|Review:||Elphaba and Boyfriends says:|
Hello, Elphaba back again!
So, while this is a long chapter I did enjoy it very much! You mentioned potentially cutting some things in your response to my review for chapter one. That's all up to you, but a couple of things that I think you should definitely keep from the first meeting are Astoria's observation that her brother and Cortewalle no longer identify with the purebloods, and the mentions of checks and balances and separation of powers. These all seem important for character development and in establishing Lyndon's platform.
I don't think you jump around too much in this chapter; by switching POVs you give readers clues that we couldn't get if we stuck with Astoria the entire time. The line breaks signal quite nicely that we are shifting to another day/location/character. Could a Malfoy have made a donation to Lyndon's campaign? How is Cort's meeting with Lucius Malfoy connected to his disappearance? I found this little section to be very intriguing.
I think it's also good that we find out here why Thersander Rhodes may not be a good choice for minister -- blood equality won't come from a politician whose campaign is based on the hatred of purebloods.
I don't mind OCs at all when they are necessary to a story, so the fact that they keep popping up hasn't phased me a bit. This is a side of the wizarding world that we really haven't seen much of (other than the Death Eater meetings at the Malfoy mansion, and most of those characters are either dead or in Azkaban) so it makes sense for there to be new characters. I also love that you include new locations like The Bird In The Hand to help establish a wider, adult wizarding world.
If you were to split this chapter into two, I think the point to do it would be at the beginning of the gala, with the sentence that begins with, "Astoria accepted the invitation..."
There was one weird editorial thing that I noticed in this section, when Astoria is trying to determine who sent her the invitation. First, Thurkell tells Christian, "I'll ask her to send Malfoy a thank you card." Then, Astoria thanks Corvus for the invitation, only to be told that it didn't come from him, by which she deduces that Malfoy must have sent it. We find out twice that Malfoy sent the invitation, so one of these exchanges can be cut.
I find it fascinating that Astoria seems to lament the passing of the purebloods' domination, while simultaneously accepting it. She is a very interesting character so far, and I like the way you've been writing her.
I really like the combative banter between Draco and Astoria during the gala. I do get the sense that here are a couple of equally-matched wits who might be interested in each other recreationally, if only politics didn't get in the way. A couple of favorite lines that made me giggle:
"My sincerest apologies, something about the corn-fed accent led me to believe I was operating over your head."
"Here you thought you were point-scoring when really you've been playing in the sandbox all by yourself."
Keep up the great work! :)
Author's Response: Hi again!
Yep, I think I can integrate that section I mentioned into Lyndon's fundraiser without too much fuss - that way it won't be a stand alone section. Will definitely be pulling those parts out too - separation of powers/checks & balances/no longer identifying.
The Malfoys do have a few tricks up their sleeves - I'm glad you've got the impression that they are causing things going on in the background, which will definitely come into play later on so I won't speak any further on it as you're touching on a few plot threads there ;) It's not until 20K words in that I've written in a good strategic move by Draco (there will be blood!) so good to hear that the Malfoys are coming across as players initially.
I'm glad you like Astoria! I'm having a lot of fun with writing her. I've assumed the American wizarding view on blood status would be more relaxed, following along the vein of the real world - they'd think the British fighting a war over blood status as a bit weird and out of touch. (Plus, I've now got the image of cowboy wizards in my mind, and I don't think they'd stand for that nonsense.) Luckily Astoria's seen the best and worst of both worlds.
Draco and Astoria's opposing views and (eventual) teams make it quite fun to write their dialogue. My premise for the Draco/Astoria union is that it will come about as another aspect of their professional interaction and I've tried to tie it in that way.
As to the invitation, I think I will have to get a beta to pick these sorts of things up. I find that I read my writing so many times that it loses all meaning to me, I do think I need a fresh pair of eyes (which is why I have to thank you again for reviewing!)
I've only recently gotten back into fanfiction and fics full of OCs in the past tended to make me click the back button, so when I started this fic I was a bit hesitant about cramming them everywhere - but as you say, I can't see a way around it because there's not enough canon after the war and JKR had to stop somewhere (although I would love for her to just continue on *sigh*)
I have to say, both of your reviews have been constructive and kind, and thank you for reviewing this chap :-)