Congratulations on winning story of the month!
I’ve heard a whole lot about this story and I’m really excited to start reading it. I’ve never read a Cormac story before at all, especially not one in which he is a love interest. I have to say that I am no big fan of his, but I wonder if this fic might make me see him in a new light.
From the very beginning, I felt very, very bad for Eloise. It seems as though she just can’t catch much of a break in general. The things the other kids said about her were pretty awful, and that kind of thing would stick with you for sure.
I love that she’s good with Muggle subjects - I always enjoy seeing how wizards interact with real world knowledge. You did a great job setting up the beginnings of this story and giving us a quick introduction to one of the characters we’ll be following. Really nice work and a great hook!
Sorry this isn't going to be a long review because I desperately need to go and find the sequel.
But I just wanted to say that I loved this story. I normal don't like reading fics in this era but you combined canon and your own plot so seamlessly it was a joy to read. Your characters are amazing and I can't wait to see where you take them next.
Thank you so much for such an brilliant story!
Hi Val! :)
Surprisingly I’ve never read Logarithmic before, but the fact it’s a rare pair story makes me interested already! I don’t think I’ve read anything featuring Eloise Midgen before, so I’m very excited to see what you do with her character throughout this novel. Setting up her early years as both a child and at Hogwarts and the struggles she goes through with bullies and being dissatisfied with her body are super relatable and important to talk about, so I’m glad you have it in this fic. The trip to the “Muggle specialist” and the resulting knowledge about her IQ and why she’s had trouble interacting with her peers makes a lot of sense and I hope this theme continues throughout the novel. Great start to what I’m sure is a fantastic novel! :)
Back for some more Finale reviews!
And this is where I start shipping Wayne and Henry together. Which is kind of weird, given that this is also a moment when Wayne messes up and triggers a panic attack for Henry, and also because Wayne and Eloise are still sleeping together - but still. There's something about that moment when Wayne goes running after Henry to comfort him, because he knows more than the others seem to about what happened to Henry's family, and then holding his hand while he has the panic attack... I'm getting feelings and shipping them <3
Ugh, what we learn about Henry's family here is so horrible - especially because all of these other things that are happening now are part of the war, but what happened to the Zellers seems to have been something more personal (maybe from Greyback?) and Henry's been carrying that burden for years on his own. I wonder if that's connected to the war in any way, or if we'll get to know more details about what happened there at some point in this?
Taking the Apparition exam after having to help your friend through a panic attack and learning that children have been killed by a werewolf attack. But I was so pleased for all of them managing to get through it and having something to celebrate after all!
What's with the Slytherins being semi-nice in this chapter? Theodore Nott offering Eloise chocolate, albeit because she's making him stressed with her nerves, and then Blaise remembering Eloise's name and wanting a conversation with her. Even if he has horrible views on non-purebloods. I guess it shows that these characters can be nice one-on-one, when there's not the same pressure on them from their peers - or maybe there was just something in their coffee that morning...
Me again for the HC finale!
Honestly, all I need is a sentence of her speech to remember why I love Luna so much - her commentary on the Quidditch is probably the most entertaining that Hogwarts has seen in years.
I really enjoyed reading the Quidditch match from the Hufflepuff perspective, as their friends are playing and they're rooting for their team to win. Eloise's divided loyalties in that scene - even if she wouldn't necessarily admit that those loyalties might be slightly divided... at least, not yet - were so interesting to see. She's definitely more concerned about Cormac than a casual observer would need to be, but I think I have to agree with her assessment of what on earth he's doing. Seeing that action from a perspective other than Harry's is intriguing, too - things seem to happen more slowly, perhaps also because we know what's going to happen. It's like watching the scene in slow motion and waiting for it to go wrong.
If Eloise doesn't end up as a Healer in some form then I'll eat my (as yet non-existent) hat. Her response to Harry being knocked unconscious was so Healer-y (the technical term) and professional. Madam Pomfrey must really appreciate having a student like her to help out with all of the injuries that come from something like a Quidditch match.
Can I just say I love the Hufflepuffs? Of course they're the only house that have rules to check who can drink at parties and then random, spontaneous group hugs with the youngest pupils joining in with the older ones.
You know I love epistolary fiction, so the inclusion of the two letters in this chapter was wonderful. I really loved seeing the contrast between them, even though both Cormac and Eloise were receiving letters from family members they're close to. We got more of an insight into their characters and their families from those letters, too, and the juxtaposition from these letters is really something.
I loved the way that we got to see an explanation of why on earth Cormac had decided to take hold of the Beater's bat during that match without him telling anyone explicitly - he's trying to get rid of the pressure from his father to follow a career path that isn't right for him. Saoirse's letter was filled with so much love and care, but I found it really interesting that her concerns only focused on the family and on his siblings. While it was lovely to learn more about the children, it's kind of clear from that letter that the McLaggens' main concerns aren't about the war, but rather they're worried about the threat within their own family - understandably, of course, but it bears a striking contrast to Vincent's letter.
You captured Vincent's voice in letter form just as well as you do the sibling dynamic in dialogue; he comes across very much as the older brother in this. I think the comparison here shows that their family unit is a much more peaceful and happier one, but the war is inching its way into every aspect of their lives and none of them can really ignore it, not even Eloise, who's supposedly safely away from it. I liked the way that he ended it, though, with the good wishes for her Apparition test - it lightened the mood of what could have been a very sombre second half of the chapter really well.
Back again for the HC finale!
So we finally find out what's been going on with Cormac - and it's pretty heartbreaking. The fact that his father's abusive towards him is easily enough to explain why he's pushing Eloise away, and remains distant from a lot of people around him. The extent of the abuse is horrific, and it explains his protective behaviour towards his siblings - the pushing away people he cares about makes a lot of sense in this context, too. Again, you've managed to add another layer to Cormac's character that was unexpected, and even though he still owes Eloise an apology for the way that he treated her at the party, it's a lot more understandable that he wouldn't be able to talk to her about it - not yet, at least. It's far from the easiest thing to open up about.
And despite all that, and her lapse at the end of the last chapter, I think Eloise has definitely succeeded in making a certain Mr McLaggen jealous :P
Ugh, I wanted to give Eloise a hug so badly in this chapter, and I'm really glad that Susan was there to do it - and to be the shoulder for her to cry on when she really needed it. These girls definitely need to look out for each other, but I think that scene was a great insight into the sort of pressure and tension that they've living with all the time. Sixth year and NEWTs are difficult enough as it is, but when one of your housemates has left school because her mum's been murdered, your brother has lost his job because he was attacked by Death Eaters, and you're volunteering in the hospital wing and seeing the effects of the war on everyone else, then you're going to reach breaking point sooner rather than later. I think it was probably better for Eloise to hit it now, though, and actually open up about it. Talking is so important.
The final scene was so interesting - when you know the books so well, it's easy to forget that what's common knowledge to Harry and Ron and Hermione isn't necessarily so for the rest of the school, even the people who were involved in the Order. The conversation about the attack in the Ministry Atrium and the theories about the attacks on Dumbledore were so interesting to read, since this group is definitely paying attention to what's happening and putting two and two together to get four, in most cases. Although Susan's behaviour is understandable, it's definitely worrying for what might happen in the future as the war progresses.
Hello! Guess why I'm here (yes, it's the HC finale, I'm predictable like that).
Again, I really like the way that you're tying this story into canon events from the books, like the Apparition lessons. And here it's doubly tied in, since Eloise's dad is one of the people who comes to teach the lessons. The conversation between the Hufflepuffs at the start of this chapter reminded me a lot of the sort of things me and my friends used to talk about when we were turning seventeen and getting ready to learn how to drive. Although Apparition sounds more dangerous and scary than that (though there's something to be said for the fact that you usually only injure yourself with Apparition, I suppose?)/
I'm not a big fan of trying to make people jealous by flaunting another relationship - at least in real life - but as a plot point it's definitely fun to read. The situation with Wayne is an interesting one, since Eloise is obviously very physically attracted to Cormac and Wayne is aware of that, but I think the good friend side is coming out here when he tries to help her make him jealous. It's also an interesting situation for the rest of the Hufflepuffs. Poor Susan - having to walk in on your friends is not a nice prospect at all and I'm glad that they've laid some ground rules out about it. That sort of thing definitely needs to be brought into friendships if you're all living together and getting to the age where it's a possibility.
That final scene - I spy sexual tension!! Eloise is more than a little obvious here, which made me laugh, because there's probably an aspect of that behaviour that undoes some (if not all) of the work that she's put into making Cormac jealous with Wayne. That final scene has me really looking forward to seeing the two of them actually talking again, even though this interaction was fun - I want to see them moving forward and getting closer to each other, as well as all of this chemistry!
HC finale review attackkkk!
Well, the opening of this chapter had me very ready to hate Cormac for the way that he treated Eloise, but you've kind of made it impossible to do that with the scene later on. I still can't forgive him for saying such a horrible thing to her, completely unprovoked, and I don't think that she should forgive him without a proper explanation and apology either. But the scene with his siblings has definitely made me more sympathetic to him.
Having said that, I think Eloise handled that situation far better than I would have done - she seemed to move on from it much more quickly than I would have been able to. Or rather, she appeared to have moved on from it more quickly during the Ministry party, but I suspect her decision to go along with Susan's suggestion might have been influenced by Cormac's behaviour? Good for Eloise, though - as long as both of them can manage to keep feelings out of it, they might as well enjoy themselves. Susan really made me laugh in that scene, and I enjoyed the dynamics and laughter between the group. I think yours are probably my favourite portrayal of these Hufflepuffs.
Aw, I've already said this, but the scene with Cormac and his siblings was so adorable. He's so kind and gentle with them, looking after them so carefully and trying to make sure that they're all alright when he goes away - it's hard not to feel more sympathetic towards him when you see a softer side to him than the one we saw at the end of the last chapter and the beginning of this one. I really like the way that your Cormac is so multi-dimensional, and there seem to be a lot of different sides to him that only come out with certain people. I'm looking forward to seeing Eloise get closer to him (after the appropriate apologies and explanations, of course) and break through some of the guards he seems to be putting up.
HC finale review attack!
I love Eloise, but I'm as horrified as Helen is that she's wearing a cashmere jumper as pyjamas. I don't care if it makes her feel like a marshmallow, that's ridiculous.
I remember being excited every time the school holidays started when I was still at school, and I feel like that would be at least doubled if you were at boarding school. The no-uniform thing wouldn't bother me too much, but if I were Eloise then I'd definitely be grateful to be at home and have more privacy again.
The conversation between Eloise and Vincent was probably my favourite scene in this chapter. I love reading sibling relationships, and this is no exception. I'm glad that Vincent is getting some of his hearing back, but I really enjoyed learning some of the details about how he's coping with his sudden loss of hearing. The spell sounds like a great invention, but it seems like it would be exhausting - especially when people are yelling. I can't help but feel sorry for Vincent having to witness his parents arguing even when he's trying to avoid it.
Their conversation about Eloise becoming a Healer was interesting, too. I can understand that she sees it as a vocation - that there's more purpose to it for her when she gets to treat people who really need help, rather than those who just sprain a wrist or something in Quidditch training. But I think what Vincent said to her, about not needing to save the world to have a purpose in life, is really good advice, and something she's going to need to remember in the coming years.
The Ministry party sounds kind of boring, even though the girls enjoyed it this year - but I think that's just because forced work socialisation is my idea of a nightmare :P And then the ending with Cormac's horrible reaction to Eloise was very dramatic and so out of character from what he's been like with her recently. Thank goodness they're not officially together yet, because I can only imagine how much worse that would make Eloise feel...
Hi, Val! Here again for the HC finale.
The Cormac/Eloise feelings that I'm getting from this story are only increasing and we're only on the seventh chapter. Out of twenty-nine. I'd say this isn't an acceptable level of ship feelings to be sending my way already, but we both know that I love these two.
I haven't mentioned this in my reviews so far, I don't think, but I really love the way that you keep the pace of the timeline in the books with giving us a different perspective on scenes that we see in them. It helps anchor this story more closely to the canon that we already know, but it also gives us a good idea of how time is progressing for each of them through the year. The Quidditch match was a great example of that - and it's kind of nice to know from this chapter (and others so far) that even his friends find Zach rather irritating at times. Susan especially, of course :P
Your descriptions are incredible, too - they're kind of understated because they're not the focus of the scenes but I loved this one: 'so she had plenty of time to watch the sun sink slowly over the dark lake, spattering the grounds with rapidly moving shadows. Sunsets in winter had something sinister to them, turning everything to ash and blood in a grotesque battlefield-like décor.' That imagery was really striking - even though this chapter is relatively happy and carefree compared to others that we've read so far, the description still reminds us that there's a war lingering in the background, ready to turn on them again at any moment.
It's so good to hear that Vincent is starting to regain some of his hearing, and that his job is being understanding - so far, at least. I'd be so intrigued to know (separate from this story, probably) what sort of protections, if any, there actually are in the wizarding world in circumstances like these. It doesn't necessarily strike me as a world that's particularly advanced in its forms of civil rights and protections.
Cormac and Eloise <3 I don't know that I have much to say about them except it was great to see the two of them spending more time together, and get an idea of how comfortable they've grown around each other through the tutoring sessions. The flirting was adorable, and the switch in perspective through that scene built up the picture and the effect each was having on the other really well.
The birthday scene was so fun! I really love reading about this group of Hufflepuffs, and I think you've done such a good job of creating the dynamics and different personalities amongst them all. The presents were so sweet and thoughtful, even if I'm not sure I'd have appreciated being woken at midnight to celebrate my birthday, and it was great to see a fun, happy scene with these friends for once!
Hello again! Here for the HC finale.
We're six chapters in and I already have Serious Feelings about Eloise and Cormac from this chapter. I think that's a testament to how brilliant you are as a writer, setting up this ship to sail when we've only seen them for a couple of chapters and they've had no more than a handful of interactions with each other yet.
There's this real sense of... inevitability about them, though? The two of them seem drawn together already, even if that's just a physical attraction at this point. And aw, Cormac at the beginning of this chapter - he's definitely got more feelings for Eloise than I think he anticipated, and her shouting at him about missing the tutoring session has hit him harder than she thought it would, I think. But I think Eloise was very Hufflepuff-y in the way that she knew that she needed to apologise to Cormac for the way that she'd treated him when he attempted an apology. The scene in the kitchens was appropriately awkward but even here I can see there's something more between the two of them, and I can't wait to get to read more scenes when they're together.
The final scene in this chapter was kind of heartbreaking. Thinking about Aloysius Parkinson's age... well, I would be lying if I didn't say that I'd known people in a similar situation at that age, but it's heartbreaking all the same that people are struggling so much that they feel the need to self-harm - especially to the extent that they're ending up in the hospital wing. Aloysius's mental state might or might not be related to the effects of the war, but I think that scene was a really great reminder that the Slytherins aren't a group who are just getting away without any of the effects of the war, all perfectly happy.
I also really enjoyed seeing Draco and Blaise in a very different situation? I can understand them being so defensive towards Eloise when she approached them, particularly because it's such a sensitive topic, but it's nice to see them caring for one of their own, and so worried about how it's going to affect Pansy. I can't agree with their general morals, but they look after their own and this is a great example. It was great to see Eloise standing up to the two of them as well, rather than being intimidated as Draco seems to expect most people will be by him. I loved seeing her hold her own against them so calmly and logically, and that scene was really brilliant.
Hello! Back for the HC finale.
This chapter was a great reaction to the events of the last one - things are trying to go back to normal, but there's no way that they can do that properly, no matter how hard they try. I think you captured the sort of strain that's going to start weighing down on the students from this point onwards (though of course it's already been weighing down on some of them before now) really well in this chapter. There's a growing sense that nobody is really unaffected by the war that's going on, even if they're not as obviously placed in it as people like Harry and the Weasleys might be.
Henry needing to go to the hospital wing to be calmed down after the news about Hannah's mum triggering his panic attacks (PTSD, rather?) is very understandable - especially given the conversation between him and Eloise later in this chapter, when we find out what happened to him. It's heartbreaking that he had to see that at such a young age, but I can completely understand what he's saying when he wishes people would treat him more normally, rather than tiptoeing around him. It's such a difficult balance to find but I think Eloise is managing to do a pretty good job.
It was so fun to see the more angry side of Eloise, too, when Cormac came to apologise to her for missing the tutoring session. He might have had a valid excuse, but it's hardly surprising that she'd be so wound up and tense after everything that's happened so recently. Cormac just got the worst part of it.
I loved the scene with the seventh years - the Hufflepuffs looking out for each other because they recognise that they're going to need to, even if they don't know each other that well. That really says Hufflepuff to me <3
Again, the scene in the hospital wing was brilliant - we got a real sense of Eloise and Henry's friendship in that (and I love that he's introduced the ignorant Pureblood to Muggle literature, yay!) and Eloise's relationship with Madam Pomfrey, too, since she helps out on the ward when she's needed.
The final scene made a lot of sense to me - Eloise might seem shy and retiring to Harry and his friends, but they hardly know her and Harry's not the most observant narrator. It makes a lot of sense to me that Eloise would be this comfortable with the friends in her house and it was great to see the boys trying to look after her and Susan when Hannah's left. The cold reality of the war is really creeping into this story and they definitely need to look after each other. I loved seeing all the different personalities together in that scene, and unfortunately I think the casual way that they're discussing murder is only going to get more common as the war goes on...
It's me again! Here for the HC finale.
I think my favourite thing about this chapter is probably the way that you handled the shifts in mood so well - you really captured the way that the war is affecting everyone at Hogwarts, even though they're supposedly removed from everything that's happening, and kept safe from the worst of it. There are ways that it seeps into everyday life and becomes so normal that there's a new normality that people settle into. I think the way that this opened, with Eloise's irritation at Cormac not showing up for their tutoring session, through to the end, with Vincent in hospital and Hannah losing her mother, really put that into perspective. These children (because they are still children, no matter how quickly they're being forced to grow up) are going through normal, everyday events and emotions, aware of the war and not, by any means, trying to ignore it, yet it intrudes anyway, in the worst ways possible, and there's no escape.
Eloise's irritation in that first scene seems to pale in comparison to the significance of everything else that happens in this chapter, but I still think it's perfectly valid for her to be annoyed at Cormac for not bothering to show up or even let her know - especially since we know that he was looking forward to the chance to get to spend time with her after the ending in the last chapter. Thank goodness for friends like Susan (any friend who suggests you pay a visit to the kitchens and who saves you food is definitely one worth keeping) so that Eloise actually gets fed after all.
The conversation between Susan and Eloise about the Ministry and the changes that are happening behind the scenes in the world of politics was so interesting. I love the idea of Susan illegally looking into Ministry files and finding out more than she's supposed to know - even though it's definitely the sort of thing that could get her into trouble very easily, it's equally so refreshing to read about a Hufflepuff character who's doing that sort of thing. Their discussion about bravery and what that really means emphasises that; it might be a Gryffindor trait - one that Gryffindors tend to value over others, at least - but that doesn't mean it's exclusive to that group. We know how many Hufflepuffs fight against the Carrows and the Death Eaters, and I think the acknowledgement of the different kinds of bravery is really interesting, too.
And poor Vincent! It's so heartbreaking that he was just minding his own business and trying to get on with work and he's been attacked there. Of course Eloise has already been looking into ways to help him - there's no way that girl isn't destined to be a Healer - and I really liked their interaction when Vincent woke up. Perfectly captured sibling dynamics.
What happens to Vincent is so awful and upsetting, but then you go and end on Hannah leaving the school because her mum's been killed - it didn't really give us time to process what's happened to Vincent before something so much worse is happening, and it really shows how incessant and damaging this war is. Nobody's really safe anymore, even if they're at Hogwarts - anything could happen to the people that they love and they're powerless to stop it. It's difficult to read, but such effective storytelling!
Hello! Here for more HC finale reviews.
I just know that I'd get on well with Eloise. The lack of privacy (how are you meant to lock the bathroom when everyone has a wand that can UNlock it?) and the constant being-around-people would have been so difficult for me. I know schools like this exist but still, I feel like teenage life is difficult enough without having nowhere to escape on your own, too.
But I really enjoyed the insight that the opening scene gave us into Eloise's character - she's pragmatic, slightly cynical, and hard-working. I love the idea that going to the greenhouses is something she does when she wants to get away, since Herbology is a subject she enjoys so much. And of course, it can't hurt that Professor Sprout is her head of house and probably has a bit of a soft spot for students like Eloise. Although why anyone would want to volunteer to spend time with Mandrakes, I can't imagine.
It was great getting to see a glimpse of Neville in this chapter, too! Details like that really help anchor us into canon, since we barely know Eloise or Cormac from the books, and it was great to see him through Eloise's eyes, rather than Harry's. Neville definitely isn't the most obvious Gryffindor, but I think even his answer about why he's sticking through DADA says a lot about why it's his house. And aw, that smile to Hannah as he walks her to the hall!
Pfft, Cormac getting jealous of Neville because he sees him with Eloise - the guy hasn't even worked out Eloise's name yet, and to be honest I feel like he could have done that earlier if he'd put slightly more effort in. The arrogance in his attitude, being so certain he's going to "get" Eloise, is frustrating to see, but I know Eloise is more than a match for him. And the tutoring throwing them together! I really like that Eloise is doing it to get the extra credit and that she's kind of showing up Cormac's lack of effort, to an extent, since she's a year younger than him? At least Cormac finally found out what her name was, and now he's got the opportunity (or rather, the obligation) to spend time with her - let's see where this goes!
Hi Val! Here for the HC finale (and because I've gushed to you about this story so much that I owe you proper reviews by now).
I loved the first chapter of this story, but I feel like this is where things really start to get going - on the train to Hogwarts, Eloise meeting up with her friends again, and getting a proper glimpse at Cormac (yay!). This chapter does such a good job of building up the image of the return to school, but it's really easy to see the ways that Hogwarts is feeling different now, with Voldemort finally out in the open, and I think you captured that atmosphere brilliantly in this chapter.
The details about Eloise's family background were really interesting, too! I imagine there were probably quite a few families in a similar position in the previous war, not noticeable enough either way, and just trying to keep a low profile and hope that the war would pass them over if they stayed out of trouble. It's not the approach we want people to take, with the Weasleys as our model, but it's perfectly understandable and it's far more realistic that people like the Midgeons would be the majority. I can definitely understand Eloise's parents' concern for her going back to Hogwarts, too, even if it is one of the safest places. That also gives us a bit of a hint that maybe Eloise isn't the shy, retiring Hufflepuff that we'd maybe expect from the books :P
I loved getting to know how Eloise became friends with Susan and Hannah, and the way that the two friendships evolved differently. Again, I think that's realistic - very few people are still friends with the same group that they've known from day one of school or something similar, and it's quite refreshing to imagine that there might have been tensions within Hufflepuff, rather than everyone getting on immediately (does that make me a terrible person?). The mention of Amelia Bones was really touching, too - again, another reminder that the war is really starting to take hold in terrible ways, and Hannah's pessimism about how much worse things are going to get is slightly heartbreaking when we know what's in store for her family from the books.
The scene with Cormac was so entertaining to read, too! He's not immediately as likeable a character as Eloise is - and I think the books are definitely partly to blame for that, since their portrayal of him isn't exactly favourable. But there was something quite fun reading about how his day seemed to go from bad to worse and he kept getting himself into scrapes - there's definitely a layer of arrogance there, but he's likeable in spite of that? Maybe because we can't help sympathising with him for having such a bad day. (I agree with his mum - he should always eat breakfast. Food!)
And we got our first meeting of Eloise and Cormac! I was so happy to read that and you've set up the dynamics between them so intriguingly already here. Eloise seemed less than impressed (and of course, we get another insight into her character in a different situation here) but something tells me (okay, it was the handkerchief theft) that Cormac is at least a little interested. It's a really great first meeting to open up the possibilities of where their relationship could go!
Wow. I just finished reading this story, and I’m a little overwhelmed with emotions right now. Like, wow. I could never have imagined that I’d become so invested in Eloise’s story, that anyone could create such an important role for her as you did, yet you accomplished all this and made me love her and wrote a wonderful story to boot. I’m going to gush endlessly for a little while so bear with me haha. I loved the progression from the beginning to now, how we see her go through so many different troubles with her group of Hufflepuffs—all amazingly written, I might add—and her fiery romance with Cormac McLaggen, and her secret underground work within the walls of Hogwarts.
I felt a little sad when Blaise couldn’t stay with Eloise; however, I loved his description of McGonagall as a “scary lady,” haha. She deserves all that respect and more. :P Anyway, that line lightened it up a teeny bit, and can I just say how well you balance humor and darkness in this story?? It’s just so impeccably done, and is just such a signature Logarithmic characteristic, and I love it so much. You’re so talented!
I kept forgetting to mention this in previous reviews, but Eloise’s constant tearing up is the most relatable thing. (Except for the fact that she’s, you know, under high duress and I am basically a couch potato.) But it makes me love her even more, and I always want to hug her. <3
THE FIGHT SCENES WERE EPIC. They were scary and felt so real, that there was a genuine risk to everything, and when her Killing Curse against Carrow failed, my heart stopped. The duel between the two of them was frightening and disturbing, and when he called Blaise a “fairy” I wanted to smack him with a rod, and I’m so glad that Eloise managed to make rocks fall down on him and kill him. Though, as a Healer, she probably felt really conflicted about killing someone.
AND CORMAC. WHERE DO I EVEN BEGIN WITH HIM. He must’ve been missing her this whole time, only to come back to have her married to someone else, and not really able to talk to him as a result of it. After the main part of the battle (which I’m glad you skipped over, it was a smart writing decision), I was so delighted when they kissed—but obviously there are a lot of complicated things that need to be resolved. WHEN HE WALKED AWAY I WAS DEVASTATED THOUGH. AHHHH.
I wonder what the sequel will bring. Congratulations (times a million) for finishing this masterpiece!!! It’s been a great pleasure reading all of it. <3
Of course Crabbe and Goyle are stupid enough to torture a kid from their own House. Of course. It’s really awful, honestly, that this is the world these kids are living in—where the people who tormented them don’t get in trouble for being, well, tormentors, but instead for tormenting kids from Slytherin. But! Even though this was definitely terrible for Alix (who sounded adorable, by the way), I’m really, really glad that Eloise then figured out a way to keep students safe. I AM SO PROUD OF YOU, ELOISE, YOU GENIUS.
I love how you make Eloise the mastermind behind hiding the at-risk students in the Room of Requirement I LOVE IT. I just got this feeling of infinite satisfaction when I read the part about the students disappearing one-by-one, and how sneaky Eloise was being about it! I bet she could singlehandedly hide everyone if she tried, and still have no one suspect her. I wonder what the Carrows think about it—do they think that the students like Neville have fled the school? Or that one of the Slytherins fatally injured him? Hmmm curious.
THE MCLAGGENS ARE IN PRISON YAY.
I think you have a repeated scene in this chapter (one that you might’ve moved into a previous chapter, just without deleting the original, maybe). It’s the one about burning the books, and gathering all the banned ones secretly. :)
Hahaha I loved the scene when Eloise was trying to argue with the Ravenclaw knocker. I guess you can’t win with an enchanted eagle that guards the tower to the knowledge-prizing kids in school hahaha. I love how she keeps doing it, and goes out of her way to protect the students who need protecting. And that you included the detail about the Patil stubbornness!!! It made my life. You somehow have a way of making me incredibly interested in every single character you write; I bet if you randomly drew a character from a hat and wrote a story about them, it would be perfect. The Patils are just one example hehe. <3
I NEED TO KNOW WHO IS SPYING ON HER. AHH.
The next chapter is the last???
Ahh I love how Eloise and Blaise’s relationship keeps developing! It’s good that he’s “keeping her fed, watered” (a very cute way of writing how he’s taking care of her), and I’m really glad that Eloise has a pretty good support system happening right now. And how she calls Hannah “their sunshine of a Hufflepuff”! I’m also a really big fan of all the platonic bed-sharing happening in this chapter, from Hannah to Susan to Blaise—it’s really sweet and non-romantic and just a really good sign of good friendships, and it’s rare.
Why is Blaise such a good fake husband? Probably because it’s such an amazing friend, haha, dumb of me to ask. I wonder how he’s doing with Theodore right now, though? Are Theodore Nott and Pansy Parkinson a “thing,” or was I just reading too much into the snarky banter at the dinner party? Anyway, I love everything—how Blaise knows about her tendency to “sprawl” in the library hahaha, how he let her share the bed, how he took care of her during her panic attack, how he’s making her practice how to duel…
I love them.
Also omg they consummated the marriage??? That must’ve been the most awkward thing, I can’t even imagine it. Like, Eloise and Blaise must be really really dedicated to this. At least they were both cheerful and goodnatured about it haha. And the kisses too, omg, how weird must that be?
Theodore Nott is in on this right? I realllyyy wanna see him and Blaise together, I’m so curious about what they’re like! Does Blaise treat Theodore even better than he does with Eloise? Is that possible??
I wanted to punch Cormac’s father in the face. He more than deserves it. I hope Eloise gets to do it at some point! :P The entire dinner party was so well-written! I was so tense but excited all throughout. And then when we get to the ending, when Eloise mentions the “Cormac-shaped hole in her heart”? Aww, my heart broke a bit. I wonder what’s happening with him?
I’m only two chapters from the end???
I HAVE A THEORY ABOUT WHO DID IT AND I DON’T LIKE IT. (I have absolutely no evidence for this theory, it’s just a random guess that I think kinda makes sense?) So the only other person who was there that night who has motivation to go to the Carrows was Theodore Nott. And it’s entirely possible that he was somehow aware of her presence, or faked his absence, or something like that. Susan did also let slip that she knew Eloise’s identity, so maybe Theodore Nott heard it? Okay I’m kind of pulling at straws, but he’s the only one with affiliations with the Carrows. If it was Theodore Nott, though, then is it possible that Blaise would cover for him? Am I just ruminating about nothing?
Hahaha I love Blaise and his family! The fact that his mother made a temporary Invisibility Cloak for Eloise to keep her safe is so touching. And I love their budding genuine partnership—these two are so clever, so smart, and so funny, and though they’re faking their romance for the world to see, I’m really glad that they’re coming to genuinely respect one another. Also: “Did you know there's a variety of badger in Africa that eats snakes, you asshole?" HAHAHA ELOISE. Are you sure you’re not a secret Puff, Val? :P
It’s really sad that for a moment she distrusted even her own friends with being able to keep a secret. I’m not sure exactly how her plan was supposed to work (I’m too dumb for that haha), but basically she was just trying to see if either Susan or Hannah would betray her in some way? I hope we can have a moment with these three again. I think their friendship deserves to be fixed up. </3
The quick-witted conversation between Eloise and Blaise was so perfect. They volley ideas back and forth so easily, and are constantly on the same page. Like when Blaise suggested there was only one person they needed to tell, and Eloise immediately picked up that it was his mother? Perfect. And when Blaise immediately thought of a way to use the pregnancy scare to their own advance?? BRILLIANT.
I love your writing so so much! Another fabulous chapter! <3
Wayne is so awesome, I adore him. And I love, love, LOVE the secret whispers and the dangerous atmosphere and the difficult times that you portray here! It sends like adrenaline pumping through my body, haha, despite the fact that I’m just sitting on the couch and reading your story. But I can feel my heart pounding right now, because of how tense everything is in your story, and I am incredibly excited to read on.
I got actual chills when I read the painted red letters—“LONG LIVE HARRY POTTER” is a very inspiring and awe-striking phrase, and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it in fic before?? But it’s so good! Obviously, the consequences were less good, and it hurt a bit to read about little children getting shackled tightly and abused. They’re only eleven/twelve, which is crazy small. Poor babies, aw… But the way that Eloise and Blaise managed to work together to help clean people up and give them water was amazing! It was so clever! I was so incredibly proud of them in that moment omg. And it made me feel a lot better about Blaise as a person, that he was willing to do this with Eloise (though I have a vague recollection that he was always of the decent sort).
Hmm that softness in Blaise’s eyes? Does he love Theodore Nott?? Is that what Eloise saw in his gaze? If I’m right, I really hope that Blaise and Theodore get to have a good life together afterwards (and that Theodore Nott stops supporting this general regime haha, though he seems far tamer than the likes of, say, Crabbe and Goyle).
And I’m so glad that Susan finally sees Eloise doing good work. It was really frustrating knowing that Eloise was at heart a good Hufflepuff, while Susan believed otherwise, BUT NOW SHE SEES THE GOODNESS YAY. I wonder if these two will reconcile? Also, I loved how Susan limited herself to three cups of water because she wouldn’t be able to pee; the way she said it was really funny.
You write very funny characters.
This is a small detail but I love how McGonagall took all the children to the Hospital Wing herself to get fixed up. I LOVE HER.
How did the Carrows find out about Eloise though?? How???
I’m so excited to be reading this story again! I always loved reading it, since the plot was incredible and Eloise is the most fascinating character and the romance is absolutely perfect—though I have forgotten some things, which is why the first thing I thought of when I read the beginning of this story was: ELOISE AGREED TO MARRIED TO BLAISE??? I’m not sure if you’ve answered this question in previous chapters, but had they already made a deal? It sounds like they planned this out, somewhat, beforehand, and Eloise’s demand of the removal of the two McLaggens is very mysterious to me. I am so, so curious about what happened, though, so I hope future chapters can answer my question (and that it’s not something I missed earlier haha)! If the latter, I’ll just reread the whole story. :P
Speaking of which, PLEASE LET ELOISE AND CORMAC GET BACK TOGETHER. I don’t think I can handle it if they don’t—they were so cute, and in the last chapter, he was so sweet about waiting for her, and it would be unbelievably tragic. Since you’ve got a sequel planned, though, I’m a little nervous about my desired outcome happening in this novel, at least.
I’m so glad she told Hannah the truth, though! It’s so funny to me that Hannah just sort of knew that it was a sham all along, so she was smug when Eloise told her what actually happened haha. Susan, though…it’s a different story with her. I feel so conflicted, because Susan has been, if I remember correctly, obsessed with conspiracies and a little hateful, which makes me feel less inclined to agree with her when she yells at Eloise. But at the same time, I don’t know how I feel about Eloise casting Cruciatus Curses at fellow students.
I understand Blaise’s advice, that it would be better not to get on the nerves of the Carrows, but is it really worth it? Does Eloise manage to do more good behind-the-scenes while she’s casting the curse in front of the Carrows? I DON’T KNOW. I hope I can see her in action with Dumbledore’s Army at some point, I hope she helps like Hannah requested! Also, the in-class usage seems to be tough, because if, say, you yourself cast the curse, it would definitely be weaker than if the Carrows cast it. And so just based on the overall weight of things, wouldn’t it be better to save your friend and yourself the torturous pain and just cast a little one?
I DON’T KNOW VAL THIS STORY MAKES ME THINK SO MUCH.
I love it so much though. I’m so glad to be back!
Whew, made it to the end!
SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED. A LACK OF CORMAC, AN EXCESS OF BLAISE, A CLASH OF LOYALTIES MY DANG
Anyway, to this chapter in particular. It is rather endearing to see the growing bond with Blaise, but I tiptoe nervously around that because I know Eloise belongs with Cormac even if she is doing all of this to protect him. I'm most intersted in the going ons of Hogwarts, it is ever so fascinating to see what was happening with Harry and his gang were out. I'm interested to see how Blaise things continue to unfold, in the beginning it felt so rushed and sudden but the small things here & there about their agreement and growing friendship have helped immensely!
I WAS GOING TO WAIT TO DO A PROPER REVIEW AFTER I HAD CAUGHT UP
BUT HOW DARE YOU?!?!?!?!
(in the nicest way possible)
okay, she's not pregnant - one less thing to worry about, because i have no idea how she would have dealt with the pregnancy in her current mental state and the circumstances that she is in, especially with the war both in and out of hogwarts.
i completely forgot to comment on eloise joining dumbledore's army but yes! at least something that's not completely weird and something i can definitely see happening.
her reasoning that she married! blaise zabini to protect cormac is completely twisted - i mean, okay, we dont' know what blaise can do about nero and tiberius but still. especially with keeping cormac in the dark (though he would never let her do this if he knew)!
the hanging younger students in chains in the dungeons to make the older ones talk is particularly cruel.
does blaise fancy theodore nott? it seems as if eloise might think so.
it's good that susan might be friends with eloise again but carrow obviously doesn't believe eloise not one bit. hopefully he doesn't hurt her too much.
i admit, i am thoroughly confused about this chapter. eloise and blaise are suddenly married, she is actually using (or trying to use) the cruciatus curse on her fellow students and there is a possibility of her being pregnant.
first of all, her marriage to blaise still doesn't make any kind of sense and i can't wrap my head around it. her break up with cormac didn't make sense but this is on a whole other level. then, the story she decided to tell everyone is so full of holes that i don't get how anyone would believe her. her hufflepuff friends are strangely accepting of this new eloise, well except for susan and honestly, i'm currently team susan in the grand scheme of things.
eloise using the cruciatus curse without any resistance (i don't count her lukewarm protestations to blaise) is so out of character for a person who has been, through the course of this story, so caring about everyone.
and what about cormac? he must be devastated and so very confused.