I thoroughly enjoyed Tracy's side of the Greenhouse Seven story. It takes a great deal of courage not to go along with the rest of your friends or acquaintances just because that's the easy thing to do. The fact that Tracy felt she could be herself in the mixed group and also be attracted to someone of a different house says a lot about the sort of person she is and wants to be the rest of her life. Some of the things she says to Howe about Slytherin girls made me sad for them because their worlds were so narrow; at least with Tracey, she's more open-minded enough that she's willing to entertain the notion that she can be more than just a decoration after Hogwarts. The other thing that made me sad was the fact that Tracey and Mandy had to admit to each other that they wished they had become better acquainted prior to the night of 2 May 1998. However, I also think that those two girls will remain at least friends after Hogwarts because of their shared experience that night.
I'm glad that Howe showed his Gryffindor courage and approached Tracey early in the school year. They went through a lot together and stuck by each other when the going became tough. Her worry for his safety after the battle was palpable, showing the depth of her feelings for him. I'd love to read a story about their romance after the battle and how they plan their lives together so that they can both pursue their desired careers.
Author's Response: Thank you so much for reading and reviewing. It is a challenge to make original characters as attractive to the readers as known-and-loved characters are, but I learned a lot about Skye while researching for this chapter and can use that information if I write about Howard again (which I would like to do).
Yes, Tracey does present a narrow view of the Slytherin girls' traditional prospects. It reminds me of the British aristocracy and "Downton Abbey"; those who consider themselves the elite are not always really the most well-off. And in truth it was sad about her and Mandy, that they had not become friends earlier because of the stifling effects of the House system. Hopefully the world is changing.
As for a life together for them in the future, my initial thought is that it would be really hard to arrange, but I keep forgetting that they can Apparate wherever they want to go (assuming that Howard eventually gets his license :) ), so perhaps it's not out of the question.
I loved this story. You gave it from a different viewpoint. Even though I knew the outcome I felt nervous butterflies as I read along. I read the chapter about Harry dueling Voldemort three times. That's how excited I was about it. Well, my dear, this is the end of the road for us until you write again. I'll be watching for you.
Author's Response: I felt the same way when watching the movie "United Flight 93", even though we all knew how it was going to end. Thank you for saying that you loved my story; it was a viewpoint that I have not seen written before, though that statement proves nothing because I have certainly not read everything that has been posted on this website!
You have certainly been on an Oregonian marathon for the past week or so. Odd, isn't it, that 29 months of writing can be consumed in such a short time? Well, not really, since I don't know if you have read the poetry that is also on the author page, including a few pieces that took rather a time to write. People often don't review poetry, perhaps because they don't really know what to say, but just "I liked it" is always welcome. I try to make my poetry easy to understand, not too obscure.
Thanks for sticking by me. I appreciate it.
Once again, brilliant! I thought it was funny at the end. This reminds me, in a way, of another author who has characters from the Appalachian area in the US that know odd spells that are specialized to that area. I think her name is spelled Inverarity. I'm learning that you should never underestimate the power of Muggles and those who work with nature.
Author's Response: Yes, Inverarity is a great writer and has produced some good stuff. I agree with your final sentence; the Muggle world does have much to offer the wizarding world, and we can all benefit by getting in closer touch with nature. Thank you so much for reading and reviewing.
I really like your characters. You have done a good job making them interesting and likeable. I would like to see more stories about them in the future.
Author's Response: Hi again, Sydney. I'm glad you read this story too. There's always a risk in writing Original Characters because some readers only want to read about the major characters in the books. But that can eventually get boring. I wanted to branch out into someone a little different, so I wrote about the transfer students who were mentioned in Chapter 11 of Deathly Hallows, where Remus reads about them in the newspaper. I have also always wondered about wizarding agriculture; where do they get their groceries? It's true that kids who grow up on farms are different from kids who don't grow up on farms; they are generally more pragmatic, more competent, more creative, and they are used to taking adult responsibilities from an early age. Compare this to Draco, who was so eager to become a Death Eater so that he could feel like an adult; Howard has considered himself to be an adult for a long time, with good reason. Thank you so much for the review. :)
Author's Response: Thanks, Dad, for saying that it's a good one. My son and daughter both said they think it is the best one I have done so far.