Ho, ho, ho! This is your Holiday Review Swap Extravaganza Thingee review! Well, the first of two, actually. I think this chapter is a bit short and introductory to be the subject of a proper review, so I'll do the second as well.
I think the meditation on the nature of villains and the evil they do was a good start. It definitely set a mood that made Morgan come off in a very different light than she would have if you dived directly into her first trip to Hogwarts. I liked the thought process that recast the epic rise and fall of evil wizards as a necessary catalyst for change; an evolutionary, almost biological process of death and rebirth. It's a theme that really interests me, because each wizarding war obviously drove changes in the magical world, just like major conflicts in the non-magical world cause people to change the way that they act and think. If Next Gen fics spent as much time exploring that as they do expounding on the horrible difficulties of being a magical teenager with a crush on [insert Weasley grandchild here], the genre would be vastly more interesting.
Right away, you gave Morgan some rather mysterious attributes. She come from an old family, apparently, but not one with a history of attending Hogwarts. Her parents seem affluent, but not traditional. And she's obviously not one bit impressed by young Draco Malfoy, something that I'll certainly give her credit for. And she has at least some past connection to Theodore Nott. I like fics that involve Nott. We know so little about him from the books that he gives an author a great deal of freedom to grow and develop a canon character. I'm eager to see what you do with him.
It seems that Morgan will also become housemates with Hermione, Ron and Harry. Considering the way that you've set her up in the beginning, I already feel anxious for her. I get the feeling that the war costs her a great deal. She loses something very dear to her, and it pushes her into a very horrible place. Or I may be completely wrong, but at this stage of the story it's a lot of fun to speculate.
"As her blush slowly waned away, Morgan began hating every single one of them. For being loud, obnoxious, and for taking away the only person she knew.
"Luckily for her, a few hours later, Morgan would be sorted into Gryffindor, where she could live out and nourish this feeling for years to come."
I just had to highlight those two paragraphs. They were brilliant together.
I really like the way you write. There's a smooth elegance to it, very polished. You balanced dialog and narrative well in the second part of the chapter.
I think you've done a great job of setting the stage. Let's see where you're taking this...
Author's Response: Oh my goodness, thank you so very much for the praise! I never know how a story will be received and it is wonderful to see it was received exactly how I meant it :D
I aggree with you completely about the certain lack of social commentary in the New Gen "genre" (hpff is so vast, I guess it can have it's own genres?). When i came to this site about a year ago, I was really looking forward to seeing the future of the wizarding world explored in great depth by fans. What I got was a timeless, Weasley infested hormone fest :P Which is fun on its own , of course,by leaves me unfulfilled. This is one of the reasons I imagined Morgan. As we know from our own Muggle history, social conflicts are very much like a Phoenix: the next one rises from the ashes of the former. The kind of bitterness and disappointment in which the Wizarding War must have left our heros is not to be underestimated. In that regard, your thoughts on what will help Morgan tip over are not too far off, actually!
I am glad you like Morgan, and that you feel for her! She is not the most pleasant person, but I hope to make her apear well-rounded at all times :)
Happy Holidays and many thnks, again, for such a wonderful review :D:D