Some interesting things going on here but the fight sequence just does not work. Why did all those trained Aurors not cut down Yaxley in an instant? Why did Kingsley shout "Yaxley!" when he should have shouted "Stupefy!" or some such and everyone else remained silent, pausing for dramatic effect and to give time for Yaxley to strike? The security Muggle reads like someone who routinely murders people and then grins about it instead of checking to see if the guy is dead, or needs help for his injuries, or indeed, is still a threat. He doesn't treat Yaxley as if he were a real person so therefore, I, as a reader, can't either - and the incident loses power and meaning.
The meeting with Scrimgeour was fine at the start but kind of duplicated what was at the end of HBP yet with Harry seeming to yield instead of resist. It also didn't bring out exactly what Harry could do for the Ministry or what the Ministry could do for Harry. Might be interesting to see what comes of that.
Author's Response: All I can do here is try to address each point of your string of questions. I will make an assumption here if I am incorrect I apologize. But I assume you have never experienced any sort of actual conflict of this sort. I myself am a combat veteran and I can tell you in the heat of conflict even the best trained soldiers do not always do exactly as they ought. Why didnât the Aurors cut Yaxley down in an instant? Well, one can only assume that like any police force they are not necessarily used to engaging in these sorts of battles as they really do not happen all that frequently. They did in fact get the upper hand but Yaxley was able to defeat them with one extraordinarily powerful spell, which Harry and Kingsley were just able to escape by casting shield charms. I take your point that Kinglsy should have just cast a spell when he yelled the mans name, but my assumption was that he was actually surprised by the manâs identity and may have thought that if he got his attention the whole conflict could have gone another way. After all at that point Yaxley was the last DE standing. It was a misjudgment on Kingsleyâs part, but not an unprecedented one in such conflicts.
As far as Mr. Flemming goes I believe he is acting exactly in character if you manage to root out the literary reference here and let that inform your understanding of the character.
Sean Flemming is a combination of names, Sean Connery, and Ian Flemming, and the description of the man is almost directly that of the description Ian Flemming wrote of James Bond. Now, I am not in any way trying to write a crossover here, but it is a literary reference to another fictional world, and if you have any understanding of that world it should inform your understanding of who this character is and what he might be like. At the very least, though he is not James Bond, he is patterned from that mold. The name is simply a nod to that other work.
My take is sort of this. If the James Bond stories had been written based on real, Royal Secret Service agents, if such secret service existed Sean Flemming would be one of these guys, and he has been sent into the Magical world at the behest of the Prime Minister. After all, why wouldnât the Muggles take the opportunity to gather intelligence, especially when the Prime Minister does not know, and is not being told by the Ministry of Magic, any particular details about what is actually going on in the Magical world. Instead he is being treated like a Muggle and is essentially being told, âOh, not to worry, there is a bad thing happening in the magical world, and it may overflow in to the Muggle world, but weâll handle it.â If I were the Prime Minister and was getting this sort of a brush off, but the concern was grave enough to warrant the placement of a Wizard (Kingsley) on my direct staff. I would seize upon any opportunity to send in my very best agent as well.
The conversation with Scrimgeour was intended to be much informed by that of HBP, with one very crucial difference. Harry is now ready to actually listen. Hopefully some rather interesting things will come from that conversation, one of them being an ongoing dialogue and the other being the formation of a Wizard Army, both of which are hinted at and will take shape in further chapters.
As ever I am enjoying your observations and comments. I look forward to more. However as the next chapter is a Draco chapter, I will anticipate a pre-stated lack of interest.
As always, thank you so much, and happy reading.