There aren't many things worth a year's wait. Know what? This chapter was worth every day of anticipation!
The plot just keeps getting better and better. Hermione's torment is almost palpable. Travis' anguish at the thought of losing both wife and daughter runs just as deep. The dreadful foreshadowing of Remus and Tonk's fate makes their conversation distressingly painful to read. Most of all, the writing here is so vivid and realistic that one almost expects the characters to jump off the page and into real life.
And yeah - now that it is mentioned here, one really wonders why the various Order members didn't realize there could be only one true reason for vowing to protect Harry at any cost. Makes it seem like a major oversight on their part, looking back on it! :)
Ignatz, I hope it won't be another year + before we're treated to the next chapter. This stuff is so good that it's like literary dessert!Author's Response: Thanks for being so patient with me. It's been a trying year for me personally, and I've had very little time to write. The next chapter should come along soon, though. I'm working on it as we speak. Really! Report Review
I really appreciate your version of Hermione's Dad. As an alcoholic, I can very much relate to his situation. Nothin' like hitting bottom in the midst of a wizard war. If you're still writing, I'd be interested in corroborating. I've got a story I've been working on for a while that needs a helping hand. Hit me up at untitledhpff at tempemail dot net.Author's Response: Glad you like the story! Unfortunately, my life's a little complicated right now, and I don't have much time for collaborative projects. (Or reading reviews, for that matter.) Good luck with your writing, though.
The best and most realistic fanfic on the web continues... finally! Ignatz, I had about given up on the idea of reading any more of your stuff, compadre. I hadn't even checked for a while, but I'm sure glad I found this pleasant surprise when I finally looked to see what was new.
This story gains momentum with every chapter, and the character development is phenomenal. If you're not writing stuff professionally, well, you might want to think about it.
What can I say but, MORE MORE MORE!!! :)Author's Response: Agghh! A loyal reader leaves me a review, and I don't respond! Shame on me! I'm working on the next chapter right now, and I'll get it posted ASAP. This one's a real killer, literally. Report Review
Amazing!Author's Response: Wow!
Write more! Report Review
No, Hermione! Don't give in! :)
Well, another great chapter worthy of a "ten for ten" and a plea for more. Hope you're able to follow up on this one soon - the suspense is killing me!!Author's Response: I'm trying, really! Life's biting my nethers right now (wanna buy a house?) but I'll get the next chapter together ASAP. Thanks for the review! Report Review
It's celticbard from eHPf, here to review as requested. ^_^ You've gifted your readers with another solid, well-written chapter. I can see my assumptions about Travis's background were correct, although his tour in Northern Ireland was quite a nice touch. His discussion with Arthur was a little long-winded, but your writing is strong enough to carry all that dialogue without losing the reader.
Your characterizations continue to enthrall me. The first paragraph, in which Hermione methodically searches her house for her mother, was perfect. You have her down-pat. I also love what you've done with Kingsley. He is dignified, intelligent and incredibly strong. I have total faith in his promise to rescue Maude. The bit with Draco at the end was fabulous. He was wonderfully jaded and determined, but still Malfoy through and through.
I must say, I am quite eager to find out more about Hermione's relationship with her parents. She's a strong young woman, but even she needs the help of her friends to get through this. I only hope Travis can prove himself reliable and responsible enough to be her father once more. As always, I thoroughly enjoyed this chapter. Please feel free to drop by my queue and request another review anytime. I hope you have a great weekend! Take care!
celticbardAuthor's Response: Hello again, and thanks again! I based Travis on a couple friends of mine, both ex-military. If Travis had been American, I've had had him serve in Vietnam. The alcoholic ex-soldier is someting of a cliche, but it works well in the context I've created. I'm glad you're enjoying the story; I guess all the time I spent reading Thomas Harris and F. Paul Wilson is paying off. Report Review
This was such an exciting chapter; I love how you have turned Hermione's back story on its head by having her parents separated and making her dad into a potentially dangerous character on his own. The little touches of Muggle reality really made this chapter well-rounded and believable.
Hermione's flight home was suspenseful and extremely well done. Great job, 10/10Author's Response: Glad you liked it! I came up with the initial plot for this story a while ago, and as it turns out I hit on a plot line that JKR had considered but not developed. The story is as much an exploration of Hermione's family dynamics and psychology as anything else, but endless scenes of Hermione griping about her parents would bve completely useless. Hence, the thriller plot. And thrillers are fun to write. :-) Report Review
All right, second time's the charm! ;) Hopefully HPFF won't eat this one up, but in case it does, I've saved it to my Word Processor so it'll be easy to repost.
Ok, I think I remember everything I said in my last review. This second chapter certainly didn't disappoint. Your characterizations are fabulous. Travis Granger has certainly caught my interest. I can tell that he's been in a bar brawl or two. For some reason, I'm guessing that alcohol abuse and anger issues led to the dissolution of his marriage. He's obviously deeply flawed, but seems to have good-intentions. And I must say, I was rooting for him when he knocked out that Death Eater. It was also nice to see Tonks and Kingsley pop up in this chapter. You write them so well, I hope they appear in later installments. ^_^
Poor Hermione! She's really having a rough time. Not only is she trying to support her friends, but she also has to deal with trouble at home. I admire her dedication to her family, though. It's clear that she loves her parents. I really liked the scene when she visited Paddington's statue. It was so bittersweet, but such a Hermione thing to do.
I truly enjoyed this chapter, Ignatz. Please feel free to drop by my queue and request another review when I have slots available. I hope you have a great weekend! Take care!
celticbardAuthor's Response: Thanks for the glowing review! You\'re right; Travis is a brawler and a drinker. I came up with this story as a way to explore Hermione\\\'s motivations and mindset. Why is she so obsessed with rules? Why does she not talk about her family? There\\\'s got to be something there; nobody as interesting as Hermione comes from a family of boring dentists. There will be clarifications in the next chapter, never you fear! Report Review
It's celticbard from eHPf, here to review as requested. ^_^
I must say, I didn't know what to expect when I started reading this story, but it certainly wasn't this. What a magnificent opening chapter! I'm completely enthralled already. Your writing is clean and sharp, while your characterizations are concise and believable. I love your take on Arthur Weasley, he was perfectly in-character, curious but still professional.
The second scene was just as captivating. Poor Maude! I can tell she truly does care for her daughter and is worried about her. Hmm, I wonder who her young attacker was. Was it Draco? The way you described him, pale with a drawling voice, makes me think of Malfoy for some reason. ;)
This is an amazing start, Ignatz. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this chapter. Please feel free to drop by my thread and request again. I'd love to continue with this. I hope you have a great week! Take care!
celticbardAuthor's Response: Give that man a cigar! Yep, it was Draco. I'll be back in the queue as soon as circumstances and my children permit. Thanks for the glowing review; I greatly appreciate it. Report Review
You've given a fresh look at Hermione's background, I'm intrigued to see where you go with this story and rather glad I have ten completed chapters to enjoy!
I laughed aloud at the singing cash machine, sounds like something Arthur would have been sent to investigate if it were tampered with by magical means. You've done a very nice job with the British expressions, as well.
The ending is suspenseful and shocking, the action is nicely detailed. I don't believe that the ellipsis (...) at the very end of the chapter is necessary, it would work fine without it.Author's Response: Why thank you! I'm glad you're enjoying the ride. It starts out slow. but things will pick up, no fear. Report Review
Amazing! Can't Wait For The Next Chapter! Loving This Story!Author's Response: Wow, that was quick! Unfortunately, I don't have an ETA on the next chapter, but rest assured, I have not abandoned the story! There will be more! Report Review
Well, here we are.
As I write this, Chapter 9 is the most recently written. Maude is a captive of the Malfoys, Hermione and her dad are barely speaking to each other, Remus is working hard to keep Travis from relapsing, Ron and Harry are barely being restrained from entering the fray, Kingsley has finally received information upon which the Order can take action... and. and.
OH, THE SUSPENSE!!
Ignatz, it's clear to anyone who has read your work that you are unquestionably a professional-grade writer. I imagine I'm not alone when I say I would pay to read your material. It's that good.
I hope you've not given up on this story. I notice it's been a while since you've put out a new chapter. All I can say is this: I'm sure I'm not the only one waiting to see what happens! So on behalf of all your readers, I'll conclude for now with two words:
More, please???Author's Response: Dum dum DUM.
Slowly the screw turns... it's just going to get better! Report Review
Oh, man... Poor Travis!
"If I could, I'd divorce you myself."
I don't have kids, but to hear that from ANY loved one would have to cut like a knife.
I guess I would have to add, "poor Hermione" since she would have to be in terrible pain herself to say such a thing.
Another captivating chapter. Even after several re-readings of this one, I am still riveted to ever word. I was intrigued at how both Travis and Hermione are plagued with nightmares and other similar problems, yet are tragically unable to connect with each other for support.
Another fine "10 for 10" chapter!Author's Response: There are other points of commonality there as well; addictive behaviors run in families. More, I will not say. Things will become clearer in the next chapters. Report Review
Oooh. where to start? where to start? The pure and sinister evil of the Malfoys? The daring bravery in the face of danger exhibited by Maude? The terrible desperation of Hermione, trying so hard to keep her parents out of the dreadful wizarding war?
If the words "page turner" could ever be applied to an electronic medium, this would be it!
Maude's concern about Hermione's education also brings up a point I've long wondered about. Wizarding kids at Hogwarts, starting at age 11, appear to be taught none of the traditional courses from the Muggle world. No wonder wizards have such a hard time blending in with Muggles! Think of the topics NOT covered in the wizarding world, from physics and calculus to world history and economics... Maude is completely justified in worrying about Hermione's "graduat(ing) able to turn rats into teacups, but knowing nothing about science, math, history, or anything real." It would be a valid concern!
Oh, and so much more to enjoy from this chapter... Lucius is the quintessentially evil villian... very well scripted in his discussions with Maude. I hope she eventually get a chance to kick him right in the . well, you know.
An excellent piece of writing, and as usual it deserves well above the "10 out of 10" rating. Great work!!Author's Response: I tried to write Lucius as a combination of Hannibal Lecter and Lester Maddox. Cultured, urbane, and thoroughly convinced of his natural superiority. And yet he's not a stereotypical villain; he fears his master's wrath, and is concerned for his family.
Maude is aptly named: tha name means 'brave in battle'. Hermione gets her Gryffindor courage from both sides. Report Review
Ha! ..."Permanent Sticking Charms are no match for an axe." That has to be the funniest line so far... I can actually picture Moody whacking away at the portraits and saying something like, "Hrmph... solves THAT problem!"
The rest of the chapter... fantastic as well. A real topsy-turvy emotional ride, what with Lupin's tragic story and Hermione's struggles with resolving her feelings toward her father.
Again, I'm impressed with your portrayal of Lupin. Lycanthropy causing super-sensitivity to all stimuli, thoughts and emotions explains SO MUCH about Lupin's personality both in the books and here.
This is simply phenomenal writing!Author's Response: As I've said in other comments, lycanthropy seems to be a sort of seasonal bipolar disorder. A lot of people I've known with neurochemical imbalances have similar sensitivities and use similar strategies to cope with the weirdnesses their brains throw at them. Some of them did a lot of drugs and alcohol before they got proper medical help. It just seemed to fit him. Again, I'm glad you liked this. Report Review
There are very few authors on this website (or elsewhere, for that matter) who can write lengthy segments of dialog and have it come off sounding realistic.
Ignatz, you're certainly on of those few!
I loved the scene with Hermione and Tonks. Very heartfelt, powerfully emotional, and deeply moving. I enjoyed seeing Tonks in a serious "big sister" relationship with Hermione. It's a more believable and more enjoyable version of Tonks than I have seen portrayed elsewhere.
The books never had a character who could serve as an emotional sounding board for Hermione. She always had Ron and Harry, of course, but for a large part of the books neither Harry nor Ron ever seemed to be Hermione's equal in terms of maturity. Tonk's role as "big sister" seems to fill a lot of that need.
Your development of Remus Lupin's character was equally impressive. I had always felt that Lupin, in the books, was a very cool character with tightly confined emotions. Your explanation here - that a werewolf's personality lends itself to self-abusive behaviors and addictions - is a stroke of sheer genius.
What more can I say? As someone in the comments section below has noted... I wish I could give this story a "100 out of 100" because that is certainly what it deserves!!Author's Response: Yeah, Hermione doesn't get much love in the books. She's always so stuffy, and she's never shown with any other friends aside from Ron and Harry (and presumably, Ginny.) It stands to reason that she'd bond with Tonks at some point.
I also wanted to show Tonks as more than the clumsy goofball she usually gets to be. She's smart and talented, otherwise she wouldn't be an Auror.
Again, I'm glad you're enjoying the story. I'm writing the next chapter, really! Report Review
Ahh... Transdimensional parallax!! I always enjoyed Dr. Who!
I was wondering if anyone else in the legions of Potter fans saw the (my opinion) many similarities between the particular style of Potterverse magic and Einsteinian and Quantum physics.
Apparition especially struck me as something similar to "wormhole" travel - being compressed at an atomic level and squirted through an infinitely narrow shortcut through space and time. Wand-driven magic always reminded me of Zero Point Energy being focused through some sort of amplifying medium. and of course, the expansion charms used to hide houses or expand the insides of automobiles always reminded me of pocket universes, or at the least, the creation of a portal into a different dimension.
But I digress.
In regard to this chapter, what can I say without sounding like I'm repeating myself? MORE excellent character development, and it seems like the pace is quickening. Very good story flow, and once again it seems like many of the characters are more real here than in the books.
Remus Lupin seems the natural choice to have had some very hard times behind him, and of course a wizard can become an alcoholic as easily as a Muggle. Lupin would seem to provide a natural counterpoint for Travis. In a strange sort of way, they've led similar lives and have ended up in roughly the same place psychologically as well as physically.
And poor Hermione! She's only human, and gosh has she been hurt... Will she be able to overcome her pain and anger and give Travis a second chance to be the father she wanted?
Excellent drama, pacing, and characters. I also love the background sketched out for Kingsley. who often seemed overlooked or taken for granted in the books.
Ignatz, NONE of the chapters you've written deserve less than a 10 out of 10. This is absolutely fantastic storytelling at a professional level.
'Nuff said!Author's Response: Again with the compliments! I'm blushing!
Transdimensional parallax was the best metaphor for someone muggleborn to understand what JKR calls wizarding space: Doctor Who is a pervasive element in UK pop culture, and Travis is of an age to have watched it when he was a kid.
As far as Kingsley goes, I wanted to give a little nod to London's West Indian and Caribbean heritage. The man had to come from somewhere and have some sort of family, after all. I can see him descended from a long line of Jamaican obeahs.
Lupin plays a teacher and mentor role in the books, so it's only natural to extend that role to Travis. Travis is more likely to listen to Lupin given their shared addiction, and Lupin is less likely to fall for an addict's bluffing tactics than, say, Arthur Weasley. Report Review
All I can say is... Wow! Fantastic character development. I've always felt that Hermione's character in the books was one that had a lot of untold background. After all, she's such an atypical student in the books.
This story really works to flesh everything out... and what's more... it FITS so nicely into the "canonical" storyline. You've really done more to turn Hermione into a real person in these few short chapters than the first several books of the series did!
Travis continues to be a fascinating study in psychology. He's trying SO HARD to make things right all while dealing with the stress of a daughter who will barely speak to him and a bunch of wizarding weirdness that would make any Muggle's jaw drop. (Heck, I would sure be tempted to have a drink or three if I saw someone "Reparo" a windscreen from a zillion broken pieces back into something as good as new!)
Another stellar piece of writing! Any way I can give this an 11 out of 10? :)Author's Response: It was precisely JKR's lack of detail on Hermione that inspired me to write this storyline. Oddly enough, my idea gibes with a plotline that JKR cut out, involving Hermione's parents divorcing. Weird, huh?
Travis is an amalgam of several real people I know, including one recovering alcoholic. There's a big emphasis in Twelve-Step recovery on making amends to everyone you've hurt, and that's one of Travis' driving motivators. Of course, mulish stubbornness helps. Report Review
Again, I'm impressed with the sheer level of realism in your story!
Realism - is that a word that can actually be used to describe a story about witches, wizards, wands, magic spells and the like?
Yes. In this case, certainly.
Jo Rowling's books were always set firmly in the "Potterverse" with just a few glimpses of the Muggle word beyond. Your story so far is almost a reverse of that - I certainly feel like a Muggle just catching glimpses of the "other" reality of the wizarding world.
Hmm... so many good points to this chapter it's hard to know where to begin... Travis is a thoroughly believable and sympathetic character, and obviously no one to mess with! Great take-down of Thorfinn Rowle!
Did I catch a little bitty nod to Douglas Adams a bit earlier in the chapter? "He's harmless... mostly." Hmm... "Mostly harmless?" Maybe I just imagined that.
And poor Hermione!! I could almost feel her terror as she entered her mother's house.
Writing!Author's Response: Yay, a fan! Keep this up and I'll need a larger hat. As far as the 'realism' goes, well, an emotion is an emotion, whether you're dealing with wizards or interstellar voyagers or gay shepherds. :-) I had fun with the fight scene; I stole a lot of it from Barry Eisler, whose John Rain character probably could eat Voldemort for breakfast and then agonize abut it for moths afterward. I hadn't thought about Douglas Adams there, but hey, if it works for you... Report Review
Okay Ignatz... I must confess.
I've already read all nine chapters you've written thus far.
I got so caught up in the story when I first started reading your work that I simply buzzed right through everything like... well, like Ron Weasley through food at a Feast.
To say you've done excellent work is an understatement. Yours is writing that could easily be published, save for the fact that this particular stuff falls under copyright protection. And that, in my humble opinion, is a compliment I can offer to less than half a percent of the authors here. (No offense, anyone! I admire every single person who has had the courage to create something as personal as a written story and then submit it for public inspection!)
I believe anyone else reading this will agree, however, that this story simply seems to flow off the pages. The characters are well developed - especially Travis, for whom I felt a great deal of sympathy even before the end of the first chapter - and the dialog is rendered smoothly and is quite believable.
Beyond that, Ignatz, I was impressed with the little extra nuances you used to set the tone of the story from scene to scene. Charlie the errant cash machine seems exactly like the sort of predicament Arthur Weasley would find himself encountering on a trip into the Muggle world... And I hadn't even *heard* of Portishead until reading the story. Thanks for the introduction! As I re-read this chapter with "Glory Box" playing in the background, I kept expecting Draco Malfoy to knock at the door!! :)
Okay, 'nuff said for now... I'll review the other chapters as quickly as I can...
Again, great work!!Author's Response: WOOT! Reviews! I thought I'd disappeared, or something. I haven't had time to write (or check my reviews lately) given that my family hasjust increased by 1. I've just come off paternity leave. I'm very glad you enjoyed the story so far, and there is more coming. I wanted to keep the story as timely as possible, so I kept the music references as close to 1997 as possible. Hence Portishead, Cornershop, Radiohead's OK Computer, etc. As you've noted, I'm bringing the muggle world into the wizarding one. Thanks for the review! Report Review
Well, you know that I think this was a brilliant bit of writing. I am now going to go back and read the whole story. I'm sure it will make even more sense in context. I think your conversation between Travis and Remus was the best. You have captured Remus completely. He knows who he is, and still wants to help others not fall into the same pits he has. I also think that Ron's phone conversation was hilarious. The description of the cats and his trouser leg was just too good. Excellent writing, and I will be going back to read it all!Author's Response: Glad you liked it! As you'll see in other chapters, I've been handling Remus' lycanthropy as a sort of bipolar disorder, including a history of self-medication. He's also got a longer history of managing his addictions, which makes him able to understand Travis in a way that Hermione can't. Please let me know your thoughts about the other chapters. Thanks again for reviewing! Report Review
poor hermione! got to deal with lots of things
wish her luck
nice piece of writingAuthor's Response: Oh yeah, she's got a lot to handle. It gets worse. Glad you're enjoying this, and thanks for the feedback! Report Review
No, no, it's quite alright. I've been getting notices from the site telling me that the story is updated when it hasn't been, is all.
I'll have to go back and read the last few chapters a little more thoroughly, to pick up on that bit about Hermione.
I really am surprised that this story doesn't get a few more reviews.Author's Response: Ah yes. I've been going back and making a few changes here and there, mostly formatting stuff, but there have also been some plot changes. I eliminate the coded diary, for example.
As far as the reviews thing goes, well, I get a little surprised myself. But have you ever noticed that the top-rated stories on the site are romances? Since there's very little kissy-face going on, this may not have the broad appeal I might like. Oh well. Report Review
The next logical step in this story is for Hermione to start drinking. Callin' Harry, eh? [face_raisedeyebrow] I suppose Ron is rather unreachable with his lack of a felytone.
Where is it that Travis fought? Falklands? Ireland? If I'm supposed to understand from the text, I'm not getting it. Oh, wait a moment, this IS probably in the text somewhere. Ah, yes chapter three. Good for you.
Well, I'm quite looking forward to the next installment. Do you update your chapters a lot? Only, I use an RSS reader to get my HPFF updates, and this story seems to climb to the top every other week, but new chapters seem to come at a rate of one every three or four months or so. I'm not at all disturbed by your writing speed (my own is far slower) but I was wondering if I should report a bug to the site admin or not.
Thanks for the great read,
BradAuthor's Response: No, no bugs here, except for the fact that with two kids and a demanding job, I rarely have time to write. I have the next chapter plotted out, just have to wrote it. A couple things to remember: this is not in exact compliance with canon. Ron is hanging out at Mrs Figg's house, and she does have a fellytone. And you've picked up on a clue I left in the last chapter. She won't start drinking, but there are other forms of dependence... It'll become clearer in later chapters. Report Review
wow, so amazing chapter. i love remus! hes so sweet, and i feel really bad for him. he doesnt deserve to be a werewolf, if one could say that a fictional character deserves anything.
anyway, this is going to be a woefully short review, as im anxious to read the next chapters.
oh, btw, your writing is amazing. im in awe. its just marvelous. really professional, and even more entertaining. brilliant! ;)Author's Response: I'm glad you're enjoying the story. Chapter 8 is coming up; I've sent copies off to the beta readers, and it should be up soon. And you're right, Remus gets a lot of things he doesn't deserve (drat you JKR for killing him!), but hey, that's what fanfic is for! Report Review
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