Hey Vicki! I'm here for the EvS review battle! Go team Emerald, right?
Going to start out by saying that this was a pretty powerful slinging together of words. I love history, and you really drew it out here with Mairi's story. It depicted the hopelessness, the helplessness and just how those trials actually went.
I'm sure all of those accusers truly believed they were cursed. It's called bad luck, and they needed someone/something to blame. I've read a lot about the Salem witch trials, and it's just very eerie that even with close to 100 years passing between this event and Salem, just how hysterically simular in outcomes.
Oh how the simple herb remedies can bite you in the ankle! All Mairi wanted to do was help people and ease their sufferings! Instead, she got death for her efforts. She should have gone home to her brothers, and I'm glad they fought for her after death and received her possessions instead of her accusers.
I'm glad she wandered and found the castle. It was a place built for renewal and growth. Even as a ghost, she seemed to thirst for knowledge and went about learning. She even found herself a niche of her own to pray and reflect.
All in all, I found this chapter to be a great read, and very historical in reference. It was a sad point in history in Europe as well as the USA. And - I hope also that she's found herself back with her family.
Thanks for writing this story, Vicki!
Thank you so much for this nice review, Juls. I was worried that people would not read this story because it's a bit long and is set in a different era, without any of the familiar canon characters, so that's why I sort of made a special request for it. I wrote it to a prompt for a ghost story written in the first person, from the point of view of the ghost. We are told that ghosts lived at Hogwarts, but except for the four ghosts who were connected to the four houses, we never know anything about them, who they were, etc.
Researching the social conditions in Scotland at the time, and the medicinal herbs that grow there, and the laws concerning witchcraft there at that time -- it was all quite interesting. I found out that if a witch trial was not decided at the local level and was referred to the district level, the accused person almost always got off free. So I wondered if the Hepburns were aware of that and had orchestrated the lynch mob before the case could be tried at the district court. If so, they screwed themselves because killing her before she was convicted meant that they'd never get any of her property. Not too smart.
But the tide was turning, and by the 1700s there were still laws about witchcraft on the books, but they were laws against charlatans who tried to scam gullible people out of their money by pretending to have witchly powers to bring good luck or curse the person's enemies, for a fee, of course. No one was being tried for being a witch, just for being a con-man.
Thanks again. I'm glad you liked the story.