AHHH.HHH.HHH. I don't even know how to form sentences. I'm still spinning, buzzing, reeling from that chapter. It was brilliant and grim and so in your face... you don't mess around sugar coating anything -- you just put the world out there with all its chaos and darkness and complications and corruptions and emotions. It's all so accessible, and for that I commend you tremendously.
I loved your portrayal of Hermione... her internal battle between her emotions and her logic was so realistic and in character for her. Ah! Not many people can really capture hermione and often push her too far into rationality or keep her tumultuous and don't allow her logic to guide her, but this... this was excellent. I think my most-favorite line (there were many favorites) was this one: And it might have worked; but logic had one simple failing that always managed to elude her, and that was that sometimes, the world just simply wasnít as logical as her brain wanted it to be. it's just so obvious, and for that, completely brilliant.
Your interaction between Hermione and Bellatrix was executed extremely well. I hate her so, so much... and I certainly hope in the course of this story Karma finally comes back on her. (Bellatrix, ofc, not Hermione :P ).
And Draco!! I was very pleasantly surprised to see his bit of this chapter... I love the Malfoy family, their faults and weaknesses that simmer from the inherent need for self preservation... their realization of where preserving themselves has landed them. There is so much story in that. I thought your internal monologue within Draco worked very well... Running may not seem like the bravest of actions, but it was a defining moment... for once, Draco's need to try and preserve himself coincided with a moral decision. Annnd HE FOUND THE INVISIBILITY CLOAK!!??!! ME THINKS THIS /MAY/ BE IMPORTANT IN THE FUTURE. I cannot wait to see what comes next, Rachel and that is the most beautiful things about this story... that this is so much more than /just/ a good story. it is the sort of story that I would sit and read in one sitting and then be left bowled over by the emotional baggage that accompanies each and every scene. This is fabulous, and I hope to goodness you realize that.
I am so, so lucky to consider you amongst my friends. (H) x 5eva.
Author's Response: Mel! Oh my gosh, you're such a speedy reviewer. I can't even. ♥ I needed this chapter to be emotionally-charged, and was worried about how it would come off, and then you came by and pretty much annihilated all my worries and are just a lovely person in general. ♥
I'm so relieved you thought Hermione was good, too, because of exactly the reasons you point out. So, so often, people will go to extremes and push Hermione's personality to be one way or another, when in reality she's rather a mix. I haven't had the opportunity to write a lot of Hermione and was rather worried about writing her here. I love that you found that balance in her; that's EXACTLY what I was going for!
Draco is going to play a very key role in this story, I think you'll find. (That is, if it all turns out as I'm seeing in my head -- I still haven't gotten everything all nice and outlined.) I don't really like the Malfoys as characters very much, but writing Draco is surprisingly fun! And yes, the Cloak will come into play. ;)
Seriously -- I cannot ever, ever thank you enough for leaving such wonderful reviews. You are fantastic, and your love for this story makes me love it all the more. And I, too, am immensely lucky to count you as a friend. ♥