Hey, Isobel! First of all, I'd like to apologise for the ridiculous delay in this. I had a tonne of uni assignments (I still kinda do but this has been playing on my mind for far too long :p)
Okay, so first thing. This seems super interesting! Rebecca seems very resilient but it seems like it's just an act. Which makes sense as they're at war and they need to be strong.
So you asked if you've portrayed Bex's grief appropriately. Honestly, I think she still seems too... normal... I've had a friend pass away and although I wasn't close to her, it did upset me a lot and I feel like if Bex and Penelope were as close as you described them, she would be a lot more upset. I understand that she's trying to keep a calm facade and numb, but I don't get the numbness feeling from her.
What I would recommend is that make her thoughts and emotions absolutely shattered but she's acting very numb. A lot of people do go numb when someone dies but that doesn't last for a long time. It's usually the first part of the grief process when they're numb and it just seems like she's only pretending to be numb... It doesn't feel very authentic. I think the scene with the man at the coffee shop was the thing that made me doubt it. If she was honestly numb she wouldn't have been snappy and probably would have been bored. Unless you want her angry as her first reaction to Penelope's death then you've written that quite well! But you did say you wanted her to be numb. Unless that comes after she's seen Penelope's body?
Also, I got a bit confused. Was Bex in Ravenclaw or Gryffindor? Just curious :p
Also, I never thought about Lee being bi but I guess it works. Honestly, I really didn't think Oliver and Lee would really talk that much but it is your story!
Oh, and don't worry. Bex doesn't seem like a cow. She does seem to be coping a bit too well, especially after finding out her friend is dead but not a cow.
I don't think she sounds like Alicia that much at all! You can definitely see where Alicia gets her headstrong character from, but so far Bex doesn't seem as selfish as Alicia.
I do feel like that this chapter (in terms of plot) moved a little too fast. I'm aware that after a death of a friend or family member it feels like you blink and then when you open your eyes a month has passed but seeing as this is a story I think you should have expanded a little bit on the grief. It just felt like you were describing the scene too much. And honestly, you have GREAT descriptions and I love your imagery but I think you need to focus on her emotions more than her surroundings. If she's going to be numb, she's not going to notice anything around her except herself.
However, this might be a biased opinion because I've been through this and I'm just relating my experiences with others. Everyone is different but I do feel that you need to make Bex a little bit more upset to make it more believable.
As for theories (you know I suck at these, why must you ask me? haha :p), all that I can guess is that it's a Death Eater and each of these people have relations to magic (they might be squibs, have a cousin that's a witch/wizard, live next door to a magic person) and the Death Eater/crazy supporter of Voldemort is doing this to threaten the magic people in the family. Giving them a warning that they're coming for them and they can't hide?
*shrugs* I do suck at theories though so it's probably completely wrong, hahahaha!
Anywho, this was a really good introductory chapter, Isobel! You're very good at grammar and spelling so that always makes me like a story more, haha! :p
Feel free to request again!
- Kayla :)
Author's Response: Hi Kayla! No, no, don't apologise! I completely understand that uni work must come first ♥
I see what you mean, I've had some other reviewers saying that I've portrayed her grief appropriately though so I'm not sure what to do right now to be honest. I'm definitely keeping your comments in mind when working on the next chapter and I think perhaps the time that she's been on the run has taken it's toll as she doesn't really recognise Penelope in her new life: there's a big difference between pre-war Penelope and the dead Penelope who people are talking about, so... It's definitely something that I've taken on board.
Bex's reaction to the man at the coffee shop was her snapping out of the intended numbness, because he kept prodding at her and trying to get her attention and she just wanted him to leave her be. I was worried about elaborating on her feeling upset and grieving and all that because I didn't want it to overwhelm the story. I'll definitely focus on that next chapter though, particularly with the Penelope's body scene. Thanks so much for your feedback, it's definitely good thinking material!
Bex was in Ravenclaw, but she had quite a few friends in Gryffindor as well so that's probably where the confusion comes from :P and haha, my headcanon is that Oliver does spend time with the twins now and then (maybe at Quidditch parties or something) and therefore he speaks to Lee. They aren't particularly close though; it's kind of like fancying someone you don't know very well because they're so mysterious if that makes sense? I'm pleased that you don't think Bex is a cow, and that her narration is distinctly hers and not too much like Alicia's.
I see what you mean; unfortunately, in a murder investigation things do move quite fast (presumably) so that they can catch the killer so Bex's life is a bit of a whirlwind right now. I understand what you mean about her grief though and I will definitely try and incorporate more of that in the coming chapters! Thank you so much for your advice, really! :)
I love your theory! But I can't tell you if you're right or not, because of spoilers *cackles evilly* You're better than you think though because that theory does make sense! ;)
Thank you so much for your lovely review Kayla, I really appreciate it! ♥