Hmmm- so Diana is Harry Potter's grandfather's cousin. I had also assumed that Charlus was Harry's grandparent, not Tristan. That note was very useful.
I really hope Caterina doesn't get the pox!
I actually disagree with Diana's decision not to tell Charlus. Sure, she doesn't want to worry him, but I would rather know what's going on and be sad than be ignorant and happy.
I am enjoying this story so far! Keep up the good work!Author's Response: Oh, I'm glad you found the note useful! :) I think a lot of people assume that Charlus was Harry's grandfather, but while JKR never said one way or the other, I don't think that the timelines quite even up based on what else she's told us about James's parents.
Thank you so much for your review! :) I should be updating this soon. Report Review
Wow! You are a really good writer! Your words are so descriptive! The way you describe each little detail, and you have wonderful word choice. The reader can easily envision the scene inside their head.
I feel so sad... even wizards can't cure everything.
Very good work!Author's Response: Oh, thank you so much! :) I really appreciate your kind words, and I'm sorry it's taken me so long to reply to this review. Report Review
Ahh, so she was Miss Potter from the start. I thought ‘Potter’ might have been her married name. Not Harry’s grandmother then!
I really enjoyed this chapter. You’ve really done an amazing job of rooting it in a certain place and time. Your historical context is really spot-on, which is again something I don’t think I’ve seen much on HPFF. All the rumours and beliefs surrounding the origins and transmission of the pox feel so realistic, I guess as they’re very much something we’ve seen throughout British history, from the plague to the Spanish ‘flu (which I noticed you mention here - I guess it might have killed magical people too...) The suspicion that the French may be passing it on to the UK on purpose made me giggle, and it’s another recognisable British reflex! The apothecary’s bigoted view was reminiscent to me of the belief in the 80’s that only gay men could spread AIDS.
It’s also clear that you’ve got a personal, family history really clearly mapped out for these Potters and I absolutely love it. I’m always fascinated by family dynamics, and you’ve got lots of juicy hints and relationships going on here. Caterina reminds me a bit or Ariana Dumbledore, frail and sort of ethereal and being taken care of by older siblings. This line particularly struck me: “ Their father had steadily deteriorated in worth as a father since their motherʼs death. ”
Your development of Diana’s character feels natural and unforced whilst being really interesting - particularly the fact that she has visions! She seems to carry a large burden on her shoulders.
I really hope you carry on with this story, it’s really, really good so far.
Athene xoAuthor's Response: Yep! She's a relative of Harry's, but a fairly distant one - James's father was her cousin. They were not close in age and barely knew each other. I liked the idea of trying to build up something more about Harry's family, though.
I'm glad you liked the historical context! I love history, and I've always been really interested in medicine (especially epidemics), so I've done a fair amount of research into the subject - I'm really glad it came through!
I'm so sorry it took me so long to respond to this. I really appreciate the review, and I'll definitely be continuing the story when I have the space to breathe. Report Review
This story called out to me from your Author’s Page - what an interesting idea for a story! I’m presuming that Diana is Harry’s grandmother. It’s a good name for a witch, they often have goddess-y names.
This prologue is short but sweet, and it introduces so many ideas and questions and your language brings up really vivid imagery. Who else did Diana lose? What has she been doing to try and help? I love it when I have questions when reading a story (particularly if they’re answered later on). It all reminds me of the Spanish Flu after the first World War, in the way it spread quickly across Europe and killed mostly young people.
It’s so sad that at 10 years old (80 years before the story opens - such a long time to live with that sort of sadness) she already knows the ravages of the disease.
You introduce an interesting dynamic in the relationship with the father - Diana seems to have gone through a period of blaming him for the death of the sister.
My only criticism is that the line “My brother Charlus whispers to me, when our father is otherwise occupied, that he is bitter and angry and terrified of losing our mother. ” is a little ambiguous - I thought at first that Charlus was bitter and angry.
This is a really promising start to an interesting story - I haven’t come across anything else like it on HPFF!
Athene xoAuthor's Response: Spanish Flu is one of the most interesting epidemics in history, I think - that and smallpox always call out to me, so when I mapped out my idea of the Potter family tree, I definitely used both of those and dragon pox as common causes of death.
I'm really glad you enjoyed this, and thanks for your suggestion re: that line - I'll definitely go through and change it.
Thank you so much for such a lovely and helpful review! Report Review
I feel like I say this for each of your updates, but seriously, I wait for every single one of them with impatience, and the appearance of a new chapter makes me whoop.
First of all, Diana is obviously going to regret her decision - the foreshadowing in that last sentence jumps out at you like Snape confronted to shampoo.
I wonder about Charlus' reaction though, and I really, really hope you won't kill Caterina off. Time will tell, I suppose!
In general, I really enjoyed this chapter: I think you've got the context and the language spot on. Your charcaterisation is lovely, as is yourbdescription and dialogue. What can I say? I'm a fangirl.
I hope you have a wonderful 2013 :)Author's Response: Aw, thank you so much! I love getting reviews from you, too, and I'm so sorry it's taken me such a long time to respond to this one - life has been very busy and stressful, and I've been neglecting HPFF in favor for TDA when I've had free time. (Which you know, obviously. :P)
I'm glad that you liked this chapter, and I hope I'll be able to update it soon. :) Report Review
*laughs* The attitude about dragon pox epidemics always coming from France reminds me a little of the attitude towards foot-and-mouth in...was it 2001?
This is a really unusual story. It seems very true to the period and I like the detail of her not being allowed attend Hogwarts because her father wanted her to care for her younger sister and she could do that better at finishing school.
I think the question of what gender roles in the wizarding world would be like is an interesting one. It's possible they would be very different than in our world, because of the isolation for so long, the co-schooling and the fact that physical strength isn't as necessary in the wizarding world and women could accomplish most tasks as easily as men. On the other hand, it is possible that they were more integrated with Muggle society at a time when countries like England had stricter gender roles and they changed more slowly in this as in other things (such as using quills instead of biros). So it's interesting to read your interpretation.
Yikes, that's a scary vision.
I like the fact that you have Diane surviving the disease. Few diseases kill everybody who gets them and it often seems a bit overly dramatic when everybody in a story who has ever had a disease dies of it. Report Review
Hey Branwen! This story's caught my eye because of the whole dragon pox thing and a little inconsistency of Rowling's. I'm talking of course about how witches and wizards are supposed to live abnormally long. We see examples of this but then there is evidence of something amiss in that Harry's paternal grandparents are dead and Sirius's parents are as well. Now of course this was just a matter of convenience for Rowling but as fans we are left to fill in the blanks for deaths that quite frankly shouldn't have happened if the Potters and Blacks really were your run of mill pureblood families. Now of course Rowling has allowed us to pick up hints of this dragon pox epidemic, most glaringly through her mention of Draco's grandfather dying that way. So, shortly, my nerd side took over and I had to read this.
The length of the prologue is appropriate. It sets the tone and the premise sufficiently. An old woman's reflections don't exactly make for attractive reading but it does allow for a mature narration and contains the potential for active scenes from her youth. Conflict is crucially introduced at this stage, with the promising character of Charlus. The reader is allowed to connect via the emotions that are remembered during a eventful time in this woman's life. The ending of the prologue does have a jumbled feel. It seems that the flow is interrupted by a sudden perceived need to introduce the character Catrina. Perhaps you would have done better by withholding this introduction to the beginning of the next chapter.
I hope that another chapter is on the way! Well done!Author's Response: This review made me so happy.
I love (love, love) disease. That probably sounds weird, but I really do - diseases are just so interesting. Smallpox is one of my favourites - again, it's just fascinating to look at how it works and how it's shaped the world and the political debates about it that continue to this day - so, of course, I was all over dragonpox the minute it got mentioned in the books. :P
I do see what you mean about Catrina, and I think I'll edit that before I put up the next chapter. Thank you for the suggestion! :)
I'm hoping to get chapter 2 up soon - I've been working on it, but I kind of want to finish up a few of my other WIPs before really embarking on this one, so it might be another couple months.
Thank you so much for the review! :) Report Review
Wow! I'm speechless! This was such an amazing and interesting prologue and I can't wait for you to update this!
Amazing, Branwen, as always!
I love stories about the unknown members of the Potter family, it's nice to know how people imagine Harry's relatives to be.
Great work! Looking forwards for the next chapters!
~EAuthor's Response: Thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :) I should have the next chapter up soon. Report Review
Wow, I just happened upon this story, and I am completely intrigued! This prologue really makes me want to hear more of Diana's story.
In just a few paragraphs, you managed to create a voice for your narrator, one that seems to speak to the reader with words that are rather chilling. There is a weight behind the words, of inevitability or a loss of innocence (I don't quite have a word for it) that is absolutely compelling.
I honestly cannot wait to read more! Wonderful job!!Author's Response: Oh, thank you so much! :) I'm really glad you like it - I'm always a bit nervous with prologues. I don't like to make them too long, but it's always difficult to communicate everything you would like to in a short amount of time.
Thank you again. I'll have the next chapter up asap. :) Report Review
Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god.
Wha? Branwen! It's beautiful. *love*
Seriously, is this about James' parents again? You have me intrigued... I loved the last one-shot you wrote about them. If it is about them, i'm dying to get to know them better through this story.
Oh, Branwen, you so clever! :P Your stories never disappoint, and are always brilliant.
Can't wait to see where this is going; seems like a very unique idea and one I look forward to reading.
Adele. :)Author's Response: ♥ Thank you! :) I'll have the next chapter up soon - I'm just finding the time to type it up and edit it.
This actually isn't about James's parents - they might not even feature much in the story. I imagine James's father as being a cousin of Charlus Potter; Diana is Charlus's sister. :) Report Review
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