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Review:-Secret Santa Continues says:
Hi again!

I'm going to continue dive bombing your work because it's absolutely lovely to read. I really liked this chapter and I don't think there is a thing wrong with it. You character development continues to astonish me. Rose is absolutely wonderful and a deep character already. She seems to really hate the idea of revealing herself and her emotions to anyone, even Teddy. This is so relatable because I think a lot of people deal with that because they may fear rejection (From Teddy and her family). Maybe Rose fears that, or just committing to something that involves her emotions. I think that her past perhaps with Malfoy has taught her that, to guard herself because she's just waiting to get screwed over. I like how it's portrayed here though and you write it so naturally. The hints that you have are also really well mixed in and i like how you have to infer a lot of things about your story and about Rose or Teddy. I think that is so well done because i always like a story better if i have to think a bit more.

I also really like how you've approached Rose coming back from China. She seems so disconnected and unable to really fit in with the rest of her family and the people she used to be around all the time. Simply because she's experienced different things then them and seen so much. She's been halfway across the world chased down rare plants an put herself in danger for the sake of getting dragons blood or what have you. It would seem like a world apart to be then, safe and sound, in England where there is not that danger or things are just different and she's different. I can really relate to this because when I was living in a different country and culture way away from my 'home', coming back was one of the hardest things because so much had changed for me and it took ages to finally find home again. So I think it's really neat how you have Rose, especially in this chapter, so focussed on the word home and what it stands for.

I'm really curious to know where Teddy is on this whole thing and where he fits in with the family. Like, who does he have other than his Gran and Rose? And lets face it, Rose, for all her great characterization can be a little closed off (same as him at times). or he just seems more comfortable with things, confident, which i hope is something she needs.

I think what is really great about this story is your characters. They're the main thing and they, to me, are what makes a story from just being a good story to a literary piece. Plot is good and all, but it's the characters that I remember, they are the things that move me. I think you have that here, where i'm more concerned about your characters than anything else and i want to see them succeed and get passed all this emotional turmoil and issues and come out okay.

Again, really lovely job here! I've loved reading this and i hope that there is another update in the makings ;D

Author's Response: These reviews are killing me, Secret Santa! They're so long and lovely, and I'm very sorry that it's taken so long to respond to them all. It's wonderfully helpful that you reviewed this story because it's one I've really been struggling with - I'm so used to writing specific genres and knowing exactly where I want a story to go... neither of which is happening here. An idea for the ending is brewing, but I'm not sure if it's the right one or whether it's just too cliched. But more about that later.

What's great about writing this story is the ability to examine family relationships because in my other stories, the characters tend to distance themselves from their families, whereas Rose is in the thick of hers. She's had her "escape", though temporary, and now she's facing the reality of having a large family and dealing with their close proximity at a time when all she wants is to figure herself out.

And you're perfectly right that Rose is scared to show her emotion because she fears rejection, or worse, being mocked for it. Scorpius was crueller to her than anyone quite realizes, and although Teddy isn't at all like that, Rose still has this thing in her mind she can't get past. I'm really glad that you see that in her and that it helps add to her realistic portrayal. She's a very confused and conflicted character, and always has been, so it's a challenge to write her without making her seem contradictory and flimsy. Somehow in future chapters I want to show the sharp contrast between what she thinks and how she acts - it will lead her into trouble, and then I think I'll have more of a plot to work with. ;)

Your discussion of Rose's adventures puts me in mind with the Trio after the war, how it must have been for them to change their ways so drastically. Maybe it's why Rose gets along with her Uncle Harry because he understands more than anyone what it's like to experience that difference. But for Rose, it's also an issue of freedom versus obligations, and she has to force herself to take that last step of maturity, to find a balance between the two that best suits her.

Teddy is somewhat of a blank space for me right now. I don't know how to enter his perspective on things, and I might just have to resort to following him for a chapter to see what his view of the world is like and how it differs from that of Rose. It must be uncomfortable for him since all the women in his life are independent and closed-off, as you put it. In some ways, he's like a Mr. Knightley to Rose, and helps her where he can, but what IS it like from his point of view? Now you've got me thinking... this is bad... oh my god I have to write this, if not for the next chapter, then for the one that follows. It would be a great addition to the story! :D

Thank you so much for reading and reviewing this story! You've been a great help at getting me to think through the characters because they're the driving force of this story.

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