I don't know about you, but I really struggle with the entire concept of Azkaban. It really seems like cruel and unusual punishment to me, especially because innocent people have been sent there (and without trials! What the heck, wizarding judicial system??) I'm sure most people just focus on the happy, quaint things in the books like chocolate frogs and owl post, but there are some very sinister things lurking in the background there, many of which were already in place long before Voldemort got into the Ministry and started 1984/Nazi-fying the place. I've probably said this before, but the idea that there are no wizard universities terrifies me! So if you fail your classes at Hogwarts, you work for the Knight Bus the rest of your life??? But back to the topic here, you write Azkaban very well and it just underlines these horrific implications of the wizard penal code. They have different terms you serve in Azkaban, obviously, but don't you think there should be something in place to make different levels of torture?? The idea that if you break into a door in the Ministry, you have the same amount of dementors feasting on you as a mass-murderer is incredibly disturbing.
I love the concept you came up with of Dorcas being able to do wandless magic as a child then losing most of the ability in adulthood. This is really just so powerful for me, because I've always grieved the loss of the magic of childhood and how I only seem to have a tiny sliver of the creativity and imagination I had before hitting puberty. (Is it any wonder my two favorite movies of all time are children's movies from the 80's?) So the thought that children would be able to perform any magic they could think of before going to school where they were forced to learn how to do things "the correct way" is very believable, but also very sad. Bravo!
"Harry's all right. Lily's all right. Nothing else matters." --Wow, that is incredibly freaky since that's obviously the title of my new story, and for that exact same reason. When you're protecting innocent people, especially people you love, you will do whatever it takes, no matter what the consequences.
Bringing in the Knights of Walpurgis reference is very cool, making them an actual group the preceded the Death Eaters as opposed to just another name JKR was considering for them. I'm constantly stunned by your ability to take very obvious things and use them in a completely original way (much like JKR herself!)
I don't know if I'm glad or not that Bellatrix seems to care so much about Draco. I think this is mainly because I'm guessing she "cares" about him as a sort of possession since he's a direct link to her own blood. It's also kind of creepy to think of Bellatrix telling baby Draco all sorts of bedtime stories about Uncle Voldy and how much he loves you, Draco.
I just noticed that you have a Sirius/OC ship on here, so I'm curious who that will be. This ended up being a really long review. I'd say sorry, but I'm not really sorry because long reviews are always great to receive :) Great chapter, and I'm going to try really hard not to cry thinking of Draco calling for his mommy :( Oh my God, can you even IMAGINE the torment Narcissa must be going through in Azkaban, worrying about her baby? That really IS cruel and unusual.
Author's Response: I am glad the Azkaban scene's horror was effective. Writing this scene made me very jumpy. I'm kind of avoiding writing Narcissa's perspective on Azkaban... it cuts so close to the bone. She did commit the crimes that put her in Azkaban but she did them for a good reason, in my opinion anyway -- to protect her son. The moral gray area pretty much encompasses everybody in this story except perhaps Voldy and if I can put him in there, I will be doing awesome. Writing Bellatrix as a guardian has been quite disturbing to me... it puts me in a terrible mood, I can only write for her when no one else is around or I roar at the kids when they open the office door!
Oops, the Sirius/OC in the story summary was an abandoned idea and I have removed it, thanks for the heads up. You'll see what replaces it later on :)
Thanks so much for your wonderfully detailed review! So glad you are continuing to enjoy it.