First I want to apologize for taking such a long time to fill your review request! My sister just gave birth and I was also throwing myself full into NaNo to finish before she gave birth so it has been very hectic. But I'm here now!
So you just wanted a general review. I tend to do running reviews and then wrap everything up in the end. Hope that's okay with you, letís get started!
She is a Gryffindor. There is courage in her blood that sings like victory bells, but tonight there is no triumph in their defeat. There is nothing but a dull, quiet roar.
She is a lion.
I never go into review requests looking at the pairings or the summary or the title. I really don't want anything to sway me one way or the other but I saw your banner and it already intrigued me. I think the opening really solidified my intrigue because you don't mention who you are talking about. It could be McGonagall. It could be Molly or any other woman in the Harry Potter series, Lily even. I just really like this part because of the repetition of the 'she is' it rings loudly in my head and the roar makes it pound in my chest, "She is a lion." So strong. What a strong, strong image.
In the end, there was nothing she could have done to stave off the sharp, bitter sting of betrayal.
Wow. I'm not ashamed to admit that there are tears in my eyes. You know I don't think McGonagall is given enough credit. I think we all see her as this strong woman that had went through a lot but we add her in, in fleeting moments. I think a lot of us just don't think about how she would have been effected by everything, it's always Dumbledore but she was younger than him, she would have experienced things differently and I don't want to say it would have been more painful for her compared to him because Dumbledore had a very hard life. Yet McGonagall was still at that stage of her life where she was just a Professor, she would have known the trio and the Marauders on a deeper level because she would have been in contact with them more than Dumbledore until the Order. It's a lot to think about and now I'm rambling. I'm sorry!
Sirius was a reckless boy, his true intentions often hidden by smoke and magic. There was an anger just simmering beneath the surface and sometimes, when she least expected it, she caught glimpses of it in the hardened steel of his eyes.
You know I think it's hard to characterize Sirius as a traitor since we all know he is not and it was Peter but reading the way you described him it just makes so much sense why they would have believed that he had joined the Dark Lord.
She was their mother: Reassuring, always constant. She only wished she could have done more to save them.
Remus was the last one standing, but in another decade, another war, she would lose him too.
^ These last two lines just killed me. I'm sorry this isn't a well thought out review like it should be but this was just so wonderful that I'm trying to wrap my head around it. You have brought McGonagall alive for me. I think you hit her characterization as well as Remus, Peter, Sirius and Lily/James. You do realize you give them each about a line or two, very subtle to tell us who their characters are and what kind of people they are in McGonagall's eyes and still it is more than enough where I just want to scream out, "No!" and ask why this had to happen to all of them.
Excellent job. Thank you for requesting.
Author's Response: Deeds! I am totally okay with the wait because THIS IS THE BEST REVIEW EVER. Seriously, and you rec'd this fic on the forums! You are fabulous.
I think it's an interesting idea to go into a story without reading all those details. I can see how it can be a good thing - sometimes I'm guilty of judging a fic before reading it based on those details and going in "blind" leaves you unbiased.
It was important for me to make parts of this story repetitive at times, and the 'she is' was definitely part of it. I think it added to the overall flow of the story I was going for while writing.
I am okay with making people teary! I think writing emotions is something I love to do and I'm fairly good at (if I could be so humble ;)) so it makes me really happy to hear that people are feeling emotional while reading my fics. I thought it was important to show this scene from McGonagall's POV. She IS such a strong character and I think part of it is the way Maggie Smith portrays her, but sometimes I catch glimpses in her character of this woman who feels so much for her students but is looked to for strength and stability during times of turmoil.
It was really hard to write that Sirius/Peter scene because of the truth that we, as readers, know. But obviously it was necessary to paint him in that negative light and I have written scenes like this before from Remus's POV so it was really interesting to write it from McGonagall's POV as someone who has watched these boys grow up into men, from students into soldiers, and to get hit with the information that someone like Sirius had betrayed them...it must have been difficult.
The last line killed everyone - don't worry! Soon I'll have to start my own graveyard for all the reader deaths I've caused with my writing, haha. I am so, so beyond pleased at how much you enjoyed this. I can't get over how fantastic your review is. I'm so flattered. Thank you!