Glad I read the story.
Author's Response: Glad you enjoyed it. Thank you ~Carole~
I'd love to read more about these guys! Great story!
Author's Response: Thank you. Well, Aaron appears in Swans when he's a few years older, and both of them are appearing in a follow up to my main Next Gen story called High (Genister is in High a little bit, Aaron is mentioned, too, but it's mainly a Scorpius/Lily story). Glad you liked the story. ~Carole~
Carole, you have done an amazing job here at fleshing out your OCs. This is one of my favourite stories of yours because it is so well written and shows the characters as people rather than as one-sided characters.
When I saw that Genister Avery was in this, I had to read it. I loved her character in High, and, unsurprisingly, I really enjoyed the way you fleshed out her character in this also. In High, I really liked how compassionate and understanding she was, and her witty comments made me laugh. In this story, I thought that you did a really good job building on her characterization in High. All of her different faces - girl, girlfriend, classmate, friend ā“ made it really easy for me to relate to her, which made her enjoyable to read about. When Aaron overhears her giggling about her hair, she seemed like a typical girl, and when she is being sympathetic about his financial situation, she felt very compassionate. I loved how much more complex these contrasts make her seem. The way you blend together all these different sides of her character was really, in my opinion, awe-inspiring.
Even though I didn't really remember Aaron from High, he, like Genister, was so well developed that I didn't feel like I needed to reread High to understand him. I feel sorry for him because of the situation you put him in: heās just a boy with a passion and a family that doesnāt support it. Initially, I thought that his resentment and embarrassment towards Sophia and his stepmother seemed a little unjust. Most teenagers get a bit embarrassed around their parents in public, myself included, but not to that level; discovering his fatherās verdict really clarified that for me. I actually felt really sorry for him, even though it was a bit selfish. His annoyance that the girl he likes is going out with a complete jerk is another situation that I (and Iām sure most people) can easily relate to. I think that these situations really helped me understand Aaron better and, as Iāve already said, feel sorry for him.
I think that the generally negative portrayal of the Weasley family through Hugo is one of the more interesting points of the story. You really do portray Hugo as a jerk, although as this is from Aaronās point of view, I didnāt expect any less. When Hugo is repeatedly late to see Genister, Hugo comes across as insensitive. I definitely think that the confrontation is a key moment in the story: you collect up all of Hugoās lack of consideration as a boyfriend and hit him (and me as the reader) with a ton of allegations in one explosion. I think that it fully expressed how inconsiderate Hugo was, and made me feel sorry for Genister and back Aaron. Aaron is scared of the Weasleys, and he has his reasons. As a Slytherin, he almost has to dislike them (which is a principle I understand and donāt like), but it was the word āconfidenceā that got to me really. I never thought that 'confidence' was a negative word, although I suppose that it is something that Aaron lacks then the Weasleys must seem a little overbearing. Itās something Iāve never really considered, so this shows confidence, as well as the Weasleys, in a slightly different light for me. Genisterās parents dislike for them seems, to me, a far more valid reason, but as a sort of hook, I think this works quite well.
As for the other hook, photography, I admire that it was woven so deep into the story right from the beginning. I feel that Aaron thinking about that botched snap of Harry at the beginning shows how photography is very much a part of his life. Your subtlety, though, in writing it in also feels so natural that it doesnāt seem important in the story at all, when in fact, it is our first real hint into Aaronās passion. Genister putting two and two together once she found out that Aaron wasnāt in Photography Club but knew heād told Professor Zabini that heād bought a new camera was a good demonstration of her shrewd mind, but also of her care when she encourages him to send something to the Prophet. You use photography as a brilliant medium to bring these two together, and you weave it in very delicately in a way that adds to the flow rather than disrupts it.
This story really does flow from scene to scene, and nothing feels like space filler. I really loved the ending because it all fitted together and flowed so well. I found it funny that the joke was actually on Aaron, but it was a happy joke. The only criticism I have is that āHogsmeade, next weekendā sounded more like an order to me, as opposed to an invitation.
However, I thought that this was a brilliant story. Well done for writing such a well-developed piece and good luck in the challenge!
Author's Response: OOOH, thank you so much for the lovely review :). I hope my response can do it justice.
Aaron - yes, he's very minor in High, just a name, tbh, but he's one of the fifth years that Scorpius shares with and gives his Astronomy notes too. There is a reference somewhere to him 'having wet dreams over a Ravenclaw girl' because even then I had this story in mind (or more specifically, I had a follow up to High in mind). Then he turned up as a photographer in Swans and after that I knew I had to write him again.
Many of the reviews I received for High mentioned Genister and how they liked her. Her father, Rob, is in another story of mine (Apparently Asleep - which I might finish one day) and the history of her uncle has always been something I wanted to explore. Her family, as you pointed out, have more of a reason to dislike Ron and Harry, but she's fairly balanced about this. In the books, Harper (Aaron's dad) is the Seeker who takes over from Draco and calls Ron a blood-traitor' so his prejudice was something I could work with.
As you pointed out, the Weasleys (and Potters) come across as rather bullying. I don't think they are, but at that time (in my timeline at least) if you've started Hogwarts in Slytherin, and there are nine cousins at the school, the majority in Gryffindor, then I can imagine that would be quite intimidating. This is all from Aaron;s POV, and he's very biased against Hugo, for obvious reasons (much as Scorpius was biased against Albus in High) but Hugo isn't all bad, I don't think. He's careless and probably takes Genister for granted, but he's not really a bully.
The Hogsmeade, next weekend, line was really him trying to be cool. He did temper it with a question just after, so I hope she doesn't think it's an order. :)
ANYWAY .... I am currently writing a sequel to High for the GH challenge. It's more focused on Scorpius and his life in the Auror department, but this particular trio are in the first chapter ... at the very least.
Thank you so much for the wonderful review. It is very much appreciated.
Awww! I remember Genister saving Scorpius, and I'm so very glad to have learned more about her! I remember Harper too, but I don't think that he was described very nicely :P
Hugo, it seems, is his father's son in this. From being a jealous boyfriend to picking fights to having a "large nose," I could completely believe it.
I also liked Sophia :)
Great job, as usual!
Author's Response: Thank you very much. Aaron is also in Swans and all three should be appearing in a new story I'm planning (but not as the main characters).
Can I ask what you meant by this, but I don't think that he was described very nicely ? Do you mean, Harper wasn't described much in High, or that he doesn't seem nicely described in this story? Just contemplating adding a little more to his physical appearance, that's all. :) ~Carole~
Author's Response: Thank you. ~Carole~
A good start to what looks like an interesting "other characters" story.
Author's Response: Thank you very much. Secind chapter is up soon. ~Carole~
Poor guy, I really feel bad for him. Bit of an irony, Ron Weasley's son teasing someone over short robes.
Author's Response: Yes, I played on the irony because Ron's kids wouldn;t want for much, I don;t think. Thank you for reviewing :D ~Carole