Okay, so it's been a while since I read the first chapter, and gosh, I regret not coming back to this. I really like it. It's just... gah, so good. Seriously. I promise you I'm not lying :P
The emotion is so strong in this. It's strong and powerful and tense and I can't help but feel for both Daphne and Astoria because that must be so horrible for both of them - going through it and watching her sister go through it. You've managed that level of emotion and the topic itself so well, handling it so carefully. There's not too much but not too little either; there's just the right amount and it's so lovely. Heart-wrenching, but lovely.
I loved the little insertion at the top about the rebuilding of Hogwarts and the Ministry. It set the scene really well, describing what had happened before this all sets in and I really liked it. It was just the right length, as well, you didn't try to drag it out or anything. Also, I loved your point about how almost looking past the events and pretending they didn't happen isn't really rebuilding and healing. It was such a poignant point, particularly what with Daphne's situation further on in the chapter. The two bits fitted together very well :)
Astoria. Gosh, I feel so sorry for her, but at the same time, I know she'll be all right in the end, so it's not so bad, I suppose. She's so understandable, despite everything that she's been through - her reluctance to leave her family and her sister is so true to life. It's not that easy to walk away and stay away, and you've really brought that home here.
The one thing I would say is that, while this chapter was fabulous for all the information on Astoria, it's not so big on the plot front. Which is fine because, like I said, it gives so much lovely detail and information about Astoria and because she's not a well known character we kind of need that information, but it's something you might want to bear in mind for future chapters ;)
Mm... loved it. Want more. Write more. Sorry, I feel like this has been a very unhelpful review :P But, seriously, I really like this. Honestly.
Author's Response: Hello! Sorry I'm responding to this review a year later! Life has been a little crazy and I keep forgetting I have reviews to reply to...but I'm here...So here we go.
Emotion is my entire goal with this story. I find that a lot of stories that include any mention of the war sort of mute the emotions and make it difficult to understand how hard war really is. They struggle to make the reader feel what it's like to deal with what's left behind after the war. And that's what I'm aiming to change, which seems to be going good so far.
And that insertion at the top was the most empowering thing to write. I was amazed myself at how naturally I was able to write it and how it effectively set the scene. And admittantly, it wasn't initially going to make it into the chapter. It was just me getting in the mode of writing Astoria. And then I read it over and I was like, it sets the scene and it has some strong points that relate to Astoria and Daphne so I'm going to go for it. Which I know was the right choice.
And I noticed that this chapter really didn't really foster much on the plot front, but I feel like it was a necessary chapter. As you said, it gave a great deal of information about Astoria and for me, it really helped flesh out her mind set for me. It helped me get to know her, and how to write her a lot better. But you are right...I'll have to push some more plot in the coming chapters because I could probably write a great number of chapters that really don't go anywhere plot wise...
And this review was totally helpful! The feedback and your perspective on what's going on with Astoria and Daphne tells me that I'm getting my point across. I'm writing and I'm telling people Atoria's story and the reader's are picking up on the key things I want them too.
That and I kind of absolutely adore your reviews! They are so sweet and much apprecited! And I hope to be getting the next chapter of this out soon, like, before the end of this year.
Thanks again for the review!