Ooh, now this is a really interesting opening to a story. I was drawn to this on your author’s page because the summary mentioned Kingsley and I find him a fascinating character that not many people write about it, so I was looking forward to reading your portrayal of him. And I did really enjoy this chapter.
It’s interesting, because I had never really considered how strange it must have been for Kingsley to one day go from hating Sirius Black and attempting to hunt him down, to being asked to embrace him as a member of the Order, and even as a friend. It was very perceptive of you to bring out those thoughts and really made me think about how awkward that situation might have been in the beginning. Not to mention the fact that it remained Kingsley’s job to hunt Sirius long after they became friends, which makes you wonder how much job satisfaction Kingsley was getting from the Ministry at that time.
I was impressed by your characterisation of all the order members; Moody in particular was well-written. You really seemed to understand his way of speaking and thinking, and everything he said felt very believable and perfectly in keeping with the Moody we see in canon. He is blunt and to the point; he isn’t prepared to accept Tonks’ denial or sugar-coat the issues. He just tells it like it is, and you presented him in exactly the way I could imagine in this situation.
Tonks was another stand out. I felt so terrible for her as she struggled to accept the death of her best friend. Her denial was very realistic and I really ached as I read of her desperation for it not to be true. We don’t really know who Aidan is/was, but it is very clear that he was incredibly important to Tonks and you did an excellent job of portraying her pain. She so obviously did not want to listen to what they needed to tell her and was instead convinced that Aidan was going to turn up, and it was heart-wrenching.
It did strike me as slightly strange that Tonks’ initial reaction was to declare that she intended to care for the child that night. It seems odd that she would be so quick to separate mother and child after such a terrible incident and it probably would have provided comfort to Kate to have Sophie with her. Even if Kate was not capable of looking after her, perhaps Tonks would have at least asked if she needed her help, rather than just doing it.
I hope we get to learn more about Aidan, Kate and Sophie as the story progresses. They are, I assume OCs and it’ll be interesting to see your creations in action. They seemed to fit well into the existing order set-up, and you gave hints about them and their place within the Order, but I don’t feel I know very much about them yet, and I want to.
You did an excellent job of creating an atmosphere here. You do a good job with portraying the level of fear that comes with someone as skilful and respected as an Auror being killed, and in fact you phrased it perfectly with this paragraph: With the sudden announcement, tempers ran high with everyone. Voldemort might not have acted, but these crafted moves certainly made a statement. It is a very real example of the climate of fear that Voldemort’s actions left behind, particularly when he was still acting undercover rather than out in the open. In canon, we only get to see how these things affect the children and Hogwarts, and it was good to see it from the perspective of the Order as well, and that the same worries and fears affected the adults.
The pacing was also very good. It started off as an ordinary meeting with only the slightest hints that there might be something wrong, such as the Sophie’s daddy not yet being there and Kingsley’s thought that A meeting never started late. There was even some comic relief at Tonks’ arrival with Sophie and I liked that you started off with what felt like a very natural scene for the Order, and then proceeded to create a more dark tone as events unfolded. What started off as a regular, light-hearted meeting, became a sad, terrible affair by the end, especially as we learnt of the nature of Aidan’s death and that his wife, and daughter witnessed it. (Though here, I must confess to being a little confused. Sophie arrived with Tonks, who didn’t know anything about the death of Aidan, so if Sophie did witness the death, then how did Tonks manage to fetch her and spend time with her, without finding out anything about it?)
There were occasions when I think some things were missed from the narrative. For example, I assume that Kate arrived with Dumbledore but this is not really clear, and the paragraph beginning Kingsley got lost in a pair of blank grey eyes came slightly out of nowhere, and was a little confusing as to whether this woman had been there all along, or had just arrived, or who she even was. Obviously, you understand because you are picturing the scene in your head, but sometimes it would be helpful to give your readers markers, even something as simple as an added, ‘accompanied by a woman’ to the sentence, Silence fell the moment Dumbledore strolled into the kitchen so that the readers are able to catch up.
Overall, this was a great opening and I look forward to seeing more of your presentation of the Order.
Although gruesome, I really liked this first chapter. You know, I never really stopped to think how odd it was when Sirius came back from Azkaban. He was part of the Order along with Ministry employees and they all knew who he was. I'm feeling that there are some odd things that JKR didn't explain--but I guess you can't explain everything. I felt so bad for the young auror who was killed and his family. I think this story will be interesting and talk about some of the lesser known characters in Harry's world. Great chapter.
Author's Response: Yeah, I don't where I'm going with this one. That's probably why I haven't responded. It's a revision of a rewrite. I'm finding that writing tweo pieces at once ian't exactly easy. Yeah, I wonder why Kingsley took that initial reaction to seeing Sirius. More than that, although people make the odd connection, shouldn't Tonks be sceptical and confused? I don't know. I'm not saying beat it to death, but still ... as you said JKR makes interesting jumps there. Sorry for the delay. Thanks for reading. - okiblosom