Mercy! I loved it. All those years ago when I first read about the witches who got "burned at the stake" and used a Freezing Charm on the flames, it caught my imagination - and now here's a fanfic about one of those witches. And I can definitely see a witch wanting to help her Muggle neighbors during the Black Plague. I know this was mostly focusing on the idea of witch burning, but I was kind of curious about the process of creating the potion as well as some other stuff...mostly, I just want to know more - what can I say, I'm naturally curious. This is definitely an intriguing story, and I love how it factored in both the history of the Muggle world and of the wizarding world.
"Death had made its presence felt, intoxicating the air with a horrendous smell and feeling of despair. Within the course of mere weeks, the booming trading port of Bristol had become a deserted wasteland. No one dared to come out of their homes, in fear of meeting with disease, but others did not want to stay in with loved ones who had already succumbed to the deadly curse. The few that dared to travel from house to house were the priests, giving the Last Rites before Death took doomed souls away, but even they were afraid to go around the village."
Okay, that is just an awesome first paragraph. It creates such an...atmosphere. It really establishes the fear thing, which just permeates this story. Fear of disease, fear of death, fear of witchcraft, fear of being caught...Very nicely done. =)
I do have a few very nitpicky errors to point out, nothing serious.
"‘My angel hath return?’ he said, his voice barely audible."
Try "hath returned." I'm guessing this was a typo...I do that kind of thing a lot. =)
"‘I am not an angel,’ Etheldreda smiled. ‘I suggest thee hold thy tongue, lest rumours be starting all around the village.’"
Hrm. I think the "thee" would be more "thou"...In that sentence "thee hold thy tongue" is its own clause (a subordinate one!) with thee the subject. But thee isn't a subject word...it's a direct object word. (As in "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?"). Thou is a subject word. (As in "Thou art more lovely and more temperate"). Okay. (Sorry, I feel terrible if I can't provide an explanation why something is wrong).
But the old fashioned language is weird, especially the thees/thous because we don't have different 2nd person pronouns for different uses, so I definitely don't blame you. =)
All in all, a really good story. I always like reading a good Historical fanfiction, and this was definitely one of those.
Author's Response: Thank you, Minna! I'm glad you liked this so much. It was definitely fun to write, especially since that historical era used to be one of my favorites ('course, I always seem to remember Monty Python and the Holy Grail...). Having a witch help out her Muggle neighbors just seemed to be logical, and it gave that sort of irony that Muggles were actually killing the very people who could save them. As for the burning at the stake and Freezing Charm, Wendelin the Weird and her fascination with the burnings always was interesting to me. It must have been fun, constantly tricking all those Muggles. :P I love that first paragraph too, and whenever I had pictured the town, I again had the Monty Python image in my head (where the cart is picking up the bodies) but without the people outside. I'll check into those edits. It's so confusing with the old language and I don't see myself using it again; probably just formal tones next time. Thank you so much for reading and reviewing! :)
Well done, Mzap! I'm glad to see one classmate who has gone all the way with the class. (I'm afraid I was rather slack). You did a wonderful jobe, and I thouroughly enjoyed it. In some strange way, even though it was written 200 years later, it reminded me of Robin Hood. :) Anyways, it is quite obvious that you researched this well. Great job!
Author's Response: Thanks so much for reading and reviewing! I'm glad you liked it. I haven't read Robin Hood, but I do know the story, so thank you for the compliment. :)
Nice job, Mercy! You stuck to the prompt, and from what I can tell, did your research. Well done :)
Author's Response: Thanks so much for reading and thanks for the review! I'm glad you liked it. :)