This chapter has a particularly awesome song choice. Hee! Security question goodness. I don't know why it automatically becomes a form of flirting. I guess it lets one demonstrate their inner stalker. Hmm, if her parents died seven years ago then that's BEFORE she'd have been of age. So SOMEONE had to take care of her, and take care of her education. I'm going to assume someone suspicious and probably evil unless demonstrated otherwise. From an innocent perspective, it's kinda cool having Hogsmeade and Hogwarts and all that being glanced at by someone magical who's still not familiar with them.
Somehow I suspect Gideon's glee about the boats is not entirely innocent. Though I LOVE the Seventh Year tradition. I would have totally shamelessly stolen that.
This whole scene at the station is just outstanding. Great, great dialogue, great chemistry between the two - now they've shaken off the sniping stage it's just rolling along delightfully. Good addressing of war-time issues, the Thestrals, the kids, the whole shebang - AWW SHE'S FEEDING THE THESTRAL. Ahem. AWW jealous Araminta. Arieda seems cool, I look forward to seeing more of her. There are nice, easy friendships in this story, which is always a pleasure to see and makes a nice diversion from the angst.
It's also... nice? To see the conflict with Sirius. In general there's not enough "on the same side but don't massively like one another" conflict in stories, it's usually bosom buddies or SEARING HATRED, but two people who want the same thing having a personality clash (and clearly historical issues) is often overlooked. Which is sad, because it's engaging. But happy, because it's in this story! And yes, that Sirius can shake off his family hatreds but not suddenly be Perfect and Unprejudiced is ENTIRELY realistic. Good to see Araminta having proper interaction with other characters. It'll do her some good, too, since conversation with Gideon is so easily fraught. Marlene, I think, would be good for her; she does need some taking care of. So clearly Marlene is not long for this world.
Either these chapters were written more recently (you mentioned some early ones were written a year or so ago?) or you're just generally finding your stride with the story, because the last couple have had extra oomph. It does feel like the pace is being found and the story's really coming into its own, so great, I'm really enjoying it!
Author's Response: McCartney for the win! See? Totally James Bond, this fic.
Interesting Araminta musings. My lips are sealed
The Seventh Year tradition thing, I would LOVE to say was mine, but I can't remember now if it was or not. It may well have been my idea, but I can't be totally sure. Oops my bad. And feel free to steal if ever you have the desire, I'm nice like that. :)
A twelve year old feeding a Thestral SHOULD NOT BE AN AWW MOMENT. It means she's seen death, come on! (Though I DID find it a sweet moment when I wrote it, I will admit...)
Lots lots more of Arieda, yay times! She has a much more central role than I'd initially planned for her, but I like her so it's fine. And to some extent she's someone who Gideon can talk to without getting all mopey about not having anyone - but then, he knows her for a reason, and it's due to that reason that she's not a TOTAL escape for him.
Yeah, the Gideon/Sirius issues are sad, especially because they've been entirely brought about by the war, which will be explained sooner or later. But none of them are perfect by any stretch of the imagination, and these two are possibly two of the more flawed characters. Marlene would be VERY good for Araminta, yes, but that would indeed require me being NICE to Araminta. Which is an unrealistic expectation indeed.
I love British terminology.
It's funny you should say that, because this chapter is still one of the earlier ones! I wrote the first five chapters very early on, two summers ago actually. Then this one and the next one were written around March time last year, when I started posting this fic. Then I began to struggle with chapter 8, and at the same time the idea for Rails came about and I got a bit preoccupied with that, and so 8 was only finished and posted last October. Then I neglected it AGAIN until a month or so ago, and the last few have been written in that time. My main criticism of this story is that I feel like it takes a while to properly get going; there's perhaps nothing much going on until round about now, which is maybe why it begins to pick up. This is why part of me thinks I should rewrite the early chapters, to make them stronger, but I think that would be a fair bit of effort, and I'd rather spend my time writing the chapters to come instead, because I'm excited by what is to come.
Thanks for reviewing!