Hey Dan! Sorry Ive been so absent lately. Now I know Im skipping a few chapters here, but thats only cuz my notes for 4-6 are saved onto my laptop, which is currently down atm... But anyways, I am here to do what I can for now. & For starters, I must say that that Im loving where the story is going so far. Your action scenes are so fantastic, and the pacing of everything is perfect! You cut the scenes off in all the right places & you never fail to leave me wanting MORE! Theres quite a bit going on in this, and I appreciate the fact that you are taking the time to space it all out and give us everybodys POV of these events.
I really enjoyed how this chapter stated with Astoria's aforementioned shopping trip with her sister. They really are nothing alike, are they? I really like your take on Daphne tho, she seems quite vain and materialistic, which I feel is fitting for her. I liked the dress she made Astoria try on, and Astoria's inner-monologue about how Draco would never approve of the garment. Jealous Draco, ha! But when things hit the fan, I like how she instinctively knew where to find her husband at. I like what you've done with Draco & Astoria's relationship. It is strong and completely realistic so far, which makes it all the more believable. She really does seem absolutely perfect for him, and I like the good side that she brings out in Draco. =)
Flint's character is intriguing, as far as villains go. I cant help but wonder who he is working for/with, and how he escaped imprisonment at Azkaban. He is totally evil and sadistic, and kind of a moron - no offense, lol. But the part where he captured Astoria was SO intense, OMG! You had me holding my breath the whole time! This was all so very well written. When he started putting her hands on her and seducing her, it actually gave me chills, it was so good. I was even convinced that Flint was serious about having captured Draco, and thought that they were really gonna torture him if she did not cooperate. I mean, they just broke into the Ministry and put Hermione in the hospital, so who knows what they're capable of. I was SO relieved when Draco showed up & came to her rescue tho.
Thank goodness Hermione & Ernie are alright. That curse they used on her sounds absolutely dreadful. I thought that they had done the Cruciatus Curse on her at first, but I guess that I was WAY off. Lucky the man who cast it on her didnt seem to know what he was doing. But why do I get the feeling that there is someone out there tho, who IS competent in this newfound Dark Magic, and will not hesitate to use it on whomever stands in his/her way? I really liked the name Exussanguis too. How did you come up with that name? I was surprised when not even Professor Dumbledore had heard of this curse before, but then it was even more surprising when Phineas, of all people, knew about it. To be honest, I was expecting Snape to know more on it, if anybody.
- "Ordinarily, this was the point where they would have asked Hermione to look it up." - That quote made me laugh so much, haha! Poor Harry & Ron are still so lost without Hermione there to guide them and find all the answers for them. Its good to know that some things never really do change, no matter how old they grow. Harry & Ron's work relationship is excellent also. Like how Ron automatically knew that Harry was looking over peoples shoulders and making everyone nervous. You can tell that they have been around one another for a very long time now... The Ministerial Security concept is an interesting idea, and its totally something I could see the Ministry of Magic doing in the future. Altho I cannot help but wonder why they wouldnt trust the Aurors - especially not with Harry Potter as head Auror - to do their jobs proficiently. Hoping to learn more on this in the future, maybe?
I feel like you truly nailed the Trio's relationship perfectly in this when you said that Hermione was Harry's best friend & Ron was his best mate. Thats how Ive always viewed them also; especially during DH. Ron left, but Hermione stuck with him thru it all, and Harry & her have always had more of a connection. I feel like she gets him more than Ron does, and they have deeper, more meaningful conversations. They are in no way whatsoever romantic tho - just friends - or more like brother & sister. Which is why I hate the Harmony Ship even more than I do Dramione sometimes, lol. Neither of them are even remotely plausible, and I for one am glad that you also seem to get that as well, lol! I thot it was a really sweet moment when Hermione woke up and her whole family was there. It was good to see Rose and Hugo in the same room tho, and they were getting along too.
And I love how you ended the chapter with Harry telling Draco to help protect "OUR" family. Cuz whether Draco likes it or not, he and Harry have a common ground now and they're gonna have to swallow their pride and work together... Harry & Draco's conversation was definitely the highlight of the chapter for me. I mean, it may have drug out a little bit, but at the same time I feel that all that extra bickering between the two of them was necessary to show off Draco's reluctance. If he would've sat down and just immediately started spilling everything it would have been a tad unrealistic. So I thot you got that one spot-on! I was glad to see that some of their old animosity still lingers between them, & it was fun to read them bickering back and forth. ;)
& finally, PEEVES! His poem about Harry being back was to die for, rotfl! I wont quote it here, cuz Idk if its considered 12+ or not and I would hate for this review to get deleted, lol! But OMG that was great, haha! This is such an amazing story, and it is starting to get SOO good! I just wanna keep reading, non-stop, but no worries. I will continue to sit down and review the rest, just for you, haha!! XD
Author's Response: Hi, there!
So I've been staring and staring at this review, very daunted by the prospect of trying to write a suitable response. You cover a lot of ground and you're so kind and encouraging that I wanted to make sure I had the time to do it right.
Action scenes were always my favorite parts of the story to write. If there's one thing I think I'm pretty good at, it's visualizing a certain scene playing out and converting that into words. My super power. ;)
Astoria and Daphne are nothing at all alike, but they do still share that sort of sibling bond. No matter how foolish and obnoxious Daphne might be, Astoria still cares about her. She just doesn't allow herself to be overly constrained by Daphne's foolishness. And she does truly enjoy pushing the limits of her husband's comfort zone. His jealousy and overprotective nature bring out certain behaviors in him that she finds quite endearing.
I think you hit it just right in your comments on Flint. He definitely didn't get out of Azkaban due to his brains or his charm. His... let's just say "benefactor" for lack of a better term, is pulling all the strings. He just doesn't realize it yet. A lot of things will start to become clear over the next few chapters.
Hermione managed to survive, but she has a long, difficult recovery ahead of her. The man who cast the curse was indeed incompetent, and you'll find out quite soon who he is. Exussanguis is slightly bastardized Latin. It essentially means "fire of the blood". Nothing too fancy, but I thought it sounded good in a pinch. Phineas Nigellus lived during a time when many more dark curses were commonly used, before the Wizard's Council and then the Ministry of Magic clamped down on dark spells to help preserve the secrecy and safety of the wizarding world.
Ministerial Security was created after the trio were tried and acquitted for the murder of Ginny's killer. It was essentially a message from the Minister that he no longer completely trusted Harry and Ron. It was also about political control, giving the Minister his own personal police force of sorts. Throughout history, the ploy has been used by dictators to help solidify their control. Not saying that's where things are heading, at least not yet. ;)
That quote about Hermione being Harry's best friend has generated a lot of reactions from my reviewers, some good and some bad. Personally, that's how I think of Harry and Hermione. They're like brother and sister, only they don't fight as much. ;) And she probably understands him better than anyone, because they both come from the same background and went through nearly everything together during their school years, including all the times that Ron was acting like an idiot.
I struggled a lot with how long to make Harry and Draco's conversation. I thought about shortening it, but I couldn't figure out which part to take out. In the end, I guess I'm not 100% happy with it, but I'm just not sure how I'd make it better without messing it up. The basic message would always stay the same, though. They do have common family now and they need to work together to keep them safe.
Yeah, Peeves is known for his bawdy, non-12+ sense of humor. That was fun to write. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
Thank you so much for such a long, detailed, well thought out review! I promise I'll respond to your next one sooner, although it also needs a lot of thought. ;)