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Hello, little sis!
Well, first of all, I’d like to congratulate you for churning out such a wonderful piece in a matter of hours. I remember, that was one of the crazier nights when we sat up together over AIM, trying to complete our challenge entries before the deadline, and unlike my rushed, typo-ridden submission, this is a very good, polished piece.
Beginning with the introduction: I have always loved your story beginnings. They’re well written, explanatory and exciting. It’s… well, I shall compare it with food: crispy on the outside and juicy and engaging as you move in. You give us a fair explanation of Andrea’s character before drawing us into a deeper, more emotional story, which, as one can gather from the summary itself, is not your run-of-the-mill romance.
Your writing has a humorous tone to it, which I like. Since it was written in first-person format, this gives Andrea more character and makes her more interesting. I really like the transition from your introductory paragraph to the main story- that is, the present, where Andrea is sitting in her secret place. Also, you have blended in the scenes and made it smooth and easy to read. I like how you mention subtle canon facts for the readers to grin at. For example: There was a sudden rustle of paper as I saw him hiding it behind his back, a sheepish expression on his face. I recognised the Marauder’s Map! Hmm, I wonder how Albus has it. Maybe James has given it to him for use once in a while? Either ways, it made me chuckle. It reminded me of Harry too, and for some reason, the familiarity felt good.
Moving on to character development, I enjoyed reading Andrea. I felt sorry that she had to deal with dyslexia. Even though you’ve had her mention that she wasn’t ‘cunning and evil’ like the rest of the Slytherins, I liked how she still managed to remain quite Slytherin. She was determined to fight her learning disability and she also fiercely defended Albus, whom she cared for. Her character weaknesses are also well illustrated. She can get carried away by others; she agrees to bully Albus just because her housemates tell her to do so. She is also under-confident. All this put together makes her a believable, well-developed character.
Albus, on the other hand, was so different from the usual, pathetically nice representation that he gets (and I must admit, I am guilty of such a representation of him too)! I liked how he was like Harry, sweet and caring sometimes, but also like James Sr in some parts: he is mean to Andrea when she tries to bully him; way too mean. I also like how he has certain Gryffindor-ish qualities in him, despite being a Ravenclaw. He’s not so different from everyone else in his family after all! He’s a stubborn, determined, person too, I see, as he chases Andrea about after hurting her, but that also indicates that he’s nice, like Harry. You also made him different, by Sorting him into Ravenclaw. It was different, because if he’s not a Gryffindor, he’s generally a Slytherin.
I found it interesting that Albus attended Muggle primary school. I remember suggesting Sherlock Holmes to you, but it goes well with his character in this story. He seems like someone who might read intelligent Muggle literature. Hmm, how much do you reckon the wizarding world would have changed by the time Albus went to Hogwarts? Do you think that, maybe at least thirty per cent of the wizards might be sending their kids to Muggle schools for primary education, as it is indeed a liberal and tolerant world, now? Just something that really intrigued me in your story…
I have quite a few favourite moments in your story. The best would be the bullying scene. It made me grin because of Albus, as I have explained before. It was really nice to see him that way. Another moment I loved was when Albus helped Andrea write the ‘R’. The emotions involved and the attraction between them, the sexual tension and their reactions… It was so sweet and sexy. Once I read this, I couldn’t wait for Albus and Andrea to get together. This was fantastic!
My other favourite moment would be Albus and Andrea meeting Jenkins and Bulstrode again. This line made me giggle a lot: And I can see two caterpillars mating. So much for Jenkins calling them an eagle and a worm; Albus didn’t care about that at all! Plus, I loved how Andrea punched Jenkins after that! It was a wonderful moment and I felt nice for both Albus and Andrea.
The kiss in the end was really sweet and Albus asking Andrea out to Hogsmeade wrapped it up really well. I enjoyed reading them as a couple and felt sorry for them because, well, I do know what happens to these two in Sapphires and Rubies. But yes, seeing you wrote Andrea in Rubies first, this story maintained the consistency in her character. She seemed like the same person who tried on the cologne she got for Albus, just so she could see how he’d smell. I can see their relationship going far enough to a live-in, the way it’s been represented in Sapphires/Rubies.
To sum it all up, this was a lovely read. There is no doubt that I enjoyed it. You definitely handled the dyslexia well and Andrea’s difficulties were well represented. The story has a slightly bittersweet tinge to it, but that’s maybe because I know what happens later on! I must admit, I never thought that the expansion of any of our Rubies/Sapphires snippets would work, but you’ve disproved me. You have discovered Andrea well. Well done and all the very best for the challenge!
I love it! its a wonderful story. Espesialy as I'm dyslexic myself.
Author's Response: Thanks! I was unsure about how to write this and I had to do a bit of research on the topic. I'm glad to have gained your approval. :D Thank you so, so much for reviewing!
Author's Response: Thank you :)
I really liked this! Is this the same Andrea as in Sapphires?
Al's remark about the caterpillars mating was hilarious, by the way! ;D
Author's Response: Yayay, thank you Julie! I'm so glad you liked it. Lol about the comment, hehe. And yes, this is the same Andrea as in Sapphires. Thanks for reading! Your reviews always make me smile :).
Nice story, but I think the formatting needs checking. The story is repeated.
Author's Response: Thank you! I'll check it out ASAP. Sorry! X(
Author's Response: You were right, the story was repeated O.o. I've fixed it now :). Thank you so much for the review! :D --Nadia