I really liked this story! While I admit that allowing Simon Ross to get away was a tiny bit frustrating I think it is rather refreshing to not end with the over played stereotypical "happy ending" that we all know never actually happens.
I was very pleasantly taken in by the whole story and found that I kept having to move forward to the next chapter to find out what was going to happen next. You have a very easy to read writing style and successfully created a world of mystery and suspense that was enjoyable to read. Great job! Report Review
Sam this story is so good! And Simon is so scary!!! You've done a fabulous job with those characters, and I can't wait to read more! 10/10
Cassie :)Author's Response: Simon is terrifying, I love it. :P
Thank you so much!
Sam. Report Review
OH MY GOSH TEDDY'S ALIVE. I wasn't expecting that at all! I need to read more. 10/10
Cassie :)Author's Response: He is! Teddy was my biggest plot twist! :D
Thank you for leaving a review.
Sam. Report Review
I'm really intrigued by this! You've done a fantastic job of stringing along little details and plot points so we don't get the full story right away. Great job so far! 10/10
Cassie :)Author's Response: Mysteries are my thing. Haha. ;)
Thank you for reviewing.
Sam. Report Review
So this was an amazing first chapter!im already sucked into this story! I can't wait for more, so I'm off to read the next chapter! 10/10
Cassie :)Author's Response: Hey, Cassie.
Thank you so much. I hope you like the rest of the story!
Sam. Report Review
Yes! Go Ron! I hope they find him!
I'm so worried for them all, I don't want Simon to hurt them.
He's got to be up to something if he's going that quietly.
What? He didn't murder his own family? But who did? and why?
What? Tim helped David? How? He's not dead! Thank god for that!
No! Simon can't escape! He just can't. I'm going to be living in fear that he's going to find me because now I know about him. I can't wait for the sequel to this because I need to know that he's been found and put in Azkaban for a very long time!
This is so fantastic, you're such an amazing talented writer and the way you wrote Simon was just phenomenal (Did I spell that word right? *shrugs*) He is the creepiest and best villain I have ever read about. And so many times throughout this story I was literaly like "Oh my god!" and "WOW!" I loved this! Even though I am scared, I loved this. Report Review
I'm so glad that they're all working on the case so they can track down and get this mad man, and Tim is working with them, even if he is scared, I would be terrified of having Simon out and about, I'm scared of him being around me now and he's fictional!
I really hope that they find him, he is seriously creepy and terrifying. Report Review
I love Albus being Harry's shadow, it's so sweet and he's so cute.
Oh my! I can see why that person said that your bad guy was like Hannibal Lector, he is one crazy, screwed up villain! He's such a fantastic villain, he scares me.
Gah! This story is amazing! like oh my god! I'm on the edge of my seat with every chapter! Report Review
Gah! I can't wait to find out more!
What's going on at the party? I'm worried something bad is going to happen soon!
Ahh! I knew it! I knew it would be Teddy! But yay Harry and Ginny are back together! :D
No not a fire! You can't end it there! I need to know if everyone survived! And what's going on with Teddy!
There's literally a cliffhanger on every chapter! How could you do this to me! You're so brilliant! :D Report Review
Oh no! David no!
A metamorphosis? Is it Teddy? Is he back? Did he not die?
What's going on? What's just happened? I'm so confused but I love it!
This just gets more hooking and hooking with every chapter! Report Review
No!! That's the meanest message to Harry! This guy is really playing games and messing with Harry!
Why did David leave like that?
What? WHAT! David is Theo!? I knew I had a reason to be suspicious!
I'm glad that Ron's talked to Harry but what has the Healer got to show HArry? Report Review
I need to know more about the guy at the beginning!
I'm still suspicious of David! and I think that Ginny should calm down *is Team Harry all the way!*
I really didn't see it coming that two people would be involved. And the scream has got to be from the couple they saw earlier!
Gah! I need to read more! :D Report Review
It brought tears to my eyes to see Harry call Teddy his oldest, it makes me proud that he treats him like a son.
What? No! Teddy died? No wonder Harry doesn't like celebrating Halloween, I wouldn't either if I was him!
I'm definately angry at Ginny for serving him with divorce papers, even though I suppose I see where she's coming from.
I feel so sorry for Harry at the moment :-( Report Review
I'm definately suspicious of the way David is acting to Harry, m something going on there.
Uh-oh that message is for Harry, that's not good at all.
What Ginny? No don't be angry at Harry, he's having a bad day everythign seems to be going wrong for him :-( I don't like Ginny being mean at all :-( Report Review
Why doesn't Harry want to go to the party? What been ten years?
I'm suspicious of David's wand now! I'm going to be suspicious of everything now, I can tell.
I really thought that was Harry in the cafe but it's Theo Moon, who is he?
Need to read more of your wonderful story!! Report Review
I'm excited about reading this one after hearing you talk about the bad guy being creepy.
This is a very interesting and well written opening chapter, it's so great and hooking. I'm so eager to find out more, like who is this creepy guy? What does the message mean?
I can't wait to read more! :D Report Review
Oh, so this is the last chapter! Well, I have to say, you set up a really interesting possibility if you ever chose to do a sequel. Hint. Hint. Hint.
Good old Ron! Leave it to him to put the pieces together and see them for what they are. I love the small patterns that you worked into Simon Ross's actions. I guess the main thing that would have been really neat is if you'd dropped some of the hints in earlier, like giving the name of the girl that was killed way back at the beginning. That would definitely add more of that "gotcha" factor when you reveal things later on.
You built up some nice suspense around the raid on Ross's flat. I wasn't sure what to expect, even after seeing that Ross knew they were coming. He's plainly decided that Teddy has to die, which is a scary thought. Then the Aurors arrive, and I'm expecting him to have some nasty surprises for them...
But he doesn't. What is this? He's just coming quietly, without putting up a fight? You know who Ross is starting to remind me of? Hannibal Lecter. He has that eerie, quiet disposition. The cultured, cerebral exterior that conceals the incredible capacity for violence and cruelty that lies underneath. He went quietly with the Aurors because he knew that the Ministry was the place where they would be at their weakest. The place where they feel safe and secure. You have created a really amazing villain here, equal parts chilling and intriguing.
As they interrogate Ross, more and more pieces clicked into place for me, until... I just had one of those revelations that makes you feel cold inside. Ross didn't kill his own family. And the reason he went back to the morgue was to make sure that David was dead. To double-check his own handiwork. He obviously hated David passionately. You don't think... Nah, it couldn't be, right? Did David kill Ross's family? Is that what this is really all about? Chills...
The part about how David faked his own death, at least for my tastes, sounded a little off. It's strange to imagine a Medical Examiner, who's a good friend of Harry's, allowing Harry to believe that David was dead while Harry was standing there in shock and nearly in tears. I understand that he made a promise, but Harry is the Head Auror, David's boss. It just seemed strange that Graham wouldn't have said something. All's well that ends well, I suppose, except now I think that David might be a murderer. You twist my feelings in knots with this story, you know that? :p
Ross's final message to Teddy was chilling, and the specific way he bides his time until he could kill the guards and escape only added to that Hannibal Lecter vibe. I'm imagining Anthony Hopkins, when he escapes from his cell in Silence of the Lambs. More chills...
David's funeral must have been really awkward for all involved. I can't imagine poor Harry, having to go and try to comfort David's bereaved mother. But you did a really nice job of putting all the pieces in place if you ever wanted to continue this story. Hint. Hint. Hint. ;)
Sam, I can't say enough about how much I've enjoyed reading this. It was really nicely done and very fun. Let's just forget all those half-baked theories of mine, OK? Thanks! Great job! Report Review
Just when I thought you couldn't trick me any more, Sam! Just when I thought you were out of surprises... This was supposed to be the last chapter! Augh! How am I supposed to find out how this ends???
OK, need to calm down. This means I get to enjoy more chapters, so I'm happy about that. For the first time in the whole story, it seems like Simon has lost control of the agenda. The element of surprise and superiority is gone and it obviously bothers him a great deal. Still, he's a very menacing, dangerous guy. I feel really worried for Healer Graham and, by extension, for Harry. He doesn't need to lose anybody else in this story. :(
You got the whole band back together for this one, didn't you? And the trio has been expanded into a quintet! It was great to see all of the people closest to Harry stepping up to help solve this mystery that's endangering all of them. I also liked the fact that you bundled all of the kids back to Hogwarts. That was an anxiety that I wouldn't have liked dealing with. The tension in Harry's office was bad enough as it was.
Also, you got Healer Graham out of imminent danger. Unless Healer Graham isn't who he appears to be... Hmmnn... The photograph of Simon Ross that was left on his desk made me very suspicious. Either the mysterious ally who left David's file for Teddy to find is once again back and helping, or there might be more to this than meets the eye.
OK, so we get a little more of Healer Graham's back story. That left me feeling a little better about the guy. If Simon Ross is impersonating him, he's done a very thorough job with his research. An Auror, a Healer and a Medical Examiner, all before age 32? This guy is Doogie Howser-esque. Are you even old enough to know who that is? ;) So get this. You know Barney on How I Met Your Mother? Well he used to be one heck of a geeky kid...
OK, one small typo and I guess I'm going to go for the complete set.
"I am running up and down the Ministry, going through the archives and any department that hold records for a Simon Ross." - that holds records
Such a good story. You'd better finish this soon! Don't tease me, Sam! Report Review
I'm so close to the end! Well there went the morning. ;) But I have to know how it ends now. I have to!
The way you wrote Harry's family's reaction was really sweet. I know it isn't a major part of the story, but I still think it added something. The reactions of all three children were perfect: Lily just being scared and confused, Albus seeking reassurance and comfort from his father and James -- who must be 16 or 17 years old if Al is 14 -- just trying to work it all out for himself. A great piece of writing.
I loved Teddy's back story. It filled in so much for me and gave me some closure on a lot of my long-running questions. Teddy's story of suffering from smoke inhalation and not being able to explain who he really is makes sense on a certain level, but I also thought it was a little strange. There can't be very many metamorph kids in Britain. And since he obviously came from the night club, wouldn't the family have simply waited for somebody to come back and investigate the fire and said, "By the way, we found a wizard kid lying about." Anyway, I understand that you needed a way for Teddy to meet his nemesis. It's terrible to imagine Teddy and David both being so terrified of this kid that they had to flee the country to get away from him. Simon Ross is obviously a nasty piece of work.
It seems like between Teddy and David, they have all the evidence they need to go after Ross. They just need to know where to look. It also appears that there's somebody else out there in the world who's trying to help them. I wonder whether it was Ross, himself, who planted the file? I'm thinking back to how angry he was when he thought that "Theo Moon" was claiming credit for his crimes. He seems like the type of killer who does it for the attention, the type who almost wants to be caught, just so he can properly take credit for his demented genius.
At any rate, I'm going to know soon enough. No turning back now. I'll see you in the next chapter! Report Review
Wow! That was a barn-burner of a chapter, no pun intended. OK, maybe a small pun intended. But everything just exploded into the open and I loved every second of it.
I am SO curious to find out who the killer is. I've been sitting here, racking my brain, and I can't come up with any good possibilities. He obviously has a connection of some sort to Teddy. They have a past. They understand each other in some strange way. I'm thinking hard about the fire when Teddy was supposed to have died. Was it deliberately set? Teddy would have been so young then, maybe 12 or 13 years old. It's hard to imagine how he would have lived on the run for so long.
The serenity that Harry seemed to have in this chapter really added to the feeling of a crescendo. He's figured it all out. He knows what's going to happen at the party, and he can finally attend because the demons that have haunted him are about to be exorcised. It was a lovely thing, and I felt so happy for him, even though I strongly suspected that you had more surprises in store.
Harry's entrance to the party felt really tense and awkward, very appropriately so. I liked the way that you gradually brought his family back to him, a little at a time. When Teddy revealed himself, the whole scene collapsed in on the two of them for a little while. Harry didn't get all the answers he wanted, but he definitely got some closure. Then, when the Potter family was reunited, that was an awesome feeling. I was hoping Teddy would come down from the balcony to rejoin them, but it seems that he knows that the killer is lurking and he needs to keep his distance.
"Now is not the time, Harry," Teddy pointed out. "Tick tock, remember." - So he does know that something bad is about to happen. I'm glad that everyone realizes Teddy isn't the killer. That would have been bad.
The ending left a tight feeling in my chest. I'm pretty sure that Teddy made it out alive, but where is he? Why is he being so mysterious? And where is the killer? So many questions with only two short chapters left!
So I saw one small typo in this chapter, or maybe you'd call it more of a continuity problem:
Leaning against the dining room table, Harry watched the clock...
...Harry pushed himself away from the desk and made his way out of the house. - I'm wondering whether you meant to say "table" in that second sentence.
Otherwise, another beautifully crafted chapter! I love reviewing contests. I get to read so many awesome things! Report Review
Ooh! A creepy morgue scene. Nice ambiance!
I had some misgivings about one part of the scene in the morgue. I'm not sure why the medical examiner thought it was important to tell Harry about David's educational history when he was identifying the body. I understand that this was information you probably wanted to get to the reader somehow, to reinforce that there was a connection between David and Teddy, but this seemed like kind of an awkward way to do it. I thought you might have been better served to have Healer Graham ask Harry how he knew the victim and let Harry explain how David befriended Teddy. It would have sounded more natural coming from him.
But Harry's reaction was spot on. Shock, denial, panic... his response was perfect. He's trying to process so many things in his head. He's just learned that one of his friends is dead and the person he's been working with is an impostor. And then it all clicks for Harry. The pieces start to come together and in an instant he's on his way. I think a few things clicked for me, as well. I'm more convinced that never now that Teddy is Theo Moon. "Teddy Remus Lupin" sure has some similarities to "Theo Moon", doesn't it?
Something about Harry's visit to David's office brought that film noir feeling right back to me. I'm imagining him sitting here, searching through the drawers of a worn, wooden desk, rifling through files in old manilla folders. It's just a perfect visual.
So David/Theo has been hunting the killer. And he's obviously made a lot of progress! It all seems to be coming back to Halloween. I think the party is going to be a gala affair, filled with drama, excitement and possibly murder. ;)
So I found something in this chapter that I hadn't seen in quite a while: a typo!
It didn't take long for Harry to figure out what all the highlights names meant, to see what he had seen; that it was the same person. - I think you either meant to say, "what all the highlights meant" or "what all the highlighted names meant".
This story is making my morning! Enjoying it so much! Report Review
You know what I feel like doing right now? I wish I could find a way to take the smilie with its tongue sticking out -- :p -- and make it half the size of the page so that's all you'd see when you started reading this review. You tricked me again! I seriously need to stop trying to guess what's happening, but you make it so much fun to try. I really think you need to write more mysteries!
OK, so let's process what we just learned. The message this time was obviously from the killer and it was obviously very personal. Directed solely at Harry by somebody who knows about Teddy, or seems to, anyway. And the victim's face was disfigured. That suggests that the killer didn't want Harry to know right away who he'd killed, although it wasn't like the victim's identity could remain a mystery forever. David knows who it is, but he can't bring himself to say. Then he panics and runs away.
And then we learn that David is some sort of shape-shifter, possibly a metamorph. And he's also Theo Moon. Or Theo Moon is actually David. Perhaps the dead man was the "real" David Malloy? That's definitely going to throw a wrench into the works.
David/Theo's section was filled with a lot of "he" and a lot of "he", to the point where I couldn't easily follow which was which. Maybe that's what you were going for, just to keep me guessing. David seems to think that either the dead man or the killer shouldn't be back in England yet. I'm going to guess that it's the dead man who wasn't supposed to be back. If the dead man is actually the "real" David Malloy, that would explain a lot. Theo Moon knew that he wasn't supposed to be back for a while, so it was easy to take his place. Exactly why Theo wanted to do that is still a mystery, but at least the pieces fit. And Theo obviously doesn't like the killer. He's trying to help Harry catch him, it appears. Good on you, Theo!
I have this feeling like Ron interrupted Harry just as he was about to have a major mental breakthrough on this case. Silly Ron, always walking into the middle of important moments in Harry's life. But it's nice to see the two best friends working things out, at least to some extent. Hopefully Ron can help Harry mend his relationships with Ginny and the rest of the family.
Another great chapter! I am really impressed with what you've done here. The story is so complex and compelling. I'll be back later... Report Review
Gah! My poor brain! More twists and turns than I can keep up with.
So we have potentially two antagonists? Or do we have a killer with multiple personalities? Hmmnnn... Timing-wise, it would be difficult for another person to be shadowing our maniacal killer, taking credit for his crimes, but not completely impossible. You really know how to keep me guessing! The only thing I'm completely sure of is that this killer you've written -- maybe Theo Moon is his name, or maybe that's the guy who's taking the credit -- creeps me out to no end. You've done an amazing job of making him dark and menacing and very disturbed.
I still think your characterization of Harry is really good. He keeps putting off the things that he doesn't feel like dealing with, choosing to lose himself in his work, instead. I loved the way he treats the pursuit of criminals as a game, and how that segued right back into his memories of Teddy. The boy was obviously very bright and insightful. I'm sure that some of that comes from having that ability to change his appearance. Subterfuge and hiding in plain sight would be second nature to somebody who could do that, wouldn't it?
OK, so I am more convinced than ever now that David is Teddy. Even Harry seems to be getting flashes of it, but he's either too sleep-deprived or too stubborn to see it. The affection that David has for him is so genuine-feeling, along with the way that he gets frustrated as he watches Harry dance on the edge of messing up his marriage. All mysteries aside, I do hope that Harry's able to pull out of this funk and fix things with Ginny. And it would be nice if that could happen before Halloween, but I suspect it won't.
And we get another twist right at the end! You are just reeling me along, chapter after chapter. This story is so addictive!
Once again, very nice job by you and your beta reader. No spelling/grammar problems that I could see. Well, might as well read the next one. ;) Report Review
You are absolutely determined that I am never going to figure out this David character, aren't you? :p
OK, so scrap what I said about Hermione at the end of the last review. Ugh, poor Harry. No wonder he can't deal with Halloween parties. I'm kind of surprised, actually, to see the other characters being so unsympathetic toward him. I realize that Ginny probably feels like she's given him all the time in the world, but to threaten him with divorce over something as small -- in the great scheme of things -- as a Halloween party? It seems a bit over the top to me. Maybe there's more context that I'm missing here.
I thought you did a really good job writing Harry's side of the conversation in his office. He seemed genuinely broken up, and there are obviously a lot of feelings inside his head that he's never dealt with properly. It would be nice if this was the start of something good for him, but I can't shake the feeling that he has a lot of darkness still coming.
I'm still struggling to put more context around David, I think. Why are he and Harry so seemingly close? What history do they share? And where did David go before he "came back" and why? OK, I'm going to put my Guessing Hat on here: David is actually Teddy, isn't he? I don't know whether David has always been Teddy, but the David who "came back" is definitely Teddy. As to whether he's also the killer, I'm not ready to go there. I'm still halfway convinced it's Harry.
You and your beta did a great job with this chapter. It read really smoothly. More, more, more! Report Review
Actually, it should start to make sense in the next chapter... Hopefully. :P Harry should make sense anyway. - I'm going to hold you to that!
So there were a number of things I couldn't quite figure out in this chapter, and now I'm not sure whether any or all of it was by design. For one, it seems like the victim was a man, at least if I'm interpreting Ron's comment correctly. So the waitress from the last chapter who I thought was pretty much done for wasn't the victim. Hmmnn...
You continue to throw all of these troubling little hints about David. He's been away and only just come back. He happened to be at the crime scene, although he doesn't live there. He was just on his way home. And he gives Harry some sort of death stare, at least for a moment before it disappears. Honestly, I think you're trying to throw us off the correct trail! It's just too easy to believe that David is the killer. But that said, he definitely knows something more than meets the eye. I keep going back to the way that Harry's dreading Halloween and not sleeping at night...
The argument with Ginny... well, you know me. I'm a major Ginny/Harry guy, so it wasn't fun to read. That said, I think you captured her spirit and her temper very well. Whatever it is that eats Harry about Halloween, she isn't putting up with it. She pulling out all the stops to try to force him to get over it. And it sounds as though it's something that affected everyone at some point, but others have chosen to move on. Why do I have a very bad feeling about the fact that we haven't seen Hermione yet... :(
For his side of the argument, Harry also seemed very much in character. Putting up walls, denying his emotions and getting angry when somebody calls him out on it. Yep, that's our Harry!
Doggone it, I was going to go to bed! Maybe just one more chapter, to see whether you meant what you said. By the way, this is my review # 699, so I think you're gonna get the lucky number 700! Report Review
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