I have read a lot of your poetry, so I was intrigued about seeing how you handle a prose piece. I enjoyed reading your story; it was very imaginative. The first part (Merope's initial interactions with Abraxas) and third part (Merope's interactions with Salazar and Abraxas in the castle) were written in a more straightforward manner, though with your trademark colorful description. The central part (after Merope drinks the potion until she wakes up in the cottage) was almost surrealistic. If I wrote the story, I would use fewer adjectives, but that would be my style, not yours.
The third part was a little confusing to me; I had to read it over again to get a good handle on what was going on and to understand more fully the conversation between Abraxas and Salazar. That is not bad; I like a story that makes me struggle a bit to catch the implications of things not spelled out in words of one syllable. And in the end there were still points I was unsure of -- some of the specifics of what Abraxas and Salazar were planning, whether Abraxas had visited Salazar before, why Abraxas needed to make his own antidote when it seemed that Salazar had plenty of it, etc. But that is how it often is in real life, questions remaining unanswered, skeletal remains never identified.
On the technical side some items of grammar and word choice needed to be improved. There were places where a past participle was used in the place of a past tense, such as "She almost sunk to a heap on the floor." It should be "She almost sank..." ("sank" is a past tense) or else "She has/had almost sunk..." ('sunk" is a past participle, like "eaten' or 'flown", and needs a helping verb "has" or 'had'). In other places a past tense was used where you needed a past participle ("she had never ran for her life before" needs to be "she had never run..." and "she had drank a potion" needs to be "she had drunk a potion).
In a few spots it appeared that you were looking for a particular word but ended up with a similar-sounding word that actually has a different meaning. At one point you said "allies" (friends, supporters) when I think you were looking for "alleys" (paths, roadways), and there were a few other spots of this sort.
These flaws don't detract from the pace or imagination of the story, but they give it an unpolished sound. To your group of betas who advise you on plot and characterization, you could add a beta who is simply a stickler for grammar and word usage.
Speaking of characterization, I though you did a good job depicting Merope's dejected and depressed personality, the result of a lifetime of abuse. But you also showed flashes of the strength and initiative that she could have had under better circumstances, if she had lived longer.
Author's Response: Thank you so much for your review. :) I like the points you made on my grammar- to be honest, it's more my computer/keyboard hitting the wrong letter and autocorrecting to what it think it should be in that moment, which is annoying. So if I spell "run" wrong on accident from going to fast, it likes to make it "ran." And, of course, I suck with past tense grammar. Anyways, the point of the mystery was because it was supposed to focus mainly on Merope, who wouldn't even know why Abraxas did what he did. I debated leaving it completely from her point of view, but I felt a few questions- not all- neede to be answered. In the future, I may revise it. It makes me happy to have you think I characterized Merope well. Abraxas and Slytherin, on the other hand, were much harder! And then, we must remember that this was based on picture prompts given one at a time, and then only a month three weeks to tie it all together. I am not a fast prose writer! *chuckles* This being one of my few Chaptered stories, I was pretty proud of how it turned out. Thanks again for your review. ;) I love to hear from you!
Go, fellow challenger! Good luck!
Author's Response: Thank you, Lost_Robin. :) I hope you enjoyed the story, and I wish you good luck on yours, too. Cheers! ~Nagini