214 Reviews Found

Review #26, by CambAngst Smudges

15th July 2014:
Hello, again! I'm back for your latest chapter!

There were so many small things that I liked about Devlin's conversation with David and Maria. Cumulatively, they made for an awesome scene. I liked Devlin's annoyance at the beginning when David seemed to be addressing Harry rather than him. I liked the way Devlin seized the initiative and took control of the conversation. I liked the fact that the propriety of events -- the relative weight of things he should be proud of vs. things he feels ashamed of -- still isn't quite right in his head.

Maria steps in and does Devlin some big favors with her explanation of "the middle" of the events. I've never considered using the Imperius Curse to "fix" somebody, but I can definitely see how it would have felt that way from her point of view.

Then in the end, he tells David the small lie that he must in order to protect Maria and himself. I don't know what, if anything, you have planned for Devlin and Maria, but the two of them really seem to work well together. I found myself wondering whether there was any implied relationship between that sentiment and what happens in the chapter's second scene.

Harry was not in the kitchen, and he used his magic to unlock the top cabinet and bring a hand full of cookies down to him. They were the kind with chunks of chocolate in them, and he liked them almost as well as he liked cheese pastries. -- I always love the little things you come up with to help us remember that this terribly world-weary soul is only ten years old.

So seeing your parents kissing -- kissing for real, not just pecks -- is always really hard for kids to figure out. And Devlin has so many other complications layered into the equation that it's remarkable his head doesn't explode. I really loved the little aside about what kisses were meant to signify in the world of the Death Eaters. Domination and power made perfect sense, because that seems to be the only thing that most Death Eaters are really striving for.

"Hey, little dude," Harry said; his voice was wispy, not in a bad way. -- Busted! And Harry goes all Jeff Spicoli on us. Did not see that coming.

"Maybe we should let Uncle Sirius have this conversation with you," Harry said, beginning to steer him into the hallway, laughing. "He knows all about kissing girls." -- Oh, boy. Somehow, that doesn't sound like the best idea to me. Devlin could become quite a ladies man.

There was thattug again and he suddenly knew he had missed the opportunity to shut up. -- One of life's worst moments: that moment when you realize you should have shut up just before the last thing you said. Poor Devlin. Actually, poor Harry, too. Also, you're missing a space between 'that' and 'tug'.

There was a lot of subtle brilliance to this chapter. Devlin cleared the air with Maria's father, but that wasn't the brilliant part. You took a very commonplace situation, one that happens between fathers and sons all the time, and you showed it to us through Devlin's peculiarly curved lens. Now he seems to be convinced that romantic affection is this very mysterious thing that he needs to decipher. He's even worried about protecting Emma from it! It's cute and funny but also a great reminder of how much ground Devlin needs to make up on so many different fronts.

Aside from that missing space, I didn't see any typos in this one, so kudos for great editing!

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Review #27, by CambAngst A Bit of Backtracking

7th July 2014:
Hi, there! I'm here, as always, to enjoy the next chapter of your story. Also, I will selfishly claim a bit of credit for Gryffindor:

House Cup 2014 Review

Now that the formalities are out of the way, it never hurts to take a small step back when we feel as though something important hasn't gotten the attention it deserves. And the memory of Voldemort killing Draco was definitely important on a couple of levels. First, I think it cleared up the majority of what had been left unsaid about Devlin's original kidnapping. It seems to me like the process of Devlin's wolf taking over when Devlin needed to be protected probably started in the memories Voldemort unearthed. It's odd to think that, in a way, Devlin owes Draco a small bit of credit for his survival.

I liked the way you continued to round out Voldemort's take on his relationship with Devlin. The similarities he sees between his own childhood and the abuse that Devlin suffered from Draco were revealing. In spite of them, there's no sympathy there, only a possessive sort of interest. It infuriates him that Draco was able to get Devlin to scream and cry when he was never able to. Once again, you emphasized the fact that Devlin was mostly a curiosity to Voldemort, partly a reflection on his own youth and partly an academic sort of problem that he was never quite able to solve to his own satisfaction. And, wow, does that guy have a twisted idea of what makes a good birthday present!

Harry's own reactions to Draco's body were interesting, as well. I like how the feelings it evoked went beyond the pure loathing that he came to feel for Draco after Devlin's kidnapping. After all of the years that had passed, Harry still felt an odd sort of kinship to Draco. Like an appreciation of the mutual dislike they had shared for so long.

Nice little metaphor with the repairs to the house. Lots of things are changing, mostly for the better.

It's strange, but at times I feel like Emma and Maria are tangled up in Devlin's head in a similar way to how he thinks that he and Voldemort are tangled up in Voldemort's head.

Interesting, how someone like Molly can spot the similarities between a young Harry and Devlin so easily.

I like Maria's appearances because she seems to be one of only three people (Harry and Emma being the other two) who have an ability to make Devlin completely lose his cool and do/say/realize things that he would ordinarily suppress. This paragraph really jumped out at me:

"Maria!" Thomas shouted, easy and casual - as if talking to Maria wasn't a precarious affair. She turned her brilliant blue eyes onto Thomas and a smile curved her lips upward. He felt something clench in his chest that he hadn't known was there.

Ooh, are you teasing another big reveal that's yet to come? Biggest mistake. Hardest punishment. The red-eyed man's greatest weakness. I'm sure that Voldemort lost his mind if Devlin ever called him Tom. Here is this boy who's supposed to be this younger version of himself as well as his possession, throwing his muggle father's name in his face... Scary stuff.

Yay, Fred's still alive! I don't think you've ever covered this explicitly, but I'm very happy to see it. Freddie reminds me a lot of his father. He's irreverent and also innocent in a way. It doesn't really occur to him that his question might be hurtful to Devlin. To him, the Dark Lord is one of those distant, intangible, scary things that adults whisper about, so it MUST be really cool!

I loved the difference in perspective between how Devlin perceives the scuffle with Freddie and how Freddie perceives it. Once again, you've done a brilliant job of teasing out aspects of Devlin's upbringing and perspective through his reactions. Freddie hardly thinks anything of what happened. I'm sure he's had rougher rows with his older cousins and maybe even his sister. But Devlin has no concept of violence and aggression being used without the intent to seriously injure or possibly kill. He only understands "adult violence", as opposed to childish roughhousing.

Harry's reaction really reinforced what you've been alluding to a lot recently. Harry understands a lot of things about Devlin, some of them better than Devlin understands them himself.

Ooh, ooh, ooh! I can't wait to read this conversation. I sense, well, things coming from it. I was about to say good things, but nothing is ever quite that clear-cut where Devlin's past is concerned.

So a few small typos and other things I noticed while reading:

Harry's green eyes followed him and he could feel Alexandra's gaze pick him out at a moment's notice, her keen gaze assured without having to track his every movement. -- Not a huge deal, but you used "gaze" twice in the same sentence.

Maria's eyes were still on him, their conversation was still fresh in his mind, and these two things, happening at once, made him wish that the place wasn't warded against Disapperation. -- should be Disapparition

"Stop talking," Harry said, firmly. "Take breath." -- "Take a breath"?

Excellent work, as always! Looking forward to the next!

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Review #28, by luvinpadfoot Shifting Thoughts

16th June 2014:
I didn't have time to catch up to the last chapter tonight, but I'll continue working on this story for the next however long it takes me. I'm really enjoying it! I'll continue onto the others tomorrow, but I'll probably leave reviews every ten or so chapters. :)

Devlin/Dubhan seems much older than he is, even for a child prodigy and the grandson of Voldemort. It's not so much the story or plot surrounding him, but rather your writing. Your writing is amazing and you have lovely word choice, but it feels very adult in tone, language, and style. It just feels very mature in ways that even a brilliant child who's been through what Devlin has can't master. I guess the word I'm looking for is worldly. Devlin has a very worldly sense even though he's a young child with limited life experiences. I think this was more of a comment for the first few chapters (in part since he was younger) and that's seemed to tone down a bit more for the last couple.

Sometimes you mix up apostrophes, especially words like its and it's. Also adding the occasional extraneous space in words like illogical. Other than that, I only noticed the occasional typo which wasn't distracting from the story. Just a few things to maybe keep an eye on.

One thing you do really well is viewing the characters from different point of views. The best example is the way Devlin views Harry. At first I thought you weren't giving Harry enough credit, but then I realized it was Devlin not giving Harry enough credit and from other POVs you can really see Harry's strength. You give such great depth to all the characters through this.

Another thing is the physical feelings, like when Remus punches Geoffrey. You write those scenes with such power that it's impossible to disregard anything the feels. This story is very emotional and there's a lot going on in the various characters' heads that they don't say, but the physicality isn't forgotten about.

The way you combine both Dubhan and Devlin into the same character is quite wonderful and well done. The differences are so intricate that he's never completely one or the other, but instead both at the same time. The intertwining of the two is masterfully done. It's sweet how Emma's the one who manages to bring out the emotion in him. Even though he's faking it to get his wand back, he's doing that for her and it's sweet.

This is a really great story and I'm looking forward to catching up on the rest of it. :)

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Review #29, by lumos_knox Into the Fog

15th June 2014:
Hello! I'm here for the review swap!!! My enter button isn't working, so bear with me on this. This is a very good chapter. I feel sort of sad that Devlin doesn't recognize anything that he should. He reminds me of the child Voldemort somewhat. Cold and the like... you've really captured Devlin well, made him into quite your own character, one that readers can really engage in. Devlin's disgust of the story being 'dressed up' is quite unique. Instead of being told lies, he wants the truth and only truth- and boy does he know how to get it. Well, brilliant chapter! - lumos_knox

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Review #30, by CambAngst The Best Birthday Present

14th June 2014:
Hi, there! Back again for your new chapter!

Harry's choice of bringing in the mind healer was interesting. It's pretty counter-intuitive to try that with Devlin, I would think. Well, let me rephrase that slightly. It's counter-intuitive to try that with Dubhán. Devlin needs all the help he can get, but I found it hard to imagine that Dubhán would willingly participate in such a thing. And he doesn't, at least not willingly. Some of what slips out by accident was pretty revealing, though.

The initial back-and-forth, the sort of "feeling out" period was perfectly awkward for such an encounter. As an omniscient reader -- one who knows what's going on inside Devlin's poor little head -- I have to question the wisdom of Harry not sharing a bit more with the mind healer. I get that he didn't want Devlin to feel like confidences had been betrayed and he probably didn't want to bias her thinking and all that, but he kind of walked her blindly into the cannon fire.

"It seems foolish to argue about liking a name. It seems foolish to even be discussing liking a name." -- This is sort of symptomatic of the problem, I think.

But from those shaky beginnings, I think some pretty useful and revealing things arise. Not that Devlin really shared all that much, but I think maybe he straightened a thing or two out in his own mind. I liked his explanation of the difference between being Devlin and being Dubhán. How being Dubhán sort of absolves him of the need to listen to his conscience and be limited by it. Dubhán was the one who survived Voldemort, along with the sharpness. Devlin was just a freeloader on the journey, a potential source of weakness that could have gotten all three of them killed. It's no wonder that Dubhán feels so disgusted and pathetic about the way he acted in the bathroom with Harry. The boy sobbing in the bathroom was pure Devlin, finally trying to come to terms with all of the terrible things Dubhán did to survive.

Then there's his reaction to the word typical. You played up that word brilliantly. I could never imagine Voldemort using that word as anything other than a derogatory term, and Devlin plainly internalized that message. The way he associates "typical" with "worthless" made perfect sense.

Somehow, some part of him hadn't believed Harry. Likely it was the same part that still doubted Harry's promise and reassurances from the night before. -- Alright, well there is that. Maybe Harry's more clever than I'm giving him credit for. He did what he said he was going to. That's a pretty big deal for Devlin.

"Harry calls him a monster. He doesn't really call Harry a monster, but he hates him as much as he loves himself. There's no one else that makes him so furious. No one else that makes him so...real." -- Now I simply could not pass up on this line! So being angry is being "real" if you're Voldemort. Perfect!

I loved the healer's parting advice for Devlin. Reorganizing your mind, putting events and thoughts in their proper context, can definitely be exhausting. Especially when you're doing it in such a way that you have to vocalize things as you go. I'm sure Devlin was burned out.

It seems like Devlin's birthday went more or less to his liking. Not a big, splashy affair. No other kids around to make him feel awkward.

I loved the paragraph where he's verbally agreeing with his mother but shouting her down on the inside. The part of him that's a "typical" ten year old is the part that lives on the inside. The part that Dubhán has to keep under control.

Wow. It kind of felt like you were going to kill off Draco at some point, but this wasn't at all how I was expecting it to happen. I would have bet on him having his own scene where he either goes out in a blaze of glory, fighting against Harry, or a scene where Voldemort kills him to make a point. Instead, he's sort of unceremoniously killed by Voldemort and left for the Aurors to find. It was a relatively quiet way to go.

And lastly, Devlin's reaction. Well, Dubhán's reaction, to be more precise. No, I can't imagine him shedding any tears over Draco's death. Truthfully, I can't imagine Harry mourning it, either. And neither one of them does. But I loved Harry's reaction, which really had almost nothing to do with Draco Malfoy. It had everything to do with the guilt he feels about allowing his son to be exposed to the level of inhumanity where he was actually laughing about another person's death. That was very well written.

Great chapter! Like I said, it's a bit of a setback for Devlin, but not as bad as what I'd feared might be coming. Your writing was fantastic, as always!

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Review #31, by CambAngst The Little Dark One

11th June 2014:
Hello, again!

After the intense action of the past few chapters, I thought this one was an excellent change of pace. Not that any of your chapters lack a huge psychological aspect -- I think everything has a huge psychological aspect where Devlin is concerned -- but I really enjoy the ones where you set everything else aside and just focus on his inner turmoil and the way he's trying to make sense of a new life that's 180 degrees opposed to the one he lived as a captive.

Hmmnn... so maybe they're not at Shell Cottage. Or maybe you read my last review and you're purposefully trying to throw me off with Devlin's musings. Goodness, don't I think highly of myself? At any rate, it's plainly somewhere that Emma and Devlin don't know the secret to, since Emma can't even seem to recall whether she's been there before. That was a nice little touch.

Dubhán's approach to things is so quid pro quo. Harry keeps a secret, Dubhán emphasizes secrets he's still keeping. Harry opens up, so does Devlin. I like the consistency.

I'm not sure whether we've seen this particular nightmare before, but my guess would be that this was the time Devlin tried to escape and was caught by Voldemort. Incinerating an entire field seems like the kind of grand gesture that he would go for in that situation.

Then we enter into what I think is one of the best conversations you've written between Devlin and Harry so far. You can't help but feel for the kid and what all of the conflicting messages in his head and the lack of absolute certainty are doing to him. Young children don't like uncertainty anyway. Then you throw in the dire consequences that Devlin believes will happen if he makes the wrong choice... it's easy to understand why he can neither think nor stop thinking.

I love the way that Harry reaches deep into the darker recesses of his own personal experiences to try to help Devlin in this chapter. Before this point, I don't think that Devlin was ready. He might have heard what Harry was saying, but he wasn't ready to appreciate what any of it meant. Now that Devlin is struggling so much to sort out Devlin vs. Dubhán vs. the sharpness vs. all of the other personae he's taken on, it was a really opportune time for Harry to open up.

I had a few really intriguing thoughts about Harry's offer to extract the memories that are troubling Devlin so. On the one hand, it would be an easy path back to a different sort of normality. It wouldn't really solve Devlin's problems, though. Then I had another, darker thought. Devlin is so terrified of Voldemort finding out about his "betrayal". You wouldn't ever have Harry remove any of Devlin's good memories if he was in imminent danger of being recaptured by Voldemort, would you? Say you wouldn't! I don't think I could handle that...

Harry's analogy to Emma was brilliantly done. It didn't solve the problem, but it was a big step in the right direction for Devlin's understanding of love, I think.

Sometimes it was easier being the monster, he thought. Sometimes it was easier knowing what you were supposed to do. -- I loved that sentiment.

You have to admire Harry's unshakeable belief in Devlin's underlying goodness and that every bad thing he's done is a consequence of Voldemort's manipulations. I'm sure I'd feel the same way about my own kids, but it's different somehow when you read somebody else in that position.

Man, Harry really lays all the cards on the table there near the end. Again, it's something that I think Devlin was finally ready to face. Not in the sense that he deals with it well, per se, but in the sense that he actually deals with it. Or tries to deal with it, anyway. I guess the definitions of "success" and "failure" are debatable here. The point is that he didn't throw up his emotional shields and avoid the entire conversation.

So I think I saw one small typo:

In some ways, when Harry had told him, after his failed escape, that he would always be his Devlin, it had given Dubhán a kind of permission be his Devlin, without having to combine the two identities. -- did you mean "permission to be his Devlin"?

Fantastic chapter! I really enjoyed it.

Author's Response: I'm glad the relative 'calmness' of this chapter didn't disappoint. :)

Haha! This chapter was already written prior to your review, but don't think less of yourself. If you were onto me I might sneak a sentence in to throw you off. ;-)

I think the "quid pro quo" as you put it, is probably a pattern he's picked up from Voldemort. And yeah, I see him as the type of kid who would quietly do the oneupmanship sort of thing. When someone else reveals a secret there must be part of him that still thinks 'if they tell mine, I'll have something equally embarrassing to tell about them'.

Oh, interesting that you read it as a literal memory. I suppose I should have seen that coming since I do often have him dream of memories as a way to incorporate the background. In this case it was just a nightmare. You might notice that a lot of his nightmares are beginning with the pattern of trying to escape and finding something other than the woods that should have been there: the dream about the yellow curse (memory), the dream about hiding in the closet (memory), the dream about Voldemort with Maria (nightmare) - they all started with this same introduction.

I actually imagined that he really DID hurt his head, and probably suffered a jolt not just psychologically but physically, which leads to this sense of jumble in his head.

"Then I had another, darker thought. Devlin is so terrified of Voldemort finding out about his "betrayal". You wouldn't ever have Harry remove any of Devlin's good memories if he was in imminent danger of being recaptured by Voldemort, would you? Say you wouldn't! I don't think I could handle that..."

Oh my, how intriguing. You really shouldn't give me ideas like that. ;-)

"You have to admire Harry's unshakeable belief in Devlin's underlying goodness and that every bad thing he's done is a consequence of Voldemort's manipulations."

You know, I was thinking this same thing as I posted the chapter. Writing it I get into my character's heads so much that it seemed there was no other way to express it but to have Harry believe in Devlin's utter goodness. Proof-reading it before I submitted the story, however, I had the same idea as you did. It's a bit different to see it from an outside perspective, yet you know as you are reading it that, put in the same position, you would be unable to imagine something else.

Thanks for the typo warning! I found a couple more on a recent skim for a piece of information and will fix that one too. :)

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Review #32, by Remus The Informant

10th June 2014:
Hello!! Perelandra here with the review swap!! :D

I'm uber excited to read this AU story!!

The man dragging him no longer wore his mask, his blonde hair glittering under the starry night

I seriously thought that was Lucius! And was seriously surprised that it was Draco!

Part of me in not entirely shocked that Voldemort would attack a six year old boy...I mean, he did try to kill a one year old baby. But to continue the attack, just so he could be amused, to hear Devlin scream. What I liked about him is that the child kept on looking at Voldemort, knowing that his father would've done the same. The voice in his head...is he a werewolf too?

Harry Potter was no longer so Golden. He was a man who had loved and lost, won brilliantly and failed miserably, felt an inch away from death and a mile above Heaven.

I can't express to you how much I love that opening to the second part. It's brilliant and it describes Harry so well.

You have some moments where the italics and the word next to it are together. For example:

let thathappen.


In one mans
Change it to 'man's'

but not your sons
add an apostrophe to make it "son's"

*flails* SIRIUS IS ALIVE!!!

Overall this is a great story! I'm intrigued as to what happened to Devlin. Who is this Death Eater? Is he important? Your narrative is fantastic. I found myself glued to the screen until I finished the chapter! You gave us, the readers, great details making it easy to paint the picture in our heads. Also...your Harry here is fantastic! He's so much darker than what I'm used to so that's exciting as well.

My only CC would be for you to re-read the chapter and fix the minor mistakes. Nothing biggie though.

Anyway, thanks for the lovely read!!


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Review #33, by Unicorn_Charm The Informant

10th June 2014:
This is completely different than anything I usually read on here. I typically don't go for AU stories, honestly. That being said. I actually am really liking this. :) It's interesting, suspenseful and sad. Sirius is one of my favorites, so I'm glad to see him in this.

Devlin was only six? Wow. He seems, from the little we saw of him, very intelligent for his age. He's definitely an intriguing character and I can't wait to see more of him. I'm kinda really liking this hardened Harry, too.

You write very well. It flows effortlessly and grips you immediately. Well done on that!

My favorite part of this chapter was Harry's memory of his son. I loved the lillies for Lily's birthday. And I absolutely adored that Sirius and Lupin were there for that.

I don't know if I would have read this if I just stumbled upon it. Only because it's not normally anything I look for. But it seems like a really interesting plot and it's written so well, I definitely will be continuing on! Awesome story so far! :)

xoxo Meg

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Review #34, by CambAngst A Far Away Place

29th May 2014:
Hello! Here to review your new chapter!

Interesting. Devlin almost allows himself to think of Harry as being as strong as Voldemort for a moment there. He quickly corrects himself, but I'm pretty sure at this point that it's more of a survival mechanism than anything else. Part of Devlin is really starting to admire his dad. Dare we even say like him?

I liked the parallels between how Harry's acting and how Devlin tries to act with the Healer. Harry's always the last to admit he needs help, too. Poor Devlin is having to expose his troubling scars to more and more of the world. He's having to learn to trust. That's got to be incredibly hard for him.

His birthday wish seemed very appropriate for him. Devlin wants so badly to control his own destiny, but he knows that's beyond his ability at this point. Let's just hope that growing strong for the sake of being strong doesn't become too much of an obsession for him. That would be dangerous.

I love the dichotomy Devlin sees between "Voldemort's Harry" and "his Harry", and I love the feeling it gives Devlin even more. Is "power" the right word? It definitely makes him feel special, like there are things that only he is privy to. That has to be a really good feeling for a little boy who's been lied to and kept in the dark for so long.

Curious. Why does the Healer try to use Legillimency on Devlin? It could be diagnostic, I suppose, or it could be something more sinister. I also wish that Devlin could have studied the man's face.

Ha! Our dog has the exact same habit when she yawns. It's very annoying when I'm trying to leave for work early in the morning and I'd like the kids to sleep longer. I see it gives Devlin a similar problem.

I can't imagine what Voldemort's favorite food would be. Needing to eat would feel like such a weakness to him. A physical frailty that needed to be conquered and controlled. Hungry. So very muggle.

I feel like your subplot with Voldemort taking Devlin to the cave where the locket horcrux was kept might be coming to a head at some point. It seems to come up more and more often lately. I'm looking forward to that. It's going to be a huge test of Devlin's shifting loyalties, if Devlin knows enough to realize how big of a secret he's keeping. I'm also curious to see whether you keep with "book canon", where Voldemort isn't really aware of the horcruxes being destroyed, or "movie canon" where he feels them die.

I'm guessing they're at Shell Cottage, right? It isn't really important, but that's my guess.

It's kind of distressing, the way that Devlin is speaking to himself in Voldemort's words in the bathroom. Although one could also interpret that as the part of him that's loyal to Voldemort -- Dubhán -- struggling to regain control. I think I like the latter interpretation better.

The we come to the final scene. I really love your Voldemort. He's so threatening and malevolent, but in an almost casual sort of way. As though there was never the slightest chance that he wouldn't have tortured Draco for failing, so why is it even a big deal?

I'm now thrilled for all of the menacing things that Devlin said and did during the battle. It seems like he sold Voldemort with his performance. Who knows, maybe he's even sold himself. The situation seems rather fluid, but I loved Voldemort's appreciation of the way that Devlin cursed Draco. I'm also a bit suspicious that Draco might not be long for this world.

I really enjoyed this chapter immensely! It feels like any number of plot threads are starting to converge. The next few chapters should be fun!

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Review #35, by CambAngst Tangled and Dreaming of Better Ways

26th May 2014:
Wow! After a couple of relatively slow, introspective chapters, you blew the lid off with this one.

You really threw a curveball on Geoffrey's character in this chapter. He went from being sort of sage-like and protective and reassuring to being completely creepy in a very short space. It's hard to exactly say why. Maybe Geoffrey feels like he's been found out, that the game he's been playing is finally up where Harry is concerned. Or maybe he's just trying to teach Devlin a lesson about being more careful. Regardless, the effect was pretty chilling. I love how protective Devlin gets in the first scene:

"She isn't going to be like me. I'm like me so she isn't like me. Don't you understand, traitor?" -- It's a bit ironic that Devlin is referring to Geoffrey's betrayal of Voldemort -- I think, anyway -- but it's the betrayal of his family that he's most concerned about.

And just when I was ready to write Geoffrey off, he comes back with that line about Devlin being better than Voldemort. Gah, that guy is so incredibly complicated!

Emma just cuts Devlin to the bone in this chapter. She literally opens him up for everyone to see. It felt like she also reawakened something inside of him. That had been Devlin, clawing his way back into his own head; knowing he would have to be there to protect her. Devlin, who did not know about death. Yay for Devlin! Visit often! Stick around!

I'll confess that the exchange between Emma and Devlin was a bit hard to follow in places. It took me a few readings to figure out that Emma was the one talking about Scorpius Malfoy. She's an incredibly perceptive little girl to take that away from Devlin's unguarded comment in the last chapter. I guess "perceptive" runs strong in the Potter children. At the same time, though, there were bits and pieces that were unmistakably the "logic" of a young child. That arguing technique where you simply throw everything you have at the other person, whether or not it's relevant to the topic at hand.

Wow. So Voldemort told Devlin the story of his grandmother, only with a very different spin on it. I love that twist.

The whole story of Devlin being made to fight Scorpius... wow. There are so many neat things going on there, it's hard to know where to start. Maybe I'll start by pointing out one thing that might be a typo:

Malfoy didn't like it. Voldemort saw seen, and he didn't like it. So he said it. -- I'm thinking maybe the word "seen" doesn't belong?

Anyway, I love Devlin's analysis of Voldemort's cruelty. I love the fact that Devlin does things, or refrains from doing things, just to avoid pleasing Bellatrix. And I think this is one of my favorite descriptions of a look that I've ever read: "The one he gets when he has just thought of something interesting to do." I really don't like the idea of things that Voldemort finds interesting. The point of not doing things -- fixing your hair, straightening your clothes, rubbing a cut... -- just because something even worse is about to happen was terribly sad. I am always in awe of your ability to capture the brutality of life among the Death Eaters in the most casual-sounding ways.

Draco's dream was a really neat interlude in the middle of this long, tense chapter. I think it makes perfect sense that if Draco had it to do over again, he would have simply killed Devlin and spared himself a lot of struggle and suffering. Oh, and look: he's out of prison already. That didn't take long.

I figured that picture would pop up again at some point. It nearly sends Devlin over the edge, but it seems like Harry's figured out a way to rope him back in a bit. Interesting.

So I admit I got a little lost when Harry took Devlin out for a walk. They were in a forest and then it seemed like the sharpness sort of took over and then an instant later, they were back at the Potter house, which was under attack.

The attack itself was beautifully done. I loved the unspoken communication between Harry and Alexandra. I wanted to cheer for Devlin when he chose Harry over the werewolf Keen. Harry used some brilliant tactics to get out of the house, although it seemed like he played right into the Death Eaters' hand.

Devlin was awesome as he ordered Malfoy around and baited the Death Eaters into the critical error. Devlin's escape was really cool to read. I had almost forgotten about his ability to transform. It served him beautifully here. And then he curses Malfoy... I just wanted to stand up and cheer! He didn't run away, even when he had the chance. I felt like a corner was turned here.

So one more little typo: He had been feverish that entire day, in and out of seizures that had felt like someone were killing him. -- was killing him.

This was a blockbuster chapter! I loved every bit of it. Great job!

Author's Response: I think I will be really sad the day that Geoffrey finally revealed himself, because I do so enjoy keeping everyone on their toes about his motives. Perhaps, in this instance, he was warning Devlin of one thing, because he thought Devlin WASN'T actually as strong as he proved himself to be. Perhaps Geoffrey wanted Devlin to make the choice. Perhaps he merely reacted on gut instinct - to protect Devlin. We don't yet know all of their history and all the ways in which Geoffrey has previously protected him.

I'll take another look at Emma's scene; I certainly didn't mean for it to be confusing! I kind of felt these were cumulative observations that this once instance ("I just don't think you know anything" = always stupid thing to say, Devlin), brought of Emma in a sort of vindictive way. In my mind, she sort of stumbles upon the reason. She throws lots of things at him that - that he has a wand, that he likes her friend (Maria), that he has FRIENDS he doesn't share with her, and then this thing about the boy he was talking about comes out too. She knows him too - doesn't Devlin see how important she is? She knows someone he knows, and since he only speaks to Geoffrey about this boy, it must be one of the friends he won't share with her. She rubs his perceived friend into the mud "he's a stuck up jerk". In someways, I think she over generalizes and simply falls upon the truth. Sometimes, children say/realize things we think is so amazing that they have, and yet when asked about it later - they don't actually seem as conscious of this discovery as we would have thought. I admit though - it's hard to create those scenes in writing, because a reader assumes whatever you put in writing is a direct reflection upon the character's abilities/personality, etc. etc.

"Wow. So Voldemort told Devlin the story of his grandmother, only with a very different spin on it. I love that twist." YES, it has actually been referenced before, but not so blatantly. It's the story his grandfather told him so he'd remember not to be without a wand - he recalls it a couple times, very early on, I think.

The Scorpius scene was very fun to write!

" I really don't like the idea of things that Voldemort finds interesting. " I'm laughing at this, because this will be Alexandra's sentiment to a conversation she ends up having with Devlin pretty soon.

"I am always in awe of your ability to capture the brutality of life among the Death Eaters in the most casual-sounding ways." Thank you. :) It seems to be one of the only proper ways to capture it through a child.

I could hear your sarcasm practically soaking your words in this: "Oh, and look: he's out of prison already. That didn't take long." I laughed, but try to see it from Devlin's perspective and believe he has something less comfortable than a cold floor coming to him...

Okay, the Harry and Devlin photograph scene. It started out as this whole alternative plot, then I got midway through and it decided to throw me for a loop. It is meant to be a dream. He dreams of his magic pulsing against the wards as he tries to disapparate, when in reality he is sensing the wards being broken. His sharpness finally interrupts the dream when they find themselves in the woods that open into the field - and the sharpness wakes him by taking over. One clue is that Harry never gets the pajamas that Devlin was wearing, back. You'll note from Draco's description they aren't torn in the Potter residence. It is a symbol in Devlin's mind. :) I have an one-shot AU companion story written in which a slightly older Devlin finds Harry on his own, brining that piece of fabric as proof of his identity.

To make this clearer the text was meant to be italicized, but that apparently didn't come through... I will fix it in the morning. :)

Thank you for a brilliant review, as always. I'm afraid I've lagged terribly behind on replying to them, but I will try to catch up. :)

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Review #36, by toomanycurls A Brillant Plan

26th May 2014:

Thank you for doing a review swap!

I really enjoyed reading Devlin's struggle with trying to understand how a powerful wizard can show affection and love without being weaker. That does make me so sad for how he was raised with Voldemort. It's so sad that he sees love as a game and a power struggle. ooh, it's interesting to see that Devlin distinguishes himself from their son - that's such a profound way to look at a kidnapping victim.

Geoffrey's perspective is always interesting to read. His connection with Devlin still intrigues me. Ooh, I don't know if I'm excited or upset that remus punched him.

Devlin's conversation with Harry about him not being that little boy anymore is priceless. Devlin is so articulate and still ultra-analytic of everything about Harry. Their debate about whether Devlin belonged with them was so revealing. I'm still rooting for Devlin accept his family again.

Oh, a possibility for escape.

ha, I like that Devlin almost sees Voldemort as fickle with his opinion.

gah, I don't know if I like Devlin very much. :-/ It's hard to sympathize with him while he's so manipulative.

Really great chapter!


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Review #37, by True Author Only Blood

25th May 2014:
Review swap! :D

It's been ages since I read the first chapter and I had to read it all over again, but reading two chapters in a row was interesting! I feel like reading all the story right now, but let's focus on this review first. ;)

Wow, I really liked the cliffhanger! Poor Devlin! :( I rarely read AU, especially when Harry doesn't marry Ginny, but I've started to like this one. I'm already hooked! Great plot!

Your descriptions are chilling! Especially when you write the action part. The imagery is quite good, it's like watching the whole scene on the screen. Beautiful! :D

It's surprising how your Harry is SO CANON. He's just the Harry Potter we know and like. Good job with that!

Just watch out for typos! You have a few here and there, but they can be easily fixed. Just look over the chapter once again to get rid of them. They spoil the flow sometimes. :)

Great read! Thanks for the swap!


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Review #38, by lumos_knox Only Blood

25th May 2014:
Hello, here from the review swap!

This is a fantastic story so far. The plot and description is absolutely chilling! I feel so sorry for Harry and Sirius, it must be so awful for them to go through this.

The description in this story is perfect, you describe everything just right. The description of Devlin's eyes is beautiful, the forest green. It scares me when I read about Voldemort, all the red eyes and hissing. Excellent stuff!

I feel super scared reading the last line, about Devlin. Such a cliffhanger!

Your idea of Harry as an Auror is quite good, as it shows that Harry is sick of playing the hero all the time and everything he bottles up can be lost. As stated in the HP books, the world isn't split into good and evil. Harry can't be good all the time. All this loss and pain amounts to the sort of ruthlessness that Harry exhibits. You've portrayed this darker side of Harry quite well.

All in all, this is an excellent novel so far, I can't wait to see what it's in store for poor old Harry, Alex and Sirius.

Thanks for writing!

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Review #39, by Ravenclaw333 The Informant

23rd May 2014:
Here for that review swap you offered!

I've seen your status updates for this story and I've always been curious about it. You have a really interesting AU here - Voldemort and Sirius alive, the war still going, Harry with different kids and a different wife, and I can already see the potential for some really dramatic/horrific stuff.

I particularly love what you've done with Harry, seeing how the continuation of the war has changed him - this line is really striking: "The thought always proved to him, over and over again, how far he had traveled from innocence." The way he's still trying to be 'golden' and a hero really rings true, even though the war has damaged him and filled him with hatred - it's easy to make characters OOC in AUs, but you've done an excellent job in staying true to Harry here. Brilliant start!

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Review #40, by HEG The Informant

22nd May 2014:
I've alawys wanted to read this but never actually got round to it. This chapter was very action packed, exciting and revealing and I know that I won't be able to stop reading this. I like the way that you've sort of changed things up however, I'm sure you didn't mention in your summary that Sirius Black was still alvive did you? Before I start, I'd just like to point out a few errors which are easy to fix so don't worry! When you use italics to put emphasis on a word, you need to make sure that you have included a space because you have put 'thissomething' and 'likethat'.

Let's begin on the characterisation shall we? I love the way that you have included an OC for Harry's daughters and sons because it's nice to hear something new and I paticularly like Devlin so far :). From what I've read, I'm picturing him as quite a confident and brave boy unlike like Albus is portrayed to be. I really enjoyed the part where he denyed Voldemort to scream. I relate to Devlin. They way that he listens to all his mother's and father's advice and it almost 'saves his life' kind of is sort of a moral. The Death Eater seemed a bit clueless but I am assuming that that was because he wasn't in Voldemort's inner circle.

Moving on to the emotions and detail. The detail in the first half remarkably stood out. Especially in the very first section. I really enjoyed the descriptions. I don't think you need work on that. And I don't think you need work on your emotions either. I felt Devlin's fear and pain in the story and I felt Harry's anger of his son being lost too. That was awsome.

Now the plot/plot arc. I like the way you've denied Jk Rowling's epilogue and went off and created a sequel of your own. I think that it is very effective because although the facts aren't true, you have still made it realistic and believable to read. Voldemort has lived on ... hmm ... this could cause some trouble. I wonder if he'll die in this book. I think that the way that Voldemort would want Harry POtter's son is realistic. And Draco! I can't belive that he's still a Death Eateer! I suppose that is just because he is afraid of the truth and dying. The Pensive is also very cute. The dialogue is absolutly perfect and astonishingly well written.
When the Death Eater was teling Harry about Devlin and how he could learn everything by just what people said and how that the Dark Lord was impressed, I felt so proud. I'm loving your OC GingeredTea! (Hey that ryhmes!)The cliffhanger had me on the edge of my seat.

I'll be back!


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Review #41, by toomanycurls The Other Werewolf

21st May 2014:
Hello! Thanks for doing another swap with me.

I really love how you're weaving an even more complicated web for Devlin and the world he's in. I really didn't expect him to be an animagus - I thought his fascination with their dog was more of a werewolf thing. I am worried about how much the Ministry will try to use him to get information on Voldemort and where they'll balance out the needs of the wizarding society to find and stop an evil wizard against the safety of a young kid.

Great chapter!


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Review #42, by toomanycurls The Man at the Table

20th May 2014:
Hello!! Thank you for doing a review swap!

It's been a while since I've read this and I'm really excited to have a chapter from Devlin's perspective. He is clearly very clever, untrusting, and perhaps slightly skewed in how he sees things. His young mind is so twisted by Voldemort - the way he sees, what I'm guessing are safety precautions, as tricks against him. I also really admire Devlin's self-confidence - that he has more skill than they are aware of.

I love Harry's interaction with Devlin in the hallway. Harry seems so even-kheeled and like he's trying to patiently reach out to Devlin with love and logic. I have a feeling that it will take much more than that. Harry must feel horrid with his son acting so hostile towards him. You make me want to give everyone a hug.

Devlin's reflection while he's in his room is quite interesting. The way he sees the moon as a countdown for pain is perfectly poetic.

While Devlin is quite resistent to any sign of kindness from Harry, I feel like they might be able to get through to him. Eventually. I hope.

Harry's comment about Voldemort not mentioning Devlin was quite interesting. I think that will eventually lead to Harry really understanding how connected Voldemort is to Devlin.

Emma seemed so unsure of Devlin. I really can't blame her though.

Another wonderful chapter!


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Review #43, by CambAngst A Tangled Web

20th May 2014:
Hello, again!

There were a few things in this chapter I found a bit confusing. That's nothing new, per se. You've always been able to keep me on my toes with this story. Having to think -- sometimes a lot -- to sort out what's happening is one of the things I've come to enjoy about it. With this chapter, though, it might be a little more than normal.

The first section, however, was pretty straightforward and unambiguous. My dream came true, Draco was busted by the Auror Vincent. I can understand Harry's discomfort with Devlin finding out, or at least finding out from a newspaper article. The poor kid's head is so twisted up, I sort of feel like he thinks that everything that happens is part of some diabolical master plan of Voldemort's.

Ooh, so Devlin has recovered enough from the emotions of the previous chapter to get a little testy with Harry about how best to keep himself safe. Harry has his ideas, Devlin has his own.

The next section is the first spot where I got a bit confused. Is it Madam Bones or Hermione who's dropped by to visit Devlin? Or is Madam Bones's first name Hermione in your version of events? Based on context, I'm thinking it's much more likely that the visitor is Madam Bones, head of the DMLE. I liked the way you wrote her. She seems friendly, but it doesn't extend from her words to her facial expressions. There's plainly an ulterior motive, and she doesn't fool Devlin for a moment. The two of them engage in some brilliant and entertaining repartee, then he dismisses her with a combination of gallows humor and an almost casual refusal to help.

In spite of the way he tells her off, I liked the fact that Devlin actually took something of value away from their conversation. It seems to finally be dawning on Devlin -- maybe he's just heard it from enough people at this point -- that everything Voldemort taught him or shared with him was part of a carefully woven plan designed to cultivate and ensure his trust and loyalty.

Returning for his first appearance in a few chapters, it's the wise, old werewolf. Another thing that seems to finally be sinking in for Devlin is that Geoffrey's "loyalty" to Devlin is really more about Geoffrey's desire to ensure his own survival by following Voldemort's orders to their illogical conclusion.

I was a little unclear on the point of the exchange between Devlin and Geoffrey that begins with Devlin's observation about Draco being stupid. Then I reread it and I realized how it ties into the ending. So Emma was listening to their conversation from at least that point on. And Geoffrey seems to know it, too. I'll bet Emma was what he was looking at "toward the side out of the corner of his eyes". I'm quite curious as to what Geoffrey hopes to accomplish by allowing Emma to overhear the things she did. Perhaps he thinks that Emma is the one person that Devlin won't be able to emotionally shut out or lie to.

The rest of the exchange is brilliant, the way that Geoffrey illustrates how Voldemort used the appearance of understanding Devlin -- of knowing more about Devlin than Devlin knew about himself -- as a means to control him. Following on, Devlin starts to question who was really tangled up in whose head. Awesome moment for him.

And then the blood-chilling moment, when it becomes obvious that Emma overheard much more than Devlin first thought. That she overheard the conversation about Devlin and Voldemort, even if she's too young to really know what to make of it. I cannot wait to see the aftermath of that.

Three things I saw that you might want to take another look at:

There was an older lady where at the kitchen table, sipping at tea that afternoon when he came down to sneak a cookie. -- there at the kitchen table

Are you not than capable of those things since I would deem them unfavorable? -- not then capable

Geoffrey chuckled and rolled on the balls of his heels. -- balls of his feet?

I'm really eager to see what comes next. Knowing the way you've paced the story, I'm suspecting that we might see a setback for Devlin before he makes any more big steps forward. Til next time!

Author's Response: Gerr! The Hermione bit is simply an illustration of how two versions of a chapter do not always get cleaned and braided properly together. I meant to remove her from the scene, but clearly uploaded the previous, not proof-read, chapter. I fixed it a second ago. :) Thanks!

Yes, Harry doesn't want him to see from the newspaper.

I'm glad you enjoyed the Bones and Devlin interaction - and the thoughts it stirs in his head even after he dismisses her. I think she was pretty sure she would be dismissed - going in. I don't imagine Harry sugar coated it or suggested she might be successful - or perhaps did not actually want Devlin to tell her.

"Another thing that seems to finally be sinking in for Devlin is that Geoffrey's "loyalty" to Devlin is really more about Geoffrey's desire to ensure his own survival by following Voldemort's orders to their illogical conclusion." I do SO love Geoffrey for this reason. To the reader he seems to flip-flop quite a bit, and I cannot wait until we truly KNOW which it is. Don't judge him yet. You might feel differently in the next chapter - and differently again later.

Emma was listening yes. I won't yet say whether Geoffrey saw, and I urge you not to take his reactions/actions as evidence of his knowledge. We all know Geoffrey is tricky to pinpoint. :)

In the beginning of the chapter when Devlin sees the newspaper on the kitchen table, he notes "The boy had gotten bigger." This suggests he KNOWS the boy, and I hope you picked up on that.

""The boy didn't seem to have mastered such a facade," Geoffrey said thoughtfully

"The boy had a stupid father," he argued, his voice chilly."

These are further clues I dropped about Devlin having met the boy. In fact, he mentions it many chapters back too, but I can't recall which one. Anyway - more will be revealed in the next chapter. :)

I think you will really really enjoy the next bit. Remember that roller-coaster you were so fond of - well we've been climbing to the top of the hill and we're about to pick up speed here. ;-)

Remember Draco wanted a Time Turner? He brings that up in the next chapter. ;-)

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Review #44, by CambAngst Unexpected

20th May 2014:
Hi, there! I was floored to find that you had two new chapter published. I've been horribly remiss...

It was hard to decide whether to feel badly or excited for Devlin in this chapter. I think he made it over one or two important mental hurdles, but it seemed like a very stressful process for him. And in the end, he still held back on some of his deepest secrets. Still for a boy who's survived the things he's been through, the progress he made was definitely a big deal.

I can see more than a little of Harry in Devlin, especially the shame and guilt he carries about doing the things that he had to do in order to survive in captivity. Just like Harry always struggles to understand why people think he's a hero when so many of his friends and family died, Devlin can't get his head around why anyone would admire him for the risks he took to save Maria.

"Because she can see things in my eyes like Snape and Dumbledore and Grandfather, and I only told you the words. I don't want you to see Maria like that." -- On the one hand, I really want to admire Devlin's knack for turning situations around and making things that he wants sound like they're a benefit for the other person. On the other hand, I've seen my own kids start to do the same thing, so maybe it's less impressive. ;) Also, it's funny that motherhood seems to have its own built-in form of Legilimency. Like the wizarding equivalent of eyes in the back of your head.

Maybe that was why the words slipped past both him and the sharpness, or maybe he had carefully created it all in order to make sure they slip past, like he did to make his magic feel a want as a need. -- Wow, that was a pretty powerful sentiment. I've felt for a few chapters now like Devlin is really starting to feel a need to get some of his secrets out. It's nice to see it finally happening.

You don't know how many chapters I've been waiting for Harry to finally hug Devlin without the boy pushing him away! It's one of the smallest, simplest pleasures of being a parent, hugging your child. I've wanted that pretty badly for Harry.

More revelations from Devlin, about the boy that he was locked in the dungeon cell with. So that was the boy that Voldemort sent back to Harry. It never occurred to me until just this moment that the "fake Devlin" would have had to be a werewolf in order to fool everyone. And since it would have been far too obvious to send the boy back with werewolf bites all over him, Voldemort must have allowed Devlin to bite the boy, then taken the boy away in order to kill him. Subtle, and genius!

They cried, not him. Tears were not for him. He was not supposed to be like them; like the people who Voldemort didn't find interesting and lifted his wand to whisper the brilliant green killing curse. He wasn't one of them. He didn't scream and he didn't cry and he didn't beg, because he did not want to die. -- I thought this was a really sad but appropriate ending to the first scene of the chapter. Devlin has come a long way, but not quite that far yet.

Ah, Malfoy. I loved the thought process, loved the sneaky, manipulative, calculating way he goes about his assigned task and I absolutely adored the fact that it blew up in his face. I don't know whether he'll actually end up being caught, but let's just say I can dream.

So a few typos that I notices while I was reading:

Dubhán something break in him, or release, or shatter - he wasn't sure... -- felt something break

He had only a cat - old and greying, which he could see form the window where it was lounging. -- from the window

Also, I saw a few places where you wrote "Auror's", the possessive, when I think you meant "Aurors", the plural.

Awesome chapter! Back soon for the next one.

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Review #45, by lindslo2012 Into the Fog

20th May 2014:
Hey there!
Here for the review swap!
I believe last time we did one of these I didn't receive a review in return.. so I hope I get one this time ;) it probably got mixed up or something, not sure.
Anyways I came to Chapter 4 because I have already reviewed the others.
I absolutely still love your story and I think it is just getting better and better,
I like the way you have everyone still alive- it makes me happy! And I think this is after the war am I right? Or was there no war? I can't entirely remember because it has been awhile.
I feel very bad for Devlin and for Geoffrey.
I hate that the little boy got tortured and especially that he has these seizures because of the Cruciatus Curse. I have a feeling that sooner or later, Geoffrey is going to pay for what he has done at the hands of Voldemort but I would be so happy if he didn't die too!!!
I sure hope that little Devlin is safe for awhile and that he doesn't go anywhere or get hurt anymore.
I don't see any errors or anything in your story and I enjoy the great detail you put into it!
I will be back to read more soon hopefully!

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Review #46, by HufflePuff_Blitz The Informant

20th May 2014:
Hey, I'm here for the review swap thingy!
This is actually really cool. Usually I tend to stay away from severe AU but I actually thought this was pretty good. This first chapter has enough information so I am not totally lost, but the stuff you are withholding is enough for me to want to keep reading. Which I certainly plan on doing :)
I can't wait to start the next chapter- kyle

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Review #47, by CambAngst Steady Ground

22nd April 2014:
Hi, there! I'm back again. You got this chapter up really fast!

Devlin bounced back really well from what happened to him at the end of the last chapter. Either it wasn't a full-blown attack or he's handling them a lot better, one or the other. Or maybe Alex gave him the potion in between chapters. At any rate, I was sort of glad it was her that he found watching over him when he awoke.

Her character is one that I still don't feel like I have a complete grasp of. I can see odd bits of Voldemort in her, mostly mannerisms and her approach to certain situations. She's extremely perceptive, but in a way that's almost... intrusive. She has a way of setting up situations and dilemmas to try to draw things out of Devlin. The little trick with locking the door was clever. It's easy to see why Devlin tends to base his predictions about her thoughts and actions on the things that he would do. It's also easy to understand why any weakness he perceives in her affects him so much.

Wow. Devlin's little speech to Alex probably really hit her where it hurt. I doubt that was his intention, at least not completely, but I'm sure it had an effect. She opened the door right away after that.

It's so awful that Devlin is still convinced that sharing the secret of Maria's escape will lead to his death. Things would be so much easier for him if he could get past that fear.

I'm not sure who Devlin thinks he's fooling, but I'll bet that he's not fooling Hermione at all. She definitely sees through the way that he's acting out and calls him out on it in a soft sort of way. He's going to have to learn that outside of a Death Eater camp, nobody is going to be intimidated by a little boy who tries to sound like Voldemort -- even if the impression is really good. His best case is that they think it's cute and his worst case is that they find it disturbing or even indicative of his deeper loyalties.

"You're copying him. It's not an advantage here." -- Well, Alex put it a lot more succinctly that I did. ;)

The scene where he gives Emma her present was really sweet. The snake and the lily. Wow, that couldn't be any more symbolic if it involved asphodel somehow. One thing that just dawned on me is that Emma shares the same relationship to Voldemort that Devlin does. It makes me wonder whether we'll see any of him emerge in her before the story is all said and done.

Harry offers Devlin a pretty fair bargain, in my opinion. I doubt that even Devlin could imagine that Harry would keep that particular secret from his mother forever. I really like the fact that Devlin is now starting to consider the possibility that Voldemort is not coming to take him back. That he might become a permanent part of the Potter family. He doesn't have any idea what to do with that bit of insight, but at least it's bubbling around in his brain. If he can come to accept the possibility that Voldemort doesn't want him back -- or, dare we imagine, the possibility that Voldemort lacks the means to take him back -- he would have to start confronting more of his immediate problems.

Great chapter! I love seeing the poor boy take another step forward, even a small one.

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Review #48, by Pixileanin Feverish Thoughts

21st April 2014:
Ack! The scene opens with a nightmare! Or at least I hope it's a nightmare. Dubhan is still finding it so difficult to trust and believe in these people. It's almost painful to read, but it still makes sense. It hasn't been that long for him away from Voldemort, and it seems that every time he becomes vulnerable, he doesn't know what to do about it.

I love the way you continuously describe the effects of the Calming Draught on the little boy who has lost his fight. It's like he wants to be angry, but it's all diffused in his head and he just can't muster up the ire at the moment. And he doesn't believe that whatever he's found here with Harry and his wife is going to last. Poor kid!

His reaction to jeans and a t-shirt, such normal things, and such strange items to him, was fun to read. He tries so hard not to react to these things, but they're new and strange, and he can't help but think about them. I keep wondering why he tells himself not to think about things... and what exactly he's trying not to think about. I hope Geoffrey can shed some light on this sometime in the future.

I laughed when he thought about Bella not counting as a lady. I would whole-heartedly agree!

And oh! The bookstore incident was so alarming! I could identify so much with Harry's concealed rage that someone else had seen his son and not known to report it. How horrible to find out that way, that Devlin had been right there and no one had said a thing. I commend Harry for keeping as calm as he did with such a shock.

And who was the mysterious man? Devlin seemed to recognize him. I am insanely curious! And then Harry scares his son, just when he doesn't want to. He really tried to keep it together, but the note and the Death Eater in the shop... and then needing Geoffrey... I could feel Harry slipping. He so wants to be that person for Devlin, but he's not. Not yet. And I fear he's taken several steps backwards.

The whole Occulmency thing was so intriguing and interesting. I found it fascinating that Harry thought Alexandra would understand, of all people, but you brought up an interesting point - that she hadn't been taught, so she wouldn't know. Her connection to Voldemort is fascinating. You have so many things that at this point in the story, haven't yet been revealed. I'm dying to know... which just means that I have to read more and catch up. :P

Geoffrey's solution to keeping the boy "safe at all costs"... wow. I have no idea how deep that runs, but I bet it's really important. I can't wait to see how that impacts the rest of the story.

I must not stay away from this story for as long as I have. There are many fascinating things going on over here!

Another thought-provoking chapter!

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Review #49, by CambAngst A Party

13th April 2014:
Hi, there! I'm getting all caught up on my stories today. Fun!

If Harry could have chosen how the world worked, he would be having his first conversation about death with Devlin over the tidily dug grave for Zee, when the boy was years older and so much more innocent. -- I love the contrast here! Such a poignant sentiment!

Harry and Devlin picked an interesting time to get all tense and weird around one another, but I guess the events around the Death Eater attack left everyone feeling a little off. I love the consistency you've been able to maintain in Devlin's world view as the story progresses. I know from first-hand experience that it isn't easy to do that. I get so wrapped up in my characters that I want better things for them and sometimes that colors my writing. You've managed to keep Devlin trapped in this mindset that enabled him to survive Voldemort but hampers his ability to understand life on the outside.

I'm not 100% sure why Harry's words made Devlin upset, but I'm suspecting it has to do with the amount of credit that Devlin gives himself for surviving Voldemort. Not to say that he doesn't deserve a lot of credit, but perhaps not quite as much as he's giving himself. He looks at Harry and the connection Harry shares with Voldemort and compares it to the way he believes that he deceived Voldemort into getting the two of them tangled up in Voldemort's mind. Harry's survival must seem easy to him. And then for Harry to claim credit for it, I imagine that rubs Devlin the wrong way.

Then we move on to something that Devlin seems to consider even harder: relating to kids his own age. It's heart-breaking, the way that something that should come so easily frightens him almost more than facing Voldemort. His brain almost seems to freeze up, like he's lost the instruction manual. I love the short, mechanical responses and the half-hearted joke about the cake.

Wow. I almost don't know what to make of the conversation between Devlin and Maria. It's like he craves her acceptance, needs her to tell him that everything is alright even though he's the reason things are alright. In a funny way, she almost seems to understand him better than any of the adults aside from Geoffrey. I guess that goes with having been Voldemort's captive for a time. The common experience means that they both see certain things clearly, but through the eyes of a child.

The ending exchange, where he explains to her how he was able to convince Voldemort not to kill him, was probably the single most heart-breaking thing you've written so far. I've always related really strongly to stories about characters who were forced to change who they were in order to fit in. In Devlin's case, it was about far more than just fitting in, but I think there's a common thread that runs through it. The idea of forced transformation and the way that it can make a child feel... just wrong. I hated it for Devlin and Maria both. I hated the way that he feels ugly, dirty... compromised. It's awful, but it happens far too often in life.

The matter-of-fact way that he tells her he's about to have a seizure was the last straw. I felt like crying for him.

This was a beautifully written, intensely emotional chapter. I don't think there are enough nice things I can say about it.

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Review #50, by CambAngst Tangled and Trapped

12th April 2014:
Hi, there! It's been a while, but I'm back. Silly career...

I love how the nightmare from the last chapter flowed seamlessly into the beginning of this one. I feel like I finally understand most of the picture of how Devlin survived Voldemort. When Devlin shuts down, the wolf takes over. And the behaviors that the wolf exhibits in the face of extreme danger -- show no weakness, don't scream -- were probably a part of what made Devlin so interesting to Voldemort in the first place.

"I didn't want to play with you," -- Again, we see the wolf trying to make the most of Devlin's limited vocabulary and perspective. It would be cute if the game itself wasn't so deadly.

It's amazing that Devlin found a part of his mind to hide in that was so deep that not even Voldemort could touch him there. Actually, I guess that's not quite right. It's amazing that he was able to find his way out again. It brings to mind Frank and Alice Longbottom. Whatever depths of their minds they fell into to escape the pain sent by Crouch, Jr. and the Lestranges, they never found their way back out. Perhaps it's the potion that the Dark Lord brewed for Devlin. Maybe that's what enabled him to find his way back out instead of succumbing to the Cruciatus damage. That would make a certain amount of sense, actually. Because he took an interest in Dubhán, he chose to bring the boy back from the brink of nothingness. And now Devlin is convinced that Voldemort will find him. And when that happens, Voldemort will have figured out that Devlin is not his loyal servant nor a younger version of himself. So he will literally be tortured into nothingness. Do I have that basically correct?

It seems like Snape has found his faith in Devlin, and Devlin's ability to fool Voldemort. And there's probably no greater authority on fooling Voldemort than Snape. I loved the conversation between the two of them. There's so much that goes unsaid because it's simply understood between two people who survived for so long in the Dark Lord's shadow. Brilliantly done!

I'm curious about the intended symbolism of the other prisoners inside Devlin's mind. Are those the people that Devlin saw the Dark Lord actually torture into nothingness? It seems strange that Devlin would be "sheltering" these others inside his mind.

I loved the little mention of Lily as they were preparing to exit Devlin's mind.

So what happens next is the only part of the chapter that bothered me a little. Devlin has just "returned" after his body was controlled by his wolf for some period of time. I wouldn't expect to find him calmly sipping tea when Severus comes back to the real world. I would have expected Harry and Sirius and everyone else to be fussing over Devlin, asking him how he felt, asking him what happened, etc. It just seemed sort of blasé compared to what happened.

Snape's reaction, however, was perfect. Show no weakness, show no surprise or emotion, act as though nothing of import has happened.

I'm sure that Devlin is still a bit annoyed at Geoffrey, but I also have a strong suspicion that he's trying to protect the older werewolf in a way. By pushing Geoffrey away, he's trying to distance Geoffrey from his own betrayal of the Dark Lord. He should probably realize that it isn't possible; Voldemort could never forgive Geoffrey without losing face with all of his other followers. Geoffrey knows the boy so well, though. He drips in a little more information, something that Devlin cannot afford to ignore. He starts to explain the connection between Harry and Voldemort and it throws Devlin for a loop. I doubt he ever imagined in his wildest dreams that the Great and Noble Harry Potter shared anything with the Dark Lord, let alone things so important.

I saw a couple of small typos as I was reading:

Then the boy had feinted and he had been plunged into darkness alongside him. -- should be fainted, unless you're talking about the kind of feint you see in fencing.

-Because, if you hadn't already than there would be no reason for this place to exist.- -- then there would be

Awesome chapter! I felt like some of the last pieces fell into place explaining Devlin's survival and I think Devlin came away from this chapter with some new things to think about. Good job!

Author's Response: Great to see you. Careers can be so empowering and annoying at the same time. Ugh. But your reviews are always worth the wait!

I'm glad this chapter helped you understand Devlin's survival better. I know for many they would have liked this to have come sooner (and I may go back and put hints in the first chapter), but I really feel as if it weren't natural until it happened now. There is no terror at Harry's house, and Devlin hasn't known how to deal with the comparatively little hiccups because he hasn't actually truly dealt with ANY of the gruesome things - his wolf has. When a normal child would dissociate, Devlin's wolf comes forward. I imagine after it happened the first couple times Devlin learned to use it as a tool and they tagged team on their combined survival. This exposed the wolf to the human world more and more. There is something damaged about them both, which is the only reason this is possible.

The words themselves "I didn't want to play with you," are Devlin's, but the wolf has urged him and had believed at the time that the words were fierce because that was how Devlin perceived them. And with a child staring up at you, unblinking, unemotional, those words might be taken as something slightly more than childish, too.

I can't yet comment on what made it possible for Devlin to come out of the nothingness. :)

Devlin does not believe Voldemort will kill him - and this is not really a pleasant thought for him, I don't think. I'm not entirely sure he's accurate, on the idea or not (okay I know but I won't tell). He believes he will be tortured into nothingness, or he will be cursed, or he will be obliviated, or Emma will be used against him. But he fears the nothingness the most. So yes, you have that right.

You've got it there! Devlin hasn't yet figured out why he feels differently about Snape, but he will come to realize too that Snape and he are alike - they have both fooled the Dark Lord and lived to tell. I can't wait to get further along because there is actually more Snape/Devlin to come! :D

The prisoners are episodes where the wolf has taken over and he's dissociated or something else (Geoffrey) has otherwise caused him to locked them away in his head. He's alluded to the last prisoner a couple times and he will actually be quite important (anything I bother to have Devlin remind us of several times will be).

Thanks about the Lily part.

Okay, this is interesting how you took that. I meant to symbolize that time had gone by - that Devlin had woken before Snape. I imagine Harry would have tried to comfort, fuss, etc and Devlin would have quickly reminded him not too. Maybe I'll have to go back and put in a couple words to make that clearer.

I did like Snape's exit. :D

I'm curious to know whether you think Geoffrey told Devlin these things in good faith or for something bad. I think he's trying to push Devlin to a realization that Devlin doesn't yet have. There are things in Devlin's head, obviously, that he hasn't connected to Harry. We don't even know if Harry has connected them to himself yet (or Dumbledore). But yes, Harry is more like Devlin than Devlin has ever fathomed.

Thank you for the lovely review! I'll get the typos!

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