I really like this story so far and it's written very clearly. I like the character development within a short period of time and you're keeping me intrigued. Excited to find out more :)Author's Response: Glad the first chapter goes down well, I'm quite fond of this one. There's a whole lot more out there to find out, if this is where you are in the series. Just keep reading to discover it! Thanks for reviewing. Report Review
Only Toby would criticise the lyrics of a song for having a double negative. OH TOBIAS. Embrace the Wild Rover!
The Peak District truly is a marvellous part of Britain. Until you're walking it. NOT FUN. This is definitely one of those times where I prefer luxurious camping/caravanning. I honestly wish wizarding tents were actually possible, that would make things much easier.
I love Cal's moaning about Muggle Studies, and learning things that seem useless. My Lily does the same, of course. :) Although to be fair, Shakespeare and Wordsworth do seem SLIGHTLY more relevant than the inner workings of a washing machine.
This chapter in particular, with all of their job ambitions, is RIDICULOUSLY amusing to read again, having read up to the end of Shadow. Oh kids, if only you knew...
It really does make me cry when Tobias decides that FOLLOWING THE LIGHT is a good idea. In the words of Hermione, "What an idiot." But it's all cool. Ritter to the rescue!
Oh, Cal. Poor, poor Cal.Author's Response: Tobias Grey, Super-Nerd. I LOVE the Peak District. And hiking in it. But I also like those being memories and not having to do it right now. It's a really gorgeous part of the world, and I loved throwing the gang in there. But I find landscapes particularly evocative. I can't imagine how Cal would cope with being asked to study a washing machine, I think he'd go spare, but he's not the most academic at the best of times, bless him! Shakespeare and the Romantics are not his idea of a good time (which makes him a heathen, but oh well).
It's a crazy chapter to read, looking back on everything. Not just in terms of how the kids' lives have changed beyond what they expected, but also how they've changed. Like Tobias going into the light. Can we say stupid and naive - but then his learning curve is going to be steep and cruel.
Cal's life does, indeed, begin to promptly SUCK from this point. Report Review
Procrastination. Yeah. Time to find some of my missing reviews and rectify this issue. Because I can. :)
Ritter is ridiculously amazing. I mean, for one thing, HE HAS A STAFF. Only the coolest kids have staffs. You should totally give one of your other characters a staff someday. That would be immense.
Also, Ritter is posessed with ridiculously good banter. Always a good way of putting an idiot Death Eater off. You were so horrible to him...Author's Response: I'm okay with this kind of procrastination, I should return the favour at some point. ;)
Ritter is, indeed, a dude. Though it's more a STICK than a staff, I mean, it's not at all magical. A magical stick sounds silly. Who would carry one of those? I guess I did have to do horrid things to him in the end, he was too awesome to avoid doom... Report Review
I love the idea that the future could be set in stone, OR it could just be one future of many, depending on the choices people make. This teaching could be interesting from a character like Whitaker. And boy, does he seem like a character.
ANYWAY. I'd hop straight off to the next one now, if it wasn't for the fact that I have an exam in four days and thus need to revise and thus need sleep. SO. I'll be back after my exam to read the next one!Author's Response: As a sci-fi nerd, I got to totally geek out about the future, because prophecies work along similar principles to time travel in the regard of what's fixed, and interference, etc. I have some very strong opinions about prophecies and how they should work! (Heroes, I'm side-eyeing the hell out of you right now)
I'd like to thank you, a whole bunch, for this slew of reviews. I'm mostly just pleased people are reading and enjoying, but I cannot deny that my ego has been stroked, and boy does my ego like that. I very much appreciate you taking the time to comment on each chapter, and it's been helpful for ME - I've been writing this story and these characters for so long I forget it's sometimes helpful to look back on what I've done and examine those bits left by the wayside. It's certainly making me adjust my plans for the post-Deathly Hallows part of the story I'm currently working on, and I think for the better. There are some things I've neglected and left underdeveloped and it's time to change them.
So thank you, very much, for reading and giving feedback and for enjoying. And I wish you much luck in your exam!
~ Slide Report Review
I love Tanith/Gabe times. Obviously Gabe always seemed closest to Cal - not that he's ever been close with any of them - but all this vision stuff seems to have brought him closer to Tanith, and I like that.
Just one thing. You say "It was hard for all eight of them to be crammed in one compartment which was quite full at six". But then you list Bletchley, Pucey, Montague, Ariane and Melanie. Added to our four, that makes nine, right? Arithmetic is either failing me or you right now. Not that I'm being picky...
That last bit was so sad, with them all saying goodbye. I mean, in theory it's not as though they'll never see each other again, but in the first place they're all leaving school and things will never be the same, and secondly there's so much uncertainty about what will happen, you've acknowledged as much with all the foreshadowing going on in this chapter ... yeah. It was sad. And I'm glad that T/T is left as it is. Despite me championing it all the way through, it seems RIGHT that it's left like this. :)Author's Response: ...boo for arithmetic. I have no excuses. Good catch! I probably forgot Pucey, then edited him in later to the name list but not the numbers.
They know bad times are coming, that the goodbye is huge - and even if it weren't, that's got to be so weird. Because they're not even saying goodbye to each other, they're saying goodbye to a whole way of life where they lived together and were together day in, day out, for seven years. Even if they were in a time of peace and were all going to be near one another, that'd still be huge. I can't really imagine it. Then again, in practice, I guess they'd be so excited about what came next? That's my experience of those sorts of partings, the Next Adventure dwarfs it.
And yes, it's not the time for T/T. I didn't know how this scene was going to end until I wrote it, though I knew they'd be parting. I think they had to leave it as putting a pin on their words and feelings, because it would have been too soon for them to declare their undying love before being separated.
And with what's coming, even I'm not that cruel. Okay, a lie, if it had been the right time I'd have totally done that. Report Review
Wow. This must have been ... difficult, to write. I mean, from the point of view of someone who wasn't fond of Dumbledore, but can still recognise - perhaps too late - just how important a figure he was within the wizarding world. I dunno, though, maybe it wasn't that hard? After all, you know your characters, you know how they'd all react to such a thing.
I'm glad that Tobias is finally doing what I always thought he should do. And I'm also glad that Cal is finally telling Nat what he should have told her long ago - though she probably knew it all anyway...Author's Response: No, it was tough. Tobias knows a lot of his problems with Dumbledore were, if not childish, irrelevant to the bigger picture, and he's a smart enough guy to know how INTEGRAL Dumbledore was to that. And he still respected him in his own right. So finding the balance of not being DEVASTATED like the Trio are, while recognising the import, as well as Dumbledore's death, for my characters, just being the final note on the whole mess... it was a balancing act!
Nat knew all. But she knows the importance of letting Cal tell her when he's ready. Report Review
A nine inch wand is a very short one for a man with Robb's stature to be using, surely?
I guess it's more than possible for Brynmor Sr to seem just like any other normal person when he's talking to Cal as a father. I mean, the Death Eaters just think they're right, they don't all think that anything they do is bad, just necessary. So there's no reason why he can't have any compassion whatsoever. I like that there's more depth to him than him just being a murderous creep.
I admire Cal's strength of heart so much here. That must have taken a lot, to say no to a father who clearly cares about him so much more than just having an heir.
And, of course, Brynmor has to let his son down, by torturing his friend despite promising they'd be safe. Mind, that was before Cal rejected his offer I guess...
Gabe is amazing. Thank god they all survive! HUGE sigh of relief here...Author's Response: Hmm. Although wand length and height are not NECESSARILY linked, 9 inches is probably on the short side. I don't know why I made Tobias' wand so short; it does suit his originally conservative nature, but still, that IS rather short. Robb must just be relying upon having won it off Toby, and with Ollivander gone and being a wanted criminal he couldn't go buy a new wand exactly. So it's probably best for him to use an imperfect wand which he won, than any old wand lying around.
I have wanted Thanatos Brynmor to be more than a murderous nutjob. While he may have messed up ideas of what's best or how to achieve it, he DOES want what's best for his son - he just thinks that Voldemort's world would be best for him. Which makes it all the harder for Cal - he can't just dismiss his father as a monster, because he sees the glimpses of affection, and however much Will cared for him it's hard to completely dismiss parental love he's been denied his whole life.
And Gabriel Doyle - one cunning bugger. Report Review
OH THIS IS THE NIGHT WHEN DUMBLEDORE DIES. I LOVE reading this night from other characters' points of view, because it must have been the most surreal night EVER.
OH no. Gabe's vision. CAL!Author's Response: For people not in the know this is such a strange night, yes. I liked alluding to that with Riley complaining about the DA - she's the Head Girl, in Gryffindor, and the DA having learnt from HARRY, of course they wouldn't bloody tell anyone else something's going on, or bring them along, would they? But the prefects are still there to Save the Day!
Or not. Report Review
THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THE SPICE GIRLS OKAY? OKAY.
I love how there's so much tension in the room with Tobias and Tanith, and Cal has NO idea what to do, and then, right on cue, Gabe ambles in, as only Gabe could, with a pack of cards. BEAUTIFUL.Author's Response: There's especially nothing wrong with the Spice Girls in the summer of 1997. I know, I was there, and the PERFECT age for it. *sobs* I can't see Cal being a fan, though.
Sometimes, just sometimes, Gabe does the perfect thing, socially. The question is if he means to. Report Review
It must be horrible having to deal with dead bodies. Even the THOUGHT of dead bodies freaks me out.
Ah, yes. The love triangle. Of course. And Toby's mother won that war. That explains it.
Yep, here we go. Tobias wants to join the MLE in the immediate aftermath of Annie's death, but as time goes by and he moves on, and the pain becomes less raw, he realises that it's not the place for him... DO IT TOBIAS. Then he can go back to school, and BACK TO TANITH! Only that may make things awkward, I don't think they're ready for relationship times yet, I think they both need to come to terms PROPERLY with their feelings for each other and that will only happen when they next see each other...Author's Response: The MLE Patrol was the right place for Tobias - at that time. But only for that time, and not for the war, and certainly not for the long-term. He's learning some valuable lessons, and some of those lessons are just about being one piece of a bigger machine - when he's used to being the one who sets the beat. To mix my metaphors. It's not a mistake, so much as a decision For Now. Report Review
Oh, no! Oh, Gabe! That must be a horrendous thing to have to know, and work out, and ... oh, if ANYTHING happens to Tobias, or Cal, I'll be actually devastated. You are a cruel, cruel person to your characters!Author's Response: I am cruel. I have accepted this. But my reassurance is this: I try to pay off my characters going through tough times by letting them have their moments of awesome. Report Review
Mmm, listen to Aurora, Tobias...Author's Response: Aurora is indeed wise and sensible. Report Review
I love the Slytherin/Hufflepuff camaraderie. It doesn't matter what the situation is, sport brings people together like nothing else :) And I love Cal when he's in a happy mood! He's hilarious. Love the awkward moment when Nat mentions guttural moans though. And Tanith definitely needs Nat ... for a start she can fill the friendship-sized hole that Tobias left to an extent, and secondly, she's a girl, she NEEDS a girl friend that's not Ariane and Melanie, regardless of how boyish she is.
Oh no, what did Gabe se?Author's Response: Cal's so delightfully silly when he's feeling okay, he's a joy to write. And Nat helps - for his good moods, and for Tanith's, and Tanith definitely benefits from female friendship. In many ways she's boyish because of being friends with boys. She went through one of those silly phases of "I'm not like those OTHER girls" and is finally maturing enough to realise that's stupid. And is finally meeting girls OTHER than Ariane and Melanie who can help her out. Report Review
Well, I guess this is the end of the four of them as we know it? I'm getting quite sad at that fact. And I like that Cal and Gabe say their goodbyes and then let T/T have their moment in peace without being gooseberries. Aww, it's so sad them having to say goodbye - OHMYGODTHEYFINALLYKISSED! Okay, I'm satisfied! I'm worried about what you do to them NEXT though...Author's Response: Cal and Gabe might be long-suffering and bewildered about what goes on with T/T, but they are, indeed, not gooseberries (I need to use that term more often). They know when to skedaddle and let them have their issues.
Until the NEXT issue dawns, then! Report Review
Oh no, Cal/Tobias moment. Well this will end badly.
OH. He bumped into ROBB! Well, not quite what I expected... Same principle though.
Oh, calm down, Tobias, he knows what he did was wrong, don't hurt him even more!
Oh Nat, I love you.
I'm glad they've sort of sorted things out. Cal's been punished enough by himself, he doesn't need any more of it from Tobias.
I REALLY love Nat. She heard it all, didn't she?Author's Response: Yep, while Thanatos was threatening Tobias and Tanith in the wilderness, Cal ran into Robb. But it was the start of the same thing, ultimately.
Tobias couldn't stay angry with him forever. He was a little bit angry with him because that was an anger he could DO something about, while all of his other feelings were tremendously impotent. But when confronted with it... the anger fizzles out, and he remembers their friendship.
And yes, Nat totally heard every word. Report Review
"Inches stretched between them, inches she was keenly aware of in a way she hadn't been since a different night alone in the common room a lifetime ago, before death and before Annie and before she'd been so stupid as to know..."
Oh Jeremy. Look what you did.
"She couldn't help but laugh again, with similar bitterness, at the suggestion she might talk this through with Ariane and Melanie."
The prospect of a scene of THIS moment ... oh god. Almost too much.
Oh, that T/T moment was so so beautiful. DON'T GO, TOBIAS. SHE NEDS YOU!Author's Response: I promise that there will be occasions in the future where Tanith has Deep Emotional Conversations with Ariane and Melanie. It might be a while, but it'll happen. Because I couldn't pass on such an opportunity. Report Review
I have this wonderful image of Snape with Umbridge-style decor in his office...
I still think Tobias is rushing into this too fast. I love that he acknowledged Annie was a "true Gryffindor". Coming from someone who dislikes the arrogance and rashness of Gryffs - mind you, he's rash himself, I guess it's more Tanith who criticises their gung-ho attitude and she can get away with that because she thinks things through better than he does - POINT IS I like that Tobias said that.
It says just how much Tobias cares for Tanith, that he'd be willing to see Cal made a prefect given what he thinks of him at the moment...
I think Dumbledore hit the nail on the head there, at the end. I think Tobias DOES want to help the war effort, but more than anything feels guilty that he couldn't save Annie, and wants to make up for that...Author's Response: I should have just done that - Snape never redecorated, because Snape doesn't redecorate, and so he's stuck with Umbridge's decor.
Tobias is rushing things, yes, especially by his own standards. Because he's always been someone to carefully plan out his life - only now that plan's been thrown into disarray and he doesn't know how to rebuild it. I forgot in this chapter how much Snape and Dumbledore are blatantly projecting their own issues ALL OVER HIM, though!! Report Review
"You're Tanith Cole. I know you're Tanith Cole... Just by the way you say my name."
OH GOD I LOVE T/T.
The Enforcer interviewer guy talked a lot of sense there. And actually I wish he'd rejected Tobias, because I don't want him to go work in MLE! I don't think he'd be good there.
Oh, poor Tanith... how can Tobias not see that he'll break her heart by leaving?Author's Response: This scene makes me just want to hug them. Or bash their heads together (I can only take partial responsibility for their actions). Tobias knows he'll hurt her - but he'd be miserable and constrained staying at Hogwarts. There's no Win.
MLE is not the best prospect for Tobias in the long-term - it's a waste of his talents, not to say the Patrol is 'lesser', but it doesn't play to his strengths. However, he can learn some very important lessons there, and be brought back down to earth. Report Review
Slytherin v Ravenclaw. Oh dear. MLE owls. Bigger oh dear. Poor Tobias, but good on him for being decent about it! Deep down I think he knew it was a long shot. I wish he'd just go for DIMC though, it's where he'd be best! And he WOULD be able to help the war effort from there.
Oh no, Cal and Nat fighting? Oh, Cal, don't do this! You NEED her! I hope Tanith tries to uncover it all! For Cal's sake more than anything.Author's Response: It's a nice scene for Toby, refusing to let the others feel sorry for him and trying his damndest to not let it ruin what should be amazing news for Tanith. Because, yeah, he knew it was a bit of a pipe dream, and he definitely knows how much it means to her.
Relationship Sleuth Tanith would be hilarious. With Melanie and Ariane as her sidekicks. Report Review
Probably one of my favourite chapters so far. I like that it's from an 'outsider's' point of view, so to speak. And Tanith certainly held her own there! I think she and Tonks are both right in what they say about Tobias, I just hope that if he doesn't get through, he doesn't find out what she said...Author's Response: I really liked writing Tonks. I'd write her more, but it MAKES ME SAD. Report Review
Oh, poor Cal :( I can totally forgive him for that curiosity about his dad, I can see why he did it. And oh god does he need Nat in his life. I just hope he tells her what's been going on, and then tells the others too, and that they don't react Too badly...
Gabe time! Yay! It must be hard, to see stuff and yet be told he can't change it ... you write Firenze very well by the way. There are some canon characters who have to be captured so exactly, and Firenze is one of them, and you definitely succeed.Author's Response: Firenze was fun in that scene. I think the trick with characters like him is that they have to have a specific purpose, something specific to say and do, else it becomes kind of weird.
I really do feel for Cal. At least he has Nat at this point, or I don't know what he'd have done. Report Review
I can't see Toby as an Auror. I think he's very good at magic and stuff, but like he acknowledged last chapter, he plays by the rules too much. Plus, I think he's too rash at times. I mean, in the circumstances it was understandable but he rushed in to try to save Annie, whereas Tanith was so much more methodical and logical about it all, and THAT'S why she'd make a good Auror but he wouldn't. I think. You're the author, you know better than little old me!
Once more, I feel sorry for Gabe. He's clearly so confused about everything, but Tobias is mourning Annie, Tanith is worried about Tobias and Cal ... well, Cal what? I hope we find out what's going on with him soon, I can't take much more suspense!
Love the last line. So sad, but so true.Author's Response: Certainly Tobias would have a lot of learning to do to become a good Auror. Some of that is youth, but yes, some of it is temperament. He's stuffy enough that he doesn't deal with his emotions well when they explode; Tanith, on the other hand, exists in an almost constant-state of emotional upheaval, so it's nothing new! But I'm glad, considering where the story goes, that you think Toby wouldn't make a great Auror. It was certainly the point that his scheme to become one was flawed! Report Review
I feel so, so sorry for Tobias' mum. Regardless of whether or not Tobias is right in what he says about her ... that's one hell of a lot of bad luck to be served up.
Oh, this will be Gabe's vision when he touched Wilson then...
Wilson and McLaggen are idiots (other insults are available but wouldn't comply with the 12+ rating required). Do they REALLY think Tobias wanted this any more than they did?
I like that Tobias actually listened to his mum, and isn't going to mope around. Because that would depress me. He's going to be one dangerous animal now though... the Death Eaters really should have thought of this!Author's Response: Melissa Hart's story is particularly sad - to throw away her world for the man she loved, only to lose him. And on top of that, Tobias has so idealised the notion of the father he never met that she gets all of the bad, so to speak.
Wilson and McLaggen don't really consciously think ANYTHING, they're just helpless and frustrated and deciding to be pissy at Tobias about it, as he's the best target. Fortunately they're not dumb enough to actively lash out at him, and Riley would have their balls anyway if they did. Report Review
Oh, Tanith. Oh, TOBY... Report Review
CRIKEY MOSES GABE SAW ANNIE'S DEATH. I can't believe you just did that! And even worse, how anti-climactic it was, and how Brynmor and Robb just don't give a damn - well, of course they don't, they're Death Eaters. Oh, Cal, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?
If Tobias turns out to be dead next chapter, I'm going and not coming back. (This may not be true.)Author's Response: A spot of murder in the middle of the night is no skin off a Death Eater's nose. I rather enjoyed putting together the juxtaposition of how they orchestrate terror and pain - and are so laid-back and calm about it all. And yeah, poor, poor, mistaken Cal... Report Review
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