Reading Reviews for Year Five
  
83 Reviews Found

Review #1, by AlexFan Troll in the Dungeons!

27th August 2014:
Tristan seriously needs to get his stuff figured out with these contacts. He rips them or forgets to take them out, isn’t that bad for the eyes or something? Why doesn’t he just wear glasses?

TALK SMACK ABOUT GRYFFINDOR ALL YOU WANT BUT EVERYONE WANTS TO BE A GRYFFINDOR TRISTAN. EVERYONE. EVEN YOU WANT TO BE A GRYFFINDOR AND YOU DON’T EVEN LIKE THEM. Also, Tristan feeling like he isn’t good enough for his parents is a very real feeling, I know that feeling well. Sometimes we forget that our parents love us no matter what and instead put ourselves down because we believe that we aren’t good enough to be their kids.

If Tristan thinks that Kettleburns class was boring he just had to wait until Hagrid was the Care of Magical Creatures teacher, then he’d never be bored in class or have time to lounge around because he’d be running for his life away from hungry monsters.

I DO NOT HAVE TIME FOR YOUR ATTITUDE PROBLEM TRISTAN. Sprout is just trying to be nice and helpful in her own little way and he has to go and swear at her like that. I get he’s got his own problems but there’s no reason to take it out on a teacher that is obviously worried about his health. If I’d been her I would’ve just taken thirty points just to spite Tristan (not that he’d care since he doesn’t seem to care about much).

Well at least McGonagall realised that you couldn’t send the Slytherins to the dungeons. That was always something that I found funny, the fact that Dumbledore sent everyone to their common room and the Slytherins towards the troll. Brilliant idea.

Trust Tristan to turn the Quidditch game that Harry nearly died into something really boring. I didn’t have patience for Tristan in this chapter. So much stuff happened and he didn’t even react to any of the things that happened. This boy has just completely turned off his emotions and stopped caring about things. This is like when you get really excited around a friend but they don’t understand why you’re so excited and they just kind of stare at you like, “Please stop.”

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Review #2, by marauderfan O.W.L.s

27th August 2014:
Omg. There are so many things I want to say right now, most of which are non 12+, so I won't say them. I had a vague suspicion that something like this was coming, I saw the signs, but at the same time I wasn't expecting it at all. Ugh. My heart stopped at that part when they found him in the lake. I just... asjdfkjakwnrflkj WHY :(

Author's Response: I AM SO SORRY, I KNOW!

I really didn't plan on this happening, but then I realized it was always going to. He was showing ALL the warning signs, and I'd subconsciously added foreshadowing. (In Ch1, he goes "out," and even though Mary and Eddie never "gave voice to their worries," they "sigh in relief" when he comes home several hours later. When Mary's secretary tells her that Hogwarts wrote about Tristan, "a thousand familiar anxieties" plague her, and she's ultimately relieved that it's just suspension. So on).

Weirdly, even though this is a short review--it might be my favorite. It means so much to me that you care about these characters, and that this story affected you.

If you have any not-12+-friendly comments to make, and are down to take the time, definitely feel free to PM me because I would love to hear them!

Thank you so much for sticking with this story, and reviewing it--it really means the world to me.


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Review #3, by AlexFan Behind the Mirror

26th August 2014:
Sorry I took so long with this but weekends are never good times for reviewing apparently so I'm here today!

I'm so glad that I haven't been totally useless with my reviews, I feel quite proud of myself right now actually.

I liked the more light-hearted feel of this chapter as opposed to what seemed to be brooding from all of the characters in the previous chapters.

I liked how you showed that not everyone was as into house rivalry as Harry and his friends seemed to be. The party showed that whatever problems the houses had with each other everyone was capable of getting over them and getting along and having fun together. It was kind of sad that Tristan was the only Slytherin there because it's kind of like no matter what everyone seems to still have problems with Slytherins but at the same time, it doesn't seem as if Tristan actually likes any of the people from his house, so it was best that no one from Slytherin was there.

I especially loved how Tristan and Oliver seemed to be getting along. Not everyone would be able to just forgive and forget something that Oliver did but he and Tristan seemed to have moved on from that little spit of theirs. Then again, they could've just been drunk so who knows.

I also liked how you showed what different spells were used for by different people. Tristan and his friends do recreational spells because it's fun and for other reasons whereas people like Siobhan do it to help keep them going during crunch time and to keep themselves focussed.

I was so happy to see the discovery of the kitchens because it adds some background to how Fred and George learned about the place (although you'd think they would've figured out what with the map and all). But I was very excited to see that.

Again, sorry for the delay with this!

Author's Response: Hello again! Thank you so much for the reviewww!!!

Yeah, I ended up adding a LOT of fluff to this chapter last minute (DANCE OFF?!?!?!), because I try to inject a little light-heartedness into all the angst as much as I can :)

I feel like ALL the Slytherins aren't bad--but Tristan just kind of writes them all off because of the bad apples. Then of course, no one would bother to invite any :(

And yeah, after seeing parties get blown up and become ragers when I was this age--I figured tons of people from different houses would end up just showing up.

I am definitely FAR from disliking Wood; their little conflict was a lot to do with prejudices and misunderstandings, so I wanted to give them both the opportunity to work past it. And yeah, it helped that he was drunk!

The same way I thought of magic being abused recreationally, I realized people might use it for studying. Definitely a common occurrence at my college, unfortunately. (I mean, not MAGIC, obviously, but medication).

And AH! The map! You raise a GREAT point! Although, I might be able to explain it away: once when Harry used the map, it sort of gave him the password. But for the kitchens, you have to tickle the pear--and since (in canon), people are labeled dots, then there's no way to indicate "TICKLE PEAR".

Thank you so much for the review, and no worries about delays!

xoxo
Roisin


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Review #4, by Gabriella Hunter The Hex Head Express

26th August 2014:
Hello!

This is Gabbie from the forums dropping by with your review. I'm a bit late but I thought that I'd get some reading done and kind of got caught up in boring real life issues. Lame!

Anyway, on to this! I'm really happy to be getting back to this story, I think that you've really got something unique going on. I liked the introduction to the new characters, starting with Isobel and so forth and I think that they're all very entertaining. I see in a lot of stories that the friends of the main character are usually pretty straight laced and without many quirks but I love what you've done here. The girls and Tristan seem like the sort of kids that were constantly in trouble or sneaking around to get a smoke. This actually makes Hogwarts seems more realistic to me, it feels more like a school with students like this. I know that some people might not like the idea, especially with Fred and GEorge dabbling in a bit of pot but I honestly don't find it off putting. With the two of them, I sot of expected something like this and I think that you're really brave for writing it! I've never dared to even do something like that with either character (George is my bias) so this is really great to read. I also like that this POV didn't stray to Tristan, even though we get to meet him first, I was able to get a lot more information about him as a person through Isobel's eyes. Its very intriguing I think! I wonder if he'll ever want to talk about how his summer actually went? It was obvious that it was really bothering him and my goodness, his first time? I'm not sure if he'll want to really talk about it for sure now!

What I really enjoyed more than your characters (But not by much, I think your Fred and George were spot on) was your canon. You mentioned Harry in such an offhand way that it didn't feel like it was the center of the chapter and I really liked that you went in that direction instead of having the group fawning all over the news that he was at Hogwarts. Also, references to Tonks, Percy, Charlie and Penelope were great too, it made your world seem bigger and it merged seamlessly with canon. I'm able to believe in your characters and really picture them where they need to be, they're not just floating around in space, not taking root of the scene. Or something? Hahahah. I can't wait for more!

I didn't spot any CC's or anything and I hope you continue to request!

Much love,

Gabbie

Author's Response: Hello again!

Thank you so much for the review!

Yeah I definitely think of Tristan as being the main, or each least *central* character, but they're all given pretty equal weight throughout the story. Kind of like an *ensemble,* if I may be so bold!

"This actually makes Hogwarts seems more realistic to me," THANK YOU for that! HP started as kids books, and the Trio were super busy fighting Voldemort--but I always thought some more adult/late teen themes lurked around the periphery of the story (implications that Snape's dad was abusive, or that Dung Fletcher was a homeless alcoholic). I figure that EVERY school has it's burnout clique, and there are certain experiences that are common for teenagers, so I wanted to examine those in the context of Hogwarts!

And hahaha, the Twins. My friends definitely think they at least went through a stoner *phase* at some point, so I didn't think it was TOO OOC for them ;)

Weaving in canon was one of the most fun things about this story :D I'm really glad you liked it! It's where a lot of the comedy comes from--since we know the story so well, it was fun for me to write how Tristan and his friends get mixed up rumors :P

I definitely wanted to enrich canon, but never break it! So I'm so glad you feel like it's working out!

I will definitely rerequest! This review was MARVELOUS and thank you SO MUCH for taking the time!

xoxo
Roisin



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Review #5, by The_Crookshanks_Saga Dozens of Little Televisions (1991)

24th August 2014:
ReViEw SwAp

Hi Roisin! I've heard so much about Year Five while puttering around in the forums, and now I've finally made my way to it.

I love the sense of humor in this fic, not laugh-out-loud but dry and witty. The way nothing is perfect-- Sophie was screwed over by her ex, the smell of cannabis clings to the air (maybe I missed that, but was that in fact a way for talking about magical herbs?), and the basic grunge texture you've sprayed over this whole thing is as compelling as Sophie's new mature, mysterious, and aloof outlook. I especially like the way you mentioned Arnold Peasegood in this, I always appreciate when someone adds depth to a mini-minor character.

CC: None. Really good job, and I'm definitely going to keep reading!

Thanks for the review swap!

-Meena

Author's Response: Helllooo!

Wow, thank you so much for the kind words!!!

The cannabis thing was definitely just cannabis, haha, although that could've been VERY clever. Hadn't even thought of that!

"The basic grunge texture you've sprayed over this whole thing"--that was such a nice way to describe it! And teehee, it's 1991, so yeah, VERY GRUNGE story!

And "nothing is perfect"--that is actually a pretty good summary of everything to come!

Thank you so much for this review! I'm down to swap anytime!

-Roisin




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Review #6, by Gabriella Hunter Dozens of Little Televisions (1991)

24th August 2014:
HELLO!

This is Gabbie from the forums dumping this review on you and I'm SO sorry that I'm late, I was pretty sick these past few days and I'm just now thinking that it might be all right to get back into the game. Hahah.

Anyhoo, on to this! I was really curious on what this story would be about when I read your summary and its certainly very interesting! I really like that I wasn't able to really determine your character's origins in the beginning and I think that you set up the chapter really nicely. Sophie's character was interesting and while I'm not at all for choking on cigarette smoke, I can understand why she wanted to be a bit more "mysterious", though it was a bit wrong of her to take advantage of Tristan that way. BUT, I've heard of it happening and think that you wrote this very realistically. What I really liked what the gradual reveal that this was a Wizard household and her descriptions of the photos were priceless and excellently detailed. She had the same sort of reaction that I would have given and I really kind of hoped that she wouldn't get caught.

I was kind of scared that Tristan's parents were going to be really upset but they surprised me by remaining as calm as possible. I suspected that they put something in Sophie's tea though and I wasn't surprised when she was zooming out later on! I am a bit sad that her memories were erased though. :( Will we see her again?

Tristan seems like a very complex character and I really liked getting into his head a little bit too. You've set up some future issues pretty well in this first chapter and I have to ask myself what sort of person he wants to become and why he feels so stuck to me. I think that will be a great way to build him up too, I can't wait to read more. I also wasn't really surprised that this had happened more than once in some way and I felt sorry for him by the end, when he was talking to Sophie on the phone. :( I'm not really sure what else you're going to do with this story at this point but I hope to read more soon so don't be shy!

I didn't spot any CC's either so great job on that end and your pacing and grammar were fantastic-amazing. :D

Much love,

Gabbie

Author's Response: Hello!

Thank you so much for the review, and I hope you are feeling better!

Ah! I'm so glad you were worried about her getting caught! I wanted that scene to be a touch suspenseful. I didn't want her to get caught either--but it had to happen to lay out the rest of the exposition :(

Sophie won't be coming back, now that her memory's been modified. She'll get mentioned, though!

Yeah, I definitely think Tristan's parents were just more concerned about what to actually *do* about the situation (and how to get around the Statute being broken), but I think I'll go back and revisit the aftermath in some way.

The story is very much a character-driven, Coming of Age thing, heavily inspired by the show "Skins" and Rowling's "Casual Vacancy." So basically, all of the teenage shenanigans and drama that Harry never experienced, because he was too busy fighting Voldemort!

Thank you so much for taking the time to review!

xoxo
-Roisin



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Review #7, by marauderfan The Presence of Love

24th August 2014:
Hi there! Wow, a lot happened in this chapter! I think you wrote Emily's conversation with Dumbledore really well. Particularly the bit about how his silent disappointment made her feel the guiltiest, and the fact that he set her 'suspension' as the same week as the Easter holiday, perhaps as he figured she'd already spent a good amount of time contemplating it and feeling guilty.

I love that you pointed out just how ridiculous the Hogwarts Express is for the students who live in Scotland! What a pointless train ride just to return the same way for 8 hours.

This chapter really delved into the relationshiops the students have with their parents which I think was such an important thing to add. It seems at the moment that perhaps Betty realises she was too hard on Laurel, and Emily's parents didn't have much of an idea what was going on in their daughter's life, and Mary doubts whether she's being a good parent by smoking with her son... but what I liked about all three of these snippets is it shows that just like the teenagers, the adults all make mistakes too and have their own problems; nobody is perfect. But they're all trying, and learning as they go along. And maybe their kids are just beginning to see that. I don't know, I just really appreciated the inclusion of all of that.

So glad that Emily and Isobel's friendship is healing, even if it had to dredge up unpleasant memories for both of them. I think they'll find it easier to work through those challenges together rather than alone and unhappy! Thank goodness Quirrell didn't end up returning the following year..

And it sounds like Tristan will be coming back soon, since Emily told the truth. I am eager to see how the group melds together again after some time apart.

Great chapter! Aah I can't believe there's only three left!

Author's Response: Hello again!!!

Gosh, this chapter was such a beast! The longest by FAR.

I'm so glad you liked Emily's talk with Dumbledore--I fretted over it SO much! There's just very little canon on how Dumbledore might approach a drug dealing student! So yeah, I ended up relying a lot on my thoughts about how Dumbledore would feel about rules/punishment/justice. And Dumbledore is kind of an ANARCHIST (in the Emma Goldman sense), so I ran with that.

And haha! The train! Yeah, getting picked up from London can hardly be convenient for a lot of the students! That was another little point on the whole "the Potterverse was created around Harry, so what happens to everyone else?" examination.

I'm so glad you liked how I did the parents! I figure that having a teenager must be a really difficult time, and no one parental strategy works for every kid, so they're all just kind of making it up. But I didn't want any of them to be all bad or all good. Emily's parents seem like the best in a lot of ways, but then things can go too far (Emily dealing at school; the older boy when she was 13). And I definitely had friends who's parents smoked, who just kind of gave up about it when their kids did, because they didn't know what else to do. There's a lot of different family structures and styles in this story, so I wanted them to be not all good, and not all bad.

And yeah--I introduced earlier ways that their friendship might get unhealthy, and here I wanted to show that it's better than isolation. They all just needed a break, and time to think (basically, they ALL got suspended, in the Dumbledore sense).

I hope you feel like this story resolves the right way! It's hard serializing it, as I feel like the last few chapters aren't really meant to be episodic--and kind of work as one movement. But whatever! Uploading each chapter individually ended up being an amazing way to see people's feedback, and really helped me think critically about my writing!

Thank you so much for reviewing! I always get so excited to see what you thought!!

xoxo
-Roisin


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Review #8, by shez Dozens of Little Televisions (1991)

23rd August 2014:
WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN HIDING THIS ROISIN???

I can't believe you didn't think I would like this – I don't know even know where to start! I don't even feel WORTHY of reviewing this…oh my god. How am I supposed to give concrit???

I’m gonna try.

I LOVE how distinctively ‘adolescent' Tristin and Sophie are! And it totally makes sense that you would go towards OF, because something like this doesn’t belong on a fanfic site – it belongs in a book! It’s the subtle incorporation of details – Sophie wanting to impress her friends/ get back at her ex by sleeping with the ‘mysterious’ boy who went to school abroad, massive ‘dirty-pants-and-dirty-books-hiding expedition’ (which we all still do, quite honestly), the falling asleep with contacts in (that too).

It’s not overtly dramatic or fatal. It’s hard to describe why I like your style so much – too often writers will string a thousand ‘pretty’ adjectives together to sound smart—you don’t do that. It’s not cheesy and ‘trying too hard’ to be clever. Your prose has an easy wit about it, and it’s a pleasure to read.

The nineties references were lost on me, unfortunately. :p

THE PICTURE SHE DROPS AND IT RESPONDS TO BEING DROPPED. I was so nervous she’d figure it out.

The whole ‘moving computers’, ‘working for the government’ excuse made me chuckle. It’s a little funny how Tristan’s mom is too busy fretting about the Statue of Secrecy rather than her son bringing a girl over. I got a slight Arthur Weasley-vibe from his dad. I bet it was all just so surreal for Sophie.

There was also something sad about her getting Obliviated-even though I don’t WANT to have any sympathy for her, I do- because she’s a kid. And he’s a kid. They’re both kids and that immediately makes them sympathetic (to me). The narrative is third person omniscient – but the focus I’m presuming will primarily be on Tristan. We don’t know much about him at this point except he’s a junkie and prone to doing stupid illegal things haha. I can’t wait to see the trouble he gets up to in Hogwarts. AND HOW THE WEASLEY TWINS TIE IN.

You said this was set in the backdrop of PS. So when ickle Harry and co. are running around battling Voldy—Tristan and his mates will be having a spliff? An encounter between Tristan and Harry would be hilarious!! 'Hey mate, wanna smoke?' 'Nah, I've got this double-faced dark lord after me.'

Edit: Just wanted to say that I tried really hard to find something to give concrit on. But it’s obvious you’ve put a lot of effort into this – planning and execution—and I won’t pretend to find mistakes where there aren’t any. I CAN’T. THIS IS SO GOOD.

But def rerequest, haha. Maybe next time I’ll have something more substantial for you than gushing.

Author's Response: !111!!!1!!! AH THANK YOU SO MUCH! I am conspicuously grinning!

Ah, and I am SO happy for your response to the Sophie characterization! I don't actually LIKE her very much, since she's a throw away intro device, but I still wanted some *pathos* there!

And ERMGERD, getting a comment from YOU on my prose is too much! I have written like five different rambling versions of this paragraph, so instead, I'll just say it was REALLY encouraging, (yet I still wish I could just write like you!)

Haha, all you need to catch about the nineties references is that they are nineties references ;) I was about one-years-old when this story takes place, so most of it comes from research. I just really wanted to be like, "hey look, it's the nineties!" since the movies were set ambiguously present-day (to, I believe, their detriment--it's way easier to call plot holes if internet and cell phones are everywhere).

YES, the picture responds to being dropped! You are the first person to comment on that! Thank you!

A few people have mentioned that it's unrealistic that the parents weren't more upset, so I might revisit that. Not to change it, since Tristan's parents are specifically permissive, but to focus on how it's a Statute thing. The point of that whole situation is that being a wizard straddling both world's would influence the teenage experience. And like, the girl getting obliviated after his first time is SUCH A SAD IDEA.

The narration is def HP style focalization, but you'll see that the POV rotates every chapter between the major characters.

"when Harry and co. are running around battling Voldy—Tristan and his mates will be having a spliff?": Yes. That is exactly this story! I figure that the Trio were just too busy fighting evil to get up to many normal teen shenanigans, which isn't true of the school at LARGE--and every school must have its burnouts :)

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE REVIEWWW! It made my day, my week, my month!


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Review #9, by Ribbons The Hex Head Express

22nd August 2014:
Wow, another great chapter!

I know this wasn't the chapter you probably wanted me to review but I'll do it anyway. It's time for the truth: the reason your chapters always take the longest to review is that I need more time to read/absorb/think about them. Sophisticated, yes, but your writing style is also very fast paced and intense. Sometimes I just have trouble keeping up.

Now, that's not to say I don't LOVE reading them, but that I need at least half and hour dedicated to them. So, if that explains why your's always seem to be the last I get around to leaving (you may not have noticed or known, but I have), that's why.

Now for the story. I'm loving what you're doing with the characters, weakening them in places, strengthening them in others, and adding passing remarks about other characters from the books (Charlie, Penelope Clearwater, Harry, Tonks). You've also obviously put a lot of thought into your story, because you've come up with clever rhymes like Huff le Puff - which I thoroughly enjoyed.

All this makes me feel very connected to the characters. You're slowly revealing every side of them, very Skinsesque if you don't mind me saying (why would you? That show's brilliant!). However, if there was one incredibly nitpicky thing I could say, it's that at times you might want to think more about flow and subtlety. I haven't spotted anything even CLOSE to glaring in terms of 'telling not showing' characterization, but there may be rough times ahead. You never know.

My favorite part was perhaps when the twins came into the compartment and called the Hex Heads (clever, very clever), but I can't be sure. I actually liked so many different parts I can't really choose. I also liked hearing about Harry and Tonks. Will there be more of them in future? Hopefully.

Anyway, I know this wasn't the review for the chapter you wanted, so I'm sorry about that. You've written another INCREDIBLE chapter that I absolutely loved, so keep it up. Please. I'll be reading the next few chapters soon so heads up for another review coming in your direction (especially for the fourth chapter).

Tons of love,

Alena

Author's Response: Hello!

And, AH! I totally meant to request for this chapter! If I requested a different chapter, it was some sort of crazy mistake (I would never request chapters out of order, because HUMAN DECENCY does not allow!)

Hahaha, I can't take ALL the credit for "Huff le Puff"--now that it's been such a long time, and the Potter generation has grown up, there are MANY an internet joke that ended up in this story ;)

Flow and subtlety is DEFINITELY something I wanted to do well here, so pleasepleaseplease don't hesitate to mention it if you think something could be improved!

Hahaha, Harry definitely comes back, because his first year is just brimming with noteworthy events, and he's the subject of many rumors! Tonks shows up as much as I could humanly justify!

Thank you for the review! And NO WORRIES--this was definitely the chapter I *meant* to request!

xoxo
Roisin


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Review #10, by simplelullaby R

22nd August 2014:
Hey roisin! Finally here with your review. Can I just say before that I saw your post in "Author Responses that Made Your Day," so thank you. That made my day!

Enough about me though, let's get onto your review. This was a good chapter, I really like how you've got that whole GoT style switching POVs per chapter thing going on, it's really giving us a chance to get to know all of your main characters. Though I did like this chapter least (though that's only because of how amazing your last two chapters were), I think I like Emily best. I'm constantly amazed by how you manage to change your "voice" so completely as your switch whose head you're in. You've got some talent there girl!

Technical:

Couldn't find anything, but I'm really not the ruling authority on such matters. I always get a beta because I'm so rubbish at noticing the little things, so you might not want to take my word for it!

Characterisation:

Again this is where you are excelling. You did well to go in the GoT style I think - because you have introduced us to so many completely original characters and by taking a chapter to focus on each one you're really letting us get to know them all. I hope Laurel's the next one, because she's the only one who still seems a bit misty to me.

Emily is fantastic. I'm going to say that I really didn't pay much attention to her in the last chapter (though I do think it is by your design to have the reader focus on whoever has the POV-reins, so so speak), so it was delightful to be introduced to her properly. I love that you've made her a Hufflepuff - so many fics just write the House off completely when there are so many angles! It's really great to see that you're utilising all of the Houses actually, and staying away from Gryffindor. It's really helping to promote this "Alternative POV" thing you've got going on. Fantastic.

I've said it before and now I'm going to say it again, I really would've liked to see more description of Emily. You did really well to describe Isobel in the last chapter (the moment they were getting changed and she compared herself to the other girls was brilliant to establish what she looked like). You said before that you rely quite heavily on chapter images to do that for you, is that the case here? Of course it's nearly all made up by how much you flesh her out on the inside, I really like her!

Plot:

Alternative POVs do seem to be your expertise, because you've hooked me onto a story with OC mains, and the canon characters in the background. I really love that you're using the canons in order to provide some comedy over anything real. It's really made me open up to the fact that no, not everyone cared about "baby Harry Potter" as much as he thought they did. I really can't wait to see how your OCs react to other significant events in PS and beyond!

As for the flow, I thought you did pretty well, though the section with the letters between Emily and Tristin did seem to go on a little TOO long, and it seemed like you were trying to cram every relevant band of the era into one short conversation. I suggest taking a couple of them out, maybe expand upon Nirvana, or Blur, but don't add them all in. I'm sure there will be a lot of points later where he can fit those in, knowing what I do of Tristan!

As a chapter, I did mention above that I liked it the least of all the chapters, but to be honest it's only because your last two were amazing and this one seemed a little fillery compared to them. Saying that, I really did like this chapter (mostly because you put it in Emily's POV, she may have a new fan...), but also because of the way you managed to fit your characters seamlessly within the HP world. I think that's what makes your Alternative POV world work so well, the fact that you've obviously researched your bum off in order to make it so. It also makes the maybe more "out-there" aspects of your fic (i.e. things that the Golden Trio didn't do, like smoke spliffs) just seem like something Harry didn't do because he was too busy fighting off Lord Voldemort and researching in the library. To be honest, if JK had been writing for adults, I would like to think it'd be a lot like this.

Setting and Description:

Okay this is definitely your weak area, I think. This chapter did seem a little rushed, and I think it has to do in part with the fact that you don't describe your characters' surroundings enough. I personally love whenever the Hufflepuff common room is included in a fic, because there's something like a little LotR Hobbity-type reference in there somewhere. When you do describe the world around them, you do it really well (having Emily promise herself to never forget the ceiling). So maybe a little more in this aspect, and it'll go from brilliant to supercalifragilisticexpealidocious!

Overall:

A really great chapter. I love Emily, I love that you're being sooo canon while at the same time offering the reader something so unique and different. A little more description here and there and it'll be brilliant!

Favourite Moment:

Emily traditionally waving to Dumbledore every year. Fantastic, could totally see Dumbeldore waiting in anticipation throughout the whole feast so that he could get his little wave. Brilliant!


Your AoC: So yeah, you're writing style and your sentence structure is brilliant, don't change it a bit!

So there it is! Hope I was helpful, and thanks for rerequesting. Of course feel free to do so again.

Keep Writing

~Aimee~

Author's Response: This review was so helpful, thank you!

I never thought of the GoT thing! The alternating POV was largely inspired by Skins and Casual Vacancy--but now that I think of it, the SOIAF books do the capitalization thing too! (I actually didn't start watching/reading GoT until after I finished this though).

This chapter really does only cover a pretty short span, and I think I relied on Emily a LOT for some exposition, just because she's my favorite--so I think you're right, and I could improve this during revision.

Ah, Laurel--it's going to be a while before we get into her head. I really want to build up everyone else's perspectives on her before delving into her own mind, as a devicey thing. She remains rather intentionally unexamined until after Christmas.

And yee--Hufflepuff is my FAVORITE house, and I think it gets written off as being 'the dumb kids'--when it totally isn't! I definitely wanted to write an awesome, and SMART, Puff character :)

You're totally right--I didn't offer any physical description of Emily. Partially because I think she's not that concerned with her appearance, so it'll be a challenge to weave in, but one I absolutely should rise to. Thank you!

Haha--all the canon events definitely exist here as comic relief. Mostly just because we already KNOW them so well, so it's fun to play with the dramatic irony ;)

Oh man, you're right about the bands too. I was so interested in setting this in 1991-92, since the movies were set ambiguously in the present. I think I went too far with the "hey look, the 90s!" thing.

"Harry didn't do because he was too busy fighting off Lord Voldemort and researching in the library." Exactly!

And this: "If JK had been writing for adults, I would like to think it'd be a lot like this." You basically nailed the idea behind this story! And I think I mentioned, but this was definitely influenced as much by Casual Vacancy as it was by HP. Year Five is basically Potter for older teens and adults, weaving in all of the elements that were conspicuously avoided in canon. (Also, some people have made criticisms, or argued plot holes in Rowling's work, that are actually easily explained if you pay attention. So I kind of subtley justify certain things here. To come: how everyone knew Quirrell already, if it was his first year).

Again, THANK YOU for your setting/description notes. I actually have a pretty cool opportunity to describe the Puff basement, and I will definitely take it when I go back to revise.

This was a really wonderful, and incredibly useful review! COOKIES TO YOU!

xoxo
-Roisin



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Review #11, by AlexFan Three Times Charmed

21st August 2014:
Oh goodness, I feel so bad for Isobel because she seems like such a nice person and I hate that she's so insecure about herself. She sounds like she's absolutely gorgeous. She's curvy, pretty, and incredibly intelligent, Isobel has it all. But the insecurity is what makes her more believable because the majority of girls out there are insecure about how they look even if there's nothing to worry about.

But while Isobel seems to be put together at all times of the day, Laurel is the exact opposite (I think Laurel needs to talk to somebody, because not wearing make-up is her choice but not being able to shower and a bad sleeping pattern, something is wrong here. She should have time to do basic things).

Since Isobel seems to have more control over herself than a lot of her other friends, I think it would take everyone the longest to figure out that she has a problem because she'd hide her feelings from everyone. I just feel like I really relate to Isobel because I know that feeling that she seems to has where she needs to have control of her surroundings and being very reserved about her feelings.

I don't know about you, but cassette tapes can be hella dangerous. My mom would have cassette tapes lying around when I was little and I'd just pulled the plastic out of it for fun and you could strangle someone with that stuff.

Laurels' cheering habit has already become a problem, it seems like this girl is going to crash and burn if she doesn't watch herself or get some help. I feel like if she doesn't do something soon about her Cheering Charm problem, things are going to become too much for her and she's going to hit a wall.

I like how even Tristan and his friends know when the time to smoke is and when it's time to study. I actually admire their ability to push aside their daily activities and focus on their work.

(Ah yes, the ancient Hufflepuff secret of having the kitchens right outside of your common room. On a side note, I actually really admire how much you've connected all of your characters into the story. You picked up the most obscure references and names and turned them into something relevant to your story.)

Author's Response: Yes! Exactly! Thank you! That was something I really wanted to explore here--because you're right, insecurity is a shame, and often, a waste. At the same time, it's far, far too common.

I liked the idea of Isobel and Laurel being best friends who contrasted one another, but how it can go too far. I also think that Laurel's reliance on Isobel has kind of let her get out of control, because she knows Isobel will pick up the pieces.

And you are spot on about Isobel! For each of the characters, I pulled something from my own personality, so that I could write it realistically (and a lot of attributes were inspired by my friends at this age)--so I'm really glad you can relate, and that it seems true to life!

Haha, casette tapes--good point. Then again, you could always use shoelaces or something to the same end, so I doubt Filch would be vexed in that regard ;)

And most definitely--Laurel's behavior is FAR from sustainable.

You're the first person to comment on their ability to prioritize. Something I get into later, is how it's very often the cleverest of kids who end up going down these dangerous paths. Partially because they question the status quo, and choose to live outside of it. While that's admirable on its own, being young is to generate many ideas, and they are necessarily only partially formed. It's easy to lose sight of important lines one might be crossing :(

Hahaha, your note on "Ancient Hufflepuff Wisdom" made me lol. And THANK YOU--before I even started writing, I found canon affiliations for all of the characters :D. I'm glad you appreciated!

You are wonderful, this was such a thoughtful review, and it was so encouraging to read!


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Review #12, by magnolia_magic The Hex Head Express

21st August 2014:
Hey, I'm finally back for chapter 2! Thanks for the re-request, and for your patience with my molasses-slow reviewing...

Obviously, the first thing I noticed about this chapter is that you're using different characters' points of view to tell the story. I think the technique can have its benefits and drawbacks. This chapter and the first felt a bit disconnected to me, but then again I also really enjoyed this chapter from Isobel's point of view. I can't imagine Tristan being as perceptive a narrator, because he had headphones in the whole time. And you included the part with the girls talking about Tristan's misadventures over the summer, which was a good way of tying the chapters together. Verdict: I think the POV switch allows us to see the story from different angles, which is all kinds of interesting. And I approve :) Haha, I had to work out my feelings about it, and I thought you should see all that was going on in my brain. Hopefully it was somewhat helpful :)

It's pretty jarring for me to think of students using mood-altering charms on the Hogwarts Express. It sort of shatters my wholesome image of the train rides in the books, and it's hard to wrap my head around. But even so, I had fun getting acquainted with all your OCs. I think Emily is my favorite of the new ones; she seems like she'd be a really good friend, and since she's a Puff, I find myself identifying with her :) And like I said, I really liked reading this chapter from Isobel's point of view. She has a very reliable narrative voice and seems like a very trustworthy person. She seems to prefer being on the edge of the action rather than right in the middle of it (compared to Laurel, anyway.) You did a really good job of giving everyone distinct personalities and mannerisms, which can be difficult to do with just one introduction. Great job with them!

Fred and George are SO Fred and George in this! You really have their dialogue down to an art. I find them really hard to write, personally, so I'm always impressed with a good portrayal of them! They seem older than thirteen, but maybe that's just because they hang out with an older crowd. I can tell that it's going to be fascinating to see the Hex Heads' influence on the twins as the story goes on.

I loved that this chapter was so dialogue-heavy, because I think you're really, really good at writing natural dialogue. You convey more expression with just one line than many authors do with a whole paragraph of description. The slang, the caps lock...things like that really paint a great picture of what it would be like to be there in the room with these characters. And it makes for a great flow and lively pace.

Loved this chapter! I had fun with the new characters and the references to the Sorcerer's Stone (Fred and George telling their friends about poor lost little Harry...so cute and nostalgic!) I'm excited to see the plot take shape, and I'll look forward to reading on! Re-request any time you want!

--Maggie

Author's Response: Hello!

I'm really glad you think the shifting focalizations is ok! And yes, hearing your reasoning is helpful indeed!

I worked really hard to keep a consistent format (new POVs are ALWAYS indicated by capitalizing the characters name), and every chapter shifts POVs between the characters at a regular rhythm during the first half.

Haha, yes, suggesting there was a shady teenage element going on behind the scenes was a VERY fun idea for me indeed! I realize it might not be to everyone's taste, so I'm glad you enjoyed the chapter regardless!

And I'm so glad you found them distinct! I know I sort of overload the reader with three brand-new girls all at once, so I'm really pleased you got unique senses from each of them! (Emily is probably my favorite, too! Hufflepuff is my favorite house, so I wanted to write a really wonderful-and also smart-puff character).

AH! Writing the twins was so daunting, so I'm SOSOSO glad that the reaction has been good, and you think I did them justice! In a way, even though it's scary, writing canon character was almost easier for me, because I felt like I knew them all so well already. It took me writing this whole thing out to really get to know my OCs, so then I went back and made a lot of tweaks before uploading this story :)

I agree the twins seem a little old for their age--I think it's because they seemed old to me when I first read HP (I was like 9). I've definitely justified it to myself by thinking how there are definitely some precocious thirteen-year-olds who hang around older crowds.

Ah, the dialog, THANK YOU! I think having faceclaims in mind for the characters helped a lot. They're all good actors, so I tried to write lines that I could realistically imagine them saying.

Oh man, there are SO MANY nods to Sorceror's Stone here--well, since this is happening in the background. I had a LOT of fun with those, and I think they are among the funniest moments :)

Definitely will be re-requesting! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave such an awesome review!

xoxo
Roisin


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Review #13, by AlexFan Loose Lips

20th August 2014:
When you mentioned that you wanted to see what I would pick up I got all nervous and started thinking, "oh no, this is some reading comprehension test, I am not prepared for this!" (I was never any good at reading comprehension).

I never really thought about Professor Sprout substituting as the school guidance councillor but I can see it happening, she seems as good a choice as any of the other teachers (except for Quirrel, that is). And I think that Tristan really should go and talk to her about his problems. I'm no doctor but it seems to me as if he has some sort of depression. I think Laurel needs to talk about what's going on in her life as well because she seems to be having some problems also.

I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO MAD AT OLIVER WOOD IN MY LIFE HE IS SUCH A JERK FACE OH MY GOD. He always seemed like such a nice person to me but it never even occurred to me that Oliver could be prejudiced in any way. But I see that that was a stupid assumption to make. It wasn't only the pureblood elitists that were prejudiced, other people could've been prejudiced as well. I hate how Tristan didn't defend himself, but Oliver had backup and Tristan didn't so he would've lost in a fight anyway (unless he was really good at Defense). I just got so mad at Oliver though for being such a bully and the shaming! Like no, Oliver, stop that right now. YOU SHOULD BE BETTER THAN THIS.

Gryffindors can be especially smug and from this new portrayal of Gryffindors, I can see where the dislike is coming from but it seems like some of the Slytherins are even worse than some of the Gryffindors. I mean really, who sits around talking about lineage, sure people discuss family but it's never usually used as a way of figuring out someone's worth. But at least Tristan isn't afraid to tell the Slytherins to shut up.

I like Tristan but I pity him more than anything and I just want to wrap him up in a hug and protect him from the world. He seems like such a good kid, who maybe made some not so great choices, and I just want to make him feel better.

Author's Response: Aha! No worried, this review is great!

Yeah, I figured Hogwarts must have SOME kind of guidance situation (I mean, with 500 to 1000 teenagers, you'd have to). I chose Sprout because she's not usually given very much play, and the "guidance counselor" role was somewhat inspired by Tessa Wall in the Casual Vacancy (who bears a passing resemblance to Sprout).

And yeah, I also put in a guidance counselor because they NEED ONE.

I WAS SO HAPPY TO READ YOUR ALL CAPS REPLY TO WOOD! I always liked Wood, so I thought it was interesting the posit him as a jerk face. I mean, in canon he can be a little manic, and overenthusiastic at times, so I tried to really draw out those qualities here. I'm still a Wood fan, but you know, teenagers make mistakes/can be jerks from time to time (plus, I feel like his personality would bristle my OCs).

I'm a massive Gryffindor, and they were SO important in canon, that I liked the idea of looking at them another way. Obviously, the perspective the characters have is slightly biased, but then again, canon perspectives of Slytherin or Hufflepuff were too!

And yeah, Tristan's Housemates are pretty nasty. We only got to see into Slytherin lair once in canon, so I wanted to imagine in what ways it would be horrible for Tristan to have to live there :(

That is EXACTLY how one should feel about Tristan! So glad for that! I alternate between wanting to hug him, and wanting to slap him.

Thank you so much for taking the time to leave this review!

xoxo
Roisin


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Review #14, by Ribbons Dozens of Little Televisions (1991)

20th August 2014:
Well, well, well, here you are quietly creating a masterpiece (I guess 65 lovely reviews isn't really 'quiet', but still...). How did you do it?

You write incredibly well, you've got an expert handle on characterization and plot and dialogue and everything you could need to know about to write super-duper awesome fan fiction. I mean, how have I not read this before?

First of all, I like that you start the chapter with Sophie, making the reader think that the story is going to be about her and when you find out that she's simple little muggle who's dating the REAL main character and I was just thrown for a complete twist.

Your exposition was lovely, and I complete understand that this is a very character-driven story, I respect that. So keep it up. I'm not complaining.

Everything about this is promising, fun and interesting and I can't wait to read the next chapters!

I know this isn't probably as long as you'd like, but there's nothing whatsoever to critique. However, I'll read the next chapters when I can so watch out for more reviews.

Also, SKINS? Do you love the show? What gen do you like? AH!

Lots of love,

Alena

Author's Response: Oh my god thank you, nicest thing to read EVER!

I'm really glad the Sophie thing worked! I liked the idea of sort of reintroducing the magical world from the beginning, and since muggle culture is very present in this story, I thought a muggle POV was a nice place to start!

And ah! Skins! So the first gen have a special place in my heart, because that's where I started watching the show (and I was the exact same age at the time it was first airing--it meant so much to me to see a show that really *got it*, rather than tokenizing the teenage experience from an adult POV). Objectively, though, I think gen 2 was the best (I know it was controversial, but I LOVED the "I'M F-ING COOOK!" ending). Gen 3 really wasn't my thing--I think I was just too OLD by then, and couldn't relate. And, also controversial, but I LOVED Skins: Fire (although I didn't really care for "Pure" or "Rise").

Ramblerambleramble--

Thank you so much for this wonderful review!!!

xoxo
Roisin


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Review #15, by maryhead Dozens of Little Televisions (1991)

20th August 2014:
Hi! I'm here for the incredibly late review you requested! Sorry for the delay, dear, I don't think I need to tell you all the reasons why I couldn't write this comment sooner. It would be boring for you and completely off topic :).

Anyway, back to this first, very interesting chapter.

First of all, this is an incredibly original idea for a story! I use to read, and write, about missing moments in the books or alternative universes/what ifs/ whatever, so a completely canon fanfiction set during Hogwarst Era caught me by surprise, and even left me a bit dubious at first. Let me explain: writing about Hogwarst Era without changing plot or characters is intriguing, but potentially dangerous. As you suggested in your introduction, you can unintentionally modify a particular event, or forget about a detail, or, and that's what made me dubious at first, result in doing nothing more than copy and paste JK's magnificent work.
Fortunately, though, all my doubts went straight to the bin when I actually read the first chapter of this story. This, in fact, doesn't look like the typical canon story in which an OC friend of Harry will substantially replace him as the hero of the seven books. This is a true OC story, in which there will be the Harry Potter element, but there will also be the independent development of your characters. Moreover, you really put an effort into maintaining the highest level of detail and precision as regards to JK's world in general. The fact that the Obliviator you mentioned really existed in the books impressed me. You look like a real Harry Potter expert, my friend!

Regarding this chapter in particular, I honestly didn't catch a single flaw! The style is fluent, easy to read and at the same time elegant. The initial muggle POV is an intriguing device which you used in an admirable way. The scene of the moving picture was, in my opinion, the most beautiful scene of the whole chapter: highly descriptive, fun to read but not excessive in its humour. In other words, well-balanced and... Can I say "delicate"?

Your OC seems to be a wonderfully round character too. You didn't give out too much about him, and that's wonderful, because honestly, who would want to know everything about a character from the very first lines of a story? You created an allure of mystery around Tristan that makes the reader want to keep on reading... Not to say that Tristan is a magnificent name. Very Potter-like, I would say ;).

To conclude this incredibly long ramble, I found this chapter totally captivating and completely worth the read. Are you a professional writer? I think you are. I am honoured to have had the possibility to read your story, and do not hesitate to re-request!

Maryhead!

Author's Response: Thank you so much for the wonderful and encouraging review!

Yes, the purpose of this story was very much to examine what happened in the background of PhilStone, so I definitely did a CRAZY amount of research to get the canon and era straight. Thank goodness for sites like the HP Lexicon and wiki, otherwise I never would have had a chance working on this! People took the time to create a calendar of events, explaining on what day of the week every point in PhilStone happened. THIS WAS SUCH AN IMPORTANT REFERENCE FOR ME!

Your analysis and kind words about the "dozens of televisions" sequence was just.. Everything! Thank you so much!

Tristan's name (and character) was very much inspired by the song "Tristan" by Patrick Wolf. The name means "child of sorrow." :(

And AH! I can't even process the flattery of this review! I do write professionally, but only boring stuff like copy and policy statements. This was my very first attempt at long-form prose fiction, so it means a lot to me that you thought it was effective!

I will definitely be rerequesting! Thank you sosososo much!


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Review #16, by AlexFan R

19th August 2014:
I HAD THIS WRITTEN OUT BUT THEN I ACCIDENTALLY CLOSED THE TAB AND IT WAS GONE AND I AM SO SO MAD RIGHT NOW!

But anyway, quickly gonna type up what I had before. I think Emily and Tristan are a lot closer than the rest of their friends since they stayed up talking to each other for so long. I always wondered whether students used their owls as a form of instant messaging so I was glad to see that someone else had the same thought as me.

Emily does make a very good point though, if the Slytherins are under the lake then how on earth is Tristan's owl getting out of his dormitory? Or would the dorms be above water since there would need to be some sunlight coming into the room (and the more I think about this the more it makes sense that it would be this way).

Isobel is definitely the smarter one out of the lot of them. She seems to have more control over the drugs that she intakes and when as opposed to Laurel who is in desperate need of them (I KNEW THAT CHEER CHARM WAS GOING TO LEAD TO AN ADDICTION).

Oh, and just something that I thought I'd point out (and I'm aware that I'm being nitpicky about this but I'm a canon stickler for about 99.9% of things) but students got their time tables the day after the Opening Feast or Ceremony or whatever you want it to call it.

Also, I read all of your endnotes which was quite a feat for me because I don't always read author notes or any form of notes at the end of chapters but I'm glad I did this time because it provided me with a lot of information.

Author's Response: I hate when that happens! I used to spend so much time writing and responding to reviews that my session would time out and they'd all get lost!

I feel like, before I had text messaging (I was like 18 before my phone finally caught up--I'm a luddite), sometimes emails would turn into sort of rapid back-and-forth thing. I wanted to recreate how that comes to be.

Haha, the owl-and-the-lake. So I knew Slytherin lair was there, so I HAD to mention it (because: canon), but it's also kind of a joke, because I never DO explain how it happens (MAGIC). Perhaps the dorm windows are above the water-line?

As the story progresses, you'll learn that they're each actually quite clever, but Isobel is the most Ravenclaw-y (right now). She's definitely the most disciplined. And yeah, I figure if you have wands around all the time, and wands can make you happy, at least a FEW people will start doing that a lot, but then everything must have a downside. TEEN ANGST+WANDS=TROUBLE.

AND THANK YOU for the note about timetables! I will definitely revise that!!

I have the terrible habit of writing long and rambling end notes, it's just I did SO MUCH research, and not all of it ended up in the story (I have really detailed backstories and family histories for all the characters, plus a WEIRD amount of research into muggle technologies of the early nineties/late eighties).

Thank you for the review! So sorry for the troubles!


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Review #17, by AlexFan The Hex Head Express

18th August 2014:
Coming back for chapter 2! Sorry for taking so long but I had no idea my weekends would be so busy this month. Anyway!

I'm usually not a fan of alternating point of views in a story because more often than not, I can never tell which voice it is from the cast of characters. That being said, I have a feeling that this might not be one of those stories because Isobel sounds a little bit different than Tristan.

I was a little confused when you said that Laurel had cheered up, I wasn't sure if it was some kind of wizard drug so I was glad that you clarified that it was a Cheering Charm that they were using. Honestly, Cheering Charms seem to be the least dangerous thing that Tristan (and the rest of his friends as well) have probably done. I can see where the danger of using the Cheering Charm one too many times would be though, you'd end up becoming entirely dependent on a spell to keep you happy. It's never occurred to me how some spells could end up being turned into a kind of drug for some people.

(I love how Fred and George made puns about it though, that was pretty funny). I've always enjoyed reading fics where students give their opinions about Harry Potter because you never really got to see that in the books so I always love reading about what other students besides Gryffindor's might have thought of Harry (DON'T YOU GO INSULTING RON FRED!)

It's so weird to think that the Weasley twins might have done drugs while at Hogwarts (it's really weird to imagine anyone doing drugs at Hogwarts considering the amount of stuff that happened during Harry's time but then again, not everyone came close to dying every year . . . )

I like Isobel a lot more than I like Tristan, she's a lot more reserved than him, I can see that but I think that's what I like about her, I find her more relatable. I don't know, I just really like Isobel from what I've read so far.

And I loved that part where you added in Hermione, I love the little bits and pieces that you slip into the story to remind the reader that this is in fact taking place at the same time that Harry is attending Hogwarts, or going to at least.

Author's Response: Thank you for the review! And no worries!

Yes, I wanted my rotating POVs to be VERY clear, so I always capitalize their names when introducing their perspectives. And I'm glad you found the voices distinct, because I worked SUPER hard on that (Tristan's has a lot of long blocks of text, Isobel uses a lot of parentheses, and so on).

Ah! Recreational Magic! An idea I find *very* interesting and *very* plausible. And yes, there is most definitely a downside to it ;) I figure that a lot of teenagers go through an experimental phase, so at least a few of them would mess around with magic as a mild-altering experience.

The Weasley's smoking was paying service to some areas of the fandom that INSIST that they seem like stoners. I think that's going a bit far, but certainly I can imagine them indulging a bit when they were young. (Again: teenagers).

And yeah, examining how other students feel about the famous Harry Potter was a really fun thing for me. Harry's wild adventures are something of a running gag in this story :)

I'm glad you like Isobel! Each of them is very different, and yes, Tristan just begs to get slapped on several occasions. But hopefully you'll develop some sympathy for him.

Aha, yes, there is definitely LOTS of canon nods--and the story will continue to reference events in PS!

Thank you for the review!

xoxo
Roisin





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Review #18, by teh tarik R

18th August 2014:
Hello again, Roisin!

AM BACK!

And thus begins the POV of Emily Sunshine Madley! I love her name! So cheery and rather Hufflepuff-y. If I remember correctly, Madley is also the surname of one Laura Madley, a girl who was sorted into Hufflepuff during Harry's fourth year or so. And speaking of surnames, Tristan's is Bryce?! Is he perchance related to one Frank Bryce, an old Muggle who was tending the garden of the Riddle Estate? And he's a Slytherin as well. Also, I love all the abundance of references to Muggle music and Vonnegut and whatnot! Tristan's definitely very different from how the usual SLytherin is portrayed (which is mostly contemptuous of all things Muggle). And why on earth is Tristan so nervous when he hear's Neville's name? SOMETHING is going on! :P

And what on earth is that 'R' in Tristan's name? Now I must really know.

Gah, I know I already said in my past two reviews that I love your characters...well, I love them even more here. They're such a wacky bunch - getting high behind the greenhouse bahaha! And all that hugging going on, and Emily looking into the enchanted ceiling and being so amazed and awed and sounding as high as those very stars she was looking upon. :P I LOVE her little moments with Dumbledore; they're such brilliant details, and it made me feel all warm and fuzzy toward Emily. I think she's one of my favourite characters so far!

Fab chapter, my dear! I shall be back! ♥

-teh

Author's Response: Yay!

And GOOD ON YOU! You are the absolute first person to guess the names before reading the end-notes on them!

I figured that since Hogwarts only has about 35 grads per year, and even if HALF of magical Britain homeschooled (which seems high), then you still half less than 100 people entering society every year. Therefore, since wizards are such a TINY population, I figured I didn't want to make anyone up entirely. Any OCs in this story are somehow related to someone that was named. (I got the name 'Emily' because it was a common sibling name to 'Laura.') The Bryce thing isn't really supposed to be a secret (I figured some readers would pick it up off the bat), but there is sort of an "OH SNAP" moment in the penultimate chapter.

The point of this story was definitely that I liked the idea of a reluctant Slytherin. Also, since the movies were set in ambiguously the present day, I really wanted this story to be IN THE 90S. I did truly shameful amounts of research to get the era right.

Thank you again for reviewing! I really didn't know what people would think of this story, and it means crazy much to me that you like it!

xoxo
-Roisin





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Review #19, by dracoanddragons The Question

17th August 2014:
I just started reading this the other day and I haven't been able to stop! The development of each character is really great; I can almost picture the exact way they say and do things:) I loved the invincible friend group and I'm sad they are having problems at the moment, but I know it will end up the way it's supposed to be. As for Tristan, he's quite complicated...but it all has to do with his darn secret involving the "R" of his middle name. Is it too wrong of me to suggest that maybe the R stands for Riddle and his real father is Tom Riddle? Crazy, I know. Anyways, I love the Weasley twins, They are absolutely hilarious! And it is beyond weird to think that all this is going on paralleled with all the philosopher's stone plot! Very exciting...but can I say that ew Professor Quirrel/Voldemort freaking kissed Isobel?!?!? Gross haha. I can't wait to find out what happens next, oh and I love that you put Hagrid in there for a second.
Update soon please!

Author's Response: Ah! Oh my merlin, thank you so much for this review! This is the first review I've gotten that didn't start at the beginning, and it's amazing to know that all of those little "reads" are actual human beings! So seriously, thank you for reviewing!

This chapter was very much the issues coming to a head, and the next chapter is very much the climax of the story--so we're at the darkest before the light right now. But YES--it is as it is supposed to be. A story with no drama, where everything was nice, would probably be rather boring.

And AH! Seeing people's various theories is AMAZING. Rookwood, Regulus, Riddle, Rabastan, Rosier, Rudolphus--"R" was a very potent letter indeed ;)

I definitely wanted this story to sit in the periphery of Philosopher's Stone, and for readers to realistically think that this might have happened in the background, so THANK YOU!

And YES, Quoldemort's awfulness is !1!!1! Definitely will be further examined!

Next chapter is in the queue!

Seriously (Siriusly) THANK YOU for the review! It's encouraging and wonderful in ways I am barely equipped to process!

ADLHJELJBXPIHEFLJHWED!!11!!1!
-Roisin


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Review #20, by Midnight spark The Hex Head Express

16th August 2014:
Ooh... funny! Great chapter! And my George and Fred are here! So these guys are the ones who made Fred and George so naughty, eh? I liked the talk about Mighty Percival and Penelope and ickle Ronny. And of course, the Trevor the Toad incident with Hermione!

The pacing is going really well and the character development is at a good pace and everything. Feel free to request for a review again, I am going to read the next chappy soon, probably tomorrow!

~Alex

Author's Response: Yay! So glad you found it funny! This story can get very dark and moody, so I hoped to put in as much comedy as I could.

Thank you so much for the lovely review!


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Review #21, by Midnight spark Dozens of Little Televisions (1991)

14th August 2014:
Hey there! It's Midnight from the forums with your review!
I have to say, I loved this chapter! I think that you have described the characters really well, and the reaction of Sophie was very realistic and Tristan and his parents were nice to read about! I usually don't read OC, only write them, but this one is an exception for that.

I have one little doubt: When Mr. Peasegood questions Sophie, she seemed dazed and he told Mary that 'it was strong stuff'. I thought Sophie was alright. Was she given something by Mary?

Overall, loved it! Feel free to ask to review the next chappy if you like!

~Alex

Author's Response: Oh yay, I'm always happy to hear when people liked things about this, even if it isn't their usual jam.

And yes, Mary slipped some sort of sedative into Sophie's tea. One reviewer said they liked the subtlety of that transition, but I realize subtlety is a double edged sword, that can easily go too vague. I think I might slip in something more specific once the transition to Tristan's POV happens. So thank you for the note!



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Review #22, by teh tarik The Hex Head Express

14th August 2014:
Bahahaha!! Oh gosh, Hex Heads using Cheering Charms as their drug of choice? I LOVE THIS! I love your OCs - Isobel and Emily and Laurel...and Tristan appears again! Looking really gloomy this time. I wonder if Sophie will ever show again in this story? I guess not while Tristan's in Hogwarts, seeing as she's a Muggle and all. :P

Hah, I'm imagining Isobel's 'happy intense look', which is her contemplating the bounciness of Emily's hair. And all of them going 'aww' and hugging, forehead-kissing etc. If I were a witch, I'd definitely be trying all these magical ways to get high and happy. :P

Fred and George are perfectly in character! Their dialogue, mannerisms etc. And I love all your other canon details! Trevor the Toad and Hermione popping in to retrieve him. The mention of Tonks - I seriously find it so strange to think that she was a student at Hogwarts who'd just left before Harry Potter himself entered. Anyway, what I meant to say was, your fic fits perfectly into canon.

I think all my favourite quotes would have to be about Hufflepuff.

Hufflepuff: rolling fat spliffs over a thousand years.

And Hufflepuff, puff, pass. *snorts* Hufflepuff is DEFINITELY Ganja House! You've made me even prouder of being a Puff. Bahaha!

I'm going to slowly make my way through your fic! And so far, I'm loving this!

-teh

Author's Response: I'm really REALLY hoping that the term "Hex Head" catches on around here!!!

I wouldn't hold out on Sophie--but I promise, there are many more (much more charming) characters than her to occupy the story ;)

AND I KNOW, RIGHT. Once I hit a certain age, conversations tended to go in a "well if *I* was at Hogwarts" direction. They learned Cheering Charms in like third year! The potential for recreational magic is huge! And, I always felt like more adult themes were hidden around the periphery of the Potter books (implications that Snape's father was abusive, Mundungus Fletcher in general). So, I set this story in precisely that periphery.

Hufflepuff is my FAVORITE house, and I feel like it doesn't get enough love, so definitely lots of Puff Pride in this story :)

And just, AH, it means so much to me that you're reading this XD. There's a whole mess of character expo before the direction of the plot really takes form (and being a coming-of-age, "plot" is a rather loose idea here), so I hope I hold your interest!

xo
Roisin


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Review #23, by AlexFan Dozens of Little Televisions (1991)

13th August 2014:
I've seen this story around the most recent page and it's had great reviews from authors I trust so I added it to my reading list (but it's unfortunately at the bottom of the pile) so I'm really happy that you requested.

I can certainly see what everyone is talking about, you've certainly started your story off in an interesting way what with this Sophie character accidentally finding out about magic and all. I like how I got to know Tristan despite the fact that my impression of him was being given by someone else. I've got an idea in my head of what kind of a guy he is now so I feel like I should be able to expect some things of him as a character.

Another thing I liked was how you didn't make Tristan devastatingly handsome or tall like is usually the norm in fanfiction. He's quite average-looking by the sounds of it but that still doesn't stop the ladies (apparently). I can definitely see why he liked Sophie considering everyone else seems to really enjoy picking into his life (it was kind of sad considering she really didn't seem interested in him after their little adventure).

I found it kind of weird how totally okay Tristan's parents were with everything that happened to be honest. I mean, obviously they can't do much to him since Tristan is going off to school pretty soon, not to mention the fact that it doesn't sound like he has many mates so it's not like they're keeping him from anyone, but I felt like they should've been more worried.

I mean, I think they should've had at least some kind of talk with Tristan about what happened or something. Instead they just let him lock himself in his room with drugs. I know that if I had done what he did my parents would've given me a stern talk to that's for sure. Am I right in assuming that Tristan maybe doesn't have the best relationship with his parents and that they don't really talk to each other?

But anyway, I loved the first chapter (and feel free to come back for the rest of them).

Author's Response: Oh wow, thank you so much! That means a lot to me to hear!

And thank you for the note on Tristan's appearance! Yes, I wanted all of my characters to be realistic teenagers, and I actually think I benefited a lot by choosing faceclaims. I wrote this whole thing out, and then really carefully thought about who to choose for the images, and then went back and edited the story with those actors in mind (which also helped the dialog, because I could tell if something wasn't realistic if I couldn't imagine the actors saying it). Anyway, I chose Craig Roberts for Tristan because he often plays dark or moody characters, and while he isn't traditionally handsome, he has a *quality* (I have a TOTAL fictional-character crush on his character in Skins:Fire ;) )

Thank you for the note on the parents! I've gotten a lot of really helpful reviews recently on that point, and also realized that the ending is a bit rushed. Their nonchalance about his sneaking a girl in definitely has REASONS that get explored later, but you're right--it doesn't really make sense here. After reading your review, I TOTALLY got a really good idea for something to add to this chapter that doesn't spoil anything, but does flesh out the ending. So ThankYouThankYouThankYou!!!

I will definitely rerequest!

xoxo
Roisin


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Review #24, by teh tarik Dozens of Little Televisions (1991)

11th August 2014:
Helloo! :D

Well, it's high time I got started on this story! I don't think I've ever read a Hogwarts Era fic through the perspectives of a bunch of OCs who have very little to do with Harry Potter and Voldie and everything, so this is refreshing! And I love your characters already! Sophie is wonderful. And rather hilarious sometimes ('To rebrand herself as mature, aloof, mysterious.'). Which is how she ends up with Tristan and then tries to run out on him the next morning. I love that she's a Muggle, and I love the canon details e.g. Arnold Peasegood the Obliviator. I felt pretty sorry for her though, being sort of doped by Tristan's mother and then Obliviated by Arnold. And I must say I love Tristan as well, as a miserable, angst-filled teenager.

This was such a striking opening chapter! The dozens of ltitle televisions bit was strange and a bit whimsical, and gah, love it that Eddie started rattling on about M16 and microcircuitry and all that. :P Is Eddie a Muggle? Or is he just a wizard who watches a lot of James Bond films (and reads James Bond novels as well?).

I love this begininng, and I can't wait to see what you'll do with the rest of the story! ♥ Fab writing as always.

-teh

Author's Response: Ah! Thank you! I know that WIPs can be pretty hefty commitments, so THANK YOU for taking to time to read and review!

I've been really surprised by the overwhelmingly positive reaction to Sophie! She was sort of a throw-away device for introducing Tristan, and I wasn't expecting people to really take to her!

Yes Eddie is definitely a muggle, which gives Tristan a lot of feels about straddling the wizarding and muggle worlds.

And oh man, if you liked the Arnie Peasegood name-drop, then strap in. This story is very much obscure canon references and "hey look, the 90s" stitched together with an angsty, angsty teen dramady plot.

And AH, I feel sorry for both of them! I really wanted to explore ways that the magical world influences the teenage experience (outside of Harry's "Wizard Hitler wants to kill me" thing), and I thought the idea of having a girl get obliviated after *your first time* was just the saddest thing (well, aside from dead parents/dead Sirius/dead DOBBY).

I worry though that, in the context of other fanfiction, the tone I'd intended for this opening doesn't really come across. This was written as a kind of slow-burning epic (by epic I mean, not-episodic). Anyway, if you DO read on, and feel like you have any suggestions for this first chapter, do let me know!

&ALLOFTHEhearts
-Roisin


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Review #25, by magnolia_magic Dozens of Little Televisions (1991)

11th August 2014:
Hi! Maggie here with your requested review! Sorry it was a long time in coming, but I'm very glad you requested this story. I've never seen anything set during this period in the HP universe--pre-Harry, but close enough that the timing almost overlaps with the books. I was super intrigued by that premise from the get-go, so I was excited to read your first chapter. And now I'm so glad I did, because I enjoyed it very much!

To answer the question you asked in your AoC, I'm already looking forward to reading on! Tristan and Sophie are both very compelling characters, and I want to get to know them better. I almost wish the chapter had ended a little less abruptly, with a line that starts some forward momentum into the next chapter. But the strength of your characters alone makes this opening chapter super intriguing, which I know is what you were going for :)

I love Sophie already. You've set her up to be a complex character, and so much about her is endearing to me. Even though the chapter opens with her doing a shady thing--leaving Tristan alone without any explanation--you give the backstory behind it. You show us a vulnerable, sensitive young girl who is trying (though maybe not in the most ideal way) to reinvent herself. It's a sympathetic portrayal that a lot of people will be able to relate to, I think. Breakups are tough, and Sophie is upset about not only losing her boyfriend, but being branded with an image she doesn't like. I suspect that she found much more than she bargained for with Tristan, though! Even though the mind-wipe happened, I really hope Sophie and Tristan can reconnect sometime soon. I might be getting ahead of myself here (it's the romantic in me, what can I say?) but they have the makings of a precious couple :)

Tristan is a little more difficult to figure out. And I love it. The picture you paint of him is very lonely so far, and I hope to get to know this troubled child better soon. I loved seeing him from Sophie's perspective as well as his own. Sophie's impressions of him are a little vague, understandably, but she definitely noticed a darkness in him. He seems to feel things very deeply and intensely; I can totally see the depressive tendencies his mother mentioned. I look forward to uncovering a little more about Tristan in the future, because I can tell he'll be a bit of a tough nut to crack.

And the parents. Oh, the parents. They seem completely at a loss for how to deal with their son. I kind of wanted to shake them by the shoulders a little bit...is that bad? I don't understand why they were so blase about Tristan smoking in his room and bringing girls home overnight. And then they let him go out again, no questions asked! I was amazed. And really, now that I think about it, this chapter might not be the right time or place to address Tristan's relationship with his parents in much detail. But I still would have liked one interaction between them, just to get a better feel for what the dynamic is like.

I have to compliment you on the way you handled Sophie's transition from full alertness to the sort of dazed state that the Oblivator finds her in. (Did Mary slip her a potion or cast a spell of some sort?) It was so subtle that I didn't really realize what was happening until the line about Sophie not registering the sound of the owl. It was just a very vague sense of drifting away, and you conveyed it so perfectly. I also loved your descriptions of the magical photographs as "moving televisions." It's so fun to see magical objects being discovered from a Muggle perspective--we so rarely get to see that! I'm glad you showed it to us here, even if it led to Sophie's mind-wipe.

To be honest I'm not even sure what kind of concrit I can give you at this point. I enjoyed every word of this opening chapter, and I can't wait to read the next. Wonderful job! You are obviously very talented, and I'm really glad to have the opportunity to read your story. Keep it up!

--Maggie

Author's Response: Hi! Thanks so much for leaving such a detailed review, I super appreciate it!

Ah! Unfortunately Sophie really isn't a big part of this story, more of a device to introduce the characters (I really liked the idea of seeing a mixed wizard/muggle house through a muggle's POV). Much more on Tristan, though! There's sort of an 'ensemble cast' for this story, but Tristan is something of the main character.

And yes, Tristan is a bit of a tricky young man. I'm glad you think so, because I wanted this to be a very character driven story.

The parents are definitely at a loss when it comes to Tristan. I'm glad you had the issues that you did, because those are points that get further examined. And thank you for the note about wanting further interaction between them. Another reviewer noted that the chapter seemed rushed at the end, so I think I'll be fleshing out the conclusion a little bit when I go back to revise :)

Thank you so much again for leaving such a hefty review! And I *wish* I could take the compliment for setting this pre-Harry, but alas, I cannot. This story unfolds during the timeline of HP&tPS--but Harry and the trio only crop up in passing, and as the subjects of wild rumors. (A later chapter is titled "Troll in the Dungeons!")

xoxo
Roisin


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