Hey there - it's me from the forums with your requested review! :)
First off, I love that this seems to be set in the Victorian/Regency/Edwardian age - I hope we get a few more details on when exactly it's set later on, since it's a bit difficult at the moment to know exactly! But still, 'other' era is a really lovely thing to see, since people don't usually write it. I think it puts people off because it's a bit vague... you've done a lovely job with it, though.
Characterisation is lovely, just lovely. I love how Merissa isn't exactly a goody-two-shoes, but at the same time she's obedient, she doesn't really like learning/music all that much - and you haven't really talked much at all about what she looks like! Wow. Thank you for that! :) I just love it when people have female OCs about whom their appearance isn't the most important thing. She is a great character, though, and I'm curious as to how she'll fit in at Hogwarts, how she'll find it all.
I liked the inclusion of the Professor coming to visit her to tell her parents she's a witch and about Hogwarts, and the widow coming to take her to school - that's a nice touch. I'm curious as to how exactly she's going to get to school, if she'll get the train or what... depends on the exact time period, I guess... :P But, seriously, the guessing is good.
The one big Brit-pick I have to make is over the titles. There is actually no title of 'Lord'. It's something people with certain titles are called, yes, but it's not in itself a title, so someone addressing her father/mother would address them by title. There are quite a few websites online which give details on how the peerage system works. I wouldn't worry about it too much, though - it's easy enough to change, and it's really pretty complicated, so don't panic ;) Other than that, everything seemed fine! I'd also just add quickly that you might want to include a little bit of description as to what needlepoint is - I had to look it up to really understand what it is, I thought you'd meant needlework originally. Maybe just mention that the material is canvas somewhere? It would help :)
The flow is fabulous. Honestly - it's great. It's a bit slow paced but it doesn't drag, which is the important thing. You changed time very smoothly, as well, with the page-break-symbols, and I literally just kept reading through it without stopping, which for me is a sign that the flow is good ;)
The one last thing I want to say is that the ending is perhaps a little flat - it's not much of a hook. Maybe if you heightened the anticipation and her nerves of going away (consider her situation - she's leaving home, possibly for the first time and probably the first time on her own, to go to a strange school she doesn't know all that much about with people she's never met and she's in a carriage with a woman she doesn't seem to know very well) to heighten the atmosphere, make it a bit more tense/excited, you know? That way, people will be more inclined to read on to find out what happens ;)
I really enjoyed this, tbh. It wasn't the kind of thing I necessarily thought I would, if I'm honest, but I did. I think your characterisation so far is great, your flow is lovely and your plot is interesting. Feel free to re-request! :)
Author's Response: Thank you very much for this review!
I've chosen the later part of the Victorian era. I find the time period fascinating. With all the discoveries happening and how inventions seemed to happen in leaps and bounds. It seems like those who lived in that time found it easier to try new things or odd things that would then find its way into common usage.
I discovered after I wrote this chapter that there were trains, but they weren't all that comfortable, and as the wizarding world tends to lag behind the Muggle world, I suspect travel by carriage will still happen for a bit. :)
Thank you for the advice, I looked up a few websites pertaining to the peerage and found one that was very helpful. I have made the updates and will be reposting it a little later today.
I also changed the needlepoint to embroidery, which is more likely what was worked?
I've also updated the ending to show a little more emotion from Merissa on her imminent departure.
Thank you again for your review!