18 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Veritaserum27 

24th January 2016:
Dan, Dan, Dan...

You're kind of evil for the way you started this chapter off. The last one ended with Susan on the verge of death after the showdown at the Ministry. She Albus and Hugo were fighting their way out of a sticky situation and it was just as intense as the scene you describe with Harry at the opening of this chapter.

Except he's playing Exploding Snap.

I actually found it extremely adorable that he and Ron can still get up to such antics as they did when they were twelve. And it's just so Hermione-like to put a stop to it. I also find it adorable that Ron and Hermione still have the gumption to get up to whatever they were getting up to the minute Harry and Esme left the country - heh heh.

Itís a very intricate spell, but fortunately itís also very robust. She spent a lot of time on this. Iíd say she really cared about keeping in touch with her sister.

I feel like I should hold on to this sentiment. Something smells important here...

I'm intrigued that the group now have a supply of portkeys, polyjuice potion and some other good things. This is so much different from when they were hunting horcruxes and had to search around for the most basic necessities.

You have an amazing talent for writing such a complicated plot, yet keeping it all straight and understandable for your readers. There are a LOT of Potters and Weasleys, but the group manages to come up with a plan for them in a few moments time - and the Delacours makes perfect sense. I'm breathing a sigh of relief that they will be safe there.

So I gotta admit - I'm more than a little nervous for Al and Hugo to gather all the family and get to the Delacours. They don't seem to be the best at thinking on their feet in a sticky situation. I'm sure it's mostly because they simply haven't had to do it nearly as much as their parents did, but all the same - they have a LOT of people to account for and get to safety - especially considering they aren't 100% certain where everyone is. But Harry and Ron didn't have much of a choice. They can't have Hermione do it in her current state, Esme doesn't know them very well, so she would probably be more of a hindrance, and Harry and Ron must get Susan immediate medical attention. My nerves are really humming on this all playing out well (I'm not going to even try to pretend it's going to play out according to plan - this is Harry and Ron we're talking about - and their offspring).

Ah! The house elf ward at St. Mungo's! How clever. Although I don't rightly blame the elves for being so standoffish. They can't start accepting every Tom, Dick, and Susan that waltzes in and asks for medical attention - it could end up being an underground (but yet above the heads of the wizards) medical treatment facility for anyone who wanted to stay "off the grid." All the same - I'm glad they finally agreed to treat her.

Dennis Northway is a really lovable character. I don't know why, but I've grown quite fond of him.

Fortunately for Oliver, he had his family to fall back on and fortunately for Dennis, Oliver and Artie had sort of pulled him along with them. -That's just the Potter way.

And then we have our suspected Professor Tennant doing exactly what we suspected him of doing. And poorly. Even the Hogwarts students are noticing his behavior.

Poor Dennis - he's stuck between a rock and a hard place, at the moment.

As they walked, Artie peered around to make sure that nobody was listening and whispered, ďWeíre going to start dueling lessons again, in secret. Weíre working on finding a good place to practice. -Hey! I might know of a cool place for that sort of thing!

I really love how you've got little parallels here and there to the books. For example, the inept Dark Arts Professor, the kids practicing dueling in secret, and Rowle with his two, enormous cronies for backup. I really appreciate those little details.

But here's something different! They are planning on going to Professor Longbottom to tell him about Tennant's bizarre behavior. This is a stark contrast to the books, when Harry, Ron and Hermione usually took it upon themselves to solve the problem instead of asking a teacher.

I loved the end of this and how it all tied together! Haha - I love that Neville has struck a proper balance between casting his authority and being approachable to the students. He has Dumbledore's "piercing stare" (I think all teachers need that one from time to time :) ), but he also remembers the contributions students can make to the fight against evil.

I hope the Grey Lady doesn't scare them off. And I'm so excited to see the Room of Requirement again. I think J.K. hinted that the Fiendfyre might've destroyed it beyond use in the last book, but it's never been something that I could reconcile in my head. That room is just too cool for it to not be around!

Great chapter - I didn't catch any typos! :D

♥ Beth

Author's Response: Hi, Beth! I guess I can't just keep staring at this amazing review and smiling at it forever...

A little misdirection makes a story more fun, don't you think? :p It's boring to ease readers into the exact scene they are expecting without adding some uncertainty about what's taking place and where. Or, yeah, I might just be kind of evil.

Katerina Porcher did love her sister a great deal and went to great lengths to make sure that they didn't lose touch. So you're right, it's interesting that it happened so abruptly.

There are a mountain of Potters and Weasleys in this story, so it did become a challenge to keep them all straight and remember what they were doing at any point in time.

Al and Hugo are in way, way, way over their heads. Nothing in their lives could have prepared them for what they're about to face. In some respects it's similar to how the Trio was sent out into the cold, hostile world to hunt horcruxes, but this generation doesn't have the benefit of a Hermione to puzzle out all of the tough situations or a Harry who throws caution to the wind and acts on instinct. You'll see the consequences of this fact very soon.

Yes, the House Elf Ward. I first saw this in another fic (Learning to Live Again? I'm embarrassed to admit I don't exactly remember) and I fell in love with the idea. It is a very uncomfortable situation for all involved.

I've said since Dennis first appeared to keep an eye on him. Dennis is not only a character, he's also a metaphor for a magical world that's become complacent and naive. A big part of the plot is how Dennis gradually realizes the true dangers that surround him.

Yes, the Potter/Weasley kids do have that one advantage over their parents. They have actually been taught to trust and confide in the authority figures in their lives. How much trouble could have been saved if only Harry had done the same...

I do love writing "Neville the Headmaster". It's such a contrast to how he behaves when he's in the company of his own contemporaries. There's actually a lot of that in this story and it made the writing that much more fun.

I chose to believe that Fiendfyre destroyed "the Room of Hidden Things", but that was only one facet of the Room of Requirement. It works for me. :)

Thanks so much for all of the support and attention to detail!


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Review #2, by GingeredTea 

28th June 2015:
Hey, sorry for the delay. I had to remind myself where I was, and then the kid decided not to make bedtime easy. ;-)

As always I immensely enjoyed your opening - it was deceptive, to say the least. Actually - it was what made me think I had missed something somewhere, because I thought Harry was in a duel. LOL

I digress, though!

You know that story you're working on? The connection between Katrina and Esme would be a really interesting topic to explore! "There was something very intense about the way she was approaching their investigation, something personal."

We go from a card game to all-out panic. Yikes! I'm on the edge of my seat! That was a tense moment. The idea of a statis charm being used on a body was brilliant but also kinda creepy...

The idea of an elf hospital would have made me laugh under different circumstances! You wrote that whole scene very well, managing the two elves and Harry's personalities perfectly!

Ahh, looks like Tenant has been caught! Dennis sounds so much like Harry as he's telling Artie an Celeste about Tenant. Neville played the part of Headmaster ever-so-well.

Awesome chapter!

Author's Response: Hi, Tori!

I'm glad you enjoyed my little feint at the start of the story. Always have to keep readers on their toes. ;)

Ugh. See, here's the thing with Katerina and Esme. There was definitely a complicated mentor/mentee relationship between the two of them. Katerina had a bit of Anakin Skywalker in her: a prodigal child with a lot of issues. The problem is that it all happened in the past, so it isn't a good fit for Blood Stains. I've also thought of a short story collection set before CoB that could address some stories, like this one and the full back story of Lady Tenabra. So much to write, so little time...

Stasis charm seemed to me like one of those natural extensions of a non-magical concept into the magical world. You're right, though, it is a bit creepy.

I can't claim 100% ownership of the elf hospital. I borrowed that idea from either Winters After the War or from Learning to Live Again. Isn't it horrible that I can't remember which? I should really re-read those.

Dennis is onto Tenant, but there's still a lot to be done on that front. Stay tuned...

Thanks so much for the swap!

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Review #3, by Pete W 

19th December 2013:
"Your sainted grandfather isn't around to protect you anymore." One of my favorite lines in this story. You know the pure blood nuts would feel that way about Harry and his family. Great stuff. As I always say the best ever!

Author's Response: I'm sure the Potters weren't on the Rowle family's Christmas card list. Speaking of which, Happy Holidays! Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!

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Review #4, by Courtney Dark 

10th December 2013:
Hey there!

Agh, I just love this story so much! I absolutely love the fact that you have managed to include so many different characters - it makes it so exciting to read, wondering whose point of view I'm going to be reading from next!

I loved the section from Harry's point of view! The duel with Ron was great! It reminded me of those moments in the HP books when they sword fight with fake wands at the back of the class - it's nice to see that, even many years later, some things haven't changed!

Hehe, again I loved Hugo's character in this chapter! He seems - well, dimwit isn't quite the word, because he isn't, but he's so out of his depth that it's amusing!

I loved the Elf Hospital! What a great idea - I've never read anything else like that before. And i enjoyed Harry's conversation with both the elf Healer and Hermys.

Poor Dennis - it would suck being stuck in a house with people like Rowle! And I wonder what Neville - sorry, Professor Longbottom - thought of his accusations against Tennant.

Awesome chapter!


Author's Response: Hello, again! So nice to see you back!

I really, really love changing up the point of view in each scene. I read once that an author should always choose the character who knows the least or has the most to lose as the narrative voice for a scene. I try to stick with that.

I thought the exploding snap game between Ron and Harry was a good way to start off a relatively "heavy" chapter on a lighter note. It also helped to keep them more in character, I thought.

Hugo isn't exactly dimwitted, he's just so far out of his depth that he really has no idea where to begin. And his wife isn't making things any easier.

I've read a couple of stories where the author posited an elf hospital somewhere in the magical world and I really loved the idea. It was a good way to deal with Susan's injuries and it gave a chance to show that sensitive side of Harry that people tend to rally around.

I hope you'll like Dennis's character as the story continues to unfold. He's meant to be a sort of metaphor for a wizarding world that's gradually waking up from decades of complacency and naivete and realizing that there are still dangers to be confronted.

I'm really pleased that you liked it! Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #5, by APerkins 

24th October 2013:
Im a little disappointed you didn't turn hermys evil. A few chapters ago he was all 'master will take all his potions won't he" - perfect for slipping a bewilderment brew or a sanity slurp, but now now he's all dobby.
I kinda like the bitter free elf and the elf Ward. Well portrayed.

Author's Response: There's nothing evil about Hermys, I'm afraid. He's a good elf.

The elf healer was fun to create. I tried to imagine Dobby, only more jaded by being rejected by so many of her own kind.

Thanks for the great reviews!

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Review #6, by TheHeirOfSlytherin 

8th February 2013:
Gah! Tennant is seen by someone and it just has to be by someone people are less likely to believe. I hope at least some of Neville's anxiousness was because he knows the spy is casting enchantments in the school and will soon realize Dennis was onto something, though I understand his concern for Susan (he is going to see Susan, yes?). I hope she'll be okay.

Oh, Rowle sounds like such as bad word. He's very bad, I hope he'll get what's coming to him (by that, I mean the satisfaction of watching the family's face when Harry saves the world :P).

Great chapter!


Author's Response: Neville probably realizes more than he lets on in this scene. As Headmaster, he can't exactly say something that would encourage students to spy on a teacher, especially in such dangerous times. Also, he's in a hurry. You'll find out why in the next chapter.

The entire Rowle family are a nasty lot. But I think you'll be pleased with how things end up for them. ;)

You are moving through the story at warp speed! Thanks for all of your lovely reviews!

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Review #7, by academica 

14th September 2012:
Hey Dan! I'm back again with your requested review!

I thought your intro to this chapter was great. At first, I was like, "How long have I been away from this story? Did I seriously forget leaving in the middle of a huge battle sequence?" But as soon as I realized that it was a game, I laughed a little :)

The beginning of this chapter seemed a little chaotic, but I think it makes sense for the trio to respond to the messages from Susan and Hugo as they did. I think it wouldn't have hurt to include Hugo's message in here, just to really nail down that sense of hopelessness and fear. I also liked the way they put together a plan to save the kids.

It was nice to get a little deeper into the state of house elves in this time. It was interesting to meet an elf who is openly distrustful of wizards; it totally makes sense, but it seems so brazen, even for a free elf like Dobby or Riminy. However, it was touching to see Harry's previously gentle treatment of elves pay off for him and help Susan out here. I also liked the exchange between him and Hermys. I can see qualities in that scene that remind me of why Harry was so powerful in the second wizarding war, in terms of his ability to draw people into rallying around him. He's a symbol of hope, and I think he would be good at actively getting people to be on his side and help him in his current cause.

I liked how you switched to the students' perspective in the second part of the chapter, so that we get a sense of how things are from inside Hogwarts during uncertain times like this (something I was always curious about in the first half of the seventh book). Dennis reminded me a little bit of Cormac McLaggen at first, perhaps because of that touch of arrogance. However, I still found him likeable, and I felt bad that Rowle was picking on him during Potions because of his blood status. (Seriously, insinuating that half-bloods are naturally bad at potions? Rowle, have you read the canon story?) Anyway, I thought it was neat that a student was the one to plant that first seed regarding Professor Tennant. I also liked Neville's reaction. He had an interesting hint of Dumbledore without seeming like a carbon copy.

Another great chapter! I hope this is helpful :)


Author's Response: Hello, again! It's always a pleasure.

The idea for the spontaneous Exploding Snap game popped into my head kind of late in the process of writing this chapter, and I thought it was a neat way to break up the tension just a bit before we launch back into the big rescue sequence. It also gave a smoother entree to explaining what Hermione and Esme have been working on.

The beginning is definitely chaotic by design. Ron, Harry and Hermione are rushing around a bit madly, trying to figure out where all of their children are located and how best to get them to safety. I could definitely see where it would add something to "replay" Hugo's message the same way I did Susan's. Part of the difficulty in writing something like this is that I'm never quite sure how much time will pass between readers reading each chapter. So how much continuity I need to provide is always a question.

It seems like House Elves are still in an uneasy position, even this far into the future. There is plenty of disagreement among the elves, themselves, as to what their proper role should be. And the pureblood extremists certainly have their own opinion which, given the Minister's sudden shift in political philosophy, would obviously be a big concern to the free elves.

That said, I think the elves in general and the free elves in particular would know who Harry is and what he's done for them over the years, either directly or indirectly by lending his gravitas to Hermione's work. At any rate, I'm glad you liked that scene. Not many reviewers have commented on it.

The story hasn't touched on Hogwarts very often of late, but it is about to become much more of a focus. As I've said in a bunch of review responses, Dennis is symbolic in a way of a wizarding world that is gradually waking up to the realization that everything is not as peaceful and wonderful as it seems. Watch him closely. Interesting things will happen wherever he goes.

Thank you so much for yet another interesting, thought-provoking review. You find these interesting little angles that really make me stop and think about some of the little decisions I've made and how the affect the broader story!

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Review #8, by Pixileanin 

12th June 2012:
Elf ward - interesting idea. The free elves who work there obviously harbor some residual bitterness. The different attitudes between the free and non-free elves are also interesting. It's fabulous how you managed to insert that bit of social commentary into your story.

The first paragraph in Dennis' scene reminded me of something I always have to tell myself when writing: always follow the action. Your description of Dennis scraping himself up and berating himself for his arrogance was perfect and pulled me right into the scene. I'm not sure why it hit me there. You set scenes so well, and do it consistently, seemingly without effort. Maybe it's because I've been having a bit of trouble with this issue lately... it's nice to be reminded what a scene opener is supposed to look like. :)

Muggle Studies is suspended?? Ack! This gets worse and worse. Ahh, a witness to what Tennant is up to! I hope Dennis finds the right person to tell. *bites fingernails with worry* And Rowle's progeny is downright unbearable alright.

More developments... more complications... more story!

Author's Response: I wish I could take 100% credit for the elf ward idea, but I can't. I've seen it in a couple of other fics that I liked. It does make perfect sense, however. Elves get sick and injured like any creatures. I thought putting it in the attic of St. Mungo's also fit nicely with the larger symbiotic relationship between wizards and elves.

I'm glad it looks effortless, because believe me, it really isn't. ;) I usually do more editing and messing around with descriptions like that than I do with the action and dialog of a scene. But painting a good picture in the reader's mind is important. You need that connection.

Lots of bad things are coming out of the Ministry as the Minister continues to court the purebloods.

This story is nothing if not complicated. Believe me, it's not easy to keep track of everything as I write. But it's fun.

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!

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Review #9, by Jchrissy 

6th June 2012:
I accidentally read ahead without reviewing last night, I was on my phone. Only a chapter ahead ;). Until I realized I was either going to have dreams about lady T or Lily, neither seemed like good options.

I love that Harry picked up on the sexual chemistry, and that heís already mentally noting what to do for next time ;).
I am trying to figure out if I have Katerina pegged as lady T, or if you are trying to make me think that and trick me. Hmmm. Regardless, Esmeís desire to help, mixed with her feelings of guilt/sorry, really give us another glimpse at the kind of person she is.

I really like that you back tracked a bit and showed us what was going on with they received the warnings.

The entire scene of dialogue and action mixes perfectly. I love Hermys, he is the sweetest little thing ever. I just want to squeeze him. Iím also very excited that you introduced us to another part of the wizarding world (unless Iím going crazy and a separate hospital for the house elves has already been identified), anyway, it is something that makes complete sense.

The story of Dobby has also made its way through the house elf community, itís great! I also liked the addition of Kreacherís memory.

Riminy is frustrating in this, but itís easy to understand her concerns. They have never had a reason to help a wizard, nor risk what little they have by doing so. Again, it just goes to show us that Hermione had something going with SPEW ;)!

I like Artie, you can tell a lot of his grandfather was passed down to him. He doesnít let things pass because itís easier to avoid them, but sticks up for those who deserve it.

And a new generation of DA army is introduced!! You are really tying so much in with this story, and not leaving very important parts (like what is happening at Hogwarts) out. I love that you donít just focus on your main plot, but open everything around us up. And I have a feeling Dennis will play an important part, maybe the entire new DA?

Tennant is a creep, I canít wait for Lady T to take care of him.

The shock of Neville actually telling them about the room was such a perfect way to end this chapter! It made me smile :)!

This chapter had a lot of things necessary to get us closer to the conclusion, it wasnít as fast paced (thank God, I needed to catch my breath) but still remained very captivating and creative.

It feels like everything is getting close to its boiling point!

Author's Response: Good morning!

Esme is pretty much bought in to helping stop Lady Tenabra at this point. It's partly because she wants to find out whether Katerina is involved in the whole mess and partly because she really does think that she might still have feelings for Harry.

Normally, I don't like to backtrack in the timeline of the story but in this case there was really no way around it. I'm glad you liked the way that Harry and Ron's rescue played out. It you enjoyed it, I think you're going to love the next chapter. And Hermys is adorable, isn't he? ;)

Riminy has very legitimate concerns. Even in the day and age of the story, free elves carry a certain stigma. They're not even completely accepted by other elves. She is worried that if it's discovered that she helped Harry and Ron, the Ministry will force St. Mungo's to close the elf ward and then they won't have any place.

I don't know that I was going for a complete new generation of the D.A., but I can definitely see how it might seem that way. Artie and Dennis are trying to take some control of what's happening around them, based on very incomplete information. There are definitely some parallels to how the trio was treated by the adults in OotP.

I didn't want Neville -- or any other adult -- to just come out and tell the kids about the Room of Requirement. Having them have to go to the Grey Lady and ask for help seemed like a more interesting way to go about it.

This chapter was not as fast-paced, but the next one will knock your sock off. At least I hope it will. Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #10, by Ashling586 

6th May 2012:
Here again with your review request and as usual another wonderful chapter. I absolutely loved the very first two paragraphs. At first I thought that Harry was in the mists of a battle but to find out it was a game of exploding snap: brilliant. I liked how you included the elves into the story. Not many stories I have read have included the elves in such a way that you have. Most of the time the elves are still just servants whether free or not, but in your story you can really see their personalities. I am sure Hermione is very happy with your choice. I also liked the younger generation scene. It was nice to see some of the story from the younger generations point of view since most of the story revolves around the older group. It gives the story a bigger picture type of perspective which is really nice. Great job.

Author's Response: Hello, again.

I try to keep you off balance at least a little bit. I wouldn't want you to get bored. The idea of the exploding snap game came to me while I was writing this. Dropping the reader directly into Hermione and Esme's explanation of the locket just seemed too dry.

I love the elves, and I've tried to give them attention where I can. They're such an interesting, important part of the magical world.

You'll definitely be seeing more of Al and Hugo, so I'm pleased that you like them.

Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #11, by Elenia 

6th May 2012:
Yep, it's me again (:

Oooh, loved the beginning! You tricked me! Here I was all: 'WHAT? Did I miss something in the last chapter and Harry and Esme ended up fighting someone?' and then snap! it was just a game. That was brilliant and made me laugh at my own stupidity since I had to read the last paragraph again and I realised that I should've noticed it earlier. Well done.

I really liked the whole scene. The way they immediately started planning how to get their kids into safety, that changed the mood of the scene really well and then the second Patronus came in things turned out to be even more severe.

Hugo's reaction was great! I love it that you didn't make him automatically brave and ready to fight. It's nice to see characters acting differently.

The elf ward! I loved that and makes complete sense!

The interaction between Harry and the two house-elves worked really well. I liked the discussion a lot, and Hermys's reaction was just perfect. I did find myself questioning why the healer elf was so reluctant about it. They're kind creatures and I'm sure they all know how much work Hermione and Harry have done for them, but all the same, I really liked how the scene worked this way as well.

I had a feeling that Dennis would somehow find out it was Tennant who was behind all the things in Hogwarts. I really like the development in his character from what he was in the beginning.

Also I'm glad that you showed us how things have changed inside the school after all this pureblood mania. The Slytherins reactions were great and the fact that they would even turn against people in their own house a nice touch.

Neville on a broom? Something I never would have imagined to read, which is why it was absolutely brilliant!

I just realised I've read five chapters today! I really don't want to even think how many hours that equals... Maybe I should stop reading now. Or should I? Hmm...

Haha, we'll see ^^


Author's Response: I have to try to keep you on your toes. You wouldn't want the story to get boring, would you?

I'm glad you liked the group's reaction to Susan's and then Hugo's messages. It seemed to be about the correct tenor.

Poor Hugo is kind of a lightweight. He's one of the younger members of an entire generation that has lived a very safe, sheltered life. To me, it made sense to make him very overwhelmed by all of the things happening around him.

I found the idea of the elf ward in a couple of other fics that I like. It made a lot of sense to me, given the symbiotic relationship between wizards and house elves. The elf healer was reluctant to help because of the rather tenuous place that free elves still have in the wizarding world. Even after Hermione's many decades of hard work, free elves are still somewhat stigmatized even by other elves, as evidenced by Hermys's reaction. The healer is worried that if Harry - a fugitive in the wizard world -- is seen in the elf ward, the Ministry will come down hard on them. I'd say it's a reasonable concern.

I like Dennis. As I've said a few times, Dennis is symbolic of the general naivete and complacency of the wizarding world of this era. So as Dennis begins to think more for himself and try to affect the world around him, it indicates that there's still hope for the world.

It was just too tempting to put Neville on a broom. As you'll see in the next chapter, he at least acquits himself competently.

I have enjoyed every last moment of your reading marathon. And I really appreciate all of the thoughts, ideas, reactions, criticisms... all of it. Thank you so much!

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Review #12, by shadowcat2 

30th April 2012:
"He made a mental note to find a hideout with separate bedrooms the next time they became fugitives."
I absolutely love how you put bits of humour like that. I definitely like the idea of an elf ward. So far, I like Dennis. Harry changed him for the better. Things are changing at Hogwarts too. I just hope the situation is not as bad as the second wizarding war.
6 more chapter to go! :D

Author's Response: The idea of the elf ward was something that I had seen in a couple of other fics. I think it makes perfect sense, considering the symbiotic relationship between house elves and wizards.

I've tried to make Dennis's character a microcosm of a wizarding world that is slowly coming around to the realization that things are not as safe and happy and wonderful as people would like to believe. Things at Hogwarts are somewhat reminiscent of the way they were before the second war, I'll agree.

You are making amazing progress. I'm not sure that I could sit down and re-read the whole story in one day any more, and I wrote every word of it. I promise I'll do my best to make it all worth your while.


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Review #13, by dirtydeedsdonedirtcheap 

25th April 2012:
I just finished kickboxing and I thought to myself, 'Let me read a nice chapter on HPFF as I cool off.' My heart is racing! So much for that, eh?

BANG! the center Exploding Snap card went off

You tricked me! I thought they were out and actually fighting someone. Not playing a silly game. Oh, Ron and Harry! I suppose even on the run they need to amuse themselves. It's much better than during the second war with them fighting with each other. But I don't think they would have any reason to fight with each other. For one, they're grown men and they both have a similar status and they both are fighting to save their family and the people they care about (which they did fight for in the second war) but they're much older now. So I would hope they wouldn't get into any arguments. Would slow them down and they both need to be on their toes.

He made a mental note to find a hideout with separate bedrooms the next time they became fugitives.

^ Hahaha. This chapter is filled with wonderful humor pieces! It's funny because I think of Harry in his younger years and he's always been a bit of a prude. I guess it would be because when he was growing up he wasn't around affectionate people. Petunia and Vernon weren't exactly cuddling up on the couch or hugging each other. I don't even think they showed an ounce of care for the other, it was more Dudley that Petunia care for. Hm, I wonder if they had a happy marriage.

"The Ministryís coming after your kids and Ron's. Get them to safety," the bird said in Susan's voice before fading away.

I knew this was coming but I felt so anxious as I read that part. The shift in the chapter started from there. It changed from being light to the darker elements that you write so well.

"Hugo!" Ron snapped his son out of out the daze. "Get your head together. This isn't over yet."

^ I liked this part because I read a lot of Next-Generation stories and in them the children of Ron/Harry are always so strong, they aren't afraid of anything. They talk about danger like it's something they eat for breakfast everyday all because their father defeated/helped to defeat the Dark Lord. I was really happy to see that you showed they were afraid, why wouldn't they be? Susan was almost dead, she would have been dead if Ron and Harry hadn't shown up. The fear in Hugo's face, the nervousness, the sudden inability to move his eyes away from Susan's body. She just saved his life! I would have expected such a reaction.

You is just a bitter free elf with no house and no honor!"

^ I don't really have a concrete comment about this. But the entire speech by Hermys, well, I sat up and started loudly clapping for him.

Another great chapter! The plot is really rolling around and the action is starting to pick up. I really don't think all the children will be protected. Especially since Neville is leaving for the moment (on a broom!). I know he's coming back but that's like...well, that's the same mistake Dumbledore made all those years ago. It's like when you watch a scary movie and you scream at the screen for the cute little blonde girl to run already. I was screaming, 'Don't leave, Neville! Don't leave!'

Author's Response: Hello, there! Kickboxing, eh? (Reminds self never to mess with Deeds...)

I thought that the exploding snap game was a fun way to introduce a bit of levity into what is essentially a very tense three-chapter arc that centers around Susan's heroism, injury and ultimately her being saved by Ron and Harry. And, yes, I like to keep the two of them on best mate terms. The story that I beta read has them at each other's throats at the moment (temporarily, of course) and while it's not completely out of character, it's still tough to enjoy.

Again, bit of levity, although I think it adds some depth to all three characters. Harry has never been especially comfortable with public displays of affection, while I think of both Ron and Hermione as having this playful, touchy-feely side that definitely extends to all aspects of their marriage.

As for the Next Gen kids, I decided to portray them all as being pretty sheltered. They've grown up in this amazing era of peace and prosperity where they never had to fear for their safety the way that their parents did, so it's understandable that they would be way out of their depth when faced with dark witches and wizards who don't blink at the notion of killing. Hugo, in particular, I think of as kind of a lightweight, but none of them are ready to run off and hunt horcruxes or fight a war.

Hermys's speech is shaped by attitudes that he inherited from Kreacher. He's an old-school elf living in a world where Hermione has been at least somewhat successful in removing the stigma of elf freedom. But the tension actually works in Harry's favor in the end.

The plot is definitely picking up pace, so hold on tight. Much more action to come in the very near future. Thanks so much for all of your awesome reviews!

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Review #14, by CloakAuror9 

30th March 2012:
A million apologies for the late review! I really feel bad about this! There was just too much going on...there were family issues, carbon tax projects and other stuff that I had to deal with. I'm so sorry.

The story is moving in a much faster pace compared to the previous-er ones. Every chapter answers a few questions, but then it also brings up more questions. So yeah, as you can see I'm trying to pan things out in my head...( And it is not going very well, considering the fact that right now it is still full of Carbon Dioxide and Global Warming facts...)

Go Neville! I was wondering when I would see him in this story. Obviously, he will take some part on whats happening right now...like protecting Hogwarts ( Professor McGonagall number 2 perhaps? Hahahah) and the Wotter clan.

So..catch up time! So far this whole Ministry infiltration is still a secret from the public yes? But the French Ministry is kind of...sort of aware or suspicious that its happening? Yes? I just wanted to clear things out.. :P

Like always, a well written chapter! Someone better nominate this for Dobby's!

Green With Envy 2012,
CloakAuror9 xx

Author's Response: Hello again!

Wow, you're taking me back. I'm a veteran of the energy and environmental regulation world, myself, from a previous career. I used to work on carbon tax studies for MEEE and NYSERDA back in the day. Crazy small world...

The ball is definitely starting to roll faster, and the pace only picks up from here. You can definitely expect a lot more action scenes.

If you liked Neville in this chapter, you're going to **love** him in the next one. That's all I'll say about that. ;-)

I haven't really thought too much about what "the public" knows or does not know at this point. They would certainly have noticed that a lot of new policies and pronouncements were coming out of the Ministry, and that those policies were generally not good for half-bloods and muggle-borns. The ones who pay attention would certainly have heard about Harry, Ron and Hermione becoming fugitives. The French Aurors know that something more is going on because, well, it's their job to know these things. And now they're assigned Esme to find out exactly what.

Thanks so much for your kind words. And please, don't feel bad about how long it takes to get around to me. I appreciate all of the time and effort and the story isn't going anywhere. Real life has to go on. Thanks again for reading and reviewing!

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Review #15, by Remus 

24th March 2012:
Tis Me! Once again a few chapters behind. But it makes a good read on a slow Saturday morning.

I'm glad you brought up the portraits again! However...ugh I feel horrible for this because that's the ONLY thing I think I keep nitpicking. So sorry ._.

Dumbledore. He just went back to sleep after Harry tells him to "Please let the Headmaster know that if thereís anything we can do to help, he shouldnít hesitate to ask." Hogwarts being monitored is a big, alarming thing so it felt a little weird for Dumbledore to just close his eyes instead if walking from his frame to deliver the message to Neville.

Love Hugo's first line in the chapter. It really felt like real panic .

Where do you come up with your ideas?! Ugh, horrible question to ask an author...kinda lame since its always asked to a published or fanfiction author. But an elf ward? Fantastic idea right there! Seriously! Hermy's reaction was gold. Loved it.

Neville just reminded me of Dumbledore and a mischievous way which makes me happy in a way. I can see Neville having Dumbledore's type of personality...minus the whole 'Super Powerful Wizard'.

Overall a great chapter. Sorry it has taken me a while by the way! I always feels bad! :S

Author's Response: Hello, again!

You're not really that far behind any more. Chapter 27 is undergoing some fine-tuning as we speak, and I hope to submit it tomorrow or Monday.

I had some weird arguments with myself about what to do with the message delivered through the portraits in this chapter. Originally, I had Snape drop in on Dumbledore's portrait to deliver the message from Neville. This led to an amusing little reunion between Lily (I) and Snape, which in turn led James (I) and Sirius to act like jerks, which in turn led Lily (I) to abuse them... Long story made short, it was one of those feel-good things that didn't really add anything to the story but length and my beta reader talked me out of it. It was almost certainly for the best. As for why Dumbledore's portrait goes to sleep instead of disappearing, here's the argument I had with myself. Harry commissioned a portrait of Dumbledore even though one already existed in the Headmaster's office. So from the moment the paint was dry on Harry's version, Dumbledore existed in two places at once. My thought is that his consciousness, such as it is, has a sort of duality now. He can exist in both places, but probably only focus his attention on one. Hence, he goes to sleep in Harry's portrait when he goes to relay the message to Neville. Tortured? Yeah, but the premise was kind of strained to begin with. That said, I probably still wouldn't change it.

Hugo was genuinely panicked. He really isn't cut out for this sort of thing, as you'll soon see.

I had seen the idea of an elf ward in a couple of other fics, most notably The Winters After the War (M) by mrs_granger. It just makes all the sense in the world, I think. The elves would need to have some place to tend to their sick and injured, especially the free elves. Given the tight, symbiotic relationship between elves and witches and wizards, it seemed almost poetic to put the elf ward in the attic of the human hospital.

Neville is a lot of fun to write. And putting him on a broom... well that's just too much fun to say no.

Don't worry about how long it takes. The story isn't going anywhere. I always appreciate your thoughts and insights. Thanks so much!

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Review #16, by ginerva_molly_weasley 

24th March 2012:
Ooooh now this is a rather short chapter but I really liked it!

The whole idea about Harry taking Susan to the elf ward at St Mungo's is brilliant! It helps save her life but also reminds us of how people remember good things that others have done such as the elf remembering how Harry had helped the elves and obviously how he had cried over Kreacher when Kreacher had died. It also shows just how far Kreacher and Harry came together after the war because there were times in the books where Harry seemed to despise him but then even in Deathly hallows they became closer so to see that Harry classed him as part of the family is nice.

The heart to heart Harry also has with Hermys is touching just because of the fact that it shows just how much Harry classes the elf as part of his family and values him which is in contrast to how elves were treated in the past.

It's interesting to see that the pupils had noticed something going on with Ternnant and shows just how peceptive the children are. The whole scene in the dungeons was also very interesting.

I loved how they went to report it to the headmaster though. Harry had obviously taught them well not to hide things because if half of the things Harry saw he'd reported to Dumbledore then a lot of the things in the books wouldn't have happened.

Neville does make me laugh encouraging secret dueling training although I wouldn't expect anything different. I do wonder where he's off to on the broom though although you make it very obvious that he obviously doesn't want to be followed though as he is going on the broom (and we are very well acquainted with Neville's lack of flying skills!)

Author's Response: Hello, again!

I absolutely love this review, because you picked up on every thing that I was hoping that readers would take away from this chapter. Makes me feel like I did a good job of setting up the next one.

The elf ward is an idea I'd seen in a couple of other fics, and I really liked it. The elves would obviously need some place to tend to their sick and injured, especially those that were free elves. Given the tight, symbiotic relationship between the elves and witches and wizards, it seemed almost poetic to cram it into the attic of the wizard hospital.

In the world as I've imagined it, Kreacher grew to be very close with Harry and especially his children. You figure Kreacher had served the House of Black for generations. He probably knew a thing or two about taking care of kids, and once he was no longer treated like property I like to think that he treated Harry and Ginny's children warmly.

I really enjoyed writing the scene inside Hogwarts. First of all, the parallels to Harry, Ron and Hermione in the school years are fairly obvious. But I also really enjoyed getting to play with some youthful enthusiasm after so many chapters of writing moody, overly-cautious adults. And it gave me a chance to get Neville back into the fold, which is always a good thing!

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!

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Review #17, by Roots in Water 

10th March 2012:
It's Roots in Water here with your review!

I really enjoyed reading this chapter and I found the beginning paragraph especially amusing! I was thoroughly convinced that you had jumped right into the middle of a battle... Until you mentioned Exploding Snap.

Of course, it shouldn't surprise me that they would have to find some method of amusing themselves- after all, not every moment of an adventure can be exciting. I think that the small game was an excellent way to remind us of this point.

As well, I found the idea of an "elf ward" very intriguing- I've never really thought about other creatures' need for healing before. I guess I always assumed that they would have their own systems for healing within their own kind. I guess, though, that the elves have become so intertwined with the wizards and witches that they've naturally adopted some of our customs. As well, it was interesting that the elf ward was run by free elves and how the debate of elf freedom is still a very controversial topic. I was very worried for a few moments when it seemed as though politics wouldn't allow Susan to be healed but luckily Harry's reputation for kindness came through!

As well, I liked the side story you wrote in this chapter about Kreacher. His death not only gave a believable way for Harry to know about the elf ward but also showed just how much his relationship with Harry had evolved since they first met. When I read about his death my first thoughts were about the moment in DH where Harry started to treat Kreacher better and, in return, got better service. It's nice to know that, at least in this story, they eventually got along well enough for Harry to mourn his death.

I love the way you always find creative ways to write the necessary scenes. You don't stick to the main perspectives and, when you do switch to a relatively unknown point of view (such as Dennis'), you include enough background information that it doesn't seem as though you are just jumping from scene to scene but rather exploring various moments of their lives. It's very nice to read.

A small thing: with "he know more" it should be "knows".

All in all this was another great chapter and I'm looking forwards to the next one. Thanks for re-requesting and I hope that my comments are helpful!

Author's Response: Hello, again!

First off, I wanted to thank you. This was the 300th review for Conspiracy of Blood, a number that means far more to me than word counts or read counts. You've reviewed more chapters than any other reviewer, so I was really pleased that yours would be the 300th.

The game of exploding snap was an idea that came to me very late in the course of writing this chapter, so I'm glad you liked it. Just a fun little thing to keep readers slightly off balance.

I can't claim complete credit for the idea of the elf ward. I've seen it in a couple of other fics that I love. But I do think it makes a lot of sense. The elves would have illnesses and injuries like any other creatures and given their tight and symbiotic yet subservient relationship with wizards, it seemed fitting to put it in the attic of St. Mungo's.

I think this is only my second mention of Kreacher in the story, but I like to think that he became an important and much-loved member of Harry's family over time. So much so that he was immensely pleased when his son entered into the Potter family's service and the family grieved for him when he died. That might actually make a good one-shot. [note to self...]

I wasn't 100% sure what I was going to do with Dennis when I first introduced the character, but I'm pretty pleased with how he's worked out. Since there are half-bloods in Slytherin now, it made sense to me that the house would be divided by what was going on in the outside world with the Blood Order. A great deal of credit goes to my beta reader for making sure that I'm giving enough background to make the minor characters make sense. She calls me to task on that whenever I jump in too fast.

Thanks for pointing out the typo. I'll get that patched up!

Your comments are always very helpful. From your reviews, I always get a great feel for how the story plays out in a reader's mind, which is vital because I'm way too deep in the trees to see the forest. Thank you so much!

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Review #18, by christobel 

8th March 2012:
I just found this story and really like it. Thanks so much for sharing it. I can't wait to follow it through to the end.

Author's Response: Thanks so much for the kind words. I'm really glad that you're enjoying the story! I'll try to keep it interesting for you.

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