a very well written story, however i do highly doubt Tom Riddle would have had a girlfriend. He had no real friends, so a girlfriend just seems not to fit. But otherwise a very good and interesting story.
Very intriguing. Do you have any plans for expanding on these characters?
I like the mysteries in this - Why does Tania/Bella live (apparently) like a Muggle? What is Alan's back story? Why don't we get his surname? Why was her father driving so fast?
Sometimes the mystery seems a bit overwrought though. If Nick introduced Alan and Tania/Bella, why doesn't she know that he's working as Alan's driver? It's very coincidental that Peter was the driver who rammed into Nick.
As a historian, I also found the where and when of this story to be a bit odd. Clearly, it's after the war, Alan was in the concentration camps. But Where are they? How does Alan have enough money to pay for a driver and a maid? What does he do?
Personally, I'm not a fan of the Tom Riddle flashback. It doesn't make sense to me that her father's name would trigger that particular memory and Tom Riddle dating anyone, particularly a Muggleborn or half-blood doesn't make any sense at all. The abuse makes perfect sense, I just don't see why he would bother, when he could have a pure-blood girl.
I do like the characters and would love to know more about them. I also love the little details, the box that falls of out of Alan's pocket for instance.
Author's Response: Thank you for the review, Aida! I think I will begin by answering your questions. Nick doesn't work as Alan's driver; his father, Peter, does... um, did. Also, Peter wasn't the driver who rammed into Nick. Nick doesn't get rammed into -- he's somewhat unrelated to the incident. Peter was rammed by a random person. They are in England, in the summer of 1946. Alan comes from a wealthy family, so he inherited most of his money. There's a whole story behind why Tania/Bella's previous surname would spark that memory, which I sort of wrote this to be a teaser to. The story also explains your other concerns about the Tom Riddle flashback. I'm very glad you liked the characters. If all goes as planned, you shall soon learn much more about them. Thanks, Aida. ~O
I really liked this story. You begin with a really peaceful scene on a meadow, and a picture paints itself in my head immediately. I can see the grass and clouds and sun and am directly transported to your characters. Such imagery with little words is a great talent; the reader will instantly feel like your characters but still have a free hand in painting the scenery in their own head. That is what an author wants to achieve and you did so nicely.
I also liked the reference of Alan having been in the camp in Poland; it sets the time of when the story plays without much explanation. It also gives away a lot of Alan’s character: Who he is, what hardships he had to live through. As I am German and naturally have learnt lots on Nazi ideology and their crimes on the Jews in school in history, I can immediately understand what Alan must have felt imprisoned in the camp. I can therefore easily sympathise with him when he stares off into the distance. Not every author can describe a character’s background without telling much.
Tania herself is a nicely portrayed character, too. I liked the little information that trickled through the sentences and gave your character a form; like that she plays the flute in an orchestra. The flashback helps as much, showing more of who Tania (aka Bella) has been, that she had been in love with Tom Riddle and doesn’t want to talk on him for having beaten her, even though her friends tell her otherwise. To me that attitude shows kinds of bravery, so I assume she has been in Gryffindor? That Bella loved Riddle makes me wonder whether or not she was a bit attracted by dark magic as well, or if she was merely attracted by his beauty. These unanswered questions make me curious to find out more about her, especially her change of name. Why was she Bella Mihailov back then and today she is Tania? What happened to her, what is her story? And why did she end up kind of estranged from her father and brother? From the little scene after she snaps out of her memory, I can guess that she took another name rather than keeping Mihailov. But why? Those questions keep me enthralled and poised to go on reading to find out the answers.
Additionally, that Tania was in Hogwarts shows that she is magic whereas Alan most likely is not. You never say it, but I would suppose he is a Muggle. Otherwise Alan might have been able to free himself with magic and escape the camp in Poland. I find it interesting of how Alan might learn about her being different to him and how he would cope with it. I half-wish that you’d shown that moment, but because you didn’t, you have lots of opportunities to carry on with those characters and write more about them – which I hope you do.
As for the story flow, up until the flashback of Tania’s memory, the story could have easily been a part of an original fic. It reads light and easily. Nothing points towards magic and that makes the story stand out. It’s hard to develop believable setting and characters for an original fic, so I applaud you for succeeding. I really liked how easily you set this up and I enjoyed reading this original take. But then you take the story back to the world of Rowling with the flashback. I liked how fluent the switch was. And again, without lots of words, the reader is immediately transported to Hogwarts and Bella and why she was crying.
I like the relatively open ending as well, as the unanswered questions allow for a new chapter or the readers’ imagination to continue the story on their own.
All in all, I really enjoyed reading the story and I hope to read more about Tania aka Bella Mihailov in the future.