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Review:Gabriella Hunter says:

I decided to stop by as soon as I got the time and since yesterday was Christmas I was too busy getting fat and bumming around the house.
So, here I am a day after with your review for our swap! I hadn't forgotten about it, honest! D':
I have to be honest and say that I had a realy hard tim in deciding on what I wanted to read. I had no idea that you had so many stories, so many amazing looking stories that would take me forever to fangirl over! Argh! But anyway, I decided to read this because it sounded really interesting and plus, it has the future Professor McGonagall! I've never read a story like this before, especially with her as the main character. I always thought that she would be such a hard person to write for but you've described and added onto her so well that I'm loss for words. I don't think I could have done it. T-T
Loved the first paragraphs describing her too, I got a real sense of her as a character just from those sentences. It seems to stick with canon quite a bit but I'd sort of thought that she would have been looser as a student. Though, now, I can't really picture it. Hahha.
I really liked her interaction with Grimm as well, I think he's a great OC character. I got the feeling that they had past history together so maybe I'm reading a sequel? Either way, I love the chemistry between them, even if its reluctant on Minerva's side and treated as more of a joke on Grimms sometimes. Anyway, I really enjoyed seeing familiar names in the story as well, from Umbridge to, uhm, that kind fellow Tom Riddle (Shudder) and I think you blended them all very well. :D
Now, on to Grimm and Minerva! I'm really curious on their past history together, it seems like they have what might be a friendship or a little rivalry. The fact that he's different from Minerva really keeps their dynamics fresh, I liked reading her struggling with her feelings for him and her extreme dislike.
Perhaps that will show up again later?
At some point, Grimm made me wonder if he actually liked her a bit more than he let on but I wasn't able to be certain if he were just being a prat or just teasing.
I wasn't able to tell all the time except...he got jealous when she was talking to Dumbledore? Wasn't sure whether to laugh or shake my head at the accusation he gave her and I was really surprised that Minerva popped him one. I never would have expected that! :D
I'm enjoying this very much, I think its pretty darn fantastic and original so, amazing job! :D
I wish I could say something more witty but I think I've used up all my words. Hahaha.
Much love and see you on the forums!

Author's Response: Hi Gabbie! I've tried to respond to this one a few times, and it's always hard to figure out what to say! It's great to hear that you enjoyed this first chapter, though to me, it's not particularly reflective of how the plot develops - it's almost too conventional a beginning for these kind of stories, you know? So reading positive reviews of it make me feel incredibly guilty, like I'm leading readers down the garden path. XD It's horrible, but true.

When I first started writing Minerva, I also thought that she would be hard, but it turned out to be quite the opposite. She's too much like myself, and it was interesting to explore her character and give her this whole history (long before JKR released hers - I'm still angry at her for ruining my headcanon :P). She's become one of my favourite canon characters to write. It's absolutely wonderful that you like how she's written here!

This isn't a sequel at all. I've purposely started after the "beginning" because in "The Fires Within" I started at the very beginning of the character's story and it became a complete mess. There's a lot to be said for stories that start in medias res, forcing the readers to do more work to understand who the characters and where they're coming from. The events leading up to this story are hinted at throughout this story, but they're really unimportant to the overall plot, which gives both characters the opportunity to grow into their relationship (whatever it is... most of the time I don't know what it actually is). I'm really glad that you like their dynamics! What I wanted to do was test the boundaries of the love-hate relationship to show that, instead, these characters balance one another, like a ying and yang, each bringing different qualities to make a larger whole. :)

Thank you very much for reviewing this first chapter! I hope that you will continue reading, since it sounds as though you enjoyed it. It's one of my favourite stories to write, as frustrating as it can sometimes be.

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