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Review:Roots in Water says:
It's Roots in Water here with your review!

I don't know why I thought this, but when I first started reading this story I thought that Viktor was much older than the nineteen years it turned out to be. In fact, it wasn't until you mentioned that Hermione was in her fifth year (I thought that she was on the Horcrux hunt because of the mentions of war) that I realized that Viktor was younger. However, the story works well both ways, since both Hermione's fifth year and what would have been her seventh year at Hogwarts were dark and scary.

I think that you did a marvelous job with Viktor's characterization. I didn't know where you were going to take this story when I started reading it but I really like where it ended up. I never thought too closely about Viktor's relationship with Karkaroff before and it took me a moment to realize that those "dark and powerful" men he was talking about were Death Eaters. It was very interesting to read about Karkaroff's mental decline from the perspective of someone who had known him well, since we only heard about his disappearance in passing in the books. For me, Viktor felt perfectly in character and very real.

As for Hermione, I enjoyed the way you wrote Viktor's feelings towards her. He's concerned, jealous and has very strong feelings for her, things we already had glimpses of in the fourth book. Hermione herself sounded exactly like herself, and just like the scared, practical and loyal teenage girl we know her to be in the books.

As well, the description at the beginning of your story was very poetic and I thought that it was a great introduction because it introduced the setting and the atmosphere very well. The story definitely had a darker, sadder edge to it. As well, it was clever of you to first describe the owl as a shadow- it made the start of the story seem that much more mysterious.

That was such a wonderful last sentence. It summed the whole story up beautifully and made it feel complete.

I also enjoyed the comparisons between Durmstrang and Hogwarts, especially during the holidays. This was especially evident in the lack of holiday spirit Viktor was feeling- he felt depressed, not warm and content, which makes sense with his circumstances.

All in all, I really enjoyed reading this story. It was very unique and very well written. Thanks so much for requesting a review and I hope my comments are helpful!

Author's Response: I love your delightfully long reviews :)

I can imagine that Hermione thought of contacting Viktor a time or two during seventh year as well, particularly when she and Harry were alone in the forest. Maybe she thought he was too closely connected with the Dark Arts at that point. Hmm.

I think the Krum-Karkaroff incident is an interesting parallel to that of Draco and Lucius. Both of the older men are shamed Death Eaters, both of them trying to guide their proteges along the same dark path they once took. Whereas Draco follows blindly for the sake of his family and only comes to regret his decision toward the very end, Krum (as I've written him) uses the influence of someone as pure and righteous as Hermione to defend himself against that persuasion. As a side note, I'm glad I got Hermione right as well. I did want to play up her youth, innocence and general desire for peace here.

I'm glad you enjoyed both the beginning and the end of the story. I always try to start a story with some kind of imagery, so the owl seemed like a good avenue for that, and I wanted to let the reader fill in the ending a little bit. Did he offer to come help her? Did he simply try to reassure her? Who knows? :)

Yes, this seemed like an interesting twist on a Christmas story. Though Durmstrang is lacking in the holiday spirit, Viktor's desire to help Hermione and his fond feelings for her have hopefully done a little to warm his heart.

You're so helpful, as always! :) Thanks for another delightfully in-depth, thoughtful review.

Amanda


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