Hey there! Thanks for the swap! :) It's odd, you know, I think I've seen this mentioned a couple of times around the forums, but never had the time to stop by...
Anyway, I love a good old-fashioned murder mystery and this is definitely one of those! I love how little information you give away - just that someone's dead, no one knows who did it, but there's already confusion over how he died and why. It's great because you're not flooding us with characters we don't know and possible motivations which we know nothing about, you've just given a body. It's pretty impressive stuff, tbh.
The technical detail you give when describing the body is great. I'm not a medical student, but a couple of my friends are, and it's great that you've actually looked it up and included it. It gives another sort of aspect to this - the authorities are confused. Given the time of this, it's even more interesting.
I liked the details in this as well: the Head Boy handbook (bahaha, I love that! Presumably also scribbled on/annotated by generations of head boys, lol), the idea that the corpse itself is confused, the detail about his clothes and the references to both the war outside and Moaning Myrtle. You're really putting me exactly inside Hogwarts, you know, with all the gossip and all the tales that people would tell about the school if similar things had happened.
I like your James so far, as well. I like how even though he's a Gryffindor, you didn't make him have a Stomach Of Steel, and not throw up at the sight of the corpse. People can be brave but be ill at the sight of things like that - scenes like that aren't pretty and they're never as 'set out', if I can use that phrase, as they are in films, you know. And then how he's reminded of his own father, just coz they're about the same age... well, you would be, wouldn't you? James seems like a very well-rounded character and very like what we know of him from canon - intrinsically loyal to a fault, brave, but a kind and good-hearted person, really. I know this is written when he's grown up a bit, since he's Head Boy, but I'd love to see how you work in his rivalry with Snape, perhaps some of his more boyish acts, and his relationship with Lily - if, of course, you do include those!
The ending is spokyyy. changes in lighting like that are always freaky, but in Hogwarts... with all the paintings and the stone staircases/walls/etc. and the suits of armour and everything... imagine how much more creepy that would be... woah.
So yeah, I really enjoyed this. You have a really lovely style in this, it's pretty captivating, and I'm really curious to find out what happens and, eventually, who did it and why... I may just have to favourite this and check back daily for updates ;)
Author's Response: Hey Aph!
Everyone loves a good murder mystery! I was pretty much brought up on Scooby Doo and CSI, so yeah, murder mysteries are ingrained into my mind :P I wanted to this right and I figured that the detectives aren't going to know everything from the get go, it just doesn't happen. Besides, where's the fun in that? No good killer would let themselves be traced and I'm planning for this killer to be a good one :D
I love forensics, not that I'd ever go into that field since that would probably detract my love of it away slightly, so I wanted to this to be factual, adding to realism.
Omg, I forgot about annotations! Right, I can play around with those now, I can just imagine it, a previous Head Boy adding info on how to control the munchkins :P Sometimes hpff can forget about how Hogwarts works, rumours and gossip was always a major part- the Basilisk and Goblet of Fire anyone?- so I had to include that :D
My form of bravery is different to the shining knight in armour kind. Plus, James was always pampered by his parents, I doubt he would have seen something to this severity before. Of course I'm going to include those! If you just read on... well, I'm not spoiling anything ;)
They are creepy! I wouldn't go out after curfew, simply because walking around a dirty great castle in the middle of the night with paintings that move and suits of armour that talk is bloody scary :P
Thanks so much Aph for the lovely lovely review! *squishes*