Wow. This is a really, really impressive story, and I don't need to have read the previous eighteen chapters to recognize that here (though that may have helped). You've got a well-written, well-paced chapter here, no messing around with flowery description while you've got a plot that's taking off. I love the way the suspense grew from the beginning, growing larger as I waited for something to happen in the Tawny Owl. You didn't even limit the action to that one room, but kept it going as they jumped out, and were trapped under the table. All that flowed extremely well.
You did a great job with Moody's character, too. He was just like the Moody we all know and love from the books, scarred and blunt and constantly vigilant. It was good to see a familiar face in there.
I also liked the nuances of Simon and Elena's relationship. From this chapter, I can imagine a boatload of possible situations they went through prior to this, enough to understand Elena's pain at the end. It was interesting to watch Simon's tendency to improvise, paired with the more nervous Elena, and the way she acted around him in general.
I was surprised that such an anxious person as Elena would be involved in such a serious endeavor. Sure, I don't have the whole story, so I'm not too worried, and I understand that not only brave people were against the Death Eaters. But I did notice that, twenty chapters in, Elena was still looking like a rookie on the job and not one hundred percent confident about it. Just an observation, do with it what you will; this is, after all, the first chapter I've read.
Really, not much more I can comment on/compliment/critcize here. I was most impressed with the way you continued to up the pace throughout the chapter, really giving it an intense feel throughout. Despite jumping into this so far in, I still enjoyed the chapter and had no issues with understand. Well done.
Author's Response: Hello! (I am so sorry that I didn't respond to this sooner!)
Thank you for leaving a review without having read the whole story. I realize that asking you to do that might not have been fair at all.
This chapter is definitely less descriptive because things are getting more action-y. I'm glad that the pacing worked here, for you.
Yes, you're right in picking up that Simon and Elena's relationship is complicated (it absolutely is). And Simon does improvise a lot, which makes sense because he is the Auror while Elena doesn't still have the same training that he does. I think in this case, Elena's anxiety is a bit of an anomaly, and reading earlier chapters would show that she is thrown into this. But I certainly am not blaming you for not knowing.
Thanks again for the review! I appreciate it and your willingness to just jump in and critique this chapter without the context of everything else.