Hi there! It's Raine from the forums with your requested review :) To start with, I felt that this chapter could have been a little bit longer -- trust me, I know all about how hard it is to write long chapters and how sometimes you feel like you're rambling on pointlessly, but this chapter did have the potential to be longer. I'd also like to say that from what I've seen so far, this looks like a really interesting story! You're right in saying it's a very strong AU, and I tend to avoid those, but this was a good read and a good idea, too! Sometimes, though, the flow was a bit off and I had to reread over some parts to figure out things like who was Grace and how exactly was Albus in the courtroom and stuff like that.
'Her body language would suggest that she was exhausted as she slouched forward, her shoulders rounded.' -- this sentence in particular was a little off-sounding, mostly because I think it would be better phrased as Her body language suggested she was... rather than what you have.
I felt like Grace knew a whole lot more than the Council and I was right :p She sounds a bit confident in herself, but I think that's more of what she can do than what you have done with her, as I feel she can be a likeable character if only I read on. Sometimes it got a bit confusing because although you said in the beginning it was set in the Marauders era and this was the setup, there are parts when I was just really confused about when it was set, like when she calls out their names and Remus is already married to Tonks, but Sirius is alive, as are James and Lily who are both married, so I didn't know who was a ghost and who was actually alive.
I admit I loved the addition of new characters and the introduction of Eileen and Regulus and all those rarely-used characters, though of course I would have liked some kind of explanation with Emery and Alphard and all. Atrum's introduction, too, was a bit rushed as there had been no mention of him at all and then the mention of Marlene and Anne felt a little bit unnatural like you had just been name-dropping. You actually had very few grammar/spelling mistakes but it was just the setting and the characters that threw me off, but I think those would be easily fixed anyway. Not to mention that Grace's general existence intrigued me, especially since it was mentioned she was a Potter and you never said how she was related to the Potters.
I'm guessing though that a lot of these questions will be cleared up in the next chapter ;p All in all, the chapter wasn't bad and your writing is actually very good, it's just those little things that nagged at me as I read. If they were fixed, I'm sure this would be an excellent start to what looks like an interesting story, so good luck!
Thanks for requesting, feel free to re-request, and see you around the forums!
Author's Response: Oh, yay! Help has arrived!
The very first version of this chapter was over 3000 words. I suppose in my attempt to cut back confusion, I also lost a lot of content.
Ah, yes. I have the tendency to be wordy! Thank you for pointing that out. It's one of those specifics that I will have to go back through and alter.
It seems while cutting back the first chapter, I've only created more confusion. To try and clear things up, my author's note is convoluted, and will be changed. It's supposed to state that the majority of the story will be set in the marauder's era, but this chapter is actually set in 1998. I need to add a date in there somewhere. Also, everybody mentioned is currently alive...the specific details of that will be clarified later in the story. But I need to add some indicator of who's alive in this chapter, as I've obviously done a terrible job at that!
I've also seemed to mess up the character introductions as I've scaled back. I either need to exclude certain characters for the time being or go into more detail. At some point, I had eliminated much of the detail because my sentences distorted the ideas and made everything so very confusing.
Thanks so much for your help! I'll give this one another rewrite soon :).