Fine. You, miss author, you. Have forced me to review the last published chapter on this. My plan was to wait until you posted a new Undertow chapter, then review this. Then review that. Hoping by the time both of those reviews were done, there would be ANOTHER chapter. That plan did not work. I'm probably going to poke you as soon as I finish this review, btw.
Anyway , Lily. Is it bad to say that I love that she lied? When her mom confronted her about Lorcan. And I love that you've tied us back to the first chapter.
Back to the lying. We know how much Lily has put into this plan. We know how important it is to her to see it through, and with nothing being able to be done about Lorcan and the fact that she's a moody teenage girl, her lying felt very realistic.
The scene between Lily and Harry was one of my favorite to read. I think the realization of how young her father really was when he did what did did was an excellent thing to add in this chapter, and I felt like I wanted to hug them both. Even if Lily did use Harry's more push over nature to get herself to the Owlery :P. Their relationship seemed really natural though. I know I've said it a million times, but the fact that you can write such a normal and relatable family really makes me happy. So many stories have terrible parents or parents that spoiled their children to pieces and blah blah and this is just so normal. It's perfect.
And the end of this! The article and Lily's reasoning behind why it had to be someone framing Scorpius were just so solid. I love the way she's able to think things through. Obviously we see a bit of her own biased in it, but she definitely got Harry's skills for solving puzzles. She goes through and eliminates what it *couldn't* have been to help make it more clear of what had to have happened, and I love that.
And I also feel like Lily just got herself in way too deep... hahaAuthor's Response: One day I'll update this story again... I hope! At least your poking worked. I can't believe the other chapter is (finally!) almost done. You get 95% of the credit for that, just so you know.
I worry this story as a whole is taking way too long to unravel. I feel like this chapter really marks the end of "Act I," and like you said, brings us right back to the start, but I'm unsure about the length of the set-up. I guess I'll really have to write the rest to know for sure either way.
I'm so glad you liked the Harry/Lily section. I love writing relationships of all kinds, and I couldn't help throwing in a little father/daughter dynamic. I guess it's true you write what you know -- my childhood was just too normal for most fiction, I guess :P
I did try and "borrow" a bit from Harry here. In the books, he always had these solid-sounding reasons for why things were unfolding the way they were -- why this character was good or evil, what the bad guy must be up to, etc. -- only to find out later on he was totally wrong. I've tried to give that same confidence in her reasoning to Lily, but also that tendency to see what she wants to see in a situation.
I should warn you though, this is the last Snape-free chapter, so I may have lost the mojo on this story just in time :P
Thank you for always being such a lovely reviewer!! Report Review
Iím a cheater. I read ahead ;(. This is why I donít like reading ahead. It takes me too long to get back to reviewing.
I know Iíve said this a million times, but I really love the dynamic between the siblings. Lily being so sure her brother told on her, already expecting it as she came into the kitchen. Youíve made me very hungry with the start of this, by the way. And I love the sort of peace over the Potter house right now. Is everything dandy? Well, not from Lilyís PoV, but itís still a quiet Saturday morning and there arenít enough of these in stories.
Oh sheís so tangled up with Scorpius thoughts. I love her being willing to do just about anything though. I know Iíve been there, when Iím so upset about something that I just canít handle thinking about it so taking a way out of your own mind is something I wouldnít so no to. Having Lily feeling that way just felt very realistic to me. She canít really do anything right now. Sheís angry with Scorpius, sheís grounded, sheís already in over her head with all this... whatís she supposed to do to fix it? Nothing. So instead she needs a way not to think about it, and I have to say I think the way was very creative. Iím so excited to see Luna and to see her close to the Potter clan. I love Lilyís analysis of the family and Mr. Scamander being the odd one out in a family of already odd people. Iíve always seen him described as sort of nerdy, but I really love your version. In my mind, this man and Luna would make a very lovely couple.
And in one sentence:
ďSee, I knew they wouldnít be late,Ē Luna said in way of a greeting.
Youíve gotten completely to the heart of Luna, haha. That was just so right. And we get a James appearance! Hahaha I canít say Iím crazy about Liza though... Iím sure the Potters often arenít crazy about their eldest sonís girlfriends if this one is any indication of previous ones ;).
I also loved that thought Lily did seem to enjoy her party, she wasnít over the moon or anything. Like she thinks, sheís seventeen. She clearly appreciates what was done for her loved her family clan, but at the same time sheís seventeen. Not your ideal Ďget wild coming of age party.í
Okay. Iím giving myself an F for running reviews. I figured since Iíd already read the chapter it would be easier - nope. Sorry, I got too into it and now the chapters over again. Haha. This is your fault. If your writing was easier to stop reading, I would be able to comment on it.
This chapter is one that really makes me want to shout at you for not having this complete. Everything is all tangling together with the twins and Severus and the break in and Scorpius and LILYíS PARENTS NOT LISTENING TO HER. I really felt for her with that one. You know, you couldnít give me enough money to make me go back to being a teenager.
Youíve just thrown me in the middle to Ďmust know what happen,í world and Iím going to have to start poking at you after I review the next chapter. Youíre a very talented writer, you know. Iíll admit that I do enjoy your adult characters more... you have such a skill for crafting them so perfectly and making them people that Iíd want to know (or not know, in Reginaís case). But I still really love your younger characters.
Writers block please go away, please!Author's Response: lol, I'm the same way. I can't be trusted with reading ahead!
Writing Luna and James and the gang was a lot of fun. I wrote this chapter way before I started OtE, so this was my first time playing with a lot of these characters. I guess I'm lucky in that other people's characterizations don't get stuck in my head very often, which leaves me lots of room to make them act however I want :P
It didn't seem right not to mark Lily's birthday with some sort of celebration, since this is such a big one in the wizarding world. But it also didn't seem right to suddenly throw in a bunch of made-up friends we'd never heard of before for her to go off and celebrate with. I can't imagine Luna being "hip" to what anyone wants in a party, let alone a teenage girl... but Lily appreciates the gesture in a you-REALLY-shouldn't-have kind of way.
Based on the two stories, I like my adult characters better too! Part of it, I think, is that some of this was written a while ago. While you'll never get me to admit that I actually LIKE anything I've ever written, I will say I do think I've improved over time. But also, I was really bad at being a teenager. I didn't do any of the fun, rebellious stuff at ALL, so I have a harder time taping into teenage angst, I think.
Plus, logistically, it's just been harder to write. I needed Scorpius to be 18 to make all the arrest stuff work, but to stay with canon, that would make Lily 16/17, when I really see her in my head as closer to 14/15. I think I write her too young at times, but also having a 14 year old child of Harry and Ginny Potter running around unsupervised didn't seem very realistic.
Haha! Okay, I just veered way off-topic. Sorry about that. Thank you for the lovely review. I did manage to write about 300 words yesterday. Certainly not enough to knock anyone's socks off, but at least it's something!! Report Review
This was another excellent chapter! It's easy to become addicted to your writing, not only because of it's high quality, but because your style is incredibly pleasing to read. You combine fantastic descriptions and character depth with conciseness of language - a combination that's just so satisfying to read. Too often (especially in published novels) writers try to include too much detail, not realizing that it drags the narrative or they do the opposite, including too little, and then the story feels bare. You, however, capture the right amount of each, and it makes me a very happy reader.
That ending scene! *romantic sigh* How did you do that? It happened all of the sudden, yet it felt so natural. This attraction has been there from the beginning of this story, but Lily was doing so much to resist - or repress - it that I hadn't expected anything to happen so soon. It's perfect how it did happen, though. I love that butterfly spell! The way that you described it was beautiful, and it reveals much about your portrayal of Scorpius, giving him a delicacy and artistic nature that I haven't seen in other portrayals. Although I liked your Scorpius from the beginning, after reading this chapter, I can also see him as a romantic character - it wouldn't be hard to love him, and it makes me understand Lily's attraction to him all the more.
I'm really not used to feeling this way about Scorpius Malfoy. :P
As far as critique goes, I could only find one potential issue. In the line "the woman was gone and out of site", not only is "site" incorrect, but it's redundant to include both. I'd recommend using "out of sight" based on the context of that sentence.
I'm sorry if this review has been someone incoherent. This chapter left me with a fluttering heart! This story just keeps getting better and better, with the mysteries piling up and I'm very excited to keep reading. ^_^Author's Response: Oh, goodness. Thank you so much for saying such lovely things. Developing a style has been such a work in progress. For a long time I struggled to imitate writers that were more descriptive or poetic in their prose, but it was never a good fit for me. I've come to realize I like my writing best when it just gets out of its own way. I'd much rather someone remember the characters or the plot than the unusual way I described something.
I'm not sure if it's safe to admit this after the April Fool's joke, but I really like writing romance. Maybe not stories that are ONLY romance, but I love moving characters through the ups and downs of it all. I'm so, so happy that Scorpius is growing on you as a character. He isn't the traditional strapping hero type, but I do see him as an old soul worthy of love. I still want him to sort of bear the burden of being a Malfoy and have that hint of entitlement and moodiness, but I see his upbringing being so different from Draco's that he's far more introspective and sensitive... perhaps the first of his family to ever be looked down on.
Gah! I'm so embarrassed at that typo! I must fix that right away. Thank you so much for pointing it out. And thank you so much for this wonderful review. I'm beyond thrilled that you're enjoying the story. Report Review
Oh, this is excellent! I enjoyed how the chapter began with very everyday type things and slowly developed into something quite suspenseful and mysterious. I don't know if I agree with Albus that their parents would purposely put them into a dangerous situation like that - though really, Ginny should have known that a locked door would excite the curiosity of at least one of her children (especially Albus - he's so nosy!). The Black house is a weird place in general, and you've depicted it very well in this chapter, capturing its strange combination of danger and dumpiness. It's like a haunted house, and I'm surprised that the Potters were successful in renting it out to wizarding families. But I liked to see how wizarding families can be as disturbingly messy as some Muggles - even magic can't help some people. This chapter felt very natural - the characters and setting were realistically portrayed with just enough detail to draw the reader in. Some stories feel like movies, but this one feels like reality, and I love that aspect of it.
Your characterization of Albus is something I have to note because, while he's not likeable, he's still an interesting character - someone to keep an eye on for sure. He verges on annoying (in an "he's such an older brother!" sort of way), but that contributes to his realism, as well as to the refreshing nature of this story. His relationship with Lily is interesting because they're close and comfortable with each other in some ways, yet there's also a sense of weirdness between them. Scorpius is certainly one cause of this, but it makes me wonder just what happened in the past with those three - there's something more there, and it's just another reason why I keep reading on. You have many mysteries going on at once in this story, and it's fantastic how you've intertwined them.
One part that potentially needs work is the clause "a man who had died many years before Lily was born but who her father still spoke of fondly". It's too wordy - if there's a way you can break up the sentence or include less explication, it would improve the flow of that paragraph. My question is whether it is really necessary to explain who Sirius Black was - if he's going to somehow play a role in the story, then leave it. Otherwise, the additional information doesn't add anything to the story - you can assume that readers will already know it. The sense of mystery that you add in that paragraph, however, is perfect - like Lily, I want to know why the Potters moved out of the house after James's birth. Was it that they wanted to live closer to the Weasleys, to get away from London, or to escape the memories of the Order?
There was another part where you had "unlivable", which could instead be "uninhabitable" - it's a matter of taste, but I think that the latter word is the better one to use.
Otherwise, this was a great addition to your story! I look forward to seeing how you continue to develop both the plot and the characters. There's so much that could happen! :DAuthor's Response: Oh, yay! I'm so glad you liked the chapter. I love Grimmauld Place. It was such an interesting location in the books, it's almost like another character at times. The house and its mysteries will continue to play a role throughout the story, and though I've obviously added some touches of my own, I've tried really hard to keep it all as canon as possible. Hopefully it feels like the same place from the books while allowing for some changes over the intervening 25 years.
I've been told on more than a few occasions that my characters aren't always very likable, and I'm not always sure what, if anything, to do about it. I like writing characters that are as multidimensional and real as I can make them, but I don't want to alienate readers. If you have any advice or suggestions on that, I'd be totally open to hearing it. Al (I hope) redeems himself a bit in chapter 8, and he is meant to be kind of annoying in that sibling sort of way (at least from Lily's PoV), but I do worry that the general likability of a lot of my character lessens my stories at times.
Yikes, reading that sentence back, it's not pretty, is it? I've been working recently on handling past-perfect tenses and referencing past events in an already past-tense story in a way that isn't super clunky...and it's super hard sometimes! This one definitely needs a re-write. I guess I included it because if it were a non-fanfic story, readers wouldn't know from this story any history of the house, but you're right. I could just cut it. None of the Blacks play any real role in the story. I'll look at the "unlivable" reference too. Thanks for pointing both of those out.
And thank you, of course, for another lovely and thoughtful review! I'm so, so glad you seem to be enjoying the story.
Okay I think I mentioned already reading these last two chapters, but if not, well I have :P and even on the second full read through this chapter is still every bit as addicting. I loved the descriptions around the watch. The creepiness of it sounding like a heart beat instead if the normal tick tick tick is so awesome. It reminded me of The Tell Tale Heart. Except it was the heart beat of a watch hidden under the floorboards instead of an entire severed person :P and I think lily did actually hear a heart beat instead of her mind creating it, haha.
So we have Scorpius's father and grandfather involved in murdering Narcissa. The Aurors onto them, and somewhere tied into all this we have Severus Snape alive and someone wanting to document that. You are weaving such an awesome web of suspense here, missy.
I want to mention something for a second that doesn't really involve this chapter as much, but I am really impressed by your style. Not for this story only, but just the way you write. The fact that you always put forward something different in the prologue/first chapter before beginning your story, then set a really perfect pace is so awesome. I think having their own style is something everyone sort of strives for and you've totally nailed it. I also like that your writing is easy to read but it isn't cold. Sometimes I read these really amazing stories, but something about how the author chooses the words and arranges them makes the story feel. Too cut and try almost and too cold. You managed to keep your sentences from getting long winded but you still put so much emotion into what's happening. That's something I really don't see often. I'm going to move on now because I feel like that made no sense...
Al and Lily's little spying escapade! Lily really grows on me more each chapter. I already pointed out how much I adore her being just a normal teenager, but now we're really seeing more sides of her. The curiosity she has toward anything is so great and reminds me of both her parents. She can't just let something go. And the fact that she's a good person - yes she lies to her parents and sneaks around. We all did. But she thinks first about what her turning Scorpius away may have done to him, when she's waiting for him in the cafe she first hopes everything is okay before getting angry... She's a kind girl and you haven't shoved that down our throats but you've certainly made it clear.
I hadn't even thought about Scorpius using lily to know about the investigation! Now that lily thought of it, I can see where it makes perfect sense. I bet he wrote to her wanting to talk to her about that, then he saw her and everything sort of came back feeling wise so he brushed off what he'd really written about. Then wanted to see her again when he sent the butterfly for no other reason to see her. But then all this happened with the aurors there so he couldn't put off asking any longer, and ugh of course it looks to lily like he was just using her.
The conversation that they overheard was done so well. Al's motives for having her listen we're very brotherly, but really all they did was drive her more into needing to help Scorpius.
Really awesome chapter!Author's Response: I'd totally be lying if I said I didn't get a little inspiration here from Poe. I had to memorize The Tell-Tale Heart in grade school. I don't think it's ever really fully made its way out of my brain :P
Hooray for suspense! I know I've probably said it before, but as much as Lily might be motivated by her feelings for Scorpius, this really isn't meant to be a romance story.
I don't know if it made sense, but it certainly made me smile! Thank you so much for saying such lovely things. For a long time, I fought against my natural writing rhythm. I wanted a more interesting style, I think. I've come to terms with its simplicity a bit more lately, and even though I still think it stinks most of the time, I've been able to embrace the fact that I'm most comfortable with keep my writing as inconspicuous as possible.
I love next-gen because it gives you so much freedom to play, but when it comes to Lily, I tried really hard to make her a natural fit with her parents. Impulsive and with a bit of a save-the-day attitude from Harry, a little hot-headed perceptiveness from her mother. And maybe it's just because I wasn't an overly rebellious teen, but I just can't imagine Harry and Ginny letting any of their kids turn out to be total brats :D Anyway, I'm glad she's continuing to grow on you. I'll admit she isn't always the warmest character.
I think at this point, Scorpius is just more confused than anything. He didn't really set out to use her, but he got desperate and things started getting away from him. He -- like his father -- isn't as good in a crisis as Lily.
Writing the eavesdropping scene was super tricky. But it was fun to write a set-up I'd never tried before.
Thank you for another lovely, amazing review. Now I'm off to do some more writing! Report Review
Once again, I was trying a running review. Nope. Youíre right, Dan absolutely has the market on those. haha.
And weíre finally getting a clue to the first chapter! eeek! honestly, I was so interested in Lily and her Scoprius happenings, that I nearly forgot about the entire other plot twisting around in this that deals with our lovely ALIVE Severus.
I loved that Lily got in trouble for the amount of rules she broke. They were little ones, but built up all in the same day, they just couldnít go unnoticed. Lilyís fit brought back too many memories. I canít even believe the way I acted during certain teenage times when I thought something so very unfair. And Iím sure Lily will feel that way someday ;). She felt so, so real in this chapter. Her reaction to being grounded was so sixteen year old girl, but at the same time itís easy to understand her anger. She didnít do anything too bad, and sheís so close to being seventeen! But she also didnít make the best choices. Iím starting to really consider what Al said about Scoprius.
Speaking of Al! I am so thrilled that you had him realizing right away what was done to him. I was thinking that it seemed a bit unrealistic that heíd grow up with the Weasleys and not be able to recognize on of their tricks, and then he did! It was sweet of him not to rat her out. She probably has a list of things to tell on him for, though. Sibling survival. Haha. I donít know who I agree with more. Lily for agreeing to meet Scoprius, or Albus for warning what only a week with him has already done to her.
I am trying so hard to make my brain piece together what could be happening with all these mysteries. The circumstances of Narcissaís death, or I suppose how it was all handled, somebody searching for something and the clue that Lily found. And Iím getting pouty because Iím already nearing the last chapter! You better get to writing, missy. I want one chapter of OtE sequel and one chapter of this by tomorrow, yes? :P
I think that youíve made Ginny a really realistic mother. And yes, I realize how jumpy this review is. I keep forgetting about things I want to comment on :P. Anyway, I love that she just seems like a normal mom. She gets mad at her children for things that a mom would get mad about, she goes to work, she gets things done. It doesnít matter thatís Harry Potterís wife or a famous ex Quiddich player. And her reaction to Albusís injury - perfect! I canít say I blame him for not wanting to go to St. Mungos. Not only does he already realize whatís wrong with him, but like he really wants someone staring at his buns. With his luck, heíd probably get a cute nurse, too.
Very excited for the next chapter, mídear ♥!Author's Response: I'm not one of those people who likes to go back and read their own writing, but I took a look at this chapter again this morning so I could write a better reply to your review and...yikes! Let's just hope I've improved a bit in the last 15 months since I wrote this.
Yay for Lily coming off as realistic! Writing Rose was easy since we are so close in age, but it's been a few years since I was 16. Looking back, there are parts where I think I wrote her a little on the young side. I was aiming more for naive/inexperienced, but... I'm glad you liked her getting grounded though. I see a lot of stories where teenagers seem to run around totally unsupervised. Maybe it's just me, but my butt got grounded a lot as a teenager :P
I see Al as pretty wise, just not super mature. Lily's no match for him with her less-than brilliant scheme. I think Ginny probably had a good hunch too what was really going on, or would have if she'd cared to really figure it out, but I think at this point in her life, she's not concerned about the little stuff anymore. Lily running off and doing magic in the street? Yes. Her putting boils on her brother's butt... not so much. I'm glad you like her character though. I don't push her outside the "mom" roll too much only because that's really all Lily sees her as. I know for me, I didn't start seeing my parents as actual human beings until I moved out.
I'm so happy you like the building mystery. The next chapter has some clues in it regarding what happened to Narcissa. I'm interested to see if you think I give too much away.
Thanks for another lovely review!! Hopefully I'll have a new chapter to post on SOMETHING in the next week or so :D Report Review
Oh Becky! There were so many 'aww' moments in this chapter, I just don't know where to start. Honestly, I find myself thinking so often that I should have been leaving a running review, yet I never do! Well, I'll try and make this somewhat organized.
So Al has decided not to mention the door. Which means that something else had to have happened that he isn't tell Lily. Being attacked by a locked door is a pretty exciting thing, and he doesn't seem like the type to not tell the truth. So maybe he tried a lot harder than he's making it seem? And he doesn't want to admit that he used a spell or something to try and get in? Maybe he used a certain spell, one that he shouldn't have been for some reason? Maybe it was the spell itself that triggered the magic attacking him? Or maybe it has nothing to do with a spell and I just need to shut up.
All I know is, Al better watch out. I'm keeping a close eye on that boy.
I liked that Lily wanted to tell her parents. It wasn't the sort of, I'm going to get you in trouble, kind of wanting to tell... but she was worried. And that was really sweet, because despite their bickering it's obvious that these two do care a lot about one another.
And I almost think she didn't snitch on him just so he wouldn't snitch on her, which is such a teenage girl move. Way to go, Lily. We've all been 16/17, we get it ;).
Then the butterfly!! Well, clover turned butterfly I suppose. The detail you put into describing what was happening was so insanely perfect. I could imagine just what it looked like after it was complete, and the fact that you didn't describe in such detail anything else in the chapter made the butterfly stand out that much more. I feel like such a sneaky girl when I read your writing, because not only am I obviously loving it, but I'm totally analyzing how you do descriptions and trying to suck in your talent for describing just the right thing through your words. Haha.
Then Lily following the butterfly! That was one of those 'aww' moments I mentioned. I can't imagine her looking anything but adorable chasing down a pretty little butterfly down the street. And of course I at least knew where it was headed, even if Lily pretending not to.
I have to say, Scorpius Malfoy has some serious moves. Rewind though -- the old football field. Why was it familiar? I'm guessing you won't be telling me, will you? Well, at least not in this response ;P. You've laced my sweet little 'aww' moment with more curiosity! You just won't let my brain rest, will you??
I really liked Lily's decision to go with Scorpius to have him teach her the butterfly trick. Even if their time together was cut short, the promise of another meeting is enough to make me want to hug these two together.
Awesome chapter, Becky!! It's so much fun reading this after OTE... like seeing the way you can craft a lighter, younger sort of blossoming love just as well as you crafted the much more intense one between Viktor and Rose. And I have to say, I think I'll be a Lily Scorpius shippr after this.
♥Author's Response: I've never been very good at writing running reviews either. I think Dan has the market cornered there.
The whole thing with the door and the spell will be explained eventually, and it is part of the larger mystery, but I think your ideas might be better than what I actually have planned :P Mostly Al just doesn't want to tell his parents because he's embarrassed that he got hurt trying to do something stupid. If his mom couldn't open the door, he should have been smart enough to leave it alone.
I'm glad you liked Lily's decision not to tell on Albus. You're totally right -- it's half because she cares and half because she knows if she spills his business, he'll do the same right back. They've really got a love/hate sibling relationship, and neither of them are mature enough yet to take the high road.
Awww! I'm so glad you liked the butterfly bit. This story does have a lot more description than I normally write, and I was afraid this section was too long, so I'm super happy you liked it.
My lips are sealed on why the park is familiar... but only because I haven't worked out all the details yet. I'm a horrible story planner!
And hooray for liking the Lily/Scorpius ship!! I honestly don't understand why this pairing isn't more popular. Draco and Harry were the real enemies, not Draco and Hermione or Ron... But I won't go off on that tangent.
It's weird -- I thought writing Rose/Krum would be harder because adult relationships are more messy, but writing these two is actually more work. Teenagers don't rationalize stuff the same way as adults, yet they feel everything so intensely. Hehehe, this makes me sound like such an old fart! You would think it's been decades since I was a teenager :P
Thanks for another lovely review. I hope you're enjoying the story and not feeling too obligated to review. Report Review
That little paragraph of what Al and Lily were both doing made me miss being in school and having summer breaks *so much.* Now, itís like when we do get a break, itís not a real one. Thereís always something to do. Or Iíll take time off to go into NYC or back to visit family in California or Idaho, but by the time I either navigate the city, or fly across the country, Iím exhausted so it really isnít a break. Now youíve made me miss just sitting around with nothing to do SO much. Haha
Okay, well, even if they are moping, theyíre still getting to do nothing.
I love that Ginny doesnít put up with self-pity. Sheís probably dealt with enough from Harry for a life time to tolerate it from her children :P Although, at least Harry had valid reasons for the times when he would get mopey.
I love the idea that Ginny has come up with! And the mention of Hugo and Al going to visit Charli. Again, these are small details but they all just tie canon in beautifully.
Hahah Mrs. Black was finally taken care of, I see.
Now Iím wondering if that locked door is going to become important, or if Iím reading to much into it. Always on my toes with you, missy.
Ohh and now youíve answered my question with Albusís little venture to the the room. It definitely has something important about it.
I really enjoyed this chapter. Getting more familiar with Lily, Iím starting to like her more and more. Sheís just a teenage girl. That seems so rare to find, and I really enjoy it. She misses Scorpius, though sheís probably trying to pretend she doesnít. Itís making her grumpy and touching. She doesnít want to clean the old house, but realizes at least she wonít be so useless anymore. Sheís just so normal. Her an Albus both, and I really love that. I also like how Albus still seems to care about her as his sister, but isnít overly sweet-must-protect-you-baby-darling-sister sort of attitude. His joke about waking up to Lilyís ugly face was especially perfect.
The only thing that I kind of stopped on for a moment is the fact that Ginny didnít already know the door was stuck. That makes me wonder if it was done after Harry and Ginny lived there, because Iím sure they explored it all. Maybe house elves have always tended the place between renters, and thatís why they didnít notice before? Iím filing it in my Ďpossible cluesí section.
I really liked this chapter! Your writing definitely definitely hooks me as much just the way it did with Over The Edge!
See you soon ♥Author's Response: Oh, the summer holidays... I miss them too. It's such a weird time -- half-excited to have three months off, and half-bored out of your mind.
With Ginny, after all she's been through with Harry and growing up poor in a house full of brothers, I can't see her having a lot of sympathy for her kids' sudden bout of ennui.
Haha! You picked up on the bit about Mrs. Black's portrait. I wasn't sure if I made that part clear enough, but I really didn't feel like writing about her screaming her head off.
I'm so glad you're liking Lily. She is meant to be pretty typical, normal teenager. I wanted her to be more like Harry -- someone normal put into extraordinary circumstances -- as opposed to being extraordinary herself. Hopefully her strength of character comes through by the end, but for now, it's mostly just one foot in front of the next.
The door will be an ongoing part of the plot, but hopefully it doesn't seem like a mistake on my part that Ginny didn't know it was locked. It's meant to have sealed itself sometime since they last inspected the house a few years ago. I'll take another look. Maybe I need to have Ginny comment more on it. I guess I just pictured her so used to the house being weird, she saw it as more of an inconvenience than a surprise :P
Thank you as always for the lovely review! I've actually managed to write about a thousand words on a new chapter. It's not great stuff, but at least it's a start, right?! Report Review
Great. I just realized that their are only 9 chapters and this is still a WIP. Which means, weíre going to go back to that relationship where, after I catch up to the last chapter, Iím going to be forcing you to write faster so I can read faster. Right? Well, Iím okay with it if you are ;)!
Al and Lily are the perfect example of siblings right here. You see a lot over dramatized and under dramatized sibling relationships. But this is a really great balance. Sheís a nearly 17 year old girl (and we all thought we had the world figured out when we were nearly 17, didnít we?) and Albus is turing into a really caring man, but heís still her brother. He doesnít seem too sweet in this. Heís worried, but he still acts like a brother and addresses his worry in a very brotherly concern with his lovely opening line :P
I really enjoyed learning more about Scorpiusís and Lilyís past through their conversation, too. It was a great way to fill us in a bit, without actually feeling like youíre filling us in. And Lily mentally comparing Albus to her father was actually really sweet. And I think he does a really good job of bringing her around. That entire first section just really got me curious as to more about what happened in the passed, and if Lily will take her brothers advice or decide that, because she is 17 and knows everything about the world, Scorpius is worth the risk of another broken heart.
I think weíve all been there though. Even if she was so sad that she spent an entire summer in her room crying, it doesnít mean those feelings didnít exist. Theyíre still there, and maybe the memory of her own broken heart is enough to temporarily stop her from going back to Scorpius, but probably not permanently.
That letter was really eerie. Now you have me all creeped out.
Awesome chapter, mídear. Iím excited to get hooked on another one of your stories. And to learn more about Scorpius and Lily and of course how the first chapter ties into it all.
Leave it to you to give me a love story laced in mystery. :PAuthor's Response: Hehehe! That would probably be a great thing for me. I've hardly written anything since finishing OtE. I'm in a super funk :P
I'm so glad you liked Lily and Al! I agree, there is definitely a tendency (especially in Next-Gen) to make the sibling relationships super extreme. They either spend every waking hour together or hate each other's guts. Somewhere in the middle seems the most true to life to me.
I oscillated a lot on how much to tell about Lily and Scorpius's past and when. But since this is supposed to be a mystery story, hopefully revealing it slowly doesn't get too tedious. As to Lily's feelings, I know I've been there before, especially at that age. Everything has just a touch more of the "end of the world" feel to it when you're 16.
I'm glad you're liking the story. It's a lot more Potter-esq than OtE, and I'm not sure I'm as attached to it as the other, but I'd really like to see it through to the end. Thanks for the review. I've missed getting reviews from you. You spoiled me way too much! Report Review
Wow! If I hadn't already been hooked in by the first chapter, this one would do the trick. It's so good! Although there is a lot of dialogue, there is also a lot of movement and action that pushes the story forward, whisking the reader along with it. I had finished this chapter before I knew it, which is a great experience - everything flowed naturally, and I was able to visualize the scenes very clearly from your descriptions. You include just enough detail about the setting and characters to create that world around your readers. It's just another way how you make this an engrossing story.
Your characterization of both Lily and Albus is refreshing, and I especially enjoyed the complicated relationship that they share. It's a realistic portrayal of siblings, with its ups and downs, often in quick succession - they clearly care for one another, but they're just as much annoyed with everything the other does. I like this back-and-forth - it was also present between Lily and Scorpius, but in a slightly different way. There was a bitter edge to it, something deeper, darker. I'm fascinated by the intricate character interactions and relationships that you've set up within this story. It poses a challenge to the reader, and I love it when authors make me work to pick apart the clues and subtleties within a narrative.
It was also interesting to at last read Scorpius's letter, and after doing so, I'm amazed at how little of that actually emerged in the previous chapter. It says a lot about being a Malfoy and how much he's learned to hide his emotions, wearing a mask, even for Lily. Could it be why they drifted apart, how he wounded her so deeply? But in writing, his "real" voice appears - it's no wonder that Lily went to see him once she read it.
I love where this story is going, and I'm sorry to say that my reviews will probably be of no critical help to you. There was only one little thing I could find in this chapter - a "particular" instead of "particularly" after the page break. Otherwise, your writing is polished, the narrative flows very well, and the plot is progressing in a wonderfully complicated and suspenseful way. This is quickly becoming one of my favourite novels on the archive!Author's Response: I may have just fallen out of my chair a little. Thank you so much for such an unexpectedly lovely review!
I worry a lot that I include too much dialogue -- maybe not as much in this story, but definitely in others. I'm glad that while there was a lot of back and forth, it didn't feel like the scene brought the story to a grinding halt. It's always such a balancing act to try and find that happy medium between taking the time to develop a scene and keeping the story moving forward.
I'm so glad you liked the dynamic between Lily and Albus. They both really do care for each other, but that doesn't mean they always get along. To me, sibling and family relationships can be just as much fun to write as romantic ones. And I'm so glad you saw the same thing with Lily and Scorpius, only darker. That's exactly what I wanted. Lily can be kind of argumentative, no matter who she's talking to, but there is definitely more than just annoyance when it comes to her and Scorpius.
Oh my, the letter! I love that you felt that was Scorpius's real voice. Throughout the story, the whole question of who the Malfoys are and what they are capable of doing comes up over and over again. I'm so glad that at least a hint of that came through here.
Thank you again for this wonderful review. I really am beyond flattered that you think it's coming along okay. I've been having some trouble getting back into the flow of it, but reading this definitely helps motivate me to keep plugging away at it. I hope you won't mind if I visit you review thread again sometime. Thank you again for both of your reviews! Report Review
It's going to be very difficult to help you with this story and your writing because both easily come under the scope of "quality". This is a very well-written, original story that leaves me with many questions as to what will happen next and perhaps more importantly, how have the characters come to this point in their lives? It is something that most writers don't think to include, probably because they begin at the beginning rather than in medias res. But I'm captivated by the mysteries you've built into the story, even just within this chapter (I did read the prologue too, since I'm going to read the whole story). Your way of constructing the tension between the Malfoy men and also between Scorpius and Lily was highly effective - how the characters negotiated these relationships revealed much about their personalities in a single chapter so that they leapt from the page. It was wonderful just to get lost in this story and appreciate the amazing writing.
Your descriptions particularly stood out in the first part of this chapter, not only because they created beautifully vivid images of Malfoy Manor and the cliff tops where the Malfoys walked, but also because, through them, I gained a greater understanding of Scorpius's characterization. Although you noted that you weren't interested in hearing about the characters, I do want to mention that your version of Scorpius is the best I've read. Your exploration of his mind, from his thoughts on his mother's death to his contemplation of edges and endings (and thus death as a whole) was wonderfully done. That part of this chapter is nothing short of perfect in its balance and imagery, making it a brilliant introduction to your novel.
The second part is also very good, of course, but I felt in places that it was too long. It dragged in places because you were trying to cover a lot of ground - the relationship between Scorpius and Lily, Scorpius and the Potters, and the Malfoys and wizarding society -and it prevented this half from flowing as well as the previous half of the chapter. Perhaps there are details that could be deferred to later chapters or somehow made implicit, revealed through small hints rather than in exposition. The action in this portion of the chapter is excellent, but I suggest cutting back on the narration.
I'm going to be reviewing more chapters of this story, and if there's anything specific you would like me to look for, please let me know. It's a fantastic story so far and I'm kicking myself for not having read it sooner - it's one I've been eyeing for a while because the summary is so intriguing. It's excellently written with an exciting plot and very interesting characters that I'm dying to learn more about. Thank you for asking me to read this!Author's Response: Wow, thank you for such a lovely review! Hopefully it's no secret that I think you're an AMAZING writer, so it just makes your feedback all that much more special.
I really do try to come into stories at some sort of midpoint. The big action is still to come, of course, but I think it can be just as fun as a reader to learn what has already happened as to guess at what's going to happen next. I hope it helps to keep the characters from feeling too one-dimensional.
I'm so, so happy you liked Scorpius here (and I certainly don't mind if you comment on the characters; I just am always hungry for the kind of critiques that can translate across stories, so I don't list them as a major area of concern). I really wanted him to be someone who was different from his father and grandfather, but also someone you could still believe had been raised by them, perhaps with the benefit of them having learned from some of their past mistakes. I'm really glad to hear that the imagery worked to enhance his character. Creating atmosphere isn't necessarily my strong suit, but I'm really pleased that the descriptions worked to highlight Scorpius's somewhat disturbed state of mind.
I can totally see where you are coming from with the excessive narration in the latter half. Since this is the only chapter from Scorpius's POV, I think I may have over-compensated in areas. This was also my very earliest attempt at Next-Gen, and I probably got a bit carried away in wanting to address questions like were Scorpius and Albus friends at school, etc., which, like you said, could have either been addressed later or cut altogether.
I'm so glad you're liking the story so far. Thank you so much for leaving me this wonderful review! If you review more, please feel free to comment on anything. I'm open to any and all feedback -- good or bad. Report Review
Here I am finally for the review swap!
The first thing I wanted to point out is that I really enjoyed the depth you've given Scorpius, a far cry from the typical Slytherin stud with quidditch toned abs we're all too familiar with. Without getting bogged down in background information, you managed to convey a good picture of everything he had been through, especially the grief of losing his mother. I think the Malfoys are pretty complex characters beneath their stereotypical exterior, and you captured that very well.
It was also very interesting to see the new status of the Malfoy family. In the books, they were basically aristocracy, but it seems highly unlikely that the familiar societal structure would still be in place after the war, and I could easily see the Malfoy's sort of fading into obscurity as the world around them changes. Also, Narcissa seemed to be able to bring out what little good there was in Lucius, and I imagine Astoria may have had something of a similar effect on Draco, so it is very interesting to see what a Malfoy Manor with no women will entail.
The relationship between Scorpius and Lily seemed delightfully complex as well, and I'm very interested to see how it develops from here. In a way it sort of reminded me of Snape's relationship with the original Lily, but I'm sure there's much more to come where they're involved.
This story is very intriguing so far, and I will definitely be back for moreAuthor's Response: Hi, Cassius. I'm so glad liked Scorpius. I really enjoy writing Next-Gen characters because you get the freedom to develop personalities, but still have something to draw on given what we know about the parents/grandparents. I'm happy you liked what you saw of him here.
Obscurity is pretty much exactly how I imagine the Malfoys 25+ years on. Whatever punishment they had for their part in the war is probably behind, but it's unlikely the name would carry much prestige anymore. It's just more their own internal dramas now.
Scorpius and Lily's relationship is meant to be complex (or as much as is possible for characters their age) but without being the main focus of the story. I love the idea that it reminds you a bit of Snape and Lily since Snape is part of this story, and Lily II's feelings for Scorpius will motivate her actions much the same way that Snape's did for him.
Thank you for this lovely review. I'm really glad we got paired up for the swap this time around. Report Review
So, tempted as I was to return to Over the Edge, I've been wanting to read this since you first posted it. I think it was even on my favorites list for a while, and then I pruned the list, and... anyway, here I am. I'm excited to finally check this out.
First off, I love that Lorcan is given a starring role in this chapter. I feel like he gets stuck on the edges a lot in next-gen stories, if he's mentioned at all, and I felt so bad for him that I gave him a supporting role in a next-gen novella I just finished. Anyway, I feel like his role as the investigator of Snape's home is perfect, because it fits with the curiosity we would expect from Luna (not that the Galleons weren't a significant factor!).
I'm so jealous of your ability to write the action sequence, too. I'm sitting at work on break, shoving popcorn into my mouth, and reading this chapter was like watching a movie unfold. The progression of events seemed very natural, except for the punctuation added by Snape's intense reactions and clearly developed sense of paranoia.
Speaking of Snape, the characterization here was fantastic. It seems like he's not going to get any rest, which was possibly the one good thing about his death in canon. It makes me sad to think about how much the loss of Lily still tortures him here. It'll be interesting to see where Lily II figures in here, as well as Scorpius.
This was a great, attention-grabbing opening chapter! Perhaps I'll have to drop by again sometime and pick up with the next chapter.
Thanks so much for the swap!
-AmandaAuthor's Response: I'm actually kind of glad you picked this story. Of course, you are more than welcome to read OtE anytime, but I tend to think people will like this one more. Not because it's so well written or anything, but it's got more magic, more familiar characters, and a lot less swearing :P
Anyway... I'm so glad you liked the inclusion of Lorcan here. I think the idea of Luna's kids is just too much fun. And you're right, neither of the twins get as much screen time as they should. He isn't a main player in this story, but he and his brother do pop up a few more times throughout.
I'm glad you liked the action sequence. I actually really enjoy writing them since you can get away a bit more with short, choppy sentences. And I'm so glad you liked Snape. He's my favorite character from the series, and the idea of him meeting the granddaughter of Lily, with that same red hair... And it's really cool that you mentioned the bit about Snape getting a rest, since that will actually play a role in future chapters.
Yea! I'm so glad we did this swap. I got to read another chapter on your wonderful story and snagged myself this lovely review. I hope we can do it again soon :) Report Review
Oh that letter does make things seem rather suspicious about her death. Was it all just an accident or was there something more to it? Im going to say that there is something more. I like Al and Lily, they seem to have a rather sweet brother/sister relationship. You can tell that he does care for her and doesnt want her to end up hurt by scorp again.
I like how you are already pulling the readers in to the mystery of what actually happened to narcissa. And you are adding in more for the back story of what happened for your main characters before your story starts like with lily and scorpius. I think is a great story so far and has kept my interest. I look forward to reading more. Great job.
~Slytherinchica08~Author's Response: Thank you, SC. I'm glad you find that the mystery is continuing to build here. The story is a Lily/Scorp fic, but the pairing isn't the main plot. Her feelings for him propel Lily to do things, but the mystery at large is supposed to take center stage.
I'm so happy you liked Al and Lily here. They do care for each other, but that doesn't mean they always get along. Thank you so much for the R&R. Report Review
This story continues to be absolutely amazing. Your abilities of description are stunning. I can't get over that because you make it so easy to see everything that you're writing. It's not just that though, it's the tone of the description and the story that make this a really intriguing story. It stands out from everything I've read because your descriptions are precise and fluid. They also seem to match Scorpius, his personality, his formalness, and reflects the way he's been raised. There isn't anything really poetic about it and that is definitely not a bad thing at all because the story is the important part.
Another thing that stuck out to me was your description of Lily. I'm usually not a fan when someone blocks a person's description into a paragraph but i found myself liking how you did it. I think it's probably because you mixed action with it and made it seem so alive but this is probably the first time when reading a description of a person that i didn't get bored and skip it.
You've led up to the curious relationship between Lily and Scorpius really well. I'm begging for more information of what they were and why it ended. I'm also asking a ton more questions about Narcissa and Draco and Lucius. There seems to be a lot going on underneath the surface and i love how you're introducing all this drama into this really smoothly.
I liked your characterization of Lily here. She seems strong, and (and although i don't like to use this word but i will now since it's late and i can't think of a better one) feisty. She knows what she wants in life and even though she has this strong front and the way she demands to know what he wants from her almost seems callous at the end there is something else there, her empathy for a friend even one that she's lost touch with. It makes her seem vulnerable.
I know this review isn't very helpful critique wise and i'm sorry about that but it really is well written that i couldn't find anything wrong with it.Author's Response: Thank you so much for such a nice review. I'm so glad you liked the descriptions here. I did really try and use them to build the more somber mood, so I'm glad you felt that came through here. And as a rule, I do try to avoid being flowery in my language, even in descriptions, so I'm actually very glad to hear you didn't find it poetic.
There is, at least in my head, a lot going on under the surface with the Malfoys, as well as a troubled history between Lily and Scorpius. I'm glad that enough of it came through here to pique your interest without giving too much away all at once. And I'm glad you liked Lily, or at least what you've seen of her so far. She is a bit cold and callous at times, but it's more of a front, a bit of self-protection on her part. I see her as a bit vulnerable, at least when it comes to Scorpius, so it's great to hear that you felt that way about her too.
Thank you again for such a lovely review. It was a treat :) Report Review
Hey! I'm here for our swap, sorry for being a bit late!!
This is a really excellent way to start a story, there is so much intrigue! SEVERUS!! You're supposed to be dead, what are you doing man? Anyway, i loved the ending to this, how all the suspense and the wondering why Lorcan was trying to achieve this mission led to that discovery for the readers anyway. I can't imagine how that would be for Severus to hear that 'Lily Potter' had sent him. The person that won't stop haunting him.
I didn't realize that Lorcan was indeed really young till the end. Apparently the first sentence or so didn't really click when i read it and imagined him being in his twenties somewhere and on some mission that he was doing as a favour or something. Anyway, when i realized that he was so young I think i liked it and it made sense with some of the wording you used. (like he hadn't seen 5 galleons in all his life or his 'i just want to go home') Also, his absolute, almost childish determination and him needing to tell himself that he was brave is really something a small child would do.
Your descriptions are absolutely lovely. They are very to the point but they paint a really nice picture for the reader with lots of great details. I especially liked the picture of Severus, it's how i'd imagine him if he had lived. (i'm still dying to know why he's alive and how in the world does Lily know??)
Really great start to this story! I love how you've done it! I plan on reading more and reviewing some more as well for sure ;P!Author's Response: Thank you, Silent. I'm so glad the mystery came through here. The story takes a while to build up to this point again, so I was really hoping to use this chapter to carry readers through the "slower" parts that follow.
Yep, Lorcan is pretty young here. Ten seemed like a good age -- old enough to venture out on his own a bit but young enough to still enjoy the adventure and be unable to put up a proper fight when he's caught.
I'm so glad you liked the descriptions. This story is a bit heavier in the description than my newer one, but I'm glad you didn't think there was too much. I try and keep them simple but not sparse, so hopefully I got close to that here.
Thanks for the lovely review! Report Review
Poor Scorpius! This whole chapter was just full of feels for him! Between the beginning and finding out that his mother had died when he was pretty young, was now living in a rather cold place, his grandmother is also now dead, and there seems to be some sort of mystery going on with that. Then at the end with Lily proclaiming that they are no longer friends but I have no idea what happened between them to make that so only that they keep saying that something happened last summer! Gah i want to know what went on between them! Actually this whole chapter makes me want to know whats going on because not only am I trying to figure out the whole Scorpius/Lily thing but then Narcissa's death doesn't seem to be normal either, what with them cremating her which Lily states isn't normal for wizards. It really makes me wonder what exactly happened to her that made them cremate her.
The desciption in this was wonderful, fantastic really. I was in awe of your description throughout the whole chapter and you really did a wonderful job of portraying the whole scene! I really think I need to start reading more of your stuff because what you have done with this story so far in the first two chapters is just so amazing, and in some cases, is even better than books that I have bought! The description is just flawless and smooth and so easy to read. You can bet that I will be back to read more because I'm in love with this story right now and I must read more and find out what is going on! Great Job!
~Slytherinchica08Author's Response: Wow, this REVIEW is making me me full of feels! Thank you so, so much for saying such nice things about this chapter.
I definitely haven't made things easy for Scorpius here, but in my head, it just felt sort of right. I can't imagine everything that happened with the Malfoys to just wash away in a single generation. And yet I thought making life inside the Manor too easy for him, with a loving mother and all, might turn him into Draco 2.0, which I really didn't want him to be.
And I'm so glad all the different elements of the mystery are coming through. With this story, I'm always questioning how much to tell and how much to keep a secret.
Thank you again for such a nice review. If you do get a chance to read more, I hope you continue to enjoy :) Report Review
When I read the line about the tumbling red curls, my head thought -- 'no... Rose is trying to work on things with Krum... not Scorpius' then when I learned who he was actually meetings, I was pretty excited.
I think I had the time line messed up in my head in the last chapter... Lorcan is ten, Lily is 17, Scorpius is 18..so the twins are quite a bit younger than Lily. Okay. I had myself all messed up thinking Lily was just a year or two older than the twins.
Okay, now that I've sorted out my own silly-ness..
First of all, I love the small mention about the contrast the the manor and Scorpius's childhood home. Not only does it show us that either Astoria, Draco or both of them didn't need the kind of lifestyle the Malfoy's had lived, but it brings this sort of intimate feeling to their family.
And then the idea of an eleven year old Scorpius who already lost his mother.. bah :(. I just want to bundle him in hugs. You can't imagine that the Malfoy Manner would be the warmest place to go after such a terrible even, either. I mean, I'm sure he's loved a great deal by his grandparents, but it's not like they'd be able to start showing the love and affection they were never able to with their own son. Even if they did dote on him or anything along those lines, it couldn't have been a very comforting home. Bah. Poor guy :(
And now we're taking part in the spreading of Narcissa Malfoy's ashes. Before Lily's entrance and the questions she asked, I was thinking the same thing. Why are they spreading her ashes instead of a grand funeral being held with tons of witches and wizards that didn't like her, but remembered her. So, I am absolutely with those two in regards to their thoughts about something being up. But I obviously haven't read enough yet to know who / why something would be up. Leave it to you, open up even more mysteries with the massive 'WHY IS SEVERUS SNAPE HIDING OUT AND ALIVE' one. Tricky girl.
The narration in this chapter is much more formal than what I'm used to with Over The Edge, but that makes sense considering the person you're narrating. I think it fits the tone of this chapter very, very well.
I did have a part where I got a little bit confused. When he's talking about not being the most popular bunch in the neighborhood and no one beating down the doors for dinner invitations. Anyway, with the bit before that I got the impression that Lily thought Scorpius was being over dramatic, and then when she does that look where he can tell she thinks he's being insensitive. I can't figure out what exactly he's being insensitive about? Am I over thinking the world and she does just think he's being dramatic?
I'm so excited to learn more details behind what tore these two apart, and why whatever happened was bad enough to destroy their friendship. You are getting me very curious, m'dear!
This continues to be an extremely intriguing story, and absolutely not a bad temporary replacement so I don't cry every time I see over the edge at '14' ;). I'm really surprised with how many different angles you're taking on this next gen. I think I've said before that I don't mind cliches, but it's really entertaining to see Scorpius in a very different light than he typically is. And now, I'm really anxious to see how this all ties in with what happens three weeks down the road!
♥Author's Response: Lol, working on (or reading) more than one story at a time always gets to me too. What's worse is when I start accidentally incorporating the stories I'm reading into the ones I'm writing. A big no-no! And yep, you're all square on the timeline. I think it's more common to see the twins depicted around the same age as Lily and Rose and the rest of the gang, but I couldn't find that as being a canon fact, so I decided to make them younger. I sort of imagine Luna and Rolf starting their family a bit later in life.
I do put Scorpius through the ringer a bit in this story. He's not totally pathetic (I hope) but he has his moments. I can't see any child of Draco's coming out perfectly adjusted. Not damaged, just not great at connecting with people; kind of timid, lost in the vastness of the Manor.
You're right on this being more formal than OTE. Part of that was intentional for this chapter. The rest of the story is told from Lily's POV and is a bit more relaxed. But I also started writing this back in 2010, when I was trying harder to make my fanfics mimic the style of the original HP books -- at least as best as I could manage it. I think I've found my own voice a bit better since then.
I had to look over the part you mentioned, but I think I've got it now. She thinks he's being insensitive about his grandmother's death -- being too cold and detached -- and being cynical, thinking no one would show up to offer their condolences. He doesn't think it would matter if the whole world knew she was dead; they still wouldn't care. Lily thinks he's wrong. You're right though. I didn't write that bit as clear as I could have.
Thanks for reviewing another chapter of this. Your comments very fail to make me smile. And if it's of any interest to you... I wrote 2K words on chapter 15 yesterday. It's now at 3700 and should be done by the end of the week :) Report Review
Do you know why I'm so glad that I've only just found your story now?
...Because that was one incredible cliff hanger! I feel sorry for the people that had to wait for the next chapter, because I can move on immediately :P A very intense, but captivating first chapter, to be sure. I have so many questions, which I'm sure you'll answer, and can't believe it's taken me this long to find it!
I absolutely loved the opening to this chapter. When I read the chapter summary, I immediately assumed that Lorcan was late twenties, an auror and was currently on a mission (and complaining that being a spy wasn't in the job description)... I have no reason for this, at all. It just was. So I loved reading that opening paragraph and finding that Lorcan was, in fact, a ten year old boy. It just hooked me even further.
Your descriptions were perfect and extremely believable. I loved the little details you added, it took the story to another level of reality. Your start and end and such hooks! Severus Snape? He's alive? How does Lily know? Why did Harry refuse? Where does Luna thing her son is? What's Snape been upto?
...I'm not kidding, I'm desperate to read the next chapters.
Your characterisation was brilliant. Lorcan was the perfect ten year old boy with a mission, and your description of Snape was just... incredible. There wasn't any point where the scene wasn't painted in my mind. I was so involved, that when you wrote that Lorcan hadn't noticed the sealed window was now wide open, I was actually hoping that Lorcan would run! :P I felt panicked when he got dragged through the window.
I feel like I'm rambling, which I probably am. And my grammar usually disappears when this happens... so I'm sorry for the state of this review. But overall, I loved it. I'll be back, as soon as I can finish my essay, to continue reading.
Fantastic first chapter! 10/10
Keira :)Author's Response: Thank you, Keira! I'm so glad you enjoyed the chapter enough to want to read more, and that it already has your wheels spinning. I really tried to inject a lot of mystery right from the start, and I'm glad that seems to be coming through.
And I'm so glad you liked the characterizations. It don't write from the POV of a child very often so this was fun to play with. And Snape is my absolute favorite character from the book, so I'm always looking for ways to fit him into my stories.
If this was rambling, feel free to drop by and ramble anytime. Thanks again for the R&R! Report Review
Wow talk about a rather intense opening chapter! I was captivated from the opening sentence all the way until the very last sentence, and quite honestly, I'm still captivated by this story. I want to know more! How is Severus Snape still alive and what does this mean? Whats going to happen next? Is Lorcan going to end up in trouble now that he found Snape? So many questions!
The description in this was wonderful and did such a great job of painting this picture for me! Your opening was perfect, it really made me wonder what was going to happen and how Lorcan's age and the fact that he wasn't any type of law enforcement person was going to have to do with this story and then I continued to read and found out and I'm still just in aw of this chapter! I could really go on and on about the description and how absolutely perfect it was with each new thing you described, but if I had to say one thing that I think you did the best describing it was the old man, or Severus Snape. It was just so perfect and mysterious and just AH, amazing!
So I'll stop rambling about that now and continue on with what I liked, which was just everything. The characterization of Lorcan was fun and different and so childlike (which of course he is) so it was just perfect! And then telling us at the very end that the old man is Severus was just like, wait what?!
This first chapter has done everything that it really should, introduce your characters, set up a plot, and get me interested to read more. I can tell you now that I will be back to read more, if not soon then sometime for sure! This is going on my HPFF must read list! So if you couldn't tell already, I really enjoyed this chapter! Great Job!
~Slytherinchica08~Author's Response: Thank you for such an amazing review. I'm so glad you enjoyed the chapter. Description can be so hard to get right, so it's such a nice treat to hear that you liked it. It was fun to imagine what Snape would look like in his sixties or seventies, especially from the point of view of a child.
And I'm so glad the chapter worked to grab your attention. This story was always meant to by a mystery, so it's good to know readers are walking away with questions already.
Thank you again for such a lovely review. I really appreciate it so very much :) Report Review
Before I forget! I have to say that I feel very smart at the moment. The moment he said Lily Potter, and Severus screamed not to lie to him, I 'wooped!' because I had been thinking it was Severus, and that just confirmed it. Whether he's delusional enough to think that the boy somehow knows about Lily and was trying to trick him, or he just doesn't know the name of the youngest Potter child, I'm not sure. But I'm excited to find out!
People getting children right is a huge thing for me. I know it shouldn't be, because a lot of people don't know a ton about kids. But I can't help it. When someone how a six year old talking liking a two year old, a seven year old trying to learn her ABC's, or a toddler sitting like a lump for hours it just drives me crazy. I was really happy with the perfect balance you found for Lorcan.
He started out very serious, the kind of importance a child feels when given a mission. He has one goal, he *will* achieve that goal, and he will get to live in the glory of it. Then the moment it isn't just watching and it isn't as much of a game, but a man is literally grabbing him and pulling him into this strange home, all that well thought calculation goes out the window. Hehe. out the window... while he's going in. okay. Sorry. Anyway, I loved that once he was scared, the fact that he was very much a child was incredibly obvious.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING ALIVE, SEVERUS SNAPE? Sorry, I just had to get that out. I was about to give you an.. 'I don't really believe that a woman would send a child to spy, a child who isn't allowed to be there,' type of thing until you threw me the 'Lily' curve ball. Ah! That makes much more sense. Not that it couldn't have been an adult, but she would have needed to be some sinister creepy lady and ya.
It's so weird reading something of yours that isn't Over The Edge, but I was absolutely enthralled with what was happening and who this boy was spying on. And YOU! I should have known you'd leave me with a cliffie, but as there's another chapter I suppose I can't be too upset.
I really enjoyed this first chapter, m'dear!Author's Response: Gah, you're too good to me. I can't believe you made the time to pop over and take a look at this story too. And you *are* super smart. I totally added that line as a direct nod to that Snape/Harry moment in OotP.
I'm so glad you thought I got Lorcan's age right here. It was something I really fretted over. It's hard, striking that balance. It wouldn't work if he was too young. It needed to be believable that he might be out of his parents' sight for an afternoon. But he also needed to be young enough to see the adventure in it all and not start questioning what is really a very poorly thought out plan.
Haha, yes, Snape is the only creepy adult in this story. Well, no, I guess that's not true. Draco and Lucius make their appearances as well :P
Thank you so much for a lovely review (not that you are capable of leaving an un-lovely one!). Report Review
Hi there! I don't have much to add, other than I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed reading this chapter, and how pleased I was when I realised you had updated - it really is an excellent story! I hope you manage to keep going with it, because I would love to know where you are going to take Lily and Scorpius next. And... as I think I said before, the world needs more Lily-centred fic:-)Author's Response: Thank you, sophie! I really do plan to update again soon. And I couldn't agree more... the world does need more Lily fics :) Report Review
Hi A_w! Finally getting to your review. :)
First I have to comment on the plot, because this prologue is very intriguing! Your description was great. Despite the fact that Lorcan was ten in this, the way you described him and what he was doing in the beginning made it seem like he was much older. I really liked that!
I enjoyed the air of mystery you had in much of this. Your story summary just mentions Lily, Scorpius, and Snape, so I was hooked by the fact that the prologue was about Lorcan. I wanted to keep reading in order to figure out how he fit into the plot. The fact that you didn't tie it all up until the very end worked well.
Now onto your writing style. As I mentioned before, your description was really well done. There wasn't too much of it, but I was able to imagine everything happening. I got a really good sense as to the environment as well as Lorcan himself.
A few of your sentences were very long, with many sections tied together by commas. They distracted me a bit, and they'd probably do better if separated. There weren't many, but a few in the very beginning of the chapter were written that way.
There wasn't much dialogue in this chapter, of course, but the dialogue that was there worked well. Lorcan's fear came across well in his dialogue, as did Snape's anger.
The part where it transitioned between when Lorcan was ten and the present time was slightly jarring. I had to go back and reread to figure out that a time jump had occurred. I'm not sure exactly how to remedy that. Perhaps a page break? It's something you might want to play with.
I really enjoyed this chapter! Great description, especially. I always admire people who write good description. Feel free to re-request for another chapter! :)Author's Response: I'm so bad, stealing review spots away from members. But I can't help myself. At least other staff know we won't ban your account if you something negative about our stories :P
Seriously, though, thank you for the review. I'm glad you liked the chapter. I'm always unsure about the amount of description to use, though I guess that's a pretty common concern. You can tell when a story has way too much or way too little, but everything in the middle can get a bit murky. I'm glad it seemed to work here okay.
You're right about a few sentences in the beginning being too long. I know I have a habit of abusing the comma (and the dash) on occasion, especially in the narration. I'll definitely have a look at chopping a few of those up.
I'm not sure exactly what you mean about the change in time. Other than when a few hours pass with Lorcan in the bushes, from the time he's pulled into the house until the last line is all one big chunk of time/the span of about 10 minutes. Hmmm... I'll look at it again and make sure I've made that clear.
Thank again for the review. I hope your review thread has been treating your well :D
I liked the interaction between Lily and Al in this chapter. It added more intrigue to the plot and I'm wondering more and more about Lily's relationship with Scropius now. Especially of the reason they stopped being friends, though they clearly still want to be friends despite it all. The struggle in Lily is made clear in this chapter and you do a really good job building her character up in revealing her thoughts bit by bit.
I especially liked this line of description: '...the words seemed to climb up and off the page and straight into her heart like the sharp blade of a cold knife.' I seriously felt a shiver go up my spine when I read that, it really amplified the tension of the atmosphere with the use of imagery. Excellent play on words.
Now I have some critique: try to avoid using verbs in dialogue tags for the most part. I have the same issue that I am constantly struggling with, but am trying to overcome as a creative writing prof has told me that in contemporary fiction 'he said, she said' is more commonly used with verbs being saved to use more in the description/narration of the story. But really, this doesn't mean you have to get rid of all the extra add-on in the dialogue tags (just keep it to a minimum as too much can distract from the dialogue being said).
Also, I think this should be placed in italics since you're temporarily changing the perspective: '...stop being such a git and maybe the other players will quit trying so hard to knock you off your broom.' Though, if you changed the 'you' and 'your' to 'him' and 'his' respectively than it would flow more in the current third person perspective (but this is just a suggestion). If you put it in italics, at least then the reader will be aware that this is something the character is either thinking (thought dialogue) or has stated in the past.
Typo: '...copious amount of untidy brown hair...' I'm assuming you meant 'amounts' and just forgot to add on an 's' here. Happens to me all the time (especially when I'm writing notes in lecture as fast as I can so I can keep up with what the prof is saying... I tend to drop off the end letter often and discover this when I'm rereading my notes afterward).
Also, a comment, my first thought was whether 'incase' was really one word or two words. MSWord seemed to think it was okay as one word, but Firefox is saying differently so I'm not sure. But my first instinct when I saw that in this sentence was that it's two words: '...a fair bit of distance between them incase...'
Aside from those critics there really isn't anything else I saw that needs feedback on. I still love the mystique that surrounds each scene, building more on the atmosphere of the story as a whole. And the character interaction is well worded and flows from Lily to Albus and back. I love the sibling rifts between them, especially when Lily punches Albus's arm despite him saying it was his bad arm due to an injury because of what he had said prior to earning it. It shows the strength of the character, despite the fact that she's still in a vulnerable position where her fragile relationship with Scorpius is concerned. Over all, excellent chapter and I can't wait to read more. :D 10/10Author's Response: Thank you so much for another lovely review. I'm really glad you enjoyed the chapter.
I really get a kick out of writing siblings so Al and Lily's relationship has been extra fun to play with in this story. I'm glad you thought certain bits here showcased Lily's character. I tend to think siblings bring out a whole other side of people so I was hoping to show a different side to Lily here than what the reader saw when she was with Scorpius. And I'm so glad you liked the line about the knife. That was a late addition to the chapter.
Thank you for pointing out the things you did. I've never taken any creative writing courses before so I love to hear what other people have learned. I didn't know about the verbs in dialogue tags. I'm usually pretty good at keeping adverbs out of them but now I have something else to keep an eye out for, so thank you! And I'll definitely fix those typos you spotted. I can't believe I didn't notice the you/your one.
Thank you again for the review! Report Review
Hi A_Wiz! So, I decided to review chapter two, since you mentioned that the first chapter has more feedback than the rest. I thought it might be useful to you to get some comments on this chapter. :)
Up front, I should say that I don't have many criticisms to make. Your writing is, as I expected, wonderful. It's rich in description--I loved the part where Scorpius recognizes Lily, and you describe her hood falling back and her red hair tumbling out into the wind. The only things I have to suggest are kind of nitpicky, so this review may not be all that useful to you!
First, I noticed two (yes, just two) small errors, which are probably typos. When you said "the face reflecting back at him", I think it would sound better to say "the face reflected back at him". Also, at one point, you wrote "month" instead of "months".
(I know--ground-breaking feedback so far. :P)
There were also some sentence constructions that I thought could be improved. Near the beginning, you described "the Manor to have a coldness", and it sounded a bit awkward to my ears. Something like, "Scorpius found that the Manor had a coldness..." would sound more natural to me. There was also a sentence that read "a blast of sea air that was surprisingly chilly despite the fact that it was the middle of summer." That reads as a bit redundant to me--a breeze would be surprisingly chilly not despite the fact that it was summer, but because it was summer. If that makes sense.
That's really the extent of criticism/suggestions I have on this chapter. It was just that great! I especially liked the way you planted some intrigue at different points--Scorpius talking about how something was off about his grandmother's death, and the oblique references to Scorpius and Lily's past relationship. One thing that occurs to me as I'm sitting here writing this is that maybe you could have pulled back the curtain a little more, if only just on Scorpius and Lily's past. The prologue has already injected a lot of mystery, and while you definitely don't want to give away too much too soon, I think you can run the risk of withholding too much. It's hard to say without reading further chapters, though, and overall, I thought you managed to strike a pretty good balance.
By the way, thank you for writing a realistic confrontation. I don't know why, but well-written arguments between characters seem to be very elusive. Yours came off as completely natural and not at all just arguing-for-arguing's-sake.
All right--if you were looking for harsh criticism, I suppose this review wasn't all that helpful. :P In my defense, there really isn't much to criticize! Really well-written (both this chapter and the prologue), and I'm captivated by the story.Author's Response: Yea, penny! Thank you so much for this lovely review. It's awfully hard to be disappointed in a lack of harsh comments when you say it's because you liked the chapter. You're such a gifted writer, so that really means a lot.
First off, I will definitely hunt down those typos and fix them. I don't have anyone beta-reading this so I appreciate you pointing them out. As for the oddly-worded sentences, I see exactly what you mean. I have a hard time not writing in an overly formal tone when I'm doing narration. I've been playing around with first-person to try and get a feel for a more conversational sentence structure but I'll keep an eye out for that -- and the use of the word "that." There were a lot of "thats" in the second sentence you pointed out. Yikes!
I can see your point with there being a little too much vaugness about Scorpius and Lily's past relationship. My very unprofessional defense is that I didn't really know what their past was when I started this story. I knew they had one and that it ended badly but it took me a long time to figure out what two people so young could have realistically gone through in order to cause such a rift. Maybe now that I know, I should go back and add a bit more into the earlier chapters.
And you are very welcome :P I'm glad you found the argument to ring true to life. I didn't want them to be overly mature in the way they handle themselves, keeping in mind their ages, but I didn't want it to be a teenage angst-fest either. I'm glad you liked it!
Thank you so much for taking a look at my story. I always feel a *little* less guilty about asking other staffers for reviews (even though I should feel more guilty knowing how busy you all are). At least I know you all won't be nice just so I don't delete all your stories. I hope you don't mind if I hit your review thread up again sometime (if you decide to keep it open). Thanks again for all your comments! Report Review
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