I just want you to know, I've been crying since chapter 20. It is very difficult for me to say that because stories very rarely make me cry.
There are too many things I can honestly say about this story. It was incredible. You've included many characters, all playing important roles whether they realise it or not. Minerva's especially, was amazing. There was always something in her mannerisms, that made me pause while reading. I know I mentioned this in your MTA page yesterday. But she represents so much. She is brave, witty, very guarded with her feelings, which makes her quite sensible. But when she loves, she does it with so much ferocity that it's a bit scary.
There was something I noticed, I'm not sure if you did it on purpose, but to me it felt like if you'd reversed genders. You made the example of Grimm being prone to hysterics in an earlier chapter (and I could not stop laughing at that because it is completely true) while Minerva stays resolute. And he did most of the pining for all those years too.
Speaking of Grimm, I found he grew somewhat over the course of these events. The reality of war, death of a fellow student, understanding what love truly felt like... My urge to strangle him in earlier chapters lessened. He is a rather complex character, Grimm - moreso than most. I still do think he acts with his heart more than his head. He's very passionate, and easily prone to jealousy. In his mind, what turns him green is worth it. I'll be honest, it broke my heart when he left early. It was a bit much, after the tears shed over poor Hagrid. In retrospect, Dumbledore's words ring true, even if they were hard to hear at that point in time. Had he waited, I don't think he might have left, then...knowing both of them, guilt might have followed.
This was a fantastic read, honestly. I think you should be proud of creating such a story over seven years. Congratulations and thank you for sharing it with us :)
Author's Response: Crying?! Wow! I'm sorry, but also pleased because when I think about it, this story is sad, even painful, especially in these final chapters, when everything just unravels and the characters are powerless to prevent it. It means a lot to hear that the story affected you so deeply.
*blushes* Thank you for the compliments! I'm really glad to hear that the characters - all of the characters - had strong roles. Minerva is the main character, but she lives among many interesting people, each with their own influence on her, whether she recognizes it or not. I enjoyed writing her, and she became more natural to write over the course of this novel - she reveals more facets of her character, ones that even she does not know existed.
Ah, you caught that! Yes, I did a bit of stereotype bending with this story. Seven years ago it seemed a bit more unique, though even now there are romance stories that draw too heavily on the stereotypes, whereas in this story, I wanted to show more of a fluidity. Much of it arises from their backgrounds and class - Minerva, despite being a pureblood in this story, comes from a rural, lower-middle class background that required her to work harder and be more resistant to adversity while Grimm is an upper-middle class city kid who has the time to dabble in arcane studies because everything else is done for him. Yet I'd never call Minerva a "tom boy" and Grimm is still annoyingly male. Grimm is definitely the more outwardly emotional - he can't control his expression of feeling while Minerva is more skilled at repression. Something like her brother's death haunts her throughout the novel, but it rarely ever shows, and the same goes for her feelings about Grimm.
It's hard to explain Grimm's development in this novel because he becomes an adult, yet at the same time it's a downfall - he develops through failure. And he often makes the wrong decision for the wrong reasons - sometimes perhaps the right decision for the wrong reasons. Going to war ultimately makes him less expressive and less impulsive, but the cost is of course considerable. I'm very glad to hear that you've found him complex! He really grows up in this story, and I don't think I've ever had a character have to come so far to do so before.
Thank you very much for taking the time to read and review this story! It means a lot to hear that you enjoyed it. :D
(And I am proud of it, if I may say so. ;))
Ooh, I'm loving how the plot is developing so far! The story's definitely moving toward a darker direction; there are shadows in classrooms, break-ins and stolen things, and then of course, there's Riddle, who is such a chilling background character. Minerva's encounter with him in the library was so unnerving, and at first, I was wondering why on earth Riddle would be showing so much interest in her. Until I read this chapter here, when she realises that Riddle has engineered all these little events, using her to somehow get at Grimm for whatever reason. Someone as cunning and terrifyingly intelligent as Riddle would, I'm sure, sense Grimm's hostility and I find it very interesting that Riddle doesn't simply dismiss this condescendingly. Rather, he has his own twisted plans, and Grimm somehow seems to spur him into action.
I'm really loving Grimm's character! Since the stolen letter, he seems to have undergone some sort of change; he's become less confident, somehow. I also sense a slight change in the way Minerva and Tiberius behave toward each other. They're pushing all the usual boundaries, and there's the usual testiness on Minerva's part, but somehow they manage to keep their tempers under better control? Or when they do offend each other, it takes less time to make up and let things lie. Whereas in the beginning of the fic, I remember long periods of silent treatment for every misstep. :P
Also loving your contrasting characters here with Coralline and Lady Grimm and Minerva's somewhat doleful mother. Coralline, in particular, is a very interesting figure; Minerva's feelings toward her are quite clear, and she seems determined to take a very different route from the one chosen by her sister-in-law. Yet, I dunno, there's always the possibility and the danger that someone as headstrong and independent as Minerva could go the other way, the similar direction as Coralline; there's the possibility that she could end up as bitter as her sister-in-law. Minerva's refusal to tie herself down with anyone - that made me smile a bit. I do admire her strength of character, but somehow with this statement, there's a hint of denial in it, especially since it concerns Grimm.
Gah, Minerva and her pride! Gotta love her, though!
Fabulous story so far, Susan! Also, I'm really sorry that I haven't been able to review every chapter. :( I hope you don't mind...but really, I can't wait to read the rest of this story!
Author's Response: Thank you for stopping by again to read and review! It's lovely to hear your feedback on this story! ^_^
I'm trying to remember how I intended Grimm and Minerva's relationships with Riddle to develop. It could have just been that they were both intelligent, observant people, and Riddle was interested - he probes people because he wants to see whether they will threaten his plans and also he just enjoys messing with their heads. Grimm is particularly easy to manipulate because he is such an emotional individual, and it takes little effort for Riddle to get under his skin, and thus drive Grimm to destroy his own reputation. With both Grimm and Minerva's reputations called into question, Riddle could assuredly get away with anything, and he does in the end.
(I just talked my way through that answer - it's likely something I have to edit into earlier chapters, as I didn't finalize that decision until late in the story.)
The story as a whole showcases Minerva's rise and Grimm's fall - she develops while he transforms, his identity deconstructing to reveal all its weakness. Somehow this process brings them closer together so that they more easily forgive, passing over small things to focus on what's important. I think by this point they've subconsciously decided to be a couple, or they've at least given up trying to resist all the forces that bring them together. They're stronger together.
But at the same time, Minerva knows that she's also strong on her own. When she rejects Coralline's choices, she has Grimm very much in mind, but it's still too soon for her to have come up with a compromise between marriage and independence. What she doesn't realize is that either choice could leave her as bitter as Coralline - it's not until she's much older that she finds the life that satisfies and challenges her, and it's a life that doesn't fall into either of the choices. This scene was one of the interesting moments where I had to keep in mind canon and Minerva's future while also maintaining her adolescent naivety. She still has a lot to learn, particularly about herself.
Oh, I don't mind at all that you haven't reviewed every chapter. As you've noticed, I'm rubbish at responding quickly - it's a great treat to receive any reviews. ^_^ Thank you very much for taking the time to read and review this story. It means a lot that you've been enjoying it!
Ahh, I've been wanting to read this fic for a very, very long time; in fact I read a bit of the first chapter sometime last year and favourited it but never got back. Real life being difficult means that I almost do not follow any chaptered fics at all! Congrats on finishing this, by the way!
I must say it's really, really amazing what you've done with the characters here, how detailed they are and how much vision you have with them. When I re-read the first chapter again this time, a few sentences into the story and already Minerva was so in-character, so completely Minerva. And ah, Grimm! Honestly, both Minerva and him are two such intelligent and volatile characters; there are so many difficult boundaries between them, and each day these boundaries are breached in ways that are endearing and humorous. There's plenty of awkwardness between the two, as well as that inevitable attraction. And it's a bit funny when the characters, Minerva especially, do their utmost to resist this pull toward the other. Despite them being Head Boy and Head Girl, they do have their more trivial, more passionate moments where they engage in petty warfare with each other. Grimm accidentally sending his private notebook to Minerva and waiting outside the Gryffindor common room and the latter stuffing the book back into his sleeping arms later were such delightful moments - right I was squeeing a bit.
Another thing which I really adored about this fic is the other minor characters, and how Minerva and Grimm interact with them. I can go on forever gushing about how much I LOVE Minerva's relationship with Dumbledore, the amount of respect she has for him, the understanding between them, and the fondness Dumbledore seems to have for her. It really reflects on their much later relationship as Headmaster and Deputy Head of Hogwarts in the future. And in contrast, Grimm's dislike of Dumbledore and his jealousy of the man is utterly hilarious. Dumbledore is ♥ I think I slapped my knee in joy when I read your line, "There was no question as to who was in control of Hogwarts." YES. This has got to be one of my favourite moments of the chapter! I also must say I love how you wrote Grimm with Myrtle. He's kind to her, but in a careless sort of way - if only he knows what's going to happen to her, he might just invest a lot more time in trying to understand her and help her deal with her bullying problems :( :( And Tom Riddle is creepy and I simply can't wait to see how his character slowly develops in the shadows, dark deeds and all.
Anyway, if you can't tell by now, I'm honestly enjoying your fic so very much; it's so exciting to read about such beautifully developed characters and I will be reading on! ♥ Absolutely fantastic writing, Susan!
Author's Response: Thank you so very much for reading and reviewing this story, teh! You're an incredible author, and it means a lot that you've enjoyed this novel so far. ^_^ I was pleasantly surprised to see that you'd favourited this, and it's a great treat to receive a review as well! (I have the same trouble with novel-length fics - as delightful as they can be, it's a challenge to keep up with them.)
I'm so glad to hear that you liked the characters and their relationships too! What helped with the characters was that I'd written them a few times before, so I already had a fairly firm grasp of how they should be, but even then there were unexpected developments. This is the one story for me where the characters really developed themselves, the story growing around them until I finally gave up on plans. They have a wonderful dynamic with one another, especially Grimm and Minerva (I can't remember how they came to work together so well - it just seemed to happen from their first scene). They keep being drawing to each other, and the more that they try to resist this pull, the stronger it becomes. :D
Dumbledore turned out to be a fantastic secondary character for this story. He's only ever on the edges of it, quietly pushing Grimm and Minerva together, just as he quietly pulls the strings of all those around him. Grimm recognizes this subtle manipulation and hates it, even as he falls prey to it again and again - he's partially jealous of Dumbledore's ability to work with people, of his charm and gregariousness, not knowing that it's a mask. Ugh, Grimm's relationship with Myrtle is still painful to think about. :'(
Thank you so much for reading and reviewing! ^_^
Excellent story, although it made me sad. I wanted it to be longer, for Minerva and Tiberius to have some happiness. But I think you made the right choices. Thank you for sharing it.
Author's Response: Thank you for reading and reviewing this story! It means a lot to have shared it with readers and received such encouraging feedback. It's a melancholy story, containing only snatches of happy moments. Since writing this ending, I've had to begin a fluffy one-shot between Minerva and Grimm, just to give them something hopeful, something remotely happy.
I'm very glad to hear that you think this ending was the right one for this story. I ideally wanted something happier, but each scenario I drafted felt forced, whereas this one just fit.
Thank you again!
I would have been sadder and more heartbroken if I have not read about Grimm and Minerva's interactions in The Fires Within. :) Epilogues make me sad. Really, really sad, as if there really isn't an air of finality, just the end, and nothing more.
Okay wow seven years!
Ass move for Grimm to leave after he promised, but honestly I was kind of expecting it. Coward. People change, people grow, but as we grow, we retain those characteristics that make us uniquely /us/. Sometimes good, sometimes not. Coward! What happens afterwards? Do they just meet in the castle, after deciding to be teachers? So much questions.
The part when Hetty Crouch wanted to remain in contact with Minerva made me kind of sad, a kind-of eye-opener in a way. I've always blocked people out, or I tried too hard to let people in and then blocking them out afterwards, and it reminded me to just take it slow and naturally, you know. Like how Hetty does it. Subtle, caring ways. Yes, Minerva needs friends. I don't even understand half of what I'm writing now but I just need to say that thank you so much for writing this and finally finishing it!!! It's great.
I feel foolish for wanting to ask if there's gonna be a sequel, like a direct sequel of this story and not a sort-of spin off like The Fires Within and that other story about Grimm (I don't know if they should be classified as sequels since they were written before This Longing was finished, so I thought that spin-off would be a better type to classify it), but... yes thank you so much for writing this! You write great similes and metaphors!
Author's Response: That is one of the benefits of writing a prequel - no matter how not-happy the ending, one still knows that the characters' separation is only temporary. Epilogues make me sad too, and this one was particularly difficult to write. A lot of me wanted to rebel and make them run away together - maybe it would have been better for both of them.
But sadly people don't always make the best decision for themselves, and Grimm is definitely one of them. He is a coward at heart and nothing will ever change that aspect of him - it makes him a strange, troubling character to write.
They do meet again in the castle as professors - I wrote a one-shot about it while I was still writing "The Fires Within". It's called "Ghosts of You", one of a series of Grimm/Minerva shorts I wrote. They don't answer all the questions, though - much of their story is still unclear, even to me.
Minerva is just as you describe, and I'm glad that that aspect of her character was not only clear, but realistic. I've done that too with people, and it is bittersweet when you re-evaluate that person and discover how good a friend they could be (or, worse, could have been). Minerva does need friends of her own, people who can understand her and genuinely care about her in ways that Grimm just can't.
There will be a small sequel. I'm writing another one-shot about them that takes place twenty years later. I'd actually love to write more about Minerva during the War, her friendship with Hetty and the other girls, and her struggle to find herself, which eventually leads her right back to Hogwarts. I don't know whether I'll ever write it, but it's hard to let these characters go.
Thank you very much for reading and reviewing this story! Your compliments are fantastic to hear - it means a lot that you enjoyed the story and, moreso that you liked the characters and the style. It's been great to have shared this story with readers who have loved the characters as much as I do. ^_^
Hey there! So, I've been meaning to review this for a while, and when I spotted you in the review tag, I could't resist! :)
I should apologise in advance for this review, since it'll probably just be a lot of squeeing and general confetti-throwing and similar things... ;)
Anyway, this was the first story I read on the archives, you know. Or, at least, the first one I read and favourited and really, really loved. It's honestly my favourite story on here, without a doubt, and I've read it over and over again, and, gah, it's so strange to see that it's finished! Like a kind of milestone, sorta-thing.
I really love stories about Minerva, as I love her character, but the time period with the Chamber and everything has always been fascinating, but I've honestly never found anything which describes it and deals with it in the same way as this does, and as well as this does. It's sort of become my non-canon headcanon, haha, and it's one of the few things where I know it's not canon and I just don't care and love it anyway. It's so easy to imagine this fitting into JKR's world, as well - it would just slot in so beautifully.
Your Minerva is flawless. Well, all your characters are, but Minerva... gah, I'm so terrified of writing her, you know? And you just do her so perfectly... it's amazing. I'm always blown away by that alone whenever I read this. She's just exactly how I'd imagine a young Minerva to be, and I can really see how she'd become the Minerva in the books.
All of the other characters are so good, too. Riddle is just delightfully creepy and twisted... every time he appeared I disliked him more, haha, and Dumbledore was so just like the canon version of him that it was amazing. I really loved how you wrote him in the last bit, with the references to the war and lost love and everything... it was such a bittersweet moment!
I have to mention Tiberius and tell you how much I loved him as a character, how brilliant I still think he is, and how I was rooted for him - not even really for Minerva, haha, stubborn as she was - through the whole thing :) He's probably one of the best OCs I've ever read, and definitely one of the ones which sticks in my mind the best.
Your writing, as always, is beautiful. There were a couple of spelling mistakes in this last chapter, but nothing serious ;) But gah, the way you write is just stunning - I'm always hooked and always just keep reading whenever I click on something of yours.
I loved how you ended it, as well. I love that it wasn't a happy ending, really - how could it be? Myrtle's dead, Hagrid's expelled, Riddle's free, and Tiberius is off to war, and obviously the war is going on... it's not exactly a nice time. But yes, I love it - it's such the right ending for this story, you know? I think if you'd tried to make it happier or angstier with the final goodbye and all, it wouldn't have been quite right...
So yes, this is my favourite ff story of all time, and I love it to pieces, and I can't believe it's over... gah, I'm so blown away by this in total and you're amazing.
I'm going to have to find something else of yours to read now... ;)
Author's Response: Thank you for choosing this story to review for the review tag! It's a treat to have a long story chosen for the tag, and I'm very pleased to hear how much you enjoyed this story. ^_^
Now I'm going to be the one squeeing in this response because reading that this was your first favourite story and that you've been following every since leaves me going asdfghjkl. You've read it multiple times?! Eeek, I can't express how much that means to hear. This story has been a cornerstone for me, and finishing it is a great accomplishment at the same time that it's daunting, almost frightening. Now what? I'm tempted to re-write it as an original story, just so that I can experience the characters' relationships and interactions a second time.
It's fantastic to hear that the story has that much meaning for you - that it has had a similar affect on you as it's had on me. It's hard to let go of it.
Would it be terrible to say that I prefer my Minerva history to JKR's? :P I thought my version was dramatic, but hers... wow. (Writing that version of Minerva is an interesting challenge, and it makes her into a different person - she develops in ways I wouldn't have anticipated, if that makes sense.) I'm so glad that this version of Minerva still fits - it's not what JKR intended, but it still works alongside the books.
She's easier to write than she may seem - think of a Scottish Hermione, driven by a similar desire for knowledge and the freedom it offers, and also driven by passion. Minerva's gloomier than Hermione, a product of her time period more than anything. It'd be fantastic if you did write Minerva - I'd love to see the result!
Thank you for those compliments on the characters! They're everything to this story, and it's wonderful that you enjoyed reading about them and, more importantly, that they've stuck with you. :D
It's not a happy ending, but not entirely unhappy either - the mystery plot did not resolve well, but because of that, Tiberius and Minerva were brought together. The romance plot ends sadly, but there's still hope, especially for Minerva. She's the one with the most potential for a happy ending - she gets the independence she always wanted, yet she's also found friendship. I thought of making it happier, ending the story at the point before Tiberius leaves, but that would be cruel to both characters and readers - it'd be fake. I'm glad that you like this ending. It felt right, and it's great that you agree.
Thank you again!
First of all, I think this is a delightfully refreshing idea for a story. I don't recall having read a McGonagall-centered story before. Furthermore, with having the story set during her youth...well, I found that to be brilliant. I'm definitely intrigued by this notion.
As far as characterization is concerned, I think you've done a wonderful job. McGonagall has this bit of quirky attitude to her, which is I can make small correlations to her "older" cannon. I found myself chuckling at her reactions and thoughts, so I really think you've done a fantastic job with her. Then there's Grimm. What a fabulously crass character. He mildly reminds me of a Malfoy, with his own sassy flair (though I doubt he would appreciate me calling him sassy). Obviously, the two conflict and he absolutely treads on McGonagall's nerves, so I'm anticipating how these two contrasting characters will interact throughout the story. On a similar note, although they seem to contrast, they both have an attitude about them which, I'm certain, will provide me with an abundance of entertainment.
I can't believe that she slapped him...that was brilliant! I'm pretty sure that was the point where I laughed the most. Just, awesome. I'm entirely on McGonagall's team now (I'll be her fangirl for the story).
This is very well-written, only adding to it's entertainment quality. Furthermore, the way you've ended this (with MgGonagall's uncertainties and lingering questions), was a fantastic way to pique curiosity (specifically my own).
Fantastic job, I can't wait to read more!
Author's Response: You haven't read a Minvera story before? :O Wow! I've been immersed in reading and writing them for so long that I can't imagine what it must be like reading one for the first time. Her character offers many possibilities for stories, and I definitely recommend reading more about her!
Thank you very much for taking the time to read and review this story! It's lovely to hear that you enjoyed this first chapter, and especially Minerva's characterization.
You've caught on to a significant aspect of Grimm and Minerva's relationship - that no matter how opposite they appear to be, they do share a number of qualities. There's a certain nameless something - a kind of aura or worldview - that they have in common, and it brings them together as much as their opposition repels them. It makes them fascinating and absolutely frustrating at the same time.
Thank you again!
I almost don’t want to accept that this is the end of This Longing, as it’s just been a fantastic read, but I guess I’ll have to :(
The beginning of the chapter was really fantastic with the with all these final moments and how even though Minerva didn’t want Grimm to go in this journey she was going to have let him, and by helping him along the way it sort of enabled her to cope with it. It just had this wonderful melancholy air to it really and it made me want to never let this moment go because like with the changing landscape in Europe, they were changing so much too and could never really go back to before.
The second sort of beginning section (if that makes sense) was just so tender and wonderful and yeah I loved it! I think you caught the goodbye tension between them perfectly because they were always incapable of not talking, so to see them so silent and solemn really showed us they were probably feeling more pain over this than I was. I rather liked the idea of the memento too, because they can be a rather old fashioned pair at times so it suited them so well.
Grimm’s morning was just eurgh I don’t it was just perfect really. The mingled in bits of flashback were really effective, almost more so than the real thing as they private too so it was a way of just leaving that final moment for them. It’s so hard to figure out whether Grimm really wants this moment right now or not. He has all these fond memories but then there’s need to go to war too, I guess he’s just confused like me :P
Minerva’s section had this wonderful detached air to it, almost as if she couldn’t believe that the events of the previous night occurred and then it was only strengthened when she saw he wasn’t at the Ravenclaw table. I think that’s why I found her conversation with Dumbledore even more interesting because it was one of the few times that we saw real emotion in her, even anger, and it gave me some hope she could live on without Grimm.
The epilogue was fantastic as an ending and in contrast with Minerva’s final section. You did a really great job of tying all of the ends together in such a subtle I really felt as if I knew which path each person would take (admittedly having read the follow on one-shot may have helped with that!). There was the air of hope for Minerva too with her conversation with Moody as it gave her some hope she could go on and fight her own battles if Grimm got his, and it was nice to have a sign of hope there.
The closing lines were really fantastic and showed Minerva as the independent woman that she is, and it was great to see that strong trait of hers still shine through here. Thank you for writing such a fantastic story which has been a real pleasure to read, and with this ending it gives me an excuse to come and read more of your stories!
Author's Response: Thank you for reading and reviewing right to the end, Kiana. It has meant a lot to have you along for the last leg of the journey through this novel - I don't know if I could have finished it, after having abandoned it once, maybe twice, and just feeling that it'd never be good enough to satisfy the vision I had of how the story should be. But it's done! And in a way that, I think, actually works. So thank you for your inspiration and support! :D
I really like how you've discussed the different parts of this chapter, how each captures a different mood, representing a separate stage of endingness. Much of it follows Minerva's coping process as she comes to terms with the present and finds a way of looking forward - even if it seems bleak, there is a ray of hope: her own strength to persevere.
Grimm's ending is more conflicted because he's an unwilling subject in it - in much of this story's conclusion, really, from Myrtle's death onward, his fate spiralling downward. He knows that this isn't the ending he'd choose for himself, but at the same time, he doesn't know what end he'd choose. He does have one choice, though: whether to escape from war or escape from Minerva and the complex relationship that's sprung up between them (far more complex than he ever anticipated - he wanted her love without understanding what it would mean to love in return). His side of the plot resolves in an entirely unsatisfactory way, yet it's the best way for him - he still has a lot of experience to gain, a lot of self-searching to do.
In the end, the story wasn't his story at all, but rather Minerva's. It's interesting because in my original plan for the novel, it was supposed to have been his story, mostly told from his perspective, but it didn't take long to realize that the real "hero" is Minerva, that she's the one who grows the most from this experience and is able to actually move forward from it on her own accord. By that final scene, she is the witch who will lead Hogwarts, and it's fantastic to hear that you liked how both her strength and the air of hope comes through there.
*huggles* Thank you again!
I am not a very good reviewer, but I would just like to say that I've been reading this for the whole week on top of tests and presentations that I iught to have been doing and this has consumed my mind for far too long to settle this fanfic as a fleeting kind of read -- this is the kind that would make me remember even after a long time has passed, one where I will most likely be re-reading and re-reading and recommending to other people. Tiberious' choice to be in war intrigues me, and how it will turn out trips me in uneasiness even more. I'd love to know what happens next, especially with Moody's inclusion as an important, feeling character in the story. :D
Author's Response: It's very nice of you to have taken the time to review! It's a perfectly good review - a great one, in fact (most people who think they're not good at reviewing actually are). I can't believe that this story has affected you so much, and I'm sorry that it's distracted you from your schoolwork. (I can sympathize though - fanfiction has held me in thrall while I should have been studying for exams.) It's every author's dream to write something memorable. Thank you very much for the compliments!
What you've said at the end speaks directly to the problem I'm having with finishing this story. He does have a choice to go or not, and it doesn't even make sense to me why he does - is it to prove himself to Minerva? To escape the label of coward? As punishment for how he treated Myrtle and failed to successfully prove her murder? It's all of these things, I guess. But how to write that in a way that isn't disappointing?
I can only hope that I'll be able to come up with something that will make your week spent reading this story worthwhile. It's not likely, but I will try. :)
Hello! I'm here again with another review for you! :D
As always, this chapter was VERY well written, with every nuance and suspense-filled glance worked in perfectly. I will admit (most shamefully) that while I was on holiday from school in October, I used the whole weekend to read everything on your author page. Everything, except for this story, of course, because I keep meaning to go back and reread it all to get the full effect of your genius. I didn't review your stories then, because I was so anxious to read the next one and the next one and the next one... But when I reread this one, I will review every chapter. I promise!
One thing that I'm especially glad of about indulging myself with your brilliant writing is that I read the story "The Fires Within." It gave me so many more Tiberius/Minerva feels, even though the story wasn't about them. I love that "This Longing" explores the events of their younger years, because I just LOVE the personalities that you've given them.
Okay, now I'll actually review this chapter...
Armando Dippet is just a little bit (okay, A LOT) prejudiced and bigoted. The whole time that he was in this chapter, he managed to constantly infuriate me with the way he spoke to/about Tom Riddle. WHY IS HE SUCH A DODDERING FOOL?!?! Thank you for portraying him in this light. He isn't someone that we hear too much about or see in action, whether in fanfiction or the actual books, so seeing him up close and personal like this just shows how stupid he really is. Perhaps he knew what he was doing--that he was indulging the wishes and commands of a teenage murderer--but it might've been on a subconscious level. He sure didn't seem too reluctant to say "no" to dear little Tommy Riddle. Ugh.
Dumbledore, on the other hand, is intelligent without being too likable. Your characterization of him is very close to that of canon Dumbledore, but of course, through Grimm's eyes, you make him seem less of the friendly, pleasant old man that Harry (thought he) knew. Naturally, I agree wholeheartedly with this portrayal--Dumbledore, while being brilliant and a champion of those whose blood was less-than-pure, was still a bit of a politician. He hid the secrets of his past, covered them up, so that people would only see a facade. This is understandable, but it is rather unsettling to note that the esteemed Headmaster once fraternized with one of Wizardkind's greatest enemies. Through Grimm's eyes, it is very easy to see him as a younger man, a man who hasn't completely become that old, twinkly-eyed mage that Harry knows. He is rather difficult to admire, indeed!
This possibility of Myrtle being under the killer's influence, doing things willingly, is an intriguing one. It flips things around, warps the perspective of the story being just another random occurrence of tragic death. It means that her death was planned TO THE LETTER. And knowing Tom Riddle, I am not at all surprised. Is this revealed in the next chapter or so? (Perhaps it is never revealed. After all, they didn't solve the mystery completely until Harry's second year.) This is most curious!
Poor, poor Hagrid. I feel so bad for him, being the victim of Tom's quest for power. Seeing the story from this angle, actually experiencing the moment when Hagrid got expelled, makes it all the more tragic and powerful. The poor man spent 50-some-odd years in a hut on the grounds, wand broken, deprived of education, just because he was at the wrong place at the wrong time, AND he was opposed by a beautiful lie. Fortune favors the beautiful, as they say, and that is most unfortunate for the innocent Hagrid.
I am so excited that you'll be finishing this story soon!!! I think that I'll go and reread everything once it is finally marked "Completed" so that I don't have to wait for the last chapter. And I'm also really excited about chapter 10 of "Pride and Pestilence." It's one of my current "Most Favorite Stories on HPFF." ;)
Author's Response: Eeee, thank you very much! Your first review for this story inspired me to give it another go, so it means a lot to hear more from you about it. It's exciting to finally be wrapping it up - seeing it marked completed will be a wonderful thing after all these years of promising myself that I would get to finishing it. :D
Holy canoli, you read everything?! That's insane. Even... wait, I have read it all, but over a much longer period of time. I hope your head didn't implode from all the pain. Thank you for the fantastic compliment!
Writing Fires gave me so many Tiberius/Minerva feels that it was twice as hard to finish that story because I only wanted to write about them. XD I'm so glad to hear that you felt the same way from a reader's perspective and that you like how they're characterized here. They're unique characters to write, and they feel oddly real, perhaps because I've been working with them for so long. It doesn't take much effort to call them forth - they naturally flow onto the page, contradictory and difficult human beings.
I'm pleased that you liked this version of Dippet. I wanted to construct him like many of the Ministry officials from Harry's time, gullible and painfully narrow-minded. It's something I admire JKR for because it's a sadly realistic vision of many people, and it's important to include such characters in stories to demonstrate the problem of such ways of thinking and how much damage that system of belief can cause. Even in a non-magical setting, a dispute between someone like Hagrid and someone like Tom would always end in Tom's favour - he, the handsome, popular, well-rounded boy who is likely to become the exemplar citizen, even a potential politician. And people like Dippet allow the Tom Riddles to succeed. He doesn't know what Tom is really up to - no one really knows for sure. Dumbledore and Slughorn know the most, but as we see in the books, it took decades for Dumbledore to learn what Slughorn knew about Riddle. Tom is that brilliant at covering his tracks and evading detection.
Haha, I find it hard to write Dumbledore in a positive light because of what we know of his past. His connection with the very ideals that Voldemort would one day follow is disturbing, and I like to be able to show how Dumbledore is still very conscious of them, and is still consciously fighting against them inside of himself. Grimm doesn't see the other side - of Dumbledore's love for Gellert and the death of Ariana - he can only see the politician at work.
The problem with Myrtle's case is that it can't be solved at this point. It frustrates me that I can't give that storyline closure - Grimm and Dumbledore can only guess at the solution, and even years later, Myrtle still isn't telling what truly happened. There's too much grey area, and I suppose that it works to have it that way, and I'm glad that you mentioned that it will perhaps not be revealed in this story. (In reality, I should have been more careful with the plot structure back when I wrote those parts from Myrtle's perspective because they've only given me trouble in these last few chapters. Bah.)
Thank you again for your kind words, and for being such a lovely avid reader of my stories! I'm really happy to hear that you've enjoyed them, and this one! so much. ^_^
I finally found time to get round to this, and hopefully more will appear soon so I can be up to date on Black Sands :D
I thought you wrote Minerva really well at the beginning of this chapter. The cold weather and then her bleak thoughts contrasted really well with the hustle and bustle of the common room and school, and it made me realise how isolated she must have been feeling at this point. It was just the way she picked out Moody and later Grimm and not really noticing anything else distinct. It was almost as if she was trying to say only they could understand her right now.
Then there was the contrast between Grimm and Minerva in terms of how they both reacted to Hagrid and Myrtle and that was really interesting to watch. There was Minerva being all calm and resolute, but still pragmatic, but Grimm seemed to need to get away from this and made him even more resolute about going to war. It was rather funny in a way given how Grimm is the Ravenclaw and Minerva is the Gryffindor.
Even if it was only a really small section, the part where Hagrid is saying goodbye to Minerva truly broke my heart. It was just so sombre and Hagrid had lost all of his fight but then somehow seemed at peace. It was just really lovely even if it was heart-breaking. I feel as if I’ll see his and Minerva’s relationship in a different light after reading this.
The conversation between Grimm and Minerva about what they could have been was all the more tragic ever since I read the sequel one-shot to this, and I now know what really occurred between it makes all the more tragic. In a way, it’s rather like Matthew and Mary in Downton and how they can only ever really be happy together but then they are pulled apart so often it looks as if it will never happen.
I can’t wait to read the final chapter and hope that their end can be a slightly cheery one!
Author's Response: Thank you for reading and reviewing this chapter! I'm at the point where I'm just finishing the novel for me - I've put off finishing it for so long that few readers are left who care about it. But it means a lot that you've taken the time to check out the new chapters as they're posted! ^_^
It's a difficult chapter for Minerva, and I'm glad to hear that you liked how she turned out. She's always been rather isolated, mostly by choice though she rarely admits it - she just feels out of place, but she does recognize that both Moody and Grimm are in much the same situation. But she needs time alone to think and figure out what she wants to do with herself and her life. Grimm's had that decision taken away from him, but Minerva still has that power, only she's not sure what to do with it. She thought she knew, once, but things haven't turned out at all as she planned, and now she's not sure whether to continue following the same path, or take up a new one.
In a number of ways, Minerva could easily fit into Ravenclaw - she's introspective and thoughtful, careful in what she does and how she does it. What she has above and beyond, though, is courage, not only to face Voldemort as she does later on, but the courage to do what is right even at a cost to herself. Grimm may be reckless and persistent, but he's also too theoretical - he rarely sees the practical side of things, and prefers to experiment and work academically rather than actually go out into the world and do things. And somehow the Sorting Hat can see these traits, even at an early age, reading right into the core of a person.
It's great that you liked the scene with Hagrid - that was my favourite to write in this chapter. It's not very long, but it affects Minerva deeply, and you can see how she and Hagrid remain friends for years afterward - she tries to protect him and help him along when she can. There is a mutual understanding there, a shared experience that has changed them both forever.
They are sadly that kind of couple. It's so hard to write an ending knowing that any time they do get together is fleeting, that their dreams won't work out as they planned. They are successful later on in their own way, but they're both haunted by disappointments, knowing that they've lost more than they've gained. But still, I'm going to try and write the happiest sort of ending I can salvage out of this plot. Minerva at the very least deserves it. :)
Thank you again! *huggles* Your reviews are always a joy to respond to!
What a wonderful first chapter - Im so happy I came across your story! This is my first Minerva story and I am hooked. She's such an interesting character. I think you did a wonderful job capturing what she must of been like as a student. I'm looking forward to reading more :)
Author's Response: Thank you! I'm very pleased to hear that you've enjoyed the first chapter, and I hope that you also enjoy the rest! ^_^
Minerva is an interesting character to write - once I started, I couldn't stop. Thankfully there are a lot of great Minerva fics on HPFF. :D
Wow this story is absolutely magnificent. It's definitely not an era I usually venture into but boy am I glad I did.
I am just in awe of the way you write. I don't even know where to start! I also absolutely adore the way you've characterised everyone - there are so many tiny details you've included, even about characters that aren't present often. I feel like this could easily be some sort of prequel to the hp series.
The thought of the smell you've associated with Riddle makes me feel a bit sick to be honest, just imagining that and also what he's been up to. Especially at such a young age! That is something I had definitely forgotten about him - just how cruel and intelligent he was when he was so young. Even though he hasn't often appeared throughout this story, I don't think I'll be able to read many other fics including him, as I don't think many people would be able to do him the justice you have.
I also love your portrayal of Tiberius and the way that, yes, he could be considered amazing and brilliant by others but he still has flaws (who knew people that seemed to have it together and be doing very well could have their own issues??) and it is so refreshing to read about that sort of person. He's normal!
Also got a bit teary eyed when it got to Hagrid being expelled :( I was really hoping it wasn't going to happen even though I knew it eventually had to. It does remind me though of just how dedicated and loyal he was to remain at the school that threw him out. (not that he had much of a choice really, I'm just so happy he had Dumbledore there to help him out. Gosh look at me getting emotional over fictional characters, it must be getting to late.)
I have so much to say but my head is all in a jumble haha it probably would have been better if I'd reviewed as I went along so you would have heard more of my thoughts (as muddled up as some of them probably are at the moment). But oh well, I'm here now and actually trying to give a proper thought out review - something I really need to do more often. Sorry I'm rambling, I'm sure that my fingers start to get a mind of their own as it gets later.
I'm not sure I've ever read any of your fics before despite having seen your name around plenty, but I will most definitely be having a look through them very soon! I've been missing out on some amazing writing.
Ugh, I basically just want to list everything you've done in this story and tell you I love it for some reason or other. I really don't know why I haven't read anything of yours before.
Anyway, next time I might get a little more detailed with thing since I know I've definitely left plenty of things out (such as how McGonagall and Grimm's relationship has progressed). Absolutely amazing story and I'm definitely eager for the next chapter! :)
Author's Response: Wow! I really don't know how to respond to this - it's fantastic to hear so much enthusiasm for this story, and I'm very glad that you took the time to read and review it. ^_^
It means a lot that you see this story as a sort of prequel to the HP series - it's one of the things I really wanted this story to be. It's certainly my own headcanon for these characters' pasts (which made Pottermore's biography of Minerva a very frustrating thing to read :P), and I see it as important to try and capture these characters' adolescent selves as accurately as possible. It's a fun challenge to speculate on what they would have been like at this age.
With Tom Riddle, it's almost more effective to have him off-stage - he appears from time to time, enough to renew one's worst fears about him, but when he's only there in passing, it's easier to fuel curiosity, leading to wilder speculations about what he could be doing. He was experimenting with magic in ways that I can only imagine as horrifying - how many failed horcruxes were there before he succeeded? What kind of other experiments was he attempting in advanced magic? I love leaving those questions up in the air, letting readers see only snatches of him looking through the Restricted Section of the library, stealing from the DADA classroom, smelling of the dungeons and damp. I'm very glad that you like how he's turned out in this story!
lol, you're right about Grimm. He's one of those people who appears successful and well-off while inside he's a complete mess, filled with insecurities and uncertainties, both of which will inevitably prevent him from reaching his full potential. It's fantastic that you find him normal - he's just a person, not too special, yet still in possession of particular talents and painful flaws. That's what important about making a character - you're essentially making a human.
Thank you very much for this review! It's been wonderful to hear from you, and I hope that you enjoy the next chapter once it's out! ^_^
Ah, I saw you updated this before I went to school and it was horrible having to wait the seven hours before I could get at it, so I’m finally here and yay for getting the 300th review too! Congrats on that by the way :D
I realised why I loved this story so much straight from the first line! The description you used to catch the atmosphere of the aftermath of the chamber of secrets was perfect! ♥ I think the really minor details such as the portraits adding in their ideas is what really pulled it off, because it enabled me to picture the scene so vividly.
Another thing in terms of description which I really loved was how you acted Hagrid’s thoughts out through his movement such as the clutching at his wand. I really sensed how much this meant to him and my heart well and truly went out to him because you really caught his burning desire to prove his innocence and it was so tangible!
Grimm really showed why I loved him in this chapter with his passion for saving Hagrid, and with McGonagall and Dumbledore’s pleas for him too it contrasted perfectly with how Riddle was feeling. This line just said it all really, ‘It cast Riddle’s face, with its marble whiteness marred only by his wide, black eyes, in a sickly, almost daemonic glow.’ And the disgust given out by McGonagall afterwards was perfect.
One thing that I thought really shone in this chapter was your characterisation of Dippet. You cast him as the perfect ignorant person that was simply striving for good and that echoed in all of his actions. With his old views of the delicacy of girls, his immediate discrimination of Hagrid but then showing he wasn’t all bad with allowing Dumbledore to take care of Hagrid and not throwing him out straight away. All of this served for excellent characterisation!
The friendship you wrote between Minerva and Hagrid was really beautiful! With the simple touching of the arm and her wanting to do good for him was so lovely. It really echoed what I picked up of it in the books and I think the idea of her trying to save him may soon become my head canon.
I really liked the scene with Grimm and Dumbledore because it seemed as if they had almost formed an easy sort of understanding in the time of trouble, and it was good to see that Grimm had finally matured enough to allow it to happen. Dumbledore’s information was so interesting! I really did not expect Myrtle to be the thief. To be fair, I didn’t really have a solid idea as to who it could be but her name never cropped up, but now it seems to make perfect sense to choose an outsider like her.
I was really hoping that Myrtle had simply been put under the Imperius curse or some other spell, but again, sadly, it does make sense that she would do that on her accord. I really loved how you crafted this story together with all those little signs because not thinking back to it they do all link up and create a perfect mystery. You left it on a note that suggested Grimm was going to talk or do something to Myrtle so now I’m really intrigued!
The way the Gryffindors all rallied around Hagrid when he came back was truly lovely. It was a great sign of all their characteristics without overstating them. One thing that really stuck out to me was their resilience and how they were determined to convict Riddle of the crime and prove that it wasn’t Hagrid. Minerva’s reaction to that with the sense of tiredness was really great as it showed how even then she knew that fighting against Riddle would be futile.
A brilliant chapter, and I can’t wait to see how this story wraps up! ♥
Author's Response: Thank you for being so prompt in reading and reviewing! It was a lovely surprise to see your review pop up so fast - it means a lot that you popped in to nab the 300th review. :D Not that you have that much competition, it seems, but that's a different story.
I'm really pleased to hear that the descriptions stood out because it was something I wanted to emphasize in this chapter. That first scene started out as almost all dialogue and action, so I made a point of adding descriptions, making the atmosphere a stronger force because, at Hogwarts, or anywhere in the magical world, the setting and atmosphere are extremely important. The places seem to have as much magic as the people and creatures that inhabit them, so including the remarks by the portraits and making even the candlelight uncanny is key to writing a Potterverse story, just as it would be for any fantasy universe.
It was interesting to find, while writing, that the two characters I had to pay the most attention to were Hagrid and Dippet. Perhaps it was because I hadn't written as much about them, but they're also at the centre of action here - Hagrid as the accused and Dippet as the one making the decisions. Although Riddle has certainly influenced him, Dippet does truly believe that he's doing the right thing, that Hagrid never even belonged at Hogwarts. JKR showed how much racism exited in her world, and if someone like Lupin - who was born human - could constantly have his humanity questioned and find himself excluded from much of his society, then what kind of prejudice would Hagrid suffer? But I didn't want to portray Dippet as a "bad" person - he isn't. He's weak and easily led by society's expectations, believing in what others think is best rather than thinking for himself - this is why he gives in when Dumbledore invokes the board of governors. In a way, he genuinely fears Hagrid for being half-human, half-giant - Dippet doesn't know how to deal with hybridity, with someone more than human. Tom Riddle, on the other hand, /appears/ perfectly normal, which is why Dippet so easily believes the accusation.
I'm glad that you liked how all of the characters were portrayed in this chapter, as well as the dynamics between them. I thought it was really important to show Minerva's care for Hagrid - part of it is out of guilt for not having done more to help him free Aragog, but she also feels an understand for Hagrid as an outsider and as a Gryffindor. There are a lot of similarities between them and Minerva recognizes that here is someone who desperately needs a friend. I suppose you could draw a parallel between Minerva-Hagrid and Grimm-Myrtle - that kind of mentorship that the structure of Hogwarts and its houses encourages.
I don't know if I'd call it an understanding between Grimm and Dumbledore. There's something nightmarish in what Grimm understands, how he sees himself in the older wizard, someone he still doesn't like - he now has to face the fact that, because of this similarly he sees between them, this guilt and unrealised potential, that he will hate the adult he grows up to be. Grimm has definitely matured, but he doesn't at all like the result.
The Myrtle part of this chapter worried me because I thought I'd shoved it in too unceremoniously. It wasn't part of the plan, but I needed to resolve that part of the plot somehow (it was probably a mistake to include it in the first place, all those chapters ago, but now I'm stuck with it :P). It's wonderful that it felt plausible and worked well with the rest of the story - it didn't feel out of join or anything, as I worried. :)
Thank you again for reading and reviewing this chapter! It's been fantastic to hear from you again! ^_^
So I’m finally caught up – yay, and it’s a beautiful chapter image again :’)
I liked the scene with Minerva and Alastor a lot. Even though she becomes head of Gryffindor and ends up fighting against Voldemort, it made sense that she wouldn’t want to go and fight in the war. Even though her brother’s death hasn’t been the main focus of the story, whenever it’s touched upon she still closes up and shows that she hasn’t fully recovered from it.
I liked how you made Moody philosophical in this chapter, it suited his character. Even though he appears to be a gruff man on the outside, he must have a lot of intelligence to be such a successful Auror. I liked that he could understand Minerva’s decision and didn’t have a go at her for not fighting, as some would expect him to do. It echoes the softness of his and Tonks’ relationship and shows that he does have a heart and he can understand each person’s decision.
Riddle’s characters beginning to change in a worrying with other people’s observations about him. I suppose the mention of the Restricted Section may be a hint that he’s begun his research into horcruxes. I can’t remember the exact time he killed his father and grandparents but it would make sense for him to be starting around now.
I view Ravenclaw as possibly the least united house at all of them due to the rivalry as to who can excel most, but I think it was right to show them as a united force in the face of Myrtle’s death. That was reflected when the third year girls were clamouring to tell Grimm what had happened. Admittedly, I may have forgotten that Myrtle comes back as a ghost, and just assumed she was dead, even though she’s one of my favourite ghosts in Hogwarts. I suppose it’s because in her ghostly form she has more confidence due to others, possibly, viewing her with fear.
I liked the subtle hints in this chapter about the basilisk and the chamber of secrets; it showed how easily rumours can be dismissed, and how easily Hagrid became the scapegoat for it all. It would be interesting to see McGonagall’s perspective during the CoS considering she was there for the last reopening and experienced someone she knew die.
I can understand Myrtle’s reaction and her refusal to talk to other people. I think Grimm needs to view it from her perspective, as I doubt most people anticipate turning into a ghost once they’ve died. Minerva seemed to understand the dilemma a little more than Grimm, but then she tends to be more composed in situations like these so it’s not surprising she acted in that way.
That last section was really great. I liked the brief scene with Hagrid, as I have been wondering how he’s been coping with all of this. I’m dreading the scene when Riddle blames him and Hagrid gets thrown out of the castle, as he’s probably one of the most genuine characters and doesn’t intentionally cause harm.
I thought I recognised that line from Dumbledore, and it really fits with the chapter title and how everything is finally coming together, and it is the endgame for Hagrid and possibly for Minerva and Grimm depending on what Grimm decides to do. I liked that Myrtle got an appearance too, as she appeared to be really relishing the fact she had been brought back to life. You’ve left me on a cliff-hanger though, as to where the scream came from. I guess it could be someone being petrified, or relate to Hagrid or something entirely different.
That was an excellent chapter, and I’m now eagerly awaiting the next one :D
Author's Response: Thank you again for reading and reviewing, Kiana! It's fantastic to see that you've reached the latest chapter - it's gotten to be such a long story that I'm pleased when someone can get this far. It means a lot that you've taken the time to read and review each chapter, especially in such detail! :D
Minerva will only fight when there's no other choice - in the war against Voldemort, she sees no choice but to fight. Yet I won't say that WWII is any less serious - it's further away, but it still personally affects Minerva. Perhaps what changes is that the adult Minerva has more responsibility - she wants to protect the students of Hogwarts and prevent them from suffering - whereas during WWII, she's still only 17. Her perspective shifts with age.
I think it's important to portray the younger Moody in a way that emphasizes the strengths that made him into the best of Aurors - from what I remember in the books, this requires an equal measure of physical endurance, magical powers, and intelligence. It's too easy to write him off as Mad-Eye, but his paranoia later in life has a very serious side to it - what has he actually seen and done as an Auror? What kind of traumas has he survived? It's also true that he has a strange respect for the people he gets close to, like Tonks, the Longbottoms, and Harry. He's one of those rare people who places ability before other things - it doesn't matter to him whether a character is male or female, Muggleborn or pureblood, as long as they can do the job and do it well. Minerva has the talent to be an Auror or fighter, but she wants to use her talents elsewhere, and Moody respects that, probably more than most other characters in the story do.
You're right about Ravenclaw, and it was wonderful to finally look inside the house and meet its people, who we really haven't seen apart from Grimm and Myrtle (but then again when do we see Ravenclaws in the books? Cho is peripheral at best, leaving us with Luna, who is an outcast even among the Ravenclaws... it's a strange house indeed). Currently Myrtle is in a transition state between dead and ghost - her desire for revenge is driving her back into the land of the living. And yes, she's suddenly realizing how much more freedom she has as a ghost - people's reactions are only fuelling her confidence because finally she is able to have power over others.
Haha, now you're making me want to write a one-shot from Minerva's point of view during CoS. :P I probably won't ever get to doing it, but it would be a fun exercise, just to explore her thoughts during that period, both her renewed fears and her realization of the truth.
I've been debating whether to depict the scene when Hagrid is expelled - it would be dramatic and painful, and I'm not even sure if Grimm or Minerva would be allowed to be present for it. The next chapter will be a tricky one to write and I'm not really looking forward to it. *hides*
Thank you again for your review! I've enjoyed reading and responding to each of them! ^_^
Yeah I kind of gave up on the idea of not coming back until tomorrow… The only consolation for me nearly catching up on This Longing is that I have the Lily one-shots to read after, then all those other WIPs to get stuck into. It’s rather exciting rather than sad that I’ll run out of posted chapters!
I’m having more of those semi-guilty thoughts where I’m hoping that Grimm becomes a soldier. I scanned your MTA page when I was posting in there earlier and saw that you liked historical books, so if you did decide to send him to war I would love it, because it would, no doubt, be historically accurate which is something which is often missing from many stories and it saddens me.
Grimm doesn’t often think of Minerva’s physical appearance all that much, so when he did it in this chapter it was really tender. What emphasised the specialness of the situation even more so was when he began to realise that he, perhaps, loves Minerva. I had a little inkling for a while now, and he always gave off hints, but I think this time was possible one of the most sincere ones.
Was this line possibly hinting about the basilisk, or was it me just being clueless? ‘There was some real worry of a something wandering through Hogwarts,’ either way I really loved it, and if anyone was going to deduce what was going on at Hogwarts other than Dumbledore, it could only be Minerva and Grimm.
Haha I just realised that I’ve always referred to Grimm as Grimm and never Tiberius. I’m not really sure why I’ve done that, probably due to reading The Fires Within before this and that’s what he was mainly referred to. It would be too weird to change now, so I guess Grimm’s staying. On another minor and probably more relevant note than the one I just made, I really liked the brief cameo from Eileen. I always wondered what she would have been like at Hogwarts so I really liked this brief snippet.
You touched upon a key theme of the story with this line ‘This was no world for youth, for innocence’ I can’t believe I didn’t even pick up on it at all. I suppose it’s because I’ve taken this journey with Grimm and Minerva and that I’ve seen them mature at the same rate as they did. It’s only when you look back in retrospect that you realise how much they’ve changed from when they were having light hearted banter outside of Dumbledore’s office.
I’ve been waiting to see when Hagrid would feature again after the Myrtle incident and it definitely lived up to my expectations. Each characters reaction perfectly reflected how they’ve been portrayed throughout the story, which is great, because I’ve often see them go to pieces when they reach the iconic scene.
Hagrid’s characterisation really shone through in this chapter. You perfectly caught the feelings of guilt he had for what Aragog possibly may have done, then his love for him still remained despite the persecution. It really showed Hagrid’s loyalty for anything he loves, and even though I’m not partial to spiders, I was really touched by it.
Ooh you did spoil in this chapter with the scene between Grimm and Riddle at the end of this. It was so measured and balanced and didn’t veer into OTT at all. I felt impressed that both of them managed to keep their composure and not draw wands at one another, but that reflects the intelligence and methodicalness (yeah I made it up, but no other word seemed appropriate enough :P) they both possess.
Ok this is actually going to be the last chapter review tonight as it’s half eleven so I probably should go to bed! It was another excellent one and I feel with the last scene and what happened with Hagrid something big may be about to happen.
Author's Response: Wow, Kiana! This is quite a review! It's long, but it means that you found a lot in this chapter to interest you, and I definitely can't complain about that. :D Thank you for taking the time to provide such a detailed review - I've been working on figuring out the new chapter, so returning to the previous chapters should give me some good inspiration.
Don't you worry - Grimm will become a solider, and the epilogue will depict this new way of life for him. Minerva comes into her own in these next few chapters, but Grimm has to be forced into a very uncomfortable state before he can really reflect on himself and everything that happened. Thank you, by the way, for the compliment about my historical accuracy! It means so much to hear that - I love researching for stories and trying to bring the historical period to life as well as I can. It adds a lot of depth the story and it also makes the writing process more enjoyable (in other words, it's a good form of procrastination :P).
One of the nicest things about Grimm is that he doesn't pay that much attention to Minerva's appearance. He almost seems to find her beautiful, but it's more because he loves the personality inside. Although I use Michelle Dockery in the graphics, I imagine that Minerva is more angular with muscles in the wrong places and a rather boyish figure - she'd have been perfect for a flapper 15 years earlier. But then again, Minerva doesn't quite understand why she's attracted to Grimm, who is so average-looking and bookish. Because they've known one another since the awkward age of 13/14, they're only just realizing how much their bodies have matured, and that the here-and-there friendship they've had has very quickly grown into sexual attraction. It must be disconcerting for them - it certainly is for Minerva. Grimm's been slower to put it into words - his reaction to seeing Minerva dancing with Riddle was part of this, but he didn't know what his jealousy meant. Your use of "sincere" is perfect, but his sincerity is to a painful extent - he also realizes that there's another, negative side to that love.
Their relationship continues to fascinate me because they keep coming together and separating in an endless yo-yo. Is it that they love each other too much? Or that they can never love one another enough? They're almost too perfectly suited to each other and they can easily survive apart. I'll never be able to put it into words. :P
Haha, there are so many hints about the basilisk in here. It's horrible to write this knowing what really happened, but being entirely unable to let the characters know the truth. Even Dumbledore can't have any inkling of it! The monster loose in Hogwarts hypothesis that some of Hogwarts' inmates have has to lead Dippet to the wrong conclusion - Aragog. Really the only two people who know it wasn't Aragog are Hagrid and Minerva (well, she doesn't know for certain, but she supports Hagrid's claims of innocence).
Somehow this novel has become about growing up, that final step between childhood and adulthood. It works for the magical world to place it in seventh year because that's when the students reach legal maturity, but for Grimm and Minerva, it's also when they're forced to become adults, probably before they were ready to. By the end of this novel, there's no place in their world for naivety - everything is disillusioning. The trick to try and not make the story incredibly depressing, showing how even with so many bad things going on, the characters are still moving forward. To what, they don't know.
I'm glad to hear that Hagrid's characterization has turned out well! He's a challenging character to write, since it's easy to fall into stereotype with him - part of the challenge is also guessing at what he'd be like as a teenager. It's fantastic that you like him here!
Thank you again for reading and reviewing! Your reviews are wonderful to respond to. ^_^
Yeah I’m back again :P I noticed a typo in the last review just as I hit submit, and I mean more not me! There’s probably quite a few other ones, but I’d rather carry on reading than proof reading! A more minor note, but that is a truly stunning chapter image.
You tease me too much, first with all the scenes with the thief and now we get another flashback. This line had some really lovely imagery ‘The snow cut into her face.’ Well, there’s a lot of beautiful imagery in all the chapters but I would probably go over the review limit if I included it all here. I just realised that you personified snow here and in one-shot, is it you favourite weather by any chance, or a mere coincidence? It was really lovely to get a glimpse at their earlier relationship, and how it still mirrors there present day one.
I like the scene when Minerva told the other prefects what had happened to Myrtle. You really caught the morbid curiosity people have when an incident, like Myrtle’s one, occurs. Another subtler thing which I really liked is the change in the way Riddle spoke to Minerva. If you compare it to the party where he wanted to dance with her and was playing her pleasantries, to now where he appears to be bitter you can really tell how much killing someone, even if it was the basilisk, has changed him.
I like this daring nature of Minerva’s even if it had to come about through unfortunate circumstance. First she plays truant and then she sneaks into the Ravenclaw common room. It reminded me of how she was during the Battle of Hogwarts where she had a rebellious spirit there too.
I’m rather worried about Grimm’s current mental state. I didn’t anticipate him to be so shaken up by Myrtle’s death and for him to flee. I suppose I can console myself with what Minerva said about him hating enclosed areas. I thought this description of Grimm was perfect ‘Wild, dramatic, intolerable.’ It captures all the key characteristics which draw so many people into him. Ooh I found another perfect one for him ‘“You are entirely nonsensical.”’ Minerva really does have a wonderful vocabulary when describing him, or I should say you do.
There were two tiny remarks in this chapter which I really loved. The first being the fact that they were too young as it reflected how Harry, Ron and Hermione felt and showed that even in the wizarding certain events repeat themselves and a few will always rise to the challenge and defeat them. Then the second was the remark about the U-Boats and bombs. Though WWII hasn’t featured much at all in this story, the brief comment about it here and there makes it all the more authentic.
The idea that Grimm had to join the muggle army reminded me of Amanda’s Yellow and how magic and muggle events do merged together at times. It sounds horrible, but I would almost prefer him to join the army then go to the school in Canada, that way he’ll be somewhat closer to Minerva, and I would prefer to read that then him being at school as it would bring him out of his comfort zone.
That was such a powerful line to end it on and it really made me reflect on how both their lives have changed throughout the course of this story. I’m going to stop reviewing for today so I still have some more of This Longing to read tomorrow :D
Author's Response: Hahaha, snow! I'm sorry - I'm not laughing at what you've said, more at what your observation reveals about me. I'm from Canada, so snow is this important cultural thing that we constantly complain about, yet also somewhat admire and rely on - it's a complicated relationship. :P But I hadn't noticed that it's leaked into the way I write about snow. The one-shot was inspired by a snowy day in January, and when I describe the snowstorm in this chapter, I draw it from experiences being out in that kind of weather. XD
Your analysis of Riddle's change is very interesting, and I'm glad that you picked up on it. It's not only that his attitude toward Minerva has cooled, but that the very act of murder has altered his being - and it literally has now that he's created the diary horcrux. Part of his soul is missing, so he can no longer experience emotion in quite the same way - no matter how widely he smiles, his eyes will always remain devoid of feeling.
Grimm is essentially a coward who hates dealing with the realities of life. He wants to be left with his studies and his theory without having to be touched by what goes on outside. But with Myrtle's death, he crumbles. I'm not sure whether it's because he just can't deal with it or because it has shown him the results of his blinkered view of the world - he only saw Riddle and Minerva, but disregarded Myrtle, who was the one he really should have been watching. But this second option might be too optimistic. Does Grimm actually learn anything, or does he merely feel guilt? That's still up in the air.
Oh, do you prefer the army to crossing the ocean? It will mean losing his freedom, having to take the chance that he'll actually get leave to visit Minerva, or that he'll have the strength to face her after all that happens (and will happen). You'll see. ;)
Thank you again for reading and reviewing this story! It's fun to respond to your reviews. ^_^
After that amazing chapter you left us on, I couldn’t resist coming back for me :D
I’m so glad that this chapter picks straight off from where the last one left, even if we did miss the night in-between. I think it was right that it did, because otherwise I don‘t think we would have felt the full effect of Myrtle’s and how it affected Minerva, Grimm and the rest of the students. I’m intrigued to see how Riddle reacts to it, he’s such a good liar he’ll probably act as if nothing’s happened, though he may still have some touch of humanity left. It’s interesting to ponder.
Even though there was a kissing scene, which I loved, it wasn’t too fluffy or romantic and had a touch of sorrow about it which reflected the circumstances which brought the two of them together. I could sense it in the way Grimm was talking and acting towards Minerva, as it seemed more measured and tender then beforehand. I think it was emphasised even more when Grimm was talking about how he didn’t know how Minerva could stand him, and it seemed as if he thought she was weaker than him. But Minerva proved him wrong when she reminded him about what happened the night before, and I was glad about that.
It was interesting how you touched upon Minerva’s brother’s death in this chapter. I like how we’re learning more and more about him through little hints and snippets as it’s a lot more fun than just stating everything. I like that scene for another reason too, as it showed a more vulnerable and scared Minerva, thus making her more relatable. I think it was reflected the most when she couldn’t go into the bathroom, as I would’ve thought someone like her would be fearless in that respect, but this has clearly shaken her.
I don’t think I’ve mentioned it before, so I’ll just say it now, but I really love the dialogue of Grimm’s friends. It fits perfectly with the time period and the social standing I expect them to have, so it’s such a pleasure to read.
I really liked Dumbledore’s measured response as to where Riddle was when it happened, it seemed very like him. Confirming that he does share a similar belief, yet telling them not to pursue it. I’m still puzzled by Dolores though, she always appeared to be one who looked up to higher authority, and though she does respect, and like, Grimm I would have thought she would have felt some loyalty to those in her house. But her being such an intriguing character makes it far more enjoyable to read.
You did a really great job of making them be in the unknown, and I don’t think many other writes would have such control as you do. It’s interesting seeing it from my perspective as it seems so obvious that Riddle would open this mythical chamber and release the basilisk which would kill Myrtle. I suppose the only way I could understand their situation is remembering the first time I read CoS, though that was a long time so it’s hard to recall :P
This was another excellent chapter and you managed to even weave in a bit of humour in an otherwise sombre chapter with this line ‘She watched him, unable to understand. Did he think that she and Grimm had–?‘
Author's Response: Myrtle's death might be the most important part of this story. It's sad, isn't it, how in death, she finally becomes important? So much in canon hinges on her death - Hagrid's expulsion, Riddle's growing power and transformation into Voldemort, his triumph over Dumbledore, and the creation of the first Horcrux. This is the beginning for Riddle, but it comes at the cost of her death - an innocent's death, which reveals a lot about how Riddle works, his disregard for life and his lack of honour. I've made it so that he doesn't have any sympathy for her because, to him, she's only a temporary tool, hardly human in his eyes, not only because she is a Muggleborn, but because she was weak.
It's also an even that changes things for Grimm and Minerva. He especially grows up because of it, and Minerva keeps noting how much he's changed - he's far from the creative, confident boy he was at the novel's beginning. For Minerva, it's a good change, yet she's still wary of what he will become as a result of it.
I don't know about Minerva being scared and vulnerable. It's not what I intended to do with her in this chapter - she is meant to be the stronger of the two, holding her emotions in check in comparison to the weakened, tearful Grimm. Minerva is struggling to understand her place in their relationship, and it constantly frustrates her - even in this scene - how he tries to fit her into a traditional female role, the one who suffers, the one who supports, and she doesn't want that. She knows that it's not the right way to structure their relationship because, on the whole, she is the stronger of the two, yet he continues to talk down to her while simultaneously elevating her to role of saint and mother. She loves him, but she won't stand for that kind of role. In regard to the bathroom scene, it's not that she won't enter it because she's scared, but because she feels it's too dangerous, and she's too smart to walk into a potential trap. She has a bad feeling about the room, an instinct perhaps partially inspired by superstition, but there's also the possibility that the murderer is still inside. Even if the professors have checked it, she knows that Hogwarts is filled with hidden places, and the bathroom could contain one of them. Harry would be reckless enough to just walk in, but Minerva won't take that risk.
This chapter makes reference to her brother as a way of connecting Minerva to the war. Unlike others at Hogwarts, she is personally affected by it and knows that in the long term, it has seriously damaged her family, which will now die out with her. I'm glad to hear that it makes her more relatable. It's a little detail, but it's a haunting one that she can't forget, nor does she want to, and it's the kind of thing that influences her reaction to violent death - for instance, how she reacts to the news of Lily and James's deaths.
Haha, I meant that Umbridge could be easily manipulated into keeping Grimm in check - by distracting him from pursuing Riddle, she would be doing Minerva and Dumbledore a favour. :P She wouldn't be going against her house at all by helping Grimm. The problem would be the long-term consequences, such as making Grimm go insane or making Umbridge believe that Grimm would actually marry her. Poor Dolores. It's really an evil suggestion for Minerva to make.
Thank you again for reading and reviewing this story! You've given me a lot of ideas for the last few chapters - going through and talking about the characters in this kind of way is really helpful! :D
Wow that’s a really haunting chapter image; it’s making me wonder what on earth could happen in this chapter to cause Minerva to look like that.
I think the parts of the chapter when we get a glimpse of the thief’s perspective and learn more about his background are fast becoming my favourite parts. I think it’s because of their effectiveness. You only say a little in them, yet they convey so much and it’s really surprising. Though the only annoying thing about them is that it increases my desire to know who’s behind the stealing even more.
I really loved that scene when Minerva was confronting Walburga and Avery. It was great they you weaved even more canon characters, as it’s always interesting to have a story behind people you know. I always found the pureblood families and their society fascinating to read, so I really enjoyed getting a flicker of it here.
I liked how even though they are Slytherins you added a humane touch to them to show that they do feel love, and have to suffer the consequences of it. I think the situation you created with Walburga not truly loving the person she is meant really great as it reflected Sirius’ views of his parents’ relationship and it tied in perfectly with canon.
And we get another scene with the still unknown people. From the way they interacted with one another I think it may be Tom and Dolores. It would fit both of their personalities, and I can imagine that Umbridge would have this warped belief that this would separate Grimm from Minerva, and then she could then date him. I suppose you’re not going to tell me whether my assumptions are correct or not, so I’ll have to wait and see.
Hagrid’s accent was great, and I could just imagine his voice in my head. I suppose he was in the dungeons seeing Aragog, which must only mean that the attack on Myrtle must be coming up soon. I’ll be sad to see her die, as I’ve really grown attached to her throughout this story. Ah I was right! So Myrtle was the once-thief, I never saw that coming, but it makes it even more exciting due to the unpredictable nature of the book. I can fully well understand how terrible Myrtle’s life must have been at Hogwarts with that bullying scene with Olive; it sort of justifies her actions for doing what she did.
Wow is all I can really say for that last scene. There were so many emotions ranging from guilt to love and it was simply wonderful. Even though I knew what Dumbledore was going to say to Minerva I still felt tense and afraid for her, in case of it being something much worse. The way Dumbledore told Minerva what had happened definitely suited him. He had the sorrow for the student dying, then the anger that he failed to do anything to prevent it from happening.
Minerva’s and Tiberius’ reactions were exactly how I imagined them to be. They, too, felt guilt about it and if they found out what circumstances led her to be in that bathroom at that time; they would probably feel it even more due to them failing to prevent Olive’s teasing. I think it was right that something as monumental as this would bring them together, as they’re both such stubborn characters and, therefore, couldn’t give in unless it was something like this.
Another excellent chapter and I can’t wait to see how their investigations further!
Author's Response: Thank you again for taking the time to read and review each chapter of this novel! I apologize for taking so long to get to all of your responses - I appreciate every review you've left. *hugs*
It's great to hear that those little sections from the thief's perspective are so effective and revealing about their character. It provides a sort of internal monologue that isn't captured by the main narration of the story, which is more focused on Grimm and Minerva's perspective. I didn't want those sections to reveal their identity, and I'm actually glad that this lack of certainty is rather annoying. :P The suspense is important, especially in this chapter and those that follow.
The pureblood families and their politics is also fascinating to me. I don't know why - I suppose it's the same kind of fascination I have for the history of royal families and how closely intertwined they are. The Black family is an especially interesting one because of its connections to all other wizarding families - they're definitely the aristocrats of the wizarding world, with a level of power that's by Harry's time, passed over to the Malfoys. It was a bit of a risk to manipulate canon, but I often wonder how many of those marriages among purebloods were done for purely political reasons - to keep the money in the family, or to grow the family's fortune/power. Walburgha is, perhaps, a lesser Black cousin, and she had to marry Orion in order to maintain her and her family's social position. She has a strong personality, as the portrait reveals, but there's also a lot of bitterness and anger in her, as though she blames Muggles and Muggleborns for her family's downfall. I wonder how much this mirrors what occurred in Germany before WWII, and how some Germans blamed the Jews for the economic crisis - there's the possibility that their fortune was lost even before Regulus's death. Did they give all their money to support Voldemort? Or were they already on the edge of genteel poverty? There's so much one could do to expand the history of the wizarding world, things that are only hinted at in canon.
Hagrid's accent is always a challenge, since I don't want to mock him at all, but I still want to capture his voice accurately - it's part of his identity. I'm really glad that it sounds like him - it helps to have seen the films enough times to get a good idea of the sounds. :D
Myrtle's place in this aspect of the plot is still something I'm not entirely happy about. It feels a bit of stretch, perhaps because she's stayed so much on the sidelines of the story, appearing here and there. But the fact that she's often ignored by Grimm makes things make more sense - he has literally lost sight of her, and so she falls into the grasp of his opposite: Riddle. (Now that I think of it, Grimm and Minerva are mirrored by Riddle and Umbridge - they are so much the same, yet so different.) Myrtle has definitely lived an unpleasant life, and things only get worse for her at school - she doesn't belong anywhere. It's sad that, in the books, the tragedy of her story - the bullied girl who dies needlessly - is undermined by JKR's portrayal of Moaning Myrtle as a whining annoyance. It's hard to feel sympathy for her, even when we know her history, because she's made into a comic figure - it's strange because Harry usually feels a strong affinity with other victims of bullying. I think this is why I place a lot of emphasis on Grimm's guilt, Minerva's horror, and Dumbledore's anger - perhaps they could have prevented this, perhaps they could have made a difference, but they didn't, and now they're living with the consequences. It's a life-changing moment for all of them, including Riddle.
Thank you again! ^_^ I look forward to your other reviews!
Ah I haven’t read this story in ages thanks to school, but hey revision can wait a while as I need to get my Grimm and Minerva fill.
Even though Minerva obviously isn’t happy about what happened with Grimm, I rather enjoyed reading those scenes as it was nice to see her as something different to the usually composed and self-assured person she is. Her thoughts seemed to be all over the place and it was strange, yet fitting for her to be like that.
It was interesting to see how she felt everyone was judging her with the asking of questions. I really liked how you’re showing a more broken down and vulnerable side to her, as it’s such a stark contrast to the person I mentioned before, and it makes her more human as a result of it.
I really liked the scene with Minerva and Myrtle though. It was so touching to see how affected Minerva was by it, and so sad to see what a sorry state Myrtle is in. I really like how you’ve created a backstory behind Myrtle as it just makes her story even more tragic and sad that she ended up dead, and she didn’t even have a particularly nice life before that. It’s also great as it provides a reason as to why she ended up following Oliver Hornby around.
It’s interesting to see how Grimm reacted differently to ‘the break up’ (?). He’s still fixated on Riddle and I’m beginning to be too. I really want Grimm to get to the bottom of the bedroom wrecker, so I hope he and Minerva sought their issues out soon so they can get back to their crime fighting. Though, I do like seeing their characters like this as it really puts them in a new light.
Ooh and we get to see more of Dolores! I really wonder what must have made her change from this over-enthusiastic and almost, dare I say it, nice person, to the malicious, evil one we all love and know. It will be really interesting to see how her character develops throughout the course of this story.
Eek this line ‘“Good luck. At practice, I mean.”‘ was just perfect. It not only showed a sign towards the reconciliation, but I felt so proud of Grimm being the bigger person for once and apologising. I thought it was good enough that they both managed to control their tempers throughout this encounter but I didn’t expect that.
Another great chapter and I hope I can be back more quickly next time!
Author's Response: Thank you for coming back to this story! I can't tell you enough how exciting it is to see someone read and review every chapter - it means a lot that you've taken the time to give so much feedback. ^_^
Minerva has reached the point where she's no longer feeling in control of her life. She began the year wanting to be self-assured and show a confident front to the world, but her interactions with Grimm keep evoking emotions from her that place her in difficult positions. She doesn't want others to see her as a weak woman, and at this point, she still sees love as a form of weakness. Although her housemates weren't actually judging her, she believes that they are, and it only further alienates her from those who would likely offer her support. She really doesn't know what to do with people, and this especially shows in this chapter with her rather erratic behaviour. I'm glad that it brings out her human side.
Haha, to be honest, I think that Grimm and Minerva are perpetually in a state of breaking up - they can't stay together for long, yet they can't be apart either. Their relationship is unhealthy for both of them, yet together they make a great team. It's probably the most paradoxical relationship I could have thought of. ;)
Now you're making me think about writing Dolores's biography again! It would be quite a project to trace her rise within the Ministry and show her gradual disillusionment with the world, how she wants so badly to be admired and respected, yet her appearance and personality continuously work against her, and eventually, she snaps. I don't know whether I'll be able to do much more with her in this story - she turned out to be a red herring, and I didn't take her into account when planning the ending. But I will try to do something, at least to properly wrap up her (failed) relationship with Grimm.
Thank you again for this brilliant review! It's always exciting to see what you'll take notice of in each chapter. :D
Ah I have a theory sort of forming, though I’m probably wrong. Myrtle found Grimm’s notebook in the toilets, she died in the toilets due Tom Riddle letting the basilisk free, and his diary kept on reappearing in the toilets, therefore, Grimm’s notebook is Riddle’s diary. I’m not completely sure how it works, but I may be right.
I really like your characterisation of Myrtle, she’s simply adorable. The way she has a crush (I’m guessing from the blushing) on Grimm, and then how scared she was. I really do feel for her, and I can understand why Olive Hornby ended up getting haunted when she died. I really hope that Minerva does something about her.
As perfect as Minerva and Grimm may be for each other, their respective tempers aren’t going to do each other any favours. I have to agree with Minerva, that Myrtle is Grimm’s responsibility and that he should do something about the bullying. Though I don’t want them to be broken up, I can see it’s the only course of action. They’re so complex I think they don’t even understand themselves let alone the other.
I liked how Minerva instinctively knew what her animagus form would be, and Dumbledore seemed to be agreeing with her with that chuckle. It’s so nice to see how they’re close bond formed, with her staying behind after lessons to ask question, and you could tell that she wanted hide her thoughts from him at the beginning, because, no doubt, he would know what they would be about.
Grimm reminded of Harry in the scene when they went to visit Dippet. He seemed to view him with disdain and not able to do anything which could improve the situation. I think it was the line from Dumbledore telling him to call him professor which made him most Harry like. Then again, I can see why Grimm wouldn’t like Dippet, because from what we know about Riddle, he was close to the headmaster, and therefore, that would create a natural dislike on Grimm’s front.
I liked the confrontation Grimm and Minerva had at the end of the chapter, it was just so them. This change in Grimm is worrying though. I don’t think he’s possessed by Voldemort, but there must be a reason behind. It’s probably just something simple such as worry over the events which have been happening. I guess we’ll find out soon.
Another excellent chapter!
Author's Response: I'm sorry to say that, as interesting as your theory is, it is not correct. To try and explain it will make me reveal spoilers, so I'll just leave it there. :P
Myrtle was surprisingly hard to write in this story because, while alive, she's a very different person than she appears in CoS. She's shy and terrified of the world, and although for a while, she looked up to Grimm as a protector, as she hits puberty, that changes. Minerva sees it long before Grimm does, and it's sad that he brushes it off so easily. For him, there's only ever one person he could bring himself to admire - even love - and that's Minerva. She in turn is disgusted by his treatment of Myrtle, how he helps her only to a point and doesn't actually solve the bullying problem.
It's true that Grimm and Minerva don't yet understand themselves, and this impedes their ability to understand each other. They're still undergoing identity development, and until they break free of Hogwarts, they're kept in these boxes created by the social sphere there. As Head Boy and Girl, they're in the spotlight and expected to be a certain kind of person to fill that role. Even when they look at each other, how much do they assume - how much do they actually know one another? That's a question many romance stories don't ask, or perhaps don't like to ask because it shatters the illusion - however strong the connection between two people is, does it mean that they can have a successful relationship? Does it mean that they will be happy together? With Grimm and Minerva, one can always hope that this will be the case, but it can't be just yet because they still have a lot of other things to work through first.
You know, I'd never thought of comparing Grimm's behaviour toward Dippet to Harry's, but you're right. It's a sure sign of Grimm's inability to respect the Headmaster, just as, for Harry, it was a sign that he didn't respect Snape (or Umbridge, or lots of other adults - Harry has issues with authority). I believe that I made Grimm act this way, even to the Headmaster, because it was hard to imagine anyone respecting a person like Dippet. Even Dumbledore with his eccentricities has a presence about him, but Dippet lacks that presence. He's unlike the other known Headmasters of Hogwarts, and in CoS, one can see how Dippet's weakness lead him to be easily manipulated by Riddle.
Grimm is breaking down under pressure. It may be interesting to note that while Minerva rises throughout the story, gaining strength and finding who she wants to be, Grimm falls. He begins as the popular, charming Head Boy, and at the end, he's alienated and disillusioned, his hope lost, his future consumed by things outside of his control. It's depressing. But it's Grimm - everything in "Fires" stems from this disillusionment, this desire to change a flawed and unsatisfying past. It's also disturbing in its realism, and I'm wondering why I made Grimm in this way. My male OCs are troubled, with sad lives that are cut off too soon. :/
Thank you again for reading and reviewing this story! It's been a treat to receive reviews for every chapter, and I hope that you continue to enjoy the story! :D
I’m beginning to worry about Grimm, he seems to be to so obsessed with Riddle at the moment, and it isn’t like him to write an incoherent essay. He did bring up an important point however, about how Riddle and Grindelwald’s name were never said together. It makes you wonder if they would have teamed up to create an evil super force, I’m inclined to think no as Riddle never seemed to like being a team player, and was more of an individual sort of person.
I loved this line –‘If she ever chose to become a professor, she’d be downright terrifying.’ It was just perfect, and it was funny to seen even as a teenager Minerva could still intimidate people. Minerva the ever pragmatic person, trying to get Grimm to finish his essay and think about the future. I suppose that’s the difference between them, as it seems Grimm can get distracted by things more easily than she can.
We get to meet up with the thief then. Thinking of the thief it reminded me of how Grindelwald stole the Elder wand, so perhaps this is just events repeating themselves. Even though that scene was relatively dark and mysterious, it was nice touch to include the drawings of Minerva as it made me aw.
I’ve found another awesome line from Minerva – ‘“It may demonstrate your undying affections, but it isn’t at all necessary, not if you take ill because of it.”’ I thought it was rather sweet to see Grimm suffer like that, and it showed how badly he wanted the sequel to the kiss. Both of them seem to be quite secretive about their emotions though, so I doubt they’re about to confess their undying for love for one another, I suppose that’s why Grimm had to resort to doing what he did.
I liked seeing Grimm interacting with his friends, it was interesting to see the dynamic of their friendship. It seemed to be a more normal one compared to the one he has with Minerva or Moody. I think it was the fact that they spoke about quidditch, as that was such a typical teenage boy thing to do, it was almost strange to see Grimm talk about it, even if it was only to say he lacked knowledge in that department.
I think that note shocked me as much as it shocked them. I think Minerva’s observations about Riddle are correct, but now I don’t think it’s him, it’s a question of who could hate Grimm so much to be the thief. Of course Grimm would use that situation to his advantage and kiss Minerva, perhaps he was proposing the separation so to kiss her.
Another thrilling chapter :D
Author's Response: Grimm is definitely obsessed with Riddle, and it develops into a serious problem as the story continues (to its logical, canon-based end). It's good to ask how much of his hatred of Riddle is legitimate, and how much does it reveal about Grimm's own weaknesses? For a Ravenclaw, Grimm is often illogical, basing his theories on intuition and emotional response rather than on fact. It can be a good thing to do sometimes, but at others, it leads him into dangerous territory. Grimm is one of those people who is so intelligent that he often seems stupid - he may be talented and clever, but he's an emotional mess, neither able to properly focus or control his impulses.
It's a funny contradiction when it comes to the romantic scenes, though, because Grimm wants to leap into a relationship without understanding what that means. He's selfish, in that way, wanting Minerva to love and support him and practically guilting her into it. Although the two balance each other out and work really well together as a team, a romantic relationship between them - while inevitable - is problematic. Grimm is still too immature and Minerva doesn't want that kind of responsibility yet because it means sacrificing too much of herself for his sake. I think the constant tension between these characters is why I love writing them so much - there's never a moment of peace. They are at once too much the same and too different.
However, he does see something important, as you said - his observations of Riddle almost lead him to the point of seeing Riddle for what he actually is. Riddle would never join Grindelwald because it would mean being a lieutenant, and Riddle could not stand to play second fiddle. For him, it's all or nothing. It's also important to note that, at this point in Riddle's "career", he's still seeking to recreate himself. He doesn't interest himself in wider political issues because he first has to wipe out his Muggle heritage and set the foundation for his immortality. The war is merely a distraction.
Thank you again for your fantastic reviews! I'm very glad that you've been getting so much out of this story! :D
I was reading one of your responses about Minerva not having any female friends, and I don’t think it should be something to worry about too much. From the way you’ve portrayed her, it seems like the only person she could really get along with is Grimm, and none of the female characters in the story seem like a fitting friend for her. I always imagined her as a recluse person without that many friends, so your image of her fits perfectly in my head.
Referencing the point I just made to the chapter in hand, you showed how different she was with the others, as she doesn’t seem to miss the fact that she’s no longer part of the mass. You showed that though she seemed friendly with her quidditch team, she was still apart from them, and the bit about whether to confiscate the first years things reminded me of Percy, as he was recluse and almost isolated too.
I liked seeing the beginnings of what would be the death eaters; they already are rather chilling in the way they acted towards Grimm. I liked how you showed that Riddle was still human, as he seemed rather hurt that Minerva was betraying him for Grimm, but at the same time he’s still such a cold character. This is another complex thing about Grimm’s character, as he hasn’t really aligned himself with either side of the war. He dislikes both Riddle and Grimm, and it almost seems odd that someone as opinionated as him doesn’t have a strong feeling on a matter as strong as this.
I liked the mention towards the two Black boys, as it reminded me of Regulus and Sirius. They were both Black boys too, but one of them decided to go the other way. It was interesting to see how history always has it’s ways at repeating itself.
Your writing amazes me so much! The way you manage to go from such a tense scene, to one of romance bordering on fluff with the kiss so smoothly is outstanding. The thoughts in Minerva’s head prior to the kiss were perfect, and you could sense how the timing was finally right for the kiss, and that she had given into her feelings. Of course only those two would suggest having an agreement about the state of their relationship in writing!
I liked how you still manage to retain their character and friendship despite the kiss. I hate it when authors suddenly make them clones of one another, and cannot abide a second a part so I very much preferred this version. If only the gossipers of the Great Hall knew the truth of their relationship. I’m sure they would be talking in something significantly louder than a whisper.
I really liked the scene with Moody, and it seemed fitting that his mother is a tomb breaker! Of course someone like him would have to have parents with such adventurous jobs! You wrote Dumbledore perfectly again. It seemed fitting that he would trust Minerva with a lot of private thoughts, and foreshadows what comes to be their relationship later on.
Another excellent chapter!
Author's Response: Thank you for your kind words! It's good to hear that the absence of female friends for Minerva doesn't stand out. I hadn't realized it until too late, and it had me worried that it would compromise the story - there are very few female characters in it, especially compared with the number of males. One way I can think of to rationalize it is that sometimes the world feels that way - Minerva has to work doubly hard to make an impression because she is a girl. She has to live up to higher standards and it seems like she has to do everything, including care for Grimm. And in this story, Grimm constantly turns out to be the weak one - he needs Minerva far more than she needs him, but only she recognizes that. At the same time, by isolating herself from other witches, Minerva places herself at a noticeable disadvantage. She seems to see herself as above them in terms of brains and public presence, but it hides the insecurities she harbours regarding her appearance and her background. She thinks that she can never be as "feminine" as many of them are, and so she goes about "making up for it" in other ways.
Wow, she is a complicated character. I hadn't really noticed that before, not to this degree.
It's interesting what you've noted about Grimm, how he doesn't openly align himself with either Riddle or Dumbledore. He does have powerful responses to issues, but on the whole, he is a pacifist - he dislikes open conflict, just like he hates the sight of blood. He's too much the academic, preferring the isolation of the library or laboratory to being out in the world. Even if he agrees with why the war is being fought, he still hates how war works, how it uses brute force and causes physical harm. To bring more of the history into this, I would guess that he would have supported the League of Nations and its efforts to achieve peace before war broke out again.
Grimm doesn't like Dumbledore for other reasons, though - it's not the same as his dislike of Riddle. He has a negative instinctual reaction to Dumbledore, and while he can respect Dumbledore's knowledge and experience, he can't admire him because there's always a bad feeling there. It could be jealousy, but maybe he senses Dumbledore's guilt and ambiguity. Maybe he doesn't like how manipulative Dumbledore can be. He does learn in this story to trust Dumbledore to a certain degree, but he'll never be able to bring himself to like Dumbledore, certainly not as much as Minerva does.
*blushes* Thank you for that compliment! It's lovely of you to say it, and I'm really glad that the jump between tense action to romance worked. You're right that the timing worked out for Grimm and Minerva - they're brought together by the darker aspects of this story, the mystery and the drama going on with Riddle. This story may have two sides to it, but in scenes like this, they come together, and it's fantastic to hear that it works. Also thank you for your comments on Moody and Dumbledore. :D
I already have a good feeling about this chapter mainly due to the chapter image and the title of this chapter :D
I was so excited that we got to learn more about Minerva’s family, she’s such a complex character I really wanted to learn more about the people who helped formed it. I really like how you showed what a strong character she is, despite how cold her family is, she’s still resilient to it, and managed to feel happy and content there.
Silly Minerva though, refusing Grimm’s offer of escaping, but then again it shows how she’s independent enough to be able to cope on her own. I really liked the mention of Peeves it seemed so like him, and I never see him in any stories so it was great to get him here.
I really liked the place details of a Glasgow slum or a Fife mining village, it just seems to give the story that authenticity and make it more believable. I’ve been to Glasgow and I can imagine that someone like Corry might come from there. Though not all Glaswegians are horrible.
Hmm, I wonder why Grimm decided to call his owl Nero. Is he implying that he has the same personality as the emperor, or is it just his idea of a joke? I’m really disliking Corry, the way she snatched the letter, and has this generally horrible nature. I guess I felt a little sympathy towards her that she only held the place of a servant and not much more, but that sympathy didn’t last long. I really hope we get to find out more about her brother, and how he died, and why he chose to marry Corry.
I really liked how you put this story into context, with the mentions of the feather being handed out to those that didn’t fight, and the trouble in Europe with Grindelwald. Like with the location factors it just makes it so much more authentic and enjoyable to read.
I found the way Grimm’s mother knew so much about Minerva so sweet. Grimm must like her a lot if his mum knew exactly what she looked like, and her constant referencing that he spoke a lot about her. I almost wouldn’t think he would say much, as he seems like a private person, then again, he’s complex that you can’t really expect anything from him.
I rather liked the sound of Lady Grimm too; she just seemed to have this nice air about. Even though she was a lady, she didn’t seem snobbish at all, and you could tell that she would be a lovely person to talk to. I have a feeling that there should be some hidden side to her, your character are always complex, I feel as if there’s going to be this big twist.
I felt rather sorry for Grimm, I can just imagine him sitting there thinking that Minerva won’t accept his invitation when does in fact, it created a rather sorrowful image of him. Then their little moment! With Grimm calling her darling, the wrist holding and Minerva finally admitting she doesn’t treat him nicely all of the time. I disliked Lady Grimm for a little when she had to come in and interrupt it, then Minerva’s embarrassment when she did so, I could almost feel it.
I think I spotted a typo here – ‘“You mother has an idea about us.”’ I think it should be your mother :)
Haha, even though it was a terrible dilemma they were in, I couldn’t help but laugh at how serious Minerva was becoming about it. It’s so strange to see what social constraints they were under, and how they really couldn’t socialise. Grimm seemed so pragmatic about it all, with him merely stating that he thought he was too young, but he would marry someone if he had to marry anyone, whereas Minerva was on a verge of a breakdown.
More girl power Minerva at the end with her kindly telling Grimm to take more care with his guests in future. I was wondering what her reaction may be, but I felt really proud of her to see that she remained composed and just gave him a witty reply.
Another excellent chapter!
Author's Response: Thank you so much for this wonderfully long review! It's always a pleasure to see a new one from you. :D You engage closely with the story, and it means a lot to see how you react to the big and little things alike.
What I really liked about including this chapter in the story was how it takes Grimm and Minerva out of Hogwarts, and because people are often very different at school than they are at home, it gave me an opportunity to explore a different side of their personalities. This definitely comes into play for Minerva because, like you've mentioned, she's more of an enigma, constantly holding things back, even (or especially) from Grimm. At home, however, the power dynamic is very different - her sister-in-law is domineering, mostly because she's so insecure, a state that has only increased since she's become a widow. As for Minerva's parents, they're just quiet people - it seems like they're cold, but it's from them that Minerva gets her reserve.
I'm glad that you liked the detail about the feather! I'm not actually sure whether it was done during WWII, but it certainly comes up a lot in regard to the WWI and how it judges young men purely on appearance - if they /look/ old/able enough, then they must go fight, which doesn't take into account actual age or disability (I've also read about the opposite, where some men avoided war by taking a desk job, using money and influence to keep away from the front lines). It's a very complicated period to deal with, and I take pride in being able to ground the story in the history - the same character could have an entirely different personality if you change the period in which they exist, so it's something that all writers really need to keep in mind, even in a small way.
Thanks for pointing out that typo. :D I'll actually stop my response here because if I try to discuss the intricacies of Grimm and Minerva's relationship, I'll probably end up writing spoilers. The story grows with their relationship, and I can't always look back without mentioning what comes after, if that makes any sense. It's fantastic that you liked this chapter and what it does for the characters! Thank you so much for reading and reviewing! ^_^
Why do things keep on preventing from reading this story, it’s so annoying!
Even though they’re meant to be working together to solve the puzzle about the intruder they’re still arguing. I didn’t expect anything less from them to be honest, and I’ve grown so used to them acting like that now, that it would almost be weird if they started being civil to one another! I liked the analogy of Minerva being like an underfed cat, I think it was just how she already identified herself with them even though she hadn’t become an animagus yet.
I liked her meeting with Riddle. You could tell at the beginning that she was almost trying hard not to view him as someone who was attractive. It makes you wonder whether that scent she picked up on him represents the creepiness she later feels towards him. I found interesting that Tom just disappeared when she implied that she didn’t want to be spoken to. It suggests to me that he has some level of respect for her, and will do what she wishes.
I like how you’re slowly revealing the mystery behind Grimm and Minerva. They shared a rather tender moment when he inquired whether she was ok after speaking to Grimm, and her frustration at Potions. I hope we get to hear more about Grimm’s brief foray into tutoring Minerva as it sounds as if there’s a lot of history behind it, and I can’t wait to find out more.
They’re both such puzzling people, and it’s almost funny to see how they’re both trying to analyse one another’s behaviour and figure out what’s really going on. I think that’s why there so well suited as they do have the best intentions for the other, even though it isn’t always conveyed that way! Grimm does seem to bring about a more care free and rebellious side to Minerva with the suggestions of the midnight walks or going down to the kitchens.
Dumbledore was so Dumbledore in this chapter. The way he was trying to give a rational explanation for Grimm’s behaviour yet at the same time nudging Minerva to tell him why he was acting like that. You write him brilliantly and it’s such a pleasure to read as I’ve come across several badly written Dumbledores! I can’t believe he basically admitted that he did play match maker when choosing head boy and girl, it just seemed like something he would do. Cunning yet with nice results, it’s so subtle you almost don’t notice it!
Another excellent chapter, and I can’t wait for the next!
Author's Response: Another review! Thank you for coming back! :D
Oh dear, I hope that they're not arguing too often. They have a tendency to do that, and if I'm ever overdoing it, please let me know. It's easier than I thought to fall into the hate-hate romance cliche. Minerva still feels a lot of anger about that moment in the past, though if one asked her, she wouldn't be able to say why. To her, Grimm broke a contract, overstepped an unspoken boundary, and she just can't let it go. I haven't actually done much more with their tutoring sessions, but it would be a good idea to mention them again at some later point, perhaps to show how far both of them have come. :)
The scene with Riddle was quite something to write - he makes one's flesh creep, yet he possesses a charm that's almost undeniable, and for a moment, even Minerva is blinded by it. He does respect her, in his own strange way, because she's proven herself to be formidable, someone equal to himself (to see it from his point of view). Do watch the clue about the scent, though, because it becomes significant later on. ;)
In spite of myself, I do like writing Dumbledore, perhaps because he has that really murky past behind him, and combined with his odd whims, it makes him a very strange character - a true eccentric, straight out of the Victorian age. I'm so glad to hear that you like how I've written him! :D
Thank you so much for your kind words! It's excellent to hear that you've enjoyed the story and its characters, and I hope that you continue to do so! ^_^