I finally found time to get round to this, and hopefully more will appear soon so I can be up to date on Black Sands :D
I thought you wrote Minerva really well at the beginning of this chapter. The cold weather and then her bleak thoughts contrasted really well with the hustle and bustle of the common room and school, and it made me realise how isolated she must have been feeling at this point. It was just the way she picked out Moody and later Grimm and not really noticing anything else distinct. It was almost as if she was trying to say only they could understand her right now.
Then there was the contrast between Grimm and Minerva in terms of how they both reacted to Hagrid and Myrtle and that was really interesting to watch. There was Minerva being all calm and resolute, but still pragmatic, but Grimm seemed to need to get away from this and made him even more resolute about going to war. It was rather funny in a way given how Grimm is the Ravenclaw and Minerva is the Gryffindor.
Even if it was only a really small section, the part where Hagrid is saying goodbye to Minerva truly broke my heart. It was just so sombre and Hagrid had lost all of his fight but then somehow seemed at peace. It was just really lovely even if it was heart-breaking. I feel as if Iíll see his and Minervaís relationship in a different light after reading this.
The conversation between Grimm and Minerva about what they could have been was all the more tragic ever since I read the sequel one-shot to this, and I now know what really occurred between it makes all the more tragic. In a way, itís rather like Matthew and Mary in Downton and how they can only ever really be happy together but then they are pulled apart so often it looks as if it will never happen.
I canít wait to read the final chapter and hope that their end can be a slightly cheery one!
Author's Response: Thank you for reading and reviewing this chapter! I'm at the point where I'm just finishing the novel for me - I've put off finishing it for so long that few readers are left who care about it. But it means a lot that you've taken the time to check out the new chapters as they're posted! ^_^
It's a difficult chapter for Minerva, and I'm glad to hear that you liked how she turned out. She's always been rather isolated, mostly by choice though she rarely admits it - she just feels out of place, but she does recognize that both Moody and Grimm are in much the same situation. But she needs time alone to think and figure out what she wants to do with herself and her life. Grimm's had that decision taken away from him, but Minerva still has that power, only she's not sure what to do with it. She thought she knew, once, but things haven't turned out at all as she planned, and now she's not sure whether to continue following the same path, or take up a new one.
In a number of ways, Minerva could easily fit into Ravenclaw - she's introspective and thoughtful, careful in what she does and how she does it. What she has above and beyond, though, is courage, not only to face Voldemort as she does later on, but the courage to do what is right even at a cost to herself. Grimm may be reckless and persistent, but he's also too theoretical - he rarely sees the practical side of things, and prefers to experiment and work academically rather than actually go out into the world and do things. And somehow the Sorting Hat can see these traits, even at an early age, reading right into the core of a person.
It's great that you liked the scene with Hagrid - that was my favourite to write in this chapter. It's not very long, but it affects Minerva deeply, and you can see how she and Hagrid remain friends for years afterward - she tries to protect him and help him along when she can. There is a mutual understanding there, a shared experience that has changed them both forever.
They are sadly that kind of couple. It's so hard to write an ending knowing that any time they do get together is fleeting, that their dreams won't work out as they planned. They are successful later on in their own way, but they're both haunted by disappointments, knowing that they've lost more than they've gained. But still, I'm going to try and write the happiest sort of ending I can salvage out of this plot. Minerva at the very least deserves it. :)
Thank you again! *huggles* Your reviews are always a joy to respond to!