Reading Reviews for Into the Darkness of the Grave
  
45 Reviews Found

Review #26, by WitnesstoitAll she is a lion

13th June 2012:
Hey!

So it really bothered me the other night that I had read this without leaving a review, and then I saw your name up in the review tag and decided I needed to pop over here and /actually/ leave one.

I know I told you I loved this one shot already, but I really really did. There was something incredibly powerful about the succint stlye of this one-shot --- like both in the length of it and in the pacing of your word choices. I loved the structure you chose to go with for this piece ... the counting and the four withing parentheses. Minerva is such a moving character -- strong when she has to be, but it was so lovely to be able to see her at a weak point or four. I recently read Susan's Minerva one shot, and it made me realize how strong of a characteristic love is in Minerva's character and you captured that facet of her here so, so well. I can't even begin to imagine how hard it would be to stand as the head of a house (the mother of a house?) that is so centrally involved in the war and to watch her students give up their lives to the the cause.

Gah. The last line was seriously just like bam! It really was the perfect ending to this one shot. Although I do have to say that I almost expected to read a /Five/ after the last line almost like a -fin- I'm not sure why but I figured I'd toss that out there.

All in all, this was a gorgeous one shot and I'm very glad that you decided to use this for your promo app.

xoxo
Mel

Author's Response: You know I don't mind! I just appreciated your feedback on helping me choose. But I am still thankful you did review, so thank you. :)

I was actually kind of worried because it was so short, and I'm sure you've noticed how I am not usually a writer of short one-shots. I'm wordy and superfluous, so this was definitely very different from me. The more I reread it, though, the happier I was with the outcome. People keep saying they wish I added more of this or that, but I don't know, I find it hard to think about adding anything else. I'm actually really happy with how this turned out and maybe this sounds egotistical or something but I don't think it needs anything else, at least from my standpoint, to get the point I wanted to across.

Gah, I know, I could not be in McGonagall's shoes. I know it's kind of like house-bias or whatever, but the Gryffindors are the house of the brave so it just seems kind of natural that they'd immerse themselves in the war and have the courage to stand up for what they believe in (not that I'm saying other houses wouldn't, but it just seems to characterize that house in particular) and especially since this is somewhat of a futuretake from PoC, it's easy to write the guilt that Minerva feels here because she's the one that recruited them in the first place to join the war efforts.

The last line gets everyone, I swear! You can thank Rachel for making me leave it as it was. Now that I've read the story a million times, I'm really happy with it as the last line. I think it leaves that sort of impact I was hoping for with this fic.

Hm, I can see where you're coming for with the five/fin thing. I thought about it, with Remus or something, but considering the time period I wrote this in, I didn't want to jump wars just for one section. I wasn't even sure at first with that last line if I should make mention of the second war, so like I said, you can thank Rachel for making me keep it. :P

I'm so glad you loved this as much as I loved writing it, and thanks again for providing your feedback in helping me choose with fics to use! You're wonderful. :)


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Review #27, by Aphoride she is a lion

12th June 2012:
Gosh, how do you do it? Seriously? How do you do it? Can you share your secret of writing such wonderful, succint, unique one-shots? Every time I read one of yours, it's noticeably yours and it's always so very lovely.

I loved your take on the Marauders. Because of the way you wrote it and how you wrote it and which bits you wrote about, you avoided all of the cliches of that era perfectly, which was so nice. Reading it, I could have characterised James, Remus and the others any way I wanted to in my head (I didn't, because I was too busy reading, but the point still stands, I think) which was really nice. Also, Minerva was amazing. I love how you referred to the Marauders and Lily as her children, and it fits so well. She must get close to certain students, and we see that occasionally in the books when she gets so protective of them - ah, you wrote her so well it was almost like this was an extra bit JK had written. Style's different, though, so not quite :P

I loved the way you counted down, going through the Marauders and Lily like that, and particularly how you used her thoughts at the time. I've never really thought about how the events would have effected someone like Minerva, who was removed from the situation but still emotionally involved, so it was really interesting to read.

The simplicity of it was lovely, as well. Nearly no dialogue, not too much description, mostly just her thoughts on what had happened with the occasional tiny anecdote about them in there. I loved that. You didn't use incidents at school or flashbacks or anything and it really, really wasn't necessary. Anything more would have taken away from the emotion of this.

I don't really know what else to say... reading things you've written is always such a pleasure - I really do love your work (and I'm now wondering why you're not on my favourite authors list... huh). Please keep writing! :D

Aph xx

Author's Response: Haha, no secret. Just years of practice, I suppose?

Thanks. The Marauders are my specialty and they're so ingrained in my brain on how to write them. Minerva was such an easy choice for this story - it all started with that quote and I just dreamed about this story from McGonagall's POV and then here it is. I think part of it, too, is how I write her in my short story collection, Portraits of Courage, and she refers to them as her children and she feels all this guilt about recruiting them for the war. We see the aftermath of the war here and how affected McGonagall is by their deaths. I always imagined her having a soft spot for the Marauders despite their penchant for trouble. I think they'd always try to charm her pants off and she'd find it endearing. ;)

I was going to make it no dialogue, but that line that Remus speaks, well...I had to include that. I think it says a lot about Sirius's betrayal and how they felt following those events. I didn't think flashbacks were necessary either. That wasn't the point of this story and I'm glad you enjoyed the simplicity of it.

Thank you so much for such a lovely review and for the favorite author add. ;) I really appreciate it.


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Review #28, by Elenia she is a lion

11th June 2012:
(Tag!)

This was so sad! I had to wipe tears from my eyes, especially after that last sentence.

Your McGonagall is just perfect, I think you've done such a good job with her character. It all just fit so well.

And Remus, I can't even begin to imagine how it was for him to go through that all. The funerals of his best friends and the betrayal of the other. he lost everything in such a short period of time. Even thinking about that makes me so sad.

And Sirius! How he rottened in prison when the whole world thought he was guilty of murdering his bestest friends.

This was such a beautiful and bittersweet story and I loved it that you told it from McGonagall's POV. Well done!

~Elenia

Author's Response: That last sentence seems to get everyone! ;)

I'm so happy you like my characterization of McGonagall! She's such a difficult character, I think. It's hard because a lot of people see her as this stern schoolteacher and yeah, I see that too, but I also see her as a bit vulnerable too and that's sort of where I go with my characterization.

I always felt bad for Remus and maybe that's why I write him all the time, because he's the perfect character for angst. Losing so much in so little time is hard on anyone, and yet he still moved on and lived his life. He's such a strong character.

B'aww, yeah, poor Sirius. It's such a tragedy, everything that happened. How much one can lose if you put trust in the wrong hands.

Thank you for your review. I'm so glad you liked it as much as you did. :)


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Review #29, by lizmusic45 she is a lion

11th June 2012:
Oh my gosh, I don't know why I don't visit your page enough, this was so amazing. I love how you write Minerva, you do such a great job.

This is so going into my favorites list, this was amazing, you did a really, really good job.

Lizzie

Author's Response: Thanks, Lizzie. You always say the nicest things and I really appreciate it. :)

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Review #30, by Jchrissy she is a lion

10th June 2012:
Your 800 something word story just made me cry like a baby. Out of everything HP, this is what I have always found to be most sad. The fact that Sirius was thought to be a traitor for so long, that Remus had to live hating him and missing his presumably dead 3 best friends.. ahh.. why did you do this to me!!

This is so beautifully written, the way McGonagall feels for her ‘children’ completely screams through the computer screen. You have captured her grief and sorrow so well, without making it seem over done.

The way you move us from death to death is so smooth, yet each one has its own impact.

Amazing story, I would say thank you for the great read, but I’m still a bit bitter that you made me bawl like a baby.

Author's Response: I'd say I was sorry for making you cry, but that would be a lie. ;)

The entire Marauder story makes me sad, and maybe that's why I'm so drawn to this era and the angst. It was really interesting to write this from someone's POV that wasn't Remus, the aftermath of that Halloween night. Sometimes, I think we forget that Sirius had been thought a traitor and that Peter was hailed a hero for so long.

I think McGonagall is in an interesting position here. She's such a fierce leader but I always believe she holds such a soft spot for her students. I mean, she's watched them grow up from scrawny eleven year olds to almost-adult seventeen year olds.

Grief is such an easy emotion for me to write, I don't know why. But it always pleases me when readers comment on how well it comes across. It makes me feel like I'm doing a good job as an author.

I'm really glad you enjoyed it, despite the tears. Thank you for such a sweet review.


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Review #31, by Toujours Padfoot she is a lion

10th June 2012:
So I was prowling around after seeing the banner and couldn't resist more of your Minerva. As usual, you provoked a lot of thought in just a short span of words.

Lily and James's funeral would be so awful for Remus to endure, and to think that Harry was already gone by then, already with Petunia and Vernon. And FEELS, SO MANY FEELS because poor Sirius is locked away and Peter's free and they're all saluting poor, brave Peter who is nothing but a finger now. Rage, rage, rage. It's a wonder Sirius never went mad, knowing what he knew. Although, I mean, I find it strange that with the ability to extract memories and to use Veritaserum, Sirius wasn't able to provide proof of innocence. He must've just sat there in his cell and didn't bother to refute anything because he'd just lost his best friend and was slightly rattled...and here I am rambling again about fictional characters. :P

I particularly liked this bit:

She wondered what lies Voldemort whispered in Sirius's ear, what promises were made to seduce a boy who once thought James hung the moon.

sdkfjksfj that gives me chills. I just want to yell HE'S INNOCENT, HE'S INNOCENT. I feel so sorry for Remus. He lost James, Lily, Sirius, and Peter all so close together. I'm glad that at least Minerva is still standing.

:(

Lovely, poignant one-shot.

Author's Response: I must have some sort of sixth sense because after you had commented on my status about my banner, I was wondering if you would wind up reading this. I know how much you adored PoC and this is sort of a future-take, so it seemed fitting.

Remus is my favorite character to write, hands down, and it always makes me sad to think about everything he lost in twenty four hours. I actually contemplated adding a bit of a line in there about Petunia not even showing up to her own sister's funeral but couldn't get it to fit with what I was writing.

You know, you make a really excellent point about the Veritaserum, but part of me wonders if Sirius, in some way, thought he deserved to rot in Azkaban. After all, wasn't it his idea to switch to Peter as the Secret Keeper? He might feel like he still somehow has their blood on his hands. I always thought he was sort of mad, even after Azkaban. There's no way he came out of that completely sane. It's sad to think about. :(

You can totally ramble about fictional characters whenever you want. It's perfectly acceptable. Have you see my author responses to certain reviews? I am the same way, no worries!

I love that line you pulled out too! :) You can rage all you want at my words. I wish they knew of Sirius's innocence too. If only. Things could have turned out so differently.

I'm so pleased you liked this. Thank you for the review, and I can't wait to read more from YOU soon!


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Review #32, by Moonyxluna she is a lion

7th June 2012:
Hi! Here with your requested review :)

I thought this was such a neat take on McGonagall's coping with Lily and James' death, plus Sirius' "betrayal". I thought her characterization was very well done-- I can see her feeling protective of them even if they did cause problems for her at school. At first, I was a little wary of seeing her tearing up at James and Lily's funeral-- I can see her, even if this was a heartbreaking moment, just keeping a clean slate of emotions and trying to stay strong for the ones around her-- but as I look into it more it just shows how much each one of them really meant to her. I thought the small parts of Remus' character were very well written as well, and I think you're right, that Sirius' betrayal would have hurt him more than losing Lily, James and Peter.

Everything flowed very well, and this mixes in with the formatting of the story- I really liked how you separated her grieving and let her focus on Lily and James, Peter, and Sirius in their own individual ways. And that you even did focus on Sirius, despite his 'traitor' status that her heart did mourn for her in its own way.

I liked the connection with her Animagus abilities as a cat to the 'mother lion' symbol she took over them. When I read the summary that was the first thing I thought of, and I thought that idea came through in the way she mourned for her loses. I don't know if that's even what you meant by it, but it adds another layer to the story in a symbolic way.

Very short and sweet, but I thought it was the perfect summarization of McGonagall's coping. Your writing is very beautiful, and this was such a bittersweet story. Brilliant work!

Author's Response: Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I can understand your point of view on McGonagall tearing up. She is such a fierce protector, and that's part of the reason why I see her in this role, as a motherly figure for these students. She's kind of like that 'momma bear.' But, and maybe part of it is Maggie Smith's portrayal of her, but I can see a slightly more vulnerable side of her too. The part that frets about her students' safety and her role in dragging them into this role. I don't know if maybe her stance in this fic would make more sense if you read my portrayal of her in my short story collection, Portraits of Courage, where I reiterate a lot how much she looks upon these students as her children.

I couldn't leave Sirius out! He may not be dead, but his absence still left a mark on those that knew him best.

I actually didn't even think about her Animagus at all when I wrote this, so it's interesting and clever that you pointed it out! Nice connection.

I'm glad you liked this, and thank you for all the lovely compliments. I am well and truly flattered. :)


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Review #33, by BoOkWoRm24 she is a lion

5th June 2012:
Requested Review:
Hi so sorry about taking so long to get this done, I've been caught up with Nano

Anyway I did think this was a generally well written one shot. You're take on Minerva was interesting. I actually never thought of her as a mother. She was more of a stern teacher to me, but the way you've written her I can see that motherly side coming out.

Another part that I really liked was how you made Sirius seem like the murderer. It didn't occur to me at first that this was her thoughts prior to Peter's intentions becoming clear to everyone, and I thought that this one little detail came off as kind of clever. It was interesting to see Peter's praises sung when obviously everyone knows that he doesn't deserve it.

The language in this was very poetic. Especially in the beggining where you have the ongoig metaphore of her being a lion.

The one thing that I kind of wish you did was recognize the other Gryffindors. Even if it wasn't by name if we are comparing Minerva to a mother than she would be the mother of many more dead. I kind of wish you added a sentence in their that would imply that there were more dead children out there even if you don't go and specify who each was. That might just be me though.

Anyway pacing, flow, and grammer where all great. As was the last sentence which I thought summed everything up perfectly. Keep up the good work

-BoOkWoRm24

Author's Response: No worries! I know how time-consuming NaNo can be. I've been on vacation, so sorry for the delay in replying to your review.

I can see your point of view about McGonagall being a stern teacher too, and for a long time that's all I imagined her as, until I began writing Portraits of Courage and she sort of filled in that motherly role perfectly.

Well, I made Sirius seem like the murderer because that's what everyone believed for so long. It was a bit strange to write it from her POV and to write Peter as this hero who confronted him on the streets. It's hard because we know the truth, that Sirius was framed and he was innocent, so it was hard to write it at first.

I had thought about writing more, like the Longbottoms after they were tortured, but this story kind of wrote itself and they never made it into it. So I just decided to focus on the Marauders + Lily for this fic.

I'm glad you liked it. Thanks for the review.


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Review #34, by Remus she is a lion

2nd June 2012:
Hey! Perelandra here from the forums!

Dear God! You made me teary eye! Specially with Remus' single line and the last line of the story. This is definitely a side of McGonagall that's very believable. She DID see the boys grow up.

When it comes to flow you definitely have nothing to worry about. The only thing I wish you had brought more of is detail. The idea of the funeral was great but I feel that it could've been great if you had had things like the coffins, the process, etc. In fact, don't think I've seen in a fic with a proper wizard funeral. A speech from Dumbledore or McGonagall herself would've been a definite tear jerker. Anyway, that's just my opinion. :)

the narration you have though, is brilliant. You could definitely see her pain of losing her boys. And the quote "one, two, three, (four), and we all fall down" definitely set the tone.

Overall this was a bittersweet piece.

Thanks for the read.

--Perelandra

Author's Response: That last line just came out of nowhere, I swear! I wrote it and then kind of sat back and realized that's how it needed to end.

I'm glad you thought this was believable, and you state exactly why - she watched these boys grow up and she must have felt some sort of fondness for them, you know? She does seem very fierce and stern, but I think at the same time, she's vulnerable too, and it's a side we don't see very often.

I can understand your view about adding more detail. When I was writing it, it didn't seem that important to me to describe the funeral as much as trying to get into McGonagall's frame of mind during that time period, if that makes any sense.

Thank you for the review! I really appreciate it.


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Review #35, by Violet Gryfindor she is a lion

1st June 2012:
Oh hell, Missy, this story! It makes me want to toss away anything I've written about McGonagall because you've captured her perfectly - in the first few paragraphs, even the first few lines, you paint an accurate portrait that's unlike any other I've seen. She is the lioness, the fiercer and the more frightening - her cubs have not only been threatened, they've been killed, and now she mourns, nobly, but powerfully. It's brilliantly done - you made great choices with your metaphors and language, and the style, with these shorter sentences, enhances the mood - it's like the story is forcing out the words, just like when someone is seriously upset and just about to cry. I don't know if you meant that to come into the style, but it's still very effective.

Another aspect of the style that worked really well here was the countdown. It was one of the theories that was around after OotP - only two Marauders left, they're going to die, aren't they? It's a little different in this story because of the time period you've set it in (another brilliant thing, but I'll get to that later), but it added to the tragic nature of the Marauders' story - it's as though they were doomed to die, or there's something here about the war consuming the best and brightest of an age. Then that ending line. talk about really killing your readers. :P

As I mentioned, I liked the choice of period, placing this story in a time that isn't as often written about, especially not from this perspective in this way. One sees many stories from Remus or Sirius's point of view, but you provide an outside view of the Marauders, and it made Peter's place in this story a lot more startling for me - it's easy to forget that he was viewed as a hero for a dozen years - yet that's the part of this story I liked best. Maybe it's the irony of their words, or maybe it's just very refreshing to see someone remind us of Peter's place in history - it may have been rewritten later, as was Sirius's, but in the books at least, it remains unresolved - we never see Sirius's redemption in the eyes of the Wizarding World, nor hear of how Peter's role was rewritten in the records.

Enough rambling. I loved this story and now that I've read it, making the banner should be much easier... I hope. ;) You've once again written something to be proud of, and I'm so glad to see you writing more McGongall. There's so much more I could say about this story - it's a piece of fabulous writing. ^_^

Author's Response:

Pshh, whatever. Your McGonagall is perfect. It's kind of weird because that entire first few paragraphs came to me while I was half-asleep and I literally had to whip my phone out and type it down so I wouldn't forget, and then it just grew from there. So blame my subconscious for those pretty lines. Everyone always sees McGonagall as this stern schoolteacher, which she is, but she is like a lionness, very protective. And I don't know if part of it is Maggie Smith's portrayal in the movie that really got me going on this fic or not, but she's wonderful at characterizing McGonagall as slightly strict, but obviously very protective of her students.

I'm so glad the countdown worked for you (and other readers!) I was a bit worried about the format and how people would take it, but it was how I imagined the story being written so I can't picture it being formatted any other way. It makes me sad to think about the Marauders dying so young and maybe you are right - the war steals the best and brightest. Still, thinking about their deaths, all that they left behind, it always makes my chest hurt where my heart should be. I don't know how I became so attached to characters that weren't even the main focus of the series. :P

Haha, the ending line! It gets everyone, I swear. I wasn't actually sure when I was first writing this if I just wanted to end it there but then Janechel read it over and told me it was the perfect ending, and the more I thought about it, the more confident I felt leaving that as the end.

It was an interesting time period to write because it's immediately after their deaths and Sirius's imprisonment and while we know the truth of what actually happened, those living in the moment didn't. It was hard writing that bit about Peter being hailed a hero and Sirius betraying them, knowing what I do now, but I think having it from McGonagall's POV worked really well for the emotions I wanted to get across. For someone to have watched these young men grow up from little boys and to have something of this magnitude occur, it's heartbreaking. You make a good point too about it never being revealed what happened with Sirius and Peter. They kept Sirius hidden from the world until he died...how many people actually knew the truth?

I am okay with rambling! You know I love your reviews. You've always been far too kind to me, for many years, and I really appreciate all the time and effort you've put into reading and reviewing my fics and making me banners. I swear I'll try to read more of your stuff as soon as I can. I know it can't make up for all that you've done for me but I'll try. Thanks, Susan!


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Review #36, by AC_rules she is a lion

1st June 2012:
Eee! Thank you for sticking a link on my profile to this, because you're definitely right and I do love it. And I knew I would so when I saw your post in the Ravenclaw battle I thought I could definitely peel myself away from my NaNo (I remembered this time! I remembered!)

Again your characterisation was just shiny and it envoked all the feels. Please don't ever stop writing pretty Marauder things? Its such a nice reassuring thought that I can always return here and find something beautiful and feely and Maraudery and heartbreakingly stunningly written (too many adverbs?). Yeah, I just think you're all together rather marvellous.

Poor Remus. It's always Remus that you get me to feel for most. Honestly, it does things to my heart that shouldn't be allowed. But, yeah, this was lovely as always and I love everyone and I love you.

Yup.

-AC

Author's Response: I knew you'd love it! ;) I'm glad you could PEEL yourself away from your NaNo to r&r this. I'm also glad you remembered!

I'll try not to stop writing Marauder things. I don't think I could ever give them up anyway. They're so perfect for angst, though I think I might some light-hearted one-shots soon.

Remus is my favorite character to write, and I don't know, I just have this specific image of him in my head (my head canon) and for some reason, it's really easy to write him.

I love everything, including you! Thanks for your lovely review. You're wonderful. Sorry about your heart!


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Review #37, by caoty she is a lion

31st May 2012:
Tagged you from Review Tag.

I am in love with this fic. It is gorgeous. I especially love the poetry both in your descriptions of Minerva - the contrasting images of the fighter and the mother - and in the overall structure of the piece, with the vignettes interspersed between the count of how many people she'd lost at that time.

I'd have liked to see you carry it on to the second war, when she loses Sirius for real and also Remus right at the end, as well as her reaction to the revelation of Peter's betrayal (would she have lost him twice, that way?). However, you've captured the events of that one week or so after Halloween 1981 perfectly.

And now I will stop gushing and leave you to read some reviews which are actually constructive. :)

Author's Response: I had considered continuing this story and making it longer to include parts of the second war, but things kind of came together as they did and I was left feeling satisfied with what I had written so I ended it the way it is.

I'm really glad you loved this so much. I had fun writing it. Thank you for such a wonderful review. I am totally okay with gushing - more than okay! ;)


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Review #38, by academica she is a lion

30th May 2012:
Hi! ♥

Oh, I love this idea. Was this by chance inspired by Portraits of Courage? Because for me, it definitely has that feel, and I think you've executed it just as well here as I think you did in that piece.

I'm enamored with your characterization with Minerva. I feel like the strong, lion-hearted side of her personality and the delicate vulnerability within her heart are continually dueling for her attention, constantly fighting to see which of them will come to dominate her and characterize her in the end. I love how she has mixed feelings about her 'children', especially Peter and Sirius, and how she remembers each of them for their individual strengths and weaknesses (well, if you take James and Lily as a set). I loved your comment about the Order of Merlin, too -- isn't it so true? Always too late, never given confidently in life but always as a concession, a bandage on a wound that still gushes.

I also really love her connection with Remus. I remember her speaking specifically, sort of fondly, about the other three Marauders in the film adaptation of Prisoner of Azkaban, during the scene when Harry is hiding under his cloak and learning about how Sirius betrayed his parents. But Remus really isn't mentioned, even when the two of them are on staff together, and yet I feel like he needs her comfort the most, at least as you (and I suppose I as well) commonly portray him, as a broken and hurting man too old for his real age. Thus, I think it's fitting that his (future) death concludes this piece, leaving Minerva all by herself.

Very nice, as always!

-Amanda
Recenseo 2012

Author's Response: This was indeed inspired by PoC. It's a futuretake of sorts. I first came across the poem and thought it was perfect for a fic, but had no idea what I wanted to do with it. Then as I was drifting off to sleep a few lines popped into my head (actually it was the She is a Gryffindor, she is a lion bit) and it just went from there.

I'm so happy you like my Minerva. She's definitely an exercise in contrasts and it's sometimes difficult to balance that fierceness of hers with the tenderness she would show a loved one. I hope I achieved that in this fic.

I'm glad you think of Remus the same way that I do - someone older than his years, who has suffered a lot and needs that reassurance that I can imagine Minerva giving him. I always have them drinking tea together. :)

Thank you for your thoughtful review. I always appreciate getting them from you. You're the best!


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Review #39, by Siriusgirl she is a lion

30th May 2012:
This was so sad but poignant. McGonagall is one of my favourite characters, and it must have been devastating to lose the Potters, Pettigrew and Sirius all at once. I think you captured it perfectly.

Author's Response: I can only imagine the guilt she must feel losing them all so young. I'm glad you liked it though and that my Minerva lived up to your expectations. Thanks for the review!

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Review #40, by Debra20 she is a lion

30th May 2012:
Hey. This is Debra20 with your review!

Well for starters, you were so right when you said that this piece was right down my alley. I enjoyed it immensely. From beginning until the end.

What I loved best about your story is that not at one time did I feel the characterization of McGonagall forced. We don't have many examples of her being emotional in the books, but the way your portrayed her fits perfectly with how I've always imagined her. A sever woman that had a warm heart and very intense feelings and a great variety of emotions.

A very nice touch of inspiration was your description of a particular emotion she felt: guilt: "
She thought there must have been something more she could have done", "She should have protected them". A mother always feels guilty that she didn't do more, even if there wasn't anything she could have done. I liked that very much.

To be perfectly honest, with these kind of pieces my "sandwich method" doesn't really work. Not when I can't seem to find anything to try and suggest correction. I'm a sucker for sad stories and you captured that emotion perfectly. Combining the pain of McGonagall with that of Remus and Peter's mother you created an incredible image of what war really does to men/women and their families. There's nothing enriching, endearing about war. Just death...suffering and pain. You captured just that. The cruel reality of war.

What would be incredibly interesting to read would be a story after the Second War with her. Just like this one, but when even more of her loved ones have been lost.

9/10. I'd reviews stories like this all day.

Author's Response: You have the exact same vision of Minerva as I do - she's such a stern figure in the books, but you get small glimpses here and there when her facade slips a little and you can tell she obviously cares.

This story came as a futuretake from my Portraits of Courage short story collection, and guilt is a predominant emotion in that fic as she recruits the students for the Order.

War is definitely a touchy, dark subject and I'm a sucker for angst so it works well for me.

I contemplated extending this to include a lot more characters, but in the end, I wound up saying what I needed to say so I just left it with the Marauders. Maybe one day.

Thank you for your lovely review. It's much appreciated.


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Review #41, by Snapdragons she is a lion

28th May 2012:
New story? And about Minerva? Words cannot explain how excited I was to read this. And rightly so, because ugh, this was perfect. (also, slightly unrelated: I loved the quote at the top. It worked well, and I really love Edna St. Vincent Millay, so doubly great!)

The way you showed Minerva was beautiful. Technically no, she's not a mother... but in a way she is, and seeing how much all of them meant to her is touching, and therefore seeing her lose all of them really is heartbreaking. I absolutely adore her here.

First: the Potters. I think what really stood out to me when I first read this was how it said they weren't trying to be war heroes when they died -they were protecting their son. For whatever reason, I feel like that's an important distinction to make. They weren't godlike: in that moment, they were parents. It makes them seem human, not these incredible, almost unbelievable creatures we sometimes see them made out to be. That, and this line: A war was no place for children who had only just begun to live. They were really so young, and that does make it all the more tragic, I think. They were too young to lose all of that.

Moving on to Peter - it always is so interesting to read about Peter because, well... Peter doesn't get much love, does he? But reading about him pre-PoA is fascinating because you never really get to see this insight into what everyone thought, even though we as readers know it's different. Bringing Peter's mother into it added a different layer - I guess I'd never really thought about his family, but he did have a mother who was affected by his 'death'. I liked how she did see it as stupidity rather than a 'heroic confrontation', proving how she well she does know the boys. Also, that last bit about it always being too late killed me. :(

SIRIUS. I hate seeing him remembered in this way. D: I think you did a good job showing the disbelief that Minerva had over how Sirius could do something like that - Sirius, who adored the other three. She wondered what lies Voldemort whispered in Sirius's ear, what promises were made to seduce a boy who once thought James hung the moon. That line - so perfect, spot on. This, in a way, really is the worst because it's so hard to imagine Sirius doing something like this. I did love how, throughout the whole story, the knowledge (or belief) that Sirius was the killer and Peter was innocent really changed what each of the sections was, if that made sense. Especially sitting over here with all that lovely knowledge about what really happens!

It also really made me think about Remus, and how he must have felt following all of that. His friends are all essentially dead, he's lost everything... wow. Yeah. And it's 13 years later until Sirius' name is cleared and... I have no idea how Remus managed to do it. Slight ramble, but it never really sunk in, I guess!

It was the last line that killed me: Remus was the last one standing, but in another decade, another war, she would lose him too. Seriously. Dying over here.

This was beautiful. It sort of reminded me a bit of your older pieces (which is definitely not a bad thing!). Just in the way it was structured, I guess? I can't quite put a finger to it, but I liked it! :)

In my eyes, you still remain the undisputed champion of the Marauders era - your characterizations are always so perfect and after reading, it all makes such sense. And this time, seeing them through another character's eyes was honestly fascinating. I love stories with a good character study. :P

This was sad and touching and I love this so, so much. I'll stop dissecting this now, but another incredible job! ♥ You got so much across in under 1000 words. (I'm pretty sure this review is rapidly reaching the same length as the actual story... oops) Loved it, in case you couldn't tell, haha!

Author's Response: This story was pretty much born from that quote at the top. Without it, I don't think I ever would have come up with this idea when I was just about to drift off to sleep. Minerva is such a prominent figure in their lives as their professor and head of house. She's watched them grow up and I think it's only natural for her to grow fond of these students and look upon them all as her children. I always suspected she had a bit of a soft heart for the Marauders, especially. This is a bit of an outtake/futuretake from Portraits of Courage. She definitely feels a lot of guilt in that short story collection about sending them off to war and now she's seen the consequences of her role in recruiting them.

I really wanted each section to not be about their actions, but about what motivated them to take these actions. For the Potters, I thought it was important to show the bond of their love for one another, and for Harry, and how much they sacrificed for him. So many people celebrated the defeat of Voldemort the following day without really thinking about the how. I love that line you pulled out. I think it's hard to remember sometimes how young they really were when they were thrust into this war. I'm older than they were when they died and I can't even imagine fighting in a war or having a child and losing everything.

Peter definitely doesn't get much love. I found it really interesting to write this story from the perspective of someone who doesn't know about his betrayal and Sirius's innocent. It's hard for us to read it this way because we know the truth, but for someone like Minerva, who at that moment in time had no way of knowing truth from lies, all she knew was what had been presented to her - Peter was "dead" and Sirius was the Potters' Secret Keeper. I remember reading about Peter's mother being presented with his finger and his Order of Merlin medal and so I wanted to include that to, as you said, show another side to him, that people cared and missed him when he was gone. I think McGonagall described Peter at some point as foolish and stupid so I had to include that in there. Watching him grow up in the shadow of James and Sirius, I feel like McGonagall would have a hard time imagining Peter being the sort to up and confront Sirius, you know? She sort of sees it as slightly out-of-character. B'aww, don't die on me yet!

Oh gosh, poor Remus. I can't even imagine what he went through losing all of his friends in the span of 24 hours - three dead (or supposedly dead) and one imprisoned in Azkaban for supposedly killing the other three friends. That's just...oomph. So sad.

That last line seems to get everyone! I wasn't even sure how I was going to end this and I was talking to Rachel and she said that it was perfect for the ending, and so I kept it, and I'm glad I did. I think it worked well with what I wanted to convey with this fic.

I'm really ridiculously happy you liked it, and you left me this amazing review that I totally was not expecting and it made me so, so happy. I'm definitely trying to get a bit more of that stylistic flair that was more present in my older fics back - it's a work in progress, but I'm really pleased with how my writing has evolved since I started writing again almost a year ago.

Haha, well, I don't know about undisputed but I do adore them and will write them at every chance I get, that's for sure. The way I write them is definitely my head canon and so it's hard to write them any other way. I really enjoyed writing this from McGonagall's POV - and that's how I felt with PoC too.

I can't get over how fantastic this review is. I just want to squish you for being so sweet. Thank you so much.


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Review #42, by momotwins she is a lion

28th May 2012:
Wow, this is really amazing. Very emotionally powerful, very well-written, very sad. Your description is excellent - love your word choice and the lack of dialogue. It's tough to write an exposition-only (barring one line, yes) chapter, and you handled it beautifully. Showing Peter's mother at his funeral - oooh never seen anyone write that before or even mention it, really. She's largely forgotten, and I adore writers who show forgotten characters. I love that you showed this from McGonagall's perspective, too, because in canon she does say that she felt a lot of guilt at Peter's death.

This line: "She wondered what lies Voldemort whispered in Sirius's ear, what promises were made to seduce a boy who once thought James hung the moon." Absolutely beautiful, and describes it so flawlessly. You wonder how they ever could have doubted Sirius, because he DID think James hung the moon (also, fun imagery there with the moon and poor Remus). Goes to show the times they were living in, you couldn't trust anyone.

Anyway, this is absolutely lovely, I'm so glad I read it :) Fabulous job.

Author's Response: Aw, I'm blushing, thanks! You know I almost wrote this story with no dialogue at all - it was a close call, but I like having that one line of dialogue there.

I don't think I've ever really seen a Peter funeral at all, to be honest. If I remember correctly, I do recall reading a bit about his mother receiving his finger and the Order of Merlin after his "death", but his mother is very rarely mentioned. I thought it was worth adding, to make us sympathize more with Peter as if we didn't know what he truly did, to see how his mother grieves him.

I love that line you pulled out too! War is definitely hard on anyone, especially a friendship that was probably riddled with tension and obviously there was a lot of mistrust between Sirius and Remus, so it is a terrible time to trust anyone, for sure.

I can't get over how sweet your review is. Thank you for your kind words. :)


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Review #43, by Aderyn she is a lion

28th May 2012:
Hello!

So this piece is very well done, and very sad. I never really thought how people like Minerva, or Dumbledore would have reacted to all these deaths, all at once. Putting them in a time-line, of sorts, makes them all the more tragic. It really must have been awful for Minerva, because she cared about all of these students so much. And she had also let them fight, even when they were so young. As you described, she must have felt tremendous guilt.

It's interesting that Minerva thinks she sees the signs of madness is Sirius, when it was Remus all along who was too cowardly and too unstable. I mean, all of the evidence does point towards Sirius, but it is almost hard to read Minerva saying negative things about him, when I know that he was innocent.

Your writing style is wonderful, as always. There's a sort of inevitability about it, at least in this piece. It makes everything sound like it couldn't have been prevented. There's enough description that it is evocative, but not so much that's it's overly poetic. It's interesting that you decided to tell this story from Minerva's point of view. I suppose Remus could have been another option too. But in this case, her observation and sense of responsibility make her watching these deaths all the more painful.

On another note, I like the structure of this story as well. The poem at the beginning fit very well with how you've written Minerva. Also, the "one, two, three, (four)" helps separate out all of the memories of Minerva.

The last line only makes this sadder. Even though Sirius isn't dead, and Peter will find justice, it's almost as if all the happiness they ever had is erased, eventually, by their deaths.

Really, you did a nice job with this. I find it hard to write even scenes with grief, and you managed to write this whole piece. I'm glad I got a chance to read this!

Author's Response:

Hey there, thanks for reviewing my little fic! You know, I never really thought about it either until I started writing Portraits of Courage and my Minerva kind of took on the role of the mother-figure in that. I really enjoyed writing about her guilt in recruiting these young students and sent them off to war and when I read those lines I used in this fic, the idea of writing about her after their deaths begged to be written.

It's hard looking at this story from the perspective of someone who doesn't know anything with all the knowledge that we have. It was definitely really interesting to write. I've sort of written similar scenes from Remus's POV before so that's old news, and as I said before, this came as a sort of outtake from my Portraits of Courage collection which is why I went with Minerva. I think it would be difficult from Remus's POV too, having basically all his friends either dead or imprisoned in the span of 24 hours. But yeah, Minerva is painful. She has a responsibility to these children that she's watched grow up and then she sends them off to fight in a war.

I was worried about the structure and if people would think it was weird or if it fit, so I'm glad you liked it.

The last line was definitely meant to be sad and it's evoked the right sort of emotion I was expecting from readers, so that's good. I remember you saying you had difficulty writing grief but I guess that's just something I've written so much about it sort of just writes itself. I'm sure my stories tend to get a bit repetitive though.

Thanks for your lovely review. Now, go update Vital! :)


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Review #44, by ginerva_molly_weasley she is a lion

28th May 2012:
Hey here I am from Review Tag!

I can't put into words how much I actually loved this story. There was not much I could fault about this especially because it is just perfect.

The short piece is just so perfect to explain what McGonagall could have felt in that moment when she knew that all of the people she knew and that she was fond of was gone. The emotion in this was raw and just the use of those single words, one, two, three and four is so powerful.

Also when Remus says 'Its sirius's betrayal that hurts the most' That is so cute! I loved it

Well done!

Author's Response: Hey there, thank you for tagging me and reviewing my newest story.

Aw, well I'm glad you loved it! That makes me so happy to hear.

I've always imagined McGonagall having a soft spot for those trouble makers and so this was a fun, little exercise to get her perspective after their deaths (or "deaths" in half the cases). I'm glad you liked the counting part - I wasn't sure how people would take to the formatting, but I thought it fit well with what I was trying to write.

I'm not sure I would consider Remus's line cute (:P) but it does pack a little punch, doesn't it?

Thank you for your sweet review, it means a lot to me that you took the time to read and review my story. :)


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Review #45, by CambAngst she is a lion

28th May 2012:
Tagging you from the Review Tag thread.

This was a lovely, lovely piece and it's an honor to be able to review it before anyone else.

I felt a really deep emotional connection to the scenes that you were painting. First came James and Lily's funeral. Minerva feels the love of a foster parent and the gratitude of a war veteran towards them, and she can't yet even appreciate the true value of Lily's sacrifice. There is no mention of Harry, but perhaps that hurt too much for her to even be contemplating.

I really liked the twist that you put on her feelings towards Peter. She knows that he's no hero, but she doesn't truly know the depth of his foolishness and lack of judgment. In the mean time, she is simply not buying the hero's send-off that he receives. Once again, she won't know for many, many years how right she truly was.

And lastly she sits with Remus, pondering what they both believe to be Sirius's betrayal. In a lot of ways, this is the one that hurts the most. Sirius, who cared so deeply for James and Lily that he was willing to take the risk of letting others believe that he kept their secret, when in truth he didn't even have that chip with which to bargain for his own life.

I loved the parallels that you drew out between Minerva's love of all four and how one key piece of missing information colors her perception in each case. This was beautifully done. Your writing was flawless, and it flowed really nicely. Bravo!

Author's Response: Thank you for being its first reviewer! This is actually my shortest piece, but I am so ridiculously happy with how it turned out and it's making me pleased that a few people like it.

I think emotions are important to me as a reader. When I'm reading a fic, I want to feel what the characters are feeling, and I think that helps me empathize with them more. In turn, I try my best as an author to do the same with my writing.

This story sort of bloomed as an off-shoot from Portraits of Courage, my short story collection in which McGonagall basically recruits these students for the first Order, so the whole feeling like a mother idea came from that. I was actually going to mention Harry when I was first writing it! It wasn't going to be a large part, mostly just a mention of how Petunia couldn't even bother bringing their son to his parents' funeral and some sort of statement about how he never got to say goodbye but it just never worked out.

It's interesting writing Peter because at that particular moment in time, despite knowing what we do as readers, we're still seeing the aftermath from the perspective of someone who doesn't have that knowledge. You make an excellent point about her reservations about Peter, about how he isn't the hero he's being made out to be, but she doesn't quite know the depth of his deception.

I think Sirius's betrayal is an important aspect in the whole Marauder friendship. We see a bit of his lack of concern for certain people's well-being with that whole Whomping Willow incident and Snape, and so it isn't impossible to believe that he could do something like that. At the same time, he probably spent a lot of time trying to prove how unlike his family he was, and then for him to embrace the very institution he claimed to have no love for? Gah, I just love all the deceit and loves. Great fodder for angst.

You did pick up on the parallels and I am so pleased with that! I wasn't sure, but now that you mentioned it, at least one person got it.

Thank you so much for your review and I am sorry about the length of my response, I tend to get carried away when talking about fanfic topics I love (this whole betrayal incident is one of them). You are so kind. :)


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