Hi Nim! I’m *finally* here with that review you requested ages ago – sorry it’s taken me so long!
Also first I love that this is for the Women Supporting Women challenge, I am now even more excited to read this.
I am super impressed with the tone throughout this first chapter – that’s the thing that stands out to me the most. Especially when you contrast the warm, cheerful memories Ginny has of Hogwarts with the way things currently are, it really hits hard how different things are and how Hogwarts just feels so strange to her now, seeing empty seats and Death Eaters.
As much as I love how the first paragraph sets the scene, that first sentence feels a little clumsy to me; there’s nothing grammatically wrong with it, but it just flows a bit awkwardly. I think this is because the action of the sentence bookends a lengthy description of the great hall that kind of loses where the sentence is going. I do like the descriptions of the hall and think they contribute a lot, but this might be something to consider re-wording.
That said, it is otherwise a stunning paragraph. I especially like the description of chill and tenseness in the air like a guillotine.
Ginny and Demelza’s friendship makes me so happy. I can easily see them being good friends because IIRC Demelza was on the Quidditch team so they have that in common, and there is a lot of of warmth in their friendship that is so satisfying especially when the rest of the chapter is full of how much is missing from Hogwarts now. I’m super looking forward to reading more about this friendship.
I also really love your characterization of Ginny (of everyone really, but Ginny is the stand-out here). She puts up a brave face, especially for the first years, and even around her acquaintances, and she seems as strong as she always is in the books. But when she’s alone or around her best friends she lets her guard down and has a lot of worries and feelings, and I liked that you showed this side to her that wasn’t as apparent in the books. I love that you’re writing this from her POV. So far, this is exactly how I imagine Ginny, everything from the flares of temper when Malfoy is being an arrogant bully, to the moments of acting strong when feeling unsteady, to the way she does an inventory of who’s there and who is missing, like a mother hen -- your portrayal of her fits so well with canon and with my personal headcanon!
As for the flow – it works perfectly. I like the way you’ve paced it slowly in the beginning to fully introduce the how profoundly different things are in all these little ways, and allowed the details to speak for themselves.
Omg the description of Snape’s voice like silk with a cold steel edge – PERFECT. I’ve never seen it described quite like that but I love this so much.
One small thing I think could use a look over:
“I knew some wouldn’t turn up but this --”
“Yeah, it feels empty in here,” Demelza replied.
I think this is mostly a punctuation thing, but it kind of reads as if Demelza is interrupting Ginny. You might want to mention that Ginny stops speaking mid-sentence, or like end her sentence with an ellipsis or something if this isn’t the case.
Overall I thought this was very cohesive and is a wonderful hook into your story. You’d mentioned in your areas of concern that you were interested in whether or not this story fits with canon events, and I definitely think it does – this feels like exactly what I’d expect of Hogwarts during that time, it’s very believable, and your characterizations are wonderful.
I love stories set in this era with POV other than Harry’s, and am excited to read more of this. Thanks for requesting!
So virtually running into you on Joey's discord server reminded me that I've been meaning to check this out for ages, and I'm so so glad I did because it is just wonderful. I don't even know where to start.
Your writing, in addition to being beautiful, has this absorbing, compelling quality. I was hooked from the first line of the first chapter. You also managed to sustain this sinister, urgent tone throughout. Even supposedly ordinary events were tinged with darkness (the dearth of students at the Sorting, the fact that members of different Houses are discouraged from sitting together, etc.). But underlying it all there's this sense of spunk and hope. . .Anyway, I have no idea how you do it, but wow.
All the characterization in this story is amazing -- Demelza and Luna are particular highlights -- but I'm most impressed by how you've written Ginny: she's so fierce and tough and loving, and I can't help but adore and root for her. I absolutely love that you're exploring the after-effects of her possession by Tom Riddle. It's such a dark and fascinating twist, but it also makes so much sense, especially given the way Voldemort's rise is supposed to affect Harry.
Miscellaneous thoughts. I love this line: "Her friend inched forward and dropped under the bedcovers, wrapping her arms around Ginny, her breath a shudder against the redhead's neck." The image of someone's breath as a shudder is just so apt. I love the idea of Ginny and Luna exploring the world together and pursuing the elusive Crumple-Horned Snorkack -- if you write that story I will definitely read it, and I don't think I would be the only one. All of Carrow'd dialogue is so brutal and chilling. Ginny is looking after Crookshanks! Is this in the book? If so I've forgotten -- anyway, it should be.
I cannot wait to see where this goes -- the relationships, the prospect of the DA reforming, and continued struggle with the staff. . .I'll be keeping an eye out for chapter 3. Amazing job!
*clicking next chapter asap*
My love for Luna will never die and you capture her character so well!The line "sometimes we all have to make difficult choices" is such a vague Luna-thing to say. "Secert army of heliopaths" - sure luna ;) and omg, Ginny wanting to explore the world with her? What a team they would make. Something I sincerely admire about this story is the focus on friendship instead of romance, which is highly underappreciated in fanfic, but you can't go through the tough stages in life without your friends.
The way you explained Ginny's worries was heart-wrenching - it's hard to imagine going through something like that, constantly worried about the safety of your family and friends. Maybe tomorrow at breakfast you'll get owl post that mum is dead - how awful. And what - Ginny hearing Tom's voice? omg, I've almost forgotten she has first-hand experience dealing with voldi. This is truly unnerving. And of course Ginny would volunteer - I'm getting Katniss vibes from her tbh :D Carrow was truly terrifying - honestly the way he ran his wand through her hair gave me chills. He's a very believable villian and you manage to make me scared of him, yikes.
And YES NEVILLE!!! "One way or another they were going to take the school back or go down fighting." OMG! what an ending line. Ginny + Neville + Luna = new golden trio.
Overall, your writing is excellent throughout - I can imagine every scene very clearly in my head - I almost felt like I was in that classroom with Ginny. I expected to like this story after reading purgatory - but I had no clue I would love it this much! I can't wait for the next chapter!!
On a very unrelated side-note: have you watched Skins? (based on the chapter image) - bc it's like my favorite teen drama of all time :D
Hey Nim - here for our swap :D
This was an amazing first chapter! I've never actually read the events of the last book from another POV, so I'm super excited for this. You're writing was exceptionally smooth, everything had a nice flow with just the right balance between dialogue, descriptions and inner thoughts (!!)
I always find it interesting to see what people wil make of Ginny - since she's not all that present in the books, people usually have different interpretations. And I love this your version of her! She shows glimpses of her temper, but isn't nearly as snarky as could be, and I'm here for it! Demelza was a nice addition - Ginny needs a bestie, and I'm looking forward to seeing more of her. And I REALLY REALLY hope they'll continue DA (they will right?) - and I want more Neville (love him so much)
I also think you captured Snape's authoritive voice very well, I could cleary hear the silk, the nonchalance, the stressed words etc. what an excellent job! I'm overall just really excited to see Hogwarts in this final year before the end of the war - I can imagine it willl turn a little dark with the new teachers - what kind of punishment will Ginny get? In any case, she'll see it through. This deserves all the stars I'm giving it, and you really have me drawn in - I'm not letting go now ^^
Btw. your chapter image is just lovely, I can't stress that enough
Hi, I'm here for your (somewhat late) review!
Like others, I haven't read many fics from this period, and I love how you're setting this up. It flows nicely for the most part, and the discriptions are a definite strong suit. You can feel the tension in the Great Hall, the worry for each other and the new students.
Ginny is a character I think is fairly interesting to explore, although I sadly have not read many fics focused on her or written any, which is a tragedy that really should be remedied. She's a character that seems soft and strong all at once. Definitely a younger sister from a household with a large number of older brothers to contend with...with Fred and George likely counting as a good five all on their own. I've no doubt she's learnt things from her years in that family position that might help her in the year to come.
Your OC seems interesting and also seems a caring friend. Ginny must trust her a lot to tell her so much sensitive information. Demelza seems like a pretty steady person to have around, it seems so far, which is good in such dark times. It's also interesting that she's the one who,suggested Dumbledore's Army to be lead by Ginny and/or Neville.
I feel so bad for those first years. Almost especially the Slytherins like that boy that got sorted. They're right. To have this as your first memory must be horrible. Even the Gryffindor student's first sight of their Common Room was ruined by tragedy. How many of them will make and lose friends before the year is through, or be tortured at the hands of the Carrows? That's another pov I'd like to read about one day. I think it'd be an interesting perspective to explore.
As a big Luna lover I liked how you've already referenced her, leading me to hope she'll be quite involved. I'm interested in seeing how you write her.
I do have a few constructive critiques, and some might be style choices.
My first is the amount of commas and long sentences. Every once and a while a long one sentence paragraph is fine, but you had a lot of them pretty close together. You could try breaking them up a bit.
My second critique is that a few snatches of dialogue seemed a bit unnatural. For example, when the conversation about Dean arose, I keot thinking about how calm and matterafact Seamus sounded, even though they're best friends. There were a few areas from the conversation in the great hall as well. I'm not sure what felt off to me about those, however. Just that something about them caught my attention. Maybe I could try reading over those again at a later date when it's not past midnight to give more insight into it.
Anyway, a rather solid first chapter you have here. Congrats on being the first in my review thread, and feel free to come back again!
Hey! I'm here for our swap, and this is... shamefully, and somehow, my first time visiting your AP.
Holy wow, I love your writing. It's so descriptive but it flows so easily, painting a clear picture in my head. Ginny's one of my favorite characters, so I'm super excited to see that this fic features her and her time at Hogwarts during the Carrows reign. I can't imagine how terrifying it must be, but if Ginny's already scared, then it's got to be bad.
What I love about this first chapter is that it really grips you. The tone is the perfect set up where something's not quite right, even though it's the first day back at Hogwarts. I loved your inclusion of the world outside; I feel like it often gets forgotten in fic, but you've done a great job of weaving it in and telling us just how bad it is in the Wizarding world all while not being distracted from the plot.
Snape is, as expected, his usual self. I want to smack him, but I'd settle for Ginny hexing him or something later on. Also, I don't think I'd ever want to have a class with the Carrows because just from your descriptions alone, they're terrifying. I can't imagine what they have in store for the students.
What I love most of all about this is that Ginny is wonderfully Ginny. She's strong but she's human. She has faith in Harry, is giving the first years a brave face, but when the curtains fall, she cries. I'm glad Demelza is there; she seems like a great friend, one that Ginny's going to need. It's interesting that it's her idea to start up the DA again, that Ginny and Neville are Prefects. I really liked that detail.
Also, I highkey ship Seamus and Ginny, so of course I was excited to see them briefly in this chapter. I can easily see them becoming closer during this time, with Harry and Dean away, and I can't imagine how terrifying it is, knowing your best friend is on the run.
I just want to hug them all, really. ALSO, before I forget, I also thought it spoke true to Ginny's character that she was more, uh, polite? to Daphne because she didn't know her yet. But when it came to Malfoy, she was ready to hex him, and tbh, I don't blame her one bit. If I was in her place, I probably would too.
So before this review gets too rambly, this was an excellet opening chapter! A good amount of intrigue and some great character moments. Your writing is gorgeous, and we should definitely do swaps again in the near future!
Hey Nim! :) I loved reading the first chapter of this so I'm back for the second! :)
I love your Ginny, I did say that last time, right? I liked her in the last chapter but I lovelovelove so much where you're taking her in this one. It's always been one of my headcanons that she never really recovered as well as people thought from the whole Tom incident - that the after-effects lingered much longer than people thought they did, because she didn't want them to know that they were still there - and so I love that you've included it too (though I loved your Ginny story about her possession as well, so that's no real surprise :P) It's something which is so rarely addressed in fic and isn't really addressed in the books, so I love how you're dealing with it here. It feels so creepy and so dangerous - Tom's maliciousness and manipulativeness with Ginny's hot-headedness is a bad combination! - and it's so subtly done. I love as well how Ginny's aware of it - that she's had therapy to deal with it, but that it doesn't quite go away. There's no cure - and it's so true of all mental illnesses.
Your Amycus Carrow is perfect: creepy, leering, violently sadistic, revelling in the power he has over children and the thought of breaking them down. it's horrible and it's uncomfortable and it should be. You've set up such a battle between the DA and Amycus and I'm almost excited (though nervous) to see where you go with it: what happens to Seamus? When does Neville stop trying to keep his head down? What will Amycus 'teach' them in Dark Arts lessons? What happens to the teachers - do the Carrows try to hurt them too?
I loved the little mentions of the canon things: the trace on Voldemort's name, the Prophet becoming his propaganda rag (more so than it was before, at least), Xeno Lovegood's resistance with The Quibbler. It's so lovely and it really fleshes out the world beyond Hogwarts.
One of the things I loved most about this chapter, though (Ginny aside) is the way you show that sometimes, not everyone can be brave. That standing up for things when it's dangerous can be difficult and frightening - that it's hard to do. Necessary and good, yes, but hard. Poor Zoe Accrington, half-blood in Slytherin at a time when neither of those things will protect her from the other one, and Demelza, who worries about Ginny, who's so aware of the human cost of standing up to people like that - more so than Ginny and Seamus seem to be. Neither of them is cowardly - they're kids and they're scared and it adds this brilliantly human element - because, really, most of us would be a Demelza or a Zoe rather than a Ginny or a Seamus (though we all like to think we'd be a Ginny or a Seamus).
And the DA's reforming! Eeee so exciting! Is it too early to ask for moar please? :P
I'm here for review swap!
I'm really enjoyed this story so far. there is something about it which I find so realistic with the harry potter canon. I love missing moments stuff, it's really cool that you're covering this story from Ginny's point of view. I think that is rather different to other fics doing similar things.
I thought your dialogue during the scene in the dark arts class was fantastic, the characterisation of Carrow. It was so intense and you really captured that hate so perfectly which makes it so chilling. The scene is so powerful when they are first really getting the idea that under Carrows, they aren't safe.
Ginny has been badass here. gosh, her taking that curse was just so brave and it speaks a lot to her character straight away. I just love feisty Ginny and your ginny has it in buckets full!
"It'll be fun breaking you." this line just got to me! it is so raw and just predatory. It got to me.
I like the rest of the characters that you've brought in, you're judging quite a few different ones now especially with DA characters coming in but it doesn't feel too busy. I think you're doing a really good job as having a nice balance between different characters. I'm a big fan of Seamus so very pleased that he has turned up. I can't wait to see more of him. I also love that you're making more out of Demelza's character and giving her a meaty role within the story. She is basically a blank state to work with. So I can't wait to see what else you'll do with her character.
I thought you played Luna really well. I find Luna a really tough character get right. I like what you did with her here though. There is really seriousness to her in this chapter but she hasn't lost her whimsical nature though. I want her to get back her sparkly trainers though!
I can't wait to see DA in action again! great job!
- Abbi xo
I'm back! :D
First, I love the friendship between Ginny and Demelza. They seem so close and so supportive of each other and it's such a joy to read! I love it a lot!
Second, Luna is awesome! All the references to Nargles and Heliopaths... they cracked me up! And I needed it so much with how gloomy everything that's happening is... and the news Luna shared at breakfast... (btw, I love the idea that the taboo on Voldemort's name wasn't a new idea... it explains why everyone was so terrified of his name in the first place. Such a smart idea, and such an interesting thought!)
It's scary how the Cruciatus Curse is already becoming common practice, and it's only the first day of lesson. Ginny was incredibly brave, sacrificing herself that way for the rest of the class, whatever second purposes she might have had. I really, really loved the focus you put on how much her experience with the diary is affecting her, even after all this time, and that her mind would play that sort of tricks on her, like Tom is still living inside her head. It's brilliant (the idea and the way you write it, I mean... the thing in itself is creepy...)
Seamus... ah, he's such a Gryffindor! I'm simultaneously proud of him and frustrated at him for being so reckless. Neville and Ginny are right, they need to be more prudent. But they also need to fight back, and I'm so proud of them all for wanting to bring the DA back (I know I said it already in the last review, I'm just excited to see them actually making plans and contacting people from the other houses already).
One last thing I have to say... I felt so bad for the Slytherin girl, for being used like that. Not all Slytherins are bad, and I'm sure many of them would be just as terrified and depressed as the other students (not all of them, sure, but some of them definitely would, and I'm glad you sort of showed it...)
Also, another thing I absolutely need to mention is how creepy Amycus was. "Ha! Well, let's see what you're made of then, Weasley," said Carrow, leaning towards her, running the tip of his wand through her loose hair. Ginny cringed as his hot breath hit her face. This bit made me shiver, so creepy!
I'm sure there are a thousand things more I should mention, but I can't think of them right now... either way, this was incredible! Your writing is stunning and your characters are so well rounded already and I just love how you are digging in such a difficult time period. It's all so well done!
Wonderful job, dear! Hope you'll update soon! And when you do, stop by my review thread again, because I want more of this!
Lots of love,
Hello, Nim! Here I am with the first of your requested reviews! :)
I haven't read many stories about the DA and life in Hogwarts during the Carrows' tyranny (nor have I ever dared touch it in my own writing), but I do find these stories so very interesting. And the way you start out here definitely does not disappoint!
First of all, your descriptions are stunning! The way you set the scene at the beginning, with the Great Hall... it was almost as if I were there. Also, the contrast you managed to create between the wonder of the place and the mood of the students and of Ginny was incredible. The Great Hall looks just as beautiful as it always had, and yet there is this sense of... grimness? Is that the right word? that is so perceivable through your writing.
One thing that put me off a little at first was the small exchange between Ginny and Demelza at the table, before the Sorting, when Ginny mentions the Death Eaters' teachers. I'm not sure if I was surprised by the tone, or by the fact that Ginny was even aware that Death Eaters would be on the staff... but of course I forgot that Ginny had been living in direct contact with the Order of the Phoenix all summer, so that makes sense.
Snape... I know he's only acting, but I can't help but feel disgusted with him... and I have no idea how I would react at the announcement that "Defence Against the Dark Arts" is now "Dark Arts". That's absolutely creepy. The Ministry has decided that the curriculum at Hogwarts is sorely lacking that's one way to put it, Severus...
I'm also extremely disgusted with Draco. How is he even still so bold, when his family has fallen in disgrace with Voldemort? But I guess that's an act, too. I still can't blame Ginny for wanting to hex him.
Thinking about all the Muggleborn first years... I'm glad McGonagall and the Order managed to get them to safety, but it's still horrible. And it's horrible to think about Dean and all the others who were forced to run (if they didn't get caught and killed or sent to Azkaban...)
I can't blame Ginny for breaking down in the dormitory, she's got so much on her mind and so much to deal with, and of course she's worried about Harry. I agree with Demelza, she's so incredibly strong... not that she has much choice... I've loved the conversation the two girls had, and I'm so glad Demelza suggested to bring the DA to life again! I know that Ginny, Neville and Luna will do so and that they will bring hope among the students, so I'm glad Demelza suggested it in the first place.
If it wasn't clear, I absolutely adored this first chapter! Such brilliant work! I'll move on to the second one now!
Lots of love and snowball hug,
Hi there! I'm back again for BvB... I couldn't stay away!
I really like how well you're juggling so many characters at once, not to mention keeping them all perfectly in-character. I love how Seamus was so impulsive - that's true to what we know of him - but in the interest of what was right. I love how he was defending the honor of his family and Dean; such a true Gryffindor! And Neville being the level-headed one makes complete sense. I think you wrote Luna really well, too; her dialogue was still very Luna-ish, but there was a serious in it that isn't typical of her, which just illustrates the gravity of their situation. The dynamics you've explored between Ginny and all these characters are wonderful, and I'm really looking forward to them all banding together!
The Dark Arts class was chilling and made my skin crawl. I really liked how you showed that even the Slytherins weren't off-limits when it came to the Carrows making a statement; it just shows how sadistic they really were. I feel like a lot of people imagine Slytherin didn't feel the effects of this new regime of Hogwarts, but I don't agree, so I loved this depiction despite how sad it was.
And yessss, exploration of Ginny still being haunted by her experience with the diary! That obviously had to have a huge impact on her, and I love how she's using that trauma as her motivation to keep fighting.
Favorite line: "Not even a Slytherin deserved to be left at the mercy of a Death Eater." This was beautiful. I refuse to believe that this year at Hogwarts was Everyone vs. The Slytherins, so I like this little glimmer of goodwill from a Gryffindor.
Excellent work, yet again! Keep going! :D <3
Hi there! I'm stopping by for BvB!
And I'm so, so glad I did. Thank you for requesting this specific story; stories that look at canonical events are my absolute favorite, and I especially love explorations of what was going on at Hogwarts while the trio was off Horcrux hunting. So basically, this is right up my alley! :D
Your first couple of paragraphs set the scene perfectly. I love the dark, ominous feel you've given Hogwarts, because I really can't imagine it being any other way during that time. I especially loved Ginny's reflection on how peaceful and excited she felt during previous years. The contrast makes me feel for her, and for all of the students at Hogwarts. (Especially those poor first years, as they haven't even had a chance to experience how wonderful the school can really be.)
The friendship between Demelza and Ginny is beautifully executed. It's obvious that they're close, and that's so important for Ginny considering half the people she cares about are on the run. I really liked the bit about Demelza and other girls being jealous of Ginny's relationship with Harry, and how she reconsidered how well she'd be able to handle it. It's easy for people to romanticize heroism, but the reality of our heroes is that the reason for their fame is often not so pleasant, and I'm glad Demelza recognized that.
There were lots of little details you sprinkled throughout this that I felt really grounded it. For example, I love the brief mention of Order members hiding Muggleborns who haven't started school yet or were to have started this year; that seems so fitting and realistic. The abundance of empty seats made me incredibly sad, but once again, it really helps set the tone of how much Hogwarts has changed.
Ginny's characterization is spot-on, too. She's obviously brave, as she's always been, and had nerves of steel to return to school when it's widely known how close she is to Harry. I really liked that she kept her temper in-check when it came to Draco Malfoy. Mind you, he deserved a curse or worse, but she'd have made things so much worse (and who knows who else!) had she acted upon that rage. The fact that she didn't act on it just showcased her survival instinct.
All in all, this is a brilliant start, and you've got a lot of potential for a compelling story. I'll definitely be back to read chapter 2 soon, and beyond!
Hello friend! I like where this is going! I always wondered what went on day-to-day at the school when there was so much focus on Harry. Very well written and the plot, though subtle for now, is a hook. Can't wait for more!
Hey there! I’m here for our swap!
Wow, this was excellent. Like seriously, it feels like it could be canon. A real look into life at Hogwarts during the 7th book when the Trio were on the run. Absolutely amazing work here.
I realy felt that dark feeling of despair that is hanging around the castle. Pointing out all the students who are missing, and small number of first years being brought in realy show that Voldemort is truly in charge at the moment. And Draco not even caring about taunting Ginny by mentioning the Dark Lord, in front of a carriage of Prefects and the Head Girl, goes to show how confident his side is that they’re winning. It’s all really chilling.
I like your take on Demelza. She seems to be a good friend to Ginny, and I’m glad that she’s there for her, and not jealous that Harry chose Ginny. I see her reasoning though. Harry is a lot of baggage. But, as Ginny said, the Weasleys are huge targets, too. So it didn’t really matter to her. But I love that it was Demelza’s idea to get the DA back up and running. That is incredibly brave, considering there are Death Eaters in the school.
Ginny is written so well here. I really love what you’ve done with her. She’s strong, like we see in canon, but she’s still human, like when we see her kind of fall apart at the end of the chapter. You’ve really got a great grasp of her character. I really enjoyed reading from her POV.
I really loved that The Order made sure to find out who the new Muggle born students were going to be, and made sure to get them into hiding, rather than being most likely killed if they tried to attend the school. I agree with Demelza, that is very hecked up, finding out about that world, then being told your lives are in danger. Poor things. :(
This was excellent, seriously. I’m going to have to read on, because I love the fics that focus on the school during that year we didn’t get to see. And like I said, already this just feels like it could be canon. I’m truly excited to see where you take it from here. Thank you so much for the swap! I’m glad I had the chance to find this gem of a story through it!
Love and hugs,
Let me start by saying how much you've improved in your artwork. OMG I LITERALLY THOUGHT IT WAS VANYA'S! YOU'VE BECOME SUPER GOOD!
and wow. I got goosebumps. I'm not idding. There are ripples of goosebumps going up and down my arm. You've written the fear of war really really well. The dread of what might pass before it happens and the feeling of having each fear realise slowly, with the appointment of the Carrows, the girl crying and the change of DADA to DA... Wow.. you've captured emotions really well. The progression of the story was amazing, for chapter one.
I can't wait to read more. I think I'm going to follow the story to the end. Keep making your own graphics ;)
I'm here to drop off a review for our review swap! I'm so excited to see that you've added a chapter to this. Sixth year fics are one of my absolute favorites, so I'm glad you plan on continuing this. I will definitely be here for reading it.
Alright. Where to start?
First, let me just say that your characterization of Ginny is spot on. You really captured her fierocity and bravery. It was very believable to who she was in canon. I could definitely see her volunteering to be tortured instead of allowing someone else to be.
I thought the bit about her hearing Tom's voice in her head was rather interesting. I don't know if I've read that before, but it's a really cool touch and makes a lot of sense after everything she's been through. I could definitely see stress exacerbating the situation.
I also really enjoyed how you mixed in all of the supporting characters. Even though most of them only show up briefly, you really get a sense of their characters from the interactions. Seamus, aww, he is so perfectly impulsive and brash. I also loved the details about McGonagall and Flitwick rebelling by sending potions for torture wounds, teaching strong defensive spells, and sneaking defensive books from the restricted section. I could definitely imagine them doing that.
You also nailed Carrow's accent and actions. blegh. What an awful person.
One thing that I really appreciated is how interesting you kept this. I mean, in essence, anyone who has read Harry Potter knows where this will inevitably go, but you keep how we're going to get there quite the mystery. I'll be curious to see what you do with this.
Really good work! Let me know when the next chapter is up so I can come check it out.
Hi Nim, here for our swap! Excited to get a chance to give you my thoughts on this chapter.
I just love the way you set the tone from the very start of the chapter, not only with the description of the deserted corridors, but with the depiction of Ginny’s recurring nightmares brought on by some of the trauma she’s already gone through. It’s scary to think that some of the worst is yet to come.
It’s really difficult to nail Luna’s specific voice, but you definitely accomplish just that in this first scene. She feels very much like herself in a way that I can’t really explain, but that is obvious when you see it.
I like that Xenophilius is able to get ahold of this information before it reaches the wider public, it ties in with the Quibbler’s reputation during the war of publishing good journalism about what was going on in the war.
Ginny’s so right to be glad Hermione is with them, since they’d never have been able to do literally anything without her.
The actual descriptions of her nightmares are gripping, especially ‘Bill and Fleur suspended, mid-dance’ - that is so, so frightening. Literally something out of a horror film.
I’m super excited to see her reach the conclusion that she’d fight within the school rather than waiting for anyone else to fix things. It’s just so nice to see her get to do things for herself, since she is more than capable.
Luna would TOTALLY keep her coin on her forever, there’s no doubt in my mind. I think in my headcanon she kept it, like, in her pocket at all times.
We’ve already discussed our ideas about Amycus Carrow, but to reiterate; your version of him is freaking AWESOME. The way he almost fetishizes magic is incredibly creepy and so in line with the way I picture him. I can just imagine him spouting off all that, justifying his own twisted beliefs to himself.
One of the best things you’ve done with this story is have the stress of this school year bring the voice of Tom, or what she believes to be his voice, back into her head. I feel that sort of thing doesn’t just go away, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone give her any lingering effects or even really mention it at all? Whatever the case, you’ve tapped into a great well of intrigue with that development.
I can’t believe Ginny volunteered, still. I literally can’t imagine doing that, but with the way you’ve written it I fully understand her thought process leading up to it. This year might be even harder on her than I expected from the beginning.
Oh my, I love love love the scene with Neville and Seamus. Not only because you made a little reference to my fic, but because your characterization of them is so good. We didn’t spend that much time with either of them by this time in the books, so you really can do what you will with how they might have been during this year and how they’d have reacted to everything. I like that your Seamus sees things as matters of honor and refuses to concede any ground, while Neville looks around him and asks himself what’s going to get them to the end of the school year.
It’s so fun to see them kind of getting the gang back together. This is only the build up, but it’s extremely compelling so far just to see what the school is like and what everyone is feeling about it. It’ll be really awesome to see how you approach getting the entire DA together again and what kind of organization they’ll turn out to be.
This Author’s Note!! These shoutouts will never not make my day.
Thank you for another excellent chapter, it was a pleasure to read, as always. I’ll be back as soon as there’s more!
Hello Nim, my love! <3
I'm finally here to start reading this fic because I just am so excited to see you getting so excited about writing this!! :)
I just want to say right off the bat that I am just so in love with the pretext for this fic. Because Deathly Hallows focuses on the Trio, we don't get to see anything (hardly) about Ginny and the rest of the gang at Hogwarts, so I am SO HAPPY you've decided to write this!! Also, I can already tell this is going to be a wonderful, deep character study of Ginny, which I didn't know I needed until now. Futhermore, this friendship between her and Demelza AND her and Luna? Perfect. Stunning. Wonderful. Now onto the actual plot because man do you jump right into it! The first chapter was a very nice way of setting things up and the tone for what I'm sure is going to be a phenomenal novella. Having Draco be Head Boy is an interesting choice and I'm VERY curious to see where you go with that considering his alliances + duties to Voldy in leu of his father. I also like how you have Daphne Greengrass as Head Girl -- clearly not a mistake to have both positions being held by Slytherins.
Something else that stuck out at me was the purposeful gaps of students you made sure to illustrate in various scenes, and how Ginny reacted to those missing/hiding that she knew of. Her breakdown about Dean being on the run was very sad but also so good because it gives her more depth than JK gave her from Harry's perspective in the books -- they dated for quite a while, so it's only fair she still care deeply for him, no matter how much she loves Harry. And then not only did you give her that relationship string to tether herself, but you additionally gave her haunting memories of when Tom Riddle was possessing her and the fear that instilled in her again to hear his voice. So carefully done, and yet still powerful. Because as soon as she realizes it's not actually him saying those things in her mind again, but rather her own dark thoughts, she refuses to let them win and chooses to fight back against them, showing her Gryffindor pride, bravery, and courage through her volunteering for the lesson.
The quiet strength you display in Neville, Seamus, Luna, and Demelza is unique to each person, but also still present in the ensemble scene, which you've written very well. Each person has their own voice, and each comes through clearly! I'm so excited to see how they do end up reviving the DA with the Galleons and such or if they go for a different communication method that the other students wouldn't know about. Honestly, I can't wait to see how you develop Neville's character throughout this story either because he really comes into his own in Deathly Hallows and his Gryffindor sorting since he's the one who really takes charge against Snape and the Carrows.
Anyway I'm done rambling now to say that I love this so much and I really want you to write more things like this soon (this first though of course) and I can't wait to see how things develop!! Also your writing is stunning and spectacular as always <3333
Hey there, Nim, dropping by for the BVB Tag! :) You know I love your writing but it's been practically years since I read any of your fic - which is, honestly, a shame. So I'm here! :)
So I've always loved stories about that seventh year at Hogwarts - with the DA, Neville and Ginny and Luna forming their own trio and fighting their own battles - and I'm so excited that you're writing your version of it because I know it's going to be incredible. And what a start! I love how tense it all feels: with Snape as Headmaster, with the new Death Eaters as teachers, the renaming of DADA to just the Dark Arts... Slytherins boisterously enjoying the new regime - well, for now, at least. There's this really clear division, between Slytherin and the rest, between the new first years and the rest of them, between Neville and Ginny and Luna and Crabbe, Goyle, Zabini. It makes it so clear that it's a war and that, whether you think you are or not, there are sides and how you act determines which one you've (seemingly) chosen.
It's so perfectly dark, so emotional: it's tense, it's nervous, it's afraid, and there's this strain of strength and a kind of loyal bravery through it, as well, which I love - war can bring out incredible qualities in people just as much as it can bring out terrible things and I love that in this chapter alone you kinda show both. Crabbe and Goyle intending to take advantage of the new regime, and Ginny and Neville who are intent on standing up to them. It's inspiring and terrifying at once, but I love that. It's exactly how a war story should feel, yk?
Your characters are so so good. I love how you write Ginny: she's her own, complex person. She's not brave all the time, she's level-headed enough to know how in danger she is, she's honest enough to admit that she's scared and in danger, she's still friends with Dean and still cares about him despite their breakup. I love her friendship with Demelza, too - I never thought about it before, but it makes perfect sense. They're the same year, they were both on the Quidditch team for a bit, both Chasers... and I love how genuine their friendship is. A lot of people forget about people outside the 'Silver Trio', so I really love that you've given Ginny a friend outside of Neville and Luna.
I'm so so excited to see where you take this. To see more of Ginny and Demelza's friendship, to see how the DA reform and what they get up to (beyond trying to steal the Sword of Gryffindor)... it's such a great start to a story and I'll definitely be back! :)
Hey Nim! Here for the magical menagerie :)
You know how much I love this story, but I’m here to tell you in greater depth! As you know, I’m working on a story that takes place in this time period right now, so I’m super neck deep in this stuff and can’t wait to see the separate ways we approach the same stretch of time!
Your writing from the beginning here is, as always, just impeccable. You get your exact thoughts across so well - I can almost feel the mechanism of your mind working as I read, placing these vivid images in my mind just as intended. I mean, ‘guillotine-like’ ?? I have literally never read that as a description and still, I understand JUST what you mean. I wish I could write like that. The first paragraph just places me in this state of mind where I am SO game for what’s to come of the events of this year. Give me all the tenseness in the world at this point.
Demelza and Ginny being friends is now my absolute incorruptible headcanon. I never thought about her before this story, but from now on they’re friends and I can’t unthink it.
I’m so interested in the direction you go with your Draco. He is one of the characters that I am so unclear on how to approach during this year. Like, other than the skirmish at Malfoy Manor, what was he up to during this entire school year? I have no clue and I just can’t wait to see what you do with him.
The bit where Ginny is just looking around the room trying to count familiar faces is particularly poignant. It says a lot about her character that she’s looking for ‘the boy she’d once bumped into in the corridor’ - she has a heart that would care for those that most people wouldn’t give much of a second thought.
Ginny’s ‘You should tell Neville that’ made me TEAR up. She knows about his confidence problems, I love her!! Her and Demelza’s friendship is really well written, I’m so happy to see her hanging out with someone! I just want to see her living life, I feel like I’ve barely read anything about her as a teen, but I know that I’m going to love seeing the ways she grows during the war. Your characterization is just perfect and your writing style is one of my favorites and I just cannot wait for more. CANNOT WAIT.
That End Note just made me so happy omg, I haven’t seen that before now thank you so much, such a pleasure to review you!!
Hey, Nim! Here for the Magical Menegerie 2019 reviews!
This, sigh, I actually don't know what to say. It's Dark, it's fabulous. I love how you're creating the story for Ginny in sixth year while Harry, Hermione and Ron are off just lollygagging around chasing down those Horcruxes. Now I only lightly touched on this is one of my own fics, but you've certainly done justice to it.
I like how Demelza and Ginny are good friends (and Luna, of course!) She needs them, for it is their Winston Churchill-like Darkest Hour. I can't even imagine anyone whould want to send their kids back to that school now with the Death Eaters in charge. The uncertainty of their safety just makes me crazy.
It's nice to see you've placed her and Neville as Prefects. (Not sure, was that in the books??) Two of the level headed Gryffindors (and we all saw how well Neville did in the end! Brave and Gryffindor-like).
I can't wait to see the continuation on this!
Hi Nim! Here for RvG and the Magical Menagerie!
I'm so excited to see that you've started this new story - this is a period that I don't read enough about but I always find it fascinating and I'm really looking forward to seeing your portrayal of this year at Hogwarts.
The opening of this chapter was beautiful - eerily beautiful, in fact. The description was so powerful and effective, and in just a few words you managed to conjure a really vivid picture of what the atmosphere in the Great Hall is like at the start of the year. The "guillotine-like" imagery was so chilling, but it really captured how dark Hogwarts feels at this moment in time and reminds us that death truly is just around the corner for so many people, and by the end of the year it'll even be there, in the school. Nobody here is safe now.
I loved seeing Demelza get a part in this story. She's a character who I've always found so intriguing and we don't see enough of her - I'm really glad that Ginny has someone to talk to and be there for her this year when she has everything else to deal with, especially when there are so few people who've actually returned to Hogwarts. I don't remember if Demelza was part of the original DA, but it'll be great to see them starting up again and trying to defend people.
The snatches of the scenes with the Slytherins, and particularly with Draco, were so effective. Of course they're going to be arrogant at this point in the year - even if they have misgivings, they're not going to outwardly act on them, and Draco is strutting around the school like he owns it. I'm looking forward to seeing what sort of role Daphne will have in this story, too - she seemed more reserved than Draco and more reluctant to put any emphasis on blood status... she could be a helpful ally to have, even if she's only someone who turns a blind eye when the DA are trying to resist the new regime.
The detail that the Order had managed to get hold of a list of the students and had been working to make sure that the Muggle-born students were safe was so clever. I love the idea that they'd work so hard to protect people, even when their own protections are crumbling and they're in so much danger themselves. That was a brilliant detail and it helped to build up this picture so well.
I'm really looking forward to the next chapter of this!
I love missing moments from the HP series and am loving ones where we see what Hogwarts is like during the time when Harry, Ron and Hermione are on the run. I really thought you captured Ginny's concern about her family perfectly. It's like she knows they have a target on their backs and there's nothing any of them can do about it. It must be awful.
I liked that you brought Demelza into this, I don't think I've read much about her to be honest so it was refreshing to get a new face there. I liked their friendship, I thought it was really genuine, especially when she brought chocolate along with a shoulder to cry on, she seems like a really good friend. I thought it was interesting that she said she fancied Harry at one point, I'm sure she wasn't the only one! It showed the differences when Demelza admitted she probably wouldn't have been able to stand with Harry throughout it all though, so I really loved that you put that in there. It is also clear just how much Ginny cares for Harry and it makes it seem all the more heartbreaking that she doesn't know where he is at all. I'd love to read more about this, the girls seem like they'd really be there for each other throughout the reformed DA. Great job! Tasha xxx
For Menagerie and RvG - Team Red.
So I thought the opening to this story was so effective because everyone knows that Hogwarts is warm and happy but showing that change in the castle is so important to the atmosphere. I can't imagine how Hogwarts had changed but I thought this section was a very vivid depiction of the situation.
I don't write a lot of 2nd war fics but I always really admire a well written Ginny. I think your Ginny is really well characterise because she seems really cool but you've written this lovely vulnerable side to her. It must be really difficult for her to be in this situation especially without Harry but you covered that well in her inner monologue.
I really like the you've brought in Demelza into the story as another friend for Ginny. I think they make such natural friends in this story. I love to see more of Demelza as there aren't a lot of stories about her. I feel like she has a lot to offer as a character if written well. Ginny's right hand woman :P I'm hoping we're going to see some kick ass girl power.
I never thought about what they might do about the new muggleborns coming into Hogwarts. You couldn't really ask muggleborns into a world which they would be in great danger so I'm happy that The Order are taking care of it. I can't remember if it was mentioned in canon but I like it.
I look forward to see where you're taking this piece because this chapter seems very promising!
- Abbi xo
For: Magical Menagerie