I'm so sorry it's taken me this long, you know how the holiday season can be :) What matters is I'm here now and I'm ready to dive into this chapter!!
Neville is headmaster, aww I knew he could do it! I'm having the fluffy time sitting here imagining old Harry and old Neville having a conversation at Hogwarts. At first I tried giving Neville the Dumbledore beard in my head which, let me tell you what, does NOT work out at all. But then I just kind of imagined an older Neville...with wrinkles and glasses and...I love old people :P
So I'm finding this whole class that Harry is teaching fun. The names for the students are very interesting, I'm digging Ulysses, reminds me of the president after the civil war, Ulysses S. Grant, so for some reason I'm imagining a civil war general duelling with a wand LOL. I bet Ulysses S Grant wished he had a wand.aannyywwaayy...
So this scene with all the students attacking him...kind of LOOSELY makes me think of the scene in HBP at the end where he's trying to throw curses at Snape but he impassively just blocks them while still trying to teach him as he runs. Obviously not close to the same thing but it's the image I got when I read it. And LOL at Harry throwing a full bind body curse at his Grandson! How many grandfathers wish occasionally the could do that?! hahaha
Ok I just had this whole paragraph typed out about how confused I was when Veratrice gets him and then he's behind her until I read on about the apparation, but then I was still confused until I read on about how their was a decoy. So in conclusion, maybe I should stop reviewing as I go and just read the whole chapter in one sitting :P
It's also interesting to see that levicorpus has become a spell that is being used in every day defensive/offensive magic. It was used as torture for Snape during the marauder's age and now it's a fun, if not sort of whimsical spell that can be used in a classroom setting. I think I just never really gained a liking for it because I am a huge Snape fan :P I'm biased, don't listen to me
Ok I've just finished the chapter and I have to say, I think Harry is like the ghost of Christmas past, except it's not Christmas, it's like horrormas. First and foremost, I think that this is probably a common problem with kids nowadays. Or stupid people who deny the holocaust ever happened, that it was all made up, that kind of thing. And of course it's important to learn history so it doesn't repeat itself. So the fact that the magical education system on history is so bad makes me a little worried for this story. It is called conspiracy of blood after all.
I think the places that Harry chose to take them were good choices. At first I thought he might pour his memories into a pensieve and make the kid watch it, but that would have been really bad. I do wonder what Neville would have to say about him taking the children to see his parents, which I thought was written very well. Writing about mental illness can be difficult but i think you did a good job depicting their indifference to the world.
The scene with the dementors, I didn't know what was going on, at first I thought he brought them to the cave where the locket was found and I was like SURELY not lol. Silly dementors. I'm glad that Harry was able to shake some sense into that kid though. I got mad just reading about it! Especially what he said about Fred :(
Overall I thought the flow and the description of this chapter was nice and masterfully done. The storyline continues to have me on the edge of my seat, even though nothing particularly like...major happened in this chapter, I was still glued to my computer screen trying to figure out what was going on. I feel like everything is always constantly building at a very slow and steady pace and I am still so excited to read on and find out where you are taking this, because I can never predict what a chapter will be about!
Author's Response: Wow. You dove in and didn't come up for air for quite a while! Reviews like this are a bit intimidating to respond to, although I obviously enjoy the challenge. Let's get to it.
Ha! I can't imagine Neville with any sort of beard. I'm sure he probably tried it once or twice and it looked silly and Hannah made him shave it off. It was really fun to imagine Harry and Neville as these two very respected, influential wizards, sitting around and reminiscing about old times.
The dueling lesson was fun to write from beginning to end. I think of it as such a treat for the students to have a chance to learn from somebody with so much practical experience and then get a chance to test their skills against the cagey, old master. Harry obviously gets something out of it, as well, keeping his pipeline into the Auror training program full.
There's been some debate in my reviews about Harry apparating across the room and whether that's possible inside Hogwarts. I think of anti-apparition jinxes as being more like boundaries than "restricted airspace". Take the Department of Mysteries, for example. You're plainly not allowed to apparate into or out of the Ministry of Magic, but during the battle people were disapparating all around the room. Just my theory, of course. Your mileage may vary.
I guess yesterday's dark curse is today's light-hearted bit of magical fun. ;) It all comes down to the intentions of the caster, I think. Harry didn't mean to humiliate Veratrice, he was merely having a bit of fun at her expense. Good thing she had something on underneath her school robes, though.
I am sitting here with my mouth hanging slightly open, in awe of how you managed to fairly seamlessly make the connection between this chapter and A Christmas Carol. You've hit on a key theme of the story, though. The magical world has enjoyed nearly fifty years of peace and prosperity since Voldemort's death. People have become complacent and naive. Keep an eye on young Mr. Northway. He's more than just a character, he's also somewhat symbolic of a wizarding world that needs to wake up and smell the coffee. As his character goes, so goes the broader wizarding world.
Neville is, at his heart, an educator. He might have had some misgivings about Harry taking Dennis and Artie to meet Frank and Alice, but as long as Dennis learned the proper lesson from the visit, I think he would have seen the merit of the idea. And taking them to experience the Dementors up close and personal was all about driving the point home. Terrible, awful things happened during the Second Wizarding War. When people no longer remember and understand, the next war is just a matter of time.
I'm really glad you enjoyed this chapter and you find the story engaging. I promise that something *very* major will happen in the next one. You just may not like it. :-/ Thanks for reading and reviewing!