Reviews For Unpave My Path


Name: TidalDragon (Signed) · Date: 01 Jan 2020 06:58 AM · For: Mistakes

Howdy Meg!

 

The story is absolutely incredible. Insanely incredible really. I was garbage and didn't read hardly anything for the FROGS last year, but this...I'm not sure how it didn't win. The experiences are so raw, so visceral. You capture a person on a horribly self-destructive path born (largely anyway) out of a critical event that disturbs their world and self-views perfectly. The drug use, the homelessness and/or couch-surfing among whoever will have them which often becomes increasingly dangerous, the despair at who they once were and who they once thought they could become - how far they are from their own ideal is so true to life. I felt like I was reading the story of a few of the defendants who come through court frequently - some of whom beg for their maximum sentence so they have a place to live and eat. One of whom I know fell a really long way after actually being a victim before.

 

That all being said, Lily is so fortunate to still have the strength to recognize rock-bottom rather than continuing with her adage 'what's one more mistake' and salvage her relationships before even her parents will have absolutely nothing to do with her. It's really so encouraging to see her pull herself into a position where she's rebuilding herself and her self-belief that I'm honestly just really swollen with emotion over her story.

 

I could go on and on about all of this for I don't know how long, but I'll just close with telling you again how amazing, powerful, deep, inspiring (Lily's story from beginning to end), and just moving it is. There's honestly not a lot of writing that I've felt more emotional about after reading it than this piece and I'm glad that you shared this with us.



Name: sunshine_locks (Signed) · Date: 06 Oct 2019 04:35 AM · For: Mistakes

Hey Meg! I’m here for my end of the review swap! I’m super sorry about being a little bit late with this one, but I’m here now! I’ve been eying this story for a while now, so I’m glad I finally get to read it! :^) (Also, just a heads up, this is more likely to be commentary and ramblings on the story rather than constructive criticism because the tags on this are literally shaping this story up to be catnip for me, haha.)

 

I think the first thing I have to say just how well you set the scene of the story. That might just due to my bias of thinking pubs just add a sort of debauched feel to everything—but already it’s easy to tell that Lily is not in a Good Place right now. She’s so clearly doing all of this to avoid thinking about someone—an abusive ex, maybe? But either way, just the way she talks about her sexual escapades as mistakes, and just her general apathy towards everything. I really feel for her right now, especially since it’s really obvious that she’s kind of using hypersexuality as a way to cope with trauma, and… yeah.

 

And god, her ex is a real tool, huh? I mean I’ve heard of bad breakups, and then there’s this dumpster fire of an ex-boyfriend. Honestly what a dick. Lily deserves a lot better.

 

And ah, Rose. She’s something else, for real. I think that she genuinely does care about Lily, but her tone, words, and attitude just grate me the wrong way, and I think Lily as well. I think in situations like this, it’s important to keep it about the victim and make sure not to alienate them more than they already are, if they are. And Rose sort of made it all Lily’s fault, in a way? I don’t know. But really, no one’s perfect and neither am I, so mistakes are bound to occur. I also think that you made a really good comparison between what are good ways and then the bad ways to confront Lily, but they have their drawbacks as well. Like being too soft might not get you anywhere but being too confrontational might make someone feel defensive. I just hope that Lily and Rose get a chance to talk and make amends, or something.

 

And Michael makes me feel really uncomfortable. Sleeping with your ex-girlfriend’s daughter? Gross. It also reminds of me of this scene in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend where Rebecca sleeps with her friend’s father, and it was sort of the thing that sent her past her tipping point. And I feel like sleeping with her mother’s ex-boyfriends was a really low moment for Lily as well.

 

Her moment with Harry was also really heartbreaking. It just kind of shows how… I guess isolated is the word? How isolated she is. I imagine that Lily is really close with her parents (considering that Harry is covering rent for her), so it must really be something if she’s finding it hard to talk to them.

 

And then everything after that moment was hard to read as well, especially because it’s an emotional rollercoaster. But every part of it was relatable. I can’t really relate to Lily’s specific situation, but I understand her feelings. Like feeling that you might not make it out the other end if you kept on living this way, or just breaking down and wanting your mother. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve just wanted to be held by my own mom whenever I’m at a depressive low.

 

Everything about this ending was amazing though. I totally want to see what happens during the recovery process (which as I understand is the third part of this trilogy?), but the ending right now was great, like a release. This was only a one-shot, but I’m already so invested in Lily’s story, haha. I like that she decides for herself that she wants to get better, because that’s already a step towards recovery, you know?

 

I’m really in love with this one-shot, so I can’t wait to read the prequel, and the sequel when it’s up!

 

Thank you for writing! xx



Name: Aphoride (Signed) · Date: 29 May 2019 03:38 PM · For: Mistakes

Hey there, Meg! :) Omg so you've got so many new things on your page - it's exciting! I decided to stop by this one since consent issues isn't really my thing and I was curious about your Lily - especially since it seemed a very different direction to how most people go with Next Gen. 

 

And ahhhhh I'm actually really sold on this? Like, there's something so refreshing about seeing a story about one of the Potter kids where they really mess up - and not in a cute, I'm so cool, look at me kinda way, but in a seriously bad, running-the-risk-of-being-in-real-real-trouble-your-parents-can't-bail-you-out-of kinda thing. 

 

I love the way you write how it happened as well. I know you say in your end notes that it's inspired by what happened to you in your life and I think the writing-based-on-real-events has made this one-shot all the better. It's so strong and so real and I love that there's absolutely no justification in this. Lily literally has a bad break-up with a bad boyfriend. That's it. And she spirals - because sometimes all it takes is something small and simple and you can't stop it. It's so true and so sad to watch her go through at the beginning - especially as it just almost feels more and more hopeless as the story goes on and she's really alienating all the people closest to her :/ But it's real and that gives this whole story this kind of raw, emotional feel I love about almost all your writing, but especially this. 

 

I love the way as well that Harry and Rose and James, and even Albus, end up being pushed into such awkward and difficult situations. It's not easy to watch someone struggle, especially if they won't listen or won't help themselves - or can't, as well, and Lily can't for a lot of this - and it's easier to just... check out of that relationship, especially if there's things you struggle with. Toxic people are toxic even if they're struggling and I kinda love that elements of that come through with Lily: how cruel she is to Rose, who's only trying to help (not succeeding, tbf, but yk), and how she just can't be rude to her dad, even though she wants to. Those relationships are complex and hard and I love that that comes through so well; there's no right or easy answers. Ahhhh it's just so good! 

 

I love how it gets worse for Lily before it gets better: how she has to be thrown out and risking homelessness before she goes home and sort of accepts that she needs help? And it was lovely seeing her ask for it, yk, even if it wasn't so much asking as just... collapsing, and Ginny and Harry being there for her. It was a really sweet moment and it made me smile :) 

 

I'm so excited to see where you go with the other two stories in this - especially if there's a sequel story, because I'd love to see her get better and how she moves forward. She deserves it ;) 

 

Laura xx



Name: Lacey Black (Signed) · Date: 03 Apr 2019 09:12 PM · For: Mistakes

Hey love

So to start this story really spoke to me on a few different levels. You write her character so well, and she is so relatable and beautifully broken you cannot help but want to gather her in your arms and just hold her.

The way you describe how she is in a downward spiral, being self destructive after feeling betrayed and basically destroyed as a human being is so amazingly honest and raw. I love how expressionate you write about Lily as a person. There’s no room for her to care that her family is hurting over her behaviour, because she hurts so much. And the way that she allows herself to not feel anything is so well depicted you truly bring a very strong element to the character. You describe depression and the feeling of having nothing left perfectly.


I think that how shes perfectly happy being miserable is such an interesting trait for Lily, She’s the child of heroes, and yet she is too afraid to ask for help.  She is so well thought out And SO dark but in a very deep and emotional way.  Sometimes a person feels so broken they can’t feel anything anymore and need a way to escape the intense emptiness: and that’s exactly what I gather from how you wrote her behaviour at bars, her drug alcohol abuse and sexual activity . ;There are different ways of accomplishing the escape from the empty feeling inside and Lily’s choices are very realistic. In a sense she believes she is not hurting people the way she was hurt as long as they allow her to continue destroying herself. That would be so heartbreaking for a parent and I don’t blame her father for finally letting her reach rock bottom.


I think that lily getting to that point was the best thing Harry and Ginny could have done, otherwise she’d never have wanted to get her life together. They were enabling her behaviour by paying her rent, and allowing her to slowing destroy all the relationships she had in her life.


I can’t imagine what it would be like to have a child go down such a dark and horrible path.  It would probably break me apart into tiny pieces.


Thank you for writing this. Thing was honestly one of the best stories I’ve read.  You did an amazing job on this.  I hope my review makes sense I almost cried at a few points,  this really was a truly great story that I could personally relate to on so many levels

Xoxo


Your mistress



Name: Cupid's Arrow (Anonymous) · Date: 15 Feb 2019 08:58 AM · For: Mistakes

Hey, it's your Secret Snake here to leave you a Valentine's gift!

All I can say is - wow. This is the type of story I usually avoid, for the obvious trigger reasons, but I'm glad I didn't. Brought up some memories of the past, which can be pretty ugly. (My experiences were in no way this traumatic, thankfully. It was getting there, though...)

So, I feel for Lily. Men can suck, really and truly suck. (There are some that don't, and they're what's at the End of the Rainbow.) I can perfectly understand the spiral that she's found herself falling into. Addiction can be a powerful thing to break, and when you don't want to break them, but fall into them and let them consume you, it can be heartbreaking for those around you that love you. It doesn't matter what the addiction is, really.

That her family tried to be there shows just how much they love her. That they were willing to stick to the 'tough love' approach shows a strength in that family tie that had. It had to kill Harry to cut her off. But it had to be Lily to realize and dig herself out of the hole she'd put herself in.

(How many cliches can I tuck in here?)

I'm glad she went home, and that she realized that was where she needed to go. The most simple of answers sometimes don't come to us until too late. And - it almost had been. Rock bottom. She'd physically landed herself in the ditch, but she came out of it.

Wiser.

I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of this story.  Thank you for writing this.



Name: MuggleMaybe (Signed) · Date: 12 Feb 2019 10:01 PM · For: Mistakes

Hello darling!

 

My goodness, the part of this I read before was really only the tip of the iceberg. 

 

I know I promised you a review, but this is such a hard to bear story.. I'm afraid my review is going to be a bit of a mess.

 

The fractured relationship between Lily and her dad breaks my heart. I know he's just worried about her, but she really is so much more fragile than he seems to relalize. She needs compassion and kindness. Thank goodness for Al, and Neville, and Ginny.

 

Thank goodness for moms. 

 

Her eviction was not something I'd thought about, but it makes sense. If that happened to you and you were actually homeless, I am so, so sorry. And I'm so glad that part of your life is over. Staying with Siobhan seemed really scary. I'm glad she left there.

 

I was so relieved when Lily went home. I was honestly afraid what would happen to her, and it seemed like she wouldn't see reason even with Rose and Albus trying to help her. (I'm thinking Rose was probably kinder than Lily perceives, even if her approach was flawed.) It's so true that there is nothing more comforting than a hug from a loving mother. 

 

It seems like she was able to overcome her addictions pretty easily, which surprised me. I would definitely be interested to read a more detailed versaion of the end of this story. 

 

This is really hurty, Meg, but it's also very good.

 

xoxo Renee



Name: cambangst (Signed) · Date: 10 Feb 2019 07:48 AM · For: Mistakes

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Hi, Meg!

 

First off, thanks for sharing this story and pointing it out. The subject matter is very gripping and real. Situations are instantly recognizable, even if some of the particulars are a little different from things in my own past. That endlessly repeating circle of self-loathing leading to depression leading to self-destructive behavior leading to more self-loathing. Lather, rinse, repeat until rock bottom is reached.

 

I'm left to wonder where Lily found this jerk who broke her heart, but then again, where do any of us find the ones who trample on our self-esteem and wreck our entire lives? The details aren't really relevant and, for the most part, you treat them that way.

 

In a weird way, I almost felt badly for Rose. She's trying the only way she seems to know how. Which, plainly, is the absolute wrong way to go about it. She's inherited far too much from her mother.

 

Michael Corner. That was... a bold choice. Definitely takes the ick factor to a whole other level. As a reader, you can no longer tell yourself the little white lie that goes, maybe things aren't as bad as Lily imagines them to be. Because Michael Corner. Ick.

 

“Lily!” She heard Rose call out from the kitchen. “Come on, we need to talk. You can’t keep avoiding conversations when they start to become too much for you!” -- Jesus, Rose. You were doing badly enough and then you had to go there??? What's next? Asking her whether Michael was good in bed?

 

The scene with Siobhan Finnigan was another fine piece of writing. The feeling of dissociation and complete loss of control were perfect. It was as though you were reading about Lily watching her own life from a distance. The best she can salvage from the whole situation was at least everyone else left her flat at the end of the night.

 

Good old Albus. He is usually the Steady Eddie of these "Weasley cousin falling apart" stories. Unless, of course, he's the cousin that's falling apart. But I digress.

 

“I’m fine, Al. Really,” -- Well, you know which parent she got that from.

 

I'm finding it hard to think of something to say about the chat between Lily and her father. It's very sad, because I could feel that she's not there quite yet. She hasn't reached the point where she's ready to try to change, which is the only point that really matters when a person is in this situation. Given his reaction, I'm sure Harry knows that. He wants her to succeed, but I really don't think he expects her to. Which is very sad.

 

Yet it gets sadder from there. Watching Lily sabotage her last chances at pulling out of the nosedive really cemented the situation she's in. This line summed it up quite well: "And she couldn’t remember a time when she’d ever hated herself quite as much."

 

I'll pause for a moment and say that it's a very good thing that magicals seem to be immune from STI's. Because, I can't see how Lily and her friend Siobhan would avoid being exposed. What a disaster! 

 

I've been wondering since the beginning when we would see Ginny in this story. She felt like a striking omission, but I see that you were saving her for the end. Lily's final breakdown was completely heart-breaking. When she was standing on the doorstep, I was sitting on the edge of my seat because I was still half–convinced that she would lose her nerve. But she didn't, and from there the healing seems to begin.

 

Suggestions? I know this ended up being fairly long for a one-shot, but I did feel like the last section with Ginny should have been longer. In most of the early scenes, you did a great job of carefully exploring Lily's emotions and reactions. The last scene felt... I'm not sure easy is the right word, but it did read very quickly. I also felt like Ginny's and especially Harry's reactions to Lily should have been more guarded. This isn't their first rodeo with her, although I suppose it is the first time she's sought them out for help.

 

Overall, great story! Thanks for writing it!



Name: Chemical_Pixie (Signed) · Date: 09 Feb 2019 10:06 PM · For: Mistakes

Hey Meg! Here for our swap!

 

Wow. What an incredibly powerful story. It is absolutely heartbreaking to see someone go through the struggles that Lily goes through.

 

But she goes through it. She knows that it's... well not wrong, exactly, but not right. And she can't stop herself from doing it. She's fallen into a pattern of this incredibly self-descructive behavior, and she kind of knows it but she can't really stop it. It's this ongoing, downward spiral, and I really feel for her. I have struggled with mental health, so I can emphasize with her.

 

And I think that it is so striking that you have Rose, Al, Siobhan, and Harry playing such critical roles in Lily's life. All of their approaches towards trying to help Lily don't quite hit the mark, do they? Rose is the "This is the way things properly are supposed to be done" type. Al is the "Let me help you straighten up before Dad comes" type. And Harry is "I'm enabling you by paying for you so I'm going to stop." While he does recognize this, I felt like there were so many other things for him to do and say to support her. And do NOT get me started on Siobhan, but she is an important character, for these toxic friendships happen all the time. By including all of these characters, you really show how complex Lily's problems are, and how they effect others. That is such brilliant writing. Well done!

 

Thank you for having the strength in telling a story like this, especially considering this little series is based on events in your life. It takes such courage to write and to share, and I thank you for that. I'll definitely be back for more!



Name: Felpata_Lupin (Signed) · Date: 07 Feb 2019 04:45 PM · For: Mistakes

Hey, Meg! Here for our swap!

Well, this was... intense? I'm not sure I'll do a great job at reviewing this, because I'm still trying to process it all...

Lily is in such a dark place throughout this and my heart breaks for her... and for her family, too, because it must be so hard for them to watch her downfall and not really being able to do anything to stop it. Although, I have to admit, I'm a bit angry at Harry (and to an extent at Rose, too) and his ultimatum. I would have wanted him to try to give her support... but he'd probably tried to do that a lot already and just got to the point where he couldn't bear it anymore? Either way, it's heartbreaking.

(Side note: I love Albus. He's absolutely adorable and I'm so glad he, at least, is still trying to just be there for his sister.)

Back to Lily... I find it so hard to imagine everything she's been through and getting to the point she did, but at the same time I feel like it's all so sadly believable and real and I feel so bad for her (but also I'm a little bit angry at her, too, for everything she's done to herself and the people who care for her). Her breakdown at the end was so heartbreaking and I'm so glad she decided to come back to her parents' and that she finally found the strenght to react and rebuild her life. I wish she didn't have to touch the bottom before starting climbing up again...

And now I am sort of curious to know what happened with Shane and how she ended up in that self-destructing cycle she did... but also, I know that I'm going to hate him a lot... the small bits of him you showed in this piece were enough to make me despise him deeply already...

Before I leave you (after this totally inconcludent review), let me tell you for the umpteenth time how marvellous your writing is. You have such vivid descriptions and everything felt so real, each emotion, each voice, each setting, each situation. It really feels like being physically inside the scene, and your writing is so captivating and just keeps the reader hooked till the very end. You are just a great writer.

Hope I made a little bit of sense (and did the story a little bit of justice).

Thank you so much for swapping, dear, it's always the biggest pleasure!

Lots of love and snowball hug,

Chiara



Name: Theia (Signed) · Date: 07 Feb 2019 02:33 PM · For: Mistakes

Hi Meg, here for our swap. :)

 

I was drawn immediately into this story by those vivid descriptions in the opening paragraph. I love the alliteration in the second sentence - stale stench (of alcohol) saturated - and the way the pub is described as a den of debauchery. I love such films and stories, they hold the promise of so much angst while reflecting the raw, real nature of human life. I also love that you've chosen Lily as your protagonist for this. It's the first time I've read anything where Lily has even set foot in a pub.

 

My heart goes out to her. It's so sad that she feels like a background character and like she needs to numb herself physically and mentally to deal with the pain of what she went through. That she's used to giving people a false smile indicates that she's been feeling this way for a while, mindlessly going through the motions. I also hate that a man has made her feel this way, someone who seems to have been important to her, probably her romantic partner. The way you've written her internal thoughts when she looks over Adam/Ian is so strong, and I love the way you've captured her voice with the "...mental limbo nightmare" and "What was another mistake, when it seemed she had recently acquired a taste for them?" It's so hard-hitting.

 

How dare he blame Lily. Asgdfkg. Honestly, this flashback hit pretty close to home. I was in a bad relationship with someone of a similar temperament in my teens, which I've since dealt with, so reading this wasn't triggering, but it was relatable. I could connect to Lily's feelings so much after this bit of detail.

 

Ugh, I don't like Rose's tone. She seems really judgy from the minute she stepped into the kitchen. Not sure what her intentions are, tapping her fingers on the table and making sharp remarks, but she seems pretty combative at the moment.

 

Micheal Corner. What a sleazeball. I don't blame her one bit, since she hadn't known who he was, but that he knowingly slept with her is just. Ugh. What a twisted creep. Rose could have been a bit more sensitive about it all though. Like, seriously Rose, how would you feel if you found out the guy you slept with was a sicko? And then with the bomb about the rent. I'm with Lily here. Rose really seems like she's rubbing all of this in Lily's face. It's infuriating.

 

I'm also mad at Harry at this point. He seems to be jumping straight to the conclusion that she lost the job, than that something went wrong that made her leave, and also judging her for her promiscuity. It's one thing to be worried about her - if he knows there's something to worry about - but the way he phrased his words was quite hurtful. It's a very impulsive, frustrated dad-like response and I can totally see him saying something like that in a fit of frustration, but ughhh. Not cool.

 

Geez, Rose, probably not the right approach to take with someone you're worried about, is it? It kind of seems like she has her own insecurities, and she's lording the fact that she's in a better place that Lily right now. But this cold-one-minute-warm-the-next behaviour is really not conducive to an honest conversation. I would absolutely do the same thing as Lily and avoid her, wanting my space.

 

I didn't think it could get worse but Rose just had to be snappy, put forward her point in exactly the wrong, condescending way, AND bring up Shane as well. Gosh, Rose is totally lacking in the compassion department here.

 

Yeah, Rose right about the self-destruction, and I do agree that Lily may have been childish and dramatic with the whole covering of her ears, but Rose was really, really annoying there. She couldn't take a hint and seriously kept crossing lines despite her good intentions as she claims to have. I don't blame Lily one bit for wanting to remove her from the house.

 

"It's not like you're the only person in the world who has had their heart broken." Ummm. Harsh. Completely on Lily's side here, that was just too much. I get that sometimes people need tough love but there was nothing in Rose's manner or what she said that indicated that she was actually trying to help. I would have Flipendo'd her as well at that moment, just wanting some silence. It's bad enough that Lily's spiralling, Rose didn't have to make it worse with her words. I also hate that Rose made it all about herself when she left.

 

I love the way you've written Lily's self-destructive behaviour. That she's able to identify the harmful behaviour but is continuing on, justifying it with irrational thoughts of having to prove she could continue, is such a realistic, powerful depiction of her mental state right now. It seems like she feels the need to punish herself in some way, even though she knows none of what went down with Shane was her fault. "She never felt present during the entire debacle. <br> Add yet another mistake to the list." This whole paragraph, and especially the ending, was a punch in the gut. I hate what she's going through but your writing is absolutely brilliant.

 

Ah man, things don't seem to be looking any better. Albus coming over just after she's had an eventful night, only to tell her Harry's coming as well, is just... gah, poor Lily.

 

I'm glad that she at least has one person who isn't going to be lashing out at her. She's in such a dark place right now, and her family seem to be reaching their limit as well, but the way they're treating her is not helping things one bit. James judging her and wanting nothing to do with her is really cold of him. It really warms by heart to know Albus is showing genuine concern towards her.

 

I love how you've slipped in a mention of Scorbus into this. <3

 

Lily observing her father and her thoughts about how age seemed to hit people all at once was so well written and sad. I want to hug her so badly and tell her not to blame herself, to reach out to people for help.

 

And Harry. I just. Why the look of disgust, ugh. My feelings are so conflicted when it comes to him. On one hand, he seems to be at his wit's end, not knowing what to do with her, feeling like he needs to give her a hard push into looking at her choices. But on the other hand, his approach is just... harsh, with the look of disgust and exasperated tone. It makes me wonder whether he even knows she's struggling.

 

Brb need to bawl my eyes out for a bit.

 

Okay, I'm back.

 

Oh gosh, Lily. I don't even know what to type here. It's devastating that she's reached the point of not caring at all, and is sabotaging her own life and potential career options. She seems to have deeply internalised her shame over her sexual activities, while pushing herself even further to bury everything to do with Shane and just. No one deserves this. I really want to kick Shane where it hurts.

 

"Now, Lily was homeless, broke, and completely broken." Meg, your writing has broken me.

 

It's so sweet of Neville to let Lily stay at the Leaky for free. He's such a wonderful, kind person and I love how you've brought him and Hannah into this. His characterisation is spot on.

 

Siobhan does not seem like a good friend to have, she's clearly making a lot of bad choices herself. I'm glad that Lily had someone to turn to when she was homeless though.

 

Omg. I did not expect her to come so close to death as well. I'm so relieved she had her wand on her, and was able to respond quickly enough. That was scary.

 

I'm so glad that she decided to get help, and to go to her mother for it. I love that it was her mother she thought of - the feeling of "I just want my mum" is so relatable. The way she ran to Ginny and hugged her and cried was. I have no words. I love that you've ended this on a hopeful note and I absolutely agree with those closing lines.

 

This was so visceral and raw, Meg. It's sad to know that these were inspired by events from your life, all the hugs to you. Your writing is absolutely fantastic in this, and it's truly one of the best, most emotional fics I've read recently. Also, I love your song choice. <3

 

Please let me know once you post the prequel to this, I'd love to read it. Thank you for the swap!

 

Nim.



Name: Crimson Quill (Signed) · Date: 07 Feb 2019 02:33 PM · For: Mistakes

 

Hey darling!

 

Here for our swap.

 

I thought this piece was really well written. I thought a real strength of this piece was getting inside Lily's head that you've written these emotions that flow so clearly from one problem to another that it feels very realistic as a conscious stream of thoughts that we all have. Therefore I thought Lily's inner monologue was exceptionally worked for this one-shot. 

 

The imagery in the first scene just grabbed my imagination and I got a very clear mental picture straight away which I thought was a really good way to set up the story. Lily feels very lost even from the beginning. I feel like it's interesting to have Lily can see where her problem is yet still choosing actively ignore it. A lot of people who go off the rails don't notice it's bad until it's way too late. Lily has some conscious understanding for her actions in this piece which is obvious in her conversation with Rose.

 

You've captured Lily's raw desperation so well, Lily is going off the rails but I feel for her. I feel like I want to look after her and guide her back to the light but I know at the same time that everyone in her life has been trying to that without success but I really care for her character. Lily has a journey to go on to get better to start to heal from her experiences. You've walked us through that hell made Lily someone that I (and other readers) can root for.

 

I'll be reading the next one because I feel like I need that context because I feel like I'll appreciate this piece even more. I'm interested to find out more details of Lily's life with Shane.

 

 

Wonderful job on this raw and gritty piece.

 

-  Abbi xo 

 


 



Name: dreamgazer220 (Signed) · Date: 07 Feb 2019 01:02 PM · For: Mistakes

Hi, Meg! I'm here for our swap. It's been so long since I've read your writing, but I can tell how much it's grown.

Right away I'm drawn into the setting, and poor Lily Luna. The feeling of being a background character in your own story is one of the worst, and my heart really aches for her.  Your use of description works so well here, really painting a clear picture of the pub and everything that's going on.  Lily just seems so detached from it all, not even paying attention to what the guy's saying. I feel like all in all, Lily just needs a really good hug and a warm blanket. Maybe some cocoa. 

I'm glad her family is trying to be there for her.  First with Rose, then with Al; and I loved how she was softer with Albus than she was with Rose. I really enjoyed the tension between Lily and Rose, though, how to Lily, Rose was living this perfect life.  It's almost like they both just need a little perspective from each other, y'know? But it was a really heartbreaking scene, all of it was, Meg. But in a beautiful way, because everything flowed so nicely and the descriptions continued to be amazing. 

I'm super curious to know what happened with Shane. At first, that was going to be my only piece of critique, but once you said we'd find out in the next installment, I set that aside. You give us just enough memories with Lily in the beginning to paint a picture, and I can see he must've been truly awful -- but I do want to know what happened. 

In the end, I'm really glad Lily found the inner strength to go home and be with her parents.  And that her parents, in a very Harry and Ginny way, agreed to help her out.  The end gave us (and Lily) some much needed hope and I hope she's able to continue to put herself right again. But cutting off bad behaviors and vices isn't easy. I just want to give Lily a hug, TBH.

This was really beautiful and tragic and heartbreaking, Meg. Thank you for sharing this story with us, and for the swap! It's been far too long, and I'll be eagerly waiting the next installment. ♥♥



Name: Alexis Black (Signed) · Date: 07 Feb 2019 10:12 AM · For: Mistakes

Heya Meg!

I've read this twice now because the weight of the subject matter and how well you portrayed it demanded no less. So many other Next-Gen tales center around the next kids at Hogwarts, perhaps dabble with the hardship of being the child of someone famous like Harry or Hermione. Or perhaps the next generation of threat (Delphini, anyone?) to the wizarding world. Not bad, no ... just standard fare.

Few ever venture into this sort of territory, though. The grittiness of what Lily is doing is unrelenting. Drinking. Sleeping around. Heck, sleeping with Michael Corner? Her life is caught in a destructive vortex - spiraling the drain of life in ever smaller circles. This is like watching a slow-moving train wreck - you see it coming, you're wincing but you can't stop watching despite knowing how painful this is going to get.

And now I have to point out that damn, thank Merlin for cleaning spells! Lily should kiss whoever invented them. And it's nice to see Harry isn't perfect and still having difficulties handling the Floo. Not that working the Floo is the worst of his problems.

Of course, Lily's life can't be cleaned up as easily as incanting ‘Scorgify' and waving a wand. Sometimes it takes hitting rock bottom - no, a lot of times it takes that. Your portrayal of it is just heartrending. Having a daughter near that age makes it all the more so for me. You've written out one of my nightmares and painted it too vividly.

I want to say this was a lovely one-shot, but it wasn't. It was gut-wrenching and powerful and worth reading more than twice. Now go write the sequel, okay?

~Alexis



Name: TreacleTart (Signed) · Date: 07 Feb 2019 06:50 AM · For: Mistakes

Hey my dearest! 

 

I’m here to leave you a review for our review swap! I’m so happy to be swapping again with you. It’s like the older days when we were in the same house and both super active on the site.

 

Well, this is dark and depressing. Obviously, it’s meant to be because of the subject matter, but that didn’t make it any easier. That said, addiction, depression, downward spirals...I feel like these are all super important issues and ones that don’t get talked about enough.

 

Lily 2 is an interesting character choice for this since she’s so often portrayed as super innocent or kind of spoiled. I like the idea of her rebelling and pushing Harry to his limits. I imagine since she’s his only daughter, she’d be able to get away with a lot more than Albus or James. 

 

Siobahn is a nightmare of a friend. She is the worst sort of enabler. She’s just as messed up as Lily is and they’re dragging each other in a crash trajectory towards rock bottom.

 

I’m glad that Lily eventually goes home and gets her stuff together. She really needed it.

 

And the fact that this series of one-shots is inspired by your own life makes me want to simultaneously give you a hug and go beat the crap out of Shane. 

 

This was brutal, but very well done. 

 

Lots of love!

 

~Kaitlin

 

 



Name: Rumpelstiltskin (Signed) · Date: 06 Feb 2019 11:41 PM · For: Mistakes

Hey, Queen! O/ I'm here for our swap! 

 

You wove the tale of Lily's downward spiral SO incredibly well -- it's relatable, and tragic, and so amazingly raw. The mental toll it's taking on her is shown really well, too -- where she's fighting back against anything that could possibly be good for her, clinging to things that will make her feel something (and make her numb simultaneously). And you set the mood for this right from the start, where she's uncaring of what (or who) she's doing, just so long as it helps her (or at least what she thinks is helping her).

 

While everything that happened with Shane is what sent Lily down this road of self-destruction, I'm still entirely relieved that she is away from him. I don't think she could have possibly gone about healing herself (even if her journey to get there was wayward and could've led down a much different path than what she ultimately came to). Speaking of, I'm insanely happy to see that she finally figures out how to start doing what's best for her in the end, and that she shouldn't let some god-awful human-being mess her up like that. 

 

I'm getting ahead of myself.

 

I especially loved the conversation with Rose, as it further supported the idea of just how bad of a state Lily's in. Rose clearly loves Lily, and witnessing someone you love continue to go down a path of self-destruction can't be easy. Hooking up with her mom's ex is a whole level of self-loathing that I think added some even more layers to her mental state, but that's neither here nor there. But the lashing out at Rose for trying to help is what really drove this home, especially once Lily was reasoning with herself that she should've felt bad after she'd thrown the spell at her. The problem Lily is facing the most is that she doesn't want to be helped. 

 

I also can't blame Harry for trying to implement some "tough love" scenario by cutting her rent. It's awful to know that your child need help but can't quite figure out how to help her from herself. And my heart absolutely breaks when Al is trying to reach out to his little sister without crossing lines that are going to set her off. It's such a terrible situation for absolutely everyone involved, and the only one who can save Lily is Lily at this point (but, once again, she doesn't want to be saved, not yet anyway).

 

 And then the story hits a pivotal moment where Harry does, indeed, stop giving Lily rent. Having to scramble for a place to sleep, not having money to eat or take care of herself, and ultimately having to resolved to go crawling back to her parents are all factors into why Lily started to finally wake up, realizing that she needed to actually start getting her ish together before it was too late. I'm so glad to see things start to take a positive turn by the end of this -- on the path she was headed down, Lily could have come into some serious trouble, or worse... I'm so happy to see her lean on her family finally, who are all trying to love and support her and HELP her. 

 

You dealt with some really dark themes in this, and I think you've done an amazing job handling them. <3 As always, I love your writing.

 

-Rumpels <3 



Name: crestwood (Signed) · Date: 05 Feb 2019 12:42 AM · For: Mistakes

Hello Meg! I’ve been dying to get to this story and, having cleared my review thread and wrapped up most of my other responsibilities, I finally can sit down and get into it. I’ve recently taken to listening to A Mistake on repeat so it’s nice to have an actual reason for this behavior.


Right off the bat, I’m excited because - cigarettes, dimly lit pubs best described as den’s of debauchery, forgetting about life - all of this is extremely my jam.


But then almost immediately I’m sad once she starts talking about feeling like a background character. And of course, trying to forget pain through occupying yourself with vices is just one of those sad universal truths. (You’re definitely the right person to come to about TC) The way she reacts to this guy whispering in her ear makes it clear that there’s probably a specific person in her past she’s running from. (it’s funny how we run from people who are not chasing us)


‘What was another mistake, when it seemed she had recently acquired quite a taste for them?’ really is a stand out line, it absolutely gets into the heart of the song this is based on.


I’m reeling from even the small little flashback we get of the ex. Dirtbag doesn’t quite cover it, but I’m not totally sure what I can away with saying on the archives.


Rose’s tone toward Lily when she enters her flat is not ideal. I probably would’ve left the room without bothering with her.

Oh my, it really is creepy that Michael slept with Lily. It’s not too bad on her end since she didn’t know, but something tells me he was super aware of who she was and totally should have mentioned that he dated her mum, ugh.


I get Lily’s situation regardless of the unfortunate circumstances and the fact that much of her family seems to have had enough. Stuff happens, you know. I’d spark up a spliff too if I had to have this conversation with Rose, honestly. I know I’m supposed to be feeling like Lily went too far and shouldn’t have done that to her cousin, but I can’t bring myself not to put myself in her shoes and I totally was rooting for her to do just that before she did it, so I’m sticking to Lily’s side in this particular fight.


I feel really bad about the whole situation with Siobhan, reading that she never felt present through it all. You never really want to feel that way, about anything really. You should always feel here, you know? I suppose she’s drinking quite a lot.


Al is basically doing the exact same thing Rose tried to do, but it feels so much more genuine, like he actually wants to level with her and help her.


Albus and Scorpius have moved out, together? Hmm, interesting :P


It was really difficult to read the conversation with Harry, to be honest. But the anger and the way she lashed out afterwards was so raw, I could feel her emotions very clearly through what you’d written. Have a little lump in my throat, but such good writing.


Lily’s avoidant behavior with the letters from jobs is all too familiar and just breaks my heart. Of course Neville would help her out though, he’s too kind to leave her on her own.


Absolutely terrifying that Lily got into the situation with the bad drug deal and then I was just unable to figure out how to react to her going home. I’m just...gutted. What a beautiful story, so difficult to read, but so rewarding to reach the end of. My thoughts are really tied up in knots and I just - have to say that you’ve got something special here. Every bit of this hit me squarely in the chest. Amazing work, really, Meg. I’m so glad to have inadvertently inspired this. I’m going to discuss this further in private messages, but for now I’ll just say I loved it. Thank you for swapping!

 

Joey



Author's Response:

Joey, my love. I don't even know how to properly respond to this, besides with a string of GJOENOGPENGFNOENIONBINEOWNOGNIEOWONDKLANCPQL!!  I adore you, you know. 

 

Ok, so I'm going to try to word right now, hang in there with me lol. 

 

I'm super happy you stopped by to read it, considering you know the song, love the song, and were pretty much the reason this exists right now. So yay! 

 

Cigarettes, dimly lit pubs, dens of debauchery and forgetting about life were pretty much my jam, too. lol Dark and difficult times, my friend. 

 

It's easy to feel that way sometimes. Espeically when NOTHING is going your way, and you're just spiraling down this awful path. You start to feel like you're just blending into the background, just trying to get by. And yeah, gross drunk dudes whispering in your ear over extremely loud music is always annoying. But sometimes you deal with it, and go with it, because it's easier to forgot your pain when you're numbing it other ways. Isn't that the case for a while. Chasing people who are clearly not trying to chase you? It sucks. 

 

I loved that line. I'm really glad you liked it. I knew that people who knew the song would totally get it. :) 

 

You don't even know the half of what her dirtbag ex was like. But, you'll get a better idea of it in the next one-shot. I have a feeling that whoever decides to read it, will be calling for his head. The. Aboslute. Worst. 

 

I HATED when people would speak to me like I was a child, and throw my mistakes in my face. Of course Lily stormed off and found a way to deal with her lecturing. I mean, yeah, Rose meant well, but that's not the way to go about it. 

 

I really don't know where that idea came from. That is not something I took from real life experiences. I just figured it was a good way to show just have much she truly is spiraling. And a good way to cause confilict with her parents. But yeah, it is super creepy. My headcanon is that Rose was 100% correct. 

 

Hahaha, yeah, Lily was totally in the wrong there, but *whispers* I was on her side there, too. ;) 

 

I've been there. And it isn't fun. The way that Lily felt the day after is super accurate of reflecting on an event that you were too intoxicated to remember. The shame and disgust with yourself. You really start wondering if you're going just a bit off the rails. 

 

I headcanon that Lily and Rose are really close. I feel like Lily would have a softer spot towards him than James. Because I also headcanon that Lily and James are a lot alike, and butt heads quite often. So, even though Al was kind of trying to do the same as Rose, the way he did it, and the fact that she cares for Al more than anyone else in the family, really softened her reaction. 

 

Yes! I'll feature more Scorpius in the final one-shot, but yeah, they're canon to me, and no one can tell me otherwise lol. 

 

That was a difficult scene to write. There's going to be a lot of difficult scenes for me to write, and that was absolutely one of them. I'm glad that her emotion came out well after Harry left. I was hoping that it did. 

 

She's completely gone at this point. Pretty much at the lowest point that she's been, which is why she's avoiding everything, and just drinking and doing other things in even more excess. And yeah, I can see Neville being super close with Harry's kids. I imagine since he was also their Professor for seven years, they would feel really comfortable going to him. I mean, they were around him more than their own parents during their school years. 

 

Sometimes it sadly takes a really bad thing to happen to make someone realize they can't continue on the way they were going. And sometimes no matter how old we are, we just want our mother. I'm in my early 30's, and I still have times that I'm like, "I need my mommy." 

 

Aww Joey, that really means the world to me. I'm so glad that you enjoyed it. It's totally different than most of my other work, so I was pretty nervous putting this out there. This review legit means the world to me, and I cannot thank you enough! 

 

Sending so much love and many hugs, 

Meg

 

 



Name: FireCrest (Signed) · Date: 04 Feb 2019 11:36 PM · For: Mistakes

Meg! Hello, here for our swap.

Can I start out with - OMG

Like this story is soooo dark, (like I definitly read the advisories) but like still...

This story was so so so good! I really loved it, darkness and all. 

I was kinda expecting for this to have like a pretty dark ending, and was pleasantly surprised to see how it turned out. 

The tone of the story was really good, and I really enjoyed the flow. 

Lily as a character was so freaking good. Like I feel bad for everything she was going through, but you portrayed dark!Lily very well! 

Also If I can just mention the Scorbus mention: Squeeee!

I also wanna say, good word usage! I actually had to look some words up, which I enjoy doing, but I didn't have to do it excessively which made reading this pretty easy. 

I feel like I might be rambling now, but I am really glad I read this because I really enjoyed it! This is actually the first HP fic I've read in a year or so.... So I'm really glad it got to be this one!

Many Huffle-Hugs to you Meg!

Have a great evening/day

Kyle :)

 



Author's Response:

Kyle! Hi! *waves* 

 

Seriously, I just first want to thank you so, so much for this amazingly kind review. I put SO much of myself into this story, and your reaction to it legit nearly made me cry. *hugs* Thank you <33 

 

Yeeah, this is a lot darker, and more emotionally intense than pretty much mostly anything else I've written on these archives. I'm honestly so happy that you enjoyed it, even though it was pretty dark. I *thought* about ending it with a darker ending, but since I'm drawing from my own personal experiences (mostly), the ending was a little bit of a lighter note. I'm still here, and better, so Lily will get better, too... eventually. ;) 

 

Oh, Scorbus is canon, and no one will EVER tell me differently lol. Any next-gen I ever write will either feature Scorbus, or mention them in one way or another. Cursed Child set up Scorbus the ENTIRE time, and then ripped it away from us. I was so mad. But that's another story for a different time lol. 

 

Aww thanks! I try not to go overboard with a lot of crazy vocab test type words, but I also don't like to use the simplest words possible, either. 

 

No, ramble away! Rambly reviews are always the best hahaha. But I'm super thrilled that you enjoyed it, and I'm really pleased that me offering the swap got you to read something for the first time in a while. :) 

 

Many Snakey-Snuggles back at you, Kyle!! 

 

Thank you again, so, so, so much!! <33 

Meg 



Name: pookha (Signed) · Date: 03 Feb 2019 07:24 PM · For: Mistakes

So, I've always enjoyed the sort of overcoming self-destructive behavior stories, whether they go well or not for the character. I really enjoyed this one and I can easily picture all of the characters acting like they did which is largely due to how in character all of your characters are. Harry acts just like I picture as a disappointed father, but one who still loves his children (not like Harry from Cursed Child). I can easily picture this being canon or fanon for each of the next-gen characters because you capture them very well, especially Albus and Rose.

 

This is just the sort of thing that a lot of people in real life struggle with and gives your story a truthfulness and honesty that is hard to come by. I loved reading this and look forward to more stories with Lily.



Author's Response:

Hey! Thank you so much for stopping by! :) 

 

Yeah same here. I always love reading the self-destructive stories, but I never written one. And, since I was pretty self-destructive in my early 20's, I thought I might as well draw from my own experiences (mostly), and write one of those stories myself. I'm really glad to hear that you enjoyed it, and felt that the characters were in character. Especially Harry. For someone that, in canon, we lived inside his head for 7 books, I can never seem to get him right. So I'm thrilled to hear that. And yeah, that CC Harry was a disaster. I was not a fan. 

 

Oh wow, thank you so much for that. I'm really glad to hear that you enjoyed this one. I'm about a third of the way finished with the next one shot in this little series. I'm going to *try* to have it up by next week. And then I'll work on the next one, and hopefully have that up by the end of the month. I'd like to have all three of them posted before the end of February (muse depending). 

 

Thank you again for this wonderful review! It was truly a very sweet suprise! <3 



Name: Stella Blue (Signed) · Date: 02 Feb 2019 03:52 PM · For: Mistakes

What's this? Meg has written a new story???!

 

Poor Lily. I felt so badly for her,seeing her spiral into self destruction , especially how she *knows* that she can't keep this up, but can't bring herself to change until her behavior becomes so unsustainable that she is in actual danger of losing her life. That's so terrifying. As awful as it was, I'm glad it at least gave Lily the motivation to finally change her behavior so that she didn't end up in that same situation ever again. But gah. What an awful way to get there. :(

I'm so glad she was able to return home and that her mum welcomed her back. After everything that she had gone through and what she had out herself through, it was so wonderful to see this teary reunion with her mum, there was so much love in that scene. And it was so good to see that Lily is finally bringing herself to change. I think it seems like it's actually important enough to her this time, that she'll be able to get out of the hole she's in, and I hope she does.

 

Your writing in this was spectacular as always. I was so worried for her the entire time reading this, and I think you did a wonderful job writing it.



Author's Response:

Kristen!! Omg what a lovely surprise! *squish* Thank you so much for stopping by! 

 

I’m super thrilled that you enjoyed the story! Even though Lily was kind of a mess during the whole thing. But yeah, she isn’t handling anything well, or in a healthy manner. Drinking yourself to death is never the answer. Neither is lashing out and alienating the people who care for you the most. But sometimes, we just don’t know what else to do, or to handle something traumatic in our lives. 

 

Ginny and Harry do love Lily, but sometimes you just can’t any longer with someone who isn’t making any efforts to change themselves. It might seem a little harsh for Harry to have more or less caused Lily to become homeless. But, like you said, it took that harsh lesson for her to finally get her act together. As sad as that might be. 

 

I think when she finally returned home, Ginny and Harry saw how defeated, lost and broken she was at that point. Her whole being was fundamentally shifted, and I think any parents would want to help their child in that situation. She will get better. We’ll see that in the last one-shot in this trilogy. Sometimes it takes hitting rock bottom to finally pick yourself up, brush yourself off and start over. She’ll be fine. :) 

 

Kristen thank you so much for stopping by!! It was a super nice surprise! Your reviews are always so sweet and more than welcomed! Love you!! 

 

Loads of hugs, 

Meg 



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