Is this your first fic since your absence? (By the way, okaeri (welcome back! - it actually means 'welcome home') If it is, I hope you don't mind me being honest. I am a first-impression kind of person. When I open a new story for the first time, it better start of special or else it doesn't mean much to me. That is a personal preference and please don't let it alter your writing style; people like different things and that's just the way it is. But I have to tell you that when I read your opening line, I felt like I was reading the opening of a middle-school essay that would be given over the break from school because teachers love to give projects over break. Again, it's a personal preference.
The rest of it was absolutely lovely, and it's just a shame that my mind can't allow me to accept a fic unless it starts off with a mental bang. I would have been able to enjoy it more had I not had that run-in at the beginning. Just so you know, I don't know anything about any of the Black sisters. I hardly understand the family tree that goes on. All I know is that Andromeda marries Ted and they're Tonks's parents. (Is that even correct?)
Now, with all of that fanfare out of the way, let me begin the real review. This sentence puzzled me for a moment: When Andromeda Tonks, that's her name by the way, was a girl, she believed in many things with such stubborn passion. Mainly it's the insert of "that's her name by the way" because I feel like it doesn't belong in narration like that. You set up such a professional voice before then and this sort of seems juvenile, and I know you're not an amateur writer. On second thought, I think my problem is that little insert belongs in parenthesis instead of just surrounded by commas. Yes, that's it.
The sisters speak awfully old-school (excuse me, my mind can't think of a better term at the moment) in this, and since I don't know anything about the family, I don't know if it's acceptable or not. I imagine they were moderately young when this exchange occurred, and I have a hard time imagining young girls - sisters to boot - speaking to each other like they're having tea with the queen.
I'm generally not a fan of present tense stories. It takes me a while to settle into comfort when I read one, and for this story, I was comfortable in it when I was about to the end. And then it was over. XD Even so, I have to tell you that I cringed when I read this, and I know you must have just missed it because I know you're an intelligent person: Over three decades has passed... Have, my dear. Have.
This story was really well done. I applaud you for writing something like this after being off for so long. This is really wonderful and you definitely have your own writing style. It's so easy and enjoyable to read. You have a presence. It's good to have you back.
Ganbare! Tanoshinde ^_^ (Work hard! Have fun ^_^)
Author's Response: Yay! Long review! And thanks, Midna! This WAS my first fic in a long long long time (nearly a year, which for me, is quite sad) and I thought I'd try being gutsy in taking on a holiday story. It feels good being back at HPFF though...which I guess you could say is my online home! I see what you mean about the writing style. I tried being different in that area too by trying to give it that Austen feel, as I wanted to do something with her in mind.
Yes, you are correct, they are Tonks' parents. The Black sisters was one of my favorite parts in the Hogwartian timeline. Ted narrates the story so to give him a little pizzazz in his personality, I added that quirk. When I edit it, I'll fix it. Thanks for saying I'm not an amateur - that made me happy :). And the sisters were talking old school for a number of reasons: one, due to their upbringing, but mainly because I wanted to add to the Austen feel I wanted to project onto the readers. I'll keep that in mind when I try to write my Ted/Andromeda (it won't be written the same way as this.)
Thank you so much for your helpful criticism Midna (and your very kind comments), this review will help me alot!!