Oh goodness, it's Bellatrix, fawning over the Dark Lord! I love how you drew us into the scene, literally through the window even. Lucius' caution and his hesitancy was definitely in character, for me at least. I found that his wish to have Bellatrix's eagerness a bit disturbing. Maybe he'd feel that way at this age, being younger and still sold on the whole blood purity thing. Yes, I believe he would be.
That whole scene with Sirius and Belle was my favorite in this chapter. I loved the tension between the two of them and the way that Sirius discovers (with us) more about this girl and how she needs him more as a friend right now than anything else and how he's willing to be that for her. Here, I'm wondering how much she knows about his situation and how parallel they are. Sirius knows, of course, but I can't remember how much Belle has discovered about him. She's a transfer student and I guess I'm bad at recalling details from your last few chapters about that. Maybe he will have an opportunity to share more later? Anyway, I am certainly even MORE curious about Belle's background now.
Remus' feint about his wrist was a nice ploy to get all of the boys out of the dorm without the girls suspecting much.
I chuckled at James' amazement when he made that comment about his growing antlers. It was such a James thing to think. I think I might chuckle at it tomorrow too.
"The September full moon, the largest of the year - elegant and beautiful to most people. To the four of them, it was a mixture of Hell and adrenaline."
The way you had James think about his transformation was fascinating. I loved how it tied in to the act of being human for him to turn into one, and how he recalled being the animal that helped him make the shift back.
Again, another lovely chapter with engaging characters that I want to return to.
Until next time,
pixAuthor's Response: I kind of, in my head, have Belle knowing most of what the rest of the group does. But because that's in my head and not in the story, it definitely makes sense why you wouldn't know how much she knows of Sirius's home life :P. I'm going to sneak that in there somewhere.. hahah
Belle is one of those characters that I feel like I can take everything else out on. When Lily wouldn't do something because she's too respectful, Belle would because she doesn't give a damn. When Alice wouldn't make a comment because it would be unkind, Belle will because she could care less about being kind to people she doesn't care for. And yeah. She's just the one that makes me stay sane with Alice and Lily's sweet little-nesses.
James would be delighted if you just continued chuckling about his horn length! Although, he's not thrilled because he says you clearly don't understand how difficult it is to adjust to something sticking of your head. Women.. don't know nothin'
Okay. I'm clearly too tired to be responding to reviews and not making sense. Thank you so much for this amazing review, m'dear ♥
Hi there! I entered the Vocabulary Challenge too and I had to see what someone else came up with, now that I'm finally done with my entry. (See, I didn't want to get all distracted, but now I'm done with all that sooo...)
This was so smooth, you. It has almost poetic qualities about it in some places. I loved your word usage and the elegant style you chose so that the words would blend into your piece without sticking out everywhere. I think if your words weren't boldfaced, I don't know that I would notice them all that much, which is a great compliment in a piece like this.
I know others have quoted this before me, but really. This:
"I was slowly pulled into her, piece by piece as I discovered she was both beautiful and ugly, that she could amaze and horrify me at the same time, that she was both flawless and ridden with imperfections. She in turn swam effortlessly in the ocean of poison I knew was inside and somehow, underneath it all, found the best in me. It was nothing like I expected a romantic relationship to be."
... was an exquisite piece of prose. There were other sections too, but that one stood out as a sparkly ray of sunshine goodness. I loved how you used the poison repetition to tie in the ending to the beginning and also that it was Sirius who was belittling himself, who had found himself not good enough for her and had pulled away because he was afraid of destroying the goodness in her.
Good luck in the challenge. You have a very impressive entry!Author's Response: This challenge was indeed very... challenging. And I'm really happy you liked it. I'll go and read yours once I get a chance. Good luck with your story! Report Review
You definitely have a great setup for an enticing Charlie story from this first chapter. He's got a secret. He's in a bad place emotionally and he doesn't want any help. He's guilt-ridden and is forced to "Carry on" for the rest of the family.
Just as he was about to open up to Bill, he gets interrupted. Now I wonder how long it's going to be before he gets another chance like that. I'm sure it will be a while, otherwise there wouldn't be much story, would there?
I think the thing I like the most about this chapter is that Charlie feels guilty, but you didn't overdo it with the angst. It was just enough to get us there with him but you weren't beating us about the head and shoulders with it. It came across as sincere and believable.
Believe me, you've gotten me curiously curious and I want to know more. I shall definitely be back for more of this story sometime.
Happy writing!Author's Response: Eek! Thanks so much!! :D
I'm really glad to hear you think this is a great first chapter! And haha; you're very insightful! Yes indeedy, it will be a while before he gets a chance to open up, unfortunately. :( But as you said, there wouldn't be much story otherwise!
I'm really glad you don't think the angst is overdone! That's something I've been worried about with this entire story; I want it to be believable grief without being too overdone, so I'm glad it came across that way!!
Aww, yay! I'm glad I've got you curiously curious and look forward to more reviews from you! Thanks SO much!! Report Review
Ooohhh, it's Slytherin treachery time.
I like the way you handled introducing Tracey's character. She has so much drama in her life right now that she's not going to be up to much more than surviving school, and then have Theodore, the guy that she seems to have a crush on, planning to use her to get back at his girlfriend for that "thing" he discovered... it makes for such a strong opening, and such a build up of even. more. drama. Oh goodness.
Both of these characters are most definitely Slytherins to the core. I think I might have to come back for more some time.Author's Response: Yes this story is all about the drama! Each chapter is going to be more and more drama filled and they should all start flowing together soon! Tracey is in for a rather tough year with her parents going for a divorce, her thinking its her fault, and then to have her crush plan on using her. Not that she knows that of course but it will make for an interesting and drama filled year! Thank you so much for this awesome review and I do hope that you come back and read more!
~Slytherinchica08~ Report Review
On the twelfth day of Christmas...
Betcha think I wasn't going to be able to do it...
I just had to see what fluffy CambAngst was all about, so I went over to this story and...
Awww! There were some really touching moments here. Everything from Ron and Hermione trying to figure out what Molly and Arthur were up to to Harry and Ginny having their first moment with their son, you captured a very precious time for all of them.
Ron was perfect here:
"He felt an odd sort of anxiety looking at his wife, as though eye contact might result in an unplanned pregnancy."
I'll have to tell you a funny story that came to mind when I read that. I loved Molly's and Arthur's patience through all of it and the way that Ron was so impatient, but he didn't have a clue why. I'm glad the chief maternity nurse had everything well in hand, or it would have been a right mess out there, with Ron attempting to do what he thought was right at the time. As much fun as a battle scene would have been in the maternity ward, I'm sure that wasn't what you were going for.
The uncertainty and awe of both Harry and Ginny was beautifully captured. The sense of panic too, which made it all real, that, "what the heck do we do now??" moment when their baby does, well, anything really. I wonder if Ginny was regretting not reading the "boring" parts of those books that Hermione gave her. Harry, in particular, couldn't imagine what his life was going to be like, especially since he didn't have any real experiences to fall back on, which was a sad and touching point to make. It just makes me feel so glad that his story had a happy ending and that he has so many wonderful people around him to help him through this next great adventure in his life. He said some lovely things to James that I hope he ends up repeating to him when the little guy becomes more self aware. These are the things that a child never tires of hearing from his parents.
As for the ending, it was a good thing that Harry didn't have a clue what Ginny was up to in that shower. Some things don't need to be shared. Regardless, I think you covered just about all of it with her last line. ;)
Fluffy, wholesome goodness, with a touch of poignant warmth. Perfect for the season. Happy Holidays!Author's Response: Hello, again! I am feeling so marvelously spoiled at this point, I don't quite know what to say about it. :)
Yep, this one's fluffy as can be. Obviously, I tapped into a lot of my own recollections of the day our boys were born. It all felt oddly fresh in my mind, considering the first 6 months flew by like a blur.
I really wasn't sure how well the first part of this story connected with the second part, so I'm glad that it didn't seem to bother anyone too much. I imagine Ron and Hermione getting a very different sort of "baby experience" from what Harry and Ginny are getting, but valuable nonetheless. And Molly and Arthur have obviously forgotten more about new babies than most people will ever know.
Oh, how I remember that feeling of, "ummm... what now?" It's universal, unless you come from one of those huge families full of aunts who just take over the show. Ginny and Harry both are probably wishing that they'd paid more attention to all the books and advice that people always lavish on first-time expecting parents. It doesn't make any difference, of course. Nothing can prepare you...
And no, Harry didn't have the foggiest idea what was going on with Ginny in the shower. And he's happier that way, believe me.
I'm really glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for all of your lovely, thoughtful and all-around wonderful reviews! Report Review
Very fairytale-like ending for Rose! You ahd her so convinced that the reunion was going to be a bad idea, and the shame that she felt about still being single so inescapable. Everyone wants someone to love, and Rose just hadn't found her someone yet, or at least he hadn't let her know how he felt about her yet. I'm glad you let her have this moment of triumph over her self-torture.
The way that he just walks right up to her, knows what she needs and then takes her back into the room: it's like he knew her really well. I'd have liked a little hint of how and why they hadn't gotten together before this, or maybe they had and it wasn't quite right yet. If you're planning on writing that other one-shot from his POV, I'd love to read it!
You wrote her from such a "I'm so inside my own head that I can't seem to get out" place. I liked the style of this. I enjoyed reading this!Author's Response: Yeah a lot of people really would like to see more, something that gives a hint at what happened before this/ how he knew what she needed and I do have plans on making that happen someday. This review was really awesome and completely made my day! I'm so glad you enjoyed Rose, and I feel that she is so realistic. I mean I know I've felt so alone and almost like a loser because it seems like everyone else is pairing off and then there's me all alone! I'm so glad you enjoyed this oneshot! Thank you so much for reading and reviewing!
~Slytherinchica08~ Report Review
On the eleventh day of Christmas...
More like the eleventh hour...
So I want to start this review off with something like, "Poor Draco," and I think I'm finally about there. That whole business with his aunt drilling him of all those names, and then the relief he felt when she cast the spell to "help him" and it didn't do anything, and then it did. Yeah, I think I'm there. Poor Draco. If he didn't think he had a way out before, he surely doesn't have a way out now. He's in too deep. His aunt has him by the... err... neck, and she's not letting go. Not when she has so much at stake here either.
I loved how you made use of those names later on, and didn't just have them as a convenient way to showcase Bella's insanity, which would have been enough, but nooo. You had to make them intricately important to the rest of the chapter too. Clever thing, you. The running inner monologue that Draco uses to keep his cool was both disturbing and neato cool at the same time. And I also love the inclusion of Avery and your description of him. Just as I saw him too. :)
Boy, that family history sure does come in handy, doesn't it? He has the sense enough to tell Voldemort the truth when asked, which I think might have scored him a point, or at least half a point with the dark lord. He really is desperate here, not knowing which way is up, but not really caring because any way he looks at it, he's one step away from something worse than death. The description of how Voldemort applied the dark mark was appropriately vivid and physical, which ties in to all your other physical-based descriptions. The way that you kept that throughout the story was really a good touch, even if it did make me think I was reading something by Clive Barker at times, but I think that's what you were going for.
The progressions in this were really well-thought out. From the repulsion and then the acceptance of being smothered by Bella, the way he finally understands what he's gotten himself into, how he loses all thoughts of being a haughty little spoiled boy and grapples with the reality that he's basically meat on a stick for someone else's whims... it all tied together. The only thing that didn't resonate well with me was his last line. I don't think that Draco at this moment would have a future to look forward to. Perhaps it was the only comforting thing his mother might be thinking. Of course, I have no suggestions for anything better, so I'm not all that helpful there. I liked your chapter title for this, because it shows how desperate they are to survive whatever the next nightmare leads them to. (Probably more Bella... *shudder*)Author's Response: Sigh. You make me wish I'd made this story longer. Then you could review it some more. Alas, here we are at the end.
Wow, so I finally got you to think, "poor Draco". It wasn't necessarily what I set out to do, but it feels good nevertheless.
The Black family's teaching methods are definitely barbaric, but they do provide Draco with a modicum of protection at the end. Without something to focus his thoughts on, he probably would have broken down in front of Voldemort or peed himself again. And my version of Avery was obviously heavily influenced by yours. So thanks for that!
Draco does try to BS Voldemort for a moment, but it plainly doesn't work. So he just admits the truth, which at least keeps him alive. Contrary to what Bella's convinced herself of, if Draco had pushed his luck any farther the Dark Lord probably would have killed him to set an example for the others. Having the son of the mighty Lucius Malfoy grovel for his life was exactly the show that Voldemort wanted to put on for his other followers.
Everything is a test of some sort with Voldemort, so I have to imagine that taking the Dark Mark was a grueling ordeal. It's one more way that his followers are required to demonstrate that their loyalty to him supersedes any concern for their own well-being.
By the end, he is finally aware of what he's gotten himself into, and he's realized that he's going to have to sacrifice a lot of things if he's to have any hope of surviving. You know, I didn't think so much about the last line when I wrote it, but I definitely see your point. I think at that moment, he was so happy to have survived his first encounter with the Dark Lord that he's irrationally exuberant about any number of things.
Thank you so much for all of your wonderful reviews of Marked. It was a joy to read and respond to each one. Happy New Year! Report Review
First time Draco writer, I see. I don't claim any expertise with writing Draco, but I will give you my thoughts.
I like the formal tone you chase for him. He's usually portrayed with the "better than thou" attitude and I think you did that really well here. I also think that you captured his paranoia pretty well. It feels like he's talking to us, or maybe himself, through the use of "you" and "you're throughout the chapter and it's like we're having some kind of one-sided conversation or something. It occurred to me that you might be missing the underlying bitterness inherent in his character, especially in the first half of the chapter. You got a bit closer there towards the end, where he talks about the "golden trio" and more about what his mother wants out of the rest of his life and her constant positioning and how he's sick of it and doesn't want to be a pawn anymore.
I think this chapter could be strengthened by leading with that attitude of "I'm not going to take it anymore" and then let him explain why to us through to the end. Then it would tie the end of the chapter to the beginning and make it a stronger finish.
The chapter title, "Reflective Thinking", is exactly what this chapter turned out to be, but don't be afraid to add movement to your characters. I would suggest that you have him doing something while thinking. You had a perfect opportunity with the section:
"Now here I am at the end of the war."
We all "do" things while we're thinking, and it makes it more real for the reader when we put our characters into a setting to ground them a bit. For instance, where is Draco? Is he in his bed staring at the ceiling? Has he just gotten the note from his mother insisting that he show up to another fancy function so she can throw him at Astoria? Is he sipping tea in some anonymous cafe where no one can find him? I'm not saying that you have to spend a whole paragraph of needless description in the beginning, or bore us with details of how "the setting sun shone on the worry lines of his face, making him even more depressing and full of self-inflicted doubt" or whatever. A little bit of mundane/wizarding detail can bring the story more to life and let you lead the reader to whatever comes next and help him make whatever decision he needs to.
Your use of language is very good and you had some lovely reflective moments there. I'd pay closer attention to sentence structure and punctuation for a cleaner presentation. Something that helps me is reading my stuff out loud. Every time I need to take a breath, I put a comma. If I finish a sentence and I'm blue in the face, I make it into two shorter sentences. That usually takes care of the punctuation and run ons, even when I forget all those pesky rules.
Sooo... is there a chapter two waiting around somewhere?
Happy writing!Author's Response: Ha, thanks you made some good points. I didn't think about describing his surroundings but know I think about it I probably should have! I'll try add more bitterness to him but I feel Draco is quite a hard character to capture. I know I have some comma issues so I'll reread it and add some in. Chapter 2 is yet to be written but hopefully it will be up soon :) Thanks for reviewing :) Report Review
"Of course, these were wizards she was dealing with - sure, transfiguring an animal into a water-goblet made completesense, but as soon as you tried to talk chemistry with them they blanked out."
I loved that line. It said so much about wizards and the world that Lily came from, and of course about her character and where she is in life. I love your premise and your fresh take on Lily and how you skipped all the boring parts and just jumped into the seventh year of the Marauders and now we get to see what comes of it. I love how one of her friends knows how to do maths and is willing to make her do this thing and how Lily is so willing to go all out for the sake of "science" of all things.
Neat premise. Engaging first chapter. Keep running with this. It's gotta be good!Author's Response: Skipping the boring parts is pure laziness on my part XD But yeah, nothing interesting happens then anyways, and I figured I would just jump into the good stuff XD
and I'm glad you liked it! I always wondered how much purebloods knew outside of magic, like basic maths, and that was something I wanted to toy with. Thank you so much for the review - I'm glad you enjoyed it, and I definitely plan to keep going! xx Report Review
On the tenth day of Christmas...
This counting down thing feels kinda ominous, doesn't it?
Hey, I wouldn't want to see Moody's face first thing in the morning either. What a way to wake up! Oooh, and his nightmare returns in the garish light of day. I had a bunch of trouble regarding the mission that had been discussed the night before as well. What mission? What was that crazy lady talking about now? Oh. It's Her. Ha haha. You had me going there. Nice one.
"The biggest part of him simply wanted to find a dry pair of pants without anyone seeing him."
Best Idea he's had yet. I'm thinking I might want to feel sorry for him right about now, but I just can't. Not yet. He's still too clueless. Moody's got a great idea and I'd love to see Draco try to take him up on it, but I'm feeling like he won't.
The memory of Draco and his father's mark was just chilling. To think that a little boy would see that and then play at it. I'm almost starting to feel just the least bit compassionate after that, but I think I have a little ways to go. Just a little farther. I think Draco might be starting to "get it", especially since he witnessed his usually composed mother so out of sorts like he did. I wonder what other letters she had been sending and who else is going to die because she reached out to them.
I really liked that Tonks knew her relative well enough to impersonate her so completely, though that was a bit wicked of her/you. Again with the solid characterizations. I'm really liking Narcissa and Tonks, as I said. As for Draco, we will have to see. I mean, he's perfect the way he is, but that doesn't mean that I like him. but I guess that's alright, isn't it?Author's Response: It does feel a bit ominous, now that you mention it. Makes me feel like I should be writing more.
Moody can't be a pleasant thing to wake up to, although I still think I'd take him over Bellatrix. Oh, wait, Draco gets to experience both! I'm glad that I didn't do anything to give Tonks away too early. She scared the pee out of Draco, literally. I hate to say it, but you're running out of time to feel sorry for him. That's fine if you don't get there, though.
I don't think little Draco had any idea what the mark on his father's arm meant. Since Lucius refused to discuss it with him and punished him for even finding out about it, Draco's poor little mind probably just assumed it was some sort of exciting "adult secret". At this point, he is starting to "get it". Narcissa breaking down definitely helped the process along.
In her limited appearances, I tend to think that Tonks takes a very wicked attitude toward her cousin. Her mother was treated so horribly that she is enjoying the power to exact just a bit of revenge. It isn't her proudest moment, but it was fun to write. If you liked Narcissa here, hopefully she will really shine for you in the next chapter.
Thanks so much for all of your awesome holiday presents! Report Review
On the ninth day of Christmas...
By the way, if you go by tradition, today is only the fourth day of Christmas. The twelve days of Christmas actually begin on December 26th and run through to the Epiphany on January 6th, but you probably already knew that so let me get to this review instead of stalling.
Ooohh, bad Draco! He doesn't know when to quit, does he? Those Aurors are indeed waiting to take him down to the station and hang him out to dry and Narcissa has to slap him around again to make him understand the situation. How clueless! But I wouldn't expect anything less from Draco can't-let-other-people-drag-me-down-to-their-level Malfoy. So, how can he actually sleep after hearing that awful admission from his mother? How heartless is he?? I'd have been up all night worrying over my own sorry little butt after my mother made it clear that I was going to be served up to the Dark Lord for my father's failures.
But you didn't let him sleep through the night after all. Good on you! He has to face that awful woman and her rotting teeth and her wild hair and her bony hips... erm, okay you got me there. I wasn't expecting that kind of imagery. It certainly completed the maniacal picture of Bellatrix that I never wanted to look at. I liked how you had Draco notice that even her "companions" were repulsed by her, but they were all too afraid to say anything. So I assume that Draco doesn't really know exactly what he said "yes" to, only that it's bad and he didn't have a choice in the matter. Maybe he is regretting his hasty reply and thinking that he should have taken his chances with more of his aunt's cleavage?
That sounded... strange. But I tell you, I didn't write this one. So it isn't really my fault, right? The imagery... my brain... it really left me Marked.Author's Response: Here you go spoiling me again! You definitely need to write more so that I can return the favor!
Draco has not figured out when to quit yet, but he starts to get the hint in this chapter. The young Auror isn't kidding when he says that every member of the department would love to be the one who catches Draco doing something worthy of an expedited trip to Azkaban. Narcissa tries to set him straight, but she's struggling with a lot of internal conflict of her own in this chapter. She knows that her husband wouldn't approve of what she's doing, but she can't just sit on her hands. The problem is that she's in wayyy over her head, something she'll soon discover.
Since Draco was frightened and probably not 100% awake, I decided to try to make his perceptions of Bellatrix somewhat exaggerated and very physical in nature. And he gets a very close, personal experience. The scariest thing about her, I think, is that she really believes that she's being a good aunt to him. She's just too twisted to have much of an idea what that really means. All of her rambling about what an honor it is to be selected to serve Voldemort is, of course, completely sincere.
Sorry if I've left any indelible marks on your brain. We really have to stop these puns. Thanks so much for reading and reviewing! Report Review
Hello there. It's been too long!
Lily and her temper are something. I must say that she seems justified at first, from her point of view anyway. But when Belle shows up to give her the truth, perhaps she is still too worked up to hear it at first. I loved this line:
"Well, per'aps I didn't want 'im breathing at that moment," she said with a shrug, obviously unfazed as she sat next to Alice and motioned for Lily to do the same."
You put Lily through and incredible range of emotions in this chapter. First, with her reliving her painful memories and sharing them with her friends, she still has a secret she is unwilling to share with them. But I suppose that's something for another chapter. She has a good support group around her, so I know they will take care of each other and give her the encouragement that she needs to get through it all. And then you had her admitting her feelings to James, which probably did both of them a world of good. The way you had that scene unfold was so sweet and touching. We can tell that they care for each other deeply, but it's not the right time yet.
But until then, we have Belle and Sirius to amuse us. I loved the bush scene. Not only did it break up the heady intensity of Lily's admission, but it showed us a lighter side to the group, that they are still kids here and they still have some growing up to do. You even had some Peter time and gave him an important spot too. I love that about this story, that you are trying to balance out all four of the boys. I'd say you are doing a great job with that. Remus' section was well-done also, with his constant worries that he can't share with anyone either. And then the eyes... creepy!
One thing that I noticed was the third person shifts you had in this chapter. I hadn't noticed them before, so I wasn't expecting it. But I can tell you that it wasn't jarring or out of place, and it worked really well in the scene with Lily and James, where you want to know what each of them is thinking without breaking up the scene. I know a lot of romance writers who use that POV for exactly that purpose. It worked well here, throughout the chapter. Is this a consistent thing that I just hadn't picked up on before, or did you just do it for this chapter? Because now, I'm not sure. Not that it bothered me. I have this symmetry thing, so I was just wondering...
What a great read! Happy Holidays!Author's Response: What a happy surprise!!!
Before I forget I want to address your comment about the third person.. I have no self control. None. I don't think I used it before, not intentionally, and I don't intentionally use it again... I just wanted so bad to get out what they were both feeling but still have it all as fresh as to be in the moment and not as an after thought. I've looked at rewriting that part so many times so I stick with just using third and not really dripping into omniscient, but I just can't. I'm tell you, no self control here.
I really do want to balance all the friends out. Lily and James will always be the stars, Sirius close behind because he's such a large part of James, but I hate when it just seems like Peter or even Remus and Peter aren't part of it so it means a lot to me that you feel like they're all sort of getting their chance to be part of the story.
I don't feel like I'm making any sense right now, but that's because your reviews get me all squee-ie and I just want to huggle you.
Thank you so much for stopping by ♥ Report Review
Here from the Gryffindor Review Tag!
I believe this was a monumental success and I commend you for not bending to the inflexible rule that commas tend to have over people. I for one, believe that a comma in fiction is a place to breathe and therefore placement of said comma is a matter of taste. The punctuation police (who should be limited to policing such works as essays, term papers and works of non-fiction, where people tend to care about such things) take offense to this mindset, but I don't care, and neither do you, apparently. Good. This piece is fantastic.Author's Response: Hey!
So I've been hesitant about responding to this review because I agree so much with what you've said. And your fantastic way of putting it. Thank you so much, and I'm glad you liked it. :D Report Review
Tag! You're it! No, wait. Wrong game. I'm just tagging you from the Review Tag on the forums is all.
This was a really cute little one-shot with Albus and Lily. The way that you peppered the piece with cuteness like this:
"Ow! Lily, tell your... fluff to stop chewing me!" Albus cried.
... really made it a fun read. I think Lily was a great little sister and I liked how Albus was able to change the way he thought about her at the end of the story. Sometimes spending some forced time with someone really lets you see them in a different light. I guess having a common enemy helps a bit too.
Cute, cute, cute!Author's Response: Thanks for the amazing review!
Keep Reading! Report Review
On the eighth day of Christmas...
Oh yes, please may I kick Draco?
Pansy's steadfast attempt at indifference was so cute, with her trying to be all "I'm a proper Slytherin and you can't fault me for that, right?", though Draco's craving for pleasant company might have needed a slightly bigger buildup to be more convincing. It was hard to tell whether he really needed the company, or he just wanted to know whether there was still someone on his side. Or maybe it was a combination of both, plus the fact that the one person he least expected had turned on him as well, but his desperation seemed overplayed. I loved that Ginny was still able to torment him in her own special way.
Draco really tried to carry on as usual, but even his attempts to take his anger out on Harry were thwarted. I can't think of a more fitting ride back to the station than in the luggage compartment, covered in slime and boils and all manners of whatnot.
Narcissa has a lot to handle with that boy. It was a small miracle that she talked sense into him so quickly. I guess by now he has learned to recognize his mother's "don't mess with me" tone of voice. He really hasn't been paying attention to much beyond the end of his nose, has he?
When it finally dawned on Draco exactly why the Aurors had shown up to escort him and his mother away, I'm sure he couldn't have been any more shocked or dismayed. I really like what you did with Tonks here. You gave her a real, clear voice that spoke with the attitude that I expected, and you gave her some fantastic lines to slap Draco in the face with. That was just awesome!
*smack* Take that, Malfoy! Be ashamed. Be very ashamedAuthor's Response: Please feel free to kick Draco at your leisure. Everyone else is doing it. ;)
Hmmnn... I just re-read this for the first time in weeks and you actually have a very good point about Draco's craving for company. I really should have built that up a lot more. I remember writing this chapter -- I hate second chapters -- and all I wanted was to get to the "cool part" with Moody and Tonks. I definitely short-changed the beginning.
This was Narcissa's first appearance and you'll see a lot more of her. She does have that "don't mess with me" tone at her disposal, and there's also that aristocratic imperative not to air family grievances in front of strangers. At any rate, she gets control of him quickly enough.
I really, really enjoyed writing Tonks in this. She's such an under-developed character in the books. It's easy to forget that she and Draco are first cousins. The only person who really ever brings it up is Voldemort. So I thought it was totally appropriate that she would take a perverse joy in being able to mock and intimidate her "proper" cousin.
I'm so glad you enjoyed this. The end, especially, was a lot of fun to write. Thanks for reading and reviewing! Report Review
On the seventh day if Christmas...
Yes, I'm still pretending it will all work out in the end.
Here we go again, with you taking on one of JKR's characters and giving them depth and breadth beyond anything I've ever seen before. It was the epic goodness of CoB, and you managed to do it here too.
I don't like Draco Malfoy. I don't like thinking about him or his seemingly self-important problems or his self-absorbent attitude or his self-perpetuating problems. But you obviously did think about all of these things and you have succeeded masterfully in giving us a Draco Malfoy that you can be proud of. How do I know this? Because I cringed in the first paragraph when he mused about "women" and "social status". I squinted in the second paragraph when he decided that he was owed some "credit for whatever Umbridge discovered". And I clapped with glee in the third paragraph as he "kept running until the bats finally disappeared".
Have I mention that I don't like Draco Malfoy? Oh, yes. Maybe I have. But the way he went about making a show of that letter and then revealing that it held hidden messages from his father really caught my interest. And on top of all of that, you actually made me feel a bit sorry for Pansy. Oh my gosh, what did you do to that girl?? Not that she wouldn't have done what she did anyway, it's just, well, difficult to watch someone throw all of their gold into the wrong vault and not want to intervene on their behalf somehow.
Once again, I applaud your Snape. He's so devilishly Snapey.
"And Mr. Malfoy," Snape added menacingly, "if I ever find that little trollop of yours inside this room again, I promise that you will come to know a new definition of the word regret."
Yeah. Goodness. And light. The light from the dawn of a new reality. After paving Draco's shiny, twisted path with good intentions, you've led him to the top of the mountain and there's only one way to go. I think I'm going to enjoy Draco's descent into oblivion.Author's Response: Hello, there! It's working just fine for me. :)
There isn't really much to like about Draco in this chapter. He's exactly what you describe. He's arrogant, spoiled, prejudiced, misogynistic, self-important, greedy, rude and he doesn't really care about anyone aside from himself.
Now as far as Pansy goes, I wouldn't start feeling too badly for her just yet. She has her reasons for being Draco's adoring little plaything. Wait until the next chapter is done and let's see whether you still feel the same.
I loved every second of writing Snape in this chapter. And it was one of the easiest things I've written in a long, long time. I just imagined Alan Rickman storming into that room and the words just tumbled out of my fingers.
Draco's world has changed dramatically. He doesn't even know how much yet. But he soon will. Muahahahaaa! Thanks for reading and reviewing! Report Review
On the sixth day of Christmas...
...and people ask ME where I get my cracked up ideas from...
This fic was sheer brilliance from start to finish. I'm afraid I had to stop reading several times, just to get a chance to breathe, I was laughing so hard. Everything you wrote about Snape was great, from the potential mildewey socks to sulking in the corner during the faculty meeting.
"The entire house was constructed on a self-perpetuating foundation of privilege, arrogance and a powerful aversion to any activity that bore a resemblance to honest work."
Ahh, Slytherins. How we love to loathe them.
Crabbe was precious. "Mr. Crabbe, you don't have a sister." Just awesome. Pansy's single-minded career path was an over-the-top hopeless case. Even if Snape had cared to help her out, I'm not sure it would have done much good.
Draco's secret desire and Snape's thoughts on taking the opportunity to humiliate his father was utterly brilliant. I can totally see Draco doing that type of work and loving every minute (and Snape cashing in on the side... the perfect setup!).
I was pretty sure you couldn't top that if you tried, but then you included Daphne, who had it all together until Snape pointed it out to her. "My bad" had me in stitches. And Mr. Zambini stole the show. I'm not going to quote any lines from that section because then I'd have to pick one and they were all equally brilliant.
I can easily picture Snape gritting his teeth through all of these interviews and scribbling those snarky comments in the margins of his notes, if only to keep sane.
I don't know what you put in your pumpkin juice the day you wrote this, but whatever it was, you may want to save the recipe.Author's Response: I love Christmas! Good friends, good food and cool stuff from pix.
So I'll admit it: I had more fun writing this than just about anything else I've ever written. I usually canon-police myself so hard when I write. But in this case, I just turned it loose and let my imagination run wild. It was a joy.
Poor Crabbe. It wasn't hard at all to figure out what to do with him. Giving him pyromaniac tendencies was a slam dunk after the way he managed to get himself killed. And Pansy is just a hopelessly smitten schoolgirl, so I didn't try to make any more of her than that.
I've always tended to think that Snape hated Lucius and secretly hated Draco, as well. So having him make the most of an opportunity to use Draco as a means of further hurting Lucius made all the sense in the world.
Zabini's section was actually the first one I wrote. I have to assume that Hogwarts has its share of players, and he's definitely the type.
I don't know what I was drinking when I wrote this, but it all ended well. Thank you for another awesome review! Report Review
On the fifth day of Christmas...
I seem to be slipping.
"Albus nodded dumbly, unnerved by his aunt's deathly serious expression but confused as to what could possibly go wrong. Greyback might be a werewolf, but the full moon was three weeks away. He was wandless, surrounded by three Hit Wizards and they were deep in the bowels of the Ministry. Only a fool would try to escape under those circumstances."
Can you bottle up a batch of "crystal clear" prose and send it my way? Here, you are setting us up for an escape scenario, where the big, bad werewolf loses control and tries to break free. But that's not what happens, is it?
He craves the blood and the violence so much that it spins him into a frenzy. He doesn't want to run away. He wants to bathe in the massacre. Greyback is indeed a monster. A big, scary, violent, unrepentant beast.
I love seeing Hermione's actions through the eyes of someone else. I love that you gave us Albus' eyes to watch her every move and to speculate on what is coming next. He knows about enough that the reader knows, and he has the same missing pieces as we do too. I felt like we were both trying to figure it out together, which was a really neat experience.
The action rolled so smoothly that I almost lost myself in the pensieve, but you gave me enough of Albus' thoughts to pull through. I think your concept of keeping everyone else distracted by the battle was genius. The only thing I wasn't certain of was how much Greyback changed. He didn't seem to be a werewolf at first, but then he began moving like one. It read like perhaps he was a half-man, half-werewolf kind of thing... or maybe I'm mixing up canon facts with other things.
Seamus was a surprise, wrapped around a 'ship. I'm so glad you didn't have him exact vengeance on Greyback and have him still working towards a peaceable life. The twist was totally unexpected and was a great fit to the story.
About that section, I really loved this:
"She was gentle as a lamb," Seamus mused softly, "but when the Carrows pushed her, they woke a lion. Twasn't fair. She never shoulda been forced to change like that."
This was a unique concept that you pulled off brilliantly. Really great story!Author's Response: Hello, again! It's so easy to slip this time of the year. So much going on, so little time. Anyway, I have to say that you're really spoiling me with these lovely reviews!
I really loved being able to use Albus's point of view for most of this. He knows just enough to have an idea of what's going on, but not enough to see things for what they really are. He's so comfortable in the sense of peace and security that his father made possible and so steeped in his aunt's idealism that everything she's saying seems strange and implausible to him.
The Memory Chamber scene was really difficult for me to pace, so I'm glad it ran smoothly for you. I had to go back twice and rearrange the events so that it felt like it gave Greyback enough time to lose his resolve. I also really struggled to figure out where in the course of events to have Greyback lose it. It needed to happen at the peak of the violence and bloodshed, which meant that it couldn't wait for everything to fall silent when Harry and Voldemort were circling one another.
I borrowed quite a bit from JKR's own descriptions of Greyback in the middle of the battle. He isn't transformed, but his physical state and his actions do seem like they're somewhere in between human and wolf. I think of him as a person who chose to sacrifice his humanity entirely and embrace the wolf. That's what makes him so dangerous.
I picked up a lovely bit of head canon along the way that had Seamus and Lavender in a hidden relationship during the year that Snape and the Carrows ran Hogwarts. The idea was that it was hidden in order to protect her. If Snape or the Carrows learned of it, they would have used her to control him. It made her death even sadder, I think.
Ah, I'm so glad you liked it all. At times while I was writing it, *I* didn't like it very much. But I put my head down and bulled through it.
Thanks so much and Happy Holidays! Report Review
On the fourth day of Christmas...
There are only twelve, so I'm not behind, right?
When I first started reading this, I had no idea where you were going with it. I liked the mystery and the intrigue and the way you held back on the real issues of the story and painted us into Hermione's current life. It was like I was sitting right there, watching her, wondering what is really going on. All that time through the first scene, I was trying to make connections. You thwarted me, Dan. The shame!
Naw, it was a really good introduction. I liked how you chose Albus to be there with Hermione and help her to refine her arguments before her big meeting at the Ministry and I also think it's great that he's interested in making his own future apart from his family. (I've been playing around with that theme in my head recently too, funny that.).
When Hermione got the package and then stormed into the hearing room, I was still guessing. Who sent the message and THEN how is she going to build up a case against that monster in only an hour?? What is going on here? Are you setting her up to fail?
Making us all see the level-headed woman that she is and what she works so passionately for in the first section and then having her react so strongly to the seemingly "rehabilitated affectee" sitting in the defendant's seat was done on purpose. I know Greyback is bad. She knows Greyback is bad. But to everyone else, he's just a guy in a clean robe, about to get a second chance. The way she lost composure and Albus' reactions to it were probably about the same as all the other Geezergamot attendees. What in the world is she doing? This is no big deal, right? Obviously, it is. Even after Hermione explains to Albus who this man really is and what he's capable of, she still has to prove it. But how??
All of that was really great storytelling. You heaped a whole lotta bad onto your character with small odds that she was going to get through it in the limited time she had. Even though I think I know Hermione Granger well, I was left genuinely concerned at the end of this chapter that she might not prevail over this. And then what would Albus come away with? Oh goodness. I need chocolate.Author's Response: This review beats calling birds, any day of the week!
So I started to write this story a long time ago. Literally, I think I was 15 chapters or so into CoB when I came up with the idea and jotted down a bunch of loosely-connected ideas. I wrote the first section with Hermione and Albus at least nine months ago, and I've just been picking at it when the mood strikes me ever since. I finally got it to a point where I got fed up with myself and decided to finish it. So here we are.
I really liked using a bit of misdirection to introduce Hermione and Albus and show what they're doing in life. Not only is it far less annoying than doing some huge back story dump, but it puts the reader slightly off balance from the start. This is certainly a story where the reader is well-advised to question everything. Nothing is precisely what it seems.
Your reaction to Greyback is the essence of what's really going on here. You know that he hasn't really changed. Hermione knows that he hasn't really changed. But it's filtered through Albus's eyes, so there's some legitimate doubt. And she has to start by convincing him, because otherwise how is she going to convince the Wizengamot?
All that said, she has a plan. You'll see it play out in the next chapter. I hope you like it! Now go get yourself some chocolate and thanks for reading and reviewing! Report Review
First off, I love the quote you started with. It really set the tone for the whole piece.
With a few chosen words, I can picture the myriad of stories that these two characters had gone through to get to these moments, and the myriad of stories that these two characters had after writing. Writing is indeed a powerful tool. Even though you left a lot unsaid, I am fascinated by the depths that I felt within it. Congratulations on your Dobby nomination!Author's Response: That quote is from one of my most favourite sentences ever, so I'm glad you like it. And you're the first person to comment on it, so thank you. :)
The cool thing about writing about characters that my readers already understand is letting them fill in the blanks, so it's not me being deep, it's just trying to provide a framework for your imagination... if that makes sense at all?
Anyway, thank you so much for your review! :) Report Review
The most interesting thing I found about the first scene was how careful Lucius was to shield his wife from the Death Eater meeting. I like this touch, having Narcissa out of the loop, both for her protection and because she really wasn't part of the inner circle like the rest of them. Having creepy people in her house all the time would have been enough!
Your portrayal of Voldemort was just chilling. I hated writing him, even one little bit. You did him justice. All evil and darkness and creep. *shudder* And Bellatrix is as messed up as ever. I meant that in a good way, you know. :)
Sirius was so close to revealing the big secret that I'm dying to know and then Peter interrupts them. Darn! I really want to know what Sirius and Lily have been keeping from James all this time and why Lily thinks it's a good idea not to tell him. You are making me impatient with this now. I suppose it's a good thing in a way.
It was cute how even though Lily was out spending time with someone else, her thoughts remained on James. And it was a great touch that she put on such a brave face to fool everyone into thinking that she didn't REALLY have that hangover, though I hope she had the help of a potion.
What happens next? I guess I'll have to come back for the next chapter really soon.Author's Response: Ahhh Lucius, Bellatrix, Voldemort OH MY! Heheh. Voldemort was terrifying to write, so I'm very happy you think I got him right! He's almost even more challenging than Dumbledore, for me at least.
Sirius and Lily are a sneaky duo. But I can tell you (because I've had a few guesses with this) that they did NOT do anything romantic nor would they EVER.
Hahah you'll have to come back?? Oh no, that's just too bad for me ;). But really, thank you so much for reviewing because you absolutely didn't need to. But I am so happy you're enjoying this so far ♥ Report Review
You picked a great setup for the "Triumphs over adversity" theme for this challenge. I loved the boggart in the hallway and how you wrote Narcissa's panic at finding her worst fear lying in front of her. The action flowed really well as you took us through her journey to the hiding place where she had stowed Draco away.
I think you did a great job with Narcissa, building her up and showing us what a capable witch she was without doing anything overly dramatic with it. Every action she had was well-thought and deliberately placed and I really enjoyed that about this piece. I know it's difficult to think through a challenge on a timed deadline, because I did this challenge too and kept second-guessing myself, but I thought you did a fantastic job including the prompts that you chose and leaving out the ones that would seem jarring or out of place. The addition of the Dragon's Blood that you snuck in there was a great touch.
The Narcissa that you portrayed is very much the Narcissa I envisioned at the end of the Second Wizarding War. Oh, what kind of future would Draco have had if they had turned away after the First War? Maybe you can run with that one day.
A very enjoyable read!Author's Response: Thanks for reading & reviewing!
I am glad you liked this, from the theme to the action, to Narcissa's character.
Yeah, I kept second-guessing myself too, so its a relief to know that you think I did a great job with it.
Ah, that seems like a good idea. I would love to write on what kind of future would Draco have had if they had turned away after the First War. Thanks! Report Review
On the third day of Christmas...
Don't shoot me. I can never resist a theme.
I love how you gave Harry that strange Headmaster mystique that Professor Dumbledore held over his students. No one knew his personal past and most everyone was afraid to ask. I love how you made Harry and his friends so essential in the reshaping of Wizard society for the future and how their contributions became widely accepted and improved the quality of life for so many. I love how you kept the canon trio so completely in character throughout and were still able to move them through their respective arcs so that they grew and thrived and lived and died. There was so much about this story to love.
I think my favorite line has to be from the Trainman: "Sir is no way to address an old friend." Indeed.
Lady Tenabra earned her right as Best Villain in this year's Dobbys. Congratulations, both for the award and the ability to finish such a monumental, epic, monster novel. We don't get many memorable villains around here that make such an impact as she did. We donít get many completed stories that are as well-crafted or many authors who are as bold, tenacious and dedicated as you were with this story either. So thank you for that.
What a fantastic story you have created! I think the thing I admire the most about the placement of time that you chose is that I can pretend in my head that all the other post-war Harry Potter stories that I've enjoyed could have still happened in this universe and Harry Potter would have lived his last days in relative quiet (I suppose that to Harry Potter, being surrounded by kids in boarding school day in and day out for sixty years would be relatively quiet after what he'd been through) and died a happy man.
Fantastic ending. Fantastic story.Author's Response: I'm kind of loving this Days of Christmas motif. It's like my own personal Advent calendar. ;)
I imagine that it didn't take Harry too awfully long to gain his own special mystique. He was a unique and powerful wizard. Liberated from the responsibility of chasing dark wizards around and attending Ministry meetings, he probably had a lot more free time to learn new and interesting magic. At some level though, I like to think that Harry never felt the same degree of separation from his students that Dumbledore did. Dumbledore lived the majority of his life in a sort of penance for the transgressions of his youth. Harry was never touched by the darkness in quite the same way.
When he finally met the Trainman, he certainly had no regrets. After such a long and eventful life, I'm sure that he was ready to rejoin everyone he had lost. In that sense, he and Death greeted each other warmly.
Would you think less of me if I admitted that I really had no idea who or what Lady Tenabra was going to turn out to be when I first introduced her? She was such an organic creation. With literally every chapter, she grew and changed and took on new dimensions inside my head. As far as being bold and tenacious, I think it was equal parts fear of failure and amazing encouragement and devotion from people like yourself. I never wanted to see this story die on the vine or lose its focus, but in the end I really, really couldn't stand the thought of letting down the people who had been so good to me throughout the process. So *thank you* for that!
I picked this era specifically because I had never seen another fic that was set this far into the future. The freedom to imagine new and interesting dynamics and "re-develop" the canon characters was amazing. And I do like that it can be compatible with so many amazing post-Hogwarts and Next Gen fics that I've fallen in love with. And, like you said, I love that Harry got his happy ending.
Thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart. The ride wouldn't have been nearly as much fun without you! Report Review
I really enjoyed getting into Lily's head with her while she was doing her Potions homework. That's a scene we so rarely see in fanfiction and I found it utterly fascinating. Additionally, when James interrupted her, I felt her frustration just as strongly as if he were interrupting me. Stupid boys!
" A fifth year had even come up to James and demanded that he put Peter on the team as a Beater, saying: 'He would look so dreamy in the Gryffindor uniform!'"
Ahh, hahaha! I like your characterization of Peter in this chapter so far. He's friendly and acceptable and completely above any kind of suspicion. And the people around him seem to like him to an extent. Just one of the boys.
I'm also enjoying Belle here. She adds a perfect amount of tension to the girls' group without becoming overbearing, so I'll forgive you for making her a transfer student. I'm sure her personal story will pop up eventually. Nicely done!
Remus' talk with Lily was nicely placed and touching. I had expected one of the girls to come up and help her out, but it's nice to see you building the relationship between Lily and the rest of the boys too.
The invisibility cloak scene with the "Prospects" added an extra layer to this chapter. And I really like how Lily is trying so hard to maintain her control, but can't quite do it. Now she's agreed to go gallivanting off with some strange transfer student and she's going to wake up with a really bad reminder of why you should pay attention to what you drink. Poor Lily!
I think you're doing a fantastic job with the characters here, keeping them real and letting them act true to form without being over-the-top caricatures of seventeen year olds that just run around doing things because they can.
I am still enjoying this story, and so sorry that it's taken ages to get back to it!
pixAuthor's Response: Hi darling ♥ I definitely took a risk with Belle as transfer student! Her full story just came out in chapter 13, and I hope when/if you make it there you enjoy getting to learn the rest of the Blonde's back story!
More than anything, I want this to be a story about these young people who had to be put through too much too soon, about their friendship and who they were, so knowing you like the characterizations so far is such a huge compliment ♥
Thank you so much m'dear for stopping by ♥
On the second day of Christmas...
Pretzel sticks. Some people cry after an emotional story. I eat. Nom nom.
It was heartwarming to see Harry make peace with Ginny's memory at last. You gave him the closure he was so desperately searching for all this time, though you certainly made him go through a heck of a lot to get there.
"The elf was humming softly to himself, and Harry recognized the melody from a song that Kreacher used to mutter when he thought that nobody else could hear."
These are the details that I love that you have sprinkled throughout the story that truly made it an engaging read. We all try to keep the readers energetically engaged with the characters and you have managed to do so with not only the main characters, but the supporting cast as well. This was a monumental feat, given how many characters you juggled through this epic adventure. Every chapter, I came away with a solid sense of character. Every single one. And I was astounded every single time how you personalized every character's experiences in this tale.
I think your strongest section had to be Fleur's message to the younger generation. Though at times it felt odd, flipping back and forth to the younger students and their unsullied perspective on things, you made it work without seeming disjointed or abrupt. Having Fleur give them a post-war debriefing of sorts was a perfect way to have them connect more fully to the older generation.
The therapist session with Percy couldn't have been any more perfect. We got a good look at what it felt like to be possessed in the last chapter, and all through the story, the characters have been talking about the way that memories could be tampered with and replaced, (and we got to see Esme dealing with it a bit when she tried to navigate through the tampered memory, which was cool) but now you are showing us exactly what it did to Percy and how it can be overcome, even though he has a long road ahead of him. Audrey has played such a small part in this story, but her willingness to sit through the sessions with Percy is a testament to her character and tells us what we need to know about her.
Draco and Astoria had a charming resolution in their own, "Draco/Astoria in Dan's head canon" way (I would have used hyphens for all of that, but I'm saving the superfluous punctuation for the final chapter of Peony vs. the world). You showed us how much they appreciate each other and how they hold each other up through the tough times.
The way that you allowed The Longbottoms to react to Harry's news, even in their small, limited way was such a lovely touch and I loved the shout out to Lily and Snape in the Headmasterís office! We'd all like to think they had some sort of amicable resolution in the end. Neville's addition was perfect here.
As for Rose's future... Alright, I have to admit that I put down the pretzels and needed a tissue during Ron's heart-to-heart with Scorpius. I only feel better because I was legitimately able to use hyphens just now. It was a very touching scene. You picked a good moment to end on that thread. It was just enough to give us hope for her recovery without making a whole 'nother epic novel about it. But if the mood strikes you to dealve into a YA, angsty, nightmare-focused recovery story between Rose and Octavia and how Scorpius deals with all of that, I wouldn't mind reading it.
I love that Susan Bones has a place on the faculty, and Harry's speech was fabulous. Watch out, students, you have a real DADA teacher now!
What can I say after all that that hasn't already been said? Absolutely nothing.Author's Response: OK, I've stared at this beautiful review for long enough, basking in the glow it emits from my unanswered reviews page. It's time to respond to it. ;)
From the very start of the story, Harry's inability to let go of his guilt and grief over Ginny's death has been near the center of the plot. From the moment I decided -- and it was very difficult -- that she wasn't going to be part of the story, my inner Harry has been struggling to come to terms with it. This was the best way I could think of to give him that closure.
I really tried my best to give every character at least a small chance to shine and be noticed. For some, like Luna, I really felt like I short-changed them. For others, like Xerxes the Seer, I probably wasted way more time than was warranted. In the end, I guess the balance was OK. I'm glad you liked it, at any rate.
I spent a lot of time writing and revising Fleur's section. I wanted her to say things that would help the youngest generation come to terms with what had happened in a sympathetic way, but without being patronizing and definitely without glamorizing war. I do think that they understand their grandparents a lot better after having gone through this, but they will always be touched by what they saw. It's both uplifting and sad, I think.
The things that I really wanted people to take away from Percy's session are that he suffered some very real consequences from Arabela's control over him, but that he's also committed to making things right with Audrey and the rest of his family. He was a hero in this story. Not in the overt way of some of the other characters, but he did the right thing with it mattered most.
Somebody was trying to convince me that between Marked, Detox and CoB that I constructed a sort of "Draco Trilogy". While I agree that the character progresses in an interesting way through the three stories, I'm not quite ready to go that far just yet. And the best thing about punctuation is that you can always make more. ;)
I argued with myself a lot over just how much of a reaction to allow Frank and Alice to Harry's terrible news. Part of me wanted to let them really, honestly mourn. And maybe they did, in their own way. But I felt like it would have been almost a disservice to what they sacrificed to keep Neville and Harry safe if I had suddenly, miraculously restored some measure of their sanity. In the end, the brief moment that Alice and Harry share will have to do.
Sorry to tax your tissue supply. I hope it helps if I tell you that in my mind, Rose does get better, at least mostly. There are some scars that will simply never heal, but with a lot of work and loving support from both families, she and Octavia learn how to deal with the horrible things they survived. Octavia goes on to become a brilliant young witch, and a Slytherin, much to her father's joy and her mother's disappointment. The hat did take a long time to think about it, though. ;)
Susan and Hermione have both joined the faculty, although in my mind Hermione doesn't stay on that long. She spends around ten years totally revamping the History of Magic curriculum and figuring out how to balance the good and bad parts of the history of relations between the magical and muggle worlds. But after a decade of teaching, the temptation to return to her first love of advancing the rights of non-human magical being is too strong. She leaves Hogwarts to start an advocacy organization, which Ron publicly supports while making faces when she's not looking. Susan, for her part, spends many years teaching students both the theoretical and practical aspects of magical self-defense, often by attacking them when they're not paying attention in class.
Thank you so much for being such a wonderful, enthusiastic, patient and supportive reader and for so many amazing reviews. One more to go... Report Review
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