Hello, my dear Rumpels! I'm here again with some more love for you (and to find out how Grace was doing)
This is a very complex situation our young lady has put herself into, isn't it? But love is always complex, that's why I'm considered one of the most dangerous potions.
Once again, I loved the Order dynamics. James Potter and Sirius Black, as crazy as ever, Dumbledore's scheming, Moody's pragmatism, Gideon's worry and defensiveness. Grace should have probably listened to her friend, after all she always wanted to live a simple and quiet life away from the action/danger of the war, instead she's throwing herself in the middle of it. I wonder where this will lead her, it's still unclear to me if she'll keep working for Dumbledore, if she will become a Death Eater sympathizer or if she'll just live with Igor without being directly involved with either side. The third seems unlikely, since she is already involved, but I suppose I'll need more updates from you to know for sure (the not-so-subliminal message is keep writing... keep writing... keep writing...)
"Can I say something?" I will confess it, I expected more a "will you stop talking about me as if I wasn't here?" Which she later did think, actually, but I think it's interesting that she interrupted so politely. Maybe she's starting to learn a bit of prudence? I loved her annoyance at being forced in this cohabitation with Sirius, though. The soluble coffee scene was hilarious.
Who was Igor waiting for? Other Death Eaters? Voldemort himself? Him being so scared at seeing Grace makes me think that something huge was supposed to go on soon. Once again, you left me with a cliffhanger (one more reason for you to hurry up with your updates... you don't want me to evaporate before I know what's going on, right?)
As always, your writing was lovely. The descriptions, the dialogue, the characterization, the different scenes you chose to show and the way you accosted them. All magistrally executed. And the atmosphere of the first scene, and Grace's thoughts, and all those unanswered questions. I could really feel the complexity of their relationship and all her doubts and it was so wonderful. And you cracked me up a bit with her thoughts about running off to Spain. I love how you manage to balance angst and humor, it's brilliant.
Thank you for this ride, it's been so great. Now I'm off to explore more of your AP.
Tons of love for you,
a drop of Amortentia.
Uh oh. Someone is in trouble.
Oh, sorry, I forgot to say hello. It's still me, a drop of Amortentia, here with another little Valentine gift review for you.
I love this story, the style, the mistery, how you reveal bits and jump back and forth in time, it's all very effective. You have a way to building suspance and tension, I love it.
Poor Grace, a little, almost innocent, drink at a pub and she finds herself into such a mess. I loved all the dynamics in this chapter, her discussion with Gideon, the different attitudes of all the Order members, the chemistry between her and Igor, all so well done.
I should also add, I love Grace as a character. She is so witty and sarcastic and I love how she just speaks her mind and seems unable to filter anything, that's always so fun to see in a character and I often have to giggle at her thoughts.
My favourite scene of this chapter has to be the school memory, when the group of Gryffindor girls attacked her. That's prejudice, too, thinking that all Slytherins are evil and blaming the wrong-doing of one individual on the whole group. It's an important aspect to show. And I also loved how that scene highlighted the friendship among Grace, Gideon and Greta, it was so nice to see them running in her aid.
As I already said, I loved all the interactions within the Order. There was some comic relief that I really appreciated. Grace's fury was completely justifiable, but I can understand the Order's point of view, too. It was a bit of a hazard to ask her, unexperienced and spontaneus as she is, to spy for them, though. She should have refused, probably. And Dumbledore should have thought things through some more. But Dumbledore has the bad tendency to give people tasks they are not ready for, doesn't he?
And what an ending to the chapter! I know he isn't going to kill her, just because you showed us glimpses of the future and because you wouldn't have a story to tell otherwise. I'm still quite scared for her. I gasped loudly when he revealed that he'd known her intentions the whole time. You have a thing for cliffhangers, don't you?
I will be back for chapter 4 soon. Goodbye for now.
Lots of love for you,
a drop of Amortentia
Hello, hello, and apologies for not being around much.
It's still me, a drop of Amortentia, here with some more love for you and this lovely story.
Oh, no! You did not! She was a Death Eater? And she was there when Gideon was killed? Why? Why would she join them? What's going on? On a different note, I loved the way you wrote that first scene, that thin boundary between dreaming and awakening, how the dream felt more real than reality in a way, and how she clinged to it. And the way Igor take care of her, there's something so sweet about it. Such a painfully emotional scene, and you know I live of those emotions. Your writing and description was so lovely in it, too, as always.
Ah, the life changing of leaving school, finding yourself on your own, your friends taking different roads that might bring them too far away to still keep in touch... I had a feeling from last chapter this would eventually happen, but it is sad. And it is made even sadder by the knowledge that Gideon will be dead in a few years. Maybe their destiny would be different if they stayed close? But maybe I'm running too far.
Aww, their first encounter. I can feel the start of a promising romance, and I have a sixth sense for it. I have to say, I found her thoughts about him being there to kill her hilarious. Did she really think that Death Eaters just killed anyone that happened to sit next to them in a pub? Had she been a Muggleborn, maybe. And by the way, so obvious that the first thing he would do would be accertain her blood status. Personally, I find that old prejudice stupid. Let a Muggleborn give me to one of those Pureblood extremists, I'm sure they would change their mind.
But I'm digressing.
Typical Moody, being overly suspicious of everyone. It was a bit rude, the way they basically kidnapped her because she spent one night drinking with the wrong stranger. They could have just asked nicely. But of course this is war time and prudence is never enough. All is fair in love and war, they say. And I have to agree. I appreciated how Sirius immediately lowered his wand when she showed worry for Gideon, though, and I absolutely loved Gideon's interruption and the argument it almost ensured. I'm curious to see what happens now that Dumbledore has arrived. You cut the chapter in a moment of huge tension, I suppose I will have to move to the next one and see what you have in store for me.
Wonderful work so far, you have a big talent, my dear.
Much love to you,
a drop of Amortentia
Hello, dear Rumpels, I'm a drop of Amortentia, come to bring you love in this Valentine's day.
Such an interesting prelude to what seems to be a great love story you have here, I'm very excited to take this ride with you.
I like Grace already, it's always lovely to meet a young Slytherin girl with no sympathy for the Death Eaters, and equally lovely to meet a group of friends from miscellaneous houses. Just noticed how the three friends in question all have names that start with G, was it intentional?
The style is interesting, too. Segment breaking and non linear narration is something I tend to enjoy a lot and I think you worked with it flawlessly. The common thread in the transition from one scene to the other was so clear and smooth, it didn't feel forced or incohesive at all. I was also really impressed by your descriptions, you have such beautiful imagery here and I loved how it highlighted Grace's emotions, especially in the first segment.
Speaking of which, I'm impatient to learn more about the relationship between Grace and Igor, how it started and how it developed and how it got to the point we are shown in this scene. As you might know, I can produce love, and I can produce heartbreak, and seeing these effects developing in people is always fascinating for me.
I also really enjoyed the little scene you showed about Grace and Sirius. I am quite fond of that boy, he has a talent in conquering and breaking hearts and, as I said, that's something that fascinates me. I wonder what will be his role in the story and if he and Grace will be allies at some stage. I also wonder what Grace's role in the war will be. Will she just try to stay secluded and avoid it? Will she fight against Voldemort? Will her friendship with Gideon and Greta stay strong or will they lose sight of each other?
So many questions, I will be back soon to find my answers.
Goodbye for now, and happy Valentine!
A drop of Amortentia
Oh, being escorted by a probably a Death Eater must be thrilling. Sometimes love makes people feel dull against the things with ambiguity. People around Grace, including Auror Moody can't take it up, of course. Here, Gideon takes the role to believe her, always, as her best friend. Your plot works very well, Rumpel. And Dumbledore. Beetle alert! It means Grace was forced to do the similar thing to animagus Skeeter. How will you let her do such a dangerous thing, Dumbledore?
Anytime Gideon was loyal to Grace, even when she was surrounded by the other Gryffindor girls. So the part, 'Et tu, Brute' makes Gideon's pain, disbelief conspicuous.
Open conversations between Grace and Karkaroff make us believe their romance will be acceptable, but the things won't go easily. He found out her mission. I really enjoyed this chapter. Yay, James and Sirius! I always imagine they must have been good Aurors, Rowling didn't make it clear though.
I'll come back ASAP.
Hi, Rumpel! I stopped by this story for prize reviews from my story challenge, Tanka poem.
As I was very impressed by your Tanka poems, I've been itching to read this. I wondered how you had developed the ship between your OC and Karkaroff.
Dosha moya sounds very mystic. How did they develop the ship after Grace graduated from Hogwarts? The woman on the banner looks very mature and thoughtful. I wondered what severe experiences made her like that.
Timeline is randomly sorted and many questions, 'how?' and 'why' are popping in my mind and I can't stop reading next.
It's quite interesting you created unique trio, Gideon Prewett, Greta and Grace, one Gryffindor, one Hufflepuff and one Slytherin. You didn't write much about how potential Vol's followers did evil acts yet, however, you implied there must be ordinary and innocent Slytherin students there. What we should feel horrible is that these ordinary people are also involved in slaughtering the others like German people during the WWII. I guess Karkaroff in your story might be like them. Just my opinion.
Soon I'll come back to your story.
(edited on Jan. 23 after posting the first review with a typo.)
It was fun reading how they met at the pub. You described Grace's loneliness after Hogwarts. It's heart-wrung pain to make sure if her best friend Gideon had not been dead yet by reading the top of newspaper, which is the only way for her to do.
Karkaroff seemed to be lonely and alone. I wonder how he was forced to join Vol's inner circle. He looks like a very nice person in your story. Your description of him let me feel like that.
I got so excited to see not a few Aurors enter. I was sure Sirius must have been Auror, Rowling didn't make it clear though. So I am happy you made him Auror at that time like Gideon was. Fate is cruel, finally Grace could make sure her best friend was alright after being apprehended.
I wish her skill at DADA Newts level will be used in a good way for her. The scene how she encountered 90% apparent Death Eater Karkaroff was interesting. Tracing her mind movement at the pub made me feel scary and comical. I wonder how deeply Karkaroff thought of Muggle Borns inferiority, which will be the key for your story.
Gideon had taken care of Grace from her living things to her arrest. It's sad as we know what fate is waiting for him. Agh, Dumbledore, even he can't change his fate.
RUMPELS! Your writing is so good, I don't know why I haven't sought it out more. I love your prose, and the way you describe the different characters so clearly. I also want to compliment you on your willingness to experiment; I see you saying things every so often about trying new things, and I love that. It works incredibly well here.
The timeline wasn't confusing, though I did have to double-check some dates after it jumped back and forth between time periods. Other than that, it was pretty easy to follow, and I think it adds a good aura of mystery about Grace/Karkaroff to the story.
I personally didn't find this chapter boring at all, but perhaps it might pale in comparison once I read the chapters that come afterwards, haha. But since I haven't yet, I don't know. Your concerns do make sense, though, so I'm going to try to address them as best as I can.
You mentioned that your characters felt flat and uninteresting. It could be that after the deliciously enticing opening section, you jump backwards to a time when things are happening a little slower, and so it seems less interesting. (It doesn't make it not interesting, though.) I think a way you can add interesting layers to your characters would be to flesh out Grace's relationship with her friends a bit. So far, we've only had brief introductions to Fabian and Greta, with Grace silently implying that Greta's negatively promiscuous. So I think it would definitely be more interesting to introduce them as more developed characters immediately from the get-go!
But, goodness, I loved the little introduction to Karkaroff at the end, by quickly alluding to a newspaper he was in. Such a clever way to bring him to Grace's attention. This story just seems absolutely amazing, so I'm excited to read more.
I loved a whole lot of things about this, from beginning to end. I loved the way you described the fear surrounding Voldemort's rise to power especially.
Thank you for requesting! Please feel free to request more if you wish.
*blush* Aw, you're so sweet! I love experimenting (trying something outside of my writing comfort zone is my favorite thing to do) and I'm really glad you like the effect it had here :D :D.
That's definitely something I have to keep in mind when writing this--I generally know which year I'm writing in because I have everything plotted out, but I have to be super careful about readers who have no idea what's going on and my time-hopping. I'm really excited that you didn't find it confusing (sorry you had to double-check some dates, though)!
I hadn't thought of the chapter feeling slow after the opening section because of the intensity of the opening section, which is definitely a fair point. Adding more depth to Gideon and Greta's character development right from the start is an excellent suggestion. I think I sometimes forget to add layers to certain characters in the actual story when I have them planned out elsewhere.
I'm SO GLAD that you enjoyed Karkaroff's introduction into the 'present' time of the story. ^.^ All your compliments are making me squee--you're just too sweet! :D
Thanks so much for taking a look at this for me and for all of your comments!
I've not had the pleasure of reading anything from you yet so very excited to be here! I thought the idea of this seemed so interesting, it seems to be something quite different. I'm really looking forward to seeing how you progress the story because it sounds amazing already!
You have such a beautiful way with words, the first section how you describe that scene between Igor and Grace. There was so stunning imagery here. You used all the senses in your writing here, I really feel all the tension in this scene. it's so well written, I have no words to do this justice properly (sorry! he he) . I love that you used this as your first scene because this type of storytelling always produces questions. I'm really drawn into this story because I have so many questions about how they got to this point. We met Grace in the next scene, it is just making me question how those two ended up together.
I do really enjoy how you used the time jumps to tell different parts of the story like her history with Sirius. I like the idea of the friendship group between the trio - Greta, Grace and Gideon. I look forward to see more of them in future chapters. I think this is an awesome first chapter because you've really captured my interest in your characters, you use Grace enough but she's still very mysterious. I think you've had an lovely balance in this chapter between giving some action but laying the groundwork. Great job!!
- Abbi xo
I'm really excited you stopped by this one -- it's brand new! Awww, and thanks! I wanted that first section to stand out from the rest, especially because it's a flash-forward and wanted people to be able to connect with it without really knowing the character's yet. And YES that's exactly the point -- you'll see that Grace is mostly wanting to go unnoticed and avoid the war and, of course, Karkaroff is a Death Eater (who's canonically renowned for his promotion of an environment and fear at Durmstrang later on) so the whole leading up point to how they got together is a huge part in the plot. (I'm so sorry, I'm really excited for this novel.) As for the time jumps, I love to experiment with my writing. This time I'll be experimenting with nonlinear storytelling and romance (dun, dun duuuun)! Grace will become much more transparent as time goes on -- her motives and story become plainly stated, whereas possible ambiguity of other characters I've already started plotting out in my 'verse's as one-shot vignettes.
Thanks so, so much for the swap -- this review is wonderful!