This was really cute! I loved the way you wrote Arthur, with his boundless enthusiasm for learning about the muggles. A perfect rendition of the man before he became a husband and father.
Your description of the Muggle Studies classroom was detailed and very thorough. I liked your ideas about the sorts of things that a wizard teaching students about muggles would find interesting or useful.
Professor Bumble was a neat creation. I can't actually think of a Hogwarts professor from the era of the books to compare him to. Perhaps Hagrid in terms of his raw enthusiasm for the subject, but that doesn't sound right at all to compare him to a very rough-hewn half-giant. He runs a very interesting class. I liked the way that he managed to capture the attention of even the students who were less inclined to care about muggles. Something about the way the subject matter gripped them felt universal to me, like it could have been any fascinating subject in any school, muggle or magical.
The little bits of canon that you worked into the story added a lot for me. Seeing Molly in her school years, meeting a few of Arthur's contemporaries from the books and finding out when Arthur developed his burning desire to understand airplanes really helped to anchor the story in a familiar feeling.
Your writing was very good. I didn't see a single typo or grammatical problem.
Suggestions? I think it would have been interesting to add an antagonist to the scene. Maybe not a pureblood fanatical Slytherin, since they probably wouldn't be caught dead taking N.E.W.T. level Muggle studies, but maybe a pureblood Ravenclaw to ask dismissive questions or even argue that it isn't possible for muggles to fly. I would have loved seeing Arthur's reaction to such a thing.
Overall, you did a great job with this. Glad I saw it in your status update!Author's Response: Hello!
I'm so glad you liked Arthur! He's one of my favourite characters, especially when he acts like a big kid and doesn't want to discipline his kids as much as Molly. I really enjoyed describing the Muggle Studies classroom, and the research I did about sixties toys to include there. I've always thought that even though Arthur's job is so connected with Muggles, he doesn't seem to know that much about them, so it was interesting to think about what he learnt in school.
I had so much fun creating Professor Bumble! I'm pleased he didn't seem like a copy of any of the Hogwarts professors. I think if a teacher is obviously enthusiastic about that subject, the class is much more likely to be interested in what they're teaching, and I tried to show that here. It was a bit strange trying to explain how all the things we take for granted work, though!
Something I always try to do - especially in stories like this one - is add some mention of bits of canon we know to kind of anchor the story more for the reader. I'm happy it worked for you, because I always think it makes it more believable for the reader.
That's a really good idea! I'd thought of having an antagonist at first, but the obvious choice of a pureblood Slytherin didn't really work, so I like the idea of a know-it-all Ravenclaw stirring things up in the class. I'll definitely think about adding that in!
Thank you so much for a brilliant review - it really made my day!
Sian :) Report Review
Brilliant. You did an amazing job of taking us through the formative years of Draco's young life.
Lucius and Narcissa were very well written. I loved the duality of both parents, the way that the behave around little Draco compared to the face they show the world. Then Lucius gradually changes as Draco gets older. He becomes colder and more distant, focused only on Draco's role in perpetuating the family legacy. I wonder whether the death of Draco's little sister had anything to do with the change we see in Lucius? It obviously impacted Narcissa. I like the idea of her suffering a loss like that. Not because I wish bad things on her, but because it helps to round out the picture of why she was always so fiercely protective of Draco.
I liked the change in Draco's perspective as he got older, as well. How he went from being a precocious, free-spirited toddler to more of a haughty young man. It's easy to see how all of his father's "lessons" came to echo in his ears.
Your writing was awesome in this. I couldn't find a thing wrong with it. The narrative flowed beautifully and the characters really sounded like themselves.
Great job!Author's Response: Again, what an amazing review! You're wonderful! Poor Draco would have had a fairly lonely childhood, growing up as a spoiled only child, so I figured I'd go a little more into that. I always thought that Narcissa's protectiveness went above and beyond the norm, and to me, the most logical explanation for this would be the loss of a child earlier in her life. Embedded sorrow, plus the ingrained need for an heir would mean that she would be super protective. I thought that Lucius would have similar feelings, but duty would probably win in his case. Thus, the obsession with lineage which he passed on to his son. And poor Draco just got molded into what his father wanted. Thank you for the lovely review. It's very helpful, and it was lovely to read :) Report Review
This was a pretty amazing story. I love Sirius when he's written really well, and you captured him in a way that felt amazingly true to his characterization from the books. He's tormented by the past and sort of childlike in a way. He seems to feel less animosity toward his family than I'm used to seeing, but that really didn't bother me at all. You made it seem perfectly natural for such a lost and lonely soul.
The same is true for Ginny. I love the inner strength you gave her, and the difficulty she has coping with her experience from her first year of school. Her quiet personality was also much more in line with the way she's portrayed in the first four books. She seems like a very warm, caring person, but with a fiery temper. Beautifully done.
Your supporting characters were also great. Wise and weary Remus was able to help Sirius out at the moment he needed it most. Overbearing mother hen Molly was annoying for all of the reasons I never liked her until she killed Bellatrix and became the baddest mama in HP canon. Bill and George were very well done as protective older brothers, with Bill having more of an advantage of age when it came to rebuffing Sirius's questions. Even Phineas Nigellus and Kreacher were perfectly in tune.
Then came the ending. I loved the way that you changed up the narrative style to make it appropriate to Sirius's death. And it was great to see him reunited with those whose deaths burdened him with so much guilt and grief in life.
Just so this doesn't seem like an endlessly gushy review, I should point out that you need to do some editing. I didn't pick through every typo, but there were enough of them for it to be noticeable. This is such a great story otherwise that I think it would be awesome if you could tidy up those few small blemishes.
Great job. I'm really happy that you came across my story because it gave me the opportunity to find yours. Cheers!Author's Response: Thank you so much! It means a lot to me that you took the time to write such a long and helpful review. I've had my doubts about this story...I've been teetering between thinking it was good, and wanting it to disappear. I know it needs some serious editing (I've sent it to a beta, but she hasn't replied yet...) and I'll probably go over it a couple more times to fine tune stuff I don't like.
I'm very glad you thought the characters were portrayed well. Apparently I have a thing about characters. I really like to get into their personalities, and figure them out, and sometimes how I end up picturing them isn't necessarily how they are portrayed canonically. My goal is to get them right, however!
Thank you, thank you for the encouragement on the ending. I had a lot of trouble on it. It's written so much differently from the rest of the story; I was trying to make it more battle-y (thus the staccato sentences etc.) than pensive and character driven, but I wasn't sure if the drastic change worked, from quiet , to battle-y, to quiet again. The very, very end troubled me too. Since James and Lily aren't present very often in the books, it's difficult to get a hold on their characters. Hopefully I did it well!
Again, thank you so much for your review. You've helped my out exponentially, confidence-wise! Report Review
Hi, Jami! Such a mixed bag, this chapter. Awesome, but you did so many mean things to my Lily! Where did you get the idea to do such awful stuff? :p
Alrek was amazingly sinister in this chapter. Up to this point, he's always either been undercover or overshadowed by another character like Bellatrix, so it was neat to see him finally have a scene where he was the undisputed boss bad guy. He's also apparently mostly cracked. It isn't enough for him to just inflict an agonizing death on Lily, he wants her to be terrified. He wants her to see the end coming and beg for it. He's like a little mini-Bellatrix in this chapter, only without the highly purified sense of purpose. Or the results, for that matter.
I'll admit it: I spent pretty much the entire chapter being disappointed that James didn't turn Vile into a toad. Because she deserved it. Oh, how she deserved it!
"I don't even understand what you see in her!" Violet shouted, letting go of her quill, causing it to tumble to the ground. "She's a know-it-all. She never does anything fun, and she's as flat as a bloody-" This. This right here. Perfect Vile. She's catty and shallow and clueless.
I love Lily's spirit in this chapter. There were so many times where it would have been completely understandable if she'd just given up. She's taking so much abuse and she's under so much mental duress. There's absolutely no doubt that he means to kill her. None. But no matter what, she keeps fighting. She's so determined to make it out alive. That's my girl!
He wanted to make it slow. Drawn out. That knowledge brought Lily a small sense of relief. -- Not many people would react this way, and it shows Lily's mindset here. Avoiding pain isn't her primary concern. Surivial is. And she's as worried about James as she is about herself. Even facing her own death, she wants to know whether Alrek's done something to him.
You did an awesome job of writing Lily when her brain slips into all-out survival mode. The way that she uses everything at her disposal to fight him off, throwing elbows and kicking and scratching... that was perfect for the circumstances. She puts pride and propriety aside and does whatever she has to in order to live.
James balled his fists, wishing more than anything Violet was a goddamn bloke so he could sock her. -- I think I speak for the vast majority of your readers when I say that we wouldn't have thought any less of him if he'd set chivalry aside for a moment and rearranged her face. That said, you did a good job in this scene of keeping James true to his character. There are certain lines that he simply won't cross, no matter how upset he is. And oh, is he upset. There were a few instances where he took little pauses, especially the one right before he starts blasting away at the door, that seemed a little odd at first blush. But then it dawned on me how hard he was working just to hold himself together. I think a lot of things became crystal clear for him in that little classroom.
The scene in Lily's room was just brutal. I loved the way that you pushed the limits with this scene. As much as Dumbledore and McGonagall have tried to shield their students from the terrible reality, the fact is that they're in the middle of a war. A war being fought against terrible people whose fanaticism doesn't even allow them to accept the existence of someone like Lily and whose methods are nothing short of barbaric. Some of that reality had to make it into this story eventually, and you handled it beautifully. You let Alrek be the animal that he truly is, but you didn't glorify anything he was doing. Your descriptions were tight, functional and spartan. The focus was on Lily and her ability to fight back and survive. The glory was all hers. I know you were really worried about this scene, but to me it was an incredible moment for Lily. This is a person who has the guts to defy the Dark Lord himself.
No, said a small voice in the back of her mind. No. You can't give up yet or you're as good as letting him kill you. -- Exactly! This line really cemented everything she was fighting for.
The array of dark curses you came up with for Alrek was truly impressive. For a long time, I've been wondering exactly why Voldemort chose him for this assignment, and it's really apparent in this chapter. He's obviously very talented in a terrible sort of way.
"Yeah, well... couldn't do much else when he's already passed out," Sirius mumbled and she heard Dumbledore make some sort of tutting, amused response. -- THANK YOU, SIRIUS! As always, the incomparable Mr. Black delivers.
Everything about the scene when Lily wakes up was warm and happy and wonderful. James's sentiments were heart-melting. It's a shame that it really did take this much to get the two of them to admit what they were feeling for one another, but such is life when you're dealing with very stubborn people who seem a bit clueless about love.
"... I swear, loving you this much is going to kill me someday," he said with a quiet laugh. -- You stop that, Jami! You stop that right now!
Lastly, we come to Alrek's demise. It was oddly less satisfying than I was expecting. Maybe I was hoping that James or Lily would be the one to finish him off. Or maybe I was hoping he'd have some really ironic last words, instead of his pathetic last attempt to avoid death. Whatever the reason, his death mostly served as another ghastly lesson for Regulus and Snape. When you associate with animals, it's jungle law. You did a great job with Voldemort's dialog. He sounded perfectly in character. I liked the introduction of Snape into the inner circle. And I really like the way that you're very gradually sowing disenchantment into Regulus.
Once again, I'm out of characters. This chapter had been building for a long time, and I thought it was a huge step for the intensity of the story. The stuff just got real. Great job!Author's Response: Poor Lily just wasn't going to get off easy in this chapter, was she? :(
In my head I think he's a combination of Bellatrix and Rodolphus. He's brutal and doesn't think things through, but he also has that same need to revenge that our little Bella does. I'm a tiny bit sad we're done with hi, actually... haha.
I know I know, you poor thing :P. Vile is staying a human. for now :P. I'm so happy you picked that line out. It felt like something just meant to be in Mean Girls, haha. Catty things, we are.
I really wanted to mix up her need to survive with the fact that she was absolutely exhausted. I mean she went through too much to just keep it up at full force, but like you said she's still determined to make it out alive. Even if she forgets that a few times. I sort of just want to huggle her... haha
Hahaha I was surprised when you didn't pose a formal request for me to change James's moral code in this and give Violet one good pop :P. But like you said, he has lines he won't cross and that's one of them. I'm so happy that after the initial 'huh' those little times of pause made more sense. I can't imagine who felt more helpless. James being trapped and unable to get to her, or Lily with a crazed murder going after her. Maybe I put the group through too much?
I was so worried about it! But I ended up so much happier with the result for really pushing it further, or more specifically having you to push me to push it further :P.
They have to grow up sometime though. my babies ;(. And Lily really faced something huge for with just having herself to rely on. See, don't you want to hug her?! I really am so excited with how this whole chapter came out and can't thank you enough for forcing me to get it here ♥
Hahahah Sirius has your back. I actually struggled so long with where I wanted to go. When did I want Sirius to come in? For a while I decided to have him come in during and restrain Alrek until James gets there. That would have made a damn good scene and insanely satisfying. But in the end I wanted this to be Lily's. Sure, Sirius did end up coming in, but Lily was already ready to live no matter what. She didn't need to be rescued. That was the hardest decision for me in this chapter I think, as as much as I would have loved to watch what James and Sirius could do to Alrek, lily deserved it more.
Yes, exactly. I love what you said about associating with Animals. No one is safe here. Not even the most inside of Voldemort's circle, and Regulus obviously knew that the moment he write the note for the locket.
Ugh Dan I can't even say thank you enough for getting me to push this chapter as far as I could and getting it where it needed. I think everything finally felt right when I added that last wake up Lily scene. We needed that. We could use a million more of those, actually ;).
THANK YOU LOVELY DANIEL. Report Review
Gah! This can't be the end!!!
OK, it's the end. Deep breath. I can handle this. :) Especially because there are good things in the works.
For whatever reason, I expected this to be more of a "wrap up" chapter, so imagine my surprise when I was plunged right into the middle of a firefight in the first paragraph. Now I see why you made a point of "re-introducing" all of the former members of the Order and Dumbledore's Army a few chapters back. It's great to see that they were all ready to spring into action when the time came. There were a few things I really liked about the way that you described the forces of good. For one thing, it's apparent that they all responded to Hermione and Ginny's call to arms. They don't seem like "Harry Potter's Private Army", if that makes sense. I see that a little too often in fan fiction. I liked the idea of Bill and Fleur being so concerned with Teddy's well-being. Fleur is an underrated presence in Next Gen stories, at least in my opinion. Lastly, I liked the teamwork and the obvious concern that the members of the Order and the D.A. had for one another.
“I am Hermione Weasley’s daughter. We are highly logical.” she replied simply, making Harry smile. “So this is the Elder Wand, huh?” -- Ha! She almost sounds like Spock here. But in an endearing sort of way.
I was... hmmnnn... I'm not completely sure how I felt about "the Aurors" coming back to the Burrow for breakfast. If you're just talking about Harry, Ron, Teddy, Scorpius and Freddy, that would make sense. If it's literally all of the Aurors, that would feel a bit cliche. Either way, I think you should clarify who's there. I did love the idea of the whole family pulling together to hug and reconnect and celebrate their survival. That was a very Weasley thing to do.
And then the ending, with Harry offering Rose a job. Wherever did you get that brilliant idea? :p
Oh, Ral, I have enjoyed this story so! You did a great job with it, start to finish, and it was a joy to follow along. Thanks for the shout out, and I'll be looking for your new story soon. Awesome story!
-Dan Report Review
Ooh, fascinating! This epilogue is obviously meant to tease the sequel, but I really loved how it all worked.
I'm racking my brain, trying to divine whatever I can about your three mysterious characters. The visitor doesn't seem to be from around these parts. He wasn't exactly certain where to Apparate into the village, which appears to have caused some inconvenience for him. He's obviously young, still being enrolled at Hogwarts and having just passed his Apparition test. That would suggest that he's a rising Seventh Year, correct? I was suspicious of Paul for a little while there, but this chap has brown eyes and Paul had pale green in the last chapter. Also, if Paul and Brienne had lessons together, that would make him a rising Sixth Year, like her. Hmmnnn...
The bodyguard seems like quite a piece of work. Not very bright, but fairly handy with his wand. Brutish and self-assured and not shy about letting the visitor know that he isn't very impressed.
His face was older than his years, folded in lines of long-endured hatred and anger. -- Nope, the bodyguard doesn't sound like a very nice fellow at all. I was all but convinced that Voldemort was going to be inside the house when they entered, but then we meet...
The mystery woman, who was amazingly intriguing and gave me chills at the same time. Part of me wanted desperately to believe that the mystery woman is really Brienne's mother. But it seemed less likely by the time the chapter was over. She exudes darkness and menace in this chapter. She'd be about the right age, though. It's interesting that she was having the visitor place somebody under the Imperius Curse. You also say that she's suffered through something very bad. Gah, so many mixed messages here! Whatever it is, it obviously revolves around Hogwarts and a female student. I have a bad feeling that I know who it is...
So two things I saw that might be typos:
Though I’m not sure it was not necessary. -- Was the double negative on purpose?
“Why I cannot join you now. Why did I need to Impurise--?” -- Is this the French form of Imperius? :p
Otherwise, lovely writing.
Well, I think we're all waiting breathlessly for the first installment of the next story. Don't keep us waiting! :)Author's Response: Hi again xD
Ooh, mystery! I just love it xD
The visitor is indeed young, is indeed a rising seventh year (though from Hogwarts or...somewhere else, I'm not telling you just yet), and does indeed have brown eyes xD It's not Paul though, I can tell you that.
Voldemort at this point would be off somewhere with Wormtail I think, so definetely not anywhere around here xD Not in these parts.
I'm glad you liked my mysterious woman xD Well "liked" is kind of a loose term when it comes to menacing characters, but you know what I mean xD
Ooh, thanks for those corrections. The first one is a typo that I will fix sharpish :) The second one is meant to be a verb version of "Imperius," like "to Impurise" but I have no idea how to spell that xD
Thank you so much again for your wonderful review :) You won't be waiting for too long, I promise! Thank you again! Report Review
Hi, there! Tagging you from the Review the Person Above You thread in the common room.
I liked the subject matter you picked for this story. I haven't read all that much about Gellert and the things that happened to him after the infamous duel in Godric's Hollow. Your vision of his mental state and the affects that his falling out with Dumbledore had on him seemed very well thought out and realistic. I never really thought of Grindelwald as the sort who would feel a great deal of guilt over the death of Ariana, but you sold me on the idea by the end.
The enormous stuffed penguin was a little hard to get my head around in the beginning, but it grew on me as the story went on. You obviously had to pick something that would be appropriate to a young, troubled but very sweet and sensitive girl. At the same time, it had to be menacing in a way. I think the penguin really fits the bill. My main thought as I read was that I wished you had varied your descriptions of the penguin instead of repeating "enormous stuffed penguin" throughout the chapter. Changing it up a bit would have added something, I think. For instance, you could have taken some opportunities to describe the color and texture and shape of the penguin. The look in its eyes or the curve of its beak. For me, anyway, I think you could have added to both the menace of the forest scene and the frailty of Gellert's mental state by going into more detail.
I loved your description of the forest clearing. There have to be lots of secluded, secret places in the Forbidden Forest. The idea is just so... forbidding! I did notice a small incongruity, though. When you first set the scene, you say that the canopy of the trees is such that the sunlight never reaches the ground. But later on, you talked about the shadow of the moon in the clearing. It was hard for me to reconcile the two in my head.
Ariana was such a haunting presence in this. I liked the way that you never strayed into having her be threatening to Gellert in a physical sense. She just makes it apparent that he will never know peace until he comes to terms with what he's done. I liked the parallel between the way that she haunted Gellert, Albus and Aberforth for the rest of their days, each in a slightly different way.
My only other suggestion is to be careful about repeating words or phrases too close together. For instance:
Following his duel with Albus and Aberforth, he quickly packed his meager belongings and quickly Apparated before either Albus or Aberforth could follow him. -- In this sentence you repeat both "quickly" and "Albus and/or Aberforth", which makes it read a bit awkwardly.
“You killed me.” Ariana called out, no laughter in her voice now. A dark shadow grew to stand before him before evaporating into nothing. -- You do something similar with "before" in this sentence.
Otherwise, I thought your writing was really good. I didn't see any typos or grammatical errors. Nice job!Author's Response: Hi! Thank you very much!
Before the challenge, I hadn't thought much on Gellert except that Albus had defeated him in 1945. When I focused on the information presented in DH, it seemed that he had changed drastically from when the three of them dueled. Though I suspect most of the change happened after sitting in Nuremburg for nearly 50 years. :)
I've added a note to vary the description of the penguin. I wasn't certain when I wrote the story if I had to use the exact given phrase or not. It was a challenge to keep writing "enormous stuffed penguin" without adding a stray panda or two.
I've also added a note to fix the moonlight in the clearing. Thank you for pointing it out!
Ariana has such a sad story.
I've also fixed both sentences you have pointed out and will look for others.
Thank you very much for reading and reviewing! Report Review
Hi, there! Ever since the Cranium game, I've been wanting an opportunity to check out some of your work. I see you in Review Tag all the time, but you're a hard one to catch. Somebody always seems to pounce on your post within minutes. Here I am at last!
I thought you did a really good job of writing the action scenes in this. Even though we know what's going to happen, you brought a lot of tension and nail-biting suspense to the narrative. It was easy to imagine the spells flying and the trees being blown apart as Dean tries to escape from the Snatchers.
I liked the canon details you were able to weave into the story, as well as Dean's reactions to them. The loss of Ted Tonks was obviously something he felt very badly about. And the sense of responsibility he feels for keeping Griphook safe, even though he knows that the goblin feels no such loyalty toward him, was another nice touch. His recollections of learning to fight with the D.A., sparring with Seamus and even the horrible memories invoked by the Dementors all helped to fill out his character.
Scabior and Greyback were also well written. The primal menace of the werewolf and the smug self-importance of the grubby, low-class wizard both really came through.
Your writing was really good in this. It all flowed nicely and there was a nice balance between narrative, exposition and dialog. You didn't overuse any words and it didn't sound awkward or sing-songy. There were no typos or grammatical problems that I could see. Overall a lovely job.Author's Response: Hello! Your reviews are practically famous so I was really excited to get this!
Action scenes are something I haven't actually written very often, so it's really reassuring to know that it doesn't seem too stilted or unrealistic. I think the fact that we know what happens kind of makes it easier to read this (well, it made it easier for me to write, anyway) but I did still want the suspense and tension there.
I think canon details make stories seem more believable, because the reader's able to relate to them, so I'm glad you liked the inclusion of them here.
The characterisation is something I make a lot of effort with, and I feel it's important to add some depth to each character, especially if it's a one-shot. I'm really happy you were able to pick up on those details I included about Dean, and Scabior and Greyback are really horrible, aren't they?
This review really made me so happy! Thank you for the compliment on my writing and the lovely review!
Sian :) Report Review
Tagging you from Review Tag!
What an amazing journey this has been. First off, I want to congratulate you on your milestone. 64,000 words is quite an accomplishment and you've obviously stuck by Brienne and her friends for many years now. Very impressive all around.
I loved all of her recollections and the imagery that showed why the necklace meant so much to Brienne. You did a masterful job of laying it out in all of its splendor and mystery. The obvious question, of course, is how? How did her mother manage to have the necklace delivered to Brienne a year after her death. It sparked all sorts of questions in my mind, from the obvious to the most far-flung, such as the faint possibility that Brienne's mother could still be alive.
"It was as if she knew," Angelina uttered. -- My thoughts exactly.
You did a really good job of taking us through Brienne's exams. Even in the midst of it, you sneaked in some great little things that added to the plot, like Filch's Secrecy Sensor. Very clever touch! As she takes all of her O.W.L.s with this new development in the mystery of her mother's death weighing on her mind, I kept thinking back to poor Harry trying to complete his O.W.L.s with Umbridge's abuse and Voldemort's visions plaguing him. All in all, Brienne seemed to handle things much better.
Stanley Meadowes had some good advice for her, I suppose, but it seems like it was too late. If the necklace was cursed, it seems like either the curse would have activated or Filch would have noticed. Instead, it just serves to make life a little less pleasant for poor Brienne.
It was neat to imagine the Divination classroom being open and sunny and not filled with incense. Poor Trelawney must have laid an egg when she saw her classroom after the exams.
I felt the same oddness that Brienne seems to have felt when she was hit by the realization that her mother had been gone for a year. In a lot of ways, it seems like so much longer. She really has become part of the fabric of Fred and George's group of Gryffindor classmates.
I'm not sure what to make of her conversation with Paul. Seems to me like you're teasing us with another possible romantic interest for poor Brienne. That's a bit mean of you, she can't even keep her current love interest straight without having an awkward moment every other chapter. :p
The scene in the Owlery was worth the price of admission all by itself, though. Finally! Finally these two impossibly awkward people manage to put aside their social clumsiness and have a genuine moment. I thought it was great that Brienne was the one who initiated the kiss. She was absolutely correct in all of her reflections and you did a terrific job writing them. Poor George must have been incredibly confused after their awkward almost-kiss outside of the Common Room. She finally took control of the situation and put things right. Well, they felt right to me, anyway. So many happy feelings!
And for the first time in a year, Brienne felt a natural smile grow on her face, without laughter, not forced. She smiled because this was something that she didn’t have to be afraid of. -- This, I think, was my favorite part of the whole chapter.
I thought your writing was fantastic in this chapter. Kudos on great editing!
I am really looking forward to seeing what you come up with for your sequel. This is a story that needs to be taken to its natural conclusion!Author's Response: Hi! xD Wow, I think this has to be one of the nicest reviews I've ever had! Thank you so much! Having just had this chapter validated I was anxious about what people would think of several things xD
I never thought this would reach 64k xD That's mad. And yeah, I've been writing this on and off for about four and a half years, but puberty and exams sort of got in the way of that. I think if it hadn't then this would have been finished by now xD
I'm glad you think the exams had ample attention! I didn't want it to be overlooked as it so often was in the original HP books xD
I've had Paul in the back of my mind for a long time, and just wondering when would be a good time -- if any -- to introduce him. His intentions to me will slowly be revealed over time :) If you think I'm mean here, just you wait till you read the epilogue!
Oh, the Owlery xD I had the rest of the chapter written and edited, but this scene alone took me about a week, so I'm so glad you liked it! It needed to bring together the aspects of their relationship and of Brienne's life in one scene, plus make it feel like a pay-off for the readers having to wait so long for updates, so that was pretty difficult :p But thank you so much xD
The epilogue should be up in the next few days, and soon after, the sequel. Here we go again...
Thank you so much again!
Durmstrang! Ooh, he needs to be hit with a killing curse and fed to the squid. I love how disturbing -- and disturbed -- you made him in this first scene. Somewhere in the course of his punishment, he obviously cracked. Best I can recall, the Dark Lord wanted Lily alive, at least for the time being. I'll take a small measure of comfort in knowing that even if he succeeded -- he won't, right? Right? RIGHT??? -- he'd have a world of hurt waiting for him when Voldemort found out what he'd done.
On to happier topics. So Frank and Alice are getting a nice little house in the 'burbs with a white picket fence and a dog and maybe a little garden out back? I don't know why, but I sort of feel like mocking the two of them. I have this odd comparison running through my head of the stretch of How I Met Your Mother where Marshall and Lilly move out to Long Island. It's probably because that's more fun to think about than what ultimately happens in Frank and Alice's house. :(
I loved Frank's little trick for figuring out whether Alice would agree to move in with him. That felt so much like Frank. You've done a great job of defining him over the past few chapters. He's obviously grown up a lot during his years of school, but there's still a lot of insecurity on the inside. I can plainly see where Neville gets a lot of his personality traits.
"If zere is any'zing close to a love letter in your rucksack," Belle began, a clear warning in her voice, "it had better be for me..." -- This cracks me up. He wub her. Sirius Black would not put up with this from anyone else.
I have to join your other reviewers in thinking that it would have been neat to see Alice, Belle and Lily live together for a while. You throw Frank, Sirius, James, Peter and Remus in the same apartment building and you sort of have Friends plus a werewolf and an evil, back-stabbing rat. Somebody should pitch that to NBC. But I like the way that Frank and Alice's life transition continues to pull James and Lily toward one another, even in ways that are a bit uncomfortable at times.
Lily still has that ferocious independent streak, which really keeps things interesting. It's a great tool to keep your story from ever sliding into situations that feel "too easy" as far as these young people making their way in the world. Some things are supposed to be difficult, like striking out on your own.
You also did a really good job, I thought, with the inner conflict that each of the characters seem to feel between helping with the war effort and moving on with a more "normal" life. Belle's bookstore is starting to haunt me, because I'm pretty sure that she's not meant to survive the war. It seems like a place where she would find a lot of peace. You even gave poor Peter a glimpse at a quasi-productive livelihood that he would probably enjoy. And I like that Lily stopped to ponder poor Remus's fate for a moment. Such a sad waste of potential...
Wow, so Durmstrang managed to force McGonagall's writing and everything. I'd be impressed if I wasn't so mad at him.
A rush of excitement washed through her when the portrait allowed her access. -- I have to say, I felt a little thrill there, myself.
Gah, Jami!!! You've led both of them into prefect traps! How could you do such an awful thing? And then make us all wait a week to find out what happens. Mean, mean, mean!!!
Seriously, though, awesome chapter. I think you made the right decision breaking this one up. Everyone will be on the edge of their seats until the weekend!Author's Response: Alrek might make a tasty giant squid treat! As you know, I was planning on going a different way with him... but an ocean creature's meal could really be the best option :P
I don't think, when I started this, I really thought about making one of them the less secure one and one of them the more comfortable one. And if i would have thought about it, I'd have made Alice the less secure because she wasn't really given the same sort of parental attention that Frank was. But I'm really happy it ended up going this way because these two sort of just ended up defining themselves. It's fun to think of Frank with his confident exterior but a shaky sort of self confidence. And thinking about what Neville would have been like if these two could have raised him just makes me want to curl up and pout :(.
Sirius totally wub her. Poor dog knows he has no chance.
Friends and HIMYM references both in one review! You have good TV show taste. I actually did think about that for a while, but I think Alice and Frank are in a more definite part of their lives. They know what they're doing next, that they're doing it together, and that together is pretty much the only option for them. But really, having those three live together would have been so much fun. Alice would constantly have to remind Belle to pick up the bathroom, and I can imagine a lot of nights would have been spent with these three staying up too late over a bottle of wine.
You know how much I think there needs to be a balance between these being good people who want to help, and still being human beings that want to live their own life. JKR sort of put marauders era writers in a bad situation by saying James and Lily just worked for the Order, because how could you really spend all day everyday just working for the Order? I do have something that they'll be doing non order related, but they don't know that yet so they still have to make their own plans for the future. Ummm did that make any sense? haha
Hahah I am NOT mean! I'm a nice girl!! And besides, it's not like *you* have to wait to know anything :P
Thank you as always for your awesome support and mad betaz skillz :P. I'm so happy that you're still sticking with this! Not that I'd give you much of a choice... :P
Hi! Amazing how a month gets away from you. Let's see if I can squeeze in one more review before it's over.
I really liked the theme that ran through this chapter. It's perfectly natural for cousins -- even ones that are close as siblings -- to grow apart to an extent once they're in school and making new friends. Especially if they're not the same gender. You picked a really clever set of examples to highlight the change.
I loved the idea of James being determined to earn a detention just so he and Sirius could spend the time together. Or perhaps he just doesn't want to let Sirius have bragging rights for earning more detentions than him. Either way, the fact that the Slytherins were the victim of the prank that landed Sirius in detention -- as well as the one designed to land James beside him -- was a perfect touch.
Jennifer's crush on the Fifth Year Prefect was another nice touch. At times, she seems quite a bit older than 11 in this chapter, but that crush felt perfectly age-appropriate and situation-appropriate. She's at a brand new school, after all, and she doesn't yet understand how these things work. Having a Third Year sort of lead her along really cemented the situation together. Good stuff.
That, in turn, made for a really believable ice-melting between Jennifer and Lily. I was wondering how you were going to handle that, and I thought this was a great way to go about it. It plays on the traits that Lily is well known for and it didn't feel forced or fake. I really like the core group of female characters you've included here. They're all obviously tied into the books in one way or another.
Three little editing-type things that I noticed while reading:
No one liked the fact that Alex spoiled us whenever he saw us but fact remained that Alex was probably the only family member besides James, Aunt Elizabeth, and Uncle William that truly cared for me. -- but the fact remained
The two of us had long reached the Charms classroom by now so the two of us quickly went inside. -- you repeat "the two of us" in the sentence. It sounds odd.
Namely the fifth year Gryffindor prefect whose best mate happens to be the older brother of Alice Whitaker, a very friendly third year girl with whom I’ve gotten close with. -- "with whom I've gotten close with" reads oddly. I think you have one too many with's.
Otherwise, stellar writing in this chapter. It was a pleasant, easy read and the characters are starting to come along nicely. Good job!Author's Response: Really, a month DOES just fly by you so quickly!
I'm glad that the break between James and Jennifer made perfect sense. It's been a while since I was eleven years old so I wanted to make sure that a break between them was understandable and made sense.
The crush was something that I had a bit difficulty with. I wasn't sure how I could go about trying to portray that she was still really young no matter what happened.
And Lily was definitely someone that I wanted to portray carefully. Even though Lily had faults, she was still known for her kindness and I wanted to portray the struggle between Jennifer seeing Lily as someone with a lot of faults and knowing what a good person Lily was because Jennifer still had to get over her initial prejudice over Lily's attitude towards James and Sirius.
I will definitely edit those mistakes. Thanks for pointing it out and thanks for reviewing! I hope that my chapters after this one will continue to do well! (: Report Review
I'm going to start off with an observation that makes me feel like the biggest tool in the universe. You should know that I wouldn't do this for most people. But because you're so special, I'm going to point out that there's a typo in your chapter description. "exited" should be "existed". Feel free to go ahead and mock me behind my back now. ;)
You got this chapter off to a roaring start with one of the best one-liners I've seen in a long time: "I think we would've been less shocked about that, dear. We have seen Voldemort before, you know. We've just never seen you kissing the Malfoy boy." -- Brilliant! So magnificently understated.
You gave Rose Ginny's name for a middle name. That's one of those funny little things I always pay attention to in Rose stories, because JKR never gave her a middle name. I always think it betrays a tiny little bit of the author's bias about the character. You've definitely given her a lot of her aunt's fiery spirit and need for independence.
The meat of the conversation was really revealing. So much so that I kind of wish this had happened earlier in the story. There are so many things going on in this chapter and this is such an important moment for Rose and Hermione. I'm worried that it's going to get swept under for some readers because of the intense action that comes later.
I loved the way that they finally come to an understanding about what Hermione was truly trying to accomplish by steering Rose away from her love of wandlore. The passion flowing from both sides in this scene was incredible. So much was said and said with such emotional impact. Poor Hermione just wants to know that her kids are safe, that the don't have to live a hair's breadth from death the way that their parents did for so many years. It's perfectly natural and understandable, and it reminds me a bit of Molly.
"Well, when I found out about the cup and Hufflepuff's descendant, I was a bit preoccupied with not getting killed. What with us being on the run and all." she threw an annoyed look her daughter's way. -- but Hermione hasn't completely lost her spirit, has she? That was a great line for her.
So, Zacharias Smith... Interesting choice of arch-villain. I definitely did not see that coming, and now I feel like going back through to see whether you ever water-dropped him at all. I don't remember it anywhere. A very unconventional choice of bad guy.
"Derek Smith is the mole. They walked into a trap." -- Aha! I wondered why he was being so open about challenging Harry's authority in the last chapter.
You made Zacharias into a very menacing villain. His threats are deadly serious and fiendish in their implications. I was a little worried that you overplayed his martial abilities, however. To disarm a very experienced Auror like Ron in such a seemingly effortless way struck me as too easy. Either Smith is a very powerful wizard or Ron just never saw it coming. Either way, that was a pivotal moment and I thought it could have used a little more elaboration.
I liked the paragraph where Harry puts it all together where Derek is concerned. The story fits in a very tidy way. Again, I wish you'd slipped in a little more about Derek earlier in the story. I love getting that "oh, man! Why didn't I notice that before???" feeling when I come across a big reveal in a mystery story.
The Peverell Society's plan was perfect in its insidiousness. Of course they wanted the hallows to live on. And the only way for that to happen would be for Harry to reclaim proper ownership of the Elder Wand and use it for its intended purpose: to spread death and destruction. Even after Dumbledore became a pacifist, he still used the wand. In that way, he wasn't as strong as Harry.
"... Malfoy made a right mess for us, when he disarmed Dumbledore but lucky for him, you got to him before us. He owes his life to you." -- Nice little detail! I am impressed!
"... The wand answers best to you. Use it! Make another Stone. You are a Peverell. You can do it!" -- Ah, now I get it. So they believe that Harry can duplicate the magical feats of his ancestors and recreate the Resurrection Stone. Whether or not it's possible, that's a brilliantly fiendish idea!
Yay, Rose! I love it when the girls come to the rescue in a HP fic! I was tickled pink with this ending, although I'm now desperately curious to see what happens next. I'm feeling a bit hollow that there's only one chapter left. This has been such a fun ride, and I do hope you'll consider the possibility of taking Rose and Scorpius's story farther into their future in a sequel? Plleeeaaassseee?? (bats lashes)Author's Response: Finally I've gotten around to responding! So sorry for the delay! And I would never mock you behind your back! Thanks for pointing it out!
I wanted the confrontation between Rose and her mother to be in the context of them being left behind for the battle. With emotions running so high, something has to happen!
The thing I wanted to get across about Smith is that he is a tool. He thinks he is very important and he is just another pawn. We'll see about that later :P
The part about Draco and the wand was something I really wanted in there, because I've built this story so that it gives the impression that it was always happening in the background. It was a secret world that the books didn't show us.
And as I've already told you, there will be a sequel. So thanks for that :D you poked my plot bunnies!
Thank you again for all the wonderful reviews and feedback and for being just all around awesome! Report Review
I am really impressed with the amount of attention you're giving to Mia and Aidan's life spanning the muggle and magical worlds. It's one of those things that far too many authors gloss over or avoid dealing with entirely. You started with simple little things like library books and electricity and then you really dug into more complicated things like trying to get a child to understand the Statute of Secrecy. It's a challenge I wouldn't envy any parent. As Mia says, it's a really good thing that Aidan is a bright, observant child.
Mia's own life dilemma were also brought out really well. I can tell that you've spend your fair share of time around single mothers. It's such a tough existence, especially for somebody like Mia whose chosen profession doesn't lend itself to long-term, stable employment situations. But she's completely dedicated to doing what's best for her son, and it really helped to define her character that she's willing to sacrifice her photography and possibly settle for something less glamorous if it allows Aidan to have stronger roots.
I like the way that you've taken the familiar things about Oliver from the books and evolved them into the professional persona of a top-tier Quidditch coach. The explanation of the different meaning that winning and losing has at this level was really well done. So was the tone you set for the management of the team and the pressures that Oliver operates under. He clearly manages those pressures well, though, and uses them to motivate himself and his team. Very nicely done!
I'm still working on figuring out where Oliver's sister fits into all of this, but I like her as a character. Somebody has to keep these high-flying broom jockeys grounded in reality! ;)
A few typos I noticed, if you like:
"I know how crumby it is that you can't tell your friends about some of the stuff that you're most excited about. -- crummy, I think
He was just about to call an end to the drill when he looked down the pitch and saw Claire making he way toward him. -- making her way
The Gryffindor team used to marvel at how worked up he could. -- could get
"Alright," he started as they collapses around him. -- collapsed
And finally, my favorite line of the chapter: She wasn’t happy with sending an owl out unless it was a perfectly sunny day. Because England got so many of those. -- I love it when you hate on British weather.
Nice second chapter. You kept the story moving, gave a lot more definition to your characters and their lives, and kept me interested. Looking forward to seeing how Oliver, Mia and Aidan interact at the match!Author's Response: Hii Dan with the cool smiley face!!!
I knew I wanted to make Mia part of both worlds but favor the Muggle, which we'll learn more about later. But trying to figure out just where to draw that line has been tricky... so I figured I'd jut blur it instead :P.
I'm so happy you could tell how dedicated Mia was to Aidan. I can't imagine being anything but when you're a single mother, but she also has the downfall of not really having much family to help her. She'd definitely had to get a lot stronger and harder than most 27 year old women, but I think she'd say it was worth it ;).
You know how much I hate writing Quidditch. I can't for the life of me figure out why Oliver HAD to be who I chose, but he was the only one that felt like he'd really work with Mia. Let's see how many games I can creatively avoid writing for this :P!
You're still working on where her sister fits? I thought you'd for sure have picked up on the clues I gave in this chapter! Maybe they were too subtle. well, regardless you'll find out next chapter ;).
I have edited in your typos! See, look, I've tricked you into being my beta anyway :P! hahahahahaa.
I'm so excited you liked this chapter and that the characters are becoming more defined. I really want to give everyone a strong sense of who Mia and Oliver are separately before seeing how they fit together.
Thank you for another awesome review ♥ Report Review
How to love you? Let me count the ways I love this story right now. After devoting some quality time to Sirius and Belle, Alice and Frank, we've come back around to some major James and Lily relationship development. All kinds of stuff happening in this chapter, some of it awesome and some of it making me want to reach in with the Beta Reader's Hand of God and smite some of the antagonists. What's that you say? Beta Readers don't control the Hand of God? Well they should! What good am I if I can't smite the characters who are threatening James and Lily? Anyhow, on with the review.
Again, you managed to come through with some really engrossing "nuts and bolts" situations in the midst of all the high-stress romantic drama created by Vile and her little plan. It really helps to ground all of the higher-level plot in the reality that we're still dealing with school-age kids trying to live their lives as normally as possible.
Before I got to the second scene of the chapter, Abigail would have been my first smiting victim, but by the time this chapter was over, her nonsense barely registers as smite-worthy. She's an arrogant, bigoted, pureblood supremacist who obviously hates James and Lily intensely now. But she's not very threatening in the great scheme of things. I liked the way that Lily and James handle her, though, and the way that her riot act serves to turn up the pressure another notch at a time when Lily already has too much on her mind.
The conversation between Lily and Mary continued to build toward the "moment" between James and Lily in the Heads' Quarters. Throughout the chapter, you did a really good job of selling the pressure that Lily feels to "cement" her relationship with James by taking the intimacy to the next level. Well, taking it up several levels, actually. She's trying to get ahead of the game.
I don't like Vile. This obviously isn't news to you, but it bears repeating. I want to smite her so badly! I'm talking old school, Greek gods chucking thunderbolts from the top of Mt. Olympus type smiting. Either that or turn Belle loose on her. Somebody, be they mortal or divine, needs to have a go at this girl and knock some sense into her. I loved how delusional you made her. The conviction with which she believes that James is simply going to dump Lily and fall for her, her misplaced hatred of Lily and this bizarre idea that she's somehow going to "run" Hogwarts after the current group of Seventh Years depart gave her something approaching a "Single White Female" level of creepiness.
Her situation plays right into Alrek's hands. Now we come to the recipient of smiting #2 that I wanted to hand out in this chapter. Durmstrang is still at it and now he's found a willing accomplice. There's not too much I can say about his conversation with Vile except that I thought it was brilliant the way that he's so creepy that even Vile, as messed up in the head as she is, notices that there's something seriously off about him. Of course, she's much to wrapped up in her own desires to seriously question it. Yep, she's still standing at the head of the Smiting Line, with Alrek on deck.
And that brings us to the most awesome part of the chapter. I ran the gamut of emotions in this section. At times I wanted to cheer for Lily and at times I wanted to give her a big sympathy hug. Her inner thoughts were beautifully done, the way that she keeps trying to convince herself that something that means so much to her and James is such an inconsequential thing. The planning that she had put into the evening also really helped to sell it. By the time she sat down on that couch with James, she had obviously convinced herself of what was going to happen, although I admit that I had my doubts. After what almost happened and didn't at the hotel, I just had a feeling that James wasn't going to let things happen like this, with Lily being an emotional nervous wreck. That said, I don't know how much longer the poor guy's control is gonna hold out.
I loved the way that Lily almost pulls it off before her nerves betray her. That was what really sold me on her intent.
James was brilliantly sensitive in this chapter. I mean way, way above and beyond the call of duty. You do realize, I assume, that most guys would not be able to see things for what they are the way that he does. Once Lily Evans was lip-locking them and crawling on top of them, most guys would lose the blood flow to their brains required to detect such nuanced indicators of her emotional state. ;)
The part where he gets a little mad at her -- maybe more than a little -- for doubting him was what kept James from turning into a complete... um, what's the male version of a Mary Sue? Well, whatever that word is, I felt like he was getting dangerously close to it until he got mad at her for doubting him. That's what really sold me on James Potter here. It's a perfectly natural reaction, especially when you consider that he's probably feeling very aroused and frustrated at that moment. Nice touch!
James exhaled, letting his head fall back against the cushion. "You're going to kill me one of these days. I don't know how someone can make a bloke feel so many things in less than an hour. We're not supposed to be able to feel this much, us guys. Not made for it." -- Amen, James. Amen.
"But you still love me anyway," James said, a cocky grin on his face. -- Genius! He manages to drop in the "L word" AND do it in such a way that he puts it in her mouth instead of his own.
... they never noticed a pair of green eyes watching them. -- Bad Jami! Bad!
I'm almost out of characters so I can't gush much. Suffice it to say that people -- me included -- love this story and really feel the emotional investment you've made in these characters. Anyone who acts as though you're being self-absorbed or snotty for loving the story as much as you do just doesn't get it. Until next time!Author's Response: Hahah I'm not really sure where that title came from, but it felt right :P! Hahhhahaha NO Dan no smiting! As you know, they are all very important and play important roles and if you smite them that WON'T HAPPEN and things won't be pretty! Or they'll be prettier I suppose... but not realistic :P. Keep your pretend Hand of God put away, please!
Abigail, as you know, is still up in the air. I think I've finally come up with my solid plans for her, though those could change. I need her around for a bit longer before you smite her. :P. But you're right, in this chapter she's the least of what Lily has to deal with.
I'm trying to think which would be worse... sending a Greek god to chuck a thunderbolt at Vile or letting Belle loose on her. I have to say, I think she'd get a much more painless death if it was the thunderbolt option. Good thing Miss Isabelle is kept on a rather tight leash by the group :P
I really wanted to make it clear that Violet ... sorry, Vile.. did realize that Alrek didn't really feel right. But like you said, she's so wrapped up in her world and the fact that he's giving her a chance to get closer to what she wants, that she ignores that. She'll wish she hadn't very soon.
I think that James was definitely even more angry than he led on when he realized what was really going on. Nerves, he would be able to handle. He understands how new to this Lily is, and doesn't want to mess up what they've worked so long to build, but if he thought it was *just* nerves I'm pretty sure he'd have soothed those and carried on, but when he gets to the bottom it.. oh boy. Not a happy camper, our James.
Hhaahah I figured you'd like that line of James's. I do think he's a bit more emotionally in tune with other people. He's dealt with Sirius and his fits for years, and had the advantage of Olivia and William talking through things that most parents don't. But of course, he's still a guy and your species can only get so far :P
Hahhahah THANKS DAN for the last paragraph of this ♥ I definitely got over the level of upset I was at before, but I do hope that person realizes how ridiculous they sounded.
FLY SAFE, PLEASE!
So, you asked for my opinions. In my opinion, you've given Oliver an excellent back story for the years following the war. I thought it hit all the right notes: the struggle with grief and guilt left over from the battle, the unity with his friends and the very gradual process of healing and moving forward with life. Oliver definitely makes a good coach; he always had that sort of personality. His choice of lifestyle -- dating casually, not getting involved in anything long-term -- also meshes well with his career ambitions and probably the lingering emotional scars from the battle. I feel like you're setting up a number of things here.
Aiden is an awesome little kid. Definitely a bit precocious, but only children and children of single parents often seem to be for whatever reason. At any rate, he fills his role in the story very well.
Mia had a lot of interesting angles to her in her first appearance. She's obviously very cautious around strangers. It made perfect sense for a single mother with a very outgoing young son. I thought her reactions were well done. Oliver was making a bit of headway with her when he accidentally stepped into the husband trap. He recovered from it pretty well, though. Not too hard to see that he's rather taken with her, or at least thinks he might be.
Let's see, what else can I add? You did a nice job describing the people and places, especially the newcomers like Mia and Aiden. I had good, clear pictures of the two of them in my head. You translated Mia's facial expressions and body language into words really well, too. That was key, I think, because her reactions told so much of the story.
Your writing was really good, as always. Everything flowed really nicely and it was easy to follow. The chapter felt shorter than it actually was.
Great start!Author's Response: Dan! This story sort of came out of know where, didn't it? Ha!
I've never really read an Oliver story, so I'm excited to see how that influences my portrayal of him. He sort of has some Charlie pieces in my head -- stubborn and driven. But I think he'd end up really wanting to be a family man, whereas I'm pretty sure Charlie never would have taken that leap. Anyway...
Single moms sort of fascinate me. The strength that must take is always something I've thought really amazing, so Mia and Aidan sort of started the idea for this story. I wanted an independent woman who had to work for everything she got, which increased tenfold after she had her child. And I wanted a little boy who was a little more of an observer than most children his age, and thinks he's a lot older than he really is. So we'll see if they actually develop that way :P
I'm so happy you liked the start of this! I hope I can keep up with this one :P
♥ Report Review
Confession time. Two of them, actually. First confession - Somehow I missed your status or chapter updates post when you posted this chapter. So imagine my surprise when I realized that I had two chapters to read! Second confession, which relates to the first - I read both chapters and now I'm coming back to review. I couldn't help myself. How could anybody stop themselves after a cliffhanger like that??
You did a really good job with Draco. I loved the way that he's matured and assumed the mantle of leadership in the Malfoy family. His demeanor was aristocratic and courtly, but there were some little things that made the change even more apparent. The fact that he shakes hands with both Ron and Harry, for instance. Something he never would have done in his younger days. And I absolutely adored the fact that Narcissa put her foot down about Lucius joining any more "secret societies". She turned into such a hardcore mom!
With the benefit of having read the next one, I thought it was clever the way that you had Derek be a little bit insubordinate toward Harry in the meeting. It was a nice, subtle little thing. And Scorpius is being so protective toward Rose now. Awesome! You've really brought him along well in this story.
I was kind of surprised that Rose listened to Scorpius so readily, but I guess all of the death and suffering must have made an impression even on her. She was definitely asking the right questions. Very perceptive, that one! If she and Scorpius stay together -- please let them stay together, K? -- there should definitely be some sort of job for her doing investigative research for her uncle!
The scene at the Burrow was absolutely heart-warming. I loved seeing Hermione and Ginny in roles that felt a lot more familiar. And the way that Ginny's words inspired Rose to make her feelings for Scorpius clear was really inspired. I thought you did a good job with her thought process.
Ah, poor Ron. You didn't make him quite as happy as you were leading me to believe that you would. ;) As always, poor Harry is caught in the middle. I felt almost as bad for him as I did for Scorpius. Nobody needed the extra stress right at that moment. Harry's recollections about his first kiss with Ginny were a nice addition to the scene.
And then the cliffhanger... Very well executed. I expected they would find something or somebody in the house, and you led me right into the next chapter.
OK, so one silly little typo and then one concern that's a little more substantive:
"Fine, go get her, move her to the Borrow. - Burrow
The more substantive concern is that I thought the pacing of this chapter was a little too fast. There was so much suspense and tension building up, and for my tastes you could have drawn it out a bit more. In the Auror meeting, for instance, I thought it would have been nice to do that scene from Scorpius's point of view and let him reflect a bit on his family's role in all of this while the other Aurors pepper Harry and Ron with questions. Then gradually transition into his feelings for Rose and why he feels so strongly about protecting her. The same holds true for Grimmauld Place. That one might have been more interesting from Rose's point of view. Let her make the transition from happy to see him to very concerned about his safety. It would have helped to set up what happens when she kisses him outside of the Burrow. Also, giving each of them a chance in this chapter to reflect on how they feel about the other would have been nicely complimentary.
Overall, your writing had a really nice flow to it. The chapter hummed right along. Aside from that one typo, I didn't see a thing.
I can't believe we're so close to the end! This has been such a fun journey. OK, one more to write...Author's Response: Hello again!
Ah Draco. I guess I don't have to tell YOU what talented author got me hooked on the character so bad that I just had to have him in this story! And Lucius. He never does learn, does he?
The scene with Rose and Scorpius outside the Burrow was something I had stuck in my head for the longest of times. In a very early draft of the story, that was supposed to be the first Rose/Scorpius romantic moment. But then the scene in Grimmauld Place sort of happened and I couldn't get rid of it. Plus, I can imagine the ScoRose fans would go after me with pitchforks and torches if I left the ship ending like that!
I love your ideas on the whole POV change that could have happened. Why didn't I think of that? I have a very hard time writing fight scenes and action packed scenes. For some reason they don't come natural to me!
Thank you again for the lovely review! I really appreciate it! Report Review
Jami, you and I need to have a little talk about this Violet girl. Remember how I've been lobbying for a very untidy demise for Mr. Rukin? Now I think I'd prefer to see Violet suffer a collision with the goalpost seconds after she catches the Snitch and mouths "I love you" to James. A fitting end, no? Everybody's happy. Well, except for Violet...
First, however, we need to talk about dear Bella. Her insanity is exquisite, as always! The mania with which she worships her Lord, and her burning need for even the tiniest measures of approval from him were perfect. She seems to be making her way back into his good graces, and the physical sort of affect that it has on her was well-written.
I like the way that you rounded out the Death Eaters by mentioning their attempt to recruit the giants. I think it's important not to lose sight of the fact that Voldemort is trying to take over the world. Wow, as I re-read that sentence, it sounds really dumb. But you get what I mean, right? There are lots of matters that need to be attended to, and you do a good job of weaving that into your story. Being the Dark Lord is about more than just saying evil things and going on the occasional murderous rampage.
Now what's this about Bellatrix taking revenge on a certain female who helped to prevent her from capturing James and Lily? I don't like the sound of that, not one bit. Yes, she thought as her lips curved into a very infrequent smile, she would get justice. She would stand and watch as the light fled from her prey's eyes. Watch as the heart slowed, then stopped. -- Gah, she's so awful! But I can't look away.
Before I get into Alice's section, let me just say that this non-verbal, wandless shield charm sounds like it could really come in handy. Nice idea!
I really liked the struggle that Alice goes through. She's trying so hard to deal with the argument she's having with Frank the same way that she'd tell any of her friends to deal with it: sit down and talk it out. She such a practical, level-headed person and she's a communicator.
Poor Frank, for his part, is such a mama's boy at heart! I'd probably be the same way if I grew up peeking out from behind the skirts of a woman as formidable as Augusta Longbottom. To wit: "But I need security, Alice. You know I've always been that way." -- That was a whole lot of honesty, probably not at all easy for him to admit. It's neat to watch the process of Frank transitioning his emotional attachments (dependencies?) from one strong, independent-minded witch to another. It actually makes him seem like a bit of a man-child.
Summoning all of those memories, both before and after Frank's arrival, was a nice was to ease the two of them back together. It also gave us some more great insight into Frank's character. Alice really does seem to mean almost everything to him. It isn't at all surprising that he's terrified of losing her. Makes me kind of glad that Neville never found a girlfriend while he was at Hogwarts. He might have been too busy sheltering her in a corner to cut the head off of Nagini. ;)
Aww, so it was actually Augusta who slapped some sense into Frank. Well done, Mrs. Longbottom! It's really awesome to see her realize what Alice is all about, even if she is a bit obnoxious about Alice's weight and going on about Frank and Alice's love life.
Lastly, there was Moody. I really love what you do with him, you know. You don't go over the top in either direction, making him a big teddy bear or a completely unapproachable lunatic. But you keep him gruff and grumpy and all-around menacing in an oddly loveable way. With that, he rubbed his hands together and told them to take out their wands and prepare to leave the room with at least one less finger. -- Yep, that's Mad-Eye!
You start off the last scene by weaving another little thread of connection into Lily and James's world. So Margaret's older sister is engaged to Gideon Prewett. I wonder how this will come to impact future events. I have the very sad feeling that aside from Peter, Sirius and Remus, none of James and Lily's friends have especially long life expectancies. :( It also gives Lily a bit of an opportunity to ponder what sort of living arrangements she and James will have after school. I feel like you're setting up a Big Decision, which is odd, because it's such a small mention. Wonder whether Lily and James will live together before they're married?
And then Violet arrives. Seriously, Jami, can we just kill her now? Belle seemed ready if Lily hadn't stopped her. In fact, I feel like there could be a violent confrontation in Belle and Violet's future. Or maybe that's just what I'm hoping for. Either way, I think I'm just going to start calling her Vile for short. As you know, that's a lot less nasty than what I want to call her.
I absolutely loved what you did with Lily. She's trying so hard to be the bigger adult here. Her logical mind knows that James isn't that sort of guy, and that he isn't going to throw away their relationship over any sort of quick fling with Vile. But her heart isn't going to let her head win the fight that easily. You captured something sort of primal in her character here. A part of her that looks at Vile fawning over James and snarls, "MINE! Get away, you trampy, amoral little hoe-bag!" Gah, I so want her to just hex the daylights out of that girl and leave her vomiting slugs and oozing unidentified green substances from every pore. But Lily's the Head Girl. She's a bigger adult. And the fact that you can't eat in the Library actually comes in handy.
Vile isn't going to give up easily, is she? Where's Alice when you need her? My money says that Alice would have confronted the girl right then and there. Because Alice isn't one to let a situation linger. Unlike Lily. Sigh. :(
Wonderful chapter, and I'm also a little sad to see things counting down to the end. Good thing there's another coming!Author's Response: Dan! I should be in trouble for how long this response has taken. I'm punishing myself by ordering Italian for dinner. Poor me!
Violet really hasn't been liked the last few chapters, has she? I just can't see why, she's so lovely and delightful :P!!
Bellatrix is an addiction, I've decided. I think my decision to add the DE in this story is one of the favorite I've done so far, just because i love the dynamic it creates, and I might love writing the insane Mrs. Lestrange ;).
That's how I felt when I was trying to have Lily decide where Voldemort lived. It just had to be a lair, hahah! But that was always something I got annoyed with during the HP series. A lot of what Voldemort did focused on killing Harry, and I understand that a lot of that is his obsessive personality, but I did always want to know a bit more about what was going on. And why it took more than three years to finally face him off. I mean, for Harry it was good to figure out all the soul stuff. but i can't figure out why Voldemort was never able to find a way to get himself or his followers close to Harry, then one quick snap of the neck...
okay, not sure where I'm going with this. haha. Back to your awesome review :P
Everyone so far is sort of placing Bella's desire for revenge as the second defy... I'm happy I have someone i can talk to about the real deal :P
Frank, in my head, would be SUCH a mama's boy. Like, annoyingly so :P. And I think dependencies would be very accurate to show is emotions toward the women in his life.
Mad-Eye is someone I'm *really* excited about playing with in the next book. I feel like he'll have a lot of face time during it.
Haahah NO Dan! We can not kill Violet now! Though I absolutely love your new name for her. I think Vile suits perfectly ;).
I do try really hard to have a good balance between teenage Lily and Head Girl Lily. Being 18 is hard. Actually, 13-20 is pretty much just a struggle all together :P. And I think that Lily does do a really good job with being the adult, but that doesn't mean she's immune to jealousy .
I can't figure out how I feel about things winding down... but I am excited to see how the last two chapters are received!
THANK YOU DAN for all your amazingness!
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Hi, there! This is the first of probably several Gryffindor May Exchange reviews, if you'd like to make this more than a one-chapter event.
I was both excited and kind of sad to find out that Jennifer was James's cousin. Excited because I think it broadens James's back story in a really interesting way. In the books, he's only ever portrayed as a spoiled, somewhat arrogant only child who suddenly transforms into this wonderful, upstanding guy late in his Hogwarts years and sweeps the saintly Lily Evans off of her feet. I feel like his quasi-brother-sister-relationship with Jennifer will really add some depth and complexity to that picture and I'm looking forward to it. I'm kind of sad because we know that Harry has no family left by the time he's left with the Dursleys. That doesn't bode well for Jennifer's future. :(
You did a nice job with Sirius, too. You made him refined and aristocratic in a way, which felt more natural to me than the stories I've read where he's in full anti-pureblood rebellion mode before he even sets foot on the train. I can see the beginnings of who he'll become, but also the roots that he comes from. Overall, it was very well-balanced. It feels, at least at this early juncture, like you're setting Sirius and Jennifer up as a potential romantic pair. That should also add some interesting depth to Sirius's character, as well as some curious dynamics between Sirius and James. No way to know how James will cotton to the idea of Sirius snogging his almost-sister.
I really like the start you're off to with Jennifer. You managed to define a lot of things about her without doing that horrible thing a lot of authors do where they roll out the proverbial Back Story Dump Truck and proceed to unload every conceivable bit of information about their OC in a long, pointless internal monologue that fills half of the first chapter. Instead you worked some important bits of information into the natural flow of events and left us some things to wonder about. I see similarities between her and James and also some important differences. I did really like the way she feels protective toward James and, by extension, Sirius. I assume she's destined to reconcile with Lily and that should be interesting when it plays out.
Lastly, there's Lily. You did a fantastic job of making her sound like what she actually is: a precocious and temperamental eleven-year-old girl who's also probably pretty frightened, seeing as how she's venturing into completely uncharted waters. The way that she didn't answer Jennifer in the dormitory seemed about right to me, although I'm pretty sure that her reason wasn't the one that Jennifer was thinking of. I'm guessing that she just didn't know what to say.
Let's see, what else? There were two passages that I liked so much I highlighted them as I was reading:
He had striking grey eyes that seemed to look like they pierced into your soul, along with the nicest head of hair I've ever seen on a boy.
It looked silky, lustrous, and well taken care of, though significantly longer than James's hair. -- I chuckled to myself when I first read it, thinking of how mortified Sirius probably would have been if she'd said this out loud. But the more I thought about it, this is the sort of thing that eleven-year-old girls notice.
In all honesty, it wasn’t an ugly name; if I had to grudgingly admit so, it was a nice sounding name, even if it was a name that should have stayed in the 15th century. -- All I could imagine when I read this was Sirius making a crack like, "The 15th century called and they want their name back." Great stuff!
Then there was one passage that felt a little, I don't know, forced to me:
Honestly, the way that James was going on and on, a nearby passer would have thought Salazar Slytherin himself arose from the dead and told everyone that he was setting a basilisk loose in the castle. -- I know what you're trying to do here, but I was kind of struggling with the idea that an eleven-year-old girl would know what a Basilisk was. Recall that even Hermione had to go look it up and Ron, who came from a pureblood family, had never heard of it.
Lastly, I saw two typos that I wanted to point out:
I hadn’t meant to be eavesdropping but it was impossible to live under the same roof as James Potter for the majority of your like without picking up some troublemaking skills. - majority of your life
"Yes, she was but distantly related..." I murmured, not knowing why I wanted to tact that last bit on in the end and certainly not knowing why I didn't like the idea of being related to Sirius Black. -- tack that last bit
Otherwise, I thought you writing was really good. It all flowed very nicely and I liked your word choice. You had a good mix of narrative and dialog and nothing sounded awkward or singsongy. Great start!Author's Response: Thank you SO much for this wonderful review!
First off, I'm glad that you found the characterizations good because to me, at the core of a Marauders' story is the characters and their interactions, much less of the plot because we know the general gist of what happens. The plot of the story means nothing if the characterization of the key figures isn't correct, so thank you!
Also, I really did try to get as much into an eleven year old girl's head as possible. To me, it makes the process of all of them growing up so much more plausible and actions that take place later on much more sense.
I'm definitely going to go back and edit that bit about the basilisk. You are definitely correct that an eleven year old really wouldn't know that, and I will definitely fix the typos.
Thank you SO much for this review! Seriously, it's not only one of the longest that I've received, but it's definitely one of the most thorough that I've ever received. Thanks so much! (:
Yay! I ask you for an Alice chapter and now we have an Alice chapter. Sort of, anyway. I foresee more Frank and Alice time in the future.
But before we get to that, I loved all the "guy chat" at the start of the chapter. What a perfectly natural-sounding conversation among a mixed (single vs. dating) group of teenage boys! I'm going to assume that you've never been a teenage boy before, so that makes it even more impressive. So many little dominance games playing out, with each boy trying to assert his own "territory". You have Frank pushing back against everyone else's attempts to try to fix his relationship, James trying to be a father figure, Sirius the "team player", Remus and Peter teasing back and forth about why neither one of them has a girlfriend, James getting thoroughly emasculated by his choice in reading material... it goes on and on. You have such a great command of these characters, even the minor ones and even when they're not in the embroiled in the main conflicts that define the story. Very nicely done!
In the middle of it all was a line that cracked me up more than I can readily explain: "It's Tuesday," Peter reasoned. "Everyone acts funny on Tuesdays." I think what killed me about that line was the word "reasoned", because there's no reasonable reason for anyone to think that, but it just rolls off of Peter's tongue like the most natural observation in the world. That boy ain't right...
Also, this: Then they'd be able to make fun of Remus for being the world's most whipped werewolf. - It's funny until you stop and realize that none of them ever had the chance to make fun of Remus once he became a whipped werewolf. And now I'm sad. But you don't leave it at that, you just keep piling it on, talking about what kind of girls Remus and Peter are going to marry and what James and Lily will do with their lives. Sometimes loving this story is torture...
Another thing that struck me is the way you really brought Peter out of the woodwork in this chapter and gave him a little spark that we haven't seen much of so far. Seeing him suddenly going insult-for-insult with Sirius is an interesting change for him. Naturally, it makes me suspicious whether there's a reason...
Ah, the Slytherins have arrived! Strange that Moody would tolerate such a thing. Unless he's sizing up the opposition. Or maybe he really was planning to let James and Sirius curse the pants off of them. I loved all of Moody's teaching methods. He sounded perfectly in character and the Prophet article drives home the reality of just how pervasive the Death Eathers' brand of thinking had become by this point in the war.
You just enjoy tormenting me, don't you? This: "It's scary, isn't it?" Peter whispered to the group. "That just because you don't do what they want, they'll probably kill you."
"That's why you never even give them the chance to talk to you," Sirius answered in a gravelly tone. "And you sure as hell don’t let them blackmail you into doing something." -- GAH!!! Kill him now, Sirius! Kill the filthy, back-stabbing rodent NOW!
And just to twist the knife a little more: James glanced at Peter and gave him a solid pat on the back. "Don't worry, Wormtail. That's why we’re here. To make sure no more of those bloody Death Eaters ever get the chance to talk to us." Peter nodded, offering James a small smile. -- I'm not certain what you're playing at with this. Again, it makes me wonder whether events have already been set in motion where Peter is concerned. Either way, the friendly comfort that James offers him is horribly sad to see, knowing what's to come. :(
Poor James! At every turn, it seems like Moody's finding a way to unintentionally torment him. Whether it's picking on Margaret to answer questions or bringing Lily and Alexander up to be the first dueling pair. I love the protectiveness he feels towards all of them, whatever his reason to feel responsible for them.
So the only thing I wish you'd done differently is devote more time to the dueling pairs other than James and Sirius. Snape and his opponent would have been particularly interesting, but also Remus and Avery. I know this was a long chapter already, but I would have loved to see what sort of devilish pleasure Snape would have taken in showing off his martial abilities. And Remus beating up on Avery? That's just icing on the cake. Maybe a little taunting from the Slytherins about how things would have turned out differently if they hadn't been limited to simple spells.
The sad little look on McGonagall's face at the end of the first section was a nice reminder of what's happening. Our little witches and wizards are growing up. And there's nothing Minerva can do to stop it.
Poor Alice and Frank! I don't think I'm going to be able to comment as much on the second section. For one thing, I'm running out of characters. For another, there isn't much I can do aside from gush. You are the master of "girl talk" between these three. From the moment that Lily -- Lily Evans! -- decides that they should skip class right through to Lily's, um, romantic anxieties, it was beautifully done. I have only a couple of comments.
First, the way that Alice and Belle pull Lily's leg about s-e-x was priceless! Poor, sheltered Lily! She's so often the one that other people are going to for advice, I guess it's only natural that they have a little fun with her.
The second thing, and we've talked about this already: "And Alice and I will both be 'ere to talk about it with you after it 'appens," Belle said and Alice nodded in agreement. -- This is obviously a girl thing. Guys do not do this. No guy ever says to another guy, "If you want to talk about your feelings after you do the nasty with that blonde chick from school, I'm here for you, bro!" Does. Not. Happen. ;)
Ah, Jami, it's always such a pleasure. Great job, and I look forward to next time!Author's Response: Daniel! HELLO!
You're Alice/Frank request is not over at this chapter, good sir. They might have a bit more coming up...
Well, I suppose you can assume I was never a teenage boy. I wasn't even a tom boy. I do worry about how I do with slipping into the boy's, but half the time they feel more comfortable to write than the girls. No wonder JKR used Harry for HP instead of Henriette. Simpler creatures, you boys are.
Poor James really shouldn't have opened his mouth about the magazine. But what teenage boy hasn't flipped through his mom's Victoria's Secret magazine? You better have Martie hide hers when the boys start getting older... :P
Hahaha I don't even know where that line came form, but it seemed to fit Peter, didn't it?
I hate that none of them got to see the end of the war, even more that none of them were able to see Remus happy for that short while. I know what you mean about this story being torture. I have to constantly remind myself why on earth I'm putting so much effort into these characters who are all going to be dead in a few years times. Then I think about how much they deserve an actual life before death... and bah. Now I have sads :(.
Haha Daniel Smith, you know Peter is good for now. You'll know the second things start to change with him, pinky promise. Can't even utter wise crack without you wanting to pin the poor guys as turning over to the dark side ;).
I definitely think he was curious to size up the Slytherins. And probably to see if they had the... umm... you know whats to actually show.
Hahahh no no no! No killing Peter now! He just needs a cookie, is all :P
I knowww I wish I'd have been able to do a bit more with the duels. But with this already being 8,000 words it just had to take a back seat :(. And there's going to be so much more of that next book, that I figured it was okay to sort of skim past it in this one. Duels aren't easy for me to write. I can't believe how you were able to come up with the ones you have in CoB.
Yep, McGonagall just saw everything she didn't want to see and did at the same time with those two dueling. They know what an amazing asset to the order they'd be simply for their intelligence and bravery, but actually seeing their capable skills just reminded her that she can't protect them forever, and they'll end up where part of her really doesn't want them :(. Poor Minnie. See, you have me using that ridiculous nickname now :P.
It was a lot of fun to have Lily being the clueless one in this situation. Although it did make me sort of sad, because this is the kind of talk most girls have with their moms. And Lily not getting to do that tugged on my heart strings a bit :(.
Hahahahha Dan, you guys are missing you. Feelings talks are the best. You should really try and implement something similar next time you're with the guys. They'll thank you for it, I'm sure ;)
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Ah, a story set in my absolute favorite era to read! Stories that start right after the Battle of Hogwarts are what got me into reading HPFF in the first place, and I always love reading authors' impressions of what happened in those first days after Tom Riddle died.
I love the solemn start that you got off to. The scene at Hogwarts Castle and all of the characters seemed appropriately subdued and sad for events set so soon after so many good people lost their lives. Some of the characters that you inserted and their behavior really helped to round out the scene. Every story set in this moment has Molly Weasley weeping over Fred, but this is the first time I've seen Xeno Lovegood running through the castle in search of Luna and I thought it was a nice touch. The mention of the poor girl whose face had been cursed off brought real gravity to your descriptions of the human cost of the battle. Andromeda showing up with little Teddy to learn the awful truth about Remus and Tonks was heart-breaking.
I'm not sure where you're heading with Harry in the long run, but there were things I liked and things I wasn't so wild about in this chapter. I really liked his inner thoughts: the guilt and sadness and the way that he kept second-guessing himself: "If only I'd been able to end this sooner..." That was Harry Potter to a T. I thought it a bit odd that Kingsley and McGonagall would have put him on the spot like that so soon after the end of the battle. The poor guy was totally wrecked at that point and I have a hard time imagining anyone asking him to give a speech. It isn't a huge thing, but it jumped out at me.
But then you brought Ginny and Harry together, and I was instantly filled with warm, fuzzy, happy feelings. Oh, how I love the two of them together. You cast aside the usual moment where she gets angry at him for leaving her behind when he ran off with Ron and Hermione to hunt horcruxes, but maybe you're just saving that for later.
Poor Hermione sort of got left on the outside looking in. It's kind of understandable, but I still felt badly for her. I hope Ron is able to come around and pick up the romance again soon. Neville's revelations about the way Augusta's attitude toward him changed was a nice touch. Poor guy went through a lot growing up. It's nice to see that she can appreciate him for it.
You're definitely bringing Percy into the fold at an early stage of the game, and I applaud you for that. All too often, Perce gets left out of these stories or glossed over at best. And the idea of Audrey fighting in the battle to the point where she's injured is a very different take on her character. I'm curious to see where you're taking her.
I loved the idea of Ginny being so close with the twins. It really gave George somebody to open up to, which doesn't always happen so early. She was very wise in her counsel to him.
I felt like your writing got off to a bit of a rough start and then you really hit your stride about a third of the way through the chapter. Sometimes it felt a little forced near the beginning, like you were trying to make things more metaphorical and flowery than you were really comfortable with. Then you relaxed and it all flowed a lot better for me. The only other thing I'd point out is that Hagrid's hut was destroyed during the battle, as far as I know.
You're off to a very interesting start here! Keep up the good work!Author's Response: Well, first off, thank you for taking the time to leave such a long and detailed review! I really appreciate it :)
It's nice to hear that you liked this, and that the mood was fitting. Well, I can't imagine Mrs Weasley having any other reaction, so I guess that's why it's in every story. I'm glad you liked the part about Luna's father - I think his love for his daughter was evident in the Deathly Hallows, and I just wanted to show a snippet of that.
Yes, I definitely think that Harry is the kind of person who, even after all he's done, would feel guilty about not having been able to do it better. In my mind, he actually wanted to say something to everyone in there, but I do understand your point!
Actually, I don't think Ginny would be mad at him. She knew that he had to do it and why he didn't take her with him. Sure, it must have been hard for her, but I think she understands it.
Yeah, I felt bad for Hermione when I wrote this! But Ron has other things than romance on his mind right now. I'm glad that you're happy for Neville! So am I!
Percy is such an important character to me! I'm so happy to hear that you liked that :) I think that Fred's death will have a huge impact on him, and that it, combined with Audrey (who's actually quite likable in my story), helps him change to the better.
I'll try to read through the chapter again and see if I can make any changes to make the first part better. I was trying to paint a picture of the first hours after the battle, but I'll definitely take what you said into account and try to improve it.
Thank you so much for this wonderful and helpful review! I can't even tell you how much I appreciate it!! You are just awesome! :) Report Review
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I thought you had a really clever idea here. Thinking it through for a moment, it seems pretty obvious that actual witches and wizards wouldn't have celebrated Halloween anything like the muggles. In the books, it was more of a group celebration sort of holiday.
I adored your characterization of Lily. She's the classic youngest child, a completely unencumbered free spirit who follows her crazy ideas through to their illogical conclusion. The way that she inadvertently insulted every person they came across was cute, although I definitely felt badly for Rose. You did a nice job with Rose, as well. I could see a lot of Hermione in her, with just a touch of Ron's more adventurous spirit.
The supporting characters also seemed about right. McGonagall, the stern disciplinarian and grumpy old Madam Pince.
I guess my biggest substantive suggestion would be to slow the frenetic pace of the narrative a little and give the reader a little more time to adsorb the events, especially the part told from Rose's perspective. Lily's interactions with the various muggles they encounter could have been even funnier if you'd lengthened them a bit and allowed the body language and facial expressions to interplay with the dialog. Overall, the story felt a bit rushed.
I noticed a few things as I was reading that you might want to take another look at:
As the two cousins made their way out of the library, Madam Pince gave them a dirty look and watched them like a hawk until they'd left the library. -- You say "library" twice in this sentence, and the second one isn't really necessary. It reads a bit awkward.
They argued over whether the costume was a good idea or not of whether the costume was too small and showed off too much. -- Did you mean to say, "... and whether the costume..." instead of "of"?
Today was Halloween, today was the day that she went trick-or-treating just like all the other muggles. -- This is nit-picky, but Lily isn't a muggle.
Rose followed the sounds of her cousins excited chatter and found her talking to the headmistress about how excited she was for the experience. -- cousin's
"I'll get to straight to the point, you and Ms Potter will be Flooing to her house where you proceed to do . . . whatever it is that muggles do during this time. -- "I'll get straight to the point..."
Overall, your writing was good, however. The story flowed nicely and it was a quick, easy read. You have a knack for making Lily and Rose come to life, and I mainly wished that you had given me more of it. Nicely done!Author's Response: Halloween was always celebrated as a group thing so I just assumed that witches and wizards celebrated the holiday differently. Plus, it be almost like an insult (at least how I see it) to dress up as real live creatures and beings just for fun and go hunting for candy.
I've never seen hyper Lily before (it's my title for her) and someone had to take after Arthur!
I do agree with you though that pace was in general very fast. For some reason I felt like I was on a deadline when I was writing so I was kind of going at a fast pace. Turns it out it transferred into my writing without me knowing it.
I'll definitely take a look at everything that you pointed out and fix them as soon as I can! Thanks so much for reviewing! Report Review
Hi, Rosie! It has taken me ages to sit down and make the time to write this review. I really hate real life sometimes.
The strangers that Remus interacts with in the cafe were a clever way to introduce all sorts of situations and ideas for this chapter. It didn't take any time at all to place the events on the timeline of the book and to get an idea of how poor Remus is faring at this stage of his life. It made me sad to see him hungry and impoverished, but I guess that was how things were after he lost his job at Hogwarts. Stupid Snape! It's too bad that he's such a proud man, because I'm sure that Harry would have happily shared all he had if Remus could have shared more stories about James and Lily. Lots of lost opportunities in the books. :(
What is this about Sirius sneaking up on him? Is Wolf slipping in his old age? At least Remus has fun with it. Sirius seems to have a bit of fun as well.
I thought you did a great job with the conversation between Sirius and Remus. I could feel the frustration and bitter anger simmering beneath Sirius's barely-civil exterior. The idea that Wolf wouldn't tolerate being stared down was really clever and a good reminder that Wolf is still there, even in this chapter where he doesn't make an appearance. Sirius really steals the show, though. You ran him through a gauntlet of very appropriate and realistic emotions, from anger at Dumbledore and the others who allowed Harry into harm's way to fear and sadness at the idea that he might not live up to the trust that Lily and James placed in him. All-around great stuff.
An unspoken understanding hung in the air. If we needed to put down our lives for him, then so be it. He was our family, our brother’s son. A member of our pack. No matter what, nothing was going to happen to him. -- Hear, hear! About time somebody was stepping up to the plate for Harry!
Your descriptions of the Noble and Most Ancient House of Black were deliciously awful. I could almost smell the must, mold and decay as I read about the entrance hallway. Good old Walburga is there to greet them, too! I don't blame Wolf, she would freak me out, too. Again, I thought you nailed Sirius in this section. It's just like him to argue with a portrait as though he's going to convince her of anything. And the way he abuses and berates Kreacher... one of the most difficult things to like about the guy is he's the quintessential "do as I say do not as I do" mentor to Harry. He advises Harry to be kind to his "inferiors", then makes a costly mistake in his treatment of Kreacher. He begs Harry to be careful, then rushes into a situation that gets him killed. Such a tragic character...
“Master has brought a werewolf,” Kreacher said as he sniffed the air, his tiny eyes fixated on me. “Mistress will be angry with Master for bringing filthy animals to her Noble house.” -- I do love the dry humor you brought to Kreacher, though. That was a nice touch!
Once again, sorry to taking so long to get to this! It's great setup material for the sad events that we all know are coming soon. I'm really looking forward to seeing your version of what was going on at Grimmauld Place while Umbridge was tormenting Harry and his friends at Hogwarts. Until next time!Author's Response: Dan!
I think you and I need to form a club titled "Real life bites" or something along those lines. Sorry I took forever to leave you a response but right now is literally the only free time I've gotten all week. And it's Wednesday! Well...officially speaking its Thursday but same thing.
I wanted to show that there are people out there who have never been convinced about Dumbledore's sanity. Even before the Prophet starts to slander both Harry and Dumbledore, there are those that never really liked/trusted Dumbledore. Let alone a boy who vanquished the darkest of wizards at a young age. I can sort of understand their point of view considering Harry and their wariness towards him but nonetheless it still ticks Remus off. This is Harry. He knows that he's a normal boy with a tragic past and not the future dark lord as people like Eustace and Martin like to think. Anyway, poor Remus indeed but it's all Umbridge's fault! She's the one that started the anti-werewolf laws so it's her fault that he can't find a job. You know, she's the only character that really, REALLY angers me. Voldemort...Bellatrix, Lucius, Draco...absolutely nothing but Umbridge. I just want to punch that woman!
Alright rant over!
Wolf IS slipping into old age! Hahaha! I mean around this time Remus is 35 so if you were to do it in dog years (since he's a canine) Wolf would be 245 years old. Man, he's ancient! But still has the heart and energy of a young pup, hahaha!
I really owe you for Sirius's anger here. You were the one that pushed it for more, to be more believable and more Sirius-esque. I definitely plan on having more of that anger in the next chapter but this time it'll be up against Dumbledore AND Remus. Wolf doesn't doesn't like being stared down nor being told what to do. He's like a Sgt. Major at the Marines; don't cross him or you'll be sorry.
I had to add Walburga here. And of course I wanted to Sirius to go over the edge! After the rough night he's had and the lack of sleep after Dumbledore's errand, he's bound to just explode emotionally speaking. Even if it meant him arguing against the portrait of his dead mother. I honestly think that he went to jail with a lot of unresolved feelings towards his family, especially Regulus. He always struck me as this man who shrugged his shoulders and had this 'meh, whatever' attitude towards all of them but they were his family nonetheless. Regulus was his baby brother and his death HAD to hurt despite the fact that he made the wrong choice. I'm almost sure that Sirius tried to make Reggie see some sense but failed. Perhaps he even feels guilty after all these years, like an older sibling would, so that's why he just unloads on Walburga. I have to agree with you, Sirius is such a tragic and his death had to be tragic as well.
Kreacher is such a fun character to write, so I'm excited to bring more Kreacher in the next chapter.
Don't worry about taking forever to review it! You're my Beta so you have like this 'review late' pass. XD
Thanks for everything!
Until next time
Hi, Ral! And Happy Birthday! Here is your Gryffindor Birthday Review...
This was one of the best Snape stories that I've come across, no doubt about it. I liked it for what you did do and I liked it for what you didn't do.
What you did do was keep him true to his character. The bitter fatalism with which he accepts his fate sounds like Snape. The condescension and frustration he feels toward Harry felt like Snape, even though the fact that Harry was hiding "under the Dark Lord's nose" made it possible for Snape to complete his mission. The weary nihilism that he feels in his final moments of life definitely felt like Snape. Life was cruel to him in many ways, although some of those he undeniably brought upon himself. But whatever the relative weight of his bad circumstances and bad choices, he was ready to die.
What you didn't do was succumb to that ever-present temptation to have Severus -- you'll notice that I have a tendency to call him Severus when I'm pleased with him ;) -- and Lily declare their unrequited love for one another when they find one another in the afterlife. For me, that's huge. Lily loved James. They were married. They had a child together. He died trying to protect her and she died trying to protect Harry. To me, that doesn't leave much room for a sudden, post-mortem realization that she loved another man all along.
In fact, I loved basically everything you did with the afterlife scene. Lily reacted exactly the way I would have expected. She was grateful to Severus for protecting her son. She forgave him for all of the terrible things he did when he was young and foolish and trying to win the Dark Lord's favor. She genuinely appreciated the enormous sacrifices he made during his difficult life.
Your concept of returning to the place where it all started was brilliant and really heart-warming. After I read her explanation, I spent a good few minutes just sitting here, trying to think of where "it all started" for me. I'm gonna say that it was when I arrived and college and for the first time in my life, I made friends who really understood me and where I was coming from. :)
Ah, Lily! Even in the afterlife, she's still mothering those around her. Tonks is one that I've always felt really badly for. She had so little time to be happy with Remus and their newborn son. It seems just like Lily to feel the need to comfort Tonks and help her come to terms with her loss. It was humanizing, in a way, to see Severus react to the news of Fred Weasley's death. I doubt that he's high on the list of people that Fred wants to see, but the fact that he actually cared enough to ask who had died showed a change on his part.
This was really beautiful, Ral. You had several really great ideas and you wove them together into a great story that took one of my less favorite characters and portrayed him in a positive way without white-washing his whole story. You can't do much better than that!Author's Response: My birthday was a month ago and I am a horrible person for not responding to this sooner! *bows head in shame*
This made my day! I couldn't stop smiling after reading it! Writing Snape was out of my comfort zone but I decided to take a leap of faith and see what happens!
I never though of Lily as the kind of character that would hold a grudge, especially if she saw (as I believe she did) everything that happened.
The concept of going back is something that is stuck in my head, because I believe that when we die, we are greeted by the one person who influenced us the most. In Severus' case, that was Lily. The man literally centered his whole life around her and so it would only be fitting that she "welcome" him to the afterlife!
Again, thank you so much for the amazing review and for all your constant feedback and support! Report Review
It seems like Emily bounced back fairly well from her breakdown. Perhaps a little too well. I felt a worried for her inasmuch as she seemed to put the whole episode behind her fairly quickly without dealing with any of the underlying issues. It's a fairly typical pattern for people suffering from long-term depression and PTSD, I believe, and in that regard you wrote her reaction well.
Between McGonagall, Heather and Madam Pomfrey, I doubt she'll be able to go on pretending that nothing is wrong for very long. That's a good thing, obviously, although Emily might not see it as such right away. I still really love the way that you write McGonagall. She's stern, but very motherly in her own way. If you were thinking in terms of Molly Weasley mothering, you might not even recognize it, but McGonagall is no less concerned and she gets results.
I'm glad that it was apparent even to Emily that she wasn't fooling Heather. I'm sure they're have a lot to talk about at their next session, assuming that Emily is willing to open up and stop pretending that everything is "fine".
Naturally, I felt happy for Emily as she has her romantic breakthrough with Timothy. (Can we also call him Tim now? ;) But I couldn't help feeling a bit sad, as well. At the moment, her "school life" filled with depression and unhappiness seems to be very effectively walled off from her "Hogsmeade life" where she's feeling more and more like her old self again. At some point, I have to imagine that the two are going to start to seep into one another and that's going to be very difficult for Emily to manage if she hasn't started to confront her demons. I think I'll just enjoy things until we get to that point.
Flawless writing in this one! Seriously, there wasn't I think I could think to comment on. Nicely done! Report Review
Such a tense (intense?) chapter! The existential angst was just dripping from every pore on Astoria's body in this one. She seemed to wander back and forth between angry and horrified, with a lot of misery thrown in for good measure. The physical description of her fainting was really well done, I thought, and it went a long way toward showing just how disgusted she feels at Draco and all of his pureblood friends.
Kudos for keeping all of your point of view changes correct. I doubt it was the easiest thing to do with so many substantial characters all vying for attention in this one.
The dynamic between Draco and Blaise was fascinating. Zabini comes off as quite the gentleman in this chapter, but Draco seems to fear him a bit. All of the others do, actually. I'm curious to find out why that is, since he's rarely portrayed as being powerful or menacing.
Astoria's brother seems solidly on her side, but it's a little harder to figure out her sister. Maybe it's just that her sister is older, or the fact that her sister's social aims are rather different from Scorpius and Astoria. Emily obviously adores Astoria and is very protective of her, but the things she wants for Astoria don't seem to be the same things that Astoria wants for herself.
You've really got me going now, trying to figure out what this Greengrass family business is all about. If her father is soliciting business from Lucius Malfoy during the Dark Lord's second rise to power, that suggests that it's not entirely wholesome. This private dormitory of Astoria's also suggests that her family either has some lingering influence at Hogwarts or holds some dark secrets, one or the other.
The final encounter between Draco and Astoria capped off a very tense chapter with some real intensity. The contrast between the disdain Astoria feels for Draco and her physical reactions to his advances couldn't be much stronger. Her body is betraying her in a thousand little ways. Draco comes off like a **massive** creeper in this, but he's also clearly so fascinated with Astoria that he's willing to associate with a girl that his parents would see as completely beneath him. That makes it pretty obvious that his interest in her is more than just physical. He can't comprehend the fact that she rejects his advances, and it makes him want her that much more. I have to imagine that fireworks are going to ensue once they return to Hogwarts...
I only had one substantial critique of your writing, and it's the fact that sometimes it was a little challenging to keep track of who was doing of saying what because of all the "he's" and "she's" involved. The scene in Draco's salon was a good example. At one point you have three distinct "he's" -- Draco, Zabini and Scorpius -- and two distinct "she's" -- Astoria and Emily -- and you're occasionally mixing and matching which person the pronouns are referring to in the same sentence. It's something you'll want to watch closely with that many characters in the room at the same time.
Aside from that, your writing was lovely. Once I got into the final section with Draco and Astoria, the story was barreling downhill to the end. Nicely done!Author's Response: Hello!
Hey there, I'm sorry that its taken so long for me to get back to you. I've been really busy with boring real life issues and well, that sucks but now I have enough time. So, this of course is a monster of a review and its going to take me a minute to answer! I'm going to apologize beforehand if I can't respond back to everything that you've said. D':
I think with Astoria fainting I had hinted at it in the previous chapter with her corset being too tight and the effects of all that. It wasn't just her nerves getting to her after a while but it was a scene that I liked doing!
But I think anyone would have been disgusted to be around Draco and his friends after a while.
When it came to the different and various POVs and characters, I sort of died a little, it was really difficult to get that part right. I rewrote it quite a bit! :D
It was horrible! :D
The dynamics between Draco and Blaise was really something I wanted to show. There's alot of mystery around Blaise himself and perhaps some actual fear from Draco and the others too.
He's not quite "normal" by their standards, but you'd have to keep reading to find out all about that.
Anyway, when it comes to the siblings and Astoria, you are correct when it comes to Emily and her reactions to what's going on. Her desires are very different so she can't quite understand her sister or brother very well but she'd never turn her back on them precisely.
Bwhaha, the Greengrass Family Secret will come into play later on, I promise. Actually, by chapter five or six you should pretty much have a guess of what it is.
Its not anything pretty either and of course, her father trying to go into business with Lucius Malfoy is a huge tip off. But things don't exactly go as planned at this dinner party, hehehehe. Also, with Astoria having her own dorm, there are daker reasons behind it and I hope you have fun guessing what they are. :D
Ah, the final encounter between lovely Draco adn my hissing Astoria! That's one of my favorite scenes in this story actually, just because it really plays on what you can't control and what society expects.
Astoria may hate Draco but her body doesn't exactly know what to do and of course, he's pretty skilled at what he does. ;)
Bwhaha, you think Draco is a creeper now? Just wait until later on! It gets worse and I think his desire for Astoria causes him to make risks that he would have never considered before. It makes him very dangerous.
And he's an arrogant bloke, I think. A girl beneath him telling him no? How can he stay away? Its like the ultimate test!
But if I were a guy, I'd leave Astoria alone, she's kind of scary. :D
Argh! I know just what you mean by all the mistakes you mentioned towards the end of this. I'd been meaning to clean this story up alot but haven't gotten around to it, but thanks for pointing it out! You've saved me a ton of trouble. D':
Anyhoo, thanks for coming back to this! I really can't wait to get back into Detox and oh, there's another Draco Malfoy one-shot on my page that you might or might not want to read. You've been warned. Hahahaha.
You're a dear and I'll hopefully be stalking your work pretty soon!
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