I haven't really made up my mind about this fic yet. But I guess I must like it somewhat since I'm still reading at chapter 17. I don't think this Hermione is really Hermione, I don't see it. But she's such a good character that I don't really care anyway.
Author's Response: Thank you. I understand your concerns about Hermione, I have been having them myself. I think because she's in her thirties and a totally different environment you can account for some changes, just not all! In the last chapter I tried to show her own fear of herself and what she had become, in hope that would explain a few things. I'm going to tie up things in the next two chapters and so I can move it onto the conclusion. Plenty more to come though, hehe!
Poor Neville. I think that Hermione is going a little mad, but then she has been acting totally against her nature. I hope that something good happens to her soon!!!
Author's Response: Thank you. Yes, she is going mad -- bless her! I think she needs some good news...
Wow, I think that you write extremely well. You think that it was a little bit of a mess but I disagree. Hermione is been through more stress than may be humanly possible and I think that what is happening to her is completely realistic. I love the way you are still playing Snape to both sides, he's almost more intriguing here than in canon. I'm sorry about Neville but at least he helped out in other ways. Fantastic, can't wait for the next chapter!
Author's Response: Thank you very much, once again. I need to be careful though, I am someone who goes around criticising other people for having character OOC and yet Hermione is almost unrecognisable. I guess Neville did help out, bless him. I am such a cruel person. Hopefully I will write the next chapter soon -- if I get round to it with all the challenge fics I am forcing myself to write lately.
A dark and painful Chapter, but hopefully Hermione's actions do what they were supposed to do. I also hope that Neville is really ok. I knew that he'd show up too! Seeing Snape as the rescuer was very different, but nice in this story.
Author's Response: Thank you for the review, certainly interesting to see your view on things. Snape will have to play the rescuer role for a while but then.... hehe. I have two endings in my head and I have yet to decide which one I will use. I may write them both and see which one works.
Well, hmm, yes it was dark and really almost *painful* to read (I had a hold of my shirt the entire time because Lucius seems so real) but it was entirely realistic. Malfoy is barely human, more of a savage beast and he has no morals after all. I am pleased to see that Neville showed up, that is what he would do anyway, I think even if everyone else went screaming in the other direction. And Snape! Angry!Snape and possibly caring!Snape! Even if he is a caring man, you still kept him in character and left him his ambiguity. I do feel for Hermione though, and no I don't think you completely heartless for what she has gone through. It is war after all.
I know that you had some trepidation about this chapter from the forums but I think you wrote it beautifully. Everything is happening so fast and Hermione has always been one to second-guess herself. I love the idea that what she hungers for is freedom and it is kind of ironic that it is what is shared with Snape that gives her that illusion. I know that you are hard at work on this and other things so I won't bug you for updates but I wonder, does Neville show up?
Author's Response: Hey,
Firstly I want to give you one fifteen HUGE hugs for every review you have submitted - you have cheered me up eternally, today as been a pretty rotten day (my dog is ill.) I want to thank you for your insight, it's reminded me of aspects of the stories taht I had myself forgotten and the light you shed on each part has helped me see it from an objective view point. I can tell you have connected with this story -- and I'm shaking with pride because of that! Your comments on Snape were all very helpful, I'm glad in your view he's been upheld properly as I sometimes have my doubts.
Hermione! What can I say about her? She does have her ups and downs. I pity her, reading your reviews has made me consider myself a very heartless person, and I pity her even more because I know whats about to happen.
Next chapter will hopefully be up soon. You will not like it, that I can assure you! It's probably the darkest chapter yet.
Woo hoo this chapter is so full of turns and intrigue. First, they're running out of time. Second, the whole wand scenario. Third, the Order's still really not cooperating. Fourth, dominating!Hermione. I think she needs to know her own power before the plan really gets started and I think that is what you are allowing her to do. I think the blood wand idea is brilliant, she really will have to join them to beat them, or at least make it seem that way. Can't wait to read what happens!
Ugh, Draco and his goons. I want to kick them all. Well, Hermione did just break down so she's not exactly thinking straight and that is very, very dangerous. I was glad to see the Occlumency lesson though, I was wondering when they would get around to that. And thank you for letting Harry get the better of Draco, maybe it will help his self-esteem a bit?
A chink in the armor, and doubt about Snape's loyalties to boot. And please tell me Draco gets skewered when this all ends, I can't stand him, but that's only because you wrote him so well! I was wondering when and if Hermione might break down, she's been holding in so much, and interesting that she would lash out at Snape. It does make sense though, she is with him the most and funny things happen when two people are put through as much stress as they are. I don't think that there is any going back now, is there?
Author's Response: Nope! Sorry.
What I loved about this chapter is what the characters have become. Harry is still brooding and doesn't trust Snape (and probably never will), Fred is willing to help although he has some reservations, Colin is still gawking as always but now it's for different reasons, Neville is as brave as ever (I really feel for Neville, I think he is braver than most of the Gryffindors and he has a strength that he doesn't know about), Flitwick helps too but is reserved as well and Snape's as snarky as ever. I find it kind of ironic that all of these men are depending on Hermione because none of them seem man enough to want to get things going themselves. Interesting.
Wow, those Weasley boys really got the short end of the stick in all of this didn't they? Poor Fred, I really can't imagine him without George but I think you've done a good job bringing to light what his life bust be like and all of the pain that he's had to deal with. I think you also did a great job showing us just how bad the change of power is. Diagon Alley is dead, that is the best word for it, and it really makes me realize just the depth of what they are going through.
What is going on? I'm glad that Snape is taking care of Hermione and is taking time to explain a few things but what is all of this about it mattering if something happens to her? Not allowing her to change into Harry lest she be killed? Does he really care? This is why I love this fic, we don't know! That, and that is how Snape is anyway.
Author's Response: Does he really care? *ponders* I crave for Snape to be good in the real books. So when I wrote this chapter I wanted an element of goodness to shine through. But his ambiguity is still upheld, even for my the writer, and I don't yet know the conclusion.
Oh how I would like to take Lucius Malfoy and...and...roast him on a spit or something! I think you've hit him dead on as well (wow you are good at getting the characters right). I must say that I was shouting at my computer screen for Snape to do something, which was probably funny because I was at work. I understand that he really can't, but that doesn't mean I don't want him to *try*.
I don't think that there was any OOCness at all. You've taken these three and thrown them into a horrible, horrible time and place. Who knows what we would do in such a state? We know from OotP that Harry can be a bit of a whiny brat and poor Ron, of course he would freak out, Hermione is powerful enough in her own right and if he really thought she was a Death Eater? And Hermione, she might just be strong enough to get them all through this. I can't wait to read more.
I know I said I live Snape, but I really have a soft spot for Ron. I was heartbroken to see him so shattered but he would be one of the most wanted as a member of the trio and it is really something that he is even alive. I am glad that you are allowing him some comfort in his memories of home. I think it speaks volumes that Hermione does not want comfort: an ice cold shower, a comfortable bed. I think it says that she knows what is coming and that it is going to test her to her limits and she feels she needs to do that to prepare. Never mind all that guilt of hers still hanging about. I really like what you've made of her, she seems more real to me.
Ah, the Death Eaters. I agree with you in that though they hold a great deal of the money in the Wizarding World, their tastes keep their surroundings pretty barbaric. We get a little glimpse of a perhaps concerned!Snape, but when do we ever know for sure. I was horrified with what they found in the Entrance Hall of Azkaban but I think that you are absolutely right in that the Death Eaters would want to keep trophies. That sort of thing has a long legacy (William Wallace?). The darkest chapter so far but tastefully done, you are really great at writing this sort of genre.
Oy, Hermione has a lot of guilt doesn't she, even from before she left the Order? I'm glad that you let us know what happened to bring this story about. Of course we all had assumed, but it is nice to see your take on it. I also liked the graveyard scene, I do think Hermione would want to pay her respects because I think she thinks that she has let these people down almost as much as Harry thinks he has. Harry doesn't trust Snape and he probably never will but does Hermione really trust him either? I think that's something that she will have to figure out soon and I like how you give her a little of what she is looking for at the end with a hug from Harry.
Ah, more brooding Harry in this chapter but that is not what we really get out of it, is it? This chapter is a true meeting of the minds. Snape recognizes that Hermione just might be the only way out of this, whatever this is as we still do not know where his loyalties lie. I think he grudgingly acknowledges that Hermione is quite brilliant and he finally kind of lets her know that he knows that (very, very subtly). I think that Hermione and Snape are quite the match in the brains department, not to say that Harry and Ron are idiots, but they certainly not up to her caliber and Snape is. I think this chapter puts them on equal footing and really makes Hermione realize that to beat them, sometimes you've got to join them, and if you're talking about Death Eaters that's not going to be pretty in any stretch of the imagination. I just love the way you're telling this, you give just enough to get a reader hooked, but we still have no idea what will happen in the end.
What I loved about this chapter can be summed up in one word-Snape! I personally love the man and all of his intrigue. But to start, Hermione a drinker. With all of that guilt she has it is almost natural for the girl to take up alcohol. I also noticed how she is almost mothering Harry like she did in school, just now with a bit of a condescending tone about her. The way she reacts when Snape arrives really shows just how much she has changed. First, she is startled and then she verbally spars with him jab for jab. She is clearly not a woman who has time for empty conversations anymore. And at the end when she asks, "as low as you?" it is almost as if she knows that this will get Snape more than anything because I think that Snape has a lot of trouble believing himself to be worthy of anything and I think Hermione picks up on this. Great job!
I wanted to wait until I had a few minutes so I could leave you a proper review. I love the way you describe things. For instance, though Hogwarts is destroyed, Hermione still describes it lovingly because I think it was truly a place she loved to be. I immediately sensed that this would be a story of a inner battle of Hermione's because she has a lot of guilt from leaving the Order but it takes a lot for her to help now. I also think you did a very good job of conjuring a brooding Harry, he is perfectly in character because we have seen brooding Happy in OotP and your Harry is that Harry, just a few years down the road. All in all I think this a wonderfully written work and a nice change from all of the "Harry wins and everyone lives happily ever after" sort of story that is so common. Bravo and I will leave a little something for every chapter (after all, feedback helps the world go 'round and the inspiration to keep on ticking).
Author's Response: Thank you very much! I'm glad we are on the same wavelength when it comes to the "Happily ever after idea."