|Review:||Violet Gryfindor says:|
Wow. How do I begin on this? I probably have read a Barty story before, but they are very rare, and what you've done here is more unique in the way that you've used fragments and repetition to structure this story. The final lines of each fragment tied everything together, explaining why you'd chosen that particular fragment over another, giving it weight.
The centre fragment with Barty making the Dark Mark in GoF was an obvious choice, but the others are interesting ones because they don't depict significant events (such as his switch with his mother in Azkaban), but rather the stuff that comes in between. These scenes reveal more about Barty's character, in my opinion, and it made this story more interesting to read. That may sound strange, because one would think it'd be more interesting (in an exciting way, I suppose) to see how the switch was done, or his direct involvement with the Longbottoms' torture, but those would be action-oriented with Barty as a supporting, rather than central figure - he would have been overshadowed by both his mother and Bellatrix. The story wouldn't have had the same affect at all.
But each fragment is a lesson - to return to discussing the final lines. I don't know if they're lessons that he learned (or was meant to learn) or whether they point out Barty's mistakes to readers, but they do reveal Barty's failures throughout life. It's like there was always something off about him - he doesn't even experience togetherness with the Death Eaters, seemingly an outsider from their ranks, even while he's serving Voldemort. Is he just a troubled boy who fell into the wrong crowd? The result of poor parenting? Or was he always meant for this fate? Your story has raised a lot of questions about this relatively obscure character.
There were a couple more things I wanted to comment on, like how you described Moody's flask as an extra limb - so perfect seeing that he was missing a leg! That made me laugh. Then the chilling glimpses of Fudge's corruption, Bellatrix's fall into madness, Barty's very strange relationship with his equally strange mother... all fantastic details that added to the richness of this story. However, one detail that you may need to double check is which wand Barty used to make the Dark Mark - I can't remember whether he used Harry's wand or his own, because Harry's did go missing during that scene.
That's all, I think. :P Better to stop now before I ramble on. This story turned out wonderfully and made for a fantastically thought-provoking read - it's a great character study of Barty, and it makes me excited to see what kind of story you'll come up with next. :D
Author's Response: Susan! It's been several hours and I still can't believe I woke up to this fabulous review. You are too kind, as always :) Speedy, too!
I definitely wanted to focus on snapshots in Barty's life and, as you said, moments that aren't explored a whole lot but are still part of our canon knowledge of him. Reading back over his canon storyline before working on this, I was struck with the importance of his mother and his treatment of Winky. I think, at least for me, it's been very easy to write him off as this crazed Death Eater even though he's got this rich, complex back story.
I think you make a good point about using these hidden moments to really put Barty himself in the spotlight as opposed to another figure. I hadn't so much thought of it that way, but now that I read it, it does come out to me. I did try to write him as a very isolated individual with very intricate thoughts - for example, his attitude toward women is complicated, considering that on the one hand he has a great deal of respect and love for his mother, never wanting to disappoint her, and on the other hand he has all of these wild sexual thoughts about other women he sees. I agree with you that he's much deeper than he appears on the surface, and is thus worth more exploration than he typically receives.
I'm glad you love the details; those tend to be one of my strong suits. You do make a very good point about the wand. I'll definitely look into it. He probably did swipe Harry's wand.
Anyway, I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Thank you again for all of your wonderful reviews!! :)