I only just made an account here so this is my first review for your amazing story.
I started reading this last year and I'm so in love with it! It's so detailed and Lydia is my favourite OC. I love how you characterise Tom as well. Everything is flawless and I have no words for it. I squeal every time you update and I really loved this chapter, especially the note at the end:) :)
Author's Response: I'm extremely flattered to be the recipient of your first review! I love writing Tom and Lydia and find it really encouraging to know that there are people out there who are enjoying their story.
Thank you again for your review,
I love this story!
Author's Response: And I love your reviews! :)
I must admit that I squealed rather loudly when I saw that the newest chapter of this story had finally been posted. I love your writing, and I love this story. I smiled when I read about Lord Voldemort reading The Ugly Duckling, and I thought that the note from Lydia to Tom was a nice touch.
Author's Response: It's probably the same sound I make when I see new reviews! I'm really glad you're enjoying it. I was worried that The Ugly Duckling was pushing the envelope, so it's a bit of a relief to know that it came off okay.
Thank you for reviewing,
This ruly an amazing story. It is both well written and accurate to Tom Riddle's character even when depicting him as a lovesick teenager. I finished the first 18 chapters in two days and eagerly await chapter nineteen. This is probably the best story that I've ever read on this website and I urge you to keep writing!
Author's Response: Thank you so much! I will definitely keep writing, but I expect it will be a little while before Chapter 19 is ready, hopefully within a week.
Thank you again for your lovely review,
Okay ... I wasn't at all shocked by his anger...I mean it's Voldy! But I mean, how could Lydia have taken what that wretch said to heart? She's smarter than that .. but I guess she is normal after all ...
But in other news! Brilliant chapter! I thought it showed Voldemort in his true light... & honestly I don't know how you manage to keep him in character and also make him seem so ... human ...
Author's Response: Yeah, Voldy isn't really known for dealing well with bad news. :S As for Lydia, while pretty much everything that Charlotte said struck nerves, there was one line in particular that raised flags for Lydia:
"Over the summer he came to visit me at work. He gave me a bouquet of the most beautiful red roses before asking me out to dinner.”
That was the part that shocked and hurt her; because she does know (from chapters 1 and 16) that Tom has a habit of producing crimson roses when trying to impress a girl. Combining that with Charlotte saying it happened over the summer and Lydia became convinced that Tom had cheated on her while she had been away. His reaction when he got to the table all but confirmed it.
So, while Lydia does feel insecure regarding her physical attractiveness, and does occasionally wonder what exactly Tom sees in her, it was the discovery that he'd cheated on her which caused her to leave.
Thank you for reviewing,
How horrible. I don't think Lydia would like this at all.
but wonderful writing on your part, Hypatia!
Author's Response: I think this is the darkest chapter I have ever written and alternately worried that it was either too fluffy or too dark, so I'm glad that it sounds like it came out dark enough. While Lydia certainly wasn't a fan of Charlotte, she most definitely would not approve of what happened to her. However, Voldemort tends to think that what Lydia doesn't know won't hurt him. ...which is what got everyone into this mess in the first place.
Thank you very much for your review,
How wonderful. I had assumed that that incident with Charlotte would come back to bite him, the question was only when. A fitting moment, in many ways.
I am still following and thoroughly enjoying what may yet become the chronicle of the dark lord's rising. As it seems are countless though silent others. In a thoroughly alternate universe, accompanied by a dark lady, it all would have been very different. Lydia, however, shows no sign of being a sociopath with a pendant for violence and suffering.
To a certain extent, Lydia seems to foreshadow the otherwise rather different Bellatrix, also trained by Voldemort. I not sure of the dates, but suppose she and Lucius are infants at this point, if even alive. At any rate, he was certainly to inhuman by the time of Bellatrix's coming of age. I always wonder what (if any) basis in reality all that erotomania had on Bellatrix's part.
Many thanks for this great story,
I (anonymously) wrote “Playing with fire is bad for those who burn themselves. For the rest...” on the quotes board at work, but it was shortly taken down on the ground of being to "eugenic-y". I privately enjoyed the astuteness of this, and thought you might also.
Author's Response: I must admit, I absolutely love your reviews! As for what could have been in that alternate universe where Lydia joins Voldemort, I think she would have secured his position much more firmly. While, she isn't a sociopath (she feels a wide range of emotions and deeply, but has learned to mask them) she does have a blind hatred of werewolves. I think Lydia would have condoned any means Voldemort suggested in eradicating them. I also think that rallying supporters around the anti-werewolf campaign would have appealed to a much larger portion of the wizarding community than attacking Muggleborns. In short, I think Lydia would have redirected Voldemort after the group she hates and in exchange would have found him a way into power with far fewer casualities and much less resistance.
I also think Bellatrix (who will be born in roughly 5 years by my count) would want to hold the position that Voldemort intended for Lydia. However, I don't think Voldemort would ever have respected Bellatrix in the way that he does Lydia. Lydia has purposely been rude to him, stood up to him, outsmarted him, and walked out on him. I don't believe Bellatrix would ever do any of those things. I guess, what I'm saying is that I doubt Voldemort would ever have had any interest in Bellatrix because she was too attainable, and he seems the sort of person who would enjoy a challenge. Similarly, I think the exact same reason is why Bellatrix always seemed to hang onto Voldemort's every word: he never showed any romantic interest in her.
Thank you again for your lovely review,
p.s. I quite enjoyed your anecdote regarding the fire quote. When I first started researching this story I spent a good deal of time reading about sociopathy (not being a sociopath, it seemed like a good idea to try to figure out how Voldemort might think) and stumbled on a site which has several quotes regarding sociopathy. I don't dare do any research on my work laptop as I can only imagine what IT would think. Somehow I doubt my explaining that it's research for Harry Potter fanfiction would help my case.
Why was it sooo short? :(
How can I possibly wait another week for another chapter? I'll simply die!
Sighs* again, I can't but wish Voldy had a happy ending ...
Author's Response: My apologies for the chapter's shortness. I'd considered merging this one with the next, but thought we were a bit overdue for a cliffhanger.
As for happy endings... you may not be so inclined to wish one for Tom after reading about his reaction. I'll ty to have it posted in the next few days. :)
Thanks for the review,
What a cliffhanger! Great job explaining his thoughts. I am curious what Lydia will do next - would love to see her perspective!
Author's Response: It's interesting that you bring up seeing Lydia's perspective as it was sometng I had been considering doing for the previous chapter. After consulting with Maple, the scene was cut to keep everything in Tom's perspective and to keep Lydia a bit more mysterious.
That being said, Tom is also curious about Lydia's perspective, particularly in discovering exactly what Charlotte told Lydia. He also has every intention of finding out by any means necessary.
Thanks for your review,
Can't wait for the next chapter!
I must say it's unnerving to think of Lord Voldemort's heart 'fluttering' lol
Author's Response: Thanks! The next chapter will probably be up within a week. :)
As for the fluttering of Voldie's heart, yup definitely unnerving and downright creepy to think of he and Lydia kissing once he'd made enough Horcruxes to be the slit-nosed Dark Lord! :P
That was fascinating!
I love Tom's surprise at Lydia's non-conformity. I really wish they could be together in the end...
They seem to right for each other.
Author's Response: Thanks! I really enjoyed writing that part, particularly since neither of them bothered to check that they were referring to the same secret passage. Both of them are just so confident that they know about the only one. ;)
It is a wonder to me how is it that you do not have more reviews! This story is so well written & so detailed! Although you know what the outcome will be you just can't help but hope that Tom will find love!
I've read your abridged version of this story when it was first published & found it very interesting to think of Tom as Tom & not as the Dark Lord. To see him as a closed off person but with feelings nonetheless.
It's also curious to me how he had even lived his life without ever knowing the meaning of friendship or even of affection for another human being. I guessed that the blood of Slytherin made him what he is, half-blood or not.
Amazing writing! I hope that you continue to reach new heights & I'm looking forward to your next chapter.
Author's Response: Thank you so much!
I find myself wishing that Tom and Lydia could have their happy ending too. I know they can't, but I find myself wondering how history would have changed 'if only'.
I agree that it seems unlikely that anyone could go their entire life without ever feeling so much as affection for someone else. Besides, we see that Voldemort does hve favourites, so I woud think he must feel at least a slight tug of affection for these indiviuals. I do think though that any form of love Tom ever felt never reached the level of unconditional love. I think he could have cared enough about an individual to put them ahead of others, but never enough to put them ahead of himself.
Thanks again for your review,
Thank you for responding to my review. Looking forward!
Author's Response: No problem! (In case it wasn't incredibly obvious, I LOVE reviews, though I suspect all the authors on the site do.) I'm aiming to have the next chapter up later this week (although I'm considering re-editing so, that might be overly-ambitious on my part).
Fascinating! I suppose this explains his trust of Severus.
Author's Response: I think it does to some extent, although you'd think Voldemort would be more careful knowing that Lydia can effectively hide her thoughts from him. I guess I like the idea that the person Tom trusts most is the one who can decieve him, which I suppose is why it's called 'trust'.
In the draft of the epilogue, Voldemort surprises some of his followers for showing more interest in the 'Half-Blood Prince' than in several pure-bloods recruits. I think it would be difficult for him not to see elements of both himself and Lydia in Severus, which would go a long way to explaining his favourtism of Severus.
I also find it strange to think that if Lydia and Tom's story were to end differently, Severus would have been Voldemort's nephew. And now the very AU thought of young Severus and Uncle Dark Lord is making me think ridiculous thoughts... :S
I don't get why there aren't more reviews - it's well written, well thought out and addresses a major gap in canon.
So I thought another review on this chapter might help.
Author's Response: Thank you, it's very much appreciated! :)
Great job! What is your update schedule? I always enjoy your chapters.
I do feel that the plot is a little slow, where is this going?
Thanks so much!
Author's Response: I'm glad you're enjoying it so far! I realize that the action is a bit slow going, but it should pick up the pace over the next few chapters. I think I may have drawn certain parts out longer than I would have with other characters because I find it so hard to portray Tom Riddle falling in love in a way that anyone will find reasonable. I mean, if anyone were to read the last few chapters without having read the previous ones, they'd probably find him quite out of character.
As for where this is all heading... I've tried to write this from Tom's perspective after his relationship with Lydia has been destroyed beyond repair. Anything that shows up in the story would be an event that he would one day consider significant when trying to analyze how he fell prey to the weakness of love and whether there was ever a chance of things working out for our star-crossed pair. At least, that's the big picture of where this is heading: how love turned Tom into the Dark Lord.
If you were asking where this is heading short-term... I'm kind of playing those cards close to the chest right now. All I'll say is that some of the many warnings will apply in the next few chapters (I want to say within three, but haven't figured out for sure where the chapter breaks will occur.)
As for my update schedule... I don't exactly have one. I try to keep a bit ahead of where I'm posting in case I have to go back a chapter or two to add a detail which will later be important. The following chapter has already been sent to a beta and the next one or two (depending on whether they get merged) are also drafted. I expect that once we get through the next chapter the plot should start picking up the pace again.
Thank you for reviewing so faithfully,
Author's Response: Thanks! :)
Great chapter. Keep writing!
I particularly liked his manipulation in the Dippet interview
Author's Response: Thank you! :)
This story is so amazing! I can't actually believe that I want things to work out for Tom!! Please continue writing, you have a real talent!
Author's Response: I was surprised at how much I wanted things to work out for them too. I had originally meant for their relationship to have deteriorated earlier in, but keep wanting to give them just a few more moments of happiness. I don't think I'm giving anything away in saying that ultimately, the relationship of Tom and Lydia will not have a happy ending; we all know what Tom becomes and that Lydia isn't in the picture when Harry Potter meets him. That being said, part of me really wants to keep them together and explore where that would have taken them. Would there have been a Dark Lord and Dark Lady? Would Lydia have been able to redeem Tom? I think I mentioned in response to a review several chapters ago that Lydia's Patronus being an eagle was actually because in animal symbolism, the eagle can retrieve lost soul parts, which is because I figured if anyone could ever have had a chance of helping Tom reassamble his fragmented soul, it was her. (Huh... I might have to write an AU one-shot once this is complete.)
Thank you for reviewing!
Oooooh, the tension! ^^
No, I love your portrayal of Tom, and Lydia is quite possibly the best OC I have ever heard of. Congratulations on avoiding Sue-ism so perfectly.
Another thing that has really caught my eye with this story is the way the characters talk to each other - their slightly slower, more formal way of talking makes an incredible atmosphere. Also, you have a wonderful imagination; how on earth did you come up with the dancing in the flames? I can't thank you enough for those mental images.
Author's Response: Thank you so much! I love writing Lydia and it's actually a relief that you don't see her as Mary-Sue. I find it difficult to keep her flawed enough to be realistic while keeping her gifted enough to maintain Tom's interest. As for the fire dance... I can't be positive but I think that was a by-product of a line from one of the early episodes of Heroes (which I only discovered over the summer). Claire Bennet says something along the lines of "I walked through fire and wasn't burned." I was really struck at the time that Lydia is 'playing with fire' by remaining close to Tom and that she had yet to be burned so I think that's where the idea came from. It's hard to say for sure because this particular chapter was first drafted a while ago.
Thanks again for your review, Hypatia