I've been hearing such good things about this story and I can see why! I already love Audrey, I think there is something so endearing about her personality like she is so lovely but a little unsure about herself.
I think that's something that a lot of people can relate which part of the reason why I'm really taken to her. She's too cute. I think her sister sounds really fabulous with her comment about her boyfriend but then she's worried about Audrey while she is on night shifts. I think there is something relate-able about that dynamic.
I think I'm in love with all of your characters, I think it's because they're all seemingly so real. They have quirks and detailed background. Her boss probably isn't going to appear too many times if at all but he is really fleshed out. I loved all of his dialogue and just the directness that he has is amazing. I think it gives us an insight into how Audrey thinks about herself too which is awesome for the character development. She isn't too sure that she is cut out for the business or doubt herself because of others is natural. She feels so human.
I love little details that you've provided for the story. I think it's such good world-building but it makes your writing seem so much more vivid and rich. I adore the little details about her parents. I love knowing more about these supporting characters. I think it's the supporting characters being engaging and fun makes a lot of difference in how the story can retain the reader's interest (or maybe it's just me?)
I thought this was a really promising start to story. I can't wait to see how Percy is going to fit into Audrey's world.
Hey, Melanie! I’m here for CMDC Round 3.
I’m so glad that Audrey is somewhere that’s more comfortable and that seems to appreciate her more. She seems to fit into Magical Law Enforcement so much better than Magical Transportation, and I’m happy that they appreciate her hard work.
Go talk to Percy! He’s right there! Befriend him! Invite him for tea or something!
Oof. Poor Percy. Maybe don’t talk to him until after the anniversary of the Battle.
But he’s so sweet! Percy, you may not work on the anniversary of the Battle. What would your mum say?
I love these two so much. I know that this is mostly what my reviews have been, but I just love the dynamic and it’s all just so perfect?? And he’s walking her to the Floo and talking to her and she’s helping him out! It’s just so cute, and I love them.
Harry and Ron!!!! And Percy scolding Ron! Look, Audrey, it’s your future brothers-in-law! And the scolding actually worked. That was the most shocking part of it all.
I agree that Ron and Vivian would get along rather well, though I think she might get along a bit better with Charlie. They just seem to have the same older sibling vibe, you know?
Thank you so much for writing this, and I hope you have a nice day!
Hey, Melanie! I’m here for CMDC Round 3.
Poor Vivian. She does seem like a very good Healer, though, and Eloise doesn’t know what she’s missing. I hope she gets that Children’s Ward spot, if only so she doesn’t have to keep working nights.
I love their tea set, and their favorite teacups suit them so well.
Darcy sounds like just the friend that Audrey needs. Also, the name Hinkydrunk is, I’m assuming, the name of a pub, which sounds like the perfect name for a magical pub so long as there are no drunk Hinkypunks.
Oooh, Darcy’s playing matchmaker. This is going to be fun. I hope it’s Percy. Although, I don’t know if Percy would go to a pub after work. Maybe Oliver got him to go.
‘Romance by stealth’. You know, I just really like Audrey’s voice. It shines through, and I just love it??
Cepheus. Cepheus Tomlinson. A ginger with glasses. Hm. Sounds like he might be Audrey’s type after all.
...Nevermind. That was Percy. I don’t think I’ll like Cepheus. He’s a bit too… well, a bit too full of himself for Audrey, I think. Darcy is a good friend to Audrey, but I have to agree with Audrey: her taste in men is rubbish.
Percy! Oh, poor baby. At least they have their friends setting them up on blind dates in common, though, maybe, their friends could conspire? I think that Darcy and Oliver would get along very well, don’t you?
They are both awkward babies, and I love them so much.
Thanks for writing this, and I hope you have a nice day!
Hey, Melanie! I’m here for CMDC Round 3!
Percy!!! My baby! I love Percy very much, and I’m glad that Audrey gets to meet him in this chapter.
Ooh, so Audrey was homeschooled. I’ve always been curious about magical peeps being homeschooled, and I’m curious why Audrey and Vivian’s parents would do that. Given the time that they would have been at Hogwarts, though, I imagine that the war had something to do with it. Did she have to take A-Levels along with OWLS and NEWTS?
I love your Audrey. I don’t know how many times I’m going to say that, but I just love how she’s relatable. It’s really nice, you know, to have someone that’s roughly your age and not have everything in her life figured out.
‘Mr. Tall-Redheaded-and-Bespectacled’. Perfect name for Percy. Absolutely perfect.
He’s so organized and focused, and I have a feeling that this is going to be a bit of a slow burn, which I really enjoy. It’s okay, Audrey! Percy is just Mr. Grumpy Gills with everyone! I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next (okay, so that’s because I’m about to read the next chapter).
Sorry this review was a bit of a mess. I mostly wrote it as I was reading the chapter and then adding bits at the end. Thank you for writing this, and I hope you have a nice day!
Hey, Melanie! I’m here for the CMDC event!
I got hooked on this story from the very first line. Nay, the chapter summary. Maybe it’s because of where I am in life right now, but Audrey is just one of the most relatable characters I’ve ever read. I kind of wish I had her job, but, alas, I am not a witch. We never really get to see people who don’t have glamorous jobs in canon, so it’s nice to see how the Department for Magical Transportation is kind of like.
I love Audrey’s family, and I can see why this was nominated for Best Family. I especially enjoy the relationship between Audrey and her father. Speaking of, I love the idea of cross-breeding Muggle and magical plants. Your world-building is so good, and I absolutely love your spin on Audrey so far.
I didn’t have a favorite part because I enjoy this story so much, I couldn’t possibly pick one part of it. I am very glad I read this, and I hope you have a lovely day!
Hi Melanie! Oh boy, a new chapter!!
I’m glad that Audrey hasn’t given up on Percy, and that she’s found someone to tell her more about what life was like at the Ministry for the folks working there under Voldemort. Brian seems like a caring guy, and he knows right away what this conversation is really about. He gives it to her straight, but he’s compassionate for her reactions. Those were wonderful, by the way, how horrified she was. But Brian is honest enough to admit that he was one of the many who thought that Dumbledore and Harry Potter were nuts when they first started claiming that Voldemort was back. It’s easy to look back with hindsight and say “I never would have made a wrong decision like that” but Audrey is wise enough to realize how unrealistic this is. When you’re in a crisis, you can’t always know the “right” thing to do—and you have to do the best you can.
I loved your description of the phoenix. It was beautiful. Also I loved your description of Audrey’s reaction when she gets a little overwhelmed by how awful and dangerous it was for the Ministry workers.
The introspective scene with Audrey and the rose plant is wonderful!! I loved the wandlore—both the stuff you researched from pottermore and the lighthearted additions that Audrey made. And I adored her conversation with the rose plant where she is figuring out what she’s known all along—that Percy isn’t perfect, but that’s okay, she doesn’t want perfect—she wants him.
“Don’t sleep with anybody who isn’t completely grateful for the opportunity.” This may be the best piece of love advice ever. I wish someone had told that to me when I was younger and I will be passing it on. The pillow talk is adorable, and I’m glad that Percy didn’t decide to keep experimenting with being a brunette. I’m also glad that they made up <3
Thank you for your comments. Audrey has a hard time going with her gut feeling, and her tendency to overthink has been threatening her forgiving and understanding nature on this issue. I imagine her almost seeking some kind of external permission to do what she wants to do, which is to accept Percy for all his faults. I'm glad you thought this scene with Brian worked out. He's sort of my mouthpiece here, to make the argument that Percy is not a terrible person.
Audrey has enough self-awareness to realize she's lived a sheltered and charmed life. I appreciate your thoughts on her reactions to Brian's comments. She's not a weak person, but she's (rightfully, I think) disturbed to hear about the realities of the war.
I sometimes have full conversations with my pets, so I imagine this responsive plant being a very similar kind of sounding board. I enjoyed writing this scene.
Vivian's advice really is good, yes? It's not advice I can claim to have always followed, but it's a good idea, and I would hope anyone I cared about would consider following it, particularly if they were someone prone to allowing themselves to be taken advantage of (which I think is always Vivi's concern for Audrey).
Ugh, I'm glad they made up, to. Now we can go back to having some fun.
Thank you again!!
Well yeah, I just re-read my review of chapter 11 and I think hpft has definitely improved the quality of my reviews XD Then again I don’t think I read the entirety of the thing at the time and I had no context for the scene so noooooowww…
*cracks reviewing knuckles*
Of course our dear, sweet, sensible Audrey would think back on the previous conversation and be utterly frustrated by its lack of concreteness. From a reader’s standpoint it was a complete wreck (arguments usually are, even if they’re as mild as this one was) and while they didn’t purposefully hurt each other as it so often happens with meaner or less pondered people, they said enough to leave them hurting after. There isn’t actually time to think in an argument and all plans tend to go to shit. Considering everything that could’ve gone horribly wrong it was still a very civil argument… if a bit stupid.
And of course she’d second guess what she said and think she overreacted. In the cold light of day one usually looks back and thinks of all the million things one could’ve done or said or not done or said.
I like how you showcase the difference between how Vivian and Audrey deal with their respective relationships. ‘Asserting dominance’ is kind of hilarious if you consider Audrey as a person.
“As much as I appreciated being treated like a lady, I certainly didn’t need to be patronized. I was twenty-three years old and I’d shag whomever I damn well pleased —
“Of course you will, dearest,” my sister said supportively as she passed by the bathroom. I hadn’t realized I’d actually been muttering to myself.”
The whole beginning of this chapter is so relatable and her thought process, skipping from self-doubt, anger, yearning for explanation, and anger yet again, feels incredibly natural. Especially considering she loves himmmm.
I kind of wish you’d show what Ron said? I think it’s like the third time (I could be wrong, I’ve been reading this in and out of order for a while now) he’s said something unintelligible that Audrey never quite catches, which could happen because she’s not attuned to his voice but could also be construed by the reader as laziness or a fear of touching major canon characters, which I know for a fact you aren’t.
Plus, I kind of want to know what Ronnikins said XD
“The younger Ollivander had a round, pleasant face, though he seemed prone to excessive sweating.”
I love how in half a dozen words you give us a solid mental picture of your minor characters. I always struggle with physical descriptions myself, mostly because I feel whenever I give them a physical description they become important and real, so I really admire this. It’s just the right amount. I was re-reading Wodehouse yesterday (to be fair, I’m always re-reading Wodehouse) and admiring the way he does it and it’s very similar.
“I’m not here to cast aspersions on your fine wandmaking,” I assured him. “My family’s bought Ollivander’s wands for at least five generations.”
Can we take a moment to appreciate Audrey’s natural tact? Most professional adults tend to be pondered when in professional situations, but I doubt she even thinks of it anymore, it’s just something she is/does.
“I could hear Percy’s voice in my head giving his opinion on that subject, almost as clearly as if he were standing next to me, and I sighed and tried to push it out of my mind.”
Of course you can. You love him. You know him and you value his opinion.
Swynn’s makes me happy. Also, it’s kind of interesting the difference between the two shops - Ollivander’s was practically empty and quiet and very conscious of its own importance, while Swynn’s is basically a playground, much more familiar, much more modern and brighter and unpretentious.
“Wandlore as matchmaking. Oh, ladies, this was not a good look for our gender.”
This actually annoyed me a bit, because I love the idea of wandlore as matchmaking. It struck me as a virulent sort of feminism, and from what I remember Audrey has made a series of similar comments. Had it been a man it would have been fine, but because a woman buys into it it’s a “bad look”? What, I can’t be interested in make-up now? If I show an interest in shoes does that make me less of a person? I can’t like Barbies, I should be playing with chemistry sets because I need to bolster womankind?
/ end rant.
And wow I’ve been at this review for far too long, especially considering I should be working.
Percy displays an impressive amount of courage (yes, look at that Gryff showing) by taking the first step, even if it took him a full work week. He also might look impeccable but the poor thing hasn’t been sleeping properly.
“No idea where I stood?”
I also resent this from Audrey’s side, but assuming our partner is as madly and horribly in love as we are is something that is acquired over time, not intuitive... especially if you’re one of the Percys of this world and you know you’re kind of a tosser.
“Simply by doing the paperwork.”
This still kills me, m’kay?
It’s still difficult to write a competent review for this conversation because I’m invested in it to the point I want to continue reading, even if I already know what’s what and have read it before.
There’s just so much happening.
“I waited with bated breath for the missing word.”
I love this expression. I’ve actually read it before but it hasn’t stuck in me but hot damn, I love it.
I can sympathise with Percy for letting it get completely out of hand. It’s a personal and hurtful matter and I get that leading with “yep, I worked for You-Know-Who and watched my brother die so I’m kind of broken inside” would be difficult and probably would lower his chances of ever getting a second date… and he liked her. Not to mention it’s kind of sweet that he never believed they’d get in so deep, which imh works in his favour.
He thinks she’s far too good for him, which is never a bad life policy... so long as the other person also thinks they’re reaching.
“Did you know I’ve been pardoned?”
This was an interesting concept that you introduced, along with the culture of taboo surrounding it. It makes a lot of sense and it’s a very realistic way of dealing with it - not everyone who’s worked under an oppressive regime should be persecuted and punished for it, but there would always be an underlying difficulty to trust them with positions of power.
“He annoyed me.”
This breaks my heart as well. Such a normal, every day thing to say… until your brother is horribly killed right in front of your eyes and you kind of blame yourself for it.
“His usually perfect posture was nowhere to be seen; he looked crumpled, exhausted.”
I really liked this. It made for a very strong visual image.
I’ve read the subsequent chapters so I get why she left… but when I read this the thing I wondered was why? Why wouldn’t she stay? Why wouldn’t she hold the poor crumpled boy that she loves with all her heart?
How dare she not hug that idiot?
In retrospect it makes sense that she wouldn’t give him any hope before she had the time to competently process the information but still.
“We were back to square one, stuck in the damn lift, cordial on opposite sides of an invisible barrier.”
And yes, I also loved this. Throwback to the golden lift days.
You know my feelings about this chapter. It’s so real and raw and raggedy and impossibly humane and I love Percy because of it - because he was a regular Joe and somehow he was made into a villain, which is something I despise with every single ounce of my being. I think you did a terrific job conveying all those complicated emotions of guilt, regret combined with the fact that, much as he would have liked to have done something different, he probably couldn’t have.
Or that may just have been me reading between the lines.
Mariaaaaa, your reviews are so thoughtful and seem to always be on the nose about everything.
I'm happy to know the way I played out the aftermath of their argument seems to work. Arguments are the worst when you reflect on them and realize you were both just acting like morons. And it really was very difficult to write an early-relationship Percy/Audrey argument, mild as you say because I can't see these two going knock-down drag-out, especially not at this point, but it also needed to be something significant.
I think I take your point about Ron's comment that we don't hear? I definitely don't shy away from canon characters, especially Ron who is one of my faves. What I was trying to avoid is that thing where the MC is somehow miraculously always able to overhear all relevant comments being made so that the reader can "hear" them, too. I envisioned this as Ron having muttered something to Percy, and Percy probably tending to enunciate better and Audrey being more attuned to his voice would have heard his response. For the curious, though, Ron's comment after seeing Audrey pointedly avoid Percy was something smart-alecky like, "What did *you* do?" or if he was feeling like an extra smartass, "Cocked that one up fast."
I appreciate your comments on the physical descriptions of characters! I read somewhere that a good tactic is to mention just a couple of physical details, and make one of them something random and weird, like an imperfection. E.g., "She had pin-straight dark hair and a crooked nose."
Your comment about Audrey's thoughts about "wandlore as matchmaking" really made me think! My intention obviously isn't for the message in the fic itself to be stridently feminist, because as you know from having read on already...well, it seems there might be something to the Swynn sisters' theory, after all! :) It's possible that at the time I was writing this chapter that I was trying to avoid seeming too twee about things and subconsciously pandering to certain readers by throwing in that jab about the matchmaking stuff (which...seems to have worked? Because most comments I've received have sided with Audrey and thought the Swynns were being absurd, lol). I definitely don't see Audrey as someone who is virulently feminist (frankly, I see her as pretty conservative, and her aesthetic is pretty unabashedly feminine), but I think what was in my mind when I gave her that internal remark, was that she can be staunchly proper and pragmatic and (her love of romantic movies notwithstanding) might have seen the Swynns' remarks as silly. Possibly that line might have been better if she had thought something along the lines that it wasn't professional? Rather than making it about a representation of their gender?
(Has she made a series of similar comments, though?? I'll have to look back. Yell at me about it on Discord, I'm all ears.)
The "no idea where I stood?" part, I hope that worked? I do think it's really hard to tell whether your new partner is as invested in the relationship as you are, especially for two people like this. I actually had a boyfriend tell me once that he was put off by how aloof I was acting, when from my own POV, I thought I was being absurdly obvious and even mawkish about how much I was into him. So something like that is going on in Percy's head here (NEVER MIND that Audrey dragged him into bed; he's halfway to thinking about marrying her and feeling insecure about how serious she is about him).
"I waited with bated breath for the missing word" -- You can probably tell from context clues, but what's going on in Percy's head right there is some mixture of "love" and "spend my life with" and he's just wondering why he opened his big mouth. *Pats Percy on the head.*
"He thinks she's far too good for him, which is never a bad life policy...so long as the other person also thinks they're reaching." -- I love that you said that, I think so, too!
You already know, I think, my own thoughts on Percy's confession here. I both loved and hated writing it because it was painful to do so, but I loved humanizing him. He is so vilified sometimes. I can't find it in my heart to judge him for the things he's done. He was only 18 when he argued with his dad (like, your brain isn't even fully developed at that age?) and he had a lot of understandable resentment. Having then cut himself off from everyone, he found himself in an absolutely overwhelming and dangerous situation and responded like a human being.
Audrey's reaction at the end here was a struggle. She is an empathetic person, but she also did not expect at all to hear any of these things (when he told her he had to tell her an awful thing about himself, the worst thing she could think of was that she was dating a married man). Her life has never involved any of these kinds of conflicts or issues, and it was a lot for her to hear ("I told my dad to go f-- himself and didn't talk to anyone in my family for three years, and ALSO I was coerced into helping with war crimes. HOPE YOU STILL LOVE ME, PLZ.") I wonder if I should have had her stick around a little longer, maybe try to offer some affirmations. I think she had a strong urge to want to comfort him, but in addition to feeling uneasy and not wanting to lead him on, she doubted her ability to say anything that would truly be helpful (which I sort of got at in the part about her not knowing what she could say that would be sufficient).
Agree with all the comments you've ever made about Percy. He's a good person in a terrible situation, he had a great character arc, and I will die on that hill. I wrote a short story about him called Ignatius (4 chapters) about his time working at the Ministry during DH, where I explore that stuff. (Trigger warning: Fred death and Percy falling to pieces over it.)
Thank you again and again,
I'm here to leave you some more reviews for your donation to the Australian bushfire relief! I'm really excited to check out this story as I've heard good things about it.
Immediately, I really love the relationship between Vivian and Audrey. They have such a sweet relationship and I adore how Vivian is so caring about her sister's well-being.
I do see why it might be awkward running into a half naked boyfriend in the hallway on a regular though.
OMG. Orange ginger marmalade sounds excellent. I may have to try and make some now.
Ugh. Audrey's boss sounds awful. Unfortunately, I feel like I've had one or two bosses in my time that were just like him. Blech.
Moira is so sweet though. I love that she sees Audrey's potential and is willing to give her the push she needs to go after her dreams. That's a true friendship and I hope she values it.
I absolutely adore Audrey's father. He is the cutest ever! I love his fascination with plants and how he interacts so sweetly with his daughter. The little rose bush he created sounds so magical. I really want one of my own.
I'm glad that this transfer will likely be good for Audrey and I'm really glad her father is encouraging her. I think he's right that she needs to find her passion though. Everything seems to fall into line when one has a clear cut direction.
I really enjoyed this first chapter and I'm looking forward to reading more soon!
Hey Kaitlin! Thanks so much, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts as the story progresses over the next few chapters (and was really thrilled to hear you comment on Twitter that you've been enjoying this story!)
You know, having lived with roommates whose boyfriends seemed to be living with us 24/7, and also having lived in a coed dorm, I probably wouldn't be as flustered or awkward as Audrey is about Michael parading around in a towel, but then again Audrey is a pretty bashful sort.
I really appreciate your comments on the various characters introduced in this chapter. I liked being able to set up a sense of the little world Audrey inhabits without jumping into introducing any canon characters yet. Vivian and their dad are especially delightful to write. Vivian is a good rock for Audrey. And their dad is basically an ex-cop who is really just a teddy bear.
Thank you again! <3
can the above be the entirety of my review??? because it's literally the reaction i had while i was reading this chapter.
i had two favourite lines in this that are really the best and also i feel like they sum up audrey and percy nicely - I really think you must be the nicest person I’ve ever met. annd He said it as though it were something valuable. like those two lines are gold and perfect for them and idk, they're just so wholesome. i mean, okay, fine, they imply other people don't really get audrey or even dismiss her at times but it also means that percy gets her! that he appreciates her the way she is! and that's so lovely.
i also loooved the way percy talked about ginny, we see glimpses of their relationship in the books but just with those couple of sentences you really managed to get us too see how much he's proud of her and how much he loves her. i adore brothers being all proud of their younger sisters (do i have an older brother? yes, i do, and i'm calling myself out on this particular trope because it's so relatable lol).
and the staring! well, checking out percy and him catching her in the act was just ahh *_* the fact that he didn't comment on it was very percy-like but i bet secretly he was doing a happy dance inside his head because it's so obvious they both like each other a lot. so audrey's insecurities, while i can understand, i'm also very happy that they're not really founded in anything except, you know, a girl wondering whether the boy she likes likes her back which is just a thing i think everyone does so it's also very relatable.
There's a lot of fluff here, huh? XD So fun to write, though!
I do like that you pointed out those lines -- they really encapsulate what I'm going for with this fic, that he does see her and appreciate her the way she is, and she does the same for him. They're both people who have been overlooked by life for different reasons. Sort of like misfits who found each other -- but not edgy misfits, just awkward.
+1000 to big bros being proud of their little sisters! You'll get to see some Percy and Ginny interaction in a later chapter!
Percy's probably very happy but shocked to find himself being checked out, so I enjoyed throwing that in there. :)
Thank you for this review! <3
Oh, Percy... why did you have to ruin everything? Talk about bad communication... even if you've been an idiot a few years ago, I don't think she would hate you forever... if that's what it was about, at least... maybe there's something else going on...? Anyway, you could have just told her what was on your mind, instead of being such a... [insert proper insult here]
But I suppose everything was going too well, so something like this had to happen at some point... I hope they'll talk it through soon and fix it!
But let's go back and review this in order, shall we?
I loved Vivian teasing Audrey in the beginning! But she also covered up for her and was descreet when it mattered... I love their sister relationship so much! :D
“Anyway, I doubt it will matter how psychotic Mum and Dad act.”
“Oh, how do you gather?” I asked over my shoulder.
“Because he had a stupid look on his face, too.” Ah, this exchange was just so good, I loved it so much! :D
The dinner went much better than I expected! I thought her parents would be much more invasive, instead Percy seemed to be at ease and they seemed to like him alright, which was so nice to see! :)
The mention of Fred's death was so sad, though... :( Audrey's parents' reaction was really sweet, but it was still hard to read... and that little conversation when Audrey and Percy were walking together after the dinner... it's never easy to talk about a loss, and I get that feeling of should talk about it but it's not pleasant. And yes, Audrey is right that should is not a word in this context, but in some ways it is...? And since Percy feels so much guilt for turning his back on the family (I'm 99% sure that's what their "fight" was about) that's one more reason he should open up about it... there are things that you can't keep close inside... but I know it's hard... (sorry for this long talk to myself, btw...)
I'm so sad about the way this chapter ended??? Please, tell me everything will be solved soon! But I loved to see, once again, how great a sister Vivian is! She would do anything for Audrey, am I right? ;)
This review is a mess... but your chapter is awesome as always! <3
Hello, Melanie, my dear!
I'm finally back for your request, sorry for the wait...
This story keeps getting better and better, I love it so much! :D I'm so happy about the ending and I love the way you wrote it! I love the things she learnt about him, and the bit about snoring made me chuckle... they are too cute, anyway! <3
What you don't do for love... even accepting to go see a Quidditch match! :P I love the phone call with her parents and how her dad stole the phone immediately when he heard Quidditch! Too funny! :P
Poor Audrey, being scared of heights... but it looks like Percy's presence was enough to make her feel safe... did I already say that they are super cute?
I love this story so much, it never stops to make me smile! You have such a delightful style and your characters are so easy to get affectionate to! Brilliant work!
I know this review is a bit short and there's probably a lot I should comment on that I'm forgetting, but I think I made my point anyway... I'll see you on the next chapter! ;)
Lots of love and snowball hug,
I love a good Percy/Audrey story, so I'm really looking forward to this one. This was a great start to the story, too - I feel like we got a real sense of Audrey's voice in this chapter, and you did a wonderful job of introducing us to different areas of her life without just dumping a load of information onto us.
The opening was interesting! I really loved the way that even the few sentences about the census of the wizarding population started the world-building immediately, so that we got an idea of the size of community that Audrey lives in and what her job is. It also tells us a fair bit about her, the way that she's able to retain figures like that and how her mind probably works in quite a factual way, though I'm looking forward to seeing if that changes in the future.
Audrey running into Vivian's boyfriend in the flat made me laugh. Living with her sister sounds like a great idea, especially since it makes financial sense and the two of them get on, but at the same time it does sound like it could introduce some awkward situations that you might not want to have to deal with :P
The scene at work was a really interesting one, too! I wasn't expecting a transfer of department for Audrey so early on in the story, and clearly neither was she - but I love the way that the story is starting with a big, exciting change for her and she's finally moving into the department that she's wanted to be in for a long time. It sounds like there's some really exciting things on the horizon for Audrey - at least, I hope! I have to love Moira for putting in a word like that for her, too. And I can't help but wonder if this department move is going to throw Audrey into Percy's path, and the two of them are going to end up meeting as a result of her new job?
I love the fact that Audrey wanted to tell her parents about her news - it says a lot about how close they all are as a family, and it was a great way to give us some more information about her background, with Muggle parents. Her dad seems so sweet!
I'm looking forward to reading more of this story soon, hopefully!
Hi Sian! Thank you for this review, and I hope you might consider continuing reading! Sometimes I feel this first chapter is a bit of a sleepy start, but as you say, it establishes Audrey's voice the way I want it to. And yet it does pick up at a pivotal point, her transfer, which I think you're right to expect will set her on a collision course with Percy.
Audrey's family is a joy to write, and you can expect to see much more of them in future chapters! Especially Vivian.
Thank you again and I look forward to hearing more of your thoughts!
Hi Melanie! I’m here for CMDC Round 2 :D
I’m with Vivian—Percy’s behavior during the Second Wizarding War doesn’t freak me out. He was in a terrible position—and a very dangerous position. He was totally cut off from his family and he didn’t know who he could trust. It’s easy to use hindsight and say that he should have known which side to be on—but Vivian is quick to point out to Audrey that even their own brave Hit Wizard Dad was freaking out during the Second war.
I do appreciate Audrey’s concern about Percy’s behavior to his family. And that was sad. Even though Percy was frustrated living the reality of being one of a large family without a lot of money—which of the Weasley kids would you want to do without? Sure, Ron had to deal with second hand everything—but would you really want Ron never to have existed? Or any of the rest of them for that matter. Percy’s biggest mistake was abandoning his family—but he learned from it and he grew and he apologized and he was forgiven. The fact that he can grow from such a mistake and chart a new course tells me he’s worth the trouble. Or maybe I just want Audrey and Percy to get together…
I really enjoyed your descriptions of Demetrius and his office. Really interesting take on the wizarding politics too—that their laws are all reactionary and so there is very little regulation. I’m super interested to know why the wands are blowing up—and what’s going to happen when Audrey teams up with Hermione to write some new, controversial legislation!!
Madaline was a hoot—I enjoyed her little heart to heart with Audrey. Yeah, you probably shouldn’t date where you work, but she needs to get back with Percy anyhow.
The relationship and the movie night between the sisters was really cute. I love how they balance each other. And the Mussilini joke made me laugh :D
Thanks for the shout out—looking forward to the next update!
Nice work with this!
Hey Noelle! Taking a quick break from reviewing because I saw this review and wanted to respond. Thank you for swinging by to check out my update! <3
Like you, I find it fairly easy to forgive Percy for a lot of things, and I'm happy you liked the points made by Vivian about that.
Personally, while I can agree that him fighting with his dad and walking out was obviously not great, I have a lot of empathy for why Percy did that, or at the very least, why he felt the way he did. I think Percy would never trade any of his siblings for the world (see: the scene in GoF where he runs into the lake to help pull out Ron), but I do understand how in his youth he carried a lot of resentment towards his father (maybe his parents together, but probably more his father since Arthur was very clearly the designated provider for that family) for the decisions they'd made (or that he thought they'd made) that put the family in that situation. I'm a pretty firm believer that it's not the responsibility of children to validate their parents; and I think Percy would have grown up being the object of ridicule by other kids (like we saw happening with Ron) and been very sensitive to the fact that his parents had not made terribly responsible decisions, and now he and the other kids were paying for it. Which is not to say I don't think Arthur and Molly are good parents. I just think there are usually two sides to every issue.
But, as you say, he's apologized and paid for his mistakes, which is what's important, in my opinion.
The wizarding world and the Ministry are really just a mess in terms of...everything. Their procedures boggle my mind, and they seem to just do whatever they want. They don't have anything like lawyers that we are aware of.
You'll find no argument with me here, Audrey does need to get back with him. She's just the sort to fret over something like this.
I'm glad you liked Vivi's little joke. :)
Thank you, Noelle!
Hey! I’m here for the CMDC Round 2!
Huzzah, we get a peek at the morning after! I liked the tasteful fade to black, it’s not very usual in fanfic nowadays!
I have to say, the pillow drool drama is very relatable. Then again Percy snores, so it’s not like he has a clean slate in terms of relationship grossness.
Omg he’s going to meet Vivi! I swear, I just hope he behaves because I need her to love him and to take one look at him and go ‘yep, this dork is perfect for my sister’.
Go go Vivi!
Also whoa boy, it’s been three months! Okay, apparently it hasn’t been three months but still, even if it’s two… whoa, Audrey put out after two months? No wonder she thought it was soon. Not soon by other people’s standards perhaps, but I guess if Audrey was ready to tell him that she loves him (and wants to have his ginger babies), she’s also ready for some lovin’.
And I agree with Vivi, she needs to go back in that room.
Okay, I know I’ve said it before, but I’m so glad these two are so pragmatic. Every single other romance story has this insane drama about meeting the parents. I think my sister needs to read this. It would be an education.
Does Vivi need a new boyfriend or is it just me? Because if you want to bring someone new in, I have enough wood to build a small boat (I’ve been saving it for Madeleine and Noah, jsyk). If you were to bring Charlie in, on the other hand, I think I’d build a cruise so the four of them can sail off into the sunset.
“Dad and I would have words.” This cracked me up and then a few paragraphs later “Well, now that you mention it, he is rather dreamy.” just broke me completely. My husband just keeps throwing me these amused looks whenever I start giggling to myself.
What, no, in Percy’s mind Fred and George went into business together I want to cry okay, that would be the natural thing. I love J.K. Rowling to bits for giving us all of this, but if I ever met her I’d hug her then bitch slap her for killing off Fred. I actually wanted to read about what everyone else is doing! I know what Gin and Ron are doing, but not Charlie or Bill!
PERCY, I am pissed! Who am I kidding I’ve read that bit on the next chapter, it’s horrible and he’s broken and it’s not his fault. And he’s super serious about her and he’s afraid and fear makes people do silly things.
Audrey cracked though, which I really wasn’t expecting...? Still, it's a new-ish relationship and he basically just apologised for having sex with her, I'd want to smack him too.
Hi Maria! Please excuse me for responding in reverse order to all these amazing reviews.
I am a big fan of closing the door and fading to black. I don't hold anything against smut, but I don't write it or really anything close to it. Sometimes I feel the imagination is better than a play-by-play. Also I don't think anything aside from closing the door would really suit Audrey's voice, you know?
Audrey is reserved, but she also has needs, ya know? And I wanted to show that despite her caution and sense, she's really falling hard at this point. Look, sometimes when there's a ginger dude with glasses in your flat you just have to take his clothes off.
I'm not gonna say one thing or the other about Vivi and Michael, except that I think it's good that you're reading with a critical eye! I definitely don't endorse every thing that each of my characters says or does, and that goes beyond Vivi. Stay tuned! (Also, I will write you that Vivi/Charlie fic one day. We talked about this over PM already -- are you in my head?? You must be. Because I do think Charlie would be head over heels for Vivi.)
I really love that you liked those lines involving Audrey's dad. You always seem to pick out the lines that I loved the most myself!!
Stay tuned for info about what Bill and Charlie are up to!
It was, frankly, difficult to come up with a good way for them to argue that would be natural yet interesting and enough of a wrench to stall their relationship. Audrey's so passive and docile. But at this point in their relationship I don't think I see Percy being willing to steamroll over her, and also I feel that would be too easy -- just Percy acting like a dick and Audrey being a doormat -- they both have more layers than that. I think Audrey, like everyone, has her insecurities, and the way he's acting here has touched a couple of them and she feels humiliated. To be honest, I see Audrey as such an agreeable and composed person that I headcanon they'll rarely argue over the life of their relationship...but that doesn't exactly make for a good fic, right? There have to be a few speed bumps.
And in a similar way to how we were discussing Audrey sort of jumping into this next level of their relationship headfirst -- finally sleeping together and all that -- what's happening here with Percy is that he's doing the same, and then realizing in retrospect that he's gone about it backasswards (at least by his own standards). He got caught up in his feelings for her and very happily took things to the next level but then afterwards felt like crap about it and didn't know what to do. Because he has guilt and that makes him so soft and squishy and lovable!
Thank you for this review!
I'm here for the CMDC event (I swear I keep forgetting to add these to the beginning of reviews, I just want to read them damned thing!!)
Whoa boy, you’re really making her go to a Quidditch match with you? After that one review I left saying how much it annoys me when people try to indoctrinate other people who really couldn't care less about your weird sporty hobbies?
Tsk tsk Percy.
On the one hand this kind of frustrates me a bit because ‘sure, she’s just doing it because she loves you but you can’t keep dragging her to something she’s not into’ but then I remembered I literally just posted a review saying Audrey’s mum asking about and listening to Audrey’s stories about work even though she’s a Muggle is a huge proof of love. Audrey going to the game and trying to be into it could be a good sign.
Still, I feel like she’s so bulliable that I want to protect her from random people making her do stuff because she’s nice.
There was one line that bothered me about this.
“No.” I tried to remember the name of Percy’s favorite team. “Puddle…something.”
It bothered me because she remembers ‘Marjoribanks’ and she’s extremely thoughtful about Percy in general and the information he gives her, but she doesn’t remember Puddlemere? It’s not like it’s the Scottish Montrose Magpies (oh wow, I gave those as an example before I knew who the match was with), this would be the team most people rave about. It’s like being English and not at least knowing that Arsenal or Chelsea exists. You might not care, but you’ve been around enough people obsessively trying to indoctrinate you to know the name.
I have to say, I’m very invested in this faulty wand business. It’s very rare for me to be reading a romance novel and actually be invested in the career side plot, but I really want to know what’s going on with them wands!
Look at them flirting on the Quidditch pitch! I actually wish the game had gone really well just to see if Percy would have been as attentive as he was when they were losing and he didn’t care.
Holy heck, she almost told him she loves him! I did not see that coming, not in a million years! Also they did the nasty and I’m pretty damned sure he was going to say he loved her too, I’m very excited about this! I love when two people are on the same place, #relationshipgoals
Ha, you know, that's so funny, I remember reading your review talking about how much it sucks when sports fans try to convert people, and I was thinking, 'Hmmm wait until chapter 9..." But Percy means well, he just wants to share one of his interests with her, and like you pointed out, sometimes we do things with people we care about for their enjoyment even if it's not our favorite.
You actually make a really good point about her not recalling Puddlemere's name. I hadn't even thought of that. I appreciate you pointing out how that seems inconsistent with what else we know of her ability to retain information in general (and of course especially about Percy).
I'm glad you're liking the wand business! I mean, I could have written an entire novel just of Percy and Audrey loving on each other and that would have made me happy as a clam but I didn't know if that would be super appealing to everyone...thought maybe I should mix things up a bit. XD
Percy would totally have been just as attentive. :) Dude has needs, and what he needs presently is to be cuddling his girlfriend and making her not feel scared at being in the stands so high up.
I always love a good 'we're both thinking it but neither of us is willing to say it yet' scenario.
Audrey also thinks Noah and Madeline should be a thing! I feel very validated.
Your portrayal of the Ministry of Magic as a bureaucratic hellhole is very interesting. One would think with magic things would be easier, but there’s always that one wanker who makes everyone’s lives harder than they should be…? The fact that it frustrates Percy to no end and makes him lose his cool with Lionel really isn’t helping her co-workers love him, tho. I wonder if it bothers her that they don't like him or if it bothers her that they're idiots that don't get him? She did go out to check on him, but I think it was more because she was concerned about him than about her co-workers feelings.
I keep saying co-workers because I’m not sure they’re friends. So far I’ve seen friendly interactions and some invitations to hang out, but so far I still feel like they’re behind a wall of glass and not really in her life…?
Also yes, Percy threw out his arm to protecc his lady love when the SIX YEAR OLD WAND (WHAAA) exploded so propps for that plot point AND cute moment combo.
Percy finally voiced what we’ve all been thinking - YOU’RE TOO GOOD FOR THIS, BABY. And she didn’t dismiss it because she loves him and actually wants him to get it.
Audrey wanting to be an actress was a huge shocker to me. Then teacher, then Healer… it sounds like the normal stuff a kid would want to do. Still, I really do think her job choice makes sense for her in a way. Not just the respectable part, the actual job. I’ve had jobs I hated - heck, I have a job I hate - and Audrey doesn’t seem to dislike hers, even if it is boring. Is it just because she has an accommodating personality and therefore would be fine doing whatever, wherever or is it because she hit the bullseye with her own character assessment?
Might be a little of column A, little of column B, as to Audrey's concerns. But for the most part, Audrey spends a lot of time hearing people complain about Percy and deride him, and she is not having it, because she doesn't judge him, and she sees him in a way most others don't want to.
My idea of Percy is that his reputation and persona have become so much bigger than himself and people like to see what's going to confirm their pre-existing ideas about him and exaggerate his behavior. So while sometimes he will go off on someone or get pissy, other times he might just say to someone, "Hey, you did this thing, it's supposed to be this way, don't do it again," and then once he's out of sight that person tells anyone who will listen, "Oh, Percy yelled at me," "Percy made a scene again." Because that's how they're resolved to see him.
Percy totally did the Mom/Dad-Arm (like when you're driving and have to slam on the brakes and throw your arm across the person in your passenger seat to keep them from flying forward, even though the seatbelt should take care of that). I love protective Percy. We see glimpses of him in canon. I am really glad you liked this little moment. I wanted to be able to highlight that as being one of his natural instincts.
For as much as Audrey lacks confidence, I do think she actually has a good level of self-awareness in many ways.
Lionel continued as I opened my mouth to inquire into Miles Claremont’s apparently sterling reputation for rumor mongering.
I loved this sentence for some reason, just thought you should know. Her coworkers being so intrusive made even me a little nervous?
The tone of their conversation has been changing ever so smoothly since the beginning of the story. They started out super formal and put together and now Percy’s skulking around corridors and she’s calling him out on it like they’ve known each other forever. I also like how she’s wittier when she’s with him? She’s not wittier-wittier, she’s just more open I guess, which leads to wittier interactions and she’s far, far more interesting when she’s not worried about what people might think of her.
“Yes, well, while you’ve been gallivanting about with Mr. Prematurely Receding Hairline - don’t even bother arguing, yes he has - work has been dreadful lately.”
Darcy, we all know you like weird wannabe-Italian men who spend far too much money on shirts but don’t judge. You had your chance to set Audrey up and you blew it on What’s-His-Pompous-Name. That plant crossing its leaves? That’s me whenever Darcy talks about Percy, she really needs to hurry up figuring out these two ninnies are perfect for each other and start acting supportive - though she does seem a bit self-involved so it could take a while for her to catch up.
I felt like this first scene with Darcy didn’t add much to the story and I kept re-reading it to check I hadn’t missed some exciting foreshadowing.
“Do not bin the sodding chicken!” With those words of wisdom, Vivian Flooed out of sight.
Thank you, Vivian. She cooked for him! And he loved it because secretly every boy wants to marry a woman who cooks as well as his mum. He wasn’t made for this fast food life, he was built for the warm and caring chicken of Audrey Greene.
Also bow chicka wow wow!
You always point out the lines I loved writing so much. You don't know how much I appreciate it. It's so gratifying to get this kind of feedback!
You hit the nail on the head, they're getting comfortable with each other, and as a result they're both acting more human, more open, more relaxed. Nice for both of them because they each have such a hard time relating to other people. And I agree! She is far more interesting when she's not worried about what others think of her! That is my struggle every day, by the way -- I'm so awkward, always thinking too much and trying too hard.
Once again, I am happy you're reading some of these characters with a critical eye. Darcy is definitely judgmental, and we all know she's wrong because Percy is a snack.
The scenes with Darcy may not necessarily add anything to the plot, but they're just meant to be little slices of life, part of showing Audrey's relationships and interactions with other people, and also Darcy is a prominent personification of the kind of judgment other people hold for Percy.
"Do not bin the sodding chicken," is one of my favorite sentences I've ever written.
Last review I kind of forgot to say this, but: hey there, I’m here for CMDC Round 2!
When Vivi says they’ve been going out every Friday after work I practically bust a gullet, I was so happy! I wasn’t expecting the time skip, though I get that it would be weird for you to just describe every single interaction those two ever have.
“I gaped and looked to Dad for support, but Dad’s policy was to stay out of these high-strung female discussions. He was contemplating a potato with vague interest.”
I maintain, this is one of the funniest things I’ve read recently, it reminds me so much of my own family dynamics - my family is basically me, my sister and my parents and this scene is so relatable (though I’m the Vivi and my sister is the much chiller Audrey).
I like how her mum is interested in the conversation even though she’s technically an outsider. It shows a lot of love when you’re willing to listen to stuff that means little to you because you’re interested in the person. Audrey seems to have a really strong support system in her family, which means her choice to stay on the sidelines has more to do with her personality than her background, though I theorise her dad’s past may have something to do with it…? Seeing someone go from a stressful life to a more boring but stable one and being happy while at it must be inspiring in a way.
I love the lowkey foreshadowing and introduction of the malfunctioning wands plot point, I think it was very artfully eased into the conversation.
“The cat remained decidedly unconcerned.”
Cats catting. You make the scenario feel so real, it’s wonderful. Between the plant poking fun at her and the cat and everyone having a life of their own, the story really comes alive.
Also I love how her parents’ relationship is super healthy. It genuinely makes me hope both her and Percy don’t suffer from all that relationship anxiety bs that many characters (and also real people like my sister) suffer from. I love stories where people’s problems don’t come from their tragic background, they’re just situational and normal. It goes to show you can really write a great story even when there’s nothing outrageous happening.
Because the logical truth of the matter was that - whatever Vivi might have to say about it - “How are you?” simply meant “How are you?“ It did not mean “I want you to have my lovely ginger children” or any remotely similar sentiments.
It definitely means he wants you to have his Weasley babies, yes, Audrey, in this case it does.
It’s just delightful to see how they deal together and how she gently nudges him not to be a complete tosser to Robbie. Also them doing crosswords together naked on a couch is my new aesthetic.
Also Ginny changing his glasses because literally everyone in the world can tell these two are into each other? I doubt he told her about it so I just assume she’s the Weasley’s Vivi and she guessed and is basically now shipping them as hard as I am.
They’re both being so careful it’s so… wonderful. And Percy’s terrified of misreading this because it’s work but they still go for it anyway and I’m a proud mother chicken for Audrey because look at them! They’re smooching! At work! And they don’t care! And they did it again! And that ship I’ve been building since like chapter two? It’s sailing smoothly across the ocean!
I get that the time skip was a little unexpected, but I hope it worked out okay. I sort of wanted to subvert some expectations, not necessarily show every minute of their time together, but switch to showing what it looks like from an outsider's perspective (through Vivi's comments) and have Audrey rather implausibly denying the romance of the whole thing.
Poor Jack Greene, he just wants to eat his potato in peace. But Vivi is shit stirring, and now he has to step in and protect his other little potato Audrey (I still laugh at you calling her that in one of your earlier reviews).
I will never not love writing cats catting. I appreciate your comments on details like that and the plant.
Yes, +1000 for healthy relationships! Twisty, dysfunctional relationships certainly have their place in writing, but Percy does not need a tortured romance with someone who has IssuesTM, not for the person he's going to marry. You can still love someone immensely while being perfectly stable and boring. I think if you found whatever part of the brain contains someone's desires and looked into Percy's and Audrey's, you'd see that they both just want the same thing, someone stable and kind and loving to come home to every day, to talk to about everything and nothing, and maybe a couple of cute ginger kids.
Whenever I mention to my husband that I'm working on Irrational, he yells out an encouraging, "Put a baby in her, Weasley!"
She really does have the ability to bend Percy's ear and encourage him to think about things, because he trusts her and values her opinion. Which, to me, could be the most romantic thing ever.
Ginny either cottoned on that he was dating ("dating") someone, OR Percy changed his own glasses and pretended it was his sister's doing because he didn't want Audrey to know he'd done it to impress her. Either way is plausible and I haven't entirely made up my mind. XD
Percy is terrified and that is why I love him oh so much. *pats Percy on the head*
Thank you for reviewing! <3
“What?” I jumped a bit. “Yes. Yes, I’m fine.”
Of course you are my dear, sweet Audrey, of course you are. Audrey completely losing her chill and tippity tapping her day away gives me life. I swear when Noah started asking her if she wanted to hang out I wanted to jump into the story and tell him to kindly fuck off because I was so scared Audrey might actually say yes and end up dragging Percy along to a weird dinner with her coworkers but thankfully she held her own.
“I’m…meeting a friend.” I let it drop at that.
Ah, yes, I spend all day long stressing the hell out when I go to lunch with friends also. *scoff* She’s hardly getting any work done too which is kind of incredible considering how professional she usually is. I like to imagine on Percy’s end things are going exactly the same way and everyone’s just ‘well, he finally cracked’ while Percy keeps combing his hair and stressing out.
“You know me, I’m always here at this time.” I made a mental note to stop voluntarily highlighting my own swottiness.
I didn’t know the word “swottiness”, so this was very instructive. See? I did tell you your writing sounded very English.
Unfortunately, I doubted the story of my life would get us through the first pint.
I told you I loved this the first time I read it and heck, I still do. I almost choked on my tea. She's very self-deprecating.
He said it as though it were something valuable.
This sentence made my heart hurt a little, you know, in the good way. I love how Percy basically just nudges her along instead of being pushy and lets her feel comfortable and doesn’t make her think she should be more than she is. And how he thinks her being nice is a good thing, I swear, these two work so well together.
Also Percy being a Quidditch fan, I mean, I can see it but it was also surprising, because Quidditch is fun. Percy having a life outside of work and interests is expected, so maybe I’m just as prejudiced about him as everyone else?
“Oh.” The same tone of surprise I’d heard earlier when he found me waiting in my office.
Yes, she’s into you, you dimwit. Poor precious baby can’t conceive she’s as into him as she is her.
I was wondering when we were going to see Moira again. She practically made Audrey promise to come by and visit her sometime and I have to say it’s about time. I love love love how Moira just gives Sheldon the what for and makes him go back into his office, and then writes off his behavior as ‘missing Audrey’ around the office. That made me smile. Of course he would miss someone who was dedicated to actual work. I have a feeling it’s also one of the reasons that Percy is so attracted to her. Sometimes competence can be one of the biggest turn ons.
Oh no, Percy is yelling at someone again?? I’m glad he had an actual reason for it, and takes such pride in his work, and I’m also glad that Audrey isn’t a yeller, or this could have gotten ugly. Just the same, I appreciated her soft tact because it gets the reaction she wanted and gives us readers the explanation that Percy isn’t doing it out of spite, that he actually cares about the job and getting things done, where Audrey’s boss doesn’t have such a work ethic related to that. I do have to stop right here and say that the little scene with Gemma and Eoghan gave me really strong Agents of Shield vibe with their poking at each other about the details of the wand issue… I would love it if you based those characters on those characters, but I love the extra bit we get to see about wand lore… am I excited about this? Why, yes I am!
And I adored the way that Percy basically told Audrey that she’s overqualified for her job. I have to confess that I did read ahead, and that small comment that Percy makes about his teenage years, how he sort of makes this silent promise to himself about it… that was really nice.
Hi Pix! Moira is fun to write; sometimes I think I should have given her more screen time. She's loosely based on a secretary at a law office where I used to work, who basically bossed the boss around. She was a sensational woman.
Percy does take pride in his work, and sometimes he needs to chill but my own headcanon is that oftentimes people are just going to see what they expect to see with him -- so if he makes one negative comment or complaint, even if warranted, it's, "Oh, Percy was making a scene again." Audrey resists this type of judgment.
Would you believe me if I say I haven't seen Agents of SHIELD? However, I'm glad you enjoyed Gemma and Eoghan's interaction!
I'm glad to know you've read on a little, and I would love to hear from you again as to your thoughts as this story progresses.
Hello again! I couldn’t stay away. LOL, Madeleine and her loud silence. That one, you gotta watch, right. A bit of office teasing like that is sooo uncomfortable. I don’t care how casual the office is, there are some things you just don’t need to share. I’m glad Audrey has that sort of sensibility. She’s right. It’s not any of their business, no matter how much they want to know about it.
I do love the conversation right outside the office with Percy. He’s cuaght red handed, and Audrey’s not letting him off. Good. She’s starting to get more confidence around him, which is definitely a great sign that things are going well. I’d love to see more confident Audrey. I can see that she’s starting to figure out what she wants.
And Inspections isn’t letting her off either. “Oh look at the time!” (snort) But Darcy… she’s not the sort to build up Audrey’s confidence like that. I am rather upset with her at kicking the poor plant. All the comments she made during the shopping kind of rubbed me the wrong way too. Oh, but dinner! This should be interesting!
Leave it to Percy to call a kitchen ‘frightening’. At least he’s impressed with it. I’m really glad she didn’t bin the chicken either, and I think I snorted out loud when Percy was perusing her bookshelves. What a find! The easy banter is so delicious to read. It seems like they’re getting along really well now. And I do have to agree with Audrey about chivalrous men here. It seems he’s treating her with the respect that she deserves, and he’s willing to play the long game. The subtle hint about getting her turn was nicely placed as well. Another lovely chapter!
Hi Pix! Thank you so much for all of these reviews you've left!
Banter is fun and all but sometimes it crosses the line, and I wanted to keep things realistic here and show that that sort of thing can get really invasive, especially for a private and relatively proper person like Audrey.
I am really glad that you're watching Darcy with a somewhat critical eye. She may be a hoot, but she's judgmental and currently not being terribly supportive. Poor plant, indeed!
There's something I just really love about two people taking their time to develop respect and trust, making sure this is what they really want. Personally, too, I think if you were to peek inside Percy's head he'd still be feeling a bit shocked that she actually likes him.
Thank you for this thoughtful review!
Oh gosh, if my sister started the family dinner conversation with that line, I’d absolutely die. Which is why I’m glad I didn’t grow up with a sister and I could keep everything to myself. I really feel for Audrey here. I love Hit Wizard dad. Really. He’s the best. Okay, so I’m alarmingly interested in your take on the whole wandmaking thing, and I loved the twist with the Veela hair, which is something I’d never think of in a million gazillion years… and I suppose that’s for a different story. Gah. That was amazing, though. The whole family dinner thing was fun. Dad does have some sage words, and he’s right. Audrey just needs to be more confident in herself. I felt a twinge when you described her sudden sadness about ‘nothing going on’. We all know that needs to change.
Ah haha! The plant!
Oh? Are those new glasses, Percy? And I love the idea of them with crosswords. It seems like a very Audrey-and-Percy thing to do. Aww, and they have a rapport now. I like this very much, that Audrey is sticking up for the poor new guy and Percy takes her suggestion in stride. They seem very comfortable with each other here, and I’m proud of both of them. I do sort of want to smack Lionel for interrupting, but at least he apologized for it to Audrey later. He’s a good guy, but he ruined a cool moment. I guess that’s what bosses are supposed to do. Sigh.
It made me smile when Percy reported that he’d been nice to Saunderson all afternoon. Ha! And I must say good on you, Audrey! I think your dad’s words were what you needed to hear. But that was the best part by far, the kiss, and the awkward that is slowly fading away, and Percy, making a small joke to break the tension, but a good one, and yeah, I agree. It was a very good Monday.
Oh no! Is Audrey really sick? Nah, she’s just irrationally nervous. About her date. Which I am very excited about, and I don’t usually get excited about this sort of stuff, but let me tell you that you write this in such a way that I can’t help but be excited. I mean, Audrey is so low key that anything that rattles her has to be a big deal. So that’s why. I know it ‘s a big deal for her, so it’s a big deal for me too. Oh, and all the insecurities right there. She definitely doesn’t give herself enough credit.
Oh! Her dad was on the Hit Squad, how fascinating! I love how Percy gets her to talk about herself and is easy and gentle with his questions. It felt so natural, like he wants to hear everything about her and doesn’t rush, and it’s just a lovely conversation. And I love the surprise in his voice when Audrey says she doesn’t have to be anywhere, like he’s used to being rushed out on. I love how she gets to see this vulnerable side of him. How we get to see it through her eyes as well. I love how caught up in him Audrey seems to be getting, and all the little glances they share while they’re figuring each other out. I love most of all how you crafted these characters. Definitely want to see how Monday goes, and whether Audrey is going to bravely say hello or hide in her office.
Audrey seems to have found a great place to work! By all means, NO WORKING on the holiday! I second that, Audrey. Really. And oh, Lionel tells her about Percy and the war, and that’s so sad, I hope Percy’s not going to be incredibly cranky with her like Lionel suggests. Oh, whew! I’m glad he’s not. Okay, so I love the glasses fidgeting. And I love that Darcy is silently giving Audrey a hard time.
No, Percy! You’re not supposed to be working on a holiday, you dork! Audrey’s too polite to say that, but I’m not. I loved how they try to make small talk and all that comes out is awkward. It is quite adorable how they keep trying to connect with each other without stepping on toes.
So I did love Ron’s cameo, and I equally loved Percy’s reaction to him too! There were a lot of adrokable moments here, and you write them so vividly! I have fully embraced Audrey’s voice from the begining of the story. I think it fits perfectly into what you’re doing here, and I enjoy seeing the Ministry (and Percy) through her eyes. I can already see how these two would be a good fit for each other, and I’m pretty excited that Percy is being so open with his interest. All I can say is that Molly did an excellent job with him. Looking forward to the next chapter!
Hey, I’m back for more Audrey! Monday was rough on her, but it’s a brand new day, so what do we have in store? Uh oh. Vivian is quite upset. I love the observations that Audrey has about her sister, being sleep deprived, but also fiery in a way that Audrey isn’t. I think maybe Audrey wishes she had more upfrontness like her sister. But I’m glad she’s laid back. I’m seeing how this might come in handy when she has to deal with that guy from the office again.
I do hope that Audrey puts more faith in herself. At the moment, she seems to not believe that she can get what she wants, and that’s a bit difficult since she’s not even sure WHAT she wants yet. At least she has a big sister to look up to. I hope some of that determination rubs of on her. I love the way you show the personality differences between the siblings, especially since we see it from Audrey’s point of view. I feel like I know her so well already. Your writing is so smooth, it is truly a pleasure to read!
Ah, haha, I love Darcy as a foil for Audrey. I love that Audrey has a friend like this, who is loud and daring and pushes her boundaries. I would love to watch the ‘scene’ that she threatens to cause if Audrey doesn’t go out that evening. That would be so entertaining! And oh no! I love the description “romance by stealth”. Tell me, is that copyrighted, because I’d love to use that term. I love that moment that Audrey and Percy shared a look in that bar, right before mister ‘chin too high in the air’ introduced himself. That was perfect timing! And oh god, Italian stitchin, how dull can this Cepheus character be!?! I am so glad that Audrey escaped, and here we go! This is so exciting! I was wondering who was going to approach whom first. I’d have lost that bet, but I’m glad that Percy has a little bit of a backbone. They had been making eyes at each other beforehand anyway. Oh, and he apologizes of all things! This could be a promising start. I really love how you’re making these two so awkward around each other. I wouldn’t expect anything less of Audrey, but I’m really looking forward to seeing more awkward Percy. And I can’t believe her friend wants Cepheus… ugh!