This story was fascinating. Nott was never really the kind of Slytherin that Malfoy was, but being shut out of society at large for the sins of his father was just the sort of thing that awaited the Slytherin children, even the ones who had not followed the Dark Lord.
I found the choice of Cho Chang as Nott's saving grace to be both interesting and appropriate. I disliked Cho since Prisoner of Azkaban, when she proved to be a whiny, sore loser, but to show that she had given herself a second chance, and in turn offered the same opportunity to Nott, was genius.
Overall, the style of writing, the flow of the story, and the word choice itself was impeccable, IMO, and I can honestly say that I could definitely love this story.
Author's Response: Wow. I don't know what to say. I'm truly flattered by all of your comments; you've praised everything about this story that I was hoping -- and worried about -- achieving. Thank you so much!
I really enjoyed this. It was absolutely perfect; the writing was seamless. And you ended it perfectly, with the goats. I give it two thumbs up!
Author's Response: Seamless? My writing? Wow, thanks so much! And how else could a story such as this have ended, if not with goats? :D
My favourite thing about reading is finding that I've learned something when I'm done. Your fic brought it to my attention that for others to give you a chance you first have to give yourself a chance and that you should afford others the same courtesy. I've really enjoyed going on this journey with Theo because it's not often we see post DH slytherins being integrated into society and if we do they're always recieve instant forgiveness and marry muggleborns. You've given a more realisitc portrayal of Theo having to earn his place in society. Oh, and the second best thing about reading is the humour, Aberforth is very funny in an abrupt sort of way and not a little like Albus, although i'm sure he'd hate to hear it.
Author's Response: Ah, thank you so much. All writers love hearing that their work has really given the readers something to think about, and that was definitely part of the goal behind writing this story (of course, the main reason was just to get it off my chest -- it's amazing how demanding these characters can sometimes get to be heard! :D).
OK. I can see why this won! Anna, you've done an amazing job. Very... depthful. Interesting, how you've taken two moderately minor characters and one very minor and created an amazingly intricate plotline for them.
Aberforth's perfectly in character; I love how you've made him IC but also woven some very Albus-like thoughts into his dialogue. He's really the main humour element in the story, which is nice because even the most profound stories do need something to make you smile.
I never really liked Cho either; I guess I'd always acknowledged that she had potential as a character, but I'd never been all that inspired to take advantage of it myself. So it's great to see what you've done with her; you've changed her character in a way that's very believable and well-justified, but kept it just enough the same for us to recognise who it is.
As for Theodore - since he is so minor, you could basically have gone wherever you want with him. Usually, that's where most people slip up, because they give these minor minor characters either vry exaggerated or hardly characterised personalities, but you haven't done either. You've stuck to the small amount of canon and expanded, of which I am terribly in awe.
I won't try and tackle the themes you've woven in here; his lack of making a decision, second chances, first chances, moving on with life, healing, etc etc, because I've already had a philosophical day and my head is about to explode. But I guarantee that I'll be pondering this story all weekend, and I thank you for that.
My one criticism - "ma'am" is very, very American. I really can't picture any British wizard saying it. Even madam would be better - but not ma'am.
That's all. :)
Thanks for a great read! Oh, and congratulations not only on winning, but also on being in he top ten most prolific authors! Wow!
Author's Response: Aww, Phia, you're so sweet. Thanks so much. I really enjoyed writing this story, and playing around with these smaller characters. All three are very different, and when I first had the idea for the story I wasn't sure if they were going to fit together. It seems as though I managed to at least partly pull it off, though. :PrnrnAnyway, I'm pleased you enjoyed this, and that I gave you something to think about, which is ultimately any starving writer's goal! And thank you for pointing out the Americanism. I had no idea "ma'am" wasn't British. I'll try to avoid that for future HP fan-fic.rnrn*huggles* Thank you again, hun!
Ah, nice ending, Anna. When I started with this chapter, I was expecting something in addition to Theo's meeting with Rabastan. But then I read the ending, Cho and Ab, and I'm like, 'now its perfect.'
Okay, now an overall. I have said this before that we havent had much of Theo in canon, so it was very brave of you to get on with the character and weave something realistic and enjoyable out of it.
What I enjoyed the most: Aberforth Dumbledore. Wonderfully written. Sometimes I'm reading his dialogues and there's this very clear touch, a vague feeling of reading something that Albus would say. Brothers, right?
You got him perfectly. His dialogues, gestures, tones, obession (goats! I'm not laughing).
Enjoyed it very much. Thanks for the story.
Author's Response: Wow, thanks very much, Akay. I was a little uncertain how to tie everything up, but then I sort of decided to leave things fairly loose, but still show Theodore where he belongs. :)
I had so much fun with Aberforth. I've always found him amusing, with his goat obsession, but I'd never gotten around to writing him. Yes, he and Albus are definitely related, so I'm glad that came through. But he is also his own person, a little gruffer than his older brother, but still smart in his way.
Thank you again for your lovely reviews. :D