Reviews For The Orchard

Name: abhorsen (Signed) · Date: 27 Jun 2017 09:59 AM · Chapter: Chapter 4: Chains

Oh, Lily. Completely harmless? Really? I have a hard time believing that, and I have to side with Mary on this one. It's interesting to see Mary explicitly turn the assumption I made in chapter one on its head, though, and attribute Lily's idealism to her being more removed from the wizarding world. I can see how that would work, too, actually. God, what happened to Mary, though? It's clearly not just "things have gotten bleaker," though that obviously doesn't help. Florence is continuing to irritate me. I was glad to see James walking with Mary instead of her - James is much more interesting and less aggressive. See, Florence, you can have fire without being a huge jerk about it and criticizing your friends. (I really don't like her. It seems almost like she's doing it on purpose, though I'm probably just a conspiracy freak.) I can see how Lily's friendship with Snape would have hurt her among her housemates, though - it makes total sense that they'd hold it against her when he was bullying and hexing them.


I am already mourning that there's not more to this story, and I still have a lot to read. Zayne, you are amazing. I'm so glad I decided to read this rather than flitting around between short one-shots.


[review transferred from HPFF]

Author's Response:

I've always seen Lily as an idealist and an optimist. She knows what life without magic is and having magic has changed her life completely. It's opened up a whole new world for her to explore and be a part of. A place for her to fit in where she didn't fit in before. She was always the ousider and now she's found and inside. Mary, on the other hand, doesn't see magic as a new place to explore since she's always known about it. It's always been this way and it's normal. So, her jaded experience with it is from the perspective of seeing the darkness of it rather than the wide eyed wonder that Lily has.

I love your aggressivness towards Florence. As a writer, it brings me joy that a character can evoke that kind of reaction from someone. She's 'such' a gem. I guess you'll have to see what comes of her.

I hope it's believeable that they would question her loyalty because of her position with Snape. I think it would have been weird in 5th or 6th year for a muggleborn or anyone who believed the DE's and Voldemort were wrong to be friends with someone interested in the Dark Arts and the cause.  There could be reasons behind the friendships of course, but for someone like Florence who lives in a very black and white world would think that anyone who talks with or is friends with a Slytherin or someone like Snape is an enemy or hypocrit.

Even though the review thing is done, I hope you come back to read. :) cheers!! <3

Name: abhorsen (Signed) · Date: 27 Jun 2017 09:58 AM · Chapter: Chapter 3: Ancients

You made me so excited when Laura sought Mary out, and then you dashed my hopes immediately. You are terrible. (And wonderful.) I love, though, the way that Mary's reactions are very clearly individual and based on her own experiences, not gratifying the reader's reactions and curiosity. It makes her feel thoroughly developed as a character, and it really makes me wonder what's going on in her head - and in her past. Because that's the key, I think - the more I read, the more I'm convinced that there's something deeply traumatic that's happened to her. I'm not sure if it's whatever Lily was referring to with Snape in the memory in DH or something else entirely, but either way, my heart goes out to her. I also love the intricacies you're introducing in terms of her relationship with Florence - it's sad, but sometimes people fit so well together and then just... stop fitting. I feel like that's happened here - whatever Mary says, it just feels like Florence is criticizing her rather than encouraging her, even in a tough love sort of way - but regardless, it's so hard and painful to go through, and it's not something that it seems like Mary has the emotional capacity to handle right now.


Yeah, I hope I finish this before we're done with our reviews, because I'm going to keep going until I do. Zayne, I love you.


[review transferred from HPFF]

Author's Response:

I tease, don't I? Tease as i drop small, itty bitty breadcrumbs. What the readers get are her reactions - they don't see more than what Mary herself is willing to see or let into her world again. She wraps things up very tightly and refuses to let it in, so the reades are in the same boat with her.


I agree with you about the intricacies of friendship and how they shift and move. Soemtimes they don't seem like good fits anymore. Sometimes the pieces come back together. Sometimes the pieces never will. That's friednship though - it's an ebb and flow. Sometimes there are those friends you have because they've been there for so long. Mary and James, for instance or Mary and Florence. On the other hand, Mary may be too scared to let anything that was once good go.  Or does't know how to let it go or even if it needs to go. I'm not saying Florence needs to get out of her life as that would be one more thing gone that Mary once had.


Haha, get this done. I'm struggling right now with finishing editing a new chapter right now and I feel like I've hit a wall. I stared at the chapter for ages today and only made some meagre changes. Thank you for reading and reviewing! I always appreciate your thoughts on my work!!

Name: abhorsen (Signed) · Date: 27 Jun 2017 09:58 AM · Chapter: Chapter 2: These Walls

Ahhh, I was wondering whether something had happened to Laura. Well, you're just hammering in "THIS IS A WAR" from the get-go, aren't you? I have no idea what happened to her, but she's clearly shell-shocked and dealing with some pretty major trauma. I find the way you're having her withdraw rather than act out to be interesting - it's such an individual thing, but I've always been more comfortable with acting out than with catatonia (probably because that's how I react to stress). Florence is really getting on my nerves, though. She did last chapter as well, to some extent, but it's intensified this chapter. I like snarky, sarcastic characters as much/more than the next person, but she's not just being sarcastic and snarky - she's being mean-spirited, and it feels out of place in a setting like this. I do understand why she'd be a little peeved at Lily, but just... really? Come on. I like Mary's conversation with James much better, though it did make me realize that my assumption about her being Muggleborn was off-base. I guess Death Eaters don't discriminate - they'll go after blood traitors, too! Equal(ish) opportunity bullying/murder is such a beautiful thing. (See, Florence, that's sarcasm.) It was so interesting to hear his perspective, and I was really annoyed at Florence interrupting him.


Loving this story.

Author's Response:

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As I mentioned in my last response, yes, I believe war would have affected these students and that life at Hogwarts wasn't so sweet all the time. I think it was dark. I think that many students were getting affected by it. When we hear Sirius talking about it in the books, it seemed like chaos in the first war. No one could trust anyone; the darkness was everywhere and there was so much destruction on all sides whereas in the books Voldemort is more solely focused on killing Harry than anything else (like spreading fear and building an army like in the first war and getting rid of the impure). It doesn't make sense that you'd only see that after the Marauders left Hogwarts.


I've always been interested in the psychology of trauma and of people's personalities. I think this interest is where this story has sprung from. I think there is such a wide reaction to trauma. Some people act out. Some people let it eat them up inside. Some people blame themselves and believe that they deserve what they got. I wanted to see if I could write about introverted people who look inward (Mary and Laura for instance) vs people who may act out (Lily, Florence) their feelings. In this story, there is enough strong personalities that I think Mary and Laura ae balanced out by them.


I adore writing Florence. I don't know why because I cringe at some of the things she does, but she writes so easily. I know she's awful and isn't the best human being. I don't think all people are though.  I wanted to try to write someone like her who just makes so many bad choices, is incredibly strong willed, and doesn't get along well with others. She has a big chip on her shoulder and has few redeeming qualities. She does care for Mary, but is quite tunnel visioned at the same time about it. I get a little sick or reading or writing about people who are Mary Sue or their only flaws are that they are klutzy/or don't share their feelings. Florence is full of flaws. I think there are reasons to why she acts the ways she does. She's a very strong personality and hates not getting her own way. I'm sorry you don't like her and I can't guarantee you'll ever like her. I hope you will understand her at some point though if you continue reading. Everyone reacts to the war or situations/circumstances differently.

Thank you for reading!

Name: abhorsen (Signed) · Date: 27 Jun 2017 09:57 AM · Chapter: Chapter 1: Welcome

So on one hand, I usually try to read things with less than 2500 word chapters for TAR. On the other, I like you and your writing, so I'm going to come down on the "I will read and review faster if I'm enjoying the fic and have got a lot to say." So here I am. I'm curious, because you mentioned Mafalda in ATG, too - is Orchard set in the same "universe" as ATG?


Regardless. I really loved the juxtaposition here between Mary and a lot of her fellow students. I can appreciate meeting the train with a "Oh, come on, another year?" in normal situations, and this situation isn't normal - there's a war going on that Muggleborns are major targets in - IMO, even more so than Muggles, who can hide in a crowd a little better, and I can see that having a significant effect on Muggleborns who've got to be feeling fairly disenchanted with the wizarding world just now. However, I also felt like you did an amazing job of balancing how Mary's a little soured to the wizarding world right now. However, while I definitely got an undercurrent of that throughout the chapter, I appreciated the fact that it flowed with the narrative rather than weighed everything down with moroseness. You did an amazing job of setting the scene for the story, and you introduced a lot of really intriguing interrelationships that I can't wait to read more about. Lily's not being a prefect did confuse me a bit - I thought canon was that she was? but whatever. I'm not super invested in the Lily-the-rule- follower interpretation anyway. :P


Great job!


[review transferred from HPFF]

Author's Response:

Hiya! I'm so glad you came and reviewed my little story. I'm trying to continue to work at it, but I've hit a bit of a block with it at the moment getting the next chapter finished. Sigh. Yes, nearly everything I write is in the same universe, so this runs parallel to ATG. So, there will be characters or events that connect every so often.

I am glad that it seems believable at this point. I have always imagined that the war started while the Marauders were at Hogwarts and that by the end of their time (5th to 7th) year there would be several students affected by it. I think Mary's specific experience is that she is very disenchanted by the world. Not because of being a specific target of Voldemort, but by her own experience with magic and how it doesn't seem so special anymore. Perhaps because she's so used to magic. It is like when someone gets used to something or a situation it becomes normal. They get used to it and they aren't so thrilled by it's existence since they've never known anything different. Mary isn't thrilled by it. She's experienced the dark parts of it and wants no part of it an.ymore. Seeing this story from her perspective will make it a bit more morose. I try to toe the line a bit so it isn't so unbelievably angsty, but Mary is counting down the days until she can fade into the oblivion of the muggle world

Lily being prefect? Yes,... well that may come. This is a take on canon.



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