Reviewer: akb
Date: 11/12/07 22:14
Chapter: Chapter 16: The Reaper

hey
sorry i didnt review for a while, i wanted to have enough time to read the entire chapter. I think that it was a great discription of what the reaper did, and yes it was gory, but it worked. Quick clarification, this was all from the survivor's memory?
great chapter, and im waiting for the next
akb

Author's Response: Iz no problem, I can hardly ask my readers to be snappy with the reviews when I have gotten to the point where it takes me a month to update, true? Fair is fair. For your clarification, yeah this was all the survivor's memory, and luckily, I think there is some mention in the last book on pensieves that really gave me some extra wiggle room on them. not sure what that was, but it was there... I think.. OKay, talking nonsense now. as for the next, I think it's going to be different than what you might have gotten used to, and if I'm motivated and writing well, I should have it done and posted either by tonight or tomorrow evening! So thank you and I'll see ya then!

Reviewer: halfbloodseeker
Date: 11/12/07 11:22
Chapter: Chapter 16: The Reaper

cool dude
i'm a first time reviewer but i've been reading ur fics. and i wish i could write like that.
that was kind of a graphic chapter, which is not bad. but ur descriptions were really good.

Author's Response: Thank you so much, and don't be afraid to come out the woodwork once in a while and share your thoughts. I'm a little slower to respond now than I used to be but, I eventually get around to it. I'm glad you're enjoying the story so far and hope you'll continue to be entertained as we slowly draw in to the end of the road! Thank you again.

Reviewer: astro_wizkid
Date: 11/02/07 17:04
Chapter: Chapter 16: The Reaper

Hey!
Firstly an aside…I had a review all ready to send…but of course I didn’t write it in word before hand…and poof! It went up in smokes like if the Reaper torched it like the car!

So, man was that bloody brilliant or what? Gruesome yes, but if your point was to re-enact a battle scene were you witness chaos, destruction, blood (and lots of it!) as well as sheer overpowering evil…then vola! You most defiantly got that down pact! One thing which is apparent in all of your writings (especially in this chapter) is your ability to use imagery to your advantage. Not everyone can utilize imagery as effortlessly as you can…this chapter (along with the chapter 13 The Illusion I think it’s called) was a prime example of it. Reading it I could imagine everything…the chaos felt by the ignorant muggles (well, ignorant referring to the no knowledge about magic and it’s power…in this chapter, it’s power used for evil) the carnage of human bodies decapitated, the blood absolutely everywhere, the fear of the unknown and unpredictable nature of the Reaper (that was the nightshade’s name right?) felt by the humans (and also by the regulars in my opinion…masked by their brave front)…speaking of their bravery…I was quite impressed with Lilith’s character…a true auror would look in the eye of death and defy it outright….and that’s exactly what she did…even though she was a minor character, it was elements of bravery shown by Lilith as well as Barstow and Cramden that made the chapter more….i don’t like the word I’m about to write but that’s the only way I find I can express myself….bearable to read…it’s like it lighted up the mood, even for just a wile…to know that even In the face of the atrocities which the Nightshades have been doing…you still have bravery and the will to fight on…but going back to my though on your use of imagery…it was like a movie was going on in my head…one which I didn’t want to see because of the blood, the goar, the image of pure evil…but it’s like, I couldn’t look away…no matter how much I wanted to stop….i couldn’t…..very well done 

One thing which I also enjoy in this chapter was Ron and Harry’s ability to, even in the face of the destruction caused by the Nightshade, their ability to examine the scene, to find a clue on how to defeat the organization. One thing which I will be waiting to find out…what is the story about the scrolls? Is it linked to earth magic…like a way to channel raw power? ( a reader’s observations) Also, I wonder if the next chapter will include a visit to the R brothers….might they show the memory to them I wonder? (oh, and nice touch by having the Nightshade tell the witness that harry and ron would be coming…creppy, but nice nevertheless)

So, as I wrap up…bloody brilliant chapter and anxiously awaking more!


Author's Response: An aside to your aside: A little hint, because I've had this happen to me over and over again, and it took a very ugly bit of learning to find this out. To be honest, I wish they would put this in the FAQ's or maybe make a news post out of it because I often have this problem as do, apparently, a few of my readers. Next to copy and pasting, what I have found is if you write something, and then you hit submit, but you get the log in screen, the very next thing you should do is hit "refresh". Either you will go to a screen that tells you your entry has been submitted, or you will get a white screen and a dialogue box that asks if you want to "retry" click on the retry button, and you should get the comment submitted screen. So, for everyone who gets frustrated that they have lost their comments, that's how you deal with it (and as I've mentioned, I've just gotten into the habit of everytime I write a long response, I copy it just in case). Now to the review. Was it bloody brilliant? Modesty aside, I hoped it would be, I've been waiting to write this chapter for ages now, and It's so good to see that it is getting a good response. The police thing was a new addition, but here's why. I originally had it to where when the regulars circled around the Reaper and cast stunning spells for the Reaper to duck low, and transfigure the magic itself into a kind of spinning blade that he would use to slice those standing around him. It occurred to me, however, that that would be going beyond the pale, plus, it also occurred to me that given the catastrophe going on, it would be rather unrealistic for there to not be a muggle police response. (Though, I worried that people might not wonder why more didn't come. The reason for this was that at the same time regulars showed up on scene, Ministry liasons were arriving at police headquarters to obliviate and stand down any further muggle efforts). Which brings us to bravery. It was important for me, specifically with Lilith and Eric, to show how they died, to show the courage with which they faced death. I didn't want this to turn into a storm trooper shoot out, that's to say, turn this into one of those occurrences where the reader has little emotional attachment to those who are being put down. So, from Lilith's stand point, here's a girl who's tough and strong, and even though she's not a full Auror yet, it was important to me, for her, that she stand up the way she did. But for me, the emotional one, the one that actually got me a little misty eyed was Eric's death. I created him on a whim, again, the fruits of my tendancy to not like making paper doll characters. When Eton was found, I made Eric the way he was so that you didn't feel like this was just some walk on, like here was a guy who went home, ate his dinners, had hobbies, etc., just so the story would have that added bit of depth. I didn't know what I was going to do with him, but I grew so fond of him so quickly that, I felt this would do his character justice, and it would show to anyone left doubting exactly what it was that Ron saw in him. Finally, I'll talk about the scrolls. Rathius explains the scrolls initially, if I remember, in From Here There Be Monsters, when he is questioned about his staff. If you'll remember, he used the globe to explain the history behind how the wand came to be, and at one point he tangents off to Asia where, prior to the popular use of wands, wizards and witches there would use scrolls to channel their magical energies. This is to say that there are many different kinds of tools used among many different cultures in varying ways to channel such energy, and we're going to see at least two more by the time the story is at its end (one will be revealed next chapter). Well, that's about all I have to say about that, and thank you so very much!

Reviewer: acciobooks1111
Date: 11/02/07 15:25
Chapter: Chapter 16: The Reaper

That was really gruesome. It was great though. I think Harry was on to something when he said that about style. I can't wait to see Harry and Ron duel... especially Harry. How many more chapters? Will there be a sequal? I would like to hear more about the families too. I used to think the "master" was Ratbone and he was just trying to help them along but that possibility is pretty much crumbling. Can't wait for the next chapter. Oh and by the way I listened to 'Sidewinder' and I dont see it. Oh well. And keep the chapters long!!!!

Author's Response: Where to start? Sidewinder. No, I imagine reading with Sidewinder and having the scene play out in your head as I have might not fit. It does take specific timing. The opening bit, where you hear the guitars fading in with a kind of slow solo would best match with the car coming down the road, that first big explosion of noise corresponding to win the car is launched into the air. Then you have what I think is a good bit of music to match the melee that ensues. There are other bits that sync up for various reasons, but the battle between Cramden and the Reaper in my mind also to me fit well with the bit in the song when they switch up to the classical guitars. Talking about Harry and Ron dueling the Reaper, that is also a scene I'm anxious for, but also intimdated to write (trust me, It's going to be crazy). Now, as a matter of interest, why do you say it's impossible for Ratbone to be the Master? Particularly from this chapter, I'm curious. Thank you so much, and see ya for the next.

Reviewer: red haired mom
Date: 11/02/07 9:23
Chapter: Chapter 16: The Reaper

Excellent chapter as usual, and as Ron felt the déjà vu, and vertigo, I would have to say it would feel a little disconcerting to see everything back to normal after just seeing it completely destroyed. You made the point quickly and very well.
The overlying scenes and sights Ron has in his head are very well done. I like that he and Harry talk about the way it’s working and how long they might have.
Ron’s knowledge of Muggle technology is still woefully inadequate, but makes sense. Not many wizards have more than a passing knowledge of anything Muggle, much less something as specific as the name of a computer.
The destruction was written in such a fast pace, and read so quickly; I had to re-read it to write down my thoughts. I liked the use of so many different magics from this Nightshade. It seems like each subsequent one has more ‘abilities’ than the last one.
Harry seeming afraid of the duelling abilities of this one made the point better than anything else you could have written. Though his later thoughts on it make the Nightshade seem more human and ‘beatable’ than the duels imply.
You create such vivid pictures with your words, I feel as if I am watching a particularly bloody and gory movie as I read. The severed body parts and explosions combined with even more descriptions of the Nightshade’s movements and fighting capabilities are done so well.
The duels with the Regulars, and then the Aurors were so meticulous in intent, and skill, it seems inhuman. I know it is fiction, but the skill you have given him, to be able to do all of that to other wizards, and so many at that, just doesn’t seem possible. Until you count, the abject fear that colors the abilities of them. But still, someone has to be able to best at least one of the Nightshades soon, or they might as well all lie down and die, and I think they would be feeling the same way before too long.
I can only assume the Nightshade is wearing a version of the Shield Cloak, and that is why the stunner only knocked him off his feet? Harry translating the Parseltongue and thinking he had taught himself only a few words was a nice touch.
Leaving a witness to pass along the ‘messages’ seems to have become a calling card as much as the flowers.
Again, excellent chapter, and I hope soon you will allow one of the Nightshades to either be bested or caught. But since it is your story, I guess we will have to wait and see how it plays out. I enjoyed this very much and can’t wait to read more.


Author's Response: That first scene carried with it several purposes. The first was to, as you point out, show the disparity of what is and what was, as well as allow me to hint towards the reader that they were viewing the memory through the pensieve and not through Legilimancy. It also allowed me to set the scene descriptively so that I wouldn't have to, in the middle of the action, go back and start describing things. There was one bit, the sign for the music shop, that I had neglected to mention in the opening of the chapter, and while I had hoped to do this, I had to cover the laptop, and I felt it would be off to have Ron try and contend with muggle laptop and muggle CD (which the sign was shaped and painted to look like). Aside from that, it was all setting the stage. Same to goes with the little exchanges that Ron and Harry have together here in the opening, this more to make it clear that Ron and Harry would be witnessing the memory together. You know, it is kind of funny, this chapter, as you say, was so fast paced, but it was slow in the writing, and it remains a rather large chapter. But again, that's the effect of what all is going on. As for the magics, one of the great things about the Reaper is that that particlar Nightshade is great for letting the imagination go. The Beast and the Wall both have limitations, and the Illusion is such that to delve too deeply there would require the reader to suspend disbelief for far too long, but with the Reaper, there is what I like to think of as a good blend of disbelief and reality to make it easy to write. Whether one Nightshade is better than the other is a little trickier, and I think we're going to engage in some of that in the next chapter. When it came to Harry's reactions, that is specifically why I wanted this chapter to be a pensieve and not legilimency recreation. I wanted Harry there for two very specific observations, though, for the interests of giving nothing away, I will not remark upon which two were so important, and why. Thank you for the compliments on the imagery, by the way, and I've been thinking much on this, and when I write about these stories on my website after all is said and done, I think I'm going to include a talk about imagery there as well because by far that seems to be the thing I receive the most compliments about which has led to a great deal of introspection. It is not enough, mind you, to focus and improve your weaknesses, but also necessary to analyze your strengths and understand why you do what you do and how it becomes successful. You come close to a common critique of the Nightshades that I have gotten used to when you remark upon the how close to impossibility the powers of them are. I will address some of that in the next chapter, but one thing you mention, how fear colors perception, is definitely a part of it. I can't remember who I was responding to, but, before I decided to make this my last story, Epilogues were never intended to be a stand alone story, but instead a prelude to a much bigger story. Thus, the machinery that surrounds them, their great power was also always intended to be mismatched for very specific reasons. Again, for particularly astute readers, next chapter will have some answers, but for others, those will have to come in the companion posts I will put up after the story. I apologize for this, but... sigh... I'm hoping this is obscure enough to write here without jinxing myself, largely due to my political writing, and aided a little bit here, I have had a publisher sniffing around me a bit. Nothin significant, and definitely not cause for people to get hopeful, but I have come to a place where I need to focus on my political writing, and orginal writing; this is the primary reason why the Nightshades will mark the end of my fanfic writing. But, as I said, I do intend to explain all to the maximum satisfaction of as many as possible when this is done. As for the more specific stunning question, that too will be answered next chapter, though it will not be answered directly. Anyway, as I keep saying next chapter, I will remark that the next chapter will be of a different kind than we've had recently, and much will be revealed (I hope, I plan on sitting down to write it after I've answered these reviews and gotten some food in my belly), with that thank you, and thank you so much for the birthday wishes as well! Take care of yourself W.

Reviewer: Her My Own EE
Date: 10/31/07 3:58
Chapter: Chapter 16: The Reaper

Great Chapter! I love the end very creepy. Very appropriate since I finished reading it on Halloween. The action between the wizards flowed very well. I had to read the action with the muggles broken up so I can't comment on the flow of it. However I can say the imagery for the entire chapter was excellent. This was one of the few examples of super well described scenes being a good thing.

Author's Response: Thank you ever so much, I'm glad you enjoyed it, and I'm ever so glad you picked up on the Halloween thing. One of my wishes was for the chapter to just quickly get squeezed in around Halloween time, it seemed so fitting for me. so thank you again, and I'll see ya for the next one.

Reviewer: Ginzig
Date: 10/30/07 19:49
Chapter: Chapter 16: The Reaper

it's hard to even know what to say after reading that chapter. So much loss of life and the terror they must have felt before they died. Very well written, amazing descriptions as always. I agree with Harry, how do you fight something like that? I might be back with another review after I think some more about it.

Author's Response: Thank you so much, it was a fun, but challenging chapter to write. As for the answer to yours and Harry's question... this may be divulging too much, but... well... the answer to that question i think might be found in the chapter itself. Thank you so much, and I'll catch you for the next one!

Reviewer: MagicalMaddie331
Date: 10/30/07 16:57
Chapter: Chapter 16: The Reaper

Wow, this was an excellent chapter. No grammatical errors or anything of that sort, and it was really well done. Although some parts felt a bit tedious (possibly because action's not my thing) I thought was was written very well and this story is carrying along quite nicely. I did recognize Edith and Earl, the old couple that saw Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny racing each other back in One Good Day. I'm looking forward to the next chapter, you did a brilliant job on this one.

Author's Response: YAY! You remembered! Okay, well, I'm trying to be a little more careful with the proofreading now a days. This is mostly because for a while I was getting guilty that I was taking so long between chapters, so as soon as I finished a chapter I would hurry to post it, but at this point, I've kind of gotten myself to a place where, people are going to read when I post, and so just take the time and get the thing done properly. Hopefully, you'll bear with the tedium of the action as there's still quite a bit left to go, but don't worry, we're taking a break from that in the next one, I promise! But I'm glad you largely enjoyed it (though, this does also put pressure on me to do better in the final chapters). And yes, I do say final chapters. while I know I've said there are as many as six chapters left, I consider them the final chapters as we are very nearly to the end anyways (granted, at the rate I'm writing, that may mean five or six more months until all is said and done, but hey, I still feel like we're almost at the end!) Thank you so much, and see ya for the next one!

Reviewer: The_Undomiel
Date: 10/30/07 15:58
Chapter: Chapter 16: The Reaper

I am a little confused. I know that they are looking at the survivor's memory of the event but aren't they like moving around? How can they do that if they are watching the event through his eyes? and how did the Reaper know that they would be there? Is it because they are the leading Aurors on the case? Once again, I love your story and please update soon! Great job on everything. And I love how you put songs to the chapter as it really adds effect when you are reading the story. The_Undomiel

Author's Response: Perhaps this is my fault for not making it clearer; they are watching this in the pensieve. As you'll recall, memories perused in the pensieve are done so out of body, that is to say, external from the person whose memory it is. I did this specifically so I could do exactly what I did; have Ron and Harry interact, have them move around, etc. As for how the Reaper knew they would be there and take the muggle's memory?... well, the answer for that one will have to come in the next chapter (yes, this is a promise, we will have the answer to that and quite a bit more in the next chapter!) Thank you so much.

Reviewer: KneazleWeazl
Date: 10/30/07 15:02
Chapter: Chapter 16: The Reaper

HOLY
SHIT
That was so intense, and scary, and it made me mad that i had to leave this morning before I could finish reading it. Another thing, this left no theories to be drawn, or maybe it did, I don't know, we had a preview of the fall play at my school today and i think my IQ dropped a few points after seeing it.

Great job, if I think of any theories I'll be sure to let you know.

Author's Response: Trying to get as many responses done before I have to go cover the Democratic debates, so here we go! HAHAHAHAHA! That reaction is EXACTLY what I was going for. As for fall plays, do'nt worry, I think those IQ points do come back. No, there's not MUCH to theorize in this one, almost all pure action, but very very astute readers may see something of what's to come. Thank you so much Charlotte, and I hope to hear from you after the next one!

Reviewer: Kabob
Date: 10/30/07 13:47
Chapter: Chapter 16: The Reaper

Ha ha, what a vague reference and pleasant Easter egg indeed. All the way back from ‘One Good Day’ chapter 3, eh? I have no idea how I caught the reference to Edith and Earl. What can I say? I’m a genius. No, I’m being too modest.

Anyways, I’m sorry for not reviewing for so long; consistency is not my best quality. In my last review I brought up Rathius’ older brother and said I had some piece of evidence to support it. The non-existent evidence was that early on in this story, the Master reminisces about working on his plan for over 30 years. I estimated that to be around the time or before the time that Harry was born, which I guessed to be around when the first war against Voldemort was going on. I remembered that Rathius’ brother went missing somewhere around that time, so my conclusion was that he disappeared to work on his plan. Of course, I was way off :P I played with the numbers anyways, so they probably don’t add up.

This chapter was incredible; for a chapter you’ve been itching to write for so long, I think you can say that you hit the nail on the head. The action was brutal, but you never went over-board with it, given the context, which I would definitely call a good thing. I don’t know how you made it work, but it definitely worked.

The Reaper I found to be a particularly interesting Nightshade. The fact that he gets enjoyment not out of power and infamy as many villains seem to, but out of the act of killing itself, and killing with “style”, is quite a character trait. It’s evil at a level that’s just plain disgusting, a lot like the Illusion, except the Illusion is despicable in a completely different manner. In fact, that’s the thing about each and every Nightshade: they’re all evil in intricate and various ways. It’s just that the Reaper seems to have no reserve, killing indiscriminately, which is disturbing.

Keep up the great work. I think we’ve all seen that the fruits of you taking your time between chapters is rewarding, so take your time. Either way, I’ll see you next chapter.

Author's Response: BOBAK! Hey man, like I keep saying, review when you get a chance, don't worry about it! I love your reviews so if it takes waiting every few chapters to get one, that's what I will do! I'm glad you caught Edith and Earl. I hemmed and hawed about that for some time, wondering if they would still be alive, and then I remembered that only about seventeen years passed since that particular day, so, assuming they weren't THAT old when that happened, it wouldn't be too terribly implausible for them to show up here. Though, I will say that while you and Magical Maddie caught the elderly couple, I also brought back the bookstore man who didn't want to sell Hermione a book as well. Curious bit of trivia here, and I will go more in detail on this when I've finished the story and write the companion on my site; I actually do intend for that guy to be the real character Azipherael from Good Omens, as an actual honest to goodness Angel, and one who has a somewhat interesting conversation with one Rathius Ratbone. As for your evidence, yeah, I'm sorry, and this is something I hide quite a bit so don't feel bad. I'm terrible with timelines, particularly those with the Potterverse. That would be why, if you are very careful, I am none too specific about when things happen in the past. I avoid it because I know there are a bunch of folks that know the timeline cold and if I were to try and get into that, I would make an utter fool of myself. So, just to be on the safe side, it is probably for the best to not base anything of what you read of me on timelines. sorry. Now to this chapter, thank you so much. I think originally, I intended to be a little more gruesome, but I know there have been a few comments to the gross factor of the story, and the power that the Nightshades exhibit, and a few other things (Igo, if you're reading this, you had something of a hand in my decision to do this), and in the end, I kind of cut back a little bit by having Ron turn away. In the end, I think that was for the best considering that if I did put too much gore in there, it would be grotesque, and as you say, over the top. As for how to make it work, well, I've mentioned this a few times before, but this is one of those rare occassions where I think I have the time to speak at length so I will. As with any kind of chapter, it all begins with conceptualizing, and getting a general overall idea of what I want to happen. In this case, I knew I wanted the Nightshade to go on a pure rampage for reasons that will remain urevealed for now. I wanted it in the square, a muggle square, specifically, in order to show a kind of progression. The point of this is to give the reader a detailed idea of just how gifted in the art of battle he truly is. So we start off with the muggles to show the capacity for pure devestation, then the police force because from the muggles one has to see this person fighting a group of people willing to fight back. then the Regulars to show him going against people who use magic, and finally, the main event, the Aurors who are quite skilled. Again, here was a scene that did take a little bit of inspiration from my reviewers, again, particularly those who have made grumbles about how powerful the Nightshades are; and we see it in the way that the Aurors are actually able to make progress against the Reaper. Another factor in this was that by the time the Aurors show up, much of the battle language had been used up, and so I had to shift directions a bit to avoid redundancy. So you will see that I'm kind of broad with the Muggles as kind of a warm up; then I ramp up to a kind of specific battle with them, and then moving into the confrontation with the police, and with the regulars, and then when we get back to the Aurors, the actual fighting goes broad again as we focus more on tactics and logistics. Then, it's kind of like basketball, or pick up sticks in reverse, or something like that. I know how everything is going to end up, so I just have to put the pieces there, like, if you look at a mess, (which we did in the last chapter), now it's a matter of reconstructing how that happened. To this degree, it helps to have a picture of the final carnage set so that when you are doing all of this, you can stop and think, oh, okay, this car has to be here, and these bodies have to be there, and no, wait, they pass Eric on their way to the bodies of the three aurors, so he has to die here, and then we got to get the aurors over there. From there, it's having fun. It's inventing new magic to keep things fresh and awe inspiring, for instance, the boils curse, and then making the statue melt and the way Eric died and the aurors. I particularly liked the scroll spells in this chapter, and had been ideas I've been waiting to use. One thing about the scroll magic is that visually there is so much more you can do with it (and as a little teaser, there are still other magics to explore. We don't do a great deal in the rest of the story, but we'll have a little taste). One of the things that I knew I would get tired with is the more traditional wand (and now staff) spells because there are only so many ways you can say "a jet of light leapt from the tip of his wand" before the whole thing gets old. So part of the reason I created the scroll magic was to grant more freedom in the aciton aspects of the story, and so while I try not to overdo it, it's still the HP verse, I do try to have fun and get creative with it when I can. As for the Reaper and the Illusion, and really all of the Nightshades, I've definitely some influences here as to where and how I came up with them, and you should know that before I even sat down to write this, the entire cabal was close to a year in the making, maybe longer, so yeah, their backstories are not particularly fleshed out in my mind, but who they are, what they are, is all very much solidified, and I have specific influences on how they came to be, but again, that is something I'm going to save for the companion pieces I will write after the story is finished (speaking of which, as there are only a handful of chapters left, I should get started on those pretty soon, huh?) Anyway, thank you so much and I'll definitely see you for the next one!

Reviewer: unregisteredanimagus
Date: 10/30/07 13:14
Chapter: Chapter 16: The Reaper

OMG, Amazing chapter... And Eric was still alive yet petrified? That is so LOST like, when they baried the petrified couple alive...
You have this amazing ability to completely transfer the reader into the scene, make him living it, like he is really there.. And the most amazing part is that although every time I read one of your chapters I think I really can't be more afraid no matter what comes next, every next chapter you post proves me wrong and push my fear into its limits... Nightshades.. WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE???

And I have to say it again, I really love that you have made Ron as the protagonist, as the man of action instead of Harry, he is and deserves to be depicted like that, unfortunately thought most of fan fic authors forget this aspect of him.. I would really love to see some more of Hermione though, because you can;t have Ron without Hermione.... pleaseeeeeeeeee

Keep up the good work and update sooooonnnnnn

Author's Response: That is the second evocation of LOST for this chapter alone... I should maybe watch an episode. Really, I've never watched lost, and this primarily because my wife sucked me into watching ALIAS for a while, and while I enjoyed the first couple of seasons, after that the show went downhill, along with my opinion of J J Abrams. So thank you very much, I like to think that the key ingredient to drawing the reader in is that I'm watching the scenes play out in my mind as I write, so it is very much like, to me, drawing or directing a film. As for who these people are, I intend to tell you quite a bit on that in the NEXT chapter. I am, also, currently listening to DH in my car to and fro work, and you know, you are right more than you know, and the more I think about it, the more I think Ron is a rather mistreated character from JKR herself. It is almost as though any kind of achievement he makes she's in the back of her head thinking, "ooh, maybe you deserve a cookie for this one" and much of my characterization of him is kind of showing a disparity between how he was introduced, and how he developed; that's to say, I think she actually dumbed him down over the course of the books. Anyway, thank you so much, and I can't promise soon, but I will make it as fast as I can.

Reviewer: gryffindorboi
Date: 10/30/07 12:39
Chapter: Chapter 16: The Reaper

Great chapter! I was actually more disturbed by The Illusion than this chapter, but it was great all the same. Can't wait for the next one!

Author's Response: Thank you so much. Yes, I think the Illusion was more a display of fear than the Reaper who was always intended to be a display of power. I do have some fear aspects in this chapter, but I think what I really wanted was sheer heart thumping action.

Reviewer: KneazleWeazl
Date: 10/30/07 6:04
Chapter: Chapter 16: The Reaper

holy crap holy crap crap crap crap. im trying really hard not to look att eh screen because i haven't read the chapter yet but i wanted to review. im gonna try and read it before i go to school but i doubt ill finish.

Author's Response: Go on... look... don't be afraid... It won't bite!!!!

Reviewer: Silver Whisper
Date: 10/30/07 4:46
Chapter: Chapter 16: The Reaper

oh.my.god

Eric was alive? that was just...pure evil, absolute pure evil.

I dunno, for some reason it didnt seem as gory as the last chapter. The only bit that had me "ew gross" was the description of Cramden and Barstow's deaths. Particularly Cramden's...ugh, what a brutal way to die, your not very nice to your characters are you?

I liked Eric's final moments, truly, he was incredibly brave, and i like the fact that Ron is going to have him buried as an auror.

Hmmm...perhaps the only nitpicking i have for you is...we as readers really do need some more answers. I dont want to be rude or cruel, because your story is brilliant! dont get me wrong, but this is starting to turn out like the TV show Lost. I dunno if your familar with it...but fans hang out every week for promised answers, only to get more questions and confusion and left with plot holes because it seems to writers couldnt think up for good answers to the questions they created...

But seriously, this isnt as bad as Lost...yet. I mean, you certainly havnt just left any of the plot hanging, but then again, the story isnt over yet. I dunno, im just hanging for some answers...

Anyway, the writing was fantastic, the action sequence was...superb! You have definatly improved on the action sequences from Part 2 (the one i have in mind in the rathius duel in the forest) Seriously, this action kicks that ones ass.

Anywho, i hope i didnt upset you, i mean i know you have some great maaster plan, and what i say probably wont change your mind and your just going to leave an authors response which makes me go "huh?" but its all good.

Keep up the good work.
Sarah

Author's Response: Hey Sarah. Yes, Eric died as a mix of bleeding to death, and shock. When the clean up crew arrived, because he had petrificus totalis cast on him, the back up regulars were not able to identify him as a survivor. Because Harry used legilimency, the entire scene happened too quick for him to notice the spell either, so twice did the Reaper prevent the young man from being saved. But yeah, Eric was something of a new character, that's to say, I created him on the spot back when I wrote Deeper in the Hole, and as I've mentioned in earlier responses, every time I bring a character into the story, I don't try and create just a paper cut out but try and give that character as much personality as possible (Tony, the Italian vendor with a daughter, Boris, the healer with a lisp, Eric Solstrom, the ambitious regular with hygenic issues but a sense of bravery and courage that really impressed Ron). And no, I'm not very nice to my characters. What's the point of reading a story where nothing bad happens? For there to be anything of interest, something bad has to come, and I got the bad coming out my ears. Those three deaths had been planned as such from the very beginning, you should know. Lilith's death came about because of her age, and what would happen if, out of a sense of malignant irony, her opponent opted to make her "older". Meanwhile, Barstow... I remember watching I think maybe it was on Faces of Death or something, but I remember many years ago watching someone getting drawn and quartered, and I thought of how that would work as a spell, and as it evolved, it became not only a particularly gruesome way to die, but also in its casting (the having to mark each of the limbs), showed a particular level of skill that I wanted to make sure the Reaper was imbued with. As for cramden, I have to admit, that just kind of popped in my head, I think maybe there was a little Saw inspiration there (the company logo at the beginning of the movies show barbed wire tightening over the company's name, which I can't remember right now, but I think that is where it came from). But yeah, that was that, and yeah, I have to admit, I kinda got a little misty eyed when I write Eric's end. As I said earlier, he was made up kind of on the spot, and I had no room for him later on or anything like that so I think it was just natural that he die right htere, but again, the character that he was, I knew if he was going to go down, he was going to go down like a champion. Regarding your nitpicking, i had contemplated this a lot actually, and it's kinda funny really. One thing I think that kind of throws things off is that you just can't go and read the next chapter, you have to wait until I've finished it, thus the pacing is all kinds of out of whack at least in this regard. I fyou look at all my chaptered fics, I think you'll notice an evolution. In OGD, I was writing off the cuff largely, and I wouldn't even know what was going to be in the next chapter before I was half way into the chapter before it, and then for Part I, I guess it was written sort of like a short story in that, you know, there is only really one beginning, middle, and end, but a few chapters into Part II, I finally hit upon the rhythm that would really govern Part III, and that is where I kind of almost adopted the spirit of writing for television in that each chapter had it's own story arc and these arcs connected into one single arc. But this does put things off a tiny bit because with Television, and fanfic where you are putting up your material in real time, you have to keep things moving at a certain pace, but this is, for all intents and purposes, a novel, and to this regard, it should be understood that the overall arc, not the chapter arcs, are what dominates. With all that being said, I've not watched lost, and while I think there will be some questions left at the end of the story, most loose ends will be tied up. In fact, I intend to tie up at least some of them in the next chapter. Which is to say, yes, next chapter will be, largely, an expositional chapter, and you should come out of it knowing quite a bit more about the character of the Nightshades. So no, no upset, I'm still rather pleased with the review, and hey, I think you just put me over Lost which is good! YAY! As for the action... well.... hehehehe... you ain't seen nothing yet. Thank you so much.

Reviewer: AnaMolly
Date: 10/29/07 23:31
Chapter: Chapter 16: The Reaper

First I would like to congratulate you on your writing. I know I’ve always said that you are an incredibly talented writer but I think in this chapter you managed to outdo even yourself. The whole chapter was just so vividly descriptive it kept amazing me from one sentence to the next. The dueling scenes have been the best, and I say this without reservations, indeed the very best I have ever read in my entire life. It is gory, but not to the extent I thought it would be, and that’s not a bad thing at all. I think that it was extremely intense and horrifying but because of the descriptions and not so much because of the gore. You manage to convey a sense of dread and panic that is really hard to do in writing and I think that is what amazed me from this chapter. I guess the part that I found the most frightening, above anything else, was the look on Harry’s face. For that flicker of a moment when he believes there is no way he could ever beat a Nightshade like him I was truly scared for him, for Ron, for everybody that is threatened by them because if Harry was doubting himself and his abilities what could we expect? But then when he realized that it was all about style, a glimmer of hope crossed my face and I have to say (hoping it doesn’t sound too cheesy) the day looked a bit brighter (even though I read it and now writing this review at night) Anyway, this chapter was certainly well worth the wait and I can’t wait to see what comes next.
By the way I was being completely honest in my last review when I said any other thoughts I had in my head scattered when I realized you had updated, yes your story does truly have such an effect!
Thank you for providing us with a thoroughly enjoyable chapter!
Ana


Author's Response: Thank you so much; I labored quite a bit over this chapter, restarted a couple of times, lost about a page of writing and had to go back and rewrite it, and well, i'm just glad that the final product came out the way it did and that people seem very receptive to it. I am in agreeance with you that I do not find gore particularly terrifying, at least not in fiction. I have always intended this story to be both gory and scary, but the latter not because of the former, but instead the other way around. While I'm in a way breaking some of my own rules on horror, I believe in a distinct set of rules, and still do try to apply them in some instances. The point is that you can achieve much more horror with the right mood, with the right level of suspense, then with gallons of blood (though I must admit to quite literally using both in this story). For instance, I would have to say the Beast is one of the scarier parts of this story, and there's really no blood in that chapter at all, likewise, as I was writing it, the scene in the dark with the Illusion where the monster is hunting Harry and Ron in the dark was also one of the scarier parts of this story. and I'm glad you made mention of Harry's reaction because that too was intended to have the effect it did on you. All in all, a very fun chapter to write, and I'm glad you enjoyed it as such. Thank you.

Reviewer: peevesforever
Date: 10/29/07 22:40
Chapter: Chapter 16: The Reaper

wow that was an amazing chapter. it was worth the wait. i really liked the action cant wait for more.

Author's Response: Thank you so much, I'm glad you enjoyed it and weren't put off overmuch by the wait. Unfortunately, I can't promise that much shorter of a wait for the next chapter, though I do think the writing will come a little faster. One thing, and I think I mentioned this in the Author's Note, is that while action is very fun to write, it also takes a little more time and care as you have to keep track of what is going on. While emotional writing is very hollistic and ergonomic, and exposition writing is informational, and therefore somewhat linear, action writing must be paced and traced and kept in its place, so to speak. There is often so much to account for that you have to keep all these lines of events moving and when you leave one to focus on another, you have to do so in such a manner that you don't have your reader thinking "what's going on with this over here?" With that said, the next two chapters should be rather quick to write, but then the two chapters following that should take some time. Anyway, thank you so much, I appreciate the review, and will see ya for the next one.

Reviewer: Starwolf
Date: 10/29/07 22:03
Chapter: Chapter 16: The Reaper

I love all of your stories. They are so amzaingly written. I know that this is my first review but i have read them all. I conuldn't find the reference to one of your past stories though. Oh well its late, i could probably find it later. Love ur stories. Keep the chapters coming!!

Author's Response: First, it is always a treat to get a first time reviewer, and I can only hope that you'll continue to join us for the last leg of what has been an incredibly long journey. I am honored by your praise, and I am glad you enjoy the writing. I have spent quite some time on it. if you missed the easter eggs, don't worry, I will reveal them in the author's note for the next chapter! So, thank you very much, I truly appreciate it, and I will see you for the next chapter!

Reviewer: Jameswys
Date: 10/17/07 23:00
Chapter: Chapter 15: Revelations

I also have a rebuttal for the previous reviewer. I am fine with you using alright. I found this reight after reading the review.
"It is quite common in fictional dialogue, and is used occasionally in other writing ." -- Taken from Merriam-Webster Online

I think you are okay to use it as you do.


Author's Response: Thank you ever so much, that was both helpful and enabling! HA! the alrights shall continue!

Reviewer: Jameswys
Date: 10/17/07 22:54
Chapter: Chapter 15: Revelations

Well, here I am. Finally Caught up. I have taken my time to read your stories, about 7 weeks. I now cannot wait for the next chapter. I am sad about Lillith. From the moment you described her I wanted her to be Harry and Ron's Trainee. As for Adam I think I am going to search the reviews to see if someone called him. I knew Adam was a little odd but I never saw this comming. You are truly a gifted author and I am going to be quite bored waiting for the next update (you have been my waiting tool for the past six weeks).

Author's Response: Jebus, really really sorry about not getting to this until now. Yeah, I'm glad you're glad you are caught up, though now i have to warn you that things are going to get much more frustrating as You're gonna have to wait like a month between chapters... not that it takes me a month to write them, but I'm typically so busy that it takes me that long to find the several hours it takes to write the chapter at the same time I find myself in a mood fit for the writing. Not an easy task. I am glad that you have enjoyed them thus far, and as I get ready to draw this story to a close (for it is ending... after the chapter I have just put into queue, I think there are 1 2 3 4 5 6... six chapters left, depending on the rhythm. I think that I may be cutting the chapters up too small, though, so it is likely to be even shorter than that, especially when you think that much of those chapters really signify individual scenes all in a very short time frame. With Lilith, and I think I'm learning this about writing, is that you start off writing wanting certain things to happen, and yet, you find that as you write they don't fit. I wanted to have more Lilith in the story and had even toyed with a romance between her and Adam, an unusal romance as we see they were something like rivals early on, but it just didn't work out. Still, one of the things that I did kind of like about the chapter waiting in the queue now is that I did get to just a little bit more character development with her before well... you know. As for Adam himself, no one really called it, called it. There were some close guesses, I think, but I wouldn't think anything that was definitive. Given his last name though, I'm counting myself rather lucky that I got away with it as I have. Thank you so much, and hopefully you'll be able to read the next chapter within a week.

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