loved it, it made me cry a little though :)
This story was very emotional to write. I suppose there is a piece of me in it, even though the story isn't mine. It's precious to me to this day, so I'm happy to know it still has a place on the site as something nice and moving. :)
Your story was really good, to say the least. To say the most, well, I'll just let you know it was one of the best same-sex pairings I've read in a while. The thing that capped it for me was the realism. How awkward would it be telling your best friend that you're gay and in love with them? And then, there's a major chance that they might not like you back. Thank you for a refreshing story!
The thing that bothers me about most romance is that is doesn't tend to be, well, all that romantic. While I would love for every ship I support to have a happy, hopeful ending, it's terribly unrealistic for that to be the case. I'm glad you agree and that sometimes, sad endings tend to be the norm rather than the exception.
I wanted Albus to know that his relationship with his best friend wasn't ruined because of something he couldn't help, so I had Scorpius kiss Albus just to be sure and because he cared about him enough to at least try.
Anyway, thank you for your lovely words and input. I really appreciate it!
wow i love this story it was so good, you have no idea how much i relate to al in this, youve written this exactly how it feels in these situations, well done :)
This is one of the nicest things anyone has said to me about one of my stories. I write situations that, due to being, well, me, I can't have experienced them, but I write them with the utmost care and concern about how they are approached. I want things to be real, even if they never happened to me. That you were able to appreciate and identify with this story makes the hours and hours I spent angsting over how I worded certain things and how I put across certain emotions.
Thank you for reading and taking the time to let me know what you think. I really appreciate it!
wow. this was such a great story!!! i feel, that you expressed the angst of albus perfuctly! it was an entrancing read. i didn't look up once. wonderful. absolutely wonderful!!!
Yay, I love when this story gets reads. :)
This was one of the very first stories I wrote which I was proud of, mostly because I dedicated myself wholly to realistic emotions for Albus. This was also the first story I ever wrote that gave me fits, mostly because I was really delving deeply into the character's mind. I cared so much about how this story turned out that it truly affected me when I was writing the ending. I wanted to hug Albus. :(
Thanks for reading, and I'm glad you enjoyed the story.
This was very good! I really enjoyed the dynamics between Scorpius and Albus Severus, and although the ending was sad, I really enjoyed it. It showed more of the harsh reality of life, versus the fairytale ending where it turns out everyone is gay and it all works out perfectly. I liked it, keep writing.
I'm all about the harsh realities. I leave the happy endings for the fluff writers; I prefer to portray the darker sides of reality. Plus, Albus and Scorpius are two of my favourite characters, and their dynamic possibilities are nearly endless.
I'm glad you enjoyed the story. Thanks for the review.
I've been meaning to read this for ages- perfect revision break- there aren't enough unrequited love stories on MNFF (which makes me sound like a sadist, but hey, they're more common in RL). I really like the first person voice you created for Albus. I like the way he writes about what he sees as the pivotal moments in his relationship with Scorpius from the age of 21. It offers distance for the earlier memories, but also means he's read far more into them than probably either he or Scorpius meant. And when it gets closer to the age he's writing this at the emotions seem more amplified. I mean obviously by this time you've been racking up the tension, which had to break at some point, so they would be amplified, but I think you did it well.
I liked the way Albus tries to explain things to himself, like when he first starts dreaming about Scorpius and attributes it to Jenny. It seemed very realistic. And your characterisation of Scorpius was really lovely. I liked how you reversed the stereotypical gay/ straight roles when Scorpius gave Albus what was essentially a makeover. He was also very brave to kiss Albus, just in case he did reciprocate but hadn't realised. That's real friendship, although of course because of the first person (and I don't think this could have come across in third person) Albus thinks, briefly, it might have the potential to go further, making the fall greater when he realises that it can't.
I also liked Harry's characterisation, and it was sweet that James had realised Albus was gay, but only told the family. Harry had the right amount of trying to be a good father, but also unintentionally fumbling things, to make him seem very realistic.
The one thing I didn't like about the story was the reference to the prom and the accreditation day. I know this is the future, and you explained about the Prom but McGonagall doesn't strike me as one to think of it, and the accreditation day just seemed too..american. Even if you just called it "Results Day" I think I would have preferred it. But they are very, very minor nitpicks to a well written story where Albus' pain really comes through. Alex x
If you haven't noticed, I have a *thing* for Albus/Scorpius dynamics. There is just something entertaining about seeing how two boys from two wildly different families could grow up and somehow latch onto one another. It's almost got that rich kid/poor kid, can they really coexist vibe.
You're very perceptive in how you read Albus's feelings. A lot of his feelings were the product of misconstrued intentions and lack of understanding of how to cope with his feelings. He wasn't the type to ask for help in that regard, either. There were also meant to be mildly obsessive undertones to their relationship, as well, all of which were on Al's side, which only exacerbated things.
Many readers of this story actually didn't like Scorpius at all, and it threw them that there was that kiss at the end. You seemed to 'get' him fairly well. No, he's not the most sensitive guy on the planet, but he's just, you know, a normal guy who happens to be a bit on the prissy side. He is also quite straight, which is why he made the mistake of kissing Al. As happens with a lot of non-gays, he doesn't realise that it isn't something he can just try out and figure out he likes it; it's a personal identity -- one he didn't have. Of course, it was only torturous to Albus, but he couldn't know that, but nonetheless, it was a moment that redeemed him in the eyes of others in that he really did care about Albus as a person and as a friend. Without that, who knows what would've happened.
I did a LOT of research on prom in the UK. Many, many UK schools have a prom. And as for McGonagall, I felt like she rather enjoyed having the Yule Ball come to Hogwarts, and as adding a Yule Ball has become rather cliche by this point, I circumvented that and just went for prom. She's a smart woman, and no doubt, if she really wanted an excuse to add a new programme to the school, she'd find one. :) And as for Accreditation Day, it does't exist anywhere. It's not American because we have graduation. It's a complete fabrication on my part, but it's basically a dress up occasion where the students are given their certificates of completion for their NEWT subjects, as one would do with a diploma. I didn't want to use an American terms, and I didn't want to use an exclusively British thing, either, so I used an exclusively wrought-from-the-imagination term. That's all. :)
Anyway, thank you for the review, and of course, welcome to SPEW!
Interesting pair-up. Overall I thought it was pretty good, although I would have reeally liked to see more detail.
I'm glad you stopped by to read! This really wasn't slated as a detail piece so much as a highlight of the pivotal points in Albus's obsession with loving Scorpius, but I would be interested in what you saw that could be improved. I'm always up for editing for quality, so if you feel strongly about it, please leave a second review with what you think could have been done better.
Thanks again for stopping by. :)
I never got a chance to review this story properly during QSQ judging = Which is a shame because there was one part that tugged at my heart-strings and it was this:
“Because I care about you more than just about everybody I know. I owed it to you to make sure I didn’t feel the same.” He got up and put his hands on my quivering shoulders. “I’m so sorry, Al. I really don’t know what else to say.”
I loved how honest and simple and logical Scorpius comes across. So very Slytherin. And yet so not at the same time. I loved every bit of this story.
The Order of Ravenclaw House Elves.
Aww, hugs from the Ebil Apprentice.
One thing I really wanted from this story was for Scorpius, despite not being the ideal person, as he's rather superficial and clueless about Albus's feelings during most of it, deep down, he really does care about his best mate. I wanted him to be, you know... like anyone else.
I'll be honest, I remember in your LJ post when you lamented how many entries in this category fell under the umbrella of 'who the hell nominated this and why?' I was a bit paranoid that you meant this story. I'm glad to know it wasn't... more than you know. :D
Thanks for the visit, dear. I shall see you around.
nooo!!! I wish Scorpius loved Albus, they make such a good pair...However, amazing story. very well written...I just wish there was more- er - action in it ;)
Hehe, this was never meant to be anything but an unrequited love story for Albus. However, if you're interested, I have a fic called Collateral Damage, and it's significantly more raunchy than this one. It's chaptered, but it's also complete, so no waiting for updates. I hope to see you again!
Wow. I really liked this. It's terribly beautiful too. (...I may or may not have started tearing up a little in the end, haha) Please keep writing, you have a gift.
Author's Response: Yayyyy, thank you. This story is like a melancholy slice carved out of a pure block of emotion and angst. It was really intense to write, and It actually took a lot out of me to make the feelings and interactions just right. I'm glad you appreciate it. :D ~Jess
You've created something beautiful. Your portrayal of Albus as a tortured sou,l was wholeheartedly believable and touching. You laid out his mind for us to dive into, and you opened his heart for us to ache for, just as he ached for Scorpius. This could easily be translated into a non-magical story, because its emotions are universal and real.
Thank you for your lovely words!
It's funny that you should mention that it could translate well to real life, but in a way, real life was transposed into the magical world. You see, the story was inspired by an actual friend of mine who recently admitted to me that he was gay (though I had already figured that out a decade ago). He had had a crush on his best friend from primary school when they became a bit older, and they drifted apart when they were 14/15 years old. Though it was a sad event, it did fuel a plot bunny, which turned out to be one of my favourite pieces that I've written. I personally don't read slash, and that's not what this piece is; it's unrequited love and heartbreak where the pairing in question just happens to be of the same gender. Take that as what you will, i suppose.
I'm glad you enjoyed it and captured the feelings of empathy that I was going for. This story was very difficult to write in that it was very emotional for me. I have no idea why, but it was. Now that it's finished, I know it was worth the effort. I'm glad you feel the same.
Take care and happy reading,
*begins to cry* Poor Albus! *cries more*
Alas, it was always going to happen that way. Poor boy. :(
That's what was written in the stars for him, though. His secret was that he was in love with his best friend, his hell was that Scorpius didn't love him back, and his burden was figuring out how to deal with it from there.
I'm glad you liked it (at least I think you do, lol), so take care and happy reading!
Right, let me kick off this review by being honest with you. When I first read this fic, whilst I enjoyed it, I did find the first person POV rather ponderous and introspective(We,, derr, Carole, First person is introspective). I'm not a huge fan of first person and that counted against this fic for me. I did recognise that it was well-written and also very touching. Now then, I've re-read it because I felt a bit guilty about not reviewing and .... I don't find it at all ponderous now. I really like the style of the piece and the way we see Scorpius through Albus' eyes is great. The detail about the way he eats, his clothes, his hair is wonderful and he comes over as a proper character rather than a name.
I do have a bit of an issue with Albus being a Slytherin. It's your story and your portrayal so obviously you can do what you want, but you didn't convince me in this fic why he should have been put there. I don't think it would have been enough that he wanted to be a Slytherin, I do think he'd have had to show some Slyth qualities (cunning, ambition, ebilness *snort*) - he didn't seem to have that. He did actually seem far more Puff than anything else as he wasn't brave, or wildly intellectual either. That's minor, btw, but I just wanted to share it with you.
Albus' growing feelings towards Scorpius are very well drawn and I am VERY pleased that you ended it with being unrequited. To me this made it more real (and also heartbreaking) . Scorpius' reaction was astoundingly good. He didn't reject him out of hand because he owed Albus so much. I thought that was wonderful (I'm starting to think that Scorpius should be a Puff as well!).
Something I would have liked to see was a scene with James because he seemed to have sussed that Albus was gay, yet as they were in diff houses I'm not sure they'd spend that much time together. See - I wanted you to write more - ha ha.
Jess, I'm impressed with your first slash fic - which is actually much less about slash and sex than real feelings and unrequited love. Well Done. ~Carole~
Well hello there!
I get what you mean about first person. It is not my favourite POV, either. But, after starting this fic in third person and getting about one quarter the way through it, I knew that it was all wrong and that it had to be in first person. I wanted it to feel like Albus, not someone talking about him. Had I known that there was going to be a character clinic thing when I wrote this, I would've saved it for that.
I also get the on the fence-ishness about being a Slytherin, but to be honest, when I was writing this, I was more worried about it being too long and not fitting into a one-shot, so I never went back to add details after I knew that I had the word count to allow it. I also didn't want it to be rambly, which can happen in intense internal dialogue.
I knew how I wanted to end this story before I put one word into it. I knew that it wasn't going to be a happy ending, but I also knew that Scorpius really was his friend through and through. It's hard to fall in love with someone who doesn't possess qualities that make them, well...loveable, lol. I thought that the kiss would probably be the best way to go, because I didn't want Albus to have any 'what if's.
Truthfully, I never thought of putting a scene in with James. Now that you mention it, it makes more sense than him having a chat with Harry. However, being a daddy's girl myself, I talk about everything with my dad. I didn't see any reason why Albus couldn't trust his dad with that sort of secret (well, at least he thought that it was one).
The reason I wrote this one the way that I did is because I wanted to break the mould on what bothered me about most slash/SSP stories. Instead of it being about 'hawt sex', it's about love and hurt and rejection. That is what love is about most of the time anyway. That's what the title means, by the way; his secret is that he loves his best friend, his hell is that Scorpius doesn't love him back, and his burden in dealing with that rejection. I'm sure that not a few people thought that one of his issues was being gay, but I don't see it that way. I even tried to make sure that the reader knew that he didn't have a problem with being gay once he figured it out.
For my SPEW 007, I'm actually embarking on a journey with Albus. I'm going to make that story about him, but he's going to be a Gryffindor (though after bickering with the Hat). I'm keeping some of the aspects of this story, such as Albus crushing on Scorpius, but Harry's not going to know about it. I have future ebil plans for that, as this story is going to be VoJP compliant. It'll end up being a million pages long, but I want to do it right. This story was almost like a preview/snapshot of it.
Thanks for reviewing, and thanks for getting this far in my rambly responses, as I am wont to do. I'm glad that you changed your mind about the POV, because after trial and error, I'm sure that this was the only way that if could have been done.
Take care and happy writing!
You deserve more reviews than you've got. So, hey i read this and i liked it. Actually i loved it. It's both refreshing to see an as/s pairing on this site and to read an angst story in which the main character doesn't in on about killing themselves and wanting to die. In other al/scorp stories i've read there seems to be a happy ending and i liked how you ended with them not together but still friends. I loved the portrayal of scorpius as not so stuck up and i'm wondering if your other stories with him have the same personality. Please keep writing this ship as you do it justice and expert more reviews from me on your other stories later
This is, honestly, my favourite thing that I've ever written. I adore Albus so much, but even though it pains me to put him through so much, his personality, as he dwells in my brain, is just predisposed to it.
I hate suicide angst same-sex pairing, because it's just...boring. Yeah, I get it, you love someone and they don't love you back. Get over it. Lol, lots of bad memories for me, I suppose. I really wanted it to be raw and honest, not whiny and pathetic. I knew, as soon as I finished writing it, that I'd done what I'd set out to do. And while it will never get very many reviews, since it's SSP, it still remains my best and my favourite.
In my brain universe (Merlin, I have a lot going on up there), Draco is a changed man after he escapes Voldemort's rule. It doesn't come easily, but he does evolve into a decent human being, though he will always be insufferable. That change in him is reflected in his son, whom I believe will be a good man all of his life, both because he chooses friends like Albus, but also because he wants to be one.
I am planning on more ALbus/Scorpius, since the few people that have reviewed this story told me that it's pretty good. I really do like these two, so I can't really stay away, now can I?
Thank you so much for the wonderful review. You seriously just made my week.
You know, I have to confess, I had my doubts about an Albus/Scorpius pairing. I've obviously paired Albus with another man myself, but I guess I'm used to seeing Scorpius paired with Rose or Lily, or in your case, Domonique. As I was reading, there were still places where I doubted. Yet by the end, I was hooked. You paced this story incredibly well. You made me want them to get together - desperately. It was obvious that they have something amazing, something real. And yet it was not meant to be. That was when you really revealed true genius: when Scorpius kissed Albus, but admitted he did not feel the same - oh *sobs!* And when he still held Albus and tucked him in - oh *more sobs!* That was just terrifically heartbreaking. Wow.
So why did I have my doubts? Just a few things. First, there was this line:
We were outcasts together—him because of his family and me because of mine
Although I can extrapolate why Scorpius was outcast, it wasn't clear from the story, so it weakened their immediate bond a bit. You built that up later, but the initial click could use a bit more fleshing out.
Ditto on just why Albus was so enamored of Scorpius. You did a great job of detailing Scorpius's character through Al's eyes, but I didn't always understand why Albus liked his neatness, his table manners, things like that. So at times it was hard to understand the attraction. I think the first person point of view helped that (you certainly could not have accomplished this much angst in third person!) but just a bit from Albus about why he liked Scorpius and not just what he liked would add a touch more depth to his feelings.
That said, I will say again you still built to a hell of an ending. I believed in them at the end, and damn that was sad! Your writing is very natural and easy to read. The voice is well-done and as I said, the pacing was perfect. You are very creative with both your words and your story. Really great job, Jess - good luck in the challenge!!
Yay, my first review for this!
My goal was to show Al falling in love for the first time while going through a huge identity crisis, which I believe that I did okay. I've never written in first person before for anything substantial, but I knew, for this, it was important to do so.
So, the main issues that you had were clearing up why they were outcasts and why Albus was attracted to the neater aspects of Scorpius. Mainly, it was because he was a lot of things that Al knew that he was not, which I tried to illustrate by showing Al's general nonchalance toward appearance and Scorpius's inverse fastidiousness.
Thanks for reviewing, and I think I'll cruise on over to 'edit' and add a little bit. :)