Hey Amanda! Here for your requested review from the forums!
As always, this was another one of your amazing pieces of writing! I absolutely loved your portrayal of Slughorn. I feel like he's a very complex character with the glimpse we saw of him in the books and how you've explored him definitely does justice to that.
I liked how he shudders at the sight of blood and doesn't like the idea of anyone dying in such a bad way be it in his office or the corridor. It shows a soft likeable side of him and sets the tone for the story at the same time. Your descriptions of the terrible state of his office were also nicely done as I could visualise everything and sort of see him in the middle of it all, lost in memories and saddened by everything.
It was interesting how you picked up on his relationships with a few other Slytherins instead of jumping straight to Tom Riddle, like Rabastan and Claire. I also liked the little mention of him having thrown out Lucius' photograph some time back - again that little detail said a lot about his characterisation.
The reflections on his past, on his relationship with Tom Riddle - all the conversations and such - and him wondering where he'd gone wrong and how the Slytherins had completely "changed" in terms of respecting the house and its "traits" were very well written. They gave me much to think about, especially being a Slytherin at heart myself, and I love stories that make me think.
I also liked how in the end Slughorn seemed to find some sort of comfort from within himself, accepting that it wasn't really his fault after all and that he could still make a difference for the upcoming generation of students, and that he'd try to mold them into better people. It was very sweet and touching, and just how I'd felt sorry for him in the beginning (and up to the middle) of the story, I felt almost happy for him towards the end - it seemed like the war had given him a renewed sense of hope and I really loved that.
The little mention of Millicent Bullstrode actually helping out in fighting the death eaters and later Madam Pomfrey also somewhat symbolised how the ways were changing, how all Slytherins weren't evil and just mostly misunderstood, and how things could get better for them, as well as for the whole of Hogwarts.
All in all, a very touching, hopeful, and sweet one-shot which I enjoyed reading immensely. The descriptions, grammar, flow, and characterisation was all perfect and I have no CC to give you. I definitely think Slughorn was in character - you merely expanded on how he is shown in the books and revealed to us another side of him - and this definitely drew me in and kept my interest throughout.
Your fan, as always,
Author's Response: Hey AD! Gosh, sorry for the delay with this reply. I've been quite busy with school/work and just started a new workout routine, so I am beyond tired just about every evening!
Yeah, I wanted to emphasize that Slughorn isn't a bad guy. Sure, he's a little short-sighted and misguided at times, but he also ultimately chose to fight hard for the side of good, so that can't just be ignored. I think picking a side in the war was a big turning point for him and I tried to explore the emotional fallout from that here.
I was really curious about your opinion, being a Slytherin, and I'm glad this piece made you really reflect on Slytherin House's prized traits. Of course I definitely wanted to dispel the myth that Slytherin stands for evil or all Slytherin students are bad. It was fun to imagine the better times Slughorn might have shared with his students, especially Tom, and to reflect on how their choices had ultimately let him down.
I'm so glad Slughorn felt in character, seeing as he was a tough nut to crack, and that you enjoyed the story. Thanks so much for your really lovely review, as usual :)