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.
somethingrather 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*
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??
This chapter really creeped me out. You piched Voldemort just right. He's very creepy but very powerful. I always wanted to see how Snape was with him and I thought you got it just right. Albert is going to be important to this fic. I wonder how though. Can't wait to see what happens next.
Author's Response: Albert is a sneaky old man! You need to keep your eye on him. :-)
Wow, all the Malfoy's have gone AWOL! I wonder if Lucius is really dead? It might be better for Narcissa if he is. And Draco always was going to be trouble. Wonder what Voldemort will do with him. Narcissa's hide out was great and i could just imagine her eating chocolate and watching TV. The sword is intriguing, it's like your planting seeds again just like you did in the first story. I wonder which ones are real and which are fake.
Author's Response: I wanted to see Narcissa in a Muggle setting, and not just any Muggle setting but one that was the anti-thesis of everything she is. I thought she coped rather well! LOL
Nice chapter, good pace, though perhaps more talk than action. Setting up the dilemmas and problems that need to be solved next. Liked Severus/Remus scene especially, and v intrigued by Albert. look forward to more.
Author's Response: I'm saving the action! There will definately be more Albert! And yes, there needs to be a lot of setting up in this fic...there are so many plotlines going on. :-)
Wow. A lot is going on. I can't wait to learn more about Gryps. I see a lot of story coming from him. I hope Maeve or Severus finds Draco before any other Death Eater can! Severus is definitely playing with fire, and I know he has been burned before. I hope he doesn't get burned too badly again! I actually like him in your story. The 1st one I have ever liked! :)
Author's Response: Yay! I made another Snape convert. :-) I'm going to try and keep him from getting burned too badly, but these characters seldom listen to me. :-)
Wow another great chapter!! But how on earth are they going to get Harry to go into hiding? Especially if he finds out that Snape is the one he is hiding from. This is not going to be an easy task! I look foward to the next update :)
Author's Response: You and me both! LOL Remus is going to try his best, but Remus has an uphill struggle. Keeping Snape and Harry seperate is going to be a challenge for everyone. And thank you for reviewing!
So Mr. Snape has to kill Harry & Mrs. Snape plans to get in the way... Very interesting! I wonder will Harry take care and go back to School? Or will he go looking for his least favorite former professor? BTW: By far yours is my most favorite Snape. I feel as though there is just so much more to him then we know from cannon. Now, what on Earth was taken from the Hogs Head? Certainly not Aberforth's goats, the world as a whole could not be so lucky. :) Please update again soon!
Author's Response: Thank you for the review! I know...the goats are probably still there. :-( Harry is going to take some persuading to go back to Hogwarts...and I'm not sure he will! I'm glad you like Snape...I've grown rather attached to him myself. :-)
Ack! I have a fussing baby, so I will give the end a more thorough read later, but I have to at least let you know what I think so far (and get my fifth review in ;)). I truly love the bit on hate. Hate was a forbidden word in our house growing up. We weren't allowed to use it because it's a terrible word made less meaningful with its overuse. "You no more hate me than Severus loves you." was especially moving to me and I really like what it says. That more than anything else Maeve has said or done has put Narcissa in her place. I'm struck by how this really is a story of strange bedfellows to have Narcissa and Maeve tenuously aligned and Roderick back in a position of being trusted. I am very intrigued and you can bet that there will be more constant and consistent reviews from me. *runs to rescue errant child* I'll be back!
Author's Response: *Looks forward to more reviews*
I think Maeve's attitude is a product of her upbringing. She values these things more than Narcissa probably does. She has also seen real hate, from her father, and knows that Narcissa is wrong in saying she hates her. It's nice to see things like that picked up on. :-)
Excellent... I'm supposed to be reviewing for Jenna and Lex as well, but they will have to wait, I'm afraid, I'm too caught up in HPSS! I like the way you've blended canon with what you've written. It is almost seamless. I've only really discovered one contradiction that can't be immediately explained away. In DoL, Lugh explains that Voldemort made a pact with the gods for his immortality. But, here you have Voldemort relying on his Horcruxes. I think that could use a little more backstory, for why have the gods if the Horcruxes do the trick? And without the gods, you lose Maeve... So, that's a loose thread I'd like to see pulled in line. I have nothing else but praise for this chapter. Like Remus, I'm awfully jealous of Maeve's new mode of transportation. And I'm excited, I can't wait to see why Narcissa has flung herself into Meave's arms! *hies off to read the next chapter*
Author's Response: Don't worry about the god's pact...it's all under control. :-) *starts rifling through her notes frantically* That was always going to be the tricky part of blending HBP with this story...but it will be blended. it already has been to a degree...you just can't see it yet. ;-) And remember, Lugh can be as tricky as Dumbledore and Snape in telling people half-stories.
Okay, with this chapter we're settling in quite nicely. It feels less abrupt, though I'm not sure how to explain that. I like the dance between Maeve and Narcissa, it will be interesting to see their future interactions. I also liked the interchanges with Remus. I thought he might be all placating and understanding, but he wasn't. Their relationship has been a bit damaged by actions on both sides so that's a thread that has me hooked as well. I like the hints and such that are dropped about a former relationship between Narcissa and Snape, it adds a level of tension and allows us to believe some of Maeve's distrust in her husband. I do hope, however, that you don't carry it too far. Snape and Maeve have already overcome massive hurdles to be together, I wouldn't want her faith in him to be misplaced.
A couple of nitpicks: Maeve held her arms tight to her body as she moved down the fusty passage. I think you meant "dusty". Also, you have Harry referring to Mrs Weasley as Molly. I don't know if you had her give him permission to do so in DoL, if you did, I apologise. But, I think he wouldn't call her Molly on his own. She's his best friend's mum and almost a mother to him as well, he'd treat her with more respect.
“No.” It was a small word for such a monumental decision. This was such an incredible line that I had to point it out. Maeve always seems to be faced with these monumental choices between doing what she must or running away and often chooses the more difficult path with little fanfare. This line just so perfectly summed up all that is Maeve and her courage to do what needs to be done.This was a great chapter and it has really pulled me into the story. Of course, perhaps it was merely the enjoyment of seeinf Roderick have to face up to someone (something) that he wasn't a match for ;)
Author's Response: I think it says more about Maeve that she's not shaken by Severus' actions but what might be going on with him and Narcissa. Here are all these huge things happening and yet Maeve is more concerned with good old-fashioned jealousy. She's become more hardened to things since DoL. She's started to just get on with things and not worry about how things will look. We'll see more of that as this story progresses. At one time she would have hated to inconvenience paoppl...now, I don't think she's too concerned with that. Fusty is a word that means stale and damp, a bit like foisty. And you know, I'm not sure if I did have Molly ask Harry to call her that...Arthur does later in this fic...but I'm not sure about Molly. *Ponders*
Okay, I'm back, I told you I would be ;). Upon re-reading the first chapter (yes, I'd already read it once) I remember why I've been hesitant to continue until you had more chapters up. At the end of DoL you had tied up Maeve and Severus very neatly. As much as I loved the couple, it was very difficult to watch them unravel again. You've done a wonderful job of setting up the crisis but it's come so quickly. I think I may have appreciated a brief scene before the nightmare that set up for us just how connected Maeve and Severus are. I know that this is a sequel, but it is also a story in its own right and my preference would have been to ease into it a little more gently. So, I waited for more chapters because this one left me feeling so uncomfortable and uncertain, that I didn't want to have to wait for more answers. This is not a criticism of your writing, but more a compliment. Your words make me feel for these characters. The power of your description makes me feel what they're going through and my discomfort is really a reflection of Maeve's discomfort.
A coupld of minor typo's: Remus looked uncomfortable. He knew that if he left her alone his companions would accuse him of giving her the opportunity to do something underhand, not that he believed for a moment that she would. I believe you meant "underhanded". I also swear I saw a "has" where you meant "had" but I couldn't find it again to pinpoint it.So, now that I have more to read... I'm off to read it ;)
Author's Response: *Dies* MJ finally reads SS!
There was supposed to be a break between DoL and SS, but then HBP happened and I couldn't write it. It's the first time ever I have been unable to write something. There was no way i could do the slightly whimsical honeymoon that I had planned. So I took the other option and threw the readers straight into Maeve's nightmare. She, like us, woke up with a new realisation that Snape was still very much involved with the dark side. I think underhand may be a difference in use between British English and American English. I even went and checked the OED and they have underhanded listed as an alternate for underhand. :-) I'll have a look for the stray has, pesky thing...it'll be somewhere! *huggles MJ for reading*
Draco is sooo bad, running of like that! is lucius really dead??? Narcissa will be well lost without him. sorting hat was good. I wonder if it knows more than it told her. Excellent chapter again.
Author's Response: Draco is VERY bad. Snape is going to be extremely mad with him!
I love your godrics hollow. Its just how I saw it. Albert seems mysterious and i'd like to see more of him soon. harry needs a friend and he's away from everyone else except ron. The scene at the grave was nice, not to slushy.
Ah! Very interesting. Extremely interesting. Lucius dead on television... might that be fake? Perhaps, but it successfully thrust Cissy out the door quite nicely and, as plainly as I know how terribly complicated that will make things, a part of me can't help but to hope for it. Draco is a prat, as always, and Severus seemed a bit too trusting of him. But that can certainly be forgiven, he had more than enough on his mind (I am forgiving Snape for being remiss! How did I get this way?!... Oh yeah, DoL). I wish I could write more about this, but I am at a loss for words, at least. I think I am.... I did smile rather broadly at the subtilities you expertly slipped into seemingly harmless passages, those about realtionships in particular. They were easy enough to glance over but in the perfect position to draw attention from an entralled reader (meaning everyone should have picked up on them). Your chapters somehow manage to make me want to write. They put me in that cynical, philosophical, imaginative mood from which my best works seem to sprout. I also think its high time I start posting. My 4 month writer's block seems to have been cleared. Thank you for a wonderful chapter, I need to find my notebook before these ideas fly out the window. (Oh, and I case I didn't mention it before, I LOVE Severus' patronus being a fox. Sly but sweet.) ~Katie
Author's Response: Hee hee...I love how DoL made so many people actually like Snape! LOL Glad to hear your writer's block may be at an end. I don't get it much but when it does strike it's very frustrating. I did struggle for a little bit with Snape's Patronus, but a fox seemed so appropriate. Sly, intelligent and cunning...I think that's perfect Snape.
Hello Jan, this is Caren under her new name. (Which finally happened.) I can't believe it's taken me this long to review your first chapter! I meant to do it two weeks ago, but I kept on getting lost in homework. :( Anyway, your review for your lovely fic:My first reaction: whoa. I knew that after you finished HPDL you had this plot written out and developed, but the amount of HBP-related material is astounding. I loved how you worked in Dumbledore's death, Severus' flight, Harry's account of the story and the overall adaptability. It's too bad this has to be called AU, because you've done so much to incorporate HBP it deserves a "Well done."
One reason why I like your writing so much is because of the imagery, the senses coming alive. The first three--three!--paragraphs are just . . . alive. Loss pervaded the room as she opened her eyes to a pitch-black night, percolated only by the occasional owl-hoot and the sound of the hard wind in the trees outside the window. You also have a vast vocabulary, or at least you employ it well; percolated is not a common word. :) I'm not going to do a workshop over that one sentence, but it has a lot of things that you show through your writing. And I honestly thought that the first part was real. I had to blink and read over the sentence that stated that it was a dream. It really did draw me in.The Remus and Maeve scene was written well. I like how you keep on commenting about they were once brother and sister, but now they are so distant. Here was the woman he regarded as his sister and she was afraid to sit by him. How true. As for the rest of the scene, Remus' hesitation was paced nicely, and Maeve's adamant denials were worded nicely too. But I've forgotten; does Maeve know of Harry's (and Voldemort's) prophecy? If she does, then she would just be using any sort of logic, valid or invalid, to escape from her situation. Perhaps you could include that something told her her reasoning wasn't sound. It would add to how much she'd stand up for her husband.
Oh, and one small thing about Remus: has Felicia disappeared? I'm not talking about this chapter, but is she going to be around? I hope so. She seemed like the right person for Remus, if I can say that. Better than him with Tonks, anyway. LOL.I don't what it is about Roderick that always make me smile... hmm, would it be his constant smile, boyish charm or playful words? (Or all of the above? *grin*) "I know, I'm an enigma... I think it suits me, don't you?" What a line, lol. Nice transition into being serious and relaying the rest of the news to Maeve, though. Roderick managed to keep up his cheerfulness up until the transcript, but not too overbearingly. Roderick's a piece of work. Nice job.
Yes, I forgot to include something: Snape and Narcissa. I like how you put that in too. (I personally loved the second chapter of HBP. It was my favorite scene out of the entire book. Don't ask me why, though.) I saw Narcissa mentioned in another summary as I clicked to read. I'm really interested to see how that works out. I do think that Narcissa and Snape were as close as you said. I mean, she ran to Snape when her husband was in jail. (But did her husband ever allow her to be on more intimate terms than followers of Lord Voldemort? Intriguing.) I have a feeling there's enough of Narcissa to come, so I don't have to ask for some. ;)Great start to your sequel! Yes, I will go and dutifully read more, though 10,000 words + 10 chapters = Caren sitting at a computer for a long time. Hehe. But at least I'd enjoy every moment of it. Can't wait to read the next chapter, Jan! I don't have to tell you to keep it up, because you will anyway. :D
Author's Response: Hi, Caren! Good to have you back. :-) I did have some of this plotted but HBP gave me so many juicy new ideas that it was fun to combine the two. I always like to see people enjoying imagery, because it gives me so much pleasure to write. I had to create an awkwardness between Maeve and Remus that would set the tone for the whole fic. It's going to be very awkward for everyone throughout, given that Maeve is now completely torn between everyone. And Roderick seems to make everyone smile! LOL I don't know where he came from really, but it looks like he's around to stay. I can't believe now that I had planned to kill him off in DoL. :-) And Snape and Narcissa seem to be a popular new ship...We'll have to see what happens with them in this story. :-)
This is such a cool story, and I'm just astounded at how inexhaustible your creativity is. Keep up the amazing work, and I can't wait to see what happens next!
Author's Response: Thanks for the review! Glad you're enjoying it. :-)
Oooh, this chapter is a good one! Well, they all are, but this one is particularly welcoming for long reviews. And I had better write it for you now, since I’m once again two chapters behind on reviews. Shame on me!
I’ll be beginning with Remus and a quote: ‘Remus shook his head. “My time at Hogwarts is over, Harry, as is yours. We need to find our place in the world again.”’ - Harry is of course clueless, but I the double meaning shines so clearly to us readers. I can almost read the words as “My time dreaming of Maeve is over.” And while this is so sad it makes me want to keep hugging Remus until he feels better again, I love how you write him so composed. He knew this would happen eventually, and even if he’s disappointed he doesn’t seem dejected. I like to see how he gives advice to Harry, and I can fully understand his need to go away and deal with his feelings (at least temporary), even though he made the promise to Severus… In fact, the air around Remus here is spot on what I experienced at the end of Prisoner of Azkaban. But that wasn’t the last we saw of Remus in the books, and I don’t think he will be gone for very long in Severed Souls either. At least I don’t hope so, since you’ve given me this unexplainable Remus fixation! *blames Jan*
I’ll squeeze in a bit of Roderick here, because I’ve come to enjoy his presence so much. He’s displaying such genuine concern for Maeve, my favourite examples being: ‘“Damn it all, Maeve, why did you have to be so stupid?”’ and ‘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.’ Keep him going like this and I’ll soon have a major crush on him. ;)
Arthur! Isn’t he just adorable? I think this chapter held all necessary parts of him, from the fatherly man who is an important member of the Order, to the humorous man with his child-like fascination of everything Muggle. I like how he’s supporting Harry here, knowing fully well that neither him nor his own son really need an adult to back them up anymore, but he’s still offering to be a parent if any of them might need it. Arthur in the pub was a bit of comic relief, and very well-written. The whole pub scene made me miss England horribly, I think I shall have to go back soon.
I’ll mention Ron in the same paragraph, I think. I know you had a bit of trouble writing him into submission, but I think he’s behaving perfectly to suit the story here. He’s well in character, which is proved by me wanting to tape his mouth shut on several occasions.
‘A slight breeze gave him a gentle shove in the right direction and he stepped into the late summer sunshine, its light warming away the sudden chill.’ - I love this. It’s beautiful, and I can feel the gentle shove of the breeze and the warmth of the sun. Very Jan:ish in style!
Harry’s visit to his parents’ grave… As the scene moved on from the car stopped, Harry’s actions and emotions built up to something quite teary. But you hold back, you don’t give Harry the closure he might have hoped for, nor do you make him weep. No, all it leads to is more determination, just what we need. I think this shows a great deal bout your writing skill, as I believe many authors would have fallen for the opportunity to make this something over-emotional, but instead you make sure that the moment adds something to the plot. What did almost all SPEWers say makes a good fanfic? Balance between character and plot development. Well, here’s a fine example!
Albert is very interesting, and once again you have me missing my part of England. In the village where I lived, there was an old man who greatly resembled your description of Albert. Maybe this was why this character came to live so quickly in my mind, maybe it was that he fitted so well in with the picture you paint of Godric’s Hollow. In any case, via him you present a fairly unique view of the Potters’ life in this village. Most fanfics give us unlimited sunshine and happiness (apart from the threat of Voldemort, of course), but I find you idea of the lonely Lily much more appealing and believable.
I was a little surprised over the description of the Potter’s house. In my mind (possibly fanfic-influenced) I have always pictured it being located just outside a Muggle village, distant from their non-magical neighbours. Your version is more interesting and makes me wonder why they chose to live so close to Muggles? I’m under the impression that James and Lily had quite a bit of money in their vault, not Malfoy-like but still to have a fair number of options of where to settle down. I’m also curious about what could have kept James away from home so much. Did he have a “regular” wizard’s job, or was he working for the Order? I’m guessing he would have been around most of the time after they went into hiding, but naturally Albert Gryps wouldn’t have noticed that…
The key! Oooh, what is this going to add to the story? I somehow feel that it will be something more personal for Harry, and that it’s not connected to the Horcrux bit of the story. Having said that, it could still be something personal for him that is important for the final victory. In any case, I will be keeping my eyes open for suspicious locks…
That car is troublesome, but I enjoy the mystery it adds to the chapter. I must of course wonder if the person/persons in the car had Voldemort connections, or if it was someone else?
And then we’re off to Malfoy manor! As I have already mentioned to you (eh, I have really mentioned all of above as well, but never mind…) that I had to stop and think for a moment to figure out the subtle difference between this Draco and the canon one. Because there is a difference, as my re-reading of Harry’s Pensieve memory showed me. Firstly, when it comes to Draco’s reasons for joining the ranks of Voldemort: In Half-Blood Prince, I got the impression that Draco had become a Death Eater for three reasons; the fact that he probably had no choice, out of curiosity, and to live up to the name of Malfoy. But when reading that particular part of Chapter Three again, it seems to me that Draco joined the ranks of Death Eaters for his own purposes as well, more than to prove himself to his name. The next difference is how he feels about going back to Voldemort. Here he wants to do so, which I first thought seemed a little off, but that was because I was thinking of canon and not the Draco you have given us here. This young Malfoy does actually think he’s going to be given a second chance, that he’ll be able to do something to be forgiven. I’m very curious about how the Dark Lord is going to welcome him...
I thought the imagery of Draco destroying the family tapestry was very fitting, it somehow showed me the anger towards his family, and his father in particular. He was written well overall, whining and refusing to follow rules.
A very eventful chapter that left lots to think about… And I’m not going to apologise for the length of this review, you brought it upon yourself Jan! ;) Much looking forward to Chapter Eleven, and I hope I’ll be able to post my review for Ten over the weekend.
Excellent and exciting chapter. V gd shifting between characters, lots of suspense. I liked the involvement of the Sorting Hat, interesting idea.
Wow. I think we are on the trail of the missing Horcrux that Snape can't find! I like that the Sorting Hat is playing a role also. Lucius appearing dead, and Narcissa and Draco missing form where they were being protected, very interesting!!! I can't wait to see where you take that part of the story line!