Hello there! I'm here with your review! :)
First off, I'd like to start with a suggestion that I usually make: it's a very sad truth, but stories without banners are often overlooked. When your story is all text in the summary and it's next to another that's just been validated and has a flashy animated banner, odds are readers won't notice your story. Of course that has absolutely nothing to do with your writing quality, or your summary, or story title! But I think that getting a banner from TDA would really help out with getting you the recognition you deserve! :)
Your introductory paragraph is great. Your description of the rain "dripping" rather than "pouring" shows that it's a quiet, dim afternoon rather than a raging storm and you don't even use as many words as I just did. The scene is set up simply and beautifully. I particularly like, "His dislike for me always makes him later." The reader wants to know exactly why he dislikes this person, and who they are. The introduction to a story is easily one of the most important parts and I think you've done a masterful job with it!
You have some really great phrasing in here. Your language is simple and eloquent. Examples that particularly caught my eye were "old men that littered the tavern," "busty tavern maids," "too powerful to be a plaything..." Okay, clearly I am just writing down every other sentence. XD What I mean to say is that this is very well-written.
You mentioned on the forums that you have this story set in an "odd time," but I think it's perfect. There are so many Next-Gen and Post-Hogwarts stories on HPFF right now--I am guilty of this as well--that this fic stands out in a very unique way. I'm sorry if you wanted serious constructive criticism; it seems I'm incapable of doing much more than fangirling!
I think you have a really great blend of back-story and dialogue. My only concern would be that you break up your paragraphs too much; for example I think the first and second paragraphs could be combined into one. From the looks of your second chapter's layout, your installments will all be the same length, so I wouldn't worry about trying to lengthen it by spacing things so much. Otherwise the chapter appears a little bare.
That being said, I feel that we are given just enough back-story to feel informed but to still keep us interested. I do want to know what Persephone looks like, though; maybe in the section where the men at the bar are staring at her you could slip something in, even if it's as simple as the color of her cloak. Or, if you don't want to verbally describe it, that little ol' banner I mentioned would help if there was some kind of image of Perseph. Something to help us visualize this very interesting OC of yours!
"Womanly weaknesses"--what the hell! How infuriating! I don't like this Arnold. Not one bit. I'm intrigued by the "be my own mistress" line; does he have some kind of power over her, bestowed by the Society? I like this flair of feminism in your story and think it's a very important issue that many authors overlook.
I'm also intrigued by his sudden display of pity and compassion; in fact it's a bit hard to swallow. Going from "I'm a sexist jerk, I will show up late and make you march through the rain thankyouverymuch" to "Poor poor Duckie" is a bit weird. Obviously you phrased it much better than this because you're a talented writer, but do you see what I mean?
All in all, I think this is a wonderful story. I'm glad you asked for a review--it's going on my favorites so that I can keep up! :)
Author's Response: Ah, thanks so much for fangirling!! I'm really glad you found it interesting, and I loved getting your suggestions!! There's definitely some things that I shall work to improve!
As for the banner situation, I know that it kind of pales in comparison next to others with banners, but I have no idea how to make banners. I have an account at TDA, but I haven't done enough poking around to know how to use the site properly enough. :/ I would love a banner on this story, but I want the look to be very classic and antique looking, and I haven't seen much that looks promising. I guess I could request a banner, but if I have to provide images... I'm stuck. All of the images I have are in my head. They usually look a lot better there. ;)
If you have any tips about banners, I'd love it if you could message me on the forums. It would be great to hear from you again!
Thank you, thank you, thank you, one thousand times over, for all of your compliments! They made me feel all fuzzy inside. :) I'm still getting used to the idea of being a semi-published-ish-well-sort-of-not-really-author-type-thing on the forums, and I tend to fangirl about the positive reviews I get! Thank you for liking my writing. :D
And thanks very much also for your constructive criticism. I will absolutely take a look at my chapter spacing, and give some more hints about Persephone's appearance as well. I think my biggest problem as an author is the face of the character. What do they look like?
With me, it has a way of changing daily. But I promise to be better about that!!
As for Arnold's bipolarity... I guess I got a little sick of him being mean and made him do an about-face---which is definitely a little unfeasible. I'll look into that, too, and try to make his character more cohesive. I like to think that somewhere in his wretched anti-feminism is a tiny spark of empathy for Persephone, but it needs to be revealed a bit more gradually.
Many thanks for saying that I'm talented and that you favorited this story. As I am currently suffering from writer's block, I feel slumpish, and this review really made my night!!