Hi dear! :)
Wow, this was another fantastic chapter. I know I keep saying this but I love the style of writing you emanate for Eileen: it seems so delicate and careful, yet also masking a quiet passion and eloquence. I also love how the "kitchen-sink realism" as my English profs would say comes across: all of the characters are so tangible, human and imperfect, and I can tell how much thought and care you've put into crafting them.
Ok, enough gushing about style and onto the actual chapter! Eileen and Tobias are a really interesting couple. I know you don't want Severus' impression of them in the HP books to cloud judgement, but I think knowing the eventual tragic ending of their marriage makes these early beginnings even more appealing. I love love love Eileen's inner wonderings and confusion over Tobias- she's adorable and totally relateable! I love how she blurts things out without thinking, then chides herself for it, then is grateful once she receives Tobias' answer. I quite like Tobias as well: he's the silent, somber type, yes, but he also seems vulnerable and imperfect and interesting, and I think seeing him and Eileen's interest in each other grow is a lovely thing. I feel like I can really see and sense him in my mind as well while reading this: your descriptions of him, particularly at the end, are a thing of beauty.
You do a really great job of capturing the mood of the era, what with having pie and pints at the pub, the style of dress of the characters. I felt so awkward for Eileen when her hands began hurting on the date- it was such typical bad luck of this pair, what with Tobias choking the first time they meet and everything. But then again, these moments only make me like the story even more. Not all dates are flowers and butterflies, after all, and most relationships outside of fan fiction are far from being ideal.
I'm sorry for taking so long to get here, and I promise to return for the next chapter soon! :)
Author's Response: Ahh, you're back! I do love it when you stop by - makes my day every single time.
You're going to give me the biggest ego in the entire world, I swear. Everything you just said makes me feel so wonderful. I work very hard at creating the "kitchen-sink realism" for this story - every aspect - and so I do like that assurance from genius readers (like yourself) that I'm on the right track. For this novel, I wanted to create a story in which almost everyone can relate.
I say that I don't want you guys to stick to Severus's judgments too closely because I want you guys to give them a chance before it all falls apart. Of course, everyone knows where it is headed, but I just hate that Severus's opinion is the end-all-be-all when it comes to Eileen and Tobias. I love them so much, I'm biased.
Isn't she wonderful? I love her and love writing her. I must do justice to her character and since no one writes her, I like to think of myself as the authority :P
YAY! Someone who likes Tobias! You and I would be BFF in real life, seriously. You understand my heart :D
I do as much research as I can to make sure that it's as accurate as possible. The realism is good though, right? Like you say, most relationships outside of the perfect fanfiction world are so far from ideal, they seem almost cliche. I'm normally a fantasy type of girl, but the realism works so well for this piece.
Anyway, I've rambled! Don't you worry about it - just get here when you can or when you want to! Thank you so much for your feedback. I am always very interested in what you have to say and appreciate it more than you can imagine! :)