Reading Reviews for Year Five
191 Reviews Found

Review #1, by my_voice_rising Prologue (1991): Dozens of Little Televisions

23rd November 2014:
Hi there! I'm here with your requested review. You mentioned how the first 5 or so chapters have gotten a lot of feedback, but I am not very good at offering advice starting with the sixth chapter. Feel free to re-request from me for the next few chapters!

I'm already excited with your author's note, as I just started The Casual Vacancy and love it. I am convinced that I have a work of fiction in front of me. I see now why you suggested reading a later chapter--there's nothing to fix here. My apologies for my lack of concrit, but this is a job very well done. The fact that you opened the story with Sophie, and her wonderful back story and reasoning for going home with Tristan (to which he was sadly oblivious) is brilliant. It makes the erasing of her memory all the more sad because we got to know her in this short time, and I suspect that we won't be seeing her again.

But I think my favorite thing is the description of Tristan's home. The line as though someone from the middle-ages had decorated with an Ikea catalogue is perfect. You've blended the Muggle and Wizarding worlds so well, and I feel that their house is some kind of metaphor for the displacement that Tristan has felt his whole life, marginalized by straddling two worlds. How sad that his own "security breech" was dealt with so painfully when his own parents are from both ends of the spectrum!

All in all this is a wonderful start. I'm glad you asked me to review this story. I'll definitely be back to read more, whether you request another review or not ♥

Author's Response: Oh my, thank you so much! Eee! I'm just overjoyed right now! And yes yes, I definitely didn't expect you to *start* reading at Ch6--it would probably be quite terrible and confusing!

But just, ah! You got absolutely everything I wanted to convey in this first chapter--his home being like a metaphor, the impact of the memory modification--it is SO encouraging to read that it came off!

Casual Vacancy is my FAVORITE book, tbh--I get so excited for people who are reading it the first time!

Thank you so so so much for leaving this review! You absolutely made my day!


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Review #2, by casual_chaos R

17th November 2014:
Hello again!

Reviewing as I go! The intro was filled with so many great details, each of them very successful in portraying Emily. She is obviously the most willing to express kindness of the four and instantly I can't help but like her. Tristan being in Slytherin is indeed strange, taking his heritage into account but it suits him somehow. Isobel and Emily also seem to be in suitable Houses, and Laurel... I don't have a good feeling of Laurel yet. I'm very intrigued to find out, though. :)

The bit with Tonks helping Emily out and Dumbledore waving at her were such nice details. And Emily gazing up at the ceiling... it's really something a Muggleborn would do. Personally, I found that ceiling to be one of the best things about Hogwarts. While some other things (like the moving staircases) appeared illogical and extremely counterproductive, the ceiling was such a nice way to use magic. AND it served the purpose of a quite literal weather forecast. So, that detail really resonated with me. :)

Backing up a little - Tristan's fascination with Neville is REALLY intriguing! And I have to appreciate the fact that both Emily and Tristan were completely uninterested in Harry's sorting. :)

The letter exchange was a nice way to shed some light on Tristan and Emily's relationship. There is some sort of gentleness between them, which I haven't noticed about the rest of the group. I'm suspecting it is because they are both from the Muggle world and seem to share the same taste in books and music - but whatever the reason, I'm finding their interactions quite enjoyable. I think it serves as a nice opposing force to the lack of such connection that I noticed with Isobel, and even more so with Laurel. I may be reading this wrong but I'm sensing some deeper issues with these two and again, I'm very interested in learning more about them.

I loved the music/books references! Not necessarily because of what you referenced to but simply because you did. Gah, why doesn't anyone in the wizarding world ever read actual books? Hermione may have read Hogwarts: A History an unhealthy number of times but I'd never seen her read anything, well, interesting. :P And music! Are The Weird Sisters the only magical band that ever existed? Everyone was constantly going on and on about Quidditch but what about art?! Anyway, THANK YOU for including those things in this story. Actually, thank you for making it part of the plot! :D

Gah, what does R. stand for?! Whenever there's something like that in any story, I instantly start obsessing over it, constantly looking for signs that might point me in the direction of finding out. But it's a great way to 'force' the reader to read on. Not that I'd need it for such a marvellous story! :)

A-ha! So they do get addicted on Cheering. I'm now even more curious about Laurel, you've created quite a mystery around her! It's funny how, even with the R. thing and the bit with Neville, I am equally curious about Tristan AND Laurel. And she said but a few sentences so far! And most of them when she was under a cheering charm, so it doesn't even count. Gah, can't wait for a Laurel chapter! :D

Oh, Isobel seems to be really careful with her food. And in the last chapter, she didn't buy crap food like the rest of them, and was sort of envious of Emily's figure... Wait, I think I've seen you comment in someone's Novel Nest, it was a novel about a girl with an eating disorder, and you said you had written about it... I think. So I suppose that would be Isobel's issue. It's such a sad thing to happen to a young girl and I'm already anxious about it. But I'm looking forward to her POV as well!

That's what I love most about this chapter, it has the air of a filler chapter but it's packed with these really important details that really bring your characters to life. Also, while the humour is still present, there are signs of some serious issues hiding underneath and I think that's a great way to really draw the reader into the story.

Oh and not to forget - Snape is such an idiot!! I mean, he's one of my favourites from HP but seriously, she prepared the potion and Tristan gets the credit for it? And for what? Stirring - and stirring badly! But why would Tristan be Snape's pet? Maybe because of his heritage? The black hair? Does Snape sees himself in young Tristan? Is it connected with the R., perhaps?! See, this R. haunts me! :P

All in all, this was a brilliant chapter. I am really looking forward to the next one! Also, I'm loving the end notes, especially the details about the wand and the hundreds-thousands paradox!

Last but not least, I wish you lots of success with NaNo, your novel idea sounds great! With this much talent you seem to have, I do hope your confidence issues will quickly disappear! ;)

Author's Response: Ah! Thankyouthankyouthankyou for this review!

Emily is definitely the sweetheart of the group. Hufflepuffs are so often written off as dumb, or uninteresting, so I wanted to have a main character who really exemplified 'Puff qualities :) And for Tristan being a Slytherin--that was one of the first ideas I had for this story: a reluctant and rebellious Slytherin. His Slytherin qualities show up as the story progresses, but they manifest in really different ways than we typically see (more of a music snob than blood-purity snob).

Ha, I definitely agree with the thing about staircases! And yeah, since Emily is muggleborn, she takes a lot less for granted.

And yee, the Neville Sorting. So yes, there are plot reasons for that, but also, this story is very, like, aware that it's a fanfiction. That Neville's Sorting got more attention than Harry's is for sure a meta reference thing!

Which brings me to the point about books and music: RIGHT?!?! No one like, EVER, reads a NOVEL in canon!!! The Potter series already had so much going on, and I think it would have gotten really busy to introduce too many other elements, but I wanted to focus on what was conspicuously absent in canon: drugs, sex, and rock n' roll! These kids are definitely the not sporty type, and would all be much happier in an art class than on a broom :)

Laurel's POV very intentionally doesn't turn up until the second act, but I hope you like how I play that out and pace it! I'm glad you're wanting one, though, as that's very much what I was going for!

Oh whoops! Didn't mean to put in spoilers for this story in the NaNo comments! But yes, you are correct in your assessment of Isobel :(

Aha, yes, Snape! He's one of my favorites too! It was really interesting for me to write him as *frustrating,* but I really wanted to write him that way, since he SO was earlier in the series. As for your analysis, I think you make a lot of interesting points about why Snape might feel some affinity with Tristan :)

Thank you so much for this review! Definitely a great confidence boost, and one I desperately needed!


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Review #3, by wolfgirl17 Prologue (1991): Dozens of Little Televisions

17th November 2014:

Wolfgirl here with your requested review. =)

In answer to your first question, this chapter did hold my attention. I was intrigued by the character you've made of Sophie, and I'm not really sure what to make of Tristan. She seems nice, though a little too easily distracted for my liking. He seems morose and edgy and I kind of want to prod him into giving up all his secrets.

As you mentioned, the chapter doesn't really lay any foundations for future chapters, so I'm not really sure if I can truthfully say I'm hooked. I'm mildly interested, but can't quite decide if I want to continue. Does that make sense? I like the characters you've created, yet find myself hesitating to continue on as I'm unsure if the rest of the story will be as vague and directionless. =)

I think if you were to edit and give it some more direction you'd have a ripper on your hands, but at the moment I'm just kind of meh, you know? I like the concept and the title, but have no clue on where it's going to go and no real urge to find out...

Sorry, that sounds harsh. I think it just needs some direction. Something to make me want to continue reading. You've nailed the characterization of OCs. I care about them and their lives, but with no direction or even a hint of where it might go, I find it easy to not continue with them.

This chapter is kind of like that person at every party who is mysterious and intriguing and grabs your attention, making you want to be friends with them, but a person who is so secretive that friendship is impossible and practically a waste of time. You know the type? I feel like that. I feel like your chapter is someone I've met who has completely hooked me with their personality, but will never let me in or let me know where I stand with them. The type that you can be 'friends' with for so long before winding up resenting them for their lack of actual friendship with you.

Sorry, that probably makes no sense. I just don't know where it's going to go and so I'm like a nervous freshman poised at the edge of the corridor, unsure if I should jump in for fear of what might happen.

It's very strange actually, as I never felt that way before, and especially not about a story. Kudos to you for that =)

Let me know if you want more reviews (I may need a little shove to get me into the corridor as my bravery is lacking). I hope this was helpful!


Author's Response: Hello! Thank you SO MUCH for your honest feedback!

One major issue that I don't know how to fix is Sophie. She's really meant to be something of a device. Just a character to introduce the story with, and a little bit of a Red Herring. But then I didn't want this throw-away character to be just lame and two-dimensional, but then it seems like she's an actual character in the story! I think maybe I'll re-edit to better explain that she's not turning up again.

So yeah, you're point about directionless-ness is EXACTLY what I was thinking might be a problem! Thank you so much for your analysis! Perhaps I could indicate that this is more of a prologue? It takes 3 chapters to do one full POV rotation, and after chapter 3, I think the story makes a lot more sense. But, how to retain people after the first chapter? That's something I definitely need to figure out.

I will think much on these issues, and definitely will edit, and SO appreciate your comments!

Thank you!

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Review #4, by casual_chaos The Hex Head Express

15th November 2014:
Hello! It's been a while since my review on the first chapter but I said I'd leave more reviews and here I am!

To start with the POV: I like Isobel - she sounds emotionally detached and cynical, always a good combination for an interesting narrator.

I like the part about Tristan 'educating' Isobel with Velvet Underground, that's exactly what I tried to do with my brother. Like, it's my responsibility for him to end up as a cultured human being. As an VU fan, I must ask: did you imagine him listening to a particular song for this scene? :)

I bet wizards and witches use the Cheering Charm all the time! It's just so simple and easy! I bet some of them even become addicted. Seriously, I love this concept of a group of friends using spells to cheer themselves up - like magical junkies.

Thirteen year old Weasley twins! They are hilarious and perfectly in character! Loved the whole conversation about Harry, the wizarding celebrity. And the bit when Hermione barges into the compartment, that was such a nice ' PS missing moment'. :)

Oh god, Arthur smoking hash with Fred and George, hahah. This is too good to be true. And all of the word plays with Hufflepuffs, aaah, such a fun read! Huff le Puff, seriously! And I love the 'each House has their own drug' bit!

But I feel so bad for Tristan. It's just a sad thing to happen to a teenage boy, no wonder he was so depressed.

You have created such an interesting world inside this universe that we know. And you incorporated so many canon details that everything sounds completely believable.

I know I'm the worst reviewer but I assure you that this is one of the most exciting and authentic stories that I have come across on this site. Your writing is great, the characters are intriguing and the humour is excellent!


Author's Response: Ee, hello!

The analysis 'emotionally detached and cynical' seems like a good one to me! I definitely wanted each character to have a different way of entering the world and observing/interpreting it, to give the reader different perspectives of the same situations :)

Ah yes, 'musical education' is SUCH a thing! I imagined that the bit where Isobel recognized the music would be the opening to Venus in Furs (because it's such a recognizable intro).

I know, right?! If you teach thirteen/fourteen-year-olds mind altering spells, at least SOME of them will figure out how to abuse them! It's just too easy!

I'm so glad you liked the twins! I was so intimidated writing them, but then they always seemed to kind of write themselves :) And I wanted this story to really fit in the background of PS without conflicting with canon, but to still really FEEL like its in PS - so the Hermione cameo was really fun for me!

Arthur just SO would. And it's funny to me to imagine that he thinks of it as this little muggle curio, rather than realizing the implications ;)

And yeah, oof, Tristan. That's definitely a really rough thing to go through :(

I'm so happy you're liking this story! I definitely spent a WEIRD amount of time on details and canon compliance, so I'm glad you appreciate it.

Thank you so much for this surprise review! I'm having a SERIOUS confidence issue with NaNo, so this has been really encouraging!

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Review #5, by AlexFan The Disappearing Room

10th November 2014:
We’re almost near the end! Only five more chapters to go after this! Oh how the tables have turned Tristan! Poor Emily, she’s liked Tristan this entire time and all he’s done is just spit in her face and go at it with her friend. I know that they’re technically not dating but when it goes on in a group as close as them, things get a bit more complicated. I’m happy to see that Emily is spending time with Hufflepuffs that won’t have a negative influence on her, her friends don’t seem to inspire much positivity to be perfectly honest.

People in this story of yours seem to have a problem with learning from their mistakes. Laurel and Tristan hooking up was what broke up all of their friendships, like literally, this was like the last straw. Both of them know this, they know that what they did drove away their friend and made everything dysfunctional and it’s the reason as to why they can’t hang out properly anymore why are they doing it again! Are Laurel and Tristan expecting different results by doing this over and over, because you know that’s the definition of insanity.

On another note, as annoyed as I was with Laurel, I have a great deal of respect for her now, it must’ve taken her a lot to hand over her wand to Isobel and tell her to keep it away from herself. I think you got Dumbledore’s character perfect and I just knew that he would help out Laurel the minute that he showed up, Dumbledore just has that effect on people. He may not have been a very good man but Dumbledore did have his good qualities, I have a feeling though that if he were to talk to Tristan, it would take a lot more work to encourage him to make a change in his life, he might just see it as futile to make an attempt to make his life better than it is.

Yes! Finally, some more backstory about Tristan! I’ve been wondering what went on with him as a child and those blacked out files made me even more curious, I can understand why they were blacked out now (and if I’m reading this right, Tristan is related to the Malfoy’s). Of course Narcissa seemed affectionate towards Tristan, he was a pureblood, if he had been anything but I highly doubt Narcissa would’ve been as warm and welcoming of him into her family. All in all, Tristan’s life doesn’t seem to be going anywhere good anytime soon.

Author's Response: Hello!

Yes, the end is definitely near, and this chapter definitely sets a lot of things off.

And yeah, Emily is a lot more adaptive than a lot of her friends, I think. She can fit in a lot of different places more easily.

In a way, I think they *do* learn from their mistakes, but are just self-destructive. Tristan and Laurel know that it's a bad idea, but that's the reason they want to indulge it.

Man, imagine how awful it would have been had Tristan been raised by the Malfoys! All that trauma and neglect he experienced in his early childhood coupled with racist indoctrination!

Thank you so much for this review!


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Review #6, by AlexFan Interrupted

31st October 2014:
Either something is so wrong that even Emily is picking up on her friends acting weird, no matter how hard they try to hide it, or her friends are being really obvious and she’s just a little bit slow to catch onto the problems that all of them are having. It feels like Isobel’s friends know that she’s suffering from anorexia and yet none of them seem to be doing anything. I get the whole stay in your lane thing but I mean come on, your friend is clearly struggling here, they need to do something to help her out before any more damage is caused.

You know, for someone that is so hostile and disliked, people arrive at the most ridiculous conclusions whenever Severus Snape is involved. Like really, a love letter?

Why Laurel? Just, why? She knows she’s in the wrong, she had no right to go snooping through Snape’s stuff like that, why does she just make the situation worse for herself? Does she really think that threatening a teacher is going to make her case any better, and it was stupid to do as well because she’s right, everyone does know about Snape’s past, and of course he’s got a tattoo. Albus Dumbledore is not an idiot, Laurel wouldn’t be telling him anything that he doesn’t already know about Snape. Honestly, there’s more evidence against her than there is against Snape. I just, I just wish she’d keep her mouth shut. It sucks to be wrong but if you can’t admit it then just keep your mouth shut before you do something stupid.

For people who are supposed to be friends, no one seems to be treating each other properly, I really think that everyone needs some time to themselves to figure things out and to prioritize. I feel like being friends is too much for everyone, if you can’t take care of yourself, you can’t look after your friends and everyone is just a mess right now. Those Hufflepuff’s that Emily spent time with seem like good people, see, why doesn’t she hang around them sometimes and pick up some good habits?

And I like how supportive Tonks was, I can see her giving advice to younger friends and helping them out, besides, she gave very good advice at that. It’s nice that Emily has at least one person that she looks up to and can talk to.

Author's Response: I sort of think that Emily is *usually* pretty in tune with her friends, unless she's at the center of something, then she kind of misses it. But that's the other weird thing about this story, you meet everyone knowing they've been one way, but mostly spend the length of the narrative watching them change/retreat into themselves. Like, it takes til about the end to get a sense of what Laurel was like *before*, because all of them are having *phases.*

Aha - yes, definitely a silly conclusion there :) And yeah, Laurel definitely doesn't have as much information as we do, and DEFINITELY didn't think through all of her behavior. I don't think she handles panic very well at all at this stage.

That is a very astute analysis! And I think Emily is leaning quite the same direction you are :) And yes! SOMEONE needed to offer some sage words in this chapter, and it was a great excuse to bring Tonks back!

Thank you so much for the review!! This is definitely the beginning of the most excruciating story arc yet :/ (always darkest before the dawn!)

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Review #7, by AlexFan Torture

31st October 2014:
Wow, sorry for taking so long but I was on a school trip and then I came back and had to catch up on four days worth of homework and lessons and it’s just been crazy.

Oh no, poor Isobel. Sometimes I wonder why I like reading because I get attached to characters and then they start hurting and it just rips my heart out because my babies are not happy and I just gah! Reading your story is just a constant reminder of the fact that not all kids grow up in a family where their parents are supportive and encourage their kid to do their best. Not every child grows up in a family where they’re told that they are enough and that they don’t have to change and you can see it in Isobel and Tristan. You can really see how even the smallest things can affect someone and what it can lead to.

I am going to smack Isobel’s parents, swear to God, I hope they eventually come to realise how harmful their words have been.

I think labeling Tristan as a womanizer seems to be a bit of a stretch to be honest. I can see where all of this frustration is coming from, and for the most part, Isobel is right about Tristan, he is definitely a bit a of music snob, but a womanizer is a stretch. I get that she’s upset that he’s messing about with her two friends but come on now, be reasonable here. I can see everyone slowly drifting apart as they spend more and more times together. It doesn’t even seem like they all share anything in common anymore, they’re just around each other because it’s all that they’ve ever known and they have no one else to hang out with.

Tristan’s reaction the mention of the Cruciatus Curse was interesting. Maybe you mentioned this in the past and I just missed it or forgot about it, but if you haven’t mentioned it then I’m curious to see as what went on to cause Tristan to have such a violent reaction to the spell. But hey, at least he and Isobel talked some stuff out and they’re kind of okay now, she doesn’t seem to want to kill him nearly as much as she did before.

Author's Response: No problem! I'm just super stoked you've gone back to your thread!

I definitely agree! My college has a lot of students who *mostly* had easy lives, and appear very privileged and all that. BUT, a lot of their parents just really weren't nice enough or supportive enough. And while they were never outright cruel, withholding praise and affection can really hurt a kid :(

I also definitely agree that Isobel calling him a 'womanizer' is a stretch. But she's also not in the best place right now, mentally (I mean, going without food to that degree for so long really messes with someone's cognition and emotions).

Your analysis about how they've drifted is super spot on. They're all just really self absorbed at this point.

Muahahaha - yes, I have mentioned something about that, and you did notice it at the time... VERY glad that that this pacing is working :D

And yeah, I think it was a lot easier to hate him when she didn't have to feel sympathy for him. She definitely has lasting affection for the boy.

Thank you sososo much for this review!!!


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Review #8, by Spyci Cleaner, More Brilliant

28th October 2014:
The experience of reading this fic was amazing. I was really impressed with the anti-idyllic story line which so many unoriginal stories follow and I've become such a fan of your style of writing - you're really talented! Well done and thank you so much for introducing me to the making people that are Tristan, Emily, Isobel and Laurel.

Author's Response: Hello! And thank you so much!!! I definitely never felt like I had a 'style' before writing this, so it means a lot to me that you think I have one and like it :D Thank you so much for taking the time to read and review ♥

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Review #9, by Slide Loose Lips

26th October 2014:
Huzzah, a Tristan chapter. Looking forward to seeing him in his school environment. Though Isobel is fast becoming my favourite; I do love the snarky-stoic ones. I regret never writing more Sir Cadogan in my fics. Or any at all. Poor Tristan, with his stoned consideration of a portrait's life.

I love Tristan's ruminations on the perspective of wizard-Muggle relations, though. It's so true that most magic users, even if they're being kind to Muggles, treat them in a kind of indulgent manner, like cute pets. I've often assumed Muggle Studies at Hogwarts to fill a similar ground, though we have NO examples of canon, and considering Charity Burbage died for her job it's nice to think that she is actually teaching her students about proper Muggle society and history.

Ha, yes. All jobs connect to government in the wizarding world. With some exceptions, but it's the majority of what we see. Isobel's goals are curious, and I wonder what it's stemming from. But obviously magical theory is heavily western-based (with the root words of most spells being Latin, or Anglo-Saxon, or Greek).

Poor Wood. Though imagine knowing someone like Wood and NOT caring about Gryffindor Quidditch. You'd go absolutely spare. Though I like that this scene, while casting Gryffindors in the imperfect light, doesn't make Tristan seem like a poor, innocent Slytherin. Aw, I was afraid Sprout was being anti-Slytherin, but it's sweet that she'd be looking out for people - and would make perfect sense for the Hufflepuff head.

Okay, I take back my comments on Wood. Admittedly I can see why he'd view Tristan that way, but his slight on Emily loses my sympathy. Sigh. Silly teenaged boys.

And more layers on Laurel. She is quite the mysterious one of the bunch, hmm? I note not just her motherly issues, but the 'Ms' on her mother, which is... telling. Also, I totally reckon most of the rest of the Houses would be utterly sick of Gryffindor. Love 'em, but they are so bloody overbearing. Still! It's 'nuanced' teenager hijinks, as neither side is the absolute victim here, and both have precipitated this conflict. I like it.

'Brycey.' Poor Tristan. That's, like, the worst punishment ever. Oh-ho, not even half-blood! Good for him. Also that makes a lot more sense, a Muggleborn marrying a Muggle; not everyone would want to give up their entire Muggle upbringing to be so completely immersed in the magical world as it tends to demand Muggleborns become.

I like these end notes of little factoids not in the prose! It would be clunky to exposit about wand-types for more than one person, but *I* care, anyway! :D

Author's Response: Oh man, portraits! What a can of worms! I couldn't not throw in some examination there ;)

I definitely wrote this story at a time when I was deep into studying colonialism, racial constructions, prejudice, etc - so that's a thing! Definitely wanted to point out the paternalism even in Good Wizards.

And a LOT of this story is inspired by the fact that Rowling came up with the idea of Harry all at once, when he was an adult, and then reverse engineered him to create the story. So in a very real way, the entire wizarding world revolves around Harry, since she designed it to suit his story. I was interested in how it might affect different people, who don't quite fit. (Tristan is very much my Anti-Potter - kind of like a mirror image, in some ways identical, but inverted).

Isobel is of mixed ancestry (English and Egyptian Arab - her uncle is Hassan Mostafa from GoF), so she definitely gets ruffled by Western bias.

Tristan is definitely a flawed person, and hardly in the right in that situation - just lashed out. In the conflict between Wood and Tristan, my sympathy lies with the geranium.

Heehee, I'm a Gryffindor myself, so I figured I could get away with showing how some of their characteristics could be obnoxious. (And as Rowling suggested in PS, there's rather a fine line between Brave and Stupid).

"Reluctant Slytherin" was such an exciting idea to me! I'm so glad you like! (And I dunno if it totally came across, but his mum is Mary MacDonald from Snape's DH memories!)

And I'm so glad you like all my little end notes! I did like, an embarrassing amount of research for this story, and not all of it ended up in the story explicitly, but I couldn't resist sharing certain things! And the Pottermore thing about Ebony wands was just TOO PERFECT!!!

Yee, I am SO STOKED on this swap! Thank you so much for your amazing reviews! I'm gonna have to ramp up my review game :D

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Review #10, by Slide R

26th October 2014:
Right, here for more. And this story is so far proving just as much fun as the hype has led me to believe, so this is an absolute pleasure of a review exchange! If I'm being slow, it's because... well, I could plough through reading, but stories like this I want to sit down and Properly Review. If my incoherent 'thoughts as I read' ramblings count as Proper.

Ooh, wand lore. I've got way more into that since I found the Pottermore info.

It's got to be hard, having friends across Houses. There's not much indication of social spaces outside of common rooms, and not much (if any) indication of mingling at mealtimes. I'm guessing at this stage that Emily, for all her being alone, has an easier time than Tristan of having friendly acquaintances in her house and roommates.

OH he's a Slytherin. For some reason I didn't see that coming, I don't know why. A half-blood in Slytherin? I have all the more affection for him now.

Weasleys being an institution at Hogwarts, generation by generation, must be so true. You can just imagine the teachers' faces, at least between canon generation and Next Gen, of, 'It's that time again. I bellow "Weasley" down the corridor and ten students turn their heads, each of them equally guilty of SOMETHING.'

Curiosity on Tristan having some clue about Neville, but now I'm too busy melting over the story of Emily's first evening. I can totally see Tonks being that kind of superb protector of Hufflepuffs, the assertive kind of loyal - the woman was an Auror, after all - but we know she loved making people laugh. And the Dumbledore bit is heartening; I love deconstructing Dumbledore but for all his flaws, he clearly cared so very deeply for the students, and little gestures like that are so perfectly in-character. I have all the squee for this tale.

There's something ridiculously apt about introducing us readers to Emily smoking by having her break her own rule about never smoking alone. Limited access to cigarettes would really only stop kids from smoking so much at Hogwarts anyway.

I can see people using owls even in school. E-mail before e-mail. Huzzah for Muggle literature on top of Muggle music (and trolling uptight Slytherins)! Though... Emily asks a good question with regards to the Slytherin common room and owls.

...I should not have snort-laughed at Laurel's guess of Tristan's middle name. Oh, you irreverent, horrid teenagers.

Okay, Hufflepuffs being more open with their seats in casual dinners makes the most sense. I couldn't see the other Houses being as open to it; even Gryffindors are kind of proudly territorial. I just realised there are NO Gryffindors in your protagonist line-up - I approve! The other Houses need love, too (especially non-evil, differently-angsty Slytherins).

I sense long-term problems with Laurel and Cheering Charms.

Oh SNAPE. You typical, horrid, hilariously predictable man. I'm curious as to why he's protective of Tristan - protective of a fellow Half-Blood? - but being horrendous to Hufflepuffs and then Emily being safe *presumably* because she helps Tristan do well tickles me in that way wot it shouldn't.

Yipes, Blur were around back in 1991? Nirvana are pretty much essential for canon-era Potter stories which have any consideration for music, especially with, as you say, angsty teenagers. I thought it added colour (even though I'm no expert on the errata of early-90s rock), though it helps that I at least recognised all the names, even if I couldn't necessarily name a song from any of them.

Avoidance of paradox by contradicting yourself as much as JK is a pretty much genius way of dealing with the problem, though I entirely get the stance of recycling extant minor characters in the wizarding world wherever possible.

I'm really enjoying taking each of your protagonists at a time; it's doing a good job of fleshing them all out. Of course we learn more about the POV character at the time, but seeing the other characters through someone else's eyes also helps a great deal. I'm looking forward to the due Laurel chapter, partly because she's the one I've got the least grasp of yet, but this chapter did a very good job of solidifying Emily. Excellently fun chapter, loving how the introduction of extant characters and dynamics is being weaved together. It's blasted hard to do versus just writing all of your characters meeting. I like, very much!

Author's Response: I was SOOO stoked to find all these wand types for my characters!!! They work SO WELL! And crazily, my first instinct for everyone tended to be the exact right one (because obv Rowling was going on the same associations I was). I checked out other types just to check, but then my first choices fit best :)

Yes this story was VERY much about examining all the things conspicuously absent in Potter, cross house fraternization being one.

YEE, I'm so glad the Slytherin reveal came as I surprise! I really wanted it to be a shock moment with impact, but then also make sense :)

Oh my gosh, that quote you just wrote about Weasleys is BRILLIANT! I sort of want to write a NextGen now from the perspective of McGonnagall!

Heehee, curiosity overwhelmed by melting was the definite goal there :D Also, I liked the idea that Neville's Sorting was more of a significant moment than Harry's (META).

Hufflepuffs definitely don't get enough love, and Hufflepuff is my FAVORITE house, so I really wanted to show its awesomeness (and Tonks was an excellent way to do that!) And then, Dumbledore had this really important relationship with Harry, and is also nearly an omniscient person (which we can explain through magic). I wanted to suggest that he has important and meaningful relationships with ALL his students, to varying degrees, and cares about their well being also.

Yeah, everyone has cigarette rules when they start, and EVERYONE breaks them eventually :(

Haha - getting owls at Slytherin. Basically, since it's under the lake, I realized it was a hole in the story. Instead of closing said hole, I just drew attention to it, and then it's sort of a joke that I never explain HOW. *Waves hands* MAGIC!

Oh yes, the middle name thing. I wrote that at a time when I'd been having Important Conversations with my friends about whether or not it was ever possible to make a rape joke that was OK. This was my attempt.

Yeah, I didn't include any Gryffindors because I thought they got enough play in canon, and really wanted to examine the other houses :)

So, I LOVE Snape. From a literary perspective, he's my FAVORITE character. BUT, I remember when I was 9, and I first read HP, and how much he DROVE ME CRAZY. So I really tried to channel that angst here, and write Frustrating!Snape.

Oh yeah! The books thing. So like, no one in Potter ever read a NOVEL. Literature never even got MENTIONED. Had to fix that!

I definitely wanted to write music in such a way that people didn't really have to know the bands for the point to come across. I definitely didn't want to do a self-indulgent LOOK AT THE MUSIC I LIKE thing, and so I tried to focus on what was era appropriate, and suited the characters. (Although, for those that are familiar, sometimes there is FORESHADOWING in the music! But it's just a nice extra, and not important to know) (Also, researching 90s music, DUDE, Pulp is SO OLD. They've been around since FOREVER). OH, and I got the idea for this around the time I was reading the Phonomancer comics, which are about the 90s music scene in England, and also music being magic.

Laurel's POV is very intentionally excluded until the second act, because I really wanted to kind of build up everyone else's perspectives on her. And yee! I'm so glad your liking how I develop things through different POVs! There's like, THEMES about that that emerge later. (I started writing this after reading the Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein, and got all stoked on the idea of Literary Cubism :D) [MY FANFIC IS VERY PRETENTIOUS]

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Review #11, by Slide The Hex Head Express

23rd October 2014:
Huzzah, more protagonists! I have read so many depictions of the departure of the Hogwarts Express, but it must always be *chaotic* and this captures such deliciously so. Poor prefects.

'Had a charm'. Ah, we're getting into our magical abuse early, I see! Nothing good could come of teaching young kids Cheering Charms, really, could it. And it makes sense you couldn't cast such a spell on youself. I sense Isobel may be more of the straight man of this group, not to mention seeming more insightful than the others so far. I always have sympathy for such figures.

A short, sharp, but distinct description on Laurel. Effective.

I forgot to mention in the previous review (this is what happens when I don't review as I read, but I got a bit sucked in), but I'm liking the references to our 90s Muggle bands. Potter's becoming more of a period piece, huh? I enjoy it when characters like Tristan are used as links to Muggle culture, it helps stories feel more grounded in reality. Y'know, alongside all that -magic-. Poor Muggle music-lovers, stranded at Hogwarts without the chance to listen.

Laughs for Isobel trying to be introspective and clever but being too stoned to succeed. 'Hex Head' is a good and apt name! And now I feel sorry for Percy, having to contend with this Cheerful Band, but it's always good to see the twins and they're spot on. Good-hearted, but I can see them wanting to burst around with the news about Harry.

Hooray for cross-House friendships, not enough of those around. And an effective exposition of character appearance and mentality by contrasting their behaviour when it comes to getting changed.

D'aw, poor Tristan. I forgot to say last chapter that I really liked the gut-stab of, 'Does it count if she doesn't remember it.' The woes and perils of a teenaged boy, amplified by the woes and perils of, well, mixing magic and Muggles. And this scene of them talking is doing good work in further defining the group dynamics.

Oh God, little Hermione. Oh, the Toad was Trevor - I did not twig that. *facepalm* How long did she spend on that hunt? Girly gossip against Penelope has oddly pleased me. It's fun to see the petty side of teenagers, especially amongst the protagonists.

...the twins got Arthur high. *dusts off hands* I'm done. Nothing will ever top that.

...alright, I'm back again. Eyyy, Hufflepuff stoner jokes. And now I'm sad because of Tonks. It's still always cool to be reminded of her life outside of canon; of all such characters, she's the one I envision having had a full, vivacious life.

Ah, JK and maths. I feel you. I tend to just hand-wave it myself; I only ever develop around 40 students per year ('develop' can just include 'name') and assume the rest are all background filler. They're there, they're just silent extras. Though it would change the dynamic; 150 students a year means there'd be people in your own year you'd only know by name and sight, while with 40 you'd probably have a pretty good idea who everyone was. I admit, things like the '1000 students' leads me personally to believe the magical world is bigger than JK presents it to be.

Loved the adventures on Trevor the Toad. But then I'm a real sucker for works which go alongside canon and address tiny things like that in passing. It's fun, and it makes everything feel connected. I'm really enjoying this story! The characters are starting to come together as a collective, I'm liking the obvious fun and flaws of them, and I adore good OC-centric Hogwarts fics. Honestly, this is making me want to go back and edit and spruce up a lot of my old work because you're really hitting the nail on the head in making Hogwarts feel inhabited by *teenagers*. I shall trot on with this in time! Good work.

Author's Response: Hello!

Yes, the CAN OF WORMS that is cheering charms gets more pronounced the more you think about it! And Harry learned them in third year! DO NOT TEACH 13-14 YEAR OLDS MIND ALTERING SPELLS!

My faceclaim for Laurel is a young Chloe Sevigny (confirmed beautiful), but young people can be judgmental. I definitely stared at photos of her trying to think of critical things to say.

YEE! Underlining the era was something I really wanted to do here, because the films were set in ambiguously 'present day.' I think that was a mistake, because casual movie-goers ended up calling plot holes on things that aren't (how can they keep all this stuff secret with twitter and camera phones around???)

And yes! Having to spend months on end without your favorite music, AS A TEENAGER, must be excruciating!

I'm especially proud of the term Hex Head :D

And the twins TOTALLY WOULD, amiright?!?! That idea was particularly delicious to me, as I'd imagine Arthur thinking of it as some muggle curio, not really understanding the implications ;)

GUH, I know what you mean about Tonks D: When I realized they would have overlapped with her at Hogwarts, I definitely wanted to give her a presence!

Based on actual canon, Hogwarts would have just under 300 students. I'm basically working with that number (or less). But whatever, magic. I kind of liked thinking of the magic population as being SUPER TINY. That's why I gave every single OC in this story some sort of connection to a canon character.

That you think this fits alongside canon, and feels properly Teenagerly, is huge praise! Those were basically my goals in this story! I figure that every school has its 'smoking under the bleachers' clique - even Hogwarts!!!

Thank you so much for the reviews! I am SO HAPPY about this pairing :) I ended up staying up WAY too late last night reading Ignite, but will definitely go back and review all the chapters!


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Review #12, by Slide Prologue (1991): Dozens of Little Televisions

22nd October 2014:
Here for the Gryffindor review exchange, though I'm not going to lie, this was on my reading list for a good long time. And I'm glad I've got the excuse/prompt to start!

This is an excellent opener. An excellent introduction to Tristan as a character, and an excellent dangling string to make me want to know more. Families are often left by the wayside in stories, so I'm glad to see that's not the case for at least one character. Even if we never see more of his parents as the story goes to Hogwarts, seeing just a glimpse of them rounds out this glimpse of Tristan. Muggles married to wizards would be relationships with their complexities, also hinted at!

From a more technical perspective, it's a well-written piece. An evocative delivery of Sophie's environments, mentally and physically as we move from her reflections to Tristan's room to the rest of the house. The slow-boiling move from the very mundane issues of a teenager to the increasingly magical environment slides in the fantasy layer by layer. And boy, while the resolution was inevitable, I felt sorry for poor Sophie. Another Muggle a 'victim' of the wizarding world's need to protect itself.

Plus, the inevitable: teenagers acting like teenagers. Sex, drugs, rock and roll. Always refreshing to read about in the somewhat-twee environment of Hogwarts. Love it to bits, but the Potterverse teens act only occasionally like teenagers. Even in my own writing of OCs at Hogwarts, I don't embrace my mad-cap teenaged years as much as I should have, so kudos!

This might happen piece-by-piece over the next week plus, but I will definitely be cracking on with more reviews! Good work!

Author's Response: YEE! Thank you!

Yes, the details of a mixed muggle and wizarding household were such an interesting idea to me, and something we didn't get the chance to see much of in canon. I'm glad you like the family stuff as much as I do!

I really like your interpretation of Sophie as 'victim.' I was really interested in the ways that the wizarding world could create unique difficulties for teenagers. And just realistically, this sort of thing MUST happen from time to time (raging hormones: the largest threat to the statute of secrecy).

Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll is basically what this whole story is about! They were the three things conspicuously absent from canon, and I super wanted to see how they play out in a magical context! I figure that these things could have been going down in the periphery at Hogwarts, and Harry and co. were just too distracted fighting evil to ever participate.

I am so stoked about this pairing! I've been meaning to read Ignite for AGES, and I've fallen in love!


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Review #13, by Midnight spark Self-Spelling

22nd October 2014:
I'm finally here. Wow, that took so long, I've been dying to read this and I just didn't have time at all!

Woah, so that was what was up with Laurel! This chapter might be the most emotional yet not over-emotional one. You've sort of balanced out the frustration and sadness the gang felt because of the events that took place.

I particularly liked the part about the different reactions of the professors. And look, Penelope actually listened to Isobel! One funny scene for me was, when Penelope kept looking at Iz and she stuck her tongue when she wasn't looking. Little details like that make this story even more original!

And Tristan! The poor guy must be really affected by his friend's health! I liked that Isobel was doubting about something going on between Tristan and Laurel, that was a nice touch.

I loved this chapter and look forward to reading more!


Author's Response: EE! SO MANY SQUEALS! Thank you so much!

Getting the balance down for this chapter was a HUGE struggle for me - I really wanted to give it gravity, without veering into melodrama. I'm so glad you thought it worked!

And yes! The different reactions of the Profs! I was really interested in the space between what an adult might think is appropriate, and what a teenager would appreciate.

And just couldn't help but doing the tongue-sticking-out :D I happen to do that ALL THE TIME (I once stuck my tongue out at a sculpture I didn't like - Bird In Space at the Met, to be specific. I'm not a fan of the Futurists...)


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Review #14, by Cannons Cleaner, More Brilliant

21st October 2014:

I read this a couple of weeks ago in about two days, you had me totally hooked. I felt like I knew all the characters personally by the end of the story. It is amazing how you have given each character so much depth and such a strong identity.

You have sculpted something incredible whilst using Hogwarts and the magical world as a backdrop. My first thought when I finished this was that you should take it down and turn it in to OF and try and get it published. I thought it really was that good.

Initially it took me a while to get around to this story but there was a lot of people recommending this story over on the forums so I eventually decided to give it a shot and I am pleased I did.

Keep writing!

Cannons (harrypotterlover1 on the forums)

Author's Response: Oh my gosh thank you SO MUCH!!!1! You ABSOLUTELY just made my day :D

I really hadn't expected to actually PULL OFF this story, and finish it, and then end up being proud of it! And then, when I decided to throw it at the internet, I didn't think it would get so much positive feedback, or that I would discover such an AMAZING community with so many incredibly talented and inspiring writers!

Just, AH!!

ThankYouThankYouThankYou for taking the time to read this story and leave a review! I appreciate it so much!


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Review #15, by Gabriella Hunter The Trouble With Laurel

11th October 2014:

This is Gabbie from the forums with your review and it's good to be back! I was wondering what our gang would be up to after that last chapter and I'm really not disappointed at all. I'm feeling a little scared though, I think that they're all about to head towards a crossroads.

I'm not honestly not sure where either of them will end up though. We're back with Tristan's POV and while I was reading, I couldn't help but think that he has a very clear way of observing the others around him. There isn't a lot of sugar coating or lies, Tristan is very honest about how he feels and how the relationships with his friends has changed. I do wonder though if this lull he's going through is ever going to change, I'm concerned that his own issues are starting to swallow him up. The lack of interest in his classes and the monotonous day to day activities would drive anyone mad. I went through a similar phase and it took a very nasty emotional cleansing (In the form of a lot of crying to my mama) to get it all out.

Not sure if Tristan is ready to take that step though. What worried me was the moment that he had with Laurel and the guilt that followed after, not only did he Charm her but they also pushed their relationship into a different direction. I'm not sure if two people who are suffering can really create anything out of that but it was interesting to see that Tristan acknowledged their faults and took that leap.

Of course, now their friendship might be in danger. Isobel obviously knows what happens and while she didn't voice her thoughts, Tristan isn't blind to the fact that she disapproves. I do wonder when she'll talk about it though but I'm guessing that it won't be while the others are around. Also, I hope someone helps her with this rapid weight loss that she's going through, eating disorders are no joke.

^^^In regards to her eating disorder, I do like the description you gave of how much her body had changed. It really had me worried but was easy to envision, I kind of hoped that Tristan would tell someone but now I'm worried that it might be too late.

Now, the entire conversation with Pomona was a very good one! It gave me some more insights into Tristan's mind and his rant about the Sorting was very spot on. I could understand his views but it's apparent that there's much more about him that he's unwilling to say. The fact that he's had counseling before only proves that he's holding a lot in and knows how to play the game in a way where he'll win. Or at least, pretend to win for a moment.

That ending though! Ah, I think that you wrote it very well, actually. We got a bit more of a glimpse into Tristan's past and what might be troubling him but at the same time, a new problem emerges. It wasn't written in a glorified way or very graphic but the scene had enough power to really grip me. That's always the perfect balance.

So, anyway this was a great chapter and I'm waiting for the next! I've got about five other stories in my thread though but I'll announce when I'm empty again!

Much love,


Author's Response: Hello!

I'm so glad you said that about their approaching a crossroads, because this movement of the story is very much about building up the tension.

I think everyone goes through a phase like that at some point, to varying degrees. Crying to mamas is definitely the cure, and yeah, I don't think Tristan is quite there yet.

Tristan/Laurel is a lot of bad things, but dishonest it is not. Endangering friendship, however, is a very real concern.

With Isobel, I think it's much easier to pick up on her issues as a reader, because we get to flit between all of their heads, so we get every clue. For her friends, it takes them a lot longer to put something together that we've known for ages. And then even longer to figure out what to say or do. I'm really glad you liked the way I described her deterioration. Our culture tends to fetishize being underweight, but seeing someone you love wither away and stop looking like themself isn't beautiful.

I thought really critically about my faceclaim for Isobel, and came into some trouble: on the one hand, I really wanted pictures of someone who shared her ancestry, on the other, I wanted someone who shared her body type. It turned out to be impossible to do both, so I ended up going with an actress of arguably middle-eastern descent (but only *arguably*), who had the right figure. Kat Dennings, who is extra gorgeous and beautiful and zomg, also happens to have had a BMI of at least 27 when most of the photos were taken - which would technically indicate being overweight, even edging towards obese. This is, of course, why the BMI is a NONSENSE indicator, that doesn't account for individual variation (Dennings is extremely voloptuous). The place where I imagined Isobel being at right now with her weight is not actually any different from most actresses and models - but rapid weight loss is unhealthy, and people have different body types. Many just do not look good at 110 pounds, because that isn't a healthy weight for them.

Ramble ramble. ANYway,

I loved writing Tristan from Sprout's POV! And I love what you said about him 'playing the game.' That is SO the perspective he had.

As for the end, man that was difficult. I really, really didn't want to write about that - but I realized it was kind of unrealistic not to. This story was supposed to be this unflinching look at common teenage troubles, and that one is very unfortunately common. But yeah, I flinched. Not glamorizing is so important in writing, but also hard, because creative writing is by nature aesthetic. To write anything is, in some way, to glamorize it, so I ended up choosing very sort of matter-of-fact language, and not going into detail. I figured it's a heavy enough thing on its own, and I didn't need to give it any more weight by adding more detail.

I'm so glad you found it balanced, and I hope people think I handled it with tact.

ON THAT SUPER DOWNER NOTE, thank you so much for this review! I'm sure you can tell by my rambling that you raised a lot of interesting points.


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Review #16, by UnluckyStar57 R

11th October 2014:
You certainly have done your research for this story! I admire your end notes. :)

Okay, so there were quite a few surprises in this chapter. I was really surprised that poor Tristan is in Slytherin--and I understand now why you kept that a secret for the first two chapters. He seems to have been Sorted there against his will, which majorly sucks, but his attack on the pureblood mania that his dorm mates share is just priceless. I like that he reads Vonnegut and listens to Muggle bands--because what better way is there to be subversive in 90s Wizarding culture than to listen to Nirvana? :)

Hmmm, things of significance seem to be popping up all over the place. "Longbottom" obviously bothers Tristan, as does his middle name. I'm guessing that the middle name will come into the story later, but for now, I can't even think of what it might be. Maybe it's "Rain," to match with "Emily Sunshine." Hahaha.

As for the excessive use of Cheering Charms... Ooh, I think that Isobel needs to slow down on those. I can see her overdosing in the future. That will be painful to read. :/

"Super Baby Harry Potter." Heeheehee. I love it! Tristan and his friends are so sarcastic and absolutely brilliant. And while I'm thinking about it--I like that Cedric Diggory was not always an Adonis, as evidenced by his fading acne. :) Ooh, and also "Dumbledore's absurd remarks." Oh yes. Not everyone is as entranced by him as Harry is at first. :D

One of the things that I really liked about this chapter was that you showed Dumbledore in relation to a student that was NOT Harry. That seems to happen very rarely in the books, giving me the impression that he didn't really care enough to look after the other students' well-being, but his annual wave to Emily sort of debunks that impression.

AND TONKS! So glad that she showed up to help Emily out in her first year. Arrgggh, you just weave these OCs into the well-known fabric of JK Rowling's version of Hogwarts so well! I can't get over it. :)

And hahaha, I wouldn't have noticed the "discrepancy" between the numbers of students if you hadn't pointed it out. *Spooky magic* That's awesome that you pay such close attention to details like that, though. It makes me think that this would be what Hogwarts was actually like in the 90s, without all of the wonder and mystery that colors Harry's perspective of it.

I know that this review says stuff without really saying anything at all, but I wanted to come back and read more (when I should be writing an essay...). So you get all of my jumbly random thoughts. :D

Can't wait to read the next one!


Author's Response: Eee, thank you so much for this review.

So I was SUPER trying for a big "SURPRISE, SLYTHERIN" reveal there. My goal was for a big AHA moment, but also for readers to not really realize I hadn't mentioned a House, and kind of autocorrect (introducing so many OCs at once, I hoped that omission would get lost in the shuffle). But so long as I got my AHA moment!

And yes, being a story set in 1991-92, I realized I shouldn't underplay the significance of Nirvana ;)

Rain! I sort of love that!

Yes, Cedric's awkward duckling phase is total headcanon for me :)

I definitely wanted this story to imply that Dumbledore has a relationship with ALL of his students, to varying degrees, and watches over each of them. Which is quite the task with 500/1000 kids - but he's super magical and wise-old-wizardly.

Weaving them into JKR's fabric was definitely what I was trying to do here! So glad you like! This story is so heavily researched, because I wanted to get *everything* right, and sort of convincingly write something that could have been going on in the background.

Do not worry at all, I was delighted by this review!

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Review #17, by AlexFan The Trouble With Laurel

10th October 2014:
Oh no, DON’T DO IT LAUREL! AVOID THE TEMPTATION, DON’T DO IT! On the other hand, as much as it saddens me that Laurel succumbed to her want, it’s realistic and something that happens to plenty of people. Just because someone is out of rehabilitation doesn’t mean that they’re completely fixed, the want to fall back on the old habits is still going to be there, and for some, they want it so much that they’re willing to risk going back to their addiction in order to satisfy that want.

I always say that relationships in a group of friends is a bad idea because stuff like what went on between Tristan and Laurel happens. Everything gets awkward and people start taking sides and it’s no longer just friends anymore feelings get involved and things get messy. But I guess I can kind of see where the temptation is, when you feel broken and like no one else will care, you might be attracted to someone that feels similarly.

I kind of feel bad for Emily though, she’s so left out of the loop and she must be wondering what’s going on with her friends and why they’re all acting weirdly.

That bit when Pomona was talking about the family’s the fit stereotypes and therefore were seen as the poster people for magical families is so true, especially in fandoms. Every fandom has it’s good people and it’s bad people, and even though the good are predominant, it’s the unkind ones that everyone always looks at and uses as a guideline for every other fan in the fandom.

Tristan is entering into even more dangerous territory here. He needs to open up to someone about his problems, Emily seems like she’s more than willing to listen to any problems that her friends might have but it seems like no one wants to talk about their problems. All of Tristan’s friends are so concerned with helping the other that they completely forget to take care of themselves and to deal with their own issues.

Author's Response: GAH, I KNOW! This story was so hard to write at times, because these characters do so many things I don't like. So I'm really glad for what you said about it being realistic, and that she wouldn't just be super fixed after. That's why I wrote it, because if I was going to handle addiction, I didn't want to make it seem like someone could just go to rehab and then be 100% better.

Right?! Laurel and Tristan are super jeopardizing their friendship. I definitely didn't approve of their actions, but I'm glad you thought I made a good case for their reasoning nonetheless.

And yes! Emily is definitely the one who demands my sympathy in this situation :(

Dude, confirmation bias is SUCH A BIG PROBLEM. Way too often, people let a very small minority of some group reaffirm their perspective of the whole group. Confirmation bias is usually how people justify racism, or pretty much any other prejudice ever.

What you said about everyone being so concerned with other people's issues that they don't deal with their own is *super on point.* And actually, kind of got me to thinking. Throughout this whole section of the story, Laurel is very kind of selfish and self-absorbed. Then again, she's like the only person who's dealing with her own stuff. It kind of begs the question of which strategy is the most healthy. Like most questions in this story, that is very much up to the reader to interpret.

Thank you so much for leaving such a thoughtful and insightful review. This one especially meant a lot to me!


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Review #18, by crestwood O.W.L.s

10th October 2014:
Hi Roisin! I've been saving this review so that I could make sure that my 500th review is given to this story. I've been a bit afraid to continue on because I REALLY don't want to be done reviewing this story. I want it to go on forever and I want to be immersed in this world along the way. But, things are finite, so here I am with three chapters left.

The way you write the revision process actually makes me anxious. I'm one of those people who has to leave the room if someone on a television show is embarrassing themselves because I get massive cases of secondhand embarrassment. I'm clearly living way too vicariously through these characters because I feel like I have exams coming up right now?? And I definitely do not have anything of the sort.. but, that's a really good thing because it means that I am feeling tons and tons of empathy for these characters, which I think is probably the point.

And also, worried about Tristan right now. 'exquisitely alone' (beautiful phrase, by the way) and he's listening to Rock N Roll Suicide and I just have a gut feeling and it's so bad.

You made Laurel's first question in her exam about Cheering. I really appreciate the humor in that.

Ah, Penelope broke down into tears and I'm feeling so terrible for her. I'm getting a lot more emotional about everything the longer this story goes on.

I love that Tristan overwrote his Muggle Studies essays. That's literally me in any politics classes, going into detail about Second Wave feminism in essays about the current demographics of Congress.

The Muggle Studies exam is really hilarious to me because of the fact that I obviously understand how all of those things work, but I'm just imagining all of these Wizards' wonder about Tristan's immense knowledge of it all.

Tristan arguing with Draco, Crabbe and Goyle is one of my favorite things ever. I love seeing them in a different light in which they aren't intimidating in the least.

OH NO. You didn't.. I mean I knew it was coming and I was unconsciously preparing myself this entire time for this, but I still was not ready. Right when he didn't show up for the History of Magic exam I knew. At first I thought he was not going to, um, make it. I don't even want to imagine how I would have felt had that been the case. Luckily, he's okay, physically at least.

And the song he attempted to go out to was all too perfect. The symbolism of runs as deep as it possibly could. I mean, the song itself was the symbolic death of Ziggy Stardust. I knew you'd use it for this scene. You have used music better than any other story on this site, by far. This isn't even a songfic, but it all comes back to the music. It all makes so much sense. I actually have a playlist titled "Songs from Year Five" and it's excellent and I can always listen to it when I want to revisit this story, but don't have time to read through it all.

What Emily said to Mary was too much for me. I don't know.. this may be a record the most emotional breakdowns caused by one chapter of anything, ever? That's including the Fault In Our Stars and that gave me my far share. Like, I saw the signs and I knew that you wouldn't be able to avoid writing this. Realism is too important to you. And I'm so glad you did. But, just.. feelings all around. Wow, I love this. Thank you for this.

Author's Response: GAH SHLARBAGLUHLOVE. Also, GUH, I exceeded the character limit! Gotta truncate this to death! (Rambling paragraphs replaced with "blah blah blah")


You saved your 500th review for me! That is such an amazing honor and compliment! Ah!

I'm so glad the revision stress worked! Blah
blah blah, I worried I didn't spend enough time on something important but condensing it into a shorter space also made it more immediate/stressful/reflects the sensation of time passing quickly etc, I was very vexed, thankyouthankyou.

BAH, you recognized the song! So I knew not everyone would recognize every song in this from just a few lyrics, and it's not necessary to recognize it for the story, but if you DO - yes, much foreshadowing (not a single song in this fic DOESN'T foreshadow. Even the Michael Jackson.)

And I'm SUPER glad you liked "exquisitely alone." Like, one should be sparing with adverbs, I know that, and I TRY, but I just thought that was a really good place for a spare adverb. I went back and forth about changing the language, but I just liked it so much.

Laurel's thing with the test was almost word-perfect what happened in the book with Harry (his first question was about Wingardium Leviosa, and then he was all like YEAH, TROLL, I KNOW). But in OotP, Harry smiled before answering. Here, Laurel rolls her eyes. But that kind of summarizes what YF is all about.

And RIGHT?! Ending up getting way too excited about essay questions and throwing in tons of weird stuff. That's me all over.

"Ballpoint pen: like a quill but less annoying" is my favorite quote from this whole story :)

It's funny to me how so many people on this site conceive of Draco as a "badboy." To me, he was always just kind of petty, pathetic, and at best, tragic. I mean, I love me some Draco, but he's not *cool.* He's really kind of a wimp, if you think about it. Which isn't a bad thing - his wimpiest moments are also his best (crying with Moaning Myrtle).

And AHAAA, parallels to Potter: Harry also missed his History of Magic exam (he had the Sirius vision part way through, and stormed out).

I'm SO GLAD you liked the music stuff! I really REALLY didn't want to be gratuitous, or just include stuff because I happen to like it, but I wanted it to be an important thematic thing in the story. (I actually started writing YF shortly after reading the Phonomancer comics - which are all about British music, and the first is very 90s centric. And because I'm obsessed with Potter, I couldn't help but be interested in applying music to that).

YEE! I have a YF playlist too! And one of my RL friends made one after reading this! If you wanna know, my YF playlist also includes a TON of music not included in the story. Critically: the song "Tristan" by Patrick Wolf. If you don't know it, go listen to it right now! I'll wait.

The very first short story I ever wrote was called "Charlie Never Fell," about someone I knew who committed suicide by jumping. It wasn't good, and definitely needlessly maudlin and I-was-14-y, and the only part I liked was the title, so I kind of reappropriated it there.

GUH I JUST SAW TFIOS. I tend to cry at stuff - any stuff. Like, when Neville got those ten points at the end of PS, SO MANY TEARS. I cry when things are happy, sad, poignant, stirring in the least. TFIOS destroyed me. I'm so glad I didn't see it in theaters, because I would have suffered from lack of tissues and ended up blowing my nose on my skirt.

I can't really explain how wonderful it is to communicate with someone who JUST GETS this story. Like, nothing I intended gets past you. Thank you so, so, so much for taking the time to read this crazy thing, and leave such consistently beautiful reviews. It's the actual most encouraging thing in the world.


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Review #19, by Gabriella Hunter The Little Things (1992)

8th October 2014:

This is Gabbie from the forums with your review and it's good to be back. It hasn't been that long since my last review but I had wanted to sneak on over here and find out what's happening with the gang.

I think that this might be one of my favorite chapters, to be honest. I think that writing about mental illness is very difficult and writing about the aftermath of addiction is even harder. I think that you did a brilliant job of showing the ups and downs of what would happen to a person when they were put back into their life.

Laurel's entire conversation with her mother was cringe-worthy. I felt that Betty wasn't offering her any real support and was more embarrassed than anything, it wasn't what Laurel needed and I felt sorry for her--their relationship doesn't seem to be a healthy one. There was also a lot of unsaid blame going on too that I thought you wrote very well, her mother clearly wanted to say, "This is your entire fault for being a waste" or something along those lines. It left a very unpleasant taste in my mouth.

Now, the group accepting Laurel back was very realistic. There was some awkwardness of course but they were glad that she was back and while it was obvious that something had changed between them all, I liked that they stuck by her. I'm just wondering if Laurel wants them to be there as much, she seems to be drifting and reevaluating her own connections with life and the people she's known.

Now, I liked the POV change to Mrs. Sprout. I wasn't expecting it but I thought it showed that meeting with someone for the first time in a therapy session can be both a bit uncomfortable and freeing. I was able to get an understanding of her character as well and her own faults too and I liked the little bits we got about Tristan too. Little mysterious guy is mysterious! Haha.

I've had to go into therapy a few times in the past so I thought that you wrote that entire scene very well. It's difficult talking to someone about your problems and how you really feel but I think that Laurel made some progress towards the end, when she finally broke down.

Isobel on the other hand seems like she's trying to take control of everyone and hold them all together. I hope that this doesn't backfire! The ending with Tristan and Laurel was really good too, they have something together that the others wouldn't really understand. Broken things with just the pain connecting them, I thought that was really beautifully written.

So, all in all this was a great chapter and I can't wait for the next!

Much love,


P.S.: I liked the end notes especially, it makes your universe all the more powerful.

Author's Response: Hello!

I'm so glad that you liked this chapter! I knew I was really building up to the Laurel POV, and I'm so glad it didn't disappoint once it happened.

And yes, Laurel's mom is lacking in a number of ways. She was actually one of the very first characters I developed for this story (when I was looking for canon characters for everyone to be related to). That the canon Betty Braithewaite wrote a gushing review of the terrible Dumbledore biography definitely suggested a flawed person to me, and that fact influenced Laurel's characterization a lot. I even have a faceclaim for Betty (Samantha Spiro in "Grandma's House"), even though it never shows up in the CIs.

I love your interpretation of Laurel as "drifting and reevaluating." Just as Betty is lacking, and can't be the support Laurel needs, and the healers at St. Mungo's were lacking, so are her friends also ill equipped. They all have their hearts in the right place, they're just all so young, and not entirely prepared or mature enough to be there the way she needs. It's a difficult situation for them too, and no one ever gave them any instructions about how to deal with her.

I loved writing Prof. Sprout! I might have written that whole section from Laurel's POV, but I was really inspired by Rowling's Tessa Wall in the Casual Vacancy (also a guidance counselor). Plus, I thought there was a benefit to having an adult voice jump in to interpret the situation.

I'm so SO glad you thought it was realistic! Realism was really really important to me, and I wanted to treat every one of the important issues in this story with as much tact as possible.

Isobel's need to control is definitely huge - and the more out of control things get, the more furiously she tries.

Writing that section between Laurel and Tristan was really interesting, as a kind of 'blind leading the blind' thing. Whether or not their relationship is healthy and whether or not their relationship is important are, I think, two different questions with two different answers.

Thank you so much for this thoughtful review and analysis! I really really appreciate it!


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Review #20, by Gabriella Hunter Recreational Magic Abuse Recovery

6th October 2014:

This is Gabbie from the forums with your review and you know what the deal is! I would have gotten to this yesterday but I was writing and watching Bob's Burgers. If you haven't watched that show yet, you totally should because it's hilarious.

Anyway, on to this! It seems like quite a few things happened in this chapter and by the time it was over, I was feeling kind of miffed. How dare you end it...

But what an interesting little bit of OMG from Isobel and Lucas in this chapter! I was sort of suspecting that they were going to at least snog or something but this took me by surprise. I'm not sure if they're going to be a couple after this though and I was a little upset that Isobel was already accepting that it was just a one night sort of thing. :( What I thought was very realistic though was her conversation with Emily about her first time. There were some really girlish moments there and the line, "I feel like a woman" just really hit home. I know that a lot of girls feel that way and it's like a sign of growing up. I wonder if this was some sort of foreshadowing for later though but I'm not sure yet so I'm just going to have to keep reading.

Now, the girls finally were able to visit Laurel and I was really anxious for this scene. I did like meeting Iman though, she seems completely different from her sister and I noticed the little conversation that they had. I'm hoping that Isobel's severe dieting is going to be addressed soon.

But what I liked the most about this entire chapter, aside from the girls being able to reunite was the way you described St. Mungo's. There was a lot of detail and I think that the busy nature of the Healers was well-done but the contrast to Laura's ward couldn't have been more obvious.

I got the feeling that they were being forgotten in some way and I felt my heart clench for a moment as Laurel was finally described. It made me incredibly upset to see her that way but what stood out to me was that there was some manner of peace about her. She wasn't raving or spitting at them but oddly content to some degree and I found that very interesting. The girls were a tad uncomfortable but they didn't pressure Laurel into talking about anything that she didn't want to.

Luna's phrase, "Sick in the heart" was a perfect way to put everything into perspective for me. I also really loved her in this chapter too, it had a very bittersweet feeling to it and I think you wrote her wonderfully. :D

I have no complaints or anything so I'll be back the next time you request!

Much love,


Author's Response: Bob's Burgers RULES! I love that groany sound the daughter makes :)

Well Lucas lives in America and Isobel's still in school so probably not much hope for them becoming a couple. Plus, other thing, that will come later *gags self to keep from giving away spoilers.*

Yay! So glad you liked the girl talk! Def channeled my own 16-year-old self for that! I think you're right, and in this situation, it was sort of more about Isobel growing up, and that event's significance in her development.

I kind of thought of Iman as the "good daughter." The one the parents brag on for having been prefect, and being so beautiful, and blah blah blah. Isobel feels rather overshadowed by her :(

I totally re-read the St. Mungo's chapter of HP before writing that scene--so glad you liked it! And I had a LOT of fun coming up with weird magical maladies for the people in the waiting room.

And yeah, I definitely think of the rehab ward as being kind of shunted off, like the hospital doesn't want to think about it. Which is often the case in RL--people don't like looking at the addicted or the mentally ill, and society tries to make them invisible. I've known a lot of types of people in my life (as evidenced by the fact that I wrote this story), and so that ward was very inspired by places I have seen.

I'm glad you brought up "contented"ness, because that's a theme that comes up a few times. With teenagers, you don't necessarily WANT them to be sedate--or at least, you shouldn't. We focus so much on "good behavior," or behavior that isn't annoying, that we forget how important and real the passions of youth are. In this story, when certain characters become sedate, it isn't usually a good thing--rather, a sign of defeat. Of having been broken.

EE, so glad you liked Luna! I knew it was a risk writing her at all, but I decided that her perspective and presence could be really valuable here. I wanted Laurel to make some kind of friend "on the inside"--and Luna just seemed like the best person for the job!

Thank you so much for this review! You always manage to make my day!

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Review #21, by AlexFan The Little Things (1992)

5th October 2014:
Oh wow, Laurel’s mom doesn’t seem to be a very nice person. I mean, I get that she’s worried about her daughter but she seems to be making it even more difficult for Laurel to recover properly. How is she supposed to get back to normal when her mother is breathing down her neck and making comments at the fact that Laurel is having trouble with her magic. And I know why she doesn’t trust Laurel but she could at least do a better job of hiding it, if she showed a little more trust Laurel might believe that her mother believed that she could get better.

You keep taunting me with Tristan’s middle name, am I ever going to find out what his middle name is or is it just going to be a mystery until the very end. Tristan’s file makes it sound like he’s some sort of top secret government agent or something (I was watching spy movies last night forgive me). Just out of curiosity, but why would so much information be blacked out in his files (or anyones files?)

I think Sprout is very good as a councillor. People are generally very closed off when it comes to talking to their therapist, and it makes sense that Laurel would feel like this was just another place where someone would look at her and see a failure. I like how Sprout managed to convince her that that wasn’t what she was there to do and that she was there to genuinely help Laurel.

It’s so sad to see how everyone has just kind of given up, y0u know. Tristan is depressed but he won’t see anyone about it because it’s like, what’s the point of ever being happy and Laurel just sees herself as a burden and a huge mess that she thinks everyone is being forced to clean up after. She doesn’t seem to see the point of why you should bother caring about anything anymore or why you should make an effort towards anything. I JUST WANT EVERYONE TO BE HAPPY AND HAVE A GOOD LIFE.

Author's Response: No, Laurel's mom isn't super great. I was hoping that by introducing her, it might help explain where Laurel's head had been out/where some of her behavior comes from. And I think your analysis is spot on! Laurel does need someone to believe in her--I hadn't exactly thought of it in those words, but it's exactly right.

Officially, it's a mystery until the very end--but the basic gist of the point of it comes across earlier! And as for why his info has been blacked out, you will see!

Yee! So glad you liked Sprout! I really enjoyed writing her, and definitely thought she would make a great therapist!

Oh trust me, I want everyone to be happy and have a good life, too! It's a rocky road for them to get there, as is often the case :( I'm really pleased that you feel for these characters though!

Thank you so much for the thoughtful review!

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Review #22, by casual_chaos Prologue (1991): Dozens of Little Televisions

4th October 2014:
Hey, Roisin!

This story has been on my reading list forever! I thought I'd get to it eventually, but because of the nature of its name, it was constantly in the last place on the list. :/ But then I cunningly decided to start reading in the reverse-alphabetical order and here I am! :D

And I must say, you have quite a story here! Just so many great themes, perfectly written sentences, amazing details... I'm really excited about this! :D And it's written from a lot of POV's which is something I really like. So YAY.

Let me start counting the things I liked. First of all, the summary. I avoid summaries like the plague (I fear spoilers of any kind) but yours was so concise and intriguing! I loved the alliteration in the last sentence, especially because I just adore the world 'realm'. And then that charming notice about the story being 100% canon. Hahah! It reminded me of those '100% organic' stickers you can see on vegetables and such. :)

Moving on to the story. I'll just stick to the plot and characterization becuse: writing = GREAT. I will treat this as a fact from now on. :)

I'm sure many people have mentioned it already, but the fact that you chose to write the intoductory chapter from the point of view of a Muggle girl who is not even the main character (I read the second chapter already, let's not fool ourselves, this is too good to stop after the first one!) is quite original and it gives us an opportunity to truly relate to the character and to her reactions to the wizarding world. Her thoughts about Tristan and her own issues and what was going on around her were so nicely packed into such a great portrayal of a minor character, it was honestly so enjoyable to read.

Aah, this. ''The mingling tobacco and cannabis stink from last night seemed not to want to cross the threshold.'' Not only is it a marvelous sentence, but it also got me thinking. Was I right to assume some sort of spell prevented the stink from leaving the room? If so, did Tristan's parents cast it? Beacuse Tristan is not allowed to do magic, right? It's just such a minor thing but I'm so curious about it. :D

I love the made-up story about microchip technology and confidential government projects; very clever. :) Also, Sophie's reaction to the potion she was given was just perfect; very gradual and written in only a few simple lines! It might even be my favourite part of the chapter.

''Sophie heard a gentle 'hoot' sound from the kitchen, a window sliding open, and a rustle of feathers, but didn't register the noise. Her attention was now absorbed in the motes of dust glittering delicately in the morning light.'' Ah, such a great quote.

And then we get a glimpse of Tristan in the end. I just love him and his brooding nature and the fact that he's only fifteen (I guess) but acts like he's so much older. Also, the Joy Division T-shirt and how he was so entranced with the music and then his musing about the trees falling in forests and why am I just counting things without saying anything constructive at all?!

This story makes me really happy and I can't wait to get to the part about recreational magic! Congratulations on the Dobby nominations, you definitely deserve them! :D

There will be more reviews, you can count on it!


Author's Response: GAH!NHMGDMDKFKGDMG!!1!

Oh my gosh what an exciting, wonderful, fantastic review! Hello!

Thank you SO MUCH for commenting on the summary! I had a really different one all planned out to start, but it was too long, and I fretted ENDLESSLY over this one! I've been hoping someone might offer feedback, because I had NO IDEA whether it was any good, if it got the point across, etc. (Also, my ability to summarize this story was highly limited by it needing the be 12+, and while I probably could have gotten away with some more obscure slang, or euphemism, I felt like that ultimately defeated the purpose of having it be OK for any younger readers who might scroll past). And AH, you got the food-sticker joke! That was definitely a kind of reference to "100% Organic" or "100% post consumer recycled material"! KUDOS. (I kind of think of media as something we consume, and like food, it ends up becoming a part of us).

I'd never read any FF before I started on this, and I wasn't at all aware of any of its conventions, so the most obvious thing for me to do was kind of parallel the mechanisms of the books. Since PS started from Vernon Dursley's POV, and he didn't understand what was up, I very much wanted to do the same thing--only, you know, with sketchier stuff going on. "PS but with sketchy stuff" is basically this story in a nutshell.

And haha, yes! The threshold around his room is definitely magical, well noticed! This isn't really a spoiler, so I'll just tell you straight off that he did it himself (confirmed casually in Ch4). In PoA, Harry finds out that The Trace is somewhat imperfect (Dobby sets it off for Harry)--so in magical households, it's up to parents to enforce the No Magic Outside of School rule (IIRC, Ron tells him that). Therefore, some parents would, just necessarily, be less effective at enforcing it, and some kids would end up doing more magic than others. (This story is a LOT about examining all those little implications).

So glad you liked the potion-spiked-tea scene! HPFF has SO MUCH potential for dramatic irony, and it was AMAZINGLY fun writing things that a reader would instantly understand, even if the character doesn't.

YEE, thank you so much for this review!! You made my day!


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Review #23, by Midnight spark Troll in the Dungeons!

4th October 2014:
Tristan... I feel for him. It must be a bad feeling that he aren't so good friends with his own House mates. But no one can replace his friends, they are great!

I love it that Tristan is feeling guilty for not being a better son. Adds more originality to this fic. :)

THERE'S CEDRIC! Merlin, I miss that guy.

I knew there is something wrong with Laurel! Why would she want double Cheers?

Aw... the friends are having fun! Aren't they high today!

Bossy first year? Do you mean Hermione? I know she was, you provided a hint: youngest Weasley.

Haha... Harry Potter caught the snitch in his mouth... I love that scene.


Author's Response: Hello!

Yes it must be awful to not have any friends in your house. Curfew is around 9pm, and Tristan doesn't strike me as the kind of fellow to ever get to bed before midnight--that's so many hours to kill with only awful people for company!

I'm glad you thought there was a level of FUN to the Quidditch match, because while I did sort of want to imply a darker level underneath it all, I still wanted the superficial fun-ness to come across!

Thank you so much for taking the time to review!

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Review #24, by Veritaserum27 Prologue (1991): Dozens of Little Televisions

3rd October 2014:
Hello Roisin!

I've been meaning to check out your story for ages and all the Dobby nominations and voting finals actually got my butt in gear to do it!

The title was pure genius. I was intrigued at first - and then when I got to the part with the "dozens of little televisions," I chuckled out loud. It's the perfect, perfect explanation that a Muggle would deduce from a series of Wizard photographs.

I love the way you brought us into the magical world through the eyes of a Muggle - exactly the way J.K. did in P.S. It is the perfect way to start a story because (sadly) we are all Muggles and we relate to how they would perceive Wizard objects and actions.

Poor Tristan, he really is a lost soul at this point in the story. He feels caught in between worlds and just had one of the most significant moments in his life removed from Sophie's memory. That's just heartbreaking.

It is so clever that you were able to show us so, so much about his character and he only had the one line at the very end - that was brilliant. "Sure, no problem." The significance of making this the final statement of the chapter tells us that Tristan puts up a different front to the world compared with the angst raging though his mind.

I'm wondering many things right about now. Is Tristan depressed because of his unfortunate situation of living between two worlds combined with the "Sophie incident" OR is he dreading going back to Hogwarts for some reason? His parents seem not exactly sure as to how to deal with him, which only makes him feel more alone.

I've never read a story that takes place on the cusp of one of the books - excellent idea! That, combined with your gift of describing a character's emotions through their actions and thoughts makes for an amazing story. I can't wait to read more!

♥ Beth (Veritaserum27)

Author's Response: Hello!
Oh thank you for leaving a review! I've been been reading your stories too, so I'll definitely by with a review soon :) [I'm kind of in love with the Dobbys, for giving me a DEADLINE to get me to finally read all these things on my list]

I'm so so SO glad to hear your reaction to the title and intro! That was *precisely* what I was going for!

I mirrored PS a HUGE amount while writing this story (and plotted it all out against the timeline of the book). My goal was to kind of emulate but invert the techniques used in the story, and there's a whole mess of Meta References.

And I'm so glad the sheer *tragedy* of that memory modification came off, because I really wanted to examine in what ways the wizarding world could be uniquely cruel (and just realistically, situations like these MUST occur from time to time).

And YES, Tristan definitely has a SUPER active/ragey mind, and he doesn't quite realize how little of it actually ends up getting communicated.

And I'm really glad the whole "him straddling two worlds" thing came across, because that was a really important theme for me that I wasn't sure I paid enough service to. In canon, we only see people *of* the wizarding world, or people who fully *assimilate into* the wizarding world. I was really interested in this kind of dual experience (kind of mirroring bi-racialism, or immigrant experiences, or anything else that means switching rapidly between disparate cultures).

Anyway, thank you so much for this review! I'm so pleased to see you responding to the things you responded to--it's so encouraging!


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Review #25, by Gabriella Hunter Muggle Magic

29th September 2014:

This is Gabbie from the forums here with your review and I got here a lot sooner than usual so what say you to that?! Hahahaha.

So we're back with Isobel now. I liked how this chapter started out with her cooking a meal for her family because I found it a bit ironic considering that she hardly eats herself. It was an interesting contrast and I'm hoping that her own issues will be taken care of at some point, it's really not healthy.

Isobel's family weren't what I was expecting on one hand but on the other, I could understand her own mind. I know exactly what it's like to have a family that's only there for you when it's convenient while offering up nothing but criticism so I couldn't really blame her for some of her attitude. I do wonder though if they'll ever find out about what really happened with Laurel and all the nastier details.

I really liked the interactions between Isobel's father and Emily's family. I think that Emily's family is pretty interesting, they've got a really great hippy vibe going on but there's a lot about the magical world that they didn't understand. I thought it was a little strange that Emily had never told them much but perhaps there's something else going on? Hm...

OMG, Lucas!


I was kind of disappointed in the girls though while they were smoking. I feel like they're not really learning about what could happen if they're pushed too far and I'm curious to know how the visit with Laurel will go. Apparently she's not having a very easy time and I'm kind of feeling uneasy about that, I hope the visit doesn't go as badly as I think it might.

Anyway, what I really liked the most about this chapter though was the differences you showed between a magical family versus a Muggle one. The thought of living without magic was too much for Isobel to understand but I thought that her father's interests in solar panels was a good contrast. They each have something the other lacks in some way and I'm wondering if that theme will play a larger part in the rest of the story.

Hm..I could find nothing wrong with this chapter at all but that ending kind of left me a bit antsy. I might just hop on over to it soon just to see what happens next!

I shall return!

Much love,


Author's Response: Hello! Wow, that was so quick! You rule!

It is a bit ironic, isn't it?! I did a bunch of research into eating disorders for this story, and it seems like obsessing over food/making elaborate meals for others is a REALLY common symptom of anorexia.

Isobel's family were weirdly really interesting for me to write. I kind of really enjoyed writing Ahmad. He's rather like, charming, and a nice sort of man, but also a little pompous and careless to a fault. I really wanted to show a few different kinds of families in this story, and have strengths and weaknesses for all of them. The Doge-Mostafa's definitely exemplify the best and worst of an affluent middle-class (in the English sense) family.

Emily's family are DEFINITELY first-wave hippies! And as for Emily not mentioning certain things (fairies, dragons) I suppose I should work on that. I guess that, with limited time spent home, she just couldn't fit in an entire and exhaustive account of everything about the wizarding world. But really, I only did that because I wanted to show muggles reacting to that stuff, and a pureblood experiencing the other end.

Hah, no, they definitely aren't learning. But, well, KIDS. My friends never stopped smoking for ANYTHING. The teenage delusion of indestructibility is pretty tough to shake. And these characters definitely make a lot of bad choices that I don't agree with. I hope I'm striking a good balance! Because I wanted to go for as much realism as possible [in my story about wizards]--but I also recognize that realism can get FRUSTRATING and ANNOYING.

Ah, the antsyness. I wrote this whole story out before uploading to HPFF, so it wasn't originally designed to be episodic, but rather to have certain sequences kind of work together in chunks. So yeah, this chapter is designed to lead into the next, like a 2-parter thing. Maybe I should indicate that?

Thank you so much for this review! Not only was it AMAZINGLY fast, it also gave me a few ideas for things I could tweak once I'm allowed to edit again :)


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