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Review #51, by SlideOff the Rails: twenty-four

5th October 2012:
Bad memory, hmm? A bad memory because she's DYING? Wait, wait, now I'm cooking up crazy conspiracy theories like maybe she knows she's dying, somehow learnt about magic, and is trying to use James to get access to a cure and doesn't REALLY care about him! Muwahahaha! No, I don't think that's actually going on.

Okay, you're right, Kit's growing on me and grew a lot on me this chapter. Poor boy; you can tell he's been friends with girls lots if he knows so automatically to apply tea and chocolate to a crisis. Is there nothing these staples of Britishness cannot solve? AWW poor Lily. She's breaking my heart! Of course she'd have issues of intimacy after everything backfiring, and it's made all the more heartening because she's been such a trooper about being a Squib, so when she's really letting it get to her, you know it's really bad. Even if this is more about being whittled down overall than this individual incident.

For a 'fluff' chapter (and I love my fluff chapters) this one is particularly adorable. Everyone's on top form for characterisation, James is sweet, Lily is endearing, Kit is coming into his own a bit more (as he's been easily overshadowed by Lily and Maddie in the past) and Maddie remains Maddie and I, of course, wish to see more.

Good stuff!

Author's Response: I love your conspiracy theories over what might happen, haha. Keep thinking ;)

Yeah, this was definitely Kit's moment to shine; he's more in touch with his emotions and generally more well-rounded than Maddie is, so this is where he really has a part to play in Lily's life and, indeed, the story. Very glad to know you've grown to like him! Poor Lily, yes; she does try to keep a brave face on things but this has worn her down a lot. She copes remarkably well with being a Squib ... but it's never going to be easy for her, not while the Statute of Secrecy exists. Glad you like, thanks for reviewing!

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Review #52, by SlideFrozen: Toy Soldiers

2nd October 2012:
Oh yeah, we were somewhere GOOD, weren't we? *settles down with popcorn* Oh, hey, it's time for another totally adorable James Potter and TWO YEARS?? No wonder they've got a kid. You need something to DO in that time.

The plan is risky, but hey, what's a war without a little risk? I suppose strategically it does make sense - even if it backfires and they lose Gideon, Araminta's safer than ever. Playing the cold strategist game, a spy like Araminta's more valuable than even an excellent fighter like Gideon - and playing it less cold, you know, the plan might even WORK! Crazy.

But at the same time Araminta's fear is normal - and even so's the guilt. This isn't quite as martyrish; if he dies now, he does die for her. By choice or whatever, he'd still be dying for her and that'd be a LOT to take in. Of course, him coming back alive is considerably better!! Heh. Only normal to take some satisfaction from Bellatrix taking the brunt of Voldemort's anger. Nothing wrong with that!


...I am going to throw things at you. BIG SPIKY THINGS. I should have seen this coming, really. Anyone that supportive and emotionally integral wasn't going to have a great survival rating. BUT STILL. NINJAS.

Author's Response: This is one of my favourite chapters. It DOES end sadly, but I liked the bit with the Potters, just because I love writing them in general. And I do seem to have an obsession with James Potters, don't I! Haha. The timescale as to when the Potters went into hiding is sketchy, but I went for a couple of months after Lily fell pregnant, given that her child was one of the potentials in terms of the prophecy, and apparently they went into hiding not long after their safety became compromised. But it is indeed a long, long time!

Strategically, this plan makes sense. Not that it was based on strategy at all, more Gideon's rashness and over-protectiveness towards his Minty. There is a huge risk that they might lose Gideon; he's one of the Order's best fighters, and it would be a huge boost to the Death Eaters. But it does enforce the thought in Voldemort's mind that Araminta is still his woman, which is of course its aim, and so in that sense it becomes a success the minute the Death Eaters prove that her information was right.

Araminta does have HUGE problems with guilt. It's possibly for the best that Gideon survived - except, she now has another death to blame on herself. I put her through A Lot.

Please don't throw things! It had to happen, at the end of the day Arieda was a muggleborn with a sister who was prominent in the Order, and so she had the potential to become just as prominent. And Bellatrix was angry and wanted her revenge. Arieda would certainly have had a role to play during the fight at Gideon's flat, so she was, sadly, the obvious target for the Death Eaters. And so she dies. :( Thanks for reviewing, and keep those ninjas well away!

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Review #53, by SlideOff the Rails: twenty-three

2nd October 2012:
Ah-ha! I briefly forgot who Demelza Robins is, but context is everything. I'm with you now. Thought some hitherto unheard-of ex-girlfriend or something but nope, Quidditch. Serious business! Aw, that's cool/sweet that James WANTS hard games to showcase himself. You go, James, you're awesome.

I want a t-shirt with that 'Keep calm' variation. Or a mug. I'm not picky! Hee! Cordelia's always cute. I never know whether to judge it animal cruelty or if she's just a particularly cogent tribble. I'll stick with tribble. Oh, wait, less on cute fluffy things, more on James' success! Good for him. Ha! Of course Carla, being NORMAL, would be wowed by Hogwarts. MAGIC CASTLE. 'Playing keepie-uppie with my pygmy puff' sounds like an euphemism, which I suppose would make James' point better. And BLESS James for his loyalty. I seem to be in a mood to gush over James today.

Whee! McGonagall the Awesome! I see she's still headmistress, that's cool. McGonagall is Eternal. Or should be. I like the idea she still had a good innings post-Dumbledore as she did so much for the school even when technically just Deputy. Though I think Maggie Smith ages McGonagall in our heads; isn't she described as dark haired in PS? I mean, I know wizarding ageing is weird but I think the movies make us imagine her as a bit more wizened than she is. But I digress.

Hee, setting a Weasley kid on Trelawney. Sounds about right for McG. I was going to say this chapter is full of grinnings but there's trouble afoot. James might be being fatalistic in terms of the WHYs, but something's up. Something wicked this way comes. Good stuff!

Author's Response: Yes, Demelza Robins is a JK character from HBP who played Quidditch and is now Head Honcho in the England camp. So definitely one to impress. And James is sensible enough to realise that landslide victories against walkover teams are not going to advance his England prospects as much as tight games against tougher sides.

Go for a mug, everyone needs mugs! I do like throwing (figuratively AND literally) Cordelia into things at certain moments; her existence isn't JUST for pure amusement, though obviously that's a good side-effect. I wouldn't think of it as animal cruelty, especially if she likes it! Which I'm sure she does. Definitely a tribble though.

That Hogwarts mention went in when Carlotta was meant to be visiting Hogwarts. That was the initial draft for the next chapter, and was where James was going to bump into McG. But it was going hidiously, and I decided that it wouldn't add to the story, and might possibly seem TOO unrealistic, so I dropped it and shoehorned the McG conversation in here. But the bit with Carlotta looking through the photographs didn't need to come out, so I left it in to serve as a reminder that this entire world is bewildering to her.

I had that EXACT same thought about the euphemism! Good to know I'm not the only one who's easily amused.

McG is still Headmistress because I just ASSUMED that she would be, and didn't really think to myself "might she be getting on a bit now?" until a few weeks ago. But I don't think she's that old; if she was in her seventies in the books, she must be in her early hundreds now, which isn't necessarily over the hill in wizarding terms. So she is still there for now. And subtly encouraging mischief when the target is a worthy one!

Something Wicked may well be coming! Enjoy the calm while it lasts ;) Thanks for reviewing!

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Review #54, by SlideFrozen: The Power of Love

24th September 2012:
One can only imagine how hard the life of a double-agent is. Though I think perhaps Araminta's being unnecessarily martyrish to hide how tough it is from Gideon. He might be fragile and... Gideon-like, but I have faith that he'd buck up and be able to help! D'aww, bless, Arieda notices first. *waves little flag* Okay, so Arieda says pretty much what I was thinking. You go, girl!

Uh oh, another notch on the martyr score. You can't blame yourself for everything, Araminta. For many reasons but also because that'll drive you crazy. And now we test how well she can put Arieda's advice into practice. Results are in: Not so well. Though I can well understand lashing out as a defence technique; let's hope Gideon puts his experience to good use and takes it on the chin. S'not about you, Giddy-P. Be smart.

...that was not what I meant. GUYS. GUYS. HEY. THIS IS NOT A GOOD PLAN. ...guys?

Author's Response: There was definitely the risk, after Araminta's secret was out, that I could underplay just how hard she found it being a spy. Hopefully I managed to get the balance right and not overplay it either. This is the first time after her and Gideon have sorted things out, so to speak, that it really begins to trouble her, and she's gotten so used to not being able to tell him anything that it's almost as though it doesn't even cross her mind that she COULD. That, and she really doesn't like the feeling that she's burdening others. It's not necessarily that she's being deliberately martryish, more that she genuinely thinks her problems aren't worth troubling him further with.

Arieda, of course, notices first. Because she is a BABE. You wave your flag, girl! And yeah, Gideon would be able to buck himself up and help her out - because he's a Gryff, and that's what Gryffs do best.

...Course, he also does sacrificing himself for others very well. Which isn't always a good thing! This plan is clearly, TOTALLY, fool-proof.

Thanks for reviewing!

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Review #55, by SlideFrozen: I Believe In You

12th September 2012:
Squee, House fun! Oh, you'll be a Slytherin, Minty-Gamp, and you'll like it. Ha, I can only imagine that Gideon's a little put out that you don't think you can conjure up a happy enough memory to produce a patronus, but is this a Chekhov's Gun I see being put up on the wall? There'll be a patronus before this story is out, mark my words!

Ahh, Dumbles' office. A place of much wonderment and oddity. I was briefly surprised that he'd let anyone in unattended, but then we're dealing with adults of the Order, not his students! Yay, Sorting Hat! Yes, I imagine Sorting an adult would be very different to Sorting an 11 year-old (don't get me started on Dumbledore's bloody "I think we Sort too soon", as if Snape was done some injustice by being Sorted into Slytherin at a young age BUT I DIGRESS), so it's interesting the Hat's considering both now and then. Yess, embrace the Slytherin-ness, Minty-G. It's good for you. It doesn't make you evil by default, trust me. If you were a classic Gryffindor you'd probably be one dead spy. Slyths approve!

I was a bit bewildered by her going to pieces over the Hat, but it makes perfect sense, really, considering the tension she's under and layers of self-doubt and self-identity which have to prevail over a defector and a spy. Especially if we consider how ingrained into the wizarding collective subconscious the Houses are as a definition of one's personality and values... mmm, yes. I could meander a lot on the philosophy of this chapter but I'll spare you all the armchair psychology of a fictional culture and other people's characters!

Except, Giddy, you really are the most Gryffindory-Gryffindor who ever Gryff'd. At least until your nephew becomes a Hero. Good chapter!

Author's Response: House fun indeed! I had much fun writing this chapter - all of about two years ago, in fact. Another reason why I loved Anguisverse so much when I started reading it, with all of its House dynamics and analysis. I expect that Gideon was indeed VERY put out when Araminta said she doubted she could cast a Patronus - in fact, I had that very same thought myself when I wrote it! Poor thing, I am horrible to him.

At first, Dumbledore was meant to be in his office the entire time. But his presence just felt AWKWARD, so I had to ditch him. In the end it's not beyond the realms of possibility that he would let adults into his office without him, especially when a) it's Gideon and b) there is someone intrigued in being 'Sorted', so to speak, and that strikes me as the kind of thing that Dumbledore would think of as Very Important.

You know, it's possible that Dumbledore's comment about people being Sorted too soon wasn't meant as a slur towards Slytherins, but more that Snape HIMSELF wasn't helped by being in Slytherin, and that actually he'd have been much better off in a different House, because he wouldn't have been surrounded by so many future Death Eaters? But then, I can't see where else he WOULD have gone, because, as we have also discussed, Snape wasn't courageous for courage's sake but just because he wanted Lily for himself, so really he was acting in his own self-interest the entire time which is much more of a Slytherin trait.

And Minty-G would DEFINITELY have been a Slytherin at 11. She has developed more Gryffindor traits over the past few months though, but she is by no means a fully-fledged Gryff thank you. And she is certainly VERY insecure right now, and is just looking for people to trust her. The Sorting Hat doesn't identify her as being loyal, and it just pushes her over the edge. Writing this chapter - all that time ago - has made me very Hufflepuff-sympathetic though! And don't worry, I enjoy your character-trait-related musings! But yes, possibly not HERE. Haha :)

Gideon is the ULTIMATE Gryffindor. Right down to the part where he, you know, DIES. Tragic stuff. Thanks for reviewing!

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Review #56, by SlideOff the Rails: twenty-two

6th September 2012:
Freddie's right, James. Whipped. Ah, Rose, bending the rules so. Your parents would approve (Ron openly, Hermione quietly). I confess to wanting to see more of your Rose and Albus, they seem cool. But obviously I know the pain of not wanting to focus on too many of the extended Weasley brood! Good to see James isn't really fussing too much over Cato and Brigid; it rarely does go down well to have a "make sure you treat her well" conversation. If they needed that conversation it's TOO LATE and tends to just aggravate others. Typical James for it to, ultimately, stem from a bit of jealousy at another ladies' man in the field. Ah yes, Leggy Allegra. I don't think your James and my Scorpius should meet. It would be unfortunate. But I can't deny your James will probably wind up influencing the depiction of my James, when it comes to it. Oop, good judgement, James, ditching the girl who gets that drunk, that quickly. Alcoholic or not it's not a good idea and not fun to be around!

Ah, meeting the family. Either goes very well or very poorly. I'm sure James is possible of charming them; on the other hand this can backfire HORRIBLY on occasion. You don't want to give the parents the impression you're a suave manipulator charming their daughter! Lucky dodge, James, on the football, just as well nobody asked you what team you play for. He could have been caught out PRETTY badly then, but I imagine Carla's clever enough to have not told her family he plays football if THEY actually knew much about football. I see the mother and brother are going to be the problem, though I cannot but agree with her on the subject of screw-top wine. It's a TRAVESTY. I am warming to Ms Martinez. Cultured and a little bit superior, I love her.

Well done, James. You survived it. Now just hope they didn't like you SO MUCH they want to see you again. Good chapter!

Author's Response: James is UTTERLY whipped. Rose is a menace. I can try to throw her and Al in more to please the masses, and actually they DO have a bit of a role in the next Arc, but in general they're secondary characters. Heck, Lily was meant to be a secondary character, but the fact that she's a Squib just seems to push her into the picture ALL THE TIME. That, and I love writing Maddie.

My James and your Scorpius would get on RIDICULOUSLY well. Especially if alcohol and leggy girls were involved. Possibly TOO well. Yes, they should never meet. And I would thoroughly love if my James was to influence yours. :)

James is very good with people in general, so meeting the parents isn't a massive issue for him - HE can pull off the charm perfectly, it just requires them to like him. And they do, to a certain extent. Carlotta's mother is one of my faves, she DOES seem a bit stuck-up but it's just what she's like. And I was definitely projecting with the screw-top wine issue, to me a wine bottle has to have a cork! Cheers for the review :)

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Review #57, by SlideFrozen: I Run to You

4th September 2012:
Yay more Lady Antebellum songs! Did Gideon really think he could hide things from Arieda? Silly boy. I want to give them both hugs - oh noes, Arieda, don't get involved with Sirius. I know you say you're just friends but it's DOOMED. DOOMED. Like the Bones family. Poor, poor Bones family - I was gutted when Amelia died, she was a cool lady. Heh, I like that "he saved my life a couple of times". An off-hand comment about a HUGE thing, but in wars, it happens a lot. It like "He bought me a drink this one time". I love playing with that stuff, how life-altering horrendous things become commonplace.

Minty-G, you are entirely forbidden from saying things like "the curiosity won't kill me". Bad idea. Though I kind of want to know, too... ooh, the killing stuff. *gets popcorn* ...okay, I don't want this popcorn any more. COLD. Super-cold. She didn't have a choice. Someone else would have killed the girl. She was already dead. But still. Horrific.

Oop. Forget popcorn, it's reading glasses time. Yeah, shock to the system like that's always going to make you cling to people. Let's just hope this isn't precipitating anything which wouldn't happen anyway - a catalyst, rather than a Bad Idea brought on from stress. Gideon's sensible to be careful, but at least he's not doing any Idiotic Decision Making For Her thing. But yes! Good, and well done, and well addressed. Neither beleaguering the point nor shying away, as we have discussed, these scenes are tough to write. Good stuff!

Author's Response: More Lady Antebellum indeed! I could possibly have written most if not all of this fic with Lady Antebellum songs but that would have been very monotonous. I do use them twice though BECAUSE I CAN.

Arieda is totally, totally head-over-heels in love with Fabian, she's not going to start fooling around with Sirius any time soon. And the Boneses have, sadly, copped it.

It would indeed be very interesting if the curiosity DID kill Araminta. I can safely say that it WON'T, though throwing phrases involving death around when you're in a war probably isn't appropriate. THE KILLING STUFF. It is, indeed, cold. But hopefully realistic. Poor Minty G has had a tormented life, and she barely even realises it most of the time. Tragic.

Sexy-times would definitely have happened anyway AT SOME POINT, but it may have taken a bit longer for her to be at ease with it all. Back when I was a little less sure about it all, I reasoned to myself that in that state of mind, Araminta would probably be MORE likely to want to overcome the pain that Travers caused, because she wouldn't want to be held back by him, especially now he's dead and after she's been tortured by the guy whose fault it all is. SO she sought comfort from her Giddy. Who was very mature and sensible about it all. Very glad you approve, as it was an utter headache. THANKS FOR REVIEWING.

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Review #58, by SlideOff the Rails: twenty

4th September 2012:
Oops. I totally did miss a chapter. Ah, I see it's a Quidditch chapter, which is why I didn't quite notice (also my gross inattentiveness) but whee, Quidditch! Ha, James, you never know when you've got it good? Though I imagine it would be frustrating to dedicate time to a match he wouldn't play. Hee, Transylvania - and you've got one of my little pet loves, the cross-over between the political make-up of the wizarding world versus the Muggle world and how the former doesn't always keep up with the latter - ASSYRIA. You're killing me. And bless him. I do love James, I love how passionate and stroppy and silly (and not without good reason) he can be, but I do love that he has a level head underneath and I love how it comes out more over Quidditch than anything else.

And bless him for looking after Brigid, and bless him for his concern for her being very wisely affected by his respect for his own nose. Not to mention that I'm sure Brigid can take care of herself. I just hope she's doing it for her own sake, not to make Freddie jealous. It's a BAD PLAN.

D'aww, the funeral. Of course his namesake would love some Wheezes. Of course the Potters are sensible and pragmatic in ensuring their kids know the truth about what's happened and why. And grief like that's a funny thing - in the weird way, not the ha-ha way. You didn't need to belabour the point, especially not after the visit to Lily's grave, but it's a nice, important touch.


Author's Response: Haha, yeah, this is one of those chapters that you wouldn't automatically MISS because nothing massive happens in it. But, you know, grave visits and all that. :) I got so much amusement from the whole Transylvania/Assyria thing! I love the way that the wizarding world totally hasn't kept up with Muggle politics. Carlotta would find it TOTALLY bewildering. James is ONLY sensible when it comes to Quidditch. And people judging others unfairly. ;) He is also a ridiculously loyal/over-protective friend, delete as approps. And thinks too much about his own appearance. BUT boys will be boys! Brigid's theory is definitely that this date will either help her move on, or give Freddie a much needed kick up the backside, so it's a win-win situation for her. In THEORY.

I've always struggled with working out what the Potters would have told their kids, and - more importantly - WHEN. The whole Harry/Al chat about Slytherin and namesakes in the epilogue suggested that they didn't know everything at that point, but I think that they would have known what they needed to know by the time they went to school, and certainly they would have known the full story by this point. This grave bit was hard to write because obviously it doesn't need to be as long as the first one was, but it still needed a decent mention. I like how it turned out in the end. :) Thanks for reviewing!

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Review #59, by SlideOff the Rails: twenty-one

29th August 2012:
You can't pretend it's not serious when parent-meeting is occurring, James! YAY Albus. Bring on the Albus. Hee, Scorose. Hee, outraged Albus. It's kind of cute the way he's a bit of a mini-Harry (though is sounding a little more like his Uncle Ron in his outrage). Oh, ironic turn of events, James. I do love it when he shows he has a brain, that his laid-back-ness isn't just thoughtlessness, he really just IS a decent guy to everyone.

Exposition!James time! Or perhaps bad exposition. Oh dear, there's no way this is going to go well. He left it a little bit too long before telling her about this, and it doesn't help that he's only telling her because he has to. And this is the bit where he CAN be very thoughtless, I suppose! Bless him. Not sure it's a good idea to say there's nothing else, either. Maybe say that there's a lot of history and it's a long STORY... oh dear, James. Oh dear, oh dear...

Woot, Lily and Maddie time. Oh, and there's Kit, too, he'll do. Probably more than 'do', teaching James about football sounds entertaining. And poor Lily, likely having a thing for someone but not daring to do anything about it due to the Muggle/non-Muggle divide (James is not the man to set a good example with such a thing). But James is right, still! She's got good friends. Could be a lot worse. Very sweet chapter.

Author's Response: The thing with the parent-meeting is that it's purely for Carlotta to get her own back on James for throwing her at his ENTIRE family at his Quidditch matches. To them, it's not serious - or at least, they're trying to hide from the fact that it suggests something more serious than either of them want. But however they look at it, it IS hard to escape the fact that whatever they have between them is far more complicated and serious than they initially aimed for.

Albus is usually reasonably rational, but here he is most definitely NOT. He, sadly, can be prejudiced when it comes to the Malfoys. And this is the Scorose relevance, I hope you enjoyed it. :) James can be thoughtless, but he is also, as you say, a genuinely open-minded, DECENT bloke. And this is an issue that is close to his heart.

Yeah, James is a total idiot here. He finally has to reveal the dark history of his world ... and still doesn't do it all properly. NOT GOOD. He's not necessarily thoughtless, he has his reasons for keeping quiet, but he doesn't consider the problems that could be caused by not telling her everything. Either way, he's digging himself into an even bigger hole here.

Kit will DO? I'm hoping that in a few chapters' time you will love him as much as you do Lily and Maddie; he's not QUITE had his time to shine yet but it will come. I could possibly have written more of the football conversation but I don't know it in enough depth to do so; the offside rule comment was about as far as I was willing to go! Unlike Maddie teaching James about rugby, where I went to town. Lily is indeed in a pretty sucky situation, only made worse by her oaf of a brother breaking the Statute here, there and everywhere. He's doing the right thing in not trying to talk to her about the issue, because in the wrong circumstances his misdeeds would loom pretty heavily over them both. So all he can do is stand back and let her do what she thinks is right ... which is to suffer in silence. Poor thing. She does, indeed, have good friends to make things easier, clueless as Maddie is. Thanks for reviewing!

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Review #60, by SlideFrozen: Saviour

29th August 2012:
I'd say "poor James", and I'm sure it's hard to be left behind, but good grief, man, don't complain at the people about to go off and risk their lives! Look at baby Harry. There, that's better. Heh, of course Voldemort has standing positions for his hierarchy. I never have observed before how this stroy makes for some fun and sensible insights into how the organisation of Death Eaters works, but it does, and they're believable and compelling and really add to the atmosphere of the kind of life Minty-G lives.

Ha, sensible Moody. No plan survives contact with the enemy. I almost feel sorry for Avery, whipping-boy of the Death Eaters. Ohhh, tense. Good, good tension. AWW Bella cares. Okay, she doesn't, but I like this display that Bellatrix is (perhaps for now, before she goes truly crazy) professional enough to know that Araminta needs protecting as an asset, regardless of personal dislike. Okay, or, trying to get a liability out of the way but that's still CUNNING. Plenty of people would write Bellatrix as just being happy to get Araminta killed. I really like that little bit. Okay, I take back my harsh words from the beginning, James Potter is, again, a sweetheart. And I am inordinately pleased at Arieda getting her first takedown.

Trust Gideon to get an excuse to take his shirt off. Trust him to be all charming and provocative while gushing blood. Always a pleasure when they recapture some of the banter from before. And, of course, what woman could resist? I do like that it's frantic, desperate sort of embrace, considering he nearly died and she panicked about it and that's going to have a lot of bubbling emotions rather than being something suave and perfect.

B'AWWW I'm all gushy now. Issues are real and not ignored. Gideon is appropriately outraged then appropriately adorable. Healing takes time and is all FLUFFY. *flails* Yeah, I'm out of coherent words on this one. A particularly outstanding chapter.

Author's Response: The trouble is, it's easy for James to moan about not fighting when he's around people who ARE, because that's where he'd like to be too! And actually, I expect that most, if not all, of the people actually fighting would much rather be doing that than be in James' position, so I doubt too many of them were too irritated at the whole thing.

In GoF the Death Eaters seemed to have particular spots in which to stand around him, so I nabbed that idea and decided that it occured regardless of the situation. It's partly to make it more realistic and canon-compliant, and partly to poke fun at Voldie-boy. Because it's utterly ridiculous. BUT it does prevent people from unfortunate Apparitions on top of other people, so it has its practicalities.

I think there are numerous ways to look at Bellatrix's attitude here. It might be that she recognises Araminta's importance; alternatively, it's that she doesn't want her to duel well and steal her glory, or it's an act that might bump Bellatrix higher up on Voldemort's list of favourites! I DO think that it would be too easy, especially at this stage, to have Bellatrix not recognise Araminta's values AT ALL purely because of a mutual dislike. So she sends her away. For a mixture of all of the above reasons. She's no idiot.

James is definitely my favourite Marauder, and he's not featured enough yet. Any excuse to shoehorn him in, and I'm there :) And he is a bit of a babe in this chapter! It's not the last we see of him, but he doesn't have much more of a role - then again, neither does anyone else any more, we're getting to the end of Giddy and Minty's story...

The Gideon/Araminta moment was ridiculously cheesy and corny but I DON'T CARE I LOVED IT ANYWAY. It's good to know that you did too! They'd both gotten to the point where they'd admitted to themselves how they felt, but didn't want to be the first to take the plunge and admit it to the other, so it was always going to take something like this - the worry that one of them wouldn't survive - to egg them on a bit. Hence the frantic desperation. And then, of course, Araminta's ISSUES come up. And Gideon is an utter babe. Seriously, I'd like my own Gideon having written this chapter, he is a little bit amazing when he's in the right mood. This was possibly my favourite chapter so far to write - actually, I'd say my favourite of ALL, though I am pleased with those that follow too. This one had THE Giddy/Minty moment in it; it can't really be topped! Thanks for reviewing :)

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Review #61, by SlideOff the Rails: nineteen

20th August 2012:
Aha. Manly talks time. James could do with one, he spends most of his time with Freddie dealing with Freddie's issues or with a girl present. Ha, James Potter NEVER rings first. It's good to see James talking with a mate, and one who's going to be blunt in that way what men are with him. This ISN'T an average relationship of his, and everyone else has been so busy fussing over that she's a Muggle that they've not REALLY addressed that it IS becoming more serious. Good on Teddy. Okay, now he is bringing it up, but certainly PROPERLY, in way to make James think (instead of berating him about it).

Hmm. Concerning that the conclusion of 'stick with her' is the sensible, practical one, not the emotional one. I mean, clearly it IS affection that's driving him too, but that's a worrying prospect for if the affection dries up. What IS he going to do? Just hope she stays quiet? Mm, Teddy has the right of it. I like Teddy, he's - OH NO he just said "what could go wrong." Doomed. Doomed!

Good on James for taking being Reserve so well. He's right and he's being mature about this - I do quite love the juxtaposition of how he's considerably more sensible professionally than personally, we can see these qualities DO exist within him. Oh, you are FIBBING, Carla. Fibbing, fibbing, fibbing!

Heh. Judicious planning to sit next to Hermione. That sounds like a double-edged sword but equally, food! I do like the Quidditch stuff, I know you worry about it sometimes but *I* think it's fun and interesting. And hee on Maddie drawing the comparisons between Quidditch and Hockey. Good lateral thinking. Love Maddie. AND NOW I LOVE HER EVEN MORE. That's loyalty. Ah-ha, more daddy issues no, wait, Carla, push, I want to hear more! Curses.

Phew! Mammoth chapter here. But a good 'un.

Author's Response: The trouble with James and Freddie's friendship, is that neither of them seek out a friend who they can talk to about things, because neither of them are the type of person to talk about their issues. They're both fairly easy-going guys, who like to have a laugh. So when James DOES need to talk, he can't really go to Freddie - and vice versa. Hence why James needs Teddy in this instance.

This has indeed become much more of a relationship than James' previous, but the trouble is that BECAUSE Carlotta is a Muggle, the automatic thought is that the reason why it's different is because of this. And nobody is thinking any further than that; James certainly isn't! So nobody's thinking about the emotional side of things here.

Clearly nothing can go wrong! ;)

James is partly okay with being reserve because he didn't want to play in the marathon match in the end! And of course, Roxanne is first and foremost his cousin, so he wants her to stay with the Falcons and recognises that he occasionally needs to be the one on the sidelines for her to play. He IS more sensible when it comes to Quidditch, partly because he has goals and knows what he needs to do to achieve them. He has little other responsabilities, and so is much more carefree outside his professional life. TOO carefree at times...

I like the Quidditch stuff, and it needs to be in place, because it's just as important as the Carlotta storyline. I did worry that it might have been too much, but I think it's fine. People seem to be enjoying it! So it's not a problem, and it will stay!

Maddie IS indeed a total babe. She does have the odd flaw, but in general she's a bit fab, and in danger of taking over this fic. Or at least she was until I decided she could have her own, haha.

DADDY ISSUES GALORE. Sorry, Carla isn't pushing for more :)

This chapter ended up bigger than I thought it would be. But I didn't want to split it up, so it all went up in one go. The next one is a bit shorter though. Thanks for reviewing, glad you liked :)

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Review #62, by SlideFrozen: Devotion

20th August 2012:
Oh, Rosier's dead that's OH NO THEY HAVE A TRAVERS. NOT GOOD. Interesting use of the extended powers thing - that Moody absolutely used the Killing Curse, didn't just go "Screw safety, I'm not holding back" which happened to lead to his death. It's logical and I have a hard time feeling bad about it, but always interesting and oh no no no not Gideon doing the interrogation. Bad. Bad idea. At least it's the brother-in-law, not the husband (I know he's dead, but that's not a good confrontation).

Hee! Crouch disapproval. Hee! Inbreeding cracks. Oh dear. Gideon's kind of crazy in here, being so blase. I kind of LOVE IT. I'd like to think she'd approve of him using it to wind a Death Eater up.

Oh dear. Araminta, if Voldemort's summoning you, I recommend you adjust your priority list to not have 'dinner' at the top of it. Perhaps 'survival'. Ha! Poor Avery. Whipping boy for Death Eaters. Hmm. I worry about that Voldemort unusually called a meeting. Yes, it's an opportunity. But I call TRAP.

Author's Response: Yup, they have Travers! I don't know if Moody DID die because he wouldn't use the killing curse; more that he was sitting on a broom and Voldemort shot a killing curse at him, which is pretty hard to avoid! But, yes, in this instance he recognised that it was a case of 'kill or be killed', and it's surely better to have Rosier dead than out on the streets still with Moody dead instead?

I loved writing Giddy in this! He's actually in a good place right now; he's sorted things out with Araminta, and they're catching Death Eaters which gives him a sense of job satisfaction. So he's back to his old self, even if only for a moment.

Never get on the wrong side of a hungry Minty G! :) Thanks for reviewing!

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Review #63, by SlideFrozen: Alone

20th August 2012:
I'm here! It's all good! Yummy reviews!

D'aw, breakfast in bed. What a sweetheart. Gideon knows the way to a woman's heart, clearly. Who could stay angry at him after all that? Okay, even if Arieda made it he's still wise to bring it himself, yes. And Arieda remains as smart and sensible as ever - deal with the 'mistakes' move on, don't kick yourself over it. Clearly Arieda is the only emotionally healthy person around. Which is troubling!

The logic about parents in the Order is harsh. Reasonable, but harsh, and I suppose if parents were to get involved Dumbledore wouldn't STOP them, they're just not on the priority. I suppose I have mixed feelings because it's difficult to judge some people being more expendable than others while at the same time pragmatic. But it's good, it's interesting! And explains why Arthur and Molly aren't Order veterans. And d'aww, little Ginny. Our Minty-G's good with kids - which is nice, so often the rather emotionally closed-off protagonist is more awkward, especially when they're in direct contrast with someone whose heart's more on their sleeve, like Gideon. It's a good subversion.

Of COURSE Molly's smart. Of course she knows what her brother's like. Oh GOD I feel so bad for her now, knowing what's to come. :(

Author's Response: Yay, reviews! Om nom :)

Gideon is indeed trying to worm his way back into Araminta's good books, bless him. Not that he needs to, but he feels like he does. And, yes, Arieda is really the only undamaged person left, so she's the one left holding everyone else together! Poor thing...

The thing with parents in the Order ... yeah, it was basically a case of having to explain why Molly and Arthur weren't Order members this time round. I find it odd, given that Gideon and Fabian WERE in the Order, that they weren't, and the only thing I can think of is that they had young children when Dumbledore was first setting up the Order. Gideon's view on it is possibly slightly skewed; he HAS been through a lot and it's nice to think that Dumbledore might not have been quite so brutal, for want of a better word. But then, given what we know about Dumbledore... you never know.

Araminta IS good with kids, although she's not quite sure HOW! But she didn't actually have a bad childhood herself, so she's not mentally scarred in that respect, which helps.

I actually hated writing this chapter! Because I get sad every time I write Molly, knowing what she'll have to go through. But she's a strong woman, as we've seen. And this isn't the last we'll see of her... Thanks for reviewing!

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Review #64, by SlideOff the Rails: eighteen

24th July 2012:
There is nothing good about Carla needing to flee. Between this and her having that little episode when they found her outside the pub, my angst-dar is pinging. NO GOOD THINGS.

Except this chapter! I like Quidditch, and it's a pain to write it well, but this one's good! You don't get too bogged down in the minutiae of the game while still making it exciting and easy to visualise. I think keeping a tight narrative on one player is the best way to evoke the atmosphere so long as you can get the actual events covered (basically, I guess, how Rowling wrote the games in the books!) and this does it with James. OH the Daddy issues. I want to know all of the Daddy issues.

Bloody Weasleys! I think a chart's a most sensible idea, *I* struggle to keep track of the whole horde of them. And that's only with FIVE out of SEVEN siblings having had kids. It doesn't help that thanks to so many sons most of the grandkids are ALSO Weasleys.

But good stuff! Good action, good characters, you managed to make the horde not too incomprehensible and it's good to see some of the more significant secondary characters like Rose and Al. All good!

Author's Response: Angst-dar is right to ping. LIPS SEALED ETC ETC.

Yuh, this chapter was an utter nightmare to write. I mean, firstly we had to actually get here, this match was initially planned to happen in 16, after Lily and Maddie and co visited James, but then the teapot started singing and that was that plan screwed up. THEN I remembered the whole England Quidditch thing so this match got pushed back AGAIN. And THEN all of the family wanted to be in the chapter before the match even STARTED ... it was awful. I actually enjoyed writing parts of this chapter, it was just a logistical nightmare. And I didn't quite realise how nightmarish Quidditch matches were to write ... good thing there's no more of those, eh? ;) GOOD TO KNOW I got this one right.

DADDY ISSUES COMING UP OKAY? Big Things will unfold over the next ten-ish chapters, fingers crossed, so hopefully your curiosity will soon be sated.

I'm not TOO bad with this Weasley generation; at least, I know they all exist, it's just sometimes I seem to sideline a couple of them accidentally (poor old Louis!). Though that may be for the best. Less is more. And I've gone and created the next generation too. I AM NOT HELPING MYSELF. Carla will be carrying around that family tree for YEARS.

GLAD YOU LIKEY. More of Rose and Al(bert) next chapter too. Thanks for reviewing!

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Review #65, by SlideFrozen: Quiet

17th July 2012:
Now this one's just adorable, from doors to daisy chains. There's not much NEW in it - we know Gideon's moved to forgive her, we know the stories she's telling him (for the most part), but it's just NICE to see them sharing these feelings and these thoughts. That this is the first time they can talk, really talk, and not have to watch their secrets and their lies breeds an atmosphere so warm and fuzzy it's almost palpable. And Gideon, now he's over the worst of his hump, is as charming as ever, but it's our girl Minty-G who gets the best of this bargain - we see her relaxed, we see her accepting her circumstances and the risks of her situation and still able to enjoy herself and embrace the good in her life. For someone who actively risks death every day, she's in a pretty good place. I'm sure that won't last!

All that said, the two of them HAVE fallen into a Something without identifying what it is, haven't they? That can't last. There'll either be an explosion of a Conversation, and God knows how THAT goes!!

Author's Response: Yup, there's a distinct lack of drama in this chapter! It would be the calm before the storm, if they weren't already in the middle of a war. The calm in the middle of the storm, perhaps? Giddy-P is indeed back to his best. And yeah, Araminta is probably the most relaxed we've seen her! And probably the most relaxed she'll ever be, the poor thing. Because despite all that Arieda CAN do for her, it's with Gideon that she feels safest and most secure. And ... yeah, neither of them has any idea what's going on between them. Gideon has at least acknowledged that there is Something there, but he's not quite worked out what the Something is. What happens next? Well, you'll have to wait to find out :) Thanks for reviewing!

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Review #66, by SlideOff the Rails: seventeen

10th July 2012:
I was reading, and I was like "I should do my review as I go along, because then I have more in-depth thoughts, or perhaps more flaily thoughts as I am SHOCKED by the things that happen", but then DADDY ISSUES and oh GOD did I just not NOTICE that Harry and Ginny weren't together? Oh this explains so much. AND YET NOT ENOUGH. Though considering the rather... cold? Impression I've got of Railsverse Harry, my first thought (after going "ZOMG") was "Good for Ginny", because she's still a firecracker of a woman and of a mother.

Ahem. Like the Carla/James time. The wards, the difficulty of breaking them, how frustrating that must be - and yet trying to make it Not an Issue. That she's actually helping and listening with him and his family woes. Though neither of them seem to have consciously, or at least vocally, acknowledged that they have fallen into being WAY more than a semi-regular fling. I look forward to that bit being addressed!

I realised I've missed Della. I didn't know I was quite so fond of her. But I am! And the Quidditch shenanigans, they're always fun. It's like drama and politics ROLLED INTO ONE. Oh, poor Ryan. Then again, he's not NECESSARILY foolish. Workplace romances are common, yes, but then they can also be AWKWARD and DISASTROUS. Still, you have to weigh up the pros and cons!

Ooh, a chapter AND I learn something about etymology! Always a plus! PURPLE! Oh, that's just adorable.

Author's Response: Sometimes I think you read into things too much! Haha. Harry and Ginny are definitely together, I love them too much to have them split! It's just, Harry features less because James and him have Issues. He's not generally a cold person, it's just that this is coming from James' point of view, and James sees him as such because of Said Issues. He'll feature more as the fic goes on, so it'll all become clearer. :)

James and Carlotta are indeed more deeply involved than they realise, but at the moment they're both content with it so it's not a problem. Obviously at the moment it's fairly well disguised by Carlotta's curiosity about magic!

I actually LOVE Della. So I'm glad you do. Obviously there's lots more of her to come, because there's lots of Quidditch time to come. Ryan is indeed in a pickle! Bless him. James is VERY colourblind. Or just a MAN, I've met few males who can actually tell some blues and purples apart. Tsk tsk. Thanks for reviewing!

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Review #67, by SlideFrozen: A Real Hero

9th July 2012:
Oops. I must have read this and then been distracted, I thought I'd reviewed! Naughty Slide! But here we go. It's nice to see Moody accepting Araminta; though he's mister Constant Vigilance, I like the idea that if he's decided to trust her (even if it's via trusting Dumbledore), he goes the whole hog, rather than being sort of begrudgingly trusting about it all. And, of course, Arieda being supportive (waves little flag for the two of them). I can just imagine our Minty-G would be having a pretty horrific time of things if she didn't have those two, especially Arieda, considering Gideon's reactions.

I am curious as to why Voldy is after Gideon. It might just be because he's, you know, awesome, and so it's in Voldemort's best interests to try to get such a powerful enemy offed. But I wonder if there's something More Sinister.

And, ha, of COURSE her suffering horribly is his point to start to realise. Nothing like a bit of torture to get everyone's priorities in check? But, of course, doing it in such a Gideon way - needing to be kicked out by Lily, needing to be knocked out of the self-pitying by Sirius. I seriously (no puns intended) love your Sirius, he's such a sweetheart beyond the usual impetuous, fiery guy - making him rather emotionally intelligent makes a whole lot of sense and does make him an excellent foil for Gideon and Araminta, who're both pretty obtuse. Especially since I think Sirius is more inclined than Arieda to apply tough love, which they sometimes really need. Like here!

Author's Response: Yes, naughty Slide! Haha. Moody has no personal attachments ... well, ANYWHERE really. So he's probably more likely to trust Araminta; even if he IS mr Constant Vigilence, I don't think he's quite that paranoid YET. And yes, a lot of it is about him trusting Dumbledore's judgement more than anything else here. Minty/Ari time! Araminta would, indeed, be pretty stuck without Arieda here. Gotta love the girlie. :)

Yeah, basically Giddy and Fabby are too good at duelling for Voldy to let them live. I mean, does he need a reason to kill people? He's a sadistic maniac. But yeah, that's basically what it is; they're too good for him to let them live. Sob sob.

Gideon Is Silly. It was always going to take something big for him to finally come to terms with it all. As Araminta pretty much said last chapter, to be fair! Or asked of him, at any rate. In the end, he cares for her too much to refuse to see it any more. And of COURSE he blames himself for it. This conversation between Gideon and Sirius was one of the early edits that survived plot changes, and I'm still really pleased with it. Sometimes I wonder if Sirius is TOO emotionally intelligent! Haha. But then, twelve years in Azkaban is enough to make anyone regress, isn't it? Really glad you like him though, because obviously he's the 'villian' to some extent in Gideon's eyes ... but he's not, not REALLY. Thanks for reviewing! :)

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Review #68, by SlideFrozen: Little Lies

29th June 2012:
Ha, good opening line. Poor, silly Gideon - well, not silly to be upset about it all, but he is so messed up. I can only be sympathetic to him for Arieda being so buddy-buddy with Araminta when he's trying to be angry with her!

Oooh. Ooh, Arieda, you cunning minx. Fighting his angst with LOGIC, how dare you. She is so good, being so frustrated and troubled about Araminta herself but either having got over it by now or at least recognising her own feelings to be simply illogical and still being prepared to bat for Araminta to Gideon. She could so easily have just used it to encourage Gideon to stay away - and while that would have been manipulative, it wouldn't have been an entirely BAD idea if she wanted to look out for him. Good girl.

GAH Gideon, you fool. Worst of all is that I bet it's not so much that he does DISTRUST her for being a Death Eater - he's just doing that emotionally vulnerable thing where he's taking her deception personally, and then twisting that around to distrust her 'professionally'. Which both preserves his pride and means he doesn't have to worry about his squishy human emotions, but at the same time it's NOT fair to Araminta... silly, messed up man.

Bad move, Minty-G, claiming you didn't lie. Lie of omission is still a lie, whatever good reasons you had for it - oh, wait, moral high ground lost by Gideon for the 'Travers' dig. Wow. She's patient in taking his venom here. I suppose you have to eat humble pie as a defector, but Gideon is lucky she's bothering to keep on trying after, of all things, complaining at her for stealing 'his' kill.

Uh oh. "Die for you." I now have a bad feeling those words will prove to be prophetic. On the other hand, good zinger against the moral self-righteousness against the good guys. Gideon has fallen into a lot traps from having had the opportunity and encouragement to fight the good fight, and not seeing how it goes the other way around.

I see how this can prove a set-up chapter (set-up for what, I eagerly wait to see), but still, a zinger!

Author's Response: Yeah, poor Giddy P. I'm so cruel to him! But yeah, Arieda sees that the best thing for them both is for them to talk, and get through it. Before she genuinely came to terms with Araminta herself it was more of a "stay away from him because you won't help him" thing but now she's trying to look out for them both equally, and Araminta needs him to accept what she's done. And in the long run, Arieda figures that's what's best for Gideon too, but obviously he doesn't want to know, which makes things difficult.

Yep, the thing that bothers Gideon the most is that it was HER who was the spy, and he'd obviously grown a smidgen fond of her, so he has taken it as a personal insult more than anything, and THAT'S where the problem is. Which is another reason why Dumbledore, Moody, Sirius, and even Arieda, didn't take TOO long to forgive Araminta for it; because the deception wasn't as personal. And so now Gideon just doesn't want to know. And Araminta is taking it all on the chin rather; by this point she realises that she probably deserves all she's getting. She's had time to calm down and see sense, and Gideon - hasn't. The silly billy. But still, she hopes that there's half a chance that she can force him to change his mind. He ain't having it though! It's going to take A Lot for him to change his mind, if at all...

I'm very pleased that you enjoyed this chapter, because it is, indeed, more of a set-up chapter for what's to come than anything else. Still important though! Thanks for reviewing :)

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Review #69, by SlideBreak Out: I.

22nd June 2012:
I write more than I read, so I must credit your swanky banner and evocative Shakespeare quote for catching my eye. Clearly I am an audience easily entertained by pretty things. But after reading I intend to follow this story with GREAT interest. Fantastic, intriguing idea. I think it's hard to justify and explain Harry choosing to not go back, but equally I think you did it as well as it is possible to explain such a choice (without going further back to plant the seeds), and my breath actually caught at "Mum, I'm coming home."

So, a beginning of infinite promise and I will definitely be keen to see more of this story! Good luck with it all!

Author's Response: The funniest thing about this -- I've been compiling a summer reading list, as far as fan fiction goes, and literally an hour before receiving this review I'd added your Latet Anguis in Herba to my list. Your stories look SO good, and I really can't wait to read them! But anyway, I thought it was awesome to see your name back here afterwards. :)

One of the hardest things I've yet had to think about as far as this story goes is manipulating canon away from the expected, while still maintaining a fairly stable outcome. JKR's own storyline is so tightly tied up, and I've such a passion for sticking to canon, that it was quite hard to do at first. I'm glad you've found this first chapter explainable, though -- really means a lot to me to hear that!

I definitely would love to see you back to check out further updates. :) So sorry for the wait in responding to this review, and thank you very much for reviewing at all! Looking forward to future comments from you!

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Review #70, by SlideFrozen: Save the Hero

13th June 2012:
For such a Chunky, Serious, Important chapter, the ending made me flail in such a pathetically lovelorn way. I am SUCH a girl. Aww, even in the midst of all of this difficulty and angst, she still wants to go running to Gideon. It might be a bit because we, as the reader, are finally seeing inside her head, but it does feel as if now our Minty-G is managing to be more honest with HERSELF as well as the readers - now the blinkers have come off and she's made the decisions she's made, she's more aware of her feelings and being rational about them rather than charging up De Nile.

And again, we get to see her as competent, we get to see her as intelligent and calculating in a way which is refreshing. I don't know why I like it so much; I guess partly because the stereotype of the Death Eater orphan under Voldemort's wing is usually so much more frail and wilting, while these are not words I would use to describe Araminta (however she may be perceived by Bellatrix et al). Of course, it's backfiring a little if old Voldy wants to then have more of a direct hand in managing her. The price of competence! (in this case, possibly death)

I kept forgetting to say - there had been that Mysterious Reference in the last chapter to her being unable to kill people AND having done it before to someone who would have 'died anyway'. I am intrigued! I'm sure we'll find out all in good time. But yes, I enjoyed this chapter mightily for a good insight into Araminta, and it's refreshing to be pulling off the covers and basically rediscovering her from scratch all over again. The little insights, into her thoughts on Bellatrix, her thoughts on the Travers(eseseses), are all satisfying. Good stuff!

Author's Response: Haha, the ending made me squee a little bit when I wrote it. Minty-G's so adorable when she's not being all "I IS A DEATH EATER I IS MEANT TO FEEL NOTHING." It IS partly because I can be more open with her feelings now, but it's also because ... well, you said it all for me! This decision she's made is HUGE and she's realising that near enough everything she thought was right, was wrong, and so she CAN let herself love someone, it doesn't make her vulnerable. That and now she's on the same side as Gideon it doesn't feel WRONG to want to be with him, which was the crux of the issue before; he was on the Other Side and she wasn't supposed to allow herself to get close to him. Now she's on his side, things are different.

Yeah, now it's all become clear, we can see just what traits she DOES have. Which is nice, because she deserves her time to shine. She does have frailties - but then, she also has some traits which we might consider to just be having morals but in Voldy's eyes amount to being weak - but she's got a backbone and a brain, which is important. And things are about to get VERY hard for her, poor thing. I am cruel.

You notice everything, don't you? Yes, you will find out about the whole killing thing all in good time. I'm not even going to TRY to guesstimate, but if I were to pluck a number out of the air I'd say six or so chapters time. DON'T HOLD ME TO THAT. As I said, this chapter totally wasn't in the plan, but I thought it would be unrealistic if Voldemort DIDN'T call a mass meeting to try to calm the troops, and besides it meant seeing Minty in action which is always nice. I too hate pluralising names which end in 's'; this silly English language, eh? Thanks for reviewing :)

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Review #71, by SlideFrozen: Rootless

8th June 2012:
So, not Ivy. I AM NOT CONVINCED, I - okay, okay. Maybe the Mysterious She IS Araminta. FINE. Ivy can still be the spy in the midst. Except that it's probably Peter.

Of course, the revelation doesn't tie ANYTHING off and does, indeed, commit everything to becoming far more complicated. It's great seeing the blinkers off our Minty-G, seeing her able to express herself fully - emotionally and also in terms of her capabilities. Negotiating with giants, Legilimency and Occlumency; we have not seen so much of her talents, and I hope that is going to change now she's more likely to let loose (well, not stupidly, since, still undercover. But looser).

Dumbledore's spot-on in this chapter. Of course he backs up his gut instinct with some Legilimency, and all the time is the kindly, trusting grandfather, but while he was understanding and supportive (because, if you believe her, then surely sympathy IS the most moral path to take, and for his sins Dumbledore is moral), there was the pleasant knife-edge sensation that the kindness could turn to coldness just as quickly if he decided she couldn't be trusted. And Moody - Bolshy as you would expect, but accepting Dumbledore's opinion.

And while the confession to Dumbledore was TENSE and nail-bitey, the Arieda scene was spot on with Araminta getting, well, what she does need to hear thrown in her face. Now she has a choice she's acting on the choice, but her actions have still caused intense harm. Arieda accepting it, but with reservations and difficulties, is compelling and realistic, too. NOT TO MENTION her instructions to stay away from Gideon, which make PERFECT sense in every way (smart girl; I like her) but is, of course, going to backfire HORRIBLY. I also particularly like Arieda rather bluntly sweeping aside Araminta's denial of her love for Gideon in a "we don't have time for your ANGST, this is BUSINESS" way. But then, much as I love my overwraught angstyness, I do like it when it's not allowed to take itself too seriously, so that tickled me.

So this is where the whole game changes. It's not the Whodunnit, it's the Howdunnit, the Howtolivewithit. And, of course, Gideon is going to DIE.

Now I need to go reread the whole damn story with this information in mind. And perhaps this chapter at a slightly less psychotic speed. Don't get me wrong, I want more, but all this needs to SIMMER.

Author's Response: Peter is, of course, A Spy. Naturally. Whether he and Araminta (and Snape, of course) are the only ones floating around? I couldn't possibly say. :)

I'm really enjoying that Araminta's full capabilities can now come across. And she DOES have a lot going for her, though it is of course hard to see when you're not allowed to know what she's done. But this is indeed exciting times for me, and it certainly makes portraying her MUCH easier in a way. Although she also becomes harder to portray in other ways...

SO hard to write Dumbledore and Moody here. But yes, as you say, once he's seen what's going on in her mind and sees that she's telling the truth, there are two assumptions to make; that she IS being truthful, or that she's lying to him and doing it VERY well. And it takes a lot to deceive Dumbledore, even if she HAS been taught everything by Voldemort. And so he believed her. Very chuffed he was spot-on, naturally. :)

The confession bit was one of the bits I wrote a long time ago. I had to tweak it; initially in my plans Gideon and Araminta were much more romantically involved by this point, but then the closer to this moment I got, the more I figured it wasn't at all realistic, so I tweaked it, and thus some of what I'd written here ALSO needed to be tweaked. (Nice word, that. Tweak. Love it.) The conversation with Arieda was mostly written the other day, and that was all good fun because neither of them would shut up! But yeah, it's obviously difficult for Arieda to hear, but she's slightly more accepting than Gideon might be because she's less close-minded than he is. The war has affected her less that way. And things will indeed backfire, because I am cruel. And because Araminta won't be able to stay away.

If I were to split this story into arcs, this would definitely be the end of arc one. How many arcs the rest splits into? Two or three, I'd say; it's not so definitive. But this is where a lot of the mystery ends, and it becomes much more of a story of coping, and of love in the face of angst and sorrow, of course. Because we all need a bit of love in our lives. And Gideon is going to DIE.

Sometimes in writing this first bit I'VE had to reread it, for the purpose of writing the OPOPT bits, because nothing is directly referred to in them, so I'd be there going "what's this bit about again?" I think things will become clearer upon a reread though. :) And that's totally cool, I'll give you ... a month? That enough time to simmer?

I jest, of course, I'll update when I have the next chapter done, but I don't know when that will be, this weekend I am away and so writing time is dependent once more on my battery life which is minimal at best. So we'll see. :) Thanks for reviewing!

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Review #72, by SlideFrozen: Need You Now

6th June 2012:
I was trying to not read this at breakneck speed, and all the time as we got up to Dumbledore's office was thinking "If she ends this on a cliffhanger, I'm going to kill her. If she ends this on a cliffhanger, I'm going to kill her." So, it's time to go hire some ninjas. Nothing personal!

I AM STILL NOT CONVINCED. This could be a bluff, OR there could be more than one spy, OR or or. Theories. So many. But it will not be simple, oh no. Ivy's definitely evil. NEXT chapter may blow me out of the water on this one, but I will stick to my crazy! It REASSURES me. Either way, I am so super eager for more.

Of what there IS, it's tasty. Poor, angsty Gideon, but at least he seems to partly realise blaming Araminta is not quite reasonable, though he's entitled to a bit of illogical thought in his grief. That he recognises that she's good for him, even if he's not necessarily in a state to do much/anything about it right now, is a positive, positive sign.


I must also particularly commend you on describing particular things which are familiar to the reader but not to the character, like the entrance to Dumbledore's office. It's such a NOTABLE entranceway that it seems wrong to just skim over it when seeing it for the first time, but equally, you didn't excessively linger on it and make the reader feel like they were just treading well-worn ground. Even if I was trying to stop myself from reading at a rate of a mile a minute at that point.

I would love to read the next chapter, but alas, I have some ninjas to hire. Except then I'll never see the next chapter. Hmm. No ninjas. FOR NOW.

Author's Response: I'd firstly like to remind you of the many instances in which you have used the cliffhanger device. Just saying. Bring on the ninjas!

MY LIPS REMAIN SEALED because it amuses me that I know what happens and you don't. HA. But yes, the next chapter will (I hope!) answer some, if not all, of your questions. Course, it may leave you asking more as well, we shall see. But it is big, and juicy, and written, and in the process of being edited, and then I'll post it once I'm satisfied that I've drawn out the suspense for long enough.

Gideon partly sees that Araminta is good for him, yes. But in a way she's so good for him that she's bad. And he recognises this too, and doesn't want to end up madly in love with someone who (in his eyes) doesn't return the sentiment at all. Last time he loved someone he lost her and he doesn't want to go through all that again. So he's in a bit of a sticky situation, bless him. And it's only going to get worse in the short term ... I'm cruel like that.

I'm AWFUL when it comes to description. I get totally carried away with the dialogue, and then go 'hang on, this is a bit lacking...' So this was a deliberate effort to include a mention of the environment because Dumbledore's office is Quite Something, and it would seem very amiss if Araminta weren't to notice anything of it, even given the mental state she's in. So I am Very Glad that you like, because it means I did it right. :)

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Review #73, by SlideFrozen: Numb

3rd June 2012:
Oof, I saw on my phone this was posted Friday night and then knew I wouldn't be before a computer until now! Tormentful, I've been hankering for more of this fic. BUT HERE IT IS. Ha, good evasive reaction from our Minty-G to the Prophet headline - it's readable as legitimate surprised upset, or if she is our Mysterious She, a kind of numb guilt. Still, good for her, ploughing on with work; since she's the Trainee in the story we get fewer insights into her Being An Auror in her own determined right, so it's nice to be reminded of those virtues she has which explain WHY she is an Auror. On a similar note about character traits, I do always enjoy drawing attention to the similarities between Sirius and Bellatrix, and like the exploration of how virtues can be shared without principles being shared. And huzzah for 'inappropriate' emotional reactions like laughing during grief; the human heart's crazy like that. A good handling of this part of the aftermath of a tragedy, though I 'look forward' to seeing poor Gideon and Fabian again.

IT'S IVY. I'm calling it. And if I'm right I think that makes me SADDER, because if Araminta ISN'T evil/sort of evil, then she and Gideon aren't doomed! Except they ARE, 'cos he's gonna DIE. That might make it crueller. I approve.

Author's Response: We've not seen enough of Araminta yet. For various reasons. She'll come into her own (hopefully) in the next few chapters though, and we'll see her true potential. All very exciting. And I think it's important to highlight that the likes of Sirius and Bellatrix are very similar, because it all comes back to the whole "choices are what define you" thing which our favourite Headmaster always likes to trumpet. Which is obviously one of the main themes of the series and therefore Very Important.

You'll get a little bit of Gideon in the next chapter (which is fully written and ready to go, but I'm going to hold off on posting it for a few more days BECAUSE I CAN) but at the moment he's not in a very good place, so he's not got masses to contribute to proceedings, bless him. And HE'S ALREADY DYING IN LIKE TWO MONTHS' TIME HOW MUCH MORE DOOMED DO YOU WANT HIM TO BE? Gosh, you don't want much, do you? ANYWAY, lips sealed etc etc but you will be glad to know that all is very soon revealed. Another reason why I'm holding back on the next chapter. I am a cruel, cruel person. Thanks for reviewing!

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Review #74, by SlideFrozen: Too Much Love Will Kill You

31st May 2012:
Hmm! Obvious conclusion is that Araminta had Gideon's address from the last chapter and gave it when she had to. BUT she'd already been there after the Diagon Alley attack, so she's had it a WHILE. BUT the Mysterious She was desperate so might have given something She'd had for a while. Hmm. Hm. Yes. Of course, if it's NOT Araminta, then SOMETHING'S beating her up.

Action moves along briskly, conversation with Gideon and Arieda is good, though we'll see how long he listens. Poor, poor Gideon - and poor collateral damage Muggle family. Unpleasant subject matter is handled tastefully while still being appropriately horrific.

...I was kind of joking about it being Ivy. I'm now kind of serious.

Confrontation scene is all kinds of melty goodness. GOOD for Gideon, finally taking a stand on her injuries, though being distracted by all the kissy is perhaps not the best for an intervention. BUT ALSO YES ALL THE KISSY.

Oh, Gideon, you poor, broken fool. I think this chapter could also be called 'Gideon Has A Really Bad Day'. More so than usual.

Author's Response: MY LIPS ARE SEALED.

Araminta clearly has a prototype of "The Monster Book of Monsters". She's not learned about the stroking yet. (OOH ER.)


Very unpleasant. Wasn't planned, but then I figured it would be unrealistic for the Munchers to turn up, see they'd lost their man and then leave peacefully. So unpleasant things happened.

Kissy time! Gideon finally gave in to his feelings, haha. But yes, it was perhaps not the thing to do in the circumstances, but he wasn't going to get an answer out of her either way, so it wasn't a bad move as he got a bit of action out of it which is naturally the important thing right now. Thus making it not QUITE as bad a day as he thinks, though he obviously won't realise this until he's over Louisa and whatnot.

You know, I've just realised, I have far too many characters whose names end in 'a'. I've managed it in both fics. What's all that about?

Thanks for reviewing!

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Review #75, by SlideFrozen: Frozen

31st May 2012:
Good on Araminta. It would be ridiculous to pretend that she doesn't have a right to know such a huge reason for Gideon's behaviour - professionally, he's responsible for her, and you need to trust the person who has your back. Omitting this HUGE THING doesn't help trust. And I think they'd be kidding themselves if they pretended that there WASN'T a personal bond, an implicit relationship of Some Sort, and so it's been a betrayal of that, too, for Gideon to keep it secret. Even if he has too much Man Pain to talk.

AWWW the PAPERWORK reminds him of her. That's actually too tragic. That he hates doing paperwork because he used to do it with his dead wife and partner and she handled that stuff. I had assumed he'd lost someone and reckoned it might be a partner with the duelling stuff and anger at Sirius, but I didn't think it would be a partner AND wife. Though I'm interested that it DOESN'T seem to be even perceived by Gideon as at all Sirius' fault; I had assumed that was the issue, even if Gideon was wrong. Which makes Gideon standing his ground while Sirius seems a bit more prepared to be pleasant to him interesting, and probably a total MAN THING.

Good girl, Minty. Him lashing out at you isn't about YOU, so don't take it personally. Stay the course. YES, you DO understand him, USE it properly. Hmm. Leaving might not have been wisest, but then, he probably wasn't going to listen right then, so leaving and giving him time to THINK could be best. Plus, she has a right to still be a bit pissed.

OPOPT time! I need to make that a more poppy acronym. OPOPT. Oh pop. T. Poptarts. I AM hungry. Not much more to say but OOOH I WANT TO KNOW.

Author's Response: I hate that you can only leave one review per chapter, and that there is no way to reply to a reply. THEREFORE I will say this here. I NEED a scene with Tanith trying to confide in sexy-time issues with Jacob. Please?

Yeah, Araminta DOES deserve to know about Louisa, BUT her trouble is, now he's told her about his issues, it's given him ammo because he can now use that to get her to tell all to him.

Gideon DID think it was Sirius' fault at first; as he said, in the initial aftermath they blamed each other. But then once the anger had been replaced by grief, and it properly hit Gideon that he'd lost his wife, he began to believe that Sirius had been right to blame him, and so began to blame himself. Which leads to his self-wallowing and his inability to move on, because he blames himself still. And as for why Sirius is trying to be pleasant ... well, Sirius' side of things comes out right at the end. But obviously Gideon is hardly going to let Sirius be nice to him when he thinks Sirius still blames him for Mary's death. It's all very sad.

Leaving wasn't wise, but then she realised everything that YOU recognise, in that she was perhaps understanding him TOO much and she was maybe getting too close, so she ran. Like she does.

Stop it, you're making ME hungry now!

Thanks for reviewing!

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