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Review:nott theodore says:
Hi! So first of all I love minor characters and this immediately caught my eye when I saw that you'd written about Demelza and this period in her life, because I think so many people must have suffered after the war - especially the young students and everyone who had to experience hardship and pain, which was a lot of people.

I love the way that you chose to portray Demelza in this story. I feel like it's so original because there aren't many people who explore the ideas of bravery and the way that links in to being a Gryffindor. I've never really thought about it before but it makes perfect sense to think that someone like Demelza would feel unworthy if she hadn't acted like a brave Gryffindor was expected to act. Then having to return to the school knowing that you're with people who have done what was expected for them must make it even more difficult for Demelza. I really felt sorry for her.

It's brilliant that you're focusing on a character who's not suffering physically from the effects of the war (to an extent, anyway). As far as other people are concerned, she just went through the last year like all the others did and didn't lose relatives like others, or fight, so she's not got the same reasons to be experiencing panic attacks and PTSD. You portrayed Demelza's emotions and thoughts fantastically here, I thought. They all just seemed so in character but also fitting for what she's experiencing.

I liked the way that you built up the intrigue about what Demelza had actually done last year to keep me reading, because I really wanted to know. Then when she encountered that little second year it triggered the memories and overwhelmed her, and I thought that was a great way to segue into the section with Ginny.

Ginny's a really great choice to come and help Demelza! Even though there's a few years between them they know each other from Quidditch and Ginny's the sort of character who doesn't take much nonsense - she's determined enough to make sure that Demelza's alright and try and make her see that really it's not her fault. And I also like the comparisons that you were able to draw between Ginny and Demelza's behaviour, not only Demelza feeling bad for not fighting, but the time when Ginny was possessed and forced into doing things that were terrible. We see her in OotP trying to comfort Harry with that comparison so it fits really well here!

I thought this was a great first chapter to the story, and I loved your characterisation of Demelza and the way that you portrayed her suffering. Ending it on a more positive note was nice as well, because I'm hoping now that she's going to be able to start recovering, even though the process will probably be a long one!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Thank you so much for this awesome review.

This story was written for a challenge which asked for stories that were either from the point of view of a villain or else showing a good character struggling with their dark side. And it occurred to me that being forced into hurting other people, as Neville says the Carrows made people do, is bound to be rather difficult to deal with, particularly for Gryffindors, as they have a good deal invested in being brave.

So I went looking for a Gryffindor who had not been mentioned as being part of Dumbledore's Army and whose actions in Deathly Hallows were left vague.

The connection between Demelza and Ginny was a bonus, since if anybody knows what it's like to be forced into doing harm to others, it's Ginny. It was only luck, after all, that nobody was killed by the Basilisk.

This was originally going to be a one-shot, but I was short of time before the challenge deadline, so I just posted what I had and left it open for more to be added on later.

I'm currently working on a second chapter, but it's slow going, as each line has to be carefully thought out.

Thank you so much for the review and I'm glad you enjoyed it. I enjoyed your story too and am looking forward to finding out what happens next.

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