Reading Reviews for Into the Darkness of the Grave
44 Reviews Found

Review #1, by HarrietHopkirk she is a lion

16th July 2013:

Really, though, this is fantastic. I love Minerva fics, just because she is so badass and such a staple, such a rock in Harry's world that it's always great to see a different side of her. I loved the new information we got about her from Pottermore (wrote a one-shot about it hurrhurrhurr) and this wonderful story also shows so much.

She cares so deeply, and although she's pretty stoic, you can tell. This one-shot is written so perfectly and so well that you can really imagine her at each funeral, and talking with Remus (that last line resulted in tears on keyboard, really). It's great stuff. I love your description, your word choice, her stream of consciousness... all great stuff.

Overall, a really wonderful one-shot. Well done!

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Review #2, by 800 words of heaven she is a lion

8th June 2013:

Okay. I'm crying. I don't like reading that much angst for that reason, because I always cry, and I hate crying. But this was seriously a wonderful read, despite the tears.

I think you showed another side of McGonagall that we don't really get to see all that much, and it was done with a lot of poignancy and grace. I really liked her characterisation here.

The bits about Sirius and Peter hurt the most, simply because we know just what they mean, and I think you did really well with that. I love Sirius as a character, and I particularly liked the observation that McGonagall makes about his anger and it just simmering under the surface - it rang very true, I felt.

This was wonderful in its brevity and tear-jerker... ness! I really enjoyed myself.

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Review #3, by AlexFan she is a lion

1st February 2013:
This was so sad, I think you captured the feeling of grief that not only Minerva but everyone was feeling. This actually made me impossibly sad and now I just want to go sit in a corner, curl into a fetal position and cry.

I love how you showed McGonagall's caring side, you never see the caring side that grieves over the lives lost because she's always so stern so it was great to see that.

There's not much I can say except this was excellently well done even if it was short.

Author's Response: It was meant to be sad so I'm sorry that I'm happy that feeling came across as well as it should have. I really wanted to show this side of Minerva because I think that there is this human, vulnerable side to her and she must be devastated to see how many of her students have sacrificed their lives - so many who had died so young while she was still alive.

Thank you so much for your review.

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Review #4, by evans_4eva she is a lion

16th January 2013:
Wow this is brilliantly written :) I've never seen anyone write Minerva's perspective like this. Really sad but lovely :) 10/10

Author's Response: I haven't seen too many stories from Minerva's point of view either, which is why I went with her for this one. Thank you so much for your kind words, they mean a lot to me!

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Review #5, by Yolanda Yaxley the Yuletide Yak she is a lion

19th December 2012:
aargh, how do you transform such deep grief and pain into such beautiful words? I felt Minerva's losses along with her, and the way you have written each grief building up (reminding the reader of bodies in graves) - it buries us, too.

I love the description of Minerva as a lion and a mother with her children, because that is what she is at her core, and it sums her up so perfectly. The short opening paragraphs were so effective in introducing her as she is in her grief, and I also loved the format of one, two, three, (four) as it separated each load of grief and made each fresh batch of pain more weighty.

Each death seems to mean more when you write the different perspectives; it reminds the reader that once upon a time, we were shocked that Sirius Black was innocent, and that wizards were celebrating for a reason. And all the funerals for the Marauders, the grieving, also accentuates how lonely Remus has been left now his only friends were dead (or as good as) in one fell swoop.

It is so beautiful, just as so much of your angst is. I'm very glad that Secret Santa has given me the chance to read some of your stuff! :)

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Review #6, by Coley she is a lion

1st September 2012:
The quote in the beginning was absolutely perfect. I think it really encompassed Minerva's feeling throughout this piece. Although it was at the start of the piece, it really finished it off. I apologise if that makes no sense, it does in my head. I also apologise if this sounds rather disjointed, I can't seem to put what I want to say into words.

Also, the nursery rhyme, ugghh, perfect.

I loved the fact that Minerva thought of the children as hers, despite not having any children herself, she really is a motherly figure. Not so much in the Molly Weasley sense, but in a always wanting the best sense. Her character is perfect, you really seem to have her down.

The incorporation of the nursery rhyme into describing the fall of the marauders and Lily was really well done, everything seemed to flow really well.

The description wasn't overly done neither was there not enough, it was just right which is really lovely to see. Well done.

Overall, this was really good, the only thing I found that seemed to just irritate me was the fact that the title of the chapter didn't have a capital letter. Other than that, everything was really good.

Author's Response: The beginning quote basically birthed this story. It gave me a very clear image in my head about how I wanted this story to end up.

I'm glad you liked the nursery rhyme (and you reminded me that I should probably credit that, so thank you!). I really like the rhythm that the counting gives to the story.

This Minerva comes from my Portraits of Courage story and she definitely views herself as a mother-figure and there's a lot of guilt that she feels about basically recruiting her students and sending them off to their deaths. I feel really strongly about Minerva's character and that she must have viewed herself definitely as an authority type figure to these younger characters and obviously some sort of maternal feelings arise from that too.

This was definitely really simple for me in terms of style but I really like how it turned out and I'm glad you did too.

I'm sorry the lack of capitalization irked you. I didn't even think about it when I was writing it. But if that's the only thing that bothered you about this fic, I'm not going to complain.

Thank you so much for your kind words. I really appreciate it. :)

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Review #7, by manno_malfoy she is a lion

8th August 2012:
Hello! I'm here from the Ravenclaw common room for the review battle!

Okay, speechlessness is dominant at the moment. I can't even have my brain function properly anymore. And all from less than a thousand words. I don't even you've managed to do that, how you've strung up the words into such elegant, flawless sentences, how you've managed to fit in so many conflicting emotions and so much sadness in this story.

I think that, here, you've taken on a very unique and refreshing perspective. I've read from various points of view about the Marauders but never from McGonagall's. Your story has made me admire her even more, even though I'm not entirely sure how that is possible. You just made her shine in this story; her feelings just glow with sincerity and motherly-hood -it's just unbelievably touching. I especially liked how she partly blamed herself for Lily's and James's death.

I also like how you've stressed on how the war had not been won and how Minerva was not so naive as to believe that the fact that Voldemort has fallen meant victory for those on the other side of the war. It just sounds so much like her.

The best thing about this story, from my point of view, is your imagery. You just have this very exquisite way with words and if I were to choose my favourite comparison in this story, I'd quote the whole thing, honestly.

This has been such an amazing read and I'm so glad to have stumbled upon it. Wonderful, wonderful work!


Author's Response: Hi, thanks for choosing this fic to review. :)

Eee, thank you so much for your compliments. I honestly don't even know what else to say besides that. I'm usually a wordy person so it was difficult for me to pack a fic into such few words, but I managed to do it. Angst is definitely where I feel comfortable so I'm glad the emotions came across well enough for you.

I don't think I've really read a fic from McGonagall's POV about this time period either. I really wrote this as an outtake for my fic Portraits of Courage but it was certainly a perspective I've never taken before either. Her role in PoC is one where she definitely feels motherly and there is a lot of guilt because she's recruiting them to join the Order and she knows that they're basically signing their youth away.

I really didn't want to emphasize that though Voldemort was "defeated" that it was cause for celebration, especially for those who have lost loved ones. His downfall won't ever bring them back and I think that's important to remember.

Aw, I'm glad the imagery worked for you! This was a pretty simplistic style for me so I was worried it wasn't going to be as expressive as I am usually, but good things so far, which is nice.

Hehe, thanks so much. You are really way too kind. Thank you.

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Review #8, by DracoFerret11 she is a lion

8th August 2012:
Hello there! This is DarkRose from the forums here to review for you for our Ravenclaw Reviewing! :D So, let's go over things:

Characterization: I absolutely adored how you wrote Minerva. Her being the main character was what actually drew me to this story. I love Minerva stories! :D There are far too few of them. Anyhow: I think you wrote her so wonderfully. The emotions you showed, her sadness and regret, were so beautiful. I honestly nearly teared up. I think this story has to go into my favorites. :D

Descriptions: I always stress about adding details to bring stories to life. This had a few mentions of descriptions that helped (like the state of Remus's apartment and the crowded cemetary at Lily and James' funeral), but other little things could enhance this even more, y'know? Either way, great job.

Emotions: Again, absolutely beautiful. You showed a real grasp of how Minerva was feeling and it was incredibly touching. Spectacular job.

Plot: This was such a sweet story. I'd never considered these events from McGonagall's point of view, and I love that you did. You told such a terribly sad story through such a touching lens. It was wonderful.

Style: The weight that came through in the narrative was truly impressive. I loved that I could feel how heavy the emotions were, how much everything hurt. It really touched me.

Beautiful story. Wonderfully written. Great job. :D


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Review #9, by Erised she is a lion

18th July 2012:
This was such a beautiful and poignant piece that I actually got goosebumps and a lump in my throat. Seriously. Firstly seeing this through Minerva's eyes was a brilliant idea - as a matriarch of sorts who rarely shows emotion in canon, seeing her weakened and vulnerable is truly fantastic. You wrote her character excellently, probably the best I've seen here.

Addressing each of the Marauders was also done brilliantly, and seeing how each event affected the different people involved was just so sorrowful. Lily and James' funeral almost made me cry - your description paired with Minerva's grief is just too much. It's beautiful.

The final line gives a very poignant end to a brilliant story. The fact that Remus will too be lost even though he is the last one standing is so sad. :(

I seriously loved this!

Author's Response: I love hearing how my stories affect people. It reminds me that my writing can still impact people.

Minerva was the perfect character for this story that I wanted to tackle, especially looking at her role in Portraits of Courage. She is definitely motherly - I feel like she can't go through each year without getting to know her students and developing bonds with them. Thank you about your comments on her characterization. That means a lot to me.

I really wanted to focus on each of the Marauders but in a subtle manner. I didn't want this story to be too overwhelming, but I wanted it to mean something in a short, simple way.

It does make me sad that Remus is lost too, eventually. That she will see them all from their school years to their deaths, that they all lost their lives to the same cause. It's terribly sad.

I'm really glad you loved it. Thank you so much for your review. :)

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Review #10, by Jess the Enthusiast she is a lion

11th July 2012:
That was absolutely beautiful; I think we often forget how James, Lily, Sirius, Remus, and Peter touched the lives of many, and their deaths/betrayals affected more than just Harry. Mcgonagall was their mother - I didn't always think of her that way, but she was. And she was Harry's and so many more.
Wonderful job! 10/10 :D

Author's Response: Surprise review, I love it!

I think it's hard for us sometimes to see McGonagall as anything but that tough cookie we usually see her as. I just can't imagine her going through life as a teacher and Head of House without feeling somewhat responsible for her students and obviously being affected by their deaths in both wars.

I'm really glad you liked it and thank you for surprising me with this lovely review. :)

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Review #11, by MagicalInk she is a lion

4th July 2012:
I'm speechless, but I guess I could still try and write.

This was a really beautiful one-shot. Your flow was sort of simple and smooth. There were no heavy words and metaphors swiftly introducing imagery to the story, it was simply wonderful.

Somehow, I felt as if I wasn't exactly there. I don't know how to explain this, but the way you used the third person made me feel as if I was flying around Minerva and her memories. But this isn't bad, as grief was palpable and Minerva was perfectly portrayed.

Speaking of, I loved your characterisation. We often see Minerva as the strict and boring lady, but people forget her motherly side we saw in the lat book. And you drawing such attention and care to that wa really sweet.
You also explored a relation with the marauders we don't often read and I'm sure existed. Each marauder ha it's own suffering and portrait that was heart wrenching and I loved the fact that she still thought of Sirius with compassion after all his troubled life.

Your imagery is basically all done with metaphors but draws the picture beautifully and I don't know what else to say. Grief and frustration drowned me while reading this and you made me love and feel compassion for all the characters, including Peter because Minerva didn't know it was him and si her thoughts almost convinced me of it.

I know reviews are supposed to give you CC but it was so well written and all this (^) rambling shows how good of a writer you are. So I guess all CC I can give you is keep writing like in this one-shot, simple but lyric and touching.

Author's Response: Hi Val,

Thank you for your kind words, you're so sweet. This was a bit of a different approach for me stylistically in terms of it being so simple and short. It's still imagery and emotion-heavy, which is something that I think I'm known for as an author, but not as elaborate as I'm used to writing.

Do you think it would have made more of an impact if it was written in a different point of view, like first or second? I admit that I don't particularly like writing in either so that's why I went with third, but it's something I can keep in mind for future fics if it's something that would help you relate more to the character.

McGonagall is definitely tough in my mind - she has to be in order to deal with the death of so many of her students, but she is still very motherly, I think. I would imagine it would be extremely difficult to not feel emotionally connected to your students if you've watched them grow up and then one by one lost them to a war.

Aw, Sirius. I couldn't have her hate him completely. I always have this image of him being charming and a bit reckless and it must have hurt them, to think he betrayed the Potters, but she still has sympathy for him, I think. I'm also glad Peter's part worked for you and made you feel for his character despite knowing the truth of the situation.

Reviews are supposed to give CC but I've been known to write quite a few gushing reviews too, so I don't mind. Thank you so much again for your review.

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Review #12, by NaidatheRavenclaw she is a lion

3rd July 2012:
Hi Missy! Here with your requested review! I'm basically terrified to leave this because your writing is as close to flawless as you can get and I'm not going to be able to give you much (any) crit :3 This one shot is one of your best, I think, and a bit different for you as well. Your style tends to be a bit more description~heavy and elaborate, but I absolutely adored the simplicity of this. It helped the emotions come out more, to put it all in this short and simplistic style. Actually, I don't think simplistic is quite the right word for what you've done here. It's still beautifully written with all the stunning imagery and language of your other pieces, but there's something so natural and real to the way you've told this that makes it easy to read and just...there are no words for how much I love this.

Your flow, too, was absolutely amazing. Your sentences fit together in ways few other authors can manage. It's almost poetic, the way you use the sentence structures and lengths to your advantage. I loved how you broke it up with the numbers. It was almost like a drumbeat in the background with all these lovely flowing sentences on top. I mean, sentences like this- This was the culmination of years of lies and deceit, woven into a mask so perfectly worn that no one had even suspected Sirius. - are just perfect. I can't even begin to think of how I could point out flaws in them.

Your characterization of Minerva was one of the best I've ever seen, and I've read quite a few Minerva fics. It was a different side to her and her relationship with the Marauders, but I really loved it all the same. I think a lot of people see her as a hardened soldier, but she was so tender in this. People sometimes forget everything she's been through, but you captured it perfectly. That had to be a difficult time for everyone who knew the Marauders, to effectively lose them all in such a short stretch of time. And your lines about Sirius's betrayal were fantastic as well. It was worse than death, in a way, because at least closure accompanies death. At least when someone dies, you know that they're gone. But Sirius was still alive, and so it's harder to get over in a way. You managed to capture all of that in a few sentences. This is why you're one of my favorite authors on the site.

Sorry this was really unhelpful and all that. This one shot was basically perfect and I hope you don't mind that I just squeed all the way through this review :P Stunning work as always.


Author's Response: Hi Naida! Psh, don't be terrified. I love receiving reviews from you, no matter what they say. :) Yes, this was definitely a bit different for me stylistically in terms of simplicity, but I thought it would be the most effective and I'm glad you agreed!

I did play around with the sentence structure to help with the flow, so I love that you picked up on that. I've seen a few people make that comment about the numbers, like a drumbeat, or counting, and that's sort of what I had in my head. Well, more like bells tolling but it's sort of the same basic idea.

Eee, thank you. Minerva...I'm always so terrified to write her because there are just some characters in canon that are distinct, you know? And it's difficult to get into their heads and I just want to please people and have my characterizations be good enough. So when I get compliments like that, it's seriously such a huge ego boost, so thank you.

I love what you said about death bringing closure, but with Sirius's betrayal you don't get that, and I think that's sort of what digs in and festers like a wound that won't heal. Just, everything about the Marauders era is tragic, the way it ended and I can't even begin to understand how anyone who had known that group (how REMUS) even survived.

Um, I love squeeing and you are just so fabulous, so thank you. This was a lovely review to find. :)

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Review #13, by Indigo Seas she is a lion

25th June 2012:
The first thing that springs to mind when I'm thinking about what kind of feedback I can leave is: goodness, that flow is marvelous. I mean, you've got little interrupters that break it up, but they're done on purpose and they're simply masterful. I can see your careful crafting at work, and I love it. (And by the way, the parenthesis around "four" were brilliant. Kudos.)

Anyway. You are such, such an accomplished writer. I don't know if I can convey that in a little space like this review, but I'll try. You have so many lines in here that are just absolutely stunning. And I could feel your careful crafting, too. I'm the type of person who sits and really thinks about the lines I want to create, and some of the ones you've created are just... wow. Either you're just very naturally talented (and I envy you completely) or you do, in fact, spend a lot of time on them. Either way, the writing is just.. fantastic.

Your voice is really, really strong. I think that's part of what makes this so unique: it doesn't go by the wayside because I can feel your passion, your feelings. Writers with a unique style are sometimes rare, and I absolutely love that you seem to have found your own here.

And oh, goodness. Characters. I love them. You've taken somebody that we know, yes, but you've completely spun her into something three-dimensional and just... marvelous. Of course she's lost her children; it makes so much sense that her students would be her children, and yet I've never seen that before. So gold star for you, dear, on both character depth and originality.

So, this wasn't helpful at all. :P I'm very sorry that I can't really critique this, but I simply didn't find anything to critique. I thought it was absolutely lovely; the length, the description, the flow... Bah. Genius.

xx Rin

Author's Response: Um, THANK YOU. Also, kudos to you for being the only reviewer to point out the parentheses around four - so intentional and no one picked up on it. Ha! I'm not sure if that's just so minor that no one felt it necessary to mention or if no one noticed but you.

I am blushing right now. Seriously. I mean, I'm always so pleased to get reviews and they're fairly positive, but to hear someone call me accomplished makes me all giddy, so thank you for taking the time to tell me that. Sometimes writing is a frustrating hobby and yes, it does take me a long time to write - every sentence is carefully thought out - so little boosts like that go a long way to help.

I have been writing for many years and I like to think that I've found a style that I'm comfortable with and that's it's obvious when a reader is reading one of my stories that they know it's mine, you know what I mean? That, to me, would be such a huge accomplishment.

Ahh, I'm so glad you liked Minerva. She's such a fabulous character to write - so strong and brave but her heart is just as soft as she is hard. The idea of her students being her children came to me while I was writing my short story collection - Portraits of Courage - and it just seems so natural. She never had children of her own and she spent so many years watching these students grow up from awkward, gangly 11-year-olds to adults. How can one not become too attached?

Ha, I am okay with not helpful if it means I get to read this glowing review. Thank you so much. I can't get over how sweet you are. I loved reading this review. :)

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Review #14, by SiriuslyPeeved she is a lion

24th June 2012:
Oh dear, I'm so sorry I missed you! I had this written out in TextEdit and thought I had posted it but apparently deceived myself...

The double layering of Minerva's grief with Peter Pettigrew's deception is just heartbreaking. I have also always envisioned Minerva as a teacher who would form personal attachment to her students even if this is possibly not the best idea. Believing in Sirius's treachery and then discovering it was actually Peter who committed that sin must have been terrible for Minerva.

I very much enjoyed how you used the counting of the dead to dramatic effect -- it was like a bell tolling. I also love the Millay poem you referenced -- she is a good match for a story about Minerva McGonagall.

The scene in Remus's kitchen was also nicely put together -- the details of disorder effectively show Remus's state of mind.

I really enjoyed this even though it made me misty eyed! Nice job :)

Author's Response: That's okay! I didn't want to bother you and seem too demanding, so thank you. :)

I am so glad I am not the only one to see McGonagall getting attached to her students. It's hard to remain unattached in that sort of setting, I think. Watching them grow up and all that. I can't even imagine what she must have gone through when she first heard about Sirius and then later, learning the truth. It's kind of interesting to think about these characters who had been through it all, you know?

Yay, I'm happy the counting worked for you. I wasn't sure if the formatting would throw some people off or not but it seems that most people are okay with it. Yes, that's kind of the idea I was going for - the bell tolling.

Gah, I always feel so terribly for Remus, what he must've gone through with his best friends. The messy kitchen is exactly reflective of his mind right now so I'm glad you picked up on that.

Ha, I am okay with people getting misty eyed. It means I did a good job writing emotions!

Thank you for your lovely review. Much appreciated. :)

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Review #15, by RosieQueen she is a lion

22nd June 2012:
It's Rosie from the blue vs bronze review battle! :)

Oh my gosh, this was just an amazing one-shot. It was so full of emotion, and all of Minerva's thoughts and feelings were so realistic. "She is a lion" was such a wonderful phrase to describe her with.

The description throughout the story was amazing. Really, it was like you painted a picture with words. That's because your word choice was excellent, and you didn't use simple words like a lot of people do. (I tend to do that, unfortunately.)

I really enjoyed this, especially because it was from McGonagall's PoV. Her life was so full of loss that her character is just so interesting.

A very good one-shot. I love your writing style so much! :)


Author's Response: Hi Rosie! I am so unbelievably giddy right now with how much you enjoyed this fic. I love when my readers tell me that they can just picture my fic in their mind. That makes me so happy. Simple words aren't bad - so don't bash on them. Sometimes they're all you need.

I'm glad you sympathize with McGonagall. She is such a strong, but tragic figure and I love that about her.

Thank you so much for leaving such a sweet review. You're awesome. :)

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Review #16, by married to black she is a lion

21st June 2012:
Amazing. That's the first word that came to my mind when I asked myself what I thought of this story. It was amazing. Your narrating was wonderful. The pace was great, you didn't concentrate too long on a specific section. You made it flow wonderfully. I would have personally enjoyed a little more description; since this story has a serious, dark tone to it, I would have liked a bit more descriptions to cast that mood even more and better explain Minerva's thoughts and feelings on the losses she had and such. But truthfully, the plot was wonderfully thought out and written; the structure of the story and the smooth style it was written it was just lovely; and the way you approached it - Minerva aching over her the boys and how she wished she could have done more to prevent this - is just one that I rather adored and enjoyed it. You pictured the scenes and the emotions well. While I did want a bit more description to paint it even more, I was able to successfully imagine the story in my head. The characters! I could not find a single flaw with the characters. They were each their own and I love how true they stuck to the way Rowling had made them. Your depictions of the characters were flawlessly done. I loved them. Not to mention, the Marauders boys happen to be a personal favorite of mine so I really enjoyed the way you painted them to be. :)

Not only was your writing style really marvelous, I also could not find any grammar or spelling mistakes. Your vocabulary was outstanding and the grammar was just as fabulous. 10/10. I really loved this and am glad to have gotten the chance to read and review it! A great piece. :)

Author's Response: I'm so happy you liked it, thank you! I've heard comments from people about expanding it and adding more detail, and I can understand where you're coming from. Part of me wants to add more to please you guys but the other part of me thinks this was meant to be a fairly simple one-shot and I don't want to muddle the emotions with more description. I'll sit on it for a while and see how I feel about adding to it later on, but thank you for expressing your desire for more.

I'm glad the structure and style worked for you. Minerva was such a fascinating character to work with in this setting and I really enjoyed it. The Marauders are always a favorite, so I'm so happy you thought they were well-written. That's my goal. :)

Thank you so much for your sweet comments. I'm beyond flattered at how much you liked this. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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Review #17, by Cassius Alcinder she is a lion

18th June 2012:
I have to say that between this story and what I've read of Portraits of Courage that you really seem to have a knack for writing Minerva. She's an underrated character in my opinion and you really did her justice, capturing the different layers of her personality.

On the outside, she seems tough, being a strict disciplinarian and an order member, but undrneath that, we can tell how much sh really cares about protecting the students and looking out for their best interests. Since she never had kids herself, they must have seemed like the children she never had, and we can only imagine the pain she must have felt at losing them at such a young age, especially when she must have felt somewhat responsible for dragging them into the war in the first place.

It was also great the way you worked in Sirius' situation. Given the Sirius w know from the books, it's a little harder to picture the sense of betrayal they must hav felt at the time, but you wrote it very effectively.

This story managed to pack so much raw feeling and emotion into a small space, and it made for a great read.

Author's Response: It's funny because Minerva is a notoriously difficult character for me to write. I really enjoy writing her, though, so I guess I find a challenge fun.

I love the idea of McGonagall thinking about all her students as children. As I've said before, she's watched them grow up, there has to be some sense of responsibility for their well-being, and if you take into account that this is a bit of an outtake from Portraits of Courage, it's obvious how much guilt Minerva feels for pushing her students into this war and being responsible for their deaths.

It is difficult to remember how Sirius and Peter were portrayed prior to PoA. Because we know the truth, we know who's actually guilty, it was hard at first to make it seem how wholly they believed in Sirius's guilt.

I'm really glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for reviewing!

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Review #18, by LyrisLovegood she is a lion

18th June 2012:
This is a powerful and beautifully written piece of work you have their and I envied you for doing them in less than 900 words!

You really do know how to pull on people's heartstrings. I really love the emotions you conveyed within this piece. I wish I could write something as amazing as your one shot.

Amazing job!

Author's Response: I'm usually pretty wordy so the fact that my two latest one-shots are fairly short is a miracle. 900 words just seemed to fit for me. Some people might say that I should have expanded it, but I can't really think of anything else I want to add that hasn't already been said.

I'm so glad you liked this, and thank you for the compliments and the review. It was so sweet of you.

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Review #19, by Renfair she is a lion

16th June 2012:
Hi! It's Renny from TGS for your review! It seems like our pairing is a bit unfair on your end since you have a lot more to read (probably because I was too picky with not wanting to read Next-Gen right now :P), so I'm going to look through your other stories and leave three or so more reviews so that we're more evenly balanced.

So, I love McGonagall, so this was a great one-shot for me to read. The "chapter" title was well chosen, because other than the obvious reference to the Gryffindor mascot, Minerva herself is very lion-like. She's obviously incredibly powerful and fiercely protects her own. Since she never had children of her own, I think it's very believable that she would see her students as children and be very affected when they were hurt, killed, or ended up betraying her. She's also very aloof like a lion, very rarely showing her true feelings and instead always pushing her students to do more and be better because she can see the potential in them.

The quote at the beginning was very fitting and set the tone for the piece very well. The first two paragraphs were also great and amazingly descriptive for their brief length.

"her breath stuttering as she gasped for air." --Just wondering if "shuddering" might be more appropriate? I think that's what it's called when someone's sort of hyperventilating when they're crying.

The way you describe the pain of Sirius's betrayal is powerful and sort of brings to mind how people must feel when someone they love becomes a prisoner of war and missing in action. Not the betrayal aspect, obviously, but the feeling that maybe it would be better if they were just simply killed because then you would know what had happened, and you could have a sense of closure. With Sirius in Azkaban, his remaining friends and mentors must have been in a weird sort of limbo where he was alive, but they assumed they would never be able to find out why he had "betrayed" everyone.

I know this is already completed, but you have a really great format here, and if you ever were considering continuing it a bit, maybe with four deaths from the next generation (like Colin and Fred... not sure if there were any other Gryffindor students who died), it would be really cool and sort of bring it full circle for Minerva. Not that it needs to be any longer, since it's great the length it is, but you could really go either way.

So this ended up being sort of an interesting pairing between the two of us because my story, though obviously fluffy and silly, still has an edge of seriousness with how Lupin had to deal with being the last man standing out of his group of friends following the first war. He doesn't appear much in the story just yet since I'm trying to follow the format of the novel I'm converting, but he'll have a much larger part to play later. I hope this was helpful! I enjoyed reading this and am looking forward to finding other little gems on your author page to review :D ~Renny

Author's Response: Hi Renny! First off, thank you for such a lengthy review. I love it! I'm glad to find another McGonagall lover. I wish there were more fics out there, or if there are, I need to find them! I think McGonagall is the embodiment of Gryffindor, and the line about her being a lion was actually what sparked the idea for this story (aside from the quote at the beginning). You seem to have an understanding for her character that is similar to mine which I think helped you connect with my words, I hope. :)

Hm, I'm not sure about the appropriate wording for that sentence you pointed out. I'll ask around and see what other people think. Maybe you're right. I guess I've never really thought about it in that context so I'm not sure.

You make such a good point about maybe it's better to know that they're dead rather than being left in that sort of limbo. There is no closure and no words of explanation in that case to even begin to understand how Sirius could have done what he did (and difficult at the same time knowing what we do as readers about his innocence).

I hadn't really thought about doing Hogwarts era deaths but that would be an interesting addition, for sure. Lavender was also a Gryffindor. It's something to contemplate but for now, this remains completed.

I'm interested to read more of your story now, if only to see how you tie Lupin into it all. Thank you for all your comments and for your lovely review. It was very much appreciated.

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Review #20, by Ravenclaw_Charm she is a lion

14th June 2012:
This was really good! You could really feel for McGonagall here, and you created a relationship that is not touched upon much in the books: McGonagall and the Marauders. The descriptions really bring the reader into the story - nice! :) This was so well written, and I absolutely love it. It's nice to read a story we know so well from a different perspective, and you executed this brilliantly. Awesome job! :D 10/10

Author's Response: Thank you so much. I really enjoyed writing this particular setting from McGonagall's POV. I think it brought something new to the same sort of story. Thank you for your review. :)

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Review #21, by Abhorsen she is a lion

14th June 2012:
I really enjoyed your writing style. You are direct even in your metaphors - which is unique and wonderful.

I also loved the setting of this - even being a Marauder-loving reader, I have never really spent much time considering what it would like in the fall-out of the attack on Lily and James.

Great job

Author's Response: Thank you. I am very much a Marauder lover too, though, it's been years since I've really read too much. It seems like a lot of fics now are Dramiones or Next Gen. I'm sure I must've read fics before that dealt with the aftermath of Halloween 1981, but probably not too many, and very few from McGonagall's I wanted to bring something new to the table. I'm glad you liked it. Thanks for reviewing.

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Review #22, by charlottetrips she is a lion

14th June 2012:
I don't think I should've read this so early in the morning.

You are amazing. You do justice to the emotions that must surround a woman who has lost so much in a war in more ways than one. Even without being a mother, im sure anyone can relate to what it must feel like to lose a child, let alone four.

Sometimes, because of her sometimes stiff demeanor, one can forget that Minerva is the Head of Gryffindor house and thus the embodiment of what it means to be a Gryffindor. But you lay it out so clearly here. The sadness, the grief that grips her throughout this, even in losing Sirius, whom she thinks is mad and lost.

And then that last basically wrung my heart out. This was just gorgeous prose and full of emotion. I'm so glad I caught this.


Author's Response: YOU are amazing. I'm blushing! I think writing emotions has always come easily to me, if my reviewers haven't lied to me, at least. So I'm glad that the emotions still come across well in this fic.

Minerva is often portrayed as this stern, no-nonsense teacher. I can see parts of that in her character, yes, but you can't watch your students grow up and not feel some attachment to them, you can't not feel a sense of loss when they're gone. She's human, after all. And poor Sirius - his absence hurts just as much as the rest of him. Yes, he's still alive, but he's done something that seems unforgivable.

That last line kills everyone! Thank TenthWeasley for telling me to just leave it as is - good choice on her part.

Thank you so much for reading and reviewing. I love seeing reviews from you and this was no exception. Your praise of my work is going to give me the biggest ego ever.

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Review #23, by dirtydeedsdonedirtcheap she is a lion

14th June 2012:
First I want to apologize for taking such a long time to fill your review request! My sister just gave birth and I was also throwing myself full into NaNo to finish before she gave birth so it has been very hectic. But I'm here now!

So you just wanted a general review. I tend to do running reviews and then wrap everything up in the end. Hope that's okay with you, letís get started!

She is a Gryffindor. There is courage in her blood that sings like victory bells, but tonight there is no triumph in their defeat. There is nothing but a dull, quiet roar.

She is a lion.

I never go into review requests looking at the pairings or the summary or the title. I really don't want anything to sway me one way or the other but I saw your banner and it already intrigued me. I think the opening really solidified my intrigue because you don't mention who you are talking about. It could be McGonagall. It could be Molly or any other woman in the Harry Potter series, Lily even. I just really like this part because of the repetition of the 'she is' it rings loudly in my head and the roar makes it pound in my chest, "She is a lion." So strong. What a strong, strong image.

In the end, there was nothing she could have done to stave off the sharp, bitter sting of betrayal.

Wow. I'm not ashamed to admit that there are tears in my eyes. You know I don't think McGonagall is given enough credit. I think we all see her as this strong woman that had went through a lot but we add her in, in fleeting moments. I think a lot of us just don't think about how she would have been effected by everything, it's always Dumbledore but she was younger than him, she would have experienced things differently and I don't want to say it would have been more painful for her compared to him because Dumbledore had a very hard life. Yet McGonagall was still at that stage of her life where she was just a Professor, she would have known the trio and the Marauders on a deeper level because she would have been in contact with them more than Dumbledore until the Order. It's a lot to think about and now I'm rambling. I'm sorry!

Sirius was a reckless boy, his true intentions often hidden by smoke and magic. There was an anger just simmering beneath the surface and sometimes, when she least expected it, she caught glimpses of it in the hardened steel of his eyes.

You know I think it's hard to characterize Sirius as a traitor since we all know he is not and it was Peter but reading the way you described him it just makes so much sense why they would have believed that he had joined the Dark Lord.

She was their mother: Reassuring, always constant. She only wished she could have done more to save them.

Remus was the last one standing, but in another decade, another war, she would lose him too.

^ These last two lines just killed me. I'm sorry this isn't a well thought out review like it should be but this was just so wonderful that I'm trying to wrap my head around it. You have brought McGonagall alive for me. I think you hit her characterization as well as Remus, Peter, Sirius and Lily/James. You do realize you give them each about a line or two, very subtle to tell us who their characters are and what kind of people they are in McGonagall's eyes and still it is more than enough where I just want to scream out, "No!" and ask why this had to happen to all of them.

Excellent job. Thank you for requesting.

Author's Response: Deeds! I am totally okay with the wait because THIS IS THE BEST REVIEW EVER. Seriously, and you rec'd this fic on the forums! You are fabulous.

I think it's an interesting idea to go into a story without reading all those details. I can see how it can be a good thing - sometimes I'm guilty of judging a fic before reading it based on those details and going in "blind" leaves you unbiased.

It was important for me to make parts of this story repetitive at times, and the 'she is' was definitely part of it. I think it added to the overall flow of the story I was going for while writing.

I am okay with making people teary! I think writing emotions is something I love to do and I'm fairly good at (if I could be so humble ;)) so it makes me really happy to hear that people are feeling emotional while reading my fics. I thought it was important to show this scene from McGonagall's POV. She IS such a strong character and I think part of it is the way Maggie Smith portrays her, but sometimes I catch glimpses in her character of this woman who feels so much for her students but is looked to for strength and stability during times of turmoil.

It was really hard to write that Sirius/Peter scene because of the truth that we, as readers, know. But obviously it was necessary to paint him in that negative light and I have written scenes like this before from Remus's POV so it was really interesting to write it from McGonagall's POV as someone who has watched these boys grow up into men, from students into soldiers, and to get hit with the information that someone like Sirius had betrayed must have been difficult.

The last line killed everyone - don't worry! Soon I'll have to start my own graveyard for all the reader deaths I've caused with my writing, haha. I am so, so beyond pleased at how much you enjoyed this. I can't get over how fantastic your review is. I'm so flattered. Thank you!

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Review #24, by ScarletEye158 she is a lion

13th June 2012:
Hey, I'm here from the review tag(:

Aww this was sad. I never really thought about how Minerva took it all, but I guess it makes perfect sense that she would be really upset. She's always so good at hiding her emotions and it was a nice change to be able to see inside her head and see how she was feeling. I really liked this one-shot and your style of writing :) keep it up!


Author's Response: Hi there!

I guess you can say this is a futuretake from my Portraits of Courage short story collection in which Minerva feels like her students are her children and I kind of brought that over into this story to write her reactions to their deaths.

I'm glad you liked it. Thanks for reviewing!

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Review #25, by WitnesstoitAll she is a lion

13th June 2012:

So it really bothered me the other night that I had read this without leaving a review, and then I saw your name up in the review tag and decided I needed to pop over here and /actually/ leave one.

I know I told you I loved this one shot already, but I really really did. There was something incredibly powerful about the succint stlye of this one-shot --- like both in the length of it and in the pacing of your word choices. I loved the structure you chose to go with for this piece ... the counting and the four withing parentheses. Minerva is such a moving character -- strong when she has to be, but it was so lovely to be able to see her at a weak point or four. I recently read Susan's Minerva one shot, and it made me realize how strong of a characteristic love is in Minerva's character and you captured that facet of her here so, so well. I can't even begin to imagine how hard it would be to stand as the head of a house (the mother of a house?) that is so centrally involved in the war and to watch her students give up their lives to the the cause.

Gah. The last line was seriously just like bam! It really was the perfect ending to this one shot. Although I do have to say that I almost expected to read a /Five/ after the last line almost like a -fin- I'm not sure why but I figured I'd toss that out there.

All in all, this was a gorgeous one shot and I'm very glad that you decided to use this for your promo app.


Author's Response: You know I don't mind! I just appreciated your feedback on helping me choose. But I am still thankful you did review, so thank you. :)

I was actually kind of worried because it was so short, and I'm sure you've noticed how I am not usually a writer of short one-shots. I'm wordy and superfluous, so this was definitely very different from me. The more I reread it, though, the happier I was with the outcome. People keep saying they wish I added more of this or that, but I don't know, I find it hard to think about adding anything else. I'm actually really happy with how this turned out and maybe this sounds egotistical or something but I don't think it needs anything else, at least from my standpoint, to get the point I wanted to across.

Gah, I know, I could not be in McGonagall's shoes. I know it's kind of like house-bias or whatever, but the Gryffindors are the house of the brave so it just seems kind of natural that they'd immerse themselves in the war and have the courage to stand up for what they believe in (not that I'm saying other houses wouldn't, but it just seems to characterize that house in particular) and especially since this is somewhat of a futuretake from PoC, it's easy to write the guilt that Minerva feels here because she's the one that recruited them in the first place to join the war efforts.

The last line gets everyone, I swear! You can thank Rachel for making me leave it as it was. Now that I've read the story a million times, I'm really happy with it as the last line. I think it leaves that sort of impact I was hoping for with this fic.

Hm, I can see where you're coming for with the five/fin thing. I thought about it, with Remus or something, but considering the time period I wrote this in, I didn't want to jump wars just for one section. I wasn't even sure at first with that last line if I should make mention of the second war, so like I said, you can thank Rachel for making me keep it. :P

I'm so glad you loved this as much as I loved writing it, and thanks again for providing your feedback in helping me choose with fics to use! You're wonderful. :)

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