Hi there! This is DarkRose from the forums! I said I'd get around to reading the new version of this story, so what better time than the House Cup? So, let's go over things:
Brief Comments on Chapter 1: This goes for all the chapters, but I spotted several spelling and grammar issues throughout. Maybe a read-through would help, or perhaps a beta reader. Other than that, though, I don't have much to say about chapter one. I think you fleshed it out quite nicely. I don't completely remember the first version ( XD ), but I like this one quite a bit!
Brief Comments on Chapter 2: Same thing on spelling & grammar, but I'll quit repeating that. I liked the interaction between Draco and Hermione. I thought that was nice and realistic. I didn't like all of Hermione's thoughts about him, though. For one, it seemed a bit odd that she would obsess over him so much -- maybe he just had allergies and wasn't crying at all! And her thoughts about him "not wanting to be a Death Eater" and secretly being a good guy, etc. etc., seemed a bit cliche. It just seemed too early for her to think about that. Which sort of connects to my other issue with this chapter: Hermione obsessing over guys in general. She thinks a lot about how it would feel to be in a relationship, etc., but that seemed a bit out of character to book-Hermione. It was just a bit over-the-top for me.
Brief Comments on Chapter 3: I don't have many thoughts on this chapter, other than that I really liked that you mentioned that Hermione was hoping that Ron had changed his mind about Lavender. That made a lot of sense and I really, really thought it fit with the story and Hermione's characterization. Great job. I wasn't too sure about her corning Draco yet again, but we'll see how things progress. :)
REVIEW FOR THIS CHAPTER:
Grammar/Spelling: Same issues as before!
Plot: Okay! So, this is a new chapter and I like it quite a bit. It was sweet and made sense, and I liked seeing Hermione on a relaxed day of her own. The story about the book shop owner's wife was a little extraneous, but I still liked it. I thought it was cute for him to give her his wife's books, but I almost feel like those books/that man/that scene have to MEAN something later to not just be filler. I also loved the gifts Hermione bought for her parents. Very nice.
Characterization: I think you captured Hermione very well in this chapter. When she's on her own, I can definitely see the canon-Hermione that I recognize. She was quiet and bookish, and I really loved that. Great job. I also, of course, think you pulled off writing Draco and Pansy well here. I haven't written about Pansy in so long that I've practically forgotten she exists.
Descriptions: I liked the details about the weather outside and the gifts Hermione bought for her parents. I could do with more details about the settings, though, and about more than just visual imagery. Remember: sight, sound, touch, taste, smell. Adding more of those in will help a reader to picture the scenes better.
Emotions: I would have liked to see more of Hermione's emotions in this chapter. We briefly get that she's disappointed that she can't be with her friends, but not much else. There's the scene where Mr. Bleakly tells about his wife, and I expected more of a reaction from Hermione, but I didn't really get it.
Interactions: I did, however, love the conversation between Mr. Bleakly and Hermione. It was very sweet and grandfatherly. Good job with your OC and good job with the scene in general. Pansy and Draco's conversation was also very good. I love whenever Draco loses his patience with Pansy though. ;)
Overall, good first few chapters. I'll ask you when five is revised and I'll read it ASAP. Well done and good luck to Hufflepuff in the House Cup!
--Emily (House Cup 2014 Review)
Author's Response: Thanks for your thoughts on those first three chapters in this! I'll definitely take a look at them and see if I can tighten things up a bit!
The books will probably pop up a couple of times in the story, and possibly even Mr Bleakly, at least I have some plans for him to but we'll see when I actually get there. I'll definitely come back to this chapter as well and see if I can get this tightened up a bit more too! I really appreciate all of your comments as they do help to make me a better writer :) Thank you so much for taking the time to read and review!