In the start of this chapter, I was greeted with a passage I think you intended to make paradoxical, but not quite as paradoxical as it was. You’re discussing that Harry has some sort of magnetic attraction to her, but mentioning that he doesn’t understand why, and you’ve seg-wayed into all of the things about her that are unremarkable and I think you missed an opportunity here. The odd sense I had about your last chapter came through here, and with a name. While the flashbacks are full of descriptive narrative – touching on their emotions, etc… - the basic narrative passages (which appear to be from Harry’s perspective) here lack that same emotive power. You say “it angered him” but don’t display any of that anger in the writing and, of course, I could be making a moron of myself (to find in four chapters that you reveal Moth was, in fact, the one telling this story, witnessing his every move through a crystal ball) but on the off chance I’m not, I’m going to say it – it seems completely devoid of feeling – expositional but not something that really grabs you. Maybe you could try taking charge of the passage by turning his lists of all of the reasons she’s unspectacular into more of a persuasive rant to himself – trying to convince himself out of being interested in her.
Now, of course, that I’ve advised that, I’m going to caution you that the relationship with Moth and Harry is going to a place, at this point, where the slight history you’ve given them can no longer compensate for his attraction to her and it’s rapidly approaching the realm of the Mary Sue, Harry/OC fic. The way he’s describing her in the first passages of this story is almost obsessive – and, even with Cho, that’s not how Harry reacted to a relationship. His character is more apt to run into someone, get the wind knocked out of him by their presence and then stammer something completely stupid. With that having been said, over the course of his relationship with Ginny and with the death of Dumbledore, we can expect that he would react somewhat differently to everything – including romantic relationships, and it’s even believable that he might be one to skulk a bit, but I think you’re leaving out a few key pieces. First, with Moth, Harry has been thrown into a dialogue with her in most cases, but as he encounters her in the library, there is no reason he needs to approach or talk to her. It might be prudent to give him a reason to do so – outside of his The Police obsession. Perhaps you might consider writing her to seem upset at the time – or maybe as it dawns on Harry that she’s here alone because her parents are dead, he feels sorry for her and decides that it is his duty to talk to her – to try and console her – even though he’s nervous because girls make him uncomfortable and because he’s convinced that everyone around him is in immediate danger of death. (You may already have intended the latter, but it didn’t read particularly clearly and, if you did already, you might consider punching it up again.)
Another thing I noticed during this scene was the honesty with which she answered him – about pretending to read a book. I find that most people aren’t that forthcoming with that sort of information – the kind that means they frequently stare into space for hours on end lost in thought. The fact that she does it is probably a very real reaction to the kind of trauma she’s feeling – this might even be a good time for her to say something about realizing that giving up her memories of her parents deaths might have felt like a good idea in the moment but, in the long run, have robbed her of the ability to properly grieve their deaths. It would drawn a parallel between what Harry went through, first, finding out that his parents didn’t die in a car accident and then again when he was in his third year, encountering the dementors.
For a final note on this chapter, I’m going to return to my concerns that their relationship is becoming a little bit fantastical. I’m hoping that the impression of large passages of time I sense between these flashbacks would actually exist on your actual timeline because, if they don’t, I think it further complicates your situation. Assuming that they do, however, I’m going to suggest that you might consider extending these chapters, as they are, to include more layers to their relationship. It wouldn’t even necessarily require more scenes, but rather, more information about other encounters they’ve had included directly into Harry’s narrative. The impression you seem to be trying to give the reader is that Harry feels as thought Moth has an innate understand of him, and him of her, but that sort of understanding doesn’t generally develop as quickly as the story tends to move. True, you are offered a large period of time to work with, but the empty spaces aren’t included in the stories and they can give her a sense of surrealism when related to her relationship with Harry. Even if you don’t feel like adding additional narrative all at one time, if you can put together paragraphs touching on different encounters they might have had and adding them in one at a time, you will eventually achieve a more lengthily developed and believable relationship between them without adding a lot more text.
**there is more to this review but the 6000 character limit wont allow me to post it so i'm going to give leaving it in two parts a try but, if that doesn't work, i'll send it to you via PM on the forums**
Author's Response: ha, i think your reviews are so long i'll have to write this as i read!! :) no harm done, they're great. ahh! i think you should have written this story, really, you've got all of the great ideas i hadn't thought of! :D i like the idea of Harry trying to convince himself that he doesn't like Moth, i'll agree, it would make more sense.
i'll agree--i remember writing the scene where Harry confronts Moth in the library and vaguely thinking "I need a better reason," but just wanting to get it down on "paper" so i didn't really think much about it. i like your ideas (as usual) so i will definitely fix that as well.