168 Reviews Found

Review #1, by CambAngst Steady Ground

22nd April 2014:
Hi, there! I'm back again. You got this chapter up really fast!

Devlin bounced back really well from what happened to him at the end of the last chapter. Either it wasn't a full-blown attack or he's handling them a lot better, one or the other. Or maybe Alex gave him the potion in between chapters. At any rate, I was sort of glad it was her that he found watching over him when he awoke.

Her character is one that I still don't feel like I have a complete grasp of. I can see odd bits of Voldemort in her, mostly mannerisms and her approach to certain situations. She's extremely perceptive, but in a way that's almost... intrusive. She has a way of setting up situations and dilemmas to try to draw things out of Devlin. The little trick with locking the door was clever. It's easy to see why Devlin tends to base his predictions about her thoughts and actions on the things that he would do. It's also easy to understand why any weakness he perceives in her affects him so much.

Wow. Devlin's little speech to Alex probably really hit her where it hurt. I doubt that was his intention, at least not completely, but I'm sure it had an effect. She opened the door right away after that.

It's so awful that Devlin is still convinced that sharing the secret of Maria's escape will lead to his death. Things would be so much easier for him if he could get past that fear.

I'm not sure who Devlin thinks he's fooling, but I'll bet that he's not fooling Hermione at all. She definitely sees through the way that he's acting out and calls him out on it in a soft sort of way. He's going to have to learn that outside of a Death Eater camp, nobody is going to be intimidated by a little boy who tries to sound like Voldemort -- even if the impression is really good. His best case is that they think it's cute and his worst case is that they find it disturbing or even indicative of his deeper loyalties.

"You're copying him. It's not an advantage here." -- Well, Alex put it a lot more succinctly that I did. ;)

The scene where he gives Emma her present was really sweet. The snake and the lily. Wow, that couldn't be any more symbolic if it involved asphodel somehow. One thing that just dawned on me is that Emma shares the same relationship to Voldemort that Devlin does. It makes me wonder whether we'll see any of him emerge in her before the story is all said and done.

Harry offers Devlin a pretty fair bargain, in my opinion. I doubt that even Devlin could imagine that Harry would keep that particular secret from his mother forever. I really like the fact that Devlin is now starting to consider the possibility that Voldemort is not coming to take him back. That he might become a permanent part of the Potter family. He doesn't have any idea what to do with that bit of insight, but at least it's bubbling around in his brain. If he can come to accept the possibility that Voldemort doesn't want him back -- or, dare we imagine, the possibility that Voldemort lacks the means to take him back -- he would have to start confronting more of his immediate problems.

Great chapter! I love seeing the poor boy take another step forward, even a small one.

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Review #2, by Pixileanin Feverish Thoughts

21st April 2014:
Ack! The scene opens with a nightmare! Or at least I hope it's a nightmare. Dubhan is still finding it so difficult to trust and believe in these people. It's almost painful to read, but it still makes sense. It hasn't been that long for him away from Voldemort, and it seems that every time he becomes vulnerable, he doesn't know what to do about it.

I love the way you continuously describe the effects of the Calming Draught on the little boy who has lost his fight. It's like he wants to be angry, but it's all diffused in his head and he just can't muster up the ire at the moment. And he doesn't believe that whatever he's found here with Harry and his wife is going to last. Poor kid!

His reaction to jeans and a t-shirt, such normal things, and such strange items to him, was fun to read. He tries so hard not to react to these things, but they're new and strange, and he can't help but think about them. I keep wondering why he tells himself not to think about things... and what exactly he's trying not to think about. I hope Geoffrey can shed some light on this sometime in the future.

I laughed when he thought about Bella not counting as a lady. I would whole-heartedly agree!

And oh! The bookstore incident was so alarming! I could identify so much with Harry's concealed rage that someone else had seen his son and not known to report it. How horrible to find out that way, that Devlin had been right there and no one had said a thing. I commend Harry for keeping as calm as he did with such a shock.

And who was the mysterious man? Devlin seemed to recognize him. I am insanely curious! And then Harry scares his son, just when he doesn't want to. He really tried to keep it together, but the note and the Death Eater in the shop... and then needing Geoffrey... I could feel Harry slipping. He so wants to be that person for Devlin, but he's not. Not yet. And I fear he's taken several steps backwards.

The whole Occulmency thing was so intriguing and interesting. I found it fascinating that Harry thought Alexandra would understand, of all people, but you brought up an interesting point - that she hadn't been taught, so she wouldn't know. Her connection to Voldemort is fascinating. You have so many things that at this point in the story, haven't yet been revealed. I'm dying to know... which just means that I have to read more and catch up. :P

Geoffrey's solution to keeping the boy "safe at all costs"... wow. I have no idea how deep that runs, but I bet it's really important. I can't wait to see how that impacts the rest of the story.

I must not stay away from this story for as long as I have. There are many fascinating things going on over here!

Another thought-provoking chapter!

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Review #3, by CambAngst A Party

13th April 2014:
Hi, there! I'm getting all caught up on my stories today. Fun!

If Harry could have chosen how the world worked, he would be having his first conversation about death with Devlin over the tidily dug grave for Zee, when the boy was years older and so much more innocent. -- I love the contrast here! Such a poignant sentiment!

Harry and Devlin picked an interesting time to get all tense and weird around one another, but I guess the events around the Death Eater attack left everyone feeling a little off. I love the consistency you've been able to maintain in Devlin's world view as the story progresses. I know from first-hand experience that it isn't easy to do that. I get so wrapped up in my characters that I want better things for them and sometimes that colors my writing. You've managed to keep Devlin trapped in this mindset that enabled him to survive Voldemort but hampers his ability to understand life on the outside.

I'm not 100% sure why Harry's words made Devlin upset, but I'm suspecting it has to do with the amount of credit that Devlin gives himself for surviving Voldemort. Not to say that he doesn't deserve a lot of credit, but perhaps not quite as much as he's giving himself. He looks at Harry and the connection Harry shares with Voldemort and compares it to the way he believes that he deceived Voldemort into getting the two of them tangled up in Voldemort's mind. Harry's survival must seem easy to him. And then for Harry to claim credit for it, I imagine that rubs Devlin the wrong way.

Then we move on to something that Devlin seems to consider even harder: relating to kids his own age. It's heart-breaking, the way that something that should come so easily frightens him almost more than facing Voldemort. His brain almost seems to freeze up, like he's lost the instruction manual. I love the short, mechanical responses and the half-hearted joke about the cake.

Wow. I almost don't know what to make of the conversation between Devlin and Maria. It's like he craves her acceptance, needs her to tell him that everything is alright even though he's the reason things are alright. In a funny way, she almost seems to understand him better than any of the adults aside from Geoffrey. I guess that goes with having been Voldemort's captive for a time. The common experience means that they both see certain things clearly, but through the eyes of a child.

The ending exchange, where he explains to her how he was able to convince Voldemort not to kill him, was probably the single most heart-breaking thing you've written so far. I've always related really strongly to stories about characters who were forced to change who they were in order to fit in. In Devlin's case, it was about far more than just fitting in, but I think there's a common thread that runs through it. The idea of forced transformation and the way that it can make a child feel... just wrong. I hated it for Devlin and Maria both. I hated the way that he feels ugly, dirty... compromised. It's awful, but it happens far too often in life.

The matter-of-fact way that he tells her he's about to have a seizure was the last straw. I felt like crying for him.

This was a beautifully written, intensely emotional chapter. I don't think there are enough nice things I can say about it.

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Review #4, by CambAngst Tangled and Trapped

12th April 2014:
Hi, there! It's been a while, but I'm back. Silly career...

I love how the nightmare from the last chapter flowed seamlessly into the beginning of this one. I feel like I finally understand most of the picture of how Devlin survived Voldemort. When Devlin shuts down, the wolf takes over. And the behaviors that the wolf exhibits in the face of extreme danger -- show no weakness, don't scream -- were probably a part of what made Devlin so interesting to Voldemort in the first place.

"I didn't want to play with you," -- Again, we see the wolf trying to make the most of Devlin's limited vocabulary and perspective. It would be cute if the game itself wasn't so deadly.

It's amazing that Devlin found a part of his mind to hide in that was so deep that not even Voldemort could touch him there. Actually, I guess that's not quite right. It's amazing that he was able to find his way out again. It brings to mind Frank and Alice Longbottom. Whatever depths of their minds they fell into to escape the pain sent by Crouch, Jr. and the Lestranges, they never found their way back out. Perhaps it's the potion that the Dark Lord brewed for Devlin. Maybe that's what enabled him to find his way back out instead of succumbing to the Cruciatus damage. That would make a certain amount of sense, actually. Because he took an interest in Dubhán, he chose to bring the boy back from the brink of nothingness. And now Devlin is convinced that Voldemort will find him. And when that happens, Voldemort will have figured out that Devlin is not his loyal servant nor a younger version of himself. So he will literally be tortured into nothingness. Do I have that basically correct?

It seems like Snape has found his faith in Devlin, and Devlin's ability to fool Voldemort. And there's probably no greater authority on fooling Voldemort than Snape. I loved the conversation between the two of them. There's so much that goes unsaid because it's simply understood between two people who survived for so long in the Dark Lord's shadow. Brilliantly done!

I'm curious about the intended symbolism of the other prisoners inside Devlin's mind. Are those the people that Devlin saw the Dark Lord actually torture into nothingness? It seems strange that Devlin would be "sheltering" these others inside his mind.

I loved the little mention of Lily as they were preparing to exit Devlin's mind.

So what happens next is the only part of the chapter that bothered me a little. Devlin has just "returned" after his body was controlled by his wolf for some period of time. I wouldn't expect to find him calmly sipping tea when Severus comes back to the real world. I would have expected Harry and Sirius and everyone else to be fussing over Devlin, asking him how he felt, asking him what happened, etc. It just seemed sort of blasé compared to what happened.

Snape's reaction, however, was perfect. Show no weakness, show no surprise or emotion, act as though nothing of import has happened.

I'm sure that Devlin is still a bit annoyed at Geoffrey, but I also have a strong suspicion that he's trying to protect the older werewolf in a way. By pushing Geoffrey away, he's trying to distance Geoffrey from his own betrayal of the Dark Lord. He should probably realize that it isn't possible; Voldemort could never forgive Geoffrey without losing face with all of his other followers. Geoffrey knows the boy so well, though. He drips in a little more information, something that Devlin cannot afford to ignore. He starts to explain the connection between Harry and Voldemort and it throws Devlin for a loop. I doubt he ever imagined in his wildest dreams that the Great and Noble Harry Potter shared anything with the Dark Lord, let alone things so important.

I saw a couple of small typos as I was reading:

Then the boy had feinted and he had been plunged into darkness alongside him. -- should be fainted, unless you're talking about the kind of feint you see in fencing.

-Because, if you hadn't already than there would be no reason for this place to exist.- -- then there would be

Awesome chapter! I felt like some of the last pieces fell into place explaining Devlin's survival and I think Devlin came away from this chapter with some new things to think about. Good job!

Author's Response: Great to see you. Careers can be so empowering and annoying at the same time. Ugh. But your reviews are always worth the wait!

I'm glad this chapter helped you understand Devlin's survival better. I know for many they would have liked this to have come sooner (and I may go back and put hints in the first chapter), but I really feel as if it weren't natural until it happened now. There is no terror at Harry's house, and Devlin hasn't known how to deal with the comparatively little hiccups because he hasn't actually truly dealt with ANY of the gruesome things - his wolf has. When a normal child would dissociate, Devlin's wolf comes forward. I imagine after it happened the first couple times Devlin learned to use it as a tool and they tagged team on their combined survival. This exposed the wolf to the human world more and more. There is something damaged about them both, which is the only reason this is possible.

The words themselves "I didn't want to play with you," are Devlin's, but the wolf has urged him and had believed at the time that the words were fierce because that was how Devlin perceived them. And with a child staring up at you, unblinking, unemotional, those words might be taken as something slightly more than childish, too.

I can't yet comment on what made it possible for Devlin to come out of the nothingness. :)

Devlin does not believe Voldemort will kill him - and this is not really a pleasant thought for him, I don't think. I'm not entirely sure he's accurate, on the idea or not (okay I know but I won't tell). He believes he will be tortured into nothingness, or he will be cursed, or he will be obliviated, or Emma will be used against him. But he fears the nothingness the most. So yes, you have that right.

You've got it there! Devlin hasn't yet figured out why he feels differently about Snape, but he will come to realize too that Snape and he are alike - they have both fooled the Dark Lord and lived to tell. I can't wait to get further along because there is actually more Snape/Devlin to come! :D

The prisoners are episodes where the wolf has taken over and he's dissociated or something else (Geoffrey) has otherwise caused him to locked them away in his head. He's alluded to the last prisoner a couple times and he will actually be quite important (anything I bother to have Devlin remind us of several times will be).

Thanks about the Lily part.

Okay, this is interesting how you took that. I meant to symbolize that time had gone by - that Devlin had woken before Snape. I imagine Harry would have tried to comfort, fuss, etc and Devlin would have quickly reminded him not too. Maybe I'll have to go back and put in a couple words to make that clearer.

I did like Snape's exit. :D

I'm curious to know whether you think Geoffrey told Devlin these things in good faith or for something bad. I think he's trying to push Devlin to a realization that Devlin doesn't yet have. There are things in Devlin's head, obviously, that he hasn't connected to Harry. We don't even know if Harry has connected them to himself yet (or Dumbledore). But yes, Harry is more like Devlin than Devlin has ever fathomed.

Thank you for the lovely review! I'll get the typos!


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Review #5, by CambAngst Of Madness and Boyish Wolves.

31st March 2014:
Wow. Your writing usually has a lot of intense, psychological aspects to it, but you've really outdone yourself with this chapter. There were layers upon layers of complicated interactions going on here. Extremely abstract stuff that took nearly all of my concentration to follow. I really enjoyed the challenge.

So it seems that the wolf became this self-aware entity within Devlin's mind because it sensed that Voldemort was about to kill them both. It was a matter of survival, and the wolf took matters into his own hands to preserve the whole. Fascinating. And it seems like Devlin still turns over control to the wolf at times as a defense mechanism when something bad is about to happen.

He leaned forward, watching the Mind Reader carefully - taking just the tiniest thrill from the fear in his eyes. "After all, I'm obviously less disturbed by blood than a human child would be." -- I love that the wolf gets a kick out of trying to intimidate Snape. Not that it's working.

Snape's use of the word "corruption" was really interesting in context. The wolf has been corrupted by the boy, it seems. He no longer feels the uncontrollable urge to bite and spread the "gift". I'm not completely sure what it means, only that it definitely means something.

He thought maybe it would ruin some of the Mind Reader's fun if he knew that Dubhán's ability was actually just the boys subconscious' creative use of his sharpness' natural defenses. -- This was a wild concept. It's like Devlin is able to use his lycanthropy as a form of encryption!

I don't understand it,- he said, panting nervously. -It's very...human, I think. He has said to me that he and the Dark Man are all tangled up in the Dark Man's head. I think he is afraid that what he has done today will untangle them. -- Aha. So Devlin is afraid that Voldemort will learn about his betrayal, and learning that will make Voldemort stop thinking of Devlin as this younger version of himself. And when that happens, Devlin is sure that he will die. The logic is pretty unassailable, from Devlin's point of view.

And then to confirm it, Voldemort appears in Devlin's dream. Or in his mind. Wherever they are. He is the danger, the source of the nothingness. He is the thing Devlin is afraid to confront.

And with pretty good reason, judging by what just happened to Malfoy. I guess the attack outside the wards of Harry's house was his idea. It certainly didn't produce the desired result.

"What is worse - you have put the boy in the unfortunate position of possibly betraying me. You will clean up this mess. Figure out what the boy has told them." -- Interesting that Voldemort still doesn't believe that Devlin would willingly betray him. It's almost as though circumstances need to conspire to make that happen. Devlin isn't the only one with an understanding gap, it would appear...

So I saw one small typo:

"How does Wolfsbane effect you?" -- should be affect.

Great chapter! I do hope that Devlin comes back soon, though. I've missed the little guy.

Author's Response: If this is the sort of thing you enjoy, you will love the next chapter. LOL I'm always pleased by everything you pick up on. My professor would say you are a good "close reader". LOL

The wolf became this self aware entity for two reasons - the near death but also the DAMAGE done by the torture. I think it's clear that Crucio has damaging effects and I couldn't imagine a child coming away from it whole. The difference is that Devlin's mind knitted two separate parts into one whole.

I really enjoyed showing the subtle parts of the wolf that has remained a wolf. In my original of this I had a line I simply loved - I could not fit it here - in which Snape referred to Devlin as a "wolfish boy" and the wolf as a "boyish wolf" and also got to talk about how Wolfbane is essentially just a liquid occlumency shield. Alas - I will have to fit it in elsewhere!

I wouldn't necessarily say he doesn't feel it at all - he admits he wanted to bite Snape in the living room - but that logic prevails. He points to his teeth - useless for that sort of thing. Snape is helping him. Besides that - has he really got a 'pack' that he belongs to anymore? The wolf has been corrupted with human logic. Biting anyone in the boys 'pack' will just take away their pack. It's hard to explain but I am hoping it will be explained through the upcoming actions etc.

"It's like Devlin is able to use his lycanthropy as a form of encryption!" Yeah, pretty much. :) I told people all along Devlin WASN'T doing to be the super powerful all-knowing kid. He just has some things that have given him a clear advantage against Voldemort. Not that he isn't obviously brilliant.

The Voldemort appearance I think will make more sense with the next chapter - but it is actually a memory. A huge memory that encompasses all the things you mentioned - but it is real.

I had a fun time writing Malfoy being tortured. :D

We know that even with logic staring him in the face, Voldemort chooses to believe he knew better. At this point, to admit the child might willingly betray him is admitting that he was wrong to put so much effort into him. He's still tangled up in his head.

Ahh, I am horrible at that typo! Thank you!

As always, you have left a wonderful review. I looked forward to the next one. And I promise Devlin will feature predominately! :D



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Review #6, by CambAngst A Sharp Introduction

9th March 2014:
Hi, there! Sorry I've been quite a while getting to this chapter. My new job has been consuming so much of my time due to the commute and the commitment. Hopefully life gets easier soon.

So Devlin had a big choice to make while being interviewed at the Ministry. This is the first time, I believe, that circumstances have forced him to unequivocally choose between his loyalty to Voldemort -- maybe it's more accurate to say his fear of angering Voldemort -- and his loyalty to Harry. I was so happy to see that he chose Harry, although it wasn't without a good measure of concern. I'm starting to see what you've been saying about Devlin and Voldemort. There's not really any love lost there, it's just this unshakeable belief that Devlin seems to have that Voldemort will get him back eventually. He regards it as inevitable. Let's continue to hope that he's wrong.

He should have let the boy die. He should have killed him while Potter fought. He should have let him scream. Should have smirked by his body like he'd smirked while Potter made the rat whither at Hogwarts. He should have seen the eyes watching him and known it was all a game on which his survival depended. -- The extent to which Devlin fancies Voldemort to be all-knowing is kind of scary. Then again, as far as he knows, Voldemort is all-knowing. It's oddly similar to the way we were led to believe throughout the first five books that Dumbledore was all-knowing... until he wasn't.

I'm sort of curious whether the game that's being played here is the one that Devlin believes is being played. So his theory is that Voldemort sent the injured boy and the death eaters to put Harry in an impossible situation: kill -- and be forced to justify it to an increasingly hostile Ministry -- or be killed. And because he was there, it's now Devlin who finds himself in an impossible situation: risk Harry's life by playing along with Voldemort's plan or risk his own by not playing along. I'm not sure I believe Voldemort's plan really goes that deep, but I guess it's impossible to be sure that it doesn't. You are so clever with these scenarios you create!

Devlin's response to the question about the tattoos was worth a good chuckle or two. He disarms the Auror pretty easily with his complete candor.

Even when Voldemort got him back, his greatest wish was that Potter would never know. He thought if those green eyes looked at him like they had looked at the Death Eater today, that he would die inside and turn into the nothingness that was always waiting for him. -- Ouch. Such a grim sentiment for such a young person. It's heart-breaking.

I really, really loved the last section of the chapter. For the first time, we're seeing the world from the wolf's point of view. The wolf who saved Devlin. You did a fantastic job of recasting the events from a completely different outlook. Even better, you made the reader actually figure out what had happened. I'll admit, it took me a while. And I appreciated that. I'm not even sure that everyone will get it, but I thought it was a great choice not to just make it obvious. A good story should challenge a reader a bit, not just serve up information on a silver platter.

Other awesome things: I love that the wolf is really struggling to operate Devlin's higher cognitive functions, like speaking. It's as though he knows what the machine can do, but he's lost the manual and can't quite remember the steps to make it happen. I love that Snape recognizes the danger for what it is, and reacts accordingly. Snape might be on Harry's side, but he isn't going to risk himself. I love the way that he couldn't feel Geoffrey and, ultimately, not Snape either. And the way that the wolf finally identifies himself to Snape was genius.

A couple of small typos:

Where were all these Death Eater's that Dubhán did not know about. -- end with a question mark?

"Tell me Potter," Snape said, "how long does it take to cast the Imperious curse?" -- Imperius

Great chapter! It feels like we finally met the last really important member of the cast.

Author's Response: I totally understand. I have a whole pile of reviews to get to for various reasons, including work consuming my life. ;-) Your reviews are always worth waiting for.

It was really difficult to write the interrogation scene for that reason (I'm still not completely happy with it). Yes, he really did decide - it's a big moment. About Voldemort - Devlin has proved himself to be pretty accurate. Just saying. ;-)

"The extent to which Devlin fancies Voldemort to be all-knowing is kind of scary. Then again, as far as he knows, Voldemort is all-knowing." Exactly. Voldemort has made sure he thought this was true. It's a typical kidnapper/abuser strategy. But it is beginning to unravel. You'll note he was confused as to why he would only have recognized ONE of the Death Eaters...

I think instead he believes the trap was for him. It was him that almost fell for it. Otherwise, why not use any boy? Harry would have tried to save any child, but someone tried to use Devlin's guilt against him. Why put a Death Eater there (a werewolf) that he does know? Why try to lure him out further by threatening to tell Potter all about him? I think Devlin knows this was for him.

I did enjoy the naked comment, if only because it further paints a picture of the kind of men Devlin has spent his childhood with. ;-)

THANK YOU. I have been waiting to write this scene. I messed up a bit and am redoing a bit of grammar (when we introduce him all body parts should be 'the' instead of 'his/him' and I slip up and call Harry 'Potter' instead of 'the father' a couple times). Overall, I really loved it though. I wanted to present him as something that's always there and aware, but who doesn't often control this body. I must have done well, because you took from it exactly what I wanted.

Yes, I expect not everyone will get it. I'll probably get some odd reviews, but that's alright.

Snape was really fun to write here. I'm not sure what you mean by can't feel Snape and Geoffrey?

I loved the grass line as the introduction, too. :)

Next chapter we get more Snape and Voldemort too, and I can't wait - even though they're both such picky characters and I am having a hell of a time writing them. Ugh.






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Review #7, by Infinityx A Battle at Home

26th February 2014:
Hi! I'm here for the review you requested!
I actually read this when you updated but I couldn't leave a review. RL and all that.

This was another brilliant chapter. Some questions are answered while some more crop up. The mystery isn't overdone and it doesn't become too heavy to ponder about, but neither is it something simple that could be guessed at. I'm really curious to see where this plot is going. There are so many branches to it, all so intricately woven together and I can't wait to know how everything will come together. But at the same time, I don't want to know because then that would mean the story's over. :D

I love the interaction between Harry and Devlin. Harry certainly doesn't see Devlin as the same young, timid kid anymore, and I think you've written that wonderfully. It's a realization that sinks into him over time and not overnight. That makes the whole thing very realistic.

I still can't get over the matured way in which Devlin speaks. It's hard to picture such a young boy privy to all that information and witnessing multitudes of deaths and horrors. No wonder his mind is messed up. There's a huge mystery that surrounds him. I know enough of his character to understand his personality, but apart from that, his entire life so far is hidden. With every passing chapter there's a little bit that's revealed, but so much more that's yet to be known. So far, I've been thinking of all the possibilities - why would Voldemort treat him this way, what has Devlin been told, what has he been made to do, what was the plan, I could go on. But I give up. I just want to keep reading and find out because when I start guessing, I just get really ashamed that my ideas weren't as creative or gripping as what you reveal.

The boy. So he was the boy the boy they buried in place of Devlin. Then who's the kid in the end of the chapter? What's Voldemort's message? I NEED TO KNOW!

That dream was written beautifully. You've brought out the child-like tone and perspective perfectly and it was really touching. The Death Eaters were looking for someone, a her. I'm guessing it was Emma since Alex yells at them to get away from her. (my decision to not guess is futile. :P) This keeps getting more complicated. They came for Emma, Devlin made Voldemort promise to leave Emma alone...what's the deal with Emma? :o

Wow. Lupin had to bite Devlin to save him. Now I understand! Sweet Remus! I love how you've written him here. No matter how much he hates being a werewolf, that wouldn't stop him from saving the boy. :')

Ohmygosh. The next part of the dream. The only thing to break the pace of the stonework was the door - iron and heavy. Immovable. Somehow he knew he'd already tried, although he can't think quite right.
He's locked up, and his memory is fuzzy! He's a werewolf! OHMYGOSH. DID HE KILL THE BOY WHEN HE WAS IN WOLF FORM? :o I'm dying of curiosity!

Harry is so amazing. I love his protectiveness and the immense skill he has. One thing that caught my attention was Harry's willingness to kill. I think he wouldn't resort to the killing curse unless he had to. He could have stunned that man rather than kill him. Maybe it was his fear for Devlin's safety? If so, I wonder whether Devlin would see it that way.

Potter was a light wizard, but he killed people.
Devlin seems to have this fixed idea in his head about light and dark wizards. It's sad that this is the first thing he thinks about, and not Harry's love for him and need to protect him.

Yay! Devlin saves the boy! That's a wonderful touch. I wonder who the boy is though.
he was a mudblood, just like the other boy.
This statement seems to suggest something more to the situation. Voldemort seems to playing, not only with Harry, but with Devlin as well. There are these small hints which only Devlin picks up on. It's horrible to read about the extent to which Devlin has been exposed to such things. To know that the boy is on the verge of losing his mind means that Devlin has encountered quite a few such situations.

There were a few typos here and there. I suggest you go through the chapter once again for those. Other than that, this was brilliant. I love your writing style and the chapter was extremely thrilling. I can't wait for you to update again!

~Erin

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Review #8, by CambAngst A Battle at Home

22nd February 2014:
Before I talk about this chapter, I want to talk a little about my reaction to it, specifically the end. I'm not sure whether this is a good thing or a bad thing, but part of me really wanted Devlin to break through the wards and come to Harry's aid. I wanted to see Devlin openly defy Voldemort and join Harry in fighting the Death Eaters. I know it wouldn't have ended well, probably not in the short term and definitely not in the long term. But part of me really wanted the two of them to have that moment. That said, I understand exactly why it doesn't happen. It would have been a huge step for both the character and the plot, as it would have removed all questions from Voldemort's mind about Devlin's loyalties.

Anyway, on to the chapter. The revelation at the beginning was shocking, although I guess maybe it shouldn't have been. Devlin obviously did a lot of things he feels very guilty and very conflicted about during his time with Voldemort. Did he actually kill the little boy in the picture? Did he do something that he thinks led to the boy's death? Is this just another mind game orchestrated by Voldemort? I don't really know, but Devlin's reaction to it is very real.

Devlin's analysis of the message that the picture was meant to send was heartbreakingly spot on. We know by the end of the chapter why the picture was sent to Harry and based on what happens, it does seem like it was sent by the Death Eaters who were trying to lure him outside the safety of the wards and kill him. Maybe Voldemort was involved, maybe he wasn't, but it seems like Devlin is spot-on in his analysis. The heartbreaking part is that why should a little boy have to understand a monster so clearly?

Devlin's nightmare/memory was a beautiful piece of writing, start to finish. It starts off in such a simply, child-like way. Hiding from Daddy, wanting Daddy to look for him, wanting to know that Daddy missed him when Daddy didn't know where he was. Then, in almost no time, it explodes into a full-on catastrophe.

It seems like, on the night Devlin was bitten, Malfoy came to the Potter house on some sort of mission. Lots of other Death Eaters followed him and there was a huge fight. Alexandra was there, clutching Emma to her. And Remus was in the basement, enduring his monthly transformation. Ah, so it was Harry who tricked the Death Eaters into turning Remus loose. It probably seemed like the only choice at the time, but it obviously had consequence well beyond what Harry intended. On the flip side, I guess it saved Devlin's life. More than once, actually, if you count how his wolf saved him from Voldemort.

Oh my god, this line was so perfectly appropriate yet terrible and chilling: It needed his mummy to put a bandage on it - he wanted one with a flying broom and one with a snitch. If he could get mummy she'd make it all better.

Then the second dream, the one with the other little boy, made me think really hard about why Devlin thinks that he killed the boy. If the boy was thrown in a locked room with Devlin during Devlin's transformation...

"I told you a secret last night," he said, rising from his seat to step forward. His voice didn't get louder but he could feel the coldness at the edges, seeping in. "Because you told me we needed to be on the same page. Now you're not going to tell me what he's written?" -- One thing I liked about this chapter is that Devlin and Harry were dealing with one another on such an adult level. Granted it was sad, because of the reasons why things have to be this way, but I also feel like Devlin is being more and more open with his father.

"Get inside," he said, firmly. There was a power in those green eyes that Dubhán had not seen before. A fight like a fire. A strength and knowing that Voldemort's charmless gaze did not provide. -- Awesome! I always love it when you draw out those differences.

Devlin knows it's a trap before Harry does, as well. There were thing about the fight scene that I liked and things that I would have preferred to be different. I like that fact that you made Harry powerful but not untouchably powerful. He prevails in the end, but he obviously gets hurt in the process. I think it was perfectly appropriate that he told Devlin not to look, but I was really surprised that Devlin obeyed him. All along, Devlin has had his doubts about whether Harry is as strong as Voldemort, as willing to do whatever was necessary to protect him. The idea that he would have passed on the chance to see first-hand didn't seem quite right to me. Still, he does now know that Harry is willing to kill to protect him. I guess that has to count for something.

At the end, when Devlin knows exactly what to do to save the little boy, I thought that was a big moment for him. Twice in his young life, he's now been able to save a life that was about to be lost. Hopefully that helps him to begin forgiving himself.

There were a few small typos I saw:

The thing nudge him just as he was about to fall asleep. -- nudged

They're faces were pale and their eyes wide -- Their faces

He awakes for real in a cold sweat with the sharpness at the forefront of his mind -- awoke?

Awesome chapter! I know I say that a lot, but this one was truly extra-special!

Author's Response: I hope you maybe feel differently about the ending now that you have read the next chapter. I actually have the chapter written out both ways - with Devlin coming to Harry's aid and without - and it was only as I started writing the next chapter that I realized I would use the one I did. I wanted to have them have that moment too, but then also realized that it wasn't Devlin - he's intervened in death only with Maria, something he did from the background, not in the middle of a battle. He would have needed to break through Harry's wards to get to him, as well.

Onward! I won't yet comment as to Voldemort's involvement, although I agree with Devlin in that emotional blackmail is not really his style.

Thanks about the dream. I really enjoyed writing it and it was totally inspired by my little dude, who is 'afraid' of such silly things like that, while enjoying them so much. The fear is soft of instinctual and unavoidable, even when they know it is safe. :)

I really wanted to push through with the dream and show the aftermath, but it ended up not feeling dream like when I dragged it on. If I had, you would have also seen the closet Devlin had been hiding in - blown apart.

Yes, I think I made the second dream clear enough since my two reviewers jumped to the same conclusion. I laid the groundwork for this boy in the picture a LONG time ago. All the way back when he visited Hogwarts and there was a boy on the pitch with brown hair and brown eyes and freckles - and Devlin answers his questions politely because he reminds him of another boy - the dead boy.

I really enjoyed writing this sort of exchange between Devlin and Harry as well. Even without Voldemort I don't think Devlin would have been a child who liked being treated as such. He has too much of a desire to prove himself.

Groundwork...groundwork. I love making comparisons too and this one is an echo to another we will read WAY in the future. :)

Devlin knows it is a trap as he sees Harry walk into it, but I think it's important to realize he is aware HE would have fallen for it too.

Devlin has always been told to look, so I can see what you mean, but on the other hand he has always been TOLD. He has almost always done what Voldemort demands, because he feels his safety begins and ends with Voldemort - now he did what Harry demanded. In that moment, it was Harry he trusted to keep him safe. I don't think he realizes it yet.

You're last bit made me smile the most, because it makes me think of the next part of this story. :)

Thanks for the awesome review and sorry for the late reply. Getting life back in order...


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Review #9, by CambAngst One More Secret?

21st February 2014:
Hi, there!

It's been a little while since I've stopped by, but I'm always pleasantly surprised by how easy it is to slip right back into the flow of your story. It files itself away in some part of my brain that I can always pull back up on a moment's notice and it's like I just read the last chapter yesterday. That's a very rare, very special thing.

Now I'm strongly doubting this book that Malfoy gave to Devin is a horcrux. It seems more like a communication device. If it was a horcrux, the responses would be immediate and I doubt that it would know what Voldemort was thinking at the exact moment they were in communication. Cool plot device! Also, making it seem like something boring, like the history of the Ministry, was clever on Voldemort's part. He obviously knows how well Harry paid attention during History of Magic.

I loved the way you wrote Devlin's back-and-forth shifts in focus as he waits for a response. It set the mood really well, but also broke up the pace of the narrative a bit and gave a good indication of the passage of time.

Devlin's dreams are changing. I hope this is a good sign, like an indication that different parts of his personality are starting to vie for control of his subconscious mind. The observation that he's shifting toward a situation where Devlin is dreaming of Dubhán instead of the other way around was really poignant to me. It says a lot about the shift in his mindset, I think. It shows where he's start to feel like be belongs.

I'm not entirely sure what Voldemort is playing at, but he seems to be pushing Devlin away just a bit. Perhaps he's decided that he wants the boy to be with Harry for the time being, wants this game to play out. Interesting possibilities...

I loved all of the things that Devlin wants to tell Voldemort, even though he stops himself. I can speak to snakes, I remembered how to brew the potion - you did that so I would survive, right?, Potter sometimes brings me to Hogwarts and I've seen the Library, I can see thestral's, I met a house elf, I saw you out my window, I saw you after the Ministry ball - but you looked different, I tried to escape with Malfoy... He obviously still craves the Dark Lord's approval.

The conversation between Harry and Devlin was heart-warming and heart-breaking in equal measure. I think Harry feels kind of similar to how I feel. OK, that's a bias I have whenever I read Harry. I tend to believe that he and I think about things the same way. So I feel like Harry is a little encouraged by the changes he's seeing, yet heart-broken by the things his son has had to witness and endure.

Ice cream! The universal solution for making everyone feel a little better. Except if I was following things correctly, neither one of them got to enjoy a single bite.

The gap between how Harry sees Devlin -- brave -- and how Devlin sees himself actually reminds me a lot of the same difference that Harry experienced during his school years. Everyone thought that he was so brave for facing the things that he overcame while he mostly considered himself lucky. For some reason, that doesn't seem to be helping Harry to relate to Devlin.

Devlin is trying so hard to convince Harry that Voldemort really does care for him, but it's starting to sound like he's trying equally hard to convince himself. And not really succeeding on either account, I might add.

And you end with a new mystery, sort of. Devlin finally seems to know something that he's willing to reveal, something that might confer an advantage to Harry in this new front of his battle against the Dark Lord. This seems like it will be a tricky point-of-no-return for Devlin. So far, he's been incredibly careful not to reveal anything that would lead Voldemort to think that he wasn't completely loyal. Will he break with that and help Harry? Is this a test of some sort, devised by Voldemort to test Devlin's loyalty? My mind is abuzz with possibilities.

Great chapter!

Author's Response: Hello again! :D I'm glad this story files itself away into your brain so neatly.

No, it is obviously not a Horcrux. It is something that would have needed to get past Harry and Alexandra's wards, as well. Something benign and innocent, in and of itself.

This was a really fun dream to write. There are some sentence structures that I spent a while on, just for fun - as hints about story. I always like burying clues were people are least likely to look. ;-) I had a fun time with alliteration for one clue.

The reason he dreamed of her saying "Devlin" is actually less telling than you think. Maria actually knew Devlin (Harry shares us with this in his POV of Devlin telling him about her rescue). She DID know his name and part of his brain is leaking this information to him.

I think Voldemort is mad. I think he cares less about Devlin than what Devlin thinks, obviously - he is possessive. It seems alien to some part of his brain that Potter would WANT Devlin.

Devlin is all tangled up in his head. He was never wanted as a child. He was dark and "bad" and rather see that Devlin isn't exactly like him (or that he's created a false Devlin), he strives to make this true, I think. If the Potter's don't want Devlin than it will be true what he has told the boy: we are alike, I understand you - and all that other rubbish that abusers tell their abused to make it as if there couldn't be another way. And right now, Devlin still believes that - feels he HAS to believe that, because Potter hasn't really expressed anything in the way that Devlin does. Right now he sees himself as understanding Voldemort more than Potter. Surely that would mean Potter wouldn't understand him. Seeing the truth and letting go of the lie are two different things and Devlin is still clinging to the lie even as he sees the truth.

Ice Cream! Yes - solves everything! ;-) Devlin gets to have a bite, at least.

:D about the new mystery.



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Review #10, by lindslo2012 Midnight Routines

19th February 2014:
Hey there!
This was yet another amazing chapter and I loved it alot!
Harry's attitude toward this is exactly how an attitude with his son gone would be. Desperate to have him back- because no matter what that little boy is Harry's.
I am becoming to like Geoffrey. He seems a little trustworthy and caring for Devlin. But then again he is a Death Eater... so there is always questions there, right? :)
I really hope the story ends well but if it doesn't I will love it anyway.
I did not see any grammar issues that stood out to me whatsoever. :)
I still think this story is very great and I can't wait to read more!
And you're right.. Devlin isn't as 'cute' as I thought he was. I kind of feel a little scared of him because that flick of his hand toward the wand made me wonder if he would do as such to kill his own father. He isn't himself and that makes me sad because Voldemort brainwashed his little mind :(
Well brilliant job, :D
-Linds

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Review #11, by Lululuna A Question for Harry Potter

19th February 2014:
Review swap! :)

It was really cool getting insight into Voldemort's perspective as he's been silent for a while, allowing the reader's fear of him to build up. He's so chilling, with how he grows bored, and how he compares the people he's torturing to Devlin. It's almost as if Devlin is an object he's very intent on posessing and is determined to seek out, the way he was with the objects he turned into Horcruxes. It's so interesting how he seeks to impress Devlin too.. hmm, I wonder if he wants to be powerful in Devlin's eyes because Devlin reminds him of himself and he wants to impress himself. Okay that sounds a little too psychological but still interesting to think about. :)

Potter and her magic were woven into every space around the building, like a thick woolen blanket. I loved this sentence, first of all because of how vivid and gorgeous an image it is, and secondly because it hints at Voldy's awareness of Alexandra. My sense right now is that perhaps he just doesn't know what to think about her, but I'm not sure.

I like how Harry and Alexandra have a system of checking on the kids when the wards have been disturbed. They seem so domestic and organized and very parentlike, if that makes sense. I liked the scene where they went to each child's room to check, and how that sense of panic can rise and fall at the littlest thing.

Each moment had been tempered with the idea that if they didn't work hard enough she would just be gone and it was more important to keep her alive than to experience every moment with her. This is such an interesting idea, how they see life and safety and experiences balanced out. It's really cool to see not only the psychological and emotional effects on the parents when they lost Devlin, but also the effects it had on their ordinary lives for years later.

I love how Devlin is sneakily calling Harry by 'Harry' in his head now, hehe. ♥

Ah, such an amazing cliff hanger! I feel like from anyone else that question would be very calculating for the shock value, but here it actually feels like Devlin is legitimately curious. And I'm curious! I want to know too!

Loved this, as per always! :D

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Review #12, by Lululuna Thoughts and Words

19th February 2014:
Hello! :) I'm so excited that I'm nearly halfway through and getting there to catch up!

Your description is just amazing as always. It's so interesting how finding out this little detail, and the knowledge that Harry had almost found him and was so close, has such a crucial and mind-changing effect on Devlin. I like how precious this knowledge is, along with Emma's picture. It's also interesting in how he disguised the picture, and how he consistently assumes that Voldemort is going to get him back at some point.

The idea of the paper airplane and Devlin rediscovering it was great as well. I like the idea of wizards enchanting the paper airplanes to fly.

I love the idea of Harry's snakes and how Emma likes feeding them. That whole explanation was just such a cool idea, and it feels so perfectly in character for the Harry you've established here. The snakes made me smile as well, how much they love food and how they have a certain language that doesn't have a word for "shy." That was a really neat detail and I love how you've gone into the nature of Parseltongue a little here.

It's so interesting to see the differences between Harry and Devlin's varieties of speaking Parseltongue. It makes sense, since Devlin's is inherited and Harry's is kind of borrowed in a weird way. I liked the reference to Voldy's mother's family speaking it. Oh, and Albert the sassy snake was great as well. :P

I love how Devlin feels he needs to test and question Potter a little about the papers as well. It's so fitting with his personality, how he needs to affirm things and play with them and not say them outright. The truth always feels layered with Devlin.

She had just given him a wonderful escape - something Dubhán had learned never to throw away. Hmm, I'm so curious to find out how Devlin had escaped from Voldemort's camp! I wonder if somebody offered him an escape without realizing, like Alex does here?

I love how Hermione always follows procedure, it's always great seeing how you've written the canon characters and how they tie into Harry's family. Ah, I'm so curious about the picture and its significance... can't wait to read on! A wonderful chapter as always! :D

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Review #13, by Rumpelstiltskin Unforgotten

19th February 2014:
Devlin's reactions are perfect. The entire "don't touch me but don't leave me" scenario fits him and his situation rather nicely. I still can't help but feel for him. Then there's Harry, who, although mildly understands what's happening, is probably extremely frightened.

Then there's Geoffrey. God, that connection, in combination with really not being able to see Devlin, must be a terrible burden. Somebody needs to hug Geoffrey, too, poor fellow.

Alex's crying was heartbreaking. Of course she was afraid for Devlin, how couldn't she be? The fact that Devlin still believes that he is valued by Voldemort for what he can do (what I'm surmising from what Devlin said about Voldemort sparing him not being an act of mercy) is also heartbreaking. Then again, there have been many elements of the story that have done this, so I really shouldn't be surprised by it!

Anyway, fantastic job yet again!

-Rumpel

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Review #14, by Infinityx One More Secret?

15th February 2014:
Hello there! I'm here for the review you requested!

I don't even know where to begin. There are just so many things to touch upon in this story and I can't even get to this chapter without going through some things in the previous ones, but I'll try not to ramble too much. :D

I absolutely love the plot. I actually admire the way it's been progressing and your thought process behind it. It's the most complex storyline I've ever come across on this site and I think it's been brilliantly executed.

There are so many aspects to this story that I think are so amazing. Your ideas are astounding, and I think making the story flow in such a wonderfully interesting manner with so many details covered within each chapter is a marvelous feat. Fantastic work!

I love how there are just so many layers to the story. There are the characters themselves, each with their own unique personality that have been built upon. There are the different relationships involved, complexities and confusion with regard to each bond. There's so much thrill within the story, what with Voldemort's games with Harry, his mind games on Devlin, Devlin's fluctuating personalities, the werewolf sharing his mind, Devlin's turmoil of emotions and his being way too mature for his age...I can just keep going. I'm so impressed by the way you're making all these aspects and all the different characters come together to make such an enthralling plot. I don't add a lot of stories to my favorites (you'll know what I mean if you see my list), only those which I feel are exceptional. Yours was the very first that I added to the list and I absolutely love it. :)

Okay, on to reviewing this chapter.

Poor Devlin. He's the most confused character that I've ever come across and my heart goes out to him. I can't even imagine everything that he's gone through, and with everything he's formed a bond with Voldemort that he thinks is real. You've written him so well throughout the story so far, that I get so emotional with every chapter. He's just a kid, for crying out loud!

I wouldn't have guessed Voldemort to be one for neatness and crisp handwriting. Although now that I come to think of it, it makes sense. Half of the power that a person holds stems from the way he's perceived, and that is through the way he portrays himself. I think this small reference to handwriting is a wonderful detail that adds to Voldemort's character. Nice thinking there. :)

Aw, poor child. He shouldn't be going through so much at this age. All that pressure and responsibility he takes upon his shoulders is overwhelming. I can't believe he feels guilty about watching while the girl was tortured. Okay, I can believe that 'cause I'd feel guilty as well. But there was nothing he could have done, and after all this time some of his guilt should have abated, shouldn't it? I think this goes to show just how messed up his mind is.

I'm getting more and more emotional with every sentence now. :'( The kid yearns for the attention and affection from the wrong person. Why can't he just see Voldemort for who he truly is? He knows the truth but is in denial. It's really heartbreaking to read about.

I love the progress Devlin has made with Harry. Even though it's slow, it's nice that he's questioning the state of things, and is opening up to Harry. That gives a tiny glimmer of hope that there might be a happy ending.

Oh yay! Devlin calls Voldemort the Dark Lord instead of grandfather! That was really striking to me when I read it and it's like a subtle indicator that things are changing ever so slightly.

Poor Harry. I can't imagine what he must be going through. It's such a stressful, complicated situation for him and one wrong move could end in disaster. Ah, this story is becoming more interesting with every line!

Aww, Devlin wants to wait up for Harry! I don't like how he draws a parallel with how he waited for Voldemort's return, but I guess that's expected. The important thing is that he cares about whether Harry would return or not and that's definitely progress!

I love the ending line to this chapter. It's so powerful and a perfect way to end it. Let me guess. It's the kid whose body was sent in the place of Devlin before, making it seem like Harry's son was dead, right? Oh my, Voldemort's coming closer and closer to the house. I'm itching to know what he's playing at and why Devlin is so important to him. Please update soon!

So to address your areas of concern in a concise manner, I think the plot flows beautifully. There were a few chapters before where I'd come across some grammatical errors and typos which interrupted the flow, but those are small mistakes that only a person who's reviewing the technicalities would pay attention to. When you look at the bigger picture, everything's perfect.

Characterizations are great! I love how you've managed to devote enough time to every character in this story, no matter how minute a role they may play. The only thing that caught my attention in a couple of previous chapters is that Voldemort seemed a little soft when it came to Devlin. Although maybe I only got that impression because of Devlin's feelings towards his 'grandfather'. Another thing which isn't very clear, although there have been some references and hints earlier, is how Harry's wife (Alex right?) and Voldemort are related. There were quite a few mentions about her being very similar to him, and there was something about a rape, but I didn't completely understand. I'm not even sure in what context all that was. So I think that's the only thing I found unclear.

I'm actually running out of the number of words allowed for a review, so I'm going to wrap this one up. This is the longest review I've ever left, and I'm sorry I'm making you read so much of my ramblings.

In conclusion, I love this story. I love everything about it, and I can't wait to read on, so please update soon. :)

~Erin

Author's Response: Okay, this is gonna be joyful doozy to respond to. ;-) Thank you for all the compliments, first off. I won't spend much more talk on that because I think I'll need all my characters to respond. LOL

I think there is more than denial to Devlin's 'loyalty' to Voldemort. Devlin seems himself as all tangled up in Voldemort's head. To some extent that must mean Voldemort is tangled up in his head, too. Even though Voldemort is not next to him, Devlin fears what Voldemort would do to him betrayed him. Right now Devlin has an agreement with Voldemort (or so he believes) that Emma remain safe.

You've guessed the guess I wanted people to when they read that last line and to some extent that is true. - that it is the boy that was buried as 'Devlin Potter'. I don't want to ruin the surprise though.

"The only thing that caught my attention in a couple of previous chapters is that Voldemort seemed a little soft when it came to Devlin."

I'm going to copy and paste the response I gave CambAngst, because I think I managed to say it pretty well there:

My belief has always been that a) Voldemort is a psychopath, only really caring for himself b) all the Horcruxs have really unhinged his mind c) either because of the Horcruxs or simply because many psychopaths are not very 'organized' - he doesn't see the things he doesn't understand or at the very least disregards them. Like love. Like Harry. Like the Deathly Hallows.

Voldemort doesn't really see Devlin as an individual. Part of him knows the boy is a boy who isn't HIM but he treats the child as if the child were HIM - feeding him, clothing him, teaching him, treating him like he would have felt others should have treated him. He's not often kind (I don't think he felt that was something lacking in his reception as a child) and when he is - he soothes by speaking about greatness; a reassurance that I picture Tom Riddle saying to himself alone in the orphanage "I am better. Someday they will all see that I am better" etc etc. He isn't right in the head.

I think Voldemort would eventually wake up to the reality that Devlin is not him, before the boy got too strong. [...] And because Voldemort only loves himself, he would kill him then.

Re: ALEXANDRA

It is tough because I don't really write from Alexandra's POV (Harry, Devlin, Voldemort), so we have to get our information from one of them. Devlin doesn't know. Voldemort doesn't care.

Once Harry remarks in his head when Alexandra is upset that she looked to him like the women who had come home with their three year old son, having learned who her father was. Voldemort talks about the rape of Alexandra's mother almost as an aside detail and says the only thing of value that came of it was Devlin (ch. 19). He also says that he had "made himself aware of almost every detail after he had discovered his blood connection with the boy" which leads us to assume he didn't really know Alexandra (ch. 19). In the stories summary it says "supposed Muggleborn" .

That said, I really don't mind telling about Alexandra. I think I answered this question in my Meet the Author thread for CambAngst. Her mother was pureblooded witch, her father betrayed Voldemort, Voldemort raped his daughter (Alex's mum), who somehow managed to escape and ran away. She raised Alex as a muggle. Because Alex looks like her mother, her mother moved from England before the Hogwarts letter could come. When Alex dated Harry and got pregnant, she told Alex she was making a mistake getting mixed up this war. She and Alex didn't talk for a long time, until Alexandra decides it's time 3 yearold Devlin met her mother. Devlin looks so much like Tom Riddle. I won't tell you the conversation, but essentially it is upon seeing the boy, that Alex's mum tells her the truth.

THANK YOU for such a wonderful review! It's made my day!


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Review #15, by Pixileanin Frozen Freedom

14th February 2014:
Hi there! So sorry for the delay in this review! I got sidetracked and kidnapped away from the computer for a while when I least expected it. But I'm back now. :)

So everyone refers to him as "the Death Eater". I imagine they would, given that's what he is, and how long the fight has been going on.

Your description of the dog is delightful. Such innocence, compared to Devlin, or anyone else, for that matter. The dog simply is.

But Devlin isn't. He has this secret that you keep hinting at. Some horrible thing that he thinks everyone will hate him for. And they brought Geoffrey! I am guessing that Geoffrey told them that he was planning to escape.

Harry is slowly understanding who this little boy is now. I think it's a daring move to offer Devlin his wand back, but I bet he's trying to earn some trust with that move. I hope that the allowance doesn't backfire on him later.

I think the sweetest moments in this chapter come between Devlin and Zee. I loved the picture of him as a wolf and the dog tugging at the bone, and how the dog immediately decided that the boy was no danger to his bone. :) It shows us that Devlin still is a little boy somewhere inside, when he's not being defensive.

The dream at the end of this chapter is so chilling. I'm imagining that it's something to do with Devlin's secret.

Another lovely and intriguing chapter! I definitely want to know more about Devlin's secret and why it's so horrible!

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Review #16, by shez Midnight Routines

14th February 2014:
Hey!

So can I just say I love your banner? It’s EPIC. I‘d favorite this story again just for the banner (your awesome story-telling makes it ten times better though haha).

Harry is quite the angry father---the fact he knows his stolen son has probably been tainted and corrupted but doesn’t care because it’s his son and he loves him unconditionally---Like in the books, he has a bit of a hero-complex and I wonder how that will fare for him here. From what I’ve seen so far of Devlin, I think it’s really going to push Harry to the edge. (Third chapter and as you can see, I’m already trying to predict the end haha).

I don't know if I mentioned this before but I really like that Sirius is alive; that strong emotional attachment he fares with the Potter family is realistic and comforting (I like to know there’s someone there for them) and the scene of him arriving (charmingly) in his boxers adds a bit of levity this dark dark story really needs. I like Alexandria so far but I don’t trust her—seeing as she is presumably the child of Voldemort she probably has a dark side to her as well. I’m also wondering if and when we’ll be seeing more of Ron and Hermione.

So I feel like I’m missing something very large. I know Devlin has blood ties to Voldemort via I’m assuming Alexandra (speaking of which, how did her and Harry meet? Does he know her background? VOLDEMORT… CHILD??? HOW??? Ok, this definitely needs a backstory and if I’m right, I want to know who Mama Voldemort is/was. Like now).

The connect Devlin has with Geoffrey is fascination—not-quite friend and not-quite parent but for some reason a guardian--I’m curious to know exactly how it originated and learn more about our surprisingly humane (or double-agent?) death-eater.

So I think something’s wrong, like I’m missing something very big. I don’t Voldy would part with Devlin or let himself be deceived so easy so I’m going to say he’s planted Devlin there to spy on Harry. I don’t know to what extent Geoffry is involved but I’ll gander that he doesn’t know. You did have an auror mention that the attacking death-eaters were ‘going easy’ on them.—so I’m going to say it’s a conspiracy.

AWESOME EPIC STORY. IGNORE MY RIDICULOUS PREDICTIONS I DON’T MAKE SENSE WHEN I’M EXCITED.

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Review #17, by Pixileanin A Brillant Plan

12th February 2014:
Hey there! Sorry it's taken me an age to get back here, but I won't be gone for long. You've given me too much to think about and I need more of this story right now!

Which is why I'm here.

Hi.

Poor little boy! Not able to cope with all these feelings he has, let alone the emotion rolling off of his father. Especially the fear. Dubhan doesn't understand fear as anything but weakness, and here is this man saying these things, feeling these things for him and he doesn't get it. It's not even that he feels unworthy. He doesn't know that it's normal to feel these things, or to want to be loved. Gah!

You've now dropped several hints about Alexandra's past and her background, and I am insanely curious about her. How close was she to Voldemort? Who was her mother? is her mother still alive, I wonder? Probably not... maybe, I don't know. I hope I will find out sometime during the story. It's all so interesting to me how you've built this up.

He reacts better to the wolf than he does the people. I'm just relieved that there's something he can react to that grounds him. I'm interested also in this werewolf thing that you've started between Devlin, Geoffrey and Remus. I can't wait until you start exploring that. So very intriguing!

The spell put on Geoffrey, that link, I don't even know what to think. He's so connected that it's scary. You have me afraid of this link. How do you do that?? And then the punch that came out of nowhere. I loved how you wrote that. It surprised me as much as Geoffrey.

Uh oh. Devlin notices. I get now what Geoffrey meant when he said the boy was clever. I don't like this foreshadowing with Emma either. It's dark and scary, and makes me feel uncomfortable. Oh so clever and manipulative too. I can see how he's developed these skills from growing up in the environment that he did. I wonder if Harry and the rest of them know what they're in for, because this boy seems more dangerous than ever. He's going to try things and push back, and it might get ugly.

It seems that I have a lot to look forward to in the coming chapters. Or at least you've presented more pieces of the puzzle, which have gotten me curiouser and curiouser... if that's not a real word, it's how I feel. I also feel heartbroken about Devlin, for the way that Harry has to deal with this boy that isn't his, that he somehow has to win back, even though the kid stands right in front of him... and for Geoffrey, who is linked... that horrible link that he can't break. I hope that gets sorted out quickly.

Wow. Such a great chapter! Such deep characters! Everything is still splendid!

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Review #18, by lindslo2012 Only Blood

12th February 2014:
Hi there!
I am here from the review swap.
I read the first(again) and second and now I feel like crying. Poor little Devlin :(
I think that your story is amazing though with all of the thought you are putting into it. I like your different, unique characters and names of the characters.
You have a very intense story here, and I a was basically on the edge of my seat the whole time I read it so far. I will have to come back and read more because now I am hooked. I hope Devlin really isn't dead. Maybe he is, maybe he isn't, I am a little confused about that. :)
But you are a very talented writer and I will defidently come back for more!!
-Lindsey

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Review #19, by Lululuna Unforgotten

9th February 2014:
Hi Tory! :) Ah, I loved this chapter so much. Devlin's thought process is very striking - how he seems to suddenly see the world through an entirely different light, deconstructing one of the things he thought he knew about Potter.

I had forgotten about his physical link with poor Geoffrey and how when Devlin suffers Geoffrey does, so that was a great link. I do feel a little sorry for Geoffrey and how he's being cooped up, but I don't see what else they could do with him and I suppose they're keeping him safe. Also, I was wondering: does Alexandra know she's Voldemort's daughter? I was operating under the assumption that she and Harry knew but now I'm not so sure, since Devlin seems to know and to be hiding it from them, for now. Interesting how she called him "Tom."

It's so powerful to see how in the chilling yet childlike mind, the difference between "thinking" and "knowing" is so poignant. It feels fitting as well that Devlin relies so much on documents and hard evidence to believe, that just ideas aren't enough. I also got really excited when he wondered if he should be calling Potter by his first name.

Hmm, I wonder if the scene at the end has something to do with how Devlin knew about cops? What I'm guessing is that he somehow escaped and asked the Muggles to call for help, but that Voldemort got there on time and Obliviated all of them. Interesting.

And who is Maria?! Does she have something to do with the girl being tortured and the body? Your last review response was so cryptic... I'm so confused, but in a really brilliant and excited way. :) For a moment I was wondering if they somehow cloned Devlin... but this isn't science fiction, I suppose. :P

This story is just too great and suspenseful. Every time I read a new chapter the words and hints echo in my head for ages. I love reading it, and I know I'll be back soon for the next chapter! :D

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Review #20, by Lululuna The Archives at the Hogwarts Library

8th February 2014:
Hello! :)

DOBBY! I love how you've kept so many of my favourite characters alive. You wrote him really well too, with his willingness to please and devotion to Harry. But of course Devlin would find him irritating and out of control.

I like how Devlin highlighted the differences between himself and Voldemort with reference to Muggles. It was a really unique distinction: how Devlin is curious while Voldemort has no use for such things. I like the idea of Devlin being disdainful, but not destructive in the way same as his grandfather. The link between him and Harry both not liking crowds and the inevitable fame was so interesting as well! I like seeing Harry's grownup perspective on the things he found so irritating as a child.

He fingered his wand and tried to convince himself that playing good had been just that - a ploy to get Potter's confidence so he could get his wand back. He hadn't really been seeking Potter's trust. He hadn't. I like how Devlin seems to be convincing himself of something here, denying the idea that he's settling in and starting to warm up to Potter, even if he would never be able to admit it. It's fascinating to see his growth through each chapter, and how as more and more is revealed about Devlin's past, more and more is shown about his character and his thought process and the things he is influenced by. I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but the way you write Devlin in third person is so personal and believable, I really feel like I'm inside his head which is both brilliant and a little terrifying because, well, he's Devlin. :P

Aw, I like how Devlin was the one to help David out, even if he didn't really mean to. It's interesting how he has insight into Muggles as well - he's so uncanny and knowledgable for a kid. Also, I totally mis-read Emma as being afraid of Hagrid before: it makes way more sense that she would adore him! Silly me, who couldn't love Hagrid. :P Well, Devlin, I suppose, but he doesn't really adore anybody except Emma.

I might be totally off with this, but I'm really starting to suspect that Devlin might have killed somebody. Maybe Voldemort forced him to in exchange for a promise that he wouldn't go after Emma? Hmm. That would be so horrific, but would fit very well with Devlin's feelings of Potter not knowing the whole truth about what he's done, and Devlin's hints about the lengths he's gone to in order to protect Emma.

Oh! Since they did find Devlin's battered body... or thought they did... what if that memory of a little girl being tortured was killed by Devlin, and Voldemort changed her appearance to make her look like Devlin and sent her to the Ministry?? That's my crazy theory for now, anyway. :)

I'm so curious about what is going through Devlin's head and how knowing they honestly thought he had died might change his bitterness and resentment about the past. Devlin seems like a boy who takes words very seriously - for example, there's a definitive difference between "thought" and "knew - and so I imagine that each changing idea carries a particular nuance.

So excited to keep reading - this was brilliant, as usual! :D

Author's Response: I'm glad Dobby came off as. well Dobbyish. LOL

You brought up some really good points that I wanted to reply to. So don't mind me jumping ahead a bit. :)

Re; helping David out. It's interesting he knows what a cop is, right? You should keep this fact in mind for later on. He hasn't really expressed an understand of anything else muggle related, after all.

Re: Devlin killing someone. You actually have a really really good guess here. The idea that the girl is actually buried as Devlin is almost spot on. Almost.

I can't wait for you to get further along. :)

Thanks for the awesome review!!


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Review #21, by Rumpelstiltskin The Archives at the Hogwarts Library

5th February 2014:
Lovin' me some Devlin Potter, oh yes :D. (You'll have to excuse me, it's the coffee and Elizabethan overload.)

And Devlin meets Dobby. That was fantastic. Dobby's so...enthusiastic, while Devlin is just *not*. It made for a great interaction that made me chuckle a little. Oh Devlin.

The girls think that Devlin is adorable? Well, yes, he is, but I don't think that he appreciates that so much. Luckily, he knows how to turn on the menacing.

Devlin and the Thestral. Understandably, Harry's a little upset by the fact that Devlin can see it, because that means he's seen somebody die. Devlin's justification that Harry's concerned with Devlin being "tainted" is probably true, but I'm sure Harry's mostly worried because...well, his child saw somebody die. Harry knows from experience that watching somebody die is unpleasant and even traumatic, and he doesn't want that for his son. Devlin is under the impression that Harry is afraid of the darkness within him, which is probably partially true, but I think that there may be something more behind it.

I can just imagine the Occlumency lessons with Snape will prove to be interesting. I love Devlin and Snape's interactions together, their personalities compliment and contrast the other in the most perfect ways! :D

Harry believed that Devlin was dead. That makes sense. Perhaps that little bit of information will allow Devlin to open up a little more to Harry (though I don't expect much from Devlin...little dude has some issues).

Another wonderful chapter!

-Rumpel

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Review #22, by CambAngst A Walk in the World

5th February 2014:
Hi, there.

This was another one of those chapters where not a lot of things happened in terms of events, but there were lots of significant developments in Devlin's relationship with Harry. These are the kinds of chapters that are fun to read and kind of painful to review, because it's a lot easier to gush about action and scenes and descriptions. Nevertheless, it was a good one.

Hermione is such a tactician in this chapter. You can definitely see where a bit of Ron has rubbed off on her. She knows that the conversation with Scrimgeour didn't go as well as they would have liked and she's already figuring out angles and strategies. At the same time, she helps Harry to calm down and center himself before the conversation he needs to have with Devlin. She's pretty amazing.

It's a little sad that after all this time, it still terrifies Devlin to be wandless in Harry's presence. Deeply-engrained fears are hard to overcome, I suppose. And Harry's struggling a little from his side of the exchange, too.

"Devlin..." He said, his brow furrowing. "I wasn't - please tell me - never mind - don't tell me." -- Harry's getting a lot better about accepting the things he can't change, I see.

I'd be completely remiss if I didn't mention Devlin's fear of the elevator. "You're in a cage that is falling and you don't completely understand why we're not going to die?" That was really funny. I guess when you spend your life in tents, you don't ever see those.

Another story from Devlin's life growing up with Voldemort. That was definitely a side of the Dark Lord that we've never seen before, soothing Devlin and settling him down. I guess it goes without saying that Voldemort is not the nurturing type, and this story is definitely a new facet for the character. I'm not sure how I feel about it, to be honest. He understands nothing of love and friendship, but in this case he seems to develop this strong bond with Devlin where he's telling him old stories and explaining how great Devlin is going to be. It's like Voldemort is getting a chance to relive his fractured life vicariously through Devlin. Oh my god, Voldemort has a little bit of Pageant Mom in him!

I think the thing I loved more about this chapter than anything else was the desire Devlin feels -- and it's still a want, not a need -- to tell Harry more about his life with Voldemort and to have Harry understand where he's coming from. He had never felt such a want to tell someone else all of his secrets. Along with his heavily-suppressed desire for comfort and affection, it's one of the most humanizing things you've shown us so far.

So Voldemort hasn't just told Devlin that they're alike, Devlin is actually supposed to be better. That's an odd thought, coming from a man with a debilitating fear of death. If Devlin could be greater than Voldemort, isn't it also possible that he could turn on Voldemort and destroy him? That doesn't seem like the sort of thing Voldemort would be OK with. Just a thought.

That's an interesting tidbit, about Devlin being able to break Voldemort's wards. I have to wonder whether you highlighted that fact for a reason.

It's really nice to see Harry being honest with Devlin about the Ministry and what Scrimgeour was hoping to get from sharing the pictures. I think it's a good strategy, treating Devlin more like an adult whereas Geoffrey treats him like a foolish child and Voldemort treats him like a jealously-guarded possession.

I think I'm understanding more and more where Geoffrey is coming from. I guess keeping Devlin safe "at all costs" eventually came down to a need to get Devlin away from the single most dangerous thing in his life: Voldemort, himself. Your writing was really gripping in the last section. Especially passages like this: "There are things you are not meant to tell, Dubhán," Geoffrey said, soft and warning, taking a step into the room. For a moment he didn't sound like a traitor. For a moment he was still the man who stood between Voldemort's wrath and his body. For a moment he was still the man who explained everything patiently about how to be like Grandfather wanted. For a moment, just long enough to draw in a breath, he was a Death Eater. "Ever." Chilling...

And then you cap it off with this: "Ask Potter what the Dark Lord does when he is uncertain."

I found but a single possible typo to bring to your attention: A boy who is on his way to doing anything. A boy of who will be great. -- A boy who will be great.

Awesome chapter!

Author's Response: Yes, this chapter wasn't so action packed - I'm getting back to that, though.

I'll fast forward to the bit about your review that I really want to touch on first: Voldemort being comforting.

My belief has always been that a) Voldemort is a psychopath, only really caring for himself b) all the Horcruxs have really unhinged his mind c) either because of the Horcruxs or simply because many psychopaths are not very 'organized' - he doesn't see the things he doesn't understand or at the very least disregards them. Like love. Like Harry. Like the Deathly Hallows.

Re: Devlin being better. I've already established through Devlin's thoughts and words to Harry recently that Devlin sees himself as all tangled up in Voldemort's head. Right now it's harder to make it clearer because we only have Devlin who is understanding this (obviously Voldemort doesn't, or he wouldn't be mad and this wouldn't be happening). But, if I were to put it in my own brief words I would say this: Voldemort doesn't really see Devlin as an individual. Part of him knows the boy is a boy who isn't HIM but he treats the child as if the child were HIM - feeding him, clothing him, teaching him, treating him like he would have felt others should have treated him. He's not often kind (I don't think he felt that was something lacking in his reception as a child) and when he is - he soothes by speaking about greatness; a reassurance that I picture Tom Riddle saying to himself alone in the orphanage "I am better. Someday they will all see that I am better" etc etc. He isn't right in the head.

But Geoffrey took him away. And Geoffrey has told us that he hid the fact that Devlin was capable of Mind Magic from Voldemort because he was afraid Voldemort would see him as less of a toy and more of a threat. This is another good point to consider.

I think Voldemort would eventually wake up to the reality that Devlin is not him, before the boy got too strong. Maybe the first time Devlin managed to disarm him in a duel, or if he saw that love in his eyes, or if Devlin realized something in a strategy sense before him - who knows what the trigger would be, but it would happen and Devlin would no longer be the experiment or the part of him - he would again be an individual that was a threat. And because Voldemort only loves himself, he would kill him then.

This is how I imagine that my Voldemort is still 'in character'. Hope that helped. We'll be touching on this once more in the upcoming chapter but like I said - it is pretty difficult to explain it through Devlin right now.

FYI: "Oh my god, Voldemort has a little bit of Pageant Mom in him!" FUNNIEST thing I have heard this year! :D :D

I really feel that Harry is getting a better grip of this.

And the elevator was one of my favorite things to write. LOL

Definitely made sure you saw the fact that he can break the wards again. I've mentioned it before when Devlin tells Harry about Maria (the girl in the blue dress), but I want to make sure everyone remembers. It will be important.

I think the 'need' was decided when Geoffrey was captured. He has said himself that he knew if he went back Voldemort would never trust him, and he knew without him to hide Devlin's abilities and act in the background, Devlin would be in danger. I've always wanted to write an AU one-shot of Geoffrey being captured by someone else.

Thanks for the compliment per the last section. I am trying very hard to not have Devlin realize the game Geoffrey is playing completely, because I don't think it's something an almost-ten-year-old would realize.

Thank you for the heads up on the typo!



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Review #23, by MidnightBlue_x The Informant

5th February 2014:
Hi there!

I saw your status about a review swap on the forums and I thought I'd give it a go. I've never actually done a review swap before, so we'll see how this goes!

Usually, I would never even consider reading something like this not necessarily because I don't think it but because I'm more of a Marauder era sort of girl. That being said, I did actually really enjoy reading this. It was interesting to see a son of Harry's and Voldemort interacting. I think in those particular scenes you could definitely see Harry's personality in Devlin.

It was different seeing Harry face off against the Death Eaters as an older man. I was so used to him being the reckless teenager that it was nice to read something a little bit different, but I liked how you could still see a bit of that recklessness in him especially when it comes to protecting his family. And Sirius- I could never not adore him so I was very, very happy to see him here.

It'll be interesting to see where the story goes from here and I'm definitely going to continue reading!

x Ely

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Review #24, by Lululuna Professor for a Day

1st February 2014:
Hello! :)

Ah, this chapter was so exciting! It was truly fascinating to see Devlin at Hogwarts and his reactions to both the curses and the Slytherins.

I find Dumbledore quite interesting here. I love how you've characterized him as less all-powerful as he seems to Harry in the books, but how he has faults and shortcomings as well and how he's willing to use people to get the desired results. Seeing Harrys stand up to him about Devlin was really interesting, and their relationship is very dynamic here. I love it.

You did an amazing job with putting all the background explanations into the unforgivable curses. I liked how detailed it was - like how the imperius curse can be thrown off, and to what extent the cruciatus curse can drive a person mad, and how the killing curse can't be blocked by magic. Also how an Auror had to be present for the curses to be legal. That's fascinating, and even though it is explained to an extent in the books, I really appreciate how you take the time to outline these concepts and make them very precise and carefully defined. It shows how much work you've put into the story. :)

I'm so curious about the rat! At first, I was convinced it was Peter, but I didn't think they would just kill him like that. Harry is still law-abiding (I mean, he is an Auror!) so I don't think he would just kill Peter like that without a trial and such. So now I'm guessing that he transfigured the coin into a rat missing a toe because it reminded him of Peter and gave them the strength to want to perform those curses on the poor thing. Very interesting. I like how Harry and the other characters come across as so dark and hardened when it is needed.

The idea of the Slytherin children knowing about Devlin and even spying on him for Voldemort was chilling. The fact that Voldy would look inside their minds and see their memories of Devlin and gauge things about him that way was even more sinister. I quite liked reading Devlin's understanding of them as threats and spies.

It's so interesting - I was sure the Cruciatus curse would affect Devlin negatively, but then he explained how he had seen far worse things. That makes perfect sense. I like how he's more frightened and bothered by the Slytherins taking news of his submission back to Voldy than any curses that could be done. I'm quite worried for Devlin now as well, and how Voldemort is going to punish him if they are reunited - which I feel is eventually inevitable.

This was a brilliant chapter, as usual - I loved it, and I'm sure I'll be back for the next one soon! :D This is one of those stories which I'm so content to read slowly - not because I'm not dying to find out what happens next, but because each thought and idea is so powerful and intricate that it's so brilliant to let it sink in and really think about it. I feel like every word means something and is carefully chosen. You're an amazing writer. :)

Also - LOVE the new banner! :)

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Review #25, by Pixileanin The Other Werewolf

29th January 2014:
Back for more!

I still love the way that Devlin reacts to things. I can get a lot of information about what he's been through just by observing how he observes the things around him. He's so careful, so calculating, and it makes me sad to see him this way. Sigh.

The things he picks up on in Emma are chilling to me. Emma and his mother too. He's hinting at a secret, something he doesn't just want to tell them, but something he's deathly afraid of having them find out. I wonder what it is, and if he's going to ever be brave enough to voice it to them, or if they're going to find out in an unhappy accident, which I can totally see this story going for... because of all the dark, you know. :) That line about his grandfather "promising" something... that gave me the creeps right there. What in the world would Voldemort promise to a young boy. And why?? Now my head is spinning with possibilities.

I like how Devlin acts his age, impatient and frustrated, and obviously using the mannerisms of a mad man to get his point across. It's not just that he seems accustomed to people letting him have his way, but that he's mimicked the behavior of someone in control. It's an interesting dynamic, unfortunate habits too, and it leaves me with questions about whether he's going to be able to fully integrate into this family any time soon. My guess is, probably not for a long while. He's been through so much for so long.

Oooh, and you bring Draco into it now! I forgot that he was responsible in the beginning. How interesting that he's on the hunt for him again, and apparently not loving it.

Devlin's quick conversation with Harry in front of Kingsley leads me to believe that he does care a great deal about Geoffrey, even though he pretends not to. I'm not even sure at this point that Devlin even realizes that he cares. He's probably thinking that he's not supposed to care, because that would lead to more trouble. Another sigh. Poor boy!

Oh! Devlin can CHANGE! Well, that's a fascinating development. And cute, with the dog and all. And then REMUS! Devlin notices something about him immediately, and I can only guess that it's what Geoffrey noticed the first time he met him. Who else is Harry going to turn to but Remus and Sirius. If anyone can handle the boy, it would be them. Devlin doesn't seem to like them much, maybe because he can't manipulate them like he'd been able to do with the others... maybe because they don't regard him as something to be in awe of or in fear of. He just doesn't get them at all.

I love the feature in your writing where Devlin repeats the "knowing and not knowing", almost like a litany. He wants so badly to understand, but he seems so afraid of what he might learn, that he won't be able to handle it... probably because the things he learned from Voldemort must have been terrible, awful things... I just can't stop thinking about that.

Another stunning chapter! Until next time!

Pix

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