Reviews For Year of the snake

Name: nott theodore (Signed) · Date: 04 Feb 2019 05:19 PM · [Report This]
Story:Year of the snake Chapter: Into the forest

Hello again!  Here for February's RvG.


Your portrayal of Luna in this chapter was just brilliant.  I've said before that I don't think she's an easy character to get right, but I think she's also a character who's often squashed into one box, with one or two of her characteristics focused on, but you haven't done that here and this version of her is very believable.  I liked the way that she kept talking about Wrackspurts and the different beliefs that she and her father shared, and yet every now and then she'd make a comment that was wonderfully insightful and accurate.  There's an awful lot more to her than the beliefs that the Quibbler shares, and it was so nice to see you explore that here.


Neville's reflections on his newfound popularity were interesting, too.  I felt quite sorry for him that he felt like this was probably as popular as he'd ever be - and I hope that it's not true - but I liked the way that he could understand how Luna felt, of always being the second choice, even if the way that she voiced it made him feel uncomfortable.


I loved the tea at Hagrid's!  It's really nice to see him trying to look out for the pupils who are still there, even if he has his favourites, and it did feel a little like things were still okay while they were having tea with him and sampling his horrendous rock cakes.  It's also a great idea of Ginny's to go and visit him and have permission to go into the forest and see the unicorns - a great cover for being able to talk a little more freely about some of the things that are on their mind at that point.  Hagrid's attempts to be subtle in the conversation about what's going on with Harry and Ron were brilliant, too.


The unicorns are so beautiful!  And I loved Luna's confidence in approaching them, the way that she knew instinctively what to do - it fits very well with what we know of her character and what she goes on to do after school, and I liked the fact that Hagrid was used to the wild conspiracy theories that she comes out with and knows her as the top student in her year.  I kind of feel like Luna and Hagrid would be strange kindred spirits.


But in the midst of all those conspiracy theories, Luna comes out with a gem!  I love how seriously she says that Harry's looking for Luna Lovegood's lost diadem when even he doesn't know that he's looking for that yet, and that she'll be the one to show him what it looks like later on.  I loved that link with the chapter when Harry arrives at Hogwarts, too.


I can really easily imagine James and Sirius befriending the portraits and getting them on side to help out when they were sneaking around the castle.  They might have used it for more mischievous purposes but I'll be intrigued to see how Neville and the rest of the DA use that information in the future as they work on different ways to undermine Snape and the Carrows' regime.


Sian :)

Name: nott theodore (Signed) · Date: 04 Feb 2019 04:39 PM · [Report This]
Story:Year of the snake Chapter: Disillusionment

Hi mel!  Here for February's RvG.


I thought I only had the most recent chapter to read when you updated, but apparently I missed this one too, so this is a bit of a treat!


I really loved Neville's characterisation in this chapter.  Of course, I love him as a character already and the way you've written him so far in this story has been great, but we're getting such an insight into him here.  He's starting to really think like a leader now, and it's brilliant to see the way that he's growing and developing already with that.  I'm sure that he's going to become an even stronger leader through the course of this year, but I also really appreciated the fact that you'd managed to capture his style of leadership, too.  It's very much Neville - he's not trying to be Harry or Ron or Hermione as he coordinates and responds to events, he's being himself and we get a very different but much needed leader from that.  It's just so nice to see him stepping up and being so determined to move this forward.


The contrast between Neville's calmer, more thoughtful approach with Ginny's quicker temper was interesting in the beginning.  I can definitely understand why she'd want to throw away a Slug Club invitation and not take part in it, but Neville's right - even if this meeting wasn't particularly helpful, I can imagine that it's going to throw something up and give them a lead or piece of information they might not otherwise have had.  The fact that Slughorn is still inviting people like Ginny but that Malfoy and Nott are both back in the Club is so accurate and in character, too - he's definitely keeping himself balanced at the moment, sitting on the fence as much as possible.


I LOVE Luna.  I find her really difficult to write but the description of the way that she just got up from the table and made it look like her leaving was her idea was fantastic.  She's got a very special spirit and a brand of defiance and the Carrows really don't know how to respond to it yet.


The Disillusionment Charm class was interesting to read, as well!  Again, we get to see Neville coming into his own more here, not only knowing the answer when he's been picked on in class, but also managing to master the charm quickly.  He's growing in confidence so much and it's wonderful to see.  Neville's definitely the sort of person you want on your side in this, having 'greatness thrust upon' him, but not letting anyone down.


Flitwick seemed to be trying really hard to keep the class going as normally as possible, handing out house points and things.  I know you didn't really delve into it at all here but it definitely made me think about how difficult this must be for the teachers, trying to protect the students as much as possible but still knowing that if they step too far out of line then they won't be in a position where they can do anything to help them, anyway.


Malfoy's disillusionment was kind of understandable here - not that I feel sorry for him, but he's grown up being told that he deserves the best, being taught to expect to be treated like a prince, so he's not dealing with that very well.  We get a couple of glimpses of him in the Deathly Hallows and there's definitely some conflict in his character there, so I'm very intrigued to see what you're going to do with his character's position in this story.


The ending was kind of scary, again - the fact that Seamus is celebrating that there's been three whole days without any of the students in their year getting detention is just terrifying.  Nobody should have to celebrate the fact that there's not been anyone stepping out of line purely because the consequences are so dire, but it really hammered home the tension and darkness that they're all living through in this year.  I loved Neville's determination to keep going with the DA in the face of - and because of - that.


Sian :)

Name: Stella Blue (Signed) · Date: 04 Feb 2019 02:46 AM · [Report This]
Story:Year of the snake Chapter: Into the forest

Hello! I'm so thrilled to see another chapter of this! (I'm reviewing on my phone so apologies for any typos I don't catch)


I love Luna's blunt honesty, and despite how it sometimes makes people feel a little awkward, I liked that you noted how Neville feels simultaneously awkward and also understood, in a way, because he has also felt that way before even if he'd never say so in a million years


The whole discussion about the rock cakes cracked me up, about how Hagrid just thinks Harry loves them, and everyone's too polite to say anything, but Luna mentions they're difficult to eat, all of this was so easy to imagine and also so hilarious. And Ginny is right - reading about them at Hagrid's for tea did kind of feel just like old times, and Harry and Ron we're even there in spirit with Neville wondering how they ever lifted the mugs as first years, haha!


The baby unicorns sound so cute!!


I love that Luna is more correct about the Ravenclaw Diadem than anyone could have ever guessed. It's especially funny too because she spouts out a lot of conspiracy theories in this chapter, the Ministry Wrackspurts and  so on, and then comes out with this one that ends up being so accurate, but no one, even Harry who's the one chasing the horcruxes, has any idea yet. What wonderful use of dramatic irony.


Omg I love the idea that James and Sirius became close friends with the portraits and as a result they got informed about Filch when he was nearby XD I can totally see them doing that, haha. But... Yeah. This does present the DA with some great possibilities! I can't wait to see how they use this new information...


I really loved this chapter and hope you've got more in the works soon!

Name: LadyMarauder (Signed) · Date: 21 Jan 2019 02:31 PM · [Report This]
Story:Year of the snake Chapter: Journey into the unknown

I love missing moments from the HP series, so this is right up my street. I like seeing things from other character's point of view and especially those who have been left behind. They all must feel really isolated not knowing what they're about to walk into at Hogwarts and realising a lot of their friends are on the run and in danger.


I love your characterisation of Neville, it was perfect. He's far more astute than people give him credit for and I love that he already knew Ginny was lying through her teeth about Ron and Harry. I never really thought about what he would think of the fake Mad Eye to be honest, especially because he was one of the Death Eaters who tortured his parents, it must be such a strange feeling. He was kind to him and helpful as well, so I've no idea how that must have made Neville feel. 


It was funny when Seamus called her out on dumping Dean, even in the middle of a war, they still manage to get a bit of teenage angst in there. I loved this! Tasha - for Magical Menagerie and RvG January - Team Red. xx

Name: StarFeather (Signed) · Date: 20 Jan 2019 07:10 AM · starstarstarstarhalf-star [Report This]
Story:Year of the snake Chapter: The return of Quidditch

It's quite interesting to read how Ginny determined to steal the sword of Gryffindor for Harry. As J.K.Rowling didn’t write the detailed story, I think it a great choice to write about. Of course, Snape wanted to watch Ginny who Harry was likely to contact her or Snape must have suspected she would do reckless action as a member of DA, so he allowed her to be the position, Gryffindor Quidditch captain to watch her move.


It's good for Neville to try remembering the names of his friends. We can see him preparing to be a leader to fight against the Death Eaters. His plan sounds plausible, his grandmother will find the best way to pass the sword to Harry. Well, we know the plot already though, we can enjoy the plot (Snape's sending his Patronus...all that jazz...) twice reading your fic!


It's sad to read the spot, Hannha came back with her sad news. Still, they had to pay attention not to be found their conspiracy. While the trio were struggling to find horcruxes, the other members were also struggling to find a best way to retaliate against the evil teachers. The story is getting wild and more interesting.




@ Magical Menagerie 2, Team Griffin

Name: StarFeather (Signed) · Date: 15 Jan 2019 01:57 PM · starstarstarstarhalf-star [Report This]
Story:Year of the snake Chapter: The new arrival

Hi, mel. It's been a while since I stopped by your Neville last time.

It's quite interesting to observe (read) Ginny from Neville's POV not Harry's. Since I was so used to seeing her from Harry's POV, reading Ginny from Neville's eyes gave me something new, I enjoyed the gap. Your descriptions of her are all fantastic including the episode around the joke shop's products Fred and George gave her (not sold them to her). Her logic is so Ginny-ish against the rule the Carrows set up.


And she knew Neville very well. She seemed to know it would take much more time until he made up his mind to be a new leader of DA. Surely, he must have felt righteous indignation after he witnessed Seamus who apparently suffered from the detention Carrows gave as a punishment, and the feeble girl's arrival. Ginny insisted "The seventh years should do action" which implied Neville should be a new leader.

Ginny is written as a smart girl in your story. On the contrary, Luna is written as a dreamy girl who remembers their fight in the Ministry. For her, the fellow DA members who fought with her are true friends, and she cherishes the memory. She believes the same original DA members will restart the meeting for justice soon.


The story is getting more interesting, I mean the readers can't wait to see how Neville will make up his mind and grow up as a man.





@ B&B Review Battle, January 2019




Name: dirtydeedsdonedirtcheap (Signed) · Date: 17 Aug 2018 11:14 PM · starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Story:Year of the snake Chapter: The Carrows

Quodpot – Match 2 – Action/Adventure 


He had never been particularly noticeable.


Neville you’re breaking my heart! This entire story is about you. Of course you’re noticeable!


Neville sighed. His grandmother, Professor McGonagall, and now Professor Slughorn. 



Yes, yes, alright fine, I’ll admit Augusta Longbottom wasn’t so impressed with her grandson until his final year but Slughorn is a nuisance so who cares about him but McGonagall! I think she’s impressed by him. She cares about all of her students (except for maybe Draco Malfoy) but I think she has a soft spot for Neville.  I think she knows he’s a Gryffindor through and through and she cares and protects her own.  


Longbottoms didn't come out well from the Cruciatus Curse.



This is terrible. Absolutely terrible. I don’t think I would have been able to sit so calmly like that if I was Neville. After everything they did to his parents I surprised he didn’t break. Seriously, he could have gone either way and instead he decided to be strong. He doesn’t need Harry. I get that Harry is hope and their “leader” but they were all put in Gryffindor for a reason. They’re brave even if they all haven’t figured that out yet.


And you end the chapter with “where’s Harry when you need him?” Hm. I’m curious to see where it happens where Neville realizes that he doesn’t need Harry and starts to fight for himself and his friends. He already showed his bravery once by shouting when Seamus was being tortured but he’s not ready to do it again just yet. I do wonder how he sort of became their fearless leader so I can’t wait to read on to see the moment he fully transformed. 

Name: dirtydeedsdonedirtcheap (Signed) · Date: 17 Aug 2018 10:59 PM · starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Story:Year of the snake Chapter: The welcoming feast

Quodpot – Match 2 – Action/Adventure 


This story excites me so much. I’ve never read anything where Neville was the focus and explored his side of things at Hogwarts. When you break it down like this it is alarming there’s anyone left to attend Hogwarts. Obviously it was mandatory but so many people are in hiding, dead or on the run because they would be killed or tortured if they even showed up. Even though if you’re not a Slytherin and you’re there you’re more than likely going to be tortured. They were so brave to come back to Hogwarts. They didn’t have much of a choice but they were still very brave in my opinion.


He had a crush on Ginny but he knew it was never going to go anywhere! Mel, you’re breaking my heart. Poor Neville really didn’t have much confidence in himself, did he? He never got the girl. Didn’t have a big group of friends. Was never “in” on anything unless someone decided he needed to be. Man, he grew in such a short period of time!


He was still mulling that over his mind when "Worple, Ignatius" was sorted into Gryffindor, and the Headmaster stood up.


My heart jumped out of my chest because I thought Snape was about to whip out his wand and hurt this kid. I got so nervous! But of course in typical Snape fashion, he was just very abrupt and didn’t miss a beat.


I want to throw up at the idea of them training to become Death Eaters. Dumbledore must be rolling around in his grave. That’s completely despicable! Uh! His parents were Aurors and if they could they would be fighting and in the thick of things at that very moment. Ginny’s parents are too pure. To think their only daughter is going to be tortured and sitting in on classes where she’s going to learn to harm other people—and creatures. It’s just too much! How did McGonagall survive? Seriously? She is a strong woman.


I only ever read romance stories on the archives now or humor, rarely anything action/adventure so this is a great change of pace. I’m loving what you’re doing here and we’re only at chapter two. It’s nice to explore the secondary characters a bit more and to get inside their heads. I feel like I appreciate them more, especially Seamus, than I did before. 

Name: dirtydeedsdonedirtcheap (Signed) · Date: 17 Aug 2018 10:41 PM · starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Story:Year of the snake Chapter: Journey into the unknown

Quodpot – Match 2 – Action/Adventure 


Mel! So first things first—Augusta Longbottom is one of my favorite characters (I feel like I say that a lot but it’s true)! I’ve only read the first section of this chapter so far but I really appreciate that you included her here sending Neville off. She was completely in character but I love that you added a hint of warmth to her like a grandmother should have. She’s worried but she’s not going to break down infront of everyone and she’s not going to cause a dramatic scene. Augusta is a proud, strong woman, and I bet it pains her to let him go during such a rough time but I think in the back of her mind she knows Neville can hold his own. Of course she doesn’t know the horrors to come but she worries and that’s enough for me. I was a little surprised at first that she thought Hogwarts was still a safe place but it makes sense because Hogwarts has alwaysbeen a safe haven. It has always been the safest place in their world so why should it be any differently now? It’s unfortunate that it’s going to be a completely different place with Dumbledore gone and Harry on the run. 


Seamus, who had just sat down, shot a look at her. "So good you dumped him?"


Isn’t it crazy that they can still act like teenagers? Seamus can make this jibe at Ginny even though they’re traveling to the unknown. They are on the brink of total war but he’s still going to defend his friend and take a shot at her when he can because they’re just teenagers! They’re kids and sometimes it’s hard to remember that with all the bad things that go on around them.


Neville is such a sweetheart I swear. It’s so sad to think he actually cared about Moody-the fake Moody—even though he tortured his parents. I understand the reasoning here but all it does is make me feel sad because has no one shown him kindness? Has he felt like a total outcast this entire time? Is he that lonely? That just hurts me to think of him in that type of way. I know he wasn’t Mr. Popular and was always on the outside looking in but I liked to think he was somewhat happy, right?

Name: Stella Blue (Signed) · Date: 05 Jul 2018 08:21 PM · [Report This]
Story:Year of the snake Chapter: Disillusionment

About to run out the door but wanted to write up a review first so I don't leave you without one - apologies it will be short though!

First and foremost, I appreciate the chapter title a lot, how they're learning the disillusionment charm and Malfoy is disillusioned. I see what you did there. :P

I also love that Luna sits at the Gryffindor table and even when she has to leave, makes it look like it was her idea. That's such an unusual description of a way to stand up but I can totally picture it and that's absolutely something Luna would be able to pull off!


This chapter is quite dialogue heavy, which really made it stand out to me how wonderful and natural your dialogue is between these characters. Like, the way each of them talks is distinct, and I can usually tell even wihtout the dialogue tags who is speaking.


Poor Firenze :( Regarding Malfoy though, bahaha, I'm kind of glad he's not getting his way for once and that his privilege doesn't give him everything even when he thinks this is what he's been going for all along, 


I love the DA's determination to keep going even though Snape knows about them. I bet Snape knows they're still continuing, too.


Love this fic! Wonderful chapter!

Name: StarFeather (Signed) · Date: 30 Jun 2018 10:41 AM · starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Story:Year of the snake Chapter: The Carrows

 Hi! Finally I came back after I nominated your Neville for the best Gryffindor. I reread this chapter and I enjoyed it very much. The process how Neville learnt the new start was not the same as the previous years, is well written.


As we, readers miss the golden trio, especially, Harry Potter, Neville felt so, too.

  The best scene of this chapter is the spot when Seamus was tortured. It indicates it will be Neville who stands for people instead of the hero, Harry Potter. We wonder why professor Sprout sent the message, the detention would be done by Carrows and even feel angry with it for Seamus. We exactly think in the same way as Neville, if Harry was there, he would never let it pass. So the role, action should be done by the new hero, Neville.

Even Malfoy must have felt horror seeing Seamus tortured by Carrows. Remembering the power he got during Umbridge's year was privileged, he might think it was the same as the time when her power dominated the school. But he must have known the reality.  Year of the snake became a horrible year for the all students once Carrows displayed the Unforgivable Curse.   


 Reading the seat replacement, the back and the front, I remembered Nazi Germany, holocaust.


It's our relief, you wrote Ginny who would be a very important key person from here.







Name: nott theodore (Signed) · Date: 02 Jun 2018 01:49 PM · [Report This]
Story:Year of the snake Chapter: Dumbledore's Army

Hi again, Mel!  I'm still loving this story and I'm thrilled that I've reminded you that there's another chapter to work on and post - I'm looking forward to it already :)


Alecto Carrow is terrifying, but you capture her voice really well at the start of this chapter.  It's pretty chilling to see someone teaching all of this to children, especially when they so obviously believe that it's all true themselves.  There are quite a few daunting comparisons to be drawn with the real world today, I think, but it's scary that she's not only teaching this to seventh years, who can obviously think for themselves, but first years, who are going to be even more impressionable, growing up with rhetoric like that.


(Do I even need to mention how wrong she is?  The witch trials were horrific, but anyone who's read Bathilda Bagshot's book - and even Harry did in his first year - knows that the intended victims of the witch trials weren't actually the ones most harmed by it, according to this logic.)


Luna's comment about what her father's doing with the Quibbler is really interesting!  Obviously we know that she doesn't come back after Christmas, so it makes sense that he'd be doing more than just printing articles in support of Harry and the Order in the magazine.  Sending out pamphlets to the Muggles in nearby villages is a really thoughtful - albeit dangerous - thing for him to do.  I think in some ways it makes them realise the futility of what they're trying to do, though, when they're fighting a force that far outweighs their own - and especially when the Muggles aren't able to defend themselves against magic.


Even though it wasn't noticed by Carrow, I loved Parvati speaking up in that lesson and disagreeing with what she said.  There are definitely people that aren't happy with the new regime, and I think it's good for Neville to know that - what they really need is a way to come together, because they're stronger that way, and that's what he's going to provide.


I love Neville putting his own stamp on the Room of Requirement - it's a subtle acknowledgement that he's taken over as the leader now.  And while his style is different to Harry's - though I think he's just as uncomfortable in that position as Harry has been - he's going to be a brilliant leader.  Just that quiet comment to Zacharias Smith (who seems as obnoxious as ever right now) did a great job of showing that - the strength and courage that Neville has, when so many people underestimate him.


I was slightly surprised to see that Hannah Abbott wasn't mentioned in this chapter as part of the original DA, but I'm sure there's a reason for that which we'll find out later.


You captured the atmosphere and emotion of this meeting so well - even with the new recruits that Ginny's brought along, it felt a lot like the DA meetings of the Order of the Phoenix, but different at the same time.  It's real now, and these children are going to have to step up and try to do their best to defend the school and its pupils from some really evil people.  But they all really want to do their bit, and I think the fact that they've been brought together and now feel like they can actually contribute and do something about it is going to make a real difference to them.


I wonder if we'll find out who wrote the graffiti?  All the same, it's no surprise that the Educational Decree is back in effect, and I'm looking forward to seeing how they're going to manage their meetings (and Quidditch!) around that, as well as how they're going to start organising themselves to fight back against the Carrows.


Sian :)

Name: nott theodore (Signed) · Date: 02 Jun 2018 12:17 PM · [Report This]
Story:Year of the snake Chapter: The return of Quidditch

Hi again!


Neville not really knowing many of the people who are left in Gryffindor (or in the school) shows just how wide-reaching the effects of this war have already been.  It's not surprising at all that he doesn't know who the people in the younger years are (I think it's always the case that at school you tended to know the people older than you, but not necessarily the ones who were younger) but I love him realising that and just knowing that he has to change that.  It's a small sign of how his thinking is already changing - not only are the Gryffindors potential recruits for the DA, but there's a protective edge to his thoughts, like he's determined to look out for everyone he can.  That's just Neville all over.


The conversation at the table with the other Gryffindors was really interesting.  I don't know if Ginny has just spent a lot of time with Order members, or if she's figured some of it out herself, but what she says about people accepting the situation is very true.  We've seen it time and again throughout history, people stepping aside and letting something happen because it's the easiest way for them to get by and survive, as long as it isn't affecting them - and in some ways, there are certainly some aspects of life nowadays where that seems to be happening again.


I'm curious about what Snape's reasons for allowing Quidditch actually were, because he doesn't seem like the sort to give permission for that without properly considering it, but I suspect he does think it's a way that the student population might keep quieter - and maybe that the Quidditch players won't want to lose their privileges and stop playing, so it could be a way to control them.


Neville and Ginny's interpretation of why Snape's password is Dumbledore is a good reminder of just how they view him at the moment, but I think it's really a reminder to himself of what he's doing, maybe, and what he has to try and achieve this year.


We don't have too many canon details of what actually happened at Hogwarts during this year, but I love the way that you've taken the detail about the Sword of Gryffindor and managed to tie that into the story so naturally.  It was so interesting seeing them plan out getting hold of it this early on, as one of their first acts of resistance, really.  And Neville thinking through the details and saying that he'll take the sword home is another sign of him stepping up and thinking more like a leader already.


I definitely believe that Augusta could manage to get the sword to Harry if she put her mind to it.  Just that sentence feels like there's already been a shift in his relationship with his gran, and she's already proud of him for what he's achieved so far.


Your characterisation of Hannah was so interesting!  I liked the way that her return to school wasn't as dramatic as Orla's, but all the same she doesn't want to be there, and she's already ready to fight back and will be a willing member of the DA again.  I'm not sure if anything is going to develop between Hannah and Neville during the course of this story, but I can already imagine that there's potential for them to get much closer as friends at least, as they try and fight back against the Carrows.


Sian :)

Name: nott theodore (Signed) · Date: 02 Jun 2018 11:54 AM · [Report This]
Story:Year of the snake Chapter: The new arrival



Everyone gathering around Seamus seems like something that the Carrows and Snape would definitely be keeping an eye on - but I suspect that all the people who are suggesting that Seamus does something to get back at the Carrows aren't really going to be the first people who are stepping up to fight back.  It's so much easier to sound brave and talk about getting revenge than actually organising something to do it.


Romilda Vane wasn't the other person I was expecting to see who'd been punished by the Carrows on the first day - though it's hardly a surprise that the first victims are Gryffindors (I suspect the Hufflepuffs might not be far behind) - but that punishment is horrific for someone who just had possession of something that wasn't allowed.


I think I agree with Neville's worry that the Carrows aren't really going to care about the technicalities of how Ginny came by the Weasleys' products, just the fact that she has them in her possession, but her defiance and determination that she's not actually breaking the rules fits her character very well, and shows a lot of resilience for the way she's going to react to having the Carrows in the school this year.


Also, I can totally see Fred and George just plying her with those products when she's heading back to school :P


Neville taking more time than both Ginny and Luna to come around to the idea that the DA needs to be restarted - and especially that he needs to be the one to lead it - seems very in character.  It's never been a question for Luna, and it doesn't surprise me that Ginny's come round to the idea so quickly, but it makes sense that Neville would take a little longer and consider the consequences.  He's been the person that's been picked on for so long that he's naturally going to be more hesitant about standing up.


I loved the way that Ginny was convinced that it had to be Neville, though, and the way that she recognises his worth even when he can't.  That's so important and it's going to mean a lot for Neville's growth.  I definitely think he's going to be the best person to lead the DA this year.


Orla's return to Hogwarts was really interesting, too - I hadn't even thought about the students who were on the run being returned to Hogwarts by the Snatchers who found them, but I think this is a glimpse of life on the outside and the way that it's not safe for anyone anymore, really.  The fact that her parents didn't think that there might be penalties for not complying and keeping her home from Hogwarts rings really true, because I imagine so many people wouldn't understand the true nature of the new regime at this point.  Even though the Order members are probably at higher risk because they're known opponents, at least they had the warning of just how bad it would become and in some ways are much better prepared for resisting.


I love Luna <3 Her complete assurance that restarting the DA is the right thing to do is so in character for her, and I love her affirmation that they're the right people to do it.  They definitely are the best people, and their experience fighting in real situations, as well as the knowledge that they were part of that, is going to help convince other people to join and give them hope, even if it is going to put targets on their backs where the Carrows are concerned...


Sian :)

Name: nott theodore (Signed) · Date: 02 Jun 2018 11:25 AM · [Report This]
Story:Year of the snake Chapter: The Carrows

Hi again!


Aw, Neville considering himself unnoticeable to most people just made me want to reach through the screen and give him a hug.  He's honestly one of my favourite characters from the entire series, and someone I identify with pretty strongly, so I love reading from his point of view.  But, like in the last chapter, when he says he wasn't surprised that Ginny would go for someone like Harry instead of him, I felt really sorry for him.  His self-esteem issues are so relatable and believable, and they make him a great narrator for this story, but still.  The boy needs a hug.


I think Seamus is really trying to convince Neville that he can trust him, though, and I think he does mean it when he says that Neville deserves better than Slughorn just dropping him from the Slug Club.  And in spite of the lack of trust there - on Neville's behalf, anyway - it was nice to see the two of them getting along pretty normally as they head to classes in this chapter.  It would be a very lonely year for the two of them if they didn't at least make that effort, and it's going to be difficult enough for the two of them anyway.


In spite of the Carrows being there, I'm with Neville on being glad that people like McGonagall and Sprout are both there still.  There's definitely a measure of comfort in that, and I liked seeing Neville's soft spot for his Herbology teacher because of his love for the subject.


That is going to be one hell of an awkward Herbology class - and I don't think it'll be the only one which is so reduced in size that there are very few people there.  


Draco is so in character here - at the moment, he's kind of riding high.  He's back at Hogwarts, which means that he's out of Malfoy Manor and (mostly) away from Voldemort, he's Head Boy and top of the school, and he can strut around pretending that everything's great because he knows that the Carrows won't dare to touch him - not when there are so many other obvious targets this year.  It doesn't surprise me to see him being so irritating towards Seamus and Neville, or smug when Seamus gets sent to the Carrows for punishment.


Again, with hindsight, we know what's coming as punishment, but it's clear that even the teachers don't have a clue of just how evil and terrible the Carrows are going to be to the students this year.  If they did, I'm sure that Sprout wouldn't have sent Seamus to the Carrows so easily at the end of the lesson.  I don't imagine it'll take too long for them to realise what's happening to the students and do their utmost to protect as many people as they can.


The scene when Carrow performs the Cruciatus Curse on Seamus is just horrify.  Of course, it's brilliantly written, but you communicate the terror and shock of that moment so well.  It's just a taste of what's to come for the rest of the year, and even though we don't see Malfoy's reaction, I'm sure that even he didn't anticipate that this is what the Carrows would do to the other students.


And if we needed any further confirmation that the Carrows are pure evil, that line to Neville about how of course he would recognise the Cruciatus Curse.  Ugh.  That sent chills down my spine.


I loved the moment of irony when Alecto Carrow couldn't make the spell work on the blackboard - a tiny moment of hope and revenge in the midst of everything else :P  And of course, that's what the students are all going to need this year to be able to make it through.  But even the way that she separates the students, and makes the half-bloods the targets because they're the next step up from the absent Muggle-borns in her mind, rings so true to the sort of tactics we've seen throughout history in situations of this sort.  I wouldn't be surprised if we see pureblood students picking on half-bloods through this year, as well, making them the targets to divert attention from themselves.


And Neville's already having those thoughts of standing up to the Carrows!  Bless him for wishing Harry were there - but of course he's not, and this war and regime is going to create new heroes, even if they don't expect to be the ones who are going to be leading that resistance.


This was another great chapter, and I'm really loving this story!


Sian :)

Name: nott theodore (Signed) · Date: 02 Jun 2018 10:39 AM · [Report This]
Story:Year of the snake Chapter: The welcoming feast

Hi Mel!  I actually thought I'd reviewed this chapter a while ago, but apparently not, so I'm here to rectify that now.  And killing two birds with one stone as I get on with some POGs reading and reviewing :)


This was such a great chapter!  At this point, we (along with the characters) are really only just delving back into life at Hogwarts for this year.  I think it would be easy, in retrospect, to write this point in the year as something that's as terrible as we know it becomes, but it wouldn't make sense.  At this point in time, none of the students are sure what it's going to be like for them at Hogwarts (except, perhaps, people like Draco Malfoy), and you capture that sense of unease and uncertainty really well here.


Neville pointing out just how few people are left this year, especially those in their year, was really interesting.  It shows quite a few acts of resistance, in a way - or at least, if not active resistance, refusal to comply.


Your dialogue is so great - the conversations between the characters just seem to flow really naturally, and I really like the friendship between Neville and Ginny, especially.  Again, Neville letting slip that he doesn't believe that Ron's ill with spattergroit shows how early on in the year this is - while they know things are dangerous, they're not as practised yet at hiding information that they need to, and I'm sure that's something that's going to change through the course of the year.


Luna suggesting that they start up the DA again seems so realistic to me - like in the sixth book, when she says that the DA was like having friends, it's the sort of thing that she probably thinks would really help them get through the year, even before any ideas of resistance really come into play.  


The fact that they all like the idea but that none of them want to take responsibility for leading it at this point is very believable, too, and it allows for a lot of character growth through the year, particularly since we know from canon that these four are pretty major players in resisting the new regime at Hogwarts.


I loved the Sorting Hat's song!  The idea of writing one of those things scares me, but I think you got it just right - the Hat knows that the Sorting must continue but it still offers its warning, and really, what are they going to do to it?  Snape was probably right in turning a blind eye to the message it sings, and just continuing with the announcements.


That, of course, is when we get the first real glimpse of how life is going to change at Hogwarts - Neville recognising the Carrows as Death Eaters (which for some reason, I hadn't thought wouldn't be common knowledge until now, but that makes a lot of sense), and the fact that DADA is now just the Dark Arts.  It doesn't seem like much, but to the people who really care, it means a lot, and increases the tension already.


Snape's effect on Neville was so well written - and I felt so sorry for Neville.  I know he's going to grow so much through this year, and he's already really brave, but I'd love to see him being able to stand up to Snape at some point in this novel, too.  


I feel kind of sorry for Seamus with the fact that his best friend's gone, and he knows that Neville doesn't trust him, but I can understand why.  It's not only the fact that he believed what the Prophet was writing about Harry, but it's hard to trust anyone, and both Ginny and Luna have the advantage of having been the only people who answered the DA's call at the end of the last year.  Neville knows he can trust them.  I do believe Seamus, though, and I know that in canon he joins in with the DA this year, so I'm looking forward to seeing Neville grow to trust him.


Sian :)

Name: Stella Blue (Signed) · Date: 28 Apr 2018 06:52 PM · [Report This]
Story:Year of the snake Chapter: Dumbledore's Army

Ugh, the Carrows are just awful. You do a really good job writing them, though – you’ve got her accent perfectly.



I appreciated that it was Dumbledore’s grave that motivated Neville to start up the DA again. Much like Snape’s password reminds him of his accountability to what he promised Dumbledore (at least that’s how I see it), the grave reminded Neville of how much had already been sacrificed and what their goal had been since the beginning. Considering he’s dead, Dumbledore is still doing quite a lot for the school. :P



Aww, I love that the Room of Requirement shows more of Neville’s influence now, that it really takes into account the person who sets up the room. It certainly makes sense – and also is probably like a subconscious confidence boost for Neville, because it’s not so much like he’s trying to fill Harry’s shoes – he’s turned the DA into his own thing and the room reflects that.



Hehehe, Zacharias Smith is still such a pain in the ass. I think I’m probably a minority in that I actually like him as a character and I think there’s a lot to explore as to why he’s the way he is, and as obnoxious and cynical as he is in this chapter, I think he’s going to be good to have in the DA. Clearly he did care and want to show up, even if he tried to play it cool and use Ernie as an excuse. And his annoying blunt questions really solidify why they’re all there in the first place. If he hadn’t asked, Luna wouldn’t have said what she did, and I think hearing that probably confirmed for a lot of people that they were doing the right thing by being there. Perhaps I’ll be proven wrong later, but at least for now I’m still on Team ‘Give Zacharias Smith A Chance’. :P



On that note – who wrote on the wall? My bet is Zacharias, because he’s the last person anyone would expect to do that and I 100% know that he cares more than he pretends to XD


Hmmm…. I get the feeling that Ginny is cooking up some plans to use Quidditch as a front for DA meetings. Coming up this year: Gryffindor loses all their Quidditch matches but are exponentially better at Expelliarmus.


Another great chapter!

Name: StarFeather (Signed) · Date: 26 Apr 2018 04:41 PM · starstarstarstarhalf-star [Report This]
Story:Year of the snake Chapter: The welcoming feast

 Mel, this is another great chapter. I enjoyed reading this very much.


Seamus knows well that Neville doesn't trust him for his previous behavior towards Harry a couple of years back so, it is thrilling once he makes it clear he will believe him and support him to fight back against the Death Eaters.


I like Ginny's saying about Fat Chance they will hand Weasley's products. :D


Short but concise description is written about Neville's feeling towards Ginny and a fun reading his analysis about her preference between Harry and Neville. I also like the other descriptions such as how Luna suggests starting DA, the scene when they miss the other Gryffindor room mates.


I hope not the Sorting Hat will be thrown away. Your song of the Sorting Hat is amazing. I guess you are preparing already for the last part of this story. :) Can't wait!  



Name: Stella Blue (Signed) · Date: 30 Mar 2018 07:57 PM · [Report This]
Story:Year of the snake Chapter: The return of Quidditch

This is the first entirely-new chapter, isn’t it? I’m so excited.


Ginny has some pretty powerful truths here in this chapter. Particularly this – “People accept a lot when they’re not given a choice”. Tbh it’s quite reminiscent of the world we live in today.


Omg I love that the password to Snape’s office is Dumbledore. I can totally see that happening too, like he set that as the password to remind himself what he’s doing there and about the promises he made. It’s sort of to hold himself accountable. That password shows a lot more human side to him – as someone who knows the whole story – but is still vague enough that people like Ginny assume the worst of it and wouldn’t guess the true meaning. I will never love Snape but this redeems him like .001 of a point.


Their plan for the sword is very well-intentioned and they’ve thought about the right things (like the fact that Ginny will be a number one suspect if anything happens), but I know that it ultimately doesn’t work, so I’m kind of intrigued to see how this all pans out – whether they try it and they get caught, or whether this plan never materializes. I can’t remember if there was any mention of them trying to get Harry the sword in the books – it’s been years now since I last read it – but I can’t tell whether it’s canon or whether you made it up. (If you did make it up, your storytelling is very convincing! And if it’s based in canon, the details you added and the way you brought it about fit in so perfectly.) Also, it’s a small thing here but I like how Neville begins to take a little initiative and volunteer to be the one who takes the sword.


I’m really glad Snape allowed Quidditch. It’s of no consequence to him overall, but at least the students have that one bright spot in their year.


Poor Flitwick (and really all the teachers) are in a difficult position, and I hadn’t really thought about just how difficult until reading this story (because in DH we don’t really see much of what classes were like). Obviously he doesn’t want to give anyone detentions because of what detentions have come to mean, but it doesn’t give him much in the way of actually doing anything about students who are not paying attention in class or being disruptive – the professors’ hands are tied.  I’m really glad Neville realizes this and attempts to get them out of that situation and stop talking.


Great chapter!

Author's Response:

Ah, Kristen, your reviews always make me smile. :) Thank you!!!

The password being Dumbledore is actually canon - at least, that was the password when Harry went into the office at the end of DH. I was quite proud though of how I made that fit with the truth as Neville and Ginny thought it was. Them trying to get the sword is also canon: it's one of a limited number of things that we know about that year at Hogwarts that I need to include in this little tale. I'm glad you think I pulled it off, because that's very heartening - sometimes the insertion of something like this can feel a bit forced but it sounds like it's not in this case, so thanks again. :D

I feel sorry for the other staff, too. Their hands really are tied, because if they report someone for bad behaviour they have a fair idea of what will happen to them, so the more minor misdemeanours are less likely to be reported. But that of course means that they lose control of their classes that much more easily because they can't usethe discipline they have relied on in the past. Neville is an understanding person, though, and (I believe) a people-watcher, so he *gets* that.

thanks again, Mel xxx

Name: Stella Blue (Signed) · Date: 02 Mar 2018 11:03 PM · [Report This]
Story:Year of the snake Chapter: The new arrival

On a scale of 1 to 10, my love for Luna Lovegood is a 20. I love how she spearheads the mission to get the DA started up again, and how for her it isn't even a question of whether or not to do it, or who will or anything. It's just when. Restarting the DA, for her, is just the thing to do, and there aren't any what-ifs for her. I love that.


But anyway, I've sort of got ahead of myself iin this review. This was such a great chapter (am I sounding like a broken record? I think I say this every time... but it's true every time) and I really enjoyed seeing how the wheels are turning and how things are really getting started. It seems like Ginny and Luna are both very much on board with it, and I think Neville is too, he's just struggling with the idea of being looked to as an authority figure, or a leader, or something at such direct odds to how he perceives himself. And I like that you included that struggle - he knows what is the right thing to do and he's been wanting to make a difference and fight back, but it's not as easy as just jumping right in, especially not at that point in his character development. Anyway, I thought it was realistic the way you wrote him here struggling with the weight of the decision.


Ginny's insistence that her contraband from Fred and George's shop is 'technically' not illegal because she didn't purchase it is hilarious and so Ginny, but yeah I tend to believe Neville that the Carrows won't care. Ginny's smart enough to keep that out of sight and not get caught with it, but I'll still be worrying about her in the back of my mind until I know it's not an issue anymore, so like 30 chapters from now. XD Also I can totally see Fred and George just giving all of this stuff to her for free. Solid characteriation of the twins even though they don't even appear in the chapter!


I am so looking forward to seeing the dream team of Neville, Ginny, and Luna bring back the DA - I think they've pretty much almost convinced Neville by the end of the chapter and can't wait to see how it proceeds. I'm eagerly awaiting the next chapter - the first new chapter! :D Wonderful work on this. <3

Author's Response:

Ah, Kristen, I do love your reviews. Please don't get disheartened by the fact it takes me forever to respond to them; the fact is I don't get to log in here much anymore (life!! Ugh.) and to be honest these are the only reviews I'm responding to at the moment. One day hopefully I'll  find myself with a lot of spare hours and be able to dedicate that time to review responses, but at the moment it's only the story I'm updating, which is you! :D

I'm very fond of Luna, but at times I do struggle to write her. I'm very heartened that you feel I'm (still) getting her right because it really can be quite difficult getting the bluntness right, if that makes any sense. However I am reading the series to my eldest at the moment and I think that's giving me a new insight on her - who knew that reading it aloud to someone else could have that impact? 

I absolutely think you're right and the Carrows won't care about whether Ginny has bought the WWW items or had them donated to her, but in her mind she hasn't broken any rules and that absolves her from the responsibility of declaring them to Filch.

As for the DA, well of course it's coming back. And fairly soon, too. Neville has a lot of hesitation on the matter, but it really is only a matter of time. He can't put up with what the Carrows are dishing out forever, after all, can he?

Thanks again for a simply wonderful review. I so love hearing from you. And yes! New chapter, coming right up! :D

cheers Mel

Name: StarFeather (Signed) · Date: 02 Feb 2018 01:52 AM · starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Story:Year of the snake Chapter: Journey into the unknown

Hi, melian. I might have left a review at hpff before, given the circumstance with mojibake, I'd like to submit a new review for this chapter.

Honestly, I really enjoyed this. I got thrilled at the thought that a new trio, Ginny, Neville and Seamus plus Luna, I should say a quartet will try resistance from here. And I predict you will write about the year, Deathly Hallows from inside of Hogwarts, the resistance's POV. I have a vision, the last scene already, they will unite with the trio, Harry, Ron and Hermione at that scene. It's very promising.


I also enjoyed each scene, description of each character. You caught each characteristic very well. I like all of them, how Ginny told Seamus that she liked Dean in spite of her dumping him. The way Neville liked the fake Moody. How long it took Seamus until he got to believe in Harry and joined DA. Luna's insight about  Professors at Hogwarts.


I'll be back again soon!


Author's Response:

Thanks Kenny! I know you've been looking forward to this being posted on HPFT and I am getting closer to getting some *new* chapters up. Really glad you liked it, especially the characterisation because i do find some of these Hogwarts era students rather difficult to write.

And, yes, at the end you'll see Harry, Ron and Hermione coming back to lead the Battle of Hogwarts. To be honest I'm kind of looking forward to that too!

cheers Mel

Name: Stella Blue (Signed) · Date: 18 Jan 2018 05:03 AM · [Report This]
Story:Year of the snake Chapter: The Carrows

*pounces on new chapter*


Every time Neville thinks something like "He had never been particularly noticeable" it's like I just got kicked in the feels. It's the same reaction I had in the books when Luna said the DA was like having friends. I just want to hug him. For me, as someone who was also rather invisible in high school (but never beheaded a Horcrux or anything to make up for it), I really relate to Neville here and I want for someone to tell him how awesome he is. His self-esteem is so low and I appreciate that you never say it directly, but it's obvious in the asides/thoughts he includes in the narrative. You really are so wonderful at your characterisation.


I really enjoyed the exchange between Ginny and her friends about Harry. Not like in a "this is a fun conversation" way, but just the way it was written, the cynicism, dry humour, and the amused glance at Neville, it was so perfectly Ginny. The interaction between Ginny and the third-year Slytherin with the Slug Club memo was kinda interesting too, and I wonder why he seemed so afraid of her. I suppose she would have become sort of a big name in Hogwarts after dating Harry and just being such an outspoken, bold person in general - people probably know who she is and that she can't be messed around (by third years at any rate)


Tangent: Every time I see Mimbulus mimbletonia my first thought is always that there's a typo because Mimulus is an actual genus of small flowering plants that I've done some research on. Then I remember this is fanfiction, not work. XD By the way, taxonomic species names are not capitalized, so mimbletonia should be lower case. (Um, if that kind of small, insignificant detail is important to you :P )


That sounds like the most miserable Herbology class. What a group. At first I thought (hoped?) that Malfoy would be less obnoxious because he doesn't have his friends with him, but instead he's just more subtle about being annoying and still does it just to amuse himself. Alas. :P


Yikes. Even though I knew what was coming for Seamus, it was still so hard to read. I could totally feel the tension in the room though as the class collectively holds their breath, and the reality of how awful things are starts to settle in. I found myself curious about Malfoy in that scene - right before everything was revealed, Malfoy seemed excited to watch Seamus  get punished, but I doubt he actually knew what Carrow would do to him. So I wonder what he thought; I doubt he's horrible enough to enjoy watching Seamus get Crucio'ed. I almost wish we'd been able to see his reaction. That said, it makes sense that we didn't see it, because Neville wouldn't be watching Malfoy - he's watching Seamus, and we see what Neville sees. But anyway, yeah, that was a very visually powerful scene and so vivid to read. Poor Seamus D':


The Carrows are awful. The end.


Poor Neville at the end there, still just wishing Harry was there to stand up for them all. I wonder how long it will take for him to start to actually do something about their horrible situation and internalises that no one will stand up unless he himself does. I think it's still a while off, because things haven't got really bad yet (I mean, things are bad, but I know they get worse. Right now people are still actually asking questions in class), but Neville is already having these thoughts about standing up. Omg, that would take so much courage.


Once again, another phenomenal chapter. Great work.

Author's Response:

You know what? I was like that in high school too. Took going to a completely different school and even changing my name for that to change. So yeah, I get Neville from that perspective too. And I'm not sure that kid was scared of Ginny so much as kind of in awe of her. She would have been very well known, as a Quidditch player and generally popular person in her own right, and then as Harry's girlfriend, so I'm thinking that if he hadn't really crossed pathis with her before then he probably would have found her a bit intimidating.

And thanks for the tip on species names! I'll have to go back and correct that. (You guessed right, it is important to me, hahahaha.)

As for Malfoy, yeah, he was horrified too. You're right in that we don't see his reaction because Neville is so fixated on the front of the class, but yeah, he's shocked. Didn't think they'd actually use Unforgivables on students. But for the sake of appearnces, he has to swallow that and pretend he's okay with it all. (Poor Draco. Maybe i should write a story from his POV for this period. It might be interesting.)

Thanks so much for another epic review. I promise next time to respond more promptly!!!

cheers Mel

Name: Stella Blue (Signed) · Date: 21 Dec 2017 07:44 AM · starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Story:Year of the snake Chapter: The welcoming feast

Once again, another absolutely perfect chapter. You've nailed the underlying sense of unease that would go with the first day back at Hogwarts - it's too early for everyone to be dead scared yet, but clearly things are different with the actual Death Eaters there and the class changes, and the fact that the Great Hall - which is huge- is so empty. I love that Neville finds comfort in the fact that Professors McGonagall and Sprout are still there, as they are holdouts from when things were good at Hogwarts and Neville knows they are trustworthy, and they represent to him that maybe some things this year still have a chance of being normal.


Snape is particularly well written too. I like that he doesn't really have any reactions to anything, and is for the most part neutral and detached. It's exactly what I'd expect from him in this role - although working against the Death Eaters, he can't give any indication that he is, but at the same time as Neville pointed out he doesn't have much of a reaction to the Sorting Hat either. (I mean, I guess he's learnt by this point to pick his battles, and arguing with a hat is probably a battle he knows is not worth it :P) I get the feeling that most of the year he'll just kinda sit back and watch chaos happen until things happen that could destroy the Order and only then would he intervene with a logical-sounding excuse. I kinda doubt he was actually passing information to the Order during this time, because Dumbledore was the only person who knew and really trusted him, and then he killed Dumbledore, so unless he told someone in the Order about their pact at some point, they'd have cut off ties with him. But maybe not? I don't know. Anyway, I rambled a bit here but I'm really looking forward to your writing of Snape in this story because I think he's such an important character in his duplicity, especially during that year.


I like that Luna is the one to suggest the DA - and it seems like it's just because she misses it and the camaraderie that it produced, and then the idea dies because they think one person has to be in charge of teaching the others. This really makes sense, especially that early on in the year when things are so new and no one would want to be putting themselves out there much - keeping your head down and blending in is the safe thing to do. So yeah, I'm really looking forward to seeing how this develops too as they need an outlet for their resistance.


Seamus kinda breaks my heart at the end there. It does seem very realistic that Neville wouldn't trust him as much as he trusts the people who fought with him in a battle at the Ministry in fifth year, the same year when Seamus was listening to rumours about Harry, it's like Seamus still has more to prove. But it's just the two of them alone in that room that used to be the five of them, and that's so lonely, especially when there's no trust there, and I can't blame Seamus for feeling bitter. I think trust will happen quickly though, when they realize how much they have to stick together in order to just survive in what the school has become.


Wonderful chapter. Your writing is flawless as ever. ♥

Author's Response:

See, Kristin, you spoil me with these reviews. Though, the good news is that they inspire me to write more so there is more chance of me actually getting around to finishing this story, so that's a good thing. I'm glad you like Snape here because while my own interpretation of him is fairly solid, not everyone agrees with it and he's one person you often get accused of having out of character. Luna is another and I do struggle with her, so thank you for liking how I'm doing her so far. I agree that it feels right that Luna would be the one to suggest re-forming the DA - as she said in HBP, "I liked the DA. It was like having friends." And that just breaks my heart, but it really does give me a good base for her characterisation.

Oh, and I agree that Snape wouldn't be in touch wiht anyone in the Order (other than, you know, McGonagall ... but I mean on Order business). As far as they are concerned he has burnt his bridges and revealed his true colours. So fitting for one as secretive as him to have yet another layer to peel off before you get to the real man inside. (Severus Snape, the onion. Now there's a mental image I won't forget in a hurry!!)

Seamus breaks my heart as well, but really, in this situation, you wouldn't know who to trust and who not to, would you? I'm going to try to make that even more stark as the story goes on, but using Seamus here is a really good way of making the point, I thought. Glad you agreed!

Thanks again for the review, I really loved it. :)

cheers Mel

Name: poppunkpadfoot (Signed) · Date: 03 Dec 2017 06:33 PM · starstarstarstarstar [Report This]
Story:Year of the snake Chapter: Journey into the unknown

Hi Mel!


I really enjoyed this first chapter a lot. I've actually never read a fic like this before that's set at Hogwarts during Deathly Hallows, and I think you did an excellent job of developing and communicating the atmosphere that would've permeated Platform 9 3/4 and the train. It makes total sense for everyone to be very wary and for there to be a lot of tension, especially within that small group in the carriage. I liked that you had them confronting each other and didn't shy away from there being a tense atmosphere, it wouldn't have been so realistic if they'd just been all super friendly and having a casual catch-up about their summers, lol.


One thing I thought was really interesting that I had never given any thought to before was Neville's mixed feelings towards Mad-Eye Moody (or, well, fake Mad-Eye Moody). I'd really never considered how Barty-as-Mad-Eye won Neville's trust and the repercussions it must have had on Neville to find out that he was actually a Death Eater - and not only that, but one of the Death Eaters who'd tortured his parents. I can't even imagine how that would feel and I appreciated that you included that.


On a related note, I thought everybody was perfectly characterized. I think you have a really good handle on every single one of these characters. In a story like this that takes place during canon and everything, I think that's really crucial and it makes me want to keep reading for sure.


Great work!



Author's Response:

Kayla! Thanks so much for having a look at this J

I’m told there are a few stories set at Hogwarts during DH but to be honest I haven’t read any of them. I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing but at least I’m not going to be influenced by any stereotypes or tropes that might apply. But, like you, it’s not the first thing I look for when I’m looking for something to read ,but that’s quite possibly because if I’m looking at fanfiction I probably want to find something a little more light hearted, which this certainly isn’t.

I’m glad you liked the little aside about Moody and Barty Crouch junior. I imagine Neville would have some very conflicting emotions about Crouch for exactly the reasons you state – trying to reconcile the man he knew with the man who tortured his parents would be difficult for anyone. Thanks for picking up on that. J

And thanks for the comment about characterisation. As I’ve said to others, if you keep reading and think I go off target with any of them, please let me know. I find Luna in particular very hard to get right, and I’m never totally sure that my reading of Ginny or Neville is the same as everyone else’s. So I’m feeling somewhat placated, but also a little nervous about coming chapters.


Cheers Mel

Name: nott theodore (Signed) · Date: 03 Dec 2017 05:11 PM · [Report This]
Story:Year of the snake Chapter: Journey into the unknown

Hi Mel!  I believe I heard a little rumour that you might be working on continuing this story, so maybe this is some encouragement for you?


I honestly shouldn't be surprised by now when I read your writing, because it's always wonderful, but your characterisation here was so strong and convincing - I loved your portrayal of Neville especially, and I can't wait to read more about him.  He's one of my favourite characters in the series, and we know that this year is the year that he really comes into his own, so I can't wait to read more about how his character develops through the year, and how he grows into the leader that he never thought he'd be.


I loved the opening scene with Neville's gran - we've always known that she's been hard on him, and he's found it difficult to live up to her expectations, but it's clear even here that the relationship is changing and everything he's done to this point - the DA, the Ministry, fighting the Death Eaters that Draco let into Hogwarts - has changed her opinion of him, and it was sweet to see that moment.


We see Harry and the others on the run in the books, but I'm excited to read more about what it's like for the people who've gone back to Hogwarts.  Neville is really astute about what people really mean, and it's clear - even amongst friends - that they're not all being open and honest with each other.  The suspicion there is horrible, because it's suddenly an atmosphere of not even being able to be sure that you can trust the people in your dormitory, let alone anyone else.  And on top of that, half of their friends aren't returning and the school is going to be run by Death Eaters.


I thought you captured the tone and feelings really well here, especially the nerves at the thought of going back to a Hogwarts when they have no idea what to expect; I'm looking forward to reading more of this!


Sian :)

Author's Response:

Aw, Sian, what a lovely review! Thanks so much for checking this story out .. and I can always do with encouragement of this sort. Even if it does take me forever to write responses (sorry!!!!). Honestly, I have so many reviews I need to respond to now, but given this is a WIP and I don’t like posting chapters if I haven’t responded to all existing reviews, I thought I’d better give it priority.

You know, I had trouble with characterisation in this story so I’d be interested to see how you think I go as we get further along. Luna in particular is tricky to get right, I think, but I’m also never sure that my version of, say, Neville or Ginny or even Seamus is on target. I mean, I have my way of interpreting them, but who’s to say whether it’s what JKR envisaged? Sigh. These are questions that can never really be answered, but yeah, I’m always keen to know if you think I’m veering off course with that sort of thing.

A few people have picked up on the suspicion, and I think that’s really important. The number of people who said about the first war that you never knew who you could trust means it’s something I think would have reappeared in the second war. The use of the Imperius Curse and also people who reported others just so they wouldn’t be targeted themselves is something I think we can’t ignore. So thanks for that.

Oh, and Augusta Longbottom is a gem of a character. I really enjoy the bits where she makes an appearance. I hope you will too. J


Cheers Mel

Submit a Review