ABBY. So you know how excited I was for this concept when you floated it to ask if it was allowed in the prefect challenge and then I never got around to actually reviewing it, so I am fixing that for the menagerie!
So of COURSE Hogwarts would have urban legends, and I can't believe we haven't heard more about this in canon, you know? Does Moaning Myrtle count? I guess not because that's just straight up "there's a really annoying ghost in this bathroom, don't go there". You'd think that just getting stuck would be bad luck enough, that there's no need to add insult to injury, as it were, but here Angelina is, poor thing. I wonder -- can she not free herself from the trick step with her own wand? I wonder how you go about getting free from a trick step, hmm. It surely isn't brute force? Surely your shoe would remain inside the step? @JKR why did you not focus on the IMPORTANT parts of worldbuilding, gosh, like what happens with this stair.
Of course she wouldn't trick Lockhart because she has a bit of a crush on him, just like most of Hogwarts. It's a bit cruel to trick Filch, but only because we the reader know he's a squib -- I don't think anyone except the trio do, do they? And Filch is pretty cruel himself, of course, so you COULD argue that he deserves it.
I love that this legend is so vague that it's basically a self-fulfilling prophecy? Like, you're going to see whatever happens next as bad luck caused by getting stuck in the stair, regardless of whether it would've happened anyway or not. So of course Angelina caused Mrs Norris to be petrified! This was SUCH an excellent tie-in with canon, I loved it so much -- it was exactly what the story needed to just really elevate it to perfection, you know? What a gift, thank you for writing this Abby!!!
Hi Abby! I'm here with your entry review for the Prefect's Challenge (and also, double dipping for RvG this month)!
First, I wanted to say that I love the creativity you've put into this to create your own urban legend. I think that was a really neat idea to do, and also a really interesting spin on the prompts themselves. The trick step urban legend is really interesting and totally something I could see kids at Hogwarts being up in arms and playing into.
I love your characterization of the Gryffies in this! Fred and George are so antagonizing, just egging Angelina on and it's so them. Of course, Angelina being the one who doesn't believe in the legend is also just so perfect, and I love her whole attitude throughout this whole thing (like when she'll only allow someone who deserves to get stuck get stuck in the step but not because they'll get bad luck, because that's absolute nonsense).
The end is so amazing! I love the part where they think they've killed Filch's cat! Their shock and awe is amazing--and they are all TOTAL BELIEVERS NOW! This is one of my favorite parts, and I really loved how you ended it with that particular moment. I think it definitely added another layer and tied things up really nicely. Really great job on a piece about a great little gang, Abby, and I loved reading it! Thanks for entering the challenge!
Hi Abby! We're finally here with your challenge review - sorry it took us so long!
We loved your choice of Angelina for the protagonist of this story! She doesn't get written about enough, and I think she fitted this story perfectly. Your characterisation of her here was great - you managed to capture her age perfectly, and you're right that if Angelina were to have a sin, it would be pride. Probably a slightly Gryffie trait (not, of course, that any of us suffer from it) :P We could definitely picture this Angelina entering her name for the Triwizard Tournament in a few years - she's daring and brave, clever and slightly stubborn. All traits that make her into an excellent Gryffie, as well as Quidditch captain and DA member.
The way that you included the sin was great, too. It definitely fit well with Angelina's character, but the way that it became the motivation for her actions in this story was very clever. She's trying so hard to prove her friends wrong (and prove herself, in a way), and it's very easy to picture Angelina getting caught up in a bet or dare with the twins and others in her year over something like the trick step. The fact that she went through with it was brave and (possibly) slightly stupid - but that worked so well given the fact that it's meant to be as a result of a sin here, and her flaw leads her into something that isn't necessarily the best course of action - or at least, so the ending would suggest!
The legend was a nicely original element to this story and it really helped to bring it to life even more; it's very easy to believe that there would be a bunch of urban legends filtering through the Hogwarts halls, and that students would tell each other stories about them and get involved in challenges and dares over the legends. The trick step is something that we know about from canon, so it was great that you incorporated that into the legend, as well as the curse on the DA professor's post - I have to admit that I would probably have gone with Angelina's choice of - ahem - victim for the second part of the legend here, although we ended up feeling a bit sorry for Filch by the end of this!
The details in this story were really rich and we loved the way that it could tie so easily into canon. It's always clever when someone manages to craft a missing moment like this and make it so authentic that it could easily have happened in the books; we felt sorry for both Filch and Angelina at the end of this piece. She must have felt awful thinking that she'd done something that had killed Filch's cat - and it was a pretty nice example of the maxim "pride comes before a fall".
We also really enjoyed reading the other characters in this piece, besides Angelina. They don't have a lot of lines of dialogue but you managed to capture each of them really well, and it's easy to imagine this group as a little motley crew of Gryffindors who spend more time than is probably healthy daring each other. It was definitely easy to believe that the boys would keep complaining that anything that happened afterwards was Angelina's fault - that captured the friendship really well. We'd love to see Angelina getting her revenge on them, to be honest!
Thank you for entering our challenge!
Sian and Abbi :)
Just dropping by to leave you a review for the November 2018 red vs gold battle!
Ah. An Angelina story! I feel like there are far too few of them in existence. She's such a cool character to explore, so I love that you centered this story around her. Pride seems like a good sin for her. I could see her not wanting to lose a bet to the twins.
I loved how Angelina tricked Filch into running up the stairs. You'd think he'd remember that there was a trick step there after all the years of caretaking for the castle, but I suppose in his fury, he must've forgotten. I wonder how long her was stuck there before he got help.
It's interesting to see you connect it to the chamber of secrets. Honestly, I had no idea it was going to go in that direction. Like it was pretty funny and then all of the sudden got dark really quickly.
I always try to leave just a bit of crit in my reviews, so if I had to say anything, it would be that the ending felt maybe just a tad bit rushed. I imagine that's a lot to do with the wordcount constraints on the Prefect Fall Challenge, so no biggie.
All in all, lovely and enjoyable one-shot! It was nice seeing Angelina, Lee, and the twins having fun!
A brilliantly in canon twist at the end with Mrs Norris's attack in CoS been the pay off to Fred, George and Lee's dare at Angelina's expense. The trick step is exactly the kind of thing that would become a urban legend within Hogwarts.
I can geniunely believe Angelina would be very stubborn and determined to keep her pride intact, from the snippets we see of her in canon your charactersation really works well.
A very enjoyable read