This chapter answers alot of my questions and is very well writen. I love the classic Luna moment. I think I understand the fanon, like what if?.
Author's Response: thank you!
Ooh, I’ve been waiting to review this one.
Holy crap on a stick, this chapter has been phenomenal! For a while, I was thinking that I was imagining things with my suspicions of Masen and old Moldy Voldy, but my goodness, when it rains, it pours. What a fantastic turn! I really must read the prequel to this, as it would probably add some details in my mind about what happened the day of the Battle.
First of all, I applaud you as one of the few that has been able to nail Hagrid’s dialogue. The way you write his lines was like it was straight out of the books, so kudos for that. I was, however, relieved when the flashback scene reverted to non-Hagrid speak, as it does tend to get a little hard to process in my brain sometimes.
Second, The dynamics between Leah, Gwen and Cory continue to amaze. They do bear a remarkable resemblance to the Trio in that regard, but they are still all very much individualistic. Leah is not unlike Harry, but Gwen and Cory could not be further from Ron/Hermione, which is why I love your trio so much. They interact very much like ordinary eleven-year-olds in extraordinary situations.
Their detective work is believable. I know, it sounds like an odd way to describe it, but they aren’t doing anything super fantastic that someone their age could never figure out. That is one of the foibles of some people who write Trio-esque stories – they act as if the kids are smarter than those around them and give them understanding of things that are unrealistic. I love that you didn’t do that so very much. They’re just, you know… kids.
I’m a little on the fence about the snowball fight. I know it seems grinch-ish of me, but it sort of interrupted the flow of the story a little. Maybe if it wasn’t so long, it would’ve been a little better. I know that it’s a fun part, and our beloved trio doesn’t get enough of that, what with all of their Masen-chasing, but it seems that it was there to occupy space rather than add to the story.
I was waiting for Hagrid to toss them out on their collective rear end the minute Cory called Masen a Death Eater. He probably would have, had Cory not launched his story about the red eyes. By Hagrid’s response, I knew that, whatever it was that he knew, it would be horrible.
That being said, I shall launch into the awesomeness that was your flashback scene.
The sun hid that day. It hid from the approaching rain, and it hid from the war. It ducked behind the storm clouds that shifted through the grey sky, skipping between them as it saw fit – ashamed maybe, of what it was witnessing.
This description is just pure love. Though Britain’s weather is predisposed to gloomy days, it seems, sometimes, that it appears in the books as an exclamation point on the sort of atrocities that have occurred. The underlined part is really spectacular to me, in particular. It just seems that, in light of the bloodshed on that day, something – or someone – somewhere should feel some shame for it.
Harry would’ve hated that.
I really like the fact that you put that in there. We all know that Hagrid loved Harry like his own child (odd thought, that – Hagrid as a parent), and for his first though to be about Harry and one of the things that meant the most to him adds brilliantly to your characterisation of Hagrid.
The part describing the Death Eater about to kill Luna broke my heart a little. If anyone, maybe save Harry, deserved to die at the hands of a maniac less than Luna, I’ll eat my slippers. There is just something about her simple serenity that makes the idea that she almost died just that much more horrible.
“I think he’s dead,” she said calmly. She looked down at her broken leg. “But I don’t think I can fight anymore, Hagrid.”
This is so very, very Luna. Though she is one character that I understand the least, I do know that I can very easily picture her saying the last part. She seems unworried about freaking out like most people in her position would have done… she was more worried that she couldn’t contribute to the battle anymore. It’s really cool when a piece of characterisation is so compelling, I can hear it in my head like it just happened. Very well done.
“They have been listening to the Fwoopers’ song,” sang Luna dreamily.
I seriously laughed out loud when I read this. It’s such a completely random thing for Luna to say for us, but for her, it’s so very fitting. It was excellent, right down to Charlie’s confusion.
I think Charlie was a good choice of a character for you to use to help Hagrid and Luna. Hagrid would relinquish his care over a fallen student to so few people, but Charlie, IMO, would be one of those few. He’s a dragon handler, for crying out loud; what other disaster-preventing credentials do you need? Not to mention, he’s an order member and a former favourite student of Hagrid’s. I know it seems like a minute detail, but it’s good to think of details like that. Plus, we’ve already met Charlie in the story, so his presence in a different part of it isn’t weird or random at all.
The part with Hermione and Ron was just… weird – not in a bad way! Looking at it through Hagrid’s point of view, it is. I would be interested in knowing how they both knew that Harry wasn’t ‘dead’, but I’m sure it’ll pop up somewhere. If not… imagination is a gift.
and the bushy brown hair of the female standing together.
I’m so very sorry to do this, but the use of ‘bushy brown hair’ to describe Hermione is so overused, it almost hurts sometimes. It isn’t our fault as fan fic writers when we do it (by we, I am definitely including myself), since this is a phrase that JKR used herself, but hearing the same adjective phrase time and time again makes it outlive its usefulness. Please don’t take this as a fault in your writing style, because your writing is lovely, but I hate to see good writers fall into traps like these.
The cloaked figure flicked his wand and suddenly, Ron was writhing on the ground, biting his lip so hard he was drawing blood. Hermione was screaming. The Death Eater lifted the curse after only a second, but Ron just lay on the ground for a long moment, trembling.
This is, at least as far as I know, Ron’s first experience with torture. Harry’s had it in the form of Voldemort’s possession, and to a lesser extent, Snape’s Occlumency lessons, and Hermione, as we know, was toasted rather horribly by Bellatrix (I’m not entirely sure if that happened in your timeline or not – I think it did). I think your description of this is very good. Ron whined and whimpered over being hungry, so I can imagine his reaction to torture would be interesting.
“Harry? Harry, if you can hear me – we are so sorry.”
Gah! Now I really want to know what Ron and Hermione knew. You gave us just the right amount of conversation snippets to whet my curiosity, but just few enough to leave me wondering. So very well done there. I really really really want to know why Hermione and Ron are sorry. I can’t wait until I get to find out what it is in this wonderful tale that you’re spinning. :-D
Hagrid gripped the side of the greenhouse, sure that he would collapse to the ground if he didn’t. He knew that what he had seen would haunt him until his dying day. And then, before Hagrid could even draw breath enough to shout Harry’s name, there were two identical flashes of green light and Ron and Hermione lay dead at their best friend’s feet.
I think this is another win for you in Hagrid’s characterisation. So many want to make him all brave and devil-may-care, rearing into action, because he was a Gryffindor, but I challenge anyone to see what he saw and know what he had just learned and not be stunned temporarily into inaction. I’m sure he blamed himself because Ron and Hermione died, but really, would it have helped at all? Probably not. Hagrid probably wouldn’t have killed Harry/Voldy, but the same could not be said for the reverse. It would have been senseless to die like that, though I’m sure it would not have even been on Hagrid’s radar at the time. It’s hard to take characters we like and make them flawed, but at the same time, they become more real to us when we do. So good for you. I think this part was just right.
Now that we’re done with the flashback, I’d like to compliment you on where you ended the flashback. There was useless information or things that leave us scratching our heads. Sure, there are questions that will eventually be answered, but for the time being, it was perfect. You also segued into the present seamlessly, which isn’t an easy task, but you did it wonderfully.
“Not jus’.” His tears had finally stopped, but a haunted look had replaced them. “I dunno how he’s doin’ it, but somehow, You-Know-Who’s been controllin’ him … turned him in ter somethin’ bad like him. Because the Harry I knew would’ve never done that stuff if he ‘ad any choice. An’ now, teh only thing left ter do is protect his secret till he figures a way out o’ it.”
Ha, I knew it, knew it, KNEW IT!!! It makes me so happy to finally get that into the open. It has been gut wrenching, each time that the characters talk about Harry posthumously and don’t know where Voldemort is… I just want to reach through the computer screen, slap them around, and say, “He’s right under your nose, you silly prat!” I suspect that this was a plan of yours, you naughty thing… I really love stories like that.
He shook his head sadly. “Yeh still don’ get it. Some would try ter help, I’m sure o’ that, but others would only see him as a threat – the next Dark Lord, You-Know-Who’s successor. They would want ter only destroy him,” he said, “an’ I won’ allow that.”
Super job with Hagrid yet again. Keeping this a secret to protect what of Harry is left is just another shining example of your skill at writing Hagrid. It’s almost like when he was protecting Norbert(a), because ‘dragons were misunderstood’, and when he was worried that ‘the other dragons would be mean to him’. Such a simple line you’ve put in there, but it goes such a long way in adding to your Hagrid. Very nice.
“No,” Gwen said. “We won’t tell anybody.”
We have to tell somebody!” exclaimed Gwen later as they were running back up to the castle after saying goodbye to Hagrid.
Though I’m not sure if this part was meant to be funny, I laughed a little. This is so very, very Gwen. It also is another good example of how well you write age-appropriate dialogue and characterisation for your trio. She may not understand the full implications of what Hagrid had just told them, but she knows enough to realise that they are all in some serious trouble and definitely in over their heads.
“Cory, I think that this is a tad more important than food!”
“And what, dare I ask, would that be, Ms Seward?”
Argh! Masen! How unfortuitous! He always seems to show up; maybe he’s following them, both as ‘Harry’ and as Voldy. This is where the danger in the story gets cranked up a few notches. Now bad!Masen is aware that he has been found out, even if it was by a few kids. He would have no compunctions about exterminating them, I’m sure.
“Very well then.” His eyes flitted to Cory before they drifted over to Leah and rested there. “Andrews, I would like to speak to you in my office before you leave. It is a matter of great importance.”
Oh, man… this is the equivalent of watching a horror movie where a character is about to enter a room that we know is full of danger and death. We scream to ourselves, “Don’t go in there! No!!!” I find myself in a similar situation when reading this part. I want to bad for Leah to kick him in the shins and run as fast as she can in the opposite direction – mainly to McGonagall to tell her what Hagrid had said. But no… poor thing. She has a severe judgment lapse and follows Masen into the nest of the viper. This also adds to my earlier point that you wrote your trio well for their age. Kids aren’t stupid, but there are just some things they simply don’t know – like following Ol’ Crazy Eyes into a secluded area. :-
The part where Masen is grilling Leah for information was a very nervous time for me as a reader. I was so afraid that something was going to happen to her, that Masen was going to kill or severely hurt her in some way, but thank you so very much for letting it play out as you did. You gave us just enough pins and needles, but you stopped short just in time.
Cory had been right. His eyes were green.
HARRY!!!!!!!!! I can’t tell you how overjoyed I was when I read this part. I really hate the idea of Harry being dead, as he’s one of my very favourite characters in all of entertainment history. From the first time in the story that you had alluded to his death, I had hoped upon hope that it was a ruse, and bless you, you’ve made me so very happy that he’s alive. Now there is someone that can fight Voldemort on every front, and that’s just peaches and cream for me as a follower of this story.
Anyway, as usual, your style in this story has been stellar, leading us to conclusions but not telling us outright what’s going on. I like to do a bit of my own conclusion drawing, and the mode that you carry it out is great. Each time a new chapter comes out in this story, I remember yet again why I love it so much, and also why it should be read and reviewed far more than it is now.
I guess that’s enough from me for now. I’ve really come to enjoy following this story, and I’ll confess, my heart skipped a beat when this came up in the Recent category at the same time that I was trolling for something for my SPEW reviews. I heart you for your timing… truly, I do.
I hope that this review finds you in good literary spirits, and as always, take care and happy writing!
Author's Response: Holy bloody macaroni! I am astounded! I am amazed by this awesome, awesome review!!! *SQUEALS WITH GLEE* You totally made my entire week! All I'm going to say on the subject of Ron and Hermione is that that story is told in detail in Alternate Ending so it won't be discussed to that great of length here. But anyways ... you are amazing! I think I just sat speechless for a whole minute after I read this. So all I can say is, I bow down to you and your pure, wonderful amazingess! *HUGS YOU*
Whoa, just whoa. Love this concept! My only nitpick (and half the time I even like it, so take it as you will) is that bits of the plot definitely shadow events with the Golden Trio. Like I said, most of the time I like it, it just seems fitting; but then other times I'm ready for something new lol. Regardless, I love how complex and awesome this story is! You've earned a great big "WOW!" and a thumbs up. :D
Author's Response: Thanks for reviewing! This story doesn't get a lot of attention, so it's great to hear some positive reviews!! I do realize how similar some plot points are. Originally I didn't intend for it to be THAT similar, but oh well, lol! But I did want it to be similar enough for the reader to gain the feeling of a second chance for the Golden Trio through Leah, Gwen and Cory, because what happened to them in this story - and its prequel - really was too horrible.