Tagging you from Review Tag!
What a neat idea! I've read a fair number of stories that deal with Percy's conflicting emotions about his relationship with his family during the years leading up to the war, but never one that actually follows him through the dark times. To me, you did a great job of capturing all the little things that make Percy the Prefect tick. Every bit of the story is consistent, grounded in the character we know from the books and very well written.
From the start, you nailed it on providing a great backdrop for the odd combination of affection and disaffection Percy feels toward the rest of his family. He really was a cat of another color. The quiet one, preferring his books and his studies to the louder, more physical pursuits of the rest of the family. But at the same time, he's not one to simply fade into the background. Percy has dreams and ambitions, well above those of his brothers and sisters. He wants to stand out and be appreciated for who he is, and that's not easy in a family of 7 kids. Overall, a brilliant setup of what's to come.
His gradual transition from supporting everything the Ministry did and represented to realizing the truth was handled well. You touched on the key events along the way and you did a great job of explaining the trap that Percy found himself in -- wishing that he could reconcile with his family but unable to do so without risking their safety. Not many people think a situation through to that level of detail, and it's really commendable.
I loved this line more than anything else, I think:
They were at the forefront of things, as I had expected. I could just see them; Billís strong presence giving everyone confidence, Fred and George laughing the fear away, Ginny bursting for the chance to prove herself. -- So well done and so true at every level.
I think the only thing of a substantive nature that I can suggest is that Percy's relationship with Aberforth needs to be fleshed out a bit more. It's not that I have a hard time buying into it, I just think that you could have filled in the background a little more so it doesn't seem like such an unlikely circumstance that the two of them would have developed such a report. It seemed a bit odd, for instance, that Percy would have traveled all the way to Scotland to have a drink after a hard day at the Ministry. Maybe if you'd clarified that he didn't feel comfortable in the bars in Diagon Alley because he didn't want to see any of the Death Eater sympathizers he worked with at the Ministry? This felt like the shakiest link in an otherwise beautifully constructed narrative.
My other favorite line:
Two things were important. I had lost one, and given the other away. -- So glad that Percy was able to see that when it mattered most!
I really, really enjoyed reading this. You have an uncommonly good insight into this character and it came through so well in this chapter! Great job!
Author's Response: Hi, thanks for coming by! I've heard so many great things about your work, so it's such an honor to see this review!
Wow, I'm so glad you enjoyed the take on Percy. He's a character that I've always been interested in, so I wanted to attempt to get inside his head a little. He's just as opinionated and principled as the rest of his family, but he focuses it in different places, I think.
I kind of went through his whole life story really quickly, so I hoped that the really pivotal moments would come through well. My focus was mainly on what was going on inside Percy rather than outside of him, but I was worried that it would come out to stream-of-consciousness-y. (Is that a word?) But in any case, it's good to hear that there was a story progression about this.
And I'm glad those lines stood out to you! The first one you mentioned, when Percy is thinking of his siblings, almost didn't even register with me as being important when I was writing. That's why I love getting reviews...it's fun to see what struck some people more than others :)
That's a great point about Aberforth, and the logistics of getting to the Hogs Head from the Ministry. I think I just kind of assume that everything in the wizarding world is close together? And knowing absolutely nothing about the UK probably contributes to that. Thanks so much for your suggestions to fix it!
Thank you again for the wonderful review! The second installment is in the queue as we speak, and you've inspired me to get working on the third. I'm so glad you stopped by!