Hey there melian! Here for March RvG!
I truly enjoy Neville Longbottom as a character, and I am always so in awe at his growth and development throughout the Potter series, so I am so intrigued at how you're going to characterize him and unfold this insane year at Hogwarts!
Neville's opening interaction with his grandmother is chilling. Saying those things out loud really makes them seem truer (even though it's the truth already) and highlights dire situation. I have the same sentiments as Augusta here: I want Neville to survive this year, too!
And the train ride to Hogwarts doesn't make things much better, either. With Dean and Harry and Ron gone, the Gryffindor boys dorm will be awfully quiet. I love how Ginny sticks to the story about Ron having spattergroit and how she gives truthful updates while she can. You write Neville's surprise and nervousness well... and his determination to get through this year.
Your characterization of the Hogwarts Crew is spot on, too. I can hear and see all of these characters in my head. You already have given them complex personalities and relationships with one another. There's looming hardship ahead. I wonder how they will be tested and how they will start to show their resistance. This has been a fantastic first chapter to this terrifying hear at Hogwarts. Good job!
Hi again - Here for March RvG - Team Red and apparently because I can't seem to stay away!
Oh I was so happy when Neville got the Disillusionment Charm easily and Malfoy couldn't! I loved that he was confident enough to rub is gently in his face too and although he recognised that he really should have been much more scared of him this year, he did it anyway. Go Neville!! Also, I did laugh when Neville noticed that Hermione always answers everything usually and now other people have a chance at answering the questions for once!
Malfoy wanting special treatment is hilarious really. The rest of the Death Eaters probably think it's a complete joke that Malfoy has the Dark Mark and is in Voldemort's inner circle, which of course, it is. There isn't much chance of the Carrows bowing down to him in the classroom I don't think. It must be quite a change of scene with him being back at school after being given such an important mission just a few months before.
I like that Neville is settling in to a leader role by suggesting Ginny do some detective work at the Slug Club party, he seems like quite a natural when people give him a little encouragement. It's a shame she didn't uncover anything too juicy though, I'd love to know what they're all gossiping about. Also, yay for Gryffindor getting the go ahead to reform Quidditch again!
Tasha :) xx
Me again - this story is so addictive!
I love how you have such distinctive voices for your characters. Carrow's voice is so easily distinguishable and I liked how you wrote it with the accent, like in the books. She really is quite creepy, so I think you got her characteristics down perfectly.
I felt a little sad when Neville remembered Dumbledore as he looked out over his tomb - it was a really moving moment and especially so because it wasn't a long, emotional monologue about how amazing he was. Just a simple "It's so hard to believe he's really gone," Neville said, as much to break the silence as anything else. I'm so glad that chat spurred Neville on to start the DA again though he was almost defiant about it - kind of what Harry was like.
I LOVED that there was a little bit of Neville in the Room of Requirement too after he set the room up, I thought that was a lovely touch and really gave Neville confidence that he could possibly do this. Oh, how obnoxious is Zacharias Smith? Ugh. It's so cool to see all these characters through someone else's eyes other than Harry's too.
I like how this is moving at such a fast pace. Already the grafitti has appeared and the Educational Decree has been reinstated, which will make meeting much, much harder, especially without the Marauders Map. It's like they're on the back foot before they've even started and it makes it so much more interesting. This was such a great chapter!
Tasha - March RvG - Team Red xxx
I'm so glad Quidditch is back - the school needs a little normality and it's such an important part of Hogwarts. It might even give the old DA lot a bit more hope and motivation to start things up again if everyone's feeling a little more positive. Snape's reaction to Ginny asking was very interesting and I'm quite surprised he caved so easily, but I guess he does just want a quiet life there.
And Ginny's already plotting to steal the Sword! I did wonder myself how they were going to get it to Harry too - but I liked Neville's suggestion that his Gran would help. Though I do have images of her attempting to take on Death Eaters herself with it! Can you imagine if Ginny did take it home with her - Mrs Weasley would have a coronary!
I liked the reintroduction to the DA members too, by bringing Hannah and Ernie into the conversation too - I wonder who else will be back? I can't wait to see them all in action again, though I imagine it'll be much harder to get together without the Marauders Map, so they'll have to be careful. Great job again!!
Tasha - for RvG March - team red xxx
Oh my gosh, this story is so, so good! I really love how you've written Neville to be a little wary of starting anything, because although he rose to the occasion in the final battle, he still is quite a cautious guy. It's a nice contrast to Ginny, who really doesn't seem all that bothered about the consequences as long as she's doing something worthwhile. I liked Neville's internal reaction to her smuggling Fred and George's products in - I agree with Neville too, I doubt very much that the Carrows would find her loophole acceptable!
The section on Orla was really interesting and something I'd never really thought about before. I know Voldemort made Hogwarts attendance compulsory and the Snatchers were rounding kids up, so it was a really interesting moment to see someone being brought in. Her parents in Azkaban too - it just seems all so sad. I'm really looking forward to seeing what this new look DA will look like with Neville and Ginny leading the charge. It seems like it's not just about learning new spells anymore, but preventative and healing spells might be important, especially if Madame Pomfrey isn't allowed to heal any of the kids. Great job!
Tasha - for RvG March - team red xxx
Did I just binge read all eight chapters? Why yes, yes I did.
I love the references you make to the books. They're great! Just in the right amount and woven in perfectly. The whole conversation about the rock cakes -- my goodness, I was chuckling. Hagrid's rock cakes were never a big part in the books. You've taken a small detail and included it into your story. I guess I just appreciate it. And you have Neville perfect: polite and trying to show that he likes them. And you have Neville surmising correctly about Harry's opinion of the rock cakes. Luna is so Luna. "Was he?" she asked, trying unsuccessfully to take a bite from her cake. "They're rather hard to eat, aren't they?" It's such a Luna thing to say!
And of course Luna would be amazing with unicorns!! I can totally picture her riding on one, her blonde hair flowing out behind her. And I can totally see Ginny being more hesitant.
Oh and you're writing of Hagrid is spot on! From "Are they? ... Maybe yeh've just got a bad one, Luna. Harry never said anythin'." To him asking Ginny what Harry's up to. In the books Hagrid would sometimes ask Harry something that he thought Harry knew/would be privy to. I know for sure that happened at least once, but I can't think of it off the top of my head.
I love your reference about James Potter and Sirius Black. I could TOTALLY see them sweet-talking some of the portraits. And especially the Fat Lady. Definitely. And now I'm so excited to see how Neville, Ginny, and Luna are going to get the portraits on their side. I can't wait. It's like all of Hogwarts will be opposing the Death Eaters. It's gonna be awesome!!!
Another thing I've realized about the books, thanks to your writing, is that Snape must have known a lot about their plans. Like when Ginny was in his office, and she saw the sword, and she thought, "hey, maybe we should steal that and give it to Harry." And Snape with his occlumency probably saw that thought?? Hmm. Interesting.
Alwynse. RvG March.
Normally I stay away from second war era fics, or at least enter in them with extreme caution. I'm a huge stickler for canon characterization, and I just think that writing the main and supporting cast from the books is very difficult. As a reader and writer, I want the characters to sound and feel like JKR is writing them. But obviously we're all not her, so we have to do the best we can. This all being said, I'm really impressed with your characterization. Neville feels ike Neville, Ginny feels like Ginny, and Seamus feels like Seamus. I think you've done really well.
What I also really like is that you've extrapolated from the books things that weren't expressed in the books and that I haven't thought of. (I like it when authors get me to reconsider or rethink or realize something in the books.) For example, I never stopped to think what it might be like for Neville to have Snape as headmaster. Neville was terrified of Snape! He hated potions because of it. Voldemort's reign aside, Snape must have made Neville's seventh year miserable just on principle! Which, then, makes his leadership and courage all the more admirable in that light!
And Seamus -- in the books the trio is shocked to see Seamus' injuries. I always thought because it was the extent of his injuries that made them react. Which is probably was a factor, yeah, but also what happened was that they were amazed by Seamus' transformation. He did have a transformation in OotP, from being against Harry, thinking he was a nutter, to supporting him and joining the DA. But by the end of DH, Seamus is totally on board. I'm looking forward to seeing that transformation in your story.
Another thing is that wow, it must have really been strange coming to Hogwarts and not having a lot of students. And when Neville and Seamus went up to their dorms, I think you wrote that well. It feels weird to them that the others are absent. And of course it would feel strange.
On the technical side, I appreciate you having Neville, Luna, and Ginny not trusting Seamus. That's an excellent way to add to conflict and tension -- having allies not trust each other. And I love how you didn't dilute Seamus' character. He's still Seamus. He wants Voldemort's downfall and he wants things to go back to how they were. But he's still skeptical, as when he doubts Neville about the indentity of the Carrows. I'm so so so glad he still is skeptical. For now, at least. I hope he truly gets on board. Right now, I have a hunch, that he supports the good guys because life was good before Voldemort and that he wants "things back the way they were." I hope by the end of the story, his character develops and that he fights because it's the right thing to do, not because it's the more comfortable side.
I'm really looking forward to reading this story. It feelsl ike there's going to be good conflict, and action, and drama and Neville being awesome :)
Alwynse. For RvG March.
Hi Melian! I’m here for March 2019 R v G (team R). And also because this story looks so interesting!
I want to start by saying that, as a parent, the idea of sending my child to Hogwarts during Voldemort’s reign is absolutely terrifying. I think it might be scarier than the Trio going around finding Horcruxes. And Neville’s story is so interesting that I’m excited to see it fleshed out.
You do a great job setting the mood right away by describing the scene at Kings Cross from Neville’s POV. There are fewer people there and he knows why. He knows that things are going to be hard this year, but he has to go to Hogwarts anyway and face them. His grandmother’s statement that she would like him to survive the year was chilling, but also sweet. I think that even though she’s overbearing, she still loves him and it’s nice to see that—even in a gruff way.
The next scene on the train is chilling too. These kids are still so young to know about all of the terrible things that are happening. They at least suspect about Burbage’s murder and they know now that Moody is dead. I feel bad for Seamus, it seems like it might be a harder year for him than even some of the others. He was in the D.A., so he’s going to be suspected by Snape and the Carrows. But he joined late and he doubted Harry Potter for part of the previous year, so the students won’t want to trust him either. That seems like a really tough spot to be in.
And I’m scared for Ginny too. Her dad and her brother are “trouble makers” and she’s not exactly complacent herself.
The final line “But I have a feeling we’re going to miss him [Dumbledore] much more before the year is out.” might be the most chilling line of all.
I’m really interested to see how you write this! I’ll be back for more soon.
I was right to be nervous to read about what the regime would be like at Hogwarts, because it's awful. Already we've seen an unforgivable curse performed on Seamus and it seems like he's going to be singled out. It seemed like it was nothing to them. When it's a child - I think that's part of what's shocking about it all, that these victims are just children. It's chilling really.
Neville's a really heartbreaking character to read about, because we know just how close he came to being Harry. His self-esteem issues are so relatable, but without feeling like he's moaning or feeling sorry for himself, it's just like he resigned himself to accepting things are the way they are. I really want to give him a big hug.
I thought separating the pure and half-bloods in the Muggle Studies class was really clever, because even though there are no muggle borns at the school, it's like they are making a point of alienating someone. It's like putting the hierarchy into practise. I did get a moment of glee when Carrow couldn't get the spell to work on the board, it's like there's a small amount of hope these people are just terrible wizards and the kids might actually be able to cope by knowing that.
I like the mentions that Neville wishes Harry was there to save the day. I wonder how long it will be before he realises that he can actually make a difference, just like Harry did. I love your Neville, and your take on this period of the story, I can't wait to devour more of this! Great job!
Tasha - for RvG - team red xxx
I've been meaning to carry on with this story after reading the first for Menagerie and here I am! I can't believe I stayed away for so long, because I loved this chapter.
Your writing is brilliant and I really liked getting inside Neville's head and seeing what he's feeling - it all felt very in character and natural. I liked the little hints to things from the past, like everyone still having their DA galleons, and Neville's crush on Ginny once, it was a nice touch.
Although this chapter only really spans an evening, it seems to be moving at a really good pace. I liked Neville and Seamus' chat at the end, where he admitted he was wrong again about the Prophet, it just seemed really organic, especially when he applied that Neville didn't really trust him. I never actually thought that it'd be just them two in the dorm - It seems actually quite lonely and I imagine that feeling will only carry on.
Snape's perfectly in character, not giving anything away, but still being his usual awful self. Although we generally know how the school year went while the trio were out, I'm almost nervous to read about it. I can't imagine what it would have been like to literally be locked in a school with Death Eaters.
I love missing moments from the series and what you've written just seems like exactly what would have happened, I can't wait to read more!
Tasha - for RvG - Team Red xx
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.
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.
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!
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
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
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
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.
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.
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?
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!
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.
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.
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.
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...
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!