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Review:nott theodore says:
Hi Zayne! I'm actually really glad you requested this because I was checking it the other day to see if it had been updated!

I've already said this in previous reviews but I really enjoy your characterisation of these girls. Choosing Mary as your protagonist allows us to see this story from a really unusual perspective, since she's such a quiet person and sees a lot that's going on around her. It's very refreshing to read characters like these who seem so real to me, as if they could be girls I know.

I think you're doing very well with keeping your characters consistent so far. Mary seems quite calm and introverted, and that came through really well in this chapter, especially with the way that she enjoyed the seclusion in parts of the library, and the details that we learnt about her friendship with Florence. Her attitude towards schoolwork seems consistent with what we've seen so far, too; I remember it being mentioned that her parents had high expectations of her, and she's clearly doing the best she can to live up to them, and slightly fearful of what will happen if she doesn't. I get this image that Mary is quite calm on the surface, but underneath, even if she doesn't acknowledge it at times, she's paddling like mad to keep up the grades and all the other things she's expected to get.

Florence is rather an obnoxious character, but there's something about her that I'm quite warming to. The friendship between her and Mary is believable and I think she reminds me of people I know who can be moody and dramatic and want people around them to react. It's great that you're writing characters here that put me in mind of real people! Florence Meadowes, as well - is she related to Dorcas in some way?

You definitely kept me interested in this chapter, especially with the beginning and the way that Laura came to seek Mary out. There's obviously something that she wants to ask her or talk to her about that's connected to the summer, and I'm really intrigued to know what it is. The interaction with Remus and the mentions of the other Slytherins make me very curious as well. I know that Mulciber did something to Mary in fifth year, but I'm not sure if that's part of the 'secret' or if there's something else. I feel like there's something besides the fact that she's a pureblood and was friends with Wilkes which is making Mary so nervous around the group of Slytherins. I could be completely wrong of course, but to me it feels like there's something else there that we haven't found out yet, and I'm intrigued to see what it is. As far as building of the plot is concerned, I do feel like enough is happening to keep the plot going. The story isn't fast-paced but I think it suits the pace that things are happening at, when the war is on the horizon but hasn't fully broken into the students' lives yet.

I spotted just a couple of typos in this chapter:
"She always gripped about the moment Mary" - griped
"only told Black because he might the only one who understood" - might be

On a couple of occasions it might help the writing flow a little smoother if you vary your sentences and use semi-colons or dashes instead of commas - I know that you're looking for a beta though, and it isn't a major problem.

I also wanted to say that I really like your dialogue. There's something about it that seems really natural and flows nicely, and I can imagine these characters saying everything. Your description and imagery is also great; it's quite subtle at times but you include unusual similes and images which are really nice to read.

Overall I thought this was a really great chapter, Zayne! I hope you found this review helpful - please feel free to re-request!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Why haven't i responded to this?? Ahh! I'm so behind!

Thank you so much for this lovely review and your thoughts. I'm really pleased, still, that you feel that way about the characters. They are my favourite part about writing this and it's great to hear that you still find them effective and relatable. I'm really enjoying fleshing them out, especially Florence for some reason. She's become one of my favourites to write. She's such a terror :) Yes, she is related to Dorcas in someway :). You've really hit the nail with Mary. She thinks she's doing okay and getting through everything like a star, but she doesn't realize how she's just treading water and not really going anywhere. It'll be an awful pill to swallow if she ever realizes that she needs to deal with things. At this point she doesn't deal she just locks it up and all this locking her emotions up has turned her into a really timid person.

I'm really pleased to hear you comments about the pace. I'm always feeling like it's too slow and needs to pick up, but for the life of me I can't do that. I think I enjoy the small little moments too much to do that. But i'm glad you feel like it's moving forward in some way. The whole situation with Mulcibur and Wilkes is involved, but as you said, there's more and it's really just the tip of the iceberg. I'm trying to put things here and there about it, but it's hard to do that as there's a big part of this that makes it impossible for me to write about what happened till much later in the story. If that makes any sense at all.

As always thank you for your insightful review!


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