23 Reviews Found

Review #1, by MissMdsty Malice

1st September 2014:
Dan!

I haven't been online in forever but seeing as tonight sleep wouldn't come without fanfiction I had to check out your AP as well.

And I was so excited to see you had a new (chaptered!) story, so of course I dove right in!

This was intense and really dark. I loved it!

One of the things I was most excited about was how it was written from an OC's POV (great job on the German inspired names, that was a nice touch). This character made no apologies and as always, you did a wonderful job of taking us for a stroll in the mind of the bad guys.

I think this really captured an aspect of the war that wasn't really developed in the books, the fact that while the trio searched for Horcruxes, a real, honest to God war was happening in Europe and that people in conflict are very ruthless and very cruel.

When he started interacting with Mary I got a huge shiver up my spine. The whole setting, the man who was getting ready to flee the scene, the woman walking inside the house where two bodies were already stashed in the basement, it felt like the start of a horror movie.

The fact that this character was given a canon background, as a Durmstrang alumni, makes it all round up very nice. I remember how Krum was saying at the wedding that some pupils of Durmstrang favored the Dark Arts.

And the Auror scene! That made my little "law" alter ego warm and fuzzy. I love a good hostage negotiation. And lastly, I just loved how Mary stood up for herself in the end and made sure he wouldn't get away with it. Lovely twist!

I haven't done this in forever and I'm probably rambling like a lunatic right now, so I'll just go read the next chapter now!

Ral

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Review #2, by Luke1813 Fury

1st September 2014:
I really enjoyed these four chapters. They are full of wonderfully suspenseful writing. As I read this story, I thought of two quotes: (1) "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." by Nietzsche. (2) "Wisdom and maturity: basing your decisions on rational, logical thought and not on whatever emotions you're feeling at the time." It was satisfying to see that Harry gained this insight at the end. I hope you continue to write "Death Hunter" tales. I look forward to reading how Harry and his team continue to learn and mature both as Aurors and as people.
Well done.

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Review #3, by TheHeirOfSlytherin Fury

31st August 2014:
Dan! I am pushing through a migraine to read this, that's how nervously excited I am. I mean it, I'm so very nervous for the team going against Jugson. *hates him so much* But I have faith! :D

(And the knowledge that you won't let Harry die... then again, that could also be faith. ;))

Harry is so stubborn it's a little scary. I don't want him to get hurt and he's making it really hard to not want to swipe the back of his head when he's so determine to go against the bad guy. But it's also one of the reasons I love him, mostly when he does it so others don't have to. When vengeance is on his mind, I revert to swiping the back of his head.

The cloak! It got better! I never wondered about that, but it's a cool idea. And very useful for an Auror.

Duels and the house changing and the poor team injured and Neville being tortured and Harry's visions and memories and Jugson and... wow. That was seriously intense and awesome and... and... I just have a lot of feelings. I won't bore you with the long list, but rest assured there are a lot that all add up to me thinking this story was just fantastic to read and I loved it so much and I'm so excited for the next thing you write because everything just gets better and better and I CANT BELIEVE THIS IS OVER, WHAT WILL I DO WITH LIFE???

The end - Oh, Harry. But go Ginny for being so understanding and caring and listening to him talk.

Seriously! loved this!

Sam.

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Review #4, by daliha Wrath

28th August 2014:
What a powerful chapter. I love the interaction between all of the characters, the way you include members of the D.A so flawlessly, and how you kept them all in character. I loved Susan so far she's my favorite character here.

Just when I thought they were about to go home there comes the new threat. Jugson is probably is as bad as Lord Voldemort, but I wonder if he is the Stranger or not? Are Harry's suspicions correct? All I know is by the end of this chapter I want him captured for what he did to Bizzy, and the muggle woman.

(I'm putting this stories into my favorites.)

Author's Response: Hi! Susan is one of my favorite canon characters to write. I've built up quite a lot of head canon around her.

Jugson is The Stranger. You're not the only one who wants him captured, as you'll see.

I'm really pleased that you like the story so much! Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #5, by daliha Malice

28th August 2014:
Wow! I loved the way you started this fan fiction, the way you describe his feelings as the clock tick down is amazing. I love the fight between Kaspar and Mary the way you describe I can see the actions before my own eyes. The descriptions were my favorite part of this first chapter. I can say I have noting to criticize, I 'm loving this story and will go on to the next chapter.

Author's Response: Hi! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Thanks for reading and reviewing.


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Review #6, by Gabriella Hunter Outrage

15th August 2014:
Hello!

Hey, there its Gabbie from the forums dumping this review on you and I'm sorry that it took a minute. I always tend to get to you guys after recovering from a cold or something, perhaps its some sort for Death Eater curse? Dun, dun, dun!

Anyhoo, on to this! So, I was really concerned about how Harry and the others would be holding up after that battle in the previous chapter. I think that switching POV from Ron to Justin was a smart move too, it gave me a chance to get to know his character better and I feel like someone who isn't as close to Harry would have more of an honest opinion on his actions. I enjoyed just how easy it was to slip into Justin's head too, it wasn't mashed or confusing for me and your flow was so good that it wasn't difficult to follow. Sometimes when people switch POV it feels like a completely different story but your tone stays the same and the looming threat never vanishes.

Harry seemed like quite the stubborn fellow in this, didn't he? I was really shocked that he was willing to forget about his injuries and keep fighting but then I had to remember who this was and thought it wasn't out of character at all. I would have thought he would pass out or something but mentioning how bad he looked and how his injuries were still giving him pain made him appear way more human.

Unlike Superman, who shrugs off his injuries, I like that Harry actually admits to having them and struggling to overcome every single one. I don't think he comes off as a little too perfect or anything but you've written him so well that I can understand his motives perfectly and his determination.

Now, that entire speech that Justin gave to the Healer was excellent. I had always wondered more about his backstory and what he might have been up to during the War and you wrote that very beautifully, I really loved how he explained HIS need to be an Auror, vs. what everyone else expected of him. There are apparently sacrifices being made on both sides and its something that I can sense that changed him completely.

The conversation with Teresa came off as a shock, not only because it was horrible, but its apparent that this Master of hers has thought of every angle. I think that's more frightening than what he might do, he already has a pretty decent idea of what might happen next and I'm not sure what that might mean for Harry and the others. I get kind of scared just thinking about it! Now, I wonder how and if Teresa will ever be able to have a normal life after this and that ending...my poor heart pretty much expired. I had a slight suspicion about what had happened to her son but then I couldn't quite believe that it was true and was very upset for her. I was sort of with Justin when he was saying that they should leave her angry to face Jugson later but Harry, of course was right when he said that they would have to carry it with them.

Also, just a thing that I really liked: There are bits of humor in this chapter that ease up the angst a bit that I really enjoyed. The boys felt very fleshed out and while they were going to face off against something that would leave them scarred in some way (I particularly liked that each of them was affected by Teresa in their own way), there's still a smile being shed every now and then.

Now, I really liked this chapter and I don't see any CC's that are threatening to destroy it. I think that you've created a very intricate world and I'm really invested in all of your characters and I'm hoping that you finish up that fourth chapter soon so I'll be able to gush over it like a proper fan girl.

Much love,

Gabbie

Author's Response: Hi, Gabbie!

Harry and the team are bloodied and bruised, but they're all alive. I wasn't sure about using Justin's PoV in the beginning, but I really took a liking to him as I wrote this. He does bring a different perspective and we can see a little of the hero-worship of Harry that you don't get with Ron. At the same time, he's seeing some of Harry's flaws. I thought he was a good lens for this part of the story.

Harry is incredibly stubborn. You're absolutely correct: his injuries do slow him down a lot because he isn't super-human. But he's determined not to let Jugson get away.

I gleaned as much of Justin's back story as I could from public sources and then I sort of set about filling in the gaps. I wanted to make this very personal for him. I think it's clear why it's personal for Harry, but I wanted to show that the other members of the team also have a stake.

Between abuse and dark magic, Jugson more or less elevated himself to being a deity in Teresa's mind. She's sort of like a house elf with no magic by this point. That's part of why the nurse was so reluctant to let the Aurors speak with her. She has a long, difficult recovery in front of her. As far as her son goes, it was very sad, but I wanted to emphasize that Jugson is a monster. He feels no empathy at all for muggles, house elves or really anyone who's not a pureblood wizard fanatic.

I think it's important to slip a little levity into a chapter like this. Otherwise, it just becomes oppressive. It's especially true when you're dealing with young people. In my experience, people this age tend to respond to stress by doing whatever they can to lighten the mood.

I'm working on the final chapter. It's taking so much longer than I thought. The last one is from Harry's PoV and it's really tricky to get his mental state right. I hope you like it when it's done.

Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #7, by Gabriella Hunter Wrath

11th August 2014:
Hello!

This is Gabbie from the forums dumping this review on you and I'm here a lot earlier than usual, I think. I'm not sick for once and not at all busy with boring real life issues so hurray!

On to this! Now, I think that its a very interesting way to start this chapter off from how the first one began. It gave me a moment to calm myself down and I also love that there was a bit of humor thrown in as well, there's nothing better than angst/humor in my opinion. The way that the beginning scene is set up is very nice, I'm able to get into Ron's head without difficulty and the supporting characters were balanced and fleshed out well. I didn't get the sense that they were just hovering in the room, they felt as if they were really there, which is also very important for having a lot of characters in the same scene. I tend to have scenes like that winding up a bit wonky I guess but you've done a brilliant job and thank goodness you're doing this from Ron's POV. I've read so many stories that feature Harry and its a bit tiring, yes, I love him too but its great being able to see Ron as a hero in this. You've given him some great canon traits as well, I had to laugh at the whole conversation with Susan even though it was sort of horrible. Hahahaha. Ron really hasn't matured completely, I'm guessing and I also like that you have Justin in this as well, I'm usually not seeing him as an Auror. And of course Neville is fantastic, I have no idea why I want to hug him so much after reading this, he seems awfully cuddly.

*Ahem*

I really loved Susan as well, I think she's a great female character. She's strong and confident and I totally was all for her standing up to Dawlish (Who is still afraid of Mrs. Longbottom, which was hilarious) and I wonder if you'll continue on with her character or not. It would be such a shame if you didn't! D':

Now, Harry was great. I have never written him before for fear that I'll ruin him for life but I think that you've really given him a lot of strength while also showing how uncomfortable he might still be with his position. His leadership skills are really thought out as well, he's not reckless and he makes sure that the team is semi-prepared instead of just tossing information at them and expecting them to be all right with it.

The secret informant had me puzzled for a minute too and towards the end, of course, I could understand why Harry kept it a secret.

BUT THE ACTION! HOLY CRAP! I was completely blown away by how genuine their formations were and as someone who is interested in going into law enforcement at some point, I think you did an excellent job. They felt like a real unit and god, let me tell you, that exploding bottle.my jaw hit the floor on that one. And Harry! What a bold move! Our bad guy got away though and as for him, I can't wait for more. He's arrogant and very self-assured of his own worth and I think that is going to come into play great in the future chapters.

ANyhoo, I obviously loved this chapter so I think that you have no reason to fear from me. I can understand why you were a tad worried though about the sudden POV and pace change but I think it worked very well and gave me a lot more detail about the villains, the Wizarding World and the characters themselves.

So, awesome job! :D

Much love,

Gabbie

Author's Response: Hi, Gabbie!

The pacing of this one was a change from the first, a chance for things to slow down and let the reader in on what was happening behind the scenes with "Mary Goldsmith" and the rest of the Aurors. I'm glad you settled easily into Ron's head, that's not a given. I tried to keep the characters busy in the scene so that nobody was "hovering", like you said. They're all doing their jobs and interacting with one another. Harry's PoV will come in the final chapter, which is by design. For the middle two chapters, you're seeing him through other characters' eyes. You may squeeze and cuddle Neville if you wish, but watch out for Hannah. ;) Watch out for Susan, too, I guess. She and Hannah are tight.

Susan has always been one of my favorite characters to write, going back to Conspiracy of Blood. Strong, confident and infused with a bit of gallows humor now and then, she's just a great emotional rock for whatever group she's part of. Taking no guff from Dawlish was all in a day's work for her. I giggled myself silly imagining him cringing at the thought of Augusta Longbottom.

Wow, I feel like that is very strong praise from somebody with a military background and thoughts of entering law enforcement. At this point in their lives, the Death Hunters aren't senior aurors, but this isn't their first rodeo, either. They've worked together enough to have fallen into a rhythm.

You'll see more of Jugson in chapter 4. Your take on him is not at all inaccurate.

I'm really pleased that you enjoyed it, and much love right back to you!

Thanks for reading and reviewing!
-- Dan


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Review #8, by Gabriella Hunter Malice

4th August 2014:
Hello!

This is Gabbie from the forums attacking this story and leaving you a review! Its been a long time since we swapped stories and I've totally missed you! Real life has been a major pain so I haven't been able to get back to any of my favorites lately but I hope that will change in the next few days! D':

Well, I wasn't really sure what I was expecting when I started reading this but it was a really nice twist. After reading the summary, I expected this first chapter to be focused more on an Auror before introducing the villains later but you went in a completely different direction! First of all, I want to give you kudos for being brave enough to actually write from the POV of a Death Eater, its a fresh take on the War and I found myself engrossed in Kaspar from the first paragraph.

Kaspar of course isn't the sort of character that most would have created to start a story but this is very unique and I love how you didn't shy away from how awful he really was. I've read a few stories about Death Eaters who were simply "mislead" but I love that you never gave any sort of excuse for his behavior. Reading about such an awful character was really new for me and I really enjoyed it, I also loved the setting of this and how you managed to give away details about the Wizarding world without it slowing down the pace. Murder, rape and violence are talked about with fantastic skill and didn't feel forced, I wouldn't have been able to get through those paragraphs in one piece! I think that you've got a really great story here and I'm not even going to go on and on about how wonderful your writing is. You know this already, I hope!

Mary Goldsmith had me worried for a minute, I was certain that Kaspar was really going to defile her but was just as horrified when he was thinking of decapitating her. That sent a shiver down my spine but I think the action that you incorporated was very well done, the Aurors responses and timing couldn't have been more perfect. I was holding my breath while he parried with them and let me tell you, I was NOT expecting Mary to beat the crap out of him either! I thought that you wrote that wonderfully and I'm certain that Kaspar isn't the sort of man that likes being on the receiving end of pain.

Karma at its finest!

So I obviously really enjoyed this and I can understand why you were a bit unsure about it but I can assure you that its worth continuing. I saw that you had two more chapters and I'm hoping that you continue with this, I can't wait to find out what happens next.

The only CC I could spot was one misspelled word in the second chapter but other than that, it was excellent!

Thanks for the read!

Much love,

Gabbie

Author's Response: Hi, Gabbie! It's been ages! Awesome to see you again!

Odd that you should say that, because I wasn't entirely sure what I was planning to do when I started writing it, either. It's more clear to me now, but the last chapter is definitely evolving as it's being written. I kind of like it when stories do that. The idea of dropping directly into the PoV of a fugitive Death Eater hit me while I was trying to line up the 4 PoVs for the story and not feeling especially satisfied with how it was working out.

Kaspar was a truly nasty piece of work, not "misled" at all. People tend to throw the term "casual sadism" around a lot in stories about Death Eaters. Kaspar's sadism is anything but casual. He glories in it. It's a huge part of who he is. I'm glad that all of the allusions to the awful things that took place during the war didn't slow the story down or feel out of place. I didn't see them as the type of thing that Kaspar would dwell on. It happened, it's in the past and his only regret is that the "fun" came to an end.

If you've read ahead to the next chapter -- and it sounds like you have -- then you already know who "Mary Goldsmith" is. If you haven't, I won't spoil it for you. The Aurors' timing was definitely not by accident. And Kaspar does not take pain as well as he dishes it out.

I'm really pleased that you enjoyed it, and I'll try to hunt down that misspelling. Thanks for pointing it out.

Thanks so much!

-Dan


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Review #9, by Cal585 Outrage

4th August 2014:
Hi, Sam assured me that this was a story worth reading and I must agree. Loving the story so far, it's fantastic! A bit darker than I'm used to from the Harry Potter universe but it's nice to have a change every now and again. And I've always been interested in the occasional auror story.

Think you've done a great job on making the characters older while staying true to their core values. Harry is really well written from an outside perspective! Don't really know what else to say except that I hope the dog is a red herring to throw them off the trail and was simply a dog (causing massive problems later when they try and interfere). But that's just wishful thinking. Anyway, I'll be following this with interest!

Author's Response: I'll have to be sure to thank Sam for the referral! This story is a bit dark compared to many you'll see, but I think it suits the subject matter.

I'm really glad you find the characters to be true to themselves. That was important to me.

The dog... um, I have some bad news for you. :(

Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #10, by Roisin Outrage

2nd July 2014:
Aha, another great chapter. This story is moving really well.

I loved seeing Harry from other people's POV. You got him exactly right, and Justin's perspective on his behavior was really great.

Again, you managed to pull on-the-nose comedy into a serious situation (Ron's suit), and the way you weave past experiences into dialogue (Justin's family on the run) was masterful.

The melodrama I noted last chapter with Bizzy wasn't at all an issue here. As for the son's death, it was treated with a light hand, and that's precisely what it needed. I also like that you don't shy away from that kind of brutality--war is supposed to be terrible.

Your chapters continue to be really gripping, and easy to get sucked in to. I think the best storytelling is the kind where you don't even notice the writing, and see the story instead. You totally accomplished that.

I saw one or two little errors, nothing I can recall, but I'd recommend reading your chapters out loud to catch them.

And as a last note, you do a really wonderful job of letting these characters be very young. Brave, to be sure, but young.

This post-war story is so strong, I'm inclined to feel like it's a proper continuation on the Potter series.

My hat off to you!

Author's Response: Yes! Catching up!

I liked doing this chapter from Justin's point of view, even though it wasn't the original plan. He brings a lot to the table, I think: muggle-born, not part of the Trio and from a very different walk of life than Ron or Harry.

I'm really glad you thought I handled Donny's death well. I knew I couldn't overdo it, or nothing else in the chapter would make any impact. This story has been kind of a bloodbath so far, but that's what seems to happen when you write about Death Eaters.

I don't think I'd be doing anyone any favors -- the characters included -- if I made them grow up prematurely. That's not to say that they can't have flashes of it, but they're not 30 years old. They shouldn't behave like it.

Wow, that is very high praise, and I appreciate it! Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #11, by roisin Wrath

2nd July 2014:
This was such a great chapter!

I loved that it started lighter and more funny, after the last chapter was so dark. The transition through mystery and into action was top notch, and over all really engrossing.

And your characterization was so effortless and on point! Ron's POV was perfect, and I really liked seeing Susan be a bad@ss. The way the characters interacted with one another was all ace.

Plus all those little details--Ron being taller, so Harry casts the shield charm, and Ron hurls spells. I liked all those little moments like that, because it showed you really made this story your own, while maintaining Rowling's sensibilities.

There were a few little grammar problems--"send" instead of "sent," "dropping" instead of "dropped." Generally the kind that come out of rewriting (editing is like trying to behead a Hydra!)

Also, the very ending with Bizzy seemed a little rushed (because it was the end of the chapter, and the action was over, so that makes sense). As a result, it told rather than showed a bit, and that left you with some melodramatic language. I like what you were going for a LOT, but since we've already had Dobby, I think your story would benefit from a little distance.

Overall, this chapter is really really great (and Bizzy is an AWESOME elf name). Your balance of light and dark, comedy and action was excellent. And you did something really nice by capturing the youth of the DA-turned-aurors.

On to the next!

Author's Response: Hello, hello. Thanks to this House Cup event, I've fallen shamefully far behind on answering my reviews. Trying to catch up.

I'm glad you like the different "moods" of different parts of the story. I really don't like stories that are too monochromatic in terms of mood.

I'm glad you liked Ron's little mental tangents about strategy and tactics. I wasn't sure whether they added more than just length to the chapter.

Thanks for pointing out those typos. I'll patch those up.

I can definitely see how the ending came on a little fast. Dobby was definitely in the back of my mind, because I knew that both that and the demolished child's bedroom would really hit Harry hard. Point taken.

Thanks! Coming up with elf names is incredibly hard, isn't it? Mine always end up sound so cartoonish to me. I'm really glad that you enjoyed the chapter and sorry for taking so long to respond!


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Review #12, by teh tarik Outrage

29th June 2014:
Hey Dan!!

I'm back for Chapter 3. I saw you posted this earlier in the week, but I was all wrapped up in that HC writing frenzy. :P

Anyway, first, I thought it was a great choice to write through Justin's POV. I remember the previous chapter was seen mostly through Ron's eyes, and I think this POV-switching between chapters is really effective. It's always great to see Harry from someone else's perspective, and not to mention you're developing a whole bunch of minor characters as well, which is always something I enjoy reading. Also, it's great to see how each of these former DA members carry out their newer, more dangerous responsibilities.

I love how you start the chapter with all that friendly banter and light humour.

Susan had a concussion, second degree burns, lots of cuts from the flying glass and a broken collarbone from the Hogwarts Express over here landing on top of her.

There's nothing funny about a concussion and burns and all, but describing Ron as the 'Hogwarts Express' just made me choke up a little. I imagine it was both his thunderous snoring as well as his red Weasley hair that led Justin to make such a perfect comparison between the two?

And Harry is incredibly well-written here. Badly injured, and yet that means absolutely nothing to him. You've got a marvellous handle on his character, did I mention this earlier? He's selfless and utterly dedicated to his job of saving people (hah, the 'saving people thing' that Hermione was talking about!). To the point of being a bit obsessed, really. And I love how he stirs up all that ruckus with the Healers by refusing to comply with their orders and such. Harry never had much respect for authority and rules when it got in the way of his plans; hmmm, it's a graet thing that he's actually a pretty decent guy. Evil!Harry would be quite a formidable force, I must say.

The tough old nurse character was refreshing! I love how she dishes it straight to the guys, even though they're probably the real good ones this time. Aurors are usually such highly respected positions in the wizarding world, and to see differing opinions on them is always great. And I imagine being such highly-esteemed members of society, some of them (*cough Dawlish cough*) are bound to get a little full of themselves.

The scene with Teresa the Muggle was greatly disturbing. The way she spoke, referring to Jugson as Master...I'm not sure exactly what Jugson put her through, but it's kind of broken her. The way she speaks is almost like a house elf; it's very strange and very unsettling.

And FINALLY THAT MOMENT. The bit where Teresa reveals that Jugson turned her son into a dog. I was a bit disturbed at the dead dog in the previous chapter but I never, never thought it would actually have been a Transfigured human...a child, even. You know, you watch all the TV shows and everything, and they never ever kill the child, even for some pretty gory horror slasher thing. SOmehow, the children always escape. Not in this chapter. So I guess I got a huge shock at that. I must say, I kind of hate this Jugson bloke.

And you ended this chapter perfectly well with the final segment between Justin and Harry. I love their contrasting opinions, and how everything is shades of grey, the morality of certain actions. Harry's choice is pretty straightforward, pretty Harry-like, and that the truth is always the most important, and that people should not be kept in the dark, nor their rights to the truth denied. But Justin argues on more compassionate grounds, and it's pretty hard for the reader to even take a stance on this. I think this final bit increased the complexity of your fic by a great deal.

Excellent chapter, Dan! Incredibly disturbing, intense, and I hope you write more, soon!

-teh

Author's Response: Hi, there! Always a pleasure!

In my original plan, I was going to write this chapter from Ron's PoV, but then I used Ron for the last chapter. Justin seemed like a really interesting choice because he is a quiet guy, a muggle-born and he's not part of the Trio.

Poor Susan. You figure Ron has to be 8 inches taller and 40 or 50 pounds heavier. Not somebody you want to land on top of you. I think Justin's comparison was just based on the snoring, but now that you mention it...

Harry can't stop being Harry. He's determined to stop Jugson from hurting anyone else and he feels his chance slipping away. He's not a very good patient.

The nurse has seen it all in her time, and she has no patience for Ministry career-climbers who put their own selfish goals ahead of the welfare of her patients. She doesn't understand where Harry, Ron and Justin are coming from in the beginning, but she is willing to change her mind.

In every crime story, there has to be a victim. Teresa's encounter with Jugson has taken nearly everything from her and I thought Justin's reaction was pretty similar to what a lot of folks would feel. Like Harry and the old nurse point out, however, there are lots of valid reasons -- practical ones, philosophical ones, moral ones -- why it would be wrong to just take her past away and spare her the pain.

I'm glad that the disturbing aspects didn't disturb you too much. I think that stories about Death Eaters need to have that harsh edge to them, otherwise they're just not realistic.

Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #13, by TheHeirOfSlytherin Outrage

24th June 2014:
You killed me.

From the beginning, I think... First off, I love that this was in Justin's PoV. It feels like a fresh perspective on the case - he's a minor character, a Muggleborn, he sees things others may not have and can reveal things to the reader another couldn't. And he can see Harry for how he is instead of Harry telling us he's alright. I like Justin.

Harry is still just as stubborn as ever. This: When you were dealing with Harry Potter, it was often ironic what counted as your best hope. - if Harry had a poster that would be the slogan. Sometimes you really just need for things to not go right - the woman not being awake - to sit Harry down and make him wait. God love him, but he makes things difficult for himself. Thankfully, Ron and Justin are there to help. Mostly Justin, since Ron was hurt, too.

I kinda like the nurse, can see where she's coming from. I can imagine it being a horrible day when a victim comes in and all the Auror wants to do is catch the bad guy, not thinking of what the victim has actually gone through. But my favorite team are not like that!

That poor woman - Teresa. To have all those things happen to her and know what's doing it, to have to be charmed not to notice the missing hand, and then to find out about her son. Reading about a dead dog made me want to cry, now I know it's a little boy and... Dead. I'm dead inside.

I hate Jugson. He needs to die now. Horribly.

I am angry along with Harry and the others and I need more because this is awesome!

Sam.

P.S. I read your response to my last review and forgive the scarily high levels of excitement, but I think it's necessary - THERE'A A POST-COB SHORT STORY COLLECTION??? BEST NEWS EVER!!!

Author's Response: Oops, I killed Sam. :(

Sorry about that. This chapter had to have a lot of impact to pave the way for what comes next. That's about all I can say about that.

This chapter was originally going to be from Ron's PoV, but then I used Ron for the last chapter. I'm really glad you liked Justin because I liked him for most of the same reasons. You really never see anything from his PoV, and it's quite a unique one: an upper-class muggle-born Hufflepuff from a lace curtain home in the suburbs. That's how I imagine him, anyway.

Harry can be pretty single-minded. He's gotten over the guilt complex by this point in his life, but the way he keeps it at bay is by feeling that he needs to be fighting back against those forces of darkness *constantly*. He's definitely on a track toward burn-out, but don't worry. Ginny's working on it. ;)

The nurse comes by her opinion of Aurors quite honestly. Imagine the likes of Dawlish, waltzing into the hospital, dripping self-importance, demanding to speak to severely injured patients "by the authority of the Minister of Magic".

Teresa... yeah. I guess every good cops-and-robbers story needs a victim. She's a classic case of wrong place, wrong time.

I think we can all agree that Jugson needs to die a slow death. Will he? Tune in next time!

I've already got two short stories roughed out for the post-CoB short story collection. Tentative title: Blood Stains. Coming soon, I hope.

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing! Oh, and sorry about killing you. ;)


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Review #14, by roisin Malice

23rd June 2014:
Teufelshunde! Devil dog! Love it.

What an incredibly tense and compelling start. This was fun, because we all know HP super well, yet you managed to lend mystery to the introduction. Your pacing and reveals were brilliant, and your command of dramatic irony was really fun. "An Auror and a pair of school children"--I took that pair to be Harry and another DA member.

Imperio never really got as much disturbing play as the other Unforgivable Curses in the books, but you make a really good case for it here. The sadism you described was really well-realized, and truly upsetting.

I felt like there was one too many spaces between paragraphs, but it was consistent, so it didn't distract.

Also, I really liked some of the more nuanced points about a post-war society; borders closing and all that.

I definitely cringed at the sexual asault moments, but I mean, one SHOULD cringe. I almost think that you could have gotten the nastiness of the character across with less, but I might just be being a pansy.

But, on a super positive note, no errors jumped out at me. The formatting was consistent, your tense stayed firmly in place, and either your grammar/spelling was perfect, or I was too taken up in the story to notice (so, good on you either way).

Also, I really enjoyed that you kept the minute countdown as a theme.

Great start!
-Roisin

("asault"--silly bot thought my correct spelling was naughty)

Author's Response: Hi, there!

I think you're the first person to get the meaning of Kaspar's last name. Definitely the first one to comment on it. Thanks for noticing!

This chapter was a bit of an experiment for me. I wanted to try dropping the reader into a situation where they would recognize nothing from the books and then gradually flesh out the date and the setting using Kaspar's thoughts. I didn't have anyone specific in mind for the Auror and pair of school children. Just one of the Aurors who arrives after Voldemort's death and two of the defenders of Hogwarts.

Not that I set out to upset anyone, but I'm glad you found Kaspar's casual sadism made an impact.

I got in the habit of throwing that extra blank line between my paragraphs because I find, at least for me, that spacing the page out a bit more makes a story easier for the eyes to follow.

Yeah, Kaspar does some pretty cringe-worth things in this. They don't quite come through to their most horrible conclusion, but only because the Aurors intervene.

I'm glad you didn't see any errors. I will be sure to send extra cupcakes to my beta reader!

I'm really pleased that you enjoyed it! Thanks for the very detailed and thoughtful review!


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Review #15, by TheHeirOfSlytherin Wrath

22nd June 2014:
Dan!

I love love LOVE the group. The way you write them, they work so well together and it's awesome. They're the ultimate crime fighting team! Things are weird when I don't see them together in other stories. :P

Susan is awesome. I'm sure I said that in Conspiracy of Blood, but I'm saying it again. She's awesome. And freaking scary sometimes. Ron is right to consider her the exception. I wouldn't want to cross her.

This informant. Is a she. I wonder who... *intrigued*

Ah, the action! I love the planning that goes into it, the things they do individually and as a group. That they can work so efficiently and quickly together, knowing what to do - because, yeah, actual planning doesn't really work with Harry Potter. :D

The doggy. ;(

:O It's a trap! Did the informant betray them??? Enquiring minds want to know! This is so amazing to read! When things go wrong, you know you're in for an awesome story!

Was the informant Bizzy? Oh no, poor Bizzy. ;(

I loved this so much, it was so awesome and amazing and great! I cannot wait for more!

Sam.

Author's Response: Hi, Sam!

I'm really glad you like the group because I've become very enamored with them as well. They've pretty much become my core head canon as to which D.A. members became Aurors in the immediate aftermath of the war. With the exception of Neville, that head canon carried right on through to CoB. ;)

Susan is my favorite. I cannot discuss this rationally because I like her that much. I'm hoping to do more fun things with her, both in my post-CoB short story collection and in this series.

I think working with Harry is all about "planning on the fly". Or as we liked to say at the startup company I used to work at: "putting the airplane together after you've already taken off." How do those things stay up? ;)

Harry's convinced that their informant didn't betray them, but you'll soon see. Your guess as to her identity is pretty good.

I'm very pleased that you liked it. The next chapter is at a relatively advanced stage of beta reading, so hopefully soon! Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #16, by lindslo2012 Wrath

16th June 2014:
Hi there!
Here for another requested review!
Wow, this was just an amazing chapter and so full of stuff that kept my eyes completely glued to the page. I felt like I was reading a chapter from JKR herself you write so dang well!
I liked the beginning a lot. That is so like Ron to joke like that in a serious situation even if it was a bit immature, it was quite hilarious. I thought it was pretty cool that all of the people from the DA are basically together again as being an Auror. it made me happy to see how well the department seems to be going with them as well.
When you started talking about the mission they were about to go on I was so into it with all the amazing detail that you put into the situation. I want to know more immediately and want to see what happens.
I think that my favorite part is when they went to the man's house and the house-elf made him dissapear and then she was free. Wow, how did your mind come up with such an interesting and awesome plot? I loved it and I hope that you have more chapters to come after this. Good job!!!
Until next time,
-Lindsey

Author's Response: Hi, Lindsey! Always a pleasure to hear from you!

I'm glad the chapter kept you engaged. This one started off a bit slow and then picked up sharply near the end. Wow, that's a very kind thing for you to say! I really appreciate it!

Immaturity, thy name is Ron. On a more serious note, I was trying not to lose sight of the fact that all of the former D.A. members are only 21 years old. Even if they have seen and survived a lot, I don't think they should act like they're already middle-aged.

The mission was classic Harry: find out that something needs to be done when it's almost too late and then improvise on the fly. I'm glad you liked the details. I tried hard to make sure I was describing everything adequately.

I wanted poor Bizzy to serve as a tragic reminder of how cruel and merciless Jugson can be. All he had to do was order the elf to stop helping Harry and she would have had no choice but to comply. Instead he mortally injured her and sent her back to the house in Sussex, assuming that the Ministry would find her body along with all the others. The irony of the way she found her "freedom" also made an impact, I hope.

I'm ever so pleased you enjoyed it! Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #17, by teh tarik Wrath

15th June 2014:
Hey Dan!

I'm back for the second chapter, so glad to see that this was updated so quickly!

So, I think you just upped the intensity of this fic by ten times. This was one riveting chapter, and just about everything kept making my jaw fall off. Susan Bones as Mary Goldsmith was awesome. I love what the ex-DA members have done now, how organised they are; they're part of the Ministry, but also somehow separate from it, mainly because the older, more senior Aurors don't seem to take to their presence well - probably resentful that they had to endure test after test in order to become trained Aurors, while this bunch of young 'uns simply join a club in school and now work the most challenging operations. Dawlish's anger really took me by surprise.

And it's great to see you preserve canon characterisations so well. Ron being his immature self, asking Susan insensitive questions, and giggling about the whole 'booby trap' thing - exactly the Ron that we all know. :)

The scene with the team at Jugson's house was amazingly well-written. Your action scenes, holy crap, they're so tensely written, and so methodical. I could really see them all taking over the Apparition point, arriving at Jugson's place and scoping the house, and setting up all their jinxes and taking out the wards...right until that horrific scene in the baby's room. Jugson was quite a terrifying figure, and he's much worse than Kaspar because he's actually cunning. The way he manipulated events, used his own house elf, and the way he ruthlessly used that Muggle woman. I have no idea what happened the baby...but somehow, when you wrote that Harry found things 'personal', I sort of thought that Jugson might have set up the whole scene to taunt Harry, specifically, given the latter's past.

Severing that woman's hand was completely unexpected. Harry didn't even hesitate in his decision; it's a lifesaver for everyone, but it's also a little chilling. I guess he would have been hardened by the whole wizarding war, and I see now why he's such an efficient leader, and why the group has so much success in their operations.

I'm also guessing that poor Bizzy is the informant. :(

I can't wait for the next chapter! I'm loving how this story's turning out, and I'm excited to read further.

-teh

Author's Response: teh! What up?

I can't imagine a story about Aurors not being intense. Sure, they probably do boring stuff like analyze crime scenes and fill out paperwork sometimes, but who wants to read about that? ;)

The former D.A. members took Kingsley up on his offer to joining the Auror Department without their N.E.W.T.s, but they quickly became disenchanted (no pun intended) with the lack of focus on capturing the fugitive Death Eaters and other war criminals. After a year or two of being stone-walled by the likes of Robards, Dawlish and Cornfoot, they went to Kingsley with a plan to take matters into their own hands. That's how I like to think of things, anyhow.

Ron can't stop being Ron, I'm afraid. There will always be a part of the boy who tried to discuss Uranus with Lavender in Divination.

I really appreciate all of the kind words about the scene in Jugson's hideout. It was a lot of fun to write, although it was a little challenging to find the right tone for it. I was waffling back and forth between having them rampage through the house, stunning everything they saw as opposed to trying to sneak up on Jugson. I think I ended up somewhere closer to the latter.

The scene in the child's room was very personal for Harry. I'm sure it reminded him a lot of the destroyed nursery in Godric's Hollow.

I don't know where I got the inspiration to have Harry cut the woman's hand off, but I kind of like the effect. Harry is older now than he was in the books, when he thought he could always protect everyone and keep them unharmed. He understands that when you're dealing with ruthless enemies, you have to make hard choices.

You'll find out for sure about poor Bizzy in the next chapter, but your insight is basically correct.

I'm working through the next chapter now. They get harder and harder to write, I'm afraid. Soon, I hope!

Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #18, by lindslo2012 Malice

10th June 2014:
Hello there,
Here for your requested review!
I was hooked from the very beginning and felt a little bit of fear too while I read it. This Kaspar man is evil and deserves to be in prison with the rest of the Death Eaters. I felt bad for the poor girl who came with the clipboard... I mean gee, she really might have just wanted the owner of the house to answer a few questions. That is why I don't have a job like that- so I never run into a Death Eater at a random person's house. Joking of course but I thought it was kind of funny.
As usual, your chapter had a very clear plot and very good detail.
I always enjoy a story with alot of detail because I can always get more into it that way and I understand the story alot more than I would with less detail.
It was sick of him to make the poor girl do what she did but I am glad that in the end she got him back.
I am curious to see how the DA members (now Aurors) are up to in your story- so that means you have to come back and re-request! I think this story is going to be really good and I can't wait to read more. As usual, wonderful job!!!
Until next time,
-Lindsey

Author's Response: Hi, there!

So to be honest, I'm having this odd feeling of remorse where Kaspar is concerned. I really did put quite a bit of thought into him. I tweaked and rewrote parts of his inner monologue a few times to try to make him as amoral and menacing as possible. I'm quite happy with the outcome, but here's the thing: he's done. He spends the rest of the story in a Ministry holding cell. It feels like kind of a waste. Still, I'm glad he worked for you as an antagonist.

Details, details, details. I'm a huge believer that they go a long way toward selling a story by helping the reader immerse. Very glad you feel that way.

Oh, she gets him back with a vengeance. I think you'll enjoy the next chapter if that's what you want to see. In fact, I think I'll go re-request. :)

Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #19, by Veritaserum27 Wrath

6th June 2014:
Hello!

Saw this was posted and I had to read it before bed!

There is much to talk about in this chapter! Finally we get to see Harry and Ron. And several others. It was so great to see all of the old DA gang back together again! I felt so nostalgic seeing Terry, Susan, Neville and the others.

But, I can see how the aurors are not taking it well. I mean, it is their job to catch the death eaters and here comes a bunch of punk kids taking over. Sounds like a recipe for disaster down the line. I can see the senior aurors resenting how this group of kids got to skip over all the required training and get a free pass to fight bad guys.

So, I am really, REALLY hoping that nothing happened to little Donny. I'm not thrilled that the dog was murdered, but I don't think I could handle that with the kid.

I really liked your descriptions of how Harry runs his group of death hunters. Not much time to make plans. You've characterized Harry really well here, he doesn't like to be the leader, but he accepts it. He feels a duty to rid the world of the remaining death eaters, who pose a threat to both muggles and wizards alike.

Poor, poor Bizzy. I think she was Harry's informant. I may be going for the obvious here, but it seemed like she was the one who led the death hunters to that house.

I did find one technical error (I think). In the very first part, where Neville is examining the broken wine bottle portkey, the last sentence reads After noting the pattern and colors of the flashes of light, he dropping it into an evidence bag. I think you might mean "dropped" instead of "dropping." Not sure.

I really like that this was written as Ron's POV. It was a good way to tell this part of the story, especially because he and Harry are so close.

You left us with some seriously wounded death hunters. I hope that Harry and Ron aren't too hurt!

Great chapter. Looking forward to the next one!

Author's Response: Hi, Beth! I am so determined to knock out these unanswered reviews today. You know, so I can then stare at the zero obsessively for a few days, refreshing the page often. ;)

Bringing members of the D.A. back together in the post-war Auror department has always been something I enjoy. Harry and Ron were obvious from canon, and Neville was also supposed to have spent some time with the Aurors before returning to Hogwarts to teach. Susan, Justin and Terry were characters I picked because I felt like they balanced out the team. Not everyone can be a headstrong, daredevil Gryffindor.

Nope the remaining senior Aurors from before the war don't take it well at all. As far as they're concerned, Harry and his team have had life handed to them on a silver platter. Strange how they manage to overlook that whole "surviving Voldemort and his Death Eaters" thing. It's a convenient oversight for them, however. Being an Auror is a very prestigious job and the Auror Department has seen more than its fair share of past members ascend to the Minister's office. I'm sure they hate the idea of being leap-frogged by these kids who haven't "paid their dues".

So Donny... yeah, more on him later.

I think Harry is very used to running things by the seat of his pants. Not that they don't make the most of the opportunity to train and plan when it's there, but when they get a hot lead on a fugitive, they have to move fast.

I felt awful doing that to poor Bizzy, but in the end death made her happier than the life she was living. You're correct that she was the informant. That gets covered a bit in the next chapter.

Thanks for pointing out that typo! I'll get that cleaned up.

I'm trying to save Harry's PoV for the last chapter. I think it will make the biggest impact there.

You'll find out soon what kind of shape Ron and Harry are in. Obviously they're not dead, because that would pretty much mean the end of the story. ;)

Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #20, by teh tarik Malice

3rd June 2014:
Holy wow, Dan. What a beginning!

It's been a long time since I read such a gripping first chapter. I love what you've done here: you've created a shockingly awful character, and you've expanded on canon stuff (the whole Durmstrang alumni supporting Voldemort and moving to the UK was brilliant), and you've also written some pretty terrific and suspenseful action moments. The whole twist with Mary Goldsmith just made my jaw drop, and before that, when I was reading about Kaspar Imperius-ing her to kneel and unbuttoning his pants and all that, I was cringing, preparing for the worst. Initially I was also a bit shocked that the Aurors would use an innocent Muggle as bait. But you took that moment, turned it on itself and make things so much more awesome. The Portkey wine bottle breaking into shards which still glow blue was inspired. Gah, I'm glad Kaspar got caught.

As mentioned earlier, I'm so pleased to see how much detail you've put in, in terms of expanding on the greater wizarding world. I'm always interested in reading about other countries in the wizarding world, and how Voldemort's reign in Britain would have affected them, if they were affected at all. And currently, I'm completely buying into your idea that Dark wizard supporters from other countries would have flocked to Britain to participate in the carnage.

I can't wait to read the next part of this! Your writing is gritty, fast, exciting and vivid; this was an absolute pleasure to read.

-teh

Author's Response: Hi, teh! It always makes my day when I see you stop by!

So based on the reviews so far, it seems as though many people like Kaspar better than some of characters that I **want** them to like. Fascinating... Maybe Kaspar needs his own short story. I basically just wanted him to be this brooding, dangerous, angry, amoral villain. Somebody that you could enjoy rooting against. Sadly, this is his last appearance. He spends the rest of the story in a Ministry holding cell.

Then there's Mary, my damsel-in-not-as-much-distress-as-it-might-seem. You'll find out who she is and why she was there very soon.

I'm not sure whether the broken portkey would have taken Kaspar back to Bavaria, but I think it would have taken him **somewhere**. Maybe about halfway across the English Channel. That seems like a good spot to me. ;)

I always feel like a story needs a lot of detail if you're going to sell the premise effectively. The reader needs to be right there, in the thick of things, side by side with the characters.

Chapter two is up! I'm looking forward to seeing what you think. Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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Review #21, by Veritaserum27 Malice

3rd June 2014:
Hi Dan!

I know I'm in the middle of Detox, but I hope you don't mind that I just HAD to read this, too!

Great job, as usual. Your depictions of the scenes are so detailed, I felt like I was there. How do you do it?

I'd like to congratulate you on your original character. Kaspar is one scary dude. He seems to be more evil and morally corrupt than your average death eater. Most of the British death eaters are muggle-haters, but they seem to feel the need to maintain a sense of decorum. Kaspar does not. Murder, rape, unforgivable curses - he uses these for entertainment purposes. And, at this point, he has nothing to lose. All of that adds up to one dangerous villain.

So, Mary was in on the whole thing, but I'm not sure if she is a muggle who works with the auror department to collaborate in catching wizards who are dangerous to both muggle and wizard society OR if she is an auror in disguise (polyjuice potion?). I am thinking that a wizard like Kaspar would have been able to reveal her as magical. Either way, I am curious as to how she was able to shake off (or completely avoid) the imperious curse. Very, very curious.

I liked the way you had the countdown running in Kaspar's head. It added to the anticipation of the scene. At the end of it all, I was cheering for the good guys - they got their man! However, I am sure that you have much more in store for us. It is never that easy.

Loved it!

Beth

Author's Response: Hey, there! I'm happy to see you stop by!

If I have a secret -- and I don't feel like I do, but here goes... -- it would be spending a lot of time trying to imagine myself describing the scene to someone who was interested but wasn't there. What would they need to know to get a picture in their head? What details would be important to capture the moment and get the important facts across?

I love hearing you say that about Kaspar, but in an odd way it also makes me feel a little bad. This is Kaspar's only appearance. I enjoyed coming up with him and fleshing out all of his little evil details and now he's done. It feels like kind of a waste. Maybe he needs his own one-shot or something.

Mary was indeed in on the whole thing and you'll find out the rest of her story in the next chapter. Don't assume too much about her until you read on, I guess. All will be revealed. ;)

I thought the running countdown was something that would stick with Kaspar. He was so close to getting away. So close...

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


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Review #22, by Remus Malice

3rd June 2014:
Dan!! :D

I'm very excited to read this!! You were my inspiration to write Plot of Power so it's exciting to see a new Post-Hogwarts fic from you!! Maybe it'll motivate me to write chapter 5 today!

Let's get this review started, no? :D

Kaspar Teufelshunde--How did you think of that name...?

Why would the Aurors use muggles as bait? Cops would get in trouble for using civilians, for putting their lives in danger. How did the Aurors get away with it?

Wait, gah! That was brilliantly played! Mary Goldsmith was in on it and is an Auror. How did she do it? How did she break away from the curse? Was she faking it the whole time? So many questions by this point!

Kaspar seems like a very nasty fellow. I do like, however, his personality. When it comes to OCs they can be boring and very Gary/Mary-Stu. Even when they're evil like Kaspar. You, however, managed to make him a very interesting man. I'm not even a little bit surprised. It's you! What I like the most about him is that he has no qualms about killing anyone. Even when it's not necessary. He even goes beyond the killing and makes it a show. An overkill. Yeah, I know that it's weird that I like that in a character but that's what makes them interesting. Darker and more complex when it comes to the brain and train of thoughts.

I was hoping to see Harry in here but alas! Now I have to wait for the next chapter to see him. How far along is this after the war? Are we going to see my favorite pairing (Astoria/Draco)?

As you can see, I'm uber excited about this. *flails* And I can't wait to see where this is going.

As always, a wonderful read Dan!

Until next time!

--Rosie

Author's Response: Hi, Rosie! Thanks for stopping by!

I think I did some google translating to put Kaspar's last name together, but I'm rather embarrassed to say that I don't remember what it was supposed to mean. I know it made good sense at the time! ;)

You'll find out all about "Mary Goldsmith" in the next chapter. You're correct that she was not what she seemed.

I'm really pleased that you thought Kaspar had depth. It almost feels like a waste, because this is his only appearance in the story. He spends the rest of it in a Ministry holding cell. He is something of an artisan when it comes to killing. Those Durmstrang boys...

You'll see Harry in the next chapter, in all his Harry-ness. Draco and Astoria won't be appearing in this story. It's set about three years after the Dark Lord's death, so assume that they're happily married and Astoria is well on the way to curing him of the wickedness he used to allow into his life.

I'm planning on having the next chapter up in about a week. It's already written and mostly edited. I'd post it sooner, but then the wait for chapter 3 would seem long by comparison. ;)

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!


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Review #23, by TheHeirOfSlytherin Malice

3rd June 2014:
Hey!!!

Action and bad guys and Aurors - my favorite kind of story (along with horror). And you always write it awesomely! I was so happy to see that this was posted! :D

Kaspar is a... very bad person (12+ rule, man!), he's... bloodthirsty. Ready to kill at a seconds notice. It's a little scary. Fun to read, though, so much fun. He's certainly an interesting character. Will there be more of him? You know, I was rooting for him to escape. Just to see what the Aurors would do... because he (rightly) shouldn't have.

Mary was a surprise at the end. So she was a witch?

I can't wait to read more! It's gonna be awesome, I can tell. :D

Sam.

Author's Response: Ah, Kaspar! Sometimes it feels like a waste to come up with a character like Kaspar and know you're only going to use him for a single chapter, but that is his fate, I'm afraid. He's served his purpose.

Mary? You'll find out in the very next chapter, which is already written and mostly edited. I promise I won't make you wait *too* long, but I'd also like to get chapter 3 in halfway decent shape before I post chapter 2. Decisions, decisions...

Thanks so much for the love! I always love hearing from you.

-Dan


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