I'm back again. :D I have to tell you, usually when I read stories set on September 1, I silently (or not silently) moan the entire time, because they all follow the exact same formula. But here, for whatever reason, I didn't even connect this chapter with the usual September 1 pattern. Maybe because it was the second chapter, but more likely because of the quality of the writing, it worked. I think it was the conversation about the Hogwarts Memorial that made the difference; because you introduced it early on, and continued the thread throughout the chapter, it felt like it actually had a purpose other than getting the kids to school.
Other things I enjoyed included many tidbits: Fleur's comment about zat ugly lion and the Fake Weasley especially. Fleur sounded perfectly in character, and the Fake Weasley thing makes a ton of sense. The mention of Luna giving a really powerful speech also was a great idea, one I pictured with ease.
One thing that felt out of place was all the background information that you stuck in at various points. Some of it worked, such as the way we learned quite a bit about James without him ever making an appearance: most of it was actually from the family conversation, which was great. But then there was the huge story about how Lily and Hattie met, which I think would have been okay normally, but it was so long that it interrupted the action a bit, in my opinion. Then there was also the long section about Hugo, which felt unnecessary to me, at least at this point in time, because he hasn't played a role in the story.
Another thing that may need some work is your dialogue. Specifically, the tags. You used a lot of adverbs, such as "I smiled apologetically" or "Ginny Potter said absently." They didn't add too much to the story, because usually, the dialogue can illustrate the speaker's mood by itself. The same thing for people's body language: after people spoke, a lot of the time you added actions, such as jerking heads or clapping hands on shoulders. Same as with the adverbs, those usually didn't add much because I could tell their mood without the extra words. All of those things hanging around tended to clutter up the story, at least in my opinion.
Other than that, it was a great continuation of the story. I can't wait to see how things pan out, both with the scandal and "him." He's Ben, maybe? I don't know, I'll wait and find out. ;) Sorry for all the tense switches in this review, I wrote it in about five sittings because I kept getting interrupted, it was all I could do to retain my train of thought.
Author's Response: Hi again! :D Ahh, now I'm blushing from that amazing compliment. Thank you! I'm guilty for having a lot of September First scenes (they totally do follow the same formula, I know what you mean) but they seem like the natural way to start a story for me. This was the easiest way for me to introuduce the memorial, and I'm glad you liked that! It really was just to get the kids to school, but as long as it seemed like it had other purposes, I'm happy :P
Ooh, glad you liked those! I've had a lot of fun writing the Weasleys and Ben is my favorite character (even though he's not really a main character, nor is he "him" :P) Oh and you picked up on the speech! Remember that. It's important ;)
Like I said, I'm sort of a background information nut (the amount of flashbacks I have in my other WIP shoudl be illegal :P) but I definitely see what you mean about it interrupting. I'll take a look at it and see if I can break it up/take some parts out. lol I love making up elaborate backstories but there's a place to put them, so I'll have another look at that.
I have a terrible habit with dialogue :P When I was in elementary school, everyone said to never use "said" by itself so I got into the habit of putting other things with it. So thank you for pointing that out, because I probably wouldn't have noticed it otherwise. Clean dialogue is something I always bring up in my own reviews, and now I'm guilty of not doing it myself *headdesk* That's /definitely/ something I'll work on because it bothers me as much as it does for you.
Not a problem at all, this review was just about the best thing ever! I'm so glad you're enjoying it and thank you for reading the second chapter too! As for the scandal and him...we haven't quite gotten to either yet, but soon ;)