As I promised you, I am here :) firstly, I would like to say that the banner is gorgeous. Top marks for hedwidgeon!
"The wind continued to toy with his hair, and he could almost imagine he could hear voices inside of it - high, whispering voices, both identical and completely different, all at once." This description is just beautiful - kind of eerie and yet majestic at the same time. Very very apt for the wind and the situation.
I would also like to say that I very much think that setting this story during Harry's fifth year is also, for want of a better word, apt. His most angsty year, filled with ominous images and a discordant atmosphere. I also very much like the way Harry keeps feeling his scar - like this his only way of, if not calming himself down, then at least realising who he is. Well that's what I'm gathering from the situation anyway.
You are describing events exactly as JKR did in OOTP. I take my hat off to you and bow down at your feet. "Ron and Hermione were both staring at him, neither of them speaking. "What?" he snapped, in a harsher tone of voice than he meant to./"Nothing," Ron said hastily, but Harry didn't miss the quick look he shot Hermione." Gosh, it's like you channel her into your fingertips when you're writing, you just get the balance, the relationships in this book, just right.
"His hand had come away red, shimmering with blood; blood that was not his own.../He blinked once, and the blood was gone.../The blame-slinging ringing in his head had turned to laughter." This reminds me an awful lot of Lady Macbeth saying 'Out, damned spot, out I say!...Will these hands ne'er be clean?', and which I think is totally appropriate to the story. Not only had Lady Macbeth gone mad by this point, but she was so wracked with guilt that nothing that was said was actually getting through to her. And this is what I feel is happening to Harry, except for in his case, he is actually innocent. Using this motif between these texts was perfect to help understand Harry's inner-torment even more.
Wow. That was powerful - the whole bit about him being goaded to kill Hermione - I would normally quote bits here but that was just...wow. I don't quite know what to say. As much as I love Harry and everything, this is making me, well, /dislike/ him a little bit.
Wow. That was both dark and brilliant. The end line, whilst not only having Harry's previous connotations of madness, is kind of hopeful. Maybe he will get better, maybe he will pull through. And once more I am wondering whether this is a canon story or an AU, because, seriously, it could be both. You are a genius.
This is a wonderful piece of writing, Janechel. The way you have adapted JKR's style to make the story believable, and at the same time running with canon and your own universe makes it even more real. And at the same time, these smatterings of real/not real make me wonder what is real, and so make me empathise with Harry. And for me to do that in a story when he seems so cut-off from normal human interaction is a skill.
I shower you with all compliments, and yet I don't want you to disregard them. When I say that you are wonderful at writing, that you seriously made me rethink the whole of OOTP, please believe me. This is fantastic, and I can't wait to read more of you :)
Lots of love,
Author's Response: I seriously don't even know how I'm supposed to respond to this, Hannah. Like... I'm going to try, but I'll tell you right now, it'll be fail. FORGIVE ME. ♥
I loved seeing the word through Harry's (slightly crazy) eyes here, and I think your description of it is -- to use your word -- very apt! Eerie and dark, yet somehow pretty, was basically exactly what I was going for, and I am just floored that you found those exact things here. :) And I LOVE your connection to Macbeth! I didn't even think about that while writing this, but it totally, totally fits. (And you totally nailed the reasoning for his scar, so go you!)
I can't even fathom how awesome it is that you've compared my writing here to JKR's. ♥ Thank you!! I find it very easy to slip into her tone when I need to, just because I've read the books and listened to the audiobooks goodness knows how many times. And for stories like this, I do love to try and make HER voice come across... because it seems a little more believable that way. Like you said, there is (hopefully) a fairly fine line in this story between what's canon and what isn't. But seriously -- that is such an amazing thing to say, and I just adore that you did. :)
This review made my day, and then some. Honestly, Hannah, you leave the BEST reviews! I'm honored to have one from you. :) So, so glad you enjoyed this story, and thank you again for it!! ♥