Reviews For Moons of Deceit
Reviewer: Prisca McKnott
Date: 07/04/08 3:46
Chapter: Ineffable Deceit

Hi Grace! having a fresh look at them, your third and fourth chapters really are awesome: actually, when I first read MoD, I hadn't understood that Ariadne's and Lupin's experiences had been so carefully paired together. Honestly, you have written somewhere that there isn't any ship in the first part of your tetralogy, but this "compositional" relationship could well count for something along those lines...
After such a long acquaintance with softly-spoken Ariadne, it's strange to meet her again as she was before acquiring her soft edge; as it will be strange, in a few chapters, to see a child Morag after meeting her teen-ager self in "Turning the Corner". She will still be very open to empathy, but not willing to scream out loud ““Put it down! It will brrrrreak!” any more. Do all the McDougal girls make such a change from very determined and rather out-spoken children to incredibly soft-voiced adults? It doesn't really seems to be a genetic fact.
Now, could you tell me where Ariadne's words "mamma" and "papa" come from? To my Italian ears, they sound altogether too familiar to be regular English, let alone the fact that Remus doesn't use them; however, I don't think that they belong to your Scottish lexicon, since the only other book I remember seeing them in is Jane Eyre...
Speaking of whom: was she pretty much hoovering on the landscape of this chapter, or am I making things up? Apart from the being-locked-away-in-an-angsty-room-for no-understandable-reason-at-all business (which may well be completely Remus' fault after all), Ariadne's "I think you are cruel" seems quite a nice match for Jane's "I'm not deceitful", since Aunt Reed is cruel and accuses her niece of deceit, while Ariadne recognises Lucius' cruelty while refusing deceit for herself...
which triggers quite a long chain of thoughts (after all, you did name your story after deceit!): Ariadne and Jane have so much in common, however they behave in completely opposite ways on the point you describe as A.'s chief weakness, i.e., their relationship to "cruel truths". Let alone Jane's somewhat blunt language ("Do you think me handsome?""No, sir!" poor Ariadne, indeed!),in order to protect Rochester from despair, she does feel tempted to pretend that, even after discovering his intended bigamy, she could actually be happy with him, but the reader always knows that she will not condescend to that, because she would never believe in happiness without absolute moral integrity. Actually, to me she sometimes seems to care more for ideals than for actual people: have you got an heresy to name this as well? To sum up, Jane and Ariadne always agree about telling the truth to those who might get angry, less often about telling the truth to those who might get hurt. Does it make any sense?
Besides, you are quite right, FernWithy's characters seem to be rather believable (I've just had a quick peek), thank you so much for the tip. Still, could you spell out what do you think about both Ariadne and Tonks being the right woman for Remus? I'm really curious to know your answer!
I thank you so much for your patience: do keep on having fun with your writing!

Author's Response: Dear Prisca,rnrnThe comparisons with "Jane Eyre" are really interesting. It's years since I read it and it didn't consciously influence me. But many critics agree that Jane is not an altogether likable character: while she is ethical and passionate, she is somewhat cold in her approach to people. I started writing the "locked up" episodes by considering how Remus's parents would have dealt with the bite. I then asked myself under what circumstances the MacDougals might have felt the need to lock Ariadne away. They are people frightened of the truth, whereas Ariadne cannot tolerate lies, so of course there will be conflict. rnrnI think the central point about Ariadne is that she can "read" people, so your assessment is spot-on: she is not afraid of angry people's anger, but she cannot tolerate hurting innocent people's feelings. She can be truthful to people whose feelings are not at risk, and she can be kind in any situation where the truth is not at risk, but when kindness and truthfulness are in conflict, she doesn't know what to do. "Kindness" triumphs over honesty right up to the end of Book III. She shows more maturity in Book IV, but her new capacity to integrate kindness and truthfulness is exactly what causes her downfall.rnrnI don't know whether all the MacDougal girls are born as strong-willed as Ariadne and Morag, but they certainly all grow up softly-spoken and polite. Morag shares Ariadne's talent for empathy - something that I suspect they inherited from Ankarad Murray - but I suggest that the MacDougal socialisation is more successful in her case. Morag has completely lost the moral compass by "Order of the Phoenix"; she is as kind as a marshmallow and has about as much backbone. Of course, she may regain the correct directiobn later, but that isn't part of this story. For the record, I think Morag eventually became a Mediwitch and married a Healer.rnrnThe "compositional relationship" between Remus and Ariadne was entirely deliberate. All the chapters are paired, with parallel experiences in each pair. I was trying to present Ariadne as the woman ideally equipped to understand Remus.rnrnWhat Ariadne and Tonks have in common is (1) kindness; (2) honesty; (3) courage; (4) intelligence and competence; (5) a desperate determination to survive and to avoid self-pity no matter what Remus or anyone else throws at them. I did think of writing a short story about Remus falling for Tonks, but I didn't progress much beyond this line...rnrn"Ariadne had had blue eyes and dark hair. Tonks had dark eyes and blue hair. What on earth did they have in common?"rnrn"Mamma" and "Papa" were the usual way middle-class English children addressed their parents in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It seemed to suit the MacDougals, who have failed to move with the times but continue with eighteenth-century mannerisms. In some ways, Ariadne seems to me to have stepped out of Jane Austen's society.rnrnI do encourage you to enjoy FernWithy's stories. She is a far better writer than I am, unquestionably one of the best in the whole of the Harry Potter fandom.rnrnThanks for all your input and reviewing,rnrnGhV

Reviewer: Binka Fudge
Date: 05/03/08 17:57
Chapter: Cursed by Thunder Moon

Just thought I'd stop at this point to say this chapter made me cry, when Remus didn't understand why he had to be locked up and pleaded to be let out. It seems he has a lot in common with Miss MacDougal, in that they both learned at a very young age to hold their tongues. I was taught to only pass on what was necessary and i must say it isn't healthy. I doubt i'll ever have children, but if I do they'll be encouraged to express themselves and I'd hope they'd feel comfortable being honest with myself without fear of judgement.

Author's Response: Dear Binka, Keep an eye open for those parallel childhood experiences. While Remus learns to become a liar even while he'd rather not be, the central conflict of Ariadne's life will be between the need to be kind and the need to be truthful. She never tells a direct lie, but there's a great deal that she leaves unsaid. I'm afraid I'm the opposite - I talk far too much - and I let my children say what they like too. None of us ever quite learned the difference between people who genuinely believed that other people should tell the truth and people who simply wanted to hear the truths that were convenient to themselves! So I suppose I invented Ariadne as a kind of anti-self, since she always reads people accurately. Thanks for taking the trouble to review, GhV

Reviewer: TridentGum48
Date: 08/26/07 11:11
Chapter: Sunrise after Hunter's Moon

Excellent. Besides the eloquence and vivid description that your story is full of, your writing has a consistency and wholeness that many other stories lack. You add information that is reasonable and plausible, keeping existing characters in-character, and characters of your own creation are believable and solid is a refeshing manner.

This story more than satisfied my hunger for a well-written OFC story, and I eagerly go on to read the new two parts. :)

Author's Response: Dear Trident Gum, Thank you for taking the time to write such a thoughtful review. I am so glad you could believe in Ariadne! The sequel has a simpler timeline, so I hope to see you there. Best wishes, GhV

Reviewer: dragonwings
Date: 02/01/07 20:31
Chapter: Resigned under a Crescent Moon

This is a great story- I like the way you write from Remus' P.O.V. I'll leave another review later 'cuz I'm going to keep reading; I just wanted to let you know that this is fantastic!

Author's Response: Thanks, dragonwings. I love Remus - can't you tell? I'm glad you've found something to interest you too. Regards, GhV

Reviewer: Ravenclaws Heir
Date: 01/21/07 14:37
Chapter: Sunrise after Hunter's Moon

Lovely!

Not much of a review i know gut i only needed 1 word


Author's Response: Thank you!

Reviewer: rambkowalczyk
Date: 01/02/07 9:44
Chapter: Moons under the Order

I think you should have made some reference to the fact that the Potters were killed on Halloween. Other than that good retelling from Remus' point of view.

Author's Response: Dear R, Prescient of you! The reference to Hallowe'en is in the next chapter. Thank you for keeping up the reviews, GhV

Reviewer: rambkowalczyk
Date: 01/02/07 9:29
Chapter: Double Deceit

I'm still kinda hoping that Velata isn't really dead, but unfortunately I remembered that one of the Malfoy cousins figured out her talent and told the Death Eaters about it. Since you made her a Gryffindor, I can see where she'd rather die than help them. Darn! Darn! Darn!

Good portrayal of the boringness of war.

Author's Response: Dear R, What happened to Veleta is so nasty that you don't want to know. But you will know, because the circumstances of her demise are important to the later plot. Thank you for caring, GhV

Reviewer: rambkowalczyk
Date: 01/02/07 9:11
Chapter: Resigned under a Crescent Moon

Remus grief was well written.

Author's Response: Thank you, I had trouble hitting that off. GhV

Reviewer: Gin_Drinka
Date: 12/22/06 18:06
Chapter: Sunrise after Hunter's Moon

Awww...well I loved reading this story, I read it all in one day, however long it took me to review everything! And it's absolutely great, you write wonderfully and that's the best compliment I could give! I told my friend about your story and she seems to like it too, lol. So sad it's the end, but what a nice ending!

Author's Response: Dear GD, Congratulations on making it to the end of the story. Thank you for keeping up the reviews, and for recommending my story to your friend. That is definitely the end, because Remus has a friend now. See you in the sequel? GhV

Reviewer: Gin_Drinka
Date: 12/22/06 18:05
Chapter: Moon after Endless Moon

I like Morag...ugh, dont like Draco so much! Nice chapter, very well written!

Author's Response: I don't like Draco either. He's a nasty little brat, even at two and a half. But you will see more of Morag. GhV

Reviewer: Gin_Drinka
Date: 12/22/06 18:04
Chapter: Deceits Laid Bare

Aww...how sweet! I love them together! Makes it seem that life for Moony isn't SO bad afterall...

Author's Response: Dear GD, Hope is on its way. I'm sure Remus appreciates your support while he waits. GhV

Reviewer: Gin_Drinka
Date: 12/22/06 18:03
Chapter: Flying without the Moon

Did you think I'd stop reviewing every chapter??? Never!! Lol, I just had a bit of a problem what with losing my password and all. Not gonna do that agian, anyway, your an awesome writer and I love reading your stuff!

Author's Response: Dear GD, What a frustrating problem to have! I'm glad you've sorted it all out now. Thanks for your determined reviewing of every chapter - I do look forward to hearing from you! GhV

Reviewer: rambkowalczyk
Date: 12/22/06 7:32
Chapter: Deceit around the Crystal Orb

horrribly sad chapter.

Author's Response: Sniff ... I seem to have drowned you to silence ... take a cyber-tissue ... GhV

Reviewer: rambkowalczyk
Date: 12/22/06 7:15
Chapter: Examined under Rose Moon

Interesting twist as to how James became Head Boy. It never occured to me that no one else really qualified. (THough I suppose James did earn it otherwise Benjy would have been Head Boy and James just a Prefect).

It is also a nice touch that although Remus will not tell on his friends but will take the responsibility to actually resign from being a Prefect.

Good use of a Chocolate Frog? character. I think I remember reading about Lestoat in the Lexicon which witch section. It ties in with the vampire references of before.

Author's Response: Dear R, I do think it's a minor Flint that James could become HB without having been Prefect, so I had to explain it somehow. That tied in with the need to show Remus as genuinely repentant. (As I have said before, he is an Arian heretic, and therefore cannot forgive himself even so... with disastrous consequences by the time he reaches the PoA dilemma.) I think that James did mature a great deal after he saved Snape's life. Lestoat is listed as one of JKR's Famous Vampires. I thought twice before using his name, since he is my only American character, and I was worried some people would think it racist of me. However, he is the only canon vampire who died in the correct year, so there were no other choices! Thanks for reviewing, GhV

Reviewer: rambkowalczyk
Date: 12/22/06 6:24
Chapter: Death Eaters Undeceiving

It just occured to me that Ariadne's parents are an extreme version of Lupin trying to hold on to his friends.

I see Voldemort's curse is working again.

good chapter.

Author's Response: Dear R, That's an interesting point. I think the MacDougals want to avoid conflict at all costs, even among people whom they don't particularly like ... so, yes, an extreme. I had great fun with those DADA teachers! I thought Professor Tepes would just be a walk-on part, but she unexpectedly reappeared in Book IV - that was a great surprise to me! Thanks for keeping up the reviews, GhV

Reviewer: rambkowalczyk
Date: 12/22/06 6:10
Chapter: Defying the Moon's Demand

I just realized something about the last chapter when Slughorn was talking about the descendant of Ariadne's Grandmother being in his potion class. Granted it took another reviewer to point it out but...

Good examples of the types of tricks that James and Sirius did and Remus' worrying if it is the right thing to do.

Sirius' means of goading Snape was brilliant. It allowed Sirius to not tell Remus' secret. Probably something that JKR wished she written if she didn't.

What I did find puzzling was that there was no mention of Snape's worst memory since it so obviously fits in with Remus' guilt about not standing up to his friends. Also and this is a minor nitpick, I think James' attitude toward Snape's life changed. James would have understood Remus' anger and decision not to run loose at the full moon.


Author's Response: Dear R, Well spotted! One reason for putting Ariadne and Snape in the same gene-pool was to justify her talent for Potions, although Snape soon became a useful character in his own right. Of course, there were also a few good Potion-makers who weren't related to them: certainly Lily Evans, and probably Sirius Black too. The absence of reference to SWM was one of my more painful authorial decisions. I thought it was important to the Marauders' history, but this story was already growing too long, so I decided not to include extra canon material. Other writers have already told that episode better than I can. Also, the issue of Marauders-bullying-Snape is covered with the Willow episode; what isn't directly told in canon is Snape's contribution to the school bullying climate. We are left to infer that James knew about the Levicorpus spell because Snape (who invented it) had been using it on other people, but this is never directly stated. I felt rather daring in stating that Remus refused to run loose at full moon any more. This is not canon. But I really would lose respect for him (and Sirius too) if they didn't learn something from the episode. So I really HOPE they gave up on setting Remus loose; and, as you say, I hope that James's attitude to Snape improved too. And, yes, I do hope there are some extenuating circumstances in the whole Willow episode. Sirius did put Snape's life at risk, but I like to think it was a very impulsive move, perhaps half an accident, and I really want to believe that he was sorry afterwards. Don't know if these ramblings really help ... I think we all have to sit tight until Book VII is published, and just hope that it will throw more light on the moral problems. Thanks for reviewing, GhV

Reviewer: rambkowalczyk
Date: 12/21/06 21:06
Chapter: Eschewing Deceit

I'm a little slow but I just noticed that the chapters involving Ariadne seem to have the word deceit in it. In this chapter Ariadne discovers that her fellow Gryffindor roomates are not deceitful but open even to the point of apparant rudeness which she finds very refreshing.

But there was one moment of confusion that required this reader to read very carefully. For instance the section that starts with Ariadne and Veleta try to avoid Slughorn's invitations then go to how shocked that Ariadne is that Hestia and Veleta can disagree loudly and passionately and still remain friends, then goes to Ariadne surprise at Hestio's directness and how it contrasts with her parents, to how Sarah and Wendy can refuse requests without permenantly hurting feelings. All of the above relate because they are concrete examples of how her friends are different from her parents.

But right after this Ariadne is asking Veleta where Hestia and the conversation goes into Veleta's Locospector gifts. This is confusing because just previous Sarah and Wendy were arguing about clothes, but now are no longer in the conversation. So do Sarah and Wendy know that Veleta is a Loco Specter?

Another minor point, When Veleta uses the Floo Powder to the Staff room it might help if it said that she just poked her head in it, as I was assuming at first that both Veleta and Ariadne traveled by Floo Powder to the Staff room.

But except for these minor things this chapter introduces Veleta as an interesting character in her own right.


Author's Response: Dear Rambkowalczyk, That was a really interesting and helpful review. You are making me feel that, for the sake of my professionalism as a writer as well as for my readers, I should revise this chapter. You are right, the point of all the exchanges among the girls was to show that most people are willing to say what they think and hear it from others. They were separate incidents, not necessarily on the same day, although I realise now that the clothes talk did glide into the locospection conversation a little too smoothly. Ariadne only listened to what Sarah and Wendy were saying about clothes; she didn't join in; and they took no interest in what she was saying to Veleta. So, no, the other dorm-mates don't know about Veleta's locospection. (In fact, the only people who do know are Dumbledore, McGonagall, Veleta's brothers and now Ariadne, although you wouldn't necessarily grasp this from the text.) That is something I will definitely include in any future revision, because it turns out to be fairly important that only Ariadne was in Veleta's confidence. Also a good point about the Floo. I took it for granted that students are not allowed to Floo randomly into the staff room, but it never hurts to clarify! Keep an eye on Veleta - she matters to the story. And Ariadne's conflict between the need to be truthful and the need to be sympathetic is definitely going to create long-term problems for her. Thanks for all your input, GhV

Reviewer: rambkowalczyk
Date: 12/20/06 16:05
Chapter: Barricaded against the Moon

As usual I enjoyed reading this chapter. I got confused when you had Narcissa be a fifth year student and I was going to point out that last chapter she just married Lucius. (bangs head against wall). I am a little surprised that you killed Owen off so soon but this is war I guess.

Author's Response: Whoops, the timeline can be a little confusing! Not helped by the fact that JKR is herself confused about the ages of the Black sisters, e.g. claims that Bellatrix was born in 1951 yet was no more than six years older than Sirius. I had to kill Owen, because everyone knows that there were only four Marauders. Thank you for reviewing again, GhV

Reviewer: rambkowalczyk
Date: 12/20/06 15:45
Chapter: Deceit at the Wedding

fascinating chapter.

Author's Response: Thank you!

Reviewer: rambkowalczyk
Date: 12/19/06 20:14
Chapter: Cursed by Thunder Moon

sad story.

Just a nit pick. Are you using Fenwick Greyback as the one who bit Remus or are you going for a random werewolf who bit Remus. What was curious was that the werewolf wasn't vicious when it bit Remus. An interesting twist.

Author's Response: Dear R, Not really a twist, it's just that I wrote this pre-HBP. I did make revisions afterwards, but I decided there was nothing in this chapter to indicate that the werewolf wasn't Greyback, so I let it stand. Greyback becomes a character in Part IV, which I designed post-HBP, and where he was very useful to the plot. Thanks for reviewing, GhV

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