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Review:nott theodore says:
Hi darling! You know how excited I was that you'd put this into the queue, and when you mentioned it was validated, I came over to read this straight away.

Well, it shouldn't really surprise you that I love this, since I love almost everything you write. The title is a brilliant choice, since there are so many different things that a magpie can symbolise. Already in this chapter I can see how one aspect ties in with Verity, as a collector of stories. I was actually thinking the other day how good the magpie poem would be to tie into a story, so it was brilliant to see it here. I wonder if the sight of different amounts of magpies will continue throughout the story and tie in with the poem?

Characterisation here was brilliant. Because of the events in this chapter I feel we maybe get to know more about Penny than Verity, simply because she is the main focus of Verity's thoughts here. I really like the fact that she's a strong, moral character because we see so little of her in the books, and as Percy's girlfriend there it's easy to think of her as a someone with a similar personality. I can see from this chapter that she wasn't the same, and to me it's completely understandable that Verity misses her so much, because she was obviously an important person and big influence on her life.

I'm not sure if I like Sebastian here, but I'm going to reserve judgement for the next few chapters. I can see some of the reasons he and Verity got together but it's equally obvious that they've grown apart since they left Hogwarts and that they want very different things in life. Sebastian doesn't really seem to understand the way Verity's feeling in this chapter, especially when he seems more concerned about people staring at her at the funeral, and essentially blames Penny for making herself into a target. It clearly wasn't what Verity needed at that point, but he doesn't understand that.

I love Verity's character here too. Although the main focus of her thoughts is really Penny, we still learn things about her personality and background. I think the grief of losing her best friend seems to have made her more introspective; the way she lists details about herself suggest that she's trying to reaffirm facts she already knows, to prove that she is real and to stop her from losing herself. There are so many interesting elements to her character - one that particularly interests me is the way she collects stories. I'd love to know more about why she does it and what she does with them.

I think you explore her grief very well. Naturally there's a lot more to come and it will last for much more than this one chapter, but the guilt, anger and denial are all here. The shock of losing her best friend at such a young age must compound the anguish she's feeling as well, because it was so unexpected and much harder to deal with because of that.

Another aspect I enjoyed in this was the inclusion of people such as McGonagall and Dumbledore at the funeral, because that sort of thing always makes stories seem more authentic and believable to me. I also liked the fact that for the majority of the people the war is still not real. It fits with what we know of canon and makes me wonder how differently people would have behaved during that year if they had believed Harry and Dumbledore. Does Verity have more of an idea about what is coming because of the shop she works in? It's really interesting to think about!

As for CC, there was just one typo I noticed in this chapter:
"I took the day of work" -- off
I'm not sure it's necessary to include the location of each new scene, since it's mentioned within the body of the story already. I also noticed one slight inconsistency with dates; at the beginning you tell us that it's March 1996 but go on to say "It is spring, London, 1997." which confused me a little.

I enjoyed this so much, and I'm looking forward to reading the next chapter when it's up!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Hello! :) Thank you so much for reading and reviewing this story and giving Verity some love, it really means so much to me and was so wonderful to read! :D

I'm glad you like the title, and yes, I love the idea of the magpie as a symbol and a plot device! :) I'm so glad you like the idea of the nursery rhyme, and magpies and Verity as collectors. It just came to me as something that might fit, and I ended up with a significant title! :D

I'm glad you liked both Verity and Penelope, and how Verity is so upset about suddenly losing her friend and what Penny meant to her. She's certainly very different from Percy, and we'll be learning a lot more about all those characters in coming chapters! :)

I'm glad you're giving Sebastian a chance, especially as we're mostly seeing him through Verity's eyes. A lot of relationships are ideal and perfect, and I really want to show a relationship that has gone on for a long time and started to degrade here as both of them have changed without admitting it!

I'm glad you liked the inclusion of the professors, as I felt like they would be helpful to ground the story to Hogwarts as much as possible. And yes, I like writing the innocent disbelief of people who don't necessarily believe Dumbledore and Harry! It's really fun to write outside of the Hogwarts sphere and wonder what it was like to live in the general wizarding world.

Thank you for this really lovely review, my dear! :) I absolutely loved reading it, you are the best! :D

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