Hello Beeezie! ^.^
So I've been reading this story for the past two days and have really, really been enjoying it! I wanted to leave reviews on these final two chapters because your fic - like many chaptered stories - has hit a bit of a review decline for the last two - which is quite silly, really, because this one was so great and I expect the next one will be as well! The entire story has been great, to be honest! I'm not a particular fan of Next Gen either, so the fact that I've enjoyed this so thoroughly should tell you how good it is. :)
Before anything else, I want to tell you that I know this is a sequel to another Next Gen story you have - presumably a Hogwarts-centric fic where we see where this Rose/Scorpius relationship began - but it really has worked as a stand alone story too! I don't know if there are a lot of hints back to the first story, but if so, you've managed to make it easy to follow for those who haven't read the original, which is great, in my opinion! I think a big reason for this is because even though the Weasley clan in the next generation is absolutely huge, you plucked out a few stand-outs to focus in and concentrate on, and that's been really helpful in keeping track of everyone's lives and personalities and relationships!
Anyway let me shift my focus now to this chapter in particular! ^.^
I love your Rose. She's so real! Lines like this are what really do it for me: "On the other, she was feeling more than a little petty, and if he wasn't going to be open with her, she didn't see why she should be honest with him." - hahaha It's such an imperfect trait, her pettiness, but one that is so vastly human that it makes Rose as a character feel so authentic! You've struck a perfect balance with her as far as making her likeable without being even the slightest bit indicative of a Mary Sue! She's flawed, but good at heart, and that's what makes me root for her.
In fact, all of your characters are greatly layered in this way! I'll stick to the ones we see this chapter, though, for now! I love your James! He doesn't seem quite so over the top as I've seen him portrayed often in other stories - like a photo-copy of James I or something - which is really nice! But he's still got that sort of free-spirited thing about him, which feels very fitting given the small glimpse we had of him in the epilogue. And look who's finally admitting to some relationship problems! Poor guy... I just want to hug him in this scene! hehe I don't know if I'm meant to be rooting for James and this Marion person, but I am rooting for James and his happiness, at least. I can't believe Roxanne would do that to them both, though! haha She seems a little intense of a character, from the brief times I've seen and heard about her! I love how you've been able to make each character so distinct - that's really hard to do with so many people!
Van has been fun! He walks that line between intimidating boss and crush-worthy older guy! And I love the little bit of trouble that his presence alone stirs up, even though it doesn't feel (right now, at least) like something that will be acted upon in any way - from either Rose or Van - but is still enough to add that extra layer of conflict into the story without it being this giant, overly-dramatic mess, like we see so often in fanfiction. I love that the conflicts you give to Rose and Scorpius as a couple are all things that a lot of real life couples have to go through themselves - like meeting families and trying to suppress jealousies when they're meant to trust one another fully.
(Albus doesn't make an appearance here, but in case he's not in the next chapter either, let me just tell you now that I've adored him so much so far. I'll expand this thought if he shows up in chapter 11. :-p)
I love the way this chapter ended! So much stuff is happening all at once for the D.C.B. and it's got me really intrigued about where this story is heading! You built the suspense really well and it was so intense when the fact that these may not be coincidences was brought up. Very exciting and scary and you've definitely captured my interest! I find myself trusting you very much as an author because you seem to have this effortless control over the story - you know exactly where it's headed and it's got me anxious to follow you as you take us there!
"It's been pushing acromantulas have started coming closer to Hogsmeade and Hogwarts." - This sentence is just a little wonky. ^.^
My only small critique is that I wish when you introduce us to a new magical creature in this story (regardless of whether or not you did in the prequel) that you would explain what the creature is exactly so we can understand the danger better! Only for things we probably don't know off the top of our heads, of course - like we obviously know enough about basilisks, but lethifolds could've used a little more information. The erklings from a few chapters back made me feel the same way, though we slowly (in later chapters after they were first introduced) learned a little bit more about them, but I had to google them to fully understand their danger. Even if you plan to expand on lethifolds during the potential investigation, I think it would be beneficial to give us a little more insight on them when they're first mentioned as a threat, cause at the moment I don't really know what they're up against. But that's honestly my only CC! And not just of this chapter, but of the entire story thus far! It's that good. ^.^
I don't know what else to say! I'm gonna have to favorite this, though. I think I'm slowly opening up to next gen stories and it's because of fics like this. Excellent work, Beeezie! Yay!
P.S. I'll be over to chapter 11 within the next few days!
Author's Response: Oh, thank you so much! I'm going to leave you your reviews tomorrow - I'm so sorry about the delay, I've been under the weather and school has been very busy.
I totally know what you mean, re: your critique - that's a great point, and I'll definitely start doing that in the future (at the very least). I forget that not everyone is as in love with Magical Beasts and Where to Find Them as I am. :P
The decline in reviews is actually mostly my fault - I took a long hiatus. When I was updating this regularly, it got a lot of reviews, but at this point, I think it's going to take a little time to draw everyone back. Which is okay!
It's really interesting hearing from someone who hasn't read the prequel. I'm really glad you feel like it can stand alone, because that was definitely my goal, and you're definitely coming at it from a bit of a different pov than people who read CINAS - though Rose continues to come off exactly the same! I'm glad - I definitely wanted Rose to be likable-but-highly-flawed, haha.
The prequel actually takes place during their fifth year, so while there are a few hints (Rose and James talking about wanting to join the DCB, Marion being tense about James's career aspirations, Albus being bad with relationships), it really is a very different kind of story. Roxanne was a major part of that story, and I miss writing about her more, butÃ¢ÂÂ¦ yeah, she definitely messed up with James. A lot.
I'm also really glad you like Van! Along with Johanna, he's my favorite OC. I actually set pretty much all my fics in the same universe, so they both pop up a lot. They're so much fun to write.
Thank you so so much for this lovely review. I will be off to return the favor shortly, and I hope that it can live up to yours!