As your BeBr prof, I thought I’d come and share my opinion on your wonderful final. This was a really interesting read and a great one-shot. Firstly, I must just comment on the ending, particularly the revelation of who Peter really was. For some reason, it never even occurred to me who he was and then when his name was read out I had a moment of complete surprise, as it took me totally unawares! I think it really added to the story, finding out that the boy I assumed to just be an OC was in fact Pettigrew. I like how you presented him as a completely normal child, with a pretty normal family and life as well as a friend who he is close to (and is a Muggle nonetheless – interesting considering the side he later chooses!). It also makes me wonder how different he could have been, had he and Anne been the same house, as it seems that she is a friend that treated him very much as an equal, and could perhaps have helped him stay on the ‘right path’.
The characterisation was a real strength in this one-shot and I think you presented Anne as very real and very likeable. Her doubts about leaving were very believable, particularly with this line: ‘I’ll miss Mum and Dad and all my things I can’t take with me.’ because it was so completely realistic of the things an eleven-year-old would worry about. It’s easy to imagine that any child would be scared about leaving their family behind to go to boarding school, even if that school is Hogwarts! And I’m glad you showed that even with the excitement of discovering she was a witch, Anne still had the same nerves as any ordinary person.
As I was reading, I did wonder where you would have Anne sorted and based on the way you presented her character, I think Hufflepuff was definitely the right decision. Obviously we know that Peter goes in to Gryffindor and part of me thought you might send Anne in the same place but even as I was questioning it, I was also thinking that it just wouldn’t be right for her to be in Gryffindor and I was so relieved that you took the path you did.
The friendship between the pair was presented very naturally and it was sweet how they were both dropping hints about their magic, until Anne finally cracked and gave it away. I loved her reaction to finding out that Peter was also a wizard: Squealing loudly, Anne threw the box in which she had hidden the letter away and flung her arms around Peter’s neck. ‘I can’t believe it!’ she screamed in his ear; Peter grimaced. Then, she held him at arm’s distance. ‘We’re going to the same school!’ and I was feeling just as excited as she was when I read this. It was a perfect portrayal of a young girl’s excitement and really made me feel I was there too.
This is not the first time we have seen a Muggle-born experience the excitement of preparing for the Hogwarts but even though it is a storyline that has been used before, you still managed to make it unique and interesting. The use of this part - ‘What do you want to know?’ he asked, to which she exclaimed, passionately, ‘Everything, of course!’ ‘All right, there are four Houses…’ - struck me as a particularly effective part of keeping the plot original. It showed Anne’s excitement and desire to know everything she can about Hogwarts, as well as the closeness of the friends, but the use of the fade off meant that the reader knew they witnessing the beginning of a long conversation about Hogwarts, which would tell Anne a lot of what she needed to know, without having to re-read the things we already know from canon.
I also liked how you showed that every Muggle-born finds different things to be excited/apprehensive about in the wizarding world. Anne’s fears about the fire - ‘But – but – but –,’ she stuttered, ashen-faced, ‘fire is hot!’ were rather amusing and of course, perfectly understandable for a child who will have been told to always stay away from fire!
As far as Brit-picking goes (which is of course an important part of the final), I felt you really thought about everything you wrote and tried to incorporate the things you’d learnt in class in to your writing. The names of the characters were simple and perfectly appropriate for the era, particularly as Anne is a Muggle-born. The language was almost completely perfect, both for the time and place, for example the various items of clothing and the use of cassettes. The only part which was slightly out of place was the use of the words ‘sand box’ which in Britain would be more likely referred to as a ‘sand pit’. All the cultural references such as Anne’s love of the Beatles fitted well in to the era. However, there were moments when I felt the Beatles in particular were a little bit over referenced, though it is true that for many they were an obsession.
All in all, I loved reading this, and it was an excellent final piece. The whole thing was written technically wonderfully and definitely deserving of its full marks! ~Hannah
Author's Response: I love getting reviews from you. Your feedback is just wow. Thanks a lot. I'm really glad you liked it and that it incorporated what it needed for a worthy final. Also, thanks for being a great professor.
I wasn't entirely sure where to put Anne. At first, Gryffindor came to mind, but since the whole plot was that both she and Peter get separated through the Sorting, and Peter's house is Gryffindor from canon, I needed another place. Slytherin was out of bounds right away for this purpose (more so that Anne is a Muggle-born), so there were only Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff left. And the choice for the latter was on the one hand because I didn't see Anne as being the studious type of girl, and on the second hand, I have a soft spot for my own house. ;) So the characterisation of the story worked towards Anne fit into Hufflepuff. Funny, how things come while writing, right?
The revelation about Peter: You're not the first to be surprised about it. My one beta was taken unaware as well. I'm glad it worked like I intended it. :D
Anyway, thanks a lot for a lovely review, Hannah. *squishes*
I like this story. Anne is a likeable and believable character and it is nice to see Peter as a good friend having friends other than the Mauraders. The relationship that you show between them is interesting, and as that is what the plot centres around that leaves the plot good.
There were a few problems I had though. You had some awkward phrases which distracted from the flow, though I didn’t notice them until the second reading. An example of this is I’m so excited to see into which House I’ll be Sorted.’ I would suggest rephrasing this as “I’m so excited to see which House I’ll be Sorted into.” There isn’t anything grammatically wrong with how you wrote it but my suggestion is how that sentence would be said in English.
Did you mean to mark the story as complete? If you did then I got a misleading impression from the summary. I thought that it would be about how their friendship was affected by being sorted into different Houses. However it ends with their Sorting. I would describe what I read as about a Muggleborn learning that she is a witch and going to Hogwarts with her best friend. I would like to see if they remain friends or if they drift apart. I would love to see this fic extended.
The problems are mainly minor and I really did enjoy the fic. I do like Anne and even if you don’t extend this I would like to see her again.
Author's Response: Thank you for the nice review. I'll take a look at the awkward sentence. And yes, for now the story is complete. My muse has some ideas for further chapters where the friendship between Peter and Anne will be explored and tested. But for now, it's complete. But since Anne captured my heart, I'll surely write more about her and the friendship with Peter. Not in the too close future, however, I'm afraid.
Anyway, thanks again for reading and reviewing. :)