Hey, I'm back!
I think one reason why villains are so fascinating is that they possess something admirable, namely strenght. But also something dangerous, namely dillusion and a twisted logic that makes sense only in the mental bubble they have created for themselves. That is how I feel about your representation of Harry, and I loved it! Of course he would snap and acquire a strange one-track vision. That must be the onyl way to stay safe in a world with so much loss and uncertainty. I'm so happy we can finally see a non-angelic post-war Harry.
As to Albus, well, he does remind me of someone ;) But I suppose he isn't an actual, full-blown sociopath, just someone who has been forced into an existence that is very similar. Correct? I am very curious to see how you contrast his hidden emotional world with the hard and selfish exterior, since that is not often done with similar characters. Usually, we are just expected to marvel at their dark skills and feel torn by our attraction to something that can never return the favour. I always found Voldemort's characters to be boring and frustrating because of this. So it's refreshing to see a pseudo-sociopathic character that promises layers and humanity, even if it's a very twisted one. And I find it interesting how Rose has been the only thing that could get even close to that other part of Albus.
I like what you did with Scorpius, and I think it's funny how you do sort of ship him with Rose. I'm starting to suspect that the Rose/Scorp ship is so popular because they are basically the only non-related children of our favourite characters? Haha, kind of limits your options. It's fun how you play on this with the relationship between Albus and Rose. If you watch Hemlock Grove, maybe you would see how I draw the connection, and it's a good connection. The strange emotional relationship Albus has to her only adds to the tragedy and complexity of his character. It's pretty twisted yet realistic how the only "good" thing about him is bordering closely on something "wrong". I hope I'm not overanalyzing or missing the point!
I did have a comment on the structure of the narrative. While the jumps to the future colour the story and bring it to life, imo anyways, there is something off about them. The story itself is clearly not told by the pensive and not by Rose, which is fine, but maybe it should be made clearer that we have two parallel accounts running side by side? There appear to be hints intended at tying the two together (it was the pensive section that confused me most), but then they aren't structurally tied at all. It's best to avoid confusion like this.
That's it for now, I'll come back with one review sometimes soon (I hope)
Author's Response: Let me just say that I love love LOVE your analysis. I never intended for Albus to come across as a full blown "Tom Riddle" sociopath--just someone, as you said, has been forced into a certain existence by his father: the product of a harsh environment. I like "pseudo-sociopath" and prefer anti-hero more than villain. Rose and Albus aren't necessarily good and evil, or hero and villain (as that's boring and leaves little room for growth). Moreso, they embody (or will embody) the various shades of grey in between. Same with Harry, who as we've established, isn't quite right in the head (I love your explanation btw!).
To be honest, I wasn't quite sure whether I wanted Scorp/Rose when I started out with this story (still not sure yet) but I do intentionally treat it as a joke between Rose and Albus in this initial chapter---just because its so common to assume that they're meant to be. But my Rose is different and my Scorpius is different and I'm not a romance writer so there's no certainty of anything. I think I've heard of Hemlock Grove on Netflix. The M rating always made me nervous to try it, but maybe I'll give it a chance :)
You're not overanalyzing Rose and Albus. I think you've hit the point perfectly. There is a certain... unsettling attachment between them (more from Al's side than Rose) that could come across as borderline, and it's going to be explored more as the story progresses. I like how you put that the only "good" thing about him borders on something "wrong". That being said, I'm not going to violate any...readers don't have anything to be afraid of. It's not that kind of story :). But yeah, Albus has a softness for Rose he doesn't have for anyone else--and whether or not it spells redemption or disaster remains to be seen. I'm curious to know who he reminds you off though.
I will add a note explaining that the two accounts are running side-by-side. Sorry about the confusion. It was the only way I could explore Albus and other characters fully, rather than the limited perspective of Rose. I prefer and have always written in third person omniscient.
This is a fantastic review! You're a fantastic reviewer! I love all the analysis and insightful critique. Thank you for reviewing and I will be sure to re-request!