Hi darling! Yay here for chapter two!
I really liked the pace you set this chapter. I think you did an awesome job giving us a natural chance to get to know Emily more. Being in Hogsmeade was a creative way to bring up the war again and what her life is like now that she’s free, and was done so in a way that didn’t make it feel like it didn’t belong in the story.
You address a few really powerful things in this chapter that helped build Emily’s character. We learn more about what the war was like for her, but at the same time we also learn she isn’t one to let it kill her. Sure, she gets those twinges and there are plenty of memories that hurt. Too much happened for her not to be tainted, but she also isn’t living in some sort of terrible darkness. She dealt with a lot and understands other people dealt with more, and is just stuck at this cross roads of what to do with herself. It’s clear that she needs more but doesn’t know just what yet.
One comment about the beginning I have is the first small section felt a big unnecessarily choppy. I loved getting the bit about what it feels like from the eyes of a teacher, but I think you could fit it more smoothly into the next section. Just doing something small like:
Oh yeah, Hogwarts Professor... it’s a charmed life. On that thought, I stretch my arms above my head to work out the kinks caused by three hours of sitting and grading.
The transition into Hogsmeade was perfect! Perfect. It was quick enough that we didn’t get bored on the walk over but didn’t go too quickly to feel unnatural. The thoughts she had regarding Hogsmeade made me feel so warm and fuzzy. Just knowing that she can still see beauty in a place that most witches and wizards consider a part of everyday life makes me happy. The comment regarding feeling like she was standing in a Christmas postcard created a really lovely picture.
Meeting her old Hogwarts friend felt ver appropriate. It brought a new side of Emily, or Em, out that we hadn’t seen yet. I liked the subtle reminder that no one really wants to address the war. I also liked getting to see how other people think of Emily. Obviously Michelle liked and misses her enough to come up and say hi. We’ve all been in the situation where we are in the store or something and see the sort of friend that we don’t want to talk to. You know, you cover your face then walk quickly away. But Michelle didn’t do that so she actually wanted to talk to her, and then to watch Emily act much happier than she’s seemed lately was very sweet.
I enjoyed the first chapter, but I *really* loved this one. The rhythm was good and it flowed easily, a very pleasant read!
Just a few grammatical things:
“It’s Michelle,” She adds helpfully. “Michelle Briar.”
--The ‘S’ in she should be lowercase.
“But that’s amazing!” She says...
--The S in she should be lowercase as well.
“Oh, well I live here now too,” She replies...
--The S in she should be lowercase.
As well as in these ones:
“Thanks,” She smiles, her cheeks glowing
“We’re looking at developing a new range just for the Hogwarts kids,” She explains.
Awesome chapter, lovely!
Author's Response: Yay! :) I've been looking forward to this review.
I'm glad the chapter flows well, I though it was important to have a fair bit of action with Emily out of the school because, as much as she feels trapped there by work, she is an adult and unlike the students, she can come and go as she pleases in her free time.
This whole piece is about Emily and my intention is to gradually build her character over time, giving the reader a little bit more insight each chapter. But at the same time, Emily is trying to piece herself back together because she's lost sight of who she is, so it's like the reader and character are learning about her together. My point here is that I'm happy you said that you felt Emily's character developed well in this chapter, I must be on the right track :)
I have to agree with you about the first part of this chapter, I was never completely happy with the way it flowed. I like your suggestion though, that looks like it might really help. I'll go back and look at it when I get the chance. Thanks for the idea :)
I'm happy the transition worked well, I really wanted to make Hogsmeade a good place for her, and I think that even after being a witch for 14 years, it would hold a lot of charm for her. It's also somewhere that holds a lot of good memories, so it makes her feel safe and comfortable. The Christmas card comment is my own personal thought from looking at pictures/seeing Hogsmeade in the movies :)
Yes, very true about bumping in to old friends! I think Emily herself is a little shocked that Michelle wants to be friends with her - it shows how different she is from who she used to be. But Michelle sees Emily as the girl she know at Hogwarts and treats her accordingly, which is the end will be very good for Emily. I also think how Emily sees herself is very different to how others see her. She's been through a lot and during the war spent a lot of time with her own thoughts as she does now as well. As result, she'd got a sort of skewed perception of what she's like and capable of so there's this tension between her perception and everyone elses. That's where a lot of Emily's problems lie.
Argh, all those capital S's!!! That is such a stupid habit I have and I don't even know where it came from! Thanks for pointing those out, I'll go back and fix them.
I'm glad you like the chapter, I really appreciate all your thoughts and comments. I'll put in a request for chapter 3 soon :)