Reading Reviews for No Room at the Inn.
8 Reviews Found

Review #1, by TreacleTart No Room at the Inn.

31st August 2015:
Hi Margaret!

I'm here with the first of the reviews that you won in my After Affects Challenge. I'm sorry it took me awhile to get here, but life has been a bit hectic!

Once you mentioned that this story explained some of the rift between Lydia and her parents, I knew I had to read it. Poor Lydia is so hurt by them as an adult and I had to know why they weren't involved with her. I thought maybe there was some rational explanation. Boy, was I sorely disappointed by their behavior. They were just atrociously awful! How could anyone abandon their child during a time like that? And then to think that buying her a few expensive gifts would make up for the lack of time spent! No wonder Alexandrina is furious. I would be too.

I can't help, but think that Lydia is so lucky to have such a kind, loving grandmother in her corner. I feel so bad for Alexandrina because she had such high hopes for the whole encounter, but it did nothing to heal any existing wounds. In fact, it only seemed to reinforce the idea in Lydia's head that her parents don't love her anymore.

While I think the announcement of a sibling would've normally been a joyous thing, I can totally understand why Lydia was so upset by it. I mean they couldn't even address her and congratulate her on becoming a sister. Really, I hate them almost as much as I hate Umbridge right now. They are just awful.

I really wish that Lydia would be able to regain some of her inner strength and confidence, but based on what I've read of her story it seems that this becomes a life long struggle for her. I do hope that at some point she will make peace with what's happened to her and perhaps be happy again.

This was a heartbreaking, but well-written one-shot. I just want to hug Lydia and tell her that everything is going to be alright.

Good job!


Author's Response: Thank you SO much for this review. Really glad to hear what you think of this story. It's one of my personal favourites.

Don't worry about taking a while. I don't know HOW you manage to keep up with all your stories and reviewing and everything.

Lydia's struggle will continue through my series. Things WILL get better for her, eventually, but it will be gradual. She's had so much to deal with between the werewolf attack itself, the rejection by her parents, having to rethink her future plans and worrying about how she'll get a job with her condition and so on, then everything that happens in A.W.L. and the panic attacks and anxiety and P.T.S.D.

I have plans for her right until the end of my characters' time at Hogwarts.

I sort of thought she needed SOMEBODY on her side. I'm not sure she could handle being rejected by EVERYBODY.

Under normal circumstances, I think she'd love being a big sister. She likes kids and I don't think she has much chance of having any of her own. The transformations could make things difficult. But the timing makes her feel that they want another kid because they don't want HER anymore. And the way they announced it really makes her feel left out.

Her parents are the kind of people who are big into success and who expect their kids to be successful. I was thinking of the stories of parents who reject kids for being gay or who refuse to admit their kids could have mental health issues or disabilities and insist they just aren't trying hard enough.

Really glad you like this. I wish I'd thought to count how many people wanted to hug Lydia at various times!

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Review #2, by TidalDragon No Room at the Inn.

25th April 2015:
Howdy! I'm terribly sorry for the long delay in getting here, but life's been absolutely nuts. Now that I have arrived though, I'm incredibly glad I did because THIS is why I love the monthly review exchange! There's no doubt that I NEVER would have read this story otherwise, and I would have been missing out in a big way.

I thought the characterization throughout the entirety of the piece was spot on - an incredibly difficult thing to accomplish given the very delicate state the family is in. What made it more impressive it how effectively you used observations and adjectives to get across or underscore emotion. A lesser piece would have been far shorter and/or far more literal in that regard.

My other favorite aspect of the story was the way you allowed the mystery of HOW Lydia became a werewolf to hang as an open question that I yearned for an answer to throughout the story, right up until the blowout between mother and son (+ daughter-in-law). Even when you got there you resisted the temptation to get overly detailed about it, which was great because it reinforced the emphasis of the story being on the emotions in play and the fractured relationships versus the supportive one rather than the event that caused it.

If I had any CC for you, it's that: (1) I thought Alexandrina got a bit repetitive at times with turns of phrase/thought and (2) I did think it ended a bit abruptly. With the latter, I absolutely love the final line, but I suppose, for me, I would have let Christmas and the further "not your fault" bit lay and inserted that line as the close after "...turned her face to look at her." Shrug. It's ultimately a stylistic choice though and reaching at straws in an exceptionally well-written story.

Thanks for sharing this and good luck with the challenges!

Author's Response: Thank you so so much for this review. Reading your story, I was wondering if you'd like this, as your story is such a different style and has far more HAPPENING. My stories often tend to take place after the event is over.

The mystery of how she became a werewolf was less intentional and more because well, firstly nobody KNOWS all the details. Lydia doesn't remember much about it and nobody else in the family was there. And also because it's such a touchy subject for her that it can't really be mentioned while she's around.

Yeah, I know the last paragraph or two are DIRE. I've rewritten them over and over again and they don't seem to get any better. I'll take another look at it in light of your suggestions, and also at the repetitiveness. Thanks for pointing that stuff out.

And thanks for wishing me look with my story for the challenges. A lot of the same characters appear in that actually but it's quite a few years later.

Anyway, thanks again for the review. I enjoyed our swap.

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Review #3, by Lululuna No Room at the Inn.

6th April 2014:
Hello! :)

Wow, I think this is the best werewolf story I've read so far! I really like how you focused on the painful, negative impacts that such a change would have on a family, and how lasting and personal those consequences would be. It really left me feeling indignant, and protective over Lydia, and with a sort of lump in my throat, which is very hard to do in a story, but you wrote it beautifully. Some stories seem to really glamourize being a werewolf, but right from the beginning this shows how her disease has changed Lydia and wrought immense pain upon both her body and her personality. I really like how you didn't shy away from how sick she felt and how lonely it was for her as those things were really emphasized with Lupin in HP and are important parts of JKR's werewolves.

First of all, I really liked how you built up suspense in the story and filled in the blanks very slowly. For example, the beginning set up the uncomfortable, uneasy situation without explaining exactly what had happened to Lydia, and the sort of tip-toeing around the issue was a good way of showing how the words were taboo in the family and for Lydia. Another thing was how the exact way she got bitten by a werewolf wasn't explained until the end, and even so the story let the reader fill in the blanks. The scattering of hints - how Lydia's friends felt guilty, how her parents paid for the trip - was so effective.

The behaviour of Lydia's parents was just despicable. In a way, I can see how they would have trouble adjusting, but Alexandrina did a good job in showing how a good parent loves their child no matter what. When they announced they were having another baby I was just cringing because it was such a slap in the face for Lydia and made me so angry how they couldn't see her perspective. And how they didn't want her around the baby, even though she's fine 29 days out of the month... it was so predictable, in a way, but no less horrible. I hated too how they were trying to skirt around the blame for their behaviour and not appear guilty - it was very selfish, and even though Alexandrina is heartbroken and worried for her grand-daughter, she is still able to step up. The moments between grandmother and granddaughter were even more lovely because of that - like when they kept telling each other they loved one another. I feel like those little moments, where Alexandrina is trying so hard and Lydia knows that, were so powerful.

The treatment Lydia receives reminds me of the treatment of people who have a Muggle disease or even rape victims. I know JKR used Lupin's lycanthropy as a metaphor for AIDS and you really brought that stigmatization to life here, and I could really see how this sort of treatment is similar to what patients of AIDS or other similar conditions might receive. The mix of fear and blame, the ostracizing and lack of acceptance from their peers and from their families.. it feels all too real. I also thought the victim-blaming was very interesting, in how Lydia's parents said that because she was drinking and being irresponsible it was her fault somehow. That part especially reminded me of victim-blaming in rape cases, and how they were focused on the crime, the condition, and how the long-term affects of the victim. It's so sad, but I think stories like this, which show these victims in a different light, are important to read to help people in general be more understanding.

I was so glad when Alexandrina gave the parents the lecture they deserved - I'm really happy that happened because I was about to start shaking my fist at the screen with how stubborn and self-righteous they were being.

Another thing I appreciated was the description of social acceptance of werewolves and legislation which existed in different countries. The explanation of how werewolves in England are given access to healthcare and Wolfsbane was very interesting, as well as the warning that in other countries people didn't have those options. It's a great look into British wizarding culture and even international affairs.

This was a really great story, I'm so pleased I read it! You did an amazing job highlighting an important issue and created some wonderful, painfully real characters in a short chapter. I loved it! :)

Author's Response: Yikes, thank you so, so much for the wonderful, detailed review. I definitely didn't expect anything like this, so thank you so much.

Lydia is actually an OC from one of my longer stories that I wanted to fill in some background for, so some of what happens is necessary in order to explain who she is a few years down the line.

Her parents' reactions is one of those things. It's obviously going to deeply affect her attitude towards being a werewolf if she knows even her parents can't fully accept it.

I also wanted to make it understandable to people who haven't read the later story, while at the same time not boring those who have. Plus Lydia and Alexandrina both KNOW a lot of what has happened, so they are not going to be explaining it in detail, you know.

Glad you liked the part about how she can't even hear the words without getting upset. I'm not sure exactly why I came up with that; probably to show the sense of shame she feels over being a "dark creature".

I hadn't really thought of that particular comparison. I was thinking mental health problems and gay people, to be honest. You hear about people who might not even seem particularly homophobic or particularly unenlightened when it comes to mental health until it's their child and then they're like "no, don't say that. My child couldn't possibly be gay/have a mental health problem. It's just a phase/you're only imagining it." But yeah, the whole thing when Fabian essentially implies she put herself in that situation by drinking does have real world resonances all right; I just hadn't thought of then until you brought them up.

The part about various countries came from two things. The first was that in our world, the UK is a comparatively liberal society, so despite the problems in the wizarding world, I sort of doubted it would be among the least progressive. The other is the war and the implication that changes will be made to society afterwards. Other countries, where things didn't go as far as they did in Britain with Voldemort, probably wouldn't have the same incentives to change at that time. Harry Potter is, in many ways, so clearly BRITISH, that other wizarding societies are bound to have differences. I'm actually planning a scene in my next gen series when the Irish Ministry is mentioned and Hermione is ranting about them refusing to believe things like pureblood prejudice exist over here, because as a country, we have an awful tendency to just pretend things like that don't exist and I've also mentioned the fact witch trials wasn't really a "thing" over here like in Britain or on the continent (there were like 9-15 "witches" killed, mostly in Kilkenny, for some reason, but compared with many European countries, that's a pretty small number) and how that has effected magical-Muggle relations in Ireland. Yeah, culture is sort of an interest of mine.

And yeah, they did deserve that lecture, didn't they?

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Review #4, by HEG No Room at the Inn.

4th February 2014:
What do you mean when it says like for someone's challenge? Good anyway :)

Author's Response: Have you seen the story challenges section on the forums? Where somebody suggests an idea - in this case it was to write about something going wrong at Christmas, then a number of people write about it and the person who posed the challenge judges which ones are best. It's fun. Sometimes they ask people to pick a number and give each person a character or plotline or something. Anyway, saying it's for somebody's challenge is saying it was written as a result of that suggestion or has been entered the challenge.

Glad you liked it.

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Review #5, by adluvshp No Room at the Inn.

3rd February 2014:
Hey! Here for your requested review from the forums.

First off, I totally wasn't expecting a lycanthropy plot when I read the summary and clicked on the story, but as I read it, I enjoyed it more and more. I think you've captured the "problems" that werewolves deal with here very nicely, especially since Lydia is barely seventeen and she has to go through all this. What shocked me the most was how her own parents treated her - of all people family is supposed to be the most supportive - but I guess that's reality as sometimes even your own family can't take it.

I liked Lydia's characterisation here and the way you captured and portrayed her emotions. I also loved her grandmother, her concern for her granddaughter was well-written throughout and it touched me how much she was trying to make everything right for Lydia with the Christmas and all; but in the end everything got spoilt and I felt so bad. I also think you wrote Lydia's parents well. They were not necessarily bad people, but they just couldn't cope with their daughter's condition like this, and though I was annoyed at them, I could get where they were coming from too, so that's definitely a mark of good writing =)

I liked the concept of having a tension-filled somewhat angsty and dramatic christmas as opposed to a cheery and warm happy ending christmas, and the way you presented the scenario. The little details you touched upon such as how Lydia got bitten, her performance in school, the problem about jobs especially in other countries etc. was all nicely done.

My favourite part of the story was the relationship Lydia shared with her grandmother since you wrote it so beautifully and it's something not so common in fan fiction, so good job there.

I think your transitions were okay over all, and the dialogue as well as narrative was smooth. I saw a couple of small grammar issues here and there, basically sentences that were worded a bit awkwardly, so perhaps a thorough re-read (especially reading out loud) could help you spot and fix those. Of course, feel free to ignore this as I am just being a bit too nit-picky here.

Apart from that, the only CC I'd give you is that the ending was indeed a bit rushed. It felt like this ended too abruptly with not enough... closure, if that's the way to put it. Perhaps, instead of saying "Quickly, Alexandrina began to tidy things away..." you could give a description of the decorations or the state of the room and Alexanderina taking them off slowly one by one - the christmas lights, gifts, streamers etc. - and at the same time thinking about Lydia and the rejection (instead of making it in a "for the rest of the day" form). Maybe the descriptions combined with the thoughts, and then the story ending with the cleaning of one final decoration (like taking down the lights for instance) combined with the thought of everything being worse would be better. It might ease the abruptness and flow.

Of course, that is just a suggestion. You can do it any other way as well =)

Besides that, this was a great read and I really liked your one-shot. I hope I was of some help!


Author's Response: Thank you so much for your review.

I'm glad I got across that Lydia's parents aren't actually bad or even necessarily outwardly prejudiced people, but just people who had to deal with a tough situation and behaved selfishly, putting themselves first. After all, in real life, people don't divide up into those who are downright prejudiced against those with disabilities/mental health issues/gay people, etc and those who react completely supportively. There are people who think they'll be completely OK with it until it turns out to be their child. And of course, on the other hand, there are those who are prejudiced until it happens to their child, when they turn out, surprisingly, to be completely supportive. So I didn't want to demonise them, but just to show how deeply they are hurting her, without necessarily intending to.

I'll take a look at the grammar, but it is distinctly possible it's a hiberno-English versus standard UK English thing, in which case, I probably won't notice. We do tend to structure some sentences according to Irish-language sentence structure and most of the time I don't realise the structure isn't used outside Ireland. I'll take a look though and see if there are any improvements I can make. Thanks for point it out.

The ending is driving me crazy. This is the second or third version and I don't think I've made much of an improvement, if any. I'll try and add in a bit more detail and see if that will help. It's a problem I often have with one-shots - bringing them to an end. But I usually manage it better than this.

Thanks again for the review.

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Review #6, by bellatrixlestrange123 No Room at the Inn.

22nd December 2013:
Hi there!

I'm here to review this for the Nightmare Before Chrtistmas Challenge!

Right, well firstly I loved how to started this because one paragraph in and thus far, the problem was pretty much clear. That's good; it didn't drag on and it got right to the point!

I also felt myself feeling really sorry Lydia with her situation and her parents and Alexandrina was a very warm hearted character which is just what Lydia needed!

I also like the way you executed the rest of the chapter and whilst I can't say much, I wish you all the best for the challenge!

Bella :)

Author's Response: Thanks for the review. *grins*

Yeah, Lydia really doesn't have an easy time, does she?

Glad you liked it and thanks again for reviewing.

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Review #7, by Pheonix Potioneer No Room at the Inn.

20th December 2013:
First of all, I love the metaphorical title. You seem to have a knack for titles which I have never possessed.

I really like how you make this from the point of view of Blackburn's grandmother. Before this one-shot, I had never really thought about Blackburn's grandparents, just her parents.

And speaking of Blackburn's parents, it is heartbreaking that contrary to what her parents may believe, they are rejecting Blackburn. Her story is so much sadder than I thought it would be. To loose friends is one thing, but to loose parents... that's just so horrifying. And it seems like that they were previously good parents too. It's situations like this that brings out the evil of human nature in people.

I was cheering on Alexandrina while she was yelling at Blackburn's parents. Go her! It may bring out the worst in some people, but it certainly brought the best out of her.

I really like how you managed to write an entire one-shot on Blackburn, yet you managed to avoid the question on how she was bitten, except she was drunk and her friends were with her. I suspect that question will be explored more in "Rise of the A.W.L.".

This is beautiful and I really enjoy it, well done!

Author's Response: Thanks for the review. I was looking forward to hearing what you thought of this, as it sort of shows Blackburn from a different point of view. I was trying to write it so it could be read either as tie-in with The Rise of the A.W.L. or as a stand-alone, but I was particularly interested in seeing how it affected how people reading The Rise of the A.W.L. saw Blackburn.

I actually only realised myself after I'd written it that it gives a rather deeper meaning to her comment to Neville about how many people wouldn't want her around their small children. I hadn't even planned for her to have a younger sibling at that point and just meant it as a reference to parents not wanting her teaching their kids and stuff.

Glad you liked the title. I was kinda debating it, because it is so metaphorical, but I liked it so I decided to use it.

And yeah, she's had a pretty rough time. *grins* I think this should give an indication as to why her self-esteem is so damaged.

Like I've said elsewhere, I didn't want to divide up the world between A.W.L. typed people who want to see werewolves without any rights and people who are completely comfortable with lycanthropy. Nor did I want to make her parents purposefully cruel. They're just rather selfish and concerned with how people view their family and want an intelligent, successful daughter, not one who is having problems or who belongs to a minority that is discriminated against by society. Like you implied though, that probably makes it more hurtful, than if they were like say, Sirius's parents.

Her grandmother is mentioned briefly in the first chapter of The Rise of the A.W.L. I half expected somebody to comment in a review on that asking if she lived with her grandmother and if so, what had happened to her parents? It's only a passing comment though, so I'm not surprised it didn't attract attention.

Thanks again for the review. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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Review #8, by Aphoride No Room at the Inn.

20th December 2013:
Hey there! Thanks so much for doing the swap! :)

I have to admit that one of the things I've always been curious about is lycanthropy in the HP world because, apart from with Remus, it's rarely talked about. It always reminds me, as well, of Aids in our world and how people viewed it, you know. So yeah, I was pretty excited to read this!

I love all your characters. They're all amazing. Genuinely. Lydia is so brilliantly written - I love how her lycanthropy affects her personality, her marks at school, her general health, her relationship with her friends... it really has affected her entire life, which a life-changing disease really should do :P So yeah, it's brilliant. I love how she seems so passive and uncaring and sort of listlessly upset with things she seems on the surface, but then how worried and emotion-ful underneath. It's really such a in-depth thing to do, and really makes her like a real person, you know?

Alexandrina is a great character too! I love how she's so worried about Lydia and how she's getting on, trying to encourage her to eat, to talk to her friends, to get on with her life, harsh as it sounds. Kinda trying to persuade her to live properly again and just enjoy herself and not let lycanthropy define her. The argument with Flavian and Grace was brilliant and I think you really captured every emotion Alexandrina would be feeling in that moment - as a mother-in-law, a mother and a grandmother. It was really great character work!

I liked how you didn't go for a normal 'happy' christmas, if you know what I mean, and instead went for something with a bit more angst and tension and drama. It was very different and I liked it - it worked so well and you wrote it so well.

One small thing: just coz I can see it above this little box - the last sentence sounds a bit strange with 'which' in there. Maybe split it into two sentences instead? It just doesn't flow as well as the rest of it...

Honestly, though, that's the only thing I can think of! I loved the plot and the scenario and your style was great; the pacing and setting of it all was good too. The characters, as I said before, were brilliant - I kinda loved them all, even Grace! - and so real, and yeah, this was just great!

Aph xx

Author's Response: Thank you so so much for this review. It's so in depth.

The story was written for a challenge to write about something bad happening at Christmas. It would also have fit the family reunions thing in the writer's duel, except it's too long. So the point was not to be typically happy. *grins*

I'm not surprised you found something "off" in the last paragraph. I sort of rushed the last paragraph or two, because I'm currently working on a novel length story and this took FOREVER to write, about two to three weeks, so I wanted to get it up and have time to get another chapter of my novel length written before the queue closed, so I wouldn't be keeping readers of that waiting over a month for a new chapter. When the queue opens again, I'll take a look at that last sentence and see what I can do with it. Thanks for pointing that out.

Grace was a hard character to write, not so much because of herself, but because it's from Alexandrina's point of view and naturally if there are problems between her son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter, she's going to feel most comfortable putting the blame on her daughter-in-law, rather than her son.

I was trying to show that Flavian and Grace aren't really cruel or bad people, just somewhat selfish and maybe a bit Percy-like. They value success and want their daughter to be intelligent and successful, not part of a minority that'll have people gossiping about the family.

Glad you liked Lydia. I'm pretty fond of her myself, because there's so much you can DO with lycanthropy.

Thanks again for the review. It was awesome.

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