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Reviews For The Severed Souls

Name: Fantasium (Signed) · Date: 11/16/05 10:09 · For: Questions, Questions.

SQUEEE! *throws arms around Jan, then around Remus and Felicia* After this chapter, I shall die as a happy woman. I could just stop reading Severed Souls now, and rest assured that everything will turn out all right. Not that I will, of course, but I could! *does a little happy dance before settling down to review*

Right, I’ll restrain myself for a bit and start at the beginning.
Remus looked down at the scratched and stained table, wishing someone else could do all the lying and persuading for a change. - how suitable to start off with making me feel the usual sorrow for Mr Lupin. He has just failed to make Maeve stay at Hogwarts, and now he’s not doing so well in getting Harry to go back there. Plus, this time he’s not just doing this because he feels like he should, no, he’s also got Severus breathing down his neck. In a way, I come to think about Roderick in the last chapter, about how Remus is also expected to be a Mr Fix-it. When he gets angry with Harry it’s easy enough to understand why and it’s anger well justified even if some of it was due to frustration. What I found most interesting was Remus’ last line in the scene: “Use your head, not your heart!” - this could just as well have been spoken to Remus himself, by Severus. There’s nothing hypocritical about it though, nor does it feel like Remus has been affected by Severus’ ways. No, I guess what I’m looking at here are just different levels of maturity and logical thinking. Remus accuses Harry of acting like a young Sirius, which leads me not to think about the differences between Harry and Remus, but between Sirius and Severus. Such different men, yet in such similar situations. It’s an interesting thought, that Severus who actually did kill Dumbledore, has more people on his side than Sirius had, even though he was innocent. I keep waiting for someone to draw the parallel to Harry, but I suppose that if it happens, it will be at a well picked moment. :) I like the fact that Harry is not giving in, he’s perfectly in character, and as is Ron. *resists urge to roll eyes at Ron*

Detail picked up from the first scene:
Tom chose that moment to shuffle across. He had been inching ever closer to them in the hope of finding out what they were talking about but as soon as they noticed him they fell silent. - why, I wonder why? Is he just interested in any old gossip, or…?

Some truly delicious Maeve/Narcissa in this chapter. I don’t think I will ever get tired of reading the two of them together, with that dialogue. But although that is interesting, it gets truly exciting when the nightly visitor arrives. It’s such a typical mark of your excellent writing, how you don’t give his identity away at once, but hold back a little to make us wonder. The Jan-descriptions are there as well, as always: The beckoning chill of the heady night swirled in on robes that were black as the darkness they had just left. and Moving with all the grace and furtiveness of a night time hunter…
After Severus looks at Narcissa, I found this part to be worth an extra thought: He found it painful to tear his eyes away and look to the other woman on the opposite side of the room. - painful? Because he’s feeling sorry for her? Or because he remembers their past together, never mind what it was like?

And, the Severus/Maeve… *sighs* They are reason enough to cherish this chapter, from disagreements to understanding, from Severus’ threatening behaviour to their sparkling love. There is so much to appreciate with their interaction, and I can’t quote all of it. I’m just reminded of why, when people talk about their one-true-pairings, Mr and Mrs Snape always come to my mind.
Narcissa’s interruption had me making squeeign noises of protest, and I covered my eyes as if it were a film playing before my eyes – that is how alive and vivid all of your writing is, you know, it turns into detailed settings and real people in my mind. Narcissa is excellent in her distress, irrational and almost panicking she reminds me of some wild animal. I’m glad Maeve stopped her husband, and that she found strength in herself to care for Narcissa when she deserved it the least.

And then, *snogs*, my Roderick appears with his witty words and once-again so merry personality to aid Maeve. What can I do but to love him endlessly? And as if his mere presence wasn’t enough, you give sudden light and hope to my ship: “They’re never too old, my darling, only too penniless.” *grins madly*

Remus! Felicia! *dies repeatedly* Dear God, I’m just such a sucker for love and happiness – it’s really rather pathetic. ;) But even if it was a tad unexpected (I’m still pretending I wasn’t shocked and dumbstruck when I read it the first time), it was not random at all. Yes, I might be a bit weak for happiness, but I appreciate it more when it follows difficulties and tough days, and the most when it’s a pause in times of trouble. I certainly don’t see a safe and secure future for anyone in this story, and love is yet another reason to worry. I used to feel rather confident about Severus/Maeve, but with other couples around I can’t really expect them all to have a happy ending. Well, whatever’s waiting around the corner for all of these marvellously written characters, I know it will be a thrilling read – because it always is when you write, Jan. :)

Name: Fantasium (Signed) · Date: 11/16/05 0:31 · For: Decided and Undecided.

Right, I won’t be grumbling about the early hour, but instead I’ll get on with reviewing. :)

A chapter with lots of interesting things, but most important to me is Albert. Yes, I’m still ignoring any previous discussions about him, and simply letting myself enjoy things as they come. I agree with other reviewers that his knowledge of the Wizarding world is very suspicious. Not only does he know where to find Hogsmeade and Hogwarts, that I could accept without further thought, but how on earth does he know the way to the Gryffindor common room, to lead Neville there? And, “normal” Muggles, or Squibs even, don’t usually tend to take command amongst Wizard folk, do they? But, in the end, what I find most interesting is Albert’s lost son. Oooh, Jan, it’s all so exciting!

This is also Roderick’s chapter. To begin with, I’m all too relieved that it wasn’t him the Death Eaters got in Hogsmeade. Then it’s the identity of his lady friend. I had sensed Jenny Fitzwilliam around the edges of the story, but I certainly didn’t expect to find her in Roderick’s company! I still think that she’s got something to do with that claiming of Darkacre, and now I wonder if Roderick has got anything to do with that business – after all, he did advise Maeve to just give it away…
From certain sources, I happen to know that Roderick might be about to be shipped. If this should happen to be accurate information, I think it’s very clever of you to present another woman who might be of interest to him. This is especially interesting if they have any other secret dealings together, but… No, I shall continue to support the idea of Narcissa and Roderick. :)
In his first appearance in the chapter, Roderick is his usual, teasing self, and yes – you’re going to have to bear with me while I once again quote some favourite lines.
“Oh, fabulous,” he breathed. “My glittering icicle is jealous. You’re too divine for words sometimes, cherub.”
“You know how to wound a man,” he groaned. “But seriously, gorgeous, can’t it wait?”
“Going to ravish me, are you?” he grinned, softly closing the door behind him. “Can’t wait.”
- this is Roderick! His dialogue is as brilliant as ever, I can see his face expression accompanying them in my mind. But, then you surprise me, because this is new, but this is also Roderick:
“Unfair or not, it’s true. What am I, some Mr Fix-it?”
“Of course I’ll help you, that’s inevitable, but sometimes it feels as if you only ever come to me when you are in trouble.”
“I don’t know what I want.” He gave her a cracked smile that was filled with a surprising amount of self-doubt and insecurity.
- all of a sudden, you’ve added another dimension to a character I already thought was complete. And the result? Well, looking aside Maeve’s reaction in the fic, I so badly want to snog the man right now… >.>

So, now I have stated that Albert was most important, but that the chapter was also Roderick’s. Let’s confuse things a bit further by saying this was also a very important chapter for Maeve. Yes, all that is sensible within me keeps shaking its head and wondering how on earth she can be so irrational. But at the same time, her actions make my heart beat so hard, I’m proud and I almost feel like shouting “Go, Maeve!”, although there hardly is an appropriate place to do so. You didn’t create a character to sit around, not even to play a lesser part, no, Maeve was always too much of a woman, wife and witch to sit safe within the walls of Hogwarts. Also, no matter who Albert might be, for some reason I trust his judgement and if he advises Maeve to join Severus, that’s another excellent reason to do so.

Narcissa can’t go without mentioning. I know I’m repeating a quote again, but this is where I finally felt thoroughly sorry for her:
It was cold, colder than the grave that Lucius would soon be occupying, as Narcissa walked slowly through the centre of the town.
- my feelings weren’t mixed here, for a while she was just Narcissa, I forgot all about who she was and I only saw someone who was cold, and who had just lost her husband. Her complete character comes back to me after that, but you keep tormenting her – the Knight Bus ride in itself, what a disaster for the poor woman. And then, Draco’s appearance… Oh, how well written it was! His behaviour towards Eric Shunpike totally matched his canon acting towards people like Madam Malkin and Mr Borgin. I found it fascinating to read Narcissa’s thoughts and emotions concerning her son, and it’s possible that I felt a bit sorry for her again…

No, I’m going to be naughty and not mention Remus – but simply because I know there will be something major Remus:ish to squee my head off about in the next chapter. Amazing work here Jan, as always!

Name: SusannaC (Signed) · Date: 11/14/05 10:59 · For: Questions, Questions.
Wow. I can't believe remus finally did what he did! Go remus!! Some really good things happened in this chapter and roderick was great. I liked seeing maeve and snape back together again, I hope they stay together now. I wonder what they're going to about draco though.

Name: Cheshlin (Signed) · Date: 11/13/05 14:35 · For: Questions, Questions.
A lot always seems to happen in your chapters. I'm glad that Severus and Maeve finally had some time together. They really deserve it. I hope that Harry comes to his senses and starts taking some advice from SOMEONE. He doesn't want to hear what anyone has to say about anything. I'm soooo glad that Remus is finally finding some happiness also. I can't wait to see what all Felicia has to add to the story!

Name: The Half Blood Prince (Signed) · Date: 11/10/05 14:11 · For: Questions, Questions.
First and foremost, I’m apologetic that I haven’t reviewed one of your chapters before. It’s weird to think about that I’ve followed HPDL for about a year, and not even left a review. I hope that this review will tell you that I’m a fast reader of your work; that I always will be. Without further intrusion, let’s move on to the story reply, shall we?

The way you started this chapter was highly interesting. To be more specific, the POV you used made an interesting start. At first, the feel you wanted to convey was shown through Tom’s knowledge of how the War had changed what the regular visits Diagon Alley and to his bar. Then you slowly steer us closer and closer until we reach the confines of the bar and then, in the end, arrives at three figures: Harry, Ron, and Remus. What I think really made that opener a fun to read was that it was seen through an observer, a person that watched the main characters and then how you switch POV after he had mentioned their name. This example confirms how important proper POV can be.

Your prose is fresh, lyrical and deep. They are enlivened by your nice usage of active verbs, verbs that are great tools to give the sentences energy and move those forward and concrete nouns. Your writing-style is very similar to Niall Williams (who’s writing I adore). What’s great is that you cut out much adverbs and adjectives – they often hinders the flow and does the sentence weaker in power than if one had not included them in the sentences. The lines are woven intricate and are filled with enjoyable metaphors and similes (I especially liked when you told that Snape’s robes were ‘as black as darkness’ and when his cloaks was covering him and Maeve like a tent in an inky night. Another thing is that you omit needless words and use effective words. I can definitely say that, seriously, that I love your prose more than any others on this site. Promised!

I love how you make Harry’s blatant statement (which is all the more hurtful since his points hit some spots in Remus) changing Remus’s motivation to fit the conflicts and confrontations that will lead to plots in your story. Highly clever done. When Harry told that Remus didn’t know what to do with his life, changing his opinions, it tells us that people change Remus’s action objective. For example, Snape changed Remus’s action objective when he told him that he should keep Maeve safe at Hogwarts, and because she would help drawing Harry to Hogwarts. This was Remus’s new private motivation, his goal, his action objective. But when Harry made the statement that Remus’s didn’t seem to have any personal goals, no steady intentions, Lupin’s action objective altered and he realized that his own needs mattered and he arrived in Ireland, for Felicia. You’ve turned Remus’s action objective through conflict, and for letting Remus intertwine some loose ropes or commence some that would fit your plot-development. It’s incredibly well done, and it was of sheer pleasure to read how effectively you managed to spin Remus’s beliefs. Throughout the whole chapter, Remus was completely in-character. He seems a strong reflection of Jo’s version of him, and has got this desire to comfort him and shake of all his qualms and worries and helplessness. I’ve got emotionally attached with him, and the interaction between him and Felicia made my heart squeal in euphoria as I realised Remus had pushed back his doubts for the time being and doing something enjoyable with his life. Marriage is a risky thing, but I think that’s just what Remus needs to keep his motivation up. I think Felicia is a wonderful OC and I hope we’ll see a lot of her. This particular bag of sentences reflected incredibly much how nervous he was to meet her again after he had walked away from her. He regrets his actions. I can perfectly relate to that feeling he has of meeting Felicia again: To like someone and ask them to be with you is nervous enough, it gives you those butterflies of anxiousness. To love someone the way he does, and knowing he walked away from her, is an even more uneasy feeling that comes from the thought of rejection.

What would he do if she was the one to walk way this time? And he couldn’t blame her, not after all that he had done and the mistakes he had made over summer. With a sense of nervous anticipation he knocked on the freshly painted door and waited, his heart beating rapidly, for someone to open it.

This reinstates his uncomfortable state. Many doesn’t see it, but such small repetitions and adding’s make the writing more emotional, more controlled, more alive:

Were curlews a sign of bad news, he thought, nerves making him slightly superstitious when he would normally have ridiculed such claptrap.

This start of the little scene between him and Felicia made this scene even more touching. You can feel the change of his emotions that goes from anxiousness to relief to a feeling of rhapsody. It makes it all much more special, with deep feelings.

My favourite line in this cosy scene of joy and bliss was: “And I would forgive you for closing the door in my face after all the silliness we’ve been through. And I know it was all my fault that it happened but I just wanted you to know, well, that I enjoyed our time together. Life is too short to spend it denying feelings and being noble. I wanted to ask you to come back to England with me. Times are difficult and I can’t promise you that it will be easy…but…well… will you marry me?”

I think I liked that bit of dialogue so much because it reinstated my point. He’s finally moved on, or trying to take one step at a time, and that he realises his mistakes. It is all completely in-character, I would imagine him to tell everything in a bit shy, very truthful way, and it makes the scene beautiful.

And then it’s Maeve. It seems as if she just gets carried away from her desire and where it is obtained, and then neared again, and then pulled back again. In the first chapter of this story, I think we can nearly assume that she had gone to the devastation of desire. That means that person having reached this point, is nearly doomed. This person has gone beyond denying its own desire, and instead pulled to a place nearly impossible to arise from. As my teacher says, it can serve as a final ‘that you didn’t except,’ like when you just didn’t believe think things couldn’t have gone worse for Maeve, and then it gets worse, by her receiving the terrible news of what her husband did to her (and how that again made a hole between her and Remus). This is what’s intriguing, when something is so extraordinary that it’s nearly getting over the edge, and still we accept it. And when we do, we feel even closer to the person that had to go through this, in this case Maeve. Something that is as delightful and connecting for the reader (me), is how Maeve have worked extremely hard to climb above this hole she’s fallen into, and how this sprang new traits she contains: bravery, stubbornness, forgiving, determination and that her loyalty for her husband blinded her wits (I conclude because when she confronted her husband, she realised that she hadn’t thought the possible of his darker side through).

How you write her, how you’ve built her personality through each scene and chapter, and how her back-ground has affected her personality, has made her to my favourite OC. Sometimes I wonder: Why hasn’t she jumped off the page sooner? She’s determined, strong-willed, beautiful – traits that many would call ‘Mary Suish’ – but you’ve written her in such a believable way that proves that history of a character, how that character is written, and how that character changes and develops, is what make a character three-dimensional and pure. People tend to forget that characters are people too, and that in our world there are some with more likeable traits or nice features. She’s rather the contrary of a Mary-Sue. In my opinion, she’s has three-dimensional emotions, well-rounded background that is special and yet I accept it. You’ve portrayed her passions and longings and what ties her back with all the vivid shades and hues of real life. Emotions origins from inner values; and usually those two parts blend together when reading about her. It has nearly never occurred to me that this was ‘one-dimensional’ of her, or that she was, and it’s something I envy.

You made the scene with Maeve, Snape and Narcissa so alive and breathing, cracking. The emotion was built up to a great power by the beautiful artistry that was your writing here. The scene contained conflict and desire (Narcissa and Maeve two completely different desires in mind). This created a very intimate moment where I felt like not watching it anymore, but being a part of it, touching the emotions that waved in that moment. Indeed, the dialogue between Maeve and Snape was smooth, rich and passionate: it was as if the words they spoke – also very poetically, with each word having its own importance – heralded their feeling of lust. The scene between Maeve and Snape, and then Narcissa was created in different colours of passion, and some lines struck me with their vividness and life:

He watched as his wife stepped between him and the distraught woman, watched her gently take Narcissa’s arms and force them to her side, watched her lead her away towards the head of the stairs, soothing words tumbling from her lips.

This told so many things: how strong Maeve’s and Snape’s relationship is, how determined they are not to be separated: “You don’t need to prove anything.” Maeve was at his back now and he could smell her belief in him. “Certainly not to her.”

This was the most powerful paragraph in this chapter, I think. It contained such a breath-taking simile; the lines flowed with the ‘beat’ of the action in your scene. Lust and desire was evident in this paragraph (the next ones too, but this was my favourite). Your effective words and elimination of superfluous words made it move unhindered:

They fell onto the bed, Maeve on her back and Severus arched above her, his cloak falling over them both in a tent of black ink that ran across them like a river. “I think you have always bewitched me,” he said, as his fingers roved across her neck towards the top of her dress. “Why I have I never been able to retain my self-control with you around?”

There was one thing I noticed though: I think you should omit the first ‘I,’ bearing in mind that it’s superfluous and unneeded – the only one in the paragraph.

“Plans can wait,” she said, pulling him towards their bed. “I, however, cannot.” “You are a torment,” he said, not resisting her tugs at his arms. “But I can’t deny that it would be enjoyable to re-discover the pleasures of our honeymoon.”

This evoked many feelings inside me. The daring speak between them are very nicely done, it tells that they know each other oh so well. Snape is perfectly in-character (he is one of your most believable characters, even though his personality), I see his coloured passions and that he’s a grey character, a human. I saw everything before my mind: from when Snape gave in for Maeve’s needs and how his walls falter and is thrown into the hole of desire. His usual (can’t come up with the adjective) personality, is prominent eve in this scene. You’ve built his character-development and changes through a large period of time, and I think that is why I never doubt he would do this in canon. Not a second of doubt, even! And his oiliness is kept in the dialogue.

You manage to let the use of action objective guide every scene in your story forward in a vital, yes, way. It seems as if no scene is superfluous, you add back-story without stopping the action, and the action objective of your characters let them be steered through each scene, appearing believable and real and three-dimensional. It’s the work of action objective that causes this, the fact that you know every character’s Desire or super objective (with a big ‘D’), action objective and inner values. It makes all the difference in the world from a constant entertaining, propelled forward fiction, and a normal one. Without knowing the action objective, the story doesn’t contain the same amount of interesting scenes, believable scenes, and more scenes seems superfluous, boring, unneeded.

It’s incredibly exciting to see the character’s action objective change to let the plot further and that sometimes they spring forth after a long time of contemplation, and other times even trigger one of the character’s thoughts through small conflicts or confrontations that let the character realise that he shouldn’t be doing this, but that! The plot is developing in a nice pace, and the questions you leave keep me waiting for answers. And when some things are answered, those answers often lead to more questions. It’s as if they never stop, and that, including action objective, setting and characters, lead me through your huge chapters.

I try to find things, anything, to criticise with a reason, I really do, but nearly none are valid enough. I could write things that I half heartedly didn’t think was right, but when re-reading it, I figure it indeed doesn’t need any revision. One of my only criticisms to your writing is that sometimes the lines get stretched. This is not aimed for this chapter, but in the previous chapters you had a tendency to elongate sentences that could be shorter to make more concise sentences, or varying sentence structure.

He pushed his glass away a little, his heart not in the Firewhiskey that sat before him. He knew he needed to make a concerted effort to get Harry to agree but he was beginning to falter in his own belief that he could do so.

Those two sentences seems quite dull and of lesser quality than your usual writing. In both sentences the lines start with a pronoun, and it is this, even though small, that makes it uninteresting. It often helps to have an adverbial at the start of the sentence, or change the sentence structure. If I’d revised it, it would’ve been something like this: He pushes his glasses away a little, his hear not in the Firewhiskey that sat before him. Indeed, he needed to make a concerted effort to get Harry to agree, but he was beginning to falter in his own belief that he could do so.

The occupants of the cottage were so pre-occupied with their own nightmares that they did not hear the door slowly open. The beckoning chill of the heady night swirled in on robes that were black as the darkness they had just left. The latch clicked as the door closed, making the chill air eddy in the entranceway before it mingled with the warmth of the interior. This paragraph comprise of some marvellous similes and metaphors. The warmth mingling with the interior’s warmth and robes as black as darkness gave a great picture in my head. A vivid picture, with all the different colours needed as for an exquisite painting. The emotion of someone sneaking, someone slinking into another’s house with personal intentions was evident – was it what you wanted to convey? Then, well done. My complaint about this was again sentence structure. Or even more precisely, the beginning of the sentences. Every sentence starts with the pronoun ‘the.’ This dulls the writing. Again, I’ll see if adverbials or changing of sentence structure could work. However, if none of that works properly, the length of a few sentences may change, or the sentences themselves. Also, there’s a close repetition of occupants and pre-occupied in the first sentence. I’ve got a version that can perhaps make the sentences more varying: The occupants of the cottage were lost with their own nightmares that they did not hear the door slowly open. While the beckoning chill of the heady night swirled in on robes that were as black as darkness they had just left, the latch clicked as the door closed. This made the cold (removed chill because it was used above, too) air eddy in the entranceway before it mingled with the warmth of the interior.

Except that, I’ve got not more criticisms. As for the chapter, I am worried that Roderick will enjoy his time with Narcissa … I am also very interesting in where ‘Eastwrithe is –‘ and what does Malfoy want there (yes, I know that it was in the last chapter the name was introduced)? The interaction and dialogue between Narcissa and Malfoy is intellectual and they seem to sting each others feelings with remarks that touch lenient buttons in both of their hearts. I am waiting eagerly for the next chapter. I hope it answers more questions than it rises.

As a last note, I very much hope that you believe every praise I’ve given and that it comes from deep within my heart. Why? Because every word I spoke is meant. They are meant as much as the love Maeve has towards Snape. I would like to offer more constructive criticism, but it’s hard to find amidst a pearl like this chapter. Usually, I can find a great deal of things the author could improve, but it seems as if I’m too caught up in the conflict, the characters and the prose, that I get lost in your writing and forgets to find everything. And I don't think I need to tell you it, but I say it anyway. 10!

Name: Harriet Evans (Anonymous) · Date: 11/10/05 4:20 · For: Questions, Questions.
What an excellent chapter. I loved the initial scene between Narcissa and Maeve - they make such an entertaining couple. More clues - I'm worried for Roderick. All very intriguing. Lovely scene between Snape and Maeve - I found it so touching when she was smoothing his brow. And the decription and language you used for that small scene was beautiful. And ah! Felicia! Well done Remus, and well done to you too.

Name: Harriet Evans (Anonymous) · Date: 11/10/05 3:50 · For: Decided and Undecided.

Albert is a very interesting character and you have added a whole new dimension to this story (again)! He can certainly be very persuasive, but I guess Maeve was just looking for an excuse, really. One line of his dialogue seemed slightly out of place with the rest of his speech, though. These people, they have a degree of stature. I thought he might be more likely to say 'these people have a position to keep up, you know.'

Poor Narcissa! You are really putting her through it, what with showing her knickers on the Knight Bus and stepping in puddles! To be honest, I admire her more and more. Especially as it must have been hell to watch her son and not either approach him, or attempt to stop him getting of the bus. A very good portrayal.

Oh, and did I say I enjoyed it immensely? Yes, of course I did!

Name: Harriet Evans (Anonymous) · Date: 11/10/05 3:22 · For: Toil and Trouble.

What an interesting perspective to start with. The thoughts of Voldemort were suitably chilling, but also you managed to make sense of the things that we always wonder about, such as 'why doesn't he just kill them?'. Interesting! I adored your description of Pettigrew btw 'The grubby little man scuttled around his feet, hands up at his face, heaving with subordination.' One little sentence, that seems to just sum him up.

This chapter also filled me with admiration for Snape as he managed to stay cool and impassive when faced with that monster.

Then, just when the goosebumps were threatening to become unbearable, you lightened the mood and hung poor Roderick from the ceiling. It was nice to be reminded of this side of him.

I am also enjoying all the little clues that you scatter about. They have really got me thinking. Great job! Thanks.

Name: ellidiot (Signed) · Date: 11/09/05 13:08 · For: Questions, Questions.
Aww! oo that was a nice ending. and you even resisted the urge for a cliff hanger... Seeing Severus and Maeve together is always nice, and i thought Narcissa was particularly gd. Harry's pissing me off, but thats nothing new. when's he gonna notice the locket's at grimmauld place. is that not a good enough reason to go there? great chapter

Name: Harriet Evans (Anonymous) · Date: 11/09/05 10:44 · For: The Missing Malfoys

Another very enjoyable chapter. I had slight mixed feelings about your Death Eaters, I have to say, although this section was very funny. The Dark Lord really is scraping the barrell, is he not? Made me almost wonder whether Stan Shunpike was innocent after all.

You are not being terribly kind in your portrayal of Ron and I found myself quite irritated by his absolute 'denseness' for want of a better word. Your portrayal actually made me realise why some people find his character hard to like. Maybe being in love has addled his brain?

My favourite part of the whole chapter was the Narcissa section, in which you again managed to take me from howling with laughter (at the thought of Narcissa being a Corrie fan), to absolute open mouthed astonishment at the events at Blackpool. What a terrible way to learn of your husband's fate. Actually, Narcissa is fast becoming one of my favourite characters in this story. It is really quite fascinating to see her cope with this situation and also the fact that it seems (I hope) that she will rise above her cossetted existence and show that she has 'guts'. Anna is right about her when she commends her protection of Draco. This is the heart of her character and you quite rightly allow everything else to flow from that.

Thank you! I enjoyed it!

Name: Severus Snape (Signed) · Date: 11/09/05 10:40 · For: Decided and Undecided.
Well, there was a whole lot of things going on here that will need taking care of in the next chapter. Namely, what the hell will happen when maeve tries to catch up with her husband. Something tells me Severus ain't going to be too happy. I'm happy to see Narcissa back and I thought it was clever to include the Knight bus and it was nice to se the connection between Tom and Eric. Don't keep us waiting too long for an update.

Name: Harriet Evans (Anonymous) · Date: 11/08/05 18:10 · For: Godric's Hollow

Thank you, Jan. I am still giggling about Arthur ordering a pint of Blue Curacao!

That was a thoroughly enjoyable chapter, which just swept me along. First of all, Lupin was so sweet, especially when he became uncomfortable when explaining to Harry about Maeve. I also liked his acknowledgement/realisation that Harry was no longer a child.

And aah, my lovely Roderick! With a gentleness that would have surprised Maeve had she been conscious, he placed her carefully into her bed and left her to rest after her ordeal. *Sighs*

I enjoyed the journey to Godric's Hollow so much, especially the walk through the graveyard which I could so picture so clearly in my head. I know that feeling of being apologetic if you accidentally step on a grave! I am curious why you chose East Anglia as the setting. (A good choice btw!) It was also interesting that it was a magical community. I was confused by the Black Car - should I be?

Draco was excellent. Spoiled little brat. Very much as he seemed in HBP - well done. I am intrigued to know what will happen next.

Name: Cheshlin (Signed) · Date: 11/06/05 13:06 · For: Decided and Undecided.
A lot is happening! I hope that Narcissa's information can help Maeve. I'm still very fond of Roderick. We never totally know what he is up to, but he helps Maeve everytime she needs it! Poor Remus. He always ends up not getting his way! I look forward to reading what happens next!!!

Name: Her My Own EE (Signed) · Date: 11/05/05 1:20 · For: Decided and Undecided.
Another Yummy Chapter that asks more questions then it answers! My theory on Albert is: with magic blood in his bloodline, he is essentially a squib. If Filch can see Hogwarts why not Albert? Narcissa is rather interesting. Other then she is most likely a death eater and she loves her son. We know almost nothing about her. It will be interesting to see if JKR fills her in a bit more and how closely cannon matches your conflicted, strong-willed and somewhat spoiled version of Narcissa Malfoy.

Name: Wiccan (Signed) · Date: 11/04/05 21:01 · For: Decided and Undecided.
Oh, my! So many things still 'undecided'! I am most interested in Albert. If he is so Muggle, how could he see Hogsmeade and Hogwarts? Methinks he must have some 'special abilities'. Well, you left us with the chessboard all shaken up and the pieces strewn about. I look forward to seeing them sorted out.

Name: Wiccan (Signed) · Date: 11/04/05 18:38 · For: The Temple of the Four Winds
I have never considered using 'horrific' and 'beautiful' as a reaction to a story before. But, you have evoked both those emotions. The horror of what she went through...and worse, the horror that Snape suffered watching almost tore my heart out. The beauty, of course, is the love that, in a way...caused those horrors. As usual, you leave me breathless with your talent.

Name: MADJH (Signed) · Date: 11/04/05 14:59 · For: Malfoy Manor
Okay, so I had to finish the chapter first, before moving onto the next and... I missed the best part! Maeve referring to Lupin as a ministry man... LMAO! She's lucky he didn't maul her for that one! I am very much impressed with your characterisation of Remus and I can see why Anna has fallen in love with him. I fell in love with him in DoL and I just know he's going to break my heart in this one too!

Name: SusannaC (Signed) · Date: 11/03/05 4:39 · For: Toil and Trouble.
Eep! nearly missed this update. love everything thats going on and i thought you were going to kill remus for one horrible minute. Albert is interesting and knowing you i bet youve got something really cool in store for him. Voldemort was as creepy as usual and hes going to ask snape to kill harry???? And harry wants to kill snape...should be interesting when they next meet.

Author's Response: Me? Kill Remus? Do you think I'd be capable of such a thing??? And Voldemort is a creep... With a capital C!

Name: Fantasium (Signed) · Date: 10/30/05 16:01 · For: Toil and Trouble.

Oh, this one starts off so magnificently! I have really come to like these ventures into Voldemort’s mind, where you explore his way of thinking and the terrifying combination of insanity and clear logic. There is also the odd need for acceptance: ‘It gave him a feeling of certainty in an ever-changing world to be exposed to such deference.’, as well as the worry: ‘Voldemort would never admit to being worried about Potter, but worried he was.’
His thoughts around Severus affect and worry me a lot, as does the final words about Maeve. Voldemort doesn’t hide anything, he tells Severus exactly what might happen, and it’s a horrible, direct threat that shows me that this maniac is fully aware of the power he’s got. I think it was affected by Severus’ ‘His head ached from the secrets he kept and he wished with all his soul that the twisted wizard he had left standing by the roaring fire could be consumed by the flames he stoked.’ - but in any case, my personal hate and anger towards Voldemort is stronger than ever.

I’m going to pick up on the detail of someone unknown trying to claim Darkacre. It’s almost mentioned in passing, as a reason for Maeve to seek out Roderick, which almost made me forget about it. But because of this rather brief mentioning I’m all the more curious… Could it possibly have something to do with someone who was visiting a certain wedding? In any case, I’ve got quite a few little details like that to keep hold of at the moment, and I know I’m certain to forget them all well in time for when you will reveal their secrets and make me go “Oooh, I never saw that coming!” ;)

Neville is interesting in this chapter, and I wonder exactly what you’ve got planned for him? We get his basic idea of course, but I wonder what response he will finally get when he talks it over with an adult? Or, if he keeps seeking advice but can’t find it, will he have courage enough to act on his own?

Roderick… Hehe. Well, his first appearance stole some laughter from me, with lines like:
“Thought I might teach the first years how to undo one and forgot the blasted words.”
“Hmm… I was going to buy you a set of matching robes for Christmas but I won’t bother now, ungrateful wretch.”
“You sound like a little wife. Do I get a kiss on the cheek?”
- not a little cheeky, is he! But by Merlin, I can’t help loving him.

The secret meeting at Rathgael is (after some more time to think about it) possibly my favourite part of the chapter, although if I really had to pick it would be as hard as ever. I like to see how the connection between these two men is slowly changing. Yes, they are still very different, but I see ever so faint traces of respect for the other in both of them. Severus is showing it by asking Remus for important assistance, Remus displays it by agreeing to do it and to do his best, and actually trusting Severus. We know that Remus was deeply affected by the scene in the Shrieking Shack, so I’m assuming that this is one of the results we’ll be seeing from that. He still quite can’t understand Severus’ situation though, and he is also questioning him: “Will your dedication to your cause extend to harming your wife directly?” I find myself feeling with Severus, as so surprisingly often these days, and you write the perfect sentence to let both the character and I react: ‘Frustration borne of the inability to protect the one thing Severus loved drove him to pick up the nearest thing, which happened to be a small white vase, and throw it across the room, passing through the place where Remus had recently stood.’

I hope you don’t mind me quoting a lot, because it seems to be the right thing to do at the moment. I’ve got two particular favourite parts in the next few paragraphs, namely:
Her name, spoken so firmly, was a well-worn and familiar cloak that crept gently across her shoulders
“Remus.” She accepted the cloak with a turn of her head, and a warm acknowledgment of his presence.’

- the liking of the cloak, reminding me of the garment Maeve gave to Remus in DoL, is wonderful. It sort of describes the relationship between the two, at least how I would like it to be and how it is for Maeve’s part. And then, the other part:
‘So much beauty surrounded her, so much which was natural and wholesome. Why did the touch of humankind have to intrude with its devious plans and intolerable cruelty?’ - if you want a “real” reason for quoting this, I can tell you that the words completely matches my idea of Maeve, and also that it’s real, it’s one of those random thought that could pop up in any of our minds. But, my actual reason for putting it in the review is because I think the words are beautiful.

And off to the pub we go. Discussing Harry is of course always interesting, especially in such a tricky situation, but it gets much more intriguing when Roderick arrives with his lady-friend. And just who might it be? Well, I’d like to put my galleons (oh, all right then, Swedish crowns…) on Narcissa, but at the same time I must wonder why on earth Roderick would bring her to Hogsmeade when his task was to keep her hidden? It’s just that… I can’t think of who else it could be?
And then it gets scary! Powerful magic, you don’t say! I was so relieved to see our precious characters unharmed, but soon distracted by the arrival of Albert Gryps and the idea that the Death Eaters “got what they came for” – if Narcissa was indeed with Roderick, perhaps it was her they were after? And Roderick would of course also be interesting to them…
And now I’m supposed to tell you all of my theories and opinions on Albert, am I not? *grins* Actually, I do have an idea of it, but that doesn’t mean I can grasp the meaning him. I’m dead curious about what he will bring, and I want that conversation in the castle now!

*gasps* Wait a second - does this mean - *double-checks*… Jan, I’m up to date with the reviews! ;) In the middle of Grammar revising and all! Well then, your move next, my brilliant author and friend. I’ll just sit here and dream of next chapter while working my way through adverbials, non-restrictive relative clauses and auxiliary verbs… *deep sigh*

Author's Response: Yay! Anna is up-to-date with reviews!!

I loved writing the Severus/Voldemort scene. it was a scene that had to come and I wasn't quite sure how it would go. In the end Severus took over and did his thing. I think I managed to pitch it right with the master/servant relationship. Voldemort doesn't quite trust Snape but now that Dumbledore is dead, he doesn't have a reason not to. I like the idea of him torturing poor Snape with the possibility that he will have to kill Maeve. It also makes Severus aware of just how vulnerable you are when you love someone.
rather than just be a pawn for everyone else!

And yes, it got scary. For all the darkness in this fic there haven't been that many scary moments, but after chapter thirteen I think the danger levels will be turned up a bit. ;-)

Author's Response: I don't know what MNFF did to that response.After 'when you love someone' I started talking about Remus and how he was getting himself into a lot of personal difficulties being at the beck and call of people. And I'm hoping that he will do something rather than be a pawn. *kicks MNFF*

Name: Fantasium (Signed) · Date: 10/30/05 10:39 · For: The Missing Malfoys

Oh, the Malfoys are troublesome, aren’t they? First out, the little gitlet, being stupid enough to think that he has a better chance away from Severus. And, since Draco is truly missing in this chapter (I can barely restrain myself from going “yay!”…), the person I move onto is Severus. I feel tired and drained when I think of his situation, how he has to be constantly alert, how he has got to lie and conceal the truth. He’s an expert actor is in complete control of his mind, but I wish for a time where he could relax, where there would be no need to pretend. Yes, admittedly Severus did something horrible when he first joined Lord Voldemort, but I’m beginning to feel that he has paid for it and more.
My next Severus moment of the chapter is at the end of the fire conversation, ending with Maeve’s, “Well,” she said to no one in particular. “Thanks for that lovely message. I’m not worried about you now. No, not worried at all.” I react on Severus not giving her the tiniest ‘I love you’ or ‘I miss you’, which would have been a natural way for most characters to end such a conversation. But we know already that he does both of those things, and his worry is obvious. It seems more like he is not used to the phrases, he knows what they stand for but he has not yet come to the point where they can be spoken casually or even briefly. It is clear to me that he loves her, and I believe it’s just as clear to himself, but being the practical man he is it might not seem necessary to always include these words. Somehow this pleases me, because it means that they hold a greater value to Severus, that he has not reduced them to something simply replacing a ‘good-bye’. I’ve got no worries that Maeve might think he doesn’t love her because he doesn’t say so, because if I’ve got this figured out, then so should certainly she.

“When did you become such a mother hen?” Maeve croaked.’ - Roderick time, of course. Just as in the last chapter, I love to see that he is genuinely concerned about Maeve. Your words on Roderick always seem to glow in the text, little lines which are perhaps not that significant, but which lift the whole text. Such as: “I don’t want you ending up dead; what the hell would I do with old mother Malfoy then?” and ‘With a good deal of huffing and puffing he swished his cloak in Hermione’s face and left them to it.’
Actually, *giggles*, this chapter planted a very interesting thought in my head. Suddenly, the idea of Narcissa/Roderick seems rather appealing… Not that it’s in any way convenient, but I find it thoroughly tempting. Hmm… it seems like I’ve been around lovers of scandals and rare pairings too much.

Narcissa then, and her husband. Speaking of lovers of scandalous pairings, my first thought around Lucius’ death was how Jenna would forgive you for killing him off that way. But on a more serious note I’m sure is death was for the best, and I certainly like the way it affects Narcissa. I think she has shown already in canon that she is not a woman to sit around when she believes there is something she can do for her family. Severus’ comment, “Never underestimate the bond between a son and his mother,” he replied hurriedly.’ makes this (and other events, too) even more interesting. She leaves without a clear idea of what to do, and although she might be desperate I can also spot her natural courage, it’s something rather wolf-like, to protect the pack and the offspring. I just wish I could have seen every single thought that was buzzing in her mind…

The missing ruby business is the major mystery of this chapter, and I’m glad to see that there is always something to ponder and guess about, plot-wise, after each chapter. I’m very interested do know when and how this ruby went missing, and what it’s used for now…
The other thing is of course the Hogwarts cemetery. I’m hoping for a visit in the chapters to come, even if I’m not sure how much I think it matters to the story. It might just be Hermione’s brain (and my own) working on over-time, but who knows?

Look, wasn’t this a nice and short review? And you probably thought I had forgotten how to write them! ;)

Author's Response: I'm so pleased you picked up on Severus and his lack of outward emotion. he's spent a lifetime not saying these things so they don't come naturally. And Maeve has spent a lifetime being denied them so wishes they did! And Severus doesn't use language lightly. I think if Maeve were to ask him directly about his lack of endearments he would be very puzzled because he knows that he loves her and so does she. For him to keep saying he loves her would devalue the words, in his eyes. As for your ship...well...you know we were talking about shipping Roderick....I shall say no more....

The missing ruby is interesting. It might be important, then again it might be just a seed dropped by the wayside. ;-) *torments Anna* I'm not sure what to do with the cemetry. It won't come for some time, if at all. It would be to close to Godric's Hollow. And Narcissa...well Narcissa is on her way back into the main story. I wonder what she will think of her son after the next few chapters??

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