Hi there! Thanks for swapping with me!
As much as I enjoyed chapter 1, this just became even better. You're honestly including so many elements that are just forgotten about in fanfiction. I love that Archibald is a squib. It adds a whole new layer to an already complex plot. And I like that he still posessed those Slytherin traits-it showed that he did still have some of his family's genes.
The bit with the pub was so realistic. You have talent for this era. It's so historically accurate, and yet it's still a really good read. I often find novels written in this era really boring, but you have so many tightly woven plots and suspense in this that it's impossible not to love it.
-NaidaAuthor's Response: Thank you for swapping as well!
I wanted to work in some sort of connection to the Muggle world, and i really like the idea of a squib being successful and having a cool job as a muggle.
I try hard to make it feel like the 1950's, but I'm never really sure since obviously I wasn't alive then, but its great to hear that it seems accurate.
Thanks a lot for the review! Report Review
Ooops. Guess that chocolate wasn't such a good idea after all! While I am pleased that Moody and Duncan managed to waltz out of the compound without any fuss, I certainly don't think they are out of the woods yet. After all, it appears they are going to have to hide out in that safe house for a while week, and I have the feeling that it's going to turn into a not-so-safe house with Anastasia on the hunt. I'm fairly convinced that she will be looking for the intruders.
There is something I am wondering about. Moody and Duncan have been instructed to monitor messages, since they have a Kwikcodes machine now. However, seeing as the theft has already been discovered, does it not seem likely that some extra security measures might be put in place for passing messages? Obviously just changing the encryption would not be enough, and if it is their primary means of communication, they may not be prepared to make a quick change, but if I was Anastasia and her superiors, I'd be looking at alternatives.
How typical of Tom Riddle to consider killing the waiter rather than paying the bill! It took you less than a sentence to convey what a twisted individual he is. Anyway, he's maneuvered himself nicely into the position where he wants to be, and I'm curious to see how his unofficial mission develops.
This is an interesting story so far, and I hope you continue writing it. :)Author's Response: As you probably guessed, they weren't going to get away that easily!
You brought up an excellent point about the communications. Without giving too much away, that is something that will definitely come into play in the next chapter.
I have to admit that writing this serious version of Riddle is so much harder and less amusing than my humorous AU Voldemort from my other stories, but I'm really glad to hear that his twistedness is coming accross.
Thank you so much for reviewing, and hopefully I should get the next chapter ready soon! Report Review
Hmm, very intersting chapter! I'm feeling super tense now, because I was expecting something to go wrong at any moment. Well, they still have to get out, so there is still a chance for things to go wrong. I guess I'll just have to read the next chapter to see if they manage to walk out the gate unmolested or not.
Duncan sneaking his chocolate bars amused me. Also, that Moody is one intense dude. I wouldn't know what to say to him either, and I'm not surprised that Duncan resorted to offering him chocolate, nor am I surprised that Moody refused to eat it.
One quick typo about the ropes that "met I the middle" instead of in the middle. The ropes were an interesting idea as well.
The line about Majorca also amused me, as vacationing in Majorca is something that momotwins' version of Rose Weasley also likes to joke about, and I've been reading her stories for years. It was sort of like seeing a Harry Potter reference in a TV show, to use one analogy.
Handy thing, magic, allowing you to vanish your footprints in the snow behind you and all that. Polyjuice Potion is very hand as well. It is easy sometimes, I think, to wind up using magic as a deus ex machina, but I didn't find the magic used in this chapter to be over the top. It fits in pretty nicely with canon magic (other than the slingshot . . . boy, I bet the Weasley twins could have some fun with that).Author's Response: So this is when the action begins to pick up a bit!
I'm a big fan of Batman and I see a lot of similarities between Moody and Batman, which is kind of where some of the ideas in his speech came from. And yes, Duncan's resposnse was pretty much all you can say to that.
That's a crazy coincidence! I think we could all use a trip to Majorca sometime.
I can only imagine the havoc Fred and George would wreak with that slingshot. I have a feeling Duncan would get along with them very well.
Thanks for yet another review! Report Review
The line about the free bus was pretty funny. I don't actually have a lot to say about this chapter, because there wasn't much happening. It was more a "filler" chapter--one of those that kind of sets up things to move forward but isn't that exciting in its own right. I also enjoyed Moody's interaction with Nicholas.
Hmm, so Tom Riddle has set himself up to go to Albania, has he? I'm sure his motives are entirely pure, nothing ulterior about them whatsoever. Also, I get the feeling that Mulciber and Avery, the "louts," are about to discover just how good their guarding skills really are.Author's Response: As you mentioned, this was kind of a set up chapter, and I also wanted to show the softer side of Moody a bit. Obviously he has issues with trusting people, but I could see him warming up to a dog like this.
And of course, Tom Riddle must have nothing but inncent motives, I would expect nothing less.
Thanks a lot for reviewing! Report Review
This was actually fantastic. I haven't read any stories, I don't think, focusing on the post WWII/Cold War era, so that in itself was awesome. And the historical accuracy fit together perfectly with the wizard influence. I love Vladimir's attitude to the whole thing. It's brilliant.
The obstacle course was a really cool idea as well. To be completely honest, I'm not exactly sure of it's execution :/ I feel as though it moved a bit too fast, but that's probably more of my personal taste more than anything else. I like it when action scenes are really embellished and such, and this was just the pure movements and spells, which worked well in this context. I realize I just contradicted myself there, so let me attempt to make sense. I think that the action of the obstacle course worked really well, but it moved a bit too fast for my own personal taste.
(I'm terrible at making sense in reviews :P)
I also loved how you didn't mention it was Tom Riddle until the very end ;) It was the perfect finishing touch.
I really enjoyed this chapter! Great job :D
-NaidaAuthor's Response: This is one of my favorite eras and genres to read about, and it's pretty much an unknown era in the HP universe, so I like having that degree of flexibility.
I intentionally wrote the ostable course scene moving pretty quickly because the idea was that Riddle was getting through it faster than anybody had ever done before, but I understand what you're saying about wanting a little more detail in the action.
Thanks for the review! Report Review
I'm back at last for more. It's been a bit hectic in "real life" as we say. But enough about that.
Again, there were a couple of teensy errors I noted down:
-Near the beginning: succumbing t laughter --> obviously missing an "o"
-Partway through: fidelius charm --> JKR capitalized this
-Closer to bottom: awe struck --> awestruck
Some people prefer not to hear about grammar/spelling/typo/mechanics type things in reviews, so if you're one of those people, just say so, and I'll stop. :)
Now it's time for the real remarks. I found the first probably two thirds of this chapter to drag a bit, but I know it's partly due to the fact that I'm reading this late at night (early in the morning, really) after a long day and it's hard not to glaze over things when you're tired. You had plenty of description, as usual. There were funny moments to break the tension and add interest. I loved the glimpses of the young yet already paranoid Moody. The airplane was interesting as well. I can only bring to mind one other story I've read on this site that involves an airplane ride (though I'm sure there are others).
The little spy details are fun as well. Somehow, I envision Moody and Archie getting alone rather well, or at least understanding one another. That might be because they have magic in common. At any rate, two of our main players have now arrived, and we'll see what happens next.
The last portion of the chapter was more exciting, obviously. Anastasia definitely brings interest to any scene she's in, and as I've implied before, I would sure not want to be on her bad side!Dolohov seems formidable in his own right here as well. Overall, their whole scheme went off pretty well, despite a few mishaps. I don't suppose the intended to exit by window, but at least they escaped (should I be rooting for them? . . .).
On the other hand, some portions did seem a little too easy, like being able to evade all security (through planning, I can buy it, though) and rewriting an elevator. How exactly did that happen? Of course, I doubt I've have understood a bit of it if you had described the whole process, and it would have been distracting, so it's best you left if off, I think.
I've lost track of whatever point I was trying to make. Time to stop rambling, I think! I'm definitely interested in seeing what happens next. You appear to have finished introducing your main cast of characters, and now you've set events in motion, so the plot is picking up pace, I predict.Author's Response: Thanks for coming back, and I defiitely don't mind having grammar errors pointed out, it always good to have another set of eyes.
I always wondered why they didn't take advantage of muggle forms of transport in the books when they were being watched, I mean I doubt the death eaters would have found Harry if he just took a normal bus.
I totally understand what you're saying about the mission seeming too easy, but on the other hand, explaining the techinical details of how to re-program an elevator might be a little dull.
Thanks a lot for reviewing! Report Review
This is a very interesting new chapter! Please update soon! :)Author's Response: Thanks a lot, next chapter should be up soon! Report Review
I love this story, the intrigue - the absolute Britishness of it, reads like a magical John le Carre novel (seriously, if trash like 50 Shades of Grey can get published, why are you not just changing some names and facts and getting this sorted? NOW - magic and spies? Winning combination!)
You have a very easy style of writing, the descriptions are lovely, but never purple and everything has a nice flow to it. You make it easy to visualise your characters, and to follow what they're doing without getting too bogged down in the details.Author's Response: So I'm actually American, but I tried really hard to make things sound as British as possible, so its great to hear that it seems to be working!
I think we all want to bang our heads on a desk about the success enjoyed by the likes of Stephanie Meyer haha.
Thank you so much for these great reviews! Report Review
I truly, truly hope you are utilising your massive talent to write original fiction as well - it's very rare to come across something so unique in fanfiction, especially in HP fanfic - which has just about smacked together every possible idea on the planet and seen it published. You have a true gift for prose, pacing and characterisation. Your ideas are fresh and fun, and well researched!
I love these kinds of stories, I love the idea of reimagining Muggle historical events with a magical spin. The idea of Tom Riddle in the midst of the Cold War is a very interesting one, if we are to believe that each Muggle war had its own magical mirror happening at around the same time - that they influenced each other. I find this a really fantastic idea, as it would be the first chance for Tom to really get involved in a wide scale conflict.Author's Response: Hey thanks for reviewing!
So I actually haven't written any OF, but I have to give your reviews credit for making me start thinking about it.
The tidbit in the books that really inspired me was when Fudge meets the Prime Minister, it really opened up a whole new window of looking into how the worlds and events were intertwined.
All we really know about Tom Riddle from canon in this era is that he was presumably somewhere in Eastern Europe, so I'm just taking that and running with it.
Thanks a lot for reviewing! Report Review
Ooh lots of fun action there at the end! Anastasia is sort of my hero, not gonna lie. I mean she's perhaps a bit evil and she may be a dark wizard, but she's pretty awesome. I'm a Duncan fan, also. He's funny. There's always got to be a little comic relief. Duncan is perfect for that.
You write spy dramas very well! You keep it interesting without making it too heavy and I really like the switching back and forth between the Russians and the British. It's fun to see what's happening on both sides. It also gives it the dynamic of not really knowing who you're rooting for, since you're getting to know both sides. Like I enjoy the Anastasia and Dolohov dynamic so I can't say I root for the British completely.
Hopefully I'll get fully caught up with this story soon! I wish I could read it all now but I may or may not be in class right now, heh.
Erica.Author's Response: Glad to hear you like Anastasia so far! I'd say there's definitely more to her than meets the eye, and that's all I'll say about that for now.
I'm also glad you like the multiple POV aproach. I want the plot to basically play out like a chess game, so I want to show what both sides are planning.
Thank you so much for reviewing, and I hope it didn't distract you from class too much! Report Review
Heh, Duncan is the only one crazy enough to go through with it. That sounds very, very promising for the future. Am very excited to read more of him and his crazy ways. Speaking of him and the UK kids, you wrote Moody really well! That's exactly how he is. All grumbly and grouchy and suspicious. Constant vigilance!
And yikes, Riddle's getting all determined and such to take down the non-purebloods. I was actually getting somewhat nervous while reading it, not gonna lie. He's a scary guy. I'm a big Anastasia fan so far. Maybe because she's a strong female type character, I don't know. She just seems so fabulously dangerous. I want to wear mink fur coats and red lipstick and be a master witch. New life goal, yes?
Erica.Author's Response: Duncan tends to be a little off his rocker at times but totally in a fun way, and I think he's pretty much the perfect foil for Moody, who will always be intense and serious. It's so much fun to write the two of them together.
Riddle is pretty much in the perfect position to get in with the Russians and then try to co-opt them for his own purposes, so we'll just have to see what happens there. And don't we all wish we could be glamorous assasins?
Thanks a lot for reviewing! Report Review
I really like the way you're weaving together the magical and muggle worlds. It makes everything so much more interesting to see all these behind the scenes connections and such. I've always wondered about that, really, ever since that part in the book where we see the Minister of Magic chatting up the Prime Minister. It always made me think there's got to be more crossover somewhere in there.
Another thing I really enjoy about this story is that you writing style is such that I truly picture the entire thing like a movie going on in my head. I mean I can see like, every little detail you describe happening inside my head. Anastasia's flat, Duncan's bar. It all seems very real.
Very much enjoying this so far! Yay for politics and espionage!
Erica.Author's Response: I loved the scene with the Prime Minister in Book 6, and for me that really opened up a whole new window into the HP world that honestly I'm really disapointed hasn't been explored more in fanfiction. If there was further contact between the two worlds, I imagine the intelligence community would be the ideal forum for it.
Thanks a lot for reviewing! Report Review
OMG RUSSIAN POLITICS. How exciting! I pretty much love anything to do with Russia or the USSR and their politics. It's bringing me back to my senior year of high school in my literature class when we had to do group author studies and I convinced my group that we should Tolstoy and they hated me forever when they saw the size of the books. Worth it.
Anyway. Really great set up! It seems like it's going to be a very exciting story. I mean, with all this espionage it's pretty much guaranteed to be great. I like the characters thus far. Obviously, we're familiar with the English ones and Igor and Dolohov, but I like Vladimir and I reallyyy like Anastasia. She does not seem like a lady you want to mess with. I wouldn't try to take her on.
Also, you referenced Rasputin and it made my day.
Erica.Author's Response: Aren't Russian politics just fascinating? This is one of my favorite genres to read about, so I really wanted to picture what it would look like in the HP universe.
The Death Eaters seem to have a Russian connection with Dolohov and Karkaroff, and I think its implied in canon that Riddle was in Eastern Europe at the time, so I'm pretty much just taking that and running with it. And there was definetely something shady about Rasputin.
Thanks for the review! Report Review
Once again, great work with the story! I still have a bad feeling that this infiltration is going to somehow go wrong - it's been too easy, and they've had very good luck, Avery and Mulciber causing no trouble at all. I'm interested in the way that this compound's security devices don't pick up the use of the Polyjuice Potion, unlike those at the Polish Ministry of Magic - either the Soviets are too assured that no one could break in or there's another booby trap waiting around the corner, but we'll see.
The finest moment in this chapter was Moody's speech and Duncan's reaction. It was a ridiculous speech, but it oddly suited Moody, particularly this younger, more naive wizard - he still has high ideals, yet what he says about complacency in peace is very correct. Duncan's reaction was hilarious - it was a perfect light moment, breaking the tension (not to mention the ice). The two of them are getting on very well, and while I'd love to hear more from Duncan to get a better understanding of his character, I do like how you've been writing the two of them together - they're unlikely partners, but they balance each other's strengths and weaknesses effectively.
I'll keep an eye out for updates on this story! There's still very much up in the air at this point, and I'm curious to see how all the various threads of the plot will continue moving forward.Author's Response: That did seem a little too easy, didn't it? Well I'm almost done with the next chapter so we'll see soon what the ramifications are. And the Soviets were definitely a bit overconfident with their protections.
Moody's speech was mostly adapted from one I heard a Marine sergeant give, but I threw in a bit of Batman as well.
Since I used Duncan a lot in another story (and shipped him with Minerva if you can picture that) it's easy for me to forget that most readers of this story are seeing him for the first time and aren't familiar with his backstory.
Thanks a lot for such great reviews! It's been really encouraging how some highly skilled writers that I have so much respect for have given this story such great feedback! Report Review
Oh, that was a mistake, Anastasia! They have to be playing her, somehow - it's too neat and tidy, getting her out the way while Riddle's cronies are guarding the compound. What do they have planned? It's perplexing, yet it keeps the suspense at a high level, driving the action forward and forcing readers to become as paranoid as Anastasia and Moody (it's an interesting connection between them, actually, that they're both so careful, but it's why they both survive in the vicious world of espionage).
The Albania mission is a perfect tie to canon. I kick myself for not having expected something like that to come up - it fits right into Riddle's own plans and his creation of the Horcruxes, while still appearing innocuous. But what will happen in his absence? I assume that he's left right away, which could be wrong.
And then there's Moody and Duncan making their way to the compound. It's a recipe for trouble, though it could also be a godsend to the Brits because, with all the double-dealing potentially going on at the compound, they could get in and out without someone noticing and/or taking action. There are a lot of possibilities here and I'm excited to see which route you will take.
Once again, excellent work with this story! I like how you rework the conventions of the spy-thriller throughout this story, adding fresh elements and throwing in many twists and uncertainties to keep readers hopping. It makes for a wonderfully exciting reading experience. :DAuthor's Response: So obviously there was quite a bit of foreshadowing for the next chapter, but I just hope it wasn't a little too obvious. There are definitely some complex plans at work.
I was looking for a way to get Riddle to Albania, so this seems to work. I'm trying to take the few things we know from canon about this era and weave them into the story as best I can. And he's pretty much about to depart at this point.
There's still a lot more to play out with the plot, and I hope it all comes togther nicely in the end.
Thanks for such a great review! Report Review
Wow! That was a hugely exciting chapter to read with an excellent progression of the plot combined with solid character development. That ending action scene was masterfully done - very easy to imagine from the details you provide, and your clear narrative style works perfectly for the fast-paced sequences. Amazing work!
I can't think of too much to say for this review because I'm eager to continue reading - you've left off not quite at a cliffhanger (as you do conclude the action scene), but you leave readers hanging in regard to what affect this abduction will have on both the Soviets and the British. Will there be a rescue aspect to the story, or is this event merely a step forward for the Soviets? How will Tom Riddle's own ambitions become the wrench in the Soviets' machinations? There are a lot of elements driving forward the plot and I'm looking forward to seeing how you will weave all of these together.
One other thing I wanted to note what your brilliant portrayal of Moody. Everything he did, everything he said... all pitch-perfect. He's a comedic character, as in the books, but there are serious notes in your portrayal too, making one wonder why he's like that, what influence made him so distrustful and difficult. He's much younger here, and that was conveyed very well with his slight uncertainties. It's wonderful to see him so well-written. :)Author's Response: Hey thanks for coming back!
As of right now, that mission was pretty much there to demonstrate the types of things the Russians have been doing throughout Europe and to show Anastasia in the field, but it may come into play again at some point.
I'm glad you liked Moody. He's a hard character to pin down, but it's also rewarding.
Thanks for the review! Report Review
Two things: I love Cold War era material and I love stories with a historical and political backdrop.
Honestly, you could have written 5,000 words about two people sitting across from each other in a staring contest and as long as they spoke a little bit of Russian, I would have given it a 10/10.
Thankfully, you've written a bit more than that and most of it is fantastic. I particularly enjoy the settings and international awareness of the story. Everything from the descriptions down to the names are on point and really immerse the story in this sort of Bond-esque feel. Evil Russians? Check. Beautiful woman? Check. The Evil Russians are actually being manipulated by an Evil Englishman? Check.
Young Moody is also a character that I haven't frequently read and I'm enjoying his already early paranoia and hope that we'll see how he lost his eye and his leg in this story. No doubt it'll be from either Riddle or Anastasia but as far as origin stories go, you're paying Moody his respects so far. The only little tidbit that I think you overlooked was that Moody didn't know how to tie this 'Muggle' thing. Seeing as how he went to Hogwarts and everyone at Hogwarts wears a tie, I assume he would have at least had a spell for it. But it's a very minor thing and I understand why you had him struggle with it.
Duncan, as an OC, is also well written if not very deep. True, you need a vehicle to take you to all these places and Duncan is very likable, but I'd like to see a bit more depth brought to him. He's funny and engaging and definitely a good partner and a good viewing lens from the Muggle perspective, but I hope he doesn't get short serviced in favor of your other fantastic characters so far.
I have mixed feelings about Anastasia though. On one hand, I do like her strong character and her hesitancy towards Riddle. Riddle is well written so far, though he's hardly had any time on paper (I love the Albania reference). But she strikes me as very Mary-Sue so far. Beautiful, insanely smart, but with certain moral qualms, I hope she doesn't follow a predictable character arc. That's not to say she's a poorly written character, but I think she's more of an archetype than say Duncan.
As far as your technical ability as a writer, I think it's fantastic. You pace it very evenly and seamlessly blend through different POV's with enough uniqueness in each so we don't get entranced into bland POV's. Your sequence involving Riddle beating Anastasia's test as particularly well done and thought provoking. Moody and Duncan's infiltration into the camp is also inspired as a blend of magic and Muggle thinking. It's as if you take the Bond gadgets and substitute them with magical ingenuity. All of it is top notch to be honest.
So keep on writing and I hope you update soon!Author's Response: Hey thank you so much for such a detailed and in depth review!
Isn't this a fascinating era? And I love how nobody's really written about it in the HP context, so its pretty much a blank slate.
I think Moody is one of the most intriguing characters in the series, and since we know almost nothing about his past, its fun to get to make it all up.
I've used Duncan before in my other long story, so in my head he already seems really developed, so its easy for me to forget that many readers of this story are seeing him for the first time.
I realize that Anastasia pretty much seems like the typical Bond girl so far, and honestly that's pretty much what I was going for. Without giving too much away, all the major characters will face important decisions which will give them a little more depth. But ulitmately this is a plot driven story, so character development was never going to be the main focus.
Thanks again for the great review! Report Review
I made a couple of notes about potential typos as I was reading. At the beginning, I believe that the plural of "bus" is "buses" rather than "busses." Also, I think you left out an apostrophe when Anastasia was talking to Dolohov ("were" instead of "we're").
Again, another intriguing chapter (I keep using that word). Sure, some of the events seem to stretch plausibility slightly, but that is usually the case in adventure-type stories. Characters are usually thrown into improbable situations out of the realm for ordinary people, but it's a rollicking good read. :D
So, we're seeing Moody as a young man! Interesting. You've manufactured an interesting background for him here, not being a "real" Auror. It works for him, though . . . fits his personality, I think. Also, I'm liking this Duncan guy. He's an interesting character as well. I wonder how he and Moody will get along on their secret spy mission? I don't remember ever reading a story before where a Muggle and a wizard had to cooperate so closely for some reason!
Ah, and of course, Tom Riddle is up to no good. He sure doesn't waste any time trying to recruit people, does he? Hmm. Anastasia didn't seem to be particularly enthralled, though, despite her dedication to the Wizarding Soviet mission (or whatever to call it). I don't know for sure, but it seems to me that you are possibly setting her up to be one of those pivotal characters . . . such as, will she go with Riddle or not, and what will be the larger ramifications of that decision.Author's Response: Thanks for another review, it's great to see you wanted to keep reading!
I think Moody is one of the most intriguing characters in the series, and we know so little about his background that it's kinf of fun to get to make it all up. Duncan was featured in my other long story, which shares a lot more about his background. And he was also shipped with a young Minerva if you can imagine that.
Riddle is definetely up to something, and I'm afraid I can't really elaborate more than that just yet.
Thanks again! Report Review
It's great so far, hope you're planning on updating soon! :) The missions are interesting, better than the simple character development of the first couple of chapters!Author's Response: Thanks a lot for the review! I'm almost done with the nect chapter, so hopefully it should be done soon! Report Review
On to chapter two tonight, since I was suitably intrigued.
One thing I meant to say regarding chapter one but forgot is that I thought Anastasia was a really chilling character. She just seemed formidable, like someone who could probably squash me without a second thought. I do still think that is true, although she is beginning to emerge as a character, so I don't know for sure what to make of her yet.
You definitely have a knack for creating characters. Every single person I read about in this chapter I found interesting. You bring them alive through ample description, but they also all have interesting names and little quirks that make them unique.
Also, I feel the suspense building, and there are all these clever little intrigues and details going on . . . I'm hooked! I found this chapter quite engrossing. Normally when reading fanfiction, I tend to start skimming things, but this chapter really held my attention. Judging the ~5000 words I've read so far, this story is deserving of the praise I've heard.Author's Response: Hey, glad to hear to wanted to keep reading!
That's pretty much exactly how I wanted Anastasia to come accross, so that's great to hear.
I was trying to go for a slow buildup of suspense while the characters are introduced, and then pick up the pace of the action a little later.
Thanks a lot for reviewing! Report Review
OH. MY. MERLIN. Really good. Like, really good. The only criticism I have is the grammar - just some errors in dialogue punctuation and all. But other than that, brilliant. Don't change a thing! I also love how a couple of Voldemort's future followers make an appearance.
Good job! :DAuthor's Response: Thanks a lot for reviewing, glad you enjoyed it! Report Review
So, this is the story I've heard quite a few good things about! And I see you participated in Violet Gryfindor's Figurative Description challenge, which also intrigues me. Now I'll be quiet and go actually read it.
Ok, now I've read it. This seems like a different type of story than I typically see here (here meaning fanfiction), and it's a refreshing change to see something that seems a bit meatier, for lack of a better word. It is interesting that you are writing this from a historical perspective . . . in some general ways, it reminds me a bit of theelderwand's stories.
I did find at times, particularly in the first half of the chapter, some of the description seemed a bit clunky or not flowing effortlessly. But then, my own writing tends to be that way too, and there's no denying it does help set the scene.
The best part of this chapter by far was the obstacle course! Great job on describing the action there. It was quite fun to read. I thought there was a good variety of different hazards, with the magic and physical activity blended nicely.
This is an intriguing beginning to a story. I'm quite curious as to why and how exactly Tom Riddle wound up in Russia!Author's Response: Thanks for the review!
I'm a big fan of theelderwand's stories, so that's quite the compiment!
I tried to include as much description as possible since I was writing for the figurative descritption challenge. But, as you mentioned, it may have been at the expense of the flow. Oh well.
The obstacle course was fun to write, and I wanted something that would show off Riddle's skills right away.
We can kind of infer from canon that Riddle was somewhere in eastern europe in this era, so I'm just taking that and going with it.
Thanks again! Report Review
Hey James! Thank you for the swap :)
Nicholas seems very cute. I love the attention to detail throughout your writing, but I found it especially nice in the first part of this chapter. I loved the comment about how it's the quintessential mark of an Englishman to be able to brew tea in all conditions, and how you alluded to Moody's paranoia. I really think you're doing well with his character.
Oh, dear, do I sense some foreshadowing with the last sentence of this chapter? I don't know if this was intentional, but Anastasia's paranoia seemed reminiscent of Moody's, if not quite to that extreme. I liked your description of the paperwork (I can definitely sympathize with her; it's the pits) and your portrayal of Riddle. He was smooth and calculated, and he got what he wanted without much effort at all. I think he can be tough to pin down, and you're doing it quite well!
Nice work! :)
-AmandaAuthor's Response: Thanks you as well for he swap, Amanda!
So i always figured Moody had a softer side in there somewhere, but its really hard to picture him ever trusting somebody enough to fall in love. (unless maybe he did once and she betrayed him, hmmm plot bunny?) So I figured giving him a dog was the best way to bring it out. Plus I needed to come up with an unconvetional way for them to travel.
Anastasia is kind of a mirror image of Moody in a way, so its fun to pit them against each other. And as for the foreshadowing, well I'm sure you can figure it out haha.
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Good set up chapter. I enjoyed being introduced to the Wellington brothers. Most often in stories, Squibs are represented as these unlucky folk, the lower class but here, Archibald's got smarts and he's toed that line between Muggle and Magic enough to be useful to his wizard folk.
Interesting also that you introduce some doubt in Anastasia's mind as to the mission that she is to carry out. You've also made her an artist which to me means a free-thinker and someone who isn't always going to conform to rules so there's a chance of rebellion in her, though I'm not sure that that's where this is leading in her case.
Your attention to detail with the history and the surroundings and characters is wonderful. It really is like reading one of those war drama books except with a Harry Potter twist.
CharAuthor's Response: Thanks for the review!
Squibs always seem to be the downtrodden of the wizarding world, so I wanted to write one that's still a cunning and ambitous slytherin and see how far he could go.
Intersting observations about Anastasia, and that's all I can really say right now.
I tried to get the historical details accurate, so I'm glad to hear that came across.
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I'm so intrigued with the opening of this story; i've read a few others set in the Cold War time period and I have to say it's a favorite of mine as well.
I hope that you did very well in your challenge because you certainly deserved to based on this chapter -- especially in the opening paragraph, your descriptive writing is so clear and evocative, I got a chill reading it.
The only suggestion I have would be to italicize the spells in dialogue passages. This is a style choice and up to you, but for me personally it helps to set off the spells from the rest of the dialogue. Hope this isn't too nitpicky, as I definitely enjoyed this chapter and will be adding the story to my reading list.
(PS. I'm sorry for the delay in your tagged review!)Author's Response: Hey thanks a lot for the review!
I like to write about eras like this because it just gives you so much flexibility.
I'll have to keep that in mind about the spells. Report Review
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