I’m here for our swap! =D
I chose this story and went in with the idea that Justin may have died – especially when the talk of the debris and dust came and everything was crumbling down, and it definitely happened during the Battle of Hogwarts. I thought it maybe was something like: you turn away but never get the chance to say goodbye and then see the relation between him and Hannah and Susan all play out, with all different reasons to like mourn and talk about opportunities never taken whenever they had risen.
Boy was I pleasantly surprised.
I really loved the fact how you kept switching POV’s, alternating scenes in between but never revealing too much at the same time. The story unfolded little by little, giving glimpses in life but never truly getting there, slowly revealing that the couple in question was actually Susan and Hannah – Justin never really having stood a chance. Unless, perhaps, things had gone differently and Hannah had been informed. But then we go back to missed opportunities, so perhaps it’s in a way still what I expected.
Regardless, I really loved it all, how there was an ongoing theme to it all, but with it still having the sort of happy ending that I honestly hadn’t expected – even if it’s unclear whether Justin will ever see Hannah and Susan again and even if it is clear that he still has feelings Hannah. Also the fact that it was written in this way was, in my opinion, really original, yet it totally fit with the story you were trying to tell. I think that if you had chosen to do it differently, it wouldn’t have come across as well as it did now.
Truly, excellent story!
Hihihi Chiara! :) Dropping by for our review swap!
I have to admit that anything like love triangles really isn't my thing - I've never really enjoyed stories where someone is caught between two other people and *oh drama* doesn't know which of the two, wonderful, lovely, sexy people to choose - but this sounded like such an interesting story, with the combination of pairings and the way it was written for the not a love triangle challenge, so I just had to stop by.
And I loved this. The pairings are so unusual, but I've never really had set favourite pairings for the Hogwarts Era crew, so I'm happy to ship almost whatever, and I loved what you did with them in this. How Susan was so strong, so brave and almost commanding; how Hannah was so sweet, emotional, so loving; how Justin was so confused by his own emotions, his own polyamory with no word to describe how he felt, and how he was so loyal to their friendship in the end, reassuring Hannah that he would be fine - not that he was, but that he would be, eventually - because he wanted her (and Susan) to be happy.
They're such wonderful, intriguing characters, and I loved the way this was told in a non-linear style, allowing us to kinda know how it ends almost before it starts, and how, despite that, you managed to conceal the twists of this story until almost the end before telling us exactly how it finishes for them all, with that almost heart-breaking admission from Justin and the revelation that actually, it's Susan and Hannah, not Justin and Hannah and Susan.
I love the way you wrote this, too, with the stripped-back dialogue-heavy style. It worked so so well for this, with the way that it focused on their interactions - especially in that last section - and drew attention to your lovely description when it was there, with the kisses and Justin's confusion and daydreaming.
Honestly, I know you said in your author's note that this is outside of your comfort style, but this was honestly such a lovely story and you handled it so so well. This was such a wonderful, bittersweet read, but I really loved it.
OMG CHIARA HOW DID YOU WRITE A STORY THAT HAS EVERYTHING I LOVE AND NOT TELL ME ABOUT IT??? :P
But seriously. this story is everything. Non-linear narrative, lesbians, angsty longing, Puffs, and a bittersweet ending, it's like this was written for me. And your descriptions are to die for, they are so effective and i love how you can say so much and convey so much emotion in these short sections. I know in your AN you mentioned that writing this was a bit out of your comfort zone, but I'm so glad and proud of you that you did, because it really paid off and i think this is some of your very best writing! And I loved how you wrote Justin. Omg it's amazing and I wish i had time to say more but the library internet is about to cut out so just know that I loved this and I love you!! <3
I love love LOVE hearing stories about the 'Puffs, and this one was just so sweet and so sad at the same time.
I adored this whole arc, and especially the time jump where we start at the battle and then flash back to First Year, and then you see little glimpses of the three of them and their friendships and love developing over the years.
I really loved this line in particular: "And it was in that moment that I knew for sure that I loved you, that Susan had been just a comet into my sky, while you had always been the sun." I actually put my hand on my chest when I read that line, because it was just so heartfelt and romantic.
Poor Justin, though. I feel bad that the way things worked out meant that his friendship with Susan was damaged and that he never had a chance to try to make something happen with Hannah. But I'm also happy that Susan and Hannah are happy together, and I hope that some time down the line in this world, Justin gets to be with someone who makes him happy, as well.
Thanks for sharing this story with us!
Hi Chiara, dear!
I'm here to review for you as a thank-you from the newsletter crew for nominating for the monthly 'Puff awards...a while ago. I'm really sorry for the delay, but I definitely wanted to come by and let you know how grateful we are that you took the time to recognize your fellow 'Puffs!
So, let's get to reviewing!
This story was lovely.
Honestly, I don't read enough Hufflepuff stories, and I really need to. Especially if anyone else writes as wonderfully as you do here about Justin, Susan, and Hannah. Your characterization of them really is stunning. Despite us not knowing them well from canon, I got such a clear picture of them and their friendship, especially as it had evolved and changed over the years. I could feel Susan's embarrassment after the Yule Ball, and Justin's conflict over not telling Hannah how he felt, and Hannah's pity but acceptance when she finds out about his feelings.
I love that you didn't demonize Susan for being with Hannah. After all, Hannah is a person. She's not a prize to be won, and she chose to be with Susan. Yes, Justin likely sees this as something he "lost," but Hannah is happy, and I like that she doesn't suddenly doubt her relationship with Susan because of Justin's admission.
The scenes you showed us throughout the years of this three-way friendship were so poignant. I really felt like you gave readers a good mix of moments that defined the relationships between Susan, Hannah, and Justin. The only CC I might offer would be in the descriptions of the settings/scenes. It was occasionally difficult to visualize the characters and their surroundings.
Anyhow, this was honestly fantastic. I really enjoyed it and am so glad I took the time to read it. Great job!
Hey, Emily! :)
Thank you so much for stopping by, and sorry if I took so long to reply...
Ah, I'm so glad you found this story lovely! I don't really read or write much Hufflepuffs either, and that's a pity. I'm so glad you liked my characterization of Justin, Susan and Hannah and that you could get a clear picture of their characters and relationships. :)
While I do feel bad for Justin, I agree with you that Hannah chose to be with Susan and I can't imagine her questioning her feelings because of Justin's confession. The two girls are happy together and deserve to be.
I'm glad the moments described felt poignant in undestanding the three characters and the development of their relationship. And yes... I know... description is not my forte... I'm trying to improve in that aspect...
Thank you so much for the lovely review, I'm so glad you enjoyed reading this!
Lots of love,
Heya Chiara, I'm here judging for the Say Goodbye challenge ♥
I loved the format of this; the way it balanced between seven years of Hannah, Justin, and Susan, but nothing felt rushed or too slow. You're a master at manipulating time in fics, y'know that?
Anyway. The relationship between the three of them is very complicated, but I love how it wasn't really overly dramatic. Everyone just sort of accepts everyone, which I would expect from a trio of Hufflepuffs :P
This story just felt very soft to me, a quality I definitely enjoyed. And I loved watching the three of them grow up together, and how the war affected them -- we don't often see the war from Hufflepuff's POV, and I really enjoyed the scene where they were all celebrating the Quidditch victory in their third year.
It was really sad watching Hannah and Justin have their final interaction, though semi lifelong friends like them would see each other again, right? RIGHT?! I certainly hope so, anyway. Also, I loved the bit about Justin's father being a physician & that he would've studied math if he didn't go to Hogwarts. It's something people don't often put in fic -- what muggleborns would've done if they never got their letter.
Anyway, all ramblings aside, this was very cute, even with the bittersweet end! I really enjoyed reading it, and thanks for entering the challenge! ♥
Hi, again, Jill! And sorry again for the late reply...
Thank you, I'm so glad you liked the structure. You know me, I like to work in segments and little snapshots... I'm glad you found it well paced. :)
That's what I was going for, I think. Love triangles are always messy, but with three Hufflepuffs there would be this reciprocal acceptance, even if someone would inevitably be left heartbroken. I'm glad you loved it.
We don't often see Hufflepuffs' POV in general... I should definitely write them more... I'm glad you enjoyed seeing them grow up together and everything that happened to them... and yes, Hufflepuff parties are the best parties, aren't they? :P
They are definitely seeing each other again. And Justin is definitely going to find his happiness, too. They all deserve to be happy. Yes, we don't see much of what Muggleborns would have done if they didn't go to Hogwarts... and it was fun to give Justin my passion... :P
So glad you enjoyed the story! Thank you so much for the lovely review and for hosting the challenge in the first place!
Lots of love,
You need to step out of your comfort zone more often, because this story is honestly so beautiful. I love the way you handled the first person POV, which also sounded a little like second person POV. Honestly, the entire style of this story was so fresh and new, and I really liked reading this!
Before I begin, I want to commend you on how you somehow managed to combine three challenges into one. That has to be a record or something haha. (And good luck in all three of them! <3)
I am a huge fan of the Susan Bones/Hannah Abbott ship (which I believe is largely Sam’s fault haha), so seeing that the two girls ended up together made me very happy. However, the path in getting there was long and complicated, and, well, love triangles are messy. (One thing that I was unsure about was, did Susan cheat on Justin in that very first scene? I couldn’t tell if they broke up beforehand, because though Justin expressed being distant from both of them in Justin to Susan – Year 5, I wasn’t sure if he’d actually broken up with Susan at that point. If Susan did cheat on Justin, shame on her.)
Okay, but let’s talk about how beautifully you created this piece. Your characters are all stunning, your writing style is just so natural and wondrous, and the development of the three characters’ loves for each other is heartbreaking and sweet at the same time.
I think my favorite character of the three has to be Justin. You’ve given him so many personal traits that I never would have thought of, and I think that really gives him a whole new depth that I’ve never seen before. His love for math and Arithmancy really comes through, and you obviously know what you’re talking about in that department. Most of all, I love that Justin (and you, by extension), manages to make math sound beautiful and wondrous, instead of the droll boringness that schoolteachers make mathematics into.
And honestly, if I were Susan and Justin, I would be in love with Hannah, too. She seems just so sweet and wonderful, and I can’t imagine how awkward their mutual love for her must have been. Justin’s conflicts regarding the matter, and Susan’s hidden feelings, just really make for such a beautiful story to tell.
(I realize I have used “beautiful” at least ten thousand times throughout this review, but it’s the most accurate word haha.)
You’re such an incredible writer! I can’t even begin to imagine how beautiful your words must be in Italian.
I've been so bad at replying to reviews recently... but here I am now... :)
Ah, I'm so glad you enjoyed the style! The POV is completely experimental, different from anything I've done before, and I'm glad so you liked it... <3 And yes, I will try to step out of my comfort zone more often... :P (Right now I'm having trouble writing at all, honestly, but I will try...)
Ahahah! That was a lucky coincidence, really! I got Justin as prompt for the Say Goodbye challenge and I was trying to do something completely different, but it just wasn't working... then I got this plunny that would work for the Love Triangle challenge too... I had the story almost finished already and I was lucky to get Susan as one of the prompts for the Rule of Three challenge. :P
I think I completely steal the Susan/Hannah idea and their characterization from Sam. :P I should put an official credit note somewhere, now that I think about it... :P Yes, it was a long and complicated path to get there... poor Justin... :( Anyway, no, she didn't cheat on him. I don't think they were ever really together, that Yule Ball date and then the kiss were just a bit of an accident and they didn't really lead anywhere... except to a lot of confusion and awkwardness... why are most of my characters idiots? :/
I'm so glad you enjoyed the story and the characters and their progression, anyway. And yes, I do love Justin, too (I think I put quite a bit of myself in him, actually...) He's not a character we see often in fanfic (I think?) so it was fun to build his character. And I'm so glad you loved his love for Maths! Really, Maths is not boring at all, it's super fascinating! But I will spare you the one-hundred-reasons-Mathematics-is-beautiful speech, maybe some other time. :P
Hannah is just so cute and precious, isn't she? I can totally see why they would both fall in love with her! And yes, that must have been awkward...
Aww, you are too nice to me, really! And you are such a wonderful writer yourself (I think I've told you already?)
Tons of hugs,
Chiara!! *hugs* I made sure that I would have time today to review your (WONDERFUL) fic because you said you needed snuggles today and I thought "What's the best way to give snuggles?? Leaving a review!!" So here is your review!!!
If anyone is looking at the reviews before reading this, err... spoilers below so don't read past this point here (but go read the fic because it's very very good!!!)
Okay, so this was so good. I loved it. I really like the story structure and how you chose to do the narrative. It's really different and I find that refreshing? I guess is a good way to put it. I mean, obviously I love the classic narrative styles - but the way you structured this fic is different from what I'm used, and I think it worked perfectly!
And since you have your one-shot broken up into little sections, I'm just gonna split my review into little parts because that's how I roll *shrugs* And when I say review it's more like just all of the thoughts I had whilst reading this. :p
Justin to Susan - year 7
Aww! This opening part was so sad! I really liked how you started this out - with the "You kissed, and everything came crumbling down" I am biasedly a fan of the simple one sentence paragraphs, especially for an opener. And then that sentence coupled with the whole imagery of the crack in the wall and the debris and dust separating Justin from Susan (and Hannah).
And then Susan being all daring when she's looking at Justin. I can just see her being like that, it's so in character for her I think.
Susan to Justin -year 1
Ah!! *screams* This part was so cute!! As minor of a detail that it is, I loved that you added the detail that they had shared their compartment with Hermione and Neville. It was so cute how Justin and Hermione were excited about the magical world and talking about all the books that Hermione had read over the summer, and how fascinated Justin was by everything.
I really liked Susan's thoughts in this part. Also, Hannah's laughter being infectious is just like, so in character. I always imagine her as being like the happiest ray of sunshine. 😊
Hannah to Justin - year 2
This scene with Hannah, Justin, and Susan was so sweet. I think the only reason I didn't find it too sad is because I know he gets revived in the end. But I still found this so sweet since we don't really get to see any of the Hufflepuff's reactions to Justin getting petrified. And I LOVE Susan being angry that this happened to Justin.
And the interaction between Hannah and Susan was cute. I love them!!!
Justin to Hannah - year 3
Nawww, Justin realizing that he has a crush on Hannah. I feel like I'm over using this word in my review, but again I just thought this was so cute; with the way Justin was just watching Hannah dancing and having fun during the party and his reaction to Hannah smiling to him.
I also just really like that minor detail you added about Justin not really being into Quidditch and preferring tennis over Quidditch. Also, Ernie being all knowing and "Hannah, eh?" and Justin is just like, "what????? Nah, what???" even though Ernie is right :p
Susan to Justin - year 4
This was so bittersweet! On the one hand I thought that Justin and Susan were pretty cute (even though they didn't like each other as more than just friends) and I thought it was cute that they went to the Yule Ball together! But then they kissed and that pretty much ruined their friendship which made me sad!!!!!
I just want everyone to be friends ☹
Justin to Susan - year 5
Uh, same thoughts as the above part. I feel really sad for Justin here. He has feelings for both of them, but now he doesn't have either of them anymore?! Also, Justin comparing his real life to Arithmancy and wishing life was as easy as that - in regard to having a solution. WOW, that hurts. Thanks
Justin to Hannah - year 6
See, now things are getting real. This hurt - less because of anything to do with Susan and Hannah, but more because Justin knew (or thought) that he would never get to see Hogwarts again because of the coming war. This just hit me in the feels I think because (again) we don't get to see that in the books with how Muggleborns would have been feeling after Dumbledore died. And, also, Hannah trying to be optimistic even though she also knows Justin won't be able to come back next year!
Hannah to Justin - year 7
And the most bittersweet part of them all!! *cries* So, like, I'm glad that Susan and Hannah are together because I think they're so cute and perfect together, but I also just feel so sad for Justin. He's had feelings for Hannah this whole time, but he doesn't get to be with her. This ending was so good, I mean - yeah it was bittersweet so kind of sad for Justin - but also it had that slight hope of at least they could be friends again in the future?
So, there's all my (incoherent, probably) thoughts about this. I really liked this. A lot, which I said before, but I shall say it again!!! So, I personally (I'm obviously not the judge of any of the challenges) think you did a fantastic job fulfilling each of the challenges. I like that for the say goodbye challenge you went this route and didn't kill anyone off - because to be honest, when I first read the title I thought you were going to kill of Justin and I was like "NOOOOO!!!!"
I also really like that for the Love Triangle you had it end with Hannah/Susan, but ALSO what I love was that - for the most part - it was written from the point of view of the person that doesn't wind up with either of the two-other people in the triangle. I really liked that because it felt different you know? I feel like a lot of love triangle plots in movies are always from the point of view of the person that's torn between the two and ends up with one of them (if my sentence makes sense)
I really enjoyed this and loved reading it. *hugs*
Maggie! My pal! *wub*
Aww, you are so sweet, honey! Yes, a review is a wonderful way to give snuggles, very appreciated! :D
I'm glad you liked the style, I do have a thing for writing in small snippets, and I did play a bit with the POVs, that was definitely experimental but I guess I'm happy with how it worked out? Anyway, I'm glad you liked it and found it refreshing! :)
And since we are both fans of sections, I will break my reply, too... :P
Justin to Susan - year 7
I love simple one sentence paragraphs, too. :) I'm glad you liked the opening line and the imagery of the wall crumbling down and everything. I do like Susan as the strong and defying woman, I think I stole a lot of the characterization from Sam's work, honestly... does it make me a bad person? Glad you found it in character.
Susan to Justin -year 1
I'm glad you found it cute to have them share a compartment with Hermione and Neville. :) I bet every Muggleborn first year would be extremely excited about going to Hogwarts and I can totally see Justin being so fascinated by everything and wanting to learn as much as possible! And Hannah's infectious laughter... as I said, I blame Sam for most of the characterization, but yeah, I totally see her as this bright ray of sunshine and I'm glad you like it! :)
Hannah to Justin - year 2
I'm so glad you liked this scene and Hannah and Susan's reactions to Justin and the way they interacted with each other. Honestly, we don't get to see enough Hufflepuffs at all! #HousePride I think it would really affect everyone in the house, since Hufflepuff is all about taking care of each other... but yeah, it's good to know that he will be revived in the end. :)
Justin to Hannah - year 3
First crushes are cute, aren't they? :P I'm glad you liked Justin's reactions to Hannah here, and Ernie teasing him about it... :P I'm also so glad that you liked the little detail about tennis, I imagine Justin to be this very calm and reflexive person (Huffleclaw, maybe?), who would definitely enjoy a less "physical" sport (I think I made Justin a bit too much like myself, now that I think about it...) Anyway, I'm glad you liked it!
Susan to Justin - year 4
Yes, I know... this was quite sad... I really want everyone to be friends, too. But I guess they will get there again? Sometime in the future? I'm glad you found them cute, though, before things got too awkward...
Justin to Susan - year 5
Poor Justin, he's just so hurt and confused right now... and about the Arithmancy thing... I am a Mathematician, so I might be biased, but the thing about Maths is... as hard to comprehend as it might be, you can always count on the fact that there are strict rules and logic and that things will always work the way they are supposed to... if that makes sense? In Maths you have certainties; life, on the other end, is full of doubts and unforeseen...
Justin to Hannah - year 6
I think there would be a lot of fear for Muggleborns at that point. Dumbledore was notoriously a great defender of Muggles and Muggleborns and the only one who Voldemort ever feared... I bet Muggleborn students would feel so unsafe knowing what was going on and that Dumbledore was gone... and yes, it must be so hurtful for Justin thinking that he might be forced to leave all his friends and Hogwarts life behind... poor boy... :(
Hannah to Justin - year 7
They will definitely be friends again in the future! Yes, bittersweet... I do think Susan and Hannah are cute and work really well as a couple, but I am also sad for Justin who's remained alone. I believe he will find his happiness, though, and that it will all be well in the long run. I'm glad you liked the ending and found it had a hopeful note, I have a thing for bittersweet endings, too... :P
Thank you so much for your super detailed review! I really appreciated it loads, you don't have an idea! You are just so lovely, darling!
Thank you so much again!
Yayayayayay it's up and I can leave a real-life review! :D
So putting the characters and the year before each scene works wonderfully, and I love how it starts at a really pivotal moment in their seventh year and then works backwards from there. Especially since the first scene raises so many questions and I'm eager to learn more about the relationship between Justin and the girls.
Having the three of them become friends from the very first day is so cute, they all sound so adorable and I love how they hit it off straight away. And of course they were all sorted into Hufflepuff, YAY!
Aw, I'd actually forgotten that Justin was petrified :( It's amazing how even in that short scene, I'm already becoming familiar with the girls' personalities, and I'm beginning to see how they mesh well together. Susan is fierce, while Hannah is a bit softer and emotional, and I love it so much.
Hufflepuff party WOOHOO! Although I wonder why Justin asked Susan to the Yule Ball and not Hannah. I love the Yule Ball scene though. Susan must be so confused, having to hide her true self out of fear of her father, and then feeling like it was right to kiss Justin. And then to have both of them thinking of Hannah. It's a mess but so human.
Susan had been just a comet into my sky, while you had always been the sun. - I love this line so much!
Wah such a bittersweet ending. If only Justin had told Hannah how he really felt, I wonder how differently things could have worked out. I'm glad Hannah and Susan are happy, but what about poor little Justin? I hope he finds happiness soon <3
I really enjoyed this little Chi (if you couldn't tell :P) and I hope you do well in the challenges! Good luck! <3
Thank you so much for the review and for your encouragement, as always! You are the best, I will never stop telling you! Love thee!
Good to know that putting the characters and years at the start of each section helped. I always like to keep readers guessing, but sometimes it's too much, so thank you for suggesting me this solution, I do agree it works much better. :)
And well, I like non-linearity and circularity in stories... I think you knew that... I'm glad you liked the way I started the story. :)
Ahahah! I have a thing for childhood friendships developing in something else. And they are Hufflepuffs, so how wouldn't they immediately click together? :P Glad you found them cute!
I will be honest, I stole Hannah and Susan's characterization from Sam... :P Glad you like them and that you could get a sense of their personalities from that scene in the Hospital Wing. And yes, poor Justin... :(
Hufflepuff parties are the best, aren't they?
Oh, I dunno why Justin asked Susan? Because Hannah had already been invited by someone else? Or simply because he was too embarrassed to ask her? Or because he'd started to feel some attraction for Susan as well at that point? I'm so glad you liked that scene, though. Yes, it was quite messy...
I love that line, too! :P
Yes, if Justin had expressed his feelings earlier things might have gone differently. Or maybe not, who knows? Either way, I'm happy for Hannah and Susan and I'm sure he will find happiness too! <3
Thank you so much for the review and the help, you are the best!