Hi, there! I'm continuing my march through your story. It's an opportunity to enjoy it and feel good about it at the same time. Win-win.
House Cup 2014 Review
First off, love your chapter image. The model is perfect for the way you're been building Laurel up.
Poor Tristan is kind of a mess, emotionally. It seems like he comes by a lot of it honestly and I'm guessing that the highs and lows of repeatedly charming with Laurel and the others are affecting his moods, as well. Addiction is a harsh master, and I'm sure that he's in deeper than he realizes.
This new combination of charms that Laurel is using sounds like a pretty bad deal. You have one charm canceling the euphoria of the other, allowing her to function "normally". That sounds like the very essence of addiction if I've ever seen it.
Tristan's sorting brings up some interesting points. We know from history that the hat makes mistakes sometimes. Or as Dumbledore said, "Sometimes I think we sort too soon." Then again, it's possibly that Tristan wouldn't be happy no matter where he was. His self-loathing is reaching pretty scary levels. He doesn't even seem to feel worthy of a nice gift from his parents or a tiny check from his grandmother.
It seems like sometimes Tristan excels in spite of himself. With both McGonagall and Sprout, he makes a good impression and then almost immediately ruins it with self-destructive behavior. I feel badly for him, but ultimately the situation can only be considered his own fault.
'Free Time, and Also: Animals' -- Ha! Brilliant description of a class where the students were basically instructed to play with kitties for an hour. I wonder what they would have called Hagrid's class? 'Animals, and Also: Mortal Danger'?
This chapter gave a different view of more than just Laurel and Tristan. Emily seemed pretty out of control, as well.
"Wait, look," Isobel pointed. "People! We're people!" Isobel explained, indicating to the swarm descending on the Quidditch pitch.
"Letís go be people!" yelled Laurel, and she took off sprinting in the direction of the game.
Not a great sign when you're ambivalent on your personhood.
Interesting to see the Quidditch experience through the eyes of a non-fan. I guess all of the plays would be a bit confusing if you had no idea what was going on.
I feel like you're building toward something here. I can't say exactly what, but I don't see the foursome's activities being something they can sustain for an entire school year, especially with OWL's at the end. I'm really curioius to find out what. Good job!
Author's Response: Glad you liked the image! I spent a lottt of time choosing faceclaims for the characters. I ended up choosing actors who came to prominence as teenagers doing indie films. That way, they would have enough moody pictures (rather than glamor photos), and would look realistically young enough. I thought that image was incredibly perfect for the chapter, and even though she clearly isn't wearing robes, used it anyway. (In canon, they wear ROBES--I take this very seriously! I tried to only use pictures where they look like it could be robes, unless the chapter takes place in the muggle world.)
Oh yes, that charm blend is a monster. Honestly, I was basically trying to make it roughly equivalent to opiates. I'm glad that the VERY BAD IDEAness of it all came across!
Tristan's history with Sorting was, for me, totally tragic. He was basically in the same situation as Harry, with the hat suggesting he should be in Slytherin. But whereas Harry fought the idea, and ASKED to be in Gryffindor, Tristan resigned himself. One gets many opportunities for dramatic irony when writing fanfiction :)
"Tristan excels in spite of himself"--that's a really spot on observation! Cheers for that whole paragraph! I definitely wanted him to be sympathetic, and for readers to understand his behavior the way you do, but also kind of want to slap him.
'Free Time, and Also: Animals'--ahhh, so glad you found that as funny as I did! 'Animals, and Also: Mortal Danger' is so good that I wish I'd set this story in 1993!
And I'm glad for your reaction to their states-of-mind just before the match. I wanted them to have fun, but I didn't want to romanticize their charm-use.
As for the match itself, I've never really understood sports myself, and I really liked the idea of them all being fish-out-of-water at a game.
Aha, as you know, you were SPOT ON about their behaviors being unsustainable. So good on you! And I'm so pleased that that was paced properly!