sdjhflksdhjf THIS IS. SO. ADORABLE. Ugh. You write an eleven-year-old so, so well! It's hard to remember exactly how young the children at Hogwarts are, I think, in light of how much Harry & co. achieved while they were there, but Arianthe is such a mix of Malfoy sass and child-like innocence that I was just grinning at my screen the whole time I read this.
I will come back to the cuteness in a moment, but I would like to comment on how much I appreciate the way you've written this as well. We do see Arianthe's spunk in some of the narration, but a lot of it is adorably innocent and very absorbing of the real charm of Hogwarts to someone who's never been there before. I like that she already knows about the Sorting Hat, too, I always found it weird that nobody seemed to know how it was done, especially Ron, because he had a lot of people close to him that went through it and yet he chose to believe Fred and George :P
I also love that you've brought in a completely new character to be headmistress! And what a lovely woman, too, grunge and all haha. I'm prey to this habit, but a lot of people just tend to chuck in one of the old professors to Headmaster or Headmistress, and while this is easier as a writer, for me as a reader I like the idea that Hogwarts has changed a bit (or a lot) between the times Harry was there and his children are.
The episode on the train with Silencio was so cute, I was literally laughing out loud. I am really jealous of your ability to juggle so many characters and do it so well. This fic really reminds me of the reason I fell in love with JKR's world in the first place. I love that Arianthe is still untouched by the darker side of magic in this chapter, because to me that is how Harry read in the first book before everything happened. I know that this will eventually include a murder and ensuing investigation, but, man, for now, this is so cute I can't even think of another word for it. Besides ones I've already mentioned.
I also really like the idea that Arianthe doesn't know what her father's done. I like to imagine that maybe Draco waits until his kids are a certain age before he tells them or something, and than meanwhile rumours are running rampant at Hogwarts. There was this--I don't know, this will be awkwardly worded I am sure--this quality to the mean kids in this chapter that was so realistic. Often children can be cruelest because they don't know how to empathize yet, and because it's all about sides and who's right and who's wrong, who's good and who's bad. And at Hogwarts this would obviously be supercharged, especially in the aftermath of the war and concerning the children of the people on either side.
So, basically, this story has completely won me over, and as soon as it's not one AM, I am going to read the rest of the chapters and keep up with it because. Just because. Yes.
Author's Response: So I've been purposely not responding to this because I love looking at it whenever I go to Unanswered Reviews, but I think it's time I got around to responding to it :)
skfjldsgnaogd I LOVE WRITING FIRST YEARS IT'S SO FUN! I feel like a lot of people mostly write seventh years because they can relate to them more, and that holds true for me as well but I LOVE WRITING FIRST YEARS. And I'm young enough to remember when I was eleven and I don't think that all first years are either annoying snobs or dumb, squeaky little twits. You know, they have their own dramas, as stupid as they are. I think the problem most people have is capturing that drama correctly. Everything is a super big deal to a first year, because everything's new. They get stupid fears, but they also know how to rationalize. I'm not saying that I write the first year perfectly but I do think that those are some problems people run into.
On the other hand, you can't make first years too mature. Like, an eleven year old probably isn't going to have their first kiss (but if they do, they're damn lucky ;) )
They're also super innocent, which I love. Their dramas, like I said, are stupid, like, who called who what name. A big deal to them, but stupid.
I also found it weird that Ron chose to believe Fred and George, of all people. I suppose it was because Charlie and Bill were gone and he didn't like talking to Percy...?
I do that with the Headmistress to, but this time I decided to change it up a bit. I like Headmistress Roberts. She reminds me a lot of this character on Grey's Anatomy (I'm obssessed with that show) who acts like a pushover sometimes but really has a lot of spirit and passion and all that. I really want to get around to showing that sometime...
Juggling characters? Pshaw, no problem.
I'm just kidding. It's really difficult. A lot of times I forget names and stuff and have to go back and check and yeah. I just have to be really careful. Because if I made Rose's hair auburn in one paragraph, then came back a week later and made it red because I wasn't paying attention, that would be bad.
Anyway, I always thought that Draco may not want to tell his kids about what he's done at such a young age. It would give them nightmares and such :) But there's also a certain level of fresh start I think he'd want from them, you know? I think he'd want someone not to know, even if they'd find out eventually. That way he knows that his kids actually love him when he tells them, and aren't just - this sounds horrible, but pretending, or faking or something. I don't know.
So, basically, I love you right now. Your review got me through the next chapter of this thing. I'm going to post it right now, so, yeah. Bye.