Hello, hello! I am really starting to take a liking to Sadie. Not that there's any reason not to like her, mind you, but the warm feeling of attachment is setting in. You'd better not have anything too awful planned for her!
Backing up to the start, one thing I have to compliment you on extensively is what a great job you're doing of integrating Sadie into a storyline that we already know well. Part of me wants to say that you're doing it with a "minimum of disruption", but I don't think that's exactly right. After all, introducing a new character with a district past who violates JKR's tenet of "Harry has no family except the Dursleys" is inherently disruptive to the story. That's kind of the point, I believe. I think what I want to say instead is that you're making the changes to the story feel very natural in context. When I read about how the twins or Ginny or Molly are reacting to Sadie, it feels right.
Now we have another tantalizing drop of information. Whatever happened to Sadie after her family was killed has left her scarred in some way. I really can't wait to find out what sort of horrors the poor girl has suffered that left her in such an awful way. I don't mean that in a ghoulish way, more just from the standpoint that it seems unlikely that she'll be able to really form solid connections with the other characters until more of her back story is out in the open. This habit she's developing of losing herself in memories seems likely to hasten the process, I'd say. I can feel a lot of "penny for your thoughts" sort of conversations in her future.
You did a good job of conveying her sense of claustrophobia as she's trying to make her way back to the Weasley family campsite after the QWC match. One interesting thing I picked up on in this section is that Sadie seems to have a unique sense of when she's surrounded by lots of magic. It's an interesting plot device, one that I see on other archive sites more often than on HPFF. I rather like it, myself, and I'm really curious to see what you make of it. Also, the only typo I saw was in this section:
Instead, she reached out and fisted her hands into back of the jacket worn by the red-haired man walking in front of her, not even sure exactly who it was, and clung on for dear life. - ... into the back...
I liked what you did with Bill in this chapter. You leveraged his role as Ginny's eldest brother and protector into a really believable attempt to reach out to Sadie. I know you were worried about how his entry into the "girl's tent" was going to come off and I thought you made it seem like a perfectly natural, non-creepy act on Bill's part. Sadie was clearly in a bad way and nobody else was paying attention. He tried to help her the same way he would have tried to help any of his other biological or adopted siblings. I absolutely loved his meditation on the toll that users of dark magic pay and the way his thoughts segued into Sadie's situation. I really hope you can make something more of that as the story unfolds.
My cousin – Harry – is he famous? -- I was laughing right along with Bill after she wrote that. I liked Bill's response. All of his responses, actually. He had such a nice, easy manner about him in this chapter. Nothing prying or judgmental, just giving Sadie a chance to open up to him on her terms. The bit where he states that it isn't his place to explain Harry's fame was a really nice touch, too. Sounded just like him.
I can't really add anything else. I am enjoying every bit of this story and I love the way you're pacing your plot and bringing your characters along. Nothing ever feels rushed or thrown together. Nicely done!
Author's Response: Finally getting you a response for this amazing review. Sorry to be slow. (Plus, it's been saved on my computer for two days while they fixed the response bug.)
But, part of that I'll admit is because I kinda liked keeping this review in my unanswered pile so I could still re-read it each time I logged on without having to hunt for it. I guess that tells you how good it made me feel.
I am SO excited that you are starting to like Sadie! There would really be no point in me continuing to post this story if no one liked her. :D And I hope, when I start posting again in December, that you will still like her enough to come back.
As for what I have planned for Sadie - now that would be telling...
I makes me all sorts of happy that you feel the story is fitting into the plot of the book. That is one thing I have worried a whole lot about, and struggled with how to write. I want Sadie to be present for the things that happen in the book, but I also don't want this story to just be a rehash of the book either. And the three lines limit for quotes makes that especially challenging where dialogue is concerned. I'm having to get really creative with how I write scenes, and which ones I include.
But I am trying hard to keep it canon with the books, so your comments made me feel like I must not be doing too awful of a job with it.
You are one of the few people who has picked up on or at least commented on the "marks" hint that was dropped. And you are correct. Something in her past has left Sadie physically scarred, something she really probably doesn't want to share.
But, once again you are right in that she is going to have to start sharing information in order to begin to heal. So, some of those "penny for your thoughts" conversations will start cropping up. Still, she's become a very withdrawn person, so don't expect everything to be revealed all at once. :D
Sadie's sensing of magic - I am playing with this, but probably not quite as much as you think I am. For various reasons, Sadie will be able to do SOME wandless magic more easily than most people, and part of that will have to do with her having learned out of necessity to feel the magic around her in a different way. But, she's not this walking magic-detector or anything. hehehehe. I'm curious to see how you like what I do in the end.
Thanks for the typo catch. Caught another one just like it farther up as well. Silly missing words.
And so glad you thought Bill turned out okay! I was quite happy with that section in the end, so I think slowing down and taking my time really helped. And I think Bill is going to become an important person to Sadie - help fill in the void left by her own brothers' dying.
It just dawned on me as I was writing this chapter that Sadie, unlike the rest of the wizarding world, would know very little about Harry's past. It gave me a fun little moment to break the tension with, and makes way for a nice conversation between the two of them later.
Thanks so much for reading! Your continued support on this story means more than you could ever know. Sorry to leave you hanging for a while, but I WILL be back in December and hopefully much more organized and happy then.