After that amazing chapter you left us on, I couldnít resist coming back for me :D
Iím so glad that this chapter picks straight off from where the last one left, even if we did miss the night in-between. I think it was right that it did, because otherwise I donĎt think we would have felt the full effect of Myrtleís and how it affected Minerva, Grimm and the rest of the students. Iím intrigued to see how Riddle reacts to it, heís such a good liar heíll probably act as if nothingís happened, though he may still have some touch of humanity left. Itís interesting to ponder.
Even though there was a kissing scene, which I loved, it wasnít too fluffy or romantic and had a touch of sorrow about it which reflected the circumstances which brought the two of them together. I could sense it in the way Grimm was talking and acting towards Minerva, as it seemed more measured and tender then beforehand. I think it was emphasised even more when Grimm was talking about how he didnít know how Minerva could stand him, and it seemed as if he thought she was weaker than him. But Minerva proved him wrong when she reminded him about what happened the night before, and I was glad about that.
It was interesting how you touched upon Minervaís brotherís death in this chapter. I like how weíre learning more and more about him through little hints and snippets as itís a lot more fun than just stating everything. I like that scene for another reason too, as it showed a more vulnerable and scared Minerva, thus making her more relatable. I think it was reflected the most when she couldnít go into the bathroom, as I wouldíve thought someone like her would be fearless in that respect, but this has clearly shaken her.
I donít think Iíve mentioned it before, so Iíll just say it now, but I really love the dialogue of Grimmís friends. It fits perfectly with the time period and the social standing I expect them to have, so itís such a pleasure to read.
I really liked Dumbledoreís measured response as to where Riddle was when it happened, it seemed very like him. Confirming that he does share a similar belief, yet telling them not to pursue it. Iím still puzzled by Dolores though, she always appeared to be one who looked up to higher authority, and though she does respect, and like, Grimm I would have thought she would have felt some loyalty to those in her house. But her being such an intriguing character makes it far more enjoyable to read.
You did a really great job of making them be in the unknown, and I donít think many other writes would have such control as you do. Itís interesting seeing it from my perspective as it seems so obvious that Riddle would open this mythical chamber and release the basilisk which would kill Myrtle. I suppose the only way I could understand their situation is remembering the first time I read CoS, though that was a long time so itís hard to recall :P
This was another excellent chapter and you managed to even weave in a bit of humour in an otherwise sombre chapter with this line ĎShe watched him, unable to understand. Did he think that she and Grimm hadĖ?Ď
Author's Response: Myrtle's death might be the most important part of this story. It's sad, isn't it, how in death, she finally becomes important? So much in canon hinges on her death - Hagrid's expulsion, Riddle's growing power and transformation into Voldemort, his triumph over Dumbledore, and the creation of the first Horcrux. This is the beginning for Riddle, but it comes at the cost of her death - an innocent's death, which reveals a lot about how Riddle works, his disregard for life and his lack of honour. I've made it so that he doesn't have any sympathy for her because, to him, she's only a temporary tool, hardly human in his eyes, not only because she is a Muggleborn, but because she was weak.
It's also an even that changes things for Grimm and Minerva. He especially grows up because of it, and Minerva keeps noting how much he's changed - he's far from the creative, confident boy he was at the novel's beginning. For Minerva, it's a good change, yet she's still wary of what he will become as a result of it.
I don't know about Minerva being scared and vulnerable. It's not what I intended to do with her in this chapter - she is meant to be the stronger of the two, holding her emotions in check in comparison to the weakened, tearful Grimm. Minerva is struggling to understand her place in their relationship, and it constantly frustrates her - even in this scene - how he tries to fit her into a traditional female role, the one who suffers, the one who supports, and she doesn't want that. She knows that it's not the right way to structure their relationship because, on the whole, she is the stronger of the two, yet he continues to talk down to her while simultaneously elevating her to role of saint and mother. She loves him, but she won't stand for that kind of role. In regard to the bathroom scene, it's not that she won't enter it because she's scared, but because she feels it's too dangerous, and she's too smart to walk into a potential trap. She has a bad feeling about the room, an instinct perhaps partially inspired by superstition, but there's also the possibility that the murderer is still inside. Even if the professors have checked it, she knows that Hogwarts is filled with hidden places, and the bathroom could contain one of them. Harry would be reckless enough to just walk in, but Minerva won't take that risk.
This chapter makes reference to her brother as a way of connecting Minerva to the war. Unlike others at Hogwarts, she is personally affected by it and knows that in the long term, it has seriously damaged her family, which will now die out with her. I'm glad to hear that it makes her more relatable. It's a little detail, but it's a haunting one that she can't forget, nor does she want to, and it's the kind of thing that influences her reaction to violent death - for instance, how she reacts to the news of Lily and James's deaths.
Haha, I meant that Umbridge could be easily manipulated into keeping Grimm in check - by distracting him from pursuing Riddle, she would be doing Minerva and Dumbledore a favour. :P She wouldn't be going against her house at all by helping Grimm. The problem would be the long-term consequences, such as making Grimm go insane or making Umbridge believe that Grimm would actually marry her. Poor Dolores. It's really an evil suggestion for Minerva to make.
Thank you again for reading and reviewing this story! You've given me a lot of ideas for the last few chapters - going through and talking about the characters in this kind of way is really helpful! :D