So...you didn't put this in my review queue...so I took it upon myself to do it for you. :D And...I'm uber bored at work...
I liked how it began with Hagrid. To be honest, he's never been my favorite character in the series. However, your characterization for him was great. The narrative really felt that you had studied Hagrid's personality and got his essence in this fic. Also, thank you for not fixing the castle right away. I really dislike some Post-Hogwarts fics that have the castle fixed right up with a flick of a wand. It did take four founders to build the school...it should take some hard work by people to fix the castle and put the enchantments back.
On the second part, since I'm sometimes a canon-nazi, isn't Hermione suppose to be in school as well rather than work? She did went back to school (the only one out of the trio) for her N.E.W.T.s. Just an observation.
In the sentences "Instead, they were the result of the so-called Chamber of Secrets" it feels like they STILL don't believe that the CoS is real. However, they do accept that Riddle did it and that there was a basilisk. In fact, I've always wondered about this, bu after Harry and co found the Chamber wouldn't it stop being a myth? Not even McGonagall believed it back then.
Hagrid's dialogue was great. Sometimes people overdo his dialect to the point where I cannot read it, however you seemed to really capture the way he speaks just fine.
"Those are bitter pills for them to swallow." I think the word 'pills' just really throws the 'magical' perspective Doge would have. Perhaps instead of pills perhaps 'potions' would work better? Just a thought. Do they even have pills in the magical world? Now you left me to wonder...
Overall, I love the political view you have in this story. Very different than anything I've read. In fact, not everyone touches these type of subjects when writing Post-Hogwarts fics...that's why I'm very picky with them due to always being the same old "Rose and Scorpius", "Al accepting that he's a Slytherin", "Ron and Malfoy still hating eachother.." pretty much, very cliche and repetitive. You definitely bring a different light into a Post-Hogwarts situation that's very real.
Overall, another great story.
Now where's the next chapter of CoB? :P
Author's Response: Hey, there, you! I owe you an answer on your question, which I'm turning to as soon as I'm done with this response.
This story was an idea that I've had in the back of my mind since before I started reading HP fan fic. As soon as I learned that Hagrid had been framed by Riddle, in fact, I started to wonder whether he would someday clear his name. And then the war happened and all of that, but the thought was always vaguely there. So when I was at a point where I was feeling burned out on CoB, I threw this together.
To me, I've always imagined that wizarding society recovering from the war was a very long, difficult process. So much was destroyed, so many people were hurt or killed and so many people joined the Death Eaters. All of that would have needed to be sorted out. And in the midst of it, there are these people like Hagrid who were unfairly wronged in some way.
I take your point on Hermione. You're probably right about her going back to school. Just roll with me for this one fic and I promise I won't break canon again. :P
When I wrote that sentence, I didn't mean to imply that the Wizengamot didn't believe in the Chamber, but I could see how it would read that way. It was written more in the spirit of, "we don't really know what this thing was buried in the bowels of Hogwarts, but most people call if the Chamber of Secrets."
I'm glad you liked Hagrid's dialog, because I struggled with it a lot. I found myself going back and reading sections of the first three books, trying to zero in on the right sound. He's very hard to get right.
Again, good point on the bitter pills. Bitter potions might really read better.
If you like this take on a post-Hogwarts story, I have high hopes for your reaction to my next big project, which I hope will be a Ron-Hermione fic where they go to Aussie-land to find her parents. But that's pie in the sky until CoB is complete. Chapter 34 went into the queue on Thursday, so I have high hopes that maybe it will get validated by Monday morning.
Thanks for reading and reviewing this! I really appreciate all of your feedback. Now off to answer your PM...