Hey there! Thanks so much for doing the swap! :)
I have to admit that one of the things I've always been curious about is lycanthropy in the HP world because, apart from with Remus, it's rarely talked about. It always reminds me, as well, of Aids in our world and how people viewed it, you know. So yeah, I was pretty excited to read this!
I love all your characters. They're all amazing. Genuinely. Lydia is so brilliantly written - I love how her lycanthropy affects her personality, her marks at school, her general health, her relationship with her friends... it really has affected her entire life, which a life-changing disease really should do :P So yeah, it's brilliant. I love how she seems so passive and uncaring and sort of listlessly upset with things she seems on the surface, but then how worried and emotion-ful underneath. It's really such a in-depth thing to do, and really makes her like a real person, you know?
Alexandrina is a great character too! I love how she's so worried about Lydia and how she's getting on, trying to encourage her to eat, to talk to her friends, to get on with her life, harsh as it sounds. Kinda trying to persuade her to live properly again and just enjoy herself and not let lycanthropy define her. The argument with Flavian and Grace was brilliant and I think you really captured every emotion Alexandrina would be feeling in that moment - as a mother-in-law, a mother and a grandmother. It was really great character work!
I liked how you didn't go for a normal 'happy' christmas, if you know what I mean, and instead went for something with a bit more angst and tension and drama. It was very different and I liked it - it worked so well and you wrote it so well.
One small thing: just coz I can see it above this little box - the last sentence sounds a bit strange with 'which' in there. Maybe split it into two sentences instead? It just doesn't flow as well as the rest of it...
Honestly, though, that's the only thing I can think of! I loved the plot and the scenario and your style was great; the pacing and setting of it all was good too. The characters, as I said before, were brilliant - I kinda loved them all, even Grace! - and so real, and yeah, this was just great!
Author's Response: Thank you so so much for this review. It's so in depth.
The story was written for a challenge to write about something bad happening at Christmas. It would also have fit the family reunions thing in the writer's duel, except it's too long. So the point was not to be typically happy. *grins*
I'm not surprised you found something "off" in the last paragraph. I sort of rushed the last paragraph or two, because I'm currently working on a novel length story and this took FOREVER to write, about two to three weeks, so I wanted to get it up and have time to get another chapter of my novel length written before the queue closed, so I wouldn't be keeping readers of that waiting over a month for a new chapter. When the queue opens again, I'll take a look at that last sentence and see what I can do with it. Thanks for pointing that out.
Grace was a hard character to write, not so much because of herself, but because it's from Alexandrina's point of view and naturally if there are problems between her son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter, she's going to feel most comfortable putting the blame on her daughter-in-law, rather than her son.
I was trying to show that Flavian and Grace aren't really cruel or bad people, just somewhat selfish and maybe a bit Percy-like. They value success and want their daughter to be intelligent and successful, not part of a minority that'll have people gossiping about the family.
Glad you liked Lydia. I'm pretty fond of her myself, because there's so much you can DO with lycanthropy.
Thanks again for the review. It was awesome.