Reading Reviews for Guilt.
10 Reviews Found

Review #1, by TreacleTart Recovering.

18th August 2015:
Hi Margaret!

Here for our review swap!

Since I read the first chapter of this quite awhile back and left a review as LastMinuteLuna, I figured I'd come back and give chapter two a read.

Poor Demelza is just beating herself up so badly over this. It's frustrating because I doubt that anyone actually believes her a bad person and on top of it, I'm sure there are plenty of other students in the school who were forced to do awful things by the Carrows. Surely, there are plenty of people that understand, but Demelza is just too convinced that she's awful to see it.

I'm so glad that Ginny is there to help her through all of this. Madame Pomfrey is right. Demelza needs someone to talk her traumas over with and the only person she seems to trust at the moment is Ginny. Hopefully, Ginny can encourage her to keep talking about it little by little.

I really liked your choice of using Demelza for this. I think that natural Gryffindor nature in her would make her feel even worse about everything that happened than others might. Since she's a Gryffie she's supposed to be brave and a huge amount of resistance came from that particular house, so it must be tough for her seeing all of these heroes and knowing that she didn't live up to that.

I liked that at the end she finally went back to the Quidditch team. She really does need to find something she loves and start getting back into the swing of things. I think it will really be good for her in the end.

All in all, I think this is a good analysis of how personality types play into trauma and how one's decision's affects them down the road.

Good work!


Author's Response: Thanks for the review. I'm glad you liked this story enough to come back to it.

And yes, I'm sure many people protected themselves at the expense of others - it's pretty normal - but the Gryffindors do seem rather invested in courage to the point that they almost equate it with morality. There seems to be more disdain for Peter Pettigrew betraying his friends out of fear than there is for people like Lucius Malfoy who truly enjoyed hurting others. And she's comparing herself to Harry, Hermione, Ron, Neville, Ginny, Seamus and the others who put themselves at so much risk to oppose the Carrows.

Thanks again for the review.

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Review #2, by LastMinuteLuna Guilt.

5th June 2015:
Hello! Hello!

I'm LastMinuteLuna and I'm dropping by to leave you a review for the Pass It Along Challenge! I know. I know. It's awfully close to the deadline. I am cutting it quite close, but they don't call me LastMinuteLuna for nothing!

But enough about me. Let's talk about your fabulous story!

I was immediately intrigued by this upon seeing Demelza's name in the summary. She's such a minor character that you almost forget she even existed, so there's a ton of potential to create a story for her. I was excited to see what you would do.

I think this was a really good example of how was affects people, particularly people so young. It's so heartbreaking to see how Demelza breaks down and blames herself. It just shows that she is actually a good person inside because she just feels this overwhelming survivors guilt. It was hard to read at times, but quite well done.

It was a good thing that Ginny showed up to help because otherwise Demelza might have laid on that floor sobbing for a long time. I think the type of strength Ginny can offer her would really help.

Uh oh! Times up. I have to run. I've got a few more reviews to leave and the deadline is approaching! Thanks for such a haunting story!


Author's Response: Hey. Thank you so much for the review. Really glad you enjoyed the story.

I wanted to write a story about somebody who hadn't opposed the Carrows during their year in command, because realistically, most people weren't that likely to and I wanted to explore the guilt people would feel at having been forced to torture friends and so on, so I went looking for a character who wasn't specified as having taken part in the Battle of Hogwarts or being a member of the DA. And I wanted a Gryffindor, since that house seems to almost equate courage with morality, which would add to the pressure on somebody who hadn't acted with courage. And the fact she was on the Quidditch team when Ginny was captain gave Ginny a reason to feel responsible for her.

Hope you get through all the stories you have to review and thanks again.

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Review #3, by Crumple-Horned Snorkack Recovering.

16th April 2015:
Greetings! I am the Crumple-Horned Snorkack, and while I usually can be found (or, rather, not found) in the wild northern forest, today I have ventured out to drop a review for you!

This was a really wonderful story, and I think you handled its rather heavy themes very well. Demelza felt so real to me (whether or not she thinks I'm real) in that it seemed perfectly natural, and probably expected, that a teenager who was forced to hurt her fellow students would suffer some serious PTSD. And the way you handled the writing of PTSD was good - even after she'd admitted to herself that she shouldn't punish herself for it, it took a long time for her to recover and really get heraelf back to normal, and even at then end ahe's still dealing with it. So well done on giving her struggles the gravity they deserve.

I loved the way you wrote Ginny and Hermione, too - they were both wonderfully in character, and I loved Ginny's persistence with Demelza, not just as her team captain, but as a friend. And Hermione - although she does not know everything (she is convinced I don't exist!), her knowledge and research about trauma and psychology seemed a good, solid comfort to Demelza, that her reaction was normal, and that everyone suffered in different ways.

In the end I like that it was Quidditch that really gave Demelza her first step to normalcy again, as she has something she loves to occupy her time and her mind. I'm glad she decided to play again. Oh, and I loved that line from Ginny, about how she wants to win and then throw a huge party, for Fred. It is just another reminder of how many people have been affected in various ways by all that's happened, and in Ginny's case, she still thinks about it a lot, but has accepted his death and is moving forward in the way he would have liked. (Talking of Fred, his ghost lurks around the forest sometimes and is an absolute menace. He decorated my crumply horns with Christmas lights this year. Ugh.)

My digression aside, this really was a great fic, and you did such justice to the characters, both minor and major, as well as the topic of PTSD. Wonderfully written.

Author's Response: Thank you so much for slipping out of your usual hiding places to review and review this story.

I'm glad you liked the story and thought it dealt well with the issues, as they are pretty serious ones and ones I would like to get right.

I have a love of stories where the ends aren't all completely tied up and very few of my stories, if any, end with everything solved neatly and everybody living happily ever after, because life doesn't work that way. There isn't one day when somebody recovers from a trauma or when a couple sort out all their difficulties and never again have another argument or whatever. And in this case, Demelza really does have a lot to come to terms with and it may take years before she completely does, but yeah, she's made some good steps towards recovery here and has at least realised she needs to try and move on with her life, even if she's still anxious and uncertain about doing so.

I'm glad you think I kept Ginny and Hermione in character. I generally tend to write about OCs or minor characters (Rose, Albus, Demelza, Susan Bones, Petunia, Barty Crouch Jr.). I think I have maybe two or three stories out of the 25ish fanfictions I've written that focus on the trio, so it's good to know I can get them right.

And yes, I wanted to make it clear Ginny was still suffering too. Although she, and Hermione, have coped really well, and are finding it easier than Demelza is to move forward, they still do have their own issues to deal with. Ginny also spent a year fearing torture, seeing friends tortured and also worrying about her brother and boyfriend, knowing that wherever they were, they were probably taking major risk, she took part in a battle in which her brother was killed and she also has to live with the fact it's only sheer luck she didn't kill somebody, or even numerous people, when she was enchanted by Voldemort. All of that is bound to play on her mind sometimes.

I'm not at all surprised Fred still hangs around as a ghost. I can easily imagine him thinking our world offers more opportunity for fun and pranks than the next one or hanging on to help George out in the shop, insisting he invent this, that or the other.

Sorry to hear he's such a nuisance, though it doesn't exactly surprise me.

Thank you so much for your review. And I'm now wondering if the fact you seem to know a little about PTSD may be a clue to your identity and to discovering your hiding place.

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Review #4, by BookDinosaur Recovering.

1st April 2015:
Hello again!

Well, this was amazing. I absolutely love the way that you portray anxiety and PTSD here, because I definitely think that Demelza has a little bit of both along with her survivor's guilt and it's all just really well written, you're such an amazing author. ♥

Oh, before I forget, I spotted a small mistake in the first chapter - Ginny said something about some people working under 'Thickness' when I'm pretty sure his name has an 'e' on the end so that it's 'Thicknesse'.

Ugh, I just love how you've portrayed Demelza in this chapter! She's slowly coming to terms with the fact that she's entitled to help and support and that she doesn't have to blame herself for everything, but the way that you write it, so gradual and slow, makes it so much more realistic than if she'd just taken a potion and been all better. Emotional scars like that don't just fade away overnight and you did a fabulous job showing the audience that. As you said in the Valentine's Day debate sometimes authors will have characters fall in love and then their emotional issues just become totally irrelevant to the story, which can be pleasant and sweet occasionally but most of the time is just really, really unrealistic. I'm so glad you decided not to take the easy way out with this because it just adds so much more to the story to know that Demelza is struggling to get her life back to normal, just like everybody else who suffered during the war.

Oh, and I absolutely love how you portrayed Ginny and Hermione in this as well! I mean, I'm far too scared to attempt to write them, even as minor characters in a story but I think you really nailed their characterisation here. Ginny is really sweet, trying to help as much as she can but not quite sure about the boundaries and always asking whether what she's doing is alright and checking with Madam Pomfrey, which I found incredibly sweet. And of course, Hermione had read up about trauma and what Demelza might be going through, but you kind of tempered that bookishness by also portraying her as really caring and forgiving, even when Demelza thought that she didn't deserve the care or forgiveness.

Quidditch is a beautiful way for Demelza to get herself back together, I think. :) Something she enjoys, and was good enough to get on the team for - that's perfect, using something familiar and comforting as a way to get herself back up again, and of course I loved the little mention of Ginny as captain, hahaha. She might be nice now, but I bet she got really competitive when the season started. :P

Anyway, this was a really beautiful piece and I'm so glad I read it. Thanks so much for the amazing read!

Easter Gift Tag Review

Author's Response: Yes, I definitely think Demelza is suffering PTSD and survivor's guilt.

And thanks for the correction. I've fixed that now, along with one or two other little issues I came across as I looked back through it.

People just taking a potion or falling in love and being instantly cured of all their issues never strikes me as very interesting. I like to make my characters WORK for their happy endings. And I don't like to make issues just disappear. I think knowing you tortured somebody to protect yourself is something that would always cause you some degree of guilt, even if realistically, if she hadn't, the Carrows would have done it themselves and probably done worse.

I find Hermione hard to write in the immediate aftermath of the war, because she was pretty severely tortured and it seems unlikely she'd just walk away from that with no issues, but in canon, she does seem to cope pretty well, so I added in a few hints - her comment about so many of them dealing with some degree of trauma symptoms and her comment that she was dealing with things better than Demelza had - to indicate she has experienced some level of trauma symptoms, but that it's relatively mild and she's working through it, probably by concentrating on her studies.

And of course, Hermione is going to respond to feeling stressed or anxious or experiencing nightmares or trying to comfort classmates dealing with those experiences by going to the library and researching it. That's what Hermione does.

As well as the similarities between their characters, I also felt Ginny'd feel a certain degree of protectiveness towards or responsibility for, Demelza, as she is her team captain. And as the youngest in a large family, and somebody who seems rather irritated by the way her older brothers sometimes baby and overprotect her, I can well imagine her taking the role of big sister with younger teammates.

Again thank you so, so much for these reviews.

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Review #5, by BookDinosaur Guilt.

1st April 2015:
Hello again!

Oh my word, you never fail to write something so amazing that I just become further and further in awe of you and your mad writing skills. This is so amazing!

Ugh, I love love love post-war angst and this is just simply amazing. I love how you focused this on Demelza, on a Gryffindor who did something cowardly and now just hates herself for it so, so much. Her reaction to this is so realistic, you know, and I think it's just made all the more powerful by the fact that she's a Gryffindor and can't really forgive herself for that one cowardly act.

It just broke my heart when she kept reiterating to herself, again and again, that she didn't deserve any help, how she'd caused others pain and thus she deserved to have that pain inflicted on her. It's just - it's such a realistic way to think, and the thought process is almost shocking in how logical it is. The survivor's guilt that Demelza is going through is so, so realistic and believable and I love it so much. Honestly, I can't even begin to imagine what they all must have gone through, and they were all so young and the choices that they were forced to make, between conforming and being allowed to go on or rebelling and being tortured themselves - it's such a horrible, difficult choice, and I can't imagine the repercussions that it must have had on the students. I have far too many feels for Hogwarts students.

Oh, and the poor boy! Like, yes, I know the story is having us sympathise with Demelza, but just imagine, to that poor boy she must have been such a monster and just gah, that's so sad.

I adore how Ginny was the one to break through Demelza's shell and get her to go seek help, even if she was a bit unwilling - I think that a lot of authors actually gloss over the Baslisk incident and how it must have affected Ginny, and so to have the two girls bond a bit over their terrible experiences really is amazing. Ginny's such a strong character, and I think you did an amazing job showing that, especially through Demelza's eyes. I think it must have been really difficult for all the Hogwarts students, actually; because of course, they have Harry Potter and Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger and Ginny Weasley and Neville Longbottom to compare themselves to, and the fact of it is that there aren't many people capable of the heroics of the trio, or Neville, or Ginny, and the comparisons can be really damaging to their self-esteem. Sorry, off topic. :P

Anyway, this was a simply amazing piece and a brilliant first chapter that dealt with sensitive issues really well, and I keep saying this but I'm so glad that I had the chance to read it!

Easter Gift Tag Review

Author's Response: Thank you so, so much for these reviews. I don't know if I've ever before woken up to find FIVE new reviews. And then for them to be such awesomely long and detailed ones. I don't even know what to say. They're utterly amazing. Thank you SO much.

I'm really glad you liked this story. I always felt there must have been more people in the wizarding world who didn't stand up to the Death Eaters. After all, in the real world, the people who stand up to evil at the risk of their lives are rather a minority. Yet, with the exception of Xenophilius Lovegood, pretty much anybody who doesn't act extremely courageously in the Harry Potter books is a morally dubious character, like Fudge or Slughorn. And even Slughorn shows courage in the end.

So I wanted to write about the guilt that would result from not being able to stand up to evil that you KNEW was causing dreadful things to happen to those around you. And I decided it should be a Gryffindor, because they are so invested in being courageous that failing to show courage would probably be something they'd find it hard to forgive themselves for. It seems like Gryffindors almost equate courage with morality.

And yeah, that poor kid. Even if he knows, logically, that she probably didn't have that much choice in what she did, seeing her is bound to bring back bad memories for him and he's bound to fear her.

I wanted her to have really done something bad, something she couldn't be easily reassured wasn't her fault.

There was a hint in Order of the Phoenix that the Basilisk issue affected Ginny more severely than she lets on, and really how could it not? It was amazing luck there weren't numerous deaths. Apart from Hermione and Penelope, everybody else who was attacked only survived by coincidences. And to go through life, knowing it's only sheer luck you didn't kill numerous people, even if it was under enchantment...I'd imagine that would have quite an effect on you.

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Review #6, by marauderfan Guilt.

10th January 2015:
Here for our review swap! Sorry I'm so slow :p

This was really good. I love your writing style and how well you covered Demelza's survivor's guilt and all that came along with it. It's especially cool that you chose a Gryffindor, as the way she views her own behaviour during the war is at odds with the ideal Gryffindor traits, and the fact that she's constantly comparing and finding herself lacking is just that much more powerful and emotional.

I find it so realistic that someone of her age would be suffering like this though, because she was young during the war - really, I can't even imagine being a teenager trying to fight in a violent battle and living every day with the choice of either doing horrible things people tell you to do, or standing out and being tortured because of it. It's such a difficult situation and you really showed that here, all that she had to go through, even if it wasn't on as grand of a scale as her older classmates. Ginny was absolutely right when she pointed out that Demelza had suffered just as much as anyone because of the emotional torture.

I love that Ginny is the one who eventually gets through to her and makes her seek help. Because as much as Demelza compares herself to the heroic things Ginny has done, I'd almost forgotten about Ginny being possessed by Voldemort and releasing the basilisk and petrifying a bunch of students, and what a great reminder that even those who appear the strongest aren't always that way, and Ginny and Demelza do have a lot in common in terms of being forced to do something, in their various circumstances.

This is such a powerful opening chapter and I'm eager to know how it finishes. I think you dealt with the sensitive topics in this really well and it's an important look into how Hogwarts must have been after the war - I can't imagine Demelza is the only one like this.

Great work!

Author's Response: You're grand. Thank you so much for the review and for the compliments. I'm delighted you like my writing style.

I got the idea before I got a specific character and went looking for a Gryffindor who hadn't been mentioned as having been involved in the Battle of Hogwarts, as Gryffindors get very much defined by their courage and honestly, in the books, cowardice seems to be considered less forgivable than supporting evil of your own free will, so I think a Gryffindor would feel particularly bad if they failed to act sufficiently courageously. And I very much doubt a quarter of the school would be anxious to fight against the most dangerous Dark wizard alive or willing to subject themselves to torture.

Yeah, there was a hint in Order of the Phoenix that Ginny still had issues as a result of everything that had happened with Tom Riddle and the diary, which is hardly surprising, so I would imagine she'd understand how it felt to know you were forced into doing things that hurt other people.

Thank you so so much for this review and I hope you like the final chapter.

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Review #7, by Aphoride Guilt.

13th December 2014:
Hey there! :) So I love your darker stuff, and this just looked so fascinating - you know, the whole PTSD/trauma kinda thing, and emotions - so I couldn't resist dropping by :)

I love the fact that you used Demelza for this, and how you use the fact that she was a Gryffindor sort of to balance out the fear and the grief and the guilt and all the rest of it. I think it really helps with making it so obvious, you know, how she's suffering and that it's not necessarily a logical feeling and logical for her to want herself to suffer - like, she's so blinded by her own disgust for herself, she can't see why that happened, you know? It's just brilliant characterisation, really.

Your writing in this is so good, too - it's so evocative. It really brings all the emotions and things to light, and shows them without being glorifying or suggesting that she's right to feel bad; she just does, and there's this whole layer of concern from everyone else around her: Ginny and Professor Sprout and Madam Pomfrey. Your descriptions are so lovely, and her inner thoughts are so well written :)

The thing I really love about this is how you're dealing with such a difficult, sensitive subject - with the trauma and the PTSD and the guilty - and you handle it so well. Nothing is over done, or suggested that it's bad/good for Demelza to feel any certain way, she just does and you make it clear that it's not healthy, that it's bad for her to worry herself sick about this and stress over it, but there's no blame atributed, which is so important.

The comparisons with Ginny were great, too - I love how she holds herself up to people like Ginny and them, and feels she comes up short, especially because she's a Gryffindor. It's so sad, and really compounds the emotion.

I really love this story - it's a very heavy story, but I think you deal with it so well, and it's so beautiful despite that, with all the lovely description. It's really great; I'm so glad we swapped! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: My original idea for this story was to write about how being forced into torturing people and so on affected a character. And I thought that a Gryffindor would be give the story an extra dimension as Hogwarts students seem to get quite stereotyped by their house's traits and I can see people feeling under a lot of pressure to live up to the traits of their house, so a Gryffindor who didn't stand up to the Carrows might not only feel guilty about having tortured people, but also ashamed of not living up to the house they were placed in.

Glad you enjoyed the story. Thank you so much for an awesome review.

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Review #8, by The late Clarissa De Challes Recovering.

18th October 2014:

What? Why aren't you scared? Spoilsport. See, I'm pouting now.

Oh. Wait.

You can't see me. I'm a ghost. Sigh.

Well I thought the story was really amazing. Demelza was very strong, and I'm glad she was able to get better. Ginny was a superb influence on the younger girl, and you wrote her very in character with the books. I was disappointed that there were no deaths, but other than that I enjoyed it. The world needs more strong women in the world. I was perhaps, not the strongest woman that ever walked the earth but I lived in a time and a place where it was difficult to be.

I think I can relate to Demelza. I too was forced to do things that were wrong and worse, I enjoyed doing them. You brought many powerful images to my mind through your descriptions, which you wrote very well.

I'm afraid I cannot linger here much longer... Though I thank you for the chance to read this...

Clarissa De Challes

Author's Response: Thank you so, so much for this awesome review. And I am glad to see what people think of this as only one other person reviewed so far and I've added a good deal of detail to a minor canon character, so it's good to see what people think of that.

I'm glad you think Ginny was in character. I don't usually write major characters. I tend to focus on OCs or minor characters and when I do write Ginny, it's usually later, when she is a mother and through the eyes of her children or their cousins or friends, who obviously see her in a different way to her classmates, so good to hear I did O.K. on characterising her here.

And you've started me wondering about Clarissa de Challes and what she was forced to do that was wrong and what forces were brought to bear on her that make her feel she wasn't strong. One review shouldn't have be as intrigued about a character as I am.

Anyway, thank you SO much for the review and I'm glad you enjoyed the story.

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Review #9, by nott theodore Recovering.

24th August 2014:
Hi Margaret! I saw this in the recently added pages a couple of days ago and have been meaning to get round to reading and reviewing it. I really enjoyed this chapter!

I think that your characterisation of all the canon characters is really great in this story. Demelza's more of a minor character in the series but I like the way that she takes the main stage in this story and with that you remind us that it's not just the people who fought in the battle and went through all of that who suffered afterwards. You've fleshed her out really well and made her a very real and believable character too in this story, especially with the way that you mention certain memories she has and link her into all the canon events.

I really like the way that you portray Ginny in this story too! I think a lot of people just characterise her as someone who's blunt and down-to-earth, but it's great to see this more caring side of her as well. It's good for Demelza to have someone her own age that she can relate to over these events and I really like the way that Ginny's decided to stick by her and help her as much as she can - and it's not just for the Quidditch team, either :P The way that she visits her in the hospital wing and the simple touches like spending her afternoon in the dormitory with her doing homework so that Demelza's got some company are just so sweet and in character, I think. Ginny's the sort of person that does look out for others and tries to help them when she can. I'm so pleased that Demelza's got someone like her fighting in her corner!

Hermione was really nicely written too. I think it's in character for her to try and help someone like Demelza even though she doesn't know her that well, just because Ginny's told her about the problems that she's having. I can imagine her being forgiving of what Demelza's done and understanding why she's done it, and I think that's really good for Demelza to know, that somebody is prepared to move past what she's done and help her instead. Plus, I love the idea of Hermione reading up on all the trauma responses and psychological suffering that people might experience after something like the war. It's just so like her!

You did a brilliant job of portraying Demelza's struggle with the PTSD as well. I love the fact that you didn't write it as though everything was suddenly okay as soon as she'd admitted her problem, because I've seen that in some stories and it frustrates me so much. Obviously admitting that she's got a problem is a massive step because now she can go about trying to get better, but I'm really pleased that you wrote about the fact she's still struggling to face up to what she's done and the consequences of that. I thought the way that you tied her house in during this chapter was brilliant, because she doesn't feel like she belongs because of what she's done but Ginny reminds her that she can get past this because of who she is. I really liked that!

The final section with the Quidditch training was really enjoyable to read because it's one of the only things we actually know about Demelza from the books, and seeing the way that it can be used for her to get better, and to distract from all the problems that she's been having, is great. I liked the fact that Ginny's imposed the new rule about helping people who have problems rather than judging them as well! This chapter ended on a really hopeful note and I'm glad to see that Demelza's got a sort of goal now and can look forward to something happier in the future!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Thanks so much for the amazingly detailed review. I'd say it's one of the longest I've ever got.

Oh, I hate it when a character recovers from trauma immediately once they've admitted it or fall in love or take a potion or whatever. It just seems to take from what has gone before and ruins the credibility for me. My fault is more likely to lie in the opposite direction - drawing things out indefinitely.

Glad you liked how I portrayed the more major canon characters.

Was it Ron who said at some point that going to the library is how Hermione responds to any crisis? So I would imagine that if she found herself experiencing trauma symptoms or realised any of her friends were, her first reaction would be to find out all she could about it.

I kind of felt Ginny's comment in Order of the Phoenix hinting at how she felt about being enchanted by Voldemort would give her an insight into how it felt to be forced into doing something you consider morally wrong, even if the method by which she was made to do so was very different.

Thank you so much again for the review. I didn't expect anything like that.

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Review #10, by nott theodore Guilt.

28th July 2014:
Hi! So first of all I love minor characters and this immediately caught my eye when I saw that you'd written about Demelza and this period in her life, because I think so many people must have suffered after the war - especially the young students and everyone who had to experience hardship and pain, which was a lot of people.

I love the way that you chose to portray Demelza in this story. I feel like it's so original because there aren't many people who explore the ideas of bravery and the way that links in to being a Gryffindor. I've never really thought about it before but it makes perfect sense to think that someone like Demelza would feel unworthy if she hadn't acted like a brave Gryffindor was expected to act. Then having to return to the school knowing that you're with people who have done what was expected for them must make it even more difficult for Demelza. I really felt sorry for her.

It's brilliant that you're focusing on a character who's not suffering physically from the effects of the war (to an extent, anyway). As far as other people are concerned, she just went through the last year like all the others did and didn't lose relatives like others, or fight, so she's not got the same reasons to be experiencing panic attacks and PTSD. You portrayed Demelza's emotions and thoughts fantastically here, I thought. They all just seemed so in character but also fitting for what she's experiencing.

I liked the way that you built up the intrigue about what Demelza had actually done last year to keep me reading, because I really wanted to know. Then when she encountered that little second year it triggered the memories and overwhelmed her, and I thought that was a great way to segue into the section with Ginny.

Ginny's a really great choice to come and help Demelza! Even though there's a few years between them they know each other from Quidditch and Ginny's the sort of character who doesn't take much nonsense - she's determined enough to make sure that Demelza's alright and try and make her see that really it's not her fault. And I also like the comparisons that you were able to draw between Ginny and Demelza's behaviour, not only Demelza feeling bad for not fighting, but the time when Ginny was possessed and forced into doing things that were terrible. We see her in OotP trying to comfort Harry with that comparison so it fits really well here!

I thought this was a great first chapter to the story, and I loved your characterisation of Demelza and the way that you portrayed her suffering. Ending it on a more positive note was nice as well, because I'm hoping now that she's going to be able to start recovering, even though the process will probably be a long one!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Thank you so much for this awesome review.

This story was written for a challenge which asked for stories that were either from the point of view of a villain or else showing a good character struggling with their dark side. And it occurred to me that being forced into hurting other people, as Neville says the Carrows made people do, is bound to be rather difficult to deal with, particularly for Gryffindors, as they have a good deal invested in being brave.

So I went looking for a Gryffindor who had not been mentioned as being part of Dumbledore's Army and whose actions in Deathly Hallows were left vague.

The connection between Demelza and Ginny was a bonus, since if anybody knows what it's like to be forced into doing harm to others, it's Ginny. It was only luck, after all, that nobody was killed by the Basilisk.

This was originally going to be a one-shot, but I was short of time before the challenge deadline, so I just posted what I had and left it open for more to be added on later.

I'm currently working on a second chapter, but it's slow going, as each line has to be carefully thought out.

Thank you so much for the review and I'm glad you enjoyed it. I enjoyed your story too and am looking forward to finding out what happens next.

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