|Review:||nott theodore says:|
Hi Zayne, I'm here with your requested review!
As always, your description and writing in this chapter is really lovely. The way you write Mary's internal monologue and describe the events that are happening around her make this a really enjoyable story to read.
I think your opening sequence, with the dream as the central focus, was really intriguing and effective. I feel like Mary's dream might have been about whatever happened last year - the thing that was referred to in The Prince's Tale by Lily to Snape? It's definitely about something in her past that is trapping her and still holding her back, and whatever it is that happened has clearly changed the sort of person that she is - the way that you include the subtle comments from James help to allude to a past that we don't yet know about.
I really liked the way that you dealt with the dream, as well. To begin with I hoped that Mary might have opened up to her friends, but I can see that wouldn't exactly be in character for her. Mafalda and Florence are nice, but I'm unsure about them as friends - they're quite self-absorbed at times. I suppose part of that is their age, and the fact that they don't seem to be as affected by the war as Mary is at the moment. The way that the dream continued to haunt Mary throughout the rest of the chapter was great, too; it seemed to lurk at the back of her mind and I felt like that was reflected in the writing. There was something hidden, unspoken, but affecting what was happening to Mary.
You asked again about the flow, but I honestly didn't think it felt that choppy. There were a few changes in scene but I think you paced them well, and there weren't any problems with that.
One thing you managed to do in this chapter was keep the war at the forefront of the reader's mind, even though other characters are ignoring it for the time being. James, however, has clearly noticed what's going on, Mary's affected by it, and there are students among them whose families have been directly affected by it too. It's this constant presence and I get the feeling it's going to grow and become more dominant as the story goes on.
This chapter definitely answered some of the questions that have been raised so far about Mary, although it didn't give specifics about what has happened, so I'm still curious to read on. Mary's clearly suffering because of her family's stance in the war, even though she's a pureblood - I imagine that she's a much easier target for them than James, and easier to get alone. As to what happened last year - definitely something with Mulciber, and I even found myself wondering whether there'd been some romance between them that had gone wrong. I'm still not sure about that, but I'd like to find out more soon.
I'm also really interested in the letter that Florence received, and whatever it is she's hiding - is it also something to do with the Quidditch? Including that was a good idea because it helped to illustrate some of the other things that are occupying the girls' minds instead of worrying about Mary.
The ending definitely felt realistic to me. Mary's emotions were well written in that section and understandable, considering the way the Slytherins treated her and the other things she's dealing with. She clearly needed some form of escape, but her resolve to behave more stoically made sense too, since I feel like that's part of what has been driving her behaviour thus far in the story.
Another great chapter, and I hope this review was helpful!
Author's Response: Hey Sian!
Thank you so so much for this review. Your comments are far too nice.
It definitely is connected to that in a way. It's something that has to slowly unfold and I think the more pressure that gets put on Mary the faster it will go, but at this point, it's still isn't something she's willing to deal with. I'm glad you're seeing that other part of her, the one she was before. I don't want it to seem like she was massively different, but she had a lot more courage and daring before the incident and before the war really took hold as well. But I hope it hints of what she could be and perhaps, how much she's lost. I think i'm probably taking some liberties with the incident, but I reckon this is fan fiction and there is very little information about it that I can take those liberties. :)
The dream is definitely important, but more so with the idea that she's getting nightmares and you're right, it's not in her character to really open up and talk about it. She knows her friends and she knows where their limits are. It's not like Mafalda and Florence are terrible friends, but well - there is an aspect of all this they don't understand and won't understand till later. They are loyal to her, but I think Gryffindor loyalty only goes so far. I don't really think the Gryffies were known for their loyalty so much as their courage and bravery (to the point hey become stupidly brave sometimes). But that is a discussion for another time. I do enjoy writing Florence and Mafalda, and I think another part of things is sometimes, people give the love that they think the other person is expecting.
I think i'm going to try and make the war more forefront in everyone's mind. I don't want it to be an island of just these characters lives so although i'm glad you felt the strength of it within the circle and with James, I think i'm going to try and bring the focus stronger as the chapters go on. I think that most of the year the Marauders were in school were quite dark.
The letter she received is very important to Florence and you know, it is connected to her new found interest in the sport. Very perceptive! I don't know what else to say other than that, there is a history with Florence that makes it harder for her to really focus on anything else. She's definitely selfish and self involved. A lot of growing up to do for one thing, but she also needs to deal with things.
Thank you so much for your review! I've always really appreciated your feedback! Thanks so much!