Finally back. Sorry it took me so long. :(
I am continuing to really enjoy this story. You've done an amazing job characterising Angelina and the other girls, and I just can't speak highly enough about that. I like what you've done with Alicia especially - not because I like her the best of all of them, but because I think that this is a really interesting, imaginative take on a character who's present through several of the books but who we never really get to know.
I love what you've done with Angelina, too, but I do feel like we got to know her a bit better. We don't see any of Alicia's personality, really, and you've taken her and made her into a realistic, somewhat silly teenage girl. (Which I also feel is sadly missing from fanfiction - there are very few silly teenage girls who have any substance and aren't just obnoxious. Alicia isn't obnoxious - she's infectious and fun.) The "feigned reluctance" in particular was a nice touch.
I also loved the way you depicted the ball. The banter (and general interaction) between Fred and Angelina came across to me as friendly, not flirty, which I think is what you intended. George, on the other hand, definitely came across as a little awkward. As a reader, I think I would have picked up on it even if I didn't know the premise, but I can also see how Angelina might not immediately see that.
Her realisation that it might have been her was also handled well; initially, I was disappointed that you didn't really show her emotional reaction to it, but once I thought about it a bit, I decided that I actually really liked that - you've shown enough of her at this point that I could kind of read between the lines. You didn't need to say it. In some ways, if you had gone into it just then, it would have distracted from the story and felt a little cheap.
So I liked all of those things. Honestly, though, the way you depicted the between all of the characters was probably what drew me in the most. It was dynamic and subtly different depending on the people involved, which really brought the scene and the characters to life. I loved the comment about Harry in particular - it showed a real familiarity and tied in what we saw of the Ball in GoF without going overboard.
A few pieces of crit:
There was a point early in the chapter - just after Angelina and Lora have finished their exam and are heading back to the Common Room - that felt a little awkward to me. I've been trying to identify exactly what doesn't work for me, and while I'm not sure that I've got all of it, I think I have enough to maybe explain it a bit.
Part of the problem for me were some of the little errors, usually regarding punctuation. "We wouldn't love her if she wasn't so fickle" should have ended with a perod, not a comma, as should have "Obviously" at the start of the following paragraph. Similarly, there were points throughout that exchange between the classroom and the Common Room that felt like they were either run-ons or didn't have enough commas. I'd read through it one more time to polish that up.
I also felt like there wasn't enough description around your dialogue in the right places. For example, in the paragraph starting, "Obviously," Angelina followed her, you really didn't include any information about how Angelina was feeling or how she was delivering her line. That was true of both girls through most of that conversation. I could guess at how they were talking, since I, too, was once a sixteen year old girl, but you didn't really show it, and I wish you had.
Just spending a little more time on how they were talking and interacting would have helped give the story depth. It's not that it didn't make sense this way - it just fell a bit flat for me. That's especially true compared it to the scene in their dormitory that immediately follows, which does feel animated.
Does that make any sense?
It also felt to me that not enough time passed for Alicia to have gone for a walk and been kissed by Eddie. If you'd said that Lora had to gather up all her things and not made the conversation with Angelina continuous, that would have made more sense. As is, though, it seems like Alicia was about five minutes behind them, which doesn't leave much time for anything.
Those little things aside, though, I absolutely loved this chapter. Sorry it took me so long to find my way back, and thank you for writing it. It's lovely.
Author's Response: Hey!! It's wonderful to see you back.
In writing this, it was really important to me to try and capture a believable teenager-y atmosphere complete with silliness and a realism. I have had a lot of fun crafting personalities and lives for canon characters that we know so little about. I'm very glad you enjoy Alicia!! She's a very one to write.
Annd thank you so, so much for the crit!! Chapters 2 and 4 were the first two I ever wrote of this story and I think I was very keen on getting used to the cast and such. I'll be sure to go back and sure up some of the details and have a second look at the grammatical errors.
Thank you, again!