Hey there, Sian. Again.
I keep myself drawn to stories on your author page through no fault of my own. It's all your fault (and and slightly mine because I do have good taste :P). Next Gen is my comfort zone. I love to read it and I love to write it. And I love it when stories are not about romance and relationships and more about family, friends, and discovering one's self. So this story, basically, is perfect for me. And I know how daunting it can be to write a story about coming out, and you... you make Dominique do it seven significant times.
I really enjoyed seeing all sorts of different reactions, given that this really is what most queer people have to go through. I also like that you also gave some attention to her initial internal struggle. And this is why I'm so glad that whether here in the HPFT community or even on mainstream media, light has been drawn to the LGBTQA community so that less young people would have to grow up thinking something might be wrong with them.
I personally had two favourite parts. The first was when Dom was still testing out the waters and starting to tell people. Initially, she was surprised to find out that it wasn't something that got easier with practise like Quidditch (I mean, one would think so). But in fact, it really depends on who you're telling (as you show later on in the story). Then when she compared it to ripples that she intiated by a stone, and the news spread to the rest of her family. I found both comparisons absolutely brilliant.
The second part was when the fourth year mustered the courage to ask her about her sexuality and seek guidance, and she was took it upon herself to maybe help ease him in so that she wouldn't struggle as she had.
You probably know by now that I am in love with your writing. But there's no harm in stating it here again, just in case you forget it or doubt it or something. <3
Hey Manno! Aw, that's so sweet!
Next generation has, strangely, become my comfort zone as well - if you'd told me that six years ago, I wouldn't have believed you at all, but since writing Jigsaw I have so much head canon for this era and these characters that I love writing it. Writing a story about coming out, however - THAT was really daunting and difficult. I was so terrified that I would get this wrong, and I swear I probably drove Kayla insane trying to get advice on writing this (not that she'd say so, she's too nice), but people have reacted so well to this story that I'm slightly less nervous about it now, which is nice.
I'm really pleased that you liked this story! I definitely think it's important for more stories to be written which feature the LGBTQA+ community, and coming out is such a big part of that but I can't remember seeing much written about it in fic. The structure that I chose for this piece just seemed perfect for exploring the idea that she has to come out time and again, just like people do in real life. I'm glad you liked those comparisons, as well - it was fun to try and think up analogies that fit the scenario (and the magical world, too, with the Quidditch bit). Dom in my head canon is such a sweet, caring character that I can't imagine her turning someone away when they needed help, but it was so nice to write that scene with the fourth year and seeing him muster up the courage and have a positive response. (Can you tell I love my Dominique?)
Thank you so much for this lovely review and all the compliments on my writing! <3
CHALLENGE WINNER REVIEW.
I said I would do these reviews and I'll probably be doing them until I die (haha, I'm so slow!) but my gosh, it's such a pleasure to read your work like I forgot how much I really enjoyed it, reading this is like falling in love all over again. You honestly write so beautifully and this is a really amazing example of what you do so well!
I love the concept for the piece because it's not something you see all the time with those stories so it's a really interesting idea to explore all the different times and reactions as Dom gets older. I like that you've picked a character from your next-gen universe so you already know this character well. I really think it's something special this idea you've created and build something around so well done for that. I know how much effort that you put into getting this right and it really shows how much thought that you've put into this piece.
I really enjoyed how you painted the relationship between Victorie and Dom like a lot of the time you really see them with this strained sister relationship but it's really great that Dom has a strong sibling relationship so she is able to share with Vic that she's bi. I really enjoyed Vic's reaction and her promise that she would be there when she told other people was really sweet. I love the scene with her best friend, Hayley too. I think their interaction and dialogue was really strong, I love that they have giggled together and Hayley's line about having more people to set her up with.
I think the issue you raised when she tells her parents is quite important that her parents are accepting of her which is great but her dad has made comments or maybe even jokes in the past which relates to Dom's sexuality that people do make these comments without thinking about it which is a difficult thing to over come so it must really prey on the mind of those people who haven't come out yet about certain reactions. I thought exploring the issue like this was really nicely done. I loved how you dropped in about how she wants to be a healer like she is in jigsaw! :)
I really like this line 'But it is Grandpa Arthur whose reaction surprises Dominique, hitting her from nowhere like a rogue Bludger'. I think Grandpa's whole little speech/advice to Dom was just goregous and so cute, lovely to hear how he talks about Molly. I really felt the love there!
I think how Dom grows strong is so amazing, she's really brave while addressing people who are chatting about her business. no-one liked to be talked about obviously but Dom's journey in this is great how she starts off so nervous about telling her sister/family now she's proudly telling off those nosey gossips! It's really lovely to see a character progress within themselves and have a storyline that drives them forward, that's what this story does and does it SO well.
and finally, yes, Dom's happily ever after (well, perhaps) but I love the whole playfulness and flirty/coyness of this scene! Martha and Dom from just this scene have a really interesting dynamic.
- Abbi xo
I'm so pleased you enjoyed this story! I don't think coming out (and the fact that it has to be done multiple times) is really explored that much in stories - and you know how terrified I was to get this story right, so I'm glad that you liked it and you felt like you could see the thought and effort I'd put into it. That means a lot.
Dom is probably one of my favourite characters from my next gen universe - she's just so sweet and lovely, and even if I can't imagine myself writing a full length fic about her, it was great to write about her journey here. I read a lot of stories where Vic and Dom don't get on, but in my head canon they're really close, and I think that's what helped Dom confide in here here. She was a bit impulsive with Hayley, but it paid off, luckily - and of course Hayley would want to set her up with someone! Maybe one day I'll write a one-shot about all the terrible dates Dom has been on as a result of her best friend :P
I felt like it was important that Dom didn't have it easy every time she came out - I can't imagine her dad reacting badly and kicking her out, or anything, but I think there'd definitely be some awkwardness there, especially after those little comments he's made that mean a lot to Dom but very little to him. Arthur's reaction was one of my favourite to write <3
Thank you so much for this detailed, lovely review!
I saw that you had a story on the September Featured Stories page on HPFF, so of course I had to sweep over immediately to read it. You are such an incredible writer; I always enjoy anything I read from you so much.
I think the best thing about this story is that it made me think, really think, about how difficult and nerve-wracking it can be, even if you are generally met with support, to come out to people, because you never really know how they might react. And how it's constant; not just a thing you reveal once. My best friend is bi, and I've known it so long that I rarely think about it unless I'm trying to shield her from something/someone I know, specifically, is going to say something offensive. But this made me think about how, even though most of the time I take it for granted as a simple fact about her - one of many -sometimes she might be uncomfortable or nervous in a group of people and I might be blissfully oblivious to it. I think it's just encouraged me to be a bit more mindful of what someone else's experience of a situation or gathering is, when you're just not quite sure how they might take...well, you.
Your description is as beautiful as ever, and your ability to pace a one shot is definitely something I envy. I think you did a wonderful job! I'll have to come back by and read through more of your stories soon. It always is a wonderful experience.
Penny! What a lovely surprise and wonderful compliment!
I'm so pleased that you enjoyed this story! I don't have personal experience of coming out, but I know that people have to do it time and again and I don't think that tends to be focused on very much in fiction - at least, in the fanfiction that I've read. The structure was something I really wanted to exploit to try and explore the idea that people don't get a choice all the time about when they come out, who they come out to, and that it's something that they have to face multiple times through their lives. I think it's so easy to forget about that when you know something about someone and are completely comfortable with it - it's just a part of who they are, isn't it? I wasn't necessarily intending to use this story to teach any lessons (because I really don't think I'm in the sort of position to do so), but I'm glad it made you think in a way, though I'm sure you're a wonderful friend to her and she's lucky to have you!
Thank you for this thoughtful review, and I'm really glad you liked the story!
Love love love this!!! I'm already such a fan of your next-gen headcanon world, but this makes me love it even more. I've only read a little bit of Dom in Jigsaw so far, and if I thought I loved her then, it's nothing to how I feel about her now.
I love that you included all these different feelings and reactions to Dom's confessions, and how some are wonderful and some not-so-much. I especially love both Louis' and Fred's reactions, bahahaha! And Arthur's, of course. So beautiful.
AND CONGRATULATIONS on winning the challenge! So well deserved, my love!!! Well done :)
It was so much fun writing about Dominique in this story. Nerve-wracking, but fun. She's such a great character and I love writing her in Jigsaw, but it was great to get the chance to explore her away from Roxy's perspective and more i nher own write. I'm so pleased you like her!
I think I really wanted to include a variety of reactions to Dom coming out in this story, because that's what reality is - not everyone accepts everything the same, and writing some of these reactions (Louis especially) was really fun. Arthur made me want to give him a massive hug (even if I did write it myself).
I'm so glad you enjoyed this story, and thank you for the lovely review!
Hello Sian, dear!
Oooooh! I LOVE 'x times & 1 time" type stories. I'm excited!
#1 awww! Dom is brave to ask about bisexuality so bluntly. But I believe it because I'm sure she has a strong bond with her sister.
And Victorie is so supportive and lovely and normalizing, yay
Yes, it is SO hard to look at someone when you've just shared something so personal. It's been months. Good. I find it hard to believe when someone can just tell someone, right away, and have no doubts about it (Personal bias haha.)
AW THESE SISTERS I LOVE THEM
#2: Dom has got to be a gryffindor.
OH BUT THIS:
<<There is something about saying the words - saying them properly this time, not hedging her statement with room for manoeuvre - that makes the corners of her mouth tug upwards in a genuine smile.>>
It is SO hard not to hedge, not to say "I think" or "i'm pretty sure" or "might" or "maybe" or whatever. This is a real victory, even if it's invisible to everyone else. Thank you so much for noticing it.
Aw, Hayley is sweet. I like her. Approve.
#3 oh god yeah. parents are the hardest. for sure. *hugs dom*
<<This is certainly not how Dom planned for it to be>>
It never is
Bless you Louis, and the comic relief brought by your immaturity, because oh my goodness, my heart! And Bless you Fleur for being lovely
<<The fourth time is less of a confession and more of a trickle, the stone she has dropped in the family pool rippling out through the water until it reaches the edges and the news makes its way to her grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins>>
YES, omg, this is SO TRUE
and this sentence is gorgeous:
<<The reactions are a kaleidoscope of colours ranging from comfort to indifference>>
ARTHUR WEASLEY IS MY FAVORITE AWWWWWWWWWWWW
#5: ugh. but can these gossipers justy go away, please? She's got important stuff to do!
Yes! You go, Dom! Tell those jerks off! *cheers*
#6: oh, already this is tugging at my heart. That poor boy. I'm glad he found the courage to talk to her. He's lucky to have someone so caring to help him through it.
#7: ooooooOOh, someone has a crush ;)
Wow, how did you capture grad life so well with only like, two sentences????
Flirting in code. Well done, ladies. Although at the same time, there shouldn't need to be a code. but even so.
I loved this! It's super true that coming out is something queer people have to do over and over agin. I so appreciated how you've captured that. And how it's different with different people. You might know that I came out within the last year, and I found so much of this true to my experience, which is pretty awesome. *favorites*
Thank you so much for your entry! It's wonderful!
Renee! It's taken me an atrociously long time to respond to this review, because it kind of brought tears to my eyes. I was so, so worried about this story and it means so much to me that you enjoyed it <3
I don't know if I've ever used the _+1 format before in a story (possibly, I've written a lot of stories), but it felt like it fit really well for this story. It isn't fair that people have to come out over and over again, but I think it's something that isn't explored in many stories and writing Dom's journey here seemed to fit that format really well.
In my head canon (which this is entirely based off - you'll find different aged versions of these characters in my other stories), Dom and Victoire are close in age and close as a result. I always picture Dom looking up to her big sister and trusting her with everything, so I'm glad you found that believable - I was really worried about how quickly that came out. And again, with Hayley - she is a Gryffindor, which might explain why she took an impulsive action to come out to her best friend here :P I really wanted to include little details like the way that she's not hedging her statement, because it shows so much progress and it's so hard - I know you know all of this, but anyway, I'm glad you liked the fact that I included it <3
Ugh, despite the scene with all the rumours, the scenes with Dom's family were definitely the hardest to write here. I didn't want to make the characters act OOC, but I still felt like it wouldn't be entirely easy for Dom to tell her family. I'm glad that you liked those scenes.
I feel like writing about grad life/life in your twenties is slowly becoming my main thing in next gen stories :P Dom definitely has a crush though!
Thank you so, so much for this review - it means so much to me that you enjoyed this story and that you could relate to it from your own experiences. Thank you <3
Okay, so this might be the best use of the _+1 format I have ever seen. It fits so incredibly well with the idea of coming out, especially with how you focused on how almsot everyone has to come out multiple times in their lives and never really have to stop doing it. Each moment was so distinct and realistic. I definitely found myself relating to some of these.
What I love the most is the different reactions and expectations in each section. At least personally, I find the idea of coming out to family much more nerve wracking than a friend and I love seeing that expressed here. I also love how you work in the idea that sometimes coming out doesn't always happen on your own terms and then you're left trying to figure out exactly how to deal with it. The part with the younger boy almost made me cry, it was so sweet and touching. Definitely my favorite bit from this story.
I also love how you've written Dominique in this. She's definitely very different from how I imagine it, which is probably the best. Her personality is so distinct to this story, I don't think that it would have worked with any other verison of her. I also adore all the other characters that you've worked in. I think Fleur and Bill had my favorite reactions, tbh, especially with how you work in Bill's past comments and how it would affect Dominique's idea of what coming out to them would be like.
Sian, this is so amazing!! Thank you so much for entering the challenge!
Ah, thank you so, so much for this review. I know I'm terribly late in replying to it, but it's hard to find the words, in a way. I haven't experienced any of these moments for myself, so writing about them was kind of terrifying, but I'm really pleased that you liked this story and the way that I formatted it to focus on the different occasions when Dominique has to come out. It seems so unfair really that people have to do this time and again, but I'm glad that you could relate to some of the occasions in that it means the story isn't totally unrealistic?
I think, even though she was able to open up to Victoire, the idea of talking to her parents was much more terrifying for Dom than telling friends, partly because of the comments her dad had made over the years, and just the terror of what would happen if they react badly. I didn't want to try and pack too much into this story, but I definitely wanted to explore some of the big things that happen for people when they're coming out, and I'm glad you liked the way that I worked in those different ideas.
Dominique in this story is my head canon Dominique - she appears quite a lot in my novel Jigsaw, but it was fun writing her from a lens that wasn't Roxy's. I'm glad you liked the characterisation of her here and the way that it fit in with the story. And thank you so, so much for this wonderful review!
Siannnnn. I'm sorry I'm unable to leave a proper review at the moment, but I read this today and just wanted tl leave some comment to let you know how much I loved it!
This is a great story especially written for Pride Month as almost all of Dom's experiences coming out are so positive and build up to her being such a happy, confident person at the end. I just love seeing all the acceptance and support and love from her family and friends as she faces this difficult moment over and over (because as you say, you are always coming out and it can't be just once) There's such a good message in this story, of being who you are and comfortable in your own skin. It was wonderful to read as Dom's confidence in herself grew and as she began to be proud of who she is, even to the point of helping others understand themselves better too.
I also like how you mentioned that not everyone is perfect and understanding at first, even people who have good intentions - Bill's reaction seemed very realistic, as well as Molly's, for people who just don't understand at first, but of course, they love Dom and they adjust to the news, even if it's a little harder for them to adjust to. But in the end, they try, and they are accepting and love her just as much as they always have. I'm glad you wrote them that way, with their faults, because there are people like this in real life and some people just have some growing to do but it doesn't make them any worse people for starting a bit farther behind.
It was sad that she had to hear rumours being whispered about her, but I thought she handled it very well, and what she took away from the experience, despite her anger at her classmates, was really great: she is not going to hide away. Doesn't the world deserve her to be the best version of herself that she can be? -- that's wonderful, I love it.
It hardly seems fair to Dom that she is questioned over and over, but nobody ever asks straight people who they're attracted to - sometimes she wonders if she should make a point of doing it, in protest. -- Right?!?! the double standard is ridiculous. DO IT, DOM ;D
Wonderful story! ♥
Kristin! First of all, I'd like to know how on earth this isn't a proper review - it's amazing!
I was so, so nervous about writing this (I think I drove Kayla insane with all my worrying, to be honest), but I'm really happy with it. Dom is a character who appears quite a lot in my novel, Jigsaw, and it was fun to get the chance to explore her story more in this piece, especially with the focus on the way that she grows to be a happier and more confident person because of it.
There was a hard balance to find in this story, because even though we know from canon that the Weasleys are very accepting people, and next generation stories generally portray people being very tolerant, I didn't want to just wash away all the issues that LGBTQA+ people have to face regularly. Besides, in my next gen head canon, this story starts around 2017, and we KNOW that there's still plenty of bullying, and outing, and comments that aren't understanding or helpful in any way. I'm glad you liked the way that Bill and Molly reacted here, because I felt like it was important that everything wasn't super easy for Dom all the way through, but I didn't want her to face rejection from her family, because I don't think that's in character for the Weasleys.
I think the rumours were the hardest part of the story for her to face, and to write - I remember similar things happening to people at school, and going through that is so awful, but Dom's response felt so in character for her, as hard as it was to react to that way.
I'm so pleased you liked this story, and thank you for the amazing review! <3