For starters, Nyx is really cute. I love your version of what's involved in training an owl to be a suitable magical pet and post-carrier. It seems a bit too easy and convenient to imagine that any old owl could be pressed into service. Brienne seems to have the patience and affection for the little guy, which he clearly returns. Even Serge seems to have taken something of a protective attitude toward him.
The goofy, irreverent breakfast scene was actually a really nice touch, I thought. Brienne has gone through so much and will likely go through so much more. I love the fact that, every so often, you take a moment to remind us that she's only 15 and prone to some of the silliness that goes along with that age, regardless of the heavy burdens she carries.
She is not going to let Snape get the best of her, is she? I love the determination and her enthusiasm for the subject. I bet Snape is going to be really surprised to get that particular owl.
OK, another character falls into place. Let me make sure I have the particulars correct here. Stanley Meadowes was married to Dorcas Meadowes before her murdre by Lord Voldemort, correct? And he has an as-yet-unintroduced son who is a Ravenclaw in the same year as Brienne? And now he's head Auror? I'm not sure whether this presents a canonicity issue for you, but Rufus Scrimgeour was definitely Head Auror by the time Brienne would have been a Seventh Year and Tonks's comments in OotP seem to imply that he'd been there for a while. It isn't a huge deal, but something to be mindful of.
Totally tangential note, but don't you wish you could eat the way that wizards do? They seem to be constantly gorging themselves throughout the books and through most fan fiction, and they never seem to gain an ounce. That really is magic!
You've tied Stanley into the fold nicely, and managed to draw another line connecting Brienne's mother to canon, as well. I like how you're gradually weaving disparate things together. It makes the plot easier to relate to, at least for me.
These two sentences didn't sound quite right to me: "The French Aurors said that they noticed a young boy who was standing outside the crime scene along with the Muggles from the neighbourhood as the Muggle police left. He was described to be tall, six feet at least, about sixteen." I think it's the words "young boy" that caused me the biggest issue. You go on later to explain that the boy is around 16, so I eventually put it all together, but if I were you I might try a different initial description because to me, "young boy" implies an adolescent or younger.
We get a lot of interesting, new details in this chapter as to how Brienne's mother died. I love that she was doing everything she could to prevent the killers from finding out about Brienne. It was a very motherly touch. I did find that part a bit at odds with the way that the Aurors seem to believe that she knew her attacker. If her attacker knew her, then wouldn't the attacker also know that she had a daughter? Unless their past encounters were all before Brienne was born... Hmmnn... So an enemy she made during the first war, perhaps?
I did have a little trouble following Brienne's leap of logic to the idea that her mother had been betrayed. It doesn't sound like her killer was anyone that she trusted. Otherwise, the killer probably already would have known about Brienne. Does that make any sense?
This sentence confused me, as well: "We are allowed to find out who did. And thatís what weíre doing." - I'm not sure what the action -- the "did" -- that's being referred to in the first sentence is.
Wow. The last section was chilling. So Brienne's mother's killer knows that Brienne exists, and the killer has a picture of her. This doesn't bode well.
You introduced a lot of new possibilities and new plot intrigue in this chapter, as well as a strong hint of danger that had been missing up to this point. I loved it! You now have a budding love story, a mystery and a bit of a thriller, all coming together. Be back soon!
Author's Response: Hi!
You are right on all counts about Stanley- and he's one of the top Aurors there is. I didn't think there was just one Head Auror, but if not I will certainly change it :) I want to keep it consistant with canon, as I'm pretty sure you know, so thanks for pointing it out. I always forget stuff like that.
Haha! I totally agree with the food. You never see them exercising, though I think running around Hogwarts all day would help (and Quidditch). Since Brienne only does the former, she does put on weight, as detailed a little later on :) I'd love to live in that world.
All of your suggestions are completely correct, and noted :) The last one you said; the "did" thing refers to the previous sentence "We don't think he did it" or whatever it was xD Thanks for pointing them out, since I really want this chapter to flow so it doesn't confuse anyone, especially with all the information dumping there is.
The killer is certainly not someone she trusted, and someone she knew before Brienne was born. I think probably just before she got pregnant.
I'm really glad you liked it! Again, you pick up on everything I want it to. I will review a couple of your chapters later (or more, if I can), sorry I'm falling behind :)