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11 Reviews Found

Review #1, by water_lily43175 

3rd October 2015:
Look at me doing this REVIEWING thing again, yay me! Challenge: FINISH THIS FIC. And stop using so much CAPS LOCK.

Anyway, after a quick recap of previous chapters to remember what's actually happened... I think this is one of my favourite chapters. I love counsellor!Sprout so much, and I also love the implication that she's a secret Pothead in her greenhouses, ha.

And Isobel is an INSANELY good friend. Despite all that's gone on, and all the anger she feels towards Tristan, she's still doing all she can to get him out of trouble. Doing that thing where she puts everyone else first again.

And I'm suddenly getting Isobel/Emily vibes and I can't work out if I've just been a complete idiot and missed previous signs re Isobel.

I think Laurel's sense of wanting to be loved - and wanting to be someone who CAN be loved - is an incredibly accurate sentiment from a fifteen-year-old girl. In fact, I think it's accurate of most human beings. It's a wonderful touch of humanity. And I know it's been said before, but it's this focus on the sort of things which plague most teenagers which makes this story SO GOOD.

Oh man Isobel's teaching Voldemort how to fly, NOT GOOD.

Creepy Quirrell EW! Oh Isobel, she doesn't have it easy, poor girl. Twins to the rescue, yay!

Hagrid just casually buying the dragon egg, amazing. And MOAR TRISTAN PARENTAGE HINTS. More caps lock. Sorry. But I am most intrigued.

"Fredíll lecture my ear off", GUH. Love these boys too much.

And HAGRID. Sometimes he can annoy me (although I think this is exacerbated by the film version of him; Robbie Coltrane just IS Hagrid, but I think the films lose the caring, supportive side of him in place of, well, a bit of an idiot) but this scene is just 100% wonderful Hagrid. Incredible.

Author's Response: TOTALLY GOING OUT OF ORDER: HAGRID. You know, I DO like Robbie Coltrane, but I think the movies flattened his character a bit. Like, made him a little too buffoonish. In canon, his sort of silliness and almost childishness is in contrast to his being HUGE and SCARY and WILD. Like, Robbie Coltrane was a little too fresh and jolly, if that makes any sense. Hagrid in my mind has a bit more of a ragged, howling voice, a much messier beard, and the films totally glossed over the fact that he's a bit of an alcoholic.

OK HAGRID RANT OVER.

Haha, ok so I know a bunch of professors and teachers and things, and a lot (if not all of them) are totally potheads :P Like, great at their jobs and totally responsible, but yeah, THEY SMOKE. And Prof Sprout SO OBVIOUSLY SMOKES LIKE COME ON.

Some people twigged Isobel's wee feelings for Emily HELLA early on (like, her first chapter), but I was trying to be pretty subtle there so I'm glad it seemed more like a niggling thing for you than just like "HELLO YES SHE HAS WEE CRUSH."

I'm really glad that all the FEELINGS and HUMANITY stuff is resonating with you! Especially because it was honestly kind of tough to write--like, not shying away from sort of raw feelings and stuff.

Just all around it's so heartening to hear that all the things I struggled to do in this story worked for you!

xoxo
Roisin


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Review #2, by moonbaby11 

6th September 2015:
AH YES I'D BEEN HOPING FOR THE TWINS TO PLAY A BIGGER ROLE IN THE STORY AGAIN. It felt like it'd been a long time since they'd really been involved so I was extremely pleased that they returned for this chapter, especially because they were there to comfort Isobel! I think you write them brilliantly and I always find myself chuckling at their dialogue (also I'm so glad the ear comment was intentional because I was going to mention it in my review if it wasn't!)

Okay, was there something hinted at earlier about the possibility of Isobel having deeper feelings for Emily? Because I swear that thought has been lingering in the back of my mind for a while now. Either that or I'm just very perceptive? Regardless, I'm really interested to see where that goes. This group is quickly becoming a mess of feelings and whatever Tristan/Laurel is (physical connections?) and I can't wait to see how it all gets resolved in the next four (that doesn't feel like enough time!!) chapters.

I'm so relieved that Sprout has caught on to Isobel's eating disorder because I was beginning to worry that no one had noticed! Of course, she still hasn't intervened or said anything which is most definitely a problem, but it is nice to know that she's there for all of the students, regardless of house or personal issue. It put a smile on my face that she was willing to listen to Isobel, even if what she ended up telling Sprout wasn't what Sprout was expecting.

HAGRID YAS I KNEW HE'D HAVE TO MAKE AN APPEARANCE AT SOME POINT. Tying the dragon egg into it made the scene even better. I love the fatherly way you portrayed Hagrid as that's always how I pictured him and it's reassuring to know that he's just generally like that and doesn't only reserve that gentleness for the Golden Trio. I think you wrote him very well also, especially in terms of his accent/dialect. I could perfectly hear Robbie Coltrane's voice in my head which I think is a true testament to how in character his words were.

I CAN'T BELIEVE THERE'S ONLY FOUR CHAPTERS LEFT NOTHING FEELS RESOLVED HOW IS THIS ALL GOING TO END AND WHY IS TRISTAN STILL SUCH A MYSTERY? I NEED TO BINGE READ THE NEXT FEW CHAPTERS TO LEARN MORE!

Author's Response: I'm SO GLAD you like the twins! Like, SERIOUSLY (Siriusly). They're also pretty intimidating to write because they're just SO GREAT. I'm really, really glad you think I've done them justice.

It's so odd because some people figure out about Isobel's sexuality just as soon as they read her first chapter, while others are taken really by surprise when she eventually confronts her sexuality in the second-to-last chapter. So I'm really glad that it's more like a niggling thought for you, because that's how I'd hoped it would play (yet am VERY impressed when people call it immediately). I think her crush on Emily is just that: a crush. Emily's the sort of character that I think everyone is a little in love with (even Laurel, who's super straight, is slightly in love with her). So like, Isobel's feelings for Emily aren't that big of a deal, outside of the fact that Isobel is having feelings for a girl. Like, that's what really matters to her.

I think with Tristan/Laurel, it's that once they hooked up once, they realized that they COULD. For them, it's kind of a desire for comfort/escape. And, you know, hormones.

I've been attending a weekly Eating Disorder support group with my friend who's recovering, and it's sort of reinforced something I got at here: it takes a LONG time before anyone steps up and says/does something. Like, parents/family are usually quickest to respond if their child has an ED, but in boarding school, it could go unchecked for a LONG time. And that problem with boarding school is something I wanted to address here. Like, Harry had a great time with it, but for a lot of people, it might be kind of dangerous to be disconnected from parents for so many months on end. Even though not everyone's parents are great in this story, I think they would all be a bit better off if they weren't cut off, you know?

HAGRID IS ANOTHER TOUGH CHARACTER. Yay so glad you thought he was accurate! I liked the idea that he would be the staff member Isobel felt comfortable with after everything, and thought that yeah, he would be a nice and kind of fatherly support figure.

I REALLY HOPE YOU FOUND THE RESOLUTION SATISFYING!

xoxo
Roisin


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Review #3, by TidalDragon 

23rd August 2015:
Hmm. Well, naturally I'm wondering if this "thing" Emily has dredged up is that Isobel IS attracted to her. Certainly it would explain her protectiveness and above-and-beyond anger at Tristan and Laurel on her behalf. I suppose I'll have to wait and see how that plays out.

Aside from that question though (and the Quirrell attack obviously - a little odd for me, to be frank), I thought this chapter added a lot more levity after a series of just soul-crushing stuff happenign to people and so it was a bit of a welcome relief in that way.

I also enjoyed that Hagrid made an appearance in this chapter. Though truthfully I'm not that huge a Hagrid fan, and I'm horribly afraid to try and write that speech pattern (kudos on your handling of it BTW), somehow the Hogwarts Era just doesn't feel "right" without him making some kind of appearance, and it enable you to feather in more of that canon with the card game and the dragon egg and all that jazz. If I didn't know from the chapters already, I'd know from this that we're getting close to the end of the line.

Can't wait to see how this all ties up...

Author's Response: So I've actually gone back and revised some things since you've read (only the first few chapters have full revisions posted) but I did tweak that big Lake scene with Isobel (rest of chapter still needs work, but that bit has been improved). So yeah, she did have a little crush/attraction to Emily. But it's not really a Big Deal--only as much as Isobel's confusion on her sexuality is a big deal. She isn't in love with her, just slightly attracted to her. But really, everyone is attracted to Emily in this story. Even Laurel, the most hetero of all of them, has a wee girl-crush on Emily :P

Yes, the Quirrel attack may also need work. That part was especially hard because it was one of the few autobiographical things that had JUST HAPPENED when I wrote it. Like, I went back and tried to build towards it while editing before posting, but there is a rawness there of my own experience that I think sort of interfered with doing it real justice.

But yeah, as for literary content, Isobel felt really betrayed by the Quirrel things (which has some intentional parallels-yet-subversions to Laurel's talk with Dumbledore), so then Hagrid kind of appears as the Good, Wise, Wonderful, Walking You Back Even Though It's After Hours teacher. Which yeah, was a way to elevate Hagrid up to Dumbledore status, and also shoe-horn him in because THERE MUST BE A HAGRID.


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Review #4, by Gabriella Hunter 

7th June 2015:
HellO!

This is Gabbie from the forums dropping by with your review and I'm sorry for the lateness. I got caught up doing big girl things and time just kind of flew by without me wanting them to. I also had a nasty battle with Chinese food that practically destroyed my stomach...

But you don't need to know about that. >.>

There were a dozen little things in this chapter that I would like to touch on but I know that I'm going to end up forgetting something. I'm always blown away by just how complicated and detailed your characters are, they feel like real people and I honestly think I'd known them at some point. I can picture this broken little group so well in my mind and I enjoyed being back in Isobel's head, I was curious to see what she had been up to now that the gang was clearly separated. The fact that she didn't notice Tristan's disappearance was a really brilliant way of showing just how disconnected they had become from one another.

Isobel did the right thing by confronting Emily about what Tristan did for her though. I really, really loved the conversation that she had with Pomona too. I didn't expect it but I'd hoped that there would be an intervention with her eating disorder, though you hinted that the professor already knew. That is a sign that an intervention might be happening soon later on and I'm curious to know more about how that plays out. I WAS diverted from that issue though when Isobel asked about Tristan, finding out more about him than she had expected.

There are a lot of qualities to the boy that she doesn't like but she still went out of her way to help him. I think the fight between her and Emily was well-done too, I think we've all hated our friends and argued like this. Emily of course got over her anger a tad but Isobel clung to it for a while longer and I wonder now if the two of them will ever patch things up. I have a feeling that it's going to be a bumpy road if they even dare to get past this little event.

Now, I'm very proud of Laurel's progress too and I think what really struck out to me about her conversation with Isobel was this: She wanted to know what it would be like to be loved in that way, basically saying that she had no idea what real affection was. That struck me numb for a moment because I've felt the same and related to her on a deeper level because of it and I wonder when Isobel will ask that important question about herself.

Now, would it be wrong of me to want to find Quirrel's remains and scatter them into the four winds? I was so shocked by that entire encounter (Though I did find their entire talk about flight very neat. Those ingredients that she had mentioned from Tibet reminded me of levitating monks and I'm not sure if that's what you were going for) that I let loose a few very naughty swear words.

My mom gave me the death glare...

I was glad that Isobel got away but the shock of it has to be terrible. I'm glad that she ran into the twins and managed to purge some of it out (Getting drunk is apparently the best cure and I shall remember this) but it's ironic that this would happen to her and not say, Emily. I'm not sure if you did that on purpose or not though but I picked up on it immediately.

Aberforth shouldn't let underage kids drink!

Also, I LOVE your portrayal of the twins. I loved them before but after this chapter, they are seriously my favorite version. They feel more fleshed out in this story and I like the bond that you gave them with one another and Isobel.

It felt very authentic.

"Ear-off" made me wince. Hahahah.

Anyway, another great chapter and I'm really eager to know how Isobel deals with what nearly happened to her. Hagrid is going to have some trouble with that dragon egg but that's not the focus of this story but I DO like that you included the creepy hooded person too, reminds me of the fact that this is taking place during Harry's first near-death experience at Hogwarts.

Hahah.

Much love,

Gabbie

Author's Response: The great reviews are the hardest to respond to. Thank you for this and sorry I'm so late!

I'm glad you mentioned Isobel's perspective and the group's separation. I think that not noticing that he'd gone was sort of disturbing to her, since she's always been the mum of the group. It comes as a shock then to find out that one of her friends has been gone for DAYS without her even noticing :(

I always really enjoy writing Pomona. The kids' perspectives are so muddy and ambivalent and confused, and rising out of that with some adult clarity from time to time always felt refreshing to me. I hoped that Pomona's observations could kind of act as a trustworthy perspective of where everything is at.

The tension between Emily and Isobel is something I've been building since their first chapter together. There's a kind of slow burn there, where neither is really inclined to get upset with the other, but at the same time, Isobel's been consistently questioning Emily's decisions and Emily is now ultimately frustrated by being treated like a child.

What you said about Laurel and true affection is, I think, very apt. Her trysts with Tristan (heh) haven't left her feeling very good about herself, and her family is a small one, with just a mom (who's steez is kind of withholding affection). Laurel is an affectionate person, as indicated by her habit of sleeping next to Isobel when she's sad.

Ugh, the Quirrel scene was so hard to write! In the end, I just decided to write very little. Who really needs more description? (And yeah, the flying convo was totally inspired by Tibetan levitating monks)

I'm glad you mentioned the irony of Isobel being the victim, rather than Emily. I think that kind of ties into subverting the rhetoric that someone was 'asking for it.' Assaults can happen to anyone, and it's pretty much always shocking and terrible when it does.

It's SO relieving to hear that you like the twins! They're such an intimidating challenge to write, but I found I really enjoyed it. Like, I sort of just knew them so well that their dialogue and behavior flowed really easily.

Thank you sosososo much for this review! And sorry AGAIN for taking forever to reply!

xoxo
Roisin


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Review #5, by Slide 

6th June 2015:
I just saw you called the last chapter 'The Disappearing Room,' so my uncertainty and wild guessing about the Room of Requirement now looks WAY more dumb. That'll teach me.

I'm curious as to why Isobel is hiding Laurel's wand instead of just hanging onto it herself, though I suppose she'd have to hide it in a super-brilliant place in Ravenclaw Tower for it to be safe overnight from Laurel in a moment of weakness? Poor House Elves.

Brilliant lie, Isobel, to get out of trouble. Now let's see if you can do yourself some good despite yourself! Perhaps not. But perhaps you can do the rest good. Considering Emily's managing to, instead of pulling herself out of a toxic situation, pulling herself into a DIFFERENT one, an intervention seems wise. But then it would be easier for Isobel to fuss over other people's problems than her own!

Okay, even if she's brusque and undiplomatic about helping. Though I'm kind of adoring her cutting to the heart of matters with Emily and then with Laurel. Both in harsh truths and the gentler, but still important ones (like it not being all Laurel's fault). And, HRM, questions raised for your Isobel, let's see where this goes...

Isobel, are you teaching Voldemort how to fly? Don't do that.

Oh holy hell, didn't see that coming. This is disastrous on so many levels. The twins are such sweethearts. Such sweethearts possibly making the situation so much worse by sneaking her out the grounds.

I love how this story comes achingly close to brushing with Important Canon, only to veer wildly back into teenaged dramas immediately after. :-D

'Fred'll lecture my ear off,' says Georga. HA. Ear off. George. I see what you did there.

Oh my God I want to hug Hagrid. Of course Isobel won't tell anyone, or I'm 99% sure she won't, but he's so sweet and supportive here.

I should probably accept defeat and go to bed, but also accept I review your stuff 'best' after midnight for some ungodly reason. Loving all of this, still.

Author's Response: The main reason for Isobel using the kitchens (for erm, ME not her) was to bring back the idea of "taking advantage" of the house elves. Hufflepuffs kept the kitchens a secret for fear that other Houses would take advantage, and while Isobel has the absolute BEST of intentions, that's totally what she's doing. And, like, the kitchens were the only place I ever introduced the Isobel knew about but not Laurel, so it seemed like the writerly thing to do?

Laurel might spend a lot of this story self-absorbed to a fault, but Isobel is the opposite, also to a fault. She gets so wrapped up in other people's business and really takes it on, which I think feeds her problems because it gives her this mindset of wanting control.

Bah--you're comment about teaching Voldy how to fly made me snort-laugh AGAIN. I read once on cracked that even if humans /could/ fly, it would result in broken bones. It seemed like SUCH a Voldy thing to do to just 'patch it up' after.

I'm REALLY glad you didn't see that coming, because Isobel didn't either (and we have the privilege of knowing who's camped out under that turban). It was REALLY important to me not to victim-blame Isobel, or have anyone think she was stupid for walking with Quirrel. Again, I hoped it would click after.

I timed all the major events in this story to coincide with major canon events JUST so I could brush up on 'em! But that's being a teenager, right? I think they're allowed, at this stage in their lives, to think that they are the center of the universe. Little do they know, all this really BIG stuff is happening just out of view.

Hagrid might be even HARDER to write than Dumbledore! So glad you liked him!

Thank you SO MUCH for this review storm! You have made my WEEK!
xoxo
Roisin


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Review #6, by AlexFan 

27th November 2014:
Sorry for taking so long with your review but Iím here! And I must say, everyone has gotten a lot more aggressive since the last chapter, especially Emily, I didnít think that this girl had it in her to be so mean to Isobel of all people. And itís not like Isobel has done anything wrong either, sheís trying to help her friend and look out for everyone and this is how she gets paid in return. Everyone is so wrapped up in their own problems that they donít even notice that Isobel is slowly wasting away.

Iím not entirely sure how Tristan shows affection but I seriously doubt that he really likes Emily in the same way that she likes him. Iím sorry, but I just donít buy it. ďHmm, I really like this girl but I donít want to hurt her feelings so instead Iím going to get into bed with her best friend and not tell her about it because thatís really such a great idea,Ē like really Tristan, come on now. I get heís not one for affection but he had to try a little harder than just that.

I was about to say, wow, for someone thatís evil, Quirrel sure seems to get along with his students, and then he assaulted Isobel and my opinion went back to being normal lickity split after that. I canít believe that he would do such a thing! Itís absolutely disgusting that he would assault one of his students like this and it is absolutely horrifying to think that this couldíve happened to other girls other than Isobel. Itís horrifying to think of just how many girls this has really happened to, and they probably never spoke up about it either because no one would believe them. Can you imagine how many girls were probably terrified of going to class because they would be confronted with assaulter.

Oo, if I was there, Quirrel would need a place to hide!

And Iím not entirely sure that a place as shady as the Hogs Head is really the best place to take Isobel after what happened to her. The pub doesnít exactly scream safe if you get what I mean.

ISOBEL DONíT YOU DARE BLAME YOURSELF FOR WHAT HAPPENED. SHE IS IN NO WAY RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT QUIRREL DID, HE IS THE ONE THAT SHOULD BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT HE DID! I didnít expect anything less from Hagrid, I just knew that he would defend Isobel and remind her that she is not at fault for the incident that took place. I love that he urged her to talk to someone and report it because it was important and something needed to be done. Hagrid is the best.

This was so great!

Author's Response: Hahahaha, I love your reviews. Like "everything is terrible, they are the worst, this is great!" You always pick up on all of the bad decisions and behaviors that go into this story, and I'm so glad you still like it!

Yeah, Emily had pretty much been the only consistently Good character, which is why I needed to make her have a little spat of immaturity. Everyone's going through a lot of changes and difficulties, and Emily definitely fell into the 'kill the messenger' behavior. Also, she's totally misdirecting her anger and frustration :(

Tristan't capacity for self-loathing and self-destruction is one of his most problematic qualities, because it ends up hurting people outside of himself :( I definitely agree that he doesn't like Emily the /same/ way, but I wouldn't say he likes her less than she likes him. But that gets examined later, so I'll zip it for now :]

I'm really glad you felt so outraged by Quirrel, that's definitely the right reaction. That bit is something inspired by RL. I get really mad when teacher/student stuff gets romanticized, because it's so inherently unethical and exploitative and abusive.

Yes, the Hog's Head definitely wasn't the best choice! (Not least, because Quirrel was THERE). BUT, I really wanted her to talk to Hagrid--I'm so happy you think I did him justice!

Thank you so much for your review!
xoxo
-Roisin


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Review #7, by crestwood 

20th September 2014:
Okay, I'm back to once again immerse myself in this wonderful story.

It says a lot about the distance that has grown between Tristan and his friends that they haven't noticed his absence at all throughout the week. The fact that Laurel is still giving up for wand to Isobel willingly is probably the biggest sign of her recovery that we've seen all story. But then again, the way her relapses go, I can see what spurred her to realize enough is enough. The House elves fear of wands is a really huge contrast to Griphook's assertion that Wizards should share the secrets of wandlore with other magical creatures. House Elves seem a bit brainwashed compared to goblins honestly.

I always love a bit of Sprout POV. I'm happy that Isobel was at least upset at the idea of Tristan hexing out. That shows that she has some sort of sympathy left for him deep down.

I wonder how Emily will react knowing that Tristan took all of the blame rather than let anything come back to her. I feel uncomfortable with Isobel and Emily fighting like this. It just seems like they *should* be friends.

It's interesting that Laurel says that Emily's the best and Tristan says that Emily's "better" than the other two. It seems everyone holds her in the highest regard. Which, I suppose is because she's the nicest, by far and the most stable and put together as well. So, in that sense, she is the best.

You've made Isobel give Voldemort the idea of unassisted flight!! That's such a perfect piece of canon. Genius, really.

I am SO confused. Quirrel with Voldemort on the back of his head kissing Isobel?? WHY. This is the grossest thing ever. She's weirded out and doesn't even know about the whole Dark Lord under the turban thing. I have so many questions about that scene. I wonder whose idea that was, but then again, I'm not sure if I even want to know. She is going to be scarred for life.

George calling Tristan an enigma is the perfect description of him. That's exactly what that boy is.

Funny that Isobel and the twins have worked out that Tristan's dad isn't Eddie and then figured that Emily knew. It just goes to show that the signs have always been there if they cared to pay attention. Especially with him looking a lot like a pureblood.

You include every single bit of canon possible, even Lockhart's book on the radio gets a mention.

EAR OFF :(

Hagrid was just buying the dragon egg I suppose. His line about teenage folk wisdom was gold.
I always love seeing people answer the riddles to enter the Ravenclaw common room. I wonder if you come up with those yourself. They always strike me as insightful and yours always seem to have a relevance to the plot as well.

I feel like this story has made me a better reviewer as it's taught me to pay attention to every little thing because you pack so much meaning into it all. Seriously, I've learned LIFE LESSONS from this story. Still amazing in every way, it is.

Author's Response: Yay, hello!

Laurel giving up her wand is definitely a HUGE step for her! As for the elves, oh man, I have so many *feelings* about House Elves! So after the big fuss about Winky having a wand at the World Cup, and how she really didn't want to steal a wand for Barty, I wanted to include that cultural difference. Because, the way I see it, House Elves aren't like some sort of slave race. I think that they are actually these super powerful beings (can apparate ANYWWHERE, can do magic without wands), and so *power* only doesn't corrupt if it's used for *service.* The only time we ever see a properly treated elf in his element, is Kreacher in DH--but, he's far from a servant. When treated with proper respect, he serves the Trio more like a mum, and commands them to sit down for dinner and all. ANYway, I just think that exploitation is a big theme about elves, which is why the Hufflepuffs kept the kitchens a secret (they didn't want people to take advantage, as Emily says). So here, Isobel really is kind of taking advantage of them :( Then again, it's hard to argue with her reasoning.

I'm gonna skip ahead to the biggy here: the Quirrel assault. GOSH THAT WAS SO HARD TO WRITE. I ended up writing very little instead, and being as terse with the language as possible (because really, who wants any more detail than that). I feel like "teacher/student" is a trope that crops up a LOT in teen-drama-media, and it's one I have issues with (I HATE seeing it romanticized, because it's pretty much universally creepy and terrible and inappropriate and a power imbalance and exploitative, etc). For that reason, I decided to include it to subvert it, and show how awful it is (and Quirrel was really the only candidate for a teacher-villain here). As for how it came to pass, I think that Quirrel is pretty far off the reservation at this point. He's been drinking unicorn blood, and playing host to the Dark Lord, which has violently compromised any lingering sense of proper behavior he might have had. Additionally, I feel like he's existing in this weird state of both hubris and anxiety (he referenced getting "punished" regularly by Voldemort in PS). I think that it's a confluence of these factors that lead him to basically throwing himself at the pretty young girl who seems to admire him, because really, OF COURSE HE WOULD. So, basically, I think it was Quirrel's idea. Now, as to Voldemort's involvement in that decision making: that's open to interpretation. Canon isn't clear about whether they can do any psychic communication, but if so, it's actually a pretty dark implication. It's not like Voldy would egg him for sentimental reasons, and so if he DID, it would be more... practical. Which is rather awful. Like, basically treating Isobel as some expendable thing to keep his servant/host in high spirits. TERRIBLE.

Also, the idea that Voldemort ended up breaking his legs and then "just patching them up" later seemed like such a HIM thing to do.

Oh gosh, Lockhart's book! I definitely counted up how many weeks it would have been a best-seller for, and then shook my head at myself.

Yay! The Ravenclaw Riddles! I thought SO HARD about them when I tried to come up with clever ones, and man, writing riddles/deep questions that are plot-relevant is SUPER NOT EASY. I am sososososo glad you liked them!

and AH THANK YOU SO MUCH! I am consistently so amazed by the level of thought you put into your reviews, and I appreciate them SO MUCH.

xoxo
Roisin


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Review #8, by CambAngst 

19th September 2014:
Hello, again!

There's one question that I'm dying to know the answer to after reading this chapter. I was also dying to know after the first time I read it, and foreknowledge has given me no closure. The question is, who decided to kiss Isobel, Voldemort or Quirrell? Or was Quirrell's self-control weakened by the presence of Voldemort? Or was Voldemort's disdain for most aspects of the physical realm weakened by the presence of Quirrell? I'm dying to know your take on this.

Oh, the poor elves! You manage to incorporate so many neat little touches like that into this story. They're all small things, but they add so much depth and texture.

I like Professor Sprout. She's kind, but also professional. She has expectations for the students and she's not afraid to show disappointment when they aren't met. I'm curious what she took away from her conversation with Isobel.

For once, we have a conversation (argument) between Isobel and Emily where I didn't see anyone clearly emerge as the better person. Emily seems to feel pretty ashamed -- and she should -- that she didn't even realize Tristan had been suspended. Isobel, for her part, first tries to mother Emily like always and then when she's rebuffed she hits on one of Emily's biggest insecurities. Don't be so dim! Before moving on, I'd be remiss if I didn't point out this: "I swear," she said, sparing a backwards glance. "It's like you're in love with me." -- I see what you did there.

Ah, so like a couple of Ravenclaws to feel the need to deconstruct every aspect of the situation and analyze it in detail. But in the midst of it, Laurel drops this bit of insight: "I'd actually be glad of it if they got together. I suppose it's just that I'd like to be a person who could be loved like that." -- Sorry to keep parroting your words back at you, but this chapter is full of characters letting out their deepest fears and anxieties.

Snogged by a lisping man twice your age who has Voldemort embedded in the back of his head. I don't have words for how creepy that is. Again, you drip a tiny bit of "canon to come" into this chapter and I loved it!

I really thing you did a good job of capturing Isobel's shock and horror and sense of having been violated. She has so many emotions running through her at once, she more or less shuts down for a while until she can get past it. Very realistic. Good on Fred and George to be in the right place at the right time.

"Oh, we're not students," George calmly replied, their uniforms ever conspicuous.

"Yeah, we've just come from a fancy-dress party," Fred invented wildly.
-- My takeaway here is that Aberforth needed the money. ;)

Ooh, so I'm not the only one who was wildly speculating about Tristan's true heritage. Good observation by Fred and George on his appearance.

Hagrid was so kind to Isobel and the twins. Perfectly in character, I'd say. Now that I think about it, Quirrell probably really had to hustle to get from the castle to the Hog's Head in time to ply Hagrid with the dragon's egg.

Wrapping the chapter with another highly relevant question from the Ravenclaw common room door was clever, and I liked the parallels to last chapter.

Not much farther to go, but I know you're working on big things. Looking forward to them, as always!

P.S. - "ear off", never too soon!

Author's Response: Hello!

Ah! Ok, so as for whose decision it was. I did want to leave it a little open, but I imagined it as being pretty much Quirrel's decision. I mean, this guy is in a really crazy place at this point in the story (drinking unicorn blood and all that). Plus, he's sort of experiencing both EXTREME hubris, as well as massive anxiety, stress, and pressure from Voldemort (as well as some "punishment" that he tells Harry about, but never offers details). This confluence of factors is what leads him to throw himself at the pretty-if-too-thin girl who seems to admire him so much. (Because SCREW TEACHER/STUDENT. An AWFUL trope that should NEVER be romanticized!)

As for Voldemort: it all sort of depends on personal Head Canon as to how much mind-and-body sharing is involved. So, that's up for people to make their own decisions on based on individual head canon. I myself am not sure there's a telepathic link there (since they communicate vocally in canon), but Quirrel wouldn't have done it if it would make Voldemort angry. So, at the very least, we're left to assume that Voldemort approved of the decision for at least *pragmatic* reasons (keep his servant happy). That, alone, is pretty darn terrible and awful.

I'm so glad you felt for the elves! I have SO MANY FEELINGS about their exploitation! I mean, Isobel's reasoning was pretty solid, but that's the whole issue Emily had originally mentioned about "not taking advantage." There's a reason Hufflepuffs never told the likes of Ravenclaws about the kitchens before.

I'm SO GLAD you thought that neither Emily nor Isobel seemed like the better person! That's ALWAYS how fights go, but it's hard to recognize that when you're in one.

And it's been super interesting to see how many people pick up on my Isobel clues, and when! Some people expressed suspicion as early as Chapter 2, other people got through this without saying anything!

Quirrel may have been my revenge against a certain High School English Teacher >:( (seriously, that trope needs to die a HORRIBLE AND PAINFUL DEATH! I can't even BELIEVE the audacity of ABC family--a little bit of normal substance experimentation or casual swearing or consensual teenage intimacy is Verboten, yet they CONSISTENTLY romanticize wildly inappropriate and creepy relationships--so long as it's "just kissing").

Ugh, yes, it is a pretty tight timeline. I sort of justified it to myself my thinking he left RIGHT AFTER Isobel ran off, while she wasted a lot of time stopping and crying with the twins in the secret passage. But I'm really glad you liked Hagrid! I SUPER wanted him to be in character, and SO glad you liked him!

xoxo
Roisin


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Review #9, by dracoanddragons 

17th August 2014:
I just started reading this the other day and I haven't been able to stop! The development of each character is really great; I can almost picture the exact way they say and do things:) I loved the invincible friend group and I'm sad they are having problems at the moment, but I know it will end up the way it's supposed to be. As for Tristan, he's quite complicated...but it all has to do with his darn secret involving the "R" of his middle name. Is it too wrong of me to suggest that maybe the R stands for Riddle and his real father is Tom Riddle? Crazy, I know. Anyways, I love the Weasley twins, They are absolutely hilarious! And it is beyond weird to think that all this is going on paralleled with all the philosopher's stone plot! Very exciting...but can I say that ew Professor Quirrel/Voldemort freaking kissed Isobel?!?!? Gross haha. I can't wait to find out what happens next, oh and I love that you put Hagrid in there for a second.
Update soon please!

Author's Response: Ah! Oh my merlin, thank you so much for this review! This is the first review I've gotten that didn't start at the beginning, and it's amazing to know that all of those little "reads" are actual human beings! So seriously, thank you for reviewing!

This chapter was very much the issues coming to a head, and the next chapter is very much the climax of the story--so we're at the darkest before the light right now. But YES--it is as it is supposed to be. A story with no drama, where everything was nice, would probably be rather boring.

And AH! Seeing people's various theories is AMAZING. Rookwood, Regulus, Riddle, Rabastan, Rosier, Rudolphus--"R" was a very potent letter indeed ;)

I definitely wanted this story to sit in the periphery of Philosopher's Stone, and for readers to realistically think that this might have happened in the background, so THANK YOU!

And YES, Quoldemort's awfulness is !1!!1! Definitely will be further examined!

Next chapter is in the queue!

Seriously (Siriusly) THANK YOU for the review! It's encouraging and wonderful in ways I am barely equipped to process!

ADLHJELJBXPIHEFLJHWED!!11!!1!
-Roisin


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Review #10, by emmacweasley 

27th July 2014:
"ear off" will ALWAYS be too soon ;) but oh my god i loved this chapter - i didn't know i needed an isobel/twins chapter so much. and Hagrid! Oh, Hagrid. also, EW Quirrel. Just gross and awful and ugh, poor isobel. and l o l at emily being awful and then realizing some things. good for her. i'm sorry - this isn't the best review, i guess, it's mostly just me telling you my feelings, but it's like 5:30AM so.

Great Job again!
Emma

Author's Response: No worries--I'm just pleased to get your reaction! This chapter was, I think, a really shining moment for the twins.

And I'm really glad you liked Hagrid--I knew it was risky weaving him in, as he's some major canon, but I really wanted to pull in the card game, as well as give Isobel some good adult guidance.

Definitely getting some more dimensionality out of Emily now. No one is allowed to be perfect in this story ;)

Yeah, the Quirrel bit was tough, so I ended up just being really sparse with the description. And, an interesting challenge to give myself: is it possible to make readers hate Voldemort *more*? (I imagine sharing a head with Voldemort had to have some influence on the situation).

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!
-Roisin


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Review #11, by marauderfan 

21st July 2014:
Hello again!

Woah, so much happened in this chapter. QUIRRELL! ACK! I did not see that coming. As if Isobel really needs more issues to deal with - give the poor girl a break! Asdjfkoasjdokf

Ok now that I've gotten that out, I'll attempt to do this review in order. I'm so glad Isobel talked with Professor Sprout for a bit, she really needed that what with all her friends being so caught up in their own problems. Also, along those same lines, I love that you have these random sections from Sprout's POV! I've never seen anything else written from her perspective and it's such a lovely change. Also a nice balance to have narration from a such a grounded, stable person who's got life sort of figured out and sees things very differently than the teenagers do.

Tristan finally stood up for himself! Kind of. I mean, it was through owl post, but the fact is that he did tell Emily to stop dealing, rather than just not caring about anything. He told her what she needed to hear, even if it might get her annoyed at him (and I feel like he wouldn't really have done that before). So that's something, right?

Loved the scene with Hagrid as well - you very subtlely built on all we know from the book and it was so cool to see that in here. When you mentioned they were going into the Hog's Head and that the gamekeeper was there, I was like OMG THIS IS WHEN HAGRID GETS NORBERT(A). And then it was so cool to see it unfold, especially when Hagrid was carrying the twins (haha) and Isobel was carrying the dragon egg and even asked about it but Hagrid passed it off as a joke. Good thinking, drunk Hagrid. Ahahaha it was fabulous though. And THIS:

Fredíll lecture my ear off tomorrow though. -- So that's how George lost his ear. :P Omg, but this was the best line ever. (Also, no, not too soon - can you believe it's been SEVEN years since that book was released? Man, I feel old.)

I love the ending paragraph too, with Isobel at the Ravenclaw door, and the bit about good is distinguished by the presence of love. She should reconsider her old friends in that light, and maybe it'd help her reconcile with them, to see things while standing in their shoes, so to speak.

Also the line about perforated cauldrons. You are very quotable, you know? (Not to sound creepy or anything :P ) Awesome chapter!

Author's Response: Oh yes, that was quite awful! I made an icked out face every time I wrote or edited that sequence, and the prose around it is VERY sparing as a result (because really, who wants to hear any more detail than what was there). That situation wasn't the first time writing this that I felt like "Oh god, this terrible thing is going to happen"--like it wasn't up to me.

Ah Sprout! Yeah, that was the exact reason I included her interludes. She's most definitely a wonderful and grounded (hah) canon character, but she doesn't get nearly as much play as, say, McGonnagall (also, I felt like there would realistically be some sort of guidance counselor--Harry gets that from Dumbledore, but not every student could). And I definitely wanted to break up all the teenage POV with an adult mindset, to offer perspective and another interpretation of the characters.

I am SO glad that people at HP Lexicon figured out what dates in 1991-92 the events of PhilStone took place! They did so much work, and it made it so much easier to plot out the story against canon! I find it really fun to play with all that dramatic irony, too--we know it's Quirrel under the cloak, Isobel doesn't.

You are totally on to it, as per Isobel reconsidering her friends in that light. That idea, the Presence of Love, is definitely a theme that carries through the conclusion.

And SO glad you liked the perforated cauldron bit! That line came to me all at once while writing, and I was so stoked on it!

Ah! I can't believe there's only a few chapters left already! A few challenge deadlines are coming up I'm trying for, so it'll be a little bit before the next chapter comes up (maybe a week-week and a half, depending on the queue). Thank you for reviewing! We're so far into the story, it's really awesome to see what you think of how it unfolds!

xoxo
Roisin


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