Oh my goodness, this was so good!
The character of Barty Crouch Jr. has always intrigued me, and it pleases me to see a well written story of him on here. There's barely enough of him to read! To be honest, as sadistic as he is, I personally love him. He's my second favorite Death Eater, second to Bellatrix. (The fact that he's also played by David Tennant...oh gawsh!)
Anywho, I liked the little interaction between Umbridge and Crouch. When you started describing her toad-like qualities, I couldn't help but snort. And Crouch using an Unforgivable on her! But what I couldn't get over was that little scenario about the Doe, the Stag, and the Fawn. The imagery was powerful, and I can truly feel the insanity(?) that Crouch harboured. The way he described it...it was chilling.
And I loved his interaction with Moody. Of course it wouldn't end so well with Moody at the end, but when you flash forwarded there, my gawd was that haunting!
You portrayed Crouch's character perfectly, and I applaud you for that. His patronus though...an owl. That threw me off, but now that I've read this, I can totally see how that fits.
It was a remarkable read, thank you! And I favorited, just to let you know. :)
10/10 Report Review
Wow. This is really good! Sometimes I feel like a broken record, because I know I've said this before, but your writing has improved so much since your earliest stories were posted here. I hope you do continue to write, even if it's only sometimes when time permits.
I loved your portrayal of Barty. The Ravenclaw collaboration also focuses on Barty, so I've spent a fair bit of time considering him and working out timelines and so forth. I think the collab is turning out well, but I also think your portrayal of Barty is more powerful. I'm really impressed.
I am slightly surprised that he managed to get away with unforgivable curses at school (what he did to Umbridge) like that, but that was a powerfully astonishing scene. I won't pretend I didn't enjoy the fact that Umbridge tried to manipulate him and got her comeuppance but good, yet it wast will horrifying and really showed Barty's true nature. The bits about killing the fly and transfiguring that poor boy's pincushion just reinforced it.
What you did with Moody and Barty was excellent as well. By the time the practical exam came, you'd established Barty such that I knew he'd be furious at the end of it, but I had sort of forgotten about the trunk (not totally forgotten, just not thinking of it in context to this story). I wasn't really expecting that ending flashing forward, but it really was a perfect ending.
I like what you did with Moody as well, after the exam. I doubt the Ministry would approve of him using Legilimency on students, but Moody's always been the sort to operate on the edges of the rules, hasn't he? That's part of why Barty was able to impersonate him so well, I think. They have definite similarities, but Barty is far more vicious and twisted.
This story was chilling and well-done.
Alopex, RavenclawAuthor's Response: I waited to answer this review last, because it was the story that I've written recently that I actually think is really good and I'm glad that you agree. I knew I wanted to show just how brilliant Barty Jr. was (he had more OWLs than Hermione after all!). I also wanted to show that he was a broken, twisted, sociopath from day one.
He managed to get away with those curses precisely because he knew how to not get caught and because he had his father's position to protect him. Umbridge wanted something from him, so she couldn't turn him in, even if she remembered what he had done to her.
I really think that Moody would have seen through him the whole time, but not been able to prove anything. He hoped that giving the boy a lesson would scare him straight, but it only made Barty more eager to get revenge, and he did get his revenge. At least until he met up with DD.
I agree that Barty and Moody were two sides of the same coin, both willing to do what it takes for what they believe in.
So glad you enjoyed this story and that you thought it was well-done. Your opinion means a lot to me.
Punish Umbridge more is my motto. Report Review
This is twisted and dark, a nice insight into Barty's character.
I find the prediction in Barty's Divination exam rather interesting: a representation of the Godric's Hollow confrontation. I wonder, did Barty know before it happened? Was he aware of Voldemort's destruction before anyone else?
The duel between Barty and Moody was definitely the best part. Like an early look into how Alastor was taken down in August 1994.
alias093001, Slytherin.Author's Response: I always sort of pictured Barty Jr. as a mad Hermione. He's brilliant, but very unhinged. Mad people are traditionally seers, so I liked the idea of him having some talent there that he didn't realize. Yes, it was definitely Voldy killing Harry's Parents at Godric's Hollow.
Glad you liked the duel. I wanted Barty to make a good showing, but not be able to overcome an Auror at his age.
I really appreciate the review and the nice words. Report Review
Interesting, I like what you have so far. =)Author's Response: Thank you so much for the nice review. Report Review
Wow. I just have to say how great that was. The crystal ball that predicted voldemort's first downfall, and the connection between moody and crouch. plus, just the fact that umbridge got her memory wiped and imperio used on her was nice :)Author's Response: Thank you very much for the review. I'm glad you enjoyed what you read. I knew that Umbridge would be excellent in this story as someone who was grasping and ambitious and who needed her comeuppance by a person even more evil and twisted than she was.
Hi, Carl! It's Gubby with your review.
I'm going to do concrit first (not much, though!), just to get it out of the way. The only real problem - and I thought it was a sizable one - was your dialogue, which read as a little stilted to me. Maybe part of it is that this is an era I'm not used to reading, but it didn't read organically to me. Lines like this - Dadís a bit harder to fool, but heís so blinded by his own ambition that he canít see whatís under his nose - don't seem to be something that Barty, even as a dangerously intelligent and unbalanced person, would say to his friend, even one who knows his otherwise hidden opinions. I didn't feel that sort of stilted sense in the Umbridge and Moody sections, because he is speaking with an adult and is trying to hide his sympathies, but returned in the last section. Again, much of this may stem from Barty being insane, believing himself to be on some dramatic pedestal, but that was really the only aspect of the story that didn't sit well with me.
You said wanted to know if you showed Barty's psychopathy enough and I think you absolutely did. Because I get distracted easily while reading, I had to check to see whether these were his OWLs or NEWTs. The focus in fanfic is on NEWT-level students, and I expected that to be the case here, and would have found it easier to accept a psychopathy that pronounced in that age. Realizing that this was a fifteen-year-old who was Imperius-ing a proctor and holding his own with Moody really unsettled me. But what I remember now is that Barty was maybe nineteen when Voldemort killed the Potters and he joined the Lestranges on their attack on Neville's parents, and so I can see why you chose to set this story at this point of his life. Yes, I was unsettled - somehow I always imagined a more pronounced, sudden "fall from grace," as it were, and this very early example of his behavior surprised me - but it was a good kind of unsettled. I like seeing that level of thought in a story, especially one with such subject matter.
You also asked about the characterizations of Moody and Umbridge, but again, I feel like you did really well there. Me being dense, I didn't realize that it was Umbridge until she said so (I saw the Hem, hem and thought, That's convenient, then saw the toad and thought, hmm..., and...), but looking back, it makes utter sense that she be there in this time and be desperate to climb the Ministry ladder. It's amusing to think that she started out as a lowly examiner - also telling considering her time as Headmistress - and was already so ruthless. Her section, as I'm sure you intended, was the one where Barty's crazy really revealed itself. I actually felt sick to my stomach at him forcing her to eat flies - that's such a vindictive thing and yet it makes so much sense for a (crazy) fifteen-year-old to do. Moody was also done well, but what really showed me his true colors, so to speak, was his line about knowing that Barty was hiding something. After seeing (or rather, being told; interesting how you don't really show him doing any of this) him do all of this seriously advanced magic, a la Tom Riddle, it's good to realize that he wasn't pulling things off as perfectly as he would like to. Moody would not be taken in by a fifteen-year-old, although it does make me wonder what he did after this encounter. He couldn't have forgotten, and wouldn't have ignored it, constant vigilance and all... but...
And this is why I always like being introduced to stories like this. They make me think, they show me a missing part of canon. It's always difficult to make something fit into canon, and this has done so quite well. (:Author's Response: Wow! Thanks so much for the concrit. Looking back at it, I can see what you mean about his dialogue sounding a bit stilted, especially with his buddy. Thanks for pointing it out. I will probably go and edit this. I should start working with a beta again, I think. You're right that at the end, he has more than a touch of the 'megalomaniacal villain' (I will tell you all my plans and then kill you; oops you escaped, etc.)
I'm glad I unsettled you. He was brilliant. He had more OWLS than Hermione (12 according to his dad!) so I expected him to be super-brilliant. I wanted to show him exceeding his grasp with Moody early on, but then showing him how much he knew later, so I'm glad that came through. I like writing the minor characters and giving them some flesh.
I'm glad you liked the characterisations. I knew I had to have Umbridge trying to climb the ladder and have Moody seeing Barty Jr. for what he was, so I'm glad that came through too. The fly-eating came organically; I thought it was something that a 15-year old would do. If he had been older, it probably would have been more horrible and not 15+.
As for after the encounter, I think that Moody always had an eye out for Barty Jr. but it took a while to catch him. It took someone else selling him out to give Moody what he needed. I like the idea of someone brilliant getting the best of Moody.
Thanks so much for the long review, and especially thanks for the CC. Nice to get a good, meaningful review.
Nice story. Interesting take on Barty Crouch's past and nice way to tie it to the "present," so to speak. Keep it up!Author's Response: Thank you so much for your nice review and I'm glad you enjoyed the story. I knew I had to write about Barty when I saw the prompt for the challenge. Report Review
This is very powerful writing. I loved it. It's so dark and evil...and completely on the nose. FANTASTIC job. :)
Barty Jr. is really vicious. You added just the right amount of details and summed him up perfectly in my opinion.
I hope you're still writing! 10/10!Author's Response: I'm definitely still writing, I just wrote a little bit for 'Bodies at Rest' today. I'm glad you liked Barty's characterization. It was actually kind of tough to tone it down to 15+ for this challenge. I really wanted to go with an M rating.
I picture Barty Jr. as very sociopathic/psychopathic, so the viciousness really goes along with that. I tend to write sparsely most of the time, so hearing that I got enough details in makes me happy.
Thank you so much for reviewing and making this old man's day. Report Review
wow, that was really clever. i love how you reveal barty's character through little moments, like with the kid and the porcupine, and the scene with Umbridge was great. 10/10 :)Author's Response: Thank you so much for the nice review. Yeah, it's definitely a character piece more than anything.
Glad you liked Umbridge getting her comeuppance a little bit. Report Review
This was a great story with a nice portrayel of Barty Jr. I really don't have much insite to add the other reviews seem to have covered all the bases, but I am surprised that no one else found it amusing that Barty made an accurate prediction of the down fall of lord Voldemort and that Umbridge dosen't believe that it's true saying it's a lie just like she denied the return of lord V.Author's Response: Thank you so much for the review. I'm glad that you liked the prediction that he gave during the practical for Divination. I picture him much like Hermione, thinking that Divination is rubbish, so I liked giving him a true prediction. Thanks for catching and commenting on it.
I love trying to capture a character, and I'm glad you like the characterisation of Barty.
Thanks again for the nice review. Report Review
wow i love this! amazing interpretation of barty, i like how the exams tie into his death eater days.Author's Response: Thank you so much for the nice review. I'm glad you enjoyed how the story tied back onto itself and the interpretation of Barty Jr.
I truly appreciate your kind words. Report Review
Amazing! You totally hit Barty Crouch Jr's quietly evil personality on the head :)Author's Response: Thank you so much. Quietly, sociopathically evil is what I was going for, so I'm glad you enjoyed reading this. Report Review
I really liked this- all four parts were so well done! I think my favourite was the Divination exam- seems like Umbridge finally met her match! The last bit was also amazing- nicely chilling. I thought Barty's characterisation was perfect, as was Umbridge's.Author's Response: Thank you so much for the very nice review. I appreciate it very much. I'm glad you liked the characterisations, as that's always the primary thing that I'm worried about with my writing.
Also, thanks for the compliments on Umbridge's characterisation in particular. I thought it would be interesting to have her out of her normal element, but also still grubbing for power. Report Review
Barty Crouch Jr. is so cold, isn't he? But I did like how you portrayed him here. I loved how the story came all the way around until it was Barty in power...especially the line "You should remember what it's like to duel a fully-fledged Death Eater, Alastor." Anyway, it was a great little story!Author's Response: Yeah, I meant him to be a cold, sociopathic person, so I'm glad that came through. Thanks for noticing that I tied his duel with Alastor into the line he told him later. I'm glad you enjoyed the story. Report Review
Very good characterization. It makes them all believable especially Moody. The whole Defence Against the Dark Arts examination was also interesting especially how Barty uses that against Moody. Plus I think the title is quite clever. You're a very good writer so this is a favorites.Author's Response: Wow. Thank you so much for your kind words. I'm flattered that you enjoyed this enough to favourite it.
I definitely intended for the Moody/Barty battle to come full circle and I'm glad that showed. Thanks also for the nice words on characterisation. I always sweat that, so validation feels good. Report Review
Hi Carl, I'm so glad to have gotten here at last, I've been looking forward to this read.
I have to say that I'm impressed. Really impressed. Your specific points were about characterization, showing versus telling and...flow. Or was it plot development? Blast, now I can't remember. I'll just address both and hope that works :)
Despite the fact that I keep seeing Doctor Who as I read (damn you David Tennant!) I really enjoyed your characterization. Not once did I question it, because it felt natural, authentic and completely unforced. I did for a brief moment wonder about how talented Barty was (he performed a whole gambit of very difficult spells, which makes me wonder one, where did he learn them, and two, would he be that naturally gifted and curious as to dedicate himself to their mastery). But then that seemed to fall into line rather nicely, so it wasn't an issue, just a curiousity.
The only place where I saw showing versus telling was in Barty's duel with Moody. I would have definitely liked more description -- even a few monosyllabic words would have worked -- but I worry that more description would have killed the pace, which would definitely be regretful. Even in this case of showing versus telling though, it still seems to work. A touch more description would be lovely, but isn't strickly necessary.
Lastly, flow and plot development. I liked the flow, even the jump in years at the very end was excellent handled. As a reader I moved right into it very naturally, and the pace of the day dominant through the writing was subtle but effective. The plot also seems to be deceptively simple, but you handled the undercurrents very well. You had a clear unwavering sense of direction and as a reader I never onced questioned that.
Over all this was a really delicious read and I'm glad you requested in my thread. Feel free to come back! 9/10
BBAuthor's Response: Wow! What a very kind review. I had started feeling unsure about the piece because it had been posted for a while and had no reviews.
I always thought that Barty Jr. was a genius and also very self-motivated in the way a lot of sociopaths are. While he has a friend, he would also betray that friend if it benefitted him.
I'm so happy that I got the characterisations right. I always worry about that. I'd never written Moody or Umbridge before and I was concerned (I write Snape poorly, so I didn't know if I could pull off Umbridge).
I see what you mean in the duel and I'm not sure how to correct it. I might go back and take a look at that when I'm done with my next chapter.
I must admit that I have a weakness for vignette type stories and the coda at the end falls into that, but I thought it was necessary for closure of the story.
Glad you enjoyed it and thank you so much for the kind review. Report Review
I have chills. You made Barty more sadistic than in the books, but still true to the Barty we know. You canon characters, specifically Moody and Dolores are absolutely spot on. (: I love that you created a history between Moody and Barty; and the fact that Moody had his number from the very first second.
I absolutely love the ending. The whole scene is so perfect, and you couldn't have closed on a better note. ^^Author's Response: Thanks so much for the review. I'm glad you enjoyed the ending. I definitely wanted to show a darker side to Barty Jr.
I'm also happy that I got the characterisations right. I always like to have canon characterisations, even when I have an AU story.
Thanks again for the nice review. Report Review
First review! YAY! And oooh was that spooky. I think you absolutely nailed the characterization in the entire fic. Moody and his 'constant vigilance', Dolores and her corporate ladder climbing, and most of all Crouch. You've made him slightly more of a sadist than we saw in the books but truer to the sense of character that JKR gave us whiffs of. I really enjoyed the whole interplay between him and Moody during the DADA final - and that Moody was on to him. It seemed to me that that made a lot of sense, because Moody couldn't have possibly been a good investigator without sensing something was wrong there.
I will tell you that I wasn't immediately gripped at the opening. And I don't really know what to suggest to help you out there, but I thought I should tell you that I felt that.
Good job. 9/10Author's Response: Thank you so much for the review. I appreciate that you took the time to read and review my work.
I'm glad you enjoyed the characterisations and thought I had them down okay. I wanted Barty Jr. to come off more as a 'serial killer as a youngster' type, so if you found him more sadistic than in the books, I got that right.
I see what you mean on re-reading the story about the beginning. I meant it to parallel the canon scene with Severus coming out of his testing and getting bullied by the Marauders. But, I see it's just a bit of a slow start to the story.
I'm especially happy that you liked the interplay with Moody and Barty Jr. I really thought that Moody and Barty Jr would know each other and that Moody would be suspicious of him.
Thanks again for the first review. Report Review
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