Reading Reviews for The Network
  
24 Reviews Found

Review #1, by nott theodore Traitor

2nd August 2014:
Hi teh!

Oh wow, what a great ending to the story! I didn't think it was unsatisfactory at all - I thought it was pretty powerful in fact! With the chapter titles having been used the way that they have, I was worried that this was going to show Ettie doing something to betray Cho or someone else she knew but it was great to see it flipped and something else happening entirely!

I was really worried at the beginning of this chapter that Ettie was going to have to sit in on the trials with Umbridge in the place of her mother, because that seems like the awful sort of thing that Umbridge would do, make someone who's only a teenager sit in and condemn people to a life in Azkaban for the way that they were born. All of the worry and fear going through Ettie's mind at that point was so well written and very believable, and I thought it was great to see that she didn't want to be faced with people she knew or have to see them pleading when she knew that there wouldn't be anything that she could do to help.

I loved the chance that we got to see that chaotic day at the Ministry from the perspective of someone else, not someone who's directly involved but someone who is viewing things sort of from the outside, with a connection to what's going on. I always wondered what it must be like for the ordinary staff there when they were faced with Harry Potter inside the Ministry itself, when they were being told that he was Undesirable Number One but quite a few of them probably hoped that he would be the one to save them through it. The chaos and the confusion really came through in the way that you wrote that section and I really enjoyed reading about it!

Aw, Reg and Mary! I've always been so worried that Reg just wasn't quick thinking enough to manage to get out of the Ministry and get his wife and children away from England and the threats that the Death Eaters posed for them, so it was great to see them here, knowing that they had to try and get away but not really sure how they'd manage to do it. It was fantastic to see Ettie make that decision then and lead them to Juniper Swift's old office so that they would be able to get out - although since you didn't outline the decision in her mind at that point, I was still a bit worried that she'd betray the Cattermoles and go the other way in this chapter. Thankfully she chose to do the right thing and helped them to escape so that they had a chance to get their children and save their family!

I actually really liked the ending as well. This chapter was powerful because even though Ettie's been parroting the new Ministry line throughout the story, when it came down to it she went against that to do something she believed was right - which ties in so well to that sort of defiant edge I've been picking up on as I read. But the fact that she wants to leave the Ministry now and go and find her friend Cho again was so sweet - but I'm now worried for Ettie, because it's going to be harder for her to get out of the Ministry alive if they realise what she's done, and I'm panicking about what happened to her after this day now too!

This was a great story and I really enjoyed reading it, teh. I loved getting a different perspective on Marietta's character and now I see her as Ettie instead!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Hello again, Sian! ♥

Well, now you've read the whole thing, and you know how it turned out. Which side Marietta chose in the end...though I wouldn't really say that she's still wholly on that side. It's kind of a spur-of-the-moment choice she had to make, and it happened to be the right one. I like to think that life sort of goes on for her after the Cattermoles escape; she retains her job, keeps on listening to stupid Floo conversations, and so on.

Yeah, I was wondering if I should write Ettie in one of those awful interrogations. It would have been a terrible experience for her. Ultimately, I chose not to do it, because I felt it would be a bit tricky with canon, seeing as Harry was present at Mary Cattermole's interrogation, and Mafalda Hopkirk (or Hermione in disguise) was there.

And thank you! I've always interested in alternative POVs within canon events as well! It's one of the things I love about fics written in the Hogwarts Era.

If I remember correctly from DH, Ron made a comment about Reg being too slow-witted to escape. So I kind of fitted Ettie into the scene!! And gave the Cattermoles a chance. Ettie's final decision is the right one. It doesn't annul all the wrongs and mistakes she's committed in the past, but it's a first step to redemption. I'm not sure she'll sign up for the Order of the Phoenix immediately, though! :P

I'm sure Ettie will manage somehow! Despite not being a very nice person, I do think that she's got enough brains to figure out things. And yeah, trying to reach out to Cho would be a start for her. It won't be easy - at least not with the bitter!Cho from Chapter One, but Ettie's got to start somewhere. :D

Thank you so, so much for your absolutely fabulous reviews, Sian! ♥ Thank you for stopping by and reading this story, for leaving such long reviews with so much lovely feedback. This really means a lot to me, so thank you once again! ♥ ♥

-teh


 Report Review

Review #2, by nott theodore Sneak

2nd August 2014:
Hi again!

Ah, this was another great chapter! I really like your characterisation of Marietta. She's like a lot of people would have been in this time, I think, doing what she's told because it's easier for her but I think there's still something in her which wants to break away a bit from the established way of doing things. She's not exactly the most likable of characters in this story but at the same time she doesn't seem to care about being likable, really. She knows what her faults are, she knows what she's done and what she's doing, and she seems to have accepted that. It's really original but Ettie seems like a very forceful person too, and it's really intriguing to see the different ways she reacts in the situations that she finds herself in.

I must admit I'm intrigued by the idea of Ettie and Reg having some strange kind of... would friendship be the right word? I'm not really sure what Ettie thinks she's doing with him here to be honest and I'm sure that she didn't realise his wife was a Muggle-born (maybe she didn't realise that he had a wife at all?). Even so, her mother and Yaxley clearly disapproved of him and her talking to him and yet she's still defiant and decides that she wants to go for a drink with him anyway. It's really fascinating to see the character that you're shaping here!

I love the idea that people are routinely trying to sabotage the Ministry departments and interrupt their work routines. They deserve it, definitely - especially the ones which are causing the most trouble. I'd love to see Umbridge buried in the Arctic or something :P

Speaking of Umbridge, you wrote her so well here. She's so... poisonous, but she tries to hide that with this sugary coating (much like the tea). I can imagine her picking someone like Ettie to head up the department for her that's working on Wizarding Surveillance, since she thinks she'll be easy to manipulate and control (and Ettie's already proven that once) and that she'll be on their side when it comes to things like this, both because of her mother and because she's so grateful for getting a job at the Ministry. The idea of the surveillance is horrible but so believable - I'm just hoping that most people manage to avoid falling into a trap with it!

It's interesting that you show the way that Ettie doesn't seem to have realised the way that Cho was acting the other day when they met. Maybe she did realise it and is kidding herself otherwise, but I suspect the rat that she got was from Cho? I feel quite sorry for her when she was saying that she and Cho should be friends, because she's clearly lonely and it's hard for her being forced to do so much at work and not having people her own age to spend time with.

The conversation between Ettie and Reg at the Leaky Cauldron was great! I think you've captured Reg's character really well, especially with his speech and the fact that he doesn't really seem to have grasped the full dangers of what's happening at the Ministry, so he's still asking for help and hoping that they'll be lenient for his wife. I'm just hoping that he actually managed to get Mary and the kids away after it! The information about what Juniper Swift did was really interesting too, and so chilling that she was killed purely for that!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Hey again, Sian!

It really felt good writing such a flawed character like Marietta! And one who is almost universally disliked, especially in OotP. You're pretty perceptive with your analysis of her character - her forcefulness, her bitterness and defiance.

Ettie and Reg is something of a failed ship. This whole story was originally going to be a very weird pairing fic of Marietta Edgecombe / Reg Cattermole, but it didn't fit in the end. The fic grew into something more complex than that. And I feel that Ettie is far too judgemental to even want to be in a relationship with Reg. So I focused on their uneasy friendship/alliance instead. Ettie, after all, being such a disliked character is bound to want to seek companionship somewhere. She doesn't find it in this fic, not with any of the people she meets.

Bahaha! I think you're the only reviewer to point out that the Ministry is being routinely pranked/sabotaged by unknown people. I like to think that the Weasley twins are somehow involved. And that's an interesting idea - burying Umbridge in the Arctic! I'll have to try writing that someday. :P

Yeah, the rat was indeed a nasty, somewhat spiteful gift from Cho. I didn't intend to portray Cho in such a spiteful light, but somehow it just happened. I didn't want her to be just all melancholy and distant; I sort of imagine that Cho would have felt a spike of anger at seeing Marietta again. They were such good friends once.

I'm glad you like the conversation! It's been a long, long time since I went through that chapter, but I do remember it was a lengthy conversation, and I was super worried about that. I feel a little better now, reading your wonderful comments!

Thank you so much for this brilliant review, Sian! ♥

-teh


 Report Review

Review #3, by nott theodore Rat

2nd August 2014:
Hi teh!

Yay! Marietta Edgecombe! If I'd have realised that you'd written a story about her I'd have been over here reading it much sooner because she's one of the characters from the series who really interests me. I've always wondered why she really ratted the DA out and what she did during the war especially. This was a great first chapter of the story!

I can definitely see Marietta in some sort of position like this. It might seem mundane and boring but the fact that she's got a position at the Ministry at all does show that she's got the right connections and her family are on the 'right' side during this. It's really interesting to think that there are other people like Umbridge, who'll not only carry on with their jobs but actively persecute Muggle-borns because it gives them a better position in society and within the Ministry. When I think that Marietta's got that sort of background I'm not so surprised that she did what she did originally.

I loved the idea of her listening into the Floo Network and having to transcribe conversations that people are having when they use it. I'm sure the Ministry might once in a while pick up something useful for them, but a lot of it must be boring gossip as you showed with the three witches in the beginning section. It made me laugh that Ettie knew their names and has obviously had to listen to them a lot :P I also love the idea of someone sending the Decoy Detonator (I think that's what it was?) through the Floo network as if they know that there's someone there listening to it!

It was great that you used the 'SNEAK' curse that Hermione put on the parchment and showed the way that it's still affecting Ettie even now. I can imagine she wouldn't want to forgive her for it, it's not a nice thing to live with! But I love stories like this one, which take the tiny details we do know about a character and manage to create a whole story out of it.

I really enjoyed reading the section with Ettie meeting Cho and Cho's obvious reluctance to spend time with her. Ettie's so wrapped up in what she's doing at the moment that she can't see how life might be different from other people and I can understand why Cho wouldn't want to spend time with her - Ettie seems like quite a judgmental person. I don't think her comments on the fact that Cho was working in a Muggle optician's were really out of concern for her friend's safety! That rat part at the end was kind of disgusting but I liked the way that it tied in with the chapter title and maybe gave Ettie a bit of a shock. I want her to pull through and do something for the right side, but I can see her going both ways at this point!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Hey Sian!

I'm actually so pleased you chose this story to review! I loved reading some fresh opinions on this, and your reviews are absolutely lovely! I'm glad the idea of Marietta Edgecombe interested you a bit! She's hardly the most likeable character in the books, and it's hard to imagine where she went after graduating from Hogwarts and what she did during the war. I hardly think she's the type to join the Order of the Phoenix, and I'm not sure if she ever returned to Hogwarts like Cho for the final battle. To me, it made sense that she'd get a desk job at the Ministry; after all, her mother was in the Floo Network Authority and all.

So I decided to write someone not on the side of the Order, but not exactly on Voldemort's side. When you think about it, the war affected the entire country, and I don't think the entire population would have been cleanly split into two. There will be plenty who'll be trying to keep their heads down, pretend everything is fine, do what they can to survive. Ettie believes she's on the safer side of the war, and she wants to stay this way, wants to keep her job and all, even if it means making choices which are morally dubious.

Bahaha! Her awful job! I once did a job like that, and I also took a course in uni which involved transcribing and analysing conversations. Alas, half my brain cells perished by the end of the course. Ettie clearly hates her job because it's stupid, it's meaingless.

I don't think she'd forgive Hermione. Ever. :P The Cho part was a little unexpected for me, even as I wrote it. I didn't really expect to include Cho, but I wanted to include a character to contrast Ettie's situation. I like to imagine that Ettie's betrayal of the DA would have affected their friendship a bit, even if they did carry on being friends. Because nobody else at Hogwarts wanted to be their friends.

Ettie can indeed go both ways! It's an idea I toyed with a lot, and it's something that Ettie does consider.

Thank you so much for this wonderful review, Sian! ♥

-teh


 Report Review

Review #4, by tabula_rasa Sneak

27th January 2014:
By the time I finished reading this chapter, I was officially in love with how you carved Ettie out. It's absolutely amazing how she is very aware, internally, of how she is not the best person around but there is no self-pity there, which would have been annoying. There is this strong defiance instead, as if she's almost challenging us to reconsider whether there is any fairness in expecting everyone to be brave and noble. And there is the pragmatic streak which she is battling with. She is only doing what is sensible, the course open to those who don't hang out with the heroes or never quite feel at home with them and she knows it. But at the same time she's not the kind of character who is a layover. You see that in her sharp replies and the simmering dissatisfaction with her life. I like this chapter the best, because in a very subtle way it sets the stage for what she's going to do in the next chapter and also shows us that she is capable of feeling, that she is trying very hard to connect.

It also made me think of how cruel Hermione's actions were, we can justify it given the context but it was also very primordial, physically marking a traitor. I love Reg and even though you kind of feel Ettie's frustration very strongly, it doesn't compare to the half-there fears that Reg voices. Also because we know what's going to happen at the hearing, it makes it all the more gutting to read his fears. I can't really explain why I like this chapter best, probably because it does the task of bridging the beginning and the ending so superbly, it fills in the blanks but leaves enough questions so that you're not entirely sure of where Ettie stands but you also have a sense of where she's heading. I'm sorry if that doesn't make sense but basically, I love a story where you can say, 'aha! she did that' and this chapter helps me say that when I read the next chapter.

Okay, I'll just apologize for the long and rambling review and thank you for writing this amazing chapter!

Author's Response: Hello again! ♥

Oh, thank YOU for reading and leaving yet another wonderful review! I'm delighted that you like this chapter best; I've always been worried about this one - if it was too long and started to drag a bit, but your comments are really reassuring! This chapter is indeed a transition between the first and final chapters. I did enjoy writing this part a lot because I got to work on Ettie's character a lot more, as well as on her interactions with Reg. Your analysis of Ettie's character and motivations were absolutely wonderful, and you're pretty much spot-on with them. Being a working adult isn't the easiest thing for Ettie, but still, her situation is far easier than what folks like Mary Cattermole are going through.

Hermione's actions were indeed harsh, but I'd be lying if I said that Ettie didn't deserve it, at least partially. She sold out the DA and was indirectly responsible for Dumbledore's flight from Hogwarts, which led to a further onslaught of problems for the Trio.

I completely get what you're saying about the 'aha! she did that' bit; thank you! This is such a perfect compliment! Always love it when the character motivations and actions click together and make sense for the reader. You understand Ettie so well!

Apologise nothing! This was an absolutely fabulous review, and I loved it. Thank you once again for reading my little story until the ending and for your wonderful feedback. ♥

-teh


 Report Review

Review #5, by tabula_rasa Rat

27th January 2014:
I'm reviewing in retrospect, having been unable to stop myself from clicking on the 'Next Chapter' button till I had finished the whole story. That's how utterly brilliant and engrossing this was. I can't really express my admiration in terms of how this story takes a minor element from a major event and gives it flesh and blood. But I'll save all of that for when I review the last chapter.

Having just re-read this chapter, I was struck by how carefully it was constructed. The mundane quality of everyday gossip contrasted so well with Ettie's rebellious office, right down to the angry cabinet and the atmosphere. It was so brilliantly done, we were finding out things about Ettie not directly through her own thoughts but by the depth you lent to her surroundings. It was like a scene in a play where the whole set, props and all, are alive and pushing the story further, giving it more depth.

The interaction with Cho was a pleasure to read. It conveyed the instability of their relationship and the demise of their friendship without really overtly declaring the two. Their conversation progressed with that sense of something having died between them but not quite having left, like a dead body, slowly rotting but neither of them have the courage to remove it. It was good to see Cho with that because by refusing to acknowledging Ettie's existence entirely she would have become too unreal a character, she does cave in and go for coffee and it made the whole thing more real because people like to have their judgments known. The rat in the mail which followed was like the symbolic representation of their encounter.

I loved this chapter, there is no other way to put it. This is like reading my dream story. Marginal disliked character: check. Fantastic writing: check.

Author's Response: Hey there,

First, thank you so much for reading this fic to the end and for leaving me such lovely, thoughtful reviews! I'm honestly so flattered and grateful that you found the fic engaging enough to read until the end; this really, really means a lot to me, especially as this story isn't one which I have a lot of confidence with. So thanks again.

I'm glad you like the details! I really had a lot of fun crafting aspects of the Ministry setting, and I love how you referred to Ettie's workplace as her 'rebellious office'. Ha! I did want to make the scene come to life, and so your comments really made my day!

Ah, I'm glad you like the scene with Cho! Yes, there certainly is a lot of bitterness from the latter toward Ettie (LOVE your metaphor of dead things in between the two!) and I'm pleased to hear that Cho's charactersation is realistic, despite her brief appearance in this fic.

Your dream story? THANK YOU ♥ ♥

-teh


 Report Review

Review #6, by The Empress Traitor

19th January 2014:
I think it's a satisfactory ending! I actually quite love this ending. She hasn't completely redeemed herself or anything but she has finally done something selfless. It's a starting point for her and I think that's a marvelous way to end the story.

I love how you wrote Harry, Ron, and Hermione's escapade in. And how Marietta made a quick decision that went against everything she's been telling herself. Taking the risk to help Reg and Mary was a big thing.

Completely enjoyed this story. :)
~Shiloh

Author's Response: Aww, I'm so relieved to hear that the ending worked for you! There never was going to be a huge conclusive final note to the story; there never was going to be a sudden massive change in Marietta's character. I dunno, she's a character who won't change suddenly or easily, perhaps over the years, gradually. Your comments on the ending were absolutely encouraging; thank you, they really mean a lot to me.

And I'm glad you like the Trio's escapade! I simply had to write that little episode into my fic!

Thank you once again for your fabulous reviews, Shiloh ♥ They've been wonderful, and I've loved reading them. ♥

-teh


 Report Review

Review #7, by The Empress Sneak

19th January 2014:
I think this chapter may have been better than the first! I love how you write Marietta. Almost a hint of her knowing that what's going on is wrong but her staunch refusal to badmouth the Ministry. Her fear of arrest.
This relationship(?) with Reg is so bizarre and fascinating. I can't figure where she's going with it.

I'm on to the next chapter!

Author's Response: Well, it's good to know the chapters are getting better, haha! :P Her relationship with Reg is indeed bizarre; I'm glad you picked up on the strangeness of it. Thanks for this review!

-teh


 Report Review

Review #8, by The Empress Rat

19th January 2014:
I saw this was featured at TGS and decided to pop over and take a look. I see why it was voted Most Imaginative! I am thoroughly intrigued. I, like many others I am sure, have never given much thought to what happened to Marietta after she ratted out the DA. This is so creative an imagining of what she might have gone on to do!

I love the way you've characterized her. Especially in her interactions with Cho. Her apparent obliviousness to why her old friend may not be so friendly toward her anymore.
I also really like the references to SNEAK. The way you've written her bitterness about the incident is brilliant.

Can't wait to read on!
~Shiloh

Author's Response: Hello Shiloh!

Gah, thank you SO MUCH for all your surprise reviews on this story! ♥ I really do appreciate them, and you taking the time to drop by and read this story of mine to the end.

I'm glad you like how I've characterised Marietta; I rather enjoyed writing her, especially since she's such an unlikable character in the books, and I wanted to explore motives and character in more detail.

Thanks again for your reviews! They were such a wonderful surprise to wake up to!

teh


 Report Review

Review #9, by marauderfan Traitor

5th January 2014:
Hi again :D

This was so well done. I really liked seeing that chaotic day at the Ministry from another POV - it's fun to see canon events pop up because it really ties the story back in, adds background and makes it richer. I think that's why I like Hogwarts era stuff so much.

I really liked the conversation with Umbridge in this chapter - once again she is perfectly in character as she does her act of "oh, I'm sorry, I was just bragging about my important Ministry position and trying to see your reaction about Muggle-borns". Ettie played it well though!

I was really hoping Ettie would have something to do with Mary Cattermole's trial, and I was not disappointed! I love how at the beginning of all the commotion, she just wanted it all to go away, and kept reading boring Floo transcripts haha. I love that she took a stand and decided to help Reg out!

The last few paragraphs were really great too, how she's still wondering what she's doing, but deep down she knows she did the right thing. It's just a hint of how Marietta is beginning to change - or at least, hope that she might do so in the future. I think after an experience like this, she can't easily go back to how she was before, even if she doesn't get found out and stays safe and sound. She'll want to do something again.

I only wish it had been longer, for example if you decide to add a fourth chapter, that could be the one in which Marietta spends her next boring day at work instead sewing a bright-coloured superhero jumpsuit, and then spends the following months saving people from Death Eaters, changing the world and making it a brighter place. :P Or not. Anyway, I really loved reading this story, teh, fantastic job on it!!! ♥♥

Author's Response: Ditto your comment on Hogwarts Era stuff! I'm a bit surprised at how many people here on HPFF dislike this era, when there's so many missing moments, so many holes that we could fill in, so many minor characters to explore.

Ah, complex office politics! You know, your comments keep inspiring me to come up with strange ideas; I now wish to write another Umbridge fic with lots and lots of office politics and scandals and muahahaha, maybe I'll let this idea stew for a bit.

Ettie just had to be involved somehow in Reg's wife's trial; that was my intention for the story from the onset. And I couldn't resist slipping the Trio's escapade from the Ministry as well.

I'm glad you thought the last few paragraphs were good. I meant them to sort of tie up the fic without being too conclusive about Ettie's fate; she'll certainly have a lot to ponder about.

WAAH, why didn't I think of that superhero jumpsuit thing! alksdjlkcviaifa. OF COURSE, how could things go any other way!!??!??! Now look what you've made me do: I'm sitting here thinking of all sorts of superheroine names and taglines...possibly something corny like and possibly involving lots of puns on the word 'Floo'.



Your reviews really mean a lot to me. Thank you so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, much ♥ ♥

teh


 Report Review

Review #10, by marauderfan Sneak

5th January 2014:
This was a lovely chapter! Ettie's forwardness is quite amusing, particularly with Reg because he has no idea how to react to it, haha. Poor guy. I thought it was sweet that she gave him coffee, and wanted to meet with him after work. She seems quite desperate for a friend, since she can't really trust anyone where she works, and even her old friends like Cho don't associate with her anymore.

You write Umbridge really well! :p She was delightfully awful in this, you've written her mannerisms perfectly and I appreciated Ettie's discomfort with being there but at the same time her desperation to stay at her job. I am not surprised that Umbridge is the type to prefer horrifically sugary tea - how perfect to go with those pink cups and kitten-patterned tea plates.

I liked the contrast between that meeting with Umbridge, and the following meeting with Reg at the Leaky Cauldron (of all places!) At first it was just kind of funny, their awkwardness, but then as it got into the conversation about Juniper Swift, and what might be about to happen with Mary Cattermole, it's evident that Ettie is really unsure where she stands, afraid to commit to any one side but regrets her aid to the Ministry's capture of Swift. I can't really blame her though, considering how she got her job and what happens if she makes a commitment to one side.

One small error here - the bit where Marietta's mother comes in, brow furrowing at the mess her office was in, and at Ettie and Reg in their sodden robes - is after the part where Marietta dried them both off. Unless she's just really bad at the clothes-drying charm, they shouldn't still be soaked, right? :p

But anyway, I really loved this chapter! On to read the last one now :D

Author's Response: FINALLY RESPONDING TO THIS. Forgive me for being awful and tardy with my review responses eep...

I really enjoyed writing Ettie! She's a little bit pathetic at times, and I do enjoy writing her as a slight bully. And Umbridge alksjdcu Umbridge is delightful, isn't she? I have a fluffy Umbridge plunny, would you believe this. Perhaps I should try writing her. Am glad you found her mannerisms convincing, and her portrayal accurate! Umbridge is a very memorable and very specifically characterised figure from canon, and such characters are easy to get wrong, and I'm glad she worked!

ALSKJA THANK YOU for picking up on that continuity error! I know that when I eventually get down to editing this fic, I'll be reading all your reviews again to clear out all those pesky mistakes. The sodden robes thing was me changing parts of the narrative after the whole thing had been written...and forgetting to change all the minor details associated with the changes.

Thank you, love! ♥

teh


 Report Review

Review #11, by marauderfan Rat

1st January 2014:
For the 6th day of 12 Days of Reviewing.

Teh! I had meant to check out this story for a while now, so I'm glad this challenge has given me the opportunity to do so!

This is such an original idea. I love seeing this period of the war from a different perspective other than the Golden Trio's (I believe they were camping at the time, anyway) and what a cool part of the war to focus on. The descriptions of how creepy the Ministry got what with their spying on people's conversations gave the chapter a very 1984-esque feel (and that's a huge compliment, btw. 1984 is one of my favourite novels). I laughed at the part about the ladies gossiping though! Of course, the Ministry can't always pick up relevant things.

I could really identify with Ettie's hatred of her job. I've had a dull job like that too once - so I could really sympathise haha. You wrote her so well - I can see that although the job is dull and she is a little embarrassed about how she got the job, she is still very glad to have it.

I loved the appearance of Cho in here. This is exactly how I would imagine her to be after leaving Hogwarts - kind of trying to escape the wizarding world, still not over Cedric - and when she sees Marietta she's still kind of blaming her for being the reason Harry split up with Cho. And the end - ugh. That's awful... but not surprising. Poor Ettie :(

By the way, that's another strength you have as a writer. I don't even like Marietta, but you're able to write her as a wonderful protagonist and I'm really cheering for her! Mainly that she'll open her eyes and stand up for herself, but eh. Nice touch adding the bit about the SNEAK curse Hermione put on her. It was a little amusing in OotP, but here it's quite sad, as Ettie still has to deal with it and Hermione probably doesn't think about it at all anymore!

And Reg! Haha, I remember you commenting on my Reg fic that he was a bit of an idiot in yours, and yeah he does seem to be quite the bumbling and nervous guy. But I think that's partly because Marietta is intimidating. I mean, her mum is on the Muggle born Registration Commission, and Marietta herself is a rather forward and no-nonsense person, so I think you wrote Reg really well in character, especially considering who he's interacting with. Anyway, I liked that he showed up here. (one thing though, you refer to him as Reg before he actually introduces himself - it says Reg shifted from foot to foot, but then he tells her his name two paragraphs later, so maybe that should just say "the man" or something.)

Overall this is a wonderful chapter and I will favourite the story and definitely come back to read the rest! Lovely work teh :)

Author's Response: Kristin!! ♥

Waah, thank you for this amazing review, and for giving my first completed chaptered fic some love!! Your comments really made my day ^.^

I'm glad you thought this was an original idea. I was a bit worried that most people wouldn't be interested in reading about Hogwarts Era fics, which cover events that we've already read from the books. So your review is really reassuring. And yeah, the Ministry under Voldemort's regime has become quite sinister - despite the ridiculousness of the Floo transcripts, the raining offices and all, there still is a war going on after all, and the Ministry has been overrun by the enemy. I'm glad you found them creepy, despite the daftness of some situations.

YOu had a job like that? I feel for you :( :( I did a linguistics course in uni which involved analysing people's conversational transcripts...so I had to read scripts and listen to recorded conversations about dinner plans and grocery lists and every other banal boring thing.

I'm glad you like Cho's appearance. I have a lot of plunnies about her, but she doesn't reappear in this story; still, her presence is important to Ettie.

Bahahaha! Reg! I was more than a little mean to him...at least I made Ettie rather mean to him. Because I do like writing mean characters sometimes.

Also, THANK YOU SO MUCH for picking up that horrible, horrible continuity error! I wrote the whole three chapters and left them alone for many weeks before I got down to editing, swapping parts of the story around, and there were quite a lot of plot holes and errors here and there. I thought I'd cleaned most of them up, but clearly I have more work to do! :P Thank you for that!!

Gah, thank you so much for favouriting this, Kristin! ♥ ♥ I hope you continue to enjoy this story! *hugs*

teh


 Report Review

Review #12, by BookDinosaur Rat

1st January 2014:
Hello teh! I'm here for the Sixth of the Twelve Days of Reviewing Challenge. :)

I really enjoyed reading this! It didn't seem dry to me at all, and I'm really looking forward to reading about the Ministry during the war, I've always had a thing for novels with politics in them (like Game of Thrones) so I'm really looking forward to reading this story!

Hahaha, I loved your Floo Conversational Transcripts! It seems so Ministry-like to eavesdrop ad spy on other people's conversations, even if they're nothing but arguments about chess games from twenty-five years ago! You really managed to bring out her frustration and annoyance at how dreary and dull her work is.

Ah, Reg! I love how you've made the two main character of this story two very minor characters from the HP series. It's really interesting how Ettie treats him as well - she's downright demeaning and quite nasty to him, and the poor man is so rattled, I'm presuming because his wife is a Muggleborn. Gah, I hope they get over their differences and become friends. Although that might be too much to ask.

I really enjoyed the meeting with Cho as well. Somehow she seemed like she didn't want to associate with Ettie anymore. I really liked how you emphasised that nobody could really get a job in the Ministry anymore, and how she had to make do with a Muggle job. She seems still not over Cedric's death, and really spiteful as well, judging from the rat and newspaper clipping she sent Marietta. But then, she's not a Voldemort supporter, maybe she would have viewed Ettie's job as an act of betrayal?

This was an amazing first chapter, well done teh! :D

Author's Response: Hiya Emily! Gah, thank you so much for this absolutely wonderful review! ♥ And I'm so sorry it's taken me ages to respond; I have no excuse, really. It's just...I've been a bit lazy with the New Year and everything.

I'm glad you like those Floo transcripts! I had great fun writing them, and I based them off a very dull linguistics course I took, once, which involved a great deal of conversational transcript analysis. And it was pretty dry and incredibly boring stuff. And let's face it, the Ministry has always been a bit daft. I wanted to show the ridiculous side to some of their more sinister activities during the war under Voldemort's regime. :P

Yeah, I do love using minor character perspectives to show canon events through a different angle. Marietta is, indeed, rather unpleasant to him. I did not intend to write her as a particularly lovable character at all.

I'm glad you picked up on Cho's spiteful actions! She is, indeed trying to cut ties with Ettie, while the latter is trying desperately to cling on to the one friendship she's had in the past. I have a lot of Cho headcanon; maybe, just maybe I'll get down to writing a companion piece to this story.

Thank you so much, once again, for this absolutely wonderful review! I'm glad you like this! Your review means a lot to me. :D

-teh


 Report Review

Review #13, by patronus_charm Traitor

25th December 2013:
I couldnít help but come back, this story is just so addictive which is strange because Iím not always a massive fan of Hogwarts-era ones. Though this is a story by you which means itís automatically awesome :D

I honestly thought that Ettie was going to be asked to sit in the trial then with the way Umbridge announced it and her being closed to Umbridge. Iím so glad that Ettie didnít want to do it, because like Reg said later on, she is a good person and this showed it with her naturally not wanting to do it. Aw, I could gush for ages about it but Iíll stop now.

Even with someone needing to scribe the commission and the sound being heard from beneath, I still didnít connect that with Harry, Ron and Hermione coming to the Ministry and that being related to them until you mentioned Runcorn :P I think it was just the floo conversation which distracted me as theyíre so funny and original and definitely were a highlight.

Even though I had seen the escape before in DH, it was still really interesting to read it here. I think itís because I viewed Reg more as person rather than a character prop as I had done in DH, and that made me want them to escape even more than before and I was really willing on Ettie to save them. So when she did I was over the moon.

The fact that they used Juniperís office was a sort of nice symbol to show that they were both helping Muggleborns I just hope that the fate for Ettie is a better one than for Juniper. I liked that final conversation between Reg and Ettie it was so touching to see that one person believed in her and this might have given her hope to change. Aw, it would be really wonderful if she did.

Then her final thoughts on Cho. You need to write a sequel to find out what happens because I canít stand not knowing if Ettie ever changed her life or not. In my head, Ettie and Cho helped Muggleborns escape and it was all fine. This was such an amazing story teh and Iím so glad that I decided to read this :D

-Kiana

Author's Response: I'm awfully late with my response; SORRY. This new year has made me lazy. Ahhh, this story is complete and you've reached the end and this has just absolutely made my day. Thank you so much, Kiana! ♥

I knew the story was going to build up to this DH moment from the start, so I guess perhaps the whole fic was exploring a particular episode in the seventh book in more detail, and showing the lives of other characters affected by the Trio's actions. Ooh, I'm glad this story was still able to surprise you, even though you've already seen everything that happens in DH!

Bahaha! I really did have fun writing all those nonsensical Floo conversations; it really is a sort of sinister idea, the Ministry eavesdropping on everyone, and constant civilian surveillance and all...but I also wanted to turn that around on itself and make it appear slightly ridiculous. And I always like small touches of humour here and there.

And yeah, I did give Ettie a chance to redeem herself there, and she took it - reluctantly and unwillingly, but she still did something right for once. I'm glad you like the symbol of Juniper's office! I had a frightful time trying to make this story as canon as possible; I pored through that Ministry chapter in DH, trying to make sure I had as few canon errors as possible. I know the Floo Network was shut down in the books, but I thought that perhaps nobody would have bothered with a dead Ministry worker's fireplace, so I went with that.

Ah, Cho. As I mentioned, I have SO MUCH to write on Cho (and they won't include a lot of Marietta in it, unfortunately). Sometime this year I'll get down to doing it!

Thank you, thank you and thank you for these absolutely brilliant reviews, Kiana! And for showering my only completed fic with some love! ♥ ♥ This really means a lot to me! WUB.

teehhh


 Report Review

Review #14, by patronus_charm Sneak

25th December 2013:
Hi teh, I couldnít resist coming back to this story as I just want to read on and find out more about this really obscure character and see whether Dennis or Colin Creevey pops up in the story or not :P

Aw, the moment between Reg and Ettie was really unexpected but so lovely too. Iím still trying to figure her out, as sheís such a complex character I feel as if Iíll never really get to the bottom of her. There she was being mean to him at one moment, then the next she was offering him coffee. She still seemed to have a slight air of contempt when he said it was hot, so Iím just confused as to why she wants to be his friend. Perhaps the network refers to setting people with Muggleborn links free and thatís what sheís doing for him.

It was rather sweet to see Ettie so lonely. The way she craved for contact from Cho really did make my heart ache a little because to be so alone in the world is awfully tragic. I suppose her allegiances to the Ministry didnít help her keep in contact with old friends.

Ew Dolores was so creepy. Again, I felt so sorry for Ettie because of one little mistake of drinking the tea at Hogwarts she has now been forced to become the private spy to Dolores. I love seeing this side of the war because if Iím honest itís a little more interesting than seeing Harry camp for several chapters :P The way youíve incorporated so many aspects of the war such as the change in the structure of the Ministry and the back dealings of the ministers is really fantastic. Also, itís really interesting to see characters such as Yaxley in light which isnít so scary.

The encounter in the bar was really interesting. I think I know what Ettieís motives are for Reg, sheís alone and she views him as an easy friend to have so thatís why they went out for the drink. There I was thinking that Juniper Swift was a minor character, but we got all of her backstory in this chapter and it was really interesting to read and to see how much friendship can affect your life in a way.

Another interesting aspect of the conversation was that Ettie didnít have a side in the war. I suspect that deep down she does know who sheís supporting but she has this air about her that she wants to see the benefits before going into something so that might be why she has a lack of declaration.

A fantastic chapter teh, and I will be sorry to get onto the final chapter because Iíve really enjoyed the uniqueness of this story and itís been such a refreshing read!

-Kiana

Author's Response: Aww, thanks so, so much for coming back to this story, Kiana! ♥ And now that you've read the whole fic, you already know that Dennis and Colin do not appear in this story, amazingly enough. Which is odd, I suppose, seeing as they were badly affected by the Muggle-born Registration Commission in the books, and I had ample opportunity to slip in a reference to them somewhere in my fic...ARGH NOW I KNOW WHY THIS FIC FEELS LIKE ITS LACKING SOMETHING *headdesk*

...sorry...

I'm glad you think Ettie is a complex character. She certainly is condescending toward Reg, but I thought she might have also been a bit curious about him; nobody at the Ministry is particularly friendly or cordial toward her or to anybody, seeing as this is indeed a time of war, and people are preoccupied with simply getting by, drawing as little attention to themselves as possible. I suppose Ettie senses that Reg is different from everyone, that she can probably bully her way around him or something :P She's not the most pleasant of characters, and I think I quite enjoyed writing her. :P

The bar scene was meant to be slightly ridiculous (well, the whole fic is meant to be slightly ridiculous, actually), but it does sober up a bit toward the end of the chapter, when Ettie's involvement in the death of Juniper Swift is revealed. It is something that certainly affects Ettie, though she refuses to admit it.

Ooh, I'm just so blown away by your fantastic comments on this chapter (and this whole fic)! I'm really surprised but so, so delighted that you find this story unique! Thank you! ♥

teh


 Report Review

Review #15, by patronus_charm Rat

25th December 2013:
Yay, Merry Christmas teh! I wanted to join in the festive cheer too!

Ah, this chapter was really fantastic and I canít wait to read on as you really grabbed my attention here. I loved the floo network conversation between them all with the gossip, it really had me laughing because it was just what you would expect from them all and I wish it could have carried on for longer.

I loved the mention of Reg, it was really great though it was sad to see he was being down-trodden again and by someone junior of him. And ew for the mention of Umbridge, itís horrible to see that her influence is still around. As this paragraph seems to be for random things, I really loved this chosen time period as so much is happening and itís really great to view it from a different perspective.

The meeting with Cho was really great and there was so much tension and mixed emotion between them all. I liked how you focused on the Muggle aspect of Cho with her wearing Muggle clothes and having a Muggle job because it was a great nod to canon with her marrying a Muggle man. I liked her worn down and almost nervous air because of the war which was natural with Cedric and all. Though her putdowns to Marietta when confronted her about being the sneak was great!

Even though I felt a bit mean, Iím almost glad that Marietta got treated like that by her former friend because even if she was given the potion, her manner still isnít a nice one and she doesnít warm to me in anyway.

A fabulous start to the story teh, and I will be back soon!

-Kiana

Author's Response: Kiana! ♥ Happy New Year to you!!

And aah, thank you so much for your brilliant reviews on this story!! The first chaptered thing I've completed in like a decade or something. I wanted to write about the events of the wizarding world during DH through a different perspective, and to show how things were in the Ministry, so I chose Marietta because she's a really interesting character to explore. Especially since she's such an unlikable character in the books. :P

Am glad you like the Floo transcript rubbish; I did want to show how pointless and stupid some jobs are. Also, I did a course in uni analysing people's conversational transcripts, which nearly drove me insane with the sheer boredom of it.

Ahahaha, Reg! When I was writing this I thought it was pretty funny to have someone younger and newer than him treat him like rubbish...sorry, Reg...I couldn't resist... :P And I'm glad you like the meeting with Cho. As you probably know, now that you've read the whole fic, Cho doesn't reappear again in the story, though this meeting does have some impact on Marietta, hence she tries several times to repair their friendship. Cho is definitely a bit harsh toward Marietta, though I do think that the latter deserves it. (Sidenote: I actually have like...lots of Cho plunnies...which I might get down to writing sometime this year...)

Thanks for your lovely review, Kiana! ♥

teh


 Report Review

Review #16, by Rumpelstiltskin Traitor

18th December 2013:
I should have been here ages ago and I'm terribly sorry!

I don't think I've mentioned it before, but I absolutely love how you've written Umbridge. I think that her eerie personality really shone through in this chapter, particularly. Her creepy smile, her reaction to hearing something that she didn't want to (freezing), and the pattern of her speech while telling Ettie that she was not, in fact, asking her to stand in for her mother were all very fitting. Umbridge, naturally, is one of those characters that I just love to hate; I think you did her characterization great justice.

Then, of course, the ensuing chaos in the wake of the Cattermole trial, from a different perspective, was absolutely brilliant. I have to say, I didn't see an alliance with Reg coming.

I especially enjoyed the ending. It wrapped things up pleasantly and portrayed an "and then life continued to happen, despite all the events that transpired" message.

Ah, this was brilliant! I'm so sorry this wasn't a fantastic review (apparently I'm in a bit of a reviewing slump) and I'm even more sorry that it has taken me so long to get here!

-Rumpel

Author's Response: Hey there, Rumpel! ♥

Wow, thank you SO MUCH for this brilliant review! Thank you for sticking with this story to the end. And don't even worry about anything; I'm just so glad that you came back to read the final chapter! ♥

Thanks for your comments on Umbridge! She's a minor character in this story, but I still wanted her to stand out, and I was a bit worried that I was a bit worried about depicting such a memorably despicable character, whether I would get her right or now.

I'm glad you enjoyed seeing the Cattermole chaos from Marietta's perspective; I really enjoyed writing that part!

As for the ending, some things do get wrapped up (Reg and Mary and family escape, for example), but other things are left as they are, and life does continue, yes indeed. I'm glad you liked this ending! I was worried it would be a bit of a downer for some, but I wasn't really going for something huge and dramatic.

Thank you for this brilliant review, Rumpel! And thanks for supporting this little story of mine ♥ ♥ Your review's absolutely made my week!

teh


 Report Review

Review #17, by Cassius Alcinder Rat

13th December 2013:
Here from review tag!

I have to compliment you on the overall idea of the story. I looks very creative, and I especially enjoy stories about little known characters. I didn't find Marietta very sympathetic in the books, so I'm really curious to see how you make her work as a protagonist.

The opening set the scene very well, giving a vibe of boredom and drudgery, yet with a dark sinister air seeming to lurk below the surface. Whatever is happening in the network, I'm sure there's something shady going on.

I feel so bad for Reg! Wasn't he the guy Ron turns into when they polyjuice in Book 7? He just seems like a nice simple man, oblivious to the dark machinations around him.

That was an interesting twist with the face potion, I almost felt bad for Marietta even though I was totally rooting for Hermione in the books.

I'm very interested to see what happens next.

Author's Response: Hello! I'm glad the premise of the story sounds interesting to you :) I didn't find Marietta very sympathetic in the books, either. But I do like writing these sorts of minor antagonists; it's always fun to explore the way they think and why they do the things they do.

Reg is indeed the bloke Ron turns into with Polyjuice. And yep, he's a pretty naive and ignorant character, at least that was how I saw him when I read DH for the first time.

Glad this story has interested you! Thanks for the lovely review :)

-teh


 Report Review

Review #18, by Cannons Traitor

10th December 2013:
Hey the, I want to let you know that I enjoyed reading your Marietta story. It was good to see. Different but still important side of the war. I felt a little sorry for her in the end though, she doesn't have many friends but then what do you expect.

I sort of like the idea that she tried to make up for it in the end and her becoming friendly with Reg was really odd but fitting somehow,myou know.

Sorry this is painfully short but I am not typing on my computer so it is so slow, I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed the three chapters, your super talented.

Cannons

Author's Response: Cannons!

Yay, thank you for reading my Marietta story to the end! Don't worry about the length of your review, I'm just honestly so glad you took the time to drop by, read AND review! Thank you so much! Yeah, I really enjoyed writing about Marietta. I might even consider writing her again in future stories. And yeah, I did enjoy exploring her odd little 'friendship' with Reg.

Thanks as always, Cannons! I love your reviews ♥

-teh


 Report Review

Review #19, by Rumpelstiltskin Sneak

27th October 2013:
Oh hooray! An update!

The imagery was once again magnificent. Several pieces struck me and it's difficult for me to justify only one as my favorite. Let me just pick one at random to obsess over, else you're going to end up with a literary analysis instead of a review :).

Let's go with this one: "The dead woman's name...unpleasant aftertaste." This is a lovely little sentence that paints a vivid picture of how Ettie feels about the situation concerning Swift without coming out and saying it directly. You do this often, which is fantastic. I feel that otherwise the emotions wouldn't feel as strong.

Again I love your word choice. You have this tendency to use sharp sounding words. I believe I have finally realized why this stand out to me so much. It wasn't plainly obvious to see at first, but I reread the two chapter aloud to myself and it was then that it jumped out at me. These terms are creating a rhythmic pattern in your story. It doesn't follow any particular structure that I have seen concerning rhythm. It also gets a bit spotty here and there which leads me to believe that it was unintentional (?). If it was unintentional then it must be just a bit of brilliance associated with your style of writing.

Let me try to point out an example of the pattern so that I don't sound like an insane person (although that may just be a feat of mine that is beyond redemption). "He seemed to flinch...around her." is a good example. The stressed versus unstressed words are lovely.

At any rate, I'm really enjoying this and I cannot wait until the next (and last -_-) chapter!

-Rumpel

Author's Response: Rumpel!

Hello! Lovely to see that you're back! ♥ Thank you so much for following this fic; I can't emphasise how much it means to me that you're willing to come back and read and review. And your comments on my writing and language analysis really, really made my day!!

I'm glad that you like my 'showing-not-telling' method of writing; I'm definitely more on the 'showing' side. Sometimes, I wonder if it's too much, if I'm being too unhelpful to the reader, which is why your comment about how vividly you see Ettie's feelings despite me not directly mentioning it is so absolutely gratifying.

Ahahaha, LOVE the way you analyse my word choice, sentence structures and rhythms! This really, really made my day. I have a preference for simple but strong, vivid language, and guess what, I actually do read my sentences out loud time to time. I'm the sort of writer who is attracted to the sounds of words. I'm glad you didn't find this obvious until you read my chapter aloud! THIS. THANK YOU. I sometimes wonder if I should even bother with the detail I put into my sentences, but then I get such a perceptive reader like you, and I think, YES. IT IS WORTH IT. IT'S ALL WORTH IT.

Thank you ♥ Yeah, those rhythms you've detected would be spotty, because I don't think I'd be able to structure every single sentence of this chapter. I don't want to sound too formulated throughout my prose, and also, this chapter is pretty much 5000+ long. It would be a headache. :P

Still, I'm so glad you commented on these! Thank you so much, and thank you again for reading and reviewing! I hope you'll be back for the final chapter - and I hope you'll like, or at the very least, be satisfied with the ending. Which as you can tell, I'm a bit worried about. :P

Thanks!

teh


 Report Review

Review #20, by Cannons Rat

25th October 2013:
BOOM!

*smashes through wall*

I'm here as promised!

*brushes bits of brick from suit and straightens tie*

Right, *cough* down to business. ehem. *pushes hair from eyes* So, this was simply fantastic. Brilliant even. So I make a habit of reading the A/N's before I read the actual story and I see you have said this is less dramatic and slower-paced. I haven't read any of your others yet but I know what to expect now!

I meant to read this before simply because of your wonderful banner but forgot about it, so I was simply thrilled to come across this. BTW I have named the little challenge I set myself the 'I must be crazy' so for your other reviews I will enter saying 'I'm hear with you I must be crazy review', just to pre-warn you.

As I was saying your banner looked amazing and just really enticing so I was meaning to read this. Now I know neatness shouldn't matter that much when reading a story, but it helps doesn't it and throughout this I loved your attention to detail with the paragraph sizes and the bits you italicised. (I have a thing for (italics))
Even the title is centred and there's a little line, so yeah neatness is nice when reading.

I'm reviewing this as I go along so apologies if it comes across a little odd. First thing first the job you have given her sounds like the most boring job ever but you make it seem interesting to the reader, or to me either. Actually you make it seem like she finds it the most boring job ever but to me it sounds so much fun. Imagine the conversations you could be listening into. You made it very funny as well with the chess comment from twenty five years ago! Who remembers a chess game from twenty five years ago, that's crazy.

Your description is amazing and it is clear you have a lot of talent for writing or/and a lot of experience. I loved reading about her office, and the long desk and the massive fireplace and what the 'Chroniquill system' was. It sounds so much fun, imagine catching a traitor who no one suspected. It would get a bit tedious though I expect. I love details in stories, especially tiny ones that don't matter to the plot or anything but just add to the picture in my head, so I am pleased that you appreciate details as well.

Like -

'The drawer shut with a snap, and from inside, came the sounds of paper being crunched and shredded.' - I loved that line.

I loved the interaction with Cho and how sad you have made her, still hurting over everything she has been through which is believable.

You manage to capture the dull side of the war brilliantly, making it interesting. There was so much more to it then the golden trio.

I actually hate Marietta so I'm interested to see how you decide to develop her and what her role is ultimately.

Then at the end you drop the little bombshell that Cho sent, and we find out her mother is on the muggle-born registration commission.

I think you have done a wonderful job with this piece, taking a relatively minor character who also played quite a big part(if that makes sense) and showing the war like you are doing.


It must be seriously boring work if she can't stop thinking about Reg. Which side will she choose!

Cannons! (or harrypotterlover1)

Author's Response: Cannons!! I must say that you have the absolutely perfect penname for going BOOM and blasting your way through that otherwise dull grey review box. LOVE the way you push the hair out of your eyes; I'm imagining you being a tad more dramatic and flipping your hair back, though!

First, of all, you're amazing. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME. THANK YOU FOR BEING SO CRAYCRAY. Thank you for your insane status update and for offering to read and review so much. Your generosity with your time has pretty much made me feel so Scrooge-like with my reading and reviewing - pretty much have done nothing in the past month :(

Next, thank you for this smashing review!And yay! You commented on the banner! easterlies made the PERFECT banner, and I never even requested it; I pretty much stumbled upon it in her Up For Grabs thread and my jaw clanged open and I thought, 'THIS BANNER. I HAVE WRITTEN A STORY FOR IT. BUT I HAVE TOLD NOBODY. YET IT AWAITS ME.' Naturally, I claimed it and applied it to my story. Sorry for rambling; you probably didn't need to know all that.

And I'm glad you like the formatting! I've always had trouble formatting my stories, and I think I'm getting a bit better at them these days; if you read my older stories, you'll find the layout of the text (title and all) far less aesthetically pleasing, due to my inexperience with html coding.

Glad you find Ettie's boring job amusing. I was trying to bring out the ridiculous nature of her work. And I'm so pleased you liked the details as well, and hopefully they didn't come across as too overwhelming; I can get carried away sometimes. And I'm actually quite happy that you dislike Marietta so far. :P I didn't mean to portray her as a perfect person, or write a huge sob story about her as an excuse for her actions in OoTP. She's a pretty flawed person; you may still dislike her by the end of this short story, but I dunno.

Anyway, thanks so much for this brilliant review! Am loving your crazy exciting reviewing style, and if I had to give your review a genre, just like categorising a story on HPFF, well it would definitely be 'Action/Adventure'.

Cheerio!

-teh


 Report Review

Review #21, by cypress Rat

16th October 2013:
Hello again! I'm back with the final review I promised (though I'm sure I'll drop by again just for fun!). I was surprised and pleased to see a new story up, so I decided to read and review this one instead of one of your one-shots.

Forgive me if my thoughts are a little disjointed, but I'm going to try and be as complete as possible, so please bear with me! First, I think you're right. This is certainly different from your other works, but not at all in a bad way! It's lighter. And I got all the way through without crying once - pretty sure that's a first! But in all seriousness, I like your lighter tone. And by lighter I don't mean less serious - just, not as heavy emotionally.

I really liked the little bits of humour you threw in there. Like at the beginning...I could definitely feel the sarcasm behind "...had just about finished perusing her fifty-ninth Floo Conversational Transcript. It hadnít been a particularly enlightening read..." I chuckled at that.

It definitely is slower-paced. I think that you could actually do for a little bit more of that humour in your narration, so I wouldn't be afraid to use it. The situation is ripe for satire, which means it's also ripe for pointing out the pointlessness of it all.

I think you did well by incorporating your "conversational analysis" into the story. I do feel badly for her having to read the transcripts, and I definitely felt her frustration with the drudgery of it all.

I think there are a few things that could possibly - I'm pretty certain "be improved" is not at all the right phrase - I suppose, a few things that you could possibly take a look at, and that in my first quick read, as a reader, made me think...

First, there was her interaction with Cattermole. Since I read your description before I read the chapter, my first thought was "Aha! She's going to form a friendship with this man and that will make her question authority!"...but then...she wasn't very friendly at all. She was actually quite demeaning. And I guess I'm wondering how exactly she got to the end of the chapter thinking about him. Why he stuck with her. I think a little more demonstration of how that particular meeting impacted her, since, if that was the first time she met him, and he messed up so severely, I was honestly surprised that she almost seemed to think of him with neutral and almost positive feelings afterward. I would have expected her to dismiss him. So I think the whole set up of their meeting, though for the most part was wonderful and as always, you described your characters beautifully, I felt was lacking something...maybe a previous meeting, or some recognition, or some reaction, some flicker of something that would give away that she wasn't as much of a snobby jerk as she came across in that scene.

I was also unsure of why or where exactly she was applying the potion to her face. Just in the middle of the store? Or did she ask to use a restroom? Why didn't she just stick the vial in her pocket to apply at home? That, I think, was the only other bit that I was a bit confused over.

I really liked the interaction between Marietta and Cho, and I'm quite curious what Cho's story is. I thought it was really clever that she confounded her boss to get hired! Very smart, and nice to see since we don't see wizards using their magic against muggles very often, though they surely could.

Anyway, I don't really mind the slow pace, and something emotionally lighter can always make for a nice change now and again. ;) I'm looking forward to reading the next two chapters to see where this goes and oh! Before I forget. Good job again with your choice to focus and expand on the story of a minor character. You always have such an imaginative take, so well done!

Until next time, dear,
cypress aka Ella

Author's Response: ELLA! ♥

Honestly, my dear, you're completely spoiling me with all these wonderful, detailed reviews! I don't know what I've done to deserve them; I kinda feel bad for winning your challenge with a pre-written entry :P

BUT.

Thank you so, so SO MUCH for this. Not only were your compliments so delightful as always, but your critique is so insightful, and you've hit on certain areas of this chapter that I wasn't too sure of, and you gave me some brilliant suggestions as well.

I'm glad you don't mind the slower pace and less emotionally-charged narrative; I probably won't be writing anything too grief-laden over the next few months...I think. :P Marietta's an interesting character to explore; she isn't at all likable from the books, and she isn't one of those memorable big baddies. That being said, she isn't completely insignificant a character in the novels, because her actions did actually influence some sort of change, and they brought about certain events in OotP. So I thought it would be interesting to explore her character and write from her POV. But with writing in Hogwarts era (a not very popular era, I think :P ), I didn't just want to rehash all the events through a different character's POV, so I thought it would be nice to just remove Marietta from the OotP context and place her somewhere else (right in the middle of events of DH). Sorry if this isn't making sense.

I did want her to come across as a bit of a jerk, slightly snobby. But you made a great point there about the abrupt change of attitude from her condescension toward Cattermole to the neutral-nearly-positive view of him toward the end of the chapter. It's of my opinion that she isn't intentionally malicious toward him, but she does enjoy having a bit of power over others, which she tests on Cattermole, and is possibly surprised and more uncertain when he doesn't retaliate or respond rudely or so. Anyway, thanks for bringing this up! I will really have to go and thread in more details and develop the interactions and relationship between Ettie and Reg a bit more.

And yeah, the application of the lotion in the middle of the store was a bit random, I suppose. She was wearing a balaclava when she entered the store (I didn't explain why she was wearing one, but in the books, Marietta wears a balaclava as well as heavy makeup to disguise her pimples), and I was thinking that this was because her acne had already begun to sprout all over her face. (She needs to apply the potion daily to hold them at bay :P I know! I'm being ridiculously complicated here!!!). So she was applying that potion because she just wanted to get rid of them immediately and couldn't wait to go home and do it. And wander around in a balaclava in the meantime.

*facepalms* I should probably explain stuff more, or make things less complicated. But this chapter is already soo long!

Ella, thanks so much for this gem of a review. You've made me think about my story in so many different ways, and your critique is invaluable, and I'll definitely be re-reading this when I edit the second and the third chapters. THANK YOU SO SO MUCH FOR ALL YOUR BRILLIANT REVIEWS ON MY STORIES I'M SO HONOURED AND PLEASED YOU ENJOYED THEM ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

teh


 Report Review

Review #22, by loveinidleness Rat

13th October 2013:
So you said in your author's note that this story was 'a bit drier and less dramatic' than your other pieces. Now I haven't read your other pieces (although after this I really want to) but I didn't find this piece dry in the slightest. Quite the opposite, I felt it was one of the most original and refreshing stories I've read in a really long time.

I love people like you that are brave enough to venture outside the realm of what's expected and illuminate a whole new side to the wizarding world.

Your knowledge of the books is exceptional and that's part of what brings this story to life. I'd forgotten about Ettie until you mention her here and the whole sordid affair came flooding back to me. You so rarely hear about students like her in FF even though she was an intriguing character in HBP.

I really enjoyed seeing the mundane side to second wizarding war, although your detailed and clever writing made it anything but mundane. While the Golden trio were off in their tent you forget that everyday people were just trying to get by.

I love your characterisation of Cho, you make her quite tragic, a girl who has never recovered from such a scarring event in her teenage years. I hope she reappears in your short story.

I didn't feel at all there was an information dump, rather the way you present it makes it startlingly politically relevant to our muggle world. And the little realistic details you lace your piece with, Jasmine scented ventilation charms, really lifts the whole story.

To be honest I'm struggling to come up with CC but I have added you to my reading list. I hope you get the other chapters up soon.

Author's Response: Hello there! First, thank you SO MUCH for stopping by to read my story. This really means a lot. Next, wow! I'm blown away by all your compliments! You've made me feel so much better about this story; I wasn't sure if many people would be interested in reading a slow-ish, non-romantic, not-very-dramatic story about such a disliked and rather insignificant character like Marietta Edgecombe. To read your compliment about this story being 'original and refreshing' has absolutely made my week. Thank you for that ♥

I'm glad you enjoyed the parts where I expanded on the rest of the wizarding world! I think it works to an advantage, especially when one is writing within the Hogwarts era, which I know not many people enjoy reading either. I made up a LOT of things, but I did do my best to fit them in as well as possible with JKR's magical universe.

And yeah, I haven't read many Marietta fics either. As I mentioned earlier, not only is she a sneak and an unpopular character, but she's also somewhat insignificant (at least after OOtP), because she pretty much vanishes from the books.

I'm glad you like Cho's characterisation as well. To be honest, I characterised her this way because I have a oneshot plunny on her (which I don't think I'll write this year :P ), and she's pretty unhappy and dull and bored in that headcanon of mine. I'll tell you this: Cho doesn't reappear in this story (sorry about that!), but she remains very relevant!

Glad you like the details; I was trying to create a very believable setting in the Ministry of Magic and the wizarding world in general under the Death Eater regime, and I'm relieved to hear that it's not too info-dump-y.

Thank you so, so much for reading and reviewing and following! I swear I will get the next chapter into the queue before the month is up! (It's written already...just needs editing...though I've been a bit busy...)

-teh


 Report Review

Review #23, by Rumpelstiltskin Rat

11th October 2013:
There is so much information here, but you have managed to make it flow so perfectly. It is easily readable and understandable. Truthfully, I read it twice to confirm to myself that I had not missed out, but I believe I caught everything!

I love Ettie. You have done a great job with her character development.

This is one of my favorite parts here : "Choís dull eyes were suddenly sharp." This is a fantastic simple cue of the transition of Cho's moods. I found it quite brilliant.

In fact, some of the terms that you are using ("taut, crunch, sharp, popping, jolted, spluttering, floppy, etc.") are amazing descriptors. Not only are they very easy to understand, they create a vivid image of just what the subject are or what they are doing. You use very sharp sounding words and I cannot get enough of that.

I adore your deliberate mannered writing style. I find it quite genius, really.

I just wanted to point out my other favorite to you: "She nearly screamed...bald, with a slight curl." This is beautifully gruesome imagery and symbology!

I cannot wait to see more!

-Rumpel

Author's Response: Hello Rumpel! First, thank you so much for such a wonderful and surprise review! I'm incredibly grateful and humbled that you've taken the time to read my new short story and leave such a lovely review! :)

Yes, there is a lot of information in this chapter, especially in the opening segment; I was worried about that, but I'm glad you didn't find it too overwhelming.

And I'm so relieved you found the characterisation alright! Marietta Edgecombe is probably not the easiest characters to sympathise with or like, but I really wanted to portray an unpopular and less-liked canon character and somehow Edgecombe just fit the bill.

Glad you like my descriptive language in this fic. Things are going to be fairly simple, description-wise, in this fic, but I do try to use words that are not too complicated that they'll disrupt the flow, but are vivid and clear. So I'm so glad you picked up on this; your comment absolutely made my day.

Well, thanks a whole two bunches for this wonderful review! I do hope you'll come back to read the rest and continue to enjoy :) The next chapter should be up soon!

-teh


 Report Review

Review #24, by SilentConfession Rat

7th October 2013:
This is such a unique story!! I love minor characters and the fact that you've chosen Marietta is brilliant!! There is so much history here and I love how you've handled it. The makeup was especially clever. At first I paid it no mind, just thought it was a girl who liked the stuff. But then as the story went on and there was such a strong focus on her make up coming off and you kept mentioning it I knew it was important and remembered that she had her face written on by Hermione (go Hermione, way to inflict a life of pain.) But I loved the slow realization of this, how much she tried to hide it. I felt like that really related to how she hides herself too. She doesn't seem to really know herself, her side, or how she is perceived. She just seems to be be hiding herself whether it is out of shame or fear I don't know.

This makes me really interested to know where this story is going and how she'll come to decision. It seems that most people distrust her and even fear her. Probably because of her mother's relationship with Umbridge how and high standing her mother is. This trickles down to Marietta and people paint her with the same brush. Not saying she isn't like that because she seems a bit of sneak and undecided about everything. I can easily see her going both ways with the war and i'm curious to know where you're going to take her. She seems to like the fear Reg has for her (i wanted to give poor Reg a huge hug in this chapter, poor bloke!) which isn't a good sign really of her ethics and morality.

This is really well done work Teh! I'm super excited to see where you are going with this! (also stoked that you're writing a longer fic so i can enjoy your brilliant writing even more!)

zayne

Author's Response: Zayne! ♥

What a completely unexpected and very lovely review! Thank you so, so much; this has just made my day! :D I'm glad that you were interested enough to click on the link and read it.

Well, you know me; I love my minor characters. :P I'd been wanting to write Marietta for a long time now, and I actually started this fic aaages ago. And you're spot on with your comment about how much history and baggage Marietta carries with her: her acne, for which she requires daily treatment, her reputation for disloyalty, and her mother's affiliation with such a despicable group in the Ministry. Not to mention that she's a fairly young school-leaver landing her first big job at the Ministry (kinda like Percy Weasley, who also sort of betrayed his own people - hmmm, maybe I could get him and Marietta together...baha!).

And yeah, I'm so glad you noticed that she seems to revel in Reg's discomfort! My intention with this is that she herself feels so insecure and out-of-place and alone with her boring job that she enjoys what little power she has over others; well, yeah, that's kinda trivial and not very nice, but I never got the impression that Marietta was a particularly nice character in the books!

Thank you so, so much for this brilliant review, Zayne! ♥ This story's already finished - just have to edit the next two chapters and I'll put them up. :) And I hope you'll continue to enjoy! Thanks again! *hugs*

teh



 Report Review
If this is your story and you wish to respond to reviews, please login