... There are just no words. That ending! Wow. (A good wow, by the way)
I really liked this story, although the ending was rather sad. I thought it worked well though that Marlene never got to tell Jamal what they were running from, it just added something tragic to the ending.
I liked that you started off with Marlene finding out she was a witch, it just seemd the perfect place to start given that this is a story about the complexity of relationships between muggles and magical people.
Jamal's first introduction was great, and I liked the link you set up between the racism he suffered and how Marlene felt about being a muggleborn - I felt you could have explored this a bit more, at least from Marlene's perspective because obviously Jamal doesn't know.
I thought both the main characters were really well fleshed out, I could imagine them as real people. The care home gave them both a hardness to life which I think worked well, and enabled them to understand each other in a way others perhas couldn't.
I also liked how you explored the idea of the truth. Jamal tells Marlene his fears and thoughts and really lets her in, but she is very guarded.
As some other reviewers have said, I found this a little bit rushed, and I hope you get to write more about these characters another time!
Author's Response: Yayayyayayyay, Katrinaaaaaaaa, you're back! :D
Wow, of all the stores I've written lately, especially for the cotillion, this one is by far the story I need to go back to and revise thoroughly. I reread this morning when I received your lovely review and I agree entirely that the ending is rushed - in fact, the last chapter needs major editing, ha. Still, I'm so glad you enjoyed reading this. Jamal is probably theory OC I've created that I actually like, tbqh. As an Asian and someone who live in a majority Asian area in London, I've never really experienced racism - at least not anything like what Jamal went through - so yeah, I found it interesting to link the two and also show changing attitudes because I think at this point it was becoming more politically incorrect to abhor people of other races.
This is far from my best story - I think my Sirius/Rosmerta story is much better, as are my two Albus/Rose stories - but that's just me self pimping haha. Thank you so much for your usual loveliness - it's fab to have you back! X
So glad they got together and were happy for a bit! The end was quite shocking and sad, but given what you had set up, it made sense. Very good and original. My only question is - if they were married with children, why didn't she tell him? I know we've seen it happen elsewhere (Seamus or Dean's mum, I think?) but I wondered then too, lol. But then, there is a war on, and I imagine Marlene was trying hard to protect them. And failed. How sad he never knew why. He was a neat character and I liked how Marlene grew up over the course of this. Good job!
Author's Response: Yayyyyyyyyy, I am so glad you enjoyed this! I always planned for them to get together and be happy at least for a while, but ultimately, the magic was what destroyed them as a couple. I intended for there to be more subplots and a longer story, essentially -- I wanted to write more about Marlene's issues in Hogwarts itself, the way she was maligned as a Muggleborn by some of the people who would eventually become DEs, her parents (who also had their own backstory that I originally intended to explore a lot further), her sister and how her relationship with Jamal develops over the years. Oh, and of course, originally, she had an affair with Sirius, too. But I didn't have time to write the entire story because a) it would've exceeded the word count, b) it isn't that popular review-wise and c) I hadn't thought out all the subplots properly enough to write a whole fic on it, haha. I think I totally meandered from my main point there, but yeah, hopefully if I expand later on down the line, the ending won't be quite so shocking?
The thing about Marlene not telling Jamal and family was also something I wanted to go into more depth about. On Pottermore (this next bit will be Pottermore spoilery btw), McGonagall didn't marry the Muggle she was in love with because her mother was a witch married to a Muggle, too, and McGonagall's mother gave up magic for life to be with this Muggle man. You can find out more on teh Pottermore spoilers website, but the point is, I think the idea that a witch or wizard would hide their magic from their spouses is as likely to happen as Seamus's mum telling her husband that she was a witch. Anyway, long story short, lol, I'm hoping it *could* happen this way? And yeah, you're right in that all Marlene wanted to do, in the end, was protect her children and her husband, especially because she was someone in care most of her life.
I'm glad you enjoyed it, Gina. Forgive me for the rambling response, and the late response! D: school has eaten me up recently, sadly. :( But thank youuuuuuuuuu for the lovely review!
They all dieeeeeeeed. NOOOOOOOOO.
Okay, great story and I thought you drew the characters very well so I had a good clear picture of both Marlene and Jamal in my head. I do have some crit, however.
I think the story suffers from being rushed, as in the part where we gind out she slept with Lannister just kind of arrived out of the blue so i was taken aback. I know you were trying to get this finished before the deadline but it just felt out of place. I'm not sure you necessarily needed it, but I do get that you needed some form of confrontation so they'd argue.
The other part is that I think you may need to tone down the language. I do get that this is a care home and they probably would swear more than, say, Lily and Petunia brought up in their nice middle class world, but in the 70's swearing was actually far less common than it is these days where it's every other word. Also it kind of lost it's impact when both were saying f*** at each other. I think you should look at replacing a few of the f bombs, for stylistic reasons as much as anything. I'm not saying I found it offensive, btw, just anachronistic.
This has been an enjoyable read, Soraya, and with some wonderful writing. Your imagery was strong, especially in scenes where they were alone (the tree, the swings etc) and I enjoyed reading the story very much.
Well done ~Carole~
Author's Response: Eeeeeep, sorry about taking so long to reply! School has been a byotch lately, as I'm sure you know, and every. single. time I sat down to write a worthy response, I remembered I had something schooly to do >.< And this was such a great and helpful review, Croll. *hangs head in shame*
Thank youuuuu. I'm glad you liked Jamal and Marlene -- Jamal is, um, based physically on this guy in my maths class hahaha. He has the same surname as my classmate, anyway. I did not realise this until I saw his surname on the register a week later; it must have been some kind of sub-conscious thing lol.
Oh yeah, you're totally right about it being rushed. And yeah, it was more because they needed to fight over something. I do think their argument was rather petty and possibly out of the blue -- I really wanted to develop the storyline and expand things more so they make sense and aren't so abrupt, but as you know, time was kind of the essence and I wrote this in a total rush to meet the deadline :/ I will hopefully come back and clean this up -- not just in terms of plot but also the language, which I agree, in hindsight, was too much for the seventies, even if they are care kids. I mean, in a way, I feel even more annoyed that I made them so sweary, because that just kind of conforms to the stereotype that care kids swear a lot. *sigh*
So thank you for all the crit! I needed it, hehe, especially since this has been largely unbetaed (Sophie is in the process of betaing chapters two and three). Hopefully, when my exams are over, I will be able to go back to this and change things around a bit, because I know it needs work still. I heart you for the reviews -- thank youuuuuuuuuuuu!
oooh, great backstory for Jamal. Love it!
Really liked the little details here in the park, the swing chain, for instance, because it painted a vivid picture in my mind.
Well done ~Carole~
Author's Response: Yaaay, I'm glad you liked the backstory :) Honestly, I felt like it was a bit much, really, especially because it was all related by Jamal in words rather than in narrative, so yay that you liked it :) Also, I have a strong idea of what the park looked like because, well, it's kind of set in my local park ;) Thank youuuu for the review (and also for the crit in the next review -- I so need it, haha)
Wow, that is some backstory. Awesome!
Author's Response: Thank youuuuu! Yeah, there is a lot of rather complicated backstory to Jamal that I didn't even know existed until a couple of days ago, lol. I'm glad you enjoyed this story and thank you for the review :)
Soraya!!!!! this is fab. I really like the set up here and you've created the atmosphere of a care home really well. I really liked the tree swinging scene. Sorry, this is not going to be a good review, but I wanted to let you know that I love the characters and am impressed with how you're writing the real world and the magic world.
Oh, and Jamal is a love.
will def be reading on.
Author's Response: Carole! :D Aaaah, this review is making me all warm and fuzzy and squeey :3 Thank you so much! I am so glad you enjoyed this and that you thought I did the whole care home thing well. I was really wary of it being a plot device/an excuse to make people feel sorry for Marlene, but really, it was far more about who Marlene was as a person at the end of the day. I actually had this idea for ages, and I've just been looking for an excuse to write about a care home, because I'm such a fan of Tracy Beaker. :D
And yayyyy, you liked the tree swinging scene! I won't lie, the beginning of this chapter was bloody hard to write, so I am so glad you liked it! :) And don't be silly. This is a fabulous review, and you are similarly fabulous, Croll, far too fabulous for this story, hehe. Thank you so much for the review, and it means so much to me that you like Jamal (he's the guy I inadvertently named after a cute boy in my maths class, hehe, only I used his surname, not his first name).So yeah, thank youuuu
Poor Jamal! Good chapter here. I'm glad he opened up to Marlene, hopefully that will help him and maybe bring them closer. I like how you've already started to mature Marlene from the first chapter. I'll be moving onto the last in a day or two and will have more to say then!
Author's Response: Ginaaaaa, thank youuuu! :D I'll be honest, the lack of reviews for this thing has been depressing me somewhat, so I am so glad to read this review from you! *heart* Seriously, I am so grateful for your reviews and hope to return the favour once my schedule becomes less manic.
And yeah, Jamal is a sweetie :) At least, I hope he is, lol. I do rather like him and actually admit to kind of falling in love with him, but I know that's bad, lol, especially considering the number of fictional husbands I already have. But whatever! :P Anyway, you'll see what happens with Jamal and Marlene ;) Definitely Marlene is becoming maturer; whereas before she might have messed around a lot more, she now has a proper purpose, someone to care about. So you'll see what happens soon :D
Oh, the last chapter is crappity. D: Haha but I'm so chuffed you enjoyed this, Gina. Thank you once again for the reviewssssss!
I had no idea you were going to start so early! What fun, to see a Muggle-born being told they are a witch. Very cool - is Maria too? Or is that a spoiler? Anyway, it was neat because then we meet Jamal almost immediately, so it's like she's starting both her journeys at the same time. It's also strange because I never would have pictured this character as a young miscreant with an attitude, lol! But I like her and look forward to following her. Good start and good luck as you continue! ~Gina :)
Author's Response: Yayay, thank you for reviewing! :D And yeah, this is quite different from what I usually write in that I think this story has a more OF feel to it in places. I didn't plan on starting to early, either, but when two people claimed Sirius and I decided to claim OC and Marlene instead, I kind of had to put more focus on Jamal as a result. Which I'm happy I did, because I rather like him as an OC (am I allowed to say that, lol?) and think the story will work better like this.
I'm rather obsessed with a TV series that has been going since I was about seven (it went on a hiatus but returned a few years back) called Tracy Beaker, which is all about a girl in care and the kids around her. And I've always wanted to write about someone in care, but I've never been able to find the right person. then Marlene came along and I realised what I could do :D
Haha, she may be a misfit now, but she obviously mellows and calms down later on and then goes on to be part of the Order. oh, and it#s not so much of a spoiler -- Maria is a witch, but it's not a huge part of the story which is why I haven't got into that much detail about it.
Thank you for the lovely reviewwwwww! Much appreciated!