Upon reading the first chapter, I must say that you need to have more confidence in yourself! This really isnâ€™t a bad beginning to a chapter â€“ actually, itâ€™s quite good. You have completely intrigued me and have made me want to read a fic about a pairing I absolutely despise, which is quite a feat in itself.
I love the voice of Scorpius in this fic. There is something so honest and open about him. He sounds like such an old soul, which you totally support through what you show us. Scorpius appears to just be so wise and so accepting of everything that is going on around him. Already, in the first chapter, we can see how much Scorpius clearly loves Albus. When he says â€śAlbus has to be one of the brightest students to ever walk these halls. Heâ€™s amazingly talented;, I might even pit him against Dumbledore ... and win!â€ť we know that he cares about Albus very much, even though we arenâ€™t really sure in what way. One concern with Scorpius is that we arenâ€™t really sure it is him until the very end of the chapter. Actually, for some reason, I thought it was Lily. Maybe Iâ€™m just dense, but perhaps you may want to make it a little clearer who it is from the beginning.
I really liked how you portrayed Lily. She is definitely not the typical Lily of Next-Gen fanfiction. Instead of the outgoing, loud, bubbly Lily, we see a quiet, almost shy Lily, who puts her trust in the most unlikely of people. The reactions of her family is also appropriate. Lily is the one of the youngest of the family, they arenâ€™t likely to listen, especially when she is pointing out something that they donâ€™t want to see.
In further comment of Lily, I think that you handled the cousin pairing of the story in a very mature and inoffensive manner. Instead of just having the pairing there just for the sake of having the pairing there, you have incorporated it into the storyline, giving Lily and Scorpius a close connection through the knowledge of the relationship. Because it is only mentioned briefly and as part of the story, it makes the pairing seem like less of a big deal, and I think it could be used as story to perhaps open peopleâ€™s minds to the idea of cousin pairings.
What was nice about this chapter is that you really didnâ€™t force the prompt. While the word heavy has definitely influenced this chapter, it isnâ€™t a glaring â€śin your faceâ€ť use of the prompt. Itâ€™s there, but itâ€™s subtle, which was really nicely done. Keeping up with the idea of a challenge fic, I like how it isnâ€™t overly obvious that this chapter was done a tight schedule. Given, this is the first chapter, and the one you likely took the most time on, it does not have that feeling of â€śI threw this together in three hoursâ€ť that many challenge fics often have. It is very clear that there was some plotting and planning put into this story.
The plot of this story moves quite quickly, which is really nice. Already in the first chapter, so much has happened. We are given how Scorpius and Lily became friends and a general idea of what is going to go down. That being said, it doesnâ€™t move so quickly that I am confused as to what is going on. I have time to collect my thoughts, but there isnâ€™t so much useless description and waffling that I lose focus and interest.
Overall, this is a fantastic start to what I'm sure will be a fantastic fic. Great job, Ellie!
Author's Response: Mapllleeeeee! Thank you for the amazing review! (and I apologize for the horrible amount of time I left it unresponded).
To be honest, I really wasn't sold on Albus/Scorpius when I started writing this. I have a very set image of what Albus is like, and I had to stray from it quite a bit in this to make it work. :) I honestly don't think that the pairing works for me- I have too set of a headcanon.
Scorpius: Gosh, I loved him in this fic. I tried not to make him a stereotypical Hufflepuff, but he is just such a nice person in this. I was trying to give a bit of foreshadow of his feelings (because I had planned the second chapter :D), and I'm really glad you caught it. Now that you mention it, though, Scorpius does sound kind of like a girl. I was trying to keep his identity all 'secretive/suspenseful', but I might go back and change that.
My main fear with this story was that I'd run into too many cliches, and that it wouldn't be original. I was going to have Lily be more outgoing, but I rather like this type of Lily. All credit for Lily goes to Soraya, though. :) She really helped me develop her. As for the cousin pairing, I"m so glad you thought it fit. I didn't want it to take up too much room (there was a time when I was thinking maybe Lily would be pregnant), but I'm glad you thought it worked. :)
Prompts were one of the hardest parts of 007. They were so random (I honestly couldn't have thought of a good one for 'Editorial'), and it was hard to have them flow through the story. I'm glad that it wasn't too overbearing, though. (I tend to do that). As for the plot, I kind of thought it did move too quickly, but I only had seven chapters. :/ I'm glad that you didn't think it was. :)
Maple, I'm blushing right now. Thank you so much for the amazing review.
This is one of my favorite pairings. Good start. Please continue!
Author's Response: Thank you so much for the review. :) The entire thing will be seven chapters, and I promise it will be dune by the 24th (it's for a challenge on the boards). I'm glad you like it!