Hey, you. :) I'm sad that you missed out on a review place, so here I am anyway. This might be slightly less detailed than you usually get, but hopefully you can forgive me.
The chapter was really terrific when it came to this. I hope I don't sound condescending when I say this, but I think that you've really improved since a writer since I started reviewing Joker almost a year ago (wow, has it really been that long??). Not that you were bad before, because you were already great, but there were little mistakes and slip-ups I saw then that I just never see now. :)
That said, a few minor (minor, minor) things:
- The first sentence of the chapter (starting, If Brienne was ever worried) was a little awkwardly worded. I like the concept, but I think you could rework the sentence a bit. Maybe, If Brienne had been worried about finding a distraction after returning to Hogwarts, she hadn't needed to: studying for her OWLs took up most of her time. Not great, but do you see what I mean?
- The paragraph starting, As Angelina revealed how Harry Potter came off a little awkward to me; I wasn't quite sure what was going on in it, and some of the phrasing was a little off. I think that if you go back and reword it a bit to make it clearer, it would work better.
That aside, though, excellent job!
This is just a minor detail, but you know how I am with those. :P I loved the little mention of Angelina working with Wood on Quidditch strategies. Harry didn't really pay much attention to that sort of thing, so we never saw that in canon, but it does make a lot of sense that she would, given that she was appointed captain after him. It's complements canon nicely.
I liked the way you described Brienne and her friends preparing for the OWLs. I felt like you approached it in a realistic way and didn't go overboard - it makes sense that she'd see less of Paisley, who's in a different house, and I loved the fact that they were so busy that they didn't really have time to talk about their holidays.
I also liked the way that you segued into how happy Brienne was to be back despite all of that. Given what she discovered over the holidays, I can understand why she'd want to get back to Hogwarts where she could see her friends. Her relationship with her father is strong, but it seems to me like being with him is also kind of a reminder of what happened to her mother, so even beyond everything else that's different, he can't really draw her out of herself in the same way.
However, you also didn't make it as simple as, "Brienne is back at Hogwarts so everything is perfect!" She clearly becomes a bit of a bystander in her circle of friends at times, and she was definitely a bit hypersensitive (as shown in her reaction to Lee's joking about the kiss). Her character continues to be consistent and realistic, which is one of my favourite parts of this story. (And why, like a bad person, I usually read the new chapter as soon as I see it and then go to review it at a later point.)
Just my take on it. Maybe I'm reading into things that aren't there.
I'm also continuing to like the way you're developing Fred, George, and Angelina's characters in general - it works nicely with what we see in canon, but you also go far beyond that. Both what you show of their personalities - mocking Snape, waxing poetic about the Firebolt - and how they react to her being more withdrawn and unhappy is perfect. You show the difference in her relationship with each of them in subtle ways (especially when she leaves to go outside and George and Angelina eventually go and get her), which is another aspect of this story that I really love.
So yeah. Definitely shorter, and I hope you're not disappointed at the lack of CC. I really can't think of much you could improve about this chapter - it's beautifully done, and I can't wait for the next one!
Author's Response: Hi! Ooh, I love when I get a review from you so I don't mind how long it is :)
Thank you so much for your comments that I've improved! It's odd that though you spend so much time without writing that when you come back to it you seem to have improved xD It's strange! But I'm glad you think I've gotten better at those mechanical things :)
And it's great to know you think I'm keeping up the whole character side of things. That's the most important thing to me, I think. I probably should concentrate on moving the plot along more but I like little character moments :)
Thank you so much for your review, I'll get right onto Chapter 19! (Wow, 19!)