So, not Ivy. I AM NOT CONVINCED, I - okay, okay. Maybe the Mysterious She IS Araminta. FINE. Ivy can still be the spy in the midst. Except that it's probably Peter.
Of course, the revelation doesn't tie ANYTHING off and does, indeed, commit everything to becoming far more complicated. It's great seeing the blinkers off our Minty-G, seeing her able to express herself fully - emotionally and also in terms of her capabilities. Negotiating with giants, Legilimency and Occlumency; we have not seen so much of her talents, and I hope that is going to change now she's more likely to let loose (well, not stupidly, since, still undercover. But looser).
Dumbledore's spot-on in this chapter. Of course he backs up his gut instinct with some Legilimency, and all the time is the kindly, trusting grandfather, but while he was understanding and supportive (because, if you believe her, then surely sympathy IS the most moral path to take, and for his sins Dumbledore is moral), there was the pleasant knife-edge sensation that the kindness could turn to coldness just as quickly if he decided she couldn't be trusted. And Moody - Bolshy as you would expect, but accepting Dumbledore's opinion.
And while the confession to Dumbledore was TENSE and nail-bitey, the Arieda scene was spot on with Araminta getting, well, what she does need to hear thrown in her face. Now she has a choice she's acting on the choice, but her actions have still caused intense harm. Arieda accepting it, but with reservations and difficulties, is compelling and realistic, too. NOT TO MENTION her instructions to stay away from Gideon, which make PERFECT sense in every way (smart girl; I like her) but is, of course, going to backfire HORRIBLY. I also particularly like Arieda rather bluntly sweeping aside Araminta's denial of her love for Gideon in a "we don't have time for your ANGST, this is BUSINESS" way. But then, much as I love my overwraught angstyness, I do like it when it's not allowed to take itself too seriously, so that tickled me.
So this is where the whole game changes. It's not the Whodunnit, it's the Howdunnit, the Howtolivewithit. And, of course, Gideon is going to DIE.
Now I need to go reread the whole damn story with this information in mind. And perhaps this chapter at a slightly less psychotic speed. Don't get me wrong, I want more, but all this needs to SIMMER.
Author's Response: Peter is, of course, A Spy. Naturally. Whether he and Araminta (and Snape, of course) are the only ones floating around? I couldn't possibly say. :)
I'm really enjoying that Araminta's full capabilities can now come across. And she DOES have a lot going for her, though it is of course hard to see when you're not allowed to know what she's done. But this is indeed exciting times for me, and it certainly makes portraying her MUCH easier in a way. Although she also becomes harder to portray in other ways...
SO hard to write Dumbledore and Moody here. But yes, as you say, once he's seen what's going on in her mind and sees that she's telling the truth, there are two assumptions to make; that she IS being truthful, or that she's lying to him and doing it VERY well. And it takes a lot to deceive Dumbledore, even if she HAS been taught everything by Voldemort. And so he believed her. Very chuffed he was spot-on, naturally. :)
The confession bit was one of the bits I wrote a long time ago. I had to tweak it; initially in my plans Gideon and Araminta were much more romantically involved by this point, but then the closer to this moment I got, the more I figured it wasn't at all realistic, so I tweaked it, and thus some of what I'd written here ALSO needed to be tweaked. (Nice word, that. Tweak. Love it.) The conversation with Arieda was mostly written the other day, and that was all good fun because neither of them would shut up! But yeah, it's obviously difficult for Arieda to hear, but she's slightly more accepting than Gideon might be because she's less close-minded than he is. The war has affected her less that way. And things will indeed backfire, because I am cruel. And because Araminta won't be able to stay away.
If I were to split this story into arcs, this would definitely be the end of arc one. How many arcs the rest splits into? Two or three, I'd say; it's not so definitive. But this is where a lot of the mystery ends, and it becomes much more of a story of coping, and of love in the face of angst and sorrow, of course. Because we all need a bit of love in our lives. And Gideon is going to DIE.
Sometimes in writing this first bit I'VE had to reread it, for the purpose of writing the OPOPT bits, because nothing is directly referred to in them, so I'd be there going "what's this bit about again?" I think things will become clearer upon a reread though. :) And that's totally cool, I'll give you ... a month? That enough time to simmer?
I jest, of course, I'll update when I have the next chapter done, but I don't know when that will be, this weekend I am away and so writing time is dependent once more on my battery life which is minimal at best. So we'll see. :) Thanks for reviewing!