First, I love how you jumped right into the story with a newspaper article. With the first two sentences, I can already see the issues arising (and perhaps a few potential cat fights to go with it?) Her actions are very descriptive and really show her elation. I can just imagine her sliding down the fridge with a silly grin on her face.
The banter between her best friend and herself is amusing and shows their comfort level (and that she’s not above making him stand in the rain. Have to keep those bffs in line.) However, we have found a weak spot for Nicola-the boyfriend. I suspect he won’t be around much longer, but you’ve made Felix very supportive just like a bff is supposed to be.
A random tidbit you threw in there that I honestly never considered was the pressure on the Holyhead Harpies to accept men--It’s an interesting through and perhaps worthy of debate just like in the non-magical world.
Okay, this couple is definitely on the outs; however, I felt like you weren’t trying to make either one of them the “enemy” (although it was rather lousy of him not to write/call her, but at the same time how do you NOT see your boyfriend for months but don’t bother to find out where he is staying) but rather focusing on how they are drifting apart. Callan seems to have their lives all planned out and settled down, but she isn’t even close to being ready. Both recognize how fragile the relationship is and don’t want to really talk for that conversation will probably lead to the end.
Nicola is going to be unrelentless in her pursuit of Quidditch and I have a feeling nothing is going to get in her way, especially a boyfriend that doesn’t recognize or doesn’t want to recognize her true passions.
Seeing James Potter here gives me a couple of things to say: (1) if you're writing him as genuine, doofy, and helpful, I love the different characterization and (2) if you're writing him as fake, I'm still okay with it. I will say I'm not sure about the immediate dinner invite rather than something with fewer...connotations (which shouldn't exist, but you know...) amid the attacks about sleeping her way onto the team unless he's trying to stir up trouble. That said, if he's a legit alternative to Callum I'm all there for that. Callum sucks even more if he's going to break up with her after one dinner with a teammate on her first day while he's in boo-foo nowhere or whatever he's doing.
As far as practice goes, I think it was really natural for Nic to be out of sorts under the circumstances. She's obviously taken a major step up in terms of teams and so no matter how confident she's going to be really determined to prove herself which can make folks either over-aggressive in their position or stressed into poor performance. Lord knows I had to deal with it just getting asked to play up an age group for a knothole baseball tournament in middle school baseball. :p
I hope to see Chapter Three soon because I'm seriously psyched about the story!
I'm going to be hopping to Chapter 2 after stopping to review if that gives you any indication of what I think about the story so far...
I like Nic's character from the off. She seems very excited about her career and sure of herself, which I think is almost always a positive in the sports business. She also seems to have a good friendship with Felix that comes across as very genuine and true. The first to celebrate, the first to stop Nic from making a serious mistake, and someone she's comfortable enough with to stay in her thoughts during a conversation, but remain engaged enough to still track what's going on.
As for Callum...he seems like an absolute POS and the worst type of significant other (aside from an abuser - which he doesn't seem to be right now) - one who questions whether you can achieve your dreams and in his case actually tries to dissuade her from really even trying to achieve them. At the same time he's doing that, he also obviously takes her for granted emotionally as well as physically based on his text at the end of the chapter.
I think the background is off to a neat start (I haven't really thought of how people get the initial 'rights' to a Quidditch player before beyond contracts) and the characters are ones I can get invested in, even if it's to hate them like Callum.
See you in the next chapter!
did someone say.... team blue?
first off, paula, i highkey screamed when i saw you dedicated this to me (also i will venmo u $5 to post the next chapter) so my tiny heart swelled like the grinch and now i'm even more into this
now, first things first, i was not expecting to get THIS FED in chapter two. maybe that's because i'm a glutton for a slow burn but honestly? MCLOVING IT. "his hands were rested under his chin" all i can imagine from that is just james staring lovingly at her and mother of god i am here for it because honestly???? same. not reading between the lines here *cough cough* but james is already protective of her?/ mad at clarke? and i have no choice but to STAN for that alone. (that said jamesimus please DO NOT maim your teammates)
clarke is already one of those characters i'm like "really bro?" at because how is it nicola's fault that his ex teammate is running her mouth and refusing to stay in her lane about the whole situation? is this going to be a sly allegory for how men treat women in a male-dominated workplace? or is she reading too much into this? all signs point to the former. (i'm likely biased though) and nicola feels like the kinda person to punch first and ask questions later and i am here for the potential angst that will bring (esp if the media take clarkes/the mens side over nicola's.... no shade no tea just facts) if nicola dares express an eMoTiOn.
also finally can i just say i am very much here for james brawling with rita skeeter even tho i think she's about like 60? (i thought she was like 38-40 odd in canon) like, homegirl deserves it for all the shit she's been giving the potter family and we AGAIN have no choice but to stan. (ps will we see lily since felix works with her???? I NEED MY BABY POTTER)
AND TALKING OF STANNING
very here for the james/nicola (jicola? nimes? ponnings?) chat because a) they're already getting close and i LOVE IT although i am not here for what will inevitably be her boyfriend getting jealous and no doubt giving her an ultimatium. (sorry if this spoils ur plans but i know too many trash men lol)
(seriously please feed me o great crow mother)
- love, em
Told you I'd be back immediately ;)
The mental image of James Sirius Potter tackling Rita Skeeter to the ground and just going ham on her made my entire day. I like him a lot more now too, Nicola. I don't blame you.
What is this? Some scandal with Nicola and her former team? I'm absolutely here for it, 100%.
I don't blame Nicola for wanting to make Cal a little jealous with James. I'm normally very picky about the characterization of both James Potters but I am full on in love with your James. He's the absolute perfect mix of cocky Quidditch player and absolute nerd. It's the most attractive and endearing combination that James deserves.
Nicola's frustration about the articles and gossip is too real. I can't imagine how awful it must feel to work your butt off and earn everything that you've gotten just for a jealous jerk to try and ruin that for you because you're a better player than them. I love that you picked an OC for that role instead of another Wotter because it makes it that much more heartbreaking and real when you know that she really did earn every bit of success that she has.
Your characters are all just so fun and interesting. Nicola is the only one who has physically been in both chapters but I already feel like I know everyone so well, from Felix all the way to Clarke and Cal. I cannot wait to get to see more of everyone and how all the little bits of drama you've sprinkled in play out as the story goes on.
You have to let me know when this gets updated next. I'm hooked!
Paula!! :) Here for the CMDC review event.
I love me some good old fashioned post school Quidditch fics. And I love that Nicola seems both very sure of her abilities to be Puddlemere's keeper while also nearly passing out of the excitement. Too relatable.
I'm already in love with Felix. Sign me up to be his best friend because he is already my favorite. His friendship with Nicola is so good. The bit with her not letting him up highkey reminds me of things I would do with my friends in college which really speaks to your ability to make them feel real people. He really does seem like her best friend, especially with how much he doesn't try to hide his distaste for Cal. Lowkey have done the same thing for my best friends.
Cal is an absolute dick. I know I'm skipping way ahead because he doesn't even come in until the last bit of the story, but Nicola deserves better. How hard is it to at least pretend to your drunk girlfriend that you're excited for her new job? Especially her dream job? And then to get all Straight Boy on her and send her a "you up? ;)" text at three in the morning is just a dick move, sir. I hope she dumps your ass soon.
I'm also hyped for some tension with Willow Holloway. She sounds positively awful and I can't wait to meet her. I love some good drama like that, especially with Quidditch.
I am already addicted to this story. Catch me coming back almost immediately for more!
Hi Paula! Here for the CMDC review event round 1!
I always enjoy seeing someone create a story with original characters where the canon characters are on the periphery or are more minor characters that clearly impact the story or are going to be important later, but allow us to get to know your original characters more closely first, like you have done here.
Very interesting that Nicola is drafted at age 24! Makes me wonder what do aspiring pro Quidditch players do if they don’t go pro straight out of Hogwarts. Recreational leagues?
I enjoyed the commentary on how Puddlemere never seems to have more than one female player at a time, and how meninists like to complain about the Harpies! Also a glimpse at the unfortunate tendency of some women to tear others down, as Willow is trying to do to Nicola.
The description of the Leaky Cauldron was great, a perfect image of a dodgy pub, with the bad food, terrible music, and at least two brawls on that one evening alone.
Callum is kind of a tool, I look forward to seeing where that all goes!
I particularly enjoyed the part where Felix threatens to vanish anything and everything Nicola could possibly use for writing, in order to stop her sending the Howler!
Hi! I finally stopped by after you asked the hint about naming the title on the forum. Oliver Wood, a manager and the protagonist made it entering the Puddlemere United, sounds cool. And Jennings sounds familiar...is that Irish originated name?
Finch and Felix...hmmm I guess they are rivals who love Nicola? I'm curious. Drinking and dancing suit those Quidditch players so well after they won the position and hard training. And Witch Weekly's gossip, too. And drunkards often behave in a stupid way. Oh.. wait, Cal is her boyfriend and began telling that Quidditch player is no realistic job...I feel like I can read the plot line...she will part from him gradually...yes, Felix stays the night with her and...oh, another midnight message from the phone...Nicola is very popular! He must be Finch, right? I reckon he will visit her soon. But Felix is with her. I guess the next chaos is coming...keep writing, Paula!
Hi, Paula! I'm stoping by for BvB!
This was a great start to what will likely be a delight of a story. You've got so many plots sprouting up in this one chapter alone: the vindictive replaced player, the jackwagon boyfriend, the exciting new job... so many things! I can't wait to see which direction you take them all in.
Nicola is already a great character. She has a fiery personality, and I love her determintion. To add to that, the fact that she doesn't cave when Callum starts to give her the whole "well, you should have a backup" routine was stellar. There's a time and a place for "being realistic," as he puts it, and during a celebration of a major life moment is not one of them! It's wonderful that she isn't overly reliant on him, nor does she drop everything just because he decides to show up out of the blue.
And Felix is fabulous! I think it's great that he, too, has his snarky side, but still very obviously adores Nicola and will stand up for her no matter what. He's very protective of her, but also supportive of what she wants, and I think that balance is wonderful.
Also, I'm totally excited to see Oliver Wood managing a team! Considering how he was as captain of Gryffindor, I can only imagine how he'll be now that he has a professional quidditch team under his command! :P
Great start! Looking forward to more!
Hey, Paula! I’ve finally managed to wrestle this review from a Niffler. HPFT may have solved it’s problem, but I still have several running around! (Also for Slytherin’s EvS Jan battle.)
Another story! Yayayay! It’s actually amazing how long it’s been since I visited your page. And by amazing, I mean really sad on my part. There’s so much stuff on there that I want to check out! But well done to you for starting another project. This one seems like a doozy. I remember your writing for its fluff and lightness, but from the story tags, it seems like this won’t be the case for this one? Either way, I am here for the ride.
Nicola seems cool so far. This first chapter was a great introduction to the story, and I feel like I got a good idea of the background needed for the plot. I didn’t feel like I really got to know Nicola all that well, though. I did, however, get a good sense of the main people in her life – both good and bad (but more on the bad later). I would’ve liked to get to see a little more of her characterisation, but there’s always chapter two!
I’m interested to see where you take this “breaking the glass ceiling” in Quidditch theme. My impression from canon and other Rowling writing on the topic of Quidditch was that it was pretty normal for both genders to be well-represented in sport. Not perfectly well-represented, since England’s league seems to feel the need for an all-female team (although that could be for more historical reasons than political ones, now. Who knows), but still. Like it was never a thing that Katie, Angelina, or Ginny all played on the Gryffindor Quidditch team. On the other hand, I don’t remember any women being named on the national teams, either, so maybe there is a gender gap? Puddlemere’s current situation seems rather dire, though. And I’m also sad to see a woman publicly hurting another woman, instead of being supportive. (Her reaction to feeling cheated, however, is understandable. She just didn’t need to be publicly mean about it.) I wonder if she would’ve made the same accusation of the newest member sleeping their way onto the team if that member had been a dude? Ah, internalised misogyny. You are truly the worst.
I also hate Callum already. He is the worst. And Nicola should start using the do-not-disturb feature on her phone before she goes to bed.
Until next time!
Hi Paula! Here to spread some hoilday cheer (and because I've been really excited to read this ever since you started talking about this but have only just now had time to make my way over here)!
You have effectively combined literally two of my favorite things (Taylor Swift and Harry Potter with bonus points for the upcoming JSP romance. There is a 200% chance I get shouty in later reviews, but I will try and keep myself composed for at least this first one) and I AM HERE FOR IT! I absolutely cannot wait to see more twsift chapter titles throughout and am excited to try and predict what happens (and of course be totally wrong) based on the chapter titles.
I love the start you have here! Nic is a great character and she's so real and fiesty; essentially like the kind of girl I feel I could be friends with, which makes her a lot of fun to read! Felix is also amazing, for a whole host of incredibly different reasons and I love them both and their friendship together. I CANNOT wait to see what sorts of shenanigans they get into.
Super excited for Nic for the chance to play for Puddlemere! There already seems to be some drama with the Witch Weekly article. Curious to see how that all plays out--did Willow actually say all that about her (which would be terrible, especially considering what was said about Puddlemere only having one woman at a time on the team and the nonsense about somebody trying to disband the Harpies unless they brought a man onto the team) or is that just Witch Weekly trying to make something out of nothing?
Her boyfriend is terrible, the actual definition of a rhymes with duckboy. Of course he's getting her owls and texts and manages to appear at just the right time but doesn't care to respond to any of them and thinks he can just buy her a drink and everything will be fine. And then the "you up?" text at 3am? Like, good on Nic for not falling back BUT YOU CAN STILL DO BETTER NIC!
Anyway, Paula, I am very excited to see where you're going with this! It's a great start with a lovely cast of characters so far! Obviously, I love things to do with Quidditch so I am VERY excited for a quidditch story!! Can't wait for next chapter!
Hi Paula! I'm here to spread a little holiday cheer, and because I'm a sucker for JSP/OC stories (especially when all the titles are named after Taylor Swift songs - truly, this fic is everything I could ask for).
I love Nicola already - she's got such a fiesty personality and I loved the image of her throwing stuff around her apartment in an attempt to write an angry letter to Holloway for calling her anti-feminist and getting stabbed by her own scissors in the attempt. (Also, on that note, that's so real? The whole women taking down other women because they feel threatened by them? I love that this fic feels like it actually exists in the same world we're living in.)
And Felix is a CHARACTER and I love how defensive he is of Nicola and how much he cares about her. And I looooove that he's teased a little bit of James Potter, because I'm super pumped to meet him now.
Callum is, oh my god, Callum is the perfect definition of a *word-I'm-not-allowed-to-use-in-a-review*-boy. The 3 am text ('what would you do if i were there?' ugh he's the worst), the casual derision of Nicola's career choice (which is only sliiiiiightly hypocritical since he's a freelance writer, which is obviously pretty cool and all but doesn't exactly have high job security either) - I'm with Felix on this one, he could use a good punch. Hopefully Nicola's going to get over the whole 'we've been dating since Hogwarts' thing soon and DROP that boy, because HONEY you can do so much better. (And presumably WILL do so much better, since this is a JSP/OC story.)
The fun side effect of all these chapters being named after Reputation songs is that I'm now trying to predict the plot based on the songs and their themes. I just love it so much. As I've already said once before, TSwift and JSP are literally my two favorite things and both of them in one fic makes me super happy.
Super excited to read more of this, Paula!!
ahldaaladslj IT'S ME!
i swear anyone who writes jsp/oc will see me at some point and you are no exception paula! you've hit many nails on many heads and i am sucker for all of them - ambitious female quidditch player, jsp/oc, an oc taking none of her boyfriend's shit - all, absolutely delicious. i cannot handle how much i love this.
i love the idea of a draft so, so much. (maybe that's just my hockey influence but seriously. loooooooove!!!!) and felix being so dreamy about james.... 250 heart eye emojis incoming
and that ending... i'm screaming. we stan one (1) iconic queen for how she handles her boyfriend trying things at prime hookup hours - i love her even more because of that (that and the reaction to the witch weekly article gave me such a crystal idea of her character and i love love love her
all in all, cannot wait for more and her relationship/s with the guys on the team now she's made it!!!