Okay, it’s taken me about a week to get to this and not because I was being lazy or didn’t ‘get to it’. I actually read this on the very first day and then on the second and then the third and so on and again today because pinpointing and wording private and complex feelings is difficult and I’m a coward by nature?
Here we go then.
This was a brutal read. Not in a bad way, just raw and complicated because I felt like I was intruding on something I wasn’t supposed to be reading, if that makes any sense?
There’s a reason why I don’t usually read deep, tragic fanfiction or literary works: the humanity of it is too on the nose for me and that’s what I felt when I was reading this.
Pity, compassion, sadness all in equal measures for this person I’d never met. Also a bit of self-pity because that's what happens when you empathise with fictional characters.
“As it is when you are sucked up in a dark, deep hole; you don’t even realize you are in it until you are not anymore. Although other people can see it, you usually can’t even hear them, above the deafening, suffocating sound of the silence that surrounds you and screams in your face every moment that you even try to open your eyes.
You are left with numbness and nothingness, because that is your mind’s only defense against the alternative.”
All the time I was reading this, I was screaming in my mind “why, why are you doing this to me?” and “how dare you?” because honestly, it hits far too close to home.
This here? Probably the reason why I only write humour.
Okay, now that we’ve established I’m deeply uncomfortable with this, I’d like to reinforce the fact that it is not a bad thing, it just means you sprawled out your character right in front of my eyes and it’s tragically sad. It shakes me to my core, possibly because I have made it my life’s mission to avoid feeling sad at all costs and this just... kills me inside.
Rose’s entire monologue reads true and painful and elicits every single emotion it should from the reader (you’re playing me like a fiddle, how dare you). I immediately assumed Rose had been raped, though then the “where Stannous held me captive for six days” line sounds more like a kidnapping - though it could be a horrible, horrible combination of the two. From then on, there it was, almost like a checklist: self-blame, anxiety, depression…
“It is the last actual documented image of the old Rose.”
I swear, every time I read a line of this I’m just like “why, why do you keep doing this to me?”. Rose’s dissociation with who she was vs the hollow shell she is right now resonates with me on a personal level.
It’s not unrealistic, it’s not overdramatic, it just feels too real. I mean, I’ve read things like this before but I either wasn’t paying attention and glossing over them with an eye shut or they just felt like… caricatures.
This? This is terrifying.
I thank you ever so deeply that Rose isn’t living alone. Just Dominique’s presence is enough to jolt her out of the hole she was buried in and back to reality.
“Get up. I stood and started the shower.”
From here on out, the rest of the checklist you made for her, is beautifully written. The way you intercalate the mantra with the actions, the way she has all these small steps that tether her to reality, baby steps that keep her moving despite the horror she’s lived through and the numbness she’s forced upon herself.
And from then on, the chapter was lighter, almost hopeful, reminiscing of better days when she hadn’t felt like shit.
I shit you not, I breathed with relief and was like “okay, okay, this I can deal with”. Like Rose picked me up with herself and we were both "okay, we can do this".
“Orin Wood swears it saw the hat covering up a bottle of firewhiskey at the beginning of the ceremony.”
When I hit this, I wanted to kiss you, I swear. You ended the chapter on a slightly positive note and I’m glad to see the power of routine is working, even under the circumstances.
Rose strikes me as an incredibly strong young woman, who manages to continue functioning despite the shitty hand fate has dealt her.
She struggles to get out of bed every day (god, how that first step is difficult), but she keeps on doing it, to the point where she’s capable of deceiving everyone around her into thinking she’s alright.
I sincerely hope there’s at least SOMEONE who can tell everything isn’t okay. I want her to slip and fall, if only for someone to grab her hand and pick her up. We still don’t know if the wanker who hurt her was caught or if she kept it to herself and he’s out there and, honestly, if he is, my deepest wish for this fanfiction is for someone to murder him slowly and painfully.
Tldr: this chapter gave me feelings, and i hated it (the feelings, not the chapter) but it’s also incredibly good and super solid work!
OH. MY. WORD. I don't even know what to say - the whole thing at the end was completely terrifying. So he was actually her TEACHER????? What the hell? That makes the whole thing even scarier and completely creepier - I mean a teacher kidnapping his student - that's sick.
It's weird because he seemed so cool, so was he grooming her or something? That is disgusting. She clearly trusted him and thought he was clever, fun and interesting, so why wouldn't she think he would be nice to her in his office. Though in hindsight, why would a teacher give a gift just to one student? It is pretty weird and again, completely sick. WHO IS THIS GUY???
I'm SO happy that Rose managed to fight back and was determined not to be taken again, and she had help, because there's no way she could have overpowered the three men on her own. Dom sending that Patronus was genius, because the girls might not have been able to overpower the older, more experienced wizards and they might have got very hurt if the boys hadn’t arrived in time.
What do they actually want with Rose? Even after two years since her kidnapping, why now? They clearly want something, but it seems that no one knew about the kidnapping before? I'm not sure whether I missed something, but I can't remember it being mentioned, though I know she'd never let anyone see her scars. If not, they're all going to want an explanation.
I thought it was great that the first half and the second contrasted so much, with her blissfully happy, more relaxed than she had been in years and then she's going to be thrown back into it all now. I really feel for her.
I am glad things are starting to unravel though, it's such a great story!
Ohhh the embarrassment of everyone knowing that you both fancy each other and the conversation is going to be happening! I’m sure a lot of people can relate to this and I found it hilarious. It was nice to have a bit of light hearted and playful bantering between them all after such a tense couple of chapters. I like torturing characters a bit, but it’s nice for them to have a bit of a break now and again!
I loved that Rose and Harry’s relationship was more like a father and daughter relationship. I thought it was really sweet that he picked her name out and it was a flower, like Lily - I thought that whole section of the chapter was lovely, especially after he and Al's not so great relationship in the last chapter. I felt a little bad for her and Ron's relationship, especially because she felt that he always wanted another son and was a bit disappointed she was a girl. It kind of mirrors how he felt growing up as his parents kept going until they got a girl and he always felt like he wasn't as wanted. I'm sure Ron doesn't feel that way about Rose, but it did come across that she felt it over the years.
I guess that's why her and Harry's relationship is so important to her and I’m pretty sure he can read her like a book and she knows it. That's why she couldn't look at him while she was healing his wounds. I really love your writing style and how every chapter really does move the story on, nothing seems forced or filler chapters.
I'm looking forward to finding out what happens at 6pm that night! I honestly can't put this story down, it's so addicting and I'm off to read the next instalment!!
OK, so I know I said the last chapter was my favourite but I think I’ve changed my mind. This was awesome from start to end!
I can completely see this power struggle between Harry and Albus in this training setting as I have wrote about it in the past, but nowhere near as good as this! I would always think Harry would push Al more than the other new recruits as not to show favouritism, but I imagine that must sting a bit. They have similar tempers and I really thought one of them was going to get hurt - either Harry by accident or Al because he wasn’t quick enough. Even though, of course, Harry would never hurt him on purpose as you said. Their duel was written perfectly. If I wasn’t so concerned they were going to keep going until Al passed out, it would almost be funny!
Thankfully Scorpius stepped in and it was great how he did it. At first I thought he was going to join in and try and duel Harry too for a moment, but it was great how he just seemed to distract them out of their kind of trance. I loved his inner monologue here too, because he seemed to be panicking, but kept a cool head in the end.
Their confrontation was pretty explosive and I completely was on Al’s side here. He didn’t need to say much to tell Harry how he felt, especially when Scorpius confirmed it. Still, it was great that Harry thought Al was the best, but I did think Harry was avoiding dealing with the whole thing and how Al felt. I have an inkling it might come up again at some point.
But, Al at the end when Rose turned up made the whole situation even more awkward - Scorpius is going to HAVE to tell Rose exactly how he feels now isn’t he?
I think this was my favourite chapter so far for SO many reasons. Rose’s feeling that she might be having a panic attack was really relatable and I think you wrote it really well that the panic attack was he first thought when she felt off and not quite right.
What the hell happened to her? That section with her looking at her scars was so heartbreaking and I honestly didn’t think I’d get to read about something like this to much later in the story so it was quite a surprise to get a few answers so early on.
So she was kidnapped. That must have been terrifying for her - I wonder how long she was taken for as she seemed to know her attacker’s name - and that she seemed to remembers someone else being there too. It makes me think she was there for some time. Also, that her attacker gave her ‘a strange look’, means something else I think. Did she really know him? Gahh so many questions!
Also, she was tortured, that is horrific, especially that spell. I honestly felt so panicky myself reading this section as I was trying to work out what happened and all that she went through.
The second half of the chapter was so sad for other reasons, especially when Scorpius was calling out his mum's name. He clearly is still grieving. I did think he and Rose might kiss at the end, but she seems to be holding back quite a bit.
I can't wait to read more of this!
Wow - for several reasons. I feel so bad for Scorpius and you really showed his grief, just by the overall tone of the chapter. It really highlighted just how alone Scorpius was after the ministry organised small funerals and it was all over very quickly and suddenly he was by himself at his aunt's house. Orphaned at 15 with no one really on his side was so sad.
I really liked how you wrote Daphney's house being so alien to him as she lived with a muggle man - who I thought was brilliant by the way - I loved how he reacted to everything in this chapter! I can only imagine he must have felt like a complete burden even though he barely interacted with them both.
When Rose and Albus turned up ant his aunt's after completely lying through their teeth and getting there through any means necessary, I almost cheered. It was like history repeating itself! Rose is just like her mother, talking at a hundred miles an hour and doing everything to save her best friend. I love her!
Also, Ron bursting in all wands ablazing was actually hilarious, even in the tragic circumstances. It was like something out of a comedy sketch. HOWEVER... she was half naked in bed with a Malfoy, so maybe he did think he had a real reason for pulling his wand out. Rose's comment about the toilet was brilliant though!
Good old Harry coming to Scorpius's rescue and letting him stay was typical Harry. I loved that they gave him the space and privacy he needed and the house was warm, inviting and busy, which seemed to be the opposite of what he was used to at home and at his aunt's.
I'm really loving exploring the characters' pasts and finding out what happened to them as teenagers, but I can't wait to find out what the big incident was...I'm so impatient!
Ohhh my word, this was a really heavy chapter. I really liked seeing things from Scorpius's point of view as after the last chapter, I'm really interested in his story as it seems he's really had it tough. This chapter has left me with so many more questions though!
First of all Scorpius definitely seems to like Rose, especially with his agitation at having to leave her at her house alone and the fact he felt "freer" when she touched him. Also is there any significance to the tshirt? Rose assumed it was an old one of his in the last chapter, but he revealed it was actually hers...why did he have it? There's something odd about that and I definitely want to know about that!
I really felt so bad for Scorpius after what happened to his family. As a teenager, many have stormed out after a fight with their family, but he must feel so awful that the last conversation with them was a row about where he could go and see. Clearly they had a good reason for keeping him in as it seemed Astoria was telling him it wasn't safe for him to be going out. I wonder who they were trying to protect him from?
It must have been so traumatic for him to see his mum and dad in that way. No wonder he seems protective of Rose.
The pacing of the story so far is brilliant, like every chapter is adding a little bit of information, but not giving everything away - I love it!
Right. So I don’t even know where to begin here, but I loved everything about this chapter. I really enjoyed seeing some of the canon characters and what they’re up to post-Hogwarts. The sweater vests, the snogging, it was all really funny and a really good way of reintroducing everyone.
Rose seems such a well rounded character already, and we’re only two chapters in. I thought you did a great job in bringing her panic attacks into a more social setting - so what she does to cope in busier places. I really felt how uncomfortable she was without you having to spell it out, which I think is quite hard to do.
I liked the initial interaction between her and Scorpius where he seemed to make her relax until she felt she could let go a bit by staying a bit longer than she usually does and even having a drink, so I think they’re definitely going to get closer soon!
So that disgusting cretin who grabbed her, I honestly, ughh. So who the hell is he and how could he get out of a body bind? Is he someone who’s linked to whatever happened to her two years before? Whatever he is, it seems like they're going to have a bit of trouble soon. I really felt for Rose when she said she wasn’t the first girl to be grabbed at a party and wouldn’t be the last. True, but isn’t it shite that she just resided herself to that fact, and that she felt inadequate to have been able to cope with it better?
Onto more lighter topics, I loved that Al and Scorpius lived with James and can only imagine what goes on there! And them all barging in while they were getting changed made me laugh. I feel that Scorpius’ anger means something else though? Was it just what happened at the party, or is he carrying some other worries?
I’m dying to figure all this out!
Hiya, I'm here with your requested review.
Firstly, this was awesome, so I don't want to miss anything! It's odd that you opened this with Rose having a panic attack and her noting that they're worse in the morning - I have panic attacks and they're worse for me in the mornings, so that really resonated with me. Also, the depiction of how it feels, especially not being able to catch the moment until it was too late, was perfect. It was all written so well throughout the chapter, with her repeating the same things over and over again to try and concentrate on something else. I thought you did an amazing job with that.
What is this mystery that happened in the cabin that kicked all this off? I can't wait to find out what is causing Rose to have these awful panic attacks, especially that it has been going on for two years just after that photo was taken - poor Rose and why she kept the picture out if it caused her so much pain. This really caught me: I could have fought harder… I should have been clever enough to escape… - other than the fact that it sounds pretty scary and the basis of the story I'm guessing, Rose said she should have "been clever enough", which really intrigues me. I can't wait to see what that is all about.
I was quite taken aback that Rose, Albus and Scorpius were all sorted into Ravenclaw and I love it. It's a really unusual plot point and I think it's great! I loved how you described Albus as having to be collected by a prefect as he was so shocked, the poor thing! And it was utterly hilarious that McGonagall actually fell out of her chair! She usually puts on a calm front, but I reckon this could actually happen. Can you imagine the whole Great Hall watching that happen?!
Anyway, this was a fantastic opening chapter, just teasing what's to come without spelling it all out for the reader. It immediately makes me want to click the next chapter! I'm looking forward to finding out where this is going to go!
Hi, Beth! It took me a little longer than I was planning to get those thoughts together.
I love all the little details about Rose getting set up to place her daughter in the Ministry nursery during the day. It's always neat to pick certain details that make the magical world easy to relate to the mundane. Placing a kid into daycare, especially an infant, feels somewhat like entering a top-secret, high-security facility. And not without good reason.
I also love how a baby reduces these hardened Aurors to grinning, babbling fools. So many bad things have happened to Rose, Scorpius and their friends in this story. It's nice to see something that brings so much joy to all of them.
I got to meet with Astatine and the Aurors on a regular basis. -- Let's see whether anything has changed during your story's hiatus... Nope, still don't trust Astatine. There's plainly someone on the inside, and I feel like Healer Lawrence is just a little too obvious a choice. It's like you want us to suspect him, and you are devious.
I nearly broke down completely on the first day when she reached for me and let out a forlorn sob, her little mouth twisted in a serious pout. -- Story checks out. It's a universal experience.
Harry's really at the top of his game in this chapter. He needs something to keep Rose and Albus at a distance from this case that they both have too much emotionally invested in. Particularly Rose, who now has so many other things to worry about. So he puts them on the case of the Malfoys' murder, which has plainly become tied up in the whole affair with Stannous. He's keeping them involved, but not involved. Like I said, top of his game.
If it was anyone other than his cousin -- a person who's known him for as long as either of them can remember -- trying to work with Albus in this chapter, I think they would have slugged him. The guy is so moody and grumpy and just... difficult.
The third thing I love about this chapter is how you use small details to advance the plot. Not many authors -- or, for that matter, many Aurors or Healers -- would take the time to really get into the minutia of how curse scars are unique to the person who cast the curse. It's a really great little detail that moves the story along without needing any contrivances to make Rose and Albus realize what's happening. And then you take it a step further with Albus's extremely well-reasoned deduction that their were multiple killers involved. It's like a more adult, very gruesome version of an Encyclopedia Brown mystery. The power of facts and deductive reasoning.
I'm quite taken with the idea of Draco and Astoria dying rather than telling Stannous where he could find Scorpius. Parental sacrifice is a running theme throughout the Harry Potter story and it's one of the strongest expressions of the power of love. Once again, it seems that it's given the world what it needs to defeat the bad guy.
Lastly, in the final few paragraphs, Albus is about to go tearing off, chasing a hunch. And Rose doesn't let him do it! I wanted to hug-tackle her. If there's one thing the world of Harry Potter needs -- badly -- it's friends who keep friends from nearly getting themselves killed while chasing hunches. Harry could have used more friends like that. Just saying.
Very cool chapter and I'm thrilled that you're working on this story again! Hope to see more in the near future!
honestly it was such a long time since i originally reviewed chapter 1 i went back and re-read it and some things def stuck (i'm re-doing 1 and doing 2 for the first time because i can)
the mystery aspect is absolutely delicious like, CHEF KISS delicious. since the photo is like a portkey for rose, i can't help but wonder if the perpetrator (assuming, of course, that it was just one and not a group, because lets be real, people are terrible) is in it.
and oh my LORD homie cannot catch a break
re: britpicking i was a bit caught out by "a long draw on my drink" - but that's it and so far the pacing is BEAUTIFUL and the mystery... well, i want to read more and find out what the frick frack is goin on! especially since the man apparated while in a full body bind.
also scorp is the MVP in this chapter and im not taking feedback on that
- love, emily
Hi Beth. Back for Chapter 4 and BvB's Blue Team!
It hurts reading about Scorpius’ guilt over his parents’ death. I liked the way you all the aspects of it: the grief, the blame, the depression and the sadness… You translated his emotions painfully well, and the way he was almost disconnected, especially when he didn’t really connect with the one family member he had left. And that’s not to mention how haunting it must be to have that last memory of his parents like that, more so at such a young age… Poor Scorpius. Thankfully Rose and Albus came in to save the day, and to bring some peace of mind to a rather hurting Scorpius.
And on that note, something else I remember liking about this story (and, of course, I’m still enjoying now as I re-read) is how close together all three of them are. It isn’t so common to read stories that already start with them being friends, and particularly close ones, and I think it’s refreshing and that it gives another layer to the plot itself.
Something I’ve noticed, at least thus far, is how you seem to try and balance the chapters. If one is particularly dispirited, either in that chapter or the next you’ll light up the mood a little. In this chapter, I think the mentions of Uncle Phil’s panicking over having wizards in the house are hilarious, poor guy, not to mention Ron’s burst (and even though that was a little exaggerated, it’s so Ron I have no doubt he would react like that lol).
Can’t wait to continue the story ^^
Hi Beth. Finally back for Chapter 3 :)
I like the beginning, where it shows Scorpius’ worry about Rose and having to leave her to deal with her own emotions for the night after what happened. His reservations are notorious, but his choosing to abide to her will shows his own maturity and respect for her.
And oh gosh, I’d totally forgotten about what happened to Draco and Astoria in this story! As soon as the flashback started I remembered, and it’s so strange because the first time I followed your story, I was reading it for Scorose mostly but Draco truly is one of my favorite characters, and ever since The Cursed Child came out I’ve fallen with love with Draco and Astoria as a couple and now going back into your story…
Well, I feel for Scorpius, especially having to witness the brutality of what happened. Your description of that moment feels so heartbreakingly real, with everything he’s experiencing as he lays eyes on the scene but that he wants to refuse to believe.
I’m eager to find out more about why Astoria tried to warn Scorpius that it wasn’t safe, how Scorpius coped with his parents’ deaths, and how it’ll tie with the plot in the present.
Hi Beth. Here for BvB's Blue Team and Chapter 2!
It's rather unfortunate for Rose, I think, that things go down on a night when she decided to go out when usually she doesn't. Worse, after she decides to stay at the party after she's already there, once she feels comfortable enough with Scorpius by her side. I'm sure it'll have her feeling insecure in the future, and given what she's already been through (and from what I can remember, what will happen next as well), I have to admit I feel a little sorry for her.
I'm glad she has Scorpius to tunr to, though. She seems to trust him more implicitly than even Selenia or Albus, and it's sweet that he can calm her down so easily and that he obviously already cares for her a great deal.
Another thing I'm enjoying is Scorpius and Rose's cumplicity, even if for now they're just friends, and that she can open up with him when with the others she's still having a harder time doing so.
After what happened, and especially when Rose's mood had lifted a little and she was starting to enjoy her time out, that guy appeared and ruined everything. It would already be unpleasant having that guy advance on anyone in normal circumstances, but given what Rose has went through, it's no wonder that she feels like she can't breathe and enters a stage of somewhat shock when she can't react. I'm glad that Scorpius was there for her this time.
Also, concerning her attacker, I'm eager to get to know his plot again and everything revolving Rose's kidnapping. I only remember some parts of the plot so it'll be good to get to know it again, and to see how you write Rose and the others dealing with what's to come, especially when so many secondary characters make appearances.
Lastly, I'd just like to point out that this was a good contrast with the 1st chapter, as the other one is calmer and this one is more chaotic. Plus, in this chapter alone, there's the clear difference between the commotion of the party and when the attacker appears, with the softer moments between Scorpius and Rose, which I loved.
I'll be coming soon for Chapter 3 :)
(Sorry this is short I just really struggled)
Ok, initial reactions, really well written. The little mantra, the self-assigned imperatives, “Get up, wash, get dressed, class, rounds, study.” just really hits home and breaks your heart. The use of second person to really draw the reader into the story is incredibly well done. The hook is a good one, with the primary (for me) being What happened to Rose? And then the rest of the questions follow: Why’s she having these panic attacks? Who was involved? Was Scorpius involved? So many questions! A good start to any mystery is definitely questions!
Hey Beth. Fellow Ravenclaw here for the BvB's Blue Team =)
I've read part of this story before, and I've briefly reviewed it on AO3 a few times, but I haven't followed it for a while now (RL has a way to dampen my reading expectations like I've never seen…). Nevertheless I'm excited to get back into it, and leave you proper reviews this time ^^ although please bear with me if I won't remember the entirety of the plot very well.
I really like how the repetition of her mantra sets the tone of the story, and also reflects Rose's state of mind. The description of the panic attack really feels relatable, it's so well written. It's like you're there with Rose, experiencing the same feelings and emotions. She's just going throught the motions, barely hanging on, and it's perfectly notable in this chapter.
The fact that she sort of blames herself for what happened, thinking that she could have done more to either escape or avoid the situation altogether is heartbreakingly put. You can feel how torn she is and how she feels that her present is a reflection of what happened - and she thinks she let happen - in the past. Worse even that she's tried her best since then to appear as if nothing had changed and as if she isn't hollow inside. It takes a willpower that not everyone has, and even though Rose feels like she's hit rock bottom, it reveals already just how strong a character she is.
It shows in that she's kept the photograph of the four of them, a constant reminder of what was and isn't anymore. It's bittersweet, yet I really liked that Rose managed to smile and remember something good and that she's fond of without it hurting so much.
It's a little curious how Rose kind of "blames" (I don't mean this in a bad way but I can't remember a better word lol) that she got all the attributes from her father that she didn't really need or that couldn't help her escape what happened, instead of the qualities that could have made a difference.
I look forward to coming back for chapter 2!
Favourite quote: "You are left with numbness and nothingness, because that is your mind's only defense against the alternative."
Hi Beth! Here with your requested review!
Right from the start, I'm sucked into this! This was a really interesting way to begin the story, by going right into Rose's panic attack. But since we don't really know much about her or what has happened to her, it really draws you in. I want to know more and I'm curious about what happened!
It's also an interesting detail when she says that everyone thinks she's fine and that she's convinved everyone nothing is wrong. As a reader, I can see that everything is clearly not fine, so I'm curious to see how she's played that off to everyone else.
I really liked the origin story of Rose's friendship with Selenia. It must have been comforting for her and Albus to find someone who didn't know everything about them and their families! It's neat to see them as Ravenclaws too! I'm really curious about the picture though--how exactly does someone get taken on the day of graduation from Hogwarts? I'm excited to read on to find out!
I love your writing style! It's so descriptive without being overly so! It's easy to fall into, and like I said, sucks me into, so I want to know more about Rose and the cabin. I think the flow is really nice and easy to follow and having this repetitive mantra that Rose is also following gives this chapter an interesting theme to follow. I'm excited to get into the story more to really get into the mystery :)
Hey Beth! This is the third of your requested reviews.
Wow... That's all I can really say right about this chapter.
At first, my "wow" was the sudden point of view shift. It was unexpected but I was excited to read Scorpius' thoughts... And he's so smited with Rose! And he also alludes to some things that raise more questions. What does he hesitate to recall (besides the horrific event that unfurls later this chapter)? Why is the Tshirt so important? What's its history between Rose and Scorpius? And to what extent does Albus complicate that?
My second "wow" is at Draco Malfoy. What is he so distant? In the HP books, he's known to be cold. As a father, I imagine him following Lucius' footsteps, but only to a certain extent. I'm glad that Scorpius got along with Astoria so well. I also like how he cooks with his mum. It breaks all sorts of gender roles and adds great depth to him.
My third and final and by far the biggest "wow" is the ending. I had a sinking feeling when Scorpius comes home... but I was hoping that I was wrong. Even though I was a little miffed at Draco earlier in the chapter, I am upset that he's gone now. There's so much more development to happen between him and his son. But it's tragically cut short, and Scorpius is left not only with those haunting images but with his final, frustrating interaction with his parents. This event brings up many more questions: why were they killed? And by whom? What does this mean for Scorpius, back when he was 15 and now?
You have such a complex, intriguing thing happening in this novel, and it's only the third chapter. Great work! I look forward to reading more in the future!
Hi Beth! This is your second of your requested reviews.
I'm glad I had the privilege of reading this chapter immediately after the first chapter. They pair well together. The first was a quiet moment, and in this one, Rose is thrusted into a busy, noisy atmosphere.
You do a great job introducing the major and supporting characters. Sometimes, big casts can get jumbled, but I had an easy time following along--and I love how different everyone is from each other. I think a large part of this is how you introduce everyone through Rose and Scorpius' chemistry. They are so cute together! Fan girl aside, they resonate and play off each other, and I can feel Rose's mood lightening because he's there. There's such comfort when someone you get along so well with (romantic interest or otherwise) can help you relax!
Then... that guy appears. My stomach churned at his advances. I really felt for Rose in that moment. I'm relieved that Scorprius, James, and Dom come quickly to her aid, but I'm also slightly terrified that this wizard Apparated while in a Body Bind Curse! And Rose drops another hint to what happened to her: kidnapping. Why was she kidnapped? How did she escape? Who took her? Did anyone resuce her?
The way Scorpius comforts Rose turns the mood of this chapter back into a calmer, safer one. And despite the gravity of what's just occurred, you insert a bit of humor into the mix with Al bursting in on them both topless! I laughed at that, and it was a clever way to demonstrate everyone's personalities and to show the ways in which they care.
And the ending: Rose felt something. After admitting in the first chapter that she was numb for two years. This is the biggest reason why I'm glad I got to read this chapter straight away after the first. I am so interested in what's going to happen next! Well done.
Hey Beth! This is the first of your requested reviews!
You open this novel in an incredibly vulnerable moment for Rose. Panic attacks are horrible things, and immediately I empathize with her. Whatever haunts her seems to be near the front of her mind on a consistent basis. In this chapter, I like that you don't give us all of the details of what happened. You've left me thinking of what could possibly have happened to Rose, a mystery! I am very intrigued to read on.
Also, the way you include everyone's Sorting is well done in a flashback. It's the gensis of what I assume are the main relationships within this novel. The Fearsome Foursome: Rose, Albus, Scorpius, and Selenia. It's interesting how you have Albus and Scorpius as Ravenclaws; I can't wait to get to know them more to see your interpretation of them. (And Dom and James, they seem to be a riot, too!)
The repitition of Rose's checklist is powerful. For someone coping with trauma, she seems almost mechanical. But that's how she's surviving: top of her class, still able to mostly function socially. Her guilt is gut wrenching, and I'm left hoping that she'll soon be on the path to healing. Well done in conveying such a complex character at a vulnerable moment. You've laid the seeds to what seems to be an intriguing plot!
*Transferred from HPFF*
Ooh! Chapter one and a mystery already! Considering all the clues we've had so far, it makes sense to introduce it in the first chapter, since it is such a big part of Rose's life. Right now, it's her defining characteristic, except that she obviously have a great deal of love for her friends and family.
I really liked the way you wrote about her panic attack. I hope that we get to see her dealing with her anxiety in an "ordinary" way as well. From experience, it can sneak up on you at the most inconvenient of times, but it's not always so bad. You can be fighting the battle on the inside whilst still maintaining a happy front to the rest of the world - which Rose has already mentioned, I believe.
And from the chapter titles, I assume that we're going to be getting different points of view! Woohoo! Nice start!
*review transferred from HPFF*
This is for the Blue vs Bronze review battle!
Beth. How could you? *sobs* Not Selenia! *grabs box of Kleenex*
I really liked your writing here; you could really tell just how shocked and upset everyone was. A lot of Rose's narration in this chapter seemed really impersonal (at least to me) and I felt that it really showed the shock and grief that she was going through, and how she was trying to cope by focusing on her job, mechanically, and on tending after all the other patients.
I feel like this is the beginning of the end of the novel; Selenia's been murdered *sits in puddle of tears* and Rose's pregnancy is further along. If I might make a prediction, I think you'll end it with a cliffhanger, with Rose's/baby's fate unknown, and then make us wait for Book 2/sequel, with the prophecy to deal with.
I'm really looking forward to the next chapter - hopefully nobody else dies (well, nobody we like, anyways; Stannous could die and I'd be really happy) - and this was a wonderful chapter, as always!
*review transferred from HPFF*
This is for the Blue vs Bronze review battle!
YOU UPLOADED ANOTHER CHAPTER YES THANK YOU THANK YOU (I need to finish the next chapter of Seek and Chase to thank you)
It makes me really happy to see that Rose is back to work and isn't beating herself up over the death of Selenia (*glare*). To be honest, I'd forgotten entirely about her medical records assignment. I'm hoping that it will lead into Stannous being caught and sent to prison for the rest of forever. *winks*
I'm really happy that Albus, like Rose, hasn't been torturing himself about Selenia's death. I'm glad that he's trying to get back to work so he can focus on catching Stannous.
But Scorpius. Beth, what are you doing to Scorpius? He seems really stressed out and anxious about everything. I just wish he could get a break.
What. The ending. What. I knew that Albus would find something but I was not expecting that. What. Draco and Astoria's bodies were placed so that they appeared to have died in a car accident? What. Why.
I must know why. New chapter? *offers cookies*
Whew! Glad you took all of my nudging as a compliment. ;) That wasn't a sure thing.
It's really nice to have a chapter every so often that slows the story down and makes the characters human and relatable. This was the perfect way to do that for Rose. I was on the Dad Side of the equation, but I recognized so many of Rose's feelings based on the time when my kids were infants.
"I was afraid that something was wrong with me. I was supposed to be ecstatic and happy and overjoyed to finally have a healthy, lovely baby — but I just couldn’t make myself feel elated." - Perfect summary of that insecurity that lots of new mothers feel! It's such a strange concept, this widely-held belief that babies produce magical "feel-good waves" that overcome all of the stress, exhaustion, worry and social isolation that comes from being a new parent. It just isn't that kind of party.
"I was so envious of all of them, and then the envy spread to guilt. I wasn’t supposed to miss going to work. I was supposed to want to be with my baby." - Again, this is so common among new mothers. This concept that new mothers should sacrifice all sense of personal ambition and achievement as an act of devotion to the child. It's so at odds with the reality that, as the child grows up, it will be these ambitions and achievements that make you a good role model to your children. Humans are weird creatures.
The way you brought the chapter around to conclusion was nicely done. Weasley family support carries the day!
I'm really glad to see you coming back to the story! Can't wait to see what's next for my Rose and Scorpius!
OK YAY MORE ABOUT ALBUS. I was looking forward to something like this; I think I mentioned earlier that I felt his character was a little one-dimensional, and this chapter definitely proved me wrong there.
Your characterization of Albus is rather different than what I’ve read before. Love the idea of him being in Ravenclaw, clearly a superior house ;) I also like that he isn’t a totally rational Ravenclaw. I think that’s a stereotype of Ravenclaws that really falls with the “we’re-just-nerds” stereotype, when in fact, we are so much more complicated than that. Albus’s personality is also rather different than what I’ve read before. At first, I thought he was a bit of a cad because of his flirtatious womanizer ways—and I suppose he still is a little bit like that? But if anything, I see some of Ron in him in his temper and desire to prove himself. Speaking of, I think that’s a wonderful character nuance, because ya so true—he has a lot to live up to.
I’m so curious about this tension between Albus and Harry. During the entire duel, all I could think was: WOW THAT ESCALATED FAST. (Oh, and that the fuel was extraordinarily well written, which is so impressive because those fast action-packed scenes can be difficult to write well). I can understand why Harry wanted to make an example out of Albus, and I can definitely understand why Albus would be irritated—so that’s why it confused me that the situation refused as quickly as it started, that Albus acknowledged that his father was right. I wonder if there will be lingering tensions between them. That would be an interesting thematic idea: father-son tensions.
I love that Scorpius calls Harry Harry by the way hahha! To me that shows the degree of familiarity between Scorpius and the Potters and how he’s really integrated himself into the Potters—how the Potters are a second family to him, which is honestly rather sweet.
I found it to be an interesting choice to tell us abot Scorpius and Rose’s weekend together retrospectively, especially because it sounds somfreakin’ adorable. I’m just wondering why you wanted to do that? I certainly saw merits; this allowed you to focus on the aftermath, on the Scorpius/Albus dynamic, and inject a little drama into Scorpius’s revelation of his feelings (though I think that if Rose doesn’t know them already, she’s pretty freaking blind hahaha).
Thank you for another fantastic chapter! This story is so compelling and never fails to make me laugh and smile and think. (The last scene made me giggle hahah). Onto the next chapter!