I’m on a roll
In the second passage of this story, you have a great opportunity that you may not have seen. As you are discussing the stories this man may have told about Harry’s parents, this seems like a really great chance to include some more of that emotion I mentioned in my last review which Harry can sometimes lack. True, you’ve stated that he’s choking on his grief, but colorful prose could really help to drive that point home in this area. I know, Harry’s not an OC, but if his character is real, it will be easier to make Moth seem real. If I were to try to rewrite that passage I think it might, offhand, come out something like this:
“The old man told wove almost fantastical tales, speaking glowingly of his mother and reverently of his father. For Harry, who had always heard his parents referred to in the past tense, it was painful to hear them spoken of so warmly - as though they might walk in the door at any moment, but he couldn’t bring himself to make the stories end and the neighbor was happy to oblige. He served hot chocolate and shared everything he remembered with his young guests, from the humorous stories of James’ first attempt to hang muggle holiday lights to the sad tale of his first sight of the wreckage the night they both died.”
Really, just something a bit warmer, but that still retains your style. Even if you wanted to leave that passage alone, the death of a major character like Fred would have rocked the world of Grimmuald Place. Molly, their primary source of warmth, sullen and depressed – the bulk of the order, making up Fleur, Bill, Ron, George, Harry, Ginny, Hermione, Charlie, Arthur, Molly, and Remus, to say the least, in a similar depressed or distracted boat – and the shock of their headquarters being compromised would have had a major emotional toll on all of them and, while I suspect they each would have reacted differently, the discussion here is so brief and expositional that you don’t give the reader time to really feel the aftershocks.
A bit further on from that first scene, you mention Moth as being “forgotten” and “ignored” and, perhaps it’s my attachment to the scenes at Grimmuald Place, but I find it hard to believe that anyone, even an anti-social, slightly odd, outsider would be ignored in a house so busy and so full of love and concern for one another. Molly Weasley alone could provide her with enough constant attention to make anyone’s stomach turn – at least, before the death of her son - and Hermione very seldom meets a person she doesn’t try to engage. While I can obviously understand Ginny’s aversion to befriending Moth, I think that, Hermione at least, would make an effort and perhaps even Tonks, being a bit quirky herself. Instead of going so strongly as to say she was ignored, maybe it might be more believable to say that, for all their efforts to include her when they were there, the near constant missions often left her alone with no one but Fleur for company. It will take out some of that drastic portrayal that makes it unbelievable and also impress upon the readers the sense of chaos within the Order at the time.
Moth, herself, seems to appear somewhat less in this chapter, giving it a heavier focus on Harry and how bedraggled he has become and I think that could be good for your story, as Moth’s development has been a bit Mary Sue-ish, Harry’s development beside her might help to explain why he is so attracted to her as a person. Still, I think warming up the language and portrayal I think will really help you to deal with both characters.
Author's Response: i'm so glad you're really ripping Moth apart, there are so many little things i hadn't noticed--i'll be honest, she's the one OC i've spent the least time developing. like i said, this was supposed to be a one-shot and i really didn't put that much thought into it. thanks again, so much!