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Review:nott theodore says:
Hi darling!

You've been spoiling us with updates recently, and I'm definitely not complaining! I saw your status about the latest chapter of this on the forums and came straight over.

That opening paragraph was so compelling and effective! I found it quite chilling, the almost poetic way that you were able to describe what was happening and the horrors of the war. It must have been horrible to know that Penny's death has been completely futile and the first of many, in a way that they are powerless of stopping.

I liked the fact that you included Dawlish as the Auror interviewing Verity, because that helps anchor us to the HP books and the familiarity makes it more believable. We don't learn much about Dawlish in the books other than him being a bit of a useless Auror, and he came across as quite a cold, removed character here, but that worked for that scene. The way that Verity was finding it difficult to speak and form sentences was realistic to me and showed that her grief is still massively affecting her life.

You also managed to continue that theme through the chapter without pushing it to the forefront. Except for the incident in Sebastian's flat when she was unable to repair the mug she'd dropped, the other allusions to her magic 'not working' were quite subtle. She seems to have enough to deal with without the loss of her magic as well, and I feel really sorry for Verity here. There's so much that she's going to have to go through and cope with and it's not likely to get much easier for her in the near future.

My favourite part of this chapter were probably the flashbacks to explain how her parents met and how Verity came to be working in the shop. There's something quite detached in those sections, as if she's just commenting on events without any real emotional connection to them. One part I particularly enjoyed there was the way she described, so matter-of-factly (yes, that is a word :P) the illegal goods that the shop sells and the customers that they deal with. It's very business-like and I think that reflects her personality when it comes to work.

I was really pleased to see Verity returning to work and realising that she needs to interact with other people herself. From the impression I got in the first chapter, being cooped up for weeks with only Sebastian for company probably wasn't a good thing for her. I like the relationship she has with Borgin; very warm and almost like a father-daughter relationship, especially the way that he was happy to see her return to claim her property.

George was characterised well in this chapter. I can easily imagine the twins popping over to Borgin and Burkes to find ingredients or items for their products. He seemed outgoing and cheerful, which the twins definitely were at that point, and his enthusiasm about the shop is infectious. I can understand why Verity seems to be attracted to him, even though she's embarrassed by it and will probably feel guilty. You got the humour right as well, with the mention of what their product development has done to Fred.

The ending was a bit of a cliffhanger, and I'm really intrigued (in a none morbid way) about who has died next. Obviously the deaths were at the hands of the Death Eaters but since at this point (I think) the Ministry are still denying the return of ol' Voldy, I'm interested who they'll try and attribute the deaths to - Sirius Black, maybe?

There were a few little typos in this chapter but nothing really major, and I'm sure a quick read through would sort that out.

You really have such a lovely, natural writing style and I seem to love absolutely everything you write - I hope you update soon!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Hi dear! I'm loving this short queue, but you're the one who spoils me with reviews! I'm so excited that you're keeping up with and enjoying this story. Seriously, this made my day! :)

I'm glad you liked that bit at the beginning, and found it chilling. Since this story happens right before Voldy actually became public news, I imagined the DE as smugly taking out potential enemies one by one to garner fear and suspicion.

I'm also pleased you liked the addition of Dawlish, I thought he was quite a weak and almost pathetic character in the books and I knew he and Verity would clash. It's also good to hear the grief is still coming across well, even if she's had a little more time to process it than in the first chapter.

Ok good, I'm glad you thought it was subtle. Verity has sort of accepted that her magic has left her for now and there's nothing she can do about it. You're right, things are going to get harder before they get easier.

I'm very happy you liked the flashbacks, I felt they were very important stories that Verity would have collected and wanted to tell. And yes, she is very business-like when it comes to the shop, and these dark and mysterious objects are in a way just products. I loved imagining and writing these sections, so I'm very glad you liked them! :)

I know, I'm glad she got out there again as well! I think a good way for her to deal with grief is to go about her daily activities and talk to her friends. I'm so glad you liked the portrayal of Borgin as well: he's such a slimy, two-faced character in the books, but I think Verity brings out the fatherly role in him. Also, since Verity never really knew her dad, she sees Borgin as a sort of fill-in parent. :)

Ok good, I'm glad you thought George was alright. I had this clear image of his character, but not sure how it will match up perfectly with the books since we never really see the twins as separate and in a adult-world or talking to girls situation. And you're right, Verity is a little confused! :P

As for what happens, well more will be revealed in the next chapter! :) I do want to give a bit of an original spin on the DE rising to power and killing people, and there's more than meets the eye... or there will be, if I figure out how to write it properly! :P

Thank you for another wonderful review on this story my dear, and hopefully updates will be up soon! :D

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