I was SO prepared to hate you for sticking this chapter up, because I'm chomping at the bit for more BTP, I NEED to know what happens next, although I wouldn't put it past you to throw in an ENTIRE chapter of Cal/Tobias chat which has NOTHING to do with the Lackardy case just because you CAN ... but I digress. Point is, I fully anticipated hating this chapter JUST BECAUSE it's not BTP.
But holy HELL. Chapter has everything in it. EVERYTHING. Except Artemis. But then she'd have ruined the Scorose moment so THAT'S OKAY.
Ahem. From the top.
I like how it's a bad thing that the six have become so USED to such a horrible situation. It seems like the natural reaction; because it's such an UNnatural thing to be doing, so of course it's going to be alarming to realise that it's become the norm for them. Four weeks in. It's making me wonder how long this will go on for. Intriguing thought, because like I've said before, I literally have NO idea what's to come; this could be wrapped up within five chapters, or we could have another fifty to come. I'm rather leaning towards the latter (perhaps not FIFTY chapters, but you get my drift) and it excites me because there is LOADS yet to find out.
Scorpius is getting used to his job, but still doesn't see it as a job in the same sense as the others'. Sigh. It is, Scorp, it really IS; in fact, it's the most important of them all. At least Nat realises that. And I like that Scorpius notices that Nat is approving. Despite what he may think of her it's obvious that that approval makes him feel better about his worth.
I get the funny feeling that the guitar theory will work. Because this is Scorpius, and he's the type of person whose mad ideas WOULD work. And I love that idea, too; I love the theory of sound affecting magic. BROWNIE POINTS.
Also love the politics thrown in; that France and Spain will help IF they get something in return. Not that I can imagine their help would be useful; I can't see what they'd be able to provide that Britain doesn't already HAVE that would suddenly produce a breakthrough. Hmm. And an interesting theory on WHY Thane has done this. I like it. It may not be right, but it's plausible. We shall see.
OM NOM THE SCOROSE. LOVE how she recognises his worth, YES YES YES. And then SO MUCH UST and Nat walks in and ruins it all. UNGH. But still, better payback in the end if they're kept apart for longer. Plus less chance of them refusing to come to terms with their feelings. Yes, I like. Even if the wait will prove to be an agonising one.
Ho hum, a BREAKTHROUGH. Possibly. Hermione's been involved with regulation whatnot and NATHALIE BACKSTORY, this makes me far too excited. At the moment, I'm leaning towards Nat here; clearly the regulations that Hermione had brought in, whether necessary or not, have completely put a stranglehold on potion research and have made things very difficult for the likes of Nat to do their jobs. It's easy to see why she's angry right now, especially because Hermione questions her research here at every turn.
And I love their shared refusal to let anyone near the Acromantula in the Forest. Amazing Al reaction. "Dad did it." Which pretty much applies to everything in the wizarding world these days. But they're right, NOT a good move at all; they weren't friendly even when Aragog was alive, and Harry and Ron only got out thanks to a magical car, and once Aragog died even Hagrid couldn't get anywhere with them. BAD MOVE. Though I don't get why they can't just send experts into the Forest - oh wait, quarantine. Yeah, fair enough. EASTERN EUROPE it is.
Haha oh Selena. I love her.
Hmm, Hermione wants to talk to Scorp. Wants him to look after Rose and Al. Well, he'll do that ANYWAY of course, he doesn't need to be ASKED. Oh, I love that he let slip about his family, it's about time that Hermione realised he was his own person, and NOT his father. Bless.
YES, questions about Nat, I like this. Hmm, started off with healing solutions, moved on to more lucrative research. Very interesting. And selling out her colleagues; that's cold, really cold. And doesn't seem like the Nat we knew in Anguisverse. Why did you do it, Nat? The scars of being in Azkaban for nearly a year driving her to avoid prison at any costs, perhaps? It's intriguing, VERY intriguing. And explains some of the resentment between her and Hermione; of COURSE they're not going to be on the same page. Explains Hermione's reluctance to believe Nat, and suddenly I'm on her side a little bit more here.
Understanding, that Scorpius would have that reaction to Hermione bringing his father into the conversation. But she REALISES, she realises that he's nothing like Draco. And I like this, very much. I must say, I LOVE your characterisation of Hermione. Hardly surprising, given that I loved her in Ren, but you have it JUST right; that slight arrogance and sense of superiority that is never going to go away, along with a COMPLETE sense of righteousness ... and then she's loving and caring towards her family and you can't help but love her for it. No matter how infuriating she can be, she is so HUMAN underneath it all. Beautiful.
Running out of characters so can't comment as much as I'd like on the ending, but I like Harley here, he's more likeable than before. Even HE senses that Scorp has family issues! It seems to be the underlying trend in this chapter - but then, it's the underlying trend in this whole fic, isn't it? So much characterisation love.
Mammoth review. Apologies if I've been rambly. But a SUPERB chapter, thank you for posting it! Now, NOW, I will go back to waiting (im)patiently for BTP. MAN I love your fics.
Author's Response: You know now I wasn't so mean as to just put a chapter of inconsequential chatter up. HILARIOUS as it would be. But noo, you can't hate Ignite. This isn't me being hurt, this is me being smug 'cos I know we're getting to the REALLY good bits right now. Except for no Artemis. I should have put Artemis in this chapter.
Hard to guess how long Ignite will be. 30 chapters? Less than 40, I'll wager. Though I'm still on my buffer, I've not written a word since November. *slaps wrist* Got a lot of buffer at least. But yeah, these guys are getting used to an incredibly unhealthy and mental situation, and it's NOT good for them. Especially Scorpius; everyone else feels productive in their own way but Scorp will always find something to be all lamenting about. Nat is sharper than even she gives herself credit for.
No comment on how successful or otherwise the guitar plan might be! And of course there's politics, it's one of my stories! Plot point or not, there would be international consequences of something like this. And I dangle Scorose, ha ha ha, mine is an evil laugh.
YES Nat Backstory. And this isn't even all of it, there's more beyond this chapter. But this is the source of their conflict and discontent; a mistrust of one another's reactions. And yet, unity on "don't do bloody stupid things your father did, Albus". Because if that argument worked, Al could get away with anything. So, Forbidden Forest is a BAD IDEA.
Hermione might be biased, but she's still smart and she's still Hermione. With a touch of manipulation in there for telling Scorp her side of what happened to Nat. The situation is STILL more complicated than this, but this is why Hermione isn't thrilled that Nat Lockett is the Responsible Adult on sight. Hermione was never meant to be a major character in Ignite, though - but once the Patronus idea came up she's begun elbowing her way in left, right, and centre. I do love writing Hermione.
This chapter DOES have it all, so review length makes sense but THANK YOU for Mammoth Review and all the good will! :D