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WIP Victoria Potter by Taure - T

Discussion in 'The Alternates' started by LinguaManiac, Nov 29, 2017.

  1. Sataniel

    Sataniel Groundskeeper

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    Go to AO3, that's a standard practice there.
     
  2. Selethe

    Selethe Don't Assume My Gender

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    Sarcasm.

    /s

    ??
    - /s
     
  3. Dresden11

    Dresden11 Second Year

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    So after 11 chapters and 58k words: Anyone change their mind about this story?

    I am really loving what I have read so far. 1st year will probably be over within the next few chapters, and Victoria has really grown on me as a character. Taure is doing a great job showing a magical prodigy, and how she compares to even smart students within her year. I believe that the difference between them will only grow as they get older as well. Its great stuff to me. Anyone else have any comments?
     
  4. MrBucket

    MrBucket Third Year

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    I'm too scared to read it all out of fear that Taure will abandon this. I mean, I'll understand, because life gets in the way, but still. I'm glad it apparently remains quality, though.
     
  5. ScottPress

    ScottPress The Horny Sovereign Prestige

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    So Snape's test entails planting the acorn in the pot and using the sunlight to grow the plant and present that for the prize. Or perhaps the plant is a potions ingredient and he expects to be presented some potion. Wonder what it is that's going grow from the acorn. Haha, Pansy's a silly bitch.
     
  6. Dansel

    Dansel Squib

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    The biggest problem I had with Alexandra Potter was that it escalated so damn quickly, like it was rushing through the story.

    I'm glad to see that you're taking it slower in this one, giving each character and arc more time to develop. It is somewhat thin on the plot though; maybe having something extra as an overarching recurring mystery or whatever? Of course, the episodic way fanfiction is posted isn't exactly helping: details tend to blur between updates and I don't have time to reread the entire story for each update.

    So far I'm giving it a 4/5:

    Excellent characterization. No, really. You have characters that are unique, both in behavior and voice; I'm halfway convinced you could write a dialogue segment without any kind of name-tags and I'd still be able to track who says what just by they way they're saying it. That's damn impressive. There has not been a whole lot of growth yet but I have high hopes. Following a character as they grow into themselves is one of those things that really makes me invested in a story.
    The worldbuilding I've seen so far is great. The only reason I'm holding back an 'excellent' is because, well, we've only really seen Hogwarts so far. And as unfair as this might be: I've seen a lot of great Hogwartses over the years. When and if the story starts to explore the rest of the wizarding world - both in Britain and globally - is when I'll give a final vote.
    As mentioned; little thin on the plot. You have the general HP plot, but so far we havn't seen a whole lot what makes the plot of Victoria Potter unique.

    Thank you for sharing your work!
     
  7. StudentPanaKleksa

    StudentPanaKleksa Squib

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    I am vary of this fic jumping the shark like Alexandra Potter did, but currently it's going strong.
    Great touch!
    If Svalbard has any significance in magical world, I hope that Daphne is at least their princess.
    So who was paired with whom?
     
  8. Sataniel

    Sataniel Groundskeeper

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    When did Alexandra jump the shark?
     
  9. StudentPanaKleksa

    StudentPanaKleksa Squib

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    When it became story about attempted murder.
     
  10. Sataniel

    Sataniel Groundskeeper

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    Alexandra being a stupid girl and escalating things to almost tragic results was great. Just as her being asshole-y in general. If anything making her blander is the main problem with Victoria.
     
  11. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Whoops. Will correct that when I update with chapter 12.

    Amusingly, I first thought of the idea of a magical nation of Svalbard in connection to a "Minister Scrimgeour asks Harry to befriend the daughter of the Ice Queen of Svalbard" plot bunny. But that's not for this fic, I'm afraid.

    The idea here is that it's the location of Durmstrang.
     
  12. Anarchy

    Anarchy Totally Sirius DLP Supporter

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    Alright, so I'm finally up to date on this. When I first read it, I don't even think Victoria was at Hogwarts yet.

    Here's my thoughts (it's long)

    Overall, this story does feel more magical than canon, which I like a lot. A lot of little changes add up to a bigger picture.

    However, I feel at times that I am just taking a plunge into your headcanon document. It’s not as obvious as it was with Alexandria Potter, which was just a thinly veiled magical essay, but it does go over the top at times.

    For example, the Exchange Rate. Everyone knows JKR sucks at numbers. But, there’s really no point in bringing attention to it if you have no significant plans of actually having it matter. Why have Victoria have 500,000 pounds worth of Galleons? If she has that much money, why go into detail over how much each individual item costs? Is it only to justify her bringing 30 galleons with her? Telling an 11 year old to carry the equivalent of 5000 pounds to go shopping is pretty crazy. I get that the whole “wand costing only seven galleons” is stupid, but honestly I don’t find your attempts at rectification all that better. To make it worse, it’s probably not even going to be brought up again until the next Diagon Alley trip.

    Rectification is the word that comes to my head a lot when reading this. You’re going through canon, and just trying to smooth over the small details that don’t really make sense or are just a bit too vague. Lot’s have people have attempted it, some more subtle than others. I can’t say I dislike this, because fuck, I’ve tried it a thousand times myself at this point. For the most part, this story is pretty neutral, and you’ve followed your plan to a T. There’s no weird scene with Molly Weasley asking what platform the train is on. You’ve doubled the visible population at Hogwarts without calling attention to it. But, you’ve also gone a step further for some reason, and decided to rectify *fanon*. You’ve reminded us that Transfiguration, is in fact, permanent. You’ve also reminded us that quidditch teams change together (though I don’t see why that necessarily translates to an entire class of first years), and for some reason, you’ve made it so first years have to “toughen up” to fly.

    Honestly, it feels like you’re actually trying to borrow more elements from muggle society than I would have expected. It’s not necessarily wrong, but it hints at further unexplained lore.

    You’ve also done what I’ve dubbed “The Nonjon Gimmick.” Harry must have a gimmick. In the case, you’ve given fem!Harry the Metamorphmagus ability. Honestly, I hate stories that do that. Usually it’s just as an arbitrary powerup that serves little in-story purpose other than to make Harry “cooler”. So far, it’s come up twice. And both times, I feel like it was done just to say that you’re actually using it. To be fair though, that is more than most stories. Hell, you’ve pretty much just substituted it for the invisibility cloak. I’m sure you have a grand plan, but honestly, it’s not really that interesting of an ability. I kinda feel like you’re just doing to show people that it can be done properly. I feel like we will be waiting quite awhile.

    Honestly, up until Flamel was introduced, the story wasn’t that interesting. Worldbuilding and wanting to see your differences from canon only work as a hook for so long. But, I had to ask myself if it was just a larger rectification. Like, there’s no canon reason given for why Dumbledore has Flamel’s Stone to begin with. But, perhaps if Flamel is teaching there, then that would be a good reason to need a secure spot for it. If that’s the reason, then that’s a bit of a cop out. But at this point in the story Harry still doesn’t know who Flamel is, and I think the only mention of the Stone is by pure luck. So it’s not really a plot line right now, if it will be at all.

    Next interesting plot point was Snape’s challenge to get into every common room. But this is not that long after that we were reminded that Harry was a metamorphmagus. So to me, after the timing of that specific point, it didn’t matter to me whether or not that was actually the answer to get into every common room (just changing to like like a different student and following them to their common room), so I kind of lost interest in that plot thread, at least until we got to the cliffhanger at the end. I’m actually interested in which one Harry got wrong. I feel like the Hufflepuff one was correct, as they asked the portrait directly about the item. The Gryffindor one felt correct, as they actually found like a secret room inside of the common room with a bunch of hidden shit. So that leaves Ravenclaw. The knocker just gave them a “prize”, not necessarily the one they were looking for, and it wasn’t inside the common room itself as the challenge stated. Alternatively, it could be all three, but that would be a pretty weird swerve. I’m sure some of the fire symbology will play a role in the answer, whatever that may be.

    So, now there’s the elephant in the room - your magic system. I get that it’s just a delivery mechanism for your headcanon, so I can’t say that it’s incorrect because canon barely covers that stuff at all, but it just feels a bit sloppy and unrefined. I did not find your interpretation of Transfiguration, Charms, and Potions all that interesting or impressive. Maybe that’s just because it’s first year, maybe not. But it seems like you’re aware that you can ramble a bit (as can I) so you essentially truncated what you actually wanted to include. It just feels like maybe you should be taking the reader along for the ride with the mechanical symbolism, rather than just explaining it through brief snippets of professors talking, or though homework. In that regards, the Selwyn farm scene was a nice change of pace from that, but at no point, do we actually see Victoria learning. It’s always after the fact, or something “just clicks” and it’s left as an ambiguous epiphany. It just feels like there’s something missing, in that regards.

    I do like the small quality of life improvements such as a camera going off during the sorting, or a new dining set being added when someone sits down, or a students trunk appearing at the foot of the bed when they claim it.

    Ultimately, none of the above is really what matters to me. The thing I care most about is world building, and you do a good job of that. The chocolate frog card with Swann on it was nice. I’m always a fan of when the Yule Log is included, though I did just read another story with it less than a week ago. I like the potion’s field trip. There are small blips here and there of the greater world beyond Hogwarts.

    Lastly, I’m just going to point out some things that didn’t make sense to me:

    The board game on the Hogwarts Express. The idea that a board game is inducing actual visions in someone is kind of dark when you think about it more. So, I’m guessing it’s some sort of memory viewing spell, such as with the omnoculars? I did like the scene though.

    The figure skating scene. What does the “divination magic” refer to? I reread the passage and still don’t really get it. It seemed to be referring to how so many students were able to skate in one place, but it’s still kind of a random mention.

    Sinistra pointing her wand up at the sky and using lumos to make Mars brighter. I want to assume that it’s just working on a local level, since the idea of making Mars physically brighter is ridiculous. So the latter is probably the intention.

    The Flame-freezing Charm. I’ve seen a ton of fics where it’s introduced in year one, because honestly, the reasoning used here is the one that makes the most sense, with the witch burnings. But then you actually went on to imply that it protects from everything except aggressive magical flames. I hate using such definitive statements in regards to magic. It doesn’t really add anything to a story, but it makes me think about sending random enchanted shit into the sun and have it be fine.

    Overall, this is a pretty good story. There’s not actually that much to it in the form of plot, but that’s fine by me. It’s year one. There’s not supposed to be a million and one plot threads going around, but there’s enough hints about the future. It’s simple, pretty safe, and an easy read. And, the children mostly feel like children (and I am curious as to Pansy and Daphne’s reaction when they realize they have to spend another six years living with someone they betrayed).

    I’d say that this is an easy 4 out of 5, at minimum. The main thing I feel that is holding the story back is the delivery of your rectifications and your magic system. It probably works much better in your own head than on paper, but sometimes that’s just the way it is.

    I took chapter-by-chapter notes when reading the story in an effort to give better feedback, if you're interested. Probably not terribly useful though, this far along.
     
  13. Nogan

    Nogan First Year

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    Like you said: Snape's challenge was to get something from every common room.

    It would also be a huge violation of the statute of secrecy if the effect wasn't local.
     
  14. Anarchy

    Anarchy Totally Sirius DLP Supporter

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    Yeah, I peaked at the answer to it and facepalmed. Very well done by Taure in that case.
     
  15. 200206

    200206 Muggle

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    As I write this review, Victoria Potter stands at 11 chapters and ~58,000 words.

    Long review of every chapter ahead.

    1st chapter:
    I would first like to comment on the beginning of the story. Where is your hook? Although your writing lacked grammatical errors and was almost flawless, there is a lot to be said about your opening. Personally, no offense, I thought it to be bland. The introduction to the characters was somewhat interesting (Through pictures and then through this concert and it's aftermath), but I felt that the bullying did nothing in advancing the plot in any significant way except in pointing out that this world was drastically different from the one portrayed in the Harry Potter series.

    Though I do commend you on one thing in this chapter. The setup and the buildup for the Hogwarts letter was well executed and planned.

    2nd chapter:
    I find no major fault in this chapter - it provides backdrop and advances the plot, albeit rather slowly. I felt that a significant number of words could've been deleted and the same message could've been passed to the reader. However, the world building was very immersive - it was written elegantly and changed the scene from the bus to Diagon Alley very well.

    3rd chapter:
    A unique take on the introduction to Draco, although it was somewhat unnerving. Draco is shown to be arrogant constantly even when authority figures are watching him. The vibe and atmosphere of Madam Malkins felt very forced and was somewhat awkward. I can imagine the trouble and time the author (Taure) spent refining this part. Did you, the author, tame down Draco to make him bearable as a counterpart to Victoria?

    Nothing was particularly special about the shopping and the world building, except for the part about Ollivander's. The foreshadowing stood out, in particular when Ollivander says "yes, it would be poetic..." That was well done.

    4th chapter:
    Felt very boring and cliche - a variant of Harry getting introduced to magic studying a lot. Victoria meeting Susan was nothing special. The introduction to the clique of purebloods was masterfully done - it didn't feel forced nor abrupt. Once again, the odd characterization of Draco was unsettling - being civil to Hermione, not looking down on Longbottom, and being courteous in general. But I digress, this view as a pureblood is something not often explored by both fanfiction writers and J.K. Rowling alike.

    5th chapter:
    Inconsistencies between normal behaviour and the behaviour of the Slytherins. Cheering when they got Victoria? She was the reason many of their relatives were put into Azkaban and the fall of the Dark Lord. Shouldn't Slytherins be leery of the fact that "the girl-who-lived" went to their house?

    Furthermore, Draco acts too innocent for his age - he's sharp and quick on the uptake. He and the other purebloods show not even a tidbit of the mannerisms picked up from living a high class lifestyle. The atmosphere between the purebloods and Victoria felt way too forced - Victoria should be at least treated with some caution.

    There also was some inconsistency with Victoria sitting in LV's chair. LV sitting there should've accumulated so much more magic than Victoria should be able to handle. Realistically, she should also be repelled, but somehow she was allowed to sit. Was it due to the Horcrux? Was it due to her being stronger than LV?

    6th chapter:
    The chapter was just about Victoria acclimatizing to Hogwarts. What was interesting was the slivers of spell theory and magic theory scattered throughout the chapter, which was very interesting and elaborate. Some character development in the form of the readers seeing Victoria's willpower in her encounter with Flamel, but was scarce.

    Part of a good story is relating the reader with the character, and you've done this moderately well, but there is a lack of character development and too much emphasis on the minor details about appearance and setting.

    7th chapter: (I gave up on writing in paragraphs lol)
    -More worldbuilding that was a bit excessive.
    -Character flaws in Victoria. She's careful about revealing information, but yet she willingly lets Susan blabber all about her abilities in the open?
    -Snape's challenge was something new and intriguing. I had never encountered it in reading other fanfictions and advances the plot very well.

    8th chapter:
    -Very bland and the meeting with the Malfoys was mildly interesting

    -Troll event occurred
    -Plot advancement in the form of Isolt Syre.
    -Another inconsistency: Victoria shows a burning desire to learn, yet doesn't ask for any help from Isolt in alchemy or other classes. She's a founder of Ilvermony for crying out loud!

    9th chapter:
    -Nothing interesting to note
    -Advancement of Victoria in her conversation with Dumbledore. (Very well done. I commend you on how you altered Victoria)
    -Another character flaw: Victoria wants to get stronger and desires it very much. Shouldn't she prioritize it and push away her friends instead of going ice skating with them?

    10th chapter:
    -More school life and magical theory lessons (Kinda interesting... maybe elaborate on lessons like the one Snape taught instead of focusing on spending time with friends by ice skating and more
    -Also another inconsistency regarding Flamel's attitude towards Victoria. Flamel goes from being indifferent to Victoria to being very chummy with her...
    -Victoria gets to know her parents better through Remus? Doesn't he hide himself away for being a werewolf and being afraid to meet Harry?
    -Interesting way to get the Ravenclaw prize.

    11th chapter:
    -Excellent portrayal of an isolated Hermione
    -Good plot development
    -Inconsistency with Victoria's character: Chapter 1 showed that Victoria was neglected, and it is shown that neglected people don't tend to like the limelight - they shy away from it.

    A couple of side notes:

    The good:
    -Character development is good in some chapters and sometimes rarely touched upon in some chapters
    -The fact that the grammar is not all over the place
    -Interesting events that are well thought out and advance the plot well
    -Seamless transitions

    The bad:
    -Slow on updates
    -Characters are drastically different despite the same upbringing to the HP series (eg. Draco, the Malfoys)
    -Pacing of events is way too slow. (Yes, I get that you need to show Victoria's progression, but it doesn't need to be a day by day account. You have 50k in words and you're not even done with the first year.)

    That was a long review...
     
  16. Dresden11

    Dresden11 Second Year

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    Such a great new chapter that finally draws 1st year to an end. I have to say that I am really enjoying this story. This chapter had a little bit of everything that most fanfics miss. It had kids being kids with an excellent backdrop in the richly detailed Hogwarts. It had a magical magic system that continues to impress. Victoria continues to improve her understanding of magic, and it is joyful to go through that with her. I really liked how she didn't get caught up in the A plotline of the books. Taure did a great job of having all of that go on in the background. Victoria is a schoolgirl, and Taure is doing a great job showing that. I think the attention to detail right now will have a large impact when Victoria grows out of being just a schoolgirl into a magical heavyweight. This story is definitely about the journey to that future.

    I liked Draco in this chapter, and I usually don't say that. He is a spoiled kid, but he has some common sense. Hopefully that continues. The bit about Victoria liking to sit at the head of the table ('her seat' ) could take on more and more meaning as the story continues. I am interested in seeing if that foreshadows anything in the future.

    1st year was fun. My only hope for the future is to see even more interesting uses of magic in 2nd year. More practical uses and usage outside of class to make her life easier. Maybe have her try to learn some magic much beyond a school setting as a personal goal. I am enjoying what you are doing with the magic system, and I just want to see more of it. Keep up the great work, Taure.
     
  17. Newcomb

    Newcomb Headmaster

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    I almost feel like I shouldn't review this, because my opinion of it is so heavily influenced by the sheer aesthetic pleasure I get from how magic works here, for... pretty obvious reasons.

    Like, unless the story was somehow absolute dogshit, I'm not not going to like something with this kind of clever, creative, magic, so it's never going to be a question of if I like it or not, just to what degree.

    So, let's start with the things I was skeptical about.

    Victoria herself, in the first two chapters, is almost perfectly portrayed as a bright, clever 10 year old. I find it extremely believable that she'd do and think things like this:

    Extremely relatable, extremely realistic.

    But also, at least somewhat.... disappointing. It's a personal taste thing, but unless a story really is about a morally ambiguous character, a very grey person doing the wrong things for the right reasons, I want a touch of heroism in my protagonists. An unrealistic sense of restraint, a weirdly-developed sense of perspective. It's the same problem I had with Alexandra Quick - a realistic 11-13 year old is fucking annoying to read about sometimes. It's a matter of personal taste, but it's just a little harder to root for Victoria when she's not classically heroic and the story is putting her in the shoes of a classically heroic protagonist. She's... normal. And that's fine. And she'll obviously develop and show more and be unusually something, but I want the spark of it even at the beginning. In PS, Harry has the cupboard, he has the unjust punishment for the boa constrictor, no food, locked in the cupboard. He's... starting off as more of an underdog. Victoria doesn't have a good life, but she doesn't have as shitty a one as Harry did, so she gets a bit less leeway to be average. If that makes any sense.

    The only other real complaint I had, and it was only in retrospect, was that as a best friend, Susan feels a bit bland. All the other girls I can name a quick "character summary" sentence about them. Victoria is good at magic. Pansy is jealous of Draco's latent fascination with Victoria and has a bit of a mean streak. Daphne understands social niceties and social dynamics on an instinctual level (that thing with the towels and magazines every day was a masterstroke). Hermione is Hermione. (Pretty fantastic portrayal of her overall, and her "compare and contrast" scene with end-of-year studying was one of my favorite bits.)

    Susan, though, is.... generically nice and wary of Slytherins? Feels a bit thin.

    I didn't really mind it, but it would be nice if Susan had a bit more depth. Considering we ended with Victoria traveling to Susan's for the latter half of the summer, I suspect we'll see a bit of that in coming chapters.

    Now for the stuff I really liked.

    I think where Taure hooked me with this one was the scene where Victoria totally jebaited Hermione into producing the conditions to crack the fig. "Under the light of Mars" or whatever the line was, it was one of those clever little bits that I understood basically right before it happened. Really excellent tightrope act setting that up.

    The details, subtly fleshing out Rowling's world in a believable way, totally integrated into the story, are just... very, very pleasing to read. Most fanfiction is just flat-out not good at adding to canon, and when it's done it's done in a way that is just obvious, awkward, or overcooked. Taure's skill really shows in touches like stuff like the departure board showing Constantinople for Platform 7 1/2, or the mechanics of Beyond The Veil, or a thousand other things.

    First Year being anchored by the Common Room challenge, with the Stone plot happening off-screen, was a great choice. The stakes weren't as great for the Common Room thing, but it gave the reader something to focus on, created tension between Victoria and her classmates, demonstrated her skill and tenacity, and most importantly didn't waste the reader's time with things they've read about 309294932 times before. In fact, it managed to turn the first-year plot into something actually new and exiting. That scene with the lightning and the third floor and the sound of spellfire and lights, and a half-heard booming sound of a spell being cast, was very evocative, and played nicely with dramatic tension - the reader being able to fill in the edges around what happened due to having read the original books, but not knowing the specifics.

    One line that really stuck with me, that just struck me as a letter-perfect subtle understanding of the character, was this one:

    Because of course Malfoy would add the have a reputation for qualifier. Having a reputation for keeping your word, and keeping your word, are two very, very different things. It's one of those moments that makes you wonder if Draco sees that or not at his age, but the wording was very deliberate regardless.

    But really, when all is said and done...

    I honestly don't care what's in the rest of the story if it's got moments like that.

    5/5
     
  18. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

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    @Newcomb:
    So, dat line. YARLY o/
     
  19. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Newcomb's review was well-timed, because I have been dissatisfied with Susan for some time now. One of the problems was that her principal characteristics were those of Hufflepuff generally, and so she felt too generic. The first chapter of year 2 (which has just gone live on FF.Net) is in part designed to address that by expanding her backstory. Now, backstory is not quite the same thing as character, but I hope it does at least give some depth to her "Hufflepuff characteristics".

    Hopefully it's not too late to do this. My approach to characterisation is one of building up layers rather than having a completely realised character from the start, a bit like how a TV show will have episodes which focus on one character, then later an episode to focus on a different character. My aim is that by the time I get to year four, I will have a cast of characters with a lot of layers to them.

    The advantage to this method is that it means the characters' characteristics are not simply there by author fiat, but rather the reader knows the history attached to each characteristic. The disadvantage is that it means the characters at the start are not very developed.

    With regards to Victoria being quite unheroic... that is part of the conceit of the fic, so it's a criticism I admit but it's also where I want her to be right now. I felt that, with my bumping up her magical skill to a level far above canon Harry, there needed to be some kind of balancing act, and part of that is that she's significantly more cautious and less heroic. But as the years go by, she will of course get increasingly dragged into events whether she is cautious or not.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2018 at 10:23 PM
  20. Xion

    Xion Robot Overlord Admin

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    Victoria Potter has been updated with a new chapter.

    Story Stats
    Chapters: 14
    Words: 77,039
    Updated: 2018-09-23 20:31:55 UTC
    Published: 2017-11-04 19:13:13 UTC
    Previously updated: 23 days ago

    Brought to you by Scryer story thread updates.
     
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