Here from the forums with your requested review! First off, I actually really liked this story - horror/dark isn't really the stuff I usually read at all but as I read on I found myself getting more and more engaged with the story.
I found it very original how the speaker is an incubus - I have never come across this before and I really liked how you weaved it into the HP world with him targeting witches. The voice of the incubus was very compelling to read and I liked how you 'characterised' him so strongly just through what he was thinking/saying - he definitely felt very sinister and arcane throughout. So in response to your concern about the character voice - I actually think it's spot on for an incubus.
You were concerned about whether your story is too stylistic with not enough plot, but I want to reassure you that I feel like you've got the perfect balance! The descriptive language actually sets the mood of the story so well - the opening paragraph had some beautifully dark imagery that heightened the dark character of the incubus. As for the plot, I liked how you tracked it through history and then focused on the one specific person, and outlined the story of Kendra's background (I really liked how she was a woman masquerading as a man - a really original and believable idea!). I especially liked how everything was quite indistinct/vague and anonymous - until the end.
The ending was definitely a surprise, and it was interesting! I thought the woman would just be some anonymous forgotten person and that if you put a name to her it would ruin the story but.. the way you wrote it made it all work perfectly - so I really liked how it was revealed at the end. You also could not have picked a better person than Kendra - she's someone we know in the HP world, but also someone who we barely know at all - so her background story was really believable and I loved this insight into her life.
So now I'm onto the areas of confusion - there weren't many at all but I do wonder why the incubus is so focused on Kendra when he has "had many lovers". To explain: I don't mind the whole focus on Kendra's life story, but how at the end it seems like the incubus is heavily focused on only watching "our son" (Dumbledore - I love how the incubus spoke about him by the way) - what about all the other children he has fathered? Why do the incubus' thoughts "linger upon [Kendra]" and why is it only Kendra's name that the incubus sings? (What of all the other women?) I kind of thought that Kendra would be just another one of hundreds of women that the incubus would forget just as easily.
The only other thing was with the Mirror (of Erised; I'm assuming): I'm a bit confused how when Kendra looks in the mirror she sees her desire: her and the incubus as two respectful members of society, but how when Kendra looks again, this time standing next to the incubus, she sees the real reflection of the incubus. I'm just a bit confused as the mirror is about seeing one's desire - so I imagine Kendra would only see her desire and not the incubus' reflection? Hope this makes sense!
Lastly, a small note that I didn't notice any spelling/grammar/punctuation errors at all, so well done for that! Overall though, I really enjoyed your story immensely! It's really unlike anything I've ever read so you really deserve some applause for that! I definitely didn't mean to write so much in my review but I guess I had a lot of things to say! I hope this review helps you in someway though :P I found this fic to have a really unique idea and written really well, and I'm glad I had the chance to read it!
- Charlotte/maskedmuggle :)
Author's Response: Hi Charlotte! Wow, this is so long and in depth, thank you! :D It's really great to hear you liked my story, even if you're not a big fan of horror. I feel like as horror stories go, this one is a little lovey-dovey at times. :P
It's great to hear you liked the incubus and thought it was original to hear from him. I whipped this up last-minute for a challenge and thought it would be an interesting perspective to tie into the HP world: it never occurred to me to write from the POV of a character who wasn't the incubus, for some reason. I'm pleased you thought his voice worked well. :)
Okay, that's really helpful to hear as I was worried it would fall off the poetic deep end and not make any sense at all. It's good to know the style fit well with the plot and voice. I'm really pleased you liked the way the story flowed as well: I enjoyed having that surprise at the end since it was a little bit of a surprise to me as well! :)
Ah, I'm so glad you found the ending interesting! I agree, I wanted to write a Victorian era story and thought Kendra would be a good choice since, as you said, she's a little mysterious. I'm glad you liked her and thought I did her justice! :)
Thanks so much for pointing these out, it's really helpful! In my head canon Albus was the last child the incubus fathered and Kendra probably his last lover: since the country is moving through the industrial revolution and towards modernization and the Enlightenment is underway, and they're moving away from believing in supernatural things and leaving room for creatures like the incubus to get close to people. I thought it might make sense if the incubus lingered on them since they were the last of his "family" for lack of a better word. Now that you've pointed that out I'll definitely clarify a little more in the story: I think it will make the story stronger in fact! :D
Yes, the mirror just sort of crept in there. :P I think I need to clarify the positioning at the time: I imagined Kendra looking in and seeing an image of her and a respectable husband, and then she moved the incubus to look in by himself (getting out of the reflection herself) and she illuminates her wand and sees him, so she's not looking in the mirror at the time. Just writing it out like this clarifies it for me too: it's a bit of an odd scene! :) Thanks so much again for pointing these things out, I'm going to do an edit soon and hopefully clarify! :D
Yay, no errors! :) Thanks so much, and I'm so happy you liked the story and found it original. This is very helpful and I really appreciate it! :D