First, I don't agree that this could be a stand-alone simply because there's so much information gap for a reader not to look for answers. Unlike other open-ended stories, this one depends too much on a past story and a different world that HP and JP fans already know of. On the other hand, I do understand why it is said to be a stand-alone. I believe it's because the story gives light to the other characters in the series. It is a good branch of the story. It goes to show there's always a story behind the story. Or rather, a story always have different sides. Since were dealing with fan fiction here why not go all out, eh?People who haven't read the second JP book may not appreciate The Girl on the Dock entirely. I enjoyed the story (thus the four stars) because I have read JP2. As per the author this is a dark fairy tale and he's right (of course, he wrote it). It's sad, depressing, melancholic and all the other synonyms you can think of. I probably would've moved on without reading this but I'm glad I did.