Ral...you left me truly without words. I never expected something like this and I loved every single word of the story. I can't thank you enough for everything you've done, not only this story but for always being there when I needed to vent off, to share painful moments, crazy fan reactions or just a chat. This has topped what anyone has ever done for my birthday. No one ever dedicated anything to me, even when it wasn't my birthday. So you can imagine my emotion when you gave me the link to a story written in my name...and a Snily nonetheless!! I know how hard it must have been for you since Snily is not exactly your own preferred pairing, and Snape not one of your favourite characters. It makes me treasure this even more.
I don't even know how to start this. Your afterlife is how I dream the real afterlife is. And I really, deeply wish it to be like that. Where there is no negative feeling, no despair or sadness, hate or dissatisfaction, where only happiness and peace rules. And where you can meet all of your loved ones and spend time with them. An eternity with your family and friends is...is just...I don't know the right word that could express how much that'd mean to me.
I'm so glad you decided to give Snape a happy after life. I really feel like he deserved it. He has made many mistakes, there's no arguing that, but we can't judge him by his mistakes. Not more than we could judge other characters by their mistakes. He was a tormented soul while he lived, so I will die thinking that he did deserve to be happy after his death. At least then.
I was positively crying by the moment Severus made up with James. You cant imagine HOW much I waited for a moment in the books, a word from Severus of forgiveness or respect or something that would show us that he put his Potter grudge behind him, not so much for James or even Harry, but for himself because that grudge was poisoning him, was slowly killing him inside. And that's not a healthy way to live your life :(
I am left speechless at the perfection of Lily's meeting with Severus. It was heart-warming to see them reunited once more, in the place where everything started. I LOVED, LOVED your idea that when you die you go to the place where everything started. It's an amazing conception and now I wish for it to be like that haha I wonder what my starting moment would be. Do you know yours?
Thank you, thank you once again for doing this. It's the most amazing gift I've ever received in my life and I will treasure it forever! Report Review
Hey Dan! I'm back! ;)
First off, let me tell you how happy I am that you divide your longer chapters in a few pieces. It helps me a lot. As I've told you before, I'm not used to reading chapters this long without my attention being caught by other detractors, so having the chapters split in a few scenes is of great help to me. It allows me to take a break from the chapter if I feel I can't keep up with it and come back later without wondering where I've left off. I'm sure when you decided to use the breakers in the story wasn't for this reason, but I just wanted to tell you that it helps me enjoy the story a lot more like this :D
I loved the defensive spells teaching lesson. Like when reading the HP books, this particular scene made me want to live the magical world as well, only to be taught by Harry. I find your Harry an amazing depiction of the original one from the books. You always know what to say or what to make him do to bring back the young Harry, while also providing him the necessary characteristics to show that he's indeed grown. The balance between younger Harry and older Harry from your story feels so natural, it makes reading his thoughts a real treat!
Would it be too pathetic to say that I squealed when even Snape greeted Harry when he joined Neville in his office? I've always desperately wanted to see stories, or scenes or anything that would show that in at least some way Snape liked Harry. Or at least respected him...any feeling other than his intense hate and dislike we've been shown in the books. To know that behind the wall of animosity that he'd built for himself, Snape still thought somewhat nice about Harry. It just pains me too much to imagine that he never held any positive thought for Harry :(
Another amazing chapter. A fair warning. I'm falling rapidly in love with your story :PAuthor's Response: Hi!
I've always tended to write longer chapter with multiple scenes as opposed to breaking them up into a lot of short chapters. For me, at least, doing it that way is less disruptive and makes it easier to stay in the flow of a story. The other reason, to be honest, is that it made it easier to manage the validation queue. If you're reading this, Validators, sorry! ;)
I absolutely loved the idea of Harry as a teacher. I thought he would be really good at it because he is so unassuming and approachable, especially toward people who aren't eaten up with a case of hero worship. It was tricky at times to age Harry in a realistic way and still make him recognizable, so I'm glad you thought it worked.
I'd like to think that Harry eventually got his head around the choices that Snape made in life. That's not to say that he necessarily approved of all of them or that he thought of Snape as a "good" person. But in the end, I imagine that Harry figured out what made Snape do the things that he did and Harry obviously came to respect the man enough that he named his middle child for him.
Gah! I'm so pleased that you're getting into it. It makes my day to see your thoughts and reactions. Thanks! Report Review
A great chapter, as expected. You warned me that this will be the beginning of the real story, that this chapter marks the start of their journey and I could definitely feel it. That feeling that something is amiss and not quite right.
I have to ask this because I'm still in awe at how successfully you managed to depict the trial scene: do you work in the law department or something connected with law enforcement? Because the trial scene was AMAZINGLY done. I couldn't shake off the feeling that I was sitting in an actual real life court room and was witnessing a trial unfold. It gave me chills.
I certainly didn't expect Percy to have been the one to kill the Muggle. I mean, it does seem a more logical explanation that any of the others could have done it but not him. Not that he couldn't do it because he lacked the knowledge, but he couldn't do it because he never gave the impression that he was a killer. This brings Percy to a whole different level to me. You've given him so much growth with this little scene, it's incredible.
You know, death and the feeling of losing someone is such a strange thing. You can empathize with people who suffered losses in their life but it's never the same as when you live it. Having lost someone dear to me a few days ago, gives a whole different perspective on what everyone is living with Ginny's death. It's like I'm reading a completely different story. I think the feeling of loss is like the feeling of being a parent: you can try and feel it as others do but when you yourself feel it, it's like nothing you've ever felt in those moments of empathy. My own mourning changed this story in so many ways for me. I see Harry in a new light.
I do enjoy the ominous feeling you've left clinging at the end of the chapter. The portrait's conversation opens up this new adventure for Harry that we've been hinted at since the first chapter. Can't wait!Author's Response: Hi, there! What a nice surprise!
I think out of all the chapters in CoB, this is still one of the ones I'm most proud of. I actually don't have any legal background at all, aside from testifying in a couple of administrative hearings as an expert witness early in my career. I tried to capture some of the formality I've seen in courtroom scenes in books and movies and still keep a little of that "kangaroo court" feel that I remember from Harry's "trial" before the Wizengamot in OotP.
I'm glad that Percy didn't immediately come to your mind. I think it says a lot that the Ministry never suspected him, even though he was sent to the jail to watch over Stoops. If you're enjoying where his character is going so far, I think you're really going to like what happens with him later in the story. ;)
I'm really sorry to hear about your loss. I agree, it is very different when you're experiencing it firsthand. No matter what Harry does throughout this story -- and you'll see him wander pretty close to the edge at times -- I tried to keep in mind just how much he's still hurting. He never properly came to terms with Ginny's death, and it still eats at him day and night. But that does change somewhat by the end.
I always loved the idea of portraits being able to talk and share some of the personality of their subjects. I felt like they were under-used in the books. So I did my best to work them into this story on occasion.
I'm so pleased that you're enjoying this! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and reactions. Report Review
I've been meaning to read this for such a long time now, and now here I am. Ready to immerse myself in this mystical world I've heard so much about!
Wow...just wow! I feel like I've fallen in Wonderland and I'm Alice, discovering a new world and following favourite characters adapt to this new world. It's amazing what imagination can do, and clearly yours is very rich. Otherwise, there'd be no way to create such an amazing start of something that I'm sure is going to be a grand journey.
I'm so happy to see my dead favourite characters again. Setting aside my sadness at their deaths in the books, I've always wondered (as I do in real life as well) what happened to them after they died. Did JK ever imagine what was next for them? I've allowed myself to believe that she has because that particular quote you used, the one Albus Dumbledore said is a very strong hint in that direction. At least that's what I like to tell myself because I can't bare the thought that death is the final stage of one's life and there is nothing beyond that.
I recently read your reply to the "Conflicting constructive criticism" thread on the forums and I remember you said that your reviewers usually fall into two categories: the ones that tell you that too much description can detract the plot and you should tone it down, and the ones that love it. Well, I will join the team that praises you endlessly for your descriptions. Not only the ones about the setting or the surroundings but the descriptions of the character's thoughts and feelings as well. I think description is an essential part of story-telling and one can never truly go overboard with it (well, you CAN overdo it but I'm certain this is not your case). Your story especially needs a great deal of description because you are presenting the readers with a whole new world, unlike what we've ever seen before and if we aren't able to imagine how everything looks in the 'beyond', we will only get confused when trying to picture it ourselves, and THAT would be a real turn off.
I'm really excited about "Run". I am really eager to know more about these races and what they mean. Can't wait to find out :D Amazing start!Author's Response: Hi, Debra! Eeep, thank you for stopping by! One of the first things I hear from new readers is that they've heard of this story before and come into it with somewhat elevated expectations, which quite honestly intimidates the beans out of me.
While this story is advertised as an action/adventure, since there is quite a bit of dueling, at its heart this story is really about "living on" after death. It's about all the characters we've heard about who have passed on, trying desperately to scrap together some semblance of a new life. Some people just can't move on, and it destroys them. Some people move on at such a speed that they forget all about life on Earth. The different ways these many characters react to their new immortality is what "Run" is all about. I really, really hope you enjoy the journey. :)
Eee, I'm so glad to hear that my imagery wasn't overwhelming! Sometimes I get so excited to paint a scene that I forget to stop doing it. I wanted this to be a visual experience and I want readers to become familiarized with every square inch of Cliodna's Clock.
Thank you so much for your review! I hope you continue to read and enjoy. :) Report Review
10/10. If I could rate it 100/100 I would! I never realized how much I missed your writing until I read this one shot. It was HILARIOUS. I loved it so, so much!!!
This story brings back a lot of my childhood memories. I used to bicker with my brother just like Johnny did with his sister Dora. He used to tease me a lot, with similar stuff to what happened in the scene between your characters (he used to steal chips from my plate when I wasn't looking, pull the chair from under me - not enough to fall over but enough to give me a fright - and others like this haha). I love him now despite all that, but boy did he make me cry :)))
I have no idea where to begin or how to begin this review to make any sense because all I have for you are words of praise! I'm beyond words at your perfect portrayal of family life. It's SO real and so visual you can just see them all bustling about preparing for school. They're beyond characters for me. They feel like real people. This is one of the things I admire most in authors, their capability to depict human events with depth, care and realism.
And OMG Johnny...JOHNNY! I haven't read "Midnight Run" but this one shot definitely made me want to, if only to see how other people think about Johnny haha. He is SO self-centred that I literally felt empathic shame for him LOL. There were times when I felt like shaking him in hopes to humble him a bit (good luck with that...) but most of the time I think I laughed. He's adorable in his obnoxious replies and thoughts. I don't know how I'd be able to cope with a kid that was like this non-stop, but he sure is amusing in fanfiction haha I can feel I wouldn't laugh that much if it were the case in real life :P
"Remus was always hogging the bathroom to do his hair, and this annoyed their sister Dora in particular, because she also liked to hog the bathroom to do her hair." - BEST...LINE...EVER! I was on the verge of tears by this point. You're so talented at humour!
Oh I loved it so much. I think I'm gonna add it to my favourites Author's Response: Yay thank you so much! I'm so glad you liked this story!
I have a brother and we picked on each other a lot at that age too. Not really any more, we're both over 30 now so I suppose we're finally too old for that ;) It was fun to revisit though. Mine would put his finger right in your face and go, "I'm not touching you. I'm not touching you." until you screamed for him to stop and then he'd yell to my mother, "I wasn't even touching her!" Ugh brothers. haha
The Lupin family is always fun to write. I liked aging everyone a bit and adding in the future kids for this story, since in the Midnight Run stories it's a few years before this. The serial killer incident is in Just Another Midnight Run, when Johnny is three. And he's right, it actually did happen, though probably not quite the way he sees it in his mind. Johnny's extremely convinced of his own amazingness.
Writing from inside Johnny's head made me cackle a lot. He's just so very insane and egotistical. He's just so very sure of himself. Actually he's rather like Reid Akins from Unsinkable in some ways. Only even more self-assured, and less brilliant. Johnny's smart enough but he's no genius. Remus is the smart one ;) Poor guy, with Johnny for a little brother. I think Johnny in real life would be too much, but he's funny to read about!
Ahahaha... I picture Remus at the mirror putting hair potions in his hair and trying to get every strand perfect, while Dora bangs on the door wanting to put her hair in braids and complaining. Fortunately Dora will be off to Hogwarts by the time her sister hits that age, but when both Lupin girls are teenagers, summers should be fun. ;) Mwahaha. Six kids! They're as bad as Victoire's grandparents.
Thank you so much for the wonderful review! Report Review
Athene, are you by any chance George R.R. Martin in hiding? Have you grown bored with ASOIAF and decided to write a very similar, very amazing story regarding the Founders Era from Harry Potter? Cause you sure write like him!
I seriously have no words to fully express how MUCH I loved this first chapter. With the soundtrack from Lord of the Rings playing on the background, and your marvellous story-telling, I felt like I've left this Earth for the 15 minutes it took me to finish these 2000 words. I felt like I've entered a completely different world, a magical world bursting with the unknown and the possibilities and everything lovely that comes with exploring it.
Your flow is impeccable. Your character's voices are strong, each one with his own. Your wording seems very appropriate to that period and everything put together make this story a veritable, stand alone fantasy piece. Please, please tell me you'll write more and you won't leave it like this. I need to know more. I need to see the reunion of the four Founders. I need to see how you portrait of Salazar and see if he truly lives up to William's awe :D I am in love. This story is going straight to my favourites list!
Also, you used an image of Bran as a chapter image. I literally squealed at that haha Report Review
Hey there Aisha! I'm here from the Review Tag from the forums.
This does seem like a truly interesting setting for the fic. I really hope you keep writing it, because I feverishly read anything Moody related haha. I like that Edith already has a voice of her own, even if it's been only 800 words. The way she desperately fights and is frustrated to no ends about her body being eaten away by cancer, her dissatisfaction with Australia give her character a very distinct voice indeed. She sounds like a very bitter woman, which in turn makes me curious as to why she is like this. What could have possibly happened to her that she would revolt against the world like this.
Obviously, she's a fighter like Moody. I couldn't have seen her otherwise if she was his partner. I can't possibly imagine Alastor with anyone that isn't strong-willed, stubborn like he is, but at the same time a loyal and caring person. I'm intrigued to how a younger version of Edith looks like.Author's Response: Hiya!
Edith is a stubborn old goat, she's definitely a fighter who has her own developed opinion on everything which is something rare in humans ;) She's not bitter towards everyone and everything, she loves her family a lot, but she does resent her placement in Australia, something that you'll learn about at the end of this... when I get to writing and posting it :D Don't worry, this story will come full circle!
Alastor wouldn't put up with a wishy washy woman, he'd just get irritated :P Well, young Edith is a lot less resentful, and if you read on then hopefully you'll get a better grasp of her character ;)
Thanks so much for the review and I hope you keep reading this, being a Moody lover- I haven't really seen that many Moody fics and I just had to write one :P Report Review
Ok so Athene, why have you been hiding these stories from me until now? You should definitely advertise them more because this piece is raw gold. It's so, so beautiful! I can't even begin to express how amazed I was by the power of your descriptions. You have such a good grip on imagery and on sensory description!
When Hermione stands in front of the ocean and watches Ron and you describe the ocean around her, you can almost taste the salty air, feel it fill your nostrils and spread through your body. I had such a surreal experience with this, you can't even begin to imagine. Not to mention that it was filled with emotion.
I'm very happy you decided to write this as a moment of peace in their terrible days at that present time. It's a breath of fresh air both for them, with all the running around and going into hiding from the Death Eaters, and for us following them with bated breath. I honestly enjoy action/adventure stories and stories with a faster pace, but when one of this one comes along, where everything is pure description and feel, I can sit back, take a break and enjoy it's beauty. You are so talented! Report Review
KATIE! You little mischief-maker!! I still can't stop laughing from the shock I had when I read the ending. I finally understand all those tweets you kept having with Ral about using a banner with Draco and Hermione. You should definitely advertise this story more. It's brilliant in its twist. Boy, that was a real shocker...
Dramione is really not my cup of wine, but Ral kept going "read it, it's so good!" and then I said, why not? I really commend you on your style and your usage of visual description. I say this in every review I have for stories with a similar style: I LOVE adverbs. I love stories that entice readers with sensory descriptions. I think they're amazing and grab a reader like no other type can. So congrats on that aspect :D
And the twist. Seriously, THE TWIST! I'm VERY sceptical (to say the least) about Dramiones and not a particular fan of stories that have Ron as a cheater or an abusive spouse, just so that it can give an explanation on why Hermione hooks with Draco. For more than half of this story I thought you were talking about Draco and Hermione and she had dyed her hair. I was SO not expecting that at the end. Brilliant!!! Report Review
Hello Amanda! I've been curious about this story for some time, so taking advantage that there are several chapters posted already, I'll start reading it :)
Yours is the first chapter that will be submitted to my new "reviewing process". I have a tendency to gush a lot and be really excited, offer a lot of praise but not enough constructive criticism, or if I can't think of any CC, at least offer some helpful opinions on the piece, which is kind of sad because writers are always looking to improve. So I am now trying to make my reviews more helpful. Hope it works!
I was very surprised by the setting of the story. Even if the first chapter takes place in a hospital wing (or at least some sort of medical facility), the wide setting is World War 1. I am very excited to find out how Muggles got mingled with wizards during that time and what are the roles Cho and Cedric will play in the grand scheme of things. I think you took a bold choice in writing this AU, but if all goes well it will be even more worth the praise :)
I appreciate that your started off the story with a more internal conflict. Chapter 1 reveals us Cedric's own musings on war and we share his home longing, which I think is a great way of introducing a character, take a peek into his feelings, explore more of his thought process, in a few words, get to know the character better.
I also thought you handled the scenes very well. Even if Cedric barely opens his eyes, your choice of auditory words allowed us to see with out own eyes his surroundings. However, I've always thought you handled the delivery of scenes in a very captivating and vivid way, so there is no surprise there.
I am looking forward to see how all of this develops!Author's Response: Hey, good for you! I think it's always good to try to put some critique into your reviews, as long as it's founded, but it's a good habit to practice delivering criticism respectfully and clearly. So please, don't hesitate to say what you feel to me!
I'm pleased that you like the setting. My favorite way of writing AU is just to drop canon characters into a new setting and see what happens with each of them. I really enjoyed twisting magical and Muggle medicine in this story, and it was fun to follow Cedric and Cho along on that journey.
The first chapter of this story is still one of my favorites. It's not much in the way of plot, but I think it's important to give people some of Cedric's perspective given that so much of the story is about what happens TO him. Cho gets a lot more head-space time comparatively.
Imagery really dominated this chapter, and I think that's part of what made it so fun to write. Keeping his eyes closed made it so that I had to use senses other than vision for part of the time, which is a suggestion made by a reviewer on another story, so I'm happy that worked out okay. I'll try to practice it more.
Thanks for your great review :)
-Amanda Report Review
I'm back! It seems I can't stay away too long from this story already, and it's been only one day. I am totally blaming it for getting me this hooked! :P
I think this is the first time in the history of my novel reading on the Archives that I've read a chapter this long! My attention span is not very long usually, especially when I read from my computer so I get distracted easily. What surprised me is that even if I didn't stay fully engaged with the chapter throughout my read, I was so curious to see what happens next that I came back to it pretty quick. And this doesn't happen...ever. When I start procrastinating, I find all kinds of other activities to distract me from what I'm supposed to be doing :P So far, this is a great sign for me. A sign that I'll be enjoying this story a lot, despite not being used to chapters being so long.
What I enjoyed best about this chapter is the feeling of "calm before the storm". Seeing as it's a story under the Action/Adventure genre and judging by the summary, there will be plenty of roller coaster situations for the characters to deal with. Knowing this, makes these quiet, family chapters a lot more valuable and precious.
I love the feel of the characters. I think you've done a brilliant job of keeping the canon characters IC, while also making them mature enough. Their emotions are very real and expressed in a way that makes the readers feel for them. Especially Harry. I've become wary of reading angsty stories because there are a lot of authors out there who don't portray the anguish that is losing someone you love very believable. Your portrayal of hurting Harry makes me want to reach out and pat him on the back and give him a hug. It's so palpable and yet not over the top! Excellent!
What I'm eager is to find out more about the Next Gen characters. I am terribly curious how you portrayed the ones that will be involved in the story and how they evolve!Author's Response: Gulp... So, you say you don't normally read long chapters...
Well, I guess I'll have to hope that I can keep you interested, because with few exceptions, they mostly get longer from here. I can't help it, I get in a zone with these characters and the next thing I know, 5,000 words have gone by.
You're correct that things move a lot faster after this chapter. In this one, I wanted to give you a look at how life had turned out for the Potter/Weasley clan. Turns out, things went pretty well. But the heart of the plot takes off in the next chapter.
I'm really glad you feel that way about the canon characters. Keeping them true to the way I remembered them from the books was important to me. Poor Harry will be dealing with a great deal of anguish over the course of this story. I felt badly at times, considering everything I put him through. I wanted to give him a hug for the majority of the story.
The Next Gen characters form a sizable part of the supporting cast of the story, along with a few of their children. Stay tuned for their first appearance...
I'm really enjoying finding out how the story is going through your eyes. That never gets old for me. Thanks for reading and reviewing! Report Review
Oh wow...I seriously didn't expect this. At least not in the beginning, not when I read the summary of the chapter. I thought I was going to see a beautiful, lovely scene between the two of them, but I started something was amiss when Harry kept talking but didn't get any reply from Ginny. I feared this might have happened and it was the case :( It really hurt imagining that Ginny died, leaving so much behind. I mean, of course wizards die too but it's one thing knowing and another completely different when it happens.
Your style resembles JK's style SO SO much. You use many adjectives and adverbs and through this you create the perfect visual image of each scene. I really strive to write like this as well because this style is one of the aspects that captured me when I was reading HP. I am a visual type of person (I remember faces of people I've seen very easily) so I feel naturally attracted to everything that's visual. It's a very vivid way to write and I love it to bits.
I also noticed you are very good at transmitting the emotions of the characters through your words, which is a BIG thing. Especially sadness. I found that both with actors and book characters, if the actor (or writer) manages to convey a believable state of sadness, that makes the viewer )reader) REALLY feel for the character, they have the part in their bag. Sadness I find is one of the most difficult emotions to portray. So kudos to you :D
I am really looking forward to see how this develops!Author's Response: Hello, again!
This chapter is one of the most emotional things I've ever written, so I'm glad that came across when you were reading it. The decision to not have Ginny be a part of this story was the most difficult one that I made while writing it. I absolutely adore Harry and Ginny together, but I felt like Harry's story was a lot less compelling without this. I hope you'll see what I mean by the time it's over.
I can't think of a higher compliment than a reader saying that my writing style reminds them of hers. I don't know what else to say about that. Thank you!
Emotions are a very important part of this or any other story, so I really tried to make sure that the characters' emotional states are clear and detailed. It bums me out when I see a story with a really good plot concept and the characters come off flat because the author doesn't spend enough time acquainting the reader with their thoughts and feelings. Ditto for the sensory details. To me, it's really important to try as much as possible to immerse the reader in the scene they're reading.
I hope that the story continues to hold your interest as you move into the real crux of the plot over the next few chapters. Thanks for reading and reviewing! Report Review
Hey there Dan (I hope it's okai if I call you that)! I've heard SO much about this story that I decided to come and check it out. It's been warmly recommended to me many more times than I can remember, so now with some free time on my hands, I thought it would be the moment to start it. It's a very daunting story (I am still amazed you wrote like 200k words for this! That's crazy!), but I am determined to finish it, no matter how much time it takes me :)
Short but very eloquent start I must say. I was very surprised by the ending with the scene between Harry and Ginny. I think I gasped when I read it because the first feeling I had was that this was somehow taking place in the future of the story, where Harry and Ginny die, and the real story starts the next chapter with them back in time, remembering what happened...if that makes any sense. Let me just say this: I don't want Harry to die! I am surely going to cry if that does happen :(
I'm very intrigued by this project because it mixes a lot of themes I love about the books: that feeling of impending danger the war brings, love that helps you go through the fear, mistrust that war ensues and family. And this is only judging by your summary, because I'm sure I'm going to discover much more as the story unfolds. I know how much you love canon, so this story can't possibly go wrong! It received too many praises from a lot of authors that I respect to not be awesome, so yeah...I'm pretty sure I'm going to enjoy it as well :D
Can't wait!Author's Response: Hi, Debra! If you're going to read and review, call me whatever you like! ;)
I'm really happy that you've heard good things. I spent around a year writing Conspiracy of Blood, and it's definitely something I'm very proud of.
The main purpose of a prologue is to draw the reader in, so I'm glad it worked for you. Just to give you a small glimpse of what lies ahead, the prologue is actually the beginning of a scene that takes place in chapter 38.
I'm so pleased that you've decided to take up reading my story. I'm really excited to see what you think. Thanks for reading and reviewing! Report Review
I think I've started for an entire 5 minutes at the screen, thinking how to start my last review for this story. It's done> This is the end and I feel like crying. This is the first story that I've ever truly finished on the Archives. I have a habit of starting long stories, but never finish them. I feel happy that this was not the case. I don't think it could have been either because it was too much of an interesting story to NOT reach it's end.
I am both confused and thrilled with the ending. Confused because you divided the chapter in two different times and I don't know which shows the true ending. Although, considering this is a time travel story, I don't think there is any TRUE ending. Maybe they are just different dimensions? In any case, I'm going to go with the last one where Lily and Alastor are finally together. It gives the entire story a sense of a completed cycle that makes me all fuzzy inside.
I just love how you portrayed the house in the last part. At the beginning of the story, the house is introduced to us as a boring place, a space where Lily doesn't seem to fit in because she feels she has lost so much because of her foot injury. But it's not the house that's at fault I believe. It's the person living inside it. I think the phrase "beauty is in the eyes of the beholder" accurately explain what I'm trying to put through here. Having experienced so much since the start of her journey, meeting love and finally having the chance to be with him in the end, give the whole place a completely different atmosphere. Beautiful ending! LOVED IT!!!
Thank you Susan. Thanks for writing such a gripping story, with so many to learn from it and so many to take home with you. It was truly a pleasure reading this story Author's Response: Wow, your first story! It means a lot that this story was able to keep you going right till the end - it's a problem that I have too with reading on the archives, so I understand. Thank you for coming back to read and review each chapter! :D
Is there ever a true ending? :P They are the end of the same story - the first is the literal end of Lily's life while the second is the end of the time travel narrative. The previous chapter introduced the adult Lily - who is the Lily from the portrait - and including her "ending" here brings the story full circle, reflecting how Lily's timeline goes in a circle (there's also the ring, another circle). I used to have a third ending, which shows Neville discovering the portrait, but it didn't fit as well as I would have liked.
Oh, I'm so glad that you liked the portrayal of the cottage in this chapter! It's so central to the story that it might as well be a character - it's always at once her home and her prison. She has that vision at some point about being trapped in the house, waiting for Moody's return - and even when she tries to escape from Moody, the house seems to prevent her. Yet at the end here it is the only place she truly belongs - at both death and rebirth, the cottage is beautiful, filled with light and love, and it gives her that happiness she sought for.
I can't express how happy your compliments have made me! :D It's fantastic to hear that you enjoyed this story so much! Thank you! Report Review
Ohai Susan! I felt inspired by your review responses today to come back and finish this story. Turn the last two pages of this intense adventure :)
Being so focused on Lily and Moody, I have never taken the time to REALLY look at the other characters from the story and understand what they must have been going through with Lily's condition. In a way Ginny, Harry and Neville are as much a part of this story as the two main characters. They are the characters that have taken the back seat but are as alive as Lily and Moody. It's actually really hard to be able to put yourself in their shoes and truly feel what they feel. I mean, you can empathize but it's not the same as living what they live. Ginny's constant worry for Lily. Harry's defeated self. Neville's own scars. It must be really hard for them to watch helplessly as their loved one struggles with ghosts of the past and shadows of the present and know that thee is not much they can do to help her. Change is in her own hands. It's her decision that determines how she will live her future, which brings me the last part of the chapter...
Is it okai if I say that I am utterly confused? Time travel really boggles my mind and I can't wrap my rational thoughts around it to be able to make sense of it. HOW was it possible for Lily to create this time cycle and meet her (past? future?) self? How is time altered in that way? But what I have realized this chapter is that one doesn't need to understand something to feel something. And if it's one thing this this chapter (and story by extension) doesn't lack is feels!
When you have the time, go back to the part in the story where you're talking about Lily finding the ring and putting it on. There's a tiny mistake there that by no means alters the story, but I noticed it while reading: "I wait, twisting the finger round and round my finger until, my eyes widening" - it's a minor mistake, but this was the only CC I could possibly offer you haha
I said I wanted to start giving more CC but I end up writing gushing novel length reviews again! But I seriously can't find anything to suggest to improve the story. The characters are as human as you could possibly make them (Lily so much that she just makes me want to slap her and shake her, maybe that way she will react haha...I want her to be happy!! I don't want her to mop after Moody for forever), the plot is mind blowing in it's complexion (the tip of my hat to you for making a time travel story work!) and the style flows perfectly. It almost feels like a poem written with a lot more words than a standard poem.
My burning question now is: what was her decision? What did she decide to do??? Ahh the cliffhangers! You like cliffhangers, don't you?Author's Response: I'm finally catching up with your reviews! My apologies for taking so long. It's been a great experience to watch your progress through this story, and even better to see how much you've enjoyed it. ^_^
What you've said about the three adults is very important - I've wanted to highlight the way that they show their worry, but it never quite registers for Lily. If anything, she's annoyed by it and that's a problem - it's one of the ways of showing how disconnected she is from her world. These people have always been there for her and take extra time to help her, yet they can't make an impact, which demonstrates just how far gone she is, especially by this point in the story. One could compare her conversation with Ginny in the first chapter with her conversations here, none of which are ever completed. We never see what happens with Healer Patil or what Harry discovers at the Ministry - none of that matters to Lily. It was strange to write from the perspective of a character who is so out of place and alienated from the people who love her. It's painful to watch her because, by this point, there isn't any going back - there's no way to help her.
I hadn't quite thought of the story in this way, though. I wrote these chapters when watching two of my friends struggle with their own problems, and it was hard to be in that position of powerlessness. The adults in Ginny's life are divided between belief and uncertainty, and it reflects in their actions toward her - the support that Parvati, Harry, and Neville offer is in contrast with Ginny's more aggressive desire to pull Lily from this depression. I wish I could have written more about Ginny in this story - I still have an unfinished scene from the end of this chapter where Ginny confronts Lily, eventually letting her go. But it doesn't fit as well with the ambiguity that I want for the conclusion.
Okay, about the time travel... I find it just as confusing. It means that no matter what, Lily /has/ to go back in time - it's what Doctor Who (and probably also Doc Brown) would call a "fixed point". Once she enters the attic and discovers the trunks, she's already connecting herself with her future, especially when she examines the wedding ring. I've relied a lot on fate here, where she's driven to the cottage and then up into the attic. She was always meant to do those things because her history with Moody has already occurred. It's the mind-bending paradox of travelling into the past, the exact same problem that happens with Harry and Hermione in PoA - did Sirius actually die, or was he always saved? The movie does this really well by showing how Buckbeak's death never happened - the executioner's axe hit a pumpkin instead. Writing time travel to the past can easily drive someone crazy because it means having to rethink how one understands time - I've read Yeats's "Second Coming" enough to see time as a gyre, looping on its course. Coming at a time travel story with the belief that time is linear just would not work.
I've fixed up that mistake with the ring, thank you. :)
I do love cliffhangers - they're so useful in hooking readers along and also in giving me time to think about how to best deliver a conclusion that best satisfies the reader. :D I hope that the ending I chose works for you... *crosses fingers*
Thank you so much for reading and reviewing this story! Your novel-length reviews are lots of fun to read and respond to. ^_^ Report Review
Zayne! I am finally here to review this. Sorry it took me so long but I had a long waiting list, plus uni work. But as promised, I have arrived! And I am glad I did :D
First off allow me to extend my warmest and honest congratulations on your description skills. You have a gift when it comes to depicting feelings. They are true and deep and when you mix them with the visual images your words carry of the outside world, it creates a truly beautiful painting of the story. I really don't have much to say about this other than words of praise :D
Dorcas! I loved it that in the end, when he finally came for her she decided not to give in so easily. Sure, she didn't put up a fight because in her mind it was futile to fight against Lord Voldemort once he set his eyes on someone, but what's most important is that she kept her interior strength and went to her death with courage. Not many can say that they can stare certain death in the eyes and still maintain composure. I don't know if I could.
I really liked your characterization of Dorcas. She seemed very human in this, with believable emotions. She is longing for her childhood friend, her lover and now that he is dead, she has no reason to live any more. I'm wondering how he was and how was their relationship. And I am curious about her, more than anything. You write her as one of the most prominent figures of the First Order. I wonder what she's done to deserve all that faith people put in her. And I wonder above else what she has done to make Voldermort come after her himself. This is why I don't like one shots - I NEED TO KNOW MORE haha
Very veyr nice piece hun! I enjoyed it a lot! Report Review
Ok so Jami, how is someone supposed to review this so that it can accurately share all the chills and the feelings the story transmitted? Teach me because I don't know how!
Bellatrix! You have no idea how much I've been wanting to search for a dark story about her. She's one of those HP characters that both fascinate and terrify you. One thing is for sure about Bellatrix: she's fascinating in her insanity, in her blind devotion to Voldemort's cause, in her senseless love and adoration for him, in her unblinking cruelty. I'm so happy you decided to write this for her. I have a feeling we're up for a roller coaster of emotions with this story!
I don't know yet how you're intending to write this story (third person or otherwise) but I love how the narration is written like from the point of view of someone exterior to the action of the story. Someone who is there to encourage Bellatrix to go further and further. Maybe it's her own mind that pushes her forward. That would be AWESOME! To see the story written from the point of view of her thoughts, like they were a separate entity to her body. In any way you decide to write the story, I'll be sure to read it!Author's Response: You feel chills?! Oh that just makes me so happy!! During Before They Fall I've absolutely fallen in love with writing Bellatrix. There is nothing 'okay' about her, yet in her mind there is. And that's just so fascinating to me. I hope we're in for a roller coaster, that's for sure!
I think I'm planning on writing it in a mixture of this and third. This will come at during very crucial moments, and third will be used to tell more of the story. That sounds confusing huh? Well, cross our fingers that it'll work :P
Thank you so much for stopping by, you sweet little snakey!
♥ Report Review
Rachel! Guess whose story was on my to-do list for today? :D Yes, you have guessed correctly...yours! :P
Okai so it took me a little while to remember where I left off, but I quickly remembered. What I didn't expect to come back to me so fast was the feelings this story gave me: excitement, swooning (if that's even an emotion), warmth. To me this is enough proof that this is a very good story. No matter how much time passes between reads I think the fact that people regain the same feeling when reading it again, is a very good indication that you're right on track with it ;)
There's something I picked up in this chapter and I was very happy about. I don't know yet if it's so, but there seems to be a special connection (friendly type) between James and Beth. He is so mature now and there's something about the way he looks at her, as if he can see right into her soul or read her thoughts with just a look. I don't know if I've mentioned this in a previous review, but I LOVE how it feels. I can easily imagine Beth going to James for advices because he's like a brother to her. Not that the others aren't of course, but James seems like that person who you can tell everything because you won't be judged. A caring, thoughtful person.
At this point it's growing very hard to believe that Snape doesn't know anything. There are too many hints that point to his discovery of the truth, or at the very least a heavy suspicion towards it. I don't know from WHERE he could possible know, but one thing's for sure: he's not stupid. He can easily deduct from their behaviour what's wrong. And that cliffhanger is UGH! Such a cliffhanger haha. Now I want to know if he's just bluffing or if he does know something!
Again, I don't know if I've asked this before but I am confused about something. They're in their last year here right (because of the N.E.W.T's and all)? And by the looks of things Snape doesn't know about Remus yet but when he DOES find out, there's that whole missing scene from the book where Sirius tries to play a prank on him and convinces him to follow Remus under the Whomping Willow but James saves him. Didn't that happen in their third year though? Did you tweak it to fit your story or...?
In any case, I am so eager to read on but I still have 3 activities on my list today and I am determined to complete it! I will come back soon enough though :DAuthor's Response: I'm sorry it's taken me so long to respond to this! I'm no less thrilled to have a review from you for all that, rest assured -- and I'm very proud of you for sticking to your to-do list! :P
I'm pleased as punch to know that it didn't take you long to pick up where you left off, too. It's very important that my story have that, but obviously that's something I can't evaluate personally! And there is most definitely a type of sister/brother connection with Beth and James. It crops up in later books, too, but I see him as the most brother-like figure to her out of all the boys. Sirius is fun and goofy and she gets to have a lot of fun times with him, especially in book 2, but James fit that role best, I think.
I can't tell you what Severus knows, of course. You'll have to find out for yourself! ♥ And yes -- I did move the Whomping Willow incident up to fill this story. The nice thing about writing an OC is that I feel more justified in taking creative liberties like that, and it worked too well with the plot to not do it. You know? This is their last year of school, though.
Thank you for taking the time to do this for me! ♥ I'm so glad we've become friends of late. Bonding over ASoIaF for the win! Report Review
Before I make any sense of this review, allow me to gloat a bit. YES YES YES! It was Lily. It was LILY! I suspected it all along. You my lovely Susan, are a master of leaving enough hints to keep your theory going but not enough to be certain of it at any point. I haven't been this confused about something I thought I knew/felt in a long time. I guess your preference for mystery stories has paid off :D I am SO happy that I got it right...right? Because this is what I understood at the end of the chapter. That the woman in the mirror was indeed Lily from some other past, other dimension tainted with her decision to stay by Moody's side. You know what? No, I'm not going back to being confused again haha Lily is the woman in the miror! She's got to be her...
Okai so hopefully now I'll make more sense lol. I'm sorry it took me so long to come back and finish the story, but I promise now I won't leave before it's done. Reading this chapter reminded me why I loved it so much. I never realized I missed reading it, missed the puzzle I needed to complete. I loved the story so much that I guess deep down in my unconscious I didn't want it to end. So I took longer than allowed to finish it. But it's that moment, so here I am!
This chapter made me think so much about my own profession as a psychologist. Even if in the end I decided to work with adolescents on more palpable and provable problems, I have considered going the therapy road for a very long time. This chapter, or rather, the theme of the chapter (believability...what's the limit between fantasy and reality) brought back so many memories of my own questions, doubts that I felt like I was a younger version of myself for 10 minutes (I read a chapter this long in about 10 minutes; yes, I am a slow reader!). As a potential therapist, I have always wondered what my reaction would be if a client came to me with a story like Lily's, something so out there and improbable that you could hardly believe it to be true. Would believe the client or cling to what my training drilled in my brain since the beginning, that only what's proven stands as true? This is one of those questions that a straight answer couldn't possibly cover all the implications, intricacies of the answer. I think that I'd believe the client, which could prove detrimental for the treatment, but I couldn't see any other way. I have been brought up to second guess what reality really means (because in the end, what IS reality? isn't it subjective to everyone's own interpretation of the world?) and I was also always surrounded by religious members of my family. Needless to say that I am a religious person as well and that means believing in something that can't objectively be proven either. In light of that, how could I possibly have the audacity to doubt what someone else tells me?
Ok - enough philosophies. I get so carried away with these kind of subjects, it's not even funny haha. With all of that said, I felt a lot for both Lily and Harry this chapter. Especially Harry. We've been present at Lily's sufferings throughout the whole story, but this is the first real glimpse we have on how the family deals with her situation. It pained me to see that he hadn't recovered from the war. Not truly at least. In some way I imagine that's understandable and pretty probable. To live what Harry lived and still keep your sanity, well...I'd call that an accomplishment in itself.
OH, I am so eager to see what comes next. I need to know what will Lily do now! So I'm going to end this monstrously long review and get on with the next chapter lolAuthor's Response: It may be ridiculously long, but it's the kind of reaction I was hoping this chapter would garner. I hadn't planned for the story to make this sudden turn, but after the previous chapter, I felt that it was necessary to explore the effect of the journey on Lily's mind. She was already weakened by depression, then to suffer that trauma at Moody's death... it proves too much. This is reflected in the narrative, which is why it's somewhat confused - Lily is not only uncertain, but doing her best to conceal things from her audience. She saw the portrait's face in the previous chapter, but she doesn't actually tell us (or rather Healer Patil) what it looks like. Then there is the more significant gap in Lily's story - what happens after the fire. It was very interesting to write a character who had forgotten part of her own story, and she never gets it back, but rather pieces it together based on the evidence. It's fascinating to do this with fiction and navigate the boundaries of storytelling. :D
The thing to do is not overthink things. :P The difference between the portrait and Lily is slight, primarily based on their age difference - the portrait has seen what happens after the story ends, and has no ideals or illusions left. The mirror was actually supposed to act as a replacement for the portrait - if Lily had seen the portrait, it would have been like looking into a mirror in the future (have you tried those aging programs? If so, it's rather like that).
I really like what you've said about looking at the story from the perspective of a therapist. There's nothing to disprove Lily's story - in fact, there's evidence to support it - yet it's also impossible. To Lily it's more real than the world she's returned to. There's that annoying saying about "losing one's grip on reality", but you've nailed it in asking what actually is reality? Everything depends on the individual and their interpretation of the world. To force Lily to believe that it was all a dream would be more detrimental than allowing her to continue with her "delusions".
Since you've already finished reading, I can mention here that the story can be interpreted in two ways: either the time travel was real or it was not. Because it's told entirely from Lily's point of view, it always appears as though it's real, but there are clues that point to the other interpretation, which inevitably leads to Lily's death by drowning. It depends on how the reader wants the story to end - happily with Lily reuniting with Alastor, or tragically with her madness, followed by suicide (where the final scene of the conclusion, filled with water imagery, is the vision she has as she dies).
It really is a crazy story. I was hardly able to keep myself sane while writing it! It's fantastic that you've enjoyed how this chapter turned out because it was one that particularly worried me - I wasn't sure how readers would respond to the change in tense and its effect on Lily's frame of mind. Thank you so much for reading and reviewing this story! I'm proud of it, and hearing any compliments make my ears pink. ^_^ Report Review
AW! Ral this was SUCH a sweet, lovey dovey, miracle filled story. I think I squealed all the way through haha. It was very heart-warming how they were not supposed to have children but in the end Rose was pregnant. I can only imagine how they must have felt. This story made me want to have a child as well haha (don't worry, I won't do anything you wouldn't, remember our pact? :P)
When I first started reading the piece it felt like Rose and Scorpius were recently married. They were just so happy and still close to each other with all the fooling around, kissing, being attentive of one another. I was quite shocked to find out that in fact they had been married for 5 years already. I wish my marriage will still look like that after 5 years.
The one that surprised me most was without a doubt Scorpius. He was so patient with Rose (even though at that moment he didn't know of her condition, hormones and stuff), so thoughtful and loving it almost feels impossible to be true! He is definitely NOT steretyped in your story, that's for sure :PAuthor's Response: I know plenty of boys that are sweet when their wives/girlfriends are ill. Or at least a couple!
I'm so happy that you liked this and if ever I decide to have a baby myself, I'll let you know so we can go through the joys of pregnancy together. Just don't hold your breath, I'm years away from that moment!
Thank you so much for the review! Report Review
You are brilliant! Yes, yes you! I cannont believe how hooked I was by this chapter. It was somewhat long (over 3000 words) but the funny thing is, I never noticed when I had finished the chapter. That's how much I enjoyed it!
I'm so so happy that I finally caught up with your story and I can now eagerly await the next chapter, together with everyone else. You've grown so much since the beginning of the story. The core is still the same but you really took into consideration what people advised you and it showed. You explored more character feels, the pace is a lot slower which is amazing because it builds the tension better. It's a big thing to take criticism kindly, filter it through your own rational process and your own ideas of the story, and then applying it to the story. You're one step further to becoming a very accomplished writer :D
The note Rose received really freaked me out...it felt like they were being watched or something. I must admit that there are moments when I am as paranoid as Scorpius, so reading something like this was totally unsettling lol. I am VERY intrigued as to what is up this weird society. One one hand I'd like to believe that what they claim is true, and they set out to help Rose, but on the other hand I can't help but doubt. Really girl you should read Game of Thrones. People betray and back stab people ALL the time there that it completely changes how you read other stories. Especially mystery stories. You will never truly trust a character again hahaAuthor's Response: If I started reading Game of Thrones, this novella would become a series of 14 novels :D So no, not yet. Maybe after exams in the fall.
The Peverell Society is at the bottom of this, in case it hasn't become obvious, but whether they want to help Rose or not... we'll have to wait and see! Thank you again for reviewing! Report Review
Good morning sweety! I'm back to read and discover more of this story now that we're finally reaching the core of the problem. I can't believe it's almost finally over...this is going to be my ever first finished story on the Archives. I have a tendency to start fanfics but never really end them but yours will be the first one on my list :D I plan on changing this nasty habit of mine :)
This was a very good chapter! We took one step further to discovering what the killer is planning (even though I am as confused as ever by his identity) when he stole Harry's wand. But I have to admit, I have to agree with Rose on this one. Why on earth did they not recover the Elder Wand earlier? After the perpetrator broke into Harry's home and easily entered his supposedly safe office, he should have known that they weren't dealing with an ordinary person. They are obviously skilled. I can't wrap my mind around the fact that they didn't think to put the Elder Wand to safety. Harry...you disappoint me...:P
And the second best part of this chapter was Rose's story reveal. We finally, finally got to see what happened between her and Hermione. Maybe I am more than a little paranoid here but I am suspecting that that wasn't Hermione's real reason for reacting like she did when Rose told them that she was interested in the Elder Wand. It doesn't seem that characteristic to her, so she may have had an ulterior motive. But I might be looking for problems where there really aren't :P
On to the next chapter!! :DAuthor's Response: Took me long enough to start responding to all of these amazing reviews!
The thing about him putting the Elder Wand back always bugged me! I mean, come on Harry! You don't just put Death's Wand back where it came from!
The way I see Hermione in her later life, she was always working towards a better world and the fact that her daughter would choose to study an object that has brought her and her family all this pain and suffering is something I think would sit badly with her.
Thank you again for the review! Report Review
Giola girl! Why did you have this story so hidden? And why don't people pay more attention to it?? Only 100 reviews for a story with such a promising start? No way...
In any case, I LOVED the start of this. I can't even remember the last time I read a story that showed Draco so mature and in character. He's one of those HP character that is overly used, who falls into different stereotypes faster than you can blink, so finding a story that portrays his character so close to what we know in the books about him, yet mature enough, is a true delight. I'm in Draco heaven right now (and believe me, he isn't one of the characters that I compulsively read stories about. In fact I don't think I ever finished a story that featured him...most of the time it's unbearable...).
Astoria! YES! I don't know what genre this story is (I was hooked by the summary so I didn't pay much attention to anything else :P) but if it will focus on the relationship between Draco and Astoria I am all aboard with that. I am already rooting for her. You really managed to give her flavour and enough layers for a great kick off of her character. The way they meet seems very probable; her not so pink relationship with her family (except Daphne, with whom she's in good terms as we saw) has a very plausible reason and seems deep enough; her choice of career, everything about her screams like an enjoyable OC!
Who knew I'd stumble upon something like this when I first clicked your story? I am already hooked! Report Review
Selene you always play with my heart when I read your stories. I think you are the master of perfect missing moments scenes. Every time I read one of your stories, I'm blown away by how you handle everything from the characterization to the feelings the characters have, or the plot. How do you juggle everything so well?
Neville is such a sweetheart. Until the very last moment he doubted himself, despite the fact that he has done so much for the students that remained at Hogwarts for their 7th year. That shows a side of him that I am loving more and more: humbleness. He doesn't realise how valuable he is and how fit for Gryffindor he is until the end. My baby Report Review
Ash! I am here again, taking opportunity of this lovely 'war' we have going on with the Gryffies!
First off, I have to say that those chapter images are brilliant. Hilarious but brilliant. I like that they always depict some sort of summary for what is going to happen in the chapter. This one was especially important with the cabin and all.
I am dying to know how DO the zombies find them. And how do the move so fast? I mean, they are in one place at some point and then BAM, they're in a completely different place the next. I understand that they multiply very fast but how fast can this 'breeding' go to spread so quick? I feel there's a trick somewhere around here and I am determined to find it!
And just when you think things couldn't get worse Fenrir appears. When does the bad luck end and the good luck begin for them? I felt so sorry about Albus and Lily this chapter. They are orphans now. I can't even begin to wrap my mind around what does to a person. I loved their fierce reaction however. It was very believable and true to real life reactions. When you feel you are overpowered, you have the urge to fight back. Feeling useless in those moments of peril is the worst.
Very very nice chapter hun!Author's Response: Hey!
Thanks for the comments about the chapter images, they are definitely one of my favorite things about the chapters!
Your thoughts on how the zombies move so fast I have actually answered in a later chapter (that actually hasn't been released yet :P ) So you will definitely figure that out later!
I really enjoy writing Albus and Lily and the differences between the two of them and how they are dealing with things. I try to remember back to when I was a teenager and how I made everything a huge drama when it wasn't. And now that there Is a huge drama going on, I feel like Albus would just kind of check out. But he really wants to fight, so I enjoy that side of him. And writing Fenrir was so fun, you'll see!
Thank you so much for reviewing!! Report Review
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