Hey again Sankavi!
First off, I have to apologise for the super long wait.. I was sick and just ended up taking a break pre and during christmas from reviewing.. but I'm back now! Aside from that though, I was definitely looking forward to reading chapter 2 and finding out more about Laila! :)
Plot - I'll be very frank and say that I've probably read a chapter like this many, many times before, (traveling to King's Cross, boarding the train, meeting the other characters, etc), but I guess you can't really avoid that if you really want to start right at the beginning of the year. However, I did quite like how you wrote it here. You managed to keep it quite interesting to read though, it flowed well, and I particularly liked how bits of it was quite comical, such as Laila waking Scorpius up with the horn. (I can just imagine how amusing that would be!)
Characters - I'm getting more of a sense of Laila as a character which is great! The one thing I'm a bit doubtful of is how her friends just happens to be 3 males - this kind of thing seems to happen quite a lot in fics that are similar to yours, so if you were concerned about how 'cliche' or unique your story might be, this is probably something to be aware of. As for the other characters - I like Al, Zabs and Jasper - kudos to you for their cool names (I really like how unique Zabs is in particular, without it going overboard). I definitely felt a strong sense of friendship and closeness in their OWL conversation, which is great. I'm not sure if I ship Al and his camera just yet :P (probably need to see a bit more of that before I do), but I do really like it - I don't actually see cameras featuring that much in hpff at all, apart from with Colin stories! Oh, and Penderghast sounds really delightful :P I'm looking forward to reading the potential conflict in Laila discussing her schedule with him (assuming this might come up in the next chapter).
I only picked up 2 little things throughout this chapter: In "Scorpius.. is total bore" it's just missing and 'a', so that it reads "is a total bore". Secondly, you're missing the capital on the second time you mention "Kings cross" ;) So yay this was a well written chapter!
Overall, the main issue I'd have with this chapter/your story is that the first 2 chapters bear quite a strong resemblance to many other next-gen fics that I have read. I guess there's not too much you can do about that unless you completely restructured your fic.. which would take a huge deal of effort (and I'm pretty sure you probably don't want to do that), but disregarding that, this is a solid chapter. It does feel a bit dull because I'm not reading anything super new.. I would say that I'm engaged in this story, but I probably won't find myself super hooked until the "main plot" comes into play - as in, when Laila starts proving that she's not the Malfoy everyone thinks she is. So your opening chapters both feel quite introductory and "filler" type chapters before I reach the main plot, but nevertheless, they are interesting to read through and they do serve its purpose well in introducing the characters and the situation for the rest of your novel :)
So I really hope that wasn't too harsh - I do think you're off to a good start for the rest of the novel - my main critique was that if your main aim was a super original or unique novel with this, then you should probably be aware of the stuff I pointed out.. but if your main aim is to write a great fic to read, then so far you're well on the right track! :) Let me know if there's any problems/feel free to discuss anything further with me, etc. I did really enjoy reading this though and I hope this helps!
- Charlotte/maskedmuggle :)
Author's Response: Hi Charlotte! I hope you got better and had a wonderful holidays :)
Ah, yes, the plot. I may have been going for original when I first started writing this fic, but now it's like you said, just writing a good fic to read. The beginning won't be changing abytime soon (as I have no idea how else to start this story XD ) but maybe sometime in the future I might edit it into something different :)
I wasn't aware that the 3 males thing happened a lot. :P (well, now that I think about it, i kind of see it) For this story, and you'll probably notice as you read more, it's laila and al who are the closest and then the 'trio' is scorpius, zabs,a nd jasper. Zabs and Jasper are more like family to Laila (and i don't think i've mentioned it yet and it's not really a big fact but jasper is pansy's son). I'll keep an eye on it though and make sure it stays pretty realistic and not too much like other stories.
I'm glad you like the characters and their friendship! I loved writing the train scene because that was their first interaction you got to see and you get to read about the different dynamics and stuff. I put a lot of thought into how the five of them would be with each other because I wanted each person to kind of bring something different to the group with out making all of them follow a certain stereotype or have them be too extreme :P
I'm suprosed that the camera doens't get featured more often in stories. I find it really interesting that in this world that is so magical, you have this device that's just super muggle-y. You will ship it. Eventually, you will. THAT IS MY CHALLENGE >D. Yup, Penderghast comes up in the next chapter!
Thank you for pointing out the grammar mistakes. No matter how many times I read it through, i still miss things . . .
Yeah, not much I can do about the beginning at this point . . . but hopefully it'll get better? The next chapter should start getting into the plot a bit, or at least get the ball rolling a little.
Thank you so much for this; it wasn't harsh at all! I like how you tell it as it is (it's what I prefer). These reviews are very insightful and helpful for me, and totally be on the lookout for a request ;)