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Reading Reviews for Year Five, Chapter 21: After
12 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Seltas 

2nd January 2017:
I was recommended your fic by a friend and the way they described it did not do it a single ounce of justice. I've never read a story like this one before; how clever it was, how eventually everything came together so fluently and how accurate and canonical it felt. This is one of my favourite new fics and you're definitely a new favourite author!

Author's Response: Oh my, thank you!!! I've been really inactive on here recently, but I'm so glad I impulsively logged on! It means so much to me that you liked this story--it's really close to my heart, and I really can't explain how encouraging it is that people are still reading it and liking it. Thank you so much for taking the time to review!


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Review #2, by baletgir 

22nd October 2016:
I'm sorry I haven't been leaving reviews, but I've been so wrapped up in this story that I wanted to keep going and going, but I need to tell you once again that this work is genius!

The little hints and easter eggs you leave through out are perfect, and while I like how you explain them, I love when I catch them before you point them out, but I'm glad you eventually do because I have missed quite a few.

Such an amazing story, I'm sad to move on to the last chapter.

Again, thank you for writing and sharing this.

Author's Response: Hee, it's a huge compliment that you got too wrapped up to review! THANK YOU :D I'm just so happy to know people are still reading and enjoying this book!


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Review #3, by Gabriella Hunter 

24th October 2015:
Hello! >:)

It has been way too long since my last review and I am not pleased by that at all! This is Gabbie here for your second to last review though and I am SO happy to be back. Real life got in the way and then I got this weird flu thing and it was gross, making me far more acquainted with my toilet than any human should be. If we're going to get dirty about it.


I don't even know where to begin! This chapter was filled with so much excellence. I love that my little misfit gang has had some form of realization about themselves. I was so upset to know that Tristan had tried to commit suicide though but in the process of being saved, I think he ended up saving the girls too.

I once again can just gush over how wonderful your dedication to canon was in this. Tristan overhearing about Harry's first adventure was a great way to stay in his head but what I liked the mos was that you didn't focus on that. This story isn't about Harry or his friends, it's much more than that and I think it was a nice way of tying your universe together. I never do that. I'm so lazy. Hahaha. Anyway, I love the transformation that Tristan took from the beginning of this chapter towards the end. It was subtle but powerfully written and I think the most stunning thing, aside from him crying for the first time was simply his origins.

Goodness! What?! I sort of figured it out but giving a full explanation just sort of made my head spin. I don't know how you did it, I honestly don't but the reactions from the girls (And nearly being snogged by Voldemort) were just so realistic and refreshing. I like that their actions and words weren't exaggerated or forced, they genuinely felt shock and awe over the news. It didn't drag on either, which I liked too because it showed that in that short moment that they loved Tristan and even while knowing who he really was may be hard to take in, that wasn't going to change.

*Wipes away tears*

There were a lot of issues between them all that they weren't willing to focus on and I think that Tristan nearly dying forced them to open up about it. Isobel and Emily of course were a great example of this and it's funny how just the simple things, like staring out at the Lake can force you to become a floodgate of emotion. I really loved that scene between the two girls and I'm wondering what Isobel will do now that she is beginning to understand more about who she really is.

Now, I could go on and on and on and on about everything in this chapter but I wouldn't have room to talk about everything. I just want to say that Tristan is a very brave boy (On a side note, Snape gave him some pretty darn good advice about being his own person. Snarky, but good) and I don't think I would have been able to do what he did. I wasn't really sure what would happen with that scene and I was furious over learning what Bellatrix did to him but facing off against his father was just such a tense scene. There was no love lost between them of course and I think seeing his father was really want Tristan needed. He realized, facing his father's madness that his life DIDN'T have to go down that path and it was the most beautiful thing.

So, I was sniffling towards that ending. ;__;

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

I could go on forever about it!

CC: I think you mixed up your "You're" around the beginning and while the chapter was long, all of mine are so you won't get any complaints from me. If you had wanted to cut this chapter off though, you can include Tristan's visit to his father in the last chapter. I think cutting it before then would be a nice stopping place. :D

Much love,


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Review #4, by greenbirds 

5th October 2015:
i keep coming back to this story- not as a whole, but fragmented into my favourite chapters and scenes, and it thrills me every. single. time. i'm still so flattered that you said my review was one of the nicest you've ever gotten, and i want to be (one of) the first to congratulate you on your dobby! i couldn't vote, but i was rooting for you- tristram, really- all the same. i couldn't be more pleased, you most definitely deserve it! this story is such a classic, and it's exciting that the rest of hpff seems to agree! massive, massive congrats ♥

Author's Response: SQUEE! Thank you so much! Man, that means a whole lot to me :)

I'm still sort of in a state of shock about Dobby. Like... REALLY?!?!?!?! I really never thought many people would like this story, and I kind of keep refusing to believe that they do.

And you were rooting for me/him?!?! AH! Thank you!


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Review #5, by water_lily43175 

3rd October 2015:
Oh man this chapter had all the feels. ALL THE FEELS. Tristan is (was) a Lestrange. I was nearly there, I was thinking he was Bellatrix and Rodolphus' son. What a beautiful journey of self-discovery you've given him, and I love that he visits Rabastan and comes away with the realisation that Rabastan is NOT his father in the end. Oh Tristan.

Also I felt really sad for poor old Uncle Frank when reading this.

"I was almost snogged by Voldemort, is what happened!" Shouldn't have laughed. Did laugh.

Lovely Isobel/Emily scene as well, I guess I wasn't imagining undertones from Isobel. Lovely lovely.

YES Dumbledore TOTALLY planned on Harry going down the trapdoor. Naughty Dumbly.

I really adore everything about this chapter, and if I wasn't feeling totally braindead I'd type a 6000 character, intellectual splurge on themes and people and just everything amazing about this story. But I don't think I'm capable of that right now, so just pretend this is it. And maybe in another five or so months I'll come along and actually WRITE said review.


Author's Response: A ridiculous confession: so partially, I didn't make him Bellatrix's son because thought it would be a bit TOO much, but mostly... Rabastan is just a better name than "Rodolphus." Like, the latter makes me think of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

That's also why I chose the weirdly incongruous surname "Bryce" for him. Like, it just doesn't suit Tristan AT ALL, while "Lestrange" REALLY does. And "Lestrange" sounds like "estrange" for his estranged birth family.

Ah yes, poor Uncle Frank who was actually innocent :(

OH DON'T WORRY, you were MEANT to laugh at that line! They all did :P

Yeah I think with Isobel/Emily, it's less about the fact that Isobel has a crush on Emily than that Isobel has a crush on a girl. Like, the crush itself is pretty small and not a big deal, it's beginning to accept her sexuality by and large that matters.

RIGHT?! Some people have criticized PS by saying a) if Harry had just left it all alone everything would have been fine, and b) if three first years could do it then it can't have been that great of protections. But OBVIOUSLY Dumbledore engineered the whole situation specifically to do all that!

SQUEE! I'm just SO stoked that you see all the themes and things! I had no idea what people would make of this story when I started posting, and it means a huge amount to me that people have sort of taken it /seriously/, and bothered to kind of engage with the story and recognized all the thematic/literary things I tried to do!

Like, I dunno. It never seems like readers are like "it's just fanfiction," you know? And I think there's something really cool about that. Like, so many people around the world producing and engaging with literary works that don't conform to the conventions of what ought to be taken seriously. And in a way, it makes sense that that would come out of Harry Potter.

In the 90s, there was a MARKED drop in children's literacy, and children were reading less than any generation in the last 50 years. I remember people teasing me or thinking I was odd for reading, and then overnight, EVERY KID started reading and had their nose in a book, and it was Harry Potter. Indeed, child reading had a HUGE surge after that and reached record high levels.

And HP definitely has some themes around egalitarianism and anti-elitism, and I think fanfiction is a pretty amazing way to democratize reading and writing. Like, publishing and connecting to an audience is no longer the domain of the chosen few (white dudes), with publishing houses as gatekeepers.

And with HPFF, EVERYONE has a voice to tell stories, and we can use this sort of shared vocabulary of the Potterverse to connect with people and experiences we do not know and have never shared.

But now I'm just waxing on and rambling!

Basically, THANK YOU.


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Review #6, by moonbaby11 

6th September 2015:


I'm a little upset I didn't catch onto the fact that Bryce was a surname from the novels and I'm even more upset that I didn't get who Frank actually was until I read your End Notes. (Of course it's been quite a few years since I've read the books so I suppose I can be forgiven slightly? Perhaps?). Anyways, that connection was just plain brilliant. You utilized canon to your advantage in every possible way and I adored the way that everything really seems to come full circle. It really just blows me away.

Dumbledore here is, once again, brilliant, and I loved hearing McGonagall tell him off because she's not wrong... He does play a rather Machiavellian role in Harry's life, especially come OOTP and HBP. I think that was something somebody finally needed to say to the Professor.

I'm so pleased that Isobel is finally coming to terms with her sexuality and is ready to actually look deeper into her own feelings! It put a smile on my face because I'm hoping now she'll truly accept herself, flaws and all. I'm really glad that a lot of the characters seem to be getting happy endings? They all made it through their OWLs, Tristan is alive, they've reunited, and Isobel seems ready to finally accept herself. And FINALLY Tristan seems ready to put his past behind him and love the family that loves him without worrying about the family he had for the first six years of his life. I'm so proud of him for being the bigger man and announcing that Rabastan was not his father. He's really grown so much from the beginning of the novel.

I'm pumped for this epilogue! Time to see how things turn out for all the characters! Hope everything goes well :)

Author's Response: !!! I've actually gone back and edited the story to make it a little less obvious, because BLOODY HELL everyone on this site is SO SHARP. (I considered having it be Rodolphus, and I realize this is petty, but I just liked the name "Rabastan" better :P) But yeah, Rabastan also tortured the Longbottoms!


Heehee, the Bryce thing was a surprise to most people, no worries!

And yeah, McGonagall would definitely tell Dumbledore off, right? Like, she would have noticed that he set the whole thing up as an adventure for Harry and be REALLY cross about it.

But in defense of Dumbledore, even with all the other teachers distracted by Harry, he takes the time to talk to Tristan and sees him as important too. I just generally liked the idea that he cares about and keeps track of ALL his students, and intervenes whenever they need him.

*Squee* I'm really glad you think this chapter is satisfying! While Isobel's sexuality isn't related to her eating disorder, I felt like accepting herself would give her some of the strength she needed to overcome her issues. Like, just a nice boost for when she needed it most.

AH, only one more chapter to go!

Seriously, thank you SO MUCH for all of these amazing reviews!


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Review #7, by CambAngst 

29th August 2015:
Hi, Roisin! I don't think I'm going to make it to 100. But 50 would be nice...

GryCReMo (Review #41)

Tristan hadn’t planned on there being an after. It was humiliating, and terrifying, and he felt like a stranger. -- Unfortunately, I know two people who've attempted suicide. Both of them grappled with this exact thing. Nobody thinks about the possibility that they might survive and have to deal with the aftermath.

I love Eddie's story. It will probably take Tristan a little while to process what it means, but I really hope it helps.

“Machiavellian,” McGonagall shot back. “That’s what you are. I hope you realize that.” -- I'm glad that somebody is saying that to his face. Because it's true, and would only become more true as the years passed.

“Yeah I bet if young Potter got a headache the school would assume it was the Dark Lord behind it,” Laurel scoffed. -- Slow clap. Brilliant.

I loved the scene in Cadogan's Corridor. It was familiar and comfortable, but not. For a brief moment, everything felt the same, but everything was different. And lots of walls finally fell, especially for Tristan. Poor Isobel, as though the whole thing with Quirrell needed to be any worse. At least Tristan's friends -- his support -- finally know the truth. As Aunt Esther used to say, "And the truth will set you free!" Wow. That show probably went off the air fifteen years before you were born. I have to stop dating myself like that...

Wow. Tristan got a birthday present from the Dark Lord. That really puts the awkward hover-hands hug that Draco Malfoy received in perspective, doesn't it?

There were many ways a fragile body might break, and each of them were playing out in Isobel's mind. -- It's a really insidious variation on survivor's guilt that you've hit upon there. If a friend succeeds in killing themselves, you ask yourself what you should have done differently, but the scope is contained. All of the opportunities have already come and gone. If they try to kill themselves and fail, the cycle of second-guessing repeats itself every time you let them out of your sight.

Ah, it seems that Isobel is having an awakening of sorts. All it took was Emily stepping up to shatter these walls of envy and self-doubt that she'd built around her self-image. Now she's questioning more things. Good on you, Isobel!

I'm glad that Tristan is feeling... something along with the memories of his birth parents. He's the sort of person who could easily construct emotional walls around all of it and feel nothing. It seems to me that he needs to feel more if he's ever going to survive his teenage years. It's also good to see Snape continuing to try to look after him. If there's anyone who understands how a person can be victimized by falling under the Dark Lord's influence, it's Snape.

"Believing that child-rearing was the sole dominion of women, after your mother's death, your primary care fell to your aunt," Snape added tensely. "A most unfortunate turn of events." -- Snape has quite the gift for understatement. Bellatrix would have resented every moment of being forced to look after a child instead of carrying out the Dark Lord's will.

Wow. Tristan has memories of the Longbottoms being tortured. Which the Dementors obviously bring right to the surface. You've brought so many amazing things to light in this chapter that clarify and reinforce this enigmatic character. Bravo!

Your physical descriptions of what it's like to be inside Azkaban are brilliant. The place is chilling, dead and terrible in every respect.

“That man isn’t my father,” Tristan answered the decade old question that had lurked silently, never being asked. Mr. Shacklebolt looked for a moment like he might say something, but didn’t. -- I'm so glad that's clear to him now. There's a good chance he'll be able to move forward. Better chance, anyway.

I really, really love this story. I never have to read for very long before I remember all of the reasons why. You do such an amazing job with these characters and their world!

Author's Response: DAN! Sorry for taking SUH LONG to respond to your AMAZING ZOMG reviews!

Oof, yes, the equal parts of "heartbreaking" and "awkward" there were super difficult to write. Especially because I had no desire to write about this topic in the FIRST place, and then just sorta HAD to, and UGH.

Eddie is such a two-dimensional non-character for so much of the story (which I think has a lot to do with Tristan sort of distancing himself/walling himself off), and so I was glad for this opportunity to really SHOW this guy. And I think it fits with some of the kind of Breakthroughs Tristan has here--like, this is the first time we see Eddie really being a DAD, because it's the first time Tristan's seeing him that way.

SO. LIKE. A lot of people pointed out that the Stone woulda been fine if Harry had just left the whole thing alone, or that those protections were a bit jank if 3 11-12 year olds could get passed them. But knowing everything we know now, I think that's a bit reductive. Obv Dumbledore engineered that exact thing that exact way in order to kinda train Harry, and since it all DID work out eventually, I can't fault him that. But McGonagall definitely can!

HEEHEE, glad you liked my mEtA jOkE :D

I LOVE what you said about things being the same yet different. I think the corridor kind of acts as a 'control test' throughout the story. By having those variables the same, you can see how things have changed.

Yeah, I definitely agree that self-blame is like, THE response to tragedy. Even if someone passes suddenly and from natural causes, everyone who loves them will find SOMETHING to regret. And with self-harm, I think it can very easily become an eggshell-paranoia situation.

It's funny because I hadn't planned for Isobel to be gay, but just as soon as I started writing her, I knew. Things like that happened a lot with these characters--like how I hadn't planned for Tristan to be clinically depressed. OR the thing with Emilt's past, that was just something I realized was there whether or not I wanted it to be. THESE CHARACTERS. THEY DO WHATEVER THE HELL THEY WANT. And honestly, it's a far stronger story for it.

I'm not sure if this came across, but I wanted to imply that Tristan blames himself for the Longbottoms (again with the untrue self-blame). Like, if he hadn't cried then Bellatrix wouldn't have gotten upset, and it was because she was so angry that she just sort of destroyed them out of fury. And then I think he experienced a lot of guilt for just BEING there around all those people, even though that obviously wasn't his fault or his choice. But you know, people be blaming themselves.

It was weird because I wasn't sure how the meeting with Rabastan Sr would go. Like, I felt like it should be a big deal, and then it was... Nothing. Like, it just felt so irrelevant almost. And then I realized that was a GOOD thing--Tristan also realized how irrelevant her was. Faced the thing he was so afraid of and had made such a big deal about in his mind, and... Nothing. Just "that guy sucks, bye." I think he'd spent a really long time thinking there was something there, or worrying that it spoke to something inside of himself. And then it didn't.

Oh man, you always leave such interesting and thoughtful reviews! I'll need to write some brand new thing if only to keep it going!


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Review #8, by TidalDragon 

23rd August 2015:
I did NOT figure it out ages ago, primarily because like all good bozos (especially those reading late into the night), I didn't even THINK of first names, just last names the R could be. Pitiful.

But it was a very interesting "ending" since you've said 22 is more in the form of an epilogue. It was strangely cathartic for me as a reader even to hear Tristan's story - the depth of what he had been exposed to - and to see him finally begin perhaps to accept himself.

Isobel's reveal on the other hand, came as little surprise. I suppose it would just be too much perhaps (though maybe I'm speaking too soon) if she were into Emily specifically, but I was gratified to be correct that it was Emily's snapping "Are you in love with me?" (or whatever the exact phrasing was) that was meant to be a focal point of that chapter.

What was most gratifying though was to see people finally rally around Tristan. Though he has a long road ahead (as discussed before that final journey to see Rabastan), at least we can see that he has support. He hopefully believes in his ability to deserve his parents' love now and has his support system back, so I'm hopeful for his future.

Now, I press on to the final lines of your magnificent tale - Chapter 22.

Author's Response: THAT YOU DIDN'T FIGURE IT OUT IS A GIGANTIC RELIEF. I've gone back to make it more subtle, but YAS success at the surprise!

And honestly it's ok if some people figure it out, because the whole thing was drafted with that reveal happening super early and only at the LAST MINUTE (like, as I was uploading the chapter) did I decide to hold off until, basically, the end.

UGH, the Isobel reveal. So yeah, the specifics have been edited (she's less SURE in the newest version, and those paragraphs are better written--but as I mentioned, as of this writing, the rest of the chapter has yet to be updated).

I think that REALLY BIG THINGS often have the benefit of sort of shoving other, also important, things into perspective. It doesn't make those other pains go away, but I think it makes people better equipped to approach them. And yeah, this is a story about kids who are still learning, and feeling a lot of things for the first time. It's really us watching them learn how to deal.

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Review #9, by Slide 

7th June 2015:
Tristan's Uncle Frank. Well. I guess everything's connected.

I have often wondered how much McGonagall and Dumbledore clashed over issues with Harry. How much has she known, how much has she guessed, how much has she simply chosen to ignore or accept through trusting Dumbledore? Not really the point of the story, but for a story which has wonderfully showcased the best of Dumbledore, I adore you reminding us of some of the worst of Dumbledore.

I suppose Tristan picked a fantastic time to bury bad news. I bet the whole school was SUPER confused on how everything went down at the end of PS and COS.

I shouldn't laugh at Isobel learning about Voldemort living under Quirrell's turban. I shouldn't. It's horrible. But it's also kind of hilarious. OH GOOD they also find it funny I'm not a bad person -

TRISTAN TELL ME THE STORY. ACK! I DID think it was possibly the Lestrange brother, but I prefer to cling to my more crackpotty theories (if I must be wrong, I prefer to be hilariously wrong). UGH I am going to need continuations of this story to see how this all pans out in the war, I SWEAR I WILL NEED THIS IN MY LIFE. But this one's not over yet.

Of COURSE he was worried, and of COURSE they accept him, and both were inevitable and natural. I adore Tristan meeting Voldemort on his birthday - because the First War was different, wasn't it, so many more of the Death Eaters had LIVES, and he had to at least PRETEND to be involved in them, to care about them, if only a little.

Isobel and Emily - ah, here we go. I don't have much to say on the scene, other than it's got lovely resolution to it which suits both characters, and yet the dangling threads and questions are also most appropriate and perfect.

Yeah, don't mention Witch-Nazi parents to the Muggle psychiatrist. It won't help.

HNG a reunion with Tristan and Rabastan I did NOT SEE THIS COMING. Okay so it might ease my burning need for the HPB-set continuation, but I may still have to start on my picket signs. Oh HELL, Bellatrix, you're so evil. I'd assumed Tristan's reaction to the Cruciatus was about witnessing the fate of the Longbottoms. Yay, Kingsley's the Auror! This whole run-up is brilliant, I'm GIDDY.

You know, for angst. Angst-giddy. And it was beautiful and brilliant and PERFECT. Again, you set up the complicated issues and questions with no obvious answer, no right and wrong - how 'should' Tristan feel about Rabastan senior? - and yet you don't DWELL. I envy you there; long-windedness and going over and over the same moral issues is something I know I do too much in my writing. You've handled this scene, this culmination of Tristan's entire story, with a light touch that seems effortless and yet absolutely more than enough. More and it would be indulgent. Less and it would be insufficient. But it's JUST RIGHT and I love it.

And the ending gave me ALL the feels.

Author's Response: Yes yes, even the muggles need to be canon.

I don't really blame Dumbledore, but I HAD to assume that that would be McGonagall's perspective. A lot of that scene was inspired by the very beginning of PS and the whole 'baby-on-the-doorstep' bit.

Yes, something that could have been a huge story around school got very conveniently eclipsed by Harry Potter. Which was also a necessary choice, because I needed to handwave away why Harry never heard about any of this stuff with them.

Do not feel bad about succumbing to that Dark Comedy! IT NEEDED TO GET LAUGHED ABOUT!

I think I need to go back and make this all a million times more subtle. I had NO IDEA how savvy readers would be! Like, I'm glad it still seemed to have at least a bit of surprise, but most readers had Rabastan near the tops of their lists.

I also think that, with Voldemort, he kinda considered Tristan to be sort of an investment. Or like, something that belonged to him. The child of his followers, a pureblood, and one day, another body for his chess board. :(((

I'm REALLY relieved you thought that this was the right amount for this scene. I worried I'd rushed it, as it's pretty BIG, but yeah... Just, what else is there to say once all the stuff has been established? It sucks and it's complicated and it's weird. DONE. I still think I want to go back and add more description, but it's SUCH a relief to hear that the amount of analysis was right. I'm a fan of your work and super trust your judgement!

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Review #10, by mymischiefmanaged 

26th January 2015:
YOU GOT A NEW BANNER! I love it. It's really really great and it matches the tone of this story perfectly. I just thought I'd come and let you know that I like it :)

Also, this chapter gave me a thought for something you might like to write. A one-shot about child Tristan living with the Lestranges? So maybe from the point of view of a child? I don't know. It just seems like the kind of thing you could write really well.

This is a wonderful chapter. I think it has some of the best moments of bonding between the characters in the whole story, which I suppose makes sense because by this point they've all developed and changed a lot and have grown together. I think my favourite moment was Isobel being honest with Emily about her jealousy. It shows something really special in their friendship. It's the kind of thing she could easily be embarrassed about or just not want to mention, but the fact she's open and honest helps them become closer.

Love love love this chapter, and the story as a whole.

Emma x

Author's Response: Yee! Thank you! I'm really stoked to finally have fulfilled my animated banner dreams :D

OH GOSH, that sounds like the darkest most depressingest story evar! PERHAPS!

I really wanted to get in that "you think I'M PRETTY??? But you're SO PRETTY" thing. Honestly, I wasn't happy with its placement in the story, so I'm glad you liked it!

Thank you so much for this delightful review!

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Review #11, by AlexFan 

12th December 2014:
I’m going to apologize in advance if I start making no sense throughout this review as I am sick and who knows what might happen.

Okay, first off, thank God that Tristan is alive, I honestly thought that he wasn’t going to make it and like I had to prepare myself to deal with his death. I remember how in Philosopher’s Stone Harry noticed someone else in the hospital wing with him who was curtained off and I like how you connected Tristan to that time in canon (seriously, I love how you connect every small canon thing to your story).

On another note, can you just imagine the rumours at Hogwarts about Harry after he killed Quirrel. Like, an eleven-year-old murdered a teacher with his bare hands, imagine how that must’ve terrified some people.

I never thought that I would read a sentence like, “I snogged Voldemort is what happened.” Yet here we are.

OH MY GOD WHAT?! HE IS BELLATRIX AND RABASTAN’S SON LIKE WHAT THE HELL I DID NOT SEE THIS COMING. I mean, I knew that his biological parents had been Death Eaters but I never thought to make the connection, at least we know why Narcissa was so willing to take Tristan in, and now the story that his father told him makes sense. That’s just, wow, that’s a really big thing. Talk about a plot twist. Can you imagine how different Tristan would’ve turned out had he lived with Narcissa and Lucius.

I feel like everyone is beginning to start over and get to know each other better now. Despite everything that has happened, I think all of the characters are in a much better and healthier place than they were at the beginning of the story. And I love how you added even more depth to Isobel by making her question her sexuality. It’s something that a lot of people begin to question and explore as they grow older and become more educated. I love how she came to acknowledge that she didn’t like men the way that she liked women and how perfectly okay she was with that.

Oh my gosh I’m so happy for Tristan and the fact that he finally got some closure! He was really brave to go and see his father in Azkaban. And I can definitely see what he was worrying about, wondering if you would grow up to be as cruel as your Death Eater father had been. A huge weight has been lifted off of his shoulders now that he sees that he is nothing like his father. I’m so glad that Tristan finally sees and appreciates the parents that he has that replaced Rabastan and Bellatrix.

Author's Response: Yes! I'm sure there's another explanation for who was in the curtained off bed--but it just worked so well!

And yeah, we hear Dumbledore say that the rumors are running wild, but we never really got to SEE the rest of the school's perspective. So that was definitely fun to play with.

Aha! Yes, he's Rabastan's son! (He's actually Bellatrix's *nephew* though--his mom is named Belvina--because Bellatrix was married to Rodolphus, not Rabastan. But you are sick so I won't blame you for missing the 'auntie Bella' line!)

And YEAH; had he been brought up by Narcissa and Lucius... Terribleness...

I hadn't originally planned on Isobel being gay, but just as soon as I started writing her POVs, I realized that she was (which is why she was always vaguely wondering about other peoples' sexualities). She sort of had a crush on Emily, but didn't realize it--which motivated a lot of her behavior.

Understanding the basis of Tristan's self-loathing does rather validate the intensity of his angst, huh! And such a big part of early Potter was the idea that we are defined by our choices, and that no one can just be BORN evil. So I drew that out in Tristan in a big way (also, I just really wanted to examine the experiences of a Death Eaters child).

As I've said before, Tristan really is the anti-Potter. Both were adopted after losing their parents in the war, but Tristan loves his adopted parents while Harry hates living with the Dursleys. Harry loves Hogwarts and wants to live there year-round, while Tristan loves the muggle world and resents Hogwarts. The Potters are heroes, the Lestranges are villains. Harry grows up not realizing that he's famous, Tristan grows up knowing exactly how infamous his parents were (but lives in obscurity under a false identity).

Gosh, I can't believe there's only one chapter left! Thank you so much for coming along on this strange little journey with me!

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Review #12, by marauderfan 

5th September 2014:
Omg, the line about he pin that used to say --- Slytherin and now only says --- ... how perfect, in a really dark way. Of course it says that.

Frank Bryce! Ahh, how did I not make that connection before now?! Mind blown. But at the same time I really shouldn't be surprised because you have a tendency to use surnames from the books. Also, seeing Frank's story in this light is so sad, because as the reader we know he was innocent, but everyone thouht he was guilty. :( Just so you know for editing purposes, there was a typo in the section where Eddie was talking about Frank, it said "you're" instead of "your". Otherwise it was flawless ;)

I also love that you included that conversation between McGonagall and Dumbledore. Obviously Dumbledore knew what was going on, and I appreciated that you (through McGonagall) pointed out the obvious flaws in that plan.

"That one,” Tristan pointed out the youngest Weasley. “Played some chess. And that one,” he indicated to a manic little witch with a lot of hair, “did something clever with potions. The rest has a lot to do with some special rock.” -- Hahaha! You are too good at this. Best summary ever.

Rabastan - I knew that's what the R was! One of many guesses, I think, but it was in there somewhere :p Anyway, I just loved thst scene when Tristan finally tells his friends the truth and they all hug him. That was a long time coming. Aw

Wow, this whole chapter was full of catharsis and letting go of problems onto other people's helping shoulders, and it was nice to see Emily and Isobel talk things out. Even if Isobel didn't voice all of her concerns, and she'll probably still have some latent self esteem issues, but I think that conversation was a huge turning point for her - for both of them, really.

Definitely got chills while reading that scene in Azkaban. It was so dark and terrifying yet illuminating, and I think one of my favourite scenes in the story thus far. I'm glad Tristan visited his real father -sure it was by no means a pleasant experience, but it gave him some much-needed perspective, and confront his angst I suppose, and to see that he is not his father. When he came back and was actually HAPPY it was just so great, I'm so relieved things are taking an upward turn for him.

Stories have meaning; they are real whether or not they are true. -- love it. You are a fantastic author and I love these little nuggets of wisdom you drop sometimes as an endnote, or in the story itself. Amazing chapter and I can't believe we're so close to the end! I hope you have a sequel in mind or at least another novel ;)

Author's Response: Hello!

Ahh! Thank you! The pin was one of my favorite parts too!

Heeheehee about Frank Bryce :) I dropped a few hints when Isobel visited Tristan. I know people probably figured out the big "R" reveal ages ago (man, when I first wrote this, I had NO IDEA everyone would be up on canon as much as me). I'm glad there was at least one "AHA" moment! But, like I mentioned on my MTA, I'm sort of OK with people figuring out about "R", since it was originally revealed in Chapter 10 (and then mostly the story was the same from there, just a few more specific references).

Yee--I'm so glad you liked the McGonnagall and Dumbledore conversation! A lot of people (less on this site, but elsewhere in the world) have pointed out the futility of a lot of Harry's quests (if he'd just left things alone, the stone woulda been fine). BUT a careful reader knows that Dumbledore really did set it all up to kind of train Harry. Which does, I think, make a big argument for Dumbledore's Machiavellian-ness--which is fine by me.

Hah--this story is, I realize, VERY DEFENSIVE of the Potter story! (It's sort of like, NUH UH THAT'S NOT A PLOT HOLE!)

"Catharsis" is such a great way to describe this chapter! I'm so stoked it came off like that, and that it worked!

!Azkaban! That scene ALMOST didn't make it into the story--that it's your favorite makes me feel SO RELIEVED that I made the right call! I felt really challenged to write Azkaban well, and was worried I wouldn't do it dark/terrifying/chilling justice. It was just such a big scene, and I would rather just cut it then not get it right. So YAY I'm so glad that what I tried to do worked out!

Man--as for a sequel, there are SO MANY options, and I just DON'T KNOW which one to do! I will probably ask people what they think after the story is all up.

Anyway, it's now time to post the last chapter and cry my eyes out! I can't believe it's almost over!

THANK YOU SO MUCH! That you've read and reviewed this whole thing means the world to me!


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