Hey - back again! Sorry this has been a bit disjointed - I needed sleep eventually! :)
I'm really enjoying Isabelle's characterisation. She's sassy, smart but not too smart, pretty, loyal and has a past no one else knows about, but somehow you manage to pull it off and it really, really works. I think it's because she hasn't had the stereotypical 'hard' life, you know? She's been alright, all things considered. She's a really great character!
Ethan and Giles are wonderful too - I like how she's closer to Giles than Ethan, but still close enough to them to tease them both about things and chat to them and spend time with them in general. It's a very realistic portrayal of friendships - people are never equally as close to different people. Even Harry was closer to Ron than Hermione.
The only thing I'd mention on characterisation is that so far we haven't really seen much of Ethan - I'd love to know more about him, what he's like, how he's different from people like his cousin and Giles, you know? He's just maybe a bit under-developed at this stage.
One other thing to mention is that while, yeah, boys are going to be stupid around girls they think are 'fit' or whatever - and I've seen enough guys do it to be sure, lol - be careful about having the Potter and Evander are both interested in her and fighting over her turn into a James/Lily love-hate style cliche. Just perhaps something to think about for the future - though the bit in here made me laugh! :)
Style and pace as always are great - really good flow, as well. Again, though, a couple of grammatical things to point out: firstly, you should always write out numbers in text, it just reads and looks better. Also, you have a habit of saying 'he said,., he muttered' or something, and you don't need two dialogue tags for one piece of speech. If Isabelle says something, for example, only use one dialogue tag. Lastly, try not to use the same word often in a short while - it just helps the flow of the story. None of these things are particularly bad, just little things which can be changed quickly but which do help with the overall quality of writing ;)
Still, at the moment I'm really enjoying this and really curious as to where you're going to go with it. I like the revelations about how she knows her dad's in prison and the bits we hear from Giles about what his father's up to and things. They're nice little details to help build up the story, and they're working really well! Description is perhaps a little lacking, tbh, but you don't need overly much, so it's not a huge deal (just a description of whether or not it's cold or windy or something if they do outside, or colours and surroundings would help flesh it out), and your characterisation is awesome as always. It's developing from a good start to a really good story - keep going! :)
Author's Response: I'll say it again, you really are super :)
I'm SO glad you like Isabelle. I was really worried about her but I'm relieved you think she's a believable character. You're right, although she's known tragedy and loss at a young age, she doesn't let it define her.
Honestly, I've worked a lot more on developing Giles and Isabelle than I have Ethan. He's important and eventually play more of an important part but for now, I haven't really found a way to bring him into the story line more.
I see what you mean about Evander and James, and I'll certainly keep that in mind, but I don't think it will be too cliche. James really doesn't like her after all, he's just doing it to mess with Evander. I may have not explained that the best but hopefully it will make sense as the story progresses.
Thanks for the ccs. I'm much better at editing other's stories and not my own. I'll definitely look into those.
Thanks again! You're giving me new inspiration for this story and I really appreciate it :)