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8 Reviews Found

Review #1, by cherry_pop94 

28th December 2015:
Some happiness has come to them at last. Matt and Selena. Yes. Finally.

I think I understand a little more about why everyone loves Selena so much. It's because she finds it so, so, so difficult to show vulnerability to anyone. She finds it so hard to talk about her problems. So she just bottles them up and deals with them herself. So everyone thinks she's always fine. They just thought she was fun and vapid before because she talked about nothing serious, and then they thought she was just strong and stoic about it all after.

I feel like that's something everyone relates to. Because it's so, so, so hard to open up to anyone. It's so difficult to allow yourself to show others your pain. Selena puts up a mask and so do the rest of us. I feel like I'm just like her, the only place I allow myself to show even an ounce of genuine emotion is online because like Selena, I hate to appear vulnerable to people who know me. I'd rather spend our time talking about happy things, even if those happy things are superficial.

And that's why I'm here. I write because I can pour my soul into a character and no one in my real life will never know how much everything always hurts.

Maybe I'm projecting too much onto Selena. But that's why I love her. She's so much of a mirror into my own life.

Stefanie

Author's Response: At last SOMEONE gets some happiness. Sometimes I'm not cruel. SOMETIMES.

I think you're probably very right about Selena. I've not thought about her that way before; I know she's always hidden her feelings, it was always a major part of the character. But I hadn't anticipated that being as relatable as it was (probably very short-sighted of me!). Perhaps, as someone who values her masks in public, I ironically assumed that other people aren't as repressed as I am. ;-)

Still, it's a damn good insight, and not really one I'd thought of before. I'd kind of assumed it was Selena being much more - more than other characters - the sort of person you'd meet in everyday life. Which it probably is, partly, but this is just part of WHY she's so much more 'common'. There's not as much Heroic Heart on Sleeve behaviour for her. It's all about misdirection.

And I guess we can all relate to that.


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Review #2, by water_lily43175 

9th December 2015:
BAH, I keep getting to the next chapter and thinking it's my favourite and then being proved wrong as I read on. SO MUCH emotional fallout going on!

I love Scorpius/Selena moments. Obviously her conversations with ANYONE are great because she always gives people a dose of advice and common sense, but in this case it's so lovely to see Scorpius give some advice of his own BACK. More than that, it's nice to see Selena actually ask someone for emotional help for once.

The thought of big, muscly, friendly, squishy-huggable Albus crying just shattered my heart into little pieces. :( I guess his trouble is he's still struggling with learning how to be himself, and even who HE is. He's always been the straight man of Scorbus, and he needs to learn to be Albus Potter. Maybe this time round, now he and Rose both know Scorpius isn't going to be around much longer, this will give them more time to learn how to live without him.

But the most heartbreaking part of that scene was the part where ALBUS DROPPED THE TEA. I can't even.

ALSO. I adore what you did with Matt. There's a paragraph which I love but I can't manage to quote in my own words and I'm not copying and pasting the whole thing so if you can't remember it you'll just have to look back through and find it, but the one that begins with "For years hed held Roses grief in his hands, and hed told himself that was the same as her heart, and never soothed it into oblivion because then he would be holding nothing" - SO MUCH YES FOR ALL OF THIS.

Just everything. Beautiful prose. I LOVE. Good chapter bro.

Author's Response: I'm getting to the point now where I need to keep checking what bloody happened this chapter. Titles are NO use.

Scorpius and Selena always had a nice friendship. Never one to set the stars by, but they were always the most emotionally astute of the gang, so they could judge everyone else together. But Scorpius is not just the silliest of the gang - so the most in need of Selena's Truth-Telling - but he's also the only one who stands a real chance of giving her a taste of her own medicine (Rose is generally too nice).

CRYING AL. I'm so cruel. He dropped the tea and went to similar pieces (it's a metaphor) and then Rose put him and the teacups back together (it's a metaphor) except the tea was ruined (I have no idea what that's a metaphor for).

There are times I question Selena and Matt as a romantic couple. This chapter always makes me stop questioning.


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Review #3, by Elizabeth 

25th August 2015:
To be honest I've been rejecting every indication that Matt & Selena would get together because I just cannot stomach it. And now you've made it solid and I can't help but want them to fall apart very very quickly. But that's because I really don't like Matt very much and I quite like Selena (though I think she makes very, very poor choices and needs a bit of a smack upide the head to sort her out)

Author's Response: Selena: very good at telling other people what's what, less good at applying such logic to herself.

Matt in general and Matt/Selena in particular seem a bit love/hate from my readers. I'm just pleased people care one way or another.

Thanks for reviewing!


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Review #4, by Solana14 

1st June 2015:
WOW.

This one is... how can I say it? It gets ever more powerful as it goes. All three major scenes told in so many ways we needed. First, after the last chapter, like another poster, I so wanted Selena to go to Scorpius so I was really glad she did. Our poor baby so needs his friends and, at this moment, Selena couldn't have been a better choice. A close friend by now, but without the intense emotional attachment of Rose and Albus. And man does she tell it like it is! And then to turn it around and ask his advice with Matt... Perfect.

Albus is of course unhealthily codependent as has been said, but I'm now understanding lots of the reason behind it all. In the story he has spent most of his young life from Hogwarts on looking after Scorpius, in one way or another. Let's face it -- Scorp became the most important person in his life almost by default. So I can understand from reading this what he's going through -- although, of course, the extremity of it needs to be worked on.

Yep, I too love this Rose. The new "old" Rose we loved so much -- and occasionally got aggravated by, is back. I couldn't be happier. And now, with all the talk of "hope" she's working on... let's hope that hope proves to be a good literary ploy as well for us readers. A way for us to feel hope, too. I don't think I've ever wanted anything in literature more than for this protagonist to survive, in the right way, with everyone else safe, too, at the end. Morally they're not as they were, not ever close, or even as we thought they would be. But redemption... yes, they deserve that and should get it, along with continuing life.

Author's Response: Selena and Scorpius have never been CLOSE, but they have always understood each other. They've never been emotionally reliant on one another, while still being able to communicate effectively - if they choose to. And while Selena can be judgemental, she usually knows how to use that to maximum effect, and here she's smart enough to see judging helps nobody. That, and Scorpius can be quite helpful with OTHER people's problems, like the Matt thing.

You're spot on with your assessment of Albus here. Al grew up as part of the Wotter Clan, and his identity revolved around that. He and Scorpius became so close in part because their friendship was THEIRS, nothing to do with their families. For both of them, their sense of individual self, away from what they were brought up to be, is massively intertwined. It doesn't help with Al in that anything else he's had for himself, so to speak, exploded in his face - like Eva.

Albus really needs to take the LESSONS of his friendship with Scorpius and to detach them from the man himself. Doesn't mean they can't still be insanely close friends, but the sense of self-worth Scorpius gave him doesn't require Scorpius to always be there.

New Old Rose. Too true. She had to be the one struggling and suffering through life without Scorpius, and while I knew she would change, if she just perked up the moment he was 'back,' then her recovery was worthless. Her emotional state was literally contingent on Scorpius. While Scorpius is of course an INFLUENCE, this time she's faced with the point where she could break absolutely, forever and for good - and she's turned away, started to rise up. She had to want it, had to choose it, and it makes her like a breath of fresh air to write.

Scorpius carried the emotional beats for Ignite, Selena carried them for Starfall (which I did not realise at the time), but Rose carries them for Oblivion.

We'll see how it all ends up. Morally they're not there, and whatever happens there will be scars, but I don't believe redemption is impossible, and I believe it's possible to live with scars. That's in general, though. In specific, for these specific people? They're all different. We'll see.

Thanks for reviewing!


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Review #5, by Echo95 

29th May 2015:
Both this chapter and the previous ones have been very good, and enjoyable to read. Matt and Selena seem to be doing fairly well considering the emotional stress that they're under, and I guess that Rose is too, to a certain extent (who wouldn't spend all of their time trying to save the person they love?). I guess the person that stands out to me is Albus. His grief is not very healthy, and it actually surprised me with the emotion of it. He doesn't seem to have dealt with any of his feelings, to be honest. It's interesting, to me, because I feel it paints an interesting contrast to Eva. Here's Albus, who's had a relatively charmed childhood, and descended into something much darker. Then there's Eva, with a much darker past, trying to atone for her sins. I think that matters, because it's so much harder to reform yourself than it is to slip in moments of weakness. Albus' obsession with Scorpius is, as you say, "creepily codependent". It's been two years, and if he reacts to Scorpius' death by running away again, that's a problem.

Author's Response: Rose is finally bucking up her ideas, so we'll see where she goes with it. Matt and Selena are finding an even keel.

You're absolutely right in that Albus and Eva have a sort of inverted rise/fall in their reactions to adversity. A lot of that boils down to self-worth; much of Al's identity and sense of independent self stemmed from Scorpius (however contradictory that may seem with the codependence). Eva over the course of Starfall discovered her sense of self-worth, and so that's what's driven her.

We'll see how Albus manages to react and respond when he's not reeling. Rose made the choice to be better this time. He's failed this time, but it doesn't mean he can't fix it.

Thanks for reviewing!


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Review #6, by whykay 

29th May 2015:
I wrote a lengthy review and promptly lost it. :(

Anyway, the crux of the review was (apart from drooling over your writing) Thane and Nat's involvement. It is but certain that the veritaserum was fudged. I wonder when they will find out - probably when the same to perhaps Draco? Thane is not telling them the whole story. I suspect he is holding back this particular piece of information to exchange it with the authorities for a walk-out-of-prison-freely pass. I am sure Nat was involved only in the initial portion of the work of retrieval of Scorpius. Or. If Lillian (or Astoria or Gabe i.e. anyone but Draco / Raskoph) was indeed the voice in the fire, the entire exercise might have just been about retrieving the Chalice and not the boy and Scorpius just happened as a side effect. And Nat might not have known that he would return (cuz he had a choice to not climb out).. because one of the few certain things in the story and Nat is about how she really cares for Scorpius and I am sure she would have made every effort to be part of the entire exercise / studied enough to know / suspect that his return was temporary.

Selena is a darling. Matt is becoming more and more bearable, seriously! So, I think them 'shacking up' won't hurt Rose. If anything, she is too consumed with her new found, well-suited, fiery determination and perhaps, it will just serve her well to know that the entire relationship was ill thought out by Matt as well. No more beating themselves up anymore, if any.

Albus - well, I read the comment on 'consent' and your response. I agree that it should be a part of the story, but I think the remorse could be much further explored. Albus, whether seeped or only surfacing in pain, had enough sense in him to control the first portion of their interaction, without caring / assuming she would respond. He can't absolve himself by saying 'I wasn't thinking'. You were thinking then my dear boy, just thinking of yourself and nothing of the girl. So, I think the scene should remain because it brings the worst of Albus to front. And perhaps the remorse should be further explored and he should confront this behavior and perhaps come to understand what the horribly-awkward-in-every-way relationship means. It will be really amazing as a writer to explore this. (I rem you did that in Starfall, when Matt kissed Rose and said Scorpius' behavior made him respect Scorose less and Rose tells him off!) But yeah, Albus really needs this rude awakening on how far he has slipped and he needs to be make amends. And I still feel for him - Scorpius and Albus!! I know how he feels. A Best Friend Dying.

And lastly, Scorpius. I can't imagine how it feels to know for certain that your days are actually numbered and I can only imagine it's worse off when it carries such a heavy price.

I think I mentioned in passing that I love the new Rose. I do. She has finally switched on. I love her lines on hope- that which makes you sign up for getting the heart broken time and again.

Keep going!

Author's Response: That's always the way with lengthy reviews. It's the curse of technology.

Certainly Thane isn't telling everything. Perhaps he was canny with his answers? Perhaps he found a way around the veritaserum? Though Eva did say, the only way around veritaserum is 'not taking veritaserum.' But she's not been privy to Thane's tricks and secrets for two years. What and Why Thane is doing what he's doing will hopefully become clear before the story's over. As will Nat's involvement!

Matt's starting to find his calm; the boy did need it. We'll see what Rose thinks of the entire affair in time; don't worry, we will have no melodramatic Secret Relationships, because that's absolutely not how Selena Rourke rolls. She might just fuss and take her time over breaking the news.

Albus' remorse and guilt IS something I want to explore. Currently I haven't written a scene which really tackles it, though part of that is because it needs him to TELL someone else who can then tear a strip off him. But yes, while I can say all I like that his flaws are part of the story and part of the arc, the narrative MUST address those flaws and mistakes, as must he. Not necessarily immediately, but at some point.

I do enjoy deconstructing these sorts of 'romantic' tropes, the ones which are actually rather problematic. Matt kissing Rose in Starfall is the kind of thing that would happen in trashy dramas, and while I don't want to veer away from such behaviour because it DOES happen, I had a lot of satisfaction from writing Rose rebuking him for it.

So Al has a lot of stuff to work through, and first and foremost is actually his reaction to the news about Scorpius (because he won't FUNCTION until he finds some even ground there), but I have no intention of neglecting the rest.

Rose has indeed stepped up. She's been a dreary bugger so far, but I needed her to be the face of suffering and loss in this story, so she could be the RIGHT face for recovery. The problem with her stepping up and hoping is that it had to be a choice. Not her coming 'back to life' when she saw Scorpius was back. But this time she could have slid back and CHOSE not to, and that was what needed to happen - for her and the narrative.

I can be a cynic when it comes to hope, so she got to be my mouthpiece there. ;)

Thanks for reviewing!


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Review #7, by RelentlessFire 

29th May 2015:
Oh Selena and Matt are finally together, too sweet!!
I can't wait to read more
Giulia

Author's Response: At last indeed! Thanks for reviewing.

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Review #8, by Whimsical Diva 

28th May 2015:
When I checked the reviews of the previous chapter just to see if you'd responded to mine, I stumbled upon the last review - and can I just say I completely, totally and respectfully disagree with the reviewer? The previous chapter certainly did NOT read remotely like it was trying to romanticise sexual violence or normalise it. If Albus can be accused of anything at all, it's kissing Eva initially without her consent, which, while not a very nice thing to do, is not the same as rape. He only proceeded further, as it were, when she responded, and enthusiastically so. And he stopped the moment she told him to, so that's that. One might even argue that it was Eva who had the upper hand throughout the encounter, since he was far too consumed by his pain and misery to be thinking clearly. She KNEW he wasn't in his right mind, and also in all likelihood knew that he might regret what he was doing once he gathered his wits. She went along with it anyway, until she realised he thought of her as Lisa - so in a way it was selfish on HER part as well, she was ready to go along with a misguided decision of his so long as she got what SHE wanted. This might sound horribly like victim blaming to some, but the way I see it, these were two very damaged individuals who made decisions that were selfish and misconceived, so it would've all ended in tears anyway, whatever the outcome. Please, please do not change anything about the previous chapter, or even the forthcoming ones. These things add a new dimension and depth and contradictions to Albus which, in Ignite and Starfall, he was thoroughly lacking in which rendered him wholly two-dimensional.

Also, this site has very strict rules around the depiction of sexual violence, and from my days as a validator aeons ago, if we even had the slightest doubt or discomfort reading a chapter, we'd err on the side of rejecting it and asking the author to make changes. The fact that the previous chapter is even on the site means that it passed muster.

That said, I still stand by what I said in my previous review - I can see Albus's relationship with Eva working out only if he gets back to being his old self, at least partially. He's on the whole, been thoroughly useless in Oblivion till now, vacillating from one emotional extremity to the other, and it's about time he gets his house in order before judging others or lashing out at the others, Eva included.

I hope Scorpius finds some solace and comfort from Rose or Albus. My heart broke a little when he admitted he was scared. We really haven't read much from Scorpius' perspective about how he sees the whole thing, and how he felt when he first discovered this.

Author's Response: I've written stuff which I wasn't sure would pass the validators before (Jen slapping Gabe in their argument in Beyond This Place made me worry), but I genuinely didn't envision this scene as being controversial. But that could well be ignorance on my part, so I'm always glad to get a review calling me out on this stuff. Even if all it does is make me go over it again, it still helps to be mindful.

Still, thanks for your support of this. You're right, it was never a healthy or romantic incident, and it wasn't meant to be depicted as such. It's a very good point you make about Eva - while she didn't trigger the incident, she was much more in her right mind and was letting Albus hurl himself down a very dangerous path. She would have had an element of responsibility, and it would have ended incredibly badly if she hadn't stopped him.

Then again, this is the Eva who thought it would be a good idea to sleep with Al in Venice even before she scarpered. He does not prompt good life choices in her. But yeah, I'm glad you enjoyed the scene; this is part and parcel of what's making Albus who he is in this story, and you're right in that he's got a long way to go before he could possibly be someone who could be in a balanced or healthy relationship.

Now that the secret's out, we'll see a lot more from Scorpius' perspective, and over time get more into his head. Obviously I have had to be coy about his full emotional spectrum on the run-up to this reveal!

Thanks for reviewing!


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