|Review:||Violet Gryfindor says:|
It's great to see you reposting this story! I wanted to read it the first time you had it up, but I never had the opportunity. You're writing in a time period I'm really interested in, and I'm excited to see how you write about Tom Riddle's time at Hogwarts. Your inclusion of Walburga and Alphard only makes me more pleased to read this because most authors tend to make Riddle friends with only his future Death Eaters. Walburga is as staunch a supporter of pureblood ideology as Riddle, and I'm interested in seeing how she develops into that horrifying mother of Sirius. One question, before I continue: why do you think that Orion wouldn't marry a witch older than him? It's actually something that occurred amongst the aristocracy and among "blue bloods", especially for those who placed breeding and family name above all else - a span of three years wouldn't be that big a deal (they don't have their first child until 1959 anyway). I'm just curious about that particular change you made.
Alphard's development should be interesting to watch because, at some point, he must change his mind, either about pureblood authority or, at the very least, about Blacks as Slytherins. Is this something that doesn't happen until he sees his nephew ill-treated by Walburga, or is it something that will develop over the course of his Hogwarts years? There's so much potential here! It's fantastic to see.
One thing that struck me about this prologue is the similarity to Harry's own entrance into the Wizarding World. You must have made these parallels on purpose because they're just too perfect, everything from the help he requires crossing the barrier to his sudden friendship with Alphard and Walburga (who are fantastically set up as mirror images to Ron and Hermione). It was all cleverly done - I love to see that kind of care taken in both the plot, structure, and details of a story. ^_^
I'm intrigued by Fiona, but there's so much more I want to know about her before I try to dissect her character. Although I liked being able to see her conversation with the Sorting Hat, there is a problem in how it's presented within the narrative - it's in the section that begins with Dumbledore's POV, then you switch to Fiona without warning and it's jarring. That's the only critique I can think of for this prologue - it's an excellent introduction for your characters, leaving the reader hungry for more. I can already tell that this will be a quality story and it'll be fantastic to see how you develop these characters. :D
Author's Response: Susan, hi! I'm honoured such a wonderfully talented author is reviewing my little story, so thank you! ♥ Also, I apologise for the inexcusable length of time it's taken me to respond; I assure you it won't take so long next time! I'm really pleased you're enjoying this story so far, and it's great that you like the inclusion of Walburga and Alphard! After Sirius said in OotP that while his parents didn't actively fight for Voldemort's cause, they supported it and encouraged Regulus to become a Death Eater, which made me think. Obviously, Voldemort would have needed money to support his evil misdeeds and the Death Eaters, no matter how devoted, would have needed money to live on -- particularly those who gave up their careers to serve him full-time. In my head canon, during the war Voldemort allowed the Death Eaters to steal whatever they wanted from the homes of people they killed, which they could then sell on for their own profit. However, in his early days before he officially became Voldemort, he would have needed money to rent his hideout, supply food, bribe people et cetera and the old pure-blood families with a lot of disposable wealth, like Walburga, could provide that willingly in order for Voldemort to give them the change they wanted.
As for why Orion wouldn't marry a woman three years older than him, that was because the pure-blood lineage was dwindling. Walburga and Orion were technically inbreeding, because there were few other pure-bloods about who didn't support Muggles and who they weren't closely related to. I imagine the focus at the time would be to have as many children as possible, to continue the Black line. Of course, Sirius wasn't born until 1959 but the /intent/ was to have children as soon as they married, and of course the younger a woman is, the time available for her to bear as many children as possible would be longer. So that was my thought process there...
Alphard is very much a rebel, and he enjoys causing mischief. I think he sees a lot of himself in Sirius, despite their different Houses, and that's what compels him to give his nephew gold when he runs away. As you'll see in this story, he doesn't have much patience for Walburga's focus on society, etiquette and so on, and Sirius doesn't either, so despite their different views on pure-bloods, they have a lot in common. I'm glad you're enjoying this porential!
I would love to accept your compliments, but I have to be honest and admit that such parallels were unintentional. I felt that Dumbledore was unlikely to have someone meet Tom at the platform, since he didn't do the same with Harry, and it made more sense to me to have Tom meet Slytherins on the train, because if he arrived at Hogwarts without knowing the social etiquette it'd have been difficult for him to be accepted by the Slytherins and command so much respect from them. That's why I chose to introduce him to Walburga and Alphard then; I didn't intend for the parallels to appear but clearly I have JKR's canon deeply embedded into my brain :P
Thank you so much! I see what you mean about the narrative and I will try and edit that so that the transition is smoother. I'm honoured to receive such lovely compliments and I hope you continue to enjoy this story! Once again, thank you for such a lovely review! ♥