7 Reviews Found

Review #1, by MEW Epilogue

17th February 2014:
oh... what a beautiful speech!

I really argee on the part where he said "all art should be preserved and showed, hiding it is as bad as denying it" (gonna mention that in my story aswell)

nice epilogue, it really rounds up the story.
great job!

Author's Response: Thank you for reviewing, and I'm really glad you enjoyed the story. I was a bit worried about the speech - I always am when my characters start monologuing - but I've had other people complimenting it so I'm feeling reassured.

Spread the message, by all means! Art should be preserved - hiding it is denying it, really.


 Report Review

Review #2, by MargaretLane Epilogue

3rd February 2014:
And I finally get around to reading this.

My historical references aren't as impressive as they might seem. 1916 is pretty much Ireland's equivalent to the American War of Independence; it's a pivotal moment in our history and VERY well-known. And I wouldn't even fully consider the Northern situation history. They only signed the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 after all and there have been issues since then too. It's as much current affairs.

LOVE the idea that Beauxbatons doesn't put as much emphasis on Defence Against the Dark Arts. It makes sense as France may not have experienced the same degree of dangers as Britain from Voldemort and the whole pure-blood thing or as Eastern Europe did with Grindelwald.

YIKES, I never thought that young boy would turn out to be so relevant.

And I LOVE the fact Nobby's reputation is being redeemed. It's about time!

Yikes at all of those who died in the first war. It's not surprising, I suppose, but it is rather sad.

OK, Flitwick's speech actually brought tears to my eyes.

And I love the dig at that self-congratulatory fountain. Coming from a country that was colonised, that whole paternalistic colonialism nearly bothers me more than the more directly insulting type. *cheers for its being removed*

And I'm delighted his fountain was replaced.

And yikes, that talk about people who died for no reason and how at least the people who died in the two wizarding wards died to some purpose reminds me of our stupid, stupid civil war. There is a song about Collins' death that basically expresses the wish that if he'd had to have been killed, it had been a year or two earlier in the fight for Irish independence when he could have been said to die for something, rather than in a stupid war over a couple of lines in a treaty.

And I LOVE Nobby's speech.

And I love the part in italics at the end. It brought tears to my eyes again. I LOVE the fact he declined the Order of Merlin.

Excellent story.

Author's Response: The boy was always going to reappear later, but when I originally wrote him I wasn't sure how. He was originally going to just write to Norbert or give a newspaper interview, to give Norbert some comfort, but somehow the idea of him being one of Sophie's teacher's occurred to me. I though it might be nice if he was someone we know, and Flitwick fitted the bill!

The sort of people who supported Nobby weren't the sort to stand back and watch while muggles and muggle-borns were persecuted - of course the would fight, and unfortunately they died. Nobby is one of very few who actually remember the riot, and he's very much alone in his position. It is sad, but this is ME writing - were you expecting it to be happy?

I'm so glad you found the speeches effective, especially Flitwick's. I'm honoured to think I can affect people like that. I often get a bit worried when my characters start monologuing - does it drag on too much? - but your reviews are reassuring.

I'm glad the golden fountain was removed - but do you realise you are cheering Voldemort? - the fountain was destroyed in the duel between him and Dumbledore, and may or may not have been repaired before the Ministry fell and it was replaced by Magic Is Might!

I think the speech applies to most, if not all, wars. In fact the themes in this chapter, and much of the story as a whole, can be applied to our world. I didn't originally intend to write a moral tale, but the situation made it natural. And the same themes are repeated all over the world, throughout time - Ireland and everywhere else.

I thought for a bit how to end it - whether to leave it with Norbert's last line, with it's deeper meaning. It could have been quite effective that way. But I'm glad now I didn't. I was going to have him posthumously awarded the Order of Merlin, but that wouldn't really have made sense and actually he would have declined it.

So glad you enjoyed it - excellent challenge!

Leonore


 Report Review

Review #3, by MEW The Squib Rights Marches

29th January 2014:
What a dream of a Prime minister! very sharp story, well written indeed. I'm happy MargretLane put this up as a sugestion on the forum.
Wizard politics is also an important theme in my story,so I'm glad someone other than me writes about it. Because you go much deeper into than I do, which makes it great for background research^^

have fun with writting the rest of it! Hope it will come out soon!

Author's Response: You use my story for background research? I'm flattered. Thank you for this review - nice reviews like this are always so encouraging. If I find time at some point, I might go and check out your story - wizarding politics are interesting, and as you said it's rare in stories. The epilogue went into the queue yesterday so should be out shortly.

 Report Review

Review #4, by MargaretLane Treason and Plot

27th January 2014:
LOVE the title of this chapter. It works perfectly. I'm familiar with the rhyme from reading British comics and although the event isn't part of our history over here, I have the general idea from what is in popular culture.

And the graffiti is chilling.

That group in cloaks and masks is reminiscent of the Death Eaters. I guess it makes sense that groups would hide their identities like that when breaking the law, but in a way, it still sort of foreshadows what is to come.

And OH NO, the Squib Rights Bill has been rejected. I didn't really expect that to happen, though I guess it's not really surprising.

Fair play to the Squibs for not protesting. Otherwise, this could really have turned into a Northern Ireland parallel - both sides ramping up their riots and the Government enforcing more and more draconian measures.

And yikes, Macnair gets off. That's not good. I can understand the fear though.

LOVE the use of the words "remember, remember" on the memorial. In a way, the memorial reminds me of one I've seen in Dublin to those who died in the Dublin and Monaghan bombings. It just says it's in memory of those who died in those bombings and then the names.

Yikes, that's a fairly involved list of false scandals. Apparently, false rumours of an Irish President having an affair were once circulated (again, they were believed to have been started maliciously), but it was disproven. And this seems way more involved anyway. But of course, the thing here is likely to be that people will believe what they want to and there are enough people against him who are likely to insist on believing it even if it were disproved.

LOVE the mystery about the Malfoy funds.

*grins at his travelling to Ireland* And actually that may make more sense and have greater precedence than you may have intended. Ireland prides itself on "giving people their privacy". Now part of this is just self-congratulations, but celebrities have come here to avoid media attention in the past.

Love the part about Nobert writing his version of events, the true one. Hope he finds some kind of success. The way he has been treated is completely unfair and really sad.

Author's Response: The forerunners of the Death Eaters - the idea didn't come from nothing, and I expect some already had their own - or at least their parents' - blood purist robes when they started rampaging as Death Eaters. As you said, it hides the identity.

You didn't? Nice to see I can sneak in a good plot twist. No, after the riots it was never going to be passed. (Partially because it is clearly suggested in canon - HP wiki - but also because that would underestimate the fear caused).

The Squibs don't protest: combination of them being scared, understanding, and used to being turned down. I don't think the parallel would have been possible because don't forget that pure-bloods can do magic and Squibs can't! It would have been short and messy.

Of course Macnair gets off. Corruption! In fact that is Norbert's big obstacle. There are blood purists in just about every important position in the wizarding world - on the council, wizengammot, controlling the press- so even with thousands of witnesses an unforgiveable curse may be ignored.

Turning the message on the ceiling for their own use - this is a refusal to be frightened. It was Norbert who originally intended to use Bonfire Night to his effect, then it was hijacked by blood-purists, before Norbert and team turned the message round and used it to their own advantage - proving they aren't afraid.

The fountain is actually the predecessor to the Fountain of Magical Brethren - as you can see, it has the same purpose. It is removed when Norbert loses power (there's the controversial "Squib children" suggestion, although they are not intended to be squibs, and also at that point Norbert is generally hated).

The point with the list is that it is ridiculous. The expenses scandal was inspired by fairly recent news here, the affairs by the majority of newspaper articles at the moment. The list is clearly not true, but somehow people believe it.

There is no mystery whatsoever about the Malfoy funds. The Malfoy family is powerful and respected. It is not what people know but what they choose to believe - and what they choose to ignore.

Threw in the Ireland reference for you - thought you'd like it! And my usual coincidental- err, well researched and carefully thought through inclusion of details which fit the situation perfectly and hint at deeper meaning. (That is occasionally intentional, mostly fortunate).

The epilogue will be along shortly, and until then you will just have to worry about what the future has in store for Norbert.

If he had been treated fairly, he would hardly have had the same impact on society and in fact his impact would not have been necessary. This would not make it into the history books.


 Report Review

Review #5, by MargaretLane The Pure-blood Riots

26th January 2014:
OK, I'm finally getting around to reading this. You update fast, which amazes me considering how involved these stories are and how much background you must have to check out when writing them.

The line "Gilbert Goyle and Norbert's second was past dueling champion, Francis Piper" sounds a bit awkward. It might be better to say something like "he was Gilbert Goyle and Norbert's second was past dueling champion, Francis Piper." Or to make the part about Norbert's second a separate sentence.

As far as I know, Francis is the male version of the name. The female version is Frances.

*grins at the idea of Nobby injuring himself to put himself out of the action* I think he'd be rather too noble to do that though.

Typical of Macnair to use Dark Arts. I'm surprised they'd be allowed though.

*cheers for Nobby winning* I definitely wasn't sure which way it'd go. I thought he probably would because I didn't think you'd want to give credence to the idea of purebloods being better at magic, but considering we know this story won't end entirely well, I wasn't certain.

I REALLY like Nobby now, for the way he stopped to pull people up onto the platform even at the risk of putting himself in danger.

Was he the one shouting "drop the shield." It sounds that way, but it's a little unclear.

I like the way you show Nobby's despair as he realises how determined the purebloods are to ensure he doesn't succeed.

"Nonetheless" is one word.

OK, the purebloods attempt to make him hated and his time in office a time of fear reminds me of two historical events, which give contradictory evidence as to the validity of such tactics. The first (to occur to me; it was the latter historically) is the Economic War when the English put sanctions on Irish goods to try and turn people against de Valera. Didn't work. The other was way back in maybe the 15th century when Gearod Fitzgerald was removed as Governor General in Ireland and he tried to undermine the guy who replaced him by encouraging rebellions, resulting in the then King of England uttering the immortal words that "if all Ireland cannot rule this man, then he shall rule all Ireland" and returning Gearod Fitzgerald to power. It was the whole part about how "at least the purebloods brought peace" that reminded me of the latter, as the king must have known Fitzgerald had no loyalty to him, but at least he kept peace in Ireland.

And that part about them killing him making him a martyr and hero reminds me of 1916, when that appears to have been Pearse's exact plan - start a revolution, get killed, thereby turning the entire country against British rule. It would be crazy - it WAS crazy - but it worked. Six years later, Ireland was an independent country. So yeah, I definitely think killing him would probably be counter-productive.

Love the line, "if they kill me, history will condemn them." An Irish Lord Mayor, of Cork, during the War of Independence declared "it is not those who can inflict the most, but those who can suffer the most, who will conquer." Same idea really.

I think he is right to leave the protection of the offices. It's a risk, but they are at risk anyway.

This is the early 60s, right? Hmm, a terrorist attack might still be a little improbable, though of course they can happen any time. Ten or fifteen years later and they would be practically an expected event as the whole Northern Irish situation reached across the Irish sea.

I like the explanation you give as to why Norbert accepted the duel. I still think he'd have been better off not doing so, but I can see the dilemma he was in.

And OF COURSE Macnair was never going to admit Muggleborns were as skilled as purebloods. I should have guessed he'd have something else up his sleeve, but I didn't. I just assumed he'd never considered losing or that he'd expected Norbert to refuse the challenge.

I think there's something wrong in the line, "we will not continue to serve the people who rely on us."

Yikes, that idea of the fire continuing to burn even after it's removed is creepy. I'm scared of fire anyway (I won't even light a match), so that is not something I want to think about.

LOVE the last line. It shows the importance of each individual even in a situation like this.

Author's Response: Your knowledge of Irish history never ceases to amaze me! I research for stories, but you work so many names and dates into reviews!

I will go back and try to tidy up some of those points, which expose my laziness in that I don't actually proofread before posting. Not a habit I intend to stop, although perhaps I should.

The rules by which they are duelling are "anything legal" and I think at this point that means anything but unforgiveables. I think later on there might be reforms to ban certain spells, but dark magic is such a wide field and I imagine the borders would be rather hazy so generally it would be limited to banning particular spells.

Yes, Nobby wins. I toyed with the alternative, but that would bring up all sorts of problems, even fitting the very small amount of detail given in canon. He might not be so strong at magic, but it is as he said before the challenge was made - he worked harder. He also didn't underestimate his opponent, while Macnair allowed complacency to get the better of him.

The pure-blood riot at the duel basically amounts to terrorism. The blood purists are definitely not above such methods. The muggles would be confused, frightened, and they would blame the entire place blowing up on some form of explosion which might be due to bombers or a gas leak or factory issue. For the scale, terrorists would be the best explanation.

Norbert was pretty stuck the moment Macnair made the challenge. The only real chance he had was to take a risk, so he did. He didn't have time to mull it over, anyway. I don't think Macnair planned the attack - I think he was confident of winning. I believe it was Abraxas Malfoy who organised it, then failed to appear partly because of the danger and partly to disassociate himself with the entire affair.

You're right - that "not" is a remnant from an altered sentence which somehow avoided being deleted :P

Fiendfyre is nasty stuff. Dark magic leaves traces, and powerful dark magic leaves big ones which are not entirely dormant.

Just wanted a moment of peace at the end of all that! And it encourages Norbert not to give up. Also suggesting that he considers every individual important, while clearly the blood-purists don't care how many they kill.

LOVE your reviews, so thank you as always.


 Report Review

Review #6, by MargaretLane The Squib Rights Marches

12th January 2014:
Love the title of this chapter. And you know what? Googling Nobby Leach tells me he was Minister in the 60s, as I'm sure you were aware, since you seem to do a lot of checking of your stories, so the Squib Rights Marches take place around the same time as the African-American ones and the Catholic ones in Northern Ireland. I assume J.K. Rowling meant that, as she draws a lot of parallels with real events.

Oh, I see you've mentioned the American Civil Rights movement in your A/N.

And in the first couple of paragraphs, there are parallels with the Northern Irish situation, which erupted into violence that would continue for the next thirty years. I would say maybe your characters are thinking of that, but I would imagine this is a little early. I think it was around '68 when the "Troubles" began and that's the end of Nobby's time as Minister.

*cheers for Philip Shacklebolt*

Ooh, that part about teaching them their place is chilling.

And I really like the way Nobby is thinking of the slippery-slope. If they are allowed discriminate against Squibs, then what is to stop them doing the same to Muggle-borns or anybody else that doesn't fit their idea of perfection? Actually, I've a similar line in my next gen series where Hermione, Teddy and others are planning to stand up to a group opposing change in the wizarding world on the grounds that if they get the person they want fired, fired, then what else will they start demanding?

I love the part you show Squibs playing in society. Of course they would be perfectly placed to do those jobs; I never thought of those. You must put a LOT of thought into these stories.

I like Nobby's arguments. He is quite a debater.

I don't like the sound of this duel though. Firstly, it does not sound like an appropriate way of settling a debate like that and secondly, I don't trust Macnair. There is a danger he would not fight fair. I don't think Nobby should take him on.

*grins* I was wondering if the date was significant. I wasn't sure.

And well done Nobby for choosing to listen. Having seen what happened in Northern Ireland, any attempt to avoid something similar sounds good to me. Of course, Squibs would be at a major disadvantage in any fight between them and wizards, but still.

Nobby is starting to sound a little like Dev, who basically wrote our Constitution, with his interest in doing things himself and researching things thoroughly. Not that you'll know who Dev was, but he was a pretty major player in Irish politics for much of the 20th century. (By the way, there is another similarity in Nobby's possibly bypassing the council; the Seanad - Senate - delayed some bill of Dev's at one point, so he abolished it, basically.)

You've mentioned Kingsley helping him. Is that meant to be Kingsley or is it meant to be Philip Shacklebolt? Just wondering as I don't think you mentioned a Kingsley earlier and he seems similar in personality to Philip Shacklebolt.

You've also said "Macnair was raising issues or the sake of delaying the process." I assume it should be "for".

Yikes, somebody being found dead. That's a bit extreme.

Oh gosh, oh gosh, oh gosh, brutal methods are always counter-productive. My country has a history of rebellions being put down brutally. It tended to cause resentment, unsurprisingly.

You've written "the new wording would cover neither nor Muggleborns". The word "Squibs" is missing.

And well done Shacklebolt for fixing that quickly.

And it is really good that Macnair's bill was rejected. That was scary.

Another excellent chapter. I love this story.

Author's Response: Yes, I like Philip. He's like Kingsley, but it's a little early for Kingsley to be in that position. The fact that he's pure-blood means he can actually control Macnair, and he's a demonstration that not all pure-bloods are evil.

I know very little about the Northern Irish situation, so that isn't deliberately linked.

The duel isn't something Nobby likes either. He'd rather debate, but he knows it's impossible to make Macnair & co listen to him. I was a bit worried about it, for the reasons you said, but Norbert is willing to try anything to get his views across. He knows that the risk is huge, and I think he regrets accepting, but at the time all he sees is an opportunity to prove that muggle-borns are no worse than pure-bloods. The wording catches him out, making him feel like if he refuses he is going back on his previous statement.

I definitely see where you're coming from with it, and it's quite sloppily explained, so I will go back and have another good look at that. Partly by accepting but insisting on a later date, he is trying to halt the arguments until after they've dealt with the Squib protests. Choosing a date I wanted some significance, and I considered a lot before I pitched for that one. Just how appropriate it is... (forcing myself not to give spoilers!)

Norbert is very much a perfectionist, and he does a lot of the work himself partly for that reason and partly because he does not trust his council.

Thank you for pointing out that Kingsley - you're right, it's meant to be Philip Shacklebolt. I had a mind blank halfway through and wrote Kingsley loads of times by accident, and I must have missed that one. Will change that in a minute. Those other typos, too.

A bit extreme, and that's what Norbert's up against. It makes people afraid to support him.

Shacklebolt has no patience with the blood purists, and being a pure-blood he's good at handling them. Also because there's a reason he's head Auror.

Fortunately Norbert's opponents aren't particularly good as politics - if they were they wouldn't produce bills like that one. They are used to being obeyed, while Norbert knows he needs the support of the people.

I'll edit this one shortly and the final (probably) chapter will be up once it's written! Glad you like it.

Leonore


 Report Review

Review #7, by MargaretLane Election Day

8th January 2014:
I like the title of this chapter. And the title of the story, actually.

Yikes, that part about the Magical Law Enforcement and all sounds like when Fianna Fáil came to power in Ireland in 1932. Some of them apparently had guns in their pockets for fear the previous Government would try to stage a coup with the support of the army. Nothing happened though. At least that was ten years after a civil war and the losing side then coming to power. THIS just sounds like pure prejudice.

This DEFINITELY fills the criteria of the challenge. The first Muggleborn Minister would DEFINITELY go down in the history books.

I'm looking forward to seeing how the votes are cast and how the election works. Bet they sort things out more quickly than we do. Our votes are counted by hand. The wizarding world probably has more advanced ways of doing things.

Yi-i-ikes. Some level of opposition there. Even when Fianna Fáil came to power, nothing really happened, certainly not anything like these attacks on Nobby.

Wow, those sphere things are complicated, but I guess they'd have to be to ensure every possible magical way of cheating the election is avoided.

I like the way the winner isn't just announced immediately. There's a bit of suspense building. One of the reasons we like our hand counts.

Love the fact that Merlin laid down the vow.

And I really like the wording with which he is inaugurated (if that's the right word).

Excellent beginning to the story. I look forward to reading on.

Author's Response: Wow! I'm so glad you like it. Of course the spheres are complicated - I figured if I was going to make up a new system I might as well do it properly. If it had been possible to cheat, Abraxas Malfoy would probably have done it. And yes, I wanted suspense to build up.

I love how you connect events in my stories to actual historical events (that I've never heard of). It makes them sound so much better thought through than they actually are!

When I came up with the spheres, I sat down and tried to come up with something magical and visual. Suddenly they occurred to me. I was just picturing the coloured smoke swirling in the crystal balls when I wrote them. Merlin laying down the vow - a little sign of the traditionalist society, and Norbert does respect it.

I have to admit I've only got a little bit of the next chapter. It is a lot harder to write than this one, and I have other challenges with earlier deadlines, but I will get there in the end!

This review will hopefully inspire me to get back to it now.

So glad you like it so far. The other chapters will be along at some point in the future (I'm aiming for 3 in total). Thank you for all the inspiration!

Leonore


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