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Review:nott theodore says:
Rachel! ♥ Sorry that I've taken a shamefully long time to get to this chapter!

I'm seriously questioning how I've never read another story of yours before, because each time I read an update of this one I have to take a few moments to remember this is FF and not actually a published story. I'm sure I'll be reading your stories in print someday, and until then I'll have to do some attacking of your AP when I get the chance!

So anyway, onto this actual chapter... You're going to get tired of me saying this, I'm sure, but reading this next gen is actually so refreshing that I smile each time I think of it. Scorpius here - ugh, I wanted to punch him in the face. He's so annoying and smarmy, and just reminded me of his father and not at all of the nice-guy-Scorpius that I see so frequently. I don't have anything wrong with nice-guy-Scorpius, but it's really nice to see a well written jerk-Scorpius, just for a change. Your portrayal of him is realistic and not idealised, which I love.

James's reaction to Scorpius was great as well; I could sense him getting annoyed with him for taunting Albus, but at the same time he didn't want to step in and embarrass Albus for not being able to fight his own battles. It's that classic sibling relationship - it's okay for James to tease Albus if he wants to, but as soon as anyone else tries he suddenly feels very protective.

I'm wondering if my guess about a love triangle is actually right or not, because James seemed surprisingly at ease with the idea of Albus asking Erin out, and even encouraged him to do it... unless it's Erin who likes James, and his feelings will come later? (Okay, ignore me, I need to stop trying to find romance in this story where there probably is none)

Ooh, this ball sounds so interesting! And a masquerade, as well! It sounds like there's lots of potential there for skulduggery and misdeeds (I don't know why I just turned Victorian, but it's the early hours of the morning and I'm really tired, so that should explain why this review might not make sense). I wonder if Albus will go with Erin? And if James will find anyone to go with - or if he'll even go? I'm looking forward to reading about it, though!

Ah, nerdy James! I seriously love this version of James, and he's so easy to read. This awkwardness and angst and introspection is new for any next-gen portrayal of him I've seen, except when people try to make him all brooding and mysterious in romances. Anyway, the idea that he's a bit of a Potions nut makes me smile so much! And these Emotion-Stifling Elixirs sound extremely intriguing - I have a feeling that they could pop up at some point later on, but I think you're so good at writing mystery that I'm probably just getting paranoid...

I seriously feel so bad for James and Albus and Lily, though. They get such a raw deal of it purely because of their name - even Harry managed to have more friends! And the fact that James realises he's passed his problems onto his siblings must make him feel even more guilty.

Caspar is another great character - not nice at all, but very easily imaginable as someone I could meet in real life. He's happy to use James to try and get the information that he wants, but if he doesn't get that he'll revert to his usual self. I'm glad that James wasn't easily manipulated by him, but at the same time I wish he had some friends that weren't Albus and Erin!

I really liked the way that the mystery of the murder was still present in this story - its bound to be one of the biggest topics of conversation in the school at the moment. After all, that sort of thing doesn't happen every day at Hogwarts, and I'm still really intrigued to find out what actually happened! But I thought the way you intermingled it with the more 'mundane', typical school gossip and worries - flirtation and rivalries and the ball - really helped to make the chapter feel authentic and real. And on top of all that, I feel almost like there's something else that we still have to learn about James, something that's troubling him... I could be reading far too much into things again though!

This was another lovely chapter, Rachel, and I'm happy to read your updates whenever they manage them (I'd probably fall behind if you had a regular schedule, to be honest)!

Sian :)

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