I'm going to do this chapter before I do the next, just to get back into the flow of things/remember where we left off.
First off, just GAH. That opening was really beautifully written. One picky little note though "on it were dead bodies." I think this line is supposed to be striking and blunt--and it's almost there, but it needs *some* sort of tweak. ("Upon it: corpses rot." or something). You've actually used passive voice a few times in this story, but I've always really enjoyed the effect on it. Sometimes, things just work better written passively (you usually do it in a "form following content" kind of way, and Rose is often a passive player in her life) :)
And then another nitpick: "contemplating his fatherís path as he now it." Sorry? Either there's a missing word, or you used "now" instead of "knew."
BUT OTHERWISE, I really liked Albus' Holmesian deducing. The bracketed thoughts were a great device!
And then the nod about Harry being "a Gryffindor" and "self-sacrificing." So far, Harry has been really OOC seeming, so it's definitely a nice mystery twist to suggest that he's not entirely different. I HAVE NO GUESSES AS TO WHAT IS GOING ON!
Another device here, was the capitalization of things like "Earnest Words" and that--I loved that. Also, and this is something I have LOTS TO SAY ON, but for this chapter and the last, Albus becomes a little more sympathetic. Almost because he seems kind of *autistic.* He comes off nearly evil at a lot of points, and definitely sociopathic most of the time, but at this stage in the story, *straight up autistic* comes into play a little bit. He doesn't understand people, and it begins to frustrate him. The fact that he *wants* to behave like a human being, but *can't;* it's the wanting that redeems him.
Oh man--Albus/Rose stuff. A lot of that I'll discuss when I get to the previous chapter, because I know EXACTLY what I want to say about it. (Sorry these reviews are getting so out of order).
"She called him a cruel bastard but with like a sigh of relief." I'm not sure about "with like." I'm sure the valley girl is accidental, though :)
And I LOVE the way you did child!Albus' voice and POV. Brilliant! And again, it's almost more striking to see harry IN character--because the questions! In that scene, he was *very* in character.
I really, really liked that Albus uses muggle... devices, BUT, they seemed odd choices. Stimulants are a FAR cry away from calming potions. Opiates and barbiturates are much more in line. Then again, the thought of him nursing a glass pipe is terrifying, and I liked it. Maybe start off the list with more likely choices (smack), and then introduce the stimulants later?
"According to Hugo, they had a bit of a bromance." I love how casual and modern this line is, against the majorly angsty passages that preceded it. I just love Hugo :)
But I'm not sure about "quarantine" as a word choice in this story for the situation. I study infectious diseases a lot in college, and quarantine really only gets used for that (the etymology is pretty consistent). No better phrasing comes to mind, but maybe look into the Iron Curtain era (like, scan the wikipedia page), and a better word will surely materialize.
Another brilliant thing in this story, is the shifting focalizations. A lot of readers on here have said, in various threads, how changing POVs can get confusing, and here you vary focus so rapidly, but it's *always* clear who you're speaking through. "Literally most soul crushing thing ever"--Scorpius. You don't add quotes, and you don't italicize, but you don't really need to. Your characters are so distinct, that their voices come across very easily. NICE ONE.
Question, though: it's a little confusing where Rose *lives.* She appears to sleep at her house, where Albus is staying, but we never saw her move in. And it doesn't seem like the Head would have allowed that.
Not sure about this, either: "The tape of memories.." A) they're wizards and B) this story takes place in the 2020s--even muggle kids wouldn't know what 'tapes' were, probably.
"The thunderous roar of the storm followed up with a flash of lightning, illuminating his features for a split second, which had instantly grown cold." I've said it before, but there's just enough "gothic novel" to this story--I love it.
An overall note: you continue to write Rose really realistically, but in totally abnormal situations. And yet, she still seems *young,* which is great. You've shown how these things have influenced her, and it would be really easy to write her as an adult. Instead, you managed something much trickier, and wrote a teenager who was still a teenager, but changed. BRAVO.
And as per Rose/Albus--again, I'll get to this when I review the Boggart!Albus chapter, but I'd be a fool to miss all those "chaste kisses" and long hugs. THAT SAID, if there was /real pulsing desire/ well, they would have noticed during one of their snugglefests. I stand by my original analysis: "mixed up." These two are so twisted, I think they've lost sight of what is and isn't appropriate. They treat each other almost as lovers, but GENUINE desire isn't present. Neither is clear what they want from the other, and the truth is, what they want, they can't find in each other. Ultimately, I think they lack proper guidance, and proper families, and both are starved for love and affection.
(and I'm kind of, but not really, but a little bit, but really not, just kind of guiltily, *shipping them*)
OK YUSSS LET'S DO THE NEXT CHAPTER
Author's Response: Hey!
Firstly, thanks so much for the nitpicking. Edits, edits, edits! haha. :)
Ahh yes, I remember now, this was the angst chapter.
Glad the bracketing/capitalizing worked for you! Since a mega part of Clash is character study, I'm always looking for new or interesting ways to conceptualize character thoughts/feelings.
And writing little!Albus was too much fun hehe.
During one of my mega story edits, I'll definitely look for replacements for 'quarantine'. Same with the 'tape' of memories. And the drug choices. As always, thank you for the nitpickings!
Yes, yes YES. I've tried so hard to keep Rose *young*. There's a naivet√É¬É√ā¬© to her right now, I hope, and it functions to provide a stark contrast between her and the Old!wizened!Rose. I'm very excited to write her development from girl to woman.
In one of the earlier chapters, I believe the Head allows her permission to have the house for her perusual as long as 'she remains within the bounds of his authority' or something like that. He doesn't explicitly say she can stay at her house, but it's sort of implied.
Ahh your comments to Rose/Albus are so deep and thoughtful. It appears to be a hot topic with other reviewers as well, and I'm loving the range of interpretations I'm getting about them. All I'll say is that while Clash isn't a /romance/, it is in many ways a /love story/ or rather a story ABOUT love. Nontheless, the Rose/Albus relationship is def. up for speculation right now. There's some very dark psychology at work there.
(you're not the first reviewer to 'guiltily' ship them, and I doubt you'll be the last).
As always, thanks for the amazing review!