Hi, Remus. I'm here returning the favor for the Holiday Review Swap.
Wow, this was such an interesting start to your story. I absolutely loved the mix of science and magic. A lot of stories on the site tend to be very character-driven, but this already, even after just the prologue, seems full-to-bursting with complex plot. You've managed to set up so many intriguing questions in such a short amount of time.
Cassandra makes for an interesting character right from the start. Her hot pink heels are such a great contrast to her clinical nature. And the line "...Something she could only hope for in the end of her own life..." What a great line! It packs a lot of punch for something so short. It really speaks to her worldview, how she feels about not only science, but the value of her own life. And, of course, the director. So mysterious! I can't help but wonder if he's someone we know from the books or a new villain of your creation.
You set a great atmosphere here too. The very matter-of-fact way they discussed the dead test subjects was very haunting, and I loved how you jumped right into the story, just sort of dropping the reader right into the lab. And the ending was a perfect cliffy. It definitely makes me want to read on -- exactly what a good prologue should do.
The only little bit of CC I'd offer is to watch out for a few oddly-worded sentences.
-- She never bothered to learn their names; they were test subjects not people she was going to have tea over.
-- She had witnessed the director's volatile mood many times and their terrible outcomes.
In the first, maybe it should be "have over for tea?" As is, it kind of reads like she is going to stand over them while drinking tea. For the second, the "their" is plural while "mood" is singular, so one should be changed so the two are in agreement.
Other than that, this was a really great start to your story. You really managed to add a lot of impact and intrigue without overwhelming the reader. It definitely made me want to read more. Thanks for tagging me for the review exchange. I really enjoyed getting a chance to read this. Report Review
Oh, wow! This is an absolutely enthralling start! The plot of this story sounds really promising, and despite this being a prologue, there's already so much tension building up. I love the level of detail you go into to describe the laboratory setting; it's very clinical, very cold and very, very chilling. There were some creepy images e.g. when you were describing the viral symptoms causing fevers that led to burns. There's a kind of bodily horror to these details, which really established a darkly suspenseful mood in your story.
Your characterisation is really good as well. As a character, Cassandra does seem like the typical scientist - clinical, orderly and precise, and with a deep reverence for science. She really does fit well into the setting. It would be interesting to see more of her reactions and responses to magic in future chapters. And this Director...is shrouded in mystery. I can't wait to find out who he is :D And how he's connected to Harry.
I also think it will be very interesting to see how you continue to fit magic into this very scientific setting you've created. There's just so much potential to this story :)
The only critique that comes to my mind would be to watch out for awkward sentences and typos e.g. When we tried to lift them onto a trolley, every part we had touched the pores began to seep with blood. . But there weren't too many of these, and your writing is generally smooth and controlled, and this is a very well-crafted chapter.
Great work! I can't wait for an update!
-teh Report Review
And oh, what an interesting prologue! But you need to keep this going! I'm already mentally involved in this story and I want to know who this man is, what Harry took from him and how he plans of taking his magic!
Rarely have I been so engrossed into a story after just a couple lines but this particular piece just blew my mind. It is so well written, all the attention to small details gave me a very deep understanding of this scene and I already felt invested in these characters (not the test subject though. Although I do wonder how they happened to have given their bodies for the particular study...).
Honestly, there is nothing negative to say about this chapter aside from the fact that I want more! I really loved this and hope that you will keep this story going :) Report Review
Wow! what a start to a story! This is very intriguing, I love the idea!
I loved your description of the medical stuff, but as a medical professional myself, I had one quick question. The heat from the virus, I'm assuming, was making people's temperature rise high enough to give them second and third degree burns yes? The body itself is a very fragile unit (something that you have depicted very nicely in this situation) but in order to maintain homeostasis it must be kept at 98.6F (37C, as I've googled) and even the smallest change in that temperature adversely affects the body. So with temperatures as high as 104 degrees F (40 C) you're already looking at possible brain damage depending on how long it goes. Now, my reasoning for bringing that up is that, obviously these people were beyond hope when they were given the virus and it started to burn them, but wouldn't they die instantly once their temperature reached around 110 degrees inside, rendering them beyond help? Which I assume, theoretically if their temperature did reach that high, and considering the volatile nature of this horrific virus, the components of which are unknown, I think that it can be concluded that having or second or third degree burns is plausible and this entire section is useless. Because it's more than just body temperature rising, there are other things at work here in this virus, which makes all that above stuff, while still true, irrelevant. I guess I needed to just sit down and work that out for myself :P Please don't judge me too harshly haha. But that was very good, and clearly it made me think about science which is fabulous so I can tell you that I really enjoyed THAT section.
Moving swiftly along, I find this director character to be very interesting. Someone who wants to steal something from Harry Potter. And you know I think it's easy to sit back and just think, oh when the war was over, Harry Potter didn't have any enemies left and he was free to do what he wanted. But then, that's just not the case, is it? I really like the whole concept of this, it's very unique and very cool. I love how scientific it is, with the clinical trials and everything.
Ok this is getting long :) Wonderful story, a great read! Report Review
My mind is going in crazy directions, trying to figure out who the director could possibly be. Brown hair, brown eyes... It could be anyone! A school-mate of Harry's. The son of a Death Eater. Someone who lost a family member in the Battle. Someone who was simply jealous of Harry. Someone who had been a friend of Harry's and then became disillusioned. The possibilities are endless!
I can't wait to find out who it is, and what Harry did to this person. The virus sounds so intriguing. Your descriptions of Cassandra, the sterile lab, and the experiment really left me wanting more. I love stories that mix magic and science, because it opens so many doors to discover advancements in both fields, and merging them is a Frankenstein-like venture; by nature they do not go together, so forcing them together is bound to have repercussions. I want to learn more about this technology, and the prospect of putting magic under a microscope and doing things with it that can take away another person's magic. I'm wondering how they'll be able to take Harry's magic away from him. I get the feeling that Cassandra is somewhat disposable to this man, due to his cold attitude, so I don't have high hopes for her fate when and if he achieves what he's trying to do. People with a vendetta and lots of time to nurse that vendetta are a particular brand of terrifying.
I'm so glad I read this! It's going into my favorites.
Compelling first chapter! Report Review
:O I'm so glad you asked for a review swap and wanted this to be read. This is absolutely brilliant! It's so interesting and I really wanna know what's gonna happen! And who the person is, I'm trying to find out who but... I don't know... But, SO COOL. Ok, the whole science-y thing is really neat. I love that idea. And the description on the people... was a bit creepy. I mean, it worked absolutely brilliantly though. xD Yeah so this entire thing is praise. :p I love this! Poke me when chapter 2 is out pleassseee! :D
-Mike Report Review
Here with your review from the forums review swap. So I was a bit hesitant when I read your summary. it sounded like a very complex plot, and sometimes (at least in my experience and observation) stories with in depth summaries tend to try to have the entire background of the story crammed into the first chapter -- but this was a breath of fresh air and found myself enormously relieved as I began reading it.
You did a phenominal job with building up enough curiousity and subtley providing information to hook a reader into the story. (THE LINE AT THE END?! ERMEHGERD.) And I thought you did really well writing a scientific setting despite not being of a scientific background (if I inferred your information from your A/N correctly). I am a scientist (biochemical biologist) in training and have worked in laboratories, and trust me, if I didn't find flaws with your descriptions, you are doing wonderfully!! I do have two small critiques for you regarding this chapter. 1.) the mention of your character wearing heels that clink across the floor... I think this is great b/c it really says a lot about her pristine sort of character, but in practice it is very dangerous and impractical to wear heels in a laboratory setting. The floors get really slippery when wet and there are often large grates covering drains in the floor that heels can get caught on. and 2.) you seem to have your research experiments based in the field of virology (both trials mentioned here) but at one point, the director suggest looking over the bacterial strain... viruses and bacteria are very different and viruses seem much better suited to the sort of inherited type thing that you're doing, so you may want to change that bacteria bit.
All in all this was a fabulous chapter and I'll likely keep an eye out for the next one!! Thanks for posting for a review swap, otherwise I'd likely not have noticed this story. :) Report Review
This is an interesting start, and I listined too it with the music which made it quite eery in my mind. Good choice of music! :)
The ending was dramatic, and made me want to read on and find out if he manages to take Harry's magic.
The characters are interesting and I wonder who the director is??
This sounds like it's going to be an interesting story, I'm going to keep an eye out for it! :) Report Review
So this is really really interesting. I have so many questions! Who is the Director of course? An ex Death Eater/pureblood supporter perhaps, since he said that Harry took everything from him? But then why would he be trying to give muggles magic? I'M NOT SURE BUT OH YOU HAVE CAUGHT MY INTEREST.
It was a little funny to me reading this first chapter because Cassandra is my name, so every time I read it I was like "I would never do that." It took me a minute to get out of that mindset. Just a fun fact.
The medical/science aspects of this fic were also very interesting, and not so difficult that I had a difficult time understanding them. Kudos to you for that, because to say it is challenging would be a kind description.
I felt so bad for the people who died but I'm so curious as to how logn this has been going on? How many people have died as part of this experiment? And how is Harry going to stop them?
But seriously, I'm definitely most interested in the identity of The Director. Obviously something tragic happened to him, but what was it? Hm.
Well, I'm favoriting this and I'll be back when you post a new chapter (which is hopefully soon)! I have way to many unanswered questions :)
~CassieAuthor's Response: Heya! So sorry for the late reply! Laziness struck once more!
I'm glad that you have so many questions!!! Who is the Director? You'll see. I'll try to drop hints here and there to see if you guys can figure it out before the reveal. And yes, he is trying to give muggles magic, or is that his main objective? :)
Hahaha! I absolutely love the name Cassandra so I had to add it to one of my fics. This one was the best one to do it for.
Confession about the science: I hate it. I never paid attention to it in high school and barely passed in my college years in biology. The science behind all of this will be minimal and it'll be in terms that the readers can understand. If I can't understand what goes on, then it won't be here. :)
Ah, the people that died were just there to get quick money but didn't really know what they were in there to do. This has been going on for a long, long time. And how is Harry going to stop them? Haha, you'll see!
And yes, something tragic has happened to The Director but you'll get to see what in the future. Can't tell you all the secrets! Hahaha!
I'm uber happy that you enjoyed this prologue! I hope I get to deliver the same caliber of storytelling in the following chapter! Thank you for your awesome review!!
--Rosie Report Review
I think that this is a very strong first chapter and a very strong start, already I have an idea of what's going on and what the characters are like.
It sounds like you're going to working a lot more with medicine and labatories, so if I were you I'd pick up a book that can give you a general idea. :)
All in all, great start!Author's Response: Thanks to Jami, I don't need books! Haha! Thanks to her, I already had to edit out how the people died. Just so you know, be ready for a lot of twist and turns in this story because I'm going to have fun with every single character, haha!
Thank for the review!
--Rosie Report Review
I've been following your status updates for the past few days and was really curious about all your talk of a new fic, so I was definitely intrigued when you announced that you had posted it. The summary is really interesting and made me curious about the story and I'm glad to say that the prologue has not left me disappointed.
I think you have a really interesting premise with this fic and I can't wait to see where you go with it. I think you set the scene up really well and you've got a good start to Cassandra and the director. I love how Cassandra is so clinical sometimes, especially in the way that she views the patients as nothing but test subjects, and she doesn't see anything wrong with that. Her life revolves around this science and her fascination with the magic that defies everything she's ever known.
I want to know who the director is and what sort of grudge he holds against Harry. The intrigue definitely makes me want to continue reading so that's a good tactic on your part.
Basically: GIVE ME MORE. I can't guarantee I'll be able to keep up with your updates with school, but I'd really like to be able to follow this story through its completion - I think I'll really enjoy the journey.
The only criticism I have, if you could even call it that, is that I did notice some awkward phrasing and a few grammatical errors like missing commas. Nothing too major and it certainly didn't detract from the overall story.
This was a great introduction to what looks to be a fascinating story. I'm excited to see where you take it. :)Author's Response: Haha! Yeah, I was trying to make myself stop from posting it before finishing my other one but alas...it didn't happen. Now I have two WIPs. Yaaay...haha. The summary was hard to come up with without giving way too much away. I'm glad that you thought it was interesting enough and that it had piqued your curiosity!
Cassandra is indeed very clinical, but her priorities are not exactly in order. She sees science as her personal religion and would do anything, and I mean anything, for it. Patients for her are not people, just subjects willing to work for her religion. Just so you know, this is not the last you'll see of her!
Ah, The Director...I hope I don't get to disappoint people when the reveal happens! However, he has a reason behind his hatred towards Harry.
I'll give you more! Hahaha! However, I must update His Pack of Four first, finish writing chapter one of this, edit it, beta it, THEN you can have more. Haha!
I had Dan take a look through so I'll be hopefully fix those problems today. However, I'm glad that you enjoyed reading the introduction and I can't wait to give you guys through this fun ride we're going to have!
Thank you for your review swap!
-Rosie Report Review
Oh goodness! What an intense start. I really liked the way you jumped into the story, it makes a perfect prologue and makes me want to know where the story is going to go!
So I have to point this out, and I don't think anyone else would notice it, it's just Ben's annoying med school that randomly pops up in my brain. Fever... it would hit 106 at the most... if the person is *very* lucky it might get to 110.. anyway.. once it hit 106 the vessels would be expanding and blood would be leaking out of them. The enzymes in the body would already be nearly destroyed, and those would shut the organs down resulting in brain death. So, basically what I'm saying is regardless of how hot a fever got, it would never result in any kind of 3rd or 2nd or any kind of burns. They would definitely die, but it would be because the heat has shut down every single one of their organs and shut them down. They are also injecting magicy DNA, so anything could happen. I just thought I'd point that out.
I really love your descriptions in this chapter. It's an eerie creepy feeling walking through this sterile lab and knowing that these people just died, legally even. Bah, you seriously rocked this prologue. It was just so powerful. I am really excited to see what happens from here. And I want to know who this man trying to take Harry's power is! Part of me thought one of the Dursley's.. but then I wasn't sure.. Ahhh.
Anyway, I am so happy you decided to post this prologue. This is such a fascinating start and I can already tell this story will be amazing!Author's Response: Jami! :D
Thank you for being the first reviewer for this story!
Well, considering that we already had a chat about the medical background and whatnot through PM, and edited that part out, all I can say to that large chunk of your review is thanks for all the help. I really, REALLY appreciate what you said, all the help and background to make this story more believable.
Eeriness is what I was going for. Maybe with a bit of creepiness. Hahaha. And yeah, the people did die legally and there's nothing the families can do about it. And you'll see what will happen soon! Hopefully! Haha! All I can say is to be ready for this fun ride I'm going going to be taking the readers! :D
--Rosie Report Review
Terms of Service
categories & genres
short story collection