Reading Reviews for Year Five
346 Reviews Found

Review #1, by dracoismyboyfriendguys Cleaner, More Brilliant

18th May 2017:
I've binge read this story over the past couple of days and I've saved all my thoughts till now! I was so so impressed- your writing style is beautiful, I can't wait to read a novel written by you one day!
Isobel was my absolute favourite. As someone who's suffered with eating disorders for years, I thought you told her story beautifully and I was really pleasant surprised with your reveal about her sexuality- it fits so perfectly.
Laurel was a brilliantly developed character too. The whole charming aspect is so original and interesting- it definitely made for a unique plot and I don't think I'll ever read a story quite like it again.
The way you revealed different aspects of Tristan's life gradually was so clever and I thought his arc was one of the best developed ones I've read in a fanfic!
Congrats on such a fantastic work of fiction! I can't wait to have a look at some of your other stories!
Lots of love and thank you for keeping me entertained for the last few days,
Alice xx

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Review #2, by Bele Cleaner, More Brilliant

13th April 2017:
Very nice story. Thank you for writing it.

Author's Response: Thank you for reading and taking the time to review!

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Review #3, by Seltas After

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

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


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Review #4, by Amicus Cleaner, More Brilliant

13th November 2016:
Just amazing couldn't stop reading so many things that could have across trophy or ridiculous handled beautifully. Not the sort of story I expected to love but one of the best I've ever read.

Author's Response: Thank you so much! That means so much to hear :)

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Review #5, by baletgir Cleaner, More Brilliant

22nd October 2016:
I have no words. I am happy and sad. Yes, this was a satisfying ending and I understand why you ended it here, but I would love to read more. The parallel to Harry's story is such an imaginative concept and you've done it so well. I've also fallen in love with Tristan, Isobel, Emily, and Laurel and I want to know how their 6th and 7th years turn out.

All in all, an amazing story and so well written.

Thank you!

Author's Response: To be completely honest, I do have a lot of follow up sequel things I've worked on. Thing is, while they have moments I LOVE, I'm not sure if they really work out as complete stories. Year Five meant a lot to me, and it's still something I'm really proud of. I'd hate to try to follow it up and fail. (More importantly, I'm trying to focus on original fiction now).

But I will say, a big part of why I logged on today (after so long an absence) was an intense feeling of nostalgia for this story. Seeing these surprise reviews gave me so many squee feels!

If ever I do post more of the Y5 saga, it'll def be because of you and more reviews.

But I'm not promising anything!

Again, thank you so much!

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Review #6, by baletgir After

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

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

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

Again, thank you for writing and sharing this.

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


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Review #7, by baletgir Behind the Mirror

20th October 2016:
I am SO in love with this fic! I am beyond words as to describe it. I love the little tid bits you include (how Fred & George learned about the kitchen?! Genius!) And I love the whole idea of using spells like drugs, it's ingenious!

This is such an original idea and an extremely intelligent piece, I feel as if my review could never do it justice.

My only note is that it seems too many people are involved in drugs, spells for personal use, and drinking. I know it's going to happen, but they're only 15 and 16, more of them must be straight edge. I'd expect Cedric to be more in line, though the twins do not surprise me. Again, I love the whole idea of it and I 100% believe this happened at Hogwarts to some extent.

Thank you so much for writing this and for sharing it! I shall gush more in future chapters and hope that I leave more intelligent reviews.

Author's Response: Hello! You have no idea what a surprising and amazing delight these reviews are! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and review!

About the pervasiveness of substance use - you're not wrong. There would probably be a lot more straight-edge-ness. I guess my thought was that this is the /one/ night of partying these secondary characters are gonna do all year. And for a lot of them, it might be their first wild rager. But is it /too/ big?


Here, I was sort of going on my own experience as a teenager, I guess? And honestly, I don't think my own demographic meets the probable demographic majorities at Hogwarts (many of whom are rural wizards :P). So you're probably entirely right about that.

Never EVER feel like your reviews aren't "enough"! This was such an amazing and heartening surprise, and I'm overjoyed that this story still has readers!

It really does mean so much to me!


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Review #8, by naughtforreal Cleaner, More Brilliant

12th December 2015:
Hi! I binge-read your fic and really, I wanted to write reviews for every chapter but Idk seems pointless. However, I will just write you quite long review to make up for the 22 ones hah I don't even understand what I'm saying at this point.

Anyway, I love your story. I love the angst--the everything. Few people write angst very nicely (i.e. I write them poorly) and I really love that their angst wasn't...y'know. Just bs. Heh.

Tristan was far by the most well-rounded character so far. I actually thought he was the son of Bellatrix and Rodolphus for some point but Rabastan--that's okay, too. I mean, I really don't know what to say. He's a really brilliantly-written character! My heart broke for the poor boy but I'm really proud of him.

Isobel is my fave and while she was the most relatable character, I like how she ended! It meant a lot that you get her to realize to just like the way she is and I'm proud of her (proud of you, too). It's a step by step process but you know, I know she'll be okay. (And she might be a lesbian, right? I mean she's still finding herself but I love it!)

Laurel broke my heart the entire story! She can be difficult and spontaneous, sometimes and she combusts when you're not looking but I love how you written her--honest. I'm glad she realized (a little late but still) to catch herself right before she spirals back down and I'm proud of her, too!

Emily's far by the best. There aren't really anything to say after that line. She's the best. Enough said.

To the other bits of the story: I've always thought about the Hufflepuffs growing out mind-altering plants when no one's looking and that Sprout of course, would be very aware of this HAHA. Huff le puff. That's perfect I'm crying. (Truth be told, I was about to put this in my story before I read this so I'm sorry for a little shadowing in the future.) And a wizard wanting to become a muggle! I never thought about it like that! Such a fresh POV and it's brilliant!

It's one of the most relatable stories I've ever read and it such a good read for people with the angst, too and thanks for reminding everyone about the rare fleeting good times in this life. They might be rare but they're there, aren't they? I swear I'm in love with you. Or at least, your characters haha.

Sorry, don't be creeped out! Congrats on finishing this~ (T^T crying in the corner now brb)

Author's Response: This review makes me flap my arms and squeal - THANK YOU SO MUCH! I always want to burst into tears when I get such a nice review like this on the last chapter, and I so appreciate you taking the time to tell me what you thought :)

Heh, there were a few reasons I decided to make Tristan Rabastan's son rather than Rodolphus', but I'm not gonna lie: part of it was the name. Like, "Rodolphus" just reminded me too much of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer :P "Rabastan" seemed to suit Tristan better, so lo and behold, Rabastan it was.

Yes, you called it right, Isobel is gay and beginning to think about that. I didn't want to give that too much of a resolution, because I didn't really want the ending of this story to be an /ending/ if that makes sense. Like, life never perfectly wraps up with a little bow, and there are always threads that are going to keep on developing. And like, these kids are only 16 (and Isobel's still 15), so while I wanted to give them an ending of sorts, I also wanted to keep a lot open for them.

I really love what you said about how Laurel "combusts when you're not looking at her" - that's a really apt way of describing it.

Yee, Emily. Yes, I absolutely love her. I think that's part of why she ended up getting a pretty awful backstory as well - I was sort of being too easy on her originally because I liked her so much.

Heeheehee, Sprout! I'm glad you agree about her and the Hufflepuffs ("Huff le Puffs"). I mean, it's just OBVIOUS isn't it?

In a lot of ways, Tristan was designed to be the anti-Potter. Like a mirror image: identical, but inverted. Both got orphaned during the war, both got adopted, but Harry never knew about his own backstory while Tristan was one of the ONLY people that knew the truth about himself. Harry hated living with the Dursleys and adored the wizarding world, while Tristan loves his adopted parents and resents the wizarding world. Harry sees family that look like him in the Mirror of Erised, Tristan sees a version of himself that looks like his adoptive family. Both of them had a choice whether or not to be in Slytherin, but Tristan gave in whereas Harry fought the hat. And then there's the silly stuff: Tristan wears contacts (not glasses), and actually likes getting socks as gifts.

Part of my idea was that JKR came up with Harry's character first, then designed the whole wizarding world around him. Since this is fanfiction, I was interested to see how someone different would fit into that context. Plus, a lot of teenage issues never got explored in canon, partially I think, because there just wasn't enough TIME. Like, the trio were all too busy fighting evil to moan about not having CD players or start experimenting with mind altering substances/spells.

But yeah, like I said, I never planned this to be so angsty. I was 22 when I started planning this fic, so I'd sort of forgotten how brutal being a teenager was. Like, I'd just kind of remembered it all as fun and rosey. Writing these characters kind of made the whole mindset come back, and I remembered how confusing and difficult it was. So the happy ending here is that even though they went through some really awful crap, they'll end up remembering something brighter and better. And the past doesn't exist anyway - it's all just a memory. So if the memories are better, that's all that really matters.

Thank you again so much for this amazing, lovely review. It really does mean so much to me that this story meant resonated with you :)

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Review #9, by my_voice_rising The Hex Head Express

19th November 2015:

Not only did I actually *read* this chapter, with the intention of reviewing it, I wrote you a PM on the forums telling you how excited I was to read/review and then got distracted by some internet thing or another and never actually wrote anything.

(For what it's worth, I just wrote a review and HPFF ate it and I'm rewriting it. Better? Maybe?)

Anyway, this is just some quality writing. Your character development is so strong, and we're only two (technically one) chapters in. Tristan and Isobel are both really interesting, as are their friends--I appreciate that we're not really supposed to "like" Laurel. The way they were all talking about Harry, and how they'd kind of forgotten about him, was interesting. In canon we only see people being like OMG UR HARRY WOT so this was a nice, fresh take. Their ties with Fred and George, and the twins' characterization, was really nice too. Even though *weep* Fred.

Even your graphics and banner are cohesive and fit the mood of the story well. Really nice job! I can't wait to read on and get to know the other characters.

Author's Response: AH I'm sorry it's taken me sososo long to reply! So yeah, no worries on your end about anything! (I really love responding to reviews, so I promised myself I'd hold off until I'd updated a few things, and that took FOREVER).

Hee, I really loved the idea of seeing how other people would objectively view Harry and his whole mythos. Like, you know how if you haven't seen a small child in a lot of years, you still imagine them being tiny and then are like "WOAH, WHEN DID YOU BECOME A BIG KID??" I figure that since Harry was this really famous Baby, a lot of people would kind of imagine him as eternally being a baby, and then be a little like "woah, he's a person."

As for the twins [sobs], I had a lot of fun playing with perspective here. In canon, they're always the cool older people. Here, they're a bit younger than the MCs. It was a lot of fun trying to keep them in line with canon, while also looking at them a slightly different way.

And devastatingly sad. [sobs again]

Yee I'm SO GLAD you like the graphics!

Thank you SO MUCH for this review!


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Review #10, by Gabriella Hunter Cleaner, More Brilliant

24th October 2015:

*Tosses confetti* Congratulations for finishing this wonderful story! This is Gabbie of course and you know what's about to go down! *Twerks*

I am so sad to see that this story is over but I think that you wrapped this all up so brilliantly. I think what I really loved the most though was just the simple fact that the group was together, like really together. There were no longer any reasons for them to guard against each other and I loved the melding of their thoughts and the strength of their friendship. I wish that I could kidnap a few of my friends and go lurking around all of these awesome places. Also, The Evil Dead II is one of the best moves EVER cause it's all groovy and such but I can understand why the girls didn't like it. Hahaha.

Anyway, I feel like the healing process for all of them is going to be a slow but rewards gift. I especially liked the scene with Isobel and Laurel, the two of them were dealing with addictions that seemed different but were actually quite similar.

The analogy that you gave for "feeding the beast" was actually pretty damn clever. I don't think there would have been a better way to explain it and seeing Isobel slowly getting back to herself and taking control of her body was wonderful to read. She also got her boobs back and that's always nice too! I think another section of this that I liked was Laurel's realization that she could be whoever she wanted. Fashion is a type of magic for someone like her who was never allowed to be herself and I hope she continues to discover it. ;__;

I was also happy to see that Emily and Tristan's relationship had started to grow. I feel like Emily is right when she said that her feelings with him will be different than they would have been with anyone else. It actually proved a good point with girls who people seem to see as "loose" because having many partners for a girl means something completely different for men. Now, I'm all about women owning their sexuality and doing whatever they want (No pun intended) but the important thing here is the emotional connection. Emily, I hope will cherish that and although I'm not sure if she and Tristan last, I really hope that they both learn something about truly being close to someone. All those kisses will be sweeter. :3

Ugh, I'm just so overcome with feels! I've been on a wild journey with these kids and now they've all matured and grown up. It's worse than watching babies grow and lose their plumpness!


I think that you've truly created something special here. My preciously broken group is whole again and they'll be heading towards their sixth year with happier things, I hope. I am glad though that they all managed to pass and while I'm not sure what they'll do after they leave Hogwarts, they've got each other. Ah, I'm so cheesy. Hahaha.

Well, this was a great novel and I could go on and on and on and on and on about how much it meant to me to read this but I think you understand. Thank you SO much for this and I will now be slinking over to A Study in Silver! I'm so excited!

Much, much love,


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Review #11, by Gabriella Hunter After

24th October 2015:
Hello! >:)

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


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

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

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

*Wipes away tears*

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

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

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

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

I could go on forever about it!

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

Much love,


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Review #12, by greenbirds After

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

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

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

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


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Review #13, by water_lily43175 Cleaner, More Brilliant

4th October 2015:
Okay, so I read this chapter last night and wanted to be able to review it with a fresh(er) mind than the one I was writing with last night. I've absolutely loved reading this fic, and it's been wonderful to see its popularity explode, especially on the forums - although that's made me feel even more guilty about having left it so long to actually read and review it myself. How dare real life come along and get in the way.

As for this chapter, it's just the perfect way to end the story. There's this sense what while things aren't perfect, they're okay. And I think that's a really lovely way to end. It's realistic, and very teenage-esque.

I love that they're going round all of Britain on the Knight Bus. Yay Knight Bus! Also props for the Doctor Who insertion, and it's now got me thinking about how WEIRD that programme must come across to wizards.

The Muggle clothing bit, and most specifically that sense of self-identification, is AMAZING. It's something I'd never even thought of before, but witches and wizards wear black robes ALL THE TIME, and I think it's easy to imagine them wearing Muggle clothes in their downtime (and perhaps the younger guys do) but actually in the books the adults really do wear robes the whole time, and if they wear Muggle clothes it's for an exceptional circumstance (or they're visiting Muggle Britain, which I suppose isn't all that exceptional, but it's certainly not COMMON). Maybe it's a generational thing. But either way, at Hogwarts it's all about dem robes, regardless of how much the films try to corrupt things. And it's actually nice to see Isobel and Laurel having that opportunity to express themselves through clothing for perhaps the first time ever. This line - "She'd never before been given such a straightforward opportunity to decide who she was" is just ... lovely. Sad, but lovely at the same time.

Isobel ... guh, I could gush for HOURS over her. Like I said above, the nice thing about this ending is that it's not one of those "everything is fine" endings. It feels RIGHT that Isobel still has those niggles about herself, because you don't become fine just like that. But her head's in the right place, and that's the important thing.

I just adore Laurel, as well. Giving the sort of body image advice that every girl and woman should hear. IF YOU FEEL SEXY, YOU ARE SEXY.

I'm not a Tonks/Lupin fan. Can't see it. Teddy Lupin sort of makes it worthwhile. But I'm the world's biggest Charlie/Tonks shipper, so AWESOME POINTS TO YOU for that little insertion!

Fair play, animation is pretty damn sweet. Us Muggles are so clever.

Emily/Tristan makes me happy. HAPPY, I tell you.

And they all dun good in their exams, WELL DONE KIDS. THE END. They're going to be okay. Sob. That last line = perfection.

So I initially thought I'd like this fic because I like fics about OC characters during Harry's time at Hogwarts. I think it's a really fun, original way to explore the world of Hogwarts and magic without having to have Harry and Voldemort at the forefront. But this fic has been SO MUCH MORE than just that. It's about the focus on those issues which most teenagers struggle through at some stage, and it really is incredibly realistic. We don't get this sort of focus in the books themselves - mind you, let's face it, poor Harry had enough on his plate without having an existential crisis thrown into the mix - and this is a wonderful mix of HP canon and teenage angst and a bit more besides. I think Tristan's journey of self-discovery and self-identity is just so wonderful, how he started out feeling so lost, only to realise the thing he'd been looking for was never there at all, and the person he was looking for was there inside him the whole time.

I think Isobel is probably my favourite of the four, and it's been sad to see her crumble as the world around her falls apart, but her total love and adoration of her friends and selflessness towards them is just the most amazing thing. Also it's been lovely to see Laurel blossom - and become her normal self, I guess - as things have gone on. Even Emily, who seemed the most open and innocent of them all, has her own demons which serve to explain how she's the way she is.

I've loved this. In case that hasn't been made clear by my utter word waffle. THANK YOU for writing Year Five, it's been an absolute pleasure to read. Even if it has taken me centuries.


Author's Response: ELLIE!!! I'm SO sorry it's taken me SO long to reply to this FANTASTIC AMAZING FLAIL-INDUCING REVIEW. (Basically, I had this really long to-do list and used "responding to reviews" as a reward for finishing it.)


This story has been such a crazy experience because I NEVER thought it would get such a positive reaction. I just CAN'T EVEN with my feels. You were one of the VERY first people to read and review, and you just have NO idea how much that encouragement means to me. For the longest time is was just the same three people reviewing new chapters (including you), and that's THE reason I kept posting.

I'm SO glad you thought the ending was satisfying. I didn't think it would fit to wrap a big bow on things, and a big part of that is that they're all still so young. Like, this isn't THE ending of their story. Just AN ending.

Hehe, my notes for this story included the words "KNIGHT BUS AT SOME POINT!"

And dude, right? Doctor Who would be cray to wizards.

"But either way, at Hogwarts it's all about dem robes, regardless of how much the films try to corrupt things." Yes. This.

BUT YEAH. Self-identification through clothing is SUCH a big part of the teenage experience. Even "not caring about how you dress/just wanting to be comfortable" is a STATEMENT. And with ALL DEM ROBES, that part of teenagerhood never got explored in canon, so I really wanted to at least touch on it in this story. I think a lot of people write the preoccupation with clothing and style as, like, teenage vanity, but I think it's a really important part of exploring your identity. And Laurel could definitely use some of that about now!

Isobel's arc is something I wish I had done better, and sort of want to go back and tweak in places, so I'm really happy you liked how it went here. I feel like TV shows and things tend to follow an eating disorder for an episode or two, then the character faints after like three days, "learns his/her lesson," hugs it out, and BAM IS CURED. In reality, recovery is a long process that doesn't happen over night. But there are a lot of little victories along the way, so this is one for her.

IF YOU FEEL SEXY, YOU ARE SEXY. This is the truest thing that has ever thruthed. EVERYONE MUST KNOW THIS.

There is just no way that Charlie/Tonks never happened (unless Charlie is gay, which I'm also down with). BUT YEAH. CHARLIE/TONKS. They had to have AT LEAST been biffles.

I'm really really really absurdly proud of that last line and I'm SO GLAD YOU LIKED IT YAY.

It's funny, because when I first got the idea for this story, I thought it would be this kind of lighthearted romp about Hogwarts' stoners. Like you said, just a fun exploration of the universe from another POV. But yeah, just as soon as I started writing it, something happened. I think I'd kind of glamorized my own teenage experience in my mind and was viewing it with rosey glasses (I was almost 23 when I started writing this). But once I started writing this, ALL these memories of my teenage life and friends and stuff came back. Like, I really remembered the FEELING of it. All the angst and confusion, and good people not being as good as they should be because they're YOUNG and just have their own stuff going on.

It was honestly HARD to write at times, because I pushed myself to explore what SHOULD happen rather than what I WANTED to happen.

BLAGH, at the risk of just totally repeating myself a thousand times, I just CAN'T overstate how much it's meant to me that this story has resonated with people. It was such a big project, and reviews like this make it SO worth it.


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Review #14, by water_lily43175 After

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But now I'm just waxing on and rambling!

Basically, THANK YOU.


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Review #15, by water_lily43175 O.W.L.s

3rd October 2015:
I have this perverse joy over exam chapters. I don't know what it is, I just really like reading them! Maybe it's because I'd love to be able to actually do the exams. IMAGINE being tested on changing the colour of a rabbit, living the dream.

Ah, the girls all revising together, it makes me very happy to see them being all friends again.

Ha, Laurel being quizzed on Cheering Charms, I like the similarity to HRH's Charms exam there. Also Emily not wanting to Vanish animals is just too adorable, BUT I was also totally thinking this same thing when I was re-reading... whichever book it is where they learn to Vanish things. What happens to the poor animals?!

Oh god. Oh TRISTAN. I can see how this bit wrote itself, all in all it's not an unsurprising series of events. I feel like I should be writing more on this - but there are further chapters to read, so I'm gonna go read them instead. And more words and feels will come once I establish whether or not Tristan lives (oh god he can't die!). SO MANY FEELS.

Author's Response: Ha, right?! Like, whenever in canon Harry's all like "ugh, HOMEWORK" I felt all like "DUDE YOUR HOMEWORK IS MAGIC STOP COMPLAINING!"

I tried, as much as I could, to kind of vary the tone in this story so that it wasn't just slogging through one giant bummer after another, which is a lot of why I wanted the exams part to all be really FUN to read. That of course is dependent on me succeeding on making it fun to read, so YAY I'm really glad you enjoyed it!

META CANON NODS. That was some of the most fun bits to do in this story :)

And then, yes. Major tone shift and blargh. I was like... devastated when I realized what was going to happen. It happened all at once while I was writing an earlier chapter and I was like "OH NO TRISTAN IS GOING TO JUMP INTO THE LAKE." Like, I'd subconsciously established all this foreshadowing and introduced things to come back. I seriously hadn't intended it!

It was like "the twins nick things from profs for Laurel's birthday--seems like something they'd do. Maybe a potion from Snape?" then, while Laurel was cataloging potions: "oh yeah! Doesn't she have a stolen one? That could come back now." Then: "OH NO TRISTAN HAS THE POTION! If he takes a bunch of it and jumps in the lake he'll DROWN!"

This story seriously wrote itself. Like, I had no control and I take zero responsibility.

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Review #16, by water_lily43175 The Presence of Love

3rd October 2015:
You really do write Dumbledore so incredibly well. Bouncy and world-weary in the same scene, it's just SO him. And I just adore how he cares about his students so much. Suspending Emily when it's the Easter holidays anyway. What a genius man. He truly does know what's best for everyone and it's MAGICAL, pun entirely unintended.

One thing you've done really well in this whole fic is the slow reveal of certain aspects of the four characters, in such a way that doesn't feel contrived in the slightest. Laurel is the obvious one - we didn't even have her POV for ages, and now we get that insight into her home life which begins to explain why she was the girl we met in the first chapter. It's so wonderfully done, and I just love all the LAYERS. And I think Laurel's recovery is one of the most lovely things about this whole story.

Oh Mary. You're such a darling mum.

And with this chapter Emily becomes a bit easier to understand as well. The poor, poor doll. The sad thing is I think most of us probably know someone who's been in her situation (at least I do, at any rate), and it really does leave a mark. But on a happier note, at least the girls are repairing their friendships.

OH and that reminds me about a thing I missed, Emily's reflections on the different friendship bonds between the four of them was immensely well thought-through and I guess shows just how multi-dimensional these characters are. Which is GOOD.

Author's Response: *FLAILS* DUMBLEDORE. Man, he is just SO SCARY to write! Like, I sort of sat there being like "what are the wisest things I can think of?"

Yay for layers! It's weird because all of these characters started off so much more simply when they were just plans and notes on a piece of paper, then when I started writing them they each demanded so much more NUANCE than I had originally thought of. Like, seriously, this story was originally planned as a totally lighthearted romp about Hogwarts Stoners, but then just as soon as I started writing the characters were like "haha, NOPE! This will be a harrowing angst fest!"

As for Emily, I think I remember the statistic being something like one in five girls has been or will be the victim of sexual violence (usually before the age of 21)--which is a pretty staggering statistic. Part of Emily's backstory, in context, is to show how there isn't really a hierarchy for pain, and it's not always proportional to what people think are "better" or "worse" traumas. Like, a lot of people reading assumed that Laurel had to have some BIG DARK THING that was causing her behavior, but she really doesn't. Her life has just been a bit crap in a bunch of little ways. By contrast, Emily is consistently the best adjusted and least acting-out-y of all of them, but had something really objectively bad happen to her. So like, just because someone experiences trauma, that doesn't mean they end up falling apart. Conversely, someone does need an 'excuse' to feel pain. If that makes any sense?

UGH these later chapters are so weird to reply to because they always end on such a bummery note!



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Review #17, by water_lily43175 The Question

3rd October 2015:
Look at me doing this REVIEWING thing again, yay me! Challenge: FINISH THIS FIC. And stop using so much CAPS LOCK.

Anyway, after a quick recap of previous chapters to remember what's actually happened... I think this is one of my favourite chapters. I love counsellor!Sprout so much, and I also love the implication that she's a secret Pothead in her greenhouses, ha.

And Isobel is an INSANELY good friend. Despite all that's gone on, and all the anger she feels towards Tristan, she's still doing all she can to get him out of trouble. Doing that thing where she puts everyone else first again.

And I'm suddenly getting Isobel/Emily vibes and I can't work out if I've just been a complete idiot and missed previous signs re Isobel.

I think Laurel's sense of wanting to be loved - and wanting to be someone who CAN be loved - is an incredibly accurate sentiment from a fifteen-year-old girl. In fact, I think it's accurate of most human beings. It's a wonderful touch of humanity. And I know it's been said before, but it's this focus on the sort of things which plague most teenagers which makes this story SO GOOD.

Oh man Isobel's teaching Voldemort how to fly, NOT GOOD.

Creepy Quirrell EW! Oh Isobel, she doesn't have it easy, poor girl. Twins to the rescue, yay!

Hagrid just casually buying the dragon egg, amazing. And MOAR TRISTAN PARENTAGE HINTS. More caps lock. Sorry. But I am most intrigued.

"Fred’ll lecture my ear off", GUH. Love these boys too much.

And HAGRID. Sometimes he can annoy me (although I think this is exacerbated by the film version of him; Robbie Coltrane just IS Hagrid, but I think the films lose the caring, supportive side of him in place of, well, a bit of an idiot) but this scene is just 100% wonderful Hagrid. Incredible.

Author's Response: TOTALLY GOING OUT OF ORDER: HAGRID. You know, I DO like Robbie Coltrane, but I think the movies flattened his character a bit. Like, made him a little too buffoonish. In canon, his sort of silliness and almost childishness is in contrast to his being HUGE and SCARY and WILD. Like, Robbie Coltrane was a little too fresh and jolly, if that makes any sense. Hagrid in my mind has a bit more of a ragged, howling voice, a much messier beard, and the films totally glossed over the fact that he's a bit of an alcoholic.


Haha, ok so I know a bunch of professors and teachers and things, and a lot (if not all of them) are totally potheads :P Like, great at their jobs and totally responsible, but yeah, THEY SMOKE. And Prof Sprout SO OBVIOUSLY SMOKES LIKE COME ON.

Some people twigged Isobel's wee feelings for Emily HELLA early on (like, her first chapter), but I was trying to be pretty subtle there so I'm glad it seemed more like a niggling thing for you than just like "HELLO YES SHE HAS WEE CRUSH."

I'm really glad that all the FEELINGS and HUMANITY stuff is resonating with you! Especially because it was honestly kind of tough to write--like, not shying away from sort of raw feelings and stuff.

Just all around it's so heartening to hear that all the things I struggled to do in this story worked for you!


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Review #18, by nott theodore Prologue (1991): Dozens of Little Televisions

21st September 2015:
Hi Roisin! I'm here trying to read and review as many of the Dobby nominees as possible, and it's great to finally get to this story. Sorry in advance that my reviews are likely to be a lot shorter than usual so that I can get through the stories I want to!

I've heard a lot about this story and this was a really good opening chapter. I think it set up a lot of intrigue without us finding much about what's going to happen or even the characters involved in the story, really. Still, I think it was a really clever way to open the story, with Sophie, a Muggle, who is accidentally exposed to the magical world because of staying over at Tristan's house. Really, it's no wonder that he tried to hide the house from her as they were arriving the night before - and all of her different possible explanations for that were really funny :P

I think it worked really well having Sophie in the house and picking up on little details because we've learnt quite a bit about Tristan without realising it. Rather than going to school in Switzerland, he actually goes to Hogwarts and comes from a magical family, he's an only child and he doesn't seem to get on that well with his parents - or at least, he's in a stage where he doesn't want to spend much time with them. You worked all those details in really well, as well as aspects like the fact Sophie was the one to initiate things the night before which suggests he's quite shy or self-conscious, maybe. I'm looking forward to getting to see more of him in this story.

Tristan's parents handled the situation pretty well, I thought - they had to get something done about Sophie finding the photos because it's the sort of thing she probably wouldn't have forgotten and could have come too close to breaking the Statute. I wonder if they realise what Tristan spends so much time doing in his room, though, and whether or not they're oblivious because it's a Muggle drug or not.

I really enjoyed this first chapter - moving on now!

Sian :)

Author's Response: AH! I feel all nervous and blushy and like "welcome to my story!"

It is a bit odd, I've realized, in terms of like pacing and stuff. I think because I sort of wrote it in a vacuum without having ever read fic before, so I was using canon (and very much Casual Vacancy as well) as my only base of reference. So yes! The Sophie intro! That was sort of meant to mirror-yet-subvert the way PS begins with Mr Dursley's muggle POV. Except with a super different perspective, because the story is /all about/ multiple and alternating/alternative perspectives.

I'm sosoSO glad you thought the parents made reasonable choices! I wanted to create this sort of impossibly difficult (yet highly probable) situation, so there couldn't really be an easy right answer. So yeah, like, their choices would suck but readers wouldn't hate them for making them, I guess? Actually, for a lot of Mary, I just sort of tried to imagine what I would do in her place (which was a bit perfect for making her choices "flawed yet sympathetic," since I'm not a parent myself). Doing so was very illuminating, and DEF gave me a ton of respect for parents :P

But mostly: YEE, thank you so much for taking the time to read and review!


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Review #19, by Penelope Inkwell Loose Lips

11th September 2015:
And a population who still insist on using inkwells and quills should really reevaluate their definition of 'quaint,' Tristan thought.
--*snaps of approval* Preach.

“Suctus Fumigant,” incanted Isobel, using her wand like hoover on the smoke in the air.
--I just really liked this image.

Ugh, Oliver was a real...well, I don't think I can say it here, can I? But what a jerk. Really, I'd have been annoyed with him, too. And sure, Tristan shouldn't have hexed him over an accident, maybe, but he was being super irritating, and it's Hogwarts. People get hexed worse ways over lesser things. Still, Oliver did always have a bit of a big head, and the Gryffindors always did have as much prejudice against the Slytherins as the Slytherins did against them, as far as I can tell. And he insulted Emily? What happened to chivalry, Oliver? Pull it together, Gryffinjerk! Of course, most of the Slytherins so far seem pretty unsavory, as well.

I mean, generally I love Oliver, but he can be more than a bit full of himself, to the point of...extreme irritation.

Good on Tristan, though, for being a good enough sport to concede that the Gryffindor Seeker was a good surprise, after all.

Aw. I do feel bad for Laurel, and for Isobel as well--their parents are far too intense. But I'm still quite worried about her overuse of the Cheering Charm. That's bound to cause problems.

Oh, and I LOVE when characters' wands reflect their personalities! That's a great touch!


Author's Response: Hee, all credit for that line goes to the amazing marauderfan :) She said that in a review and I just HAD to include it!

Yayayay I liked that image too!

I think both Tristan and Oliver are a bit in the wrong here--in this situation, my sympathy lies with the geranium (TRISTAN TOTALLY DIDN'T NEED TO KILL IT! HE KILLED IT!) But yeah, it was really fun showing another POV of Wood. Like, I really don't hate him or anything, but there are bits about him in canon that could easily be quite obnoxious in various circumstances. And yeah, writing the Gryffindor/Slytherin rivalry from the Slytherin perspective was SUPER fun!

Working on the wands was SUPER cool, because my first instincts for each of them ended up being perfect! Like, I checked all the various woods and everything, and then ended up using the thing I'd first thought of because it was perfect!


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Review #20, by Penelope Inkwell Some Sacred Questions, Some Marijuana

11th September 2015:
Super Baby Harry Potter had ended up Gryffindor—to exactly no one’s surprise

I like that Emily is a considerate smoker. I had a roommate like that, and I can't tell you how much I appreciated it. Those are some lucky Hufflepuffs sharing her dorm.

I liked the little glimpses of the Hufflepuff dormitories. You don't spell it all out at once, but from the details you do add, I feel like the image gets stitched together slowly and naturally.

I heard their first record and I suspect they might have distilled you as a person in order to make it.

Whoa, well now I am incredibly curious about Tristan's middle name. That is one jealously guarded secret.

Okay, Laurel needs to chill a bit on the Charms. Is there cheering rehab? She looks like she might be headed that direction. That's just too much desperation. Don't be an enabler, Tristan!

Ugghhh! Look, people can say Snape is a hero, and okay, I'll concede that he did some important work and that it took plenty of guts. But as a teacher he is the WORST.


Perching herself on the sill circular sill
--I think that first "sill" should probably be deleted.

Good work!


Author's Response: Ah yes, I am very adamant about being a considerate smoker!

I'm glad you liked the unfurling description of the Hufflepuff Basement, because yeah, I wanted to avoid doing a big description info-dump at the beginning. But then since that's the one place we never visited in canon, I definitely wanted to take a neat opportunity to describe it :)

It's important to note that Tristan missed the whole conversation leading up to Laurel asking for a charm. That's something that happens a lot in this story--the reader gets to see everything from multiple POVs, so readers have more clues about what's going on, while the characters are restricted to their own narrow experiences.

So I love Snape. LoveloveLOVE Snape. Not in a shippy way, just as a character. Like, his flaws are part of why he's so interesting to me! And I can also remember how much I HATED him when I was a kid and read PS for the first time, so I definitely wanted to channel that here.

Thanks for the crit! Will fix straight away :)


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Review #21, by Penelope Inkwell The Hex Head Express

11th September 2015:
So, I don't think I've ever thought about the use of Charms as corresponding to, shall we say, restricted substances (playin' it safe for the 12+ rule here). Anywho, that's quite clever, and Hex Heads is a good moniker for it all. =

The conversation with Fred and George--the parts about Percy, in particular--cracked me up.

Emily was so rarely mean that it was always something of a treat.
--we all have this friend. Actually, I think I've been this friend. Points for relatable lines!


Noticed one really tiny thing--

“Yeah." He winked. I’ll do you, Em.”
--there should be a set of quotation marks before "I'll".

Really good work, once again!


Author's Response: Hah! I've ALWAYS wondered about the existence of mind-altering spells. Like, they learn cheering charms when they're 13/14, and then we NEVER see them come up again! I had to assume that at least SOME people would figure out a way to abuse that. And I also felt like I needed to answer the question, if you CAN just make yourself cheerful all the time whenever you want, why DON'T people?

I had so much fun writing the twins! I'm really glad people dig them :)

And YEAH, the whole "it's funny when the nice friend says something mean" thing is SUCH a thing! I too have those friends, and have been that friend :P

Thank you for catching that typo, editing now!


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

11th September 2015:
Hey hey, Roisin! Here R&Ring the Dobby nominees--CONGRATULATIONS!--as well as working on that trivia scavenger hunt.

What an excellent beginning. Your descriptions are *on point*. I can picture absolutely everything, and in such detail. It's all just such a clear picture in my head.

I loved the process of figuring out--oh! Sophie doesn't go to Hogwarts. Oh! Tristan 'goes to school abroad'; I'll bet he does go to Hogwarts. OOooh!

And then getting to observe all the odd behavior, all the peculiar objects, from Sophie's point of view--that was brilliant (and incredibly detailed, and very well thought out!)

On the whole, i think his parents handled it quite well, really. Could have been much worse. I feel kind of bad that Tristan is so torn up about it. I mean, I liked Sophie well enough, but she seemed to only be sleeping with him to get back at her ex. Although she did seem to find him interesting. And I suppose everything shoots up a level on the angsty and mortifying scale when the girl you just spent the night with has to be Obliviated. Bit of a mess, that. Good thing he's going back to school, soon. That room does not sound like a healthy environment. Then, I'm not fully convinced that mine is, either, and I don't have a magical boarding school to run off to. *Sighs* I suppose I'll just have to get around to the cleaning.

The flow of this story is great. When it was done, I couldn't help but go back and think of the whole "Sophie never peed" thing I read from your blog, and it cracked me up! Poor girl! They Obliviated her so fully that she didn't even remember the need to use the restroom! I can see why the glass of water works better. Although there's just so much else to notice and think about in this chapter, it's no wonder most of your readers didn't notice. It's too easy to get caught up in it all and just bob along on the story current.

Also, I'm quite impressed by your reuse of minor canon characters that you mentioned in your Author's Note. Now that is dedication!

Tristan’s mother steered Sophie into a sitting room that appeared equal parts average and bizarre, as though someone from the middle-ages had decorated with an Ikea catalog.
--this was the best description of a Wizarding/Muggle household ever. It made me chuckle!

Really great work! I just need to repeat again--the description is lovely.


Author's Response: Hello! Oh man, the trivia quiz was an idea that had been knocking around in my head since forever so I was SO STOKED that Tanya was down for the idea! It ended up being insanely fun to do, and gave me a great headstart reading and reviewing all the nominees! The only unfortunate thing is that we made some really great questions/answers for stories that didn't end up making it to the next round, but I'm glad I got a chance to read them anyway :)

Yayayayay! The phrase "on point" is probably the best compliment ever! This was the first thing I ever wrote so "WILL THEY SEE THE PICTURE?!?!?!" was definitely something I fretted over a LOT.

I wrote this before I even found out about HPFF, or read any other fanfic, so it's a very META kind of fanfiction. Like, I tried to weave in as many odd plays/parallels/subversions as possible. So like, Sophie as the first POV character was a play on Ch1 of PS being focused through Mr. Dursley's POV. Like, I wanted to kind of reintroduce readers to the magical world from a new perspective, since this story is ALL ABOUT being an alternate perspective.

The parents were definitely put in a pretty awkward situation. And yeah, Sophie was never going to be the love of Tristan's life, but it's SUPER tragic that she'd lose all memory of their night together. Like, that's pretty traumatic :(

Part of re-using canon characters was that it saved me having to come up with a bunch of new names :P Like, "Need an obliviator? HERE'S ONE!" I actually had an HP lexicon list of all named characters bookmarked, if ever I needed to name a character.

I was especially fond of that line myself :) We'd never really gotten to see a mixed household in canon, so I really wanted to explore that here.

Thank you so much for all of your reviews!

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Review #23, by HeyMrsPotter Three Times Charmed

11th September 2015:
Me again!

Once detangled, she swept up the many strands that had fallen into the porcelain sink (wondering how she could lose all that everyday, and still have so much). OMG YES THIS IS MY LIFE.

Oh man, your Percy is so good too. Not only are your OCs amazing, but your canon characters are so on point.

Also, squee at The Cure reference, Just Like Heaven in my favourite!!

I sense that the whole smoking and cheer charm thing in starting to become more of a casual habit for some of the characters, I don't think this will end well...


Author's Response: DUDE ME TOO. The amount of hair I lose every day is SHOCKING. Just... HOW?!

Heehee, poor Percy :P I really did have a lot of fun with him here!

Ooh ooh! So I actually made this really epic mix for this story, it's in one of my blogs and there's a download link and everything :D

Thank you so much again for taking the time to go through the nominees, and leaving such wonderful reviews on my stories!


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Review #24, by HeyMrsPotter Loose Lips

11th September 2015:
“There are only two types of jobs a wizard can have,” said Tristan, licking the adhesive strip on a rizla. “In the Ministry, or tangential to the Ministry.” I think you just summed up the entire adult wizarding world LOL!!

Also, YES TO SPROUT! I know she wasn't being biased like Snape, but still, GO TEAM HUFFLEPUFF.

I really love how well you do the 'teenage' thing. They all have that edge of melodrama and woe is me about things, and exaggerate injustices like losing house points. It feels really realistic of a group of teenagers.


Author's Response: For a lot of this story I totally used various commentary I'd seen/heard about the Wizarding world, so like, rather than see it as some sort of flaw with JKR's writing I wanted be like "yup, that's what it's like. Let's talk about it."

SPROUT! She really surprised me in this story, because I ended up LOVING writing her :)

So glad you think the teenage-ness is on point! That was definitely really important to me!


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Review #25, by HeyMrsPotter Some Sacred Questions, Some Marijuana

11th September 2015:
Me again!

I absolutely adore that you have Emily and Tristan in two different houses. I think it's a testament to their friendship that they remain so close despite probably spending a lot of time away from each other. Is it bad that I'm totally shipping them already? Also, your Snape is totally perfect, I bet he clearly knew that Emily was the one that put the hard word into the potion! Grr.


Author's Response: Oh yeah he definitely knew Emily did all the work :P I was definitely channeling my nine-year-old-rage at Snape from when I first read PS.

It's not bad for you to ship them ;) They're very ship-able :P


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