Hello, again! Tagging you from Review Tag. A new chapter, awesome!
I don't know whether this was on purpose, but the contrast between Brienne's anxiety and the sweltering, sticky weather was really neat. I always think of fear as being a cold feeling. A completely different kind of oppressive from a hot, humid day. So right off the bat, there was something uncomfortable about the situation, something that didn't ring quite right. It added to the mood for me.
I loved all of the different situations and sounds that you used to draw out her feelings of being exposed and in danger. What an awful way to live, believing that death is always waiting around the next corner! Again, it helped to build the mood.
Then you brought the chapter back around to her friends in general and George in particular and I swear, my first thought was, "wait, that's right, she kissed George at the end of the last story!" It wasn't exactly like I'd forgotten, but after the prologue and the setup at the beginning of this chapter, it took a moment to reacquaint myself with the warm, friendly world that we left behind at the end of the first story. The tone is so different now.
This is just my personal preference, but I felt like you overdid it a bit in introducing Fred, Angelina and Paisley. I realize that you're trying to make this story at least somewhat free-standing and not dependent on the reader already having read Joker and Her, but the quick description of each one didn't feel natural in the flow of Brienne's thoughts. The thing that was the most jarring, I think, was including Angelina's Quidditch position and Paisley's house. If you felt it was important to work that in, I think it would have flowed a little better later on.
It was reassuring to see that George didn't magically morph into a suave ladies man just because they shared one kiss. Based on the one letter -- a letter from both himself and Fred, no less! -- it's apparent that he hasn't really figured out the finer points of nurturing a budding romance. I think you did the right thing there. It would have been hard to buy into George making that leap without a lot of help.
Wow, she got an O in Potions? Snape is going to be overj... um, yeah, he's gonna be upset. I loved that she failed Divination. I would be frightened for anyone who got an O on that one.
So she'll be doing the half-course in Defense. I wonder whether that means she'll be enjoying the company of Dolores Umbridge? It's always a joy to see any author's take on that horrible toad of a woman.
Ha! Angelina and Paisley don't seem all that surprised about Brienne and George. In fact, Brienne and George might be the only two people who are surprised about Brienne and George. That's some nicely-written awkward teenage romance for you! I hope she gets to see everyone when she goes shopping in Diagon Alley. That should make for a very interesting reunion, given the environment by that time.
"Donít look at me. Take away my son's wand and he becomes a productive little thing. Reminded me why I never got a House Elf." -- That line cracked me up just a bit. Made me thing of how I get better results out of my kids when I take away their video games before I tell them to clean their room. ;)
There's still just a bit of... something there between Brienne and Paul. Nothing approaching a romantic spark, but definitely a kinship of sorts. It was interesting that you humbled the mighty Ravenclaw intellect just a bit, even if it was a killer subject like Ancient Runes.
And then the necklace. I freely admit that when she set her mother's wand next to it, I was expecting something to happen. I don't know what, but something. I was making myself read those last few paragraphs in order, not allowing my eyes to jump ahead and see whether something crazy happened at the end. It was tense...
I saw one lonely little typo in the entire chapter: She pulled off the necklace and laid it next to the want on top of her dresser before staring at them there for a moment. -- next to the wand
Otherwise, your writing was lovely as always. Things are starting to spin up. Can't wait to see what's next!
Author's Response: Hi! xD Ooh, so excited whenever I see a new review from you!
I think anxiety and sweaty, stinky heat works together well xD Just that uncomfortable awfulness.
I totally get what you said about the introductions about her friends- I didn't want to overload on information about them, especially as I'm guessing most of the people who read this will have read 'Joker.' So thank you for pointing it out and I will scale it down a little :)
I hate when the love interests become magically comfortable and confident around each other when they take a step in the relationship :) Things will change between them, but not that much xD
Umbridge is a year away, but I cannot wait to sink my (writing) claws into her.
I think the relationship you have with kids you played with when you were little, even if you rarely see each other afterwards, is a unique one. You grew up alongside that person, shared your most innocent and (most of the time) happy times with them. If that will translate to their relationship now, well, you'll just have to see xD
Thanks for pointing out the typo! xD This chapter hasn't been through my betas yet, but thank you for letting me know ;)
Gah, thank you so much again for the awesome review!