Hello again! (I didn't realize that you were responding behind me last time!)
Plot/plot arch: I think you nailed the concept that, in early steps of an investigation, there is a ton of research that needs to be done about the victim in order to establish possible suspects, motives, and all of that fun stuff. What I really love is that you're taking the readers through the entire investigation, giving us more and more information about certain aspects of the investigation (as the characters learn). It's setting me up to start guessing as I get more information, and I love guessing! The brief breaks from the investigation, like Ron and Harry reminiscing, continue to be pleasant and realistic.
Characterization: Wendy -- I love this character already, and I've only just begun to get to know her in this chapter. While she experienced some of the horrors of the second wizarding war, she was just too young to have actually fought in it. I think that one of my favorite concepts was that she determined herself to be not as brave because she couldn't experience the fight first hand. Her mild confrontation with Hermione was perfect; Hermione's cannon-characteristics could make her intimidating for someone like Wendy, and the girl was only trying to do her job, afterall. Draco -- There are so many things I love about that last scene. Draco and Ron's fighting, Harry's attempt at intervention, Draco's distance from what he was in attempt to clean up the Malfoy name, and just the fact that he was considered as a suspect (or at least his father) for the murder all made for some terrific dialogue. There are so many things that remind him of his cannon but, like Neville, he's continued to grow from DH, and I think that's fantastic.
Detail: This overlapped into the plot category, but I continue to love the extent to which you are bringing the reader through the investigation.
Style: I want to mention your character introductions here -- not only do they flow into the story, but they give a significant and effective background on each character being introduced.
Notes/other: I want to mention the perfect last line here -- "Our investigation just got a whole lot bigger". It's impact is effective and it definitely leaves me wanting more.
Author's Response: Thank you! Your reviews continue to be incredibly detailed and thoughtful and they are much appreciated!
From the outset I decided that I wanted this story to be investigation-driven, so I'm glad that you think that choice has been effective. I wondered how people would react because most mysteries on the archives (at least the ones I have read) tend to take the immersive approach (which admittedly allows for a bit more constant mood of intrigue), and it's nice that it has been well-received so far.
With the characters, I am sad to report a small spoiler that you won't see Wendy again. When I wrote her here, down to some very fine details, I actually intended her to come up again later, but in contrast to my other stories, this one ended up being much more fluid in my mind and a lot that I originally planned on disappeared as I wrote further. But I'm glad you liked the bit of her that you got. The fact that she's been well-received by a couple of people for similar reasons has actually given me an idea of using her (or those reasons) for a story about that "caught-in-the-middle" group of youth in the wizarding world (though I already have WAY too many ideas given I have a novel still to finish).
I'm also glad you liked the scene with Draco. You definitely got most of what I was trying to get across there, and that which you didn't (as I acknowledged in another review response) is totally on me.
I'm glad you're liking it so well so far! Your reviews are very kind!