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Review:Secret Santa says:
It's me again! I'm happy to see you survived the first of my nice long reviews; always nice to know you haven't killed your Santee off first day of the job! Today is your very lucky day, as I've finally got a chance to sit down and get on the reviews (what a treat - an escuse to read such good stories all day) and I'm so sorry for the wait! There are no excuses for falling behind, and I can't thank you enough for giving me more patience than I deserve for this!

(Also, the layers in the package make MUCH more sense now! Thank you so much for helping my terribly slow mind get through things that should not have been that difficult!)

And to the actual review - same thing as last time. Thoughts as I read, and then summing it all up and not being able to do anything other than say how beautiful it is because there is nothing to fix!

Oooh - memories! I had figured the evidence would be presented in memory form, but the way you described the Memory Room has me in quite a state of suspense! It does say a lot about the Ministry, the way they have things decorated. I'm also curious about how having actual memories changes the way the courts work. I feel like it would be a really strange experience, to see someone's memory presented in such a formal place, and adding all those witnesses by having them see must do something to everyone involved. It would also be interesting to see how the Ministry would handle memories that have been tampered with, given that not all tampering would be by choice, if the event were tragic enough. Okay, back to reading as I'm sure you'll give me a hundred more things to think about and my musings will be dealt with! Really sets up a good scene though, bringing the Memory Room in!

Gah, memories are SUCH amazing things, and I ADORE how you incorporated the power of a memory in here. I felt Albus' confusion at what on earth could be so bad and Hermione's recognition that war is a terrible thing that is really difficult to witness. Her words to Albus were so simple, but said so much. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant!

That is such a haunting description of the castle in its state of horror and distress. In the books, the focus of the Battle of Hogwarts is very much on fighting and Harry does this, Mrs. Weasley does that. The physical destruction of what have always been signs of unity were not as big a part of the Battle, and they don't crop up as often in fan fiction, but once it was here, I couldn't think of anything else as I started the memory.

Greyback also voiced an objection that had been brewing in the back of my mind for a while now, since I wasn't sure Hermione would be able to access memories that would be strong enough to convince Wizengamot that weren't from the Battle. This certainly had got my interest and I'm excited to see how she makes her case, as well as Albus' opinions on how Hermione handles it.

Oh - Hermione is very good, isn't she? That seems like a lot of potential damage to risk for her case, without warning anyone to not be as swept away by the Battle as Fenrir was, but I'm sure she has more tricks up her sleeve and I just need to be patient!

Oh - everything makes sense now, but I still feel ... uneasy? That's what good stories do though; no one is right or wrong in the end. The set up for Hermione's meeting with Seamus was masterfully done. You balanced Hermione's intense disgust with Fenrir's actions and her gentle and caring side so well, with her herbal tea in front of a dark and unknown (well, to the reader at least) place that seemed shady, but somehow still tranquil.

It stuck me as odd, however, that Hermione would be so close to Seamus. I can easily see the story that would tell it, with them being in the same year and house, and Hermione accepting the past, but I would be interested to read more about how Hermione's relationships beyond those with Harry and Ron grew as she grew up and everyone faced having to rebuild after the war was over.

Seamus was probably my favorite character in the whole story, although everyone was so well done I might just have about thirty favorites! You captured a broken man brilliantly. Everything, his words, his actions, the body language, everything was perfect! He gave me chills right in the feels as hermione tried to offer him a quiet pale in the Ministry, but he was still working through the healing process and a life with healing was better than a quiet life where nothing was quite as... raw? I don't know, but I don't know if he really knew either.

I could probably keep reading the finer details of this for another hundred thousand words, especially about Albus. His reactions right in the middle really made me want to know more about his more settled and complete thoughts on his aunt's actions. We saw a lot of his uneasiness in the beginning, but you've done such an amazing job of giving him so much life that I can't help but wonder how he feels about Fenrir being provoked and how Fenrir was far more horrible than Albus could have imagined.

The story has been sitting with me for a while now, having had a beautiful window for fantastic fanfiction ruined and crumbling at my feet, so while I wanted to immediately jump to the next chapter, I think the final reveal about Lavender and Seamus made the initial actions much more vivid, after having so much time to wonder what had happened that gave Hermione so much reason to hate Fenrir and to fight the case.

Look out for more reviews later tonight, and I'm so sorry for the delay! Thank you so much for being so patient, and I hope you've had a good 2013 so far! :)

Santa

Author's Response: Hi, there.

What's done is done, so there's really no point in dwelling on it. Thank you for the two reviews that you were able to find time to do and I hope you had a nice holiday.


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