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1,107 Reviews Found

Review #26, by Veritaserum27 Friends and Allies

15th November 2015:
Hello there Dan!

I'm here for the next chapter! I hope this review finds you well.

The Ron and Hermione scene was a real treat to read. I love how multi-faceted you've made both of them (not made, but rather, extended). It's how I see them as well. They're both really, really talented - and they have a softer side as well. Or rather in this scene - a naughty side. I'm sorta glad you stopped the scene just short of their tryst. It leaves a lot to our imagination - but you've set it up nicely enough that we know how it plays out ;)

At the same time, there's some valuable information here. Barsamian is looking less and less like the bad guy and more like a pawn who had little choice but to play the hand he'd been dealt. Agnar Cheshire... I'm going to have to look back through previous chapters, but I don't remember him being mentioned. To be honest, I thought he was going to say Rory Tennant - given his history of ineptitude and bad blood with the Auror department.

The scene with Goyle and Nott was disturbing and creepy and awesome. Your description of the effects of the curse made me shudder - you have such a talent for drawing not only images, but emotions in your reader. It also seemed right that Nott was the one to master the curse and not Goyle - I'd always categorized him in the slow department. The fact that all of the members of the New Blood Order were able to get jobs at the Ministry is even more disturbing. It seems that at every turn, Lady Tenabra has infiltrated even deeper than I thought. This is going from bad to worse. The poor witch who is their victim reminds me of Charity Burbage and her senseless murder at the beginning of Deathly Hallows.

The length of time Harry and Esme had to wait seemed to a waste for all the information Elena gave them. I'm highly suspicious that the missing Auror, Katerian, is in fact, Arabela Dynt - but I'm not going to cash in my chips just yet. There are several chapters left and you seem to have introduced quite a few characters that I don't want to rule anything out just yet.

Ooo! And then we get to meet the Head of the French Auror department. Very interesting, indeed...

If any fighting does break out, Iíll make sure that she remembers to follow orders.

Yeah... good luck with that, Harry. I have a feeling that you can keep Esme from doing anything that she has her mind set to do just as well as you could break an unbreakable vow...

Haha! I see Esme is along the same line of thinking as I am. However, it's a good thing Ricard Dauzat turned out to see the real picture. At least something is going well for our heroes.

I gotta admit, Arabela does make a good argument for Percy. I even know what she's up to and I'm still rooting for him. Go, Percy go! You got this! At the first read, I just glossed over Arabela's story about her family - I was being very, very confident (read: arrogant) that it was a bunch of claptrap because I already knew her real family history. But on my second read-through (okay... third or fourth - I know that I am responsibly for at least four of your reads on this chapter), I decided to pay attention. Mostly because, if I know you, there is at least something hidden there that will come to light later on in the story. And this question is still on my mind: if Arabela (as Lady Tenabra) is able to control the current Minister, why would she need Percy to take over the position? Hmmm... much to ponder.

I only saw one typo in this chapter:

Why are you suddenly so keen on seeing your boss out a a job?

It should probably be "...out of a job..."

I liked how the title tied in to each scene in this chapter. Barsamian might not be the enemy that the trio once thought, Goyle seems bound and determined to ally with Malfoy, Dauzat seems to be setting his allegiance with Harry and Arabela is "allying" with Percy to become the next Minister.

Thanks again for writing this awesome story!

♥ Beth

Author's Response: Hi, Beth! I've been busy lately, but who isn't at this time of the year? I suspect it will get worse before it gets better. :-/

I did my best to age all of the canon characters realistically in this story. Try to preserve some of the things that make them unique while also allowing them to grow into the roles and responsibilities that characterize later life. Ron and Hermione have been married for nearly 50 years at this point, but I wanted to show that they still found ways to make life fun. And yes, from a ToS standpoint, the scene had to end where it did. Feel free to let your imagination take it where you like.

I enjoy weaving pawns into the story. From reading ASLtW, I've come to suspect that you like your pawns, as well. They're a great way to keep the reader guessing about who's really responsible for what.

The scene with Nott and Goyle was interesting to write because of the mismatch between the tone and the content. The scene is brutal and violent and disturbing, but the tone of the conversation was light and almost... well, conversational. I was thinking a bit of the scenes in Pulp Fiction where Jules and Vince have these everyday sort of conversations while they're on their way to kill someone. The witch's death did have a bit of a Charity Burbage vibe, now that you mention it.

It's true that Elena didn't give Harry and Esme a lot of new information, but the locket... that was a bigger deal than it seems.

You're right. Harry will never have much luck convincing Esme not to do something if she thinks it's the right thing to do. He has a thing for that sort of woman, don't you think? ;)

Don't discount what Arabela tells Percy about her past. If you think about it, it might explain a few things...

Gah! Another typo! Thank you for picking them out. By the time you're done, this story will be so shiny!

Ha! I'll let you in on a secret: By the end of the story -- once I'd figured out how all the plot threads were going to come together -- I probably agonized more over the chapter titles than anything else. I wanted to find something short and pithy for each one that tied into the chapter's content.

Thank you again for reading. And for reviewing!


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Review #27, by StarFeather The Greater Fool

12th November 2015:
Hi, Dan. Long time no see on the forums.

I thought it was about time to be back to your Harry, so I came back. (Review the Person Above)

Itís a good thing for the children who study to Hogwarts to go back to the Burrow to have family dinner.
I like the conversation between Charlie and Harry. Iím thinking to write about Charlie and dragons. George grew old, yet he is up to something.
You portrayed Molly and Arthur very well. Molly welcomes Harry, you visualized the scene very well,too. Though Harry worried about incidents and Hermione, he wouldnít show his concern to Arthur. Everybody canít stop smiling at Arthur. I was really impressed by his words, ďWeíre availableĒ for battling dark wizards in their nineties.

Family Quidditch scene is awesome but there still left uneasy feeling, the absence of Ron and Hermione.
Itís clever of Harry to notice Georgeís plot. After the series of pranks and speeches, Harry seemed to have gone. I guess poor Harry couldnít endure to speak of Ginny.

Itíll be interesting with a portrait of Phineas Nigellus Black. Will he help Draco and Astoria?

The conversation between Rose and Harry are well written, too. You portrayed how old Harry would be like. Itís very sad to think over his pain, but his emotion was beautifully expressed in every sentences. Talking about Ginny with Rose may heal his broken heart.

Wow, this chapter has various scenes. I enjoyed the attack scene, too. Poor Windsor! Is he alive? Could he manage to conjure his Patronus? A jet of red light means .. I tried to remember what the curse was.

It was good for Draco who knew the nasty Sectumsempra. When he hit the curse, I was relived. And again good show, Kriffin was in time to rescue him. I always enjoy your action scene!

What? Were all the attacks for nothing but to kill Flint from the first place? Is the real journal hidden in the other place? What is Lady Tenabraís evil plan?

I hope Iíll be back again soon.


Author's Response: Hi, Kenny!

Unfortunately work hasn't been leaving me a lot of time for HPFF lately. Life in a startup company is like that... well, it's like that most of the time. I carve out little bits of time where I can.

Having the Weasleys pull all of their children out of Hogwarts for a family dinner isn't really something that happens in canon, but I still liked the idea. Besides, who's going to say no to Molly if she wants to have a family dinner?

I really enjoyed writing the Quidditch match. This story gets so heavy at times. It needs moments of levity to keep it on an even keel. And you're right, Harry couldn't handle the idea that he might have to talk about Ginny.

The bust of Headmaster Black isn't really going to be much of a help to Draco. It's mostly just going to make fun of him.

Harry and Rose have a special sort of bond. I enjoyed developing that.

Draco learned a lot of things during the war. Some of them, he wishes that he could forget. But he is able to fight his way out of a bad spot.

You're correct that the book Flint stole from Malfoy Manor was a ruse. To what end? You'll have to wait and see. ;) Lady Tenabra has many things up her sleeves.

Look forward to seeing you again soon!

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Review #28, by Veritaserum27 All Too Familiar

10th October 2015:
Hiya Dan,

You weren't kidding. Stuff is definitely happening here. And while this chapter didn't have any major action scenes, there was so much going on that this review is going to be pretty long. I'm actually concerned that I'll be restricted by the character limit.

I know I've said it before, but I sincerely appreciate the fact that you've clearly made these characters much more polished than their teenage selves. And you also don't gloss over the fact that age has a definite toll on people (I've read stories where it's mentioned in the firs paragraph that someone is in their sixties and then they go on to act like a twenty year old for the rest of the story). And it's the little details that make a good story a great story.

So I quite enjoyed reading the first section in the train station. Harry is still Harry - he's quick on his feet with the spells and never fails to impress us with his magic. Also, you've painted a picture of a great team with Harry and Esme - they work well together and it's almost as if they can anticipate each other's actions.

Then they get on the train and it's just so awkward, I was cringing.

Ďarry, do you intend to spend our entire trip making painful small talk, or shall we discuss what is obviously on both of our minds?

I'm beginning to like this chick. Let's cut to the chase, shall we?

ďI know it probably seemed like I couldnít forget about those days fast enough, but it really helped me figure out a lot of things. Made me realize what was really important, what I really cared about.Ē

Harry, Harry, Harry. How is it he tries so darn hard but the exact WRONG thing comes out of his mouth so often? I feel bad for him - a little bit, but I'm sorta on Esme's side at this point. It seriously seems like he was using her.

And then he tells his story - and I even know the story, but I'm still caught off guard that after all these years, there's still a part of him that feels the loss and insecurity. Harry is still Harry.

Haha - I love your creativity. George was awesome and I can just see those goofy ministerial baffoons floating in their princess dresses out over the street. On the other hand, I'm sure my daughter would have LOVED that kind of party when she was younger :)

The poorly cast monitoring spells, the obvious tails on the Weasleys, and all of the rest of it is making me nervous. Lady Tenabra is MUCH too deliberate and cunning to be so sloppy. Either she's putting a lot of faith in some completely inept followers (possible), or this is on purpose to use as a distraction while some other stuff is going down.

Either way, I'm very nervous that she's going to get some information out of Percy. He's just not as careful as the rest of them - and he's a bit gullible as well.

This is the first story I've read that has a scene at Beauxbatons and I LOVED your description of the school. It was perfect and seemed so fitting based on what we know in the books - and what I know from visiting France.

It seems like in each chapter you're able to take what we know from canon about magic and make it grow and expand in ways I never even dreamed of. The idea of expanding upon a hint of a memory from when you were very young and being able to see it in a pensieve is nothing short of brilliant. And you got me TWICE in the gut this chapter with the Harry feels - first in the beginning section where he recounts his childhood to Esme and then here, where he gets to revisit a memory in a way he never thought he would. It totally reminded me of the scene where Hagrid gave him the album of his parents. You definitely captured that moment so well! The crew seemed so innocent and young and alive it was beautiful and painful and heartwarming all at once.

I also love the concept of becoming a legilimens to make up for hearing loss - that makes SO much sense!

And I may be missing something, but I'm not exactly certain why Esme is angry about visiting Katerina's father - does she not like the word "squib" either, or is she upset that she has a possible barrier to getting the information she needs?

I think I caught a few typos. I'm not exactly sure if this first one is a typo or not, but it felt like a word was missing at the end.

That realization drove home another, equally painful.

On my first read through, it just sounded off to me, and then when I went back through and read it a few more times, I could see what you were trying to say - but perhaps the word "stab" or "wave" would make it sound more polished? I can see that you're referring to another "bludger" that was mentioned earlier, but because the bludgers were described at the beginning of the the paragraph preceding this sentence, it felt like something was missing here.

And these last three, I think are also typos...

Test score do not tell the whole story, Miss Osinalde,


Professor Turgeon, I understand that you have an duty of confidentiality to your students,

-should be "a duty" instead of "an duty"

With a final smile, she turned away and began to hobble towards her office. Harry watched her for a few moments, the followed Esme out the door.

-I think it should be "then followed"

I loved this chapter because I feel a little more connected to Harry and I feel like he's moving along toward solving the mystery. I can't wait to see what's next!

♥ Beth

Author's Response: Hi, Beth! Sorry I've taken a while to get to this. I wanted to take the time to patch up the typos before I responded to it.

Guess what? You're more than halfway done! I'm not sure how that makes you feel, but I'm excited. The pace really picks up from here to the end. Lots of happenings and (hopefully, if I've done my job right) the plot threads start to pull together.

Aging the characters realistically in this story was definitely the hardest part of writing it. I tried hard to find the essential things that made the characters who they were -- like George's sense of humor mixed with just a touch of vanity -- and preserve those things while letting the rest of the character age.

Harry and Esme do make a good team, at least when things aren't awkward.

Yeah, most of the time on the train was awkward. Harry still has a very limited understanding of the opposite sex and Esme has a lot of unanswered questions. Predictably, Harry's attempts to answer them don't go so well. He's trying to explain things in the way that makes sense to him, which doesn't play well for her at all.

Wow. I really, really appreciate the compliment about Harry's story. I don't know that there's a better reaction to get from a reader than to have them say, "I already knew what was going to happen, but it still affected me anyway."

Ah, George. I did not get to give him as much "screen time" as I would have liked in this story. In fact, I didn't get to give most of the characters as much as I thought they deserved. But he finds a ways to make the most of his moments.

Lady Tenabra definitely has inept followers, but she doesn't have faith in anyone other than herself. As you'll see, there's a reason why she doesn't mind relying on so many incompetent people. It all ties into her endgame.

I spent some time brainstorming with my beta reader about what Beauxbatons would look like and we both decided that the architecture and atmosphere should definitely be Renaissance-inspired.

To he honest, I decided on giving Harry his early childhood memory first and then I sort of backed into how the magic would have to work. This chapter is heavy on feels for Harry, and I thought it also helped to reinforce some things about him for Esme. I agree, it was also pretty neat. ;)

Esme is upset at the way Katerina's father treats her non-magical sister and as you'll see, there's no love lost between him and the French Aurors. It's not that he's prejudiced against his non-magical daughter the way that the Blacks or Malfoys might be, rather he shelters her from the world. It will be more clear in the next chapter. And I imagined that outside of Britain with its pureblood supremacist tradition, the world "squib" would be viewed almost like a racial epithet.

Thank you so much for picking out all the typos. Like I said, it amazes me how many have survived the years.

Thanks so much for all of the feedback and support! Can't wait to see what you think of the next few...


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Review #29, by Veritaserum27 Deceptive Appearances

20th September 2015:
Hey there Dan,

Look at this! I'm working hard on my being a better reviewer/responder/HPFFer, etc...

I don't recall if I've mentioned this before or not, but I really like the fact that you separate your paragraphs with a few spaces (I think it might be 3?) It makes it much easier to read the story and it's aesthetically pleasing as well. I like it so much, I'm considering going back through my stories and doing the same (imitation is the highest form of flattery, perhaps?).

Back to Harry and Esme. So, I'm going to give her a bit more of a chance like you said and I do see the similarities between her and Ginny. The one difference I noticed is that Ginny always seemed so down to earth. She didn't need fancy stuff and definitely didn't make a fuss about silly, girly things. I think that may have been my favorite quality of hers and I always thought that was one of the things Harry loved about her. I definitely miss it in Esme, but as I said, I'm going to give it some time. :)

I will say, she is an absolutely brilliant witch in her own right. The fact that she could untangle the memories when even Hermione didn't have the slightest clue how to do it definitely gives her a few stars in my book. And I really loved the way you described the "unraveling" memory. It totally made sense, plus it added a little bit of drama to the story - I can feel the pressure that the group is working under when they only have a few chances to view the memory.

So the memory revealed what I had expected. Percy had nothing to do with Stoops's murder - it was all Tenabra. And while I'm quite certain it will be revealed that she is the "missing" French Auror with the memory-modification skills, I'm also quite certain that you have a few tricks up your sleeve along our path to get there.

Professor Rory Tennant. Could this name be an homage to Dr. Who? I wasn't aware you were a fan and maybe it's just a coincidence with the name. Nonetheless, I can see why this dude isn't an Auror anymore.

Rory Tennant didnít know it, but he had just set an upper limit on his own life expectancy. Once he was gone, she turned and disapparated.

This guy is a loser. Even I saw that coming.

Great job with the last scene. You have the right balance of humor, action and suspense. What I really, really loved about it was that they were successful with their overall plan. I always found it frustrating (and a little tiresome bordering on predictable) when every single one of the Golden Trio's plans would go awry at the last minute. It's nice to see they've gained some finesse and confidence with age.

Brilliant of Ron to get the wand - and he basically did that automatically and on the fly. There was no way he wasn't going to impersonate Rigel and seize the opportunity. I appreciate that you haven't made Ron into the oaf that many people do, putting him off as unable to react unless Harry and Hermione are directing him. I see him the same way - a brilliant Auror in his own right - often overshadowed, even if it isn't warranted.

Hmmm... is Cornfoot just a secondary character put in there to fill the time - or do you have something up your sleeve? I never know with you.

And haha - who doesn't get by with a little help from their friends? Susan Bones is another brilliant Auror. I like her better and better every time she makes an appearance. I can feel the camaraderie with this department. They know each other in a way that only working really closely for many years can come about. Clearly, this group has had to put their lives into one another's hands on many occasions. They've been through everything together and they always have each other's backs. Love it.

♥ Beth

Author's Response: 857-320-1690

Hi, Beth! I've told myself that I'm not allowed to let unanswered reviews linger for as long as I have been recently. Let's see whether I can keep to the plan.

I messed around with the formatting for a few chapters before I settled on the double-spacing. I find it's easy on the eyes. That's important when you can't stop yourself from writing chapters that are 6,000 to 9,000 words long. ;)

Good. That's all I ask is that you give Esme a chance. She might just grow on you. She is a very talented and powerful witch in her own right, as you're starting to see. The back story that she and Harry share is also a little more complicated than you've seen so far. Suffice it to say that she has good reasons to be cautious.

I really, really enjoyed writing all of the memory magic in this story. It was one of those little things that JKR dreamed up with the books that really appealed to me.

Yep, Percy was framed. At least, framed to himself. Is Lady Tenabra the missing French Auror? Hmmnn... we shall see... ;)

So here's the sad truth: I do not now nor have I ever watched Dr. Who. People tell me that I would enjoy it. At any rate, the name of the former Auror turned Hogwarts teacher was purely by accident. I was trying to think of something Scottish-sounding to go along with his accent. And you're right. He is a loser.

Even the golden trio has to have a plan go right every once in a while. Ron and Hermione did plan this out quite carefully, and even though some of the details didn't go quite they way they drew it up, the plan was robust enough to hold together.

I really don't like to see Ron written as the dim-witted third banana to Harry and Hermione. I don't recall him being that way in the books. Stubborn? Often. Goofy? Sometimes. Studious? Basically never. But he did always come through for them when they needed him and it wasn't by accident. If you like him in this chapter, there's a treat coming up for you later on.

Cornfoot was just a name that I pulled out of canon. The fact that he's related to someone who was at Hogwarts around the same time as the trio was a plus.

Susan is also about to come into her own in a big way. I think my 3-chapter "Susan Arc" starts in about 2 chapters. I hope you like it!

I'm really pleased that you're enjoying the story. The pace is about to pick up in a big way. Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #30, by swtmix Epilogue

13th September 2015:
This story was absolutely fantastic. I only just got around to reading it on my kindle but could not put it down the whole way so spent the entire Sunday in bed and reading. Thank you. Excellent writing and drew me in from the get go.

Author's Response: I'm really happy that you enjoyed it. Thank you for the feedback and thanks for reading!

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Review #31, by StarFeather The Tangled Web We Weave

30th August 2015:
#Last Spurt @ Review NaNo 1/ 21

Hi, Dan. I came back to your Harry. You wrapped up this chapter with his worrying about people who became the victims and deduction about the case. You revealed the fragment of hints, the warden played a small part in the conspiracy and the dream in which a wheelchair-bound Hermione was murdered by masked Death Eaters gives us a horribly vivid impression. Itís heartbreaking to read Hermione sensed Harry was hiding something very important about her. You really expressed their unchanging friendship very well. It's very touching.

There are brighter ones: Hugo cares about Ron who sticks Hermione, lacking sleep. Ginny had remembered names and birth dates of his ever-growing family tree (at the same time it's sad to remember this for she had already been dead.) The conversation between loyal Hermys and him about Hermione makes us smile. Harry caught Octavia before her landing on Hermione on the bed. Dennis Norhway resolved to do what he could do.

You revealed the name of the mysterious lady. Will Lady Tenebra want to be like Voldemort? New Blood Order sounds like that.
The revelation that Ginnyís death was set for accomplishment of Tenebraís ambition makes us want to read more. And you havenít revealed how Ginny was murdered in detail yet. Itís still veiled with mystery. Iíll catch up the next chapter soon.


Author's Response: Hi, Kenny!

It's taken me a horribly long time to respond to this review and I sincerely apologize. No excuse, just sorry.

Hermione definitely knows Harry well enough to know that something is bothering him a great deal. She's not completely sure what, but she has a very reasonable suspicion.

I tried really hard to include a lot of small touches in the story to keep it grounded in the magical world we know and in the way that families actually relate to one another. I'm glad you liked it.

Lady Tenabra is like Voldemort in some ways, but very different in others. She's cold, calculating and ruthless. But she's studied the Dark Lord's mistakes and she at least believes that she's wiser than he was. Time will tell...

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!


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Review #32, by Veritaserum27 Out of Sight

26th August 2015:
Hi there Dan,

It's been too long, I know. I'm really sorry and I'm trying to make up for it.

So, I'm reading The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown right now (I realize the book came out several years ago), but I'm a huge Dan Brown fan and I never got around to reading that one. Only two chapters in and I realized the similarities in your writing styles. You both have such an eye for setting the scene and giving little details that seem like they might be insignificant, but will add up to something big later on. And the most stunning similarity is to have so many different characters with seemingly unaligned story lines - but they come together at different points and the story has an undertone to it. The reader can feel the story building, building to something that's going to be a fantastic reveal. Eeep!

So I wanted to ask you if you are also a Dan Brown fan, and if so, has he influenced your writing. Then I had an epiphany...

Are you Dan Brown?

I'm serious. You have the same first name - and there's no way Dan Brown (erm.. you) could write fanfiction using his famous moniker. Your ability to challenge the reader and keep us riveted, begging for the next chapter and just trying our darndest to figure out the mystery before it's revealed, is uncanny.

Okay, so if you are indeed Dan Brown, I understand you can't just spell it out in a review response, so you can just leave me a hint or a clue or... a symbol so I can know the truth.


Alright, let's get down to reviewing this chapter!

Esme - I gotta say, I'm not a fan. She seems incredibly insensitive and self-absorbed (I smell a little Fleur). Not to mention, she's holding something like a 40 year old grudge against Harry. I admit, I don't know exactly what he did, but I'm gonna make an educated guess that it was probably something he did out of cluelessness rather than intentionally offending her. However, she does seem to be a decent Auror, so I can't fault her completely.

I loved this chapter because it reminded me so much of key points that happened in the books. The scene with Harry trying to convince Hermione reminded me of 6th year when Harry knew Draco was a marked Death Eater and everyone (including Hermione), told him he was daft.

Then the speech made my the Minister with its double meaning was a reminder of Umbridge's speech at the beginning of 5th year for the trio. However, more people took notice this time. Seriously? Forgiveness for crimes if you come forward?! Even Percy saw through that. (And I was pleasantly surprised to see that he seems a bit more together this chapter.)

Then there's the lovely Arabela. Of course it was her plan all along to have Percy challenge the Minister. Hmmm... I wonder how this is going to play out. Probably exactly the way she wants it to unless somebody stops her! And I have to give her props. She is good - admitting to things so that Percy won't suspect her, but then twisting it around to gain his trust even more. Women.

Gah! Such a sweet patronus from Molly. Ever the mother ♥.

I'm glad Susan had the wherewithal to give a proverbial smack over the head to Al, Hugo and Teddy. Seriously? Those three should know better. You just about stabbed me in the heart with that last line about Harry blaming himself. Eeek!

I *think* I found a small typo in this line:

Those that are found to be in conflict with out great traditions, or that were passed in haste, will be suspended while they are referred to the full Wizengamot for consideration of repeal.

Did you mean "with our great traditions, instead of out?

And I can't leave without saying how much I adore your bits of comic relief. The joke about the knickers and the wheelchair, Ron making his comment about the custom Bentleys, and Teddy taking the mickey out on Al was awesome and this chapter definitely needed that balance. Awesome job, as always, Dan!

♥ Beth

P.S. Remember: give me a symbol...

Author's Response: Hey, Beth! I've been staring at this review for several days now, wondering "how on earth do I do *that* justice?"

I guess I should begin by letting you down gently. I'm not Dan Brown. OK, I admit it, I'm not good at "gentle".

I read the Da Vinci Code and I liked it. I didn't enjoy it as much as some of Crichton's books (Andromeda Strain, Sphere, Terminal Man). I tried to read Angels and Demons and I couldn't really get into it. I always get a weird reaction when I feel like an author has started to write books with an eye toward having them become movies. It changes their writing in subtle ways. At any rate, I'm afraid that the only symbol I can give you is: √ʬó¬ē√ʬó¬°√ʬó¬ē

All I can say at this point is give Esme some time. There are reasons why she behaves the way she does. You might or might not think that those reasons justify her behavior, but you are missing a couple of pieces of information at this point. Once you know where she's coming from, feel free to continue disliking her. ;)

Harry is convinced that there's something larger going on and Hermione's opinion means everything to him. He's impulsive, she's rational. She's his voice of reason.

Lady Tenabra (by way of the Minister) is walking a line that she believes (reasonably) will embolden the purebloods and anger the progressives. She wants to keep the pot simmering just below the boiling point, at least for now.

Why so suspicious of poor Arabela? ;) All she wants is for Percy to try to bring some sanity back to the Ministry. Or is it?

Susan is always available to deliver a smack over the head to anyone who needs one. She's brilliant that way.

You are the best proof-reader I've ever had! You are crazy good at picking out those little typos that *look* correct until you read them carefully.

You have to have little bits of humor in a story like this. Otherwise, the depression smothers the light.

Thanks so much for the awesome review. And again: √ʬó¬ē√ʬó¬°√ʬó¬ē

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Review #33, by mymischiefmanaged Epilogue

26th August 2015:
Ahhh oh my goodness Dan, I can't believe I've only just read this wonderful story. I think I've been put off reading it before because I didn't like the idea of reading a story about Harry after Ginny's death (you really know how to write heartbreaking stuff...) but you've handled it all so well and once I started reading I just couldn't stop.

I think this will be one of those reviews where I use up the word limit, so I'll try to be brief with my long long list of things I loved about this story. Okay, here goes...

You have such a hugely impressive grasp of a massive cast of characters. All of your main characters and main supporting characters are beautifully well developed, and you even give lots of the people in the background moments that show how much thought you've put into them (Fleur stands out as an example of this - she wasn't a big character in the overall plot but you showed how strong she was and the moments she had in the spotlight were essential). I love the care you've given every single one of your characters. It makes them so much more believable and really makes the reader want to see what happens to them.

On a related note, all your canon characters are wonderfully and impressively in character. I'm always very scared to write Harry or any of the key people from his Hogwarts years, because I just feel like JK did such a good job creating them and I wouldn't want to try to write her characters and not do them justice. You've got every single one of them spot on, as well as expanding some of the people we didn't see so much in the original books. It must have been difficult to do but you've pulled it off flawlessly.

Your characterisation of Percy is probably the best I've ever seen.

I really love the ongoing tension between the older generation and the younger generation, and how it mimics what Harry found so frustrating when he was growing up. I love seeing the older generation struggle with their hypocrisy in wanting their children to stay out of danger even though they would have refused to. Also, I love that in the end the teenagers had an essential part to play - it's very in keeping with the general spirit of Harry Potter.

I'm hugely impressed by how you handled Esme's character. You managed to make her likeable and very plausible as a candidate for Harry's love, while still letting Harry and Ginny be the great love story of the novel. It's very clever and very true to life, although I'm kind of glad that Esme and Harry never really had their moment because that would have complicated the whole reunion with Ginny in the end.

I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT YOU KILLED NEVILLE! I understand why you did it, and it definitely contributed wonderful things to the overall plot, but ahdarsjrlkeajljslkgj it was super painful to read. But WELL DONE for creating such a wonderful Neville. Over the original books we see him develop so much, and he probably goes through one of the biggest journeys as a character. You've shown how that journey carried on for him after finishing at Hogwarts, and I feel like at the point he died he would have been very proud of his achievements, which is probably all that 11-year-old Neville ever wanted. You made him a wonderful headmaster and I reckon Dumbledore would have been very proud of him.

I really really like the idea of Harry ending his life as headmaster of Hogwarts. It was the first real place he saw as home, and I like the idea that he would return to it. But I also think it only really works in the context of your overall plot, which again says wonderful things about your writing. It wouldn't really make sense for Harry to go back to Hogwarts as headmaster if he was still with Ginny, but given her awful death it's good that he's found a positive way to spend his old age.

Also I like how it gives Ron an opportunity to lead the aurors, because after all these years looking after Harry he's definitely ready for the job.

Your Hermione is wonderful. She's still the same girl we see in JK's writing, but you've shown how her experiences have hardened and changed her. I really like how she's now got this fierce drive to protect her family, and how this drive has changed her.

I'm running out of words but just quickly wanted to talk about MALFOY. I just love everything about how you wrote him. I already love your Draco from 'Detox', but I think this gave us much more to admire, and I really really like how it ended up being him who followed Harry at the end. It feels like a lovely 'growing up' moment for them both. (Also, I like how intertwined their families are at this point. It's a benefit of writing this era rather than focussing on Rose/Scorpius at school).

I don't know if you ever plan to come back and edit any of this, and you very much don't need to because it's already wonderful, but I did just have one suggestion for if you ever feel the need to make any changes. I guessed very early on that Arabela was the villain, and I think this was mostly because she was mentioned a few times without much reason to be, which drew attention to her as a possible suspect (don't know if that makes sense but hopefully it does). Later on I doubted my suspicions because we saw some more of her kindness to Percy, but I think her character could remain much more mysterious if you added one or two scenes in the very early chapters that included her and introduced her through Percy's eyes as a very kind and caring friend. If she was more of a character in her own right from early on, it would be more of a shock to discover her true nature. Like I said, this is just a suggestion and is very much not required, but I thought it might be worth mentioning as an idea.

Love love loved reading this, Dan. I'm in awe of your writing and look forward to reading more of your wonderful work. I can't believe it took me so long to get around to reading this but I'm very glad that I finally have.

Emma xx

Author's Response: Hi, Emma!

I've been staring at this review for a few days now, thinking, "How on earth am I going to fit a decent response within the character limit?" And look, I just set myself back around 100 characters. Better get started.

I've said this in a bunch of responses, but it always bears repeating: Having Ginny not be a part of this story was the hardest decision that I made, bar none. I adore Ginny and Harry together and I hated doing it. But I needed to put Harry in a certain place for the plot to work.

Having a large cast of characters was a blessing and a curse. On the plus side, when I needed to bulk up a chapter, I could always throw in a scene for one of the minor characters. The huge negative was trying to find enough "screen time" to do all of the characters justice. I did start to really like Fleur, which is why she got her own scene in chapter 40.

Keeping the canon characters -- especially Harry -- in character was the most important thing to me. The tricky part was doing that while aging them 50 years...

The tension between generations wasn't really part of my initial idea, but it became unavoidable as the story unfolded. Characters like Molly were never going to accept the idea of the grandchildren and great-grandchildren putting themselves in danger, but as Hestia says, it's more their world now than it is Molly and Arthur's.

I am breathing such a sigh of relief that you liked Esme. I agonized over nearly every aspect of her character and her story arc. I'm still not completely sure I should have killed her off.

Yeah, I feel genuinely terrible about Neville. There just wasn't any other way. Headmasters of Hogwarts don't retire. That said, I wanted to give him a hero's death, one filled with purpose and courage. I think I did alright in that respect.

I like where Ron and Harry ended up. I agree with everything you said about Harry, plus I liked him so much when I put him in scenes with the kids. I think it's a great match. And Ron needed to live out from under Harry's shadow.

Out of the trio, I felt like I did the worst job with Hermione. Part of it is because she was injured, but I never felt completely sure about her story arc. I guess it ended up in a good place, but something still bugs me about it. Too late now, though.

Draco's story was one of the key pillars of what I was trying to do. I wanted to show that he could be a hero without changing everything about himself. To put it another way, Slytherins can be heroes and still be Slytherins.

Ugh. I telegraphed Arabela way too early for most people. Thing is, I didn't want to spring her on readers completely out of the blue. It felt a little dumb to me to suddenly introduce the Minister's secretary and effectively say, "Surprise, she's a powerful dark witch who's pulling all the strings! Didn't you know?" So I had to give people a chance to figure it out. Apparently, I made it too easy.

I'm really pleased that you enjoyed it! Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!

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Review #34, by GingeredTea Flight of the Angels

21st August 2015:
So, it's been awhile (sorry about that!), but I felt like I fell right into step (after spending a bit figuring out what the last chapter was that I reviewed!)

You began this chapter with such a benign sort of rhythm that I just KNEW something terrible was about to happen - that somewhere, this plan was going to unravel. The casual pace served only to heighten my anxiety - perfectly written!

Hugo had never felt like such a failure.. Yeah...I would have too in that situation. Can't imagine the guilt his wife must feel. It really served to show us how peaceful the world has been for this generation.

The next scene was almost as funny as it was tense! Harry and Ron just do not make good driving partners - it must be karma left over from flying to Hogwarts. lol

Harry was never very good at seeing himself as the leader, although he usually did well acting as one.

This was a fantastic chapter! I was on the edge of my seat for the entire last scene!!

Author's Response: Hey, Tori! It's review answering morning!

I like to change the pace frequently during chapters. It keeps my readers awake. ;)

In fairness to Fiona, what's happening around her is completely foreign to her entire life experience. The idea that the wizarding government would be trying to kill them just doesn't register as possible in her mind. She also doesn't deal well with high-pressure situations *and* she's French.

Harry and Ron work well together, but it often seems to be in spite of themselves.

I think that Harry hates the idea of leading people because of all the residual guilt he carries from the war. But when push comes to shove, he does what comes natural, which is to lead people.

I'm glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #35, by StarFeather Fortunes

20th August 2015:
Hi, Dan. Iím writing the last chapter of my story and in a kind of block wondering how to describe the action scene and thought of coming back here.

The first paragraph is very impressive visually. I could imagine the feathers of the pigeons were ruffled by the fall breeze and the old building like a movie.
We know Flint as a cunning Slytherin, so reading him as a timid man who has human feelings, itís quite new and I like it. At the same time I wonder who the ďladyĒ is. Is she a canon character?

I got interested in the book, ďAncient Secrets of the Dark Wizards of WalesĒ. Will it be the key to solve the incident at Ministry? The conversation between Susan and Harry is very interesting. I wonder how you always set up the action and describe the scene where Harry takes lead. Do movies or books inspire you? How do these conversation pop up in your mind?

Fifty people at the Burrow, it must be chaos. Thinking over Harry lost his parents and grandparents earlier, we feel happy for him to have so many relatives.

Then you let another villain enter, I guess he must be a man who would kill Ginny. And I wondered if the journal Flint tried to get, was the destroyed diary Lucius Malfoy put into Ginnyís cauldron in her second year.

Itís pleasing to read the conversation between Harry and Ron and Hermione is getting better but wait, did you mention Hermione couldnít walk at the first chapters? I have to check it later.


Author's Response: Hi, Kenny. I've been reviewing too much to answer my reviews. Time to rebalance my priorities.

I'm flattered that you like my action scenes. I put a lot of thought into them, so it's good to hear that.

You'll find out much, much more about the dark lady as the story goes on. She's a very interesting one.

I took inspiration from a lot of different places for this story, so I guess you'd say that things ultimately get blended and take shape inside my mind. For the scenes in the Auror Department, I tried to take concepts from modern law enforcement dramas and then take them back in time to match the way that the wizarding world always seems to be behind the times.

That is a lot of people at the Burrow, but I think it's the kind of chaos that Molly and Arthur love.

The journal has nothing to do with the diary horcrux. I'll let that much slip. But telling you any more would ruin the surprise. ;)

Hermione is feeling a little bit better, but she has a long, difficult road to recovery. You'll see soon...

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!

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Review #36, by StarFeather Strange Bedfellows

15th August 2015:
Hallo, Dan. 

I came back here. As you mentioned at response before, Draco entered and finally brought crucial information to Harry. The conversation between Harry and him is very interesting. You kept their classical old rivalry letting them exchange sarcastic conversation. At the end Harry thanked him, which is very Harry-like and Draco didnít show his emotion as well, itís very entertaining.

Back to the dark curse which Hermione suffered, is mystery hidden by dark clouds. To find the answer, Harry came back to Hogwarts to consult the headmasters, I love it, too.

I also like the small episode that you let Harry feel Hermione was his best mate more deeply than Ron. And I love his care towards Ron, ďhe had learned many years ago that this was Ronís place and he needed to give the two of them space.Ē, too.

I also like your unobtrusive depiction about Harry as a Head Auror, inserting the scene where he was observing his young subordinates work on the investigation.

I wondered if you took much more time to write about Astoria, because J.K.Rowling didnít mention about her so much in the books. So many kudos on it, including the scene where Draco rescued her from Flintís dirty creepy act.


Author's Response: Hi, Kenny! Welcome back!

I'm glad you enjoyed the conversation between Draco and Harry. That one was tricky, because there were a lot of things I was trying to do. I wanted to age them realistically, but maintain a good amount of that adolescent rivalry. I wanted Harry to be a bit childish while still thinking strategically about what he needed to get out of the conversation. I wanted Draco to be snarky and rude, but to still have a reason he was there. All in all, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

I think Harry took Luna's idea from DH to heart. When you need to find out about something that nobody alive has ever seen, you ask someone who's dead.

I tried very hard to evolve the friendship between the trio to take account of the many years that had passed. There are certain boundaries that probably became very important over the years.

Harry was being a bit obtrusive until Ron reminded him to back off and let the younger Aurors do their jobs. He needs Ron around for things like that.

You'll see a lot more of Astoria later in the story. I really enjoyed writing her, so much so that she and Draco got their own story in Detox.

Thanks so much for the review and good luck with GryCReMo!

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Review #37, by StarFeather A Friend Indeed

8th August 2015:
Hallo, Dan.

I came back again. Wow, the action started from here. Itís been a while since the last time Iíve encountered the real action, maybe that one was also your another novel, yeah, it was. You let Malfoy enter and Hermione was caught under the crime scene. Though we know she always survived through hardship with Harry and Ron many times, and youíve already let us know it wasnít her who died (, it was Ginny), so we can guess sheíll be saved in the next chapters, (right?) the attack scene is so strongly impressive.

Thereís one what if. What if Hermione sent a message earlier to Harry and Ron without waiting for Astroiaís first move? But if she did so, this chapter wouldnít be so cliffhanging. You did a splendid and intensive work here, too.

I donít know how Dramioneshippers reacted to this chapter, you set Draco Malfoy in the right way. Many kudos on this. He has a pride to handle the matter and he was too stubborn around consulting things to Harry, which might have brought disaster in the end like he did at his sixth year at Hogwarts. He was lucky to have Astoria as a partner, which was also what you thought of, the plot is brilliant.

You set some familiar cannon characters in the right way, like Dracoís mother, Zabini and Flint, which readers can accept. Overall this chapter isnít so complicated but simply interesting and intriguing, because thinking over mine, I scattered lots of small plots here and there, so Iím struggling to end the story now. One question, do you set the end of your novel before you start writing, or do you think of it while youíre writing chapters?


Author's Response: Hi, Kenny,

Apologies for the slow response. I'm trying to get a jump on the August review event and keep up with responses at the same time. It could be working better.

This chapter is where the real action in the story kicks off, so I'm glad you liked it. I enjoyed writing Draco's introspective moments in this chapter, but he does get more involved in the action soon. Hermione... well, you'll soon see.

Personally, I'm about as far from a Dramione lover as you're ever going to find. So any hints of romance between the two of them are purely accidental. Having said that, I'm glad you like the way I set Draco up. I tried to make him older and wiser than the arrogant schoolboy from the books, but still retain some of that essential stubbornness and inflexibility.

I tried my best to scatter the relevant back story throughout the first 7 or 8 chapters instead of dumping it all on the reader in the first chapter or 2. It feels like a more organic way to deliver the information, at least to me.

When I started writing this story, I had a plan. I had written the plan down and worked on it. The plan had bullet points. By the time I got to this chapter, most of the original plan had gone out the window. So the story evolved a lot as I was writing it, but I always tried to update my plot outlines and try to plan ahead. Does that answer your question?

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!

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Review #38, by StarFeather Those Who Donít Learn From History

11th July 2015:
*Gryffindor /House Cup 2015/ Amazing Race 5

The first description, the morning great lake is very beautiful. I was glad to read Harry was going to teach DADA lesson at Hogwarts, and smiled you set Neville as a Headmaster.

It's very fun to read how Harry lectured the class about the duel. I enjoyed the description about their practice. It's like watching the fencing match. I remembered when I wrote the same kind of scene, I imagined "kendo", Japanese fencing.

The idea of leaving the decoy behind is very impressive.

I also enjoyed the episode about Artie and Northway, too.

The latter of this story holds profound meaning . Readers think over to know the history, nobody was willing to fight, so many people tried to pretend that nothing was wrong, which is common through out our real world.


Author's Response: Hi, Kenny,

Harry's lesson was one of the most fun things to write in the entire story. He'll always be young at heart, and the kids bring that out in him. It was sort of like fencing, only six on one.

It seemed like a very useful spell, one that could confuse an attacker by making them think that you were in another place.

The exchange between Artie and Northway was meant to show a bit about how naive and complacent the post-war world had become by this point. Keep an eye on Northway. You'll see him again.

I'm glad you're enjoying it. Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #39, by StarFeather Losses

11th July 2015:
*Gryffindor/ House Cup 2015/ Amazing Race 5

The court scene was powerfully well written. But one of trio murdered the killer of Ginny? The question was not answered. It's very cliffhanging.

The phrases, "Because you failed, Potter. You weren't strong enough to protect her and now she's gone" are very impressive. You repeated these before.

The family grieving scene is so sad to read, but the scene where Percy and Harry left alone in the forest of Dean is more thrilling to read.
Then the truth seemed to be revealed finally. The scene Harry seized Percy by the collar of his robes is powerful but the question still remained. I guess something bigger things are hiding.

And I was deeply impressed by the scene of the portraits of Harry's dearest people, too. My favorite spot here is "Two sets of brilliant, green eyes stared into one another, sharing their pain."


Author's Response: Hi, Kenny!

This is the last chapter that really deals in back story. From here on out, it's full speed ahead.

The courtroom scene was a lot of fun to write, actually. Trying to weave together the pomp and pageantry of a courtroom with Harry's grim thoughts and suspicions was challenging.

Harry still carries massive guilt over Ginny's death. Unfortunately, that sticks with him throughout the story.

The family grieving scene was no fun to write at all, that's for sure. Very heavy, emotional stuff. Harry and Percy talking in the forest was a pretty important scene. Don't forget anything that happened there. ;)

I always loved the idea of the magical portraits in the books. I wondered why JKR didn't make more out of that idea, so I was determined to make good use of them in this story. You'll see them again and again.

Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #40, by StarFeather Any Sufficiently Advanced Technology

11th July 2015:
*Gryffindor / House Cup 2015/ Amazing Race 5

I felt relieved to see someone cared Harry after Ginny died. So Ron and Hermione often checked him as they've done in their Hogwrats days.
The scene Hermione using the charm"Reparo" reminded me of the book 1 in the Hogwarts train where trio met each other for the first time.
I feel happy imagining Arthur help George with his experiment on muggle contraption.

The plot, Harry established four kinds of charities is a good idea. I remembered J.K.Rowling set up many charities, too.

The reason why Ginny had died were revealed little by little. The boggart story was well planned. Harry couldn't repel the boggart, Octavia did it instead of him, which is very impressive. The episode that Narcissa gave a stuffed unicorn is lovely, too.


Author's Response: Hello, again!

Lots of people helped to care for Harry and look after him following Ginny's death. Ron and Hermione led the charge, of course, but lots of other characters play a role.

This was one chapter where I felt a little uneasy about the amount of back story that I wove into the narration. I hope people forgive me for that small diversion away from the real story.

Harry and Rose were both too caught up in their memories of Ginny to repel the boggart. Only Octavia was sufficiently unaffected. And Octavia was Narcissa's little princess, her only granddaughter. I'm certain that Narcissa spoiled her rotten.

Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #41, by StarFeather Everything That Ever Mattered

11th July 2015:
Gryffindor /House Cup 2015/ Amazing Race 5

To be honest, I have read this chapter, I remembered. Why didn't I leave reivew? Maybe RL prevented me from keeping to read this. I noticed, I didn't read the latter part of this chapter. Oh, no, Ginny died earlier than Harry. It's sad. She only lived for sixty years? Too young to die. What happened to her?

Harry was 64 years old here, so it means he lived at least four years longer than his wife. It must be a lonely life after his children grew up. But the plot, living alone suits him well.
Most of authors write about the next generation, but your method, telling about them through Harry's eyes sounds real to us.


Author's Response: Hi, Kenny!

I have a horrible problem with that, as well. I'll start a story, forget that I read it, come back to it and experience deja vu.

Ginny did die before Harry, much too soon for a witch. The exact circumstances of her death are wrapped up in the central mystery of the story.

Several Next Gen characters will factor prominently into the story, although they don't appear until a bit later on. I hope you like the way they turned out.

Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #42, by StarFeather Prologue

11th July 2015:
*Gryffindor /House Cup 2015/ Amazing Race 5

Hi, Dan. I didn't expect that I had a chane to read this before my summer vacation would start. I've been itchy to read your story.

I relieved to read what Harry felt in detail. I missed this. I felt like I came home after I had detoured around other stories. This is what I really wanted to read for long time. Searching for his wand and the blur view and being alone are the very necessary condition to describe Harry. Mystery, danger and a little hope may be usual way but I can't stop feeling excited to read this kind of story.

Hmm, the prlogue is very cliffhanging. Does it mean Ginny was dead, too? Or are they in the real King's Cross station? I also used the King's Cross station to imply he was nearly dead, too. I let him survive, so you maybe set the plot like that?


Author's Response: Hi, Kenny! Thanks for stopping by.

I really appreciate the kind words. It was my greatest ambition in writing this story to capture some of the magic that I remember from reading the books. I tried as hard as I could to keep that special feel.

The cliffhanger, such as it is, gets resolved pretty quickly. I see that you've already read that far.

Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #43, by JJ Epilogue

10th July 2015:
I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. This story was exactly what I was looking for. I recently finished the books for like the 7th time and I desperately wanted to know more of what happened after they finished. I greatly enjoyed the more mature twist you put on it and I can't believe how much I felt I needed this. You are amazing!

Author's Response: Hi, JJ.

I really appreciate the kind words. When I started reading fan fiction, I was exactly like you. I didn't want the story to end. I'm really, really happy that I've been able to extend it a bit farther for you.

Thank you for reading and reviewing!


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Review #44, by GingeredTea The Needs of the One

28th June 2015:
Hey, sorry for the delay. I had to remind myself where I was, and then the kid decided not to make bedtime easy. ;-)

As always I immensely enjoyed your opening - it was deceptive, to say the least. Actually - it was what made me think I had missed something somewhere, because I thought Harry was in a duel. LOL

I digress, though!

You know that story you're working on? The connection between Katrina and Esme would be a really interesting topic to explore! "There was something very intense about the way she was approaching their investigation, something personal."

We go from a card game to all-out panic. Yikes! I'm on the edge of my seat! That was a tense moment. The idea of a statis charm being used on a body was brilliant but also kinda creepy...

The idea of an elf hospital would have made me laugh under different circumstances! You wrote that whole scene very well, managing the two elves and Harry's personalities perfectly!

Ahh, looks like Tenant has been caught! Dennis sounds so much like Harry as he's telling Artie an Celeste about Tenant. Neville played the part of Headmaster ever-so-well.

Awesome chapter!

Author's Response: Hi, Tori!

I'm glad you enjoyed my little feint at the start of the story. Always have to keep readers on their toes. ;)

Ugh. See, here's the thing with Katerina and Esme. There was definitely a complicated mentor/mentee relationship between the two of them. Katerina had a bit of Anakin Skywalker in her: a prodigal child with a lot of issues. The problem is that it all happened in the past, so it isn't a good fit for Blood Stains. I've also thought of a short story collection set before CoB that could address some stories, like this one and the full back story of Lady Tenabra. So much to write, so little time...

Stasis charm seemed to me like one of those natural extensions of a non-magical concept into the magical world. You're right, though, it is a bit creepy.

I can't claim 100% ownership of the elf hospital. I borrowed that idea from either Winters After the War or from Learning to Live Again. Isn't it horrible that I can't remember which? I should really re-read those.

Dennis is onto Tenant, but there's still a lot to be done on that front. Stay tuned...

Thanks so much for the swap!

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Review #45, by GingeredTea The Needs of the Many

23rd May 2015:
One of the things I think that makes your story so engaging is the fact that you donít really have any Ďsmallí characters. I love that this chapter began with Susan!

Even after all this time, with a son who married a Weasley and produced a grand-daughter he loves, Malfoy still has such ĎMalfoyí moments: ďÖbut it wasnít like he really paid attention to any of the Granger-Weaselís moral crusades. Maybe he had elves mixed up with fairies or something.Ē

I'm glad to see his wife isn't going to leave him. He went from pompous thoughts being so...uncertain - which seemed very in character, even though we don't get to see that side in the books really.

Oh I held my breath through the whole Susan scene. Iím not sure if Harry would have managed to fix this whole mess without all his friends - and this scene sort of proved that point. She really pulls off a big stunt, getting not only herself out of there but Albus and Hugo! Merlin Al and Hugo are so innocent! Gah! That whole scene had me on edge! Despite that, they managed to pull it together and get out of there - not safe and sound, but alive, at least for the moment.

My apologies again for the late review. Hope this made up for a tiny bit. ;-)

Author's Response: Eh, I think there are definitely some characters that end up with "small" parts. I'll always feel badly that I wasn't able to work Luna into the story more often. Susan, on the other hand, developed a tendency to steal scenes. Even entire chapters in some cases. She's incredibly enjoyable to write.

One thing about writing Draco is that you can't stray too far from the small conceits and character flaws that make him who he is. Otherwise, he just doesn't sound right. I really don't like stories that turn him into a white-washed redemption story or some sort of arch-villain. He is neither.

I'll take Susan's big fight scene over all but one other fight scene in the story. I love the way it came together and I love her as an action heroine. I'm glad you liked it.

No apologies necessary! Life is busy and we all lost track sometimes. Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #46, by GingeredTea Friends and Allies

23rd May 2015:
I know I have said it before, but I will say it again. I really do appreciate your entrances. Weíve been delving into Esme and Harry quite a bit, but it was so nice to see something from Ronís perspective and to see, even in the first line, how much in love they still are.

And thenÖwell you do a great job capturing the fact that Ron always was easily distracted. LOL

Then Ron surprises me, with how he redirects Hermione from a rash and headstrong moment of self-assurance.

ďIf I know Harry, heíd turn around, leave, come back in twenty minutes and try like hell to pretend that nothing happened. Heís a decent bloke like that.Ē ó- Oh my, that had me laughing!!! And I do imagine that is exactly what Harry would try to do.

Ugh, your next scene, while definitely important, wasnít that fun to read. If Goyle and Nott dropped dead Iíd be totally fine with that! Oh I really did not like when they found Octaviaís name!

You did an excellent job with Katerina familyís scene and the following scene with Ricard. Your dialogue was spot on!

How much of ďArabellaísĒ childhood story is true here, I wonder? From her emotions, probably not much.

As always, you have done a great job. This is the chapter where I really started to feel all the threads coming together!

Iím really sorry about our swap. I thought Iíd send out a review that day but things got hectic. I thought since I had said ďIíll go firstĒ Iíd set the Ďstartí time. And even though Iíve been writing, I havenít really been on HPFF except to check the forum once. So I had no idea Iíd kept you waiting a week! So sorry about that, Dan! I really enjoy our swaps!

Author's Response: Hi!

I feel like you can't start off every chapter in the same way or from the same point of view. People get bored and zone out. One of the great things about writing a story with such a large cast is that there's always somebody who could use a little more "screen time" and you can switch to their PoV whenever the story starts to feel stale. On the flip side, of course, one of the worst things about writing a story with a large cast is that there's always somebody who could use a little more "screen time"...

"If Goyle and Nott dropped dead I'd be totally fine with that!" -- Umm... hold that thought.

"How much of "Arabella's" childhood story is true here, I wonder?" -- You want to know a secret? Everything she told Percy about her childhood in that scene is true. All of it. I'm not sure I've ever revealed that before.

I'm glad you enjoyed it and don't fret about the review swap! No harm done. Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #47, by Veritaserum27 The Fall

7th May 2015:
Hey there, Dan! Iím attempting to make up for my apparent absence from this story. Iím so, so sorry! But I LOVED this chapter. It took me forever to read through it - and then I realized why. Nine thousand words is a lot - even for you. However, I think it was totally worth it - there wasnít anything that you could cut out. I feel like so much happened here and, at the same time, you laid out some details that are important to the mystery.

I love the way you describe the magic of the castle. It is spot on with what J.K. depicts with the special enchantments - and how Hogwarts has so much magic within it - that the powers and the depth of the spells exceed the abilities of any one wizard.

HmmmÖ Professor Astor - a secondary character that is briefly mentioned and comes back in the end orÖ someone truly trustworthy?

If he was being completely honest with himself, she had more than a few legitimate reasons to be angry with him.

What happened?

Iím not sure what to think of Esme. On one hand, she might be the kick in the pants that Harry needs right now. Heís still in a really dark place. On the other hand - she seems to enjoy instigating - and she seems to be a bit stubborn in her own right. Sheís carrying around a forty-five year old grudge.

Esme seems visibly upset about Ginnyís death. Could it be an act? She is an auror in a nearby country - and Harry Potterís wife is murdered and he is put on trialÖ Is she hiding what she knows? Either way, she seems to be an extremely competent Auror. She is smart and quick.

Great job describing the memory forgery. Iím picturing the wizarding version of photoshop :)

About six years ago, she resigned and simply vanished.

Ö and then came to work as the British Minister of Magicís secretary???

Octavia sounds like a real piece of work. I love her. She reminds me of her motherÖ And she seems to be extraordinarily gifted. Haha - Scorpius canít remember if Arithmetic and Arithmancy are the same - and he knows his daughter is smart enough to tell if heís faking it. Iím loving the interactions of these two. Much of his parenting seems to be done on the fly - but I guess thatís best when dealing with a clever daughter!

Ah! So Lady Tenabraís name is known amongst the pure bloods? Do the Aurors know yet - who the leader is?

And I almost feel sorry for the way you turn Daphne into a clown. Almost.

I can see the point of Rose and Scorpius not wanting to hide Octavia away - especially when the other Weasleys are not in hiding. BUT - things are much more dangerous for Draco and Astoria in Britain. Staying out of things might become a bit tricky for the Malfoys.

Poor Hermione. Sheís worked so hard to build a career and a reputation and to have it crushed to smithereens while she fought to protect others is downright adding insult to injury. Of course she takes her solace in research and books.

Great job with your minstrel poem! Like everything youíve done with this story - it is clever and rich in text.

And I love the scene from Ronís POV. It was brilliantly characterized. I giggled throughout this entire scene. And while I couldnít entirely disagree with Ron, I was greatly amused at the same time.

Romantic mishap - haha. I wonder if weíll ever get to know what really happened :) And Iím tearing up over the tender Ron and Hermione moment.

And - of course Harry is bungling things up again. I canít exactly fault Esme for being irritated at this one. You would expect someone with his credentials to be less clueless at the age of sixty-five!

Hermys is awesome. And so loyal to Harry.

Holy cow. I did not see this coming. I guess I really should have - based on the document that Lady Tenabra forged in the last chapter, but I didnít think things would move so quickly. Yikes - this sounds so eerily familiar - the ministry disregarding laws so that they can ďkeep the peace,Ē the muggle-borns being threatened and everyone afraid to speak out for fear of unknown retribution. This is not going to be solved quickly.

I really thought Harry was telling Hermys to get the invisibility cloak - and I couldnít remember if it was at Hogwarts with one of his grandkids - didnít Harry ask Arthur if he could borrow it?

Anyway, THIS WAS SO MUCH BETTER! Holy cow. The things you come up with! It was clever and funny and really, really effective. I mean, those guys didnít know what hit them. And just when I thought it was over, you send ANOTHER insane booby trap at them. The ďsnotty batsĒ felt a little like an homage to Ginny. I wonder if she had some say in the houseís protections or if Harry added them after her death, as a way to remember what an amazingly powerful witch she was.

Ah! So I guess Esme is with them now. It seems a bit odd - Iím so used to the trio being one unit. I felt like Harry was being a bit dramatic at first - but then I realized, heís the only one who is reading the situation for as dire as it is.

Time to call in The Order.

♥ Beth

Author's Response: Hi, Beth! I'm going to skip the formality of apologizing for the fact that it took me forever to respond. When in doubt, assume I'm sorry. ;)

The is the second chapter in a row that somehow ended up a lot longer than I'd planned. I thought about splitting this one, but I couldn't figure out where. It felt like all of this needed to stay together.

I'm glad you liked my thoughts on what makes Hogwarts so magical. It always felt to me like the castle was sort of like a living thing with a mind of its own.

You'll find out fairly soon what happened between Harry and Esme. It's complicated and the details come out gradually over the next few chapters. All I would say about Esme is that there are reasons why she behaves the way she does. Hopefully that will all be cleared up for you soon. She wasn't so much upset that Ginny died; the two characters never met. She was more upset when she realized how insensitive she was being. Whatever other personality traits she might have, she is a professional.

You'll hear a lot more about the forged memory. I'm glad you liked the concept and I hope you'll continue to like it.

Rose and Scorpius are feeling a lot of conflicting loyalties at this point. Of course they want to do what's best for Octavia and of course they feel some level of loyalty to both families. They're caught in the middle.

Whew! I'm still not sure whether I like the poem, so I'm glad you like it! Fun fact: I didn't mark it as original work the first time I submitted it and my chapter got rejected. I guess you're not the only one who thought it sounded authentic.

I enjoyed writing every bit of the cocktails and dinner scene. Ron's PoV made it even more fun, but it would have been entertaining no matter who was observing. The interplay between the characters worked out better than I could have hoped for.

Lady Tenabra takes her plan to the next level at the end of this chapter. She fully intended to eliminate Harry, Ron and Hermione, but she left the execution of the plan in less than competent hands. If she has one weakness, it's that she tends to play puppet-master a little too much.

I had a blast writing all of the house's defenses. "Snotty bats" was definitely homage to Ginny.

You're right, Esme has joined in the adventure. We'll soon see how that works out. Like I said, she's an Auror. She's used to being throw together with a team on a mission with an uncertain outcome.

Interesting you should mention the Order. Read on...

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!

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Review #48, by Veritaserum27 The Setup

7th May 2015:
Hi there, Dan. Iím embarrassed to say that I just realized I havenít left you a review since January. Ugh! Iím terrible. I also came to the realization that Iíve read this chapter at least five times. Probably more. So, if youíve noticed a higher read count on this particular chapter, you can chalk that up to me. :)

Iím in love with Hermione in the beginning of this chapter! She completely takes charge of her situation and executes a plan that will get her what she needs - information.

There were familiar notes of Audrey in her voice, Hermione thought, and it made her cringe on the inside. One of those in the family was enough.

Ugh. Audrey. I sorta feel bad for Percy right now, but heís got his own problems.

And - I actually get some sort of sick pleasure reading about Harry squirming under the nurseís ministrations and admonitions. Okay, so he doesnít so much squirm as get a little hot. But it was fun to read all the same. And I guess she got the last laugh with the sleeping potion - haha!

Monitoring chams at Hogwarts! What sorcery is this?! It seems the New Blood Order has indeed permeated deep into the two main institutions of the wizarding world: The Ministry and Hogwarts.

I love your Dumbledore.

ďI believe,Ē Dumbledore began, stroking his beard and staring into space, ďthat a great many lives could have been spared if wizards in positions of authority had taken such precautions fifty years ago. But we must exercise the utmost care that we do not provoke a war where none need occur.Ē

This was so perfectly APWBD, itís not even funny.

Ah, Percy. Of all the Weasleys, heís the most easily swayed by the prospect of advancement and propriety. Itís no wonder Arabela chose him.

Percy found that his lunches with Arabela were always a sort of pleasant blur in his mind.

This smells like memory-modification. Percy! How can you be so daft?!

As he turned the corner onto Whitehall, he was struck by a peculiar feeling. At first, it was as though heíd forgotten something, something important that he very much needed to remember. He strained to think of what it might be.

Now Iím even more convinced. He told her something he shouldnít have. Something that is going to hurt everyone he loves. Didnít he? Dan! What are you doing?!
He did! I know it. She coaxed something out of him and now theyíre all in dangerÖ

Ooo! Weíve got a new character: Cepheus Black - aka Xerxes the Seer. You have such an incredible talent for introducing them in clever ways. The reader absorbs all the details, and ďfeelsĒ the personality and other little details. Itís downright remarkable that you can do this in such a few words. I already know so much about Cepheus. Whatís this? HmmÖ Iím inclined to think this information is false - more fuel to the fire about that the New Blood Order is trying to stoke. (Also, Iím thinking about the title of this chapter.) It definitely seems far fetched - even for a desperate minister. But in your story, anything is possibleÖ this just smells fishy.

Ahh, back to Lady Tenabra. Iíve noticed she doesnít like to get her hands dirty. She canít find anyone with enough skill to kill Harry, but doesnít seem to be willing to do it herself. Okay - Iím trying to remember what these documents might be. Maybe itís something new. Sheís the mistress of misdirection, that one. Planting false evidence (I have a feeling Hermione will sniff that one out), sending fake memos to radio personalities, and starting up an anti-muggle campaign.

My questions remains: Why?

Awesome job - again. Gotta read on.

♥ Beth

Author's Response: Hi, Beth! I've put off responding to these two reviews for far too long. They just look so nice in my Unanswered!

Hermione gets pretty sore with Lucy at the start of the chapter. She has a point, too. And you're right, she gets what she wants out of it. I did feel a little badly about writing Hermione's mental knock on Audrey into this, considering what's happening between her and Percy at this point in the story. I'd just excuse it by saying that Hermione doesn't realize yet just how deeply the issue runs.

Harry is a terrible patient. I think we can all agree on that.

Thanks for the kind words about Dumbledore! He's so difficult to write and have it sound like him.

Percy is a bit daft here. And it seems like his subconscious mind is trying to tell him something, although he can't quite figure out what it is.

The addition of Cepheus Black was the main reason this chapter ended up being so long. I put that scene in at the last minute because so many readers were asking questions about Xerxes the Seer and whether he was the nefarious mastermind behind the Blood Order. As you can see, that's not likely. ;)

Lady Tenabra keeps her hands as clean as possible. It's not her style to operate in the open or do her own dirty work. That's one of the biggest differences between her and Voldemort, although there are certainly others.

Why is she doing all of this? She has a plan and certain things need to happen for that plan to work. You'll see a lot more of it before the story is finished.

Are we having fun yet? I am really enjoying your thoughts and theories! Thanks so much for the awesome reviews!

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Review #49, by GingeredTea All Too Familiar

14th April 2015:
This is my presumptuous review swap review. I know my last one was way belated, so I wanted to extend mine first, this time. :) Also, I wanted to write presumptuous in a review. ;-)

I think it is a more mature version of Harry that notices the issues Esme is having and is strong enough to try to fix them. Also, his devious plan kind of speaks toward more mind control, yes? And yet, Esme is so much more willing to be blunt. Then again, she got the short end of the stick (not Harry, not a family, etc. etc.) so perhaps she naturally would feel more like the person who could point it out. Regardless, I thought you did a wonderful job with that whole scene. You made the argument really realistic, which is hard to do.

You're whole George scene made me laugh. He always did have a unique way of dealing with things! Percy, Percy, Percy!! So they're all sharing whatever information they have, but it's really not enough. I see Molly is back to her old broken record. Lot of good it did her last time. I doubt it will do her much good this time, either.

I loved the idea that if a wizard were to grow hard of hearing they could just resort to reading minds. LOL

Oh, the baby Harry memory had me crying. I think it is probably the nicest part of your whole story. You did a wonderful job describing its framework as Harry could remember it himself and then tying those pieces together as you let us see the whole thing. Perfect.

I really loved this chapter - as always. :)

Author's Response: I welcome your presumptions. :) Always a pleasure to swap with you.

Harry and Esme are starting to get along rather well by this point. There are obviously still some sore subjects in their relationship, but Harry is doing his best to address them. I'm relieved that you thought the argument went well. That section went through a lot of revisions. ;)

I really enjoyed writing George in this story. I didn't get to include him nearly often enough for my tastes. He's a fun character.

Professor Turgeon was another character that I wish I could have found more uses for. She's very powerful and very interesting. It's so hard to do all of your characters justice without stories becoming a million words long...

The baby Harry scene definitely left me a little misty-eyed. Part of me always feels bad for all of the things I put Harry through in this story. He deserved so much better. So it was always rewarding to write the happy moments.

I'm really happy that you enjoyed it! Thanks for the swap!

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Review #50, by GingeredTea Deceptive Appearances

4th April 2015:
Iím back. I had thought I had submitted my review for this chapter, but I guess it didnít go through. Iíve been a bit scatter brained - but hadnít intended to leave you hanging!

Harry has always been the Ďdo something and think laterí type of guy. In your story age and loss and huge regrets have sort of sanded down the sharpness of that aspect of him, but it is still his nature, and it shows here. He has enough strength to understand it is his personality getting in the way, and keeps to himself rather than lash out and ruin the productivity of others.

Ginny still bringís out so much hurt in Harry. You did a nice job with that quick transition in his head and making it realistic.

Iím really starting to enjoy Esme. She did a superb job with Percyís memory, and oh my, it was revealing what she found. Let me just say, Iíve been suspecting Percyís friend for a while. Iíll admit to having read ahead, so I wonít say much more in a review, but I knew even before I read it that there was much much more to her. I really liked how you portrayed Stoop.

ĎRory Tennant didnít know it, but he had just set an upper limit on his own life expectancy.í ó I loved this line.

I love the bickering you opened the Ministry scene with! Who knew Ron could be so convincing - his acting skills have grown. Hermione did just as wonderful as I knew she would. I laughed all over again at the comment she made to that poor women who let them in! LOL I was disgusted by Cornfoot (what a great name), and on the edge of my seat at the end when it seemed like it could go either way!

This was an excellent chapter!

Author's Response: Hi, there!

Harry is definitely more reserved and refined at this age than he was in the books. He still has a bias toward action over inaction, but he's more thoughtful about what sort of action to take. The losses he's suffered have definitely had an effect. You're right that he hasn't gotten over Ginny. I don't think he ever will, at least not completely.

I'm glad that Esme is growing on you. She wasn't meant to be a character that people would love right away. There's a very complicated history between her and Harry and things needed to evolve slowly. As far as Percy's friend... well, if you know then you know. ;)

Ah, Rory. He ended up being one of my least favorite characters in this story. I enjoy putting upper limits on him.

Ron has spent a lot of time working undercover during his career. Personally, I felt more impressed with Hermione. Being an irritable, arrogant old lady does not come naturally to her. And the remarks she makes to the young woman working security... well, that was just fun to write.

I'm glad you enjoyed it! Thanks so much!

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