Wow, this was really fantastic and such an original read. I really enjoyed how you brought Karkaroff (to be referred to as Igor from now on) to life and gave him this agency and helplessness that we don't really notice in HP. This was such a thoughtful and dynamic story to read, and I'm so pleased I had a chance to check it out. :)
I really enjoyed the flashbacks to his youth at Durmstrang and the insight into becoming a DE. In a way he's just a young boy who thinks it's the norm to be prejudiced, a victim of his own weak will. It was interesting how he didn't really have a sadistic streak or want to hurt Muggles himself, but preferred to be detached and hating them from a distance. It reminded me of Draco: all talk and no action, which is probably better than the alternative of being a bloodthirsty killer, but of course doesn't end so well.
I like the history and family past you created for him, and the Malfoy connection was enhanced by Lucius getting Igor involved in the DE. It was great how Igor felt more hatred towards his peers- like the Muggleborns at Durmstrang, and eventually his fellow DEs, instead of those he considers below him like the tortured Muggles. I really appreciated the context of Durmstrang and background of what the Muggleborns would have experienced, it was very imaginative. Also, how it carried over to his future, even when seeing Krum dancing with Hermione.
The style of jumping back and forth was really effective, and I think it kept the story fresh and revealed more and more about Igor's life in an interesting way. However it was confusing a couple times, putting in the date or even something like "the past" and "the present" would have made it a little easier. :) A young Igor was a strange concept, but one I definitely loved reading about so unexpectedly.
I felt so sorry for him by the end, even though he didn't really deserve it. That's the great thing about giving these DEs life: it turns them into people who aren't constantly good or evil but hang somewhere in the balance. Igor made his own bad choices, but he was brought up a certain way and guided into becoming a certain kind of person, and it's both easy and difficult to fault him for that.
Excellent job with this, and I'm very glad I got the chance to read it and leave my thoughts! :)
Author's Response: Hello! Wow! It's not every day that I get such a lovely and well thought-out review! Thank you so much!
Haha- that's one of the things that is so interesting about writing from the perspective of a character typically known by their last name or nickname- you become accustomed to the weirdness of calling them by their first name!
I'm really glad that you liked the look into his past. Once I decided that I wanted to write about Igor's flight from Hogwarts, I realized that I couldn't do that without also exploring his past. After all, so little is known about him that his flight couldn't be best explained in the moment.
He really is a victim of circumstances: a boy who grew up in a country where it was the norm to despise Muggleborns and who nurtured a personal hatred when one dared to be "better" than him. And then he realized that he didn't like actually committing the violence... Too late. It's not to say that his actions are excused, of course...
The Malfoy connection could have been exchanged for almost any other Death Eater in Britain. For me, what was important was that the Death Eater be close in age to Igor and be a pureblood himself- the Malfoys were simply ideal candidates. :)
His thoughts about Krum dancing with Hermione were another element that I felt I had to put in, because they were a definite continuation of his feelings from the past. I wanted to show that his feelings about Muggleborns hadn't changed, just his willingness to be a Death Eater.
Thank you for pointing that out. I was worried that the "jumping" might be confusing, but I hoped that the steady pattern of past, future, etc, would be enough.
The change from solid black into shades of grey is one of the reasons I really enjoy writing about minor characters, particularly those on the "evil" side, because no one is truly black or white- we are all shades of grey and it's amazing to watch that realization take place. (of course, I am still aware that these are just fictional characters :P)
I'm very glad that you left your thoughts as well! Thank you so much for leaving such a wonderful review! :D