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23 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Veritaserum27 

20th September 2015:
Hey there Dan,

Look at this! I'm working hard on my being a better reviewer/responder/HPFFer, etc...

I don't recall if I've mentioned this before or not, but I really like the fact that you separate your paragraphs with a few spaces (I think it might be 3?) It makes it much easier to read the story and it's aesthetically pleasing as well. I like it so much, I'm considering going back through my stories and doing the same (imitation is the highest form of flattery, perhaps?).

Back to Harry and Esme. So, I'm going to give her a bit more of a chance like you said and I do see the similarities between her and Ginny. The one difference I noticed is that Ginny always seemed so down to earth. She didn't need fancy stuff and definitely didn't make a fuss about silly, girly things. I think that may have been my favorite quality of hers and I always thought that was one of the things Harry loved about her. I definitely miss it in Esme, but as I said, I'm going to give it some time. :)

I will say, she is an absolutely brilliant witch in her own right. The fact that she could untangle the memories when even Hermione didn't have the slightest clue how to do it definitely gives her a few stars in my book. And I really loved the way you described the "unraveling" memory. It totally made sense, plus it added a little bit of drama to the story - I can feel the pressure that the group is working under when they only have a few chances to view the memory.

So the memory revealed what I had expected. Percy had nothing to do with Stoops's murder - it was all Tenabra. And while I'm quite certain it will be revealed that she is the "missing" French Auror with the memory-modification skills, I'm also quite certain that you have a few tricks up your sleeve along our path to get there.

Professor Rory Tennant. Could this name be an homage to Dr. Who? I wasn't aware you were a fan and maybe it's just a coincidence with the name. Nonetheless, I can see why this dude isn't an Auror anymore.

Rory Tennant didnít know it, but he had just set an upper limit on his own life expectancy. Once he was gone, she turned and disapparated.

This guy is a loser. Even I saw that coming.

Great job with the last scene. You have the right balance of humor, action and suspense. What I really, really loved about it was that they were successful with their overall plan. I always found it frustrating (and a little tiresome bordering on predictable) when every single one of the Golden Trio's plans would go awry at the last minute. It's nice to see they've gained some finesse and confidence with age.

Brilliant of Ron to get the wand - and he basically did that automatically and on the fly. There was no way he wasn't going to impersonate Rigel and seize the opportunity. I appreciate that you haven't made Ron into the oaf that many people do, putting him off as unable to react unless Harry and Hermione are directing him. I see him the same way - a brilliant Auror in his own right - often overshadowed, even if it isn't warranted.

Hmmm... is Cornfoot just a secondary character put in there to fill the time - or do you have something up your sleeve? I never know with you.

And haha - who doesn't get by with a little help from their friends? Susan Bones is another brilliant Auror. I like her better and better every time she makes an appearance. I can feel the camaraderie with this department. They know each other in a way that only working really closely for many years can come about. Clearly, this group has had to put their lives into one another's hands on many occasions. They've been through everything together and they always have each other's backs. Love it.

♥ Beth

Author's Response: 857-320-1690

Hi, Beth! I've told myself that I'm not allowed to let unanswered reviews linger for as long as I have been recently. Let's see whether I can keep to the plan.

I messed around with the formatting for a few chapters before I settled on the double-spacing. I find it's easy on the eyes. That's important when you can't stop yourself from writing chapters that are 6,000 to 9,000 words long. ;)

Good. That's all I ask is that you give Esme a chance. She might just grow on you. She is a very talented and powerful witch in her own right, as you're starting to see. The back story that she and Harry share is also a little more complicated than you've seen so far. Suffice it to say that she has good reasons to be cautious.

I really, really enjoyed writing all of the memory magic in this story. It was one of those little things that JKR dreamed up with the books that really appealed to me.

Yep, Percy was framed. At least, framed to himself. Is Lady Tenabra the missing French Auror? Hmmnn... we shall see... ;)

So here's the sad truth: I do not now nor have I ever watched Dr. Who. People tell me that I would enjoy it. At any rate, the name of the former Auror turned Hogwarts teacher was purely by accident. I was trying to think of something Scottish-sounding to go along with his accent. And you're right. He is a loser.

Even the golden trio has to have a plan go right every once in a while. Ron and Hermione did plan this out quite carefully, and even though some of the details didn't go quite they way they drew it up, the plan was robust enough to hold together.

I really don't like to see Ron written as the dim-witted third banana to Harry and Hermione. I don't recall him being that way in the books. Stubborn? Often. Goofy? Sometimes. Studious? Basically never. But he did always come through for them when they needed him and it wasn't by accident. If you like him in this chapter, there's a treat coming up for you later on.

Cornfoot was just a name that I pulled out of canon. The fact that he's related to someone who was at Hogwarts around the same time as the trio was a plus.

Susan is also about to come into her own in a big way. I think my 3-chapter "Susan Arc" starts in about 2 chapters. I hope you like it!

I'm really pleased that you're enjoying the story. The pace is about to pick up in a big way. Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #2, by GingeredTea 

4th April 2015:
Iím back. I had thought I had submitted my review for this chapter, but I guess it didnít go through. Iíve been a bit scatter brained - but hadnít intended to leave you hanging!

Harry has always been the Ďdo something and think laterí type of guy. In your story age and loss and huge regrets have sort of sanded down the sharpness of that aspect of him, but it is still his nature, and it shows here. He has enough strength to understand it is his personality getting in the way, and keeps to himself rather than lash out and ruin the productivity of others.

Ginny still bringís out so much hurt in Harry. You did a nice job with that quick transition in his head and making it realistic.

Iím really starting to enjoy Esme. She did a superb job with Percyís memory, and oh my, it was revealing what she found. Let me just say, Iíve been suspecting Percyís friend for a while. Iíll admit to having read ahead, so I wonít say much more in a review, but I knew even before I read it that there was much much more to her. I really liked how you portrayed Stoop.

ĎRory Tennant didnít know it, but he had just set an upper limit on his own life expectancy.í ó I loved this line.

I love the bickering you opened the Ministry scene with! Who knew Ron could be so convincing - his acting skills have grown. Hermione did just as wonderful as I knew she would. I laughed all over again at the comment she made to that poor women who let them in! LOL I was disgusted by Cornfoot (what a great name), and on the edge of my seat at the end when it seemed like it could go either way!

This was an excellent chapter!

Author's Response: Hi, there!

Harry is definitely more reserved and refined at this age than he was in the books. He still has a bias toward action over inaction, but he's more thoughtful about what sort of action to take. The losses he's suffered have definitely had an effect. You're right that he hasn't gotten over Ginny. I don't think he ever will, at least not completely.

I'm glad that Esme is growing on you. She wasn't meant to be a character that people would love right away. There's a very complicated history between her and Harry and things needed to evolve slowly. As far as Percy's friend... well, if you know then you know. ;)

Ah, Rory. He ended up being one of my least favorite characters in this story. I enjoy putting upper limits on him.

Ron has spent a lot of time working undercover during his career. Personally, I felt more impressed with Hermione. Being an irritable, arrogant old lady does not come naturally to her. And the remarks she makes to the young woman working security... well, that was just fun to write.

I'm glad you enjoyed it! Thanks so much!


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Review #3, by APerkins 

23rd October 2013:
Opening paragraphs were well organised. I find it hard not to waffle aimlessly doing that type of narrative, I noticed you had things well planned out.
Love the polyjuice bit! :) well played!

And, finally hermione!

Author's Response: There was probably some stage of writing this where I was waffling plenty. Edit, edit, then edit some more! That's my motto.

Glad you enjoyed Hermione. She was fun in this.

Thanks!


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Review #4, by Courtney Dark 

31st July 2013:
Oooh, this was a really good chapter! And I'm pretty sure I say that nearly every single time but I especially enjoyed this one, especially because it was so action-packed!

I have to admit, Esme is growing on me - she certainly seems more sympathetic towards Harry's situation than she was when she was first introduced, and I love all this fire and sass that she seems to possess but I'm still not quite sure what to make of her - this is probably because I just can't imagine Harry with anyone else other than Ginny at this point - especially considering Esme reminds him of her. But I don't want him to me miserable forever, either! And I don't think Ginny would want him to dwell on the past and forget to live.

Wow, that was quite rant-y. Sorry about that!

Esme is skilled with memories, man! She is obviously a very talented witch, and I actually found her interactions with Hermione really interesting to read.

And then we had Tennant. It didn't surprise me to hear he was working with Lady T actually, I always thought there was something a little fishy, or off about them. And though she is evil (mwahahahaha) I don't blame Lady T for getting frustated at Tennant. He seems quite, erm, incapable and I knew, the moment he threatened Lady T that he'd just made a very, very stupid mistake, especially after reading what Stoops said to Lady T.

I LOVED the Ministry scene - it was definitely my favourite part of the whole chapter. It certainly reminded me of the Ministry break in during the DH, but it also unique in it's own way - obviously Ron and Hermione know their way around the Ministry a lot better by now, which would make the job a lot easier! And I really loved the characters they chose - or were given to play.

And yay Susan! Coming to help them out. I've said it before, but I'll say it again: I really love Susan and I'm so glad you chose to incorporate her. And I really hope she's not Lady T because that would be disappointing.

Courtney:)

Author's Response: Hi, there!

I'm glad that Esme's initial appearance didn't put you off of her character for good. She and Harry have a complicated past and they're both trying to figure out their feelings. It's a bit odd to imagine sexagenarians still behaving somewhat like teenagers in this regard, but Harry and Esme aren't exactly normal for their age. Harry's never really been in a relationship with anyone other than Ginny -- let's just say that his one awkward date with Cho doesn't count -- and Esme has focused more or less exclusively on her career.

Esme has enormous skill with memory magic. She's also a very tough, skilled Auror, as well. That's why Harry views her as an equal, which is pretty key to the chemistry between the two of them. Esme, in turn, respects Hermione enough to actually approach her for some advice. I like it when strong characters develop an appreciation for one another.

Tennant is pretty worthless, but he's an important part of Lady Tenabra's plans. I just don't think you can make a good HP story without having Hogwarts involved in some way.

I'm really glad you liked the Ministry scene. I enjoyed every word of writing it. Ron and Hermione are so good together. And all of the mockery of Blaise and Mrs. Zabini made it that much sweeter.

There's Susan again. I adore her, and you'll be seeing a lot of her for the next few chapters. So much fun to write!

Thank you so much for all the kind comments and support!


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Review #5, by Cassius Alcinder 

21st June 2013:
So you managed to turn Hermione into a Zabini in a way that actually worked with the story? I love it! I don't know if you were intentionally giving a nod to the infamous "Hermione Zabini" trope, but I enjoyed it either way.

Esme is adding an interesting new dimension to the story. I found her pretty insufferable at first, but she's growing on me now that we can see where she's coming from more.

Tennant did seem awfully interested in Harry's activities at the school, so it makes sense that he was the informant.

Author's Response: I wasn't really thinking of the Hermione/Zabini ship, but now that you mention it, I can see the reference. I just think of Mrs. Zabini as being the antithesis of Hermione. She's stuffy, prejudiced and all about birthright and privilege. So it was funny to put Hermione in her shoes (corset?) for a while.

Esme is a work in progress at this point in the story. I'll be really interested to see what you think of her by the end...

Tennant's role becomes clear later in the story. I'd say you're correct to be suspicious.

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and reactions!


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Review #6, by TheHeirOfSlytherin 

7th February 2013:
Very creative way to get into the Ministry, go Ron! I especially loved that it almost goes perfectly, until the end, then something goes wrong, as their plans normally do, and Susan helps them. It reminded me of their plans in DH, the first time the broke into the Ministry and their other plans. But how did Susan know they were there? And as the Zabinis? Did she see?

She knocked Percy out! I'm glad... Well, not for Percy being knocked out and kind of framed, poor Percy, but I'm glad he didn't do it.

I feel like Hermione; I don't know how I feel seeing Harry with anyone other than Ginny. It's really strange and while I don't hate Esme, I just don't know if I could handle it. Partly because I love Harry/Ginny so much and partly because Harry's attraction stems from Esme reminding Harry of Ginny; if he is to ever end up with her, and I'd accept it, I hope it's because of something really about her and not Ginny, that would be unfair and sad for Esme, I think.

That was a longer-than-I-thought-non-rant about them, sorry. Anyway, I enjoyed seeing other parts of Harry's life (the essential point of the paragraph was to get here :P) and this was an amazing chapter. :D

Sam.

Author's Response: Ron and Hermione's infiltration was definitely inspired by what happened in DH, with a twist to make it apropos to the current situation. Susan realized what was going on, I believe, because as an Auror she would have known that Zabini was still outside of the country.

No, Percy didn't kill Edwin Stoops. But why did she want him to believe that he did? ;)

There's obviously a ton of ambivalence there. I think nearly anyone would feel the same in her place. Esme does remind Harry of Ginny in a lot of ways, but mostly the good ones.

I'm glad you like the way it was built up. Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #7, by academica 

22nd August 2012:
Hi Dan! I'm here with another requested review!

I was in a pretty bad mood this morning because of issues going on with my advisor, and I thought maybe I could procrastinate a little and go ahead and do your review. I'm glad I did - your story took my mind off my RL troubles momentarily, and I wanted you to know that I feel better because of it.

Anyway, on with your review :)

So, another action-packed chapter! I really liked the beginning with the four protagonists working on different parts of the problem. I think you characterized their little mannerisms perfectly. I also liked Esme's discussion of memories as being like fragile threads - because those things really don't look like they could stand multiple cycles in the washer, you know? It was nice for Hermione and Esme to have a little bit of 'girl time,' and I thought the merged memory setup was neat, too. It reminded me a lot of Inception in terms of going in and actually planting false memories.

I'm not shocked that Tennant is unreliable, nor am I surprised that he seems to fail at being an Auror. No wonder Lady Tenabra is losing patience with him. He was pretty foolish to try to stand up to her like that, and I like how she just methodically made a note that he would need to pay for it.

Ron and Hermione's infiltration of the Ministry was my favorite part of this chapter. I love the characterization and how flawlessly Hermione acted as the infamous Mrs. Zabini. You'd think men would stop being attracted to her once they caught a whiff of her reputation, huh? I've never read of anyone going straight from one Polyjuice form to another, so it's interesting to see how that can work. I also liked the ending to that chapter, with Susan stepping in to help in a moment of need.

As always, I'm intrigued to see what happens next. Good work - I hope this review is helpful to you :)

-Amanda

Author's Response: OK, I'm completely embarrassed. Somehow I must have neglected to click Submit. Sorry for this being late.

Anyhow, I'm glad that this lifted your mood! Unfortunately, the "fun" chapters grow fewer and farther between from here on out.

I had a lot of fun with memory magic in general in this story, and specifically playing around with the idea of Esme knowing lots of very advanced techniques for manipulating them. It's such a fun area to explore. I do think that memories, like anything else, would eventually "wear out" if they were viewed too much and especially if they had been manipulated.

Hermione and Esme's private conversation sets up a few things that are coming, so I'm glad you liked it. Esme is starting to grow on the people around her, although she pretty much had no way to go but up after dinner. ;)

Yeah, Tennant is a jerk. Not even a likeable jerk. And he has an awful tendency to pick the wrong enemies. More on this to come...

I really, really enjoyed writing Ron and Hermione in the Ministry. It was one of those rare opportunities to just let my sarcastic side go and have fun with dialog. Poor Hermione is miserable enough as it is, then she has to act like this horrible old lady. It would put anyone in a foul mood. And, yes, Susan is there when they need her. I adore Susan. She's my favorite supporting character by far.

Well, the pace continues to accelerate from here. Thank you so much for all of your wonderful reviews and sorry for messing up the response!


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Review #8, by Pixileanin 

5th June 2012:
"At the moment, he couldn't imagine how anyone could feel so calm. Being dead was probably a big help, he reckoned."

This was a great character moment for Harry. It showed us his anxiety and impatience, and also his sense of humor that permeated the books. Glad that his still has that! I also loved his thoughts on Ron and Hermione's scheming off to the side.

Harry's grief overlaid with the presence of Esme really brought out his inner conflict. I assumed that this would come into play eventually, and here it is.

I found the moment with Hermione and Esme necessary. Esme is a very straightforward character. She takes things at face value and I think that Hermione perceives that in her. Also, with the ages of these characters, it seems in line to expect them to be more direct with each other sooner rather than later.

Tenabra is at it again. I had suspected that Tennant was up to some kind of no good. You showcased quite effectively that to even consider him as Head Auror is laughable.

"The society pages of the Daily Prophet had recently linked Mrs. Zabini romantically to Ewan MacDougal, the elderly patriarch of the old, pure blood family. Hermione reckoned that she might as well use that information before he mysteriously turned up dead."

I love how you use little canon details to flesh out your story. Hermione certainly got into character at the Ministry. I'm sure the ill-fitting clothes helped a great deal. There is a reason that corseted supports went out of style. *nods*

It's great how these older wizards are adept at nonverbal spells. I love seeing them use their magic without bumbling around like they used to as inexperienced kids. Really great flourish with the Confundus charm.

And Susan to the rescue again. She's a smart one. You really held up the suspense in the Ministry section well. I wasn't sure they were going to make it back to the Gamp place...

Really good chapter here. Everything keeps moving along, faster even than before. When you juggle so many characters in one story, it can get complicated and fragmented, but you continue to glue the bits and pieces together into a cohesive whole. Very impressive!

Author's Response: Hello, again!

Harry still has that same impatience and morbid sense of humor. At least that's how I think of him.

Harry is just beginning to feel conflicted about Esme at this point in the story, and the continues to develop as the chapters roll on. It took me quite a while to decide how to resolve it actually. I don't want to ruin it for you, but suffice it to say I figured out the resolution.

Tennant is a greedy, conniving, cowardly toad of a man. It's part of the reason Harry and Ron drummed him out of the Aurors and the reason that he's now willing to betray Hogwarts to somebody he believes is a Ministry security official.

The entire scene with Ron and Hermione infiltrating the Ministry was loads of fun to write. I enjoyed every bit of that thoroughly. I am certain that Hermione loathed the corseted outfit, since she isn't known for hanging out in Goth nightclubs except for certain Dramione fics. ;)

I thought it was important to make all of the older characters experienced with magic and able to use it in the same sort of effortless way that Molly, Arthur, Snape, Remus, etc. use it in the books. Otherwise, it just didn't seem believable.

Ah, Susan. Expect much more of her to come...

The pace does pick up a great deal from here on out. Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!


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Review #9, by Jchrissy 

2nd June 2012:
I warned you it was coming...

I really like that you have them in the Gauntís Shack. Itís is completely logical that it would end up with Harry, and obviously no one would think of looking their for them.

In less than a paragraph you did something incredible; reminded us how perfectly made for one another Ron and Hermione are. I donít know if you meant to, but a soon as you stated ďIt was a dynamic they had been perfecting for nearly half a centuryĒ I had flashbacks of Ron and Hermioneís Hogwarts years, and the chance to image an entire life filled with those. It was really great.

I like the way you described Harry and Esmeís first 24 hours together. You made it clear they had both were affected, gave us an idea of her personality by comparing her to Ginny, gave us insight as to why Harry would risk his relationship with Ginny at that time for Esme, and all around helped us to understand that Esme is a good person. Yes, she might still hold a grudge... who wouldnít? I would have liked to know even more about what they were feeling, but Iíve learned that you make sure to put things in the perfect places and timing. So Iím sure I will find that out soon...

I feel like you really put us on the train of emotional thoughts that Harry was on. The Memory, Esme and his time back together, then ultimately we are led, by him, back to Ginny. The fact that the idea of not being able to go to her grave devastates him so much, really shows us again how broken he is.

The entire situation with deciding who would go in so was perfect.
Obviously Esme would suggest Harry, why would she suggest anyone else?
Harry wouldnít risk missing anything, and he knows Hermione would never miss the tiniest detail. Esme had no complaints. I donít know, it was a short few sentences with such a large impact for me. Harry still thinks of Hermione as the smartest witch of their age, and has no problem saying she is better for the task. Esme may be mad at harry, and may not forgive him, but the fact that she doesnít argue and simply agrees shows that she still trusts him.

I hope Esmeís statement about having not given up hope yet gets elaborated on soon!

Poor Percy. having to live with this memory that isnít even his. I still donít forgive him. He knows something feels is wrong, and he isnít trying to consult any of his family.
I do feel more sympathetic toward him...

The interaction between Esme and Hermione is so real and well written.
Poor Hermione, sheís having to think about the idea of Harry being with someone else, she likes Esme, but Ginny was the closest thing she had to a sister, yet Ginny is gone. Is it okay for her to give Esme her best wishes? Would Ginny understand?

Esmeís questions were very natural, and I think it goes a long way in defining her natural curiosity.

I knew Tennant was sketchy! Woot Woot! It is terrifying that Lady T has been planning this and constructing it for so very long. A violent person with no morals is scary enough, but a psycho person that is so intelligent is petrifying.

I love the entire ministry scene. I like that you referencing their other break in, too. Hermione did a much better job in my opinion as portraying Mrs. Zabini, than Bellatrix.
Her entire attitude to the new witch is a really good comic relief in such a stressful situation. And again, they manage to barely escape. I really like that you have it as just those two, also. So many times Harry is shown as the leader, the smartest. When that is untrue. Not any instances in your work, but other fanfics. You are also doing a fantastic job making Ron, Ron. I know I have said that before, but I read a one shot that had him as an idiot that canít do anything right who got lucky with his friends. I hate when Ron is given that kind of characterization, but it just made me appreciate yours that much more ;)!

This, again, was a wonderful chapter. It was fast paced, but not overwhelming. I watched the entire thing in my head (well, besides when I paused to type up my notes on it) and didnít once feel like anything was out of place.

Iíll hopefully be reading and reviewing another one tonight! Though, now I never want to get to chapter 32 ;(;(

Author's Response: Hello, again!

Let me say up front that if you decide to skip reviewing chapter 32, I will completely understand.

The Gaunt Shack was actually part of my plan for the story since the very earliest drafts, for basically the exact reasons that Harry gives. Almost nobody even knows that it exists, and the few that do would never think of it.

Ron and Hermione are made for one another. I just can't read Dramiones for this exact reason. The unavoidable part that explains why Ron and Hermione are no longer together never sounds right to me. So I'm glad you like they way that I've aged them together. It was one of the most important parts of the story, at least to me.

After Esme having a fairly rocky start, I really wanted to add some depth to her character instead of having her just be "the psycho French Auror lady." This chapter was the first installment of that, with the next two continuing to flesh out her character. She is similar to Ginny in many respects, but I hope she comes off as being just different enough to show why Harry chose to make his life with Ginny.

Hermione is obviously very torn as she considers the possibility of Harry building a new life with Esme. She wants what's best for Harry and she also wants to honor Ginny's memory. It's a tricky situation. Similarly, Esme wants to know that it's even possible for Harry to ever love somebody else before she even allows herself to consider the possibility. The whole thing is touch-and-go for everyone involved.

The entire infiltration of the Ministry was a joy to write. I seriously loved every bit of it. Mrs. Zabini is just a terrible human being, and Hermione is able to capture just a bit of that in her interactions with the security witch and with old Cornfoot. And Ron, well, I'm like you. I hate seeing the guy cast as the idiot third wheel of the Trio. There always was much more to him than that.

Thank you so much for all of your time, attention, thoughts and inspiration. I just sent chapter 34 to my beta reader, so hopefully I'll get that into the queue soon.


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Review #10, by Elenia 

6th May 2012:
I couldn't help it, I had to read another chapter. I want to catch up with your story before you get it completed ^^

Okay. The first part. I really liked it. It once again showed us how much thought you've put into everything. The biggest part that I liked about was the characters and their development. Harry for instance was spot on, I think. All the pacing around and frustration fit really well and I really liked his thoughts about visiting Ginny's grave.

Also, the mention about Ginny and Esme's similarities! I liked that you put it here, because back on the chapter where you first introduced us to Esme, I remember myself thinking: 'Ooh, she's feisty, reminds me a bit of Ginny. No wonder Harry was attracted to her.' So it's nice to see I wasn't completely of the track with my ponderings ^^

Also Ron and Hermione's relationship was brilliant! I love all the biggering between them, that's so them.

The flow was interrupted a teeny tiny bit for me when Hermione and Esme stepped into the Pensieve. It was just, it had clearly been from Harry's POV before that and then we suddenly jumped into Hermione's, that threw me off a bit. I felt it needed a clear cut, like you always do when you change POV's. But that really didn't bother me that much, just stopped me for a few seconds.

The part with Lady Tenabra confirmed many things. I did suspect Tennant, but then again, I had many other theories too, so I can't really say I was right d: Tenabra was well in character. Especially that last thought of her gave me the chills.

Haha, loved Ron and Hermione's quest to the MoM. It reminded me so much of the time when they did it in the books, it had the same tension and excitement in it. I kept leaning closer to my laptop screen as I read it through and that's always a good sign ^^

Once again you showed us the dynamics of Ron and Hermione really well, and I enjoyed their little biggering at the beginning. I think that Hermione did really well getting in character of Mrs. Zabini, and I really liked her thoughts about the whole process.

One thing though. The larger dosage of Polyjuice Potion one takes at once, the longer the effects last, so they could've just done that before they even entered the ministry and not take all those extra dosages.

This really has nothing to do with your story, just wanted to mention it if you didn't think about it. Couldn't the Polyjuice potion allow Hermione to walk? I mean, it changes so many other things too. Like in the books when Crouch JR. was disguised as Moody, it made his leg and eye disappear since Moody had lost his. So what I think is that she'd be able to walk, if she had chosen a person who was able to in the first place. I don't know, maybe Mrs. Zabini really was in a wheelchair too, but I just think it would've been a much more practical to have her walking too. And also the whole suspicions thing with the supervisor could've been prevented. Because the wheelchair really was a big giveaway, especially if the New Blood Order were suspecting that they might break into the MoM once again.

But that thought put aside, I think your whole plan was really clever and I like the way you made it all happen. Susan's participation was really unexpected and a nice touch! Loved the fact that she pointed out Mrs. Zabini having a French accent (:

That's all from me this time, take care (:

~E

PS. I really need to read that one-shot of yours!

Author's Response: Hi, there! :-)

I don't think you'll have too much trouble catching up. The chapters just take longer and longer to write at this stage of the game. So many things that are coming together, and I feel almost overwhelmed trying to give every character and every little plot thread their due. But enough about my problems!

I think it would be really hard not to see the similarities between Esme and Ginny. You're exactly right, there's a reason that Harry was and is so attracted to her.

I struggled and struggled with what to do about Hermione and Esme's dip into the penseive. I'm still not completely happy with it. You're right, it really messes up the narrative flow. Someday, I have to fix that.

Tennant's days are numbered, but I'm guessing you're not losing too much sleep over that. ;)

Ron and Hermione's excursion into the Ministry was obviously the most fun part of this chapter to write. I love putting the two of them together in a stressful situation and just watching the fireworks.

Hmmnn... I'll have to read up on polyjuice. I was under the impression that it didn't last past a certain time, no matter how much you took. I thought that was why Barty Crouch, Jr-as-Moody was always taking sips out of his flask. But maybe I'm wrong.

You are absolutely correct about Hermione being able to walk if Mrs. Zabini could. I mostly just chose to go the route of assuming that Mrs. Zabini either couldn't or was not inclined to, for a few reasons. One, it gives the reader a chance to continue to explore different aspects of Hermione's condition. Second, and perhaps most importantly, I have to imagine that giving Hermione a chance to walk around for a couple of hours in the "real" world and then it wears off and she's back in the chair would have some pretty heavy emotional consequences for her. I just didn't feel like going into that in this chapter. So I decided to keep her in the chair.

I love throwing in a pinch of Susan wherever I can. You're almost to the start of three chapters that revolve pretty closely around her. Can't wait to see what you think of them.

As far as my one-shot, I hope you're not too disappointed. It was an idea I had been kicking around for a long time and I felt like taking a break from CoB, so I let it play through. It's not my best work, but I think it's OK.

Thanks so much for all of your awesome reviews! I really appreciate it.


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Review #11, by shadowcat2 

30th April 2012:
My heart was racing really fast as I was read through the whole chapter. I kept on thinking something will go wrong. But they managed. The Zabini idea was brilliant, really. I have all the energy I need to read the next few chapters in a row!

Author's Response: I'm glad you found it clever. I think I would have liked to make their escape even more risky, but at some point I think that it might start to feel overdone and cliched.

Thanks so much for all of your awesome reviews!


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Review #12, by Beeezie 

30th March 2012:
Hey, this is Beeezie, here with your review! :) As you know, I took a bit of time off from the archives, but I'm back now, and hope that you will forgive me for theÖ month wait. Oh dear.

First section (Harry/Hermione)

Hmm. I'm of two minds about this section. I really loved it on the whole, but there are a few parts that I think could use a bit of work.

I'll start with what I liked.

I thought that you did an excellent job of depicting Ron and Hermione's relationship after decades of marriage. There was a little impatience and some of the familiar sniping, but I also felt like they've changed and matured from the Ron and Hermione we saw in the books (I'm thinking in particular of Ron's helping her with the Pensieve here). That's something that I think I've been iffy on in the past, because I don't always feel like you have developed the canon characters enough given the amount of time that's passed since the books, but here, you struck an excellent balance.

I also felt that, in general, you did a great job depicting the interactions between characters. Harry's thinking that it's not worth it to get in the middle of Ron and Hermione's spats, or Hermione talking about Harry when she's in the memory with Esme - those were brilliant, and really helped to make the story seem real to me. Similarly, the way Harry thought about Ginny and his worry about visiting her grave in the future came across as quite genuine and raw to me.

Additionally, what you did with the memory, including the fact that you had Hermione enter the Pensieve with Esme rather than Harry, was really interesting. I mean, realistically, it didn't contain much that, as a reader, I couldn't have already guessed, but even so, it was nice to see it spelled out, and I can already see that the conclusions they drew from it will help advance the plot. Yay!

However, like I said, I do think that there are a few things that could be improved upon. At the top of that list is Esme.

She isn't badly done, but I didn't really feel like she was as strong as I think you're capable of making her, either. In particular, the part where she opened up to Hermione felt a little odd - from what we've seen of Esme thus far, I just didn't really believe that she'd open up that much to Harry's best friend. I also felt like a lot of the conversation was just taking up space rather than adding real substance - if you want the conversation to be there, I think that you could have cut it back considerably. Similarly, the way Harry mused about Esme was good in that it clarified a few things for me, but at the same time, it sometimes felt a little forced. I just didn't feel like Esme was as well-integrated as she could have been.

I also felt like the transition from Harry's point of view to Hermione's and back again was a little choppy and awkward. It would be worse if you were using first person, but even with third person, it feels a little awkward, especially since you typically use a section break to show when you're changing perspective where here, you do it mid-scene. I'm not really sure what the solution is, but I do think that it would be a good idea to look that over.

Beyond that, this was a good section, but I did feel like that issue weakened the section a bit as a whole.


Second section (Tenabra)

This section, on the other hand, was tidy and well-put together. I have no criticism about it. You included exactly what you needed to. It confirmed some of my suspicions about Tennant and, again, while I could have guessed most of what was revealed and there was nothing earth shattering in it, it still helped to really clarify where people stand. Nice job.


Third section (Hermione)

There are two things that I really like about this section: first, that you revealed some new and interesting information along with some of the things that I'd already suspected in the previous two sections, and second, that you really took advantage of the scene to get creative. The depth with which you have developed this world is definitely one of your strongest assets. This was a great opportunity to show it off, and you didn't disappoint.

I liked pretty much everything about this section. The Zabinis were a very nice disguise, and I really liked what you did with them. In particular, Hermione's attempts to think how she thought Mrs. Zabini would were both well done and quite funny at times - her telling the witch that she needed to get started making babies was absolutely classic.

I also found the fact that the prosecutor seemed to resent being dragged into the entire situation to be a nice twist, as was the implication that many other people found the charges to be ridiculous as well. I'm interested to see where it leads in terms of the trio clearing their names, as well as what they find in that file.

The only issue I had with this section is that I wasn't really sure how this qualified as crazy, which seemed to be the implication at the end of the first section. Creative, sure, but not crazy - they used a disguise and got in. After years of being an Auror, I don't see how this stood out from plenty of other things that Harry and Ron probably did.

Other than that very minor issue, this section was quite strong. I thought you did an excellent job introducing some new information that you'll be able to build on later, and the scene - despite being quite long - held my attention throughout quite easily. You really varied the descriptions and summarised in all the right parts; this could have easily ended up dragging, and it didn't. Excellent job.


On the whole, this was another good chapter. I definitely think that the first section is the weakest and could use a bit of work, but on the whole, this is quite solid, and I greatly enjoyed it.

As always, please feel free to rerequest. :)

Author's Response: Hey, it's you again!

Thanks for the feedback on the first section. That one went through a lot of revision between the first draft and the final one, and honestly I'm still not perfectly happy with it. I'm glad that Ron and Hermione aged well for you. That was actually one of the easier parts to come up with. For Esme, what I was trying to do was have her ask Hermione for advice in a very earnest way. She's experiencing a lot of conflicting feelings about Harry, and having a difficult time sorting them all out. Her paramount concern is not pursuing a relationship with him if that relationship is doomed from the start because he'll never be able to get over Ginny. It just never came out quite like I wanted it to.

The short dialog between Tenabra and Tennant is mostly factual, as you say, but it will be important a bit later in the story to identify the mole inside the castle. Stay tuned...

Ron and Hermione's incursion at the Ministry was far and away the most fun part of this chapter to write. I just sort of let my imagination wander and tried to put them in the role of pretending to be Blaise and Mrs. Zabini. Hermione was so uncomfortable trying to act like the arrogant, pure blood matriarch that it wasn't any sort of stretch to write her as snippy and unpleasant. Her advice to the overwhelmed Ministerial Security witch was one of my favorite things I've written in ages.

"Crazy", I guess, is just a matter of whose eyes you're looking through. Put yourself in Hermione's shoes for a moment. She's 65 years old, in a wheelchair and wanted for murder. Invading the Ministry must have seemed quite risky, no matter how good their disguise was.

Thanks so much for another long, detailed and thoughtful review. I'll definitely be back to re-request soon.


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Review #13, by Ashling586 

9th March 2012:
I really enjoyed this chapter. I am somewhat mad at myself that it has taken me so long to read and review this chapter, but sometimes we just can't help life. I really liked how the ministry mission was Ron's idea. I will admit that I have gotten so use to Hermione being the one to come up with most of the plans, with Harry coming in second to the plan making, but I really liked that this was Ron's idea. I especially liked the disguises that you used. When the guy came up to Hermione whispering about their affair I couldn't help but laugh. You really have a knack at being able to balance the seriousness of the story with a touch of humor.
I was sure that the two of them were going to get caught when the guard stopped them and then the message came through. At first I figured that Ron had arranged it somehow on his way back from the lawyers office, but obviously that wasn't the case since he asked Hermione if she did it. The fact that it was Susan was prefect. Susan is very quickly becoming my absolute favorite character in this story.
Great Job and Congrads on winning Gryffindor story of the month.

Author's Response: Hello, again.

Life has a horrible tendency to get in the way of our fan fiction enjoyment. At least it does for me. But better late than never!

Ron is a clever guy, in my opinion. He tends to be overly deferential to his wife and best friend, but he's got some really good ideas. There was a reason I kept water-dropping Zabini's name earlier in the story and this scene was it. And the old guy trying to mash on Hermione-as-Mrs-Zabini... well, that's the funny kind of yuck.

I'm really glad you like Susan. She had really become my favorite supporting character in the entire story. She's such a strong, well-balanced individual.

Thanks for the congratulations and thank you so much for nominating me. Lastly, thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #14, by ginerva_molly_weasley 

5th March 2012:
I love this chapter!

This is the best one of them all with the vast amount of information you have revealed within it!

I love how you got Hermione to go with Esme into the memory. It made the most sense but also gave them the opportunity bond a little as Hermione saw Esme's pure talent but Esme also saw how fabulous Hermione was with noticing little things such as Lady Tenabra's reflection in the taps (I think thats what a faucet is).

Lady Tenabra is becoming a much more interesting character. I'm intrigued as to how she gets how much information about the ministry. She obviously has moles but it's hard to see how she is going to take the ministry over at the moment even though I know it's coming! I like the idea of her using someone who is motivated for their greed as I really don;t feel sorry for him and his impending death. The charms around Hogwarts are interesting because I know that sensitive conversations could be taking place around there and as they've infiltrated Hogwarts it shows just how much power the New Blood Order have!

I love how they actually got into the ministry with a completely believable cover story! I would have never of thought of that and it is a very good idea! The whole idea about using hairs from old pureblood families meant they would have been less under suspicion and their infiltration was actually made believable. I love how Susan also helps them get out!

Another very well written chapter!

Author's Response: Hello, again!

I'm glad you enjoyed this chapter so much. It was one of my favorite ones to write so far. I really enjoy the ones with lots of action and lots of memory magic. The next several are heavy on both.

Hermione and Esme definitely found some common ground in this one. I wouldn't go so far as to call them friends yet, but they have a level of respect for one another. And, yes, faucet = tap. I thought I had changed all of those. My beta reader keeps me on the straight and narrow about such things.

Lady Tenabra has tentacles all over the place. She's slippery. And I wouldn't expect you to feel overly sorry for Tennant. He has chosen poorly...

I had a lot of fun writing Ron and Hermione's little incursion. All the small details were very amusing to me. They work really well together.

Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #15, by Remus 

25th February 2012:
Guess who's back! :D Just so you know, before I start reading, I recommended this to a co-worker of mine and loves your story.

Despite Harry being over 50 he's still clueless with women, isn't he? Glad to see that he hasn't changed with that considering I like that trait on him. Hahaha!

I absolutely like the whole idea about memories and pensives you have developed in your story. Memories are very frail and easily manipulated in real life, so you adding that fact to memories 'preserved' in the wizarding world you get memories more corrupt that Slughorn's own when he was talking to Riddle.

To be honest, I kinda don't want Hermione to walk again. Sort of a non-happy ending there...but it seems fitting in a way. Lose something to gain something? I liked the whole Esme/Hermione conversation and understand Hermione's feelings about seeing Harry with a woman that is not Ginny since I felt the same way! I'm kinda rooting for Harry though, but going back to your very first chapter...I have no idea how this is going to end.

Lady Tenebra.I like her evilness! Tennant, was definitely someone I did not see as the spy! It just took me by surprise. In the part "ďListen, lass,Ē Tennant snapped back, ďIt isnae so easy as ye make it sound" You missed a period after back. You have written her with such a calculating personality that I have yet to see a plot hole you might've missed.

Question though, wouldn't the Ministry be on the lookout for someone of a wheerlchair? Despite the fact that Ron and Hermione are using the Polyjuice potion, wouldn't the ministry think ahead that they would do that? Specially Tenabra who is behind all of this. Also, Mrs. Zabini can walk so wouldn't Hermione be able to do that as well since she's pretending to be Mrs. Zabini?

Hermione telling the girl to go make babies was so unHermione and I loved it!

And...what I just asked about the Ministry being prepared was just answered! Man, you think of everything! I'm glad!

Susan comes again to the rescue...I'm starting to like her more and more.

Author's Response: Hello, again!

Yes, Harry is still quite clueless about women. If you think he sounds that way in this chapter, just wait for the next one...

I am having too much fun with the memory magic. The next chapter has a huge amount of memory magic in it. I really think you're going to love it.

Well, I can't tell you for sure whether Hermione is going to walk again. I honestly have not made up my mind, and it's not critical to the ultimate outcome of the story. There's a big part of me that wants her to, just because it's the happy way to end things, but it also feels a little cliche. If she does, I'll have to come up with a seriously cool way to make it happen.

Thanks for catching the typo in Rory's dialog. He's a little weasel, but like everyone else, he's just being manipulated by Tenabra. She is very, very evil.

And I'm glad you came full circle on the wheelchair. I think you're probably right about how polyjuicing herself as Mrs. Zabini would affect her, but Mrs. Zabini is also very old, and I figured I would get grief from somebody whichever way I wrote it, so I kept her in the chair.

Susan is hands-down my favorite supporting character in the whole story. Chapter 23 is really all about her. I hope you like it.

Thanks so much for all your amazing reviews! You make the whole process of writing this so much more fun!


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Review #16, by rjorrin88 

1st February 2012:
this story is great! i think ive figured out who tenebra is and all i have to say brilliant writing

Author's Response: Thanks so much! I've seen a lot of interesting theories in reader reviews as to who Tenabra really is. It makes me feel like I'm doing a pretty good job of developing her character. We shall see..

Thank you for reading and reviewing!


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Review #17, by MoonLily_ 

31st January 2012:
I love this story (I realise it's not nice of only reviewing one chapter but I couldn't stop reading), I love the way you wrote it and how everything just fits and give enough answers while leaving mystery also. It's amazing, beautiful and has brought me to tears. If there is one story that every Potterhead should read, it is this one. Brava!
Now I'm going to stop gushing and not so patiently wait for the next update. Can't wait!

Author's Response: Hello, there.

Thank you so much for the kind words. It really makes my day every time a reader emerges from the shadows to leave a review, so please don't worry about the earlier chapters. That said, if you like it, please feel free to keep reviewing. ;-)

I have the next chapter pretty much done at this point. I'm only wrangling over two small choices, plus I need a good title. Overall, I think the updates aren't going to come quite as quickly from here on out because every chapter has so many important things happening and I am really trying to write at least a couple of chapters ahead so I have time to fix any glaring screw-ups.

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!


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Review #18, by Ani_gryffindor 

29th January 2012:
too good make it fast

Author's Response: At this point, I'm going as fast as the queue will allow.

Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #19, by dirtydeedsdonedirtcheap 

28th January 2012:
Pure genius. But first I have to say: a one-shot?! How exciting! I can't wait to read it. In fact I will be checking your author page in the coming days to see if it's up.

Now, let's talk about this chapter.

I don't even know where to begin. I'm seriously doubting myself about who Lady T is. I can't even make any hints. I feel like it would be Arabella, it could be here but then wouldn't it be interesting if it was Esme? I mean, it takes a lot of power to be able to weave through the memories like that but then she's French and sure she could do something to mask her voice but I don't think she would do that to Harry and she doesn't seem to know too much about what's going on. For a fleeting moment I thought what if it was the Zabini's? Because we haven't actually seen Blaise and you mentioned him so long ago but that doesn't seem right either. I suppose I won't know until you tell us. Besides, who says Lady T is actually a woman?

Yeah, I'm clearly on the wrong track.

I don't remember Hermione seeing anything in a faucet. No images of a person or whatever. Did you mention that in a past chapter and if you did do you think you could direct me to which one? Because I really don't remember. I may have to read the entire story over again if I can find the time.

I thought it was interesting and clever and suspicious that Harry had Ron and Hermione turn into Blaise and Mrs. Zabini. He clearly thought about this ahead of time. I mean, I get Harry's paranoid and he knew something was going to happen but I have to wonder what is his explanation for using them? Because Ron's seems to be a concrete answer but you keep throwing curve balls at me so I'm second guessing everything.

Hermione's attitude as Mrs. Zabini was brilliant by the way. It was so snarky that it actually made me laugh a little bit. Oh, the line with Susan was perfect! You really know when to add a bit of humor to the story. Honestly I wish you were J.K. Rowling in disguise just so I could go buy this in book form and then eagerly wait for a new Harry Potter movie because this is wonderful.

Author's Response: Hello, again.

Yes, my one-shot will hopefully validate tomorrow. I have to say that I'm very excited about it. It's an idea I've had for a long time, and I've been writing it in bits and pieces for several months now. Can't wait to see what you think.

I really enjoy your ruminations on the true identity of Lady Tenabra. They are entertaining and invaluable. They really help me to gauge how much information I'm parceling out. Every person you named is a possibility. I'll give you this much. She is actually a woman.

Hermione sees the blond witch's reflection in the faucet near the end of Chapter 16, when they're first viewing Percy's memory. You're the second reviewer who's asked, so I just went back and checked for myself. Whew...

I thoroughly enjoyed writing Hermione-as-Mrs-Zabini. I think I really have a thing for writing bitchy, unpleasant characters. Maybe it says something.

And lastly, I'll make you a deal. If I'm actually JK Rowling in disguise, I'll buy you a house. Just don't get in any rush to book movers, OK? ;-)


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Review #20, by CloakAuror9 

27th January 2012:
Hello there!

Again, an apology for taking quiet some time to review. I'm not going to lie, I could've done my reviews a few days back but I just didn't feel like it. Really sorry.

Great chapter, as always. I just favourite-d it but I thought I did that ages ago...Oopsies. The story just gets more and more intense with each chapter. I don't even know what will happen next! So, feel free to surprise me.

And ta! Lady Tenabra makes an appearance. She's pure evil,I can tell, but I love her character. I like the way she isn't so 'out there', if you will, like Voldemort was. Hm. There are even times when I kind of think her motives are different from the ones the story is giving me. So, things are exciting when it come to her.

Hermione and Ron is the best couple ever. I really like the way Ron is still so affectionate to her! Ah, sweet sweet Ron. Harry and Esme...what is going on with the two?! I won't mind if you put them up as a couple but then there's Ginny. Harry doesn't seem to be getting over her death any soon. Hm...

Overall, you have got a teenager and a teenager's mum as a big fan of your story. Good luck with your one-shot! I know people will just love it!

Ta-ta for now,
CloakAuror9 xx

Author's Response: Seriously, stop apologizing! I appreciate all of your reviews and the timing doesn't bother me at all. Whenever you're able to get to it is fine with me.

The pace and the intensity will hopefully continue to build from here on out. There are a great many things that need to happen between now and the end and I'm trying to cut back on the amount of fluffy stuff. Nearly all of the narrative is in place. So it's go, go, go from now on.

Lady Tenabra just has her fingers everywhere, doesn't she? She's a wicked, wicked witch, but I'm glad that she comes off to you as very deliberate. And her motives are still very questionable at this point. She's playing at something, and soon we'll know.

I do enjoy writing Ron and Hermione, and the thing that sucks the most about this story is I can't write the same sorts of things for Harry and Ginny. I'm going to have to do some one-shots and short stories after this to "cleanse" myself. Not sure whether I have another novel in me, though.

I'm so pleased that you're still enjoying the story. Thanks so much for all your wonderful reviews!


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Review #21, by Professor D 

26th January 2012:
I like how you've been dropping hints on the "real" identity of Lady Tenabra. I THINK I've figured it. Look forward to confirming this in your upcoming chapters. ;) Great job.

Author's Response: Yes, I've been trying to seed some ideas along the way. We shall see...

I'm glad you're enjoying the story. Thanks so much for reviewing!


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Review #22, by fanfic1484 

26th January 2012:
I am absolutely in love with this story

Author's Response: Hi, there.

I saw you add my story to your favorites some time ago, so I was hoping you might do a review some day. I'm really glad you enjoy it.

Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #23, by Roots in Water 

25th January 2012:
It's Roots in Water here with your review!

As always, another great chapter that I really enjoyed reading! I loved Susan's line, "For Future reference, Mrs. Zabini has a mild French accent"- it was such a sassy comment! They are so lucky that Susan happened to realize that they needed help and that she had Polyjuice potion as well as Blaise's hair on hand. That's truly quite the coincidence, I must say.

I was very worried when the supervisor stopped them on their way out- I couldn't think of anything they could do that wouldn't further cast them in suspicion or land them in trouble. Hermione is pretty conspicuous in a wheelchair and it would have been more unbelievable (though less likely to cause a heart attack) if they had made it out without questioning.

Though I found it a little weird that they were just now trying to repair the Ministry's slander of their name but I guess that you did a good job of explaining it by saying that Blaise was in a self-imposed exile from Britain. I can only imagine what will happen if Mrs. Zabini somehow receives word that she was at the Ministry when she knows better... However I really enjoyed Hermione's comments as Mrs. Zabini. The lines about "making babies" and her comments about reporting the supervisor to his superiors (which reminded me of a scene from a movie, Gattaca, where one of the characters demands a worker's number- funnier than it sounds), among others, were very amusing. Hermione's acting skills certainly have improved since Bellatrix!

I love the way you're moving this story along. Things certainly are becoming a lot more intense! Your characters are becoming real (if they aren't already) and I enjoy your dialogue. As well, I think that you're doing a great job of writing Esme's turmoil- on one hand, she was attracted to Harry before, on the other, he's still suffering from Ginny's death. Things are very delicate between the two of them and I hope it doesn't turn ugly.

As well, though it may just be a problem with my memory, Esme remarked in the beginning of this chapter that Hermione had found a "reflection in the faucet"- I don't remember that happening and I couldn't find any other mention of the reflection in this chapter. When did that happen?

All in all, I really enjoyed reading this chapter and I'm glad that you re-requested. I hope that my comments are helpful and that you don't wait too long to post the next chapter!

Author's Response: Hello, again!

If you don't mind, I think I'll take your review in reverse order. So first off, your comments are always helpful. Just the way that you go through the chapters and explain how the story sounds from your point of view is very helpful. I read every chapter probably a dozen times through before they get posted, so I'm too close to really know how things are going to sound to readers. I really appreciate your perspective.

The wait for the next chapter will be a bit longer than usual because -- drum roll please -- I've written a one-shot that's currently taking up my one allowable slot in the validation queue. It's called The Price of Redemption, it's rated 15+, and hopefully (fingers crossed) it should be up by Monday.

Your memory isn't faulty, it's just that Hermione saw the mysterious, blond witch's reflection in the faucet several chapters ago. It happens in Remembrance of Things Past, the first time that Harry, Ron and Hermione view Percy's memory. I guess this is one of the drawbacks of writing 5,000 to 8,000 word chapters.

Esme's mixed feelings for Harry and Harry's difficulties in coping with Ginny's death will play out over the remainder of the story. Will Esme and Harry get together at any point? It's difficult to say. They both have a lot of issues to overcome. I can hear the hardcore Ginny/Harry shippers screaming "NO!" as they read this.

If Mrs. Zabini finds out about Ron and Hermione's little undercover visit, well, they'll be long gone, so it doesn't really matter. She'll just be grumpy and unpleasant, which isn't a big change.

And then there's Susan. Hands down, she's my favorite "supporting" character in the story. Strong, clever, resourceful, patient, just a bit of a wise-acre... she's just a joy to write. I'm glad you like her.

As always, thank you so much for your terrific reviews!


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