*fist shake* no, it can't end like that. lol
I have to tell you while I was reading and scrolling down I was checking the side of the page hoping that there was more and that I wasn't going to have to wait for another 2 chapters to see what happened to Tommy.
My assumption was wrong on who Tommy was. I realized when Tommy said his grandparents' name.
Also I liked that you explained what happened to Tommy's mom and that you put a little explanation on Tommy's conception. (cause I was wondering why would The Dark Lord lay with a Muggle. Answer, thanks to you, simply cause he was a man.)
The details about the grounds were great. I felt like I was walking through the halls. (your stories are descriptive by nature but I don't think I ever mentioned that)
I figure that you will explain the significance of the bones to The Dark Lord later.(since they were well protected and all) There are many unanswered questions since you had Avrille buried the bones with the boy's mother. Unless the fact that she found the bones broke the spell (and I don't mean the barrier one)? (I'm just brainstorming)
Can't wait for the next chapter. I am excited.Author's Response: Oh noes! Not a fist shake! Hahaha, well, I was hoping it wasn't *that* ambiguous since Tommy's story is basically done now. I was hoping to imply that once his remains were reunited with his mother's, it sort of freed his spirit and allowed him to move on to the afterlife to be with his mom. Kind of the whole Voldemort has no power over love thing.
I was also trying to wrap my mind around a way to explain how Voldemort could have a kid. I'm sure it's been done a lot in fan fics, but I've never read any myself. I thought the only chance would be that window in between when he was in school and when he came back to ask for the DADA job and he was super changed and scary-looking. After that he was too inhuman to even have *those* urges any more, in my mind. I think Voldemort would have just considered the experience with Edith to be, for lack of a better phrase, slumming it. Doing that with a witch, who might have some idea who he was, was too risky, so he took advantage of what was willingly offered. He's a pretty messed up dude.
I'm not really touching on the bone thing because I was trying to imply (again) that Voldemort's huge secret was simply that he had inadvertently conceived a child, or what he would consider to be an heir and rival. Dumbledore was obviously expecting something huge and magical like a horcrux, but in the end it was merely Voldemort trying to hide what he considered to be a disgusting shame. If that's not clear, maybe I'll go back and add a few lines to make sure that comes across.
So Tommy's done, but his influence definitely isn't. There's still that "gift" of his, after all. Unforunately I'm going to be horribly mean and make you wait for Avrille's chapter after next (so four chapters from now) to get a clue to help you guess what it is. I'm really excited about it, in a dorky way. I had one idea, and the thing about Tommy, then I had this crazy epiphany that one could cause the other. I think it will be interesting. The source of Avrille's extra-powerful magic will be explained in that one as well, finally!
Thanks so much for the review! I know that chapter was a long one. Hopefully I can keep them at a more manageable length now. Hope to see you back soon!
~Renny Report Review
Hello again! Since I do have a bit of time, I am going to leave a review.
A nice, long chapter - which is exciting! I have to admit though that I'm not exactly reading through this in a leisurely manner, but more like skimming and speed-reading in the time I have to spare. Even so, I don't think that chapter length is necessarily an issue, because the narrative structure and development is still very clear.
Whilst I'm not as big a fan of 'action-y' plot-lines as opposed to more dramatic or even romantic stories, I still find Arville's mission utterly compelling. I'm interested to find out what the implications of these events are.
I might be a bit slow, but it took me quite a while to actually accept that Tommy was a ghost and not real. I thought that it was great how you managed to unfold the deep and dark mystery of his family history. And of course, I am anticipating the next chapter(s) where we will find out what the "impish smile" and "laughing" are sinisterly foreshadowing.
- FiAuthor's Response: Hi! Thanks for taking the time to leave a review. Sorry this is a few days late. Our toddler learned how to crawl out of his crib this week so it's been madness. Yikes! Where's magic when I need it?!
Truthfully, I REALLY don't like having chapters this long. One or two have been necessary to finish one character's action before the next one takes over, but I prefer to keep them around 6,000 words max. This was just one of those chapters that had a lot that needed to happen before we check back in with Severus. So I'm really glad it read ok and wasn't too much.
I'm also not big into "action-y" things either. I like maybe one big action scene per story and the rest more character-driven. There will definitely be some long-lasting influence of Tommy's from this chapter, but probably not in the way I'm guessing people are assuming.
Yes, Tommy was a ghost :) Sort of a super-ghost. I figured if Voldemort could raise dead bodies to do his bidding, then he could do some crazy stuff with their spirits too. I didn't really mean for the end to appear sinister, since I really felt like it was a joyous moment when Tommy is united with the spirit of his mom he never got to meet... but that's not to say there isn't something unearthly happening. Well, you'll see in about four chapters ;)
Thanks a bunch for the review!! ~Renny Report Review
Well I am glad the meeting was about the released prisoner and not about something else. But then again as I sit here and think about it. The Dark Lord didn't noticed when Dumbledore was poking around the asylum so why would he notice Avrille.Author's Response: Yup, you're hit the nail on the head. Voldemort's biggest weakness was probably his pride. He assumed he was so powerful and brilliant that no one could ever discover his horcruxes, and other secrets, so once he hid them away, he pretty much forgot about them. It was just bad timing that Severus was called when he was. I'm pushing the prisoners' escape up a couple weeks to work with my plot (in the book it appears they escaped the last night of Christmas break) but I'll have an explanation for it :) Thank you for the review! I'll try to get the next chapter out soon. I'll be writing it from scratch, so it won't be crazy-fast like the last couple. ~Renny Report Review
I had a suspicion...actually I have a suspicion who that little boy is. I don't want to jump the gun even though you told us his name.
To reply to one of your responses to my review- I felt that when I watched HBP that I was missing a whole ton of details that I want to know. That is why I pick up the book again. But I guess I have to be in a groove or maybe not have any electricity.Author's Response: Your suspicion is probably right since I'm going to guess there's really only two options people will consider, and one of them would seem pretty impossible if you take into account I'm following canon except for the bit about Severus's family. So... I'll be curious to hear what you think in Avrille's next chapter when I delve into who Tommy is :D
As for HBP, it might be easier to get into it if you ever read the whole series again from the beginning. Otherwise, at the very least you should read the end part, starting from Dumbledore and Harry in the cave. The whole section where Snape kills Dumbledore then runs away with Draco is just not done justice in the movie, especially when you know the intense pain Snape was feeling having been forced to just murder his mentor. I love all the books, but I still think that's my favorite one.
Thanks for the review! The next chapter is already up. It was 98% done in November, so posting was easy. Hoping the chapter after it won't take too long. It's probably going to be fairly long and none of it is written yet. ~Renny Report Review
I really liked the exchanged between Severus and his mother. I really like this chapter a lot. I feel emotional and satisfied at the same time.Author's Response: Oh good, I'm glad you liked it. That was one chapter I wasn't sure if anyone would "get." I know that it's important and there's some foreshadowing elements, but obviously nobody else does ;) I'm happy to hear it came across well even though you don't know the full reason for it yet. I did want to just touch a little more on Severus's relationship with his mother. I liked the little bit of writing her I got to do in the last story. Thank you for the review! ~Renny Report Review
I am very anxious about what will happen next with Avrille. The fact that it is an asylum that worries me.Author's Response: I think you'll like what's coming up. I wrote most of it yesterday, and I'm pretty pleased with it. Abandoned *anything* is scary for me, and mental institutions in particular. I fully believe in ghosts since lots of people, me included, have had personal experiences with them, and they crep me out. I think Avrille's next couple chapters are going to be kind of cool, similar to the end of the last story with the abandoned house and the tomb. Hope you like it! Thanks for the review! ~Renny Report Review
Well, after your completely compelling Author's Note, I feel obliged to leave a review as I'm actually not doing anything productive with my time now.
To keep things short, I'm absolutely blown away by this story. I honestly don't remember if I reviewed your previous story, but you've managed to depict a meaningful and utterly convincing characterisation of Arville and Severus, and I think it keeps getting better as the story progresses. Even though I'm often skeptical of how Snape gets characterised in fan-fiction, yours is a very good one. Char is also adorable.
Even aside from characterisation, your plot is really quite engaging as well. Especially now in the midst of Voldie/Umbridge, there's a lot of good material to explore, and I'm looking forward to how you deal with Severus and his role as spy - especially in books 6 and 7, but perhaps I'm getting ahead of myself. He better not die! I'm rather too attached to his character in your stories.
And of course, your writing style is streets ahead of quite a lot of the fan-fiction I've read online. Sometimes there are minor things, but really, it doesn't detract from the flow of the story. Whilst I'm seeing less of it now, I particularly enjoy reading the snarky Snape first-person narration.
But aside from all my gushing, there are a few things which I feel could be improved.
Firstly, I'd really like to see more interaction between Arville and non-Umbridge/Dumbledore members of staff! I think it could be nice, although I understand that it's probably not crucial to the story. And I think that more awkward interactions between Arville and Remus + Sirius could be interesting. I also find it quite unusual that she doesn't seem to be in regular contact with her own family, unless I've missed some things. Sometimes, I feel as though she's quite isolated in her chapters, and I feel kind of sorry for her :)
Also, although this might be inevitable, I think that the speed with which you are dealing with the school year is a bit rushed. The story started at end of fourth year, and it's already Christmas fifth year - but then again, not knowing the exact scope of the story, I completely understand if a certain pace is necessary to finishing the plot.
In terms of this chapter specifically, I thought it was quite touching, but also a bit slower-paced compared to everything else. Nevertheless, it was a nice and quite sad chapter. To be honest though, right now I think Arville's adventures are a bit more interesting. However, that is not to say I don't want to read about his perspective as well, because there's clearly a lot of building tension there as well, even if not obvious right now.
I'm really struggling to think of anything else that I would like to see improved. So I guess I'll just end by saying that I'm really looking forward to the next chapters. It's absolutely amazing and wonderful how often new chapters come up. Thank you for making my day! :)Author's Response: Oh my goodness, I guilted you into a long one, didn't I? Wow, I really appreciate you taking so much time to review, and it looks like you've made so many good points. I'll try to not max-out the reply. Reviews are so important to me for both constructive criticism (it's hard to come by since it's a sequel, and I feel weird requesting reviews for a sequel on the forums) and also just to tell who's reading. Looking at the read count, I can't tell if 10 hits is 10 different people reading or one person taking 10 breaks to get through a chapter :D But on to your reply!
First, thanks so much for your compliments. I try really hard to keep things as canon as I can, but still make it my own if that makes any sense. I'm also REALLY looking forward to touching on the sixth and seventh books as well, though they'll probably be part of a very long epilogue (*possibly* a stand-alone short story) so there won't be as much detail as this one. But I'm fully planning on bringing the story straight through the end of DH.
I totally hear you about getting Avrille talking to some new people. These past couple chapters, I've been thinking, "Ok, I'm going to DIE if I have to write one more conversation in Dumbledore's office." Unfortunately, Umbridge's presence in the school meant they had few places to speak that privately. Remus and Sirius were fun, but I have a hard time justifying spending time on them when they really aren't main characters. I feel like I need to find some way to wrap up Remus so he isn't left dangling. Avrille is very isolated in a way, I guess because I could relate living with my husband overseas for a while. It's also really hard when you have a small child to be as social as you used to be. Avrille's basically a prisoner to Char's schedule on top of having to be extra cautious who she's seen interacting with because of Voldemort. I feel as frustrated as she does sometimes, because I know it isn't realistic to have her always running around having adventures. Therefore, I'm trying to keep her chapters as interesting I can with the restraints I have on her. Her mom will be coming for a visit a couple chapters from now, so we'll finally get to see her in person. I feel like Avrille simply did have sort of an isolated life. I don't picture her having very many family members, and she didn't have any friends in school she kept in touch with. In a way it freed her up to follow her dream to work outside the country, but also like you said, means she doesn't have very many people now. But don't worry, Mom's on her way :)
Yes, the pace is picking up. Since we have a really full account of what happened each months in the original books, I don't like to simply retell every event from another character's point of view. I did a similar thing with the first story, focusing more on a certain time of the year (usually school-breaks since that was when Avrille and Severus would have a significant amount of time alone together) and summarizing the others so the story isn't 500,000 words long :) Because I want to bring this all the way through DH, I'm glazing over some events in OotP that aren't vital to my own subplots. I promise it makes sense in my head. Though that might actually be much reassurance. Hahaha.
Avrille's stuff right now is going to be more action packed, Severus's more subtle with a different kind of danger. His chapter with his mother was slower paced, but was still important. There's a couple foreshadowing things in there that will have relevance later. There's one section in particular that's vital for how this "book" (the OotP part) ends.
Well, thank you for making my day as well with such a lovely, well-thought-out review. Feedback is really invaluable for me, especially because I don't have a beta for this story anymore. I'll really take your suggestions to heart and implement as many as I'm able to. Thanks! ~Renny Report Review
Haha I knew that something like that was going to happen.Author's Response: Yeah, I guess it was pretty obvious that you can't call Umbridge a disgusting child-abuser to her face and expect to get away with it. :/ I just figured it would be pretty unrealistic for Avrille not to say anything. I know I wouldn't have been able to keep quiet myself. I don't have Severus's self-control either. Thank you for the review! I'm glad you had so much to read :D ~Renny Report Review
I am a bit scared now. Avrille seemed to put herself on Umbridge's radar. O.O
The tea time was great. I loved how you put in Narcissa's love for Draco. I came to admire her in year 7 of the movies. (I didn't read the last 2 books because someone spoiled the 6th one and I just couldn't bring myself to read it. I tried but I don't think I got past the first chapter)
I am also surprised about hoe fast these chapters are up. I come back and there are 4 chapters waiting for me to read.Author's Response: Umbridge always scared me. She reminds me too much of actual people in government. I've always felt like OotP was the darkest book, even though more people and Hogwarts was actually attacked in DH.
I really felt for Narcissa in the books and movies as well. Her love for Draco in this story will be just as important as it was in those. That totally blows that someone spoiled the book for you. I was luckily living in Germany when it came out, so I was able to get it the first day and not know what anyone around me was saying anyway ;) If you ever want to try again, I really recommend the sixth book in particular. It's my favorite, and I don't think the movie did it justice, especially with all of Severus's stuff. The DH movies were really great, but HBP not so much (though still better than stupid PoA in my mind)
For some reason I've been able to write very quickly lately. Part of it is because some of the stuff was done for NaNoWriMo, but I think it's all coming together more easily now. I should already have the next chappie up in a day or two at most. Thank you for the lovely review! You're the best! ~Renny Report Review
I read this some time ago and I thought I reviewed. I tend to let the story simmer in my head sometimes before I review so I can actually write something good. But it seems that I forgot...lol.
I did have a feeling about the life insurance was what Snape was there for when it was said about being a legal place. Also Char, in the other chapter how it was pointed out that he was able to get out of that spell Snape did on his block fortress, I don't think it was random.
I'm too lazy to acually sign in for this review so I am just going to put my name, well username. Report Review
I read this some time ago and I thought I reviewed. I tend to let the story simmer in my head sometimes before I review so I can actually write something good. But it seems that I forgot...lol.
I did have a feeling about the life insurance was what Snape was there for when it was said about being a legal place. Also Char, in the other chapter how it was pointed out that he was able to get out of that spell Snape did on his block fortress, I don't think it was random.
I'm too lazy to acually sign in for this review so I am just going to put my name, well username.Author's Response: Haha, no worries! I do the same thing sometimes. So glad to see you stopped back in! You were the one who always kicked my butt to get the next chapter out, so I hope you appreciate how productive I've been this month ;)
You're always good at guessing what I'm up to, so I'm not surprised you had some feelings there. Char... hmmm. I'm not sure if I'm going to do anything with that specifically. I think I just wanted to show that he's probably inherited Avrille's gift (which I'll be explaining the source of coming up, don't worry).
Thanks so much for the review! It was great to see your "face" again! ~Renny Report Review
I think you are a brilliant author. Honestly, I couldn't put my phone down. I'm not really much of a constistent reader, I usually read a few paragraphs then stop for a few weeks. This, however, was amazingly well written. You are really doing am incredible job! :)Author's Response: Wow, thank you! What a compliment :D I'm the same way with reading fan fiction. I think it's because it's not in actual paper-book format, I can never read more than a chapter or two at most at a time, so I really appreciate your devotion (and on a phone no less! I haven't ever tried reading this site on a phone before. I'm a traditional, old-school PC girl for the most part). I'm really happy you're liking it so much so far. The next chapter should be up in a few days, knock on wood-imitation-desk. Thank you for taking a moment to write a review. They mean so much! ~Renny Report Review
I really loved this chapter, so I'm glad it wasn't there to read with the April Fools joke all over it. :-)
I liked this insight, I'm sure I would want the "evil" wives to like me, too:"Even though back then you’d despised the clique of rich, popular girls, most of the time you still secretly wished they’d let you sit with them at their table for meals."
I have to compliment your powers of description, too. I could just see Malfoy Manor and Narcissa. I loved the description of her robes. But beyond that, I loved how well she fit with the canon Narcissa. Even though Harry's take on her is pretty much negative (until the end), I can imagine that a fellow wife/mother would find her more sympathetic. I actually liked her here, especially her love of Draco.
Oh and points to me... I guessed Nan's problem before it was revealed! Oh dear, Avrille is not going to let this go easily, is she?Author's Response: Oh man, the April Fool's stuff was so funny! But I was kind of horrified after I posted the chapter the night before (because I think the site runs on GMT so it was already the first) and read what everything had been turned into. I was thinking, "Oh no! What if someone reads this and doesn't know about the site's prank! They'll think I'm totally high or something!" So I pulled it and posted it the next night :D April Fool's is always so fun around here with the amount of people who think it's true.
I feel like Avrille would still have a lot of insecurities, even though she's matured a lot since she was younger. With her own troubles when she was in school combined with not really fitting in at Hogwarts anymore since she isn't a teacher, I think it would be realistic for her to want to at least impress Narcissa, especially when it was so important to keeping her family safe.
Narcissa really struck me as an interesting character after the Spinner's End chapter. For once we got to see that not every Death Eater is stereotypically evil like Bellatrix, which I appreciated. I loved Severus because he was so complex, and Narcissa is the same way. She also ended up in a difficult situation being married to a Death Eater, but having a child to protect probably meant she didn't feel as free to do the "right" thing. I do feel a little bad about having to paint Lucius as being such a scumbag, but we didn't get any hint that he actually cared about his family until the seventh book, and my own first story was already almost done by then. :/ Maybe I'll give him a change of heart down the road. Maybe.
Oh, good for you!! Super points! Poor little Nan. I like to think she joined Dumbledore's Army after that incident. Maybe she reconnected with Luna and they became super BFFs again :) I hope everyone isn't disappointed when Avrille doesn't blow up Umbridge or something. Unfortunately we know from canon that she stuck around the whole year. There really isn't much in the world that is more torturous than knowing there's injustice going on and being completely unable to stop it. At least we know the centaurs get Umbridge in the end! >:D
Thank you, thank you for the double reviews! I have the next chapter started, so hopefully it won't be longer than a couple weeks so get it up. The next few after that one should be faster since they're already mostly written from NaNoWriMo. Thanks again! ~Renny Report Review
Yay -- there are two chapters of Sev/Avrille goodness to read! And I'm the first to review. :-)
I love your mastery of Severus' voice. The rant in the opening paragraph is just wonderful! I love how you explain everything through Severus' eyes. I know it's challenging because some of his actions don't seem to quite make sense in canon. You do a great job of resolving the fact that Severus is "good" with the fact that he still doesn't like Harry.
Sev did better than I expected, having to bring Char to such an important business meeting! Wonder what use Sev will get to make of Mrs. Selwyn's blood status.
And nice ending...I didn't expect that and it was a kind of chilling reminder of the risks Severus is taking.Author's Response: Yay! I was hoping that might be exciting for one or two people :) I couldn't believe I was able to get the next one out that fast. Credit has to be given to my amazing husband who watched our toddler when I was on a roll and wanted to keep going.
Writing Severus is just so fun. It's like I'm able to voice the few frustrations I have with the series through him :) I mean, JKR is totally the most awesome of the awesome, but I really get sick of Harry sometimes and don't even get me started on Ron (though I always forget book Ron isn't nearly as dumb as movie Ron). Some of his actions are definitely weird once in a while in canon, so it's always interesting for me to try and get in his head and think of a good reason why he does stuff.
I wish I had magic to instantly appease my toddler sometimes. There's no way I could ever bring him to a real meeting like that. But then again, he's always better for his dad, so maybe with magic this scene *might* be realistic? :D Writing about kids is so nice. They always do what you want them to do.
Having a little leverage over another Death Eater can never hurt. Selwyn's turning out to be an interesting guy in his own right in my mind. I started out with him just being kind of a generic jerk to have someone give Severus a hard time, but now he's evolving into something slightly different. All I can say is, Severus is going to be very grateful for having the advantage over him later on in the year.
I'm glad you liked that ending. It just sort of came to me. I knew a while back this would be a chapter where he was getting life insurance, but I decided to end with that at the last minute. I think the risks Severus took was one of the scariest parts of the books, once you knew what was going on. Then in the end when it almost ended up being all for nothing... *SOB!* I don't even know what must have been going through his mind when he thought he was going to die without fulfilling his job to Dumbledore of passing all the information on to Harry. That whole book was just so sad :(
Thank you for the review! They're always just so so SO appreciated!! ~Renny Report Review
Oh this was great. I was trying to figure what Avrille figured out before I read on so I read the passage a couple of times.but I couldn't get it. (cause i am not a mom yet maybe) That kind of scared me a little that situation but didn't detered me. =)
This was a lovely chapter...I might be saying this because I ran out of things to read today and this was very refreshing.
Also I had feeling when you mentioned the M on the envolope that the letter was from Mrs. Malfoy. Oh i can't wait to read what happens at tea time...if it happens.Author's Response: I'm glad you liked it! Yeah, I think it's one of those things you don't really know about until you experience it yourself. After I had my baby, suddenly everyone said, "Oh yeah, that time of night is totally hell on earth. It's normal." It's hard to feel that way when you're in a postpartum hormone crash, so I'm glad Lavinia had Avrille to tell her she wasn't going insane. Um, even though they're all fictional. I totally know that ;) For the record, I think the first few days with a newborn is just as scary as being attacked by Death Eaters. The level of responsibility suddenly thrust on you is paralyzing.
Tea time will happen, I just need to wrap up the next Severus chappie first. Narcissa won't have a huge role in the story, but the small roll she's playing will be very important later because she's a mom too, just like in the books. I'm going to be taking the epilogue into very slight AU territory, but Narcissa will still have a pivotal role. Thanks so much for the review! I'll do my best to get the next chapter up before the end of the month! ~Renny Report Review
Nice chapter. It is so obvious that you've had a baby! You've so perfectly captured new mothers/experienced mothers here. I remember when my daughter was a baby I would passionately wish for her to go to sleep then just as passionately wish for her to wake up because I missed her! Also, remember the first time I slept for 5 consecutive hours and I felt so good and thought "I can do this after all."
Anyway, I can't wait to read of Avrille's meeting with Narcissa Malfoy. It will be interesting to see how they like each other and how Avrille deals with her own opportunity to be a double agent.
This was a great insight into Sev's spying: "I was constantly in awe of the staggering amounts of information he must always be mentally sorting through spying for the Order, perpetually at risk of falling to pieces like the block buildings Char had just thrown once more to the floor." Though not precisely a missing moment, it's something I'm glad you are exploring here.Author's Response: Thanks! I thought that might be one that the fellow moms would appreciate (and hopefully not bore/scare the ones who don't have kids). It's great to know that you're a mom, too :D I always have this weird picture in my mind that all my readers are 16 year old girls. Getting that first big chunk of sleep is amazing... then once they sleep through the night for good: heaven!! I don't think I could go back to the up every two hours thing again at the moment. I really felt so bad for Lavinia when I was writing this. I'm waiting for some of my close friends to have babies themselves so I can be "Avrille" for them.
I hope the Narcissa chapter comes out ok. I'm trying to really push to get these next couple chapters out of the way because I'm about to get to stuff I'm really excited about. Lots of danger and drama :) Not that the next chapters aren't important, but they're more ones that are setting the stage for things down the road.
Writing Severus is legitimately hard sometimes, for the reason in that quote you picked. I'm always having to check the books to figure out what he knew at what time, and who knew what about him. JKR's notes to herself must have been insane. But that's what makes him so interesting to write about, especially in the later books when his motivations seemed really dark to everyone in the series except Dumbledore, who was kind of dead. Thanks so much for the review! I've set a deadline for the end of the month for the next chapter. I need to really make progress or I'll be writing this for years to come. Thanks again! ~Renny Report Review
I have a cousin that will be turning 2 in April. I currently babysit her. I only have her a couple of hours a day and I get stressed out. *sigh*
Patiently waiting for the next chapter.Author's Response: Yeah, two is a really stressful age but I think any age is stressful if it's your own kid 24/7. Thanks for understanding :)
Feelings pretty good at the moment, so I'm going to go try and write something! Thank you as always for your review and patience! ~Renny Report Review
Yay! You're back...and with such a great chapter! And I'm the first to review.
I love Severus' voice as always. Here is a favorite quote: "The sharp staccato of Minerva’s bony applause combined with a further thinning of her mouth belied she was currently feeling any pleasure beyond that experienced when having an eruptive skin boil removed. "
And your depiction of Umbridge is masterful and exactly right, down to the little details. I loved her pink pad of paper that she was hiding so no one could read her notes.
I loved the part about the prefects nominations again down to the little details -- Flitwick using Charms to hand over his names. :-) One thing I love about this story is how you write "missing moments" from canon.how you explain Snape's rationale for choosing Draco as prefect is perfectly logical, in character and a fit with canon.
You mention the forums and beta-ing... I have a question. I have tried to sign up for the forums, but it won't take my personal email address (gmail). I don't want to use a more official one. If there are other free services the forum takes, will you let me know? I could create a new email...Author's Response: Here I am! I know. Finally. It's insane how long it took me to finish the last 10% of this chapter. Thank you for being so patient and obviously checking back once in a while to see if I'd updated.
I always find Severus easier to write than Avrille, which constantly amuses me since I feel it should be the other way around. He's just so deceptively passionate, whether towards his wife or about his work, that writing him is really enjoyable.
Umbridge on the other hand... *shudder* She won't be playing an enormous part in this story, but I definitely felt I needed to show how her presence at Hogwarts affects Severus (and Avrille by proxy) as negatively as it affected Harry in canon since both consider Hogwarts to be their home. I'm glad to hear her characterization is on track for the moment.
Missing moments are kind of a favorite of mine. With Severus in particular, I like to try to think of reasons to better explain some of his behavior in canon that never sat well with me. I never liked the idea that he let Draco buy his way onto the Quidditch team as well as not liking the idea of Draco being made a prefect simply because Snape felt some weird urge to "balance out" the fact the Gryffindor prefects were two of the trio (and two of his least favorite students).
I think I had a similar issue with The Dark Arts (the sister graphics forum) when trying to register with gmail too. If I remember correctly, I used my Facebook e-mail (that I never use) and that one worked, then changed it back to my gmail once I was registered. It seems they don't accept gmail for regeristering because of spam issues. Maybe if you have Facebook you can try that instead. If not, try some of the help links either here on HPFF or on the forums page and see if a staff-member can help you out. We can't give out personal info on the site or else I'd just give you my e-mail to help troubleshoot with you. But the staff here are all awesome and great about answering questions, no matter how small. If you ever have the urge to check out The Golden Snitches forum, unaffiliated with these sites but still with many awesome HPFF authors, I'm on there as well with the same screen name and pretty sure they take gmail. Good luck! Thanks so much again for the review! ~Renny Report Review
Thank you so much!! For that honest view-point about Sirius. I honestly did not mean to be rude or so, when in the last chapter, my review mentioned how I wasn't happy about the way Severus spoke about Sirius. The truth is, I just love Sirius, and I feel the same about how very very very unfair life had been to him. I mean, actually.. I don't want to extend this any further. I love this chapter. And thank you for updating. And be assured, you would never lose out on me as a reader!Author's Response: You're welcome! I specifically had you in mind when writing this chapter hoping this would smooth things over for you and any other Sirius fans who might have had a few feathers ruffled from the last one. One thing I love about JKR's characters is that they're all so complex that they can completely change depending on who's viewing them. We got a very positive version of Sirius from Harry's point of view, and obviously negative one that I wrote from Severus' POV, and Avrille's comes closest to my own feelings about him, somewhere in the middle. I didn't like him and honestly wasn't very sorry when he died, but I WAS sorry Harry missed out on having a new father figure. I also had to admit he wasn't a bad person, just someone who did some bad things.
The next chapter is almost done. NaNoWriMo has turned out to be harder to do than I thought it would, so I might just put my focus into wrapping that chapter up to post soon. Maybe the writing bug will bite later in the month :) Thanks so much for coming back and reviewing! ~Renny Report Review
Ha finally, I have been trying to write these review for like hours now. The first time i tried the interent craped out on me.
Anyways what I wanted to say that I am still here and reading. This chapter was like a filler chapter for me, but an informative one that can be useful.Author's Response: I HATE it when that happens when you're trying to review! I've lost really long ones before and it's so annoying. But thanks for not giving up on the reviews with your internet issues. I know how frustrating it can be to have to retype stuff. So I extra appreciate it :)
Funny in that I had the filler feeling in the back of my mind as I was writing. I did cut a big chunk out that really added nothing to the plot and was taking way too long to explain. So at least it's more streamlined than it would have been otherwise. There are a couple little things that might seem insignificant now but will play a larger part later. I also wanted to add a little bit of balance to Severus's extremely negative portrayal of Sirius in the last chapter. Avrille's feelings about him are more like mine are personally, though I do think the way he behaved as a teenager was unpardonable. Harry also had a very hard childhood, but he would never be cruel and a bully like Sirius was. Sirius won't be making much of appearance in the rest of the story, but I thought given how important he is in the "Order of the Phoenix" book he should at least get a nod of recognition here.
So thanks for sticking this one out even though there wasn't much action. Unfortunately not every chapter can be a thriller. As a mom, some days you really do feel accomplished just getting a little bit of cleaning done. I wanted Avrille to get out of the "house" alone at least once before Severus went back to school. :) The next chapter is really close to being done. The only reason I haven't finished it is because I'm trying to do NaNoWriMo at the same time with later chapters. Thanks so much again for the review! ~Renny Report Review
So glad you are still working on this story! Sorry that it's taken me a while to review...
Nice chapter... I loved the cleaning scene, all the little details about the books really made it come alive. This is a great example:
"finally figuring out that the “great, noble sport of our ancestors” the author kept referring to was not Quidditch but Muggle-hunting."
Also loved your/Avrille's insight into the characters of Remus and Sirius. I hadn't really thought of it... but Remus' flaw is indeed a reluctance to make waves. (Maybe because it's my flaw too. There are already too many waves in my family! And maybe among Remus' friends, too!) Great, great insight into Sirius character and the impact of his lost years in Azkaban. Good for Avrille for recognizing it.
Hope you keep writing! Can't wait to see how she helps to keep the Order "better prepared than ever before to cast his influence off for good".Author's Response: Thanks so much as always for the review and support, Ardeith :) I'm definitely still working on the story, though sometimes it's slow. I'm constantly worried that by the time I finally post a new chapter, anyone who was reading the story will have forgotten about it. So it really means a lot to me that you and a few other readers keep coming back and are SO incredibly patient and understanding!
I'll be the first to admit, I've never liked Sirius once I read about how much of a bully he was as a teenager. I don't think any sort of upbringing excuses that kind of behavior. But I did think it was important to balance out Severus's incredibly negative take on Sirius in the last chapter because both men did things in their past that were horrible. Sirius didn't "grow up" as much as Severus did (though canon-Severus did certainly still have his immature moments, especially around Harry) but the part of me that's studied psychology understands he had some very good reasons not to. So I'm glad that came across in this chapter.
Don't worry, I will absolutely keep writing. I was hoping to maybe get another Severus chapter out before NaNoWriMo starts, but I doubt that will happen :P So I'm going to spend the next month hopefully writing a big chunk of future chapters. I'm really looking forward to it. I did most of my work on this story last NaNo, so hoping for a big push.
Thank you again for the review :) Reading your thoughts always make my day! ~Renny Report Review
I absolutely love this story!Author's Response: Thank you! I'm so happy you like it :) I'm so sorry the updates have been slow, but I'm doing my best to put this story ahead of the couple others I'm working on. Thank you so much for taking a moment to leave me a review! ~Renny Report Review
I've reached the end! :( Oh no! I'm going to be one of those really annoying reviewers and say UPDATE SOON UPDATE SOON! :P
You warned me about potential Sirius-slating in this chapter, and even though I am secretly a massive Sirius fan, I really really liked this chapter, and it was actually kind of fun and interesting to see him portrayed in such a bad light. I only ever really read him when it's pro-Sirius, so in terms of expanding my reading horizons - thank you! Your take on him is really refreshing actually. In the books he is kinda mopey and actually a little scary and out of control but they're character aspects I usually brush over and cover with, 'oh well he was in Azkaban', haha! But here you've drawn the attention on to the fact that he is as stubborn as he was when he was younger and he is hotheaded (not an attractive quality). Sure, I guess it is from Sev's point of view so it is a little biased, but at the same time it's very rarely that Sev gets a point of view like this and he is the one we all thought was bad and was actually good! In the books Harry like, idolises Sirius' every move in a really child-like way, but I felt as though this chapter was really rational and contrary to the usual Sirius interpretations. It was great!
As this is chapter six, you can really tell the initial rose-tinted introductions have worn away by now, and there are going to be all sorts of spanners in the works. You left me on the edge of my seat at the last chapter, feeling as though something really awful was going to happen. And, alas, you've done the same here! This was something I was worried about - the Order coming between Avrille and Severus. I hope they find a balance soon. Him not being able to tell what she's thinking, and her not wanting to tell him - heartbreak central! I kind of wished that at the end of this chapter Severus could have told her about the prophecy, about everything...but then I guess he is trying to protect her. But is he making it worse by not telling her? I don't know. Because then I think of Char and Avrille's responsibility, and SEV'S responsibility too...gah! It's so confusing and difficult. And that much, at least, you have shown so well. It will always be impossible for these characters to decide how to act and decide to speak when they should or shouldn't, because they are in such a unique and difficult position.
This chapter was ever so snazzy though because it felt so vibrant. I loved your introductions to all of the Order members - it'd be great to compare them to Harry's idyllic portrayal of them in the books! There is something quite liberating about viewing all of these scenes again but from an alternative viewpoint. Like, Harry, having his massive rant! I loved that part. In the books it is just so intense but here he's just a nuisance - which I guess he would have been when he was throwing his strops :P At this point, I think you have converted me to being a Sev-lover. I NEVER thought I would say it...but here I am! Haha! No, but in all seriousness there is a wisdom to Severus and like I said earlier, a responsibility (though this time to Harry and Dumbledore etc and not just his family) that he has got to uphold and maintain. He is a very strong character, very strong indeed. My respect for him just doubles with each chapter.
This was great, honestly :) your story is so absorbing and I am excited as to which direction you're going to lead it now. My heart has gone out to Avrille, Char and Sev and I want things to be okay for them, really truly! But yes, another fantastic chapter. Do let me know when you manage to update because I can't wait to read on :)
Laura :) xxxAuthor's Response: Hi hi! Sorry for the couple day late reply again. It's been hit or miss with my toddler wanting to take a nap and it's totally impossible to sit down and write something coherent when he's awake, even a review reply. That's part of the reason I've written...oh...NOTHING of the next chapter yet :( But hopefully the bug will bite me again soon. It's nice to know there are nice people out there like you looking forward to more, but then once in a while like right now the pressure makes me kind of shut down and procrastinate. Works in progress are HARD!
So I'm really glad you didn't think I was overly critical of Sirius. I assume most people who read my stories are big Snape fans so might dislike Sirius like I do because of what a jerk he was to Snape in the books, but there are obviously also people who like both characters. I definitely don't like Sirius but also didn't want to bash him for no reason. He had lots of good qualities like being smart, determined, protective and stubborn when he thinks he's right. Oh...wait, much like Severus! Hence why I think they dislike each other so much in my mind. What you mentioned about giving Sirius a lot of leeway because of Azkaban is a very good point, and something I'm bringing up whenever I get around to writing the next chapter so Sirius is portrayed in a more balanced way. Of course Severus is going to only see the bad things because he doesn't think the excuse of having something bad happen to you is a good enough reason to act however you want. Severus probably views Sirius as being weak because he can't move past what he went through (which I think is a little harsh because, yes, Severus had a hard life but being tortured for 13 years is unimaginable.) Avrille's view of Sirius is tainted by her love for Severus and his built-in prejudices (a similar thing happened in the first story with regards to Harry) so she's going to have to learn from others that Sirius isn't all bad like he's been acting and how Severus sees him.
The Order is definitely going to cause some problems between them. It would be unrealistic to think everything would be ok with them in this book because they're both under an insane amount of pressure for different reasons. Severus is literally risking his life on to of dealing with regular school stuff and Avrille feels very trapped and useless since she's stuck at home with Char when in the past she was able to rush off and be a heroine.
I guess since I read the books in my 20's, I always viewed the characters slightly differently than people who started the books as children themselves. I ALWAYS thought Sirius was irresponsible and hotheaded while teenagers might have idolized him at first, like you said Harry did. I also always found Harry's outburst so annoying in this book even though I get it's because Voldemort's mood is affecting him. But it still felt nice to throw that little barb about his wizard angst in there.
So as I've said over and over, thank you so much for your reviews. They really helped me a ton. Hopefully I can shake this writer's block I have soon. It's not even like I don't know what to do... I guess I'm just really tired so it's hard to find the right words to describe the scenes in my head. Thanks again and I'll definitely be requesting whenever I'm able to post a new chapter!
~Renny Report Review
Sorry about the really long delay between reviews. :( I feel so bad about it! It's been almost 2 weeks since you requested! I've been so busy and sleepy recently - I think its the un-English hot weather! But here I am, hopefully with a solid review to put your worries about this chapter (and the next) to rest.
I really, really liked this chapter. I think probably so far it's one of my favourites. Sure, it was shorter than the others but it was a length that complimented the rest of the chapters. It was like a breather, or, (Ok, I'm about to quote Gandalf) "the deep breath before the plunge". I don't think it came across as stunted or forced or anything - because I know you've mentioned that you found this one difficult to write. I guess if I really looked into it, I could sense a hesitation with continuing with the heavy plot lines, probably because of the things you've indicated - that the material wasn't fresh in your mind. Don't dwell on that though! An ordinary reader wouldn't pick up on that (because you won't have told them that in 'critique focuses' (; hehe) and instead it just feels as though the dynamics of this story are just very, very well timed.
I've said before that you do a wonderful job of consolidating the relationship between Avrille and Severus, but here you exceeded that by a million percent. This wasn't clouded with actions scenes or a menacing plot to switch to; instead you've given us a hefty, enjoyable and tangible snapshot of them together instead of it being a passing phrase to set the atmosphere (which in the context of the other chapters wasn't bad either!). It was very, very comforting and inviting, and yet coupled with the sense of foreboding Avrille feels at the end it was exciting too. Especially as I haven't read the story that precedes this, I found the mention of bits and bobs that have gone on before really helpful and insightful, such as about Severus' family. (I really do need to read it!!) It colours the story so much more because this isn't stand alone and brand new, in a way - its something returned to and repolished and picked up. But I think that's one thing that is so effective in this story - the characters have a background and history from their trials that went before this. Especially in this chapter, you drawing on that, on events that went before this, you've managed to keep the flow going and have tied this chapter in really well.
Agh, you attention to detail again astounds me so much! I wish I could write like you! There are so many parts of this, even if it's something one of them mentions, that makes me think you've covered every possibility for the way they might act and talk, and decided on the best one and made it match the story. The way Sev and Avrille interact is just amazing. And I love the way you write Char. Do you have children of your own? I would be so bad at writing toddler scenes, but you make Char seem so small and fun and curious, just like he would be.
Okay, so right now, take all of those worries you have about this chapter being inconsistent and put them in your hand. Gather them up from floating around your brain and squeeze them into a ball. Are you doing it? Oi - no, actually do it!! I don't care if you look silly. Got it? Ok. Then - chuck the ball into the nearest bin.
This chapter was brilliant, Renny! Honestly :) it flows on from the next one just as perfectly as I knew it would even before I clicked "Chapter Five - Avrille".
:D Laura xAuthor's Response: You really need to stop apologizing about the "delay" in between reviews :) I have no right to complain (not that I want to at all!) when you're doing me such a huge favor offering your time and advice. It sounds like you're really busy this summer, so I appreciate it even more.
So I normally don't indulge in annoying net-speak, but OMG Gandalf quote! :) It's been too long since I've read LotR. I should remedy that. I'm so so so glad this chapter came across just as how you thought it did, as a breath before the plunge. I'm sure you can guess just from knowing stuff from the OotP book that some tough things are in store for my characters, and I definitely wanted them to have at least one solid happy memory to look back on when things get difficult. This was pretty much their last chance to do whatever they want before Umbridge descends on the school. I feel like her arrival at Hogwarts is really the moment where stuff starts to get bad in canon. Voldemort coming back a few months earlier was horrible of course, but Umbridge's presence at Hogwarts removes that sense of security a lot of people in the story had. Like Harry, Severus and Avrille both view Hogwarts as their home, not just a place of employment, so it's going to be even more difficult for Severus in particular to not even have that to come back to after dealing with Voldemort.
Ugh, so glad as well this chapter didn't read as forced at all. I felt like I was banging my head off of things trying to write it. I knew exactly what I wanted, but finding the words was so hard. Probably cause like I said, I have an 18 month old little boy. He's amazing for source material but leaves me sort of unable to do anything except lie on the couch and watch tv once he's in bed. I don't think I would have been able to write babies or toddlers (or the way moms feel) accurately before having a baby myself. It's one reason I'm so glad I waited four years after finishing the last story to start this one. It worked out so coincidentally (random fact, the date used to calculate my due date ended up being Avrille's birthday and I was due on Severus's birthday! WEIRD!) If you ever want any insight into the toddler mind, let me know ;) I actually ended up not exaggerating too much when I wrote Char likes to climb bookcases *face palm*
As far as details, thank goodness for the internet. I've never been to England sadly, so I had no idea what the Hampshire coast would look like. Hopefully it will come across as realistic in the slight chance anyone from the area ever reads that :) I always really liked that property I thought up for Severus's family to have owned, so it was fun to expand it a bit.
Ok, doubts have been binned. Now I just need to get in a writing mood again. The chapter after this one got written in less than two weeks, so I got sort of paralyzed by how fast that was and haven't even started the next one. I feel like I can move forward now, even if it's slow and slightly torturous to me like this chapter :)
Thanks again so incredibly much, Laura. It helped me immensely to have an objective review of this chapter. I hope you like the next one (and aren't too offended if you're a Sirius fan). If you don't mind in the future, I'll keep putting in for a review when I get a chapter done. Your feedback has been invaluable! Truly! ~Renny Report Review
I haven't read much of this story in a while, so it's great to finally have some time to myself and read some more! I did worry at first that I'd feel a bit lost getting back into this story, but actually, saying that, it was great and so familiar to be reading this again. The alternating POV's in each chapter are as ever super effective and really colour this story all the more. Sev is just.awesome :) You said that this is one of the chapters that you wrote fairly soon after having a lot of the material at hand, and I could really tell, such as with the previous three, too. Everything is so thought out and I feel as though you just haven't missed anything. Little things like Dumbledore being kicked out of the Wizengamot...you've paid a lot of attention to this and it totally does pay off! I will most definitely look out for any changes (if there are any!) in the next two chapters, though.
Everything about this chapter just flows so well and I can't ever express how addictive this story is! It's so solid and so well written. Are you secretly a published writer?! Because if not, you should be. You manage to make everything sound so impressive and vivid, even if all that you are describing are puddles of mud or the summer weather! Genuinely, this does just astound me, and I don't care how silly I sound. In comparison to some maybe more artsy one shots or something, this may not be the most abstract, but the quality of writing and the imagery is just as bright and striking and amazing! And, after all of that, the way you always bring things back to Avrille and Char - it reinforces this homely feeling about this story and about Sev. This is a story that feels so real to me, and I'm sure other readers will agree because there you've managed to achieve this awesome balance between amazing creative writing and a solid, believable and continuing story. And gah, just Sev. Sev the family man. It's a side we have never had the chance to see and strangely it suits him. I think that's why I love this story so much! As well as one trillion other reasons...
Teehee, indeed I am British! There aren't any obvious slip ups with Britishisms, apart from near the end Avrille referring to the sofa/settee as the couch. But then, that's subjective I guess. Some British people might call the sofa the couch - and it is only a little thing anyway! Something I did grin at though - Dumbledore eating a crumpet. I don't know why this image amused me so - I guess because it's SO English ("crumpets and tea, ma'am?") and the word is just...quite funny sounding anyway hahaha! Maybe I'm a big kid, I don't know. But no, there was nothing here that actually needed correcting. Rather, you were actually educating me while reading this! Your use of vocab is just so impressive. There were words being used here that I didn't even know existed and they sounded as though they fitted just place perfectly! I've just made myself sound really dumb, haha, but oh well! It is always great to read a fic and be constantly impressed and to not have the narrative feel forced or repeated at all. Do you revise chapters before you post them? I have an awful habit of just writing and going 'ugh fine that'll do' and posting it :P I really shouldn't though. But yours - I get the impression you do really mould and care for your chapters, as I've mentioned in previous fics with the amount of incredible detail you have with your plot and characters. It is so inspiring!
The plot is progressing at such an awesome rate - I can sense that at some point Severus is going to get tied up in where his responsibilities lie. Already he's stepping in dangerous territory and has been for years, but now that Avrille's involved in the Order it makes Order business so much more HIS business, if that makes sense? I've always been interested to see how Voldemort really would talk to Sev and how equally he would consider him. I loved the part with the two of them - sure, Voldz does think that everyone is inferior to him but it was interesting to have him actually considering and listening to whatever Sev was saying. It was very believable. For all of his cunning and evil powerful ways, I guess Voldemort would have had paranoia as a weakness and would try to compensate that threefold with people like Sev feeding him information. There are so many new insights that this story has given me!
So, I'm going to sign off for the night and hopefully will be able to see to the next two very soon. For some reason (even though it's the summer holidays!!) my life has just exploded with busyness! I apologise for the wait for reviews though, :( but I can't wait to get on to the next ones, especially as you requested the most critique there. I didn't want to rush them while I'm feeling a little sleepy. I can't wait to get back to them though! If I leave Sev and Avrille alone for too long there'll probably be another baby on the way!!
:D Laura xxxAuthor's Response: Hi Laura! Sorry it took me a couple days to respond. I've been kind of "meh" about being online the past few days, probably because I'm very "meh" about writing at the moment in general, but as always, I really appreciate your review!
Yeah, like I think I said, I wrote most of these first four chapters in two weeks (!!) at the start of NaNo last year. I think it helped to flow better since I did do it all at once, and that's why I feel a bit like I'm floundering right now writing new material.
Oh gosh, blushing over your compliments :) Funny how you mention the stuff about the weather and the mud puddles because I specifically remember writing those sections (and being a little stuck on them). I usually have to go back and insert some descriptive details here or there because I tend to get caught up in the flow of the action and dialogue.
"the way you always bring things back to Avrille and Char" --Thanks for noticing that! That really is the main backbone of this story. No matter what they go through in the war against Voldemort, I want it to always come back to this idea that home and family is the most important thing in the world
I *think* the couch thing is ok because Avrille is actually Canadian. I'm not 100% positive if a Canadian would say couch or sofa. I've never had a Canadian comment on her word choice, but even if they did I have a bit of leeway since I had her do all of her schooling around the Boston area (Salem Witches' Institute) which is conveniently the general area I'm from originally... so I'm covering my bases by saying maybe she picked up on some American slang as a teenager ;) But crumpet is definitely such a funny word!! They're really yummy, though. You can get them at some specialty stores here in the US. Good when grilled with honey! Thanks for specifically reading for the Britishisms! I have a beta, but she's American too, so she probably would miss the same things I would. When in doubt, I try to imagine Alan Rickman saying something. Granted he's not how I picture MY Severus in my head, being the more "canon" Severus to me, but it still helps.
Oh man, you are SO not dumb! I'm pretty sure I'm probably around 10 years older than you, so I've just had more time to read, read, read. I'm constantly always checking a thesaurus when I write as well because often times I know the gist of the word I want but can't recall what it is. And I will admit I am definitely an editing addict. I was really nervous posting these first four chapters when I did since I had never done a WIP before. You can imagine I edited the heck out of them, probably half because I was stalling.
I find the Voldemort/Severus interactions interesting as well, hence why I like to make excuses for them to talk alone together. I was always curious as to how Severus went from being the "he will be killed, of course" Death Eater from the graveyard to being virtually Voldemort's most trusted follower. Obviously killing Dumbledore had a lot to do with it, but he had to have been slowly working his way up to that point this whole time. I agree that Voldemort probably had paranoia being one of his greatest weaknesses, or maybe strengths since it did keep him in power for so long. I don't think he would have ever truly trusted anyone. More like he took a gamble, like "it's about 90% likely Severus is loyal to me," and it turns out he was wrong.
So once again, thanks so much for your time in reading and reviewing this!! Please don't rush or push yourself. I know all about crazy busy days. Hence why I just haven't felt like writing lately. At least the review challenges are making me stay active in HPFF and TGS cause I'm determined to do all of those suckers. Hmm, I wonder if you'll win feature reviewer! I went to nominate, but someone beat me to it ;) Good luck! You totally deserve it!
~Renny Report Review
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