2015-03-15 16:05:13
Hey Maia, Lily here on the ff.net team werewolf reviewing squad!

This is so descriptive and perfect, all ready the first line draws me in. It's funny, because I've only read gender queer/gender fluid/transgender Scorpius. This is intriguing me. I can just picture Al taking a skirt from Lily's closet out of a few dozen and there's just one little gap in on the hanger bar thing (I don't know what I'm talking about, ha ha!)

I feel so bad for Al. I'm only at the beginning, but if she (I'm not positive if this is the pronoun you'll be using) hasn't told anyone I can't imagine how lonely she must feel.

I love how you use the seasons to draw comparisons into the work. It's really cool, and definitely adds to the story.

Oh my Godrick I hate James so much but I love him at the same time. His reaction could have been worse. But just the way he was like "don't bother cutting your hair then." makes me want to punch him, urgh!

Oh my Godrick Harry, really? Just let who you know as your son (but is really your daughter), speak! However that did make me laugh, 'I always thought that'd be James'.

See, that wasn't so bad. The love the Potters have for their daughter is just so happy and wonderful, that was such a great moment!

I love how she goes through a few names, trying them out. And with Mary as the first name she tries, how she's thinking that she'd like to be exactly like her mother, with the beautiful red hair and loving heart.

Oooh, a crush on Scorpius Malfoy. Maia, why do you do this to me?!

Again through with the names. I don't even have words for how much I love this.

Ooooh Scorpius and exploding snap, get in line Al!

I love that ending, it's absolutely fabulous. And I'm glad that she ended up going with Allison, that really works for her.

Maia this was absolutely wonderful, I loved it so much!

Yours sincerely,
2015-03-15 16:05:13
This was written so well. I felt so much for Al in the beginning with being scared to tell her family. But they were so accepting and I was like yesss this is how it should be. Love love love this story! Are you planning on writing anymore for it because I would love to know if anything happens between her and Scorpius.
2015-03-15 16:05:13
I'm excited to be finally reading this story! Every time I come across if I have gone "YES, I have to read that!" And now I'm finally do it.

I really like that you chose to focus on Al in this story. It is so rare that people chose to write about transgender characters, and when they do, they generally pick minor characters. Kudos to you for picking somebody as major as Al.

At first I was super disoriented that in the Spring section you jumped into Al coming clean with James so quickly. I had expected more drawn out angst. However, his was actually really effective, as it made the reader feel some of that sudden unprepared shock and tension that Al did.

"all of sudden," should be "all of the sudden."

And James' reaction is so precious and perfect. Can I hug him?

You use italics a lot. I'd like to encourage you to make an effort to craft emphasis through your own phrasing and language as much as possible, and not relying of formatting.

And when Al comes out to her parents, I totally cried. They were so amazingly supportive and loving, it was really beautiful.

Also, the description of what a dork Harry is as a dad was perfect.

Scorpius as Hufflepuff, yay!

I love this sentence "She doesn’t really have time to worry about how cute Scorpius looks when he pushes his glasses up his nose" because it communicates really well both the stress she is under and the fact that, despite what she might say, she still thinks about how cute he is a lot.

Haha, I love the switch out of Indigo. Really, I love all of the exploration of considering herself and trying out different names.

This was such a lovely and beautiful story. Thank you so much for writing it.

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

plot/written value:
ahh, I loved the way you set this chapter out with the four different sections for the four different seasons. they show the journey and progression al experiences beautifully--especially how the events of each season link in exactly to the events i.e. with winter being the 'death' of things, spring being reborn and all that. I thought it was a really thought-provoking and creative style to choose ♥ in terms of trans experiences I like that you included things like bra shopping and the therapy sessions and just general family/friend time. the picnic with rose was cute!

allison is such a lovely girl I wish I could swaddle her in blankets she is too precious for this world ♥ she explores such a multitude of personalities throughout the name changes before she arrives at just al but I'm glad she finds herself in the end, and finds an identity in her name. I like how easy-going james is and that he never once bats an eyelid at al being trans--not even when the boys outside the art gallery catcal her. his first instict isn't an uncomfortable grimance its to defend his sister, just like I'm sure he would do for lily. such lovely sibling bonds :D and scorpiuS don't even get me started on this lovely man because I'm so enamoured by your take on him. hUFFLEPUFF SCORPIUS I mean ~sign me up

truly, this is one wonderful trans fic you've explored the experiencies and sufferings of trans individuals so beautifully and with so much care for portraying an accurate story. you don't shy away from some of the potentially more awkward things, like bra shopping, and certainly not away from the name choosing debacle. I think it's great that al and scorpius' relationship type thing is never questioned either. I know it's not stated either way what happens but I hope they DO engage in some lurveee.

favourite line/bit:
I'm so emosh ♥ "then james shrugs. 'oh,' he says. 'then don’t bother cutting your hair.'"

- jess, xo
2015-03-15 16:05:13
~ Slytherin for House Cup 2015 ~

This story is absolutely wonderful. I knew I loved it from the very first lines because your writing is gorgeous, but I also adore it because this is a side of Albus I have never seen written in a fanfic before -- and not only did you do it tastefully, but wonderfully too! Next gen characters can be hard to nail down as personalities were so vague in the epilogue but you totally took canon and spun it around, which I think was fantastic! I could gush for hours, but I love the dynamic between James and Al and how accepting he was of her so immediately without question. I also completely adore the way the seasons transition as she does -- it's such a beautiful metaphor that I definitely think you applied well. All in all, this was a wonderful story and I am so happy I came across it; please write more transfic sometime because this was great!
2015-03-15 16:05:13
Greetings from the elusive Crumple-Horned Snorkack, who has taken this fine day to step out of the woods and instead lurk inside the fanfiction archives, still away from the eyes of humans. And I must say, it was very fortunate I found this story because it was such an amazing read and I loved it!

This was such a wonderful story, and most of all I liked that it was positive - while at the same time you didn't ignore how difficult the whole process was, with all the anxiety that accompanied the transition, and stares/bullying that unfortunately happen far too often. But Al has a supportive family and the reactions of each of them just made me so happy (even happier than how I feel when I successfully hide from a human.) Especially James' reaction - as the first person Al came out to - I could really feel Al's nervousness and there was a suspenseful moment there but in the end it didn't affect the closeness between her and James - they're still the same siblings who laugh immaturely at art and steal each others ice cream. ♥

Like everything you write, this was so richly detailed and I love the little things it adds to the story to make a more complete picture, like Harry being awkward and burning the toast every morning (I love that mental image!), or Scorpius being a sort of shy Hufflepuff. I also enjoyed the succession of names Al deliberates over. I can sort of relate to this type of identiy crisis in that people call me by various names like Crumply, CHS, or even The Erumpent (which is like, a totally different animal, though it does have crumpled horns.) Digression aside, I did like the name of Allison as Al's final choice!

I also loved the seasonal theme of this and how you related it to Al's state of mind over time - it was perfect, both in the symbolic representation of the seasons as well as the actual amount of time it took for Al to be comfortable with herself. I noticed you used no pronouns until she came out, too, which felt really fitting - like it wasn't a change who she was as much as it was a realisation -perfect.

Well, this has been a lovely read, but I must dash as I'm late for tea with the Yeti!
2015-03-15 16:05:13
Hello, Maia! It'ss me: the Basilissk!

Just thought I'd try and mingle a bit. Meet ssome new characterss. You know. The usssual. There'ss not much converssation in my chamber, sso I like to take day tripss.

I love this story! The way the narrative first calls Al "she" when she confides in James. That was really neat. But I definitely also love that she tries out several different names, testing out how they feel on her new found acceptance - both self and otherwise. I'm also thrilled that ScorpiusxAlbus is a thing, because when is it ever not? I have too many feels for it to not happen, and I'm glad it did. :P

Anyway, I love your writing style. It's crisp and clean, and paints a clear picture in my mind. I'm in awe of your talent and bow down.

(I've decided to post 44 reviews over the next little while. Each one of them has a character at the bottom. If you can find all 44 reviews (not all are out yet, so keep your eyes peeled) and rearrange the letters into a quote from Harry Potter and PM it to WriteYourHeartOut on the forums you could win a donation to HPFF in your name! There's a topic in the Off Topic Section if you want to collaborate your efforts!)

Thankss sso much for the great read, Maia. I look forward to sseeing what elssse you come up with.

The Basilisk

OH my god I love this so much I wish that I could use expletives in this tiny comment box!

Alright, as someone who identifies as Bi, I've had a few relationships where the other party is not at comfortable with their body as I am. In fact, one of them was trans, and prefers to go by another name now. We were involved through the beginning of the process, though they'd already made the decision before we met.

Having watched someone go through that, I have a deep admiration both for your thought on writing this, and on the way you carried it out. It's not a science, and is very personal to the individual. I think that waiting to change the pronoun from male to female until the second installment was very showing, both in that Al had accepted her feelings, and was making both inward and outward choices to embrace that, and in making sure the reader connected with Al with that gender. Changing just those few words (unfortunately) changes a lot of expectations and assumptions you have about a character. Talking about Al as 'he' internally would've completely negated the point you were trying to make.

I hope that I raise my children to be like the children of Harry and Ginny, Ron and Hermione in this fic. James's response was so touching, and simple and everything that it needed to be, as was Ginny and Harry's. I found Ron's comment to be especially hilarious, and tried to relay it to the hubs, but I guess you had to read it. +]

The name changing is adorable and hilarious. Please please please please please please please, I know I just asked you to make the last one shot i reviewed longer, but I will sacrifice that slash for this one, so long as one or the other happens. I NEED ALL THE SLASH POTTERS! (is slash something we're not supposed to be using anymore? Did we replace it with the acronym in all aspects, or just in the story labels? I'm bad at social cues and don't get offended.)

I am so very happy to see that Scorpius is on board with the 'lets not be scumbags' plan.

The season symbols are great, and I think that you tied them in quite well with Al's emotional state.

All in all a beautiful read, and I can't wait for your brain to churn out more. Good luck on your challenges!
2015-03-15 16:05:13
Why hello there my dear!

I'm Rita Skeeter. You may know me from such publications as The Daily Prophet, The Life and Times of Albus Dumbledore, and a few others that I can't quite keep track of. Really, there's so many that sometimes I just forget!

You may be wondering why I'm here on this errr...computer thing, but I've found them quite helpful in digging up dir..I mean looking up information on my latest subjects. Especially since that meddling Hermione Granger found out about me being an illegal animagus.

I'm quite happy to have stumbled across this article as I'm just in the midst of writing my newest book titled The Life And Times of Harry Potter. Here I was about to write of Al as a boy. Good thing I found this, so I can include accurate information about her.

I know everyone thinks that I'm a wicked cow, but I really can relate to the things she went through. You can't tell now of course, but when I was younger I really struggled with my place in life. In fact, it might be because I never feel like I fit in that I'm inclined to write such salacious things about people. After that Granger girl took away my ability to spy, I've had to actually settle on really reading, researching, and writing the truth.

I was quite amazed at the process Al went through to find a new name. Personally, I like Indigo the best, but Al really does seem to fit her. Finding the right identity really is important.

Now because you've shared such a beautiful, personal story with me, I'd like to share a bit of gossip with you. There was a dual purpose to me stopping here. I'm running a bit of a contest. You see, things aren't always as they seem. If you can guess who my alter ego on the forums is, I will donate E50 in your honor to the HPFF fundraiser. You better hurry though because others have received similar offers and there can only be one winner. You have until March 30th.

Oh and I suppose I should leave you one clue so you can start some digging of your own. Unlike Rita, I have hair the color of Ginny Weasleys.

Best of Luck!
2015-03-15 16:05:13

Well, this is a gorgeous story, and you are such a talented writer!

First, the recurring theme with the seasons was really well done, with lovely descriptions of the actual seasons, but also of how they were connected with what Al was going through. Another recurring theme - the name. I sort of hoped she would decide on something that was similar to her original name because Al suited her from the start and than she chose Allison and it was perfect! Like, all those names were okay (she even had a hipster phase! *cough* Indigo *cough*) but Allison was the best one, really. I just really liked that part.

The flow of this story was excellent, and every sentence somehow melted into the next one I could go on gushing about your amazing writing style forever! :D

I can't even begin to imagine how a young trans person must feel and so I feel totally inadequate to ''judge'' this aspect of the story, but what I loved about this was how you concentrated on the positive aspects of the transition process. You mentioned the fear of being judged, and the bullying and everything else that is part of this stupid messed up society, but you also mentioned the good things, like feeling good in your own body, and feeling accepted and feeling like yourself. And I'm crying now, for all those kids out there who don't have that and I hope that some of them might stumble upon this and feel hopeful, because they truly deserve it.

Thank you for writing this story. It's beautiful, it really is.


Author's Response: hi love! wow, thank you so much for this review. i am really glad you liked the story!

i was blessed with such an inspiring banner which is what gave me the idea for the seasons. at first it was just gonna be an autumn centric story but i've kind of already done that with 'winter, cry' and i didn't wanna reuse the motif or anything, and somehow, setting this over the four phases of Al's year, fitting in with the seasons, just felt right to me. each one was such a different stage for her. hah, i'm really glad you liked the names theme! she was always gonna end up as Al in the end, but i think she kind of had to like, get away from herself from a bit before she could come back to it, if that makes sense? (and lbr, if someone had told me i could choose my own name when i was 16 i totes would have gone through some ridiculous hipster options before i found a good one ;P)

i've never written a trans character before and i'm cis myself so i was really nervous about getting into that side of the characterisation, tbh. but al just seemed to come very naturally when i really did start writing, and it felt right somehow to make it more about the positve than the negative. al is definitely gonna experience discrimination, but this wasn't about that, this was about what was going on INSIDE for her, as she found herself. putting in too much of the crap the real world threw at her felt like, wrong, somehow, with that? that probably makes no sense, but yeah, either way it means so much that you liked it /hugs

thanks again for this lovely review~

I LOVE this! It's absolutely beautiful. I'm always very worried when I read fics with trans characters because they're SO easily mishandled, but this was done very nicely. I absolutely love it. I don't have anything bad to say at all. The language/writing itself/phrasing is gorgeous. The relationships between Al and her family and friends are realistic and super moving. I love the seasons/transition parallel. Just fabulous. Fantastic job on this.

Author's Response: ahh, i am so flattered that you liked it!! i heavily utilised your resources on the forums for this, since i'm cis and have never written a trans character, and i was so worried i would accidentally write something more offensive than meaningful, so this means a lot! you're honestly so lovely. this was a super quick fic, i wrote it in just a couple of hours and just posted it before i lost my nerve, so it's such a relief to hear people liked it!

thanks so much for reading and reviewing, you are just a darling

2015-03-15 16:05:13
Maia, i'm supposed to be writing right now so this is probably gonna be short, but I just have to let you know that this is amazing.

Everything you write is so poetic and stunning, how do you do it? i felt so much reading this. the use of the season metaphors was perfect. the reactions of james and harry and ginny was so well written!! The way you described the name changes and how she changed a little bit with each name was so awesome and scorpius and the final name and everything about this story is so amazing. one of my favorite stories ever! Such a great job ♥

Author's Response: YOU ARE SO SWEET BLESS

i honestly wrote this in just a few hours, and somehow the stuff i speed through writing always seems to come out more poetic, but i'm really glad you think that worked! i didn't even really intend to have half of this stuff in here, like the name changes, but in the end i think it worked out well representing her journey, so thanks so much! honestly i love your stories so much it's always a huge compliment when you like mine :P

thanks so much for the review honey!

2015-03-15 16:05:13

Also, nice job on the pronoun avoidance in the opening sequence! I wouldn't even have noticed it unless I'd done the same thing, and so I also know how tricky it can be to preclude pronouns! But it was really graceful, and the style of writing worked really well with it. I think the avoidance would probably be invisible to most readers at first, which gives your first pronoun use a lot more impact.

In a way, this is also a pretty universal story about Coming of Age and Puberty and all. Al trying to find her name worked as a really nice metaphor for all the phases she's going through, since she's making up for all the phases she didn't get to have thus far.

Also, you played the coming out really well. The anxiety she felt was really affecting, and I was impressed you got to do both--anxiety and acceptance.

Just all in all, this was a really nuanced and sensitive story, and the writing style was absolutely gorgeous. For a story about transitioning, you did an excellent job of making it about more than /just/ that. It's the lens primary arc to the story, but there's also a whole lot going on to do with family and growing up in general.

Nicely done!

Author's Response: ah, roisin you always leave the nicest reviews *U* i am so glad you liked this!

i'm glad you mentioned the pronoun thing tbh! i went back and forward on that for ages deciding how to do it - obviously male pronouns were wrong, but female ones also seemed wrong since Al really wasn't out to herself at that stage. but then i worried i would have to phrase things awkwardly in order to keep the pronouns out of it... it was a whole big thing in my mind, so i'm very happy to hear it didn't detract from the beginning of the story! i'll find it interesting to see if everyone even notices, really!

i really liked playing with all the different sides to Al as she tried to choose her name. in a way it felt, like you said, as if it was a coming of age type story more than it was a story about transitioning, in some places. while Al definitely had it harder here, she's also just a girl growing up and trying to find out who she is, and i didn't wanna put too much emphasis on all the bad parts, kind of because of that? that probably doesn't make much sense but needless to say i'm very glad you think it all worked!

thanks so much for reviewing, it means a lot!

~Maia x


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