Hello! :) I'm finally here, and sorry about the delay!
I really like this as a first chapter to a story! First off, the choice of era is really interesting. I'm not completely sure when exactly it's set, but I'm guessing sometime in the 1800s? I haven't seen many stories set in that era, so it's refreshing to see how the wizarding world may have been different. Also, I think the formal, elegant tone of your writing also emulated the era and fit the restraint and dignity of the times.
It's very interesting to think about how wizards would have treated Muggles, especially members of the upper classes. When Merissa goes to school, will the other students address her as a lady? Probably not, especially if they're pureblood. Also, I think you integrated the details of Merissa's life as an aristocrat very well: the governess, the butler, having rooms with certain names, the carriage... it was very convincing! Something else I wondered about after reading this is how Muggleborns from the lower classes would have been integrated at Hogwarts, especially if many came from often illiterate, rough backgrounds, even the workhouse. I'm interested to see how you'll confront the class differences in terms of the wizarding world here! :)
As for characterization, I quite enjoy Merissa so far. She seems feisty and independent, but also quite pleasant. Her parents were quite interesting as well, I enjoyed reading about her father's controlling outbursts and her mother's care. I feel like I've already got a strong understanding of their family dynamics, so well done! :)
Something I also appreciated was the spin on the classic 'Muggleborn being told that they're a wizard' plot. I like how while Merissa was eavesdropping and didn't know just what was going on, us readers knew that the professor must have turned a teapot into a squirrel or something. You wrote Merissa's confusion and excitement very well, without making it boring or cliche. I really like her as a character, and she already seems relatable.
My favourite line is probably the part about the picture on the book moving. It just sums up perfectly how much Merissa's life is going to change, and the wonders the wizarding world has in store for her.
Anyway, good job with this, I'm interested to see where you take it! :) Feel free to re-request any time!
Author's Response: Thank you very much!
Yes, the story is set in the late Victorian era. I've read so much of this era that I wanted to try writing a story of my own in the era. :)
The adults do call her Lady Merissa, though she doesn't like being different because of who her father is.
I hadn't considered a character from the workhouses, however after thinking about it, it would make sense as magic could appear whatever the person's station of life.
I see Merissa as wanting to take her own path instead of following the path being laid out for her. And she will have to reconcile the two at some point in the future.
She was supposed to find out about Hogwarts from her parents after they had spoken with the professor, but she was curious. :)
Thank you very much for reading and reviewing!