21 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Veritaserum27 

26th August 2015:
Hi there Dan,

It's been too long, I know. I'm really sorry and I'm trying to make up for it.

So, I'm reading The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown right now (I realize the book came out several years ago), but I'm a huge Dan Brown fan and I never got around to reading that one. Only two chapters in and I realized the similarities in your writing styles. You both have such an eye for setting the scene and giving little details that seem like they might be insignificant, but will add up to something big later on. And the most stunning similarity is to have so many different characters with seemingly unaligned story lines - but they come together at different points and the story has an undertone to it. The reader can feel the story building, building to something that's going to be a fantastic reveal. Eeep!

So I wanted to ask you if you are also a Dan Brown fan, and if so, has he influenced your writing. Then I had an epiphany...

Are you Dan Brown?

I'm serious. You have the same first name - and there's no way Dan Brown (erm.. you) could write fanfiction using his famous moniker. Your ability to challenge the reader and keep us riveted, begging for the next chapter and just trying our darndest to figure out the mystery before it's revealed, is uncanny.

Okay, so if you are indeed Dan Brown, I understand you can't just spell it out in a review response, so you can just leave me a hint or a clue or... a symbol so I can know the truth.


Alright, let's get down to reviewing this chapter!

Esme - I gotta say, I'm not a fan. She seems incredibly insensitive and self-absorbed (I smell a little Fleur). Not to mention, she's holding something like a 40 year old grudge against Harry. I admit, I don't know exactly what he did, but I'm gonna make an educated guess that it was probably something he did out of cluelessness rather than intentionally offending her. However, she does seem to be a decent Auror, so I can't fault her completely.

I loved this chapter because it reminded me so much of key points that happened in the books. The scene with Harry trying to convince Hermione reminded me of 6th year when Harry knew Draco was a marked Death Eater and everyone (including Hermione), told him he was daft.

Then the speech made my the Minister with its double meaning was a reminder of Umbridge's speech at the beginning of 5th year for the trio. However, more people took notice this time. Seriously? Forgiveness for crimes if you come forward?! Even Percy saw through that. (And I was pleasantly surprised to see that he seems a bit more together this chapter.)

Then there's the lovely Arabela. Of course it was her plan all along to have Percy challenge the Minister. Hmmm... I wonder how this is going to play out. Probably exactly the way she wants it to unless somebody stops her! And I have to give her props. She is good - admitting to things so that Percy won't suspect her, but then twisting it around to gain his trust even more. Women.

Gah! Such a sweet patronus from Molly. Ever the mother ♥.

I'm glad Susan had the wherewithal to give a proverbial smack over the head to Al, Hugo and Teddy. Seriously? Those three should know better. You just about stabbed me in the heart with that last line about Harry blaming himself. Eeek!

I *think* I found a small typo in this line:

Those that are found to be in conflict with out great traditions, or that were passed in haste, will be suspended while they are referred to the full Wizengamot for consideration of repeal.

Did you mean "with our great traditions, instead of out?

And I can't leave without saying how much I adore your bits of comic relief. The joke about the knickers and the wheelchair, Ron making his comment about the custom Bentleys, and Teddy taking the mickey out on Al was awesome and this chapter definitely needed that balance. Awesome job, as always, Dan!

♥ Beth

P.S. Remember: give me a symbol...

Author's Response: Hey, Beth! I've been staring at this review for several days now, wondering "how on earth do I do *that* justice?"

I guess I should begin by letting you down gently. I'm not Dan Brown. OK, I admit it, I'm not good at "gentle".

I read the Da Vinci Code and I liked it. I didn't enjoy it as much as some of Crichton's books (Andromeda Strain, Sphere, Terminal Man). I tried to read Angels and Demons and I couldn't really get into it. I always get a weird reaction when I feel like an author has started to write books with an eye toward having them become movies. It changes their writing in subtle ways. At any rate, I'm afraid that the only symbol I can give you is: ◕◡◕

All I can say at this point is give Esme some time. There are reasons why she behaves the way she does. You might or might not think that those reasons justify her behavior, but you are missing a couple of pieces of information at this point. Once you know where she's coming from, feel free to continue disliking her. ;)

Harry is convinced that there's something larger going on and Hermione's opinion means everything to him. He's impulsive, she's rational. She's his voice of reason.

Lady Tenabra (by way of the Minister) is walking a line that she believes (reasonably) will embolden the purebloods and anger the progressives. She wants to keep the pot simmering just below the boiling point, at least for now.

Why so suspicious of poor Arabela? ;) All she wants is for Percy to try to bring some sanity back to the Ministry. Or is it?

Susan is always available to deliver a smack over the head to anyone who needs one. She's brilliant that way.

You are the best proof-reader I've ever had! You are crazy good at picking out those little typos that *look* correct until you read them carefully.

You have to have little bits of humor in a story like this. Otherwise, the depression smothers the light.

Thanks so much for the awesome review. And again: ◕◡◕

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Review #2, by GingeredTea 

27th January 2015:
Of all the places I could imagine Harry going, Little Hangleton was not even on my radar!! Then that he less them to the ramshackle shack instead of the Riddle house (although I do suppose that would be much harder to hide and may not have passed along to Voldemort and then to Harry), was another surprise!

But, backing up a tad, the you managed the wheel chair tension really well, guiding it into humor that surprised and made me laugh, especially coming from Hermione!

Ron is a bit moody when he's got some drink in him, hmm? You manage to convey that without constantly having to bring up the fact he went a little overboard at dinner - bravo. I like how Harry sends him for food - it is probably a task Ron could do in his sleep. LOL

I loved that Hermys brought the bags and that the Aurors are afraid to go into Ron's house. The elf obviously cares for Harry. I also really enjoyed your description of their Patronus' - especially Ron's. ;-)

I can't decide if you've purposefully cast suspicion on Arabela for the purpose shrouding the true Tenabra, or because she IS Tenabra. UGH- You are driving me crazy!!

Her control over the Minister was creepy. She is a much better speaker than Voldemort. She obviously understands peoole better than Voldemort did, at least in the insanity of later cannon.

"You looked rather upset when you left the press conference, she replied, closing his door behind her. I wanted to make sure that you were alright." I really am suspicious of her...

Harry having trouble sleeping seems normal, the message from Molly was endearing!

Al, Hugo, and Teddy were being so stupid... I'm glad Susan was there to help them! Although Teddy's mimicry of Albus as a kid was hilarious. :)

Thanks for the awesome read, as always!

Author's Response: I have gotten horrible about responding to reviews lately. Must. Do. Better.

The Gaunt Shack is one of those rare things that was part of my original bullet-point draft for this story and survived all the way to chapter 19. An awful lot of other ideas fell by the wayside, believe me. The Riddle house never occurred to me, but I agree with you. Since Voldemort was never Tom Riddle Sr's officially acknowledged son, and since the Riddle house was a muggle property, I don't think it would have legally passed into Voldemort's ownership.

Splitting the patronuses was another idea that I had very early on. It took me a while to find a place I could use it. Somehow this made more sense than have to cast the charm again and again. I also liked the image of Ron's litter of spectral terriers.

Me? Purposefully cast suspicion? Surely you're joking. ;)

Voldemort never put much stock in words unless he was using them to hurt someone. It's not that he wasn't eloquent in his own way, but he didn't view words as the main way that he influenced people. For Tenabra, getting her message right means everything if she's going to pull this off.

Molly's patronus nearly got cut from this chapter because it felt like pure fluff at the time. The important take-away from that scene is that even though he puts up a solid front to Hermione and Ron, Harry has his own doubts about whether he's wrong about the connection between Ginny's murder and the Blood Order. That said, people really seem to like the lioness.

Al, Hugo and Teddy don't know any better because they've lived in a peaceful world for all but the first few days of Teddy's life. The idea of mortal danger is totally foreign to them, but believe me, they're going to have to grow up quickly.

I'm pleased you enjoyed it! Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #3, by Bethan 

5th December 2014:
Truly addictive story. Enjoying every minute but it's seriously distracting me from my uni work. You have a talent for words and have the ability to keep the reader gripped.

Author's Response: Sorry for the distraction, but I'm really happy that you're enjoying the story. :)

Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know!

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Review #4, by APerkins 

23rd October 2013:
Ok so I love the way you have the dialogue moving things along. I love that its not just filler talk to show relationships, u use it to convey plot points. I tyink the fact that u keep the plot moving with just enough description to set the scene is well balanced and enjoyable to read.
Do u have anything of ur own published?

How do I get my hands on it?

The paragraph where harry is lying awake watching reflected sliver of moon is just excellent. Sums up everything. That entire section on harry's internal reflection is just brilliant!

I dont think you do tenabra during the ministry announcement as well, but im not sure why? I think her thoughts are less organised? Or perhaps it is the speech? Im sorry, not helpful, but percy n secretary was great.

Also I love molly a lioness? Is that canon? I must have missed it if it was, but if not, its inspired!

Author's Response: Good morning! Well, morning where I am, anyway.

I love it when I can make use of dialog to push the plot of a story. It feels so much more natural than having the omniscient narrator do it.

I do not have any original work published outside of HPFF. It isn't that I wouldn't like to, that's just not how life has turned out.

Harry's internal debates are always a good way to break down what "the good side" knows, I think. Plus I like writing him.

One thing about Tenabra is that I'm always walking kind of a tricky line with her. Put too much into her thoughts and it will be pretty obvious who she really is. It's a hard balance to hit.

Molly never casts a patronus in the books, but I thought a lioness was just about perfect for her. :)

Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #5, by Courtney Dark 

29th July 2013:
I really love that Harry, Ron, Hermione and Esme are in hiding in the Gaunt House! And I think it's kinda awesome that Harry 'inherited' it after defeating Voldemort - it seems like it is going to make a perfect hiding place, although I guess I'll have to wait to see how the events of the rest of this novel play out! As Hermione said, it seems a lot more comfortable than a tend, anyway. And it is very lucky Harry has been expecting something bad to happen for a long time, and is prepared for this situation, even if Ginny's death was what resulted in his preparation. Poor Harry:( I still feel horrible for him that Ginny died!

Wow, the Minister's speech was really, really well written - how on earth did you write that so well?! I would've really struggled. In fact I would probably have had a tantrum, thrown my laptop on the ground and stomped on it. I'm not good in high-pressure situations. Anyway, while the Minister was talking, this feeling of dread was sort of seeping through my body, as melodramatic as that sounds - I'm pretty sure things are just going to get worse from here!

I really don't like Arabela. I think she's up to something, telling Percy that he should aim for Minister of Magic. I really hope Percy doesn't take her advice, because I reckon it would have disastrous circumstances, but Percy has always been quite ambition.

I loved the humour the conversation between Al, Hugo and Teddy brought to the chapter - although as I was reading it, try as I might, I just couldn't imagine them as grown men, I just kept picturing them as teenagers. Which is funny, because I can quite easily see Harry, Ron and Hermione as being in their sixties.

I really like Susan - she has grown on me so much, and I don't even mind that she used an unforgivable curse (is that bad of me?)

I am looking forward to seeing what happens next!

Author's Response: Hi, Courtney!

The Gaunt Shack is one of those rare things that was part of my original bullet-point draft that actually survived all the way to chapter 19. Many, many other things fell by the wayside as the story progressed. Ideas that, in retrospect, seem almost too stupid to believe that I ever considered them. Such is the process of writing a serialized story.

Thanks so much for your words of praise on the Minister's speech! It wasn't easy to write. I was trying hard to walk that line between saying things that would make the purebloods happy without saying anything that would send the progressives completely over the edge. Good to know that I did alright.

Arabela isn't easy to like, is she? She's definitely a king-maker. As to what she's up to... we shall see.

I think I've said it a time or two before: you need some humor in a story like this to keep the reader from getting depressed and jumping out the nearest window. It is a little hard to put them in middle-age. I tend to think that even then, they regress a bit to their teenage form when they're around one another.

I adore Susan. She quickly became one of my favorite characters. You can expect much more of her.

Oh, how I love reading and responding to your reviews! Always makes my day. :)

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Review #6, by TheHeirOfSlytherin 

7th February 2013:
Whoa, was not expecting them to go to the Gaunt home. But I like the way it was explained, with the laws and the reasons for keeping it. Makes sense as to why Harry would have and keep it.

So, Tenabra is actually controlling the Minister now? She really has no limits, that makes her a very scary villain. She really will stop at nothing to... Well, until I read more and understand exactly what she wants to do, I'm just gonna call it world domination. Taking over the Ministry feels like the start of world domination. :P

I feel kinda scared for Al, Teddy and Hugo. The others as well, but you've got three of my four favorite Next-Gen characters (Louis being four) right there, together and asking if something is gonna happen... My mind is on overdrive.

Great chapter!


Author's Response: The Gaunt Shack has actually been part of the story since my very earliest plot outlines. I loved the idea of Harry taking the horrible, accursed place that essentially gave the world Tom Riddle and making something worthwhile out of it.

Tenabra is indeed fully in control of the Minister. She wants power, plain and simple. The exact reasons why will continue to trickle out as the story continues.

Teddy, Al and Hugo are in a pretty bad spot. They don't realize just how bad yet. Fortunately, Susan is there to educate them.

You are on fire! Thank you so much for all of the awesome reviews!

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Review #7, by AdeleShare 

27th August 2012:
Me again! Just wanted you to know I am still reading! Like continuously. I haven't left a review for a few chapters, sorry about that but it was just that I was in such a rush to read the next one! I think I may have found the lovely plot twist in your story ;) let's just say I guess I have an eye for anagrams ;)

Author's Response: Ah, that's OK. I'm really pleased that you're enjoying the story and you think to say a little something every so often.

And you might be onto something there. ;)

Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #8, by academica 

14th August 2012:
Hey Dan! I'm here with another requested review :)

I actually love the idea of Harry inheriting the Gaunt house. I mean, if the Muggle world has all kinds of zany outdated laws, I'm sure more than one strange way of operating still exists in the wizarding codes. I also liked the way you described the trio splitting up their Patronuses to carry messages to multiple people. Is that canon? If not, kudos to you on being very creative with that idea!

Whoa, the Minister's speech seems a bit radical! This is going to sound awful, but I really think the best solution now would be to put any purebloods who express "blood-ist" ideologies into detention of some sort until this New Blood nonsense can be contained, not to simply appease them! Yikes. I do like that it's spurring rebellion from within, though. I think that's part of what I found most interesting about the latter half of the canon series.

Hmm, Percy going for the Minister's job? Interesting (and oddly familiar...). I'm glad to see a larger purpose coming to Percy's lunchtime meetings with Arabella, though it's probably not the best thing for his relationship with his wife.

As its eyes met his, he could feel the unmistakable warmth of a mother's unconditional love.

^Love this, both for how important Molly has become to her in-law children and for how it reminded me of Lily's lingering love for Harry.

The ending here was definitely bleak, and rightfully so. If I remember correctly, the kids here are supposed to be young adults - if so, that's what they sounded like to me. I liked their interactions and I'm anxious to see what will happen next.

Great job! I hope this is helpful :)


Author's Response: Hello, again!

The Gaunt Shack was an idea I had way back when I was doing my bullet-point outline for the story. It seemed logical -- at least in a wizarding sort of way -- that since Tom Riddle had no heirs and lost a duel to the death with Harry, Harry would "inherit" whatever Riddle owned. At any rate, I'm glad you liked it. The splitting of the patronuses just seemed like a clever way to get a message out to several people at once.

The Minister's speech was very radical. Lady Tenabra is using him to spur a civil war between the pure bloods and the progressives. While putting the blood supremacists in camps would be one way to make them even angrier, she has plenty of her own ideas for how to antagonize them.

Percy is definitely not happy with what he's seeing. But I think it's something of a revelation when Arabela suggests that he could be Minister.

You know, the appearance of Molly's patronus was almost a throw-away. Just a random idea that came to me while I was writing this. Honestly, it's just fluff, but I do think it felt pretty good.

The Next Gen characters are in their mid-30's to mid-40's in this story. Many of them have school-age children of their own. So in wizarding terms -- where people live to be reasonably functional well past the age of 100 -- I guess they are fairly young adults. And the world is turning rather bleak.

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing! Your reviews are always helpful!

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Review #9, by kphilly1993 

26th July 2012:
I haven't been able to stop reading. Definitely one of the better stories I've read on HPFF!!!

Author's Response: I'm glad that you're enjoying it.

Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #10, by anonymous 

16th July 2012:
Great story so far, I am really enjoying it =D

Btw. did you ever give a description of arabella dynt's features like hair color and such... cause I have a feeling she is the evil mysterious woman.

Author's Response: I'm really glad you're enjoying the story!

Did I describe Arabela? Hmmnn... my memory escapes me... ;)

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!

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Review #11, by Pixileanin 

5th June 2012:
Interesting choice you made with the Gamp home. I always wondered what became of it, assuming that it was somehow still in the possession of some Slytherin out there. But the Wizarding Laws would say otherwise, I suppose.

I really liked how Harry pulled the plan together while they were hiding out. The conversation seemed really natural for the characters, like they were trying to figure it out in real time. That's difficult to make it come alive without seeming forced. Your skill as a writer came through in bright shiny colors here!

I loved Percy's attitude about the press conference and that he wanted to do something about it. Arabella's suggestion was quite a surprise to me! There you go again with the surprises. Nice one.

The scene with Al, Hugo and Teddy was a light reprieve, while showing how the events affected the rest of the family. It was good that Susan was there to set them straight about a few things. Things continue to churn and swirl.

Author's Response: Hello, again, my review tag partner!

The Gaunt Shack has been part of the story since the very earliest drafts. It was an idea that I found really fascinating and I knew I wanted to work with it.

I'm glad you liked the conversation in the hideout, because I struggled with that one a lot. It was tough for me to capture Harry's concerns and get them to sound right. He really believes that Ginny's death was the start of the conspiracy that brought them to where the are. At the same time, he knows that he still hasn't really dealt with Ginny's death, and it causes him to question his own judgment. That's why Hermione's opinion means so much to him.

Percy and Arabela become a frequent one-two act in the story, so I'm glad you like them together.

I really enjoyed writing the part with Al, Hugo, Teddy and Susan. If you liked the dynamic there, I think you're going to love one of the upcoming chapters.

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!

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Review #12, by Jchrissy 

2nd June 2012:
I loved this chapter. As always, your detail amazes me.
I'm still mad at you for killing you know who (If you don't know what I'm talking about, refer to your last status update).
I'm taking my anger out on my reviews. this one is painfully short... guess what the next one will be like...?

Author's Response: Hi.

OK, I understand why you're upset. Really, I do. It wasn't a decision that I relished making, but in the end I simply couldn't think of another way to get the story to where it needed to be. So please indulge me through to the end and see what I have planned.

I look forward to the next one.

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!

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Review #13, by Elenia 

5th May 2012:
It's me again ^^

So, interesting chapter. I know I keep repeating that, but I just love this story so much and you manage to blow my mind away every single time as I start to think about the complexity of your plot. It's just incredible!

Okay, first things first. The beginning of this chapter was brilliant! What a clever idea of using the old Gaunt house as a hiding place! That was just perfect!

I think it fit really well into Harry's character that he would've been planning something like that from the moment he started to suspect something odd was going on. At first I thought it was a bit weird that he hadn't included Ron and Hermione on the planning at all, but then I started to think that he was mourning after Ginny, so maybe this was his own little project, something to take of his mind out of the sad things, so maybe he didn't want them to think he was being paranoid or something. At least that's how I explained it to myself.

There were so many other things I liked about that part. Especially the detailed explanation about the Patronus messages was a really great idea. Oh, why didn't Percy get one? Hmm...

Dear Merlin, have you ever written speeches before? Because that was an amazing one! You just amaze me with your talent in writing every time! That whole scene was just wow! You knocked the words right out of me with that one!

The part about Percy was interesting as always. That Arabela -character makes me curious and I can't wait to see how she is mixed in this clever plot of yours.

Even though I liked the second part about Harry & co, I would've wanted to read more about their feelings towards the press conference. Maybe you're saving it for later chapters, but I don't know. I just felt a little something was missing from that scene. Otherwise it was a good one. Molly's Patronus was a nice touch.

"As its eyes met his, he could feel the unmistakable warmth of a mothers unconditional love." - I just love that line! It's so beautiful and perfect. My absolute favourite in this chapter.

The interaction between Al, Hugo and Teddy was fun. Their chat about Percy made me laugh. At some points it was a bit childish maybe, but then again, I know many older people in RL who act more immaturely, so I really can't hold that against you ^^

Susan using the Imperius Curse made me frown a bit. I think the Unforgivable curses are really hard to master, and one would need to be have quite the willpower to be able to use them. I just can't see Susan being one of those who would be able to use it. That gives me all kinds of suspicious thoughts about her, which makes me confused, because I don't think that was your intention. Or maybe it was... I'm starting to see conspiracy theories everywhere in your story d:

Anyways, great chapter. I'll drop by to read the next one soon!

Take care!


Author's Response: Hey, there! Where have you been keeping yourself lately?

The Gaunt Shack has been part of my plot outline since the very earliest versions, so I'm glad you liked it. I tried to think of a place that nearly nobody would know about and even those that knew about it would never in a million years expect to find Harry hiding there. As far as his planning, my thoughts were slightly different. I think of everything Harry did not so much as keeping his mind off of Ginny's death, but more like his inability to come to terms with it. As long as he could continue to believe that her death was part of a larger conspiracy, he could avoid truly grieving for her. Make sense?

Why didn't Percy get a patronus? Well, let's just call it a happy accident for now. Harry, Ron and Hermione were counting on the rest of the family to spread the word.

I don't have any background writing political speeches, but I've listened to plenty. My main inspiration for the Minister's speech was some of the post-9/11 rhetoric of George W Bush, John Bolton, Condaleeza Rice and the rest of the Neocon crowd. Security through paranoia, peace through perpetual war...

I definitely take your point on Harry and Hermione's feelings about the Minister's speech. There are so many aspects of this story like that where I really wish I could dig deeper into it. But the chapters get so long... I wind up cutting back and I always seem to wish that I hadn't, but these are the kind of decisions you make in those final hours before a chapter gets posted.

I love Molly. I wish there were more ways to incorporate her into this, so being able to include that small scene, which was basically pure fluff, felt really good to me.

The scene in the Ministry cafe with Teddy, Al and Hugo was one of my absolute favorites to write. The first draft was actually far more irreverent. My beta reader pointed out a) these guys are supposed to be in their mid-30's (Hugo) to early 40's (Teddy) and b) some of this stuff is never going to make it through validation. So the version you see was already a compromise.

I went back and forth on whether Susan should imperius Hugo, or anybody for that matter. Here's why I decided to go with it. She's an Auror. Aurors deal with dark wizards. Part of the training to be an Auror would certainly be learning how to throw off the Imperius Curse. That means that Aurors, especially ones who spend a lot of time working with trainees, would need to know how to use the Imperius Curse to facilitate that practice. I hope that makes enough sense to get you over the hump. ;)

Thanks so much for another long, detailed, insightful review. Can't wait for more of Gwen and James!

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Review #14, by shadowcat2 

29th April 2012:
Really, I am not sure how you do this? but this story is getting better and better. The Gaunt mansion as a safe house. How amazing is that? I think the best part about this chapter was how you created all this tension and fear everywhere. you know what? I was almost sure Percy's friend was the Lady's alternate identity. It almost made sense to me since she was connected to both the Minister and Percy. So maybe she could control the Minister and alter Percy's memories. Anyway, I am confused all over again since some things are not adding up. So are doing a brilliant job with all this mystery. I thought I could finish this story by today. But i will take one more day, I suppose. Bye for now. You will see me soon. :D

Author's Response: Hello, again!

So the Gaunt Shack jumped out at me as an interesting location for a hideout. It was known by very few people, so I didn't think it would be all that hard for Harry, Kingsley and a few other accomplices to make it "disappear" if they put their minds to it.

Lady Tenabra pulled off a major coup here, so I think it was reasonable and appropriate for everyone to feel fearful. The rules of the game just changed in a big way.

Percy is definitely involved in something much bigger than he realizes. I'm glad you're thinking about Arabela. ;-)

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!

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Review #15, by ginerva_molly_weasley 

4th March 2012:
Hey, back again to review :)

I love how well prepared Harry is with this going into hiding. It shows that he never really lost a lot of his suspicion about Ginny's murder even when he knew or thought that Percy had committed this. I also like the way you are intergrating Esme into the trio with her being involved with a lot of what Harry is doing.

The Gaunt;s old place is interesting as most people wouldn't have thought that place even existed let alone be habitable. Also I forget how much money Harry actually has. To think that 2,000 isn't a lot of money shows that.

I love the speech that you wrote regarding the Minister of Magic and the new initiatives. It was very well written and is actually believable as a speech whcih could be transmitted to the whole of the wizarding community.

There's something about Arabella that doesn't sit right with me. I actually don't know what it is but I suspect she's not the innocent party in all of this so I'd love to know if I'm right or if that's just an unfounded suspicion.

I am very interested to see where you go with the next chapter!

Author's Response: Hello, again!

Harry's extensive preparations are a strong indication of the mindset he's coming from. He's walking a line between reasonable suspicion and paranoia. It's not entirely healthy.

The Gaunt Shack has actually been part of the plot since the very first bullet-point outline I did. The only reason it still exists and is habitable is that Harry and Kingsley decided to turn it into an Order safehouse in the immediate aftermath of the war. Just to clarify, Harry has two *hundred* thousand pounds in the drawer, not 2,000. But you definitely scared me; I just went back and checked.

I was really worried about writing the Minister's speech, but it turned out to be oddly easy to write. Maybe it's because we're in an election year here in the states and that crap is all over the place on TV.

I've already re-requested, so I really look forward to hearing what you think about the next chapter.

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!

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Review #16, by Beeezie 

28th February 2012:
Hey, this is Beeezie, here with your review!

First section (Harry)

I found your decision to go back to Little Hangleton and use the old Gaunt family home as their base very interesting. It was a nice touch - there was a little bit of symbolism there that I liked.

On the whole, I thought that this section was well done. I liked a lot of the little details you included - Harry's wondering what the muggle would have thought of Tom Riddle's resurrection, how overgrown the old Gaunt property was, Harry's owning the house because he defeated Voldemort in a duel - and I really thought that they helped make the scene and the characters come to life.

I also thought that your portrayal of the characters was generally quite good.

I thought that Harry's response throughout the entire thing was perfect. You clearly put a lot of thought and effort into it, and for me, at least, this was one of your strongest Harry sections in the story thus far. He's generally good, but you included a lot of details here that just really took the section to a different level. Things like his still not wanting people to know about the horcruxes, or his feeling defensive when Hermione questions his instincts, really just made him feel absolutely genuine.

I also thought that you did a great job with Esme. I still feel like her resentment toward Harry is a bit extreme considering how long ago all of this happened (unless, of course, there was something more recent that you just haven't told us yet), but that aside, you've really crafted an interesting and compelling OC. I get the feeling that she'll be vital to moving the plot along, but it doesn't feel like she's just a plot device. Little comments like, "Just because one is paranoid does not mean that nobody is out to get them," just fit perfectly with what we've seen of her so far and what we know her profession is.

Initially, I wasn't sure whether I liked how quickly Ron seemed to let the previous relationship between Harry and Esme go, but as I moved through the section, I ended up feeling like with everything that happened, tabling it did make a lot of sense. I'll be disappointed if it never comes up later, but right now, I think it's a good choice on your part. I also liked Hermione's little joke early on. I honestly don't have so much to comment about Ron and Hermione - I thought that you did a good job with them, but it felt like you were trying to keep them consistent here, not develop their characters, which for me worked very well.

There were only two things about that the characterisation in this section that stuck out to me as seeming a little odd and out of place - the second more than the first, but I'll mention them both.

My first issue was the conversation between Harry and Hermione immediately after she asked how long he'd been planning this. As I mentioned above, there were some parts of this exchange that I really liked. However, how the conversation got there wasn't - in particular, the way that they got onto whether he was thinking rationally given all his stress seemed a little artificial. They were just attacked, and there's clearly something fishy going on. This sort of conversation would have made sense in chapter 2 or 3, not now.

The second thing that stuck out to me was the fact that Ron and Hermione didn't know anything about all of this.

It seemed odd to me was that they didn't know about the Gaunt House. You kind of addressed that when you mentioned Ron being a bit put out, but not really - you just gave a decent reason for Bill being the one to help him with that particular part of the project, not a decent reason to have never told them at all. That was an even bigger problem with the fact that he put so much effort into preparing for the house in a more immediate sense over the last four years and they knew absolutely nothing about.

Harry's explaining it all to Ron and Hermione did give the readers an explanation as well, and that probably wouldn't have felt as natural if he was just explaining it to Esme. That makes sense. However, while Harry was always a little independently minded, the idea that he would cut Ron and Hermione out to such an extent didn't make sense to me. Sure, maybe he was making an effort to protect them, but I have a very hard time seeing how not telling them would protect them.

To be clear, I think that there are explanations that would make sense. Maybe he wanted to be doing something to distract himself from everything else. Maybe he didn't want to deal with Hermione questioning him. Etc. There are a lot of possible reasons, but you didn't really provide anything to back any of them up. Incidentally, I also think that you'll probably find an easier explanation for his actions in the last four years than his actions in making the house suitable for a headquarters years before.

I also have a few other criticisms, mostly to do with magic.

Hermione says, "So Kingsley was the only other Secret Keeper?" My understanding of the Fidelius Charm is that there can only be one Secret Keeper, and the idea of having more than one just seems like it would be very messy in practice.

I also noticed - and this may have been an oversight or a calculated decision on your part, given the recent revelations about Percy and Tenabra - that they sent Patronuses to all the Weasleys but Percy. Again, this might be calculated on your part, but I'd have liked to see some conversation for it - after all, we are talking about Ron. He'd be the type to make that kind of mistake!

(character limit, see next review)

Author's Response: Hello, again. You're just too good to me with these novela-length reviews!

Using the Gaunt Shack as a hideout has been part of my gameplan since the earliest outlines of the story. I'm glad you liked it. I felt like there were a lot of memories there which allow the reader to reconnect with GoF and HBP as well as allowing Harry to do one of the things he does best: brood and ruminate. As you suggest, I could have gone on and on about the different bits of magic that were used to make the place usable, but the chapter was getting really long and I'm just not convinced that other readers enjoy that sort of thing as much as you and I do. I'm a nerd for "technical magic".

I am so very pleased that you like Esme. Or at least like the way that I'm building up her character. As you'll see over the next few chapters, there are definitely reasons for her animosity towards Harry. It's long and complicated and I'm trying to serve it up a little at a time rather than just dumping all over the reader in one chapter. Suffice it to say that she feels very wronged.

I think it's fair to say that Harry did become a bit of a loner after Ginny's death. He did still spend time with Ron and Hermione and they were certainly concerned about him, but they were also dealing with their own grief and their own families and Harry chose to fill some of that time with dwelling on his paranoia. Understandably, it's been very hard for him.

And the decision not to send a Patronus to Percy was deliberate. I probably could have explained that better, though.

On to part 2...

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Review #17, by Remus (didn't have time to log in) 

7th February 2012:
Back again from more! Though I'm at work right now so I have no idea if this review will be long. As usual, review goes along me reading it.

Esme, she sure is a piece of work...I'm not really sure how I feel about her, to be honest. Ron's reactions to Esme dissing Hermione's wheel chair did not feel very Ron-ish. You have to remember that this is the guy who was not only clueless but also hot tempered and sarcastic and sometimes mean spirited. Look at how he was when Harry was chosen in the Triwizard or when Percy turned his back on the family. I guess if someone where sorta insulting my wife, I would've hexed them to kingdom come. Or at least attempted.

Considering that they're sorta advance in technology...Why is Hermione in the old school wheelchairs? Wouldn't it be easier for her to have a motorized one?

You've done fantastic when it comes to Hermys' characterization. Very Dobby and Kreacher like. I really cannot recall anyone else writing a house elf as well as you have done except for JKR herself.

The portraits, for some odd reason, just don't seem to be behaving right to me. Specially if these are Sirius, James and Lily. I know this was written way before my review but yeah. Hahaha, thought I should point it out again just in case you ever decide to go back and edit through your work...which I'm guilty of doing so.

Did Tenabra just totally take over the Minister's body? That's scary of what it could mean for Harry and everyone.

You know...I had to get a pen and paper when the name Arabela Dynt came along. Nicely played. I think. Either I just solved something OR you're just pulling my strings! Whatever the answer is, I just totally spazed out.

Nice ending with Susan. Wish I could elaborate more but it's time for lunch. :D

Until next time!


Author's Response: Hello again! You're really making my day with all of these great reviews! So lunch, you say? Unless you eat a really late lunch, you must be in the Pac Rim somewhere? Sorry, I know it's not good personal internet safety, but I'm always curious where my readers hail from.

If you're feeling a little ambivalent about Esme then I'm accomplishing what I want. I really didn't want readers to warm up to her too quickly because, to he honest, I haven't figured out what's ultimately going to happen between her and Harry. Could be nothing, could be something... I'm just not sure. So there's even some mystery in this story for the author...

I thought about giving Hermione a jazzed-out, modern chair, but she really doesn't need it. She can always use a locomotor spell on hers, or apparate if she needs to. I always liked the way that the muggle-ish elements in the books and movies were kept a bit behind the times. It helps to create a bit more distance between the muggle and magical worlds, I think.

You know, if you have ideas about the portraits, I'd love to hear them. Seriously, PM me or something. I'm the guy who said, "I'm including portraits in my story because I thought they were underutilized in the books!" and here I am kind of underutilizing them, myself. I'll have to work on that...

And, yes, Tenabra has used what she learned from Herodonthus's book to connect her mind to the Minister's and control him. You're right, there's not much good that can come of this. And if you've sorted out what I think you've sorted out about her, then I'm very impressed! Bravo!

Thanks so much for all your time and attention. Let me know if you want me to re-request. I'll be there with bells on!

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Review #18, by Ashling586 

28th January 2012:
I think that a meet the author thread would be really cool. Though I can see where waiting a bit longer before doing so might be in the best interest so as to not have to worry too much about giving away too many details.
I have enjoyed every inch of this story and each and every chapter. Sometimes I wish I had more knowledge about different writing styles and techniques and grammar so that I could offer better constructive criticism but I do try my best.
I liked the scene where Susan was reprimanding the boys it was very believable considering everything else that was going on. I was a bit confused as to why Arabela would want Percy as minister. What in the world could she gain from that? If she is the evil lady, she already has the minister under her control, so why the need to change him out with Percy?

Author's Response: Hi, there!

Arabela's motivations for suggesting that Percy stand for Minister are definitely mysterious. She's always been the Minister's faithful servant. Whatever could she be playing at?

Susan: still my favorite minor character in the whole story. Any time I need somebody to step in and deliver some sound counsel to put one of the other characters back on track, she's there for me. I have to make sure that she gets something really good in the end. Or at least that she doesn't die...

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!

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Review #19, by dirtydeedsdonedirtcheap 

25th January 2012:
Okay! So, I was reading this chapter and then had so much to say but I have to say this first. I have a new...well, thought! Since we both know I'm bad at trying to figure out what's going to happen next I'm going to say it anyway. I think Arabella, is Lady T. As in Lady T in her regular everyday form. To me it makes sense only because Percy is clearly deep into this he just doesn't realize it yet and they would have to use Percy a little bit more because maybe they can get him to turn on Harry and his family again, just like he left them during the war all those years ago. So, if he says that Harry is someone that shouldn't be trusted or whatever, then the others are going to agree and obviously they already think that because they're letting the Dark Wizards back in and they're trying to put him under arrest (though for an entirely different reason).

Writing it out now, I think I'm wrong but it's just an idea in my head. I just can't wait to find out what's going to happen next already!

I found it so interesting and so original that you used the Gaunts house to hide them because I never would have thought about it before. That was so clever! Oh, I also have to say that you make Hermione quite funny. I really liked this part:

"I think mine are wrapped around the rear axle," Hermione deadpanned. Ron looked down at the back of the chair in spite of himself, causing Hermione to giggle.

But I can still see the traits that make Hermione...well, Hermione. And Ron thinking about food the first thing once they are settled in the house, typical.

I really want to know if I'm right about the Arabela thing. Either way I don't trust her. Having Percy the Minister under his state? Hm. That's a recipe for disaster I think. They'd be able to control him. Unless! Unless she isn't Lady T but she's a supporter of the organization and by having Percy trust her and distance himself from his wife/family she'll be able to convince him later on.oh! I don't know! I don't know what's going to happen next. Why is this story so good!?

Author's Response: Hello again,

So I love your deductive reasoning. I wish I could just jump in and tell you that you're right or wrong, but what fun would that be? If she really is Lady Tenabra then poor Percy is in even more danger than I've led you to believe. If she isn't then *both* of them are in a great deal of danger. What will it be? And are you sure that I've even decided, myself? ;-)

The Gaunt Shack has been in the plan since a very early outline of the story. It just seemed like a place that nearly nobody still alive would know about, and even those few people aren't going to think to look there. It is, quite literally, out of sight.

Hermione does have that terrific, dry sense of humor, doesn't she? The hardest thing about writing around it is being very sparing and judicious in using it. Because overdoing it would ruin the whole thing.

Thank you so much for another fantastic, thought-provoking review!

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Review #20, by Roots in Water 

19th January 2012:
It's Roots in Water here with your review!

Another great chapter! Things are brewing at the Ministry... I wonder how Harry, Ron, Hermione and Esme will try to counter it.

One of the things I enjoy the most about this story is the way you incorporate several different points of view, allowing the readers to understand what is happening in several different areas at once. Though it can be frustrating at times to know something that Harry is still struggling to figure out, it is also very interesting and intriguing.

And ah!- 50-years worth of work going down the toilet... I have to hand it to Lady Tenabra though- the speech was perfectly balanced, to make it seem as though the Minister was just trying to avoid another war and satisfy their demands in a manner that would suit the general population, allowing her to have complete control of the anti-pureblood laws without anyone being the wiser (unless, of course, they were already suspicious).

I'm starting to become very suspicious of Arabela. I can't remember exactly when her relationship with Percy started, but I believe that she is linked to the New Blood Order in some way or another- perhaps even Lady Tenabra in disguise (or, not in disguise, but rather in her regular guise). She's certainly close enough to Percy to be able to play the tricks on his mind and to influence him to make certain decisions... And was that the plan all along? To make Percy Minister? Hmmm. Why would they need to do that?...

I also enjoyed reading about their new hiding place- it certainly does seem a lot better than camping in a forest during winter! I never would have thought of the old Gaunt house as a possible hide-out, but I thought that the rules that allowed Harry to inherit it made sense with what we know of Wizarding society- the rule sounded positively medieval.

I do hope that Harry is able to contact more people- even though Ron, Hermione and Esme will try their best, four people won't be able to cover ground quicly, something that is needed before the New Blood Order completely seizes control of the Ministry. They do seem to have good starting goals, though. Wouldn't the Ministry have more safe-guards against Polyjuice potion and the like after Harry and co. managed to sneak in during the last war? Even if Harry (and co.) know about these protections, it will still be hard to get past them...

All in all, this was another great chapter that helped to progress the plot in an interesting manner. I'm looking forward to what twist you write next. Thanks for re-requesting and hopefully my comments are helpful!

Author's Response: Hello, again.

I'm really glad you like the storytelling from different viewpoints. It's one of my favorite narrative techniques. Granted, it allows the reader to know things that the protagonist doesn't, which can be frustrating like you say, but I think that can also be a draw if you manage it well.

I am *relieved* that the speech worked for you. It was hard to write. I struggled a lot to find a good balance between outright appeasement and hollow rhetoric. And, yes, the Minister is hanging on for dear life at this point.

Arabela... hmmnn... There just might be something there...

The idea of using the Gaunt Shack actually came to me in the very formative stages of developing this story. That's been so long ago, it's amazing I didn't forget it somehow. But the idea of using a place that's so significant to Voldemort, it just seemed like a good way to show some growth from the Hogwarts-era characters.

And, yes, Harry will need much more help before all is said and done. I hope it's apparent that I'm gradually pulling more and more characters (Molly, Arthur, Bill, George, Draco, Astoria, Rose, Scorpius, Hugo, Albus, Teddy, etc.) closer to the central conflict of the plot. If I can pull this off, it'll be a miracle.

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing! I will definitely be back to request again.

P.S. - Got anything in the works now that Cracks in the Pavement is done?

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Review #21, by CloakAuror9 

15th January 2012:
New Blood Order seems to take care of things and I can see dark time ahead of us. I'm going to be honest...I'm terrified. I mean I feel like Deathly Hallows is back again only with different components. I don't even know what to expect now! The Golden Trio running away seems like all fun.

Oh by the way, I love that little touch you put in on how harry now own's the Riddle Manor! All very interesting ideas, don't you think?

I really have no idea what is happening to the Prime Minister! Letting the traditional pureblood families take over! Hasn't he learned any thing from the past?! It's just so frustrating to this kind of thing happen again. I just hope Percy will have enough courage and stand up to him! He does have a very good reason for it...what if another one of his brother is killed! He ought to put a stop on this! *rage*

Okay, moving on and stopping with my rage..I thought that this was a great chapter (mostly impressed by the Riddle Manor) and I love it.

You're a fantastic author,
CloakAuror9 xx

Author's Response: Dark times are indeed ahead, but all is not lost. With the trio still free to operate and the Order coming back together, there's always hope...

I thought the Gaunt Shack would be a terrific location for a hideout. It was already outside of the consciousness of the majority of the wizarding world. Just slap a fidelius charm on that bad boy and it's good to go. It also allows Harry to get all introspective and dwell on the past, which never makes for bad reading.

The Minister... well, he's not himself. Did I make that clear enough?

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!

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