Reviewer: lita1949m
Date: 04/22/08 23:18
Chapter: Chapter 19: The Nightshades

i have stayed up and read all straight through....Please dont leave me hanging..this adds a lot to harry potter. its a shame EVERYBODT doesnt know about this and you...I will pass the word

Author's Response: Thank you very much; I truly appreciate it, and of course am grateful for more exposure. I'm also impressed that you stayed up to read straight through; that's a whole lot of reading. Nor do I intend to leave you hanging. Apparently the next chapter has been approved, but for some reason it's still not through the queue, yet, don't know why and waiting to hear back on that. Anyway, thank you kindly.

Reviewer: Privet Hedge
Date: 04/19/08 22:58
Chapter: Chapter 19: The Nightshades

Nice insight on Neville in your commnents! It's supported by the thought that the only other course in which he did well in O.W.L.s and went on to study N.E.W.T. level (that we know of) was Charms. Flitwick knows his subject but is polite and not intimidating.
One more thought on unanswered questions and direction of suspicion for the identity of the Master. If the Master is indeed a necromancer, who is the vampire he used to commit one of the murders? It certainly keeps suspicion of Ras in the mix.
Still trying to puzzle out if Rathius has any more role to play. He's not as involved or heroic as Ron and the others might like, but Ginny's experience with him suggests he's trustworthy in what he bothers to say. I know the early chapters were all Ron's p.o.v., but in retrospect I'm surprised Harry didn't seem to have much of an opinion on him. They were both teachers the same year! Yeah, I know, they didn't really overlap, but still...
Yeah, I read the other reviews after I had posted mine - saw that you had explained Ron closing his eyes was the concession to goriness rating.

Author's Response: I forgot that about Neville. As for the identity of the Master, I'm not answering any questions on that as the answer will soon avail itself. Hopefully real soon as I just finished writing chapter 20, and I'm going through it now with a fine tooth comb. I hope to have it in queue and unassailable by moderators within the next couple of hours. For this reason, I can also not talk about Rathius either as he's still a suspect, after all, we don't know what exactly it is that has dropped Ron's jaw. As for Harry and Rathius, I do touch on this a little in the next chapter, but it's quite simple, though they were teachers, they never really interracted. For Harry, the impression was back then that if Rathius wanted nothing to do with him, he already had plenty of things going on that he had no use spending extra efforts trying to figure him out. For the most part he simply heard what Ginny had to say about him and as long as Rathius wasn't a big baddie, Harry was fine with that. Also keep in mind that this was happening directly in the aftermath of Voldemort, and the last thing Harry really wanted to do was find himself in the middle of another good vs. evil gig. But really, if you want to know who established the lack of relationship with Harry, it was Rathius, and while I can say little more about it at this point, the simple answer is that Rathius just wasn't all that interested in Harry. There was nothing about Harry that particularly intrigued him. Rathius being who he is, if you don't intrigue him, or stand in his way, then he pretty much doesn't care about you. But, as with other loose ends I intend to leave untied at the end of this story, I will explain everything afterward. Alright, that's enough out of me, if I want to get this next chapter in the queue, I need to get back to work. I only stopped by because I had to double check to make sure of something or else there's going to be some serious rewriting or retconning going on.

Reviewer: theunit1016
Date: 04/19/08 2:51
Chapter: Chapter 19: The Nightshades

Again, phenomenal stuff. Well written, well organized, enticing, etc. You said in a response to somebody else's comment that you felt this was far enough away from Harry Potter that it was your own story. Totally how I feel about it, and I really think that's the best part of it. Nearly everything else here is someone trying to capture Rowling's voice and story lines and, of course, nobody is as good as the original.
Your strength, I feel, lies in your ability to use a world that was created by somebody else and make it entirely your own. You could change character names and places and this could really be read as a seperate entity. It makes me wonder what other things you could write.

Anyways, I'm rambling. Looking forward to the ending, no matter where it's published.

Author's Response: Ah, rambling is more than welcomed here, don't sweat it, and thank you very much. You know, in the earlier stories I had tried to emulate Rowling's voice, and that was, I believe, a good starting point. It allowed me the chance to really focus on the voice and give it personality, and to give it consistency which I think gave me a strong foundation once I started establishing a different voice. With Part I, I think that's when I started tried to branch off of Rowling's voice and establish one of my own, but I think that effort was a little forced. With Part II, I got a little more comfortable and now in Part III, I think I'm pretty much off to the races. I feel very confident when I sit down to write, and am not utterly discouraged when I have difficulties pinning a scene down. I keep coming back to it because I know ultimately I'll get it down and it will be more or less right. Even now that I'm on my third or fourth try with chapter 20, I still feel pretty good, and everything seems to flow pretty naturally. Now I have to focus on reviewing what I wrote and really sharpening things up a bit. And I think you're right, I could change a few names here and there, make a couple of adjustments, and I think I would have a pretty decent totally original story, but this story is already written, and I have no desire to what to write next. As for what other things I could write, I have several different ideas going on in my head as far as projects to take up when I finally finish this story. One story I have I tell my daughters when I put them to be on the weekends. It's more of a children's story, but it is about a young girl who wakes up one night to find her living room is turned into a kind of lounge/nightclub where she meets a mysterious man who ultimately kidnaps her sister. From there the girl goes on a quest through this fantasy world to rescue her. I have a sci-fi story about a spaceship crew that has been given the mission of searching a space station for survivors before its scheduled demolition, also, I just recently started toying with a kind of serial story about vigilantes/super heroes in a town modeled after the one I grew up in, and then there's the Tun and Tunaria arcs which would ultimately fit together to tell a history of the three ages of a world that repeats the same march to global war. one, or maybe all of these are stories I plan on exploring and sharing with people on my blog once this venture has ran its course. Anyway, I truly appreciate it, thank you very much and hope to have the next chapter finished up very very soon.

Reviewer: louiselikes
Date: 04/18/08 17:22
Chapter: Chapter 19: The Nightshades

Wow. That was amazing. The little twists, the humiliating of each Nightshade and the final pity from Ron was really well played. I love this story, I can't wait for the Master's unveiling (or rather, naming)!

Author's Response: Thank you very much. Well, I hope I won't keep you waiting for too long. I'm going to see about starting on the next chapter tonight, and we'll see if I don't get it finished tomorrow night. Finger's crossed. Again, thanks, and see ya for the next chapter.

Reviewer: TC Fields
Date: 04/18/08 0:27
Chapter: Chapter 19: The Nightshades

UGH! That's so funny, cause as I was reading the chapter I was thinking "Why did he close his eyes? That is so not like Ron..." and THAT was what you changed! weird.

Author's Response: Yup, that's exactly it, and to be honest, I take this little comment as a compliment, precisely because you're essentially saying that I've done enough on characterization that when I do do something that is out of character, you pick up on it instantly. I suppose there are other ways I could have done this, but I suppose this works. Anyway, thanks again!

Reviewer: Privet Hedge
Date: 04/17/08 16:11
Chapter: Chapter 19: The Nightshades

Pretty good! Great to see the next chapter.
Glad to see Ron working out the 'gifts' part - family.
I figured on the Darkness Powder to take out the Illusion (after all, what power does a mirror or illusion have over you if you can't see it?) but the disillusion spell is just as good.
That freed up the Powder to take out Adam. Same principle - eliminates the visual impersonation of Ginny. Trust Harry to know his own wife in the dark!
Protege's assessment was on the mark about (was it Reaper?) not being able to cope with an unconventional tactic. I thought it would be some innocuous and/or sinister WWW creation that would do the trick - distract with a gobstone so she stumbles into a Portable Quicksand Pit (patent pending).
Not surprised to see Neville with some useful and dangerous potions. I always figured an herbologist produces so many potion ingredients he's become good at Potions, especially if Fiona helps him (and especially when Snape isn't browbeating him).
I need to read back a bit, can't remember right now - was the living steel potion Chekhov's gun on the wall? Did you establish it earlier - maybe as something Neville uses to strengthen the plants around the Grove?
What was the spell Neville bounced back at the wall?
Wendigo! Are you using generic legend, Marvel Comics version, or crossing him with Warner Bros. Tasmanian Devil!?
I find myself wishing that they sent Fiona under Harry's old cloak to scout for the kids while they kept the Nightshades occupied, but it doesn't look like it.
I like how you made the dancing magic a little more explicit this time. Is that the Native American influence?
Thinking about the scroll magic and Darkness Powder - do the scroll spells have power if the caster can't see the writing on them?
Yeah, the Severatum is gross. I suppose Ron may have closed his eyes to it. I think it more likely that he would have cautioned Hermione not to watch, and that he would have been keeping his own eyes on the Master the whole time.
I'm also a little disappointed that neither he nor Harry (who was thinking along the lines of preserving even their enemies' lives) made even a pro forma attempt at finite incantatem (or something else to stop the Severatum spell).
Okay, so Ron is shocked to see who the Master is (or isn't). Didn't need Trelawney to see that cliffie coming! So, let's think. He acted like he expected Rathius, and was shocked! If that means it's not Rathius (and I'm not ruling out some twist on your part), who else do we have? Rasmussen? Kingsley? Fiona? Dennis? Auntie Muriel? Most of the rest of your cast has been murder victims.
I suppose Ras might be the next most obvious suspect ('obvious' in the sense of 'expected literary device').
Personally, I'm suspicious of one of the victims. The late partner of Ron's late mentor (I forget his name) seemed to me to have conflicting characterizations in two appearances before his apparent murder: one as perpetual second fiddle, not a hero, happy to get his time in and retire and the other that showed a tiny glimpse of some concealed pride, ambition or resentment. Of course, I could be imagining it.
Can't wait for the next!

Author's Response: Well thank you kindly, and lots of questions too, hmmm... I'll answer what I can. You know, on the WWW to take out the Reaper, and even on Neville's potions, I didn't want to get too wild with things. I've already dipped heavily into deus ex machina in my stories, and I think if I just came up with WWW devices to stop the Nightshades in every setting, then that would kind of just be a little ridiculous. What I did with the Reaper was just, you know, create this solution that was a little more organic, a little more natural and plausible, and yet it would still fit into what the Pupil was talking about her being not all that bright. As for Neville and potions, you and I are thinking definitely on the exact same wavelength. We've seen Neville's character as being one of strength, but also one prone to intimidation. We know he's smart, but the only class he was able to actually succeed in was the one class that didn't have a completely overbearing teacher. While much is made of Neville's relationship with Snape, one must also remember that Neville didn't do well under McGonogall's tutelage either, and I think that might be because that she can be just as imposing as Snape at times. However, when we see him take Dark Arts Defense under Harry, while he starts out rough, he does eventually get to be pretty good. So that is kind of what I did with him in this adult version, basically imagined that okay, let's take his character, and see how it does in an environment where he is allowed to grow naturally without these imposing forces impeding him. As for the Steel Skin potion, that was not established earlier on in the story. I did that specifically because I wanted there to be a kind of surprise factor. The establishment comes in the form of knowing that Neville brought a lot of potions to the fight, but we don't necessarily know what all of them do. We do know that at least one type of potion makes a very big boom, though, and I wouldn't forget that. Anyway, no, that was purely for surprise, and I guess that was a cheaper than normal trick on my part for just wanting something that kind of takes one by surprise when watching the fight. The spell that Neville bounced back at the Wall was called, "Albedus" which is dirived from the Latin, "Albedo" which means to reflect. I've used it a couple of times thus far, and it is essentially a kind of beefed up version of "Protego" that not only shields the caster from an incoming spell, but reflects it back at the caster. The Wendigo... I'm glad you asked about that and we're going to talk about the Native American Influence and perhaps my extension of Rowling's magical rules all at the same time. In, From Here There Be Monsters, I had Rathius kind of outline the basic thesis to my approach to magic here. One of my intents with this story and with Part II is to delve deeper into magical theory because in canon there is talk in general about magical theory, but not much actual detailed mention of it, and so what I did was added that depth, and key to that was that magic in general works the same, but cultural differences that have developed through the world resulted in peoples from different parts of the world learning to harness magic in different ways. At the time of the Harry Potter books, the wand had become the standard conductor of magic world wide, as often the world will assimilate itself to a single standard, but we see that things were not always done this way. With many indigenous cultures, for instance, the wearing of masks was used to harness magical powers, and this is where the Nightshades masks came from. In the Asian countries, as Rathius explains, the written word was used to harness magic. For the Europeans, the moder wand evolved from the staff because it was generally light, smaller, easier, and safer to use. But for the Native Americans, and other indegenous peoples throughout the world, magic is achieved by song and dance. Hence the creation of the spell to summon the WENDIGO! Now, initially I was going to have the Beast summon a different creature, but there were some reasons why I chose not to. Some of those reasons I shouldn't divulge, but one of them was because I wanted to continue to expand on this magical theory to practice idea I had already started. I realized that I had not touched upon this song and dance routine that I had wanted to from the very beginning. So I needed a Native American monster to do the job. In thinking about this, I recalled a scary story I read as a youth about a windigo. I don't remember much about it, I just remember there being much to do with wind. Before I did some research into it, that was going to be the about the end of things, just a wind monster, and I really didn't change much from that point, but I did do some research and found that my conceptualization of the Wendigo was off a bit. Unfortunately there wasn't much in the real legend of the Wendigo that I could incorporate and still keep in tracking with my story, but I did add one thing that I read where the Wendigo was also associated with incredible cold. As for Tazmanian Devil influence, I suppose there might have been some, but none that was overtly intentional. Moving on. Scroll magic does still have power if either the caster or the target can't see what is written. Now, this requires some qualification though. As Rathius points out, beginners who use scroll magic must write the scrolls out ahead of time, so this is actually a very limiting form of magic because you have to be able to predict what spells you need and then be able to write them out. But as mastery in the art increases, the scrolls are capable of being conjured at a moment's notice. In either case, the scroll itself is still a conduit for the spell. For beginners, this must be written, and I would equate that to beginning witches and wizards having to verbalize incantations. This because their magical aptitude is not at a point where they can maintain the focus and discipline necessary to harness magic with mere thought alone. But as we get to the more mastered use of scroll casting, what is happening is that the conjured scroll becomes a physical representation of the spell caster's thought, and thus it will channel the magic regardless of whether the scroll is seen or not. On to Severatum. First, you should know, the change I had to make was closing Ron's eyes. The original version had Ron watching the entire thing and therefore the reader watching it as well. That was deemed a little too gory for this site, so as a compromise I had Ron close his eyes. I wanted to publish a directors cut of the original version on my website, but I forgot to save it seperately so I'm sorry about that. As for Pro Forma attempts to stop the spell, the reason why is because there were two things at work here. First, confusion. Neither Harry nor Ron knew what was going on initially as it took some time to understand for them what the Severatum spell was doing. The second was sheer shock. I mean, you're watching five people being magically decapitated? That's a new one and likely to freeze someone in their tracks. Which brings us to predictions as to who the Master might be. For this, all I can say is that I can't say, you will find out early on in the next chapter, and I intend to put at least one clue in the Author's Note so those willing to make a last minute dash to figure it out will have their chance. Anyway, thank you so much, I truly appreciate the review! See ya next time.

Reviewer: tilli
Date: 04/17/08 8:13
Chapter: Chapter 19: The Nightshades

when is the next one coming!! please dont make it a long wait!! is it moody?

Author's Response: I will try as best as I can not to make it a long wait. If things go right, I may be able to get the whole thing done this Saturday night, but no promises. and of course I'm not going to tell you if it's moody or not. Thank you so much, see ya next time.

Reviewer: Kabob
Date: 04/17/08 0:44
Chapter: Chapter 19: The Nightshades

My, my, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? I’ve been keeping up with your story through all the problems coming up on this site over the past while, but I haven’t left a review recently. I guess I don’t actually read fan fiction anymore, but this is one story I want to keep up with. I want to see it through to the end almost as much as you do. I wouldn’t mind if you continued your story on your blog, as I would follow it either way.

It’s funny, and it sounds ridiculously lame, but I feel as though I’ve grown along with your stories and your writing. It’s been what, a year and a half or more that I’ve been following your stories? It feels like I’ve moved on to different things and fallen away from the whole reading fan fiction thing, but the memories seem to stay with me of your stories and how your own writing style has grown and continues to develop. Ah, nostalgic memories :P I’m not quite sure what I’m getting at, but it’s been quite a journey with you, your stories, and your writing.

Okay, so onto this chapter. I guess the best way to put it as that I was blown away. The action was intense and dynamic. By dynamic, I’m talking about how the narrative kept changing and how the fighting style didn’t stay static. The fighting style was of particular interest because every battle or match-up was unique. After the Master showed up, you made the fighting style even more dynamic by throwing out the original match-ups you had, and allowing the main characters and Nightshades to interact with each other while battling.

I’m impressed by your execution of the action because it seems like you’ve already done everything in this story in terms of how action and fights can possibly take place, but you added an innovative way of showing action, as you seem to always manage to do.

I mentioned the changing narrative you put into this chapter. I was put off by this at first because I thought it would break down into a cookie-cutter: Battle A, Battle B, and now Battle C. That’s not what happened at all though. Every character had their own unique fight and they each had to think of a way to outdo their opponent based on their personalities, backgrounds, and all the rest. Not only that, but I got a kick out of a part of Ginny’s narrative where you brought back the whole “feeling his presence” thing from Epilogues, Part II. Not only is that a neat Easter egg, but it shows how in-tune you still are with the narratives that you’ve built with Ginny and Harry in your past stories.

On to the Nightshades. It was odd to see all of them dueling in such a traditional sense at first. It was almost as though they’d forgotten everything they specialized in. The Master admonishing them for doing traditional dueling made a lot of sense to me because of that line of thinking I had.

The Master removing their masks led to some twists that I didn’t see coming. I assumed because of how incredibly skilled the Nightshades have appeared up to this point that they would all be middle-aged and experienced people. To see that they were all so young, aside from the Illusion, was a shock, considering all the horrendous things they had done.

It seems that when their masks were taken away, the Nightshades became completely different people with new personalities, no longer being able to hide behind their masks. The Wall, who seemed so calm and regretful in the chapter that we saw him, became incredibly vengeful against Neville. The Reaper became fiercer than ever, where before she seemed malicious, but in a way that looked like she took pleasure in what she was doing.

Speaking of the Reaper, the twist that she was a young and beautiful woman was just great. I also loved the way that she seemed to have done absolutely no homework on Harry’s skills. I wasn’t sure how you would implement Eric saying that the Reaper could be beaten because she’s an idiot outside of battle, and I enjoyed the result. It made for an awesome laugh and showed that the solution was really quite simple.

Finally when the Master swiftly killed off his Nightshades after their failure, it really kicked up my sympathy for them. Yes, they did terrible things to the Aurors and others, mercilessly using them as pawns and killing them off, but it turns out they were pawns themselves.

I wonder if the Master knew beforehand, well before he even searched for Eric, that his Nightshades would ultimately fail, and that he would end up killing them. Makes you wonder why he even bothered training them if that’s the case :P His overall plan does seem ridiculously perfectly planned and far-fetched as it stands, but I know well enough that his true intentions will be revealed eventually.

This may very well have been the longest review I’ve written for you :| Oh well, hopefully you’ve enjoyed reading it. I know I really enjoyed your chapter. Here’s to you, Kyle, and your continuously great and growing writing. Here, here!

Author's Response: BOBAK! Yes this is not only the longest review you have ever left, but it may just be right up there among the longest reviews of all time, and I waited specifically until I had some time to respond to this in full. Hopefully we both don't lose track. It has been a while, but as I say often, this is largely because political writing has really taken up a great portion of my life right now. Happily, we picked up some new writers, and what I'm really hoping for is to find the right mix in my political writing that would allow me to focus on some fiction writing. One of the great things about the internet is that it really does give folks like me who really don't have a college degree and don't know any publishers personally a chance to get out there, do what I do, and hopefully get heard and read and share my stories and creativity with people. And believe me, I understand about not being into fanfiction anymore. I think if this story was more in line with the HPverse, that's to say, if this were more along the lines of my earlier stories, I probably wouldn't be so interested in finishing it as I've kind of lost interest in Harry Potter altogether, but what keeps me coming back to this story is that I have taken it out of bounds enough to where, though the basic rules and stock characters are the same, it feels like my own work completely. And when you talk about a journey, believe me, I totally understand and I also want to thank you. Something I've thought about lately is where I want to take my fiction writing, and well, to give you perspective, when I write politics, I write about ten articles a day, combined, I would say those would probably stack up to about two or three chapters in just raw volume. But it's a different kind of writing. Anyway, I'm getting off topic. My point is that, I put a lot of heart and soul into this writing, and when I approached Part II and Part III, it was to do so in such a manner where I get myself ready to write an actual novel. Where I actually follow through and finish what I started, and hopefully I could take that with me from here, and create an original story and write a novel. But the thing is, I've gotten really used to not taking this journey alone, but hearing all these great voices every time I publish a chapter. And I do feel like I've grown with you guys, grown to know some of you, and it has really made this not just an experience of learning as I hoped it would be, but one that I truly cherish. Keep in mind, you guys have been with me through a lot, whether you know it or not. Through some tough times with my family life, and in work, through transformative moments that will direct how the rest of my life plays out, and I can't forget that. To this end, you and I have both moved on from fanfiction, but this story still binds us, which is great, and I'm hoping when I do take that big next step from leaving behind the training wheels and going on to fully original works, I'm hoping you and the rest of my readers will come with me and help me there. So, the big change I'm thinking about is just leaving my fiction in blog form, perhaps writing a serial instead of a beginning to end story. Already another plot line is forming that is more open ended and will allow me to experiment with new themes and new characters and new settings. But, while I'm still on this subject, I think one of the things that I'm going to do is ask you guys on my blog which story should I tell. Okay, next paragraph, what do you got for me? Ah, yes, I'm so glad I blew you away. And I really appreciate your comments on dynamism versus stasis because that was exactly what I was working for here. And this is something that I have kind of anticipated and worked with is writing a battle scene and say directing or watching one or whatever, the visual versus the written is so much different. You can watch a thirty minute fight scene and never get bored because you're actually seeing it, but when you write it, you have to be careful because those actions when translated into words, can become very repetititve. As a result, what you have to be careful of is this situation where all you do is say the same thing over and over again, so when I choreographed this fight, my design was to create a situation where I was always changing it up, and always preventing the reader from getting in a situation where you're like, "okay, blah blah blah, okay, so they cast spells at each other, move on!" As for innovation, I'm hoping the next chapter will blow this one away! You know, it's funny, even though I'm not planning on writing any continuations after this, there are key battles later on after the Epilogues arc that I have plotted out in my head too, and those battles, I think would dwarf the ones we have here. Too bad they'll never see the outside of my head. And I'm really glad you brought up the bit with Ginny in the dark here. One of the things that I really do kind of miss is the romance stuff that was so prevailant in the earlier stories, and this was supposed to be that. You know, my Ginny is a very strong person, I like her that way, but I've always maintained that deeply hidden weakness she has for Harry, and while this story has really not spent much time with that relationship, I think this and a little detail in the chapter before hand really packs everything into a small space. I wanted to actually do more with it, but I cut myself off before it became a distraction from everything else that went on. Even now as I write this I think I have found a better way to have come out of that little mini scene, but oh well, that's how it goes some times. As for the traditional dueling, the thing about that was to go back to something else that the Pupil had said, that everything was choreographed. Here we see them acting without explicitly mapped out pre-designs, and we see them doing what would come natural in just head on fighting, they have different styles, of course, styles that would perhaps fit their personalities or their specialty, but it comes down to the fact that they're very human and not as dangerous without a more direct guiding by their master. I do find your observations with the masks interesting though because it wasn't really planned out for them to change personalities but I suppose they did. Really, that's all you and your interpretations for that because this is something that is taking me a little off guard as well. Huh... well, it happens sometimes I guess. I can't take credit for everything I do, right? And the Reaper. Yes, I knew it would take a lot of people by surprise, and that's why I did it. In a way I was kind of challenging both the perceptions of my readers and of my characters because it's just not the kind of character that often is prescribed to females, but there you go. As for the next two paragraphs, well, sympathy is good. Sympathy is what I was going for and in a way this kind of ties in with Epilogues Part I, and I guess becomes a recurring theme for me that the villain is not necessarily something to always be hated, that they can be worthy of our pity and sympathy. It's a theme that I guess I will continue to explore as I leave fanfic writing behind because it intrigues me so. So many stories are written and told where the villain of the piece is killed and everyone celebrates and nothing redeeming or pitiable is ever stated, and that's not how real life works most the time. There is evil in this world, I suppose, but real world evil is rarely as simple and cut and dry as fictional evil and that's something that I find incredibly fascinating. AS for the rest, well, I can't go into that. To be honest, once all is said and done and understand why everything happened as it did, I can't be sure what everyone's reaction will be. But, to give a somehow cryptic explanation of what I'm talking about, the Big Dipper comes to mind. If you figure that out, well, hat's off to you sir. Anyway, I think that covers most of it. Thank you so much man, and I'll see ya for the next one!

Reviewer: gunslinger3604
Date: 04/17/08 0:09
Chapter: Prologue: Severatum

AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! Who is it?!?!
This chapter was crazy good. Probably one of the most well written chapters in the entire series. The action was amazing. The Harry v Reaper was completely B.A. But I'd have to say the best thing had to be Neville. Did not see that coming at all. He literally turned into Colossus! I like how the Nightshades all ended up being young. That gives an explanation as to why they might not be as invincible as they seemed. If they came straight out of school, all they did was train for seven years. The original gang has a lot more experience and they always seems to get out of things like this. Can't WAIT for the next chapter! WHO IS THE MASTER!?!? I can think of the possibilities, but they'd never live up to what we'll see in chapter 20. AWESOME.

Author's Response: HAHA! Thanks so much! And come on, if I haven't let on after nineteen chapters, what makes you think I'll let the secret go in a review? Silly silly. I'm glad you liked the action, it was a blast to write, and I'm glad I had so much time to plot and plan that thing out because I think after a year or so of planning this battle, that really gave me a lot of depth to go off of when I wrote it. You know? And it's a challenge, realy it is because you can come up with some spectacular battle scenes in your head, that would look great in a movie, but to write those down is something different because now you have to think about pacing and repetitiveness, and all kinds of other factors that could take what should be a pretty exciting scene and just becomes a chore to read. That's why I knew from moment one that I had to jump from character to character here. This allowed me to accomplish at least a couple of things. For one, it allowed me to portray chaos without having to actually write chaos. I think a massive battle can get real dull because if you continue to look at it from a single camera lens, it all just kind of melds together, more so if you are simply describing it with words. It also allowed me to keep the pace moving along at a snappy pace, while at the same time showing how unique each individual battle truly is. Now I'll discuss the two battles that you mention specifically. With Harry and the Reaper, that was, for me, a perfect juxtaposition with Ron's battle with Adam. With the latter, you have this intensely emotional struggle because Ron was truly wounded by Adam, and on Adam's part, he was simply trading one master for another while he was undercover. While he may have been ranked slightly above the rest of the Nightshades sans the Pupil, he is an incredibly ambitious person who has spent his entire life playing second fiddle to someone else. So that's what fuels that battle. With Harry and the Reaper, though, it's purely cold and analytical. The interesting thing about that battle was that you don't have to describe the battle itself, but instead just kind of describe describing the battle, if that makes any sense. You don't have to go through each and every individual move, but paint a broader picture and lay the context in there that explains that, okay here are two master duelists who are operating at a level that very few other people on this planet could ever hope to achieve. As for Neville, I just really liked the idea of him kicking some ass, you know? And that was just something that really stuck in my mind early on, was I wanted that visual of having this big imposing enemy bearing down on him, and him just out of no where sending his enemy flying. I loved that element of surprise, and when he drank the potion I wanted you sitting there and waiting and wondering, okay, what the hell is this potion going to do and why isn't he doing something yet about the big hulking rock monster that is coming his WAY?!?!?! And yeah, the thing I wanted to do is really highlight that what this gang has that the Nightshades don't is both experience and a genuine love for each other. anyway, I'm really glad you enjoyed it, I enjoyed writing it, and I'm hoping to get the time to finish this story soon because I am anxious not only to end this work, but begin the next. Hope I don't keep you waiting too long, and see you for thenext chapter!

Reviewer: TC Fields
Date: 04/16/08 23:47
Chapter: Chapter 19: The Nightshades

I don't know why I expected this chapter to end any other way. I mean, of course, the unveiling of the master, but I don't know why I was hoping to know. I should have known that was the cliff hanger you'd use.

I'm going to guess the change you made had to do with the death of the Nightshades. But I'm probably wrong.

I was excited to see the action, and enjoyed how you wrote it, switching between the characters point of views. Nice job.

Hope to see who the Master is soon.

Kudos on an excellent, action-packed chapter. Loved it.

Author's Response: HAHAHAHAH! Alas, my readers know me too well! Yup, I had to string that one along as long as I could, didn't I? I even had to write it just so in order for you not to be sure if it's Rathius or not, as so many have speculated up to now. But alas, just one more chapter, which, if I have to work this weekend like last weekend, I vow to sit down and force myself to charge through it in one night. Promise! And you're guess on what was changed is very close. In the original version, Ron didn't close his eyes. Anyway, thank you and I'm going to cut this response short because my time is very limited at the moment!

Reviewer: astro_wizkid
Date: 04/16/08 23:41
Chapter: Chapter 19: The Nightshades

come on! you can't just end it there! so it isn't rathius....10 bucks it's his brother.... (or maeby not) but gaaah! every time i mentally prepare myself for a cliffie...and each time they get better (or worse for the reader) so i don't know what else to mentally prepare myself for!

um....i don't know what to say....the action in this chapter.....wow....(yep....i think wow sums it all up) i loved the harry reaper battle....and i also loved the hermione illusion battle (don't see hermione kick but often so that was nice to see) and Ron's beating the living daylights out of Adam was....to say the least definatly in his character....and it was quite enjoyable to know Ron getting some amount of revenge.....but i most definatly cannot wait for chapter 20....and i was sorry to hear the difficulties you have been having with the mods on fanfiction....no matter where you post, you got a loyal reader in me!

great job and try to update asap...because your ending was so increadably good i cannot wait for more!

Author's Response: Well, the difficulties were what they were. I only have one more scene that worries me and if I get that out of the way safe and sound, it should be easy sailing from here on in. As for who the Master is, I shall say no more and no less than it will be revealed early on in the next chapter, and I shall provide a hint as to his identity in the Author's Note prior to. As for the action, oh it was wonderful writing, very fun, and after writing eighteen chapters from the same point of view, it was something of a relief to get out of Ron's head for a while. What I like in these early reviews is that everyone seems to have their favorite parts, and that's exactly what I wanted, for this frantic scene where people are going to relate to some segments of the action more than others. Finally, regarding what the future holds beyond the Epilogues, I intend to finish the story here, and then I will abandon fanfiction completely. Because there will definitely be loose ends waiting to be tied up, I will tie those up on my personal blog in a series of posts that I hope everyone will find very interesting. I also intend to see if anyone would like to do a spin off series of stories using a couple of characters, we'll probably hold some contests with that or something, I don't know. Then I intend to use my personal blog for just that, personal musings while I work on a story that I think I can put out on a regular basis. The guy who is doing the behind the scenes work on my political site said he'll do a number on my personal blog so I hope that once I'm ready to go I'll have something nice set up so that you can follow one story, get email alerts and all that kind of stuff. anyway, thank you so much and I hope to see ya for the next.rn

Reviewer: KneazleWeazl
Date: 04/16/08 22:05
Chapter: Chapter 19: The Nightshades

Damn cliffhangers.

Author's Response: Th-that's i-i-i-it? *sniff*

Reviewer: lostinside1
Date: 04/16/08 15:09
Chapter: Chapter 19: The Nightshades

wow you have great music taste!

i know im wrong but im hazarding a guess at percy. i know im way off but.... i don't like percy. :D

Author's Response: Thanks. Actually, I haven't been keeping up with music lately. Politics pretty much absorbs all of my life. Those few leftover scraps are either spent working on this story, or with my family, so this is kind of old stuff. I'm hoping that something happens with my political site soon that will give me an excuse to start digging into some new stuff soon though. Anyway, I'm glad you enjoyed it, as for the identity you seek, it will come early on in the next chapter, I promise, and I will give everyone a hint as to who it is in the Author's Note prior to .Maybe... I might decide against it. anyway, thank you so much and I'll see you for the next one!

Reviewer: gryffindorboi
Date: 04/16/08 9:25
Chapter: Chapter 19: The Nightshades

This is the best chapter yet, despite the fact that you had originally written it more gory. Well, it's tied with the chapter where Ron was swimming in blood and all that lovely stuff. I think that chapter was more gory actually, that and The Reaper chapter. I figure it's not Rathius due to Ron's reaction, that's a bit too obvious anyways. I love the fact that The Reaper was a chick and the snakes were a brilliant idea! Can't wait to read the rest! Cheers and happy writing!

Author's Response: Yup, the big change between this and the original (aside from some beginner's mistakes that I admit the mod had me on), was that originally, Ron didn't shut his eyes at the end. There is a slight thematic loss there, but not a great one and I'm happy to tone it down as long as the end result remains the same, now it's a matter of making sure that the opening of the next chapter can squeak by. I'm glad you thought it the best chapter yet this chapter and the next have been chapters that have been in my head for well over a year now, and it really felt good to finally put it down in words. As for who the Master is, yes, we will learn that answer in the very beginning of the next chapter. I will also provide a clue to his identity in the author's note in case there is anyone that wants to try and figure it out one last go before the big secret is revealed. Making the Reaper a woman, well, and this is something that's important to me when I write, is addressing a kind of equality or at least you know diversity in my characters. That's to say, when I created a group of baddies, for me it just seemed natural to make sure that the deadliest was a young woman. And the snakes, well, that was something I had plotted for a while. You know, just a nice and tidy way to bring into effect what the Pupil had said earlier, and to further reinforce the idea that everyone has some sort of weakspot. Anyway, thank you so much and I'll see when I can get to the next chapter (no... I suck... I haven't started writing it yet).

Reviewer: MissBellaBunny
Date: 04/12/08 23:38
Chapter: Chapter 14: Internalizing

OMG! I loved it! I would definitely read ore, but it's really late. BYE!

Author's Response: Internalizing, internalizing, which was this one? Man, I forget. Oh well. Thank you so much, I appreciate it and hope to hear more from you soon.

Reviewer: MissBellaBunny
Date: 04/09/08 22:11
Chapter: Chapter 11: Deeper In A Hole

OMG! That was REALLY SUSPENSEFUL! I LOVED IT!

Author's Response: Ah yes, this chapter, I loved this chapter. I got to be nice and gory in the opener, and I got to introduce the Wall who is quite a character among the Nightshades. My favorite part of this chapter, though, is the house, which to me seemed to be the creepiest part of the whole thing. Anyway, thank you much.

Reviewer: MissBellaBunny
Date: 04/09/08 21:43
Chapter: Chapter 10: Brothers

Oooooooooooooh, Suspenseful. I really loved that chapter. In fact, I love all of your chapters. You r such a good writer. I just cant get over how in-character it is! Well, anyway, keep up the good work.

Author's Response: Okay, let's see if I can't get a little caught up on my reviews, shall we? Damn. I didn't see which chapter this was? Darn it, okay, next time I'll pay more attention, I thought the chapter title was going to be in the response screen, but it wasn't and now I'm just talking to try and alleviate myself of embarrassment that can't be escaped. Darn. okay, thank you so much, and hope to keep hearing from you.

Reviewer: tommyriddle
Date: 04/07/08 13:22
Chapter: Chapter 18: The Eve Of War

Great Story man!! I've read the whole series a number of times, almost as many as some of the HP books. I hope you can keep posting on here but if not then I'll certainly finish reading it at your website. Hurry...haha

Author's Response: Thank you kindly. Well, tentatively I want to say that we're going to be able to keep the story here, though I have to make some adjustments to what has already been written. I just finished rewriting a scene, so I have to go through, make a couple of corrections real quick, and I should be able to put it in queue tomorrow.rnrnThanks so much.

Reviewer: TC Fields
Date: 04/02/08 2:22
Chapter: Chapter 18: The Eve Of War

I must admit, I was sad to see you're leaving MNFF. But after reading your reasons on your website, I can't say I don't understand. It must be frustrating as an author for someone to tell you what is "too much" for your story, especially if it's inconsistent. I do hope you finish this story, even if it's not posted here, as I am looking forward to seeing how this plays out.

On the chapter, it took awhile for me to see it was updated and actually read it. (I had emergency surgery last week, and even though I've been home I was unable - physically - to sit at the computer.) But now that I have read it, I was not disappointed even though there was not enough action for my liking. I understand the action is coming. You've set up the next chapter nicely, I hope I'll get the chance to read it.

You're an amazing storyteller. I hope you do continue to write and that I will have the chance to read it. Not only so I can see the end of this story but so I can experience what you have rolling around that talented mind of yours for "the other end of The Nightshades." (even if it's not HP related.)

Author's Response: Well, I may have spoken a little too soon. We're going to work on it. I still can't guarantee that I'll be able to continue posting here, but if I can I will. This may require altering some things in the chapters yet to be posted, but if that's the case, I'll probably post a "director's cut" on my personal website. And, you know, I understand the disparity from one moderator to the next; maintaining certain standards in a situation like this is more subjective than objective which is always difficult, but we do what we can. I will finish the story one way or another, it's just a matter of how that's going to be. I'm sorry about the surgery, I didn't know, and hope everything is okay. As for not noticing the update, that's fine, I think there are a lot of people that didn't notice, and I think one of the reasons is because I think the system kind of hiccupped a little, and the update was posted on most recent updates late and I don't think emails were ever sent out. Oh well. Sorry this chapter wasn't as action packed as previous chapters, but as you say, this was all just a set up of the next chapter, or, more precisely, the next two chapters which I promise will be action packed once everything gets ironed out and I can get them to you guys. I'm incredibly honored, and promise that unless I get cut a book deal, all of my writing should be available for free somewhere online and I'll do my best to let people know where and when.rnrnThank you so much, and as I have said, i'm going to work on getting the last five chapters finished as soon as I can.

Reviewer: stargatesg1fan1
Date: 04/01/08 18:39
Chapter: Chapter 18: The Eve Of War

Awesome series. I just got caught up. Lol well what a cliff hanger. lol. I think this story is amazing. I hope the next chapter hits soon.

Author's Response: Well, right now I'm kind of negotiating with the admin as to whether or not I'm going to be able to keep posting the story here or not. I'm hoping so, but there are going to have to be some adjustments made if it's going to happen. thank you very much.

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