I enjoy stories like this, in which the seventh year is experienced through the eyes of a character other than Harry. Your Michael is interesting, and I liked being in his head, particularly on the platform and as he entered the train. You've really got me interested in Mandy. She's nearly an unknown character and yet she obviously trusts Michael. I wondered if they were a couple, or if they were just especially good friends, that she was comfortable grabbing his hand and crying into his chest. I'm interested in what she had to go through over the summer, and look forward to learning more about her in upcoming chapters. I thought your characterization of Ginny was interesting. I agree that she would have considered that first day back a very difficult one. But she does bounce back from those days, I think, as she was a leader in the D.A. that year. I look forward to seeing where you take her in upcoming chapters. I was going to niggle you about the "golden trio" bit, but I see Carole has already mentioned it. I certainly don't want to pile on, but the phrase has become such a joke in fanon that it really did startle me to see it coming out of Anthony's mouth. But it's your story, of course. I'm glad to see you plan to continue this, and look forward to seeing what these characters get up to next. Happy writing! ~Lori
Well, I hope the lack of reviews for this hasn’t put you off from continuing because this is a good solid start for something that could easily be a great story.
Stories about that final year always interest me because we don’t have much canon for it. Stories about virtual OCs, like Mandy Brocklehurst interest me equally because it means I can compare and contrast the images I have in my head with the authors. I know this isn’t just about Mandy, but is more about Michael, but his interest in her is a good set up for the story.
I found the use of first person to be a good choice as we really saw things from Michael’s point of view and it gave the story far more immediacy. The opening scene on the platform was indicative of this especially as he remembered the past. I loved the part where he saw Ginny and realised everyone was waiting not for her but for Harry, and by default Ron and Hermione. I would quibble the use of adjectives like ‘beautiful’ and ‘alluring’ to describe her because I’m not sure Ginny was attractive in those terms. Harry thought of her in terms of beauty, but it was more her ‘blazing look’ that he remembered and admired so much. Of course, Michael does have a past with Ginny, but I’m still not entirely sure he’d see her as ‘beautiful’.
The other part I would pick at is the other students referring to Harry, Ron and Hermione as ‘The Golden Trio’ because that is very much a fandom thing. No one in the books actually refers to them as a ‘trio’ let alone a ‘golden’ one. That’s a very minor point and in no way marred the overall story, but it did strike me as odd at the time.
All in all this is a good story, and I would love to read more on this.
Author's Response: Thank you for the review. I have been working on a second chapter for a while now, and will have to admit that the lack of reviews hasn't left me with much of a sense of urgency, but nevertheless I hope to have the next chapter up soon. I found writing the entire thing in first person to be a challenge - but I'm glad you think it paid off, as I felt it was the only way to truly capture Michael's mindset and convey how he felt on the platform. Whilst JK never described Ginny in those terms, I used them deliberately to connote Michael's enduring attraction to her, despite their break up, and it's something that will be further explained in future chapters. In terms of the 'golden trio', I meant it more as a snarky, sarcastic comment on Harry, Ron and Hermione's 'hero' status, rather than a particularly complementary one, and not necessarily something that he'd have put much thought into, however I can see why it might come across oddly. Once again, thank you for the review, and I do hope to have another chapter up soon. Fenella
A different look at final year. I will wait for you to continue.