I found that this chapter sets the scene incredibly well, despite being,as you say yourself, a bit filler. I enjoyed the dark sense of unease and frustration underlying the pretense of beginning just another year at Hogwarts. If anything, this tone connects the prologue to the first chapter effortlessly, so you have nothing to worry about.
Another connection to the prologue that was kind of neat was Tor reaching out into the mind of her friend. These little gestures show a lot about her. She cares enough to not only pry in others' minds, but also to try and help them. But the rigid social norms surrounding her both at home and at school do not exactly permit openness and intimacy, and so it makes sense that she would be so secretive. It's a nice metaphor for the strong divide between the personal and the political that, I always found, defined the life of the pure-blood families.
At first, when I read this: " They say that the Dark Lord is the greatest Legilimens that history has ever seen, but I am a natural Occlumens and Legilimens. As long as I am alert, He will never penetrate my thoughts." I had to eye-roll a bit because, you know, Mary Sue trait number 1 is that she has unusual abilities that distinguish her from the start. But as I read on, I began to warm up to the idea of Tor being a master mind-reader. Instead of useing it as a plot device, you use it to characterize her, and that makes a world of difference!
This made me particularly happy: "I think back to those younger years, sneaking down to the common room at night to meet with the boys, our other friends, and planning the great new coming of this next generation, the triumphant of mighty Slytherin, and the new world order we would lead. The feeling of being the ULTIMATE generation about to take over the world is not something that is explored often, but I'm quite convinced that that is how it must have felt to live during the Hogwarts era. The world was clearly crumbling in front these kids' eyes. It makes sense that they would cling to some grand narrative about the future in order to give meaning to all of the loss and insecurities they encountered. I kind of try to bring in some of that in my story too, so that makes me like reading this all the more ;)
Basically, this chapter was great in that it had a consistent tone and managed to explore the tension of the social environment. I liked how you threw in a few details from the books to keep us oriented. And you didn't do any info-dumping, but chose the right moments to reveal new information. Not many have the patience for that, so good job!
If I could offer any CC, then it would be to watch out for some inconsistencies in Tor's ideas. On the one hand, she seems to be disgusted by many of the things her fellow Slytherins like, but on the other hand, she seems to still be following along with the Muggle hate and the unquestioning respect for the dark lord, etc. I see that she is conflicted, especially after what happened in the flashback about her father (which was pretty great by the way - only i'm not sure if it's the best idea to itallicize it?). But Maybe it would make sense to address the conflicting emotions directly - explore some of the new ideas she must have been having since the summer. After all, she gew up in a world with no dark lord. he was always just a shadow that hung over her family history. having him actually come back in the flesh must have been a terrible shock.
Oh, and I loved the scene where the Slytherins praise the dark lord and then break down in a laughing fit! it was a great moment of realism - they may be the offspring of some seriously scary people, but they are also still very young.
I'll leave it here for now, but do re-request if you want, I'll gladly read more :D
Author's Response: Hello again! :) Thanks for continuing onto the next chapter!
It's great to hear you liked this chapter, and thought it set the scene and maintained the pressure of the prologue. It's great you're liking Tor so far, and I agree about her Legilimency skill being a little Mary-Sue ish, but I try to make sure she doesn't rely on it too much and has to work a lot to actually do well. She's just perceptive and guarded, I think, and it's a fun quality to add to the plot of the story! :D
Ah, I'm glad you noticed how powerful they feel, or try to feel, in the crumbling world and society around them! While they have a lot of visions of grandeur, they are quite young and haven't really realized the implications of these things they're involved in. I love writing them as both these terrifying, disillusioned people, but also a little immature and silly at times. :)
Thank you for the very helpful CC, I shall make a note of it! :) I really appreciate all your feedback and input, as I only want to improve this story! Thank you for another wonderful and thoughtful review! :)