Hey again! Here for review tag =)
Wow, another one of your masterpieces. I am truly fan-girling over your writing right now! *squee*
So, I absolutely loved this one-shot. You provided a very unique, dark, and twisted outlook on the Rose/Scorpius/Lily dynamic. Your descriptions and imagery were the added flavour that breathed life into the piece. I loved your use of vocabulary and over all writing style as well, it made for such an intense and captivating read.
What I enjoyed the most about this one-shot was how I loathed and pitied all the three main characters at once. It is not often that it happens, and to say that I was floored by your characters would be an understatement.
I loved how Rose had Hermione's determination and dedication in her, and though she devoted it to academics, she took it in a completely different direction as well. The way she "obsessed" over Scorpius, noticing him, and even making notes about him - I could see the "craziness" (for lack of a better word) in her mixed with her mother's traits. I pitied her for her situation, and yet I couldn't help but dislike her a little - why couldn't she be just happy for her sister, and try to move on? Well, she was interesting character indeed.
As for Lily, I disliked her for her naivety. She came across to me as self-absorbed yet "clueless" in a way and it was so hard to place her. She was very complex and it made me like her and love her at the same time, I just can't make up my mind about her. Hats off to your writing, lol.
I can't comment much on Scorpius accept feel bad for him that he wasn't aware of he's doing to Lily and Scorpius, and yet disliked him because somehow it came across to me that he was sort of aware. And then he called Lily a mudblood, ghosh. I'd have expected better from him - learn from his father's mistakes - or maybe I should say I'd have expected Draco to teach his son.
Anyway, great story and great characters. I was absolutely engrossed while reading, and enjoyed the darkness of it all. Superb job!
(AditiDraco95)Author's Response: Wow, thanks AD!
Several people have commented that they felt simultaneously attached to and repulsed by the three main characters in this story. I think that's good. People are naturally complex in everyday life and I want my characters to reflect that.
Rose was meant to come across as being a little crazy. "Obsessive" is the perfect word. It goes beyond having a crush on Scorpius; she wants to possess him, to have conquered him. I saw it as taking her dad's advice way, way beyond how he ever meant it to be interpreted.
Lily and Scorpius are sort of wrapped up in their own world. Lily wants to hold onto the illusion of being perfectly in love, and Scorpius just sees a pretty face he can take to the ball. Then again, maybe Rose's dark, fatalistic view of their romance is too over-the-top. Maybe they're just two kids having fun. Who knows?
Anyway, thanks for another lovely review :)
-Amanda Report Review
First of all, I can entirely identify to Rose panicking about exams and chewing her fingernails off with worry because I have two exams tomorrow to finsih off my week of mocks and I'm in the same state of mind as her: I don't feel ready (and yes, I know I should not be derping around the archives but this was too tempting for me to let it go).
I hopefully clicked this thinking, yeah, maybe you can't write Scorpius or love triangles or write Rose differently from your other stories but I was WRONG, WRONG, WRONG, of course, because you're amazing and your writing too. I'm sure that even if you decided to write a story from the point of view of Crumple-Horned Snorkack you'd still manage to make it to the Dobbys.
Right, anyway. I can't bring myself to hate Lily, somehow, despite the fact that Rose is obviously suffering. She eerily reminds of Lavender, though a more elegant version of her, but still as light-headedly in love (most of the time). There's something slightly unnerving about Rose though, whoch makes it so much more delightful to get into her head and see things through her eyes.
As always, your description was gorgeous and I right now I wish I could add you to my favourite authors twenty times if I could, just so you understand exactly how much I'm fangirling over your writing! &heartsAuthor's Response: Hah, can't everyone? Good luck on yours!
Well, I have been nominated but never had the honor of winning. One day, perhaps, when my work is a little more well known. Anyway, thanks! It means a lot for you to say that.
I like how you described Lily as being "light-headedly in love" because I think that's very accurate. As for Rose, basically what I did was take Hermione's academic dedication and twisted it into this romantic infatuation with Scorpius and, more than that, the idea of dominating and conquering him. I don't think Rose knows what she would do if she won.
You are too awesome! Thanks again! :)
-Amanda Report Review
This is an incredibly good piece of writing. Let’s start with that, shall we? It’s inventive, emotive, intense and provocative. And the actual technique is excellent too, from your vocabulary and deployment of words to the dialogue and the imagery.
I love that you’ve taken a group of characters about whom a certain fandom collective opinion has formed, and done something completely new and interesting with them. The characterizations and relationships you’ve come up with here are the main attraction to me. I simultaneously dislike, care about, and pity all three of the main characters! How did you do that?
Lily’s fragility is at once alluring and irritating. I actually have a friend like Lily, who is so very beautiful and seems most of the time to be oblivious to the things that she does that infuriates and attracts people, but sometimes you have to wonder if she’s actually doing it on purpose. I don’t know if that’s where you were going with Lily, but I felt like I understood some of Rose’s frustration - it’s hard to be the dependable one all the time.
Is it wrong that I disliked Rose almost as much as I was rooting for her? I just want her to buck up, look around and see that there are other people out there, and to leave Lily and Scorpius to either get on or implode. She seems to spend so much energy and time being angry and feeling resentful... that ‘chip on the shoulder’ element really reminded me of Ron by the way, particularly in that the person she envies so much is the child of the people Ron envied. I just want her to move on and be happy! Ron did, when he grew up a bit. I hope his daughter would too, but she does have that dogged determination of her mother’s.
She’s accomplished so much, but she’s almost hanging every hope on something that will never happen. I guess that’s just the awful and intoxicating nature of unrequited love. I enjoyed how her love/obsession is characterized by note-taking and observation. It seems she’s like her mother in more ways than her determination and intelligence. She’s so methodical. It made me imagine Snape doing the same to Lily, actually... I really pity her being asked to keep a secret for the person she is growing to hate, about the person she loves.
And Scorpius. I feel sorry for him more than I dislike him, actually. I think he has no idea of what he’s doing to Rose and to her relationship with Lily (actually, she’s oblivious too... or is she?). The ‘mudblood’ thing was really inspired - he’s not this enlightened NextGen wunderkind - and it makes me wonder if Rose is a bit short-sighted. If anything, she seems more irritated and disgusted by Lily’s reaction than Scorpius using that word. That said, I’m somewhat disappointed in Draco Malfoy for not teaching his son better. I guess the leopard doesn’t
change his spots...
I loved the canonesque touches in this- seeing Rita Skeeter sneaking around, Quidditch teams, OWLS and NEWTS, the real ‘Hogwartsy’ feel of the story. Lovely.
There are so many wonderful lines in this! You are truly so talented. I wish I had your way with words! One of my favourite lines is actually near the beginning. “Hatred. I wonder how it looks on me. Can my almost-sister see the ocean draining from my blue irises, sinking into my bloodstream and turning the fluid there to ice? Perhaps my skin has faded to an elderly white, looking dead and ugly next to hers.” - Wow. You are GOOD.
I could definitely see Atonement's influence in this story having read your AN - I wonder if Rose is a somewhat unreliable narrator like Briony. I enjoyed this so much, and I really need to come back to your page and keep reading. You’re clearly a gem I’ve been missing out on!
Athene xoAuthor's Response: Hi Athene! Thanks again for the swap :)
I don't read a lot of next gen, but I do know that people seem very wrapped up in the Rose/Scorpius love story and in their characterizations of Rose, Scorpius, and Lily. I really wanted to turn all of that on its head and go in a really dark, twisted direction with this. I noticed that you made lots of comments about one member of the trio not knowing what the other two were thinking much of the time, and I think that's accurate. Sometimes I don't think anyone really knows.
Yeah, I wanted Lily to be this classically beautiful girl, somewhat oblivious to the effect she has on others. It's complicated because Rose wants to hate her and has reason to do so, given her jealousy, but it's hard to hate someone who's a genuinely kind person.
It's definitely okay to have divided feelings about Rose. I think it's easy to get tired of her ranting about Lily and Scorpius when their relationship is really none of her business and she could probably be happier if she'd just focus on her own promising life. At the same time, I think people can identify with being the ugly duckling and wishing they could spend a day in someone else's shoes, especially if that person doesn't seem to appreciate their blessed life at times. As for her meticulousness, I really wanted it to be like Hermione, but in a very dark way. Instead of focusing purely on her studies, she's developed an unhealthy obsession for a boy.
As for Scorpius, I think the jury's still out. I don't know that he's totally ignorant of his influence over women, even if he doesn't specifically know about Rose's infatuation with him. At the same time, he seems so wrapped up in himself and whatever he has going on with Lily that maybe he is sort of innocent. I definitely like that this piece made you think!
I love that bit of description, so I'm glad you did, too :) You're very sweet to have said so many nice things, and I could definitely say the same stuff back to you. Thanks so much for your wonderful review!
-Amanda Report Review
Hello, I'm here with your dreadfully late and long overdue review which I do apologise for. I've been caught up in quite a few real life problems.
Anyway, I found this story to be really captivating. I really wanted to know more about the relationship between Rose and Scorpius. I felt so bad for Rose, I just wanted to be able to tell her that things will be okay. Your imagery was fabulous, it really brought me into the story and into Rose's pain. And for a couple of moments I really disliked Scorpius as it seemed like he was just toying with both Lily and Rose.
And I thought that Rose was an extremely strong person, after all that she's been through she doesn't let her jealousy get the better of her. She helps Lily out when Scorpius called her a mudblood and Rose doesn't taunt Lily even though she could of had.
I don't really know what else to say except your writing was perfect. I fell in love with this sentence "I would later reflect on this as the first of his betrayals – but to her, or to me?". I think that it just really captures the essence of this story.
I really don't have any criticisms for you, this story was just perfect.
CharlieAuthor's Response: Hi Charlie! Thanks for stopping by :)
I'm happy to hear that the imagery worked for you and that you were intrigued by the Rose/Scorpius dynamic. I really wanted it to differ a lot from the fluffy, humorous feel I get from so many next-gen fanfics, while still deviating from being over-the-top dramatic. It's great that you felt some sympathy for Rose here, and I hope you felt a little for Lily too, because you're right, Scorpius didn't really treat either of them well in this story.
I felt like my Rose would have a lot of Hermione in her, though with a dash of Ron's temper and impulsive desires. She's sacrificial to a fault, and she's torn between wanting to be there for Lily and her own conflicted, confusing feelings about Scorpius.
That sentence seems to stick out to a lot of people, and I like it, too. I'm glad you felt like it was good for summing up the whole plot.
Well, I do like getting constructive critique, but I'm very flattered that you could find nothing to comment upon in that arena. Thanks again, so much, for your kind review :)
-Amanda Report Review
Oh my God! I think this time you've really rendered me speechless. I've read this story many hours ago and I'm still not sure how to review it. But I'll go ahead and do it and see how that goes, okay?
First of all, NEXT GEN! Is there an era you don't write well? The best thing about this story though is how it was different from all the Next Gen stories out there! You've taken the characters we see often around the archives, a plot that's a bit common too, and then you've concocted something wonderful and mind-blowing out of it all! The way you wrote everything made me want to reach into the screen and tell Rose that she'll be okay and that she'll get past it someday. It felt THAT real to me! Honestly, you have no idea how you've made me feel with this amazing one-shot!
Here's what I think you've done here because I like to speculate about things! You've taken something like jealousy and upon that simple yet broad concept, you've built a dark and twisted story, one in which jealousy can truly take over a person, and delivered so much emotion and made the situation more than understandable in such a few words. Yet, I felt that Rose was better than letting her jealousy over Scorpius get the best of her. For the sake of family and all of that, she supported Lily, she didn't make her feel bad when Scorpius called her a mudblood, she didn't taunt her about being 'here first', even though she wanted to. Internally, yes, she hated Lily; she felt scorned and angry, and I don't think she was happy about it either, which is why she never confronted Lily or tried to sabotage her relationship with Scorpius. Or that's what I got anyway.
I absolutely love what you've done with imagery here! You've made Rose see things in a very, very artistic way and accordingly made us see them that way too! The way how innocent and pure Lily seemed made Rose be nicer to her, how she thought Lily was prettier, how she imagined what Rita Skeeter was to write about Lily and Scorpius, and all the comparisons to flowers...
Although all of this is written in first person and in present tense, it certainly didn't feel like it. I usually feel that present tense can deprive a story of its depth and that first person POV makes it less possible for a story to be artistic without seeming unrealistic, but somehow, you've done it and I enjoyed it so much!
I don't think there's a way I can let you know how I really love this story, okay? I can quote all the lines I like, but then I'd quote the whole piece! I just loved how dark this all was and how thought-through every sentence seemed to be! It just really got to me like no other Next-Gen story has! And it's officially my favourite story!
-Manno (your biggest fan)Author's Response: You are so kind, as always. Thanks so much for stopping by to check out this one-shot of mine!
Next Gen makes me so nervous, because I know it has been written a lot and I'm so much less familiar with the characters than I am with those from earlier eras. It almost feels like I'm writing with OCs, just grasping at the couple of thin strings I got from canon and pulling at them, and that makes me uncomfortable. I much prefer using canon. Anyway, it's such a relief to hear that you felt like I did okay even alongside those feelings :)
You're not far off with the central theme, to be honest. I was working off of the offhand comment Ron made to his daughter at King's Cross about not letting Scorpius overtake her academically, and just putting a much darker spin on it. I thought of Rose like an obsessive Hermione, prone to feeling totally out of her element in any situation where she can't just study her way out of it. This whole idea of romantic attraction is somewhat foreign to her, and yet she knows the social script well enough to play along with Lily. In a way, though, when her script fails, she knows to support Lily because of their blood relation and old friendship. Maybe it's weird, but I think of that as salvaging her character here. I think you're right that a lot of her frustration came from hating Lily and yet being unwilling to hurt her, because of falling under her spell.
I'm glad you liked the delicate imagery and the way Lily sort of mesmerized all the others. Rose is delicate in her own way, I think, though she's clearly got tougher skin than Lily. It's great that the tense and point of view seem to work okay for you as well. I really wanted the reader to see things with Rose's eyes.
I'm so happy that you enjoyed this so much, and again, I'm honored and humbled by your thoughtful comments. Thanks again! :)
-Amanda Report Review
What am I supposed to do with you?? You get better with every sentence, I swear. And you're already an amazing writer, so that's really saying something.
Rose's jealousy is so dark and close to angry, she's red. Lily's innocence, not exactly that... I just can't think of the right word... but she's white. And they are both so contrasting to the other, then Scorpius is somewhere in the middle. We don't exactly know him, because we're only seeing him through Rose's eyes, but we know what he's doing to these two, and that kind of makes me hate him. Unintentionally, I'm not sure. But he's doing it regardless.
And you kind of just want to bundle Lily up and hug her and tell her to be happy. Because she's fragile. And then Rose's jealousy is almost frightening, but it's so painful that I just want her to be able to be happy.
The line about in Rose's 22 years she'd learned that the world would split open for Lily. I can't even imagine how accurate that would be. She's the daughter of Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley. She's beautiful I'm sure, and really characterized as a saint in fanfiction. Here she's more of a silly girl, and Rose's appraisal of what her cousin's world is like.. ah. It was just awesome.
You are the queen at emotions. I've never read anything quite like your writing that can just make me feel whatever it is you want me to. You're in complete control of your reader, you hook us and then force us to feel something . I've never read any of your stories and simply thought, that was great. Okay, moving on. They always stick with me.
Amazing work, as always.Author's Response: Hi! This response is really late. I'm sorry!
Oh, this was a fun little experiment. I normally really hate next gen, so naturally I had to toy with it and try to strip it of cliches.
I think it's easy to hate Scorpius here, because he exists solely in the background. Both Rose and Lily have flaws and strengths right there, front and center, for you to see. I always pictured him as really not knowing the effect he has on Rose and Lily, and the conflict existing primarily within Rose, not even between the two girls vying for his affection.
I do see Lily as a little princess, and I can imagine Rose feeling like an ugly duckling in her shadow. Like Hermione, she's never quite secure in herself, never quite feeling safe. I tried to use Lily's perfection to amplify Rose's pain, and I'm glad you felt like that worked!
Wow, that's high praise! Thank you so much! I would like to think that all of my training has taught me a thing or two about human emotion, and I hope you enjoyed the ride :)
Thank you again for this lovely review!
Amanda Report Review
This was haunting in the oddest way. Especially that last line. Poor Rose! You actually made me dislike Lily so much. I love how Rose is just like her mother when it comes to her academics. I love how Scorpius was, I assume unknowingly, playing the both of them. He really had both girls going, didn't he? Lily was just so perfect and i hated her for that just like Rose did; the way you portrayed the emotions was beyond mind blowing! I felt genuine hatred for a fictional character. I would love, love, love to read a sequel to this, but I bet that would be difficult because it seems to me that you ended it at just the right spot..
I'm always so impressed! Incredible writing my dear!
EverAuthor's Response: Hi Ever! Thanks for stopping by!
Good, haunting is what I was aiming for! :) You're right in that I characterized Rose as Hermione to an obsessive extreme, and that Scorpius was very much unknowingly playing with both Rose's and Lily's hearts. I'm glad the emotion worked and Lily's perfection got under your skin so that you could identify with poor Rose. I don't think a sequel is coming, but I do suppose it would be interesting, huh?
Thanks so much for this lovely review!
Amanda Report Review
Hello, Amanda! Sorry for the slight delay, but I am nonetheless here now to leave you your review for the TGS review exchange. Side note: I was creeping on this story a week or so before its assignation to me, so I was really, really happy when we got paired up! But anyway.
I'm not normally a fan of next generation stories, but I saw that with no small amount of reserve, because it's stories like this that prove me wrong. ♥ I think a more accurate phrase would be I'm not a fan of conventional next generation stories, and yours is far from that. I've never read a story that tackles something quite like this, an almost-love triangle between two girls and a boy, instead of the other way around. It's not really a love triangle, though, and that is perhaps one of its most interesting aspects: It's not fiction, it's not happily-ever-after. It's life, as much as a piece of Harry Potter fan fiction can be life.
You wrote emotions into this story so well, though I can't say I'm surprised; there's a distinct reason you're one of thirteen authors I've added to my favorites! :D You portray Rose's jealousy impeccably well, and, once again, it's realistic. That probably sells me in stories more than anything, realism. I could sense exactly what she was feeling, even if it wasn't stated explicitly. You've managed to create a story in 2,000 words; not just a story, but a story. There are things unsaid here, intentionally so, and I just can't get over the fact that these three feel like such real people.
The other thing that really strikes me about this one-shot is your metaphors, namely your allusions to flowers. I'm not sure, of course, but J.K. Rowling did give a lot of her characters flower names, and I'm sure there was some reason behind it. Like this line:
She still looked like a flower, but she had been crumpled beneath his shoes -- SUCH an accurate description of the thing! I am just in awe. You've woven the flower trope through nicely, with the comparison, the crushing, the re-blooming. Love it.
I really enjoyed reading this, Amanda! You need to shove me in the direction of your author's page more often, you know. ;) Because you're seriously fantastically talented! ♥ Hoping to drop back by before too long!!Author's Response: I kind of want to cry into a pillow about how late this review response is. Let's just say that awesomeness of the review has a direct and positive correlation with difficulty in responding!
Oh, gosh, I'm not either. They're like Marauder stories, typically melodramatic and overdone, and it felt like a serious challenge to try and write something decent. I'm so happy that you think I've succeeded, and that you enjoyed watching Rose, Lily, and Scorpius weave their strange and tangled little web.
It means a lot to end up on your favorites list. Thank you! I felt like people might be able to sympathize with Rose, though like so many of my characters, she's been taken to the extreme. How often have I worked so hard for something, pouring blood and tears into it, only to come up with nothing at the end? In the end, I don't even think she knows what she wants, what her ideal outcome would have been. She just knows that no matter what, she deserves it more than Lily does.
Yes, the flowers! I tried to contrast the delicate nature of such pretty names and pretty girls with the ugliness of Rose's feelings. I'm glad it didn't seem too forced.
Thank you so much for this lovely review, and again, I apologize for the belated response :)
Amanda Report Review
Hey i'm kjp from the harrypotterfanfiction forums with your requested review.
I've got to say that your writing has great style and you thought about all the choice of wording perfectly something that others have trouble with doing. You made it seem like every word counted which is amazing.
Sometimes I got confused with what was going on, or where the story was leading and it didn't make sense (perhaps its just me) but it took me a few lines to realize what was happening something that might stress readers out and therefor stop them from reading.
Your characters were great, especially rose, you've got the basics down for her character and I loved it. Lily as I always thought she would be was a little too perfect. We didn't really get to know much about Scorpius which i'd be really interested to know about.
Overall the stories good, but i'd just make it a little clearer to the audience what is going on every time you change scenery . Other than that a excellent story and i'd rate it 8/10
- kjp :DAuthor's Response: Hello, and thanks for stopping by! I'm sorry that my response has taken so long. I've been busy.
I'm glad you liked my word choice. The story was meant to be a little confusing. I definitely wouldn't want to stress readers out, though! Thanks for pointing out specifically what I could improve upon to make that clearer.
I'm happy to hear that you liked the characterization, too. The reader isn't meant to know much about Scorpius in this story. He's more like a background figure. It's the perception of him from Rose and Lily that really is more important here, or so I think.
Thanks for your kind review!
-Amanda Report Review
Hello, this is CalypsoJenna from the forums, here with your requested review!
Wow- this was so beautifully written! You write with such ease that words genuinely seem to flow off the page. I really enjoyed reading this- (I'm a sucker for a good love triangle) and you pulled it off beautifully.
Your characterisation of Rose and Lily was superb. I loved the contrast of Rose's rather dark, rather introspective nature compared with Lily's blind naivety. I thought the description of Lily as "the pretty girl in the frail dress" was spot on. You created such an interesting dynamic between them, because obviously they have been close since birth, but now there are all these other feelings getting in the way- from Rose's perspective at least.
Rose herself seems like a fascinating character- although I'm still not quite sure about how much I like her... (as a person. As a character, she's wonderful!) I liked her intensive, almost obsessive study habits- they fitted in very well with her obsession with Scorpius. The notes she wrote in her margins were wonderfully put, saying a lot very subtly about her developing feelings for him.
She actually seems like quite a dark character, which one doesn't often read and you've put her in this very complex emotional situation, caught between Lily and Scorpius and her feelings for each of them.
The consistent music imagery was very artfully done too. I enjoyed it a lot. Like so much of this story, the details of it were gorgeous and added to much to the overall reading.
The only tiny thing I can find to criticise was in the third paragraph- the references to Seven Wonders and the Four Horsemen didn't flow quite as naturally as the rest, and seemed a little shoe-horned in, but it is a very small thing and hardly detracts at all from the overall story.
So well done! So beautifully written- you have such a wonderful way with language (I could pick out examples, but I'd probably exceed the character limit!) This was a real pleasure to read!
-BethanyAuthor's Response: Hello, and thanks for coming by! I'm sorry my response has taken so long--been quite busy.
It's awesome to hear that you liked Lily and Rose. I do think that line you picked out describes Lily as I had hoped to describe her to a T. You're also right in that one of the primary conflicts is Rose struggling over how to treat her longtime friend in the context of all these new and confusing feelings she has.
Rose is meant is be pretty dark. I wanted to take that persistence that can come with being school-focused and really draw it out into a kind of creepy obsession. Basically, I wanted to avoid all next-gen Rose cliches :)
I'm glad you picked up on the music imagery and felt like it fit. I wondered if I was throwing too many metaphors in there, but I really liked the way the music felt to me in the plot.
You make a good point. I wrote this kind of stream-of-consciousness, so down on the page it went when it came to mind, but perhaps it doesn't fit as well as the rest. Glad it doesn't distract too much from the story!
Your review was lovely. Thanks again :)
-Amanda Report Review
It's Rosie with your requested review! :)
Wow...this was such a powerful piece! Just a one-shot, but it was very emotional and complex! I don't think I could ever write anything like this. The way you managed to enter Rose's thoughts was perfect. The detail shows a lot of hard work, too.
I particularly enjoyed Rose's characterization. I thought her jealousy towards her more popular cousin was conveyed perfectly. And Lily's characterization was wonderfully done too--she seemed a bit naive, unaware of her cousin's feelings.
And the quote you used from the challenge fit very well into the story. :)
Overall, this was a very enjoyable piece. I adore your writing style so much! Keep on writing! :D
~RosieAuthor's Response: Hi Rosie! Thanks for stopping by! :)
I'm so happy that you liked the detail and my attempt to get into Rose's head. Working on character development is one of the things I enjoy most about writing fanfiction, and it's great to hear that you view it as a strength.
It's also lovely to hear that you liked my characterization of both Rose and Lily. I meant for Rose's dark jealousy to be a sort of contrast to Lily's naivety, although both of them share a too-close connection to Scorpius. It just looks different for each girl.
Thanks again for this very sweet review :)
-Amanda Report Review
It's True Author with your requested review! =]
I loved Rose in your story! Usually people characterize Rose like Hermione- studious and sincere but your story has a diffrent Rose. a girl who has her own way of life. Frankly speaking, but you still need to work on Lilly's characterization! That will make this story perfect. =]Author's Response: Hello! Thanks for coming by!
I'm really glad you liked Rose. I tried to keep that vague canon characterization of her being like Hermione, but then I put a dark spin on it. It's good that you appreciate her independence.
As for Lily - from one reviewer to another, I wish you had been more specific about what you didn't like. If you just say that it needs work, that doesn't really tell me anything about what you think I need to fix or add.
Anyway, thanks again for reviewing!
-Amanda Report Review
Hey Amanda, it's Molly from the forums with your requested review!
Wow - that's really the only way I can start off this review. Just...wow. I was so blown away by this that I had to take a few minutes to myself after reading it in order to collect my thoughts and put them in a semi-comprehensible line up. So hopefully this review is somewhat understandable and if it's not, I apologize.
I absolutely love this dark spin you've put on Rose's character. She's usually portrayed as a knock off of Hermione or a bizarre mix of Ron and Hermione that doesn't always work, and even when she's not written as either of those types, she's still an overall pleasant person. But that's not the case with this and I love it. I love her obsession with Scorpius, which starts out as a seemingly simple thing - at first, I thought perhaps she just had a crush on him that she never quite got over, but then it evolved into this deeper, darker, and far more disturbing things. The notes she took at first were cute, but the later ones were actually quite disturbing to me as were her jealous thoughts later on.
It's odd, because a part of me thinks that yes, maybe she does love Scorpius, but mostly I just get the feeling that it's an obsession so deep that she can't quite shake it, despite knowing fully well what kind of person he is - someone who casually throws around the word 'Mudblood', a habit I'm sure he picked up from his father, without understanding the weight and emotional impact of the word.
I enjoyed Lily's characterization as well - she came off as naive without being overly innocent. She's clearly adored by everyone who knows her, and I found it very interesting indeed that even though Rose is so jealous of her and her relationship with Scorpius that Rose wants to protect her from him. And I don't think it's just because she wants Scorpius all to herself, but because she loves Lily very much despite it all.
And the descriptions - oh the descriptions! Be still my heart! I was captivated by them from the very beginning when you were describing the flush on Lily's cheeks. There were some really beautiful descriptions that contributed to the characters' nuances that I found truly wonderful; they told us so much about the characters.
For such a short piece, it packed a lot of punch.
You've done a truly wonderful and beautiful job with this piece. You should be very very proud indeed. I, for one, am extremely envious of your abilities. They're breathtaking!
- MollyAuthor's Response: Hi Molly! I am so sorry that this response took ages. RL totally took over for a few weeks!
I have this thing about taking canon characterization and toying with it to produce different variations on a character, most of which turn out a bit dark. I wanted to think about how far things could go with the right amount of pressure and the right sort of obsessive personality. Thankfully, Rose keeps her emotions mostly contained, but I think she could do some serious damage otherwise. It's so great that you liked what I did with her!
I think both Lily and Rose are victims of Scorpius and his inherent prejudice, and yet I don't think he really intends to do them harm. It's just a bad situation all around. I think that makes it even harder for Rose to deal with, and as you mentioned, she still wants to take care of fragile little Lily and keep her safe. It must be an uncomfortable position for her.
It's so lovely that you liked the descriptions. I try to weave them in there, and lately I've been working on making them flow more naturally and not seem shoe-horned into my pieces. I'm happy that the piece "packed a punch," as you said, and was enjoyable for you.
Thank you for this truly lovely review :)
-Amanda Report Review
(Since my author name is different from my forums username), I'm WhisperThroughtheWind ;)
I really liked this story. I loved the love triangle between the three of them :)
In a way, I feel bad for both Rose and Lily. Rose loves Scorpius, but he chose Lily (tear). And then Lily still goes back to him after he hurts her...(another tear).
I have one question though... when Rose was talking about when winter came and Scorpius stayed inside, he stayed in his bed or on the couch, by the fire in the Slytherin common room. You said Rose is a Gryffindor, so does she assume that that's what Scorpius does in the winter when he stays in the dorm to escape the cold? I know I'm poking at little things, and it's not a bad thing, I'm just curious XD
And I liked how you used your quote. It was so creative.
All in all, great job :)Author's Response: Hey! Thanks for coming by to review :)
I'm glad you liked the story! I definitely feel bad for both Lily and Rose, especially since both of them have this unspoken tension (to which Lily is fairly oblivious) over a boy who doesn't seem to really respect either of them.
You've got it right - that's what I meant by the line (or two) that comes right after that paragraph. You might see it if you look again. I'm glad you liked my use of the quote! :)
Thanks for this very kind review! I'm excited to hear the results of the challenge!
-Amanda Report Review
Hey, Amanda! I saw your status post about this and I actually read it yesterday. I'd love to say that I was being deep and "collecting my thoughts" for the past 24 hours, but truthfully I didn't find time until now. ;)
Anyway, I thought this was a very complex story to be so short. There are so many different layers of conflict going on, and you manage to give each of them a pretty thorough discussion from Rose's point of view. The way you went about it, though, was really pleasant. There was nothing dry or analytical about the approach. Each conflict is explained in terms of Rose's feeling and reactions to it.
I thought the characterization of Rose as a brilliant, motivated young woman who seems to pine after Scorpius in secret was clever and very believable. The way that she obsesses over him, studies him and takes notes about him added a lot to both her character development and our understanding of him.
Lily came off as a naive, young flower who lives a blessed life. The princess of the Potter family, the one who was born with it all and doesn't even seem to realize how her less popular cousin envies her.
Scorpius's nasty little offhand comment brought back a lot of canon moments and made me wonder exactly where he fits in the continuum. There was Snape, who said the word in a moment of anger to Lily's namesake and spent the rest of his life regretting it. Draco, who used the word frequently and with malice. Then they're Scorpius, who seems to almost use it with a casual indifference, blind to the pain that it causes.
The fact that Lily is willing to overlook it, and wants Rose to help keep their parents in the dark about it, shows one more level of naivete. The fact that Rose still covets Scorpius -- even knowing what he is -- and is jealous of Lily seemingly to the point of secretly hating her sums of Rose's inner conflict perfectly.
This was a really gripping, emotional story. It's not really my style of writing, so I don't think there's much I can suggest in the way of improvements. I enjoyed it.Author's Response: Hi Dan! It's so kind of you to stop by :)
That's great to hear! I did try to fold a lot of history between Lily, Rose, and Scorpius into a relatively short piece, and I'm glad it didn't come out as a dry recollection or an incomprehensible timeline.
I'm so glad you liked Rose. I really wanted to add a dark edge to that sliver of characterization we got in the epilogue, with Ron basically telling her to be like Hermione. Coming from him, it sounded pretty benign, but I'm happy that you liked the twist here. I see Rose in this piece as a reflection of what Hermione could have become, in a sense (though I don't know that Hermione would ever be so consumed with a boy in this way).
You've got Lily down pat. She really is oblivious to Rose's jealousy because she's used to everyone falling at her feet. In that sense, I think she's a good match for Scorpius, with both of them saying and doing things without really thinking them through. I also think you're right to relate Scorpius's uttering the dreaded M-word to the way it has been used throughout history. That, I'm sure, could make a story of itself, but I'm glad I made you think about it a little bit here.
I feel pity for both Lily and Rose in their adoration of Scorpius. I purposefully made it so that readers would know little about him and still possibly hate him for his influence over both of them. I guess in that sense, both girls are twisted in different ways.
Thanks so much for this lovely review! :)
-Amanda Report Review
My brain is currently repeating "oh my god" at a painful rate, but it's in a wholly happy-bouncy excited way. It's strange because this kind of story ought to be depressing and sad, but there's something in your portrayal of Rose that's astounding - she's filled with strength and fury, so like both of her parents, and yet unlike them too. Perhaps I just understand her far too well.
This story is amazing. From the narration to the language to its character studies, everything is so perfectly put together. This is the kind of story I wish I could write, filled with feeling and governed by restraint. That is what fascinates me most about this story: how you enter into Rose's mind and reveal its complexities, its contradictions. Does she love Scorpius? I don't think that actually matters - she has a strange something that could be obsession or attraction, but she internalizes everything so deeply that it's impossible to tell what she feels at all. If the story were told from the outside, it would not have half of the impact - the Rose that Lily and the others see isn't the Rose burning within.
The other aspect of this story that most captured my attention was the language and style. You've developed these things amazingly over the last year, and I know I repeat myself in saying that everything you write keeps getting better. The way in which you describe people in this story deconstructs their characters so that you can reveal their souls within a few lines. Scorpius is always on the periphery, yet Rose's observations - suitably Sherlockian, I must add - describe him perfectly. I can see him in my mind's eye; I know exactly what kind of person he is without him needing to physically appear. You make use of the first person narration here to brilliant effect. The references to colours also added to the visual aspects of this story - I ended up seeing the characters as flashes of colour rather than as people so that this story was like a watercolour or oil, without clear lines, letting the imagination take control over understanding.
This one is definitely going on my favourite's list, and I wish I'd left my Dobby nomination for a bit longer because this would have been perfect for best one-shot. It's of excellent quality and deserves plenty of recognition! I can easily see this published somewhere - you should consider it. ;)Author's Response: Hello Susan!
I think you've conceptualized Rose well. My intent was to take that sort of humorous comment Ron made in the epilogue about Scorpius and really make it much darker. There were times where I think Hermione could have tipped over the edge into some sort of obsession, in terms of proving herself academically or trying to protect Harry, and I tried to pull that to an extreme here with Rose.
You're so kind! I honestly struggled about whether or not I was really happy with this when I posted it, but I've felt that way about stories before that have gone on to get a good reception, so I decided to just go with it. People get very attached to their next gens, it seems, and for me to not only rip apart ScoRose but also make it a bit deranged seemed... risky? Haha. It's really comforting to know that you liked the perspective and the style and really just enjoyed the plot here.
Rose's train of thought is a little Sherlocky, isn't it? I don't know that the choice was intentional, save for the fact that I love Sherlock and think some of his sociopathic flavor could fit in well with Rose's character. I'm really happy that you felt like the description fit in well and supported the piece.
You continue to flatter me far beyond what I probably deserve. I'll definitely take it -- you've allayed a lot of fears about this piece. Thanks again for your wonderful review! :)
-Amanda Report Review
Um...wow? I don't really know what to say, Amanda. I know I repeat it in every review I leave for you but I swear, your writing just keeps getting better and better. I'm jealous at how beautifully this is put together and YOUR PROSE. I just want to squee at how pretty it is. There are so many lines in here that I loved and wish I wrote, but this one especially: She was composed of second-rate flesh and the disease of progression and this: She sparkles like the moon even in the brightly lit kitchen, and the way she lights on the edge of the counter like a butterfly makes my stomach twist. I loathe this magic.
I really feel for Rose here. Always coming second-best to Lily, so that line about her loathing "this magic" is what I interpreted to be the magic of love, how it makes Lily feel alive and bloom like the beautiful flower she is. Rose pales in comparison and she always feels like she's on the outskirts of a world that seems to revolve around Lily.
I really love how Rose is bitter about Lily and Scorpius's relationship, how she knew him first but then sacrificed her chance for education whereas Lily was the opposite. I think you did a great job detailing her emotions and really harping on her bitterness yet her desire to be a good cousin and support her as well.
Your descriptions here are fabulous. Everything comes to life with this magic you breathe into your words. It's honest to god fantastic writing. I just don't even know what else to say. You're continually blowing me away with how much you've improved as an author and how you've grown. I'm so proud to be able to say that I've seen your progression. You're an excellent writer and this may be one of your best ones yet. I can only hope there's more waiting for me in the near future. :DAuthor's Response: I know what I can say! THANK YOU :)
I really love those couple of lines you picked out, too. You know how much I love getting into the gritty, dark corners of characters' heads, and it was an interesting sort of experience to try to put this dark spin on Rose. She wants so badly to have the love she believes she has 'earned' through her 'study' of Scorpius and all of his behavior and traits. Love, of course, is not academic; Lily was the one to get in there and really get close to him. It's a really different perspective than Rose's.
I think I see a little of Hermione in Rose; she's strong, but she will bend over backwards for those about whom she cares. She and Lily are close whether she likes it or not, and she knows that she 'needs' to help Lily out. I didn't know when I finished whether I felt bad for Rose or if I disliked her too much, and I hope that readers experience that as well :)
Thank you so much again! I wasn't feeling sure about this piece and waited a few weeks to edit and post it, but then I finally got tired of looking at it and just stuck it on the archive. It's nice to hear that you liked it!
Thanks for another flattering review :)
-Amanda Report Review
Oh, how sad, and yet how beautiful. I know the feeling of admiring and loving someone from a distance, and the feeling of knowing that is is another girl's man I'm in love with. (It was many years ago now, but I still know the feeling.) and I can imagine how mixed up it must feel when that girl is someone close to you and you can't allow yourself to feel jealous and perhaps even hate.
You have written this in a way that makes me feel that I know the characters well, even if it is a short one-shot. I often feel that it takes some time to get into a story, but this one got my attention at once. Well done! :-)Author's Response: Hey, thanks for being my first review!
I definitely do feel bad for Rose, in a way, because she honestly feels like she 'deserves' Scorpius after all the work she put into 'learning' him. On the other hand, though, obsession can very quickly become toxic. It must be hard for her to hide that from Lily, though, in her effort to be a good cousin.
It's great that you feel like you got to know the characters. It's only my second time writing next-gen, and I'm glad you liked it :)
Thanks for your very sweet review!
-Amanda Report Review
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