Ooh, look, a story about the Sword of Gryffindor! I think you're going to be pretty popular. ;)
You did a really nice job with this. I remember this challenge from the House Cup and it wasn't easy at all to work in all the different prompts and mentions. I thought you did it pretty elegantly, without really breaking the flow of the narrative. It was no easy task, especially with things like the wand particulars and the silly dark detectors.
This was an awesome missing moment to pick for Neville. I don't imagine there were many other times in his life where he had to do something that frightened him as much as breaking into Snape's office. Your characterization of Ginny was brilliant: hot-headed, angry, impulsive and out to hurt Snape and the Carrows any way that she could. Neville came across as more level-headed, but he wasn't willing to let her go it alone, which sounded a lot like him. Luna... well, Luna is really, really hard to write. I always have a terrible time getting her to sound just right. She was definitely the logical choice to get the particulars of Neville's wand into the story.
I liked the way you brought Snape into the narrative. In retrospect, we know that he was trying to get the sword into Harry's hands anyway, although Ginny, Neville and Luna would have been a very risky way to go about that. I imagine he thought about it, but probably thought better of it. And having Dumbledore be there to remind Snape of his promise to try to keep the students safe. Not to mention the fact that if the Carrows had learned that students were trying to steal the sword, Snape's mission would have been all but doomed.
I saw one typo that you might want to take a second look at:
His heart was thundering in his chest, making him feel quite dizz. - dizzy?
Overall, you did great justice to the challenge. Well done!
Author's Response: This reply is so late I'm almost ashamed. Sorry for taking this much to come back to this. I assure you that I loved everything you said!
Indeed my story has been quite popular during the review battle haha. I never intended it to be like that of course, but I can't say I'm complaining :P
Your praises for my characterization really warmed my heart. You can't imagine how much that means to me. It's one of the aspects that I fret most about when planning and writing a story. Since OOC-ness is an instant turn off for me, I strive to do the best I can when using canon characters. I do as much research as I can to be able to be as close to their original selves as possible.
That was exactly my thought about Neville when I thought about this missing moment. He was the first character that sprang to mind when I set out to do this House Cup challenge. I wanted to do something about and with him. And I definitely agree with you. Breaking into Snape's office, which he avoided like the plague during his previous years, would be the height of terrifying. We see that Neville changed into an almost different person in Deathly Hallows, but there are some aspects that you can never change out of. And I thought that his fright of Snape is one of those things. He didn't feel that level of horror any more, but he couldn't quite be comfortable with breaking into his office either.
I'm happy you liked how I played Snape in this. I thought about how I was going to do it, but from the first moment I imagined this whole story, I knew that I wanted him to discover them. Since we know from canon that they escaped with just a petty detention with Hagrid, I wanted to use this prompt to highlight a bit of Snape's character and the incredibly difficult mission he had: make Voldemort believe that he was on his side but also keep the students at Hogwarts as safe as possible.
Thanks so, so much for the review. It means a great deal hearing from you!