Right off the bat, I can tell you that this is my type of Rose. For starters, she and Scorpius are a couple, but that's really the 10% of the iceberg you can see above the waterline. She's snarky and irreverent, with that inner monologue that's dripping with sarcasm and self-deprecation. She hasn't quite lived up to her potential in the world, but somehow you get the feeling that's more by choice than by any fault of anyone else. She isn't hostile toward her parents, but she doesn't really feel compelled to measure up to their standards, either. She's marching to the beat of her own drum, which is just slightly out of step with the rest of the world.
Honestly, I've never understood the business of bail bonding all that well. I assume that the bondsman receives something in return for posting the collateral required to bail the accused out of jail. Probably a percentage that amounts to usury when you consider the short-term nature of the "loan". It seems like a high-risk business when you consider that most of your clients are, quite literally, criminals. Bounties are probably a major expense item.
I think it was a really good choice to make Rose more of a small-time player in the go-go world of bounty hunting. I could easily see the temptation to make her something akin to the female, British version of Dawg the Bounty Hunter. In fact, I now have this really humorous scene in my head where Rose is levitating some dark wizard after putting the incarcerous jinx on him, asking, "Do you talk to the Lord, brah?" I have no idea where I was going with that, but anyway, I think it was much better for her character that you didn't overreach and make her a dark wizard hunter akin to her father and uncle. The whole narrative of her life - especially the financial struggles - holds together so well with her hunting down petty criminals. That's not to say, of course, that she might not get there, depending on what this Knapper fellow is mixed up in.
Then we have Scorpius. I really love the idea of him as a starving artist who has totally rejected his parents' politics and their money. He seems like a great compliment to Rose in this. While he's obviously pretty flighty and not really carrying his weight in their relationship, he obviously cares about her enough to want to be sure that she isn't embarking on something too dangerous.
To sum it up, I think you have the beginnings of an awesome story here. Your writing is very engaging, vividly detailed, everything flows beautifully and I didn't see a single mistake. Must read more...
Author's Response: The romance is definitely not the focus in this story. She is together with Scorpius, and has been for about ten years, but it's a mystery, so it's not about that aspect of her life, kwim? She's quite snarky and not a little bit lazy too. She does her own thing, has some guilt over parental disapproval but doesn't let it stop her. I quite like her. She's a bit silly though at times. It's one of the many reasons she's fun to write. ;)
Bail bonds work pretty much how you expect: The accused is released on bond but can't pay it, so borrows the money from a bondsman, who keeps part of the money as payment (courts return bond when you show up at your court day). This is why bondsmen don't like those who skip out on their court dates - they then have to pay some of their fee to a bounty hunter to go collect the skip. It is a high-risk business, but they do pretty well a lot of the time. Most people go in for their court date rather than try to jump bail, especially in smaller towns where one's family is well-known. Jumping bail might mean a bondsman going after your mother for the money, so that's a big inducement to show up.
Rose is a small fish for sure. She's not tough enough or interested enough to be a big league type. Angelo has his cousin Dino to pick up those sort of bounties. I've never seen Dawg the Bounty Hunter but it sounds hilariously bad! Rose avoids the violent criminals, she's a shoplifters-and-drunks sort. ;)
Scorpius is the black sheep of his family. They haven't totally rejected him, but they make it obvious that virtually everything about him, from his art to his girlfriend, even his House at school (Hufflepuff), were not up to Malfoy standards. He's also lazy and unmotivated, rather like Rose, but not as flighty as she is. He's the more responsible one out of the pair of them, who remembers to buy food and pay the bills (when they have money). He does love her, for sure.
Thank you for the review! I'm glad you liked the opening chapter, and I hope you enjoy the rest of the story! :D