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Review:CambAngst says:
Here I am, Bec. I'm reviewing the last chapter. The last chapter, I say! I believe it's obvious what needs to be done here. :)

Poor Emily! I really felt her pain when she was trying to get over her nerves and face her first class after returning from her extended holiday break. You didn't rush your way through the narrative, which I thought was nice. It really allowed the tension to build and let the reader feel some of the crushing anxiety. Anticipation of a difficult thing is almost always worse than the thing, itself.

Aww! Newitt seems like exactly the thing that she needed at that moment. Seeing him happy and healthy and glad that she was back must have done wonders for Emily's state of mind. He seems like a really good kid, you know, for a Slythern. ;)

McGonagall is still coming across really well in your story. She's doing exactly what I'd expect her to do under the circumstances: she's keeping a close eye on Emily, but she's not being pushy or demanding anything. She's just asking the right questions and letting Emily work through her own problems. I'm looking forward to the Animagi lecture. I'm not sure exactly what you're playing at with McGonagall's question to Emily, but somehow I think the ability to change into an animal might relieve some of her anxiety issues. Maybe I'm just over-thinking that.

The session with Heather was really well done, the best part of the chapter, I thought. As Emily's facade crumbles in response to Heather's question about whether she enjoys her work, I thought your pacing was fantastic. You just let it happen very gradually and very naturally. And once Emily really starts to be honest, Heather just stays out of her way and lets her own thoughts drive the direction of the conversation. But at exactly the right moment, she jumps back in to help direct Emily toward one of the real sources of her depression and anxiety.

You mentioned that you left teaching to pursue a different dream, and I wonder whether you ever struggled with internalizing the successes and failures of your students the way that Emily does. Or perhaps knew somebody who did. It's only natural to take pride in your work, but when your "product" is the education of a human mind, I guess you have to be very careful about how you define success and failure. Heather made some good steps toward helping Emily to understand that, but I suppose it's going to be a much longer process before she fully accepts it.

A pet? Hmmnn... interesting idea! Not at all sure where you're going with that, but I'm wondering whether it will tie in with the Animagus idea.

Yay, Timothy's back! And he seems to be as witty and charming as we remember him from the party where Emily was smashed. He really brings out the social side of her, which seems like a very good thing. And I love the name of his new pub. I would definitely frequent a place like that.

I can't think of a thing to recommend with this chapter. It was a solid step forward in developing your plot and your lead character and it seems as though you spun a few small plot threads that could have legs. I'm looking forward to seeing where you go with them!

Author's Response: There's a new chapter up :)

I was really happy with the opening of this chapter, I wanted to show that anticipation and also have thins not turn out as bad as Emily thought they would. Anxiety has a way of making things seem so much worse than they really are.

I'm glad you're still liking McGonagall. I hadn't thought about the whole being an animal equals less anxiety thing, it's not really the direction I was heading, but it's an interesting thought! I think McGonagall just sees it as something for Emily to focus on and something she believe the younger woman is capable of. I suppose it's also a vote of confidence in Emily that McGonagall thinks she has the ability to become an animagus.

lol...I read back through that last chapter and I think you're interpreting things differently to me because Emily was definitely not 'smashed' at that party! :P I love the name of the pub too, I thought it sounded like something a wizard or witch would name their pub :)

Thanks for another great review, I'm looking forward to your thoughts on the next chapter :)


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