Farmgirl! You didn't think I'd let this be, did you? I'm very excited to see this mystery project you've been alluding to take flight!
First off, I don't mind the author's note at all. Having that set-up definitely made it easier to sort of center myself in this new world that I've just been introduced to. That said, I think I would have been alright either way. This chapter is definitely interesting enough to make me want to know more whether or not I have any idea where the story is heading. It probably was a good idea to give an advance warning about your intention to vary somewhat from canon, though. The canon crazies are a rough bunch.
Aside from the obvious things, you gave us two very intriguing pieces of information about your protagonist. First, she's in New York City. At the risk of being obvious, that's a long way from Hogwarts. Can't wait to see how she finds her way into the company of the canon characters you listed in your story description. Second, she knows what a wand is. I'm not sure what else she might know about it, but she was plainly afraid of it.
The old lady who wakes her from her sleep has "witch" written all over her. Awkward dress, saying "Merlin," and oh, yeah, carrying a wand. Duh. And she also knows how to use it. I'm not sure whether she was shrinking the girl or maybe transfiguring her into a small animal... like maybe a cat? At any rate, there's an obvious hint that the lady is an Animagus. If not for the unflattering get-up, that would sound a lot like a certain Scottish lady we all know. As it is, I have no idea who she is.
Your writing was lovely. I couldn't find a thing wrong with it and your descriptions were crisp and vivid. There were lots of details to help immerse the reader in the scene and understand a bit about the protagonist's life. I didn't see anything that sounded awkward or sing-songy. Kudos to you for awesome editing!
I am very excited to see where this is heading next. You're a great writer and a heck of a lot of fun to chat with at odd hours. Great job!
Author's Response: Well, I didn't mention it because I kinda thought maybe this story wasn't your style. So very incredibly pleased and surprised to find this review! You rock!
I have toyed with that author's note for years. Leave it in, take it out, leave it in, take... I really don't like having huge notes at the beginning of a story, but I finally decided there were just a few too many things people might jump on me for and I wanted them to know that I was doing it on purpose, and with a plan. Covering my six I guess. But oh it gave me fits when posting! That dumb space between the first paragraph and the second just would not go away, so I finally gave up.
(For the record, Canon Crazies can be scary...)
I love this story, and have written on it for years, but I'm fully aware of the clichÃ©s I'm dancing around and teetering on the edge of. My character coming from America to go to Hogwarts is one of them. Hopefully I can explain it well enough it seems logical. It wasn't so much that I wanted an "American" student thrown in with the bunch, as she's hardly a typical American teenager, but NYC plays an important role in her life though.
Ah, yes, you caught the wand thing. Good reading! Stay tuned. To find out more about that as well as the old lady. You are very astute in your observations.
Now I'm blushing from the compliments. Thank you so very much. I really am both excited and terrified to post this and hope my writing can be up to snuff to pass off a story that very easily could get bogged down with stereotypes if I'm not careful. I have quite a bit of this written, though there are holes that need to be filled in, but I'm planning to update about every two weeks so I can keep ahead. Of course, we'll see how long my will power lasts on that...
And it was very enjoyable to chat with you as well! Thanks for your time and your help!
Thanks again for such a wonderful review!