Right off the bat I like how you sort of skipped the rest of the Battle of Hogwarts and went straight to the aftermath. Unless the writer is telling a canon scene in a whole new way, like adding AU twists, I don't really enjoy reading what is already in the books, much preferring missing-moment type scenes. I know this is AU, so I'm looking forward to seeing a bit of what you did to handle the post-Hogwarts period.
Again you're making me think about things I never considered before, like how hard it must have been on Harry right after Voldemort's defeat to attend all of the ceremonies and funerals for people who died supporting him. Harry never wanted to be a public figure or mascot, so the double dose of everyone worshiping him because he killed Voldemort mixed with the guilt of how many people didn't survive like he did must have been excruciating. I've never been a huge Harry fan, but you did a very good job right in the first few paragraphs making me feel for him.
"Then you need to be brave and stand with her now." --That was a wonderful way of putting it. Molly is such a great mom and always knows just what to say.
It's just a weird thing with me, but I've never liked the Harry/Ginny and Hermione/Ron pairings in canon. They both just seemed sort of like marriages of convenience, like "Hey, we saved the world together and have been best friends. Let's fall in love and get married and have tons of kids to inspire Next Gen fan fiction." Harry/Hermione makes sense to me, and I also really like the Harry/Luna you're building up to here. Both Harry and Luna lost their mothers at a young age and had to deal with being outcasts and "different" for a long time. It's very believable to me that they would gravitate toward each other.
It's also really cool how you are setting up the plot of Luna's possession. Yes, Voldemort's gone, but that doesn't necessarily mean everything that took orders from him is suddenly gone as well. Hmmm... I wonder what's going to happen :) ~Renny Report Review
Carl!! What's up?! So, I've always wanted to start this story of yours, but never did (shameful, I know.) We're doing a review challenge over at TGS where I had to review a story with one of the Lovegoods in it, and then I re-discovered yours while looking for one. I'll only be able to get in a few chapters now, but maybe someday I'll be able to come back for more. I seem to have zero time to read lately with my toddler and working on my own writing, so I have about five fics I'm in the middle of reading ;)
But on to your review! First off, I thought opening it from the point of view was brilliant. I would have never even considered that dementors would have their own thoughts. I wonder if it's because they consume so many souls, they sort of become conscious themselves? I was always a bit confused in canon whether they fed off of happiness, leaving the victim with no happy thoughts (I used this theory in my own writing) or fed off of pain and happiness hurt them, like you did. I think you did a great job with the latter idea.
The idea of Luna having almost no painful memories is also just wonderful. Obviously there are some there with the death of her mother I'm assuming, but she's naturally an optimistic person so there isn't much on the surface. Having Luna sort of end up sucking in the dementor instead of the other way around was really cool. It's almost like she's possessed now the way that Harry had a piece of Voldemort inside of him.
So this wasn't a super long first chapter, but I thought it set the tone for the story really nicely. It also definitely set up some suspense and makes you want to keep reading to find out more! You were able to get a lot of information and interesting ideas out there in very few words, so great job! ~RennyAuthor's Response: Wow! Thanks for the very nice review. I haven't been writing lately at all, and finding a nice review makes me want to pick it up again. I've had a very stressful last year, so I've mostly just been playing games in my free time.
Yeah, originally, I had the Dementors feeding off both good and bad memories, but now I have them destroying the happy memories to feed on the bad. I really believe it's canon.
Be forewarned this is a dark, AU story.
As you may know, H/L is my OTP and this was the very first story I wrote, ever. It showed its roughness and that's why it's being rewritten.
Luna definitely does have some painful memories but discovering them will be part of the story.
I really, truly enjoyed your review and would like to express sincere thanks for reading and reviewing. Report Review
Hey there, dear! It's Drue here with your review as requested. I must apologize for the long wait. I'm so sorry. I've been incredibly busy moving out and into a new place and also with school starting up. It's been quite busy. But I finally made time for this!
And I'm so glad I did! This was a great start to the story. Absolutely brilliant. This is probably the most original fic I have come across. While I know it was just the prologue and therefore was fairly short, you pulled me in immediately. It was brilliant. So captivating and enthralling.
I know you are in the process of rewriting and want to know if it is worth continuing. Well, I can just say now that any story is always worth continuing. But this one is definitely worth continuing. Even just in this prologue, it is fantastic. I can't wait to read more, and I can give you a better and more firm opinion as I read more, but for now I think you should continue. As for the improvement in wirting, I can let you know about that in time too. :)
I thought your writings of the dementors were absolutely perfect and brilliant. I liked that you write it from a some-what first person POV and in the form of us in the beginning and then singular at the completion of the chapter. The emotions and feelings you give across are dead on and exactly of what I think a dementor would feel. Absolutely spot on! I think these bits were my favorite part of the chapter. :)
Really wonderful job, hun!
I currently have a pretty backed up queue, so I'm going to go empty it out, and then I will return for the next few chapters. However, if you don't hear from me within a few days, feel free to come request again to bring me back here! This is absolutely brilliant. Thank you for introducing me to this story! :)Author's Response: I apologize for waiting so long to answer this review. I fell into a habit of not writing and my mother passed away recently, so I haven't felt like doing anything at all. I hope to get back into writing here pretty soon as I'm starting to feel inspiration again.
Thank you for your kind words and I'm glad you think it's both brilliant and original. Honestly, original is more important to me (though who doesn't like to be called brilliant).
I really do appreciate all reviews and again I'm sorry that I didn't respond right away.
Ok. Not bad. But how did she get pregnant I mean that's so odd!!Author's Response: Yes, it is, it's meant to be mysterious, but it's also one of the things that's going to change significantly when I'm done re-writing it.
Thank you so much for reading through this far and reviewing. It's been a week or so since I've had a review and I appreciate the read and review.
Here I am with review #2.
I never really considered what the funerals would be like for those who died, to be honest. I did however get slightly misty eyed at the beginning when Mrs Weasley was telling Harry that he needed to stand beside Lavender now. It was such a powerful line. I really liked it.
Also, I agree with George. A wake would be a much better way to remember Fred than your typical funeral. Fred was always so full of life that it seems fitting that we are to remember him as such and celebrate his life. Good on you for choosing that direction to go instead of the typical.
What I would have liked to see more of was description. The chapter started off with lots of it, and then tapered off to almost all dialogue. It would have been nice to see a little more description in that part as well. Though, it works just fine without it.
Lovely chapter, and I'll get back to reading more as soon as I find time.
LenAuthor's Response: Ah, Fred's wake. I have plans for that, as you'll see if you read that far. I always thought that Fred would have had a wake and that George would have insisted.
I'm glad that you liked Mrs Weasley's response to Harry's angst. I'm going to over-play the emotions in this, for reasons that only become apparent later in the story, so if it seems melodramatic at some points, it is intentional.
I'm very sparse in description in my style and I realize it's sometimes a turn-off for most people and I'm really working to push myself on adding more description. Thank you for the CC on that and I'll keep pushing for more description. If you had read the original before I re-wrote, you wouldn't believe how much I've already added, and it's down to CC like yours.
I'm glad that you've been enjoying this for the most part. It's a project that was close to my heart for a long time, but lately I've lost my impetus for the rewrite and I'm looking for that push. Report Review
Here is review #1 from the Review Exchange at TGS.
This is such an interesting concept. I've never considered a dementor as a main character. You've done a fantastic job allowing the reader into the mind of such a hideous creature.
Though, I will say, I feel sorry for Luna. I can only imagine what the dementor will do to her whilst inside of her. Of course, I believe she can handle almost anything and this is just another crazy adventure of hers.
I'm curious to see how this turns out. I'll definitely have to continue reading (probably not today, since I'm fairly tired at the moment). I've added this to my favourites so I can easily find it and continue reading.
LenAuthor's Response: Luna has a great head on her shoulders and she can handle a lot. She's a forceful personality. I'm glad that you find it an interesting concept; I wanted it to feel like more than just a 'demon-possession' type story.
I don't want to mislead you, this is definitely a Harry/Luna piece and if it makes you squidgy I wanted to give you fair warning. I started re-writing this a while ago and haven't felt like writing much for it lately, so hopefully your reviews will spur me on.
I hope you continue to like the Dementor's POV and that this won't go too far off the deep end for you.
Thanks for the lovely review. Report Review
I just read through these, but will stop here. The story line is strong and I'm curious as to what happens...please consider re-writing the other chapters too! :DAuthor's Response: I am very slowly getting this re-written, but it will take a while to get through it all. This was my first fanfic and my first fiction in over 20 years, so it showed and definitely needed freshening up.
Glad you liked the story line, as I think it's the strongest part of the story. If you read more when it's re-written completely, be prepared. It gets quite strange later. Report Review
I must say- I LOVE YOUR WRITING.
Pity about Gabrielle though.
My one pet peeve is your occasional grammar/typo error, but it's okay.
I've seen too many fanfics w/ too much drama, not enough action [they resemble Jersey Shore], and too many fanfics w/ too much action and not enough drama [they resemble Marvel Comics]. It seems like you've got the balance right. :DAuthor's Response: Thanks so much for the very nice compliment.
When this story was first written, it was a mess. I think the plot was good overall, but the writing was bad stylistically. I'm glad you like the new drama/action balance.
Please, feel free to point out spelling and grammar errors. I pride myself on spelling and misspelled words just kill me. Grammar errors are a little bit trickier, but I appreciate having them pointed out as well. All criticism is CC to me.
Thank you again for the kind words and the review. Report Review
I liked Connor before; but after his interview with Harry, I think he's a jerk. I see him intended as a hard-edged, crusty individual like Moody, but he comes across as an inflexible and insensitive man who can't accomodate change. It would be quite enough to tell Harry he can reapply next year and leave it at that.
I'm not sure I liked the mental conversation with Luna. It made perfect sense, given what they had been through. If it were established that they were a couple that had a unique and almost weird intuitive connection to each other (but still had to have actual conversations, using vocal organs, most of the time, like regular people) -- I'd like that more. IMHO.
It would have little or no effect on the following scene between Ron and Hermione.
Harry and Luna coming in for routine genetic testing. They find out there is evidence of a third genetic donor. Impossible, but there it is. And presumably . . . not quite human. (I mean, Dementors have corporal form, but they aren't quite human.) Maybe it's a mistake. Maybe its the Muggle instrumentation -- it's so prosaic. But if it's not a mistake or a discrepancy caused by the instruments --what, oh, what could it be?
Why would you match it against Dean or Ginny? What is a cloned donation? (I know you were talking about a pregnacy magically occurring within the soulscape; but a pregnancy is a corporal thing and the "contribution" has to translate into (1) physical matter (2) that can find its way into the reproductive system. In other words, your story has strong science-fiction elements; so the biology has to work at a basic level.
In a related matter, why is the Healer saying she has to have a Caesarian? (Do Wizards call them that?, since they don't do surgery in the Muggle sense?) He may have a good reason: I assume Wizards have some means of monitoring pregnancy, so if he notes anything unusual, combined with the genetic anomaly, the Healer may feel it's the safest course. (Muggle OB's are accused of doing too many C-sections; Healers may be just as bad.)
I read that operation scene again. I know I have a certain bias but -- gee, Harry needs to bring a Magical Malpractice Suit against that Healer. The guy botched the Magical Caesarian and had to get a Muggle obstetrician to clean it up, after which they got rid of him by offering him a drink? Um, if it were my wife, I'd be ready to deliver a crucio on that Healer to make Bellatrix proud.
On to the good part. The last two sections are the "punch line" of the whole story, and they are dynamite.
I suggest adding a third anecdote of her Dementor nature, perhaps something from an even younger age than the "jump rope" event. All I can say is, the last is cool and dark and incredibly scary. If there is a way to foreshadow it (don't ask me how) through this rather long novella, perhaps this would be a good thing.
I like the name Delilah, but choose the name carefully. (I'm just wondering if there's a better one out there.)
I loved the ending for a horror story. Totally horrific. The only thing is, it sort of comes out of nowhere. The reader expects Harry and Luna to live happily ever after -- and then they have this devil child. If the reader can look back and realize they should have seen it coming, that would be great.Author's Response: Thank you again for all your wonderful CC. I totally agree that the whole pregnancy scene needs to be redone, starting from the previous chapter and into this one.
There actually is a small scene that I didn't put in that would go before the jump rope scene. I can PM it to anyone who is interested, or it can be found in my personal forum at eHPF.
I actually want the ending to come out of nowhere a bit and just leave the reader in shock a bit. I realize that it's a classic horror ending, and that's just what I wanted. I might put some subtle foreshadowing in the re-write, if I can do it with my newbie writing skills.
I really, really like the name Delilah in this case, but I am open to suggestions. Delilah has a bit of an unsavory reputation from the whole Samson thing.
What I was going for here is just what Ydnas Odell caught. The Dementor inside was causing trouble with magic and that's why they thought C-section. I definitely think a Healer would call it the same thing with the (possibly) apocryphal origin of the phrase. Yeah, that poor Muggle obstetric surgeon, he should be treated better. Unfortunately, he won't ever be treated better, since he's going to disappear in the re-write.
As for Connor, I have a whole history set aside for him in a character study and a partially completed story. The scene with Harry shows his personality correctly, but I didn't set it up well enough through this story. He needs a bit more attention to show why he won't consider Harry.
Thank you again. Your insights into the writing and plotting process are very instructive and helpful. Grazie!
This was an incredible chapter with lots and lots if ideas running through it. As I've said elsewhere, it could have been a short story unto itself.
My nitpicky/micromanagey suggestions should have gone to you in a PM, to do with you what you will.
Generally, I'd say this: Because the story is so complex and the action sequences have to be visualized in detail by the reader, be careful of interrupting them with descriptions of (for instance) characters' feelings or historical context. Often, this information is not necessary for the reader to understand the unfolding scene;and, to the extent it enriches the story, it can be put in somewhere else.
The scene with Luna's mom was brilliant in a lot of ways. Her character was really well done. She had Luna's compassion and intellect. But I would suggest you set up the scene a little differently to make it clear that she took substantial precautions to keep Luna away from her when she did this dangerous experiment. Obviously Luna saw her mom die; that's canon. But just sending Luna to bed and then performing an experiment where she knows she might not survive makes mom seem irresponsible (kids don't stay in bed -- every parent knows that). And I know you don't want her to seem that way.
The routing of the Dementor was great, but the Enveloping Patronus charm was unclear. I think you need to explain how it works. You can have Mrs. L do that in her writing. That way, Harry will know, too.
For reasons I put in my PM, the whole pregnancy thing really bothered me. The Healer revealing confidential information like that, and then threatening Luna with a court injunction, was completely beyond the pale. (And no, she didn't really waive her right to confidentiality. It was not informed consent; she had no idea what she was waiving. And, for reasons I put in my PM, the Idiot -- sorry, the Healer -- had no business telling Harry he was going to be a father.
"Sorry, Harry, I meant to tell you. The father was Lord Voldemort." Again, sorry.
Aside from that little thing that I have a strong opinion about, this was a remarkably creative chapter.Author's Response: OMG, I just realized that I hadn't responded to your review here, only to your PM. As I told you in the PM, the pregnancy thing will be radically re-written, coming up soon. Also in the re-write, the Patronus will be better explained.
I don't think your suggestions are nitpicky and micromanaging at all. I think your suggestions are suggestions from someone with a better grasp of how to write than I have. I'm happy to listen to your comments and suggestions.
I didn't make it clear that it was a different day in the second memory with Luna's mother, and I need to do that.
I especially like your suggestions on the small details, like not interrupting action with description.
Thank you. Truly and Sincerely. Report Review
I thought this was an outstanding chapter. The part in Harry’s memory, when he went back to his parents’ house – that was fantastic. The image of the Dementor assuming a form that was a Voldemort-ized Luna, leaning over the baby’s crib – that was truly horrific.
Another thing I like a lot in this story is the way you express the genuine feelings of the characters, and yet you do it within the context of your weird, weird story. The soulscapes and the connections among the characters illuminate the ways they see one another; I think that is insightful and unique.
The one thing that does “challenge” me a bit more than I wish is concept of the link among the characters and between them and the Dementor, as well as the concept of the bead. I hate to say this, because I feel like a dolt – and it’s really a matter of your discretion, anyway – but I’d enjoy the story more if there were more explanation regarding how these things worked. I do have to stop, reread, and make an effort to visualize; and that slows down the story a bit for me. Obviously, this is not a reference to this chapter in particular. It just took a while for the idea to crystalize.
But, overall, I think this is a strong chapter.
Where "Ginny answered wearily, 'Do you see Luna anywhere?'” -- I found myself wondering whether you in fact meant wearily or warily. Either would have fit, and yet there was something about the situation what would make one "wary."
". . .trying to use the little bit of Occlumency he had learned to help out." This sentence seems a tad awkward. Perhaps, "Utilizing the lessons from his past Occlumency lessons, Harry firmly pushed the picture of a vacant-eyed, drooling Luna out of his mind, clearing a grey clean space."
The part about Luna twisting the cords to give her more strength -- the more explanation, the better.
"No way are you doing this without me." Probably because I am one of the Ancient Ones, this sounded a bit "trendy" to my ear. I would have her just say, "You are not doing this without me." Just my opinion. (Later on, when she says “No way” to Harry being the bait for the Dementor, I had a similar reaction.)
“Alright” – a pet peeve. I cleave to “all right.”
The part where Ginny is offering to be the bait while Harry fights the Dementor with Luna’s help, and then Luna suddenly jumps in: I had to read it twice, because the narrative took a turn. The transition from Ginny being the bait to Luna jumping in was a little abrupt, although what happened was certainly clear enough on rereading.
I enjoyed this chapter. In particular, the part in Harry's Soulscape was terrific.Author's Response: Thanks again for your reviews. I'll start with "Alright". I only use it in dialogue: One thing that I really want to try to do is write dialogue as people speak. I would also use "gonna" in dialogue.
Before I responded, I re-read this chapter, and I agree that the bones of a good chapter are here, but I see things that I will change here, too. The bead should have been introduced in the chapter containing Lavender's funeral, Harry should have seen Luna fiddling with it. It should have been re-introduced when Harry was talking with Luna on the way to Fred's wake. Another thing that I would change is the description of Ginny being toned from Quidditch: I don't know what I was thinking there. It is how I picture Harry seeing her, but it needs some better explanation than Quidditch.
I agree with you about "No way". While people really do talk that way, I don't think it fits Ginny. I could easily picture Ron saying it, but it seems out of place here (both places). I also noticed in another chapter where I used the exact same turn of phrase twice within three paragraphs, Doh!
I also agree that the whole soulscape concept needs better explanation, perhaps from interaction between Luna and Hermione when Luna reaches the Burrow.
For specific phrases, I definitely meant "Wearily" but I can see how warily would fit, as well. The Occlumency sentence does seem weird, too. I like your suggestion for changing it.
I meant for the part where Luna takes charge to be abrupt. It needed to be quick, so Harry and Ginny couldn't stop her.
I'm glad that you enjoyed Harry's soulscape and the emotions between the characters. I really tried to make it angsty enough to convey what they were feeling. Report Review
I may be a bit slow, but it took me a while to get that the three (Harry, Luna, Ginnie) were faking their degree of distress. I actually thought it was for real. Thus, the reference to the Puking Pastille went completely over my head. (I thought that the experience with the Dementor and the entry into Luna's Soulscape was, in fact, so debilitating that they really were as sick as they appeared. I say this because I think there may be some potential for confusion. Perhaps a few things could be made more obvious, but the choice is, of course, yours.)
Matronly healer? I thought the adjective was a little out of place -- but it's probably just because I'm over sensitive to the description "matronly" anything.
ON A LESS FACETIOUS NOTE: I thought having the Healer look at Mrs. Weasley “reprovingly” was a little harsh. It struck me as unprofessional to put this person in crisis on the defensive like that.
Similarly, I was not so bothered by George’s comment (Luna does make off the wall comments) as by the Healer’s remark. ("Young man, if you're just going to make rude comments, you may leave.") It seemed to me she would be too busy to make such a snippy remark.
Still on the Healer: Where she says, “classic case of DK” – I would suggest “textbook case." "Classic case" connotes that it conforms to a particular standard. There are other definitions, but it doesn't sound quite right.
And still more: “. . . a little less patiently” – this Healer doesn’t seem very patient to begin with.
The portkey/bracelet setup is ingenious.
“If all goes pear-shaped . . .” That is an unfamiliar expression. Not that there's anything wrong with it.
The legilimens spell -- wow! It sort of comes from out of the blue. I had the impression that practitioners were rare. Perhaps there is no good reason for thinking that, since Bellatrix apparently was proficient enough to teach Draco, who in turn was proficient enough to avoid Snape. (But on the other hand, Bella was Voldemort’s protégé, so perhaps this circumstance does not really counter my premise of legilimency being a rare skill.) However, the way you used it, with Harry grabbing a painful memory and hurling it back at him as a weapon, was very effective and clever.
The physical assault on the female Healer (the "matronly" one, poor thing) was a bit shocking and violent, but I’m confident the three will rectify it.
While the image of Luna as she saw herself was engaging, it was not clear to me why Harry experienced the Soulscape differently this time. That said, I loved your picture of Luna; it seemed exactly right. Similarly, I could imagine Luna seeing Ginny as a heroic figure. How is it, though, that Harry and Ginny could see themselves when they were in Luna’s Soulscape?
I though the Tom Riddle/Chamber of Secrets/Dementor scene was outstanding. Kudos. Ave the antlers.
That little bit in italics, where Harry is experiencing the thoughts of others before him that have been absorbed by the Dementor, was extremely clever. I really liked the mix of imagined and familiar voices.
Sorry this took so long.Author's Response: With the matronly description, I wanted to make it clear that yet again, it was the same Healer they had encountered before (when Harry,etc. saw Lockhart).
Lol, I guess you're right and she isn't very patient. I definitely need to revisit that characterisation...I may have just had a bad day at work and been projecting it into that character.
"Classic case" I think shows my Americanness(is that a word?). I think that you are right and textbook case sounds better/more Anglicised.
With the Legilimens, I wanted to make it clear that the Healer was a mind Healer, but I see that got left out. It would make it more clear why he used it. I'm glad that you liked Harry panicking and shoving whatever painful memory he could at the Healer, I thought it was totally IC for Harry.
Harry experienced it differently this time because his experience was being coloured by what was occurring. What I mean is: Each time you enter, it would be slightly different.
I got help from Bella (not you, just Bella) on the Chamber of Secrets part.
I'm glad that you're still enjoying this confusing story Report Review
I'm really liking how coming to the end the story is a lot about feelings and mind power rather than atual spell casting. I think these last few chapters have been amazingly creative and really well written, to explain what's going on.
Good job as alwaysAuthor's Response: Thank you. Wow, a guy writing about emotions and feelings, who would have ever thought (joke)?
Thanks for the kind words. I appreciate your reviews. Report Review
I have to wonder where you come up with these creative ideas? This story took on a whole new level with the soulscapes!
Absolutely brilliant!!Author's Response: Wow, thank you. I'm glad you like the soulscapes. I did not originate the concept. It's been around in fantasy for a while. The best examples are in P.C. Hodgell's works. I recommend them.
Thanks for the review. Report Review
This was an excellent and incredibly inventive chapter.
Mrs. Weasley came bustling – I would probably use another word than “bustling.” It’s not necessarily wrong, but it has a connotation of great energy, perhaps excessive energy and noise; and it just doesn’t feel right. “came rushing into kitchen” or something describing her physical action, perhaps?
“Mrs. Weasley shouted . . .” This seems a bit harsh for someone as weak as Luna. I think Molly could be gentler without losing any of her strong, emphatic character. The following line (“I’m of age now and I’m not going back. . .”) suggests she gets into a mini-argument with Molly, which is rather unlikely, given both women’s characters and Luna’s condition.
In the next paragraph, where Molly says, “Alright [I hate that word. What’s wrong with “all right”?] then, if that’s the way it’s going to be, Mrs. Weasley stated in a dangerous tone.” --
Why dangerous? That word suggests a veiled threat. Why, since Luna is seeing a Healer.
The joke wand is a good bit but this may not be the most appropriate place.
Luna, please, I don’t think I could bear to lose you too. . . stroked her matted hair gently. – oooh, gross. Ginnie’s in the next bed.
The next scene, between Harry and Luna, is great. The only thing that is a bit unclear is Luna’s condition. For example, is she so weak she is in and out of consciousness. (The way she carries on a conversation suggests not, but the condition she was in when she arrived suggests she was in bad condition indeed.) You might want to clarify it a bit.
Inside the Pensieve, he was a wraith, devoid of substance, but here, traveling into Luna’s mind, he felt that he had substance. – GREAT!
I thought the soulscape as a bestiary, and the bestiary animals distressed, was brilliant.
Harry took the opportunity to tap on the glass, further enraging the Dementor. – I wondered why he did this.
The bead entering him – this I had trouble with . The other children, yes. Bead, no.
The part about the Dementor having stolen Dean’s happy memories was extremely clever.
As he turned his head to see, Ginny’s gentle hand cupped his chin and pulled him into a gentle kiss. – maybe one too many “gentles”.
I hope this his not put you off a vacation, plan.Author's Response: You are right, "rushing" would be a much better word choice. For the mini-argument with Luna and Molly, I see two strong women butting heads, but you may be right that I haven't properly set up the situation.
I want to make it clear that George accidently pulled out the joke wand...he did not do it of a purpose.
Luna gained strength when she came in contact with Harry, as will be evident in later chapters, but it was meant to be a bit of a 'huh?' moment here.
Glad you liked the bestiary soulscape and the comparison to the Pensieve.
It's human nature to tap the glass on a dangerous animal (not attractive, but true). I think Harry's impulsiveness would make him tap the glass, not thinking about the creature inside until it reacted.
The bead enters him because they are in Luna's mind, and she is basically overriding Harry in that instance.
Quote "As he turned his head to see, Ginny’s gentle hand cupped his chin and pulled him into a gentle kiss. – maybe one too many “gentles”."
Doh, I hate being repetitive and redundant and repetitive...Thanks.
As for alright or all right... I would only use alright in dialogue. I prefer okay, but see that I used both okay and o.k. in this story: I should stick to one.
Thanks as always for the CC. Report Review
Ron's "I’m gonna go shower and get some breakfast, if that’s o.k. with you” -- struck me as a little caustic. Was there a reason for that? In the subsequent scene, it seemed like a bit much for Harry to ask Ron to put jam on his scones -- but maybe that's just me.
Where Harry says, "It couldn’t have been a dream, could it?” -- it would seem stronger to have him insist, "It couldn't have been a dream!" without the question tagged on at the end. That seemed odd, as there was no one who could answer it, anyway. (I suppose he's talking to himself, but I still think it weakens the statement overall.)
The springing the press conference on him without warning bothered me. Saying he would support, and not speak against, Kingsley is one thing. Having a bad night and waking up to a yardfull of reporters with no warning is another. I'd like it better if, say, he received an owl from the MOM asking him to participate in the conference; he doesn't want to go but his friends and Mrs. W tell him he really needs to come through and they'll be there to support him. It would lengthen the proceedings at bit, but it would be less abrupt.
Your reporters' names and publications were brilliant. And the question from the Quibbler reporter was absolutely perfect.
The capital punishment question was really well done. I do kind of wish you'd identified the slithery voiced person, however. Just for my own reader's curiousity.
Good job with Harry deflecting questions about his love life.
Overall, I thought this was a really good chapter. If I may offer one final suggestion, I'd look at the way it is formatted on the page and try to eliminate the excessive spacing between paragraphs.Author's Response: Well, with Ron's response, I was trying to show that Ron is still upset about H/L and not comfortable with him (mark it up to early morning surliness).
The grammarian in me still wants to put a question mark at the end of that sentence, but you might be right and an exclamation mark might be okay with a rhetorical question.
You're absolutely right about the press conference, it would have been better for Shacklebolt to set it up in the last chapter and just have Harry forget about it due to his...umm...nocturnal activities.
Glad you liked the reporters and their papers. I had orginally planned something else for the slithery voiced person, but I edited it out. I can see how it might pique the reader's interest.
Formatting? Hmm, looks like it might have 3 carriage returns at some points rather than 2, thanks for noticing that.
I particularly liked (if I may say what I like about my own story), Rita's questioning and his deflection, so I'm glad that you liked it too.
As for the ending, I told you before that I became addicted to cliffies and was trying to work it out, so I'm glad that you liked the ending.
That was a very interesting first chapter. I loved how you got into the Dementor's pov.Author's Response: Ty, I enjoyed writing from a Dementor's POV. Report Review
This was a really good, concise chapter.
I liked the scene with Mr. Weasley. The activity and the interaction both felt right.
Also thought the scene with Ginny was excellent and conveyed real emotion. Because I can't help myself, however, I'll offer a few comments. In the comment about Ginny's freckles, I would not choose to capitalize "Suns."
Later, when Ginny uses the term "Soulscape" -- it is such a strange and unique expression, I would expect it to elicit at least a "say what?" from Harry. (OK, not that expression precisely, but some acknowledgment that she is using language oddly.) Later, when Harry is explaining to her what happened, he uses the word "soul", which is standard lingo when referring to what Dementors do, but then he switches to "spirit." You wouldn't think it would matter; but "soul", especially in this context, has a very specific meaning and connotation. Spirit has a slightly different connotation that has always seemed (to me) broader and less individualized. In other words, I'm not sure they are interchangeable; perhaps it would be less jarring for the reader just to stick with soul.
When Ginny gasps, “Harry, if you hadn’t come along when you did, Luna might not have been able to stop the Dementor by herself. I don’t blame you for what happened, so don’t blame yourself” -- she has been in a near coma. If she just heard for the first time what happened, then she needs a bit more time for this very weird and unique occurrence to sink in before she can talk about it spontaneously and rationally. (On the other hand, she may have a sense of it by intuition or by her mom telling her, then it is less strange that she would respond with this statement.)
Speaking of mom: I know she's tired, but she just told Harry that Ginny is about to be awakened; Harry washes up, comes back, and she's asleep and reacting strangely to loud noises. I realize the poor woman is exhausted, and it is realistic to do it this way; but it's sort of distracting to have Harry get back to Ginny's room and find her mom suddenly asleep.
Speaking of Lady Macbeth. I really liked that reference. But I would suggest having Harry take his shower and be unable to get off all the blood. He can then observe that Lady Macbeth may have been right. I don't think there's a need to spell out the meaning behind a literary reference. The reference itself assumes the reader is, well, literate. They'll either get it or they won't (as with my King Lear reference). Anyway, that's what Wikipedia's for.
The "romantic" encounter was a pleasure to read, because we so seldom see these scenes, written from a male POV, actually written by a male author. Two thoughts: they are well into it -- second paragraph -- when we read that he was "certain now that it was Luna." It seems a little late in the day to be certain.
Also, the line, "“I think we should discuss it more tomorrow when we’re both more capable of rational thought. And when we’re fully clothed” -- did not sound Lunaesque to my ear.Author's Response: You're right, it should be suns, not Suns, only the Sun should be captialised. I hate making that sort of error (it reflects poorly on my Ravenclaw-ness).
For Molly, I think that I will just add a description of how tired she is to better explain why she falls asleep, thanks for catching that.
Yeah, I should just delete the part about Lady MacBeth and make it more subtle, like something that's in the epilogue.
I switched between spirit and soul to keep from being monotonous, but I think that you're right and I should stick with one description for it for consistency.
You're right that Harry should have a "WTH" moment with the soulscape word. This does happen, but in a later chapter, it should be moved up to here.
Ginny knew that she had been trapped in the Dementor's soulscape, and was aware of events around her, sort of through the Dementor's eyes. This was deliberate, but maybe too obscure.
You are absolutely right about the line about being sure it was Luna, I actually said it earlier when he was kissing her, so it makes no sense later (I just re-read the scene and shook my head at what I wrote, lol).
You're right that the last line is not so-IC for Luna, but she has reason for why she is OoC and I like that line, so I'm keeping it (but don't think that I don't appreciate the CC still, because I do).
I will admit that I wrote this chapter, the previous, and the next two without proof-reading multiple times like I usually do, so I appreciate you catching the little inconsistencies. When I re-edit this story, I will be sure to credit you for all your help.
I was a little disturbed by Shacklebolt being such an antagonist to Harry. He was someone I always thought of as one of the good guys. He still is, at the end of the chapter, but just barely.
The observation about capital punishment was a bath of cold water. Nothing like having something deeply topical thrown on your fantasy reading. (Note: this is not a criticism; only an observation. I think it's perfectly valid and kind of ratchets up the interest level.) And calling it the "American Strategy" -- ouch.
I liked the factualness of this chapter. Even the recitation of deaths and casualties -- while it was quite different in tone from JKR -- nevertheless conferred a sense of reality.
I think Hermione's statement about the Aurors and the drugging is very much in character; and I think the same of Ron's apology to Harry for hitting him.
The dressing-down Harry gets from Connor: I kind of liked it. It seemed like the sort of thing an experienced Auror might well say.
The one thing that bothered me, which I sort of addressed in the next Review (that got posted before this one -- darned internet connections!) concerns the fate of Luna and Dean. In the previous chapter, when Luna came to the rescue, it seemed that whatever was going on with her was very strange and contrary to a Dementor's usual experience of what is natural. But I was not left with the impression that she was being subjected to an equivalent of the DK. (Dean, it may have been there and I may have missed it, as I was focused on other characters.) But when Shacklebolt announced that Luna and Dean were in bad shape due the the DK, I had a WTF moment. So, I think Luna's fate in this regard (if not Dean's) may need a bit more clarification after all. (I know I said I was fine with the scene in the last chapter, but I did not take it to include anything this awful happening to Luna.)
This next point, I know I make in the next chapter, and it is that with something this horrific, it's a good idea to let the dreadfulness of the event be felt by the characters and the reader before moving on. The Dementor's Kiss is not a business as usual type event. It inspirers terror; it is unnatural and ghastly. You don't want to lose that.
Despite what I wrote directly abovem, I thought this was a good chapter. It was well thought out, detailed, and paced, and it moved the plot. It's just that you are touching on some really scary stuff, so don't forget to stop and smell the graveyard.Author's Response: For this chapter, I had the phrase, "Gryffindors make terrible Aurors" in my head long before this fic and knew this was the place for it, so I'm glad you liked Conner's reaction.
I had to mention capital punishment, because I'm sure that some would suggest that DEs should receive it after what they did. IMO the Dementor's Kiss is even worse than capital punishment. I believe that Americans (and I'm one) would utilise the Death Penalty for magical malfeasance (I borrowed it a bit from Laurell K. Hamilton, but it makes good sense to me).
I appreciate the CC about not focusing on the horror of the events enough. I promise that you'll find more about Dean and Luna, but that it'll be a bit, and it will be weird, very weird.
I love your quote "don't forget to stop and smell the graveyard". May I use it in another fic (a follow-up to Graverobbers) if I credit you?
The reason that Shacklebolt was so antagonistic was: he had tried to protect the public, by doing what he thought was best, but it backfired. He also wanted to protect Harry, Ron and Hermione from backlash. So he was really trying to protect them, and in the process tried to treat them like children. Like any (pseudo-)parent, he didn't like it when Harry spoke sharply to him. And in his defence, he's in a tight spot.
I'm really glad that you thought Ron and Hermione were IC. Ron's easy, Hermione's a bit harder.
Thanks again, you rock! Report Review
I thought this was one of the most interesting chapters thus far. You did a nice job of recreating St. Mungo's. Even the "motherly" healer from OOP, although she was only a cameo in the novel, was in character. The description of the queue/triage section was believeable and appropriate.
The length and pacing were good. So were the descriptions of the to individuals, Luna and Dean, who'd suffered the DK.
My one suggestion/criticism is that you might allow a little more time to let the horror of the situation come through. You describe the consequences of the Dementor's Kiss in a very matter of fact way. That is great from the standpoint of moving the story along; but it is such a huge and horrific event that it wants a little more lingering on. If it's wrong for Harry to actually feel the awfulness of it, because he is too emotionally drained to feel, I think you have to find a way to let the reader both feel the ghastliness of the DK and, along with it, the weirdness of being unable to register it on an emotional level. (I'm not sure that was your intention with respect to Harry's emotional response. I include those comments because you mention he'd "barely been holding it together.")
This chapter poses a great mystery. The whole business about the walkabouts, about Luna mysteriously up from her bed, anticipates exciting reading.
The cloaked figure -- o, another dementor!
(BTW: my review on the last chapter did not go through -- lost the connection. I think I saved it on my laptop at home and can resend it when I get there. Sorry this is out of order.)Author's Response: Thanks again for the CC. This is what I meant when I heard from others that I have short-changed my characters a bit emotionally. Your point about letting the horror show through more is excellent, and I agree that I didn't really give it enough oomph. You'll see a fair bit more of that Healer.
I know this and the next chapter were very short, but I was working a ton at the time and they should have been combined into one.
Yes, it's very mysterious about Luna and Dean.
Thanks again for all the CC, I love it. Report Review
There are a couple of other authors who like to combine magic with firearms). My only thought was: you said automatic, but I would have pictured a semiauto weapon as more typical of something a policeman (and, by implication, and Auror, might carry). But maybe you need a machine gun when you're up against DE's. Actually, it makes perfectly good sense.
The scene where Luna encompassed the Dementor and forced it to re-ensoul Ginnie was great -- very visual. (I may see it when I try to go to sleep tonight.) And the python Patronus guy, Gio, was a very interesting character. (I actually hope you expand on him in future chapters.)
Great chapter.Author's Response: Curse! You are right, it should be a semi-auto rather than an automatic (which conjures up images of a machine gun). Conner would carry an assault rifle in certain situations, but that's another story.
Thanks for catching that factual error, I hate factual errors, so I appreciate the comment.
Thanks for commenting on the scene with Luna and the Dementor, as well. It has confused some people, so let me just say that I believe that Dementors are capable of being incorporeal at will. This is the chapter of this story that I edited and re-edited and revisited again and again, so I'm glad that you like it.
I do have a whole history and story in mind for Gio (Giovanni Petrucchio), but I'm not sure when I will get to it. Briefly, he was born mute, told as a child he was mentally deficient, told would never be a wizard, became one anyway, became Italian version of Auror, dual wand duelling champ (and bronze medalist in single wand dueling), and now trains Aurors in England.
Thanks again, I love both the praise (who doesn't) and the CC. Report Review
Wow! Super ending. I liked the C-section. I guess the Dementor was just resisting the use of magic in order to cover up its existence. I wonder if therefore Delilah would have shown very little magic and would have been assumed to be a squib.
Def deserves a follow-up, if only a short story. This would devastate Harry and Luna.
It might truly make Luna insane. A dementor victim on their property and their daughter missing. They would never guess, or maybe they would but even Luna would dismiss it as too implausible. And Harry might finally become an Auror.
This whole story is just great. You’re a bit too hard on yourself about the quality of the writing. You have the first part of being a good writer down; story crafting. In other words: plotting and organization.
I have the idea that you wrote that last part first and have been waiting all they time to use this. And that it inspired the rest.
And the 'word crafting'; well that will come with time; along with more writing and you'll need to read a lot too. I still remember how awful a writer I was two years ago and didn't realize it. I'm still not great, but I have improved. And not just my fiction writing, my business writing has improved too because of all of this. Even my grammar. You can learn a lot from Betas.
By the way listen to Bella Portia, she even better with the Constructive stuff than me, from what I've read of her reviews.
A great story all around and you get a ten for the epilogue!Author's Response: Hey! Thanks for the great reviews and CC. Without you, this story would not have been the same. I knew that you would be disappointed with the regular ending, but I had a surprise up my sleeve. While this wasn't written first, like you guessed, I did have the idea for the ending before I started the fic.
It might get a follow-up, but I have other stuff I want to write first.
Yes, she would have been considered low-magic, almost a squib. (Strange that I gave the happiest ending to the character that I like the least: Ginny). Thanks again for all your reviews and kind words and butt-kicks.
If you do want to see the missing piece of the epilogue, just PM me. Report Review
Wow, Just wow awesome ending in a really creepy wayAuthor's Response: Thanks, I like the classic horror story ending, too. Thank you for the reads and review. Report Review
omg, THAT ENDING! is there gonna be a sequel? good story btw :)Author's Response: Thanks for the reads and review. At this point, I have ideas for a sequel, but they are unformed, so the answer is maybe, but if there is one, it will be some time in the future.
Poor Delilah, Harry, and Luna.
This started off as a very disconnected day for poor Harry. The romance with Luna while he was supposed to be back together with Ginny was very messy and very human.
The part about Luna's distress about hearing voices was also very in-character and poignant.
I thought the parts were people react from the other side, such as Ron punching Harry and Ginny telling him she wishes he had been killed, also felt right.
My one criticism is that Luna did not strike me as the person to go after Ginny to calm her down. She seemed like pretty much the last person Ginny would want to see. At worst, Luna would be in some physical danger; and, at best, Luna was the last person she would want to see.
I LOVED the Wizard punk band. I didn't know the pogo caught on with those of the wizarding persuasion -- I guess you learn something every day. But -- great lyrics.
The ending was super-interesting -- a real cliff-hanger.Author's Response: Yeah, Harry never struck me as very stable. At this point he so confused about his feelings. The voices are very important.
I'm glad that you feel the reaction of Ron was IC; I had toned it down just a bit and think it's just right now. I also like Molly's reaction; upset, at her son's wake, when she hears news about H/L, she's gonna be upset. I still wonder about Hermione's reaction, whispering to Neville still feels slightly off to me.
Luna went after Ginny to try to explain, as Ginny was really her first friend at Hogwarts (at least that's what I picture). I don't think that Ginny would attack Luna based on a second party report, but if she had personally witnessed it, it would be a different story. I was hinting that the band was American by its name, so pogoing I thought would be more prevalent in U.S. Thanks for the C.C. and I'm glad you liked the lyrics. Unfortunately, I became addicted to cliffies here. I need to work on that. Report Review
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