Here for the B v. B battle! :)
Okay, so all I needed to do was read the first paragraph to get hooked. I love the way you poke fun at a lot of the silliness that seems to pervade a lot of Hogwarts-based stories, especially next-gen ones. I thought that the hair extension charms was especially imaginative - I don't think I've ever run across those in a story before, although admittedly when I click on a story like this that's taking itself seriously I tend to hit the back button pretty quickly!
But that was the first paragraph or two. Once you get into the real plot of the story - the gobstones match - I enjoyed it even more. The way you wrote it is just so beautifully melodramatic, in a way that's witty at times and laugh-out-loud funny in others. The way you describe the match is perfect, and Lorcan's abject cowardice both then and throughout the rest of the chapter was perfect.
I did notice a couple little errors - in the fifth paragraph, the "he" in "He heard his friends whisper" shouldn't have been capitalised, because it's a dialogue tag. Ditto further down, in the paragraph starting, "The giggling continued as the twins began to climb the dungeon steps" - "the" in "The unfortunate Hufflepuff" shouldn't be capitalised, either. There also should have been a comma rather than a period after "his" in the paragraph starting "I want you" just before Cassiopeia pushes Lorcan down the stairs.
It also would have been nice if you hadn't immediately launched into Lorcan and Lysander's conversation immediately after the match - I wasn't sure where they were or who (if anyone) was around them, and not having any idea of the setting did jerk me out of the story for a short while. I know you elaborate later on, but I would have liked it better if you'd worked that into the first paragraph or two instead.
However, overall, I found both the story itself and your writing to be absolutely delightful. Other than the couple things I pointed out, your writing was impeccable, which made the melodrama and ridiculousness of the story even more enjoyable.
There were also a lot of little references scattered throughout the piece that I really loved - the idea of Maxime and Grawp having a child was priceless, and Rose being angry at a (pimply) Scorpius for cheating her out of chocolate frogs was equally so - and the way you talk about Lorcan's cowardice (and Lysander's obsession with psychology!) never failed to make me smile.
Overall, this was a great chapter, and I really enjoyed it. Amazing job!
Author's Response: Hi!!! Thank you so much for this wonderful review!!! :)
Oh, darn. I always read over my chapters several times for grammar mistakes, but somehow, I manage to miss the little ones every time!! Thanks so much for pointing those out!! I will definitely go back and fix them when I edit! I'm a big fan of perfection in writing--not a comma out of place, not a word misused--but I slip up too often for my liking. ;)
As for the abrupt change between the match and the twins' conversation... Yeah, I see where you're coming from! When I wrote it, I meant for it to be a bit sudden, a little bit how I would imagine Lorcan to feel coming out of his daze. But it is just a little bit jarring to have such a change take place while you're reading it--I totally understand. So I'll see what I can do to smooth it out. :D
I'm with you on the "back" button when I find those certain stories... Sometimes, the girly-girl stuff is laid on a little too thick for my liking in fanfiction, and this challenge was a perfect place for me to make a friendly jest about it. Hair extension charms--do they exist? I have no idea, but they fit in with the sort of category that I was poking fun at. :)
I'm so glad that you liked my style!! This story is really different from the things that I usually read and write, so at times it was a bit of a stretch. The little rumors that I threw in amused me quite a lot, just because they were so ridiculous. I'm very pleased that you thought they were interesting, too. :)
Thank you so very much for your constructive criticism and lovely comments!!