I'm back again! Like a bad cough, I just won't go away.
Before I start, I wanted to let you know that I was in the lovely state of New Jersey on Wednesday night, before I had to flee in order to get home before the blizzard hit. I had to rent a car and drive almost the entire length of the Garden State (from A.C. all the way up to 287). Forgive me if I say that it wasn't the world's most pleasant drive.
Now, on to the story. You continued to build on the prideful, fiercely independent Viktor Krum that we met in the prior chapter. He seems completely obsessed with being in control of his own life. I think Rose was correct to be somewhat frightened of him. The way that he rebuffs her attempt to help him was almost menacing. There's not much doubt that the guy has serious anger management issues. All in all, I'd say Rose made the right decision by simply walking away. If she's going to have any chance of working productively with him, he has to be willing to make himself at least a little open and vulnerable. Since we know that Rose does, in fact, wind up writing the book, the fact that she proves that she's willing to simply walk away from his childish behavior probably works to her advantage in the long run.
Yet it obviously bothers her. Whether or not she was correct to walk away from Krum, it seems that she feels at least a little bit bad about the fact that she left him injured on the pavement without so much as a look over her shoulder. Perhaps she was a little too determined to show Brooks and Heart that their idea wasn't going to work. Maybe that determination caused her to abandon her attempt to give Krum the help that he plainly needed a little too quickly. Something is definitely eating at her.
I really, really like your Hugo. Next Gen isn't my absolute favorite era, but when I read Hugo, I always kind of like him better if he's gay. I think maybe it's for the same reason that I generally like to see Rose with Scorpius Malfoy -- the fact that I'm sure Ron would find it upsetting. Aside from his sexuality, I like the idea of him being more magnetic than Rose, who comes off as not exactly solitary but also not much of a social butterfly. She and Al seem to be two of a kind: creatures of routine who don't embrace new friends and situations easily. The contrast between the two siblings works well.
The Weasley family home sounds like a charming place, very utilitarian but with some simple and homey aesthetic touches. It feels like Hermione to me.
Oh, goodness. It seems that Krum got himself in a bit more trouble than we realized. I remember wondering whether the fact that he was beating up a muggle would make matters more or less complicated. Apparently it was the former. I have a feeling that Rose's willingness to simply walk away from him when he was being an idiot has something to do with the fact that he now wants to speak with her. Krum is probably very used to dealing with people who tell him what they think he wants to hear or treat him extra badly because of his notoriety. Somebody like Rose, who simply can't be bothered to care who he is, would likely have a certain appeal to him.
Let's see, a few other little things I liked: I liked that you weren't afraid to work in a cell phone. I really have a thing for fics that take the HP world and evolve it past the "frozen in the past, quills and owls and oil lamps" world of the books. I like the fact that Ron keeps tools, yet doesn't really know what to do with them. I like the fact that Ron and Hermione still communicate best by arguing with one another. I like the fact that the Weasley house only has one bathroom. That reminds me of the Burrow.
I noticed two things that I think are typos:
-- "They eat while perched at the small iron table set beneath one of the many maple trees that grew along the property." - I think the tense is wrong here. Should be "They ate while..."
-- "It seemed Hugo had detected her waining interest in the subject of all things Billy..." - I think this should be "waning" not "waining".
Aside from that, lovely prose as always.
This story is really starting to get good. I'm really interested to hear what Krum has to say.
Author's Response: Hey, man -- no knocking the parkway. Between that and the turnpike, I've logged a lot of miles over the years. But okay, I'll grant you that it isn't the prettiest drive... or the safest. And beware the potholes!
The opening for this chapter was a tricky one for me. First and foremost, I wanted to avoid Rose giving the impression that she approved of that sort of behavior. I also wanted Krum to be unlikable enough to make Rose's eventual feelings for him require some measure of a journey on her part, but I also didn't want the reader to outright hate him. Hopefully the scene worked to fall somewhere in the middle of all that.
I'm so glad you liked Hugo! Imagining how Ron would handle his son's sexuality was definitely one of the reasons I made him gay. That and I also use it to show Rose that no relationships are easy. Like you said though, I think the more important trait is his ability to relate to people. His willingness to be open to new people and new experiences will return to help Rose down the road.
I'm so glad you weren't turned off by the cellphone bit. I wasn't sure if that was an eye-roll moment or not -- like iPods at Hogwarts or something. If people didn't like it, I was hoping they could blame it on this being next-gen, or the fact that Billy is American.
Thanks for another lovely review (and for spotting the typos!). I totally haven't forgotten about your story. It's next on my to-review list... and not just because you reviewed me first.