Okay, I'm back for part two of my review.
I feel like all the things I said in part one continue to be true. I thought the descriptions were a bit more prevalent in these two chapters, particularly when describing the pub in chapter three and the moment where Lysander is climbing the stairs in chapter four. Still, I didn't find them to be too much or too heavy-handed. I loved the way you classified the guests as they arrived as the wedding. It was a lovely touch. Same goes for the dialogue, which I bring up again since it was an area of concern you listed. Once again, I thought it was very natural and a good extension of the style you're using in this piece. And even though he only had a few "lines" in chapter four, I continue to like the voice you've given Lorcan. I think he reads most natural of all the characters.
For the most part, I'm finding the mechanics of the writing to be well balanced and well crafted. As with the alternatives for said I mentioned in the last review, I'd would make two small mechanic-related suggestions. First, I'd be careful not to use too many "soft" words like slightly and barely. It's not just that they are adverbs, which can be hit or miss at times, but because their very meaning dampens what else you are saying. If someone smiles slightly, they are smiling but not really. That isn't as telling as saying that someone is flashing a coy smile (which implies a flirtatious nature) or a smile that doesn't reach their eyes (implying that it's not genuine). It's not that these types of words don't have their place, but I'd just watch out you don't over use them. I'm constantly finding them worming their way into my chapters, which is the only reason I noticed them here. Second, and this isn't really CC, just an observation. I noticed you use a lot of phrases to describe Lysander: the scientist, the herbologist, the Scamander, the twin. There is nothing wrong with that, which is why this isn't CC, but traditionally, using phrases like that creates distance between a reader and a character. I wasn't sure if you were going for that or not so I just thought I'd point that out.
As for the story itself, I'm really enjoying it. I like your Lysander a lot and your Scorpius and I *really* like them as a couple. I'm already cheering for Lysander to come out of his shell a bit and for Scorpius to be the one to help do it. I also haven't forgotten about Scorpius' secret need for those plants and I'm curious as to what that's all about.
That said, I did feel like that in these two chapters, the relationship did move a little fast for me. I guess I'm more of a fan of building tension in a new relationship but the pair seems so at ease so quickly that it lacks a little of the will they/won't they fun. But even aside from that, because that's obviously not needed in every romance story, I was surprised based on the way you've depicted Lysander so far (as awkward, as stuck in his head, as not open with his feelings, at least to his brother) that he was so forthcoming with his feelings to Scorpius in chapter three. He hardly knows Scorpius yet, and though attraction can develop in seconds, intimacy usually takes more time. I like his frankness in inviting him to the wedding. That felt natural for me; he did a calculation in his head and the risk/reward ratio told him to go for it, so he did. But admitting to the jealousy was surprising to me. And I would have loved if the conversation before the kiss had been longer. I feel link in total, the pair haven't talked for more than twenty minutes and yet here they are kissing -- unless they saw each other between the pub and the wedding, but I didn't notice a references to that. I like them a LOT and have no problem with the story jumping in with both feet, but I would have loved to have seen a bit more interplay between the two -- that is actually a very long-winded compliment. If I didn't like the characters, I certainly wouldn't want to read more about them!
Well, I hope I've been able to offer some helpful feedback. I think you've got a great story going here and if you're interested in another review on it sometime, I'd be happy to oblige. Thanks for the request. I'm really glad I got the excuse to read this :)
Author's Response: Thanks again for the reviews! I'll try and do them justice with thorough responses. And again, I'm going to try and tackle this point-by-point.
Lorcan! I'm so, so pleased you've mentioned Lorcan. I'm always sort of worried about how he comes off because we don't get to see much of him.
I've never even noticed the "soft" words you mentioned, actually, so I'm thrilled that you've pointed them out. I suppose it's something that I don't really think about when I'm writing, and I'm actually really trying to cut down on my adverbs (and sometimes failing, in that respect). Those are definitely some lines/phrases that I'll look at when I go through these chapters again.
And in terms of the phrases used to describe Lysander, I was actually writing those on purpose. I found that saying "he" over and over again was getting tiresome, so I just went ahead and made the stylistic choice to use different phrases for him. I can understand the distance that might create, but I think that's a risk I'm willing to take in this case.
I can understand how you could see the relationship moving a bit fast, and now I'm sort of regretting the fact that I don't have a chapter in between the pub and the wedding. Perhaps, in the coming chapter, I'll mention some history between the two of them that would've happened unseen between the two chapters. We'll see. I'm wondering now about the best way to go about fixing that, actually (if you have any suggestions, I'd love a PM, or something).
Thanks again for the lovely reviews! Your feedback is massively helpful and appreciated.