Another lovely chapter, Toujours! Not that this surprises me in the slightest. ^.^ Even though this is a slower paced story, it's still just so enjoyable to read and enjoy the small moments you give us. Like, if only Voldemort did where a top hat! Maybe a cane, too. And a tuxedo. A monocle, perhaps... Now that would be a classy villain. Although it might make him too reminiscent of the Penguin from Batman...
I love that Delphine has a crush on Harry! Of course pushing Hermione is certainly frowned upon, haha, but it's a really cute idea. Makes sense, of course, seeing as he is the famous Harry Potter and Delphine's personality seems to really fit into the category of girls who would crush on him almost strictly for that reason (since we learn later that they've never actually spoken). And it's nice to see that someone appreciates Harry's hair style... hehehe
OMG Are these two Hufflepuffs? That makes me excited. :-) I don't see too many Hufflepuff characters get the main OC role and it's even better to see one that will be paired with a Weasley twin! This story is right up my alley - so many of my favorite things happening here, haha I can't wait to learn more about Hollis, especially now knowing that she's a Puff.
I really love the way you describe Hollis and Fred's interactions. Their chemistry is so palpable to me as a reader, which I'm kind of surprised about because I don't feel like I know very much about Hollis yet, but I'm still rooting for her and for them! The way she can just feel that he's looking at her, that she's so aware of him - it's very real and makes me all excited to see them hopefully get together sometime!
"We soon made our way past the Hogsmeade Station, and chose also to bypass The Three Broomsticks in favor of shopping." This sentence is a little wonky around the 'chose able' bit.
Oh hey, there's Alice again! I thought she might come back in a similar fashion to this. I really appreciate how you set her up in the last chapter - it was almost like they were going to become friends at first, too, so it was fun to see how that changed into the relationship they have now. "Truthfully, we all enjoyed hating each other too much to give it up." - It's awful, but I've totally been there.
I really loved the Hogs Head bit! I've said it before, but it makes me smile every time I see little bits of canon brought into a fanfic.
Rock, parchment, sword - nice. I think Delphine's character really took shape in this chapter - I learned a lot about her. She's very human, which I love. There are no Mary-Sue's here, which is really nice. Delphine has some attitude and can be really funny and very open about her opinions and I think she and Hollis have a really believable friendship. All the little details about Delphine is what really sold her for me (her trunk full of pocket change, doing what she can to get free things from people, cheating her way into winning simple games), she almost reminds me a bit of Ron in certain ways. Maybe she and Harry would be good together. :-p
The ending was so cute! When the twins wondered how she could tell them apart, it was a really sweet moment - made me giggle for the two of them, hehehe. Honestly, the chemistry between Fred and Hollis is what's really keeping me into this story. You can't help but root for them and wonder why it takes them so long to figure it out! I mean, they clearly like each other, but we know that this is only 1995, and they still aren't together a year from now. But it's that anticipation that really stays with me and makes me all giggly about them, hehehe. I truly cannot wait to see how these two continue to develop as a couple! *squee*
Author's Response: Hello again, Tanya! You never cease to amaze me. You leave such consistently thorough reviews - I heard a few other Gryffindors talking about that earlier.
The pace of this story is a bit different from the sort of thing I usually write, because it's all out of order and I focus solely on small, quiet moments featuring Hollis and Fred together, or at the very least mentioning Fred. Just flashes of their relationship, like flipping through a scrapbook.
I loved writing a Harry fangirl. I think there are always those annoying girls who like a boy just for the sake of liking him, because he's famous or he has famous relatives or whatever, and Delphine has embraced this role with gusto. She's a silly character - almost always over-the-top, and I think that's what made her so much fun to write. I'm not sure if people like Delphine really exist, and if they do I'm sure I would hate them, but in the fan fic world it's fun to just be able to do whatever I want and make characters like that run rampant around Hogwarts. XD
Hufflepuffs! Yes! Hufflepuffs don't get nearly enough love on the archive. The other Houses get more attention, have more easily-defined reputations, and Hufflepuff gets lost in the shuffle. When I set out to write this story, my main thing wasn't even about the Fred/OC ship, but it was about showing the lives of two people who weren't important to the Harry Potter plot, who didn't join the DA or play Quidditch or were popular, brilliant, etc. I wanted to make OC's who /could/ have been in the background somewhere. The wallflowers, the rest of the population Harry didn't pay attention to. Hollis's life is by no means spectacular, and I think that's what appealed to me. There were so many people just like that in Hogwarts, going about their business as ordinary students, not having to face Voldemort every year, and I loved showing that.
Oh my goodness, it takes ages for Hollis and Fred to get it right. Even when they do know they like each other, life seems to throw a wrench in their party at inopportune moments. :/ What I've found I enjoy the most in a love story is not the happily ever after, but the slow momentum, the rises and lows they take to get there.
Thank you so much for your lovely reviews! They totally made my day. And thanks for listening to me ramble. I tend to write essays in responses. :)