Well darn! Such a stunning little gem you have here, and yet there is no continuation to be found! But alas, I shall review, because it's too good to go unreviewed—even if you do never plan to finish it.
Your inclusion of small, but wonderful trinkets of details is what really makes your writing so compelling to read. You use these simple and flowing descriptions, but you don't limit yourself to just pretty, flowering sentences. Lines such as, But no. Ronald Weasley was sitting in the Headmistress' office, picking at a scab on his face and waiting to be updated on the situation and He was daydreaming of his mother's mash when he was bumped into are just priceless. They add so much character to your descriptions.
The idea itself is completely intriguing, and at the same time, something that is very plausible. I enjoy every bit of the backstory, and only wish I could learn more. Who are these Lost Ones, really? What can they do for the Wizarding World? I want to know, I want to know! And this Copper girl... mmmmm I really would like to know more about her. You have this character, who has gone through her entire growing-up years as a hardened, self-sufficient Muggle, only to find herself thrust into the role of damsel-in-distress whose new home is a castle. For most of your readers, I'm sure they would kill to be in her position... but something tells me Copper isn't going to be loving this like we would.
"So what's these kids and the books have to do with me, and indirectly with the war?" asked Ron tiredly, trying to be polite. McGonagall smiled at his slightly.
The above line hits me as slightly off... I tried saying it out loud just now, and I found it rather difficult—it just doesn't seem like something anyone, least of all Ron, would say. Maybe, “So what do these kids and books have to do with the war? Or with me?” might work just a bit better. Also, I think you meant to have a word after “McGonagall smiled at his...”.
But this is just a nitpick... and you truly are a wonderful story-weaver. I never cease to be impressed by your work.
It's been about half a year! Are you planning on updating at all?
GringottsVault711, that is one monster of a review! Anyways, I think it's rather interesting with the Lost Ones. I'd be kind of scared if I were one of them. :O :) :O
[/procrastination] I personally find opening chapters difficult to write, and annoying to read as they can be horribly tedious - so I definitely have respect for a introduction well done. The exposition here is wonderful - you introduce the characters, plot and setting without directly stating any of it to the reader. We are simply thrown into the story with the characters, and though we have clearly missed plenty - we very quickly, concisely (and yet, subtly) brought up to speed. There is no point in which the narration stops to say 'Oh, by the way, here's what has been going on lately...', something I certainly despise to read. The passage of time is shown, as it is in reality, on the characters' faces and in their thoughts and actions. We see they have changed, and though we can't be so sure as to why and how exactly those changes occured, we recognise the differences and immediately factor those developments into our new image of them. It stirs within the reader a sense of curiosity, to move forward with the story and plot and to also learn more of what the characters have been through to get to this point.
...worrying etched into her slightly-lined face. I believe this is grammatically correct, but I can't help but think it would flow better if it read 'worry etched into her slightly-lined face.' Perhaps I just personally prefer for someone to convey an emotion rather than an action of that emotion, but I thought I'd put it out there ;)
We didn't find out until a little while before the 1500's," said McGonagall tiredly, burying her hands in her face. "And when we did find out, the Ministries of the world all agreed that they should never find out, because it is difficult to train people in magic as they get older." immediately followed by : "How did we find out?" questioned Ron, suddenly alert. I'm am really annoyed closely repeated phrases, words, or even sounds. I think changing a few of the 'find out's couldn't hurt, something like 'when we did make the discovery' or 'all agreed they should never be made aware' - (by the way, I felt the 'they' that should 'never find out' was unclear. Is this in reference to the Lost Ones, or the wizarding society as a whole?)
I love your inclusion of details that many would not even think to include - you do not simply make the obvious descriptions such as the look in a characters eye, the tone of their voice, or the colour of a room's walls. Suggestive comments such as 'pointedly not looking at the portrait of her oldest friend', and the mention of McGonagall 'limping to her chair' certainly caught my eye as wonderful additions that say more than they might appear to. Many authors describe what the reader is already paying attention to, but I love to have my directed somewhere else for just a moment, such as in the case of The Lost Ones [Ron noticed that the girl bristled when addressed as so]. This paragraph could have simply continued to do what is necessary and inform the readers of the facts of the plot, what is happening and how it's being done - but instead, the oppurtunity is seized to reveal an interesting characteristic of Copper's. I take it she is uncomfortable with the term, for one reason or another ;)
Speaking of Copper, I almost wish I could Obliviate my memory and be introduced to her for the first time in this chapter, but alas - that is impossible. I feel the excitement building as I see her make an appearance, and as I know what is to come. I'm practically bouncing in my seat, and I think it might skew my perception of her. Of course, I can tell that even without already being acquainted with Ms. Leeds, she definitely catches the readers' eye as a worthy object of attention, even if we don't know why quite yet. She's certainly not boring or generic, and even with a minimal four speaking parts (one being her mumbled name, another being her repeating her name), we can already see a three-dimensional, complex character - again, not something often accomplished in a first chapter.
I believe I've already complimented you on the explaination of the Lost Ones and the Codex nominis, but I shall again: Besides the uncanny Hermione characterisation as you use her as a tool to inform the reader (I think I know someone else who does that, and she goes by the name of JK Rowling), I just love the thought that's put into this little portion of wizarding world knowledge. Not overzealous, but definitely given some thought, and it's all so - dare I say it? - rather fascinating. Definitely one of my favourite parts of the chapter. I'm sure the knowledge is utterly useless to me, but I enjoy having it all the same.
"And with that out of the way," she said, "let us mingle and get to know our new guests." With that, the two ranks broke, and the Order members and staff began their interrogation of the newcomers. ::chuckle:: I love this - from the phrase 'mingle and get to know' to the use of the word 'interrogation'. The connotations contrast very entertainingly, I can just imagine the Order and staff accosting the poor Lost Ones, who are surely overwhelmed at this point.
She turned her head towards him, her hazel eyes sharply considering him as she began to formulate a few questions of her own. The last line is splendid. For a few minutes, I thought we would be restricted to Ron's thoughts, and never get to see Copper's perspective, but you show us here that we will indeed get some insight, which will undoubtedly be interesting. Now, only if we knew what her thoughts were up to... Hmmm...
Great work, I'm looking forward to this tale. My biggest piece of criticism is that Chapter 2 remains irritatingly unavailable.
I love it! It grabbed me from the first sentence. In fact, my eyes were glued onto the monitor before I reached the halfway-mark. The whole idea of "Lost Ones" is just so exciting!
This is awesome, I noticed that Copper has some of your traits like *cough* smoking. Copper seems like a very promising character. I think Ron will hang around her alot, more than the other Lost Ones, since you did say they would probably get together later. I like her. I have a question, why did Harry and Hermione go over to the man?
Very promising looking. I like the original idea, as well. Keep up the good work. I'll be checking daily for any new chapters. It's in my favorites.
First of all, I love the premise. The idea of lost witches and wizards is both logical and original. It's a lovely little plot bunny, and you're doing it justice.
The opening is brilliant. It's very Ron, and it sets the tone for the chapter. The repetition of Ron constantly wishing he were somewhere else serves as a motif and unifies the chapter. This chapter is not a collection of scenes but a cohesive chapter, and this motif is part of what makes it work so well as a chapter.In the third paragraph I found myself having to go over one of McGonagall's lines of dialogue for clarity. “… there is an important operation underway. Not," she continued, fluttering her hands at the trio's protesting faces, "anything that has to do directly with you, or even the war...” What you have is grammatically correct, but I had to go back to figure out that 'anything' refers to 'operation.' Maybe my brain is just tired from reading too much bad grammar today, but maybe it could be clearer. Maybe it's just that “not anything” would be pretty strange in a continuous sentence, since usually it is usually compressed into “nothing.”
Another small nitpick is on the term Codex Nominis. Your capitalization is consistent throughout, but I think it's incorrect. The Romans were weird about capitalization, but I think that if they capitalized codex they would also capitalize nominis. Together they form the proper noun, so together they would be capitalized. Also, it's usual to be consistent in capitalization between English and Latin. If it's The Book of Names in English, then it should be Codex Nominis in Latin.You're characterizations are superb. You've managed to focus the story on Ron while still keeping Harry and Hermione's characters strong and true. Copper is your baby, and you've done an excellent job creating her. She's a wonderful character and I look forward to watching her grow. My absolute favorite of all your characterizations is Professor McGonagall. She still speaks, acts, and thinks like the Professor McGonagall we know from canon, but she is also tired and worn. Through her you show how the war has taken its toll upon the old as well upon the young. A slight droop of the head from the witch who always stands tall and stern speaks volumes both about her and about the intervening years. It's slight, yet powerful.
Seren dear, this is beautiful. And as I often find myself saying when I've read one of your stories, thank you for sharing it with us.
I meant to say ~*10/10*~ oops
I've already added this to my favorite lists. I liked it althought it kind of confused me at the beginning. This is such a different writing than what i'm used to reading or writing and I love it. I can't wait to see where this goes. ~*9/10*~