Hello Sama! It's BookDinosaur here with your requested review. :)
So, the first thing I want to say is that I love how you made Aaliyah so true to herself. I can think of several stories where the girl says 'no, I won't agree' and then promptly says yes, and that really annoys me, but you had Aaliyah say no, so thank you for that. :)
I like your characterisation, I think you have all your characters pretty well. I love how you had a Hufflepuff vandalise the painting; to me, it just shows you're not slaving to the typical House stereotypes, and I really appreciate that, so well done. James and Gabby were really nice together, I loved how, despite the dating being fake, they stood by each other and showed a united front. It is realistic that people who pretended to date for a while became friends, or at least grew on each other.
Charlotte is a bit of an enigma to me - I hope later chapters will explain how she came to be how she is now, because I'm sure you could make that a really fascinating subplot, and I'm really interested.
I loved all the description you threw in, especially at the beginning, and the imagery.
A couple of things I noticed: the writing is a bit formal, which disrupted the flow a bit, and you made a couple of small mistakes (' A sound a majority of Hogwarts dreaded even made some students terrified,' was a very awkward phrase to read, for example) so I'd recommend getting a beta.
For plot, I feel that there were some things that didn't make sense, like why Al and Aaliyah are there in the interview in the first place. It doesn't have anything to do with them, does it? Also, I'm sorry but I don't think that a relationship, even a high profile one, would keep the gossip away from anyone else for long. I mean, from what I understand it was a pretty steady relationship, and there isn't much you can drag on about a steady relationship, is there?
For Britpicking, it's really just a couple of spelling errors - you put 'z' instead of 's' or 'o' instead of 'ou'. Again, a beta would help you with that.
I hope you don't think I've been too harsh, I really liked your story, and this was a really good first chapter. :) Looking forward to the next chapter!
Hi Dino! First off thank you so much for the long, constructive review. You are just amazing.
Yes I did have Aaliyah say no. It wouldn't be in-character for her to say yes so quickly. She is a Ravenclaw after all and she likes to think things through.
Haha, Hufflepuffs are always fun to add. I do not think that they are all quiet, awkward people. To me, they are the creative ones. I am happy that you don't think I'll do the house stereotype thing (I'm not going to, I promise. Well I'll try not to).
James and Gabby are friends. You did get that right. I didn't want to make them hate each other since that isn't really realistic. And I am going to add history and background to Charlotte's character. She is going to be one of the most interesting characters in the story. Well, next to Albus of course. It's nice that you think she is an enigma.
Yes, someone did point out my formality. I think that might have happened since I wrote the first part a long time ago and then continued writing that chapter recently from there. I'll definitely take your advice and go over those things and try to make it less formal. I really love that you pointed it out.
You haven't been harsh at all. I am so grateful for your feedback. I will have to add explanations in the next chapter about some of the things you noticed.
Thanks again. The next chapter won't take too long.