Ahh this is how you're leaving me?
Rawr. Okay. I'm going to try and be helpful, but right now I just want to tie you to computer and force your fingers to type out the rest.
When we talked you said your mainly trying to figure out where to go. I'm going to tell just tell you what I'd love to see happen after this, and maybe that will help?
According to Wiki (which may be wrong) Myrtle died the 13th of June. And we know that Hogwarts ends the third or forth week of June. So you actually don't have much left to write..
It would make (terrible/sad) sense if Grimm did die. We're not including Pottormore obviously, as you disregarded it at the beginning, so the fact that the McGonagall we know is single and doesn't seem to be interested in finding love ties up perfectly to a young girl who lost her first and only love the seventh year of Hogwarts. Which, as sad as it is, is why Grimm dying would make sense. I love that McGonagall is trying to protect Hagrid, by the way, it completely warmed my heart. But we know it won't last. So he would need to get found out, the school would be deemed fit to remain open this year as well as the following, and everyone would take their NEWTS and graduate. Minerva would get through hers in a heart breaking haze, all the while knowing there's so much more to the puzzle. She would get through her NEWTS then her and Dumbledore woudl have a one on one right after. She would share her thoughts about how she knows/believes Hagrid had nothing to do with it. How Grimm had always suspected Riddle and now he's dead, which lines him up even closer to the best suspect. But nothing could be proven so that doesn't even matter, which is terrible, but we know it's true. Professor Dumbledore would admit to her that he believes, as she does, Hagrid isn't the one who caused this.
Somewhere in that conversion Albus would confide in her that Dipp (my new pet name for him) has resigned his potions and he's been asked to take over. He would ask Minerva if she's ever thought about teaching..
But that kind of ending still doesn't leave the reader the kind of 'closure' we need. But I don't even know if that's possible because closure won't be achieved until many, many years after this.
Ugh! Susan! I don't know!! Obviously as a reader I want justice. But unless you're going to go AU, expel Riddle's pathetic butt, let Hagrid attend school still, and keep Grimm alive.. I don't know how justice can be achieved.
I am going to message you to ask exactly what kind of feedback would be most helpful. But, as a reader just picking up this story for entertainment, I absolutely love every piece of it. It's so well crafted and every time I've been unable to get to it to read another chapter, I'm thinking of how much I want to be doing just that.
Author's Response: It is quite a place to leave off the story, isn't it? I'm a bad one for writing cliffhangers. :P
I can't tell you enough how much this review has helped. Even though the next chapter is still hazy - particularly with where to start it - but the rest of the story is almost cemented in place, which is a great relief. There are of course things that may still change in the next few months as I go to complete it, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and for me, that's a fantastic step in the right direction.
Myrtle's death being so late in the year does pose a problem for timing, as it means I have to wrap up the story in days. I don't know what effect that will have on the overall pacing of the story, but it does work for everything to come crashing down at once. It's unfortunate that the HP Wiki doesn't give a source for that date because the Lexicon says that's the day Hagrid was accused. Thankfully I haven't mentioned any dates for a while - there are certainly benefits to being vague.
Minerva's defence of Hagrid will become the core of the next chapter when she hears that he's been accused by Riddle. It's a turning point for her because even though she's distrusted and disliked Riddle, she's found nothing concrete against him. She knows that Hagrid couldn't have caused the death, but she can't prove his innocence either. This moment pushes her toward her "future self" unlike any other in the story thus far. She fights injustice, but she also knows when her strength is being wasted. There will definitely be tension between her and Dumbledore over this - he will persuade her (and Grimm) to stop fighting Dippet's decision, but it will take her a while to get over it. And it will always be one reason why she keeps fighting Voldemort.
With Grimm, things are more difficult. I can't decide whether he'll even finish his NEWTS (though Minerva will encourage him to do so) before he goes to war, though I have figured out what will happen to him during the war. That doesn't have much bearing on this story, but I will allude to it in the epilogue. The problem is how to bring his relationship with Minerva to a head in a realistic, plausible way. It's not going to be a "giving in" thing, but rather a logical progression from everything else that's happened in the story. At the same time, I want to indulge in cliche. Arg. I'll see how the wind blows while I'm writing.
Your idea of wanting justice is amazing and I'm going to run with that. The focus on Hagrid for this coming chapter really emerges from your reviews - it's not something I had in my original plan, but it's perfect. It adds a lot to the story that I think will make the ending even better. Thank you so much for your help! You've bumped me in the right direction, and I feel a lot better about this story because of it. ^_^