Reading Reviews for Year Five
240 Reviews Found

Review #1, by UnluckyStar57 Loose Lips

18th February 2015:
OH MY GOSH, I am actual trash for leaving this story unread for two whole months. TWO WHOLE MONTHS.

Ugh, and it's such a pity that I'm such a trashcan, because I love this story so much, really I do. There are so many things...

First of all: LOVE the further characterization of Tristan's friends. Emily is definitely an interesting character and I can't wait to see more of her. So righteously angry, yet so nice that she can't really express it like someone else might. And in this chapter, I'm really seeing how everyone's parentage sort of defines what people expect of them at Hogwarts, even though their perceptions rarely match up with the reality (especially in the case of the Hex Heads).

Tristan becomes more complex with every chapter, and I love it. He's caught in such a struggle--between being a Slytherin, but having a Muggle parent and a Muggleborn mother, and having friends from other Houses, and identifying as a Muggleborn even though he could identify as halfblood if he chose... It's all building up, and if this is angsty for him, I would hate to see what SUPER angsty looks like. Poor guy. Here, you really show how he's the victim of his own circumstances--he doesn't like his Housemates, but he hates Oliver Wood and most Gryffindors. So people assume things about him that aren't true, and he just isn't going to have that. It really fits in with the 90s vibe that the rest of the story puts off. (I mean, I wasn't really part of 90s culture because I was a small child when 2000 rolled around, but I can assume...) Tristan is struggling to reconcile himself with his identity, and that is some hard stuff right there. But he also likes being the pariah, so that makes it extra cool when he tells Reece off.

The idea of the Weasley twins being Hex Heads is more appealing every time I see them in this story. The only way we see them interacting with Wood is through Harry's naive eyes (in the books), so I can totally believe it that they would have a bit of anger reserved for their pompous Quidditch captain--cuz at the heart of it all, they're little rebels and they need someone to rebel against. (Even if it's just Oliver and they like to get on his nerves a lot.)

Speaking of Oliver, THIS CHARACTERIZATION THOUGH. A++, and that's no lie. He's so glorified in fanfiction that it is extremely refreshing to see this portrayal--Oliver as a bully, as an egomaniac, as an obsessive zealot. Like, the boy is MARRIED to Quidditch. That isn't very good, especially since he knows he's good at it and that's earned him a lot of fans over the years. His confrontation with Tristan... just UGH. I mean, I'm always down for a cutesy little Oliver/OC fic, but after reading this incarnation of Oliver, I'm like, "Nah, son. Not today." Thank you for showing a side of this character that is maybe more honest than normal. (Of course, this story is heavily centered on Tristan, so it might be a bit biased, but I still dig it.)

Magic beyond all we do here... Darn it, Weasleys, you're too clever. Again, the drugs and addicting behaviors are there, but you aren't glorifying them. These kids are doing these illegal things because it's an escape from their less-than-awesome realities, and there is no glorification in that. It's a way to cope, and I think you showed that very well. Also, it's a way to let off steam, and they're 90s teenagers. They kind of need it...

One grammar thing, because I had to have something, y'know?

"They usually found him entertaining, but when high, the little knight tended to freak Tristan out."~Sorry, but this made it sound like Sir Cadogan was the one who was high. I know that you meant Tristan, but the wording was just a bit off.

...And that's all I have for criticism/correction/making it better. In general, I love the amount of thought you put into this. I love that you really gave a lot of thought to what Tristan's wand is like, and how the "less important" characters are getting highlighted and gaining backstories as the story progresses. It's really, really brilliant, and I hope I can be back sooner rather than later to review chapter five.

Thanks so much for requesting again, and I'm sorry that I'm such trash for waiting this long to review! ♥


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Review #2, by Pixileanin Troll in the Dungeons!

29th January 2015:
Aww, the whole Cagogan scene from last chapter was subtle, yet sweet. Emily's discomfort is telling. I wouldn't say that the whole of chapter six was "fluff" because it still showed character progression on several levels. I found it interesting that the Head Boy was at the party, and I loved how it kept growing into a bigger and bigger event than Emily had intended. I suppose that's how parties are at times. The big thing for me was how Emily goes through all the trouble, and how Tristan thanks her for it - it's something he appreciates, and he wants her to know that he appreciates it. Sweeter than an owl note.

"So long as it doesn't turn into Self-Spelling..." Uh oh. What does that mean?? I wondered why the kinds didn't just spell themselves to begin with. I have a bad feeling that there will be more coming on this, and that the consequences will be bad.

Hufflepuff as a password was fabulous. and now we know Emily's secret way with food and drink. It makes total sense, since they're so near the kitchens and all.

So Tristan's a Halloween baby. Symbolism? I guess time will tell. He's not keen on it, whatever it means. And I may have forgotten, or this might be Tristan leaking information, but I have no idea who Mary is. We're being thrown back into Tristan's head again, and he's such a reluctant puppy, with his undeserving attitude. But the thing that makes him adorable is that he recognizes the kindness in others, and (at the moment) isn't exploiting it. I wish he didn't give thanks by sulking in his unspoken inadequacies.

Laurel. You've put all kinds of flags up around her. If her friends are noticing, there's got to be something to that.

That was a well-placed lesson about Gamp's Law and Augamenti. I always had this theory that the water comes from somewhere, which is why it would be an exception. Scientifically, it can be pulled out of the air on a molecular level - not so with something like, say, fried chicken or cupcakes. It doesn't rain chickens... off topic... anyway...

I think I would pay money to see a class of students let loose in the middle of a bunch of pure-bred Kneazles, the way you described them. *stuffs morbid thoughts back into dark closet*

Ahh, and Flitwick is noticing something. I feel things turning. Okay, and now Laurel with her Tranquilis/Hilaris, and the girls see the happy/calm, and for now, are okay with it. I can completely see that. It's a special genius, a special desperate genius move on Laurel's part to mask the symptoms.

I'm glad Isobel lifted the Charms so we can see what's going on with Tristan and Laurel, but I'm wondering why she did it at that moment. Was it because that's when she noticed that something was off and she wanted to prove it to herself? I liked how it coincided with the announcement of the troll. was it some kind of protective move, just in case things went badly, so they'd be in their right minds? Ahh, I might be overthinking. Please excuse me.

"People! We're people!"

*crumbles under teen drama/angst/self-discovery/hex-induced-pseudo-epiphany-moment*

On the surface, it was a silly line. But underneath, I felt that.

I must admit that I learned something from Isobel about curly hair care when she helped/berated the girl who could only be Hermione - and yes, the insensitivity of the comment that was meant to be helpful... did I just say that twice? Ack!

This is such a character-driven piece, and you are excelling at that. You make me FEEL them, almost until it hurts, and by not using many words either. As a fanfiction, it's pulling in canon all over the place and everything is glued to the HP world.

Wonderful writing!

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Review #3, by Pixileanin Three Times Charmed

29th January 2015:
Alright. It's clear that you're building something up with Isobel here.

"Isobel laboured over her skin."

That line caught me right up, and I was all, "Yeah, she's labouring over all of her. I wonder how far she takes it?" Perfect word. "Labour". I also love that Isobel contasts her habits to Laurel's. It shows Laurel's disassociation with her appearance, Isobel's attitude towards that, and her growing concern for her friend.

Oh, that Tristan/eyeliner comment - is it bad that I remember teen boys becoming obsessed with eyeliner, and then being all, "WHY?!?" And yeah, it has nothing to do with gender. My daughter tells me they still do that at that age... of course she may be surrounded by it because it's a performing arts magnet program where eyeliner is conspicuously available everywhere, but still... No one can escape the identity crisis thing. We all have to deal with it on some level.

Oh gosh, Emily. Her backstory took me by surprise, and now I don't even know why. You're certainly good at playing with contrasts, and I am enjoying that immensely.

"Potion supplies... from my brother". Yeah. That's what Emily's calling it. I remember a few chapters ago what she said about that.

"Just terrible at being sneaky." Agreed.

I laughed about the Filch and cassette tapes thing. Also at the dig at Penelope during Laurel and Isobel's outing. Ah, and the Hog's Head intimidates them, even in the state that they are in! As it should. Bahahaha! I'm so glad they're not altogether senseless.

Okay, just a few more quote pulls...

"So that was the Doxies?" Snerff.

And that thing about Goth being the fashion where Muggles dress like wizards. Perfect!

Okay, so for the purpose of this being constructive... aww, forget it. I'll think of something when I... err... think of something. :P

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Review #4, by Pixileanin Loose Lips

29th January 2015:
So I was jotting down some notes while reading Chapters 3 and 4, so here they are, hopefully in chronological order.

Oh dear. What is up with Tristan and the name "Longbottom"?

The whole idea of notes between Houses by owl was a fantastic idea. And yeah, I am wondering how Tristan's magic owl manages to get into the Slytherin boys' dorm. But yeah. Magic. So... The notes themselves hold an undercurrent of affection that I love. It's so subtle, but it's there. I hope something comes of that.

Ahhh, "Super Baby Harry Potter" cracked me up. I wonder if they're going to dis him through the entire story. Hahaha!

This: "I suspect they might have distilled you as a person in order to make it." Emily's observations on Nirvana and Tristan. I remember this. Psychoanalysis through lyrics. Seemed so relevant and true at the time.

Also, Tristan and "R". Secrets. And it's offensive to him too. Mysterious.

Uh oh. Emily's detail-oriented skills give Slytherin points. I smiled at that. I'm not sure how Emily feels about this. Oh, wait. Here it comes.

She's mad. And rightly so.

You have really interesting commentary through Tristan's eyes on the Slytherin/Muggle thing and where he fits into the dynamic of Hogwarts - it's like he doesn't want to relate to them - how he straddles both worlds but wants none of what he's been sorted into. I'm sure you're going to use that later on. Can't wait to see where that leads! He's sort of like this anti-Harry in all aspects. Bravo for such a character!

"And a population who still insist on using inkwells and quills should really reevaluate their definition of quaint."

Indeed. I also want to mention how much I appreciated you bringing in Dumbledore's quote about music, and how you just ran with it in your story. It works on several levels. Cool!

You keep us connected to canon by this string that weaves throughout these words. The bits about Quirrel, the references to what Harry's up to, and all the background noise that was from the books. I love the distinct ways that it's still Hogwarts and how you've built up your world so this story could only happen here, all the while giving it a strong, subversive feel through the characters, particularly Tristan in this case.

Tristan's thoughts are clear when he wants them to be. He's avoiding this big "thing" in his mind that seems to plague him. His thoughts on Emily, not deserving her concern - so much self-loathing. Where is it coming from?? *bursts with curiosity*

Fred and George, I can't help but love how they brighten up the scene with their own flagrant subversive natures.

You know what? Tristan surprised me with his helpfulness towards Sprout in the after. It speaks to his character that he's not altogether uncaring, not completely unsalveagable... or maybe that trip to Hogsmeade is really THAT important to him that he can't blow his chance to duck out.

Ahh, the Slytherin lineage discussion ensues. I can see why Tristan wants to avoid this.

I'm sorry that this was an incoherent jumble of thoughts that I'm trying to pass off as a review, but honestly, what else can I say except I'm enjoying this, the references are spot on, the age-specific thoughts are incredibly relatable, and the writing is tight and engaging.

Oh wait. There's more!

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Review #5, by Pixileanin The Hex Head Express

29th January 2015:
Oh, hey. I bet you were wondering where I ran off to. Ahem. Anyway.

Isobel. I love the way that there's this general atmosphere of "I don't care". It permeates the chapter. So. Much Attitude, and she hasn't even done anything yet.

Laurel seems to need charms. That, in itself is scary. I get the feeling that Emily accommodates a lot. She does things for Laurel. She does things for Tristan - isn't it great that there's no need to explain the mechanics of magic/technology? We're all on the same page. I love that about borrowed worlds and fanfiction.

Laurel's food comments put up a red flag for me right here. And Isobel with the charms... hmmm.

"He's a ratty looking bugger. His clothes look like charity shop rejects, hair's all askew. And I'm a Weasley!" Love the honest snark about Harry coming from the twins here.

Can I just say that the duality of the way Isobel thinks about Hufflepuff was lovely? Okay, there. I said it.

I see hints of things that bother me about the characters, hints of things that could go wrong, things that could get out of control, but within the veil of teen-dom, it doesn't come across as threatening or worrisome. Yet.

Off to the next chapter!

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Review #6, by BellaLestrange87 Three Times Charmed

27th January 2015:
Hello Roisin! I'm back!

YES ISOBEL HAS THICK HAIR AND KNOWS THE STRUGGLE. And a struggle it is. My dad complains about carpets in the sink on the rare occasion that I brush my hair. Having thick, wavy hair tends to produce poofy hair when you brush it. AND IT SHEDS. ALL DAY EVERY DAY. Isobel is right to wonder. What I can wonder about, though, is how she can put makeup on every day. I'm not calling her vain, but a lot of my friends wear it and say it takes FOREVER to put on. Personally, I can't tell lipstick from eyeliner, so...

Isobel, to me, sounds like she's both jealous and a bit contemptuous of Emily. She mentions how pretty she is but also says "of course that's why she slept with so many guys." Tristan and Angelina Johnson??? I love how you add subtle details that could've happened. (This is why the 100% canon label is on the story summary.) And of course that wouldn't have gone well. (Although I think a Gryffindor/Slytherin matchup would've been noticed. That's probably why they were behind the greenhouses, wasn't it?) But Tristan/Emily! YES. I WANT IT. (And if I read the reviews for some of the later chapters I could see whether or not it happens but I don't want to spoil the surprise.)

Yep. Isobel definitely sounds like she thinks Emily is a *insert non 12+ word here*. But seriously... 3 captains and all seventh-year Ravenclaws? I can't even get one boy, let alone... what? 8? 9?

I think Isobel's right. Laurel's Cheering is starting to be a problem. You can't spend your whole time at school living for the idea of being artificially happy. (That sounds like something out of a self-help book.)

They just got more drugs, didn't they? I think they did; otherwise they wouldn't be so secretive about it.

Filch's not knowing what the cassette tapes were made me laugh. Wizard/squib responses to standard Muggle technology always do that. It's a bit funny that something we take for granted, such as a television, they would have no idea how to use. And "Slytherin Champion of Muggles" also made me giggle. That's not something you see every day. Although I can't imagine it would be that hard to obtain the title; all you would really have to do is not hex any muggleborns and leave people minding their own business alone.

Noo don't shoplift! They need to get off those Cheering Charms. But I love the jokes about the Hog's Head. That pub is so dirty I'm surprised the Department of Magical Labour (if it even exists) hasn't shut it down yet. And it's rather nice to see that Cedric had a girlfriend before Cho, even if it didn't last, for whatever reason. Percy and Penelope already dating! Frankly, I'm rather surprised that you've moved it to this book. I think Fred and George would've found out by earlier than the end of the second book if P&P had been dating for almost two years.

Well, at least they have enough common sense to stay out of seedy places.

I love how you're bringing back the rune Hermione mentioned in the fifth book!

I can see why this got nominated for a Dobby. *coughs* Sequel, please?


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Review #7, by BellaLestrange87 Loose Lips

26th January 2015:
Hi Roisin! I'm back!

I love how Emily doesn't take Snape's housist (is that a word? I don't think so. But you probably know what I mean.) attitude lying down. I know that the Hufflepuff stereotype (which we all try and look past, with varying degrees of success) makes me think of everyone in that house as loving and kind and caring without any malice whatsoever. I love how you turned that on its head.

I think you have a typo here - Many might describe Emily as 'mousy,' what with her pointed noise and gentle nature, but Tristan knew her to posess a great depth of feeling. It's 'possess'. (At least I think it is..)

It's nice to see that I'm not the only one who gets severely distracted when doing work. The last time I tried to do work with my friends we spent 45 minutes off topic, gave up after an hour and decided to do it individually.

I don't think this really is an issue but you might want to add 'year' to the end of this sentence here - They’d discovered this private corner of the castle late in their second. And yes! You're mentioning Sir Cadogan! He always made me laugh with his silly lines in PoA.

Tristan says here that he hates being confined. I think that says something about his character. I'm not sure exactly what, but I think there's something.

You missed a word here - So far, she had proved to be far more competent professor than "Squirrel." "She had proved to be a far more comptent professor" is probably what you meant. Although, considering I forget words a lot, and sometimes have to massively edit pre-queue-submission, I don't really think I can talk.

Love their nickname for Quirrell. "Squirrel." Bahahahaha. And the fact that he thinks the stammer comes from having to teach Tristan (although, since we've only seen him in Potions, he could be partially right)!

I love how Tristan is far more objective about the wizarding world than many canon characters are. He's right: the wizarding world is so far behind the muggles in terms of technology that the muggles could use the term quaint to describe THEM. And I love how Professor Burbage wants to try and reinvent the Muggle Studies course. If she succeeded (or not), than that could be part of the reason why Voldemort killed her in Deathly Hallows.

It's nice that somebody pointed out just how many jobs in the wizarding world are connected to the Ministry. It's rather unlike muggle life, where most people work for the private sector and it's only a small percent who are government-employed.

Again, I love that you're not keeping Fred and George hanging around with the younger kids. And "vee haff our vays" sounds like a pre-Krum-era Krum imitation. Are they following the Bulgarian seeker already?

You have an extra word here - He had nothing personal against Wood, aside from general a annoyance with the loudness and self-satisfaction Tristan observed in most Quidditch players—Gryffindor players especially. - aside from general annoyance

So that's how word of Harry's being Seeker got out! I remember Wood telling Harry that he was going to be the secret weapon for their match against Slytherin. I wonder if he realizes that you can't exactly have a secret weapon and go shouting your mouth off in front of the house you're supposed to use it against. Idiot.

I wonder if Sprout can tell that Tristan is despondent and wants to help. And I think it makes perfect sense that the Hufflepuff - again with the house stereotypes here - Head of House acts as the informal guidance counselor.

In the books, the Slytherins are almost always the ones who take a bullying role. It's a nice change of scene to see a Gryffindor, and one we know, step into those shoes instead. Of course, I had always hoped Wood was better than that, but.

Fred and George poke so much fun at Oliver in the books that of course they would say that! I think you might want to edit this, though - Be sure and teach me it some time,” George added. - and change it to "Be sure to teach me it some time".

I like how Tristan, even though he did hex Oliver, wants nothing to do with the rest of his house's shenanigans. He may do drugs - which, although I don't like the practice, may or may not be a bad thing - but he doesn't bully people for fun.

Looks like Draco, Troll A (Goyle) and Troll B (Crabbe) have already found an older Slytherin to learn some tricks from. “We were just discussing lineages,” - You might want to change that comma to a period.

I wonder how Reece will react to the news that Tristan's muggle-born (if that's what he'd be classified as). I did notice that he used the term "Mudblood" though, and I'm wondering if he's just trying to avoid Slytherins wanting him to participate, or if he genuinely does feel that way.

In your bolded Author's Note, you have a typo - it's "reevaluating", not "reevaulating".

Another great chapter!


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Review #8, by mymischiefmanaged After

26th January 2015:
YOU GOT A NEW BANNER! I love it. It's really really great and it matches the tone of this story perfectly. I just thought I'd come and let you know that I like it :)

Also, this chapter gave me a thought for something you might like to write. A one-shot about child Tristan living with the Lestranges? So maybe from the point of view of a child? I don't know. It just seems like the kind of thing you could write really well.

This is a wonderful chapter. I think it has some of the best moments of bonding between the characters in the whole story, which I suppose makes sense because by this point they've all developed and changed a lot and have grown together. I think my favourite moment was Isobel being honest with Emily about her jealousy. It shows something really special in their friendship. It's the kind of thing she could easily be embarrassed about or just not want to mention, but the fact she's open and honest helps them become closer.

Love love love this chapter, and the story as a whole.

Emma x

Author's Response: Yee! Thank you! I'm really stoked to finally have fulfilled my animated banner dreams :D

OH GOSH, that sounds like the darkest most depressingest story evar! PERHAPS!

I really wanted to get in that "you think I'M PRETTY??? But you're SO PRETTY" thing. Honestly, I wasn't happy with its placement in the story, so I'm glad you liked it!

Thank you so much for this delightful review!

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Review #9, by BellaLestrange87 R

21st January 2015:
I guess I'm doing better at reading the next chapter right after. Let's ignore the fact that exams start tomorrow and I've barely studied. *whistles*

Cedric has acne! I love how you've described him that way. He came into the series as the world's cutest boy (apparently) and it's nice to see a description of him when he wasn't that cute.

Emily clearly doesn't know why Tristan isn't laughing at the name Longbottom. It seems to me that it's because he recognizes the name, from Frank and Alice. Of course, being Muggleborn, unless it was specifically mentioned she wouldn't know that.

I love Emily's tradition of waving at Dumbledore! And her description of how it started. I think I like Marcus Flint even less than I did in the books. That seems like a very Flinty thing to do (and something I could see Tonks doing).

YES MUGGLE BANDS. I keep forgetting that Philosopher's Stone is set in 1991-92. I think it must be the fact that the movies modernized the series? Either way, kudos to you for including it. (And it potentially means that I have can discover more music. Win-win!)

One thing here - "Tristan hadn't just seemed embarrassed by his middle name—the'd seemed offended by it." You don't need the T before "he'd seemed offended by it."

Man it seems Snape has justly earned his reputation for unfairness. Fred and George complained about him to Harry near the beginning of PS, and we all know how Harry's Potions classes went, but if you wanted to, you could argue that Gryffindor is the rival house, Fred and George (might've) goofed off in class and Harry is, well, Harry. I like how Emily and Tristan working together isn't well-appreciated by the rest of the class. I guess Hufflepuffs don't really have a good reputation with the Slytherins. And that's typical Snape, giving Slytherin points when clearly it was a Hufflepuff doing the work (or leadership role).

You have a grammar error in your Author's Note: Nirvana was significantly influenced by The Pixies (who Tristan misremember as The Doxies). It should be "who Tristan misremembers as The Doxies".

Another excellent chapter!


Author's Response: What did I ever do to deserve you?!?!?!

Teehee, 'ugly duckling' Cedric was just TOO fun an idea to pass up. Also, it tends to be HELLA true. The most handsomest boys are always super awkward-looking at 13-14.

With Dumbledore, I sort of wanted to suggest that he has a personal relationship with ALL of his students, and he cares about each of them, even if he doesn't invest quite so much time as he does with Harry--but only because Harry needs him more for prophesy reasons and chosen one-ness. Like, he's around for students in so much as they need him to be around, so Emily just needs a little encouraging wave from time to time :)

Hah, I had SO MUCH FUN with the 90s-ness! And I did try to keep the music from being gratuitous (like, not just a bunch of squeeing about bands I like, but stuff that actually works for the characters/story/era, so as not to isolate readers. Granted, I do like all these bands...)

GAH, thank you for pointing that typo out! Such an important line, too! Can't believe I missed it for so long!

Hah, Snape! Love writing Snape. Like, I do LOVE him, but I like him to be sort of maddening :p

Thank you sosososososososo much for this review :D


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Review #10, by Pixileanin Prologue (1991): Dozens of Little Televisions

21st January 2015:
Ahh, hello there! We’re paired up for the Gryffindor Review this month. Sorry it took a while to get here, but well, here I am!

I haven’t read The Casual Vacancy, or seen Skins, so I have no context for your inspiration. I love the way you explore the wizarding house through Sophie’s eyes, how she tries to reason through things, and then with Tristan’s dad explaining it all away as her senses are dulled through the calming potion.

The way that Sophie chose to be where she was, the way that she chose Tristan gave me so many angsty feels. It was obvious that she wasn't as much interested as curious, and not so much attracted as driven to prove something to herself. It makes me wonder what she would have ultimately thought of Tristan if they had perpetuated the notion that his parents were well-off and somewhat wealthy. I know her character is a device to introduce the incongruous world of Tristan, but I still wonder if she’d reverted to some kind of clingy, calls-too-much girl, just because of the situation.

I learned a lot about Tristan, and I felt his absolute defeat about the entire situation. And the reaction of the parents - very believable here. I agree; he punished himself quite effectively without their intervention. Such a broody boy.

I must comment on the perfection of the chapter title. I just love the way it peaked my curiosity about this introduction, and that you pulled it from Sophie's point of view. Also, the words on Tristan's chapter image really solidified the purpose of the chapter. On the first read, I didn't understand it until I got to the end, and then I thought, "Oh yeah, this is all about Tristan."

There was so much goodness in this, the metaphors, the descriptions, the character angst, oh my god, the angst of teens! Solid introduction, original set-up and all the little things that mean more than they should.

See you next chapter!

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Review #11, by BellaLestrange87 The Hex Head Express

20th January 2015:
I really need to get better at the whole 'reading Chapter 2 more than a month after reading Chapter 1 and falling in love with the story' thing.

I love how you describe Laurel's hair as "dishwater blonde". I think a lot of people (myself included, probably) tend to romanticize things and make them seem better, and here you've done exactly the opposite, which I like. After all, it's just hair.

I wonder why Tristan is usually so depressed on the first day of school. This year it seems apparent that he's missing Sophie and regrets having to have her Obliviated. At least he did try to prevent that ever needed to happen (which isn't much consolation, since he failed.)

I completely sympathize with Tristan here. If I wasn't able to listen to music for a year (or four/five months, depending on whether or not he goes home for Christmas) I would listen to it every chance I got before the time came to stop. Besides, I couldn't imagine having to go without my favourite songs for that long. Sure, there probably is some way of getting music at Hogwarts - I think someone in the books said that radios are magic, not muggle technology - but there's no guarantee they'll play what you want and commercials.

When I read the third book, I remember reading, in the chapter when Harry and the rest of them did Cheering Charms in Charms, that they could get addicting if you used them too often. It's kind of sad to see them needing them here - they're fifteen, I think, and already using the wizard equivalent of drugs. At least Tristan has enough humour to make a joke about how depressed he is, though. (And yes, I'm fully aware that if I didn't want to read a story with drugs this is probably the wrong story.)

I wonder if Tristan and Emily have a thing? She saved a spot for him on her side of the compartment, and he basically just flirted with her. Of course, there's always the next paragraph to consider.

I always wondered what the Cheering Charm incantation would be, and it makes perfect sense that it would revolve around something, well, funny, whether it be a word that means funny or whatever.

SO THAT'S WHERE THE TOAD WENT! I'm having hilarious mental images of 11-year-old Hermione walking in on them, all charmed-out, and being really weirded out and wondering if this is what wizards are like. You, Roisin, just made me laugh for about five minutes straight and I'm very happy I'm alone right now.

I love your portrayal of Fred and George here! They probably wouldn't want to hang around with their little brother and all his friends, and we never really see who they hang out with in the books, besides the rest of the Gryffindor Quidditch team. And, yes, Harry probably did look like a lost little thing on the platform that day. Everybody that only knows him because of what he did as a baby - Voldemort - probably still, as Laurel says, pictures him as a baby.

I love how Tristan's music player starts to fail as they get closer to Hogsmeade. I never really thought about how that would work - I haven't written about muggle-born characters yet, aside from Hermione and minor OCs that spent all their time in-fic at Hogwarts - but it makes sense that it would work until it got close to a major magical location, such as Hogsmeade and Hogwarts.

You might want to edit this - “So do you know what happened to Tristan over holidays?” asked Emily, - to "So do you know what happened to Tristan over the holidays?"

Bahahahaha Hermione seems so out of her element here. As I said earlier, I had a laugh attack when imagining when Hermione would walk in them but this is probably the worst time for her to do so. Poor Hermione.

I think that was either an electricity joke or Mr. Weasley is so into Muggle technology that he's trying Muggle drugs. Hmm. I wonder what Mrs. Weasley would say. Probably nothing very approving.

Tonks! I never really thought much about what she was like was she was at Hogwarts - aside from the fact in OotP that she said she could never behave herself in-school - and I love how you've taken that fact and twisted it for your own purposes.

You might want to edit your Author's Note and change this - 1. According the Rowling, there are “about a thousand” students at Hogwarts. - to "According to Rowling".

And this - The bit about the aventures of Trevor the Toad was really funny in my head, so I hope that came off! Adventures, not aventures.

This was a great chapter!


Author's Response: Gah this review is so amazing, thank you!

Yeah, I definitely didn't want all my characters to be SUPER GORGEOUS SUPERMODELS ZOMG--but realistic teenagers. And one could argue that all the faceclaims are of pretty good-looking people (because famous people tend to be attractive)--but I at least tried to find quirky/unique people!

Right?!?! Living without music would be the WORST! And wizarding stereos are a good fix if you like wizarding music, but yeah, you still can't CONTROL what you listen to, and if you like muggle music then you're pretty screwed.

I wouldn't say here that they all NEED Cheering Charms, but they are certainly ABUSING them. Like, I wouldn't call Emily or Isobel addicts, but they are experimenting in a potentially problematic way.

But yeah, thinking about it, Mind Altering Spells seem like a pretty dangerous idea.

Haha, for the incantation I seriously just used google translate into latin, and boom, "hilaris."

TREVOR! So glad you liked that bit! That was my very first stab at visual comedy, and I was so anxious about whether or not it came across!

That's so how it is, though! Like, a famous child actor is really surprising to see as an adult and stuff! And I'm really glad you liked the Twins! It was really fun writing them in a different context than we saw in canon.

Heehee--Hermione was so 'bossy and in charge' in the books, and I loved the idea of seeing her from an older person's perspective! She still was, underneath it all, just a little girl.

Ha! Molly would probably be VERY cross!

Thank you for pointing out all my typos! Will scurry to edit!

And thank you SO MUCH for this review! GAH! LOVE!


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Review #12, by Maelody Loose Lips

13th January 2015:
Hey! There's a reference to your Doge/Albus one-shot in here! :D Isobel is the great niece, eh? That's super cool!

Though I am a bit confused as to why a purist would call him a mudblood? Normally he would be considered a blood traitor, or dirty/tainted blood, but not necessarily a mudblood. Just as Draco Malfoy never called Harry a mudblood, just Hermione. His parentage is exactly that of Harry's. :)

Poor Em! She's still so sour about how mean Snape was! Though I have to admit, it was sort of funny to see how he favored Tristan over her. Good to know it's not just a Malfoy thing, but a Slytherin thing by chance all around.

This is another side of Oliver Wood I never expected to see, but it actually make perfect sense! How much he talks about despising Slytherin in the books in Quidditch wouldn't go awry just because he's outside of a Quidditch scene! This is a great bit of detail and I love it. Makes me love Wood a little less simply because I am a Slytherin, but it works out really well here! Poor Tristan, though. Especially since he goes back to his dorm and everyone's heard of it already.

I like that little Draco has already started getting used to the idea of his House and manipulating his way around it. I feel like, in a way, he's even trying to reach out to Tristan at this point by going to Reece to explain what he think's Tristan's lineage is. Then, of course, when Tristan dispels their theories, Draco would drop the idea of keeping him around. Sort of what's going on in my head anyway. :)

This chapter is one of my favorites so far! There's so much going on outside of Harry's life in the time he's in Hogwarts. I love that you got your hands on it and are going through this set of of characters! It's got me completely hooked! Great job!


Author's Response: My thinking was that wizarding Britain is SO tiny, that all of these "OCs" are related to characters named in canon. I wanted Isobel to be kind of a notable pureblood, but from a family totally unconnected from Death Eaters or the like. She's not super rich, but reasonably well off, from a distinguished family. I have a lot of weird love for Doge, so he seemed a good candidate for a great uncle!

Harry's dad was a pureblood, though, while Tristan's parents are a muggle-born and a muggle. But yeah, 'mudblood' is tenuous. But! If Harry is a 'halfblood' because his mom's muggleborn, than wouldn't Tristan be a mudblood, since he has no wizarding grandparents? But really, you are right. Tristan is trying to invoke these technicalities, even though it's inaccurate. He's just being subversive.

Bwahahaha--I really love writing Snape ;)

I definitely don't have any hate for Oliver, but I felt like he would totally ruffle Tristan. (And Tristan's hardly blameless for their little spat--I'm rather cross with him for cursing the innocent geranium). Wood's got a few zealous attributes in canon, so drawing those out was a lot of fun!

Yee! I'm so glad the Draco cameo gave you thoughts! That's what's fun about writing such MAJOR canon characters as little minor characters here. Everything they do can be read into a lot, because we're already so familiar with them!



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Review #13, by Maelody R

13th January 2015:
I think what gives this story one of it's definite believability factors is that all of them are in different Houses, with the exception of the two that share a House. Oh, and the fact that Emily used to be friends with Tonks is so cool! It just makes you think how Harry just barely missed out on going to school with one of the most important people in his life.

Also, this is the first chapter that really gets it going to the parallel version of the books. With the exception of a little bit of Hermione in the last chapter. ;) Harry's sorting through another set of eyes. It's really cool to see how some people think of him, but even cooler to see a group of people who don't actually think he's 'all that'.

I sort of feel bad for Emily in her flashback of her own sorting though. But the owls must make up for it. Those were fun to see, and I'd like to know the answer to her question about how the owl gets down to Slytherin chambers!

OK, so I think I accidentally lied. I might have read the next couple chapters and just forgot to mark them as 'read'. So you've got a few more reviews coming before I actually get to pick reading back up! Lucky you! ;)


Author's Response: Yes! Harry JUST missed Tonks! I hadn't totally realized that until I was researching for this story, and got SO EXCITED to find out these OCs would have overlapped! Yay Tonks!

And yeah, Gryffindor got so much play in canon that I really wanted to examine the other Houses. And I just especially loved the idea of a reluctant Slytherin!

Hahaha, the owls and Slytherin. I basically realized it was a hole in the story, so rather than closing that hole, I just drew hella attention to it! I tried to make it a joke that it never gets explained :p

LUCKY LUCKY ME! Thank you Mae!


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Review #14, by Maelody The Hex Head Express

13th January 2015:
"Hex-Heads" I don't think I've ever heard this phrase before in our Potter-verse. I love it! Seriously, I see where this story is going, and it just works. The whole feel of the era has been grasped, and the story is strangely addicting already!

So charms do the work of some muggle drugs, eh? I think that's so cool. Maybe a little less dangerous than actual drug use in the muggle world, but I don't know. If it effect certain parts of speech and capability, I would guess it effects the brain somehow. So then again, maybe it's not all that safe.

I love the set-up of the characters. The fact that Tristan is the only boy of practically an all girl group sort of gives off another feel for him. Not that I'm saying he regrets it, but it gives off elements of his character. And to know that Sophie was his first makes it just a little more sad that she was obliviated into thinking otherwise of that night.

Emily is becoming one of my fast favorites. She seems sweet enough, and more aware of exactly how the others feel. Isobel I can tell thinks she has herself together, but if she truly did, I think she would have left a long time ago. Laurel is really cute though, in that rambunctious sort of way. She's definitely lost herself to a lot of that charm work, though, eh? I can see where to them it's more of a hassle than it is 'adorable'.

Anyway, I've read up to chapter three so I'm going to head over to the next chapter and review so I can actually get back to reading! This is great so far! Already one of those stories that naturally grabs you from the beginning!


Author's Response: :D I spent FOREVER thinking up the term 'Hex Head' and I'll admit I'm quite proud of it! I know Crestwood has adopted it, and I'm hoping it'll become a THING around here!

Haha, I'm glad the story is 'addicting'! FORM FOLLOWING CONTENT!

In a way, mind altering spells seem almost MORE dangerous to me. Just because, like, you can do them WHENEVER as MUCH as you want with your WAND which is practically like a body part. The more you think about it, the more you have to second guess the wisdom of teaching 13-14 year olds MIND ALTERING SPELLS. The nature of teenagers is such that some WILL abuse them!

All of my dude friends tend to be the kind who mostly hang around with girls, so it was a bit easier for me to write (I have no idea what guys get up to on their own!) Also, I liked how it was sort of the opposite of Harry/Ron/Hermione.

I'm glad you can see Laurel's cute/rambunctiousness! She definitely takes longer to get to know, which was an intentional decision, but there's a lot I really like about her (her issues notwithstanding)! But yeah, Emily is imminently loveable.

You have no idea how happy these reviews have made me! Thank you!


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Review #15, by Maelody Prologue (1991): Dozens of Little Televisions

13th January 2015:
Aww, poor Tristan! He gets a girl over to his house, and now she's not even permitted to remember it. Hope he thought he was awful, maybe that'll make him feel better. ;)

So I sort of stumbled across this story a couple weeks ago and read a couple chapters and fell in love with it. Then I thought to myself: 'Why didn't you review any of the chapters? That's not fair to the author!' So here I am, reviewing the first couple of chapters I've read since you deserve to know just how awesome you are! :)

So I actually really like how Tristan lead Sophie into the house. It was shifty as all 'come into my house' meetings go, but it was indeed creative!

I love how she automatically theorizes his parents might be junkies. Instead of going to some sort of mega awesome spies, or members of the government, they're junkies. Except he goes to a private school somewhere else. It made me laugh.

In the long run, I sort of feel bad for Tristan since Sophie is only doing this to get back at her ex. She apparently doesn't even find him all that attractive. I mean, he'd go to school and never be the wiser, but still. Maybe it was best in the long run that she ended up having to forget.

I loved the little televisions theory. If only she knew that here in the Muggle world of 2015 (and quite a few years before then, too) we would have those types of picture frames. I guess we can't explain a sims card to her, can we? After she dropped it though, and the whole commotion with Tristan's parents and the Obliviator came along, I fell in love instantly with this story. You have a great eye for characterization and detail. I actually like Tristan's family, even though I'm sure this might be the last we see of them. It's good to get an understanding of where he was brought up.

The Oblivation was really cool to witness. I think you got that idea spot on and I felt really bad for Tristan. Especially when she came back to thank him for being such a gentleman.

I'm sure you don't need me to tell you just how wonderful your story is. You've plenty of admirers, but I can definitely see why. I like this story a lot already and I'll be sticking around to find out what happens through the rest of it!



Author's Response: EE! Thank you so much for these amazing surprise reviews! I'm so sorry it's taken me so long to reply!

Gah, the idea of someone being obliviated in this way seemed SO SAD to me! And at the same time, I realized this kind of thing MUST happen from time to time. Just: teenagers. Hormones are probably the single greatest threat to the Statute of Secrecy.

Bahahaha! The whole 'it's the 90s' thing was REALLY fun for me to play around with! Especially because, YES, we totally have that technology now! I was always really bummed by the way the films were set ambiguously now-ish, so this story works really hard to remind people of the era.



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Review #16, by wolfgirl17 R

11th January 2015:
My dear Roisin you've done it again.

Wowed me with your ability of weaving such an exciting tale for me to enjoy. As always, I loved this chapter. I love your whole story. It's just so exciting and interesting and wonderful.

I must admit, I really didn't think I was going to enjoy it when you first requested, simply because the drug thing has never been me. I mean, I tried a puff of a cig at 14, coughed and choked on it and haven't touched anything stronger than booze since. As such I am very inexperienced with that scene and mildly disapproving of such addictive behaviors, and yet this story has opened my eyes to the possibilities surrounding such a scene and those who dwell in that life.

Not that I'm going to start up anything. I'm too chicken for that. But anyways, onto the review.

You've got a couple of typos in this chappie, just things like missing letters, but other than that it's pure genius. Your characters are growing by the chap and becoming more and more dear to me. I love that you had Tristan being Snape's fav. It made me giggle. I love the interaction between Tristan and Emily, and I loved your descriptions of her reactions to Harry being at Hogwarts.

I'm really enjoying this perspective on Hogwarts too. I've not really read anything like it before. Usually I gravitate to the Trio or next-gen or marauders so this is really opening my eyes to the possibilities.

I can't wait to read more from you, love.

Keep up the positively fantastic work =)


Author's Response: Ah! I'm VERY glad to here you made smarter choices than these characters! Having a personal affinity for drug use is not a pre-requisite for reading, indeed, I hope readers don't have one! I did want to present the issues rather without judgement, and not treat it like an afterschool special, but I think the 'drugs are bad' thing is pretty implicit throughout. Basically, I kind of trust my readers to be smarter than these characters :p

Thank you for mentioning typos! Will scurry to edit straight away!

And I'm so stoked you're enjoying the alt perspective! It was so so so fun to write--like, the nerdiest self indulgence EVER.

Thank you so much for this review, and so sorry for the late reply!


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Review #17, by pointless_proclamations Loose Lips

8th January 2015:

Right from the beginning you've got me properly laughing. Again, your clever sense of humour is just wonderful.

The way Tristan compares the wizarding side of the world and the Muggle side of the world tells me that you really think about EVERYTHING. It seems that you've completely dissected both sides of the world at this point.

Anyways, so I'm laughing and then you go and make me poor heart ache for Tristan and how he is unable to fit into either. BUT the way Emily reacts to him assures me that he's not as alone as he may think sometimes. He's got his friends, hasn't he?

Oh my gosh, more hilarity with the twins. I LOVE THE WAY YOU WRITE THEM!! Good grief and the way they quoted Dumbeldore! I can't stay on my seat, Roisin.

Oooh! This idea of a sweet spot in which Tristan's stereo can function normally intrigues me! Pray tell, what brought about this idea?

I do adore that you've shown this less than pleasant side of Gryffindors with Wood. The house dynamics you've explored is fascinating especially with Tristan in the middle of it all. The generalisations some people make and how they can hurt sometimes!

There is something so satisfying about reading how Tristan answers Reece's question. Can I give him a high-five for that?

Oh, and you've got wonderful chapter images, by the way.


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Review #18, by shez R

7th January 2015:
Hey there! Just popping in to continue Y5. Sorry it’s taking me so long. I’m just so bad with leaving timely reviews (and break makes me inconsiderately lazy oops!).

FIRST—all the chapter images are SO GOOD. And Emily “Sunshine” is Cassie from Skins! kasdfghjl! PERFECT FIT. She’s definitely the nicest of the Hex Heads from what we’ve seen so far.

I love the homage to Tonks hehe.

It’s so weird to see the Sorting from an outside perspective. You do a fabulous job writing Emily’s voice—her comments on wizard families and prejudice and Weasleys (being an institution hehe) to being worried for Tristan (who I think she may just have feelings for…hmm…).

Really, your characters’ internal worlds are so amusing/relatable! They’re not over the top, or anything like that. I’m having trouble putting why I like it so much into words. All the self-consciousness, wanting-to-ditch-class, substance abuse galore! And Isobel definitely has a thing about food.

I like how you’ve woven strands of canon into this—from Tonks cheering (cheering, not Cheering) her up, waving to Dumbledore, Snape’s prejudice toward everyone except his own House.

Poor Neville. Kid gets teased just about everywhere. But with a name like that, who can really blame Tristan?

Oh, I love the inter-house spirit of Tristan and his friends! I just love all teenage-y they all are!

WHAT DOES THE R STAND FOR? Is it connected to canon? I want so badly to try to guess but have no clue where to start.

(hopefully) I’ll be back soon for chapter 4!

Author's Response: Yee hello!

So glad you liked the images! Culture and music of the era is super important to this story, so I really wanted to give the images a kind of fanziney quality (I came up with the whole idea for this story while reading the Phonomancer comics, which are all about that).

Bahahaha, I almost didn't use that actress, because this whole story is already so "Skins at Hogwarts" :p

The whole fun of writing this story was pairing SO MUCH CANON with things that NEVER showed up in canon (substance abuse, food things, ditching class for non quest-like reasons).

I am sure you'll figure R out--but hopefully you'll let me string on the mystery for a little while first!


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Review #19, by mymischiefmanaged Troll in the Dungeons!

6th January 2015:
Hello Hello! Here for our swap :)

Okay, the opening of this, I really like. I'm glad you chose to include Tristan thinking about his sorting. Given that we know Harry specifically asked not to be Slytherin, it's good to give some insight into why other characters that would have preferred different houses aren't put into them. And it makes sense that eleven year old Tristan would have let his bitterness override his desire to be in another house. And then his present from his parents is perfect :)

You write Tristan so, so well. Was he the first character you came up with for this story? I really enjoy the little touches, like his kind of vague indifference to the fact he does something impressive in Transfiguration. He seems in a lot of ways to be the most well developed of your characters, and I think your amazing writing is perhaps most amazing when in his POV (although, as I've said, Emily remains my favourite character in terms of how she is as a person).

The little bit of Oliver is perfect. You treat all your minor characters with a lot of care, developing consistent characteristics for them even then they're not important to the plot. Like I said with Fred and George last chapter, something you really achieve with Oliver is keeping him in character with what Harry sees while allowing for the fact he'll seem different to character his own age. For Harry, he's the grown up fifth year, whereas for Tristan he's just another guy in his year. You write that really well.

Favourite line of the chapter: "With the exception of the wild Harry Potter rumors, the last week had passed very much the same as the one before." One of my favourite things about this story is how you throw in canon details almost without really caring. It's a really interesting exploration into that whole 'each person is the main character in their own story' idea. Harry's going through these huge things but isn't even really a minor character in Tristan's story.

I think this chapter marks a bit of a turning point for Laurel. We can really start to see here that her hexing problem goes further than it does for the others. It's an interesting character development that she chooses to take Tristan down with her. It shows some selfishness but also shows how far in denial she is. She's trying to convince herself it's not just a problem for her. It's a shame she goes for Tristan, because Emily or Isobel would definitely be more likely to pick up on the fact that there's a real problem. Tristan sees the whole world through this slightly detached lens that stops him clearly recognising the problems and trying to help.

Finally, love love love the Hermione appearance at the end. I don't think I'd clicked that was her the first time I read this. This time it made me laugh :)

This whole novel's so fantastic, Roisin. Rereading it just shows me how amazing it is. You include all these tiny but fascinating details, and every single one of your characters is so real and has so much depth. I love it.

Question: I saw one of your new years resolutions was to write the sequel. Will it be set during the war? I think it would be fascinating to see these characters when the world around them is falling apart (especially because of things like their friendship with Cedric). I'm super excited for the sequel anyway, but just thought I'd ask :)

Lots of love,

Emma xx

Author's Response: Ah! You are such an amazing reviewer!

When I wrote this, I really didn't know anything about fanfiction or its conventions, but I was really interested in the kind of concept of the genre. I loved the idea of playing with dramatic irony (because hey, there are basically SEVEN BOOKS OF PREQUEL for this story!) So yeah, WE as readers know that someone can just choose a House, but Tristan is not a Gryffindor, and never bothered :( [Also, I have that whole HE'S THE ANTI-POTTER thing--so they had the same Sorting experience with a different outcome]

Tristan was definitely the first character I came up with--well spotted! And even though this is very much an 'ensemble cast,' if you will, I definitely think of him as being the main.

AH, you have no idea how stoked I am about your comments on Oliver! That was EXACTLY what I was trying to do--keep them in character, but seen in a different way because a different person is doing the seeing.

And yes! Everyone is the main character of their own story! Plus, I just loved the idea that Harry's running around, and these kids are like "Ummm, okay--let's go smoke."

Your Laurel interpretation is also bang on. Because also, she /wouldn't/ go to Emily or Isobel if she's set on self-destruction. And they have that whole 'feeling liberated by being terrible together' thing. And she just knows the girls wouldn't go for that.

I had way too much fun with Hermione cameos :D

OH GOSH, SEQUEL. So I DO have a war-era sequel mostly written, but then I ALSO have a weird amount of Year 6 written. BUT, I kind of don't want to do Y6, because I really like how this story ends with some finality. Like, it makes a little statement about teenagedom, and so I don't really wanna open them up again as teenagers. BUT, then there's some stuff in there I REALLY like. I've been having an existential crisis about it for a while, and may end up doing some sort of flashbacky/nonlinear thing? Either way, them navigating their early 20s during the war is definitely a thing that will happen at some point!

Yee, thank you so much for this review!

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Review #20, by pointless_proclamations R

2nd January 2015:
Hello again, Roisin.

Here's that long overdue review. I apologise sincerely and profusely for my tardiness. :(

First off, I would despise you for building up as many plot threads as you have that will do nothing by torture me during my time away from this wonderful novel, but I find that I am unable to. Once again, ARGH!

'Super Baby Harry Potter had ended up Gryffindor—to exactly no one’s surprise.' I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THIS LINE! Your sense of humour is just one of the many, MANY reasons I enjoy reading your work. Other reasons include (but are certainly not limited to):
characterisation—your characters are so thoroughly thought-out, I am awed.
style of writing—your descriptions, again, are beautiful. Your words translate so easily into clear mental images that engage all my senses.
plot—this novel is so unique and different and refreshing and GAHH!

The way you wrote Emily's first year was enough to endear me completely and utterly to her. She seems like such a kind and lovely lass. The wonder with which she saw this completely new side of the world really came through.

And Tristan's parents! They very fact that they'd prefer Siouxsie to fly rather than travel in a cage speaks volumes about their character (and their parenting, I suspect).

Mystery surrounding mysterious 'R' begins!

Roisin, I'm now bashing my head on my desk. Do you want to know why? Because of how much I'm realising that your characters rely on extrinsic factors to make themselves happier. It's extremely frustrating and sad and ARGH! Must you do this to my feels, Roisin? Must you? I feel this raging urge to get inside your story and Tristain, Emily, Isobel, and Laurel a giant hug. You're completely wrecking me here and this is just the third chapter!

My eyes bulge just reading your author's note. You've put so much work into this story and it really, really shows!

Happy New Year!

Author's Response: *Squee* Thank you so much! I am grinning like a fool reading this!

Heehee--I was very pleased with that line, I'm so glad you appreciated it! It was funny to me that Harry might stress so much about his own Sorting, but it would seem really anticlimactic to everyone else :D

I definitely fretted a LOT about transmitting visual info with this chapter (all the non-verbal communication between Emily and Tristan, the comic timing of him getting whacked in the head). I'm sososososo relieved that you had clear mental images!

You make an EXCELLENT point about his parents and Siouxsie! Well spotted! I hadn't totally consciously realized that, it just seemed like something they would do--and you're right! It does speak to their parenting and perspective!

Oh man, these characters definitely DEMAND hugs--or a good shake/slap in the face. I think a lot of people assume that fanfiction is people writing their fantasies (although I don't think that's the case)--but this DEFINITELY isn't anyone's fantasy! I got so frustrated and angry writing this, because it doesn't go how I /wish/ it would go at times. But then that wouldn't make a very interesting story, would it ;)

Thank you so much for this review!


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Review #21, by pointless_proclamations The Hex Head Express

31st December 2014:
Ahhh!!! Is my reaction to every new chapter of yours I am about to read.

Again with you and your descriptions! YOU HAVE SUCH A TALENT FOR THESE KINDS OF THINGS!! It seems so natural that it's so hard to believe that you ever wanted to avoid it at all! 'hectic length of the scarlet steam engine,' 'nearly fell over in their affection,' ooh, ooh and 'his feelings seemed to manifest physically, in his pallor and the dark circles ringing his eyes.'

The first time I read this, I was all 'OH MY GOSH, WHAT IN THE WORLD IS THIS CHARM?!' and then I was all, 'oh, it makes people happy, how bad can it be,' THEN in the following chapters--'WHAT IN THE WORLD HAVE YOU DONE?' You're absolutely genius, by the way. I love the concept of Hex Heads. Ahh, then I went on a mental tangent about the effect of this charm on neurotransmitters. It appears the more you use the charm the higher the reliance you have on it because your body's like 'oh, happy hormones are being produced. Well, then I don't need to do very much of that anymore. Folks, let's slow down the production of happy hormones.' And then when you come down from that high, your deprived of happy hormones. So then you aren't as capable of being naturally happy anymore. And then you want to cheer even more--it's a downward spiral. ALTHOUGH, please correct me if I'm totally off, by the way.

There is something so fascinating about the way you write about the effects of the cheering charm. They appear to be high. This subtle way of comparing the use of the cheering charm this way to drug abuse--I need to hug you.

I squealed intrinsically when Fred and George appeared. You wrote them so well! And the toad! I am super impressed with how canon you're making this. The way you weave YF into PS: absolutely genius.

I really admire the way you just start dropping house names and associating them to your characters, NEGLECTING to associate Tristan to any house. It was remarkably casual, the way you did it.

Your writing gives off vibes that translate into urges and emotions. You're a super effective writer. So, despite how happy they all seem at this point and how it seems that nothing wrong is going on, I'm really uncomfortable (in a good way). Tristan, Emily, Isobel, and Laurel. Despite my being completely against their spell abuse and drug abuse and my feeling utterly enraged by what their doing, I care a whole lot for them.

Happy New Year's Eve,

Author's Response: Hello!

A lot of the descriptions got added later, because I kind of got the hang of writing after I finished the whole thing (and since it was prewritten, I was able to do lots of editing before I uploaded).

Ahaaa, I'm so glad you're thinking of neurotransmitters! Yes, I was sort of imagining that Hilaris works on serotonin and dopamine receptors, and by inhibiting GABA (not unlike chemicals that do the same thing, except the charm stimulates instead of simulates. Since dopamine is involved, addiction is a serious concern!). And then 'tranquilus' would work by releasing endogenous opioids.

But yeah, 'cheering charms' are a canon thing--but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that mind altering charms seem like a VERY dangerous idea!

Teeheehee, I'm glad you like how I played Tristan's house!

And yay, one of my goals was definitely to play with the difference between what the characters think and feel, and what the readers think and feel. Partially because this is fanfiction, so readers already have SEVEN LONG books of backstory--and then the idea snowballed, and I got into writing this weirdly ambivalent/ambiguous story, where all meaning and interpretation is specific to the reader.


Happy New Years!

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

30th December 2014:
Dear Roisin,

Triple review swap if you like?

Before anything else: AH!! [flails and squeals and runs around] I'm super excited.

The very first thing that strikes me is your genius way of characterisation. In an instant, you give us readers a clear idea of what kind of person Sophie without explicitly having to tell us.

'The sky was just edging toward the deep electric blue that just proceeds first light,' is one of many examples of your beautiful way of writing descriptively. This is imagery at its finest, in my opinion.

I somehow find your description of Tristan very charming. Perhaps in the sense that he's capturing my interest because he seems like a character very much unlike any I've read of before. Then you proceed to very cleverly hint at his being a wizard and Sophie, otherwise. At this point, you have my attention, curiosity, and admiration.

Tristan is such an interesting character! I'm getting the sense that he wants to belong to a more muggle community, but is unable to do so because of his being a wizard. His character, the way your written him, he's giving off these high-level of discomfort vibes. I'm quite unnerved, actually, but I like it.

Understanding that this is a story about Tristan's fifth year is even more unnerving--as you intended, I suspect. Here are my thoughts: YOU MEAN TO TELL ME THAT HE'S FIFTEEN AND HE'S DOING ALL OF THIS?! Drugs, clubbing, and copulation?! But instead of not liking him, I have this urge to protect your character. At this point, I realise, YOU SNEAKY THING! You've just made me completely empathise with Tristan.

'Tristan would have been crying, if he ever cried. Had it been his nature, Tristan would have felt immense self-pity for his lot in life. Instead, he found himself mired by self-loathing, eyes dry.' MORE FEELS AND PROTECTIVE URGES! And they just increase with every word following.

This is the kind of story to ruin the way I see the world, destroy my emotions, and make me love you for it.

Your fan,

Author's Response: Hello! And YES, I DO LIKE!

Oh man, it's so crazy that you commented on that specific line describing the sky. So this was the VERY FIRST creative prose thing I ever did, and it was such a new thing for me, that I had no idea what I was doing. Like, "HOW DO I DESCRIBE STUFF!" Description was actually the MAIN reason I'd avoided creative prose for so long! But yeah, that was the first line I ever wrote that I genuinely liked :) Without that line, I might not have kept going!

I'm really glad you found that description of Tristan charming--I very much wanted that exact result, but I didn't want him to be 'super handsome dreamboat heart-throb.'

And YES! Harry Potter was all stoked on being a wizard, and I loved the idea of someone who was the opposite--who had criticisms of the wizarding world, and preferred certain aspects of muggle culture (kind of like Annett, and her respect for muggle science).

Well, he's ALMOST 16, if that helps any! And it's so interesting to me that you feel protective of him--I definitely felt that way WRITING him. I guess that came across!

Eek! I'm so glad you like this story! Definitely down to do more swaps ANY time!


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Review #23, by mymischiefmanaged Behind the Mirror

28th December 2014:
Hi Roisin! So, I've left 99 reviews so far during 2014 and thought I'd like to hit 100 before the end of the year. I've been meaning to get back to reviewing your wonderful work for a long time now, and it seemed like a pretty worthy contender for review number 100 :)

Chapters in Emily's point of view are almost always my favourite in 'Year Five'. I find her such a compelling character, and generally feel she's a bit more likeable than the others, so I was happy to start this chapter through her eyes.

The main thing I want to say is that you write Fred and George SO WELL. You keep them absolutely in character, and we can see how they're the same people we see through Harry's eyes, but you also manage to present them in a slightly different light to acknowledge that they're hanging out with older students rather than their little brother and his friends. I don't know if I've said this to you before, but one of the things I find most impressive about this story is the way that you keep characters consistent with what Harry sees while demonstrating that people are different in different company. I think your characterisation of Fred and George is perhaps the best example of this, although you do it well with Oliver and Cedric as well.

Sir Cadogan is fab. I love the inclusion of the portrait characters in Rowling's work, and think they're often neglected in fanfiction. I like that you've chosen to include him, and all his dialogue is very true to canon (as everything in your story is).

The party is lovely. With your cast of characters you could have made it some absolutely insane, out of hand party full of drinks/drugs, but I think the chatty, relaxed atmosphere you wrote is more true to what this story is about. The fact Tristan's friends are so careful to invite people he'll feel happy and comfortable around says wonderful things about their relationships, and the party has a very inclusive vibe to it which I like a lot. Another of my favourite things about your four main characters is their willingness to be friends with people of different ages and in different houses. It says something nice about each of them that they choose to look beyond the way people are separated to decide who they want to be friends with.

Finally, I totally forgive your lapse from canon to include the Hufflepuff password being "Hufflepuff". It's fantastic, and I bet if Rowling had thought about it she would have done it herself. It fits in so well with this idea of Hufflepuffs being laid back and cheerful and friendly, and I like that they just don't feel the same need to be exclusive about their space as the other houses. I also love how well you write Emily as a part of this House, and fit the Hufflepuff traits into her complicated character.

Sorry about the somewhat rambly review. You know how much I love this story :)

Lots of love,

Emma xx

Author's Response: Emma! It means a weird amount to me that I get to be review 100!

I'm so glad you find Emily likable AND compelling! I almost worried, writing, that since I liked her TOO much she wouldn't be interesting enough. But then I was like OH WHATEVER HUFFLEPUFFS RULE AND ARE THE BEST.

*Squee* That is EXACTLY what I was trying to do with the Twins! Like, they would at once seem younger (because they are getting looked at by older people), but also older (because they aren't around their little brother). And just like, of COURSE they would have partied a little bit! In canon, Ron clearly /wants/ to, but is too busy fighting evil and all (he's all like, "OOH LET'S GET FIREWHISKEY" but Hermione's all like "SHHH WE'RE PLANNING A REVOLUTION AGAINST UMBRIDGE, SIT DOWN").

I read somewhere that Sir Cadogan was based on a real (legendary) Knight of the Round Table known for Chivalry! I was pretty deep in a research rabbit-hole at the time, though, so I could never find it again!

I'm so glad the party came off well! I thought it was more realistic that Tristan and co. aren't the ONLY people that might, like, drink and stuff. Like, Oliver would definitely be a drinker, but I'd see him being pretty moderate about it until he got a little older, and never developing a problem (maybe some binging in his late teens/twenties, but only in as much as is typical for his age).

Hufflepuffs definitely have an unfair reputation for being 'dumb'--so I loved that their password might SEEM dumb, but then actually be really clever (like, it's so obvious that no one would ever guess it).

Eee! This review made me so happy! And rambly reviews are my favorite, so no worries!


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Review #24, by wolfgirl17 The Hex Head Express

28th December 2014:
Hey Love,

Wolfgirl here (finally) with your requested review. I'm so sorry it took me so long. I've been such a slacker. But anyway, let's jump right in.

Have I mentioned that i love the quality of your writing? There is just something about it that make me feel like it's so much more valuable because of the amount of effort you invest in maintaining this brilliant level of quality quality. Whenever i read your work I feel like it's not just a fan-written piece but the same high standard I would expect to find from the likes of bestsellling authors like Jo and Wilbur Smith and Bryce Courtney.

It's just mesmerizing to read. Admittedly when I reviewed your first chapter I mentioned that I was unsure I wanted to keep reading, however that was based on a limited interest that you inspired from me in the characters. I'm so glad you requested to have chapter 2 reviewed because they are growing on me, and obviously you've hooked me with your writing style alone.

I absolutely love your descriptions like "her garlic-clove shaped nose". Where did you come up with this and can I steal it? It's fantastic. I immediately have an image in my head of the type of nose on her face, far more so than simply writing that it's hooked or pert or prone to wrinkling.

And "grumbled to life" as a description for the train starting up. "Nourished by his friends" as a way to describe that feeling of therapeutic motivation that comes from being with friends! Where do you come up with this stuff? It's solid gold!

And Merlin I love the way you had Fred and George describe Ron "probable embarrassment to Gryffindor" indeed. Haha.

Seriously. I'm in love. I'm growing more and more intrigued by Isobel, Emily, Laurel and Tristan by the second. You really must continue to request, lest I make a stalkerish fool of myself by gushing over every chapter like a ninny without any kind of structure or useful direction whatsoever!


Author's Response: There is no possible way I can express how happy this review made me! CAPS LOCK IS NOT LARGE ENOUGH FOR MY SQUEEING!1!1!1!1

I definitely owe a LOT to the excellent feedback I've gotten from reviewers. That specific description of Laurel wasn't even in the chapter until someone pointed out that I should describe her more (that was like, a MONTH ago--that description is NEW). So yeah, this story definitely didn't look like this on the first draft!

And since the whole thing was pre-written, that meant I got to go over the completed story over and over again and make tweaks. BUT, there was a downside to pre-writing: basically, the whole issue with the intro chapter you pointed out. I think writing piece-by-piece makes things a lot more satisfying to read piece-by-piece. Writing all together means the chapters go together, rather than standing alone :( I HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO FIX IT NOW! (Needless to say, I'm REALLY relieved that this chapter got your interest!)

As for 'garlic nose,' my friend described her nose that way when I was a teenager and it stuck with me! So really, all credit goes to her :) And if I'm being totally honest about how I got to 'grumbling,' I make sound effects while I write! I also say thing out loud, make faces adopting the mood I want to convey, move my arms around a lot, and do weird gestures with my hands when I'm trying to think of a word or analogy (basically, I look like a TOTAL weirdo when I write!)

I really can't say how much encouragement I've gotten out of this review! THANK YOU SO MUCH!


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Review #25, by shez The Hex Head Express

25th December 2014:
First of all I just wanted apologize for the tardiness of this review. The last couple days have been a whirlwind of relatives and shopping and general chaos. But I’m here now—onto Y5!

“dishwater blonde hair” I really like your word choice here as it lends realism (which is obviously what you’re going for) Too often in fanfic authors romanticize their characters, aka, describe the way their curls fall down their back, or make them Barbie lookalikes. Also I appreciate the minimalism.

Bahaha Tristan ‘educating her’ about (muggle) music. I wanted to chuckle because this is SUCH a teen thing.

Also, I wanted to say I REALLY like the way you write conversation in a group. I know its a challenge for some writers (myself included), but you make it feel seamless and organic. And although this is mostly intro chapter to the characters—it never feels dull or like some big info dump. You never have to explicitly tell us that Emily’s a muggle born (or half blood) while Laurel and Isobel are most likely purebloods—we can figure it by the dialogue (Also, Tristan’s brooding made me chuckle. It’s actually sort of cute!). Oh, oh, and it’s refreshing to read about a friend group of primarily girls and one guy (Usually it’s the other way around). I expect there are romantic feelings floating about hehe (From the Cheering ‘do me’ comment, I’m going to guess Emily fancies Tristian).

And because I haven’t read the books in years and my canon knowledge is shaky at best, I googled Cheering to see if it’s a real spell (Duh, it is). I think it’s really cool you were able to incorporate canon details like these. This story definitely deserved those dobby nominations!

“And then a toad hopped right into Emily’s lap” OH MY GOSH NEVILLE!! *fangirls*

Also, WEASLEYS. I love that whole exchange, the wit and banter (those comments about Ron and Percy) was so entertaining!

I can’t wait until they have a run in with Harry or more of other the canon kids. OR SNAPE. OH MY GOD SNAPE. TRISTAN AND SNAPE. PLEASE, CAN YOU TELL ME IF THIS HAPPENS??

This really does feel like an extension of the books. I can actually SEE these characters existing in the peripheral of the first book.
Pertaining to your end note—I vaguely recall Rowling, in some interview, saying that she’s bad at math and she doesn’t really know how many kids are in Hogwarts. But it’s still impressive that you’ve done such thorough research. I find canon to be constraining at times, for me personally, but the fact you manage to make it for you is awesome!

So, I’m really enjoying this even though it’s so far from what I usually read. I’m pretty picky about my hp fanfic, probably ridiculously so, but I LOVE what you've added to my beloved canon world. Reading this was a treat. I’m excited to see where it goes! And I intend to drop in (though probably pretty sporadically) and leave more reviews!

Author's Response: This review is so much better for being ON CHRISTMAS! Thank you!

I straight up stared at photos of my Laurel faceclaim (young Chloe Sevigny) trying to think of critical things to say about her (I mean, Sevigny is definitely a beauty, but I like that she isn't traditionally pretty, and has done a lot of films and photoshoots where she isn't dolled up).

Haha, connecting Music Snobbery with Wizard/Muggle cultural difference was super fun for me ;)

All of the conversing in this chapter went through a WEIRD amount of rewrites and revision--like, I wouldn't be able to count. 30 complete re-edits at least. I'm really glad you think the final result worked, and felt organic and all. This is a really expository chapter--in fact, the first several chapters are all setting things up and exposition. I think the introductory phase is so long partially because I wanted to avoid info dumps. And since this is a character driven story, I really needed to give the characters shape for everything that comes later to work.

Oh man--CHEERING CHARMS. Like, the more you think about it, the more you MUST assume that if you teach 13/14-year-olds mind-altering spells, they WILL abuse them!

The Twins were super fun for me, because there's just a slightly different perspective. I really wanted them to seem in-line and consistent with the books, but then see them in a different way by offering a new POV and different contexts.

YES SNAPE! I'm glad you see it! THAT DEFINITELY HAPPENS! Snape is also a really fun character, because WE know so much about him that Tristan and co. don't (dramatic irony was basically the most FUN thing about writing this story!)

Which brings me to the periphery thing--I'm so glad you think it fits! I wrote this before I really knew what fanfiction was, so it is rather a different interpretation of the genre. This story is very kind of aware that it is fanfiction, and plays a lot with meta references and the like.

I'll also say that the tone of the story doesn't stay this light. It's funny, because I originally conceived of this as such a fun/wacky/silly idea (HOGWARTS STONERS). I combined all these various elements and ideas I wanted to examine, and then ended up with a much grittier story than I'd thought. Also, you know, TEENAGERS. MUCH ANGST FOLLOWS.

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