I honestly think I'm just so annoyed with these two morons (tbh I had another word but I can't use it on the archives, gahhhh) that I don't even have it in me to call you a monster. Like they really did just need to sit down and talk everything out and I mean, I expected there to be blows between them. Low key, I did not expect Abby to be to the one to leave though! (though tbh I don't blame her, that's got to hurt coming from James, really shows how far they've drifted) I really thought James would be, if someone did. Gonna be honest though- I think she was definitely in the right for making sure they stayed on track and actually making sure they talked about everything, but James is really the one with a lot of the errrr...valid relationship points? I mean, her job is very important to her and he needs to respect that, but there are a lot of points he made about the lack of apologies/responsibility and the lack of solutions. Because that's huge. But really, they both probably need to take more responsibility for their actions and start putting up more solutions.
BUT WAY TO HIT ME IN THE FEELS WITH SOME CUTE BABY BEFORE IT ALL GOES TO SHIT!! #rude. Here are Abby and James playing god-family with James' adorably godchild and they're both having thoughts that maybe someday down the road, they could have a kid of their own and ugghhhhh god James why'd you have to be so awkward here, things were SO GOOD for a minute and then you just had to be you and leaveeee?
Yay for Lily for finally telling Harry and Ginny. I totally agree though that they wouldn't want anything less than for their children to be happy, no matter what it was that made them happy. The more into this we get, the worse I always feel for Abby though. I wish she'd had that kind of conditional support growing up. Moments like this always lead to lines that make me feel sad for her. In this case "putting on a facade has so often been my specialty. " It's true, it has, and she's good at it. But it lead to so much trouble for her becuase she doesn't feel like she can go to the closest people in her life with her problems and I can't help but bring that back to her parents and their lack of support.
Anyway, t-minus two weeks until July THANK GOD!! LET'S GET IT!!
Hi Taylor! I’m here for your requested review!
Death Eaters 2.0 still makes me crack up every time it’s referenced in the story. It’s just a very Harry-ish name to give, you know?
Abby is clearly well-adjusted in her workspace, and I’m also glad that she’s getting to play a bigger role in the workplace. It’s just kind of sad that she feels like she’s not supposed to be part of the seniors, but her work ethic and dedication have pretty much proven that she belongs with them. If anything it’s the seniors that seem to be getting a little lazy. Like, her organization skills are no surprise to me, but what’s angering is the fact that the others think she’s doing this for them. Not everything is catered towards others.
I’m also glad that Abby at least seems to be taking some control of the way she’s perceived by others? It’s not her fault really, but certain perceptions can really affect the way they’re treated, and has some pretty long term detriments.
You know, Dom and Abby’s friendship always makes me smile. They have this friendship where they both bring each other up for each other’s successes and help them during their failures. I’d say that they’re pretty great friends because of their ability to do the former; I know most people don’t want to see their friends do better than them, which can usually bring a lot of pettiness and jealousy. That’s not great for a healthy relationship.
Well, I think we all know where Dom and Rajhi are headed. It’s cute how Dom is denying it, but it isn’t a great tactic for making someone believe that they don’t have thing. Denial almost always makes people believe the opposite.
Abby’s correct, she definitely does have her work cut out for her. I don’t know. Maybe she doesn’t really know how to deal with so many stressful things at once—because if it was just the wedding and the case, I feel like she’d be better equipped to deal with normal day to day things, including her relationship. It’s really hard to tell where James and Abby’s problems first started showing up (yes, it was around Christmas, but maybe they were there even before, like during Complicated or something), and what’s at the root of that. At the beginning, the problems and questions you ask in later chapters just doesn’t seem to be a problem for them. Or maybe it’s because they never fully got to see the other with all of their vices and virtues, and went into marriage too quickly. This is all just me theorizing though.
Thanks for writing! xx
Ugh I’m such a terrible reviewer. I read in silence and I finally just need to give my thoughts! I LOVE the way you write Abby and James as being half-self aware knowing that they realize the merits of the other person’s arguments, but that stubbornness to refuse to admit that they’re both wrong is killing them. I also love that this started from very working late, etc. because that’s such a real, adult issue that comes up.
Now, for the actual story. Let’s start with Abby.
I love that we finally got to the breaking point because I think now they both know what is actually wrong. They both don’t trust each other. I absolutely feel for Abby here, but I wish she (not your writing haha) would be just a little bit more self-aware because if she’s being serious, she doesn’t fully trust James either. She doesn’t apologize I think in part because she is stubborn but also because why would you apologize to someone you don’t trust? If she really doesn’t make the decision go leave James for good, I’d hope that she will realize this before she makes the decision. She can not demand trust from James and not give it back.
Now, for James.
He is someone I relate to quite a bit, and I actually see some of Ron in him. Neither of them are afraid of their wife being that independent, powerful, and strong, but often times those things tend to come before their relationship. And both of them have always felt secondary in their whole lives (Ron with his brothers and James with Harry). I think James also needs to come to a certain level of self-awareness because his insecurity with Abby in part derives from his insecurity. I also think that he needs to be sure of what he wants. He presents his issues but doesn’t offer any kind of solution. If he were to actually help present solutions, it would make him less-complaining and more-trying to help.
All in all, I love your writing & I 100% find major fault with both of them for how they have acted in this situation, which really does make the whole situation... complex (pardon the pun hahaha)
Taylor! Here for the Gryffindor review tag!! [and the story of course]
That opening reflection with Abby was really well written. Things are definitely not fine, and it does cause the reader a healthy amount of worry over this relationship development... or regression, hmmm. Which also parallels what I see happening to all this character development I saw in Complicated. How are Abby and James regressing like this? Especially when Abby goes to lunch with the girls. I wanted to pull out my hair because ABBY, you didn't spend your entire seventh year doing some amazing development only for you to pretend that things are perfect! Gahh. Your friends would support you if you just open up!
I particularly liked this bit:
I see the awesome personality of the writer of this fic shining through at this very moment. ;)
Those flowers... yeah, I relate to something similar, with somone who loves you gets you a big flashy gift and it shows the world that everything is "okay." It's so infuriating, and honestly, James, I am kind of surprised at your passive aggressiveness! But Abby... she's willing to pretend.
I like how you have glimmers of sheer chemistry between the two of them on their date and then Abby second guesses herself or James makes a comment. It really goes with that "Is love really enough?" [You've read my fics, and you may know my answer to that, but I am SOOOOO curious to see where you take this!]
This was my favorite chapter of this series so far. Your writing (and personality) really shine through in this. Exciting things ahead, ooooh I can't wait to finally be caught up!
Taylor! Here for part two of our swap!
I really want to ask you... how do you come up with all of your complications and complexities? Are they lyrics? Proverbs from a relationship book? I imagine some T Swift influences. ;)
"I'm taking it slow" Ummmm what? James... Abby... wow. They really have some things to work out. Snide comments like that really get under my skin. They need couple's therapy at this point, I think! And James getting huffy because Abby's talking about work--or at least, that's what she's thinking? This is a big, glorious mess, and I bet it's going to get even worse before it gets better (better for whom, I don't know... hmmm...)
That argument when they get home!!! That was so much fun to read, if I'm going to be honest. There's so much delectable things to dissect here. Like... James saying that Abby is controlling and turning into her teenage self. Harsher words have almost never been spoken. And then Abby points out that she does have a lot going on, and she's the kind of person who needs to excel in her work in order to find fulfillment, so come on James! They've been highlighting each other's strengths for so long that they haven't realized that this is also highlighting their flaws, too. I'm looking forward to how these heated arguments develop... though it is interesting to have the smut, but it does make sense, since they've always been a physical couple. ;)
Let's end this review on some positive, fun things:
-Molly and Zara: Nice! I like how fast they're going because they're doing with such apparent ease and confidence.
-I ship Dom and Rajhi. They're hysterical together, and their chemistry jumps right off the screen. He's definitely into her. 100000000%.
I'll be back. Looking forward to it!
I mean I'm glad they actually talked but FIX IT
(I know this review is useless but the library is about to close and better to leave you with some incomprehensible keyboard smash than nothing at all)
I'm happy for Lily though! XD
Taylor!!! Here for our swap.
Umm... wow. Oh James and Abby, this is huge. Based on what I've heard people say, this fight doesn't die down as they make it seem it has at the end of that last scene between them.
I want to mention how much grey area exists between the two of them. This is absolutely amazing how you've blurred things to the point where no one is exactly right or wrong. It's true to life, and how they both react and their strong points of view are very in character. I think this is going to be a milestone in this relationship because James and Abby are going to learn how well their SO's perspective aligns with their own and if they're willing to live with all the perceived flaws and quirks. I do ship them, so I am hopeful for a resolution where they can find happiness (if not now, later)--but still together, of course!
Their coping mechanism needs a little work. I get that angry hook ups can be hot and passionate and whatnot, but... this seems like a major bandaid over a gaping wound, and this behavior is ultimately going to end up being destructive. Physical intimacy is important in a relationship--and some people need that to cope, but this whole scenario... yeah. And then Abby and James's heated conversations (or lack thereof throughout)... what do you have planned, Taylor?
Of course, the ending brightens the mood a bit, because AHA! Female power! I'm nervous as to whom would do such a heinous crime, and I still stand by my James is in danger theory. But right now, go Abby go! (Careerwise!)
GREAT chapter, Taylor! I'll get to my second review of the swap this weekend (did we agree on two? idk, but I'm going to leave a review anyways because of how awesome this story is) :)
GOD YOU ARE KILLING ME! Also, hi hello, here for our swap, catching up on AP, the usual monster-calling sesh, etc etc.
I'm really glad that Abby has opened up to Dom and Lily. It's very clear that she needed to open up to someone about everything that's happening. They were both very comforting in their own ways. Lily was very reassuring that Abby wouldn't lose them all (which I can't help but be skeptical of, if things go sour she's def going to lose them in some way, things will just be too awkard to stay the way they are now. they would change somehow.) and just a very nice, supportive presence. I loved Dom turning Abby's advice right back around to her. She definitely needed to hear it from someone else, and even better from someone who would be supportive but would actually hold her to it and not let her just be complacent.
And wow, talk about uncomfortable dinners! It honestly seems so classic that the Weasley/Potter clan would plan a surprise re-do of their engagement party right in the middle of the worst time. Their timing has never been...uhhh great lol. Nice gesture I suppose.
I love the marriage advice scrapbook idea in theory. Again, terrible timing, since I'm sure this seems like a slap in the face to Abby and James right about now. It seems like it's been another catalyst for Abby to get them talking though, which is both good and terrifying. This is defintiely unsustainable, which Abby is finally really realizing I think, but I think their issues run pretty deep now. They should have talked things out when they first started having problems and not let them get this far. I'm not sure this talk is going to go well at all honestly. Here's to being terrified for this talk next chapter and anxiously waiting for July, you monster(insert upside down smiley face)
Hi again Taylor! Once again here for our review swap!
Freddy is just… a really dramatic character. I feel like having sex in your own home shouldn’t be as big of a deal as he makes it out to be, but he is what he is. And I like him that way.
Also, you just know that Freddy is hella intuitive, but he uses for shit like figuring out when two people had sex, lmfao.
Ah, yes, I completely forgot that Freddy has since broken up with Caroline. Hm, it’s a bit of a shame, since they were good together. It’s a great thing that they get back together then!
The interactions between Abby and the Weasley family is so heart-warming. It’s very clear that they love Abby a lot, and they definitely are on board with her marrying James. I can see why Abby was terrified of losing this entire family when she started fighting with James, as this family really is a great bunch. I especially love Lily; I’m not a really big fan of feisty and fiery Lily, but you write her really well, and I like the spin you put on her in future chapters!
Anyways, this chapter was a really great show of how you wield your character’s dialogue and how each voice is distinct and shows their personality!
Thanks for writing! x
Hi Taylor! I’m here for our review swap! I figured I should begin with Complex, seeing as I’m already caught up and I’ve been procrastinating posting my thoughts. So here I am!
Can I just say, this beginning scene is so so so Abby? Abby is really a well thought out person in general, and the fact that she knows just how to please the public eye screams to me a bit of her old self, but also just the fact that she’d handling this more maturely than she would have when she was younger.
I think when I first read this chapter, I was actually very happy to see that her career as investigative auror (?) has gone off really well; she’s really acclimated to her environment (though we see later on that this isn’t the case as more sexist workplace situations arise) and she seems to be in her element. I really liked seeing her thrive here.
You know, despite the fact that Abby is seemingly exasperated at the fact that she’ll have to retell the story over and over again, I think she’s secretly pleased, just with the meaningful pauses and dramatic nature of it all. I think she really enjoys telling this story, especially because it’s so memorable!
Ooh, despite the fact that these details aren’t really all that much highlighted, I’m starting to see where the whole murder mystery aspect of the story was alluded to in, and how early you began with that. I swear I have the hardest time thinking ahead more than a few chapters even if I have my stuff planned out! I think you might have started hinting at the future conflict that might occur with the whole situation of James commenting that Abby is home early, but I think at this point neither of them would have known what a simple question would have entailed. It genuinely might just be a question, and I’m thinking too much into this.
The note this chapter ended on was really light and funny, and I really like that. This first chapter really gave me the impression that it was the opening scenes of a movie, where everything is viewed in rose-tinted shades and there’s everything to lose on the plate. I think you did really well with the beginning chapters, and you set up the future conflict within this one chapter really well, even if at the time the reader (I think I just mean me) couldn’t really tell what was to come.
Really well done! Your writing abilities never fails to amaze me. Thanks for writing!
Taylor! Here for CTF.
Uhhh... this does not bode well at all. Oh Abby and James... there's so much miscommunication here that I'm cringing. There's now so much tension between them that it's like seeing a volcano the day before it finally erupts... why have I made the comparison, you ask? Because of your preview! And because how they both react to each other when James gets home... it's just... they're in rocky waters, and based on what I've been hearing, they're also about to enter a turbulent current as well!
They both could have done better, honestly. Yes, Abby has made HUGE progress in her job, which is amazing (though I have my suspicisons, but more on that in a moment), and she DID send a note, but she also should have considered that it WAS his birthday and he LOVES spending time with his loved ones. It's how he feels loved and supported and he was looking forward to it. On the other hand, if James was this upset about her note, he could, I don't know, written her back or Apparated back to let her know that he really wanted her there. Not... rage drink to the point of that bit of drunkeness.
And Abby feels loved and supported by exceling in her work. Cue the miscommunication!!!
I'm apprehensive about this next chapter because it doesn't seem like it's going to end well...
BUT going back to Abby's discovery: what a great connection! That was some awesome detective work, and Abby should be proud! BUT... this could be my mystery brain going haywire, but people who scored low on their DADA? (First of all, that's sick, going after people like that). But... James. He's not that great at DADA. Is he going to be in some kind of danger? After all, he DID say that Abby was going to be the death of him earlier in the chapter before it all hit the fan! Taylor! Relationship troubles, sure, but character's lives? Hmmm... I look forward to what you've concoted!
GOOD DAY MONSTER DID YOU ENJOY YOUR TIME AWAY?
I am here for our swap but also becuase I would have come here to shout about my thoughts at some point anyway. I have a lot of thoughts. A lot of shouting will probably occur. I took a break for lunch between reading and writing this in an attmept to organize my thoughts, will it work, we shall see.
Big roller coaster this chapter! Lots of nice litte smiley moments mixed in with heart break which only adds to the monsterness. That dream sequence at the beginning is terrifying but that it leads to James and Abby being so nice and sweet with each other for a bit (why cant they be like this ALL THE TIME). Also "I'm not going anywhere" seems real ominous and I'm hella nervous about the next few chapters. It's only May, THERE'S STILL SO MUCH TIME UNTIL JULY!!
Unsurprsingly the Auror office is still an effing disaster. Abby's logic seems so simple to me but OF COURSE the senior aurors just have to be difficult. It's not like there's anything else they have to give them a lead, so why not just try this? Ugh, these men? Like props to Marcus for the support but Abby's annoyance that he even HAS TO every time she brings something up is totally justified. She is smart and capable and EVERYONE SHOULD REALIZE THAT! She has more than earned her place!
I JUST WANT THEM TO STOP FIGHTING TAYLOR! It's so terrible, god! AND I'm SO TIRED of them reaching the peak of this fight and KNOWING that they reach the peak of this fight, only to AVOID TALKING ABOUT EVERYTHING!! James is SUCH a word-i'm-not-allowed-to-say-here jerk! He SAW how upset Abby was when she came home from work after seeing the body and then she stays late (and even tells him she's going to this time) to do some work for it and he STILL gets all pissed about it! WHY IS HE LIKE THIS? WHY DO YOU NEED TO BE SUCH A (ijofvf I'M SO MAD I CANT SAY THESE WORDS!)
ON THE OTHER HAND, we have finally shared THE ROOT of why Abby needs to stay so late at work and do everything that she's doing and as the only woman working in an office of males (who are admittedly much better than the class a jerks that Abby works with), I do kind of get where she's coming from because there are a lot of things my boss wont even realize until I point it out to him, but also, she SHOULD HAVE SHARED HER FEELINGS WITH JAMES! If you can't share this with your fiance then 1) who can you share them with and 2) maybe you really should be re-evaluating your relationship. James is TOTALLY RIGHT TO BE ANGRY AND UPSET about that. It ABOSLUTELY looks like she doesnt trust him at all, hero complex or not!
I literally just want to take these two and shake them Taylor I swear to god.
And good god this ending. It seems so un-Abby to not have done the research and not know exactly what kind of dress she's looking for going into this dress shopping appointment but I think that just shows how bad things have been recently. That she's barely even excited about this adventure. And then, to break down IN A WEDDING DRESS just seems like the absolute conclusion to this right now. With the fight they just had and how things have been building, there is no happiness right now. And putting something on that is supposed to signify the happiest day in her life AND like the real quote unquote start of her life with James, when she is anything but happy must be TERRIBLE. This is SO SAD, I just want nice things for them Taylor!!
your regular reminder about the promised happy ending does not change the emotional torment you're putting us all through in the mean time monster! gonna go cry until july now. love youu byeeee
Ok, really not terrible here, more calm before the storm (which means next week we all riot I guess). Also, hi, here for our swap!
So like low key, I'm a little mad at Abby for how hypocritical she is in this chapter, but like at least she acknowledges it. Like, I totally get needing to blow off steam (and really, with everything going on at work and feeling frustrated with her relationship problems, she kinda needed this and it was probably deserved), but like god we all have moments when we do need to just get trashed like that and she shouldn't have been so hard on James when he needed to. Because she's not perfect and it's her time now and she even recognizes how terrible she was to him before and then goes home and lies about it. Which just. ugh.
There's absolutely NO WAY he would be so nice to her if he knew she was hungover and didn't believe she was sick, not with how things are right now. But it shows a really nice side of James that we havent seen a while because he's been such a word-i-cant-say-on-a-review recently. The cake testing showed just how well he does know her (both of them really, abby knowing that the cake was really the only thing he'd care about and james knowing she'd care more about the aesthetic). it was a sweet little scene, but honestly, it feels like we've hit the eye.
I loved the scene with Abby and Al at work! I'm so happy for Al and Cecile and it msut be absolutely terrifying for them to be trying for kids after their miscarraige. It would be scary no matter when they did this I think, because of what they've already been through.
WHO DIED TAYLOR? I'm a little nervous that this is someone we know and love so I'm VERY SCARED for the next chapter. Great work this chapter, terrified for the storm to come, per usual!
Hi there, here for the calm before the storm! Going to sit here all upside down smily face emoji as I prepare for what's to come.
Anyway, I appreciate that both Abby and James are trying to make an effort at one point in this chapter, but really it's just further evidence how out of sycne they are that neither one of them is willing to listen at either time. There are defintiely times when you need time to cool down after fights in a relationship but you need to come back and talk things through. It's SO frustrating this chapter because they both seemed to have realized that they're wrong and that this isnt sustainable but like at different times? Or like they're ready to talk things through and make the effort at different times? Which just makes them more frustrated with each other and kind of feelsl like they're starting back at the beginning again of being out of sync and definitely not going to help them move forward. THEY NEED TO TALK TAYLOR!!
My feelings about brunch have been well documented so I was already super excited for that part but I ADORED how Freddy just rolled up and announced Caroline as his girlfriend again. Nothing seemed more Freddy than that tbh. (but also like more james and abby discomfort in the background. you do such a great job of showing how uneasy things are in between them even when showing how happy other people are and like i hate you for ruining this but great work). James definitely seems a bit off since they've started fighting and you can see the difference in this scene with how he acts with Marcus-that joke owuld definitely have gotten a laugh before.
I think it's nice that Harry comes to talk to Abby about everything that's going on. I can't really tell if it's a mark of how defensive she is about everything with James that she's unwilling to talk about it or if she's just wary about the way things are in the Auror office that she won't talk about it. It's clear that she really loves his family and that they really love her and I will feel very sad for her to maybe lose those things when you monster the hell out of james and abby for a bit there because they are obviously very important to her. Ok, going to go mentally prepare for next chapter! Great work not entirely killing all of our dreams yet!!
Hey Taylor! Here for the story and requested review!
That article is absolute trash, and I'm glad that James sees it that way. Abby's anxiety is totally relatable, though. It does hit a vulnerable spot for her. Their conversation about the article, and all the worries surrounding it, shows how much they've grown since they were seventeen... and I know that there's some drama coming ahead, so what is possibly going to happen to weaken this form of communication? Unless there's something I'm missing here... hmmm...
Markus. I really do quite enjoy him. I do ship him with Louis, but I kinda want to ship him with Freddy via Bromance. I think those two would really hit it off, lol. And Molly getting a date with Zara is the absolute cutest! Ahhhh!
Okay, gush time over. THE SEXISM IN THE AUROR DEPARTMENT IS ABSOLUTELY INFURIATING. Abby is totally capable of this, but she's working 100 times harder to prove her worth over any other male Auror of her ranking. YOU GO GIRL! But also... she shouldn't have to be working this hard to receive such little results. Ugh. The Aurors. Systemic sexism. The bloody patriarchy. I'm glad this is getting addressed in this fic! UGH. Abby is going to solve this case [horrifying, btw] and they're all going to be eating their socks. (I'm not quite sure if that's the right expression, but hopefully you know what I mean, lol)
And based on that preview, I think I'll finally get to see what the heck gets between Abby and James.
(Also, it took my a hot second to realize that I was the Abby that got a shoutout at the end. For a second, I think you were talking to Sarah and then had a heart to heart with your character, Abby, but then a vague memory clicked and I realized you meant me! lol Once again, you nailed the name choice for your OC! ;) )
Its hurting me when i read this story...james/abby fighting and all bad stuff i hope you fix this very soon....
Hi Taylor! I’m finally here with that review you requested!
I love Abby and Dom girl time buying fancy dresses, because they’re so supportive of each other and they could both use that. Especially as Abby’s been so stressed out and this has always been her stress relief (and it’s so cute to me, because this is just what she did when I didn’t like her at the beginning of Complicated, but obviously I do like Abby now and this trait has remained the same throughout, even though she’s changed so much in so many other ways since then.)
Also, I’ve read the second chapter of the Dom story already (haven’t reviewed yet, bcs bad internet) so the reveal in this chapter didn’t surprise me, but it’s definitely a huge turning point and Abby knows more than she thinks she knows! Poor confused Dom. I love the irony that Dom actually does end up taking Abby’s advice, despite the fact that Abby is the least qualified person to be giving relationship (or otherwise) advice given that she’s not talking to her own fiance. But I guess it’s always easier to analyze other people’s relationships than your own. Which is why I’m surprised Dom hasn’t picked up on anything odd between Abby and James yet. Either Dom is too busy (which I know she is quite busy) or Abby and James are very good at hiding their relationship problems (which it seems is also true). Dom -
and probably many others- are going to be irritated when they realize what’s going on (and I say ‘when’ they realize and not ‘if’, because we all know it’s going to happen)
That pamphlet is alarming, but I’m really glad it got handed to Abby because now she has something more to work with. I only wish she’d looked at it sooner to catch that person!
Ugh, the way her office is such a boys club makes me so angry on her behalf, and with them shooting down all of her ideas and everything, ugh, I also relate to it all too well (as someone who works in a male- dominated field in the sciences). The whispered comment about looking at pretty dresses really irritated me as well, for the exact reasons it angered Abby. Actually that’s one of the things I love most about Abby, is that she is a badass auror who’s great at critical thinking on cases AND also someone who loves shopping and girly things, because those aren’t mutually exclusive qualities and it is so frustrating that society sees them as such.
Now all she needs is someone to mansplain her own report to her. (Just kidding.)
I’m happy for Scorpius and Rose moving to Bulgaria and I love that Al is so optimistic about it and visiting and stuff, even though it sucks when your friends move so far away. I guess wizards have it much easier!
Abby you go girl, read that trashy romance novel. No judgement BECAUSE SHE CAN DO WHATEVER GIRLY THINGS SHE WANTS AND STILL BE A BADASS AUROR, I WILL DIE ON THIS HILL.
I’m really happy that Freddy and Caroline seem to be sorting things out, thank you for giving at least some people a little happiness in this chapter. It was a nice breath of fresh air from all the things you put everyone through in previous ones XD
This was a great chapter! Thanks for requesting and letting me know about the update :)
So I'm here for RvG - March.
So I think it's time that we talk about Abby. I think Abby is amazing because you know this character so well. I love how you write her because she has so many flaws. She is so stubborn and generally disagreeable but I really think she is such an OC. It's really not often that authors are willing to portray their characters in a negative light like you've done here. There is obviously debate to have been who is right/wrong but you deserves such a big clap for not being afraid to explore Abby as a character from all angles. I love that I love her but want to scream/shake her too.
There are standing on the edge of a cliff in the last couple of chapters but you've really thrown them off this chapter. They're slowly dying half way down the cliff at the moment but who knows if they can claw their way up again? (I hope you know the answer to this :P). I feel like you've done a really good job at building up all this tension between the two each chapter by chapter. The pacing feels really good but I still wish you weren't doing this to poor Potchester.
Abby knows how to push his buttons and then Harry's rather poorly timed joke at the gala. man. I feel like James really needs a hug. bless him. I guess he isn't totally right either but I get his way of thinking.
Always great to see Lou and Dom getting some page time. I love the dialogue between the two in this chapter. It's much more light hearted that the rest but makes a good change up from some of the more serious/heartbreaking moments in this chapter. I love that Louis does stuff with potions and there is mentions of his relationship with Markus. Dom needs to get with Rajhi though, there is amazing chemistry there. obviously.
I feel like you're becoming a bit of smut queen at this point. hahaaa. ;) you're doing it well though but I want them to talk like properly. I demand they work out it and stop having sex all the time. come on guys, healthy relationships are cool right?
off topic slightly but I thought it was Aubrey who came up with the wands thing? maybe I'm not remembering right hahah.
- Abbi xo
HELLO MONSTER YOU HAVE RETURNED!!
ok WOW what an argument! Low effing blow about the career there Abby! I HAVE A LOT OF THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS FIGHT AND THEY'RE ALL A JUMBLED MESS! Why would she say that? Why would she pick this fight now, of all times? Frankly, James makes A REALLY GOOD POINT that him being late ONCE is not even CLOSE to the same as ALL THE TIMES that she's been late recently? Questioning where he actually even was and what he was doing? And, like, how can she even think that James and Scorpius are on the same level and should feel REMOTELY SIMILAR about how little they've seen her recently? God, so many things came out in this fight, I'm actually kind of impressed they even made it to the event.
And of course, there's Harry right there to rub it in unknowingly. It truly feels like the most Harry Potter thing ever to say that, tbh
"Have I really missed so much of his life that Harry and Ginny know more about what's going on than I do?" That should be A BIG HINT ABBY!
On a lighter note to me berating Abby, Dom is absolutely correct; the happiest thing is always free alcohol. That's so on point with her character. Also, should never change with anyone no matter how much money we make.
Also, freaking finally on the Dom and Rahji end! They will be adorable once Dom finally realizes that she's in love with him too! I'm curious what will happen in this space apart while he's "getting over her". What's it going to take for her to realize? There are still so many chapters left!
WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH THIS ENDING? GOD I THOUGHT I WAS MAD AT ABBY AT THE BEGINNING BUT HOLY HELL TAYLOR WHAT IS SHE DOING? She doesn't want him to leave but when he stays they argue and fight! He says that she's his best friend and that he's sorry and she IGNORES HIM COMPLETELY! Taylor! TAYLOR! WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO THESE PEOPLE
sigh. is it july yet? (aka, how i may be signing off every review from now until then?)
Hi Taylor! Here with your requested review and for March RvG and to maybe finally catch up!
I expect nothing less from Dom than to find a sparkly dress. Consistent indeed. And okay so the comment about Abby and James not being on speaking terms cut a little but going RIGHT INTO DOM AND RAHJI SOFTENED THAT BLOW, finally!!
Except, like WALKING OUT OF YOUR OWN FLAT TO AVOID SEEING THE GIRL YOU SLEPT WITH? c'mon Rahji you're better than this. I mean, at least Dom and Rahji are *forced* to talk because like work things but HE TOTALLY LIKES HER AND NEEDS TO STOP AVOIDING HER! CATCH UP DOMINIQUE, THE BOY IS IN LOVE WITH YOU! (disclaimer: I have not read hit like a girl ch2 yet and am now VERY excited to do so to get what i assume is more details about this love affair)
I'm feeling some major foreshadowing with this moment of Abby watching the gown fall to the floor and picturing James doing it. Like there's going to be a huge fight and its not going to fall to the floor at all and she's going to like sit on the couch crying in it instead. sigh. is it july yet?
And we have a mystery update! The flyers are an interesting strategy- such an open way to recruit people! The Auror office (most especially this team, because it's what we see most often) continue to drive me crazy! I can't even imagine how Abby feels! I love the line about wanting to rip her hair our but not having the right bone structure to pull off the bald look. Such an Abby line!
Ohhhh cringing at "unlike my own fiance, he doesn't seem to fault me for it." Ughhh Abby, girl, that was...uncalled for? Probably even in your own internal monologue? Thoughts like that are not going to help you and James get back to where you should be!!
FREDDY AND CAROLINE GOD YES!! Once again, at least someone can have nice things. I totally feel Caroline wanting to wait until they're on solid ground to tell people. I have to imagine all their friends are ready to get overly involved in this just knowing she came back (see: Abby and James when they WERE HAPPY and PLANNING THE SEATING CHART)
I feel bad for Abby though! Either not willing to or not wanting to bother her friends with what's going on with her and James. And it's either going to all break down at some point later and just spill out or she's going to burst. She seems like she really does need to just talk to someone!
Anyway, great chapter, as usual! Moving onto chapter 15 before I go to work!
Taylor! Here for your requested review and wow! It's a sequel! :) (Oh, and March RvG)
Ahhhh! James proposed to Abby! And in a very, very romantic, slightly over the top but absolutely perfect for them way. Abby's retelling number one left a smile on my face. And Abby deals with the reporters quite well, too. I can tell that she has had some practice in evading them... while giving them just enough information to keep them temporarily at bay. Love it.
I also love her banter with Al and Aaliyah (she's awesome, I hope that there's more of her in this story!). They all seem to get along really well. I laughed when Al essentially said that being related to Harry doesn't mean that you get out of paperwork, ahaha. I can totally see Al trying, though! [And you mentioned in the request thread about the sexism of the Auror department, and I am HERE for that. Can't wait to rage at that bit!]
It's also nice to see them in their careers! The crew has grown up (or mostly grown up... who knows, we haven't had Freddy yet--unless he's the voice at the end? Or that could be Dom, i dunno, lol).
Abby and James's chemistry is still spot on. They're both so giddy over the engagement, it's almost disappointing that they're "rudely" interupted by the previously established visitor. But I think they're right for anticipating all those wedding questions from well meaning but most likely overbearing family members. The whole thought of that makes me want to elope--and I'm not even engaged! I love how James is indignant over carrotcake at a wedding, though I don't think I would mind too much if I had some at one, ahaha. I do hope he's interested in other aspects of the wedding because it's going to be a long, long process, especially since he's a Potter!
Good opening chapter. Just enough familiarity to feel like we're picking up where we left off and just enough newness to spark excitement and intrigue for what's to come! :)
It’s clear that James is far more mature in this argument than Abby is. I’m getting really frustrated with her, because while I can see where she’s coming from, her inability to even try to see things from another perspective and see her own faults is incredibly frustrating. Just the fact that she’s got no idea what’s going on with James at his work - I don’t think it’s because he haven’t told her, it’s because she’s just not interested. She’s so focused on her own work, which is absolutely fine, but sharing a life with someone also means you take interest in what they do. And I don’t think she understands what James meant when he compared himself with Scorpius, because to Abby there isn’t that much difference.
I don’t think them accusing each other of turning into who they were as teenagers is very productive, but James at least showed that he’s more mature and more level headed and didn’t take the bait into having a full blow out. Maybe it’s still coming, it might even be productive, but Abby also said some things that I’d find hard to forgive so I don’t know... maybe they need to be apart for awhile to find themselves as a couple again?
I'm seriously feeling for Abby in the chapter. you've written it so much because it's really realistic that she isn't talking to anyone about her problems because James and her have always seen as the perfect couple to their friends. It's really difficult to reach out for help and support because you have to admit that you're not ok. I think that would be such issue that Abby would struggle with. She is pretty stubborn so its something that would be hard for her. You've captured all of those emotions.
It's great to see the comeback of Dom. At the risk of sounding way too much like Deni - this story could do with more Dom and her friendship with Abby. I know that Abby loves Caroline but I think there is something that stands out about their friendship. Dom is such a fun character, I think she's good for Abby. They bounce off each other so well. Who doesn't like giving their friends advice that they won't take themselves?
It was really cool to see just a big cast of characters in this chapter. It's really big stregth of yours how you can balance such a cast. Everyone feels different and has their own clear voices. Everyone had a little starring role, I forgot a bit about Scorpius and Rose appeared in this story honestly so it was nice to have Scorpius back even if he is just announcing that they're moving away.
YAYYYYY. FREDDIE AND CAROLINE. I'M SO HERE FOR THIS SHIP. They are totally my ship like I really love them together. They are totally obsessed with each other really and I love it. I was so excited to her back so I'm looking forward to see them being all adorable together (because someone has to be happy in this story right?! :P)
Poor Abby. I do feel for her as she is just wandering the streets in a hell of her own making basically. I think James and her need seriously talk! I know the Potchester meltdown is going to be epic and I know that you'll really kill that chapter/s but I'm not ready for it. It's all too much for me! I miss my babies from Complicated! I do love how Complex is such more grown up, there is real progression in their ages and relationship but the elements of Complicated is still there.
I've been meaning to say this but I'm not sure if I feel weird about commenting on it but I think you write smut well. like some of it is really smutty but it's not like cringe/embarrassing either (which I kinda find smut often is??) ha ha!
anywayy... RVG FOR MARCH YEAH. :)
- Abbi xo
And from the first sentence, we're back to conflict yay! And I am back for part two of your requested review and for RvG March.
I love how Abby fakes knowing who the Quidditch player is. Not only is it hilarious, but I totally relate. I do the same thing with sports names and celebrities hahaha.
I'm kinda impressed by Harry and the rest. Harry announces that there might be another war, and he just continues on in his speech. Abby gets tight-chested, but other than that, it's all business.
Markus Clark. He seems good. It's hilarious that he's the guy Louis was flirting with on New Years. I'm curious about his background. Harry said MACUSA has experience with dealing with similar things. What similar things? I'm surprised that Abby opened up to him so fast. I feel like that's not quite like her. Or maybe Markus is just one of those people that once they tell you you can open up you just end up spilling your soul. Markus must be fairly observant as well. He noticed that Abby's mind went somewhere else for a second or two. Markus has some solid advice though -- don't get involved in people's love life. That is a good nugget, and I'm going to take that with me thank you very much.
Those last few lines were gold! Pretending to be fake dating haha. It's nice to see that they haven't lost the spark and can still flirt and joke around like that.
One thing I recently noticed as part of your writing style is that you'll have a character talking, and then they abruptly start talking about something else. For example: "Good evening, gorg - ow, what was that for?" I noticed the same technique in the previous chapter too. This is an awesome way of showing and not telling. Through dialogue alone, I could tell that Abby hit James. That's pretty dope when you think about it. I like it as a way of expressing something. I'm going to definitely use that in my writing now.
Hey Taylor! Here for your requested review and I'm gonna tag on RvG March as well.
Abby has, of course, really grown and matured in Complicated, but I think we see even more development in Complex. I think this sentences is an excellent example of the contrast of who she was and who she is: "It doesn't feel like my news to tell," (with regards to Caroline returning.) Pre-meltdown-Complicated Abby would have eaten up that gossip and used it as leverage for something. Complex, mature Abby understands that just because she knows something doesn't mean she gets to tell everyone about it. Another example is when she waits for a natural segway to come up in their conversation at lunch to talk about her wedding. She no longer dominates the conversation. Even though she's matured and grown, there are still parts of her that are the same: her sense of fashion and love of sparkles. Sorry if it's a bit redundant in pointing all this out -- I'm just a fan of character development and all that ;)
"Have you seen her makeup? There's no way it would still look that good if we'd just had sex right before coming here." This line, omg. And I get where Abby's coming from. It's a compliment observation? It's sweet, but odd though.
The knut game sounds awesome. I think it would be the kind of thing that gets progressively worse as the night goes on. The drunker people get, the worse their aim is.
Sooo I have a CC for you: this chapter lacks conflict. There is stuff going on in the lives of people around her, like Molly's newfound sexuality and Caroline/Freddy woes. But the thing is, Abby appears to be like a loadstone for both of those. There's nothing that actually actively impacts her. You could say that she's overworked or dealing with all the deaths, but we don't see it affecting her. She is actually able to handle the stress and the second-hand trauma. As a reader, I want a conflict to personally affect the MC, and I don't see that in this chapter. I also understand that a story needs breathers, but in my opinion I don't think a whole breather chapter is a good idea. You risk losing momentum.
That all being said, I do know from others' reactions that the story does have conflict and picks up in intenisity. (And I'm sorry I'm not up to date reading). So it sounds like you're good and it's maybe just this chapter?
My favorite line in this chapter was "And for just the briefest of moments, the rest of the world falls away." I like to think that there's duel meaning here. One, because it's a second away from the new year, and two, of what James says the second before. It's the combination of James' lovely words and the impending year (and also, if we're honest, the effects of the drinks, music, and lighting), that makes Abby truly BE in that moment. In that one second, it's just her and James.