Reading Reviews for The Signing
  
16 Reviews Found

Review #1, by MyMyMiss The Signing

14th March 2014:
Your first lines, and your summaries for that matter are always what drag me into read your stories! Generally I look for the pretty banner, and think wow that's nice i'll read that story, but your descriptions in those first lines and even paragraphs are just absolutely mind blowing! You really get the readers attention with those!!

Fifteen deaths, like wow, not only beautiful writing but also amazing to think of the emotions pouring through these poor families!

How do you write stories with no talking or conversations among people! It's amazing the way you do this! Seriously it is! I love how you take all the underloved characters (padma and turn their lives into your own work. I love how you take their characters - as we know little about them being minor characters, and make them something special something different to other people's normal perspective of under loved characters.

I love your characterization of Barty and the enormous amount of pressure and stress he is under with his major title and the duties he needs to do! Great job!

I really wish I was as good as you!! *gross sobbing*

~MMM

-blackout review 4/20

Author's Response: Aw, I'm so glad that my summaries and first lines are enough to draw you into my stories! I always think I'm awful at summaries and openings so I'm really pleased you like them!

I think most of the time I don't realise I haven't put any dialogue in the story - it's not necessarily something that I do purposefully, but more something that arises from the situation the characters are in. I love taking the lives of minor characters and adding more depth to them.

I'm glad you liked the characterisation of Barty, too! And, aw! ♥ You're so sweet, thank you so much - but your stories are fantastic!

Sian :)


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Review #2, by TheHeirOfSlytherin The Signing

1st March 2014:
For Blackout Bingo.

Hello. So, I picked this to read because it was something new for me, reading a story about Barty Senior, and I am so glad I did.

I've read quite a few stories about the war, but usually about the Marauders, the order or the Death Eaters and Voldemort, never behind the scenes in the Ministry. So, reading this, seeing a scenario that very well could have happened, was really cool. War is a very deadly game, but a game nonetheless - like chess. Barty is a pawn and his move could save lives, even if he disagreed. I can very much see this being something to think about. You wrote it brilliantly.

I really enjoyed this.

Sam.

Author's Response: Hey Sam!

Thanks for picking this story! It's not one of my favourites because Barty was hard to write about, but it was interesting writing an aspect of the war I hadn't seen before. You got the point I wanted to make exactly - the deadly game, the fact that each side are trying to make the right moves to get them the win.

Thanks for the review and good luck with the Bingo!


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Review #3, by patronus_charm The Signing

22nd December 2013:
Back again though this will have to be even speedier!

I really loved the internal conflict shown in Crouch. I almost felt sorry for him having to deal with the dilemma which is odd because I've never been a fan of him. The range of emotions and thoughts you also covered in this was really brilliant and added to it in such a good way.

I like how you incorporated all the other factors such as aurors and Voldemort and why each one led to his answer. It meant that we could really place ourselves in the timeframe and see how this terror was heightening and that was a really good technique with that.

The closing line was really definitive if that makes sense and sort of closed it off in our minds and his because with the signing there really was no going back.

Another awesome one shot!

-kiana

Author's Response: You're so awesome, Kiana! ♥

Barty Crouch is a really hard character to like, isn't he? Part of the reason I wanted to write this was to think about the reasons that he might have had for enforcing that sort of strict regime. Although exploring the different reasons didn't really make me like him more, I did feel some sort of sympathy with him. I think I realised that in war, people have to make difficult decisions, and it's hard for us to understand them if we don't know everything that they do when they make the decision. I think that all the different factors must have influenced his decision, although I'm not sure everyone would have made the same one, and I definitely don't think it was right!

(I'll try to stop rambling now...)

I'm glad you liked the ending - I wanted to make it definitive and it seems like I managed the effect I wanted.

Thank you for these reviews, my dear! ♥


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Review #4, by APerkins The Signing

21st August 2013:
Hey, wow.

I think I really liked this story. It is ahrd for me to say that because I really like hating Barty, and thinking of him as heartless and cold, not as someone who had a depth of emotion and thought as displayed in this reflection.

You have a great descriptive style, really loved picturing what you are writing, and liked the questions he asked himself.
You have clearly showed the conflict in his thoughts, and brought the reader to agree with him as well, which is a really powerful thing to do in a text like this

Well, almost. I still hate Barty, and I almost dislike this passage for making me see any other side of him than the one I love to hate.

but that means you have actually done a superb job in writing it! If I grudgingly, against all my biases have to admit that maybe there is another side to him, then you have written really well!
Well done!

Author's Response: Hi! Sorry it's taken me so long to respond to all of these wonderful reviews!

I know exactly what you mean about Barty - I don't think I like his character that much, but he was certainly interesting to write about. The main thing I wanted to do with this story was add some depth to his character and show the conflict in his thoughts so that people might think again about him. Regardless of how strict he is, I don't think the decision would have been easy for anyone to make.

Thank you for the review!

Sian :)


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Review #5, by LittleLionGirl The Signing

25th July 2013:
Wow. Another job well done Nott Theodore! I can see why this came recommended to me: it exceeded my high expectations of your writing! The story line was believable and the characterization of Barty was spot on. His motives now make sense to me- he was one of the more sketchy characters to me until now. Continue writing!
XOXOXO,
LLG

Author's Response: Thank you! One of the main things I was trying to do with this story was to add some depth to Barty's character, because he's quite one-dimensional in the books. I'm glad that you found it believable and that his motives for signing the bill seemed realistic. Thanks again!

Sian :)


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Review #6, by MargaretLane The Signing

14th July 2013:
Wow, you've actually made me feel some level of understanding for Barty Crouch's point of view. Being Irish, internment without trial is obviously something I feel pretty strongly about, so it takes some doing to make me sympathise with the decision he had to make and you have done it. I actually paused before reading this, wondering if it was going to make me really angry, but you've written it in such a way as to show how a person could make such a decision.

It was the part about the Minister for Magical Transportation that really made me see his desperation. The idea that Voldemort could infiltrate the Ministry to that degree must be terrifying.

Author's Response: Hello!

I completely understand what you mean about imprisonment without trial, and it was actually quite difficult for me to write this in a way that did Barty's character justice. While I don't agree with the decision he came to, I did want to add some depth to his character and show that it wasn't a choice he made lightly.

I want to thank you very much for taking the time to read and review, particularly as this can be quite a sensitive issue. I really appreciate it - thank you very much!

Sian :)


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Review #7, by Jchrissy The Signing

26th June 2013:
Hi m'dear! I've been eying this almost since you posted it and keep trying to remember to get over here when I have time.

I loved the fact that you took such a small canon detail, that Barty okayed the Aurors to use any means to kill or capture, and turned it into its own story! And one that was chilling the entire way through.

I felt really bad for the decision he was up against. Does he okay this and hopefully save hundreds of lives, or does he start compromising his own beliefs? And when do you cross the line between being as bad as a death eater, and doing what's necessary to keep others alive?

Your descriptions were awesome in this. The entire story was so vivid and held so much tension, which is incredibly impressive considering the small amount of time it covers.

The mentions of Barty's son created one of those sads feels in me. I mean, I know he chooses his own future and all, but the fact that his dad hated Dark Arts so much and that's just where his son ended up is so sad.

You kept what we know of him from canon so true. The fact that he sentences his own son to Azkaban shows he is a law abiding man, someone who needs order, and that's just what you showed through this story.

Really, really great read, Sian! ♥

Author's Response: Jami! This just made my day completely!

You know I love minor characters, and I couldn't resist this moment in canon. Barty's quite a one-dimensional character in the stories, and I wanted to try and add another layer to his personality but keep him true to his canon characterisation at the same time. I'm glad you could understand the internal conflict that he was going through with this decision. I definitely feel sorry for him having to make this choice, especially when he hates the Dark Arts so much.

I'm really pleased that you picked up on the mentions of Barty Jr! It made me wonder how he actually ended up as a Death Eater - whether it was, in the beginning, his way of rebelling against his father's authority. If that was the case, it makes me really sad to think about the results. Hmm, I can sense an idea for another story coming here... :P

Thank you so much for this amazing review!

Sian :)


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Review #8, by soufflegirl99 The Signing

25th June 2013:
The way this story is written is so attention grabbing, and suspenseful, and just completely and utterly awesome it's hard to really write it in words asdfghjkl.

You built up the tension really well, and you bring us in to a really sets this formal tone that engages the reader right away. You keep the tone up really well, and the hard hitting sentences like: "As much as he hated to admit it, Barty was scared." really help set the kind of following theme of power, and it made me question who really was in control of the ministry.

Your characterisation of Barty was spot on, by the way, and I loved the inner raging battle between himself, and seeing his character explored in depth. It really made me empathise more with him, and the way he's reluctant to sign it and yet wants to prevent the war is so touching. I especially loved the sentenceL "Barty Crouch was a winner" as that said a lot about what kind of minister, person and father he was - and it really gave a useful insight in to how his son could've rebelled against him. It made more sense that is son would've gone against such a controlling and determined father.

Overall, a terrific and superb characterisation of Barty, with an awesomely (is that a word?!) written inner turmoil. Woo! Go Sian!

Sophie :D

Author's Response: Sophie! Ah, I want to hug you right now!

I'm so pleased that you could feel the tension in the piece and that you thought the formal tone worked well!

Barty wasn't the easiest character to write, but I'm so happy you liked my characterisation of him. He's a very one-dimensional character in the books and I wanted to add another layer to his personality, showing that he did experience this inner turmoil while making the decision. At the same time I wanted to retain his methodical way of thinking, and give an insight about the sort of person he was. Writing this definitely helped me to understand why his son might have wanted to rebel against him, although he could certainly have found better ways to do it!

Thank you for this brilliant review - you just made my day!

Sian :)


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Review #9, by SilentConfession The Signing

20th June 2013:
Hey! Thank you so much for entering my challenge! I've really enjoyed reading this.

I'm such a big sucker for minor character stories. They are honestly my favourite because it opens up so much more to JKR's world, which i love, obviously. I have never read a Barty Crouch story and it's definitely an intriguing moment to capture. It's interesting to see this because it's a pivotal time in his life and asks a lot of moral type questions. Are we better then them if we stoop to their levels? That's just one of the things you address here and i can see how it would be something that someone would struggle with. It was interesting to see it from his perspective too because everything in the one-shot just screamed Barty. You nailed his characterization i think. The seriousness of him, the way he seems almost cold in how he makes his decisions and yet there is an underlying caring about him as well as he thinks of how much the world is hurting.

It makes me wonder though how this affected him later one. Does this start a spiral for him where he does change? Where he becomes even more focussed on destroying the DE's and everything they stand for? Will he dip and be at their level as the times goes on? I guess it just makes me want more to see the repercussions of this decision. You can't explore that with one-shot but i think it's great that this story has opened up those questions!

I liked that you gave a view of what the wizarding world and muggle world were becoming. The mysterious deaths, the climbers gone missing, close friends dying, family in danger. It gave a rounded idea that there was chaos outside his door and this moment of him trying to decide what was right or wrong was the perfect choice for you to explore some of that chaos.

This is a very straight forward kind of way of exploring how this choice was brought on and what the pressures where that pushed him to make it. His logic was clear and easy to understand so it was no surprise really when he signed it. It really showed Barty for who he was. A no one sense sort of guy who's just doing what needs to be done. I wonder if he'll regret the choice as we know that he had a rise and fall with the Ministry where people wanted him for Minister but in the end he was demoted.

The only CC i could give and i only say this from the perspective of what i set out for the challenge was that i would've liked to feel the horror more. It's hard seeing the character you're using but I wanted to get a deep, gripping sense of horror and darkness. I think that although you explained the chaos really well and gave a really neat look into the pressures that a Ministry official would face, a more tactile, organic approach where I felt along with him the chaos and fear that was around him might have made this seem more emotional. Perhaps a little more imagery and different uses of the senses would have brought this closer to home. Like what was he smelling, how did the parchment feel under his fingertips? Was the air hot or cold around him? These sorts of things give a broader and rounder impact to the story.

Otherwise you do have a great one-shot here and you have a really nice writing style! Thank you so much for entering my challenge and I hope you enjoyed writing this as much as i enjoyed reading you story! Really lovely work! :)

Author's Response: Wow, thank you for such a long and detailed review!

I completely agree with you about minor characters - they are my favourite to write because they give you so much freedom to explore in your writing. I'm really pleased that you could sense the internal conflict that he experienced in this moment and that you thought I got his characterisation right. I wanted to show him for the sort of character that he's portrayed as in the books, but at the same time I wanted to show a different side to him, one that wasn't necessarily seen by the general public.

I'm happy that it made you think and ask questions, even if I couldn't answer them with a one-shot!

After writing this I realised that there probably wasn't as much horror as you would have liked for this challenge - I found it quite hard to write with a character like Barty, since he's so down to earth and methodical in his thinking. I'll definitely look back at this and consider your suggestions, because I've found them really helpful!

I did really enjoy writing it, and thank you for setting this challenge - I'm happy you enjoyed reading it as well! Thank you for the lovely review!

Sian :)


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Review #10, by HeyMrsPotter The Signing

18th June 2013:
Hello! I'm here for your second review :)
I chose this one-shot because I love the crouch family story, it completely fascinates me.

I think the little details in your writing really bring the story to life, I can't tell you enough how much I adore your descriptions.

There's also a sense of mystery in the beginning which keeps me interested, what is the new law? What's on the parchment and what effect will it have on the wizarding world?

I think the way you've written Barty is brilliant. You've given him a new layer to his personality, very human, obviously before he was affected by his own son being a death eater (I love the mention of him too, how Barty senior was concerned about his safety) Also the fact the he deliberated for a long time over the decision, I think Barty after his son was found to be a death eater wouldn't have hesitated to sign at all.

This really made me feel quite sorry for him!
Another amazing one-shot, I always feel like my reviews are useless because I never have any CC to offer but I just wouldn't change anything!

Author's Response: Hello!

Your reviews are always so wonderful and they make my day when I get them. You're so good to me!

Description is something I put quite a lot of effort into and I'm always worried about the balance with everything else in the story, so I'm pleased you like it!

I'm so happy that you thought that Barty seemed like a very human character! That is exactly what I was trying to achieve here, because he's quite a one-dimensional character in the books and I really wanted to add some depth to him. It's great that you noticed the mention of his son and those sorts of details, because I think those considerations would have made it harder for him to decide about this law. I agree with you that after his son was found guilty his opinions would have changed.

Thank you for yet another amazing review!

Sian :)


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Review #11, by LilyEPotter The Signing

1st June 2013:
Hi! Review Tag!

You captured the internal debate Crouch likely would have had very well.

Though perhaps one suggestion? As much as he hates the dark arts, he was also willing to overlook them when dealing with his own son when he let his dying wife take their son's place in Azkaban and used the Imperius Curse on his son until his son got free. Perhaps a slight mention of worrying about how it would affect the Aurors using the Unforgiveables?

The story flow was great, including a break in the flow as he considered whether or not to sign, putting that decision on display.

Good story!

Author's Response: Hi!

I'm glad you enjoyed this and that Crouch's internal conflict came through in this story.

Since I wrote this quite quickly, I definitely need to go over and edit, so I'll consider your suggestion when I get a chance to do that.

Thanks for the review!

Sian :)


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Review #12, by Maelody The Signing

25th May 2013:
Hey! It's me with your review! Sorry it took a bit! :)

Anyway, I really liked this little story. To be a hundred percent honest with you, I was a little thrown at the mention of politics, but once I started reading I didn't stop. :) It is definitely an original idea, too. With that being said, I think you got Crouch spot on. I could see where his morals are, but in the aide for work he went against them. Just as it was for his son. You captured the mood and the time just right as well. Everything that was going on, and the numbers of those dead, actually gave me goose bumps when I read about them.

One of my favorite bits about this was how the Prime Minister continually called him in to ask about what's been done. It added a sense of more characters without having to stray from Crouch's thoughts and you did a wonderful job with flow and continuity.

I saw no real issues with spelling or grammar. This was a vey nice, quick, dark-ish little fix and I'm glad you requested! :)

Author's Response: Hi!

I'm so happy you thought that it was an original idea! I love writing about minor characters and moments that I haven't seen explored in other stories. I'm really pleased that I got Barty's characterisation right, and that the details helped to capture the mood and time.

Thank you for a great review!

Sian :)


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Review #13, by SiriusAura92 The Signing

24th May 2013:
Hey! (Thought I'd share a comment after all the advice you've given me :) )

This is great! I never really thought of Barty Sr in this way before. I believe the only light on this part of the story was a slight throw away comment by Sirius saying it as though Barty didn't care. But I guess it makes sense that he did. He was the Head for the entire Department and of course had friends and maybe even loved ones killed during the war.

A great One-Off and I'll definitely be reading more of you.

SiriusAura92

Author's Response: Hi! It's always nice to hear what people think (I need to catch up on your story soon, but life is just crazy right now!)

I'm pleased you enjoyed this one-shot! I've actually never seen a story about Barty before and I love writing minor characters moments that nobody really knows about. I wanted to add some depth to his character and show that Barty did experience internal conflict over the decision - it's just he did what he thought was necessary to end the war, even if it went against his conscience.

It'll be great to hear from you again!

Sian :)


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Review #14, by teh tarik The Signing

24th May 2013:
Hello there! ♫ ♬ ♪

I've been meaning to read something of yours for quite some time, and I saw your status update a couple of days ago or so and decided to swing by :)

First, I absolutely love minor character fics, and Barty Crouch Sr. is one seriously neglected figure in fanfic. I've come across fics where he is briefly mentioned, but never one which focuses solely on him. What makes this story of yours unique is that the fic doesn't cover the whole of Barty's life, nor does it focus on his relationship with his son and wife; this story is incredibly intent on depicting this one moment, this one morally ambiguous decision that Barty is forced to make that will have repercussions across the whole of wizarding Britain. The premise of this story is so simple, and yet it's such a complex little story, and I think you've done a fabulous job in portraying Barty's dilemma, in making him question his own morals and beliefs.

Your characterisation of him is quite wonderful - his refusal to associate himself with anything to do with the Dark Arts, his desire for peace, even his concern for the death and losses sustained by the ignorant Muggle world. All these details were slipped in quite deftly, and despite this story being a "closed" kind of story, taking place within Barty's internal world, we still get disturbing glimpses of the chaotic external situation, and the effects of war on everyone. You've mapped out very skillfully the trajectory of Barty's reasoning and rationales leading to that final decision.

Another thing that made your story really convincing is the use of the appropriate jargon / terminology. At least I think you were sprinkling a bit of legal jargon in there, e.g. in these sentences: The result was a new bill, drawn up by his colleagues. It needed only his signature for the legislation to be enshrined by law and put into action. And also: He didn't like the method, but it was needed to bring about the outcome he desired more than anything; an end to this horrendous war. The policy had to work.

I'm wondering if you're a law student :P These are fairly basic terms ("policy" "bill" "legislation") but most fanfic writers wouldn't use them. (They also make me want to mash my face into my keyboard and weep tears of misery whenever I come across them at work...but that's another story). Anyway, usage of terms like these really give a good sense of the nature of Barty's work, and I really appreciate these details :)

I've enjoyed this short but complex story heaps! ☮ Great work for writing such a deep and thoughtful piece; I look forward to reading more from you :)

-teh ☥

Author's Response: Hi! It's hard to trying to think of a way to respond to this lovely review without overusing exclamation marks, so I'm sorry if this isn't really coherent! (Also, I love the little symbols you used :P)

I've never read a story about Barty and since I love writing about minor characters, he was an interesting choice for this one-shot. Unique? I'm so flattered right now! I always try and choose moments that haven't been written about because then there's much more I can explore.

The characterisation was something I was worried about, because while there isn't much written about him, everyone has a clear impression of him from reading the books. I really wanted to try and add some depth to his character and show his internal conflict over the decision. And it's great that you could follow his reasoning which led to his decision to sign.

I actually study languages :P But I was trying to use some of the appropriate terminology to make the story seem more convincing and authentic, so I'm really happy that it worked!

Thank you so much for this brilliant review - it really did make my day!

Sian :)


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Review #15, by adluvshp The Signing

23rd May 2013:
Hey! Here for your requested review from the forums.

This was surely an interesting one-shot. I liked your concept, as it was something unique. I have never come across a similar plot idea before, good work =)

I liked the way you expressed Barty's thoughts on the matter. Many think of him as this cruel harsh man who went to any lengths to win the war, but you showed the softer more concerned, uncertain, and human side to him, which was really good. The way you portrayed his dilemma and the build-up to his decision was all well done.

It was over all quite interesting and I enjoyed it. Your writing style is really good with intricate descriptions which held my interest throughout. I didn't spot any grammar errors either. So, I don't have any CC for you.

Great job!
10/10
Cheers!
AD
(AditiDraco95)

Author's Response: Hi Aditi!

Oh, I'm so pleased you think this is an original idea! I always try to come up with something different, and I hadn't seen anything similar on here before.

I really wanted to communicate the internal conflict in Barty's character; it would be really easy to portray him as a one-dimensional character and show him to be cruel and harsh, but I think there must have been something more behind it.

It's great that I held your interest and you enjoyed it. Thank you so much for this helpful review!

Sian :)


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Review #16, by Lululuna The Signing

23rd May 2013:
Hello! :)

I really, really enjoyed this (you know how I also adore minor characters :P). First of all, I quite enjoyed the concept behind the law Barty was signing and it's political significance. It reminds me of when states go into a state of crisis and police brutality, torture and other unforgivable acts become allowed for the greater good of the state, and individuals can commit crimes in the name of the state that they would be arrested for otherwise. I thought it was really interesting how you tied that into the wizarding world.

You did a really good job of painting the desperation of the wizarding world and the state of chaos it is currently in. The descriptions of Voldy's actions and crimes at the beginning reminded me of Fudge and the Muggle PM's conversation in HBP, and it fit very well with JKR's style. I like how you fit the events nicely into the English landscape, it really gave a realistic perspective to the story.

There's a very interesting seperation between private and political beliefs and needs. I liked Barty's conflict, and how he worried that this would make the Aurors as bad as the Death Eaters. Also, I think I read that Barty ended up being demoted from being head of the Aurors after the war... perhaps this decision to sign wasn't popular, and that contributed to his descending in the Ministry ranks? This would give the story an air of failure, since the decision he's agonizing over could threaten his career and image. I could have just imagined that, however.

In the books he was made out to be a very stern character who would do anything for justice, and this story really exemplefies this. His ruthlessness comes to define him, at least in the public sphere, even though he experiences internal conflict. It was interesting how much depth you gave him, and expanded on the character from the books. I also liked the mention of his son as a casual thought, as Barty thought about his son's friends dying. How ironic, that instead of Barty Jr. needing protecting, people need protection from him! Also, I was wondering if you have a career in mind for Barty Jr. I thought it would be interesting if he was an Auror himself, and by allowing Aurors to use Unforgivables Barty Sr. would be giving his son allowance, in a sense, to use the curses on people like the Longbottoms, which would be ironic as well! But then again, is it only the threat of being fired or imprisoned that keeps the Aurors from using the curses against their foes? Or do they have to take some sort of vow or oath that they won't use them, and by passing this law Barty releases them from that vow? I'm just rambling now, but it was interesting to think about! :)

As always, your writing is so clear and descriptive in its readability. Each word and sentence is so carefully chosen and fit into the story, making it a real pleasure to read! :) I would have liked a physical description of Crouch as well, and perhaps even more about the horrors of the war, but really it was so well-written and interesting to read that you don't need to change a thing! Great job!!! :D

Author's Response: Hello!

Wow, this was such a long and thoughtful review!

I did take a lot of my inspiration from the Muggle world (where else, really?) when I was writing this; in war you see things happen that would never be condoned in peacetime and that was something I wanted to reflect here. I can't imagine how it would feel to be someone making those decisions.

I kind of liked the idea that Barty made this decision because he thought it would end the war, but also because he wanted to save his job, when in the end none of that could really prevent his demotion.

I'm so glad that you think there was depth to his character, and I really wanted to show the internal conflict. You picked up on the mention of Barty Jr! You're so perceptive! I love the idea of him possibly being an Auror as well - I might have to incorporate that idea, if you don't mind!

One of the things I was worried about writing this was the lack of physical description of Barty, so it's actually really helpful to hear your thoughts on that. And I did wonder about including more about the war, so I'm definitely going to take your advice!

Thanks so much for the lovely review!

Sian :)


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