I AM SO FURIOUS AT JAMES RIGHT NOW, IT IS TAKING EVERY OUNCE OF MY ENERGY NOT TO SWEAR IN THIS REVIEW. What is wrong with him? Oh my god, okay. I’m just going to go and list everything he did wrong as a form of catharsis because I am so, so stressed for Alba’s sake right now, and I kinda hate James at the moment lmao. (1) James broke his promise to Chandra. (2) Which resulted in her entering a competition she really didn’t want to because he refused to uphold his end of the deal. (3) Okay all this technically still falls under the first point, but I hate that he knows Chandra has OCD and gets freaked out by water, mud, etc. and he still did this to her. (4) He put Alba’s name in. (5) Probably because he just assumed that because of her disability, he was safe from consequences, and no one would ever catch him. (6) HE PUT ALBA’S NAME IN, WHEN SHE WAS SO WORRIED ABOUT HIM JOINING THE COMPETITION.
At this point, the only point of redemption I can see for James is if he wasn’t actually the person who put Alba’s name in, and she’s just pointing the blame the wrong way. But honestly, I’m pretty confident that Alba’s right. Ugh this is so terrible of James. He knew that she hated the concept of the competition, and that though the castle was pretty and magical and all nicely decorated, she still hated the idea that a student could die. And he still risked her life to save his own? What in the world, James??
I feel so terrible that I just spent two paragraphs ranting about James, so I’m just going to talk about something slightly happier really quickly. Ben Honeypucker and Maude. These two are the angels in Alba’s life, in my opinion, and I would give anything to be able to meet people like them in real life. (Also, I wholeheartedly support Alba’s growing attraction to Ben. It’s better than her attraction to James, who has a girlfriend. Not to mention, Ben just really seems like a quality person.) And Maude is just so sweet and caring and understanding, and I love her so much.
Anyway I do really ship Alba and Ben (and I’m completely sorry if this totally wasn’t your intention, as I have a feeling Alba/James is endgame), but I think you write their interactions just beautifully.
I also really really loved the changes to the rules you made for the Triwizard Tournament! It makes so much more sense now, and covers a lot of the plotholes left in the Goblet of Fire. It also puts the students’ safety at a higher priority, which I really don’t understand why the school wasn’t doing earlier haha. But anyway, the new rules were fabulous, and I really enjoyed learning about how the Triwizard Tournament changed over the years.
Beautiful, amazing, stunning chapter. I wonder how Alba’s going to take this new information about the Triwizard Tournament? I’ll definitely be rooting for her. <3