Tagging you from the Review the Person Above You thread in the common room.
So I confess: I saw your username and I thought that you were probably a new member. Imagine my surprise when I discovered how long you've been around and how much you've written! I feel fortunate that you tagged me because I read the first chapter of your completed novel and I really enjoyed it.
I really like the version of Scorpius you've created. He seems to do whatever he's able to do in the world in order to vex his father. It's interesting to me that it seems like he inherited a bit of his father's patronizing sense of humor, only without the arrogance and cruelty. I guess arrogance and cruelty were things that Draco learned, however, so there's definitely a family resemblance here that goes beyond their physical looks.
There's an old southern saying, something about not letting your alligator mouth get your hummingbird behind in trouble. Scorpius definitely has that alligator mouth, and he chooses to exercise it in mockery of somebody much bigger than him. Oh, look, the muscle-bound guy is also Rose's boyfriend. Swimming! Good thing Albus is there to keep Scorpius from getting pummeled. Already, I like some of the things you're setting up. Rose's boyfriend is, at some level, a bully, but she obviously doesn't see that in him. I can almost see the tiny threads of "I hate you so much that I'll like you when everything goes horribly wrong" forming between Rose and Scorpius.
So I get the feeling that the reasons Harry acts awkwardly around Scorpius are not the reasons that Scorpius thinks. It doesn't seem like it's so much the fact that Harry is put off by Scorpius's family, but rather the fact that Harry sees some parallels to his own childhood. That's Harry for you. Still trying to save the world, even if he has to do it one person at a time.
Rose is quite convinced that she knows it all, isn't she? I can see so much of her mother in that one, although I think Hermione wasn't quite so pushy by her sixth year. I can also see some of her father's "I can't admit that I might be wrong" streak. She's a pretty well-rounded character, I think. Plenty of nuance and I'm sure that will only get better. When she throws the chocolate frog, that was pure Hermione, though.
Lastly, there's Albus. This is definitely the first story I've ever read where he wasn't written to be scrawny. It's going to be a challenge to get my head around Albus, the Gentle Giant. I love the way you wrote his interactions with other characters, the effect that he has on them.
For a pretty long chapter, this flowed really well. It had a nice pace to it and I moved through it with ease. I also liked the way that you didn't waste any time dumping extraneous back story on us in this chapter. Instead, you took the reader right into the plot of the story and only delivered the details as they were needed. I remember things much better that way.
Great job! Cheers!
Author's Response: Ha, not a new writer, just one who didn't get involved in the forums until recently.
This story started with a couple of compulsions - one to write an epic adventure, but the other was to write this Scorpius. He's the guy who burst into my head and demand I write about him now, right now, and as you can imagine he was not inclined to take 'no' for an answer. While different to his father, and trying to be different, I have tried to keep him with those certain Malfoy traits. He isn't devoid of arrogance, but it's an arrogance of a different sort; nor is he devoid of cruelty, but it's usually pettiness towards people who have 'wronged' him (rightly or otherwise).
That is an awesome saying. And very true of this Scorpius. He certainly couldn't have counted on Albus saving him from Hector, but he would refuse to let himself be intimidated into silence, even if it made things worse. And, belligerent tension with Scorpius and Rose? Say it ain't so! No, it's not a surprise, is it? :D
I hadn't intended to have Harry see himself in Scorpius, but then I wrote the scene and saw the parallels, and realised Harry HAD to see them, too. And his instincts to save a kid, save the world, AND to do his son's friend a good turn - those would run rampant.
Rose has, in some ways, inherited the WORST of her parents. The good traits are there, too, but she's right now an arrogant know-it-all who never went through the harrowing experiences her parents did which made them question themselves. Her father's pride and the self-importance her mother had at a young age have made a dangerous cocktail. While I'm glad you see her as well-rounded in this chapter (I mean, I'd like to think she is, and she has one of the most robust maturing arcs of all the characters), I am surprised. Most readers found her thoroughly unlikable, to the extent I had to specifically write a Rose-centric chapter to give some introspection and sympathy for her.
I don't fully know why I wrote this Albus as the Gentle Giant. Mostly, I suspect, as foil to Scorpius, which is his primary purpose for a lot of the time. Poor kid takes a while to find his own stride.
I'm quite happy with this chapter as an introduction of most of the major cast, and the minor-but-important-but-not-often-seen cast (ie, the parents - they influence the characters tremendously but won't be in the story). I'm not sure I could replicate this feat of introducing all I wanted it to introduce in one smooth swoop, though there would be more details to come in future chapters.
Anyway! Glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for reviewing!