Reading Reviews for Year Five
  
181 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Slide The Hex Head Express

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Review #2, by Slide Dozens of Little Televisions (1991)

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

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

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

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

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

Author's Response: YEE! Thank you!

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

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

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

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

xoxo
-Roisin


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Review #3, by Midnight spark Self-Spelling

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

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

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

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

I loved this chapter and look forward to reading more!

Sana

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

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

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

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

xoxo
Roisin


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Review #4, by Cannons Cleaner, More Brilliant

21st October 2014:
Hey,

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

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

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

Keep writing!

Cannons (harrypotterlover1 on the forums)

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

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

Just, AH!!

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

xoxo
-Roisin


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Review #5, by Gabriella Hunter The Trouble With Laurel

11th October 2014:
Hello!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Much love,

Gabbie

Author's Response: Hello!

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

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

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

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

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

Ramble ramble. ANYway,

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

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

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

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

xoxo
Roisin





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Review #6, by UnluckyStar57 R

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Can't wait to read the next one!

~UnluckyStar57

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

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

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

Rain! I sort of love that!

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

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

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

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


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Review #7, by AlexFan The Trouble With Laurel

10th October 2014:
Oh no, DONíT DO IT LAUREL! AVOID THE TEMPTATION, DONíT DO IT! On the other hand, as much as it saddens me that Laurel succumbed to her want, itís realistic and something that happens to plenty of people. Just because someone is out of rehabilitation doesnít mean that theyíre completely fixed, the want to fall back on the old habits is still going to be there, and for some, they want it so much that theyíre willing to risk going back to their addiction in order to satisfy that want.

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

I kind of feel bad for Emily though, sheís so left out of the loop and she must be wondering whatís going on with her friends and why theyíre all acting weirdly.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

xoxo
-Roisin


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Review #8, by crestwood O.W.L.s

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blah blah blah, I never intended for this to happen AND THEN REALIZED IT WOULD FOR ALL THE SAME REASONS YOU DID AND I DIDN'T PLAN IT I SWEAR! I CANNOT CONTROL THESE CHARACTERS!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love,
Roisin


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Review #9, by Gabriella Hunter The Little Things (1992)

8th October 2014:
Hello!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Much love,

Gabbie


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

Author's Response: Hello!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

xoxo
Roisin



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Review #10, by Gabriella Hunter Recreational Magic Abuse Recovery

6th October 2014:
Hello!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Much love,


Gabbie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

5th October 2014:
Oh wow, Laurelís mom doesnít seem to be a very nice person. I mean, I get that sheís worried about her daughter but she seems to be making it even more difficult for Laurel to recover properly. How is she supposed to get back to normal when her mother is breathing down her neck and making comments at the fact that Laurel is having trouble with her magic. And I know why she doesnít trust Laurel but she could at least do a better job of hiding it, if she showed a little more trust Laurel might believe that her mother believed that she could get better.

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

I think Sprout is very good as a councillor. People are generally very closed off when it comes to talking to their therapist, and it makes sense that Laurel would feel like this was just another place where someone would look at her and see a failure. I like how Sprout managed to convince her that that wasnít what she was there to do and that she was there to genuinely help Laurel.

Itís so sad to see how everyone has just kind of given up, y0u know. Tristan is depressed but he wonít see anyone about it because itís like, whatís the point of ever being happy and Laurel just sees herself as a burden and a huge mess that she thinks everyone is being forced to clean up after. She doesnít seem to see the point of why you should bother caring about anything anymore or why you should make an effort towards anything. I JUST WANT EVERYONE TO BE HAPPY AND HAVE A GOOD LIFE.

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

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

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

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

Thank you so much for the thoughtful review!
xoxo
-Roisin


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Review #12, by casual_chaos Dozens of Little Televisions (1991)

4th October 2014:
Hey, Roisin!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Andy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

xoxo
Roisin



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Review #13, by Midnight spark Troll in the Dungeons!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sana

Author's Response: Hello!

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

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

Thank you so much for taking the time to review!
xoxo
-Roisin


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Review #14, by Veritaserum27 Dozens of Little Televisions (1991)

3rd October 2014:
Hello Roisin!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

♥ Beth (Veritaserum27)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

xoxo
-Roisin


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Review #15, by Gabriella Hunter Muggle Magic

29th September 2014:
Hello!

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

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

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

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

OMG, Lucas!

*Ahem*

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

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

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

I shall return!

Much love,

Gabbie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

xoxo
-Roisin


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Review #16, by maraudertimes Dozens of Little Televisions (1991)

28th September 2014:
Hi! Review thread from the Gryffie common room!

I really liked this. The way you set the scene by having a muggle discover magic (even if she thinks it's M16 stuff) was really unique and the fact that the protagonist (Tristan) is definitely not like normal protagonists is really cool. Everything was definitely different than anything I've ever read, and I really liked it.

The fact that you recycled canon characters is really cool and I love that attention to detail. Having to do something so involved in Harry's year seems so difficult but obviously you were up to the task and have done a fabulous job so far, and I can only assume it's great throughout the story with your eye for detail this little of a way in.

Sophie is probably who I would be if I ever discovered magic, although probably just her reaction, not what happened before that. I'd probably just write it off as technology, especially in this day and age. I'd like to see more of her but I don't think I will, although Tristan seems really interesting so I don't think that'll be a problem.

This was a really good first chapter and it's really intriguing. I've heard a lot of good things about your story so I'm interested in continuing on (if real life ever gives me a chance). This is really well written, great job!

Lo :)

Author's Response: Yee, hello! Way to revive the Gryffie review thread! I thought I'd accidentally killed it!

I'm really glad you liked that opening! I wanted to sort of start the story fresh, with, like, a brand new introduction to the wizarding world. And we never got to see mixed muggle/wizard houses in canon--so I definitely wanted to see what that would look like through a muggle's eyes.

Plus, as a dramedy, I really wanted to examine the various implications of the wizarding world, and their impact on the teenage experience--and having your partner obliviated after your First Time is kind of a horrible, devastating thought! (Also, that *must* happen from time to time. I mean: teenagers).

Writing a canon compliant story set during PhilStone was definitely a MASSIVE undertaking (all sorts of HP Wiki and Lexicon tabs just LIVED at the top of my browser while writing)--but it was also amazingly fun. I had this whole existing story framework to play around in, and all these canon characters to look at in a new way. The dramatic-irony potential was MASSIVE.

Thank you so much for dropping by with the review, and for all the kind words!

xoxo
-Roisin



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Review #17, by crestwood The Presence of Love

28th September 2014:
Hi Roisin!

It's been awhile, so I thought I'd come back and continue with this story.

There's something so sincere about Emily's letter to Tristan. A lot of people say they don't know what to say, but she honestly is thankful in such a way that she seems legitimately at a loss for words. For some reason the lack of embellishments in her signature meant something to me as well, even if that wasn't supposed to be important. And she's right, working out why Tristan does what he does IS tiring, but also incredibly entertaining, I must say.

And you've brought back Laurel's conversation with Dumbledore because again, nothing exists in a vacuum here. Their time-out is something I've employed before and it's usually a good sign that things can be fixed, if they can be ignored for the span of a conversation.

Somehow I think Dumbledore did all of this on purpose. In the same way he knew that Ron would want to be able to find Harry and Hermione in Deathly Hallows, he guessed that one of Laurel's friends would find it useful to know the way to guess his password.

I love the way you've described Dumbledore's office. The words in that scene felt like one of Wes Anderson's tracking shots; beautiful in it's perspective.

I think I can picture Dumbledore reading about Socrates. His thoughts on Azkaban here are something I was just talking about not too long ago. As a prison system, it's actually quite terrible, as I think it makes people more dangerous for having been there in the grand scheme of things.

Overall, you've written Dumbledore so perfectly as a Headmaster. I've seen quite a few stories about him in his teenage years or as the leader of the Order, but I've really enjoyed reading about him at Hogwarts, doing his job. You've captured exactly what makes him such an amazing character.

'deep affection, fierce defensiveness, private intimacy, infinite loyalty, unconditional acceptance, mutual respect, intellectual joy, and fundamental contrast' No one understands their characters like you do. I'm a subscriber to the 'Death of the Author' line of thinking and everything, but from a literary analysis standpoint if you tell me something about these characters, I'm going to take your word for it.

This look into Laurel's home life is striking. There's a great number of things that could be cited as the cause of her troubles and I suppose they weren't helped by her being around the other's so often. But at the same time, who knows what she could have ended up like if that wouldn't have happened? I'm inclined to think (or at least hope) that the group is ultimately good for each other. But, I think that's up for debate.

I'm glad Isobel's parents have finally realized that something's wrong. I can't believe you had Voldemort steal Ahmad's research in order to learn to fly!! That's such a clever thread back into the main canon storyline because it gives the sense that these guys are actively affecting the way things are happening in regards to the series. I like the idea that this could all very well have happened and maybe we've seen some of the effects of it before without knowing.

I can certainly buy that Isobel's eating disorder stems from her desire to control things. After all, we've seen evidence of that throughout the entire story.

I'm so relieved to see Laurel and her mother having a positive interaction. And again with the ties into canon with Rita Skeeter. Your plans for this must have been the length of a football field.

Tristan's anxiety attack was almost difficult to read. I don't like to see him like this in the same way that you wouldn't want to hear about the same thing happening to one of your friends.

Feeling intense empathy for fictional characters is always a bit jarring. His confession is so fitting. "I might have done, I'm not above it, but I didn't." Even in his innocence, he can't be bothered to paint himself as a gallant savior of sorts. Also, Mary is, by far, my favorite of all of the parents. I find her to be an excellent mother to Tristan, even if he has his troubles.

Well, the story about Andrew was absolutely nothing like I thought. I mean, I didn't really think about it and it seems as though no one's ever acknowledged it out loud, but it definitely was not okay. The age difference, the "I dunno," all of it. Just not okay. You've really hit on so many different topics in this story.

And lastly, I adore the meeting with Sprout at the end because, well, I adore any scene with her that you write.

It almost feels trite to tell you that you're wonderful at this point, but you're wonderful.

Author's Response: Schmargloffputerfiggleshmorp!!1!1!! Joeyyy! You are the best reviewer EVAR!

As for what Tristan does and why--I think that has a lot to do with why him and Emily love eachother so much. She's one of the most philosophically interested of the bunch (HUFFLEPUFF, FUNK YEAH!), and has all these deep probing ideas about moral relativism, and the simultanaity of Truth. Does Tristan do something because he loves someone else, or because he hates himself? Does he do something because he's a coward, or because he's brave? Is Schrodinger's Cat dead or alive? Emily is uniquely qualified to answer those questions.

Dude, yes! The fight-time-out is a powerful thing!

And yes-yes-yes! Dumbledore did everything on purpose! Because Dumbledore really is a master manipulator--and you're totally right about DH, and how he managed to set up this whole plot before he died. Some people have criticized that as absurd story-telling, so I really wanted to kind of justify it here. No, it's not a silly plot, IT IS A FASCINATING CHARACTER. So here, basically, I'm suggesting that Dumbledore is meddling with all his students, even on their relatively petty issues. Because sure, "teenage angst" might pale in comparison to VOLDEMORT, but these things still MATTER to the people experiencing them, and I think Dumbledore is wise enough to know that.

'deep affection ... and fundamental contrast.' Gosh what a long sentence. I should really consider cutting that.

I'm really glad that you're starting to wonder whether or not their friendship with each other is healthy or not--because that's for sure a question I was hoping readers would raise. As with a lot of questions in this story, the answer is pretty much up to you the reader (and the best answer is probably "both.")

YEE! The Voldemort robbery! EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE IS CONNECTED! No one is an island! No series of events exist in a vacuum! Every life matters, and influences so many people outside of itself!

Blagh--Tristan's anxiety attack was difficult to write :( And what's worse: I rewrote it about 40 times.

Feeling intense empathy for fictional characters is, I think, important! If you haven't already, I highly recommend watching John Green's analysis of "To Kill a Mockingbird" on youtube! (And really, all of his Crash Course videos). Also: JK Rowling's address at the Harvard Commencement. It's one of the most stunning speeches ever given, and I cry every time I read it!

Mary is for sure my favorite! I lovelovedloved writing her!

Blargh, Andrew. That was not at all fun to write.

On a lighter note: glad you liked the Sprout scene! I don't know if it came across, but it was meant to be something of an inversion of Harry's guidance with McGonnagall! (Because, to quote Teh Tarik: "MO META IS MO BETTA")

You really are the best reviewer ever, like, SJLKHFEKHFMBFKHVBW!!

xoxo
xo
XOXOXO
-Roisin


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Review #18, by Gabriella Hunter War Children

27th September 2014:
Hello!

This is Gabbie from the forums with your review and I'm sorry that I'm so late. Even though you had reserved a slot, I'm still a day or two behind and that really blows. Forgive me, yes?

So, we're back with Tristan again. I feel like there's something really eating away at him and I wonder if it has something to do with the Big Thing, which we've only seen hints of before. I wonder if he'll have the courage to really talk to Laurel though, I can understand why he's feeling guilty but at the same time, it would be good for them both to get that off their chests.

What I found really interesting was the brief conversation he had with Snape. Now, I'm with Tristan when he was saying how disturbing it was for Snape to offer a bit of warmth. THere's something so horrifying about that for whatever reason but I think that Tristan might have listened if he had just acted normally. Haha. Anyway, I'm wondering what is going on with him and Neville though. War children immediately caught my attention but I can't imagine what the connection could be but it's obvious that it's not nearly a secret as I was led to believe. Snape knows about it of course so that makes me wonder how many other teachers do as well, my mind is spinning with questions.

I liked the brief POV change you gave with his mother too. I was able to get a better understanding of Tristan and how he grew up, he seems like such an introvert. I can understand his mother's worry though and their conversation about Sophie of course had me a little worried. It's obviously been bothering Tristan for a long time and I wonder if they'll ever really talk about it. Tristan doesn't seem particularly inclined towards either of his parents and I wonder where this gap originated from. It kind of makes me sad though. :(

And he's buying more weed! Bad Tristan! I wish that he would give it up but he's not really in the best of places, I don't think. I did like that we got a glimpse into this underworld and I was a little worried about him while he was talking to Sophie's boyfriend (I see her fears over that not working out were put to rest). I'm not sure it was the confrontation he needed but he was slick with his lies, I noticed. It wouldn't have been a good thing to get into a row with that guy.

As usual, the writing is brilliant and your characters continue to be realistic, compelling and tormented in their own way. :D

I'll be back!

Much love,

Gabbie

Author's Response: Hello!

No worries! I don't think you took very long at all!

Haha, I really REALLY liked writing Snape that way. I'm a huge Snape fan myself, but specifically because he's so complicated. Trying, and rather failing, at being kind was an idea I really liked!

I'm really glad you liked the POV shift to Mary, too! I wanted to show that he really is loved (because OF COURSE he is, even if he doesn't realize it), and then also raise all the questions you noticed!

Oh yes, Tristan would be, I think, rather useless in a fight without a wand (and potentially formidable in a fight with one).

Thank you so much for the review, Gabbie!

xoxo
-Roisin


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Review #19, by Helen J Haslam Cleaner, More Brilliant

26th September 2014:
To paraphrase one Weasley or another: "That was bloody brilliant."

Thank you so much for writing such an involving, emotionally deep and carefully crafted story, which will easily sit in my stash of Best FanFics Ever.

It's strange because it's almost not a fanfiction, as you've very much created this complete world of characters, just using Rowling's world as a backdrop to entice us in.

I don't know if you plan on writing a sequal, I kind of hope you don't because I feel the gang's story is done, but I hope you bring out another story soon. Harry Potter, another cannon or completely original, I'd love to read anything more you do in the future.

Best wishes and lots of love, Hxxx

PS, I loved the Tom Baker "Who" reference :-)

Author's Response: Thank you so much for reading and reviewing this whole story, and basically coming on this crazy journey with me!

This project was a pretty big undertaking, and it really makes all the work worth it that you found it resonant, and enjoyed it.

This was really the first fiction I ever wrote, and I learned such a huge amount!

And I'm so glad that you thought there was a finality to the ending--I really wanted it to be satisfying, even if it was still realistically flawed. The kind of thesis of this story was that being a teenager is terrible and hard and confusing, yet we end up romanticizing it in our mind. And memories are really just stories we tell ourselves, so in a way, that's a happy ending.

Thankyouthankyouthankyou!
xoxo
-Roisin


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Review #20, by Helen J Haslam After

26th September 2014:
Blimey that was harrowing! :-( Very good though. I sort of guessed Tristan's origin, but not totally and his parents still came as a surprise - nice work! And I completely missed the Uncle Frank reference, wow! Very well tied in.

Nooo I don't want it to be the end!! :-(

Author's Response: I'm so glad you liked this chapter! It was such an important one, and I fretted a lot over its execution!

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Review #21, by Helen J Haslam O.W.L.s

26th September 2014:
Don't apologise! It was perfect, if not very sad. When characters have a life of their own, it's hopefully a sign that you've given them life to your fullest extent :-) I liked the harsh, paragraph-break way that you did it as well, like mimicking his fall.

Author's Response: I really hadn't originally anticipated that would happen, and then it just sort of occurred to me, and then I realized I couldn't not do it!

Writing something so serious was really scary, and I fretted a lot about how to treat these sensitive topics with tact. I ultimately decided to use technique over detail to make it emotional (because that seemed the most respectful), so I'm really glad you noticed and liked the paragraph breaks!


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Review #22, by Helen J Haslam The Presence of Love

26th September 2014:
Aw both Emily's and Isobel's confessions gave me a little tear (once again, in the office lol. Good job I'm hidden away in the corner!)

I love that you Googled Vauxhall so extensively, as a Londoner myself I hate when people just make stuff up!

Author's Response: You are PRECISELY the reason I researched that so hard! I really didn't want to annoy any reader with inaccuracies, so I extensively researched any location or era thingy I included.

And, YEE, so pleased you found the Izzy/Em make up affecting!


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Review #23, by AlexFan Recreational Magic Abuse Recovery

25th September 2014:
Oh wow, look at that, I was actually correct about the whole Isobel and Lucas thing, go figure. The feeling of being right however is seriously being overshadowed by my annoyance that Isobel got off with Emilyís brother, I was so hoping that cliche would be avoided. Iím really glad that no one is shaming Isobel for what she did though and how supportive Emilyís being of the whole thing is really great, itís exactly what a friend should be.

I keep forgetting that this is set in the 90ís so itís always a little shocking to be brought back to that fact by small things, like the idea that your hymn (I had to make that as 12+ as possible while still having it make sense) breaks the first time you have intercourse. This shack seems to have some really mysterious powers, it seems everyone gets lucky when they stay in it.

I liked how you threw in that mention of Neville as well, about him visiting his parents, it was a nice nod towards what he had to deal with all of the time. I loved seeing St. Mungoís from the point of view of Emily because everything must seem just absolutely absurd to her to see so many people with damage done to them acting like itís totally normal.

It was so cute seeing little ten-year-old Luna at St. Mungoís, I can definitely see her being that friendly and making conversation with random people.

ďMaybe we shouldnít have brought drugs to a person in rehabĒ OH GEE YOU THINK I WONDER WHAT GAVE YOU THAT IDEA. Seriously, I love how youíve included Luna in this and I love how Laurel has made friends with her. Luna may be a bit weird but the girl is really good at reading people and figuring out what makes them uncomfortable and what they wanna talk about. ALSO ISOBEL NEEDS TO GET SOME HELP SOMEONE NEEDS TO TELL THIS GIRL THAT SHE IS PERFECT THE WAY THAT SHE IS.

Oh goodness, I canít imagine how difficult it mustíve been for Isobel to have such a big chest at such a young age. Her back mustíve killed her having to carry all of that weight around. Itís times like this that Iím grateful for being small-chested. Still, that shouldnít stop her from playing Quidditch if she wants to, some people are born curvier and some people are born skinnier, itís just the way that people are built and I just feel so sorry that Isobel hasnít had anyone to tell her this.

Iím actually really looking forward to seeing Laurel get out of rehab, if it ever happens that is. If she ever does get out during the story, then Iím really excited with how this new her is going to be and looking at how it can hard to resist self-spelling on some days, because itís something that people deal with even after theyíve gotten help.

Lastly, I am so sorry for taking so long with this review but I have been crazy busy up until now.

Author's Response: GAH, I know--quite the cliche. I really wanted to show how everyone's First Time can be really different, with different contexts and stuff, and "whilst on Holday" is just a rather common story. I'm glad that you appreciated the lack of Shaming, though! That was my way of using-yet-subverting the trope!

Haha, I was all like "Hymn? I don't remember them singing in church!" And good point: that is rather a nineties-era myth! (well, it still persists today, unfortunately)

I had a LOT of fun coming up with the various Magical Maladies that Emily saw at St. Mungos, so I'm glad you found them reasonably absurd! And yes, Neville was definitely a way to show how there's a lot going on in their world that they aren't really conscious of. And that's sort of the tragedy--people often forget that those around them are Whole People, with lives and troubles that are just as important as their own.

SO GLAD you liked Luna! She's very tricky to write!

And yes, I really wanted to show how *THEY* think what they're doing is totally fine and reasonable (because: teenagers), but then point out the negative implications of what they are doing. This story is, I realize, rather a lot of work, as it requires a lot of analysis from the reader, since the characters have really limited perspectives.

Luna was DEFINITELY the best person for Laurel to have around!

I've seen it a lot, that girls who develop young can often get quite a complex over it :( And sometimes adults are kind of too freaked out to handle it correctly, because they don't know how to talk to a child about something they see as age-inappropriate (but really, someone's body isn't inherently an adult topic, it's only that adults attach so much adult meaning to it, which it THEIR fault, not the child's). Ok, rambling.

No need to feel sorry for being late! I don't even think of it as "late"--it's all in your own time!

xoxo
Roisin



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Review #24, by Helen J Haslam The Disappearing Room

25th September 2014:
Oooh what a delicious twist with the Malfoys! Really loved this chapter, one of the strongest so far x

Author's Response: Oof, this chapter was SUCH a beast! I'm really glad you thought the many thousands of words were worth it!

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Review #25, by Helen J Haslam Interrupted

25th September 2014:
Hurrah for Tonks! I liked the messy tangledness, it felt like it had been brewing to a boil the last couple of chapters :-)

PS, Sorry for all the reviews, I hope it doesn't feel like spam!!

Author's Response: It does not at ALL feel like spam! Don't be ridiculous! Logging on to see so many new reviews got me so excited!

And thank you for saying it had been "brewing to a boil"--because that was exactly what I was going for!


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