Hi, WT! I'm here with your review request :)
This chapter was full of all sorts of fun and interesting surprises. Right off, I really like the idea of Eileen as a seamstress. We don't know much about her as a character yet, but that's a really unique profession and kind of suggests some things about what kind of person she might be. Automatically I'm thinking of someone who is a bit of a loner, maybe a bit quiet and reserved. Independent and self-sufficient perhaps, which seems in line with someone who runs their own shop. Anyway, it's something I don't see a lot in fanfiction and that definitely makes it stand out to me in a positive way.
We didn't get a lot of internal monologue from her here, so I'm interested to get in her head a bit more, but I like what you've set up so far. I couldn't help but notice the somewhat detached or perhaps skeptical attitude she has towards children. She seems very aware of the burden Hannah faces with all those mouths to feed, and the line about Viola always adding "another child to her personal Quidditch team." I love the way you've started very subtly inserting the issue of kids, since of course we know who her son will eventually be.
I also like the groundwork you've begun to lay regarding her family's past. The mention of the clock being a rare family heirloom, where her vault is, and of course the line: "The darkness that surrounds the Prince family is not a topic that Eileen discusses with anyone." It's great that you've begun to hint at a deeper backstory while still holding back so much to create an air of mystery.
And of course the mention of the muffliato charm. So clever!
And I know it's just a small line, but I really liked this one: It looms in the distance, the white marble glowing despite the lack of sunshine. It creates a great visual image without needing a ton of fancy language, and it also hints at the magic sort of inherent in the building itself.
I can only think of one small area of CC to mention. I couldn't get a good read on Eileen's relationship with Fabian. They know each other, clearly, but are they friends? Does she perhaps have a bit of a crush on him? Is it a business-only relationship? Old friends from school? She comments that that he's the "most handsome man she's ever seen," but that's about it. If I was talking to a really good-looking man, I might be flustered, unless we were longtime friends and his handsomeness was old hat. Anyway, I know it's an early chapter and you don't want to backstory dump all over your readers, but I couldn't really judge the emotion of the scene since I couldn't gauge the chemistry between the pair. Casual? Flirty? Like brother and sister? All business? Did his mention of a date make her jealous, or did it make her want to roll her eyes? Just something to throw out there...
Otherwise, another great chapter. With the high-intensity of the prologue, I like how you can step back and ease into the heart of the story while your readers know there is big action still to come.
Author's Response: Hello AW! Thank you so much for reading and reviewing! :)
I'm stoked that you like Eileen's profession. It is very important to me that Eileen is an independent and strong woman, even for this time period. I think that often times in fanfiction authors forget that these people have to have jobs and money to survive. I think the realism of her profession is essential to my story. As you say, it gives us insights into her character.
Rather than rushing things, I'm trying to create Eileen in such a way that is appealing and appropriate. I feel like many authors, fanfiction and original, rush their characters and characterizations. As humans, we come into our own slowly, not in the first chapter of our lives. So, I think you'll really like Eileen as we get further into the novel.
You are the first one to notice Eileen's issues with children. I've set this up, not so that she hates children or even dislikes them, but does not wish to become like many of the women of her time period, Muggle and witch. She wants the security and enjoyment she receives from a job before even thinking about a family which really is an anomaly if we're thinking historically.
I'm really glad you like the little hints I've been putting here and there, aka groundwork. I'm very much trying to keep to my own style while taking a few pointers from JKR. I want this to be a good novel! :P
Ah yes, the charm! One of my favorite parts of the novel.
And I'm so happy you like that line, I really am. I purposefully set up each description in this (it takes a long time, actually) and I love that you love it!
You know, honestly, that's not something that I've given much attention to. Fabian will be a minor character, appearing here and there, but I didn't think about laying the groundwork of their relationship. Thank you so much for mentioning that! The next time you guys see Fabian, you'll be sure to get at least a snippet of the back-story so that it's all well-rounded and whatnot.
Thank you so much for the wonderful review! I cannot wait to see what you think of the upcoming chapters! :)