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Reading Reviews for broken, broken
  
25 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Dirigible_Plums after the Battle.

22nd December 2015:
Hey,

It's Plums here from the forums. I wanted to level you a gift for the QTR gift exchange and thought this looked really interesting. I wasn't wrong :)

To summarise what I'm feeling in one word: wow. I'm mindblown. This is such powerful piece about what the Slytherins have gone through. A lot of the time, we forget what happened to them, how it must have felt to be on the wrong side. What motivated them to behave the way they did. The Slytherins really had it stacked against them.

I love the way that you wrote them here, all of them. They're all suffering in different ways, but they're definitely still feeling the pain. And the irony of having to live like Muggles to get away from the stigma and persecution is so ironic, it almost hurts.

I'll be honest, I didn't expect Pansy to kiss Daphne. I didn't really detect anything other than a really strong friendship, but I like to think that was sort of the point? It was a natural development, but one that happened at the wrong time since they're in such bad states.

This was a great chapter and lovely to read, even if it did break my heart.

Plums xo

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Review #2, by nott theodore during the Departure.

21st September 2015:
Hi again!

Oh, so Daphne actually is leaving - I thought that maybe something would happen to stop her from going but it seems like what's actually happened is going to prompt her to leave more than before. She's in a really horrible situation right now and I feel so sorry for her.

The conversation at the start was so interesting. I can definitely see why the girls wanted Daphne to tell the boys about her leaving - at this point, all any of them seem to have is each other and they're closer because of that. All of them are suffering from what happened in the past few years and she does kind of owe it to them to tell them that she's leaving. At the same time I can understand why she would be hesitant to tell them because two more people who know where she's going could put her more at risk.

The boys' reactions were very realistic as well. I could understand why Theo was so angry with her for leaving them behind but at the same time I'm glad she told them.

The conversation on the train was so realistic - I liked the way that you captured the friendship between them all and the fact that Goyle agreed that they would all stay quiet and look after their own. At the same time, the whole conversation had this air of them all trying to maintain the illusion of normality, pretending that things are as they should be even when they're all really broken and terrified.

The news that Daphne's mother had to tell the two girls is really sad - there's so much pain for them and it just causes even more problems. The fact that the Malfoys need to sell their manor is really shocking, but at the same time what's even worse is the news that Daphne's father has been arrested because of a book that he had to try and help her. She really has no choice now but to go on the run and go to France - I just wonder what she'll do there. Part of me even wonders if Pansy will join her too.

I'm looking forward to the next chapter, and good luck in the voting!

Sian :)

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Review #3, by nott theodore before the Departure.

21st September 2015:
Hi again, Emily!

This was another great chapter of the story - I already said this in the last review but I really love the fact that you're focusing on the Slytherins here, the ones who had to do terrible things in the last year because they were scared of what might happen to their families (though I suspect some of them really did want to join in) and now they're unable to live normally again when everyone else is trying to let go of the fear that they lived in because they're constantly on edge. The trials at the Ministry and the way that the Prophet is reporting everything that's happening must be so alarming for them, and you captured that really well here - it's also something that they seem to be taking and not really understanding. There's nobody there to help them and explain what's actually going on, so they're left to themselves to work it out from the snippets of news that they hear, and naturally they don't get everything right.

I loved the way that Draco's trial was hanging over them all from the start of this chapter. How else could they react to one of their friends being taken for questioning and put on trial for terrible crimes? It's a living reminder that the thing they all feared, something that's been on the edges of their life until now, has become real and tangible. I can really easily imagine Draco's trial becoming long and drawn-out. I wonder whether or not they'll be able to think about things any differently when he is allowed to remain free.

It's so, so hard for this group - they really are still children, just seventeen, eighteen, nineteen - that's so young for them to have to face something like this. They're living in constant fear and anxiety and it isn't surprising to see that each of them is affected so profoundly and they're each coming up with their own coping mechanisms, even if they're not necessarily very helpful.

I feel really sorry for Daphne here. She keeps being told that she's coping really well with it all, that she's the strong one - but she's holding it all together externally and putting a brave face on things, so everyone else believes that, when inside she's in turmoil and can't deal with what's going on. It's like she's trying to focus so much on the others and their problems to persuade herself she's okay compared to them that she won't let herself realise how bad things are for her.

I'm really intrigued to see whether or not Daphne actually goes through with her plan of moving to France. I'm not sure that she will - I kind of feel like something might happen to keep her in the country and so that she returns to Hogwarts. Pansy really doesn't want her to go, but I'm glad they haven't started a relationship - that would have been such a bad idea for the two of them, because it wouldn't have been founded on something they actually needed and that could continue through to them being better again.

I really enjoyed this chapter, and I'm off to read the third one now!

Sian :)

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Review #4, by nott theodore after the Battle.

20th September 2015:
Hi Emily! Here again trying to read and review the Dobby nominees, and it's great that I'm getting a chance to read more of your stories, and this one especially!

I love the idea of a story that focuses on the Slytherins after the war; there are so many stories that I've read which explore the effects of the war on the people who fought on the 'right' side, and yet so few that I've seen focusing on the people whose families were Death Eaters and it's a great idea to explore this side of things. There are bound to be some inevitable effects after the war for these characters. They really were still just children, even those who were of age, and the things that they had to do during their final year at Hogwarts, they probably wouldn't have done if they hadn't been threatened - not only themselves but their families too.

The title is fantastic, too - it really shows that the war has had such a profound effect on all of the characters involved. Every single one of the Slytherin characters that we see here has been affected by the war in some way and they do all feel broken, even though they're trying to keep it together and show that they can deal with life and move on.

I felt so sorry for Daphne and Astoria at the start of the chapter. I can understand why their parents want them to go back - Daphne as well - but it's such a hard thing for them to have to face, especially when they're so young and so many of the things that they did last year were because they were under threat. Astoria's comments about how the others weren't the ones suffering isn't true, though - it kind of shows how naive and immature she is, not to be able to think of it in wider terms. But at the same time those people did suffer, but they can have a clearer conscience because they were on the right side of the war so they don't have to suffer from the guilt of what they did to other students - well, in theory. I'm sure that there'll be a lot of them still suffering nevertheless, especially those who fought and survived when friends and family didn't.

The initiative that the Ministry have come up with to single out students doesn't seem very fair, and I can completely see why that would cause them all to be even more worried. It would feel like they're living on a constant knife edge, and every day they're trying to struggle through anyway and do something like their normal life while it feels like everybody hates them. I'm glad that Daphne's mother came up with an alternative for her, but I'm still not sure the policy is the right thing to do anyway.

I loved the friendship that you wrote between Pansy and Daphne here, too, and the way that you hinted at something more between them at the end - at least in the future, maybe. I actually did feel a bit sorry for Pansy, seeing the effects of everything she suffered, and even though what she did was terrible, it's important to remember that these people were all just seventeen and eighteen during the last year and those choices were so difficult for them to make. I'm intrigued to see what will happen between them in the future and see if Daphne actually does run, and how Pansy might cope without her.

Moving onto the next chapter - I'm really enjoying this so far, Emily!

Sian :)

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Review #5, by Roisin after the Battle.

18th September 2015:
This is fantastic. Really--so, so, SO good. I just loved it.

Man, I wish I'd reviewed as I went because there was SO much great stuff to comment on. I really loved the tone, and subtlety and nuance, and way it was written. There was a lot about it that was really fresh yet believable and compelling at the same time, and I think you nailed a very tricky and specific sort of perspective. Just wonderful :)

I wish I had more time to review but I'm sort of rushing to read all the nominees. Know that I love this though, and can't wait to return to it!

xoxo
Roisin

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Review #6, by Penelope Inkwell after the Battle.

15th September 2015:
Ohmygosh. This is so good.

This is so. so. so good.

I love the flip side of the story, and things that look at the war and aftermath from a Slytherin perspective, so this is right up my alley. Actually, this isn't just "up my alley"; this story has built a sizable house in the middle of my alley and is settling in, considering potential architectural expansion.

I love how you describe all this. It's just so well thought out and believable. Daphne's retreat from emotion and Astoria's anger and Pansy's panic. It's exactly the kind of thing that could happen after the war. And it's so hard! Because for my degree, I had to study a fair amount about what countries do after a corrupt regime takes hold--the peace talks, the "truth commissions" that pop up. And it's so frustrating when you have to watch people who have done horrible things get away with it (particularly when don't seem to show remorse). But then there's this side, when you have people following orders, people who are being threatened and coerced and forced, who are also doing horrible things. And to hold them to the same level of accountability, that's tough. And to just let them go with nothing, or with a slap on the wrist? That's tough. There are no easy answers, here. But I think the girls have the right of it. There's something not right about punishing these things in a school, just for the people who happened to be a few months older than others. They were still, for all intents and purposes, kids, controlled by hardened criminals. To use them as scapegoats is unfair.

I loved what you did with Astoria with this line: “They weren't the ones suffering in school!...I mean, I guess they were, but they weren't the ones who had to deal with the guilt of torturing other students and having your family in constant danger and they weren't the ones who had no * choice because everything you do has an effect on your family. They have no idea –”

--because of course it's incredibly self-centered and narrow-minded of her. The others were suffering. They were being tortured. Their families were in constant danger. But they got to hold the moral high ground, and to know that they were standing for something right. And that is a key difference. The conscience can be a terrible burden. And it is true that Slytherin families were closer to Voldemort, in full view. They would have been watched more closely, and how could they run, once their children were in the castle, being essentially held to ensure good behavior? It was a terrible situation for everyone.

I like how you've made me sympathize with even Pansy. I can't like her
--I just can't. Maybe eventually I could, but not yet. I can't exactly ship her with Daphne. I can't really imagine shipping Pansy with anyone. Still, I feel bad for what she goes through in those terrible panic attacks. I can understand 'the moment' before the battle. I mean, Slytherins are logical. Of course it would seem to her that a single life couldn't be worth the life of the many--it seemed the same way to Harry, after all. It showed no backbone, and no cleverness (because really? Are things going to get better if Harry is defeated and Voldemort wins? No.) But I can at least understand that from her perspective, it wouldn't need to be malicious. It just made sense. It would save lives.

That bit with Millicent's disappearance was honestly kind of terrifying. I couldn't help wondering if she was even alive.

For someone who is essentially emotionally frozen, Daphne is an incredibly compelling narrator. I don't know how you did that, but good job on it!


She's drowning, honestly.

Daphne withdraws further into herself, and yeah, she knows it's wrong to depend so heavily on having no feelings to cope – that doesn't sound remotely healthy even in her head, damn it – but the entirety of Slytherin house just seems to be constantly on the brink of collapse.


--those two descriptions really caught my attention.

CC:

“You should be safe, you're still underage, aren't you?”
--I imagine that this is supposed to be rhetorical? Still, it struck me as a little off, because it didn't sound rhetorical to me when first I read it, and I was like, "Shouldn't you know how old your little sister is?"



You've done a phenomenal job with this. I'm more than halfway through the Dobbys nominee list, I think, and this has been one of the most striking pieces on it, thus far. Congratulations on your nomination--you definitely deserve it. This is wonderfully written, and I have every intention of coming back to read more about it soon.

Really, really excellent work!

--Penny

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Review #7, by Lady Asphodel after the Battle.

13th September 2015:
You really had me sold for this story Emily! This is really amazing! I can go on and on about how marvelous your writing is (great grammar, structure, etc.), but I really want to get into how much in depth the characters are.

I haven't considered (at least not as much as I could or should have) the feelings of the Slytherins after the battle of Hogwarts. I've always came across fics where it showed Draco Malfoy's POV when it comes to Post-Hogwarts. None of them really capture what Draco would go through during the aftermath. (Although, I have to admit, I didn't actually take the time to think of how he would specifically feel, but I know deep down inside... that fics that would attempt writing through Draco's view (the ones I read), it did not seem enough for me. It was like they scratch the outer layer, and they could have dug deeper.


That's what you've done here. Yes, this isn't specifically about Draco, but I love how you showed there's more than just students returning back to Hogwarts and just trying to go about their lives. I don't think there was too much angst here, but you conveyed enough where there is realism. They feared for their lives and their loved ones when Voldemort was alive, and they still have to because whether voluntarily or not, they're associated with evil and the pain the bad side caused everyone.


You really had me sad and sympathize Astoria, Daphne, Pansy, just everybody here.




Sorry if all of this reviews seems like one big blob of words, but I just really enjoyed reading this! It's been a while since I've felt anything from a story. You did incredibly well here. :)


I wish you luck with the Dobbies, and congrats on the nomination! ^__^


- Asphodel

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Review #8, by MuggleMaybe during the Departure.

13th September 2015:
Emily, this is outstanding.

I felt like I was *right there* next to Daphne, inside of her, almost. It's a point of view I hadn't fully considered before, but it rings so, so true. Being forced to hurt someone is it's own form of torture, and a very cruel one at that - I think the pain the Slytherins went through under the Carrows is often forgotten or overlooked. I had overlooked it myself, but I won't anymore.

I'm most impressed by Pansy. I really, truly felt for her, in a way I'd never imagined I could. I have always found her easy and enjoyable to dislike, but the way you've written her as being so afraid, so sad, so trapped... I couldn't dislike her. I wanted to hug her.

I love how Daphne coaches herself into accepting her friends and how they cope, taking them as they are, and I love how you use that method on her, too. She copes by pushing it down, and the others think she's so brave, so strong. They think she's 'okay' - but she isn't at all and I'm really glad you showed how a person might be hurting even when no one can see it.

Your writing had this beautiful flow to it that swept me through the piece like a current.

I am thoroughly impressed. :wub: A very well deserved nomination indeed!

Thanks for writing such a brilliant story!
Renee

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Review #9, by TreacleTart before the Departure.

11th September 2015:
Hi again!

Back for the second chapter of this story!

It's pretty terrifying to think that the Ministry would put people who were children during the war...and really are still children on trial and subsequently in prison over things that they were forced to do. I always imagined that people like Kingsley and Minerva and Harry would step in and try to prevent that from happening. I think they're wise enough to know the truth of what happened to these kids. That being said, I suppose if there was enough public outcry everyone's hands would be tied.

I'm so glad that Daphne keeps resisting Pansy because as she said in this chapter, it wouldn't be a healthy relationship. It would become a thing of co-dependency and that really isn't how you want a relationship to be. I think in the long run it's best for both of them. Maybe when they're a bit more healed it might be possible.

Ugh. The different coping mechanisms are so tragic. Seeing Theo beat his fists into the wall and Blaise getting drunk on calming draught is awful. Honestly, to me it's so much worse because of their age too. Thinking of sixteen and seventeen year olds being this messed up really is very depressing.

Poor Daphne just will not give herself a break. She's convinced herself that she's a coward for running and not staying behind to try and put the broken people back together. The thing is, it's impossible to fix others when you need fixing yourself. I wish she could realize that.

Again, your writing is just so lovely and emotive. You really seem to have a knack for showing the rawest of emotional states and for making the reader sympathize with unsympathetic characters.

Excellent work! I definitely see why this was nominated!

~Kaitlin

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Review #10, by TreacleTart after the Battle.

11th September 2015:
Hi there!

I'm going around trying to read and review everything that's been nominated for the Dobby's, so that lead me to this story. Congratulations on your nomination!

So the very first thing I wanted to say is in regards to your Author's note. You mention that this was the first time you've written about PTSD/anxiety as such a large part of the story. I just wanted to say that I think you've done an excellent job. My ex-husband was a combat soldier who did a few tours of duty in war, so I have a lot of first hand experience with PTSD, particularly war related PTSD. The thing that I thought was so great about the way you portrayed this was that each character had different symptoms. It wasn't a bunch of carbon copies. That's the thing that's so hard to treat with PTSD is that everyone suffers from it differently. Some people have loud obvious symptoms like panic attacks. Others suffer silently and use substances to cope. You managed to show a huge variety of symptoms and did so without allowing them to become cliches or stereotypes. Really great job on handling such a sensitive topic.

I also thought you did such a fantastic job of making all of your characters come to life. Everyone from your main characters, Daphne and Pansy, all the way to minor characters like Draco and Theo, were really vibrant and realistic, but still fit in with the versions of them in cannon.

I was really happy that you chose to show how the war affected the Slytherins and that they too were victims of their backgrounds. I always imagined that they would receive a lot of hostile backlash after the war, so this seemed like a really realistic idea to me. The thing that's sad about it is that the hatred the other students have for the Slytherins comes from their own PTSD and bad experiences. It's just a whole bunch of damaged, messed up individuals trying to heal.

The relationship between Pansy and Daphne was really interesting. The two of them are so co-dependent and dysfunctional that there is no way it would be a healthy situation. I'm glad that Daphne is with it enough to realize that. Starting a romance would be so unhealthy.

My only tiny bit of CC is sort of a personal opinion based comment. In my mind, I imagine that Professor McGonagall would have tried to reach out to the Slytherins or maybe had another Professor checking in on them for exactly the reason you write about in the story. I think she would realize that they were damaged and also understand that a lot of them were forced into bad situations. Because of it, I would think she would want to make sure they weren't harming themselves and that they were coping properly. It's really minor. I just thought that in that interaction with McGonagall she might've asked after their well being or expressed some concern for them. It's very minor though and again only my opinion.

All in all, I thought this was a very effective chapter. You did a really great job of introducing the characters and really making me feel for all of them.

Great job!

~Kaitlin

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Review #11, by LadyL8 before the Departure.

11th September 2015:
Hi There, Emily.

I’m in the process of reviewing all (or at least as many as I can) dobby noms, and I decided to start with the category “Best Angst”. I’ve read most of the noms, and I vaguely remembered having read the first chapter of this one back in April/May for my anon review spree. But I left so many reviews around then that I didn’t actually get to fully read and enjoy the stories, so I had to re-read it now. I might end up saying a little bit of what I said back then, but it’s only because I can now read it properly.

Okay, so starting with something I’m sure I must’ve said last time, but it can never be repeated too many times: I love the idea. I can just imagine how painful it must be after the war, knowing that all you did was just to keep you and your family safe, but no one else really sees it that way. They’re hurting too, but no one notices. And I definitely feel like it’s believable. People tend to forget that there are always two sides to every story, and we only see Harry’s. He doesn’t like the Slytherins, and his opinion of them are really reflected in the way they are described, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the objective truth. I always say the same thing about Slytherins as I say about Sansa Stark in Game of Thrones. They’re both survivors, they do what they need to do stay alive. Sure they’re not heroes like Harry, but then again very few people in real life are. The truth is that in the given situation, most of us would’ve acted like them; most concerned with keeping ourselves and the ones we care about alive, no matter what it involves (some exceptions to this of course).

I think your portrayal of PTSD is really realistic. The nightmares, the panic attacks (I’ve had many of those myself because of social anxiety, so I definitely sympathised with them), mood swings and even self-harm, it was just really painful to see what an impact the war had on their lives. I really sympathised with them, and that is quite a feat considering the books doesn’t really paint a nice picture of them, but they just seemed so human, so fragile and lost. And I almost hated the rest of the wizarding world for not realising the pain they were in, that they too are suffering from the war.

I really like Daphne. She seems so strong on the outside, but you can really see how vulnerable she is on the inside. I imagine she feels like she needs to stay strong for the rest of them; she feels like she needs to keep it together because someone has to. But she’s hurting too, just as much as the rest of them.

I’ve added the story to my reading list, because I really want to know what happens next and whether or not Daphne goes to France. I hope she’ll change her mind, because I think she and the others really need her to stay, especially Pansy.

This really is a good story, and my heart is really breaking for these lost teens that are dealing with the aftermath of a war they never wanted to be a part of in the first place.

I wish I could give you a much longer review to show just how much this affected me, but there are so many dobby noms. So I’ll have to try to keep the reviews a little bit shorter than they usually are. I do hope you understand how much I – and my friend, Lila Stangard, too – like this.

Congrats on your dobby nom, and good luck in the voting round.

And I almost forgot: Have a wonderful weekend!

Lots of Love

Lotte

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Review #12, by HeyMrsPotter before the Departure.

11th September 2015:
Hi, Emily! I'm here for reading week :)

I think you've done a brilliant job of portraying PTSD. The nightmares and the moodswings and the panic attacks were really well written. I liked that you showed it affecting a few different characters to show how it affects people differently. It really says a lot about how good this story is that when I finished it I found myself actually feeling sorry for these characters. It showed how the war impacted on lives even after it was over. I really liked that they all stuck together through it, too. It really showed the naivety of the characters, that they were still children. All in all I think this was a really accurate representation of post-war and PTSD.

Congratulations on your Dobby nomination!

Dee

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Review #13, by crestwood after the Battle.

15th August 2015:
EMILY. how have i never read your writing before? what was i depriving myself of?

let's just talk about your post-war world. there's not much time between canon and this story, but there's obviously a lot of unique elements at play here. for one, the ministry is really cracking down hard in this story. as much as i'd like to think that everything was forgiven and forgotten after the war, the unfair trials and jailings are probably a lot more realistic. i love stories like this that focus on slytherin minor characters. for some reason daphne and astoria at Hogwarts are just endlessly interesting to me.

i love the justification given for daphne going back to hogwarts even though she went for her seventh year already. it's always interesting the ways people write Slytherin students redeeming themselves after the war.

Your dialogue is so believable - it just flows. something i've noticed is that you are unnaturally good at writing the natural movements and subtle body language of characters as they speak. there's never a moment where it starts to feel like talking heads. while that style can definitely work for some stories, here i think that this grounded approach to dialogue is just perfectly suited.

Astoria's characterization is amazing. her righteous anger just kind of seeps out of her character. she jumps off the page at me. she's like that actor that sort of steals every scene they're in. i love how emotional she is, although it may be counterproductive in the current situation she finds herself in. It makes me wonder what she and Daphne were like before the war and if their current selves were coaxed out of them or fabricated by the trauma.

When you write about how the stones of Hogwarts are etched with memories, I can just see everything you're saying in my mind's eye. You've got such a remarkably cinematic way of description. It never stands out as such, rather it blends in with the prose as though it simply had to be told that way. You use space in a way that I actually wish I could. It feels like everyone is always moving, which they are. You just give more detail about the things people do with themselves when you write and it makes this story feel so...dynamic. It's not your fault is where I first felt tears.

Everyone's reaction to the war is different and everyone is acting so realistically. The new initiative is a huge frightening spanner in the works. I actually felt a sense of dread creeping upon me as I read it. This is one of those stories where I can tell I'm going to get overly invested and start to feel like I am these characters are be fearful of the things they're fearful for and nervous about everything they are. I love those sort of things that really immerse you in the world they're portraying.

Your characterization of Daphne is also something to speak about. You managed to write her as someone who's, for all intents and purposes, sort of empty. But somehow you avoided writing her as lacking depth. It's like, we can see the emotional depth simmering beneath the surface, even if it isn't right in our face. That kind of nuance is incredibly difficult and I just don't know how you managed.

The way you handled Pansy's panic attacks was wonderful. The thing about this is that it would be exceedingly difficult to reassure her because, well, they are in a really bad situation. Anxiety is bad enough to blow ordinary, everyday stresses into something huge, so I can only imagine what it does when the world literally is conspiring against you. She's a very sympathetic character already. I loved the scene where they rip up the newspaper. Little things like that really can feel great.

the dream within a dream that you wrote was just absolutely terrifying. those kind of dreams make me feel so totally on edge for a long time afterwards. i just feel that at any moment i could find out that i'm still inside of a dream and it's really so unsettling not trusting your own reality. Furthermore, stepping on your own dead body is a really traumatic thing to dream about. It's really quite sad that Pansy can't get a break, even as she sleeps.

I like Millicent's character as well, even though she doesn't seem to talk much and definitely isn't around very often.

This is jaw-dropping - "putting her head between her knees because she feels so much safer curled into the confines of her own body" It's not often that a piece of description feels clever, but this was a really, really clever bit of writing.

And - "She's drowning, honestly." I love the feelings the word drowning evokes.

The way you described the changes the Slytherins went through after the war are such great examples of how to show and not tell. Amazing.

I love that you called him Gregory. And that Draco showed a certain tenderness toward him - they are supposed to be friends and all. Also - fists that break the skin and bloody half moons! Brilliant!

I love the touch of the secret letter. I'm very interested in seeing if Daphne actually does decide to go on the run or not.

When Daphne catches herself about to roll her eyes at Pansy, that was a subtly excellent moment of characterization, wow.

The musings about Dumbledore's grave and the finding of Millicent's wand... what an amazing scene.

Daphne going on the run to live as a French Muggle is such an interesting and unique direction to go in, if you do, in fact, go in that direction. I have a feeling whatever you do will be genius.

The kiss at the end and the subsequent realization of how unhealthy it was managed to be both heartwarming and heartbreaking in equal measure. You're such an awesome, talented writer and I couldn't have liked this any more. Amazing chapter, Emily!

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Review #14, by merlins beard before the Departure.

10th August 2015:
Hey Emily,

I'm here for multiple reasons. I've started reading this around easter and I really wanted to come back to it and I still owe you two reviews for your incredible amount of stories for whose line is it anyways.

I think I've said it in my last review, but just in case I didn't (I'm too lazy to check right now): I LOVE THAT SOMEONE FINALLY FOCUSES ON THE SLYTHERINS.

I've never before been able to relate to the people who were always portrayed as the bad guys in the books. I've always thought that was a very one-sided approach (as it should be because it's Harry's opinion of them that we see). I would have loved to have seen something like what JKR did with Dudley in the last book.

The war has hit them hard. These are the people who were on the losing side. But they're still only kids who had their choices made for them. It's wrong to generalize them all.

I think even Draco wouldn't have turned out so bad if he had been raised differently. Even the way he is now, he was unable to kill Dumbledore or tell Bellatrix that it was actually Harry they had captured. I think they've all got a good side. It can't have been easy for them to use unforgivables on fellow students.

I love how strong Daphne seems on the outside, and I also love how vulnerable she feels inside. Pansy seems to be improving a little - she can almost overcome her panic attack on her own.

I think the removal of the Dementors may not have something to do with the Malfoys at all, but I see why the Slytherin students might think that. I really hope they're just gone because Harry wants them to be.

The treatment of individuals after a war never does seem very fair, but seeing both sides is a tough task for the people who won.

I'm going on and on forever, aren't I? My point is I love what you're doing here, how much thought you have put into this and how much understanding of the problems at hand you're showing.

I really do hope Daphne will be fine. I'm still not sure if she's actually going away or if she'll change her mind at the last minute.
I hope Pansy will be okay, and that the Ministry doesn't act too harshly, and that Draco gets out of this alive somehow.

Amazing work so far. I'm putting it on my currently reading list so I won't miss any updates.

~Anja

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Review #15, by EnigmaticEyes16 before the Departure.

1st August 2015:
I adore this story so much! I love the realism of it. A war just ended and these kids are clearly considered the bad guys compared to the other houses, even though they were just as terrified as the other students, and even more so now because they're still living under duress for fear of being sent to Azkaban.

Although I'm kind of surprised the Ministry has waited so long to do these trials. I understand wny they'd do Malfoy first, but to wait to do all this under after the school year started seems odd. Or maybe not. Maybe it was just easier to way until they were at Hogwarts to take them into custody. I don't know. But I just feel so bad for them. And poor Theo. I can't believe they actually took him!? That Malfoy would have his charges lessened by turning in his own friends. That's just awful!

I wonder if Daphne will really leave them all behind when the time comes. And what will come of the trials? Will Harry Potter step in like we know he does in canon? I'm very curious. I do hope you update this soon.

xxNix

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Review #16, by EnigmaticEyes16 after the Battle.

31st July 2015:
Hi! This is so good! I loved reading about Daphne and Pansy and the other Slytherins. I especially love how they're not mean or cruel, that they were terrified during the year the Death Eaters ran the school and were forced to attack other students for fear of losing their families. It sounds like they had it so much worse than the rest of the school, since their parents were in harm's way more often, being so close to the Dark Lord. Also, the fact that they were forced to attack the other students via the Imperius Curse! I mean, honestly, the ministry is so worried about the spells the returning seventh years have cast, you'd think they'd also realize that the Slytherins' hands were forced!

I'm not sure where this is going, but I love reading these characters and all the PTSD issues. It's very interesting! And I feel like I relate to Daphne most by compartmentalizing my feelings till I don't feel anything sometimes. It's definitely scary sometimes. But I hope it gets better for them! I'm very curious to see where this story is headed and what the ministry will eventually decide to do.

Great first chapter!

xxNix

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Review #17, by alicia and anne after the Battle.

29th July 2015:
I really like that you're showing that the Slytherins have gone through toughness in this war as well. That even they couldn't escape the trauma of it.

It's just oh so sad for them all, I can't even begin to imagine what it is that they're going through. :( I think that it isn't fair to the Slytherins either, and I'm worried that they'll be made an example of as well. Although I do love that they're sticking together through this, and trying to help each other.

This is just so heartbreaking! You've done such a fantastic job at showing the pain and the after effects and suffering that they're going through because of the war and what happened. It's obvious how much research you've put into this as it's so detailed and extremely well written.

I just want to cry at how broken they all are! I just want to cry so badly and hug them and help them heal! Just like Blaise is doing with the potions.

Oh Millicent! :( Did she die? Or did she run?

This is just so devastating and I'm so sad! This was such a fantastically written first chapter! Completely Heartbreaking though.

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Review #18, by Aphoride before the Departure.

19th July 2015:
Hey there, Emily! :) So you know how much I love this story - it's just so beautiful and so sad and ugh - so when I spotted you in BvB, I just had to stop by - especially when I saw you'd updated it :)

I really, really how you're tying Draco's trial, and the Malfoys' lucky escape from Azkaban into it (and it's strange, because I've felt slightly glad that they got out of Azkaban and avoided prison because certainly Narcissa and Draco never deserved it, but then in this you make me remember the rest of them, and how hard it must have been for them to watch the Malfoys get off, and know that they can't - or feel that they can't. Same difference, really :(). It just makes the whole thing feel so real - with the Slytherins sort of on the outside looking in at the changes taking place, but they can't see exactly what's going on, and they're so terrified. Uncertainty is something which can be so awful to have to deal with, and I love how you're including that in here.

I really love Daphne as a character - she actually reminds me of myself, which is a bit weird but kinda cool :P - she's being told she's so strong but she's still so terrified, and she's so afraid and just wants to be safe, and all these things are such human things to feel. I love how she also feels bad about leaving, but knows/suspects that she will anyway because she's a 'coward' - but really, she shouldn't feel like that, that's the unfair bit. She shouldn't have to choose whether or not to go :/

(I feel the unfairness of it very deeply, and I just wanna hug all the Slytherins, okay? :( I love them all...)

I loved your writing in this one (though in the top, just so you know, you repeated 'skin' twice in one sentence and it sounded a little odd ;)) - you use the repetition of the 'it's their/his coping mechanism' so well, and I loved the different sections going over the pass of time - it was so good, and so smooth. Also, your descriptions were so beautiful - I loved the way you described the news trickling down the Slytherin table, and the way you describe Pansy and Daphne's sort of not-quite-relationship. It's just so lovely.

Also, quickly, I forgot to say earlier, how I love that conversely, you're not making the Gryffindors/the 'light' guys, into villains either - it's just so beautifully done with showing grey and the problems winning a war causes for those who happened to be caught on the other side.

This is an amazing story. You are an amazing writer :)

Aph xx

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Review #19, by Flying mandarin before the Departure.

18th July 2015:
What you have written so far is very captivating and I would love to read more about this!

It's a very cool perspective and Daphne's narrative is super interesting. I like how you show all those different coping mechanisms and how they can impact the way people react to themselves and the outer world. I really like it and I hope you'll be updating soon!

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Review #20, by Veritaserum27 after the Battle.

9th July 2015:
Hi there Emily!

I'm here to deliver your reviews that I offered for the "Whose Line is It Anyways?" goals we set in the common room. I hope you don't mind that I didn't ask what you'd like reviewed...

I clicked on this story and I simply could not stop reading! Wow. It was entirely full of angst and drama and so many feels. I really think you nailed it - with an accurate depiction of PTSD and post-war trauma. Nobody wins with war. And it was brilliant of you to choose to write these particular characters - not just because they were Slytherins and came out on the losing side, but because of their particular ages/stage in life. Not only are they legally on the cusp of adulthood, but they were virtually thrown off the plank into the water of war that was created by their parents and forced to "sink or swim." And man, are they sinking...

I loved reading the small details you put in about the other characters dealing with their own PTSD - Draco, and Blaise and Millicent (*sobs*). And the fact that this particular group were bred to "act proper" and not show emotions, when all these storms are roiling through them - it was just such a beautiful piece, Emily. Fantastic job!

The scene at the war memorial was very effective. The contrast between honoring the suffering of the fallen heroes and having to "bury" the suffering of the children of the Purebloods was a stab at my heart.

And did this story win an award for one of the challenges? I think I read that - so congrats there as well!

Beautiful story!

♥ Beth

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Review #21, by jessicalorewrites after the Battle.

23rd June 2015:
hey! jess here, reading and reviewing so that I can (finally lol) get the results out for the diversity challenge. the results should be out within the next couple of days so keep your eyes peeled over on the forums!

plot/written value:
this is one of the greatest things I've ever read in terms of how well you deal with so many converging characters and the after affects on the 'losers' from the war. it's heartbreaking, how broken all these slytherins are. they're terrified for their lives and I want to scream and cry about the injustice of it all! it speaks volumes of many faults within the series (the polarisation of slytherin = evil for one of them) and expands the world post-war in a thoughtful, interesting, and realistic way. recently I've become far more intriguied by slytherins and this really sits well with what I love to read. your writing throughout was beautiful and emotive but yet there was still a strong sense of detatchment I felt as the reader, which I'm sure was supposed to echo daphne's own detatchment from those around her. particularly the moment with millicent's snapped wand was so poignant--I'm not 100% sure what happened to her, but whatever it was, that moment stands out.

characters:
you did a great job characterising daphne here in your own unique way. the way she internalises all the things she's faced in the war is so toxic but yet I see her as quite heroic, in that she does all this in a way to help those around her. I would definitely agree with blaise's comment that she is coping the best; she's the strongest of the lot. another thing I enjoyed was what you did with the rest of the slytherin bunch and how well you worked them in as excellent side characters with their own issues, struggles, and methods of coping.

diversity:
the best thing in this is that you don't shy away from the taboo or the sensitive. you look at both anxiety and ptsd in intricate detail that is both realistic and well-thought out. the issues raised link very strongly to what I'm sure many suffered from after the war. you dealt with them amazingly to say this was your first attempt! massive well done, I have no fault

favourite line/bit:
"daphne spends her summer doing the opposite; sitting in her room, watching her hands growing paler and paler, trying to hold the cracks of her soul in place." beautiful imagery ♥

- jess, xo

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Review #22, by Lila Stangard after the Battle.

12th April 2015:
Hi Emily.

I have returned to your stories, because I saw your post on the forums.

So first I will just comment on the story. I like the idea of portraying Daphne and Astoria after the war, and for your very first try, I think you did a wonderful job with describing anxiety/PSTD. I could really feel her pain.

^ Sorry that is very short. I will explain why. You see, there are a lot of things going on here in the world beyond, and therefore I did plan on only leaving one review. You know, we have limited time that we can spend communicating with the people in the world of the living. And I am spending my time reviewing your stories.

How did I know about your love for HTGAWM? Yes, I did in fact know you loved my series, but I was afraid to reveal much as I was not sure how far you had gotten episode-wise. I think you have over-analysed this point the most. It does not necissarily mean we are very close, because you have written this fact on your profile page. It may simply mean I have visited it.

I said I would see you around, and I realise now that I did word that rather misleadingly. I said I would see YOU, but I never said you would see ME (but I am a member there, just so that is clear).

I will eventually reveal myself, but you may want to find out before I do. That is fine by me, in fact I encourage it. But this is all a part of a greater scheme, and you will know when it is revealed because it concernes a lot of members.

But I'll give you a little hint as to who I am, in case you do want to find me yourself; "I not close as you think, but I am only far away in geographical distance. You do know the real me!"

Yours Sincerely

Lila Stangard

(by the way, I love that you have guessed wrong 3 times. I never thought anyone would even bother guessing my true archive/forums name :P )

(and I just broke my rule for you. I was really not suppose to review the same person twice, but I had to it after reading that status)

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Review #23, by Aphoride after the Battle.

11th April 2015:
Hey Emily! :D So I thought it was about time I stopped by this having heard so much about it in the cabin and around and so on, so here I am! :)

I love how you deal with this from the Slytherins' point of view, rather than the winners of the battle - it's so so true to think that the 'losers' will face similar issues to those who won, you know, and that they'll suffer too. It's not limited to the people on the right side of things - it's everyone, because these things don't discriminate.

Plus, the Slytherins of their year are a pretty fascinating bunch :P

I love how you've characterised Daphne - I identify with her so much. She's so real, with the way she internalises so much of what she's suffered, and she just wants out, and trying to help her friends gets wearing after a time - these things aren't nice things, but they're true in life and give this a lovely, almost bitter little twist. I love as well her relationships with the others - Astoria and Pansy especially - they're so rich and complicated and so in depth. It's really amazing, I don't know quite how you do it! :) Her relationship with Pansy is so so lovely, too - I love how easy it is, and you just know the kiss is coming, it fits in so well and it's sort of inevitable, really, because of the way you write the two of them.

Pansy and Astoria, too are wonderful characters. Actually, everyone in this is. I love how they're all struggling, and they've all reacted to it in different, equally heartbreaking ways - Pansy with her panic attacks and anxiety, Blaise by brewing potion, Gregory by making circles in his fists from his nails, Astoria by being angry... it's just so, so good, and it really gives a kind of darker reflection of what they were like before, in a way, which just makes it that much more sad. There's this sense in all of them, from your writing, that they're all so delicate and potentially about to break at any moment.

That moment with Millicent's wand snapped by the tomb was so so horrible. I'm not sure if she snapped it herself or if she was arrested or something, but either way the idea that she now doesn't perhaps want a wand or magic is just so incredibly sad. Especially when you think that one of the points of the war was to be more accepting of people with magic.

Your writing in this is gorgeous. Just so, so gorgeous. Your description is amazing, so emotive and evocative and just wonderful. The whole time I was reading this, I couldn't stop and it felt almost like I was being told this by a friend or something, like I was half-involved in it, and invested and, gah, almost like I was holding my breath for so long, you know?

This is just so so gorgeous and I'm sorry this review is a little bit short and very rambly and probably hasn't said much, oops, but gah, I just love this. I'm so so excited to see where this goes from here, and what happens to them all.

Favouriting :)

Aph xx

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Review #24, by merlins beard after the Battle.

2nd April 2015:
Hi. I'm here for the Ravenclaw Easter Gift Tag.

I really love this story. I haven't considered the perspective of the slytherins during or after the war (except Draco). I think this is a very interesting idea and you started it off very well. I can really imagine the wizarding world demainding punishment for the crimes committed in Hogwarts. You have put so many different ways of dealing with terrible things into this story. The students of Slytherin house have been through terrible things as well as everyone else but are frequently forgotten/left out. I think they deserve a story, and I'll come back to read more about them.

Author's Response: Hey there!

Oh, I'm so glad that you do! I really do think that Slytherins stopped being people in the HP books and started becoming something of a Nazi allegory, so I wanted to explore how they'd be feeling and reacting to the Battle. I'm really glad that you found this realistic, and that you liked this!

Thanks so much for taking the time to leave such a lovely review! ♥

Emily


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Review #25, by UnluckyStar57 after the Battle.

30th March 2015:
YES FIRST REVIEW AHAHAHAHA I WIN

No really, it's been so long since I've read one of your stories and now I'm fixing that. :)

Oh, but I shouldn't smile because this chapter was so incredibly full of... sadness? tragedy? Well, suffice it to say that this was very heavy reading material. And I loved every bit of it.

Contemplating what it must have been like for Slytherins who went back to Hogwarts after the War is such a shivery concept. I can imagine it, but seeing it depicted here is so much more evocative of their pain and fear of backlash from the Ministry and those who fought on the "right side." Never mind that there were lots of Slytherins who acted against their will during the Carrows' regime.

Oh man, you did such a brilliant job on Daphne's characterization. I love how she is so different from Astoria, so reserved where her younger sister is so passionate. It sets a sharp contrast to her decision at the end of the chapter, which seems very much like something Astoria would do if she were in Daphne's situation.

And I know I say you write beautifully over and over again, but I mean it every time. Your sentences are never awkward or clunky; they tell a story while containing something of a sad music that is all their own. This is BookDinosaur, but on a whole new level. I love it.

Oh my goodness, words aren't enough to describe the sadness I felt (and disgust) when Daphne saw Millicent's wand snapped in half. It's disgusting that someone should be made to feel so awful about themselves that they take their own life to escape. It's awful that the Slytherins have to deal with depression, PTSD, potential suicide, and on top of all that, impending trials, and it largely goes unnoticed by the authority figures in their lives. Meanwhile, are the Gryffindors and Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws receiving some kind of aid from the Ministry, or at the very least, some sympathy? My guess is: Probably yes.

Draco and Gregory Goyle... :''( No, that's too sad. I can't handle it. I've always, always thought of Draco as a bully and a menace, but this story shows a new perspective, no matter how ephemeral the moment was. You managed to characterize post-War!Draco in one moment better than some do in entire novels. Brilliance, I say. And utter sadness, because now I'm thinking about Crabbe and that's just no good.

One thing: After your Author's Note, the rest of my screen is in italics. I think you might have forgotten to close the HTML tags or whatever. (I don't know technical lingo, but it's the part.) But literally, that was the only mistake I found in this whole thing.

As far as the PTSD and anxiety parts go, I think that you handled them with grace and delicacy while managing to show the rawness of the feelings that Pansy and Daphne were experiencing. It was so incredibly awful to see PTSD through Daphne's eyes, and the voice that whispered such terrible things to her... Ugh. However, I have experienced neither PTSD nor anxiety. I only know that you drew me into the scenes with the terror of what your words were saying, and you convinced me that those were the horrors you were trying to convey.

But to dwell on these things is to ignore the ending, which was at once tragic and somewhat hopeful. It is heartbreaking that Pansy thinks she can only count on Daphne, when there are so many other Slytherins going through the same thing. I wish that Pansy would just go with Daphne to France so that they can recover together and avoid all of the potential angst of separation. :/

The kiss was written wonderfully. This story is obviously not meant to have romance in the foreground, because that would undermine the recovery process of both girls. It is apparent that they have feelings for each other, and whether the feelings materialized before the Battle or in the aftermath, I cannot say. However, I can say that I've never thought of this ship before, but I am 1000% here for whatever materializes in their future. I almost wonder if Pansy chose to kiss Daphne in that moment in order to make her stay at Hogwarts...? But I'm glad that Daphne ultimately pointed out that the kiss-and the potential relationship that might follow-is not healthy at all. The fact that Pansy kissed Daphne right after having had a panic attack adds to the general unhealthiness. So, for the ship, I think it'll be good for them to be apart, although Pansy needs to realize that she just can't deal with anxiety by herself.

Ugh, this is all so sad! Why would you do this to me, Emily?! Why...

In conclusion, I hope that you can continue this story very soon. I enjoyed reading it because of the incredible way you construct sentences and plots, and it made me very sad to read about post-War reconstruction from a Slytherin perspective. Where is Harry when you need him, and would he do anything to combat the prejudices if he knew about them? I certainly hope so.

(And I'm sorry if this is kind of a weird review. I've been reading Victorian poetry criticisms...)

Review at you later!
♥Mallory

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