1,105 Reviews Found

Review #26, 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: ◕◡◕

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: ◕◡◕

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Review #27, 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 #28, 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 #29, by StarFeather Fortunes

20th August 2015:
Hi, Dan. I’m 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, it’s quite new and I like it. At the same time I wonder who the “lady” is. Is she a canon character?

I got interested in the book, “Ancient Secrets of the Dark Wizards of Wales”. 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 Ginny’s cauldron in her second year.

It’s pleasing to read the conversation between Harry and Ron and Hermione is getting better but wait, did you mention Hermione couldn’t 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 #30, 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 didn’t show his emotion as well, it’s 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, “he had learned many years ago that this was Ron’s place and he needed to give the two of them space.”, 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 didn’t mention about her so much in the books. So many kudos on it, including the scene where Draco rescued her from Flint’s 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 #31, by StarFeather A Friend Indeed

8th August 2015:
Hallo, Dan.

I came back again. Wow, the action started from here. It’s been a while since the last time I’ve 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 you’ve already let us know it wasn’t her who died (, it was Ginny), so we can guess she’ll be saved in the next chapters, (right?) the attack scene is so strongly impressive.

There’s one what if. What if Hermione sent a message earlier to Harry and Ron without waiting for Astroia’s first move? But if she did so, this chapter wouldn’t be so cliffhanging. You did a splendid and intensive work here, too.

I don’t 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 Draco’s mother, Zabini and Flint, which readers can accept. Overall this chapter isn’t so complicated but simply interesting and intriguing, because thinking over mine, I scattered lots of small plots here and there, so I’m 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 you’re 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 #32, by StarFeather Those Who Don’t 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 #33, 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 #34, 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 #35, 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 #36, 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 #37, 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 #38, 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 #39, 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 don’t really have any ‘small’ 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 ‘Malfoy’ moments: “…but it wasn’t like he really paid attention to any of the Granger-Weasel’s moral crusades. Maybe he had elves mixed up with fairies or something.”

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. I’m 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 #40, 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. We’ve been delving into Esme and Harry quite a bit, but it was so nice to see something from Ron’s perspective and to see, even in the first line, how much in love they still are.

And then…well 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.

“If I know Harry, he’d turn around, leave, come back in twenty minutes and try like hell to pretend that nothing happened. He’s a decent bloke like that.” —- 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, wasn’t that fun to read. If Goyle and Nott dropped dead I’d be totally fine with that! Oh I really did not like when they found Octavia’s name!

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

How much of “Arabella’s” 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!

I’m really sorry about our swap. I thought I’d send out a review that day but things got hectic. I thought since I had said “I’ll go first” I’d set the ‘start’ time. And even though I’ve been writing, I haven’t really been on HPFF except to check the forum once. So I had no idea I’d 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 #41, by Veritaserum27 The Fall

7th May 2015:
Hey there, Dan! I’m attempting to make up for my apparent absence from this story. I’m 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 wasn’t 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.

Hmmm… Professor Astor - a secondary character that is briefly mentioned and comes back in the end or… 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?

I’m not sure what to think of Esme. On one hand, she might be the kick in the pants that Harry needs right now. He’s 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. She’s carrying around a forty-five year old grudge.

Esme seems visibly upset about Ginny’s death. Could it be an act? She is an auror in a nearby country - and Harry Potter’s wife is murdered and he is put on trial… 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. I’m picturing the wizarding version of photoshop :)

About six years ago, she resigned and simply vanished.

… and then came to work as the British Minister of Magic’s secretary???

Octavia sounds like a real piece of work. I love her. She reminds me of her mother… And she seems to be extraordinarily gifted. Haha - Scorpius can’t remember if Arithmetic and Arithmancy are the same - and he knows his daughter is smart enough to tell if he’s faking it. I’m loving the interactions of these two. Much of his parenting seems to be done on the fly - but I guess that’s best when dealing with a clever daughter!

Ah! So Lady Tenabra’s 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. She’s 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 you’ve done with this story - it is clever and rich in text.

And I love the scene from Ron’s POV. It was brilliantly characterized. I giggled throughout this entire scene. And while I couldn’t entirely disagree with Ron, I was greatly amused at the same time.

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

And - of course Harry is bungling things up again. I can’t 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 didn’t think things would move so quickly. Yikes - this sounds so eerily familiar - the ministry disregarding laws so that they can “keep the peace,” 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 couldn’t remember if it was at Hogwarts with one of his grandkids - didn’t 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 didn’t know what hit them. And just when I thought it was over, you send ANOTHER insane booby trap at them. The “snotty bats” felt a little like an homage to Ginny. I wonder if she had some say in the house’s 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 - I’m so used to the trio being one unit. I felt like Harry was being a bit dramatic at first - but then I realized, he’s 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 #42, by Veritaserum27 The Setup

7th May 2015:
Hi there, Dan. I’m embarrassed to say that I just realized I haven’t left you a review since January. Ugh! I’m terrible. I also came to the realization that I’ve read this chapter at least five times. Probably more. So, if you’ve noticed a higher read count on this particular chapter, you can chalk that up to me. :)

I’m 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 he’s got his own problems.

And - I actually get some sort of sick pleasure reading about Harry squirming under the nurse’s ministrations and admonitions. Okay, so he doesn’t 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.

“I believe,” Dumbledore began, stroking his beard and staring into space, “that 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.”

This was so perfectly APWBD, it’s not even funny.

Ah, Percy. Of all the Weasleys, he’s the most easily swayed by the prospect of advancement and propriety. It’s 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 he’d forgotten something, something important that he very much needed to remember. He strained to think of what it might be.

Now I’m even more convinced. He told her something he shouldn’t have. Something that is going to hurt everyone he loves. Didn’t he? Dan! What are you doing?!
He did! I know it. She coaxed something out of him and now they’re all in danger…

Ooo! We’ve 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 “feels” the personality and other little details. It’s downright remarkable that you can do this in such a few words. I already know so much about Cepheus. What’s this? Hmm… I’m inclined to think this information is false - more fuel to the fire about that the New Blood Order is trying to stoke. (Also, I’m thinking about the title of this chapter.) It definitely seems far fetched - even for a desperate minister. But in your story, anything is possible… this just smells fishy.

Ahh, back to Lady Tenabra. I’ve noticed she doesn’t like to get her hands dirty. She can’t find anyone with enough skill to kill Harry, but doesn’t seem to be willing to do it herself. Okay - I’m trying to remember what these documents might be. Maybe it’s something new. She’s 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 #43, 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 #44, by GingeredTea Deceptive Appearances

4th April 2015:
I’m back. I had thought I had submitted my review for this chapter, but I guess it didn’t go through. I’ve been a bit scatter brained - but hadn’t intended to leave you hanging!

Harry has always been the ‘do something and think later’ 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 bring’s out so much hurt in Harry. You did a nice job with that quick transition in his head and making it realistic.

I’m really starting to enjoy Esme. She did a superb job with Percy’s memory, and oh my, it was revealing what she found. Let me just say, I’ve been suspecting Percy’s friend for a while. I’ll admit to having read ahead, so I won’t 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.

‘Rory Tennant didn’t know it, but he had just set an upper limit on his own life expectancy.’ — 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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Review #45, by Veritaserum27 Remembrance of Things Past

30th January 2015:
Hi there Dan!

Here for the next chapter.

One characteristic of your writing that really stands out to me is the way you describe in detail how different bits of magic affect a person. I can really feel the rennervate spell working on the men as they are healed from their injuries. Also, from last chapter, the way you described the memory being self-extracted from Percy's mind as a deep-rooted cancer being removed gave me not just a mental image of Percy pulling the image from his mind, but I felt a connection to him - how it was painful and freeing and exhausting all at the same time. I think this is one reason why your stories are so well done. You bring me right into the magical world, and make me feel like I'm right there living the moment with all of these characters. In short - super, fantastic, wonderful, amazing job!

I noticed a small typo here:

Glaring at her our of the corner of his eye, Gamp reluctantly ended Rosier’s agony.

it should be "out" of the corner of his eye

Aha! So Lady Tenabra was imperiousing Gamp, huh? I did think it a bit weird that Gamp would use Crucio on his buddies for bad-mouthing Tenabra. I mean sure, he's crazy and masochistic, but I didn't think that would extend to defending a woman.

So, she is very calculating indeed - she lets her minions think that she's not about to get her hands dirty and has Gamp at her beckon call. This is a great power strategy. She seems more dangerous this way.

Loved your little excerpt from the runes book on controlling a person (or large group of people). Basically cut them off at the source until they have no choice to to join you. And hey, you can make them think its a great idea at the same time.

Hmmm - who is this other wizard that she has a bond with, I wonder. And who are the pawns in the Minister's office...

Okay - I'm gonna take a stab at guessing her identity - because I'm fairly sure that she isn't a completely isolated character here. I have two guesses right now. I wasn't that confident in either one, but once I did a little digging, I am pretty sure I know who she is. Either way, I know you will be amused at my floundering and reasons.

Guess #1: Narcissa Black Malfoy
Reasons: 1. She has blond hair. 2. She conveniently "died" at the beginning of the story. 3. She is a pure blood witch with some of those ideals. 4. She is very powerful in terms of magic.

Non reasons: 1. It doesn't seem her thing - taking over the world and manipulating the dregs of society for the sake of power. She would've been content to live out her days in Malfoy manor. 2. She's dead (supposedly). 3. A lot of Lady Tenabra's actions seem a bit "improper" for Narcissa's taste.

Guess #2: Arabela Dynt
Reasons: 1. Lady Tenabra mentioned trying the bond on a man who's mind she already knew (Percy?). 2. She says she has pawns inside the Minister's office (not the Ministry, but specifically the Minister's office. 3. Apparently I'm not the only one who likes to use anagrams :)

Non reasons: 1. We don't know very much about her. 2. I could pretend that I have more non-reasons, but the evidence I found in #3 of Reasons is pretty convincing ;)

Ooo - nice job with the decoy set up. Harry, Harry, Harry - c'mon man! You are barely able to stand and yet you're ready to take on the world. Let's just bring it down a few notches, here.

I'm curious as to why Harry can feel the protective wards that are up? Is it because he is the one who cast them or does he have a sixth sense for all wards? Interesting.

So, I think Hermys picked up on the fact that Percy's memory had been tampered with. Perhaps elves have a way of knowing when someone uses legilimency or maybe some other form of modification on them. Maybe she did something so that if the memory was removed, erm.. something happened to him. I'm not sure yet, just guessing as I'm writing. I'm still reveling in my discovery of Lady Tenabra's identity and now I'm paying closer attention to the interaction between Percy and everyone else.

I love the fact that Hermione can walk in the pensieve. It means so much and I think will be a big step in her healing to know that she sees herself that way. Mind over matter. And of course she's the one that figures out the memory is at least partially fake. My initial thought was that Lady Tenabra was imperiousing Percy to murder Stoops and that is why her reflection shows up in the sink and not Percy's. Also, that might explain why he felt really weird removing the memory and still feels off afterwards. Either a memory modification occurred on him or he was imperioused. The "hazy quality" reminds me of when Slughorn's memory was tampered with in HBP, but I think I need a few more clues before I can determine that one. Or maybe I'm completely off and just a rambling idiot at this point. Is Arabela a French name?

So I gotta admit, I expected Hermione's revelation recall of what had been her mental block to be a bit more dramatic than just a name calling incident. Granted, it was obviously very traumatic for her.

Either way, I loved this chapter. And this is officially the longest review I've ever left for anyone, as I'm down to less than 600 characters. And even though I'm pretty sure I've figured out a very important detail, I still have lots and lots of questions. I guess I'll just have to keep reading!

♥ Beth

Author's Response: Hi, Beth! I've been putting off my review responses for far too long. So without further ado...

I enjoy pondering how magic would *feel* to the person using it, or to the person on the receiving end. I don’t want to go too far overboard into “magical cores” and stuff like that, but I think the descriptions you’re talking about are another thing that helps to draw the reader into the characters.

Thank you for the typo! I patched that up.

Lady Tenabra is controlling Gamp. It’s not quite the same as using the Imperius Curse on him. You’ll learn more about the difference in a few chapters.

Ha! So who is Lady Tenabra? You’re not doing a bad job with you guessing, but you know I can’t tell you. We mustn’t ruin the big moment.

I’ve always liked the idea that Harry has *a few* of the abilities that always seem to be bestowed upon him in powerful!Harry crack fics. He is a talented wizard, after all. The ability to feel wards will come in handy later.

Hermys is aware that something is going on with Percy’s mind, but the poor elf doesn’t quite have the vocabulary to explain what. Definitely pay attention to Percy. There’s a lot going on with him in general.

Ha! There are so many things that get revealed or hinted at in this chapter. I’m not surprised that it’s a little hard to take it all in. Hermione does still see herself as an able-bodied person. That will be both a source of strength and a struggle as the story wears on. The “hazy quality” of Percy’s memory is a sign of tampering. You’ll learn a lot more about it in a few chapters.

I hear what you’re saying about Hermione’s mental block. I wasn’t sure how to make the memory more dramatic without taking it over the top. It’s merely something that she never properly dealt with.

I’m honored to have received your longest review! Big things happen over the next two chapters and I’m dying to know what you think! Thanks so much!

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Review #46, by GingeredTea Out of Sight

27th January 2015:
Of all the places I could imagine Harry going, Little Hangleton was not even on my radar!! Then that he less them to the ramshackle shack instead of the Riddle house (although I do suppose that would be much harder to hide and may not have passed along to Voldemort and then to Harry), was another surprise!

But, backing up a tad, the you managed the wheel chair tension really well, guiding it into humor that surprised and made me laugh, especially coming from Hermione!

Ron is a bit moody when he's got some drink in him, hmm? You manage to convey that without constantly having to bring up the fact he went a little overboard at dinner - bravo. I like how Harry sends him for food - it is probably a task Ron could do in his sleep. LOL

I loved that Hermys brought the bags and that the Aurors are afraid to go into Ron's house. The elf obviously cares for Harry. I also really enjoyed your description of their Patronus' - especially Ron's. ;-)

I can't decide if you've purposefully cast suspicion on Arabela for the purpose shrouding the true Tenabra, or because she IS Tenabra. UGH- You are driving me crazy!!

Her control over the Minister was creepy. She is a much better speaker than Voldemort. She obviously understands peoole better than Voldemort did, at least in the insanity of later cannon.

"“You looked rather upset when you left the press conference,” she replied, closing his door behind her. “I wanted to make sure that you were alright.”" I really am suspicious of her...

Harry having trouble sleeping seems normal, the message from Molly was endearing!

Al, Hugo, and Teddy were being so stupid... I'm glad Susan was there to help them! Although Teddy's mimicry of Albus as a kid was hilarious. :)

Thanks for the awesome read, as always!

Author's Response: I have gotten horrible about responding to reviews lately. Must. Do. Better.

The Gaunt Shack is one of those rare things that was part of my original bullet-point draft for this story and survived all the way to chapter 19. An awful lot of other ideas fell by the wayside, believe me. The Riddle house never occurred to me, but I agree with you. Since Voldemort was never Tom Riddle Sr's officially acknowledged son, and since the Riddle house was a muggle property, I don't think it would have legally passed into Voldemort's ownership.

Splitting the patronuses was another idea that I had very early on. It took me a while to find a place I could use it. Somehow this made more sense than have to cast the charm again and again. I also liked the image of Ron's litter of spectral terriers.

Me? Purposefully cast suspicion? Surely you're joking. ;)

Voldemort never put much stock in words unless he was using them to hurt someone. It's not that he wasn't eloquent in his own way, but he didn't view words as the main way that he influenced people. For Tenabra, getting her message right means everything if she's going to pull this off.

Molly's patronus nearly got cut from this chapter because it felt like pure fluff at the time. The important take-away from that scene is that even though he puts up a solid front to Hermione and Ron, Harry has his own doubts about whether he's wrong about the connection between Ginny's murder and the Blood Order. That said, people really seem to like the lioness.

Al, Hugo and Teddy don't know any better because they've lived in a peaceful world for all but the first few days of Teddy's life. The idea of mortal danger is totally foreign to them, but believe me, they're going to have to grow up quickly.

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

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Review #47, by GingeredTea The Fall

27th January 2015:
I somehow submitted my last review before I meant too - I didn't get to talk about Hermione's struggle at work or Lucy, or some key points of Percy's issue, among other things. Anyways, the last chapter had me on the edge of my seat.

Okay, onto this one...

Esme Osinalde; I think you're teasing us with this blond hair. just really, I think you are. I'm seeing her everywhere and wondering at every turn!

The scene with Esme made me second guess myself a bit...but then I wondered, was Harry's "oh crap" about him thinking she thinks he's interested, or because he's a little suspicious?

We haven't seen Ocatvia much but I really think she's hilarious! Of course, being bullied isn't funny, But Scorpius losing control of his magic was and her reenactment was both funny and terrible.

Astoria is good for Draco, obviously.

That was a bit tense with Esme there for a bit, and then it got way worse. I have to say though, James Potter would be proud of Harry's defenses. They were very prank-like. LOL

I was surprised Esme agreed to go with them, but after all of that tension you managed to make me laugh with Hermys' thoughts about Harry's grandchildren.

Author's Response: Ugh. On the one hand, I get the point of not being able to edit reviews after they're submitted. The drama potential is off the charts. On the other hand, it's awfully inconvenient sometimes.

I didn't realize just how many blonde witches were running around this story until somebody pointed it out in a review several chapters farther along. I also slipped up and changed Esme's hair to brown later. I'm grateful that I have reviewers to point these things out.

Harry is worried that his past with Esme will make it so that she's unwilling to help solve Ginny's murder. Or that she'll hex him. Possibly both.

You'll see Octavia quite a bit more as the story wears on. Keep an eye on her, she's central to the plot.

Draco would be completely lost without Astoria. Literally would not know what to do with himself.

I like to imagine James, Sirius and Remus all smiling down on Harry's accomplishments. Particularly the ones he unleashed on Ministerial Security in this chapter.

Esme agrees to go with them because she sees it as the most interesting way to spend her remaining time in the UK. She doesn't really think it's possible that she's putting herself in danger. She's an Auror and a foreign national. She probably thinks that the worst that could happen is she'd be sent back to France on the first available portkey.

I love Hermys. He's another character that I wish I could have worked into the story more.

Thank you so much for all of the awesome reviews!

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Review #48, by GingeredTea The Setup

27th January 2015:
You know, when the Lady talked about playing with some of the people in the Ministry...I am really starting to think that Arabela IS her...

What is happening to Percy??

Oh, Mr. Black seems like he's definitely been used...he won't like that when he figures it out, since he seems to pride himself on using others. LOL

And I'm really really really curious about who this Lady is (I'm not using any of the names, because I agree that it is made up - maybe all of them).

Author's Response: :) You know I can't just tell you whether you're right or wrong. It would spoil all the fun.

Percy is in a very complicated situation. Some of his problems are of his own making and some are not. Things haven't been right for him since Ginny died, but then again things haven't been right for anyone since then.

I added Eridanus Black into this chapter only because so many readers had been speculating that "Xerxes the Seer" was a secretly powerful dark wizard pulling the strings behind the Blood Order. As you can see, he's not. That was the only point of having him pop up here.

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!

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Review #49, by GingeredTea Remembrance of Things Past

27th January 2015:
Even before we reached the point where you exposed Tenabra as controlling Gamp, I felt that she was at least using his insanity to do the cruel acts while she gets to act like the sane one, dishing out the voice of reason instead of making them scream. I took a moment of pleasure in her less-than-perfect grasp of this book she's reading.

I'm starting to wonder if she knows Harry... "She thought of another wizard she could attempt the bonding with, one whose mind she already knew quite well, but she decided it would be premature. He was the centerpiece of her end game, and she hadn’t gotten this far by being impulsive." PLEASE tell me she's not Luna!? Or, wait...is she talking about Percy?

Arabela...Tenabra...could they be one in the same? I know, I'm guessing here...

Even the simple aspect of Hermione not giving up on how she wants to perceive herself and Harry accepting even a temporary injury, spoke volumes of their character.

"In the end, I knew that Ginny was the only one for me, but I think she was hoping for a different outcome.”".Okay, I'm back to my first thought that this girl knows Harry...but she might also be the person Percy is always talking too. She would want to keep an eye on the person whose mind she messed with.

The scene with Hermione almost had me crying too...

Author's Response: Lady Tenabra has found a useful tool in Gamp. He's crazy enough and violent enough that nothing he does seems out of context, even when she's controlling him. You're right, using him in that way allows her to seem like the cool, logical, reasonable one. It's one more facet of leadership that Voldemort didn't grasp to the level that she does. The books is still confusing her, but she's nothing if not persistent.

I kind of doubt that Luna has this capacity for evil anywhere in her, but that's definitely one of the more interesting theories I've read.

Hermione isn't the type to give up, ever. She's every bit as persistent as Lady Tenabra.

Another interesting theory. You'll meet Harry's "old friend" soon. I'm curious to see what you make of her.

The scene with Hermione was sad and a little personal for me, as well. I'm glad it didn't seem corny.

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!

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Review #50, by GingeredTea The Injuries We Can’t See

27th January 2015:
I couldn't wait. :)

This stood out to me: "One thing she had discovered about these aristocratic pure blood types was that punctuality was not a virtue in their eyes." - the fact that she would need to discover this fact and refers to them as "types" translates to me to mean that she ISN'T one of them. Maybe even as far as Muggleborn.

This was also interesting: "Refining and targeting her message would be key to drawing more of the pure blood families into the fold." because it feels like the message doesn't resonate with her as much as she is using it as a tool. I think I said this in an earlier review too. I feel like she's just using Voldemort as a symbol - as a well-liked brand-name or something.

Oh my, the idea that this Minister is worse than Fudge leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth...

It seems as though Hermione might be identifying what is really causing her to pander in her recovery. I'm glad for that, because she really needs to be there for Ron and Harry!

From Harry's eagerness to be part of excited first years and their wonder at their own magic, to his willful and determined attitude to help a student excel who is willing to make the effort - it all just rang true to me as Harry from the books - matured and more experienced, but the same man.

That attack caught me off guard! You did a great job on the attack scene though! I was on the edge of my chair the whole time. You're really going rough on Harry, aren't you? I'm surprised he didn't black out on the grounds out of stubbornness!

"Each time Ron prepared to open his mouth, he tried to imagine every word as part of a press release." - this made me laugh!! That seems like something that would be terribly difficult for Ron to do and would definitely end in a headache.

You're Percy is so dark and conflicted. I think Percy has always sort of been that way, but we never really got to know much about what went on in his head. Of course, your Percy has many more issues than Cannon Percy did... I'm glad he made the right decision. I'm sure he's terrified he killed the wrong man...

Author's Response: Hi!

You are correct to suspect everything about Lady Tenabra. Her background. Her ideals. Her motivations. Nothing is what it seems with her. She does understand the power of Voldemort's "brand" and she's making the most of it. As the story goes on, you'll see a lot more branding from her.

Hermione is about to make a big breakthrough. I'm glad you can sort of sense it coming. I tried to foreshadow it just enough in this chapter.

I'm really, really pleased to hear that you thought Harry's character rang true. That was more important to me than just about anything else. This is, first and foremost, a story about Harry.

The attack caught Harry off guard, as well. Good thing he had some help close by. You're right, he's very stubborn when it comes to pursuing dark wizards. Again, it's a good thing that Neville was there to make him listen to his injured body.

Poor Ron. He gets a rare opportunity to shine and it has to be under the worst possible circumstances. You're right, he's not good at censoring himself.

I like what you're thinking about Percy, I would just suggest that you withhold any judgments until the end. There's a lot going on with Percy...

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!

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