Reading Reviews for Year Five
  
276 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Alida Cleaner, More Brilliant

25th June 2015:
I'd just like to sincerely thank you. This piece is honestly one of the most well-written and intriguing stories I've read on this sight. I fell in love with each of the characters, and your evocative prose left me feeling deeply connected to descriptions, settings, and the complex emotions displayed by everyone, but especially Tristan. I know this sounds cliche, but you definitely have a gift for writing. I hope that, if you want, you'll be able to publish original work in the future (I would definitely read it lol.) I found it quite difficult to read some of the more intensely depressing sections, but they were so well-done. The ideas you expressed were really interesting, and I felt your portrayals of canon characters were spot-on. I love writing myself, and I definitely feel as though I've found a lot of inspiration in this story. Loved, loved loved it. Lots of love and the best of luck in the future xx

Author's Response: Oh my gosh, thank you so much! I really appreciate your taking the time to leave a review, and your kind words are making me flail and grin with joy :)

This story was an absolute beast to write and it means so much to me that you enjoyed it and felt inspired by it! The positive feedback I've gotten on this site has encouraged me to begin taking creative writing classes, which have been amazing so far.

Thanks again so much for reading and reviewing!

xoxo
Roisin


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Review #2, by Slide Cleaner, More Brilliant

7th June 2015:
WOO LAST CHAPTER but also BOO LAST CHAPTER.

Obviously part of the issue for these characters is being underage, but I know I'm as guilty as any writer of wilfully ignoring forms of magical travel apart from Apparition. Which is supposed to be kind of unpleasant and dangerous if done wrong, so the Knight Bus and brooms and Floo are all relied on heavily. But regardless, in a story like this one, I think it's important to use little details like the Knight Bus to ground it in the Potterverse, and you always use them perfectly. It's apt, not like a tour of canon stuff.

The kids are better, but of course they'll still smoke outdoors and break the rules. Because they're still THEM. And still teenagers.

...I envy the wizarding world for having to think so little about fashion. MY BANE.

Yay, Isobel is getting her disorder under control. Laurel's advice sounds wise. And thank GOD she's identified it as an addiction to starvation instead of an addiction to FOOD. I realise that perhaps the saddest thing about this story - you know, aside from Tristan's attempted suicide and parental issues and Laurel's overdosing and addiction and Quirrell's sexual assault... ASIDE FROM ALL OF THAT the saddest thing is that Isobel's eating disorder has been kind of a footnote to those problems. I don't mean that it's not been given the right dramatic weight, I don't mean it's been a footnote in the writing, but those big problems hit all four of them. In another life, Isobel's struggles would have consumed a friendship group with worry and support. In this life, some of them didn't notice just because their own situations were genuinely too overwhelming. That's rather sad.

Just as I was thinking, 'I love Laurel,' Isobel goes and thinks basically the same thing. That's GOOD WRITIN' THERE.

CHUCK WEASLEY. That name has to stick. I love Tonks. For some reason I tend to love Tonks cameos in stories more than I love Tonks-centric stories. It's hard to keep the Tonksness of Tonks when it's all about Tonks. She should whirl in and out, being Tonks at everything. Okay it's late and I'm determined to finish but you'll just have to put up with this phase of my reviewing.

I love it when wizards think simple Muggle things are awesome. Because they ARE.

Yay, the inevitable but still delightful hookup of Emily and Tristan! You crazy kids try something healthy for a change.

Year Five: Sponsored by Weetabix.

And they are, of course, rather alright with their exam results in the end. And it IS the end. I have adored the story, but then, a story about OCs set against the backdrop of canon is right up my alley (and you make me want to brush up my old stories and make them way less... dated, by which I mean terrible). But this has had great characters and been tremendously character-driven, which I adore. Your determined adherence to canon has kept a story where magic is hardly ever a plot point (magic drugs aside) still perfectly rooted in the Potter-world. Sometimes this kind of drama fanfic can feel like you could transplant it to the real world and lose little, but doing that to Year Five would be to rip out the heart of it.

Or one of the hearts. Another's the aforementioned characters, who you've weaved and introduced masterfully. While Isobel remains my favourite, I've loved how Laurel snuck up on me as a reader, introduced far more slowly and more gently than any of the others. I still don't feel like I have a full grasp of her, but that's okay - because she's in a transition herself, so my sense of her being incomplete feels apt, as her OWN sense of herself is incomplete.

Then there's the moral complexity and messiness of issues, which always gets me on board. You neither shy away from nastiness, nor do you condemn or justify, which is just perfect. And again I must commend you on your deft touch. The big, important moments get the perfect amount of attention. You give them all due deference and focus, and don't let them bog the story down. An attempted suicide and a visit to meet one's Nazi birth-father could have had chapters upon chapters dedicated to them, but they weren't THE point, they were just SOME points. And they were handled brilliantly but not over-indulgently.

'Over-indulgent' might be what this review is in danger of becoming, so I shall start to tie it off (I also have a cat asleep on my forearms which is making typing harder). I must absolutely go through the rest of your work, but if there is no sequel, especially no continuation reaching to the HBP-DH era and Second War, I'll just have to throw a tantrum.

This has been a pure pleasure to read. Thank you so much for writing it.

Author's Response: AH this review has been so hard to respond to because I never want them to ennnd!

You know how it feels to put a weird amount of work into a story and then be like "OOH LOOK THE PERSON IS NOTICING ALL THE THINGZ (or at least commenting on them!)"

Confession: 'they all ride the Knight Bus at some point' was totally on this story's to-do list. It might have just been a pit stop on the canon tour.

Ugh, Isobel's ED. I worried SO much because I didn't want to make her arc seem unsatisfying, but then thing is... That's sorta the NATURE of anorexia. I once read an article about how it's impossible (even irresponsible) to write about anorexia at all because to write about it would be to make it seem interesting, and writing is an art so putting it in language is aesthetesizing, but ultimately the author argued, the real experience of anorexia nervosa is TEDIUM and BOREDOM. So yeah, that's tough, because I never wanted this story to seem tedious or boring, so I kind of DIDN'T go too into detail (and I think spending too much time describing or quantifying physical wasting or mechanisms of starvation is irresponsible, too). And, ultimately, it's just not that interesting or glamorous, I think. It just sucks, and then maybe it gets better a bit later, and you look over at your old friend and think "hey, there you are! Huh, you're better now! When did that happen?" No fireworks. So, ugh, I hope it isn't too unsatisfying. TOGGLING REALISM AND GOOD STORYTELLING IS HARD!

(Because my wizard story has to be realistic)

CHUCK WEASLEY IKR! Take it, have it, pass it along. I'm also trying to make "Dom" not be a thing (Nikki, Neeky, Mini, Nik--there are other options!)

That's probably the best explanation of Tonks' characterizations I've ever heard :)

Oh gosh, so I have to tell you something. When I first read your 'Weetabix' comment I started laughing, out loud, and couldn't stop. FOR MINUTES. Like, I got into that slap-happy hysterical thing where you think you're calming down but then start cracking up again. I got so rent with laughter I silent laughed (you know, the almost paralyzing mirth that shows you REALLY mean it). And then I read it again and it happened again.

BUT TO BE REAL, every time I go to London it's like all Weetabix all the time--I blame your people.

This is a very FANFICTIONY sort of fanfiction. When I first wrote this all out, I hadn't yet discovered HPFF or read ANY before, so I didn't realize how much of it was, like, really original stories that could excise the Potter and still stand. I thought it would be a pretty niche audience that would ever have any interest in this story, one which necessarily presupposed Potter nerd-dom, so I played that up and wove in as many meta and thematic references/plays/subversions as possible.

I'm REALLY glad Laurel snuck up on you, that was VERY much what I was trying to do :) And yeah, I didn't want to tie a big bow around all the characters as if they were all done cooking. 'Coming of Age' always struck me like a weird idea because WHAT age? It's more like 'Coming to Another Age.'

My original idea for this story was 'Hogwarts Stoners' and 'reluctant Slytherin Lestrange child brought up as close to mudblood as possible while remaining realistically plausible,' and it was planned as a rather lighthearted romp. But then I thought about it, and realized it couldn't possible be so light, and remembered that being a teenager SUCKS. So, erm, TADA!

AND YES THERE ARE SEQUELS IN THE WORKS. I am still sobbing about them and stressing out over it, but one day. ONE DAY.

Thank you SO much for leaving me all this amazing, insightful, thoughtful reviews. It really makes it all worth it :)

xoxo
Roisin




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Review #3, by Slide After

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 #4, by Slide O.W.L.s

7th June 2015:
This chapter will apparently be from the POV of OWLs, based on formatting history. ;)

I want some Honking Daffodils in my yard. But it's nice to see the girls patching things up. Tristan is obviously going to be a harder one to sort things out with.

I think I'm now more anxious about these guys' exams than I was about MY last exams. HA YES quiz Laurel on Cheering Charms. Beautiful.

Yeah, Emily. Where DO vanished objects go? Which is a good question, but perhaps more important: ARE YOU DESTROYING MATTER? Bloody wizards.

Tristan, saviour of the giant squid! On the one hand, it's kind of satisfying, mostly because Malfoy & co try to stand up for themselves. But, as is apt for this story, it's still a sixteen year-old threatening some twelve year-olds.

You're right, Emily, if the animals didn't die, you're probably okay.

Oh, Christ. Oh, the giant squid might have saved him. Yeah, this was upsettingly not surprising, even if I didn't see it coming. I'm very interested to learn it wasn't planned! I mean, characters DO stuff, and I'd be lying if I said I hadn't been similarly blindsided as a writer, but it's all come together most believably. Also, we were kind of due a crisis of a climax, after Laurel's Ordeal (I will find my Campbellian monomyth in ANY story, I promise you). But now I also MUST press on, of course.

Author's Response: BAH. Yeah, that would seem to be what's being indicated ;)

I was so worried about getting the tension of the exam bits right. I was worried I was rushing, but then maybe rushing is GOOD because it has the frantic pace, and then I think my own worry just made it all a mess of nerves. So that worked out.

"Are wizards destroying matter?"--a question that needs to get asked a lot more often. Like, always.

HAH, seeing Malfoy as a tiny was infinitely satisfying to me.

And, the terrible thing... Sorry... I realized while writing that it WOULD happen and AT THIS POINT (Harry also missed his History exam), and I'd accidentally built up all this perfect foreshadowing for it. The Lake had kind of become its own character, and then there's the whole thing with CV and the river. I was SO upset when I realized what Tristan was going to do--which is stupid, because I was theoretically in charge of this story. So then I fretted, and considered how to save him (hence the squid scene). After MUCH deliberation, I decided that saving him wasn't just the sentimental thing to do, and that him dying would be too much. A RELIEF. I NEVER would have INTENTIONALLY planned for a story to feature suicide--but then once that decided to happen, I made sure to plan for it and build to it accordingly (the great benefit of pre-writing)--which is why the whole first bits of this chapter are actually pretty light. NEVER TRUST LIGHT IN THIS STORY. Well, I guess that advice is a bit late, now you've read it all.

Again, SORRY.


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Review #5, by Slide The Presence of Love

7th June 2015:
Aw, poor Emily. How do you write that kind of letter? In simplicity, it seems. The penultimate paragraph of this section is kind of brilliant; 'If he'd loved her, he would have. But he didn't, because he did.' Love love love that - what it says about Tristan, what it says about love, how it so succinctly covers that beautiful complexity. I adore those kinds of emotional contradictions.

And the scene with Laurel is lovely as another flash of the 'real' Laurel, the one we're discovering bit by bit on-screen, instead in everyone else's memories.

Oh, the mention of Dumbledore reminded me of LAST chapter stuff, so, seguewaying - the Qurrell/Isobel stuff (ugh, putting it like that was not my best move) did 110% NOT either victim-blame and/or make Isobel out to be dumb. And I think the most absolutely perfect way you painted Isobel as not foolish for going with Quirrell was having her remember Laurel talking about Dumbledore walking her back. Like, genius; comparing the situation to one with Dumbledore makes it seem SUPER safe, trustworthy, kind, the PERFECT false sense of security. Soo, not sure you needed the reassurance, but that whole thing was handled to perfection - dramatically but also 'morally,' for lack of a better word.

And back to THIS chapter. Ha, Emily trying what Harry will try much later with the passwords. Oh my GOD sad Dumbledore. I just can't cope with this. DISAPPOINTED Dumbledore. This is the cruellest thing you've ever done. I think it's 'weary,' that's the word-choice which is punching me in the face; you painted him as bouncy and exuberant and then reminded me he's an old man. Christ. Though there's also a very strange disconnect of the most Potterly of moments - a conversation with Dumbledore in his office - combined with something crushingly mundane - the selling of drugs. It's kind of head-spinny, but I actually like the juxtaposition, bringing all the magical matters crashing to mundane Earth.

I've started working with ex-offenders recently, so this entire conversation about actions, consequences, and leading on to prisons and rehabilitation (and the condemnation of Azkaban) is most apt - and then I snorted at Emily worrying Dumbledore was going to send her there. This is what your writing does! I get all ponderous or infused with socialist righteousness, and then I giggle. BUT, Dumbledore handles this beautifully. She's aware her actions have consequences, there's a lesson learnt, there's no gratuitous punishment (gratuitous in that exam season is no time to make a point) - but her parents being told WILL help make sure this sinks in, and they'll doubtless have something to say.

Ahh, the awkwardness of parents when their kids are fighting. Though Emily's not wrong in her condemnation of her parents' hypocrisy. 'It was the sixties,' isn't a get-out-of-jail free card!

DRAMATIC MEANINGFUL MUSIC. Ha, good choice.

You've done a fine job of walking around the truths of Laurel's life until you've needed to reveal them, bit by bit: saying she lives in Godric's Hollow sounds twee, idyllic - the truth is something different. And, of course, paints a very eye-opening picture.

Isobel, Voldemort's going to know how to fly now. I hope you're happy.

There HAVE to be satellite Gringotts banks in wizard-friendly settlements, NOTHING ELSE MAKES SENSE. But in other news, I wholly appreciate how Laurel is becoming (or always was?) the acutely observant and honest and more even-handed one. Either showing her old self, and/or changed by her experiences.

Saint Mungo's using the 'once a user always a user' mantra kind of makes me recoil, though I've found it interesting how some people I've met with a history of drug use refer to themselves perpetually as addicts, even if their usage is years old - and some just as ex-addicts. I commend you on how you brush through these issues, give them the attention and complexity they deserve, but you don't get bogged down when it would be so EASY to go in circles on these issues. SHOULD Laurel define herself as a hexhead? In some ways it's very important. In others, that's not the most important question.

I again love how the parents are creeping in more and more to the plot and the issues. They were always there, but they fill in so much of the wider context and are genuinely interesting in their own right. But then, dealing with damaged teenagers REQUIRES dealing with parents. That particular Philip Larkin poem springs to mind.

UGH I am kind of tearing up at Isobel finally going to Emily this is embarrassing. But more helpfully, I love the animosity fading almost at once; such a genuine thing, sometimes, after fights between friends. Once the initial barrier is broken, bitterness can evaporate. Sometimes. And now Emily makes a whole lot more sense.

Onwards!

Author's Response: RESPONDING TO THIS REVIEW IS SO HARD BECAUSE I KEEP GOING OVER THE CHARACTER LIMIT!

Emily, out of all of them, is definitely the best at abstract ideas. I think it's why she handles things relatively better, because she's more comfortable with ambiguity and more accepting that sometimes there aren't right answers.

YESYES, the Dumbledore and Laurel walk DEFINITELY was supposed to normalize it. But REALLY a student shouldn't think it odd when a teacher offers to walk them somewhere.

SO GLAD that /disappointed Dumbledore/ was devastating! I thought that HAD to be the most soul shattering flavor of Dumbledore--and he's hardly the yelling type (LOOKING AT YOU, GAMBON)

Wow, I'm SO stoked that, as someone who works with ex-offenders, those ideas resonated to you. This is one of the FEW points in the story where I do sort of offer my perspective and try to argue a point and preach, because it's something I'm PRETTY SURE is true. Punishment for the sake of punishment never made sense to me, and most evidence seems to suggest that it doesn't work (be it in parenting, or education, or criminal justice).

"I get all ponderous or infused with socialist righteousness, and then I giggle"--THAT. That is the highest praise this story has yet gotten!

Dumbledore's diary must be a strange read. "11am, give massive revelation to my child-soldier assassin about his family. 12 noon, discuss the fierce battle between good and evil with my triple agent. 1pm, explain to a teenage pot dealer why her actions were irresponsible."

So yeah, Emily's parents aren't perfect either. Or maybe I'm being too hard on them. The other kids smoke, even if their parents weren't hippies in the sixties. And something bad DID happen to Emily basically under their roof when she was a kid, but something bad ALSO happened to Isobel at SCHOOL. So yeah, no method is fool-proof.

Yes, I definitely don't know the answer re: once-a-user-always-a-user. In the one hand, Laurel's really young, and wasn't actually using for all that long, if you think about it. Does she really need to take that on as part of her identity? At the same time, maybe accepting that as part of herself--really accepting it, and forgiving herself and loving herself anyway, might be the sort of thing she needs. I don't know! She doesn't know! And I've never been an addict, so I'm not really to be trusted to argue one way or the other. But it's a thing to think about, at least!

I'm really glad you appreciate my kind of reluctance to do much grandstanding. I know it frustrates some readers, since SO much gnarly happens in this story--but I figure they don't need ME to tell them it's bad. I already showed it being gnarly, and they come to their own conclusions just fine :)

I LOVED WRITING THE PARENTS. Teenagers were easy, since I've been one, but it was an interesting exercise to consider the parent perspective (probably for the first time ever).

Oh Emily... So I would never sex-shame someone, even a teenager girl (I grew up in a city so 15/16 was pretty standard, and I know it can go older or younger in other environments) But for teenager to have SO many partners seemingly starting from age 14, in a school as small as theirs (so it's not like there's a wealth of options) is sort of a red flag that something might be going on. And that something is almost always a recent experience with violence or abuse... on that depressing note, thank you SO MUCH for this (and the other!) reviews! Most reviews I get focus on story and character, and I SO appreciate that you discussed some of the larger themes and ideas here. I'm just so pleased that it WORKED or rings true or is just generally interesting :)

xoxo
Roisin



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Review #6, by Gabriella Hunter The Question

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 #7, by water_lily43175 The Disappearing Room

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

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

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

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

Another excellent chapter :)

-Ellie

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

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

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

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

XOXOXOXOXOXO
-Roisin


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Review #8, by water_lily43175 Interrupted

7th June 2015:
Okay so yeah Emily's crumbled.

BAHHH so much happens in this chapter and I don't know if I can create a coherent review out of it all. I can't work out if the conclusion I think I've drawn about Tristan is the right one or not. Poor Laurel, trying to straighten herself out and ending up in further trouble. Poor Isobel, just trying to do the right thing and being snapped at for it. POOR ALL OF THEM. It really does feel like things are going off with one hell of a bang. ONWARDS!

-Ellie

Author's Response: POOR ALL OF THEM!

I'm really glad that these characters can invoke sympathy from you. I mean, considering everything that's happening with Harry in the periphery, their individual Teen Drama is objectively petty. But I RESENT that idea! The way people write off Teen Drama, or scoff at "Moody Teenagers" always really upsets me. The stuff they are going through is REAL and MEANINGFUL and it's REALLY IMPORTANT TO THEM. Sure, it might not be war or an epic struggle between good and evil, but why should things have to be relative like that? I just hate the way people write off a person's anguish by saying something like "you have food on the table and running water, stop complaining." Just because one life is harder doesn't mean another life is easy.

RANT OVER.


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Review #9, by water_lily43175 Torture

7th June 2015:
Wuh, there is TOO MUCH angst in this chapter. Isobel's internal thoughts on Tristan just sum the both of them up, I think, and it's nice to see that their little chat causes her to rethink it all. The poor guy's drowning in self-loathing. In fact all of them are, except perhaps Emily, and it can't be easy for her to have to watch everyone crumbling around her.

Cruciatus curse seems to be a trigger. HO HUM. Need to know things.

Creepy conversation with Quirrell at the end. Ewww go away you bad Voldemort man.

-Ellie

Author's Response: Your comment about her Tristan-angst summing "both of them up" is REALLY on point. No one else has mentioned that, and I hadn't really thought of it that way, but YES.

Yeah, the teenage experience is a LOT about defining oneself and self-reflection, which FAR too often results in self-loathing :( I think Emily is the most immune to it in part because she's had the most consistently supportive and lovely family, and in part because she's honestly just the smartest. They are ALL pretty clever, but I think Em's the most intelligent. She's really the philosopher of the bunch, and thinks about abstract ideas more, which is a better use of one's mind than constant self evaluating.

Ah yes, Voldemort mining ideas from teenage girls. He'd be so embarrassed if anyone found out!

xoxo
Roisin


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Review #10, by water_lily43175 The Trouble With Laurel

7th June 2015:
Okay so Tristan can see Thestrals. INTERESTING. Oh no, no no Laurel don't do it DON'T DO IT. :(

You know, it's a sad thought, but Tristan and Laurel really don't seem good for each other as friends at the moment. They both seem at that point where it's too easy for them to drag each other down. DON'T DO IT GUYS IT WON'T END WELL.

It's also quite sad, really, that Tristan has this mentality of "my friend has a problem but I can't do anything about it so I'll leave it to the other girls". He's doing it with Isobel, and to some extent with Laurel as well. I guess it's partly his personality ANYWAY, and his current mental state doesn't help things. But he's not the first to notice Isobel isn't eating, and if only he said something to Emily, I can't help but think that would spur her on to do something. And instead he just shrugs it off as someone else's responsibility.

But then, I guess that's what they've all been doing about Laurel. Sigh. Kids. Struggles. Teenage years are tough.

And yet having typed all that, Emily and Tristen manage to convince Laurel between them to take food to Isobel. So I guess they are both trying to help. Rambly review alert.

I like Tristan's musings on the Hogwarts Houses. I DO like them, on the whole, and I don't think Hogwarts would be the same without them, but more needs to be done to encourage people to integrate more and to stereotype less.

Oh poor angsty Tristan. I NEED TO KNOW MOAR.

-Ellie

Author's Response: Yeah, Laurel and Tristan are a bit different in the mind department, but they both have a tendency towards self-loathing. I think they have this idea that they can Just Be Themselves together, but they HATE themselves and so they end up just doing really self-destructive horrible things. Junkie Love. So it goes. (OH YEAH, and this was all foreshadowed back in the trippy-potion chapter! The 'junkie love' song Em and Tristan are listening to when the Slytherins show up is called "Drain You" [in itself apt] and the lyrics go like "chew your meat for you / pass it back and forth / in a passionate kiss / from my mouth to yours" which is very icky, and very much describes Laurel/Tristan... ANDANDAND, since I see you read "Interrupted" already, I can say that it's implied that Emily [while psychic] read Tristan's mind and found out he'd made out with Laurel after his birthday. But she's historically pretty sexually active so that didn't bother her much, since she could also tell it was more a "being really intoxicated" thing than a "they LIKE like each other" thing)

Ramble ramble.

UGH, their total inability to cope with Isobel is, unfortunately, pretty accurate to what I remember :( I knew people to suffer with anorexia nervosa, and a WEIRD amount of people sorta shrugged it off or just tried to ignore it. Or didn't even notice at all even when it's ABSURDLY obvious. Plus: the nineties. I think people are a bit more aware today about things like mental health issues, and more open to talking about them.

Yeah, I too love the Houses, but there are some valid points. Even Dumbledore thinks they Sort too young, and I kinda suspect that people might be too complicated to just divide up 4 ways and call it a day. But still, the Houses are fun!

YOUR REVIEWS ARE THE LIGHT OF MY LIFE!
xoxo
Roisin



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Review #11, by water_lily43175 The Little Things (1992)

7th June 2015:
LAUREL CHAPTER OH MY GOD YES.

I love that Sprout does guidance sessions. YES that kind of service would surely have to be available to Hogwarts students, and YES Sprout is the ideal person. Also I love this line: " A studentís troubles were rarely the result of one big thing, but rather a lifetimeís sum of little disappointments adding up." How very true.

Yas virtual confirmation about Tristan's parentage.

And what a lovely job Sprout does in chatting to Laurel. Not at all condescending, just trying to BE THERE.

Ah, yes. It makes sense that Emily and Isobel would struggle to know how to talk to Laurel. It's such a big thing that she's gone through, and I can imagine how awkward Emily and Isobel feel about the whole thing. How do you react around this friend who's become so self-destructive?

And yet poor old Isobel seems about to press her own self-destruct button. Here comes this self-determined discipline again - they all HAVE to stay friends, HAVE to be okay, and she HAS to be the one to hold them together. Even though she can't hold herself together right now. Poor thing. If only she and Laurel could help each other, but Laurel seems a long way off being able to help anyone else through their own mental struggles at the moment.

Those flashback scenes are heartbreaking. And her chat with Tristan at the end ... oh man guys. :( Lovely chapter, excellent depiction of Laurel's struggles. It definitely worked to hold back on her perspective until this moment. NICE WORK.

-Ellie

Author's Response: I'm SO relieved that you thought holding back on her perspective until now worked! I really liked the idea of building up everyone else's ideas about her first before getting into her head, but I was REALLY worried about her first chapter being compelling. After such a build-up I feel like it would be easy to disappoint.

Right?! Sprout WOULD do the guidance sessions, and there would HAVE to be a guidance counselor.

I'm really glad you liked that line. I feel like a lot of readers suspected Laurel might have some sort of DARK SECRET or that there was a BIG REASON for why she was the way she was, and yeah, worried that this answer would be disappointing. Her life is honestly kind of average. A bit sucky, yes, but a lot of people experience sadness and alienation and low self-esteem and it's not usually something that can be explained by just one thing.

Sprout was REALLY refreshing for me to write! All the adult characters, actually (I say "all." It's just her and Mary.)

Oh yes, VERY awkward. Her stint in rehab is a pretty big elephant in the room.

Isobel definitely internalizes everything that's happening with everyone else. Like I said, NOT self-absorbed, but to a fault. She takes all this stuff on and it's so upsetting to her that she gets this pathological need for control. And of course it doesn't occur to her that starving herself actually makes her more OUT of control.

Oh the flashback scene. Went back and forth forever on whether or not to include that. I definitely want to work on it more. BUT, I'm really glad that you liked this chapter!

Thank you again SO much for taking the time to review. As with most stories, there aren't as many reviews on later chapters and it's always SO great to see what worked and what people get out of it. SO THANK YOU!

xoxo
Roisin


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Review #12, by water_lily43175 Recreational Magic Abuse Recovery

7th June 2015:
Oh Isobel, getting jiggy with your mate's brother is either a very good move or a VERY VERY BAD MOVE. Lucky that Emily takes it well. Future family and all that.

And so Emily begins to notice Isobel's little secret. Here's hoping she's there for her with that, more so than any of them were for Laurel - it must be a tough thing to have to tackle with a friend, but it's something that has to be done.

Quick question - did you change the name of Isobel's sister? Because I think she's referred to as Elphia at some point in this chapter, and now I think about it wasn't that the name she was given a few chapters ago? If you're going through and editing then I'm sure that's something you'll pick up anyway, but just to let you know :)

Oh Luna. I think she must be one of my favourie characters, and you write her so well here. "Sick in her heart", YES.

Poor Laurel really is in a bad place right now isn't she? The matter-of-fact way she talks about what she's going through is just so chilling.

TRISTAN. NO BABY PHOTOS. I WONDER WHY.

-Ellie

Author's Response: Hah, yeah. Emily's perspective is a lot more like "well that's a surprise turn of events" than "HOW DARE YOU, MADAME." But Emily is pretty relaxed when it comes to sexuality, and it wasn't really a big deal.

Emily is definitely 'there for her,' but at the same time, not necessarily someone who KNOWS what the right thing to do is. Even trained medical professionals can't always help people suffering from eating disorders :(

THANK YOU for telling me about that stumble. Her name is supposed to be Elphia Iman Doge-Mostafa, and I should REALLY clarify that one is her first and one her middle name. Thank you for pointing it out!

LUNA! So intimidating to write! She's just so special and beloved! I'm so very relieved to hear that you think I got her right :)

Also glad to hear that the matter-of-fact thing worked! "Chilling" was very much what I was going for!

THEY LOST THAT ALBUM IN THE MOVE :p

xoxo
Roisin



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Review #13, by water_lily43175 Muggle Magic

7th June 2015:
Oh, Isobel, cabbage soup really isn't the way to go. Sigh.

Ah YES Albus/Elphias totally happened at one point. At least from Elphias' perspective. Either that or they were just VERY close friends.

And I love love love Emily's family! Such cool hippie vibes. And, of course, my favourite thing about Isobel's visit is the Muggle/wizarding world comparisons which crop up. James Bond, yes.

Poor Laura, blowing things up. Embrace your skills, Laura!

-Ellie

Author's Response: Oh yeah, that cabbage soup diet is a WORLD of trouble!

Albus/Elphias is SUCH major headcanon for me. Even if they didn't ever get together, I'm CERTAIN that Elphias is also gay and was totally in love with Dumbledore. I hope that they were actually boyfriends :) I mean, Dumbledore had to have had relationships, and Elphias is a strong candidate!

The only muggle family we ever really see interacting with magic is the Dursleys (the Grangers a BIT, but barely), and I liked the idea of seeing a very different kind of family. I feel like a LOT of people would be really into it (I WOULD)

Laura is only little, she'll get there eventually!

xoxo
Roisin


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Review #14, by water_lily43175 War Children

7th June 2015:
Oh. OH. So there are THINGS happening here, BIG THINGS. The conversation with Snape, what is the significance of Longbottom, hmm? And Mary's little inner monologue. She's not his natural mum, is she? Otherwise why the hell would he have a name she doesn't like? Wild theories of him being a Lestrange or something now. HM.

Poor Tristan. He's not in a good place at all, is he?

-Ellie

Author's Response: You read FAST. PROPS.

And I will keep myself from commenting on your theory, but will say: it's not a bad one!

xoxo
Roisin


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Review #15, by water_lily43175 The Big Thing

7th June 2015:
Oh man, I love the whole first scene of this chapter, with Emily and Tristan. So well-written. Also, I LOVE Tristan's view of the wizarding world. I mean, I don't necessarily AGREE with him, but wow, they're all fairly legitimate points. This is getting DEEP. And I love it.

OH NO you don't just stamp on Tristan's tape player! Grr moron Slytherins.

Wait. WAIT. Tristan's mum was a Gryffindor and his dad's a Muggle ... so how does being Slytherin run in the family? BIG THING I want to know what it is.

So lovely to see the gang as innocent, untroubled eleven year olds. Well. Not 'untroubled' per se but certainly a lot less plagued by their issues and insecurities than they are now. Sigh. NEXT NEXT NEXT.

-Ellie

Author's Response: Ellie! You absolutely RULE! Care for my first-born?

Yeah, I don't agree with Tristan's analysis either, but I was interested in the idea of someone being critical of wizarding culture. A lot of these ideas and criticisms came from various things I've seen online sorta making fun of the Potterverse, and I liked the meta idea of folding those things in.

Ah yes, that is an incongruity, isn't it?

Writing them as 11-year-olds was slightly tough, since I'm not sure I know what 11-year-olds are :P I'm very relieved to hear that you enjoyed it!

xoxo
Roisin


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Review #16, by water_lily43175 Self-Spelling

7th June 2015:
Well this is my favourite chapter so far. And, incidentally, I think Isobel is fast becoming my favourite character of the four. It's almost as though her discipline is both her biggest strength and her biggest weakness - because the moment she slips, she just comes crashing down. Poor girl. I think the reason I like her so much is that - aside from her moment of self-pity, almost, when she decides that if Laurel is allowed to crumble, so is she - she puts her friends' issues before her own. She really is a wonderfully well-fleshed-out character. (Pun not intended. Stop starving yourself Isobel, you are most definitely not fat.)

And the moment that we all knew would happen has arrived. Poor Laurel. What a horrifically vivid scene.

And, weirdly, for once Snape's almost don't-care attitude seems almost caring. And yet entirely in character too.

Poor kids. EXCELLENT chapter.

-Ellie

Author's Response: TWO REVIEWS IN A ROW?!?! I AM GRINNING SO MUCH RIGHT NOW!

Oh I LOVE your comment about biggest strength/biggest weakness! That is TOTALLY true. I actually suspect that that's true of everyone.

One thing that can definitely be said if Isobel: she is not self-absorbed. Possibly to a fault. She gets very invested in what's going on with other people (which runs the risk of overstepping or being nosy) but sometimes that HAS to happen. I mean, maybe things would be different if she'd been nosier and pushier with Laurel earlier?

As with all things, I think perspective is critical. Isobel and the rest have a dramatically different perspective on Snape than Harry (he might be unpleasant to other students, but he's not NEARLY as abusive with them as he is to him) so they have a bit less reason to loathe him. I honestly LOVE Snape (not in a shippy way, just as a character) so I really enjoyed giving him this moment of kinda-kindness. Canon characters are fun, because you can play around with drawing out of an established set of personality traits!

You are the best, thank you SO much!
xoxo
Roisin


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Review #17, by water_lily43175 Troll in the Dungeons!

7th June 2015:
Bah, I've been meaning to catch up on this fic for AGES now, like months and months, I am a TERRIBLE PERSON. Oh well, I'm here now, let's see how much I get through. :) I have to say, it's been fantastic to see Year Five gain more and more attention and recognition on the forums in the last few months, although admittedly that's made me feel EVEN MORE guilty for not having caught up on things earlier. (Did I really only get through the first six chapters before? Shocking stuff.)

Tristan's little dialogue with the Sorting Hat is rather wonderful. Poor kid, his head really isn't in a good place at the moment is it? And actually, as an aside, I think that point about the only communal areas being the common rooms is an interesting one. There really isn't all that much encouragement for inter-house friendships, is there?

"Free Time, and Also: Animals". I would LOVE this class.

Oh, Laurel. She's heading down a slippery slope, fast. And it seems as though Tristan is following her path. At least in Isobel they have a friend who is slightly more rational and seems able to spot the warning signs. Hopefully not too late!

Although having said that, it's probably not a good idea to carry on Cheering. Oh kids.

Oh my god. Isobel giving Hermione hair advice. I love it.

I'd forgotten just how refreshing I find this fic, the way it tackles the same sort of issues which affect young people in everyday life, and yet don't seem to affect the kids in the Potter books. Of course, I understand why JK doesn't address this - she covers enough as it is, without throwing in depression and drug use. But it's a really interesting thing to bring into the magical world, and it's really well carried out.

ONWARDS!

Author's Response: OH MY GOSH, YAY! I'm so excited that you're back! I really really enjoy your reviews and this is so heartening! I actually just got a beta, and I plan to go back and polish this story now that I know more (the story itself will stay the same, I'll just be tweaking awkward sentences and the like), so this is a really great time to be getting feedback :)

Yes, the lack of communal areas! The curfew is pretty early and there are so few warm days, so having a friend in another house must suck! I'm glad you mention the thing with the sorting hat, too. That was meant to play as an inversion of Harry's experience [because Tristan is an inversion of Harry! ;)]

Cheering Charms--such a bad idea. The more you think about it, the more you have to think that being able to make yourself artificially happy WHENEVER you want HAS to have some serious implications.

I totally agree with your point about the HP books being QUITE enough to go on--it would have gotten really busy had this all been included. And Harry's WAY too busy recklessly fighting evil to have much time for reckless teenager experimentation. But I just loved the idea of watching Real Teenage Crap play out at Hogwarts! I had no idea, when I wrote this, if anyone would even like it, so it means SO MUCH to me that you enjoy the idea, and think I'm carrying it out well!

Thank you A MILLION TIMES for taking the time to review!
xoxo
Roisin



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Review #18, by Slide The Question

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 #19, by Slide The Disappearing Room

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Poor Tristan! Great chapter.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Review #20, by Slide Interrupted

6th June 2015:
Oh, sweet Emily, you keep being oblivious about why Isobel's mad at Tristan. AND YET she knows more and isn't telling, I'm going nuts. Unhelpfully this fuels my mad theory. The two of them smoking together is rather adorable, which makes me suspect horrible things are coming.

Mercifully this sequence with Laurel has proven my crazy theory about Tristan's parentage wrong, though I'm thus not so surprised on the child of a Death Eater (or associate) likelihood. I SHOULD, thus, have twigged a past association being the reason for Snape's sympathy towards Tristan.

My 'bad feeling about this' is intensifying. On the other hand, this duelling sequences, Laurel and then Emily and Tristan, is so acutely propelling that I'm mostly just gobbling up the chapter instead of pausing to scribble my notes.

But of course Laurel interrupts. :-D Oh, no. 'He should have chucked it in the lake right then.' That's one of them sentences. No good will come of this.

Yes, Laurel, TELL ME THE SECRET.

DAMN IT, LAUREL, YOU HAD ONE JOB.

Though I adore Laurel's fractured panic here. It's so real, so genuine, but it also really gets across the SITUATION, of how many problems are rolling together. Not just her mentality and struggling to deal with it.

*flips table* THERE IT IS. There's Emily's damage. It was only a matter of time, wasn't it? You crazy kids. In other news, references to Weetabix are making me think altogether too much about breakfast cereals at Hogwarts. There's a LOT to contemplate this chapter.

Isobel wins my love again for trying to do right by Emily in telling her about Tristan and Laurel. It may or may not be the right thing, but she's at least being assertive and not foolish and it's with good intentions. It's rare for the foursome to do something ACTIVE to help one another, especially if it's risky. And done in a bit of an overbearing manner. And yet I cannot help but love Emily a little bit more for lying, because she has every reason to lie.

It was so shocking to read Emily being satisfied in having a nasty thought about her friends that I laughed inordinately loud at her bursting into tears immediately after. Poor girl.

I adore how Bonky helping is very sweet, and sincere - and then you wildly avert a stereotype like Bonky giving some sort of MESSAGE to give Emily a whole new perspective to fix her problems. Bonky is nice. Bonky says nice things. Bonky does not save the day. Poor Bonky.

And then Tonks DOES give the important messages. Very sad from a reader's perspective, and I suspect the foursome will be okay in the end, but she's so entirely right about different social groups in different phases of life. Media, and the Potter books, try to convince us of lifelong friendships struck up from the very first, but it's nice to see it being pointed out that sometimes this isn't just unrealistic, but unwise.

Anyway, this chapter was a ROLLERCOASTER. I'd call it the best one yet, and it probably IS, but I know 'best' chapters are almost always the product of all the ones which came before in a story like this. So it would undermine the groundwork for me to elevate this chapter above its fellows. It's ALL brilliant.

Author's Response: "Something is adorable. Horrible things must be coming." You know me so well.

I'm really glad that the Snape thing wasn't obvious at the time, but clicks in retrospect. I'd never written ANYTHING before this, let alone a mystery sub-plot, so I had no idea if it was too obvious or too subtle.

Also pleased to hear that the POV alternation did what I wanted with pace! This is the first time there are rapid POV shifts, or, indeed, a lot of POV shifts in one chapter, so I hoped it would come off. There's just so little that actually HAPPENS in this story (I prefer to use the euphemism "character driven") so I tried to make kinda simple stuff as exciting as possible, since there's zero action ever.

Ooh yes, Omniscient Narrator stepped in to condemn the potion. There are actually a few things going on there ;) [one of which was a bit of foreshadowing that I hadn't even intended. Then I was like, "oh crap, I know what's gonna happen..."]

Bah! Your reviews, more than anyone else's, make me snort-laugh.

Oh Emily... I still feel guilty about doing that to her. I just LIKED her too much, and realized that that was a mistake. It clouded my judgement with her character, and it meant she wasn't being fully utilized. But yeah... the guilt...

Yeah, I still don't know whether telling Emily was the right choice, but you totally nailed it that at least Isobel's intentions were genuine and pure. This is something that will continue to develop, but Emily hates the idea of being cast as naive.

I SUPER didn't want to make the House Elf infinitely wise and silver-bullet-y. Bonky is great here--she offers sympathy, a bit of advice, and support, but yeah. She's not Dumbledore.

It kinda hurt to give that advice from Tonks... I mean, I'm actually still surprisingly close to all the friends I had as a teenager, but there are a few I lost touch with who I really loved once. It's sad thinking about it, at the time, that it could happen someday. But when it does... There's a reason you lose touch.

Oh THANK YOU SO MUCH! I really hoped readers would appreciate the way I built to this. This story was all pre-written, and written all at once, so it has a narrative arc over multiple chapters rather than an episodic structure with an arc within individual chapters. I know it means losing readers, but it means SO MUCH to get a review like this where someone appreciates how it all comes together. THANK YOU!







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Review #21, by Slide Torture

6th June 2015:
I really like the CI for this one. A particularly haunting choice on quotes and image.

I hadn't picked up on Isobel not strictly being the smartest of the lot, though it makes a lot of sense now you mention it. While she tries very hard to come across as the hyper-bright one, something wasn't quite ringing true. I think it's because the others don't pick up on it, and neither does she herself. OR I'm not so attentive. :D Anyway, onward!

And immediately, OH NO, Isobel, you were so close in looking towards Laurel for some sort of lesson and you picked THE WRONG LESSON. Then again, Isobel in general is clearly not the right person to be supporting Laurel at the moment - for her own sake, if not Laurel's. Though at least she can give good guidance on the Tristan issue - and is rather right on why it's different to Emily's experiences. Not to mention that Laurel's invoking about six, seven months prior. Things change.

This situation with food needs to - unfortunately I'm feeling it may need to hit a crisis, because I'm not sure anything ELSE is going to precipitate change, and that's a depressing thought. The others have noticed but they're not doing much, and again, it's not their fault as they're hardly equipped to intervene.

While Isobel's internal lashing out at Tristan made me at first cringe, I realised I had to see some truth in it. It can be incredibly hard to support someone going through depression, especially if you have your own troubles AND you don't know what's going on with the person. Isobel's not in a great place to be sympathetic, so it's so easy to see Tristan as his illness; she's clearly capable of remembering who he really is, but it's been overshadowed now. Briefly I thought a little less of Isobel for the lashing out, but I must be more sympathetic. She is in the worst situation of any of them for thinking well of him.

Let's see if this ends up in an open lashing out.

I see Isobel favours my mastered classroom technique of getting an easy answer offered early to avoid engagement later. PENELOPE CLEARWATER, I have been SO forgiving of you in this story, but what kind of historical answer is 'the early middle ages'? That's perhaps a FIVE CENTURY WINDOW!

I keep having this deranged theory that Tristan is the son of the Lestranges. I'm not sure I've voiced it because it's the kind of theory which is either hella brilliant or hella WRONG.

The team label is brilliant. I must commend your research in British slang. :-D

...Percy, you little British Slang Word I'll decide on later.

Aww, the conversation between Isobel and Tristan was nice. And a good example of that kind of situation with a friend; there are times where the good parts shine through and you forget why they're so frustrating, or you understand the parts that were frustrating.

Cedric and Tristan WOULD make a beautiful couple.

Haha, Isobel manages to inadvertently NOT arm Voldemort with new forms of torture. Brilliant. And your author's note again demonstrates your creepy levels of research. Respect.

Author's Response: Oh the CI text for this chapter. The story is set a few years too early for Fiona Apple, but uh... ShHhH!

Isobel's relative intelligence isn't an important point--just a subtle character nuance. Not anything super important to pick up on, and it doesn't really matter. It's just one element of the difference between who She is and who her Persona is.

Yeah, there totally WAS a lesson there, and she missed it. But she's really bad at recognizing things right now, often believing the opposite. She thinks her anorexia is a way of gaining control and maintaining something even, when really it makes her more out of control and uneven :( She doesn't realize it, but the starvation has affected her mental state, making her erratic and emotionally unstable.

Ugh, that's the thing with anorexia though--it's very slow. It doesn't really have crises until after a lot of time has passed. Lasting damage might be happening, but the body adapts to keep someone functional (which often has grave consequences of its own--physical and psychological.) And this is rough to say but... Isobel's ED is pretty 'garden variety.' That does NOT mean that it isn't terrible, but... Well, I just deleted several rambling paragraphs about some RL stuff with my friend, but that's neither here not there, and much too big a bummer.

Very well said. I wanted Isobel's feelings to be SOMEWHAT valid, and her criticisms to seem at least a bit convincing, but you're VERY right to recognize that she's missing the issue of depression. I think that's in part because she is not equipped to handle it; she's only fifteen, she's got her own illness to contend with, and she's a pureblood (doesn't know a great deal about psychology).

Ah yes, a very clever technique. I should really follow it, but I'm much more of the Hermione school of thought (raise hand at the beginning, and then also every single time after that.) HAH! Yeah, Penelope's answer was pretty lame :P Being a Ravenclaw doesn't necessarily mean that you're smart, only that you care about school and grades (I go to an Ivy League school and while there ARE a lot of geniuses, there's even more 'I just care a lot' types. Most of my highschool-drop-out friends actually possess more raw intelligence).

The Lestrange theory isn't bad! But you've already read the next chapter, so you know what's up.

Glad you dug the name! My dad lived in London when I was a teen and I have a British stepmother, so I know some tricks ;) I do worry though that the voice in this story isn't always convincing. I TRIED to use English actors as faceclaims to better get a handle on the dialog, but gave up and used Americans for Isobel and Laurel. If you EVER have britpicking suggestions I'd really appreciate it!

Indeed, it's much easier for Isobel to hate Tristan in the abstract. There's just too much history and affection there, and Tristan is already so self-loathing it was easy for him to pick up what Isobel was angry about.

Teehee--I kept trying to introduce as many doomed ships as possible just to see if readers would bite! (Crestwood totally ships Trisdric. No biters for Isover/Ollibel yet)

"Creepy levels of research"--the most apt word choice yet.


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Review #22, by Slide The Trouble With Laurel

5th June 2015:
Huh, did we already know Tristan could see thestrals? Damn my memory. WELL NOW I KNOW. Yet more clues for my wall of crazy conspiracy.

And so do we see how fragile Tristan's moods are; on the one hand, the music catapults him upward, breaking him out of that cycle, but on the other, he's clearly much, much quicker to descend.

Then descend into the situation with Laurel. On the one hand, it doesn't seem ideal for the two of them to feed off each other; on the other, they both feel completely misunderstood and/or like they'd be letting down Isobel and Emily if they were honest.

And THEN they all feed off each other's damage and buttons. Which is very compelling from a reader perspective, but yet again makes me want to facepalm. I love these poor, damaged kids. Really, send the lot to Sprout. :D

Oh hey a Sprout scene.

I LOVE the comparison with the Death Eater gangs. Obviously these guys aren't about to become genocidal terrorists, but the simple reminder of such people living as teenagers and how they interacted with society is so nice.

Mmm worldbuilding. All beautifully logical and also with its implied consequences. I love it.

A great chapter for rounding out not just Tristan's descent, but offering all these clues on everyone else's.

Author's Response: That was the first Thestral reveal, no worries!

'Fragile' is an excellent word to describe Tristan's moods. And yeah, he's very quick to close in on himself and start digging himself into sadness holes that he can't get out of. It's weird, I'd originally planned on Tristan being this handsome, sexy, whatever character who was a lot more charming, but I think he turned into something more interesting. Then I went and decided on Craig Roberts for a faceclaim (whom I find ODDLY attractive, but is not traditionally good looking) and I think imagining him playing the role resulted in something more complex and less lame.

Laurel and Tristan are definitely different in the mind department, but are similar in that both suffer from self-loathing. They have this idea that they can just Be Themselves together, but since they hate themselves, they end up just indulging that together and making poor choices.

Yes! My mom used to say that sometimes people who are kind of pushing against boundaries or rebelling from the status quo can take it too far, and lose sight of what lines not to cross (think Michael Alig). So while the Hex Heads are NOT the Death Eaters (or Michael Alig), there is something of a similar MO going on.

Ah yes, the rural wizards! The canon note that some families home-school, combined with the American stereotype of "hicks" or "hillbillies," plus the existence of the Gaunts, plus the Village Witch archetype resulted in that inexorable headcanon!

Thank you sososo much for these reviews! I started reading Starfall, so expect a flurry from me soon :D





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Review #23, by Slide The Little Things (1992)

5th June 2015:
UGH it has been MONTHS and it's about time I got back into this story. I just keep wanting to sit down and Properly Review, and you know the cycle. It means I never get around to it. So I guess I'll just try!

Hooray, a chapter from Laurel's POV at last. I admit I have thus far enjoyed her more as a foil for everyone else, but it'll be curious to see her in her own right. Immediately I'm hit with her sense of frustration and yet self-loathing. I've only done the "I live away from my own bedroom" for a couple of years at uni, but I imagine four and a half years of serious growing up mostly away from home is going to make for some conflicting home life. And a strained relationship with her mother, or a relationship which looks like it was already strained.

Seeing Isobel from another perspective is always entertaining; there are more layers in her, probably, in terms of how she presents herself compared to how she is. So seeing who spots the chinks in her armour and who doesn't is curious.

I love flawed parents. I don't know why. It's always so refreshing in fanfic to read about parents who aren't either plain evil or entirely supportive and wonderful. Usually those in the middle only tend to exist to object to someone's love interest and eventually come around. Betty presenting the return of her wand as an act of trust, instead of an act of necessity...

OOH we're in a SPROUT POV! That's different. It makes perfect sense that she does the guidance work at Hogwarts (has that come up in a past chapter? Oh, don't rely on my memory). You know, it's actually very interesting coming back to Year Five after reading The Casual Vacancy; I remember thinking at the time that your chosen style for this story made a lot more sense. Particularly how you develop and reveal backstory.

This Sprout scene, in particular, is feeling very Casual Vacancy - and I mean that in a good way. It does that same job of expanding characters by seeing them through different perspectives, and everyone's a little bit useless in their own adorable way. In Year Five, anyway. But I digress.

Briefly misread description of Laurel's father not as a muggle, but as a smuggler. Very different story. HOWEVER, her family life clearly has some secrets. See above for how you're developing and revealing backstory. And anyway, a very good scene, and pleasantly insightful about Sprout as well as poor Laurel.

Aww, all the feels from Isobel.

The depiction of Laurel's struggle with addiction is very effective. Combining the difficulties with both the minutiae of everyday life and the genuinely tougher parts, like Patronus summoning and trying to avoid falling back on old habits, makes it feel very real. The elements of choice, and the wondering what she GETS out of breaking the habit, and the cycle of defeat - all compelling. And, of course, very real. As is the joking about the horrible incident; it's a very valid thing people do, and those outside of the trauma reacting badly to it - also very real.

'It's all just Protego or Expelliarmus anyway.' Much as I try to expand depictions of combat magic... Isobel isn't wrong. :D

Oh Christ, the flashbacks. Oh, Christ - oh, phew, the conversation with Tristan actually went helpfully, didn't just get worse like I thought it might. 'All the little things.' Words of wisdom from Tristan.

An excellent chapter, as you may be able to tell from my blathering.

Author's Response: Hello!

I really wanted to build up everyone else's perspective on Laurel before getting into her head--and also, her head would have been weird to occupy when she was hexed all the time. And probably very boring, too, as she'd kind of anesthetized herself to everything. I've never lived away from my own bedroom (my mom rented my old room out just as soon as I left) but one of my biffles had one of those situations. I'd spent a LOT of time sleeping over at her house as a teen, and helping her clear it out one time was like, I dunno. A really weird experience. She'd, like Laurel, sort of been using it as a locker to dump crap, and it was so odd coming across old things (like old notebooks of mine from highschool that got wedged under a shelf somehow).

You're super right that Isobel, probably more than anyone else, Presents Herself. She has a Summer birthday, so she's actually the youngest of the lot (almost a full year younger than Tristan), but she's always trying to act like the Mum. I think she's more of an adorable sweetie than she lets on, and kind of keeps an icy mask on a lot of the time. (And this isn't a bad thing, but while she's the most active in her studies, she's not actually the smartest. Her POVs tend to have a lot less intelligent language and she uses parentheses a lot).

FLAWED PARENTS! Obviously, family is really important to people and their experiences, and especially children and teenagers who aren't fully independent yet. I definitely wanted to examine a lot of different styles of families and parenting, and I think all of the parents in this story have their strengths and weaknesses. Betty is the least likable, but even she isn't all bad--having a teenager is just really hard and confusing (I imagine?) The parents are all just as confused as their kids. (Oh, and if you're curious, I imagined Betty as looking like Samantha Spiro from Grandma's House).

It got mentioned in Ch4 that Sprout did guidance, but pretty in passing. I DEFINITELY was inspired a lot by Tessa Wall (though they have their differences). I took a LOT of devices and ideas from Casual Vacancy for this story (I'd just read it when I started writing). An RL friend of mine read this story and then CV, and said of it "it reminded me a lot of Y5." Then I was like, "OTHER WAY AROUND, BRO." But yeah, CV was the first time Rowling explored things from multiple perspectives (and she did it SO well), and I loved the idea of bringing multiple perspectives into her Hogwarts world.

Laurel's struggles required a huge amount of imagination on my part, so I'm glad it seemed compelling! I've known a lot of people to suffer from addiction and been involved in some community organizing and stuff around harm reduction and service providing, so I had some stuff to go on, but I'm really glad that her POV was convincing and seemed, like, thorough.

Ah yes, all those little things. I didn't want every character to follow the same arc or be different permutations of the same thing. Tristan has a Big Thing, so many readers assumed Laurel did too. But she doesn't have any DARK SECRETS or anything and her life has been pretty average. But yeah, there's a lot of ways that people can hurt, and people will have Feelings even if there isn't a major trauma to pinpoint.

xoxo
Roisin





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Review #24, by Gabriella Hunter The Disappearing Room

2nd June 2015:
HELLO!

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

Anyway, on to this!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Much love,

Gabbie

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

Author's Response: Hello Gabbie!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

xoxo
Roisin


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Review #25, by musicluffler Prologue (1991): Dozens of Little Televisions

1st June 2015:
So this grabbed me. Wow. I'm in love with what you explored in this chapter - the dangerous territory wizards cross into when fraternizing with muggles, an implied to be pre-established (in their family, at least) protocol for drugging Muggles, and the Obliviation. Sophie's instinctive perception of the wizarding photographs as TVs was so believable, and the way you wrote that section was just perfect. Finally, in love with the prose! This story is unlike anything else I've ever read (in a really, really good way) and I am obsessed. I found this yesterday so I'm gonna try to write a few more reviews for some of my favorite parts from other chapters, because seriously, I couldn't be more thankful/appreciative you wrote this.

Author's Response: Hello! Wow, thank you so much for taking the time to review!

Yeah the more I thought about it the more I realized that something like this HAS to happen from time to time (Teenagers being TEENAGERS and all)--and it is QUITE a sad idea :( Harry really loved and was accepted by the wizarding world, so I was curious to examine all the ways someone else might resent it.

So glad you liked the 'little televisions' thing! I super enjoyed writing that part :)

I so appreciate all your kind words! Thank you so much again for reviewing--it's so heartening to hear that you like this story :)

xoxo
Roisin


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