Hey, here for Review Tag. :)
This is a story that I think has a lot of promise. You've set the stage for an interesting backstory with the banshees (either the apparent banshee uprising itself or just Carmen's obsession with that sort of thing - either would provide an interesting backstory), and Carmen herself seems like a really fun character to play around with. Right now she comes across to me as kind of like a hyperactive Luna Lovegood, which definitely opens up a wide range of possibilities.
However, there were a few areas that I thought you could have improved upon to take this story from 'promising' to 'great' (because I really think that it could be the latter, which a little bit of work).
First, I want to touch on the mechanics. You've got the basics down, but there were a few little things that you tripped up on. They're not a huge deal, but for me, at least, mechanical mistakes can really take away from what would otherwise be a very good story, so I thought I'd point them out.
There was a typo in the very first sentence, when Carmen says, "How can you ignore the signs?" the first quotation mark is at the bottom of the sentence rather than the top. Additionally, you didn't always use dialogue tags correctly. In case you don't know the term (a lot of people don't), "dialogue tag" just refers to the words that follow dialogue and indicate who is speaking. Some examples would be Carmen yelled, she mumbled, etc. You correctly end sentences when a dialogue tag immediately follows with a comma, and you are also correct in not capitalizing the tag.
However, you bump into problems in that you treat a lot of things as dialogue tags when they aren't. For example, in the fourth paragraph, she shoved a glistening… etc should have started with a capital letter, not a lowercase, because it's not directly related to the dialogue that came before it. There were several of instances of this (including Rose Weasley smirked - smirking isn't a dialogue tag), and I think it's worth going through to clean it up.
I also want to address your descriptions. Aside from those couple things I pointed out, your grammar is good, which makes this readable and enjoyable. You also do have a lot of great descriptions - Carmen yelling at the back of the girls, the boy inching toward the staircase, Carmen wondering why no one was coming down the stairs when they usually did at this time… there were a lot of fun descriptions that gave me a good idea of what was going on.
Where I think you struggled a little was consistency. For example, you described both Rose's and Carmen's appearances in a fair amount of detail. That's not a bad thing, and the descriptions themselves were good. However, given that you didn't really describe anything else in such minute detail made those stick out. If you included a little more about their surroundings, rather than just the people in them, I think that the chapter would be much stronger.
As I said, these really aren't that big a deal on their own, but they do add up, especially the consistency issue that I mentioned. I do think that they're worth cleaning up, and they may be part of the reason this story doesn't have the reviews/favourites that, frankly, I think it deserves. You have a great concept here, and Carmen as a character is shaping up to be original and entertaining, as is Rose. And don't worry - I am going to talk about the content. (I didn't actually mean to spend that much time on mechanics - sorry, I'm a bit obsessed).
Honestly, the things I talked about above really were the major weaknesses I saw in the fic. Everything else was great, and I don't understand it doesn't have more of a following, even with the things I've mentioned.
In next-gen fics, there are often a lot of cliches and stereotypes that people fall into. I didn't see any in here, which caught my interest and made me want to come back for more. Carmen's character is imaginative and shows a lot of creativity on your part. Describing Carmen as an old hag with nice eyes and setting it up so readers know right off the bat that she's a little left of center was a nice introduction to the character, and judging from the story summary and the tone thus far, I think that it was also a nice introduction to the story as a whole.
The same is true of Rose. I have never read a Rose like this, and I've read a lot of Roses. When you can take such a popular next-gen character and make her your own like this, you're definitely doing something right. Additionally, when Rose appears and you give the description of her, that definitely reinforced the tone of the story that Carmen had already set for me. This wasn't just going to be one rather eccentric character surrounded by patient but ultimately fairly normal friends - the cast of this is definitely shaping up to all be eccentric in their own special ways. If Carmen and Rose are any indication, it also seems like they'll each be very much their own character, rather than just fitting one easy mold.
I also thought that you paced this well. The story summary gives me the impression that there are going to be six main characters, and I love the fact that you didn't try to squeeze them all into this first chapter. That would have ended up taking away from the two characters you did introduce, which are - as I mentioned - quite strong. Introducing main characters chapter by chapter is something that a lot of people don't have the patience to do, but you did it.
… when you signed up for tag, you probably weren't figuring that you'd be getting a novel. Hopefully it came off as helpful, rather than annoying! If you have any questions, feel free to PM me, and good luck on the story - I hope you don't get discouraged, because I really do think that it has so much promise.
Author's Response: Wow! This was amazing.'Annoying', are you kidding me? It is to get such helpful reviews that I came to this site in the first place!
In all honesty, I was this close to abandoning the story. And it would not be an exaggeration to say that your review turned everything around :)
One of the reasons I've been having a hard time with this fic is that I simply can't figure out a fitting style for it. I suppose the consistency you mentioned is just one side effect of this. I will do my best to work on making the story more presentable, possibly even with the help of a beta (Would you be willing to be to that, btw? ^^)
I am overjoyed that you liked the characters so far! I purposefully avoided any stereotype I could simply because I always thought it was strange how often Harry and co.'s children are portrayed as normal,undamaged adolescents. I hope to show them from a different perspective, focusing on how these teenagers must deal with the highest of expectations while remaining true to their own needs and desires. Likey, each will go about this in their own, highly disfunctional way ;). They are children of war, after all. This is often forgotten, and I think that leaves some unexplored potential, to say the least. A society after a war is never the same, and the pressure to establish a new world order falls on the new generation. If that doesn't make one a bit,uh,eccentric I don't know what would :P
Once again, thank you so much for your review, please know that it single-handedly saved this story! I'm sorry for taking so long to answer, but, you know,life. I hope to see you back soon :D