Ho, ho, ho! Happy holidays! Here is your Holiday Review Exchange Thingee review!
So I knew there was some really good reason that I hadn't gotten around to reviewing the remaining chapters of this story. It couldn't just be the fact that I was busy/lazy. ;)
Lexi is really cute together in the shop. Based on my own recollections, I know how traumatic it can be for women to make that transition into maternity clothes, and you captured her angst really well. I did get a bit lost in your descriptions of the scene, however. Are they in a clothing store or a Quidditch shop? Or does it sell both? And I'm not sure at all what Flourish and Blotts has to do with anything. But I recovered from that quickly enough, I suppose.
Hmmnnn... Interesting development on Al's new pen pal. With so many gay characters in your story, I try not to take anything or anyone at face value. Al has professed to be straight, but who knows what might happen.
Then the enigmatic Rich walks into the picture. I actually had to make a quick trip back through the early chapters to see whether we've seen him before, and I was pleased that my memory wasn't failing me quite that badly. You definitely gave me the feeling that I'd forgotten something based on the very casual way you introduced him. It took me a little while to get into a mental groove with his presence. So I'm assuming that Rich was -- or at least claims to have been -- an unwitting pawn in The Bubblehead Clan's attempt to do something bad to Lexi? Also, he seems to have a romantic interest in Lexi, one that she's not completely averse to.
I thought you did a really good job of capturing the subtleties of Al's plainly negative reaction toward Rich in general and his interest toward Lexi in particular. Since this chapter is written from Lexi's PoV, you couldn't directly give us his thoughts. Instead, you gave us all of a lot of little observations through Lexi's eyes that made his thoughts pretty clear. At least to us. Now Lexi on the other hand, I have to say that the girl is being a little thick here. Granted, she hasn't had a good friend step up and give her a big dose of clarity the way that Chris did for Al during the party.
The mysterious enigma of Emmett continues to grow. If he's a Seer, it seems to be a very short-term vision. Maybe he's a powerful Legillimens? There are several options, but none of them seemed to help him stay a step ahead of Rich. Rich just seems to cut right through all of his pretenses and secrets. There's definitely something to that guy.
I liked the section where everyone talks about their career plans. It was enlightening, both for Al and Lexi.
The ending was just about perfect, a great way to cap off what both Al and Lexi have taken away from this evening out. Like I said, the girl is dense.
Overall, another very nice chapter. I shall return!
Author's Response: Hey.
The bit about the clothes shop in London, in the past tense, Lexi was alone and looking back. In the present, she is waiting outside the Quidditch shop for him. They had been in Flourish and Blotts before that, Al left to go to the Quidditch shop and get the presents. I hope that makes more sense now. :)
Gay characters: Dom and Kieron, who are only really talked about until the end, Emmett and Mystery Boyfriend, which is more of a subplot and isn't talked about much, and Xavier, who won't have a relationship of any kind and who's story in this more the opposite. Emmett and Mystery Boyfriend are really the only two and the reason for the slash warning. Al is definitely straight, I promise. :P
Yeah, Rich was mentioned before and will be again. He's genuine in not knowing about his part in Jessica's plan; he was a distraction, she wanted Al alone, so away from Lexi. She liked him before she was mad at him, that didn't stop.
She is when it comes to Al's feelings. He's been her friend for so long that she doesn't want to see him as more, doesn't want to potentially ruin it. She's like Al, only he denied it and focused his feelings on someone else, whereas she doesn't believe it exists and now doesn't see it. How things will play out if she does find out Al's feelings? Could be fun. ;)
Emmett is definitely an enigma, he's admittedly my favorite character. He's not a Seer, that I'll tell you. No one's ever gotten the better of him before, Rich surprises him. Rich, I will also say, has no 'special powers', he's just incredibly nosy and very blunt about it. He's been like that since he was a kid and with an uncle like his (more on that later) it's very easy for him to get information. He knows everything about everyone. Almost. He doesn't know everything about Emmett. ;)
Thank you so much for the Holiday Review!