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10 Reviews Found

Review #1, by oldershouldknowbetter All Publicity is Bad Publicity

5th March 2016:
You know that I haven't been feeling like reviewing which is why I've been holding off this review, but along comes Treacle Tart with her review challenge/donation thing and it's pushed me to do it. So this is being done for the Review-a-thon.

We left the last chapter with your Heroine about to accept something that could take her anywhere or into places she might not like. Whatever the path it was to take, we got the impression that she wouldn't come out of it unchanged.

Jayde's den is wonderfully described and is wonderfully intimidating for the poor Constance. She is always so doubting of herself and it shows in how you make her feel inferior.

Jayde explains her position well. She is not just doing this out of pity for Constance. No, she has another agenda as well. Doing so makes her far more human and a three dimensional character. If she didn't have another reason for pursuing the story, then we all would have had our doubts about either the authenticity of her character or about her underlying motives. That she reveals her ulterior motives right up front, means that we put aside our doubts about her character and it fleshes her out well.

I don't know if an article on bullying is going to have the massive impact that she thinks it is. The same-sex one that Constance sees the image of on her wall, would probably have been pretty big in itself. But we shall see what you do with it. If, as you allude to in Jayde's rant to come (more on that in a paragraph), that bullying has gone unchecked and unnoticed by the powers-that-be, then it just may be the big story that she is hoping for.

Constance wonders why she should be subjected to being a subject for the paper. She wants her life to be private - her shame to be private. Like all victims of bullying, she feels marginalised and alone in her misery. Jayde disabuses her of some of this notion in no uncertain terms. She has had a history in her own immediate family of targets of bullying, as well as herself apparently. I'm not too sure about this as you have not revealed a great deal about Jayde yet. At the moment all we have seen of her is a strong young woman confident in her abilities and secure in her own power. Surely this person could not have been the subject of bullying? As the story goes on and as we find out more about Jayde, we may see what exactly has happened to her in the past. Oh, I just needed to read on - black, gay and Muggleborn - she really is right in the cross section of a lot of different prejudices, isn't she.

It does put Constance in her place, though, Jayde's rant. She has to re-evaluate her own complicity in the continuation of her bullying for one thing. But she cannot see beyond the shame of not thinking about Jayde's feelings.

Jayde gives her an ultimatium, because that's what it really is, even though it's not phrased as such. She did the same in the last chapter, fronting up to Constance to see if she had some spine to her, to see if she could be helped into throwing off her bullies herself. Jayde found she did then, but it doesn't go so well this time. Constance doesn't stand up to her and tell Jayde that she is wrong about her. She walks off, with a bit of pride, but only a bit. Jayde is left alone and your readers can taste her disappointment, even though you don't spell it out for us.

Constance has sought the counsel of Lysander, as if that was ever in doubt, and he gives her a few home truths. There is not much to say about them, it is exactly what a best friend would say to someone in her situation. You give him his own voice and character, which is good, and serves to flesh him out nicely. You also don't veer into the patronising or into the over-wordy, you strike a happy balance.

But he drops one hint to her, a hint that your readers thought they might have gotten a taste of earlier - the fact that Jayde just might have selected her for other reasons beyond the surface ones. That Jayde Simmons just might fancy her.

Constance can't hear it though, her own low self-esteem won't allow it. Well, she can't let Lysander know that she heard his hint. Because she did and it now consumes her thoughts.

Just as an aside, some of the stuff about her own bedroom and what she does to avoid any negativity in it is so sad. Being the target of bullies is awfully soul crushing.

I can so see Constance thinking that just because she is unloved (as yet), she is unlovable. You give us now Constance's thoughts of the girl and we find out a lot more about the both of them in the telling. Constance thinks the girl is simply smoking hot, but what she has yet to find out is that seeming unobtainability doesn't exactly equate to actual unobtainabiltiy. She has the added consternation that she thinks that she has irrevocably insulted Jayde and that there is no coming back from it.

Oh, Constance.

You ask for some feedback, well here it is. I saw your request for a beta on the forums, but I don't think that I can come from a point of experince in the areas you want help with. The only thing I know is being the object of bullies, and that I know very well, but so far from what I have read of what you've written you have that under control. All of your main character's reactions are spot on from my experiences and they are well presented too.

Andrew,
Oldershouldknowbetter.

Author's Response: Hi Andrew!

It's been over a year since you wrote this review, but thank you so much for it! I absolutely admire your attention to detail and appreciate the time you took to write all of these nice things about my story!

I'm very glad that you like the description of Jayde's office! It really suits her, I think, especially since she's definitely got ulterior motives/reasons for featuring Connie in an article. I think at this point, Connie doesn't think the article will be impactful or relevant or worth anybody's time, but Jayde definitely has a vision for it, and no one's going to stop her from living it out.

Yeah, Jayde's definitely caught in the crossfire of a bunch of prejudices, but one that she doesn't experience is fatphobia (since she herself is quite thin). Despite her harsh exterior, she looks out for people who live with different experiences than she does, which is part of the reason why she wants to feature Connie--to get a more holistic picture of the stigma surrounding another person's reality, and to posit ways to end that stigma. But obviously Connie isn't ready to hear the truth that Jayde is spitting, so...

Yeah, Lysander definitely fulfills the best friend trope, but I'm glad that I struck that balance between cliched advice and just plain best-friend-friendship-ness. :)

Yeah, Jayde might have that kind of motive. ;) She's a multi-faceted character, after all.

Honestly, Connie does deal with a lot, but she's at a point where even the smallest stuff just breaks her. And that's really sad for her, but her perception of her situation tends to be really distorted (just as all of our perceptions are). So she will be learning from this, that's for sure!

Yeah, Connie's quite stuck, and she definitely admires Jayde (while being totally afraid of her).

Thanks, I'm glad that I managed to get the bullying part right! I appreciate your feedback!

~Mallory


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Review #2, by TearsIMustConceal Big Girls Don't Cry

26th February 2016:
Hey Mallory, here for our review swap! Sorry it's taken me a while! And thank you for the most amazing review ever, I swear you are my personal cheerleader when it comes to The Defenders! I know when you approve and like it that it's good!

So, I've been meaning to R&R this for a while, especially during the BvB but everyone kept beating me to it but here I am finally!

So, I love Constance immediately and I think it's the fact that she doesn't want to change herself so her bullies so the tormenting, but instead, she wants her bullies to change. It's so refreshing because obviously in a lot of cases, people change when they're being bullied but I never feel it's for the right reasons and they simply do it so it will stop but here, Constance knows she's overweight yet that's not the issue here, the issue is her bullies are ignorant and that's what needs to change. I feel like this is such a powerful thing to read and I just love her.

Bullying is such a prevalent, everyday issue that I love that you're writing about it. It should be written about more. The affects bullying has on Constance is written perfectly and we can see her struggles, both outwardly and internally. But I like how that she's not one of those characters that shrinks into the background because as Jayde says, she has a backbone and it's nice to see she hasn't let her bullies defeat her completely.

I love the whole good Ravenclaw/evil Gryffindor twin thing – it's a rare thing to see the Gryffindor's as the evil ones but I guess confidence, which most Gryffindor's have, can lead to taking things too far, which has happened here, with Lorcan being one fo the bullies.

Jayde.I am definitely intrigued by Jayde but I do like her. Sure, I think she's got ulterior motives but I think she can really help Constance find her voice and the power and strength she needs to finally stop letting Lorcan and his cronies get the better of her. I just hope she doesn't end up stabbing in her in the back, which is obviously a possibility. But for now, I like that she's willing to help Constance in her situation, even if it is for a story. I feel like she's a great counterpart to Constance's character and I can't wait to see where you take it.

Your writing as always is flawless and fluid and just amazing! I can't wait to read the next chapter!

-Vicki

Author's Response: Vicki!

I miss you and I miss The Defenders! Thank you so much for review swapping with me (last year lol).

Yes, Constance doesn't want to change herself, but that doesn't make the bullying any easier to deal with. I found it really challenging to write her, because the impulse in fanfic is to change the main character, to turn her into a carbon copy of every other MC ever to exist, but I really didn't want that with her. With bullies saying what they say, it's like, "Hello yes I know I'm fat, let's all state the obvious thanks." And pointing out facts in a rude way is no way to treat people.

Bullying is really tough to tackle, which is why people probably don't write about it as much as they should. When I wrote this, I really tried to tackle the heart of the problem--I'm probably still figuring it out on many levels. But she struggles, and yet she keeps on fighting. I like that about her.

I love evil Gryffies! Not that I WANT people to be evil, but it's so fun to write a bad character in an unexpected House. Gryffies are the heroes of the HP books, but there are also some really bad traits that they can have--like, when taken to the furthest logical conclusion, Gryffindor-esque chivalry is TOXIC, yo. So I like doing that because it allows me to explore those concepts!

Jayde is fun! Also extremely scary. I would hope that she wouldn't stab Constance in the back, but as I haven't continued this story at all, the world may never know. However, right now Jayde is only on the hunt for a compelling story, and she's not going down without a fight.

Thanks again, my dear!
♥Mallory


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Review #3, by Claire Evergreen All Publicity is Bad Publicity

26th February 2016:
Hey, Mallory! I'm here for our swap!

Your descriptions in this are absolutely amazing. Everything is so vivid in my mind, especially the Herald's office. I can see the pictures you described in this like they were real. In fact, the descriptions of the characters are crazy amazing. Unless I'm remembering everything wrong, there's not much actual description of the characters besides Constance's weight and Jayde's skin color, but I have such a clear picture of each of them in my mind, which is due to your fantastic characterization of each of them.

Speaking of characterization, Jayde's is absolutely stunning. She just oozes confidence and class, but I love that we got to see another side of her in this chapter. Her whole speech to Constance about marginalization and bullying was stunning. Like, this line: "So don’t you try to tell me about discrimination, Constance Edwards, because I have a whole history of it in my blood.”? Amazing. If you had never said that this was your first time writing about these issues, I would never have guess. While I can only speak to the accuracy of the LGBTQA aspect, I think you absolutely nailed everything with that.

(Also, side note, I love how lesbians are such a central part of your story, because I feel like they get pushed to the side a lot in popular media in favor of promoting relationships between two men.)

Side characters are my weakness and I love all of yours. He hasn't been in here much, but Lysander is fantastic. I think he's the exact type of friend that Constance needs: one that supports her, but also isn't afraid to tell it to her straight (okay, that was a bad, unintentional pun, but I'm gonna leave it). I'm excited to see more of him as the story progresses, as well as see him possibly interact with his awful brother.

Alright, Constance's inner monologue when she was sitting in her bed broke my heart. Part of me doesn't want to feel bad for her because she does need to get over herself somewhat, but the large part of me wanted to cry reading it. No one deserves to feel like that ever and I really hope that she's able to fix things with Jayde so they can take down all the idiots who are making life hell for everyone.

This is an amazing story, Mallory. I'm so glad that you're writing it because a lot of it needs to be said. Fantastic job and thanks again for your wonderful review in the swap!

Claire

Author's Response: Hi Claire!

Sorry for the months-late reply on this stellar review. Ily for reading and reviewing, though!

Thank you thank you thank you! I'm pretty bad with description--usually I favor dialogue because for some reason it comes out more naturally--but I really, really tried with this story. And I'm glad you appreciate my efforts! I definitely need to do more description with my characters, though, but I promise I tried very hard to describe them in ways that would be evocative without being sensationalized.

Thank you!! Jayde is such a striking person, but even powerful people have vulnerabilities, you know? I wanted to show how she's been affected by the rampant prejudices of Hogwartians, because nobody, not even the editor of the Herald, lives in a vacuum. Thank you!! I myself am not a lesbian, but I have friends who are, so I wanted to capture that sense of feeling marginalized and pushed to the side because you've deviated from the heterosexual "norm."

Hahahaa love the pun. Lysander is also one of my faves because he's so no-nonsense about the way Constance treats herself, and he isn't afraid to tell her that she's being stupid (while also being sensitive about how her perception of herself has been affected because of outside influences).

Poor Constance. In another world, if I were to continue this story, she will overcome most of her self-doubt (though that stuff kind of sticks around for the long run, you know?) in favor of accepting herself for who she is and blocking out the h8rs. (Even though that's dang hard, lemme say.)

Yeah, I really really should continue this. Maybe one day?

Thanks again!
♥Mallory


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Review #4, by RavenclawFTW Big Girls Don't Cry

13th February 2016:
Heya Mallory! I kinda feel like I'm cheating by reviewing this for BvB, since I was going to anyway, but I guess this is the push in the right direction that I needed!

First off, I love the title of this story a lot. Something about it is just really fitting and so appropriate for this fic. I'm terrible at naming fic, so it's always awesome to come across really well-named stories. The title of this chapter and its description are also excellent, so kudos on that!

As for the actual story: I haven't read any other entries for this challenge, but I should, because this is really important representation! I've read some fic before that have the main character start out overweight, and then they get bullied, and then they're motivated to lose a lot of weight and suddenly they're beautiful~ so this is a great change away from that. I can't wait to see more of the relationship between Constance and Jayde. To elaborate on that, I really love how you've put us in the middle of the story, with Constance being bullied and everything, but it's not about her changing herself, it's about changing her bullies and the people around her.

Constance seems like an interesting character so far, and I really like how you've established her here. She's balancing between feeling sorry for herself and not wanting to talk about it, which is unfortunately the reality of being bullied, especially for something like your weight. I'm also excited that she has a friend in Lysander (as much as it pains me that Lorcan is the bad guy because he has such a place in my heart from KCACO), because sometimes in stories like this the MC is really isolated. But of course somebody like Constance would have a good and supportive friend, because she's a lot more than just her weight, and you've kept that edge of realism in this story nicely.

(Also yay for supporting each other and having a nice queer friendship! I love the representation in this story in so many ways! Also gay James! You go!)

Also, Lysander seems so great so far-- I love his exit from the library SO MUCH. That's SO FUN and such a great description. (And it's a great twist to have the "good twin" in Ravenclaw and the "evil one" in Gryffindor, because there's so often that Gryffindor/Slytherin divide. You're great.) In general, your descriptions in this fic are so on point-- Constance's descriptions of Jayde in the bathroom are so vivid and well-written. I love your writing, Mallory. Just like...always. It's great.

Then there's Jayde!! I love the slight ambiguity of her thus far-- her personality has been described so nicely, but her physical features are still up in the air. (Which feeds really nicely into the next chapter, because I'm a cheat and I've already read that.)

Okay this paragraph: The emerald green varnish on her fingernails glinted in the dim light, matching the stripes in her perfectly-knotted tie. Constance studied Jayde’s nails as her long fingers splayed across the table, noticing the intricate silver serpent on each thumb. It was easier than meeting her eyes. is SO GOOD. It's such a nice way to introduce her Slytherin-ness, but keep the focus on Constance and her personality. The details tie together description and characterization and it's just great. I loved that part.

Okay, I think that's about it for now, but this is such a great story! I love how you're tying together so many issues into this, because these issues are a lot more interconnected and related that people often think. Great job! You're great! :)

(And yes, I'm still procrastinating my Bakhtin reading...shhh...)

--J

Author's Response: J!

I love you for reviewing this story. I wish I could find the inspiration to continue it, honestly, but idk about that. :/

I'm usually terrible at naming stories, but this one came to me and I genuinely loved it. I'm glad you like it too!

Yeah, I hate those stories where an MC feels that they have to change because they've been bullied. Honestly, that's kind of what happens in my other story with a plus-sized protagonist (Playing for Keeps), except that Annie eventually comes to terms with her body type and successfully blocks out the bullies (most of the time, anyway).

But with Constance, I wanted her personality to be unapologetic about her size and her sexuality, even though it really ostracizes her from her peers sometimes. Haha, I had to pick ONE TWIN to be the baddie, and this time it was Lorcan. I did want Constance to have a solid friend in Lysander, though, because she's obviously not a complete loner, just kind of an introvert besieged by bullies on occasion.

Gay James and gay Lysander, and gay everyone really because that's where I've landed in my writing journey. Lol. Lysander is a class act, and he exits from the library like a magical human being, which he is. Tbh I'm sick of the Gryff/Slyth divide and I try to break it up wherever I can.

Jayde is one of my faves, even though I'm slightly scared of her. She's definitely a Slytherin, and she's got an air of icy coldness, but she usually uses her powers for good, not evil. I promise.

Thank you again! I hope you read your Bakhtin in time for class! (Even though I'm sure you did because that was ALMOST A YEAR AGO.)

♥Mallory


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Review #5, by The Justice League All Publicity is Bad Publicity

11th February 2016:
I love this so much. I was intrested in reading it even before finding out it was going to be LGBTQA and I have to admit, it made me even more intrested. I can't wait to see how the story progresses.

Author's Response: Thank you so much for reading and reviewing! It means the world to me!

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Review #6, by Claire Evergreen Big Girls Don't Cry

22nd January 2016:
Hey! Here for the BvB Battle!

This is a really cool challenge idea and I'm glad that you're taking it on because there is a lack of diverse body types in fanfiction (I know I'm guilty of leaving them out). I think you set up a really interesting character with Constance and a lot of what she said really resonated with me, especially "The life coach never mentioned that it was hard to love yourself when the world didn’t love you back." That's such a powerful line and I love that you put it right at the beginning of the story.

I love all the characters you've introduced in this chapter. Normally in the stories that I see, Lorcan is usually really sweet and a lot like his mother. I never seen him be the bully, but I'm looking forward to seeing how to continue with his character. Jayde is actually the best person ever. You can tell that she is the HBIC at Hogwarts and her whole persona is so intriguing, I can't wait until Constance gets to know her better.

I like that you're challenging yourself with writing LGBTQIA+ characters and I think you've got a good start here. My Lysander is also gay (which is what I assume his sexuality here is) and I love that you've paired him with James.

This is such a wonderful start, I can't wait until you update with more!

-Claire

Author's Response: Hey Claire!

Thank you! I was excited to see the Plus Size Challenge, so I jumped at the chance to write something. I'm definitely all about diverse body types as you can tell, so this was right up my alley. Yeah, Constance has some Stuff going on, and hopefully by the end of it she'll learn how to deal with things in a healthier way (especially dealing with the bullies).

Thank you! I love writing characters in ways other than the way they are normally shown. That's why he's the bully, because it's atypical and I like to explore that. Ah yes, Jayde pretty much IS the HBIC, lol. She's very intriguing, a little self-serving, and most of all, a journalist.

Thank you so much! Yeah, Lysander is gay and so is James Sirius (James NEVER seems to be gay, does he? I've usually only ever seen gay Albus in fic, so I wanted to do something a bit different, even if James is only on the periphery).

Thanks so much!
Mallory


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Review #7, by TreacleTart Big Girls Don't Cry

21st January 2016:
Hello Mallory!

I'm here for our review swap! Let me start by saying it's been far too long and I'm so glad you're back! Now, let's get down to business.

Poor Constance. Bullying is such an awful thing and something that should be talked about more often. I'm glad that you aren't shying away from a tough subject like that.

I also liked that you really went into detail about how the bullying affects Constance. She seems miserable with herself, but I bet that has more to do with feeling so hated than any of her physical attributes.

I thought that making the Gryffindors the bullies was a nice break from the cliche evil Slytherin characters. I also enjoyed that you split that Scamanders up and made one nice and the other borderline psychotic. Just one small question, Is Goyle in Gryffindor? I was confused when she was mentioned like she was part of Scamander's gang.

I'm a bit suspicious of Ms. Simmons. I want badly to trust her and her intentions for Constance, but I can't help thinking that she's going to twist this or stab Constance in the back. I really do hope that she'll prove me wrong.

In terms of CC, I don't have much except for this one line that read a bit funny to me. “six stiletto-heeled-contoured-made-up-size-two feet of her” I found this line really confusing. I thought you were saying she had a size two foot at first, which was strange because that’s a really tiny size. It took me about 3 re-reads to realize you meant she’s 6’2’’ when she wears stilettos.

All in all, your writing is as good as ever. The flow and pace felt very natural and your main characters came to life very quickly.

I'm really looking forward to reading more of this. Good work!

~Kaitlin

Author's Response: Hey Kaitlin! Thanks for your reviews!

Yeah, bullying is awful and one of my pet subjects in fic. (Playing for Keeps also involves bullying, lol.) Yeah, for this fic I really tried to consider the psychological impact of bullying and the slow wearing down of even the strongest people.

I love me some Gryffindor bullies! I think that any House could have bullies, but I like flipping the Gryffindor/Slytherin dichotomy for something new. I have yet to write a Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw bully, but I'm sure I will eventually. Ahahaha, I think I Sorted Goyle into Slytherin, but she pals around with the boys because they always have the best insults.

Yeah, Jayde is really self-serving, but deep down she also cares, even a little bit. You'll have to see... :)

Ahahaha, whoopsie! Need to reword that! D: What I really meant was that she wears a size two in clothes (which I really should change to fit British sizing standards). But yeah, that IS a lot of description in one long hypenated mess! D:

Thanks so much!
Mallory


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Review #8, by No account Big Girls Don't Cry

12th January 2016:
This sounds so interesting and unique! I'm looking forward to the next chapter!

Author's Response: Aww, thanks for dropping by! Hope you continue to enjoy!

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Review #9, by Pookha Big Girls Don't Cry

12th January 2016:
This is an important subject to tackle. Too often fanfic is about perfect bodies, perfect personalities and the heroes are Mary Sue or close to it and the villains are mustachioed caricatures. I've got a first year in one of my stories who is plus size, but it's a sub-plot to the story rather than a main emphasis, so I applaud you for tackling this head-on.

I like the way that Constance and Jayde are both portrayed. Constance is obviously bright and well-adjusted except for being bullied and the self-confidence issues that go with it. Jayde, while being a muckracker is also sympathetic to Constance for some reason (which I believe will be revealed later).

I have a hard time believing Luna and Rolf would put up with a bullying Lorcan, but that's headcanon and up to the author. You do a good job showing the bullying without going too far. And Lysander being so different was a nice touch.

Going to favorite this and wait for more.

Author's Response: Thank you for your nice review!

Yeah, I'm a huge fan of not writing about skinny people, simply because that's not my experience. I'm not a skinny girl, so it doesn't feel right writing about one in my own work. Also, it's just so fun to write diverse characters--whether they be diverse in body type or some other aspect. Thank you!

Yeah, Constance has major self-confidence issues that will come out later, and while Jayde is semi-sympathetic, she's also on the lookout for a big story. So she's kind of self-serving but also awesome? Idk, I love Jayde and her conniving journalistic ways. :)

Yeah...I characterize the Scamander twins pretty wildly, and they're always polar opposites. In one of my other stories, Lysander acts like a Freudian psychologist and Lorcan is a Gobstones nerd. But for the purpose of this story, I wanted the dichotomy to be really clear between them. Lysander kind of complies with his parents' weirdness, while Lorcan rebels against it in all the wrong ways. And that isn't necessarily my headcanon for them either, don't worry! But that's what I needed for my story. :)

Thanks again!
Mallory


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Review #10, by oldershouldknowbetter Big Girls Don't Cry

12th January 2016:
Well this is an interesting start I must say. Hi there, here for a bit of BvB.

Bullying and bullies is going to be a theme in my story too, so it is good to see someone else tackle it too. And it is over a usual cause - the fat kid. That she is gay too, or at least non heterosexual - you have not actually defined her proclivities yet except to say what they are not - would not help her case if it were widely known. I can relate; one does not want to give bullies anymore ammunition than they already have.

The invention of your journalist is a good one. I have seen a few before in the next gen stories and they are either anti-Skeeters or cast in the same mould. You seem to be having the girl be even more Skeeter than Skeeter. It is interesting, in the same story where you have the usual thuggish bullies, you are going to have an erudite, literary one. I wonder which one will, in the end, wield the more power? (as if I didn't know already)

Constance doesn't want to shed the tears you have her spill. I can imagine many other times where she has held it together, but this time was one insult too many or one time too many and it broke down her defenses. Also the way you have her say that it is hard to do anything about bullies when you are in the midst of being harassed by them is so true too. Either you have been the victim of bullying yourself, or you have a particularly good empathetic grasp upon the situation, because everything you have written is spot on.

It is also an interesting twist to have the brother of the bully be her best friend. Like has sought out like it appears, in this situation at least. I can truly picture his shame at his brother's actions.

The reactions of Jayde are wonderful. She is fascinated, as an entomologist must be discovering a new species of beetle, at her discovery of the weeping Constance. To her, secure not only in her power, but also the sheer conviction of her own merit, it must be exactly like that entomologist - wanting to study the fascinating new specimen to see exactly what it does and how it thinks. In the end Jayde takes her on; as much for her own pleasure as for the benefit of Constance.

This story could go many places and all of them quite interesting. It could be a short tale or long, either would be good. One thing I do wonder though is what year they are all in. I assume that it is a latter year with he way that they are all acting, and we also have the hint in the fact that Lysander's boyfriend James must have already left school.

Andrew,
Oldershouldknowbetter.

Author's Response: Andrew! Sorry it took me ages to respond to this awesome review!

Yeah, this is not the first time I've tackled bullying in one of my stories (Playing for Keeps is the first, but obviously the theme takes a backseat to organized crime and stuff like that!), but it is the first time that I've really focused on it as a central theme. The fact that Constance is both fat and queer (she's actually bisexual) is something that I was interested in exploring in fanfiction because it comes from a slightly different angle than the bullying in Playing for Keeps.

Haha, thank you! I like to think of Jayde as Rita Skeeter, but more truthful. She's definitely a different kind of journalist, and hopefully in the larger scope of the story, her journalistic achievement will usher in a new age once she becomes editor of the Daily Prophet and kicks Rita to the curb (haha, but that's waaayyy in the future).

Wow, thank you! Yeah, I (like most people) have been bullied and in turn, have picked on people (I'm not proud of it, and it's in my past, but it does shape my writing). I used both perspectives when writing this--particularly in the pointless feelings of power that the boys feel when they bully her, as well as Constance attempting to hold it together but finally losing it. It really is a tough subject, and maybe I should revisit this story because it's really good for reminding me where I came from.

Yeah, whenever I write Lorcan and Lysander, I always portray them as polar opposites. It's fun! But yeah, having your brother be a bully is not fun, I think.

Oooh, what a great comparison! Yeah, Jayde looks at Constance with a journalistic fascination (but maybe there's also something more? *wink wink*). She's definitely talking to Constance more out of curiosity and desire to write a story than out of a desire to console or help her at this point, but that might change!

I was hoping to make this a shorter story, and right now it remains very, very short because I haven't worked on it in a very long time, lol. Yes, I place all of the main characters in their seventh year. One of those typical coming-of-age Hogwarts stories, you know?

Thanks again!
Mallory


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