Hi Susan! I'm super glad you stopped by to request a review for this story, because I've been meaning to read it ever since you posted it, and time just got away from me (as you know, it often does in graduate school). Anyway, I'm here now :)
Film noir is fun to write, isn't it? (Seriously, I had so much fun writing mine.) I think you've executed it beautifully here. As usual, your imagery is so powerful, and I could picture Moody clunking through the fog and shadow so easily that it was like I was watching him on screen in an authentic film noir piece. He seems like a natural choice for an anti-hero, what with his cynical attitude and mysterious inner self, and I think you've captured him really well and done a good job of keeping him in character while pulling him just far enough so as to fill the role of your film noir character. By the way, I love that he's just lost his leg in this story, or so I gather. Not only does it fit in well with the mood, but I think it's so like him to pass it off as something he's just got to get used to.
You did great with describing the environment as well. I think the paragraph toward the beginning about Hogwarts was my favorite in the whole piece -- your discussion of the tragedies living in its walls really struck me and helped to cement the setting of the scene in my mind.
I like the introduction of the Riddle-McGonagall storyline. I've always thought it would be an interesting ship to explore, and I think you've used it well to continue to keep up the mood of suspense. I love that Moody and Dumbledore both seem to know a little bit more about the situation than they're putting on, and I'm excited to see Moody begin to investigate further. My only minor tweak would be the ending -- it just has a little bit of an abrupt feel for me, and I think I would have preferred to see Moody make a subtle yet snide remark at Dumbledore (perhaps expressing the sentiment written already), turn on his good leg, and make his exit from the room. That's just a matter of my opinion, of course.
Very nice, like everything else of yours that I've read. I'm very much looking forward to reading more, so feel free to re-request later on, though I may well get to them on my own. The flow is very nice, the tone is perfectly mysterious, and you've set up a very intriguing little love triangle :)
Wonderful job! I hope this review was helpful, of course.
Author's Response: Oh gosh, Amanda, this review is amazing! It's definitely worthwhile requesting reviews from you, and I'm so glad that I was able to nab a spot in your thread. :D Thank you very much for offering them again!
Film noir /is/ fun! There must be something wrong with it if it's this fun. :P Even now that I'm planning the next chapter, it's so easy to create scenes with just the right atmosphere and characters that just suit that atmosphere. Maybe the problem is that I've seen too many film noirs, but I'm glad that this story includes the right kind of imagery for the genre. It's very clear in my head, but one can never be sure whether it translates onto the page for others to understand. That description of Hogwarts was my favourite to write - it's the kind of thing I can imagine in a voice-over (from Moody's point of view, of course). It's a very different view of the castle than one usually hears, but hints of it are present in canon, especially in CoS and the PoA movie, so it was interesting to emphasize that darker aspect of the castle. :D
It's wonderful that you like how Moody turned out here. He's a great character to write, and in this story (as opposed to Out of Time), I can really explore his cynicism and his Auror instincts. I have added one more line to the ending that will hopefully help give more closure, and it also gave me inspiration for where to start the next chapter, so thank you for that!
I will definitely re-request once I finally kick myself into writing the next chapter (of this and of P&P, another one I'm behind on). It's so easy to get swallowed up by graduate work, but I'm getting back into writing again, and your review has definitely helped inspire me to continue. ^_^