I can't believe I've never reviewed this since I'm not-so-lowkey obsessed with it. But I need to tell you everything I think here, so I hope this doesn't get nonsensically long!
First of all, I have to say that this story resonates with me so much. Like Rose, I have OCD, though mine manifests in different ways than hers. I really can't explain how seen I feel every time I read this story—and I really have read it more times than I can count. You do such a wonderful job of portraying Rose's OCD and the anxiety that comes along with it. I love that she acknowledges that her compulsions aren't logical. I feel that way so much when I start panicking about my own ticks. For me, I cannot have my hands dirty. It's more than just germophobia, though that is a part of it. It's just a panic that washes over me if there's anything at all that feels dirty or makes me think my hands are dirty. Even when I know that they aren't. So I absolutely empathize with Rose in being internally frustrated at her compusions but unable to ignore them.
The way that you've worked Rose's OCD into her character and show how that informs her experience, rather than defining it is really wonderful. And the same can be said for the wonderful portrayal you've done of Scorpius. This is a wholly unique characterization of him, and I love it. I love that they both have things they struggle with and live with in life, but they're getting through it side by side. Their friendship is fantastic. I love that they accept each other and try to help ease the anxiety that the other is feeling without judging.
The plot of this is so sweet too. You've done something that a lot of writers struggle with—you've added depth to what could be a straight fluff scene. And don't get me wrong; it's definitely still fluffy and adorable. But the scene beneath the mistletoe is also so fully informed by the characters you've created. It resonates with Scorpius and Rose's experiences and plays out precisely in line with what we know of them. And I love it. I love that Scorpius is protective of Rose's anxiety, knowing that the glitter will cause much more stress and trauma than a kiss. And I love that Rose isn't upset about kissing him, just about the actual kissing and the germs involved. And you've woven them together so precisely to show their nerves and discomfort, but it ends with a very sweet moment. Because their friendship (and maybe more after this—fingers crossed!) carries them through. I adore that.
All-in-all there is nothing I would change about this story. The writing is fabulous. It's pristine and precise and fits exactly with your characters. The characterization I've spoken of a lot, but it cannot be understated how wonderfully you've done. And, of course, the plot. So sweet. So pure. So real.
You are amazing.
Oh my goodness. I remember reading this so many years ago, when I was still just browsing through HPFF without ever joining the community, and omg. This story really stuck with me. I can’t believe that I found it again, and most of all, I can’t believe that I’ve found the author who wrote it!
Wow, I’m genuinely so so so happy right now, and this totally brought me back to my tween years, to when I first read it, and as soon as I saw that title I clicked on this. The Puffs are holding a review game right now in preparation for the Chalices, and the prompt was to review a story with Scorpius Malfoy in it, and omg I feel so blessed because this gave me the chance to rediscover this story and I’m just so so happy eep.
Okay, so I love this. I love this so, so much. (In case you couldn’t already tell haha.) I love the realistic depiction of OCD that you have in here, where Rose actually can’t stop herself from repeating her routines, or from thinking in threes, or doing in threes. (This title is so beautiful and fitting, and I just love it so much ahhhh.) People always throw around the word OCD like it’s not an anxiety disorder, and that’s one of the things that’s always bothered me. And so when I first came across this fic, all those years ago, I was just so happy to see OCD represented truthfully and honestly, and ugh this fic is just so beautifully written.
I also love that Scorpius has a stutter, that he’s not naturally charming and suave. And I love that while perhaps other people might find Scorpius’s features unattractive, that Rose, because she knows him, thinks he looks quite nice. (The faceclaims you picked for these characters were excellent. I thought they suited this story so well, especially since while the faceclaims can be considered attractive, they’re not glamorous, and that’s exactly the way I imagined your Rose and your Scorpius to be.)
I really like the idea of these two having their own imperfections that calm down a little when they’re next to each other.
And I have to admit, under-the-mistletoe kissing is one of my favorite tropes of all time, and I thought you made it so lovely and so unique in your story. I loved that Rose shied away from the kissing, not because it was Scorpius (though I can imagine how hurt he was by Rose’s endless streams of “no, no, no”s) but because of the germs. And when they actually kissed, my heart just sang. Because you wrote it perfectly. And this was one of my absolute favorite Scorose fics, AND I FOUND IT AGAIN.
Also I just wanted to mention that I love the way you wrote this, with the repeated words in groups of threes. It showed Rose’s OCD, and it fit the story title.
Ahhh soo much love! <3
Hello hello, I'm her to sprinkle a little love onto your story -- Valentine's Day was earlier this week, didn't you know?
I'm so glad I read this story! It's definitely the most unique story I've read of the pairing, and you give them such distinct personalities. I love how you showcased us Rose's anxiety, without giving a reason for it; it just is -- it's a part of her and she's come to terms with how to deal with it. And I thought it was very clever that you sorted both her and Scorpius into Ravenclaw as well, it definitely made sense as I continued reading.
And your Scorpius is just a precious cinnamon roll, and I just want to hug him! I love how he accepts Rose as she accepts him, and their kiss under the mistletoe -- just adorable and lovely and perfect.
The best part about this story, though, is the hope at the end, and that he understands her anxiety and she understands him, and they can learn to dance; the metaphor of the waltz throughout the piece was really, really well done.
Beautiful job, and thanks for sharing this story with us! ♥ ♥ ♥
I adore this story. So glad to see it gracing the pages of HPFT, and I just read it again to celebrate. Here's a (transferred) review ♥♥♥
Hi! I read this when I saw it was nominated for Hufflepuff Featured Story and I didn't have time to review then, but I do now. Maybe a good thing I waited, because now I can congratulate you on winning your prompt in the Writers Duel!! :D
This was such an original piece. You have a talent for that - I remember reading one of your stories ages ago that rhymed.
I really liked the way you approached the characters here. You did well at portraying how difficult it is to live with those conditions without sensationalizing them. Particularly Rose, what with her repetitions and her anxiety about the order begin messed up. Her narration is so wonderful because it allows me as the reader to get inside her head, which is such an interesting place, a different view of the world through her eyes and routines. The repeats of threes also makes the writing so rhythmic and flows beautifully... like a waltz! There's something to be said about finding beauty in strangeness.
I loved your attention to Rose's daydreams in how she can be different in her dreams, and how there's no germs haha! And I can see the influence of Hermione's personality too, how Rose is so particular about her packing!
Your interpretation of Scorpius is wonderful as well. He was doing really great awith the stutter until that glittery mistletoe made him nervous - but Rose doesn't seem to show any annoyance about him taking forever to spit out his words, which I like. Much like the end when he speaks in threes for her, Rose is very patient for him :)
She likes Scorpius because he makes her feel almost normal - aww! Seriously, I love these two. They are perfect for each other in all their imperfectness - they both have issues, but they both understand each other. And it doesn't hurt that Scorpius is three inches taller than Rose :P The brushing teeth comment made me giggle too.
I adored the part under the mistletoe with GLITTER. Oh, that would have been horrible for Rose particularly - but really anyone! Glitter is the worst.
This was a really fun story, so sweet and I loved your portrayals of Rose and Scorpius. So glad I read this and you totally deserve the award! :D