I am back <3
First off!!! The Hobbit reference in your chapter title is 10 out 10. A Plus. I love it. Which I already told you, but you know. I can never say that enough.
Okay, Okay. Did I mention in my previous review how much I love that Hero and Emory talk to each other using Shakespeare? Because I do, I love it. It’s so cute, also it shows how close they are as friends. Also, I am beginning to not Like Theo. *side eyes Theo* Like, my dude, you have a girlfriend! Stop eyeing Hero! He’s kind of a jerk…
Oh no, I sense Tom Riddle appearing soon. Which I mean, that’s both a good thing and a bad thing. Good thing because, like you I love Tom Riddle xD, bad thing because Tom Riddle is Tom Riddle. (And you keep Tom canon, well you said so anyway and I am inclined to believe you, haha).
Noah is mentioned again! I’m guessing that’s the muggle that Hero “killed.” Okay, yeah, definitely because she’s wearing his bracelet. Also, Noah’s recurring dream sounds terrifying D: Do I sense some foreshadowing here? A space filled with impossible coldness and dense darkness? Yeah, definitely sounds completely terrifying. :3
Wow, okay, Hero. I have the exact same reaction when I see a spider. xD Also… Hero is allergic to the mastilio spider. Hmmm Is this a random tidbit of info that is unimportant? Or is this going to come back later….
I really hope you don’t……. do the thing that I’m thinking in my head……. *SCREAMING INTENSIFIES*
Err. Okay, Bianca. I’m so torn here because on one hand I’m like, “aw look at Tom being gentlemanly and helping Hero.” YEET. On the other hand, I still remember what we were talking about (I didn’t forget [yet] like I said I would), so I’m like, “NO, HERO, RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY! GET AWAY FROM THE HANDSOME BOY! SAVE YOURSELF.” I have a very bad feeling about this…
Also… Tom’s hands were cold like he’d been outside. Tom, what have you been up to?????
I really liked their whole conversation about names, also because the whole thing with Tom hating his name. I also feel like was being surprisingly genuine? When he was like “"I think names are important," Tom said, ignoring me. "You're lucky to have one that is so... unusual. It stands out." It’s not exactly a compliment? But then again, coming from Tom Riddle it very well could be a nickname. Hmm.
Oh, So Noah was originally Dennis Bishop? MORE CLUES!!!!!
OH MAN. THAT’S WHY TOM’S HANDS HAD BEEN COLD!!!!!! BECAUSE THE ROOSTERS!!!
Uh, Okay. I really liked this chapter. Not sure if you could tell or not :p I’m sorry if my thoughts are not that coherent… uhhhhh. But this was sooo good!
Hello Bianca!I thought that I would stop by and surprise you with a review on this story. I thought that this was a really good beginning for your story. It left me with a lot of questions that I really want to know the answers to. I'm glad that in the end you gave us a little bit of informaion about what happened to Hero during her summer and also the end of the year before but yet you still left a lot that needed to be said to know the full story.
I've enjoyed all of the characters mentioned so far but I do feel like I could use some more description throughout the chapter to get to know your main character Hero more as well as more description about the other characters involved so I can really paint a picture of what's happening. You did an awesome job with Hero's dad. I can really tell that she does not like either of her parents and it really made me feel that way about her parents as well so great job on that.
I'm really excited to see where this story will go and you can bet that I will be back soon to leave more reviews! Overall, this was a really great start and I look forward to reading more. ~Slytherinchica08
I LITERALLY TYPED OUT FIFTEEN DIFFERENT REACTIONS BEFORE DELETING THEM BECAUSE NONE OF THEM ADEQUATELY SUMMED UP MY FEELINGS. MY BRAIN IS FILLED WITH EXPLETIVES THAT I’M NOT ALLOWED TO USE. OH MY GOD THIS LAST CHAPTER PUNCHED ME IN THE GUT AND MESSED ME UP TEN THOUSAND DIFFERENT WAYS, I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT TO SAY.
I FEEL LIKE I’M GOING THROUGH THE FIVE STAGES OF GRIEF RIGHT NOW, I’M NOT EVEN JOKING.
HE KILLED HER?!?!?!?!
Okay I went and got a drink of water, and now I feel like I’m in a better emotional state to adequately express THE COMPLETE AND UTTER DEVASTATION YOU HAVE WREAKED UPON MY SOUL. I ACTUALLY CANNOT BELIEVE HE USED HER WORST FEAR AS A MURDER WEAPON, LIKE WHO DOES THAT?!?!?!?!?!
Okay I went and got another drink of water, and now I think I’m good. For real.
This final chapter tied up all the loose ends so well, for which I’m really thankful. I thought you timed the reveals well, too; after using Hero’s guesses and worries to create suspense, you now give us the true reasons behind, well, everything. And it’s done so well. I’m now mildly embarrassed remembering my various guesses for why Briony’s nose began bleeding (“Unbreakable” lmaooo), and I’m even more embarrassed that I didn’t even make the connection that the chocolate came from Tom. I pointed fingers at him anyway, just because, but it totally slipped my mind that he was the one who offered her chocolate in the first place.
And then you revealed something that I never even thought to question in the first place, which was an incredibly cool way of doing things, but which also gave me much distress in terms of Hero’s personal safety. You answered a lot of questions, namely: Why has Hero been struggling so much in school, even under Tom’s tutelage? The answer was so sickening my heart nearly stopped. Tom’s been drugging her this whole time? From the very beginning, he knew he wanted her, and so he wouldn’t even let her have full control over her own body and mind?
You need to go and write for Marvel lmao, their villains (excluding Black Panther’s) could certainly use your expertise from writing such a brilliant Tom Riddle.
Onto the most tragic ending I’ve ever read in my life. I was feeling so proud of Hero when she began holding her ground against him, and then you finally unveiled the last pieces of the puzzle, of how that black bird in the middle of the road wasn’t just some everyday raven, but it was Tom’s owl. And this whole time, Tom isn’t even remotely nervous or shaken by her fury against him. No, he’s as calm and collected as ever, as though they’re simply discussing the weather instead of his murderous tendencies. He’s so quick to brag about being the Heir of Slytherin, too, about being the one to hurt all those Muggle-born students.
And he kills her. He murders her in cold blood because he realizes that she will never agree with him, and that’s such a sickening motive, I have no words. I mourn for Hero. She was just beginning to realize she needed to get herself out of this relationship, but then her life was tragically cut short by her very own boyfriend...with a mastilio spider. (I joked in the last review about how breaking up with him probably would not end well, but I didn’t expect anything like this haha.) Everything comes full circle. Her fear that’s irrationally plagued her throughout the story ends up having merit. The fear that caused her to meet him properly for the first time in the library is what kills her. He kills her.
Those last lines are beautiful. I noticed them on the banner as I was reading this story, and I wondered how they applied to the story as whole, and now I have my answer. The ending to this story is just absolutely breathtaking. After I finished reading the last few words, I just sat there for five minutes, breathing and thinking about the overarching beauty of this whole piece, of Hero’s arc that veered dangerously off-course in the middle, of Tom’s increasingly sinister actions as he tries to control her more and more, and of Hero’s reclamation of her own self, only to die one of the worst deaths (at least for her).
I love what you did with Tom Riddle. This whole story, I have loved hating him, and the fact you managed to create a villain like this is beyond impressive. You’re so gifted, and reading this has made me feel a ridiculous number of emotions, and I think I might get a book hangover from this, except this is a fanfiction.
I wonder what’s going to happen to Finn. Tom’s almost certainly not going to tell them the truth of what happened. Will Finn grieve for his sister? Will he believe Tom’s version of the story? Will he take vengeance on Tom if he finds out the truth?
I need to go and...recover now.
Truly, you’re amazing and wonderful and I’ve loved every second of this.
Here we are at the second-to-last chapter and I literally have no idea how this story is going to end. (Which isn’t a bad thing at all! I’m just absolutely mystified at the path Hero’s going to take.) I mean, we’ve seen Hero set aside her personal morals in order to please Tom. Obviously she’s going to act in response to these new discoveries from Darcy, but I honestly have no idea which way she’ll go. Will she go and criticize Tom, and then break up with him? (That’ll end well.) Or will she try to talk to him, only for him to convince her to go his way? (In some ways, I think this might be worse.) I DON’T KNOW. AS I SPEAK, MY FINGERS ARE ITCHING TO INCH OVER TO THE “NEXT CHAPTER” BUTTON TO ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS.
Hero is so lucky she met Darcy this chapter, otherwise who knows how long she would have continued to believe in Tom’s goodness. It totally didn’t even occur to me in the previous chapters that Darcy (Amy?) would have gone to the same orphanage as Tom, so seeing her pale recognition of him was surprising but also an “AHA” moment. Also, gotta love Tom’s statement of, “You’re not going to see her again,” as though Hero’s entire purpose in life is to obey him lmao.
Well, thankfully, she continued what she was doing and went to Darcy’s home.
That guy she spoke with, Zeke. As soon as he confirmed that Noah had seen a strange boy from his orphanage, my heart sank. Not because I expected anything different, but because Hero still wasn’t putting the pieces together, even after Tom had just basically admitted to her that he’d gone to the same orphanage as Noah.
Darcy’s story of what Tom did to her and Noah was chilling to the bone, and it explains a lot of things about Noah, as well: that slip of paper from the psychiatric hospital in the flashback at the beginning, his strange conversation with Darcy at his home, why he changed his name later. We all know that Tom used his magic to terrorize the children who teased and taunted him, but Darcy’s story, filled with specific details never truly provided to us by Jo, made Tom’s backstory all the more nauseating. I love how you described the pain that Tom caused Darcy and the other kids, as being deep inside her veins, but not exactly physical. That’s a perfect description for what he did.
Okay. Okay okay okay okay. I am ready for the last chapter. I’m going to be so incredibly sad that this fantastically dark story is over, BUT there’s always Finn’s story to read next.
Oh my god. Well now that I’m at the end of the review, I’m so hesitant to read the last chapter because I don’t want this to end, ever. I’ve been having so much fun reading and reviewing this, even though this story has given me ridiculous amounts of pain and worry for Hero lmao, ahh.
...Why do I talk so much in these reviews. Thank you for putting up with so much of my nonsense omg.
The further I get into this story, the more stressed out I feel hahaha. I regret writing earlier that reading and reviewing this story made me relaxed because I am most certainly not relaxed anymore, nope. Everything’s so tense! Tom Riddle is slowly and subtly becoming more demanding of Hero, there’s this family secret that everyone seems to be keeping quiet, and the conflicts between everyone around Hero are driving me mad with worry.
Both Hero and Finn both seem to think that it was the chocolate that poisoned Briony somehow, which makes me significantly less sure about my earlier guess of an Unbreakable Vow haha. If it was the chocolate, though, did someone purposefully give Hero chocolate with lovage in it at some point? Because I really can’t imagine that the chocolate just so happened to contain lovage, without some sort of outside involvement. The entire thing does feel vaguely like an accident, but it also smells really fishy. My gut says that it has something to do with Tom Riddle, but then again, that guy’s so alarming that I would probably blame him for everything that happens in the following chapters.
At this point, I feel more appreciative of Finn. He’s been supporting Hero throughout this recent crisis, and he definitely cares less than before about the entire family supporting Grindelwald. Maybe if Sebastian had been petrified a few chapters ago, Finn would have disowned him on the spot, but now he seems to just be tired of the family’s ambitions and connections.
OKAY BUT TOM?? UM BACK OFF BUDDY.
For this chapter, Tom’s Creepiest Line is a tie between: “Look at me,” said to Hero after she gets distracted by Brindley, who’s only in the Hospital Wing because TOM PUT HER IN THERE; and also “If it's too difficult for you, let me make the choice easy,” which is, uh, ominous. But yeah, the first line honestly sounds more like an order than anything else. Please please please, Hero, leave him. I’m so scared he’s going to gradually become more and more unrelenting in his control over her, to the point where he might actually harm her if she tries to resist.
I think that scene in the library is just further proof that he’s not letting her go. Like, she thinks Tom is so angry with her he doesn’t want to see her, but his response to her, “You thought what?” is unnerving. There is a good chance I am reading way too much into those three words, because he’s Tom Marvolo Riddle and I am inherently distrustful of Tom Marvolo Riddles, but it honestly sounds like he’s surprised that she would even consider that he would ever leave her. Which...honestly would be a lot less suspicious were he not Tom Riddle.
When Tom says, “I said I would take care of it,” I suppose he means “get the basilisk to petrify the captain of your Quidditch team so that you won’t have to choose between my House and yours during the game,” which is literally the craziest thing I’ve ever heard in my life. He’s so insistent on Hero’s loyalty that she isn’t even allowed to play a sport against his House? So controlling. And then he encourages Hero’s sense of false superiority, and provokes her into acting on feelings she shouldn’t even be feeling towards Leighton, and tells her to just steal Leighton’s bracelets as though it’s her right to do so. And I’m noticing Hero’s jealousy that Leighton gets to talk with Morgan and make him laugh, which, GIRL, AS MUCH AS I SHIP YOU AND MORGAN AND AS MUCH AS I HATE TOM, YOU ARE IN A RELATIONSHIP ALREADY. A really dangerous one, but she’s not at all aware of that.
Oh, and Emory. I suppose having feelings for other guys is a common theme in Hero’s past, because this didn’t fully register before, but I just realized that Theo was dating Emory at the time he decided to sleep with Hero. That’s...honestly so awful for Emory omg. Her life has been tragedy after tragedy this year, and the girl deserves a break. Though I wonder who told her. Once again I suspect Tom, because he has legilimency and was probably able to read Hero and Theo’s minds that one time he caught them. Not to mention Tom has expressed disgust in Hero’s friendships in the past, and probably wouldn’t mind ruining them for his own sake.
And then he goes and petrifies Morgan.
I love this and I love your writing and I love you. <3
Having just read this chapter, I can safely say an accurate summary of my feelings is: OH NO. WHAT. WHAT. NONONONO. BACK OFF, TOM RIDDLE. WHATWHATWHATWHAT. OH MY GOODNESS. WHAAAT.
More coherently, that can be translated to: This is a really good chapter.
The things you hinted at last chapter, of Sebastian being Muggle-born, are confirmed in this chapter, and oh boy, I feel stressed out for Sebastian’s parents. Imagine being under constant fear that your beloved son will be harmed by the patriarch of your family omg. Unless he’s mostly concerned with his own safety, but I doubt it. He seems to genuinely love Sebastian as his own, and that just breaks my heart. I wonder if Hero is going to tell Finn this, or if she’s going to keep it to herself. Because right now, she still doesn’t know about his slight shift in loyalties, right?
I wonder what Hero’s uncle is talking about when he says “the others” and then cuts himself off. Is he under an Unbreakable? Is that why he’s refusing to say anything else? Because Hero’s cousin Briony was cut off, as well, just as she’d begun to say something that sounded important, and blood came out of her nose like an endless fountain. So many secrets omg, I’m so so curious to find out what happens.
When I read that part where Hero comes up with her plan for catching the monster, I was a little disturbed. Using a Muggle-born as bait? Is she so sure that she’ll be able to protect the Muggle-born? Because it sounded to me like she’s too willing to put the life of a Muggle-born at risk. And she ended up asking Emory, too. Dear, lovely, sweet Emory, who I haven’t seen properly for several chapters now, and who’s been struggling a great deal while Hero dealt with her own problems. I honestly don’t think there’s anything wrong with Hero putting her own problems before her friend’s, but I do think that Hero shouldn’t then turn around and ask her abandoned friend for perhaps the most dangerous favor ever. So I feel so bad for Emory.
And Morgan. I feel horrible for him too. Obviously Hero is under no obligation to date him, but she admitted to herself that she was attracted to him, and that the only reason she refused him was because she was afraid of her parents’ judgment. And honestly, Morgan is ridiculously kind and helpful, even after all that, and I actually kinda ship him and Hero at this point. Sometimes I just sit down and imagine how much happier she would be if she dated Morgan instead, because I see no path with Tom Riddle that will lead her to a happy ending.
I would like to briefly say, you write the most wholesome, adorable little Hagrid in the world. He’s young and naive and believes the very best of magical creatures. When he says, “Well, it’s no’ nice...” in response to Hero’s swearing, my heart practically burst at how pure he is.
Thank goodness for Morgan’s reason, though, otherwise I feel like Hero would have spontaneously combusted on the spot. Her fear of mastilio spiders is so strong I feel like she loses all logic and common sense at even the thought of seeing one.
Now for Tom Marvolo Riddle. I have an entire list of names I could call him that would not at all be appropriate for a review, but yeah. I think that he as a character is repulsive, but I think that you as a writer are so admirable for being able to write young Tom (and all your other characters are brilliantly done, as well). I feel like if this story was a book I decided to pick up one day, I wouldn’t be able to get enough of your characters, especially Tom, who is charming and, quite frankly, really hot, but whose actions have this constant underlying unsettling quality. But the fact that we as readers already who Tom turns into definitely contributes to his unsettling characteristics, and you use that to your advantage delightfully.
That being said, BACK AWAY FROM HER, TOM. What he’s doing to her scares me so much. Is this what he was talking about last chapter when he said he would make sure that she behaved? The fact that he knows how to distract and convince her so easily makes me so scared for her. NO GOOD BOYFRIEND ASKS YOU TO CHOOSE BETWEEN YOUR FRIENDS AND HIM/YOUR FAMILY, HERO. TREAD CAREFULLY.
I swear, he’s going to drive her to an early death.
Everyone is starting to become wary of Hero’s involvement with the Slytherins, and honestly, I do feel they’re justified. Hero keeps excusing Tom and her brother in her mind, and while I don’t think she’s going to throw the Quidditch game as a way to earn favors with them, I’m finding it hard to dislike Leighton and Theo for saying what they’re saying. Ahhh, please let Hero be alright! I want her to extricate herself from this situation as safely as she can.
And now we’re at the end, where Hero talks to Briony about Sebastian. But then blood pours out of Briony’s nose, enough to drench her robes and turn them red, and that’s horrifying and terrifying and I need to know what happened. I’m still stuck on the idea that it could be an Unbreakable that the family was put under.
REALLY REALLY GOOD CHAPTER. <3
Hello! ^_^ I thought I’d start with Hero so it could pave the way for me to be able to read the rest of this ‘verse, :D
Initial thoughts that I am having: WOW FANTASTIC. You write in first person so well, your writing is so beautiful. *cries* I also just find the whole idea behind this fic so far to be so intriguing because: 1) tom riddle/OC – that’s definitely not something I’ve read before and 2) UH, what’s is Hero’s backstory?????? Killed a muggle???
I love how you started this out. I always find beginning a fic so hard and you just did it so naturally. I’m not sure what it is about it? I like how Hero’s counting in her head like, “one Gryffindor… two Gryffindor… Three Gryffindor.” I just really like that and the fact that you interspersed that with the next few paragraphs.
I feel so bad for Hero already because her family doesn’t approve of the fact that she’s in Gryffinfor And I’m also like??? What happened?? Whatever happened she’s clearly still upset about it and suffering from guilt. Because if she really did kill a muggle like Finn suggest later wouldn’t her family be pleased? “Neither mum nor dad so much as looked at me, and then they stepped through the barrier and were gone.” That’s so sad!!! They didn’t even say bye to her ☹
I really like Emory so far, from what we’ve seen of her – which isn’t much, but I’m excited to see what their friendship is like. But I have a feeling something bad is going to happen because I’m getting the vibe that Hero and Theo did some stuff :s which that’s not going to end well at all.
I’m trying to decide if I like Finn or not, haha. He’s kind of mean to Hero. Not sure what splish splash means (yet?) but it made Hero upset so I’m guessing it was mean/insensitive. And he’s like “geez who died.” And then he’s like, “too soon?” Okay, Finn, way to be insensitive.
And Tom Riddle is staring at her at the end, super creepy…. “All I had to do was avoid Finn, Riddle, conversations about the past few weeks, large quantities of water and being in the same room as both Theo and Emory.” Oh Hero, I have a feeling that’s easier said than done.
Just like how I loved the way you started the chapter, I loved how you ended (again, I always find endings so hard to do). I always love the one sentence paragraphs. I think the choice here was perfect.
I definitely can’t wait to keep reading this fic because it’s so good so far. Like seriously. <3
Oh my dear goodness. This chapter was everything I ever wished for and more.
Every time you reveal something, I get ten thousand times more excited to read on. In this case, it was Finn’s (honestly kinda adorable) crush on Brindley that made me flail, because I totally wasn’t expecting you to mention anything about the two of them until The Harder They Fall, so this was such an amazing surprise. Also, the entire chapter’s in Finn’s POV, which is really cool and different.
Of course, Tom Riddle has to go and make things unbearably dark, as he does.
I really appreciated hearing Finn’s honest and true thoughts, and honestly, he sounds a lot more reasonable in his mind than when he’s actually speaking haha. Makes me think that he’s definitely putting on a show for Tom, all those times he uses the “Mudblood” slur in front of Hero. In the beginning of the chapter, Finn clearly wants to join Grindelwald and to help Tom, but his manner of speaking makes me wonder if he realizes what he’s getting himself into. He describes it as “a few curses, a bit of duelling practice,” and asks “What harm was in it, really?” Which sounds incredibly naive. I suppose that’s a point in his favor, because at least he doesn’t seem to be aware of the true meanings and consequences of joining Grindelwald.
Sometimes I think it would be glorious to have Tom’s way with people, but then I remember Voldemort and immediately back away from that thought. But the way he interacts with professors, and with the two Black girls. He’s frightening, but it’s also impressive.
His motives are, uh, significantly less impressive, though. This whole time, I honestly thought he was targeting Muggle-borns for the fun of it (which isn’t all that great to begin with), but it turns out he’s actually trying to kill them. Oh my goodness. That’s not good. I can smell the death of a certain Myrtle coming soon, as soon as Tom figures out what’s preventing his basilisk from targeting Muggle-borns. I also thought it was interesting that it’s the basilisk that seeks out the Muggle-borns, and not Tom that directs the basilisk to specific people.
Which brings us to Sebastian. Adoption? Are his parents secretly sympathetic to the plight of the Muggle-borns? Is there some overarching connection to Noah and Tom and Darcy, or am I completely overthinking things lmao?
I would also like to mention real quick that I thought nothing could top the creepiness of Tom asking Hero, “Don’t you want to make me happy?” but the last line of this first scene really overshot the creepiness scale: “Oh, she’ll behave. I’ll make sure of that.” UM EXCUSE ME TOM, BUT IF YOU THINK YOU’RE GONNA MANIPULATE HERO YOU HAVE ANOTHER THING COMING. In all seriousness, I cannot get over how dark this line is. (How are you this good at writing Tom Riddle omg.)
That entire scene where Finn is just completely enamored by Brindley’s fascination with magical creatures is so sweet, but also tainted with that looming threat of Tom, who really makes it his primary goal to ruin everything, doesn’t he. (I am fully prepared to jump onto the Finn/Brindley ship at this point haha.) I probably should have expected something this horrible of Tom, to purposefully put Brindley under the Imperius Curse and make her burn herself just to test Finn.
I do appreciate that Finn recognizes that what Tom did to Brindley is horrible, and that his loyalties shift a little bit. However, I think it’s one matter to understand why the ideology is wrong, and another matter to feel angry because a loved one gets hurt. So I’m going to reserve judgment on Finn’s redemption arc at the moment, but I have a feeling it’s going to be a phenomenal one. Just look at the stunning way you write your characters omg. <3
Absolutely wonderful chapter!
I am concerned on like five thousand different levels right now. You were right, I am no longer relaxed while reading this lmao. Everything that’s happening in this story right now is making me feel so anxious for how Hero is going to get herself out of this situation, or if she ever will get out.
On a happier note, I see that Brindley’s introduced in this chapter! Now, I don’t know if this is because I have a feeling she’s going to help Finn out of this terrible state of mind he’s in right now, or if this is because she’s a Hufflepuff, or if this is because you wrote her with some magical calming spell or something, but the second I read her name, I relaxed hahaha. Even just thinking about her is calming. I DON’T KNOW MAN. Maybe it’s just my exhaustion speaking, but Brindley feels like a miracle of a human being.
On a decidedly less happy note, Emory’s upset, and that makes me upset. I really love her as a character, and honestly, as whimsical and lackadaisical as she can be at times, I just think she deserves the world. (I mean, she recites random Shakespeare quotes, and she referenced Pride and Prejudice, and how can anyone not immediately love her?) So I wish that Theo didn’t treat her the way he did, and I wish that Hero didn’t let herself become so immersed in Tom’s flirtations that she forgot about her best friend’s troubles. Poor, poor Emory omg. I have a really bad feeling that Tom’s going to target her next, especially since she just spent a good amount of time trying to talk Hero out of dating someone like him.
Speaking of which, that scene where Emory says, “Hell is empty, and all the devils are here,” is literally the most perfect thing I’ve ever read. That Shakespeare quote fits so well, omg. She’s so wonderful, and my heart hurts for her.
This is completely out of order, but that scene in the library completely freaked me out. Not the parts where Hero discovers even more of Tom’s genocidal tendencies, but the parts where he’s trying to convince her that he’s right. And the fact that he succeeds. The most frightening line in this entire chapter is when he says, “Don’t you want to make me happy?” to try to get her to agree with his prejudice. God, I got chills down my spine upon reading that. I remember saying in one of my earlier reviews that I was fairly sure Tom wouldn’t try any of this manipulative BS on Hero, but wow, was I wrong. This is so manipulative, and so creepy, and I’m so disgusted with Tom, more than ever. I just want to whack him with a frying pan right now, ugh. (Though I can see why you enjoy writing him so much. Writing scenes like this must be fun.)
Also, Finn. I don’t know what’s up with Finn, but I have hope for that boy, and he’d better not fail me like Hero did. (Though I still have hope for Hero, too. Don’t give up, girl!) This exchange between him and Hero was a thousand times better than all the times he insulted her or was violent towards her, so.
And now I want to know a million different things about Darcy, too. Did she used to date Noah? Does she know about magic? Is she a witch? Does she have a weird code with Noah where they use chess terms, or are they actually playing chess? What’s Noah’s original name? What’s her history with him?
Not to mention that ending. Poor little Sebastian omg. Why would Tom target a Blishwick?
(ANYWAY HAPPY 100 REVIEWS. <3)
Really, I should be going to sleep, but then I saw that your story was so close to that beautiful one hundred reviews, and I was like, “Well obviously I don’t need sleep, like, three hours is probably sufficient.”
With that said, I TAKE BACK EVERYTHING I COMPLIMENTED HERO FOR IN MY LAST REVIEW. HERO, YOU ABSOLUTE NUMBSKULL. NO. I TRUSTED YOU TO KNOW BETTER THAN TO AGREE TO BE WITH TOM RIDDLE, HERO. HOW DARE YOUYOU ARE DATING A GUY WHO SHUDDERS AT HIS OWN NAME BECAUSE IT’S THE NAME OF HIS MUGGLE FATHER. HERO. I AM VERY DISAPPOINTED IN YOU.
Starting from the beginning now.
Little Sebastian sounds like a rather sweet member of the Blishwick family, even if he gets coerced into saying nasty things. I think I saw a one-shot of his on your AP, I’ll have to check it out later! I really hope that he doesn’t get corrupted in his years at Hogwarts. Hero seemed to cheer him up a little (this ostracization that both of them feel honestly makes me so sorry for them, they really don’t deserve a family like the Blishwicks), but still, I’m worried Finn will continue to be a bad influence on him.
That scene with Morgan upset me on a number of levels. For one, I really like Morgan, and seeing him saddened like that made me sad. I think he’s kind and funny and sweet (and according to Hero, he’s quite fit), and I retract my statement about his pushiness because he lets Hero go as soon as she rejects him. For another, Hero’s reasons for rejecting him are... Ugh I can’t even fully blame her for this, because she wants her family’s approval and love so badly that she’s really willing to be less than morally perfect. But her reasons are prejudiced and cowardly, and even if she doesn’t believe what her parents believe, I still feel greatly uncomfortable with the fact that she’s rejecting Morgan on that basis. Even though, to her, it’s a way for her to avoid her parents’ wrath, her reasons for rejecting him are still stained with her family’s bigotry.
Finn can rot. (Though I suspect that you have a wonderful arc for him in his story with Brindley, so I’m hoping for the best for Finn.) However, Tom most certainly can rot.
What I love about this story is that the relationship between Tom and Hero follows the patterns of a normal relationship on the surface. There’s this slightly awkward meet-cute, where she just about knocks over everything around her in an attempt to get away from a spider, and he comes help her. And then she gradually notices more and more things about him, and gets fluttery feelings in her stomach. There’s a brief “misunderstanding,” and then they make up and kiss. And here is where my brain gets confused, because under normal circumstances, I would be cheering these two on. But Tom isn’t normal. In fact, he’s rather disturbing. So this is an emotionally confusing story, and I absolutely love it.
So I’m going to continue chiding Hero for getting herself involved with this butt that we all know and hate as Tom Riddle. She sneaks out to meet him?? And then just kisses him some more? HERO. THIS IS UPSETTING. WHERE ARE YOUR MORALS?
Really I wish her parents had apologized to her at least once in her life, so that she wouldn’t be nearly as affected by Tom’s apology. Goodness. But wonderful, wonderful chapter omg. <3
It is currently 2:30 a.m. as I’m posting this. Today has been a really long day, and at the end of it, I was just like, “You know what, time to read a chapter of Hero as a reward for myself.” So here I am. Please forgive any possible incoherent rambling in the following review. <3
Okay, so I definitely misread the last section of Chapter 5 hahaha. From Hero’s reaction last chapter, I thought she was in the direct presence of the basilisk, but it turns out she only felt it around her. Thank goodness. No one died. Hopefully.
This might just be me, but it feels like you put this chapter in the wrong place by accident? I looked back and it seems like this chapter fits right between Chapters 3 and 4, or at least before Chapter 5? Since she’s walking with Tom into the Great Hall and everything, and Chapter 3 ended with her ditching Theo to go with Tom. (Just ignore this if I’m being dense lmao.)
“Finn began making out with his hand.” I was just nodding along to what was happening before this, with Theo glaring daggers at Tom, and Emory looking positively delighted at the development of their relationship, and then suddenly Finn begins making out with his hand. Needless to say, I was alarmed at Finn’s concerning behavior. Though, honestly, this also makes me think that Finn would be a really, really fun brother to have (like, he checks all the boxes of “annoying,” “useless,” and “entertaining when necessary”) if he wasn’t a staunch supporter of, you know, the future Lord Voldemort. (Reading your Tom Riddle is making it so difficult to equate the snake-like, inhumane figure of Voldemort to the pretty boy who harbors these prejudiced feelings. It’s hard to imagine them as the same person, but in a good way that twists my mind a bit.)
I’m actually really excited to finish reading Hero, so I can see where her story goes, and so I can see where Finn’s story goes.
Anyway. Hero is clearly in the beginning stages of her feelings for Tom here. All these little things that he does (smiling, touching her wrist, tutoring her) gives her these fluttery butterfly feelings, and if I didn’t know that she would eventually realize the type of person she is (as what happened in Chapter 5), I would be super concerned. But she figures it out, thank goodness.
Their relationship is even borderline cute. I would probably hardcore ship them if the love interest wasn’t, uh, Tom Riddle. Who you write extraordinarily, I’m just constantly amazed. The moment I start thinking that they’re cute together, though, my mind panics and just starts flashing images of Voldemort being Voldemort lmao.
“Dangerous” is a good word to describe Tom Riddle, yes. I agree with Hero there.
Take care of yourself, Hero. <3
Oh my goodness, so many things happened in this chapter.
Most notably, we get full confirmation that Hero did not, in fact, murder a Muggle boy like I thought in the first chapter lmao. Which is good. I loved reading the dream and hearing her explanation of the sequence of events, and it served to explain so many of my questions from earlier.
And I’m completely skipping ahead right now but I CAN’T BELIEVE NOAH WENT TO THE SAME ORPHANAGE AS TOM OMG. It really brings an entirely new meaning to when Hero said she had a thing for orphaned boys. Not only does she have a thing for orphaned boys, but she apparently has a thing for orphaned boys from this one very specific orphanage. At this moment I’m trying to figure out whether Tom (who I’m imagining had a crush on Hero before she properly noticed him) locked the door out of jealousy, or simply because he’s a prejudiced, useless bigot.
Anyway, going back now. Hero’s dream is really scary, and I can see how she would blame herself for his death after that. Her wand distracted him from the road, which caused him to miss seeing the black bird (which isn’t exactly a symbol of good luck to begin with), and then things just went downhill from there. Still, though, it’s not her fault that the wand reacted to her anger (as I assume it did), and that Noah was unable to exit the door. (For the first time, I find myself feeling vaguely appreciate of Finn’s loudmouthedness, for blurting out the helpful little tidbit that Noah’s door was locked.)
I wonder what would have happened if Hero had succeeded in escaping her family. Would she be living a happier life now? Honestly, probably.
A few things about the smaller events of this chapter: Mo is simultaneously adorable and kind of pushy at the same time haha and I find it so amusing that Hero doesn’t recognize that he’s trying to ask her out on a proper date; and I really hope Emory is okay after Theo broke up with her (and I really hope he didn’t blurt out that nonsense about still loving Hero, because my dear Emory really doesn’t need that); and Finn is just Finn.
My favorite scene probably has to be the one where Tom tries to tell her that Noah was “just a Muggle,” and Hero just completely loses it. I was hoping that she wouldn’t let her feelings cloud her morals, and she didn’t let that happen! I’m so proud of her, and now I love her even more. She goes and properly ditches Tom, too, which I’m so thankful for, though I get the feeling it’s really not as easy as all that. After all, there are eight chapters to go, and in my experience of reading stories, creepy prejudiced idiots really don’t let girls go.
When she goes to send the letter to her parents, I was wondering if her parents would actually answer her. They seem to disapprove of just about everything she does. Well, I hope they do answer her, because then I’ll get more answers as well haha.
And that ending. After the already creepy descriptions given by Hero’s cousins, I was fairly on edge, but then she comes face to face with the thing? And with Mo beside her, being a Muggle-born and whatnot, I wonder if the basilisk will actively try to petrify him instead. I JUST WANT THE TWO OF THEM TO GET OUT SAFELY. I MEAN, MO WAS JUST HELPING A LITTLE GIRL, HE DOESN’T DESERVE THIS DEMISE.
(Though I’m probably just jumping ahead of myself. Maybe they’ll both leave unscathed.)
Ahh this story is amazing. You did such a wonderful job with it. <3
(Reading and reviewing this story is seriously relaxing?? Like I love reading it so much, and reviewing it so much, that I get this genuine happiness from doing this, and I can feel a bit of an obsession coming along lmao.)
Hey there, Bianca!
My house completely lost power, which means I currently have no Wi-Fi at home (I am posting this review in a library that does have Wi-Fi as I speak), but thankfully I had this chapter of Hero open on my laptop. So I read it and then typed out this review on Word, which thankfully does not require Wi-Fi to function, and I guess the whole point of this useless introduction was to tell you that this poor review has gone through an inordinate amount of struggle to reach its destination haha.
Anyway, onto the story. As always, I would like to declare my frustration with Theo as a human being. He falls on the unfortunate end of the humankind spectrum, with “unfortunate” meaning “somehow capable of disliking perhaps the most troubling person at Hogwarts for literally all the wrong reasons.” There are a number of reasons to dislike Tom Riddle (namely, attempted murder), and so I just think it’s absolutely hilarious that Theo hates him merely due to jealousy. Though, perhaps I should go easier on Theo because no one know just yet that Tom Riddle is a creepy human being (though I suppose his status as ‘human being’ becomes questionable later in his life when he introduces himself to Harry through the back of someone’s head), but I suppose this is what they call DRAMATIC IRONY. (I suppose English class has indeed taught me something applicable in life.)
All of Hero’s encounters with Finn have left me so curious. I know you have another story centered around Finn, and I am unbelievably excited to read that after I finish this one, but right now, Finn is a complete mystery to me. Or, rather, the relationship between Finn and Hero. What is it about Hero that sets her apart from her family so much? She wants her parents’ approval so badly that I really feel for her, but also, her parents aren’t exactly the best kind of people. She isn’t too fond of her brother (or maybe she does love her sibling, but that he antagonizes her so much that she can’t help but react in a volatile manner) and I just want to know what happens to the two of them later.
Because right now, Finn’s helping Tom with the Dark Arts, and though Hero seems vaguely disturbed by this, she doesn’t find it off-putting enough to stop hanging around Tom. Which makes sense regarding her character, because she wants her parents’ approval even though she’s aware of their prejudice. And then later on, Finn punches her in the stomach after cruelly pranking her, and I was honestly really shocked when I read that. I can’t even imagine siblings hurting each other like that. Because most siblings, when they punch each other, is after they throw petty insults at each other, but Finn mocked the death of her Muggle boyfriend with his “Splish splash,” which just...is not regular sibling behavior. And then he punched her for trying to retaliate. Finn needs to seriously reform himself lmao. I severely dislike people who treat their siblings this way.
Okay, and as much as I dislike Theo for being so unkind to Emory and bitter towards Hero, his advice about not letting her parents control her life is something I agree with. Her devotion to making herself better in the eyes of her parents is alarming, and I’m worried that she’ll drive herself to do some pretty horrible things in order to gain their approval. Right now, it’s fairly harmless, like she just wants to solve this mystery, but I’m worried it might escalate.
I do feel proud of Hero for being brave enough to willingly investigate the cause of the mysterious petrification, though. However, the scene where she was frozen because of the jets of water was so scary omg. I was so freaked out on her behalf (and we know that Noah died by traveling across a bridge, so obviously her trauma is there), and I was so thankful for the existence of Hagrid, who I presume was handling his acromantula. Poor Hagrid. :(
And that library scene. Oh boy. I feel quite pleased that Hero has the same effect on Tom Riddle that he has on her, because that means there’s less room for creepy manipulative BS on his end. But also, I’m still worried for her, that she’ll be drawn into the Dark Arts without really realizing it. I mean, just look at the way he phrased his question about what she saw in her Muggle boyfriend. There’s just this skin-crawling, unsettling quality about Tom Riddle, and though Hero doesn’t see it (please, Hero, open your eyes, I’m worried about you), I love how subtly you put his horrific qualities into the story. Normally, I would be concerned about a Tom Riddle/OC story from the POV of the hero (ha) who falls for Tom, but I feel like I don’t need to worry about this one being too forgiving of Tom Riddle’s genocidal qualities. You walk the line with such finesse, I’m so so impressed by your ability to write a character such as Tom Riddle like this.
What I love about this story is that it’s centered around plot development, but then after reading through this rambly review so far, I just realize that all I’ve been doing is just reacting to the plot, how the characters act within the plot, etc., and I haven’t yet told you how much I love this story and your writing. So I just wanted to say that your writing style draws me so deeply into the story that it takes a lot of effort for me to take a step away from the story (so I can actually sit down and write a review haha). You write intriguing characters with fascinating backstories as well, and I’m honestly so curious to see how you’ll handle this story further! From what I’ve seen so far, the rest of the story can only be great. <3
I would like to apologize for the honestly ridiculous length of this review. I think the fact that I typed this on Word made me a lot more rambly and wordy (heh) than usual, so yeah. I’M GONNA SHUT UP NOW. So sorry for the deliriousness of this, it’s late.
(Love you and this story. <3)
OHH I GET IT. BIANCA YOU'RE SO SMART OMG.
So this is during the time where Hagrid was blamed for the basilisk's doing, right? (Seeing a younger version of Hagrid made me simultaneously overjoyed and saddened, knowing what happens to him later. But it's also cute, the thought of a young Hagrid, haha.) Which makes sense, regarding the deaths of the roosters, since I vaguely remember something about how the crow of a rooster is one of the few things that can harm a basilisk. So since Tom is sneaking around, letting the basilisk go free, and since a girl has just been petrified... I think the expulsion of Hagrid and the death of Moaning Myrtle will be happening soon.
With that out of the way, I would like to continue railing against Theo, for whom I think celibacy is a marvelous idea currently. Seriously. Here we have Hero, trying her very hardest to be responsible and caring for her friend, and then the total opposite of her is Theo, who really just doesn't seem to care about Emory in the slightest. It's very upsetting to witness. And then he just kept trying to force Hero to agree with him (I mean, I'm sure she does hold feelings for him, but she's being good and reasonable and is RETAINING HER MORAL VALUES, unlike him, but I still hate that Theo's trying to read more into her words, it's despicable).
And then he had the nerve to be furious with her for refusing him later, after they discovered that petrified girl. (Though, maybe he was more furious with her for being 'involved' with Tom Riddle.) I kinda laughed when he was so angry he called Tom her "stalker," because I'm sure Tom wasn't stalking her. Nope, I'm pretty sure he was out to commit murder, and just happened upon her in that classroom by chance.
Hero, be careful, girl. <3
Her inner dilemma regarding how to win her parents' approval, and her conflict over Noah's death, is really upsetting to read about. I wish she wouldn't put so much pressure and guilt on herself with this, because I just don't see it ending well for her.
I loved this chapter omg. <3
So far I'm in love with Emory. "Get thee to a nunnery" lmao. (We're reading Hamlet right now, and that's honestly one of my favorite lines, though personally I think Hamlet's being ridiculously dramatic and idiotic towards Ophelia. It works better when Emory says it, though, haha.)
And for this reason, I think that Theo is decidedly undeserving of a girl like Emory, and so I declare myself Team Emory. I hope she figures out what his deal is soon, so that she won't have to suffer through this extended period of distraction from Theo, who's too busy mooning after another girl. Which is honestly really sad, because Emory really seems to genuinely like Theo, and I just don't want him to hurt her unnecessarily. And as for Theo, he should just remain celibate for the rest of his life, or at least until he figures out that he shouldn't want another girl who isn't is girlfriend.
So now that I've gotten my adoration of Emory out of the way (spent two paragraphs on her, and she's barely even in this chapter, whoops), I'm gonna talk about Hero now! You've written such an interesting main character. I'm so fascinated by her backstory and what more she has to offer, and I'm really intrigued by the concept of this 'romance' of sorts between Hero and Tom Riddle. So her boyfriend Noah drowned, then? Is she functioning on some sort of survivor's guilt, because wasn't she blaming herself for his death last chapter? Or did she actually do something that would've caused his death directly? SO MANY QUESTIONS.
Also, seeing Tom Riddle's character in the library scene was super interesting. I loved the way you characterized him. He's unsettling, and not a particularly caring or warm person, and he's also extremely curious. Like, curious to the point of almost invasive. I'm a little worried for Hero, to be honest. She's clearly capable but also seems to be fairly distant with people, so I'm just worried that she's not going to be thinking too critically about who Tom Riddle is as a person.
And boy, is that ending creepy. My mind goes directly to Tom Riddle as the culprit, because, let's be honest, he's going to turn into a creepy genocidal leader in a movement to wipe away non-magical humans, so why wouldn't he start with roosters?
Bianca, you're such an amazing writer! I just want to binge-read this whole fic hahaha. This chapter was so interesting and presented so many unique ideas, and I'm just super excited to keep reading. <3
I'm not finished with you yet!
I love the entire exchange between Hero and Tom in the opening scene. It's so like Tom to be drawn to whatever darkness he thinks he sees in Hero (whether it's actually there or not, I'm waiting for the big reveal). Of course, Hero is still handling her internal existential crisis silently and her feelings for Tom in combination with what he was telling her definitely doesn't help that. And Hero is so sure that he is wrong, too (naturally, an easy assumption because of who she is and who she perceives herself as). I feel like the exchange is some sort of pivotal moment with the Hero-Tom dynamic where Hero is continuing to figure out Tom (though not quite) and Tom is beginning to figure out Hero a little more (because she certainly doesn't see herself as being dangerous and, in comparison to her family/Tom Riddle, she just isn't).
"Finn began making out with his hand." Of course he did, the great moron. :P
Having your classmates stare at you that way must me absolutely nerve-wracking, though it doesn't seem to bother Tom in the least. It's almost comical the way he's cool, calm, and collected and focused on brewing his potion while Hero's internal monologue is in such a state of chaos. It was also really sweet of him to get her out of class early--he's observant if nothing else. I'm really having some unwanted feels for this ship, and I blame you entirely for them! I'm not supposed to ship the protagonist with the antagonist...wait...am I? Your mind games are on point!
I'm really interested in the whole Morgan dynamic! They seem to be becoming really awesome friends and all my instincts are pointing to Morgan being a means to an end for you. Like, I feel as though you're slowly causing us to become attached to him and that you're going to do something horrible to him because of this. I'm onto you! Or he's just a really good friend and everything with be fine for this Muggle-born (though I highly doubt it, because I don't trust that you aren't out to make your readers suffer, here XD). I really enjoy Morgan's existence in this, especially because with the drama between Theo and Emory, Mo offers this neutral ground of friendship that Hero can just be herself with. Go, Mo!
Speaking of -- oh my goodness, that must be so tough for Hero, not being able to tell her friend about how she's feeling because of all of the other secrets that she has to keep. All that is definitely bottling up inside of her and I'm petrified that she's just going to explode at some point! On top of it, it's all clearly affecting her schoolwork which is only causing her even more stress. I'm still ten-thousand percent certain that the raven on the bridge was definitely Tom's owl. My theory stands! Hero will not react well should she discover that is the case. And, I'm certain that he stays focused so well because Tom Riddle is a bit of a sociopath ;) .
Ahhh! I'm so excited that Hero needing help passing her O.W.L.s. gives her the perfect excuse for spending more time with Tom. I cannot even believe that I've fallen for this pairing so hard.
OH MY LANTA THIS FLASHBACK IS ONE OF THE MOMENTS I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR!
Oh that's so, so SAD, B! Poor unexpecting Noah! Was the large, black bird sent by her parents? It had to be awfully big to cause him to veer off like that (unless he was extra startled). I feel so bad! :( Oh, my feels. Hero has obviously blamed herself for this from the start, but now I'm really seeing the extent of as to why (not that it was truly her fault, but I can now see her reasoning behind it). In all my dreams I drown. This is awful, poor Hero! I can see the symbolism behind it, too -- she is in a constant state of drowning (between trying to deal with what happened to Noah, trying to appease her parents, the O.W.L.s and school, dealing with Theo and Emory, all terrible and mysterious events that have been happening since the beginning of the year, her stupid brother, etc.) so it makes sense that she'd drown in her dreams, too.
It's almost like the only solid thing she has right now is...
Lol. Mo and Ro. It's fantastic. Ahh, okay--Morgan's on the Quidditch team and blushes like a madman when in proximity to Hero. ;) Sure, she THINKS coffee and Quidditch talk is harmless but it seems to me that Morgan has a little bit of a crush, don't you think? (Haha, leave it to me to make assumptions off of the smallest things :P .) And yeaaaaaaaah, there's no question as to which group of Slytherin stole that poor kid's gobstones! What are we going to do with that Finn (aside from locking him in a room with the Basilisk)?
Ahh, so I take it that Theo and Emory have either broken up or are currently fighting. That might put a bit of strain on the friendship (not that there wasn't any before, but Emory was blissfully unaware of it). And wow, Finn! Another blow (though he almost admitted that it wasn't Hero's fault). I do wonder if someone had done something to the lock to make it so he couldn't get out! I was all at once thrilled to see Tom go to comfort her, but I should have expected that he would say something like that/show his true colors at some point. I wonder how he's going to react to having Hero angry with him.
ALSO! Had Noah and his late family been attacked by Tom? Is THAT what happened in Noah's past that had landed him in the hospital!? OH MY GOODNESS!
Poor Hero :( . She has a lot to deal with. I also like the inclusion of the war happening around the same time as the first wizarding war, that's a fact that I think is often excluded in a lot of FWW era stories I read...most of them, in fact. It's understandable that trying to bring up the topic of why Tom wanted the Dark Arts book would be a difficult subject, and now that she has kind of seen what his beliefs are, I can understand not really wanting to know. I wonder what exactly she asked her parents in the letter and what they'll say about it! Also, poor Emory has just been left in the dust! That's a best friend foul on Hero's part, but she's really distracted with everything that has been happening.
Soooo -- was that black bird mentioned in the flashback...did that have anything to do with Tom's owl? Did Tom kill Noah?! It would make sense that if Tom had targeted his family previously that he might return to finish off Noah. Ooooh, so Hero's getting some more clues about what is causing all of the petrifications! I wonder if she'll figure that it is a Basilisk by the end of the story! It must be becoming even more frightening for the students now that a second person had been attacked.
I wonder if now that Hero is wary of Tom that she will be giving Morgan a chance? Though, from the way she'd referred to him previously as "it's only Morgan", she might not be feeling the same sorts of things that he is. Also, the encounter with the Basilisk feels like it's drawing ever nearer!
Very exciting stuff is coming! You certainly have a knack for building up suspense!
"I saw nothing wicked, but I did see Tom" It's so strange to read from a perspective where Tom Riddle is not perceived as evil through sheer naivety. It's a beautiful brand-new perspective that I can't seem to get enough of and at the same time want to shake Hero and tell her all about what is to come. It's also partially why I'm falling in love with Tom's character and beginning to mildly ship Hero and Tom while at the same time telling myself NO ABSOLUTELY NOT! (And that becomes more apparent when Hero goes and gets all blushy when he winks at her.)
But Theo...sorry, brother, you don't get to be put-off by the Tom-Hero ship. Theo's repulsion card has been revoked for acting like a complete [well, you know] in previous chapters. Besides, I would think that a helpful piece of advice on homework (despite who it comes from, so long as it's a credible source) should be something that's happily accepted. He's just being jealous and it is NOT a pretty color on Mr. Theo ;) .
I love the rumors circling around after the girl was petrified. The idea that a Durmstrang student could walk into Hogwarts and start hitting the place up with dark magic is the amazing kind of absurd theories that I can totally see a high school age student coming up with. Heheh, and I like how Hero countered with "the smile" to further antagonize Theo (because, you have to admit, he kinda had it coming).
Oh good lord, what are Finn and the Slytherin boys up to now? It's totally understandable that Hero would be concerned over why her brother had brought a book of extremely dark arts from their family home to school (to give to Tom, no less, who really hasn't revealed himself as who he truly is to her) especially with what's been happening recently. Slytherins here are characteristically ominous and foreboding and I can't decide if they're up to something or if you're just trying to throw me off!
Oh yeah, I can imagine that hearing something large and ominous moving behind the walls (and in the pipes) would be terrifying (especially to the younger students and given everything that has been happening lately). Little do they know that it's a terrifying Basilisk (assumptions, but tell me I'm not dead on!) slithering its way around the castle. OH MY GOD. FINN IS SUCH A JERKFACE, FOR SERIOUS! That was terrifying--I thought something bad was going to happen to Hero, like someone had left the dead roosters there as a trap or something but it's just Finn and Co. being gigantic jerkfaces. I hope she raps him upside the head with something hard.
WOW! FINN! I can't--ugh, I can't even with him right now. He and Theo can go lock themselves down with the Basilisk. Take Finn's friends with them. Probably a good idea for Tom to go, too. I can't. Ergh. Finn.
OOOOOOHHH! So she and Theo had more than just a one-time thing after a party! No wonder he's been trying so hard to get back with her. I mean, he's still being an ass and I'm still quite annoyed with him, especially because he's doing all of this while Emory is just trying to love him, but I don't think we have to sentence him to the Basilisk just yet (but he's on thin ice, I'll tell you.)
MORE PUZZLE PIECES! So, context clues and inferences point me to believe that Noah was driving Hero around in a car (no idea what they were doing yet, probably just hanging out or something), when Hero suggested they cross a certain bridge. The bridge, perhaps, was not meant to take the weight of cars or was incredibly old and the bottom had rotted through. At any rate, I assume the car then fell through the bridge (or off the bridge, somehow) and sank into the river (or other body of water) below. Which is why the bursting of the pipes and the sudden infux of water sent Hero into flashback town. I assume then that Hero was somehow able to get out of the car but Noah was not so lucky and then drown. :( That's sad, B!
Also--who is Morgan? Have I missed something? I think, clearly, that I must have.
Tom and Hero studying. I freaking love it. And I hate it. (What in the world have you done to my feels?? Stop that!) And OH SNAP Finlay is in trouble now! She inadvertently tattled on him to the one person she probably shouldn't have tattled to. And that tension, B! Wow! It's almost as if Tom Riddle is falling for Hero just as much as Hero is falling for Tom Riddle! Which is a a new spin on things, too! Is Tom actually capable of love at this point? That would be so interesting if he was! She's clearly affecting him as he's affecting her and he's clearly concerned about that bruise.
Ohhh, so Noah was also an orphan I take it! Also, THAT CHEECK KISS, THOUGH! Wait, first, Tom's near-sociopathic qualities as he's interacting with Hero (and others) is SO WELL DONE, B! How did you manage to Tom Riddle so well in this? HOW? Okay, so--that cheek kiss, though! Dang, things are getting spicer each time the two interact!
I'm so in love with this fic -- you have NO IDEA!
I'm beyond excited for this chapter!
"Forgiveness depends on your O.W.L. results." I cannot stand Hero's parents. They're just awful creatures. And Finlay--FINLAY! With the rooster calls! Oh my goodness, that's just rude. The poor roosters. You don't suppose he had anything to do with it? So, yeah, that's really strange that nobody saw or heard anything in the proximity of the murdered roosters, which means they were silent (and nobody was around, because of the evidence of not having footprints). The Imperious Curse keeps replaying itself over and over in the back of my mind and the only thing I can think of was that Tom Riddle was practising the Imperius Curse on those poor roosters (am I right? am I wrong? I'll have to wait to find out).
Also, I feel so bad for poor Emory. All she wanted to do was hold her boyfriend's hand but Theo had to go and be a complete (well, my choice of words for describing him in the moment breaches the rating protocol for reviews, but you know what I'm implying). The way he looks at Hero and the way he keeps pulling away from Emory, I'm assuming that he's got the hots for our Hero. Why would he then date Emory if he has the hots for Hero?! That boy baffles me and it's really starting to affect poor Emory.
Heh, I can totally imagine that running into Hagrid in a dark corridor could jumpscare an unexpecting person. Soooo the pieces are slowly coming together, something to do with Theo and Hero got together after a party...and Hero told Noah to go over a bridge that ultimately led to his demise (so it WAS a drowning, yeah? no? ...yeah? TELL ME!). Puzzle pieces (and I love the way that things are ever so slowly unravelling one by one) are starting to line up!
THEO! No! That 'L' word! As if Hero didn't have enough to worry about already! And she's very confused about her feelings, especially concerning herself with what her parents want to make them happy. Theo is not going to make this any easier on her, is he? And he's being awfully pushy about it.
Tom Riddle to the rescue! Again? Wow, these two times I've said that have been the first two times I've ever said that in my entire life. Interesting how Tom keeps popping up when Hero is in need of a little assistance. I'm so cynical, I truly believe that he's up to something, popping in like this when he's most "needed". Though, I have to admit, I might be falling in love with his character more than a little bit. So, he's 'looking out' for Hero, is he? And Theo thinks that Tom and Hero are together! I'm in such a state of suspense as to what has happened and what will happen!
THE CHAMBER HAS BEEN OPENED! THE CHAMBER HAS BEEN OPENED! OHMY WORD--HIDE YO KIDS AND HIDE YO WIVES, IT'S THE BASILISK!
Ahhh, and with Hero having seen Hagrid in that very corridor not too long before then, the evidence is beginning to stack up against him. And Tom's name is cleared because he was 'with' Hero and Theo while this was happening! So perhaps it was just a coincidence that Tom was around to save Hero...was up to his little games and such when he heard the commotion between Hero and Theo? Maybe? Well, reading forward tells me that he was actually returning something to her but you can't say that my assumptions are unjustified :P.
"I'll give you a head start and stalk you there." Oh my lord, I am SO in love with your Tom Riddle. I can't even handle him. I'm still vigilantly suspicious of him, though, because he is, however Tom Riddle. Serves Theo right, too. I sense an even larger tension in the Theo, Emory, Hero trio than there already is!
Oh my goodness -- this school year is going to be a rough ride for our Hero, isn't it? Oh yes, I can see it now!
THEO! Keep your eyes on your girlfriend! Goodness, gracious--what are we going to do with that boy, B? Hero has so very much on her plate between her family's terrible secrets and darkness, her schoolwork, whatever it is that happened over the summer that's tormenting her that having to deal with the guilt that comes with whatever romantic encounter she and Theo shared before he and Emory began dating and having to keep such a monumental secret from her friend must be killer her! Not to mention the fact that Emory is so trusting of the two of them (especially together) and, why wouldn't she be, they're all friends.
Sigh. It makes sense that Hero wouldn't want to be hanging around Theo alone at night. Whatever conversation there is to be had there is best to be avoided.
I'm really interested in hearing about what happened to Noah and I'm assuming that it largely has to do with what happened over the summer. I get the sneaking suspicion that Noah had been killed. I'm curious to know if he and Hero were just really close friends or if there was something more going on (given her reaction to Tom's question about if her boyfriend had died, though I might be reading a little too much into it). Also, it sounds like he'd been frequenting doctors, so I wonder if he had some sort of pre-existing condition that had been the cause of his death, perhaps triggered by something else that Hero is blaming herself for. OR if it had anything to do with the mastilio spider, as that seemed to be a heavy topic of conversation and an usual fear for Hero to have (to fear one particular spider out of all of the things in the crazy magical world that could possibly kill someone). OR maybe that was just some awesomely written foreshadowing. Who can say?
But let's talk about that spider! I detest those little creepy-crawlies, you know? So I would have probably acted in a similar manner...and I totally understand the flailing/falling to the floor, breaking things in order to avoid the spider (especially if she's wary of a mortally poisonous spider particularly)! Not to worry though -- Tom Riddle to the rescue (said no one ever)!
I absolutely love the way you portray Tom, by the way. He's so charming in an intimidating sort of way and I find it completely true to how I think he'd be at that age. It also appears that he's taken a bit of an interest in Hero and I'm curious to see if he has an ulterior motive (because, heck, I'm a cynic) or if he genuinely likes Hero as a reason to help her with her essay. I mean, she is a pureblood and he is friends (er, friends, acquaintances, fearsome leader?) with her brother so he might just be helping her for that reason. Also, the brush of the hair--why am I shipping this? What are you doing to me? Stop that!
Also, I know I haven' had a chance to mention it yet, but I'm really digging this whole Shakespeare thing with Emory (I'm a sucker for some Shakespeare) and I LOVE that it's sorta rubbing off on Hero by association.
The scene at Ogg's vegetable patch is gruesome and I don't blame the two first years for being freaked out beyond belief. Whoever could do that do a bunch of roosters has something seriously wrong with them and YES my very first assumption is absolutely that this had EVERYTHING to do with Tom.
This was absolutely spectacular -- I can't wait for more!
I am your Secret Cupid, this I must proclaim. I'm so happy, happy, happy you must play my foolish game. Answer, answer, answer me, you awesome dragon dame. Tell me, tell me, tell me what's my name?
I immediately feel so bad for Hero and it's amazing that you can do that to me right from the beginning. It must be difficult for her to be looked down upon by her family because of what House she was sorted in, especially when her brother is getting so much of their parent's affections. (Though, as a side-note, I think it's absolutely amazing that she counts seconds in Gryffindors and not Mississippis.)
I'm also left wondering what exactly Hero did that caused so much turmoil for her with her parents over the summer, who is this 'blood traitor boy', and who are Emory and Theo! I suppose all those answers will be unveiled as I continue reading, though. And HAD someone died? Is that what Finlay was referring to when he said, 'too soon'? More secrets? Which secrets?! Oh, please, do tell me!
That must be one heck of a deceptive smile! The Blishwick family doesn't seem like they're made up of very nice people, aside from Hero, possibly, which is absolutely fitting for a Pureblood family of the time. Now, what exactly did her mother say was an accident and what about the police?! It sounds downright terrifying to be a Blishwick.
Ahh, I see, so Theo is this blood traitor boy who Hero is banned from speaking to (also, the boyfriend of Emory, who, from context clues, I'm making a firm assessment is the best friend). Oh snap, did Hero have a thing with her bestie's boyfriend (who, I suppose, is also Hero's friend)? Naughty Hero
Woah, it's Tom Riddle! And Finn brought him home with him?! I was right, it IS terrifying to be a Blishwick. Poor Hero. And who is Noah? Oh my goodness, is that who died? Wait one second--Hero made out with a Muggle and then killed him? What is happening! And Finn is kinda terrifying, to be honest.
This is amazing--it's left me confused and in wonderment in the most amazing ways!
Hi, Bianca! I wanted to review something of yours, to thank you for leaving such lovely reviews on my stories and for being an overall wonderful person. And since I've heard so much about this story (congrats on becoming a F.R.O.G.S. finalist!), I'm super excited to start reading it!
Just the summary alone had me unbelievably hyped for this story. I read the summary and scanned the tags, and that just made me ten times more ready to start reading. So here we go!
Okay, so from the outset, it's fairly clear that Hero's the outcast of her family. (I presume they're all pureblooded Slytherins, what with that whole "blood traitor" business and all.) And she comes back from a fairly horrible summer. All the little bits and pieces that you provided in this chapter were so tantalizing; I kept eagerly reading each part only to find that I wouldn't be spoonfed all the information at once. :P
Basically what I've gathered so far is, Hero had sex with Theo (a blood traitor) one night, and now her parents are forcing her to stay away from him. Though I wonder what Emory has to do with all this? And also, at some point during the summer, Hero...killed a Muggle boy? I hope Finn was joking about that, because murder is, uh, not good. Judging from his weird little jokes -- "Who died?" and "Too soon?" -- it probably happened.
(Finn sounds like a horrible brother, goodness.)
Hero is so young right now. She's just a young teenager, barely out of the kid stage, and she's already witnessed (and done) some traumatic things in her life. Not knowing the full story is stressing me out, ahh.
And I wonder how Tom Riddle fits into all of this? I'm so curious to see how you'll explore that relationship, because nothing good can possibly come out of being with someone like Voldemort.
I really, really liked this introduction chapter! It was so interesting and engaging and just the right amount of stressful, haha. I'll try my best to pop in periodically and review the following chapters! <3
OH MY GOD. BIANCA.
[If you aren't Bianca and you're reading this for some reason, beware of spoilers. Like, serious spoilers.]
OH MY GOD
I knew she died, but I never imagined it would be the spider that killed her after all that!!! I mean, it wasn't really the spider, but still. That was GENIUS!
So, I'm going to leave only one review because honestly I can never get through things if I try to review every chapter. *is the worst*
There are a lot of things to love about this fic.
Things I love:
- The building layers of complexity as the fic goes on. It starts off seeming like a fairly surface level exploration of the year's events, but then you add in more and more aspects of the situation until you've really managed to include a lot of completity and context. I loved that Emory got the Muggle newspaper because of the "Muggle war," and that you included the influence of that on her life. I Loved that Tom's gang built up until Grindlewald's followers were there. And Tom's coercion of Hero. The thing with the chocolate was SO smart! Poor Hero being manipulated like that for so long. I wonder if that means Finn is also being controled that way? Seriously, there's so much depth to the scenarios here and it's gripping to unravel that as you reveal more and more of your hand.
- SEBASTIAN. WHAT HAVE YOU DONE, B? How could you hurt that little boy? I didn't see that twist coming at all. I think it was really smart because it showed how much of a farce the idea of blood purity is. Not to mention, I think it shock Hero and and Finn enough to help then sort through that (complete lack of) morality of Tom's agenda. Hero failed to change any outcomes, but I hold out hope than Finn will somehow be more successful
- I thought all the side characters were really charismatic. I found Theo fun to read, even though in theory he's actually a total jerk. And Emory was a nice contrast to Hero. Morgan. Aw, bless him. What a sweet guy. He deserves better.
- The connection with the orphanage was interesting and a brilliant idea. I figured it out pretty early on, so i was really excited to see how that unfolded for Hero. Much dramatic irony.
- The death scene was done really well. That seems like a hard thing to write, especially with a first person narrator
- I both loved and hated the scne where Tom imperiused Brindley. It was horrible to think of, but such an important moment for Finn. And it made me so excited to read the sequel, I can't even tell you.
- the foreshadowing in this is SPOT ON. Teach me your ways, oh brilliant one
- Hero. She's quite a piece of work! :P I think learning about the drugged chocolate changes my perception of her pretty significantly. Sometimes I would think, "how can you just go along with tom like that?? three hours ago you hated him for being a blood purist!" But now I have a super legitimate answer to that question, which is intriguing and makes me interesting in thinking abou ther more thoroughly. One thing is, I think she's probably a person who could be strongly inflienced by her peers, and if she had been sorted in slytherin, i think she'd be very different. I wonder if you agree with that, or if you think I'm being too hard of her? Granted, she's also very stubborn, so maybe I'm wrong. Her best trait is being unpredictable by nature - that's a great MC trait because it lets you do all kinds of things without breaking character. It makes her super fun to read. :)
- On a slightly different note, one thing I liked about reading this was that, although it's a fantastic fic, truly, I can also see that your writing has improved since you wrote this. One thing I specifically noticed was how you dealt with pacing and transitions. It was sometimes just a hair abrupt in this, and I think your more recent things have smoother transitions. So that's a really cool development.
I'm SO HAPPY I finally read this, and I'm very sorry it took me AGES to do so. It was worth the wait, though, I promise you!
Much love to the world's next best-selling fantasy author!
Honestly. I don't even know how to react to this. The first time that I read this, I had an inkling that this was going to be the ending, but reading it all and growing to love Hero through this story has made this such a horrible and upsetting ending.
I mean, who does that? Who goes around killing their main characters? I CAN'T TRUST YOU ANY MORE!
This was such a wonderfully written, powerful ending. I loved the way that you built up to the most dramatic ending that you could possibly have to this story.
The fact that Tom has been dosing Hero up with Lovage in his chocolate throughout the year is awful - I never even picked up on it, but it makes me love Hero more. It's been so frustrating to read this and see her falling for his charm and manipulation, but to know that she's been more susceptible to it because of the Befuddlement Draught is so upsetting. I feel sorry for her and less frustrated now, but it's even more heartbreaking to know the way that this ends.
And Tom. You've written him brilliantly throughout this story and this final chapter is no exception. He's so cold, cruel, manipulative and arrogant - I don't even know how to react to him except to want to run away screaming, to be honest.
The ending was so sudden and final, and I'm so heartbroken for Hero (and Finn). This was a brilliant story and I loved reading it <3
Ah, the flashback at the beginning of this chapter was so lovely - it was really nice (if it was kind of bittersweet) to see Hero meeting Noah for the first time. Taking us right back to the start of everything when we get to find out what actually happened in this chapter was such a good idea, and it shaped this chapter really neatly.
Ooh, we get another glimpse of Hero's parents here - it's fascinating to see them from Hero's perspective, because I think she's more used to feeling like she's a disappointment to her parents. This is really the start of it all, too; the Besmurten arriving at Blishwick Manor and Grindelwald's grip on the family tightening.
I think my favourite thing about this chapter was the way that you slowly unravelled the mystery of what happened to Noah - when Hero slowly found out his real identity and got to speak to Amy and other people that know what happened in reality. Tom was just so chilling and controlling when they saw Amy, and I wasn't sure that Hero was going to go through with it and find out what actually happened, but I'm glad that she did. It made me really proud of her.
I'm so, so glad that Hero finally knows that Tom is the bad guy - that he's responsible for so many of the things that have happened, and that he could have even killed Hero if she hadn't managed to escape from that car. It's been so frustrating watching her fall for his charm and fall into all the traps that he's laid for her, but I'm even more worried to read the next chapter...