Hello, hello! Looking forward to another fun-filled dose of Dances with Krum, starring Rose Weasley...
I'm really starting to get into the way that you water-drop a little more of Viktor's sordid and kind of sad life story with each passing chapter. If you follow American sports to any great extent -- and I'd assume the stories are similar in most other countries -- Viktor's story is definitely familiar. You take a young man or woman who doesn't understand much about money or fame and suddenly they're being showered with unimaginable amounts of both. Then one day it's all over and they wind up squandering all the money trying to find something else that gives them the same thrill of competing at the highest level.
Moving along to Rose's section, you accomplished something that I thought was really tricky. Heart is right: Rose should be drooling at the opportunity to write Krum's story. This is the break she's been waiting for. The opportunity to tell a story where she doesn't even have to invent the characters or the plot. Hence the tricky part. I thought you did a really good job of selling her reluctance. She has lots of mechanical reasons why another author would be better suited to the task, but you wrote it in such a way that it's apparent that there's something more to it. She doubts herself, and that came through really clearly.
Let's pause for my favorite exchange in the entire chapter:
"What did I tell you when I first hired you? Do you remember what I said?"
Rose thought for a minute. "Don't be late and don't ask for overtime pay?"
That was Vaudeville-worthy!
Heart's tack on writing Krum's story makes perfect sense, given the conversation that he had with Rose two chapters ago. He doesn't want another celebrity scandal tear-down and he doesn't want a testosterone-laden "guy book" full of Quidditch war stories. He wants a human interest story where Krum has skin in the game if he really opens up to Rose. The old man is clever, no doubt about it!
Ha! I love Heart's reaction to Rose saying she'll think about taking the assignment. You've created an amazing character in that one. He doesn't take no or even maybe for an answer. Give him an inch, he'll take your ruler.
Your description of Rose's sad, little office was really nicely done, and it fits beautifully into the way you've built up her life. It's one more sign of how she hasn't quite managed to reach the point in life where she wants to be. And it led to my second-favorite line of the chapter:
"But on a clear day, it let in just enough sunlight to illuminate the room and convince Rose she hadn't been relegated to working in a glorified broom closet."
The scene with Krum's lawyer was suggestive in a lot of different ways. For starters, it's pretty apparent that Krum either no longer has the capability to manage his own affairs or he no longer cares. Whatever the case may be, Peter Brooks seems to be a far cry from the young, tentative attorney that Heart verbally abused two chapters ago. He seems eager to get friendly with Rose, but not because he's a nice guy. His pushy, condescending manner seems to indicate that he thinks he's going to be able to control the direction of Rose's book, whether by virtue of nondisclosure agreements or sheer force of personality. I'm glad that she stood up for herself just a bit, and channeled some of her frustration with her boss into making him keep his distance.
Overall, you did a good job of moving the story along and setting up Rose's inevitable first encounter with Krum. I'm not sure whether it happens in the next chapter or sometime later on, but there's absolutely no doubt that it's going to be interesting.
I noticed a few typos as I was reading that you might want to take another look at:
"She stared at boss, but he had already turned his back to her" - should be "her boss"
"... bargain hunters and tourists, all jostling there way on and off..." - should be "their way"
"... located in the center of the office suits." - suites?
A most enjoyable chapter. This story is really good and I have a feeling the best is yet to come!
Author's Response: Haha, Dances with Krum. The title that could have been...
I'm glad the snippets of the book are starting to grow on you. In addition to avoiding backstory overload, I included them to contrast the two characters. There is meant to be a subtle comparison between the snippet and what happens in the chapter that follows. Like this one talks about Krum living lavishly, compared to Rose working in a broom closet. I don't know if anyone ever picked up on it while reading, but that was at least part of my intent. And I am a pretty big sports nut -- at least when it comes to baseball -- so I definitely didn't have to stretch too far to imagine Krum's fall from grace.
I'm glad you bought Rose's reluctance here. I think Rose has her good points, but I wouldn't say self-confidence is one of them. And I'm glad you liked that line. Even well-mannered Rose can't help pushing Heart's buttons. It's just too easy sometimes. As for Rose's "lovely" office, let's just say I know where she lives on that one.
Peter will be another recurring character. He's got his own stake in all this, which once revealed, I think make him more sympathetic than he comes off here, though he'll never be exactly warm and fuzzy.
Gah, that's a lot of typos. Thanks for the heads-up. With the exception of two later on, none of these chapters have been beta-read, so I guess I can't be that surprised. Thanks for pointing them out.
And thank you for another lovely review. I hope you aren't feeling obligated to read this because I'm reading your story. Of course, I don't *mind* that you're reading it, but I know relationship dramas aren't everyone's cup of tea. Thanks again!