I did enjoy this story, for a few reasons.
1. The grammar was mostly accurate, and non-distracting from the storyline.
2. Great usage of vocabulary and the alternation of sentence structure to enhance the imagery
3. It had a clearly defined plot, as well as character growth and development. Many of the responses were realistic - such as Scorpius before he accepts his affection for Rose, and Rose's apprehension to move in with him. They were true to the characters.
HOWEVER- I do feel that a few things could have been better. While most of the character development seemed to be realistic for each character's personality, it appears to me that Cassandra's character wasn't very well thought out. I enjoy the message you're trying to get across by having her concede in the end, but I do not feel that a woman who killed her child for being a wizard would have given up her hatred so quickly. That was an extraordinarily idealistic perspective which, I have found, has little basis in reality. People build up thick barriers to protect themselves from guilt and blame. In fact, most criminals cannot be convinced that they have done anything wrong. It is a basic human response to want to avoid blame - especially in a situation where Cassandra would have to face the fact that she had killed her own child as a result of her "mistake."
Even if you truly feel that she would have given in, which is your right as the author, at least consider giving her more defense mechanisms to accurately portray the depth of her hatred. You did do some of that, but her sadness has twisted itself into anger and hatred... not been disguised by it. That hatred runs deeper than any other emotion. Pride gets involved, their sense of self and of reality. Perceptions such as that cannot be changed so easily.
Do you believe you could convert a lifetime KKK member in one day?
People make lots of excuses. "They're just sucking up and playing nice until they get what they want." "They'll hurt us the second we trust them." "As long as they live, there will always be reason to hate." Remember, paranoia is often coupled with hatred. How do you dispose of those cognitions in someone so intentionally deluded? You don't. Their whole perspective of life depends upon it. and delusion, by definition, cannot be combated with reasoning.
I feel it would have been both more interesting to the plot line and better representative of Cassandra's cunning character to have her pretend to cooperate, only to tell her followers to attack during the press conference. She knew that she had followers all over the world, she knew the wizards would not kill her, and she knew that her people were watching. She would also know that this would discredit the efforts of the wizarding community and encourage a loss of faith in their abilities. She killed her child for this cause. How could she not keep fighting?
Overall, good story. But I feel like you got lazy towards the end in your attempt to let the good guys win. I think I would have given your idealistic perspective more credit if you had truly given the antagonists a fighting chance and recognized that not everyone can be converted to "good" (this term used very, very loosely).
Author's Response: Thank you Ashely for your honesty. You are entitled to your opinion and I am not going to tell you not to think what you want. However, I think you may have misunderstood Cass a little.
First, she did not kill her child for the cause - the cause arose from her guilt for killing her baby, not the other way around. She already had a misconception about magic based on what happened to her brother - perhaps I did not explain that well enough. I don't know, but her baby's death and her attempted suicide came from fear. it was not at that stage in cass' life hatred for wizards that drove her but fear. the hatred came later, when she could not deal with her guilt.
second, who says she did repent? that she said she did and that she denounced For Humanity in public does not mean that she no longer hated wizards and that she no longer still held to her beliefs. people lie, and that was left open for the reader to interpret. me, i like to think that she took the only available option left open to her - she was backed into a corner and in the end, i believe self preservation is stronger than the desire to see others hurt. she is a terrorist yes, but she is not going to sign her own death warrant. i don't believe for a second that she gave up her hatred, but she acted in the only way she could under the circumstances. yes she could have made a call to arms etc etc but what would that have served? she is cunning and malicious but she is also intelligent. she is the sort of person who would wait - serve her time, accept her punishment and then, who knows? and i like to believe that there was something redeemable in her; that perhaps someone like cass can make a human decision and think beyond the hatred that she has allowed to fester inside herself.
she is not by any means a converted or even redeemed character. i don't think the good guys 'won' in any case - who wins in a war? every one suffers. there are no winners. and this story, or this ending, focused one moment in the culmination of what has the potential to be a very large scale and enduring conflict. someone says - i think it was ron or harry - that they are about to enter the hardest stage of this war - the possible end. we know from reality that things linger and i don't believe that this war ended here. i had to though, end the story.
thank you for your review. I do appreciate the feedback.