Roisin


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