Hi there! I'm here for the review you requested on the forums!
First of all, I think this was a brilliant start to the story. Your writing style really stuck out because the amount of effort you've put into the details within the chapter was so clear and inspiring. I absolutely loved it! I'll try to do justice to each part of this story. :)
So to begin with it, I like how the opening description gave a nice introduction into the setting of the story, and also which side Athena and her parents are on.
I love how the POV is from a Ravenclaw's side. I'm so used to reading about the main characters that this is such a wonderful change and beautifully written as well!
In the beginning, when the prefects start entering, I thought that the Slytherin ones were being quite nice. I don't know if that was intentional, maybe you're trying to show that Slytherins aren't always haughty and stuck up? This struck me when I read the exchange between Rutherford and the other two. His comment about juggling all the duties seemed genuine and a bit too nice to me.
I love your descriptions about the Ravenclaws in that group of friends. They aren't the most social of people but form a bond because of their common thirst for knowledge. Being a 'Claw myself, I really like the way they're portrayed.
I think you have a strong knack for writing dialogues. The flow is excellent, and I could imagine the scene playing out before me. The part with the chocolate frogs was fun to read, and it also diverted the story from being just conversation, to some occurrence and I think that's great. It was also a wonderful way to introduce the interactions between Athena and Amelia. :)
That part where Marietta analyzes Umbridge's speech is by far my favorite bit of this chapter! I love the way you've framed the sentences and the amount of thought you've put into them!
"That first bit - rare gifts, ancient skills, treasure trove of knowledge - nice use of the rhetorical triad, you know, grouping things into threes so they have more impact, popularised by Marcus Cicero - "
Sorry for the long quote, but this was just BRILLIANT. Such an amazing touch! :)
Again, I like how you've brought out the 'Claw attributes in your characters. That bit about them debating throughout the night on goblin rebellions was a terrific detail to add.
Athena couldn't imagine how dull the other houses found History of Magic. This sentence could be framed in a better way, it's a bit confusing. It could be Athena couldn't imagine how the other houses found History of Magic dull.
I also found a couple of typos while reading through this chapter. I forgot where they are though. I'm sorry I can't be too much help there. But I'm sure you'll spot them if you read through this again.
To address your area of concern, I think your characterization of the MC has been very well done, but a bit more background on her would be nice. Maybe in the coming chapters? The thing is that you're introducing a lot of characters within the same chapter, so there isn't a lot of focus on any one. Since Athena is your MC, a bit more focus on her would help the reader relate better. I'm not saying everything should be done at once, but maybe a little bit more on her in each chapter as compared to the other characters. But I'm sure you'll do that anyway as the plot progresses.
Overall, I think it's a wonderful start! It's definitely interesting and it's been so beautifully written. I love your writing and I definitely want to read on, so update soon! :)
Sorry for such a rambly, all-over-the-place review. :P I hope it helps though!
Author's Response: Firstly, thank you so much for such a detailed and lengthy review! This was the best thing to come home to, so thank you for that!
As a Claw, I do take great joy in looking at the events of HP through the Ravenclaw perspective - I see them as the most reliable and objective narrators, whereas of course with the books themselves we get a very strong bias.
I'm also of the belief that Slytherin House was very hard done by in the books, and while I certainly wouldn't go so far as to call any of my Slytherins nice, I don't think they would make a point of acting too stuck up and haughty all the time - having said that, though, the exchange with Rutherford wasn't as nice as it seemed (I've written him before and he is very much an arrogant character - his implication here is that while he was able to juggle those duties well enough in his fifth year, it might be beyond Athena and Michael. I think that's very much a case of me forgetting to add detail, and I'll bear that in mind in revisions!)
I honestly love writing the group of Ravenclaws - we don't get much of a sense of friendship among the Claws in the books, but throwing together a group of like-minded, intellectual and generally passionate young people is going to lead to very close friendships and an environment quite unlike anything else in Hogwarts, and it's a privilege to be able to explore it.
Marietta's bit was complete self-indulgence, to be honest - I'm a Classics major and a Latinist, and Cicero is my homeboy (you'll notice a couple of homages to him in later chapters if you keep reading. I love 'im. I really do) but Marietta was another character hard done by in the books and I really do want to flesh these Claws out.
Thank you for the point on that sentence too, by the way - I hadn't picked up on it but it is awkward wording and I'll definitely fix that up (along with finding those typos you mentioned)
I honestly have so much background info on Athena that to include it all would have just been an info-dump onto the page, though it is useful to know that I could incorporate more into this introductory chapter, which again I'll take into consideration when editing. Athena is one of two MCs - she and Amelia have a chapter each system going on at the moment, but I am a bit out of touch with her character after a few years not writing her, which probably explains the lack of focus in this chapter. Thank you for pointing that out, that's exactly the kind of thing I wanted to know!
Once again thank you SO MUCH for this review and for being so lovely and thorough, and I'll be sure to update in the next few days (no pressure to review again, of course, but I certainly wouldn't say no!)