Pixileanin here, Ao3 and ffnet. So excited to be a part of these archives!
For ScorpiusRose17's Sirius Black Challenge | Amazingly perfect banner by arrietty.@tda
What could possibly go wrong?
The answer was simple; everything.
CTF/CTF Jailbreak Review
No, of course nothing could go wrong with a plan that Sirius though up, lol! And of course, the potential for everything to go wrong is high, BECAUSE it’s Sirius’ plan. I love the use of language to convey Sirius’ anticipation for the moment that I’m sure looks so great in his head. The physical sensations of excitement are well penned here.
Wow, that was indeed a close call in Honeydukes, I’m glad the boys are rethinking their plans. I would hate to think what would have happened if Remus had injured that poor woman, or worse. It was good she had that trap door to hide down, which made things easier for them to distract him. But it’s just like them to brush it off if no one got hurt. I’d have voted for the forest as well. It’s interesting that Peter is afraid of that option. I laughed when he said, “Werewolves”, but a part of me cringed that he seemed so thick about what he was saying. And uh oh! They’ve been overheard!
Your buildup to this moment was good. These boys have no care in the world discussing their plans until someone sneaks up on them. I had assumed they were in a secure environment by the way they were talking, and apparently, so did they. In effect, the surprise at the end of the chapter worked out great for me. I did not see that coming.
The student of Slytherin House were born with everything: wealth, prestige and pure wizarding blood. Now it's Severus Snape's job to help them find the one thing they don't have: careers.
Written for ToujoursPadfoot’s Gift-It Challenge and dedicated to the incomparable Roots in Water!
Banner by the amazing Carousel. at TDA
Hey hey, if it feels like Christmas... roll with it. :P
On the sixth day of Christmas...
...and people ask ME where I get my cracked up ideas from...
This fic was sheer brilliance from start to finish. I'm afraid I had to stop reading several times, just to get a chance to breathe, I was laughing so hard. Everything you wrote about Snape was great, from the potential mildewey socks to sulking in the corner during the faculty meeting.
"The entire house was constructed on a self-perpetuating foundation of privilege, arrogance and a powerful aversion to any activity that bore a resemblance to honest work."
Ahh, Slytherins. How we love to loathe them.
Crabbe was precious. "Mr. Crabbe, you don't have a sister." Just awesome. Pansy's single-minded career path was an over-the-top hopeless case. Even if Snape had cared to help her out, I'm not sure it would have done much good.
Draco's secret desire and Snape's thoughts on taking the opportunity to humiliate his father was utterly brilliant. I can totally see Draco doing that type of work and loving every minute (and Snape cashing in on the side... the perfect setup!).
I was pretty sure you couldn't top that if you tried, but then you included Daphne, who had it all together until Snape pointed it out to her. "My bad" had me in stitches. And Mr. Zambini stole the show. I'm not going to quote any lines from that section because then I'd have to pick one and they were all equally brilliant.
I can easily picture Snape gritting his teeth through all of these interviews and scribbling those snarky comments in the margins of his notes, if only to keep sane.
I don't know what you put in your pumpkin juice the day you wrote this, but whatever it was, you may want to save the recipe.
Many years after the Battle of Hogwarts, follow Harry, Ron and Hermione as they lead four generations of the Potter and Weasley family in an action-packed battle for survival against a shadowy puppet master who threatens to destroy the world that they worked so hard to build.
Banner by the amazing Carnal Spiral @ TDA
You know, I couldn't let these go to waste. Let's keep them for posterity, shall we?
On the third day of Christmas...
Don't shoot me. I can never resist a theme.
I love how you gave Harry that strange Headmaster mystique that Professor Dumbledore held over his students. No one knew his personal past and most everyone was afraid to ask. I love how you made Harry and his friends so essential in the reshaping of Wizard society for the future and how their contributions became widely accepted and improved the quality of life for so many. I love how you kept the canon trio so completely in character throughout and were still able to move them through their respective arcs so that they grew and thrived and lived and died. There was so much about this story to love.
I think my favorite line has to be from the Trainman: "Sir is no way to address an old friend." Indeed.
Lady Tenabra earned her right as Best Villain in this year's Dobbys. Congratulations, both for the award and the ability to finish such a monumental, epic, monster novel. We don't get many memorable villains around here that make such an impact as she did. We don't get many completed stories that are as well-crafted or many authors who are as bold, tenacious and dedicated as you were with this story either. So thank you for that.
What a fantastic story you have created! I think the thing I admire the most about the placement of time that you chose is that I can pretend in my head that all the other post-war Harry Potter stories that I've enjoyed could have still happened in this universe and Harry Potter would have lived his last days in relative quiet (I suppose that to Harry Potter, being surrounded by kids in boarding school day in and day out for sixty years would be relatively quiet after what he'd been through) and died a happy man.
Fantastic ending. Fantastic story.
Yes, yes my friend. I remember it well.
On the second day of Christmas...
Pretzel sticks. Some people cry after an emotional story. I eat. Nom nom.
It was heartwarming to see Harry make peace with Ginny's memory at last. You gave him the closure he was so desperately searching for all this time, though you certainly made him go through a heck of a lot to get there.
"The elf was humming softly to himself, and Harry recognized the melody from a song that Kreacher used to mutter when he thought that nobody else could hear."
These are the details that I love that you have sprinkled throughout the story that truly made it an engaging read. We all try to keep the readers energetically engaged with the characters and you have managed to do so with not only the main characters, but the supporting cast as well. This was a monumental feat, given how many characters you juggled through this epic adventure. Every chapter, I came away with a solid sense of character. Every single one. And I was astounded every single time how you personalized every character's experiences in this tale.
I think your strongest section had to be Fleur's message to the younger generation. Though at times it felt odd, flipping back and forth to the younger students and their unsullied perspective on things, you made it work without seeming disjointed or abrupt. Having Fleur give them a post-war debriefing of sorts was a perfect way to have them connect more fully to the older generation.
The therapist session with Percy couldn't have been any more perfect. We got a good look at what it felt like to be possessed in the last chapter, and all through the story, the characters have been talking about the way that memories could be tampered with and replaced, (and we got to see Esme dealing with it a bit when she tried to navigate through the tampered memory, which was cool) but now you are showing us exactly what it did to Percy and how it can be overcome, even though he has a long road ahead of him. Audrey has played such a small part in this story, but her willingness to sit through the sessions with Percy is a testament to her character and tells us what we need to know about her.
Draco and Astoria had a charming resolution in their own, "Draco/Astoria in Dan's head canon" way (I would have used hyphens for all of that, but I'm saving the superfluous punctuation for the final chapter of Peony vs. the world). You showed us how much they appreciate each other and how they hold each other up through the tough times.
The way that you allowed The Longbottoms to react to Harry's news, even in their small, limited way was such a lovely touch and I loved the shout out to Lily and Snape in the Headmaster's office! We'd all like to think they had some sort of amicable resolution in the end. Neville's addition was perfect here.
As for Rose's future... Alright, I have to admit that I put down the pretzels and needed a tissue during Ron's heart-to-heart with Scorpius. I only feel better because I was legitimately able to use hyphens just now. It was a very touching scene. You picked a good moment to end on that thread. It was just enough to give us hope for her recovery without making a whole 'nother epic novel about it. But if the mood strikes you to dealve into a YA, angsty, nightmare-focused recovery story between Rose and Octavia and how Scorpius deals with all of that, I wouldn't mind reading it.
I love that Susan Bones has a place on the faculty, and Harry's speech was fabulous. Watch out, students, you have a real DADA teacher now!
What can I say after all that that hasn't already been said? Absolutely nothing.
Ah, here we are.
On the first day of Christmas...
Hello there, fellow HPFF author! I am finally here for the rest of the story. Sorry it took so long to come back to it, but I now have my old computer back and can actually post a review, so let's get to it.
I loved the way that Percy came across at the start of this scene. That opening paragraph just grabbed my attention and held fast. I especially liked the "Percy Weasley was most keenly aware of the last point" segue that fully planted us into his POV. That was expertly done, particularly when you left us dangling in the middle of the fight scene, locked away with him in his own mind.
Hermione's impatience and her coexisting thoughts of clarity were an engaging shift. It let us know exactly what was at stake without letting us see it, heightening the anxiety of the characters involved, and I really liked that.
"Don't you ever die?"
"More often than I'd like."
I believe I was thinking that exact sentiment when Harry showed up again in the middle of the scene. And I really loved this:
"Something clicked inside Percy's mind - the mind inside of his mind-"
And also the point at which Percy is willing to sacrifice himself to get rid of Arabella. I think that ties in really well with Harry's self-sacrificing tendencies and what Ginny did for Octavia... but I think I'm getting ahead of myself here. Really, I don't know how you so cleanly balanced the narrative with the explanation of how Octavia was protected, why Arabella's magic stopped working, how Percy managed to break free from her control and why Harry was able to face her so darned calmly through it all, well, except for that last bit where Herodonthus was trying to grapple for control, but that small slip of control couldn't be helped, what with the evil incarnate spirit floating around the room looking for a new host and all. It was very fitting for Draco to have that last struggle with the vengeance monster and his granddaughter chide him into choosing to "be good". Coupled with your stunning clarity during the battle, I believe the three-way "group hug" pushes you into the category of "literary genius".
And lastly, I have to point out this:
"I said stop, Potter!"
Like that's gonna happen. Pfft!
You really did an excellent job of tying up those plot threads with this chapter. Sure, I still had questions after this, but it felt complete as a story and I would have been satisfied if it had ended right here. But of course there are a few more scenes that I am dying to read, and I know you included them in the next chapter. You are so very accommodating!
You have created a most astounding and brilliant chapter. (And by the way, I love the banner!)
Oh yes, another one!
I loved the appearance of the Trainman, and how he punched the tickets with "a pair of shiny, metal nippers". That was really cool! You've inserted a lot of symbolism into this scene, which I also loved, but I won't go 'round talking about all of it, or this whole review will be chapter quotes and we can't have that now.
I loved seeing snippets of other characters through Ginny's eyes as they came and went while she waited, especially Neville. That was when I knew her wait wasn't going to be much longer.
You had a moment of delay in the scene where everything hung around Ginny and Harry, and then the crash into reality took over. You wrote that moment so convincingly that I think I held my breath a little.
You really did a great job with this. Everything fell into place, it wasn't sappy or overdone, Harry's conscience was healed and he could move forward. And I loved the way you portrayed Ginny here. There were some honestly touching moments in this scene which made it a pleasure to read. Thanks for giving them the moment that Harry had been craving for four years.
And that little touch about the cloak and the Trainman was awesome!
Because we remember...
Why am I nervous about reading this chapter? Could it be because you might kill off yet another beloved character? Could it be because you have no qualms about ripping the hearts out of your characters and leaving them to bleed to death on the field of battle? No, No. That can't be it. YOU would never do anything like that...
Oh, of course you would. (Latent emotional reaction to your story is over now.) I'll shut up and read.
I'd really like to throttle Hermione. They're in a time-sensitive and potentially life-threatening position and she's arguing over who is going to stay behind and work on the spells. It makes sense in a way that she would have some pent up frustrations over what had recently happened to her, but she is obviously the one who has to stay behind. And what do the men do to convince her of it? Rock, paper, scissors?? Seriously. How do you come up with this stuff?? Funny AND unexpected!
I am continuously amazed by the appearance of your NextGen characterizations. They are simply a grand contrast to... everything else in the story, almost like you are trying to write two different stories in one. I think I've said it before, but the whole mood changes when they come on the scene. It's interesting how Scorpius is struggling with his feelings about his father here, and still craves the attention he never fully got from him. It's nice that you have him stil caring about his father's safety, even if it's roundabout and indirect.
I love how you put a twist on the end of this chapter, by having Harry toss the "ratty old thing" to Percy and giving him some fuel to possibly break through the hold that Arabella has on him.
And then whaaa...? Cliffhanger?? Seriously? You're going to MAKE me read the next chapter, aren't you?
Here we are!
Fury. This chapter was aptly named.
There were so many charged moments in this chapter. My head is spinning so fast that it's hard to sort them all out and comment on each of them specifically. I came away with a breathless, heart-wrenching feeling, knowing that deep down, Harry will half-regret what he did. Or maybe not?
Everything, from the haze of Harry's thoughts in the beginning to the resolve he had to end it, going it alone, was incredibly well-paced and deliberate.
I loved the unlikely and unexpected ally he had in Draco. Draco was all business, and rightly so. I think that's the best and only reaction that Harry would have dealt with seriously.
"Lightning erupted from his wand again and the air screamed in protest. He opened his heart and emptied everything into the curse. The shield charms of his remaining attackers were pierced like tissue. For one deadly instant, three lives were joined on the points of jagged, blue streaks of plasma. Then it was over."
The Legilimens portion was absolutely spectacular. Harry ripped through Nott's mind in such a fast-forward, ruthless way and when he was done, there was nothing left. I could actually visualize the pictures Harry saw, flashing in his view, frantically flipping through the memories like... like a flip-book, I guess. You wrote this very much in the way that I suspect Legilimens works. I always assumed that if the caster wasn't careful, his "victim" could be irreparably damaged by an invasion of the mind. And the emotion that you infused into Harry's actions was crazy. I mean, he was half-crazed, but it was also crazy-good.
Hermione's revelation was a surprise to me. I think it helped that Harry wasn't the only one with secret thoughts about Ginny's death. It was beautiful to see the three of them coming together again.
I'm ready to see some Tenabra action. I'm sure it's coming up somewhere in the next few chapters. Though, I'm terrified for Octavia. She's been lucky so far. I only hope her luck will hold long enough for her rescuers to get her out of that cave.
This first line says it all.
"I'm a sentimental man," Seamus suddenly blurted out, "and I don' wanna be cryin' over none of you today. So be careful!"
I so much prefer this. Such a great contrast to Harry's brooding. Thank you! But it had to be said. They're going into dangerous territory and the potential for disaster is high.
I love how you add details to the scenes like Harry grabbing the Sorting Hat before he leaves the Headmaster's office. You must have an awful lot of foresight to set things up from scene to scene to scene. My imagination is trying to figure out when and how (and if) we'll be seeing that hat again.
The news about what's going down in the Great Hall is quite disturbing, but at the same time, I was relieved that Professor Astor was taken care of. You've had so many things happen in the last few chapters that I had completely forgotten about her stuffed in that closet.
"One cannot slay a man with fresh produce and kippers." The Bloody Baron has a good idea. And those were some particularly well-turned insults. The ghosts were really fun to read. You gave them some great lines!
I loved the moment when Dennis gets courage. I think he gets what is happening and is ready to step up. I was going to be angry with Harry for locking up the young people in the Headmaster's office, but fortunately, they figured things out for themselves and saved him.
You finally gave Tennant his moment to gloat over Harry. That must have been so gratifying for him. It was almost funny though, because you couldn't possibly have him prevail over Harry Potter and his family. Not now, when they are so close! I read that whole scene while waiting for him to get smacked.
I tell you what; I would be one lousy wand duelist, what with having to remember the names of spells every time I had to cast one. I wonder how wizards train for the obvious reflexive actions they have to develop. You did a great job with the crazy in the halls and then in the Great Hall. The action was just superb here. It's so hard to track all the movements and portray them in a believable way while keeping the reader inside the scene. You kept everyone moving while raising the stakes to an unbelievably high level. Really well done!
And then Neville is gone! *shakes fist* For shame! I know, it's war. You just had to make everyone *feel* the loss, didn't you? But this can't possibly be the final showdown, because it's at Hogwarts for goodness' sake - and Tenabra hasn't shown up and there are more pieces that need fitting.
It's a good thing I'm several chapters behind. That way I don't have to wait to see what's going on next. :)
Here we are again.
Uh oh. Little girls with words in their heads saying dangerous and suspicious things. That can't be good. At least Octavia seems bright enough not to fall for it too quickly. I hope she wakes up from her nap even more suspicious than before. I love that she holds a grudge against Arabella and wonders why Percy is so smitten with her.
I had forgotten that Arabella was Wilkinson's assistant. Silly me. That makes a ton of sense now. I must be really tired or something. That last line, "it is time for the healing to begin" sounded so wrong coming from Percy at that moment. He's being controlled by a monster. There's no healing. The only thing coming after this is more death. I'm right, aren't I?
Thank you, Neville. A thousand cheers for beating up the Boy Who Broods! I know Harry needed his moment, and you wrote him a beautiful scene to grieve and give Esme a last goodbye, but he's such a diva. It's good you had someone literally knock some sense into him. I agree wholeheartedly. Neville does what he must. Now if only you could have used four different types of dragons, a blast ended skrewt, an unforgivable... oh wait. That was something else entirely. :P
Interesting developments at the castle. Nick is finally helpful too! I guess he'll come through in a pinch after all. The young people seem to be on the verge of hatching a plan. Will they succeed? That was totally a rhetorical question. But you knew that already.
Must. Read. More.
Yes, and there are more.
"Either way, Hogwarts Castle with its dank, cold hallways and whining, self-important children would soon be a distant memory."
I hope that moment comes soon. This man Tennant has stood on my nerves for too long.
Every time I see "Dumbledore's Army" now, I can't keep a straight face. It's not you. Never mind. I have been momentarily sidetracked. Back to the story.
"Not quite as wide as she is tall," Draco replied dryly, "but the holidays are yet to come."
Ahh, I see your Draco has some good lines up his sleeve! How in-character! And poor Scorpius has to watch all of this? There will be nightmares to come, I assume. And Gamp goes down.
I loved all the fighting and Hermione battling with her dragon, but what really got me was the flash of white hair streaking across the warehouse. It's the little things.
Rose's condition really made my heart ache. I knew she was going to be in a bad state, but the description you gave, both of her and the reactions of the people around her were so vivid, it hurt.
Plot-wise, the way that Rose's recovery led into Hermione's revelations about her condition was excellently handled. I wondered what you were going to do with that. Connections, connections.
The way that you handled Hermione's "healing" was really good too. I really questioned as I was reading that section if she was going to make it, but she had the last reserve of strength to pull through. I also appreciated how you baited us with the return of both Rose and Octavia, and then pulled the rug out from under us again. The imagery of Hermione holding out her arms and the hug never coming was brilliant. So close to victory! But that's alright. That means the story isn't over yet. Though I think that kid will need therapy later.
And then, after the emotional rollercoaster ride, we get the revelation of Lady Tenabra and how she'd been manipulating Percy the whole time. I had only half-suspected that, and you managed to throw me off about the time that she helped Percy address the Wizengamot. She was there the whole time! Argh!
Poor Esme! She fought the good fight and had the opportunity to face the woman who made the fight personal. So that's something. But I can only imagine what that will do to Harry's psyche. Evil of you!
If I had to complain about something, I guess it would be the whining in the first part by the people who showed up to fight and didn't get to participate. I found their presences and their attitudes irritatingly unnecessary. You can ignore my opinion though. It just might be my unreasonable bias against NextGen characters. :P
"What the bloody hell was that, Malfoy?" he demanded, propelling himself off of the bed.
"Leverage," Draco replied tersely.
This was such a perfect exchange. I am awed. Seriously. Ron's trying to make sense of what just happened and chooses to lash out at the one person in the room who won't let anyone knock him around. I love how you've juxtaposed Draco's character with the rest of the "good guys". The contrast is fantastic.
"... and she'd have to be married to Audrey..." George added under his breath, earning him a glare from Molly.
Even now, he makes jokes. Well, that clinches it. Tenabra's not gonna turn into Percy after that revelation.
You gave Harry a touching moment in the middle of it all. I thank you for that. It was nice that everyone understood that he needed that.
And you brought Dennis back! Honestly, I have no idea how you manage to keep all these characters' story arcs straight. I have a world of trouble doing that, even with a small cast. I love the inclusion of Peeves while Dennis tries to run for it. Nasty ghostie!
"Trousers." Ah hahaha! So funny, even in the middle of war.
Seeing the next scene through Octavia's eyes was a great choice. I love seeing all the different perspectives, because everyone has their own story to tell. I found it interesting, the way Octavia's instincts told her what was going on, and I think you did a great job with her thoughts and voice. Then the magic doesn't work and Octavia gets more time. Thank goodness! I have no clue why, but I'm sure it will be revealed later.
The pacing was really good in this chapter. I was surprised to reach the end, thinking it was going to be longer for some reason. That's when I know the flow is good, when I can't believe I've gotten to the end.
You know how annoying it is to find a story where the last few chapters have no reviews? I am sympathetic to the feeling, believe me.
I am relieved that Ron found the vials of sleeping draught and was able to pick up on Hermione's deception. It's a good thing you have a large cast of characters, or Hermione would have overpowered Harry and then where would we be?
I enjoyed the intensity of the scene, with all the emotions running high, Ron on fumes from lack of sleep and Harry stepping into the middle of everything. Their experience with Horcruxes gave them the clue they needed to figure things out for the short-term. I really liked how you connected that.
Tennant continues to shine as a beacon of indifference and self-centeredness.
Loved what you did with Luna and Hermione. I am sad that JKR didn't give Luna more page time. It would have been interesting to see her more developed and know what goes on inside that head of hers.
The scene with Goyle continued to ramp up the intensity from the first scene. You really went all out to show us how powerful that book can be and the repercussions when someone uses it. Egads! No wonder Tenabra is such a beast!
The flow of this chapter impressed me the most. You continue to amaze and surprise!
Ah, yes. This is where this belongs.
It's nice to have a heads-up warning, but why are you apologizing for the darkness? The word "blood" is in the story title. That sets up all kinds of expectations... or at least it did for me.
Rose's torture had an eerie quality to it; that she tried to stay strong for her daughter in the midst of it only terrified me more. I half-expected them to bring her daughter into the room, which would have been unbearable. Putting Octavia in her mind was probably the only way to keep Rose sane.
And then the stark contrast: "Does your generation ever stop whining?"
But that's where the levity (if you could call it that) ends.
Secret entrance! *bounces up and down* I love those! Though this looks strange and dangerous and... oh my. I am intrigued by Draco's remembrance of his father "dabbling in the Dark Arts". The way you show him relive a past he is so desperate to forget, one that he hasn't ever mentioned to his son is really heartbreaking. Scorpius gets to see a different side to both of his parents here and it seems that he's finally realizing what a privileged childhood he and his contemporaries really had. I'm sure he will think differently about his parents and their generation from now on.
Esme's breakdown was palpable. She wanted so badly to save Katerina, and now she knows that isn't possible. Looks like her fight with Tenabra just got personal.
Oh, and that last line from Rose was incredibly chilling. Very dark. Very well-done. I hope Gamp gets discovered soon, or this could go very wrong very quickly.
Ready, set, go!
I like the reference to the dragon in this first scene. It works well as an embodiment of Hermione's condition and colors her mood. In the previous chapter, it was more of a distraction to me to read about the dragon while Hermione was still discovering what had happened to her. Now that she has put it in the context of the book, it makes sense. And poor Ron, having to deal with that without an explanation. I had hoped that she could muddle through with an explanation, but where would the drama be in that?
I had nearly forgotten that Susan was in the room with Hermione while all this was going on. I suppose that she slept through most of it. That was a powerful scene, with lots of emotional moments. I only hope Hermione will be able to pull out of the darkness before it's too late.
Interesting dynamics between the Malfoys and the Potters, even when they have a common goal to work towards. I must admit that it was entirely in character for Draco to drag Scorpius into his nefarious dealings.
I really liked what you did in the scene with the Order of the Phoenix, how you brought all the generations together to hash out what to do next. I think you did a phenomenal job of showing how each character reacted to the news from all sides.
Aaaand... where did all the words go?
I feel like this chapter flew by; there were so many issues that got brought up in little snippets here and there. Pieces are starting to come together in a big way. The only thing I can do now is read on to see what happens next.
I wasn't kidding either. :)
You weren't kidding when you said this was a dark chapter. Everyone is getting their hands dirty!
"Since none of her followers knew about the small room concealed in the rafters and nobody aside from her followers knew the location of the warehouse, she hadn't bothered with any strong magical protections."
I had to read that twice. Maybe it was the second "followers" so close to the first. I'm not usually bothered by things like this. It must be because I'm in revision mode right now. :)
"Rosier was a pathetic little worm of a man, clinging to his last name and the blood running through his veins as though they somehow made up for the fact that he led a life devoid of meaning or distinction."
I wanted to read this twice, and once more with feeling. Awesome!
I often wonder, in this fandom, how authors feel about naming the magic in their fics. Is it something people do because it's expected? Does using the name of the charm make it cleaner than describing the effects of the magic? Just wondering what your take was on this.
I loved the way you hinted at George's dealings being less-than legitimate, with the curious boxes in the storage facility. So funny, and rings so true for George to push the limits. Also, the interaction between Harry and Esme was telling.
"So you actually believe that there's going to be a vote of some sort?"
Oh, poor Percy! I agree with the guy who talked about owls leaving the owlery, which was a fantastic line. And though it surprised me in that scene specifically, I was wondering when they were going to come after him. Arabela seemed so helpful, and then she suggests this calming technique that he is so eager to learn; I am becoming afraid for him.
Hermione's revelations are indeed dark. I understand her motivations and her need, but I'm not sure she would have performed the magic without first reading through the next few pages. But I quibble. Likely, she would have understood more and still made the same decision to move forward. Her clumsy, frantic desperation was really intense, and I felt sorry for her. I almost would have preferred to feel it from within her, rather than watching her go through it.
And Harry is foiled again, in a big way. I'm interested to see how Ron and Hermione deal with each other's anger when they see each other again. Could be explosive...
There's always distraction around. Even now.
Back for another chapter, finally! Sorry it took so long. There's this thing called "distraction" that pretty much rules my life these days.
Ron is chilling in this first scene. It seems that he took Hermione's instructions to heart. I can see how he would be pushed to act like that under the circumstances. But t's like watching a good friend reach the end of his rope and all you can do is hope that he's not going to let go.
Rose's interrogation had me laughing out loud. I can totally see her saying those preposterous things, just to get a rise out of her captors. Unfortunately, her snark wasn't able to help her against the unknown intruders. Gosh, I sure hope that Octavia snuck off somewhere safe before all that happened! Jade seems like a sympathetic character, though I don't trust her. I don't trust any of the Ministry people right now, with all the unknowns floating around.
""As far as I'm concerned, you can take every memory I have from the past two weeks," Terry responded grimly. "I'd sleep better.""
Poor Terry! What did he ever do to you to give him that kind of punishment? I thought it was fitting that Hermione had lots of things to keep her distracted while Harry and the rest went to check out where Octavia and Rose had been.
Seriously? Scorpius dueled Ron while proposing to Rose? *rolls over* Typical NextGen stunt. I am always happily surprised at the blatant mood change when you write these younger characters. Very daytime drama... not that I watch daytime drama... it's just the whole feel of the scene changes when they come on the screen. I find these scene/mood changes refreshingly light compared to the Golden Trio characters and that Tenabra woman, who, I'm assuming, is never going to get light and fluffy, no matter how good a mood she gets into.
Another fine chapter!
My mom actually told me that I was a very well behaved child, until I started public school...
"Rose had been a very well-behaved child... at least until she met Scorpius."
THAT was the most brilliant characterization of Rose and Scorpius ever! What a precocious little girl Octavia is. You're doing a great job of capturing the attitude and self-awareness that brilliant children possess. Unfortunately, the little geniuses also think they're nigh indestructible too and their parents have to stay two (sometimes three) steps ahead of them to keep them under control and no, I'm not talking from experience here at all. *motherly eyeroll*
At least you left a clue for Arthur and Molly that Octavia had been taken. I liked the POV switch. I could almost hear the silence, except for the crickets as Arthur came out to poke around.
I really like the twist you took during Tenabra's speech about why Voldemort was ultimately defeated. It wasn't much of a pep talk, more like a warning of how they were all going to end up if they didn't succeed... very, very twisted. I liked it! (Not that I'm twisted and dark or anything.. I wrote Weasleys, you know.)
Loved that Terry is on the inside of the operation and spying on Tenabra. I did not see that coming at all. I also like how you're showing us that he finds her place unexpectedly easy to get into. Makes me thing that the master villain might have some exploitable weaknesses after all. He's taking some big, yet necessary risks. Gosh, I hope he's not going to end up like Rowle. *is worried*
And it's about time that Hermione knocks some reason into Harry. I loved Susan's applause, and I'm assuming that she'd be the one slapping people around if she were able. Eventually, they're going to have to stop planning and start acting. Might as well be now. Hmm... I wonder if Harry will suffer a flashback of Hermione's outburst when he sees the cover of "Journey Into the Depths of a Dark and Angry Soul".
Still, the snowglobes... ah, my heart!
Aww, snowglobes! They will always have a special place in fiction for me. It's good to see that I'm not the only one that uses them.
Hugo's scene was appropriately tense, with the waiting and the arrival of Security and his thoughts about Rose. You did an excellent job building the anticipation and worry.
Charlene reminds me of Sister Mary Loquacious from the Chattering Order of St. Beryl from "Good Omens". Except Charlene eventually gives them useful information, so she has one up on Sister Mary.
""You didn't cast the spell, did you?" Ron asked quietly.
"Nope. I reckon she's confused enough as it is.""
Witch Weekly puzzles too. Awesome! Besides the little things, I also appreciated the forward-rushing momentum of the scenes. There's nothing like a mad ambulance chase to get the blood pumping, especially when Ron's driving. Good thing he's learned a few things over the years.
Lots of things happened here and your action swooped by really fast, which was great. I think my favorite little touch in the chase was when Ron cushioned the Stupefied Ministry people. I'm sure none of them are really bad too, they're just doing what they're told.
I'm glad Harry didn't have the opportunity to do his crazy plan thingy. It would have ended badly. I liked that even in her weakened state, Susan was able to set Harry straight about his leadership skills. It's reasonable that he doesn't want to get involved on a higher level, but sometimes you have to step up and just do it.
Great action-filled chapter!
Here we are!
Elf ward - interesting idea. The free elves who work there obviously harbor some residual bitterness. The different attitudes between the free and non-free elves are also interesting. It's fabulous how you managed to insert that bit of social commentary into your story.
The first paragraph in Dennis' scene reminded me of something I always have to tell myself when writing: always follow the action. Your description of Dennis scraping himself up and berating himself for his arrogance was perfect and pulled me right into the scene. I'm not sure why it hit me there. You set scenes so well, and do it consistently, seemingly without effort. Maybe it's because I've been having a bit of trouble with this issue lately... it's nice to be reminded what a scene opener is supposed to look like. :)
Muggle Studies is suspended?? Ack! This gets worse and worse. Ahh, a witness to what Tennant is up to! I hope Dennis finds the right person to tell. *bites fingernails with worry* And Rowle's progeny is downright unbearable alright.
More developments... more complications... more story!
Yes, yes, there's more where that came from!
"They seemed like children, although at her age, many people did."
I like this Susan. Have I said that before? I can't remember, but I really like her. I had forgotten if Terry Boot had appeared in the story before, but this was a good intro/reminder. Too bad about Susan's coffee though. I guess something has to be sacrificed for the greater good. You had her so bogged down in the muck, but then she got to DO something about it. That probably made her week right there, letting her take all her frustrations out on her so-called superiors. (If only normal people got the chance to do that every once in a while. I hear it clears the head.) It was quite fortuitous that she ran into Al in the atrium. I think you contrasted Al and Hugo's inexperience well along-side Susan's seasoned reasoning. And you managed to add a bit of levity that only the NextGen characters could bring. That scene was packed with action! You didn't make it too easy on them AND you ended with a cliffhanger. Bravo!
"I loved your mother dearly, but she didn't have the financial sense that Merlin gave a drunken mountain troll. She lost it all, didn't she?"
Hello, Astoria. I'm glad you're back! Seeing Draco and Astoria again was a real treat. I liked how they interacted with each other, and Draco's fears about what Astoria would do when she found out about their situation. Goyle's note and Draco's reaction to it were entertaining as well. I suppose he's going to literally keep that in his back (or front) pocket for now and see if it becomes useful later. Very clever (or desperate) of him.
I found the line about Draco thinking that he and Astoria were from the same background interesting. I suppose from his point of view, he was thinking about both of them being from pureblood families. But really, his upbringing was much darker, so much of it was filled with dread and an overwhelming sense of helplessness, while I'm sure Astoria's home life was less so (since Voldemort didn't constantly show up for tea at her place and wreak havoc with her servants and such). It's interesting that you've chosen to highlight Draco's personality this way, that he has such strong emotional reactions to loosing things and people that it causes him to despair so. It makes sense. Having him paired with someone as pragmatic as Astoria was a great way to showcase this.
I also noticed that everyone seems to be nice to owls except for Draco. Explains why no one every writes him with a pet, doesn't it?
Great chapter, as always!
Here we go... *delivers review*
I feel like I have to say something about Ron and Hermione getting creative...
You always take us all the way into the scene, adding as much detail as you can possibly fit in. Seems to be a trend. It's great because we get to know your characters inside and out. I really appreciate how you've not only created a riveting plot with all kinds of twists and turns, but that you have also managed to fit in so many deeper character explorations, while still moving everything forward. That takes talent, and a lot of divided focus. (I would love to get a peek at your outlines to see how you keep everything straight) :)
Yikes! Goyle! And Nott!
And they actually discover something after the mess they made! Talk about making a scene interesting... I think you went out of your way on that one... in a good way, of course. With the writing, not with the content, because that was pure evil, but you know what I mean.
The extra sloppy spells to make everything unreadable later was a fine touch. The thought of Goyle looking up Draco is quite disturbing, seeing as Draco is trying to keep himself and his family out of it for as long as possible. Oh well. I guess nothing lasts forever.
The interplay you've set up between Harry and Esme in previous scenes had set the atmosphere for their "surveillance" very nicely. I actually didn't need much in the way of explanation at the start of that scene. The actions of the characters spoke for themselves there. I really liked how Harry picked up on Elena's exit and was able to track her after their confrontation with her father. And then the run in with Dauzat kept us hopping - I really felt bad for Harry when he was trying to get more information and then Esme gave it all away like that. Very rash, but it fits perfectly with her personality. And do I detect a bit of foreshadowing? I know you're not going to tell me. That's okay. I'll keep reading.
Oh and another twist with Arabela. Makes me wonder if we're ever going to see a reconciliation between Percy and his wife at this point. Audrey has been conspicuously absent so far.
You continue to surprise, entertain, and paint fascinating pictures of these characters.
Yes, there we go...
Harry and Esme in the train. That was awkward. At least it was easier to be honest without an audience this time. Though, it is sad that a witch as headstrong and capable as Esme hadn't been able to make peace with herself about what had happened between them after all these years. Given the ages of these characters, I think that was the only thing I missed, that she didn't have to necessarily forgive him, but that she might have eventually seen it for what it was and moved on, at least a little. I thought Harry's "explanation" was reasonable and I was relieved that Esme found her understanding.
George's decoy was great! I always knew he would have the perfect thing up his sleeve at any given moment. Always the prankster, even with the pass-phrase. Funny! The resulting meeting was interesting. I wondered who was going to show up. Molly is still fiercely protective, but her sons are more than full grown now. I'm glad they had the spine to speak their minds about the younger generation. They are right. When it comes down to it, no one is exempt from a full blown war. They're going to be involved whether they want to or not.
The scene with the lost memory was well done. If anything was going to get to Harry, it would be that. You described everything in vivid detail, right down to what was on the cake and the lights going out after the candle was lit. It was really quite a beautiful memory.
They way your plot meanders through all of these side characters is really quite something. It strings the story along, while giving you the opportunity to explore many facets of the wizarding world that we wouldn't ordinarily see if we were brought straight to the source of their problems.. You haven't yet covered squibs, and judging from the professor's reaction to the circumstance, I'm sure you have another story to tell about this sister they are going to see. And French things in general. And a little more about Esme.
Another fine chapter. And a great chapter title!
Bet you were wondering when these were going to show up...
"At the moment, he couldn't imagine how anyone could feel so calm. Being dead was probably a big help, he reckoned."
This was a great character moment for Harry. It showed us his anxiety and impatience, and also his sense of humor that permeated the books. Glad that his still has that! I also loved his thoughts on Ron and Hermione's scheming off to the side.
Harry's grief overlaid with the presence of Esme really brought out his inner conflict. I assumed that this would come into play eventually, and here it is.
I found the moment with Hermione and Esme necessary. Esme is a very straightforward character. She takes things at face value and I think that Hermione perceives that in her. Also, with the ages of these characters, it seems in line to expect them to be more direct with each other sooner rather than later.
Tenabra is at it again. I had suspected that Tennant was up to some kind of no good. You showcased quite effectively that to even consider him as Head Auror is laughable.
"The society pages of the Daily Prophet had recently linked Mrs. Zabini romantically to Ewan MacDougal, the elderly patriarch of the old, pure blood family. Hermione reckoned that she might as well use that information before he mysteriously turned up dead."
I love how you use little canon details to flesh out your story. Hermione certainly got into character at the Ministry. I'm sure the ill-fitting clothes helped a great deal. There is a reason that corseted supports went out of style. *nods*
It's great how these older wizards are adept at nonverbal spells. I love seeing them use their magic without bumbling around like they used to as inexperienced kids. Really great flourish with the Confundus charm.
And Susan to the rescue again. She's a smart one. You really held up the suspense in the Ministry section well. I wasn't sure they were going to make it back to the Gamp place...
Really good chapter here. Everything keeps moving along, faster even than before. When you juggle so many characters in one story, it can get complicated and fragmented, but you continue to glue the bits and pieces together into a cohesive whole. Very impressive!
Another review from that distant memory...
Interesting choice you made with the Gamp home. I always wondered what became of it, assuming that it was somehow still in the possession of some Slytherin out there. But the Wizarding Laws would say otherwise, I suppose.
I really liked how Harry pulled the plan together while they were hiding out. The conversation seemed really natural for the characters, like they were trying to figure it out in real time. That's difficult to make it come alive without seeming forced. Your skill as a writer came through in bright shiny colors here!
I loved Percy's attitude about the press conference and that he wanted to do something about it. Arabella's suggestion was quite a surprise to me! There you go again with the surprises. Nice one.
The scene with Al, Hugo and Teddy was a light reprieve, while showing how the events affected the rest of the family. It was good that Susan was there to set them straight about a few things. Things continue to churn and swirl.