Reading Reviews for Ignite
  
436 Reviews Found

Review #1, by MuggleMaybe Melt Into Me

17th August 2015:
I have no words.

That's a lie. I have many words, but they are all jumbled with the emotions in my head from reading this. Perhaps a list...

1) I got only one hour of sleep last night thanks to my total disregard for anything other than this story.

2) THIS--> 'Get in the queue for hell, but be ready for a long wait 'cos some people have got express tickets.' --> WHAT A LINE! :wub:

3) Everything about this chapter was just so overwhelmingly, emotionally amazing. And then you go and close with that letter from Harry, who I already love so much, and MY HEART WAS NOT PREPARED FOR THIS!!!

4) Also about the letter, but I feel the poetic justice in Harry giving Sirius's watch to Scorpius deserves its own accolades. So brilliant, so moving.

THIS STORY IS UNBELIEVABLY GOOD! Like, why aren't you published yet? (Or maybe you are?) I would pay the outrageous price at a bookstore to own this book. In hardcover. Even if it wasn't on sale. Sincerely.

I hope you are VERY VERY VERY proud of this story, because you should be!!!

In awe,
Renee

Author's Response: I'm still only a LITTLE sorry about not enough sleep due to story reading. *cough*

Sometimes I give Scorpius good one-liners. Actually, no, sometimes Scorpius breaks into my brain and delivers good one-liners, then yells at me until I write them down. He's finnicky like that.

I was so excited when I got to write the letter from Harry! The bond with him and Scorpius wasn't planned at ALL, and then I was writing the very first chapter and the similarities between them struck me. I knew I had to revisit it, which was tough as they're separated by quarantine for the whole bloody story. But the letter seemed apt, as did Scorpius getting Sirius' watch.

Any publishing I have received is all self-published, and science fiction crime thrillers, which isn't always the cup of tea of my Harry Potter fanfic fans. If only I could publish this, alas. JK would rightfully have me. :-D

Thanks a whole bunch for your kind words and review!

- Cath


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Review #2, by MuggleMaybe Fever Pitch

16th August 2015:
MuggleMaybe here for the Review & Rec Dobbys thread. :)

Oh my goodness! This story is too addictive for it's own good! I meant to stop and review every chapter. I meant to stop for the night after chapter 5. And now here I am at the end of chapter 7, and I really don't know how I got here because it was all one suspenseful and exciting blur of plagues, bat-boogey hexes, centaurs, and teenagers too proud to admit they might actually fancy someone rather than hate them.

In other words, I am loving the HECK out of this story!!

I really enjoy your version of the next gen characters. Scorpius Malfoy, who I generally love, remains lovable in his way. Rose is brilliant and biting and short tempered. Al is level-headed, responsible, goodhearted. All of this *sounds* very typical of next gen, but somehow you've managed to make it all fresh and new in your rendition.

Frankly, I have to leave a review, because I want to leave a Dobby's request and this was the previous rec (and because this story absolutely deserves the review! I'm giving it 10/10) - but I honestly can't think of anything more to say because I am too distracted with finding out what happens next. THAT is how amazingly engaging this story is!

So, yeah. Bye. ON TO CHAPTER 8! :D
~Renee

p.s. it seems rather likely I'm going to be up way too late tonight now... ;)

Author's Response: Woo! I love it when people find this story anew. So glad you've been enjoying it, and so glad you've carried on reading!

Scorpius is easily lovable, so I'm more pleased to know you love Rose, who sometimes gets a bad rap from readers at htis early stage of the story. But she is brilliant and flawed.

Thanks a whole bunch for the review and I'm a LITTLE sorry you stayed up too late. But not that sorry. ;)


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Review #3, by TheFawkesRebirth Sackcloth and Ashes

6th July 2015:
This story is really strong. As someone who's working on a big piece like this (or at least attempting to!), I'm glad I'm reading this. Your attention to detail is pretty brilliant as far as fanfiction goes. It makes me feel incompetent, but for me it's a good reference in that it shows me what I should be striving for!! The story is good, but it's also enjoyable. There's kind of a difference. A lot of the good writers on here get too caught up in description and flowery language. Not even JKR does that, and I think there's a reason.

Author's Response: Thanks! Really glad you're enjoying this, and I would much rather inspire than intimidate. I do try to take my writing standards seriously, but the point is entertainment. So I have no doubt you can do it too, and if you and your readers are having fun, that's what really matters!

And no, I don't do lengthy prose. Rambling, maybe, but not pretentious. My prose is thoroughly workmanlike, sometimes to its detriment. ;)

Thanks for the review, and good luck with your fic!


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Review #4, by Roisin Embers

5th May 2015:
Ah! This chapter went to Alright so fast that it made my head spin! Which is sort of perfect, because that's exactly how the characters feel. Like, "OK YAY ALL BETTER"--except Methuselah is DEAD. It's a bit like DH in that way. Like, "YAY VICTORY" but also "AH TONKS/REMUS/FRED!"

But yeah, all in all, the tonal shift here is so perfectly dizzying. After SO MUCH TIME just them all cooped up in the castle with unconscious students, it's really bizarre to see reporters jumping out of shrubbery.

"Just regular dead."--D:

Oh man, Father/Son showdown. Went about exactly as I had hoped and expected. I'm glad you didn't try to make a sympathetic Draco. Like, there's canon fodder for that interpretation, but it's easy to take too far. Draco's most sympathetic moments also happened to be his most pathetic, which doesn't say a great deal. And he was never brave so much as passive. While I can't see him as a Big Bad, he's often too easily forgiven. Like, he was complicit in TORTURING Hermione Granger. We can't really let that one go too easily.

'Flicker of a smile on Ron's face'!--Nice. It's easy to go the Overprotective Dad route with Ron, but I liked that you've given him enough reason to like Scorpius.

'I never liked the place'--BAH. RIGHT?!

Oh man, OH MAN. This story was SO GOOD.

SO. GOOD.

I've really enjoyed it SO MUCH, and it's definitely high on my All Time Top Favorites list.

BRAVA, Madame. BRAVA.

Author's Response: I'm glad the chapter is SATISFYING in its tonal shift, I was never 110% sure on ending things so abruptly. To further explore the aftermath would require the story to leave Hogwarts, and to look to the long-term. I didn't want to do the former at all - this is absolutely a Hogwarts story - and there was always going to be a sequel, so I knew the weeks and months afterwards could be covered there.

So Selena spends the final chapter crying downstairs while everyone else kind of numbly goes, 'We're alive, yay? But Methuselah is DEAD.' Regular dead.

I entirely Dislike Canon Draco. I see the elements in which he had no choice and I sympathise, but the sympathy doesn't outweigh the bad for me. I'd like to think he WOULD become a better man than he does in the Stygian Trilogy, and Pottermore implies that's the case. This is a fairly Worst Case Scenario family man Draco Malfoy. But I do think it's a POSSIBLE path he could take.

It's more complicated than Scorpius ever thinks it is, and it's even more complicated than Draco presents himself here, but nooo. He can care about his son and still not be a Good Guy.

I DESPISE - with the fire of a THOUSAND SUNS - the Ron who auto-hates Rose being with Scorpius, however decent a guy Scorpius (or sometimes the Malfoys as a whole) are. Ron's not an idiot and he's had 25 years now to grow up, slow down, and pay attention. The moment he realises Scorpius isn't so hot on his family, Scorp is okay by him. Basically I'd fire that cliche into space if I could, I will defend Ron to the death, fight me.

I am so thrilled you've enjoyed the story! It does continue... with some tonal shifts, which I only quite realise the severity of when people talk about the fun and humour in Ignite, but yeah, really glad you've had fun, really grateful for all of the excellent, excellent reviews.

Cheers!


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Review #5, by Roisin Blaze of Glory

5th May 2015:
Oh no. I do not like this chapter title. I don't like this chapter title one bit. I know that the idiom begins "to go down in a..." D:

Every time I think I can't enjoy Lockett more, BAM, she does it again. She creates such great rapport with the other characters, and I love the interplay between everyone.

Also, good job making this SUPER DUPER HIGH STAKES!

It kind of works out perfectly, Patronus-wise: Albus already rocks at that stuff, and then ScoRose and MethuSelena all have romantic kindling.

And of course Scorpius' is a fox! The trickster!

You do a really good job of making Dementors creepy. The way you write them as kind of weirdly organic, like fungus, and not consistently tangible really gives me the chills.

OH NO. OH NO.

OH NO.

NO!

*weeps*

WHY?!?!?!

Then again, as INCREDIBLY BUMMED as I am about Methuselah sacrificing himself, it works really well on the literary level. Like, shows the most personal arc and all (from him nearly running away early on). He got something to live for, and it was precisely that which enabled him to sacrifice himself. Also, Selena's sort of been least traumatized by everything, and this will probably prove to be a major turning point from her. She of all of them hadn't yet done a huge amount of growing up (which is part of what I liked about her). But I can also see the value of this experience in terms of character development.

"--because they had won."

I need to go curl up in a little ball and sob now.

Author's Response: Ominous chapter title is ominous.

I don't think Lockett worked as well as I'd hoped as a Mentor to the GROUP, but I'm so happy with her relationship with Scorpius and just her as a character that I'm okay with it all.

Hee, romantic kindling. And I didn't realise until later I didn't get to show Selena and Rose's patronus, but we will see those in later stories.

I liked to get into the idea of the creation of Dementors - like, how do these things come into BEING? And they're basically at the epicentre of a birthing lair, so there'll be fully-formed ones and ones still coming into being, and ones probably emerging right then, formed by the gang's feelings and doubts - I'm glad it worked, basically!

Methuselah was always written to die. I knew there would be a Death at the end of Ignite, and I knew it would be the Smart Guy Logicking himself into the sacrifice (instead of Scorpius running on guts and glory). So, rather cruelly, I wanted him to have an incomplete story, to deny the reader closure to him and Selena, because... 'killing' the story is a way of making the reader feel the killing of the character, so to speak. As other characters feel the void of his absence, the reader feels the void of denied future plot.

It'll just be another story, really. Selena's story, and honestly I've never had a character who picks up a ball and rolls with it and grows greater than any of my plans than Selena does in Starfall, and is still doing as I write Ignite.

...yeah okay, my last line is just cruel.


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Review #6, by Roisin That Vital Spark

5th May 2015:
I LOVE Scorpius' reasoning for getting Rose chocolates and flowers! LOVE IT. Just so brilliant and lovely and amazing :D

Man, Scorpius spends WAY too much time beating himself up. Just because the story with Thane is a lie doesn't mean he can't be proud of the victory. He's way too preoccupied with this idea that he's getting undeserved recognition. GUH SCORPIUS JUST BE HAPPY.

Also, Rose saying she could take on a whole army of Dementors feels an AWFUL lot like foreshadowing.

'I just have one,' said Scorpius. 'Dementors.'

'Not a question,' said Methuselah.

'All right. Dementors?'

'What, specifically, is the query regarding -'

'Dementors!'

BAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

I always love seeing Lockett and Scorpius talk. While so superficially different they still have so much in common. Self-loathing, to start. It's really amazing to see how their relationship evolved over the course of this story. I reckon that Scorp is closer to he than any of the students, despite the fact that Rose spent the most time with her.

AH! Methuselah's angst here is SO Breakfast Club! Like, that EXACT idea gets floated! And also, I don't think ANY of them will be any good at getting back to normalcy. Whatever Selena likes to think, I can't imagine she could just bounce back to her previous life. She's SEEN THINGS, MAN.

And also AW METHY HAVING FEELS GIVES ME FEELS!

Author's Response: I recently re-read this chapter and thought, 'I pray to God Scorpius isn't coming across to much was "you're not like OTHER GIRLS."' Because that's super not the intention of the scene but he could probably stomp further away from it. But YES, he means it NICELY, like she's more important to him than his past, superficial relationships, but it doesn't mean she shouldn't get the fun, superficial bits too.

Scorpius is an expert at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Couldn't possibly comment on the army of Dementors comment, cough.

Methuselah's right, it's really NOT a question.

Scorpius and Lockett are definitely closer than Lockett is with any of the others. Rose worked with her, but that relationship stayed very... professional, for lack of a better term. Other than Albus' brief sally, Scorpius is the only one who tried to relate to Lockett as a person, and he's the only one who particularly responded to her brand of... trying to help? Not that she TRIED to work with the others, but I think her acerbic sarcasm had more of a dent on him than the rest. It's a somewhat unusual mentor/protege relationship, but it's one I'm happy with, and it's very important to them both.

I need to see the Breakfast Club, evidently, as Ignite is apparently Breakfast Club meets Harry Potter as directed by Michael Bay. ;) But YEAH, normalcy just doesn't happen after this, and Methuselah's hardly wrong to worry. Especially about Selena.

And YES HE CAN BE A REAL BOY SOMETIMES. :-D


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Review #7, by Roisin Freeze Out

5th May 2015:
Haha, Scorpius is ALWAYS winging it. That's a pretty good summary of his entire strategy thus far.

UGH, what is Thane's GAME? Scorpius has a really good point about dumping a plague and then getting upset when fatalities happen. I just CAN'T fig where Thane is coming from!

IIRC, there was some mention of the open-ended-ness of Thane's side of the contract last chapter. I'm surprised he thinks it's such a coup to have reinforcements when EVERYONE could see that coming.

OH HUZZAH HOUSE ELVES! YESSS! Oh my god SO BRILLIANT. And man, I love how all the simmering issues around House Elves end up coming to a point here. That Harley would be stoked to beat on some wizards got introduced early on, and it's all just so masterfully well played here.

'This! Is not! A person! Beating the tar out of you!'--YES.

And this is really tiny, but I like the word choice of "stun splashed." I haven't seen that before but it's a perfect sort of image.

It seems like when push comes to shove, Scorpius always responds bodily. Throwing himself at Thane; punching the redcaps. Like "SCREW MAGIC, LET'S TUSSLE."

THANE WHAT? WHAT? WHAT? HE IS THE MOST ENIGMATIC EVER. Also, props on making him helpful AND scary at the same time. His little thing about tracking down Scorp's mum and torturing Albus reminds me of Breaking Bad a bit ("I will kill your wife; I will kill your son; I will kill your infant daughter").

"And a cure was supposed to be out by then"--WHAT? What is this plot, Slide? WHAT IS THIS GAME? (I have to imagine Hogwarts was some sort of distraction designed to cause chaos).

Hahaha, 'the otter didn't smile because it couldn't.' You manage to throw in so many silly little things that nicely offset everything else. Also, I liked Scorpius forcing a smile. His minstrel mask has seriously been peeled back at this point, and there's no longer any question that his Joker Act is just that--an act.

Oh man, I've been friend-shipping Scorpius and Harley for so long! It's so amazing to see them have this little pow-wow! And you manage to add another layer to your theme on heroism here, how it's just not as available to elves. Everyone else will seem brave, but the elves were 'just doing there jobs.' RIGHT IN THE FEELS, all of it!

And yay Rose is better! Now here's to hoping he doesn't immediately do something stupid.

Author's Response: Scorpius, making it up as he goes along, Jack Sparrow-style. I could see that. Thane has his reasons, though I do string them out for quite a while. Who he is, who he pretends to be...

It's probable I shouldn't have pointed out the reinforcements loophole last chapter, as dramatically it does hurt the scene for Thane to do EXACTLY what was predicted (at that point). On the other hand, sometimes he's not as clever as he thinks he is? But that isn't what I was trying to imply to the reader, so I probably shouldn't have drawn attention to it with Lockett noting it.

And yes, the final payoff of the House Elf plot! Harley is okay to take a little demeaning if it means he gets to beat up some dark wizards. Or any wizards, a little bit, but it helps for it to be righteous.

I suppose if a Shield is a barrier, then describing magic as splashing against it came automatically. Could use 'crash', but 'splash' is gentler. And also implies the barrier's sturdier.

It's true that when in doubt, Scorpius stops using magic. I admit, I'm not sure why. I suppose he often assumes that people will be BETTER at him at magic, and while he doesn't think he'll be the most physically powerful, it's probably more 'when in doubt, be unpredictable.'

Enigmatic and unpleasant Thane. It's possibly a little cruel/unsatisfying for the mystery of him and his motivations to be stretched across all three books when it's SO KEY in resolving certainly Ignite. 'cos that's years of telling people, 'wait and see.' Ah well. Haven't seen Breaking Bad (I know, I should); for villainy I do sometimes draw on Philip Seymour Hoffman's antagonist from Mission Impossible 3. Average movie, delightfully casual EVIL.

It's got to be so weird putting a person's expressions and mannerisms, especially one you know well, onto an ANIMAL. And the game's up, Scorp, people know you're not just a joker, flee!

I totally would see wizards dismissing the works of the elves. They're just elves, right, they do what they're told? Who cares that they risked life and limb, it's what they DO, isn't it! Horrific and casual and rather likely, and while Harley knows it's the truth he's not going to be Noble and Accepting it. Resigned, but bitter.

Scorpius, immediately do something stupid? Naaah.


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Review #8, by x-rayLady Embers

25th April 2015:
This was a brilliant, well-written story! So much so that I am wondering if you'd happen to have some original fiction published out there somewhere. And even if you don't you really should consider doing so ;-)

Author's Response: I do have original fiction out there, though it's self-published so doesn't really count. ;) Check my Author Page here on HPFF for some links.

Very glad you've enjoyed the story! Thanks for reviewing.


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Review #9, by Roisin Melt Into Me

7th April 2015:
MEOW HARRY AW! Totally made me tear up, there!

Also, way to nest a bunch of family intrigue into that letter! I'm now wondering if some of Draco's less-than-innocent business dealings have something to do with the larger conspiracy at play.

It makes a lot of sense to me that Harry would give him a watch--after all, he didn't have a family to give HIM one, and so he would know how important it is to step in for someone else. Like, he totally knows what Scorpius is going through, so it makes sense that he'd sort of adopt him the way the Weasleys adopted him and the Potters adopted Sirius

I again loved Selena and her Emotional Wisdom and advice-giving. AND HER AND METHY ARE SO CUTE ZOMG! So many WAFFles.

And I really loved the conversation between Scorpius and Albus. Scorp did a really good job of making him feel better, and also sort of made the case for the reader. I loved his point about how they're all a team, and they're all flawed, and they have each others' backs.

I sorta wanna maybe suspect Draco as the big bad, but that doesn't really work--he wouldn't know that Scorpius would get detention and end up in the protection zone. And even if he's a terrible father he probably wouldn't turn his own son into an Inferius. But yeah, he might be connected somehow.

Author's Response: I present Draco in this story rather more nastily than I think it's likely he would have wound up (if nothing else, I doubt JK had him go through all he did only to become just as much of a berk as his father). But certainly he has his skeletons in closets and nastier secrets. It would take some supremely insane villainy to willingly have his son turned into an Inferius, and not really one I could see a Malfoy signing up for.

Oddly I never intended the Harry/Scorpius relationship when this story was in the planning stage, but of course the moment I started with Chapter 1 and their interactions it LEAPT out at me with all the obvious parallels. I figured Harry would feel much the same.

Selena really is the Heart of the group. Scorp and Al do have each other's backs decently. They're pretty integral to one another's sanity as well as development.

Thanks for reviewing!


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Review #10, by Roisin Hot Blooded

7th April 2015:
Something interesting happens here with Harley. Like, there's the comment about wanting to help Hermione's daughter, but more importantly, he stops Albus from torturing someone! AND a bad guy AND a human to boot! I think of all of them, Harley has the most rigid and consistent code of ethics. This code is also why Scorpius and Rose didn't get on with him in the beginning--his code sort of dictates that he do everything he can to maintain elf dignity and be sure they aren't taken advantage of.

And man, what an entrance for Locket! The drama and excitement of this scene is a great pay-off after such a long absence. And of course, SHE HAS A POTION TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM! I was recently reading about Deus Ex Machina, and how it's often criticized--but I like a well done one. All the little pieces were put into place and then it ends up coming together at the exact right moment. I find it very satisfying :)

Also, all the stuff about truth serum and conjecture was really interesting. Like, that things get fuzzy around suspicion and guesswork. And I think I've said this before, but I just love the Tamsin Grieg faceclaim for Locket. I've only seen her in a few things--and never in a role quite like this--but I can really SEE her. You definitely have a firm handle on this dynamic character, and the actress you chose is someone who I can really picturing delivering her dialogue. I love that Locket, in many ways, sort of presents herself as a this shrewd, wry, no-nonsense person but at the same time is very kind of fragile and just generally complicated.

It's very curious that Thane seemed upset by Tim's death. I mean, while he isn't himself at the top of whatever's going on, he's certainly a big part of it. Why make a curse that ultimately kills and turns the dead into inferi if you don't want people to die? WHAT IS THANE'S ANGLE?!?!?! I don't buy that he's just a wand-for-hire in all this. Or maybe he is, and he took the job specifically to infiltrate and be sure it wasn't successful? I DUNNO! And what does the stone have to do with it?!

And BAM BOSS WITCH ENDING. Gah, this story is so addictive!

Author's Response: Harley kind of leapt out at me in the writing of this chapter. Looking back, I figured he's older than the Five, and has probably had his moral standards hammered and challenged consistently over the course of his life battling for House Elf rights. While I doubt he's been in this situation before, the idea of giving everyone fair treatment even under harsh circumstances isn't new, while Albus and Scorpius are for the first time finding their stances challenged.

I sometimes feel bad for how I depict Lockett, not necessarily for Deus Ex Machina-ing, but her more heroic moments tend to come at the expense of Hermione's principles. Veritaserum is scary stuff and I could entirely see its usage being restricted. And yet, right here and now, it's the most humane and sensible option.

Lockett is one of the most damaged characters in the entire series, which I suppose I make up for a bit by having her also be one of the smartest and most competent characters, too. Like delivering the Dramatic End of Chapter line!

Ah, Thane. Mysterious Thane. I can't say much, I keep readers dangling on him for a LONG time.

So glad you're enjoying! Thanks for reviewing.


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Review #11, by Roisin Cold as Ice

21st March 2015:
Methy totally reminds me of me right now *facepalm.* The plural of 'octopus' is actually 'octopodes' (in biology), and 'octopuses' is accepted. 'Octopi' is just WRONG. I twitch and fidget anytime someone says 'octopi,' and try not to say anything because it's usually coming off the heels of them correcting someone for saying 'octopuses.' GUH. I digress...

Ooh! A 'they discussed the plan' but we didn't get to see those specifics! That means something surprising and awesome and twisty must be in store!

'We're just sixth years, mate. These aren't going to be the loves of our lives'--hahahahahahahha.

Oh also, I failed to mention last chapter how clever Rose saying "You know I'll always come back" was. Like, cuz, she'd already reappropriated it once before, and then did a call-back in a different context! Having things like that re-surface does good work showing how much has changed.

Lockett's commitment to her solitude is pretty ridiculous at this point. I love that Malfoy does 'daily buggin.' Like, it's ridiculous, but WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO? Ridiculous has become the status quo, and they all just kind of accept these things with a shrug now. Where once it might have inspired righteous indignity, it's now something noticed, but discussed only wryly.

Hahahahahahahaha--Scorpius and Harley should be friends! Harley is hilarious!

And wow, Scorpius was just way more honest with Harley than he's been with pretty much anyone. I am friend-shipping them.

BLARGH ACTION SEQUENCE. I have no comments to make because it was really good and I just want to keep reading!

Author's Response: Methuselah Jones, power nerd. I can't judge, I went into all sorts of reading on Latin grammar to reach the conclusions onf Patronuses, Patronus, and Patroni.

Never discuss the plan on-screen and then show the plan kicking into action. ;) Unless the plan is a cool one which goes IMMEDIATELY wrong and the point is the team trying to wrestle matters BACK to the plan.

Sorry, Scorpius, you live in the Potter 'verse. Odds are good you've met your life-partner by the time you turn 14. Even they're just 'that person I knew by name and sight but barely spoke to.'

'I'll come back every time.' - Scorose's arc words. 'cos I'm a SAP, yo.

Lockett is being absolutely ridiculous by now. Scorpius doesn't have much of a choice! And I love Harley, he is absolutely my favourite minor character to write in this story. The two of them still have their arc to come about, so we'll see how it goes...

Cheers! :D


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Review #12, by Roisin On an Open Fire

21st March 2015:
What's amazing is that even though these circumastances are so extraordinary, and the people end up having to do extraordinary things because of it, they still feel like REAL people.

"Can't you just tell me I'm useless once more, Dad? One more time, it's Christmas"--I am broken. Like, he's so disappointed his father hasn't written at all, even though he knows he won't like what he writes. He wants to burn his father's present, but he needs to have it first. That's pretty convoluted emotional stuff, which is why it feels so real.

They are all SO up to something. I can't imagine Albus being OK with Christmas not happening.

I also like the way the boy-talk mirrors the girl-talk, yet both are super accurate. Scorpius is much more candid here than usual, but it's well justified by the previous events.

METHUSELAH WAS DISTRACTING HIM! I'd actually totally suspected that last chapter, and it's SO perfect. Like, he shows some charming self-possession here. He never needed TIPS. He's METHUSELAH!

Also, the fact that Harley helped with their plan says a lot. Things are definitely getting warmer between those two. It's also funny here how people are being nice to him, but also teasing him at the same time (Selena). And man, Oliver Wood WOULD go hours with a broken arm without telling anyone. Zealot.

It makes perfect sense that Harry would send a broom. Like, I get why Scorpius thinks it's extravagant, but Harry got A NIMBUS 2000 from MCGONNAGAL after BREAKING SCHOOL RULES. Then he got a FIREBOLT from Sirius. So like, yeah. He'd of course be pretty down with offering people brooms. (And I have to note that it's a NIMBUS STARFALL AND THE NEXT BOOK IS CALLED STARFALL AND WHAT)

MOLLY WEASLEY JUMPER (sorry about getting really shouty). This also makes so much sense--GAH, you toggle 'things readers would know' with 'what Scorpius would think' really well. Didn't Molly send Harry his first jumper after meeting him, like, ONCE. And she has FOUR grandkids at Hogwarts and is MOLLY-MY-BOGGART-IS-DEAD-FAMILY-WEASLEY so you just KNOW she was listening to his radio show live, and probably re-listening to the recorded versions over and over again and now I'm sobbing.

Man, this chapter is so emotionally dynamic. There are jokes and cuteness, but then also so much Scorpius angst. Really well done, again. Like, before, there were lighter chapter arcs and heavier chapter arcs--but this chapter sort of oscillates. It fits really well with Where They Are in the story.

And the whole interaction with Rose. It's really amazing how you write characters who /do not know what they feel or want./ And also, the nuances of their Wants and Feels are slightly different. That you can present this emotional chaos in such an effective way is a testament to your assured hand.

"like something that had happened on the news than something that had happened right in front of him. Twice." The use of 'Twice' here was wonderful/heartbreaking. You manage a lot with just that one word, and it has so much more impact for not being spelled out. He had to watch him die and then kill him--and that is some HARROWING business. Of course he's going to be angsty and out of sorts. Again, his candidness makes sense--it's out of character for him, but he WOULD be out of character right now. I wonder how you'll ever bring back the reluctant cuteness they had before, or if it CAN be brought back. At least right now, it makes sense that Scorpius would be too distressed for any nice romance.

And Draco is definitely projecting a WHOLE bunch. I wonder where Scorpius' sympathy for his mum comes from. He doesn't seem to want to blame her for running off and leaving him behind, or for failing to write. Very curious about that.

And then the chapter end betrays that same push-and-pull you have here between light and dark. The ending is sort of optimistically tepid, and largely exhausted. Lovely!

(Also, I REALLY wanted to nominate you for a Golden Paw for most addicting, but I totally blew it by trying to nominate the whole series--I didn't realize this story alone fit the time criteria! Blast! There's always the Dobbys, though!)

Author's Response: I like high adventure and epic antics and stuff specifically because I like seeing what it does to the characters. While I can appreciate a rocking action sequence, I'm 100% more invested in what those life-or-death circumstances do to the people behind them.

Scorpius, so desperate for attention from his family that even his father's abuse would be better than nothing.

Methuselah Jones, Master of Obfuscation. I think he probably did need a little bit of tips and he's totally going to use that advice, but he only asked out of desperation. The last resort.

Harley was probably asked very nicely by Rose and then more properly nicely by Selena, and isn't enough of a jerk that he wouldn't go along with it.

Oliver Wood's just crazy enough to do that. And yes, this is ABSOLUTELY the kind of gift Harry would send. It's established he's very generous with his wealth, and that he has Ginny's industry contacts to help him get a shiny broom... ah yes, the Starfall model. The next book? ALL about Scorpius' broom.

If my chapters are making people shouty, I'm just happy.

Molly would TOTALLY do that. She absolutely listened to Radio Malfoy (and there would be more than four, there's going to be probably 2-3 cousins, I can't remember the ages off the top of my head but DEFINITELY Roxanne and Molly BUT I digress, damn that family tree). And they all know he's Al's best friend even if they don't spend time together outside of school, so Molly would just be MOLLY about it and now I'm upsetting myself even.

I think the mixture of light and dark is going to be pretty much the rule from here on out. Or, at least, there will be fewer chapters without the dark. Being where I am in the writing I'm so curious as to how it'll pan out for you; tonal shifts over the series are HUGE and I always worry if I'm going/have gone too far, but... I digress.

I struggled to entirely grasp where Scorpius was until I wrote the bit about it being like there was a bruise on the parts of him that wanted to kiss her. Honestly, first draft of their conversation, they actually did have Round Two of Kiss, but I scrapped it because it just DIDN'T work. I've fumbled in the dark a lot on these guys at times, though I'm generally happy with the final decisions.

There's healing to be done, but they're hardy enough. In the long run, the things Scorp's been through can be recovered from.

Aw, nominations are lovely, but this story would definitely NOT fit the criteria. Last chapter was posted in late 2013. Books 2 and 3 should be eligible come Dobby season, though! Dobbys were awkward, I had both this and Starfall in the running which I think split the votes... ah well. It was just lovely to get nominated.

Cheers!


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Review #13, by Roisin New Flames

20th March 2015:
Ooh, Selena interacting with the eagle! I'm very stoked to see that play out!

I like the analysis of Selena's intelligence. That's how she'd been striking me--she's not stupid, she just doesn't really care about school. It's not an indication of her intelligence, just her priorities. I mean, in a way, one could argue that not being interested in study is kind of stupid, but that's getting into it.

Hah. There's a great humour to Scorpius getting stroppy with the eagle, because it just seems like an enchanted object that lacks self-awareness or emotion. But here, Selena almost kind of /gets a rise/ out of the eagle! Also, I like that she super guesses the riddle and is kind of into it :)

Ah! And now the eagle's actually talking to her one-and-one! And making that exact point about not being interested in the challenges of study or examination being itself dumb! YAY SELENA CHARACTER ARC *rubs hands together*

Hmm, so the idea of dark magic 'pooling' is coming back. I guess it was right to take them all off those potions. I also like the idea, for how it fits with like, humours and stuff.

Aw. Methuselah being upset over being outshined here is, again, very convincing. Like, 'you're good at everything, calm down,' is an easy point to make--but you write why he might still feel bad about it well. How being really good at magic stuff being his ONLY thing, and so it would feel crappy to not be the best.

Methuselah saying Selena is smarter than him is also really believable--like, he offers support for the statement. And the whole 'but you've been with so many guys' thing also kind of makes sense, because he's weird and analytical like that. Like, 'would be disappointing' and all makes sense coming from him.

You also do that kiss really well, which is impressive, given it isn't in a SURGE OF PASSION sort of way. Like, it's very staged, which also brings a lot of cuteness to it.

SELENA AND ROSE GIRL TALKING! YUSS! So down with that!

'When I pulled back, he said "thank you"'--BAH.

And the 'he's a very good student' thing. Like, it was so perfect for her to frame it all more like a lesson. She really GETS him.

Selena's point is really good--it's a bit more defensible to dump Hector because he was a prat than just because she wanted to mash faces with someone else. And this whole girl talk sequence is just excellent. So much easy wit, and very realistic!

Ooh, Selena really is a person who needs to be listened to more. They might even figure out Phlegathon if they could figure out how it fits in with what's going on internationally.

'Aleister Crowley's cat resplendent in a Father Christmas hat'--Bah.

While Scorpius and Harley are certainly being snitty with one another, they're definitely on better terms now. I suppose Harley saw everything Scorpius did for Tim and had to concede he might be an ok guy.

And the idea that a blizzard would help paint dry is ABSURD. Snow is WET.

AW METHY ASKING ABOUT GIRLS CUTE. 'Twice. And then sixteen further occasions since then, last Friday.' BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Wonderful. Just wonderful.

Author's Response: Selena's intellect has been a sticky wicket. I mean, she's NOT as intellectual or even magically capable as even Scorpius (who has a good dose of raw talent but struggles to apply himself), and that's always been intentional. There are other virtues, other strengths. But she's still no idiot, manages to keep up with people like Methuselah and other smart cookies when they're talking research, and has pretty sharp wits. So... yeah.

Though she's not much appreciating the door-knocker being a pest. Even if it is making points! Even if she did kind of enjoy the challenge when she set her mind to it!

Apparently all my characters have cripplingly low self-esteem. Methuselah's rocking smart and still knows he's a bit inept in everything else, so, all the sadness for that poor kid. I'm glad the kiss came off as cute, cute is what I was going for. Those two are so damn cute to write.

GIRL TALK. Yes. It was SO needed. Those two do each other a lot of good. It's harder to see the good Selena's done, but Rose brings her away from her distant, superior observation of people, and much more engaging with them.

Aleister Crowley was so probably NOT an actual wizard, or if he was he was onto the BEST tricking of Muggles EVER, but I needed an off-hand portrait reference. Though his cat is probably a really DARK REFERENCE to make. I only just thought of that. Ugh.

Harley has indeed seen more of what's beneath on Scorpius - the rant about his father, his grief over Tim. He's only going to cut him SO much slack, though. And apparently he's being a terrible, TERRIBLE liar.


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Review #14, by Roisin Out of the Kitchen

20th March 2015:
!TRAINING MONTAGE!

Man, this was such a lighter chapter after so much heavy. I did much snort-laughing at Scorpius' various commentary. It's so nice to have him back in a quippy mood!

I'm also glad you addressed where Lockett's getting her whiskey from. Like, I had been kind of curious just before where it was all coming from, but it was a very convincing explanation.

I'm super bummed Scorpius and Lockett didn't have a drink together, though. I felt certain, especially since he'd missed his birthday, that that would come up. But, the way he ended it with her was pretty strong. And MAN, if it takes them TWO WEEKS to start having success with patrous(es!) then Lockett's REALLY slacking for a LONG time. Which starts to maybe make me think there isn't something nefarious going on? (I really only suspect Lockett because I feel like I need to suspect /someone/ of /something/ because: fiction).

All in all, the way you lightened things up with TRAINING MONTAGE really worked. It was totally believable (because it feels more like school and more normal), and your changes of tone and pace have just always been well timed.

The stuff about Methuselah has me very very intrigued! Like, at first I thought he'd struggle with patronus(es) because he just isn't very emotional, so sublime joy would be hard to manage, but you've really hinted at maybe a lot more dimension to his character. He actually shows frustration and even anger here, and I'm very curious where it will all go. We're dealing with memories here, so I'm excited to maybe find out more backstory on him!

Man, stopping to leave this review is SO HARD when I want to keep reading!

Author's Response: *plays the Team America montage song*

I think this was the first chapter I wrote after a several-months hiatus - I probably finished off the previous one, but this was the one I came to fresh, and so I needed the whimsy and silliness to get the flow of everyone again.

I don't know what possesses me sometimes to explain the little things like the whiskey, but the explanation seemed to make sense. It would have been good for those two to have a drink together! But alas no.

Methuselah has complexity beyond being the nerd, poor kid.

Cheers!


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Review #15, by Roisin Down in Flames

20th March 2015:
Man, you managed to put Rose into SUCH a tricky situation. Like, my first instinct is DON'T BREAK UP WITH HECTOR. Then again, you create a thing where she owes it to Scorpius. And then if she does end up carrying on with Scorpius and Hector DIES, she would probably feel terrible. I mean, I'd feel terrible if he died and the last thing he remembered was getting dumped, but then there's the whole 'owing it to Scorpius' thing and GAH!

Man, I LOVE Selena being there for her. Like. Of all them, she's probably the best qualified and most suited for talking Rose through it. Also, them going to get tea gives me fuzzy friendship joy feelings :)

And Rose and Albus seem to be handling Scorpius the right way, which is nice. I like that when he's angry with her, she doesn't fight back. Like, that's sort of how there whole relationship has been defined, but it's very much to right thing to do for a person who's grieving.

GAH, of COURSE the badguys would have some sort of cure! Like, DUR! WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF IT?!?! All of the clues and suggestions are THERE to get to that logical conclusion. And sure, it probably IS dumb to go after them, but Albus' plan is about as good as anything available. Selena's certainly right to have pause, but I'm glad she joins in at the end. I mean, it might be a dumb thing to do, but it's infinitely /less/ dumb than not doing it. (Well, unless they could get an auror to do it. Like Harry! They should get Harry to do it. He's super old and experienced now, and totally pro-self-sacrifice, so even if he ended up sick, he'd probably be cool with that. But, you know, "and then Harry Potter came in and saved all the children" isn't nearly as good of a story.)

Author's Response: Rose is in a bummer of a situation. And not just owing it to Scorpius - learning Hector's a bit more of a jerk has had her realise that her superficial fun relationship is with someone she REALLY can't respect. Aaand yet he's possibly dying, so, AWKWARD.

I do love writing Selena and Rose friendship. They work very well as their own little odd couple.

Rose is feeling hella guilty over Scorpius but she does want him to feel BETTER, so she knows fighting back is not the right thing right now. He would just explode off the walls.

tbh, 'the bad guys probably have a cure' came into play PRETTY late in my planning sessions for the story, and even then it was a, 'well, duh, Slide,' moment.

'Harry, we need you to martyr yourself some more! Get to it! You love that!' He probably would...


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Review #16, by Roisin Rising Heat

20th March 2015:
OH NO. OH NO, OH NO, OH NO. If Scorpius threw his teacup at a house elf it must be bad... I feel like he knows better than that at this point, so he must be REALLY upset.

I really like the comparison of snowflakes being 'no bigger than fingerprints'--lovely.

"R-W-" was also very clever.

NO! TIM! I mean, I kind of saw it coming, but I'm still /devastated/.

I like the point Methuselah makes, because it makes the most sense from a purely academic and logical perspective. Like, they DON'T have enough evidence. If they take everyone off the elixer, everyone might die. If they leave everyone on, everyone might die. Taking some people on and some people off could possibly kill some people, but it would make it possible to save a lot more.

But they AREN'T test subjects, and one of the canon themes is how "For the Greater Good" can be fallacious. Sometimes, it's used as a justification for horrible acts. Other times, it can be a way to justify one of two difficult or horrible choices. The best thing, maybe, is to ignore all that noise, and think creatively for another option entirely.

SELENA! BOSS WITCH!

Oh gosh, where's Lockett!?! I don't know whether her disappearing is a good sign or a bad one. Like, it might try and SEEM like a bad sign, but maybe she's doing something Boss Witch and self-sacrificing or something... OR, maybe she WAS involved in the Phlegethon conspiracy, which is WHY they were out in the forest that night, and she's like... Over it now because a kid died and she's gonna go tell her co-conspirators that it's over? I DUNNO. I like her for the villain in that I DON'T like her for the villain, because I like her a lot.

Oh, or she's just getting smashed in Ravenclaw tower. That also works.

Man, the justifications for her self-doubt are pretty strong. Like, she's doing her BEST, and she couldn't have KNOWN the potion might kill people, and it seemed to be working, but I believe her perspective. It is pretty hard to swallow that failure after Rose and Scorpius nearly died. (Which is another reason why it was extra clever for them to run into Thane. It makes that whole journey have a remaining, tangible value).

Hmmm, is the muggleborn girl who Lockett knew who got killed canon? I'm trying to think who it could be...

'They do a great job of getting the people around them killed'--ouch!

When Scorpius curses the universe, I like that he doesn't think to suggest that he'd rather see Hector die. You do a good job of compartmentalizing the teen drama stuff.

"And Tim's open eyes looked up at him!" AH! AH! AH! Okay, so I DID slightly see this coming, because you established the whole 'talk to him' thing last chapter, but it's still an amazing shock! Like, you really let him BE dead for long enough, and brilliantly suggested this out earlier.

'But no living thing moved like that, in such a jerky, unnatural way'--OH NO. WHAT?! AH!?! CRAP?!?!

INFERIUS! OH MY GOSH! JESUS! NO! WHY!?!?!?!

OH MY GOSH that was really scary and awful and terrible. ZOMBIES. Guh. POOR SCORPIUS. This is an emotional roller-coaster.

Man, you do a really good job of creating intense emotions for your characters to justify their behaviors. Like, the other ones have a point, but Scorpius' anger makes perfect sense.

Of everyone, Albus is the one I'd suggest be the leader. He's definitely the most level of any of them.

MAN this story just took a really serious turn. Smart, also, because otherwise it would be difficult to string along the ScoRose stuff.

And that ending just kind of DESTROYED me.

Author's Response: Yeah, the House Elf was probably being pretty hyper squeaky and helpful and not going away when Scorpius was trying to make them and then he lost his temper. Poor kid was pretty upset, though.

In times of stress, Scorpius fusses over first names.

Methuselah is being pretty cold but yes, he is also RIGHT. And yet, that's very likely picking a group of kids and going, 'You might be the ones to suffer/die if you've got the bad choice.' And the kids aren't very equipped to cope with making that kind of choice.

Selena is tolerating none of this 'giving up' idea. Partly because she knows this is how it's going to go, so let's skip the fuss and debate.

Lockett has her reasons for slinking away. They might be VILLAIN reasons! Or, um, alcoholic reasons. Right now, she's getting the joy of being the only responsible adult who has no idea what she's doing, and someone's just died on her watch. She's grossly underprepared for this crisis, even by the usual standards of crisis, and so really Not Coping.

I should cop to Lockett's origins - she was a secondary character in my predominantly-OC alongside-canon series. I picked her on purpose to 'cross over' to Ignite for several reasons, BUT this is 25 years on and I've generally tried pretty hard to not write her that someone needs to know the other story. Most of the things which messed her up didn't happen in the other story, and those which did can be summarised as, 'I was a Muggle-born in Azkaban in Voldemort's takeover,' which is pretty self-explanatory.

Oh, yeah, the bit where everyone thinks I brought Tim back, only instead he's an Inferius and Scorpius has to set fire to the corpse. Ha, I'm always proud of the upset reactions that one gets.

Cheers!


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Review #17, by Roisin Break the Ice

20th March 2015:
DID SCORPIUS SERIOUSLY JUST BLOW THE DOOR OF ITS HINGES WITH A POWER CHORD?!?!?!?!??!

BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

I just can't right now... That... AND you even talked about it earlier! Just the whole image of it is ace. HOW DO YOU MANAGE SO MUCH WHIMSY?

'Then started talking about some sort of light-show, but I got him back on the topic of the radio'--*snort*

TIM WARWICK. OH NO!

I also like that you show Harley giving deference to a human here--bowing to Lockett--because he feels it is /earned./

You do such a great job of writing about the potion, and Subtle Magic and all. Like, it's really convincing, and you mix formula with transcendence really well. And it's SUPER interesting and has a lot of awe to it.

AND ALSO CLIFFHANGER, MUST READ ON, BYE.

Author's Response: Not only did Scorpius blow the door off its hinges with his guitar, HE DIDN'T NEED TO. He just WANTED to. I felt the random rambling about the enchanted guitar needed a call-back, but anything too serious would be wholly undermined by the idea of Scorpius literally blasting someone with a power chord so this was the best he got.

Harley has a very specific idea of respect and hierarchies, and is a very intense professional in his own specific way. This includes deference to Lockett.

I did enjoy this emergency potions scene. Coming up with the reagents was fun.

Cheers!


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Review #18, by Roisin House on Fire

20th March 2015:
I love Scorpius hopping from foot to foot :) You have such a great character in him. He has interesting connections to various archetypes, but doesn't fully correspond to any one cliche. He's just a really charming and unique protagonist, and just the right amount of annoying.

Again, everyone is each working to their strengths. Lockett's working on a potion, Methy is doing something ambitious with charms, Selena's helping Methy, and Scorpius is bouncing around worrying.

HOUSE ELVES. You are so good at remembering House Elves.

You do a clever thing by mentioning that if an idea works, then /why didn't they do that before?/ Like, a reader might ask that, but you shoot it down nicely with "IF WE SAY THAT TO EVERYTHING THEN NOTHING WILL WORK."

SWORD OF GRYFFINDOR. There's something weirdly perfect about Slytherin-Albus thinking of that. OH NO--did the sword just reject him for not being courageous enough? THAT IS COLD, SWORD.

I *knew* it! I *knew* Miranda cheated with Hector! Like, it perfectly explains why Albus was all standoffish about him! Man, it's amazing how you manage to draw a Teen Drama arc into the context of more serious things--because it WOULD still happen with teenagers. But you sell it really well, and manage to give it gravitas even with everything else going on AND Scorpius' intense fury at Hector. Like, understanding that Hector CHEATED WITH HIS GIRLFRIEND really explains Scorpius' behaviot. And like, OH MY GOD, it super helps explain why Scorpius was SO upset by Rose shooting him down after Hector woke up, and makes him seem like even MORE of a great guy for being the one to think of Hector in the first place. Like, he could have not said anything and been vengeful about it--like, 'haha, you hook up with my gf I hook up with yours!' It's really cool of him, even though he genuinely likes Rose, to not want to use her like that.

Ok, but, tbf--Scorpius really didn't need to come at Harley like that.

Then again, I think it was a good choice, because Harley's rant is EXCELLENT. He makes really good points, and I love it. 'You can't give someone freedom'--PREACH. It's true that oppressed or disadvantaged groups shouldn't be expected to be /thankful/ for being afforded smidgeons of dignity or rights.

BLARGH WHAT'S HE GONNA DO??? Like, I actually don't have a guess at what Scorp's plan is.

Author's Response: Scorpius was envisioned as something of a Guile Hero or Trickster Hero, but because he's not really learnt all of the cleverness and manipulation yet, he has to borrow from different archetypes to make do.

Watch me hang a lampshade on why nobody tried this idea before! I chalk it up to getting into the Headmaster's Office not being an especially high priority before now - Al and Rose are almost doing it to keep busy - and it just slipping their mind.

Poor Albus indeed - it's just because he's a Slytherin. Though it's an interesting thought, as Albus and the nature of courage is one of his long-term arcs...

I had wondered if you'd read up to this part when you were ruminating on the Miranda mystery before; interesting to know you're coming to this as a surprise! It's a very silly and minor thing, but it's the first mystery as these guys realise they don't REALLY know each other so well. And yes, Scorpius has SOME standards, like not wanting to use Rose to get back at Hector.

And then he loses those brownie points by being a jerk to Harley, but yeah, I'd almost forgive him myself because Harley's rant was very satisfying to write. Scorpius was being a jerk because he's stressed, but Harley is still absolutely right, and I enjoyed writing him as not entirely likeable while still entirely right. Blah blah tone argument blah.

Scorpius' plan is shocking. SHOCKING.


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Review #19, by Roisin Burn Through

19th March 2015:
I like that Albus is 'punished' by 'a look of surprised hurt'--that says a great deal about his character.

"Unhelpfully it was giving him very few clues as to how enterprising students might break in." Wonderful.

I like that both Albus and Scorpius were kind of expecting the other to snap out of it or make the first move back towards friendship.

The idea that everything the trio did was so well recorded no one could replicate it is brilliant. And like, of COURSE Hermione would help do security at the school to specifically prevent the same rule-breaking she had accomplished.

The bickering Marauders always make me giggle. Then weep.

I LOVE the idea of just going straight through the masonry. My mum's a contractor, and she always gets annoyed by break in attempts in movies and such. She's like, DON'T PICK THE LOCK, JUST BREAK THROUGH THE WALL. WALLS ARE HARDLY ANYTHING.

I can remember how this chapter goes (I think this is where I left off), so I know it doesn't go well. But you're doing a GREAT job of lulling the reader into a false sense of security. Like, 'the security doesn't have to be THAT good, it's not like students would chip at the masonry in normal circumstances, this is gonna be FINE...'

Ooh, I must have stopped right after they got trapped, because this Selena stuff is all new! Welcome to what will become random first impressions with no fore-knowledge!

Hahahahaha, Methy looks at her chest and notices scraps of paper.

Ooh, 'le Fey staff'--Morgan le Fey?

And I feel like he should probably listen to Selena, there was probably some more stuff in that letter that would be good to know.

DRAT! I really really want to read on, but essay! Gah! This is not an apology for not being able to review right away, it is a genuine frustration causing me problems! gr

Author's Response: Albus and Scorpius are being such BOYS about it. Though in Al's defence, Scorpius usually slinks back after he's done something stupid. Now Scorpius isn't, and Al doesn't know what to do about it.

Hermione, the kill-joy who took her rebel lessons to make rebellion less possible. At her most arrogant I can totally see her doing that, with the best of intentions of course.

The Map was so much fun to write. And, yes, kind of depressing.

Going through walls is SUCH the best idea. It's never expected!

Ooh, you're caught up. This is gonna be fun. Methuselah, useless with girls.

Morgan le Fay because apparently I failed to spell. That's going to bug me now. But yes, that was the intended reference. Couldn't possibly comment on the importance of Selena's outside-world info-dump. ;-)

Cheers!


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Review #20, by Roisin Hot Issue

19th March 2015:
I don't know how many times I can do this, but... ‘You’re really stretching sentence construction to shoehorn that one in'--BAH. That bit works double duty, because it's super funny, but there's a kind of penance in responding with humor rather than anger.

There was a lot going on in his sentence about her just trying to make herself feel less bad, and him proving himself as not a good guy. At once, you have kind of Slitheriney subtlety for recognizing the motivations within actions, and then also his self-loathing streak. Nicely done.

Also 'are you dead' is very clever--I'd guessed 'are you lying,' but yours is better.

Hm, the point about "James II being like how Harry could have been/like James I" is an interesting one, because it's kind of meta (the general predictions about James II). But as mentioned in this story, Albus seems to resemble Harry more--but not necessarily Harry if he hadn't been an Orphan Chosen One. I suppose, best said, you really wrote Albus as Harry's /son/ rather than as a carbon copy of some ancestor.

THE PLACE WHERE HARRY DIED AND ABANDONED THE RESURRECTION STONE!!1!1! I ALWAYS thought it was foolish to leave it lying around! Man, you are SO clever!

Oh man, the concepts of the magic here are SO interesting. Gah! I love!

And Scorpius is doing a radio show! Brilliant!

Must. Click. Next. Chapter. Even. Though. Have. Essay.

Author's Response: Yeah, Rose is eating humble pie, but Scorpius is baking her one DAMN BIG PIE. Especially as he's twisting it all around with his low self-esteem... it's a mess.

I think that scene of Al and Rose and discussing his father is me doing a slightly-meta analysis of Albus. It was probably not needed, but again, I was still trying to dig into fully grasping what makes him tick. Trying to avoid the usual clichés for Albus Potter while still remaining honest to the breadcrumbs left by canon (as the clichés exist for a reason, often logical extrapolation) did make it tough.

I take quite a few liberties with magic in the series, though mostly because the series moves beyond topics covered by canon. I do -try- to keep it with what we know from canon as the basis, so this opportunity was absolutely one I couldn't pass up.

Radio Malfoy, one of the earliest ideas I had for this entire story. :D 'There will be a plague. There will be a quarantine. ...Scorpius will run a radio show!'

Apparently I keep distracting from work... not even sorry. Cheers!


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Review #21, by Roisin Raked Over the Ashes

19th March 2015:
Oh man, Scorpius' mind works in such hilarious ways. "That's when he realized he couldn't be angry with her" and then "that's when he realized he COULD be angry with her." The Deep POV narration is so well done in your story, and it's always especially hilarious when the narrator adopts Scorpius' way of speaking.

While I obviously think it's a mistake for Scorpius to blow off dealing with Albus and Rose, you write his reasoning really well. I can see the flaws in it, but I (heartbreakingly) believe that he actually thinks they don't need him. You always do a good job of this--it never feels like you're trying to justify plot arcs by squeezing your characters into a certain behavior. Like, they always seem genuine in their motivations and actions, and it feels like the plot comes from there, not the other way around.

"if either of them knew who she was"--pfft. A nice moment for some omniscient narrator.

God I love Selena. She's like, the best person wrapped up in a package of Worstness. Like, she has all these off-putting elements to her personality, but her actions have been overwhelmingly positive. And I love that, again, Scorpius is initially reluctant to help all the students with letters, but he does ultimately do it. So even if kindness came out of getting berated by Selena, he still does something /kind./ It's sort of a nice theme, throughout, which mirrors a canon theme: it's a person's actual CHOICES that matter.

Hm. The mention of Astoria is interesting. I realize we haven't yet heard a great deal about her. Very curious.

'Complicated poems which are all about the letter "r"?'--clever. Also, his ongoing feud with the doorknocker continues to be hilarious. Just, that sentence alone shows how hilarious an idea it is.

'A smart thing for a boy called Malfoy to do'--nice. This weird bonding sesh with Lockett is wonderful. Like, it starts out not without snark, but there is kind of a deeper lever of interaction there. And like, GAH, I feel like Lockett might actually have something to do with the Plegethon, or just generally that there's a surprise thing there--but then scenes like these make me really like her! (Also, I imagine her Dementor PTSD is gonna come back later, wot with Dementors in the forest and all)

Author's Response: Scorpius has always been an easy joy to write.

I like to think Selena works because she's the most genre-savvy when it comes to the teen-aged melodrama (being a master peddler in it herself), while at the same time blatantly a bit unpleasant. So she can point out when everyone's being silly, but because she does it in a rather snide way it still feels like adolescent silliness. OR, such was the goal.

Choice remains one of the abiding themes of the trilogy.

Astoria is also a long mystery of the series! I don't think we get much about her in Ignite.

I really wish I could remember when/how I came up with the idea of the doorknocker. Probably just from hunting down riddles and the entire thing getting out of hand as it came into contact with my head-Scorpius.

Evil Lockett has not been a common theory! Some people eyeball her dubiously, but it's fun to see how folks read into it. And her damage.

Cheers!


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Review #22, by Roisin Crash and Burn

19th March 2015:
BAHAHAHAHA. "I'm not angry, I'm disappointed" is such a mum line, and it's SO great to apply something so banal to such an extraordinary situation. Extraordinary is kind of their mundane, isn't it?

HAHAHAHAHAHA, oh man! Harry and Ron chipping in was BRILLIANT. Like, such a cute mate-moment, it gave me fuzzies. I can really see them off to the side on Hermione's end. LOVE!

(Also, the 'you'd be just as angry if Al--' thing, because the implication is that he WOULDN'T. It really reinforces Al's previously mentioned Complex).

‘I think in my husband’s eyes that makes him a wise man,’--*snort laugh*

SUCH good timing on Hector Flynn! AH! You are a genius craftswoman of storytelling!

It's good that, just as Hector wakes up, Rose is genuinely more concerned with his well-being. She's allowed to like Scorpius, but of course she wouldn't wish ILLNESS upon her current boyfriend.

'Malfoy kept scoring and it was bloody awful’--so, so clever.

Rose's guilt is really well done, and you do a wonderful job of putting her in an impossible situation. Like, of COURSE she wouldn't want to tell him and break up with him while he's still bedridden. There really isn't any easy solution for her.

'it was a good ten minutes before she wiped her eyes'--nice. I like that you imply that she was crying after-the-fact rather than describing it head on.

‘I can’t! Or, if you want to nitpick, I won’t. And I’m not going to lie to him, either’--everything about this line gives me a huge amount of respect for Rose. I really like that I totally understand where both of them are coming from, and yet there is still a conflict that is impossible not to exist.

Oh man, the 'looking like a Malfoy' thing stings! Well done with that.

And Scorpius being horrible to Methy and Selena is kind of brilliant--like, he's being HORRIBLE, but you give us enough reason to understand where his head is at that it doesn't make us lose sympathy. Plus, there's that whole 'serving the story' business you have going on. His ranting about why she's stupid is another example of your brilliant use of multiple POV--it reinforces what the reader thinks is valuable about her and Methy's alliance. And I just really like how 'whatever, shoo' she is about it.

GUH, Scorpius' agonizing angst is so well written. He's so self-loathing/effacing/destructive. SO MANY FEELS HAVE I.

His conversation with Albus is great, because no character in this story ever feels like a prop for a Main Character. Like, they are talking about one thing, but each of them are /really/ talking about different things. In every interaction, each character is bringing something to the table rather than just being a sounding board for the others.

SO GOOD *mashes hands on keyboard*

Author's Response: Certainly by now, there is no such thing as mundane for the Wotter brood. And Hermione has to use the weapons in her arsenal, especially when undermined by Harry and Ron off-screen.

I forgot I had even Al's parents knowing he's such a goodie-two-shoes. Poor kid.

Rose is in a rubbish spot. I'm not really sure what her right thing was supposed to be, and I put her in this situation. Also, it was easier to describe her coming out of a well-deserved bursting into tears than explaining it blow-by-blow. Though that would have been a bit redundant, I guess. We all know why she'd cry. She cries. She needs a good cry. She picks herself back up again.

Scorpius' worst trait is lashing out at people when he's upset. He is absolutely a petty child when this happens, and it's just as well Selena can see it or she might have actually been affected by his words. But she can tell he's just throwing things around to try to regain some control of the situation, so she's not having ANY of it.

Odd/good that you say no character is a prop for Main Character, because Albus was created so much as Scorpius' foil that I do get accusations of him being under-developed and the least interesting of the whole cast. I like to think he's just subtler, and this is one of those conversations where what's going on under the surface with him does come into rumbling play.

Cheers!


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Review #23, by Roisin Fire and Ice

19th March 2015:
KISS! This was the perfect place in the story, and it was very clever of you to remind us of Hector Flynn a little while back, then give us JUST enough time to kind of not be thinking about it.

Also, the first time I read it, I remember sort of not seeing the kiss coming right there, even though I'd obv been seeing it coming IN GENERAL for ages. At the same time, it made perfect sense that it would be THAT moment. But THEN you do a good job outlining all the ways it doesn't fit traditional romance (SPIDER PARTS). But it's also super flutteringly cute and romantic.

I don't enjoy romance in fanfiction often, and I rarely read Romance As Primary Genre stories (I get scrunchy nose and have feelings about tackiness)--but it's so well balanced here! There's just enough to temper it that it really works, and is brilliantly satisfying and enjoyable.

Man, the whole scene with Lockett is so well played! Her whole "well done" thing really worked, because she enumerates all the DUMB beforehand, and also, of COURSE she would say that. She's just that kind of person.

Also, I'm really glad you had Methuselah say 'exoskeleton' because 'skin' kept throwing me. Now it reads more as some sort of potioneering phrase/term/nick-name rather than a technical anatomical description.

Scorpius' comment about Selena without sleep strikes me as a THAT'S GONNA COME BACK LATER thing. Could be wrong, though.

Man, you get a lot of mileage out of the convo with Albus. First of all, I LOVE that Rose has awkwardness about going into Scorpius' room. Like, I feel that. Suddenly being in the sort of intimate place /but having her cousin there and he doesn't know/ is a really great thing.

Also, Albus' whole 'complex about not having enough of a hero complex' thing is excellent again. It really does work, having a kind of different perspective and suite of priorities in a post-trio world.

The second make-out sesh is also just SO well done. It was really smart to include so much of her internal thoughts to punctuate the actual description--it makes it more tasteful than a "THEN THEY SMASHED THEIR FACES TOGETHER FOR A WHILE" thing, and also enriches the whole thing by focusing as much on the emotional as the physical. And you complicate it so nicely; 'he knew what he was doing' and then the flash of jealousy. Plus, you really make me /believe/ they're both coming to this as individuals (and as always, Rose gives me happy feminist feelings for being such an active participant. Like, I get really stroppy about stories that think it's sexy for girls to be like "AH, WHAT?").

And it's so perfect and amazing that SCORPIUS is the one to mention Hector--like, it shows a lot of his GOOD GUY side. And then Rose's whole reasoning and everything is really great. It's in character, and it also serves the narrative at large. And it's just nice that she isn't the one (right now) to be like "BUT I HAVE A BOYFRIEND." Again, her self-possession and agency is wonderful. I know she's gotten a weird amount of hate from other readers, but again, I have FEMINIST feelings about that. I think that in a male character, her behaviors would be much more accepted. And yes, she's supposedly 'flawed'--but I read that more as her being a dynamic, fully-realized character who's also realistically her age (despite being rather precocious). I don't see Super Mature and Consistently Perfect as likable so much as two-dimensional.

And just AH! The toggle of cuteness and difficultness at the chapter's end is just wonderful. And DAMN YOU for giving me something of a fictional-character crush on Scorpius! I know he's probably the most crushed on fic character, but this is the first story I've read where I genuinely see it.

Oh, and having two different kisses from two different perspectives was a really good idea. It makes it so they both have a say. PROPS.

Author's Response: Oh yes, I totally mentioned Hector earlier on purpose. *cough* Just assume that if I'm doing something clever, textually or technically, it's not intentional.

The kiss was inevitable, true, but I really had no set timetable coming into the story of when it would happen. As I wrote more and as I got closer to the time, I obviously saw it coming, but I think I made the final decision on doing it now quite late in the day. A lot of Ignite was written on gut instinct.

I don't tend to go for ROMANCE stories, either. I do love a good romance, but I tend to need Romance With Something Else, to help keep the characters fresh and motivated by something other than each other. But Ignite is Epic Adventure, which needs its romance.

Lockett, the world's worst mentor. I don't recall if I was intentionally using skin before Methuselah dropped exoskeleton, or if in writing him I remembered how SCIENCE works, but I didn't go back and edit it, so... wizards, man.

Actually, sleep-deprived Selena has not been a thing. Clearly this is now something I must do in Book 3.

Albus was the trickiest character to get to grips with; I look back on so many of these conversations and I they almost read like writing exercises of me trying to figure him out. :-D I wanted so much for him to not be the hero's son who resents his father's heroic status that finding a different kind of dysfunctional was tough. Because he had to be some kind of dysfunctional.

I do think you're spot on that a male character with flaws like Rose's wouldn't have got so much hate. I mean, Scorpius is a BRAT, and I would objectively say a worse person than Rose (at the story's start, anyway), but he almost never gets criticised by readers. You raise an interesting point about 'flawed' - Lockett is FLAWED, Lockett has serious faults to her character. Rose is just normally imperfect (and also 16).

Maybe I had to make Scorpius a doofus because he's always Captain Sexypants to the Next Gen crowd. I need a bit of doofus in my fictional crushes.

I also did not intend to give them both kisses from their own POVs. Like I say. Always accidental.

Cheers!


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Review #24, by Roisin Powderkeg

16th March 2015:
Me and Albus both (except hopefully without the snoring bit on my end). I once managed to stay asleep even though a bat (!) had gotten into the room, and my friends were jumping on the bed trying to coax it out the window (yes, bed I was sleeping on). BUT I DIGRESS...

Even though I'm reading through a second time with the EXPRESS purpose of reviewing (because I wanna get to the NEXT part of the story), I find myself just wanting to cuddle up and click through and read ahead again without stopping to make comments. I, of course, blame you for this.

But, in a way it's good, because since I know some of the things that are coming I can fully appreciate how you've put it all together. And, since I haven't finished the whole story yet, and because there's a lot of intricacy, there's some stuff I just plumb forgot about, so I think it's good to give it a fresh read instead of jumping back to where I left off.

"You’re not as expendable as me"--again, I am destroyed. You get away with this line because it's HIM thinking it, and he thinks it so nonchalantly, without being dramatized.

And the scene with Scorpius talking to Thane is SO brilliant, because he goes through like EVERYTHING the reader would be thinking. WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH THIS?!?!?! What is the motivation behind this attack?!?! Like, I can't even guess! Gharh!

Everything else in this story is so carefully planned and executed, I have to assume you're working up to something brilliant, and it's just SO FUN that I can't actually tell yet what that might be. Also, clever--because the Mystery isn't necessarily the central focus of the action. There's quite a lot of other things to be getting on with, so the pacing works really well with the amount of info you're doling out.

Hmmm. Maybe it has something to do with trade agreements? Just because that term has cropped up a lot recently. I feel like some important detail has already been brushed past, but I have no idea which one!

Author's Response: That is SUPER impressive sleeping. I'm genuinely impressed. Though I hope you don't snore like Al, he snores like a buzz-saw.

I'll accept the blame on this one. If my story is cosy then I'm doing this right and I'm not even sorry. But it IS interesting to get these in-depth reviews from someone who has read ahead, because most of the time I get first impressions, while yeah, you're giving feedback on stuff most people don't notice first time around, or feedback on how stuff now feeds in to stuff later - it's very appreciated, basically.

Scorpius is nonchalant, but he's also a dramatic little bunny.

I do love this scene with him and Thane. The two of them get a long and interesting road together, but there are deliberate choices in what Thane chooses to not say and what he seems uncaring about keeping secret. I'm okay with it at this point, because Ignite is far more a story about the Situation, of which the threat is only a part... but I could lament wrestling with pacing until the cows come home.

I would be very surprised if one could guess the plot on the amount of information currently out, THOUGH the various hints on what's going on in the outside world - minor as they have been - are entirely deliberate.

Cheers for all these reviews, SO appreciated!


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Review #25, by Roisin No Smoke Without Fire

16th March 2015:
! HAHAHAHA! The opening to this chapter was amazing. Like, what a sneaky trick to be able to do two things at once. How is Scorpius so hilarious?!?!?!

Oh man, I forgot about his guitar! And gosh, the interrupted kiss. I liked the simplicity of the line 'And an awful lot of things began to make an awful lot of sense.' And then, how Lockett comments that Rose looks flustered and Scorpius looks smug, so 'business as usual'--it just really reinforces that.

'"boa constricter skin" / they ignored him'--hahahahahaha. You're super good at comic timing!

The little conflict with Lockett and Hermione and all that Lockett backstory stuff was also really well placed within the story. And again, both sides are really convincing. Like, I'd have to agree with Hermione about holding up a principle about statistically insignificant data, but of /course/ everyone at Hogwarts would have a slightly more personal relationship with what is deemed significant.

Haha--'Dad did it.' Again with his sort of complex about his parents' accomplishments. That it's an Acromantula thing is also especially perfect in context, because Hermione wasn't there for that and she's the one they're talking to. Also, her asking Scorp to help keep Albus and Rose out of trouble is interesting, because it sort of inspires in /him/ the desire to do it.

Speaking of toggles, it's interesting that Lockett is branded with BOTH 'breaches of ethics' AND 'disloyalty to her team'--considering those two things are in DIRECT conflict with one another.

Man... I'm getting really tragic vibes of Tim Warwick... like, I know Scorpius sort of adores him, but also we don't know him very well... I'm just worried he won't make it. A big aura of doom around that one.

Author's Response: There's just a tiny box in my brain marked 'Scorpius', and when I need to write his stuff I let him come out and throw a strop. He's the easiest to let exposit, he means I don't have to fuss over tiny little details.

Hogwarts is WAY more interested in the statistically insignificant data, though this IS also a demonstration of Hermione's ego. Lockett's comment about her NEWTs is well-founded, but Hermione is also entirely disinclined to listen to Lockett. I do enjoy their little conflicts as a side-piece in the story. I hadn't intentionally made the charges landed at Lockett's door opposed, but yeah, they do make it all fishier.

Though, poor Hermione. Imagine trying to get your kids to NOT do something risky when they can say lines like, "Dad did it"? Over and over again she will be undermined by that, "You broke into Gringotts and broke OUT riding a dragon," story. What do you SAY to that? Hermione was trying to use Scorpius' loyalty to get him to make Albus behave, but she's also underestimating his courage.

At present, young Tim provides for Scorpius a sense of responsibility to the students of Hogwarts - on a personal level, which he's lacking, being without family. And it would feel a bit appropriative of his friends' pain if he was agonising like this over Lily or Hugo, and while this is an ensemble piece he IS certainly the protagonist, sooo... he needs a puppy for his pat the dog moment. Tim gets to be the puppy.

A puppy of doom, perhaps.

Cheers!


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